Ain’t Nobody Got Time For Cleaning

Everyone knows that kids have an aversion to doing chores. Say the C-word, and you’ll hear the groaning and complaining start. Asking them to help with things around the house instantly brands you an Asshole Parent, one who clearly doesn’t love them. I don’t much like doing chores either, but spending more time dragging one’s feet than the chore actually requires to be completed — and having to do it anyway — baffles me.

Baby Girl likes to help me with my chores sometimes — the more likely it is that something will break, the more she wants to help. (And I’m sure that when she is more capable of doing these chores in a few years, she’ll develop an aversion to them, too.) However, when it comes to picking up her toys, she acts like doing so is torture and often refuses to do it. The threat of taking away a toy does little. When she’s in Stubborn Mode, she’d prefer losing every toy she owns to giving in and doing what she’s told.

Rather than whine, last week Baby Girl got a little creative with her attempt to get out of picking up stuff.

While straightening up the living room, I told Baby Girl to pick up the stuffed animals she had been playing with. She had been doctoring them and had left them strewn across the couch.

“Mommy, I’m just too young to pick up toys,” she told me.

Too young. That’s quite a mouthful for someone who’s too young to pick up her mess. After suppressing a giggle, I informed Baby Girl that if she was too young to pick up her toys, then she was too young to have them and that they’d go in storage. She put them away, and with minimal complaints for a change.

What’s the best excuse you or your kid has given to get out of doing chores?

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Slowing Down Roller Coasters

I went to Carowinds with Little Man and my husband last week. I hadn’t planned on going, because I’ve had back troubles recently, but Little Man begged me. It’s hard for me to say “no,” especially where making memory type things are concerned. I figured I’d go enjoy the togetherness and take pictures, but I ended up riding some stuff anyway. Not the best idea, but it was fun. Mostly.

Little Man was talking about some rides that he wanted to ride on the way in and mentioned The Intimidator. I probably don’t need to provide a description thanks to its name, but in case you want the details, it’s over 200 feet tall and about a mile long. (And you can see it here.) It used to be the tallest and fastest roller coaster in the park, but the Carowinds powers that be decided they needed an even bigger and even faster coaster, so they built Fury, which is 325 feet tall. Two of the highest roller coasters in the country are in one park. (While looking up the heights for these, I saw that there are some coasters that top 400 feet, making the Intimidator look like child’s play!)

Back in the day, I loved roller coasters. I lived for them, even. But now, at the ripe age of 33, joint/muscle issues, and anxiety that prompts me to look up death statistics with different rides? Yeah, I’m not so much of a fan. But, once again, Little Man started begging, so I agreed to ride. This is the first summer he was tall enough to ride the real roller coasters, and this was the first one, so it was a big deal for him.

That’s pretty sweet, right? First big kid roller coaster, and it’s important that his mom get on it with him. That’s what I thought, but then he made a comment that let me know that perhaps his insistence on me riding wasn’t a making memories thing that came from his heart. Not completely, anyway.

Thanks, buddy.

I rode it anyway — pretty sure I didn’t slow things down a bit — screamed my head off, and my picture was so bad that we had to purchase it.

The real picture is MUCH better than that. I couldn’t really capture the almost sobbing, close to an anxiety attack, fears for her life look that I had going on. A couple of my friends did laugh so hard they almost cried, though, so that’s how bad it is.

Are you a fan of the big roller coasters or do you like to stick to rides closer to the ground?

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Summer Busyness

Things have been busy. And I mean busy. With only a couple weeks left until Little Man starts back school, we’ve been trying to do everything left on our summer list. My lists are always very…ambitious. I way over plan things. Whether it’s what I’m going to get done around the house with a few hours to myself or what we’re going to do during summer vacation, I always plan for about four times as much as is possible to do.

As such, I am a bit behind on blogging. I have started over a dozen drafts, but haven’t gotten anything together yet. And I won’t even start on how far behind I am on reading blogs. But, we are doing so much around here. We’re painting and hiding rocks as part of the Kindness Rocks Project, doing science experiments, doing lots of artsy stuff, and are going lots of fun places. We’re making all kinds of memories! (And I’m fulfilling lots of orders for my little vinyl decal side thing, which is great, too.)

Here are a couple of quick doodles I did last week. Hopefully I’ll finish one of my drafts over the next couple of days and play a little catch up on reading y’all’s posts. I’ll probably wait until school starts back to do the next guest post doodle.

My husband vs. me. And, hey, arms that don’t look like penises!
They never take just one bite.

How is your summer going so far? 

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Calling All Dorks: Baby Howie

The first guest post for my Calling All Dorks series comes from Becca, who blogs at the hilarious With Love and a Little Self-Deprecation. If you aren’t following her blog, then do so — she possesses a fantastic wit!

If you’ve ever purchased a house, you probably know that sometimes the previous owners leave things behind. A lot of times these left behind items tend to be mostly crap, but Becca’s “gift” was a little…different.

Her story:

We moved into our house in 2011. It has its issues, but there is a perfect spot for an extra tall Christmas tree, which is really all you can ask for in a home. (That 75% of the reason we bought this house. I actually did the math.)

I really can’t think of a better reason to make the biggest investment of your life.

But we have found that the real gift of this house hasn’t come in the form of ample space for Christmas decor, it’s Baby Howie.

When you move into someone else’s old house you assume that they will take all of their stuff with them. The family who lived in our house before us missed that memo and for some reason we skipped a walk through before closing. Probably because we were 26 years old and were simply too proud of ourselves for figuring out how to apply for a mortgage as fetuses to worry much about other details. And they had offered to leave their snow blower and ride-on lawn mower so we were literally distracted by something(s) shiny.

While there are at least 15 reasons I wish we did a walk through (including but not limited to the striped circus curtains left in the living room), Baby Howie is the one reason I’m glad we didn’t. You see, sitting in the rafters of our garage is a baby doll. Drawn underneath the doll on the rafters are a set of eyes looking up. And written under the eyes, “Baby Howie.” Most people think that’s creepy for some reason. Glen and I don’t. (Marry someone who gets you.)

Aww, you thought I was making a weird joke didn’t you?    That’s cute. But no. He’s totally real.

[Let’s get a close up on that — cue the slasher music.]

We readily accepted Baby Howie as part of the family. The small upstairs bedroom became “Baby Howie’s room” from the moment we moved in. We didn’t bring Baby Howie into the room, prevailing theory is that he is structurally important to our home so we can’t move him from the rafters, but it was his just the same. When guests came over for the first time we proudly brought them into the garage to introduce Baby Howie, because that’s how we treat guests at our home – give them cookies and nightmares.

Jack recently saw Baby Howie and asked about him so we explained that the doll was Baby Howie and that he lives in our garage. No, we can’t touch him, he has to stay there forever undisturbed. Being our son, Jack has accepted all of that as truth and checks in on Baby Howie’s well being on a regular basis. Every day that our daycare provider doesn’t call me asking about the baby living in our garage is a good day.

I don’t expect you to understand Baby Howie. He’s not for everyone. Just respect the fact that he isn’t going anywhere and now he’s officially part of your life too.

Let’s hope that Becca doesn’t hear a scurrying in the night and get up to check things out only to find this in her rafters. Dun-dun-duuuunnnn!

Would you keep Baby Howie or trash him? I say “Keep” because that’d be a hell of a thing to show guests. (And it might be enough to keep certain guests away.)


That wraps up the first post in the Calling All Dorks series. If you have a funny/dorky story that you’d like to see poorly illustrated, then send me an email at dorkymomdoodles@gmail.com. (Old posts are fair game.)

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It’s Getting Hot In Here

Y'all, it is HOT. We've been having a heat wave in my neck of the woods, which is brutal, considering our typical summer day would be considered a heat wave in many other parts of the country. The temperatures the past few days have neared 100 degrees, with the real feel exceeding 110. The humidity is a bitch, no dry heat for us for the most part. And it's so hot that even getting in our pool doesn't offer any relief — it feels more like a hot tub than a pool, and that's at 6:00 in the evening, not during the hottest part of the day.

I do not like the heat. I might be Southern bred, but one day I want to be Southern fled. I usually fail the "Are You A Real Southerner?" quizzes, and my body agrees — it does not do well with all the heat and humidity. Unless I've driving somewhere and that somewhere happens to be indoors, I usually hide out inside during the afternoons. My kids aren't fans of the heat, either, so they're more than content to hang out inside and do whatever activity I've come up with until the sun starts going down a little.

My husband, on the other hand, doesn't mind the heat a bit. He loves our mosquito infested region, which is one of the few flaws I've found with him. As such, we probably won't be relocating anywhere with milder temperatures during the summer anytime soon. Boo. Silver lining — at least I don't have to pack up and move boxes.

Yesterday we had the blinds closed, the lights off, and the air set at 74. I'd prefer to have had it lower, but it wouldn't have made much of a difference since our air conditioner won't get it below 76 when it's super hot out. The best unit on the market — one that is meant for a house larger than ours — is no match for a South Carolina heatwave.

Today our area has been lucky. Some rain moved in and brought the temps down to a real feel of around 90, so it's been easier to keep the house cooler. Unfortunately for me, I've pulled a muscle in my back and have been requiring the use of a heating pad. A heating pad, y'all. I'm trying to figure out who I pissed off in the universe, because that's cruel and unusual punishment.

How's the heat in your neck of the woods? Any pissed off HVAC units that are threatening to go on strike? 

Want to connect on social media? You can find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. If you'd like to see your funny/dorky story doodled, check out the details on this post

Parenting Books I Need To Read

Raise your hand if you’ve ever purchased a parenting book. Keep your hand raised if you discovered the secret to successful parenting in the book’s 150 (or so) pages of print.

Don’t worry if your hand isn’t still up — mine isn’t, either. I imagine most of us are in the same boat. We’ve all purchased book after book, hoping to find parenting advice that will make everything click and help us rock the parenting gig. Ultimately, our hopes of finding the book that will make everything clear are dashed, and we’re back to facing the reality that our kids will end up in therapy in 20 years, complaining about where we went wrong.

There is a parenting book for just about every subject — potty training, dealing with temper tantrums, raising happy children. Most of these books — like the one where you successfully potty train a toddler in 72 hours or less — sound too good to be true, but it’s hard not to give it a try, right? Just like the multi-level marketing schemes where you’re promised to secure your financial future and drive a BMW by the end of the calendar year, the allure is there. It’s tough to pass up the opportunity to become a parenting rock star.

So we buy the books. We pour through the pages, read the mostly regurgitated content, and yet again come to terms with the fact that we’ll never be on top of our game. Our kids will be in diapers until they start first grade, we’ll never get our kids to listen without raising our voices, and getting them to sleep through the night in their own beds won’t happen until college.

It’s not all for nothing, though. The good thing about all of these parenting books is that they make fabulous paper weights. As evidenced by my toddler’s scribbles in a book about raising defiant children, they make for great coloring sheets. I imagine that they’d be useful as fire starters. And, if all else fails, you can toss them in your donate pile and get a twenty-five cent tax write-off. Someone else will get the opportunity to have their hopes raised — and ultimately dashed — for the price of a candy bar.

Recently the topic of parenting books came up in a discussion my husband and I were having with another relative. I pulled out a few of the books I’ve purchased over the years. I had books on positive parenting, parenting the whole-brain child, raising a strong-willed child, raising a gifted child, and parenting a defiant child. We had a laugh over the titles, as my toddler had done at least a dozen things during the past hour to show that the book on raising strong-willed children hadn’t helped.

And then my husband made the comment, “If they really wanted to help parents, they’d make a book called How Not To Kill Your Kids.”

My husband’s comment made me think a little bit about parenting books I wish I would’ve read. Maybe none of them would make me feel like I’m winning at parenting, but they would be a lot more helpful — and realistic — than something like Potty Training Your Toddler In 3 Easy Steps. Here are a few titles that might have made for better reading:

Maybe these titles wouldn’t help me win any parenting awards, but at least I would’ve been prepared for the horror that was my toddler picking up a piece of poop and tasting it.

(I’m totally gonna use Shut The Fudge Up when I write my bad mom parenting book.)

Bonus

I forgot to put the parenting books back on the shelf last week. Baby Girl ripped the page out of the book about positive discipline. Minutes after I corrected her, she used a crayon to scribble in the book about the defiant child.

What book title would you like to see? 

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Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap Your Hands

When you have young kids, you tend to do things that would make the casual observer raise their eyebrows. Things like having toddler potties in non-bathroom areas, making transportation noises for a spoonful of food, and singing songs to encourage picking up toys, brushing teeth, or using the toilet.

And then there is the clapping. Good lord, the clapping.

There are many times when you genuinely want to clap for the stuff your kid does. Crawling for the first time; those first steps; not spitting out spinach baby food; catching a ball — those are all very deserving of clapping.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there. Eventually some children — cough, mine — expect you to clap for everything. It’s hard not to share in their enthusiasm, but after they’ve done a certain mundane thing X number of times, you’re not feeling it quite as much.

And other times, they don’t want you to clap for milestone type things so much as they want you to clap for things that were never goals in the first place.

Sorry, Baby Girl — you were the gassiest baby I’ve ever met. You did “drunk frat boy after eating a greasy pizza” type farts when you were less than a month old. They horrified everyone, and I’m pretty sure there were a few times people thought we were letting one rip and blaming it on the baby. I’m used to your “fahts” by now, so you’re not getting any claps on this one.

Sometimes kids want claps just for literally nothing — not for making a hoop for the umpteenth time or for flatulence. They just want claps and they want them now, dammit.

Before I develop carpal tunnel syndrome from all the clapping, maybe I should just download an Instant Audience app for my iPhone. Not only would there be lots of claps at the press of a button, but there could also be cheers and maybe even rebel yells. Or, if I’m lucky, maybe there would be boos and jeers that would come in handy for other situations — like being a sassypants or smudging my freshly cleaned glass door. Lazy parenting for the win!

Instead of asking what silly thing your kid likes to be clapped for, what do you do that deserves being clapped for once in a while?

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Lessons I’ve Learned

A few weeks ago, I had fun with graphs. I showed that children are clingy as hell when you need them not to be. That was probably already a universal parenting truth, but the graph made it official. Today you get a few more graphs on parenting lessons I’ve learned. (And I had an idea for a cute pie chart, so there will probably be even more graphs in this blog’s future. Yay — I think?)

The first lesson I’ve learned has to do with puking in the car.

Back when Little Man was a baby, we bought a used car that was a few years old. It wasn’t overly nice, but the price was right, it was safe, and it got us where we needed to go. If something got spilled in it, it wasn’t a big deal — that kind of car. Care to guess how many times LM puked in that car? Once.

We now have a pretty new (we bought it brand new a year ago) and expensive (for us) car. It has all the bells and whistles, leather seats, and is just gorgeous. Now would you like to guess how many times that car has been puked in over the past year? Well over a dozen. The last time was yesterday, which just happened to be a few days after I cleaned it good and conditioned the leather. Little Man got car sick. He was able to get some of it in a paper bag, but as luck would have it, the bottom of the bag collapsed.

The next lesson has to do with diapers being soiled. This particular lesson is what made me take Baby Girl’s diapers a little earlier than planned, because I was annoyed with 30 cents worth of diaper being ruined in five minutes.

Baby Girl was one of those kids who often wouldn’t poop unless she had on a clean diaper. As soon as you’d take the diaper full of pee off, she’d work her magic and ruin a brand new diaper by crapping in it. This was true as a baby and true as a toddler. After we got to the point where I knew that she could tell me and use the toilet, that whole “get changed and squat” act started wearing thin. Diapers aren’t that expensive, but still.

The last one is something I’m sure all parents — heck, anyone who has ever given a child a gift — are familiar with.

That’s right — spend a buck on something and you’re guaranteed hours of play. Spend $50 on something and it might get played with a grand total of five minutes. Such was the case with Baby Girl’s birthday party over the weekend. We were supposed to have a pool party, but decided to move it indoors the morning of the party because of rain. We went to Walmart and bought some stuff to have indoors to make sure the kids would be entertained. We had a little bounce house that the toddlers spent a few minutes on, a bowling set that I don’t think anyone touched, a bean bag toss that wasn’t touched by anyone other than adults, and then we had some balloons and pool noodles that cost a grand total of $4. I don’t even have to say which items the kids gravitated to.

Any lessons or other universal parenting truths you’ve picked up on that you’d like to see in graph form in a future post? 

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Bad Mommy (Blogger)

A few days ago, Little Man and I went out for dinner after his Parkour class. We got to talking to someone at the restaurant when he sort of bragged that his mom is a blogger. We were talking about Star Wars stuff, and after bragging that his whole family is a bunch of nerds, he backed that up by mentioning my blog.

The girl didn’t look terribly impressed. “Mommy blogger?” she asked with a hint of derision. (Okay, maybe that derision was imagined, but she definitely wasn’t impressed.)

“Eh. Something like that.” I’m not much of a mom blogger since you won’t get advice or read anything introspective here.

Little Man wasn’t feeling the eh, though. “She draws these AMAZING doodles! And they’re so funny!” he bragged.

I felt a surge of pride — here is my almost tween bragging about his mom to a complete stranger. It might not be anything bragworthy to other adults, and is light years away from being amazing, but I’ll sure as hell take it.

And then he added a warning:

Maybe one day I’ll draw decent arms.

No, he didn’t read the post where I mentioned a certain word being my favorite, but I have shared a few posts with him. (I usually just show him the doodles, though.) My use of “damn” or “hell” or whatever it was certainly didn’t get past him. Then again, this is the child who commented, “They said two cuss words” after watching The Force Awakens, so I suppose it shouldn’t surprise me that he’s keeping a running tally for my blog.

(Is this what he talks about on the playground? Other kids talk about their moms doing crafts and stuff and Little Man talks about his cussing not-quite-a-mommy-blogger mom.)

I’ll take my Mom of the Year Award now.

Thanks for the promotion, Little Man. I think.

Want to connect on social media? You can find me on Facebook, Twitter,  Instagram, and Bloglovin. You can also vote for me as a Top Mom Blogger here. (Maybe that last once should be omitted for the post where I claim I’m not a mom blogger. Hmm.)

I’m Not Awesome

It’s been a long week. I’m pretty sure that any week following a vacation would feel long, but there has been a lot going on this week. We were on the go nearly every day this week, much to the dismay of my wannabe hermit 9-year-old (although he definitely had his share of fun), and even when we were at home, downtime hasn’t happened much. As such, today’s post is going to be short and definitely sweet.

One day last week, Baby Girl did something that prompted her dad to heap praise upon her. I can’t for the life of me remember what it was, but her reaction certainly stood out.

My husband informed her that she could be — and was — both.

(By the way — Baby Girl was looking over my shoulder while I did today’s doodle. She had one request: for me to draw her pooping. I declined. I will, however, be continuing the Bulba Chronicles next week. Yes, there has been enough talk lately to deserve more doodles and to be upgraded to “Chronicles.”)

Have a good weekend!

Want to connect on social media? You can find me on Facebook, Twitter,  Instagram, and Bloglovin. You can also vote for me as a Top Mom Blogger here