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Aug 7, 2016

Facebook Status: Learning Spanish with Toddlers!

Duolingo: Please repeat into the microphone, "La mesa es azul."
Me: La mesa...
Dear Toddler Son: WHAT DO, MOMMY? What!? Whaaaat?
Me(frantically flapping my hand at him): Shhhh.... es azul!
DTS: Mommy!? This, Mommy? WHAT!?
Duolingo: Hmmm.... that didn't sound quite right!
Well, gee, no kidding, it doesn't sound right. That's a huge shock. I thought it sounded just perfect.

Aug 4, 2016

There is no way in heck anyone else in this house gets to expel body fluids until at least tomorrow.

Sometimes, you bounce out of bed in the morning, everything goes your way, and the sun is shining.  You feel an overwhelming sense of optimism and practically make everyone around you throw up a little in their mouths because you're so darn-tootin' happy.

I know you will be saddened to know this was not one of those days.  In fact, it was like every living being in this house decided to gang up against me with body fluids and then laughed as I tried contain the deluge.

DS and I were playing with elastics and carabiners... much more fun than all them fancy toys... when from the depths of the litter box came a strange and sinister sound.  I leapt  to my feet, all sorts of 40-year-old, ninja-like grace about me, and dashed to the bathroom to see what was going on.

Usually, I leave a baby gate across the bathroom door, for reasons obvious only to someone who has a dog and or a toddler.  Clearly, I'd forgotten to gate the door...


By the time I'd wrangled Poo-Breath out of the litter box, there was a huge mound of litter (minus poo, count those small blessings) on the little litter-catching mat.  There was also a huge mound of litter in my sweet Doo-Mouth's beautiful ruff, but I chose to ignore this.

Sighing, I barred the door again, much to DS's chagrin... he loves anything tragic that has to do with poo.  In fact, he will run around the yard just so he can shout dramatically, "Mommy!! Poop!!  Mommy here!  Biiiiiig pooop!" and my job then is to run over with the poop scooper before he tries to touch it, and then I throw it over the back fence into the forest and I'm like a poop-flinging Super Girl.

My strategy for cleaning up the mess included picking up the litter mat and flinging the litter back into the box.   The whole process went remarkably well until I got to the part about actually lifting the mat, which, incidentally, was actually the first step.  As soon as I lifted it, I found the floor underneath covered with cat pee.  Apparently, though not shockingly, Bad Cat had peed all over the mat and it had gone under there and nicely worked its way (probably) into the grout of the tiles.

Sighing once more (there's a lot of sighing in this story), I threw the mat into the litter box (screw it - that mat stunk like pee for some reason anyway, and hey, it's about time to change the litter box) and went to get some paper towels and some hydrogen peroxide from under the kitchen sink.

At this point, DS had grown disinterested in the poop drama and had gone back to the family room to string elastics on his carabiners.  As I headed dejectedly back to the kitchen, his dear voice piped up from behind to coffee table:  "Mommy!  Mommy, look!  Mess!  Look, Mommy!"


He held his bare foot up in the air at an angle I have not been able to produce since I was in Tae Kwon Do at age 12.  From his foot dripped some sort of slimy bile I identified as being either the dog's or the cat's vomit (my bets are on the dog, being as he'd just eaten a load of poo).

DS stuck his foot back into it and kind of slid it back and forth, making a sickly "thup-swup-thup-swup" type of noise that made my breakfast want to pay me a second visit.

My only recourse at this point was to holler helpful things such as, "No!  Stop!  Don't put your foot down!!  Hold it up! Hold your foot high up in the air!!"  DS dutifully did so while I ran back into the kitchen, got the roll of paper towels and a spray bottle of vinegar water (does that even actually disinfect anything?  I need Lysol and bleach mixed together, but I doubt the sanctimommies would approve of me using that on my child's foot).  I sprayed his foot and the floor with the dubiously-antibacterial mixture of vinegar water and swabbed it all up using copious amounts of paper towels (foot first, then floor. Duh).

At this point, it should have been the end of the story, except I then decided I realllly just needed to get this all taken care of and I had to clean the litter box, too.

So I dragged the litter box into the garage, took the lid off, and proceeded to clean it. DS came out to inspect and to check for any pieces of poop I might have missed. I went to grab the bag of litter and when I turned back around, DS was adorably running his hands around the inside walls of the (not-sanitized) litterbox.

I sloooowly instructed him to remove his hands from the litter box and to not touch his face... for the love of God, kid.... don't touch your face!!! as he looked at me with a confused expression and said in a very sweet voice, "What, Mommy?  What?" as he ran his hands across his entire face: mouth, eyes, and then ending by accidentally getting one of the fingers stuck in his nose.

I whisked him off to wash his hands and to have him drink a shot of Listerine (jk, jk... I did not make my kid drink Listerine, settle down, geez).

Then I finished cleaning the litter box.  That is the end of the my story, as my students like to say to end their papers.  Thankfully, nothing else happened.

EDIT:  Lies.  More lies.  Of course something else happened.  I also stepped in dog poop in my flip-flops later on in the yard.  Also, Good Cat tried to bat down a wasp and got his paw stung and it swelled to twice it's size and the vet told me to give him Chore-Trimeton, so I had to go buy some of that and then finagle the pill down his throat.  But I don't even want to get into that.  That's like, six mishaps in one day...   No moar, plz.

Jul 19, 2016

On adopting babies and such...

If you have been following this blog for a while, you may wonder why there was a huge long pause and then suddenly I came back and there was a toddler in my stories.  As most of you know, I was, in my other life, previously a single dog lady with a side-helping of cats.

All of a sudden, fate threw me a curveball and life changed in every way.

Now, I am also (I still have aforementioned dog and cats) a single adoptive mother of a splendid baby boy, who is actually now a toddler.  It was a private adoption and I will spare the lad's privacy by not telling you the circumstances surrounding it, but suffice it to say it was a huge life change.  The lad, whom, for the time being, I referred to as "Meatloaf" due to his gargantuan size (he was 22 lbs. at less than 6 months), was born in December 2013 and came home from the hospital with me.

People's reactions varied to the news, but mostly, everyone sweetly said things like, "Holy f***, M!  You f***ing adopted a child!" and other endearing nothings of that nature.

The most common reaction, though, happened something like this:

Person: Hey, M, what's new?
Me: Well, I adopted a baby.
Person:  A baby?  Like...umm... a baby dog? Like a puppy?
Me: No, like a little boy baby.
Person:  A boy puppy?  What did you name him?  Is he neutered yet?
Me: Like a human boy baby.  He's not neutered.
Person:  Holy f***, M!  You adopted a f***ing child!"

This happened far more often than one would imagine.  And even though I have been known to cuss like a sailor, my eardrums were pretty much seared from all the F-bombs I heard in those early weeks during which I suddenly announced to the world that actually, I'd had a baby living with me for a few weeks already.

Because it was the middle of winter in the midwest (the worst winter since 1979, so they say) and because I have a dog, I would put my darling Meatloaf (who was actually a mere Porkchop at the time) inside a sling inside a special "babywearing coat" which cost somewhere between 175 and eleventy billion dollars, zip him under there good, and go cross the tundra to let the dog tinkle.


One of my neighbors spotted me and my bulging (is it just me, or does that word always sound naughty??) coat, and the conversation started anew.  Except this time, when I mentioned I had a baby in my coat, my neighbor expressed her doubts.  She actually asked me to open my coat and show her the baby, which I did, mostly because I was kinda stunned.

At this point, she peers into my coat, spots DSS's baldish head and says, "No f-ing way! Are you kidding me!?  You totally stuck a doll in there!  Right?!"

Let me tell you something... I am quite confused as to how it is believable that I am crazy enough to walk around with a doll in a 179 thousand dollar, gold-lined baby-wearing coat trying to trick hapless neighbors into thinking I adopted a baby, faking my glassy-eyed "I-haven't-slept-in-4-weeks" look," but apparently it would not be believable that I had actually adopted a baby (the kind that you don't have to neuter).

My most favoritest SMH adoption story happened when a lady from the bank came to refinance my condo.  As she worked, she asked questions about Dear Sweet Son and about his adoption. Now, at this point, I had already told her that he was currently eight months old and that he had been with me since he was born. 

As he sat on my lap, cooing, laughing, and drinking his bottle, she looked at me, perplexed, and queried helpfully, "Wow!  He really seems to like you!  Do you think he knows who you are?"

Cricket... cricket...

Umm, well, sheesh... I sure hope so... I have changed almost every diaper and filled every bottle since the day he was born. It would be shockingly bizarre if he woke up every morning and thought, "Well, who the flippin'-flop is this lady?!"


A few minutes later, she asked me if his adoption was the kind where "you don't have to return him, or the kind where he has to go back."  I'm really not certain where she got her adoption information, but the textbook she used clearly leaves a lot to be desired....

I think at one point, every adoptive parent has heard something similarly odd(or they have very nice, tactful, well-informed friends), but sheesh, you can't make this stuff up!

A delayed welcome to my Fries with Mayo World, little (aherm...) Meatloaf!

Jul 17, 2016

Do Pets Prepare You for Children? Yes. Yes, they do.

One of the good things about being a pet owner before being a parent is that you get the opportunity to sometimes practice with parenting tools, such a cabinet locks, ahead of time. Now, you might make a guess that the dog would get into the trash or something, or maybe into the pantry cupboard, and this is why I would need the cabinet locks, but you would be wrong.

Luckily for me, Bad Cat is about as bright as a sack of rocks... or maybe a sack of broken light bulbs, because we know how bright those are.


Unfortunately, Good Cat is blessed with above average cat intelligence and can open all cabinet doors using strange combinations of head banging and paw flipping.  This in itself would not be a problem if a) he didn't open the linen closet and b) Bad Cat didn't love to pee on linens.

So anyway, cabinet locks.  Yay.

Good Cat, as I've previously mentioned, has a splendid and hearty appetite, especially after he has indulged in a good hit of catnip.

One day, I came home from work to find Good Cat missing and Bad Cat looking decidedly put out.  After much searching of rooms, I decided perhaps I should check all the cabinets and closets, and I started with the kitchen since it seemed like as good a place as any.

Upon opening the trash can cabinet, I found a rather repugnant sight.  There was "Good" Cat, lying belly up inside the trash can, a chicken bone underneath his crossed paws, and a few pieces of chicken skin strewn across his shiny coat.  And no, I am not saying "shiny" in a complimentary way because he was shiny in the same way that Fat Bastard was in the eyeball-searing scene in one of the Austin Powers movie, the one where he (Fat Bastard) is lying in bed wearing not much except turkey grease and snaggle-toothed smile.


Now before you panic about sweet, soft kitties and the fact that Good Cat might actually be dead in this story, I want to remind you that he was still mentioned as being alive in my other post, so you should stop fretting.  Good Cat was just seriously bloated, pancreas probably just on the verge of exploding like a water balloon filled with tomato sauce (tomato balloon?), satisfied as all get out, covered in chicken grease-slime, and apparently quite proud of himself.

He didn't even try to fight back as I removed him from the trash can; he was like a 15 lb. sack of nasty, grease-covered, hairy whale blubber.

I had one of my friends come help me set up those little flippy cabinet locks the next day.  For the next week, Good Cat would sidle up to the trash can cabinet hopefully, a lusty gleam in his cat eye, and attempt the paw-flip/head-bang the cabinet open.

It never worked again.

Jul 14, 2016

The Truth Comes From the Mouth of Babes, Except When It Doesn't

They say the truth comes from the mouth of babes.  This may be true, except that sometimes, lies also come out of the mouths of babes, and then everyone's so busy believing trite platitudes about the truth that they assume the lies are truths and awkward awkwardness ensues.

This came to play the other day (and several times since) when I went to the wonderful world that is Walmart.  Dear Sweet Son was in the cart, charming people with his winning smile as usual, trying to grab energy shots (which we know toddlers need quite much) off the shelves of the checkout line.

As we got the the cashier, DSS decided to woo two middle-aged female employees with his great charms.  They succumbed instantly and began cooing over him in broken English (and I say this with love, as someone who spoke broken English for quite some time), patting his bare feet (bare due to the bizarre toddler need to instantly remove all footwear), and patting his adorable buzzcut.  He smiled his smile, turned around and directed their attention to the entrance of the bathroom (conveniently located near the register).

He then proceeded to whisper in a shouting sort of tone, a highly important piece of information:




This was a blatant lie.  I do not, in fact, poop in the Walmart bathroom.  In fact, I cannot think of the last time I pooped in a Walmart bathroom ever, even before he was born.

The two lovely ladies, however, appeared to believe his every word.  They looked at me, concerned, as if trying to figure out if they had correctly understood his Frenchly-accented English, looked at me as though to say, "So YOU'RE the one who poops in our bathrooms!?!"

No.  No I am not.

I laughed a hearty, devil-may-care laugh, as if to say, "Silly kids!  Full of completely nonsensical untrue untruth!  Har-dee-har."

In reality, which is what happened outside of my head, I turned a crimson color and stammered, "No!  No, I don't go poop there!  I've never gone poop in there and I have no idea where he got that idea!"

Meanwhile, my traitorous child repeated this piece of information with an innocent, persuasive look upon his traitorous face.  Pointed innocently to the bathroom, eyes wide open.  Looked at the two ladies with doe eyes meant to convey he was a pawn, dragged into a public bathroom for my pooping pleasure.


The ladies' bathroom sign taunted me (ok, I realize that in the picture, it slightly resembles an ad for a naughty nightclub of sorts, but it was supposed to convey taunting-ness) as I hustled my little Benedict Arnold out of the Walmart, the two little ladies still staring at us wide-eyed with shock and disbelief.

Lest you think this story stops here, it doesn't.  Let me tell you something about Targets and Walmarts and such: their bathrooms are all right by the cash register.  Every time we leave the store, my DSS will shout, "Mommy poops here!"

And I still don't.

Not even at Target, which has nicer bathrooms with far less toilet paper on the floor.

Nov 1, 2015

Conversations with my toddler

Conversations with my toddler (B's side approximated by translation)...

B: I would like some tea, Mummy dearest.

M: No you don't. You don't like tea.

B: I want tea.

M: Are you sure?

B: I'm sure. Brew me some, please.

M (brews some tea, adds honey, turns it into a cooler temp, puts in sippy cup, presents to B)

B (with a dismissive wave): No, no. I don't like tea.

...............(elapsed time)..............

B: Banana, please, darling mother.

M: You'd like a banana! Let me get you one! Would you like it peeled or to eat it like a monkey?

B: Monkey-style, dearest mum. That sounds like the most fun!

M: Here you go!

B (takse one bite): Here, Mummy. Here's a banana I got for you!

M: I don't want a banana right now. That one's yours.

B (peels down the banana till the top of it flops over and lands in a pile of cat hair): Oopsies. Your banana fell, Mumsy.

M (picking up the hairy banana chunk): OK. We're just going to put this banana in the compost because *I* don't feel like eating a hairy banana. I'll just eat the small piece that's left there.

B (breaking into sobs): No! No! I WANT that hairy banana! Please, don't throw its battered body away to the compost! Why would you perform such a heinous act!? GIVE ME THE HAIRY BANANA!!!!

M: We are NOT EATING THE HAIRY BANANA!!!!






I hate daylight savings time changes.... time changes matched almost perfectly with a full moon and Halloween.

Aug 6, 2013

When cries from within the litterbox call

In case you don't remember because I hardly ever write here, I have one Good Cat and one Bad Cat.  You may remember Bad Cat from this episode.  You can rest easy knowing that I accidentally switched back to the brand of deodorant he prefers, and I am once again peeling him daily from his attachment to my armpits.

I digress.

This is actually a very short post.

I have learned over time to psychically predict when Bad Cat is about to pee because he starts to yowl several minutes ahead of time.  Lest you decide my cat has a urinary tract infection and start getting all judgy, I will preemptively tell you that you are wrong so that you don't embarrass yourself later.  He's fine.  My hordes of friends all know about my cat's weird habits.  In fact, when we're in the restaurant and one of my friends has to pee, she will meow loudly in my ear so I exit the booth and let her pass.  Or, alternatively, she will meyowl softly in my ear, which is almost not disturbing at all.

Anyway, Bad Cat had just spent a good half hour working up bladder pressure by antagonizing and violating Good Cat after an unfortunate exposure to catnip.  When Good Cat smells catnip, he's mellow and craves White Castle. When Bad Cat smells catnip, he gets violent, angry, and amorously lascivious, all at once.

He disappeared to the litter box, and within seconds, I heard the screeching meows beginning.  However, unlike in his normal potty excursions, the meowing did not soon stop.  Oh no... it increased in both volume and duration.  It was soon followed by loud thumping sounds, and then... the meowing became muffled.

Concerned, I decided to go take a look.  I came face to face with this disturbing spectacle.


Round and round Bad Cat spun, face buried deeply in his soiled, disintegrated Feline Pine litter pellets.  Like a little kitty cat-litter-face-plow, he plunged his head, eyes open, into the piles, the meows a screeching crescendo from the top of his lungs.

There is no deep ending or moral to this story.  In fact, I have no flipping clue what he was doing or why he thought it was a good idea.  In fact, I may actually have said, "What the...?" and then dropped the F-bomb. In other fact, his eyes may not even have been bloodshot, for all I know, but I think they were.

Because of the catnip.