Monday, January 23, 2012

I think I'm making my kid neurotic

Last night, it snowed.  Now, I love the snow.  I love waking up to my city blanketed in a soft, peaceful white snow.  I love making the first footprints in the backyard.  I love how fresh and clean snow makes everything feel.

But this year has been....disappointing.  We've had all of 1/4 inch of snow since October.  Maybe.

So when I woke up to snow this morning, I was so excited to get Little Spaghetti out into it.  He's been pretty excited the two times he has seen snow so far, so I was just grinning thinking about how cute he was going to be when he looked out into the yard.

"Look! Look!" I said to him, "SNOW!"

He looked out the window, looked back at me and said definitively, "Poop."

"What?" I said, utterly confused by the fact that he wasn't just giddy over the snow like I was.

"Poop!" he replied, insistently.  "Poop!"  He pointed out the sliding glass door.

Sure enough, there on the pretty white ground, the dog had left a little brown present for us.

"Yeah, yeah, ok.  I see.  Jackie pooped.  But look at the snow!"

"Poop," he said.  "Accident.  Mama! Help!"

And that was all he'd say.  Over and over.  Until I went outside and picked up the poop. 

As I was out in the freezing snow, wallowing in my disappointment while I retrieved the poop, I reflected on what had happened.  I'm a big enough person to admit that he *might* get a few of these tendencies from me.  He likes things to be just right.  He doesn't like to be dirty.  He makes me wipe his hands while he's eating.  He picks up little fuzzes of the ground and proudly brings them to me.  He goes to other people's houses and asks for a tissue...so he can dust their furniture.

My conclusion?  I might be making my kid neurotic, but if that's the worst thing I do in this great parenting experiment, then I think I'm doing alright.

*Just to be clear, when I say neurotic, I mean it in the light-hearted Urban Dictionary way, not the clinical or disordered Webster's way.  I don't actually think my kid suffers from diagnosable neuroses.  Thanks for the concern, though.*

Sunday, January 15, 2012

How not to go to the bathroom

I've had a revelation:
Take this weekend for example...

I was doing a little bit of shopping at the local mall when my (now fully potty trained) dear little boy told me, "potty!"  Naturally, we abandoned what we were doing and rushed to the nearest bathroom.  As we were nearing the little hallway to the restrooms, I dropped one of the bags I was carrying.  I bent down to pick up what had fallen out of the bag, and I let go of Little Spaghetti's hand for a split second.  I looked up, just in time to see him disappearing into...the men's room.

"Noooooo!!!" I cried out in overly dramatic slow motion.  I couldn't have imagined how many panicked thoughts would run through my head in the span of the next few seconds.  What if he decides to roll around on the floor?  What if  he reaches into a urinal!  What if he reaches into a toilet!?  What if he decides to grab some unsuspecting gentleman's behind while he's just trying to pee in peace?!?  Oh, the germs! The embarrassment!

But what was I to do?  Find a male security guard to send on a search and rescue mission?  No, that would take too long, and I wouldn't chance leaving my kid alone in a bathroom for any amount of time.  Knock gently on the wall and ask for someone to kindly return my kid to me? That could work, but what if nobody picked him up right away?  Imagine how many things he could touch.  Or lick.

Just as I was getting ready to duck and cover and sprint into the men's room with my eyes averted as best as I could while frantically searching for my toddler, he turned around and wandered back out to me.  I let out a huge sigh of relief at the awkwardness I'd so very narrowly avoided.

So, today's parenting lesson: when you're within 500 feet of any bathroom with an open door, don't even think of letting your grip on your child's hand loosen.  Not even for a second.

On the plus side...he seems to have learned to pee standing up all the sudden.  I'll count that as one in the win column this time.

Friday, January 6, 2012

New Year's resolutions are for suckers...so here are mine

I was watching one of the New Year's Eve in Times Square specials last week in an effort to keep myself awake until midnight.  Some celebrity or another was interviewing people, and the question was, "What is your New Year's resolution?"

As I listened to what the people were saying, I couldn't help but feel sorry for them.  They all had such high and lofty goals.  And while I'd very much like to see them succeed, the truth is that I wouldn't put my money in their court if we were betting whether or not they'd keep their resolutions.  They were all some variation of this: "I'm going to transform myself into an all-around better person by eating healthy/exercising/spending less time on Facebook/insert life altering choice here."

The problem is that the ideas were so big and undefined...and the results were so dramatic - the very best version of themselves they could imagine.  It's no wonder that most people seem to have given up on their New Year's resolutions before Valentine's Day.

So, my new theory on New Year's resolutions is not to get carried away.  Pick very specific and achievable things.  Then do those.  So here's what I've got on my list for 2012.

1.  Make cheese.  From scratch.  Probably mozzarella.

2. Integrate the use of the phrase "and so on" into everyday speech.  Instead of trailing off when I'm talking to people because I've not formulated an articulate and complete thought, this phrase will make me sound smart and put together...and so on. 

3. Send Birthday cards.  Who doesn't like getting mail?  And, I may be bad at having regular phone calls with friends or even returning emails, but there's nothing like a good, old-fashioned birthday card to let them know that I actually do still like them.

4. Blog better....alright, alright, in terms of "lofty, undefined goals," this one probably tops the charts.  (Good thing my New Year's resolution wasn't to stick to my new theory on New Year's resolutions, right?).  But, it isn't all that unspecific.  You see, last fall, I got really caught up in the numbers game of blogging: How many followers do I have? How many visitors do I get in a week? What's my Klout score? Has anyone mentioned me on Twitter in the last twelve minutes? Have I read all 586 blogs in my Google Reader? Have I responded to each and every person who comments on my posts and made a relatively thoughtful comment back on their post - even if it means I don't actually have time to write on my own blog today?

And...perhaps not surprisingly...I got totally burned out.  Blogging wasn't fun.  It became a task and a chore.  I forgot that the reason I started blogging was just to write, and it didn't matter whether anyone read what I had to say or not.  So, that's what I want to do: just write.  Hopefully I'll entertain or inspire along the way.  Hopefully I'll repair the bloggy friendships I damaged when I abandoned the blog world all at once.  Hopefully I'll make even more friends.  But, mostly, I just want an outlet. 

So, I apologize in advance if you leave a comment and I don't comment back.  Know that I appreciate each and every one of you who reads  what I have to say.  And I do read your blogs.  You guys are awesome.

Alright, enough blabbering for today.  How about you: Did you make any New Year's resolutions?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Did you know that U is for Umbrella Bird?

Well, Christmas has come and gone.  On one hand, it's hard to believe it happened so fast.  On the other, I'm surprised it ever ended considering we celebrated three weekends in a row with various different groups of our family and friends.  Turns out that almost-two-year-olds are highly in demand around the holiday season.

Overall, I'm declaring Christmas 2011 a success.  Though, as always, there were a few hiccups.  My favorite mishap of this year was this:

Looks fairly harmless, right?  Just a boy playing happily with his shiny, brand new laptop?  But, take a closer look.  You see anything weird? 

I'll give you a hint: read the bottom line of letters.  That's right...some genius put the W and the U in the wrong place.  Which means that U isn't actually for umbrella bird, W is.  On a side note...anybody know what an umbrella bird is? 

Anyway, I got a good laugh (right up until I returned this failure of an  educational toy), but I do have to wonder how many of these laptops made it into the hands of unsuspecting parents this year.  I hope it was just a fluke, but I worry about other kids who many not have parents who play with their toys more than they do  are as scrutinizing as I am that will forever be confused about the location of U and W in the alphabet. 

So, on their behalf, I uant to uish yow a very Happy Neu Year and all the uell uishes in the uorld for 2012!