Friday, May 30, 2008

The Not-So-Simple Life

I’ve decided that I’m going to single-handedly make prairie living the new wave in real estate. I’m bringing Prairie back, much in the same way that Justin Timberlake brought Sexy Back, only way hipper (making the prairie hipper, that is, not Justin Timberlake. He's pretty hip, don't think we can up his hip factor). My book club meeting the other night sealed the deal for me after I had a minor panic attack and started searching for illegal Xanax online.

The discuss-the-book-part of the book club meeting ended and we started to chat about school, summer camp, after-school activities, kindergarten teachers, and topics that I don’t have to deal with for another 2 years but nonetheless my personality is one of “Why worry about that when the time comes when I can worry now and for the next 2 years?” The moms with older, school-aged children are honestly a wealth of information and they know what lies ahead. And it scares the bejesus out of me.

Here is what I heard as my head spun and my heart palpitated:

Mom 1: “And then I took Bobby to karate after I ran Sammy over to soccer. I picked up Liza from ballet and we ate pizza in the car while Bobby, or was that Sammy, finished soccer.”

Mom 2: “Liza goes to kindergarten next year, right? Make sure she does not get Miss Newbie because she has all the experience of a just birthed veal cow. March in that school and demand to get Mrs. Tenured because she’s 90 years-old and can whip those 5 year-olds into shape with just a glare from her one good eye.”

Mom 3: “But Mrs. Newbie is all about the standardized tests, and she really knows how to teach the material for the Kindergarten Calculus test that our district needs. We just HAVE TO score well on those tests.”

Mom 4 (that’s me): Whomp. Thud.

Mom 1: “I think she just passed out.”

I’m ready to stitch me up a floor-length dress, pull my hair into a bun, and don my bonnet. Break out the covered wagon. There may not be a Target on the prairie, but, (gasp) I think I’ll live. A mere sacrifice for sanity. Laura Ingalls was way ahead of her time.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Hey Baby, What's Your Sign?

Conversation at breakfast this morning:

Me: “I’m going to get my hair cut today.”

Monkey Man: “Why?”

Me: “So my hair will look pretty.”

MM: “But your hair is pretty.”

Me: ”Thank you, buddy.”

MM: “You’re pretty mommy. Your face is pretty. Your nose is pretty.”

Look out girls, this one’s a charmer! And he’s handsome, too!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Abracadabra and Amen

Conversation in the car to Poppy & Aga’s (my parents) house:

Monkey Man: “Does God come out in the daytime?”

Daddy: “God is around us all the time, in the day and at night.”

Monkey Man: “Does God have a magic wand?”

Daddy: Looks at me, the two of us smile and start giggling, trying not to let Monkey Man see us. Husband doesn’t know how to answer (this is not to say that hubby doesn't know if God carries a magic wand - because he really does know that answer, the kid just kind of took him by surprise). I pipe in to help out because I know this answer.

Me: “Why, yes, he must, because Monkey Man, you just rendered your father speechless and only magic wands and trickery can make this man STOP TALKING.”

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I Should Write a Book

I was home alone tonight with the spawn of Satan. Normally, being alone with my child doesn’t faze me one bit, but these days I’m constantly feeling like I need to call in for back up because just one parent will not do. But tonight, I became a parenting genius. I figured out how to go 3 hours without hearing Monkey Man say, “No. No. No. NO. NO. NO. Stinky. Stupid. I don’t like you. I’m not going to (pick one): eat my dinner, take a bath, play with a toy, ACT LIKE A HUMAN.

Supernanny, Dr. T. Berry Brazelton, Dr. Sears listen up: The secret to getting a pre-pre-pre-pre-pubescent child to behave? Sit Jr. in front of the T.V. (any Noggin show will do, but tonight I had the joy of watching some 90210 with Monkey Man as per his request, and if this system is to work for you, you must abide by their requests) and stuff child full of any or all of the following: chocolate pudding, watermelon, pretzels and grapes. Of course, substitute your child’s favorite foods as I cannot guarantee that the above menu will please each child’s palate. When your angel asks for the next goody (note politeness and slight hesitation in the word “cookie” because of amazement about how mother is behaving), “Mommy, can I please have a cooookie now?” “Why, sure my darling lovebug, you may have another cookie to give me one night of sanity. You may have the box of cookies if it means I won’t cry myself to sleep tonight.” Wait until child is in a food-induced daze, then carry your sleepy and bloated cherub off to slumberland.

Special Note: If puking occurs in the wee hours (child's puking, not yours because after little one's bedtime you mainlined that bottle of chardonnay) , wake husband up to deal with it and simply state, “Hmm, must be that stomach bug that’s going around.” That’s what hubby gets for leaving you with Beelzebub’s offspring for the night.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sunday Funnies

Put me in place of Eeyore and it now reads, "Girls, Come On, Road trip to anywhere that I'm guaranteed no screaming, crying, whining children and a few rounds of margaritas, a dance floor, fun, loud music, a few mornings to sleep past 6 a.m., maybe some lounge chairs and a pool!" Terrible Threes has been so bad that I'm letting you in on my daydreams.

I love this kid but there's a good chance that this period of his life could kill me, or put me in a catatonic state in which you'll find me in the corner of my bedroom on my dog's bed, curled up fetal, rocking back and forth singing, "Jessie's Girl" to take me back to my happy place.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sunday Funnies

I get royalties on this one because I wrote it. You should see me run to the mailbox to collect those checks!

Happy Mother’s Day!

I’m happy to say I got my whole To Do List checked off today and boy was it a doozy:
  1. Wake up late – 10:45
  2. Go out to breakfast with husband and Monkey Man – more like lunch, but that works, too!
  3. Shop for new clothes – almost 2 hours by myself, I only found a few t-shirts at the Gap, but I was ALONE so it doesn’t matter.
  4. Work out – I planned on about an hour, but the day went by and Monkey Man was having yet another one of THOSE days. I only got a walk in with the dog.
  5. DON’T cook dinner – ordered pizza and ate in with hubby and Monkey Man.
  6. Get dessert with the boys – ice cream!

Now that is my kind of To Do List! Thank you to my wonderful husband for giving me such a fun, relaxing day. Thank you Monkey Man for giving me a reason to celebrate this day! Extreme crankiness due to lack of napping these days aside, I love you to the moon and back.

I wish you all a Happy Mother’s Day – and for those of you who aren’t moms, I wish your moms a wonderful day wherever they might be. Near or far, your mom is thinking of you and loving you! Even if you are 3 years-old and having a terrible, horrible, rotten, no good kind of day. We're moms and we're good like that.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

It Sure Ain't Rain While the Sun's A-Shinin'

Scene while celebrating Mother's Day at my parents' house:

My almost 20 year-old nephew walked into my parents’ house tonight with a college-boy created Mohawk of golden blonde curls.

My 17 year-old niece is starring in Cabaret next weekend at her high school and informed us that her character is described in the play as, “possibly a WHORE.” In caps, she added.

My nephew plays so nicely with Monkey Man, and tonight their shenanigans turned Monkey Man into a fraternity boy running around the grandparents’ house with his shirt off his torso and on his head and his socks on his ears.

After dinner conversation between my dad, my sister and my husband took place around the dining room table while I was out of the room. I was not there to witness the dialogue, but it was such that it prompted my mother, MY MOTHER, to ask me, “What is a golden shower?”

Cue uproarious laughter from the dining room. And then, Happy Mother’s Day mom, I explained it to her. This was certainly a mother’s day for dear mom to remember.

“Mommy, There’s Somefin on the Floor!”

I was jolted awake this morning at 6:30 to Monkey Man screaming this to me. Monkey Man has finally figured out that he is no longer a captive prisoner in his bed and now he actually leaves it himself. He obviously got up this morning and made his way downstairs to find quite a surprise. And I knew immediately what Monkey Man was yelling about.

In my 6:30 haze, I remembered our dog, Walt, whining at 3 a.m. He woke me up, but apparently I rolled over and fell back to sleep while Walt decided to problem solve the situation on his own. “Not going to let me out, woman? Well, here’s to a morning of get-down-on-your-hands-and-knees scrubbing and an odor that’ll beat the hell out of any dog fart I’ve ever let loose.” Our ENTIRE house is hardwood floors, except for the family room and that is where our evil dog decided to cast out his bowels. Thankfully, this rug is already disgusting and is on our to-do list to hit the dumpster in the next few months. Looks like it’ll be sooner rather than later.

I couldn’t blame Walt, though. Walt is 4 ½ years-old and hasn’t had an accident in the house since he was being house trained which took all of one week – I’m not kidding you, this dog has been awesome in that department. I let Walt out yesterday at about 6 p.m. He usually goes out for the last time at about 8:30 p.m. I never let him out for his last hurrah. So he reminded me of this and I paid dearly. And while my husband gagged and sat with Monkey Man on his lap while Mommy did a little pre-Mother’s Day cleaning, Monkey Man helpfully pointed and remarked, “You missed a spot.”

Friday, May 9, 2008

Having a Dental Breakdown

3 years-old and 2 cavities. This was our news today. I swear on Rick Springfield, chocolate chip cookies, naps, and all that is good and right in this world that we have been brushing this kid’s teeth since there were no teeth and only gums. Bye-bye college savings fund - Hello fillings, root canals, bridges, and all the horrendous dental things that I have yet to experience. Fine, I’m getting a little ahead of myself and thinking the worst, but in my tooth-obsessed mind, this is pretty bad. I guess it doesn’t help that Monkey Man is rather non-compliant during our brushing sessions. But I’m going to just blame it on my husband and his dentally challenged genes – the poor guy has had more dental procedures in his life than Michael Jackson has had plastic surgery nips and tucks. Fortunately for me, my husband looks good after his dentist visits. MJ, not so much.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sunday Funnies

These kids must have those parents that don't pay attention. "What? Little Joey and Janey are jumping on the couch? Throwing rocks at the neighbor's dog? Committing a heinous crime? Well, I thought someone else was keeping an eye on them."

Friday, May 2, 2008

Oprah May Have Saved Tom Cruise

Leave it to Oprah to either make you famous, infamous or give you a comeback. Today, at 4 p.m. (my TiVo is broken, I had to watch in real time) I decided to stop working and plop myself on my bed for one hour. Monkey Man was napping (cue angelic choir music) and this was my time. I needed to see if Tom could redeem himself.

A little history. If you’ve been reading my blog, you may have noticed I get a little starstruck of the male persuasion. Tom Cruise was IT for me since about the age of 16. Any serious boyfriend knew he would be dumped in a second if Tom Cruise came a-knocking. My husband understood that our vows included, “’til death do us part or until Tom Cruise realizes I am the woman of his dreams.” I loved how he looked, that smile, his acting, his eyes – oh, and did I mention that smile?

Jump ahead to May 2005 – the "couch bounce" on Oprah. I sat in my parent’s living room with my 2 month-old Monkey Man and giggled nervously as I watched Tom morph into some manic, cackling man, professing his love for KATIE HOLMES. What? I had nothing against Katie Holmes, but really? Joey, from Dawson’s Creek? And, Tom, you’re jumping on Oprah’s couch on national television. At least take your shoes off. That’s just rude.

Then came his comment about Brooke Shields and postpartum depression to Matt Lauer on The Today Show. Personally, his timing sucked. Don’t mess with a woman after she’s given birth. Whether a mom has dealt with full-blown PPD or not, hormones are not in the BFF category after birth. Don’t tell a woman to treat those “feelings” with a vitamin and exercise. Obviously, Tom proved stupidity can’t be cured with Centrum and a 5 mile run.

Funny how someone I once thought was so extremely good looking became UGLY. I saw insanity in that infamous grin. His insides were showing on the outside and it was no longer pretty.

So today at 4 p.m. I gave him another chance. It was the calm, sincere, quiet Tom that I fell in love with years ago. He sat on the couch and stayed there for the hour. He addressed his PPD comment and said (I hope in honesty) that it was a mistake. He seemed to say that he understood that PPD does exist and that medication is an individual decision.

I will admit that my heart went out to him a little when he talked about Suri’s birth. I am totally of the belief that once you become a celebrity, you asked for it, and the paparazzi comes along with the paycheck. But when he talked about keeping Suri from the press and not releasing photos of her right away because they just wanted time to be with Suri and the family, I understood that. It’s a special time, and like he said in the interview, it’s time you never get back. There were a ton of rumors as to why there were no photos of Suri before the Vanity Fair spread, and that’s not fair to attack a baby. She had nothing to do with her father’s sudden looniness, or the fact that her mother would one day shed her girl-next-door Joey image and decide to become Posh Spice’s clone.

I consider myself a fairly bright person on most days of the week when the sun, moon, and Earth align and I’ve had at least 10 hours of sleep. I understand that the media is powerful and public relations can make you or break you. Tom Cruise is human – he succeeds, he fails, he loves his family, he has a personal chef. We, the public, see him the way the media edits him or the way his publicist decides to make him look on any given day. He took 3 years of slamming after his 2005 Oprah couch incident – a mixture of poor publicity and incredibly negative editing of any Tom Cruise clip the media could get its hands on. I think Oprah helped turn it around today. Tom certainly took the opportunity to go back to his quiet, boyish days, appearing humble amidst his Colorado mansion. I’m giving him another chance. I’ll go see his movies. But I’m not putting his picture back up in my locker. That space, my friends, is reserved for Rick Springfield.

The Big Announcement

When: September 23, 2008
Where: Izod Center, Meadowlands
Why: Jordan, Joey, Jonathan, Donnie, and Danny are back! You will find me at the Meadowlands, channeling my former 14 year-old NKOTB fan-self that looked a little something like this - giant pin of Jon attached to my big t-shirt tied up on one side with a clip (of course, this shirt had a huge picture of Jon's face emblazoned across my torso), stretch pants and Wigwam socks - lest we not forget the hair teased and sprayed ala Aqua Net. Could I have been any hotter? The outfit will be different, but the screaming won't change a bit! People, I have no shame.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

4 Out of 5 Dentists Recommend It

I finally figured out how to brush Monkey Man's teeth - to my standards. He was in a grumpy mood tonight and although brushing his teeth is not a chore he enjoys in good spirits, I couldn't let the melodrama of being 3 get to me. This had to get done because I really don't want to spend his college savings on dental work. He sat on the side of the tub wailing. Why was he wailing? Oh, who cares right now because wailing means his mouth was WIDE OPEN. At that moment I cared more about the health of his teeth than his emotional state so I inserted toothbrush and got to work. His mouth was actually open for about 2 minutes and I got to clean every surface of every tooth. I felt victorious. Tears streamed down his face, dripping down to his sparkly whites.
Compassion set in and I asked, "Why are you crying?"
"Because I don't want to go to swim class." That occurs tomorrow. Wow, I can't wait until he's a teenager and this kind of rational thinking occurs everyday. Somebody, pour me a drink. I might as well start numbing myself now.