Thursday, September 29, 2011

All About P-dog

Okay, so I realize that most of my blog posts are about Sam, and poor Peyton must be feeling overlooked.
Here's the problem with Peyton...there is no problem with Peyton.
He is the happiest child alive.  All he does is smile, laugh, or sit and watch his sister wreak havoc on me.  Occasionally, but only very occasionally, he cries.  It's absolutely fabulous parenting this guy, but when you set up a scenario, and the punch line is just "and then he smiled and rolled with it" how funny is that really?  Crazy is funnier than chill.  It just is.
So here's a little bit about my little boy, even if it's not as funny as Sam.  Maybe when he's three, he'll whip out all sorts of gems too, but for now, he's just my little bright spot. 
He loves to watch Sam, and now that he can crawl, he follows her around when he can.  He loves to shove aside the pillows we use to block off end tables, and crawl through the "tunnels" into the kitchen.  Sam thinks this is funny, so he thinks it's super awesome and does it as often as possible.
I have discovered in having P-dog around (a nickname Sam came up for him), that Daniel has completely blocked Sam's infancy from his memory.  Either that, or he was replaced by a body snatcher sometime after her first birthday.  Going with probability...he just forgot what she was like as a baby.  Judging from his questions, he remembers her as a perfect child that hit all her milestones freakishly early, and never made a mess.  Hmm, maybe the body snatcher thing is right on, because it's not like him to forget messes, and Sam made some doozies in her day.
He's asked me "Didn't she sleep through the night at three months?"  No, and I nearly busted a gut laughing at that one.
He has no memory of Sam making elephant noises and spitting everywhere like Peyton does.  She did it so much, we made a video of it. She used to do it with a mouthfull of water or formula, in fact.  Lovely.
He asked me if Peyton drools excessively.  Uhhh, Sam had 7 teeth by the time she was 8 months old, and she drooled up a flood from 2 months on.  She had all her teeth excluding 2 year old molars by 13 months.  Peyton's current teeth count: zero.  Not even on the verge of cutting #1.  Hardly any drool.  Daniel must have forgotten what toting around the puddle that was Sam was like.
He thought she started solids earlier than he did--it was nearly two months later.
In short--Daniel just didn't commit all the minor details of Sam's babyhood to memory like I did.  I am mighty Mama, keeper of the memories!  I know all!
Or so I thought.

Peyton started crawling at 6.5 months--about a month later than Sam did.  About a week after he started really motoring at a good clip, he started pulling himself to standing on the furniture.  I totally freaked out.  I absolutely remember Sam being content with crawling around on the floor for a few months before she started the standing thing.  I am not ready for this!  Not just emotionally, but baby-proofing wise.  I've convinced myself this means he'll be walking by 8 months and I just can't handle my baby growing up so fast!
Then I remembered Sam was walking at 9 months, so if she did pull up first, she would have started doing it at around 7.5 to 8 months.  Going back to check the blog, and there's a picture of her standing in October...about the same time as Peyton, if not a little earlier.  So now who is suffering from fuzzy first time around memories?  I can't really mock Daniel any more, I guess.  How embarrassing.

Curiosity Killed the Mummy

I don't like to lie to my kids.  Okay, so occasionally I do lie to them, (all major holidays and the ultimate fate of baby teeth come to mind) but for the most part, I try to be honest with them.  Today, however, Sam just kept pushing me and pushing me!  We have entered the stage of the endless questions and it just might be the death of me.  Crawling wasn't, potty training wasn't, but these stinkin stankin questions just might do me in!  Here are two (of at least a million) examples:
First, we were driving home from the mall and Sam must of seen some sort of restaurant.  I don't know, I didn't see it.  She wanted to know what that restaurant was called.  I, of course, went with the truth.
"I don't know, Sam.  I didn't see one."
"MOM!  What was that restaurant called?!"
"I'm sorry, Sam, I don't know what you're talking about."
"The rest-au-rant.  Out the window.  Back there.  I need to know what it was called!?"
"Sam, I'm sorry you're upset, but I don't know what the restaurant was called, I didn't see it, honey."
Starting to cry now "Mom.  I just REALLY need to know what it was called.  It was back there.  Out the window.  A restaurant."
Okay, I was desperate.  I had to stop the flood of questions, and now the flood of tears, or soon both of us would be crying.  She was freaking over nothing, and she was spiraling out of control.  So, I made something up.
"Fredericks Restaurant, Sam.  That's what it was."
"Fredericks Restaurant."
Tears stopped.  Cheerfulness returned. And then...
"Mom.  What food do they have at Fed-er-icks Restaurant?"
Is she serious?
"I don't know, Sam.  I've never eaten there."
"Oh.  Why haven't you eaten there?"
At this point, I remember feeling a twitch in my eye, and the rest of the drive home is a vague blur.  I think I might of promised her a pony if she just stopped bugging me.  I'd hope not, but I can pretty much guarantee she didn't stop, so it's not like I'm in the market for a stable.

About a thousand questions later, it was time for bed.  I read her a Halloween story about a pig and his little sister who put together a haunted house in the garage.  A few pages into it, Sam gets all panicky and goes "Mom, why is their mom mean to them?"
"Sam, I don't know what you're talking about.  What makes you think their mom is mean?"  There has been no mention of their mom at this point in the story at all.
"Mom, you just read that they had a scary Mommy in the garage!"
"Whoops.  No, Sam.  A mummy.  A mummy is a pretend monster wrapped in bandages, or in this case, toilet paper.  Not a MOMMY.  Their mommy is perfectly nice."
"Oh.  A mummy.  So, how do you know their mommy is nice?"
"I'm sure she is."
"If she's nice, then where is she?"
I must admit, I constantly wonder where the parents are in books when kids are doing insanely large projects apparently unsupervised.  Of course, that doesn't mean I have a three-year-old ready answer for one of life's great questions.  So, I went with the easiest answer.  "She's in the house."
"Why is she in the house and not helping?  What is she doing in there?"
I heaved a huge sigh.  "She's probably watching TV because she thinks the kids are taking naps."
Why not let art imitate life, it's not like I have a clue what she's really doing!?
Sam, apparently, was perfectly satisfied with this.  "Oh, okay!  Thanks."
Ahhh, "watching TV" is now going to be my go to response.
Don't judge me. Like I said, the questions are killing me.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Material Girl

As I dropped off Sam at preschool today, I pointed out that Owen was on his way to the door too.
Sam yelled "Mom!  Hurry up, get out of the car! I want to sit by Owen!"
This is not the first time I have heard about Owen.  I asked Sam if she has a little crush on Owen. 
"Yes, and we have to hurry up because I want to sit by him!  I want to sit by him forever! He is my best friend!" I had no idea the competition to sit near Owen was so fierce, but her teacher confirmed it for me at the door, all the girls want to sit next to Owen.  Sam wants to sit by him forever, which is what you really want in a man, because that pretty much sums up marriage--sitting next to someone forever.  In the car, in bed, in church, at school plays and other meetings.
Anyway, I told Owen's mom this after school, and the other moms chimed in too--"Oh, yeah, my daughter talks about Owen all the time!"  Owen, the ladies' man of the preschool.  What a stud.
On the ride home I asked Sam what she liked about Owen.  She told me she couldn't tell me, because it was "too hard" to talk about it, but eventually let it slip that he's very nice and friendly.  After a minute or two, she added "Yeah, Mom.  Owen is very nice.  But you know Niels?  Niels has some money."
I don't know if she meant play money or real money, or what that had to do with the price of eggs in China, but I'm a little horrified it came up at all.
It's Owen she wants to sit by forever, so I guess she's not a budding gold digger.  But, she noticed who has the bucks.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Working the System

I am really looking forward to tomorrow morning.  Both my kids have to get flu shots.  Yea, double shots.  I know, I know, there is a currently a huge argument going on among all my readers about who will get to share our car ride home because it will be one happy vehicle.  You won't want to miss it.
Anyway, I made the mistake of telling Sam this morning, what would be happening tomorrow.  She was less than pleased.  Peyton didn't care, he was too busy trying to unplug all the lamps in the family room, particularly under the tables where I can't reach him well (in case you hadn't figured it out, he can now crawl independently).  After talking to her about the importance, and finally, promising her I would get my flu shot today so she could see me be brave too, she was slightly okay with it.  All right, that's a big fat lie.  She couldn't care less about me being brave, I also promised a slurpee.
Then I told her it was time to clip her fingernails.  Next up in the Sam's favorite things trifecta--sitting still for hours on end!  I wasn't trying to torture her this morning, I swear. I just noticed her nails were longer than mine, and as usual, full of dirt.  I asked her to come over and sit on my lap.
She started to head over and then changed her mind and looked at me and said "No."
Now, Sam knows not to talk to me like that, and this may sound odd, but I have a lot of experience with my kid disobeying me and blowing me off, but her heart just didn't seem in it.  It was weird, she was saying "no," but her tone was more like a question.  I shrugged off the weirdness, and I reminded her that she wasn't in charge and she wasn't allowed to say no to me when I ask her to do something.
She sighed and said "I know.  I guess I'm going to have to lose my trip to the doctor tomorrow.  And my flu shot."  Then she put on the lamest frowny face I have ever seen.  And I saw Carrie Underwood acting in Soul Surfer.
I really tried not to laugh, really I did.  I informed her that punishments are only meted out when I take away things she actually likes, and disobeying will not keep her from getting her flu shot.
Undeterred, Sam responded "Okay then.  I really LOVE getting my fingernails cut, though.  Do I lose that?"

Wow.  You've got to hand it to Sam, she really tried to work the system twice in less than 30 seconds (however unsuccessfully).  How can I not crack up at this child on a daily basis?  If only she would channel those powers for good, she'd save the world!

Friday, September 16, 2011

The King Has Returned

I was excited when I found out The Lion King was coming back to theaters.  I wanted Sam to see it but we don't have it on DVD (if it's even ever been released on DVD before--I know it comes out in October though).  I was less excited about 3D--can you say mother of all migraines--but our theaters had a showing or two in 2D, so we planned a special mommy/daughter date to go this afternoon.  Daniel was supposed to work late today, but since he's on Saturday shift (boo) he got to come home early to watch Peyton (yea!).
Time to share a beloved classic with my little girl on the big screen.  I hadn't seen it in probably 10 years or so--which explains why I was a little fuzzy on the deets.  I was sitting there with my kid in a giant double decker theater for hundreds, and we were sharing it with a dozen people, tops.  We had not only our own row, but we were the only people on the far half of the theater.  Of course, that didn't stop the family who brought a newborn from letting the kid cry at one point.  Seriously, only 10 other people around and someone still has to be a pill?  So there I was, sitting happy in my decade-old memories of a great movie.  Mostly, I remember that JTT was the voice of Simba, and my walls would attest to the deep and abiding love I had for all things Jonathan Taylor Thomas at that juncture in my life. Of course, I remember Mufasa dying, but I remembered it like the death of the mom in Nemo.  Cue scary looking fish, cue shot of mama clown fish, blackness, and then, no one ever mentions her again.  Sad, and traumatic, yes, but to a three-year-old, largely inexplicable.  Death in the abstract.  Off screen.
We were only a few minutes into the movie when it all starts coming back to me. 
Crappity crappity crew. 
Suddenly, a long repressed childhood trauma is surfacing--as I remember that Mufasa's death is no off-screen plot point.  Nothing abstract or hard to figure about it.  It was devastating.  He was murdered by his own brother (for some reason, I had fudged my memory over as just an accident that Scar orchestrated, not that he played an active part). What have I inflicted upon my daughter!?
Sure enough, it was as depressing as I finally remembered.  Possibly worse, being a parent on the other side of the equation managed to actually make it more horrible.  I'm seeing poor little Simba curled up with his dead father's body and panic is rising.  Sam says "Mommy?" and I looked down to two eyes the size of dinner plates.  "What happened to Simba's daddy?!"
I didn't know what else to say, so I went with the truth--"He died."
Sam sounded even more panicked, "He died!?  Did he die because Simba disobeyed?"
Fabulous.  I'm wondering if I should just pre-pay a therapist now instead of saving for college.  I remember all sorts of pointless crap, why couldn't I have remembered that this might not be preschooler appropriate?  "No, honey.  Mufasa died because of Scar, the bad guy.  It was not Simba's fault.  That was a lie the bad guy told him."
Very quietly, Sam breathed "Oh."
The rest of the movie got happier, and Sam got wigglier and started to wander among about five seats she had claimed as her own (why not, the theater was a ghost town).  She begged for candy and popcorn.  She forgot to use her indoor voice repeatedly.  I was a little worried that the only point she really paid attention to was going to turn out to be the most horrible part.  She came back a little towards the end, sat on my lap, and asked questions.  Turns out, she had been paying attention during her wanderings.
As we walked out of the theater, Sam started singing "Hakuna Matata, Hakuna Matata..." She grabbed my hand and we sang it together for a while.  Then, she looked at me and said "I liked that movie.  I think I want it for Christmas."
She seems to be totally fine about everything.  Not permanently scarred or asking if one of us is going to drop dead the next time she disobeys.  It's only been a couple hours, but if that were true, both Daniel and I would be dead five times over by now.  Nope. She's just mad that I wouldn't let her have a cupcake chaser to her popcorn and jelly bean afternoon.
And as usual, the drama is all in my head.
Hakuna Matata, everybody.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

For the sponsors

Inexplicably, Sam has started randomly singing out loud "ninety-eight point seven!!!"
This is the radio station we listen to, and I guess Sam is a fan of their call number jingle. It's so randomly interjected, that it drives Daniel crazy.
It cracks me up.  Whenever she busts it out, at full volume, I just picture stopping whatever we're doing and announcing "We'll now pause for station identification."

Sometimes, we all should pause.  It's a great reminder for me.
Plus, maybe all this practice means, someday our family will get some corporate sponsorships. That would be sweet!

Truth and Consequences

A long time ago (so long ago that I'm not going to look up the entry to link to it), I wrote about Sam telling my friend she was six so she could do something just for older kids.  Since then, we've revisited the honesty issue once or twice.  Or a million times.  Life with little kids gets hazy.
Apparently, it is working however. 
Sam was in time out in her room, and we hear playing and clanking.
Daniel yells up "Samantha!  You are in time out!  Are you on your bed?"
Sam, "Yeah!" Continued clanking.
Daniel "And you don't have any toys with you?"
Sam, "Uuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhh."  Silence, followed by "Well, I do have a balloon, but that's not actually a toy." More silence followed by, "Oh, and my princess things.  Did you know about those?"

A really long "Uuuuuuuhhhhh."  Nothing else says so clearly, "I'm not lying right now, but I'd really like to be."

I'm so proud of her for taking the high road. Eventually.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Parenting is the weirdest thing I have ever done.
Just sayin'.

Monday, September 12, 2011


Because she is her father's daughter, around age 2, Sam became obsessed with cleaning things.  She would grab a paper towel and go around the house wiping things down.  This would be awesome for me if she could reach things that actually get dusty, and wasn't, you know, a 2 year old.  Mostly, she just knocked things over.  When Peyton was born, she realized that his wipes were wet and could therefore "clean" better than her paper towel, and she went around stealing wipes and cleaning things, whether they should be wiped down or not. This made various items in the house (couches and throw pillows) oddly damp when they should not be, and left a streaky filmy finish on everything else in the house.  Plus, I always seemed to be mysteriously out of wipes at the worst possible time!  Sometimes, she would even run off with one or two I had set aside mid-change and I would be holding her brothers bum in the air while she scrubbed a floor tile with my last remaining wipe and said "But it's diiiirty!!! I need it!"  What I was dealing with was always much dirtier, but what does she care if he sits in his own poo, she has to walk on that floor!
Of course, Daddy doesn't really clean everything with baby wipes, so soon Sam figured out where the Windex and other cleaning supplies were.  We had a very serious talk about how they were out of her reach for a reason, and we didn't want her climbing on things to get them down.  These bottles had poison in them, and if she sprayed herself in the eye or got some in her mouth, she could get sick.
Daniel is not one to discourage a budding clean-o-holic, however, and told her that when it was time to clean her little table or the fridge front or other pre-approved things, he would spray some Windex for her and she could wipe it up with a paper towel while he kept an eye on things.  Part of me thinks this was really more about ensuring proper technique than actual safety, but hey, as long as I don't have to clean it...
Sam was a big fan of this plan.  She combined our conversation about the danger of cleaning supplies with Daniel's promise to spray Windex for her, so now when she's in a scrubbing mood, she grabs a paper towel, points to the mess and yells "Hey!  Can I get a squirt of poison over here!? I need a little poison!"
I'm sure that will play out really well in the real world. Teachers and other strangers are going to love hearing a little girl beg for poison.  There's no way this will turn out badly for us, right?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Genius McGee

Today, in the shower I suddenly couldn't see out of one eye.  Oh crap, I figure, my contact lens fell out of my eye!  So I finish showering, hop out, look in all corners of my eye looking to make sure it didn't just shift, decide it must have washed down the drain.  I grab a new left contact (my perscriptions are different), put in in my eye and start to go about my business.
Next thing I know, I'm blinking like crazy and something is coming out of my eye.  Holy cow, the other contact was in there all along!  Where was it hiding?  I have no idea but now it's falling out of the corner of my eye because this eyeball ain't big enough for the two of them!  I grab the contact lens case and take the old hide-and-go-seek lens out, because it caused this whole mess, and deserves to be banished.  I put it back in the case (unsure what else to do with it), and go about my day.

Later, while shopping at the mall, I realize I'm seeing things funny.  Especially distances, which look all wonky--not enough that I'd notice it right away, but something is off when I'm trying to read signs and stuff, things look like they're moving, unbalanced.  I close one eye and I can see perfectly.  I close the other eye and everything is fuzzy.  What's up!?  This is the new contact!  Why isn't it working?  It shouldn't be dirty at all, I distinctly remember grabbing a brand new left contact and why can't it just stay...
Whoops.  Maybe the problem is that it's actually my RIGHT eye that needed a new contact this morning.  The one with the stronger prescription.  Apparently, I can't tell left from right!
So now I'm back home, the stupid slippery beast who started everything is back in my eye after all, and I feel like a total moron. Plus, I have an open extra left contact just hanging out with nowhere to go (and since I just changed contacts last week, I don't need it for a while).
If it wasn't so stupid it's funny, I'd be more annoyed.
Go me!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Backpedaling for Beginners

"Wow, Mom.  You are kind of grumpy today.  But...sometimes you're happy too.  Happy.  Yea!"

I guess I shot her some sort of look!

The Old Lady

Sam was singing at the top of her lungs:
"I know an old lady who swallowed a pie,"

I jumped in and said "Don't you mean a fly?"
"No.  A pie."
"But the song is about an old lady who swallowed a fly."
"Not this one.  It's a new one.  I like it." Then she continued, "I know an old lady who swallowed a pie, and some french fries..."

Sweet merciful crap, I hope she's not singing about me.