Thursday, April 28, 2016

Little Miss Sh*t for Brains

This is not the first time I've had dog shit in my purse. (See also, The Shit Show, Part I, Deux, and Tres). Probably won't be the last, either, if I'm being honest with myself.

Sometimes I allow my mind to visit this pretty little imaginary place where my morning goes smoothly and everyone gets to their final destinations in a timely manner and I make it through the day without having to come into contact with anyone else’s literal or figurative shit. Inevitably something comes crashing down on this sweet little pipe dream. For example, a tree.

Or, as was the case this day, actual shit.

The night before was basically consistent with what I’ve come to expect from life. DM and I were exhausted so we went to bed early so we could get a full night’s sleep for once in our lives. Hahaha. Hilarious, right? Naturally, we were awoken at 2am by the unmistakable sound of a dog about to barf. Now, little Nacho is kind of a puker so I wasn’t too worried at first. But around the 8th time we started to get concerned.

DM informs me that the dogs had actually eaten a little bit of this scrubber sponge. Normally I would assume this was less of a big deal than the Advil she ate last month, or the grapes, legos, beads, ant bait, rocks, shoes, pencils, markers, bouncy balls, and sharp sticks she and her big sister Feta have consumed in their short lives, but the repeated retching didn’t seem right. (Also, we were on high alert because for the first 12 hours after “The Advil Incident,” we (idiotically) thought, "Eh, I’m sure she’ll be fine, it was just a couple, and she pukes on the regular so it’s probably not that big a deal." Turns out it is a very big, very expensive deal.)

Is there a CPS for dogs? Please don’t call them. I swear we take mostly great care of our animals. I already read plenty of scolding comments on the internet about how you have to be EXTREMELY CAREFUL and NEVER EVER LET THEM OUT OF YOUR SIGHT FOR EVEN ONE TINY SECOND. Unfortunately, I cannot even maintain that standard of oversight for my human children, so… sorry dogs. Plus Nacho is a super sneaky little honey badger who steals things from the kids when we aren’t looking and secrets them away in the corner of the yard to consume at her leisure. She’s like a furry hoarding magpie.

Anyway, my helpful husband took Nacho to the vet at 3am. They gave her all manner of medicines, including what appears to have been a laxative. Told us to keep a close eye on her so I planned to bring her to the office with me. She’s pretty chill so no big deal.

We get a couple hours more sleep. Woke up and started my morning with a familiar refrain: “What is that smell?!?” I wasn’t able to place it. There weren’t any obvious piles of poop or vomit that I could see. We go about our harried routine. As we’re headed out the door I scoop up the little dog and suddenly discover the source of the smell. The poor thing had shat herself and her furry backside was covered in poop soup. One shitty sitz bath, one butt-trim, and two wardrobe changes (for me) later, I not-so-stealthily sneak her into the office with me. As it turns out, this was ill-advised. 

First of all, what do you do when you have to pee while you're in the middle of a covert office dog operation? In the past, I just held it all day because I was afraid she'd bark and out me. This time I was worried about barking AND pooping/puking. But, conveniently, I had a UTI, so holding it was not an option. So the first time, I brought her in the bathroom with me. If you have never peed with a dog on your lap, well, you have not really lived. The second time I devised a temporary dog tote :)

Someone came into my office and said it smelled like wet dog. Which made sense because there was a wet dog in it. But eau de wet dog is infinitely preferable to the smell of projectile liquid dog doo, which was part two of my sickly-office-dog-adventure. I quickly spirited her back to my car and home again, leaving a foul trail of poop particles in our wake. (Have I talked about poop particles before? It's a pet subject of mine. One of my cousins just had her PhD thesis about "the semantic maps that tile the human cerebral cortex" published on the cover of Nature magazine. Me? I like to write infrequent potty-mouthed blogs on poop and preschool. Must be a genetic thing. ;))

Anyway. We thought Nacho was better but then there was more puking and bloody projectile poop two days later, so back to the vet. Then back to the vet again with a fecal sample, hence the purse-o-shit. Wheeee! This dog has seriously been to the vet 8 times in the past 2 months. When we left this time, they said, "Nacho, here's the deal, we don't want to see you back here for AT LEAST 7 days!" She is the most expensive free dog EVER. A friend suggested we let evolution take over at this point, but Colby loves that dog more than anything on earth and would be devastated. Also, she's really cute when not covered in poop. (The dog. Also the kid.)

Then Tuesday The Boy had to go under for dental surgery, so, naturally, the girl woke up at 3am with the barfs, arms outstretched with two generous handfuls of puke. Jesus loves me.

At least the dentist gave us some new toothbrushes. I think this will really help Colby gain some closure after I threw away her old toothbrush the other day, which she wanted to keep "for decoration" (obviously). (I'll have you know I actually fished it out of the kids' bathroom garbage can which is a category 5 biohazard zone. But, of course, it was already RUINED.)

Sometimes I get super annoyed that I get passed over for promotions at work and then I'm like, oh, yeah, I've had to call into work three times in the past ten days covered in bodily fluids that are not mine. (And then I think, No. Fuck that. I bust my ass, early in the morning, late at night, on the weekend, whatever I need to do to get shit done, WHILE COVERED IN PUKE AND/OR EXCREMENT! Beat that, single childless 27 year old male associate! But more on that another day ;))

Incidentally, this isn't my first experience with bleeding Pomeranian buttholes. My "avatar" of Jack and Blue in diapers was from a charming little adventure where my husband was out partying overnight ON OUR ANNIVERSARY (with my blessing, an old friend was in town). But seriously, every time he leaves, shit hits the fan. In this case, literally. On this occasion, he fed the dog a cooked pork bone before he left, which basically splintered in her digestive tract and had the effect on the back end that you would imagine. Thank goodness my BFF Claire was able to come sit with sleeping baby while I took Blue to the emergency vet. Good times, good times.

So yeah. Then, last night, just to keep things interesting, Nacho tried to eat a printer cartridge. Thank the good lord she only ended up with blue paws and not colorful and explosive diarrhea. 


Thursday, April 14, 2016

you're the worst mom EVER, I love you

Some days I wake up and it feels like Monday, even when it isn't. But some days I wake up and think, "Today is a new day!" This feeling usually dissipates around the 73rd time I tell the children to brush their ever loving teeth, but that glimmer of hope, or possibly it's just insanity (doing the same thing, expecting different results) - it feels nice.

Same thing with evenings. Sometimes, after a rough day, I drive home dreading the drudgery of dinner and bath and bedtime before it even begins. It's like a really maddening and mundane version of Groundhog Day. But sometimes I walk in the door and I feel refreshed and energized. I think, "It's only 3 hours. I got this. How bad can it be?" (LOLOL.)

The point is, 82% of the time, even when I start with the best intentions, an hour in I'm pretty much ready to impale myself on any vaguely sharp object within a ten foot radius.

[15 minutes later]
*Darth Vader Voice*
Credit: @lurkathomemom
It's nice having a helpful partner, and I thank my non-denominational god-substitute basically every day that I am so lucky in that respect. Usually, for whatever reason, when one of us is at the end of their rope, the other has enough reserves in their tank to step in and take over in order to prevent imminent injury to life, limb, and sanity. Hats off to anyone who does this solo and doesn't lose their goddamn mind. I salute you.

This parenting gig is really freakin' hard, no matter which way you slice it. There's not enough grace, patience, hands, or hours in the day to do this job the way we imagined doing it in our minds, before we actually had kids. I don't know about you guys, but some days, it sucks the life right outta me. By the end of the night I feel like a tattered, drool-soaked chew toy that my dogs divested of its stuffing.

Then I think about where that life-blood is being siphoned off to - it's raising humans! And I feel a little bit better. Then I get back down to the actual nitty-gritty-shitty of raising said humans and I feel worse again. A friend posted a link the other day - Parenting Advice: Don't Kill Them. The author writes, "I JUST WANT TO LOVE YOU WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO DESTROY ME?!" The struggle is real.

A good friend of mine who doesn't have kids sometimes says, "I just don't understand why SO MANY PEOPLE do it?! Like, almost everyone! It seems kind of awful! Why do you people keep doing this to yourselves, on purpose?!" As I say, it's the biggest mistake you will never regret. :)

DM and I frequently stress about all the ways we're falling short as parents. He and I had different upbringings, experiences, and expectations. But we're generally in agreement on what an "ideal" lifestyle would look like for our family, and we're not quite there yet.

DM's dad worked long hours as a doctor while his mom stayed home and took care of the kids. He had a plethora of cousins and aunties. He was picked up after school every day, and though she certainly had her hands full, his mom was around to make sure the kids were fed and homework was done. But as first generation immigrants and "new money" in an old money world, there were certain cultural and community cues that went under the radar, e.g. playing on the "right" sports teams, going to the best sleepaway camps, wearing the "cool" clothes, etc. It's funny, the things that leave scars so many years later.

My mom and dad were divorced, my mom remarried(ish), and all three of my parents worked full time. Us kids were in daycare from 6am to 6pm daily, and attended terrible summer camps until I was 12 and they decided I was old enough to stay home with my little brother and sister. (And by "stay home" I mean I actually held summer school for my siblings. I made them journal and do homework and everything. LOL. Sorry guys.) This one camp (that billed itself as an equestrian camp but didn't have any horses?) basically used the older kids (including me) as free labor to take care of the younger kids. W.T.F. My parents were never around to be room parents or chaperone field trips or help us with our homework or build leprechaun traps or come to cross-country meets or soccer games. However they did manage to feed us home-cooked meals every night, and didn't have a TV to use as a babysitter, which kind of boggles my mind. Gold medals all around!

The life DM and I are giving our children, for better or for worse, is more like my childhood than his. Poor Colby and Jack are usually the last ones to get picked up every day. I'm currently wrangling the unruly beast that is the YMCA Summer Camp Matrix (it's a thing) because what in the hell else are you supposed to do for those ten weeks between June and August?

Seriously, what is going on here? Nobody told me I'd need advanced degrees in engineering and mathematics to plan my kids' summer schedules.
The rational side of me knows that I had a similar upbringing and I turned out pretty alright. Yeah, I hated summer camps and after school care. I wished my parents could have attended my games and class parties and field trips. But I never felt like "someone else was raising me," and I never, ever doubted their love. When my brain's in charge, I think to myself, my kids are pretty damn lucky and they are going to be just fine.

But when my heart's calling the shots, I feel like a dick. I spend five or six waking hours a day with my kids, max. And 73% of it is telling them to hurry the hell up. Yes, as I've said before, I would love to be super chill Zen mom, turning each argument into a teaching moment, stopping to smell the roses along the way. And I do what I can when I can. But there are only so many hours in the day. We can barely get the kids to school and ourselves to work on time in the mornings, and on the flip side, every single evening is a grind: rushing to pick them up on time, dinner (like an eating contest, except the slowest one "wins"), bath, show, stories, and the "royal coronation jubilee" that is bedtime. We have been spared much homework thus far and THANK GOD because I honestly have no clue how in the world we're going to fit that into the mix.

I'm so wrung out from this groundhog day grind that it takes some serious (mental and physical) acrobatics to be the best mom I can be, to gird my loins for the endless stream of BS from the fruit of my loins. I know that when I have the energy and the wherewithal to use "positive reinforcement" and "redirection" and "love languages," when I wake up an hour earlier so I have time to prevent breakfast and tooth-brushing battles from becoming flat-out wars, when I pack lunches and backpacks the night before instead of frantically running around the morning of, everyone ends up happier. But the chasm between knowing this, and doing this, is deep and wide. Sometimes, I'm able to make the leap. Sometimes, I'm not.

More than anything, I am blown away by the fact that most people go through these exact same machinations, or worse, day in, day out, and the entire population isn't just walking around sobbing or stabbing people with scissors or sleeping under their desks every single day.

And don't get me wrong. I want to work. I sort of cherish arriving on Monday mornings. Settling into my comfy chair in my quiet office to drink an entire cup of hot coffee uninterupted is a little like heaven. And DM and I both are pretty freakin' lucky on the work schedule front, for lawyers, anyway. Still, I'd like to work less. Or, get paid more, so I could afford to give someone else money to raise my kids (and cook and clean) for me ;)

I'm well aware these are #firstworld problems. See, e.g., The Scale of Suck. A blogger friend of mine put it really well in a great recent post: "In the Colosseum of troubles, I know that I face lions that some people pray for..." Understood. But still. Lions are scary.

I don't really have a point, I don't think. Just a little insight into the conflicted ramblings in my jumbly brain: "You're a pretty good mom, give yourself a break! You're blowing it, pull your shit together! Work harder, get promoted, make more money, so you can go more places and do more things! Work less, (find someone to pay your bills?) do less things, BE THERE more! You survived, they're going to be just fine! I hope you're saving for therapy, they're going to need it! They're such good kids, we must be doing something right! OMG, we broke them, where did we go wrong?!?"

The other day we were running late (okay we're running late every day, but this day we were running extra late). Jack said "What will happen if you're late for work?" I replied, "Well, if I'm late too many times I would probably lose my job." Colby said "I wish you WOULD lose your job. That way we could all stay home together all the time." Knife. in. the. heart. I said, "Well if I didn't have a job then we couldn't afford to have a home to stay home in!" She said, "Would we have no house? Or just a littow house?" I responded, "A little house, probably. Or maybe an apartment." Colby: "Could we still have a pool?" Me: "Definitely no pool." Colby: "Okay then maybe you can keep your job." ;) Thanks for the cosign, kid.

Anyway, as I imagine my mom would say, "You're overthinking this just a little." What I try to remind myself, at the end of the day, is that I'm doing the best that I can, I'm giving everything I have to give, and that has to be enough. That IS enough.

The other morning, Colby was possessed by the devil. She refused to dress herself or let herself be dressed or allow anyone to speak or breathe. She started screaming like a bloody banshee and pinwheeling her arms and legs and then melted into an angry puddle of preschooler on the floor. Again, maybe if we'd had the time and the energy to calmly reason with this vicious imp, we could have solved things more amicably. And/or called in an exorcist. But in real life, DM and I both had meetings, attendance mandatory, and we needed to GTFO of there. So we basically had to tag-team the child and dress her spastic noodly limbs against her will. This was maybe the maddest she's ever been. But not sixty seconds later she latches on to me like a koala, looks up at me with her big round brown eyes, and says, "Mama, I need a snuggle."

Same thing happens with Jack all the time. He is SO sensitive and emotional, depending on which way the wind blows, the littlest things can turn into World War III. I actually got "I HATE YOU!" for the first time the other day. It was jarring and heartbreaking and a tiny bit funny, too. But in the midst of that fury, I ask "Do you think you need a hug?" And his answer is, always, "Yeah, maybe." <3

Anyway, whatever else we're building here, the foundation is love. (Well, love, glitter glue, and goldfish crumbs.) And one thing I can be proud of is that my children know it and feel it too. (The love and the crumbs.)

OMG you guys. I am literally incapable of writing a short blog post. This was just supposed to be a "quick" one. Whoops. The other night I was complaining to DM that the book I was reading was "aggressively wordy" and he said "Sounds like it's right up your alley." ;)

Friday, April 8, 2016

How to Not Raise A-Holes in 33 Easy Steps

We went on "vacation" in Tahoe last week, which holds a special place in my heart. We drove from San Diego, which, according to Google Maps, is really fucking far. The kids were actually shockingly good. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, for the nuclear meltdown, for the karmic retribution of an uneventful 600 mile drive with a four- and a five- year old, and it just... never happened. [Insert "Hallelujah, Thank you Jesus" Hands here.] We didn't even have to bust out the iPads in the car, which is something we always SWORE we would never do, but, it turns out, we would totally do. I daresay this trip actually, almost, felt like a real vacation!

Photo courtesy of Daddy Mack
The thing is, this pain-free experience has little to do with my offspring being inherently good children, and mostly to do with the fact that my husband and I go to absurd lengths to assure that the kids' every waking - and sleeping - need is attended to. And to be honest, this isn't even because I love my kids so much that I never ever want them to be unhappy. I mean, I do love them so much but it's mostly because I love MYSELF and I don't want ME to be unhappy, and small children losing their shit in confined spaces with no escape route on the horizon makes me stabby.

Seriously though. Every minute of every day, every eventuality is anticipated and planned for. We have the right pillow and the right blanket and the right lovey and the right PJs and an engaging array of books and art supplies and white noise and night lights and, and, and... It's just crazy. And again, we (mostly I) have created these monsters because I prefer contented silence to the shrieking of rabid banshees. But carried to its natural conclusion, we're gonna have a couple of spoiled little bratwursts on our hands. "A COUPLE IS TWO," as Colby reminds me several times a day. "SEVAWAL IS FWEE OR MORE."

I feel like the tide has been turning for a couple several generations, with each new crop of parents wanting to do more and more for their children. And yes, it's partly selfish, but I think it also stems from a very human desire to see our children do better than us, to give them things our parents didn't give, etc. Not to mention mitigating working-parent guilt. At least, I think it's a sea change. I hope I'm not the only coddling, over-indulgent parent raising entitled, yeller-bellied little I? Beuller? Beuller? ;)

The Tahoe trip really brought this internal struggle into stark relief. Right as you walk into the cabin, there's a framed photo of Stepdad with his mom, dad, and brothers BUILDING this freaking cabin from the ground up.

Meanwhile, I, literally, do not know how to work a DVD player, and my kids, apparently, are incapable of brushing their own teeth or dressing themselves or sleeping without the soothing sound of ocean waves caressing their sweet little seashell ears. These people could navigate Desolation Wilderness like the back of their hand, while I immediately get lost when I lose sight of the Pacific. The Stepdadders could build a fire in the snow and my kids thought this was a television:

I could draw contrasts all day.

When and why and how did we become such a soft species? We eat food we didn't grow or catch, we live in homes we didn't build (I can barely manage to assemble IKEA furniture!), we drive vehicles we have no idea how to repair, we rely on electronics and software that baffle even the FBI. We can, officially, live our lives without ever leaving our homes. And I will be the first person to admit that I find this, mostly, glorious. But at what cost?

Our children are a product of our vulnerable reliance on niche, and diminishing, skill sets. I came away from the trip with this itching need to learn and do real things. DM and I were discussing this whole notion one night (in a hot tub, in the snow!) He said, "I mean, I could probably build a cabin, if I had the time, I just don't understand how they did it before Google and YouTube!" I rolled my eyes. He recently installed his own car stereo and it is the crowning achievement of his life. I think it went to his head. He replied, "Well, maybe I'll start with a shed."

We were laughing about this again last weekend as we drilled NINE HOLES into the wall before we finally succeeded in hanging my new jewelry armoire. Around the fourth try I said, "Ready to build a cabin next?" Ha!

I clearly contribute to our impotence as a family. I would always rather pay a professional to do it than have DM or myself attempt it, screw it up, and then have to call in the experts. But maybe we need to leave a little room to make mistakes. How else are we supposed to learn? A little discomfort is good, sometimes, right? It means we're learning and growing. No pain, no gain.

We went out to dinner this one night in Tahoe. Now, normally, I carry enough art supplies to outfit an entire kindergarten class in my mom-purse, but naturally, the one time I show up empty-handed, the restaurant has nary a broken crayon or dried-out marker to be seen. DM and I looked at each other like, SHIT. It didn't help that Jack was particularly tetchy and was on a hair trigger. Now, back in my day, after walking through 6 feet of snow uphill both ways, if I or one of my siblings pitched a fit at a restaurant, we'd leave, or be taken out to the car. We traveled up and down the coast in the covered bed of a truck, no iPads, or seatbelts! My parents couldn't have heard us even if we had cried! But what did I do in the face of parental adversity? I made a CVS run for emergency STFU supplies. Even while I was doing it I was thinking to myself, this is ridiculous. I did it anyway. And we had an uneventful dining experience. But this whole thing has filled me with a new resolve:

Short term pain for long term gain. Yes, taking away screen time hurts me more than it hurts you. But you're being a pygmy shrew and this shit is not going to fly. No more Mr. Nice Guy! Have you ever noticed that you usually only get called a "Mean Mom" when you're giving a particularly solid showing of mom-awesomeness?

Anyway. Thanks for tuning in for another random assemblage of thoughts tumbling out of my brain. On a not-really-that-related not, a friend posted this really interesting survey the other day, about how insulated you are from the real world. (PBS: Do you live in a bubble? I got a 48, by the way.) It really got me thinking, about the cost of living life in our little fortresses built from Amazon Prime boxes, and made me want to get out more, learn, challenge myself, do "real things," for my kids' sake and my own. Mostly for theirs because there's still hope for them :)

Here's my working list of things I want my kids to do before they graduate college. Alternate title: How to not raise assholes in 33 easy steps.

1. Learn another language.
2. Live in another country.
3. Work through college, including at least one year in food service or retail.
4. Play team sports.
5. Travel alone.
6. Eat at a restaurant alone, with a book instead of a phone. (At Applebee's, apparently ;))
7. Have roommates.
8. Learn how things work, something, anything.
9. Learn to change a flat tire.
10. Learn how to change your battery.
11. Learn how to do laundry.
12. Know how to make a few meals that won't cause acute gastrointestinal distress.
13. Build IKEA furniture with a friend (and remain friends).
14. Build something other than IKEA furniture.
15. Travel somewhere you can't reach by plane, train, or automobile.
16. If you eat meat - catch, kill, and eat an animal. But not a cute one, or I will cry. Preferably a fish or a bird or something.
17. Keep a journal. And lock it so your little sister/big brother doesn't read it.
18. Get a library card, and use it. Read books, lots of them.
19. Get involved with a local cause or organization that means something to you.
20. Go to a drive-in movie (do those even exist anymore?) BUT DO NOT HAVE THE SEX. Or, do. But for the right reasons. And use protection. Okay nevermind we'll talk more about this later.
21. Mow the lawn.
22. Keep a house plant alive (still working on this one, personally).
23. Plan a surprise party.
24. Volunteer for reasons other than your college applications or resume.
25. Learn how the government works.
26. Learn how credit cards (and debt, in general), work. Learn to budget.
This made me laugh.
27. Do nice things for people who will never know.
28. Keep up the dance parties in your PJs.
29. Write notes and letters - on real, actual paper (or whatever replaces paper once we use up all the trees).
30. Talk less, smile more :)
31. Keep learning new things. Challenge yourself. Do things that are difficult, uncomfortable, even a little bit scary.
32. Surround yourself with people who make you feel better about yourself, and be that person to others. Give people the benefit of the doubt, including yourself.
33. Don't be a dick.

What would you add???

This post from Renegade Mothering is so good and on point:

How to raise an excellent toddler.

And this post! "Are Today's Parents Getting a Raw Deal?" The whole time I was reading it I was nodding vigorously in agreement. This is what I was TRYING to say above, but better!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Sh*t My Kids Say, Vol. 5

Friends, I'm going to be so sad when my kids stop being unintentionally hilarious!!! I can already kind of see it happening a little. I know I'm probably supposed to correct them and stuff but honestly, when my daughter stops saying "stampled" instead of "stapled," I will cry.

The fifth installment:

C: "Awwwww, I willy willy wish I could have a tiny baby unicowin, but Mama's allergic." Um, whut?

J: "This is a fwendship wing. It shoots fwendship into your soul." I need one of those!

I am one hundred years tall.

My feet weigh 37.8 pounds.

Tortilla = Torta-tilla.

Taxi = Shark Car (because of the 'fin' on top).

Chamomile tea = Camel tea.

Ghost Busters = Ghost mustard.

Feliz Navidad = Police Navidad.

J: Allen Wrench = Cool Ranch Screwdriver. LOL.

C: I need my booty [beauty] rest.

J: (re: spicy stuff) It tastes so good, but it doesn't feel so good.

S: Can you put my hair in a "bunch" like a ballerina? (Or a bun. Whatevs.)

J: About the pilgrims: "It was a hard trip through rough waters and all they had to drink was beer and wine." So... it wasn't all bad. ;)

J: "I want to go surfing this weekend, unless the waves are super gnarly." Ha! Welcome to SoCal, bro.

At the "beach." Should I be concerned he visualizes himself as a surfing sad clown/Jack Skellington? ;)
C: When she "accidentally" hurts brother's feelings. "I just didn't wealize..."

C (about the dryer): "It's like a wrinkling oven." Oh dear.

C: Bignormous.

There's a restaurant in our neighborhood we like called "Hapi Fish." We were talking about where we should go to dinner and Colby said, "We could go to Hapi Fish, or we could go to Sad Fish." Which is apparently what she calls the other sushi place down the street. Probably not going to be a marketing mastermind ;)

"Doctor Colby" and "Doctor Jack." C: We live in Ant-Doctor-Ka. Because we're doctors. And because it's dawk for most of the day there.

J and C were looking at their passports and J was explaining to C:

"This is the Statue of Liverty"

"And this is Buffalo Wild Wings"
Me: Wow, Jill always gives you juice. Lucky you. Mama never gives you juice.
J: I already know what you're gonna say, Mama. All that juice stwesses you out. But pwease don't tell her not to give us juice anymore. Dat would stwess ME out!

Driving on the freeway overpass the other day, Jack looks down and says, "Man, there's so much twaffic on the 5 these days." Thanks, gramps. Is your bad knee telling you it's gonna rain tomorrow, too? :)

Jack asked to borrow Colby's new skateboard. Her response: "My hawt is telling me no, but you can still use it." And later, when she, somewhat forcefully, took it back he started crying, "She STOLE her skateboard from me!!!"

J: "I hope you won't take this as a threat, but Colby is going to keep crying until you go get her some water."

C telling a story: So, um, so, we played this game... and then... we played this other game... and then ... we rode bikes... and then... we went to home depot... J: I played soccer! C: JACK INTAWUPTED ME!!!! Me: Sorry babe. Sometimes it's hard for us to know you're still talking because, you, um, stop.

But, apparently, this isn't a two-way street. The kids were riding bikes out front and Jack was trying to explain "The Rules of Engagement." Colby just bikes off. Jack gets upset and says "Colby! You have to listen to me! You can't just ride away!" She pays no attention so Jack goes to tattle to Daddy, who waffles. Colby does a drive-by and says, "I don't have to listen if you take a willy, willy long time to tell the stowy and it gets bo-wing." Fair enough.

Sitting on the couch in the playroom. Me: "What is this stuff all over the couch?" Colby: "It's eithah bwead cwumbs or boogahs." WTF?! Cue talk about boogers and Mom's furniture. I'm sure that one really sunk in.

I overhear Jack: "...dimensional portal..."
Me: What's a 'dimensional portal'?
J: DI-mension portal, mama.

C: Will you hand me the Valcony?
J: It's the Millenium Valcon, not Valcony.
Me: Actually I think it's the Millenium Falcon.
C: I was just about to say that.

The kids are super into being "waiters" and helping set the table, etc. Jack brought a bowl of hot pasta to the table and when I took it from him I said, "Wow! That's hot! Isn't that hurting your hands?" He shrugged and said "I don't know, I'm just used to it, I guess. I touch willy hot things all the time, like lava and stuff." Oh, right, of course ;)

C and J were trying to get the particulars of how DM and I came to be "one." C to DM: "So you weren't always mawwied? Ima and Baba didn't always know Mama? You and Mama were STWANGERS???" DM: "Well, we were strangers and then were were friends and then we fell in love and then we got married." C: "I need to find myself a nice stwanger to marry someday." Sounds like a Disney movie to me :)

Jack's definitely going to be a vegetarian once he realizes I avoid meat on purpose and not because I'm "allergic." He always asks "Is this made from an aminal?" And FYI, watching Charlotte's Web didn't help. The other day we were trying to get him to eat some bacon and he was protesting and Colby said, "Jack, you need to eat pwotein so you can gwow up to be my big, helfy bruddah. If you don't has pwotein, den you won't gwow, and den you won't be my BIG bruddah anymore, you'll be my little bruddah." She makes a persuasive argument :)

We saw this weird retro ad on TV for KFC and Colonel Sanders was wearing a bolero tie. Colby asked, "Why is dat man wearing a leash?!"

C: You can pick your fwends, but nobody else can pick your nose, right mama?

The other morning DM and I said we would play Rock Paper Scissors for who was going to do bedtime. As I was putting them to bed, Jack says, "So I guess you won rock, paper, scissors, huh mama?" Yeah, something like that ;)

The kids were just vacuuming each other with a dust-buster. That means we can skip bath, right?

Jack: I'm da magic tooter because my toots don't stink!
Colby: MINE DO!

Colby made a sandwich on a King's Hawaiian roll with buttery noodles in the middle. I think she's mine :) She was also dipping her carrots in butter AND ranch the other day (ew), which probably negates any nutritional value they might have, but hey, you know me and ranch go way back :)

Colby: "I'm just a little girl with little ears, so dat's why I can't be a good listenah."

The kids wanted an "after dinner treat" and I said we didn't have time for them to have lollipops because they take for-freaking-ever, so they spent the next 47,000 minutes painstakingly choosing something from their Easter baskets. I finally said "C'mon guys, hurry it along, will ya?" And Jack said, "Well, did is what happens when we don't get lollipops."

C: Mama, do you want to hear dis lovely music on the carmonica?

C: I like da rain because California is in a sewious dwought and we need watah!

J went through this short phase where he was calling C a pygmy shrew??? (Sounds like "pygmy shwoo.") No clue where he got this, but it just SLAYED me. And it's pretty accurate, actually. lolol.

The other day I drove right past the doggy daycare place. I said, "Oh man, I almost totally forgot the dogs! What a mean mama!" Colby said "It's okay. You look like a mean mama but you're actually not, so I still love you." Ummm, thanks?

C: "Mama, you're a lot pwetty and a little bit fun." Well, hey, we can't all be the life of the party.

J telling me that his teacher has this "magical spray" that makes boo-boos feel better. Me: Oh, maybe I should get some. J makes this face like, Ooooooh....hmmm... that's going to be a problem. He says "Welllll... It's at a pwace you and daddy don't willy like vewy much... It's ... at... [whispers] Walmawt." Ha. Sorry Walmart.

Meanwhile, at Target, my mothership. We were there the other day. DM was out of town. I told them if they were good we could go out to lunch after. Jack had this total tantrum in the store because I wouldn't buy him some toy. I was totally flabbergasted because usually they're really good out and about and I had somehow, by the grace of God, avoided the stereotypical tantrum in Target scenario thus far. I was saying, out loud, "Really? This is actually happening? Are we seriously doing this right now?" He kind of pulled it together but then lost his shit again as we were going out to the car. I got my first "I HATE YOU!" which was simultaneously jarring, heartbreaking, and hysterical. I said, No lunch! And he said, "FINE! Then I'm gonna make you MAKE me lunch and you're gonna HATE IT because YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW HOW TO COOK!" Damn, kid! Et tu, Brute?

Me: UGH! Who peed on the toilet, AGAIN?
C: It wasn't me! My pwivates don't move. Jack is the only one's whos pwivates move ALL OVAH DA PLACE! It musta been him.

Colby tickled Jack until he was laughing hysterically and then asked, "Did I make you pee a little?" lolol, wonder where she got that idea? Post-kid bladder control's a biatch.

C: Tell Jack to stop singing that song, it's hurting my foot!!!

J stuffed a big ole seaweed chip into his mouth. Colby said, "Dat's not appwopwiate, Jack." He replied "It's not inappwopwiate, it's just bad mannahs." (He then outlined the parameters of "inappwopwiateness," including but not limited to fawt jokes and potty woids.)

The other day C knocked over a whole tower of Magnatiles and said, "Mother of God!" Oopsies. Could be a lot worse, I guess ;)

I decided to outlaw gummy vitamins for dental hygiene reasons, so I bought some regular chewable vitamins (which, PS, are even worse) and Jack saw them and said, "Colby, Look! Mama bought us these awesome old school vitamins!" Flinstones are so retro.

Colby (who just turned 4) thinks the alphabet goes "A, B, C, T.... Y M Z." Second child. She'll learn it eventually, right? ;)

For a long time, the girl wouldn't let us leave her room at night. We had to go through all these machinations and negotiations but I finally figured out the answer: Good ole reverse phychology.
Me: Okay, time to sleep. But I'm soooo tired. I think I'll just sleep here.
C: Well, you need to get up and go into your own bed.
Me: So sleepy though.
C: Seriously, Mama. Get outta my bed!
Me: But it's so comfy! And you're so snuggly like a fluffy pillow!
C: Well, there's not enough room in this bed for two.
Don't let the door hit ya... ;)

Colby's teacher was talking to DM about Colbs and her little BFF. "One's the mother figure and the other's the drama queen." DM said "Which one's which?" And the teacher said "I'll leave you to figure that out." DM was recounting this to me and Colby pipes in, "I'M THE QUEEN!"

J: "I wish we could play 'the hooky' tomorrow." Me too, bud. Me too.

C to J: You're a rat-a-tootie and I'm a rat-a-cutie!

J: Abe Linked-In. (History in the 21st century.)

Colby is EXTREMELY CONCERNED that our dogs do not have the same last name as her. Her own mother? Eh. But the dogs? This is NOT OKAY and must be remedied IMMEDIATELY.

When I asked the girl what kind of birthday party she wanted: "Wainbow spawkle unicorn jumping over a wainbow spawkle bwidge of wainbows." Alrighty then.

She also said, "You thought of the name Wainbow when I was in your tummy, but you didn't want that even though it was a pwetty name, then Golden came into your head and you said, "We can give her golden hair but name her Colby with wainbows in her hawt." <3

J: You know what I like, Mama?
Me: What?
J: Being a kid.
Awww <3 This is especially sweet coming from our resident Eeyore.

I heart them.
To read more funny sh*t my kids say:

My husband thinks he's pretty funny, too: