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Monthly Archives: December 2010

Whistles, singing birds and diamonds


The kids made their Christmas lists for Santa yesterday morning.  A little late, I pointed out, because I knew Santa had probably completed his shopping for the season, but they would not be deterred. Jake carefully wrote his items on the list, while his little sister had me carefully write everything from his list on hers. Since I knew what Santa had been shopping for, I tried to direct their lists. Of course, this was unsuccessful.

Jake:  How do you spell whistle?

In my head:  As if I would ever ever get you a whistle. The neighbors will love that.

And out loud:  How about some games? Would you like Santa to bring some new games?

Jake:  How do you spell singing bird?

In my head:  Right, like I’m going to get you a bird. Remember what happened to the fish? You think the dog isn’t going to eat your bird?

And out loud:  A live bird? Another pet sounds like a lot of work.

Jake:  (like I’m a moron), No a fake one. It can sit on my shoulder and sing.

In my head:  You’ll either be cool or get beat up in kindergarten with this singing bird on your shoulder.

And out loud: How about a new, fast sled?

Jake:  (again, like I’m a moron), We already have sleds. They’re in the closet.

Ultimately, there is one more trip to Target in my future and the lesson learned by lamemom in this exercise is obvious — don’t shop early. (Of course, I expect that many don’t consider mid-December to be shopping early.) His list, and that of his sister, included an Ipod and a computer. I can’t choose which electronic device the 3 and 5-year olds should have, so I might just go with the sled.

He renewed my interest in his list, however, when he returned to it this morning

Jake:  How do you spell jewelry? I want some jewelry.

Puzzled, I ask:  Jewelry? What kind?

Jake:   Maybe just diamonds. How do you spell diamonds?

Me:  D-i-a-m-0-n-d-s

Maybe Jake can help his father with his shopping. Diamonds sound like much more fun than the travel coffee mug that I requested.

Filed under Christmas gifts
Dec 16, 2010

So I kind of lied.


Apparently, I wasn’t completely accurate in my post yesterday about another not-proud parenting moment.  In fact, I wasn’t just inaccurate, my husband made it very very clear to me that I, in fact, lied. Most troubling, perhaps, is that it was utterly unintentional. (Ok, maybe it would be more troubling if I were intentionally lying. I’m not sure.)

I  recounted a story involving me pitted against 3-year old daughter in a fight about being cold. My husband read the post last night and emailed me this:

Did you rewrite the story to make it more readable? In reality, you put her in crib prison;  she screamed bloody murder;  I went in and talked her into her tinkerbell sweatshirt.  Problem solved.

While I’m not sure that’s exactly how it went – bits of it are true and were totally forgotten by lamemom. I did put her in crib prison and she did scream and he did eventually spring her from crib prison, though I think he sprung her sans sweatshirt. But that’s not my point.  It’s amazing how we can reconstruct our own reality, especially about something relatively low on the importance scale. I had totally forgotten the episode, only remembering the screaming, which was probably mostly mine.

I would bet that Jenn still remembers the episode. Which is what I should keep in mind. I guess, “forgetting” that I put the daughter in her crib until she did what I wanted is a good reminder that the behavior — mine, that is — was bad. Someone should have sent me to my bed. Unfortunately, that would have probably have made my whole day.

Dec 14, 2010

I’m freezing. Put on a sweater.


On the weekend, I got into another (misguided) brawl with my 3-year old daughter.  The impetus? Our cottage (barely insulated on a good day) was about 45 degrees when we arrived there on Saturday, which was freezing, a typical early winter day. After we arrived and did the typical warm-up with blankets in front of the fire, Jenn declared herself warm and took off her shoes and socks. Then she left the coziness of the fire and took off her sweatshirt, leaving herself in cheetah print fleece pants (at least warm, if not stylish) and a long sleeved shirt. The rest of us were still wearing down jackets and hats (and happily were not in cheetah print fleece).

Looking at her made me shiver. And given the last two weeks of family flu, I was determined to get that sweatshirt back on her. Not that I believe that being cold makes you sick, I just wanted to make her comfortable. She, meanwhile, was determined to continue to play in her space shuttle tent. Even my cleverest cajoling didn’t work. I signed up the husband to help (I’ll note that when he told this story recently, he saved the day. I don’t remember how.) and he couldn’t woo her into anything warmer, either.

I know you’re thinking:

She’s not going to die. Let her be. When she’s cold (hungry/thirsty/tired) enough she’ll put on her jacket (have a drink/eat something/sleep).

I’m not always stupid; if you were recounting the story to me, I would be the first to say, leave her alone; she’ll be fine.  But I was already too deep in the battle, so to speak. Yes, I understand there is a problem with considering myself “in battle” but I find rational thought to elude me on occasion when I’m being ignored.

She and I screamed about it for a while.  And she eventually got cold enough to allow her sweatshirt to be put on her. So I guess it was a tie.  But I know I was right:  it was much too cold to be without warm clothes.

My grandma Dorothy would give us a drink when she was thirsty or a sweater when she thought it was cold, and I’m pretty sure that was infuriating at the time, but now I only remember it fondly. So as we have all tried to avoid turning into our mothers, at 40, I have managed to become my grandmother.   Certainly, there are worse things.

Dec 13, 2010

The crazier the better


As my husband believes, there could be one crazy in the room and he or she will find me. They come from miles away to be near me. This afternoon in the dog run, it happened again.

I noticed her when she walked in because she was with a puppy and she looked a little bit elegant, among the other cold December day dog run clientele.  She had the pre-requisite big sunglasses, furry hat and long-but-not-sloppy down coat. And perhaps because I was in gym clothes (that I possibly wore yesterday), I was pleased to see someone a little bit pulled together. As I do, I smiled hello when she reached the bench where I was sitting, but I didn’t strike up a conversation or take off my sunglasses or do anything really inviting.

She sat on the bench nearest where I was, motions to my black exercise pants (original, I know) and began, “Ha. I had on some pants like that yesterday. “ I knew immediately we were in trouble, and she continued, “but I couldn’t get them down in time when I had to go and I accidentally peed all over myself. ” Then she used hand gestures to show me that she was wet all over after the “accident.” I have small children, I thought to myself, I know what gets wet when one pees oneself.

Horrified at her confession, I laughed louder than necessary and said something inane about it being a typical Monday. I didn’t know what else to do. Let me clarify:  it wasn’t the peeing on herself that horrified me, it was that she began a conversation with a total stranger about it.  Some of my mom friends joke about how they pee when they laugh since they have had babies, and my close friends share all kinds of embarrassing tales – sadly fewer since we stopped drinking our dinners – but she didn’t know me at all. We weren’t at a prenatal yoga class, a mom’s group or even a bar – all places where lots of women share.  We were sitting in the park waiting to pick up our dogs’ poop.

She chatted happily along about what a relief it was that she had another pair of gym pants to change into and how it seems to be harder to “hold it” the older “we” get.  That riled me up, her use of we. She looked WAY older than I do, didn’t she? I didn’t see much of her face, but her hands…  (Needless to say, I’m Kegeling as I type and putting sunscreen on my hands the second I get up from my desk.)

Maybe she thought she knew me, I hear that I look like a lot of people. Or maybe she just needed someone to talk to. I might talk all day long to my friends about barf or pee or the like, but if we’re strangers, I’ll not scratch that surface. But I’ll listen while you tell me your about yours, and maybe that afternoon, I’ll write all about it.

Filed under Dogs, NYC
Dec 8, 2010

Pretty in pink


Rumor has it that Santa is going to be bringing some kayaks for Jake and Jenn this year.  (No, definitely not for city use.) Because I’m helpful, I was searching online for said kayaks, finally finding them at one of the sports stores.  They are plastic and come in three colors: pink, blue and yellow. Almost without thinking, I picked a pink (because that’s Jenn’s favorite color) and a blue for Jake. Blue because I needed a second color; Jake likes blue (but loves pink) and I don’t like yellow.

Not surprisingly, I got distracted and never completed the order. Riding to work with my husband the next day, I mentioned the kayaks. Incredulously, he asked why we wouldn’t order two of the same color so they won’t fight over them, especially since they would both want the pink one.  I didn’t actually have a good answer for that, though I usually have (in my head) a reason for everything. Good idea, I agreed.

Of course, then we need two pink kayaks.  I worry that some of the bigger kids might make fun of Jake for having a pink kayak, even though that is the one he will want desperately. But kids will tease regardless of the situation and I guess all we can do it be ready for it and rise above, because in the end, it doesn’t really matter. So Santa will be bringing pink for everybody. Jake gets pink because he likes it and I like it and who cares who teases him. Maybe we’ll get him some lessons, too, so he’s fast. Then the other kids will all be trying to keep up with the pink kayak.

Filed under Parenting
Dec 7, 2010

Beginning of Advent, one day late


Though I’m not feeling particularly holiday-ish, the season is apparently in full swing. We celebrate Christmas, but the kids learn about all the holidays at school:  last night Jake explained to me the significance of the candles on the menorah in our apartment building lobby. I’m not sure how accurate he was but I’m glad for his interest. (Pretty sure I wouldn’t have known a menorah if it fell on my head when I was five years old. )

When my sister was here last week she brought Advent calendars for each of the kids, the ones with little chocolates behind each door. Just like the two I have in the “Christmas Box” shoved under my bed, still full of candy, from last year. I think she gave us those, too.  (She is the opposite of a lamemom.)

Though we disregarded Advent last year, this year the kids are very excited about opening the doors on each day. We forgot to open any doors yesterday, the first day, but at 6:05 this morning Jake realized it was Thursday and that we had missed the first day, Wednesday.   I was able to put him off (as I was still in bed) by reminding him that we open calendar doors after school, not before.

But as the day gets closer to 3:10, Jake’s dismissal time, lamemom is approaching panic.  Not only have I not yet purchased the chocolate replacement candy for my non-chocolate eating son (I think a Starburst Advent calendar would be a great product.), I can’t find where I put the actual calendars. The apartment isn’t that big so I must have put them in a very clever place.

So what to do?  My plan B:  turn the searching for the calendars into part of the game– Jake and Jenn can help me root around in the office, which is where I most likely stashed them, and whoever finds them first gets a prize. Though I probably hid them somewhere high and the kids are still little people, so that might not work. Which brings me to plan C, which I expect I’ll end up resorting to:  dig around under my bed and dust off last year’s Advent calendars. How bad can the chocolate be after just a year? Bad enough that a 3-year old won’t eat it? I doubt it. And the 5-year old is having Starburst, or maybe a gummy vitamin in a pinch if I can’t get to the deli before he gets home. Necessity truly is the mother of invention.

Filed under Parenting
Dec 2, 2010

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