Monday, July 26, 2010

My Dog Named Hoover

Yesterday my friend Megan was crazy nice enough to invite Bjorn and I over for some quality swim time. Besides one small tantrum, my good-in-public baby lived up to this nickname and made me look like a big fat liar for saying he throws fits. He does, I swear.

I don't worry about bringing Bjorn to Meg's house like I do other people's. Her house is baby-proofed already. See, I have never seen a house as organized and stream-lined as hers.

Not stream-lined as in "modern". No. Just simple. If they don't use it everyday, it is not on the kitchen counter. (No Kitchen Aid mixer. No bread maker. No pasta machine.) Their computer desk holds a computer and a printer. (No bills waiting to be filed. No recipes cut from magazines. No %20 off Bed Bath & Beyond coupons.)

It's nice to not be surrounded by stuff.

Don't get me wrong, I like my stuff. I can tell you where I bought it, for how much and the original price. (Colonel Mustard in the Library with the Candlestick.) Usually I enjoy my stuff and can't imagine not being buried alive by it.

Then I head over to Meg's, where any stuff she might have automatically makes itself back onto the shelf, instead of lying on the floor for three days until someone steps on it. Where plates magically fly from the kitchen table into the dishwasher, and then are put away. (Not used directly from the dishwasher because putting them away takes too much effort.) Where little babies don't have anything to pull off end tables and don't find pieces of the last craft project still on the floor to eat.

So, I do love going to her house. It's a nice haven for my kiddo.

Except they don't have a dog.

Which is fine. Not everyone is a dog person. (I never actually thought I would meet one of these non-dog people persons; I thought they were a ghost story or a fairy tale. But I not only met, but befriended one, so I can tell you - they do exist.)

But we have a dog. A very greedy dog who acts as if she has never been fed. Never. Every day we roam the backyard seeing what treasures she has taken out the doggie door. (Yesterday was one sippy cup, two snack cups that were full of Kix and veggies, a stuffed bear - starting to fray at one ear - and a ziploc baggie that used to have some kind of food product in it.)

Picture from 5 years ago when she looked like a puppy more.

Bjorn has become used to his doggie. When I'm feeling casual and we have lunch on the living room ottoman, he takes half his sandwich and gives it to the dog, laughing the whole time.

When he is finished at the dinner table, he covertly drops the rest of his meal on the floor for her to enjoy.

For this, the Dog loves him.

It is a problem when we head over to non-dog friend's homes for dinner. While half of the yummy smelling pork roast and pasta salad heads into Bjorn's mouth (all at once, of course!), the other half goes to the floor for the dog. That they don't have.

I spend most of my after-dinner glow cleaning up on my hands and knees.

Think it would be ok for me to bring my dog everywhere my kid goes?

Picture taken Dec. 2009. He still loves her, but now they are both so fast, I can't get a non-blurry pic together!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

My Son Can Beat Your Honor Student

My son is sooo smart.

(Chorus: How smart is he?)

He is so smart that English is not his first language.

Yes, he says dog, mama, daddy, and a few other randoms in English, but they are not his main form of communication.

My son knows Chinese.

Or maybe it's Vietnamese. I don't really know, being as I am not fluent in either. It is some kind of foreign, Asian language and when he is walking around the room on his little cell phone blabbering away, he only speaks in this language. I think he's brokering some major deals on electronics.

All I know, I'm taking him with me the next time I get my nails done. I know they are talking about me while they fix me up. (Yes, I bite my nails. Get over it and make me have pretty ones!)

My son is sooo smart.

(Chorus: How smart is he?)

He is so smart he got the Terrible Two's at 14 months.

While other babies wait until they are a whopping 24 months to throw themselves (and sippy cups and remotes and papers and. . . ) on the floor and scream as if someone is pulling out their toenails, my smarter-than-yours son has started doing that now. Yup, that's right. 10 months early for the Terrible Twos.

His favorite tantrums include asking for milk only to launch the cup across the room (preferably at the head of a parent or dog), silent scream with his face all scrunched up, and throw himself into the lap of the nearest person, screaming so loudly you expect tornado alarms to sound.

Don't you wish your kid was as smart as mine?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A promise to my son

Dear Bjorn,

Someday in the way, way future I expect you to give me some grandchildren. (That, or become a priest, but we'll talk more about that later.)

Yes, that's right. I expect to have some cute little boogers who look just like you and the beautiful, not-quite-as-good-as-your-mama Girl you will someday marry. And they will be just like you. . .except I won't have to pay for 'em, change 'em or spend days working my schedule around their nap time.

That being said, I will not become a crazy Jewish mama who wants you to get married already. (Partly because I'm not Jewish. Mainly because I just. won't. rush. you.)

Not like some people.

See, there are Mamas out there, dear Bjorn, who are over-bearing and pushy. We call them 'Buttinsky's'. And whether you choose to marry at 20 or 40, I will do my damnedest (sp??) to not become a Buttinsky.

Because I would rather you remain single until 40 then that you marry the wrong person.

I would rather you learn to love life on your own than need someone beside you in order to enjoy life.

I would rather you wait until it is absolutely right for you than settle.

You are worth the best. You are worth waiting for someone as great as you. And no one (yes, no one - not even your Mama) will force, maneuver or guilt you into dating or marrying someone who may or may not be the perfect woman for you.

That being said. . . . I may falter sometimes.

Like when that cute flight attendant smiles oh-so sweetly at you. I may wind up talking to her and in the course of that conversation work in that you played baseball at Stanford and now do non-profit work for the homeless. I may mention the dimples when you smile and your ever-ready laugh.

But I won't push. It's not my way.

And I promise, wonderful little boy, I will never. ever. ever. create or log in to a website that will get my son a date. Talking to prospective daughters-in-law is as far as I'll go.

So, good luck. Dating isn't easy. But dating with your mother at the wheel is even harder. I'll spare you that.

Love always,

Your (Non-Buttinsky) Mama

Mama's Losin' It

This has been a part of
Mama Kat's Writing Workshop. Now head on over and check out what my friends had to say!

This too shall pass. . . ..

In the lottery of babies, I won the jackpot.

He's cute (of course!), nearly always happy and he loves my dog. He;s almost as good as a million bucks.

But I also feel that I haven't really gotten into "parenting" yet. Up to this point, my job as a parent was to keep him alive. I was to feed, bathe and nurture. Survival. Those days are long gone.

No longer am I the one he turns to for food or comfort - he can feed himself and soothe himself to sleep. No longer do I have to carry him from one place to another - he walks over to the table himself to grab everything off it and throw it to the floor.

Now I actually have to parent him.

Teach him that electrical cords are not for eating.

Teach him that dogs ears are not for pulling.

Teach him that veggies are good for you and yummy.

And I'm not sure I'm ready for parenting. Lately my parenting choices have been in the form of . . . . well, waiting to see if it changes on its own.

And wouldn't it be nice if it did?


In other words, loudly and screaming/crying. Every day. Every naptime. For two months.

It began when he had an ear infection, so I understood it. He would cry when he awoke because all of a sudden he would leave his perfect little dream world and realize 'Hey, my ears hurt. Ouch!'

But now? He's perfectly healthy. And yet he still screams.

I've pretty much just ignored it, hoping this was just a phase. Wishing and hoping. Hoping and praying.

Not so much. And I'm getting really tired of it.

I asked the pediatrician, who merely chuckled, brushing it off as a phase. I tried not going to him when he cries. He continues to scream (even for as long as 15 minutes) until he is rescued from his crib. I tried getting him up before he starts crying, when I first hear him stirring and grunting.

And nothing works.

I'm at my wits end, people and I need your help. WHAT DO I DO to get my kid to stop screaming awake? How do I get him to realize that a simple "Mamamamamamamamamama" would work just fine?!

And while we are at it - share your thoughts on thumb/finger sucking. I'm not anti-fingers, as he is only 1 and he only does it when he's tired. But Miss Daycare thinks we need to put a sock on his hand to stop him now. Is it really that important now or can I pretend it's not happening until he's like two or three and then deal with it?

Which is kind of my standard for dealing with stuff anyways. . . . .

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Snappy Comeback: Writer's Workshop

Among other things, I am a writer and an actress.

Those two combined = Trouble.

Because when things don't go my way (and even sometimes when they do!) I write a script in my head of all the characters (ahem. . . people) and what they are probably going to say and what I should say in return and how I should say it and exactly which Diane Von Furstenberg dress I will be wearing as I say it.

And of course my hair and makeup always look fabulous.

Rarely do I ever get the chance to actually use any of these conversations. But they are there if ever I find myself in the exact situation my insane brain created. And sometimes I get to pass my script on to someone in need. See, I'm just being altruistic!

A few weeks ago my friend Nicole was eating lunch on free samples shopping at Big Savings Mart for some much-needed items. Her 10 month old daughter had been restless all day - not sleeping well, not eating well, teething. . . we've all been there. The whole works.

But life doesn't stop because baby is mad.

So Baby Girl was fussing in her stroller, sometimes crying, but mostly whimpering and whining. Again, we've all been there.

When out of nowhere The Wicked Witch of the West an old woman came up to Baby Girl in her stroller, leaned over as if to pinch her cute little cheeks and babytalked, "Awww. . does someone's Mama not know when Baby Girl's naptime is? Does your Mama not care? Does Mama think shopping is more important than letting you sleep when you're tired and not make you go out in public where you cry?"

To which my incredibly nice (and now humiliated) friend left her cart in the middle of the store and walked out. I think maybe with tears in her eyes. (In my script, it's that lone tear snaking its way slowly down her cheek. . . . . )

Nicole is a good mom. Very good mom. And I was so angry that some wrinkly old bat had embarrased to the point that she second-guessed herself and tried to put a baby (who didn't want to sleep) to nap rather than buy the toilet paper and chicken nuggets she needed.

"Did you tell her to go f*&k herself?" I asked, as I will use any situation to throw out the F-Bomb.

"Nope. I just walked out. What could I say to that?"

Wrong person to ask, Nicole. Because then I began to create my scenario.

A Snappy Comeback: A In-My-Head Script

I am walking around Big Savings Mart with Bjorn in a cart loaded with groceries. Although Bjorn is fussing - whiny, drooling, generally being a bit of a pain, I have it all held together. I talk calmly to him, every once in a while even gently coaxing a giggle. Until he goes back to fussing his way through his front teeth popping out. (I also have it all pulled together appearance-wise. No sweats for this Mama! A Mui Mui dress and simple accessories from H&M create the perfect blend of high design and affordability.)

When out of nowhere The Wicked Witch of the West an old woman comes up to Bjorn in the cart, leans over as if to pinch his cute little cheeks and babytalks, "Awww. . does someone's Mama not know when Baby Boy's naptime is? Does your Mama not care? Does Mama think shopping is more important than letting you sleep when you're tired and not make you go out in public where you cry?"

To which I say,"I'm sorry. What was my name?"

"Ummm. . I don't know your name." the Wrinkly Old Woman replies.

"And what is his name?" I ask politely.

"Ummm. . I don't know his name, either."

"Ok. So you don't know me. You don't know my Baby. We don't know you. So mind your own f&*king business." I spin around on my gorgeous Stella McCartney flats and say sweetly over my shoulder. "And f%*k you."

Snappy or not, here I come.

End scene.

This is part of Mama Kat's Writing Workshop. Head on over to check out what my friends had to say!!