“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.

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?!  

Possibly the Grossest Thing I’ve Ever Witnessed. . .Twice.

This isn’t about my kid or what we did yesterday.  It’s a story from when I was younger. . .but I’m hoping you’ll read it anyway.  I promise it’s gross-funny.

In December of 1992, I reached the magical age of 15.5 years, this was the age kids in my area could get a part-time job.  Despite my field hockey practices, ballet and piano lessons, a bevy of other extra-curricular activities, and a respectable academic load, my Mother and Stepfather decided it was a magnificent idea that I also have a part-time job.

As you can imagine this displeased me greatly.  I was already stressed out enough and the idea of adding something else to the mix was terrifying.  Despite my protests, my parents “helped” me secure a work permit, and shoved me out of their circa 1989 Ford Aerostar minivan in front of the Wendy’s Hamburger joint on a routine basis.

I can’t say I enjoyed working there.  It wasn’t awful though.  And when I got older, I discovered one of the managers was perfectly happy to buy me beer so long as I basically did his work while he drank beer out of a Jr. Frosty cup.  Win-win.   Thanks Mom, this gig was a super great idea!  

I worked there all through high school.  And when my ahem Parents decided that I should attend the (pretty reputable) private liberal arts college in the same town I grew up in, I didn’t have any need to seek out other employment.  I already had a job.  By this time, I had secured multiple raises and was also getting bonused in copious amounts of really bad beer, it wasn’t like I could just walk away from all that for some minimum wage campus gig.

My first semester Freshman year, I scheduled ALL my classes for Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  (Why I did this I can’t recall but it seemed like a good idea at the time).  On Wednesdays and Fridays I had a Chem-Bio lab that began at 1PM and lasted until at least 5. . .or whenever you stopped exploding shit you shouldn’t have exploded. . .

My morning classes ended sometime about 10:30 or 11. . .which gave me a narrow window to race to Wendy’s, work the lunch shift and secure myself some adult beverages for the weekend if necessary.

This particular Wendy’s is located on a State Highway in an area that a good number of folks “pass through.”  The area is crawling with tourists in the summer so we saw no shortage of new customers.  This was particularly true on Fridays when truck drivers and tourists would be moving through at a steady pace.

One Friday during the lunch rush, I was working the front register.  Back in my day, a designated employee would take the orders, handle the cash, and get the beverages, while other employees assembled the order.  Physically between the employee at the front register and the employees making sandwiches and fries, was a manager, who was responsible for pacing everyone and making sure all orders were properly “coordinated.”

On this Friday, the Manger was Tina.  (For the record, Tina never bought me beer).  Tina was a tiny quiet woman with the most glorious mullet I’ve ever seen – short and feathered in the front, down to her waist in the back.  She smoked these super long skinny cigarettes during breaks and liked everything neat and clean.  We got along very well.  She was a kind person, but pretty much “all business.”

We were doing our thing, banging out order after order, when we noticed a very short, very thin, man who was maybe 55 or so come in the door and head straight towards the men’s room.

The restrooms in this Wendy’s were single person. . .there were not multiple toilets or sinks.  They were located down a hallway directly behind where Tina and I were standing at the front register.

Of course, heading to the restroom first isn’t uncommon, especially for truck drivers, travelers, or tourists so I thought nothing of it. . .

Until about 45 seconds later when I was overcome by a stench worse than death.  Whatever that man had done in the restroom was so terrible it had managed to overpower the ubiquitous smell of grease and burnt chicken nuggets.  I cannot even begin to describe how offensive this stench was.

A few minutes later I noticed the guy walk out the front door.

But he didn’t take the stench with him!

It persisted.

I looked at Tina.

Someone had to go in there.  

At the time, I firmly believed winners were willing to do what losers weren’t.  And I very humbly considered myself a winner.  After all, I was slinging burgers full-time and carrying a full academic load.  I had been recently offered a management position and though I had to decline due to my academics (and good sense), I knew I should suck it up and offer to go into the men’s room.

Tina, being the Manager, had no choice, she HAD to go in there.  And being a decent human being, she probably understood she shouldn’t allow me to do it,  even if I offered.

As um luck would have it, there seemed to be a lull at the front register so I offered to go WITH Tina.  You know, for moral support. . .and to catch her in case she passed out.

We walked through the hall and stood shoulder to shoulder in front of the door.  She was wearing a pair of disposable plastic food-handling gloves.  The smell emanating from beyond the closed-door was enough to make you see stars.

Tentatively, she placed one gloved hand on the handle and turned it. . .

What we witnessed was like something out of CSI. . .except with poop, not blood spatter.

Every surface in these restrooms were white. . .white tile walls and floors, white fixtures.

Now they were splattered EVERYWHERE with the contents of Skinny’s cannon colon.  How did this man still have his colon intact?  How did he get it so far up the wall?  It was up the wall higher than I could reach without standing on tippy toes.  I stood in awe of the velocity his colon was capable of.

The shit spatter evidence was damning for certain.

But that wasn’t ALL the evidence Skinny Cannon Colon left behind.  Oh no.  He left us something extra special.  There on the floor, BESIDE the trash can were his UNDERWEAR!!!  His UNDERWEAR!!!  (which were nearly unrecognizable as underwear as they were so caked and covered with the offending substance).

Tina and I stared at one another speechless.  We didn’t have custodial or janitorial services.  We had to clean this up.  It. Was. Disgusting.  The sheer volume alone was astounding but to make matters worse, the stuff had a viscosity, the likes of which I have never seen since.

The following Friday, Tina and I were back at our positions at the front counter when we noticed Skinny Cannon Colon swagger back in the front door.  He made a beeline for the men’s room again.  And like clockwork, 45 seconds later, we were assaulted with a familiar stench.

This time?  He came running out of the bathroom sprinting for the front door hollering and laughing, “I did it again!  I did it again!”

Skinny Cannon Colon had indeed perfectly recreated his crap crime scene from the week before, right down to the underwear he left beside the trash can.

I never asked to work the Friday lunch shit err shift again.  No amount of free beer could convince me. . .

I Skipped Church and My Breasts Look Fabulous!

It’s often all too convenient for a slovenly stay at home mother like myself to ignore her foundation garments.

Don’t worry.  This isn’t a post discussing my quest for fancy knickers.

Or perhaps I owe you an apology?

Because this is about my quest is contain my ample sweater meat.  And I skipped church in my quest to do so.

New  Blog Entry:  We skipped Church but both Daddy and Mommy have been saying AMEN a LOT today.

New Blog Entry: We skipped Church but both Daddy and Mommy have been saying AMEN a LOT today.

I think I’ve mentioned before that I have an ample bosom.  Long before Mac was born, my D cup threatened to runneth over.  So I added a few letters to my bra size and upgraded to a minimizer function and tried to forget about the old fun bags.

I avoided button front shirts. . .or added a cute cashmere T-shirt over them to hide any gaping.  I spent a considerable amount of time trying to gage if my breasts appeared symmetrical and appropriately shaped (not too pointy, not to round, not too low, not to high and cleavage-ey) in my public attire.

Then I got knocked up.

And I braced myself.

But none of my ginormous breast-inflation nightmares ever unfolded.  I wore the same couple saggy bras through my entire pregnancy.

And after I was certain breast-feeding wasn’t going to pan out, I purchased a few utilitarian bras, in the size I guessed I was.

They worked out pretty well.  But after 16 months, I had to admit, I had literally stretched these faithful friends to the max.  For a few weeks, I occasionally just wedged my breasts into my pant’s pockets if I was running a quick errand, hoping no one would notice.

Then I got the bright idea that if I just yanked hard enough on the straps, these faithful bras could still serve their purpose.  So I cut and sewed the adjustable parts of the shoulder straps so they wouldn’t slip, slide or budge.

This enabled me to press my every faithful foundation garments into service for a considerably longer time.  It also enabled them to painfully dig themselves into my shoulders.

Lately, though, I was forced to admit, these bras were trash.  They were literally starting to rub me raw over the shoulder, under the arm, along my undoubtedly smokin’ hot and sexy back fat.

I could feel half my breast slip out of the underwire if I raised my arm.  I was continually “adjusting.”

I HAD TO GET NEW BRAS!  After 21 months, I was LONG overdue.

I had read heady claims regarding the magic of having a bra that actually fit.  I read stories in magazines about how a bra should fit.  I knew the terms.  I knew the requisites.  I knew I had to get a bra fitting.

Feeling my boobs slide out of the underside of my chaffing bra was doing nothing for my mental state.

Bra fitting STAT.

So Sunday afternoon after a nice brunch with Chris’ family, after Mac fell asleep in the car, Chris dumped me off in front of the Macy’s.

Chris:  You going to get a little something special?

Me:  Um no.  Budget remember?

Chris:  Will you at least text me photos of the ones you are trying on?

Me:  Certainly not.  But there will probably be some female sales associate helping me put on a bra.

Chris:  Really?  Can you at least text me if she’s hot?

Me:  Slams car door.

The mall was PACKED.  Macy’s was a complete cluster.

I trolled around the intimate apparel department for a bit.  I could only find one sales associate and they seemed to be wholly occupied trying to find a gloriously small breasted woman a “barely there” type bra that had to be made by Calvin Klein, and “couldn’t be too lacy, or too smooth, something in between.”  This woman also had with her a girl who appeared to be about 3 years old and BORED. . .It wasn’t pretty.

At that moment I made the decision to flee to the comforting arms of my old mistress:  Sadly, not church but Nordstrom.

I walked into their Lingerie department to find it pleasantly uncluttered.  They didn’t have a huge selection of the kind of bras I thought I wanted on display but I knew before I could drop serious coin on a bra, I had to be measured. . .and keep an open mind. . .

I approached the lady at the cash register.

“Um. . .I need to purchase some bras but I’m embarrassed to admit I don’t know my size since I had a baby.  Do you do bra fittings?  Could I get one quickly?”

She was like 23.  Enviable eyebrows.  Lovely manicure.  Modest engagement ring.  Stylish black gauzy scarf printed with X’s and O’s.

“Of course!”  She said enthusiastically.  “Let me get my key.”

There’s a secret key for bra fittings?  I started to sweat.  Jesus.  The pressure.

She left another woman who was ready to purchase a bathrobe waiting while I followed a few steps behind her on her quest for the key.  The holy grail of perky boobs!  My stomach was in knots.

Imagine my surprise when she grabbed a key, opened a fitting room door, and stepped in with me.

“What size do you think you are?” She queries.

“Exactly 1.5 of those little personal watermelons on one side, maybe 1.75 on the other” I tell her.

She doesn’t even crack a smile.  Probably because I reek of sweat, spoiled milk, brunch time lox, and desperation.

She wrangles a tape measure around my rib cage and says I likely had the band size correct all along.

She returns with an arm-full of brassieres with letters closer to my middle initial (L) than my first initial (D).

I had never actually been fitted in this fashion before so I ditched my old bra, closed my eyes, baring my saggy sorry excuse for breasts, had her hand me the garment to try on, leaned over like read you should do, and wiggled the gals into the cups.  Then I stood up and turned around with my back towards her so she could hook me up and adjust things.

I wished I was sweating less.  

I refused to look at my pasty white stomach paunch.  NOTE:  Splurge on GOOD muffin top obliterating JEANS next.

Sweet, sweet, ah-mazing gal must have helped me try on 13 different bras.  At least 13 times she had to see my sorry excuse for breasts.

Bless her, she didn’t laugh once.

She didn’t laugh when I insisted I jump up and down to test the “jiggle factor.”  She also didn’t laugh when I asked her to “Please just do whatever it takes to make everything look like it is where it’s supposed to be.”

And she even kept a straight face when I asked to try on a sports bra.

It took about 40 minutes and nearly $150 but I walked out of there with my head and breasts held high.

At least until Chris asked, “What did the sales associate look like?”

“Look, Do U Want It To Poop Or Not?”

Long time readers of this blog know I have two sisters and two brothers.  One sister just had her first baby about 5 weeks ago.  The other sister has a son age 12 and a daughter age 6.  They are amazing children.  Still, she has her hands plenty full.

Friday night about 11:30, I was in the depths of our basement sorting through a bunch of stuff I stashed down there when I was too pregnant to think straight.  The time had come for me to get a handle on that situation and get the basement back in good functional order before we decided to go crazy birding during spring migration. (Or have more children.  Did I say that out loud?  Fudge.   I’m not pregnant.)

A good cleaning or organizing always seems more fun with a little cocktail and I figured while I was at it, perhaps the sister with the two children might also be awake enjoying her Friday evening.  So I sent her a text mentioning I was losing my mind sorting through the basement.

I hadn’t heard from her in a bit and I was hoping for a phone call.  I had to wait until the next morning for the response. . .but it was so, so worth it!

What follows is the hilarious text exchange. . .(My sister is so, so, so funny.  She kills me!)

I’m using this material with her permission of course.  And because this is nearly the entire text dialogue verbatim,  just to be clear, my sister is discussing a doll that eats and poops. 

Me (at 11:06PM):  You awake?  I think I’m losing my mind.

Sister (at 7:31AM – next day):  Hey I just got up and saw ur text.  I went to bed at 9:30 last night – both kids have colds.

Me:  All is well.  I was joking about losing my mind.   Just hadn’t heard from you lately.  Love u. Xo.

Sister:  Oh okay.  Well u know. . .my life is so interesting. . .I spent hours unclogging a baby doll’s ass that eats and shits.  Daughter let the crap dry in her baby’s butt for weeks and I had to use a screwdriver and Q-tips to unclog her bung hole. . .Ugh.  It never stops!  LOL.”

Sister:  Daughter was all like why do u have a screwdriver up my baby’s butt. . .I WAS LIKE, LOOK DO U WANT IT TO POOP OR NOT?

Me:  I’m crying, I’m laughing so hard.

Sister:  Worst part was she had fed it peas and the Q-tips were coming out of her ass neon green. . .I thought the shit we do as parents. LOL.  I honestly felt like I was molesting this poor doll just to get the crystalized peas out of her ass.  At one point Husband says to me, why is there a doll face down ass up with a screwdriver in its ass on my workbench in the garage?  I looked at him all hot and sweaty from working this doll over and said. . .don’t effing worry about it, go play your video game. . .I have this all under control.  Husband said ya, sure looks like it!  LOL

Sister:  Keep in mind it took me hours to remove the impaction and Daughter played with the doll all of 10 minutes tops after I fixed it. . .Now I swear that creepy-ass baby glares at me every time I walk into Daughter’s room. . .

Me:  Oh my gawd!  I’m dying!    I’ll bet that doll IS giving you creepy looks.  Dolls are freaky to begin with.  I can’t imagine what happens after u give them a colonoscopy with a screw driver!

Reluctant Mother’s Performance Review

Evaluation 3The other day I was thinking about those ridiculous performance reviews I was forced to endure semi-annually at my old job.

I hated those things.  They are ridiculous.  The self-evaluation part of the review is basically an opportunity to kiss your supervisor’s ass in writing.  The supervisor’s review of your performance is always so weak and vague, you walk of the meetings wondering why you wasted your time.

Fortunately, my new endeavor doesn’t come with self-assessments or supervisors.  Well, at least there isn’t a formal review process.  Yet, we all know the toddler runs the show in this joint.

What would he say about my performance?

Evaluation 2

EMPLOYEE NAME/POSITION:  Momster, Assistant to the Departmental Head of Toddler Chaos, Maid, Chef, Social Events Coordinator, Laundress, Chair of the Arts & Crafts Committee, Educational Team Leader, Keeper of the Cookies & Crayons, Member of the Nap Oversight Committee, Toddler On-Demand Specialist 

SUPERVISOR/TITLE:  Mac, CEO of Reluctant Mother, Inc. & Departmental Head of Toddler Chaos

1.  JOB KNOWLEDGE, SKILL, & ABILITIES:  Has the basic knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform her work satisfactorily. 

Momster has the basic knowledge and skills necessary to perform her work satisfactorily.   She doesn’t ruin laundry.  She seldom burns the entire dinner.  She can efficiently unclog the vacuum of 42 small toy parts.  She has mastered diapering while I run through the house screaming like a banshee.

She’s shown remarkable growth this year.  She can now hold me and simultaneously perform 25 other tasks.  I’ve seen her effectively operate our home’s thermostat and perform advanced functions with the TV remote.

Her dishwasher loading and dusting skills could use improvement.  Other areas for improvement noted below.

It’s commendable that when faced with a challenging situation she will seek assistance, albeit, it’s often from the Internet. . .or Daddy.

2.  QUALITY OF WORK/PRODUCTIVITY:  Work is sometimes inaccurate or incomplete; sometimes fails to meet departmental standards.  Works slower than expected; work is sometimes of substandard consistency and timeliness

Momster takes FOREVER to get me what I want.  It’s becoming a serious problem.  Her response time to my yelling “SEAT!” and pulling on my seat at the table can be as long as 32 seconds.  The other day I had to pull the seat completely to the floor just to get her attention.  She said she was trying to get the cookie crumbs out of the rug but I suspect that was merely an excuse to lie face down on the floor for half a minute.

Additionally, I’ve been waiting days for my favorite T-shirt and fleece to be laundered.  Imagine my disappointment when she presented it to me and the T-shirt was wrinkled because once again, she folded the laundry in a hurried and sloppy manner.

Momster really needs to hone her skills in this area.  She and I can work on an action plan for the coming year.

3.  RELIABILITY:  Sometimes not dependable and conscientious in performing work; sometimes unwilling to accept responsibilities.

To her credit, Momster, tries very valiantly to respond to my crying and other basic needs.  Unfortunately, she has trouble staying on task or her response is inadequate.  Often she will allow my continual demands for “Help,” “Read, Read, Read,”  or “SIP!” to draw her attention away from dinner preparations, laundry, or other key household chores.

Additionally, the time she devotes to Twitter on a daily basis is cause for concern.  I mean, this diaper isn’t just going to change itself.

Sometimes I’ve caught her glancing at a magazine when she should be scooping the cat boxes, organizing my baby mementos, or matching up my socks.  I understand by law she’s entitled to a couple breaks a day, however, she already gets bathroom breaks and typically she gets 10 minutes for meals per day.

It’s obvious Momster starts projects with good intentions but her follow through is disappointing.  She should focus on developing her perseverance.  I’m currently walking around with half a hair cut and 7 untrimmed toenails because she abandoned these tasks as soon as I started throwing a tantrum and thrashing about violently.

4.  COMMUNICATION:  Communications skills occasionally impair performance.

Momster is always talking, yet she doesn’t seem to listen.  Poor Daddy always seems to be asking for something that he never gets.

Now that I can talk, she seems terribly confused.  Granted she understands when I’m thirsty or want a cookie; however, when I yank open the refrigerator door and start pointing, it often takes her no fewer than 7 attempts to get my demands met.  (I hate mustard lady, stop offering me mustard bottles!)

And when I ask for the “Phone” or the “mote” it’s like she doesn’t even hear me.  I know she can hear me because if I say “Poop” she hurries up and runs for my potty seat.

Her selective hearing must be addressed.  Communication is vital to her roles in this organization.  I shouldn’t have to throw a fit every time I desire to run with a fork, play in the medicine cabinet, or spend half the day naked.

5.  WORK RELATIONSHIPS:  Attempts to take a positive approach in assisting others.  However, sometimes has trouble getting along with other employees, supervisors, and the public.

Momster is always running around saying how much she loves me and asking for hugs and kisses.  Yet, sometimes she has trouble getting along with me AND Daddy.  She gets so uptight when we run through the house screaming until 8:45 at night.

She really needs to relax a little bit.  I will go to bed eventually.

Sometimes, when I find her weeping silently in a corner during an unscheduled break, I get the impression that she is overwhelmed or frustrated by her co-workers.  This behavior is unacceptable in a position as prominent as Momster’s.  She really needs to embrace her co-workers and their diverse viewpoints.  Momster’s continued improvement in this area is expected and once she makes steps towards improving, I believe she will find her work much more rewarding.

evaluation 1

 

Note:  The text and wording for the headings in this “performance review” were sourced here.

In Which Sour Cream Nearly Causes The Kid To Have A Nervous Breakdown

DSC_0110Do you think toddlers know when they are acting like a jerk?

I mean when I was a kid, I recall being able to recognize that I was behaving like an asshole. . .not that it stopped me. . .sometime around the age of four.  Yet I’m not sure what the state of my self-awareness was prior to that.

I’m asking because lately this kid has been a real ass about his food.  And I’ve been maintaining my patience with him – telling myself he’s teething, and he’s a toddler, and he doesn’t understand.

Yet, if there’s any chance he does understand that his behavior is supremely frustrating and completely ridiculous, I want to be sure to properly document everything so I can give him a horrific guilt trip about it in his later life. . .That is what Mother’s do right?

Yes, he’s getting teeth and I have little doubt that he’s very uncomfortable at times and honestly, most of the time he’s a real trooper, despite the discomfort.

Yet, our meals have become a bit of a pain.  It’s not that he’s a picky eater.  In fact, he’ll eat almost anything. . .but only if HE feels like it.  And as hard as I try, it’s virtually impossible to anticipate what this kid might desire to eat at any given meal.

One minute he’s completely boycotting home-made vegetable soup with whole wheat pasta but a few short minutes later, he’s demanding pieces of uncooked whole wheat pasta from the canister to gnaw on plus some frozen corn for good measure.

And this might sound a little selfish, but because I just want to eat myself without choking or suffering horrific heartburn, I gave it to him.

Even though the sound of his little Chicklet sized teeth grinding on uncooked pasta made my skin positively crawl.

I thought perhaps this would be a teachable moment. . .As in – Only ding dongs eat uncooked pasta and freezing cold corn.  Trust me, what Mommy offers is better so shut it and eat already.

I was sadly mistaken.  He mowed down that uncooked penne like some kind of voracious rodent.

Since he’s healthy and typically eats a variety of foods, I am always tempted to just let him chuck a fit about his dinner and not offer other food.  BUT we end up paying for his hunger come bed time.  The kid just doesn’t sleep well if he’s the slightest bit hungry.

This creates a dilemma for me:  Do we all tough it out so he learns to eat what’s placed in front of him or do I essentially become a short order chef for a 30 inch tall tyrant?

I really do not care for either option so I have been putting a lot of effort into meal planning – fast, relatively healthful, attractive to kid and sometimes us too.

Last evening, I made what I thought would be a teething-toddler friendly meal.  Some cheese and potato perogies with a warm cabbage and apple slaw plus sour cream for dipping the perogies.

I was pleased that he willingly went to his high chair as I was dishing up dinner.  I had high expectations for this meal.  (I mean what kid doesn’t like some sort of “dipping” activity included with his meal?!)

I placed some food on his tray and went through the theatrics of handing him a fork and explaining what we were eating.  I even pretended to grind some pepper on his food just like we do.

He was all smiley and giggling.

With optimistic exuberance and great flair, I added a small dollop of sour cream to the tray.

His face instantly sobered.  He eyed the sour cream and then looked at me suspiciously.

“It’s good.  Really.  Here, look, you can dip your dinner in it.  Isn’t that fun?” I coo at him.

He hesitantly stuck one pudgy index finger in the sour cream.

And went completely bat shit crazy!

He was wailing and there were tears and his face was red.

I rushed to wipe the sour cream off the tray.

Just wiping up the offending dairy product wasn’t adequate.  This teaspoon of sour cream had apparently ruined the entire dinner.

He screamed as I attempted to entice him to eat some perogie.  Or apple.  He screamed while Chris ate some of his own dinner going on and on about how delicious it was.

He screamed until I threw two half-shredded slices of dry, whole wheat bread at him like he was some kind of animal at the zoo.

And as I ate my own sticky cold perogies – without dipping them in sour cream for fear it would set him off – I swear he shot me a look that said I OWN YOU!  

I own you, Devil Woman.

I own you, Devil Woman.

So, today I’ll be updating my resume to include “short order chef for 30 inch tall tyrant.” Sigh.