Now back to our regularly scheduled butt and poo programming...
Not too long ago The Mayor learned that everyone has a little hole in their butt for making poo poo, himself being no exception.
Since that time he's become a little obsessed with his own little hole and all that the hole... um, accomplishes. Lately, when he gets a diaper change he wants to incessantly talk about his "accomplishments" and often begs to see them. (Eeew.) I think this is normal behavior for his age. (At least that is what I'm telling myself!)
Last night I was putting his diaper and pajamas on and noticed that he had a bit of a raging flanus.
Me: I'm going to put a little cream on your butt.
The Mayor: Why?
Me: Well, it looks a little sore and I think the cream will make it feel better.
The Mayor: Where is it sore?
Me: On your butt.
The Mayor: Where on my butt?
Me: Um, right here near your anus.
The Mayor: Huh?
Me: Here near your anus. The little hole in your butt is called an anus.
The Mayor: No. Mine is not called Anus.
Me: Sure it is. The little hole in everyone's butt is called Anus. My little hole is named Anus, Daddy's little hole is named Anus and your little hole is named Anus.
The Mayor: My little hole is NOT named Anus!
Me: (Indulging him) Okay then, what is your little hole named?
The Mayor: Dana.
Welcome to the House of Joy, Dana.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Now back to our regularly scheduled butt and poo programming...
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Rooster Girl, my wee baby, my young daughter, my second child, turned one today.
We had a pool party for her over the weekend and while we remembered to bring the camera, we neglected to bring the memory card for the camera. So alas, there are no photos of her in her swim suit and tiara covered in chocolate icing and cupcake. She was a sight to behold.
I tried not to be upset with myself. Afterall, I figured her real birthday was still a few days away and I could celebrate again.
I failed to remember that her one year check up at the pediatrician was scheduled for this morning. She had two vaccinations, a finger prick and, as it turns out, she also has an ear infection that we didn't know about. Happy Birthday, here are your antibiotics.
We are such pathetic parents.
Rooster Girl has been 'inexplicably' crying in the middle of the night for the past few nights. We the parental geniouses have mostly been puzzled (and annoyed) by it.
Of course it never OCCURRED to us that it could be an ear infection despite the fact that our older son had 400 ear infections and surgery to get ear tubes.
Oh, yes. We are paying close attention to what we are doing over here. You want US to babysit your child.
I also failed to understand that re-creating a birthday tiara wearing moment is an insult to a one year old who is suffering from a mild vaccination fever, thigh soreness from shots and ear ache pain.
And how about this... alarmingly stupid parents (like us) sometimes put the birthday candle way too close to the baby. She reached for it, K grabbed it out of the way... but she WAILED and WAILED. I think she might have felt the heat. We held her hand under cold water, got her an icey boo boo bunny thing and filled our hearts with anxiety and guilt.
Then we went back to trying to get the damned tiarra on her.
She was really happy about that.
Because we were really heaping on the JOY here tonight, our son decided to let us know how he felt about the fact that he couldn't have more than one cupcake.
As usual, here at the House of Joy, our joy knows no bounds and the joys keep mounting up.
Still, I think Roo should be properly honored, so I am going to take a moment to chronicle her year and I hope it will be a more fitting tribute to her first year than the pathetic celebration we attempted here tonight.
August 29, 2006
I was convinced she was going to be a boy. When they pulled her out of my body, put her on my belly and told me she was a girl I sobbed and laughed in disbelief.
When The Mayor, my first born, arrived he looked exactly like K and his family. He was unfamiliar to me. Rooster was different. I recognized her. I saw my parents, my brother, my grandparents, my aunts and uncles and myself in her face.
She was quiet as the nurses tended to her. She didn't make a sound, just studied the room in what we would learn was her serious way.
First Thanksgiving, 2006
December 26, 2006
Roo cleans up at Christmas time.
January 1, 2006
Roo is a nudie New Year's Baby.
(These photos cost me a huge load of bed linen laundry.)
February 11, 2006
Roo is five months old. She thinks she is Marlon Brando.
Roo is almost six months old.
She can sit up and she takes her first bath in the tub.
Thus begins the endless pooing in the tub.
March 4, 2006
Roo thinks she is the heavy weight champion of the world.
March 5, 2006
March 15, 2006
Six months...it's Sweet Potato time!
April 4, 2006
Roo is seven months old.
Grandma Seattle visits.
That is reason to be VERY girly.
Roo just filed her taxes.
April 22, 2006
Roo is almost eight months old.
She thinks she is Don King.
May 19, 2006
Roo is almost nine months old.
She takes her first trip to the beach.
This is both good and bad.
June 3, 2006
Oh. My. God.
It's like looking in the mirror.
June 25, 2006
Roo is ten months old.
She can stand and squat, but can't walk yet.
Roo is eleven months old.
She loves to play ball.
She hates books.
You are a blessing in my life.
I'm sorry your birthday was tear filled.
I love you, I love you, I love you.
Monday, August 28, 2006
Mexican Moms Got Big Butts?
Um? What? All of them?
What a statistically impossible and utterly silly idea.
It is theoretically possible, and even plausible, that there could be some Mexican moms that have big butts. But I'm here to tell you that if so, they are not alone.
In big butt solidarity, Oh, The Joys, American Mongrel of Irish, German and English descent, proves here today that her butt is big.
Bigger, in fact, than two corn tortillas.
Friday, August 25, 2006
My husband does public policy work on energy issues. Consequently, last night when we got into bed he wanted to tell me some complicated information about our state's gas tax laws.
He is my husband and I love him, so I dutifully said,
"Mmmm, I see."
"Wow honey" at all the appropriate times.
He then went on to tell me something about how the President had signed some law that made a tax break related to college saving plans permanent and this was a good thing... and something about the year 2010.
I know better than to have said, "Huh?" If I had, then he would have explained in GREAT DETAIL. Because he handles our finances in an unbelievably meticulous way - to the point where he schedules quarterly meetings with me so he can show me his power point presentation on the state of the household finances - I trust that whatever he was saying about the college savings plans was a good thing. Again I peppered the conversation with the affirmations mentioned above at all the right conversational intervals.
He finally ran himself out of things to say and there was a period of quiet.
I rolled over and told him I loved him, because I do, and then I kissed him.
This kissing caused a stirring that led to a great earthly vibration.
Crickets rubbed their wings together.
Dragonflies flitted gaily about.
Hummingbirds hovered in mid-air.
A flock of geese took off in flight.
A lone lute string sang out a high note.
And a quarter sawn headboard made a squeaky noise I had never heard before.
When it was all over, he said,
"Wow. I'm going to have to talk about college savings accounts at bedtime more often."
To which I replied, "You had me at state gas tax."
Thursday, August 24, 2006
I expect my children to play with my Special Band-Aids at some point when they are old enough to get things off of shelves and out of wrappers by themselves.
It would only be fair.
I remember lining up drinking glasses on my Granny's windowsill, each filled to a different level with water. I took my mother's box of tampons, unwrapped all of them and plunked one into each glass. When my mother caught me and asked what I was doing, I told her "science experiements." So if karma is real, I totally deserve to have my $43,000 (why do they cost so much?) piece of 'what comes around goes around' in the form of having my children mess with MY tampons in one way or another.
What I WASN'T expecting was what I overheard and saw tonight.
As I was putting Rooster Girl in her pajamas I overheard K talking to The Mayor who was still in the tub:
The Mayor: Hey Dad, is that MY bag?
Kevin: No, that's Mommy's bag of Special Band-Aids.
The Mayor: Oh.
K: Check this out.
(Much quietness followed... Great concentrating, science experimenting-type quietness...)
K: Look what happens when you dunk it!
The Mayor: I want to try it!
When I came back in the bathroom, The Mayor was standing up dunking and re-dunking the tampon in the tub like someone trying to rapidly steep tea. My husband was just as engaged in the project, his eyes followed the sopping wet, bobbing cotton as if he needed to 'follow the bouncing ball' in a video sing-a-long.
Oh, The Joys. Uh-huh.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
I am willing to act like a fool or do whatever it takes to make daycare drop off successful. By successful, I mean lacking in toddler hysteria. I've mentioned before, that I've come up with the INGENIOUS idea of having The Mayor wave to me at the window while I walk backwards to the car waving and blowing kisses with great animation.
We've added an element to our morning routine now where we sit in a chair and have some hugging and kissing before the window waving. I think this lovey-dovey smoochy part is mostly for me because until we get He Who Does Not Live In Spain dropped off at the choo choo, The Mayor says things to me like, "No, Mommy! I don't want YOU. I want Daddy." I am second fiddle, so I take my 2 year old love when I can get it.
Today, during our hugs and kisses, one of The Mayor's teachers told me that the morning routine was working well for The Mayor and that he was hardly ever upset by my leaving anymore. Then she said to The Mayor, "Mommy's going to come back for you, right?"
The Mayor: Yes. Mommy's coming back. (To me...) You're coming back, right?
Me: Yes, I'll always come back for you.
The Mayor: Why?
Me: Because I need you.
The Mayor: Why do you need me?
Me: Because I love you. (I pulled him out from my body to look at him as I talked. I put my hand over my heart...) Inside my body is my heart and when I think of you I get a squeezy, squeezy, squeezy, good feeling there.
The Mayor: (Smiling and pulling himself tightly back into my body...) SQUEEZY, SQUEEZY, SQUEEZY!!!
He pulled away from me quite suddenly, grabbed the collar of my t-shirt, yanked it out as far as it would go and stuck his head halfway down my shirt.
Me: What are you doing?
The Mayor: I'm looking for your heart.
Me: Okay, but just so you know, it's not one of those things you see down there with the sparkly tassles attached.
Monday, August 21, 2006
I haven't had a chance to ask my parenting guru, so I'm asking you...
do you do SHOULD YOU do when your child gets to the phase where he or she:
I'm sure all who have parented before me are familiar with THE FIT OF ALL FITS. Seriously, what are "good" parents supposed to do?
My strategy so far has been to blink repeatedly in disbelief.
As you might imagine, this does nothing to alleviate the situation.
The Mayor is just over two and for the most part is a congenial, agreeable kid. But there are times when he goes all Damien the Omen XI on me. He truly seems to be having an out of body experience while Beelzebub enters his wee body and takes over.
Last week when I picked him up from daycare, his teacher Ms. Rhonda wanted him to help the other kids pick up the toys before he left. I asked him to help and suddenly his body shook, the finger pointed, the foot stamped, the "NO MOMMY" flew forth from his lips and THE FIT appeared.
I asked Ms. Rhonda what I should do.
She told me I could leave the room. So I did. (Ms. Rhonda is in charge, G. I don't mess with Ms. Rhonda.)
When I returned, The Mayor was seated cross-legged on the floor with eight other toddlers, the group of them forming an orderly, geometric pattern and quietly eating honey grahams. He was perfectly happy. I would wager he had no memory of THE FIT.
Goody, goody and hip, hip hooray for Ms. Rhonda and her awesome skillz. But what about MEEEEEEEEEE?
I realize that my presence was probably part of the problem in this situation, but because I was out of the room I missed witnessing her strategy and stealing it for myself. When I asked her what I should do, I really wanted the advice. I honestly don't have the first clue.
Help me Obi Wan.
Friday, August 18, 2006
Last night K brushed his teeth in the kitchen. He was left with no choice, really and he felt forced to issue a new household edict:
"Wife, thou shall not release MIGHTY WIND in the bathroom at the time I am scheduled to brush my teeth."
I wish him good luck with enforcing said edict. (Ppppfffffttttt.)
So I followed him into the kitchen (Ppppfffffttttt) and after he finished brushing, he looked around and said, "It's amazing what we've grown accustomed to... look at all this stuff. We don't even notice it now."
When we were newly pregnant with our first child we were one of THOSE couples who weren't going to be changed by the addition of children. We weren't going to talk endlessly about them, we vowed NEVER to utter the word "percentile" and we (the two completely
ANAL Type A people that we are) weren't going to have a messy house.
Looking around the kitchen floor we noted the semi-giant, mission style children's play table with two matching chairs, TWO different child rocking chairs, a toy phone, a miniature Delta airplane, a box of wipes, an evenflo bottle with three scoops of formula powder inside, various, mismatched pieces of tupperware and a scooter that should be named "My First RAVE Mobile" because it plays toddler electronica when you press the nose on it's face. Neither of us could estimate how long any of it had been there.
Surveying the scene K sighed and said, "Yeah, I make breakfast like this..." and he proceeded to HIGH STEP like a drum major in a marching band from the oven, OVER various items, to the refridgerator and back. I was tempted to push the nose on "My First RAVE Mobile" so that he would be accompanied by a toddler electronica version of John Jacob Jingle Heimer Schmidt, but the bambinos were asleep.
I was recently out to lunch and noticed a group of co-workers treating a pregnant woman to lunch. I could not help
eavesdropping overhearing the pregnant woman INSIST that her life would not be different. She talked specifically about how she would continue to take leisure trips with her husband (she claimed she'd drop the baby off at her mother's house) and how their sex life wouldn't be impacted in the least. (The sex life part is really priceless, no?)
I just had to chuckle to myself. You can't tell anybody anything, they just have to find out for themselves that soon they'll be standing in a kitchen full of toys and giant plastic crap high steppin' up, over and around it and doing jackhammer dance moves to tunes played by a push toy.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Last weekend when my mom was here, we all went out to lunch with my friend Michele and her two boys. Picture the calm, serenity of our table for eight - four adults and four kids.
We had that sort of scattered chatting you have while dealing with kiddie orders and kiddie needs. The restaurant took the orders for the kids food first (bless them) and out it came.
There was a great flurry of activity as moms and dads cut things in to small pieces and generally
argued negotiated with the four and under set.
Suddenly, there was a great SPLAT and a moment of silence... immediately followed by hysterical cries from 18 month old Otto.
The rest of us were completely stunned and bewildered...
All of us (except one) were COVERED in ketchup.
Young Otto had taken a direct hit in the face. My mother's ear was completely filled, every little crevice in her ear stuffed with ketchup. Our clothes were spattered. The walls were coated, the floor - everything.
It looked like a scene from a slasher movie.
In complete silence (save the crying of Otto) we looked around wondering...WTF? Huh?
K held a ketchup bottle in his hand, the cap missing, the bottle itself hovering over The Mayor's fries and his jaw practically in his lap.
"I went to shake it up before I poured it out and..."
Grins spread out across our faces and one by one we started laughing.
And laughing until we almost peed.
The entire wait staff and the restaurant management rushed over only to find us unable to speak from laughing.
It took all of them and all of us to wipe the ketchup from our hair, our clothes, my mom's ear, poor little Otto's whole face, the walls...
Turns out we were the first customers to sit at that table that day, so who ever refilled the ketchup bottles the night before didn't screw on the cap very well.
The manager was beside himself with apologies, but we (save Otto) were highly amused.
But no one had a camera. So sad.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
When I'm at a shoe store with K and I ask him, "Should I buy this pair of shoes or this pair?" K knows to say, "You should definitely buy both!"
When I am boo hoo-ing and irrational, K knows that he should reassure me. He should put his arms around me, comfort me and tell me he loves me -- even if he isn't "feeling the love" in that exact moment.
He is a self-proclaimed feminist man and broadly willing to seriously consider women's perspectives.
He is kind, patient and tolerant.
But I am so bossy.
He really doesn't appreciate it... and who can blame him. My family thinks he is a saint.
St. K, long sufferer of bossiness.
One thing that really bugs K is when I speak to him using the "Universal We."
The Universal We goes like this:
Universal We: "We should take out the garbage and recycling tonight."
What it means: K should do it.
Universal We: We should hang the blinds.
What it means: K should do it.
Universal We: We should carry all this crap-ola up to the attic.
What it means: Yeah, like I'm carrying all that sh*t up there?! It's HOT up there.
He would be so grateful if I would simply say, "K, would you be willing to...." and he's repeatedly requested that I ask directly (and politely) if I'd like him to do something. "Oh, sorry, yes, sure," I always answer, but I am an old dog apparently and he suffers on (and on and on.)
Last night, K walked into our bedroom and realized that a portable crib was still set up in there from [insert random boring details here]. As K packed it up, he muttered, "We should really get this out of here."
Then he realized what he said, looked up at me and grinned.
I will rub off on you if you're not careful.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
A few weeks ago I went to the largest Latino mall in the South.
I'm not being politically incorrect about this. There was a whacking, great, big, huge, enormous sign hanging right over the entrance that said:
I am here to tell you that ALL malls should immediately convert to become MEMBERS of the Largest Latino Mall of the South franchise because for starters, THE FOOD COURT.
There were tacos and tortas and soupa de mariscos. (Alas, alas, the effing points though...still.)
Beyond the food court was kiddie heaven of all heavens - - an arcade filled, no FILLED with flashing lights and blinking machines all designed to devour all my quarters while mesmerizing my small ones.
There were gazillions of varieties of the game where you try to get
You know these games. They are the games that you are going to win as frequently as golden eggs are going to shoot at warp speed out of your...
BUT, these blinky flashy games reward players with PRIZE TICKETS which can be redeemed for fabulous booty at the prize booth.
Oh, yes indeed!
My friend Michele spent a mere $80.00 and her son was able to cash in his tickets for one of those plastic army men with a folded up plastic parachute rubber banded to his back.
He was filled with glee.
What a bargain!
As if that weren't enough, the piece de resistance was the giant human habitrail.
NO ADULTS ALLOWED.
The kiddie habitrail at the Largest Latino Mall in the South is four stories high and netted, making it impossible for a child to fall out.
Parents are free to drink tequila drinks and eat tacos while watching their children move through the tubes and roomy spaces.
Why didn't anyone tell me SOONER that everything I needed to learn about parenting I learned in 1978 from my hamster named Honey?
I was an EXCELLENT hamster parent. So excellent in fact, that I was in the newspaper for being so excellent.
EXCELLENT, I tell you.
Humility not really being a strong suit of mine.
Sunday, August 13, 2006
Grandma Seattle is in town this weekend... braving the humidity of the deep south for the love of the wee ones.
She cooked dinner tonight, she wore this weird toy on her nose, she read to The Mayor every single night and she worked HARD to woo the fickle Rooster Girl out of her shy state.
After a weekend of serious effort on her part Grandma was rewarded tonight when Rooster finally reached up to her wanting to be picked up.
That kind of behavior is unprecendented from Roo.
K and I looked on in awe.
"She actually WANTS someone besides you or me to pick her up."
We too were on our best behavior and were able to demonstrate what excellent parenting skills we have developed so that my mom can be proud of us.
Like when we were driving home from the zoo and The Mayor discovered his sippy cup was all out of milk...
The Mayor: Please mommy, can I have some more milk in my cup? (Now THAT is asking nicely!)
Me: We'll have to wait until we get home because I accidentally put the thermos in the trunk.
The Mayor: SHIT! SHIT! SHIT! SHIT!
My Mom: What was that?
The Mayor: SHIT! SHIT! SHIT! SHIT!
My Mom: What is that word ? I don't know what that means.
Me: (Silently to myself) MARSCAPONE!
Friday, August 11, 2006
Last night during The Mayor and Rooster Girl's bath, The Mayor occupied himself by wrapping a wet washcloth around my wrist so that we could "play archery."
(He did archery on our vacation and is, apparently, the only two year old ever to hit the target in the history of all the kids that ever shot arrows there in the long, long career of the college-aged summer employee guy staffing the archery range. Impressive, no?)
As The Mayor repeatedly wrapped my arm in the sodden washcloth all I could think about was the fact that little boys hit warm water and...
It's the first thing they do when they get in the tub. Every time.
To make the best of it, I was thinking about whether or not there might be any redeeming spa-like benefits of having diluted little boy pee on your skin, you know, like a special moisturizing quality or something.
I was also wondering if I am a bad mother for allowing The Mayor and Rooster Girl to be washed together every night.
Its one thing for The Mayor to "wash" in his own diluted pee and somehow another for his sister to have to sit in it.
Even with all these deep and complex thoughts filling my head, I was all the while shooting imaginary arrows from an imaginary bow whose string did not chafe my forearm thanks to the protective washcloth I wore.
In the middle of a particularly good imaginary shot, one that would surely have been a bulls eye, Rooster stood up in the tub and flung her washcloth so that THWAP! It hit me right in the face.
While I was thinking about how diluted pee water might be the new Visine, she squatted down, re-soaked the washcloth, stood up and pressed it into my shirtsleeve soaking me from the shoulder to the elbow.
Satisfied with herself on the soaking mama front and not to be out done by her peeing brother, she squatted back down, grunted like an ape and released two small, spherical poops into the tub*.
Diluted little boy pee is one thing. Poo poo is another.
The free floating poos resulted in an all out re-enactment of the "doody" scene in Caddyshack. There was a great exxodus from the tub, there was screaming and general hysteria and the archery range fell silent.
(*Rooster is famous for this, as evidenced here and here.)
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
On our way to and from the big family vacation we spent a few nights at Grandma New York's house. Uncle Joe and crew occupied the extra upstairs bedrooms so we took the basement.
The basement is finished but it is just one big room. Criticize if you must, but we find it difficult for all four of us to sleep in a single room. Rooster Girl still wakes up at night and cries out which can wake The Mayor. The last thing we need is TWO children awake in the middle of the night.
So... Grandma New York has a very large, walk-in cedar closet in the basement.
You know where this is going don't you?
We put our baby girl to sleep in the closet.
Go ahead, leave me your "in the closet" jokes.
But don't go getting all self-righteous about it because she enjoyed her sleep there. I mean, she was entirely undisturbed by moths... a completely moth-free baby.
Monday, August 07, 2006
I am returned! I spent a week at my husband's family reunion on Lake George in New York. It looked like this:
There was tennis playing --
There was popsicle eating --
There were lots of Aunts and Uncles to help you put your shoes on --
-- or carry you anywhere you wanted to go --
There was flinging in the air --
There was tickling --
There was wanting to be held all the time, but not by anyone else but Mama and Dada --
Or maybe Uncle Joe --
And maybe the holding of Grandma's hand... but only for a second --
I totally underestimated the whole perpetual playdate aspect of extended family vacations. Also, the way that sometimes you would end up without children at all as they ran off with Aunts and Uncles (though sometimes you ended up with them all as counter balance!)
The Mayor was completely out of his mind and overstimulated. I don't think I've ever seen him so excited. His own commentary on the vacation was, "I'm a hard workin' man, Daddy." His Aunt Sheila nicknamed him "The Mayor" for his gregarious glad handing ways.
I am happy to report, and I know NO ONE will be surprised, that my neices and nephews reported to the Aunts and Uncles that,"Aunt Jessica is the MOST like a kid and the LEAST like a grown up." When asked why, they told everyone that, "Aunt Jess likes to talk about butts and stuff." Uncle Nat confided in me that he thought maybe he should talk about butts more. Uncle Joe asked me if I was responsible for the children's obsession with taking photographs of everyone's butts.
Oh, definitely. Yup. That was me.
And here's a photo of me taken by my niece Claire...