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There was a time not so long ago when all I wanted was for S to talk. I worried, fretted and blogged about it. As everyone promised, she eventually did start talking. Now I have a different, somewhat predictable problem: I can’t get her to stop! She chatters constant nonsense from the second she opens her eyes until she finally falls asleep.

She is loud and has nothing interesting to say.

The unceasing high-pitched noise has me overstimulated at all times. I can’t think straight. I swear we could replace water-boarding with 24-hour recordings of her and prisoners would confess everything.

She does say cute things. My favorite is that she calls animals by the sounds they make. When she sees a monkey she calls it “ah-ah-hoo-hoo.” Obviously, I show her monkeys all the time. She thinks the happy birthday song is actually “happy cake,” but she can’t pronounce cake very well. She proudly belted out her version at my father’s birthday recently:

Happy cock is Papa! Happy cock is Papa! Happy co-ock is Papa, Happy cock is Papa!

What drives me crazy is the noise she fills all quiet space with. The talking for no reason, with nothing to say. We can drive for 20 minutes with her repeating, “Go home, Mommy? Me in? Go home, Mommy? Me in? Go home, Mommy? Me in?” The fact that I answer her has no impact on her continuing to question if we are in fact going home, and if I’m going to let her inside rather than leave her out in the car. (WTF?) Worse is when we’re not going home, then we have this conversation:

S: Go home, Mommy?

me: No, S. We’re going to the market, then we’re going to pick up L, then home.

S: Go home, Mommy?

me: No. First the market, then L, then home.

S: Pick up Unna? [Her name for L]

me: Yes. First the market, then L, then home.

S: Go home Mommy?

me: $#%&*@!

This can go on forever. Nothing makes it stop, except one thing that is even more loathsome than this conversation – playing a certain children’s CD, but only repeating an irritatingly chipper version of “If You’re Happy and You Know it.” I try not to do that until I’m considering driving into a lake.

So, be careful what you wish for. I wanted her to talk and I got it. Apparently she’s making up for lost time. God willing, her neck will grow soon and her vocal chords with it and the pitch of her voice will come down a bit. I’m not even going to bother hoping for the volume to come down. She and her brother have 2 volumes: shouting and screaming.

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It’s been awhile since I’ve participated in one of Kate Takes 5‘s listography posts, but this one has caught my fancy. As a blogger, I am slightly obsessed with my site’s statistics. How many page hits have I had? What links do people click on from my site? How to people find me? Although I can’t see any identifying information about who clicked on what, I can see how many people came from X site, how many people found me searching for X, how many people voted for me at Top Mommy Blogs or Babble (ahem), etc. So without further ado, I give you:

My Top 5 Keyword Searches of all time (excluding blog name):

  1. Charlie Sheen YoungThis post is really about make-up and aging. Charlie Sheen is a hot ticket in the world of SEO. Using his photo was actually one of my very few deliberate uses of SEO. It works. Generally I choose content over optimization though, SEO be damned!
  2. Terrible Mom – Thank you, thank you very much. Am I psyched that I come up on the top of a Google search of “terrible mom“? Kind of, yeah. If the person searching is a mother feeling inadequate, I am happy to provide a soft landing place for her to realize that she’s not alone – I suck too.
  3. Mom Exposed – this one actually leads people to the same post as #2, but it is an entirely different group of people doing the search. The people typing this into their browser are looking for websites where “moms” actually expose themselves. I get a few other porn searches that lead people to my blog. I think it’s funny that a person seeking porn is so easily diverted by a mommy blog.
  4. Missing Spoons – I guess this is a common problem! But what are people hoping to gain from searching online for their missing spoons?
  5. Annoying Questions – Another common problem I suppose. Again I’m left wondering why people are searching online for this? Do they not have enough annoying questions in their lives? Are they looking for annoying conversation starters? Or are they checking to make sure their children are developmentally annoying enough?
No matter how people find my blog, I’m happy to have you all here. If you like this post, check out the other blogs participating in this week’s Listography.

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WTF Tapas

Conversation over dinner the day after I came home from my spa weekend, proof that T watched hours Food TV with the kids while I was away:

L: Mommy, this is so good!

me: Thanks, L, glad you like it.

L: The pasta is cooked perfectly. And I love how the sauce is sweet and peppery at the same time. It tastes really good in my mouth. (This is all said with utmost seriousness, like a bona-fide food critic.)

me: Wow, thanks, L. That’s a really nice complement.

L: Yes. The sauce is very complemented.

On another night:

“All this flavorment is so great and awesome! I love the flavors and the, like, YUM.”

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S is fully potty trained. Yay! She now drops trou wherever and whenever she needs to pee. I have to keep a steady eye on this. Middle of the playground? In the library? Supermarket? Some places are better than others for this. Also, she is very independent and doesn’t always tell me when she’s going to go. I was outside with both kids and naturally paying attention only to my iPhone. I look up and S is running around with pants around her ankles. Soaking wet pants around her ankles. She’s not good at aiming, or pulling pants up apparently, but she’s perfectly willing to pee on the grass. Atta girl!

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Conversation in the car:

L: Mommy, did you know that peregrine falcons eat their own poop?

me: Really? Is that true? Did you learn that on Wild Kratts?

L: Yep. They eat it because they don’t have any other food.

me: Huh.

L: I mean, they have food. But they don’t have any money.

me: Peregrine falcons don’t have any money?

L: In their whole country there’s not enough money to buy a car to get the food home from the store.

me: And that’s why they eat their own poop?

L: It’s to survive.

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The fact that S blows kisses to me when she says goodbye has lost a little bit of its meaning ever since I saw her saying “bye-bye pee-pee” and blowing kisses towards the toilet as she flushed.

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I’ve mentioned before L’s favoring T over me. Nothing has changed on this front. On a recent Friday night L said to me at bedtime, “Daddy’s getting me up tomorrow. Can you please sleep or just stay in your room for a long long time?”

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S is proudly showing L all of her “artwork.” Instead of ignoring her and paying attention to the movie he’s watching. He hops off the couch and sits down in front of S. With each piece she displays, he exclaims, “It’s wonderful! That’s so beautiful! You made that?”

Heart melts. In moments like these I can almost (almost) forgive him for teaching S to say “Mommy is a stupid idiot.”
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Ahhhh, the Spaaaa

I’m tired. Not in the usual way though. I’m tired from staying up late and laughing too hard. I’m tired in a wonderfully refreshing way because I spent a weekend at a SPA with FRIENDS, WITHOUT KIDS! Somehow, it seemed appropriate for me to crash someone else’s girls weekend. This is out of character for me, but it felt like the right thing to do and I’m so glad I did.

The number one most awesome and unexpected thing (from a long list of awesome and unexpected things) to come from my blog is the relationships I’ve formed with a handful of other bloggers. I count these women among my friends, even though I have not met all of them in ‘real life.’ Kim, from Let Me Start By Saying is one of these bloggers. I don’t remember how our online friendship started, how we first found each other, but I was lucky enough to meet her in person at a blog conference. She is a tall, blonde, coffee-guzzling, hilariously funny, snarky, camera-wielding, lovely, moderately obscene soul mate for me who I couldn’t possibly not be friends with. So when she extended the invite to join her and her friends on their annual spa weekend, I jumped at the chance.

Over the course of 2 days the following things may have happened:

  • 4/4 of us had a face drawn on our chins with eyeliner. We may have then performed various solos and duets while upside-down wearing a pillow case over our heads, (What? That’s totally normal,);
  • 1/4 of us peed in her pants;
  • 4/4 of us fell on the floor laughing;
  • 1/4 of us took off her pants in public, twice, unrelated to the aforementioned pee incident;
  • 2/4 of us found ourselves running from compost;
  • 1/4 of us got I-love-you-drunk and spent hours looking through all of the photos of her kids on her phone;
  • 3/4 of us did not;
  • 4/4 of us ate, drank, and were merry.
I feel all filled-up in a way I haven’t for a long time. I feel calibrated. I have a song about clavicles stuck in my head. I gained 3 pounds and yet I feel lighter. I have two new friends who I have inside jokes with. And I have a video of a couple of chins singing “Mahna-Mahna.” “What’s that?” you say? I’ll let the professionals show you:

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A Morality Tale

L really doesn’t need as much sleep as we need him to have. We need the full 12 hours of rest from him and that’s why we put him to bed at 7. His natural time to sleep isn’t until about 8:30. That’s problematic because his parents’ natural time to sleep is 9:30. One hour of wakeful reprieve is simply not enough. So, we put S down at 6:30 and tell L he’s staying up late when he gets that extra 1/2 hour until 7. Then we slog through a bedtime routine full of more manipulations, chases, battles and tears than I care to think about. By 8:00 we’re ready to be on our own, relaxing. We expect our fully wakeful son to just stay in his room relatively quietly until he’s ready to go to sleep on his own. He does not do as we expect. (Which, really, is what we expect.)

All this is a long way of saying that when he comes out of his room every 22 seconds to tell us of an urgent need for water, a last hug, a toy he forgot downstairs, a band-aid, some itchy cream, etfuckingcetera, we are displeased. Instead of hearing a cute little voice in that annoying fake-sweet voice he puts on, we hear the manipulative little devil that he is.

But last night, I had a decent amount of wine. I was in a good mood. Also, yesterday I had 7 full child-free hours! So, I was in a really excellent mood. Instead of just yelling upstairs, I went upstairs. Instead of just unceremoniously marching him back into his room, I smiled at him, held his hand, and sat on his bed.

He then explained to me that he and his two teddy bears are lions. The big teddy bear is his brother lion and the little teddy bear is his baby son who he has to take care of. And they are a family. But they had no food to eat. And they already ate all the sticks. But they were still hungry. So they ate his brother, the big bear. They cut him right here and here and drank up all his blood, because that is what some people do. He then lovingly set up a bed at the foot of his own bed in which he tucked the small bear, his son. He sang a lullaby, kissed him, and gently covered him with one of his own lovies. His own lovey, people! 

After this whole strange scene I left thinking, “What a loving, caring and imaginative son I have!” Normally, I’d leave a scene like this fretting about my blood-sucking-sociopath 4-year-old. But like I said, I had a decent amount of wine.

Moral of the story? I think the moral is that I should drink more, but that seems like a weird moral. I’ll have to look further to see if there might be some other moral in there somewhere.

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We’ve all heard that the contents of a woman’s purse can tell you a lot about the woman. Unfortunately, I think this is probably true. It’s only unfortunate because of what the contents of my purse say about me.

The current contents of my purse:

  • my wallet
  • my phone
  • my keys
  • 2 tubes of Aquaphor (one small, one medium)
  • 1 packet of tissues
  • hand sanitizer
  • 1 emergency granola bar, squished
  • 1 emergency zip lock baggie of Goldfish, squished
  • 4 pennies
  • 1 pretend coin of unknown denomination
  • 1 leg of a small Lego person
  • 1 Cookie Monster phone
  • crumbs of various and unknown origins
  • something sticky and small stuck to the lining
  • empty sippy cup, but not quite empty enough to not leak milk
  • 1 pair of clean underpants for S
  • 2 pair of wet underpants from S
The addition of pee-soaked underpants prompted me to take inventory. I felt that actual urine, someone else’s no less, in my purse probably says something pretty loud and clear about me. Gone are the days of tiny bags with just a wallet, phone and lip gloss. So, what’s in your wallet?

Motherhood is a multifaceted job – much like a gemstone that you hold in your hand turning in the light watching the angles and corners and surfaces glimmer and shine different, unexpected ways, only with more poop. As a mom I’m both hero and villain. I’m playmate and disciplinarian, teacher and student, and a bunch of other less glamorous things like chef, maid, coffee-chugger, insomniac, bathroom coach, and budding alcoholic. I have more roles than I can list because new ones arise every day. Am I an expert nail cutter, splinter-getter-outer? I am now. And, as a feather in my lovely mom-cap, as one last sexy thing I do, I plunge toilets. Often.

Indoor plumbing was not made with L in mind. His small body produces surprisingly unflushable waste. And to exacerbate the unflushable situation further, he apparently cannot learn the appropriate amount of toilet paper one needs. Although he frequently throws his dirty toilet paper in the garbage, (Oh, yeah, I’m also dirty toilet paper garbage digger. I’m so hot.)  he does sometimes remember to dispose of these enormous bunches of paper in the toilet.

We all watch the toilet flush murmuring “please, please, please” under our collective breaths.

Usually I catch it in time before an actual overflow. I can plunge while holding that ball thing up in the back while defensively body checking small curious people out of the way. Sometimes I’m too late. Then I’m standing in a growing puddle of horror, while plunging, and screaming for small curious people to go far far away.

I hate this job.

This job, and so many others like it, is what it means to be a grown-up. As a kid I really wanted to be a grown-up. I had romantic ideas of doing whatever I wanted (ha!) whenever I wanted (haha!) and staying up late (hahaha!). I thought I’d wear fabulous clothes (snort!) and lead and exciting life (sob!). Had I known that being a grown-up actually entailed so much toilet plunging and other people’s body parts and fluids then I might have relished my childhood a little more. I might have enjoyed my irresponsibility, the fact that the buck never stopped here.

What are your responsibilities that let you know you’ve finally arrived at adulthood?
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