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Sunday, November 04, 2007

Another Toof Ordeal!

Okay we (Dude and I) have messed up again. Dysfunctional parents are we!!
Maurissa lost another tooth Friday night. Once again she pulled it herself (OUCH!) She put it in an old lavender sock so she wouldn't lose it. Well I didn't know this (that it was in an old sock). Last night (Saturday) I'm getting her ready for bed and in the middle of our prayers she runs downstairs. No, "Excuse me God or wait a sec mom, but I gotta... do whatever." She comes back with tears.
"I can't find my toof!"
Thinking of how I messed up last time- I run downstairs and ask Dude for a dollar. He's already in the bed and throws up his hands to let me know he doesn't have it.
"Great! Can you just- oh never mind!" I yell as I run out to the garage for my purse.
I run back in as fast as Marion Jones time without the Clear, and hear her coming downstairs.
"Here! Put this under the mattress or something!" I tell Dude.
He looks at the bill and says, "Five dollars? Teeth have gone up a bit ain't they?"
"That's the smallest bill I could find!" I snarl. "Just put it under there before she comes in."
Maurissa walks in wiping tears.
"You know what probably happened? The tooth fairy probably just put your money in the wrong place. Eh Daddy... look around the bed really good."
As if reading the lines and not "feeling" them, he says, "Oh, let me look around here."
I roll my eyes.
"Uh-oh! I think I've found something!" he adds.
He pulls out the five dollar bill.
Dude and I are the only two smiling.
"But, but... I didn't get to give her my toof. I didn't get to put it under my pillow and now I can't find my sock."
"Oh, well... she probably found it and knew you were going to put it there," I quickly offered.
"She or HE," Dude interjected.
"A fairy?" I laughed.
"It could be," he firmly said.
She cried more.
Without thinking, I said, "You could write her (fairy) a note."
Dude looks at me.
"Or HIM a note," I offered.
"A note?" he asked. "That's a GREAT idea."
The tears stopped and she grabbed some paper and pen and wrote the fairy a note:
I did not get to put my tooth under my pillo
can you please give it back to me? can you?
"Wow, you got five whole dollars," I reminded her.
She told me that she didn't want one bill. "I wanted two dollars."
I tried to explain that it was one bill but worth more money.
She wasn't buying it. She took the five and put it with the note and put it under her pillow.
"Mommy. Why did the toof fairy put the money under Daddy's pillow?"
I had to think for a minute before I answered, "She knew you took a nap there earlier so that's probably why."
I finished her prayers and tiptoed back downstairs.
Dude was in the kitchen. "Look, I think this is her tooth," he said while picking at something he'd found on the kitchen floor.
"Uh, that's not her tooth," I confidently responded.
It was a white substance with something reddish-brown on it, which a desperate person could, I guess, mistake it for blood from a tooth.
I chipped at it with him and noticed it was easy to chip.
"You don't think this could be her tooth?" he asked.
I looked at him a few minutes before speaking, "No! That's some old food that didn't get picked up when I swept."
Luckily he remembered he had her last tooth in our secret drawer. Actually it's not a "secret" drawer because I've seen the kids in it- but anyway... we decided to put it in a small bag and slip it under her pillow.
It worked!
This morning, she was excited to come down to tell us that she got her tooth back.
"She made it fair and square!" she smiled.
Dude and I smiled and rolled our eyes.
"Oh, this is definitely a blog!" I thought.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Boys Can Flirt, But Girls Need To Wear Long Skirts!

It's funny how we (parents) can almost be sexist when we deal with our kids. I'm not saying we are cognizant of it but we do... well dads, more-so, than the moms :)
Now last year when daddy's little, innocent, precious, can't-do-a-whole-lotta wrong, daughter was a kindergartner and was being the "aggressor" with a few little boys in her class- her daddy almost lost his mind.
Batting her eyes one night at the dinner table, she talked about one of the little boys freely,
"Cameron is so cute! I just love givin' him kisses."
My eyes closed and I swallowed my chicken...forgetting to chew it first. But she didn't know her daddy could be crazy...deranged...pshychotic... when it comes to her and the opposite sex, even at five-years-old.
"Who the heck is Cameron?" his glass hit the table.
I was trying to gulp down some water to help the chunk of chicken get down.
Unaware that her daddy's blood pressure was going up, she continued to bat her eyes and look up. I could almost picture the little cloud over her head, with the two of the little five-year-olds gazing at one another and hearts floating around- until I had to quickly snap out of it.
"Uh, baby girl daddy asked you who Cameron is and why was he kissing you?"
"He's my friend in class. He sits at my table. He's brown and he gots curly hair that-"
"Okay, baby girl, I don't need a detailed description," he finally calmed down. He looks her over and says, "And that skirt you got on may need to be a bit longer."
He'd lost it!
"Uh, Dude, you loved that Laura Ingalls long, skirt when YOU bought it," I raised my brows.
I explained to him that the little boy was a sweet little boy and that he really needed to calm down because our daughter was the one who was smitten. But he was ready to buy a gun.
Then our little four-year-old son and his attractions, actions- whatever you want to call it- gets a different reaction. He gets a little crush on a girl at church and daddy darn nears gives him the "Player of the Year" award.
Oh it's cute and he's teasing the girl's father, "You better get your girl, because Myles is reeling her in."
He smiles at Myles and picks him up and says, "That's daddy's big man!"
Now what is that about?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Shoulda Known

Today when we came home from church, Daddy (not mad at him right now), quickly told the kids to clean up.
"Get all of your toys and whatever else belongs to ya and put it up in your room or the playroom- wherever it goes."
I was impressed.
Then he, himself, started washing dishes and picked up his own clothes and hung them up. He actually hung them up and didn't throw them over the closet door. He even cleaned the fish tank. I thought the new little fish would be in there coughing from clouds of dirt before it got cleaned. I told the him and the kids before we got the fish that I could not do it (clean it).
He inspected their rooms and made sure everything was clean.
I did notice that he kept looking at the clock.
After we all finished he sat down and seemed interested in talking and listening. It felt weird.
Then around 3:50 pm he stretched and said he was going to let the kids watch TV in the living room and he would JUST go upstairs in the playroom.
I checked the channels.... Dallas was playing at 4pm. He's getting good. Real good.

Monday, September 10, 2007

She Just Isn't A Fighter... Right Now

Call me a bad parent but I felt the need to teach my daughter to fight. I know she has to learn as I did when I was younger but I just feel like she is gonna end up taking quite a few Ls (losses) and I can't stand by and let it happen.
She thinks the world is nice and just doesn't realize, yet, that this just isn't Mr. Roger's Neighborhood. He's deceased!
She is missing teeth and thank God it's because of age and they have fallen out and new ones are coming in. Not because of her mouth and they (teeth) have been knocked out.
She and her brother were playing in the play area of McDonald's Friday night. Initially it was just the two of them and my friend's daughter. Then a few others came in to play. And my two usually play well with anyone. Well, I hear another child- looked to be nine or ten years-old- questioning my daughter. Her voice wasn't pleasant. The girl's back was to me.
"Did you just call me a runt?" "What did you call me?" she questioned repeatedly, her voice growing louder each time.
Maurissa never said anything. She just sat at the end of the slide and looked embarrassed, scared, guilty- all of it.
"Maurissa," I called, "what are you doing?"
The girl stood over her, while holding her, I assumed, younger brother.
"Maurissa come here now!"
The girl then walked out and went to her parents.
Well, although I knew she probably was wrong and ran her mouth, I had already started getting defensive. In other words: I knew she was wrong but that little girl's folks didn't want none. My earrings were already off.
I asked her if she called the girl a name and why. She just stood there twirling the edges of her shorts. So I got unsolicited information from her younger brother. Oh, the four-year-old will tell it.
"We were runnin' and playin' and Maurissa called dat wittle white boy a runt, and his sista got mad."
I don't know why but when he said "white" I looked around, hoping no one heard him. But this is how some kids describe people.
"Okay and what were you gonna do?" I asked him. "What were you gonna do if that girl had hit your sister?"
He didn't know what to say.
"I've told yall both that you take up for each other, NO MATTER WHAT!"
I fussed the entire way home.
Once we got home, it still bothered me that she may have gotten her butt kicked. What would have happened if I wasn't there? She had to get a little tougher. She had to be prepared. Was it morally wrong to want her to learn to fight?
So when we got in the door, I started wrestling around with her. She looked confused... reasonably so. I mean I had just fussed her out and now I was laughing with her and trying to play- so she thought. I was trying to see what she had. She played around but she giggle so much that I came to my senses and realized that she was just not a fighter. Or maybe she would protect herself when she needed to and I would just have to live with that.
Or.... I could put her in karate classes.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

The Look

My daughter gave me a look the other day. She didn't say anything but I knew what she was thinking. And I didn't like it! It wasn't a look she'd given me before- but a look I'd given my mom years ago. I just couldn't believe I had now gotten the look. How could she?
I'd just given her a spanking. And yes she deserved it. She told a lie. I'd given her a few chances to tell the truth but she chose to stick to her lie. She's an amateur. When I lied back in my youthful days... I was able to tell when my mom probably knew the truth. And if I thought she already knew but was asking me anyway, I was wise enough to go on and tell the truth. Kids really don't think parents were once young. I've tried everything my daughter has and then some... unfortunately.
So she lied and I spanked her and she says, between sobs, "But I thought I wouldn't get a spankin' if I told da troof!"
Was she questioning my parenting?
"That's when I ask you the first time about it. Not the fourth or fifth time."
After the spanking, I made her sit for a few minutes. I walked by her to give her that- I mean business look- and that's when I saw it... the look!
Of course, I caught her off guard. The look that says: Lord please make her fall down the stairs or something. Just hurt her please!! Please!
It almost made me feel a little worried.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Underwear... Never Leave Home Without 'EM

My grandmother used to say, "You always wanna make sure you got on clean underwear... ya never know what might happen. Ya might have to go to the emergency room or somethin!"
Well my underwear was clean but... okay I was rushing before I left the house and I hadn't washed clothes in some time, so, it's summer and it was there in sight- I grabbed my blue bikini bottoms. No big- I wasn't going to be out long. No one would know.
Maurissa and I had an errand to run then I decided to stop in a local clothing store... to look. We both saw something we liked, so, what the heck- we tried it on. We would just zip in and out.
Walking to the dressing room I realized what I had on. There was no way I was going to let "silly" see. But I couldn't let her have her own fitting room so I thought it will be okay.
We went in, I closed the curtain and rushed her to change. While she lifted her shirt over her head I quickly tried to take my shorts off so she wouldn't notice.
"What in da world!"
Too late.
I tried to shush her. "Just try on your dress!"
She slowly tried on her dress- disgustingly distracted by my appearance.
"That looks cute on you," I sweetly said, trying to distract her. "Now take it off- we gotta go," I quickly switched.
The snickering started. I closed my eyes and thought, I can't believe I'm acting like this with a six-year-old.
Realizing there were other customers in the fitting rooms, I gave her the look: DON'T START NONE, WON'T BE NONE! Her look: NO COMPRENDE!
As I begin to pull off my shirt, she asks, "Mommy, why you got your swimming bottoms on?"
"Just- just- just don't worry 'bout it," I whisper with my shirt over my face.
"Mommy where is the other part?" she asks, while pulling at my bra.
I snatch away- stuck with my shirt over my head- and the laughing begins.
"Mommy look at your-"
I try to cover her mouth with the shirt still over my face, and we scuffle. She continues to laugh. She has managed to turn this into a game. The giggles get louder as I try to cover her mouth.
"Look at your belly!" she giggles.
I can finally see, and I am out of breath.
"It looks like you're havin' a baby in dair," she pats my belly. "Mommy you gotta do your exercises."
I hear people in the fitting rooms giggling now.
"Well, I've had TWO kids come out of this belly!" I said loud enough for all to hear. "Let's go Maurissa!"

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The Toof Fairy is a Teef

Maurissa (now six) lost another tooth! Actually it was loose and SHE pulled it.
“Oh my gosh! I hope I get a lot of money this time from the tooth fairy!”
She was so excited about it. She had to find something to put the tooth in-before putting it under her pillow.
“You’re puttin’ your tooth in a sock?” I asked.
“Well, last time I loseded my toof, the fairy didn’t get it. I don’t think she could see it.”
That was our [mommy and daddy] fault. We are new at this stuff. We put the money under the pillow but forgot to get the tooth. Gotta remember that this time.
“Last time you ‘lost’ your tooth. And try to get an old sock or one without a mate,” I told her.
Skipping off to her room, she nonchalantly replied, “Mama it’s just a sock. It’s not a big deal.”
I glared at her going up the steps as she flashed her new jack-o-lantern look.
“Well, maybe you can buy your own socks with your money from the TOOF fairy!”
On any other night, it was like pulling teeth- all pun intended- to get her and her younger brother to bed. But just like the previous three times, she lost teeth- she was getting in bed…on time…on her own…with a short prayer and a smile. Praying that God would…
“Please help the toof fairy to give me more dollars so I can put it wiff my oder monies I got so I can get the Polly Pocket boat. You know da one like my friend Ricki has at her house. And please help my wittle brother (grimacing) to lose his own teef so he can get his own stuff and not play wit mines! Amen!”
It didn’t take her long to fall asleep.
Daddy and I planned to go in just before we turned in, and do our tooth fairy duties and exchange her little tooth for two or three dollars.
Well…it didn’t happen that way. We fell asleep watching television.
Fortunately, I did wake up-as most moms do- before the two little ones. Minutes after starting breakfast, it hit me- I FORGOT TO PUT MONEY UNDER HER PILLOW!
Frantically, I ran to my bedroom. Fumbling through my purse, I realized I spent my last bit of cash at the grocery store yesterday. For a brief unrealistic moment I looked at my checkbook.
“NO!” the rational part of my brain said.
I rant to wake daddy.
“Please tell me you have some cash on you?” I asked.
He slowly moved to look for his wallet. Slowly.
Snapping my fingers I told him to hurry. “You know she will be up any minute. Come on!”
But he didn’t have any cash on hand either.
Then it hit me! I remembered her prayer. She had money in her jewelry box in the top of her closet. I could take a few dollars from there and replace it later after breakfast. An ATM was five minutes from the house. I took three dollars out and quietly slipped them under her pillow.
It was close. Minutes later she was up.
“The toof fairy came!” she yelled.
We ran up to her room with a convincingly surprised look.
“Wow! How much did you get princess?” I asked, smiling and winking at Daddy.
“I got three dollars!”
She jumped out of bed and followed us downstairs for breakfast.
“See mommy’s are always thinking on their feet,” I whispered to Daddy.
“I’m glad you were thinking,” he replied, gulping down a glass of orange juice.
Putting the glass down on the table, he asked, “Now how much do you need for that Polly Pocket thing you were talking ‘bout?”
I vividly pictured the eggs in front of me, hitting him in the face. But I let go of the bowl. I put my face in my hands and shook my head.
“What?” he asked.
Maurissa’s fork hit her plate and she was off to her room… to get her jewelry box…to count her money.
I just looked at Daddy while he calmly ate his breakfast- being careful not to look up.
She slowly came back to the table.
Disappointed she said, “I think the toof fairy took some of my money. And…(she opens her hand) she forgot the toof.”
I didn’t know what to say.
“The toof fairy is a teef!” she said.
“You mean a Thief,” Daddy corrected.
I stared at him again in disbelief.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Too Early For the Birds and the Bees

Our kids' creativity can be such a lifesaver. We see two animals having sex and before we have to come up with our fabricated story, our three-year-old comes up with an explanation.
He tells his sister, "Wook! He giving him a piggyback ride!" And his thoughtful sister replies, "Ooh, that's so sweet of him." Daddy and I look at each other- we'll take that (explanation) one.

Packing A Child's Lunch

Okay. Okay. I probably shouldn't write this one. I don't want anyone to hold me responsible for what my husband does. But I gotta tell it, and I would love to get some feedback from someone out there in cyberspace. I mean hey, maybe it's just me but...
Yesterday I get called out of my classroom to pick up a call on line one. I "book-it" to the phone, confident that it is an important call for them to interrupt our class. My first guess... it's probably the daycare and our son is either sick or "showing out" and I had my money on the latter. I pick up the phone and announce my name and it is the daycare..... director.
"Is everything okay? I ask. "Well, your son doesn't have anything to eat. Well, all he has is popcorn." I look around then simply ask, "What?" She explained that all he had in his lunch bag was a BAG of popcorn- nothing else. "Not even a Capri Sun to drink?" I asked. He did have a drink. "I'm so sorry. My husband must have been in a rush or something this morning and forgot to pack the rest of his lunch." "Well does he eat raviolis?" she asked. Our son eats is a finicky eater. He loves chicken, french fries, potato chips and.... did I say chicken? We usually slip him grilled pork chop and fish by telling him it is chicken and he will examine it first, which consists of putting his nose on the meat, before he eats it.
I apologize to her two more times and offer to bring him something but she says she will find him something. "If he doesn't want to eat what I have, I guess we could just pop his popcorn," she offers. By this time, my eyes are closed and I have bitten my bottom lip. Dude packed a bag of popcorn for them to pop. I thanked her, hung up, then picked the phone up again and dialed Dude at work. Can you believe he actually thought it was okay.
"Well, that's what he asked for! He didn't want anything else!"
"You know those daycare teachers are talking about you- no us. They think we either don't have food in the house or that we (hate it has to be plural) are just dysfunctional parents," I told him. We will just have to let our THREE-YEAR-OLD pack his own lunch. Who's the parent here?

Monday, March 26, 2007

Sometimes the Apple Does Fall Far From the Tree

I really do try to live right and try to teach our kids to live right. Well sometimes "the dark side" creeps in. (I could hear James Earl Jones voice and see the black plastic suit as I wrote that).
"The apple don't fall far from the tree", I hear this adage too often- especially when I am telling a relative about our kids. I finally told my mom something the other day and there was a silence instead of the recycled adage.
Our daughter constantly runs in to tell us that her "little" brother hit her. I usually call him in and reprimand him for it. Well.... this time my response was different: "Hit his little butt back!" Once the words left my mouth, I stopped what I was doing and just closed my eyes. What kinda mom are you? You don't encourage your children to fight! The good part of my brain said. I folded my arms and laid back in my chair. Well your mama told you if someone hits you that you betta try to knock 'em out! The other part of my brain said.
I could hear commotion in the other room. Then she [daughter] came in with her hands on her hips. "Mommy. He won't stay still so I can hit him back!"
I shook my head. "Baby it don't work like that. You gotta-" Before I could go into my spill here comes the little one- being all boy. "Nana, nana pooh pee, you can't git me!" he teased her.
She ran after him.
Now back in my five-year-old days, my little brother would have been the one crying, so she didn't get that from me.

Friday, March 16, 2007

The Nerve to Question Me

Earlier this week our two little angels got themselves in a bit of trouble. Are ya surprised? Well we had to "get them". Afterwards, in between sniffles and "I won't do it again" looks, I explained that we are supposed to correct them and that the bible tells us to spank them when they do wrong... over and over.... and over again. "Yes mam", they said in unison.

Well I thought it was done and the next few days were new days- their slates were sorta wiped clean. Well the little smart five-year-old comes to me while I'm cooking spaghetti yesterday and she has a book in her hand. She looks up at me inquisitively and says, "Mama can you show me in here where God tells you to spank us?" I bang the spoon on the side of the pan to get the sauce off. "You can look it up... it's in Proverbs!" I tell her. So she goes to the table and begins looking it up. "It starts with a P mama, right?"

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

I Don't Even Have A Title for This One!


I told a friend recently that I should write a book and title it Diary of A Dysfunctional Mom. I must say two things before telling this: 1) We really do discipline our kids; 2) We don't sit around and teach them these things.
I pulled up front and waited for Daddy to go in to get our three-year-old from daycare. Before going in the door he looked back and held up his fingers... they were crossed. I united with him and raised my crossed fingers.
A voice came from the seat behind me. "Mommy, why did you show your fingers to my daddy?" our daughter asked.
"We are just hoping he had a good day and stayed on green and not red," I sighed. "Yellow would even be acceptable".
"Oh. But he'll be on red," she said. "But I had a good day mommy!"
As more time went by I grew skeptical that it was a good day.
I watched as people continued to come out smiling. Finally it was their turn. The windows of our van were up but I could see Daddy's mouth moving and our son had a walk of purpose with his nostrils flared.
Daddy slid the door open.
"You know better!" Daddy shouted. He continued to reprimand him while buckling him in his car seat. As he closed the door, our son said, "Yes ma'am."
Daddy glared at him as he got into his seat. "I'm a sir!"
I safely assumed he didn't have a good day.
"We gone have to start pattin' him down every morning before he leaves the house," Daddy said. "He had a tantrum because he snuck his Thomas the Trains in and when they took them he had a fit."
I looked back at our son.
Daddy continued.
"I knew something was up when he ran into the building and told me bye."
"What's wrong with that?" I asked
"Normally he wants me to walk him in or pick him up. Not today because he had stuffed a train in each of his pockets."
The teacher asked him to calm down and he said, "You calm down!"
Did I mention he is three?
She then told him to cool it and he said, "You cool it!"
"I'm going to call your mom and dad," she warned.
He put his hand on his hip and said, "Excuse me!"
A week or two earlier we had to get him because his teacher told him he was not going to get a treat because he had not been good in class and he told her, "I'm going to get all the treats and eat them."
His back was to the door that day so he didn't see Daddy come in and see him acting out. When he saw him he jumped and started crying. So he knows better.

I Don't Know What To Say

Well I was so proud of my husband. He fixed the toilet. But for some reason, and I know I'm wrong, I couldn't quite exhale and fully accept it. That it was fixed- no strings attached. Well... for a few weeks we were all excited that we had two bathrooms again. It's sad that we went so long with it being "out of order" that we were all coming out of the bathroom now with a smile on our faces.
Then we got a water bill five times our usual amount. Surely there was a mistake. You know I called. I was told that we used thousands of gallons of water more than usual.
"But we haven't veered from our normal routine and our bill has never been this high," I explained.
She checked our history and agreed that it was more than usual.
"You must have a leak or something. Check the toilets in your house to make sure they aren't continuously running- sometimes there is a problem with the handle staying down".
When she said that I closed my eyes and exhaled. I knew it.
"Mam? Hello?"
I opened my eyes. "Yes, I'm here".
She asked me to check things around the house to make sure there wasn't any water running and call her back. The first thing I checked was the toilet Dude fixed. To my surprise it wasn't running. My confidence was building back up. I checked everywhere and there weren't any leaks.
I called back and the representative advised me to check outside. As I hung up my husband came home. I told him everything.
"What! Naw, naw we ain't payin' no bill that high for water!"
I rolled my eyes and asked him to check outside. There weren't any leaks around the house but there was water coming out of the meter box in our front yard. Lots and lots of water.
He had a replay look. Replay(v): he quickly and silently went through the steps he took when he fixed the toilet. He acted it out well too. I could see him with tools in his hand. Thinking he shut off a valve but probably cut it instead.
To end this painful story, we got a plummer to come out and he had to dig up half the yard to fix it and of course it wasn't cheap. It will be some time before Dude will be playing golf.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Dirty Birdie

Don't think because I have not written in a few weeks that we have not had any comedy in our home. Nope. I'm not sure if there is a day that goes by when there isn't something humorous with our two kids and "Dude".
The toilet in our bathroom had been out of order for about three months or so. We did not know what happened to it but the two adults put two and two together and safely wagered that one of the minors did something to it. We were fair- we asked them who did it and how it happened.
"Well mommy-" one started, then I cut it short. "Never mind!" I said. When they start with "Well" this is equivalent to an adult saying, "What had happened was".
We figured one or both of 'em flushed something that should not have been flushed. My bet was on the five-year-old and her gullible brother was an accomplice. Our daughter is good at rallying the troop. When she was three, the Sunday School teacher caught her in the stall of the church bathroom, plunging the toilet after trying to flush her new Christmas purse. I loved that purse. It had a matching dress and jacket. I know I'm getting off the point but I want to just give you a feel for how upset I was when the purse was ruined. I didn'teven know she knew how to use a plunger at three or that they kept one in the bathroom of the church. Anyway.....
After months of having to run upstairs to use the bathroom, Dude finally decided to try to fix the toilet himself. He must have googled information about fixing it because he did things that made sense: cut off the water to the house from the outside, then took the toilet completely up and took it outside to pump it out. I'm not sure about everything he pulled out of there but I heard a lot of griping and sucking of the teeth.
"Look at this! This makes no sense! Now see this- um, um, um, um" were just some things I could make out.
After about fifteen more minutes of gripes and "What is this?", he found what had caused all the grief: a toy bird.
"Oh I remember that bird," I told him. "I haven't seen it and forgot all about it."
Daddy was proud. He fixed it and saved us from spending money on a plumber. Now Daddy will tell you he's not a "Mr. Fix It", so it was enough to make him stick out his chest and suck on some sunflower seeds wearing his 'OWBOYS shirt.
Our son was extremely excited to be reunited with his toy bird. He ran over to get it, not realizing two things: 1) We knew it was his so there was a chance that uh...he did it; 2) It had been in the toilet for some time now blocking other things trying to go through that needed to go through, which meant it was very dirty.
"Daddy can I have my bird?" he asked. "No!" I quickly responded. "That bird is going IN the trash can".
He began crying so I tried to be a good rational parent and calmly explained that "the bird is too dirty and you have plenty of other toys to play with".
He continued to cry.
"He, he, will be sad by heself in the flashcan," he explained. "He, he feelings gone be hurt".
I continued to try to talk nicely and calm him down, but he continued with his tantrum. He began running in place- looking like the girl from the movie, Flashdance. I'd finally snapped and said, through my teeth, "You not gettin' that dirty birdie back. That bird almost cost us some money for a plumber so I don't care about that bird!"
He got himself together finally. He began walking away then glared back at me. Using two fingers he poked himself in the eye and said, "I got yo' eyes on you!"
I thought, "Isn't that supposed to be, 'I got MY eyes on you'?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Should've Left Her in the Car!

Sometimes I just need to trust my gut and go with it. I should have let my husband drop me off and go handle my business alone. Our son was in the car sleep and our daughter asked, with a smile, if she could go in with me. The smile should have been a red flag but I let her come.
"Just be quiet and sit still," I warned her.
"Okay mommy," she replied, while skipping into the building.
I went into the sales manager's office. I noticed something about his eyes.
"Hello!" he said, shaking my hand. "Who is this pretty little girl?" he asked.
I looked at her and she was smiling and extending her hand. "Nice to meet you," she smiled.
He seemed impressed. If he only knew.
We didn't get a chance to sit down when she said, "Hey, your eyes look weird."
I quickly changed the subject.
"It's getting cold again, eh?"
While he talked, I pinched her and pushed her by the shoulder to sit down.
"Mommy, you are hurting my shoulder," she interrupted.
I pretended not to know what she was talking about, and then turned back to him.
As he talked, I figured out what was going on with his eyes: his eyes were crossed or "cock-eyed" as my grandmother would say.
His phone rang. "Excuse me for a minute, please."
While he talked on the phone briefly, she came up to me and asked, "Mommy what's wrong with is eyes?"
I tried to explain that they were crossed and that it was something that he couldn't help but it may happen to people.
"What's crossed eyes mommy?"
"Shh!" I told her. "Go back and sit down in that chair!"
He ended his call and we began to wrap up our business.
I almost made it out, when I heard her say, "Two mommy's; two chairs and two mens."
I turn to look at her and she her eyes are crossed and she is pointing to each thing she is referring to.
"Stop it, right now!" I tell her under my breath and gave a fake smile to the manager. "Get over here now!"
She comes toward me, with her eyes still crossed and trips. I'm worried about her being hurt, but she gets up and continues. "Two mommys, two mens, two desk."
I wanted to disappear. I should have left her in the car.

Mouth, mouth, mouth!

Our daughter came out the womb with over-the-top personality. She had us on our toes before she was on her toes. Then our little boy came 23 months later and I remember looking up to heaven smiling and saying, "Oh, so you aren't mad at me God!"
He slept through the night, in his crib- was so laid back and easy going. Notice the word "was".... past tense. Once he started walking and talking and hanging with his sister-it was a wrap. He went from not talking much to mouth, mouth, mouth! And he tries to be sneaky about it...... at three! And his sister, the prayer warrior, wants to pray for him all the time, but she doesn't feel like she needs anyone to pray for her. "I'm an angel and he is an angel too, but he's a broken angel," she always says.

He came home from daycare and said, "My teacher said the police was gonna get me."
Oh I was hot. "Did you cut up that bad that she resulted to saying that?"
He admitted that he didn't have a good day. So I told him to sit in time-out. "No toys this evening. This is the third day in a row you have not had a good day!"
He went to timeout, but not without crying.
"Stop that crying and sit until I tell you to get up, and I'm looking at you too- so don't think you are going to sneak away!" I said.
When I turned my back he said-under his breath and with attitude, "And I'm 'wookin' at you too."
The house was quiet.
I turned toward him so quick but he was quicker. With opened-arms and a stutter, he said, "I'm 'wookin' at you because I love you mommy."
Quick for a three-year-old. I didn't get him but he still did his time in timeout.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

You Ain't Supposed To Get Any Sleep!

A good friend recently had her first child. She said it was her first and last. We'll see.
"How can I get through this whole sleep deprivation thing?" she asked me.
"Uh, it's called sleep DEPRIVE-ation," I told her. "You ain't supposed to get any sleep."
She told me that she felt wicked in the mornings but her husband wakes up humming. Well she picked the wrong friend to call. Dude is snoring now. Snored loudly before we had kids; in the hospital room the first night they both came into the world and anytime in between.
"Uh, does it make you wanna throw something- something heavy- at him, when you are up with the baby and he's sleeping peacefully?" I asked, while having flashbacks of my sleep deprived nights.
She went on to say that the baby sleeps a little longer when she puts her [baby] in the bed with them.
"Hey, you aren't the first and not the last- do what ya gotta do," I said.
"Well he [her husband] says I need to put her in the crib and so does the pediatrician."
I waited to see if she was making a statement or if she wanted feedback from me.
"Hello, you there?" she asked.
"Yes I'm here but I'm trying to think before I speak."
I slept with our daughter, the first born, and her doctor told me not to and so did relatives. I learned to "hear" them, but I, did what I had to do to get some sleep. And I did get more and it prevented me from reaching over and hurting Dude while he slept.
So she asked me when and how I finally got our daughter to sleep in her own bed.
I laughed and told her, "It's not your typical story of transition".

Monday, January 15, 2007

What to do, What to do?

Losing teeth, falling, walking for the first time, potty training,first words, and fathers buying double-barrelled shotguns when it is time for their daughters to date. These are all things we know, as parents, we will have to deal with. But then there are some things that come up that you just aren't- well I'm not prepared for.
I'm making snacks Saturday when I hear our daughter yelling for me from upstairs. I drop everything and run to her rescue.
"Where are you?" I scream once I reach the top of the stairs.
"I'm in here," she moans.
I realize she is in the bathroom. I slowly open the door and there she is on the toilet with tears in her eyes and enough tissue in her hand for 20 adults.
Her little face is red and she looks drained.
"What's wrong?" I ask her.
She tries to tell me but I can't understand her with all the crying.
"Calm down. Just calm down, baby," I tell her while I look around. Maybe she saw something, I didn't know.
She finally tells me what it is. "I'm trying to make stinky but it's stuck in my butt, mommy."
I just look at her for a few seconds. Her lips keep moving and I'm sure words were coming out but the receiving part of my brain couldn't get it together because all I could think about was how the heck was I going to help her or who could I call. What friend could I call who could give me some helpful advice without laughing hysterically?
"Mommy. Mommy?"
"Okay baby just stand up," I told her.
"NO!" she squealed.
"Can you just take a deep breath and suck it back in?"
Her head turned like a curious little puppy.
"I mean just make your body bring it back in," I explained.
"Bring what in, mommy?"
"You know your stinky," I said.
She started crying again uncontrollably. I began pacing in front of the Winnie the Pooh shower curtain, trying to figure out what to do.
"Shh, shh," I rubbed her head. I then began rubbing her back and stomach, then realized how dumb it was and that it would not help.
Amid the crying, I snapped. "You're just gonna have to either push it out or make it go back in".
She then began bouncing on the seat and yelled, "No, no, no. It hurts. I can't!"
So I stooped down in front of her and began telling her how sometimes I have a hard time using the bathroom and that I knew how she was feeling, when suddenly I noticed her face getting red again and her eyes are getting tighter. Then suddenly, the sound I wanted to hear- "Plop".
"I did it! I did it! All by myself!" she exclaimed.
"Whoa! That's as big as me, mommy," she remarked, looking in the toilet. "I don't know if that's going to flush," she added.
"Just flush it," I told her. "And wash your hands".
That was a relief- for her and for me.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Personal Prayers

Bedtime tonight was such a hoot. Our son didn't have a good day at daycare today, but our daughter got an "O" for Outstanding in school today so she was beside herself.
After brushing their teeth, we knelt down for prayer. "Mommy can I say the prayer, please?" our daughter asked. I almost said no. I closed my eyes and bowed my head and waited for her to start. After a few seconds I opened one eye to find her staring at her brother as if she was the mama. "Close your eyes. God is watching you!" she told him.
"Just worry about yourself and pray," I warned her. "Close your eyes and unfold your arms," I warned him. I told her to go on with her prayer.
now i lay me down to sleep, i pray the Lord my soul to keep. angels watch me through the
night, ahlal wait in the morning light. Lord, please help my little brother do the right things
forgive him for doing the wrong things. thank you for making me an angel but he is a
broken angel who needs love. help my little brother to not play with my little mermaid
and my dora castle because he gots his own toys. and help him to tell mommy and daddy
the troof that he drawed on the wall downstairs in their closet.
I clear my throat loudly and raise my eyebrows. and please God, help mommy to get up
on time and not get mad at me when-

I interrupted and told her to just say amen. in Jesus name i pray, amen.
Once we were up, I tucked her in, gave her a kiss and said goodnight. I had to drag our son into his room. He got into his bed and his lip was out. I laid beside him and told him that he makes me sad when he doesn't do the right things in daycare. I told him that God doesn't like it and could see him. "He can't see me cause he is not in my room," he said. "Oh yes he can see you and he is in your (pointing to his chest) heart". He shook his head. "No he not." I almost agreed with him at that point. I decided to pray over him. I was about to close my eyes and I noticed his hands were over his ears. I just looked at him and thought, "My personal prayer God, is that I don't have to serve any time for anything."

No Double-Dipping!!

I'm funny about food. I need to know a few things about the food before consuming it: #1 Who cooked it? #2 Do they have any pets (the ones people keep as pets voluntarily and the ones that only come out when company comes over)? #3 What does the inside of their house look like? #4 Do they double-dip?
You can't judge a book by its cover and you can't judge food by its looks. The salmon salad may look good and smell great but the cook may have had her back turned while Fido sniffed and licked a spot or two. Cats are quick and quiet.
And, as in our case, the cook may keep a clean house, no pets of any kind, but..... there may be some DOUBLE-DIPPERS!!! (You hear the Psycho music playing?) And you don't know if someone double-dips unless you catch 'em in the act. We have two (D-Ds) in our house and they are minors: The Kids. And I am an Equal Opportunity Refuser- I don't discriminate.
Our two wanted to make cookies. I assisted a bit but you know they are at that independent age so I had to sit down and watch while they stirred the mix. They argued over who stirred more times. While they argued, I watched television, until I noticed they weren't arguing anymore. It's a shame that this worried me. I leaned back in my chair and saw them eating the dough from the spoons, then they put the spoons back in the bowl and continued stirring. GROSS! I put the chair back down, folded my arms and said, "Oh naw! I don't want the cookies now."
Then Daddy smacked his lips and said, "They are just kids". "And?" I asked.
I had a flash back to my childhood when relatives double-dipped but I guess I just didn't know any better. I pictured a cousin mixing kool-aid in a dingy plastic container. Half her arm in the water stirring. She slowly pulls the spoon out- tastes it while holding it over the container. "Needs more sugar," she'd say, then put the same spoon back in and stir more. I did drink it. Why? I was young and thirsty after being outside in the heat all day. You know back then once you went out to play, you had to stay out all day. "Do not run in and out of this house!" my aunt would shout.
The kids finally were ready to spoon the dough onto the pan. Well they fingered the dough out and liked how it felt between their little fingers so they played with it and played with it. And played with it before placing it on the pan to bake. I just closed my eyes. Then one of them started sneezing and it wasn't covered. I could see the spit from his mouth forming the words "eeeek" as it gently covered the cookie dough. Sniffing followed and a hand was used to wipe.
I finally helped them get the pan into the oven. They were so excited about their cookies! When the strangely-shaped cookies were out and cooled I made sure Daddy was the first one presented with the germs- I mean delights. "Daddy couldn't wait to get to these cookies, and they smell so good," I told them. "Don't worry if there isn't enough for me, let Daddy have 'em all". My, my, how I put my husband first.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Marriage 101

I need to write a book. A helpful guide for married couples. I'd keep it real and I'd even talk about the few- very few- times I am at fault. Few, few, few. I've learned a few things over the years about partnership and bliss: When it comes to an argument, women will win almost every time. Why? We have better memories and we can bring up things that aren't relavant to the argument at hand or old stuff, and consequently make our husbands experience a variety of emotions at one time: anger, guilt, curiosity, regret- the list could go on. And recently I discovered something new I can do (gosh I hope Dude don't read this one).

First let's review: It's "husband" and "daddy" when I'm not mad at him and "Dude" when I am.

Every now and then my husband will complain about us not spending quality time together. *this has come up since his football season ended, but once he has the boys coming in lifting weights the complaints will cease. Well he was watching a football game recently so I sat with him to watch and get my "quality time" in. I like to talk but when he is watching a game he is on another planet and doesn't come back down to earth until a commercial comes on.

I began to ask questions.... while the game was on, and while the ball was in play.

"What's the score?" Before he could answer, I followed with, "Oh, my bad I see it now."
He moved to the edge of the couch. I knew this meant he was really into the game now. I hear one of the analyst say something about "blitz". "What's that," I asked. He doesn't hear me, so I ask again, "What's that?" He turns to me as if he's bothered. "What's what?"
"Good Lord, I'm sorry I asked anything!" I replied. He closes his eyes and gives a long sigh. "No baby I'm sorry," he said and tries to comfort me. I fold my arms like a child having a tantrum. Quickly he is back into the game. Then I'm back at it. "Wooh! I like those uniforms." He rolls his eyes but doesn't comment. So I try again.
"Just go to the I-formation, gracious!" I shout at the television. I'd heard some analyst use this term before. "The I!" I repeat. He gives me a get-the-heck-outta- here look. I jump at the opportunity to go. "Well fine. I'll let you have the living room since I am gettin' on your nerves!" I tell him as I storm out the room. I went to our bedroom, flopped on our bed and flipped to Lifetime Television. Next time he's watching a game, I'll do it again and send myself shopping once I work his nerves. You know I'll be ready next time he says something about us spending more time together. I was basically put out and I'll use that in my argument.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

How'd We Miss That?

We sometimes try to hard to be perfect parents and I've just come to the realization that there is no such thing as perfect parents. I have tried to monitor what they are exposed to a little too much. When we have a babysitter I routinely go down the list of what they can do and what they can watch on television. "No videos, no shows dealing with fighting and nothing with vulgar language- just let them keep it on Disney Channel or PBS." But some of these shows or networks can't be trusted.
The other day our two were bickering over something. They had been at it all day. I'd had it with them and the picking. I mean they just got all this stuff for Christmas so they should be okay right? Well no! They want to play with each other toys and depending on the other's mood, it ain't happening. Our daughter wants to play with his Rescue Rangers tower because you can record yourself on the tower and she gets a kick out of hearing herself.
"My brother has a stinky butt head face," she records and plays back. She falls on her back laughing and kicking then you hear, "WHAP!" You know her brother isn't going to let that go. Then she's crying. And I'll be honest, they are at it so much that- and I ain't sayin' it's right but- I will not jump to intervene. "Do you not hear them in there fighting?" Dude asks.
"Is either one bleedin'?" I ask. He goes in and tells them to stop it and tells them to apologize to one another. They do but it isn't genuine and I know they will do it again soon.
Ten minutes later, they are at it again.
"No you can't play with my train," our three-year-old says.
"Well fine then you can't play with my Dora castle," our five-year-old screams.
Dude's face crinkles. He hates for our son to play with, in his eye, girl toys. They continue.
"If you touch my Dora castle again then I'm gonna tear your tail up!"
Our son answers, "You don't tell me what to do. You not a dulp". (Yes it's spelled right- he's three and he was trying to say an adult.)
There was a break in the conversation and this usually indicates something physical coming so Dude yells for them to come in our room. Then he starts his Cliff Huxtable thing..... talking. Oh I had something that would talk alright.
"Look now. If you two can't get along then you can just go up to your rooms and not play at all," he says. "Brothers and sisters don't fight," he adds.
"Well we do," remarks our son.
Cliff, I mean Dude just looks at him for a few seconds then says, "I tell you what. I was trying to be nice because yo mama wanted to get you, so just go sit in there on the couch for time out". "You mean on the love seat?" our son asks. Dude points and tells them, "Just go!"
They drop their heads, and begin to march out of our room then we hear our daughter say something jaw-dropping, "Pervert".
Dude and I stop what we are doing and look at each other. "Come here!" he firmly says to her. "Do you know what a pervert is?" he asks. She just looks at him. So he tells her, "A pervert is a nasty person". Her look says that she understands and that she is sticking with it.
By this time I am trying not to laugh. I just can't believe she would say that just because they had to go to time out.
So they go on and we sit there trying to figure out where she got it from.
A few days later, they beg us to watch Ice Age- The Meltdown, only for the umpteenth time. While watching we realize that we had been monitoring the wrong stuff. In one of the scenes a possum calls the mammoth a pervert. How'd we miss that?