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    Cramming for the big Toddler Intelligence Test (otherwise known as the TIT)

    June 29, 2006

    T minus 12 days until we see Nana on vacation.  Luckily I realized this two days ago, along with the fact that I am a stay at home mother whose child can only say, “this,” “that,” and a bunch of other words that mean something but no one knows what.

    Derek was taking E upstairs for his bath and I freaked out…

    K:  You have to COUNT as you go up the stairs.  ONE, TWO, THREEEEEEE!
    D:  Uh, why?
    K:  For heaven’s sake, his cousins knew the elements of the periodic table by 16 months.  Ethan thinks “Bwa” means please.  I’d say we are a little behind the power curve here.
    D:  Do we care?
    K:  We do now.  It would have been helpful if we did about 3 months ago but we are half-assed.
    D:  Do you really think my mom will say something?

    Crickets.

    D:  One, Two, Three.  Come on, buddy.  Say it with me.  Four, five….

    That’s what I’m talking about.  In the meantime, I have checked the scoring systerm and we are lagging behind.  Saying “please” in the appropriate situations, 5 points.  Pronouncing it “bwa,” minus 3 points.  Responding to EVERY single question or request with “bwa”, plus 3 for courtesy and minus 2 points for bugging the crap out of me.  It’s like trying to train a puppy and finding out that you have gotten ahead of yourself (and the peabrained animal) and now sit, stay and down are all one motion being done in hopes of getting 3 treats.  OMG, treats.  I hadn’t thought of giving him food to perform. 

    Now if we got points for eating matches, wicks from candles or dog food, we would be throwing the old Bell curve for a loop.  Taking off the diaper and peeing in the middle of the floor, guaranteed A.  Eating popcorn out of the trashcan, dropping mom’s cell into dad’s gin and tonic, dumping cartons of toys on the floor 2 minutes before the open house, falling down the concrete stairs, throwing mom’s last clean outfit into the tub during her shower or falling out of bed, we could write the book. 

    We haven’t wasted our time with animal sounds.  Oh, no.  Party tricks like asking him who is the stinkier parent?  That we have down. 

    Boot camp continues.  Does anyone know what sound an aardvark makes anyway?

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    What we have here is a failure to communicate

    June 27, 2006

    We have issues over here at Chateau Cookie.  Apparently The Boy has decided that English is not going to be his primary language and that the rest of us should just get on board with that.

    I was on the phone the other day with B in the car and suddenly there was insistent wailing….

    E:   LA!!!   LLLLLLLLLAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
    K:  Do you want your La?
    E:  LA!
    B:  What’s La?
    K:  Water.  Or Milk.  It’s interchangable.  And since we only give him water or milk, I guess “La” could also mean “drink.” 
    B:  Excuse me?  Do you ever, say, correct him?  (spoken like a true single, non-parent)
    K:  I did, but it doesn’t matter.  He still says, “LA!”
    B:  But it’s milk OR water?
    K:  Yes.  He yells “LA!” and I offer him milk.  He says, “No, LLLLAAAA!”  and I give him water.  He looks at me like I have three heads and then gulps the water.  Or if it is the reverse, he looks at me like I am a moron for not understanding that he wants milk. 

    NOTE:  “La” is apparently water.  In the midst of our 8 inches of rain in the last 24 hours, The Boy pointed at the river of water gushing down the street and said, with a voice that can only be characterized as reverent….”laaaa.”

    Because we could not end our roller coaster ride there, I have frantically been working on courtesy words since we are going to see Nana in two weeks.  Nana has already given him two books on sayi ng “please” and “thank you” so I am guessing that there may be a quiz on vacation. 

    K:  Ethan, if you want those blueberries, you have to say “please.”
    E:  MOOOOMMM!!!
    K:  No, say “Please.   P-p-pl-ease.”
    E:  Bwa.
    K:  I’m sorry?  Please.  Say “Please.  Pl-pl-pl-ease.”

    With that, he gave me the most serious look.  And slowly, very slowly, the following came out of his mouth…

    E:  B-W-A.

    Bwa it is.  Sounds just like “please” right?

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    You cannot make this @#$% up

    June 23, 2006

    Last night was my final night of my web design class.  THANK GOD!  for the past 6 weeks I have been working on the redesign for www.babybrewing.com .  Working on my time between 10 pm and 5 am.  My son is so very generous in sharing me.  But I finally got most of it done yesterday (thanks to Dave, the web genius who looked at my code and said “ah, Kris, can I help you out here?”  OK, so I had dirty code.  Sorry.  I’m an amateur.  Let’s be honest.  I took a community college class to learn how to do this. 

    We were supposed to do presentations of our website in class as well.  Here I am in a class full of art majors and I’m supposed to sell maternity t-shirts?  The professor started with the websites of two friends that are in the class.  And when asked what the purpose or goal of his website, the first responded with this…

    Guy:  Well, up until last week, I had planned to have a website of all the graffiti I have done over the years, but then I decided that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to put all that online.

    Crickets.  Crickets.

    Professor:  I think the statute of limitations on that kind of stuff is 7 years.

    Crickets.  Crickets.  

    Well actually I think it is 3 years but either way, we are discussing multiple misdemeanors. 

    Guy:  I did put one up on the website (and he flashes to the most intricate graffiti you have ever seen in your life).  Yeah, that’s at 16th and U if you want to see it.  But that one’s legal. 

    God love him for realizing that putting his illegality on display for the world might not be such a good idea.  He had some other art up and I found myself giving him a speech about protecting his art with copyright during the break.

    12 years in law enforcement and I’m telling the guy to protect his “art” with copyright?  At this rate I’ll be smoking silly cigs at a Dave Matthews Band soon and selling moonshine out of my basement. 

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    Oh the sacrifices we make for the children

    June 22, 2006

    Today, after 3 (count them one, two, THREE) days of whining that finally resulted in The Boy handing me his shoes and pointing at the door at 10:30 this morning, I decided to STEP AWAY FROM THE LAPTOP!  SLOWLY, SSSSLLLOOOOWWWWLY. 

    I’m not exactly sure where he thought we should be going as he continues to use grunting as his major source of communication with a “THIS” thrown in occasionally to keep me off balance.  So I took him to the local Alice in Wonderland playground in the ritzy mall across town.  I figured he could climb around on all the ‘shrooms and I could attempt conversation with all the nannies.  OK, I really thought that he could get busy and I could pull the laptop out very sneakily and finish my DAMN WEBSITE THAT IS DUE TOMORROW NIGHT FOR CLASS.  

    I don’t know what surprises me more.  The fact that I am ever hopeful or the fact that I am an idiot.  

    But I digress.

    He fell asleep 3 minutes before we got to the mall.  Oh, I don’t think so, Mister Mister.  I’m in a time crunch and can’t PAY YOU TO TAKE A NAP SO I CAN GET ANYTHING DONE and you go and fall asleep?  Not happening.  I then made him walk all the way to the playground, which was about 3 miles from our parking spot.

    And what did our wondering eyes observe?  800,000 kids in a 200 sq ft playing area.  It was like Fight Club for 2 and 3 year olds, mixed with the London Plague of 1665.  What jackass takes a 16 month old to the playground in the mall, during his naptime, the day after PRESCHOOL ENDS FOR THE YEAR!!!!!  The nannies seemed unconcerned but the Porsche Cayenne driving mothers seemed totally freaked out that they were going to be stuck with these monsters for the next 3 months.  I’m guessing the nanny count will be higher next week. 

    So some kid comes running up to The Boy and goes to push him over.  Just push him.  The Boy’s’s not in the way, he’s not giving rolly-polly, clearly in the 95% for weight, evil kid the look.  The Boy’s just standing there in shock like a nun at a strip joint.  You can see it going through that pea brain of his…how is this happening???  I jumped up to run interference and came to the realization that I was not going to be able to sucker punch little Ian without his mother catching me.  “Be nice and don’t push” said I.  “you little demon spawn” I thought. 

    The Boy remained plastered to my leg when he wasn’t crawling up it in sheer terror trying to get away from the two boys that were clearly OVER the maximum height and were trying to decapitate one another.  I can see that these kids are going to need a couple of miles on the treadmill before playtime.  And I’ve got a momma’s boy.  Oh well.  What are you gonna do? 

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    When silence is not golden

    June 11, 2006

    I’ve been a painting fiend.  What started out as changing the bathroom from YELLOWWWWW to yel-low has evolved into me walking around the house with a paint brush in hand, touching up this and painting all of that. 

    Unable to step away when I was still ahead, I started to paint the nasty back of the front door with the wall paint.  Now before you painters get all up in arms, the lazy ass people who sold Derek did the exact same thing.  Which of course makes it right.  And yes I would jump off the Brooklyn Bridge if someone told me to do it. 

    Well the paint was looking pretty rank.  Derek was in the basement having a drywall incident and Ethan was wailing every time D started to drill.  Frankly I didn’t care because after all this work around the house, the back of my front door is going to look like a group of kindergarteners had at it.  Failing to notice that Ethan’s wailing and gnashing of teeth had been silenced, I turned around to find my offspring painting the hardwood floors with the roller brush.  And from the looks of it, he had been at it for quite some time.  He managed to paint his feet as well.  

    It’s all about the latex.  I barely resisted the urge to take a picture because I think my husband would have divorced me if he caught me going click, click, click when the floor was white as snow.  In a moment of panic, Derek threw me wet paper towels and then carted the boy off for his hose down.  Because 9 hours of painting wasn’t enough, I then spent 10 minutes trying to unpaint.    Can’t this kid’s parents keep him under wraps? 

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    May God cut out my tongue and feed it to the dogs

    June 9, 2006

    Normally I would be referring to some comment that has come spontaneously out of my mouth and has resulted in a horrific situation where someone is not talking to me ever again.  This does not pertain to this story (THANK GOD!!!)

    Yesterday they dropped off gravel to revitalize our driveway.  Someone offered to revitalize it by way of concrete, but I thought about the PERSONAL revitalization I could do for $15,000 rather than giving my driveway a facelift.  So $200 gravel it is. 

    I made Derek order it because the guy was so very snotty when I called and tried to get prices.  Did YOU know that there are 100 different sizes of gravel?  Do you CARE if there are 100 different sizes of gravel?  Yeah, neither do I.  Just send over a truckload of small gravel.  How difficult is that?  

    I wasn’t here when it showed up, which is why the jackass dumped it for 20 feet instead of the entire driveway.  I guess he figured that no tip, no service.  He was nice enough to dump 2 of that 20 on the sidewalk.  I was sorry I wasn’t here to heckle him.   I called Derek.

    K:  Five tons of gravel doesn’t look like much.
    D:  It’s not enough? 
    K:  Oh my gosh, there is nothing here. 
    D:  Whatever.  We tried.

    This morning when I got up at 6, because someone, and I’m not going to point any fingers, woke up screaming and screamed long enough to wear himself out yet keep me up, I decided to go outside and spread that gravel.

    Do you have any idea how much 5 tons of gravel is?  That would be 10,000 effing pounds of gravel.  “There is nothing here” my ass.  I would KILL to have a do-over for yesterday–me with a $20 in hand and the dump truck driver slowing dumping gravel over my entire driveway. 

    But who are we kidding?  What is my time worth these days?  Not that much any more.  I guess the manual labor is good for me.  And it was a nice bonus that my shoveling may have awakened the next door neighbors that have finally completed the McMansion next door that only took 8 months of pounding day and night to complete. 

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