Thursday, September 24, 2009

Oh, the Posts of Days Gone By...

I was suffering from some writer's block this morning so I went back to some of my older posts and read for a while to try to spark something. I actually laughed at myself in a few of those. Which makes me wonder what happened but that's another day. Everyone get out your Wayne's World fingers because we are going back in time.

Doodle lee Doot. Doodle lee Doot. Doodle lee Doot.

Mom Tip #18 - Just Laugh!

Mom Tip #29 - You May Call me Elvis. This is Lion's favorite post

Mom Tip #41 - Never Clean During PMS Weak Stomach Warning!

Mom Tip #54 - Motherhood is Gross! Another WSW.

How to Tell you're a Grown Up!

Someday I'll get back to that kind of writing. Thanks for hanging with me until I do. Zoo fans Rock!


Wednesday, September 23, 2009


There I said it. I asked for help. Not that it will do anything but I did it. Mainly because I just need to have a "mom needs help" moment.

I should have known first thing this morning. I woke up feeling like dog poo run over and topped in hot garbage juice but I told myself a pot or two of coffee would make it all better.

And then everyone dawdled. I don't have patience for dawdling. I want people to move when I tell them to, if not on the first try, at least on the second. If I have to tell you more than three times to stop talking and start brushing your teeth, I will lose my cool. Want to venture a little guess on how many times I had to ask? On #6 the toothpaste had still not been disturbed on the toothbrush that had been loaded for a good 10 minutes. Not a good way to start a dog poo garbage juice day.

The high point of my day was Marmie giving me my medical exam.
"Open yo mouf Mom! Now open yo eyes. You sick Momma. Close yo eyes. I listen you. You heart say 'boing boing'. You sick. You eat cackers now."

Two year olds don't understand that saltines are not a miracle pill. So I ate crackers. Then she tucked me in and sat on top of me to make sure I napped. Such a helpful child.

I had enough meds and saltines pumping through my system to make it through car rider without committing homicide but then I was faced with O's homework. And it is at this point that I am faced with the worst part of my day. I understand homework. I'm glad my children have it. I want my child to do well and I need to reinforce what she is learning in school.

The problem for me is that my child is showing signs of intense dyslexia. She is in an early intervention program at school where she gets intensive instruction but she still has to keep up with everyone else. That means that my kindergarten child takes an hour to do what most kids do in 20 minutes. I have to be there with her while she does it. I have to help her correct mistakes and repeat myself a dozen times for every letter that is formed backwards.

I don't like to repeat myself.

I didn't struggle with school. I don't get it that my daughter who is imaginative and creative and artistic can't form her letters in the right direction. It does not compute for me. Big Mom Fail - even though I know it's not my fault. But I can't "fix" it so I feel like Mom Fail.

And what in the world possessed me to go to the playroom (aka disaster central) today? The DC should be avoided at all costs on Dog Poo Garbage Juice days. It made me cry! No really. Made. Me. Cry.

My kitchen floor needs to be mopped. The bathrooms are crying out to be saved from themselves. Dinner time is fast approaching and we still have one more homework assignment to get caught up on (after the flood day).

It's one of those days when I just want to scream "HELP!!" at the top of my lungs. But I don't. Because I'm a mom and Mom's should be able to tough it out. Mom's should be able to roll with this kind of stuff and persevere. We shouldn't need help. I have actually told Lion several times today that I'm fine. I'll be ok. I'll just take some more meds and keep going. Why? Why is it so hard for moms to admit that we aren't armor all people and that we need help?

I know this isn't the fun and fluffy that I usually put up but I need to know that other moms are the same as me. Tell me about your most recent Dog Poo and Garbage Juice day. Let me know that I'm normal.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Monday I'm Driving a Bulldozer.

I mean it. I am going out this weekend and buying a small bulldozer (they make those, right?) and I am driving it through carpool on Monday.

It's not rocket science people! You put your number in your front window. You show it to the teacher calling the children out. They come out and get in the car. You pull away. People pull up behind you and repeat the process.

Your child can't buckle their own seat belt? Pull out of the way by the dumpsters so people can go around you.

Your child has lead in their butt and won't sit in their seat so you can move the car? Well, I put that on you. You need to encourage a sense of urgency in your child.

I don't understand. It's a pretty simple system but every day I end up sitting several minutes while someone farts around. The child doesn't come out when they are called. The parent insists on making sure the child is secured before even driving 10 feet out of the way. I think some of these people insist on hearing the full details of their child's day before they will put the car in gear.

So that's it. I'm getting my bulldozer and everyone has 20 seconds to get their child in and seated before I move them. I get two in and seated in that time and I know most of these folks only have one - I look for that stuff - so they are getting extra time. And if your child doesn't come out the first time they are called, you go to the end of the line. Maybe both of you will learn a lesson.

Maybe I won't BUY the bulldozer. I think a week long rental should be just long enough for people to get the hang of it. If I rent I won't get that depreciation hit when I trade it in for my Batmobile.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Zoo Talk and the Lesson of the Week

I absolutely promise you that all of these conversations/scenarios have happened within the last 24 hours. And now you will understand why I refer to it as a Zoo!

ZK (That's me): Son, did you ever get a tissue and take care of that thing earlier?
Rhino: Yup!
ZK: So the one I'm looking at now is new?
R: You betcha!

From the dungeon (aka playroom)
O: Why won't you let me play with you? You are the meanest brother EVER!!
R: Oh Ho! You think so?

(I think he took it as a challenge!)

M: Help! Help! Help! Help! Help! (running up and down the hall waving her hands above her head wide eyed and crazy like)
ZK: What are you doing?
M: He's gonna get me!!
ZK: Who?!
M: (looking around all 360 degrees) Well, now. Where did he go?

O: Hey Momma, you know the cartoon when Pebbles and Bam Bam got married?
ZK: No. Did Pebbles and Bam Bam REALLY get married? I did not know that!
O: (all seriousness!) Mom. You really HAVE to watch more cartoons!

And finally, the lesson of the week from The Zoo:
I know you don't like how he's playing the game, but you can't make people play the way you want them to all the time. Sometimes you have to just go play a different game.
I know some adults who could use that lesson too, but we'll save that for another day, shall we?

And on a completely different note: Book count for our bedtime reading Project? 20 since Saturday night. None have been chapter books since we are at the beginning of The Project and a few of those have been repeats (Marmie thinks we should read Skeleton Hiccups every night) but so far the kids are loving the project. Our bedtime routine has gone much smoother since they know at the end of it they get to pile on the big bed and read. Yay!! We will probably try to start adding some more chapter books and classics this weekend and into next week.

While we're talking about it, The Project still has no name. A few that have been rattling around in my head for your consideration? The Bunkbed Project (since the girls just got bunk beds). Or Project Goodnight Zoo (a little nod to Good Night Gorilla). Feel free to toss your name suggestions our way. We will probably poll next week.

The Epilogue

**Because I've always wanted to write one. New to the saga? Catch up!

Horsefeathers (Part 1)
The Drip (Part 2)
The European Faucet (Part 3)

Now many of you are probably wondering what my plumbing adventure has to do with our theme here at The Zoo. It didn't involve my children. It didn't involve a letter of any kind. Well here it is.

Mom Tip #68: Regardless of gender, teach your child basic mechanics.

Girls or boys all need to know basic mechanics. How to change a tire. How to check their oil. How to change a filter in a HVAC unit. Definitely the importance of water shut off valves and breaker boxes.

Imagine, fathers in my midst, that you are able to send your daughter out into the world without worrying that she will be "taken" by some shady plumber or electrician. Imagine the pride mothers, of knowing that your son was able to help the young lady down the hall with a faulty electrical outlet thus saving her from the tragedy of flat hair.

Silverback called Monday night to see how my plumbing had turned out. He is not one to whoop and holler over our accomplishments. After all he taught us what to do. We should be able to just do it - nothing out of the ordinary. But I think I heard just a tinge of pride in his voice when I announced that the problem had been resolved and he would be able to review my handiwork when he comes to visit at Thanksgiving.

I wonder if I can replace the tank on the toilet before he gets here. I'll probably need some tools...


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

European Faucets, Floods and Lasagna

**Feel like you're missing something?

Horsefeathers (Part 1)
The Drip (Part 2)

I had settled from my hysterical laughter and assumed my position under the sink to give the water supply line one more crack and this time, it took. Now to see if I had any leaks.

Tenatively I turned the water back on at the valves under the sink. No faceful of spray so that is encouraging. Then I turned on the faucet. Only a minor leak there so I snagged one of the Wrenches of Doom and started adjusting and tightening. Still leaking. Then I saw those darling little black rings that had eluded me earlier. After quickly disassembling the sprayer one more time I inserted the proper rubber washer, tightened it back down and voila! No more leak at the sprayer end.

What I had failed to check was whether there was a leak at the supply end. I had been "up top" turning the water on and off for a good fifteen minutes before I got it settled. In the meantime there had been a fountain bubbling merrily away under the sink and out of the cabinet and across the floor and right under the oven. If only I had left a dog food dam there to slow things down.

Three large bath towels later I could finally get back under the sink to turn the water off and try to reconnect the supply line. And this is when Lion came home. Excellent timing because now I don't have to try the Wrenches of Doom set up again; he can just untwist me from the top. It took a few tries for us to figure out which way he needed to turn his end so that my end stayed untangled but we finally got it. I asked him to gently turn the water on. I wasn't really in the mood to wash the lump on my forehead at this point. And after one small twist we were leak free.

And then he put the sprayer back into the faucet housing. And it didn't go all the way in. It hung out by half an inch. It wasn't flush. He looked at me. I stared at the faucet. One thing to know about Lion. If it isn't right, it can't stay. Half an inch. I stared at the faucet. I pushed on it. I pulled on the hose from the bottom side. Maybe it was hung up on something in the housing. Lion looked at me. I stared at the faucet.

Lion said, "I need to run up to the corner store. I'll be right back."

I think I mumbled something like, "Yeah, whatever."

I cooked dinner in the bathroom Sunday night. Well not completely cooked it but washed all the vegetables. I had disassembled the whole thing and returned it to Home Depot. There was no merry tripping this time. It took all my strength not to scream "Horsefeathers!" at every orange apron that passed me. Faucet guts and appendages were strewn all over my counter while I tried to cook. The gaping whole in my sink kept winking at me like it was delighting in having the night off.

I got up Monday morning with a new attitude. All I needed to do was try Ace Hardware. Surely "the Helpful Hardware Place" would have what I needed. I hate red aprons too. They had exactly the same universal kit that I had just returned only they were willing to admit that it was the wrong thing before I even told them I had already tried it. And they get a bonus point for referring me to a plumbing specialty store 9 miles away. At least they tried to offer me a solution.

I called my sister and asked her to look up the address up for me (thank you internet for allowing a person in Missouri to find an address in Georgia) and I plugged it into my navigation system. Now please keep in mind that Marmie was with me while I attacked this problem and with the help of a chocolate creme filled doughnut, she was being charming and delightful. I'm pretty sure I would have Horsefeathered someone if she had even shown a shadow of nuttiness.

At the plumbing specialty store, The Ball Cap twins took one look at my hose (yes, I had plumbing in my purse) and started shaking their heads. It turns out that my faucet was made by a German stainless steel company and therefore has no parts in the US. We were now edging up on the 24 hour mark and I had just learned that I wasn't replacing a hose - I was replacing a whole faucet.

I won't say it. I won't say it. I'll just go get the faucet and fix the problem.
So back to Home Depot I went. I stomped back to the kitchen faucets. I growled at the ladder that was in front of the display. I found a faucet that looked very similar to our old faucet and I brought it home. By now I was looking at my sink like it was Mount Everest in January. There was no way I was going to be able to get this done and I had planned out lasagna for dinner. Lasagna is messy. I had to have water. I didn't have anything else even remotely ready to fill in if lasagna was out of the question.

Marmie went down for her nap and I gathered my tools. Disconnect the main lines. Pull the old fixture completely out. Drop the new fixture in. Tighten it into place. Figure out that there were more adapters on the main water supply lines to make them fit that stupid European faucet (no offense to my European readers - our stuff just doesn't mix well with yours) and take them off with the Pipe Wrenches of Death. Did I mention that I don't have precisely the right tools for plumbing? Attach the sprayer line. Attach the two main water lines. Attach the sprayer nozzle. Hold your breath. Turn the water on.

No leaks.

One hour. From plumbing disaster to stylish functioning faucet in one hour. No horsefeathers.

I sent my husband a text message. "You have THE most AWESOME wife on the planet!" He called me and asked "Why?"


And then the Sink Sprung a Leak

**For a definition of Horsefeathers and the beginning of the tale go here.**

Lion will be one of the first to admit that he is not mechanically inclined. Therefore it is a true blessing that Silverback taught me some basic home maintenance skills. I have successfully rewired a faulty grounded outlet and I can plunge a toilet with the best of them. But everyone knows, the true test of a person's skills comes when the dreaded drip occurs.

You know The Drip. Suddenly there is a puddle where puddles really shouldn't be and the source is unknown or worse, in a place that can't be reached without years of yoga instruction and pre-plumbing stretches and warm ups. We had The Drip. In the kitchen. Creating a puddle amongst the cleaning supplies and dog food. And it was rapidly growing.

Careful observation revealed that the drip was actually a leak in the line of our retractable faucet and it was at the pull out end. Well, that should be easy enough to fix, right? Just get the new line and replace it! How tough could that be?

I tripped lightly through Home Depot with Marmie in tow and wound my way leisurely down the plumbing aisle. Politely I asked the gentleman in the orange apron if he could direct me to the replacement line in question and I willingly handed over my $20.

Two weeks later the bottom fell out of the dog food bag and I pleaded with Lion to replace the line - TODAY!! "Oh, no! I don't know anything about that. You'll need to do that." Well, if I had known it was going to be my job maybe we could have avoided the whole dog food under the oven fiasco.

So Sunday afternoon, I did my grocery shopping and put it all away. Then I cleaned out the cabinet under the sink and assembled all my tools. Lion and Rhino ran for the hills (aka the park with their golf clubs) while Marmie and Orangutan settled down for an afternoon movie. It's simple I said to myself. I just have to disconnect the sprayer and the supply line from the hose, pull it out and reattach the new one. I called the Silverback for one last pep talk and then settled in to work.

Disassembly went rather well in spite of the fact that I didn't have "precisely" the right tools. But then it was time to put it all back together. Note: Universal kits usually come with about 400 adapter pieces to interchange to make said kit fit your personal scenario. You will find that it is almost impossible to find the proper configuration unless you try every...single...combination. Then you will find that one of those adapters is actually two pieces and you only need half of it. You will be tempted to swear at this point but you will take a deep breath and continue.

When I finally got the top half of the hose to fit the sprayer, I had to feed it through the faucet and back under the sink. This involved a wire hanger, a steak knife and holding a flashlight in my teeth. Twenty five minutes later (after gagging on the flashlight at least half a dozen times) I had it fed through. Now to climb back under the sink.

Another little note for you. When working with flexible metal tubing it is best to have someone helping you. Especially if you have to twist that tubing at all because they will need to twist the other end to keep the tubing straight. Please keep in mind that I didn't have this second person. I began to reconnect the hose to the supply line only to have the nasty thing get wound up tighter than a slinky on crack and completely untwist itself as soon as I let go. But I am a patient woman.

Time to employ the Wrenches of Doom. One adjustable wrench (because remember I didn't have precisely the right tools - 1/2 in versus 9/16 and yes it made a difference!) was attached to the hose on the topside and dangled over the side of the sink so that I could untwist myself. The other wrench was attached to the nut connecting the two lines.

Twist. Twist. Twist.

Slip. Thunk. Right between the eyes. I mean dead in the middle of my own forehead. Of course my body jerked upward, my hand instinctively trying to get to the swelling lump in the middle of my noggin. Except. My arm got tangled up in loose water lines and my hand slammed into the side of the garbage disposal while my head (still rapidly traveling north) smashed into the PVC trap with a resounding THWACK!

There's only one word a person can say at a moment like that. Especially when they are mindful that their darling daughters could step into the kitchen at any moment and they do not want to be the one to teach those daughters to be unladylike.


When my vision cleared and the room stopped spinning I thought it was best to get out from under the sink and survey the damage I had just done to my head. I took one look in the mirror at my previously tidy bun which was now a mass of flyaways, tangles, a dead spider and a million cobwebs and I started to giggle. Then I started to chuckle and finally was laughing so hard at the whole situation that I had tears rolling down my face.

I had grown into my legacy. I had used "Horsefeathers!" in context, by instinct, and at completely the right moment. When I recounted this part of the story to Silverback later that evening he assured me that it was definitely a "Horsefeathers!" moment.

But for all of my chuckling, I still didn't have water in my kitchen.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Horsefeathers! A Father's Legacy

My father (The Great Silverback) would be distraught to think that "Horsefeathers!" is his legacy to me but it is so much more than just "Horsefeathers!"

If The Grand Keeper gifted my sister and I with "The Mother's Curse" then The Great Silverback gifted us with "Horsefeathers!" and the ability to use it well. What is "Horsefeathers!" you ask?

Silverback is the handiest of handy men. He can sharpen the mower blades; change the alternator in a tractor; re plumb a bathroom; pull wire to a whole new floor; and tune up the bushings on Grand Keeper's over lock (sewing) machine all in one day. Ok, well the wiring may take a couple days but you get my point. He is the handiest of handy men.

His gift to my sister and I was to let us observe him doing all of the above and more on more than one occasion. We know the difference between a box wrench and crescent wrench. We can pick a ball hammer out of a line up. And we never forget to turn off the water or breaker when doing the appropriate home repair or maintenance.

If you have ever done or been involved in home maintenance, then you are probably aware that inevitably in every do it yourself project there comes a moment when you want to flip out, lose it, or cuss like a sailor. The handiest of men was not immune to these moments. A nail would fall between the 1/4 inch gap into the abyss. A piece of plywood wouldn't stay square to where it was going to end up. The wrench slipped off the nut at maximum torque and projected his knuckles into the immovable force removing several layers of flesh upon contact.

It was at these moments that my sister and I were gifted with "Horsefeathers!" Silverback was very mindful of his influence in our lives and the last thing he wanted to do was introduce us to the art of colorful phraseology. The Grand Keeper, in her infinite wisdom, learned that "Horsefeathers!" was a good indicator that our observation time was up and that we should probably leave the area.

Over time we learned to laugh about Horsefeathers and even considered adding it to our lexicon of DIY vocabulary. But were we worthy? Had we survived enough skinned knuckles to warrant a Horsefeathers moment?

Only time would tell. (aka To Be Continued...)


Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Project Heads to the Zoo!

I'm sure by now most of you know that I have a second blog that is for all my non-family stuff. Oh, you didn't? Well hit up The Bowl sometime. It's good fun (or not). Anyway, I digress (imagine that!).

Last week I decided to take on a project of sorts. I am reading. A lot. Now I know that doesn't sound like a project to most but when you are a mom who keeps house, runs carpool, bakes, supervises homework, referees full time aggravation wars, writes, and makes feeble attempts at potty training, squeezing in some time for reading before one passes out from exhaustion is nothing short of a miracle.

So far I am two books into the fifty I am hoping to read in the next year and all is going well. Granted they have been pretty easy reads but I take my victories where I can get them. But I was feeling a bit selfish. I'm getting some pretty decent quality alone time in but I can't help but think that my children could become jealous of the books eventually. Which of course started my brain on a tangent (surprised? I didn't think so.).

Could there be a way to include the children? Maybe not in the books that are on my list of reading material but maybe with a list of their own?

So here it is. The challenge: one book per child per day. That shouldn't be too hard considering the nature of children's literature. And maybe, if I get bold and adventurous, it will be one chapter of a classic story. I have three children and per the bloggy counter over there 315 days before the blogoversary. That means 945 books. That doesn't seem too daunting.

I think the hard part for me will be finding the classic children's stories. And getting my children to read a new book every day - they tend to stick to their faves A LOT! We already have the Beatrix Potter collection so I have Peter Cottontail in my arsenal. I also have a collection of Grimm's Fairy Tales to pull from. (B, who has the copy of Grandfather Tales?) But what are some other classics that you remember from your childhood?

And while you're brainstorming, I'm looking for a name for both Projects. Pop over to The Bowl and weigh in if you have a stroke of genius. Perhaps I'll assemble a collection of children's favorites and run some simultaneous contests for the naming of The Project.

But more importantly, who is ready to mount up with me and give their children the gift of time and literacy? Come on! You know you want to! I'll even let you make up your own rules of participation. Just as long as you are reading every day.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Rhino's Piece of the Curse

If Orangutan got the verbal diarrhea as her part of the curse, then Rhino got his fair helping of the stubborness and sneaky. (Although he got a scoop of the verbal and she got a scoop of the sneaky too.)

I think this boy is on a mission to either force me to send him to military school or just break me so that he can watch me sit in a corner and rock. Last night I was so exasperated with him that I actually said to my husband, "I have had it! He is yours."

So what exactly is he doing? Nothing in particular and everything in general. He will randomly walk up to one of his sisters and thump them on the head for no particular reason. Not hard enough to hurt them but just enough to aggravate them and get the whining started. He will almost immediately follow that up with messing with the TV in one form or fashion. Again, nothing malicious but enough to escalate the whining to a new octave and decible level. If he's really in a mood, he'll start messing with their stuff; snatching a blanket here, knocking over dominoes there, or (my personal favorite) just flopping down on top of someone like there is absolutely no where else in the house for him to plant his carcass.

And his ears don't work when he's in one of these moods. They simply do not work. Rhino get off of her. Off! Off I said! Are you broken?!

Son, would you please just move away? Further. Two inches is no better than 2 centimeters. Two feet would be even better. To which I usually get, "But Mom! I'm not allowed to use your tape measure!"

And if he has done something wrong, you might as well chop his ears off and pack the holes with concrete. He simply will not respond.

He's stubborn!

And emotional. I have never in my life seen a child fall to pieces over nothing like this one can. His golf clubs are in the back of Lion's car at the dealership. He fell into a melty heap on the stairs last night because Lion couldn't produce them on the spot. It didn't matter that we all made promises that the golf clubs would come home today. It didn't matter that Lion tried to bribe him with the promise of brand new big boy golf clubs. He wanted (sniff, sniff) his (gasping for air) golf clubs (sobbing and wailing) NOOOOOOOOOOWWW!

I think this is when I threw up my hands and packed my face with chicken wings. I'm pretty sure I was a bit melodramatic growing up. I know I was stubborn. It was a genetic thing; my grandfather was famous in our community for it; our father had his moments of fortitude; I had a tradition to carry on. Rhino, I'm letting you off the hook. Be as complacent as you want (within reason, I guess. I'd hate for you to end up in juvy). Be kind. Be mellow.

Because if you don't I'm about one meltdown away from "Someday...."

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Things that Would have Been Good to Know

Now I have pondered my life the last few days and I understand that there is a very good chance that I got double whammied on the Mother's Curse.

You see, while Grand Keeper was dropping her "Someday..." on me, I suspect that Lion was getting the same dose - maybe his was heavier. What ever happened, the exhibits have enough curse on them right now to bring our house to its trembling, quivering, gelatinous knees.

Orangutan and Rhino seem to think that there is absolutely no reason they should ever stop talking. I kid you not when I say that Monday night I heard something coming from Rhino's exhibit and went in to find him dreaming the night away and having a conversation with Orangutan in his sleep. It never stops. Ever.

And Orangutan. She is as random about her topics as she is persistent. I think in a ten minute period yesterday I heard "Momma" (or some variation thereof) and at least 38 different topics. Why did Alvin say... How do you spell... What was that show where... Do chickens come in different colors? Today at school we ate Popsicles for snack. Do you remember that time...

And she does that too. She just drifts off in mid thought. And then when she realizes she got distracted she backs up to the very beginning and starts all over. "Momma..." And I promise if she lost it once, she will lose her train of thought at least three more times.

Rhino just wants to help and offer play by play the whole time. "Mom are you going to put that cup there? That's a good spot in the dishwasher because the dishwasher has dirty dishes in it right now. I think I saw a spoon in the sink too. Did you get it? It goes in the basket right up here. Moooooom!! Not in that pocket! That pocket has forks; it needs to go in this pocket over here. No I can't move it because it's dirty and I don't want to get germs. You know, Mom, we wash our dishes because if we didn't they would get germs and make us sick 'cause germs make us sick Mom."

Lion took the three children by himself to the grocery store on Sunday. I laughed as he pulled out of the driveway because I could only picture what was going to come back. I laughed harder as they pulled in when I realized that they had been gone for almost a full hour and were coming back with one bag of food for dinner that night. As my darling Lion trudged up the stairs I looked at him and as innocently as I could muster asked, "Well? How was your trip?"

"They are nuts!! Orangutan didn't stop talking the entire time! Rhino thought he had to have one of everything. And I lost Marmie at least twice! I mean it! They never stopped making noise!"

Then he followed it up with, "No wonder my dad always called me Questions when I was growing up."

And there it is. Proof that I got whammied on the curse. I know I was a talker but now I know that Lion was too and that adds up to one heck of a chatter box curse.

Anybody know where I can get some earplugs for the next 16 years?

The Mother's Curse

I know that I have mentioned "The Mother's Curse" several times in past posts. Remember "Reincarnation?" Or how about "Parenting Fatigue?" I'm sure I mentioned it.

Part of me assumed that everyone knew what "The Mother's Curse" was. The other half of me thought I had already written this post. But now that I look back I realize that while I have mentioned it in passing, I have never actually clarified what "The Mother's Curse" is.

The Mother's Curse - the moment a mother utters out loud, under her breath, in the back of her mind, or in a dream "Someday you will have a child and when you do that child will be just. like. you."

It is important going into the next few days that you understand The Curse. You should also understand that The Grand Keeper never hid from us the fact that she used it and used it often. At one point in our lives we knew two phrases. "Remember Rule #1" (I'll explain that later) and "Someday..." She got to the point that she didn't even finish it. She would just let out "Someday..." and we knew another layer had been added to our curse.

From time to time I will call The Grand Keeper and no sooner does she pick up her end, then chaos is all it's glory erupts at my house. The dog will start barking at nothing; Marmie will have issues getting to the potty in time; Orangutan will show up with another tragedy of some cataclysmic proportion; and Rhino will deny that he had anything to do with any of it while he scrambles to hide the evidence. About that time the washer will go off balance; the toilet will overflow and the dishwasher will go psycho and start beeping for no apparent reason. Smoke will roll from the stove and the condiment shelf will inevitably fall off the refrigerator door as soon as I open it dumping all the contents of the ketchup bottle on the floor that I finally had a chance to mop.

Grand Keeper in all her wisdom will undoubtedly say something witty like, "I see my plan is working. I'll talk to you later. Tell them I love them. And Someday..."

Now perhaps Grand Keeper was just that good at applying her curse. Perhaps I really was the loony bin in sneakers. Perhaps I am getting double whammied (another idea we will explore later). In any case, it's time. It is time for me to start dishing out my own helping.

Someday my little exhibits. Someday...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Up Down Side

Since the Orangutan and Rhino have gone back to school, I've had a lot more time to lavish on Marmoset and she is loving life!

It has it's goods and bads. Now she thinks she HAS to be with me 24/7 and has started to meltdown anytime I have to go somewhere without her. It lasts for about 45 seconds but those 45 seconds are stinkin' loud!! I mean hear it in the car at the bottom of the drive way with all doors and windows closed and the radio on loud.

On the good side of the equation is the fact that I laugh. A lot! Take today for example. For a full hour we played "Up Down Side." Very simply put she has to be upside down (so now you get it, right?) and tickled. I can prop her up against the back of the couch, stand her on her head or just hold her by her ankles. She doesn't care - as long as she is "up down side." Her laugh is infectious and as soon as you put her down to catch her breath and get the blood circulating again she is begging for more.

It's awesome to be entertained by things so simple. I guess that's one of the gifts of parenting. May all grown ups revisit the laughter and enjoyment of Up Down Side on a regular basis.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Either I Missed Something...

Or Rhino's teachers are little truth stretchers.

How in the world did a child who could barely sit much less pay attention in class suddenly become a star pupil?

I mean it! What happened to my child?

Two weeks ago, I was crying myself to sleep because I just knew he was going to get himself kicked out of school - and he's not even in Kindergarten yet! Lion and I were walking him in so that we could have conferences with the teacher daily. I was headed to the school at 11 AM because they would need me to pick him up for behavior issues.

We put him on a behavior chart last Monday and he did fabulous. He had two weeks to get it together so we put the chart back in this week.

I went to Curriculum Night tonight and his teachers just raved about his complete turnaround and his great willingness to participate and cooperate.

Please don't get me wrong. I'm thrilled, delighted, ecstatic and about to just pop with glee.

I'm also praying that what has been done will not one morning wake up undone just because the switch flipped back again.

I should take consolation though, right? I mean if he's getting all this lunacy out of the way now, I won't have to deal with it when he's a teenage boy sandwiched between two teenage girls, right?