Wednesday, April 25

Foot Fetishes and Other Kid Happenings

Pie is obsessed with socks in general and a pair of hand-me-down socks that have a cat on each one over the toes in particular. "Kitty cat! Kitty cat! Meow! Meow!" The socks, dirty after a day of play, come off for bath. In her pretty clean pajamas, she demands, "Socks! Socks! Kitty cats!" and goes rifling through the dirty laundry I've just removed from her, querying, "Where'd it go? Where'd it go?" till she finds said socks and demands I put them on her feet. Then she plays, periodically stopping to lift her toes and admire her kitty cats. Unfortunately, the socks are already too small, so we better find another pair of kitty cat socks, and fast!

While washing his hands at his friend's house after using the bathroom, Doodles tried to look into the mirror, but even on the stepstool, he was too short. "Mommy," he complained. "The mirror isn't repeating me!"

I'm pretty sure my daughter is a German. She refuses to wear her sandals without her socks on.

Pie was getting up every day at 5 a.m. I'd pick her and bring her into Doodles's bed (since he was in our bed anyway). She'd demand, "Blankets!" so after covering her with his blankets, I'd nurse her. When she was done, she'd slide out of bed and waddle into our room to wake Adam up with a string of babble, indicating that she was ready to be taken downstairs and entertained. These days, though, I've been able to put her back in her crib after her Ming Ming, and she'll go back to sleep for anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours. However, some days she doesn't want to go down, and I've finally figured out the key. If, after nursing, she makes random small talk (like today--Doodles came into our room without Boy Bear, which was still in his bed. She picked up Boy Bear and asked, "Where's Brother?" I said, "Doodles is still sleeping." She said, "Oh, Brother sleeping."), then I can safely put her back to bed and she'll sleep. If, however, she demands her socks, then she's up for the day. I have to say, breaking this code has really made life a whole lot easier.

Sometimes I ask Adam what we should have for dinner. "I don't know," is his invariable reply. "Well, what do you feel like?" I'll ask him.
A: I'm not in the mood for anything.
Me: You have to be in the mood for something.
A: I dunno.
Me: Okay, close your eyes and go like this [I make a tasting motion with my mouth]. What do you taste?
This always makes Adam crazy as he claims this doesn't work, whereas I swear by it.
The other day, Doodles said to me: "Do we have anymore plain matzah?"
Me: Yes, we do.
Doodles: I want matzah! Plain matzah! My tongue is telling me it wants to taste plain matzah!
Definitely my son!

I feel like our house is becoming somewhat of a fortress these days, battened down to protect us from invading armies. Unfortunately, the invading armies happen to live within this fortress, making our house somewhat of a war zone. Take for instance, Medros the Younger. If the bathroom door isn't closed, she's standing high upon the step stool, filling the sink with hot water from which she likes to bath, brush her teeth, and generally make a big mess. Which isn't as bad as finding her with her arm in the toilet. Then there's Medros the Older, who knows he isn't allowed outside by himself, yet constantly claims to want to just "take a peek" outside, which means exiting the premises. With this bout of warm weather we finally have, I've been leaving the front door open, however, I have to make sure the lock is on the patio door or else my child will be halfway down the block. Of course, there's also Medros the Elder. From him the remote needs to be hidden. I can be watching any show, leave the room for exactly 3.4 seconds to grab a drink in the next room and by the time I've returned, the Red Sox are on. Happens all the time! I had no idea that the Red Sox were now playing 24-hours a day but that's what it seems to be.

Speaking of Red Sox, Adam went to the game last night (even after a conversation with Doodles in which I said, "Is it okay if Daddy goes to the game?" and he slowly shook his head and said, "Noooo.... Not without me!"). Doodles goes to bed every night at 7. Pie at 7:30. Our evenings are pretty regimented: 5 p.m. bath; 5:45 show while I make dinner; 6:15 p.m. dinner; 6:40 brushing teeth and potty; 6:45 stories; 7 first one to bed; 7:05 Ming Ming; 7:15 teeth brushing; 7:20 stories; 7:30 second child to bed. Pretty much the routine every single night, day in, day out. So Adam is out. Having a good time. Company meeting, at the Museum of Science no less. Then a baseball game. It's a beautiful night. And he decides to call and check in. So, of course, he called at 4:45 just before we started our routine. Oh, wait, he didn't do that. He called at 7:45 just after the last monkey was put to bed. No, no. That's not right either. Oh, yeah. He called at 6:50 p.m. Right in the middle of child wig out/getting ready for bedtime. And then asks me, "What do you sound so tense and annoyed?" Um, HELLO? I had a day that involved two trips to playgrounds, one music class, one screaming fit over the reapplication of sunscreen, one pizza dinner out in which Doodles decided he needed to use the potty right when Pie had maximum pasta mess on her and was not about to leave the table in the middle of her meal for her brother, four temper tantrums (three of them from the kids), six books read seven times, and I am a mere 40 minutes away from freedom if I can just keep either kid from losing it again and he wants to know why I sound annoyed? Can one of your people please explain it to him because I'm going to go have a martini.

Wednesday, April 18

Red Sox Are From Mars, Yankees Are From Venus

Doodles: Are the Red Sox playing the 'ankees today?
Me: I don't think so. I think they're playing the Blue Jays, but I'm not sure. Do you want me to call Daddy and find out?
Doodles: Yes.
I pick up the phone and dial.
Doodles: Are you calling the Red Sox?
Me: No, I'm calling Daddy.
Doodles: Oh. The 'ankees are nice aliens.
Me: They're what?
Doodles: The 'ankees are nice aliens.
Me: How do you know that?
Doodles: I just do.

The Bell Tolls for Me

I've had a terrible cold. Bad enough that if Adam had it, he'd be lying in bed moaning, instead of doing the only adult thing I could do: Walk around moaning and completely martyring myself in the name of caring for my children. I'm proud to say there wasn't even any extra TV involved.

Last night, I felt truly horrible. I pulled a muscle in my neck at the gym and it was getting better except that Pie, with her amazing sense of timing, has decided that now that she's been walking for six months, she's completely over it. "Carry!" she stands and screams. "Carry!" So picking her up has completely aggravated the pain. So my head is stuffed (and thanks to the joys of ming ming, Nyquil is off-limits), my nose is running, my neck is sore, and suddenly I get a nice bout of heartburn. I think it's heartburn at least. I call Adam upstairs. "I just want you to know that my neck hurts, my head is stuffed, and my chest hurts."

Adam looks confused. "For what? Your tombstone? That's a pretty lame tombstone."

I reply, "No, you moron. For the paramedics. Because once I've passed out, I won't be able to tell them my symptoms."

Adam looked relieved. "That's good. Because that would be horrible tombstone to have to make. People would think I was weird."

Unpatriots Day

Did you hear that? The shot heard 'round the world? Of course you didn't because apparently those Minute Men came out of their houses, saw a bit of rain, and decided to call the revolution off. Sigh. As I've mentioned previously (2003 and 2004; we participated in 2005 and 2006, but I apparently didn't feel it was blog-worthy), I love Patriot's Day. I'm a full convert. The Nana came to town for a visit and I made her stay till late on Monday just so she could attend the Lexington re-enactment, the Concord re-enactment, and all the parades with us. So, of course, they were all canceled. The battles. The parades. The Red Sox did play but after much wishy washiness. The only ones still unequivocably game for Patriot's Day are those die-hard Boston Marathoners (and despite the wicked head cold I have, watching them makes me just long to be out there too!). Apparently those Minute Men are afraid of a little Nor'easter. What's a little rain and 50 mph winds? Wusses.

By the way, for all those who ask when I'm going to run the Boston Marathon, I should be able to qualify when I'm 65 years old; I'll definitely be able to qualify when I'm 80.

As I mentioned, the Nana came to town for a visit, which allowed me to get some work done over the weekend, which was direly needed as this is Spring Vacation Week forDoodles but we seem to be lacking the spring, which means we'll be spending most of the week all cooped up. Of course, the Nana does some odd things, but I've learned it's best not to question. For instance, I walked into Doodles and Pie's room and I found a blanket tied over the top of Pie's crib, my son standing in the crib--seemingly naked (turns out he did have his underwear on)--throwing balls at a laughing Nana while Pie jumped and squealed on Doodles's bed. I did the only sane thing: I pretended I didn't see it, turned around, and walked out.

By the way, note to those who wish to give my child gifts: While the thought is always nice, let's stay away from toys with wooden balls and mallets. (My sister bought one for Doodles for his second birthday--you know, days before the birth of his sister--and I looked at her in horror and said, "You bought my son a toy with a wooden hammer? Right when we're going to have a soft baby head in the house? You know this toy is never seeing the light of day." Apparently it runs in the family because the Nana brought a similar toy, but to her credit, all baby heads are more or less fully formed.) It's not rocket science, people! It is balls through Adam's nice new flat-screen TV. (And of course that toy was the biggest hit of all--both kids love to play with it.)

Statement of the day, while watching the Boston Marathon, from Doodles: "If they win the race, do they get a lollipop?"

Wednesday, April 11

La la la

So apropos of practically nothing (there's slight relevance; I'm just not sharing it), I'm singing all my favorite songs of the '70s to Adam, arguing with him about what song is on which album and what year they were released and who owned the albums. Adam keeps claiming to have owned LPs of albums that came out when he was, like, two (don't forget, I'm five years older than the boy). "I'm hotblooded! I'm hotblooded!"

Suddenly, I had a flashback to a conversation I had with my mom when I was about nine years old. I was singing, "If you want my body and you think I'm sexy, come on baby let me know!"

My mom heard me and said, "That song is terrible! I don't think I approve of that song?"
Me: Why not?
Mom: "If you want my money and you think I'm sexy"? What is it about? A hooker?
Me: No! The line is "If you want my body." His body.
Mom: Oh. I guess that's okay then.

Is it any wonder I let my kids listen to Liz Phair? I think not.

Ming Ming!

Not to keep bringing the subject up, but I will have my limits for the Pie:

Lotsa Matzah Good-bye!

Passover has now passed, and this morning we brought the hametz (bread products) back into the kitchen. The Pie was so excited she nearly jumped up and down and she immediately plopped herself on the kitchen floor and began opening different boxes of cereal, plunging her hand in and cramming her mouth full as if we'd been starving her for the past week, as if she hadn't had her fill of fruit, chicken, matzah balls, veggies, chocolate matzah--you get the idea--for the past week.

And Doodles? When asked what he wanted for breakfast, he said, "Um, Magic Cereal" (meaning the Passover cereal).
Me: But Passover is over! You can have your real cereals?
Doodles: Isn't there any Magic Cereal left?
Me: [lying because that stuff is nasty and sugar-filled] No, we finished it off.
Doodles: Okay. I'll have Oatmeal Squares. And matzah!! Matzah, please! Plain matzah! Can I still have matzah?

Doodles Sprat would eat not fat, his sister would eat no lean.... A couple of real gourmands I've got here!

Wednesday, April 4

Lotsa Matzah Pieces

Currently it's rainy and 37 degrees. Scratch that: it's snowy. My son has no school because it's Passover. My daughter has no school because she woke up this morning with a fever of 105.2. I am able to type this now thanks to the combined power of puzzles, stickers, and chocolate matzah. Today has already been acknowledged as a "way too much TV" day, especially at the point where Pie was nursing exactly every 6.35 minutes and I needed to keep Doodles calm and quiet. So here's another peek into the exciting world of our household:

On the night before Passover there's a ritual you're supposed to do called bedikat hametz. Doodles's preschool sent home the blessings and everything you need to do this. Basically you hide bread around the house to find before the start of Passover. You light a candle and sweep the bread up into a spoon with a feather. I thought Doodles would like it, so I hid a few Cheerios around for him to find. But there was a flaw in my plan. I forgot about the human vacuum cleaner (HVC). I'd put a Cheerio down, move on to the next, only to discover that the (HVC) could detect the smell of that Cheerio from the other room and come running in to grab it. Doodles not only had to find the hametz (the bread) for Passover, he had to get to it before the HVC did. After the HVC cleaned out all the hametz by mouth (it's supposed to go into a paper bag and be burned the next day), she furiously signed for more.

There was a point on Sunday where the only person not wearing my underwear was Adam. Apparently, my underwear is the hot new thing neckwear for fashionistas under the age of four.

Doodles is very excited for Passover. "You can't eat miniwaffles," I warned him. "Or pancakes. No Veggie Booty. No crackers."
D: But I can eat matzah!
Me: Yes, you can eat matzah.
D: I loooove matzah!
Me: We'll put something on it to make it energy food.
D: No thank you. I just want plain matzah.
Me: Plain matzah?
D: Yes!
Me: For eight days!
D: Yes! Is it Passover yet? Can I have my matzah yet?
By the end of Passover that child will either be very, um, backed up or he'll have to finally relent and eat a new food. I'm guessing the former.

We went to a seder on Monday night with the intention of letting the kids fall asleep there. Of course, it didn't go quite as planned. But Doodles was happy to get to bring pajamas. I asked him, "Do you want to bring your cars pajamas?" He replied, "No, because everyone will want to touch my pajamas and I don't want them touching my cars pajamas. I'll bring my Wiggles pajamas because it's okay if people touch those." Good thinking, that boy of mine.

The Pie has been exceedingly quiet at day care, but alas, she's found her voice. Sweetie chats up a storm at home, but she would never say anything at school. Her teachers have even called her shy. But last Monday, she was playing with a bike in the gym when another child tried to take it away. Her teachers report that she very clearly told the other child in no uncertain terms: "Stop it! It's mine! I want it!" That's my assertive Pie! You go, girl! (It's like that old joke: Little Irving was five years old and had never spoken a word. His parents were concerned and took him to doctors and specialists but no one could ever find anything wrong with him. One night, the family was eating dinner when Irving looked up to his mother and said, "There's too much salt in the soup." His mother was shocked! "Irving! You can talk! And perfectly! But I don't understand; why have you not spoken till now?" Irving replied, "Up till now everything's been fine.")

Pie is also grasping the concept of Passover slowly. Yesterday she said, "Veggie Booty!" I said, "No, sweetie, that's hametz. I can get you some more fruit or some matzah." She became quite agitated and said, "All done," so I pulled her from her booster seat. She made her way to the cabinet, and I obliged and opened it for her. She started searching the cabinets, looking very confused. Finally, she threw both hands out and asked, "Where is it?" "Hametz," I replied. Finally she shrugged, grabbed some raisins and was happy.

Adam had his fantasy baseball thingamajig on Sunday. He wouldn't let me pick any of the players. It's not like it's for money or anything! There's a player called Looper. And he wouldn't put Looper on his team. How can you pass up the Looper? My God! The next day at work Adam was having some sort of crisis. I told him it was his own fault. Because no one with The Looper could possibly have a bad day.

Doodles has been giving me lots of "Huh?" moments, such as:
Doodles: I don't like chicken.
Me: You've never had chicken. You can't say you don't like it if you've never tried it.
Doodles: But I have had chicken.
Me: No, you haven't.
Doodles: But I did. When Pharaoh existed, I had lots and lots of chicken, and I don't like it anymore.
Can't argue with that logic.

My son will not eat a strawberry, but he devours this disgusting matzah-based cereal called Magic Max's Fruity Magic Cereal, which is made by Manischewitz. "Can I have more magic cereal? Pleeeeeeeeeease?" I tried it myself and considered just tossing it before I ever gave it to him. Egads does that child have miserable taste!

Pie has become very polite with her nursing. "Mommy, Ming Ming?" I can only sigh and say, "What do you say, Pie?" And then she looks up at me and gives me her most charming smile and say, "Peeeeassse!" Man, that girl is good!