Thursday, July 23, 2009

What We have Here is a Failure to Communicate

Jack (who is 3 years old) was put on Time Out.

I will spare you the details - just know that his urine, his realization that he possesses the ability to be a human squirt gun, the cat and my bathroom floor were all involved.

Okay, so Time Outs at our house involve him sitting on his rocking chair in his room.

He sits there until I say he can get up.

The door is closed.

Talking is not allowed.

The goal of the Time Out is two-fold:

Part One: Jack will reflect on what he's done wrong and how he'll NEVER do it again.

Part Two: Mommy can retreat to her room where she can lay on the bed in a fetal position and avoid doing something that will land her on the evening news.

So back to our story...

Jack has been on Time Out for approximately 5 minutes.

I walk into his room feeling a bit calmer - happy that he is sitting quietly in his chair.

I make my way over to him and crouch down on the floor so that we are eye to eye. Jack is wearing a VERY serious expression on his face and his eyes are big.

I gently take hold of both his hands and ask him, "Are you ready to be done with Time Out?"

"Yes Mommy" came the soft reply.

"Are you going to try and go potty on BelleBelle (our cat) again?"

"No Mommy."

I begin to feel a sense of triumph. I got through to him!! He understands why he's in trouble and he's not going to do it anymore. I am SUCH a good mom. I should teach a class; or at the very least receive the much coveted Mother of the Year Award. After this victory, I am a shoe-in!

With my confidence at an all-time high, I decide that it is now time to ask the most important question.

(ASIDE: I ask this question because I think it's important that kids can contextualize the discipline they receive. If they don't understand WHY they're being disciplined, they're just going to repeat the behavior and I don't think Jack (or our cat) will survive a repeat of this particular incident. Also, I want them to know that it's coming from a place of love - not of mean spiritidness).

I take a deep breath and ask,

"Jack, can you tell me why you got a Time Out?"

I hold my breath and watch intently as Jack's facial expression changes.

(I'm very eager to hear the words that I'm certain will come out his mouth which are:
"I got a Time Out because I tried to pee on the cat. I know it was wrong and I'll NEVER do it again. Thank you for making me understand that it was wrong. I'm sorry for peeing on the cat.")

I'm still holding my breath and beginning to compile my thoughts on my acceptance speech for my now-certain Mother of the Year Award.

But wait... Something is happening.

His expression contines to change.

It becomes..... dark.



He leans into me so that we are nose to nose. He inhales deeply and says with great conviction,

"I'm on Time Out..... BECAUSE. YOU'RE. MEAN."


(afterthought: Jack was not trying to be mean to the cat when he tried to pee on her. He said he was trying to cool her off. So don't call PETA on me.)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My Husband Thinks it's Perfectly Normal; Part I

So I've written a lot about things that I think are perfectly normal.

I thought it was time to rat out - uh... I mean share with you something about my husband.

He is terrified of bandaids.


He won't go near them.

He will walk around with an injury that looks like it requires stitches and will still refuse to put a bandaid on it.

He thinks it's perfectly normal.

I think it's an issue that warrants some sort of 12-step program...

Monday, July 20, 2009

For Fans of the Matrix Trilogy...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Nordrstrom's Reject

So I'm at Costco. I see that they have swimming suits.

SIDE NOTE: I don't know that I can adequately convey my loathing of swim-suit shopping.


So if I need a suit and I see one - I just grab one in my size. I don't try it on (life is hard enough).

They had black swimming suits at Costco.

I walk up to the rack and reach for the suits to start browsing for my size.

About 20 feet away is the saleslady - lamenting to her co-worker about the fact that she didn't get hired as a salesperson at Nordstrom.

She sees me looking through the suits and says (from 20 feet away so it's REALLY loud) "Oh I'm sorry honey - we don't have anymore larges!"


But wait. There's more.

I look up at her, my face quickly beginning to change color.

She continues with this.... (note that she was still 20 feet away and is still talking at full voice)

"You really look like you should get an extra large anyway. I think we have some in the back - let me page somebody for an extra large suit for you."


I simply look at her and eek out the words "No need."

She resumed her conversation about her complete surprise at the fact that she couldn't get a a job at Nordstroms....


If only there had been some clue...

Friday, July 17, 2009

If You have a Problem; If No One Else Can Help; And if You can Find Them; Maybe You can Hire.... The A-Team.

I think the A-Team was one of the greatest shows of the 80s.

I was a huge fan.

My Dad was a huge fan too. We had a van back in those days. He would drive up to a curb, slow way down, have me or my brother open the side door (while he was singing the theme song at the top of his lungs) and have us jump out.

Explains a few things, doesn't it...

Anyway. I never missed it. It was on every Tuesday night at 8:00.

I even have an autographed picture from Dirk Benedict (he played Templeton FaceMan Peck). I got it when I babysat his kids.

Yeah, that's right.



It was one of the best shows ever.

Oddly enough, Dwight Schultz (he played Howling Mad Murdock) also appeared on several episodes of another favorite show of mine, Star Trek The Next Generation (he played Lieutenant Barclay).


The A-Team was a classic.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I Think it's Perfectly Normal; Part XXV

I will walk up to 15 extra blocks to avoid having to parallel park.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Refrigerator Revelations (GROSS)

I think that one of the reasons we go through difficult experiences is so that we can help others either avoid the same situations - or at least help them if they are going through a similar situation.

That's what this entry is about. It's me helping you. Warning you, if you will.

(Read on at your own peril and don't judge me).

The following is a list of things I learned while cleaning out my refrigerator:

  1. Moldy asparagus juice pooling in the bottom of your refrigerator smells worse than asparagus pee.
  2. If the expiration date on the deli sliced ham says 2/15/09, don't sniff it to make sure it's really bad; just trust that it is in fact, really, really bad.
  3. Juice left behind by a bag of rotting radishes has epoxy (very strong adhesive) like qualities.
  4. The jar of jam that was given as a gift in 2005 will become a permanent fixture on the second shelf if it's left sitting in the epoxy resin created by the rotting radishes.
  5. When stray baby carrots get left behind in the produce tray, they shrivel up and look like funny, little orange raisins.
  6. Three-year-old little boys get excited about little orange raisins - until they try one...
  7. The only thing that smells worse than the garbage bag full of rotting produce, runny leftover tuna casserole from Father's Day and the mystery meat from February is that same garbage bag after it's been sitting in the hot garage for two days.
  8. Cleaning one's refrigerator on a full stomach when you have a sensitive, trigger-happy gag reflex is a terrible, terrible idea.
I hope that the wisdom I have imparted on you has been helpful.

Thank you for this opportunity to share.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Touched by a (pint-sized) Angel...

Jack (who is 3) was playing on the playground at church this morning.

I arrived a few minutes early to take him to his class and was greeted by him being carried off the playground, crying hysterically.

He had fallen and scraped his knee up pretty good.

He saw me and started crying harder. He was so sad...

I picked him up and loved on him a little bit and that's when I noticed all the little kids that had followed us inside - all of them wore looks of concern on their faces. They wanted to make sure that Jack was alright.

There was one little girl in the crowd of kids who followed especially close. Her name was Lexi (she is also 3).

Lexi (seen here in this pic) taught me something today.

She demonstrated to me what it means to truly give of yourself.

Lexi has a little blanket (about the size of a cloth diaper or a burp cloth); it's her Nite-Nite. It is one of her more prized possessions. In the words of her mom, her nite-nite is her ultimate comfort. (for more detail, here's a blog post about it)

Anyway - Jack was now seated and was about to have his scraped knee cleaned (OUCH). The medicated wet-wipe touched his knee and he let out a shriek. Lexi was standing behind Jack - and as soon as Jack cried out, she put her hand on his shoulder and left it there.

At that moment I saw something in Jack's hands. He buried his face in it and he stopped crying.

It was Lexi's nite-nite.

Lexi had given Jack her nite-nite to help him feel better.

Her most prized possession.

And she gave it to Jack.

She saw that someone was sad and hurting - and needed it more than her. So she gave away the thing that matters most to her. No questions asked. She just said, "here Jack..."

I was so touched by that.

I tend to make things so complicated. I over-analyze, obsess, worry, etc. I'm ashamed to say that when I give something to someone, I have a tendency to make it more about me than the person I'm giving to.

Acts of giving should be simple. Simplicity is a natural by-product of taking the focus off yourself and putting it on the other person.

When Lexi gave Jack her nite-nite, she had no agenda, no contract stating when the nite-nite was to be returned or how it was to be used, nothing about what she wanted in return. Nothing about how she felt at all.

She simply gave it to him to make him feel better.

She didn't think about herself. She only thought of Jack.

So simple...

I made sure Jack was alright, hugged him good-bye and made my way back to the main auditorium for church. I stopped when I saw Lexi and gave her a big hug, trying to conceal the tears that were now pouring freely. I gave her a kiss and told her thank you. I know she doesn't know how much her simple act meant - but someday she will. I know that I will never forget it.

Thank you Lexi.... you made Jack feel so much better today. And you also reminded me of something so important: that I need to put others first. No questions asked...

It's that simple.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Like Father, Like Son (rated PG-13)

We were at Ruby's for lunch.

I lean over to Jack (who just turned 3) and ask, "Jack, don't you just love Ruby's?"

"Oh yeah Momma!" he said at the top of his lungs "...I LOVE boobies!"


Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Few of My Favorite Things...

I don't have much to say right now (shocking, I know). So, I thought I'd just go with an old stand-by. Here are a few, new favorites - in no particular order...

  1. The movie UP
  3. Epicuren facial scrub
  4. The dollar aisle at Target
  5. Push-pin magnets
  6. The color purple (not the book/movie - just the actual color itself)
  8. The Aflac Duck
  9. Vanilla Tootsie Rolls
  10. Cheap flip-flops from Old Navy
  11. Otter Pops
  12. Microwave Popcorn with Splenda on it
  13. Mansfield Park
  14. My daughter's new Chore Chart (see this post for details on why this is a new fave)
  15. Comments on my blog (not that I'm hinting or anything...)
  16. Pink Pearl Erasers
  17. Firefox
  18. Scramble on Facebook (curse you Laurel. you and your ridiculously high score)
  19. Bright pink toenail polish
  20. Little House on the Prairie - episode, "The Richest Man in Walnut Grove"

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Well it's a Little Late Now...

There's nothing like getting critical information.... after the fact. Here are few examples of times when I've been on the receiving end of ill-timed information/advice.

  1. You’re supposed to poke holes in the potato before you bake it
  2. It’s not a costume party
  3. Mom, I feel like I'm going to throw up
  4. Your microphone is still on (oh man... this is a whole separate blog entry)
  5. You're supposed to grease the pan
  6. You should have hit Forward - not Reply (said one millisecond after sending a less than friendly email - to the person I was being less than friendly about)
  7. May induce hyper-activity in children (I read this 20 minutes after I gave my kids Benadryl in an effort to get them to sleep through a 5 hour plane ride)
  8. I just waxed the floor
  9. There was a cop back there (said to me just after I caught a glimpse of the flashing lights in my rear-view mirror)
  10. That milk is expired (spoken just as I took a big gulp)

Timing really is everything.