Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Letter to My Angel

The other day, my little cherub, as you were ripping the miniature feathers out of our angel halo, I calmly told you to stop destoying it.  "Give it to Mommy", "NO, I ANGEL", you shouted, as you put the bent, half-wrecked, halo on your head.  That cracked me up.  There are times when I feel like I am seriously on the brink of insanity, and then you make me laugh.  Thank you for that.

While I am thinking of it, thank you for pulling the curtains, with rod, plumb off the wall yesterday.  I have been meaning to take them down to clean them.  If it wasn't for you, those curtains would have remained on the wall for at least another month, or so. The bottoms have been looking like a used tissue, lately.  That reminds me, honey, when you need a tissue, just ask Mommy, I would be happy to get you one.  The air-hanky thing really skeeves me out.  The curtains are in the washer, and it will be thrilling to have squeaky clean curtains again.  It's the little things in a hausfrau's life that make her happy.

After having fished some lime green Play Doh out of my dusty breast pump, it occurred to me that you were trying to tell me something.  You are absolutely right, it IS time to start pumping my milk, and work on weaning your 16 month old brother.  While I am proud to say that my relationship with Play Doh HAS evolved, I would still like to have a few words with the inventor - who I swear must not be a parent.

The Crispix cereal in the mini suitcase was a laugh riot.  Afterall, it WAS stale, so it helped me make the decision to put it in the compost bin.  Some lucky worms will have a nice snack, thanks to your thoughtfulness.

Thank you for helping Mommy vaccum yesterday.  When I said, "Pick up your shirt", I didn't mean with the vaccum.  Although, what a good idea. How wonderful it would be to just vaccum things up that you'd rather not see lying on the floor.  How relieved I was that it ruined the vaccum, rather that your Thomas The Tank Engine T-shirt, being that it is the only item of clothing that you will actually wear these days.  What a blessing that it started smoking, and didn't stop for a good, ten, smelly, minutes.  That vaccum came with the haus, and it has been the bane of my existence since we moved in 6 months ago.  Your father believed that it worked just fine, in all of it's non-sucking, (literally, not figuratively), glory.  I do want to mention that I am glad that it did not suck up those 2 little diamonds that we discovered embedded in our god-awful-used-to-be-a-shag-36-years-ago-carpet.  That is a good reminder to take them to the jeweler to have them appraised.  Who knows, they may actually finance a small European vacation.

Yesterday, when you locked yourself in that room we call your bedroom, (although you have never actually slept in there, despite the cool race car bed that we purchased for you) - the first time you caused me quite a panic.  The second time, I was less concerned, knowing that you knew how to insert the skeleton key into it's keyhole and open the door all by yourself.  I was very thankful to enjoy a sip of HOT coffee, for once.  The screams tipped me off, that it might be a good idea to check in on you.  Good thing, because you managed to slide the key under the door to Mommy this time. 

When I am at my wit's end, I will read this letter that I have written to you.  Hopefully, it will serve as a gentle reminder that you always mean well.  I may not be able to find a reason to thank you for ripping the wallpaper off of the wall, or coloring on it for that matter...but I will continue to search my brain for the lesson that I was supposed to learn from it. Thank you.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Writing's On The Wall

The inevitable happened yesterday - My older toddler drew on the walls with crayon, (black), for the first time.

Another inevitable happened today.  Same toddler cursed in front of his Speech Therapist (of all people).

She visits our home to work with him once every 2 weeks.  She was putting her high heel boots on, (despite a recent broken ankle,, hello, GOBS OF SNOW ON THE GROUND...but who am I to judge?), getting ready to leave our haus.  Heels are just not a part of this momma's wardrobe these days.  Unless of course they are a chunky wedge, which are comfy, and only worn on the rare occasion, so they don't really count.  Anyway, A.M. proceeds to unlock the gate, and go downstairs to retrieve a few trains, that little brother (F.M.), threw down there earlier.  He stops dead in his tracks on the stairs to admire his black-crayon-on-the-wall-artwork that he colored yesterday.  Then he starts saying, "Damn it, damn it, damn it....", you get the picture, about 13 more times.  UUUUGH! 

A.M. pointing to the "Nemo" that he drew.  I was shocked at how much it resembles a fish.

It isn't as if we run around the haus talking like sailors.  Ok, well my husband IS a soldier, and he IS responsible for my son learning this word.  He will swear to you up and down that this is not his fault.  He stopped saying this word months ago, after he heard, finally, with his own ears, our son repeating it, in the appropriate, (if there is one), context.  Part of the problem is, hubby isn't around during the day when all the uber emabarrassing events occur.  Like when our son is picking hot-fresh-boogies and handing them to his Educational Specialist, or cursing in front of the Speech Therapist, or removing ALL of his clothes at his own Valentine party, and then putting on a naughty show, that I am not going to get in to at this time.  Mommy is the one left blushing, feeling like a crappy parent.

So, this tells me that this word is burned into his little 35 month old brain.  What to do?  How do I erase it?   I've tried reasoning with him, I have tried explaining that it is not a nice word, I have even tried ignoring it - with hopes that it would just go away...sigh.  He is to start school in about a month, it's bad enough that I have to worry about him beating on the other children, let alone sass-talking the teacher.  Perhaps he will learn SO MUCH in school, that he will forget all about this pesky word.  That's my theory, and I am sticking to it.

The Artist with his work.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Dermatology 101

Every dermatologist that I have ever visited takes one look at me and comments about the amount of skin damage I have.  In my teenage years, (aka - Wildwood Days), I was extremely careless about getting sunburnt.  Instead of sunscreen I lathered on baby oil...I know, it's appalling.  I definitely had my fair share of sun poisoning, and I imagine that my future will be filled with repeat visits to the dermatologist's office to have various things removed from my body. 

The Doctor asks me if I have been staying out of the sun.  "Of course I'm staying out of the sun, I live in Germany", is always my response.  That seems to be the theme of my week...depressing German weather.  Lately, I am not sure if I live in Seattle or Germany.  The weather has been so dreary and depressing, and damp, that the sun coming out feels like reason for celebration. Staying cooped up in the haus (no matter how big), is making me feel totally insane. 

Getting back to the Dermatologist - So, as luck would have it, I happen to meet the only Dermatologist in the world that does not derive some sadistic pleasure from removing growths from patient's bodies.  Isn't that why they go into that field in the first place?  Who knows.  Pregnancy graced me with some bizarre skin troubles.  I even grew a penis.  OK, well, not really, but who knew that skin tags can grow really long, and plump from filling with blood, and in the pubic region of all places.  That is a story for another time.  Believe me, it's a good one.  This man identified all of my skin tags and moles as being non-cancerous, therefore, not necessary for removal.  Gotta love these Military Doctors.  I tried to explain that they get irratated and itchy, because they are along my bra line.  His response, "They can itch, and they can be uncomfortable".  He also deemed an ugly, hard, shiny, red bump (compliments of my first pregancy), on my leg, as a benign tumor.  He informed me that he has the same thing, and even lifted his pant leg to show me the spot on his knee where it resides. 

This reminds me of a story a former co-worker of mine once told me.  As an infant his mother was overly concerned that this child had an extra set of nipples.  The Doc assured her that it was actually quite common, and proceeded to unbutton his shirt to show her just how common.  How's that for freaky?
Getting back, I can never stay on track.  In the end, Doc sent me on my way with said skin tags, moles, and tumor still attached to my person.  He gave instructions to have my birthday suit looked over by a dermatologist once a year.  I still need to have my 37 year old birthday suit looked at.  The horror - having someone other than my husband look at my naked body post 2 babies, (again).  While I am thrilled that none of my gazillion moles/freckles are cancerous, I would really like the scary ones removed, please.  Is that really too much to ask?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Penis Issues

Penis Issues...yep, I got 'em, and I don't even have a penis to call my own. I am the mother to 2 little boys and the Step-Mom to a tween boy. Never in my life did I ever imagine I would be surrounded by this much testosterone without being at a gay bar. My husband thinks I am destined to only conceive the male species due to some karmic debt he thinks I am paying, for being mean to boys as a teenager. My Scottish friend Lindsey thinks I only make boys because, (before becoming a parent), I told her that I could never get a male dog because their, "lipsticks", freak me out too much. So here I am surrounded by men.

When we first found out that I was carrying a boy, I was freaked out that there was a penis growing inside of my belly. I am not sure if this thought crosses every preggers-with-a-boy Mom's mind or not - but I have heard at least one other friend express this emotion to me. I convinced myself that I vomited for the entire pregnancy (except for a 2 week reprieve at around the 6 month mark), because my body wasn't used to the male hormones that were invading my system. I puked in every square inch of our rented townhouse, on my husband, the dog, (just as she came out of the groomer, of all times), restaurants, in the car, in my Mother-in-Law's passenger seat, in the grocery store; I even vomited en route to the Operating Room.

So, I TOLD my husband that he was in responsible for handling all PENIS ISSUES. After all, he is a man, and that is his turf. Little did I know that these said issues would ARISE (pun intended), so early in my little human's life. So here I am finding myself faced with penis issues (literally) nearly every day with my 2.75 year old, and Daddy is conveniently at work. Out of necessity, I needed to start getting comfortable talking to my son about his penis. Otherwise, I would have a little boy proudly displaying his member in the Post Office (true story). I finally got to use my favorite line of all time from a commercial, "BIG BOYS DON'T PULL THEIR PANTS DOWN IN PUBLIC". I wish I could remember what that commercial was for - I think it should be required viewing for all Mommies of little boys. A fruit snack spot, I think, anywhooooo....

It innocently began when he discovered his penis ala bathtub. It made me feel strange when he found it, over and over again. But I like to think that I am a progressive parent, so we teach him that it is ok to touch himself (in the privacy of his own home, of course). Sex is not dirty, it is perfectly natural. We made an active choice to teach him the anatomical name (penis) for his genitalia. We're still working on testicles - as does not roll off the tongue as easily.

Side story (I apologize for getting off track, but this cracks me up) - When I was teaching Art to 6th Graders (oh, the hormones, and the overwhelming scent of Axe body spray)...the wise-beyond-her-years daughter, of an editor at the Washington Post, told a fellow student that his drawing of a shoe looked like a penis. Talk about the chaos that erupted. My entire class was ready to stone her for saying a word, which is the technical term for this particular organ! I distinctly remember one young man saying, "My Daddy would whoop my behind if he ever heard me say that word". I gently reminded the class that penis is not a bad word; it is the correct name for male parts, but that this was not a discussion that we needed to have in Art class.

Getting back, my son has trouble keeping his pants on. I hope that I will not find myself saying this during his teenage years. My Mom keeps telling me that I am going to need to keep a close eye on him, because he likes to "make-out", with the ladies. He really likes kissing, he is very passionate, and it scares the heck out of me. The minute he gets an erection - he swiftly removes his diaper and tells me that his penis is "stuck", and that it hurts. No book on toddlerhood could have ever prepared me for the first time this happened. That is why I consider it my civic duty to Mothers everywhere to educate them in the realness of these matters. A good laugh was shared when an acquaintance told me that when her little boy was almost a year old, she called Pediatrics because his penis was hard and red. She remembered that after his circumcision, she was given explicit instructions to call immediately if these conditions presented themselves. This was almost 12 months later, so the office informed her that it was an erection, and that it was normal. She was embarrassed and is quite sure that they had fun retelling her story. Forgive me if you are a seasoned Mother of boys, and this is all old hat to you. You may have teenagers and be dealing with (gasp) sex…

Good thing none of this occurred while the teenage, German babysitter that we decided to try out was at our haus. Her Mother informed me, over coffee, that her daughter would not change boy diapers...besides, she has never seen a penis, and she wouldn't even know what to do with one. Too tempting, I am not even going to go there. Needless to say, THAT relationship did not work out. My boys would have scarred her for life.

"Your penis is just saying good morning to you, it's ok", is my response for erections. Personally, I think it is brilliant. Now if I could just tackle the pesky problem of him stripping down and urinating in the Entertainment Center cabinet, I would be a happy frau.