Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Everyone's an Expert

"What is that?"
"What is the boy doing?"
"What is she holding?"
"What are those?"
"What do you have?"

This goes on all day. I'm pretty sure we're a few shorts months away from the "Why?" phase. You know you're jealous! I try to answer most of Emily's questions or ask her to tell me the answer. It's fun in a slowly-losing-my-mind kind of way.

We had someone over last week to get rid of an annoying mole who recently moved into our backyard. I was pointing out the damage when Em's rapid fire questions began. "Shhh... Mommy is talking, Sweetheart. Just a second, OK?" Mr. Mole then said, "You know... You should really answer every one of her questions."

Really?? Thanks... I was hoping you could give me some parenting advice while you were here. Perhaps I can give you some mole trapping suggestions?? Or not... Whatever.

I wish I had the guts to actually say something like this, but I tend to just roll with it when random people give unsolicited parenting advice (why do they do that!?) Mr. Mole went on to tell me about his gifted children and how his 5-year old son once pointed out a cloud shaped like Indonesia. Apparently I should buy Emily a globe for Christmas. Because that's a cool toddler toy.

Back inside, Emily had been saving up all of her questions for me beginning with, "Who is that?"

"That is someone who knows a lot of things... About moles." So there.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Home Sweet Remodeled Home

It's amazing how one little remodeling project can snowball into a major renovation. We needed a new kitchen floor (as it turns out, throwing a large dog bone on kitchen linoleum was a bad idea) and decided to replace it with tile. But you can't have new tile with worn out carpet. So, I guess we need new carpet... Throughout the house. As long as we're doing tile, let's just get an estimate for a granite counter. Now we'll need a new sink. And faucet. A microwave hood would be great, wouldn't it? Hmm... The granite might look funny with this stove. We might as well paint a few rooms and now that we have it looks like we'll need new bedding, bath towels, art, bath rugs... Oh my...

Needless to say the last few weeks have been a little crazy. After this spending spree, we may be eating like college students for a while (Top Ramen, anyone?) but we won't care because we'll be eating in our lovely remodeled home.

This whole process is exciting, but it's also pretty stressful. At this point we're microwaving food in the garage and eating out. A lot. Keeping Em and our neurotic dog out of the house for lengthy periods is a juggling act and the heat is not helping! Too hot for someone with MS to be outside for long and too hot to leave a dog in the car. Blue was forced to listen to Emily and I sing along to Disney Princess Songs all day in the car yesterday. We ran in and out of stores and treated ourselves to a few drive through goodies. Did you know DQ makes a mini blizzard!?! Dangerous discovery on my part.

Emily hasn't napped all week (tough to do away from home) and we're both short on patience these days. I was waist deep in a power struggle when I found myself pinning her to the ground to finish a diaper change tonight. We're both being sent to bed early this evening. Tomorrow night, too.

I'm not sure what I'm more excited for -- the finished project or the project being finished! Either way, I'm counting the days... So close!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Mommy Lies

I lie to my daughter on a fairly regular basis. They're harmless, but they're still lies that I feel guilty about. Wait... No, I don't. There I go lying again.

I tell her all of the little girls in the world named Emily Jane have to go to bed now. Yes, Mommy and Daddy are going to sleep, too. We visited a Fancy Nancy playhouse earlier this week and she has asked to return every day since. "It's closed," I told her. I fully understand now why my mom once told me Chuck E. Cheese went out of business or the time she fed me a Certs and called it Dramamine when I complained of feeling carsick.

The bakery is all out of cookies today. Only the big kids get to play on that swing. I can't find the Elmo CD. Ever. Mommy is drinking juice. What are those farm animals doing to each other? They're wrestling, Honey. And the crazy man is yelling because he's just so excited!

I do this without even thinking because it's easier, it's developmentally more appropriate than the truth, or because I'm trying to save the shred of sanity I have left after a crazy day. I think of it as good practice for the bigger, better parenting lies. Santa and I can't wait!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Princess Kisses

We have a new kiss in our house. The aggressive, bruising kisses are long gone and Emily is suddenly interested in open mouth kissing. With her tongue out. I blame Disney.

Albertson's had a display at the end of an aisle featuring all-things-princess this week (it's as if they knew we were coming). Emily just about jumped out of the cart when she saw a whole wall of shiny pink books with Ariel, Cinderella, Snow White, Jasmine, and Sleeping Beauty smiling back at her. I made her choose two from the pile of eight we initially started with.

She can't get enough of them. My daughter can point to each character and tell you their names despite never having seen a Disney movie. She covered the dog in Cinderella stickers yesterday (he was not amused) and insists on singing Once Upon a Dream from Sleeping Beauty every chance she gets. This is shortly followed by, "Now Mommy sing it." She was not pleased when Daddy didn't know the words!

The two princess books are her new favorites. She stares at the pics of Ariel and Eric and tells me what's happening on each page. On the last page, they're kissing. It's a serious smooch and Ariel's mouth is slightly open. Emily immediately wanted to practice... "Mommy, Wanna kiss??"

Suddenly she's pressing her open mouth onto mine and I'm left tight-lipped trying to keep the toddler drool out! Oh, Ariel... What have you done??

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

You Should Write A Letter...

How many times have you heard this after sharing tales of bad service with others? I actually write them. Probably more than most people.

I've had enough success to motivate me to continue this habit... I received a free hotel stay, for example, after being given a dirty room, then a smoking room, then transported by shuttle (at midnight, no less) to a sister property where a 1st floor room covered in dog hair and a parking lot view awaited me. I've written letters every time I've been cited for speeding and have received at least a partial refund on every occasion (I just admitted to having multiple speeding tickets, didn't I?) TCBY gave me free yogurt after I found curly black hairs in my Very Berry Strawberry (Ew) as if I'd ever eat there again. At least they responded.

My point is that it often works. This is why I just finished a 2-page letter about a recent pony ride Emily had. I'll be honest... I'm angry because my kid was hurt. It was going so well until something startled Patches and he jumped, throwing my little girl into the air. She landed on her back and head dangerously near his hind legs. We're so lucky she wasn't seriously injured.

I've been around horses enough to know that this is always a risk. I was really cool about the whole thing and told the teen employee not to worry about it because Emily would be OK (after she finished crying hysterically, of course). She apologized and then said, "Patches is the skittish one. We just got him and I guess he used to be abused."


This is the point where cool went out the window. You let an abused pony with a history of being nervous and unpredictable give pony rides to toddlers?! The owner later denied this is true at all and became very defensive of her beloved Patches. The contradiction only made me more upset.

So I thought to myself, "You should write a letter..." And an e-mail. With a video attachment. I don't know if Patches will be kicked off of the pony ride circuit or if they'll re-examine the minimum age for rides, but it makes me feel better just knowing I've said what I wanted to say to people who might actually do something other than give me a refund and a popsicle. Although I do like popsicles... Maybe I should have mentioned that in my letter?