She’s Kind of Like a 3-year-old Adult

harry and cass2

My youngest is three and I just threw away the little potty. I had to. I couldn’t bear to dump even one more turd out of it into the big toilet. I just couldn’t do it. Sorry little 3-year-old…you’re pooping on the big potty from now on. I feel bad, like somehow she got the shaft in the whole “little potty” department. But seriously, my oldest is 11…almost 12. I’ve been holding my nose and dumping dookie for a long time. I never would have tossed the little potty when my oldest was only 3. At that point I think I was still giving him stickers and buying him prizes every time he went in the bathroom and did his business. If someone had suggested having him go on the big toilet (when he was a mere 36 months) I would have been as horrified as if they suggested I dip him in honey and lay him over an ant hill.

Yes, the life my 11-year-old led when he was just a little 3-year-old is quite different from the life my current 3-year-old leads.

For one thing, his drinks were always in sippy cups. Always. Usually milk, sometimes apple juice that had been cut with water. She has developed a taste for Sprite. Yes, soda. (Don’t judge me.) And she loves chocolate milk (which she can make herself if no one is getting it for her fast enough.) We may have one sippy cup somewhere in the house, but I can’t find the lid.

His bath time was all Johnson & Johnson Baby Head to Toe wash because it is gentle on the skin. Her bath time is more like “careful you don’t get any of that bar of Dial soap in your eyes because it will sting like the dickens.”

When my oldest was 3 he watched shows like Thomas the Train and Caillou. Now that my 5th child is 3 she watches Impractical Jokers. It’s her favorite show. She can name them all and even has a favorite one. (Sal) You’ve gotta hand it to her, she has good taste in shows. Impractical Jokers is hysterical…and Thomas the Train totally jumped the shark when they started animating the faces.

With him I was cutting his food into such small pieces that I might as well have just chewed everything up first and then placed it into his mouth like a mother bird. (No, seriously that is so gross I just threw up in my mouth a little at the thought of it. Alicia Silverstone did that when her son was little. I think I have post-traumatic stress just from watching that video. Here is the link so you can be mentally tortured, too. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMjyiHQoWxs) My current 3-year-old will grab a large piece of pepperoni pizza, fold it in half and eat it like a boss.

With the older kids, their lives are documented with meticulous detail in their baby books. With my youngest I think I may have written the day and time she was born and that’s pretty much it. There is no written record of her first words, although I’m pretty sure they were something along the lines of, “Oh, forget it, I’ll just do it myself.”

How much of this is birth order and how much of this is just who they are? I mean, it’s pretty clear that my parenting was different with my first baby than it was 8 years later with my 5th baby…but was it really THAT different? If she had been first and he had been last would she be asking me to get her a glass of milk at 11 years old, and would he have been turning socks right-side-out before he put them on at 3? I mean, he did pretty much come out of the womb like “take care of me” and she came out like “if you can just hand me the blue bulb thingy I will suction my own mucus out of my nose.”

So maybe it is just a matter of “you are who you are” from the minute you are born, with a little dash of parenting style in there to give you the platform to be yourself. Or to screw  you up. Either way.


Don’t Call Me Ma’am


I think I might be old. I’m not sure, but things do seem to be leaning in that direction. Even the damn whipper-snapper bagging my groceries at the local supermarket the other morning can tell. He looked me right in the eye and called me “Ma’am”. MA’AM! And then he asked me if I needed help bringing my groceries out to the car. WTF?! That’s it…right now, buddy, you and me, OUTSIDE… I’m gonna kick your ass!

But I don’t really need some young wisenheimer to remind me that I’m getting up there in age. Here are nine ways I can tell that I’m old…and one reason why I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I Don’t Get Carded ~ Why don’t they card me anymore? I could be an underage buyer about to commit a Pinot Noir purchasing crime. What makes them so sure I’m over 21? Is it my gray roots? The age spots on my hands? It’s my neck, isn’t it? I’m starting to get a gizzardy thing, right? Just tell me. No…WAIT…don’t tell me. I don’t want to know. Just give me the damn wine and no one gets hurt.

The Good ol’ Days ~ I actually start sentences with, “When I was your age…” I can go on and on about how we didn’t have the internet, cell phones, or GPS. We only had, like, 5 channels on the tv…and if we wanted the tv channels to come in clearly we had to adjust the rabbit ears (or maybe put tinfoil on them.) If we needed information we had to get our parents to take us to the library. And the biggest, baddest video game system we had was Atari (Frogger, Qbert, Space Invaders). I tell my kids these stories with a sense of nostalgic bliss. Those were the days. But seeing it written here in black & white, it is pretty clear that those were actually NOT the days. At all.  
Number One ~ The time between, “I have to pee.” and “Omigod I have to pee right now. Like, RIGHT now! Immediately. Where is the bathroom? I’m going to pee my pants!!” is about a nano-second. Half a nano-second, really. And ain’t nobody can make it to the bathroom in half a nano-second, catch my drift?
Bedtime ~ Left to my own devices I would go to bed at 8:00. Maybe even 7:30. My perfect night would be to eat an early dinner (early bird special), put on a comfy robe and cozy slippers, crochet a few doilies (just kidding, I don’t crochet), and go to bed with a good book.
Bedtime II ~ The kicker is that even though I can fall asleep annoyingly early (according to my husband, who also claims that I snore) I can’t stay asleep for the whole night. Insomnia. I don’t actually mind though. It is literally the ONLY time that someone in the house isn’t needing me to do something for them. It’s just me and the tv. Pure bliss.
I can no longer spin in a circle without getting motion sick. ~ If I do spin around (for instance, when I’m in the kitchen pretending I’m a ballarina) I have to immediately spin in the opposite direction to unwind. I can’t even watch my kids spin in a circle without getting dizzy myself. Why is that? Even swinging on a swing at the playground makes me feel sick. (That’s a sign of getting old, right? Or should I be Web-MD’ing these symptoms?)
I’m suddenly far-sighted. ~ If I were in my twenties and needed glasses to read I would go to the eye doctor and they would send me to Lens Crafters with a prescription. I would pick out a pair of nifty frames, and when it came time to read something I would put on my new glasses and I would just be this super cute far-sighted person. Now I can’t read anything close-up, and no one says anything about going to the doctor. I’m just supposed to go to my local CVS and get “readers”. Readers! And I’m supposed to buy them in bulk and leave them all around the house. Yea, that’s not happening.
What did I come in here for? ~ This is pretty self-explanatory. It’s what I ask myself practically every time I go into a room to get something. I wander aimlessly around the house trying to remember what it is that I forgot. Or sometimes I’ll walk all through the house looking for my cell phone…which is in my hand, pressed against my ear because I’m actually talking on it and saying to the person on the other end, “I can’t find my cell phone anywhere.” (Again, Web-MD??)

Energy ~ I comment on the energy little kids have, “Imagine having that much energy?” or “It’d be nice to have that much energy, huh?” But honestly, I don’t want that much energy. Why would I want to bounce around the house like a bunny all day? Why would I want to run and then drop to my knees to see how far I can slide across the hard wood floor? Why would I want to enter the living room by flipping over the back of the couch and landing horizontal on the cushions? I don’t want that. And you know what else…

I’m glad that I’m getting older.

I like getting older.

Life gets better the older I get ~ I’m happier now than I was 10 years ago. And 10 years ago I was happier than I was 10 years before that. I know myself better. I like myself more. I appreciate things. I make more choices based on the fact that they are good choices for me, not because they make someone else happy. And I don’t really care as much what other people think about me as I used to… or as much as I probably still should. (Yes, I’m referring to wearing my pajama bottoms to the grocery store sometimes. You want to make something of it?)

So there you have it. I may be an old, wrinkled, early-bird special gal who can’t spin in a circle. But I’m good with it. I like it. A lot.


You’ve Got to Be F’ing Kidding me Right Now

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Sent my preschooler to school today dressed in full “Beach Day” attire, only to get there and realize that it is, in fact, “Pajama Day” today.

While I was there I saw that today is also “Pizza Day”. My plan of going to Barnes & Nobles (and drinking a hot Chai Tea Latte while I flip through books on how to become a Day Trader so I can can become independently wealthy in my spare time) is thrown out the window because now I have to go home and actually wash my hair (which is all matted and narly from not having been washed for so many days). All so I can go enjoy pizza with my 3-year-old without people wondering if I am homeless and just there for the free meal.

Oh, and over the weekend I had the below text exchange with my husband (while I was down the Cape for a Girl’s Weekend, holla!)

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This should all explain, quite clearly, why the motto in my house (at least in my own head) is “Are you fucking kidding me right now?” By the way, this motto is not going anywhere soon.


Let’s Share, Shall We?


You know how someone tells you a story about their kids and you are like, “oh thank God it is not just me”? Let’s do that. Let’s share. I’ll start…

I’m not the only one whose morning routine is basically just a routine of complete chaos, right? No one can ever find their shoes or sweatshirts for some reason. EVER. And I don’t know why it doesn’t occur to me to locate the missing, but necessary, items until we are literally walking out the door. That is like, practically, EVERY day of our lives. (Except Saturdays when we don’t have to be anywhere, and Sundays when CCD is cancelled.)

Oh, and it’s not just me who will drive back through the McDonald’s drive-thru to ask for a different prize in my kids’ Happy Meal, right? I did this yesterday. I had two of the kids in the car, ordered two Happy Meals, got two DIFFERENT prizes. What the heck?! I had to loop around and go back to the window. It sounds mental, I know…but it was so much easier than listening to my 5-year old throw a fit.

Tell me I’m not the only one who will resort to giving the little ones Cheez-its for breakfast as we are rushing out the door to be fashionably late for preschool. It’s either that or grab a donut on the way…and somehow the Cheez-its seem like a better choice. You know, because Cheez-its have cheese (flavoring) and cheese has calcium, and calcium gives you strong bones and teeth. Score.

And speaking of food, I’m sure it’s not just in my house that everyone devours the bananas like they are going out of style, and then begs me to buy more bananas because they LOOOVE them. Which I’m happy to do because, well, they’re bananas. But also because bananas are the best kept secret in the supermarket. You can buy a zillion bananas and it will only cost you about 2 bucks. So I do just that. I buy a zillion bananas for my banana-loving kids. I now have a zillion brown/turning black bananas on my counter because, yea, they’re all set with bananas.

Please tell me I’m not the only one who uses paper plates, paper cups, and plastic utensils because it cuts down on how many dishes I have to actually wash. I know, I know, it’s bad for the environment. But you wouldn’t be judging me if you knew how much I truly hate doing the dishes.

I also hate cleaning the bathrooms. It’s not just my boys who can’t aim, right? I’m talking, can’t aim to the point that I’m pretty sure they are peeing with their eyes closed. Sometimes I make them clean it themselves, which grosses them out. But it doesn’t gross them out enough to open their eyes the next time they pee.

Ummmmm, it’s not just in my car where someone will yell “food fight!” and suddenly a corn muffin will go whizzing past your head, right? Right? Okay, that may just be my car.

But I know that it’s not just me who goes grocery shopping and then two days later has no food left in the house because the kids have gone on an all-you-can-eat bender. I know that happens in your house, too because you’ve told me.

Please tell me I’m not the only one who screams “WILL YOU JUST SHUT UP!!!” silently in my head while my nine-year-old follows me all around the house talking and talking and talking. Oh, and he’s a low-talker so sometimes I can’t even hear what he’s saying, but I know he’s talking because his lips are moving and I can hear a faint murmuring sound coming from them. Wait, I just re-read that and it sounds mean so I would like to clarify that for the first hour of our one-sided conversation I am fully engaged. But eventually someone else needs attention and the nine-year-old just keeps on talking/murmuring with no end in sight. So that is when I begin my silent screaming.

Oh, and you know how I mentioned above that we are fashionably late for preschool (every day)? Well that is because my 5-year-old spends so much time standing in front of the mirror and making up songs about how pretty she is. That happens in your house, too, right?

How about one of my sons who will risk being late and getting detention because his gelled hair isn’t flipping just right? My house only?

I can’t possibly be the only one who buys the kids boatloads of socks, only to have them completely disappear into thin air, right? Does that happen at your house? I can’t understand it. I will go thru the entire house and find every single sock and I will do a socks only wash. I will wash them, dry them, match them, fold them, and huck them into the sock basket. And still there will only be like 5 pair in there. Five. I just bought three 8-packs. And now we have 5 matching socks.

Speaking of laundry, am I the only one who smells clothes to determine if they are clean or dirty? Just because it’s on the floor doesn’t mean that it is dirty. Sometimes it means that it was tried on, determined to be unsatisfactory, and discarded onto the rug. I’m not doing any more laundry than I have to, and I’m not about to rewash clean clothes. So I smell them. Big whiff. Yup, dirty. Gag. (It should be noted that I draw the line at underwear. If underwear is on the floor it goes in the wash. Clean, dirty, I don’t care. I’m not smelling it.)

Okay, it’s your turn. See the little comment section below? Drop me a line and share a story. It’ll make us all feel so much better to know that we are not living in Crazytown alone. And…..GO!

PS~ Check me out on ScaryMommy.com on Friday! Yay!!


What the Black Light Revealed

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I have some wicked important information for you. Kind of like a life lesson. I’ve posted about life lessons before, but this very important life lesson hadn’t happened yet or else I would have included it. In fact, it would have been first on the list. It’s a real doozy. This life lesson involves a microwave, an egg, an invisible ink spy pen, and an unexpected encounter with a black light. Let me begin…

On Sunday, my eight-year-old got two invisible ink spy pens as one of his birthday presents. (You know the kind that you use write stuff, but you can’t see what you’ve written until you shine a special black light onto it.) All five kids immediately got work using the pens to write all over everything, including themselves and each other (one of them claims to have also written on the wall…but I still can’t find it.) The girls drew invisible ink mustaches on themselves, invisible ink hearts on their arms, and invisible ink squiggle lines all over their legs. The boys went in a different direction with their art work. In typical boy fashion, they decided to tackle each other and then write words on each others’ faces. If they could hold the other person down long enough to draw a picture on their cheek…all the better. It was all such great fun, and at no time was I screaming at them to cut the crap.

Shortly after they decided to heed my warning and to cut the crap, my nine-year old was cooking an egg in the microwave by cracking it into a cup of water and cooking it on high for 2 ½ minutes. He learned this trick on the internet. You shouldn’t necessarily always do tricks that you learn on the internet. That is a good life lesson…but it is not the life lesson that I am talking about.

When he took the cup out of the microwave he tried to scoop the egg out with a fork, which pierced the cooked yolk and caused the egg to explode and boiling water and burning egg to burst out right at his eyes. None of us knew that could happen. We obviously never would have let him cook an egg that way if we knew. Apparently you’re supposed to pierce the yolk when it is still raw to break the membrane so the steam can escape while it is cooking. That is actually very good information, and a key life lesson. But it is not the life lesson that I am talking about.

So we rush him to the ER where they take him right in to be checked. Did you know that there is a really cool dye that they can put in your eyes that will make your eyeballs glow in the dark? Well, there is. And the doctor puts it in your eyes, turns off the light, and then uses a big ol’ black light to illuminate your eyes. A black light. Which not only illuminates your eyes, but (much to my horror) your cheeks…and your forehead.

Now pay attention, because here is the part with the wicked important life lesson: Do NOT, under any circumstance, EVER let your brothers write a word or draw a picture across your forehead in invisible ink. Just don’t. Because you have no idea how absolutely mortified your mother will be as she is standing nervously beside your bed in the pediatric wing of the ER, when suddenly the black light is switched on, and there, written across your cute little innocent forehead, in big block letters, lit up for all the world to see, is the word PENIS.

*For info on safely cooking eggs in the microwave click here

*My nine-year-old suffered 2nd degree burns around his eyes and on his wrist, but is healing up remarkably fast. He claims he will never eat an egg again.