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.