Posts Tagged ‘daddy’

I want you all to know that I read every comment I get here and on my FB page and every single email. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all the feedback, support, advice and points of view. There are too many awesome points for me to respond to each one, so I’m writing this as a general response:

  • Yes, I am still going to go forward with having L evaluated by someone who is not that douche-bag doctor we saw the other day. My objective is to find out what makes L tick, so I can help him tick in a way that will not piss me off is more socially acceptable.
  • You’re right, all kids behave worse at home. I should be happy and proud that L can behave so well at school. It does mean, at the very least, that he’s not a psychopath, sociopath, or any other kind of terrible-path. And it also shows that he trusts me enough to never really sell him on eBay.
  • I will try to look at L’s ransacking the baking/junkfood cabinet and the freezer at dawn today as a step towards his becoming an independent, self-reliant man. (Damn, some of you are very glass-half-full people!)
  • I had an aha moment today when I read this comment:

….I’ve found my kids doing the exact same things. They ignore rules they’ve known for years, make messes just for the sake of being messy, and misbehave for me while acting the angel for everyone else. I’ve also come to realize that every time they act this way, it’s because they know they can get away with it. I realize I’ve fallen into the parent trap of frustrated speech, not following through, and trying to plead with them to do what I told them. When I follow through with discipline and kind words, all goes back to normal…

Dean is totally right on. Things were bad with L a year ago, I got really strict and mean, things got better. Things were so good that I thought I was out of the woods. I let my guard down. I let small things slide. Small things snowballed into an avalanche of bad, and now I’m here. Time to bring back mean mommy. This will not be fun, but will probably provide blog-fodder.

So, watch out, L! Mean-Mommy is back. And Daddy’s going to bring back Hammer-T. I will try very, very, very hard not to react emotionally. I will suppress my inner combustible self. I will be nonplussed, calm, and mean.

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WTF Tapas

S finally said her first sentence! As a reprieve from her usual pointing, shouting a word and screeching, she said, “There’s bubbles in the bath!” We’re all very happy. She followed this up with pointing, shouting “bubbles” and screeching.


In the car L suddenly exclaims: “Mommy, I saw 2 bears!”

me: mm-hmmm. (clearly I pay a lot of attention.)

L: No, not bears. Um, what are those things?

me: dogs?

L: No. I know. Bullies. I saw two bullies!

me: Bullies?

L: Yeah. But not the people kind. The other kind. With horns.

This is when I died of cuteness as I realized L calls bulls “bullies.”


My kids drop things like cereal and gold fish on the floor like it’s their job. S is great about helping clean up. I’m always torn whether to make L clean up though. On one hand, he should because he dropped them, on the other hand, if he’s anywhere near them he is guaranteed to step on 5 and kneel on 8 making what was once an easy object to pick up into crumbs crushed into carpet. No amount of telling him to look where he steps and kneels helps. What is up with that?


I’ve mentioned before how much L prefers T over me. T is like a rock star around here, and I’m like, uh, well I guess a servant that you really need around but don’t like that much. Anyway, the other night two things happened to illustrate this. First, L had a complete meltdown because he wants to marry T and he’s upset that T married me instead. (WTF?) Second, L comes out of his room after bedtime and says to me from the top of the stairs, “Mommy, can you please tell Daddy a message for me? Can you tell him that I love him more than you? I mean, that I love him more than I love you. OK? Can you tell him that?” Nice.

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WTF Tapas

Talking to L about a pair of identical twin girls:

me: Can you tell them apart?

L: Yes, it’s easy.

me: How? Which is which?

L: G is the one with the beaver.

me: The what?

L: Beaver. She has one and showed it to me.

I just chalked this up to a misunderstanding and ended the conversation there. 


L: Smells good. What’s for dinner?

me: Chicken.

L: Chicken on the cobb?

me: Yup.

L: My favorite! You know those are dinosaur bones.

Chicken on the cobb is what L calls a chicken drumstick. I will never correct this.


Discovery: I was talking to T about how I hate toys with multiple pieces. I hate cleaning them up, I hate trying to play and discovering missing pieces etc. I jokingly said, “I just want to throw all the puzzles away.”

He said, to my surprise, “You might as well. Whenever I’m cleaning up and I find a puzzle piece I just chuck it.”


“I’m not going to go through all the puzzles and find which one it goes to. So I throw it away.”

No wonder we don’t have a single complete puzzle in this house. And here I was blaming the kids!


S is the best person to share a sandwich cream cookie with. This is because she’s stupid unworldly. I twist the top off and hand it to her. I get the bottom with all the cream. We’re both happy.


In the car the morning of S’s birthday, on the way to buy balloons:

me: L, when you were little you couldn’t say balloon so you said “babloon.” It was so cute.

L: (exaggerated, head thrown back laughter) That’s so funny. Now I can say things much better. I can even say ‘hostible’ [sic]. See, ‘hostible, ha-ha-hostible. ha-sta-bull.'”

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T read yesterday’s post and knew immediately what the blue stuff is. Any guesses?














Are you sure you want to know?







OK, here it is. Mystery solved: the blue stuff refers to the blue part of a flame. T and L were talking about camping and fires and s’mores and L fixated on the fact that parts of a fire are blue. Anyway, he was absolutely right about it: one should never touch it. It’s very, very hot.

So, now we can all rest easy. Our houses won’t be condemned. No need to worry about the cat’s fur. (Actually, this blue stuff would be very bad for a cat.)

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L is learning some tricks from his Dad. After years of successfully telling L to “look over there!” while stealing a french fry off his plate, T has finally passed on his superior sense of tomfoolery.

Yesterday, during a rousing game of Monkey in the Middle, L used the line “Look! A moose!” several times in his attempts to outplay us. This was cute, but made awesome by the fact that about 20 minutes after coming back inside, T said “Look! A moose!” at an actual moose that was crossing our lawn. (Next time we’re outside and L tells me to look for a moose, I might just look for a moose. That thing was HUGE and I’d have to somehow rescue my babies.)

This morning for some reason L wants to trick me into thinking there’s a mouse running around the house. I’m hoping that he isn’t having another animal premonition. The funny thing this time is that he’s impersonating the mouse. He still drops his S’s off the beginning of words so his mouse imitation isn’t exactly convincing:

‘Queak, ‘queak! Mommy, there’s a mouse!

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Yesterday was our 8 year wedding anniversary. I told L in the morning that we were going to cook something special for Daddy and explained it was our anniversary.

Throughout the day we had some interesting conversations. Here are a few snippets:

L: Are you going to wear your married clothes for dinner?

me: You mean my wedding dress? No.

L: Why? It’s our 8 year married day!

me: Well, it’s a very fancy dress. And it doesn’t fit me anymore.

L: Oh, you got too tall?


In the car:

L: Are you done looking in the mirror?

me: Why? What is it you want to do back there that you don’t want me to see?

L: Am I allowed to sleep in the car, or are you going to make me stay awake?

me: You can rest if you want.

L: I’m just so tired. I need to rest so I can stay awake for the dancing part after dinner.

(I have no idea where he got the idea that there would be a dancing part.)


L: Are we going to sing “Happy Birthday?”

me: No. It’s not anyone’s birthday.

L: But it’s our 8 year married day! What will we sing?

me: I don’t know. What would you like to sing?

L: “Happy Birthday.”

me: To who?

L: Me, I guess. It’s not your birthday.


L: I think Daddy would like Batman on his cake. And a big huge heart cookie. With frosting. And Batman on it. He told me to tell you that.


In the end life got in the way of our special dinner. I ended up getting home after T; knowing I’d have two hungry kids in tow, he had made a big batch of scrambled eggs for everyone. I paired the eggs with Pinot Noir. L informed us when it was time for dancing. We danced. And sang.

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Conversation between L and T while L sat on the toilet playing with his Superman action figure:

L: Do you think my toys come alive when I’m not here?

T: I don’t know, maybe.

L: Maybe I could leave and you can tell me if Superman comes alive.

T: I’d have to leave too.

L: Maybe we could both leave, and then sneak back.

T: Good idea, but Superman just heard your plan.

L: (Throwing Superman to the ground) Maybe we can leave and then sneak back in.

T: Superman can still hear you. He’s right there on the floor.

L: Just kidding, Superman! Ha, ha ha. (now whispering) Maybe we could leave and then sneak back in!

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My family is a unit, here to support and love one another blah blah blah blah blah. That’s all true, but in day-to-day reality, for all intents and purposes, they are the enemy. And no ordinary enemy either. My children are super-villains. My husband my arch-rival. What? That’s not how you’d describe things in your home?

The super-villains adeptly lure you in to a false sense of security. They use their (evil) big eyes, their (evil) cherub faces, their (evil) giggles, their (evil) little hands held tightly in your own all to entice you to let your guard down, to reveal the chink in your armor. They want to know your kryptonite. (Yes, for the purposes of this post I am a superhero, what of it?)

Turns out I can be brought to my knees begging for mercy by 8 or more consecutive hours of constant noise. That is this superhero’s weakness. And L knows it. S is probably onto me too, but L knows for sure. Now I live in fear: what is he plotting? How is he going to use my weakness against me?

So far, he just keeps perfecting his attack methods. He knows all sorts of noises, some are better (worse) than others at breaking me down. When his voice gets tired, after maybe 7 hours or so, he knows that banging an action figure against something hard again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again…. will bring about his desired result. Evil, I tell you.

I spend my time trying to make conversations end. This is not easy. So far, impossible. What if I just don’t answer or respond in any way to his comment? Let’s examine a recent conversation where I employed this method. In the car we were discussing the movie “Beauty and the Beast.” He asked me who the beast is:

me: You know, the one who is a beast.

L: Who? What beast?

me: The guy. You know, the guy. The one the movie is about. The one who is a beast.

L: Which one?

me: The one who is mean and scary at the beginning but turns out to be nice in the end.

L: He’s still mean at the end.

At this point, I realize that this conversation is stupid and is unraveling me. He’s got the last word. I just won’t say anything else and we’ll be done with it.

L: He’s still mean at the end.

L: He’s still mean at the end.

L: He’s still mean at the end.

He doesn’t just say it over and over again. He waits 2-3 seconds between each time. Just long enough for me to think he’s finally finished.

L: He’s still mean at the end.

How many times is he going to repeat himself? Does he think I can’t hear him? What exactly is he looking for from me? I’ll just continue to not say anything. Surely, he’ll shut up soon.

L: He’s still mean at the end.

L: He’s still mean at the end.

Are you wondering how many times he said this until either a) he stopped of his own volition or b) I finally acknowledged him? The answer is 14. He said it 14 fucking times and at that point I was tempted to drive the car into a tree. Instead I decided to give him the smallest acknowledgement possible.

me: mmm-hmmm.

L: Is he still mean at the end, Mommy?

He’s done it. Used his evil powers persistence to trap me back into this asinine conversation. If you’re thinking that this isn’t so bad, multiply this conversation times a day’s worth. He’s up around 6:30 and goes to bed around 7. Do you know how many annoying conversations he can squeeze into that time? A lot.

But it’s not just annoying conversations. I’ve learned that with the Y-chromosome comes a whole host of sound effects. These include (but are not limited to): engine noises, brake noises, gun noises, laser noises, crashing noises, explosion noises, swords-swishing-through-air noises, and fart noises. Add these and the conversations to constant movement and my head explodes. SUPER-VILLAIN!

S is a mini super-villain. Maybe a villain-in-training or VIT. Her sound effects are vastly different and mostly include several unique and distinct whines and cries which she uses to destroy me on a daily basis.

As I mentioned, T is my arch-rival. I compete daily with him to be the one doing dishes rather than putting L to bed, the one “stuck” with S on my lap rather than the one playing some annoying L-game, the one still in bed rather than the one not still in bed. I will run to the kitchen and plunge my hands into raw chicken just so I can say “Honey, my hands are dirty and I think S needs to be changed, could you please do it?”

I live with the enemy. Who will prevail in the end? (That’s easy, totally them.)

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About Fatherhood

A reader shared this video on my Facebook page and I love it. Warning: this guy swears a lot. Send your kids into a timeout or something so you can watch it. My kids also suck at hide and seek so this really hits home.

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Game For 1

Overheard conversation between T and L:

L: Daddy, let’s play Charades!

T: I can’t right now, L, why don’t you play by yourself?

L: OK!

L draws a card, looks at it secretly. He stands up and pretends to hold a straw and cup.

L: Sluuuuuuuuurrrrrp!

L: Drinking!

L: You’re right!

Delighted smile at getting it right slowly fades as he realizes that guessing at what he himself acted out isn’t such a good game after all. To our dismay, he does not take another turn.

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I decided not to buy a sex book for L after all. I realized that it would certainly become his favorite book and I’d be stuck reading about testicles and vaginas more often than I’d care to. So I took him to the library instead. I asked the children’s librarian for a book about sex appropriate for a 3-year-old. I’m going to go ahead and believe that her assumption that I was pregnant was more related to my question than my appearance.

She found a few books for me, full of diagrams, drawings and photos of things that I really didn’t want to talk about. I decided to work my way backwards through one of the books. Starting with the baby, photos of the baby in utero, etc, hoping L would be bored before we got to the actual seed planting bit at the beginning.

Turns out, boredom never happened. BUT he was entirely mesmerized, amazed, aghast and distracted by umbilical cords. We looked at all the books and he only wanted to see the pictures with umbilical cords. I can talk umbilical cords all day, no problem! Does the baby get ice cream through the umbilical cord? Does the baby get carrots through the umbilical cord? Much better than does daddy use a knife to put the seed in your belly?

With L’s curiosity sufficiently satisfied, we left all the books at the library and I have heard not a peep about any of it since. So, if your kids start asking and you’re not up for the conversation, stick with umbilical cords.*

*I do not condone keeping kids in the dark about sex forever. Just for now.
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Over dinner tonight:

T: I have a special treat for after dinner.

L: What is it??

T: I’ll give you a hint. It rhymes with upcake.

L: Chocolate? I love chocolate!!

T: No, L. It rhymes with upcake. It’s a kind of cake.

L: Chocolate cake? Sometimes cake is up, and sometimes cake is down. Is it chocolate cake?

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I have this idea that I’d like to write a letter to each of my kids on their birthday each year. I wish I started it on L’s first birthday, but better late than never.

Dear S,

You’ve been around for a full year now, and my life is so much better for it! You have such a happy and sweet disposition.  You’re my ray of sunshine and you can bring a smile to my face no matter how tired or grumpy I’m feeling.

You are a busy little person these days walking around everywhere, emptying my cupboards, unrolling toilet paper and being generally destructive and mischievous, but you do it so cutely. You squeal with delight and giggle at every opportunity, especially if caught re-emptying all the sippy cups from the cabinet immediately after I’ve collected them from all over the house and put them away. Your giggle might just be the best sound in the world. You are full of wonder and love to explore and go for long walks outside. You also like to eat the marigolds around the garden.

You do have your own opinions and will let it be known if you’ve been crossed. For such a small person, you have a very loud voice. You pretty much hate the car lately and do your best to make me as stressed and distracted as possible every time we drive anywhere. But after screaming for the whole drive, you always greet me with a toothy grin when I come to get you from your carseat. You never hold a grudge.

You adore your big brother and squeal when he enters the room and always laugh at his antics. He likes helping you, taking care of you, and playing with you and doesn’t mean to be too rough. Most of the time. The very best way to soothe you if you’re crying is for L to sing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little ‘Tar” to you. He’s been doing this since you were a tiny newborn and it works every time.

You also adore your daddy. When you see him or even hear his voice you start crying until he comes and picks you up. Anytime I try to take you from him, you cry. (Thanks for that, by the way).

You love to eat and will eat anything put in front of you. The quantity of food you can eat is astounding. Often, you eat more at a meal than any of the rest of us. But you need all that energy for your busy self. And also to hold up your giant head. At your 12 month check-up you measured in the 50th percentile for both height and weight, and 97th percentile for head circumference. The Dr. was impressed that you can walk with those stats.

I couldn’t possibly love you more than I do. You’re cuddly, sweet, funny, cute, happy, independent and so much fun. I’m so happy and lucky you’re my baby and this last year has been so awesome because of you. I can’t wait to see what comes next. Happy first birthday, Baby Girl!



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Could it be? Is that a light? At the end of the tunnel? I’m squinting into the metaphorical distance and I think I’m seeing a flicker of something. L is approaching the second half of 3, and lately the ratio of OK times to horrible times has been on the upswing. Even a bit of hilarity in there these last few days.

Maybe it’s new Hammer T, maybe it’s just the age and he’s coming out of one phase and entering a new one. Maybe the demon has been exorcised forever! He’s not behaving so differently all of the time, but it seems like some of the fight is gone. He’ll still snarl and bristle, bare his teeth, but then he’ll often submit rather than going for the jugular.

Last night our weekly babysitter, M, arrived as usual at 6PM. L went from calm and happy to running around the house, shooting at us and being generally obnoxious the second she came through the door. She said “Guess what?” to him excitedly to which he screamed back,  “DON’T TALK TO ME! I DON’T LIKE YOU!” Urg. It continued in this vein until we left the house. As he followed us out the front door, I put my face in his and said in a convincing tone that he’d better start being nice to M, or else. (I have no idea what this “else” was going to be. I can’t believe I even said it. I’m pretty sure this was an ineffective threat I heard a lot as a kid and it just came out.)

Sure that we’d come home to hear about L’s rude behavior, we instead learned that as soon as we got in the car, L turned to M and said, “I don’t mean that I don’t like you. I just don’t want my mommy and daddy to go.” They then happily baked cookies, listened to Dr. Seuss books on CD and he went to bed with no problems.

So, we still have a ways to go. He didn’t exactly behave well, but he retracted his claws, maybe even felt bad for treating M that way and sort of apologized. It’s a small step in the right direction, right? I’m cautiously optimistic. I’ve been burned before.

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T is putting the hammer down and I love it. I call him Hammer-T now. He was never really overly permissive with L, he’s just naturally nice and calm – a problem I don’t have, so I’ve been Hammer-Allison forever. But this new, angry, fed-up Hammer-T is just the greatest. One of the things I always loved about T was his innate niceness. It was so foreign to me and a perfect balance to my innate bitchiness. Who could have guessed I’d be so thrilled to see him toss it aside and join me on the dark side?

T is focusing his hammer on any disrespectful behavior of L’s. Any back talk, rude noises or faces, ignoring of requests will be met swiftly by Hammer-T. These things were always met by Hammer-Allison (which, in truth, is just regular Allison), but my hammer has become ineffectual, and compared to T’s it’s a little pink thing with a squeaky voice.

With Hammer-T around, I get to be calm! And Hammer-T doesn’t let anything slide. The slightest rudeness and L gets the Hammer. At first, L didn’t know what was happening. He didn’t listen to a simple request and T came down on him. HARD. L was so confused. A few minutes later when L made a face at me, down came the hammer. I feel very special getting all this bodyguarding by my husband against my 3-year-old.

So, I’m a happy gal with a mean husband and L had better get in line as he now has Mean Mommy and Mean Daddy to contend with. But, with Mean Daddy around, I can play nice every once in a while. Imagine that!

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I had this nice idea to pick T up from work, get a pizza and head to the playground to enjoy what might just be the most beautiful evening of the year. The weather was amazing. Not hot. Not cool. Just right. Pizza ordered, drinks, napkins etc packed, T picked up at 5PM on the nose, swing by pizza place and head to the park. Sounds great, right?

We’re not the only ones with this idea. (Well, we may be the laziest. The park was dotted with other families with picnic dinners but no one else carrying in a pizza box.) I noticed all the other families having this lovely time together and I felt great to be among them. This is what having little kids is all about. The park was peaceful, even quiet. We couldn’t hear the other families’ voices from where we sat. Even at the playground, where several kids were playing, the only sounds were a squeaky swing and the lilt of small voices at play.  There were no parental voices shouting out commands, threats and directives. Except mine. I’m that loud lady who ruined your picnic.

L was too excited by the playground to even consider the pizza. He ran laps around the whole thing and was up and down off of each climbing structure so many times we couldn’t keep track of him. And, as he passed any other child, he carefully aimed and fired his finger gun in their face while making that fucking annoying shooting sound that seems to be genetically encoded in the y-chromosome.

Loud voice: “L! Stop shooting the other children! There is to be no more shooting!”

I should have been more specific. I needed to actually list all things that there should be none of. Because he did listen and stopped shooting, and instead started throwing Spidey webs in the children’s faces with another annoying y-chromosome sound effect.

“L! Come here please! …. Come.Here.Now.”

He comes and I explain that he is not to do any annoying thing in any child’s face. He is not to make mean faces; he is not to growl; he is not to shoot anything, including, but not limited to, guns and webs. And, if he’s smart, he’ll sit down and eat some pizza because there will be no more food tonight.

He doesn’t sit down but by the time I’m done explaining all of this to him the other parents have corralled their kids to a separate, far away, part of the playground nowhere near the picnic table where we’ve set up camp.

The other things I shouted out during our time in the park include:

“You’re going to go to bed hungry!” (Which elicited some surprised dirty looks from the lovely couple escorting their sweet, somewhere-between-14-and-16-month-old out of the park.)

“Whatever that is, stop putting your hand in it!”

“Stop putting your foot in it too!”

“I mean it about no more food tonight!”

“This pizza is dinner, and if you don’t eat dinner there will be no snack, no dessert, no food at all.”

“That’s not your phone, put it down please!”

“That’s still not your phone!”

You see, I was sitting at the picnic table having dinner. I was not going to run after L at the park in order to tell him these things in a conversational voice. Dinner time is a time to sit and eat and if he chooses not to, it’s his (stupid) decision and he will just miss out on the meal. So, I had to be a little louder than all the polite people in the park with their sweet, polite children.

One day, I want to be one of them. I want to be the one having a really good time with my family. Not just a time where there were some OK moments, maybe a good moment or two, mixed in with a lot of frustration and embarrassment. L can be so sweet and friendly or he can shoot kids in the face, and I really can’t predict which L I’ll get. Will he be fun L, or scary psychopath L?

In the end he never did eat any pizza. He cried the entire way home, and went to bed hungry. Guess who won’t be ruining your picnic again any time soon?

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When L was about 1 he began to show a strong preference for his dad. It started with pure excitement when T was around. This was sweet. It evolved, though, to more than that. Instead of simply being overjoyed at T’s presence, he began to be disappointed and dismayed at mine. Each morning I’d go into his room to get him up and he’d start crying and throwing his pacifiers and lovies at me from his crib. When he started talking, the first time he strung a few words together was during one of these fits. He said, “No! No Mommy, Daddy!”

Knife to the heart.

And so began my tumultuous relationship with L. Everyone said that babies go through these phases of preferring one parent over another, but L’s preference has not wavered and he’s now 3.5. (By the way, just about every day since that first sentence, when I go in to get L in the morning he cries, tells me to go away, and says he wants his daddy. Nice.)

Now let’s bring S into the mix. My darling, sweet baby. The baby who has been the teeny apple of my eye for 11 months now.  Who required my full-body full-time attention in those early, colicky weeks where I constantly carried, bounced and shushed her. Who I bathe, feed, sing to, care for, soothe and admire. Whose giggles and squeals I deftly extract. Whose preferences I alone know. My baby.

It started innocently enough. As T walks through the door each night to L’s running delight, S began to flap her arms excitedly too. It’s developed to her crying when she hears his voice as he comes through the door until he comes and picks her up. And then to her suicide dives out of my arms and into his if he crosses her line of vision. And, finally, her first word: “Dada.”

I know, I know, “Dada” is easier to say than “Mama”. Fuck that. I say “Mama Mama Mama Mama” to her all day long and all I get in return are coos and dribbly raspberries. Not even the slightest effort or interest. T walks through the door and clear as a bell, “Dada! Dada! Dada!” That bastard gets all the glory.

Meanwhile, I have snot on my shoulder. The left side of every single one of my shirts is all stretched out from the way S pulls at my clothes as she sits on my hip. Half the time my entire left breast is exposed to the world thanks to her tugging at my top. I’m the one who wrestles with her to cut her nails, brush her teeth, get medicine into her, put cream on her eczema, change her diaper etc.

Motherhood is a dirty job. All I ask for is a little “mama”. Maybe some excited arm flapping. Instead I get the moan of discontent which means: “Hey, you, slave-lady, fetch me more Cheerios. NOW!”


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Sweet Talk

Awhile back, over dinner:

L: “I love you, Daddy.” (Awww, what a sweet kid)

L: “I love you, Mommy.” (Alas, it’s all worthwhile)

L: “I love you, bean,” said to string bean. (%$#@!)

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Yesterday someone said the word “stranger” to L. This is a new word for him so he asked what it meant. I figured it might be a good time to introduce the concept of stranger danger, although part of me was loath to do it; I hate to take away his innocence, his awesome and naive view of the world. But I did it.

“A stranger is any person who you don’t know.”

“What if I just ask him his name? Then we’re friends?”

OK, different tack.

“What do you do if we’re out somewhere, like a mall or a fair, and you get lost?”

“I look around and mommy is maybe behind me.”

“I’m not behind you; you can’t find me.”

“Maybe I find Daddy instead.”

OK, different tack.

“If you get lost, and you can’t find mommy and you can’t find daddy, you should try to find another mommy and tell her that you are lost. Pick a lady who is with her kids. She’ll be a nice mommy who can help you.”

“A lady who isn’t with her kids is a bad mommy.”

“Uh, no, sometimes ladies go out without their kids… nevermind that. Just look for another mommy like me.”

“Or a daddy”

“No, not a daddy. Just a mommy.”


Ugh. I hate this. We went on to have a ridiculous conversation covering different places he might get lost. “What if I get lost in a tree?” “You’re not going to get lost in a tree.” “But what if I do?? Or, what if I get lost in a waterfall, or hay?”

I explained that if he can’t find another mommy, that he should go into a store and talk to the person who works there for help. His follow-up questions were so off the wall and off topic, it’s clear he has no idea what I’m talking about. Am I wrong to introduce this to a 3-year-old? Did I go about it the wrong way?

The whole thing has left a bad taste in my mouth and a pit in my stomach. How are we to manage letting our sweet (well, in this case anyway), innocent children out there into the world with all the creeps and sickos? Really, it’s too much to bear. How and when did you talk about this stuff with your kids?

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She’s seen it all now. All my effort to pretend I had a nice family for nothing. Nana witnessed me drag a screaming L to the car this morning, pin him in his carseat and forcibly strap him down as he thrashed, cried, shrieked, kicked, hit and tried to bite me. She then saw me turn to my husband, her son, and yell at him about something or other. Then, after storming back inside to retrieve my crying baby in her carseat, I proceeded to yell at both T and Nana about how helpful they were being standing there watching all of this.

As I drove away, after my initial mean thoughts about how useless they were and how I had to do everything, I thought about what Nana must be thinking. How much I’ve changed since she first met me 10 years ago as a carefree, adventuring young 20-something traveling with my boyfriend, who I obviously adored, and did not berate or yell at. What changed me into this control-freak-bitch?

I think life would be so much easier if I could just clone myself a few times over. That way, all the errands would be run right, the dishwasher would be loaded correctly, the laundry folded, the kids put to bed in a timely, orderly fashion etc. Everything would be done right. Instead, I have to deal with these other people helping me, and doing things all wrong.

When it’s just T, things generally run pretty smoothly. I don’t really mind when I find another pair of PJs under the PJs I just took off the baby. I think it’s weird, but I don’t care. (This happened 2 days ago. After all this time having kids, WTF is he thinking? Wasn’t it hard to squeeze already footed-feet into the second pair of footie PJs?) We have a system for dividing the labor so we don’t really step on eachother’s toes too much. I load the dishwasher; he unloads. I do all the laundry, but he carries the heavy basket upstairs. He changes all lightbulbs; I clean the bathrooms. All in all, things work and we live in peace.

Adding another adult in the house has me beside myself. I don’t have as much control over everything as I like. This lack of control makes me feel uncomfortable. I know that having everything done my way is not a life or death situation. I even know that other people *could* do things better than I do them. (Nevermind, I don’t believe that for a second.) Why do I need everything done my way so badly? Why can’t I just relinquish some of this control?

I know it would make me happier if I just didn’t care. I’d be happier if I didn’t care that L wasn’t dressed before coming downstairs this morning, making getting him dressed a 1/2 hour ordeal involving tears and yelling and even a time out, rather than a 3 minute nothing if done first thing in his room. And why does it bother me so much that Nana wants to handwash everything instead of just putting it all in the dishwasher? She’s the one slaving over the sink, why does it drive me crazy? I’ll tell you why: because I am a control-freak-bitch.

I am sure I’m not the only one. Motherhood changes some of us into these people we sometimes don’t like. It’s insult added to injury. Not only do we not look like our younger selves, but our personalities are worse as well. It’s another one of those terrible stereotypes about women and wives. It’s the harpy wife who gives chores, nags, and isn’t pleased by the job done. I don’t want to be that person. I don’t want poor T to have to live with that person! But, am I turning into her? What kind of message does that send my kids about what a woman’s job is, and a man’s worth?

Isn’t it typical that even when I’m trying so hard to make everything go right for my kids, I’m still unhappy that I’m not doing a good enough job, because just by virtue of trying I’m teaching my kids something bad? Ugh, can’t it ever just be easy? Forget saving for college, I need to save up for my kids’ therapy.

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