Thursday, June 28, 2007

Alarming Potty Industry Extremes

I ran across an unsettling potty training/bedwetting product catalog in the "sick room" at our pediatrician's office today. (Oh yeah - All three kids are full-on boog-if-ied, and Pigtails has a double dose ear infection. That's $20 X 3 in co-pays and $90 in anitbiotics. So much for the antibody bennies' of extended breastfeeding.)

I wonder if you can read these creepy Potty MD product descriptions without feeling pity for the children who are persuaded/forced/made to use them, like I instantly felt. Whatever happened to potty training when the child exhibits signs that she's ready (like pissing on the new neighbors brand new carpet, like Pigtails, perhaps)? I feel guilty linking to Potty MD, and potentially driving business their way, but, c'mon, some of the available (and best-selling, mind you) "bladder habit" gear is unthinkable, at least to me.

Take a gander at this without cringing if you can:
Urine and Bowel Monitoring System
"Allows parents to evaluate and monitor their child's potty habits. Great for both urine and stool problems that commonly contribute to urinary frequency, holding, accidents and bedwetting. A very inexpensive way to understand your child's habits. It includes a urine collection device, bladder and bowel diary, instructions, and a school note to allow for frequent bathroom visits."

"Understand your child's habits." Hmm. How about "freakishly OBSESS on your child's elimination habits"? The only time my "stuff" was measured on the way out was when I was hospitalized at 12 for a severe flu the doctors suspected was Leukemia. Can someone explain to me how a monitoring system such as this is beneficial for potty training and/or bedwetting kids? Seriously, am I simply not getting it?

WET-STOP2 by PottyMD
"...It is a quality bedwetting alarm manufactured for the best results. Buzzer attaches near the child's ear using a unique and easy magnetic device (no safety pins or fasteners). The sensor clips into the undergarment at any specified location. No sewing and no pads required. Comfortable and lightweight design. Alarm sounds with the first few drops of urine. Remember alarms are successful, but they are even more successful when you follow PottyMD advice on working on daytime potty habits along with using an alarm."

I just about flipped. A potty alarm? You've got to be kidding? Obviously this product is designed to curb bedwetting, probably in older children, but sticking a buzzing alarm in your kid's ear and clipping a sensor to his scivvies ... Isn't that a bit extreme? Gawd. Poor kid. Think of the boundary violation and "private part" privacy "issues" he might develop.

Nite Train-R Wet Call
"A great bed wetting pad and alarm system. The bed pad avoids wiring on your child and clipping a sensor to your child's undergarment. The alarm is positioned near the child and it is loud. Works very well."

I'm sorry but a mattress pad equipped with a "loud" alarm that jars a child awake in the midst of an accident seems cruel to me. I could be totally off, though. I'm fortunate not to have any bedwetters so far, knock on wood. I wonder, though, if I did, would I resort to desperate measures like wired underwear attachments, ear buzzers and alarm equipped bed padding? Sounds more like freaky-deeky S&M gear to me.

What do you think?


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I Miss Newborns (But Not Bad Enough to Have More of Them)

My son held my thumb until he fell asleep tonight as though he were a newborn. He surprised me by reaching his hand up to meet mine during a rare bedtime head-to-toe relaxation exercise.

Since The Lawyer was only two, we've used the same yoga meditation CD to help him wind down. I hope the astral background music and the narrator's hypnotic voice also ease his recurrent night terrors.

My little first-born, now big enough to play baseball wearing a real uniform on a real team with real rules and real fast pitches on a real field, gripped my thumb so tight tonight, just as he did when he arrived Feb. 15, 2001, filled with epidural fluids and a lusty spirit, naturally endowed with that amazing reflex, the Plantar grasp.


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Not Your Madre's Kindergarten

My confidence in The Lawyer's charter elementary school is renewed. The Hubster and I hooked up with the sitter this morning to head downtown and watch The Lawyer show off his new Spanish, math, science, computer and reading skills at his SLC (student led conference). SLCs essentially replace report cards and grades at this school, the subject of a future post, a very positive one.

Kindergarten sure has changed since I learned to color inside the lines beneath the wooden pointer authority of Sister Bernadette in 1980. The Lawyer figures sums in ways I couldn't have imagined, in modes I didn't know until he showed me today, all without the monotonous drill and kill (and without the plus, minus and multiplication symbols I’ve always loathed). I wish I could explain his school’s multidisciplinary word problem-style matemáticas methodology in a way that makes perfect sense, but I'm still trying to wrap my own numbers impaired mind around it. The Lawyer’s results, most often correct, looked more like Algebra than the simple addition that I recall from first or second grade. Also, his teachers encourage him to collaborate with students he's partnered with for each problem. Where most traditional teachers might call that cheating, The Lawyer's educators call it teamwork. I love it.

Back when I was in kindergarten we went to school for two or three hours, not a full six, and we didn't even touch math. And we definietely didn’t have time for electives like computers and Web site design, organic gardening, photography, baking, etc. We were too busy singing our ABCs and memorizing the Lord's Prayer. We even confessed our “sins,” as if we'd even committed any by the tender age of five. Does calling your sister a "jerk off" before knowing what jerking off is count as a sin? If so, then send me some BBQ sauce pronto.

The Lawyer beamed with pride when we went up the three flights to the rooftop container garden where his class’ organic flowers, fruits and veggies are thriving against a sweltering urban skyline. He showed us his oil pastel garden journal, where he tracks the progress of his strawberries, corn and sunflowers. We should start a journal for our backyard garden before our pumpkin patch eclipses the entire plot and burps something creepy at the kids, like "feed me, Seymore," or "Behold the Great Pumpkin!" Talk about the stuff of nightmares. (Speaking of nightmares, expect future posts on The Lawyer's persistent night terrors.)

Did you know that a motherboard in Spanish is called a tarjeta madre? The Laywer told us. That sounds so nanner, nanner ... but I'm running out of writing juice here, so bear with me. He showed me and his proud papa around a gutted computer completely in Spanish. He also taught us about the life cycle of bees, also in mostly Spanish, and mixed us some "bee bread" made out of crumbled graham crackers and honey. Surprisingly, I didn't have to spit it in my purse. When The Lawyer wasn't looking I took a second Dixie cup of the stuff. I hope there’s not some kid crying about a missing batch of “bee bread” in that sweet smelling science classroom. Oops.

We listened patiently and in awe as our six-year-old son read us four books back to back, with minimal help. My husband suddenly erupted at one point, yelling "CHEATER!" at top volume. I was mortified. "We're supposed to be encouraging him, not criticizing," I admonished him under my breath.

"I was just kidding," The Hubster said, checking his Blackberry momentarily for an email from his boss. “It just seems like he’s memorized this stuff. That’s all. Lighten up.”

My eyes bulged. I shot him a look straight from el diablo himself. Sister Bernadette would have vomited like Linda Blair for sure.

"Put that thing away," I snapped. "This is The Lawyer's time. It's really important. And it’s called SIGHT READING! Haven’t you heard of it?! And he’s also sounding it out. I can see him doing it."

The Hubster itched his face with his middle finger. Mature. Nice. Thanks.

"This is the last time I'll come to one of these SLCs with YOU!" he whispered, thankfully out of The Lawyer’s view.


Nice. So our son's shining moment was dulled by his bickering parents. I don't think he caught on. Either way, by the end, when we met with each of The Lawyer's teachers to discuss his “marked” improvement from last semester and "co-create" his first-grade goals (academic and social) with him, all was kosher and calm again, minus irritating, rude Blackberry interruptions. Am I the only one who wants to step on her husband's friggin' Blackberry at least once a day? How about flushing it down the toilet or spilling coffee all over it? Dumb old-fashioned fantasies ...

So much more to “share,” as they say at The Lawyer’s school, but rushing off to swimming, then baseball practice...


Saturday, June 23, 2007

A Birthday Party (Downsized)

Cheeks fourth birthday party is five hours from now and the house is its usual Saturday morning disaster zone.

Today, instead of dumping 500 bucks on a cute-til-you-puke themed celebration, as I have nearly every year since multiplying, I will offer Cheeks' 13 or so pint-sized partygoers cake and refreshments, two decent-sized kid pools and a Slip 'N Slide. You can't go wrong with water and kids. They'll be entertained for hours, as long as no one really drops the kids off at the pool like the last time we broke out the inflat-a-pool for the masses.

I wish I had something witty or funny or insightful to blog this morning. But I'm dry, like my stash of freshly cleaned beach towels, at least for now. Not much to give here. Sorry. I've got to feed the masses, pack them for The Lawyer's baseball game and send them off with Daddy, snacks, sunblock coverage and all. Then I have the house to MYSELF to clean and prep for Cheeks' water play ho-down. Or maybe I'll just blow the whole thing off and get lost on the Internet.

Oh, by the way, yesterday I pretended to get hurt on The Lawyer's Razor scooter and faked Amnesia. The kids totally fell for it. Am I a jerk or what?

Not my best post but ... hey ... I'd rather be real than fabricated ...

Labels: ,

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Morning Mind Dump, Nothing More

I woke up an hour too early this morning but thought I woke up an hour too late. The kids must stop messing with my alarm clock!

There’s something to be said for sipping a fresh, hot cup of coffee without kids circling me demanding milk, juice and more syrup. Instead I find myself alone, unless three wrestling kittens count, not having to incessantly remind anyone to say “please” and “thank you.”

I might as well update you on a few items other than the evil graffiti on my son’s lunch box, which I'm flat out tired of thinking about. We're “Madness of Modern Families” busy now that Little League baseball is in full swing, and my husband’s business travel is picking up when I didn’t think it could get worse.

1. Last night I graduated from Breakthrough Parenting class. Whoo hoo. Now I can tell you how to take care of your kids because I’m having a Hell of a time applying the techniques I learned at home. Yes, I’m certified to be that annoying parenting know-it-all at the park, the one who gives unsolicited advice through her nose starting with, “Well, I learned at my parenting class that you should …” and “I’m certified in how to take care of your child’s fit, m’am. Leave it to the tantrum expert, why don’tcha?” As if I’d ever do that. I’d better master the R=TLC Breakthrough Parenting formula with my own kids first.

2. I’m looking for paid work that I can accomplish from home. I wasn’t going to bring my freelance work search up on my blog but why not? I’m posting this on several freelance work exchange Web sites:

“I'm a journalist with more than 10 years of experience seeking freelance writing and copyediting work. My articles have been featured in newspapers, magazines and Internet news sources, including The Los Angeles Times,,, (health Web site of former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. C. Everett Koop) and (Web site of Dr. Drew Pinsky, host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show Loveline).

Although I have worked in public relations and corporate copywriting (bios, press releases, pitches, etc.), my specialties are writing, reporting and copy editing/proofreading news and lifestyle content in AP (Associated Press) Style.

I'm open to creating and copyediting a wide scope of content, whether academic, manuscript, Internet content or otherwise. I'm also available for reporting, fact checking and research assignments.

I have a Bachelor's Degree in English/Journalism from the University of New Hampshire, and two years of study at Northeastern University's (Boston) School of Journalism, where I trained with veteran journalist and former KGB captive Nicholas Daniloff.”

If you know anyone who needs a writer, reporter, copywriter, editor or proofreader, shoot me an email. My turn to pitch in on the mortgage is long overdue.

3. I’ve become that minivan mom who spends most of her time in, well, her damn minivan. Dashboard evidence: I keep a regular stash of snacks and water in the front seat at all times; Duplicates of my regular color lipstick are now fully stocked in the cubby beneath the radio; My son’s baseball cleats, bats and gloves are always at the ready in the trunk, along with spare socks; okay, this isn’t going anywhere and isn’t as funny as I’d hoped so I’ll stop listing stuff …

4. Cheeks' fourth birthday party is this Saturday and I haven’t purchased a thing yet, except for the one present he really wanted – a metallic red batting (baseball) helmet. He hasn’t had a temper tantrum for two weeks! I’ve had a few of my own anyway. Getting ready for the party should be easy, since I’m forgoing decorative themes, party favors and all the expensive bells and whistles. All I have to do is pick up a cake, finger foods (veggies, fruit and crackers/chips), juice boxes and water and a few more presents. Oh, and a Slip-n-Slide and a mini-pool since I’ve billed the party as a water fun playtime deal. I plan on slacking hard and not picking up anything until I go last-minute crash shopping with my 9-year-old niece Thursday.

That’s it for now. The house is still quiet, like I like it. Who will be the first to wake up? Just one more hour of solitude ...

Labels: , ,

Monday, June 18, 2007

Lunch Box In Hindsight

It's only fair that I explain my son's lunchbox graffiti, instead of simply transcribing it. I was furious when I discovered it last Friday and blogged about it immediately after, before my breath had evened out.

The Lawyer goes to a K throught 8 school where the lunch break is broken up among grades. Simple enough, right? In an attempt to curb ant problems in the classrooms, teachers ask students to leave their lunch boxes outside. Based on the decent penmanship of the angry child or child on a dare that wrote that eery message on my son's stuff, I assume it was the work of an upper grade kid, probably from the 6-7-8 grade split.

My son briefly glanced the grafitti, enough to recognize the words "kill" and "fucker" and "fuck you." When he asked why someone would write that, I told him that teenagers don't have the best judgement, that they don't always make good choices and sometimes they are downright DUMB. I also told him that I had long washed his name out of his lunchbox from wiping it down daily, so it's likely that no one knew the lunchbox was his. I told him we'd show it to his teacher and deal with it from there.

From now on, The Lawyer is strictly a brown bag lunch kind of kid.

This doesn't have to be a massive deal unless we make it one. However, I think it's important that the lunch/recess teachers keep tabs on the lunch boxes, so no other kids, especially kindergarten kids, find four-letter word messages before their parents do. Furthermore, as my writer-mama friend said, the lunch boxes should be better supervised in case some twisted teenager decides to "put something" in someone's food (drugs, poison, etc.). Scary, I know. Possible, I'm positive.

Labels: , ,

Friday, June 15, 2007

Kindergarten Graffiti

I found this written in pencil on my son's lunch box:

"I'll be back for you.

You will suffer.

I'll kill you.

Your mom is going to die.

Fuck you."

Welcome to kindergarten 2007.

Labels: ,

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Birds and Bees (and Flowers Too)

For a week the Lawyer refused to practice for his school's end-of-the-year dance performance until his teacher agreed to let him play a bee, not a flower. He stood his ground for five school days, refusing to take part with the other flowers until he got his way. Unbelievable. And this is only kindergarten. What stunts will he pull in junior high and high school?

The Lawyer's realization that perhaps being a dancing flower isn't the most macho role for a boy to play surprised me. He's only six. I suppose this is the age when gender really starts to count for something.

"Boys, they don't make good flowers," he informed me, crossing his arms for added authority. "Flowers are too girly. Bees, now that's what boys are good at being. Bees sting. They're brave."

I see. Somehow it's tougher and more boyish to play a buzzing drone who caters to the queen bee, allowing her demand him around at her beck and call, right?

"'You really want to be a flower?" I asked him on the way home from an urgent flower vs. bee meeting with his concerned teachers. "Go ahead and be a flower. Who cares what the other boys think!" Next I thoroughly bored him with my sheep vs. shepherd speech. I think he stopped listening at my first bleet.

"At first I thought I wanted to be a flower but then my guy friends laughed at me," The Lawyer said. "They said it's cooler to be a bee."

Who cares? Well, he does, that's who. And he's the one who has to perform in front of all the other kids in his school, from his fellow kindergartners all the way up to the eighth graders. Not to mention all the factulty, parents, siblings and extended family. Truth is, I would've cared at that age too. Hell, I still care too much what everyone thinks. Maybe that's where he gets it from.

All this talk about "coolness" and flora versus fauna has me pondering peer pressure, gender stereotypes and our first introductions to both.

What if we told boys it's okay to cry and girls it's okay not to be pretty? What if we told our children that other peoples' opinions of them mean nothing in the end?

I wish I had time to delve deeper into these cans of worms. This post isn't even a surface scratch but you get the idea.

Would you let your son be a dancing flower if he wanted to be one?

When and how did you first realized that boys are "supposed" to act and look a certain way, and girls another? What was your first encounter with peer pressure? How did you react?

Labels: , ,

Monday, June 11, 2007

Not Shedding My ...

Spare tire.

This morning I was supposed to wake up at 6 and go for a run. Was. What a big fat joke, in more ways than one.

At 7 a.m., the first plane of 50 or so that roar from the airport in my back yard each day served as my alarm clock, as usual.

So much for my split-second motivation to lose the 15 pounds I shed running a while back, then packed on after getting lazy and quitting.

There's always tomorrow. I think I'll start with actually remembering to set the alarm.

The idea of soon donning my tankini on a SoCal beach, without the accompanying fugly mom-skirt shrouding my thunder thighs, should be motivation enough.

It's better to expose my body image issues here than in front of my daughter, who I want to feel confident no matter her shape or size.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Rope Under the Microscope

Me: How was kindergarten field day today, kiddo? Did you dig the park?

The Lawyer: Oh yeah. It was off the hook! (Wow. He already knows OTH? I'm sooo old.)

Me: What was your favorite part? (Yep, I'm always trying to quantify my kids' happiness for a web of of guilt ridden reasons.)

The Laywer: Tug-o-Peace! I loved it.

Me: What, honey? I can't hear you. Let me turn down the music. Say it again ...

The Lawyer: I said Tug-o-Peace. TUG O PEACE! 'Know what I mean? You played it when you had field day in school too, right?

Me: Tug-o-Piece ... Hmmm. I don't get it. Are you trying to tell me your class ate two pieces of ... uh ... two-piece meals of some kind on field day?! Was it a two-piece chicken meal? Lucky!

The Lawyer: No, no, NO! You aren't understanding me. I said Tug-o-Peace. The other kind is too violent. The old game that old people used to play ... I think it was called Tug-o-War.

Me: Oh. I stand corrected. You're right. Tug-o-War is so yesterday.

The Lawyer: Uh huh. The teacher said we were "pulling for peace."

What other innocent children's games can we politically correct? You've got to love charter schools. Crazy.


Saturday, June 09, 2007

Unabashed Bragging

No coffee. Much brain cloud. Brewing not fast enough as I type.

I realized at midnight last night that I didn't drink a drop of coffee yesterday. It's a wonder I didn't die of withdrawals. Somehow I scraped by on what little caffeine lurks in a colosssal Matcha Green Tea Myst Jamba Juice smoothie, then later a homemade Trader Joe's version of the same.

But I don't want to drone on about coffee and my pot-a-day habit. Stop nodding in agreement, would you? Instead, let's talk about the fact that I NEVER HAVE TO BUY ANOTHER PACK OF DIAPERS FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE, barring Depends, of course, and I'm not brave enough to broach that topic yet. To those who are thanking me for sparing you the stomach churning visuals, you're very welcome.

I've probably already announced this here, but my "mom brain" knows no limits, so I'll do it again. About a month ago Pigtails up and decided all on her own that diapers are for wussies, I mean babies. Yes, she peed on the brand new neighbors brand new carpet last week, but she's been accident free other than that one party foul.

Though diapers are a thing of the past (for the first time in SIX years! Yip-freakin'-eee!) in my parenting universe, along with breastfeeding (flopping my lactating twins over the back seat to emergency nurse on the freeway), rectal thermometers (ancient infant torture devices) and nasal aspirators (fancy name for pediatric snot suckers), I'm not yet off the hook on wiping duty. I expect to be instrumental in that department for some time. Raw deal.

Pigtails continues to emerge from a successful potty experience with her underwear and pants/shorts/skirt collapsed around her ankles, open palm and arms exteded straight up in anticipation of a well deserved "high five." Hey, if she merely wants a skin-slap reward, I'm down. At least she doesn't expect a fistful of M&Ms or a lame Sponge Bob sticker that I'll end up picking out of our kitten's fur.

Pigtails seems to think I'm potty training too now that she's mastered toileting, and so what if I still am? She waltzes into my bathroom (the kids have their own, complete with primary colors run amuck and a urine stench I can't exorcise from the linoleum once and for all - blame it on my bad-aim boys) and asks, "You did it yet, Mommy? You knee a high five?" She gushes when the job's done, "I'm so pwoud of you. You are soooo big now, Mama. Wait til I tell Daddy you made a big poop!" I know. It's so wrong.

Well, the kids are begging me to make them smoothies "weally a lot like Jah-ma Juice, pwease!" Not until I've had my third mug of sugar with coffee and cream.


Thursday, June 07, 2007

All Signs Point to ...

Me. Apparently I'm the one behind my son talking about sniffing glue at school. Well, maybe.

A few weekends back the kids gathered around the sticky kitchen table to dump frozen fruit into the blender for smoothies. I'm one of those people who can't do anything without background music. The only tunes on the countertop (I couldn't leave them alone with three ultra sharp blender blades, right?) were the Ramones. I slapped the CD into the player and let it rip. Who knew my six-year-old would listen so hard, especially with the blender churning away.

Here are the lyrics to the Ramones song he told his teacher "my Mommy always plays for me at home:" (Always? What the? To my knowledge he's only heard it that one time!)

"Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue"

Now I wanna sniff some glue
Now I wanna have somethin' to do
All the kids wanna sniff some glue
All the kids want somethin' to do

Bang head. Slam fist. Blend smoothies. Pay no attention to repetitive lyrics in the background. Pay hefty price by looking like an ass in front of son's homeroom teacher and other kindergarten teachers who teacher alerted, as well as the lone parent friend I told. Make bad huffing joke to teacher while trying to recover from total goof-up, then look like I know more than fair share about sniffing glue. Oops again.

Repeat: I am a fool. Duh.

At least I don't let the kids listen to some of my old N.W.A.


Labels: ,

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Whose Got Mad Skillz (and Whose Just Mad)?

I hereby present an evidential sliver (aw, shoot, I could've just said "list") of my stellar mothering abilities, as eeked out of my blaring Pixies filled head on the drive home to "Rapewood" from my Reject Parenting class at the local Exchange Club. That would be the Exchange Club Child Abuse Prevention Center, a place I've voluntarily sped late to for six Tuesdays so far, unlike my motley crue, court-ordered classmates.

Stuck on "Rapewood," are you? I would be too. Actually, I still am. Quickie explanation: In Why the F Am I Here? class tonight I overheard a bearded chick with a gang tattoo caligraphied across the nape of her neck squeal, "We keeps it real in Rape-woooood, boy-ee!"

I wish I could have said, "Fo-shee-zee. Rapewood's off the hook. Got 'dat ry-eet, bee-atch!" in response but I cleared my throat and asked this instead: "You aren't by chance referring to Fakewood, are you?"

"Shit, yeah, girl. (Gum smack.) You haven't heard people call Fakewood 'Rapewood' before? (Gaping mouth cow gum chew. Smack.) Where you 'bin?"

Unfortunately right here in Rapewood, the spot gum-smacka-lacka lady just gave a hearty shout-out to.

Confirmation of fear complete. Bearded gang mom was indeed refering to the city in which me, the Hubster and the warbly clones three have mostly happily resided in for going on three years now.

Upon further investigation (nothing back-breaking ... just the Web, an original owner neighbor and my very own internal paranoia news channel) I discovered that my home city, originally modeled after Levittown, New York, post WWII, earned this dubious moniker after a rash of bathroom rapes at the local high school and city college. Rapewood's come a long way since giving hard labor to the infamous Spur Posse. Remember those winners circa 1993?

We sure know how to pick a quality family HQ. I guess when me and the Hubster plunk roots down, we aren't afraid to get good and dirty. But what about our kids?

Back to the original point of this post. I'm dishing out five reasons I don't suck harder than a defective Dyson hocked on eBay as a mom, or why I'm decent at maternal gigging, at least when compared to the poor souls populating the conference room where Parenting for Rejects, Drunks and Criminals 101 knowledge is dropped ... and likely instantly forgotten by 75 percent of the people who somehow manage to show up straight.

California roll, please. (Wasabi chaser optional.)

Here are Five Reasons Why I'm a Great Mom (as inspired by those who brain-farted bringing his/her homework to class because pounding K dust by the pound is just too important to cut short):

1. I have all my teeth. Well, at least enough to buzz cut a corn cob. (Doh! That was just mean. I'm a low down dirty rotten snark and I, and maybe even you, like it.) Check back with me when I'm 90 and own stock in Polident adhesive creme.

2. I have a squeaky clean "attitude of gratitude." Says who? My svelte J-Lo look-alike Breakthrough Parenting instructor, that's who! She's a veteran social worker and twice a mom herself, so she should know. (At least in front the prof. I possess, never repress and freely express a grip of AOG. She doesn't hear me when I sexist shit-talk worse than Blow Me Up Tom Lykis in reverse.)

3. I don't (yet) have a probation officer. No prior convictions exist in my file. I swear. The record may show that I was hauled uncuffed down to the station for questioning (parental pick-up and ensuing grounding) after sneaking out a window with cute boys to try beer for the first time. Big deal. I wonder what mischief Britney and Linsday were brewing (other than that schwag tasting Milwaukee's Beast my tongue can't shake the memory of) when they were 15? In a line-up I'd look like a fan of underwear, oh, and skinny landing strips, next to those two.

4. I don't sell coke (like one of my classmates bragadociously told me she does. Oh, by the way, her rehab nurses release her strictly to go to class and back).

5. My husband's never filed a restraining order against me, at least that I'm aware of, even if he's secretly wished to from time to time. I'm sorry, babe. I didn't mean to binge inhale your flat Orangina and Trader Joe's Pound Plus chocolate almond bar, clearly two offenses that are 911 worthy, no?

Why am I taking Breakthrough Parenting again? Oh yeah. I just remembered -- to brush up on my lacking mirroring, reflective listening and parental conflict resolution skills. To be a better, more patient mom to my children. To learn how to work better with my husband toward our shared parenting/family goals. To develop coping techniques to diffuse being driven by the kids to the soft center of a sumptuous wheel of velveteen triple cream Brie at midnight.

Why am I really taking Breakthrough Parenting? So I can see the worst and feel the best because of it. Maybe not. At least that wasn't my original intention. That would be too shallow. I know. Sad but true.

After what I've seen and heard in class tonight, I know in the very marrow of my mama bones that my children already have all they'll ever need ... between worry-wart me, their doting papa, closeby aunts, uncles, close-in-age cousins and caring teachers from two progressive, open-minded schools.

I'm also positive they'll never, ever attend Rapewood High School.

Labels: , ,

Huffing 101 - Kindergarten Style

My son tells me kids are "getting high" sniffing glue at school. He also told me all about sex, as eagerly explained to him by a classmate. He is in KINDERGARTEN. I guess what they say about KGOY (Kids Growing Older Younger) is true.

Time to dust off my mushy parent-kid "talk" skills. The petrified egg "This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs," probably won't cut it with my overly informed Lawyer/son. It sure didn't work on this child of the 80s.

Anyone else with kindergartners in this same predicament?

... Yet another reason to feel kinship with the Polish man who Rip Van Winkled for 19 years and woke up shocked at the state of the world.

Labels: , ,

Monday, June 04, 2007

The New Welcome Gift

First impressions last forever. At least that's what the elusive "they" say, right?

So the other day we visited our new next door neighbors (and I mean next-next-next door -- We could see into our kids' bedrooms if we were creepy enough to try) for a quick handshake introduction. You know, "Nice to meet you. We'll be neighbors and we're so fricken thrilled. If you ever need anything ..." and all that obligatory nicey-nice neighborly welcoming committee stuff that lasts until YOUR DAUGHTER PISSES ON YOUR NEW NEIGHBORS BRAND NEW CARPET!

Yep. That's right. Pigtails, who recently potty trained (or so we thought) at the ripe old age of 2.5, rained down the "golden showers" on our brand spanking new neighbors' brand spanking new carpet last Saturday. What better way to introduce ourselves than to make like a dog and pee on the nearest thing. "Hi. Let me clean that stranger-kid piss, I mean MY stranger-kid's piss, off your newly unfurled berber for ya. So sorry." Way to start our neighborly friendship off on the right schmut.

At first I tried to conceal telltale Pigtails' wet patch, slipping out the new neighbors' front door (remember we're so damn close as neighbors that we could fart and hear each other) to my cleaning chemicals cupboard for my trusty Resolve carpet stain/odor remover. It wasn't long before my clean-it-up-before-they-notice-and-judge-me-and-my-leaky-daughter plan was foiled. The gorgeous new working mom next door busted me red handled, spraying a noxious substance on her daughter's princess room rug.

"Um, whatcha' doing?" she asked.

"Well, uh ... This is so embarrassing and it's never happened before ... and, uh, she's been potty trained going on three weeks now and hasn't had an accident ... and ..."

"She peed on the floor?"

"Yes. Exactly."

Luckily my new pretty neighbor didn't seem fazed. She has two young kids of her own. She refused to let me clean it up and patted Pigtails' pee spot with her own two hands, something I never would have done if the pee were on the other carpet. I have this lame thing about "other" kids' pee and pooh. I've always hated changing any diapers other than those hugging the 2-D flat butts of my three children.

I haven't talked to my new neighbors since my daughter's pissy introduction to them. I wouldn't know what to say. At least she didn't drop a deuce on 'em, like a booger-nosed kid did on our playroom berber right after we installed it two years ago.

Would I feel as bad about the whole thing if Pigtails were a dog? Somehow I think a pet dog peeing on a new neighbors' carpet would have been better.

If your kids have ever done this, feel free to piss and tell. I'm curious.

Labels: ,

Sunday, June 03, 2007

All the Name Dropping You Can('t) Stand

“So, you actually let someone cum inside of you? My mom told me never to do that!” squalled a guy with neo-nerdy specs who claims to have nude photos of his “ass” on his blog. (*10 p.m. Update -- This dude got naked in the hot tub. I always miss the good crap. I left only moments before.)

This was his actual response to my answer to whether or not I have kids. What the Hell has happened to party conversation (or me at parties)? Am I just that old? Honestly, I felt like that Polish guy who just woke up from a 19-year coma and said the “world had turned upside down” while he was out cold.

“Yes, that’s what I said. I have three kids,” I repeated, not really knowing what else to say.

“What? Are you a bottom or something? You bottom-out often?” I asked, flailing to recover from my fuddy-duddy, 30-something shock at his frank reference to how I came to motherhood in the first place, weak pun intended.

Yup, Saturday night I mingled with fellow bloggers at L.A. Daddy’s L.A. Blogger Bash in the Hollywood Hills.

Among other blog-heads I met clumsily carousing at the swanky Mulholland Drive digs belonging to the guy who wrote Shrek (Why not name-drop? Isn’t that what the complimentary name tags were for?) were the faces behind Sink Into the Pacific House of Prince, Frowning of a Lifetime (Sink's best friend) Rattling the Kettle, Tara Met Blog, L.A. Mommy Childs Play x2 JustinSpace The Red Stapler and, well, I suck too hard at social networking to have snatched the cards of anyone else I spoke with.

I think the only blog-ebrity I met by the jalapeno and artichoke dip was Stefanie Wilder-Taylor, former stand-up comedian and TV writer/author of Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay. Her blog is Baby on Bored, which I only started reading after she commented on a bitchy posting I wrote about her appearance on The Today Show’s recent cocktail Playdates/mom-tini segment. So, lesson learned, I can still contract foot-in-mouth disease from the safety and distance of my laptop, tucked safely into the corner of chaos known as my kids’ playroom.

Stefanie and I briefly talked about our blip of online exchange and moved on to bigger, better, more controversial topics (that thrill overly opinionated mamas like me but might bore the childless into having distraction sex and getting knocked up) – breastfeeding woes, the family bed, to cut or not to cut, eh hem, circumcision, home birth, C-sections, breast reductions, fibroid cysts, etc. -- with the intelligent, goateed author of Rattling the Kettle and his naturally beautiful (refreshingly makeup free, I think) wife and her look-alike little sister.

I also learned at L.A. Daddy’s shindig that Tara, from Tara Met Blog, tested out some “horny juice,” with her husband for pay on her blog. How can I get my hands on some Tara-approved Brass Monkey? Motherhood’s blanched all the horny right outta’ me. Seriously, what I want to know is how Tara massaged paying deals with a swarm of retailers to blog her opinion about their products? All this product review talk has me thinking I should start a second blog that actually earns me some keep around here.

One other quirky conversational dangler from last night's L.A. Blogger Party:
A concept designer/architect named Justin went to a fun party a while back where Allie McEel sushi and Michael J. Pot brownies were served. Why can't I get invites to parties like that?

Oh, and you-know-who-you-are, when should we expect to be launched? I could be your first feed subscriber, although that's not much of an incentive.

Labels: ,

Saturday, June 02, 2007

L.A. Blogger Party

Hey strangers. It's nice to be back. I like to take my re-entry into blog-dom slow and easy, like dipping my feet in the frigid Atlantic before fulling immersing myself in the waves. What the Hell am I talking about? Shoot, I'm just lazy.

Dropping off the virtual face of the Earth two weeks ago without so much as a two-sentence update on my husband's ooze-a-foot condition was a dick move. I realize that now, especially after receiving an email all the way from Kim in Austrailia expressing concern. It's so strange and amazing and flattering that Kim, whom I've never met, in Austrailia cares and worries about my family's welfare. I truly appreciate it, though.

So, yes, Kim, I should have mentioned sooner that the Hubster is on the mend. His battery acid strength antibiotic cocktail whipped his Staph infection, hopefully once and for all. Perhaps this entire event whipped his brazen, the devil-may-care lax attitude toward safety as well. (Sorry, babe, I just couldn't help it. Yes, now you know I refer to my six-foot-two-er as "babe" around our digs.)

The Hubster, at the urging of our "Was'sup my patient?" Orange County surfer primary care doctor, went to see a wound care specialist, one who happens to race BMW motorcycles at 120 miles per hour. Poor Hubster. The speed-freak doctor, his snarky nurse and I ganged up on the Hubster like we were jumping him into our safety gang Crip-style. The doctor lectured on and on ad nauseum while plucking chunk after chunk of skin from the Hubster's bloody wound. I looked away but Pigtails stared straight into the wound, as if mesmerized by the oozing center of a giant raspberry donut.

Long story still to dang long, the Hubster is up and about. He was even well enough last week to let me board a Southwest plane to Manchester, New Hampshire, for a visit to my in full bloom home state (where the kick-ass motto is "Live Free or Die," I'll have you know, even if you didn't want to). What a guy. Seriously. I owe him big time for five kid-free, responsability free days some 3,200 miles away. I even slept in (remember what that is, anyone?) ever single day until 10 or ll a.m. Many massages and home cooked favorite meals are in his future (well, at least in theory, uh ... yeah ... ).

Also, I think I divulge the second reason I'm blogging today: I'm going with my writer/mama friend to the L.A. Blogger Party tonight in the Hollywood Hills (oh, I sound so snooty and name-droppy now ... I might as well admit it). L.A. Daddy and L.A. Mommy are hosting. It's BYOB. I hope I can find it. I'm notorious for getting lost in the Hills. You'd think after living in Greater L.A. for going on 10 years now I'd my way around but ... well, I still get lost in my own neighborhood.

I should also admit that I haven't read ANY blogs in about a month, including the L.A. based blogs.

Labels: ,