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.

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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.

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?

Karma, or Dogs are Not Children

Traditionally, I have not gone home much for the holidays. During residency and early on in my medical practice I spent many holidays at the hospital.   Now that I have children, some of that has gone out the window, so we decided to make the trip home to my mother’s for Thanksgiving.   There are drawbacks. In the tradition of little old ladies everywhere, it is way too hot, also, NO HIGH SPEED INTERNET, or ANY internet for that matter. Bonuses include plentiful, delicious junk food, FREE Babysitting, and nostalgia.

On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, my husband and I were taking advantage of the free babysitting by taking a nap. This is an absolute luxury available exclusively at the grandparent’s.   Imagine my surprise when I woke up to discover that my mother had cut my 2 year old’s hair without consulting me.   I mean she had casually mentioned beforehand that she thought she need a haircut, and I may have casually joked, “Good luck holding her down for that,” but I didn’t actually expect her to do it without me present.   But, we were taking advantage of the free babysitting so I decided to bite my tongue.

The next day, Dr. Pepper arrives and greets my toddler with, “Oh, who’s a pretty girl?   Did you get a new haircut Z?”   I mutter something under my breath about mom cutting her hair while I was asleep without my consent, and suddenly with wide-eyed, maniacal glee, my brother turns on me cackling, “So HOW does it feel? How does it FEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEL?”

It took me a moment of thought to determine what he was referring to with such vigor. Suddenly I recalled an incident about three years ago, before my days of childbearing.   Dr. Pepper was at work and left his precious, angel, Lucky in my care. Please see picture below to include crazy-laser eyes (he gets those from his daddy).

 

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As you can see, Lucky looks like you took a Yorkie and supersized it.   He has “bangs” falling into his eyes chronically and on this particular day, he kept running into my table, walls, doors, etc. because HE COULD NOT see. So, I took it upon myself to do a grooming which Dr. Pepper claims he undertakes regularly.   It took a week, and a liter of industrial strength pipe cleaner to set my bathroom to rights after this grooming.   I gently trimmed his bangs so that he could see, and Dr. Pepper went absolutely ballistic. He started screaming about how grooming his dog’s hair was akin to assault and how he would one day cut my future children’s hair without permission.

It was at this point that I pointed out that DOGS ARE NOT CHILDREN, much to the chagrin of my own personal Neurotic Beagle.   I understand.   I really do.   I have been that childless individual over-fixated on my four legger.   I still love the snot out of Neurotic Beagle, but the idea of someone grooming her not to my specifications does not fill me with the ire that the grooming of my toddler can inspire.   I know that this was a moment of Karmic justice in the eyes of Dr. Pepper, but I maintain that DOGS ARE NOT CHILDREN.

 

Bathrooms And Humiliation And Transvestites, Oh My!

I have been giving a lot of thought to the hubbub in Houston over public restrooms. For those of you unversed, the city council of Houston has passed a bathroom bill.   Section 51-17(b) of the bill reads as follows,

“ It shall be unlawful for any place of public accommodation or any employee or agent thereof to deny any person entry to any restroom, shower room, or similar facility if that facility is consistent with and appropriate to that person’s expression of gender identity”

In case you missed that, it means that if a person thinks they are a female, even if they aren’t, then they can use the ladies restroom, shower, etc.

First of all, this is not really anything new.   When I was in my twenties, showering at the local YMCA, there were mothers who brought their clearly way-too-old male children in to the women’s locker room.   This has been a pet peeve of mine for some time. If your kiddo is old enough to shave; and his voice has dropped, then he is probably too old to hold your hand on a trip to the bathroom ladies. My point being is that this is a variety of humiliation that women have been subject to for some time. We are used to this junk, so bring it.

Everyone is crying about the poor children and how they may have to go to the bathroom with some man, but it is not the children I am worried about.   I am not sure that these transgender individuals have any understanding of the rather complete extent to which children can embarrass you.

On a recent shopping trip to Kroger, whilst in the deli, my 2 year old palmed my boobs and squeezed them hard, yelling, “Honk, Honk Mommy! I squeeze your bellybutton.”

Amidst the snickers and glares, I remained calm, “Is that my belly button?”

Z collapses into a fit of giggles, “No Silly Mommy, that’s where milk comes from, like a cow.”

At this point, I really wanted to die, but wait, there’s more. The very next week, same Kroger, frozen aisle we are just passing a smokin’ hot guy.   Z immediately starts blushing and flirting, batting her eyelashes and twirling her hair.   I am bemused by this rather appropriate response. She looks him deeply in the eyes and in her best toddler, husky voice uses the greatest pick up line of all time, uttering, “I eats my boogers.”

Great. Thanks for that kid.

Similarly, my friend Supermom is in the bathroom with her tot at the zoo.   Tot says, “I like your butt mommy. You have a nice butt.”

Cute, right?   Everyone in the adjacent stalls laughs politely.   Supermom said later that she could see the next thought run through Tot’s head and she tried to cover her mouth right as she blurts out, “I don’t like your front butt. It too hairy.”

She had to hide in the bathroom till everyone is gone. Almost ALL of my friends have been subjected to some variation of the above by their overly honest children.

So in conclusion, if a tranny would like to use the bathroom with my kiddo, you are welcome to do so, but I am clearly unable to stop her from embarrassing me in public, so when she says, “Mommy, why does that dude look like a lady?” don’t blame me, she does this stuff ALL. THE. TIME.

Also, don’t think I won’t use this to my advantage if it comes to my area. Believe me, I have waited through enough lines at the ladies room during concerts and sporting events to take significant time off my life. From now on, I plan on marching over to the men’s bathroom and explaining that I am feeling really masculine today and take my place atop the porcelain throne.

Actually, I think this whole thing is really stupid.   If you are good enough at being transgender, then people really shouldn’t notice that you are in the wrong restroom to begin with. Seriously, have you seen pictures of trannies from Thailand? They are stunning and I challenge you to pick out which ones are really men.   On the other hand, if you appear obviously male, and happen to be wearing tights, you should probably stick with men’s room. I think this is a good rule of thumb, but apparently the city council of Houston knows best.

The Wounds of Parenting

Z, my two year old has been attending gymnastics class for the last two months.  I say attending because it is largely her running around randomly or crying.    Generally she will do a few tricks with the promise of a lollipop at the end of class.  When she received her first lollipop it was with some consternation that she declared, “lollipop…. it’s like a sucker!”   (Did I mention this kid is a genius).

At first, she adorably referred to it as “flip class”, but now if I ask if she wants to go to “flip class” she haughtily corrects me and says, “It’s Gymnastics” as if she’s Dominique Dawes.

At last flip class Z managed to perform a contortion in such a way that it nearly resulted in a concussion for Mommy.   She didn’t seem to notice the blinding pain that she had caused me and kept happily doing log rolls.

When we arrived home, I decided to rest from my closed head trauma by relaxing on the floor and allowing Baby Bird to crawl all over me as is her new favorite nine-month old pastime.  She promptly crawled onto my chest and shoved her first finger on her right hand so far into my nose that her jagged, impossibly sharp baby fingernail ruptured something and I immediately started bleeding.

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I am thinking about what could have possibly given Baby Bird this idea.  I flash back through the lancinating pain to a moment in flip class where Z and her new friend were discussing their “stuffy noses”.   I was thinking to myself how great it was that she was socializing appropriately when I noticed that the other little girl had started picking Z’s nose prompting her mom to recite the well known saying, “You can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your friend’s nose.”  I had largely viewed this as anecdotal and not instructional until this point.

As I was trying to staunch the bleeding, Z leaps from the couch in what can only be described as a Bruce Lee impersonation and lands a windmill kick squarely to my left ear, rupturing my eardrum.  My world goes dark with pain.   I am bleeding and about to vomit from the instant vertigo that this perfectly landed blow has caused.

In fairness, as I was writhing on the floor, crying, Z did give me “double hugs” and got her Doc McStuffins doctor bag to give me a “check up”.

While I was still bleeding and deaf in one ear, she put a bandage on my thumb (which ironically was not injured), kissed me, and declared me to be “all better”

 

I Am Judging YOU Moms of Chick-fil-A

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A blog has recently gone around Facebook about a mom saying she isn’t judging other mothers who are on their iPhone at the park and not taking care of their children. She says a lot of beautiful and flowery things about how she understands that those mothers are tired and this may be the only time of day that they have to themselves.

I get that, I do, but the time to be on your iPhone and have some privacy is in your own home with the bathroom door locked while you are pretending to poop like a normal person. So that lady on her blog may be nicer than me and she may not be judging you, but news flash, I AM judging you.

I had a couple of days off in the middle of the week the other day and decided to do something novel with my physician friend, Hipster Doctor and her baby girl Jabberwocky. My two girls and I joined HD and Jabberwocky for trolling Target followed by a play date lunch at Chick-fil-A.

Our local Chick-fil-A has an enclosed playground, and I must admit that they are fantastic at catering to the Ladies Who Lunch crowd. They took my order, and noticed my hands were full so they offered to bring my tray out to me while I got the girls settled in the playground area. What I didn’t realize is that the playground at Chick-fil-A is more like a Mixed Martial Arts Cage Match than a playground. It is a freaking free for all.

There was a veritable cavalcade of women who obviously do this daily either sitting isolated while playing on their iPhone, or with groups of friends happily gossiping, but they all had one universal thing in common. None of them seemed to give a crap what their precious angels were doing. I witnessed big kiddos shoving little kiddos to the ground without so much as a raised eyebrow. One portly little boy was going around spitting on the ground where the little kids were playing and I had to go talk to him myself about not spitting where other people have to play. He looked absolutely astounded and shocked that he had been corrected by an adult.

The good people of Chick-fil-A had graciously provided a dispenser of individually wrapped purel wipes to help sanitize the children after their play date in tuberculosis-laden sputumville. I witnessed two delightfully smocked children in expensive, lovely outfits repeatedly rip over half of these out of the dispenser and open them up to throw both the wrapper and the wipes on the floor. They finally stopped when I asked them to. I wish their mothers cared as much about the growth of their character as they do about how they look when they go out. My children left the house in Target hand-me-downs instead of fifty dollar boutique chic, however; if they behaved that way, it would be their A%$. When I pointed out what the girls were doing to their mothers, it was met with an overwhelming look of “whatever.”

I realize that being a mother is a hard job. I get that. I have the same job. My Pottery teacher has perhaps the sweetest, most polite three little girls I have ever known and in the words of The Hairy Potter and his wife, The Jillionaire, “Discipline has to be like gravity with kids. It is a force that is always on.”

I totally understand that you are trying to have a relaxing lunch with your friends…. Me too, and so is everyone else at Chick-fil-A midday with their little ones. In a few years when my daughters still listen to what I have to say and your little sociopath burns the house down you may wonder where you went wrong. (Okay, that last part may be a little extreme.) I allege that it went wrong with everyday opportunities like this when you failed to teach your children courtesy to the good folks of Chick-fil-A and to the other patrons. If you are unable to instill these values in your five year old, what is your sixteen year old going to look like? What kind of citizen are you rearing? So yes, I am judging you mothers of Chick-fil-A for all the good it will do in the face of your eye-rolling ambivalence.

Why Children of the 70’s Were Tougher

My mother dropped off a box of books a few weeks ago for the girls.  I assumed all of them were child appropriate as that they belonged to my brother and myself when we were little.  Imagine my surprise and excitement when my daughter brought me this gem:

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First of all, you can tell from the cover that this is going to be awesome!   Look at all the firearms.  Those look appropriate for a children’s book.  I would also like to point out that all the folks chasing the little Aryan nation kid on the cover are all brown. That’s a good message for Z to learn as early as possible. I am thinking right away, “This is the perfect book for a two-year old.”  So, we read this with little Z and Baby Bird, and I would like to share my review with you.

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So apparently, the malevolent Chinese Dr. Chiang is going to poison the earth’s water supply with a vile salination machine.  I can almost hear Dr. Evil laughing and demanding “One Million Dollars”.    But fortunately, according to this piece of literature, the United Nations are going to send a pre-teen boy to fix Dr. Chiang’s wagon.  Enter our hero:  Johnny Quest.

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See that kid in the turban to the left of the table?  That is Johnny’s friend, Haji.  I AM NOT KIDDING.  His actual name in the book is Haji.  Haji is going to help save the world too.

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Above is the nefarious Dr. Chiang gently stroking his Fu Manchu.  Y’all, I don’t know what to say about this one.  There is so much implied, unintentional racism I am speechless.

 

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Here on this “television” are Dr. Chiang’s slaves that Johnny and Haji are going to be liberating.  Y’all, this book has everything.  It is environmentally conscious, multicultural (although overtly racist at the same time) and anti- human trafficking with a strong stand on gun control.

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You can see here in this picture that every bad guy in the book has a gun.  Contrast this with the fact that Johnny and Haji take down an evil mastermind’s regime with an apple.  Y’all, we’ve been going about this the wrong way.  Someone should alert Israel that their “Iron Dome” isn’t necessary.  Apparently all they need is love and apples to defeat Hamas (who are all named Haji by the way).

As you can see, with all the great messages meted out by this masterpiece, it is easy to understand why children of my generation were tougher than those of today.  All of Z’s books feature animated, big-eyed animals and sight words.  I have to say, I do question some of the parenting decision’s of Dora The Explorer’s Parents. They let that nina get away with a LOT.

 

 

 

 

My Toddler’s Eating Disorder

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In a responsible way I have made great efforts not to pass my body issues on to my daughters. I do not subscribe to ANY fashion magazines. Our television is not connected to cable, so this limits her viewing options to Dora or Wonder Pets. We do have a scale in the house, but I don’t weigh myself in front of her.

The scale is located in our bathroom and anyone who ever has had children will tell you that once you have a baby, you never get to go to the bathroom alone again. Sometimes if I have to go, I hold it until I can get to work and go by myself. By the way, this is the exact opposite of the practice I used to follow

I digress. In the course of my use of the facilities, Z has taken to standing on the scale and “checking her number”.   She doesn’t know what the number means, but she likes to make numbers appear on the digital scale.   Charming right?   We have even used this as a learning opportunity to teach her about numbers.

I spend a great deal of my day at work arguing with patients about their weight. Everyone insists that our scales are off and want to be weighed on a second or even third scale. Some patients have a favorite scale in the office and only want to be weighed on the favorite scale. Some want me to record the value they get on their home scale, and not the office scale. I have had patients remove everything from their shoes to jewelry in attempt to get that number a little lower.

Z has had a solid “number” of twenty-eight for the last couple of months. She proudly will stand on the scale and proclaim, “my number is twenty-eight”. Imagine my surprise last week when she announces, “I’m going to check my number,” and hopped up on the scale. The number said, “28.6”. I could see Z look at me with some degree of confusion and consternation.

I said, “Oh, look, your number has changed. It is twenty-eight point six. “ I mustered a great degree of excitement for this to ensure that she wouldn’t develop any life-long psychiatric scars because of mommy’s reaction to her weight at two years old.

She shrugged, “Its cuz I hab my shoes on.”

Great, I thought, Glad you are working on your eating disorder already. Its never too early to get started on that kiddo. I followed that up with a giant sigh and eye roll. I have a feeling I have years of sighs and eye rolls ahead of me.

Nutrition 101

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I went to my first ladies event at church today. I usually do not frequent such things. I am not really good in social situations. I know, I know, I am a doctor, and I see something like thirty patients a day, so how can I be bad in social situations? Well first off all, have you met most doctors? Most doctors don’t really have a great personality. That is why most people don’t like going to the doctor. Usually doctors are pretty self-absorbed and have horrible listening skills.

That being said, I am pretty great in a one on one setting. I even do well in small groups of people, but when thrown into a large group setting it is like I am back in middle school.

Suddenly, I am VERY awkward. My clothes aren’t right, I stand their nervously, and my mouth stops working. I mean to say witty and charming things and instead I start blurting out things like, “I saw a squirrel on the way here,” and, “my legs are itchy.” Also, I tend to be somewhat snarky, and when I do say something appropriate to the conversation it tends to come off sounding a little tactless and rude. Most other women just kind of look at me with a sad little head shake of pity and go back to their conversations about smocked outfits and Ferberizing their babies while I stand their clumsily trying to think of something to say.

I was doing okay during the brunch portion of the program. Apparently I am good at eating (it gives me something to do with my hands and gives the illusion that I know what I am talking about). I realized that for about the last two years I have had a baby with me to focus other women’s attention so I don’t have to carry on a real conversation. This was the first time I had been to a social event in a long time without a twenty-four inch buffer of cuteness in my arms to direct the conversation. I highly recommend that every socially awkward person carry a baby with them at all times to deflect social attention. It is magic in its effectiveness.

I navigated my way to a place to sit during the lecture portion of the program, and my panic settled into the calm of anonymity as I relaxed into my chair sipping my tea. That was until, the lecturer started discussing toddler nutrition and suddenly I am having an anxiety attack (See my post entitled “She Wont Eat That…”). They are all discussing organic smoothies and clever little bento boxes with healthy vegetarian options for toddlers. During this very discussion there was a bag of non-organic baby food and a bag of Cheetos in my bag that I was planning on feeding Z for lunch. Everyone around me was furiously taking notes and nodding in agreement while I am just freaking out about how my daughter is going to die from rickets and wet beri beri from her lack of vitamin D and protein rich nutrition sources.

Then, we broke into our small group sessions, and yikes, I am assigned to be in the one with our head Pastor’s wife. This is super scary for an agoraphobe. While we were doing introductions, one of the childcare workers interrupts in a flutter letting the Pastor’s wife know that there is something going on with her child. She steps outside the room to handle the crisis and when she returns she informs us, “My daughter is crying because they tried to give her marshmallows, and she told them she wasn’t allowed to have marshmallows”

By this point I am ready to just check out on this experience. I clearly cannot measure up to the Whole Foods, gluten-free, non-GMO crowd I have found myself in. I am done with this. Then, she says, “I don’t know why she said that. We eat marshmallows all the time at our house.”

Maybe I have misjudged these awesome, marshmallow-eating people. I went to pick Z up from the nursery and she has a plate with four pretzels, four giant marshmallows, and a small packet of raisins. She threw the pretzels out on the way out the door declaring them to be, “gross”, informed me that the raisins were “vitamins” and told me she was going to eat the marshmallows for lunch. I realized that maybe I should give this a fair shot.

Maple Syrup?

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                Z started swimming lessons this week. It has taught us a couple of things. First of all, a toddler absolutely can scream while standing in a pool for a half hour straight. Secondly, screaming for a half hour is more exhausting to a child than actual swimming. This practice resulted in Z taking a three hour nap and going to bed at seven. Hurray! Cocktail hour!

                Hubby has had the pleasure of taking Z for her daily screaming sessions this summer except on Wednesdays which is my day off. I took her swimming this Wednesday and had perhaps one of the best moments of my life.

                She started off with her characteristic screeching. It was so bad, that I was starting to doubt my parenting. I was starting to think that maybe we should put off this swimming thing for another year while the voice of my husband saying, “I don’t care if she likes it. She has to learn this. It is a life skill.” I was just about to scoop my precious angel up and take her home declaring failure when she paused from her wailing to declare, “Mommy, you’re my very best friend ever,” with a broad grin. Then she immediately went right back to bawling.

                I could feel the tears of joy welling up in my eyes and started crying right there in the pool with her. Luckily the water hid my tears pretty effectively.

                After the pool, Z and I went grocery shopping. Z acts like she is a movie star at the grocery. She waves to everyone like she is in a parade, or a beauty pageant with a slight turn of her hand so as to not wear herself out.   She greets everyone with a loud, “Hi, I swimming,” or, “I blew bubbles,” as if they are interested in her aquatic adventures.

                There is something satisfying at the grocery store about actually getting everything on your list. I had almost accomplished this task when I realized that I had forgotten the pancake syrup. Hubby only likes real maple syrup and I was going to get the economy sized jugs because it is a bargain and that is when I met with my grocery store nemesis. I was wearing a bathing suit with a soggy cover-up over it pushing a toddler in a bathing suit covered in Cheetos dust waving like a princess, and there SHE was. She was wearing what I can only describe as formal wear. It was red, and possibly chiffon, accessorized with expensive, chunky looking jewelry and strappy sandals.

                But that was not the worst of it.   She swooped down in front of me and loaded up all ten jugs of economy sized maple syrup into her cart. I was stunned…. too stunned to speak. She cut me off and took ALL the maple syrup, and then when I looked in her cart, it was full, but completely full of nothing but maple syrup and large flats of grapes. At this point I am a little freaked out. What is she doing with all of those grapes and maple syrup? I was rendered speechless. Oh, how I wish I had asked.

                So, in lieu of actually knowing what she was doing with these select items, I have been taking a poll to see what people think she was doing with them. Here are the top answers:

  1. Homemade Canadian Wine
  2. Some weird diet cleanse
  3. Freaky pornography video
  4. Brunch?

                What do you think she was doing with them? It is driving me crazy.

 

 

grapes

Professional Mom

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                On Thursday nights we go to pottery class. It is what I would do for a living if I were good enough to do so, but sadly after many years of lessons, I am not. My Hubby tolerates it out of affection for me. I believe about four years ago we made a compact. If he would come to pottery class with me, I would go shooting with him once a month. It is now two babies and four years later and I am pretty sure I have only been shooting twice since then (although there have NOT been any definitive research studies done on the effect of lead exposure on nursing or pregnant women).
                The Hairy Potter’s wife, Jillionaire keeps Z for us on Thursday nights. Baby Bird who is still nursing flies to pottery with us, and Neurotic Beagle (Neurotic Beagle MUST go with us to avoid property damage) also joins us. Jillionaire is one of those moms who makes me feel inadequate. Her three girls, Braintrust, Fashonista and Sweetie Pie are always dressed in clean, stylish outfits. It seems like every week they have just gotten a new hat that is perched charmingly atop their freshly trimmed or braided hair. My child has never kept a hat on, EVER. Everything in her house is always clean and is arranged with an expert touch. Martha Stewart should really talk to Jillionaire about how to arrange and organize because Jillionaire could teach her a thing or two. She does all this while managing to look perfectly put together every time I haul my bedraggled kiddos, and my yoga pants clad self across her doorstep. But you know, professionals make things look effortless, and I am clearly a poser mom.

                A few weeks ago I could feel my face flush with frustration as I argued with Z as we were about to go to Jillionaire’s house. Last time we were there, she played with Braintrust, Fashonista, and Sweetie Pie in a kiddie pool. Of course, they were all stylishly dressed in complimentary but not quite matching bathing suits. When I told Z that we were going to their house, she immediately retrieved her bathing suit and started struggling off her clothes, saying, “I wear swimsuit.”

                I glanced outside at the rainy sixty-five degree day with skepticism and ventured, “Sweetheart, it is really cold outside, I don’t think the girls are going to be swimming today.”

                My arguments were to no avail in her two year old brain. She managed to get her swimsuit on, so I tried to compromise by getting her to put her clothes on over her swimsuit to camouflage the situation. This resulted in a meltdown, and an angry toddler yelling, “I no like pants anymore!”

                We were running late, so I tucked her jammies in her bag and threw her in the car in her turquoise bikini, sunglasses, and sandals.

                I prepared myself for the judgment of Jillionaire. I have NEVER seen her girls inappropriately dressed for the weather. If it is raining, they have cute patterned matching galoshes. If it is cold they have mini-infinity scarves tucked around their adorable little necks. I dropped her off in red-faced shame. I remember being embarrassed of my mom when I was a teenager, but no one bothered to tell me that your children can embarrass you.

                Jillionaire met us at the door and greeted Z with calm aplomb. She led Z in where indeed, Sweetie Pie, Fashonista and Braintrust were dressed appropriately and performing calculus in the floor with quiet politeness. Z seemed a little shocked to find, that her mother was right, and they were not in swimsuits.

                When I picked Z up later that night, she was tucked warmly in her jammies that I could not struggle on her using either love or money. I asked Jillionaire how she got Z out of the coveted swimsuit and into her jammies. Jillionaire nonplussed reply was, “I just gave her popsicles until she got cold.” Well played professional mom. Well played indeed.

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