Archive for April, 2009

A Toddler Drops Knowledge

Actual conversation with Ginger this morning, shortly after I got her up and she saw a package of diapers sitting outside Fred’s room, waiting to be stashed:

Ginger: Mommy, what’s that?

GrumpyMommma: Those are diapers for Fred.

Ginger: I wear those?

GM: No, sweetie, you are potty-trained.

Ginger: Oh. When I get older, I wear diapers again.

GM {long pause}: I suppose that may turn out to be an accurate statement.

Ginger then proceeded to ask me whether I wanted to be a good girl and poop on the potty.

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When A Neighbor Visits

Yesterday, for the first time ever, I was in charge of watching someone else’s child for an extended period of time. It was our neighbor’s child, whom I’m going to call Red (no nasty comments, please, I have some natural red in my hair as well!) who is one year older than Ginger, and just delightful. Aside from several fatigue-induced fits from Ginger, the visit was without serious drama. However, a few interesting things emerged:

1. My daughter worships Red. The instant Red came over, Ginger just had to change her clothes to wear something similar. This involved several outfit changes until we go it just right. She also had to have her hair pulled back in the same manner and using the same colored hair band as Red.

2. Red loves to use a lot of toilet paper. As in handfuls and handfuls and handfuls. So when she flushed all that extra-cushy TP (I refuse to use the sandpaper stuff), our toilet clogged.

3. I have nose hair. Red told me so.

4. I didn’t have any boogers up my nose, however. Red told me so.

5. Red brought a lollipop for herself and none for Ginger. This started the ultimate whine-fest from Ginger and put me in a bad spot because I don’t have anything around the house that even comes close to the fake fruity deliciousness offered by a lollipop.

6. Ginger prefers that Red, rather than I, help her go to the potty. She told me so in no uncertain terms.

7. Red thinks that Fred is developmentally delayed (not the words she used) because he kept pointing to things and saying “bubble” during her visit. Fred is 19 months old.

8. Red’s old, broke-down busted flip-flops are far cooler than Ginger’s brand-new, high-falutin’, fancy-schmancy, designed-not-to-kill-the-insides-of-her-toes, decorated-with-pretty-flowers flip-flops. Ginger told me in no uncertain terms.

9. Despite being the coolest kid in the universe ever ever ever, Red can’t hold a candle to macaroni and cheese. When I commenced making this rare delicacy for dinner, knowing that Red’s father was about to pick her up, Ginger told Red to go ahead and leave now because it was dinner time for Ginger and Fred.

Alas, the complicated and fickle social lives of toddlers. We look forward to having Red visit us again soon.

Diet Dr. Pepper Strikes Again

I hate fast food. Don’t get me wrong – I think it tastes fabulous. However, the older I get and the more educated I get about what goes into such stuff (read Fast Food Nation if you want to have the pants scared off of you), the less inclined I am to actually enjoy what I purchase from such places, no matter how good it tastes.

However, I may have to alter my perspective a bit.

As you may recall, I love Diet Dr. Pepper in an unnaturally strong way. The craving started when I was pregnant with Fred and it never went away. Coke and Pepsi don’t even taste good to me anymore because Diet Dr. Pepper simply is The Drink for me.

So today, while reading the Wall Street Journal (I subscribed as part of my “feed my brain” effort), I caught this tidbit:

Dr. Pepper Snapple Group and Coca-Cola Co. said Monday that they entered into agreements with McDonald’s Corp. that will give the two beverage companies’ brands a wider presence … (Source)

I can’t make the entire blurb clicky because it’s subscriber-only content, but the gist is that Dr. Pepper – and I’m hoping by extension, Diet Dr. Pepper – will become available in all McDonald’s restaurants starting this year.

I’m pretty proud of the fact that Ginger, who will be three next month, has never had a single bite of food from a fast food restaurant, unless you count an organic cheese sandwich from Panera. Fred also has never had any fast food. Unfortunately for their arteries, I may just be a bit more inclined to hang out at Mickey D’s if they bring in my beverage of choice.

I’d like to think it would help if I merely skated through the drive-through, but I’m convinced that the siren call/smell of McDonald’s French fries alone will cultivate my kids’ desire to eat fast food, particularly since it’s enough to drive me wild.

For Sale: Two Whiny Toddlers

I realize that I like to be silly in this blog, but as long as I’m playing online, I thought I’d mosey on over here to complain that today was a genuinely bad day.

Fred has an ear infection, stomach virus, diarrhea, and a raging diaper rash, so I will forgive him his incessant whining and clinginess, infuriating though it might. The poor kid has enough problems at the moment without worrying that his mother might disown him.

Ginger, on the other hand, was just an inexcusable pill today. It seems that she decided that when Fred would whine, she would whine. She started going back and forth with Fred, in an effort to whine and cry even louder than he. She threw a fit when I wouldn’t let her carry a pen from one room to another. She asked to go to bed at 4:30pm. She cried if I looked at her funny. It was just a weird day for her, and the thought occurred to me that perhaps I should try to sell her on eBay.

In fact, things got so bad that at various times during the afternoon I (a) burst into uncontrollable laughter over how bad my kids were behaving; and (b) dozed off in the middle of playing with them because I was so exhausted from the sheer physicality of dealing with their nonsense all day.

Here’s hoping tomorrow is better.

Taking Drugs To Deal With The Kids

Allergy season is in high gear and from what I understand, it’s pretty bad this year. I’m fairly certain I’m suffering but given that I’m doped up on my allergy drug of choice all the time now, I’m not really on intimate terms with reality at the moment.

I’ve had terrible allergies my entire life, but after many years of minimal issues, the past two years have been insanely bad. Last year I was nursing Fred and therefore couldn’t take anything. I spent a full month last Spring feeling as though I had the flu because I couldn’t self-medicate. Out of desperation, I actually started doing so, but within three days my milk supply starting drying up. Apparently the Breastfeeding Gods did not smile upon my decision to take drugs. Gosh, I wonder why?

This year, things have gotten so bad that I pop a pill as soon as I get up in the morning. The fact that my eyes are swollen shut and I go through half a box of tissues before I have my first pee of the day is a good indication that the drugs are needed.

But here’s the unintended consequence: I have medicine-head for the first half of the day, which somehow makes things slightly more tolerable. My kids still scream and run around and cry and cling to me and act like little monkeys, but through the fog of my drugs, it’s just not quite as annoying. It’s almost as if I’m watching it all on a giant movie screen that surrounds me.

Now if I could just change the story line to one involving a tropical island, fruity drinks with umbrellas, and half-naked cabana boys, I might consider making this a permanent drug habit. Just say yes!

What’s My Age Again?

GrumpyDaddy and I have a new semi-obsession: trying to determine whether people look their age. We tend to do this with people on TV, although we’ll also do it with pictures in magazines where the age of the person in the photo is indicated.

We’ve been doing this for a while and I thought we were just having snarky, amusing conversations, until one day it occurred to me what we were really doing – we’re trying to sort out whether we look good or bad for our age. Ick. I can’t believe I’ve reached an age where this is actually an issue.

The other day, while I was doing my early morning, cram-some-coffee-in-before-the-kids-wake-up routine, I was reading a magazine that contained a photo of two 48-year-olds. Both of these guys looked much older than 48 and, one looked much older than the older. I practically had to restrain myself from running upstairs to wake GrumpyDaddy up to gloat about how much older these guys looked than us. I’m 12 years away from 48 and surely I won’t look THAT bad in a mere 12 years, right?

I have no doubt the joke will be on me.

This game is far more fun, of course, when judging people who actually are our age. The best platform for this is any reality show, where you don’t get Hollywood perfection but real people who do all sorts of horrible things to their bodies like, you know, eat real food and forget to moisturize once in a blue moon.

The game actually started while watching High School Reunion. Have you seen this show? The producers find a school (usually from the South or Southwest), gather a bunch of people who may or may not have known one another in high school but were all part of the same graduating class, and put them in an amazing house (there’s always an amazing house) in Hawaii for two weeks while they get drunk and work out all the teenage angst that they never got over.

It’s fabulous trash TV and I love it. GrumpyDaddy says he merely tolerates it, but I have reason to doubt this. He says the same thing about America’s Next Top Model, and will play on his laptop the entire time I’m watching, appearing not to pay attention, but occasionally will yell out something like, “Why didn’t she get voted off? She’s so catalog!”

Anyway, High School Reunion is the perfect show to watch for our little game because everyone on the show is approximately the same age. It’s a fascinating demonstration of just how different people in their mid-to-late 30s can look from one another in terms of their apparent age. It’s also fun to watch grown-ups revert to ridiculously childish behavior and act like fools. I pretend as though I would never do that, despite the fact that I still occasionally fantasize about running into old classmates and either telling them off for having been so mean to me or asking how they got their hair to feather just right every single day.

And in case you were wondering, GrumpyDaddy and I conclude about 99.8759% of the time that we look younger than our peers, so it must be true.

When A Vacation Isn’t

The next time someone tells you they are taking a vacation with their kids, look them in the eyes and laugh.

Because they aren’t really taking a vacation so much as transplanting the physically exhausting task of caring for children from a familiar environment to an unfamiliar environment. In the process, they are doubling the work required to prevent their kids from finding new ways to accidentally kill themselves, and quadrupling the work required to keep said kids from getting so bored that they elevate whining to an art form.

And I’m not even getting into the time and effort involved in packing for the kids, which is a days-long project in itself.

I’ve decided that people who travel regularly with their young children are nuts. Or masochistic. Or just like an impossible challenge.

Mind you, we were merely visiting family, meaning that (1) we weren’t in entirely unfamiliar territory; and (2) I had help with the kids. Nevertheless, by the end of our trip, even the kids’ grandmother, who should be fawning over every fart and hissy fit (“My granddaughter is screaming in public. Clearly a genius!”) was ready to reclaim the peace and quiet that goes along with being retired.

As for me, once again I have learned the hard way that a vacation is anything but, at least for the mom, for when the going got tough, the kids ran to me. I literally had times where one child was clinging to each leg, begging to be picked up, as I tried to walk across the kitchen to finish preparing lunch or filling a cup with milk. Had this been on TV, it would have been in a sitcom. Instead, this was happening in real life, and rest assured there was nothing funny about it at the time. I think I actually “lost time” during our trip because I kept mentally retreating to my happy place to imagine myself anywhere but with the kids.

You know things are bad when you volunteer to go to an auto parts store with your dad just to get away from your kids.

But we all survived, somehow. Getting the kids back home means that we can get back to our routine, have access to our favorite toys (nevermind that I lugged many of them with us, only to have them completely ignored), and go to our usual haunts.

In other words, now the kiddos can whine about being bored on their home turf.