For the most part, my Little Man will eat most things. I've bragged about this many times before, as I'm a big believer in showing off to the world about something to tempt the universe into kicking me in the teeth again and taking my bragging rights away from me.
But at some point during the past couple of months, Little Man has decided that he hates green beans. Not sure where this came from. I buy frozen beans and I don't boil them to death, so they still have a nice green look to them and they're not of the texture of dog poop, the way my mother-in-law's canned green beans that she boils for 30-45 minutes tend to be.
But he won't eat mine. He won't eat my mother-in-law's either. He won't eat them with cheese on them. He won't eat them with ketchup.
And I'm fairly certain he won't eat them on a boat or a train or any of the other places that you can eat green eggs and ham.
If I make those mixed veggies that have corn, carrots, peas and green beans in them, Little Man will meticulously pull out all of the green beans and set them aside or toss them to the dogs when I'm not looking.
But if he had it his way, he'd eat his weight in those other veggies in the veggie mix.
Yesterday, when I picked up Little Man from daycare, his daily report read the following:
"At lunch, Little Man tried to feed his green beans to his friends."
I guess when you don't have dogs around you and offensive green beans are staring at you on your paper plate, you've got to get creative.
Friday, March 30, 2007
For the most part, my Little Man will eat most things. I've bragged about this many times before, as I'm a big believer in showing off to the world about something to tempt the universe into kicking me in the teeth again and taking my bragging rights away from me.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
So I'm back in town. And Little Man acted like I'd never been gone. When he woke up this morning, I rushed into his room, expecting him to pee himself in the excitement of seeing me. But apparently, he didn't even realize that I was gone or something. Which I guess is good. Or at least, that's what I'm going with and if you could back me up with that, I'd greatly appreciate it. I'm pretty sure some crackpot out there wrote a book that states that when a child doesn't give a rat's ass that their parent left for three days shows that they're well adjusted and will become a really, really rich doctor. The kind that separates third-world country twins for free in their spare time.
So there are two stories that I must share with you. The first is one of utter mortification.
You see, in case you didn't read any of my posts about my past life as a geek and nerd (I was both, because I was always an over-achiever, something else I have strived hard to lose in my 20's and early 30's), no matter how hard I try to be cool, collected and well put together, the universe always kicks me in the ass with a steel-toed boot (the universe is a big fan of that early 90's grunge look and still wears Doc Martens) to remind me that I am in fact a nerd with not a lot of class.
So on Monday night, my first day in San Diego, I had to attend a swanky dinner at a swanky place with some important people. Since I'm the PR girl, I'm supposed to be the girl who breaks the ice for my people and leads the group and knows where to go and all sorts of other things that I'm forced to pretend to be.
It's a lot of fun, but it's also freaking exhausting when on the inside you're still and awkward 13-year old with a bad hair cut and bad skin.
When we arrived at the swanky place, I walked in front of my group, full of confidence. We walked out to the patio, where everyone was gathered, and when I opened the door, there stood a gentleman in a shirt and tie who smiled at me. Assuming this was an important dude (or a marketing person) with our partner who'd invited us to the affair, I confidently put out my hand, smiled warmly and said "Hello, I'm Catwoman with Company X," and proceeded to introduce everyone in my group to him.
I did notice a look of confusion in his eye, but no one stops confident PR girl.
When I was done my introductions, he asked me "And what would you like to drink?"
My heart dropped.
I freaking introduced my entire group to the waiter. As 50 people on the patio watched.
Why the hell would waiters not wear a waiter uniform? Or a nametag or something? How are stupid people like me who eat at Chili's and Chik-fil-a all the time supposed to know the difference between an IT executive and a waiter if they dress alike.
I'm just hoping that I just came off like a charming polite Texas girl who likes to introduce herself to everyone, including our drink waiter.
The other story I must share is one of bitchiness.
Now, since most of you read my second by second discourse on the fantasticness that is my Little Man, you already know that for the most part, I like kids. I like that they are short adults and that their noses scrunch up when they smile or that they tell you you're old.
And as you know, I greatly enjoyed my flight to San Diego, because it was just me and Us Weekly. And some chocolate.
Which to a working mom is like a day at one of those thousand dollar spas that celebrities go to. Forget a massage, to relax me, all I need is a smelly airline seat next to a dirty window with a trashy magazine, big puffy clouds traveling outside my window and some kind of milk chocolate melting in my mouth in an explosion of cocoa goodness.
And so I was looking forward to my flight home, because it would mean that one, I was going home to Sweetie Pie, Little Man, the cats and the dogs. And two, that I'd get to read all about Angelina's adoption of Pax and the misery that is Katie Holmes' life.
Unfortunately, in front of me sat the most obnoxious and rudest four year-old boy.
With the stupidest mother there ever was.
Now, as a mom, any time I go anywhere with Little Man, I am sure to bring him stuff to entertain him. Even if we're just going 10 minutes away to the store. So when we fly 3.5 hours somewhere, I've got a whole kit and caboodle of toys, treats and other crap to entertain him with so that the passengers around me aren't trying to impale themselves with their armrest to get away from the screams of a bored restrained child.
But this mother only seemed to have brought a trashy magazine for herself and the kid's older sister. And so the four year old spent the entire flight screaming as loudly as he could things like "MOMMY! MOMMY!!! ARE WE LANDING SOON?" "MOMMY!!!!! MOMMY!!!! HI!"
The kid had the window seat, the sister the middle seat and the mom had the aisle seat. No screaming was required for her to hear him. But not once did she shush him or ask him to use his inside voice. The sister, who looked to be about seven or eight did shush him once or twice. Apparently she had more sense than the mother.
The mother began ignoring the kid's constant calls for her attention, so he proceeded to entertain himself by chanting "AAAAAAAAAAH! AAAAAAAAAAAH!" for over half an hour, I am not kidding. Not once did the mother do anything about this.
My blood began to boil as I could feel a migraine starting and at this point, the idea of listening to this for another two hours began to be too much to bear, since I'd listened to this for an hour and a half already. I've never cursed myself more for forgetting my iPod.
Finally, in the middle of the kid's buddhist like "AAAAAAH" screaming, unable to take it for another second, I stood up looked down at the kid from the back of his seat and said to him in a really stern voice "WOULD YOU PLEASE STOP SCREAMING!!!"
In shock, the kid stared back at me and said "I'm soh-wee!"
The mother shot me a look, but I couldn't care less.
And you know what? The kid actually kept his word. He was pretty good the rest of the flight. No screaming. Some loud excited talking a few times, but this is a four year-old for crying out loud! He should be allowed to talk a little too loudly when he's excited.
When I told this story to Sweetie Pie after I got home very late last night, he just laughed. "What's so funny?" I asked.
- Well, I thought that maybe you going to California for a few days would soften up my Little Ball of Hate, but apparently you weren't there long enough."
This morning, he's still hanging by his boxers from the neighbor's flagpole.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
So right now, I'm still in San Diego. I shouldn't be. I should be in my cubicle staring at the blue walls.
Instead, I've had to extend my trip by an extra day. My first call wasn't to my boss. It was to Sweetie Pie, to tell him he'd be a single father for one more day.
And so now, I sit in my room, looking out at the Pacific Ocean, admiring two enormous aircraft carriers, waiting for some man with a big tray with a plate of 15 dollar pancakes covered by a silver cover to bring my food to my room, because I'm apparently too lazy to take an elevator and be fed downstairs.
I heart business trips.
And I especially heart business trips to gorgeous cities like San Diego.
Although, stupid me assumed that since this is Southern California, it must be warm here. After all, it's in the high 70's (mid 20's in celsius) in Dallas. So I've packed nothing but short-sleeved shirt.
Yeah, it's in the high 50's here. I don't know what that is in celsius. It's just freaking too cold to wear short-sleeves and no jacket. That's what it is.
And then there's the freaking wind. In Texas, if there was wind like that, we'd be convinced that either a hurricane and/or tornado are coming. Not so in San Diego, as this must be normal since the weather anchor said yesterday morninng that it "might be a little windy."
Might be? A little?
That's like saying that Gisele Budchen is a little attractive.
Or that I'd like to jump Tom Brady's bones a little.
I was almost carried out to sea yesterday people, when my wheelie suitcase was propelled by the 200 miles/hour winds that turned it into a mastiff dog that dragged me down the sidewalk.
I'm just saying that things like that don't happen when it's a little spring breeze.
So San Diego, I rate you a 10/10 on beauty. And I love your palm trees.
But you weather people? They are a-crazy. And how they have such great hair is a freaking mystery to me, because mine has looked like Sanjaya's mohawk on American Idol.
Monday, March 26, 2007
OK, first of all, I have to point out that I totally blew my own blog milestone. My post this morning was my 400th. 4-freaking-hundred people!
Do you realize that if I'd put to use all that time I spent blogging on working out instead, I'd probably look like Jennifer Aniston. Or maybe Gisele Budchen. And then I'd be dating Tom Brady, that freaking hot muffin of a man and all of you would be discussing whether or not I'm carrying his child.
But no, instead I got hooked on blogging. Which I guess is better than getting addicted to crack. Or to not wearing underwear, like Britney. Because not wearing underwear lands you in rehab nowadays. It also causes you to shave your head, although I can't scientifically explain why.
Either way, my point is that I'm a total man about this. I have been looking foward to my 400th post since early January. Not looking forward to it in a "wow, I wonder what lame ass thing I'm going to write!"
But in a when I hit that 400 milestone, then I'll officially be a blogger. Not of Dooce's caliber, of course. Because I don't know if I'll ever get to that level. Actually, I do know. I know that I won't ever get to that level. Because one, I like my secret identity. Only a few people I know actually know about this blog. And most of the people who read it now, don't know who I am.
Mind you, with my posting pictures of my son, I guess it'd be pretty easy for someone who knows me who stumbled on this site to figure out who I am. But isn't that true of all superheroes?
But back to my original point. This morning, I posted my 400th post. And what did I spend it on? Freaking whining, that's what!
Mind you, if you ask me (and you should, really) I totally deserved to be whining, because I have slept very poorly the last two nights. Which nothing makes me crankier than a bad night's sleep. So no one can relate better to poor M, because really, poor chick hasn't slept in probably weeks at this point, due to the selfishness of her unborn baby. To M I say that if she chose to murder someone for taking her parking spot at Target, I'd totally testify for her.
So why have I slept poorly for the past two nights? A variety of factors really. One, stress at work. Last week was pretty crazy, something I am no longer used to. Plus I think I was stressed about this business trip I'm now on, because it's the first time I'm leaving my Little Man for business.
And another reason is that I'm terrified I might be pregnant.
That's right you read it here first, people.
Call me the dumb ass high school girl who got her ass drunk and got caught up in the moment and didn't use protection.
And the next day, when I checked the ovulation calculator on babycenter.com, I discovered that the half bottle of wine on date night led to unprotected sex right smack in the ovulation window.
To which I say oh crap.
Because you might remember that we don't even know if I should even have a second baby, what with the tiny little incident with my first pregnancy where I almost died and all of that stuff. And I'm supposed to be making an appointment with a specialist to discuss my odds, the way serious gamblers in Vegas might discuss the virtues of betting on black versus red.
Then there's the fact that my Ob Gyn said that we'd cut the second baby out two weeks early, on week 38 should I get pregnant again, so that hopefull we'd get him/her out before anything went wrong. This would put the due date around late November, early December, exactly two weeks after my one-year anniversary with work. Which is the milestone I need to hit to get some kind of benefits during maternity leave.
So this baby really doesn't have a lot of room to come out any earlier than that.
So now I'm forced to wait another seven days before I can even test again.
And because I'm a complete fool, I did the whole unprotected stunt again on Saturday night. Three times.
I know, I'm totally sounding like Random Mommy right now, right? You're thinking to yourself that you must have misclicked to the wrong page. Because Catwoman doesn't have sex three times in one week. Let alone three times in one night.
But it was wine again. There's just something about it now. Sweetie Pie took me to this new wine bistrot by our house. It was great, I had two (BIG) glasses of wine.
Sweetie Pie now wants to take me back to that bistro every night.
I guess part of my dumb ass on Saturday figured that I was probably pregnant anyway, so what would be the point of ruining a perfectly good night with a smelly piece of rubber.
Yes, the logic of a teenager trapped in a 31 year-old woman's body.
But at least the way I look at it is that at least I'm married. We can afford to have this baby, since we have healthcare now. And that my doctor had told me that she'd monitor me very closely if I were to decide to get pregnant again. And she's very experienced.
And I think subconsciously, I figure that if I were to "accidentally" get pregnant, then I couldn't make the horrible decision not to have any more children. Because I'd forever feel like my family was incomplete.
And yes, I've talked about adopting. But with the waiting lists being what they are and my not being Angelina Jolie, I'd worry about no being a mom again for another 5 years and having two only kids, seven years apart, the way Sweetie Pie was with his sister.
So there you go. Consider this to be my 400th post. Because really, it encompasses better who I am. A dumb, dumb girl who loves her kid so much, she oh-so-desperately wants another him.
Even after this weekend where he spent the entire time screaming at me and rolling around.
- Scream all day about everything, because apparently I can't bring you milk fast enough and that Kellogg's Eggos are too disgusting of a breakfast for you. Even if they're the ones with chocolate in them.
- Make a huge deal out of the fact that a press release I sent out internally had one period out of place.
- Ask me to re-do the same task three times, when there is absolutely no point to it and I'm trying to get the hell out of here to catch a flight.
- Make me stare at you typing something when you can only type about 20 words per minute and I can do about 65 to 70.
- Make a comment to me about how glad you are that someone here is even messier than you are.
I am so looking to three hours on the plane, just me wedged between two perfect strangers, reading trashy magazines. I need that break.
Friday, March 23, 2007
I would never claim to have a high pressure job. In the past four months, I've stayed until 5:30, which is when our office "closes" down, about five times. The rest of the time, I leave early at 5 or 5:15.
I've had to work late once, and it was earlier this week, where I left the office right before 6.
And then yesterday, the world came to an end. Well, not really came to an end, I mean there was no blinding light or alien attack or implosion of our hot lava core. But at my office, things were in turmoil. Something bad was going on. And because I'm the PR girl, it meant that I got to be involved.
Which is exciting, in the way that I'm getting to learn new stuff. But at the same time, it's stressful and this situation is going to affect a lot of people, and now that I'm in my 30's and a mother, I can no longer ignore the impact of things on other people and my heart aches as I do what I have to do.
Sweetie Pie had a business dinner last night, so the plan had always been for me to pick up the Little Man (as usual), pick up some yummy fast food, eat it with my favorite toddler, give him a bath, read 'Pots and Pans', his current favorite book five times in a row, put him to bed and watch Grey's Anatomy while sipping on a couple of glasses of rose in my pajamas.
Instead, I had to get on a conference call at 5:30. My brain, living in a constant state of denial, figured "hey, this can't possibly last more than half an hour, because really, a situation this big can totally be resolved quickly."
My brain was wrong.
The daycare closes at 6:30.
At 6:15, I began to panic.
I grabbed my cell phone and started dialing into the conference line while telling our VP of Global Communications that I had to go, that I'd still be on the call, but I had to go get my kid.
Being a dad himself, he was fine with it. "Go, go!" He said.
And I ran through the parking lot, my cell phone glued to my ear.
And I drove like a fiend to the daycare, arriving there at 6:23.
My cell phone still in my ear, I burst into the classroom where Little Man stood by himself. His little face was excited to see me and he started jabbering away at me.
Since my phone doesn't have mute, I shushed him. I grabbed his paper from the teacher, while being a complete bitch and only acknowledging her for a second and then I ran out of the daycare with my baby.
While strapping him in the car, he began asking me for food. I shushed him again, as nicely as I could.
And that's when his little face fell apart.
And the wailing started.
And I put my hand over his mouth, because I didn't know what else to do.
And his eyes got this look of fear and sadness and horror in them that I'll never forget.
And that's when I put the phone down, and I just held my son in that parking lot, because at that moment, there was nothing more important than him. And I felt so horrible forgetting that fact, even if it was for only a few minutes.
I gave him a rice krispy square, the dinner of champions and then we drove home, me still on that conference call, him sniffling away in the back seat, his lip still distorted in a pout over his mother becoming a corporate hag who had her priorities messed up.
But then my call ended, I went through the McDonald's drive through and let Little Man eat only honey mustard, fries, and the caramel sauce from his apple dippers.
And then I tickled him until he had the hiccups.
And then I read 'Pots and Pans' to him 8 times.
And then I read it to him three more times.
This morning, when I showed up at work, somebody on that call asked me if my toddler was ok. I told her what happened, kind of horrified. And she said to me, "obviously it wasn't disruptive, since the call went on like nothing happened." And she told me that next time, I shouldn't feel guilty for saying "you know what, you guys, I have to take care of my toddler. Brief me after the call on what I need to do."
And the crazy part? I know they mean it.
And that it wouldn't be held against me.
And next time? I will do it. And not make my son cry and feel like I don't love him enough to hear about his day in toddler talk.
Because nothing is more important to me. And if I forget again, please feel free to slap me upside the head.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Last night was date night, once again. Which by the way went splendidly, with Sweetie Pie and I eating two cheese sticks while Little Man ate his dinner, fooling him into thinking that nothing interesting would be happening after he went to bed. And when it was time to go to sleep, he whined for a minute and then fell asleep surrounded by the growing collection of stuffed animals he demands to be thrown in his cage with. I'm worried that I'm raising a future polygamist, but that's another post for another day. I then went on to drink half a bottle of rose wine and get really giggly, which pretty much guarantees that Sweetie Pie's going to get him some.
Apparently Sweetie Pie was really looking to play his cards right last night, because on top of picking up a great dinner at our fancy grocery store, he also came home with a surprise for me.
It was a potted tulip plant, my favorite flower in the whole wide world.
The likelihood of me getting flowers for no reason are about the same as Angelina telling Brad that he should leave her to be with me.
And so it's enough to say that I was really excited about my pretty red tulips. I admired them, I sniffed them repeatedly, I ooohed and aaahed over them to increase the likelihood of this potentially happening again before my 75th birthday.
And Little Man, not one to want to be left out, wanted to admire my tulips too. And he pointed at them and ooohed and aaahed too. And then he proceeded to smell them, burying half his face into the tulip, creating one of those gorgeous Anne Gedde-like photos in the process. And just as I was about to say "I need my camera! This is too gorgeous!", Sweetie Pie yelled "No! NO!!!!"
And Little Man looked up, suprised, with ripped out, half-chewed black floral internal organs all over his lips and the inside of his mouth.
Since he's still alive this morning, it's safe to assume tulips are not poisonous. I'm sad to say they don't make toddler crap smell any better either.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
For the first 14 months of Little Man's life, I'm the one who taught him stuff. I taught him to sign "milk" and "more." I taught him that you shouldn't groove to Fergie songs unless they're titled "London Bridge," because the rest of her songs are just crap where she showcases her inability to properly spell words like "tasty."
But now, he's been going to daycare for four months, and when we all hang out together, he'll showcase something new he learned at school and instead of making me proud, it just makes me sad. Like how he learned to curve his arms backwards while making "Ah! Ah! Ah!" noises, to imitate a monkey, making him look like a monkey with scoliosis. Or the other day, when he put his hands up and instead of saying "Eeni!" which I taught him (it's supposed to be "fini," French for finished), he said "all gone!"
And that's when my heart stopped. I looked at Sweetie Pie and near tears I said "he learned to say "all gone! I didn't teach him that!"
And at that moment, I wanted to say screw the huge credit card bills we still have, screw wanting to maintain some kind of career, even if I'm no longer on a path to run the world of PR. Screw it all. I just want to stay at home and be the one who teaches my son the colors and the alphabet and how to blow bubbles with gum. And also how to search online for discount codes for shopping Web sites, because that's a really important skill.
I know that unless I homeschooled, which would be the equivalent of having a blind man teach someone how to drive, there is no way I can be the one who teaches my kid everything.
Plus, he'll probably learn all about the birds and the bees from the bad ass kid when he's in grade two.
But I can't help but feel sad about this. I never thought I would, to be honest, but this is why they say that kids change everything.
I remember when I decided I wanted a baby. One of those Johnson & Johnson commercials came on. It was black and white. It had a mom bathing this bald baby in the kitchen sink and as he splashed around, the voice over said "you've always lovedtall and dark-haired men. So who knew the love of your life would be short and bald."
Cue Catwoman bawling her eyes out as her uterus screams "we want a baby!!!!!"
And of course, when I was pregnant, I thought that really, having a baby wouldn't change anything.
But it has.
It's led me to go to work every single day and wonder if I'm doing the right thing.
It's led me to have my heart wrenched when I drop off Little Man at his new class and he cries.
It's led me to think when I was staying at home with Little Man that I wasn't spending enough time stimulating his brain and he was going to be behind.
It's led me to believe that there is no such thing as a perfect mother and that no matter what I do, I'll feel guilty.
I'll feel guilty if I spend an entire afternoon running after Little Man making growling noises and screaming "I'm going to get you" instead of teaching him the alphabet or how to properly eat with a spoon.
I'll feel guilty when I give him his Elmo book and tell him to read to himself so I can watch American Idol.
And I'll feel guilty probably every day when I drop him off at school that someone will be spending about 75 percent of his waking hours with him instead of me.
What I'm learning is that being the best mom to my son is just being there for him when we are together. And as long as he's a well-balanced, happy kid, the rest doesn't matter.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
So I woke up this morning and as I walked to the bathroom in a stupor, I realized that I had a hair in my mouth. This isn't very surprising, because I tend to lose on average a million hairs a day. It is quite surprising that I have any hair left on my head, considering that I can block a new drain in two months flat. This is a feat I pretend to be proud of, all the while hoping that Jessica Simpson can save me, should I actually quit growing new hair to replace all the lost ones.
But when I pulled out the hair from my mouth, I realized that it wasn't one of mine. It was a black hair.
This is also not surprising, considering that we have a black lab, Satan's Dog, who believes in competing with me for my title of most alarming hair loss.
But as I examined the hair a little closely, I realized that it wasn't a dog hair at all.
This black hair had a curl to it.
How one wakes up with a pube sticking out of their mouth, I don't know.
But I can tell you that in my house, the best part of waking up is not Folger's in your cup. It's being thankful that you didn't swallow said hair in your sleep and choke to death.
Monday, March 19, 2007
Many things make Little Man happy. But none of them as much as condiments. The child has yet to find a single condiment he doesn't like. Honey Mustard? Yes please! A chicken nugget is only used as a spoon by Little Man as a device to cleanly get the honey mustard to his mouth. He would drink the stuff out of his sippy cup if we'd allow it.
Barbecue sauce? Yumm-o! Ketchup? The condiment that needs nothing dipped in it, you just scoop it up with your hands and eat as much as possible.
There are days where I worry that more than 25 percent of Little Man's diet consists of condiments. Heck, the kid will even eat a lemon wedge.
If it's supposed to go on food, he'll eat it. Just by itself.
He's kind of like a little pregnant woman.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Friday, March 16, 2007
A girlfriend of mine shows me her sonogram picture. She is 8 weeks along.
"Oh how cute!" I exclaim. "I can even see its butt crack!"
"Uhm, actually... That's its head."
"Oh," I say.
Another awkward pause and then to be a good friend, I add:
"I'm sorry your baby has a butthead."
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Wednesday is supposed to be date night in our house. This was one of the agreements after the big cold war of 2007. The deal is that Sweetie Pie picks up some items from the "to-go" case at our fancy grocery store. We feed Little Man, sit at the table and stare at him while he eats (we are after all pretty ravenous at this point of the day) and then get him ready to bed about 15 minutes ahead of time.
Once he's in bed, we heat up our food and then light some candles, have an adult beverage and a conversation that's not interrupted by excited toddler calls of "DOOOG!" every time one of the animals happen to walk within the vicinity of our kitchen.
And for the past three weeks, our background music provided by one of our Sirius radio stations available on our television's music channels has been accompanied by this very faded noise:
Any other night, the child may cry for a minute after being put to bed and then goes right to sleep. But most of the time, he just hugs his collection of stuffed animals and goes right to sleep.
But not date night! Oh no! Little Man needs to make sure that he will never have a sibling.
So next week, we'll try to eat hors d'oeuvres with Little Man and not move up the bedtime by 10 or 15 minutes. And so we'll end up eating around 8 pm or later, and hopefully, Little Man will leave us alone.
But I think the moving of the bedtime by a minute amount isn't the issue. I think it's just a case of having the kid from The Sixth Sense living with us. Except instead of ghosts, ours can sense the few times his parents are going to do the deed.
Not a very useful talent, but hey, you've got to have something.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
On Saturday, we took Little Man to get his 18 months pictures taken. Getting a toddler to sit still for pictures is like trying to convince earthworms to show personality. It just ain't gonna happen people.
Since Little Man wouldn't sit still and had decided to spin around in circles while making "abla abla" noises with his tongue, until he'd fall over from the dizziness, I convinced the 17-year old kid who served as professional photographer at the picture place at the mall to bring out some Easter props to try to get him to sit still.
So the photographer brought out a fake chick and bunny that were made with what is likely to be cat fur and horrified me.
And Little Man, the PETA lover that he is, was pretty horrified too, apparently. As he spent the rest of the photo shoot body slamming the chick and bunny as hard as he could and throwing them in the air, in a sign of compassion for the animals killed to make a fake bunny and chick.
The pictures we ended up selecting are just so Little Man, I wouldn't want them any other way. On this first one, Little Man is grinning ear to ear, his hair, wild and unruly fills most of the frame. It's how he always looks when he's at his happiest. The editing guy cropped it so that it's from his shoulders up, so the chick doesn't show up, just my son's goofy happy face and his mussed up hair.
The other picture we ordered was of him in his Easter outfit. Although I got him the shorts in the 12 months size, his short legs still don't fit in them, so that he looks like he's wearing capris instead of shorts. And in the picture, he's standing, happy as a clam his right arm way up in the air. And about a foot above him, is that poor little chick.
In our picture, you actually see the whole chick, which makes the whole picture even funnier.
You may recall that last year, this was his Easter picture.
I still love that picture. He looks like a playboy bunny to me with his finger in his mouth.
And of course, this year, as is tradition, I had to make a totally inappropriate comment about one of the pictures. Since Little Man was starting to lose his patience with the whole process at the end, I gave him Ernie to make him happy again. Which resulted in this picture.
As soon as the image popped up on the screen, I couldn't help but giggle. Exactly why does Ernie have his face buried in my son's crotch? Of course, I had to share with the 20-year old helping us choose the pictures and he lost it too. I'm sure he doesn't get a lot of moms who come in and allude to certain lewd acts.
But come on, tell me you didn't think it too?
And because I can't help myself, here are a few other pictures from the shoot. I somehow managed to only order two of the poses. How did I do that exactly? And now that I've posted these pictures I kind of want them all. Well, except for the Ernie one.
I call this picture "Sheer Joy."
This one shows that Little Man can show kindness towards animals and won't grow up to be the kid who sets squirrel tails on fire.
And this last one is exactly what Little Man will look like when he's a preppy guy at Harvard Law. On full scholarship, of course. And probably not dressed from Children's Place, because I would hope he would have outgrown their clothes by that point. Unless he's one of those brilliant kids who's in law school at 10.
Monday, March 12, 2007
I almost increased the Dallas murder count on Saturday. I wouldn't necessarily call myself an overprotective mother, after all, I let Little Man play in those heinous over-packed children's play areas at the mall, where kids three times as big as him push past him and climb on top of him as he excitedly tries to keep up with his little short legs and his limited range of athleticism.
Sweetie Pie decided that he hates Little Man's brown sandals which I bought a few weeks ago at Children's Place. These are the same sandals that I brought home, asked Sweetie Pie what he thought of them, and he ensure "they're fine! They're just sandals!" and then he cute the tag off of them and stuck them on our kid's chubby feet.
But now, it gets warm enough to put said sandals on, and Sweetie Pie makes a face and says "I hate those shoes."
So defeated, I give up, we all go to the mall and go to Stride Rite to pick out new sandals for Little Man. Who officially owns more shoes than I do. I realize I don't own many shoes, but still, should I really be out-shoed by an 18-month old? Carrie from Sex and the City would be horrified.
Stride Rite has this nazi policy that you have to sign in to get help. And so while I was doing this, Little Man was being watched by his father and was running around the store yelling "shoe! shoe!" excitedly, because he is Carrie from Sex and the City.
And then I heard it. The distinct scream of my toddler and then huge sobs. I whirled around and by the time I got to him, Sweetie Pie was holding him and huge tears were streaming down my Little Man's face.
"What happened?" I asked, my eyes accusing.
And that's when Sweetie Pie tells me that this very large woman who was sitting on the Stride Rite bench with her husband (with no kids mind you, which who takes a break from walking by sitting in a store for children????) and she got up and stepped on Little Man's foot.
Which I was like "how could she not be more careful?"
But then Sweetie Pie tells me that after she stomped on his foot with all her weight, not only did she not apologize or make sure she was ok, but she just ran out of the story with her husband.
That's when my hormones exploded to a whole new level of PMS and I began to demand that Sweetie Pie describe this giant bitch so that I could shred her face.
But then the saleswoman announced that it was our turn. And they had really cute sandals, so I was forced to give up my revenge plot and instead spent 42 dollars on sandals that Little Man will have outgrown in four months.
The good news is his foot is ok. He stopped crying quickly and he didn't wince when we touched it. It was nothing a kiss from Mama couldn't fix.
But lady who stomps on toddler's feet, be warned. I'm coming after you, and I have a whole army of Mamas who'll throw spoiled breast milk and formula at you for being so stinky.
Friday, March 09, 2007
...that none of you work with me.
But should you happen to work for a large company and be reading this, I strongly recommend you avoid the sixth floor lady's bathroom for the next hour or so.
The cafeteria pizza and my intestines got into a big fight. And my intestinal tract got its you-know-what kicked. Bad.
I always knew that when I'd have kids, I wouldn't really be all about teaching them things like the dictionary front and back or the fact that red and yellow mixed together is orange.
I figure those are the things kids figure out on their own.
My focus when I spend time with Little Man is teaching him important things, like novelty rap songs for example.
And this morning, him and I were bopping our heads to a song by a group I can't even name, who'll probably be non-existent within two years. But the song uses pieces of a Supertramp song ("Take a look at my girlfriend, she's the only one I've got"), which is still one of my favorite groups of all times, because my parents owned the record in the early 70's and hearing that song always reminds me of the days of shag carpeting and of innocence so deep, I didn't even know I had a virginity to give away.
As Little Man and I clapped along to the song like the white people we are, the song ended and we looked at each other and laughed. And that's when I realized that in the 18 months he's been on Earth, I've never taught him something very important, forever added into our culture by Will Ferrell's Talladega Nights. I'm talking of course, of the "Shake And Bake" fist pounding.
And so I spent the rest of the drive trying to teach Little Man the correct technique for Shaking and Baking.
He's going to be so much freaking cooler than any of those other snot-nosed kids when he goes to kindergarten.
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Here it is... What some evil witch tried to outbid me for at the last minute. But I'm an eBay queen. No one will steal items from me, even with my slow-ass computer, mwah-ha!!!!
Isn't this the cutest bedding you've ever seen? Now picture my Little Man in it and dear God, the cuteness might kill you.
And because I couldn't help myself, I also ordered the lamp shade. Because what kind of day would it be if I didn't spend money I don't have?
Because my sleep has been so disrupted these past few days, first with my niece who's still not sleeping through the night because her mother refuses to let her cry for more than two minutes, then with Sweetie Pie leaving at 4:30 in the morning because he was traveling out of town on Monday, and then with Little Man waking up screaming at 5 a.m. two days in the row and being unable to go back to sleep, I'm finding that there are things that I'm not quite doing right.
Like the fact that I have managed to forget my work badge twice this week. This is a high-security facility, which has made it challenging for me to break in without my badge.
Then there's the fact that yesterday, I opened one of my little coffee mate vanilla creamers and poured it into the trash can instead of my cup.
Then there's the fact that this morning, I got all the way to the bottom of my driveway and realized that I hadn't put any pants on. Although my legs are hairy enough right now that I may have been able to fool my coworkers into thinking I was wearing fur pants.
But forget all of that whining. Last night, I won Little Man a brand new gorgeous designer toddler bedding set for $44 on eBay and it retails for $100. Forget the fact we haven't actually bought him a toddler bed.
Be assured that when we do, his room will freaking rock.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
There are so many looks that Little Man gives me that I love. There's his look of awe, like the first time he saw his Tickle-Me-Elmo TMX. His look of mischief, the one I get right before he dumps out his bowl of green beans on the dog's head or turns off the television the second Ryan Seacrest is about to announce who's been voted off. There's the look of love he gives me when I pick him up at daycare.
But my favorite look of all, is the sheer look of joy he gets when he accomplishes something momentous.
Like yesterday, when we met my sister-in-law at Chik-Fil-A. Little Man finished his meal and would not sit still. Which is unusual for him. But he was climbing on the table, climbing on the booth, climbing on me, freaking kid had energy to burn. So we moved the party to the kid's play area. And there my munchkin went with a five-year old boy, up the steps to the tunnel system, the same tunnel system that I rescued him from a month ago in very high-heeled shoes. But this time, he's 18 months. And despite the clumsiness gene, I know he could handle they gym no problem. And he stopped at the top step, smashed his face against the netting and laughed his hiney off at us. He was so high! And we were so low! And it was really, really funny apparently.
And then we heard the unmistakable sound of a "wheeeeeeeee!" and out came my Little Man, on his tummy, feet first, down the slide. He stopped at the bottom pumped his arms up in the air and just let out this shout of glee and his whole face scrunched up like he was the first man to walk on Mars.
It was freaking brilliant and amazing. And for the past 15 hours, I've been replaying that scene in my head over and over again. Experiencing his joy and watching him conquer the world, one play area at a time is just about the greatest thing that's ever happened to me.
I don't think before yesterday I could have remembered the last time I felt that proud to have accomplished something, the way Little Man did last night.
But now, I have the same feeling of pride and want to pump my arms in the air and make shrill noises. Because I've accomplished creating a human being who can not only bravely go up a 10-foot high play area, but can feel the kind of joy most of us can only dream of.
When I wanted kids, I never knew in a million years that I would get so much more out of it than they would.
I am so happy I'm a woman.
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
So I know that I haven't been around. Well, that's a duh statement isn't it. If I didn't know that I wasn't around and thought that I've been blogging these past few days when I haven't, well, let's just say that more than likely my head would be shaved and I'd be in rehab smoking cigarettes and saying ya'll a lot while smacking gum.
I wasn't around because I had an excuse. I always have excuses for stuff really, but this time, I really did have one. And it was a good excuse. My sister was in town. Not just in town, she was in town with my 6-month old niece.
Trying to juggle the napping schedules of a six-month old with an 18-month old made me realize that this is why people should use birth control and not have children one year apart.
I love my niece very much. She cute as hell, smiles a lot, has an awesome laugh and has a head so round, we have to protect her from soccer players who try to kick the perfect roundness of it into nets.
Little Man actually did attempt to kick her in the head at one point. Luckily, he's a toddler with a very strong clumsy gene and he not only missed, but he landed flat on his ass. On a truck. And he now has lost one of his virginities and has probably more than learned that kicking isn't right.
When I returned to work from my mini-holiday this afternoon, everyone asked me what we did during this long weekend. And trying to tell people who don't have kids that all we managed to get done yesterday was visit my mother-in-law for half an hour and buy dog food.
To single people or young marrieds, this is the equivalent of accomplishing putting on one sock in one day. They don't understand. They look at me and I can see them pity the fact that I wasted a vacation day to do so little.
What they don't understand is that two women with two babies accomplishing this much, is the equivalent of the Egyptians building the pyramids. It's crazy and no one who truly understands engineering can fathom how it was done.
So to you moms reading this. Can you believe that we got all that done in one day? Yes, I will be writing a book sharing with you the secrets of my success.
But what the last few days have taught me is this. First, that I'm a really, really crappy big sister. Because as a sister, when you come to visit me with your infant and your plane gets delayed by over two hours so that you land at an ungodly 11:30 p.m. I will further extend your day by arriving at the wrong area of the terminal 20 minutes after you arrive. Leading you to believe that maybe you're at the wrong airport.
Because I rock like that.
But once I did pick up my sister and over-exhausted niece, I did do a great job at feeding them (well, my sister anyway, my niece is still breastfed and that never worked our for me with my own kid, so why would it now?) and showing them things like the model house in my neighborhood.
But four days of hanging out with a six-month old baby made me reconsider wanting another.
Do I really want to put myself through this again? The sleepless nights? The needing to be held all the time? The spitting up at really inappropriate times, like at someone else's mother-in-law's house? The screaming in the car seat during the entire 45-minute drive to the airport?
We've got it so good now. Little Man entertains himself so well, he's funny, and he's almost got down the recipe for the perfect mojito.
Am I really willing to ruin all of our lives and bring a purple creature with nail beds the size of a pin head that need to be cut all the time into our home again?
I don't remember things being that hard when Little Man was that size. But that's also because I didn't sleep for five months straight and hardly showered due to lack of time. I'm sure the stench that enveloped my body didn't let me realize how crappy my life really was.
But now, now, things are really really good.
So maybe it is worth it.
To go through all of this again. Only to experience the greatness that is the toddler years all over again.
But I'm not sure.
Ask me once all the spit up stains are out of my carpet.
Friday, March 02, 2007
You're 18!!!! In Canada (except for Ontario), this would mean that you'd get to drink your first beer to celebrate. At least that's how I seem to remember it.
I know I say this every month, but this time, this is really the greatest age. Watching you grow during the past month has left me completely breathless and my heart has doubled in size between the pride I feel about the person you've become and the amount of love it contains.
You're smart. You're hysterical. You're sensitive. You're snuggly. You're fiercely independent. You're absolutely gorgeous. If I may say so myself, I've created the perfect man. I'm guessing that in about six years, the line of girls will be around the block and the cops will need to be called in.
Your project this month has been to learn the names of every Sesame Street and Winnie-the-Pooh character. You have studied your books like you were a pre-med student obsessed with being top of his anatomy class.
You'll practice for hours with me or your dad. And if you had it your way, you'd stay up all night and practice some more. There's no time for sliding down toddler slides or pushing your frog in your Little Tikes truck. Those things are for irresponsible toddlers who don't intend to pass the big toddler test.
You sit on our lap and point at the pages.
- Yes, Little Man, that's Ernie.
- You're right, that's Grover.
- Big Buhd?
- Actually, that's Bert."
You sigh. You're not pleased. How could you get this wrong, you think to yourself. Your brow furrows and you start all over again. You don't stop until you get them all right.
And your identification of things doesn't stop at muppets. You like to point out your father to me all the time, just in case I might forget. We'll be chilling on the couch and I'll look at you and you point to your father and you tell me "Daddy."
I'm glad that you realize that I have trouble grasping basic concepts like who the father of my children is. This makes me think that I no longer need to retain any information whatsoever, since you're my walking Palm Pilot.
You've also worked hard to learn all the names of the kids in your class. When I pick you up, you always feel the need to tell me who everyone is after you give me a hug. You'll walk up to a toddler, point at his head and tell me "Noah," and then you'll move on and point to another and say "Gabby." And then we always come to some kid whose name is inpronouncable and so you'll call them "Amatagaba." Or something along those lines. I'm not sure who would name their kid Amatagaba, but I believe that you must be right and that has to be their name.
You also love to help. Your favorite thing to do is to unload the dishwasher with us. Your role is to unload the cutlery, minus the sharp knives. And you know this, so you wait until we've taken them away and then you grab the remainder, one teaspoon or fork at a time, hand it to me, I thank you, put it in the drawer and then you hand me another.
My average time for emptying the dishwasher has dropped so much that I no longer qualify for the housekeeping Olympics, but I wouldn't trade your help for any gold medal. And the look of pride on your face makes those forks and spoons shine just a little more somehow.
You do, however, get mad when you don't get your way. I have to tell you, I understand because I hate not getting my way. But I get to be the mom here, and so I always get my way. It's really fun, I've got to tell you. But I'm learning the fine art of making you think that things are your idea, like when I convince you that putting your shoes on to go to school will be the funnest thing ever, and that pulling the cat's tail is so boring.
This morning, you got irritated with me because I put jeans on you and you saw your navy blue cargo pants and apparently you wanted to wear those instead. Even though you'd worn them yesterday. And they had a big stain on them. You grabbed them, gave them to me and lifted your leg up so I could put them on you.
"Uhm, you're already wearing pants dude," I tried to explain.
You didn't like this explanation one bit. I was given the look and it was followed by a warning that if I didn't get those pants on you asap, the world was going to melt into its hot lava core.
But I was able to talk you down from the ledge, and as I write this, you're happily playing at school in your clean jeans.
This week, you've been in the process of transitioning classes. You're moving on to the 18-24 months class. Overall, it's gone well, even though you love one of your old teachers almost as much as you love me, your dad, your frog and Ernie. Apparently, when she dropped you off at your new class yesterday, you cried when she left. You were devastated. How could she leave you with these strangers and these humongous kids?
And yesterday, I realized that your frog was still in your new class, so we had to walk down the hall to go retrieve it. When I opened the door, you shook your head very violently. I pushed you in as gently as I could, and you lost it. You went hysterical. The last time I saw you like this was when we started daycare. And my heart broke. I know you can't spend the next 18 years with your daycare teacher. For one thing, your spelling would suck, because your daily reports are often full of errors, but it seems so cruel to take you away from her when you love her so much.
But I know that you'll learn to love your new teachers just as much. And then in six months, you'll move up again. And before I know it, you'll be in highschool asking me to drop you off five blocks away so that you don't have to be seen with me.
This process has already started. I've been spending a few minutes with you in the mornings at school, feeding you your breakfast and chatting with some of the other moms and your teacher. Last week, you took one bite of your pancakes and then you picked up my sunglasses from the table and handed them to me. Then you picked up my car keys and handed those to me. You were telling me to get out.
I thought it was very funny, but I've got to tell you, my feelings were a little hurt. I love your independence, Little Man, but I've got to tell you, I miss you like crazy already.
I love you, my Little Man,
Thursday, March 01, 2007
Now, you probably know by now that I'm not an elitist when it comes to television. My parents, being from France where television comprises only of news shows about non-celebrities like academic people and dead politicians and documentaries about ruins in countries most of us didn't even know exist, are always quite horrified when they come down to visit. I expect that they will be horrified once again when they visit us for Easter. But can I really be expected to not find out on the spot if Brooke from the Real World was finally able to get her nails done?
Because Sweetie Pie and I have one unspoken rule in our marriage: if it's on MTV, we'll watch it. Actually, I wouldn't call it a rule per se. That would be like calling breathing a rule. It's not a rule that we should breathe in and out, we just do it naturally, without even realizing we're doing so. The same goes for watching crap on MTV. If there's a snooty 16-year old having a birthday party that will cost more than our house and our two cars combined, by golly, we must know about it.
When you have such low standards for television, there's not much that offends you. There is not much that makes you say "ok, now that's freaking stupid."
And by golly, the television gods have managed to do it. I don't know if I ever thought this day would come. I kind of maybe just a little bit had the thought cross my mind during the Anna Nicole Smith Show (I know, I know, may she rest in peace, blah blah blah), but finally, the thought was able to fully form and sit in my brain, like the time I realized when I was pregnant that being a mother meant that I was going to be expected to feed the kid every day. Both of these thoughts were frightening and disturbing for different reasons.
If any of you watch American Idol, I'm sure that you were unable to avoid the myriad of commercials for "Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?" This question was asked over and over again, the way one might coax you to jump off a bridge with your bungee cord severed.
Since there was nothing else on at that time yesterday night, and watching Jeff Foxworthy (wearing glasses! So he must be a really smart host now) not being funny seemed like a better option than cleaning my house so that my sister, who's arriving tomorrow, won't find out how we live like swines who've given up any sense of keeping up with the pig version of the Joneses.
And so we watched as some lady was asked extremely difficult questions like "what color do you get when you mix red and yellow?" and "What country shares the world's longest border with the United States?"
And here's the worst part. Should the lady get it wrong, if the kid got it right, she still would get the question right and get the money! Whoo-hoo!
Is this what we're reduced to to give people a million dollars nowadays?
The woman only made it to 100,000 dollars, which horrified both Sweetie Pie and I and convinced us that the contestants must have been pried from the local mental institution in the too stupid to be out in the real world wing. Because how else can the preview for tomorrow's show give us a man who blanks on the question "what is 5 times 2?"
Maybe I'm just turning into my parents. But I am shocked and horrified. And disgusted too that these are grown people with jobs. Yesterday's contestant is a computer consultant. Seriously? How does she even find her way to work every morning? Does she look at her computer and giggle and says "lookie! The funny box has buttons on it!"
I need to go wash off the slime that still remains on my body. And the worst part of it? Is that Mark Burnett created this show. What? How did this happen? Is the man officially out of ideas? You invent Survivor, the show that created the Reality Show genre. You created The Apprentice, a show I still love, even though it has nothing to do with the realities of the business world. And then you think to yourself "for my next show, I'm going to show America how stupid they really are?"
Well, British man, genius of the television. Bravo! Your point is made.