Wednesday, August 29

From the Mouths of Babes, the Ongoing Saga

Doodles had gymnastics camp (which was a woe in and of itself, but I won't go into that now), so I had some quality Pie time. Pie loves to walk. In the morning, still in her pajamas, she'll grab my hand and pull me to the door, ordering, "Take a walk! Take a walk! Put on shoes! Take a walk!" Her favorite thing now is to push her toy stroller and doll down the street.

Quick digression: I've always avoided the girly thing with Pie, but it had gotten bad of late. Every time we walked into anyone's house--I mean anyone!--Pie would accost the woman of the house, like an addict in search of her fix: "Babydoll? Babydoll? BABYDOLL?!?" The girl was babydoll starved. And her daily notes from daycare always came back reading things such as, "Pie loved playing with the bracelets today. Pie really took care of the younger kids today. Pie enjoyed having a tea party with her friends." So for her birthday, I indulged Pie's every girl fantasy: a babydoll, a stroller, some bracelets.

Back to story: I thought Pie would be thrilled to take a long walk pushing her stroller. The neighbors across the street were game for a walk, so we decided to head down to Starbucks, which is about a mile away. Now, I knew Pie wouldn't be able to walk there and back and that if I had the stroller it would be hard to chase her and then carry back her toy stroller when I pushed her. So I had the brilliant idea of pulling the Kelty backpack out of the basement, figuring when Pie got tired, I'd stick her in it.

Um, right. The minute Pie saw that backpack, the idea of a walk was history. "Backpack! Backpack! Backpack!" she insisted. I put her in and then walked the entire mile with this 29 pound toddler on my back. Oh, yeah, it was fun.

We enjoy our Starbucks treat with our friends, we hit Walgreens for some odds and ends, say good-bye to our friends who are going their own way, and then it's back up the hill--way up the hill--home. Pie decides to ride all the way up until we get about three blocks from the house, where the walking is flat and easy. Then she demands, "Run!"

My shoulders are killing me at this point, so I'm thrilled to get her out. I give her a big smooch and set her on the ground. She takes off flying, one step... two steps... face plant!!! It was a really nasty fall and I could hear it and I ran to her as she wailed. A woman sitting inside her house saw the whole thing and ran out to offer us ice, which we took.

Pie quieted down. She took her ice. And then we walked home, stopping every three feet to pick at a tree, pull a leaf off a bush, or hunt for an ant.

That night, Adam came home. Pie has a large scrape across the front of her nose. It's very noticeable and a little pitiable looking. Adam immediately picked Pie up to smooch her scrape.

Adam croons to her, "Sweetie Pie! What happened?"

Pie puts on her sad face, and says with a pout, "I fell!"

Adam piles on the sympathy, and giving her more smooches, says, "Oh, I see that! That's quite a scrape! How did you fall?"

Pie gives a little moue as she loudly declares, "Mommy pushed me!"

When DSS comes a callin', you'll all know why...

Proof That Adam Really Is a Novice...

After Doodles opens up his gift, a new plane, and wants to play with it immediately.

Me to Adam: Do you want to assemble it or should I do it?
Adam: What are you talking about? It comes assembled.
Me: So should I assemble it?
Adam: It's pretty much one one piece. See? [Opens lid. Sits back.] Oh shit.
Me: So?
Adam: I'll assemble it.
[Twenty minutes later]
Me: Do you need help in there?
Adam: I got it!

Yeah. He does.

Birthday Survival

Oh, the greed. The greed! "Presents! Presents! Presents!" The chant haunts me. I hear it in my sleep. I hear it when I'm reading the paper. I hear it in the car. Those two monkeys have it down to a science: Just when I'm relaxing, just when I least expect it, "Can we open more presents?"

What do others do with the great present dilemma? My philosophy has been to spread the opening of presents out, because when we do it all at once, there's a great frenzy, a look of pure drunkenness that overtakes my children. They don't appreciate what they receive, because there's more, more, MORE! But then you spread it out, so you have days and days of the begging, the pleading. Of course, it is one more thing I can hold of their heads ("If you don't get your tushies up here right now, then there will be no presents tonight! I'm counting! One...two..."). The woes of birthday lust.

So, we made it through another birthday, with no rain (minor drizzle only), too much sugar, and a frenzied mom. I was up way too late decorating birthday cakes, but the day of the party went off without a hitch. The parties, though, are always a blur because even though there isn't that much for me to do day of event, I feel like I'm slightly frantic. The preschoolers did movement (with a fabulous woman who really ran with the whole Egypt theme--the kids went to the Nile, picked reeds to make papyrus, walked with a camel hump, hiked through the desert, were mummified, and of course built a pyramid), the toddlers did art, the pizza arrived on time, and a good time was had by, well, I think I can safely say, most. I'm sure there were a few dissatisfied kids in the group, because we are dealing with the two to four year old set. I completely overbought (no time for the Egyptian and train tattoos; did I really think a bunch of two year olds were going to paint wooden miniature trains? Um, well, actually I did, but luckily, Michael's has a great return policy...)

And then there's me. By focusing on the party I can forget that my baby Pie is two and my wee Doodlebug is now four. Today was Pie's last day at her daycare, as she transitions to Doodles's preschool, and I'm feeling rather sad about the affair. Oh, I'm very happy she's going to the preschool for a number of reasons: I love the program, it's way cheaper than a day care, it'll be easier to have both kids in the same place. But we've been at that daycare for four years now, and the teachers have really been there for us. Pie loves that place and every school morning, she runs to grab her lunch bag, give me and Doodles smooches, and lists off everyone she's about to go see. "See Cawol. See Mia. See Jeffwey. See Hewen." I know she'll get a new list of friends at her new school, but it'll take a while. The guilt, the guilt! Does the mommy guilt ever end? Sigh.

So birthdays are over and within the next twenty-four hours, all presents will have been opened and (hopefully) all thank yous will have been sent out, and we can say good-bye to Birthday '07. Which means there's only one thing left to do. Start planning the Hanukkah party....

Wednesday, August 22

Should We Start His Therapy Now?

I asked Doodles to make a card for his grandmother's birthday.He was happy to comply--the kids likes art (although Pie is obsessed with making pictures). He painted this card, and I said, "I love the bold use of colors!"

He replied, "Yeah. Do you know what it is?"

"No, I don't. Do you want to tell me?"

Doodles nodded vigorously. "It's a dead body." [Pause] "The inside of a dead body."

Of course. Note to Adam: Hide the kitchen knives.

Tuesday, August 21

Big Boys and Girls

I'm in birthday mode. Tomorrow, my big precious angel turns four. On Saturday, my not-so-big precious angel turns two. And I will be having nine preschoolers and six toddlers over on Sunday. You know, Sunday. The day for which scattered thunderstorms are being predicted. Not Monday, which will be sunny. Or Saturday, which is merely partly cloudy. But Sunday. Thunderstormy Sunday. Forty percent chance of precipiation Sunday (not that I'm compulsively checking No, not me! Not at all!). With ten preschoolers (including Doodles) doing movement and seven toddlers doing art. First I angsted over the guest list--I have so many friends whose kids I wanted to invite, yet their kids and my kids really don't play together regularly anymore (mostly because of different preschool schedules), so I decided to cut anyone from the list that my kids don't see and play with on a regular basis. Then, I angsted over the cakes. Am I really making both a train cake and a pyramid cake? (You know the answer: Yes.) And now it's the weather. I don't care if it's cloudy. It can even be cold. It just can't be actually raining or thundering during the actual party. Everyone, please do your anti-rain dances now!

And right now I'm supposed to be wrapping Doodles's gifts (mostly used things, I'm happy to report--kid's still too young to know the difference), but I'm avoiding the issue by figuring out Facebook. I blame my friend Amy for getting me into it, but now I'm obsessed with the fact that I only have 10 friends and Adam has 117 friends. You people like me better, right? RIGHT?

Anyway, as my children grow, so do their conversational skills. Here are the things on the minds of my children now:

Doodles: So we're going to buy Pie a present?
Me: Yes. You need to pick out a gift to give to Pie on her birthday.
Doodles: And she'll give me a present too?
Me: Yes. Pie will give you a birthday present too.
[In store]
Doodles: Oh, I want my present from Pie to be that! And I want that! That looks good! Oh, I found what I want! I want that! And that. [repeat for a solid twenty minutes]
Me: Doodles, you are turning into one Greedy Gus. No more. I don't want to hear a single "I want" from you again!
Doodles: Okay. [three seconds later] Oh, I want that! That! That! Oh, I have to have that!
Me: Enough!!
Doodles: Okay. [pause] If you want, you can tell me what you want to get me for my birthday.

Doodles: When I grow up, can I be a bad guy?
Me: Sure you can be a bad guy. What does a bad guy do?
Doodles: He kicks and pushes.
Me: Oh. Okay.
Doodles: When I grow up, I want to be a bad guy and live in alibbya.
Me: You want to live in Olivia?
Doodles: No! Alibbya.
Me: You mean Libya?
Doodles: Yes! Alibya!
Me: Why do you want to live in Libya?
Doodles: Because that's where the bad guys live!
Me: Who told you that?
Doodles: You did!
Me: I did? When?
Doodles: A long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long time ago.
Me: Oh.
Doodles: So can I be a bad guy and live in alibya?
Me: I don't see why not.
[Note: Adam reminds me that a bunch of months back, Doodles and I were looking at a map to see where Egypt is. He asked if he could go to Egypt and I gave him my pat answer of, "Sure! As soon as you start eating energy food, we can go anywhere you like!" But then he pointed to Libya and said, "Can we go here, too?" to which I responded, "No." When pressed why, I apparently said, "A bad guy lives there."]

Doodles: We need two babies.
Me: We already have two babies.
Doodles: We do?
M: Yes. We have a Doodles Baby and a Pie Baby.
D: No, we need another little baby. We need Pie and one more.
M: Why do we need another baby?
D: So I can take care of her.
M: What will you do to take care of her?
D: I'll sit her in my lap and sing to her.
M: You can do that with Pie.
D: No I can't. She's too big and she won't sit still.
M: That is true.
D: So we need two babies. I'll take care of the new baby and you take care of the old baby.
M: Who's the old baby?
D: [exasperated] Pie!
M: Oh. Is the new baby a boy or a girl.
D: A boy. And we're going to name him Pie, too. He'll be Baby Pie.
M: Sweetie, Mommy's all done having babies. But when you grow up, you can have a baby of your own to take care of.
D: I'll never have a baby of my own.
M: Why not?
D: Because the mommy I marry won't want to have any.

M: Pie, do you think maybe it's time to give up the Ming Ming?
P: Yes.
M: You have a birthday this week!
P: Yes!
M: How old are you going to be?
P: Two and a half!
M: Actually, two. And two is a big girl! Big girls don't need Ming Ming!
P: Don't need it.
M: We could cuddle instead. Or if you're hungry, you could have something to eat. Like a cheese stick.
P: Cheese stick?!
M: Yes! A cheese stick!
P: I want cheese stick.
M: Okay, sweetie, I'll get you one.
P: Cheese stick. After Ming Ming. Cheese stick.
M: Sweetie, let's say, Bye bye Ming Ming!
P: Bye, bye Ming Ming!
M: All done, Ming Ming!
P: All done, Ming Ming!
M: Okay, sweetie, let's get a snack.
P: Momma?
M: Yes, Pie?
P: Momma?
M: Yes?
P: Ming Ming! Peeeeeeeaase! Ming Ming now!

All right, off to wrap presents, pack goody bags, make a shopping list.... So tired. And the party isn't for another four days. Better go check the weather report again....

Wednesday, August 15

Out of the Mouths of Babes

I have a ton of work to do tonight and I haven't even had dinner, so my impulse was to skip blogging, but those two pieces of work have been too funny lately.

This afternoon, we were at the playground with Doodles's female friend, J. They were on the other side of the playground, and I saw Doodles start to pull at his pants. From across the way, I yelled, "No, no, no, no, no! Whatever it is you're doing, stop please!"

A few minutes later I was alone with Doodles.
Me: What were you doing with your pants?
Doodles: Pulling them off.
Me: Why?
Doodles: So I could show J. my p*enis.
Me: Why were you doing that?
Doodles: Because she asked to see it.
Me: Sweetie, if someone asks to see your p*enis, you just say, "No thank you."
Doodles: But I wanted to show it to her!
Me: Remember we talked about private parts? That's your private part.
Doodles: But why does it have to be private?
Me: Uhhhhh....

Tonight I took the kids to our local library where there was a showing of Singin' in the Rain. It went till past the kids' bedtimes, but I thought it would be a special treat. I didn't take into account that when the librarian turned on the TV, the loud static would startle Pie, causing her to go into such a tizzy that she had to be removed from the room. Luckily, Doodles's friend M. was there, so someone was there to watch him while I walked Pie as she sobbed, yelling, "Scary! Scary! Scary!" Even once the movie started, I couldn't get her to go back in (the mere sight of Gene Kelly's face would start the sobbing all over), so I called Adam to come pick her up. That turned out to be a mistake, as without her ming ming, the girl remained a sobbing mess until about five minutes ago (even with a late evening ming ming session upon my return home).

Anyway, Doodles was fairly enthralled, even in his exhaustion. There were lots of questions (including, "Mommy, why is it raining? Is he going to get in trouble for being in the street?") and comments. My favorite, though was during the scene in which Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor sing the song, "Moses." They tap dance throughout, and at one point, they leap up on a table to groove. Doodles leans over to M., and tells her in a concerned voice, "That's not safe!" When Kelly and O'Connor start dancing on the chairs, the whole room can hear Doodles stage whisper to M., "That's very dangerous." The two spent the rest of the movie critiquing the safety precautions of the actors.

Tap dancing: bad.
Genital exposing: good.
Mom banging head against wall: a now daily occurrence.

Wednesday, August 8


You don't need to go ask Alice; you can simply go ask Pie. That's right, my beautiful, smart, spunky daughter is destined to grow up and be a junkie. And her big brother isn't going to be too far behind her.

About three weeks or so, Pie came down with impetigo. The doctor prescribed a medicine, and told me, "Most kids don't like the taste of this one. You can always mix it in a teaspoon of strawberry jelly or something to help Pie get it all down."

Did we really need to worry about that? I don't think so. Because the minute Pie saw that luscious pink liquid, she couldn't get enough. About six times a day, Pie would beg me, "Medicine? Medicine? Medicine!!!" It replaced the cry for Ming Ming. (Side note: Pie was happily reading books in the arm chair in the living room yesterday morning, when she spotted me all showered after boot camp, coming down the stairs. She looked up, smiled, and said, "Oh, Ming Ming time!" She placed her books on the end table and patted the chair next to her. Do you think it's time to wean? Because I FREAKIN' do!)

Anyway, much distress was caused when Pie's rash went away and we were "all done medicine." Oh, how she missed her medicine. So much so, that I'm pretty sure that this is the conversation that must have ensued between Typhoid Pie and Doodles before the rash was completely gone.

Pie: You know, that medicine is really tasty.
Doodles: I wish I could have medicine!
Pie: I wish I could have medicine all the time!
Doodles: It looked really yummy.
Pie: Say, I have an idea. Here, rub your body all over my rash. Then you can get it too and you'll get medicine!
Doodles: What a great idea!
Pie: And maybe, then, you can give it back to me so I can have the medicine again.
Doodles: Absolutely! One good turn deserves another.

Yep. Pie gave her impetigo to Doodles last week. And Doodles has returned the favor in spades, giving not only Pie her impetigo back, but very kindly sharing it with me as well (the doctor looked at me like I was nuts when I asked if my antibiotics were going to be pink, too).

So now, we have a little chorus upon awakening in the morning: "Medicine, mom! Medicine! It's time for me and Pie to have our medicine!" "Medicine, medicine, medicine, medicine, medicine, medicine, medicine!"

Pie opens her little mouth like a baby seal and sucks every last drop out of the syringe and then licks her lips in satisfaction. Doodles drinks his down in gulps and says, "Medicine sure is yummy! I enjoyed that!"

Today, Keflex. Tomorrow, heroin. I'm sorry, Pie. I didn't mean to introduce you to your gateway drug.

Wednesday, August 1

Random Litany of Mom Complaints

And now to return to my regularly scheduled mom gripes: The Pie is a force to be reckoned with. At this age, Doodles was a sound sleeper. Pie is too... once she gets to sleep. We've returned to the crying for about a half hour or so every night. We've given up on the sock routine ("Sock! Sock! Dinosaur sock! No, no, no, bear socks! No, no, no, butterfly socks!") and just let her alternate her complains. "Socks! Blanket! Kitty! Blanket! Socks!" At this point Doodles was already in a bed (sorry, Pie, you're stuck in that crib till you're 12!), and we'd set him down and he'd drift right off. But that Pie. It kills me to listen to her every night but there's not a dang thing that can be done to appease her.

I'm making Doodles's birthday invitations and it's killing me that you can't see it. It's too funny! Definite blackmail material for when he's a teenager. Oh, this will so humiliate him some day.

I'm a bad mom for not encouraging my daughter to potty train. She's interested. She's pooped on the potty. She loves sitting there. But I so don't have the energy to go through potty training right now. Diapers are just way too easy.

Pie has a definite S/M thing going. She's absolutely infatuated with this younger boy (just turned one) who does nothing but pull her hair. Yesterday, this boy (who is Grape's little brother) was at the ice skating rink, as Doodles brought Grape to skate with him on "bring a friend to skate" day. Pie ran up to this boy (shall we call him Raisin?) and gave him a big smooch. He responded by pulling her hair... hard. Yet the minute she got on the ice, she was looking for him, waving at him, yelling, "Hi, Raisin! Hi!" Dear God, I hope she doesn't grow up to be one of those women who only like men who are mean to them.

Pie loves her new book Teeth Are Not for Biting. However, whenever we get to the line, "Ouch! Biting hurts!" Pie lets out this maniacal laugh. It's rather disturbing.

Pie's favorite things to say: "I don't like." "Want squeeze yogurt NOW!" "Where's Daddy? Where's Brother?" "Want apple NOW! No, pear! No, orange!" "Marker? Marker? Draw! Draw! No, other marker!"

I feel like my children had more to say/do this week, but for the life of me, I can't think what. So this is all for now. Maybe they'll be more interesting in the coming week.

Eight Things About Me

So Roni tagged me with a meme. I think this is actually the first time I've been tagged with one, and it is something I've actually been thinking about, because when I look at my blog, I feel so one-sided. There's so much about me none of you know and that I just don't blog about, but here's an excuse, as Roni put it, to blog about something other than poop. I'm cheating by not putting in the rules, as I was instructed, but that could be one of the things I say: I've never been good at following instructions.

Eight Obscure Things About Me:

  1. Between the ages of ten and fourteen I actually lived in Boulder, Colorado, although when people ask me where I'm from, I say without hesitation, "Miami Beach." (I spent ages three to ten in South Miami and fourteen to eighteen in Miami Beach, so even that is a simplified answer.) I made exactly one good friend there (hi, Karin!), and the rest of those years really, really sucked. Big time.
  2. I lost thirty pounds with Weight Watchers after Pie was born and for over a year, I've kept twenty-six of those pounds off.
  3. I ate peyote in the desert of New Mexico on a hot summer's night and all it really did was make everything look sharp and clear (I could see the details of the moon with my naked eye) and it made me incredibly nauseous.
  4. For the past five years I've been working on a novel and it's finally done. Finito. Believe it or not it has absolutely not a single thing to do with motherhood or poop. Time to try to get it published or stick it in my bottom drawer and move on to the next one. (Any agents or editors reading this, by any chance...?)
  5. When I was in my late twenties, I lived on a kibbutz for 6 1/2 months and the whole time, I wore someone else's old, dirty, yucky work boots as I worked in the kiwi fields. I'd be so tired at the end of the workday that I'd crash in my bed even though I was covered, head to toe, in dirt and I could never get the dusty, sandy feeling from my bed.
  6. I hate going to bed with the closet doors opened or the dresser drawers not closed all the way.
  7. I got a failure notice in 12th grade A.P. Bio that said, "If Jennifer spent a quarter as much time studying as she did talking to H.W. in class, she'd be getting an A in A.P. Biology. I ended up with a C. My younger sister had the same teacher the summer before in a gifted kids' science program, and all year, he'd look at me, shake his head, and say, "Are you sure you're the Tweedle Twirp's sister?"
  8. For years, as a preteen, I had a gigantic poster of Scott Baio pinned up on my corkboard (had to have corkboard because my mother forbid me from taping anything to our walls).

Oh, this was so much fun! Not writing about poop is good for the soul. I need to remember to do that more often.

Now, I order Carly, Alisa, and Jordana. And there I go again, breaking the rules, tagging fewer than eight people.