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.

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.

A Letter to My Girls

Z and Baby Bird,

You are fighting, a lot.  I watch you fight over who gets to play with the toy broom.  Today, you guys have been fighting over your baby dolls.  Z, you were mad that your sister had the audacity to feed and change your baby doll.   You expressed this with much yelling.  Baby Bird, you tried to assault your sister because she was sitting in my lap and you didn’t want Z to have access to your mommy.   Sometimes you fight over who gets which baby doll.

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My angels, they are the same.

But, really, I am thinking forward twenty-five years in the future.   Baby Bird, when you have had your first baby and big sister Z shows up with broom in hand to clean your house for you, cook you a meal and tuck you into bed, I seriously doubt you will still be fighting over brooms.

Z, on a related note, when you are tired and have hands full with multiple toddlers and Baby Bird sends you out with your sweet hubby to the movies while she feeds and cares for your babies, I don’t think you will complain.

It is amazing how perspective changes some arguments.

I hope forty years from now, when I am old and gray that you will both still be fighting about who gets the privilege of spending time with Mommy.  I bet perspective changes this too, but I hope not.

 

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…..

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.

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