Thursday, May 31, 2007

Honest... To a Fault?

There's a discussion going on at another blog that I read about honesty. It seems that a mom found a duck in her stroller (worth $7) after she'd gotten her kids (3 years and 4 months) into the car at the mall. One of the kids was sleeping. She had not paid for the duck.

In the great scheme of things, when companies are stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from their employees, a $7 duck probably isn't that big a damn deal. On the other hand, it seems to me that my integrity is worth more than $7.

When I bought our Children's Museum membership last week, I was given the application to fill out, and there were about two dozen blanks for kids. Apparently grandparents who buy memberships can put all their grandkids on their membership, and take them for free. It occurred to me, briefly, that no one would know if I put down Lucy and Jane - our "nearly nieces," the children of BJ's best friend Brandon - as my kids, so I could bring them for free. After all, if grandparents can list all their grandkids, why couldn't I list my nearly nieces? I hesitated for a minute, then decided that I would rather spend the extra $20 ($100, instead of $80) to get the membership plus two guests package, than be dishonest. (Besides, then I can bring grandparents, or the neighbor kids, or whoever I want on that "plus two"! What a deal!)

So, the price of my integrity is greater than $7. Greater than $20. But is there a level at which things are so small that they don't matter? If something was $5, or $3, would I just take it?

Nope. I've gone back in the grocery store and paid for a case of pop that I accidentally stole. I've used the U-Scan at Walmart to pay for an item that I accidentally forgot to ring through the first time. I called the grocery store from their parking lot to return a package of batteries that MG stole (and ate) while she was in that cart that looks like a car thing (if they're going to put toddlers in the front of a cart, near the floor, where Mom can't see them, they have to expect batteries to get eaten once in a while!). I always count my change, and I always give it back when they make an error in my favor - even if it's a very small one.

I guess maybe it's because I believe in karma. I'm pretty sure that if I steal that package of batteries or take the extra change I'm going to get hit by a car on the way home. That's just the way my life works. Maybe I'm a little too much like (My Name is) Earl. Or maybe I have such a good life, that I feel like it's my responsibility to keep deserving it, so I try to maintain good karma in order to not feel like I'm a big phony.

We're government contractors (at work). I keep the books. Government auditors come regularly to make sure that I'm doing things properly. They like me honest to the penny. Tax-payers probably appreciate it, too.

I guess it makes me wonder when people started to feel so entitled. Is it because they look at Walmart and see a company, and not people? If the duck had been from a little Mom & Pop Boutique, where the blogger knew the owners, would she have felt differently about returning it? Why?

I wrote, in my comment, "Stealing is stealing, whether you get caught or not, whether you have kids or not, and whether you did it on purpose or not. Even if you didn't put the item there (or fail to ring it up) on purpose, as soon as you realize the mistake and keep the item anyway, you have stolen it! Whether it costs $0.01 or $100 or $100,000." In order to teach that truth to my kids, I need to live it. Every day. Kids do as you do, not as you say. If I say, "Don't steal!" a thousand times, but they catch me stealing once, I've just taught them two things 1) it's ok to steal, and 2) it's ok to ignore what Mom says. Yes, even though they're babies. MG already says "please" and "thank you" and "excuse me" at 21 months - without being prompted. She is learning by my example every single day. I truly believe that it begins at birth.

I'm not saying that I'm any sort of a paragon of virtue. I have done some things in my life of which I am not proud. I believe that I've apologized and made amends for most of those things, as well as I can. (If not, I'm sorry!) I also don't believe that mothers are (or should be) any more noble than anyone else. I guess it just makes me a little bit sad that we live in a world where the vast majority of the people commenting on that blog are saying, "I would've kept it, too," and "It doesn't matter." It DOES matter.

At least, it matters to me. And I hope that it will matter to my kids. And I hope that by addressing this issue here, maybe I can help someone look at it another way.

Trixie the Pixie

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"I'm not real sure about these fish..."

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Kona, the poor, long suffering cat

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Work stuff

So, when I'm not being Mommy or Martha Stewart (HA), I do the bookkeeping for BJ's company. We are a small aerospace research firm, doing research for the federal government on a contract basis, and any more info would give too many details to stalkers, so that's all I'm going to say. Anyway, we just found out that we got a really big, two year contract! This is huge news, because up until today, we didn't have any funding to speak of past this summer. YAY!

I am constantly amazed at the way that God provides for us. We really didn't want to leave this state after college (the fandamily is here), and the way became clear for us to stay by starting this company. We have never had to borrow a dime to support the business, and we've always been able to make payroll. We've always had enough work. It enabled me to quit my job before we got pregnant with MG so that I could be a hybrid mom (half stay at home, half go to work, half out of my mind) once she was born.

I bitch and moan sometimes about the hours that BJ has to put in at the office... and about never having enough time to be a good stay at home mom or a good employee, myself, but underneath it all I know that I am so lucky to have a husband who works hard to provide for us. I am lucky to have the opportunity to be at home with my kids most of the week. I am lucky that we've found a little niche in the market where we can hang out and do useful work and support our little family. I'm just plain lucky. And grateful.

So, it looks like it's all good until 2009, at least. Hooray!!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Works For Me Wednesday! Kangaroo Korner Sling

I love, love, love my adjustable fleece pouch from Kangaroo Korner. It is so cozy and comfortable. C gets in it, and she just goes right to sleep. Unfortunately, this is how I hurt my back at the museum on Sunday - we were just so comfy I couldn't bear to put her back in the stroller, so I wore her too long, and my back hurts the exact same way it did when I was pregnant. How often do you find a baby-carrier that you don't want to take off? It really is like a womb with a view. She gets all curled up in the fetal position, snuggles her head in next to my heart, and zonks right out. This frees me up to have two hands to chase her sister with. Anything that allows me to have free hands is a very good thing.

They're not cheap, but they're so worth it. I'm waiting on a lighter weight one (for summer). It should be here in a few days. YAY!

Time to Turn the TV OFF!

MG: Nosrus Tap again! Nosrus Tap again!
Mommy: It's almost time for Dr. Phil, let's watch that instead.
MG: It's time to get real.

I wish I were kidding.

Ouch ouch ouch!

I carried C in the sling too long at the museum and royally screwed up my back. It is not easy to take care of babies who require lifting and carrying when one's back hurts. Volunteer applications are being accepted. If you want to come lift and carry babies, be my guest!

In other news, the magic sliding door on my van which was broken when I got it, and which I was told by the salesman would be fixed when I came to pick up the car the next day, and which I've had in for service at least four times is going to cost $426 to fix. I need to call and yell at people about that this afternoon. Because of course I didn't get anything in writing. I trusted a used car salesman. Hahahaa....

Since taking the car "to the doctor" was our morning outing, I didn't get any cute pictures or anything. Bummer. Here's an old one of MG to tide you over. Everyone calls this the "Charlie Brown" picture.

Monday, May 28, 2007



No post yesterday because we went to the Children's Museum in Indianapolis with Grandpa Bob! It was too cool!


They had an exhibit done by Chihuly, the famous glass artist. It was seriously awesome. And didn't I feel like a very refined and educated person when I was watching "What's With That Really Expensive House?" on HGTV after we got home, and I recognized the $800,000 chandelier (yes, that's the right number of zeroes) as a Chihuly.


MG really enjoyed the dinosaurs, although she did NOT enjoy the simulated thunderstorm in the Dinosphere. Did they convert the old IMAX movie theater into the dinosphere, or am I imagining things? Anyway, it was super cool. She also enjoyed the Playscape and the Carousel.


C was her usual, enthusiastic self.

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

Protect the Bunnies

Have you met Max?

She is a very large, very intimidating beast of a dog, with the heart of a marshmallow. We got her at the pound. She's 7 years old. Half German Shepherd, half Chow (purple tongue), and half Greyhound (maybe, we have no idea). She's a great dog. But, she's big. And scary looking. And she has a BIG bark.

Which is why we were stunned on Thursday afternoon when it appeared that some small rabbit who really needs to work on her real estate savvy (location, location, location!) appeared to be building a nest in Max's yard.

Sure enough, last night we looked, and there is a nest of newborn baby bunnies smack in the middle of the yard.

So, my husband and I took MG out to show her the nest of brand new babies (Peter, Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-Tail, of course). It didn't take us long to realize that those babies didn't stand a chance in our yard, even with a marshmallow of a dog, sometimes instinct is stronger than training.

BJ went to the hardware store with MG, and this is the result:

As I stood there, watching my husband teach our daughter to say "protect the bunnies," I realized that this is exactly why I love him - because he is the kind of man who will take an hour out of his evening, after working hard all day, to build a white picket fence for a bunch of wild rabbits. I love him because he's a man who will teach our children to protect things that need protection; that we are responsible for taking care of the planet and all its inhabitants, including each other. It still surprises me that someone so strong and tough can also be so gentle.

I have had the privilege of being married to this man for six years today. I am blessed to be raising a family with him. I learn from him daily. I laugh with him all the time. I am grateful for him every minute of every hour of every day.

Happy Anniversary BJ, I love you. Maybe that bunny wasn't so dumb, after all.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Everyone's a Critic


"Now I have a tutu and I am the Bomb!" she thinks, as she struts her stuff at the Dairy.

So, I finally got a bunch of old CDs in my car. With the chaos of toys and blankets and odd socks and assorted baby gear in my car, I wanted to get a CD case before I put a whole bunch of CDs out there. I found my old copy of Schoolhouse Rocks (my only defense against Nosrus Tap), and a few other kid things lying around, and a bunch of my old music from when I was "cool" (for 10 minutes in 1992). Indigo Girls, Barenaked Ladies, U2, Alanis Morrissette, etc.

I had Indigo Girls' "1200 Curfews" in on the way back from the Dairy (where we met Grandma and Tev and had a fantastic time. "Saw cows today," says MG) and I was rocking out. I was singing along, impressed that I still could do the harmonies after all these years, and I still knew all the words. I glanced back to see if MG was enjoying the concert, and she had her fingers stuck in her ears.


My singing voice isn't that bad, right? Tell me this is just a generation gap thing!
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First Half-Smile!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Shame, shame, shame, shame, shame...

We had errands to run this morning, and MG was super good, so I decided to treat her to some trans-fats and a crushed finger or two at our local Germ Tubes.


Remember before I had kids, how I said I would never ever let any McFood cross my daughter's trans-fat free lips. Yeah, wasn't I cute?

Face it. McDonald's is the only playground in town from October until March, and by the time April rolls around and you can go outside again, they're hooked. She says, "Slide!" when we drive by. And most of the time we do just that - drive by - but today, she was really good and deserving of a treat.

So, Shame #1 - I've abandoned all my pre-kid principles. (In my defense, she doesn't actually eat anything. She just kind of licks the ketchup off of everything, which she would do if I fed her organic tofu chunk nuggets with free range ketchup at home, anyway).

I called BJ on the way and asked him to meet us. When he arrived, MG was over-the-moon happy to see him. So much, in fact, that when he left the Germ Tube area to go get his trans-fats, she followed him right out the door.

C, at this point, was asleep in her bucket (remember when I used to get all righteously indignant about babies who spent time in car seats while not actually in cars? Yeah, Shame #2). So I've got an anchor and a kite. Figuring that C wasn't going to go far, I took off after MG, and ran smack into our pediatrician (Shame #3 - the doctor caught me in the act of feeding trans-fats to the entire family, AND simultaneously allowing my child to run off, barely supervised, in public, WITH a black eye, and leaving my infant daughter unsupervised. Can CPS be far behind??). I handed MG to BJ and, with an apologetic smile to Dr. M, went back to take care of C, who was still sleeping peacefully in spite of all the screaming germy brats in the Tubes.

Only then did I realize that our doctor couldn't catch us at McDonald's if he weren't there, himself, which cancelled out most of my shame. So, I called BJ on his cell phone (Shame #4, I've become the kind of person who calls someone who is in the same building as herself) and asked him to invite our doctor to join us. He couldn't, though, he had an appointment. So I just finished my fries.

All this made me realize that shame is everywhere, but especially at McDonald's. I realized that shame doesn't feel very good. Which is why I did not know what to say at all when an older girl, probably 3, deliberately stepped on MG's hand in front of the Tubes. The other girl's mom totally caught her red... well, red footed, and made her apologize to MG, and then made her come over to BJ and I and tell us what she had done.

The little girl just stood there looking horrified with her thumb in her mouth. I honestly had no idea what I was supposed to say to her. So, after a long, awkward pause, I said, "Why did you step on my little girl's hand?" No response. "Did she make you angry?" No response. Mom's standing there looking at me expectantly. "It's not nice to hurt people who are smaller than you are. I hope you won't do it again." Mom says, "Ok, let's go," and shoots us a quick, "Sorry," on the way out the door.

Hello, awkward. Does anyone have any idea what I was supposed to do?

At least Shame #5 wasn't mine. I feel bad for that kid, though. Parenting by public humiliation is a hell of a thing to grow up with. MG's hand is fine; she didn't even cry. But I don't think we're going to go back to Shameland anytime soon. I just can't handle it.
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This could be why she peed on me...

 First I beat her, now I'm getting her drunk on. Bad Mommy!

Actually, it is TOTALLY BJ's fault that she peed on me. See, we got a new bath mat, and it was apparently terrifying. Two nights ago, the new bathmat caused a screaming neon hissy fit. It took us two and a half hours to get her to sleep (and of course, she didn't get any sort of a bath). So, BJ decides that the best way to get her to accept the terrifying new bath mat is to put on his swim shorts and get in the bath with her.

Excellent idea. Great psychology. 10 points. However, his execution was a bit off.

See, I was in our bed, nursing C. BJ is in the nursery with MG. He takes off all her clothes, including her diaper, and sets her free. Of course, he expected her to run into the bathroom, but that's where the scary bathmat is. So, MG did what any sane toddler would do. She ran and jumped into bed with Mommy and C, who was suddenly no longer sleepy.

I called, "Honey, there is a naked toddler in my bed."

He replies, "Mumble, mumble."

A moment later I said, "Dear, there is now a naked toddler on my pillow!"

At this moment he chose to share the distressing news that he was already in the tub. So, knowing that the bathmat from hell

was lurking right below him, I knew that it was unreasonable to say, "MG, go get in the tub with Daddy," with any expectation of compliance.

So, I rearranged C, picked up MG, and proceeded to take her to the tub. I must have squeezed, though, because when I got there my arm (which had been supporting her naked little bum) was wet. Eeewww...

"Let's do that a different way next time," I gently suggested.

"What do you mean?" asked BJ, whose fault it was that I got peed on.

"For example, in such a way that I don't end up getting peed on," I elaborated.

"Oh, like that's the worst thing* that's happened to you all day!" he minimized. And the sad thing is, he was right. Motherhood is SO glamorous.

* The worst thing was sticking my hand in fresh baby poop, when C unexpectedly had a blow out diaper.
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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Works for Me Wednesday!

This is my first extra-bloggular activity! Shannon at Rocks in my Dryer hosts WFMW where readers and bloggers share tips for just about everything.

Here's mine, it's simple. My husband and I keep our grocery list on Google Documents in a file that we can both edit from our Google accounts, so when he has a passing, "Hey, we haven't had meatloaf in ages..." thought, he can add it to the list, and I have some help with menu planning and keeping track of the house's supplies. This guarantees that he doesn't say, "Hey, we need toothpaste!" when I'm up to my elbows in babies, and then get annoyed with me when I forget. Two heads are better than one, after all.

Just for Kathy

C is already a big fan of Fishes! :)

I've worked the last two mornings, so things have been a bit more hectic than usual.

C has gotten into a bad habit of making an extremely dirty diaper every time I try to leave the house. They're all out to get me, I'm telling you!

We're off to the Farmer's Market in an hour, so hopefully someone will do something cute, and I'll post that this evening, too.
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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Sleepy Mommy


I don't want this whole blog to be full of pictures of MG with bruises, bumps, and black eyes. However, she shows no signs of getting over this condition of hers that makes her such a complete and total klutz (the technical term is toddlerhood), I thought I'd post some pictures of her being totally hilarious last month.


Yes, that's the same formal wear (sans black eye). It was the dress that her Aunt Jill bought her to wear when she was a flower girl in Aunt Jill and Uncle Brian's wedding. I also have a pair of cousins named Brian and Jill, who are brother and sister. Fortunately they are NOT the ones who got married.


It's all about the accessories.

I am very, very sleep deprived. I haven't had a good night's sleep since December of 2004. Literally. When I'm pregnant, I get up to go to the bathroom at least twice a night, from the very beginning. MG has slept through the night about 7 times in her entire life. Every single one of those times I have been pregnant, so I've been up to go to the bathroom (and check to make sure MG still had a pulse) anyway.

At first, I was in denial: "Surely I must have gotten more than 3 hours of sleep last week!" I would cry. Then came anger: "If you don't let me sleep, you little parasite, you are grounded until you are TWENTY!" Then, predictably, came bargaining: "If you will just let Mommy sleep for 10 more minutes, I will give you Daddy's credit cards!" Then, of course, depression: "Where the bleeding HELL is Mommy's Zoloft???"

Recently, though, I have come to a point where I have accepted that sleep is never, ever going to happen to me again. I have learned to sleep while I'm awake by shutting down all but the most basic processes that are going on in my mind and body. I lie there, immersed in my zen, nursing, and feeling at peace with the fact that I am awake, again, at 3:00 am. I practice thinking of nothing. I look at my focal point (that tiny stain on the ceiling, probably rust from a nail in the drywall or something) and clear my head. I awake feeling adequately ready to take on the day. And I eat a hell of a lot of chocolate to compensate. "This is just what motherhood is," I reason, "I don't have a choice. It is what it is, why fight? Accept. Om."

Oh, the zen just drips off of me.

And then, and then, C slept through the night last night. I can't be too sure, because MG did not (remember, MG is 19 months older than our 2 month old C), so I'm still as tired as ever, and frankly all babies look the same in the dark - there's a strong possibility that I would nurse Max if she made the right moves on me, and it was late enough at night. But chances are very, very good that C was asleep from approximately 11:30 am until 6:30 am, when her sister woke her up by yelling, "Our C's AWAKE!" at high pitches.

And even though I know that all kids are different, and they develop at different rates, and that MG will do some things chronologically before C does them (talking, probably, for one), I'm finding it really, really difficult to retain my zen. A big, sleepy part of me wants to revert right back to anger, and to direct it at my 21 month old ball of nocturnal energy.

I'm going to go take a nap.
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Monday, May 21, 2007

SO true!

Found this while surfing

The Rules of a Toddler!

If it is on, I must turn it off.
If it is off, I must turn it on.
If it is folded, I must unfold it.
If it is a liquid, it must be shaken, then spilled.
If it a solid, it must be crumbled, chewed or smeared.
If it is high, it must be reached.
If it is shelved, it must be removed.
If it is pointed, it must be run with at top speed.
If it has leaves, they must be picked.
If it is plugged, it must be unplugged.
If it is not trash, it must be thrown away.
If it is in the trash, it must be removed, inspected, and thrown on the floor.
If it is closed, it must be opened.
If it does not open, it must be screamed at.
If it has drawers, they must be rifled.
If it is a pencil, it must write on the refrigerator, monitor, or table.
If it is full, it will be more interesting emptied.
If it is empty, it will be more interesting full.
If it is a pile of dirt, it must be laid upon.
If it is stroller, it must under no circumstances be ridden in without protest. It must be pushed by me instead.
If it has a flat surface, it must be banged upon.
If Mommy's hands are full, I must be carried.
If Mommy is in a hurry and wants to carry me, I must walk alone.
If it is paper, it must be torn.
If it has buttons, they must be pressed.
If the volume is low, it must go high.
If it is toilet paper, it must be unrolled on the floor.
If it is a drawer, it must be pulled upon.
If it is a toothbrush, it must be inserted into my mouth.
If it has a faucet, it must be turned on at full force.
If it is a phone, I must talk to it.
If it is a bug, it must be swallowed.
If it doesn't stay on my spoon, it must be dropped on the floor.
If it is not food, it must be tasted.
If it IS food, it must not be tasted.
If it is dry, it must be made wet with drool, milk, or toilet water.
If it is a car seat, it must be protested with arched back.
If it is Mommy, it must be hugged.

Wishful Thinking

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Her Indian Name is Dances with Ducks


It's 9:30 am.

Number of hours we've been up: 3
Number of parents who are dressed: 2
Number of babies who are dressed: 0
Number of babies who are running around without pants: 1
Number of diapers changed: 3
Number of breakfasts eaten by MG: 0
Number of breakfasts fed to Max by MG: 2
Number of plastic breakfasts Mommy has pretended to eat for MG: 4
Number of times we've played Nosrus Tap: 2
Number of books read: 2
Number of times each of those books were read: 3
Number of books pulled off shelves while searching for Most Annoying Book: 14
Number of household chores on Mommy's "to do" list: 24,657
Number of household chores completed by Mommy: 1 (I loaded the dishwasher)
Number of times I've said, "NO!": 43

Yep, it's Monday.
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Sunday, May 20, 2007

People Say the Damndest Things

 I really need to lose the baby weight (kidding, this was in February, about three weeks before C was born).

Pregnancy's true purpose is to prepare women for all the stupid things people are going to say and do once the baby is on the outside. There's something about being pregnant that makes people think that your body is community property. Strangers touch your belly. They will ask you the most RANDOM personal questions. Questions about things that you would never, ever discuss with anyone but your doctor. Well, unless you're me. I'll tell anyone anything. That's just how I roll.

Anyway, we went to Walmart today (I know, I know, it's closer. Sue me). We had MG and C in the double stroller, and I was pushing that while BJ was pushing the cart. The double stroller rocks. MG sits in the back and C's carseat snaps into the front. MG thinks that it's a train. It's huge, but it's the only way I can get both of them out, especially by myself. So, I've got the stroller and BJ's got the cart, and we're ready to check out, and the woman at the cash register sees MG and her shiner and I joked that the baby had done it to her. Then she noticed C, in the front part of the stroller, and said, "Wow, is she going to be short or something? She's really small!"

Is she going to be short???

I should've said, "Yeah, she's five years old, and she's really sensitive about her size. We try not to talk about it."

But I didn't say that. I just said, "No, she's just kind of folded up in her car seat."

This is the kind of thing that would've Freaked Me Right Out when MG was littler. I would've probably taken her to the doctor for a weight and size check because the woman at Walmart diagnosed her as being too small. I would've had to call everyone who had seen her in the last month to see if they thought she was too small. I would've probably taken her to a growth specialist or something.

With C, it's more like, "Oh, stupid woman at Walmart made a stupid comment. Damn, I forgot to get lemon juice," and I move right on with my day...

Being a second time Mom is nice.
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When Toddlers Buy Groceries

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The Way Things Were

My mom is horrified by car seats. She is convinced that I am going to drive into the river and that I'm not going to be able to get the babies out of their seats. It doesn't matter that I'm about 4 times faster at getting the babies in and out of their seats than she is (practice, practice, practice). She thinks the seats are little plastic death traps.

This has prompted her to tease me about all the harnesses in my kids' lives. The swings, the high chairs, the bouncy seats - all of the things that we put our kids in, today, have at least 3-point, and usually 5-point harnesses. My generation has an expectation that if you put a child in something, he or she will still be there when you come back.

Apparently this was not The Way Things Were when my mom was raising us, which brings me to our new feature:

The Way Things Were which I will explore how parenting has changed since the stone age when I was little.

We begin with car seats. Apparently there was no such animal when I was a kid. Acceptable substitutes included laundry baskets, a parent's lap, and the back window of the car. Apparently when one parent was traveling alone with a child, it was standard practice to hold a child in one's lap while one was driving. DRIVING. Apparently Mom even nursed me while she was in the act of driving at times - not just as a passenger in the car, but while she was in control of the trajectory of the vehicle. And this was not an abnormal thing to do - my friend Shannyn's mom, apparently, did the same thing when Shannyn was little.

These days, if you don't spend $200 on the state of the art car seat, with a five point harness, cushioning, and its own miniature airbags, and if you don't strap Junior in more tightly than an astronaut on the Shuttle during take-off, you are a Bad Mommy. And children have to stay in their car seats until they are nine years old. Nine. Years. Old. Mom was probably driving when she was nine.

In addition, children are not allowed to ride in the front seat until they are twenty. This poses a serious problem for the 16 year old, learning to drive, because he or she must actually learn to drive from the back seat, and then transition to the front seat when he or she is old enough to not be frightened by the airbags when they go off.

I rear ended someone once (BK - before kids), and my air bags went off. Holy crimeny, that was scary. It sounded like a gun going off. My thoughts were, "Who's shooting at me?? What's all this white stuff???" before I figured out what had happened. And I had huge bruises and chemical burns on my forearms.

If you ask me, the greater risk is to the elderly, who may very well have a heart attack when the air bags go off. It seems to me that, given a choice, the kids with young, healthy hearts should be driving, and all of us old farts should be cowering in the back seat. Kids would probably make better drivers anyway. Have you ever watched them play video games?

What else was different when you were raising kids? Drop me an e-mail or a comment, and your crazy parenting practices may be featured in a future installment of The Way Things Were.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Nosrus Tap

Isn't C getting big?

So, I promised to tell you about the curse of the "Nosrus Tap." Well, several months ago my mom bought MG a copy of "Rhinoceros Tap" and its companion CDs "Philadelphia Chickens" and "Dog Train." These are CDs for kids, and Sandra Boynton is one of our favorite kids' authors. It's probably payback for some record that I made her listen to eleven million times... Sometimes Grandma has ulterior motives.

(Remember back before I had kids, and I SWORE that I would never listen to kids' music? Yeah, I swore I'd never drive a minivan, too.)

Anyway... The CDs were nice. We listened to them in the car. I learned a few words. They were an occasional part of our lives.

Then I let them in the house.

Jiminy Cricket, I have listened to this CD 94,528 times in the past week. As soon as MG wakes up, she starts yelling, "Nosrus Tap! NOSRUS TAP!!!" and pushing buttons on the TV (we play it through the DVD player in the kitchen) until I turn it on.

I have to admit that this music is MUCH less hideous than most children's music out there - hear samples for yourself at Amazon - but still. I don't even want to listen to Barenaked Ladies or U2 94,528 times, much less "Oh Lonely Peas."

The silver lining, though, is the song "Bad Babies." I love this song. It is hysterical. And when MG is having a tantrum, about 7 times out of 10 singing "Bad Babies" to her will chill her out and make her laugh.

So, this is where the tap shoes came from (see Saturday). The Rhinoceros Tap song says, "You put on your tap shoes, you wear your best clothes..." So, I'm changing MG's diaper about a week ago and she says, "Want some tap shoes." When I said, "What?" (which is the normal response when your 21 month old comes out of the air with a complete sentence that she's not just mimicking from somewhere else) she said, "Nosrus Tap!" in this, "DUH, Mom," sort of voice.

Yeah, I bought her the tap shoes. They're hilarious. And they're probably destroying my floors.

We have learned, in this little experiment in parental torture, that Mommies have a much higher tolerance for repetition than Daddies have. He'll come home at 6 pm, after I have heard "HEY what a crab, ho what a crab," several dozen times that day, listen to the CD for about 11 minutes, and decide that he's had enough. Mommy doesn't care how many times she has to hear it, as long as no one's screaming. Daddies have a higher tolerance for screaming.
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MG woke up really fussy this morning for no reason at all. She cried a bunch, refused to eat breakfast, and was generally miserable. So I did the only thing I could do....

I dressed her up in her fanciest dress....

and put on her new tap shoes!

Sometimes the only thing standing between us and a very bad day is formal wear.


I have decided to embrace technology and stop clogging up my "sent items" folder with pictures, so I've made this blog. I hope you'll check back often and see how my pretty babies are growing!