Tuesday, February 21, 2012


One of the most rewarding things about being a parent of small children is that time around 10 months of life when you finally can get some payback for all the sleepless nights, the scream-numbed brain, the chewed on fingers, and the dark circles under your eyes.  It is that magical time when your child is finally old enough that you can start training them to do/say ridiculous/cute things for your own personally amusement.
It was around this time that we taught Thing 1 to use a big girl cup, and how to "cheers".  She would grip hers with two little hands, clink it against our cup, and declare with a delighted grin, "Cheews!" Freakin' adorable.
But she didn't stop there, oh no. She decided that if you can cheers two cups, you should be able to cheers any two items that are similiar. Like forks. Which results in tiny fork sword-salutes during meals. Or crackers. Which results in extra crumbs on my floor.  It is also possible to cheers blocks, shoes, washclothes, crayons, and teddy bears.  Who knew? I will be sitting at my desk writing something with a pen when suddenly a small hand clutching another pen will appear in front of my face, "CHEEWS Mommy! Cheews the pens!"  clink!
It has became an excuse to have a tiny celebration about even the most mundane things. As if all her joy in discovering life is contained in that little moment when two objects connect.
Yesterday Nauntie was bouncing Thing 2 to sleep on Serenity, the Yoga Ball. To offer moral support, Thing 1 decided to get her beach ball out, and bounce her doll to sleep as well, crooning, "Hush-a baby. Ooooo, it OK baby. Husha bye." (also freakin' adorable) When Thing 2 finally stopped screaming bloody murder and  passed out, Thing 1 stood up, walked over to her, and gently clunked her baby doll's head against her sister. Then, she grinned at Nauntie and whispered, "Cheews!"
Cheers, indeed.

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Little Cold Water

With the impending arrival of Thing 2, Tyrant Daddy took over all bathtime and bedtime duties, because: a) It is comical, but not practical, for an enormously pregnant woman to bend over a tub of water and attempt to lift out a slippery writhing toddler. b)  Very soon I was going to have a new boob-obsessed Tyrant attached to me, so it was time to pass the torch.
All had been going swimmingly until one evening about a month ago, Tyrant Daddy emerged from bathtime with a pained expression on his face.
"You need to go in there," he said.
"Why?" I asked, feeling alarmed.
"Just...I can't deal with that.  You need to go in there and talk to your daughter."
Curious and worried I entered the bathroom in time to catch Thing 1 practicing a little...ahem...'curious self-exploration'.  I managed to choke back my laughter, talked to her about refraining from doing that in the tub, and then lovingly mocked a red-faced Tyrant Daddy.  However, it made me realize that being a father of young daughters could be potentially awkward as they start growing up, so we decided at some point soon I would take bathtime over again and he would stay with bedtime. Sounded like a plan.
Well, somewhere in there I went back to work and a million other things happened that meant we never got into the new routine.
Last night I was trying to get Thing 2 to settle for the night while Tyrant Daddy was bathing Thing 1, when suddenly I heard,
 "No! Stop.  Don't do that. If you do that I will spray you! I mean it!"
Hmmmm...intriguing... I peeked in the door, and observed Tyrant Daddy aiming a bath toy turtle full of cold water at Thing 1 who was laughing maniacly in the tub.
"Ummm...Are you spraying our daughter with cold water when she touches her bottem?"
"Errrr...yes? It seems to work. I mean, I thought, it works when you're training cats so maybe I should try it...."
Once I had stopped shrieking with laughter,  I had to admit that connecting cat training with toddlers was fairly sound logic....
I guess if cold showers have the opposite affect later in her life, we'll know why. Ah....parenting.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Rage Against the Remote

I have irrational anger issues towards inanimate objects.  Trying to put more than two brooms into a closet sends my blood pressure through the roof.  All those handles come to life and pounce, taking turns springing out of the closet and aiming for my head!  They keep falling at different rates and angles until I hyperventilate and slam the door, kick it a couple of times, and leave them coiled inside ready to attack the next person to open it.  And don't even get me started on tangled coat hangers*shudder*.
Recently, I have noticed this panicky rage sets in when attempting to navigate know-it-all digital menus - especially if I am trying to hold a sleeping baby - which is how today started...
I had just gotten Thing 2 to sleep (after she screamed bloody murder for 50 minutes and Thing 1 ran in circles chanting: "Hush a baby! LOUD SIREN BABY! Siren Baby! Baby Mia LOUD!!"),  when Thing 1 realized she hadn't watched a show all morning. Oh, the humanity!
 So I stood up, did an impressive balancing act with the limp 12 pound infant on one arm, and got the DVD out with my other hand and my teeth.  I opened the player while balancing the DVD on one finger, put it in, and almost lost my grip on a twitching Thing 2.  Not wanting to jostle her more, I turned the TV on with my toes, and made Thing 1 get the DVD player's remote out from under the couch;
 "Sweetie, can you hand Mommy the remote?  Under the couch, honey. No.  Not under the table.  Under the COUCH.  Are you listening to me? Can you look at Mommy?  See where I'm pointing? ....Honey? LOOK! THERE'S A MONKEY UNDER THE COUCH!  Oh, and can you get the remote?  Awesome, thanks."
 Finally I pushed play, dropped the remote on the table, and sat down as slowly as possible.  Crap, forgot about the commercials.  I leaned forward and snagged the remote with my pinky, hit skip and settled back. Damn it, no I don't want your stupid FAST PLAY that isn't remotely fast.  Got remote out from under my arm and tried to hit main menu, but missed and hit eject.  At this point Thing 1 was escalating in volume and frequency, Thing 2 was starting to twitch, and I was starting to get tense.  I frantically pushed buttons until I got us back to main menu, and selected play all.
This is when that condescending menu decided to just MAKE SURE that I really, really wanted to play ALL the episodes.  Are you sure you don't want to play them individually? or non-stop? 'Cause those are other options if you want to arrow down and select those menus!
The Mr. Hyde in me wanted to grab the DVD player and shake it uncontrollably and then perhaps throw it off of a tall building and watch it smash in a parking lot. But I am a grown up now.  I have children.  That is simply not what we do.   And I live on the ground floor.  The smash would be really unsatisfying.  Totally not worth it.
 So I took a deep breath, pushed the  freakin' button ONE MORE TIME, and got the show started.
And then, when Thing 1's back was turned,  I hurled the remote across the room.  Oops.
It's the little things that keep us sane.