On being a mom and peanut butter cups

Posted by houndrat on Saturday Jul 12, 2008 Under family life, husbands, mommies, parenting, Uncategorized

Moms complain incessantly? about the sneaky, manipulative and, well, hormonal ways of their teenagers (to put it quaintly).? And I’m sure teens come with a bevy of tricks up their sleeves.? I get that.

What? I don’t get, however,? is why those same mamas? don’t tell you this behavior can start much, much earlier—say, at age two?? Okay, so maybe not so much the hormonal behavior? (thank goodness!), but the sneakiness?? Most definitely.

I mean, I’m not one of those moms with her head? buried? in the sand? about her kids.? (Although, my son buries his own head in the sand—frequently.? So if you see him, no, that’s not dandruff).? I? own the peculiarities and challenges that? comprise my little mop-headed, opinionated, over-thinking? four year-old.? Hey, that was me standing in line at Barnes and Noble several years ago, clutching a towering stack of parenting books before my son even deigned to toddle.? Books with titles like “Parenting a Spirited Child”, and “How to Set Limits for Your Strong-Willed Child”.? ? And “How? to Keep Your Royal Pain? in the? Butt Kid? from? Driving? You? to Imbibe Massive Quantities of Alcohol and Smash Your Head and His onto a Very Hard Stone Surface on an Hourly? Basis.”? Okay, so maybe that last one? only existed in my brain.? ? But had? that title? been available for purchase, you can be 100% certain it would be keeping the other? manuals company on our bookshelf right now.

Still, there is no book on earth that prepares you for all the intricate nuances of parenting.? ? Or the minutiae of kids’ brains.? I mean, some children are just born thinkers.? And reasoners.? And lest you start thinking this is a wonderful thing, let me share a little story with you.

We call it “Connor and the Peanut Butter Cup”

Just before his third birthday, Connor is heading back home with hubby from some kind of male bonding experience, which, given my son’s utter enthrallment with trains at that time, undoubtedly consisted of the manly pursuit of visiting the hobby store and? fondling all the Thomas the tank engines.? For hours.? On the way home, hubby stops at the corner gas station for a drink, and of course, Connor asks for a mini Reese’s peanut butter cup (trust me–this is the lesser of many, many sugary evils that hubby exposed Connor to periodically at that same store).? ? Demonstrating? uncharacteristic restraint, hubby says, “You can only have one, and then we’ll bring another one home to mommy.”

So, moments after climbing into his car seat, Connor’s peanut butter cup vanishes, destined for a quick but fatal trip to Tummy Town.? And about a millisecond elapses before he’s demanding mine.? Hubby tells him, no, that one’s for mommy—you ate yours already.

Connor thinks for a moment, then says innocently, “Can I just hold it for mommy?”

Now, my hubby knows our son by now as well, so he’s immediately suspicious.? “You can’t eat it–it’s for mommy,” he reiterates.

Connor smiles again–”I know.? I just want to hold it for mommy, so I can give it to her when we get home.”

Melting under the radiant innocence of my son’s beatific grin, hubby caves and hands over? the peanut butter cup.? A few seconds later he hears, “Daddy, maybe I can just unwrap it and look at it for mommy.”

Hubby, who clearly did not read the “Setting Limits for Your Strong-Willed Child” book referenced above, says something to the effect of “Oh, that’s not a good idea.”? ? Basically, this kind of wishy-washy talk is like an open invitation to sin for spirited children.? Which means the wrapper? flies off said chocolate treat faster than the pants off a whore.? Then—”Daddy, this peanut butter cup’s broken.? ? Maybe I’ll? just eat this edge off, so it still looks pretty.”

By the time “No!” flies from my? sucker’s, I mean hubby’s,? mouth, it’s? too late.? The edge is gone.

? A? few moments later, “Daddy, it’s too small for mommy now.? I’m just gonna eat it all, and we can get her a new one later.”

Needless to say, I did not enjoy a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup that day.


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mom’s night out photos

Posted by houndrat on Wednesday Apr 9, 2008 Under family life, kids, parenting, SAHM

Well, since Finley is still on a semi-nursing strike, all I really have the energy to do is post a few photos from our Mom’s Night Out event last Saturday.?

? You know you’re not a spring chicken anymore when the old eyelids start drooping before midnight.? Sigh.

We went to an interactive mystery/ comedy dinner theater.? The mystery and comedy?? Great.? The dinner?? I’ve had Swanson’s frozen entrees that put it to shame.? Oh well—it was still nice to have a night out.

The short-lived stay at the local bar afterwards?? Well, let’s just say I really know I’m old after attending that venue.? At least we left before I could disgrace myself by singing (very, very bad) karaoke.


Here’s our motley crew.? I guess I should let you know which one is me, since I assume the vast majority of folks reading this have no clue what I look like.? I’m the blond, second from the right.

me and Brandy (I’m still the blond, second from the right):

Crys with the cast of the play (Because she was actually paying attention to the plot and figured out who the murderer was.? Me?? Ha!? One drink and I can barely remember who I am):

me and Elyse:

And that’s all folks—got another hot? date with Mr. Pumpy.? Woo hoo!

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Napping baby alert–disturb at your own risk

Posted by houndrat on Tuesday Mar 25, 2008 Under babies, family life, naps, parenting

So, I’m sitting here, on this beautiful, sunny, warm California early-spring day, and I’m wondering something.? No, I’m not? wondering? about the musical chirping of the birds, or if we’ll have a nice summer this year, or even who’s going to win the stinkin’ Democratic nomination? (by this point, it could be my dog Fergie for all I care—she says free liver biscuits for all, by the way).?

Nor am I wondering why I can’t decide, after months of deep and profound introspection, whether my son should attend morning or afternoon preschool sessions (these days, I’m just chalking? my indecisiveness? up to a disturbing genetic defect and leaving it at that).

No, what I’m wondering on this idyllic, lovely day, is this—would I, or would I not, serve jail time for chucking the largest rock I could hoist without breaking my back? at the moron across the street’s car, which is currently blasting? music at about a billion decibels and making my entire house vibrate from his pimped out base?

What, you think that’s extreme?? Puh-lease.? Can you honestly tell me you’ve never, not once, in your entire life, ever thought about? taking a giant baseball bat and bashing some dude’s dance club on wheels into smithereens?? Or blowing it up?? With maybe just a tiny nuke?

Okay, so perhaps I am a little warped.? But I mean, come on folks.? If people could just decide to be super noisy at appropriate times, that would be one thing.? But this dude had the audacity to make that unholy racket when my baby was napping.? NAPPING, I tell you.? It’s unacceptable, unpardonable, and goes against all the laws of nature, or at least, all of the important ones.? ?

And no, it? doesn’t matter that they have no idea I’ve got a snoozing infant in here.? If they’re neighbors, they should know I have a baby.? Babies typically sleep a lot, right?? Then I think it’s perfectly reasonably to expect them to assume she’s napping 24/7, and keep their stinkin’ speakers on permanent mute.? ? Or at the very least, keep them? at the level at which you would play a Barry Manilow song when your big rocker brother is home (and you don’t? aren’t craving a? good ass-kickin’? every day for the rest of your natural born existence).?

Let’s face it—when she’s napping, the chirping birds alone make me long for a good? pellet gun.? You can only imagine the kinds of cravings shaking walls bring on.? Okay, so maybe my urges don’t really necessitate nuclear weapons and bludgeoning (at least on really good days).? ? But they do involve flaming poo bags and upholstery.? Or (on really bad days), a smallish bazooka.

Heck, I’ll ‘fess up.? When my daughter is tucked away in her crib catching up on some zzz’s, I even want to rip the mailman a new one when he’s kind enough to bring our mail to our door.

So, I guess the moral of my story is this—Nobody messes with my? napping baby.? ?

Oh yeah—and if think you’re gonna pump up the volume around my ‘hood, you’d better sheath that ride in stink-proof armor.

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Baby Breakthough!

Posted by houndrat on Saturday Mar 8, 2008 Under babies, family life, naps, parenting

Why am I jumping up and down with glee?? Because together, my miraculous, wonderful, brilliant daughter and I finally mastered the most? crucial of developmental milestones.? The grandaddy of them all.? The motherload.

For all you newbies out there—no, I’m not talking about walking, talking, or feeding herself.? Why on earth would I be excited about any of those?? Let’s see—walking?? Hmmm, I get to child-proof my home and follow her around hoping she doesn’t bonk her head every other minute.? Or knock over knick-knacks (except we got rid of all those with baby number one).? Or eat toilet paper holders? (no, wait, that’s Fergie, my chewing-challeged Ridgeback puppy).? Talking?? I figure the sooner they talk, the sooner I get to hear “No! No!? No!” and “Mine! Mine! Mine!”? As for feeding themselves—well, maybe you need a little more laundry to do, but my basket is full, thank you very much.?

So what AM I referring to?? Why, the baby transfer, of course!? In case you newbies still aren’t catching on, let me enlighten you—the baby transfer is one of the single most? life-altering skills? you? and your child? can achieve within the first few months.

Oh, it sounds simple enough–you take one sleeping baby from Point A (their car seat), and deposit the same sleeping baby at Point B (their crib/your bed/any designated nap spot).? But in reality, it’s about as simple as solving nuclear physics problems.? After going on a bender involving multiple tequila shots.? And some Boone’s Farm.

See, the key term involved here is “sleeping”.? Obviously, any? fool with a pair of arms? can transfer a baby from their car seat to the crib.? But when you add the “sleeping” requirement?? Then it’s a whole? ‘nuther ball game.? And trust me–you don’t want to fumble this one.

So? big deal if your? baby can’t transfer, you say?? Let me go over the options, oh-short-sighted-one.? If your baby never learns this amazing feat, then you are destined to one of two things:? a) a home-bound existence, because your baby becomes so cranky from missing naps that you end up agoraphobic and never leave your house again, except in the rare event of a large? alien invasion? or phone call from Brad Pitt inviting you to run away with him? or b) spending upwards of ten hours each week just sitting in or next to your idling car, twiddling your thumbs and? being forced to listen to “soundscapes” on infinite repeat? while your baby snoozes in the backseat.

So, unless you want to be parking your happy hiney in the driveway next to your? dozing child for hours on end, on a daily basis, until your kid finally gives up their nap (mine is four and still napping, if that’s helpful), then let me assure you, this is the milestone you don’t want to miss.? ? Really.

And that’s why I’m jumping for joy.?

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