Tuesday, 31 May 2011

The Funniest Things My Kids Can't Say

As anyone who lived with a toddler (or watched a certain television show starring Bill Cosby or Art Linkletter) can tell you, kids say the darndest things.  From repeating things they shouldn't, to saying things out of context, to their cute little lisps, we all take note, laugh at and show off to our friends the cute things our kids say.  Well, today it's my turn.
It was just in the last few weeks that Simba began to say words at all – so far he has mastered “dye-dye” (bye-bye), “dat” (that), “nan-nan” (banana) and “aaaaaaahhhhh” (this is how he says everything else).   Since none of these is particularly hilarious, I will instead be chronicling Princes verbal foibles for you.  Keep in mind that he is 3 now  therefore has a tendency to screw up whole sentences.  So, with this in mind, here is my list of the Funniest Things My Kids Can’t Say: 
The Prince Edition:
The letter ‘R’(Comes out as W) –  I don’t know what it is about the letter ‘R’ that is so difficult for Prince, but for some reason they all still come out as ‘W.’  Maybe it has to do with the fact that I have been speaking to his little brother in baby speak for the past 1.5 years, or maybe he is somehow related to Elmer Fudd or the old priest in the Princess Bride.  But whatever the weason, it is weally, weally cute.  At least for now.  If he is still doing it at thirty, we may have a problem.
 Quotes (He repeats them in the wrong context) – Currently Prince is addicted to Toy Story 3.  Like seriously addicted.  He alternates between pretending to be Buzz, Woody & Jessie and is frequently shouting random lines from the movie like “Buzz Lightyear to the wescue!”, “Hey Hee Hooo!”or “To ‘finity and beyond!” (I know these are not exact quotes but this is how prince says it).  Although this has gotten me a few odd looks at the grocery store I really didn’t see it as a problem – just another cute thing to explain to random strangers.
“Stay out my butt!” however, was a bit harder to explain.  For those of you who have not had the pleasure of watching Toy Story 3 as many times as I have  4,872,593 times let me explain.  While the credits play at the end of the movie, there are some short clips to amuse the kids.  One such clip involves some small toys getting inside Mr. Potato Head and pushing out his pieces from the inside.  To which Mr. Potato Head says (you guessed it) “Stay out of my butt!”  Whoever wrote this clip really needs to send my mother-in-law an apology because she just about choked on her peanuts when Prince randomly screamed this out at the top of his lungs during our last visit.  And damnit, she was just starting to like me.
Lies (He always tells it like is) – As adults we are really good at sugar coating things.  You know what I mean.  Like when your crazy aunt shows up at your door with her wig on backwards and her rabid cat under her arm, you say “Oh Aunty Sue!  So good to see you!  Come on in!  I see you have a new hairdo – how modern!  What a nice kitty!” Yet secretly you are coming up with some bogus gynaecological emergency so you can get the hell out of there, because you would rather have someone shove a speculum between your legs than hang out with her. 
Three year olds however, have no trouble telling it like it is.  When my dad visited us recently, he wasn’t in the door 10 minutes when Prince came out with “Pa, you have a WEALLY big belly!”  And just last week at the park he told me “Mommy you has a booger in you nose.”  So if you ever need an honest opinion as to whether or not you look fat in your new dress don’t ask your husband – just ask the nearest three-year-old.
Fajitas (Faateetahs) – Ok, so it is actually my Grandma who can’t say this.  Prince can actually say this perfectly, but for some reason, even if I break it down for my grandma she still cannot pronounce it.  Maybe it is because she is halfway to deaf, or simply because the only other language she speaks is pig latin, but this just ain’t happening.  Let’s just hope she never goes to Mexico.
So, let’s review what we have learned today – 1) Kids are not the only ones who mispronounce stuff, 2) Disney is to blame for the estrangement between me and my in-laws and 3) if 3yr olds could enter politics we might finally get some straight answers from our government.  Who says reading blogs is a waste of time?

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Letters to Random Celebrities

So far in my life I have not had the pleasure of actually meeting a celebrity.  Sure, I have seen some celebrities at a distance and spent way too much time reading about them on Perezhilton.com, but I have yet to actually talk to one.  So I figure that now is my chance.  For those of you who have been paying attention, one of our recent posts got a comment from a K. Ripa.  Ok, I know, the chances of this K. Ripa being the actual Kelly Ripa are minuscule, but a girl can dream right?  It made me realize that this is my chance to tell some celebrities the random thoughts I have had about them throughout the years, so here goes:
To Boston Rob of Survivor:
I am soooooooo FREAKING glad that you finally won Survivor!  I became your devoted fan back in the day when you first played with Amber, and not only did you impress me with your mad survivor skills, but you totally won over my heart with the way you stuck by Amber throughout the game.  I don’t care what the other players say about you, I can tell that under all that schemingly brilliant manipulativeness you are truly a good guy.  I have actually had a feud with Survivor ever since you lost the second time; I refused to watch the show again until they acknowledged that you were the best Survivor ever.  Now I am finally free to watch survivor again, so thank you.
Also, if you wouldn’t mind passing this on to Amber, I wanted to tell her that I always thought that she was pretty awesome too.  You are truly a lucky guy to have a girl like her.  I don’t know if I would be okay with my hubby disappearing for over a month to play a game while I was stuck home alone on perma- babysitting duty.   I think she deserves another million just for doing that.   When my husband recently switched jobs and made us move across the country, I had the experience of having to take care of two little kids on my own for a month, and personally I think that is much harder than lying on your ass on a deserted island for 31 days.  My advice to you is to buy her something really sparkly to say thank you.
To Kate Middleton, New Duchess of Cambridge:
I admit that when I first heard you were marrying Prince William I hated you a little.  I was totally one of those girls who had his picture plastered on my bedroom walls as a teenager.  Even though I have long ago found my own prince, and am happily married with two kids, it still stung a little.  But after the initial shock wore off and I learned every miniscule detail of your life from the shitload of TV specials that we were all bombarded with, I have determined that you are worthy of the Prince. 
Overall, I am very impressed with you.  You seem very down to earth, yet very mature, and most importantly of all, have kick-ass fashion sense.  Your wedding was so awe-inspiring and beautiful that I am really glad that I am already married, because if I wasn’t I would want my wedding to be like yours.   I would expect people to line the streets to see me in my gown, and I would want to sell souvenirs of my wedding day like you did – Even now I could go for a brand of condoms with Edward’s and my pictures on it.  But considering we have two kids at this point, I don’t think they would be big sellers.  
To Kelly Ripa:
Last year I had the pleasure of seeing one of your shows live.  Your kids were at the taping and I have to say, from one mom to another, how impressed I was with how you took care of your kids.  The show was being taped outside and it was ridiculously hot that day (my grandma who had come with me to the show actually fainted while waiting in line) and during the commercial breaks you would give your kids water and rub them down with extra sunscreen.  It was so sweet.  I often picture celebrity mom’s as being not very hands on, leaving their kids with nannies instead of taking care of them.  I was very glad to be proven wrong in your case.  Oh, I almost forgot.  Could you let me know if you ever got the package of potato fudge that I gave to your stage hands?  I told them it was for you and Regis, but seeing as you have never mentioned the awesomeness that was my fudge I just wanted to make sure that the backstage help didn’t eat it all themselves.
If you are still looking for a Regis replacement, give me a call.


P.S – if the K. Ripa who left the comment is out there and is not actually Kelly Ripa, please don’t crush my dream by telling me so.  And to all our fans reading this, please know that I totally love you for taking the time to read what me and Alice work so hard on.  Please feel free to write us your own random letters anytime.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

TIWIK - Before Travelling with Kids

So for some reason that I cannot recall at the moment, I spent the majority of this past long weekend dragging my kids halfway across the country.  ALONE.  As in just me and my kids.  And for some strange reason, I thought this would be FUN.  I can honestly tell you that, what with the temper tantrums on the floor in the middle of the airport and having to change poopy diapers in an airplane bathroom during some intense turbulence, I did not encounter fun of any kind during my travels.  However, it did help me compile a list of Things I Wish I Knew Before Travelling with Kids:

1.  Don’t wear anything that you wouldn’t want to get puke on – I remember the days when I always tried to look especially good to go to the airport because there was a slightly higher chance of meeting (or being mistaken for) a celebrity there.  With kids however, I have come to realize that no matter what I wear I will always arrive at my destination looking like a mud-slide survivor who got stuck in a tornado.  This last time when I got off the plane and the people waiting to get on the plane saw me, one of the older ladies actually went up to the stewardess and asked if the plane had acquired any holes in the roof on route, complete with a head jerk in my direction.  Yes, I looked that bad.
I swear it is not my fault.  I am not an incompetent mother who just lets their kids scream and run wild on the plane while I sit back and watch a movie and drink complimentary alcoholic beverages to block out the screaming (though that does sound tempting).  Surprisingly, my kids actual kept the screaming to a minimum this trip (at least compared to the other kids on board).  The reason I end up in such a mess is mainly due to two facts:  (a) trying to keep Simba in one spot for two hours is the physical equivalent of wrestling with an alligator, and (b) the best way to keep Simba still, and not have him scream so much that people start pelting me with their salted peanuts, is to feed him.  However, at some point he starts to get full and then he literally will mush the food around in his mouth, spit it out and play with it.  And the sad part is, if this keeps him quiet I will let him do it.
And yes, on top of all this mess came the puke.  It wasn't bad puke - just the "I am crying so hard I am going to gag and throw up a little" kind of puke.  When we were coming in for the landing and Simba’s ears started to pop he freaked out a bit.  Ok, alot.  And after the description above of how I kept him quiet you can imagine the results.  Luckily, I had learned a lesson before when I flew with Prince to always keep the airsick bags handy and open, so I caught most of it in that.  Most.  My pants caught the rest.
2.  Always accept help - even when it isn’t offered – If it wasn’t for the kindness of strangers my hair would be completely gray by now.  The first time I flew with kids, I don’t know what I was thinking.  I had two 50 pound bags of luggage, a carry-on suitcase, a stroller, two car seats, a purse and two children that I had to somehow move all at the same time.  This wasn’t too bad when I was leaving and had family to help me get the luggage checked in, but when I arrived at my destination and realized I had to get it all out to the curb on my own, I had whatever the opposite of a ‘lightbulb moment’ is –let’s call it an ‘ah fuck’ moment.  Thankfully, an amazingly-awesome fellow mom took pity on me and she and her kids helped me haul our shitload of crap out to the car. 
On this trip though, it was the men’s turn to help out.  Sitting behind us were a couple of Dads who were kind enough to play peek-a-boo with Simba for half of the trip to help entertain him.  And the poor guy who got stuck sitting next to us, he did so amazing.  I could tell that he did not have much experience with kids, but despite the screaming, crying and flying food, he was still kind enough to help Prince do up his seatbelt when he tried to escape when during take-off.  Plus, he didn’t say a word when Simba climbed onto his lap, stood up and attempted to pull the hair of the passenger in front of him.  So to all of you amazing peeps out there who saved me some gray hairs – thank you.  And to everyone else, please follow the example of these amazing people and don’t just roll your eyes and comment loudly about how annoying crying babies are – get off your ass and play some damn peek-a-boo. 
3.  Just don’t do it! – If you don’t absolutely HAVE to travel with young children, just don’t do it!  It is always better to get your relatives/friends/business associates to come to you instead.  If they do not understand why it is so much easier for them to travel than it is for you, just send them this post. 
If for some reason you are stuck travelling with kids, whether it be due to a massive brain fart like me or other unfortunate circumstances, here are a few other important tips I have learned the hard way:
- Always bring every kind of medicine your kid could possibly need and put it in your carry-on;
-A laptop and some DVD’s can be a lifesaver on a plane, in an airport, or at a restaurant;
-Have patience with the security officers at the airport when you are trying to take baby food or formula on a plane – they are just doing their job;
-Only attempt to change a diaper in your seat on a plane if you are sure your baby did not go number two;
-Always bring/buy extra snacks for your kids in case the plane is delayed or stuck on the runway;
-Avoid taking car seats with you if you can– it is a pain in the behind and they often get broken.
Hopefully these tips will help you avoid some of the crappy travel experiences I have had.  Personally, I am going to print this off right now, as I fear Mommybrain will render me incapable of remembering it all.  And, damn it, I am going to need it soon because I still have to fly back home. 

Thursday, 19 May 2011

It’s My Party and I’ll Cry if I Want To

When I was a kid I hated birthdays.  Or maybe I just expected too much of them.  Either way, I would inevitably spend some part of my birthday crying myself stupid.   Yeah, I am pretty sure that part of the problem was that I am an only child and my parents made a big deal out of birthdays in general and me in particular, which tends to give a person an inflated idea of their own importance.  But I really did have some crappy birthdays. 
One year, my parents arranged for us to take a bunch of kids from my class to the new sports complex in our neighbourhood.  It had just opened a few months before and was the ‘coolest’ place to have a birthday.  My friends were so excited – one girl in particular who I really wanted to be better friends with was super psyched about it.   I was ecstatic – this was my chance to seriously up my social standing (the third grade social hierarchy is brutal).  The big day arrived, all my friends had gathered at my house before going to the pool.  Right before leaving, my mom calls the pool to figure out where to drop off the cake – and disaster strikes.  They were very sorry to inform us that the pool was actually closed for cleaning this week – they must have made a mistake with the booking.  And with that, my chance for advancing my social position flew right out the door.  Literally.  In tears.  I haven’t heard from her since.
Sure, this isn’t all that bad – there are plenty of worse ways to spend a birthday.  But to a seven year old, this was a traumatic experience.   And the rest of my birthdays tended to follow suit – big build up, followed by bigger disappointment.  So ever since I’ve been in charge of birthday planning for my own kids, the stress has been overwhelming.  I don’t want them to turn into birthday-phobics like me, and I don’t want to turn into one of those crazy moms on Party Mamas . However, after the fiascos we have had with this year’s birthdays, one or both may be inevitable.
The day before Simba’s first birthday my husband got violently ill.  I’m talking can’t leave the toilet because you are projectile puking so you end up sleeping in the bathtub sick.  Then, while attempting to make a cake from scratch I somehow managed to blow up my mixer.  Well, ‘blow up’ might be a bit harsh – ‘tried to mix a hardened up clump of caramel into submission and failed in the attempt’ would probably be more accurate.  To top it all off, our scheduled activity for the big day was – you guessed it – swimming.  You’d think I would have learned something, eh?  After a long night in the bathtub, my husband, who had lost about five pounds but had kept down his breakfast, sucked up his pain and packed us up in the car for swimming.  But upon arriving at the pool – guess what?  Closed for swim meet. 
Less than two months later came Prince’s birthday, which fell on Easter Sunday this year.  Because of that it was nearly impossible to get anyone together for a party on his birthday, so we settled for an early party the day before.   You should all now be familiar with my post Things I Wish I Knew My Kids Wouldn’t Do Before I Asked Them -  Well, you can add Let You Sing Them Happy Birthday to that list.  I don’t know if it was because he was still adjusting to the whole no nap thing at the time or if it was just one of those inexplicable moments of payback for making him eat broccoli, but when I brought out the cake that he had been so excited about the day before and we started singing “Happy Birthday” Prince freaked out and started screaming and crying and rolling on the floor.  I tried to laugh it off considering that the friends we had over we had only known for all of a few months and I was trying to make a good impression.  So we sang happy birthday loud enough to drown out the screaming and then we ate cake.   And wouldn’t you know it, the next day we couldn’t get Prince to let us stop singing happy birthday to him.  It was all ‘again – again!’  WTF?
I am not sure why the Birthday Gods have it in for me.  Maybe it’s payback for the year I found all my presents and opened them before my birthday, but damn it, I was only five.  Haven’t I been punished enough?  Apparently not.  And damn it all, my birthday is coming up next.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

I'm a Barbie Girl

Considering that I am a mom of two boys, you may find it ironic to know that at heart I am a total Barbie Girl.  Ok, so due to my ‘profession’ I do spend an inordinate amount of time in my pyjamas, without makeup, and with eyebrows that would make Bert from Sesame Street proud.  But if you saw me outside the house you would never know that I could go a whole day without brushing my hair. 
My best friend Bridget is mostly to blame for this, though What Not to Wear deserves some of the credit too.  When we were in Grade 7 Bridget became my official Wardrobe Consultant (because I desperately needed one) and she taught me that anytime you leave the house you run the risk of bumping into Mr. Right so you had better be prepared.  Nowadays, since I have found my Mr. Right (who I bumped into while locked out of my apartment and wearing pyjamas by the way) the philosophy is just so ingrained that I can`t shake it. 
But wait, that is not all.  While the above may be familiar to some of you other Barbie Girls out there, I am pretty sure that not many others went to the extreme of doing their own photo shoots.  Yes, that is plural.  I swear this is true and I still have the pictures to back it up.  Bridget and I were all of 13 or 14 when we decided we needed to do our own fashion photo shoot because we were so awesome.  We hung up a bed sheet in the hallway at my parent’s house and posed with plastic lawn chairs and fake flowers.  And the worst part is we totally thought we were cool.   No, actually, after second thought, the worst part is that we totally did another photo shoot just last Christmas.  Unlike Alice, I am obviously not becoming an adult - in fact, I may be regressing.
In addition to being a fashion diva I also have the other main quality associated with Barbie Girls – I am completely hopeless with cars.  Not only did Edward and I have to make sure that the last vehicle we bought had an attached gas cap because I kept forgetting the gas cap at the gas station, but our next vehicle is going to have to have those camera thingies for when you are reversing, so I don’t continue to back our car into our snow blower.  And that is not all.  I recently borrowed Edward’s car, left the lights on and drained the battery.  Luckily he went to get something from his car later that night and noticed my mistake so we had the joy of trying to jump start his car at one in the morning.   All things considered I was very impressed that he kept the swear words to a minimum.  At least I didn’t electrocute him by putting the jumper cables on backward. 
In my defence, the above Barbie Girl qualities have in no way impeded me in my quest to be a great mom.  Ok, so I may spend an extra five minutes picking out something to wear and putting on some makeup.  But if I didn't, you all would have to look at my mismatched outfits and the scariness that is me without makeup and wonder why I stopped taking my meds.  Really, I'm just doing YOU a favour.  But seriously, I figure if I look nice in public it just shows that I take pride in myself, which is something I would like my kids to do.  As for the car thing, I am slowly learning - I actually took the car for an oil change all by myself.  I figure as long as my kids see me making an effort and trying my best that is what matters. 
Unfortunately, there is one quality that I haven’t mentioned yet that is common to most Barbie Girls and has recently interfered with my ability to look like a competent adult.  I was on a play date last week with some friends and we were in one of their basements.  There was a little kitchen there and Prince loves pretending to make me food and serve it to me, so when he passed me a pretend cup of tea, I thought nothing of it and began to bring it towards my mouth as if I was going to drink it.  It was only when the said cup was about an inch away from my face that I noticed the huge creepy crawly thing with about a gazillion legs that was crawling around in said cup.  Did I manage to calmly walk out of the room and dispose of the bug elsewhere?  Hells to the NO.  In true Barbie Girl fashion I screamed my most blood-curdling scream and hurled the cup across the room without even checking if I was going to hit a child with it.  I didn’t, but still.  I really need to work on that one.   Luckily, since my kids are both boys they seem to have been born with the inability to be scared of bugs, so they will probably end up being the bug catchers of the family anyway.  As long as they don`t start putting bugs in my bed for a laugh, I`ll be okay.
So to all the other Barbie Girls out there, you have no reason to be ashamed.  I am a Barbie Girl and I am proud of it, even if it can be a little embarrassing at times.   And to all those Barbie Girl haters out there, stop being Judgy McJudgersons and embrace the awesomeness that is us. 
Come on Barbie let`s go party, O-oh! O-oh!   Oh, I'm having so much fun!

Saturday, 14 May 2011

TIWIK - My Kids Wouldn't Do Before I Asked Them

If you can’t handle embarrassment, don’t become a parent.  In the non-existent job description of a mom, handling embarrassment is right up there with changing diapers.  Right from birth your kids are experts at embarrassing you.  Ok, maybe you are too busy when you are pushing them out of your you-who to be embarrassed about the fact that at least ten different people are staring at your hairy neither regions, but trust me, it will hit you later.  And to some extent, this embarrassment factor is to be expected.  You know that after you have a baby you run a high risk of showing up to a social event with baby puke on your shoulder or leaky nipple stains on your chest.  But the part that is the worst is when you step right into it all on your own – like when you stupidly ask your kids to do something in front of other people and actually expect them to do it.  So in order to hopefully spare you some of these embarrassments, I have compiled a short list of things NOT to ask your kids to do in public.
1.  To say “Thank You”:  There should be some kind of law stating that manners are not required until kids go to school.  Otherwise, you are just asking for trouble.  Just because a kid can talk doesn’t mean that they understand everything yet.  Imagine if someone told you that you had to say ‘snikerdoodle’ every time someone touches their nose.  Would you remember to do it, assuming you have the typical toddler attention span of Dory from Finding Nemo?  Personally, I am not sure I would believe that the person who told me to do it wasn’t just trying to embarrass me or get a cheap laugh out of their friends (you know you do that to your kids – make them say some cute phrase, or in Alice’s case, swear words – in front of your friends just to get a giggle).  How are they supposed to know the difference?  But we continue to try and get them to say it because we want to look like responsible parents, even though 9 times out of 10 our little one will respond by throwing a tantrum complete with stomping of feet and emphatic shrieks of “NOOOOOOO!”  Does this really make us look better than simply saying thank you on behalf of our child?  I don’t think so.  So save yourself some embarrassment next time and just say thank you yourself.  Remember, kids are like parrots in training – they will eventually catch on and start repeating everything you say anyway.  So as long as you have manners and use them, eventually it will rub off on your kids.
2.  Talk on the phone:  If your child is able to talk and not yet in school do not let them within 10 feet of a phone, and not just because they will probably try to call China.  First, the typical toddler has more mood swings than Elvis during his fat years.   One minute they’re beating you about the head with Pooh Bear, trying to get you to let them talk on the phone and the next they act like you are holding a rectal thermometer if you bring the phone anywhere near them.  And while all this is taking place, the person on the other end of the line thinks that you are either lying about them wanting to talk or dissuading them from doing so.  Either way, you are probably out of the will.  
Secondly, if any of you have had the pleasure of speaking to a young child on the phone then you know that it is about as much fun as having your bikini hair removed by tweezing.  You sit on the phone wracking your brain to try and remember the names of the characters on Sesame Street in order to find something to talk about.  Then you have to pretend to be excited when they tell you they pooped in the potty today.   Worst of all, you always end up talking in that voice that is usually reserved for cute puppies and kinky foreplay, and thanks to the invention of speaker phone, all the adults on the other end of the line are listening and laughing at how ridiculous you sound.   While at first this may seem like a reason to let your little one run up the long distance minutes just so you can get a laugh at the expense of your friends and family, be careful.  As Art Linkletter would say, Kids say the darndest things, and you don’t want it to slip out that your kid caught you and daddy ‘wrestling’ in bed last night.  
3.  Keep their clothes on:  Apparently, Simba is allergic to shoes.  And hats.  And pants.  The bottom line is, if he can get it off it is coming off, and he doesn’t care where he is at when he does it.  Last week in church, in front of complete strangers, I caught myself telling him to keep his shoes on.  He lasted for all of 12 seconds before they were on the floor and I had to go pew diving once again to retrieve them.   Then in comes Team Judgement, silently judging me with their shifty eyes and raised eyebrows for (a) talking out loud to a one-year old as if he actually understood or cared what I am telling him and (b) for caving and not doing anything in retaliation after being disobeyed.  Had I had the insight to say afterwards “Now you will not get your shoes back because you threw them” or something that made it sound like I was actually in control of the situation instead of being played by a baby, it might have been less embarrassing.  But instead I just bribed him with food so he would stop attempting to tear up the hymnal and went back to pretending that I was actually able to pay some attention to the service.
Despite all of this, I will still continue to step into embarrassment by asking my kids to do all of the above things.  You know why?  Because when it actually works, it is so awesome.  It is worth every bit of embarrassment you have racked up in the past when you ask your little one to say thank you and they actually do it!  Who cares if people think I’m a pushover, or that I let my kids run around naked like wild animals at home because they can’t keep their clothes on in public?  I will gladly take that kind of embarrassment over leaky nipples any day.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Helpless Husband Syndrome

Is your man unable to find something that is right in front of him without your help?  Is he so prone to distraction that it is affecting his aim in the bathroom?  Has he developed an allergy to housework?  If so, he may be suffering from Helpless Husband Syndrome (HHS). 
My husband Edward has an extreme case of HHS.  Once upon a time he was a normal, self-sufficient young man who was able to feed himself and make his bed.  But as the wedding ring went on and the kids popped out, his ability to do seemingly simple things slipped away.  Keys began disappearing.  He lost the ability to wash dishes.  And the weirdest thing of all – his clothes suddenly refused to go into the laundry basket!  While I am sure that there are many of you who can relate to these common symptoms of HHS, you will soon see why I think my husband is a cut above.
Just a few weeks ago, when switching over the laundry, I encountered what at the time appeared to be either a slimy black alien carcass complete with oozing goo, or a hairless dead rodent.  However, after I finished hysterically screaming and washing my hands with laundry detergent, I was able to inspect it a bit further and I realized that it was actually a rotten banana.  For those of you who have not had the pleasure of finding a washed rotten banana in your washer, let me assure you that it is only marginally better than finding the unwashed variety.  Turns out, Edward had put his man-purse in the wash because he thought it had a funny smell.  Apparently, bananas are really good at hiding ‘cause he claims he searched the bag before putting it in the wash.  This was either a genius move to get banned from doing laundry or the worst case of HHS on record.
While there are probably not too many other husbands who prefer to wash their fruit in the laundry, there are many other examples of his behaviour that may be a bit more familiar to all you wives out there.  My husband has always needed some help in the fashion department.  From the beginning of our relationship I would take him shopping and help him pick out clothes.  I wrongfully assumed that he would eventually catch on and be able to dress himself.  In reality, my actions have apparently just made him think that he does not require any fashion sense because I have enough for both of us.  Now, anytime my husband attempts to dress himself, or the kids, they all end up looking like cast-offs from the circus. Correction – pantless cast-offs from the circus. 
For all of you who are trying to determine whether or not your man has the beginnings of HHS, the classic example is, of course, not waking up when the kids start screaming more than Macauly Caulkin in  Home Alone at three in the morning.  And while this is certainly the case with Edward as well, he (as always) likes to take things to the extreme.  As you should know by now, recently Prince went through a phase where he would get up 3 or 4 or 15 times throughout the night and wake everyone up.  After about 12 days of sleepless nights I gave up and went to sleep in the basement, where our son would not find me, and left Eddie to handle the night time festivities.  In the morning what did I find?  Not only had my husband been oblivious to the screaming and stomping, he was also unaware of the fact that Prince had climbed into bed with him and stayed there THE WHOLE NIGHT.  And I know for a fact that Prince hops around in bed more than a Starbucks- addicted kangaroo.  Apparently there is an upside to being blissfully ignorant – you sleep like the dead. 
There is currently no cure for HHS.  The only tested techniques for reversing HHS were discovered by Kate Gosselin and include a barrage of ceaseless nagging and constant complaining.  However, in her case, while the techniques got rid of HHS, it also got rid of the husband.   So for now we have resigned ourselves to a life filled with empty toilet paper rolls and half-completed swing sets.  On the upside, it will never be boring.  On the downside, I have now developed an aversion to bananas.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

I Need My Bitches To Fix My Brain

If you are a mom, know a mom, or watch any television at all, I am sure you have heard of Mommybrain – that elusive ailment that affects your ability to remember (and therefore avoid) the excruciating pain of labour, inhibits your ability to recall why you just entered your kitchen on some random errand and causes you to forget that there is such a thing as makeup, tweezers and razors.  As women, we hear the warnings about this condition from other moms and are therefore fairly well informed about it before we choose to shove our little bundles of joy out of our va-jay-jays.  What we are never told is the fact that if you have a second child you get Mommybrain² - Mommybrain to the second power or Mommybrain squared.
Apparently, Mommybrain becomes exponentially stronger with each child, which explains why I can now only speak baby talk - last week I asked the cashier at the grocery store if they took “Amewican Expwess.”  I honestly don’t know how moms with more than two kids can still walk upright – I guess that explains Kate Gosselin. 
I recently discovered the exponential power of Mommybrain when I tried to wean Simba off of bottles.  I know that at some point I managed to get Prince off of bottles but I have no idea how I did it.  That period of time has been completely wiped out by my Mommybrain.  I know that there must be some evolutionary reason for this condition – it makes sense to deprive us of the knowledge of how awful childbirth is, otherwise we would never have more than one child.  But I don’t get why this condition wipes out all knowledge of how you managed to raise your first kid – I mean, shouldn’t it be easier with the second one?  I really don’t want to have to read all those What To Expect books again – they were boring enough the first time.  Don’t I deserve a break? 
Apparently not.  Now I am stuck with two kids I don’t know how to raise and even less time to research the matter.  So I started thinking – maybe nature causes us to forget this stuff so that moms are required to band together in order to successfully raise their kids.  What’s that saying? It takes a suburb to raise a child or something like that?  Unfortunately, being so far from most of my friends and family I am kinda screwed in that area.  But luckily, through the magic of Kijiji I have made a few good friends in my new town.  And I can honestly say, if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have managed to get Simba off bottles, get Prince to sleep through the night again (Yeah!) or retain what is left of my sanity.
In other words, the only way I have discovered to overcome Mommybrain is by creating your own Mommy Support Group (MSG).  This consists of a group of like minded moms in your area that you can get together with on a regular basis to bitch and complain about all the annoying parts of being a mom, have girls night out with so you get a chance to wear those heels hidden at the back of your closet, and have some potential free babysitters available so you can have your pap smear in privacy. 
Having an MSG isn’t going to solve all your problems.  You will still find yourself searching the house for your cell phone only to find that it was in your back pocket the whole time (apparently I have no feeling left in my ass).  There will still be temper tantrums, exploding diapers and times when the kids play hide and go seek with your wallet, but at least you can look forward to having a few laughs with the girls about it later on.  The bottom line is women need other women in their lives.  There are just some things that your man cannot understand or help with, like menstrual cramps, post-labour hemorrhoids and the sporadic need to cry for no reason.  Together we can overcome the hardships of Mommyhood, including the effects of Mommybrain to whatever power, and survive to one day reclaim a life free of diapers and other people’s laundry.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Potty Training

Potty training was one of those things that I never really looked forward to.  Yeah, I was excited for the time when I didn’t have to spend half of my disposable income on diapers, but the actual process of potty training was something I tried to think about as little as possible. I figured potty training was natural and it would just work itself out.  Boy, was I wrong.  In my attempt to potty train a 2 and 3/4 year old, I discovered many things that people never tell you about potty training, but probably should, so here goes:

1.  Others know nothing about potty training.  If you are going to be leaving your offspring with any other adult make sure you leave specific instructions about how to take them to the potty.  You may wrongly assume (as I did) that everyone should know how to go to the bathroom and therefore would be able to show someone else how, but that is not always the case.   I learned this the hard way when I went to pick up my child from the onsite babysitting at my gym and was told he was going commando because they had let him go to the bathroom alone and he ended up throwing his pull-up in the garbage (like we do at home sometimes) instead of pulling it back up after he went.  I was also told that he had unrolled the entire contents of the industrial size toilet paper roll in his attempt to go potty (I am probably to blame for that though – I usually hold the roll so when he pulls it will rip off).  Moral of the story – make sure your kid knows what to do in the bathroom when you are not there, because apparently other people don’t know.  
2. Your child suddenly becomes the boy (or girl) who cried “pee” ... or “no pee!” in my case.  Sure, it hasn’t been that long that my child has been able to talk to me but in the short time that we have been communicating I have already come to rely on what he tells me.  So now that all of a sudden I am asking him every ten minutes if he has to go potty and he says ‘no.’ Stupid me, I believe him.  Three minutes later I am mopping up a puddle of pee.  Or he says he does have to go when I am in the middle of grocery shopping and I run like a marathoner knocking down old ladies in an attempt to get in the bathroom before he wets himself; and then I am stuck, hunched over, holding him over a public toilet while holding my one year old under my arm pit because they do not allow grocery carts in the bathrooms (insert obscenity here) and I cannot leave him outside to get kidnapped and, of course, then it was a false alarm.  I quickly learned not to pose my inquiry as a question, as my mentioning the potty just made him more aware of it and after he said ‘no’ he would start thinking about it and then go.  So instead I started saying ‘let’s go see if you have any pee’ and taking him once every hour to the potty.  While this didn’t stop all accidents it certainly helped.  That, and always knowing where the nearest bathroom is. 
3.  If you have other children keep them far away from the potty and its by products.  Unfortunately, chocolate and poop look a lot alike to a one year old, especially one who likes to put everything in his mouth.  So when Prince accidently had a pebble poop in his pants and proceeded to leave a trail in a very Hansel and Gretel like manner as he walked around the house (unbeknownst to me), Simba had a great old time following the trail before I realized what was going on.  Prince also started the good, but bad, habit of going pee in his potty and not telling me about it.  So when all of a sudden Simba was being too quiet (you know what I mean) I would go to Prince’s room and find him playing splash pool in the potty full of pee.  Poor Simba is really getting the crap end of the stick (no pun intended) in this whole potty training business. 
4.  You still have to wipe their butts for them!  When does it end? I don’t even enjoy wiping my own ass, why the heck would I want to have to wipe someone else’s? I don’t know how I got the idea in my head that once they could poop in the potty they could also wipe their own arse, but boy was I wrong.  As I mentioned, Prince has a good/bad habit of going to the potty and not telling me and I have caught him putting on his underwear and pants on a butt smeared with poop.  Kinda defeats the purpose, ya know?  At least when you are just changing a diaper you can detach yourself after a while and it doesn’t seem like ass wiping anymore.  But when they stand up from the potty and stick it out for you to help wipe there is no escaping the fact that you are wiping ass. 
5.  It never ends.  Sure, your kid gets better and doesn’t have as many accidents.  My inspiration for this post actually came from the fact that I found myself writing in my journal “today was the first day in two weeks that I didn’t have to scrub poop or pee off the floor!” But as they say, shit happens – your kid gets sick and can’t go to the potty so he is back in diapers for a while and you have to do it all over.  You go visit someone and they refuse to go potty in a strange place.  And then there is the fact that you still have to somehow figure out how to get them to sleep through the night and stay dry – I am not even going to touch that one until my kid won’t fit in Goodnights anymore.  Point is, I can still remember being 5 or 6 and having my mom put cream on my behind for me because I had a sore butt.  Just because they are out of diapers doesn’t mean you have seen the last of their cute little hinnies. Butt I guess that’s just part of being a mom (pun intended).

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

What's Really Hiding In Your Belly Button

A little while ago, in an act of desperation, I made up a game to help Prince wait more patiently.  We were at the doctor’s office, where there is a reason they call their clients patience – I mean patients.  If waiting was an Olympic sport we would have been losing.  Badly.  While Simba was content with trying to beat the world record for the most Cherrios stuffed into a mouth, Prince had already played with all of the germ-infested toys and watched the emergency episode of Dora I keep on my iphone for just such moments.  In an effort to avoid a full out temper tantrum, I asked Prince “Where is your Patience?”  He looked at me like he had never heard of patience, which he probably hadn’t, and I asked him, with appropriate dramatic emphasis “Uh-oh.  Did you lose your patience?”  After he nodded with that wide-eyed puppy dog look that melts your heart and makes you give them candy despite your better judgement, I told him “Well, we’d better find it.”
We spent the remainder of our time waiting searching for his patience.  We looked under the chairs, in his shoes, and eventually found it hiding in his belly button.  While this may sound like a ridiculous way for a grown woman to spend her afternoon, it helped me realize a very important fact – Prince wasn’t the only one who was losing their patience at the doctor’s office.  I was precariously close to my own little breakdown, which would have involved telling the receptionist to get us a freaking doctor now or I was going to go all Charlie Sheen on her ass.  Ever since then I have been much more aware of when my own patience is about to make a break for it.
My poor patience has taken quite a beating since my kids were born.  I am not sure when it happened exactly, but my hypothesis is that back when Prince was only a few months old, on one of the nights that I was so exhausted I did not wake up fast enough when he was fussing, Prince got a hold of my patience and beat the shit out of it in revenge.  My patience has been handicapped ever since.  On the upside, it is harder for it to run away on me now that it walks with a limp.
I don’t know if it is because I still have not had an uninterrupted night’s sleep since Prince started operation stay-up-all-night, or if it is just that time of the month, but lately my patience has been deserting me more often than ever.  I have got to put that thing on a leash.  It’s like one second I am the calm, cool and collected mom that I strive to be, and the next I turn into Medusa, complete with the crazy hair and the death stare.  I know when I have hit this point because all of a sudden Prince starts answering every question I ask him with “Ok mom,” as if he knows that there is just no reasoning with me in my current state.   Then I start to feel guilty for losing my patience; although in reality even Mother Theresa would probably have lost her patience when the baby rips all the toilet paper into tiny little snow-sized pieces that you couldn’t even use to wipe an ants arse, and the three year old just went all Picasso on your walls with permanent marker.   So then I feel even worse because, not only has my patience deserted me, but I am being swarmed by The Guilties as well. 
I swear I never used to be this crazy.  Maybe it has something to do with the unbelievable fact that somehow I have ended up responsible for two human lives and now I am mortally afraid that everything I do will somehow fuck it up.  If I punish my kid for coloring on the walls will I stifle his creativity?  If I let him sleep in my bed when he comes in at night will he still be sleeping there ten years from now?  Will he never be able to sleep on his own and end up going from relationship to relationship trying to fill the space in his bed? Damn it, there are those Guilties again! 
It is too bad that in reality you can’t actually find your patience hiding in your belly button.  It would make things so much easier for everyone, don’t you think?  Picture it:  You are waiting in line at the bank and the guy behind you is huffing and puffing like the big bad wolf because some old lady is hogging the teller’s time by counting out a million pennies and all you have to do is remind him to check his belly button.  And think about the benefits to marriage – “Sorry honey, I am not in the mood tonight, but just take your patience out of your belly button and maybe we will have sex tomorrow.”  Divorce would be eradicated in one fell swoop.  But until science actually succeeds in locating our patience and controlling it with narcotics we will all have to figure out ways to stretch what patience we have remaining to us just a little bit further.   Feel free to use my game, as long as you don’t mind your kid checking your belly button in public, ‘cause they will.