Strep, Love and Vomit

I am experiencing the phase in life that many parents of young children know all too well.  My children are ALWAYS sick.   Two weeks ago the entire family enjoyed a good old fashioned case of strep throat courtesy my four year old.  This week it was pink eye.  In between was perhaps the worst of all.

I went downstairs to check on my babies and could smell the foul aroma wafting out of their room, through the hallway and into the playroom (it seriously filled like 2000 square feet of space).  Any physician worth their salt can instantly identify that smell.  It was rotavirus.

I carefully investigated to determine who the culprit might be.  It was Baby Bird, the two-year old.  After lifting her unconscious body, it became immediately apparent that she had soiled her entire backside and the bed.  I plucked her out of bed and placed her on a towel in the bathroom.  In an emergency, the best thing to do is to call for help, so I leaned out into the hallway to yell for my husband.

Big Mistake.  Huge.

By the time I lean back in, Baby Bird has woken up and is spewing forth like a tiny Linda Blair.  It just keeps coming. Did you know that a twenty-four pound baby can hold up to a gallon of vomit?   Me neither.   It was on the floor, walls, my clothes, her clothes, in our hair, everywhere.   We put her in the bath and I set about cleaning up the puke when suddenly my husband, who is a sympathetic puker by the way, starts yelling for me as she starts puking in the tub and there is just so much puke.  Did I mention puke?

After a bazillion towels, a gallon of bleach, some plastic bags, and several days of reflection, I have come to one very important conclusion: Thank the Good Lord for Puke.

I have so many reasons to thank God in this situation.

  1. I have a wonderful husband who was willing to help me with my sick child.  Many women are in this parenting thing all alone.
  2. I had an almost endless supply of towels to clean up after my child and a totally endless supply of clean, fresh water.   I just think about some poor woman living with her toddler in a grass hut somewhere.  I am sure they have rotavirus in grasshutistan.  This poor lady doesn’t have an endless supply of clean fresh linens and clean fresh water to take care of their child.  Heck, they do not have enough clean fresh water for their child to drink probably.  Look at me with all my clean fresh water and towels.
  3. Being a doctor,  I had a readily available supply of nausea medication to medicate my child with.   I didn’t have to make the choice to blow this month’s budget in order to take care of my sick child.
  4. I have wonderful people willing to help me with my sick child while I work that I can implicitly trust with her care.  Did you see where I said people?  As in several.  As in several people that I can trust with my sick child.   Some people have NO support like this in their life.

So, yeah, I think I am pretty lucky with this stomach virus thing.  It could be a lot worse and is for many.  Thank you Lord again for your goodness in showing me how great I have it. wp-1486785740138.jpg

 

Defiance

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Recently it was one of those beautiful late days of summer where it is still warm and sunny enough to swim and I took the girls to the pool to play date with their best buds.   After a lengthy swim, my two-year old wanted a snack and demanded I take her puddle-jumper off to enjoy her goldfish crackers.  After a lengthy stay in the sun, Baby Bird decided she wanted to get back in the pool.

“Ok, but you have to put your puddle-jumper back on,” I explained.

“NO! I do it!” she loudly replied.

“No, Baby Bird, you have to put in on, you don’t know how to swim,” I patiently intimated.

“NOOOOOOOOOOO!  I DOOOOOO IT!” she wailed.

This is when I thought to myself that this may be an excellent learning opportunity for Baby Bird.  Natural consequences friend, natural consequences.

I stood back and said, “By all means sweetheart, YOU do it.”

Confidently, Baby Bird approached the pool stairs.   She strutted her stuff down, one, two, three stairs, and then confidently strutted herself straight under the water and sunk like a rock.

I was standing right nearby and snatched her up and out of the pool in seconds asking, “Do you see now why you need your puddle-jumper?”

“Uh-huh,” she sputtered.

Since then, I have thought about my relationship with God.  I wonder how often I am standing there like a toddler with my fists balled up screaming, “I DO IT!”  I wonder how often he stands by and lets me suffer the natural consequences of my actions.   I am so grateful he is always standing by to pick me back up when I sink to the bottom.

The Roman Road

My husband and I were big fans of the show “How I Met Your Mother”.   On one particular episode, Barney’s friends were going to surprise him by introducing him to his childhood hero, The Karate Kid.  Barney is bitterly disappointed when confronted with Ralph Macchio insisting that he is not The Karate Kid and the movie is really about Johnny played by William Zabka.

If you have ever actually seen The Karate Kid, you will know that Johnny is the bully from the rival dojo who “sweeps the leg” to injury Ralph Macchio’s character.

This describes perfectly how I felt yesterday afternoon watching my eldest play.  We has just come back from church and Z was playing with her stuffed animals.  She placed Spot, her favorite animal in “jail”.   I asked her what Spot had done to land himself in the clink.

She replied, “He didn’t do anything wrong, Mommy.  He was just telling people about Jesus.”

Then she stage whispered conspiratorially at her sister, “Baby Bird, if you tell people about Jesus, they may not like it, and you may end up in jail.”

True words kid, true words.

However;  I find it really disturbing that playing out this scenario, my daughter picked for herself the role of Roman Centurion rather than Early Church Martyr.   I think she may have come down on the wrong side of history on this one.

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We went back over her Sunday School lesson emphasizing that it is a noble thing to be persecuted for your faith, but I am not sure at four she is ready to appreciate this truth.  I did hear her tell her sister later, “You might end up in jail for it, but you should probably tell people about Jesus anyways.”

At least this is a step away from being the jailer.

 

Turnabout is Fair Play

It has finally come to the point that we have to watch what we say and do around Z because she will now loudly voice embarrassing personal information in public.   For example, a couple of weeks ago, we were on our way to her ballet class and I had pneumonia.   I started coughing, so I took a drink of my soda, and got to coughing so hard that I had to pull over and vomit.  When we got to dance, Z loudly announced to the class,  “Mommy was drinking and had to vomit out of the van on the way over her.”   Awesome kid, thanks for that.

Just yesterday I stopped to move a turtle to the other side of the road (because I am a great person, right?) and the turtle peed all over me.   When we arrived at our play date, Z proclaimed,  “A turtle just peed on mommy.  See that water?  It isn’t water.  It is PEEEEEE.”

So, turnabout is fair play.   Recently, Daddy had a birthday.  Z was given a donut at school for a treat.   She brought it home in a plastic bag and it looked a little weird.  When Daddy got home,  she brought it to him and said, “Happy Burfday, Daddy.  I save my donut for you, but I licked the sugar off so it won’t be too sweet.”    Very thoughtful kiddo.

And perhaps the worst ever happened two nights ago.  I was cleaning the back porch and I look out and both the girls are playing in mud.  It was adorable, except it hadn’t been raining in the last few days.   I said, “hey girls, where did you get that mud”.

“I made it with my pee,” Z proudly declared.

As I am staring at my children, horrified, Baby Bird squawks, “I play in PEE MUD!”  while holding her muddy hands up in the air.

Baths were had by all.  And by baths, I mean they were hosed off in the yard.

So, you see dear daughter, turnabout is fair play.  You have your pee story and I have mine!

Random Musings From a 3 Year Old

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Z looks at me in all solemnity the other day and says, “Mommy, did you know we eat cats?”

With some amusement, I replied, “No, we don’t eat cats.”

Z goes on, “Well, Gideon in my class says he eats cats.”

“I think Gideon is pulling your leg, kiddo,” I countered, “We don’t eat cats.”

Z then looks me ominously in the eyes and says, “Well, we could if we have to.”

(Yeah kid, if the dead rise, I will eat the cats before you.   Glad she is prepared.)

 

 

A few days later, I pick Z up from preschool.  She calls all carbonated beverages “Bubble Drink”.   I usually bring her a drink when I pick her up from school.  When she gets in the car, she says, “Mom, did you bring me a soda?”

I said, “Yes, I brought you a soda.”

Z knowingly replies, “Soda is what we call Bubble Drink in Spanish.”

(Pretty sure that it is not.)

Kids are STILL Gross

Being a mom of young children, I have neither bathed nor pooped by myself in about three years and 10 months now. Occasionally I do have the audacity to desire a bath. My girls both have decided I need assistance in this activity. They bring me much needed “toys” to play with while I am soaking and will rub my shoulder with a wash cloth to “help” me.
One of my daughters (who shall remain nameless for her protection) is a notorious bath water drinker. She has been drinking bathwater since her earliest bathing experiences. We have to no avail tried to break her of this habit reminding her that “your sister pees in there.”
This particular day she was using a spoon to drink my bath water while I was relaxing and thoroughly trying to ignore her. Daddy walks in and says, “Are you drinking mom’s bathwater?”
I saw her eyes get wide as all of our admonishments regarding drinking bathwater suddenly sunk in. In a panicked voice she asks, “Mom, did you pee in there.”
“Probably,” I replied.
Pausing for a moment, she shrugs, “Oh well, I’ll drink a little anyway.”
Guess we aren’t breaking this bad habit.

How I Became a Ladybug Farmer

Something strange happened with global warming this year.  My home was inundated by wave after wave of ladybugs.  While one ladybug is magical, forty ladybugs huddled in a corner of your house is less magical.   Ladybugs dense enough on the floor that you are constantly stepping on them are less magical still, and perhaps the least magical of all is finding a ladybug crawling across the butter.

The ladybugs on the floor were easy.  We just vacuumed or swept them up.  Ladybug on the butter, super easy, just throw the butter out.   Ladybugs on twenty foot ceilings are less amenable to removal.  This is where I as a doctor and my husband as an engineer put our brains together.  We have two broken vacuums in the garage that my husband has been promising to fix for two years.  We took the extra tubing from those and duct taped it to our current working vacuum MacGyver style.   Then, whilst carefully placing a ladder on our dining room table, we were able to remove MOST of the ladybugs.  Until, my three year old started crying, “You cant hurt ladybugs.  Ladybugs are our friends.”

Ladybugs who have been through a wind tunnel are not your friends, they are a mangled mass of tentacles and wings.

Fortunately, we have PLENTY of ladybugs to spare and have now opened up a ladybug ranch, complete with soaking pool and a slide.

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Why Long John Silvers Will Kill You

It should be noted that this is shared with permission*

 

I saw an elderly gentleman for a recheck the other day.   He had a blood pressure of 190/110.  He denied any chest pain or shortness of breath and insisted that he felt fine.   I insisted that he get an EKG with his blood work.

About five minutes after he left I received his EKG in my inbox and gasped deeply when it became apparent that he was “tombstoning”.  As one might imagine, tombstoning is not a good sign.  It is a finding on an EKG that looks like a tiny little tombstone in multiple leads and leads to the patient acquiring a real tombstone of their very own.

I proceeded to call the patient in a panic, informing him that he needed to go immediately to the emergency room.

After a moment of hostile silence, he replied, “I am in the drive thru at Long John Silvers, and I am going to get my *&^%#@ fish!”

I calmly explained to him that if he stays to eat the fish, it will likely be his last meal.

He reluctantly agreed to go to the emergency room.

When I saw him back after his hospitalization and heart catheterization I joked with him about it, “Are you going to Long John Silvers today?”

He replied with a twinkle, “I went before I came this time.”

The ‘My Little Ponies” of the Apocalypse

I have never been a “horse girl”.   If you are unfamiliar with what a “horse girl” is, look around you.  You will find them everywhere.  They galloped around as children, and pretended to by horses, and played with plastic horses.   When they became teenagers, they saved up money for riding lessons.  When they grew up, they aspired to owning horses.   I am not that girl.  There is nothing wrong with being that girl.  Some of my best friends are “horse girls”.

Imagine my surprise when the ONLY thing that Z asked for from Santa was My Little Pony figurines.  I asked her again and again and it is the one thing she requested.

I did what any other non “horse girl” would do.  I went on Ebay and ordered a crapload of used My Little Ponies.   Don’t judge me.   I know my kiddo.  When she says she wants My Little Ponies for Christmas, she wants to bathe in them and roll around in them, and those jokers are expensive.

We have been keeping Z’s behavior in check by letting her know that “Santa” got her some ponies, but she will start losing them if she isn’t a “good girl”.

The other night, she was being particularly naughty and I finally had it with her, so I said, “Well, I know one pony you wont be getting.  Santa isn’t going to bring you Twilight Sparkle.”   (Guys,  I was grasping at straws here.  The only two My Little Ponies I know are Twilight Sparkle and Rainbow Dash.   Z burst into tears.

Daddy, the hero came along and told her that he is certain if she is good, that he can talk to “Santa” and get her Twilight Sparkle back.

“%$@(@*##*@” I think to myself.   I didn’t get her a Twilight Sparkle.  That’s why I told her Santa wouldn’t bring her one.  Now I have to go buy some REAL, NEW #(@#(*&# PONIES!  So frustrated.  Thought I had really managed to cheap out on this pony thing.  Thanks Daddy!

Career Aspirations

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Z went to her playgroup last week.  When she came home, she handed me a giant wad of her hair.  I said, “Where did you get that?”  She nonchalantly replied, “I cut it at Nana B’s.”  Awesome.

At bedtime, I start questioning Z about why she cut her hair.

Me:  Why did you cut your hair, sweetie?

Z: Because I NEED to cut hair.

Me:  Well maybe, Granny Z (who is a stylist) can show you when your older.

Z:  (Tearing up, defiantly) NO, I NEED to cut hair NOW, while I’m little.

This was followed by 20 minutes of rocking a wailing toddler who is mumbling about how she has a burning need to cut hair.  Somewhere in there she explained to me that she asked for My Little Ponies for Christmas with the explicit intention of cutting their hair.  We talked about how their hair wouldn’t grow back if she did that, and she conceded that this might not be the best course of action.  The conversation continues….

Z:  (Ugly crying and wiping snot on my shirt)… But..but…but….I can CUTS YOUR hair.

Nope, Nope, Nope.  No. You. Cannot.

Me:  No, you cant cut Mommy’s hair.

Followed by another crying jag and more snot.

Z:  (hopefully)  Well, what if I sneak up on you and cut it?

Me:  I think that is going to end badly for you.

Z:  (getting the idea)  Well, maybe I can cut Daddy’s hair?

Me:  Now you’re talking kid…

The Storm

Storms have always been a fear of mine.  As a storm is fast approaching, I consider the other storms that have gone before.   I remember a tornado when I was in college that tore apart my hometown and wrecked landmarks left and right.   Friends lost everything they had as the storm ripped their dorms apart.   The thing I remember most is that I was doing a research project with rats.  Because the buildings were not declared “safe” yet, they wouldn’t let me in to feed them or check on them and they ate each other.  It was like something out of 1984.  Very traumatic.

Fast forward to Hurricane Elvis while I was in medical school at UT.   I remember walking over a breezeway going toward The Med watching the storm hit.  We didn’t have much damage, but we didn’t have power for two weeks.   I slept and showered at the children’s hospital where I was on rotation.   We ate like kings at our apartment complex because everyone had to grill the meat from their refrigerators.   Then, about a week in, my brother who had gone to stay at my mom’s in the air conditioning called to say he had left “a few things” in his refrigerator and could I go clean it out.   Oh Mother of Mercy.  A few things was basically a whole hog and possibly half a cow, rotted for a week in the Memphis heat.   Again, traumatic.

Then there was residency.   A tornado rolled right down our street taking the windows, siding and roof on one side of my house.   I remember laying on the floor and hoping and praying that the storm would pass us by.  It did, by about 20 feet.  It picked up the roof of our house and set it back down, cracking most of the rafters.  We walked through debris in stunned silence that night helping neighbors crawl out of their demolished homes.  I remember the fear after it passed of not knowing if it was really over, or if we were still in the “eye” and another round was coming.   Also, traumatic.

Last week we all slept as a family in our “storm room” as another storm was bearing down.  I was lying there awake with Baby Bird nestled onto my chest as I was trying to avoid hearing the roar that is my husband’s snore.  I noticed as he started snoring, that Z, my three-year old, was laying on his back.   She was sucking her thumb with one eye open.  About the time I would get really annoyed with Daddy’s snoring to the point I was about to kick him, sweet Z would reach over and yank his ear really hard.   He responded by grunting and a temporary cessation to his snoring.   I observed this three or four times to ensure it wasn’t a fluke.  I. Love. that. kid.

Tonight, we are in the storm room again, praying for safety for all, lucky to have a “storm room”.  Wonder what this storm holds?

Why My Daughter is a Better Person Than I Am

One of my friends recently posted this bit of hilarity on their Facebook feed:

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Is it completely inappropriate and mean spirited?  Absolutely.  Also, really, really funny.

Imagine my horror when my three-year old leaned over my shoulder and said, “Is that you mommy?”

What? Really kid?  I haven’t lost the baby weight entirely, but I’m not THAT fat and besides I would never wear that. (Is what I wanted to shout at my child)

Instead I said, “Sweetie, she doesn’t have red hair.  Mommy has red hair.”  (I really didn’t want to mention the size difference because we are working on avoiding mention of such things in front of an impressionable toddler)

She persisted in her belief that it was a picture of me.

I finally asked, “Baby, why do you think that is mommy?”

“Because she looks so pretty and happy,” she replied.

And then I realized that what I saw and what my sweet daughter saw were two very different things.  I love her heart.  I love that she saw pretty and happy where I saw fat and smug.  I wish I saw people with her heart and eyes.

Doctor’s Visit

One would think that because I am a doctor, and have so much experience with doctor’s offices that taking my children to the doctor would be a breeze.  One would think.

I scheduled Baby Bird and Z for an early morning appointment because I figured it would be easiest to get in and out.  Everything started fine.  They were dressed in their cute little outfits and everyone was commenting about the adorableness of them and they were well behaved.  I was very self congratulatory at this point about my awesome parenting skills.

They got called back and did great with height and weight.

Then came the eye chart.  Z in typical Z fashion cant follow instructions at all and keeps running closer to take “a better look”.     Then she starts getting frustrated because Baby Bird is yelling out “star” and “heart” before she can name them on the chart, and it was her turn.

Then the obligatory waiting began.  I was prepared for this and brought snacks, except the ravenous Baby Bird ate them all before Z got anything but a handful of raisins.  This was a disaster.  I decided to play videos from Frozen to keep them calm but forgot that Z is afraid of Frozen and this resulted in her hiding behind the table crying.

She peeked her snot-encrusted face from around the table declaring, “Mommy, I gotta Potteeeeeeee!”

Great, Fabulous.  You have not been interested in initiating the voiding of your own bodily functions for a full 3 years and 3 months of life.  Glad that you decided, now, in the doctor’s office is the time.  Hurray.

Then I have a debate with myself.  I really don’t want to take this child into the bathroom at the doctor’s office.  The doctor is probably right outside the door ready to see us. Plus, I have to take her sister.  No telling what germs they are likely to come in contact with, however; we are working on potty training, so I have to make a decision.

I lug both kiddos down the hallway.  The nurse hands me a hat to collect a urine specimen.  Z notices the hat and immediately places it on the floor in an attempt to potty in it, which results in confusion and disaster.  I take the hat and place it on the toilet and place Z on the toilet.   She promptly falls into the toilet and starts trying to retrieve the fallen collection hat out of the toilet while I am pleading, “Z, don’t touch ANYTHING.”  Baby Bird takes this moment to start unrolling reams of toilet paper onto the floor. While I am addressing this situation, Z (who has been warned NOT to touch ANYTHING) has managed to get her beloved toy “Baby Panda” actually in the toilet.

I sigh.  Abandoning Baby Panda is a non-viable option.  I don a pair of neoprene gloves and fish Baby Panda out and place her in a biohazard bag and proceed with decontamination procedures on my children.

My husband says she cant breathe in there.

My husband says she cant breathe in there.

Z asks if she can hold the Panda in the biohazard back which I reluctantly agreed to.  Finally we are being examined by the doctor and while it is Baby Bird’s turn, Z manages to free Baby Panda from containment resulting in at least a gallon of hand sanitizer.  After getting her shot, she kissed the nurse on the cheek and on her way out declared, “Thanks guys, I had a really nice time.”

In related news, Mommy needs a glass of wine.

If I Behaved Like My Toddler

With the beautiful weather of spring I have been taking the girls to the park. Their behavior leaves something to be desired, and I have begun to reflect on what would happen if I acted like them at the park. Here is a short synopsis of two recent visits to the park.

  • Z aggressively approaches another small girl who is actively trying to climb her mother to get away from Z. Z is yelling, “Hey, PLAY with me!!!!”
  • Z was undeterred by the lukewarm response, so she went and found some rocks and returned to the little girl yelling, “PLAY with MEEEEEE! I HAVE ROCKS”

(I am pretty sure if I did those things, I would have a restraining order slapped against me)

 

  • Z finally agrees to play with scared little girl’s older brother.   She returns to me and says, “He called me “Poopy Pants” because I wear a diaper.” I nervously get ready to comfort Z at her first experience with bullying.   She then says gleefully, “I throws pine cones at him.”

(Pretty sure if I did this, it would be called assault and I would spend at least the night in the clink.)

 

  • Z finishes up by writhing on the ground making dirt angels and mud pies while dressed in a tutu as a fairy princess.

(At this point I am sure that I would be placed in a padded wagon.)

 

  • Not to be outdone, Baby Bird carefully examines a small frog that she caught for a few seconds before popping it into her mouth for a taste.

(Not even sure what would happen to me if I did this, probably the same runny poops that she has been experiencing, but I am pretty sure I would get some odd looks)

 

So in summary to all you toddlers out there, take advantage of this now before you are old enough to be held responsible for your behavior. For now, they hold ME responsible for it and I am getting some strange vibes from some people regarding my parenting skills.

Baby Biscuit

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I took Z through a local fast food drive through this weekend to get a biscuit. I have previously discussed her odd dietary habits on my blog. To review, she is three and still eats baby food for at least two meals daily. If it weren’t for baby food and cookies, my child would have starved by now. But, add to this well-rounded regimen a sudden love for biscuits and you are building a food pyramid! She refuses to call them biscuits, referring to them as “butter and salt sandwiches.”

Imagine my surprise that after two bites, I hear Z in the back seat, “Oh, I love you little baby biscuit! I will keep you safe and warm all the way to NaNa and PaPa’s house.”

I glance bemused in the rearview mirror watching her carefully wrap the biscuit up in the paper like a baby.

A few minutes later I hear crying, “I’m SO sorry Baby Biscuit (I capitalize this because by this point, this is the biscuit’s name). I can’t help it Baby Biscuit. You’re so salty and delicious!”

After a few small bites, the biscuit was rewrapped in its blanket.

This scenario was repeated several times on the way to NaNa and PaPa’s.

There were dramatics and tears.

When Baby Biscuit finally met with his demise, we were left with the “blanket” which she used to put several dollies to sleep. Then she wadded it up and said, “Look! It’s like a ball of crumpled-up paper.”

I rolled my eyes, “Yes, Z, It is EXACTLY like that.”

I think she is going to be a really awesome mom someday.

And we’re ALL Winners!!!!

I am pretty sure I offended some people on Facebook the other day… not that there is anything unusual about that.

Friend posts: “So what are some good alternatives to participation trophies for little league basketball?”

I poured over the many comments that said things like, “Gift certificates, t-shirts, and you’re child is a wonderful, special little flower posters,” and without thinking it through, I responded, “How about just giving trophies and prizes to the winners?”

This was not well received.

I come from a place of understanding and compassion. I really do.

Z came to us about six months ago and asked to take “nastics” like her friends. For those of you who don’t speak mangled toddler, this means gymnastics.

Now, once a week we struggle her into a sparkly leotard and take her to nastics. Z is very enthusiastic and squeals with excitement running around in a circle every nastics class. But, here is the kicker…. she sucks at it. She really stinks it up.

The other two and three year olds line up in their colorful little leotards and deftly perform flips, and “skin-the-cats” while I am not really sure what Z is doing. I think I blogged about it before and one time I did catch her allowing another little girl to pick her nose for her. This essentially captures Z’s nastics experience.

She is not good at floor. Her flips are all sideways. She is scared of the balance beam even though it is actually on the floor.   She cannot even jump on the trampoline. It usually results in flailing around like some sort of tortured giraffe trying to escape a tar-pit.

But, Z is happy and cheers for her friends and is learning to follow instructions and stand in line. She is way too little to know she isn’t good at this.   She doesn’t need an encouraging participation trophy.   If she doesn’t listen, I am the first one to declare that she doesn’t get her end of class “yolly-pop” or stamp. When I have done this, it is not a popular decision, and results in tantrums, but sometimes life doesn’t give you a reward for just showing up.

So, even though I will not be rewarding her with a “Certificate of Participation” coupon to Denny’s breakfast bar, I will continue to take her to nastics. Not so my toddler can be a world class gymnast, and not so she can build “self-esteem” (she has that in spades). I want her to learn to listen to and obey her elders. I want her to be kind to her friends and cheer them on in their successes. Is that too much to ask?

Dogs Are Not Children II

I may have mentioned previously that my brother, Dr. Pepper may anthropomorphize his dog, Lucky a little bit.   So I received this text today:

Dr. Pepper:  Lucky was humiliated today at the puppy daycare spring fling party by forced participation in cosplay.  I can actually see the aloof disdain for this undignified experience.   He looks like the beach boys became terrorists and held puppies in a concentration camp at a trashy South Carolina beach resort.

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Me:  He seems really happy to me… Oh, and dignified, definitely dignified.

Dr. Pepper:  “This is what happens to your city dog when he crosses onto our beech”

Me:  I like the rain jacket

Dr. Pepper:   He is putting on a brave front.  He is NOT happy AND his lip is curling AND he is frowning….It’s too small for him.

Me:  It is snug, but that’s the style!   He is wearing it that way to show off his huge forearms.

Dr. Pepper:  It is so tight he looks like he is wearing a green push-up bra.

Me:  Like Bowie….

Dr. Pepper:  Silence

Me:  Like BOWIE!!!! in Labyrinth….

Dr. Pepper:  That does sound much cooler.

Again, I love my four-legged nephew, but I think Dr. Pepper should just be happy that someone wants to dress his dog up like Bowie and take pictures of him in a non-freaky, non-threatening sort of way.  I mean, sure if someone did that with my toddler at daycare, I would think it was a little weird…..

And The Winner Is….

It is official. I am nominating the Sears/K-mart conglomerate for worst customer service ever.  I know it was a close toss-up between them and Verizon.   The Popeye’s Chicken on Vann Drive received an honorable mention.

Envision this….

I ordered four decorative throw pillows for my couch about three weeks ago. I can’t go into the gory details, but I really NEEDED those pillows by tomorrow. I realized about mid last week that they were still not here.   So, I started doing some investigative work and found out that they cancelled my order, AND didn’t notify me, AND charged my account anyway.

It took approximately an hour and several frustrating conversations with people named Jerry and Bill who inexplicably had Pakistani accents to even convey to them what the problem was.   Finally, Jerry condescended to allow me to purchase a similar pillow. He also considered it fair to require me to pay the thirty-five dollars in highway robbery that they call expedited shipping.

This led to me speaking to Jerry’s manager, Glenn. After a rather frustrating fifteen minutes during which Glenn forgot how to use her phone (I am not joking), Glenn finally agreed to waive the shipping charge retroactively. This wasted hour of my life and frustrating experience exemplifies the competence of the entire Sears/K-mart corporate. I can certainly understand why Martha Stewart hitched her wagon to this star.

Fast forward to this very afternoon if you will. Remember, for reasons that will not be explained, I NEED these four pillows by tomorrow.   They sent me ONE pillow.   ONE.   It was this encounter that pushed our winners past such fiercely incompetent competitors as Best Buy’s Geek Squad, and the Airlines. Thanks Sears/Kmart! Keep up your commitment to the fine customer service that we have come to know and love and you will start circling that drain at an even swifter speed.

Well, At Least It’s Protein….

I am daily astounded by the differences and similarities between my babies. Z is precocious. She was an early talker.   She has made shocking speeches from the time she was eleven months old. Most recently, we have been potty training and we spent an eternally long couple of days in the Mythical Big Girl Panties.   It didn’t go well. We had SEVERAL accidents. Finally, Z looked at me and said:

“Mommy, I think my Big Girl Panties are bwoken.”

I said, “Really, Z, what’s going on.”

“They have holes in them. They don’t hold the peepee,” Z replied candidly.

After trying to contain my laughter, I promptly switched her back to pull ups. Clearly she just isn’t ready for this.

Baby Bird only communicates in a string of grunts and pointing and screaming. It is amazingly, just as effective as Z’s soliloquys.

Z is afraid of everything:

  1. Bugs
  2. Going too far from the house
  3. Anything on TV that is not PBS
  4. Airplanes
  5. Trains
  6. The dark
  7. The dining room (for some inexplicable reason)

Baby Bird is fearless.   She crawls headlong into danger. I lost track of her the other day and looked up and she was half way up the stairs oblivious to her impending head injury.   I was trying to get some housework done the other day and I noticed a black spot on her face. I went over to examine what was going on, and found half a bug hanging out of her mouth. She was happily munching on the other wriggly bit. When I removed the half that was accessible, she grunted, pointed and screamed about the loss of her delicious bug.   Moments after that, I found her trying to smash a snow globe into the carpet with both hands trying obtain access to its delicious contents.

And sand…. Where Z would timidly taste a little play sand, making a horrible face and discarding it, Baby Bird got a cup of the stuff and was drinking it like a med student guzzling coffee at two am on the wards.

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I don’t really know what I expected.   I guess I assumed that they would be miniature clones of me. Yet they have their own personalities that I had nothing to do with.   They came out endowed by God as the sweet little individuals I am now responsible for.   I thought they would be a blank slate, but I guess it is more fun un-wrapping the layers that are Baby Bird and Z. It is the most wonderful present I have ever unwrapped.

How Do You NOT know how to Target?

As a working mother, there are a few small pleasures on my day off.  One of these is to don yoga pants and load the kiddos up for a midday trip to Target to commune with my stay at home sisters.  This is my new spa day, replacing what actually used to be a spa day.

I have a specific routine.   We stop by the snack bar for popcorn and a red slushy for the kiddos.  This keeps them placating while I luxuriate in my Target experience.   Then I stop by the dollar bins at the front of the store to see if I can find an awesome Hello Kitty themed bag, or a Frozen puzzle, or how bout some novelty socks.  Awesome, right?  Then I take the cart around the entire perimeter of the store starting in housewares.   Anyone who knows anything about Target is aware that clearance items are placed on the outside perimeter.  Convenient, right?  Then, I venture forth to the wild interior to look for deals on apparel and diapers.

I have a system.  But, the other day I ended up at Target with my husband.  I expressed a desire to look for socks, but he apparently took this way too literally.  He was surprised and astounded when I began my routine.  He kept saying things like, “aren’t we here for socks?” and, “I thought you were looking for socks.”

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Half a cart full later, it suddenly occurred to me that my dear husband has now idea how to Target.   I just found myself shaking my head in disbelief.   How can one reach the ripe age of thirty-seven and not understand how Target works?

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