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? 

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Parenting Books I Need To Read

Don’t you just love parenting books? There is something for just about everything — potty training, raising temper tantrum-free toddlers, what to expect developmentally. And let’s not forget about a certain pre-parenting book that is infamous for contributing to (or perhaps creating) anxiety disorders. I’ve bought many parenting books over the years, and most of which aren’t useful for us beyond serving as a fire starter. (I kid — I’m not burning a $15 book and will eventually toss them in the donate pile.)

You’re probably wondering why I’m going on about parenting books, especially since this isn’t the typical parenting blog. I’ll get to that now. A few days ago, 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 gifted child, and parenting a defiant child.

We had a laugh over the books — mostly because of the defiant child book, which I purchased before Baby Girl came along — 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.”

We had another laugh and then I had a light bulb moment — “Ooh, I could use this for my blog! And I could do other book titles that would’ve been more useful, too!” (My light bulb runs at a low wattage, in case you’re thinking, “WTH, this is what she considers a light bulb moment?”)

Without further ado, here are a few parenting books I should’ve read instead. (Click image to magnify.)

(I need to touch up this doodle and update with the correct spelling, oops!)


(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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No Health For You

There are lots of ways that you can piss off your kids. Tell them that screen time is over for the day. Mention that bath time or bedtime is just around the corner. Announce that no more fun will be had until the toys are picked up and the house doesn’t look like a tornado came through.

All of these things will certainly make little tempers flare and have them shooting daggers at you, but wanna know the worst thing you can do? Offer them something healthy when they ask for a snack — they’ll treat this as the ultimate act of betrayal, one that is worthy of a spot in the ninth circle of hell.

Now I much prefer snacks of the non-healthy variety, too. My “never saw a gap” thighs can attest to that. However, most of my non-healthy snacks are consumed after the kids go to bed, in an effort to minimize the bad example I set for the kids. Unfortunately, Little Man is catching on to that. He once mentioned how unfair it is that the parents get to stay up and watch TV and eat junk food after he goes to bed. Dude, I just listened to 10 hours of nonstop chatter about Pokemon, Minecraft, Peppa Pig, and farts — you really wanna talk about unfair?

For the record, I’m not a total junk food Nazi; as evidenced by Baby Girl’s love of popsicles, they get sweets. Maybe too many sometimes, especially if we’re going to Chick-Fil-A with their amazing ice cream and follow that up with a trip to Walmart, land of the free cookies. But I do try to make sure that most of their food doesn’t have a lot of added sugar and actually has some nutrients, which makes me a bit of an asshole mom in their eyes.

Despite being pretty reasonable, both kids still try to find a way around the rules (pretty sure they’re hard-wired to do so). Sometimes they think whining will do the trick, which is annoying, but other times their attempts are rather humorous.

This one is from when Little Man was around age 4.

No beating around the bush with him!

Last week, Baby Girl went at it from a different angle.


Nice try, Baby Girl. If only!

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The Fun Bag

Back when I was a kid, an older cousin (who was more like an uncle) gave me a Crown Royal bag. It had some money and a buckeye nut in it and was immediately one of my favorite things. What’s not to love about a cute little drawstring bag, right? And then my grandmother saw it. She was less than thrilled with the bag and didn’t want me to keep it because people might think that we were drinkers. Between that and a cigar box my dad gave me, clearly I was out to tarnish the family’s reputation.

A couple decades later — with little in the way of a good, wholesome reputation — my husband and I have accumulated a few of these little bags. We have been known, on occasion, to go to the Alphabet Store and purchase the purple bags. Sometimes I’ll get a green bag, since that holds the apple flavored whiskey. (I’m not usually a whiskey drinker, but the apple whiskey mixed with apple juice is amazing.) Those bags usually make their way into Little Man’s hands since they’re awesome for the hundreds of rocks, twigs, pieces of metal, chunks of cement, twist-ties, and other odd things he hoards.

One day we decided to go to Chick-Fil-A for a little lunch and playtime. They have an indoor playground, so we can usher the kids in, stack some chairs in front of the door, and then enjoy our lunches without waffle fries being thrown about. Or something like that. Anyway, Little Man asked if he could bring a toy in and was told that was fine. Just as we reached the door, my husband gasped.

The fun bag:

“Fun bag” is definitely the right term.

“You can’t bring that in here!”

My husband said and made Little Man take the fun bag back to the car since he didn’t think it was “appropriate to take in a family establishment.” Party pooper. In reality, I think we would all benefit from having a fun bag while being subjected to the play area at Chick-Fil-A, or any other place where kids are hyped up on ice cream and sweets, for that matter.

So…what would be in your fun bag?

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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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That’s Not How That Works

Potty training is officially underway in the Dorky household. We stuck Baby Girl in underwear early last week. She’ll wear a pull-up when we leave the house and a diaper at night, but that’s it. Amazingly enough, so far, so good. She has one or two accidents most days, but has taken to it quite well. I rarely have to remind her to go on her own, either, and she was even dry one night this week. I think she’ll be there by the time preschool starts back up.

Like with anything else Baby Girl does, the potty training adventure has been quite amusing so far. She regularly gets cheered on for peeing or pooping in the potty, so she has been returning the favor.

Sometimes Baby Girl will walk around naked from the waist down. Since it’s warm, I’m not making her wear shorts inside, as there’s a good chance they’ll get soiled at some point during the day. She has taken this a step further, though. Occasionally she’ll ditch her Wonder Woman or Batman underwear and walk around with not a care in the world. My husband and I think it’s pretty funny, but Little Man? Not so much.

For the record, Little Man still doesn’t think much of streaking through the house after a shower if he forgets his pajamas. He’ll occasionally get modest and cover his chest, but that’s it. Pot meet kettle, Little Man.

My favorite part of potty training so far was when she attempted to use her potty in…the wrong way. I walked in to see this:

Little Man and my husband were in hysterics. I didn’t immediately get why and told her to get down, thinking that they shouldn’t be laughing at a toddler — whose sense of balance isn’t that great — standing on a flimsy plastic potty next to the fireplace. (I decided to stick her potty in the living room for the first few days so that it’d be more easily accessible to her. Kinda gross, but I think it helps having it closer for now.)

“She thinks she can pee standing up!” Little Man said, still cackling. Oh! She was trying to pee like a boy. I guess she’s walked in on her dad or brother and took notice. Sorry, Baby Girl — we can do almost anything they can do, except for that. Not without buying something like the GoGirl Female Urination Device, anyway.

Do you have any potty training adventures (or woes) you’d like to share?

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