Saturday, September 10, 2011

Laundry Orgami

Alert the media: My son has invented a new art form, Laundry Origami. He has an uncanny ability to transform ordinary soiled clothing into random intricate shapes as he peels them from his body and flings them in the general direction of his hamper. Today I found a shirt that he had formed into the statue of liberty and a jeans/underwear combination in the shape of Dick Cheney doing a downward dog. Not to brag, but he is quite gifted. Seriously, give my kid a sweater vest and a button down shirt and he'll twist them into a scale model of a Bavarian mountain village.

After discovering that he had created an exact replica of St Patrick’s Cathedral using only socks and a football jersey, I became curious as to how he accomplished such feats of dexterity.   One evening I asked him to change into his PJ’s then sat back to watch the show.  The spectacle that followed was nothing short of spectacular.  In fact it nearly defies description with mere words.  But I’ll try.  First let me say his athleticism was astounding.  It could best be described as the love child of Cirque du Soleil and a rugby match.  He flailed, he spun, he crab-walked across his desk.  I can’t be 100% sure, but at one point I’d swear he was levitating over his bed as he twirled his clothing above him, not unlike a New York pizza chef. 

Finally, when the dust had settled, I realized that I hadn’t dusted his room in quite some time.  I also saw, there on the floor, a perfectly rendered model of the Titanic made entirely of cargo shorts and his boy scout neckerchief.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Put On Your Lucky Underpants, People!! It's a Contest!!

So, I’ve been reading up on how to get more traffic on my blog and one of the suggestions I found was to use whatever means are at your disposal.  This seemed like good sound advice to me which led me to think that contests with prizes are always fun.  Since I can’t think of a good use for shedded dog hair (yet)  and there’s a high probability I’d get tossed in the clink if I sent homemade moonshine through the mail, I have decided that the first person to get me 10 followers on BNI will receive a randomly chosen, slightly used and possibly damaged McDonald’s Happy Meal toy!!!*   Exciting , right!!

Before those of you who know me rush to judgement and try to have me committed (again),  just consider that this makes perfect sense to someone who’s spent the better part of the last decade cleaning up after two young boys. It’s a win-win really, I get a clean(er) house/car and the lucky winner gets a nearly useless piece of crap that may possibly occupy a sugar-crazed toddler long enough to change a diaper or open a jar of mayonaise.  And that there is money in the bank people!!

So, for real, I’m not kidding I will send one lucky winner a Happy Meal toy as described above if you pursuade, trick, threaten, and/or bribe your friends into becoming followers of this blog!

*Caution!  Toy may be a choking hazard for small children... or large dogs... or irritating co-workers.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Eating Peaches With a Fork

Spoiler alert: This post is loaded with F-bombs…sort of.

My mom always said “Intelligent people don’t need to swear because they can always think of something better to say”.   Apparently her grandson did not get the memo.

Once upon a time, back when my younger son was just a wee lad of about 15 months or so, we ran out of applesauce.  This made him cranky.   But, undaunted, I decided to try some peaches for lunch instead.  In a vain effort to secure a nomination for Mommy of the Year,  I decided to turn the situation into a “teachable moment”.  I kept repeating the word “peaches” so that he might try saying it himself and thereby introduce both a new food and new word in one glorious moment of flawless parenting.  He gladly obliged after he tasted his new favorite fruit…only the way he pronounced peaches, he sounded like a Hispanic  housekeeper saying “bitches”.  (Imagine “beeches”)  Of course I laughed at this like an eighth grade boy on weed watching Nacho Libre.

Seeing my response only encouraged him so when I asked him if he liked the pee-ches (overly pronouncing the word),  he nodded emphatically and said “mmmmm, beeches!  Like beeches!”.  In fact he was so enthusiastic about his bowlful of beeches that he dropped his little ergonomic fork on the floor.  No problem I thought, I figured he’d just grab the little beeches with his bare hands and pop them in his mouth, but no.  He wanted his fork… and he wanted it now.  At this point it will come as no surprise that, when he asked for his fork he pronounced it “f#ck”.  Well, problem was, his “f#ck” landed on a dust bunny and since it had been covered it “beech” juice, all manner of gunk was stuck to it.  And this, my friends, is where it went from Jack Black in Nacho Libre to Al Pacino in Scarface.   In the 3.5 nanoseconds it took me to wash off that tiny utensil, my son flew into a rage screaming at the top of his lungs “f#ck, f#ck!! Beetches!!  Want f#ck!!! Want F#ck Beeches!!” 

 And that is why you will not see my son eating peaches with a fork in public until he graduates from college.   The End.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Salmonella Chicken Juice Hands

Is it just me, or are kids are bent on placing themselves in harms way despite our best efforts to keep them injury and illness free?  It’s like they have some uncontrollable primordial urge to reach into snake dens and lick road kill.   

Take for example the day I took my then 9 month old son to the grocery store.  I had him loaded in the shopping cart clipped securely into the seat atop one of those covers that go over the entire front of the cart.  Now I don’t want to brag, but I’m somewhat of a professional germophobe.  Therefore my shopping cart seat cover was about the size of a queen comforter with bright colors, wild patterns and interchangeable toys that clipped to the front.  When the whole shebang was assembled, my cart vaguely resembled a float from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Perhaps my son was just hungry.  Perhaps he was embarrassed.  Perhaps he did not want to be the Grand Master of Cerimonies at the parade.  Anyhow, he was cranky so I sped through the store as fast as I could which was just below the speed of sound, because neither of us really enjoys grocery shopping and one of us screams loudly when he’s had enough. 

Much to my chagrin, my son was not content to play with the half dozen age appropriate (and carefully selected to provide optimum visual and tactile stimulation) toys clipped to the front of the float, uh cart.  Instead, he felt my grocery list was much more engaging.  And hey, who could blame him, I mean it’s a piece of paper…with writing on it…..fascinating.  Anyhow, over the next few minutes a small tug of war ensued which resulted in him tearing off about half the list.  Seeing that it was the half with the stuff that I had already put in the cart, I just let him have it.  That was my first mistake.   Shortly thereafter, I was putting a poorly wrapped package of chicken in my cart and got slimey raw chicken liquid all over my hands.  Having nothing else to wipe it on,I used the underside of the comforter, uh cart cover and made a mental note to wash it in copious amounts of bleach after we got home. 

So, now I’m disgusted and distracted and just trying to get the heck out of there when I look at my son to find him smiling at me with blue lips.  Not suffocation blue, mind you, more like pen ink blue.  He had been gnawing on the grocery list and was still chewing on a sizeable wad of ink-soaked paper.  Upon seeing this combination choking/poison hazard unfold before me, I promply sprang into action.  Having forgotten my samonella chicken juice hands, I promply stuck my fingers in his mouth and thoroughly swabbed his inner cheeks and gums with rancid chicken slime.  It wasn;t until I had wrested every last scrap of paper from his little blue maw, that I realized what I had done. 

Figuring that they probably wouldn’t  take me seriously at the ER, I decided that I had time to pay for my groceries and go home to give my pediatrician yet another panic induced phone call.  The nurses at the doctor’s office were super patient and sweet and did not even laugh (too hard) when I told them the story.  They said he’d be fine, (which he was).  I, however, have still not made a full recovery.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hilarious Stuff My Kids Said Recently

In light of recent meteorological events beyond even my control, I'm posting another entry just in case the hysterical media is right about Irene and we lose power for the rest of our lives and this is the beginning of the much anticipated Zombie Apocalypse and I don't get to blog again until the last half dozen surviving humans repopulate the Earth and reinvent the Internet.  See, I figure you can print this out ahead of time and read it by candlelight as your roof is torn violently from your home.  Be sure to read quickly though since your roofless house probably won't do much to shelter you from the torrential rain which will surely make your printout of this blog a bit smudgy.  Also don't hold your candle too close to the paper just in case it catches fire thus igniting your structurally damaged house...I would hate for this blog to be responsible for such a catastrophe! 

And now we return to our regularly scheduled blog already in progress:  Well, we've established that life immediately gets easier when you re-name your lists, so here's a case in point.  This list was originally called "Reasons We Should Seek Family Counseling Immediately", but the new title of this post is much less disturbing.  Oh yeah, Nobel Peace Prize, here I come baby!!!

1. "When I get old enough to drive, I'm getting a pick up truck because it's manly and I can put extra seats in the back with duct tape for all my friends."
- It should be noted that this is only funny if you're not me...or the parent of one of my son's friends.

2. "Sorry I peed in you bed Mommy".
- More on this later and obviously another "only funny if you don't have to wash my PJ's" quote.

3. "Daddy, why didn't Mommy have 18 kids?"
- I have no words for this one.

4."Mommy, why can't I drive home when we're done at the store?" (yes, I do believe he was serious)
-Umm, because you're 8 and I'm neither suffering from a head injury nor criminally insane...yet.

5."Mommy, I crapped for brother on the football field!"
- I suffered a tiny panic attack before realizing he was saying "clapped" and was just having trouble pronouncing his L's.

6."When I grow up I want to live in a trailer and work at Petco."
- makes you chuckle, makes me wonder where I failed as a parent.  On the up-side, he said I could visit and go in his hot tub and watch his LG big screen TV.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Too Many Lists Getting You Down? I Fixed That.

I like lists.  Shopping lists, to-do lists, Christmas lists, lists of stuff my kids lost/broke that I may or may not be able to claim under my homeowners get the picture. Lists make me feel productive and in control without actually doing anything AND they make me seem organized to the casual observer when in fact I'm a yard sale in a tornado.  As an avid list author, I have dozens of them tacked, stacked, stuck and posted around my house like a post-it hoarder with OCD. Problem is, I rarely get around to doing any of the stuff on them.

It's not that my friends and relatives don't deserve the thank you notes I should have sent out for my kids' birthday gifts a couple of months ago, it's just that there always seems to be something more urgent to do at any given moment.  Things like disarming an artistic 3 year old who is standing over a sleeping dog with a full tube of rainbow glitter glue or donning my hazmat suit to clean up a regurgitated and partially dismembered action figure that didn't quite make it all the way through the afore-mentioned dog's digestive tract.

So just in case I'm not the only one out there with a black belt in procrastination, I am going to share my solution with you as a generous public service (and quite possibly the foundation upon which we will establish world peace).  Don't worry, you can thank me later by sending money or coming to my house and cleaning up dog vomit.  I have discovered the path to List-maker Nirvana: I just re-name the lists!  Yes, it really IS that easy, as are most solutions to mankind's most vexing problems.  Fire, The Wheel, List Re-Naming - all beautiful in their simplicity and essential to human life as we know it. 

So instead of a "To Do" list, I now have a "Stuff That Will Probably Go Away if I Just Ignore It Long Enough" list.  So much less pressure, right?  And forget that pesky "Grocery List".  Who wants to deal with that stress? Not me! At this very moment tacked to the fridge is a list entitled: "Things I'd Really Like to Eat if I Still Had the Metabolism of an 18 Year Old".  Below that is "A Bunch of Healthy Foods My Kids Wouldn't Touch Even if I Paid Them so Why Bother?" list.  Suddenly dragging an over-tired toddler to the grocery store against his will doesn't seem like such a priority, does it?  I found that list re-naming is good for my marriage too.  Gone are the days of bickering over a "Honey-Do" list of chores like yard work, heavy lifting and cleaning out the gutters.  Now we have an "Arduous and Slightly Dangerous Tasks We'll Pawn Off on Our Sons Once They Become Teenagers" list and my husband and I have never been closer!

The secret is being honest with yourself and establishing pathetically low standards.  Are you really going to finish that Lion King quilt you're making out of your son's old pj's considering the ridicule he'd endure from the other linebackers on the varsity football team?  Or arrange your coupons in an organizer so they coincide with the proper aisle in the grocery store?  Or laminate the credit card bill you never paid because your kid wrote "I luve Yoo Momee" on it? Heck NO!  But you change that puppy to read "Totally Unnecessary Errands To Occupy My Mind So I Don't Go Insane When I'm the Sole Survivor of the Zombie Apocalypse" list and those dark clouds of guilt drift away like magic! 

If you need me, I'll be making a "People to Thank When I Receive My Nobel Peace Prize" list.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Excuse me, have you seen my Sanity?

I could have sworn I left it around here somewhere.  The last time I remember seeing it was on a Friday evening in October of 2002.  It was Happy Hour but I was at home.  I remember that because my first thought when I saw the little pink plus sign on the home pregnancy test was “Oh my God! I almost went to Happy Hour…I almost had a beer… I almost hurt the baby!”   Then, and only then I thought “Oh my God, I’m having a BABY!”   You see, I had baby stress before my brain even registered that fact that I was pregnant.

And that, my dear friends, was the last time I saw my Sanity.  I have it on good authority that my Sanity hopped a plane for the Caribbean, where it is frolicking in turquoise waters with my Patience while my Modesty is at the pool bar kicking the snot out of my Common Sense at beer pong.  That’s ok girls, live it up!  I’m fine up here with my Self-Doubt and Irritation, tomorrow we’re making brownies.

I don’t care what anyone says, motherhood changes a woman.  It makes us stare in wide-eyed wonder and adoration at a sleeping baby at 3 am when just minutes before we were sending up silent prayers through clenched teeth that said baby would just please sleep already!  It makes our hearts burst and our eyes well up with tears the first time we hear that tiny voice say “I love you Mommy”.  It makes us pee a little bit when we sneeze.  It makes our feet grow, our boobs sag and our nerves take a permanent vacation to Frazzleland.  Yup, motherhood changes a woman in ways that are unforeseen, unexpected and often unexplainable in terms of physics and modern science.  But change us it does, permanently and irreversibly. 

I often wonder what would happen if I had a time machine and went back in time to warn to my pre-child self about the perils of motherhood.  I wonder if she’d believe me when I told her that my someday sons would spew applesauce across the kitchen like an irrigation system on an Iowa cornfield.  Or that they’d have tantrums so long and loud and often that they’d make Mother Theresa lose it like a disgruntled postal worker at Christmastime.  Or that my new go-to fashion accessory would be an artfully arranged clot of spit-up and yogurt.

 I know my pre-child self wouldn’t believe these things even if I told them to her.  In fact I’m quite certain she wouldn’t even recognize me as the future her…what with the spit-up/yogurt bow tie, mis-matched flip flops and crayon wrappers braided into my hair.  Come to think of it, the pre-child me, upon seeing the vision of disheveled motherhood before her, would either reach for her pepper spray or ask if there was a responsible adult she could call to come pick me up and take me back to whatever facility I had obviously wandered off from. 

So I guess it’s just as well that the time machine my son built out of an empty paper towel roll, my cell phone and $150 worth of miscellaneous office supplies doesn’t actually warp the space-time continuum….  it does, however, create temporary black holes into which random things disappear forever.  Things like entire rolls of paper towels, my cell phone and hundreds of dollars worth of miscellaneous office supplies.