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.)

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Let’s Party!!!

A couple of weekends ago we ventured forth as a family to a children’s birthday party.  It brought to mind many questions about toddler birthday party etiquette.  The birthday party in question was for a two-year old and a five-year old set of brothers.  We arrived late due to being obligated at yet another, earlier toddler birthday party.   We arrived to a home full of running and screaming children.  Some of them were chasing each other, some were eating snacks, and others were playing with Playdough on the floor.

As we ventured further into the party we found the host parents by themselves in the kitchen with one brave soul who stayed behind with her three year old to help supervise.  Apparently, several sets of parents just dropped their 3-5 year old babies off with a family that some of them had never met (although I think they are wonderful people).   They left them there from 10 am until sometime after we finally gave up and left around 2:30.

Let me clarify.  Some of this children needed assistance with both toileting and with eating.  Personally,  I think your child should be able to cut up their own food, and wipe their own backside before leaving them with someone you don’t know for a party that somewhat resembled a toddler cage match.

So,  readers, what is your opinion?  When is it appropriate to drop your 3-5 year old child off for four hours with complete strangers?   Furthermore, should you be concerned if the level of supervision does not meet basic standards for daycare ratios of adults to children?   Who among you look at children’s birthday parties on the weekends as a great opportunity to unload your child for free babysitting?  Am I crazy for asking this question, or just overprotective?  When did you stop going to birthday parties with your children?  What is the cutoff for this?

 

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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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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.

The Nonlinearity of Parenthood

So, I have oft wondered why my house has been a tragic mess since the birth of my second child, and I have heard it said that the work created by additional children is exponential, not linear.   This astonishing correlation was proved true tonight.

Behold the list of things I can accomplish with both children present:

–          Maybe pee, but definitely not by myself

Behold the list of things I accomplished in an ninety minutes while I only had ONE CHILD:

  • Changed from work clothes into comfy clothes
  • Peed
  • Sat on floor and fed the baby
  • Put all household laundry away
  • Emptied two dishwashers
  • Reloaded two dishwashers
  • Watered the plants
  • Cooked a made from scratch meal
  • Paid a bill
  • Wrote a personal letter
  • Realized I forgot something and revised personal letter
  • Changed clothes again into work clothes
  • Applied linseed oil to the patio furniture
  • Picked up dog poop
  • Made chalk drawings with Baby Bird
  • Took relaxing bubble bath (not kidding y’all)
  • Put clothes back on Baby Bird
  •   Took adorable videos of Baby bird

Suddenly everything is clear.  No wonder life was so much easier with one baby, and it is nice to be productive for a day, but I wouldn’t have life any other way.

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.

 

They Dont Build Things To Last

My sweet Mother is seventy-four years old and she still works full time.  This is most certainly by choice.  She could retire.  She probably should retire.  She wont retire.  Dr. Pepper has offered to buy her a house where we live so that she can enjoy Little Z and Baby Bird, but she stubbornly refuses.    She has been a hairdresser in the same small town for fifty-four years, and she has no intentions to stop teasing blue-hair into football-helmet shaped blobs anytime soon.  So, she should be pretty savvy about all things hair related, so I had no concerns about showering at her house a few weekends ago when I had forgotten my own hair supplies.  Imagine my surprise when I was greeted with this monstrosity:

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This is the world’s oldest, and perhaps most-unsafe hairdryer.  Notice that it is held together with a conglomeration of duct tape and electrical tape.

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I cannot recall ever seeing a metal label welded onto a modern hair dryer.

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That is correct folks, the off switch is broken, so this baby is always on.

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And, last but not least, no GFI, so if you drop in in the bathtub while luxuriously drying your hair during a soak, forget it. You are most certainly dead.

So, I assumed that since it is incredibly old and unsafe that it would be an incredible, unregulated hair-drying experience made of pure fire.  Imagine my disappointment to find that I would have been better off heading down to the local McDonalds and using the hand dryer to style my locks.   It is both dangerous and useless.  I know a certain elderly hairdresser who is getting a new hairdryer for Christmas!!!!

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?

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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.

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