Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A note from Kristina

So today, Husband and I were watching Martha Stewart. Neither of us are huge fans, but occasionally I can gleam something useful. No doubt others get more use out of her tips, but some things I just don't have the time or funds for...

Anyway, a little sneak peak about the next show came on and announced that the topic will be blogs. I'm a bit interested for obvious reasons. Husband, however, was not so amused.

"I hate blogs," he said.

I looked at him.

"What?" he asked.

I continued to look at him.


"I'll have you know I have eight followers," I announced proudly, like I just received the Nobel Prize in literature.

What's even better is as of this post, I don't have eight. Somewhere in the last few days, I gained two. Now I have TEN! I couldn't be happier. Unless, of course, I had twenty.

So, let me just say thank you, thank you, thank you to those who have clicked the follower button. It only encourages me to write more.


Resolute-tion: noun. A New Years resolution that a person is absolutely determined to achieve, regardless of whether or not they have attempted it before.

We know the resolution thing, don't we? We're going to lose 10 pounds or finally get that novel published. For this post, I wanted a word that was more than a mere resolution, but something more serious sounding. OK, I'm not all that good with serious, but still...

So, here are my resolute-tions:
1. Make better use of my journal. It's there. It's been there a while. But I really want to use it more. I pulled out my journal and saw that on 1/1/06, I had made that same resolution. Oops.

2. Lay off the junk food. I really want to get back down to where I was before my first pregnancy. I have a while to go.

3. Spend more real quality time with my kids. Not that I don't spend any with them now, but they could always use more.

4. Prioritize and organize. That one is too complicated for me to explain without boring you.

So, do you have an resolute-tions this year? Feel free to post in the comment section.

Friday, December 26, 2008


Confusasign (confuse-a-sign): noun. A sign that has an obvious meaning to an adult, but is confusing to a child.

PBS, you've done it again. Thanks to our buddy Curious George for teaching Monkey Son #1 about signs.

So, he now knows that if a sign has an image, and that image is circled with a line through it, it means no. For example, a picture of a dog that is circled with a line through it means no dogs allowed. Pretty simple.

So a few weeks ago, we are driving through an area we rarely visit when Monkey Son #1 sees a no parking sign. "No Parking" was not written out, but instead was a large letter "P" circled with a line through it.

"Look," said Monkey Son #1. "P's aren't allowed there."

Monday, December 22, 2008

Guest Entry: Wiz-Dumb

Wiz-dumb: noun. The type of parenting "wisdom" or advice an outside person gives a parent, though the parent thinks the advice itself is worthless.

Thanks to mommy Brenda for sending in this word and story.

Brenda's family never puts up a Christmas tree because they are not home for Christmas, but there is generally one where she and her family go for the holidays. This year they are bringing with them an 11 month old and she is concerned about the baby playing with the Christmas tree. When she brought this up to her relatives, she was told, "Don't worry. If he gets around the tree, we'll just tell him 'no'."

(For those of you who aren't parents, you can't tell an 11 month old "no" and expect it to have a lasting effect. You can't just tell him once and that be it. He will still need heightened supervision to keep him away from the tree. I can't even keep my 16 month old away from mine.)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Layout

I've loaded a layout for Christmas, but I'm not sure if I love it. I'll leave it up until Christmas unless you all don't like it, at which point I'll change to the old style.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Holinsanity: noun. The particular type of insanity people, especially parents, get around the holidays.

The other day I was watching the Office (the American version with Steve Carell). In the beginning of the episode, Dwight researches what toy will be most popular that year and slowly buys out that toy from all of the area stores. Then, as Christmas creeps closer, he sells the toys to desperate parents and makes a huge profit. Despite paying $200 for a rather freaky looking doll, the parents go away completely thrilled and thanking Dwight for his help.

There's not much of a chance I'm going to spend $200 for a $15 toy even if it is the hottest toy of the season. OK, I admit Monkey Son #1 is getting an in-demand pirate ship, but I didn't kill myself trying to get it, either.

In a semi-related story, Younger Sister decided to go out to the early morning Black Friday sales. She explained that when you only have a certain amount to spend, you want to get the best deal you can. She was out the door at about 4am. Although she came back very happy with her purchases and the small amount she paid for them, she did tell me people were being crazy. She was told that before she arrived at a particular store, people were arguing and saying things like, "Just because you're fat doesn't mean you get to go first." Merry Christmas to you, too, I suppose.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Cartoon Mirroring

Cartoon Mirroring: verb. To imitate a cartoon.

For those of you who don't know, PBS has a Curious George cartoon that is very cute and educational. However, I really wish they would leave some things out of it. For instance, there was an episode where George was using two toy cars as roller skates, which of course looked like a lot of fun. So much fun that Monkey Son #1 decided to try it. Fortunately, I saw what he was doing before he got hurt or broke anything. The toy cars he was using weren't even the same size, and one of them doesn't roll very well.

I guess, deep down, I can't blame him. When I was a child, I wondered if you really could slip on a banana peel like I saw in cartoons. So I tried it. It turns out that it does really work, or at least it does on a hard floor. Ouch.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

300 Roses

300 Roses: noun. A term to describe anything that sounds way too expensive or impractical for the family budget.

So I picked up a book at the library full of Christmas crafts and recipes. I thought I could gleam ideas for craft activities with Monkey Son #1. Some of the projects were really cute and practical, like how to take parts of old Christmas cards and turn them into new ones. Others seemed super expensive. We're talking about decorations that are going to deteriorate very fast because they are made with things like fresh orange halves. Maybe the authors know something I don't? Maybe the moss slows down decomposition? I don't know, and am not willing to spend a lot of money on what I don't know. Now, I'm not saying the projects aren't pretty. In fact, they're stunning. Just a bit too impractical for my tastes.

What really got my attention was the "Rose Wreath." This project calls for (and I kid you not) 250-300 fresh red roses of varying sizes and hues. After a quick Google research, I find that even at wholesale, just the roses would be at least $250, not to mention the other items needed to make the wreath. I just have to wonder if it would be worth having a rose wreath on your door for a few days a year...

(By the way, I have nothing against anyone who does these kind of projects, but with two young children in my house, space and finances are definitely limited.)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Human Bowling Ball

Human Bowling Ball: noun. A child that feels the way to play a game is to hurl themselves into it and knock down all the pieces. Games include but are not limited to toy bowling sets.

Remember when I mentioned that Monkey Son #2 received a toy bowling set? Let me explain to you how this game now works.

Step 1: Set up bowling pins.

Step 2: Monkey son #1 rolls the ball towards the pins, while I hold back Monkey Son #2.

Step 3: I release Monkey Son #2, who runs as fast as he can towards the pins. His feet slide out form under him, causing him to land on his bottom somewhere in the vicinity of the pins.

Step 4: Monkey Son #2 sweeps his arms around until all the pins are down. He then claps for himself and says, "Yay!"

New Widget

I've added the Follower widget to the right side. Now it is easier to follow the Mom-tionary!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Shape Mistake

Shape Mistake: noun. The mistake a child makes when confusing one object with another because of the similar shapes.

Monkey Son #1 and I were making an Advent Calender out of construction paper. We made a Christmas tree and some little paper ornaments with numbers on them with the idea that we put up one ornament per day until Christmas. What confused me, though, was that when Monkey Son #2 saw the ornaments on the table, he went up to them and seemed to want one, saying "Fank oo (Thank you)."

I didn't know why he wanted one, but I gave him one that had not been colored. Again he said, "Fank oo," and toddled off. When he was a few steps away, he stopped and tried to take a bite. He pulled back out of his mouth immediately when he realized it was not a ginger snap.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Familial Empathy

Familial Empathy: noun. The feelings of sorrow, fear, or joy you experience by seeing other families going through times of hardship or happiness.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned a woman named Ter whose husband had cancer. I haven't been to her blog for a while, and wanted to check in there to see how things were going. To my sadness, her husband passed a few days ago. I left her condolences and reminded her that she is in my prayers. Then I cried.

I'm not really sure why I cried. I've never met this woman or her husband, and though I've seen the photo of her on her blog, I doubt I would recognize her in the street. Yet, there is something about her story that touches us all. I suppose it is imagining what is going on in her life right now and how she is feeling that pulls my heart so much. How can we not feel for someone who is living our biggest fears?

For those of you who pray, please keep Ter and her family in your prayers. You can also read her blog here.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Fun to Irritation Ratio

Fun to Irritation Ratio: noun. The highly scientific ratio of a child's fun with a particular object versus their parents' irritation and frustration with their child for playing with that object.

I've just returned from a Thanksgiving trip to see my father, step-mother, younger sister and her family. We had a great time just drinking tea and taking outings. On one outing, my dad announced that he needed the moms and pulled Younger Sister and I into a toy store. We were instructed to pick one toy for each child. I chose a bowling set and those little puzzle mats you put on the floor.

Here's what I did not consider: Monkey Sons were going to need Mommy to set up those bowling pins, and it will be Mommy picking up all the letters that Monkey Son #1 punched out of the puzzle mats. Apparently, the letters do not belong in the pieces while he is building. I will admit that it is monotonous to have to do those things, but that is highly offset by the fact that the Monkey Boys are having such a marvelous time with them, and it allows me to play with them. Maybe it wasn't such a bad choice after all.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Hidden Obvious

Hidden Obvious: adjective. Term describes anything about a spouse, family member, or friend that should be obvious, but goes without being notice.

Husband and I met over 10 years ago. We started dating only a few months after that. We find that we know most things about each other, and it is a rarity that we discover something radically new. That's why tonight came as a humorous shock.

Recently, I've been having trouble with eye fatigue while crocheting (yes, I do that sort of thing). I pulled out my glasses that I haven't worn in who knows how long and started using them for that purpose.

Earlier today, I left out my glasses. Husband found them tonight and noticed the odd arrangement of the ear pieces. He asked if I had sat on them.

"No," I told him. "My ears are crooked."

He smiled and told me that he almost believed me.

"I'm not joking," I said. "My ears are crooked." I put my oddly askew glasses on, and to his astonishment, they sat straight.

"Are you..." he began. I'm guessing he was going to ask if I was holding my head funny.

I'm kind of shocked that after all this time and two sets of glasses he didn't know this about me. Maybe he had just forgotten. In his defense, you can't tell that one ear is higher than the other by just looking at me.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mommy Day

Mommy Day: noun. A day when being a mommy is exhausting and frustrating.

I'll spare you the exact details of what happened in my house before noon today. I will tell you, though, that it involves a sick child, two showers for said child, several loads of laundry, and the toilet in one bathroom backing up into the tub in another.

By this point, I'm exhausted, ready for a shower myself, and just want to pick up my crochet hook and be left alone. Although I know that really won't happen, it's still OK. This sort of thing is not exactly the glamorous part of being a mommy, but it does come with the job.

Some may wonder why being a mom would be worth the hassle, but let me tell you that when your child looks at you and says, "I love you," or reads his first word, you'd be willing to do it all again.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Letter Drop Part II

Letter drop: verb. The act of mispronouncing a word by young children due to missing letters.

You can read Part I here.

A few days ago, Monkey Son #2 went to the pediatrician to get a check-up and vaccinations. Later on that evening, I asked Monkey Son #1 what we had done that day. He remembered Monkey Son #2 had been to the doctor and proudly announced that his brother got shot.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Quick Word from Kristina

I've decided it's time for a change. I'll be playing with the layouts for the next day or two, trying to find something I really like. That's why the background changed today, and may change again. Feel free to give me feedback.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Inclusively Exclude

Inclusively Exclude: verb. To try to include every child in everything, but sacrificing other valuable lessons in the process.

Husband has often said that giving everyone a trophy is not right and we are raising generations of children who grow up with a sense of entitlement. I really think there is some truth in this.

Monkey Son #1 was watching one of his children's shows today in which one character was trying to put together a baseball team. He was holding tryouts and trying to find the best players for his team. As he was holding the tryouts, he came across another character that was just awful. He never hit a ball. When he tried to throw, the ball went behind him. When he tried to catch, the ball hit him or went between his legs.

Obviously, the character holding the tryouts did not want this terrible player on his team. But what happens? The one putting the team together learns that everyone should always be included no matter what and it would hurt the player's feelings if he was not allowed to be on the team.

Excuse me? That is the lesson? Let me be perfectly clear. I am all for raising a child's self-esteem. I am not saying it is OK to exclude people on a whim. However, to allow people to do something just because they want to? You should always give people what they want or you may hurt their feelings? Sorry, but that is not the way the world works and we are doing our children a disservice by letting them think so.

So, the character putting the team together "learned" that it is only right to include everyone. But what did the player learn? Sadly, not a darn thing. No one told him that he should practice if he intends to get better. No one told him that he can work at his skills, then try out again later. No one told him that he really needs to work so that he can become a valuable member of the team. Instead, this is what happened: he tried out for the team and seemingly fully expected to be chosen. When he realized he wasn't, he walked around whining and crying about how he can't do anything right until he is finally allowed to be on the team.

What about dedication? What about building self-esteem and character through hard work? What about handling disappointment with some grace? The only thing I saw in this episode was teaching children that they should expect to always be included no matter what. Go ahead and give them their trophy now.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Word Break Error

Word Break Error: noun. When a child breaks words into sections, causing a misunderstanding.

Our neighbor's tween daughter was visiting this evening. She was sitting on the floor and playing with the dog, when Monkey Son #1 asked her where she lives.

"I live across the street," she replied.

"Yes, she's Ms. ____'s daughter. Ms.____ and Ms.____ are her sisters," I told him. "Where do you live?"

"I live here," he answered.

"What's your address?" I pressed.

Monkey Son #1 looked at our neighbor's daughter. "She's not wearing a dress. She's wearing...uh, shorts."

Friday, October 31, 2008

Domestic Glitch

Domestic Glitch: noun. An instance when a person tries their hardest to run a smooth household, but something still goes wrong.

So, we planted this little garden a few weeks ago, and it is still doing OK. I'm thrilled. We've been able to add lavender, rosemary, and basil to our cooking, and soon we'll have tomatoes and peppers. It's wonderful, but it does need to be watered daily, although it doesn't take a large amount.

The other day I was watering from a hose with sprayer attachment. When I was done, I simply tossed the hose aside. It landed just right upon the trigger and lay there continually spraying into the air. Yes, I got wet.

This afternoon, I had some things that needed to be bleached. I don't use bleach very often, and there are very few things that I use it for, but this was one of those instances. I opened the detergent tray of our front loading washer and added bleach to the specific bleach compartment, then closed it and went to get the items I needed washed. When I opened the door to the washer, I saw that the tray doesn't hold the bleach, but allows it to drip through. So, because of the shape and design, the bleach ran out of the washer and onto the floor. I got to have many thoughts I would rather have not had, like...Did I just ruin my shoes? How do I get straight bleach up off the floor? WHAT KIND OF WASHER DESIGN IS THIS?

I'm telling you...somewhere out there is an engineer sitting at his desk and laughing hysterically because he knows his bleach tray design is going to get somebody...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Vanishing Nostalgia

Vanishing Nostalgia: noun. Things you knew as a child but realize that your children may never know.

OK, I fully admit that what I'm about to say is going to sound silly. A few days ago, Husband and I wanted Pizza Hut. We didn't want to order it in, but go to one of the sit-down locations and have a pizza and a pitcher of soda. I know, I know, not exactly health food, and since I'm trying to lose weight, not the best choice. But we really wanted to go. Our local Pizza Hut is not a sit down location, so I looked up online where the closest one was. Fifteen miles? Seriously? Well, we really wanted it.

We packed up Monkey Boys in the car and headed off, but a couple of miles from our destination, we ran into a parade. Darn it. Plans canceled. But we did try again last night, and after having to make a U-turn because we missed it, we arrived.

Upon walking in, we were startled. This was an eat-in restaurant in the way a McDonald's is an eat-in restaurant. Go up to the counter, order from a large lighted menu hanging a few inches below the ceiling, and eat off of paper plates. We were disappointed, but already there. Sadly, we found the food to be wanting, at best. Not nearly as good as we remembered from a few years before. This was not the nostalgic experience we wanted.

And here's something funny: They expect to be tipped here. No, I'm serious. You stand in line to order at the counter. You get paper plates to eat from. If you want a drink, extra napkin, or *gasp* eating utensil, get up and get it yourself. When you're done, clear the table yourself. I mean, they even bring you the pizza already in a box. They want a tip for being a waiter when they haven't done any waiting? Seriously? I'm not saying I'm too lazy to do for myself. What I'm saying is I don't tip at fast-food restaurants, as there are no waiters and you do everything for yourself. So why would I tip at a place that's exactly like a fast-food restaurant?

Friday, October 24, 2008

2 Quick Notes, in All Seriousness: Note 2

One more thing. I want to tell you about a woman named Ter. She had a stillborn baby a while back, and if that's not enough to make your heart break, her husband has terminal cancer. She's having a lot of trouble with money making the trips to and from the hospital to be with him. I'm asking two things of you.

1. Pray. Pray like crazy.

2. Stop over to the blog post about her. On the left hand side, you'll see a tip jar that says, "BearHugs, GasMoney4Ter." If it is in your ability, please donate. We'd all want the help if it was us.

You can read Ter's personal blog here.

2 Quick Notes, in All Seriousness: Note 1

Just a quick break from the Mom-tionary to ask you a question: does your child know what to do if he/she gets lost? Taken? Merely separated from you in a crowd or store?

I'm going to tell you what I do. I'm not saying that you have to do what I do, but please have some sort of talk with your children.

First off, I've told Monkey Son #1 to never, EVER go with a stranger. Not if they offer him candy. Not if they want him to help them find a lost puppy. Do.not.go. If they try to take him, kick, scratch, fight, bite, and scream until he gets away.

Second, I've told him that if he were to get lost, stay put. Look around and see if he can find a police officer, but don't wander off and look. Only move his head. If he doesn't see one, find a lady and tell her you are lost.

Third, I've taught him what I call the address song. I use the tune "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." So for example,

Twinkle, twinkle little star

John Doe lives at 555

How I wonder what you are.
Any Street, Anytown.

Then I repeat the tune again, saying, "His mommy's phone is..." followed by my 10-digit cell number.

None of us want to talk about this. It's a scary thing to think about for a parent or child. But what does my heart good is to see Monkey Son #1 really remembering this. The other day, we were at Target, when Husband and Monkey Son #2 got separated from Monkey Son #1 and I.

"We lost Daddy," I said.

Monkey Son #1 quickly replied, "I don't see a police officer, so find a lady."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Parental Knowledge

Parental Knowledge: noun. Knowledge that a parent has about the potential of their child that is not seen by others.

Here's something you probably don't know about me. Once upon a time, when I was in elementary school, I was tested for gifted. I failed. Now, I didn't fail because I wasn't smart enough. I failed because the proctor giving the test felt that I was not mature enough. You see, he was showing me unpainted wooden puzzles with no frames and not telling me what the puzzle was supposed to be. To show me what I was supposed to do, he put together an apple. Then he gave me a larger puzzle. I had trouble with it and got frustrated. Instead of really focusing and finishing, which I'm sure I was capable of (maybe if he wasn't leaning over me the whole time?), I called him out on the unfairness of the situation. I told him plainly that it was not fair he got a 3-piece apple and I got this huge horse (yes, it turns out it was a horse). My mother told me weeks later that the program decided I was not mature enough to enter, and I can only imagine it stemmed from that situation.

The result? I continued to stay in the same classes, only doing enough to get by, and wondering if I understood the concept of something the first time, why did I need to do it twenty more times?

Of course, I have no one to blame but myself that I never entered the gifted program. It probably wasn't as great as I made it out to be in my mind, anyway. But now I'm seeing a problem with Monkey Son #1. He's very bright. Well, I'm his mom so I may think that just because. OK, let's assume he's very bright. He can tell you all about rockets and build really amazingly detailed things. However, he seems to really be opposed to learning anything that does not immediately interest him. Since it is my understanding that schools are pushing children to learn more and more at increasingly earlier ages, this worries me. I just hope that when he goes to school, his teachers will see him the way I do.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Guest entry: Flump

Flump: noun. Refers to the lumps and bumps at the toes of your socks that pinch little toes when put into shoes.

Brenda, another mom, sent in this word and definition. She adds, "I spent more time chasing flumps when Dylan was a toddler 'til he was about 6. By the way, Joe Boxer and Payless Shoes brand socks are virtually frump free."

I'm really tickled at this. I remember hating the feeling made by the seam at the end of the sock and would pull the toes of my socks up, and the left and right sides toward the center to avoid the "flumps" made by the seam. You know, I have no idea if I still do that. If I do, I don't think about it. I'll have to pay attention next time I put my sneakers on.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Cyber Tag: I'm it!

Cyber Tag: noun. An internet game of tag that causes those who have been tagged to do something. Not to be confused with chain mail.

So Jessica over at Banana Peel tagged me. From what I understand, I must now share 6 things about myself that no one else from my blog community knows.

1. My younger sister and I can have heated debates and not be angry with each other ten minutes later.

2. When I was 3 or 4 years old, I had a nightmare that my mother stabbed my younger sister. It was so vivid that I remember it to this day.

3. I have a scar on my right knee from when I was a child. I wanted to see if you could sit down and ride a scooter like you could on a skateboard. Turns out you can't.

4. It's been my dream for a very long time to be a professional writer, but before that I wanted to be an archaeologist. That ended when my high school guidance counselor told me that was a bad idea because I would not be able to afford the schools that offered archeology.

5. The area around my sink is rarely clean, but I am working on that. Really, I am.

6. In our house, Husband does the cooking. He is really good at it and I can't stand raw meat.

I will now tag:
Erika at Rocky Mountain High
Toni at Utahdesertrunner's Weblog
Noella at A Prince and Princess

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Holiday Time Warp

Holiday Time Warp: noun. The strange yet common situation of losing several weeks or months of time upon walking into a store.

So, the holidays are just around the bend. You're trying to keep your child away from their Halloween costume so they don't ruin it before trick-or-treating. Several family member started hounding you at the end of September, wanting to know who's house you are going to for Thanksgiving. Maybe you are even still struggling with getting your kids to finish their homework and get up in time for school, and if that's not enough, stores want to remind you that Christmas is just around the corner.

Husband, Monkey Boys, and I went to our local Home Depot the other day to look at plants. We turned down the aisle that would lead us to the outdoor garden center and there they were. Christmas trees. Ornaments. Outdoor electronic Santas. What happened? We weren't even half way through October. I turned to Husband and said, "We lost two months by coming in the door."

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I-Think Existence

I-Think Existence: noun. The particular type of existence a young child gives to the inhabitants of his imagination.

A little philosophy course refresher: Philosopher Rene Descartes made the famous statement, "I think, therefore I am." Believe it or not, what he was saying with that statement is that if he is thinking, there must be someone there doing that thinking, therefore he exists.

Young children, though, seem to take this idea to levels that would shock Descartes. They go beyond "I think, therefore I am," to "I think it, therefore it exists." But what is it? Anything from polka-dotted dinosaurs to closet monsters.

When I was very young, I believed there were hands under the bed that would reach out and grab you if you stepped too close. Why? I have no idea, but to me they had this sort of twilight existence, merely because I thought of them. If my parents told me that there wasn't anything there, I wouldn't have thought they were lying, but I still would have stayed away from the edge of the bed.

As a side note, I began to get over this fear when one night I had a dream that has stayed with me all this time. In the dream, I just got sick of these hands and their nonsense, and decided I would tell my mother about them. As I stood up and began to walk past the bed, a hand reached out and grabbed my ankle. Frustrated and in no mood to deal with this sort of thing anymore, I slapped the hand and it immediately released. Take that!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Preschool Manners

Preschool Manners: noun. Actions that would be considered rude by an adult, but seem harmless, even honest, to preschoolers.

I believe I mentioned in a previous post about Monkey Son #1, while helping me pick up, stopped and said, "You get the rest." Wow. If he were an adult, there would be no question that his attitude was rude, but he made no connection that there was anything wrong with what he said.

Preschoolers can be brutally honest. Once, while working at a daycare, one of the workers was expecting a baby relatively soon. A preschooler came up to us wanting to address the subject of a mother's belly getting bigger when she is carrying a baby.

"I thought my mom was going to have a baby," he said. "But she's just fat."

Ouch. I hope he never repeated that to his mom.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Overt Parent

Overt Parent: noun. Any parent who clearly shows how being a parent shapes their attitude, even when other people find it strange or irritating.

Every year, around Halloween, one of our local theme parks has a big celebration. And, every year, they run commercials for that celebration, but the commercials are grisly. I mean, really ghastly. I'm talking about guy tied to a bed as spikes fall from above him to impale him. Yes, that was in one of their commercials. You'd think you'd see these commercials at 10 or 11 o'clock at night, but no. We're talking like 3pm during family-friendly shows.

Now, I believe in free speech. If they want to make their commercials as horrifying as possible, well, that's their choice, and they no doubt want to make them very scary because it's a Halloween celebration. But to put them on during times when young children are not yet in bed, and during very tame shows? That one has me baffled.

So here's where I become just a little more annoying. After a few years of these commercials, Husband (who is pretty liberal but also is not a big fan of scrambling for the remote to change the channel when these commercials come on), suggested I file a complaint with the FCC. I'm not really one to file complaints of that sort, but...I did.

I told the FCC all about the commercials and that I just didn't like the fact that they aired so early in the day. The reply I received, though courteous and not condescending at all, explained that the company has free speech and they couldn't do anything unless more people complained, and I let the matter drop.

You see where I am an overt parent? Some people would tell me to just get over it. Others will probably totally understand, especially if they live in my area and have also dove for the remote to change the channel when these commercials come on (yes, they are that gruesome).

To me, and I know some will disagree, it's a matter of common courteousy , like not using foul language in a mixed group or not smoking in someone else's house. But...somehow, I really don't think they considered who would be watching during the times their commercials aired. I just wish they would.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Yellow Carding

Yellow Carding: verb. The act of searching for and/or collecting unconventional and seemingly random objects.

Monkey Son #1 loves the library, and we are frequent patrons of it. However, somewhere along the line, Monkey Son #2 noticed that there are these mysterious yellow cards within all books brought home from the library. They are nothing more than yellow cardstock with a due date stamped on them. The strange thing is that he doesn't seem to find the cards themselves interesting, but merely likes removing them from the books and taking them to other locations. It is for this reason that our library will at times get books back from us with no cards in them, but next time has double the cards, as I've found the ones that Monkey Son #2 has moved.

Swear of Mispronunciation Part 2

Swear of Mispronunciation: noun. A word that a child mispronounces, and ends up coming out as a swear word.

[Go here for part one]

Have you ever seen A Christmas Story? Most people have, I think, and if you haven't, do watch it when you get a chance. TV stations run it pretty often around Christmas time.

There is a scene in the movie in which Ralphie is helping his father change a tire, but accidentally drops all of the nuts. Ralphie slowly mouths "fuuuuudge....." and grown-up Ralphie, who is narrating the story says, "Only I didn't say fudge," but in fact said, "the queen mother of dirty words, the F-dash-dash-dash word."

OK, moving on to my point. For some reason, when something goes wrong, I say "fudge nuggets," or, "super fudge nuggets." I have no idea why this is. It's just one of those things that make me...well, let's say "special." Yes, we'll go with "special."

So, the other day, I again said "fudge nuggets." Monkey Son #1, who has decided it's great fun to repeat everything that anyone says, tried to repeat it. Only he didn't say fudge. I told him not to try to say "fudge nuggets" again, as his diction is just not up for the job.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Preschool Normal

Preschool Normal: noun. Any event or thought that an adult would find strange, but a preschooler takes in stride as merely part of the world.

So, Monkey Son #1 ran up to me and said, "I saw a big head."

"You saw a big head?" I asked.



"Under your bed."

"Show me," I said.

He led me to my bedroom and pointed to the foot of my bed. As some very scary images went through my mind, I bent down to have a look. I saw movement and suddenly there were two very large and very real eyes looking back at me. I about jumped out of my skin.

That stupid dog! And stupid me for not figuring that it was the dog from the start! And what a silly little Monkey Boy, as I'm sure he didn't think telling me that there was a head under my bed would be cause for alarm.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Guest Entry: Sleep Action

Sleep Action: noun. The set of actions a young child does during sleep, including but not limited to walking and talking.

A mom friend of mine, Kristin, sent this in:

Camden (6) sleepwalks whenever he has to pee. He gets up and wanders the house holding "himself". We tell him to go to the bathroom and like one of those remote control toys that automatically changes direction when it hits the wall, every time we say his name he changes direction. It's really quite hilarious because his eyes are open and one would THINK he is awake.

One particular night, he is up wandering and after several verbal attempts, I have to get off the couch and point him in the direction of the bathroom. As he is peeing, he starts to sob. My 6yo is rather mature and tears don't come easily for him, so I head to the bathroom and meet him in the hallway. I bend down and ask him what's wrong.

"Hamene the mthemen thahame hamenaje." Said son is prone to mumble so I remind him to speak up and ask again why he is crying. I get the same unintelligible answer. I say "You aren't saying any real words to me. Do you even know why you are crying?" (as now I am surpressing a giggle). He says "No!" So I tell him to go to bed and he does. Had no recollection of it in the morning although he did laugh hysterically at himself. At least he didn't walk past the toilet to pee in the trash can this time... :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Chuckyesque: adjective. Any toy that has the power to freak out anyone who looks at it.

I get frightened easily. Seriously. I spent so much time being scared as a child that my mother would carefully monitor any books I planned on reading to see if they could be considered too scary. Surely that would fix it. However, she missed two really important aspects: my dad let us watch horror movies when she wasn't looking, and I had the amazing power to scare myself with no assistance necessary.

This overactive imagination of mine has given me great gifts, such as an interest in crafts and literature, but has also been a big burden. Let me tell you about Baby Talks-A-Lot.

If you've ever seen a horror movie with an evil doll (and I certainly wish I haven't. Thanks, Dad), then you've seen something very similar to this doll. Baby Talks-A-Lot was made in the '80s and marketed as a doll that you can teach to talk. That's creepy enough, but even worse, over the years as ours got more worn and ratty, it started to look downright evil, which is why the title to this post is called "Chuckyesque." It really looked like a female Chucky.

I've had nightmares about this doll. I kept it in my closet. Finally, I tried to give it to my older sister (it was hers anyway), and she didn't want it. I thought she understood and shared my irrational fear of this strange toy, and told her about how I felt. Well, apparently she neither understood nor shared my feelings, and proceeded to make fun of me, as older siblings are prone to do, but in the end took the doll from me.

Now that I'm a mom, how do I feel about this? Well, if someone tried to give me or my children one, I would ask them to take it back. As a child of the '80s, I have no problem with '80s toys making a comeback, like My Little Pony and Carebears, but Baby Talks-A-Lot can stay in the closet of history, thank you.

By the way, if you want to see a picture of this horrifying doll, I'm providing a link. I'm pretty sure this is the right doll with a slight name change. Someone even asked on the page if it is Baby Talks-A-Lot. Our doll was the blond one.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Notshower: noun. A shower that is interrupted by being a parent.

I wanted to take a shower when I got up this morning, but I decided to wait, just a little while, as I had some things that needed my immediate attention. A few hours later, I was able to put the Monkey Boys in their room to play while I took a shower. As I was putting shampoo in my hair, the phone rang and Monkey Son #1 started banging on his door. I called out to him, asking what he wanted. No answer. So, with phone ringing and me dripping wet, I went to his room.

"What do you want?" I asked.

"I don't're wet."

Great. That was worth getting out of the shower for.

The phone stopped ringing, but immediately started again. Being called twice in a matter of seconds meant it was Husband calling, and he needed something NOW. I was pretty irritable by this point (is a shower really too much to ask for?), and answered the phone in a really grouchy tone. Husband wanted me to find a certain paper. Now? Yes, now.

"It should be on the table," he told me. But he was very aware of my irritation, and I was quick to try to gloss things over by saying, "It's not you."

I found the paper, and, still wet and none too happy, give him the information he requested.

And yes, once I was able to finish taking a shower, I was in a much better mood.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Guest Entry: Poo-Poo Padoo

Poo-Poo Padoo: noun. Any sort of catastrophe involving poop.

Toni, a mommy friend of mine, sent this in:

"I was talking to my SIL [sister-in-law] on the phone and she thought her dog was dying (so it was a pretty serious conversation-dog was ok though :) and cooking spagetti. Jacob (3) runs in covered in poo... As I follow the "trail" back to the toilet, the bathroom was covered in about a 3 ft radius of the toilet.... Oh and the baby was crying too, lol. Poo explosions are never fun, but accompanied by all the other events, this one was memory worthy, lol!"

When Monkey Son #1 was about 18 months or so, a poo-poo padoo ended with me getting rid of our diaper pail. He was playing in his room, and when I went to check on him, he had managed to pull a poopy diaper out of the diaper pail and smear poop everywhere. I think from then on, poopy diapers went into a plastic bag and into the regular trash.

Now that we have Monkey Son #2 and use cloth diapers, we have another diaper pail, but it is kept in the bathroom, instead of their room.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Adorable Refresher

Adorable Refresher: noun. A certain thing a child does or says that is so cute, you remember right then and there how much you love them.

Every now and then, the idea of marriage floats into Monkey Son #1's mind. I'm not sure why that is, other than he knows that it's something people do when they grow up. One day, he said something like, "When I grow up, I'm going to marry you."

"You can't," I said. "I'm already married to Daddy."

I don't quite remember how he took that news, but it must not have been all that troubling, as recently he came to me again with another idea.

"When I grow up, can I find a girl like you and marry her?"

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Imperadult: noun. An adult that has realized that being a parent has not made them smarter or all that much more coordinated.

OK, we know as parents we've had to really develop some otherwise lacking skills, like organization or time management. But, I realize, being a parent has not made me more much more savvy in pop culture (except for noticing age inappropriate clothing on little girls).

The other day, Husband said something profoundly silly, to which I replied, "It's always nice when Mickey Rooney comes to visit."

"What?" he asked.

"Mickey Rooney? Isn't he the one who says things like, 'It's not over 'til it's over'?"

"Yogi Berra."

"Yeah, him."

Sometimes, I am supermom, and other times, I feel like a moron.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Gym-not-stics: noun. A series of rather clumsy actions that children perform after seeing someone trained do them, particularly gymnasts.

Recently, Monkey Son #1 was watching gymnastics during the Olympics. Well, you've heard the phrase, "Monkey see, monkey do," right? He started jumping in the air and spinning as best he could, and at some point tried to do tricks on his bed. Of course, I did the responsible thing and told him that the people on TV have had special training and gone to special schools to learn how to do what they do. He got off with a little more understanding and no injury.

Once upon a time, my older sister was not so lucky. Family lore states that our father had let her watch a circus on TV, and she thought it would be great to play high wire with a jump rope. She ended up with a broken arm.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Grossities: noun. Disgusting things children do that they think are really great.

While drinking a cup of iced tea today, Monkey Son #1 coughed and the tea came out his nose. He seamed a little upset at first, so I tried to calm him by smiling and saying, "Did that come out your nose? Eww!" and laughing. Sadly, he thought that meant this was a really neat thing to do, and tried to convince Monkey Son #2 to do the same. Fortunately, Monkey Son #2 is too young to understand what he was asking.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Continuation of Child Phobias

Continuation of Child Phobias: noun. Childhood fears that carryover into adulthood.

Once upon a time, I worked in a library. It was a relatively small, two story plus attic stone building, built in 1890 and originally used as a bank. It was a lovely building, but certain things about it made it a little creepy. The stacks, close together, made it hard to see much past the area you were in. The second story and the basement were even more eerie.

This place only frightened me when I was there alone, which was a few hours on Saturday mornings when I opened. On one such day, I heard footsteps on the basement stairs. This wasn't a case of just thinking that I might have heard something, but I definitely knew I heard footsteps. I remember I was standing close by the basement door, but as to whether I went towards the noise (which is very unlike me) or I just happened to be there, I don't remember. Either way, I stared at the basement door as it opened and out stepped...Vince, the elderly and kind volunteer who, unbeknownst to me, had arrived before me and been doing work in the basement. If I hadn't given in to my fears, I may have figured that out, or at least had enough sense to leave the building when I realized I was not alone.

Aren't our lives filled with such stories? My grandmother tells a story from her childhood of what sounded like a tin can rolling down the stairs that led from her bedroom to the attic, but the source of the noise was never found. Not to be outdone, my grandfather told a story from his own childhood, saying that one night they saw a white sheet moving back and forth between the trees, which turned out to be a neighbor's cow.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Reign in Adult Speech

Reign in Adult Speech: verb. To make sure what you say is appropriate for little ears.

This morning, I took Monkey Sons #s 1 & 2 for a walk around the block, as I often do. And, again as I often do, I had to say to Monkey Son #1, "Watch out for the dog poop." Then he asked something like, "Is there dog poop?" which, of course, there was.

Now, there was a slight problem with the answer I gave him. I didn't curse, but my reply may not have been so appropriate for a four-year-old's ears.

"Yes, because some people are either too lazy or too stupid to clean up after their animals!"

Whoops. I flew off the handle there for just a second. People who don't pick up after their animals are a pet peeve of mine, and I find it really frustrating to have to clean off Monkey Son #2's stroller wheels and our shoes because of it. If you run out of bags one day, that's one thing. But, so often, it is no accident. Still, I guess I should have said something like, "Yes, but not cleaning up after your dog is rude, and that's why we make sure we bring bags when we walk our dog."

Monday, August 4, 2008

Common Sense Mistake

Common Sense Mistake: noun. A mistake a parent makes when they think they are following common sense.

How many times have you said, "It should have...," or "I never would have imagine that it would..."? You think something is pretty intuitive, only to find out that you have royal screwed up whatever project you are working on.

About two years ago, a relative of my husband came to visit us while he was in the area. He showed me a set of silicon bake ware that he picked up for his wife, and he must have thought that I liked them so much, that I should have one. Shortly after, he was generous enough to send me a set. Hey, I was hardly complaining, and still use the pans and spatulas he sent.

Now, here's where we run into the problem. You see, when I made muffins, they didn't really stick to the silicon muffin pan, but popped right out. I don't remember having to grease them, but maybe I did. Whether I did or didn't, all I remembered (it has been a long time since I made muffins) is that they simply pop out. So, when I went to bake Monkey Son #2's birthday cake a week ago, I did not grease the pans. They should just pop right out. What's horrible is Husband, as he watched me, mentioned something about it, and I just brushed him off. I certainly knew what I was doing.

I wish I had a picture to show you, but I think you probably understand what happened.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Cartoon Confusion

Cartoon Confusion: noun. The confusion a parent feels about a children's show or the characters therein, but the logic of which is either understood by or does not bother a child.

Monkey Son #1 loves PBS and Qubo. I can't complain too much about these channels, as most of their shows are educational, and I am at times amazed at what he picks up from watching them. Still, a couple of aspects of these shows just confuse or downright disturb me.

One example that comes to mind is PBS' Big Big World. It's a pretty good show, and if you've never seen it, it's like Bear in the Big Blue House, or at least it seems to me. In the show, several animals live in or near what they call the World Tree, which is located in a rainforest. The two parental or wise animals that guide the others are Snook the sloth and Madge the map turtle. Now, here's what gets me. There is a character named Bob, who is an anteater. He's very nervous and worries a lot, but the strangest thing is that he tries to be friends with the ants. Bob never eats the ants in the show, but it is still a bit disturbing to make friends with what you are supposed to be eating. After all, if I want a steak, I don't go down to the farm and say, "Hello, Bessie! How are you feeling today?" This, however, is what Bob does. Of course, Monkey Son #1 hasn't picked up on the absurdity of this.

Maternal Exhaustion (part 2)

Maternal Exhaustion: noun. That deep down completely exhausted feeling a mother gets just from being a mother.

This is the second time I've posted on this subject. That's because, occasionally, the Monkeys are up at night either constantly or for long periods of time. That's ok, because it's nothing Super Mom can't handle, but I won't lie and say I'm not tired or feeling lazy.

11:00pm: I'm finishing up everything I need to do and going to bed.

11:45: Monkey Son #1...sleep walks, I guess. I hear him crying and wandering around. I find him in the hallway, sitting and crying. He says he pinched his hand. I take him back to bed, but he's unwilling to go, and keeps whining that he wants me, but won't tell me exactly what's wrong. I try to calm him down and tell him that I'll make him a bagel for breakfast. In his sleepy and rather confused state, he says, "You said I want a bagel." So, I ask if he's hungry and he tells me he is. I take him to the living room and get him a banana. As he sits on the couch eating, he wakes up a little more.

I ask him about his hand, and he tells me he didn't pinch it. But I get him back to bed, but Monkey Son #2 is awake from all the commotion, although he may have never gone to sleep. I leave, and Monkey Son #2 seems none too happy, and his crying makes Monkey Son #1 cry. I'm trying to calm everyone down, and notice that Monkey Son #2 keeps staring at something behind me in the area of the closet. I turn, and I see what looks like a floral print dress move. There is no floral print dress in the closet (nor do I think I even own one). As quick as I saw it, it disappeared. This would be a good time to point out that when I'm very tired, I tend to see things.

Eventually, I get everyone settled down and go back to bed.

1am: Monkey Son #2 is up and crying. He seems pretty awake, and I take him out into the living room. He plays for an hour, occasionally hitting me in the head with toys. At 2am, he is back in bed.

2:06am: Monkey Son #2 is crying again, and I'm hoping and praying that he'll go to sleep. He does.

6:45 am: Monkey Sons are both up.

For as little sleep as the Monkeys got, they both seem to be in decent moods. And I wouldn't trade a night of sleeplessness, especially if I get to be with them in the morning.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Mommy Issue

Mommy Issue: noun. A parenting issue that parents argue over.

We've all heard those hot button topics that parents jump all over. Is it better for a mom to stay home or go to work? Vaccine on schedule, delayed, or not at all? Home birth or hospital birth?

It's tough in general to make parenting decisions when so many voices have our ear. No matter what we choose, some other parent will be against it. For instance, I'm a stay-at-home mom, because that's what's right for my family, and I recognize that it's not the solution for every person. However, I do bristle when someone says something like, "Don't you want to be a contributing member of society?" Oh, sorry. I didn't realize that I live in a cave.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Non-Rhetorical Rhetorical Question

Non-Rhetorical Rhetorical Question: noun. A question that a child asks, and expects an answer, but there either is no answer or the answer is difficult to explain.

When I was a child, I (or one of my sisters?) asked my mother about the difficult concept of love. She said she loved us, but the love she had for our dad was different. To an adult, that's pretty simple. To a child...not so much.

So the other day, Monkey Son #1 said, "I want to marry you."

"You can't," I replied. "I'm already married."

"But don't you love me?" he asked.

How do I respond to that? And yet, the strange questions do not end there. How about, "Are hot things really cold?" Well, I can grasp that something that's hot and something that's cold can both have a burning sensation. But you'd think you wouldn't have to explain hot and cold...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Guest Entry: Kool-Aid Kaboom

Kool-Aide Kaboom: noun. A sticky gooey mess that extends in a 5ft radius around the location a 9yo made Kool-Aid and the proceeding clueless-ness of said mess.

It's a rough time for parents. You know that you need to let your kids do things for themselves, but you also know that when you do, a huge mess will come of it. Still, you have to let your kids learn.

Today's definition was sent to me by another mom named Brenda, with the accompanying story:

My 9yo son loves kool-aid and likes to make it himself. Every time he makes it he manages to make this huge sticky mess...on the counter, the floor, the refrigerator...basically everything in about a 5ft radius of the area of preparation. So how he can manage this mess is a mystery...but to me the even bigger mystery is his that he is completely oblivious to the mess. I tell him to clean it up...and while his feet are sticking to the floor and there is fruit colored spots all over the counter he just says "Where...what mess?"

That's almost as good as when, earlier today, when I asked Monkey Son #1 to pick up his toys, he picked up a couple, then said, "You get the rest."

Friday, July 25, 2008

Waterfall Cold

Waterfall Cold: noun. A cold or other minor but annoying illness that cascades through several members of the same household.

Last night, Monkey Son #2 would just not go to bed. His nose ran and he was just miserable. Our first thought was that he's teething, and it was a few hours after his normal bedtime before he finally went to sleep, and even after that woke back up for a bit.

When I went to check on the Monkey Boys a little while later, I heard Monkey Son #1 sniffling in his sleep. As I've been known to say, oh fudge nuggets! If they're both sniffling, that means Monkey Son #2 is not teething. They're sick. Both of them. Two sick kids are never fun. Heck, one is no fun. And yet, here we are, two sick kids.

After 11pm last night, I was still finishing up things that needed to be done before bed. Taking out the trash, emptying the dishwasher, making lunch for Husband to take to work the next day. Finally, I got to bed. But then at midnight, Monkey Son #1 woke up, miserable. I got him taken care of and put back to bed, and went back to bed myself. At 1am, Monkey Son #2 woke up, also miserable. He wanted nothing more than to be cuddled, which I did, and within a few minutes he fell asleep in my lap. At 7am, Monkey Son #1 got up, crying.

By now, I'm quite tired, and feel that I'm coming down with whatever it is that the Monkeys picked up. Oh, fantastic. Here's to a raised immunity system.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Vanished Solitude

Vanished Solitude: noun. An activity a parent used to be able to do by themselves, without interruption, and/or not having to plan in advance, but as a parent are no longer able to.

I love my Monkey Sons and Husband. Truly, honestly, I do. I wouldn't trade them. But certain times to myself have vanished, and if they haven't vanished completely, I can't do them without getting interrupted or without advanced planning. It's one of the downsides of being a parent. I can no longer take a shower, use the bathroom, do the dishes, read a book, write a blog post (this one included), or do housework without having Husband watch the kids or planning everything so the Monkeys are occupied. However, the payoff I get from seeing Monkey Son #2's first step or hearing Monkey Son #1 read his first word (it was "pup" from Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss) makes it oh-so-worth-it. If you're not a parent, you might not understand that, but trust me. It's worth it.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Maternal Exhaustion

Maternal Exhaustion: noun. That deep down completely exhausted feeling a mother gets just from being a mother.

It's 10:30pm where I am. The day started rather early, when Husband and Monkey Son #1 couldn't sleep. I got up with them a short time later, followed by Monkey Son #2.

With everyone up, the day must start, whether or not the sun has risen. Today, I tidied the kitchen (multiple times), cleaned the shower curtain, scrubbed the toilets, did laundry, changed the sheets on Monkey Sons' beds, washed diapers (we use cloth), cleaned up toys, made dinner, and mopped the kitchen, living room, and hallway. And that's not even all of what I wanted to get done, but tomorrow is another day.

That's what's part of being a mom, or any parent. Exhaustion comes with the territory. Yes, I'm tired and am looking forward to just conking out for the night, but I've been worse. And yes, tomorrow, I will get up and do it all again, except trading some chores for others. And yet, I wouldn't trade my Monkey Boys or all the work that goes with being their mommy.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Whole House Nocturnal Panic

Whole House Nocturnal Panic: noun. An innocent situation that sends an entire household into half-asleep panic.

Last night at about 3:15am, catastrophe happened. Monkey Son #1 wakes up and has to use the bathroom, but for some reason goes into my and my husband's room. It could be that he meant to, as you can walk through our room and get to the bathroom, or he may have just been half-asleep. Anyway, our door makes a rather loud sound when opened, and that sends off the shock wave of the next 10 minutes.

Husband, dead asleep, hears the door open, and sits bolt upright in bed, yelling something that I can best describe as "Ahumna hmna hmna!" while shaking his head slightly, followed by him yelling, "He's sleep walking!" (although I don't think Husband was even awake as he said this). His yelling makes me wake up in full panic mode and I sit up, terrified and not knowing what is going on. I see Husband sitting up and yelling, and Monkey Son #1 in the doorway crying because of the yelling, and from the Monkeys' bedroom, I hear Monkey Son #2 wake up.

Brain starts working as Monkey Son #1 is screaming, "I have to go pee pee!" and crying his eyes out in the doorway. Ok, I calm everyone down, take Monkey Son #1 to the bathroom, and put him back to bed. As I'm in there, I see that Monkey Son #2 is in fact awake, peacefully sitting up in his crib and seemingly waiting for someone to just come and tell him everything is fine, go back to bed.

Who knew that a preschooler having to use the bathroom would send everyone into such a state?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Lovey Withdrawl

Lovey Withdrawl: noun. The series of emotions and actions a child goes through when their favorite comfort item is lost or taken away.

I was reading Jessica's blog, and she was talking about her son losing his blue pacifier, "Blue Guy." It reminds me of the other night at my house...

When I was a small child, maybe four, my grandparents gave me faux rag dog (faux because it was commercially produced and not really made of rags, but meant to look that way). It's called a "Floppalot," and has a red body, with ears and legs made of different patterned cloth, with yellow yarn tail and hair. I loved that thing. It always went with me on trips. But at one point we moved, and I did not see it again until my midteens, when I happened to find it in a box in the attic. I've kept decent track of it since.

A few months ago, I decided to give my prized dog to Monkey Son #2. I figured the bright red color would appeal to him. He ended up loving it and would hold the tail while he sucked his thumb. But then Husband and I noticed that the tail was getting dingy, and Monkey Son #2 would sometimes bite the body. My poor dog would not survive. We thought to go to the store to get him a different lovey, and selected a girraffe.

That night, Husband put Monkey Son #2 in his bed. He could have sworn he heard him say, "Dog?" Monkey Son #2 pushed away the girraffe and cried and cried. I picked him up and carried him around, and everywhere we went, he looked down at the floor, frantically searching. About 45 minutes later, we couldn't take it any more. It was just too sad. We gave back the dog, the crying stopped, and he went to sleep a while later.

At least it's loved.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Guest entry: Try-So-Hard

Try-So-Hard: noun. An action by a young child which they work very hard on, but doesn't work out. Adults think it is amusing, but to laugh would upset the child.

Another fantastic mommy blogger, Jessica, tells me of her son, Timmy, who accidentally spilled a bowl of dry cereal. She told him to clean it up, and he was doing a fairly decent job, but when he was almost done, he again knocked the bowl over with his foot. He seemed shocked, and she had to stifle a laugh and calmly tell him to try again.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Guest Word: Boyiku

Guest Word: Boyiku: noun. An amusing haiku written by a child.

My wonderful friend Brenda shared this story with me, and I thought I would share it with you. Apparently, her son needed to write a haiku as an assignment, and came up with something very amusing. Here's what he wrote:

Outside thar is rain
and a deadly tornado
and lots of lightning

Out-of-the-Way Clean

Out-of-the-Way Clean: verb. A young child's version of cleaning, which involves simply moving things out of the way.

The other day, Monkey Son #1 came to me and told me that he was building a castle in his room. He does this by utilizing boxes and large toys. It's not uncommon for him, and thought nothing of it. But then he told me that he cleaned his room, so that he has room for the castle.

"Really?" I asked.

"Yes," he replied, "I put everything under the crib."

Well, I guess under Monkey Son #2's crib is technically out of the way, I guess...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Strictly Parental Comment

Strictly Parental Comment: noun. A comment that a person never thought they would say until they became parents.

Here's a list of some examples from my house:

Get that off the dog.

That's not a hat.

You are no longer allowed to say "butt."

What made you think that was a good idea?

Oh, please. You're not innocent in this (to Monkey Son #2).

Get off the top of the couch.

Stop jumping on the couch.

Stop doing headstands on the couch.

Ok, now you can sit on the floor.

Get out of my closet.

Close your mouth and open your ears.

Be quiet when the weather guy is talking (this was during a nasty storm).

No, and stop asking.

I'm watching the tossed salad and scrambled eggs show.

Random Silliness

Random Silliness: noun. A seemingly random comment, word, or action that makes no sense whatsoever.

I have a feeling that there will be more than one entry on this over time. But today, I want to talk about the yellow pants.

Husband, Monkey Sons #1 and 2 and I were in the car on the way to the library, when Monkey Son #1 found a spare pair of his pants I left in the car after a recent day trip. He yelled out, "The yellow pants are singing and eating me!"

Huh? I asked him to repeat what he said, and again he claimed that the yellow pants were singing and eating him. Husband and I just laughed it off as another instance of preschooler nonsense.

And no, the pants were not yellow.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Baby Song

Baby Song: noun. A song that a baby sings, that though is an actual song, is so garbled it is unrecognizable to adult ears. see also, July 4 entry, "Baby Word."

When Monkey Son #2 learned how to clap a few months ago, I celebrated as only a mother can. I told Husband. I called my sister. I just felt so proud and happy that he could...hit one hand on another. Yes. Definitely a Mommy thing.

Fast forward to a few days ago, when he started clapping at random. Getting out of the car. Sitting on the floor. Clap clap clap. Husband laughed and asked why he was clapping. I had to admit that I had no idea.

But now, we've figured it out. Yesterday, he was sitting on the floor, once again clapping. But this time, he kept saying, "Eh-deh. Eh-deh. Eh-deh."

As I watched him, I formed an idea, and said, "Patty-cake, patty-cake, baker's man. Bake me a cake..."

Bingo! My hunch was rewarded with quite a happy reaction from Monkey Son #2. His clapping, and, um, singing, was merely his baby-talk version of the age old nursery rhyme, and he was thrilled that I finally understood.

Now, if I could just figure out why he occasionally swears off nap time, I'd be set.

And a note to those reading: I'll be taking Sunday and Monday off from the Mom-tionary. The next post will come be on Tuesday.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Baby Word

Baby Word: noun. A word spoken by a baby that is so mispronounced, it is unrecognizable if taken out of context.

When Monkey Son #1 was less than a year old, he started saying "goo-gak." It wasn't mere baby talk or the random babble that babies make. He was using it as a word. But what could it mean? We were just baffled.

Finally, we were watching PBS one day, and Sesame Street came on. When Cookie Monster came on the screen, Monkey Son #1 said, "Goo-gak!"

"Goo-gak?" I said. Then I looked at the screen. "Cookie?"


Oh. Cookie, referring specifically to Cookie Monster. The only similarity between the two words is the "oo" sound in the middle and that they are both 2 syllabals, but for some reason, they were close enough to each other to sound right to those baby ears.

Now, next time, we'll talk about baby songs.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Case of Literal Misinterpretation

Case of Literal Misinterpretation: noun. A situation in which a child misunderstands a word or phrase do to its confusing literal meaning.

Some words and phrases totally baffle Monkey Son #1. For instance, a few months ago when Husband and I went to vote, we brought Monkey Sons with us. When we went back to the car to leave, we saw our neighbor just arriving.

Husband: We should have car pooled.

Monkey Son #1: Car pool?

Mommy (to Monkey Son #1): What's a car pool?

Monkey Son #1: A pool for cars?

Yesterday, we went to the zoo to celebrate Monkey Son #2's first birthday, even though he's not quite one yet. They had a great time watching the animals, especially the ones that interacted with people, such as the otters that tried to play with the people through the glass, and a parrot that constantly said, "Back to work! Ha ha ha!" But then we got to the bobcat. In another case of literal misinterpretation, he asked, "Is his name Bob?"

Ah, the wonders of a child's mind.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Swear of Mispronunciation

Swear of Mispronunciation: noun. A word that a child mispronounces, and ends up coming out as a swear word.

Monkey Son #1 sometimes says some strange things. He'll yell out, "You're a baby powder!" and we are supposed to know exactly what that means. Well, the best we can figure, it means nothing, and he's just looking for a silly reaction.

However, some things he says are hard to understand, just because they are mispronounced. And sometimes, what comes out of my sweet little boy's mouth is just shocking.

The other day, I was changing Monkey Son #2's diaper, and Monkey Son #1 was hovering.

Monkey Son #1 (referring to his brother being changed): He is a diaper a**!

Mommy: What?

Monkey Son #1: He's a diaper a**.

Mommy (a little baffled and upset, calling to Daddy): Do you know what your son just said? He called his brother a diaper a**!

Monkey Son #1: He's a diaper a**!

Daddy: Diaper rash?

Monkey Son #1: Yes.

Oh, diaper rash. I see. Just another form of odd name calling he's picked up, similar to being called a baby powder. Children should come with translators. Oh, wait. That's what I'm supposed to be.

Non-decorative Decorations

Non-decorative Decoration: noun. A decorative item that, due to the presence of young children, can not be used as a decoration.

We've been to that person's house, haven't we? The one with glass items everywhere? Looks pretty, right?

When you walk into my house, there are no such objects. It's not that I don't have any. I don't have many, but I have some. They mainly reside on top of a very tall wardrobe in my bedroom or on a high shelf in the closet. My favorite of these items is a porcelain Cinderella music box that my grandmother gave me a few years ago, and right now, I'm looking at the shelf I'd like to put it on. But then, I remember my Monkey Sons, or as one or both of them are called at times, Mr. Grabby Hands.

I've seen parents' houses that have such lovely things out in the full reach of their children, and I have to wonder how they do it, and why I can't make whatever they are doing work for me. I may tell them not to touch something, but I know as soon as my back is turned, those little Monkey Boys are going right for the forbidden object.

So for now, my little music box will remain on top of my wardrobe. And as for the parents that have those nice little items everywhere? I choose to believe that those items are broken and replaced on a weekly basis. It makes me feel better about myself.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Half-sense Question

Half-sense Question: noun. A question asked by a child that seems perfectly logical to them, but odd and possibly random by adults.

The other day, Monkey Son #1 asked me an unusual question. I'm not sure where it came from, but if I had to guess, it was probably a combination of Husband being outside where there are birds, and the occasional wasp we find in the house. I told Monkey Son #1 to leave wasps alone, since they sting, but I have since been corrected by Husband, who claims they actually bite.

Monkey Son #1: Do birds zing?

Mommy: Do they what?

Monkey Son #1: Do they zing?

Mommy: Oh, do they sing? Yes, sort of.

Monkey Son #1: No, do they zing?

Mommy: Do they sting?

Monkey Son #1: Yes.

Mommy:. ...No. Birds don't sting.

Of course, to him, this was a very legitimate question. Maybe it was concern for Husband. I'd like to think that is what it was.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Potential Result Denial

Potential Result Denial: noun. The belief that a certain person's action(s) will or can result in a different outcome than would result if the same action(s) were to be carried out by a different person, particularly if the person has no control over the actual result.

We've all done it. You tell your kids not to do something because it is dangerous, and then proceed to do he same thing ourselves, as if it is less dangerous for us, even when it's not. Or we look in the same place for a missing object that we know our spouse just looked in, because for us, it may magically appear.

The other day, there was a pretty nasty lightning storm, which is not uncommon for us this time of year. During that time, Monkey Son #2 needed a diaper change, which I attended to. Now, being a mom, I had the urge to wash my hands afterward. Being a moron, I gave in to that urge.

Now, I wouldn't bathe my children during such a storm, and I seriously doubt I would send them to wash their hands. The reason being, of course, that there was lightning hitting pretty close, which means a potential zap. But, oh, that won't happen to me. That may happen to the kids if they were to do it, or it may happen to a stranger down the road, but not me. I'll be quick. So, I started to wash my hands.

Do you see where I'm going with this? Before I had even finished rinsing the soap off, there was a crash boooooom! as lightning struck somewhere nearby and I found myself standing away from the sink, holding my hand. Fortunately, I was not hurt, but my hand did get a pretty good shock. When I told hubby about it, he said the lightning in question struck a telephone pole some distance away, which subsequently caught on fire. Then he advised me not to play with the lights or water during a storm. Good advice.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sideways Answer

Sideways Answer: noun. An answer a child gives that does not address the question asked.

Let me lay out the situation for you. I was just doing some house chores, and left the living room for a minute to wash my hands. While I was in the bathroom...

Monkey Son #2: waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

Monkey Son #1: I'm sorry!

Mommy: What did you do?

Monkey Son #1: I said I was sorry!

Mommy: That's not what I asked. What did you do?

Monkey Son #1: I said I was sorry to him!

Mommy [losing her temper]: That. is. not. what. I. asked. What did you do?

Monkey Son #1: I said I was sorry.

Mommy: I am thrilled you said you were sorry! But that is not what I asked! WHAT DID YOU DO?

Monkey Son #1: I said I was sorry to him.

Mommy: Fine! Go to your room. You can come out when you are ready to tell me what happened.

At this point, he grabbed some favorite toys and went off to his room, and played quietly there for about a half hour. Finally, he asked if he could come out, and I asked if he was ready to tell me what happened. He explained, though in a kind of confusing way, that he hit his brother with a large plastic tube. I said he could come out, but I was going to put the tube away for a while. He got mad and started to complain, at which point I offered to send him back to his room. That was the end of that, and the tube is now safely in the closet.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Nocturnal Refusal

Nocturnal Refusal: noun. The behavior or set of behaviors employed by a child in order to delay bedtime as long as possible.

Last night, our plan was simple. Have dinner, go to the grocery store, and put the kids to bed. Simple... in theory. What actually happened was that Monkey Son #2 got tired 2 hours before bedtime and took a nap, which meant a later bedtime. We had dinner later than we usually do, then went to the store, and came home. I let the kids play for a few minutes. Monkey Son #2 was cuddling with his lovey, and so I thought he was ready for bed and put him in his crib. Shortly after, I told Monkey Son #1 to go to bed.

Monkey Son #1: But it's still light out.

Mommy: There was a whole episode of Curious George devoted to this subject. You pay attention to everything else he does.

Monkey Son #1: I don't want to go to bed.

Mommy: Go brush your teeth.

Monkey Son #1 ran, I chased him to his room and carried him to the bathroom. After that, he started his nightly ritual of complaining that he's thirsty. He typically does this at least once, often twice or more. And because I want to be a good mom and don't want him to get dehydrated, I give him a drink most times he asks for it, even after bedtime, which only leads to a horde of cups hiding in the recesses of his room.

Shortly thereafter, Monkey Son #2 started giggling as Monkey Son #1 started doing who-knows-what. Probably dancing around and making animal noises. So, Monkey Son #2 decided it's time to get out of bed again and started to cry, demanding attention, playtime, and his sippy cup. This was followed by him grabbing at a library book, which I, being a, um, responsible patron, moved to the coffee table. Of course, he went after it, fell, and hit his nose on either the coffee table or the wicker basket next to it. Left a nice mark. After some I'm-sorry-you-got-hurt cuddling and a bath, he finally went to bed and I went to do the dishes.

And so the cycle continues, and tomorrow Monkey Son #2 will probably trick me, once again, into thinking he is ready for bed. Monkey Son #1 will still refuse to go to bed, still make an observation about the position of the sun, and will still be thirsty.

Letter drop

Letter drop: verb. The act of mispronouncing a word by young children due to missing letters.

Monkey Son #1 is 4 years old. Although he can hold an intelligent conversation, is very observant, and can explain things that most adults don't know, he still has trouble with certain words and letter sounds.

Being a young child, he sometimes plays a little rough or is downright mean to Monkey Son #2 (11 months old), which brings on the inevitable comment from Mommy, "You're being a brat." Notice that the comment was on his behavior, not him as a person.

Ever heard the expression, "Monkey see, monkey do?" Well, guess what happened. Brat has become his new favorite word, except that he's missing a letter. So the conversations go something like this:

Mommy: Stop throwing that ball in the house.

bounce, bounce, bounce, throw, bounce, bounce

Mommy: I told you to stop throwing that, now stop.

bounce, bounce, throw, bounce

Mommy: That's it, give it to me.

Monkey Son #1: No!

Mommy takes ball.

Monkey Son #1: You're a rat!

Mommy: I think you mean brat, but no.

He uses this word about once a day, which is odd, seeing as I use the word pretty sparingly.