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2006 July

and they will dip you in a flea bath, too

July 11, 2006

Sunday morning I looked over at my 7 yr old and saw this:


And so like a concerned, loving parent, I said, “What the hell happened to you hair?”

He said, “Nothing. What are you talking about?”

“The bald spot on the side of your head…” His big wide innocent eyes look at me like I am crazy. “What happened to your hair?”

“Nothing, mommy.” LIKE I AM CRAZY.

After a few round of going back and forth I finally said, “Well unless you want me to take you to the veterinarian under the assumption that you have mange, you will tell me what happened.”

Turns out he had something sticky in his hair. Since evidently he has never heard of shampoo or a shower, so he pulled all the sticky hair out of his head. Yes, he PLUCKED all the hair from his head.

If only I could harness this energy for good, instead of evil.

Posted by Chris @ 7:40 am | 32 Comments  

shortly before he went home and ate two huge stinky bowls full

July 10, 2006

Rob (to 3 yr old): No, you are not buying junk from the snack bar. You have had enough snacks. Mommy is going to bring you home soon for dinner. What are you doing for dinner, by the way?

Chris: I made chili. It is cooking in the crock pot at home while we are here. I am the model of housewife efficiency.

Rob: Oh, when I stopped home before heading to the field I wondered what that stink was in the house.

Chris: What?

: I looked around the kitchen to see if the garbage needed to be taken out or something. I couldn’t figure it out.

Chris: Couldn’t figure out the stink?

Rob: No. But now I know. I feel better.

Chris: That’s funny, because I don’t.

Rob: Why?

Chris: In what world is stink a compliment?

Rob: What should I have said?

Chris: I don’t know, but any word other than stink would have to be an improvement.

: I meant it in a good way, honestly.

: Asshole. And I mean that in a good way, honestly.

Posted by Chris @ 7:48 pm | 19 Comments  

did you feel that?

yesterday the earth tipped a bit off of it’s axis.
and hell froze over.

And how do I know this? I wore a pair of shorts OUT IN PUBLIC.

I know. I am ready to star in a Moms Gone Wild video.

“Chris,” you ask, “what do you mean? Doesn’t everyone wear shorts?”

Well, yes they probably do. But then again they are probably all sane and I clearly have issues. Also the thought of subjecting others to the sight of my white jiggly thighs is too much for me to bear. So really I don’t wear shorts for the sake of everyone else. You’re welcome for your intact retinas.

The public wearing of the shorts was not intentional. I had gotten dressed in the morning and fully intended on taking off my shorts and putting on a cute skirt before I left the house. But, what with all the sandwich making, cooler packing, baseball crap gathering, I forgot.

I was driving and about ten minutes away from my house when I noticed. I thought about turning around and going home to change, but 1) then we would have been late and my eldest son would rather die a painful death than be late to anything, and 2) I’m not sure I want my children to realize the full extent of all my neurosis just yet. And so I drove on in spite of not being able to breathe and having heart palpitations.

But I didn’t drop dead. And strangely, no one seemed the least bit shocked that I have thighs, white white thighs. Unless they were all just afraid to look directly into the glare.

Posted by Chris @ 9:28 am | 32 Comments  

like moses wandering the desert

July 9, 2006

Yesterday I thought I found my people.

I was sitting at my oldest son’s baseball game when a conversation came up about an early morning game that was being held the next day. One woman who was sitting in the stands near me, piped up that she would bring Mimosas for everyone, because that would be the perfect way to take the edge off enjoy what will be a long hot day at the field. All the other parents around her shouted and cheered their approval, adding various things (both with and without the elixir of the gods) they would bring.

I was this close to hugging them all and screaming, “I love you, people! I love you!” when I remembered that I had chosen to sit near these bleachers because they were in the shade.

But they belonged to the opposing team.

I am not sure what is worse to find your people and lose them, or to never know of their very existance and continue on in your life believing you are all alone.

But I do know now that should Rob and I ever sell this albatross lovely old home and move, before I decide on any town to live in, I will be scouting all the little league fields and various other places where parents are forced to congregate for the sakes of their children. I will ever so subtly check out the people and the contents of their coolers.

When I find a team where the parents bring mimosas, margaritas, or other refreshing alcoholic treats, I will be home. Hopefully it won’t take me 40 years of wandering the desert subsisting solely on the manna falling from the sky.

Unless mimosas are the new manna, then bring it on.

Posted by Chris @ 5:31 am | 25 Comments  

an afternoon at the beach, in numbers

July 8, 2006

16 is the number of chicken salad sandwiches lovingly made by me

16 is the number of chicken salad sandwiches lovingly wrapped in tin foil by me

16 is the number of chicken salad sandwiches lovingly placed in the cooler by me

8 is the number of large bottles of water that were jammed into the cooler on top of the sandwiches, not by me

1 is the number of diet cokes I need for beach time sanity that were taken out of the cooler and left behind on the table to make room for the sunscreen, because everyone knows that chilled sunscreen is refreshing

7 is the number of face sized chocolate chip cookies I packed for a snack

6 is the number of face sized chocolate chip cookies eaten by the children

1 is the number eaten by me, the baby wanted me to have his when his back was turned and he was playing in the sand with some other family I allowed him to harass until I finished eating my cookie

1 is the number of bags of Lime Doritos, mostly eaten by me until the wet sandy handed children got at them

3 is the number of chicken salad sandwiches that were dropped in the sand immediately after being unwrapped

20 is the number of times I had to hear, “It’s a SAND-wich. Get it? SAND-wich? SAND-wich?”

19 is the number of times I said, “No, I don’t get it.”

8 is the number of beach towels dragged through the sand, water, and sand again until they each weighed at least 100 pounds

2 is the number of beach towels left in the van overnight to fester

1 is the number of picnic quilts I tried in vain to keep sand free

1 is the number of beach chairs I brought for myself and refused to share

14 is the number of arms, ears and legs I made sure were covered with sunscreen

527 is the number of times I said stop throwing sand

527 is the number of times I told children they were out too deep in the water

1054 is the number of times they didn’t listen

1054 is the number of times I decided the children were trying to passively kill me

4 is the number of extra children who decided to be part of our family for the day while their mother sprawled out on her blanket reading

2 is the number of flaming daggers of jealousy I shot out of my eyes at her

1 is the number of mothers I had to ask to discipline her own children who were throwing water at my children and wouldn’t stop despite my repeated requests that she couldn’t possibly have NOT heard

2 is the number of times I rescued my toddler after he threw himself into the water

1 the number of times I wished I had put the baby in a swim diaper instead of just letting him wear a bathing suit because I falsley believed he wouldn’t poop a third time in one morning

35 the number of times I thought that the beach would be more enjoyable with a glass of wine… and a nanny who would swim with the children… at a different beach

4 is the number of hours spent relaxing* on the beach

425,987 is the number of hours it felt like I was relaxing* on the beach

7 is the number of times remaining that I need to visit the beach this summer to break even on my season pass

*if by relaxing we mean yelling, brushing sand off of blankets, eating sandy food, mentally willing children not to drown themselves, and developing a nervous tic

Posted by Chris @ 6:00 am | 32 Comments  

coming soon… a new reality show

July 6, 2006

About 15 years ago, Rob was interning at a firm his last semester at college. They had just offered him a full time position. We were invited to an informal party at the house of one of the partners.

We were young. We were unmarried. We had no children, and rather liked it that way.

One of the people at the party had a daughter who was about 2 years old. This child kept touching the food on the platter which was on the coffee table. The mother pretty much ignored her, laughed at all the obnoxious things the child did (which in retrospect weren’t all that obnoxious), and kept encourgaing the child to show off her cute tricks, like some sort of trained circus animal.

Rob and I didn’t say anything, but after we left the party, we turned to each other and both agreed that that chid was the most ill-behaved child we had ever seen in our lives. Of course at that point in our lives we really didn’t know any other children with which to gauge this brattiness.

A few years later Rob’s best friend came over to our house for a visit on Christmas Eve. He brought his two year old son. We were the parents of a newborn baby and therefore, still very confident in our superior parenting abilities. The boy kept touching our Christmas decorations. And having tantrums. And the crying. Good Lord the crying. I remember thinking, ‘Isn’t that child a little old to be behaving like that?’ After they left Rob and I were horrified. Our child would never behave that way. What a brat.

Two years later, when we had our own two year old, we apologized to Rob’s friend for our awful thoughts. Though his friend was slightly confused about what exactly we were apologizing for.

I hadn’t thought much about those incidents in the past few years. Most everyone we know at this stage of our lives has children. And while there are a few children that I know who would benefit from some sort of discipline, for the most art I have become immune to the annoying antics of children.

I can carry on a conversation while I have a child saying “Mom, mom, mom” over and over again six inches from my face.

I can listen to an interesting story while I send my death glare over to a child who is misbehaving and communicate telepathically to that child the consequences that will occur if he keeps up the behavior.

I can get up mid sentence to go help a child in the bathroom and return five minutes later and pick the conversation up with the next word in the sentence where I left off.

Sometimes I forget that these are skills that have been acquired through child birth and honed to perfection over time.

This weekend halloweenlover and her husband came over for dinner and a visit. And they brought their dogs who were incredibly cute and frankly if I had it to do over again I might have just gotten seven of those instead. Okay I’m kidding, mostly. I had a great time and really enjoyed visiting with them, but I couldn’t help but imagine after they left what the visit was like for them.

My daughter had to touch every single bit of food that I put out. She picked up the watermelon slices and tasted them all. My 18 month old son nibbled every single carrot stick that was out on the platter and then spit the chewed up bits onto the floor.

My son picked up her pocketbook and slammed it down on the floor as hard as he could. Luckily, inspite of the loud noise we heard, her Blackberry survived.

I heard myself say, “Show everyone how you do cartwheels!”

And I laughed when they drew with chalk all over the sunporch floor and monopolized the conversation. But I do now know everything there is to know about their dogs including their eating and bowel habits.

And I ignored it when they kept drinking soda, even though I had said no more soda.

You know that tv show, “What Not to Wear”… I felt like we were the parenting version. “How Not to Parent”

So I leave you with words of wisdom for those who visit me… when the food is served, grab what you want quickly, unless you like eating toddler handled leftovers. Keep all your expensive possessions on your person. Accept the fact that you will not utter a complete sentence uninterrupted for the duration of you stay in my home. And know that you will leave my house ready to sterilize yourself, unless you are already pregnant.

Then you will just be scared.

As you should be.

Posted by Chris @ 6:50 am | 41 Comments  

Independence Day, toddler style

July 4, 2006

Walking up the trail, in the rain

Today we decided to go on a tradtional Fourth of July hike… in the rain. That is going to be my tagline for the summer… in the rain.

Of course it wasn’t raining when we decided to go on this hike and by the time it looked like it was going to rain we were already mentally committed to the hike. And after the summer we have had so far, we figured a little drizzle wouldn’t kill us. So we soldiered on.

We discovered half way up the trail, when the rain began coming down hard, stinging our skin and running into our eyes, that the little people in our family are not fond of the drenching rain. But they are fond of letting us, and everyone else within the tri-state area, know their displeasure.

Luckily my daughter was wearing her (entirely appropriate for hiking up a mountain) light up princess sandals. What I think is appropriate hiking footwear, and what a three year old thinks are appropriate hiking footwear, are not even close. She did point out that the shoes light up and it would help us find our way despite the overcast, dark day. And she was right!

As I carried her on my shoulders and she kicked me repeatedly in the chest, I was so thankful that I had her princess sandals to light the way. It made the fact that my hair and eyebrows were being torn from my head that much more tolerable. And for a brief moment I thought how much more effective their lighting ability would be if say, I beat her over the head with them while chasing her down the trail.

We got to the top of the trail where the waterfall was and everyone agreed that the hike to the top was worth it. Even though Rob’s idea of a leisurely hike bears a close resemblance to a forced nazi death march.

The little children tried their best to throw themselves off of the rocky bank and into the raging river. The thrill of danger and grave bodily harm always make for a really relaxing enjoyable time for me. I LOVE counting to seven over and over and over again. And the panic that happens when I count to six and can’t find the seventh child, and I begin to panic and my voice turns into a shrill scream, “Who is missing? Oh my god, WHERE IS THE BABY?!?! Where IS HE?!?! I CAN”T FIND THE BABY!!” Only to realize seconds later that I am, in fact, holding him. Yup, those are fun times.

I especialy love when it happens and there are strangers standing nearby to witness the freaking out. Because nothing says you-have-more-children-than-you-can-handle than losing one of them, but then not really losing one of them. Thereby giving the impression that you can not count and are possibly retarded. And giving the further impression that your lack of ability to count is probably why the rythmn method worked out the way it did for you.

The batteries in my camera were really low, so I kept the camera off until after we posed all the children precariously on a rock and ordered them to sit still and smile, much to the chagrin of strangers near-by.

“Why yes, they are all mine. But since I can only count up to six so I am secretly hoping that one of them will fall off and be washed away. But thanks for your concerened looks and not so subtle whispers!”

But the batteries in the camera were dead. So just picture seven cute kids sitting on the rock, like this, only in color and more well fed looking:

How it would have looked if my batteries didn't die

Posted by Chris @ 4:25 pm | 37 Comments