Your Vagina Doesn’t Work That Way

Kids can be frustrating. Mostly they’re amazeballs, but they can also be frustrating. They have little quirks that can make getting through the day a little tougher than it has to be. Take Little Man for example. He’s a selective germaphobe. I say “selective,” because he chews on his fingernails and will occasionally eat off the floor. Otherwise, he’ll wig out if he thinks someone has taken a drink from his bottle, has touched his food, or so much as sniffles in his direction. I completely get that, but still — be consistent and keep your hands out of your mouth! He also lines the toilet seat everywhere he goes, even in his own house (and I do clean), which is frustrating mostly because he goes through so much toilet paper and makes a mess.


Now for Baby Girl. Mealtime with the toddler is a struggle because of how picky she is. Even though I know many kids are like this to a degree, especially during the toddler stage, it’s still a source of constant frustration. I understand when someone doesn’t like something, since I’m rather picky myself, but she usually won’t even try whatever it is.

At the behest of our doctor, we’ve tried everything — pleading, bribing, guilting. (“Daniel Tiger will be sad if you don’t try those green beans!”) The promise of a sweet treat doesn’t remotely faze the girl. And don’t bother suggesting the not-so-wise advice of “She’ll eat it when she’s hungry enough” — that’s a big nope. (And the same is true with me — I’d be more likely to cut off my foot and roast it than eat zucchini.)

This is truly difficult for my husband and me, because not only do we worry about nutrition, it has us questioning ourselves as parents, What did we do wrong? Thankfully, though, it has provided a few humorous moments. Always, always look for the humor. It makes everything a little bit better, or more tolerable, at least. One thing that amuses us is when Baby Girl doesn’t want something, she’ll cover her eyes. Yes, her eyes. I’m not sure if she can’t stand the sight of the food or if she genuinely thinks that covering her eyes is the equivalent of covering her mouth, but it’s still pretty funny.

We also recently learned that she has developed some allergies.

She has no allergies that I’m aware of. But I’ve gotta give the kid credit — allergies is a damn good excuse for not eating something.

As I’ve written about before, my kids aren’t too big on the healthy, which came up again a couple days ago.

Girl, that was a fried chicken tender — whatever health is in it is canceled out by the breading and oil!

And just when we thought we had heard everything, this came up:

We pointed out that she actually is a big girl. We told her that if she really isn’t a big girl, then she definitely couldn’t watch Daniel Tiger or go to gymnastics. Naturally she had a comeback for this.

Your vagina prohibits you from eating peas? Nope, it doesn’t work that way. But obviously I’m gonna use that the next time someone tries to get me to eat zucchini.

See? Humor. It’s not enough to weigh out the frustration, worry, and parental self-doubt, but thank god for a little bit of it mixed in with this phase. (I hope it’s a phase, anyway.)

What’s the best excuse you’ve heard for someone not eating something?

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Directionally Challenged

Remember those drug commercials from when we (those of us around 30ish, anyway) were kids? They’d show an egg and say, “This is your brain.” And then a skillet would smash the egg to bits and then they’d say, “This is your brain on drugs.” Or something to that effect. The point was drilled home — drugs make your brain explode.

That’s me.

Except without the drugs. Instead, that’s my brain when trying to process directions. The whole “yolk splattering” thing and ensuing rage definitely resonates.

I like to think that I’m a pretty bright person. I always did well in school, I can usually learn new things easily, and logic and I are besties. (Except for when anxiety takes over, so it’s more like logic and I are a step above being casual acquaintances.) Unfortunately, all of that goes out the window when I try to wrap my mind around driving directions. Put a map in front of me or try to tell me how to get from Point A to Point B, and you might as well be speaking a different language.


That in a nutshell.

I’ve lived in the same town for 30 of the 33 years that I have been on this earth. Yet if you asked me for directions to Walmart, I’d likely falter. And, heaven forbid, don’t ask me to read a map.

My husband finally figured out the answer to my problem one Christmas — a GPS! I was about 7 months pregnant with Little Man, and I didn’t know how to get to the hospital that was 20 minutes away. Since he was concerned about me going into labor while he was at work, he figured I should probably know how to get to the hospital, so he got me the GPS. He was pleased with himself until I called him at work crying a month later because I was lost in the town that we lived in.

“Did you use the GPS?”

“Yes!” I said between my dry heaving. “It told me to turn at a median! There was no road!”

Eventually, my husband finally figured out a way for me to get from point A to B without a) having to drive me or b) me getting utterly lost in the process — write out the most detailed directions in the world. You think the instructions for that bookshelf from IKEA you had to put together were long? You haven’t seen my driving instructions.

I might still have to call to clarify one part of the directions, or for driving back (I don’t do reverse directions well, either), but that’s it. Great success!

So, yeah, that’s me — Mrs. Directionally Challenged. Can any of y’all relate?

Bonus:

Here’s the This Is Your Brain On Drugs video. When I saw this as a kid, I was a bit terrified — who wants to turn into a dishes smashing lunatic, right? But now the mom in me — whose family mostly uses the nicer plastic take-out cups to avoid broken glasses — is going, “WTF, Baby-Sitter’s Club chick?! Stop that shit now!”

Want to connect on social media? You can find me on Facebook, Twitter,  Instagram, and Bloglovin.

I’m going to try the whole “make a little money from the blog” thing now via the Amazon Affiliates program. If you’re an Amazon addict like I am, then use this link to do your shopping. I may earn a small commission that will go towards my kids’ college education new Converses. *Full disclosure. 

Making Things Worse

Sometimes kids know exactly what to do or say to make you feel better when you’re sick. Sometimes. Most of the time, though, they just unintentionally make things worse. And not only will they make things worse, the severity of the things they do directly correlates with how bad you’re feeling.

Got a nasty cold and can barely raise your voice above a whisper? Then they’ll fight like cats and dogs, making it necessary to use your Parent Voice (which is a nice way of saying “yell”) to get them to stop. Maybe a migraine has you down for the count? Then obviously this is the time to get out every musical instrument they own and start a band.


(And then you’ll probably wonder why the heck you thought it was a good idea to encourage creative expression.)

Or maybe you’ve got a stomach bug that renders you unable to move outside of trips to the bathroom? Then they’ll fight like cats and dogs, beg you to make special treats, and need you to help with a school project (and this project will be one they’ve known about for a month, but just told you about, and it’ll be due tomorrow). And only you and you alone have the power to help them. All of these scenarios have happened, by the way.

I often have sinus troubles and get excruciating headaches as a result. At one point last year, I was having an especially bad sinus headache and was lying on the couch when Little Man checked on me.

My beautiful boy is checking up on his mom…clearly he’s perfect, right?

Much like my kisses having healing powers for the kids, hugs and cuddles from them make me feel better momentarily.

Unfortunately, he wasn’t feeling the “help Mommy feel better” vibe at the moment.

Thanks kid.

And for the record, he wasn’t lying.

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I’m Having A Hot Flash WHERE?

People with anxiety disorder know how it is — the least little thing can mean impending doom health-wise. Headaches are brain tumors, stomach pain from that questionable taco you ate could be cancer. Bluish colored streaks on one’s neck are only God knows what, but surely awful (or it could be getting your recently dyed hair wet).

Several months ago, I was driving to pick up Baby Girl from preschool when my bottom suddenly felt hot all over. Alarmed, I tried to feel around to see if I was suddenly bleeding out or something. That would be bad, because not only would I be bleeding out, the car seat in my husband’s car had been dismantled because Baby Girl had puked all over it the night before. As such, my husband would have no way of getting her because I’d be at the hospital with the non-puked on car seat. Shit!

After swerving off the side of the road and determining that there was no blood, I continued panicking. Why was my butt having a hot flash? Was I on the verge of death, or maybe it was something less serious, like experiencing a side effect of one of my medications? Or maybe I had an infection that I would have to figure out how to deal with on my own, since there was no way I was going to a doctor to discuss an infected butt region.

I freaked out some more, trying to come up with more explanations for my bottom being hot all over. I debated on going into a gas station bathroom, which I rarely do because that definitely makes me feel like I’m dying (seriously, I’d rather risk an accident than use most public restrooms), and checking myself out. Maybe I could use my phone camera to get a good look, only what if I accidentally hit the wrong button and went live on Facebook or something? Gah.

And then it hit me — we have the ability to heat the seats in our car. Being someone who suffers from chronic swampassitis for 6 or 7 months of the year (screw you, humid South Carolina), and having only bought the car a few months earlier at the beginning of the swampassitis season, I had never used that option. And I probably never will. So, maybe it wasn’t that I was dying, but that my husband had turned on the thing that heats the seats.

I called my husband. “How do I check to see if the heated seat thing is on in the car? Is there a button or something?”

“Oh, yeah, sorry,” he said. “I turned it on. The button is underneath the radio and all that stuff.” I found it, saw the green light was lit, and turned it off. The heat on my bottom quickly went away. Crisis diverted — Baby Girl could be picked up and I wouldn’t have to go to the ER to discuss my hot (for once in my life) ass.

Have you ever gone into crisis mode over something silly?

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Maybe, Maybe Not

While looking through my doodle folder last night, I found a few things that I had forgotten about. Aside from there being no money in dorky doodling, that’s kind of like finding a $20 bill in a coat from last winter, bonus!

I was in graph/charts mode a few weeks ago and drew up a bunch of them. I have no idea why I didn’t actually post any — especially since I’ve been short on time and haven’t posted as often as I like — but here we go. And, nope, I’m not gonna post them all at once. I’m gonna save some for a rainy day, which will probably be next week, unless I forget again. (And if y’all see me comment about not being able to think of anything to post or having time to come up with anything, remind me that I have these, okay?)

So, my kids are always asking for something. They want a snack, they want to watch TV, they want to go to Sports Connection tomorrow, they want to go to the park, they want to go buy toys, they want, they want, they want. Like any good parent who wants to delay the whining a straight up “No” will cause, I’ll usually answer, “Maybe,” as long as they aren’t asking for something completely ridiculous. (“Can I eat all the marshmallows out of the Lucky Charms?” Uh, no. Oh wait, you’re going to your grandparents’ house today? Then knock yourself out, because payback is a bitch.)

As most of y’all know, anytime you answer “Maybe,” that means it’s usually not happening. I mean, sure, there’s a slight chance that I’ll hate myself enough the next day to willingly subject myself to the torture that is Chuck E. Cheese, but probably not. And being the procrastinator (and hater of headaches) that I am, I prefer to put off the “Aw man” and “Why not?” whines until later. The next day I can answer “Maybe” again, and we’ll keep that going until they either forget or realize it ain’t happening and stop asking. (Nine times out of ten, it’s usually the former.)

This is probably the part where a couple folks will skip to the end and tell me that they always tell their kids “No” and give an honest explanation or some crap because they’re parenting rock stars. In which case, I’d remind you that my kid gave me a coffee mug that said “(Mostly) Okayest Mom Ever” on it and move along.

Still here? Then here’s the doodle chart I promised.

See? There is a tiny sliver of hope in there.

What would you add to the pie chart? 

I’d like to give a shout out to Candy at GeekMamas.com for including me as a guest poster! Check out the post here.

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Oops, No Doodles!

I’m pretty sure that every blog post I’ve written has been accompanied by one of my poorly drawn doodles. I’m changing things up today for two reasons: laziness and awesomeness. The first image I’m sharing would take too long to doodle, so I’m not going to bother. The second image shouldn’t be tarnished by my shitty doodles, because it’s just that great.

Earlier this week, I was reviewing Little Man’s homework, which was a worksheet on inference. Halfway through it, I was at the “almost peed my pants” stage of laughter.

You can zoom in to read the story, but I’m going to put the questions and Little Man’s answers below, since his handwriting isn’t the most legible in the world.

2. Describe Alice: She has O.C.D.

3. What relationship do Paul and Alice have? Wife & husband…because Alice is making him put everything in a certain place.

Little Man told me that I’m just like Alice. He’s right in a way, but not the way he thinks. My asking people not to wear shoes on a floor I just mopped is not akin to not letting someone in the house until their dirty clothes are off and in a garbage bag.

The same day as the inference sheet, we were walking through Walmart looking at clearance toys. He had gotten a Jyn Erso (Rogue One) Lego figure for a whopping $3 the last time, and we wanted to see if they had any more on sale. They did have a storm trooper and a couple other male characters from The Force Awakens, but their sale price was $15.

“That’s not fair!” Little Man exclaimed. “Why did they mark down someone as awesome as Jyn Erso for $3, but keep the boy ones at $15? What are they trying to say, that girls aren’t as good as boys?”

After telling him that it was possible that they just had a surplus of Jyn Erso figures, our conversation led to talking about some of the challenges females face in our society. Little Man is one of those kids who is always asking the hard questions, so we’ve talked a bit about inequality and some of the privileges that he was born into before. Later that evening, he was doodling on a sheet of paper and showed me this:

That’s Little Man and Baby Girl.

Like the Grinch, my heart grew three sizes. ❤

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My Toddler Aspires To Be Banksy

As discussed in another post, Baby Girl goes by a lot of names — Ona, Kate Kate, Batman. It’s now time to add another name to that list: Banksy.

Technically I can’t count the number of times on one hand that Little Man drew on something he wasn’t supposed to, because that never happened. He was the most responsible toddler ever — he would never touch an outlet, climb on things that he shouldn’t climb on, put things in his mouth, or draw on things not intended to be drawn on. (I can’t say all of those things are true now, though.) He was basically Benjamin Button without the wrinkles.

Baby Girl is a different story. She is Little Man’s opposite in every way, which — aside from making for an interesting parenting experience — has given me a few gray hairs. I always expected for the second child to be different and have her own personality, of course, but not to be that different. Like most toddlers, she needs every single child proofing gadget, all markers stashed way out of reach, and a leash harness screw it, leash. She’s shoved things in her nose, tasted things she had no business tasting, and can throw a temper tantrum that rivals those of the current president’s.

Back to the art. Baby Girl’s drawings have appeared all over the house. No matter how many times we tell her that crayons should only be used on scrap paper/coloring pages, she continues to pursue her dream of instilling a little culture in us with her art. The door to her room, walls, and the floor have all been decorated. Books — including the parenting book on discipline — now have extra illustrations. While taking a break from writing this post, I noticed that she had personalized the ice cream cart she got for her birthday. (“It say ‘Ice cream cart!'” she told me.)

I’m sure you’re thinking, “Put the crayons out of her reach!” but she hides the damn things around the house. For the longest time, we kept finding blue scribbles on things, but couldn’t find the blue crayon. Whenever we were busy with cooking, laundry, or phone calls and couldn’t have 100 percent of our focus on Baby Girl, she’d take the blue crayon from its hiding place and get to work. The only difference between her and Banksy was her lack of political statement.

Baby Girl had been doing a little bit better about drawing on things lately. Had been. Last week before I started cooking supper, I printed off a few coloring sheets to keep her occupied. It worked, or so I thought — she was very quiet and didn’t go terrorist mode by interrupting me with her list of demands while I was cooking. Shouldn’t I have learned by now that quiet is never, ever a good thing when it comes to kids?

Later I found out why she had been so quiet, and it had nothing to do with her coloring sheets.


Yep, that is her pink Little Tikes car colored in blue.

“Oh my god, what did you do to your car?!” And how did your short little self color on the top?!

Was she rebelling against my skipping past the “screw gender stereotypes” thing and getting her a pink car? Because the only reason I did that is that it was on sale for $20 less than the standard version. I can be “Screw princesses and pink and flowers for girls” all day long until money comes into play. And then my principles are out the window faster than Donald Trump clicks the Tweet button. Maybe she truly had a little Banksy in her after all?

Maybe not. Her explanation —


I didn’t find the scribbled over car funny at all, but I was amused by the fact that she had attempted to make a joke. Hopefully next time she can do it without defacing private property.

Was/is your kid a budding artist, too? Any funny stories to share?

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School Days, School Days

And just like that, I’m down to one kid for the bulk of my mornings and afternoons. Little Man went back to school today — he’s now a fourth grader.

I could talk about how I can’t believe that my baby boy is close to being in middle school, but then I’d get all teary-eyed. Not that you could see me, but just know that I would. Any milestone or event that thrills my husband manages to leave me feeling bittersweet, with a strong lean towards bitter.

Before I have to wipe something out of my eye, let’s talk about what Little Man going back to school really means for us.

Tardies

We are late people. Doesn’t matter where we’re going, you can guarantee that we’re going to be the last ones rolling up. It kills me not being wherever I’m going five minutes early, but no matter how much we plan to leave on time, things happen and we’re late. This drives me nuts, but this is how it’s been since we added on a second kid.

I don’t know if there are records for tardies at school, but if there are, we’re definitely contenders for the trophy. (Or maybe it’d be a stern look and a lecture about how we’re being detrimental to his education.) We rarely manage to get out the door on time, and it’s not for lack of trying. Little Man is one of the slowest kids on earth. I’m pretty sure that Slowly, Slowly, Slowly Said the Sloth was written about him. He gets out of bed slowly. He uses the bathroom slowly. He gets distracted by a dozen things on the way to the table, and when he does manage to make it to the table, he chews very slowly. Even when we get him out of bed 20 minutes earlier, he still thwarts that.

On top of the slowness, there’s always something — the lunch box, the belt, glasses, etc. that gets left behind. Or maybe Baby Girl has to poop the second she gets strapped in her car seat. Despite our best efforts, we’re still often the ones driving like maniacs to shove him out of the car before the tardy sign is put out.

Pokemon

Pokemon cards make me want to cry more than watching my babies grow up. Every kid has an obsession that their parents can just barely tolerate, and Pokemon is it for me. Little Man tends to develop tunnel vision with his hobbies or interests, and every so often his focus lands on Pokemon cards. When that happens, I listen to nonstop chatter about which Pokemon is best, which one has the least points, what each Pokemon evolves into, etc. I try my best to seem interested, but every time he starts on about Pokemon, a part of me dies a little.


PB&J

In the remaining few weeks of the past school year, most parents were complaining about all of the projects due or having to pay for lost books. Not my husband and me. Instead, we were griping about having to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Let’s put it like this — if Little Man stopped eating PB&Js, Jif and Smucker’s would feel the impact. The kid would eat PB&J for every single meal if you let him. He’s mostly a great eater and will try just about any non-spicy food, but when it’s up to him, it’s PB&J.

You wouldn’t think that making one type of sandwich for 100+ days would wear on you so much, but somehow it does. And it’s not just me — when we’d pack Little Man’s lunchbox at night, my husband and I would race to be the one to get the snacks just so we wouldn’t have to make the godforsaken PB&J. That might sound a bit dramatic, but I swear, the fart noise the squeeze jelly makes gets to you, somehow, after hundreds of times. One day we’ll see that as an enhanced interrogation technique.

(I was going to do a doodle of someone being tortured with jelly here, but then I thought it might be in poor taste.)

We could just let LM pack his own lunch, but it’s one of those parent things we mostly want to do just because. We could also insist on different sandwiches, but the boy is rail thin, and lord knows I don’t want him going on a hunger strike. So welcome back, PB&Js.

2017-2018 school year, here we come.

What’s something you don’t look forward to about school starting back?

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Return Of The Label Maker

A couple months ago, I made a post about being a Bad Mommy (Blogger). At the end of the post, I made a comment about getting a Mom of the Year award and included the following image:

The boy saw this image while scrolling through a folder on my iPad that contains all of my doodles and loved it. I’m not sure if he just liked the doodle or if he vehemently agreed with the sentiment expressed on the cup. I didn’t ask, since I wasn’t sure I wanted to know. At any rate, a few days later, Little Man told me that he had a present for me and gave me this:

The label maker returns! Whenever I buy tape for my label maker, Little Man goes through it at lightning speed, labeling the hell out of everything. (Seriously, the chair is labeled “Chair” and he has a box containing pieces to his human anatomy doll labeled “Body Parts.”) It totally cracked me up that he thought to do this. This will be holding my pens and pencils on my desk, since I a) don’t drink coffee and b) don’t want the labels to fall off.

Happy Friday!

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A Shirtless Cowboy

A couple weeks ago, I took the kids to the library for the summer reading program party. I’m sometimes hesitant to take Baby Girl to events that require her to sit still and be quiet for a length of time, because I never know how that’s going to go. Toddlers are basically ticking time bombs — except for there is no digital clock showing you how much time you’ve got until they go off. They just do at random, which complicates outings.

Fortunately, Baby Girl did very well at the party until the very end, when she got super antsy and fussy. We had a few other places to go afterwards, so I called my husband to meet us to pick Baby girl up and take her home so she could play. We met at a gas station that was halfway from town and our house. My husband arrived first, so when I got there, I pulled up beside him and waited for him to come around to get Baby Girl. A few moments later, I spied a shirtless man in my side mirror.

Yep, it was my husband.

“Oh my god, he doesn’t have a shirt on!” Little Man yelled.

I opened the door. “Where on earth is your shirt?” I asked.

“At home.” He grinned.

“Oh my god, Dad, you are so embarrassing! You’ve gotta put clothes on when you come out!”

He explained that he didn’t want us to have to wait on him; since he wasn’t going in anywhere, he didn’t bother putting on a shirt. For the record, my husband works from home for a certain mammoth financial institution. This is how Mr. Corporate America goes to work most days — often shirtless and sometimes in boxers. Thank goodness they don’t have video conferences!

After teasing him a little more, we parted ways. Little Man continued talking about his dad’s lack of a shirt.

“Man, that was SUPER embarrassing. Can you believe he didn’t put a shirt on?! Who does that? I hope he doesn’t do that again,” he said.

I snickered. “Are you finally getting to that age where you’re embarrassed by your parents?”

“No. I’m not embarrassed by my parents, but I am embarrassed by not wearing clothes!”

What he said after that was absolute gold.

That’s a lovely mental image. And now let’s make it more than a mental image, shall we?

My husband has been put on notice — no more leaving without being fully clothed, unless we’re going directly to the pool or beach. And even then, I’d prefer that he wear a shirt along the way to spare anyone we meet from being intimidated by his chest ‘fro.

What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve done to your kids or that your parents did?

Also — does anyone have a suggestion for a tagline for this blog? I’ve had a couple good suggestions made, but would like some more. Help a dorky girl out! 

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