Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Right. So, back to Kevin Bacon.
Actually, this starts with my neighbors and the fact that they think I'm some kind of crazy mid-morning drunk. It's not all entirely related to the fact that my ass meets the driveway on a fairly regular basis (damn slippy nature stuff). Or the cookouts we've had over the past several years which inevitably involves my MIL and we should just not go there. Or maybe that Halloween I answered the door with my giant pregnant belly painted like a pumpkin as if it was the most normal thing in the world. This could go on and now that I'm thinking about it, I really don't blame them for thinking that AA needs to like, move in with me.
But I do blame Kevin Bacon because he started it.
I was listening to the radio and Mr X had the 80's station on since he loves 80's music (to which I say Bah! When you can't tell the difference between Huey Lewis and Madonna you can not call yourself an 80's fan!So what if it was 4 years ago! You shall never live it down! Never!! I love the exclamation marks! Ha!). Footloose came on. Footloose! So I started singing along. And dancing. I turned the radio up and got myself all jiggy with it. Girl X was laughing so hard I thought she'd pee her pants. With that encouragement, I really went all out for it. Jumping up and down, kicking my legs, executing a perfect imitation of Kevin Bacon. I spun around still singing and dancing.
And there was one of my neighbors. With Mr X right behind him. He had come over to help move something for Mr X.
I quietly walked over and turned off the radio.
Mr X has wisely not mentioned this incident again.
But this does not entirely explain why it's Kevin Bacon's fault. No. There is more. It's also sort of Mr X's fault. Or at least this is what I tell myself when the neighbors see me and quickly run into their homes.
Mr X can't dance. He thinks he can dance. This makes his attempts even funnier.
Remember when I said I look like I'm having a seizure when I exercise? Mr X should be so lucky when he's dancing.
We were goofing around one weekend. The radio was on, Girl X was completely embarrassed to be related to us. It was a good time. Footloose came on the radio and Mr X started 'dancing'. He was doing some combination of the Robot, the Moonwalk and some odd butt-bumping thing that I can't really explain but it looked painful. So I did what any good wife would do. I started making fun of him. Mocking him. And then I started goofing him. Except doing it the way Kevin Bacon does it in the movie (Seizure anyone?).
This, sadly, made Mr X do the Robot even more emphatically because I think he thought it was good.
No one should ever do the Robot. Every time someone does the Robot, a kitten dies. Footloose makes Mr X do the Robot.
Therefore, Kevin Bacon makes Mr X kill kittens. And my neighbors think I'm an idiot.
I hate you Kevin Bacon.
Monday, February 27, 2006
On the other hand, there's my dad and stepmom who are awesome. And I now know just what kind of parent I want to be when my kids are adults. Which? So not very helpful at the moment. Because I think they key here is actually making sure that they get to be adults. Preferably all in one piece and healthy. Reasonably happy and working would be nice. Clean criminal records would be a bonus.
In the meantime. Huh. So that's where I was.
Here's a confession.
I wing it.
Yup. I pretty much guess. In some cases I think about what my mom did or would have done. Then I do the exact opposite.
For the most part it's worked out well but it's not without it's faults. Most of the time Girl X doesn't care that she's going to get in trouble and does what she wants anyway. And by trouble, I think I should point out that I am not one of those parents that think it's punishment to take away tv for an hour.
Girl X came home from school one day after a particularly bad week to find her room empty except for her bed and a dresser. That helped for awhile.
It's a work in progress and I can see it's getting better.
Still, most of the time? I feel pretty wonky.
And then there are moments where instinct takes over and everything is perfect.
Hurricane is surprisingly easy to put to bed. It took nearly a year, but I can now put him in bed awake and leave. He will be asleep before I make it down the hall. Or at least well on his way.
This day, he had woken up an hour earlier than normal. He normally naps for 2 to 3 hours in the afternoon. This time he barely made it one hour before he was up and raring to go.
By bed time he could barely keep his eyes open. He didn't want his story. He didn't look around as we walked down the hall, opting instead to lay his head down on my shoulder and sigh. I set him in bed, said good night and left the room.
I tried warm milk. On those rare occasions he has been sick, this has soothed him.
He didn't want it.
I tried to hold him.
Something clicked in my head.
With the lights off, we rocked in his room. I softly sang a lullaby I have sung to him since before he was born. (And in my head I could hear him going all Simon Cowell on me but I said 'Bah!') He quieted and turned to look up at me.
I looked at him.
We rocked and I whispered the lullaby.
He was asleep in a moment.
I kept rocking with him, happy that I had somehow figured out what this over-tired bundle needed.
It won't be long before rocking won't solve what ails him.
It won't be long before instinct becomes more complicated with him. I'm seeing that now with Girl X.
When those moments come, I will remember rocking with him in the quiet dark of his room. Breathing in his sweet freshly washed hair and feeling his warmth and weight in my arms.
And, as it does with Girl X now, it will carry my through.
He liked the swings. I think he misses his.
Spotting the big yellow turd, complete with yummy dead bugs. (He only ate one before he realized how not like a cookie it tasted).
And Girl X on some random spinny pole. I think she was trying to fly. He wants the yellow turd but can't escape the parental grip.
After the park we had to stop at Target for a few minor things. Hurricane spotted a ball about half his size and fell instantly in love. For the next 20 minutes as we walked through the store it was to the hushed and fevered chant of 'ball'. Such longing in that word. We caved. Even Girl X couldn't resist when she saw those puffy lips curl and he threw all 23 lbs of his tiny body over that ball. He sighed with such relief it made us laugh. Our little drama king.
Lately, he has been asserting his need for privacy.
We were playing in the living room when he suddenly got up and 'ran' (something where his body tries to catch up with his feet) behind the dining room chairs. I went over to see what he was doing and got The Look *patented 6/2005*. He had squatted down put both hands up. All he needed was a good book.
This is now how all poops are done. We are not allowed to look in his general direction. We are not allowed to talk about it. When he is done, he will come up to us and simply say 'tinky'.
And indeed, it is stinky.
And as of this weekend, his new favorite place to do the 'tinky', is in the big yellow turd in the park where he can dine and grunt undisturbed.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
That one hot spot became 3 hot spots. We applied some ointment. (We meaning Mr X because Ew! I am NOT touching THAT!!)
Mr X went to work the following morning and at hurricane's naptime, I went to do laundry. And then I smelled IT.
A way to describe IT?
My MIL's house?
No. Not strong enough.
Rotting flesh sprayed by a skunk found sitting in my MIL's kitchen.
Yup. That would about sum it up.
I could not figure out where the unholy hell IT was coming from. I shoved a handful of dryer sheets under my nose and walked into the living room where the smell seemed to be the strongest.
I thought I would find some poor dead animal Cat had 'played' with.
But no. IT turned out to be Poor Dog.
Internet? Nothing is more pathetic than a horrid smelling dog in the Dreaded Cone of Humiliation.
My sister-in-law came to our rescue. She is a Vet assistant and works at an animal hospital.
Sadly, she could not help us until the next day.
So being the cruel and heartless humans we are, Poor Dog and the Dreaded Cone of Humiliation slept downstairs on a sheet that will now have to be burned (where do you go to burn toxic substances?) and Mr X was given explicit instructions to open all windows to said room before leaving. (Nevermind that it's below freezing! Poor Dog was in that room all damn night with the door closed and I will die, DIE!, if I have to go in there and smell that again whereas you have this iron-cast stomach and nothing bothers you Mr X!)
When Mr X brought Poor Dog and the Dreaded Cone of Humiliation home the next day, I could not stop laughing. Further proof that I have no soul.
Poor Dog's ass was shaved. As in completely bare. Stub of a tail and all.
He had another shaved spot about 5 inches further up on his back but he still looked more red-assed baboon than dog. It was then that I saw that Poor Dog actually had 5 hot spots. No wonder he was miserable!
He now must take 2 antibiotics twice a day (yay for peanut butter!) and have this ointment rubbed in twice a day which? ouch. I feel so bad for Poor Dog. He whimpers and ducks every time he's touched.
He also has to take a steroid every day. Good thing he's neutered. I don't think his ego could take the testicle shrinkage! The really great thing about the steroid? It makes him pee uncontrollably. And it makes him pee green.
He peed when Mr X picked him up. He peed when he got home. He peed 5 minutes later when I filled his water bowl.
Today when Hurricane took his nap I came down to do laundry (it's the only time I really have to do it). I saw Cat sleeping in a chair that he is not supposed to be in and went to move it.
And I stepped in the Lake Erie of pee. And? Ew.
I glared at Cat for a moment before I realized that even he, in his vindictive and spiteful state, could not possibly have peed that much.
I thought it was cool when we potty trained Cat. For awhile, he would only pee in the toilet. I have it on tape. Stop laughing. You can't really be surprised that we would be the type of people to tape our cat peeing.
Today I realized something cooler. Of all the places Poor Dog could have peed, of all the prime new carpet spots? He chose the one covered by the plastic things we use under the computer chairs. And those rare times he poops in the house? He won't do it on carpet. He goes to the tile. And that can't be terribly comfortable.
I think that means I have to stop throwing treats into the Dreaded Cone of Humiliation. Because any dog willing to go out of the way to protect my carpet should not be mercilessly teased.
Looks like I'll just have to content with annoying Cat.
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Even before Hurricane, a shower typically consisted of at least 2 visits from Girl X (one to ask for cookies, the other to ask if she should ask Daddy instead) and one from Mr X (to ask if I told Girl X she could have cookies). Occasionally Dog would nose his way in or someone would flush a toilet which? Not exactly conducive to a relaxing shower.
The first time after Hurricane was born that I attempted a shower without Mr X home to watch him? Disaster.
I brought a bunch of his toys in the bathroom so he would have plenty to play with. He barely glanced up when I turned the water on. I thought it would be great because he was content to play with his toys and no one was home to barrage me with cookie questions and as long as I didn't actually say cookie, Hurricane was fine.
I now look back and laugh at my naivete.
As soon as I stepped in the shower, Hurricane decided that he was bored and began digging into the trash can. I got out and put the trash can and, as a preemptive measure, the toilet paper roll on top of the sink.
I got back into the shower and started to wash my hair.
He started playing with the bowl brush.
I got out and put the bowl brush and, as a sign of resignation, the plunger on top of the sink. I attempted, while shivering, to catch Hurricane's interest with his toys. He was, briefly, distracted.
I continued washing my hair.
Hurricane decided that he couldn't see me in the shower and so, began screaming and trying to climb into the tub.
I got out, with soap dripping into my eyes, and undressed him. I grabbed some of his toys and realized that showers alone were just not going to happen.
I put Hurricane in the shower with me and started rinsing my hair.
I ended up being able to only wash my hair and half my body since I had to hold him.
Today, I thought I would try this again. Had I lost my mind? Well, yes, but that's not it.
Girl X is home from school. Has been all week because she is sick too. Her mood is good, but her glands are swollen enough to make her look like a chipmunk.
I thought that she could play with her brother long enough for me to shower and that they'd distract each other enough that I may even be able to do this in peace.
People? I am so very stupid. And naive. Yes. I am very naive. Look those words up in the dictionary and there's my picture.
I think my first mistake was letting the bathroom door partly open in case they needed me. After this morning, they fend for themselves. I shall arm them with bayonets and pith helmets and send them into the jungle to hunt for wildebeests and I will shower in peace.
I had barely stepped into the shower when it started.
"Mom, Hurricane pulled my hair."
And he's crying. And she has his beloved Weebles.
"Give him back his toy and go away."
I had a head full of soap when she said Hurricane was hungry and could they please have some cookies. It's 9 am. Is she nuts? In this house we have chocolate cake at 9 am! How could she not know this?
I had to get out of the shower, with my soapy head, and give them some cereal bars. Did I mention that they both had waffles not 15 minutes beforehand?
I didn't even make it all the way back into the shower.
"Mom! Can we have some milk? I mean chocolate milk?"
No. I'm trying to dehydrate you. If a plum turns into a prune and a grape into a raisin, I think a kid would turn into a garden gnome. I just need to test that theory.
I started to rinse the shampoo when they decided that the bathroom was the perfect place for hide-and-seek.
I had my hair covered in conditioner when Girl X told me she needed me to sign something.
"The guy at the door said he needs a name so we can have the box."
Bugger! I think I've told her about a hundred gajillion times not to answer the door. Ever. And most definitely not when I am in the shower!
I hate it when the Fed-Ex guy smirks at you when you are standing there dripping in a robe. Ass.
Back in the shower. Hurricane decides he wants in and begins to take off his clothes. Girl X grabs his Weeble and runs. He screams, grabs the bowl brush and runs after her.
I close my eyes and count to 3.
He hit her with the brush and grabbed his Weeble.
Lesson? Don't mess with a boy's Weeble.
I knew I was running out of time. The water was getting cold and they kept running in and out of the bathroom. It was only a matter of time but again, I foolishly hoped I'd be able to finish without further incident.
Until Hurricane came running in crying and Girl X right behind him yelling "It wasn't me!"
He had fallen into the doorway and cut his head.
I managed to get one leg shaved so this is progress!
There isn't much that I miss about life before the kid's. But a shower that does not require another adult for supervision and a deadbolt on the door is definitely one on the short list.
Sunday, February 19, 2006
Second, I broke my poor baby toe. Or at least I think I did. I stepped funny coming out of my van Friday night and it huuuurrrrttt. I promised Mr X much whining about the toe this weekend. Even more that would be normal for me since I am sick and when I am sick I go into Drama Queen mode. Almost as much as he does. Back to my poor baby toe. I can not step on it. I can not walk. Shoes? Shoes= HAAATTTEEEE. Mr X suggested going to the Dr. I laughed because how silly would it be to go the Dr for a broken toe? He'd just buddy tape it. But mostly because the Dr would likely insist on touching my toe which 1) ow and 2) it's attached to my foot and anything attached to my foot that gets touched? I kick. It's an involuntary reflex. A self-defense move of sorts.
So instead, I've been hobbling around whining in my scratchy almost non-existent voice about my poor baby toe. When I said I wanted blood this weekend, I didn't mean mine. I suppose I should have clarified that a bit.
Mr X was putting together Girl X's bedroom furniture and asked for my help.
"But my tooooeeeee! I can't help, it huuurrrtttsss."
Mr X suggested again going to the Dr only this time for some sedatives. I'm not really sure if the sedatives are for him or for me.
Instead I sat back and watched him put together this gigantic behemoth of an IKEA toy shelf. I watched as he huffed and puffed it into place against the far wall. I looked at Girl X as she frowned and we waited.
I watched as Mr X attempted to put together her new dresser with it's many extra parts that we still don't know where they belong. I am imagining that somewhere out there is another husband attempting to put together this IKEA dresser for his daughter as his wife looks on and he is making up swear words for the missing parts that are here at our house. I watch as Mr X huffs and puffs the dresser into place and cover Girl X's ears as he scratches the paint off the wall and starts talking about rapid antelope.
He attaches the mirror to the wall and Girl X frowns again.
"What?" He asks.
"I want the dresser where the toy shelf is and the toy shelf should go there. That way I can see myself when I wake up and you can see the shelves in the corner with my snow globes. You can't see them now with that thing there and I love you daddy."
I turn around so Mr X can't see me laughing.
He takes the mirror off and rearranges the furniture muttering about kids being smarter than he is. He lands the dresser squarely on his toe and just looks at me.
"Sorry, only one toe whiner per household." I help lift the dresser off his toe as he mutters about moving into his own apartment so he can whine about his toe.
While putting her bed together there was much muttering and confusion. I offered to open the instruction booklet but only received The Look in response.
Girl X wisely let him put the bed where he wanted.
There is still much to be done with setting up her room, most of it I'll do once my toe stops hurting with every little step.
I did suck it up long enough to go to Home Depot with Mr X today and picked out paint for Hurricane's new room. I haven't the heart to tell Mr X that the design for his room would look much better with a chair rail. A chair rail he would have to put up. I would and probably could do it, but it seems that I have the attention span of a gnat.
I still haven't finished recovering the chairs (damn staples).
Originally, I wanted this red with this only a bit lighter brown for the upper half of the room. But Mr X hates red. I think it comes with growing up where everything you ever owned being red. His clothes, the family car, their homes- everything. It's MIL's favorite color. So, we picked blue for the lower half and the lighter brown on top. I just have to figure out what else I want to do in there.
I love to paint. Much like the putting together of furniture, it involves a mess and some swearing.
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
I am a big dork. Shocker, I know!
I know I am. I think I probably always have been but I used to be really good at denial. I don't make a good first- or 10th- impression. Computers are easy. I can make friends over the internet with ease. Why? Because I can read over and over the things I write before I hit send and edit the flow stupid things I say so that I sound somewhat less than crazy.
Making friends in person? I have no idea how to do this. It may start out well. I make eye contact with another mom at the library and we make small talk about which is better Walter the Farting Dog or Dog Breath: The Horrible Trouble with Hally Tosis. We realize we live only a few blocks from each other, our kids are close to the same age, and we begin talking play dates. But it's inevitable. I say something incredibly obnoxious, like about how we think farting is an Olympic sport, and suddenly I'm standing there alone with my copy of Harold and The Purple Crayon cursing my broken filter.
Even when I think I get it right, I'll go home and realize that I blew it.
I once tried giving myself 30 seconds before speaking what I was thinking- as opposed to the instant verbal vomiting I usually do- but this only gave me more time to come up with something stupid to announce. Like how I can't go to the bathroom without first looking in the toilet to make sure a snake isn't going to come up and bite me in the ass because stupid me watched the stupid news and saw that guy who found a python in his bathroom. And you know that look people get when they think you have lost your marbles and may start shooting up the place at any moment? Because I do.
I once tried to meet up with some friends I had been chatting with for a few years. I dragged Mr X and Girl X with me in hopes that I'd be less inclined to speak. I left thinking I had been ok. I hadn't said anything too terribly stupid. I actually stayed up for awhile that night analyzing the things I said (I did mention I was a dork right?) and thought that I had finally gotten it right. And then it dawned on me that the reason I didn't say many horribly stupid and obnoxious things is because I kept shoveling food in my mouth like a moron. Why these people still talk to me? Um. Maybe because they're too polite to tell me to just shut up already?
Even when I manage to get past that point or find someone who thinks I'm just a little quirky instead of weird and maybe a little scary, eventually they're going to meet my MIL or some other member of my family and there is just no explaining that.
I won't even talk on the phone to most people because not only do I still say stupid things, but it's like I suddenly forget that they can hear everything I say, so if I run into Mr X while talking, I'll start telling him about Girl X's monster poop and the person on the other end of the phone is all "Ew! I was just about to eat!"
And maybe it's because I don't really know what to say so I just start saying anything that comes to mind. Unfortunately most of the stuff that comes to my mind, is kind of gross and certainly strange.
I am much better suited to this. Because at least here, when I start talking about my dad's battle with the chipmunk it's kind of funny, instead of really sad.
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
* See how he's about to swallow that entire block? Didn't I ever tell you that we don't feed him? I gave that up. It was part of my New Year's resolution. The part where I vowed to longer chase him down the hall with a spoon and a bowl of cereal. Instead he eats blocks. And Cat. And occasionally the bits of cocoa puffs Girl X trails across the floor while playing Hansel and Gretel.
I don't need no stinkin' yogurt! She neglected to tell you that she has hidden vegetables (VEGETABLES!) in my yogurt. Dude! That's so wrong.
*I am anxiously anticipating this weekend when we will be setting up Girl X's bedroom. There will be swearing. There will be injuries. I dare to hope that there will be blood. Because, you know? It's not worth it if there isn't any blood shed. I have my trusty rusty screwdriver ready to go.
*Mr X bought a stationary bike this weekend so that we could work out but still be lazy because that's just the perfect kind of exercise when you can sit down and watch TV and burn calories. After my first attempt I realized a few things.
1) Even riding a bike, I look like I'm having a seizure as evidenced by the fact that Girl X took one look at me and started crying because she thought I was sick.
2) I must sit on a pillow while riding that bike because the seat is like a rock, a narrow rock, and my ass? It huuuuurrrrtttss.
3)If this has been a real bike, I would have fallen off several times. The only reason I didn't fall off of this one? The couch kept me propped up everytime I slipped.
*I need to get out of this house. And away from the kids. Because? I got excited at the thought of shampooing the carpets this weekend. I think there should be alcohol involved. Actually, I'm starting to like this idea. I mean, my neighbors already think I'm a drunk so it wouldn't surprise any of them to find me shampooing my driveway while holding a martini. And I have never had a martini. I want a martini. I think. Uh-huh. I want to at least try one. And I bet I'll be drunk after one. In fact, I doubt that it would take the whole martini. But it would make shampooing the driveway a lot more interesting. I'm actually a little concerned about shampooing the carpets because I've never really done it before. We have a shampoo thingy but it does nothing except belch loudly and spit water. I'm going to rent one and hope I don't break it. And also? Hope I don't end up shampooing my foot. Maybe I better wear shoes. Because when I do shampoo my foot, and I probably will, at least I can get my shoes clean at the same time. It's called multi-tasking.
* I told Mr X no Valentines presents. I tell him this every year because our anniversary and my birthday are just around the corner, and Valentine's Day always reminds me of 2nd grade when this kid Mike wrote me a dirty Valentine that got him kicked out of our class. So it was nice when Girl X gave me one and then Hurricane offered to pick my nose for me. And by offered? I mean I bent over for a kiss and he jammed his finger into my nose, poking my brain and laughed.
* Pucker up ladies (sorry guys)!
I owe this kid $37.75. You'd think he'd cut his mom some slack but nooooo.
Monday, February 13, 2006
But jello? How bad could that be? I'm sick, there's very little I really want to eat. Jello? I thought I could handle it. The first bite was chewy. Not like hospital cafeteria chewy. I mean like taffy would have been easier. And it was kind of bland. But eh. It was jello.
Then I looked down and saw It staring back up at me. Waving it's little dark ends at me. Mocking me for thinking I could eat something and keep it down.
That? That is a thick black hair. In the middle of my jello.
Screw you Bill Cosby. There will never be room for Jello here again.
Sunday, February 12, 2006
Mr X decided that before Ikea we should go to Sears because 'Sears totally has kid's beds. I know they do. They have to!' and you know? I was kind of scared by the desperation in his voice so I just patted his head and said 'ok.' And then I got excited because I knew this was going to involve swearing. And not just swearing, but that lame stuff he does in front of the kids that I think is funny but no one else does.
We packed up the kids and headed out. Mr X decided that we had to go to a Sears we had never been to before "they're all different! I just know it!" and it took forever to get there. I have the World's Tiniest Bladder. As in, it doesn't matter that I went 5 minutes ago, I have to go again and NOW. And every little dip in the road was killing me! We finally pull into the parking lot and I could've floated into the mall. I don't think I've ever run so fast. Mr X said it was funny because I look like an idiot while exercising and my desperate pee-dash counted. It is at this point that I must profess my unnatural love of Sears. Or at least this Sears. For while they had nothing interesting in the way of beds, their bathroom had many, many stalls. Enough that I didn't have to wait in line, although I got quite a few looks as I ran in (remember: me running= idiot).
I was so relieved I didn't even pick on Mr X too badly when we found out about the lack of beds. Well, not as much as I pick on him for watching American Idol.
Then it was on to Ikea. Oh Ikea, how I love your confusing 3 buildings solely for parking. And the insane way that they are set up so that it guarantees many near misses. It led to Mr X's unleashing of the 'flatulent Buffalo!' swear.
We set Girl X loose in the store, telling her to choose her new bed. Which? Tantamount to telling her the store was made of candy and she had free rein to go wild.
She laid on everything. Including some low-lying coffee tables. We had to stop her from climbing on to the lower lying dressers. We also had to explain that the pallet in the corner was not a bed. Just a pallet. She threw herself across 4 beds declaring 'this is the one! I love it! It's perfect! Yes, this one!' each time. Then she would spot a different bed, a new color, the wood, the metal, the height, the fact that this one is lying along the path with all the others but the other one is set up like it's in a room.... it all mattered. After begging and pleading and a minor tantrum on Mr X's part, she finally chose a wrought-iron style bed. But only if we agreed to buy the netting that goes over the bed. She's such a negotiator!
The dresser. I swear, after this? I never want to go shopping with this girl again. She pulled out each and every drawer on every dresser they had. Open. Close. Slowly. Quickly. Open. Close. Running her hands over the top. Studying the grain in the wood and peering intently into the smooth surface of the white one. And then chose the first one she saw. By the time we got to nightstands, we gave her a choice between 2 and 5 minutes to decide. She sighed and lamented about how that was simply not enough time to study the nightstands much less decide. But she did.
Then it was on to picking Hurricane's future bed. It was then that I discovered where Girl X got her shopping habits from. Mr X poked at every single kid's bed they had. Did I mention that we had already decided before we left which one we wanted? Uh-huh. So, poke poke. At least he didn't lay on them. No. He had Girl X lay on them and then told her to pretend she was a boy. She promptly burped and started scratching her belly. I stopped her before she went any further with that.
The bed we picked? Exactly what we already knew we were getting. I think the whole thing with poking all those other beds was simply 'fun' for Mr X. Hurricane was totally bored with the whole thing. We got Hurricane the Kura bed. You can start it out low and then flip it over so he sleeps on the top bunk and has a play area underneath. We got him a dresser just like his sister's and thankfully, it did not require opening and closing each and every drawer. Same thing with the nightstand.
We started winding our way out of the store when Mr X spotted a Diktad. Gah! I love those names! It was this little itty-bitty desk just the perfect size for Hurricane. And we HAD to have it. That's the thing about Ikea. You go in for like 4 things, and you leave with an entirely new house.
Then it was time for the part I always dread. The self-serve warehouse. Which? Not so bad in itself, but the signs that lead the way, the signs that promise it's just around the corner? They lie. People could disappear from that path never to be found again. Which is probably why Mr X began chanting "All roads lead to Rome!" and muttering about needing his Caesar costume from 2 years ago. ****Side story- Here I go again, getting all off topic because it's what I do and I do this when I'm talking to people too and I am so damned annoying. Mr X always dresses up for Halloween, but it's always matched to whatever the kids are wearing. One year, Girl X was Scooby, he was Shaggy. Hurricane was Humpty Dumpty, he was the brick wall. She was Cleopatra, he was Caesar. He spent that night wandering the neighborhood shouted "Hail Caesar!", "Et tu Brutus?" and "My kingdom for a horse!" which I think was not quite right but then, neither is he. And if our neighbors think I'm a falling down drunk? Imagine what they think of him!******* Back to 'All roads leading to Rome'. Mr X was not satisfied with freaking out the people in the lighting section. No, he then had to announce to everyone else on the path that he thought Swedish food made him gassy. People gave us a very wide berth. In fact, it was wide enough that while everyone else waited in line, we? Did not.
When we went to load everything into the van, we realized that it would not all fit. I'm not sure why this was such a surprise to us. We had removed the back seats, but what in the world ever made us think we could fit a queen size bed, a bunk bed, 2 dressers, 2 nightstands and a desk in there. So we drove to Mr X's work , in the industrial area, to get his shop truck.
He drove back to pick up the rest of our things while I attempted to entertain the little people at McDonald's. I never thought I'd long for a playland so badly! Instead we spent the hour playing 'guess that smell'.
Y'all? The bathroom won.
Killing an hour was harder than I thought it would be and it's not like we could really hide since the place was empty. Feeding them only took 20 minutes and then I had all that time left to try to keep them from destroying the place.
When Mr X came back I got to hear several new 'swear' words that involved chipmunks and enemas. The dresser we had picked out for Hurricane had sold out by the time he went back, but they would have more of them the next morning. Which meant 3 trips, 3 different cars in 2 days. And more swearing.
Mr X left early the next morning to get there as soon as they opened but first stopped at the shop to get the truck. When he was turning off the alarm, he accidentally bumped the fire button but the alarm cleared and nothing showed on the little screen so he thought nothing of it. He pulled in his car and then lowered the garage door. As he was leaving, he heard these sirens and wondered where they were coming from.
And then he saw them pull right in front of his work. There was much swearing and none of it involved animals. At least not the kind that would have been safe for children. So far the day had cost his company $150 (thank you awesome boss for not making him pay!) and they weren't even open. Although, I do think Mr X will now and forever be known as Smokey the False.
The day couldn't possibly get worse. Right?
He made it home with Hurricane's dresser, so relieved that he made it back in tact, happily backing up the truck to unload.
He ran right into the garage door.
I've been trying really hard not to laugh in front of him. Well, not too hard anyway.
Thursday, February 09, 2006
Hurricane has a cold and he's teething and is therefore not sleeping well. At midnight I sat in his room, rocking with him, making that 'shhhhh' noise that seems to soothe him, gently rubbing his back. Our house was quiet. Outside I could see the streetlight and see that the wind was blowing. It struck me then what was missing.
I have never slept well, never been able to sleep through the night. When I was a kid and would wake up, my bed beneath my window, I could reach my hand up and feel the cool draft. If the wind was blowing, it rattled my single pane window. Our house was very old and in the middle of town. A quiet street with a big old tree just outside my window and to the right. The windows were large, single-paned, younger than the house but still very old. There was paint on them along where the trim lay. Our house creaked. We had hidden spaces in closets where if you pushed on the wall, you could slide it over and have enough space to hide your diary or as I got older, booze and love letters. In the summer, we'd sleep with the windows open and be woken up by the smell from the chocolate factory that was just around the corner. Weekends were for the beach and the sand. But we rarely saw eachother. We hid in our rooms. I was the youngest and I watched my siblings get their licenses and disappear. Before that, we rarely all ate dinner together. It wasn't sports or other after-school activities that kept us apart. It's just that there was nothing to really keep us together.
Here, now. This house is new, 5 years old. The windows don't rattle. There are no chocolate factories to haunt during the summer months when the smell could cover the town. Our street is quiet enough but I don't know many of my neighbors. We eat together every night. We help Girl X with her homework and play board games, crafts, movies. We find those things we always wanted to do as kids and do it. It is as it was when I was very young. During a time that it is hard to recall. It is as I want it to be when the kids get older. Vacations, day trips to museums and playgrounds.
We talk. Our days, the joke Girl X heard on the playground, Hurricane's new word. We stress the importance of charity; that it's not a person's ability to throw a ball, paint a picture or sing that makes them good. It's the good that they do for others that makes them a hero. We talk about the value of taking care of your health; something no one in our family can ever take for granted. We talk about whether or not pigs can talk when no one is listening.
As I get older, I find it's the quiet moments I appreciate most. Whispering in the dark with Girl X about things that happened at school last week or what she wants to be someday (currently it's a teacher). Curling up on the couch to watch a movie while the kids are asleep. Rocking in Hurricane's room at midnight, watching the wind move the trees over my neighbor's house.
But I miss those windows. I miss the light rattle and the cool draft on a quiet night.
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
This round of home improvement started because of my insane need to plan things out months, nay years!, ok only months, in advance. This summer, Girl X (geez that makes her sound like a superhero. Girl X! Able to ignore adult voices for days! She can leap the mounds of toys in the middle of her floor! Envied for her ability to evade small children who want to pull her hair! Right. Anyway.....) will be moving to what is currently the guest room. I still have to convince Mr X that that room needs to be repainted. It's a dark green. The paint sample had looked so much lighter. And then he painted the closet doors when I wasn't looking. The CLOSET DOORS!! Plus, she likes blue. And the new bed set we just bought her is blue. I'll work on it.
Hurricane is going to be moving into his sister's current room. Her current room is covered in butterflies. And clouds. And it's girly.
Mr X was set on getting a car bed for him. Until I explained that then we'd be forced to buy him another bed in a few years because chicks won't date a guy with a car bed (thanks A. for that tip!). Incidentally, this is the same reason I gave him for throwing away his 'Boobies of the World' shirt last night. Gaw! I am a horrible wife. Throwing away a poor man's booby shirt. They were cartoon boobies. And there were a lot of them. He ranted for an hour about all the different kinds of boobies there were and how now he wouldn't be able to walk up to a barista and say "Hey! You have coat hook boobies!" because he would no longer be sure that they were in fact coat hook boobies. They could be praying boobies but he could no longer refer back to his booby shirt and now the poor barista would never know what kind of boobies she had. I asked him if he got hit a lot before he met me. He said "Yes. How'd you know?" And then he continued ranting about the booby shirt but I left the room so who knows where he went with that. All I know is that the booby shirt is in the trash can sitting on our curb, stapled to some ugly chair fabric and buried under coffee grounds lest he pull a Girl X and go dig it out. Goodbye Booby shirt.
What was I saying before I went off on a tangent? I have to stop doing that.
Right. So, we spent the evening looking at bedding and settled on some denim Green Bay Packers bedding (I vetoed the shiny stuff- ew- but had to give in somewhere) and we're looking for another set to switch back and forth with. His only demand (ha!) is that it have something to do with sports. Because this family is all about the sports! I have not one athletic bone in my body. I traded them all for cake. Because I'm all about the cake. I got rid of his booby shirt so I think this is the least I can do for him (isn't it funny how we're always looking for the least thing we can do for someone? Have you ever heard someone say that it was the most they could for someone who saved their life or gave up a truly awful shirt?). Still working on the second set of bedding. I found a few I liked, but I can't justify spending $350-$400 (or the $1,250 the one place wanted) on kids' bedding. Search is still on.
But the bed! We found a truly awesome bunkbed with a desk built into it. We both loved it. We talked over it for 30 minutes. 'Look at the shelves!', 'but he won't need 2 beds.', 'Gah! It's beautiful!', 'Do you think it would be too big for his room?', 'Can we get that bed for us to use?' and then we noticed the price. If I'm not willing to spend $400 on bedding, there is no way in hell I'm spending that unspeakable amount on a bed! Bye bye beautiful bed.
"We could go to Ikea." I love Ikea. They have furniture with funny names like Fartful. I want a Fartful. I don't know what it is, but anything named Fartful would fit in so well here. Mr X is less feeling the love for Ikea, even though he too likes Fartful ('honey, I'm feeling fartful today. Pull my finger!' We should grow up sometime.). He's just less than happy about the long drive and the long lines and the maze and the fact that going there gives me crazy ideas like the monstrosity of a toyshelf we bought Girl X and on which she broke her face.
But there are ways to get what you want. The easiest, as he really wanted to go to bed, was put my always icy hands under his shirt and ask sweetly.
He shrieked a little like a girl but said Ikea was a grand idea! Grand!!
I am a horrible wife. First the booby shirt and now the cold cold hands of the lover of all things Ikea and shopping.
I get to go to Ikea. And I get to paint. And I get to learn all kinds of new inventive swear words. Hopefully something better than constipated bunnies. Like Armadillos. That could be funnier.
Monday, February 06, 2006
Examples of our less than stellar parenting:
*It's become a game in our house to scare the pants off each other. This usually entails waiting until someone is really engrossed in what they're doing and then jumping out at them. It's usually me that is getting jumped at because I startle easily. Like, pathetically easy. It comes with growing up in a house with 2 older brothers who amused themselves by torturing me. But, it also works well if you hide and wait for your prey, er, kid to innocently walk in to use the bathroom and then just when they're sitting down you jump out from behind the shower curtain thereby insuring their ability to pee really fast for the rest of their lives. Or like the time I had Mr X bury me in Girl X's toybox. I was covered head to toe in stuffed animals with her Mr Bunny Tails over my head. When she came in the house to get a popsicle, Mr X told her to get Mr Bunny Tails because he needed to fix an ear. At first she didn't see him so she dug around for a bit. I thought I was busted for sure but nope. She reached for Mr Bunny Tails and just as she grabbed him I popped up. People? My kid can run fast. She also has a mean right hook. Trust me.
The thing is, she loves it. We took her to Disneyland for her 5th birthday and went into the Haunted mansion. She cried and clung to my arm the whole time begging to get out of there. We told her to just cover her eyes and hang on. As soon as we left she looked at me, with tears in her eyes, heaving and sniffling and asked if we could do it again.
*I've woken her up in the middle of the night (during a weekend) to play in the snow. She was dressed warmly enough but geez! It was the middle of the night.
*She used to wake up when Mr X would get up for work (4:30 am) and he would give her cookies or a piece of candy. It drove me nuts but eventually he stopped.
She has had 2 cavities.
*She once stabbed my dad with a fork.
She was eating pancakes (don't ever mess with her pancakes!). My dad tried to sneak a piece off her plate and she got mad so she stabbed him. She was barely 4 at the time.
I laughed (so did my dad), but realized that maybe I should teach her to be a little less protective of her food and she is now. Just don't mess with her pancakes.
*She has had 4 black eyes and she bit a rottweiler when she was 18 months old. 1 of the black eyes was from a fight with a 4 year old boy when she was 22 months old. He took her book and hit her so she threw him down and bit him. The rottweiler- he snapped at her friend. She bit the dog. The dog? Totally shocked. These were at daycare.
The other 3 black eyes were from daredevil moves. Like flying off the couch and trying to get over the coffee table. And missing.
*Hurricane recently found the cat litter box. What is with kids and their love of poop?
So, sometimes we suck at this. And I realize that someday, my kids are going to look at their significant others and say "I don't care, it's going to be so easy to be better parents than them."
To that I say "Ha! See if you ever get cocoa puffs for dinner again."
Sunday, February 05, 2006
And I'm not really sure which is more disturbing. All those little staples in one chair, or the fact that I took a picture of it to show you so that you would know I'm not crazy. Kind of blew that one didn't I?
Friday, February 03, 2006
Go out on the street and find a perfect stranger. Throw up on them and then smile. See what happens. I doubt that they'll clean you up and try to make you feel better. Oh and I really don't recommend that you go out and find someone to throw up on. You'll probably get punched.
Who else on the planet could get away with groping you in public and have the people around you think it's cute?
Hurricane grabs my boobs and pinches until I yelp and everyone thinks that's 'adorable'. Yeah. So are the bruises.
He kicks and it's funny. Well, funny for him. My legs, now a lovely shade of eggplant, are mildly less amused.
He sticks his fingers in his nose and says 'cookie' now on a nearly daily basis and I can't help but giggle. Even if we are in the middle dinner.
He yells for my attention if I dare to answer the phone. And the caller always responds with 'Oh how sweet. I'll call you later when he's napping or something.' I think of it was my husband yelling for my attention, they'd be a bit more annoyed. Plus? All I can think is 'damn! I need some adult interaction before Elmo takes over my mind!'
And do I even need to mention the shape he left my body in? I mean come on! If you're going to borrow something, you should leave it the same way you found it!
And I can't wait to do it all over again.
Thursday, February 02, 2006
"Yes, hold still."
"Ewwww..... Squish." giggles.
She was 2 and I was holding her hand in this gel like stuff, trying to make a mold to pour plaster over. Trying to preserve this tiny hand. She's not making it easy.
"Squish!" wiggles her fingers and laughs.
"Girl X, you have to hold very still. Once it's done, we can get out the play-dough ok?"
"Ok mommy." Pause. "SQUISH!"
And now I'm looking at that little handprint poking out of the plaster that we had painted light pink. I can see all the swirls in her fingertips, the lines in her palm.
"I know." We're done with the gel stuff.
"Let's wash it off ok?"
She used to let me wash her hands. She liked the way the water played over her fingers when she wiggled them back and forth. She liked her watermelon foamy soap, the only one she would use.
"Pay-do now mommy?"
I run my fingers over her plaster ones. I rub the smooth part where her hand had pressed through the gel from all the squirming. I put my palm to her plaster one and stretch out my fingers. Her hands were tiny, her fingers long. Like mine.
There were moments, brief and sweet, where she would curl into me and I could breathe her in, that sweet spot on the back of her neck where her little blonde waves barely reached. Moments where you could not tell where I ended and she began.
The paint on the plaster cast is faded a bit. I need to touch it up. The date on the back was from the summer I packed up everything we owned and jumped off the cliff. We moved here, 3,000 miles from where we started. A new beginning. Her hand print meant so much to me then.
Her green eyes are just like mine. They turn almost yellow when she gets mad. Just like mine. Her mouth curls in when she's thinking hard about something. Just like mine. She can be quiet and serious. But when she's feeling silly, look out.
Her hand was so small in mine. I slowed my pace to match her little legs. She liked to make up stories, still does. Then it was about dogs and cats living in the pond in front of our old house. Now she tells her brother stories about a king and his sister queen with oddly familiar names and the kingdom they ruled.
Her hands are almost as big as mine now. Her fingers will be longer than mine after all. Her hair is darker.
She is very much separate from me as she plays with her neighborhood friends and does her homework.
Every morning, Hurricane and I go out to watch her get on the bus. She'll play with her brother but mostly she pretends I'm not there and plays with the other girls. I pretend it doesn't bother me. I stand back and watch. We wave as the bus leaves.
When she went to preschool, she would cry for me throughout the day. She didn't want me to leave. Over time, things became more confusing there, so we pulled her out and I ended up staying home with her.
When she's sick, I get to see a glimpse of what was. The curling into me. Hearing her call out for 'mommy'; something she stopped doing when I wasn't looking. Letting me brush her hair back from her forehead and breath in that sweet spot on the back of her neck.
I put her plaster hand cast back on the shelf.
There are moments I miss from her toddler-era. Yet I see how she is becoming who she will be and I like what I'm seeing, even if it is further away from me.
"Pay-do squishy mommy."
"Yes it is."
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
I can't believe I ever thought that was hard.
Feeding a drama queen. Now THAT is hard. And that is Hurricane.
Breakfast isn't too bad. As long as I put whatever it is in his red bowl and use his Packer's spoon. If it's cereal, there had better be bananas. Eggs? Only if there's cheese. Pancake? Just watch your fingers. If you're not careful you may come back with stubs.
He finds vegetables insulting. As soon as he spots them on his plate, he pokes them, wrinkles his nose and turns away. He will not eat anything until the offending bits of vegetables are thrown away.
I've tried hiding them in other things he eats and have occasionally gotten away with it. But when he spots the bit of green bean I have stealthily hidden in his grilled cheese he will simply stop and stare me down. It is very unnerving to be stared down by someone under 3 feet tall and incapable of using the toilet. Then, to make the situation just that much more uncomfortable, he makes this growly noise at me. I remove the green bean and he warily takes a bite. But now he's on Alert! He knows! Somewhere in that sandwich I have hidden more vegetables and this Cannot Be Tolerated! No!
Then there is the deal with his overall pickiness. There are very few foods that he can eat and even less that he will eat. And just to make it more interesting, what works one night, will not work again. So, if I get him to eat some salmon sticks one night, he will not eat them again. No matter how much he loved them before. Not even if I cover them in pudding. Not that I've ever tried that in a desperate attempt to put food in his belly. No. Not ever. Uh-huh.
So if I manage to get 3 bites of anything in him and have it remain in him and not spit back out at me or Cat, I feel that I've accomplished something. My kitchen is a mess. I have bits of pasta in my hair. Cat is licking up some applesauce that fell on him as he lay 'sleeping' by the highchair. Notice I said 'fell' and not 'was flung down by one rather disgruntled toddler in a fit of rage that it was not the much cherished pudding'? Hurricane is looking at me as though I have 3 heads and preparing to throw whatever bits of food he has stashed at his side. But I have managed to get a few bites in him. Victory!!
I sit down to eat my dinner and Hurricane just looks at me for a moment. I take a bite. He drops his Legos and comes running up to me with his mouth open 'AHHHHHHH", pointing accusingly at me as if I've been hiding the good stuff from him. I offer him a bite and he looks insulted. He rolls his eyes and carefully, carefully!, lays himself down on the floor to begin his Scarlett O'Hara (I knew I shouldn't have watched Gone With the Wind so many times while I was pregnant!) impersonation. It entails much rolling and swaying, a draping of his arm over his forehead and the toddler equivalent of 'alas' repeated over and over again.
My mistake was probably laughing for this brought on the monster face followed by him standing up, throwing his head back and stomping his little feet all the while wailing. Then Mr X started laughing (Gah! We're awful people laughing at a starving and deprived little boy!) and he went back to carefully laying himself down and throwing a fit.
I didn't have the heart to tell him that it's difficult to take a fit seriously if he's not even willing to throw himself down and really scream. I mean really! What is wrong with toddlers today when they can't even throw a fit right?
To mollify him, I let him sit on my lap and feed himself.
Thus begins a new phase of feeding that must be followed strictly as stated above. Or be treated to Scarlett O'Hara's permanent presence at dinner.