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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I ain’t no housewife

Posted by houndrat on Saturday Jan 12, 2008 Under babies, family life, husbands, kids, SAHM

My friend recently told me she’s a good wife, but not a good housewife.? It got me thinking (always a dangerous? pastime in our home)—what the heck is a housewife?? I mean, I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure I? married a man, not the outrageously? over-priced tract house with the world’s most minuscule kitchen? in which? we currently reside.? Although? I suppose I could be wrong—we did have a helluva? lot of booze? at our wedding.

Seriously, though, I think the? term “housewife” epitomizes all of the outlandish expectations men have? of their wives–for example, things like mopping the floor daily (sorry, I don’t live in a Brady Bunch rerun), or cleaning the toilet until it sparkles (I’ve never really understood the need to clean an appliance that will be instantly sullied by human excrement within hours of washing it), or discarding dirty toenail clippings (hey, they’re biodegradable).? ? I don’t know about you, but my wedding vows were to love, honor, and cherish—not love, honor, and pick up thy husband’s dirty undies ’til kingdom come.? And I’m pretty sure the latter statement would have penetrated even? the haziest of? booze-impaired brains.

So, instead, I like to call myself a stay-at-home mom, or SAHM, for short.? (or, if you read dooce, it’s actually an acronym for various profanities–which is equally apropos on any given day).? Honestly, though, I? have no problems with this moniker.? I do stay at home—well, except for the plethora of playgroup meetings, music class, gym class, grocery shopping, dog walking, outings to the zoo or Legoland or the beach, picking up the dry cleaning (okay, so I’ve only done that once in my entire married life, but it sounded good), etc, that force me to vacate my? residence for seemingly hours on end.? And I am a mom, unless those two little fiends living in my home were beamed? down by aliens, whose sole purpose? is to? study the effects of supreme daily chaos on the human body? (boy, are THEY getting an eyeful).?

Come to think of it, I had that second? fiend au naturel—and since certain body parts, which shall remain nameless, will never be the same, I suppose the kids are legit. (In case you’re wondering, “au naturel” means no drugs, no hospital—just my own house, my own bed, and a leather strap to bite down on—oh, wait, my husband is now telling me that was actually his arm.? Oops.)

But note, the title is stay-at-home mom.? Stay-at-home MOM.? The problem being—this title is an evil lie.? Or, an evil lie of omission, if you will.? Because implicit in this title is a whole list of other things we SAHMs are expected to do on a daily basis, things that are far less appealing than just being a mommy.? Let’s face it, you hear the term stay-at-home mom, and and what do you envision?? Images of smiling, cooing babies,? pictures of pristine moms in Jimmy Choos ruffling their equally pristine toddler’s hair, thoughts of decked-out MILFs and beaming, spotless children skipping hand-in-hand through the meadows, right?? ? Wrong.? It’s all a bunch of cow manure.? Essence of steer.? Meadow muffins.? It’s a load of poppycock propagated by men so that women will agree to be stay-at-home moms in the first place.? They cunningly neglect to mention all the fun extras that come with the job.?

For example, would you sign up to be a stay-at-home? poopy bottom wiper?? A stay-at-home dog barf cleaner?? A stay-at-home dirty undie scooper upper?? I think not.? I mean, seriously, who is going to pee their pants? with excitement? at the prospect of? being a stay-at-home snot sucker outer?? (There may be a lot of pants-peeing going on around here, including my own due to the above-mentioned baby-damaged body parts, but I can guarantee you it ain’t out of? glee over mucous).? Or a stay-at-home-hubby’s-nasty-hair-clippings-in-the-sink cleaner?? ? The last time I checked, my Master’s degree did not? adequately? prepare me for? such topics.? Maybe I should petition my school.

One time, my husband? proclaimed that he would make a great stay-at-home dad and a great househusband.? ? I? actually think I heard God laugh out loud.? Either that, or one of the dogs blasted us with another of those high-pitched farts.? Don’t get me wrong—my husband is an extraordinarily devoted dad, and an awesome husband and dad in so many ways.? Unfortunately, none of? those ways? involve? either a single? iota of ? consistent discipline or acceptable human cleanliness.? Basically, our house would implode within a week of leaving him home with the kiddage and doggage.? Think Home Alone, only? set in Bosnia instead of the suburbs, and you’ll get the picture.

So, please, make sure you read the fine print before signing on to be a SAHM.? That way, you can start learning how to be a stay-at-home-crusty-booger-wiper-offer far, far in advance.

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Procrastinators, Anonymous

Posted by houndrat on Friday Jan 11, 2008 Under procrastination

Hi.? I am a procrastinator.? I admit it.? In fact, I admit it freely.? What’s more, I like to talk about procrastinating.? A? lot.? Why, you ask?? Because talking about the things you procrastinate about is the ultimate procastination.? It’s like procrastination nirvana.

? What kinds of things do we procrastinate about at our house?? I don’t think there’s enough space on the internet to list? them all.? Honestly. But I’ll try to throw out a few.

Some procrastinations are small.? For example, I procrastinate about buying various items at the store.? Toothpaste (yes, friends, that not-so-fresh-breath is sometimes me),? toilet paper (according to my husband, you can cut up used socks and use them instead—a fraternity house secret), and food (hey, we all needed to go on a diet anyway), just for starters.?

Sometimes, the procrastinations are bigger.? Like the fact? that we have yet to get? our daughter? a social security number or a birth certificate.? The midwife told us those in power like this to be done within 3 weeks of the birth.? Alas, our daughter is over 3 months now, and still without a country to call her own.?

This may not seem like a big deal, unless you knew that we had a home birth.? Apparently, if we don’t do this at some point, she will not be considered a citizen of the United States.? What I am wondering is, is it possible to be a citizen of nowhere?? How does that work, exactly?? I mean, I ‘ve heard of dual citizenship, but never no citizenship.

? But I digress (or, you might say, I procrastinate about procrastinating).? We also procrastinate about doing laundry (it saves the environment), replacing brake pads (we’re single-handedly keeping the rotor-making companies in business), and picking up dog poop (it’s free fertilizer, if you leave it long enough).? We didn’t have a crib mattress until our baby was two months old (hey, I needed an organic one, and you actually have to drive further than a mile to get those), and as for cleaning out the refrigerator?? Well, making your own penicillin does have some benefits, I guess.

Why do we procrastinate?? I honestly don’t know.? I mean, it’s not as if I really believe the toilet paper fairy is going to come make a delivery at our home (unless she just made a drop off in our trees—but I’m pretty sure that’s the kid who lives down the street, the little bastard).? And it’s not as if we think our friends are going randomly drop by and say, “Oh, I was just passing through, and thought I would? bring you? a crate of Charmin–it’s so squeezably soft, you know.”? (but friends, if you’re reading this, it’s not a bad idea—especially if you think you might need to use the john).

But the beauty of procrastination is, you can do it anytime, anywhere, anyplace.? In fact, I was able to procrastinate on about a billion projects, just by writing this blog.

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Yo ho, Yo ho, I must have been smoking crack

Posted by houndrat on Wednesday Dec 5, 2007 Under kids, Uncategorized

I think somebody laced my water.? With crack.? I mean, what else could reasonably explain why I decided to have another birthday party at my home?? I said I would never do it again after last year, after my son’s third birthday party.? Do you have any idea the damage 5 or 6 screaming toddlers can do to your home in under five minutes?? And this year, I really did it.? I invited double that number, thinking surely some couldn’t come because of the proximity to the holidays.? Of course, every single one of them are planning to attend.? ? ? Just my luck–we? managed to invite? the only other families in San Diego County besides ourselves without lives.? Let’s just call it an experiment—how many four-year olds can you have in one house before it explodes? (and this is actually a real possiblity–ask me about my husband’s stash of illegal fireworks in the garage).

Okay, so we’ve invited a few too many guests, but that’s okay, right?? We have a large backyard and we’ve rented a jumpy, bouncy, moonwalk, kid crusher, whatever the heck it is those things are called these days.? We should be fine, right?? Not if you’ve checked the forecast for San Diego for this Saturday.? It’s supposed to rain.? Hard.? I suppose I should have expected that it might rain—I mean, it does rain about three and a half days a year here.? So that gave us a probability of, what, about 1 in 100 that it would rain on our party day?? Life is just not fair.? Now, I have to plan activities to entertain 12 screaming four-year olds inside our not-big-enough-to-accomdate-them-without-something-exploding house.? And we have to put the parents somewhere, too.? ? I’m thinking? the laundry room.? If I have enough booze, maybe they won’t notice.? And let’s face it, all the adults are going to NEED booze to get through this one.

And it’s not enough that I invited too many people. Or that I decided to have the party at our home again (perhaps explained by a sudden temporary brain aneurysm?)? No, somehow I think I’m Martha freakin Stewart when my son’s birthday rolls around.? That means I choose a theme (pirates this year), hand-make all the invitations, bake the cake from scratch, and make my own decorations, posters, party favors, etc.? If I were a crafty person, this might make some kind of sense.? Unfortunately, I am about as crafty as Homer Simpson.

It should be a hoot.? Want to come?? Look for the exploding house.

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