"Is Ana moving at all?" asked my mother-in-law, Nan, as she sat down on the sofa. She stopped by the house yesterday to deliver the usual grandma garb (really cool clothes in equally cool gift bags with stickers and bows, spoiling the girls to no end). She picked Ana up from her usual spot on the rug and slid her into the grandma hug hold. Ever since Ana mastered sitting (has it already been a month?), I have enjoyed being able to place her on the floor where she can swivel around from toy to toy and entertain herself. I completely forgot about tummy time. Before I could protest, Nan placed her on the floor, tummy first. To my great surprise, like a new born foal finding her walking legs, Ana assumed the crawl position and began to rock. Then she slid onto her belly and pushed herself backward until she had traversed half the rug! My jaw dropped, my heart swelled, and then sank at the thought of all the baby proofing that loomed ahead. "Oh, no!" I heard myself exclaim (Mother of The Year Award for that one). I guess the inevitable mobility of my second child has arrived. Holy Hell. Break out the outlet plugs and cabinet locks. Here we go.
***WARNING*** If you are easily offended by potty talk, DO NOT CONTINUE READING***
When I walked into Shelby's preschool to pick her up, she met me at the door with hot pink lips, a hot pink smile and a hot pink tongue. "Mommy, it was Chloe's birthday and we got to have cupcakes!" They weren't hot pink, were they? This little after school exchange was forgotten until today when Shelby called from the bathroom yelling, "Mommmmyyy! Come see my poopy!" I arrived to discover a hot pink poo floating in the bowl.
This reminded me of a similar story when I left Shelby with my parents for a weekend and she came home pooping green. I called my mom to inquire of Shelby's diet while she was away and all my mom could come up with was hot dogs, juice boxes (we'll talk about this later, Mom), and fruit snacks. My mother protested, "But, honey, I bought the ones that said 100% fruit! They're all natural. There's nothing bad in them!" I have to give my mom a little credit here because I know she tried to do the right thing. But keep in mind, this is the woman who recently realized that cheddar cheese shouldn't really be orange. "Mom, last time I checked, fruit doesn't miraculously shape itself into rubbery characters from Dora Explorer and come in bright blue and yellow." After she recounted the last two days, revealing that Shelby had, in fact, eaten over 7 packs of fruit snacks in 24 hours, she hurriedly went to get the package to read the ingredients. "Corn Syrup, sugar, yellow dye #2...." Because there were no green fruit snacks, we deduced that it had to have been the Blue Doras and Yellow Backpack shapes that Shelby ate to create Electric Green poop.
It was our fourth preschool birthday party this month. I exercised my right of refusal to attend the last two soirees, but felt guilty that my toddler would be cast out of the "in circle" if she missed another party. As if three year olds actually discuss their weekend plans! I begrudgingly called the mother the morning of the party to say we were bringing a gift (one I put together from the hardware store trip last night) and we would be there today...well, actually, we'd be there in 2 and a half hours. So much for warning. Oh well, have gift, will travel. Have NON-plastic gift, that is, as specified by the mother "due to environmental purposes" on the invitation. My phone call was met with an enthusiastic, "Grreeaat!" and then the mother went on to inform me that 12 guests RSVP'd on time and she only had 12 gift bags. What kind of mom doesn't plan for extra??? Ugh. Anticipating a meltdown over the lack of party favor, I stealthily threw together a few items of our own to keep in my purse before we left the birthday party. Knowing full well that the mother of the birthday princess was fond of surfing, I wasn't surprised to see her surfed out husband roll in 30 minutes late to the party at the park, shirtless, salty, and armed with a cooler full of Corona. "The Surfer" is a well defined character many sea faring, surf loving people assume themselves to be, aspire to emulate, or in my case, steer very clear of whenever possible. And you're asking yourself why I would say this when my darling husband has literally surfed all over the world, sports a pair of gills, and measures the success of a weekend by how many sessions he got in. John surfs, he is not "The Surfer". I know them all too well and this dad had mastered his part. "Dude, did ya get in a sesh this morning? Augh, man, it was awesome. I surfed twice yesterday and then again this morning by the pier. Had to cut it short 'cuz of the kid's party, ya know. (Shakes head, looking disappointed) Some sections were totally cleaning up when I left. It's gettin' bigger this afternoon fa sure. (Gestures with beer while rubbing his bare belly) I'm doin' a trip down to Scorpion Bay in June. Deb isn't keen on bringin' the kids so I'm gonna hook up with my brother and just chill and surf out in Mex for a month, bra." He was already on his third beer before he finished up his self consumed brag session about leaving his wife and two kids for a month. We'll revisit "The Shirtless Surfer" later, for right now I was choking down the news that the party beverages consisted of beer, water, full sodas, and more beer. WHAT??? These are three year olds and your environmental ass is handing out SODA!!!!??? Oh, and it didn't stop there, the games began and ended with prizes consisting of Oreos and Snickers bars. Then there was a pinata, managed by "The Surfer" and his beer, where he armed the toddlers with an aluminum bat. While encouraging the tiny onlookers to circle dangerously close to the above mentioned weapon of choice, they kept their eyes on a swinging paper fish full of, you guessed it, more sugar. After the fish was beaten to a pulp and the candy carnage was over we moved on to watermelon (thank God!), and then conversations among the parents began about how late it was, and people needing to leave. What's taking the god-danged burgers so friggin' long to cook? Oh yeah, "The Surfer" was in charge of the grill and nowhere to be seen. (Is that him pissing on a tree over that hill?) Go figure. And then, in horror, I listened to the mother suggest that we could just finish up with fruit and skip to cake and presents! WHAT FRIGGIN' PLANET ARE THESE PEOPLE ON??? ARE THEY TRYING TO PUT US INTO HYPERGLYCEMIC SHOCK? I watched Shelby zip around the playground at mach speed, giggling uncontrollably and splattering watermelon juice from here to Alaska. Oh yeah, I thought, this kid definitely needs cake. Some of the parents looked at each other when she made this suggestion and one dad stepped up to the grill and grabbed the burgers. "I'll have these done in 5 minutes," he assured us. Phew! (Did I forget to mention that the party started at 11:00 and it was now after 1:00, and still no lunch) Shelby returned to munch down her third slab of watermelon, and revved up for take-off. Her feet were running before they even touched the ground. AND SHE'S OFF! What goes up, must come down, right? Well, not yet, half a burger later Shelby was on to, you guessed it, CAKE. Before the last sticky shovel full had made it to her mouth I scooped up her empty plate, informed her that it was time to leave, and made my way toward the car. But not before thanking the mother for inviting us and assuring her it was a lovely party (What is wrong with me????). Shelby spent the short car ride testing the strength of her car seat harness. Thankfully, it won, she lost, and all was quiet on the Western front by 2:00. Naptime Rules.
P.S. I will never attend a birthday party thrown by parents I don't know. I will never attend a birthday party thrown by parents I don't know. I will never attend a birthday....