Monday, November 28, 2011

The Oreo Cookie Couch

I have a white couch. It’s a beautiful white couch. Mr. Responsibility and I bought it because it was a ridiculously good deal, and we didn’t have children. My gleaming white couch has a brown cover to keep it gleaming, or at least give me a shot to keep it that way.

I put Sunshine and Baldilocks in their room for nap and hunkered in with The Jungle Kid on the couch. Baldilocks’ little snores came over the monitor in between Sunshine’s fits of laughter and singing. The Jungle Kid, who usually falls asleep quickly, was having trouble settling down. “What’s the matter, kiddo?” She promptly answered me with a loud belch followed by a sippy cup’s worth of milk. As Lightening Fast Reflexes Mom stripped the cover off of the couch, I couldn’t help but notice that milk against the brown cover look just like an Oreo cookie. Brown cover, white barf.

With some quick “it’ll do” cleaning and a few minutes of snuggling, The Jungle Kid powered down, and I was left with my thoughts. One led to another, and soon I was wandering down the memory lane of messes.

When Sunshine was just a precious two weeks old, she introduced Starry-Eyed Mom into the world of real messes. Sleepy But Happy to Be a Mom-Mom was changing her tiny diaper at 3am. I carefully wiped her peachy bottom with care and started to put the itty-bitty clean diaper under her. What a joy to finally be a real live mom! I put a little diaper cream just in case. Then, there was a sudden weird noise and a splatter. My face was wet. I looked down and saw yellow poop running down my shirt, in my long hair, the comforter, the uncovered box spring, and the brand new carpet. Needless to say, Mr. Responsibility woke up easily and laughing.

The messes after that just got better. Like the time Mr. Doesn’t Know How to Contain a Diaper Explosion pulled a dirty onesie off of a screaming child only to leave a pancake of poo in her hair.  Or, my favorite, the time when Baldilocks anointed a new resident doctor who was attempting a routine exam. His feline jump and girly shriek still gives me a chuckle (Go into dermatology young man! Please!).

Soon, my golden hour to myself was over and the girls were recharged and ready to play. Baldilocks needed a change and I’ve Changed Thousands of Diapers and Can Handle Anything Mom set her on the couch with confidence. I don’t know if it was the change of scenery or a whim, but Baldilocks decided to pull a new dance move mid-diaper change and…

…Brown poop, white Couch. It looked just like an Oreo cookie.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Dr. Sears, Meet the Stinging Bees

“Mommy! I want to break this plate!”

It used to be that my darling Sunshine would change the subject when we encouraged her to consume calories other than ketchup covered tomatoes and pickles. But as of late, my perfect child has decided to assert her independence by challenging everything her parents request and even think.

It was a sudden change. Her eyes squinted with loathing and disgust when I asked something simple. “Would you like milk or water?” “I want to break this sippy cup!”  “Which shirt would you like to wear?” “I want to eat my shirt!”

After a few days of complete at-a-loss-a-tude, Good Cop and Bad Cop sat down to research and discuss a course of action. Good Cop sat in disbelief at the drastic change his pretty baby had gone through while he was at work. Bad Cop, grateful for three minutes to stare at the computer screen, piped up, “Apparently, this is normal, and we are supposed to praise the good as usual and ignore the bad. We should try to give her more options and let her help more.”

Luckily, we were given plenty of opportunities to practice our new parenting the very next day. We’re Going to Get Through this Unscathed/Awesome Attitude Mom made a loaf of bread, played games, and tried her darnedest to ignore the not-so-shocking, shock-value statements.  By 4 pm, Are We Really Still Working on this Mom was starting to poke her head around the corner. Tee-Tee showed up early to pick up The Jungle Kid and brought some much needed relief. She inquired after Sunshine’s Christmas wishes only to be informed that she didn’t want Christmas presents and that she wanted to eat the Christmas presents. Tee-Tee (not up on the new parenting) told her all about Santa’s relationship with ill-behaved children and coal.

“Say goodbye to The Jungle Kid girls!” I said as they left. “I want to eat The Jungle Kid!” roared my little grouchy pants. Tee-Tee rolled her eyes, wished me luck, and shut the door. “Well, you’ll have to go to jail for cannibalism, but it’s your choice,” Totally Not Shocked/This is Really Old Mom said. “I want to eat the jail!” “Okay, I’ll drive you in a minute, but I have to go potty first.” “I want to eat the toilet!” she screamed as I shut the door.

Trying Desperately Not to Laugh at My Child Mom washed her hands and bit her lip and put the parenting advice away. Sunshine, sensing defeat and on the verge of tears, tried to launch a slap legs attack as I walked out. “Sunshine, I fear it’s time to bring out two old friends of mine,” I said as I stuck out my two stiff pointer fingers. “When little girls are very naughty, it makes the bees very angry! It makes them so angry that they need to STING! BZZZZZZZZ. I quickly and randomly buzzed and poked her ribs and armpits and belly. She tried her hardest to be sulky and Goth, but in no time she dissolved into a fit of laughter. There’s my Sunshine.

When she was finally exhausted and sweaty from squirming and giggling, I taught her the lost eleventh commandment: Thou shalt not take thine own self too seriously.

Tip of the day: When parenting books are lame, you can always rely on a good old fashion working over like the Stinging Bees, Tickle Monster, and the Zerbert Zombie. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Mommy, Meet Charlie

Like most girls, I'm a romantic. The sight of an elderly couple holding hands melts my heart and sends flip-book images of their decades-long love shooting through my mind. How precious! I'm also a big sucker for those black and white photo cards of two young children in old fashion dress up clothes with a rose and their budding puppy love. So pure! So innocent! How could anyone not get misty eyed?

Buuuut who has the time to dwell on it?

On a beautiful clear autumn day, Holy Cow It's Almost Winter/We Must Play Outside as Much as We Can Mom threw Sunshine and Baldilocks into the car and raced to the tennis courts. This was my best idea yet: a fenced in area, three brightly colored balls, and two tennis rackets. We hit the balls, threw the rackets and balls, and ran, and ran, and ran! For 45 laugh filled minutes, we soaked up as much vitamin D as we could. Then, Throw Caution to the Wind Mom decided to do a cartwheel and ended the entire session.

Limping towards the car, Cool Mom gave the go ahead for a little romp on the playground. It didn't take long for Desperately Needs Adult Conversation Mom to find another DNAC daycare provider. She had brought several well dressed and nicely mannered children for an outing, and all the chitterlings meshed together in a quaint, fluffy-headed flock.

Our chat flowed smoothly with only small interruptions of "Don't point sticks at faces" and "Don't chop kids you don't know." I easily ignored Sunshine's not so traditional greeting of one youngster, "Hey, what are you doing boy?" What a lovely, lovely fall day. My ligaments were slowly shrinking back and mending as the breeze tossed the hair poking out from under my cap.

Soon, my beautiful little Sunshine came waltzing up to us, hand-in-hand with a much older four year old. "This is my girlfriend," explained the boy to his daycare lady. "Isn't that nice, Charlie?"

Immediately, Pinpoint Pupil/Puckered Butt/Shrill Mom popped up, but It's Really No Big Deal Mom slapped a forced smile on my face. "Ahha ha ha ha! Isn't that cute! Ahha ha ha ha , SUNSHINE, THREE MINUTES UNTIL WE GO! Ahha ha ha ha!"

PP/PB/S Mom and IRNBD Mom started fighting it out in my head. "Why does he know what a girlfriend is? Does he wash his hands after using the potty? Is he even potty trained?" "Psha, the lady said his parents are doctors, and he looks so clean and cute! So they like each other, it's sweet!" "Doctors schmoctors! He spends all day with that crazy old lady prancing around the park with who knows what kind of people!"

Eventually, the three minute eternity ran down, and everyone left the park. The little star-crossed lovers wouldn't say goodbye to each other; they just looked down at the ground.

I was the worst mother ever.

I'm not sure what it was that brought out PP/PB/S Mom. Seeing Sunshine socialize and try new things has always thrilled me, but suddenly seeing her hand in hand with someone else sent the sands of time shooting through the glass. I could clearly see her driving a car with other young adults that I don't know. Would she do the right thing? Would she make safe decisions?

"Snap out of it." I told myself I as turned the key in the ignition. "You'll do better next time." I quickly made amends by blaring Woody Guthrie's "Car Song" on repeat all the way home. After a snack and a nap, I let her play in the dirt until it was almost dark. It's not so bad I guess. She still has 13 years until she learns to drive.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Bound and Determined Mom Takes on the World

I woke up early and  fused the forces of Bound and Determined Mom with Healthy/Crunchy Mom. Before long the laundry was humming and a pot of steel-cut oats was bubbling away. The Jungle Kid came over from next door and her endearing little monkey screeches quickly woke up a grouchy Sunshine and thoroughly soaked Baldilocks. In minutes they were clean, dressed, and sitting at the table with a sweet bowl of oats and warm milk. A slurp of coffee and B & D Mom continued to slay the grime the threatened to take over the house and grow the evil villain: Lazy/I Give Up/Lay on the Couch Mom.

The battle was interrupted almost immediately by a sound that could only be described as two glass bowls of oatmeal being swiped off of a table and landing upside down on the floor. Disciplinarian Mom brought out the firm "No!" before I started the battle of oatmeal hair, table, high chairs, floor, and wall.

That battle was immediately interrupted by territorial primate screeches and crying. Baldilocks and The Jungle Kid were fighting over balloons again, and Sunshine decided to push them both to the ground. A time-out, no-no's, and a few kisses later, and I was battling the grime once more.

We repeated the entire scene twice more with apples dipped in almond butter, scraps over the slinky, chicken with rice and veggies, and tug-o-war over shoes. I finally lost it, threw their buns in bed, and gave myself a time out.

Just an hour later, I swept the last corn chip off of the floor and swapped Bound and Determined Mom for I've Apparently Lost My Mind Mom. "Sunshine! Let's teach the little girls to use the potty! You can even show them how!" Five minutes later, IALMM Mom had the puddles cleaned off the floor and panties on the two 18 month olds, who then decided to fight over the potty. Three minutes after that, the little girls were stripped of their pee soaked clothes and put back into diapers.

Tired/Irritated Mom jogged up the stairs and was searching for new clothes when a tha-thunk tha-thunking sound came wafting up the stairwell. My Mom-dar said, "Don't walk! Run!" After falling most of the way down the stairs, I discovered two cave children dancing on the dining room table with such fervor that it was actually skipping across the room. Quicksilver/Emergency Mom grabbed them to safety and let Disciplinarian Mom go to town.

A quick rearranging of the furniture allowed me time to grab some clothes, and I came down to find two completely naked children shredding their diapers into confetti. The battle was lost. With all of my hope gone, I collapsed to my knees with my head in my hands. The filth had built up around me and the dreaded villain was rising. There was nothing to stop her.

But then four sticky arms reached around my neck; I opened my eyes to find two naked cherubs looking on with sympathy. They kissed and hugged me. What a sweet joy and wasn't it worth it all? I basked in this loveliness and ignored, as long as I could, the copious warm liquid with which they anointed my pants and socks.

Lazy/I Give Up/Lay on the Couch Mom won the day, and I couldn't begrudge her that for it was a hard fought battle. But, I knew her strength would weaken with each episode of Hoarders. Somewhere, deep in the recesses of my mind, Bound and Determined Mom was building an army.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Sparks, Balloons, and Wrestling Matches

It was a lame Sunday and Mr. Responsibility had to work. Baldilocks was still asleep, so I decided to give Sunshine a bath. Afterwards, I got out the brush and started to lazily blow dry her lovely copper hair. It was such a  joy to do a nice simple task without interruptions. That's exactly what I was thinking when the blow dryer started screeching and spitting sparks at my child's head.

As any good parent would do, I immediately started dancing and screaming, tossing the blow dryer and its exposed, broken wire onto the wet floor. Then, I threw my daughters terrified little body out of the bathroom, yanked the cord from the socket, shrieked, jumped, and, of course, woke up Baldilocks.

This situation caused me to put Budgeted/Shop Local Only Mom in the closet and take out Credit Card/Walmart Mom. We went for a new blow dryer and a trauma gift for the girls: foil balloons. The rest of the night went off with out a hitch.

Around 4 am I woke with start, The Jungle Kid! I didn't get a balloon for The Jungle Kid, and she'll be here in a few short hours! How crappy is it for an 18 month old to come to her cousins' house and have no foil balloon! Worst auntie ever!

The children resembled an angry swarm of bees around the balloons until 2 when I threw their tiny behinds into car seats and headed back to Walmart. Super-Organized Mom had the forethought to bring the two previously purchased balloons and the receipt to avoid making a scene. Visions of amazed bystanders danced in my head. "How does she do it?" they will think. "Three well-behaved toddlers in her cart, she makes it look so easy! She must be a saint!"

It was awesome for a moment or two before the introduction of the new balloon. Immediately, three toddlers were standing screaming and wresting over a string, and Loud/Grouchy/Walmart Mom made a rapid appearance. We were hastily ushered through the checkout lane, and I sprinted to the car. In record time, kids were in their seats, but with the last click of the belt, something went flying past my head. 

I helplessly grabbed for and missed The Jungle Kid's balloon as it was sucked from the car by a gust of wind and sent flying across the parking lot. Super/Fast/Awesome Mom sprinted and untangled the balloon from a car and saved the day. 

Ten minutes later Pooped-out/Relieved mom was sitting on the couch ignoring the angry little bee swarm working it's way around living room. 

***Tip of the day: Don't buy balloons if you have more than one child. If someone is evil or naive enough to give them to your children, pop them after the kids are tucked nicely in bed, and don't forget to take out the garbage.