She may be cute, but she’ll gouge your eyes out over an M&M.

Today my sweet widdle punkin was THAT kid.

I took her to the small play area in the mall to burn off that sugar high before heading off to pick up Doodicus from school. There were two other kids there, both girls. One was the same age and the same size as Aitch. The other was  about the size of a one year old or so, but I think that was due to some kind of developmental delay as she just seemed to be probably closer to 18 – 20 months old. Either way, she was a tiny little thing with bird-like bones.

A poor night’s sleep, attributed to a cold, plus being significantly past her nap time made her like a monkey hopped up on crack. She went up to the older girl’s father and just started chatting him up. “My name is Aitch. I’m two! See that big girl. She’s my mommy!” and then she’d run off to jump on the rubber lion or hippo or climb inside the tree and then UP the tree. The other two-year old would try to follow her but dad was a bit of a helicopter and would pull her down as she started up.

The Tiny Toddler screeched and ran (always on her tippy-toes) around the small, padded confines of the play area. At one point she climbed up the three stairs to make her way down the slide. Except Aitch suddenly was pushing her down the steps to go in front of her. I stopped my texting (shuddup, I was paying attention) and scooped up Aitch and reprimanded her while reminding her to take turns.

Then she started climbing the tree again and so did the other girl, only to be yet again pulled down by Helicoptor Dad. After a few laps running from one end to the other, Aitch ducked inside the tree and sat on the floor to catch her breath. Following her was Tiny Toddler who sat down in front of Aitch on the floor inside the big rubber tree. That’s when I saw Aitch kick Tiny Toddler, which elicited a gasp from her mother standing next to me watching.

I quickly went over, pulled Aitch from the tree, and told her that she was done playing and we were leaving. I told her to apologize to the little girl, which she did, but screamed and cried the whole time we walked away from the play area to the exit.

Now I KNOW I did the right things in removing her from scene and making her apologize, but still. When the roles were reversed (and they were when Doodicus was that age as he always seemed to be on the receiving end of an aggressive player), I thought the other child’s parents were assholes for not reining in their little deviant. Now I’m the asshole parenting that deviant. My sweet widdle punkin deviant.

What? I always look this cute before delivering a round-house kick.

Breakin’ It Down

Abortion – what is currently chaffing my ass right now is the argument by the Republicans and Tea Party who think there should be significantly less government involvement in our personal lives, i.e. Health Care Reform. Ironic considering that they also want to make women criminals for having an abortion. If that’s not getting too involved in my personal business, I don’t know what is.

C-sections – woman’s body and all that aside, what makes me nutty is there are those who – unintentionally, I’m sure – make me feel that I didn’t advocate myself strongly enough to work harder for a VBAC from my physician. My choice was made. It’s a done deal. I hate the phrase, “You should have…” I had no problem with recovery or breastfeeding because my OB was competent and WE made the best decision for me.

Home Births – I shudder at the thought. The cleaning up would be left to relatives and friends?? As if. I can’t imagine my son in 20 years walking his fiance through the house and proudly boasting, “and this is where my mother pushed me through her vagina!” if he’d been a home-birth baby. Plus? I don’t want to be the person who is thinking “You should have…” if there’s life-altering complications.

Breastfeeding – Gross. I don’t want to see your boobs, even if I’ve told you I do. I’m with the party that uses the argument, “pooping is natural too but I don’t want to see that either”. And no, I don’t need reminding that I had some success breastfeeding Aitch. I missed it when it was over, but I am SO grateful I didn’t have to continue it up through the time she was able to use words to ask for the boob.

Pacifiers – are for babies. Get that? B A B I E S. Not toddlers. I recently had a mom rub it in my face that her daughter, six months older than Aitch, was potty trained by Aitch’s age. It took all my willpower not to throw back in her face, “but at least I don’t stuff a ‘pacie’ in her face every time she whimpers because I know how to interact with my pants-shitting child.”

Co-sleeping – again, like home birthing, I think this is to the parent’s benefit and not the child’s. Especially if the parent is always complaining about how little sleep they got. “But at least my sweetie-pie slept like AN ANGEL! and is in a wonderful mood while I’m sucking back my seventh cup of coffee!” Here’s the deal: if ALL of you got quality sleep, you’d ALL be in good moods and therefore a better home environment.

Sleep Training (CIO) – goes with above. “I can’t STAND to hear my baby cry!” That says it all right there. Oh, and the same thing that gets said about pacifiers.

Vaccinations – Go get your kid vaccinated, mmkay? They may feel like shit for a day, but it’s better than them being dead forever.

Oh, and for circumcisions? We did just because it was the thing to do. Not for religious reasons. We did not discuss how he might feel as a boy without one in school around his peers. It’s just the norm. And even with the recent push to NOT circumcise, I still would make the same decision today.

But if you want to smoke crack, then hey, who am I to pass judgement?

I try to be open both in life and here on my blog. The anonymity of a blog made it easier to talk about dildo-shaped ultrasound wands and foreign masses growing on my butt because you don’t have to see the utter shame in my face. However, in real life, it’s easier to talk to my close friends about politics, religion and certain parenting choices because I chose to hang with friends who are generally of similar personalities.

For me, these two worlds rarely collide and intermingle. I do not share my rectal exam story with my IRL friends, nor do I discuss certain parenting preferences on my blog. When my friends share something deeply, DEEPLY personal (she shaves what where and with who wearing WTF??), I’m sorry, but I can’t ever look at her or her guest bathroom ever the same. As for discussing hot topics here, while I know most of you share very compatible views, there may be one or two that do not and despite me being mostly abrasive, I try at least to keep the readers I have even if no new ones are ever to be part of my future again.

Here’s just a handful of topics that I LOVE to talk about with my IRL friends and family that I wouldn’t dare try to cover here in a way that could be considered even remotely diplomatic:

  • Abortion
  • C-sections
  • Home Births
  • Breastfeeding
  • Pacifiers
  • Co-sleeping
  • Sleep Training (CIO)
  • Vaccinations

I would rather keep topics here fairly neutral rather than be oblivious to my on-line friends just for the sake of increasing traffic. Getting and keeping trolls for some bloggers seems to be like a badge of honor. They can keep on with their troll-trolling and incendiary statements. More power to them and all that jazz.

What topics, if any, do you refuse to discuss on your blog, if you have one? Or with your IRL friends?

Preemptive Grief

It’s been over a year ago that my dad fell and fractured his hip. He despised being a resident in the nursing home so much that he made sure to exercise a little longer, sometimes even taking an extra session a day on his own. Age and osteoporosis had taken a major hit on my dad’s brittle bones.

Late this past fall, he fell again. The first time, a horse had given him a upercut to the head. This time, the dog, not use to being leashed, became excited and wrapped up my dad’s legs like a bolo. He laid on the couch in agony until finally my mother who had been gone all day arrived home to find him. An ambulance took him to the nearest hospital, a tiny one story building in a town less than 15 miles away. The doctor who examined him told him he just pulled a muscle. Go home and take it easy…

That was a Friday. Over the weekend my dad could barely function, he was in such pain. On Monday they went to see the local practitioner who then sent him here for xrays. Imagine my surprise and anger to find out that my dad had actually fractured a disc and that an xray had never even been performed at the hospital. What kind of physician examining an elderly patient with a history of osteo and presenting with severe pain due to a fall does NOT order an xray?! Oh, this kind.

He spent the first 30 days of his stay at the nursing home flat on his back because the injury was inoperable, not even getting out of bed to use the bathroom or eat. Nearly another month after that in physical rehab. Thankfully, he’s home now, but he’ll never be fully recovered.

A few weeks ago, I got a call from my SIL (my brother’s wife): they had now taken my mom to the hospital. Diagnosis? Septicemia after a nasty bout of UTI. Her doctor told her that she was lucky they caught it early as she was discharged within a couple of days with instructions to take it easy and drink lots of fluids.

My mother, god bless her often bitter and crabby heart, has been a rock throughout my life. But we’ve (we, as in my siblings) noticed her mind is slipping. She often repeats a story several times within a short span in a way that you know she doesn’t remember already saying them once, twice and sometimes three times before. Whether it’s due to her forgetfulness or not taking her doctor serious, her UTI infection was not clearing up and this past Thursday she was once again admitted to the hospital with severe dehydration.

In all likelihood, by the time you read this she will be back home, but we as an extended family can no longer joke and tease about sending our parents away to a nursing home. The reality is harsh and cold and almost impossible to wrap my head around. I imagined my dad going out the same way my grandfather had: a heart attack while on the tractor in the fields. A noble way of going if born and bred to farming. As for my mother who always has had a sharp tongue? To watch her slowly slip away mentally is gut wrenching. She doesn’t remember many of the funny stories I tell her about Aitch or that Doodicus is getting awesome grades in school.

I don’t want to grieve for my parents already, but that’s what I’m feeling. And each time I see them looking smaller, paler, more fragile – basically at their worst – I have a harder time remembering them at their best.

You would do ANYTHING? Here’s my bank account information for the transfer.

When I was trying to get pregnant or found out I was going to miscarry, there were certain phrases that people seemed to think were helpful. Many of you know these phrases and their just-as-annoying variations all too well:

  • It’s God’s will.
  • You just need to relax/take a vacation.
  • If you adopt, you’ll get pregnant.
  • Just watch mine for the day and you’ll change your mind.

Being the recipient of such useless remarks would make my blood boil, but there really is nothing that can be done except go to my blog and complain about them. And it definitely isn’t just me. Google “things not to say to an infertile person” if you really want to know.

Now that I’m an Involuntary Stay At Home Mom (ISAHM), I’ve heard the following response to the announcement I am no longer working enough times to make me want to beat the person about the head with a used toilet brush.

“You’re SO lucky! I would do anything to stay at home with my kid(s)!”

I am so lucky?! How is losing nearly half our annual income, investment portfolio, and health benefits “lucky”?? My children who had formed bonds at daycare and established routines now feel lonely and bored at home because their mother, who has never been unemployed has no idea what to do with her children at home except help one with homework, put together puzzles, or watch entirely way too much TV.

I would do anything…is such a crock of shit. Anything? Hey, it’s not that hard to do. No magic genie needs to be summoned in order to become a SAHM/D. You just need to quit your job. Simple. Oh, you don’t want to lose your health insurance and then worry about how every specialist that you need to see means that down the road if you want to purchase private health insurance, it means a major hike in premium and that’s IF they will even cover you? Heaven forbid you get cancer and become uninsurable. Or your son get diagnosed with psychological problems. Don’t worry if you have asthma or if your spouse is overweight.

So no, you wouldn’t do anything. You like the idea of it, and sure it even sounds great to me, but the reality sucks. Unless you know the person who just told you they are a SAHM is doing so voluntarily, please keep that “lucky” and “anything” remark behind closed lips. That’ll keep me from taking better aim.

Twittering My Thumbs

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

I must have felt that there just wasn’t enough social media in my life, what with facebook, a blog, and flickr, so I started a new Twitter account. I had one, but like my other blog, people I knew from my personal life were aware of it so I deleted it. I justified its removal with the argument that I never used it; that the feedback was for shit. But I started to miss the one-line zingers and stalking of other bloggers without them being able to track my IP address.

I would share my new user name with you, but then I’d have to kill you because every blue moon one of my sisters stops here and you know what? I just have to have somewhere more private. Somewhere I can REALLY let loose about one of the in-laws if I want. Or somewhere I can say my husband is a dickbag without having to elaborate WHY exactly he is a dickbag at that particular moment.

So if you want me to follow you on Twitter, let me know. Or more importantly, if you want to follow me, let me know. Maybe then I can even out the following:follower ratio, which right now makes me look like a major looooser.

Hat Tricks -or- It Really Is All My Fault

image from Nemerowski Media

It’s a hat trick of posts about Doodicus! And if you’ve turned my blog into some kind of drinking game where you throw back a jigger of tequila every time I complain about something, seek emergency services for the alcohol poisoning immediately. I will bring sunnier and simpler posts the next time. Promise!

Every Friday the teacher gives her students a list of spelling words to study over the weekend. On Monday they take what is referred to as the pretest. If the student does not get 100%, they have the rest of the week to study and take the “post test” on Friday. In other words, ace the first test and you get a breather for the rest of the week and free time while the rest retake the spelling.

Because I am not the good mom you foolishly perceive me to be, I did not check his homework on Friday. I did not check it on Saturday (I claim the out-of-town defense). On Sunday we decided to review his homework including the spelling words. Spelling words? What spelling words? I don’t think we got spelling words…oh, yeah, we did have spelling words but I forgot the list.

Hey. No big deal. The teacher posts the list on the school’s website. <login> <click here> <click there> <open this window> <open that window> <????> Here’s last week’s list…where’s this weeks? She. Didn’t. Post. Them.

Hey. No big deal. (lather rinse repeat) We’ll just call a classmate and get the list from them. Except we can’t find the school directory. I blame Sparring Partner for throwing it away. He blames me for not checking the bookbag on Friday. Tempers are flaring. I find the teacher’s email address and send her a note to let her know we don’t have the list (if you get nothing else from this post (and I wouldn’t) remember that little tidbit) and could she reply with it. I finally get a hold of one of the mom’s. Oooh, she says, my son has the list with him but he’s with his dad this weekend. Here’s his number…

Now I’m mad at the teacher, my son, my husband, and my son’s classmate’s mom and her stupid divorce! My eyes shoot out of my head, hit the wall opposite and what part of my brain hasn’t liquified by then is pulsing out the now empty sockets.

We finally got a returned phone call and the list of spelling words. We practiced late last night and again this morning.

Everything’s cool.

And then I check my email. This morning there’s a reply from his teacher:

I don’t have internet at home and I forgot to post them until this morning.  If he doesn’t do well today he can take it again on Friday. Thanks and sorry!

Cheezits Rice! There went my eyeballs again! BRB as soon as I find the suckers. If Aitch doesn’t find them first and get them stuck in the Ball Popper.