Okay, I’m having a hard time sorting out what I want to write. Actually, I know exactly what I want to write, it’s how to write it that has me stumped. Because this is going to make some people mad. Ah, well…here goes:
My daughter has a step-mom. Actually, she has a wonderful step-mom. My daughter adores her. She helps my kiddo pick out clothes, get ready for school, eat right, and all the other things that she would do for own children if she had any.
My daughter calls her step-mom “Mom” occasionally. I have no problem at all with that. My daughter invited both her step-mom and me to Mother’s Day Tea at her school last year. So we both went.
My daughter spends every other week with her dad and step-mom. Sometimes her dad works late or goes out with his friends and my daughter is home with her step-mom all night. I think that’s great- they get some special time together.
I have never and will never say anything negative about this woman in front of my child. And I know she would never speak ill of me either. I will never try to convince, persuade, coerce, or bribe my child into believing that her step-mom is somehow less important than I am.
I know I am a good mom. Not perfect, but damn good. I love my children with all my heart and I would do anything for them. That includes instilling in them the knowledge that every family is different and that we all need to be respectful of one another. I may not agree with all the rules at my daughter’s dad’s house, but it’s HIS house and therefore HIS rules. It is not my place to discuss the logic of those rules with my daughter. That’s his job- or step-mom’s.
So…why all the biomom vs. step-mom drama? Why can’t people see that the CHILD IS AFFECTED by this? How would YOU feel if I told you YOUR mom was a b**ch? Or anyone else that you loved? Now, I understand that some people make it REALLY, REALLY hard to be nice to them. Those are the people I’m talking about though! What is so hard about seeing that your child is developing a healthy, loving relationship with someone and being HAPPY about it?!? If my daughter was born into this world with two families that completely adored her (mine and her dad’s) and she flourished because of it, why on earth would I be opposed to adding another group of people to the list of people that love her?
I just cannot understand the moms and step-moms that spend all their time and energy hurting each other. Do you really think that the child doesn’t see? Do you really think that they will come out of this unscathed? They won’t. This will hurt them. And they will remember it forever.
If you are a step-parent, if your child has a step-parent, if you know any step-parents then please, PLEASE remind them- and yourself- the children are watching and learning.
So what’s being taught?
6/25/2007 Bravery is overrated
Bravery is overrated. I came to this conclusion slowly over the past few months as I watched my youngest daughter attempt new “tricks”.
When my oldest, Tayler, was young she usually needed some encouragement to try new things. Scooters, bikes, battery-powered Barbie car- these were all things that had to be tested and inspected before she would grow to love them. Sometimes I got a bit impatient with the hesitancy, but I figured she was just cautious not really scared, so I didn’t worry.
I should have been grateful.
This weekend we went to my inlaws' house. They have an in-ground pool. Tayler is a great swimmer, so I don’t worry too much about her. But Taryn, who is only 18 mos, has rarely swum before. So we sat at the edge and dangled our toes in the (freezing) water while watching Tayler and Daddy swim and play. Then we watched as Daddy got out of the pool, backed up, ran to the edge and dove into the water. Taryn thought that was hysterical. She nearly fell over in a laughing fit. Then we watched Tayler back up, run, and dive in. More hysterical giggles. After watching a few more dives, Taryn and I got up and started to wander around. She went over to the fence that surrounds the pool and began rubbing her little butt on it- like a bear trying to scratch its back. I watched her, amused at her antics. Then she took off- running as fast as her tiny legs could carry her- straight towards the pool. I was right there, so she was in no real danger- I caught her in plenty of time. But I realized that she was copying Tayler and her dad- back up to the fence, pause, and RUN! She has no fear. She was born without it. That was the clincher, but there have been other clues:
-The time she was at the mall and saw a therapy dog –a St. Bernard- and ran right up to it and tried to climb on. (poor gentle dog)
-When she got her first toddler bike and immediately learned to stand up on the seat and balance there.
-The fact that she loves to fake falling off things.
-The game she played when she was very little where she would be sitting up and just decide to fall over trusting that I, or some other responsible adult, would catch her.
-The way she tries to get more and more of her head under the water every time she gets in the tub.
All this and she’s not even 2.
Yup- every time Tayler stopped to inspect her surroundings, I should have been grateful. I should have stopped to appreciate how studious and cautious she was when it came to her own safety. But I didn’t. And now I’m paying for it by raising a death-defying, laugh-in-the-face-of-danger, wild child.
I hope we make it…
7/27/2007 Drawing the Line
A man and his fiance got engaged on national television (he is a college football player). They are now receiving threats from complete strangers based on the fact that he is black and she is white. At what point did the lives of complete strangers become our business? When will we realize that putting others down for their choices only brings us down? What business is it of ours if these two choose to marry? If you do not think that interracial marriages are appropriate, don’t have one. But leave other people alone. I, personally, don’t believe that wearing short sleeves in weather colder than 65 degrees is appropriate but it would never occur to me to harass and degrade people who do. Because that is their choice and it has absolutely no bearing on my life.
A woman called my daughter a brat once. I don’t know this woman, we were just on the same bus. My daughter was about 3 and was chattering about her day at preschool and all the things she could see out the window. Apparently, this annoyed the woman, who looked away from me and muttered (not very quietly) “little brat!” When did it become appropriate in our society to judge people and criticize them before bothering to get to know them at all? When did it become socially acceptable to openly insult a child to whom you are in no way connected? My daughter was not bothering anyone, she was not screaming, or even loud. This woman had no reason and no right to insert herself into my world.
Those are just two small examples, but I see a growing trend of people unable and/or unwilling to mind their own business. If you see a child who has wandered away from his mom- yes, you help him to find her. But if you see a child eating a snack that has, in your opinion, too much sugar- keep your mouth shut and your face neutral. You have absolutely no way of knowing whether that child is enjoying their celebratory birthday soda or if it’s their all-day drink. Do you know why you don’t know? Because it’s none of your business.
Prevent HARM. Stop the child who got away from dad and is running toward the street. Provide tissues to the child at the park who got a bloody nose. Help the elderly man get that gallon of milk out of the cart. But stop there. Do not scold the dad whose child ran- your kids do it too and you know it. Do not shake your head at the mother who neglected to bring her own tissues to the park- you’ve forgotten things before. And do not comment on how the old man should have help to go shopping- if you find yourself old and alone, you wouldn’t want perfect strangers pointing out your solitude.
My point here is that you know your world. You do not know mine. If you have a comment, please think before you speak. You may just be the 9,000th person to point out that my daughter’s pigtails are crooked. And that is neither helpful nor appreciated, no matter what you think.
8/3/2007 In Their Little Heads.
That's how it starts. It's a demand, really. And over the course of the next 25 minutes, I stroll along trying to figure out what goes on in that little head...
We stop to pick up sticks. Then we use the sticks to poke mommy and giggle maniacally. Then we run. Then we stop short and sit down. Then we find another tasty rock and pitch a fit when mom takes it away.
Now we'll crawl. Yes, crawling on sidewalk while wearing shorts is a FANTASTIC idea!! The we'll cry, since we're injured from crawling on the sidewalk in shorts...
But now...OH!!!! A PUPPY!!!! We laugh and scream "puppy!". If the puppy barks, we bark back! Then we run to the puppy to give it giant hugs!! The puppy takes one little, itsy-bitsy step..... and we run away screaming.
Mom looks tired, so now we take F...O...R...E...V...E...R to go 3 feet. Now that she's resigned to taking forever, we run!!! We'll just take a few steps into this random yard- nope mom's not going for it. Fine then we'll just rip out these flowers and be on our way...."
At least that's how I imagine it goes.
8/10/2007 Thank You For Your Comment. Now Please Shut Up.
Recently I’ve read a lot of posts from other moms asking others for advice on how to deal with the unpleasant comments they sometimes receive in stores, post offices, etc regarding their kid(s). You know, the ones from (usually) women who disapprove of the behavior of the children, age gap between the children, number of children, whatever. So I have compiled a selection of responses that should help.
“Wow, I’m so sorry that you have completely forgotten the unbridled joy of being a child. It must be hard to see young children delighting in life when you can’t seem to do the same.”
“Yes perfect children would be nice. However, call me quirky, I prefer mine to have thoughts, ideas, and spirits of their own.”
“To look at a child and see their behavior as that of a child is a blessed ability. I know it’s hard in our society, but please try to remember that these are not just exceptionally small adults- they are children. And they tend to act like them.”
“Yes, there are five of them. Yes, that’s a lot. What can I say, I’m SuperMom.”
“They sure are close in age. Good thing it’s my business and not yours!”
“Well their day of accompanying me on errands would be the equivalent of you getting up at 4am, running a marathon-twice, then standing perfectly still for 2 hours, followed by several jumps in and out of your car for no apparent reason, a light snack- spilled on your shirt. All the while you would be accompanied by several of your friends, with whom you may not have any fun, and you would constantly be stared at and judged by people who are more important than you for reasons you do not understand. After a day like that, would you be waiting patiently for stamps, you think?”
“I’m sure your children were perfect- for you. Most children are, just as these ones are perfect for me. Thank you for the reminder.”
If, however, you are feeling particularly bitchy, you can just use the title above.
8/24/2007 I Am Such A Dork.
Okay, so the baby finally went to bed after being all revved up from the "bonus kids" here all evening...and I quietly slipped away to the porch to indulge in my filthy habit. So I'm sitting there, smoking, when this huge freakin' bug dive-bombs me, circles my head and disappears. Of course, being the outdoorsy, nature-loving girl that I am, I simply...freaked the hell out. Yup, jumped up, spun around karate-style (seriously, did I think I was gonna PUNCH the bug?!?), threw my cigarette and looked around frantically. It was gone. Or was it? It had disappeared behind me....
I slowly turned my head to look where I'd been sitting...no ginormous bug. So I squeezed my eyes shut, hoped for the best, and looked further behind me...OH MY GOD IT'S ON MY BUTT!!! Chillin' on the pocket of my pants ON MY BUTT!! You know I kept my cool, right? Sure. I threw the door open, took two steps inside and ripped those pants off! So now I'm standing in my (open) doorway with no pants on and the bug is now loose in my house. Fantastic plan, wouldn't you say?
Did you know bugs can scream? Me neither. But this sucker sure could. Eventually my cats cornered it in the living room where they toyed with it for a while as it flapped it ridiculously large (and threatening, might I add) wings and made this horrific screaming sound. Then the kitties allowed it to get too close to my temporary stakeout point and I THWACKED it with a flyswatter. It screamed and jumped and wiggled under the couch where I have lost track of it. I think it finally died cause the cats lost interest.
It was huge. It was the Schwarzenegger of bugs It was a bug on 'roids. And it screamed. I think it was a mutant bug.
Not only am I now officially a dork, I am also officially a girl. In the sense that mean 3rd graders use to taunt others. Yup that's me. Dork Girl. And thanks to my antics, my neighbors now have plenty to talk about...
8/31/2007 Why I Stay
On any given day I am meeting with the worst humanity has to offer.
Women who have put their own needs before those of their children, women who are raising children while in the throes of drug/alcohol addiction. Women who heap emotional, mental, and physical abuse onto their children. Women who don’t even acknowledge their children as they follow her all day. Women who are so set in their ways that they allow their children to be removed from their care rather than alter their lifestyles.
I see the effects this has on their kids and the kids of people around them. I see them withdraw, act out, beg for attention, and finally give up. I see them cower when mom calls their name. I see the fear in their eyes as they leave with her. I see the hope when they see she’s in a good mood. I see the hurt when she ignores or degrades them. I see the panic when a caseworker takes them away as they scream for their mom- even though she terrifies them.
I hate that I see this. I have images burned into my brain that I will never be rid of. There are days it is nearly impossible for me to allow my kids out of my sight because of what I saw at work that day.
So why do I stay?
On any given day I am meeting with the best humanity has to offer.
Women who have fled abusive relationships to protect their children. Women who have given up everything they have, everything they own to come here in the hopes of giving their children a better life. Women who bust their butts working two jobs and attending school to save enough money to get a place for their children to call home. Women who struggle day in and day out against stereotypes and judgments.
That’s why I stay.
To see the moms who do it all.
To see the moms who know they can make it.
To see the moms who turn their lives around for the sake of their children.
To see the moms who leave this homeless shelter with a sense of accomplishment and pride.
To give myself hope for humanity.
9/4/2007 I Wanna Be Queen!
Why? Because I’m tired of hearing about our inability to solve anything here in the U.S. Don’t get me wrong, I know we have it good here. I know that when compared to many other countries, we Americans are living the easy life. That’s not what I’m debating here. What I’m talking about are human issues that we have turned into political issues, thereby ensuring that there will never be a viable resolution. So, here we go! My decrees will be as follows:
1. Gun Control There will be background checks on ALL gun purchases. Yes, even gun shows and swap meets. Yes, it’s a hassle. It would be my gut instinct to outlaw guns for civilians altogether, but since you have rights I guess we’ll keep ‘em. But with checks. Extensive and thorough checks. It may inconvenience you, but eventually it may save you too. So stop whining.
2. Prayer In School The same rights that allow you to have your guns also separate religion from state. So, no. No prayer in schools. That is, no organized or led prayer in schools. If a school wants to give students a few moments of silence and call it “Reflective Period” or “Meditation Time” or something equally benign, that’s fine. I don’t really care as long as everyone is included and as long as that inclusion contains the ability to exclude themselves :)
3. Gay/Lesbian Rights So here’s the solution. Gay and lesbian citizens have ALL the same rights as anyone else. That includes marriage, health insurance, and child adoption. Those who do not like it will be given a new home on a hilltop within a gated community. While keeping gay and lesbian individuals out is an unfortunate side effect of this plan, it is not the point. The point is that now the rest of us will know how to easily avoid the judgmental, closed-minded people in the country.
4. War on Terrorism Like the War on Drugs, this one is pointless. You cannot kill a concept any more than you can kill a baggie of dope by shooting it. Yes, drugs are bad and yes, terrorism is bad. But there are better ways to handle things. End the war. Get out of Iraq. Bring our troops home and let the military leaders discuss and decide what, if anything, their next move should be. My guess is that this is a move for government heads to make, not military ones.
5. Child Predators If an individual is convicted on hard, physical evidence of molesting a child, there is no reason for that person to re-enter society. Ever. I see no reason not to employ capital punishment in these cases. If a person is convicted on hard, physical evidence of producing/distributing materials relating to this offense, there is no reason for this person to re-enter society either. If a person is convicted without hard, physical evidence however, capital punishment is out (we all know false convictions are possible).
6. Global Warming It’s real. Deal with it. And do your part to stop it. Municipal recycling programs should be available, free of charge, in ALL areas. This is your planet, your home. Start caring.
So there it is. Oh, to be queen…
9/13/2007 Toddlers... Baffling.
Manic little things, toddlers. No, that's not a misspelling.
I've been watching my daughter whirlwind through her day and I have a few questions.
How is it possible that she is growing? Her food intake: Breakfast- a few cheerios, sucked on, spit out & smushed, the butter off some toast, and a handful of berries. Morning Snack- Two fuzz covered cheerios found on the floor (hopefully from today's breakfast), juice. Lunch- 1/2 hot dog, broccoli (tops only), and the milk that was left in the cup after we tipped it over 4 times. Afternoon snack- 1/2 a cracker (hide the other mushy 1/2 for mommy to find later- in her shoe) and whatever we can steal from Big Sis. Dinner- bits and pieces of whatever's on daddy's plate, totally disregarding that the exact same food is on her plate.
With all her new words, can NONE of them involve "love" and "mommy" in the same sentence? She says "I wuv ooo daddy" and "I wuv ooo dayder" but mom- that's a resounding "NO!!" That's okay, it was just life that I gave you.
All these toys created by maniacal evil geniuses with the singing and he music and the talking in crazy voices...is it really necessary to force parents to open Velcro flaps, locate and use a screwdriver, and remove batteries before we can tell the kids it's broken? Can you not just put a hidden OFF button somewhere?!?
How is it that she can eat chicken nuggets, watch Chicken Little, and even read a book about a lost chicken with no problem but when Old MacDonald gets sung, she is immediately reminded that she is terrified of chickens?
What is with the shoes? On, off, on, off all day long. And not just her shoes- everyone's shoes have to be on- then off- then on again, depending on the mood of our mini-dictator.
And the most important question that I have...the one to which answers are not only appreciated but but honored and revered...the question that has weighed on me for over 20 months...
Where is her damn hair?!?
9/19/2007 Why They're called The Terrible Twos
In the last 7 to 10 days, I have had all of this joy in my life: (please note the sarcasm)
My almost-2y/o demands a drink by saying Cup-Cup. And I always respond with "What do you say?" The usual response from her is "Peeeese." Not anymore. Now when I ask "What do you say?" She looks right at me and says "Milk. Now."
Then we had this oh-so-darling exchange: "Taryn, come change your diaper." Her reply: "No, Amy." Uh- 'scuse me? I do believe you meant MOMMY, you defiant little bugger.
Yawn. Stretch. 5:30am and I'm waking up. I roll over and see a little face next to my bed looking at me. "Mommy and me?" she asks, referring to her sing-along DVD. "No, baby, it's time to go to school" She ponders this and (I am not kidding) replies "I love daddy." and walks off. I believe I was just insulted by a toddler.
"Taryn give mommy kisses." She pretends she is going to and licks my ENTIRE face.
In the car on the way home from work, I tell her we're going home. "Botter daddy?" she asks. "Sure, kiddo, you can bother daddy." Goofball.
All these delightful conversations AND an intermittent sprinkling of hissy-fits, temper tantrums, screaming, crying, throwing things....
Yup, these are the Terrible Two's.
9/24/2007 A Life Of Crime Has Begun
A few days ago I was working late and DH picked up dinner for the kids. When I got home I was happy to discover that he had thought to buy me food too. That is, until it was STOLEN!!
She was so proud of herself, too.
She refused to share with me...
And annoyed me further by sharing with her toys.
Rotten little kid!
10/19/2007 I Was A Great Mom... Until I Had Kids
Seriously, I was AWESOME!!
I worked in a daycare and I was the designated "deal with the behavior problem" teacher. Because I was damn good at it. We had kids who would hit, slap, run away, scream, cuss- you name it. And they were all 6 or older. One time we had a 12 y/o who was bigger than me who ran away and I had to chase him. He threw me down a flight of stairs. We ended up being great "friends". Because I was GOOD at finding ways for these kids to vent their feelings in a productive way.
I put together fancy posters, invitations, games, and signs for parties- all handmade. They were so cute and everyone loved them.
I made a beautiful scrapbook while I was pregnant so that all I had to do later was fill in the blanks and slap in a few photos. It's the cutest baby book ever!
My house was always clean, safe, and full of fun. Dangerous things were always up high where little ones couldn't get to them and kid-friendly snacks were around in abundance.
Yup, I rocked.
Then I had kids...
Now my 2 y/o walks all over me. She finds the word NO hysterical. She defies me for entertainment.
I can't pull off an organized party to save my life. Kids are running amok, I forgot something important, invites are store bought (at best) and decorations are made up of whatever I am able to tape to the wall as the doorbell rings.
I have a scrapbook for my little one...somewhere. I think I wrote her name in it...maybe. There are photos of her ready to go in it...when I find it (and them). But glue and scissors are more than I can handle most days.
As for my house...it probably has a floor under all this crap. I think there's carpet...maybe beige? Surely spotted with juice. Childproofing frustrated me when I found myself suddenly unable to undo all the little locking thingys. Dangerous things are now kept...well usually I just toss them on top of the entertainment center. I can't see up there, so I have no idea what kinds of horrific things may be stored there. There are no baby gates because they were quickly renamed to "baby deathtraps" when the little one decided to headbutt them in an effort to knock them over. Not once...over and over and over while screaming bloody murder. And my oldest couldn't get over them herself so I was constantly having to go open them for her. As for fun snacks, they've been replaced by snacks of the "I don't think this has gone bad yet, eat that." variety.
Man. If only I'd never had kids, I coulda been Mother Of The Year!!
10/25/2007 How To Eat Refried Beans
Well, first you try them spread on banana.
When you realize that’s gross, you take another small piece to sample.
Put it in your mouth for a taste test.
If you don’t like it, make your angry face.
If you do like it, give ‘em your happy face!
Go in for seconds…
Drop them in from way up high!
Then try to share with mommy.
If she won’t take any, be sure to roll your eyes at her.
Gotta love them beans!
10/28/2007 I Don't mean To Offend You...
Oh wait...yes I do. If you fit into one of these categories, I sure do.
I'm really tired of the stepmom/birthmom nonsense. My friends know I'm prone to these rants about every 6 weeks or so. So here goes:
If you are the stepmom who tries to find reasons to cancel your husbands visits, you are asking for it. Eventually, they will realize what's going on and in addition to hating you (not that you care) they'll also hate HIM. And that will cause some serious resentment in your marriage. If you are the stepmom who talks trash about their mom in front of them, stop. No matter the circumstance, that's their MOM and chances are, when all is said and done, they'll be at her side, not yours. If you are the stepmom who considers your stepkids to be an inconvenience, a burden, a hassle; grow up or get out. They don't need that attitude and you clearly don't want them.
If you are the birth mom who tells the kids not to listen to their stepmom, knock it off. You are only causing them more stress. You are not affecting the stepmom, as your kids probably haven't told her what you said. If you are the birthmom who expects your kids to treat their stepmom like garbage, and you encourage it, you should be ashamed of yourself. You are their mother, not a contestant in a popularity contest. If you are the birthmom who goes to your ex's house and throws an epic all-out fit on the lawn because you found out stepmom took the kids to McDonalds w/o him, grow up. You are embarrassing your kids and making a fool of yourself. You are causing them stress and anxiety that is completely unnecessary and un-called for.
Some of you are already pissed. But wait there's more.
You may feel like you have a right to treat the stepmom poorly because she said nasty things about you to a third party. You may feel justified in verbally bashing your stepkids because they're disrespectful. Well, YOU'RE WRONG and here's why:
These are children. Children. That tends to be overlooked in custody matters. They are the innocents in this mess. They did not ask to be shuttled between homes and they did not ask for their parents to be at each other's throats. They don't need to know how their mom feels about their stepmom. They need only to know how their parents (ALL of them) feel about them. They are kids, not pawns in some twisted game.
And if they are disrespectful, it is because THEY ARE CHILDREN. There is a reason that the age of majority is 18- because before that they are CHILDREN...unable to completely control their tempers, bite their tongues, thoroughly plot out a coherent plan of action. That's why they're minors- they still need guidance. You have taken immature, young people and thrown them into a stressful situation. Then you have made it infinitely worse by acting a child yourself- of course they're disrespectful.
Children need you to guide them, nurture them, show them the way. They do NOT need an audio-visual course in catfighting or front row seats to observe behaviors only really acceptable on the Jerry Springer Show.
11/7/2007 "Mom, Do You Believe?"
My daughter and I had a very interesting (and slightly uncomfortable) talk last night. It started with "Mom, do you believe in Santa?" and ended in a religious debate. Yes, with a child.
It was my own fault, really. I answered the original question with a very broad "I believe in magic, honey. And lots of things about Christmas are magic. But I never really believe in just one thing, I believe in a whole idea. So I believe in the idea of magic, not simply the person of Santa."
Which, of course, led to "Mom, do you believe in God?" Hmmm. "Kinda". That was my answer. Good, huh?
I do not want to answer this question directly. I believe my children should be taught right and wrong, but guided toward spirituality. They do not attend church, but have Bible stories. They have a Wiccan grandmother, with whom they sometimes celebrate. They have been to Greek Orthodox ceremonies, and my oldest attends Awana at a Baptist church. They also have the option to not believe. I will guide them towards my own beliefs, inadvertently, because that's what I understand. But I will also expose them to other belief systems. I do not feel this confuses them, I think it encourages them to think and reason and pay attention to their own feelings.
So, if I'd said "No." I would've encouraged her to abandon the process of exploration. If I'd said "Yes." I would've encouraged her to follow that road.
I like "Kinda."
11/8/2007 Men Are Defective
With all my higher education (a few weeks at junior college) and my extensive background in scientific study (um, none. Unless you count my "What will this turn out to be?" method of cooking). I have come upon a breakthrough!! A finding that will change the lives of millions!!
On a chromosomal level, what makes a woman? XX. That's it. The XX chromosome makes a woman. What makes a man? XY. And what is Y, if not just a broken, defective X? So, in conclusion, men are defective.
My area of study has been marriage, and my primary subject was my husband. A few key examples of his defective nature in action:
Wednesday night garbage goes out. It's always been Wednesday- as long as we've lived here. Yet, I still need to remind him "Hon, don't forget the garbage needs to go out." To which he responds "I know, I will." But every Thursday, without fail, I wake up and go into the kitchen and see...garbage. Yes, he takes SOME of it out, but not all. Who does that?!? Defective people.
Last night I took little kiddo to 2 DR appointments and my ex took big kiddo to another. When I got home, I started dinner. Then big kiddo returned home, so I supervised homework time. Then we all ate. Then I chased the HOLY TERROR that is my toddler for the next several hours. I cleaned each room several times (thanks to said toddler), did laundry, washed dishes, etc. All the while my husband sat on the couch. Then I put both kids to bed. After about an hour, I was tired and asked if he would mind switching the laundry for me. To which he replied (under his breath) "Do this, do that..." As if I had first ORDERED him to sit on his ass all day and then ORDERED him to complete the laundry. Seems to me he doing very little... Defective reactions.
And of course there is his constant habit of taking his clothing- which I have collected from various locations, washed, dried, folded, and stacked- and throwing it into a corner on his side of the bed. Which, by the way, he cannot get to without walking RIGHT PAST his dresser...you know, the one his clothes should be going into. Defective behaviors.
Thank you for reading my oh-so scientific explanation of men. Once again, to sum up:
Men are defective!
12/4/2007 Beware... Looks Can Be Deceiving
This is a public service announcement. Please do not misunderstand the content...my daughters are my everything. They are my little jewels. I love them endlessly. But there are important things you need to know about the little one.
My youngest is...behaviorally challenged. Call her spirited, call her headstrong, call her strong willed, but the fact remains...she is one bad kid.
When she deserves timeouts I give them...and she sits there, in her timeout spot, giggling away. Occasionally she will yell out "No!" and then burst into giggles. When she gets out of timeout, she usually returns to whatever activity got her sent there in the first place. Yesterday she took a glass- a heavy, weighted one- and threw it at her sister's face. She didn't miss. She did, however, laugh. After timeout, she threw a car at me. After THAT timeout she hit me. It goes on, but you get the idea. If I call her to come to me, she finds something-anything- to pick up and calls back "No mommy, I busy.". If I go to get her, she runs away laughing. She fights me at every turn, screams, yells, throws fits, whines, and injures people. I do not spank my kids- it's just not a tool I utilize. But one day, I'd had it and I spanked her little behind. She turned around and smacked me in the head. No crying, no yelling just a return slap. Clearly spanking is NOT the way to go with this child. Not that I've found a better way, mind you.
So I tell you all this because I feel the need to explain myself. I need to explain why I call her my little terror, why I buy her shirts that say "Just be glad I'm not twins", why I refer to playtime between her and her sister as the sister's chore.
Because when you see THIS, you won't believe me anymore...
Let me reiterate...looks can be deceiving. Don't fall for it.
12/9/2007 Why I Chose To Have Kids
Well, I had my reasons, of course. But according to my daughter none of them are honest.
Here's her list of reasons why I had kids:
1. So someone could bring me a cookie.
2. So I have someone to help me clean.
3 So I wouldn't be telling stupid jokes to strangers or just myself. (Yup, she actually said that)
4. So someone could answer the phone and tell the bill collectors I wasn't available.
5. Because I like to yell.
6. So I would have someone small to FORCE into wearing the clothes I like.
7. The second kid was brought in to keep the first kid busy.
Isn't she just a gem?!? Don't you just love it...these kids are too smart for their own good.
12/11/2007 Um, She Said What?
I just ran into Taryn's daycare teacher. She was telling me this oh-so-cute-if-it-were-someone-else's-child story.
Taryn, who is almost 2, woke up from her nap early, as she usually does. Usually she'll just lay there quietly until it's time to get up. Today she was rolling around, singing songs, giggling at her shoes, throwing her blanket around, etc. So the teacher looks over at her and says in a stern voice "Taryn, what are you doing?"
And my little darling looked right at her and replied:
"I'm being naughty."
Can you hear me sighing?
12/15/2007 No Hope Of Recovery
There is an illness in my household and today it hit me that there is just no hope of recovery. Things will never improve...this is life. This is what it will be like all day every day for the rest of my kids' lives.
Their toy boxes, shelves, and bins of stuff are all very ill. They keep vomiting their insides all over the house. I clean everything up and one of them lets loose again, spewing toys and dolls all over the place. I have tried preventative measures, such as blocking their lids or cleaning out their contents, but the affliction continues. I feel bad closing the door, pretending it's not happening, but sometimes I just need to not see, you know? And it happens when I'm not looking usually. The poor things are sick all day, exposing their contents every 5 minutes.
Unfortunately, this illness has also spread to my DVD stand, bookshelf, and kitchen cupboard. They are all sick. This morning I woke up to domestic vomit all over my house, Books, toys, crackers, cups, DVD's all spread throughout my house. It seems there is nothing I can do. Part of me wants to just put the things out of their misery and throw everything away. But other times I just feel bad for the abuse they must be taking to feel so bad all the time.
My kids, of course, don't have any idea what's going on. They, and my husband, are oblivious of the vomit they walk through and unconcerned with how and why it got there. I'm on my own.
I just wish there were a ray of hope for these poor things...
12/19/2007 Taryn Has A Shiner
A while back I posted about how her looks can be deceiving. In that post I told a little story about how my "angel" took a heavy glass and threw it at her sister's face, hitting her in the eye (and she's damn lucky it didn't break, the rotten little...nevermind). Anyway, she's 2 so what're you gonna do? Time-out, forced apology, stern lecture and we all move on.
Well yesterday was apparently rush-around-like-an-idiot day, cause that's exactly what I did all day. So I didn't exactly look the kids over when I picked them up from daycare, just plopped them in the car and headed home. Then I was rushing around trying to get dinner ready, kids fed, and uniform located before Tay's Tae Kwon Do lesson (which didn't happen- where could that uniform have gone???). So, it was a while before Tay came strolling up to me and said "Mom, Taryn has a black eye and I didn't do it." and walked away. I was a little shocked, but went to check it out. Sure enough, she has a shiner.
A normal mom, a NICE mom, would have found herself saying/thinking "Oh, my poor baby! What happened? Oh, are you okay?" or something along those lines. But not me- not with this child. No, the first thought in my head was "What did you do to deserve that?" Isn't that terrible?
Anyway, she was oblivious of the boo-boo, so we went on with our lives. Later Tay came to me and said "Mom, it looks just like the one I had when she threw the cup at me." Which, really, only made me suspicious.
So I have asked the daycare and they recall no incidents yesterday that could have caused that mark. However, they did inform me that my lil darling got mad at another boy today and decided to headbutt the floor... the hard, tile floor. So I'm sure there will be new and wondrous marks to gaze upon this evening.
If you combine all this with her new penchant for screaming for the police, it paints a pretty ugly picture...
12/20/2007 A Step-By-Step Guide To Potty Training
I don't remember much about potty training my oldest. I think I may have blocked it out. But we're kind of working on the little one and these are the steps we're taking:
Step one: Buy an expensive potty seat that sings, dances, lights up, and does the dishes (or whatever they do now). When the child refuses to use it, go back and get the simple model.
Step two: Introduce the child to the potty. Let them see what it is and what it's for. Allow them to sit down, get up, sit down, get up, touch everything and unroll all the toilet paper. That way when they actually do use it, they'll already know how to immediately get their hands covered in pee.
Step three: Put the potty in an easy to get to location. Ours is by the big toilet. That way she can come in and demand potty assistance EVERY time anyone else has to go. It also gives her the ability to open the door randomly while we're in there. Having it in the bathroom also gives them a sense of comfort and security in the bathroom- so they have no problem slamming the door on you and demanding privacy...at the age of 2.
Step Four: Allow for plenty of time to praise them after they use the potty. Allow also for time to clean up the pee after they decide to "help" empty it.
Step five: (which really should have been step two but I'm a slow learner) Teach them to keep hands OUT of the potty.
Step six: Begin keeping diapers very near the potty. This becomes more important as they decide to tear around the house naked while you locate one.
Step seven: Toilet paper is NOT easy. Help them or buy a LOT.
Step eight: Learn to see the humor in bodily fluids. You'll need a sense of humor.
Step nine: Give up, they don't care anyway.
Step ten: Once you give up, they will decide to train themselves. You will need to feel offended and unappreciated in order for this to really take.
So there you have it...potty training, in my experiences. Good luck everyone!
12/31/2007 I Have Absolutely Had It!!!
Once again, vandals have come to my neighborhood and completely covered every available surface with wet, white, cold stuff. Just who do they think they are?? It's on my house & my car & my sidewalks... I've had it.
Chris says it's just snow & I need to grow up & get used to it.
He even expects me to go outside & ENJOY IT!!!
He must be crazy.
He has gloves, I can see them from where I'm sitting.
He should take his own advice if it's so fantastic out there.
Me, I figure there's a reason we humans have managed to create homes with heat and barriers from the cold. I fully intend to use these defenses.
Enjoy it...yeah sure- that'll happen.