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.