Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Election Day Logic

In California we had a primary election today. Mom worked until 6 and it was simply too hot out for A and I to walk to the polling center by ourselves. So we waited. 

A was confused right off the bat. Usually when Grandma comes home we let her change into more comfortable clothes then eat dinner. Tonight as soon as she was home I dashed into the room to get dressed. (The KISS boxers & black tank top were not going to cut it.)

We piled into the car and drove over to go vote. A got antsy inside, but we were lucky to be there by ourselves. Can't be embarrassed if there's no one to see him, right!? 

Finally he started to whine. I looked at Mom, who was frazzled enough just trying to fit the ballot and her gigantic purse into the little cubical-thingie. Then I reminded A that we were going to get dinner after. "Can I have a hamburger?" Sure kiddo... just stand still long enough for us to make sure these stupid fricken bubbles are filled in the RIGHT way. (can we please update the voting system now? I spent more time coloring bubbles than actually debating the merits of each candidate.)

Fast forward about ten minutes. We're back in the car driving to Carl's Jr. A is in his booster seat screaming, "Weeee! We're going super speed!" He paused and catches my eye in the rear-view mirror. "Why are we going super speed, Nee?"

"Cause Grandma has a lead foot, kiddo." Mom glared. I'm certain by the time A and I are done tormenting her her face will be stuck like that. (Love you, Mom.)

A few minutes pass and he's quiet. Suddenly... "Why aren't we going super speed any more?"

"There's cars in front of us, baby." Mom and I usually reply to him in unison using almost the same exact words. We've become a horrible two-headed mommy-beast.

"Oh... 'Cause we don't wanna go super speed and crash those other cars, huh? Then the policeman would come and take Grandma to jail and I'd miss her."

You gotta admit, the kid has the notion of the law down already. Are we raising a future lawyer? (Swear to Bob my bank account just whimpered at the idea of putting him through law school.)

We managed to get dinner without any more unbearably cute things happening from the back seat. It was a good thing considering I had to write what he said on the sample ballot. There wasn't a whole lot or room to spare....

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Nice Things

If only you guys could see me now... old 7up boxers, black tank top, bright purple towel on my head, and a cucumber mask drying on my face. I'm quite a sight and suddenly thankful that A doesn't know this isn't "normal". We do our best not to press him to be "normal". It is a concept I don't understand myself as I'm one of those weird creative types that will never, ever be anyone's idea of normal.

But on to the main point of this post...

Sometime in the last year or so my idea of nice things changed radically. Part of this change was brought on by the long search my mother went through to find a new job. I think the other part was I finally just grew up. 

I went from drooling over fancy LCD TV's and Blu-Ray players to browsing websites for socks. (Don't ask. I have a strange fascination with striped socks.) At some point I also got it in my head that what I really wanted was a nice set of sheets. 

Sheets, Renee?

Yeah, sheets. You see, my spankin' new mattress set (thankyouIRS) is my refuge. A climbs in bed with his grandmother in the mornings because her room is closer to his than mine. That means at all times my bed is kid free. So why can't I have a nice set of sheets to enjoy after a long day of taking care of the 6 animals and child? 

The bed itself is a gift from the gods. My old mattress set was a hand-me-down from my sister. She has never, ever been nice to her things. By the time it was my turn to use the set she'd broken loose some of the springs and cracked the frame on the box springs. The entire thing tilted to the side and hurt my already damaged back horribly. Mom took pity on me in March and sacrificed $500 for a new mattress set. 

Right now I'm using a rather comfortable set of plaid flannel sheets. Our city gets really hot in the summer, though. I end up spending most of my time flinging the sheets off the bed than sleeping. Not good considering A gets up bright and early most days.

I hate to bother mom for something as stupid as Nice Sheets. Its more than a temperature thing. Its a vanity thing, a reminder that I'm newly single and can feel sexy again. Even if I'm in bed alone.

At 25, I'm starting to feel like an old maid. Its stupid to think that something as simple as a set of sheets will fix everything, but it'd be a start. Maybe I can sell a story and buy them for myself. That'd be nice.

Friday, June 4, 2010

My neighbor owns a street sweeper

No, your eyes do not deceive you. My neighbor does indeed own a street sweeper. 

I'd cook up some fantastical story about why I think the man on the corner feels the need to park his petite street sweeper in front of his house every day/night... but lets be honest. Its almost midnight on the West Coast. I have laundry in the dryer still. My bed has no sheets on it. The cats are looking at me like I'm their next meal because the "food monkey" has failed to notice the empty dish next to her desk. (They are not without in any way, the sways of their chubby little bellies is testament to that.)

Oh and have I mentioned that I haven't had time to shower in two days? Everyone in the house has, but I've hit the "why bother?" stage of parenting. 

Why bother getting clean just to have the kiddo drop something behind a piece of furniture that hasn't been moved in fifteen years? Why bother showering when all I do is notice the mildew stains in the grout and wonder if I can shave my legs and scrub the shower at the same time... (Not advisable, by the way. Merely a taste of my odd thought processes.)

But yes, back to the street sweeper. I've got to give it to the neighbor, he's always on time. Very rarely has he been late arriving home and on those times I was usually too preoccupied with other... activities to notice. (I did have a live-in boyfriend until this last month, folks...)

Every night at 11:30pm the neighbor pulls on to the street and then carefully backs his small street sweeper into the same exact spot on the curb. Mom and I don't even bother to look at the clock any more. We hear the backup warning, that lovely little beeping noise, and almost in unison grumble, "Is it eleven-thirty already?"

We're not night owls any more. That flash in the pan idea died a slow painful death when A came into our world. Now seeing midnight is an adventure in sleep deprivation and startling giddiness. Matter of fact, this blog is a result of that.

Well and the fact that I really do not want to make my bed. 

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

What the F*CK?

I try to avoid cursing in public forums such as this blog and Twitter. (The writing blog doesn't count. My characters love to curse.)

But A's newest little stunt deserves a very loud: What The FUCK?

The bathroom is sandwiched between the two larger bedrooms. When A goes in to use it he is required to leave one of the doors open, usually mine since my desk is right where I can see him and the toilet.

He goes in, proudly announcing as he always does that, "I have to poop!" Yes, he likes to poop. Another boy thing or kid thing in general that I just Don't Get. 

Anyways... he's in there doing his thing without a problem. We call him Speed Pooper sometimes because we blink and he's done. A part of our new goal to have a more independent child is that we taught him how to wipe himself. Usually there isn't a problem so long as one of us supervises.

Despite supervision, wiping was a HUGE issue today. 

A managed to get poo on his finger. Before I could turn the sink on he turned....

And wiped the shit on the wall!

It took me a few seconds to actually be able to form words. Not even when he was in diapers had this particular child-mess happened. Shit doesn't go on walls, it goes In The Toilet!

Needless to say, A is grounded for the rest of the night. I explained that no matter what, poop does not go on the wall. The wall has been scrubbed, disinfected, cursed at, and cleaned again just for good measure. 

I hate poop...

That Last Nerve...

A has found my last nerve (mom's too) and is using the thing like a friggen trampoline today. Right now, actually. I had to escape the waterfall of snot and tears to vent somewhere. 

For the last two weeks A has decided that his room and his toys are no longer Good Enough. He shops for new toys during commercials and badgers us for them. Its a non-stop series of, "Oh, I want that toy. Can Grandma go buy me that one? Is that what I'm getting for my birthday. What about Christmas???" Never mind the fact that we've explained money is too tight to buy new toys at this moment. 

The kid is not without toys. We drained our accounts to get him a little hand-held gaming system last year. He has about 10 different games for it too. He won't play with it. There are bins overflowing with action figures, blocks, cars, and books. He won't play with them. Hell, he won't even touch them unless I allow him to bring them into the living room. That plan only lasts a second before he DEMANDS to use my mother's laptop to play games there. 

A's room is no longer the fun play space mom and I broke our backs creating. Oh no. He flat out refuses to go in there unless its to go to sleep at night. I know the reason for this one... My ex grounded him to his room so many times that it ruined the space for him. 

He wants to escape.

I get it, I really do. But my sanity and that one last little nerve isn't going to hang in for long. These Epic Fits are more stressing on my mother and I than A. He doesn't get it though. He thinks now that the Big Bad Man (my ex) is gone that he can run the asylum. 

I'm going to go yank all of my hair out now...

Monday, May 31, 2010

The Great Ketchup Fiasco

My mother and I have the fantastical idea that we can raise a little gentleman that is self sufficient, speaks nicely, and uses proper table manners. A proved to us last night that we have our work cut out for us. 

The idea was for A to put the condiments on his own hamburger bun. Simple, right? Not for an overly dramatic five year old who has only recently escaped the dreaded clutches of daily nap time. Every night since we cut out nap time he's been Mr. Crabtastic by dinner time. Much to my joy. 

We set everything out on the table. Any condiment he could possibly want for his very first do-it-yourself hamburger was out there. A decided to start with mayonnaise. Good choice, right? Well the jar was a little low so he had a small spatula to dole out globs of the stuff and smear it on his bread. 

  A has very little problems with the mayo application. Even though there is more of it on his hands than the bread, he is happy with his handy work. Then I suggest he add mustard. 

The mustard went just as well as the mayo. Then we hit a small snag. I didn't stop to think of the freakish strength kids use to do simple things. Like, oh... rubbing two pieces of bread together to spread mustard on both pieces. 

He squished the poor defenseless bread within an inch, or rather centimeter of its life. About a quarter of the bottom bun said, "Forget this!" and ran for its life. 

Obviously this is cause for a bit of stress, right? Not in my eyes, but A was devastated. He's a perfectionist. If something does not go absolutely right the first time around its cause for an Epic Fit. 

Quickly I tried to cover up the mess by suggesting we add ketchup. A wailed that he couldn't repeat the squishing to spread the ketchup like he did the mustard. Smart kid, he knew the bun was, well... toast. (haha!)

I hand over the spatula, thinking he can't possibly do any more damage with it. Again, Auntie obviously wasn't thinking. A knocked another chunk of bun free and screamed. (My ears are still ringing)

By then my mother was standing in the door way trying not to laugh at my plight. This was my idea and she was letting me deal with it. Thanks mom. I love you too. 

Between the three of us we slap together the rest of the hamburger. A is now bawling and screaming that its ruined, that he can't possibly eat it because it isn't perfect. He gets up from the table three times before his stomach got the best of him and he plopped his butt down.

Mom and I are in stitches. We can hardly breathe, let alone serve ourselves dinner. It was the best dinner entertainment we'd seen in a while. All it cost us was our ear drums!


A did finally manage to eat dinner with us. Notice the trail of tears running down his little cheek? My little drama king got his act together to dress up his own hot dog this afternoon. I'm so proud!

Wash Your Wiener

I figured it would only be fitting to christen this blog by sharing the most embarrassing thing I've done to the kid. This week at least.

(Please note: I will not use A's full name on this blog. This is for his safety.)

A has an aversion to cleanliness. This is not a family trait as my mother and I are constantly fighting over who will get to use the one shower in the house. Its gotta be a boy thing, that is the only way to explain how he can roll around in the dirt and then refuse to take a bath.

The last couple of weeks have been stressful for me on a deeply personal level. That's the only excuse I can think of to explain how A managed to go without a bath three days in a row. As soon as I realized it I marched his whining behind into the bathroom and started the bath.

Once the kiddo realized he was going to get to play in the water he was perfectly fine. I let him splash, squeal, and play for a good ten minuets before reminding him he needed to actually use soap during bath time, and yes that means washing your hair too. 

A quick note about our house. Its old. From what I've been told we are nearing 100 years on the house. The bathroom has indeed been updated, but not so far as to put in a ventilation fan. The small windows stay cracked open, just enough to let steam out. It would work perfectly except for the fact that now the neighbors can hear everything happening in the bathroom.

A got his hair washed and rinsed with minimal fuss. He seemed giddy to be able to use his dolphin bath poof to scrub his body... up until it came time to wash his privates. 

"Wash your wiener, kiddo." I called across the room while looking for the puppy dog towel he wanted.

"But it hurts!" He squealed.

Ut oh... Sure enough his little thing was red. (Another note, his mother didn't give him the "snip". So we are blessed with extra cleaning issues downstairs.)

"Sorry, baby, but you need to wash your wiener."

It took about ten minuets of him whining and me yelling "Wash your wiener!" across the bathroom for him to finally clean it right. All the time I was hoping like hell that the neighbors weren't on that side of the house.

I couldn't be so lucky.

As I fished the child-prune out of the bath I heard them snickering and laughing in their kitchen. Yup, they'd heard and apparently sympathized. Sure, their boy is a father himself now, but you never forget the trials of raising a boy. 

Now every night I yell "Wash your wiener!" without worry. A giggles and does as I ask. He knows first hand what happens when you ignore such an important task during bath time.