Spring Break and I'm Exhausted

What's up with vacations tiring you out?  Spring break week just finished.  I was sooooo looking forward to sleeping in.  But apparently, I negated that extra sleep by just having too much damn fun!  I can't keep up with my own fricking party schedule.  We had playdates, went to museums, the amusement park, and the beach. I don't know what I was thinking.  I'm ending the week feeling frazzled and burnt out.  Chance isn't much better but, you know, he's younger so he recovers way faster or compensates by working mommy's nerves as a form of personal entertainment when he's too tired to watch TV. (Also, I think my period might be starting so there's that.)  I would like something chocolatey and alcoholic now, while I chant the eternal parental mantra...

School starts tomorrow, school starts tomorrow, school starts tomorrow.


And the parenting award goes to...

We're at Starbucks and Chance is asking questions about his babyhood.  (He gets very nostalgic over a blended strawberry lemonade.)  I've run through all the usual stories - his first teeth, diaper-changing pee mishaps, vomit disasters - and I'm running out of material.  Yet he keeps on asking.

"Tell me another story about when I was a baby, Mom."

"I've told you all the stories."

"No, another one!"

*sigh*

"Come on, Mom, tell me."

"Ummmmmm... well... there was that time that purple alien showed up and wanted to trade you for shoes. You remember that, right?"

"What? No."

"You don't remember that?"

"NO!"

"Oh well, this alien wanted to trade you for shoes and he kept asking and asking but I said 'No'.  Those shoes were really ugly."

"I don't remember that."

"Huh. I could swear you would remember that because you kept looking at me and shaking your head and saying, 'No Mommy, no Mommy'."

"What color was he?"

"Purple."

"How many eyes did he have?"

"Three."

"How tall was he?"

"I don't know exact inches but he was well over 7 feet tall. I mean, he was huge!"

"What else happened?  Tell me another story!"

"Umm... oh, there was that time on the boat when this giant octopus reached up and grabbed you and snatched you right off the boat. I had to wrestle you away from him. It was like one of your first boat trips."

"You had to what?"

"I had to wrestle you out of the grip of an octopus."

"With the beak?! Did he bite me?!"

"No, no, he hadn't gotten you to his mouth yet.  Just, you know, those big suckers on his tentacles were all stuck to you."

"Was this on the Pacific? Because that's where you find giant octopuses."

"Yes, it was!"

He chewed on that for a while and I got to sip my chai latte for a whole minute before...

"Tell me another story when I was a baby."

"I think I'm all out of stories, kiddo.  Oh wait, do you remember when Superman came to visit?  He was going to teach you how to fly.  But you hadn't even started walking yet so I didn't think that was a very good idea."

"Moo-oom! Superman isn't even real."  (This is where he questions me.)

"Yes, he is. He's coming back when you're twelve to teach you to fly."

"Mom!  Ugh. I don't want to learn how to fly anyway."

"What?!  Who doesn't want to learn how to fly?  That would be awesome!  You could swoop down... hey, can I have your lesson if you don't want it?"

At this point a lady at the next table (close but probably not close enough to actually hear us) leaned over to me and said, "You know, I teach a class on parenting for social services and I wish I could video tape you two. I've been watching how you interact with your son and this is exactly what we talk about in our classes, spending quality time with your child!"

"Uh..." I'm sure my face went beet red, "You didn't hear the story about the octopus, did you?" 

                   - the weirdgirl


Game on!

When I picked up my son for lunch today this is what he was drawing in the office.

Bloggable 008 cropped

Then he followed up with, "Mom, does this look like a .          .?"

Take a guess what he was drawing.  The winner shall receive fame and glorious adulations!  No, really.

(Oh, I think I'm gonna tear up. The first time your child draws a phallic image is just so special!)

               - wg


Bad Mom Move #1,346

So apparently I sent my child to school with a moldy sandwich.  Which I find ironic considering that whole other incident involving bread.  I was going to pack a lunchables but Chance inisisted on a bologna sandwich and I was kind of in a hurry so I admit I did not inspect every element of said sandwich while making it.  When I heard about the issue I figured there was a spot of mold on the crust or something and one of the lunch attendants just didn't want to chance it.  But upon lunch box inspection I found one of the inside pieces smeared with a good swipe of mold in a lovely shade of blue-green.  Which then got all over the bologna. Chance was pretty pissed about not getting to eat the bologna.

I used to totally give my mom crap about not paying attention when she made our lunches and one of us kids getting an all jelly sandwich while the other got all peanut butter.  And there was that one time when an ant got in the sandwich.  So obviously karma is getting me back for not just shutting up and eating that PB&J ant lunch.  Because nowadays I would probably just eat the ant.  Frankly, the bread mold worries me more than eating ants.

How many bad mommy points does that count for?

- the weirdgirl

P.S. The teacher totally laughed at me.


The day I was going to sleep in

At 6:22 by my clock (which is really 6:12 because I do that ridiculous thing where I set the clock ten minutes ahead in a sad attempt to be on time (or at least, get another free hit on the snooze button)) Chance comes charging in to my room.  He zips to the bed, then to the bathroom, then to the walk-in closet, then back to the bed like an errant hummingbird on speed, and in my groggy state I knew he was looking for Keen.  Keen was in Vegas for training, but normally if Chance woke up early he went right to his dad.  (Those damn morning people always stick together.)  Of course, Chance normally woke up no earlier than 7:00 and sometimes as late as 7:45!  Which is kind of what I was counting on.

See, yesterday was preschool and a lunch playdate and swimming.  Today was an open day.  I wasn't planning on doing much of anything until lunch time, at least.  

So I mumbled something to him along the lines of stop jumping on the bed and why don't you go play DS until mommy wakes up.  Yeah, I'm that mom.  Deal.

7:25 (which is 7:15, you're with me on that, right?) - thump STOMP STOMP STOMP up the stairs

Me (still groggy): "Chance? Are you wearing shoes?"

Chance: "Yes Mommy!"

Me: "Hey, don't open any doors, OK?  I haven't turned off the alarm yet."  (For the record, that statement I just uttered is a vast improvement because usually I set off the alarm accidentally at least once every time Keen is out of town. It's my job to turn it on in the evening.  It's HIS job to turn it off.)

Chance:  "Mommy, guess what?  I'm not just wearing shoes... I got dressed!  AND I got my own Cheerios!  And I ate them all because those will give me energy!  Because I want to get to school sooner today."

Me:  "You got... dressed?!"

Chance: " Yes!  I'm all ready!  Because I want to go to school and play with my best bud!!"  Chance climbs onto the bed where he harasses the cat with excessive fidgeting.

Me:  "But kiddo... can you stop jumping please?  Leave the cat alone!... it's great that you got ready," (which never ever ever happens), "but there's no school today."

If I had been marginally more awake I would have made him go do his homework sheets before telling him.

            - the weirdgirl


Kids are real (annoying) people, too

I know this is breaking the mommy blogging rules but I need to take a moment to bitch about my child.  Yes, I know!  We're only supposed to talk about how much we love our kids, and the cute and great things they do, or, barring that, how misunderstood they are because they are actually secretly wonderful even when they are misbehaving.

But come on, my son is a person, just like anyone else and that means he has strengths and weaknesses.  Potentially annoying ones.

I LOVE my son.  To pieces.  And I will get all mama bear up in someone's ass if they try to mess with him. Chance is smart and super creative and I love that.  The creativity is one of my favorite things about him.  I love that he can whip out a story at a moments notice, that he is always thinking, that he looks at things in different ways, and says the unexpected thing.  But sometimes?  Those smarts and creativity?

Kill me. KILL ME!

Chance doesn't understand what "fast" is.  Or at least he doesn't understand the difference between fast and slow.  He doesn't understand the word "focus".  And god forbid he actually does one thing at a time.

This morning we're trying to get ready to leave and we were ON TIME! and he insisted he wanted to do another homework sheet before school.  So I, like a big dummy, said, "OK, if you go fast as we get ready we'll have time. So go fast."  But the fast never happens. 

When Chance finishes his homework sheet (which was punctuated by numerous unrelated questions), and I say "OK, write your name," he launches into a story.  "What if Abraham Lincoln and the Mario Bros..."

When he actually writes his name he decides he must do each letter in a different color.  Which is fine.  As long as you do it quickly!  Nope, he tries to start a discussion about the coolness of different colors. (Which I nip in the bud, to speed things up. I do a lot of bud nipping.)  

If I say "come here, it's time to put on your shoes", Chance lays flat on the ground, points out that he's lying down, sits up, grabs a toy, and then spins around on his butt three times.  By that time, I've snagged an ankle to haul him over. 

This happens for EV-ERY-THING!

I try to give him useful definitions for what I'm talking about.  Such as, "going fast" means only doing the things that need to be done, no extras.  And then I point out what the extras are: telling a story, playing with toys, jumping up and down when I say "come here", trying to do two things at once.  "Listening" means stop, looking at a person's face, not talking/interrupting, etc.  But ARGH!  This is not meant to be a "secretly wonderful even when he's misbehaving" post because seriously?  Seriously?  He's driving me nuts!!  Some of it is the SPD, some of it is just his nature, and some of the time he really is just misbehaving because he thinks it's funny.  (So NOT funny.)

I can usually repress the frustration.  I'm very good at repression.  But this morning I lost it and slammed my hands on the floor and now my wrist hurts.

Because I'm not perfect either!

             - the weirdgirl


Who knew cause and effect was genetic?

So essentially, I'm a smartass.  (Shocker, right?)  A smartass and a storyteller.  I have probably been these things since I learned to talk, spinning some facetious yarn about how binkies are actually the detached udders of cows.  I also have three brothers.   Therefore, as with many children in large families, I grew up feeding those brothers lines of crap and seeing how much they’d buy.   What?  It’s fun!  A healthy family activity.   

However, call it fate or karma or what have you, I am now saddled with a child who puts an awful lot of emphasis on personal empirical knowledge.  For example, the lovely Motherbumper one time told a story about her child playing with a ratchet gun (without a bit) and Motherbumper told said child that if she unscrewed her belly button her butt would fall off.

This is exactly the type of thing I would have reveled in telling my brothers!

But, for a long time, I couldn't (and maybe still can't) say anything like that to Chance... because he would try to unscrew his belly button.  Just to see if his butt would fall off.  See, he seems to have the unfortunate combination of intense curiosity and a certain lack of self-preservation.  When he was younger I often caught him trying to touch the thing that I just told him was hot.  If I explained the cause and effect of hitting the wrong end of his spoon, next thing I knew he'd be flinging food in the air.  He had to test everything.  By the time he was ready for warnings about electric outlets I knew to intentionally leave out any mention of forks.

I couldn’t figure out where this... I don't even know what to call it... scientific spirit? foolhardiness? ...came from.  Regardless of the fact that my brothers and I told each other great big whoppers we knew better than to try them out.  I mean, what if one of those stories were actually true?  When my older brother would stick his tongue on a battery and pretend to be electrocuted... did I ever test that?  HELL no!  Did my youngest brother really think that if he didn't wear his underwear his penis would fall off and he'd become a girl?  I don't know, but I do know he started wearing underwear again. 

Anyway, you can see my dilemma... with Chance's million questions (and trust me, he has a LOT of questions) sometimes a smartass story is just burning to get out.  But I can't!  Given his nature I just need to suppress my facetious instincts until (hopefully) he grows out of testing everything.  Which I hope is soon.  I still can't figure out where this came from; I mean, in my family, I admit, we're all a little detrimentally creative at times but we're still healthily self-protective about bodily harm.

So one day I'm discussing (complaining about) this aspect of Chance with my mom and she says, "Yeah, I was like that.  I'd scratch myself because I thought blood was interesting."

*blink blink blink*

Thanks Mom!     

                     - the weirdgirl


And here's where I piss everybody off #1

Since there is always someone on the web foaming at the mouth about "breast is best" or the ethical (?) considerations of foreskins or whatever other reason why their parenting preferences are better than everyone else's, I've decided to start spouting off a few of my own.  Mainly because I just find a lot of that shit ridiculous.

I like to be subversive that way.

So here we go... I feed my son chocolate milk once a day!  And not just sometimes, pretty much every single day he gets chocolate milk. 

The HORROR!

I've been reading quite a few news articles lately about offering healthier food choices at schools, which I completely support.  However, every single article feels the need to point out that the schools offer chocolate milk... and so, oh my god!, the kids pick the chocolate milk over the regular milk!!  Aagh!

Check it out, prepared chocolate milk has about the same amount of sugar as a similarly-sized glass of apple juice.  (And I tested that against the 100%, no sugar added Treetop apple juice.)

Chocolate is a power food.

Milk, whether it's chocolate flavored or not, still comes with all those great dairy nutrients.

My son is kind of on the skinny side so I don't mind a few extra calories getting in him. 

As for all the people pointing out the horrifying effects of sugar on focus, hyperactivity (myth - unless you have a sensitivity to sugar (which occurs far less than people realize)), and the subsequent "sugar crashes"... you really have to scarf quite a bit of sugar for those effects.  (Like I personally have not had a sugar crash in a really long time and I eat some chocolate or a couple of cookies or some other sugar-based treat once a day.  At least.  ahem)  So is it really the one carton/glass of chocolate milk?  Or is it the chocolate milk, the candy bar, the cookie, and the corn dog?

I'm just foaming saying.           - wg


Soccer Moms and their contribution to the oil crisis

Our life without school

Mornings:
Watch kid TV and have leisurely breakfast
Do activity sheets (i.e. coloring pages with letters on them); read stories
Have lunch at home (home-baked bread, fresh vegetables from garden)
After lunch do an outing to Target, a park, or maybe the pet store, all of which are close by
Afternoons:
“Quiet time” (i.e. the two hours Chance is required to play quietly in his room; Me – nap or work)
Clean up after quiet time

Art project or play outside, garden or go for a walk
Dinner time, then bath
More stories and bedtime

Our life with school

Mornings:
Watch 1-2 kids’ shows, scarf down breakfast and run out the door
Drive Chance to school
Stop at Starbucks because I didn’t get enough caffeine and/or breakfast
Stop at bank
Run errands to stores that are lacking in “child entertainment value” (i.e. anything that isn’t Target, Toys R Us, or a pet store)
Stop briefly at home (because that seemed like a good idea)
Drive back to school to pick up Chance
Stop for drive-through lunch
Eat crappy fast food lunch at home; realize I need to stop by the bank again (feel guilty AND broke)
Afternoons:
Enforce shortened “quiet time”
Sit exhausted on couch (me)
Prep for next outing (because of course all the playgroup/kid oriented activities start up again now that summer is over!)
Pull Chance out of quiet time, cram snack in him
Drive to playdate/group activity/seasonal outing/grandma’s house
Drive home (in traffic)
Dinner time (hope that Keen has cooked; if not, run out to pick up food)
Skip bath (Eau d’ Exhaust is so lovely!)
Stories and bedtime

Over the summer I had maybe two to three guaranteed outings in a week. Last week I had seven! I gassed up my car last Wednesday midday… by Friday I was already down a quarter of a tank! My carbon footprint has not just expanded, I think it’s grown a corn or two.

          – the weirdgirl