Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mommy's "Privacy"

No Privacy at Bath-time; Bath, cartoon, cartoons, Comedy, Comics, humor, humour, images, stickman, stickmen
It was shortly after my cup of coffee, and half way through spreading Sunbutter on Jenna's toast that I found I needed to use the bathroom.  I finished making breakfast,  set it down on Jenna's little table where she was watching Beethoven, grabbed Naomi from her high chair and bee-lined it for the toilet. Sitting Naomi on the bathroom rug, I laid some toys at her feet just in time to hear Jenna calling from the other room, "Mommy?" "Where are you?" "I want you to sit with me."
"Mommy's going potty!" I called, which apparently translates to Everyone come join me while I do my business because not only did Jenna come running but Mindy, our terrier, came trailing in behind her.
"Mommy, whatcha doin'?" Jenna asked staring at me from the doorway as she chewed a large mouthful of her toast.
"Mommy told you, Jenna, I'm going potty." Naomi who was happily bouncing a baby doll up and down, stopped and grinned at Jenna as she entered the bathroom.
Jenna then packed two chunks of cantaloupe into her cheeks, "What kind of potty?"
"Number two, now can you please give mommy some privacy?" "Why don't you go finish watching your movie?"
"I don't want to." "I want to stay here with you and No-me (Naomi)."

Then Jenna plopped next to Naomi on the rug. Mindy slinking behind her, stalking Jenna's sunbutter toast with her eyes.Great. I thought to my self, The first time my daughter wants to have anything to do with her little sister it's when we are all crammed into the bathroom. I attempted to focus my attention back on my Mother Earth News magazine article about raised garden beds I had been attempting repeatedly to finish for the past week. Suddenly Naomi burst out crying and I looked up to see that Jenna was now protectively clutching the baby doll Naomi had been playing with-the very same doll Jamie hadn't played with in over a year and a half.

"JENNA!" "That was not nice!" I said as Naomi desperately yanked the doll back from Jenna.
"But Mother!" (Jenna's latest term for me when she is pleading her case-a direct result of the American Girl Movie Felicity-who called her mommy, mother.) "Mother! The doll is minnnneeee!" Jenna whined with great emphases as she pulled the doll from Naomi's tiny grasp for the second time.
"Give her that doll back this minute, young lady!"
Jenna scrunched her mouth up at me and glowered at Naomi, tossing the doll back into her sister's lap.
"And tell her your sorry." To this Jenna pushed her chin up in the air defiantly, her arms crossed over her Dora the Explorer nightgown.
"Now! Or when I get off this toilet you're going right into time out."
"sorry." Jenna's apology was barley audible but I wasn't in the mood to push it.
"Thank you, Jenna." "Now why don't you go watch your movie?" I sighed, rereading the same paragraph for the fourth time. Then it was Jenna's turn to cry.

"MOMMMYYYYY! LOooook!" She wailed.  There on the floor was Jenna's near empty plate, Mindy darting from the scene of the crime and hid between my legs and the toilet bowl.
"Mindy!" I said firmly, "That's a NO!" Mindy, realizing I was right above her and taking Jenna's side, darted out of the bathroom, into the bedroom, and judging by the sound of the crate creaking, put herself in the kennel for time out.
"Don't worry Jenna, I'll get you another piece of toast when I am finished."
Jenna sniffled pathetically, as I attempted to pick up the pieces of half eaten Sunbutter toast stuck goop side down in the bathroom rug I had just washed yesterday.

"Can I have cereal, not toast please?" I glanced up and Jenna had the bath towel, which was draped over the rack, wrapped around her head like the Virgin Mary and was using it to swing back and forth. I glanced around and realized Naomi was no where to be seen.  A brief moment of panic hit me. Where could she have gone in the last three seconds? Then I heard happy grunting coming from behind the shower curtain.  I pulled it back and there Naomi was happily chewing away at a remnant of Jenna's breakfast bread.

"Naomi!" "Give that to Mama." I said, "That's too big for you." Fearing her prize was going to be taken, Naomi shoved the entire piece into her mouth. "No!" I leaned over, grabbed my one year old into my arms and used my pinkie finger to pry the slimy goo from her mouth through her 8 clenched teeth. Naomi cried even louder in protest, and as I lifted her and sat her on my leg, a wad of warm chewed bread dropped into my slipper.

"OK!" "Mommy's DONE!" Exasperated I put Naomi down, quickly finished, flushed, and washed my hands. All the while I noticed Jenna behind me giggling impishly. Curious I had to ask, "OK." "What's so funny Jenna?" Jenna removed her hands covering her mouth, pointed at my bottom and giggled all the more gleefully,  "Mommy I just saw your privacy."
I raise my eyebrow, "You mean you just saw mommy's....." I stopped in mid sentence.  "Never mind..."
"Do you want to go finish your movie now?"
"Uh Huh!"
"Great idea, Jenna!" "Let's go finish watching Beethoven," I said forcing an overly enthusiastic smile on my face while simultaneously repressing the urge to point out that I had suggested this THREE TIMES ALREADY!  As Jenna ran to the TV, I swept Naomi into my arms and headed out the bedroom door toward the living room. Per our Doctor visit check up discussion earlier in the week, Jenna meant to say, "Mommy, I saw your private."  But it's funny she used the word privacy because it reminds me that since I've become a mom privacy seems to be a thing of the past.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

My Little Houdini



Naomi is on the move...not just toddling but 18+ tiny steps in a row.  Just three weeks ago she was my cautious  two step, wait, three steps, wait, one step, forget this, crawling is faster, drop to the ground, kinda girl. Then Jenna got sick, spiked a 104.8 fever, and was out of commission  for two solid days.   Naomi was in her glory! She canvased the play mat, scoured the book shelves, and had her way with all the toys (hers as well as her big sister's).

I was shocked when Naomi started speeding across the room in full stride taking 8 and 10 steps at a time.  I suppose she felt a lot more secure and confident (with Jenna off the living room floor) and gradually Naomi grew braver and bolder with her uninterrupted practice. There were brief moments she still looked like she'd taken one drink (of milk) too many, but even with occasional balance difficulties she could Speedy Gonzales her way across the room in the blink of an eye, or at least the time it takes to help Jenna put on her socks.

This new found confidence opened  a whole world of daring for Naomi. She figured out how to escape her high chair safety straps and has thrice caused me a mini heart attack as she attempted to climb down its side during dinner. Naomi consistently breaks out of her play yard, there one minute, under the bed or behind the couch the next like some magical disappearing act.  The other day I got fed up and plunked Naomi in her crib so I could use the bathroom. Jenna skipped happily through the door as I washed my hands, announcing proudly that she had shared some pillows with Naomi.  I rushed around the corner to find that Naomi had pushed them to the sides of her crib and was standing on them attempting to climb over the rail and onto Jenna's bed (we are currently brainstorming alternative sleeping arrangements because of this).

Then last week we were at a friend's house and Naomi's car seat carrier was on the floor (she had fallen asleep on the car ride over so we had brought the entire carrier in so we didn't have to wake her).  I had placed a ceramic knick-knack that I had confiscated from Naomi on the sill behind the couch.  Naomi was overwhelmed with temptation and totally uninterested in the age appropriate toys all around her.  Instead she pushed her carrier over to the couch, leaned it back, crawled through the seat like an inclined tunnel, pulled herself up on the couch and then stretched on her tippie-toes to try and reclaim the forbidden item.  I was sitting right next to her so I was able to grab her and deposit her diapered bottom back on the floor.  Her little mountain-like couch climb showed me that I was never to underestimate the gumption of an 11 and 1/2 month old.

Yes, my youngest is proving to be quite innovative. I suppose it was only a matter of time for all of this to transpire.  After all, Naomi will be one on Saturday, no longer a baby but a toddler with "big girl" interests. Gone are the days when she was content to sit and bang a pot with a spoon.  Yes, Naomi's first year sure has flown by. But I have no doubt that my energetic Little Houdini will keep me on my toes for years to come.



Thursday, May 17, 2012

Dearest Family...



Dearest Naomi, 
The toilet is not a toy.  Please don't try to flush it over and over again.  I know you like the swooshing sound but it costs Mommy and Daddy money.  Not to mention it's irritating-especially when Mommy is still sitting on the potty.  Please choose one of the million toys that people have spent thousands of dollars on for your entertainment. 
Much Love, 
Mommy


Dearest Michael, 
I know that Refrigerator Blindness is a male disorder.  Perhaps it is a genetic mutation and not your fault that you can't find the kids' organic apple sauce in the second drawer or the jar of SunButter hiding behind the rice milk on the left side of the fridge's top shelf.  But if you try moving an item or two around before you ask me to come and find it for you, it will earn big brownie points for you and re-instill hope for husbands in general.   
Loving Regards, 
Jamie


Dearest Jenna, 
It is wonderful to have snuggle time while you are awake but once you fall asleep the arrangement becomes very painful for Mommy.   Somehow without lessons, you have mastered the Korean martial art of Tang Soo Do while asleep- I am so proud! But honey, your foot does not belong on my stomach, in my eye, or pressed between my shoulder blades and despite what you think, you can sleep just as good in your own bed as you can in mine.
With Love, 
Mommy 


Dearest Mindy, 
The neighbors can't hear you. They are 40 feet away and you are behind a glass window. Even if your growls were magnified 100x the volume of Mighty Dog people would not be afraid enough to stop their dog from peeing on our mailbox. Do the household a favor, rest your vocal cords a bit, and save your ear piercing barks for when it truly matters-like the next time Jenna tries to paint your hair with sidewalk chalk. 
Hang in There, 
Mom  


Dearest Ducks, 
I am the one that fills your duck pond (plastic kiddie pool) and feeds you pellets each morning. I am also the one that built you the Fort Knox of all duck pens out of a dog kennel and fortified chicken wire so you'd be safe from those rotten fowl murdering raccoons. So why do you repay me, Baron, by hissing at me each time I enter the fence and pecking me when I gather the single egg Fluffy lays each morning? You'd better watch it my feathered friend or Duck a l'Orange just may be served at our next holiday meal.:) Fluffy, this of course excludes you. After all you are our only egg layer. 
Sincerely, 
Farmer Jamie 


Dear Frog Outside the Girl's Bedroom Window, 
You woke up the children one too many times with your endless nocturnal croaking.  I've given the raccoons your location. 
Tell God I said hello, 
Jamie  


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Conversations with Jenna: Marriage


It had been an especially challenging morning.  After an hour long park visit and three large laps around the lake near our house, my efforts to expel the majority of my daughter Jenna's energy had failed.  Dress up clothes lay strewn about the living room, Naomi was wearing dog ears and allergen free shortbread cookie crumbs on her head-the result of Jenna "sharing" her cookie by decorating her sister with "fairy dust" like crumbs while I attempted to fold and put  laundry away. "Look Mommy, No-me (Naomi) is all pretty and sparkly like Tinkerbell!" On the way to Jenna's preschool I cursed the small box of Organic Chocolate Milk that Jenna had found buried in the back of our fridge and made a mental note to seek and destroy (or have my husband Mike consume) all remaining chocolate anything in the house so that this morning would not repeat itself in the future.

As we drove along I noticed Jenna's brow was furrowed as she picked at the bandage on her latest boo-boo. 

"Mommy, my finger hurts." 

"I know honey, I'm sorry." 

"My band-aid is falling off, see!" 

"That's because you are playing with it." "If you leave it alone the band-aid will stay and your finger will feel better." 

"I don't have a ring on my finger." (Jenna is a great admirer of my wedding ring set)

"Nope." 

"Because I put things in my mouth?"

"Yep." (we had had this conversation before.)

"And once I stop I can wear jewelry and rings and crosses?" 

"That's right." 

"And someday I can wear a ring on my finger like your's and not a band-aid?" 

"Yes Sweets, someday you'll get married and you can have a ring like mommy's too." 

"Someday when I get big I'll get married."

"Yep."

"When I'm big and tall and I've got big titties like you?" To this I coughed on my handful of gluten free granola. 

"Something like that." 

"Someday when I'm big like you I'm gonna marry daddy." 

"I'm glad you love daddy so much Jenna but daddy is already married." 

"You're married to daddy?" 

"Yes, Sweets, I am. So you'll have to find someone else to marry when you grow big." 

"Who?" "Who am I gonna marry?"

"The person God has picked out for you." 

"But who is he?"

"I don't know, but God does and you'll meet him someday when you are big." 

"Is it Mr. Bill?" (Mr. Bill is our neighbor who is in his 60's)

"No, honey, Mr. Bill is too old to be your husband.  When you get big he will be G G's age. (G.G. is what Jenna calls her Great Grandma) You should marry someone closer to your age." 

"Like John Paul?" (a student in her 3 year old Pre-K class)

"Maybe, we'll just have to wait and see what happens someday." To this Jenna was quiet for the remainder of our drive.  I could tell by the way her tiny mouth puckered that she was mulling our conversation over in her head.  She didn't speak again until we pulled into the school's parking lot. 

"Mommy?"

"Yes, Jenna?"

"Can't I just wait until you're done kissing daddy and then I can marry him?" 

To this I couldn't help but laugh.  Can't beat a three year old's logic.