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Sunday, April 26, 2009


Those who know me very well know I'm a kid at heart. I get excited over things like going to the area big name theme park, making cookies, playing with Moonsand, and making tents in the living room with sheets and furniture. It would not surprise people who know me well that I included Flarp and Silly String in the kids' Easter baskets this year. It also would probably not surprise people who know me well that I suggested that the kids go out to the front yard with their Silly String and decorate the first tree they found. ...and it would probably not surprise people who know me well that I had a great time HELPING my kids decorate the tree in the front yard with Silly String.

As far as Dear Son's Halloween sweatshirt (which he is wearing on EASTER)...I had nothing to do with that!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

You Can't Teach an Old Bra New Tricks

I hate shopping for bras. Really really hate it. A couple weeks ago I took notice that the undergarments intended to provide me with "support" were no longer very supportive. Four years. That's how long it's been since I purchased new bras. Yeah. Bra shopping is a major undertaking as far as I'm concerned, and a total science project whereby a person has to have some knowledge of various scientific topics such as gravity, aerodynamics, and textiles.

So I walked into the local big name department store and straight to the over-the-shoulder-boulder-holders (pebble-holders, perhaps?). I stood in awe of the rows and rows of options before me, and I was immediately exasperated. This task is always hard enough for me, and MORE choices do not necessarily make it any easier. I took a deep breath and dove into the forest of cups and elastic of every shape color and pattern. I made it through the first couple rows rather quickly as it was obvious none of those would do; they were clearly for those who are more endowed than I. If I had wandered into this section by accident, I would have thought this was the perfect place to buy my next bowling ball bag.

When I got out of the boobs-are-us section, I finally began seeing some potential options. I began feeling fabric, stretching straps, and squeezing cups (and I hadn't even made it to the dressing room yet!) I held up random specimens and examined the picture of the model on the tags. "If only!" I thought to myself and dreamed that the right bra could actually make my own pair look like that. I read the sales pitches on the tags that were intended to convince patrons why they should buy that particular bra instead of any of the other 3,500 there were to choose from. "Smooth fit" sounded pretty good. Who wants bumpy boobs? "Convertible" sounded too much like "topless" to me. "Barely there" sounded good at first, and then I realized I already have that going for me. "Push up" reminded me too much of a drill sergeant saying, "drop and give me twenty", and "air lift" sounded like the emergency medics were coming to save my life (which may have been the better of my options at this point!) My eyes then fell on something that I had never seen before. "No more back fat!" the tag read. Back fat, huh? I was just talking about this phenomenon with a friend the other day. It was in context of pushing 40 and discovering fat on our bodies in places we didn't think about having fat ever before. Thinking I might need some back magic, I added it to the tangled mess of bras that were accumulating in my arms.

Seriously. How many ways can a garment be "re-invented"? I ruled out the ones with the paper thin cups (no need to tell the entire world when you're feeling chilly), and I ruled out the heavily padded ones that make your pals feel like you've attempted to wrap a mattress around them. I ruled out the leopard prints and super lacy ones. After trying on the first 20, I chose NONE of them and left the dressing room tangled in a mess of cups and elastic and those silly little hangers on which you can never get the bra to hang right again after trying it on. Suddenly the stretched out, four-year- old bra that I walked in with didn't seem so bad, and I was tempted to put it back on, sigh a satisfied "just right!" and go on about my life as if the previous hour of bra masquerading had never happened. I suddenly felt like the Bernstein Bear in my son's "Old Hat New Hat" book who walked into the hat shop with his old beat up, worn out hat and tried to shop for a new one. After trying on everything in the store, including that which borders on the inane and ridiculous, he spied the old beat up hat he walked in with, snatched it up and placed it back on his head with the satisfied exclamation, "Just right!"

In the end, I came home with my first "Wonderbra." I'm not sure it does "wonders" for me, but when I wear the thing, I can almost see a faint hint of cleavage, so I got that going for me. That and the hope that this new "Wonder" baby is my ticket to four more years sans bra shopping.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Smelly Kid

We started working on this when Dear Son was 2 1/2 years old. I've finally all but given up. The kid just insists, for some reason, on doing his "business" in his pants. I tried M&M's in the beginning. It worked for about two days. Then I tried stickers. He never did get into that. After a few months with only one or two successes, we gave up for awhile. After about a six month break, we tried again. This time I promised to get him whatever toy he saw in the toy magazine that he was dying to have. He talked about the toy nonstop. He dreamed about the toy. He begged for the toy. I enthusiastically promised it to him whenever he decided to stop pooping in his pants. Weeks and months passed and the toy he coveted changed again and again. I guess he gave up on each one when he continued pooping in his pants and decided to try wishing for a new if the new one would somehow motivate him enough to figure out this toilet thing. Sadly, he's never earned a single one of them. I even promised him a million bucks once.

Then, about three months ago when I was at the public library with the kids, Dear Son got that look on his face. You know...THAT look. I had a fleeting thought about rushing him to bathroom and then almost talked myself out of it because I knew it would be like all the other times that I rushed him to the toilet only to find it was too late. Before I finished my thoughts on the dilemma, Dear Son announced, "I need to go poopie!" Okay. If he was going to ask, I was going to do my best to oblige. I rushed him to the toilet, and we met with SUCCESS! I praised him. I high fived him. I did a little happy dance around the bathroom. I handed out cigars to the other library patrons. I hugged him and kissed him and told him how proud I was of him. He was really proud of himself too, and I stoopidly thought that we had this thing figured out. Later, at home, he went back to informing me that he pooped his pants and would I please clean him up. Something about this is just wrong. When a child is old enough to demand having his poopy pants cleaned up, he's old enough to do the deed in the toilet, and since he had done it at the library, I now KNEW he was capable.

My expectations for him increased. I was inspired to really try again. This time I started handing out quarters for him to put in a jar and promised him he could spend them next time we went to the store or save them up for something really cool. He began dreaming again of what he would spend his hard earned coins on. I was cautiously optimistic that he would still get this thing figured out. And yet...he continued to deposit poop in his pants. Now it had become sneaky and defiant. He began running off to his bedroom to hide while he pooped in his pants. If I tried to come in, he would say, "NO! I need PRIVATE time!" Of course what followed was his plea for me to change his stinky britches. Other times I would wait 20 minutes to check on him, and then I would find him playing obliviously in the green cloud that had become the air in his bedroom. Sometimes he seemed completely unfazed by the squish in his pants and the stink in the air. Other times he would stand during whatever activity he was doing to avoid sitting in a squishy, stinky mess. You'd think that if he didn't like the feeling of sitting in poop, it would help motivate him to quit pooping in his pants, wouldn't you?

If I had not already had the experience of my daughter being a cinch to potty train at 21 months of age, I would most definitely feel like a failure.

I've tried being angry with him. I've tried showing no emotion. For awhile I even tried swatting his butt. Now don't go scolding me and telling me what a rotten parent I am. This child is nearly 3 1/2 and had taken to refusing to sit on the potty and instead stood looking me in the eye as he deposited a turd in his trousers, followed by a defiant grin, as if to say "So there!" He knew what he was doing! I had had enough. Alas, after a few incidents of swatting his butt for this behavior, I realized that wasn't helping either; all it seemed to accomplish was to make me feel like the worst Mommy in the world.

It had come to the point that Dear Son would poop his pants and then immediately ask "Are you doing to smat me?" Which translates into, "Are you going to smack me?" Of course "smack" only meant a swift swat on his butt, it's not like I was smaking him around or anything. I don't even know where he came up with the word "smack." It sounded so awful when he said it, and the guilt of the whole ordeal was about to push me over the edge. So one day I informed him in my best matter-of-fact voice that Daddy and Mommy were not going to swat his butt anymore for pooping in his pants. He could just decide to poop in the potty whenever he is ready to quit wearing diapers.

Later that evening, Dear Son deposited a present in his pants and insisted his Daddy change him (it's one of the perks of having a Daddy's Boy--whenever Dear Husband is home, he gets the "honor" of changing his son's drawers). Dear Son followed hi request of , "Daddy, will you change me?" with the question, "Are you doing to smat me?" I told Dear Husband I had a talk with our son and promised him he wouldn't "smat" him anymore. Dear Husband disappeared silently across the hall with our boy-child to clean up his mess. After the clean up was done, Dear Son emerged with great delight and excitedly told me, "Mommy! Daddy didn't smat me!" Meanwhile, Dear Husband did not look at all pleased as he took the bag of nuclear waste to the trash can outside. I responded to Dear Son, "I know child, I told Daddy we promised not to do that any....." Before I finished the sentence, Dear Son went trotting excitedly down the hall to find his Daddy. He obviously felt much more enthusiastic about the situation than his Daddy did as he stated, "Daddy! Mommy said we are not doing to smat me anymore!" I heard Dear Husband at the end of the hall respond flatly, "Great. That's fine. You can just keep on pooping in your pants....." Dear Son was already trucking back down the hall towards me as his Daddy finished, "...until you are 20, and then you can buy your own diapers." After hearing the first part that he could keep pooping in his pants, Dear Son didn't seem to care much about the rest. I was giggling uncontrollably at Husband's words while Dear Son said excitedly to me again, "Mommy! Daddy said we are not doing to smat me anymore!"

And so here we are. I've made good on my promise. No more "smats" and no more emotion about the whole thing unless there is "success," in which case I dole out quarters and act really excited for him. Mind you, "success" has only happened one time since the library incident three months ago. The rest of the time Dear Son makes daily diaper deposits.

I'm haunted with fears that my child will forever be the one Adam Sandler talked about in Big Daddy. You know...the "Smelly Kid." God help me, I think he really IS planning to keep this up until he is 20!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

You Snooze, You Lose!

Dear Son doesn't like to nap. He doesn't want to miss anything. The only way to get him to nap is to let him go and go and go until he crashes. We try to put him in his bed and do the whole power struggle thing, or try to "fool him" into a nap by reading stories until he can't keep his eyes open, or "tittle" his back as he calls it (he likes to have his back "tickled"). Sometimes any of these ploys work; sometimes none of them do and so rather than spending the entire afternoon fighting it, we give up and let him go until he crashes. This particular time he was so tired that he barely made it through dinner and never quite got that cookie to his mouth before he crashed. I guess it's true: "You snooze, you lose!"

Monday, April 06, 2009

Bi-Polar Weather Patterns

Three weeks ago it was warm enough to crank up the A/C in the family-mobile. Daughter complained how hot she was and convinced me that it was bathing suit weather while we washed the car. I indulged the wee ones and dug out their bathing suits and we got out the garden hose, sponges, car-washing suds, etc. A couple weeks later, it snowed enough to cover the ground for a day or so. Several days after that it reached the mid-seventies again, we ran around with bare feet, and I had to open the windows to cool the house down. Today we had a high of 38 degrees.

Somehow, regardless of the Bi-Polar weather patterns, we've apparently had enough sun and rain and intermittent warm weather to make the grass grow. Saturday the kids played outside all morning and got sunburned faces, and the big-ass lawn mower made its debut for the season. We got it cut just in time for the thirty degree weather and snow flurries to return again.

In the years that I've lived in this part of the country, I don't think I remember another year where we reached a high of 38 degrees in the month of April. I can, however, remember April's when the temps pushed into the 80's.

We're not the only ones confused. Cooper had been getting some spring fever, jumping and twirling in the grass, chasing his tail and barking at the tree frogs and the donkey who lives a mile or so down the road (but hee-haws so loud that he sounds like he is our own yard). Today, however, Cooper had no interest in lawn games. In fact, he had no interest in going outside at all. I had to push his furry butt out the door in hopes that he would do his "doggy business," but he wouldn't leave the front step. He shivered uncontrollably as he looked through the glass front door at us sitting by the warm fire. Pitiful. I considered suggesting to him that it was impossible for him to freeze his nads off as we already took care of that, but I didn't want to add insult to injury. I think he decided that he'd rather just hold it for a couple days than take a wizz in the arctic air. Can't say I blame him. I only stood out there long enough to admire the fresh mowing job as the snow flurries danced around my head.

Here's hoping tomorrow is finally warm enough for the dog to poop.