Transitions

For the last 3 years,  I have carried my oldest child (who now weight nearly 50 pounds) up the stairs, changed her clothes, helped her brush her teeth, and fed her cereal by hand while we watch WordGirl before I pack her up in the car and drive her to school.

Why do I feed a 6 year old who is perfectly capable of feeding herself, you ask?  Well, I asked her the same question as to why I should still be feeding her when I KNOW she can feed herself.

“Because it brings me comfort, Mommy,” was her answer.  Who can argue with that?  And, so I feed her.

Except on Wednesdays, which is Daddy’s day to do that.  Wednesdays I stay home and our youngest calls it “Mommy and Baby Bird Day”.  She gets so excited when it is Mommy and BBD.   We sleep in and cuddle, followed by some light housework, and a breakfast of pancakes and a LOT of bacon.  Then I take her to her ballet class.

Ballet class has become such a special time for her.  All of the other friends she has ever are somehow linked to her sister.  They were Z’s friend’s first, and then Baby Bird’s, but not her dance friends.   Her dance friends belong completely to her.

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When we leave dance, we go to Chick Fil-a and play date with dolls and friends.   The moms have become a special support to me as well.  It is nice to have people who understand where you are in life.

Sadly, both of the bucolic scenes above are coming to an end.  My special time with my oldest will soon be replaced by hectic mornings involving both children.  My wonderful times with the dance moms (a phrase I never thought I would utter) is about to come to a close with recital looming over us.

I know that both transitions are good.  I know that both transitions are necessary.  It didn’t stop me from weeping on the bathroom floor after I put them to bed tonight.   No one tells you how hard it is when you are in the middle of the best days of your life and you know it.

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What I Do Best

I do lots of things well.  I am a doctor, and a mother and a friend.  I enjoy cooking, crafting, sewing and gardening.  I play with my children nearly continuously.  There are many things that I do well, however;  my daughter has pinpointed one on my Mother’s day card that I did not expect:20180514_211950.jpg

I really am surprised to find out how great I am at doing dishes, especially since I NEVER do them.  In fact,  I hate doing dishes so much that I had two dishwashers installed so I can just eat on clean plates from the clean one and put dirty ones in the dirty one.  This is how much I hate doing dishes.

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At least I am as pretty as a rainbow and know how to subtract, so you know, I have stuff to fall back on.

 

Fermentation

I am driving Z to school this morning when I hear a wail of disgust emanating from the back seat, and then the odor hit me.

It seems that Baby Bird had left a sippy cup filled with juice to ferment in the hot sun for several days, and Z, ever curious picked it up and it basically exploded fermented orange juice all over her.

She handed it to me, giving me careful instructions on how to dispose of the foul substance, she was voting for complete elimination of the offending sippy cup.  I, however; have to pay for said sippy cups and elected for a salvage mission.

At a stop light, I carefully uncapped the monstrosity and poured it out, managing only to spill a little on myself and inside the car.   Z was crying from the back seat, “What about the road mommy?” as if it would erode the very asphalt it was poured on.

We pulled up to the drop off lane where I struggled with whether I should explain why my child smelled like a sorority girl drunk on so much hooch, or should I hope that it just goes unnoticed?   I elected for the latter.  Now how to get the odor out of the car?

You Had One Job

Once every ten years, I have to recertify for my Family Medicine boards. They do not offer this testing where I live, so I had to travel to the nearest testing center. I decided to stay overnight to ensure that I would not miss my testing slot. I left my husband home alone with both girls for the first time.

I didn’t just leave him alone with the girls. I left the girls at gymnastics, and food was prepared at home and all items were laid out for the next day. Literally, all he had to do was ferry them from gymnastics to home, feed them, and put them to bed.

Did he complete these tasks? Well…. technically yes.

I should preface the next statement for those of you who don’t live in the south, it has been four months and it has rained almost every day at this point. So, he completed all his given tasks, after he decided that it would be fun to do donuts in our yard with the mini-van, getting my swagger waggon stuck in the yard.

So, while he should have been feeding babies and putting them to bed, they stomped through the house covered in mud while he had a friend help him use the tractor to pull the van out of the yard.

Dude, you had one job, and your like 40 years old. I am still shaking my head.

The Worst Mother In The World

20180424_210755.jpgI recently had the ignominious pleasure of attending my daughters’ gymnastics recital.  I don’t know if you have ever experienced any sort of children’s program, but spoiler alert, they are universally awful.  It is true, children’s plays… terrible.  Children’s music performances, dance recitals, sporting events…. all the worst.  Picture one child kicking a ball the wrong way while another picks flowers completely ignoring their surroundings.  I mean, sure they can be cute and charming, and entertaining just from the absurdity of their actions, however;  they are never a top-notch, quality performance for this ADHD mamma.

This performance was just a train wreck.  I mean the basic skills were all there, and most of the tiny performers were demonstrating their cartwheels and “sassy” poses with style.  Not my Angels.  Baby Bird became enraged that someone was “touching her”, and began to howl, forcing the teacher to hold her throughout the performance, and she absolutely refused to do her tiny flips.

Z was truly terrible at all her “skills”, but worse, she was overtly distracting to the other children.   She would come onto the floor and flop around like a fish, just long enough to be allowed to return to the waiting group where she would giggle and talk and cause generalized chaos.   I kept glaring at her and making my stern mommy face, mouthing  “no”.  She looked me in the eye and would laugh and blow me kisses while continuing her behavior.   (later I asked her why she persisted in  acting this way when she knew I was upset, and she said, “Well, you were already mad…” Way to go for broke kid.)

At the end of this atrocity during which I should have yanked them off the floor, and taken them to the bathroom for a “talking to”, everyone got medals.  Yay. Baby Bird even medaled in bars which was an event that she mysteriously did not even complete secondary to her melt-down.

Afterwards, they were so proud of their medals, and I sat them down and just told them how terrible they were at gymnastics.  I tried to explain that it was more the fact that they disrespected their teachers and classmates made me so disappointed as well as their complete lack of effort.

Later, I was talking to my husband about how hard it was to not be supportive of my children and to have to tell them hard truths and not act as if they were precious, wonderful angels just based on their mere existence.   I asked if I was the worst mother in the world.

He said, “No, the thing that bothers you is that you were acting just like your mom.”

I thought back to my mother, and a conversation we had many years ago.  I was in college, and a vocal performance and drama major.  My mother sat me down and said,  “Sweetheart, you have a really nice voice and all, but I hope you can make a living doing this, because you are going to have to move out when you finish college. You might want to consider changing your major to something with a job.”

It was some of the best advice I ever received and completely changed the trajectory of my life.  I thought about all those poor kids on the first night of American Idol and the number of times people have uttered the phrase, “Why didn’t their mamma tell them they couldn’t sing?”

I realized having the courage to tell my daughters truth doesn’t make me the worst mother in the world, but instead, maybe one of the best.

From The Mouth’s of Babes

20180111_201614.jpgOur family recently went out of town for New Year’s.  Generally speaking, my girls do not get to enjoy soda, but for vacation and special occasions we make an exception.

So, it was not really a surprise when at a restaurant, my five year old asked to order a Coke.   She has tasted it maybe four or five times before.   She is hooked and will take any opportunity to get her hands on her drug of choice.

After drinks arrived, she began inconsolably crying.   When we asked her what was wrong, Z said, “It doesn’t taste right!  It’s horrible.”

We assumed that maybe the syrup ratio was off or something, so my husband tasted it, fully prepared to send it back, but the look on his face said everything, as he looked at her apologetically, “I’m so sorry Sweetheart, but that’s Pepsi.”

“What’s Pepsi, Daddy?” she asked through her tears.

“It’s what some people substitute for Coke,” he sighed.

“Why would they do that?” she wailed.

“I don’t know, sweetheart, I don’t know,” he comforted.

“Pepsi is awful.”

“Yes, Yes it is.”

Truth.

 

Gratitude?

Occasionally someone will ask me if I think I am spoiling my kiddos.  I am shocked and appalled by this question.  The outrageous nature of the question, the total lack of insight into my life, I could go on.

Of course I am spoiling my children.  Most of us are spoiling our brats.  Last weekend for example,  I took my children to a child health event in our town called Babyfest and Kidfest.  It sounds like a child health event would lack pizzaz, but on arrival there were fire trucks, ambulances, police cars, bouncy houses, playground equipment and a petting zoo.

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Then we went inside and my children were instantly greeted with a swag bag to shove all sorts of free goodies inside.  They were shuffled off to play games for candy and prizes and a glass of lemonade and a cupcake was violently thrust into each of their little paws.  Oh, the humanity. They were given free teddy bears and run through a teddy bear health clinic, and then were forced to meet beloved characters.

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This is just a small representation of some of the swag they walked away with.

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After two hours of literally having free plastic toys and candy thrust into their hands and endless playing we geared up to go to lunch, at a Chick fil-A with a play yard.  While were in the car on the way to a completely child-centric lunch after leaving a completely child centric event,  my five year old looks at me and says, “Mommy, I think I’m going to need you to arrange me a playdate.  I am getting a little bored.”

Y’all, I just might choke her out.  I hope that she hasn’t learned this from watching me.  I pray every day thanking God for all that he has given me.  Maybe someday they will be grateful too.

 

 

You Know You’ve Done it Too…

I was hanging out with friends the other night, you know, like you do.    We had enjoyed dinner and brownies, and we were all talking.  About this time, Baby Bird, my 3 year old approached to tell us something.  I scooped her up onto the table.  I couldn’t help but notice she had a giant hunk of brownie hanging from the tip of her precious curls.  I yanked it out of her hair, and did not have a napkin handy.  So, I did what every loving mother would do, I popped the brownie from my daughter’s hair into my mouth for ease of disposal.   One of my guests queried incredulously, “Did you just eat chocolate from your child’s hair?”

Oh Wow… how do I answer that one?   I am getting the vibe that I just did something in public that (although everyone has done in private) should be done in private.  What could I do but just own all that chocolaty deliciousness?

So I replied, “Yeah, I didn’t have a napkin (like that is going to excuse me eating food particles from my child’s hair).”  Come on people, for reals,  like you have never played, “Poop or Chocolate?”  We have all played that game.  It wasn’t something from the floor.  I knew  I had just given my child a brownie.  The odds were ever in my favor on this one, so I defend my actions and it was delicious AND I would do it again.

 

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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.

A Letter to Boogie

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Dearest Boogie,

I remember the day you came into our lives.  You crept so timid, and hungry into our back yard.   I thought you were a puppy because you were so small, and I thought you were brown because you were so dirty.     We fed you and cleaned you and you became part of our family.

I remember you first trip to the vet when they said, “She has heartworms.  It is going to be expensive to treat,” and we said, “FIX THE DOG.”

Remember the trip to the Grand Canyon with Mommy and Daddy?   Not every dog gets to go to the Grand Canyon.     We took you with us everywhere and I will never regret that time spent with you.

I remember your second trip to the vet when they reminded us that you could get pregnant, and we said, “FIX THE DOG.”

Remember all the things you destroyed?   Those three sets of blinds weren’t too bad, but that garage door was expensive.  How did you eat the wiring out of the wall?  I don’t know how you destroyed a metal panel from your kennel, but you managed handily.  Oh, and thanks for destroying the curtains, downstairs door and carpet at mom’s house.   That was a nice check I had to write.

That is nothing compared to your capacity to hoard hidden foodstuffs.  Remember taking that whole loaf of garlic bread off the counter?  You hid it in Daddy’s closet and he called it your “Strategic Garlic Bread Reserve”.  That wasn’t quite as bad as the time I had a ten pound sack of raw chicken thawing in the sink and came home to NO chicken.    I found raw cutlets shoved under pillows and in laundry hampers for an unfortunately long time.     I was really amazed that you learned how to open the dishwasher so you could use it as a ladder to the countertop.  You were such a smart dog.

Remember how we loved you SO much that two people who swore they would never have children decided to give it a try.    Dearest girl,  I owe my second and third baby to you.   I know there were times that you were a little jealous, but you were such a good big sister.   I love how even when you were dying that you insisted on doing the stairs every night to put them to bed.

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Thank you for sticking with me through both pregnancies and cuddling me at night.   You got up with me every time I had to pee or throw-up and went with me to the bathroom.  I will never forget that kindness my love.

Remember the first time your pancreas flared six months ago?   They said, “We can give her medicine but it is going to be expensive,” and we said, “FIX THE DOG.”

I will miss giving you belly and face rubs.   I will miss feeling your beautiful silky ears.     Remember how you inspired Dr. Pepper to get his own dog and LuckyPup instantly fell in love with you and thought you were his mommy?   I don’t know how I am going to tell LuckyPup about this.   I still haven’t told your sisters.

Remember that phase before having human babies when Mommy wanted to dress you up all the time?  You were so tolerant.

You were our first baby and Daddy’s first dog, and I am pretty sure you were the best dog in the world.

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I am sorry that when they told me yesterday that it was liver cancer, that I couldn’t answer, “FIX THE DOG.”   I am sorry if you suffered a moment longer than necessary because mommy wanted to spend more time with you.   I am sorry that it has been hard for you to eat and drink for the last few days.  We just wanted to spend a few more moments with you, precious girl.  I will always appreciate that couple of days where you felt good and chased the gator like a pup and played with me again.

I know my father in heaven and I will see you again sweet puppy.  Say hi to Papa and Sammy Short Legs Daddy and all the people we love and miss.    I will be with you someday.

 

Love,

Mommy

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.

When Tragedy Happens

With the tragic death of a sweet baby in our small community, emotions are high.  I can relate to and understand reactions that are similar to mine.   My heart aches for a family, a mother, a father,  a sister, a grandmother, a church, a community.   I grieve the loss of a sweet soul to eternity.

What I am struggling with, are the other reactions, the negative and hurtful reactions.   I cannot believe the insensitivity and some of the horrible comments.  I have thought long and hard about why people would be so cruel.

When they say, “I don’t understand why the family is profiting on the death of this baby,” what they mean is, “I am greedy and envious that I cannot exploit some tragedy in my life for financial gain.”

When they say, “That grandmother is too young, and too pretty…. That grandfather has too many motorcycles and tattoos…. That father had a run in with the law in 1999,” what they mean is, “Don’t look too hard at my family.   I try really hard to present an ideal picture on Facebook.  I don’t want you looking too hard at the skeletons and imperfections in my own life.  I don’t want to talk about my cousin who went to jail and my dad who is an alcoholic.”

When they question the searchers and law enforcement, what they really mean is, “I feel like a guilty jerk that I didn’t do my part by getting off my lazy tail to help by searching or sending a casserole.  My criticism of those who participated makes me feel better about how worthless I have been in this endeavor.”

When they say, “I don’t understand how anyone could lose a two-year old,” what they mean is, “I absolutely understand how this happened, because it (has, could, did, is happening) to me right this moment.  (I lose my two year old in my own house at least once a day.)  This is their fear and them reassuring themselves that it couldn’t happen to them, knowing full well that it is luck that it has not happened to them”

When they petition the government for a deeper investigation, what they mean is, “My right to salacious details and gossip is more important than your pain and grief.”

I hope and pray that those with a negative attitude will consider the pain of their words before making further statements.  However involved you feel in this event, your pain is nothing compared to that of a grieving mother and father.  Please measure your words.

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear .Ephesians 4:29

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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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.

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