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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?