May 27, 2010


His Highness and I have been duking it out lately. Not physically (for the most part), but definitely a battle of wills. He is so very three-and-a-half. I have decided that three-and-a-half-year-old-boy is analogous to teenage-girl. Not exactly the same, mind you, but with several similarities...

--Extreme emotions: This is the one where he is seemingly content one moment, but erupts into screams when I cut his sandwich wrong, or ask if he'd like to wear a shirt with his jammies, or give him a vitamin when he wants to pick it out, or ask him to pick out a vitamin when he wants me to choose one for him. It's not cyclical or all that predictable, except in retrospect when I am wondering why my funny, cool, impish kiddo is suddenly in need of a drink to calm him down--Like beer. Or lithium--and I realize that he stayed up watching TV with the Cat Daddy and then woke up at 6. Then I go "Ah, no wonder. He needs a nap." Which, upon suggesting a rest, triggers more screaming and/or crying, which triggers my response of "Do NOT make yourself vomit!" Which is always a fun phrase to utter in public.

--Eclectic fashion choices: Starry PJ shorts with reindeer slippers. A polo, underpants, and doggie ears. Or just a polo. Or nothing whatsoever. Apparently I am the mother of cousin Eddie.

--Squealing and screaming and giggling, intermingled with periods of angst and drama.

--Chauffering him everywhere: Unfortunately he doesn't even have his driver's permit yet.

--Selective obedience: Awesomely-behaved for everyone. Except Mom.

This was us today: a friend took us to pick up my car from its scheduled maintenance. While I was getting carseats situated and such, His Highness ran inside the dealership. Friend went in after him and walked him out, which he did very calmly until he saw me, when he dumped his cup of water and ran the other way.

Which is all to say that, even though he won't start preschool until the fall, we will be taking advantage of his school's drop-in summer program a couple days per week. I think the time apart will be good for him & me, and I know that Ms. B. won't take any guff. So that's good.

And now I am nodding off in front of the 'puter, so I shall end with my standard ellipses...

May 7, 2010

Angry Tree Huggers They Are Not...

I know I'm not the only person who doesn't like talking on the phone, but does anyone else out there have anxiety about it? Seriously, I've got issues.

I just made 2 calls. One was a bit of a tough call--I had to talk with a member of my moms' group whose dues were, well, overdue. It took me a week to work up the courage to make the call. I got worried about if she might be having trouble affording them, or was mad at the club, or something like that. I stumbled through the call, and I thought of more questions to ask her after I hung up, but overall it went well. Turns out she's planning to pay them in the next couple weeks, so no biggie. I felt dumb for feeling so nervous...but I was still nervous, and I was still SO relieved after it was over.

The other one was to our local botanic gardens to sign up for a fantastic family gardening class. It's a series they've been offering this spring. I'm really good at killing plants, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to learn how to keep them alive, and a fun thing to do with His Highness. We took the first class on how to plant seeds a month or so ago, and we now have a tray of tomatoes & cucumbers in the living room, waiting to be transplanted to the back yard if we ever get a reliable warm season (June 1st, I'm told). The cucumbers might've died while I was away last weekend, but I prefer tomatoes anyway.

The point is this--I was calling about taking a class, one of which I'd taken before. So I was familiar with the process, AND I was familiar enough with the folks at the botanic garden to know how kind and not-hostile they are. They're kind of on the tree-hugger end of the spectrum, and tree-huggers, in general, rarely yell at people who are calling to sign up for a gardening class. And still, after I had a lovely chat with the local tree-hugger and signed up and everything, I realized how nervous I was.

What's the deal with that? I have no idea. I know that I'm a nervous-type, and therefore it seems that I simply get nervous more often (even though I can hide it well). I have to give myself pep-talks for really ordinary things, and sometimes I have to settle for the fact of doing something even though I'm nervous. Because sometimes that's what has to be done.

Anyone else have quirks like this??

PS--I went to the dentist today. No cavities!! Yay me.

May 5, 2010

The One Where It All Got Away from Me...

I was totally gonna write a fantastic post during naptime today. As usual, however, my family picked up on my me-time vibes, and everyone knows that when dogs and small children pick up on me-time vibes they feel compelled to squish the living daylights out of any and all opportunity for said me-time.

As with most everything in my life, I have mixed feelings about me-time. I really, really want to be fully engaged with my kids and to make the most of their small years. Partly because they go so fast and I don't want to miss it. Also because it gives them way fewer opportunities to burn the house down.

And can only do so many eat-clean-diaper-play-nurse-nap-tidy-diaper-eat cycles before one wants to poke one's eyeballs out. And I enjoy Target as much as most anyone, but when errands are the height of excitement in one's week, one begins to lose perspective on the world and starts melting down over things like losing receipts, dogs bolting out the door on a merry chase, and so on. And then one ends up giving the Cat Daddy a 15 minute play-by-play on a 10 minute breakfast, and how exciting are repeated spoonfuls of Cheerios, really??

Part of the trick for me is discerning what qualifies as me-time. I usually get to shower by myself, but about 61% of the time the kids are going through the bathroom drawers and trying to run the hair dryer while I do this. Does that count? I jog 3 times per week, which helps keep my spirits up a whole lot, and I often get some time to think or pray or whatever. But about 90% of the time I'm either pushing a kid or two in the jogging stroller or watching them from the treadmill in the (fabulous) parent-kid room at the base gym. Does that count?

I think the determining factor is actually pretty subjective. If I feel refreshed, then I tend to think that me-time has been accomplished. Otherwise, no dice.

Take today, for example. The plan was to put the kids down for naptime and have some peace & quiet to look up how to do a crescent-chicken-thing on the pizza stone, and blog about how many nice people I've been getting to hang out with lately. Doesn't that sound nice?

The reality of life intervened, however. In the course of connecting with one friend, another friend dropped by with some books I had ordered. Normally pleasant and easily manageable happenings.

But not today.

In a rapid course of events, the doorbell rang, the dogs barked, and His Highness came barrelling out of his room where he should've been well on his way to dreamland. I opened the door to find my friend, and the dogs AND His Highness all pushed their way out and down the street faster than a speeding bullet. And then the Littler One started crying. So I had to hang up the phone.

Then I grabbed the Littler One and surveyed the situation where half my family was gallivanting along my street. I called for His Highness and had only slightly more success than when I called for Max & Zoe. Finally the neighbor-friend convinced His Highness that the dogs would follow him inside. Eventually. The dogs are so squirrelly that I usually just wait until they run off some energy and come home again.

So we chatted for a while until Zoe came running up. Then Zoe ran back out again. Then we saw Random Neighbor driving around and trying to capture the dogs (in a good way), so we thought maybe we should go outside and encourage them to come in. So finally the dogs were in. Then His Highness went a little nuts. I surmise that this is because he knew he was supposed to be napping, and wasn't, so why not run around like a crazy person and yell and scream and hit?

Now, amid this, there was much rejoicing around the peeing aspect of the potty-training, because His Highness is a certified Master Pee-er, which he ably demonstrated by peeing in the potty and then deciding to run around in nothing but his shirt. Which seems a little odd perhaps, but at this stage of the game, I'm perfectly fine with it.

He is not yet a Master Pooper, however. This, too, he demonstrated by pooping on the floor. You might think, "Um, maybe if you put some underwear on the kid he wouldn't poop on the floor." To which I would answer that, while disgusting, pooping on the floor is less gross than pooping in underwear. Trust me on this.

Unfortunately for His Highness, he just kept unraveling from there. He is currently sequestered to his room until 2012, with a slight chance of early release for dinner, but an almost certain ticket directly to bath & bed after that.

The Littler One really wants me to engage with him, and the Cat Daddy really wanted to borrow my lappy to check his stuff, but I kind of went over my limit for exasperation and tomfoolery, so I sit here stubbornly, nursing the Littler One (which is really what he wanted anyway) and typing one-handed in between steps of making the chicken-ring-thing, of which I finally found an illustration so I'm fairly confident the filling will remain contained.

Did I get any me-time? Well, I don't feel so much refreshed, so I'm leaning toward no. But I got a lot done today. I gave a quick little briefing for my moms' group, worked out at the gym, shopped for groceries, and made lunch before commencing with the afternoon's festivities. And I'm dangerously close to finishing this post. For that I feel glad and relieved.

And I did put the kibosh on the Littler One hanging out in the big oven. Even though it wasn't hot, it just didn't seem like a good idea...