Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Gumdrop-Shaped Toilets And The Bum Dance

Actual conversation this morning:

Ginger: Mom, I have to use the bathroom.

GrumpyMomma: OK, sweetie, go ahead.

{a few moments pass}

G {appearing in doorway of bathroom with her pants around her ankles and toilet paper in one hand}:  Mom, I’m done!

GM {trying hard not to laugh}:  Are you sure you’re done?

G:  Yes!

GM:  Then why are you holding toilet paper?

G:  That’s what I used to wipe!

GM {gagging}:  Sweetie, please put that in the potty NOW. 

G {pointing at toilet}:  MOM, I HAVE A SURPRISE FOR YOU!

GM:  Oh, my.  {Cautiously approaches bathroom and braces self for the worst}  Um, what dear?

G:  Look, the potty seat looks like an upside-down gumdrop!

GM {relieved}:  Yes, you’re right!  Now pull up your pants and let’s wash those hands.

G {turning around and sticking her rear end toward me}:  Look Mom, the Bum Dance!!  {proceeds to wiggle her bum at me}

And thus concludes yet another bizarro moment in the world of parenting.

My Kid Crapped On The Carpet

I considered giving this post a subtler title but really, what’s the point?

Tonight my kids were doing their usual pre-bath routine of running around naked while I was running the water to get it warm.  Ginger gets in the bath and I call for Fred.  He toddles toward me, pointing at a toy on the ground of the master bedroom, which is visible from the bathroom, and is clearly upset.  I tell him to get in the tub, at which point he says, “Poop!”

“Did you poop?”

“Yes.”

“On the carpet, over there?”  I point toward the “toy.”

“Yes.”

I run over to take a look and sure enough, there are three “toys” strewn across the carpet in the master bedroom.  Wow.

I then run back to the tub to find Fred climbing in, and Ginger screaming that he has poop on his rear end.  I tell him to turn around so I can inspect but he proceeds to sit down and I watch helplessly as a glob of poop floats off his butt and across the tub.

“Ginger, get out of the tub now!”

I drain the tub, clean out the poop, and then go retrieve the deposit on the floor.  It was surprisingly easy to clean up and this is where I made my biggest mistake of the evening (because letting Fred run around diaper-less and then sit his poopy butt in the bath wasn’t bad enough).  I failed to mark where the three poop deposits were and there was no visible mark left on the carpet, at least that I could see.  As a result, I had no clue which portions of the carpet to clean. 

This has got to be a joke.

So I bathe the kids and then get a flashlight and start crawling along the carpet, looking for poop stains.  It’s dark out and the lights in our room aren’t that bright, so I can’t see anything.  But then I realize my foot is in something wet – oh yes, Fred also managed to pee all over the carpet.  Fabulous.

So I did the best I could cleaning up the pee, but never did manage to find any poop stains.  Maybe tomorrow morning they will be more obvious.  In the meantime, I’m not saying a word to GrumpyDaddy, who has a fear of poop that exceeds his fear of death, about the essence of poop that sits on our carpet.  If he knew that our kid crapped on the carpet, you could probably find Fred listed for sale on eBay.

Nakedness Is Fun

About 6 years ago, before we were married, GrumpyDaddy and I traveled to Ireland to visit some of his family.  One of his cousins came over from England with her children to meet up with us during our visit.  One of her sons was about 3 and tended to rip his clothing off at all times and run around naked.  GrumpyDaddy and I had several discussions about this, all of which started out along the lones of, “Can you believe that Johnny runs around naked all the time?” and invariably ended with, “We will NEVER let our kids behave like that!”

Fast forward to 2009.  We have two children and every night before bathtime, they love to rip off their clothes and run around the house.  Indeed, despite the freezing cold weather that has settled in here, they throw a fit if I don’t let them run around naked for a while.

And let me tell you, nothing is funnier than watching little kids run around naked.  Well, maybe little kids cursing, but I will NEVER let my kids behave like that.

Anyway, I think it’s hilarious.  GrumpyDaddy is appalled (he gets points for consistency).  My kids love it.  Life is weird.

Lessons From Vacation

So as you probably guessed from the paucity of posts lately, we’ve been on vacation.  The kids and I headed to my parents for a few weeks, with GrumpyDaddy joining us in the final week.  I’m tied up trying to settle back in at the moment, but I wanted to do a short post noting that the quickest way to remember what life was like pre-children is to visit people who don’t usually have the tiny monsters running around, destroying their home. 

My parents live the life.  They are retired and basically spend their days golfing, doing volunteer work, and partying with their friends.  They come and go as they please, and don’t need to do three hours of advance planning and bring along several bags of crapola that might be needed in the event one of them suddenly (1) gets hungry; (2) needs to poop; or (3) otherwise behaves in a way that could result in public humiliation.

Watching them live what I would consider to be a “normal” life was a sharp reminder of what used to be around my house.  I just can’t imagine having freedom like that anymore, and boy, is that depressing.

So here’s the kicker: my parents were kind enough to care for the kids overnight while GrumpyDaddy and I took off for a two-day trip just to get away.  It was my first night ever away from the kids and despite the fact that I felt zero compulsion to check in to see how things were going, I found that I missed them.

Thus, here’s the net-net: when I’m with my kids, I need a break.  When I’m not with my kids, I miss them. 

Do they make a drug to treat this particular form of mental illness?

You Know You’re A Parent When…

This morning I was drinking a large glass of water.  Ginger decided she wanted some and started taking sips in between shoving handfuls of Cheerios into her mouth.

When I attempted to reclaim my glass of water, I noticed a fair amount of Cheerios crumbles in the bottom of the cup.  Ginger’s backwash.

I drank the water anyway.

How To Stuff Your Child To The Gills

Any parent of a toddler knows the battle that can ensue at mealtime.  Sometimes your child doesn’t like what you are serving.  Sometimes your child simply refuses to eat, period, despite the fact that you are serving French fries, chocolate cake, and large dollop of candy-coated lard.

My darling Ginger likes to scare me by not eating much of anything for days on end.  I offer food but she’d rather play.  Or torment her brother while he eats.  Or follow me around, asking, “What are you doing Mommy?  What are you doing Mommy?”

Once in a blue moon she’ll gorge herself on cheese or yogurt or faux chicken nuggets (which, I must say, taste surprisingly like actual chicken nuggets).  But in between, she’ll eat the occasional grape and not much else.  If she wasn’t so healthy and active, I’d be terrified.

However, I seem to have stumbled upon a surefire way to get her to consume massive quantities of food.  You see, Ginger is in that maddening transition between needing-a-daily-nap and not-needing-a-daily-nap.  Back when she was transitioning from two naps a day to one, it took months for her to be able to consistently go without a morning nap, so I’ve been down this path.

This time, however, we have been negotiating the no-afternoon-nap for nearly a year.  Some days she needs one, some days she doesn’t, but she is always – ALWAYS – convinced that she does not need nap.  She could be falling down tired, leaning against the wall because she doesn’t have the strength to stand on her own two feet, and she will insist she is NOT tired, darn it.

So the quickest way to get Ginger to do something she doesn’t want to do is threaten to make her go take a nap.  The fact that lunch occurs just before naptime is pure serendipity, and I milk it for all I can.  As a result, Ginger now eats the world’s largest lunch because she will do anything to postpone the nap that she doesn’t want to take.  Today she ate blueberries, cantaloupe, two “pink pancakes” (pancakes made with pancake mix, apples, and – I kid you not – pureed beets), more blueberries, mini-waffles, goldfish crackers, and a mini-thermos of milk. 

Each new threat of a nap triggered a request for more food.  It was fantastic.  The very best part was that she ended up taking a nap anyway, probably because she needed to rest up to drag her improbably full belly around.  In light of the fact that she now gives me zero quiet time first thing in the morning, any nap is a reason to celebrate.

I’m now hopeful that my daughter will manage not to waste away.  Tomorrow I’m going to really push the envelope: I’m going to tell her that she has to take a nap if she doesn’t eat some veggies.

I Love You, Now Go Away

Here is one of the many ironies of parenthood: you love your children to pieces, but want nothing to do with them.

I exaggerate, but only slightly. In a nutshell, Ginger is now 3 years old and is full – FULL – of energy. We could do step aerobics all day long and she’d still have energy left at the end of the day to run a marathon. Apparently this is typical for toddlers, but no one warned me. I suppose it doesn’t matter, since there is nothing I could have done to prepare for this anyway.

The problem is that I don’t have the ability to keep up with her. Making things worse is the fact that we are stuck at home for at least 3 hours every afternoon while Fred naps. Forcing a toddler to hang out at her house and behave civilly for 3 hours is sort of like doing a 3-hour countdown for a rocket launch with the rocket revving up the entire time. The rocket gradually makes more and more noise, rattles, shakes violently, and ultimately launches whether you are ready for it or not.

So my goal in life now is to find activities for her that don’t require my involvement. Basically, I want to dump her somewhere and have someone else entertain her. Fortunately such a program exists and is called “pre-school.” Unfortunately, she will have this only three mornings a week, and not until mid-September.

I’m looking for anything: dance class, language class, make-mud-pies-and-spitballs class, whatever. The problem is that although these classes are everywhere, many are for children aged 4 and up. The world is engaging in age discrimination against my little Ginger, darn it!

And in the midst of all of this, I’m feeling more than a twinge of guilt that I, a stay-at-home-mom, am trying to pawn my kid off on someone else because I’ve run out of ways to entertain her. Isn’t this my job? Shouldn’t I be teaching her how to play a musical instrument, or cook a gourmet meal, or paint a masterpiece? I just assume this is what all the other SAHMs do. Not that I spend ANY time worrying about what other parents do to get their kids ahead or anything…

On the other hand, am I really doing my job when I plop her in front of Sesame Street because I don’t know what else to do while her little brother is napping and we’re trapped in the house and need to be relatively quiet? I can only bake so many things with her help that neither she nor her brother end up eating anyway, and frankly, my tolerance for coloring with crayons or lying on the floor whilst Dr. Ginger examines me has its limits, particularly when my head is off thinking about all the things I need to do around the house because I used to have that time when Ginger napped and now I’m simply accustomed to it.

Guilt, guilt, guilt. It just never ends. Hopefully getting rid of my child for a few hours every day will help with that.