Nobody’s Perfect

Mocha cupcake. Hands off.

I don’t know why it came as such a surprise to them. It wasn’t new information. I know they haven’t been laboring under the illusion the Mom-is-a-saint illusion. That ship sailed long ago. So when that package of sweets arrived unexpectedly in our mailbox, why did it rock my kids’ world to be reminded of a great truth? Mom doesn’t share.

There, I said it. I don’t share. I never have. Okay, I do share sometimes, but apparently letting them share my body for nine months was soon forgotten. But I don’t share food. Not the good stuff.

Don’t look at me like that. I feed them. Daily. Several times. But when I am presented with a tasty morsel, some treat of which there is limited quantity, I go Cro-Magnon. I hide my kill and come back for it later. Bears don’t share, so why should I?

I don’t know why they thought this package was different. Before management jacked the price up 60%, I routinely bought a vegan brownie at Whole Foods once a week. I savored that tidbit all week long, dividing it into four pieces and treating myself at the end of a long day. The kids would tease me about it, pretending they were going to eat it themselves, but it was all in good fun. They never expected to have any of it for real. And they leave my chocolate cereal alone. It’s my new “brownie-isn’t-worth-the-money-but-I-need-something-sweet” treat. They leave that alone. Only if I have been a slacker and allowed us to run out of regular cereal do they expect to receive a bowlful. It’s my penance.

So why do they seem to think that these delightful little candies are up for grabs? Is it because they are Cadbury? Because they are individually wrapped? Because they are from England? Or is it just because they are mine? And they are. Mine! Mine! Mine!

Upon seeing the contents of the package, daughter threw puppy-dog eyes, middle son hugged me, and Squish, in his Pavlovian response to receiving treats for his dirty business, ran to the bathroom to poop. That’s nice, ya’ll but no. No. No. No. Mine.

I put the treats in a high cabinet as soon as I brought them in the house. Out of sight, but definitely not out of mind. My son said “You might want a surveillance camera just to keep an eye on them.” Does he really think they are staying there? I may be absent-minded, but I am not stupid. I put them in that cabinet to throw them off the trail. I have a series of secret places, and I will simply move my goodies from spot to spot until I have finished them. My dark chocolate and raspberry candies lived in my sock drawer. My brownie lived in the kids’ Halloween buckets. Ironically, they never look there. I have been known to tuck treats in an empty Tampax box, guaranteeing no male in the household will touch it. It’s like hiding Superman’s cookies in a kryptonite cabinet.

So where to put these little morsels? Yeah, right. Like I’m telling. I. Don’t. Share.

Parenting Dilemma #432

Imma cook sumfin yummy for you.

Kids don’t come with manuals, and situations for which there are no set rules pop up with some frequency. As a favor to you, I am here to give you a leg up on your own parenting by sharing some potential dilemmas. This provides you an opportunity to discuss with your co-parent/mother/therapist ways in which you might handle the same incidents should they ever happen to you. Thank me later. Believe me, you will want to.

Situation #432- Unsolicited Sharing.

Smallest son approaches you with finger outstretched. On said finger, you find the bounty of his most recent (oh, dear Lord, you hope!) nostril-mining expedition. And he is offering to share it with you. Do you:

a) Scream loudly, remove the prize with a tissue and bathe both child and yourself in Listerine

b) Admonish your child to never, ever, ever pick his nose again, that’s disgusting!

c) Recognize that your child is very, very generously offering you a treat he was planning to eat himself and thank him, while quietly removing offending nugget with a tissue.

d)) Pretend you don’t understand what he is saying and offer some fun-bubbles and a good hand-wash

e) Crawl under the bed and hide, hoping beyond hope that he doesn’t wipe it on the new curtains

There is only one wrong choice, and the very thought of it gives me the screaming willies. I couldn’t bring myself to even offer it as an option. So what do you do? Don’t even bother to check Dr.Spock or the Baby Whisperer, because they have neglected to cover this particular situation. Discuss and get back to me.

I’m Petty Like That

Babies are so cute when they are sleeping

It began this morning with an innocent chat in the bathroom as we were both getting ready. I was rescuing the deodorant from Squish and moving it to higher ground when my husband said it. As he casually trimmed his beard, he asked “Did you get me any deodorant when you went to the store?  WHAT? And that’s when I knew. He didn’t actually read yesterday’s blog. I know.

Marriage is about forgiving the little things. It’s about accepting one another’s flaws. It’s about knowing each other’s fears and insecurities so well that retribution is swift. And here’s how it goes.

My husband knew I was babysitting today. A precious little one year old. Cute. SO cute. Like, the Gerber baby meets Snuggle the bear kind of cute. Any time I come in to contact with one of those dimpled darlings in diapers, his worst fear is that I’m going to want another one. No matter how often I try to assure him that this shop is closed. And for this, I am grateful.

I have decided to encode each blog with a secret word. For each day that he does not greet me at the door with the day’s secret word, I will pretend I’ve got the itch for an infant. Baby fever. That babies are like potato chips, and I’m craving another. That my life is empty and has no meaning without another little one to love.

Too mean? Maybe. And today’s secret word is “Chickpea.” Game on.

Things That I Probably Should Care About But Don’t

On the wrong feet, of course. But I did get him to put some pants on. I call that a win.

1) Small son eating cereal with the ladle that came with his pizza kitchen

2) Both sons arguing over who gets to wear my bra. I should care that they won’t share.

3) The cat just drank out of the pot where I am soaking my beans. Bad cat. Whatever.

4) Squish is stealing tic-tacs from my purse.

5) 9 year old has taken to wearing his school clothes to bed, shoes included. Makes for a quick getaway in the morning. That 30 seconds he’d have spent tying his shoes is time saved.

6) Smallest wants to wear his galoshes everywhere.

7) Squish just announced “I Nakeeeee!” having removed everything BUT the boots.

8 ) There are finger marks in the frosting on my older son’s birthday cupcakes. Oh, well. I think I have time to make more.

9) Squish wants said cupcakes for breakfast. Come to think of it, I do, too. See you tomorrow.

Do Me a Solid

This has absolutely nothing to do with my post, but I like this picture.

Some people use horoscopes to predict their day. Others check to see what kind of stuff they have in their schedule to get a sense of how things are going to go. For me, it’s much more simple than star charts and Franklin planners. My day hinges on poop.

Not my own, let’s be clear. Although at my age, who can deny that a good one can be a very satisfying start to the day. No, it’s more serious than that because it is totally out of my control.I am, of course, referring to Mr. Squish.

My day is always better if I can get my work done early in the day. Once I hit “save,” I am free, and it’s a glorious feeling. My ideal schedule is to get my work finished, take Squish somewhere fun to play, come home for lunch, and start on my second project while he takes a nap. Sounds easy, right? And it totally can be, but it’s all up to Squish.

I cannot work when he is running around. I find myself stopping every 5.3 seconds to pull him off the couch/cat/counter, and it’s hard to concentrate. If I can get him to sit still for 30 minutes, I get on a roll, the creative juices can flow, and I can at least get enough traction that I can finish my work after I spring him. And that means Bob the Builder. I know. I am a terrible parent. I let my kid watch a bit of TV. <insert judgement of my parenting here>

But here’s the rub. In our house, there is no access to the wonders of a claymation construction worker until tiny person produces a poop.  And not just any poop. It has to at least appear to be the day’s work. Can we do it? Yes, we can!

Our rule is not as weird as it sounds. My young toilet-trainee had lots of accidents while watching his show because he found Bob too riveting to answer the call of nature. Since the institution of the poop-for-Bob policy, Squish has had 2 accidents. It works, and we’re sticking with it until it doesn’t anymore. May that day never come.

The tricky part is getting it done. Most days, he’s like clock-work. He gets up, he asks to potty, he poops out a present, and my work can begin. But then there are the days where he doesn’t want to, where he isn’t, um, moved by the spirit. Those days are special. He offers a non-committal shrug and says “It not workin’ today.” Those days go something like this:

“Do you want to go poop?”

“Naw. I fine.”

“Go play for a few minutes while Mommy does her workies.”

“Mommy, my scooper is broken!” (accompanied by dramatic wailing)

“Baby, that’s a puzzle. It’s supposed to come apart. Let Mommy finish this really fast”

“Is my room clean? I cleaning my room.”

“Squish, that’s the closet. Get out of there! Do you need to go poop? Poop for Bob?”

“No. No poop today. Dis Daddy’s coffee?”

“Don’t drink that!”

“I hungwy. Need brekfuss.”

“Sweetie, you just ate. Are you sure you don’t need to poop? Watch some Bob?”

“No, I fine. I gonna feed Feebee.”

“I already fed the dog, pumpkin. Give me that. She can’t eat all of those!”

“I frow dis away. Dis trash.”

“Baby, that’s my checkbook. Get out of my purse, and get that out of the trash!”

And on it goes until:

a) Squish gives up and produces a dook, or

b) I give up on my deadline and take Squish somewhere to burn off some energy so that maybe he’ll actually take a nap.

Today we were lucky. It’s only 9am, and it’s all taken care of on both ends. We’re going to pack up and go to the zoo to celebrate. It’s been a productive day. For both of us.