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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'?