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!!!

Will The REAL Wubby Please Stand Up?

Will the REAL Wubby Please Stand Up?!

Will the REAL Wubby Please Stand Up?!

Yet again I did something I THOUGHT was kinda’ clever at the time I was doing it. 

That should probably be written on my tombstone as certainly this sort of thinking will be the death of me.

Anyway, when we were expecting Mac, I picked up several big packs of those Microfiber car detailing cloths in the automotive section of Target or Walmart.  The towels were super soft, absorbent, a good size and they were really bright colors: green, orange, and yellow that complimented some of the accents in his nursery.

These cloths seemed better and better looking than those traditional cloth diapers lots of folks use as burp cloths.  So I ended my search for elaborate burp clothes, and snagged about 45 of the microfiber dust cloths.  (They were $9.99 for a pack of 15).

We set out to using them right away after Mac arrived and they worked really well.  I felt very proud of myself.

When Mac started teething, I noticed he was wedging a corner of the cloth in his mouth.  He was becoming a blanket sucker!  But the Pediatrician, who couldn’t help but notice he had one hanging out of his mouth at an appointment, said it was perfectly normal.

So we didn’t discourage it.

He was becoming attached to his Wubbys and I was okay with that.  I have no problem with children having a comfort item or toy.  And how smart was I to get him hooked on such a common item?  We had lots of back ups.  We could always get more.  It wasn’t as if there was just one special Wubby.  I had scads of them!

Except my supplies were dwindling. . .Apparently Wubbys are easily ejected from strollers and dropped in parking lots and forgotten in Church.  A few month’s back I realized we were reaching a critical level.

I was washing Wubbys EVERY. DAY.  It was becoming increasingly difficult to ration them. The kid asks for them by name now “Wubs.”  And if I don’t provide one, he helps himself to the stash we keep in a drawer in our living room.

“We need more Wubs.” I told my Husband on a trip to Target.

But when I arrived at the automotive section, I couldn’t find our Wubs.  They had similar products but nothing identical.  “Hmmm. . .Maybe I bought the original Wubs at Walmart?” I say as I grab a couple of packs of green microfiber glass cleaning cloths.  Sure, they didn’t feel quiet as plush as the original Wubs but they were the same size and color. . .

We quickly learned they did NOT pass muster with the Kid.  He wanted very little to do with these Wubs.  He’d tolerate being offered one in the stroller but if you offered him one before nap time, he’d help himself to an original one from the stash drawer.  If we were in the car and offered him an inferior Wubby, he’d refuse to fall asleep until an acceptable one was presented to him.

The Kid is still pooping his pants on a regular basis but his has the sensory ability to know one Wubby is more plush than the other?  Blows. My. Mind.

A few weeks passed, and I was spending a decent amount of time rationing out the “good” Wubbys.  Each day I’d make sure that I had a reserve of at least four in a top-secret, undisclosed location so we had enough for nap and bedtime.  I stopped folding laundry in front of the Kid because if he saw Wubs, he wanted Wubs. . .as many as he could get at once. . .placing each fresh one in his mouth once and then dropping it to the floor and forgetting about it seconds later.

Then last Sunday, Chris casually mentioned to Mac that Mommy didn’t give him a “real Wubby.”

“Are you out of your mind?”  I hissed at Chris through clenched teeth.  “Don’t tell him that!  All Wubbys are real Wubbys!  The last thing I need is for this Kid to be demanding real Wubbys all the ding dang day!”

“Ok,” Chris said evidentially realizing how nervous I was over our Wubs supply, “We’ll go birding behind the McComas Street Walmart and run in there and see if we can get some more Wubbys.”

After locating a nice raft of waterfowl (Including male Northern Shovelers in beautiful breeding plumage – which I had not previously seen in this location), we hit the Walmart.

We raced to the automotive section and that’s where I discovered the multi-packs of Wubbys I originally purchased had been altered!  They were different colors.  They had black thread surged around the edges and they were somehow smoother and more glossy than the ones we had.  Balls.

I touched them.  These weren’t going to work.

I shifted my weight from one foot to the other debating my next move while Chris thwarted Mac’s attempts to take out a display of automotive headlights.

Then, lower on the shelf to my left, I spotted something yellow!  Yellow Wubbys!!  The ORIGINAL!  These were of course being sold in packs of two at a slightly higher price than the “bulk” ones but I was definitely wiling to pay.

I grabbed 3 packs and we were out of there before Mac could further terrorize the merchandise.

I had forgotten how soft and lovely the original Wubbys were.  So fluffy!  Mac was going to be thrilled when he saw them!  Brand New Wubbys!!!!

I washed everything and later that evening I proudly presented Mac with two still warm from the dryer, fluffy brand new Wubs.

He took them from me, touched them for barely a split second and threw them on the floor.  Donkey balls.

It’s been a few days and Mac is still rejecting all but the original Wubbys – which apparently have been laundered enough times to make them just right.

And while I’m washing the new Wubs EVERY DAY in an effort to get their texture “just right,” I remind myself to not bother feeling “clever” about anything I do. . .ever again.

This is the REAL DEAL right here!

This is the REAL DEAL right here!

Friday Funny: Look, Do U Want It To Poop Or Not?! The SEQUEL

Ohmahdearlawd!!  My Sister’s Kids are a comedic goldmine!  And she should do stand up comedy.  Here’s my completely unoriginal, kinda’ crass (and graphic), (hopefully) funny for your FRIDAY.  Thank you Sister!:

1.  Here are the deets regarding the title of this post.  Gavmomof2 commented “I have visions of my 70s baby alive doll mixed with the stare of chuckie!  LOL!”

I’ll let you decide if her visual was accurate:

Baby Alive

The text from my sister that accompanied the photo?  “This is that creepy ass baby alive doll. . .that I had to clean out. . .She is even pointing at me like. . .You BITCH!!!!”

A few days later I find this little gem waiting for me with my text messages:  (It’s GRAPHIC).

baby alive 2

“And AGAIN I find her baby doll’s ass not cleaned!!!!!!  She is NOT a good mother to her Baby Alive.  At least I found it before it all dried up in there again!  Hahahaha!”

(Sister should definitely run over this thing with her car.  It’s disgusting.)

And finally, when I asked Sister if I could use this for my blog she said I should check with her daily:

“I always have fresh material.  There is never a dull moment!  My personal favorite was Son not showering for months and me cracking the case wide open with my detective skills!”

Me:  What?  Really?  MONTHS?  How did he not have fungus or yeast or worse growing on him?

Sister:  Oh yeah, he’s foul.  I told him a fungus would consume his one nut and his father and I would ruin the other one if he didn’t effing shower regularly!  Hahahahaha!

Are you speechless at this point too?

All I can get out between the crying-laughing mixed with terror at the prospect of having my Kid get older is:  Hope you have a great weekend! XO

How We Apply Our “No Cry Policy” To A Toddler

Over the weekend we went to my in-laws for brunch.  Mac did a relatively good job behaving himself but there were a few moments when we were dangerously on the verge of a full-blown tantrum.

It’s his age, of course.  

One of his more impressive fits occurred when his Uncle Mike was attempting to assist him with a shirt and jacket so they could go outside.  Mac was not feelin’ it.  At. All.  There was screaming and squirming and tears.

Of course, I attempted to explain to Mac that he had to put on his shirt and coat before he could go outside – just like we do EVERY TIME we go outside – but my logic seemed lost on him at that moment.  I’m not certain if part of it was the fact that Uncle Mike was helping him or if he was hungry and overwhelmed by having so many people around?  Who knows?  The bottom line was there were a few intense moments until  we could get him outside.

Later, my Mother In Law said she thought it was good that I allowed Mac to cry at that moment.  I’m glad she thought my reaction was appropriate but it kinda’ made me wonder what she anticipated my response was going to be exactly?

Did they actually think our policy of never allowing our child to cry himself to sleep would carry over into trying to continually assuage the demands of a headstrong, fickle 21 month-old?

I made a comment about choosing your battles.  But that was a wholly over-simplified explanation of how we parent.

Long before Mac was born, we agreed that we would never allow our child to cry himself to sleep.  We also agreed that when our child was an infant, we would never allow him to just “cry.”  His needs would be addressed immediately.   We did this in an effort to build trust, a sense of security, and confidence.

While we have no judgements about folks that use another “sleep training” method that involves “crying it out” to any degree, we agreed using a nurture to sleep method worked best for us.

However, that doesn’t mean that we NEVER let our nearly two-year old cry.  Yes, he still never cries himself to sleep.  The longest I’ll allow him in the crib upset is 2 to 3 minutes.  Because I know if he’s not settled in that time, something needs addressed:  hunger, discomfort, etc. (And when he was younger, he was removed from the crib immediately upon crying).

However, as he becomes older, we understand he needs to express his daily frustrations.  Currently, our tactic involves explaining the situation, suggesting words he could use to express himself more effectively, and waiting with him until he feels better (holding him if he’ll allow it).

Certainly, we do pick our battles.  Some things just aren’t negotiable – like having the doctor check your ears, or being properly dressed before going outside in the cold.  If that causes a situation where the little guy gets upset, we offer understanding and comfort, but we remain firm.

There are other times when we do our best to distract, remove him from the situation, offer an alternative activity, etc. in addition to attempting to comfort him the best we can.

And finally, sometimes, I do just give in.  If the kid wants help himself to 10 plastic kitchen utensils instead of 2, what do I care?  If he would rather play with blocks than rush out for a walk, no problem.  If he pushes me away when I ask for a kiss, I’m not going to force him to kiss me.  Ultimately, he will be making his own decisions and allowing him to build confidence in his choices in a safe environment, is something we believe is important.

There are a lot more tears these days.  It’s exhausting for sure.  Yet, in the end, all we can hope is our methods will help our son be quietly confident, able to effectively express his emotions, and make good choices.

Are there other ways to accomplish these goals?  Of course.  Our parenting methods won’t work for every child or every situation.  So far, they are working for us. . .maybe not so great for poor Uncle Mike the other morning. . .but it was kinda’ nice not to have to button up the Kid’s stupid shirt myself. . .

Kid's about to lose it right into poor Great Grandma Jean's hearing aid.  She's 96 year's old can you believe it?!  She's awesome.

Kid’s about to lose it right into poor Great Grandma Jean’s hearing aid.   She’s awesome.

Dear Congress, For the Sake of My Marriage, Get Your S%$^&*! Together!

My Husband works for the Government.

I think?  

I’m pretty sure?

Whatever.  He goes somewhere for 9 hours a day and typically comes home every evening too tired to argue with me or paw all over me.

IT’S HEAVEN!!

I can’t imagine our marriage could even get any better!

Marriage is very delicate you know.  Once you have a good thing going, you don’t mess with it.

I’ll admit, I don’t pay much attention to the news since Mac was born.  It just seems like a bunch of alarmist garbage that I could do without. . .

So I wasn’t really prepared when Husband came home about a week ago and casually mentioned there was a decent chance he would be furloughed one day a week if the Government couldn’t figure things out.

Huh?

Sure, some logical or practical folks might panic at this sort of news for financial reasons.

I’m not those folks.

My immediate reaction was:  What?  Wait.  What?  You’re going to be home one extra day EVERY week?!  FOR MONTHS?!

THIS IS HUGE!

THIS IS A HUGE PROBLEM!

Currently, Husband and I have very neat, tidy, clearly defined roles.  My “workplace” is this house and it’s full of cool secret shit I don’t disclose. . .like where I put a Gallon of milk, my kid’s socks, or Babe The Woodland Squirrel.  His “workplace” is a place I imagine which is also full of cool secret shit he can’t (or won’t) talk about.

I do not enter his workplace.  He only enters my workplace on weekends. . .when ahem presumably we are both taking a break from our “work.”

This arrangement has performed beautifully for us since mid-May of 2011 when I went on maternity leave.

Now it’s in jeopardy!

If Congress can’t get their shit together, I’m errr We’re screwed.

My Husband is kind and funny. . .thoughtful. . .compassionate. . .all that I could want. . .

BUT. . .

He uses at least six drinking glasses per day.

He burns through 3 pair of socks per day minimum.

He passes a LOT of gas.

He gets the Kid worked up into such a lather I can barely deal.

He loads the dishwasher weird.

He talks so EFFING loud and so much in the morning, not even his awesome dippy eggs on wheat toast served to me in bed can make it right. . .

He asks questions that make me feel all stabby. . .Like “Where is the Milk?” when he’s standing in front of the open refrigerator with one hand on the milk.

And worst of all?!  Our toilet paper subscription with Amazon.com is going to need serious adjusting.

Congress, please, please, please get your $%^&R*^$^%$#  together.  Please?

Where Do You Think Mac Learned This Magical Hand in the Pants Move?!

Where Do You Think Mac Learned This Magical Hand in the Pants Move?!

Because I SAID SO!!

Tonight my Husband cut me off.

I know you’re all thinking he cut me off from the rum and how smart that was of him. . .but you’re WRONG SUCKAS’!

He cut me off mid-sentence.

Chris asked a simple question:  He asked if dog should come upstairs to bed with him as he was going to bed before me and getting that dog upstairs is a bit of a pain.

See, Satan’s Lap Hound likes to exuberantly bound up the stairs while we follow behind him dragging his dog bed and a spare baby gate, shushing him the whole time trying not to get the kid awake in the process.

(Yes, we have to gate the dog in our room because otherwise he is tempted to sneak into the kid’s room. . .at best disturbing the kid . .at worst, leaving a steaming pile of crap there.  I don’t know why, it started after his last bout of intestinal distress.  And rather than actually address the behavior, we find it’s easier to just confine the dog to our room during the night.  We’re nothing if not lazily efficient.)

Anyway, I answered Chris affirmatively that he should take the dog with him.

I’m terrible at dragging all that stuff up the stairs with me and I can never get the gate propped up in the bedroom doorway correctly.  It always falls over no fewer than three times while I attempt to get it positioned properly.

I tried to explain this to Chris and he stopped me halfway through my explanation.

I guess I must have made a dour expression that caused even Chris pause because he said, “It’s just that you can be a little long-winded. . .um sometimes.  A simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ would have sufficed.”

Since the kid was already asleep I chose not to beat him within an inch of his life and instead laughed it off and told him he could jam it.

But I’ve been thinking about it all evening.

I am long-winded.

Not only am I long-winded by nature but also for my entire adult life – especially in my career and given my education – I’ve had to provide a justification or sound argument for every damned decision I’ve ever made.

It had to be based on fact, it had to work within a framework of rules and regulations, I had to provide copious amounts of justification. . .

Because no one ever really liked my answers. . .or at the very least they seemed constantly ripe for debate in the opinion of others.

But now?

Now I clearly don’t have to worry so much about a well-reasoned argument.  I don’t have to be concerned with someone testing my logic or my knowledge of rules and the regulatory framework in which I operated.

NOW I’M THE MOM!

HELL, I AM THE REGULATORY FRAMEWORK.

My answer IS good enough.  I don’t have to explain myself because. . .

I’M THE MOM AND I SAID SO!

To think, all this time, I was providing Chris and Mac with all this extraneous information about my rationale for doing something or trying to explain previous mistakes I had made under similar circumstances.

Gosh!  What a waste of our time!

Fortunately, Chris was astute enough to point this out to me.

And after a lot of reflection, I realize Chris is right.  I’m going to change my ways IMMEDIATELY!  It’s going to be better for all of us under my tyrannical Mommy reign. No more unnecessary communications.  No more justifying what I’m doing or explaining things.  No more debating, or questioning. . .

Clearly, as far as Chris is concerned, a simple, “because I said so” is a perfectly acceptable answer.

Our Visa bill will be arriving any day and I’m certain Chris will be satisfied with my very brief explanation of all the charges:  They were indeed necessary. . .because I said so!

When Daddy’s Not Working He’s Busy Getting Played. . .

DSC_0120I’m proud to say without any hint of snark or sarcasm that my Husband is a REALLY good Father.  He’s very involved.  He’s willing to help.  He loves spending time with Mac.

Naturally, Mac adores him.

Fortunately, Chris had a decent amount of time away from the office over the holidays and he shouldered some of the tasks I typically perform on a regular basis, sharing diaper and clothing changes, making Mac (and sometimes me) breakfast, amusing Mac during the day.  You know. . .the usual stuff. . .

After a few days of watching all the Father-Son cuteness, it occurred to me, all was not as it should be.   Something was making me feel uneasy.  Yet, I couldn’t put my finger on what it was?

Last evening, Mac took a little spill in the kitchen.  This happens at least 12 times a day.  He trips or tries some crazy new skill that causes him to lose his balance and he has a little fall.   But this time, he didn’t just brush it off and get up.  Instead, he stayed on the floor, looked to see if Chris was looking at him, and promptly began wailing.  Of course, Chris swooped in, picked him up immediately and started the whole, “Are you okay, little Smootchie Bear?” routine.

Well, that’s a new one, I thought to myself.  Typically, if Mac’s busy and engrossed in something, he really doesn’t want any sort of intervention from me.  In fact, I’m pretty sure if the kid suffered a concussion in my presence, he’d likely just shake it off and resume whatever activity it was that resulted in the injury in the first place.

While I cleaned up dinner, Chris gave Mac his bath.  While I was alone, I started thinking back one the past few days. . .

Mac ALWAYS puts up a fuss when Chris attempts to place him in the stroller, high chair or car seat.  Sometimes he just pretends to protest.  Sometimes he actually protests.  That doesn’t typically happen on Mommy’s watch.

Mac is ALWAYS imploring Daddy to pick him up and carry him around the house. . .and Chris always happily obliges.  Mac seldom ever wants me to pick him up especially when we are in the house.

When Daddy’s here, Mac almost NEVER independently plays with his toys.  He’s always attempting to engage Chris.  Usually when it’s just Mac and me, I can get him to play independently for short blocks of time here and there throughout the day.

Chris showed Mac how to operate the Keurig.  Naturally, Mac is continually requesting he and Daddy make “Coff.”  Mac never wants to Mac “coff” with Mom.

Yep.  Daddy’s getting played.  Hard.

And the more I thought about it, the more I realized there is a generally increased level of drama when Daddy’s around.  There’s always a chase required to get a fresh diaper or shirt on the kid.  Mac doesn’t eat as well. . .unless Daddy sits beside the high chair and helps feed him.  Mac flips out if Chris leaves his sight.  He’s not quite as willing to take naps or go to bed. . .

I’m convinced it’s all Daddy-related drama.

I find this problematic on several levels:

Obviously, it’s annoying and time-consuming.  We shouldn’t have to bribe the kid to get him in his car seat or chase him to get him dressed.  Chris shouldn’t have to carry the kid around the house on demand.

Are we establishing a situation where the kid figures out he can manipulate Daddy and play the two of us against one another in the future?

And perhaps most disturbing. . .Is Daddy already becoming the “fun one”?  Am I destined to be like my OWN Mother?  Who used to go around proclaiming with alarming frequency something to the effect of “I always have to be the bad guy.  I realize your Father is wonderful and I’m the mean one!”

Troubling indeed.  I thought maybe Chris and I needed to discuss the situation after we put Mac to bed last night.

Before bed, we sat down with Mac to read him stories.  Chris was up first with Fox in Socks.   He opened the book, which Mac promptly grabbed, handed to me and plopped right down in my lap.

As I looked at Chris’ stunned expression, I realized we had nothing at all to discuss. . .

Getting played by a toddler ain’t so bad. . .

I play 'em like a cheap fiddle!

I play ’em like a cheap fiddle!