Thursday, August 31, 2006

How do you work these things?

Laurel is trying to figure out how those wiggly things on her hands work. She sees mom, dad, even big brother pick things up with them, so she should be able to do it also. Question is, how do you make them do what you want?





I see crackers. I want those crackers. I can almost reach them!






I know I picked them up, why aren't they in my mouth?

(I can't help but laugh when the crackers are stuck to her palm. She opens and closes it, but the cracker just won't fall off.)







Oh, bother! If I can't eat the crackers, then I'll have to settle for the tray. Sigh.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Help, I'm Shopping Challenged

Recently, a good friend and I went out for a much needed lunch, girl-talk and shopping. Neither of us are enamored by finding, trying on and purchasing apparel, but we were on a mission: to buy clothes that didn't say beaten down mommy all over them.

Looking through my closet, deciding what colors were lacking, I sadly noticed a trend. T-shirt after boring solid t-shirt stared back at me from the rack. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my t-shirts! They're soft, comfortable, inexpensive, quick to change once you're spit up on or marked with crayons, good at covering up my...ummm...lumpiness (no, I don't have a disease, just two C-sections and not losing the added pounds have left their marks), and most importantly, they're IRON FREE! Ah yes, t-shirts, a mommy's best friend. But enough is enough, how many different shades of blue could one have in the same style shirt before the fashion police show up at your door? Uh oh, I hear sirens.

So off to the store I go, supportive friend leading me by the hand, determined to NOT buy yet another t-shirt. We take a huge leap and head to Coldwater Creek. As I peruse the racks, I start thinking I need glasses. My mind boggles, "Could this be right? Surely, this is an error. Really? $59 for a simple, mostly cotton blouse? But it's not even silk!"

My fingers quickly grab nearby price tags of different blouses and pants as I try to grasp the fact before me: these ARE the actual prices! I'm sweating, my breathing is erratic, and my head is spinning. I look up to see if others are also in shock. No, everyone else is happily, nay, gleefully selecting item after item. All those years of shopping Target have definitely molded my sale/clearance priced mind.

"I can do this, I must do this," over and over I tell myself. My little pep talk begins to take affect, and I choose a couple of blouses and pairs of pants to try on. A vulture saleswoman quickly offers a dressing room to store my finds until I am ready. Slowly, my friend and I make our way through the store. Everything is beautiful, I really like what I see, but those prices! And then I see it, a white blouse that screams, "TAKE ME HOME!"

I gingerly pick it up and nervously look at the price tag...$69. Too late, I'm in love. If it fits, if I look good in it, it's MINE...MINE I TELL YOU, ALL MINE!

We are greeted at the dressing room entrance by another overly eager vulture saleswoman. She asks our names to find our rooms. My friend is whisked away to a room as I stand at the ready to try on my beautiful blouse. The saleswoman comes back to me, scratches her head and asks, "What is your name again?"

She quickly looks at the post-it-notes identifying each room's customer, sheepishly walks back and tells me, "I am so sorry. I thought you had left the store, and I put everything back. Tell me what you got and I'll go find them."

I tell her what I can remember, which isn't much after the whole get-use-to-the-pricing trama. This actually is a lucky break. Since she screwed up, I feel the need to only buy the blouse. Sure, I'll try on the other stuff, it will be my exercise for the month day, but the white blouse is the only thing I have to have.

I'm escorted to a room and try on everything. Funny thing, the only article that actually fits is the blouse. Hmmm, a case of predisposition? Next door, my friend is having lots of success with complete outfits, no less.

We go to check out. The sound of my purchase...cha-ching. The sound of my friend's purchase...CHA-CHA-CHA-CHING!!! I am happy. I have spent a wonderful afternoon dining, shopping, and most importantly, giggling with a friend. There is a lovely white blouse hanging in my closet, ready for the next date I have with my husband or girls' night out. I think I'll wear it with my, ummm, my sweatpants, ummm, my denim shorts, ummm, my knit shorts, ummm...oh for Pete's sake!

Friday, August 25, 2006

His Own Personal Scapegoat

Ian loves his baby sister. He squeals with delight as he snuggles up to her and kisses her. He's more than willing to run after the ball she dropped and give it back to her. He often gives her toys to keep her happy, even toys he's currently playing with.

All this love, however, comes at a price. I know why he's such an adoring older brother...she is his scapegoat.

A quick whiff of an all too familiar smell, and I ask, "Who pooped?"

With a twinkle in his eye, Ian delightfully yells, "Laurel pooped."

I actually believed him the first couple of times. But when every inspection proved a dry, clean diaper upon his innocent sister, I finally got wise. Now when I ask, "Who pooped?" and Ian replies, "Laurel," I go after him.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Baseball and Babies...

We are Diamondbacks fans! Win or lose, we are Diamondbacks fans. And of course we are doing our best to brainwash our children...








Ian was all of 3 months at his first baseball game.















Laurel was a whopping 6 months at her first baseball game.









Go Diamondbacks!!!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Chicken or Egg Syndrome

I read this article, No Brats Allowed!, and wondered...

What came first? The adult or the child?

The article discusses how the public is becoming more and more non-child oriented. People think children are acting increasingly inappropriate in stores, restaurants, airplanes, museums, etc. Is this true? Are we really seeing a rise in misbehavior, or has it been there all along?

I had a high school teacher who brought this subject up. He joked about it, but put it in perspective for me, saying, "Even the Romans complained about their youth. Back then adults complained about teenage chariot drivers running over pedestrians."

Since kids naturally do act up and always have, then why does a growing number of people think child misbehavior is getting out of control? Are adults getting more uptight, or are we letting our youth run amuck? Maybe it's a little of both.

Children should be allowed to run, giggle, scream, jump, and wonder. Using all of their senses, they are learning about the world around them. Parks, playgrounds, back and front yards, beaches, and gymnasiums offer bountiful opportunities for them to explore. At the same time, children are usually thrown into the mix with other people, peers and adults included. That's when rules have to be observed. Now they have to be considerate of others (as much as they can for their specific ages). Toddlers may have difficulty sharing and controlling their voice level, but they can understand not to hit or bite others. Preschoolers know how to use an indoor voice but are still learning to not interupt when a conversation is already in progress. (Alright, so I'm making a guess on that last one since neither of my kiddos are that age yet.)

Yes, when in public, children should be expected to be among the mix, within reason that is. We parents are responsible for keeping the needs of our children in mind. It just doesn't make sense to take a toddler to an adult oriented museum or a fancy restaurant. Some parents justify such actions saying they work and want to spend time with their children. That's understandable, but they need to go to a place where a Kid can be a Kid. Zoos, family style restaurants, malls, parks and youth museums are better alternatives. I don't expect my toddler to sit still at a coffee shop while I enjoy my Frappuccino. However, I can enjoy said beverage while I watch him play at the park.

Once the family is in a child friendly location, that doesn't mean we let our children have free rein. Being out in public gives parents the opportunity and obligation to teach social etiquette one skill at a time. Today my toddler is learning to stay with mommy and not run off, tomorrow he'll learn to use an indoor voice. It takes time and patience, and won't happen overnight. In fact, it won't happen at all if parents don't take the lead, and lead we must!

Children tend to mirror their parents' behaviors. If mommy cusses, her son probably will too. Daddy is rude towards others, his daughter is also. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, has a lot of truth in it. Our children are constantly watching and learning what we model for them. That's how they learn most of the rules in the game of life. If we expect our youth to display manners and respect, we need to start with ourselves.

What about the ever dreaded airplane scenario? The best of parents can have difficulty keeping their toddler happy in such a confining space. Some passengers are understanding, some not so. If parents are doing their best to help their child cope, then anyone with a complaint just needs to suck it up. An airplane is definitely a public place, and not always a pleasant one at that (delays, security, delays). I realize there are passengers trying to work or get some sleep, but you know what, children are people too and have rights. Toddlers' needs are different from adults, but they are still needs and not just wants. If letting a child walk/toddle up and down the aisle keeps him from crying, then let him. If a child reaches a point of crying, be understanding. Criticism and dagger looks only teach inappropriate behaviors, not solve them.

So, what came first, the adult or the child? Definitely, the adult! As parents, we have the responsibility to model and teach our children what behaviors are acceptable, especially when in public places. Those of us who are not parents also have the responsibility to model appropriate behaviors. We are all citizens of this world, age does not matter. Eventually, we interact with one another. Treat others as you want to be treated, not just a cliche, it's LIFE!

*********************************************************************
Edit note: the following was added Tues., Aug. 22 9:45 p.m.

Thanks for the responses. I thought I needed to add some clarification to my thinking:

I taught various grades (2, 3, 4, and 6) at an elementary school for 11 years before becoming a SAHM. I didn't think behaviors got progressively worse year to year. Some of the toughest classes I taught were early in my career. Maybe I just got better at disciplining and it reflected in how the students acted in my class. I had high expectations of every student and was very consistent with rules, rewards and consequences. My students knew the rules, rewards and consequences, and knew I was consistent in dealing with behaviors, both appropriate and inappropriate (I'm not going to use the words bad and good). I had students with extreme behavioral problems (ADHD, bipolar, depression) that could function and behave appropriately in a mainstreamed classroom setting. I took the time and was consistent in order for that to happen. Not all teachers do that, although in my opinion they should. Then again, so should the parents. Were my students perfect? By no means NO. Whenever someone took a step backwards, we would try again, maybe try a different strategy, but never give up and just let them continue misbehaving.

Out in public, I think I see children, and adults for that matter, acting more and more inappropriately. One reason I feel this is happening, is because people are always in such a hurry and don't care who they run over while they are trying to get things done. Hello, everybody, let's be a little more considerate of others. Another reason, is many parents drag their children around everywhere they go; the grocery store, the post office, department stores, restaurants, even to Starbucks! It is not reasonable to expect toddlers, or even older kids, to remain calm when they've been sitting in a shopping cart, stroller, and a car for hours on end. Parents need to keep themselves in check and not let this happen. Kids need opportunities to run and play.

Those of us concerned with this topic, can't exactly go out there and tell others how to parent their kids. I do my part by: (a) being a good role model to my children, and maybe even to other adults; (b) having high, but reasonable expectations of my children (Ian can walk through a store without touching things); (c) keeping my children's needs in mind and not expecting the impossible out of them (I'm not taking my two year old to see The Marriage of Figaro); (d)reinforcing my children's appropriate behaviors; (e) minimizing my children's inappropriate behaviors through positive disciplining and using natural consequences; (f)teaching again once my own children are school age.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Goof!

One of my favorite, silly movies is Parenthood with Steve Martin, Mary Steenburgen, Diane Wiest, Keanu Reeves, etc. just an awesome cast. Remember...

Tod: You know, Mrs. Buckman, you need a license to buy a dog, to drive a car - hell, you even need a license to catch a fish. But they'll let any butt-reaming a--hole be a father.

Garry: What is it with all the women in this family, that makes all the men in this family wanna leave?

Karen: I happen to LIKE the roller coaster, okay? As far as I'm concerned, your grandmother is brilliant.
Gil: Yeah if she's so brilliant why is she sitting in our NEIGHBOR'S CAR?


And then there's this one that's hitting a little close to home:
Karen: He likes to butt things... with his head.
Nathan: How proud you must be.






What a champ! I wonder if his head is still ringing? We may need to touch up the paint on that wall and door. Nah...we'll wait until the kids have flown the coop.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Shopping Success

Sometimes success comes in baby toddler steps...

After failing (well maybe not failing, but I definitely got a D-) the Take the Toddler and Baby Through the Store Without Having a Tantrum Test, I've steered clear of shopping with the two of them in tow. I admit it, I have been extremely nervous about facing that demon again.

Then there's that age old cliche: when you fall off a horse, get right back on (which I've actually been through, so this shouldn't be so hard, right? HA!). I finally decided to give shopping another try with my angels.

Yesterday, we went to Walmart. I figured that was as good a place as any to expose others to crying babies. After all, it's practically commonplace there. When we parked the van, I decided to talk to Ian about what I expected from him.

Me: Ian, do you want to ride in the cart or walk in the store?

Ian: Walk, mommy.

Me: I'll put Laurel in the cart and you can walk with mommy. You must walk next to mommy and look at things, no hands. Say, "No hands".

Ian: No hands.

Me: That's right, no hands, just look with your eyes. If you touch something with your hands you will have to ride in the cart. Ian, what happens if you touch something with your hands? You have to ride in the (pause)...

Ian: ...cart.

Me: Right. You can walk next to mommy and look at things.

As I put a padded cart cover and Laurel in the cart, I repeated the above conversation with Ian. He seemed to listen and think about what I was saying. I started to feel some of my apprehension disappear.

We walked towards the soap aisle. An excited Ian walked right next to the cart. He happily looked around and told Laurel and I what he saw. "Mommy, lollipops. Mommy, bananas. Mommy, cups."

He was having a great time. I felt more and more relaxed as we continued walking through the store together. As I put hand soap in the cart, I caught Ian reaching for something on the shelf. "Uh oh, Ian, if you touch something you have to go in the cart. Just look."

"Ok, mommy."

He actually dropped his hands down to his sides! Lots of praise headed his way.

Being a toddler, he of course had to test his limits. In one of the aisles, he was tempted by some toy sprinkler. He just couldn't help himself and grabbed it. I bent down to look him in the eyes and said, "Ian, you touched the toy. You need to go into the cart for two minutes."

Oh yes, there were tears and heart-breaking sobs. Once he had done his time, I picked him up out of the cart and restated the no touch rule. He calmed right down and was willing to walk alongside me again.

Would you believe we trekked through the toy department and he didn't touch a single item! He occasionally would stop, look at something and talk to me about it. He showed lots of enthusiasm, especially towards Thomas, Elmo and Bob the Builder products, and yet he managed to show control. I was/am so proud of him.

And what of his reward, you may ask. Lots and lots of praise and clapping on the way out of the store and the drive home. No candy, no toy, just a great feeling inside.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Must. Eat. Food!

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who would only consume booby juice. She looked at her parents in horror whenever they tried to put solid foods in her mouth. Thanks to the advice of books, magazines, and blogging friends, the little girl's parents relaxed and tried again a few weeks later.

Those weeks flew by and the parents eagerly fed solids to the little girl. Again, she looked on in horror and spit the wretched stuff out. No, she was not ready for change and refused to cave based on others' wishes.

A few more weeks flew by, only this time when a not-entirely-lactose-based-product was placed into her mouth, she paused...she tasted...she swallowed! Her eyes lit up as her taste buds sprang to life at this new discovery. She opened her mouth wide and waited. Her anxious parents realizing she wanted more, quickly scooped the luscious substance onto the spoon and fed it to her. The little girl was so delighted in this finding, she couldn't help but say, "Mmmmmmmmmm." There was no turning back, she was hooked.




Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, here it comes!




Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!










Carrots, oh yeah!










Green beans, ummm, I can take them or leave them.











Alright, so I'll leave them...on you that is...THBPBPTHPT (major raspberry, targeting those within range)!!!!










Oops, I sprayed.








Ummmm, I don't suppose I could have another shot at those tasty carrots?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

What's That Smell?

I wake up in the middle of the night. It's quiet, I don't hear either child crying. In fact, Paul isn't snoring for once. So why did I wake up? I lay there a minute, take in a deep breath, and then it hits me square in the nose...a stench drifting from some unknown origin. What is that smell? I check both kids' rooms, sniffing around expecting to find vomit or something worse. Surprisingly, my nose detects nothing in either room.

Too tired to investigate downstairs, especially since I need to take advantage of the fact both kids are asleep, I decide to ignore the offending odor. To sleep I go, hoping I don't forget to follow up on the stench in the morning.

There is no chance of forgetting, the smell permeats the entire downstairs level. I go into the kitchen to get Ian his daily fix of milk a-la-sippy cup. The funk is so heavy in there I gag. Quickly I check the garbage, nothing. Next, the sink and garbage disposal, nothing. As I open the fridge and grab the milk, I nearly pass out from the funk that fills my nostrils. BINGO!

I open the vegetable and fruit compartments, nothing. I search each shelf, nothing. Where is that smell coming from? The freezer, no. Then I remember, I keep onions and potatoes on top of the fridge. I reach up and drag down the basket containing said produce. Something drips. Drips, can that be right? To my horror, I find that an onion has liquified. Never have I smelled anything so putrid. Seriously, I've changed many a diaper, cleaned vomit, and diarrhea, nothing comes close except the trash barrel that sits outside baking its contents of trash and diapers all week in the Arizona sun.

I "pour" the contents of the basket into the trash can as I breathe through the shirt I've pulled up over my nose. The basket is dripping wet from the onion. There's no way I'm touching malodorous onion goo, so of course the basket winds up in the trash too.

The plastic bag is quickly knotted and taken out to the trash barrel. Cans of air freshener are sprayed, all the ceiling fans get turned on and I get busy cleaning up the liquid from the top of the fridge and the floor. It takes a while, but eventually we are able to breathe again.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

And For My Birthday I Got...

... the world's largest, scariest ELMO!!! The birthday party consisted of two year olds. When Elmo walked through the door, the happy clatter of busy toddlers gave way to hysterical screams, especially from the birthday boy. Poor little fella.


Here's a picture of Elmo from a two year old's point of view. Scary, isn't he?






















Look out, it's Elmozilla!







The hosting mommy got smart and provided trucks and cars for everyone to play with and had Elmo sit down on the ground. Ian was the first to jump in and play with Elmo.










Ian was the only toddler to venture a hand shake with Elmo.










One has to wonder, how much therapy is necessary for childhood tramas such as this one?

Saturday, August 05, 2006

3, 2, 1, Meltdown

On certain days, I'm feeling a bit green. But on this particular day, I'm feeling especially GREEN!

It's Friday, Ian's going to two birthday parties this weekend. One for a two year old, and one for a five year old. The clock is ticking, so Laurel, Ian and I run to Target. Since Laurel is now an independent sitter, I decide to let her ride in the shopping cart and have Ian walk alongside me. Mistake number 1.

Laurel is pleased as punch about sitting in the cart. Ian is also excited about being out of the cart. (No big surprise there.) We go to the card section first. Ian squeals with delight and points out everything he sees. "Mommy, disaur on card. Mommy, Elmo on card. Mommy, frog, green frog on card."

To my detriment, he realizes he can take the cards out of the display case and starts showing them to me. "Ian, put the card back please."

"Mommy, Elmo on card." Proud of his find, he holds it up for me to see.

Elmo's head is slightly bent from Ian's overly exerted grasp. I think to myself, it's Elmo, it's a birthday card, and the two year old will probably never notice the crease. I quickly get an envelope and put both in the back of the shopping cart.

"Ian, don't touch the cards. Just look at the cards." Mistake number 2: I say this standing over him as I continue to look for another card. I know better than that, I need to bend down and make eye contact to get his attention.

My request is in vain. Before I even finish the sentence, he's holding another card.

"Mommy, cake. Mommy, cake!"

"Yes, birthday cake. Let's put the card back."

I now realize my mistake of letting Ian run free in the store, and quickly find a birthday card suitable for a five year old.

"Come on Ian, let's go."

I push the cart out of the aisle and soon notice he's not following. Mistake number 3. Duh, like a two year old is willingly going to leave an area containing pictures of his heroes (Elmo, Bob the Builder, and especially CAKE!).

I go back and lead Ian by the hand this time. Surprisingly, he doesn't put up much of a fight. I know Laurel needs clothes and head in that direction. Mistake number 4. I should grab only what I immediately need since Ian isn't contained.

As I look around trying to find infant sized clothing, Ian pulls his hand free. I think he'll be alright on his own around clothing and let him go. I mean, how interesting could clothes be to a two year old? Mistake number 5.

I turn my back to the kids to look at some shirts (mistake number 6), and then hear something that tells me my attention is needed. Ian is extremely busy tossing tiny pink shorts into the cart. "Laurel wants pants," he proudly proclaims.

Quickly I try to put the shorts back onto the shelf they came from, but Ian is already on the move. He's now holding several shirts that are obviously going to be tossed into the cart. Getting a little smarter, but not by much, I hold his hand and begin putting the clothing back. Coming to my senses, I realize we need to just get the birthday presents and go.

We enter the toy department. I am still holding Ian's hand as we cruise the aisle looking for something of interest to a two year old and a five year old. Excitedly, Ian yells out, "Mommy, fire truck," and manages to escape. He stands in front of the fire truck, somehow managing to keep his hands to himself. I decide to let him look at it as I scan the rest of the aisle. Mistake number 7. Alright, alright, I can hear your head shaking at me. What two year old is able to resist the temptations of the toy aisle? None.

As you guessed, it's not long before Ian is taking the boxes off the shelves and I'm on clean up duty. He obviously is not listening to me, and I finally grab the cards out of the back of the cart and put a very sad Ian in. He begins sobbing. Quickly I look around to see if there's something I can get him to cheer him up. Small cars smile at me from nearby shelving and I reach for them.

But alas, I come to my senses. What was I doing? I was going to reward Ian with a toy for acting innappropriate. Forget that! I put both hands firmly on the cart and search for the needed presents. Fortunately, it's not long before I see a fun toy for the two year old.

With Ian still sobbing in the cart, we move on to another aisle. We walk towards two Target employees stacking merchandise. I swear they ran off as soon as they saw (or more likely heard) us coming. Oh well, I'm not pacifying my screaming toddler with a toy! I ABSOLUTELY REFUSE! We search three more aisles before I finally find a present for the five year old, Ian crying the entire time.

As I bend down to put the gift on the rack under the cart, I look at my little guy with his tear stained face. "Ian, we've found the birthday presents. We're ready to go bye-bye."

He calms down, sniffles and softly weeps, "Go bye-bye."

I pay for the presents, load the kids into the car and head home while thinking about what had just occurred. I made several mistakes that I will learn from (yeah, like next time leave the kids with their grandparents), but in the end I felt it wasn't a complete disaster. This was the first time Ian has thrown a tantrum in public. Despite his pulling on my heartstrings and the stares I'm sure we were receiving, I did not cave and reward Ian's unacceptable behavior.

And what of Laurel, you may ask? She was good as gold, she fell asleep sitting/laying in the top part of the shopping cart.



Pictures of Ian at the parties. He actually got to play trucks with Elmo!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Hi, I'm Tina and You Are...?

Ian and I have been going to Tot Classes ever since he was 8 months old. I wanted him to be around other kids his age. I wanted to learn some fun things to do with him at home. I selfishly wanted to meet other moms (dads too, but let's face it, it's usually moms at the classes). I think back to all the classes we've been to, and I can remember quite a few of the children and their names, but as for the mothers and fathers, well...

Ian was invited to a fellow toddler's birthday party. We received the invitation at a Tot Class a week ago. We've actually been in a similar class with this child and mother before. Obviously we knew them well enough to be invited to the child's second birthday party (or so I thought). I got out the invitation to call and say we were going, but alas, I didn't know the mother's name. I knew her son's name (Sam), why didn't I know her name? Did I forget it? I didn't think so. I racked my brain, trying desperately to remember if we introduced ourselves and what her name might be. No luck, I couldn't remember any such event.

Instead of making an awkward phone call, I decided to discuss the party with her at the Tot Class. I thought I would just apologize about not remembering her name and reintroduce myself. As luck would have it, she and her son didn't make it to class. (He probably caught the cold Ian seems to get every other time we go to class.)

What to do, what to do. I remembered that the woman gave an invitation to another mommy in the class. At least she was there, I could ask her what the woman's name was. Sheepishly, I went up to the woman, introduced myself (because now I'm not taking any chances with names), found out her name, and asked her if she could tell me the name of Sam's mom. Of course she couldn't, we only introduce ourselves as our child's mommy.

Great, now I had to make that dreaded phone call and say, "Hi, my name is Tina, I'm Ian's mom. We're excited about coming to Sam's birthday party. By the way, what's your name?"

Why is it when we go to such classes, we introduce ourselves as, "Hi, I'm so-and-so's mommy?" We have names, we're important too. This must change. The kids are usually wearing name tags, maybe the adults should wear them too. We sing a welcome song using each kid's name, maybe we need to do this for the adults too. Alright, I realize the song idea is a bad one since it would take forever, and the kids would start to squirm or run about with pent up energy, but something needs to change.

I am taking an oath as of right now. Everybody join in: "I, Tina (please insert your own name, after all, that's the whole point), do solemnly swear to introduce myself, by my own name, to other parents at Tot Classes, future soccer games, cub scouts, dance class, and any other event that involves hyperactive kids and tired adults."

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Just What the Doctor Ordered

Phew, I'm tired, I'm beat. The day started at 4:30 and it hasn't stopped. I changed diapers, fed/nursed kids, cleared dishes, started laundry, changed diapers, played, read books, wiped tears, kissed boo-boos, changed diapers, painted, cleaned off painted hands and nose and chin and cheeks and anything else the smock didn't cover, changed diapers, fed/nursed the kids again, cleared dishes, wiped up spilt water (at least it was only water), changed diapers, and finally collapsed with Laurel on the couch while Ian gladly trotted off to play with his trucks. You know, just an ordinary day for a SAHM or other day care provider.

I've felt like mommy road-kill before, but at that moment, well...I felt like I had been so squashed into the ground that the only recognizable thing about me was my wedding band.

As I sat on the couch pondering how I would find enough energy to get through the rest of the day, a very excited and happy Laurel "jumped" on my legs facing me. She looked directly into my eyes wearing an elated smile and grabbed both sides of my face with her dripping wet hands. What can I say, we lost the battle with the binky and her fingers won. She then pulled herself closer to my face, her mouth wide open, and landed a big, dripping wet kiss on my chin. I pulled her away and told her she's very sweet, to which she did it again, but on my cheek this time. There was a river of drool covering my face, to which I say...


Look out world, here I come!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Got Phone, Will Talk

Telemarketers beware! I have a toddler, and I'm not afraid to use him!

All too frequently, our little family is sitting at the dinner table when the phone rings. Thanks to caller ID, we know it's some charity driven group, or worse yet, it's evil telemarketing scum (although we should NOT be receiving the latter since we signed up on the national do not call registry). My apologies to anyone I've offended, I just find strangers trying to get something from me via phone very annoying.

I'm busy trying to get a load of laundry done, again the phone rings and it's a charity drive. What to do, what to do. Answer it? NO! Let them leave yet another hang up on the answering system? NO!

Solution: give Ian the phone.



With phone in hand, I quickly run to where Ian's playing.

Me: Ian, talk on the phone, ok?

Ian: Ok, mommy.

I press TALK, set it to speaker phone so both Ian and I can hear the other person, and hand it over to a very excited little guy.

Ian: Hiiiiiiiiiii (in sweet sing-song style).

Evil telemarketing scum: Hi, is your mom there?

Ian: Hiiiiiiiiiii.

Evil telemarketing scum: Can you get your mommy?

Ian: Hiiiiiiiiiii. Giggle, giggle.

Evil telemarketing scum: Where's your mommy? Go get your mommy, ok? (Alright, so this woman is being very sweet in how she talks with Ian, and maybe she's not all that evil. Still, this is cracking me up and decide to let Ian have some fun.)

Ian: Ok. Hiiiiiiiiii.

Sweet telemarketing scum: Hi. Give the phone to your mommy, ok?

Ian: Ok. Giggle, giggle. (This boy is in heaven. I think he's not being as talkative as he could be, so I give him a topic.)

Me: (Whispering, so as not to be heard.) Tell her about the garbage truck.

Ian: Garbage truck coming, trash barrel upside down.

Sweet telemarketing scum: Umm, go get your mommy ok?

Amazed that the sweet telemarketing scum hasn't hung up yet, I decide to go around the corner and throw some laundry into the washing machine.

Ian: Black trash barrel upside down.

Sweet telemarketing scum: You need to give the phone to your mommy. Go find your mommy, ok?

Ian: Ok. Garbage truck coming today, black trash barrel upside down.

Sweet telemarketing scum: Hi. What are you doing?

Ian: Trash into hopper.

Sweet telemarketing scum: Are you playing with the phone?

Ian: Phone.

Sweet telemarketing scum: You need to give the phone to your mommy. Ok?

Ian: Ok.

Sweet telemarketing scum: I'm going to go. Give the phone to your mommy, ok?

Ian: Ok, hiiiiiiiiii.

Sweet telemarketing scum: Ok, give the phone to your mommy. I'm going to go, bye.

Ian: Hiiiiiiiiii.

Click.

Ian: Hiiiiiiiiii.

Poor guy, he thought he had found a friend. This conversation ended way too soon in his opinion. As for me, I had a great laugh and managed to start a load of laundry. I will definitely give Ian the phone from now on whenever someone annoying calls our house.