Monday, December 31, 2007

Should I Be Concerned???


Megan was showing me some of her drawings yesterday. As I was flipping through them, I came across this one. I couldn't help but bust out laughing and I asked her what the girl was holding. She told me it's a "flute". Should I be concerned?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Your Son is a Bully

The other day, Jack came home from daycare w/ his shirt ripped.I started asking him about it and according to his 4-year-old version, a boy named David in his class (who is now on my radar screen as the class bully) pushed Jack's friend. Jack stood up for his friend and told David he was a bully and to stop it(which if this is true, made me proud that he was able to stand up to a bully without using violence). Apparently, David the bully didn't like this because he then proceeded to, in pre-school fashion, give Jack a bit of an "ass-whooping" and the kid pushed Jack and ripped his shirt.

Of course, once I found this out, the protective lioness in me came out and I wanted to discuss this with his teacher. I know children have their spats and arguments as they are learning to socialize with one another. But I'm sorry, when my son comes home with a huge rip in the collar of his shirt, I find that to be a bit aggressive and excessive. I'm not going to get into a lot of detail here but suffice it to say that David appears to be widely known in the pre-school scene as a bully and they are "working on it". That's cool- I'm totally down with "working on it" as long as my son doesn't become the punching bag.

Fast forward to this morning. I am dropping Jack off at school and we are taking our time putting our belongings into his cubby when another boy and his mother come in. The boy immediately makes a beeline for Jack and goes nose to nose with him and doesn't say anything. Quiet intimidation. I feel the hair raising on the back of my neck as a watch Jack take a step backward and I hear the other boy's mom say, "David, I don't think that boy likes that." Grrrr...I feel my protective lioness state coming over me. So, this is David. I immediately turn away from the cubby and bend down to eye level with the two boys. I shoot David one of my best evil eyes and turn to Jack and say very loudly for David's mom to hear, "Jack, look at David and tell him to stop and back up- that you don't like it when he does that."

David's mom then says to David from across the room, "Yes, David. You need to remember body language. You need to watch people's body language." Ah ha. The pieces of the puzzle are coming together for me. She's one of those moms. The super-granola, lacking any trace of effective discipline, "use your words, honey" kind of moms. First of all, I would never profess to be the best parent on the planet, not by a long shot. But there are some things I know for sure.
1) You cannot reason with a 4-year-old. They just don't have the skills for it.
2) 4-year-olds don't know how to "read body language". I mean seriously? You are talking about kids that run instead of walk from place to place, pick their noses and put their hands down their pants. These are NOT the kids you want interpreting body language. That is just a ridiculous, unreasonable request.
3) Randomly requesting nicely from across a room to discipline your child very rarely works.

I then see David step away and go over to the other side of the room. I continue taking off Jack's boots very slowly because now I'm intrigued at what is going to happen next. I can see David is edgy. He's just waiting to be able to do something he shouldn't. I can feel it. I think David's mom can feel it too. He's pacing back and forth and touching things on a table he probably shouldn't. David's mom says, "Okay David, let's go to the other room now.". This apparently is David's queue to completely disobey his mother and begin running around the room like a complete lunatic. Instead of saying things like, "get over here right now" or "I will take the toy out of your hand if you do not stop running away from me" or better yet, how about walk over and drag your son out from under the table, David's mom says very pleasantly "David, honey, I'm going to count to five and then I'm going to carry you over my shoulder like a sack of potatoes." David's mom still hasn't moved an inch.

Again, I would never profess to be an awesome parent, but I will say, I have mastered the stomping fast walk toward my child paired with the crazy evil eye and the clenched teeth talk. When that happens, my kids know I mean business.

At this point, I've taken as much time as I can putting Jack's stuff away so it is very apparent that if I stay one moment longer, it's only to watch what will happen next with her freak show of a son. (can you tell I'm a bit bitter about Jack's ripped shirt???). But luckily for me, on our way out the door, David's mom left me with this one final nugget of parenting genius...

"David, honey, if you feel like you need to push something, push the wall. Just push the wall David. It won't move but you can push it."

Monday, December 10, 2007

Conspiracy Theory

Megan is on to something. She's not quite sure what it is yet, but she knows it has to do with Santa. Here is one of our more recent exchanges on the subject.

Megan: "Mom, have you ever seen Santa?"
Mom: "No, but I never tried to look for him since I was afraid he wouldn't leave me anything."
Megan: "Has anyone ever seen Santa?"
Mom: "I'm not sure about that."
Megan: "Well, I think there is something going on. What if the President really has a group of people that work for him? A secret group of people and their job is to act like Santa and make sure everyone believes in Santa by delivering the gifts?"
Mom: "Well, that certainly is an interesting theory."

Men's Room Musings

Jay took the kids to a basketball game with his team. At one point, Jack decided he needed to go potty so off they went to the Men's room. I would love to have been a fly on the wall during this trip, however I typically don't frequent the Men's room in public places.

As my son and husband were standing at the urinal, Jack takes notice of his dad's... well, um... appendage and decides to say very loudly, "Daddy, you have a BIG penis! Why is your penis so BIG?".

Now, knowing Jay gets extremely embarrassed by these situations, and knowing I've been scolded by him in the past for providing our children with the clinical names to their body parts (he'd prefer we refer to it as "thingy" or "privates"), he was just mortified! And of course, there was a man next to him in the bathroom that thought it was quite funny and was laughing.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Interesting Christmas Concepts

As I'm sure many parents have done during the Christmas season, I am guilty of throwing out the "Santa" card. Many times during November and December I catch myself reminding my children that Santa knows if they are being naughty or in extreme cases, threatening to call Santa myself to inform him of less than stellar behavior.

My children adjust their behavior accordingly, which is nice. I thought we all had an understanding about how the "Santa" thing worked until I said to Jack, "Do you know what Santa brings to boys who are naughty for Christmas?"

He paused for a moment and replied, "Clothes?"

Tis the Season!

I'm not sure what it is about the holiday season that seems to make kids so excited that they start to act crazy but my two kids have definitely been out of sorts. We had a particularly horrible day about a week ago.

Megan lost the liner to her jacket and now that it is really cold here in Chicago, she's basically freezing to death at recess. After school one day, I decided to take her to the Gap to get a new coat. She's always been picky about her clothing so I wasn't really surprised when she hated all the coat options that were presented to her. Instead, Megan had her eye on a "cool" pair of gloves that she decided she wanted. She proceeded to tell me how everyone at school has these gloves and how she had to have them. Seeing as how we entered the store for a coat, not gloves, I said, "no way"! Then right before my eyes, she proceeded to start yelling and jumping up and down in the Gap exactly like a 2-year old spoiled brat. In my head I am thinking, "This is not my child. She must be possessed." I feel my cheeks getting flush with embarrassment as the store clerks are looking in our direction. I looked at her and said through clenched teeth, "We are leaving RIGHT NOW!" In response, she planted her feet, crossed her arms and looked me in the eye and said, "Not until I get my gloves. I'm NOT leaving."

In my mind, I'm thinking of a few options since now I am not only embarrassed, I am really angry. But since beating your children has never been my thing (ha ha), I opt for telling her "Fine. I'll see ya later" and walked out the door leaving her in the Gap. Of course, as I suspected, she came running out screaming like a lunatic. I just had to get out of the store and back in the car. I was D-O-N-E!

So, then later in the day, Jack and I go to get Megan from her Religious Education class and for some reason, Jack was bit by the same crazy bug as Megan from earlier in the day. Jack decided that he didn't want to wear his shoes or coat (in the freezing cold) so he took them off in the car. As I pulled into the church parking lot, he was now coatless and shoeless. I opened the car door to get him out so we could go retrieve Megan. As I grab a shoe to put it back on his foot, he decided it would be a good idea to start climbing under the seat to get away from me. Immediately, I can feel my anger flaring up and as irony would have it, there I was, in the church parking lot, yelling at Jack to "get back here!" and I started grabbing at his shirt from under the seat of the car and literally dragged him out of the car. So I finally get his shoes on, and didn't even bother with the coat (it's 20 degrees out) and I began walking straight for the door. Jack was begging me to carry him but I also was carrying two bags of clothes to donate so I had my hands full. Jack sat down right on the sidewalk because he decided he was "tired". So, as I did with Megan earlier in the day, I said "fine" and walked into he church without him, leaving him on the sidewalk. And as Megan did, Jack started screaming bloody murder and ran into the church and began yelling at the top of his lungs "I WANT MY MOMMY". Mind you, I was around the corner and could see him the entire time as I put my clothes donation in the basket. Then I hear a female voice say "Little boy, are you lost?" Uh oh, I think to myself and peeked my head around the corner to match a face to the voice. I happened to be the Nun from our church. "I'm right here" I called out as I looked around the corner. She responded, "Oh, so I see we are having a bit of a temper tantrum." I smiled as sweetly at possible and said, "It appears so."

As I later relayed this series of events to Jay, his succinct response was as follows:

"They are dominating you."
I fear he may be correct.

The Funny Side of Marriage

Jay forwarded this to me the other day. To me, this sums up some of the funny sides of marriage.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Traveling Woes

I had a business trip recently that made me ponder if traveling was really worth it.

This is my day trip to Orlando. I was scheduled to leave Chicago at 7:00 am sharp. I woke up bright and early at 4:15 am after one of the worst night sleep in a while. It just so happened that Jack decided the night before to have nightmares all night so I was up pretty much every hour or so all night. I left for the airport at 5:00 am thinking I had plenty of time. I did not take into account the accident that created a horrific traffic jam. I was moments away from the airport. I could see it; I could smell the airplane fuel. I watched my clock tick away- 6:00, 6:10, 6:25, 6:30. I finally pulled into the parking lot at 6:40. I ran to the security line and BEGGED people to let me cut in front of them. As I'm going through security, I can hear them call my name over the loudspeaker. It is now 6:55. I look at the gate assignment and it is far. I decide it is time to take off the 4 inch sling back shoes and make a run for it. I am running at top speed through the airport with my shoes in one hand and my laptop thumping against my hip with every step I take. I finally get to the gate and the door is closed. I beg the gate agent to open the door. After a quick call to the plane, they agree to let me on and I plop into my seat. I'm winded and sweating like a stuck pig at this point. I look to my left and say to the man sitting next to me, "Well, at least I don't have to worry about working out today".

Cut to me getting off the plane in Orlando. The plan is for me to meet a co-worker who is flying in from Texas at the airport and we will drive the rental car to the meeting. As soon as I'm walking off the plane, my cell phone alerts me of a new voicemail. Uh oh, I think to myself as I call the voicemail. Just as I suspected- "Hey Jen. Bad news. I missed my connecting flight in Dallas and I won't be able to make it to Orlando today. I can join the meeting by phone but you are going to have to go it alone." Ugh. This SUCKS!!!

Cut to after the meeting and I'm back at Orlando airport to catch my flight home. I had some extra time so I figured, I'm in Disney central! I might as well stop at the Disney store and get some gifts for the kiddies. $50 later I'm at my gate waiting to board the flight. Things are looking up for me. I got my upgrade to 1st class! As we land back in Chicago and taxi to the gate, I look under the seat for my belongings. I see my Disney bag has slipped under the feet of the person in front of me just out of my reach. I figure, I'm in no hurry. I'll grab it as I exit the plane. As I get off the plane and go to grab my bag from the seat in front of me, it occurs to me that the package is GONE!

The person in front of me took my package. He was an older gentleman, early 50's perhaps. I am stunned at this development. A first class passenger taking a clearly marked Disney bag filled with Hannah Montana and Cars toys???? I run off the plane. I ask the gate agent to make an announcement to see if he will come back. I didn't check any luggage because it was just a day trip for me but now it is 11:00 at night and I am tired and mad. I run down to the baggage claim because I know what he looks like. If I see him, I plan to confront him and shame him into returning my belongings.

Sad to say, I never found him... or the Disney bag for that matter :(

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

e-mails from a 6 year old

Here are a couple of email exchanges that Megan recently had with her grandparents.

Email #1
Original email from Bampa-

Megan
First, Grandma and I are looking forward to seeing you and Jack and your Mom and Dad this coming weekend. See you Friday night. I was wondering where we would sleep!!!!!!!!!!!
Second. I would like to make a doll house this winter in my workshop but I have no idea what should it should be like. If you and Grandma would like to sketch some plans for me to go by, I can make a doll house that you can decorate after I get the wood part built. Maybe you can talk with Grandma about this project.
Bye
Love Bampa

Response from Megan
Bampa,

In the first sentence of your email you had "and-itis". And-itis is when you have more than one "and" in your writing. I learned about "and-itis" in first grade. If you want to know more about it you can call Mrs. Campos.

You will sleep in my room. Yes, me and Grandma will draw some plans for the dollhouse that you will make this winter for me and Amelia.

I miss you and Grandma and I want it to be now that you would come!!!
Bye from Megan.


Email #2
Original email from Grandma to Megan:

Dear Megan,

Today I had a terrible thing happen at school. There was a mouse loose in our classroom and I do not like mice...especially in my classroom. I started to jump up on my desk but thought that it was not a good idea for the teacher to jump up on the desk and scream...so I didn't get all the way up. I just left the room and got the janitor and told him to get the mouse...which he could not do because it had gone into the heater vent. I think it has a tunnel in there so it can roam from room to room and check out what everyone is doing. He can see which class has the best treats and sneak in at night and gobble them up while we are gone.

My students said it was just a little mouse, but I think it seemed as big as a raccoon...it seems to get BIGGER everytime I think about it. Maybe it was even as big as a DOG now that I really think about it!!!

Someone is putting some traps out so I hope he will soon be gone. I don't wish him anything bad really, but we just can't live together. It's a case of real incompatability....we will just never get along...and I know I cannot teach from the top of my desk. Where would I put all my papers!!!
I thought you would like to hear about my exciting experience. Has your teacher ever nearly jumped on top of her desk? Do you think that would be funny? Would you like a mouse in your room? Have you had any interesting events in your room this week? Let me know if you have, I would like to hear about them.

Miss you and Jack. See you soon. XOXOX Grandma


Response from Megan:
Dear Grandma,

There has been nothing very interesting in our classroom but we have been using magnets to see what they stick to. But they don't just stick to metal that is gray. They stick to brown metal. Mrs. Campos showed us how the magnets stick to the brown stapler and usually we've been learning A LOT about magnets and worms.

Well, not exactly just any worms, earth worms. They have 5 rings for their hearts. Worms can even be flat worms. Worms don't have eyes or hands or legs. They have mucus around their bodies. The mucus is used in two different ways. That is all the ways I know they use it for. They use mucus for their eggs and to help them slide across the dirt and they eat moldy stuff and they eat dirt. I know it sounds disgusting but it's just dirt.

Oh, and I forgot to say Mrs. Campos has never had to stand on her desk and we have an assistant teacher, Miss Vann. And we used to have an assistant music teacher Mr.Pearson but he left towards the beginning of school. And we have a new assistant art teacher Miss Keeyo.

I can wiggle my front right tooth. And when I stick my tongue up to my tooth and push it forwards it seems like it is crooked and I am showing someone.

Don't ask why I put my name all in upper case and highlighted it.

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox love MEGAN

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Crushing

I remember being young and having crushes on boys-innocent crushes. However, I was a bit older than Megan when it happened. Times have certainly changed. The other day she mentioned that whenever she has parties going forward, that she was going to invite John M. Unless, of course, the party was a "girl's only" party. Then he would not be invitied. This certainly made me curious. "Why are you talking about inviting John M. all of a sudden?" I asked. Megan leaned in close to me as if to tell me a special secret. "I totally have a crush on him!!!" she exclaimed.

I remember John M. Last year, Megan's best friend had set her sights on John M. and was "crushing" on him. I know Megan is young, but it is time for me to start laying the foundation for her understanding of the rules amongst women. Or what my friends and I referred to in high school as "The Hands Off Rule". Among my friends, if I started having a crush on an ex-boyfriend/ex-crush of a friend of mine, that would not have been acceptable. You had to wait 6 months or more, and seek clearance from said friend prior to pursuing the object of your affection.

So, I take this opportunity to plant a seed with her and I ask Megan, "Does your best friend still have a crush on John M.?" She thought for a moment and replied, "I don't think so...I hope not". "Well, what would happen if your best friend still has a crush on him?" I ask. Her reply was as follows..."Well, that would not be good because then I would have to fight for my man."

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Idiot of the Day Award

So... let me tell you about my last 90 minutes.

I am on a business trip in San Francisco. I've been here for a couple days so I am really ready to get home. I had my last meeting and rushed to the airport so I could try to get out on an earlier flight. In my rush, I did the self check-in option and to my amazement, I found a standby flight leaving at 11:55 (it was 11:05). I checked my luggage, got my standby receipt, went through security and even had enough time to stop and get a loaf of Sourdough bread (as per Jay's explicit instructions). I then headed over to my gate which confused me because it said Kansas City, not Chicago. Hmmm... over to the departure monitor I go to look for my flight...Nothing. So I stand in line and wait at the Kansas City counter. For about 15 minutes I waited... by now I'm nervous that I'm going to miss my flight at it is 11:35. Finally it is my turn. I get up to the counter and ask the lady to check where the flight is. She says, "Oh, the flight is leaving from this gate...in about 12 hours. This is for 11:55 PM." What???!!! So I run out and exchange my stand by flight and had to stand in line through security all over again. Which I could tell confused the girl checking boarding passes through security. I could see the wheels turning in her head "She looks familar... I could have sworn she's been through here before... same hair, same shirt...hmmm... It can't be the same girl though. This one is carrying a 3-foot-long huge sourdough loaf."

Next stop- lunch. Since I had plenty of time, I stopped at a sandwich counter to order lunch to go. There were a couple people ahead of me so I had to wait a bit. No problem. Finally, it was my turn so I ordered my usual, roast turkey on sourdough. I thanked the lady, and headed over to an open gate to sit down and have my sandwich. I checked a few emails and then about 10 minutes later, I finally opened my sandwich. Interesting... I didn't realize turkey looks like corned beef. Crap! They gave me the wrong sandwich. So I looked at it, gave it the sniff test and decided, how bad could it be? I really didn't want to walk all the way back and exchange my sandwich. I took a few bites of the sandwich. Not bad. The gate was fairly empty with the exception of a couple other folks. How peaceful. I looked up and made eye contact with one of the other folks in the gate area right as I was taking a bite of my sandwich... or should I say...taking a bite of HIS sandwich. Sitting across the way from me was the guy who was in front of me in line at the deli. Can you say awkward???? Apparently, he didn't like my turkey on sourdough b/c he exchanged it for a corned beef on rye, too.

Sigh. I'm such an idiot.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Circle of Life

It was an interesting day a few days ago. In about an 8 hour time span, my children wanted to discuss both birth and death. Although, we started out with death and ended the day talking about birth. Let me explain. I was upstairs in my room getting ready when I heard a blood curdling scream coming from my son. Apparently he closed his pointer finger between the closet doors and it was pinched pretty good. I assessed the situation and was relieved that there was no blood involved. However, one might think Jack got his finger amputated with the way he was screaming. He was very gingerly holding up his hand and pointing to the sky with his pinched finger. I held him in my lap trying to calm him down when he sputtered, "Well I can't hold anything!!!". In an attempt to be funny, I said, "Well just hold stuff with your other hand." To which he replied, "But I need two hands to hold some stuff...I can't hold a plate and a cup...I can't hold a bowl...I can't hold a box...". This went on for about a minute or so with him listing in detail all the things he would not be able to hold since he had one hand out of commission. I have to admit I found it somewhat humorous but was able to contain my laughter until he looked at me so earnestly with his sweet blue eyes, and his quivering chin and sobbed, "Momma, I think I'm gonna DIE!!!!" Is there such a thing as a drama king???

That is the death part...now for the birth. Upon deciding to go for ice cream, I piled into the SUV with Jack, Megan, Grandma, Bampa and Nana. So mind you, we are all piled into this metal box from which we cannot escape until we get to the ice cream store. As we drive by the hospital where Jack was born, I point it out and say, "Jack, that is where you were born!". Megan chimes in on the discussion with, "How do babies get out of the Mom's tummy anyway?". Uh oh. She's six so I figured this question would pop up sooner or later but I was hoping for later and had it visualized a bit different in my head. You know, one night as I'm tucking her into bed, she would look at me sweetly and ask where babies come from. Then I would provide her with the canned response I had planned for months that was acurate without being too clinical... Oh wait... I DON'T HAVE A PLANNED RESPONSE!!! My visual of the situation stops with me saying, "well honey...". So what I did say was "Um, er, um, well, there is a special hole where babies come out.". And I hoped for the best at this point and by best, I mean that she would say, "Oh, ok" and leave it at that. But noooo, then came the flood of questions. "What hole?" "Where is the hole?" "Is it by the rear end?" "Is the hole by the ear?"

So I did what any good mother would do since she was in the far back of the SUV. I pretened not to hear her questions. And what do you know! There we were at the ice cream store! Problem solved and I've got some extra time now to really plan my canned, not too clinical response!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

A Typical Saturday?

Today started with a bit of lounging around. That is pretty typical for a Saturday at our house. I fed the kids their normal breakfast. And by normal, I mean the new addiction they have to cinnamon raisin bread. They have eaten it EVERY morning for the last two weeks straight. You would think this would be a fairly easy breakfast to prepare but of course, my children can't have it the same way. Jack gets as excited as a kid on Christmas morning when I mention that it is time for breakfast in the morning. He still thinks he has to tell me exactly how to make it for him every day. The order is as follows- "Mommy, I want cinnamon raisin toast with butter...and toasted". Megan on the other hand takes hers with a twist. It has to be 1 plain piece (no butter, not toasted) and 2 pieces toasted with butter and the crusts MUST be cut off. A couple times I tried to act like I forgot to cut the crust off; Not because I'm trying to get her to eat the nutritious part of the bread, but really because I'm just lazy and hate cutting the crust off. I swear you would think I just served her a plate of dog poo. She crinkles up her nose, gives me a look of distain, and says, "What is this??? I don't like crust!"

After breakfast, Megan and Jack headed off with their dad to the school where he works. The kids like hanging out there. I was able to get in a workout and went to pick up the kids for swimming lessons. As I drive up to the school, I see my husband and children riding around the school grounds in a golf cart. How cute that is, I think to myself... until I notice it is actually Megan driving the cart. She does act mature for her age, but I'm pretty sure most 6-year-olds aren't supposed to be tooling around school grounds in a motorized vehicle. I decide to go with the flow and exit my vehicle and into my daughter's. Our whole family is in squeezed into the golf cart; Megan at the wheel, Jack on my lap in the middle and my husband to my side. It was quite a surreal experience. One that wasn't lost on Megan because as she gunned the accelerator and I grabbed Jack a bit tighter, Megan turned to me and said, "Mom, I can feel your concern." (Is she really only SIX???)

After an uneventful swim lesson, we went to the family locker room to change clothes. As luck would have it, once both my children were totally naked, Jack pulls out the old "I've gotta go potty real bad!!!" card. Now, a Saturday morning swim lesson at our health club causes the family changing room to be as crowded as a shopping mall on the day after Thanksgiving. It's completely full and people are using the toilet stalls for changing purposes. I try to rationalize with my 3-year-old and tell him he's just going to have to hold it. In response, he starts to scream as if he's been holding his pee for 3 days instead of 30 minutes (he just went before his lesson!!). Ok- so the rationalizing is obviously not going to work. What is plan B? I think perhaps I should wrap Jack in a towel to cover him up and leave Megan alone in the changing area while I take Jack to the bathroom. Nope- Call me over protective but I'm just not ready to leave her alone, naked, in a room full of strangers. Desperate times, call for desperate measures. It just so happens that in our changing room, there was a shower stall...I'm sure you know where I'm going with this. Yes, the shower stall turned out to be my plan B. I steer Jack over to the drain and say "Pee directly into the drain." "Right there???" he's pointing to the drain and looking at me like I must be joking. I can see the wheels turning in his head and I'm sure he can't believe I'm going to let him do this. I know even at this moment, I'm opening a can of worms. For years to come, if he ever relieves himself somewhere that is not appropriate, he will take every opportunity to throw this in my face. I can hear him now, "Well Mom, remember that time at the health club...".

Once we got that "situation" taken care of, I had a moment of relief until I heard my daughter's voice behind me, "Mommy, I need to go real bad, too!". Oh man, ARE YOU KIDDING ME???

Once we made it back home, more lounging was in order. Jack nestled in to the chair next to me and watched some TV while I did some work on my laptop. Every commercial break, Jack kept telling me what he wanted (spiderman toys etc.) or what I needed (100 piece cake decorating set). I half tuned him out and just responded with the standard "uh huh" or "hmmm" or "what" when he would say, "Mom...Mommy...Momma..." That is until I heard him say this..."Mom, do you have a vagina?". I immediately snapped to attention and set my laptop to the side. Where did this come from??? Two minutes ago we were talking (okay, he was doing the talking but whatever)about how we had to get Yogo's fruit snacks the next time we went to the grocery store. "Yes, I do have a vagina." I responded with half of me hoping he would leave it at that while the other half of me was going to take this seriously and turn it into a teaching moment if that was what was required. "Does Megan have a vagina?" was the next question followed up with "Do all girls have vaginas?". To both of these I answered affirmatively. I thought we were done with the conversation at that point but after a few moments he said, "Well, I asked Trisha [a little girl from preschool]yesterday, if she had a vagina and she said no." Hmmm, not sure how to respond to that one so I just left him with this profound thought... "Oh."

When Jay came home, I relayed the "Vagina Monologue" discussion to him. I mentioned I hoped Trisha didn't go home and tell her parents some little boy at daycare was asking about her vagina. To which he responded most lovingly, "Well, that's 100% your fault. You call it that. I'd be just as happy calling it 'thingy' or 'privates' until they were in high school."

Sigh... just another typical Saturday :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Mr. Scott

A few weeks ago, my dad came for a visit. He lives a few states away so his visits are few and far between. He typically comes to visit one time during the summer and then again around Christmas time. Because he comes so rarely, Jack doesn't remember his Grandpa and needs time to acclimate to him being around. I know my dad loves his grandchildren but he is what I would consider to be "old school". He tends to gaze at my kids like they are aliens; not quite sure how to interact with them and I think he may view them more as an interesting sociological experiment rather than miniature sized human beings. Example: during his last visit, I left him alone with Jack for about 10-15 minutes while I ran up to the school to pick up Megan from kindergarten. I figured, it is only 15 minutes, what could possibly go wrong??? I came back to my dad pacing back and forth with this wild look on his face and he says to me, "Uh... well... we had a bit of a problem." I peek around the corner and there is Jack... completely naked sitting on my couch. That sight, my naked son, is a pretty common occurance so I'm still not quite sure what the problem is. My dad proceeds to say, "Well, Jack went poop and decided he didn't want to wear his diaper anymore. He took it off so I made him sit on a blanket and I didn't know what to do with the diaper so I put it over...there.". Ok. I take a deep breath at this point.

Pros of the situation-
1) Everyone is still alive
2) My dad had Jack sit on a blanket
These are both "a good thing" as Martha Stewart used to say.

Cons of the situation-
1) Jack's "bum bum" has not been wiped. Therefore, the goodness of the blanket is offset by the fact that now I have a poop skidded blanket that I need to take care of washing. Still a manageable situation in my book.
2) The diaper that my dad put "over...there" turns out in reality to be an open diaper, face down and still steaming hot...ON MY KITCHEN COUNTER WHERE WE EAT AND WHERE I PREPARE FOOD! (Ok, I admit I don't do much preparing of food but I do set the food there when I pull it out of the microwave but that is neither here nor there.)

EEEWWW- Totally disgusting. Anyway, after about 50 clorox wipes, and a decision to never leave my kids alone with my dad until they are 30, everything was back to normal.

But I digress... on to the latest visit. As I was saying, Jack doesn't quite remember his Grandpa which was very apparent when he kept asking Jay, "Daddy, who is that stranger in our house?" But I must say, I did become alarmed when Jack kept referring to him as "Mr. Scott". This really confused my dad and I just didn't have the heart to tell him the truth about the situation. But here it is... the truth...

Mr. Scott is the homeless man that lives in our suburb. He's pretty much the only homeless person in our town and everyone knows Mr. Scott. I just couldn't bring myself to tell my dad that his grandson thought he was a homeless man. And then I started to think about it from Jack's perspective. They both are pretty bald and have a slight build. Jack also has never been to my dad's house so it is reasonable that in his mind he views my dad as "homeless". Lastly, he didn't seem disturbed by the fact that a homeless man was in our house, just curious about it. I wonder if in his 3-year-old mind, this was his way of expressing his desire to see his grandpa more. After all, we do see Mr. Scott multiple times a week.

Monday, September 3, 2007

School Daze

The school year is upon us! Another summer is winding to a close...whew! This is a big year for us. Megan started first grade (although sometimes she acts like she is going off to college). Day 1 of school started off smoothly. I walked her to the bus stop. I gave her a kiss and hug, told her to have a great first day at school , and that I would be waiting for her when she got off the bus in the afternoon. To which she said, "Mom, can't you just let me walk home from the bus stop by myself!!!" Ummm...let me think about that for a moment...NO!!!! (she's 6, not 16!)

Anyway- fast forward to 2:30 in the afternoon. I head over to the bus stop to pick her up. I'm excited to see how her first day went and hear all about her teacher. The bus pulls up and the children looking tired but still somewhat energetic pile off the bus. All the children except for mine that is! I say to the bus driver, "Uh, is that it? My daughter didn't get off the bus." And I'm still trying to give the lady the benefit of the doubt that she must not have heard what I just said because she actually replied, "Ok, have a good day!". She then waved at me and shut the door.

So now I am in full on panic mode but trying not to completely freak out in front of the neighbor children who keep asking me, "Where is Megan?" Yeah, I'd love to know the answer to that question myself. At this point, my neighbor rounds the corner and surveys the situation. She sees me walking her children back to our cul-de-sac without my own child in tow. I say to her in my 'Oh- my-God-I-am-panicking-but-don't-want-to-appear-as-if-I-am-panicking' voice "Megan didn't get off the bus!". "What? Where is she?" asked my neighbor. Now, at this point, I've asked myself that question and have 2 possible thoughts about what could possibly be the answer.

Option 1- This is what I am calling the "best case scenario"- Small, scared (and too scared to actually say anything to anyone) 6-year-old child got on the wrong bus and is riding all over our suburb on said wrong bus, going past various bus stops that look unfamiliar and will forever be scarred by this moment.

Option 2- Or "worst case scenario"- Well... I can't even bring myself to write a detailed description of this. Let's just suffice to say it involves no bus, a creepy looking dude asking Megan if she'd like some candy, and ends up scarring ME forever.

It is at this point that I spring into action. I ask my neighbor to run up to the school and see if she sees Megan. I have my cell phone so I'm already on the phone with the school transportation person who is radioing all the busses to see if they have a freaked out girl on their bus (which none did!). I went back to our house just in case she made it back to our house somehow.

And then finally...
My neighbor called from the school and said she found Megan. Even though I had the tag on Megan's backpack (as per her teacher's instructions) to put her on the school bus, they apparently received a list from the daycare place (where she goes after school when I am out of town traveling for work) that said Megan was able to be transported by them so her teacher put her on the daycare bus.

Needless to say, when my neighbor pulled up with Megan in the car, I completely fell apart- bawling like a big baby... Although the time frame was only about 20 minutes, it seemed like forever. In my heart I knew there must have been a logical explanation for what happened but there is that small part of you that keeps asking yourself, "Am I going to be the one? The one whose child doesn't come home. The one who wonders for years why her last words to her child had to be 'have a good day at school'. "

Anyway, all is okay now although I probably should have thought of Option #3 which looked like this...

Small 6-year-old child has minor mix up with bus at school which doesn't even phase her. However, child is permanently scarred for life when neighbor drops her off at her home to Sobbing Mother. Small child is freaked out by the erratic behavior of Sobbing Mother and avoids mother in the house. Child hides in coat closet while Sobbing Mother pulls herself together.