Thursday, September 30, 2010

Granimal Parenting

Those of us of a certain generation - and I will not say which - can remember Granimals. The wonderful line of clothing that made shopping simple. Pick two pink hippos,top and bottom, and you had a matching outfit. I was all over that. No fussing around, no difficult decisions, if I needed school clothes I picked a couple of pink hippos and a blue rhino or two and we were done.

That's what I want in a parenting book. Gotta a strong willed child? Choose the Green Elephant. Gotta shy child? Choose the yellow giraffe. I think the reason there is no consistency in my parenting is because every book and everyone has told me something else.

To get children out of your bed try, or maybe a 21-day program by Lawrence PhD there is even help at the Berkley parenting network. Have a strong-willed child? The expert is James Dobson who wrote the infamous book, "How to parent the strong willed child". But first you should test your child at so that you know just how strong willed they are. God forbid you search- How to get your kids to listen- one search turned up 361,005,251 hits! and the first website is for none other than my arch nemesis Super Nanny.

Do you see why I want Granimals!! I'm over informed. My mom says I over think everything, maybe I do. But I still think it would easier if it were just pink hippos and green elephants.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Airplane instructions

After yet another ridiculous fight with my husband I am up at 2:00 in the morning trying to sort out my feelings. That's when it dawns on me - Do you know who the flight attendants are talking to when they give the instructions: "Place the mask over your face first in order to help anyone else around you."


Otherwise we would instinctively put the mask on our child, and elderly seat mate or even a dumb ass husband Fight or no Fight before we would put it on ourselves. What is wrong with us?

Why are we fighting, forget it! You don't really want to know and honestly I can't even remember now what the original issue was because four hours later I'm now pissed about a damn oxygen mask.

If you are married you know, we all fight over stupid things, for stupid reasons, and at the most stupid times. Generally it has to do more with stress, or kids, or lack of sleep - from stress and kids. But mostly it has to do with sex.

Twenty three million Viagra commercials later you would think they could come up with something for women. Do you know what the flight attendants should say: "In case of an emergency, should the oxygen mask drop from the ceiling, place it securely on your wife first if you ever want to get laid again."

Sunday, September 19, 2010

This is my Meadowview Drive

Sometimes after the boys are asleep as I am wandering through the house picking up toys, closing curtains, and locking doors I realize this is my Meadowview Drive.

My parents built the house I grew up in the year I was born. They moved in when I was maybe six-months old and that was our house until I was out of college. We moved into this house when our oldest was three months old, and I wonder is this his Meadowview Drive?

It's not the perfect house. The stairs are too narrow, the bathrooms too small, the kitchen could use an update. But so could Meadowview Drive. What can't be remodeled are all the memories of playing in the basement, my closet, and the big fir tree in the corner of the yard. All the Christmases, birthdays, and special occasions that were held at Meadowview Drive.

In these turbulent times it sometimes feels like a tornado whipping up around me ready to rip my world apart leaving shreds of anxiety, chaos, and doubt. I wander through the house picking up toys, closing curtains, locking doors, and praying - that this is their Meadowview Drive.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

"I'm leaving in my mini-van"

sing to the tune of John Denver's Leaving on a Jet Plane...

Forget the bags I'm ready to go
I'm standing here outside the door
They didn't even hear me say good-bye
It's barely dawn still early morn
Their all screaming like big bull horns
Already I'm so fed-up I could cry

So miss me and smile for me
Tell me you'll remember me
Don't hold me now! Please just let me go!
Cause I'm leaving in my Mini-van
Don't know when I'll be back again
Oh, Baby! Watch me go!!

So maybe I have let you down
I'm still your mom- I cart you round
I ask you, Don't that mean a thing?
Every place I go I'll think of you.
and I'll be saying, WAHOO! WAHOO!
When I come back you'll be old enough to drink.

So miss me and smile for me
Tell me you'll remember me
Don't hold me now! Please just let me go!
Cause I'm leaving in my Mini-van
Don't know when I'll be back again
Oh, Baby! Watch me go!!

Now the time has come to go away
I look back and hear you say,
MOOOMMM He's touching me!
I dream about the days to come
When I will be here all alone
And all the times that you will hear me say.....

So miss me and smile for me
Tell me you'll remember me
Don't hold me now! Please just let me go!
Cause I'm leaving in my Mini-van
Don't know when I'll be back again
Oh, Baby! Watch me go!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

You found my...

Mom's are required to know where everything is at all times. And should that item be broken, how to fix it, NOW.

Case in point. When my seven-year-old arrives home from school, from a full day of being on his best behavior, sitting still, absorbing everything the teacher says, he is glazed over, exhausted, spent! He drops his bag kicks off his shoes and watches CyberChase.

Meanwhile I pick up the shoes and the bag and go through his day quietly for a moment. Note from PTA regarding the Fall Festival, spelling words, today's language activity - note to self work on the child's handwriting it's starting to look like his father's. But the real sign of how the day went: the Lunch bag. Half a sandwich, all his carrots, no apple left.

The other day I opened his Lunch bag and noticed that his water bottle was missing the little carabiner. A carabiner is that little clasp that was once reserved just for mountain climbers, but now adorns every water bottle, back pack, and lunch bag sold.

I found the carabiner int he lunch bag and thus just reattached it as I was cleaning up. After he had time to watch his show, get a snack, and fight with his brother I suggested we leave for the park. "Grab your water bottle." I said as I put the four-year-olds shoes on. "Mom!" he shrieked. Thinking that he had suddenly been stabbed my a masked intruder I twirled around to see him holding up his water bottle with a huge grin on his face.

"You found my hooker! Thanks mom!"

What more is there to say, I'm still laughing.

Friday, September 10, 2010


My seven-year-old asks me the other day, "Mom do people really live with maids and stuff?"

Yes. Some people have maids, butlers, gardeners, nannies, servants, etc.

Some people, I say have this thing, called a Mom.

Mom's do their laundry, clean up their room, get all the groceries, make their meals, clean up the house, take them to soccer....

"Oh Mooommm!"

What can I say, Seize the Moment!

The Snake

Since Elementary school started two and half weeks before Pre-school my four-year-old and I have had some real bonding time.

Yesterday we were outside enjoying the gorgeous fall weather and playing Star Wars. I was "Ventrewess with two wight sabers" and he was a "Cwone wif a gun". We were perusing the woods looking for bad guys when we got to the neighbors house. They have this cool backyard with gargoyles, traffic lights, stone bears, and a trail that leads to the creek.

My four-year-old stopped at a small tree and pointed out a snake. Knowing that Mrs. Wales like to be very creative in her garden I said it must be fake. I even poked it with a light saber and the thing didn't move. The way it way hanging on the side of the tree I assumed she nailed a rubber snake to the tree.

It was not fake however, and when my son went over to touch it, it curled up, dropped off the tree, and started to slither towards us on the ground. Being the girl that I am, I screamed and practically threw my child down the makeshift steps into the creek. When we landed at the bottom I started laughing hysterically and my poor child is now staring at me in shock.

"Mom!! Why did you make me touch it? It was weal, a weal snake!" As the reality is dawning on him he starts to shake and cry and look at me with a look of total disappointment. How could you mom!

All I could do was scoop him up and apologize. Of course I was still laughing hysterically at the absurdity of it all. I told him how cool it was that he got to touch a real live snake and how lucky we were to see it on a tree like that. When that didn't seem to phase him, I added that his dad and brother where going to be really jealous.

That worked. We told the story 10 times yesterday, and it still makes me giggle. Thank goodness I didn't send him flying into the creek, I don't think I could have snaked my way out of that quite so easily.

Biking Adventure

Our family often takes a bike ride to the Dairy Queen for a treat. This is generally the only way we can talk my husband into ice cream, is to pair it with exercise.

Last Saturday night my husband went to a College Football game with friends. The boys and I being all alone decided to ride bikes to Blockbuster for Diary of a Wimpy Kid and to Subway for dinner. No big deal, they are right next to the Diary Queen so it's a familiar ride. The new part was talking the four-year-old who had a two hour nap into riding his own bike.

My seven-year-old did a great job of helping me talk it up and convince the four-year-old that he could "ride with the big dogs". So off we went. We were doing great,even on the big hills which is where I though for sure the four-year-old would melt. Then the training wheel went haywire - in the middle of a crosswalk.

I jump off my bike and grab him and the bike to get all of it across the street before some crazy Midwest anti-biking driver runs us over. I tried to push the training wheel back in place, meanwhile the seven-year-old is racing ahead of us 50 yards and now the four-year-old in between sobs is screaming at the top if his lungs for his brother to STOP!

We happen to be by a little public garden so I told him not to worry we would put his bike here and come back for it. He could ride with me in his bike seat. The seven-year-old pipes up, "It won't be there when we come back because someone will steal it." This sends the already hysterical four-year-old into further fits. He is now alternating between, "I can't wide wike Daddy. I no good at bike wides!" and "Someones gonna take my bike away forevor."

I asked both of my children to have a little more faith that God is watching over us and there are more good people in the world than bad.

We finally get to Blockbuster and to Subway and head back toward the park and home. As we near the park, I see my neighbors car. She takes care of the gardens. Thank you God! I asked if she has any tools and low and behold she only has a wrench. I told the boys that this is exactly what I was talking about, God is watching and helping. We fixed the training wheel and all headed off once again.

It didn't take 30 seconds for the seven-year-old to be 50 yards ahead of us, the training wheel to fly up, and the four-year-old to start crying all over again. "See mom, I told you I can't truwst God!"

Lesson learned? Maybe for mom. No more bike rides without a wrench.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Dysfunctional families...

After my brothers and sisters and I all got over 12 years old my mom loved to say that there was no such things as a normal family, everyone was "dysfunctional". She loved the word, she loved the phrase, she repeated it often.

I'm way older than 12 now, I've lived on my own, I've been apart of another family for 15 years, and I've meet many people. Mom, I do not mean to burst your bubble - but not everyone is dysfunctional.

Our family is unique in the way we interact. We are sarcastic, hurtful, immature, rude, just down right rotten to each other. The only time you see our family stand together is at a death bed or funeral.

This is not normal, not even just dysfunctional, it's crazy sad. I see cousins, friends, even neighbors that have closer relationships then I have with my siblings. I do not have many close friends and have trouble maintaining what friendships I do make and I often wonder, is that because I've never learned how?

I'm so frustrated right now with my boys and the way they treat each other that I've asked the school guidance counselor for help. It's not only sad that I can't keep my boys from fighting with each other, but that I can't set a better example of what siblings should act like.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Reality TV

Have you ever felt like reality tv could be made 100x better if it were actually reality? Like this morning!

I think not only could most women relate, they would have sympathized, giggled, maybe even have said while pointing earnestly at the tv - that's my life.

My husband gets up at 5:00 a.m. He wakes the 4 year-old everyday. The four-year-old then waits until after my husband has left because that is when the child is FULLY awake and comes to get me.

Last night we had a new 13 year-old babysitter from down the street. She put the four-year-olds diaper on backwards. So at six a.m. I am woken up to crying because the diaper has exploded and he is wet. Which means so is his bed!

I strip him down, tell him to finish peeing then get in my bed. Still crying, "I can't do that I can't do it it's too dark, I'm too tired, I want my daddy, I need clothes...." FINE! I take the child into my bathroom turn on the night light hold his penis, shake, plop him into my bed. I head off to the boys bedroom for PJ's and to make sure that the Tooth Fairy that gets up at 5:00 a.m (and calls himself a man, ha!) has left money. There is a radio going, their Christmas/night lights are still plugged in, NO TOOTH FAIRY.

I get the PJ's throw them on my bed, pray the child is back asleep already. no luck. "What are you doing, are these my clothes, I need to get dressed, wheres my daddy?" Nothing, yes, I know, only God has that answer right now!

I am standing at my husbands dresser frantically searching threw the underwear drawer in the dark for you guessed it - money. So original right, money in the sock drawer. I found luggage locks, a broken ipod shuffle, keys to the house we owned 7 years ago, coins from ancient Greece, ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!

The four-year-old is still talking to me. GO BACK TO BED! I go back to the boys room and the seven -year-old is sitting up in bed rubbing his eye. Seriously? I lay him down and telly him it's not morning, I slide under his bed and steal his "wallet", gets his hiding places from his dad, and take what ever I can grab - $1.75. I slip it under the pillow, but can't find the tooth. Gingerly I slip under the pillow again and feel the plastic bag. I tiptoe out and head back to my bedroom.

I put the bag in my nightstand, dress the four-year-old, answer six more questions, and try to go back to bed. Then I realize the seven-year-olds alarm is going to go off in 15 minutes - Oh no your not! I slide back out of bed and go unplug his alarm. Then I go back to my bed and lay my head down thinking please 30 more minutes.

The four-year-old never stopped talking or moving for the next hour when the seven-year-old got up. We get downstairs and in walks my husband whose been up for three hours - "GOOD MORNING EVERYONE! IT'S A GORGEOUS DAY! HOW IS EVERYONE!" (He never talks quietly)

Where is the camera when you really need it?