What would you say?

I was going through drafts of many blog posts that have never seen the light of day when I came across this one from nearly a year ago and decided that it’s reasonable to post it anyway… Enjoy.
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There are phrases I have used since becoming a parent that I never thought I’d hear myself say. Phrases that, out of context of the original situation, make little sense except to other parents.

The first time I became aware of this phenomenon was during potty training of my twins. Toddlers are extremely possessive of their excrement.

“We do not flush other people’s poo. If you want to flush the toilet, you have to make your own.”

Now that they are a little bit older, when I find myself speechless or stammering, Buddy or Goose will often fill in with gems of their own. For example, Bear (almost 2yo) is obsessed with his toothbrush… and penises. I cannot think of any normal circumstance in which those two things should be combined. But in this house, anything can happen.

During a recent round of potty, wash, brush and bed X3, I caught sight of Bear with his toothbrush extended over the toilet bowl where Buddy was still in the “potty” phase of our routine (Stand up style. Sorry, is that TMI?). But before I could say, “We do not rinse our toothbrushes in urine… ever!” Buddy reprimanded him with a stern, “Toothpaste does not come out of my butt, Bear!”

Ah… well said, my friend.

I keep it a mess on purpose… So that it’s livable.

There was an appliance repair man here today to fix what turned out to be the ice maker on my refrigerator. He spent much time discussing planned obsolescence of appliances and lamenting how difficult it is to be a repair man these days when appliances are generally built to be disposable.

The man knows his appliances, and he likes to talk… Very much. At one point he sat down at the island to make a call about a replacement part. He casually swept some of the junk aside so there was enough room for his papers and smiled.

“Thanks for having a livable house,” he said.

“you mean messy?” I asked

“No. Livable. Sometimes I go into houses that look like show houses and it’s hard to imagine that people live there at all. Houses like this… You know that people live here with their families, and spend time together. You’re not afraid to touch things, because the people actually use their stuff. It’s not just for show…. People live here.”

Yeah… He probably says that to all the ladies.

But I don’t mind.

Ps- next post I’m going to leave the autocorrect mayhem intact, then post the proper translation. Just for fun. Because blogging on my iPad until I get a new laptop is an adventure.

Whats wrong with this picture?

What’s wrong with this picture?

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No, it’s not the angle.

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That’s 2 left shoes… And one is 3 sizes larger than the other… And that’s what happens when you rush out the door without checking your 2 year old’s shoes.

You’ve been warned. Don’t let your children befall the same horrible fate… Of 2 left shoes… One of which belongs to the older brother. I might also suggest not allowing your kids to get matching shoes, even if they beg.

What does the rooster say?

Gem from this evening….
Sitting with the kids watching tv when Buddy says, “mom, what does cock mean?”

holy crap, did he just say what I think he just said, and now I’m doomed to get porn spam on my blog

Me: I’m sorry, what was that? What does what word mean?

Trying to stay calm and neutral, so I can figure out where on earth he might have heard that word.

Buddy: Never mind.

Apparently, my expression or tone of voice gave away my panic.

Me: I can’t tell you what it means because I didn’t hear the word. Did you say, “cock”?

Buddy: Yes! Yes! What does “cock” mean?

I clear my throat, stalling for time.

Me: Ummm, like in “cock-a-doodle-doo? What a rooster says?

Buddy: No. Ears. Ears cock. Like in The Poky Little Puppy.

Me: Ooooohhhhhhhhhh. The puppy cocks his ears to listen. Indeed. Indeed, he does.

An explanation of the term follows using poor Frances the dog for demonstrative purposes.

And now I know why it’s important not to jump to conclusions, and to never, ever dig under the fence.

‘Cause I’m a loser, Baby.

There was a recent discussion among some friends of mine about the “everyone wins” culture in our society, and how it might foster a lack of leadership skills in this generation.

I don’t disagree. We can’t always win… more often than not, we lose. So far, I’m on board.

Then someone said, “There is a winner and a loser.”

I became instantly uneasy… uncomfortable… vaguely panicky. Initially, I couldn’t pin down why I was reacting this way.

Discussion continued. A very reasonable discussion by all participants followed. Someone else commented, “When someone says I can’t, that’s when I have to prove them wrong.” This sentiment was echoed by others.

I began thinking that maybe that was why I was feeling anxious. As a 3 time graduate school drop out, I can pretty well guarantee you that when someone (including myself) says, “You can’t”, I generally just don’t. And it makes me crazy when I hear my kids say one or the other can’t do something for some reason, especially if it’s a weak argument like “because you’re a boy/girl.”

But that couldn’t be it… there had to be more.

I stewed and stewed… what is it that’s bothering me? Competition is fine. Win/lose is fine… necessary life lesson there. What is my hang up?

Then it hit me… It isn’t losing that was getting to me. I don’t like to lose, but I don’t think everyone should “win” either. It’s the word, loser, that irks me. If there’s a winner, there’s a loser.

Let’s consult a dictionary:

los·er

noun \ˈlü-zər\

1: a person or thing that loses especially consistently
2: a person who is incompetent or unable to succeed; also : something doomed to fail or disappoint
There’s the rub. It’s not losing that bothers me, it’s losers. That is such a negative nasty word with such a negative connotation. You are the loser; I am the winner. I will succeed and you will fail or disappoint. Have a fan-freakin-tastic day!
So, No. I don’t think everyone should be a “winner”, but I also don’t think any kid should be a “loser”. I don’t even like typing it. What we need here is a new word so that we can save the future generation’s leadership capabilities without compromising my tender sensibilities…. how about something with more potential or at least a little more positive sounding like zippers, or omelets, or banana pancakes….mmmm…. hungry….
Do you have any suggestions for alternatives to the L word?

The Babysitter’s Here

Am I the only one who cringes when a woman says, “oh, my husband is babysitting tonight.” or alternatively, and actually more annoying, when a man says, “I’m babysitting today” when the babysitting refers to his own children?

Apparently, the census bureau also considers men caring for their own children as babysitting or a “child care arrangement”. But women caring for their own children is just… What’s expected.

I’d go into great depth about why this is a problem, why it matters, why you should be outraged, except that it’s late, and I’m tired and Kristin Maschka already wrote it… Better than I could.

You should read this article by Kristin Maschka, and this one from Motherlode which is where the discussion started, and then tell me…. How is that acceptable?