Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Flu – A Vacation for Mom

The flu kicked my butt for 4 days last week, no thanks to the flu shot that I got in October. I had a fever that got up to 103 several times, and even after Advil, it only got down to 101. I was cold, shivering, sweating, coughing, and an all around beauty to behold. But I must admit – I secretly enjoyed the nasty little virus. Why? I got to lie in bed for 4 days. I watched television non-stop that didn’t consist of cartoon characters or silly grown men talking to puppets. And I SLEPT. WHENEVER I FELT LIKE IT. Oh, to go back to that place of fever-induced hallucinogenic dreams and a total weight loss of 2 pounds.

(I must thank my husband who took care of Monkey Man like a good Daddy while I was sick. It was because of him that I was able to curl up in bed and recover from the flu that I paid $20 to not get.)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

My Birthday Gift – Rick Springfield!

This post will have nothing to do with Monkey Man except for my hopes that Rick Springfield will be my new baby daddy. But I can’t even really wish that because after last night, my husband really proved to be the best one ever.

My husband’s birthday gift to me was the Rick Springfield concert last night. It was my 4th one in the past 10 years (with 3 of them in the last 2 years!). My first concert EVER was Rick Springfield when I was 8 years-old – thanks to mom and dad. So I have some history with this guy. I’ve had a huge crush on him for 26 years. He is 58, hot, and I’d still make out with him.

Last night I went to the concert armed with my Working Class Dog album, the album on which Jessie’s Girl appears. I’ve had this album since I was 7. I dug it out of the attic in anticipation of an autograph. Because I’ve been to a few of Rick’s concerts recently, I knew that he comes out into the audience during Human Touch and basically lets women maul him. At the last concert, I ran over to the other side of the theater because that’s where Rick was headed, jumped on some empty seats, threw out my arms and got a hug from him! But we didn’t have a camera with us or the album to sign. Just the memory in my head. So this time was going to be different!

Camera – check. Album – check. Marker – check. Loyal husband ready to take pictures and watch his wife behave like a giddy 16 year-old girl – check. The concert was awesome – he is a very talented musician and great performer. He’s not just some has-been 80s pop star. He is actually talented. But I’m not a music critic and that’s not the point of this post, so enough of that.

Out came the wireless guitar and headset. You know what that means? He’s coming out into the audience. I jumped up on my seat with my album and marker in hand and sang, danced, and yelled while Rick sang Human Touch. He made his way down the center of the rows – we were about 15 rows back, smack in the middle, so this was a good sign. He veered off a little to the left, my dreams started to crash a bit, then wait! He went back to the middle. I was jumping up and down on the seat waving the album like a fool and then yes, ladies and gentlemen, I held out my marker and album to him and he took the marker, signed my album and my husband pushed me up on top of the back of the seat to stand next to Rick. And get a hug from Rick. And a KISS from Rick. Do you know how good it feels to have Rick Springfield’s sweat on you? I do, and sorry if the next time I see you I stink, because I’m not showering until I come down from this high.

Monday, March 17, 2008

We Specialize in Trashy Birthdays

Scene: Dr. Pediatrician’s office for Monkey Man’s 3 year-old check up. Monkey Man is sitting on paper covered exam table. Mommy is standing next to him and Daddy is sitting in the chair. Date – Friday, March 14.

Nurse: Happy Birthday! How old are you?

Monkey Man: (shows 3 fingers in that bizarre 3 year-old way – pointer, middle and ring finger up, pinky and thumb curled in to palm) I’m 3.

Mommy: Tell the nurse what tomorrow is.

Monkey Man: My birthday party.

Nurse: Oooo, what kind of birthday party?

Monkey Man: A Buzz Lightyear party.

Nurse: Oh, a Bud Light Beer party?

Mommy: (seeing all kinds of red flags going up in the Nurse’s mind, nervously laughing) NO, BUZZ LIGHTYEAR. TOY STORY. WOODY, BUZZ, JESSIE, MR. POTATO HEAD. (thinking, holy crap, this woman’s getting DYFS on the speed dial right now!)

Daddy: Hahahaha. Bud Light Beer party. Good one.

Fast forward to Saturday, March 15. Scene: Church hall where we’re having some little friends for Monkey Man’s birthday party. Mommy and Monkey Man’s Poppy are setting up the tables and playing some music that Mommy specially downloaded to her iPod for the occasion.

The Hokey Pokey comes on and it’s a fun Irish pub-like version, which is why I downloaded it. Although I only got to listen to a 10 second sample, I liked it enough so I bought it.

It goes on with the typical “You put your left hand in…” Then it goes on with the not-so-typical, “This one is for the ladies…You put your left breast in, you put your left breast out, you put your left breast in and (YES, YOU GOT IT) you shake it all about.”

Thank God I get my sense of humor from my dad because I lost it and started hysterically laughing. And because of his sense of humor he wasn’t all, yeah nice song for a 3 year-old’s party. In a church hall. I guess The Man himself was with me that day and had me preview it before the young impressionable ones arrived. Although the look on the parents’ faces would have been AWESOME.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

You're 3!

Dear Monkey Man,

I cannot believe it’s been just 3 short years that you’ve been in our lives. It seems like you were never not here. Was there a time when I walked through my home and didn’t pick up some tiny toy that was sure to put a hole in my foot? Was there a time when I looked forward to the weekends so that I could sleep late? Was there a time that I wasn’t worried every millisecond of the day for your life now, tomorrow, and when you’re 75? No. I’m convinced that before you was a dream—and you really were with us all the while.

You have grown from a helpless infant to a big boy who helps mommy “clean” (read: unsweeps the neat little pile that I just swept), tells me stories about the roosters you saw with Poppy and tells us they say "crock a doodle doo", and plays basketball, baseball, football, and golf and then asks me, “Can I play tennis, too?” It makes my brain hurt when I really think about how you started and what you’ve become. And you are only 3. Let me apologize now, because I will be that mom who bawls hysterically at your high school graduation. And if you get married, forget it. I’m done. I’ll cling to you during our mother-son dance like a crazed mama bear keeping her baby cub away from all the dangers in the world.

Turning 3 has proven to be quite the milestone in your life. You just moved into your big boy bed the day before your birthday. Last night, as I checked on you before I went to sleep, it hit me – I will never see you in your crib again. Funny how I’m not too sentimental about the other milestone – potty training. I haven’t found myself thinking, “I’ll never change his poopy diaper again.”

Everyday, and I mean everyday, you amaze me with your words, your thoughts, your actions, and your sense of humor - your you being you. This blog that I started just a few months before your 3rd birthday is in honor of you – a keepsake of my memories of everything you’ve given me (and sometimes taken, sleep for instance). I hope you will read these stories when you’re older and learn about whom you were, are, and all the joy you brought me while becoming that beautiful person.

I love you to the moon and back. Bunches and bunches.
Sweet cheeks, Lovebug – Monkey Man.

Love, Mommy

Friday, March 7, 2008

One Child Left Behind

Did you know that the “No Child Left Behind Act” does not apply to YMCA swimming classes? This classic act assures that 8th graders who read at a 2nd grade level continue on to high school but it couldn’t come to the rescue of Monkey Man. Yes, folks, at the tender age of 3 (in just 4 days), he has been left behind in his swimming class because he won’t let go of me. Not because he can’t read. Not because he can’t add, say the word “nuclear” correctly, or figure out what n means in an equation. Because he won’t let go. Good to know thousands of kids across America will enter the real world one day with no life skills because of our country’s leader. But Monkey Man, with all his time in remedial swimming, well damn, he’ll be the best bubble-wearing, doggy paddler you ever did see!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


I hate 6:10 a.m. It should not exist, unless I'm 21 and just getting back from a night out with the girls in Hoboken. Those days are LONG GONE and instead, Monkey Man sounded the alarms as the sun was rising. And very unfortunately, there is no snooze alarm on that kid's head.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Choice is Yours

The day has come when I’m not sure if my soon to be 3 year-old is mocking me like a pre-pubescent, smart-ass kid, or if I’ve just said the line that follows below so many times he’s got his timing down like one of the actors from The Office.

Here’s the scene: Monkey Man is no longer big into napping. I guess he’s realized that he can drive his mother and father crazy for another 1.5 hours out of the day, so hey, why not?

He agreed to napping on his bedroom floor last week. I guess it was the novelty of something totally different and he actually did sleep. So yesterday, I offered the floor again, with great gusto, in my best “WOW ISN’T THIS THE COOLEST THING EVER! YOU GET TO SLEEP ON A HARDWOOD FLOOR WITH THE MOST UNCOMFORTABLE AREA RUG!” voice. He snuggled in to his pillow and blanket then I left the room, ready for a bit of quiet and some downtime from my what can seem like an endless question and answer period (I expect him to appear one day in the audience of Inside the Actor’s Studio, better yet, to replace James Lipton, because man, can this kid ask questions). As my right foot’s big toe hit the first step on my descent into Quietsville, I heard, “Mommy, can I sleep in your bed?”

I pivoted at attention like the good Mommy Soldier that I am, marched into his room, and against all that I believe in (meaning giving in to this child – my stubbornness ranks up there with donkeys and oxes) I said, “Yes, you may. But you will stay in the bed and not get up.” Sweet, obedient child says, “Yes, I will stay in the bed and take a nap.”

Take 2: Tuck into bed, I’m out the door and I hear, “Mommy, I have a problem.” I turn around and look at the little cherub whose only problem is that his mother keeps getting closer to a peaceful cup of tea but cannot quite reach that nirvana. Now here comes the line:

Me: Staring at Monkey Man
Monkey Man: “You have TWO choices – you can either stay in this bed to nap or sleep in your bedroom.”
Me: I look away because I’m ready to break out into hysterics! I have been giving him this two choices line since he was about 18 months-old and it has worked quite well. I give him two of my choices then he picks one. I’m no psychologist, but I guess it makes him feel like he has some kind of control in having a choice, even though they are technically my choices. Ah, the power I have.
Me: “What is your choice?”
Monkey Man: “I will sleep in my bedroom.”

Back into his bedroom we march, tuck in, kiss, hug, love you. I’m out the door. I see my husband and I try my child psychology on him. “You have two choices: You can send me on a 15 year vacation or you can run away with the kid and I promise not to put your face on a milk carton.”