IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM RELUCTANT MOTHER

Dear Dedicated Readers,

This is the last post I’ll write at The Diary of a Reluctant Mother.

Blogging is causing me martial strife, low self-esteem, and perhaps contributing to the negligence of a minor.

It’s been a good ride.  But I’m signing off.  I’ll just have to bitch about my life to my Husband from now on.  Lucky bastard.

Love you all so so much!  Reluctant Mother

Freak out 1

Freak out 2

BAH-HAHAHAHAHA!!!!

I’m just joking.  I already had ALL those problems before I started writing this blog.  I’m not going to stop blogging.

However, this IS the last post I’m writing at thediaryofareluctantmother dot com

Monday, 4/1/2012 ahem April Fool’s Day, is the official launch of my new and improved, bigger and better blog!

You’re dying to see it already aren’t you?  

It’s a whole new concept.  A brand spanking new design.  It’s designed to offer up even more of my delusion and misguidance. . .not just parenting humor and stories.

Where can I find this blog, WHERE?!  You are surely by now pleading desperately. . .

HERE:  www.denimiller.com 

Please bookmark it, Like it, Pin it, Tweet it, tattoo it on your first born’s forearm. . .the NEW URL is www.denimiller.com

THAT’S WWW (dot) DENIMILLER (dot) COM

CAN YOU TELL I’M EXCITED?!  THAT’S PROBABLY WHY IT LOOKS AS IF I’M SHOUTING!  I SELDOM EVER EXPERIENCE NOVELTY AND EXCITEMENT THESE DAYS!  

Whew.  Sorry.  I think I blacked out there for a few seconds.

I’ll post some new content there in the next few days so please, pretty please check it out?

What are we waiting for?  Let’s GO!  DEN STATE!!!

“Educational” Toys That FLIP Reluctant Mother OUT!

I’ve mentioned before we don’t go all hog-wild with Mac’s toy collection.  For one thing, he’s over the stuff before it practically leaves the packaging.  For another, we don’t have room in this house for too much ginormous plastic stuff.

We try to keep a well-edited selection favoring items with an educational or imaginative aspect to them – books, art supplies, blocks, instruments, and the like.

I realize when he gets a little older, we’ll probably have to switch up our tactics but so far, this has worked for us.

EXCEPT. . .

EXHIBIT A:  The Melissa and Doug shape sorter.  We’ve been using this little gem since Mac was old enough to grasp objects.  I’ve used it in a variety of ways to teach colors, to teach shapes, to teach counting. . .It’s never let me down.  Until now. . .

Now Mac is at a stage where he is able to understand the toy’s primary purpose – getting the blocks in their appropriately shaped holes.  He’s doing pretty well.  But some of them are a little tricky (vexing parallelogram!).

So when we are playing with the shape sorter, I go out of my way to explain the thought process behind getting the blocks in the correct hole.  “Look, this one has five sides.  It’s a PENTAGON!  Pentagons have five sides.  Let’s look for a hole that has five sides.  That’s where this block will fit.”

But then I’m faced with this shit:

Block Head Rectangles

Yes.  One of these is supposed to fit in the “square hole” and the other in the “rectangle.”

When viewed from one vantage point, the difference is subtle but discernible.  However, if viewed from other vantage points, both of these stupid blocks are indeed RECTANGLES.  Furthermore, they are the same damned color making it even more perplexing for little folks.

square block

For all the wood products Melissa and Doug offers, you mean to tell me a FUCKING cube is out of the question?  You couldn’t provide a block that was SQUARE ON ALL SIDES?!

Do you think my kid has the attention span necessary for me to explain this kind of crap?  Do you think I have the patience?

I’d leave the explanation up to his Father; however, that man has yet to successfully get the parallelogram block in the hole on the first try so clearly he has zero credibility.

EXHIBIT B:  Splashing Shapes Book

Stupid Book

This is just a simple little book Mac’s Mimi gave him the last time we visited.  How timely! We are currently LOVING us some shapes!  This book is called “Splashing Shapes” and touts itself as a “TEACHING TAB BOOK.”  Let’s have a look at the first page shall we?

Octopus

WHAT THE HELL?!

After I spent all that time with Mac using the shape sorter explaining “Octo” meant EIGHT, I asked him to count the tentacles on the octopus.  

How clever, Deni, another way to reinforce the concept of ‘octo’ plus he can practice counting and saying octopus!  SCORE.

“One, two, three. . .” He started in his sweet little voice.

“Yes, yes, that’s right,” I encouraged him.

“Four, five, six.”  Then he stopped.

Huh?

I started counting myself.  Sure enough this stupid octopus only has SIX tentacles!

WHAT?!  I furiously counted three more times.  I couldn’t locate any extra tentacles.  Son of a gun!

Why would these bastards make an octopus with only six tentacles and then suggest that children count them?  What a crock!

Don’t you dare give me some argument about aesthetics or artistic license.  You see the quality of the illustrations in this book.  They are cute.   They are not exactly fine art.

I stammer at Mac come convoluted explanation about how “octo” really means eight and octopus indeed have eight tentacles but when you draw things you can make them look however you like and that’s why drawing is fun. . .

And then he looked at me through squinty eyes. . .He clearly realized I was a woman on the edge of crazy. . .Then he forcefully turned the page.

I can’t imagine why he thinks I’m freaking crazy.

I’m A Worn Out Husk of a Reluctant Mother

I logged another night on Mac’s bedroom floor.  And while, it’s not exactly uncomfortable to  sit at the computer while I’m hunched over like Quasimodo, mentally, I’m just not functioning at even half capacity right now. . .I’ve tried three different drafts this morning – funny ideas – but I just can’t get it OUT right now.  So I’ll be back (hopefully later today) but until then, here’s some stuff you might like:

1.  Check out One Classy Motha’s Vacation Recap here.

2.  You MUST read Trashy Blog!  Read ANY post.  You’ll be snarfing your beverage everywhere!  My most recent fave is “Sweating It.”

3.  If you haven’t seen Vikki Claflin’s blog Laugh Lines yet, you are in for a huge treat.  She’s hilarious!  My favorite post: Good Morning, Mom.  Now For the Love of God, Put Some Clothes On.

4.  For you bird nerds, Rick has a funny story about “Closet Twitching” on his blog, RichardMax22.

5.  Looking for something thought-provoking?  See School of Smock’s post on why she hopes her son is sometimes bored.

6.  EASTER is fast approaching.  If you’re having trouble explaining the meaning of Easter to your little ones Danielle has you covered:  The Story of Easter.  It won’t disappoint.  Trust me!

7.  And of course, Jewish folks are observing Passover right now.  Jap Rap has that one covered. (I’m dying).

Other stuff you might have missed?

SCARY MOMMY featured (an edited version) of my post Reluctant Mother’s Performance review last week!  EEEEEEKKKKKK!!!  Very exciting!  If you’ve found your way here via Scary Mommy, thank you.  And I promise, I write new content almost every day.  Things have just been a little “off” the past few days.  Please come back!  :)

WTF IS THIS?

Blue Jay somehow got stuck in a bird feeder.  WTF?  This photo was sourced from MD Birding Google Group.  If you know original source, let me know and I'll credit.

Blue Jay somehow got stuck in a bird feeder. WTF?
This photo was sourced from MD Birding Google Group. If you know original source, let me know and I’ll credit.

I’ll leave you with this:

I HELPZ YOUZ FEEL BETTER!

I HELPZ YOUZ FEEL BETTER!  STROKE MY VELVETY EARZ!

See you soon!  XOXO

Shut Up Already! Sunday: Sick and The Imagination Breakthrough!

Mac has his first cold and fever.

The nights have been a little rocky (gah!  Nightmare!!!) but we’re all still here to tell about it:

Swan Harbor Farm, Saturday. . .Following a night “sleeping” on Mac’s bedroom floor for me, the weatherman said the wind would be mild.  The weatherman is once again sadly mistaken. . .

DSC_0121 - Version 2

No new birds.  No “good” birds.  Missed church.  Realized Mac was pretty sick when we got home.

For the first time ever, gave Mac meds.  He clung to Daddy while I made Jello and home-made soup.  By 9 PM he had made an astounding comeback and refused to sleep. . .until 1 AM.  Daddy was a champ at 1 AM.  (thank  you!)

Back at it early Sunday. . .Visited the Rawlings Conservatory with the paternal Grandparents.  Home for a snack and a nap.

As soon as Mac got awake, I wanted him to help me with a project:  Painting some “eggs” for Easter cards:

DSC_0174 - Version 2 If you’re curious about HOW?  I’ll share in another post.  Wasn’t too messy.  Promise!

DSC_0182 - Version 2

We built an epic Lego structure:

DSC_0190 And then, the magic moment I had been anticipating for months:  I saw Mac take his little stuffed Mute Swan and pretend to “feed” it goldfish crackers!!!!  THIS?  This is what I’ve been waiting for!  I’ve been waiting for Mac to show definite signs of “pretending” or “imagination” so I can go all crazy imagination on him ALL DAY LONG!

I wasted no time!  As soon as I saw him feed the swan, I ripped a lid off an egg carton and swiftly made a “trough” for the other animals to feed from:

DSC_0197 - Version 2

 

Mac was IN TO IT!  I can’t tell you how excited I am!  Now that I know he understands “pretend,” my sick and expansive imagination is going to go CRAZY BIG MAMA style!

DSC_0199 - Version 2

 

“Big Mama” painted on the inside of a barn or shed door is an old “inside” family joke.  If you want to learn the origins or learn how to make a similar barn for pennies, let me know, I’ll put up an explanation and a tutorial.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!  Hope to see you back here bright and early!

XOXO

Toddler Demands: What Gives?

Yesterday, like nearly every other morning, I brought Mac downstairs after he awoke.  Here’s what happened in the next 1 minute and 45 seconds:

The minute his little feet hit the floor, he raced to his Legos.  “Lego, Ego, Ego” he demanded forcefully while pulling the bin from the shelf.

I sat down on the floor and opened the tub of Legos for him.

“Fresh!” he said.

“Ok.  Let’s get that wet diaper off of you,” I say motioning towards him tugging on his pants.

“No!  Pants!  Pants!” he whined.

“Sure.  You can just wear your pants for a little while without the diaper.”

I pull up his pants and he shoves three Legos at me, “HELP!”

“Do you want the blue on top of the green?” I ask.

“CRACK!  CRACK!” he orders.

I put the Legos down and drag myself off the floor and head to the kitchen for crackers.

He follows hot on my heels “Help!  Help!” he exclaims, jamming the Legos into my thigh as I’m putting a couple of crackers in a bowl.

“Ok.  Mommy can help,” I sigh, sidestepping him, putting the bowl of crackers on his little table and clicking the Legos together quickly.

“GURT!! GRUT! GRRRRRRUUUUUUTTTTT!”  He wails while pulling on the freezer drawer (because for some sick and inexplicable reason he will only eat yogurt while standing in front of the open freezer).

I feel my eye start to twitch.

When I was working outside of the home, I used to dread getting to work early.  I’m not a morning person and EVERY TIME I’d walk in the front door early, there were two obnoxious Financial Advisors lying in wait.  They wouldn’t even say “Good Morning” before they started ranting and raving and whining about whatever their seemingly urgent issue was that day.  It was positively infuriating.

And NOW?  Now, my nearly two-year old is making them look like complete amateurs.

Is this normal?  Where did he learn to fire of 25 demands in 20 seconds?  I do not speak this way to other people.  (Well, not out loud at least).  Where did he learn this?!

I did a little reading.  Apparently, this sort of behavior is completely normal.  This is what kids his age do.

Oh well, at least he’s on track developmentally. . .Would someone please pass the prescription drugs and booze to Mommy?  NOW!!!!!

The Thorny Devil

Yesterday, I wasn’t feeling great.  In fact, I hadn’t been feeling great since Monday.  I had been managing to plow through, but yesterday, I asked my Husband to get home from work early since I just needed to SLEEP.  A lot.  And sleeping is rather difficult with a toddler.  

My Husband did come home.  He took excellent care of Mac.  He took care of dishes and toys and even went to the grocery.  

But when Moms “take a day off” – even with stellar help – stuff starts piling up.  And pile up it has:  laundry, cleaning, some of the groceries are still all over the kitchen counter. . .

I’m playing catch up this morning, at least.  But I didn’t want to leave you hanging so here’s something that makes me giggle that will hopefully make you smile too:

Mac gets Ranger Rick Jr. magazine.  It’s clearly not marketed to his 22-month old demographic, but my nephew was selling magazines and I felt like I had to purchase something.  So I Ranger Rick Jr. it was.

The magazine is full of vivid photos of interesting animals.  Often the photos include a brief blurb about what makes the animal unique.  Mac really loves looking at this pictures and we work on learning their names.  A few days after the magazine arrives, he’s typically able to accurately identify the animals.

(Which leads me to a suggestion for Ranger Rick:  KNOCK IT OFF WITH THE ZEBRAS ALREADY!  There are zebras in EVERY issue.  We get it, kids must like zebras. . .but I’m way over them.  How ’bout a manatee or a Capybara next month?  Switch it up a little?)

Anyway, this month’s magazine arrived about a week ago and contained a feature on “Weird Skin.”  It’s like the dermatological nightmare of the animal world.  There in graphic glory are caribou shedding disgusting antler “skin,” and magnificent frigatebirds with their lusty red throat pouches all puffed off (although the caption indicates they are just “showing off”).  There’s an admittedly adorable armadillo.  And a couple of freakish frogs. . .

And THIS:

AHHHHHH!!!!!

AHHHHHH!!!!!

This is apparently a THORNY DEVIL.

Except my son doesn’t really have the hang of properly enunciating the “T” sound yet. . .

So thanks to Ranger Rick, he’s running around screaming “HORNY DEVIL.”

I try so hard. . .why do I try so hard?!