Getting Spanked

I’m getting spanked. And, no, not in the way one might enjoy getting spanked if one didn’t have an ass that slaps back. I’m getting spanked by my two-year-old. Who, incidentally, is exhausting me to the point that the possibility of sex and spanking happening on any given night is nearly impossible. But I digress…

My first two kids are 14 months apart. When they were twos and threes I had my nose all up in the parenting books. I had mastered the 1-2-3 Give Them The Look And Presto They’ll Do What You Say technique. I don’t remember needing to give them time-outs.

Sadly I have been lulled by the gentle rhythms of the older kids’ latency years and am now find myself getting a smack down from the third child, Mr. T.

How, exactly, do you parent a two-year-old asshole?

He’s not really an asshole. Yes he is. No he’s not. Yes he is.

I OWN YOU

I OWN YOU

Last week I had a small operation. I am not to lift anything over 10 pounds for the next few weeks. I sit Mr. T down and explain that I have a “owie” that prevents me from doing “up-poo” for a while, but that he’s a big boy and can walk.

Note: This child doesn’t like his feet to touch the ground for too long. He likes to preserve energy so there is always be just enough to wreak havoc when necessary.

On our first post-surgical outing we go to the library after preschool. Mr. T is in a good mood. I tank him up with some cookies food. He gets out of the car all by himself and marches into the Rec Center that houses the library. As soon as we get inside he looks at me, smiles and takes off running past the library, down the hall, and all the way to the vending machines.

After pulling him off the machine luring him back down the hallway and into the library we settle in to read books. Another child and her mother show up and everything is peaceful until I say Okay, five more minutes and then it’s time to go home for lunch.

Note: The other child is well-behaved, listens to her mother, not attempting to climb the stacks or yelling LODEEDODEEDODEEDOOO at the top of her lungs. And her mother is well coiffed.

Alarmed that his library time is being cut short, Mr. T’s revs up. His eyes dilate. I am physically powerless. There will be no scoop the child and run.

I play puppets!

Grunt, grunt.

A foul smell wafts through the air.

The other mother looks up.

I shake my head and mouth It’s my kid.

Grunt, grunt.

LODEEDODEEDODEEDOOO!

GRUNT.

CHANGE MY DIAPAHHHHH!

CHANGE MY DIAPAHHHH! 

(Translation: I do not sit in my own feces. Remove this offensive garment immediately or I will do so myself.)

The other mother and child exit scene.

Sadly, the diaper bag is not on my person.

Hey, buddy, we need to go home to change your diaper. Let’s go! 

Mr.T throws himself on the floor of the library.

CHANGE MY DIAPAHHHHH!

CHANGE MY DIAPAHHHH!

He is corpse-like stiff and I am unable to move him or convince him to follow me. I am at his mercy and he knows it and I have no diapers, no wipes, no strategy.

I look up. No security cameras. I look around. No parents. No children.

With stealth like speed I lift his legs, remove diaper, shove in my bag, pull up his pants.

Boy returns to puppet area. I am aware that at any moment he is likely to urinate on the books.

Okay, guy, we have to go now! There’s yummy food at home and we’re all done at the library. Here we go…

Boy looks at me like a wild animal. Runs to other side of children’s area. I run. He runs. Back and forth. Back and forth.

I think to myself “Seriously? I gave up a career for this shit? I am an asshole. I am chasing a two-year old back and forth in a library. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?” 

In a moment of desperation, humiliation and with the full knowledge that I have lost all hope, I say Well, I guess I’m going to get ice cream all by myself then. See ya! 

That’s how I get him into the car. Without lifting. And with great shame.

So, how exactly do you parent a two-year-old?

THANK YOU GOD

THANK YOU GOD

Superhero, The Tampon Warrior

I will affectionately look back on this week as The Week Of The Tampon.

It started innocently enough.

A confluence of events, if you will.

20120210-091850.jpg

I had recently planted a few What Is Happening To My Body? type of books around the house in the hopes that I wouldn’t actually have to have a face to face about pubic hair it might garner some conversation of the puberty type.

A few days ago, Ruby who is 8 and on Autism spectrum (which as I write this strikes me as something that should come with a backyard rainbow and unicorn), told our babysitter that she was worried about getting her period.

Apparently her best friend had filled her in on some of the finer details of getting The Period during their last sleepover. Our babysitter filled in some other facts when I was at work.

The next morning, as I was slinging breakfast, Ruby said, “Is it TRUE that you LET Dad put his penis in your PAGINA?!!”

Oh shit, here we go. I know we need to talk about this, but really, right now, over waffles?

Lucas looked up, intrigued.

Theo yelled, “Pagina!”

Then, before I could formulate an answer, Ruby said, “And when you get your period, do you REALLY put a piece of cotton up your butt?”

Lucas, ever the family scholar, said, “No, no, no. It goes in the vagina. It’s on page 14 of that book with pictures of penises and uteruses.”

(I see who has been doing his homework.)

Theo yelled, “Utusssuses!!”

And so we had a short conversation clarifying the arrangement of the various holes and their functions and how it is best to reserve use of those holes for, preferably, college or even graduate school. And how they must be protected from disease and the creation of new life.

By the time I was done explaining fallopian tubes and the vas deferens (also known as the ductus deferens, Latin for “carrying-away vessel”) the kids were mollified or at the very least clearly bored by my dry and scientific anatomical explanation.

Fast forward to this morning.

I was trying to take care of business in the bathroom, which as any parent (and pet owner) knows, is nearly impossible to do in peace. I had to leave the door open at least wide enough so that Theo could hear me, but narrow enough to keep the dog and cat out.

As usual Theo made his way into the bathroom. He saw my box of tampons and immediately had to investigate.

“Whazzz dis?” he asked while poking me in the leg with a Light Flow. I want da candy!”

“Oh, no, honey,” I said. “That is a tampon. It doesn’t go in your mouth.”

“Where go?” he implored while chewing on the paper.

“It goes in the vagina, sweetie. Not in your mouth.” I said, trying not to giggle.

“I want da bagina! Open da bagina!” he yelled.

Good lord, this one is going to need a lot of work on Manners Around Vaginas before he hits puberty.

So I took the tampon out of the paper wrapper. The kid’s eyes seriously lit up. Suddenly I had a bad feeling. A feeling that The Marble might be looking at some, uh, stiff competition. How would I explain this one to the preschool teachers.

“Ohhhhhhh, THREE baginas!” (He had already pulled the two parts of the tampon apart and before I knew it had run off with them.)

20120210-100121.jpg

I got dressed, came out of the bathroom and found Theo chasing the dog around with the tampon parts while yelling, “Supahero! Supahero the bagina!”

And thus, a new Superhero was born.

And now I’m hiding the condoms. And other unmentionables.

The Great Hanukkah Melt-Down

A friend and fellow blogger had the brilliant idea of bringing together the Jewish blogging community by creating #hanukkahhoopla - an opportunity for those of us of the Jewish faith to blog about Hanukkah this holiday season. I’m jumping in with a little kvetch about Hanukkah melt-downs. There is also a nifty give-away tied in to this post (please see below & don’t forget to comment!)

Holy shit my kids are so freaking crazy. So. Freaking. Crazy.

I mean they are really, really bat shit crazy sometimes.

Tonight was the second night of Hanukkah. My kids are like aggressive animals about Hanukkah presents. It’s not like they are in need of more toys or books or anything whatsoever. And it’s not like they are brats on a regular basis. It’s the wrapping, the surprise, the suspense. It just gets under their skin. And the waiting until sundown is just too much.

(Aside: Last night, after the Eldest made a small complainy noise about wanting to open more presents after she had already opened a bunch from my brother & sister-in-law, my husband got The Concerned Psychotherapist look. I saw him take the Eldest aside and talk to her. I got his Marital Look of Disappointment thrown my way. It read: Reign these brats in. I know, I know. I break the one gift per night rule every year. It irks the husband.)

Anyhow, tonight was a whole new level of crazy. My father, Papa, took the kids to see the godawful new Chipmunk movie and brought them back home to give them his Hanukkah presents. (My husband was working late and thus didn’t get to see that they each got one and only one present) This is what ensued:

The Eldest got a really cool, but very goopey and smelly, Make Your Own Slutty Lip Gloss set. She was stoked.

The Middle Guy, whom you may remember from this post, got a Put It Together Yourself Solar System Mobile. Now let me tell you, this kid is completely obsessed with all things planetary. He also has extremely bad fine motor skills and the patience of a jittery heroine addict who needs a fix.

Here is an example of his dedication to the solar system:

Anyhow, the Middle Guy, who was still coming down off all the sugar that Papa gave him at the movies, had quite the reaction when he opened the gift. He tore half the paper off, saw a picture of the solar system, started screaming at the top of his lungs, ran to me and burst into tears of joy. Then he ran to Papa crying, Thank you, Papa, thank you!!” It was weird. Very, very weird.

The Eldest, who has Asperger’s, was completely freaked out by this display of Middle Guy emotion. She didn’t like the Middle Guy’s loud excitement, so she covered her ears and put her head down smack in the middle of her stinky, gooey lip gloss making stuff. Then, when she saw his tears of joy she launched into a 15 minute discussion about tear ducts, and the varying reasons that one might cry, and asked me ten to twenty times if she’s ever cried tears of joy.

The Littlest, seeing that the Middle Guy had gotten something with planets (a.k.a. colorful balls), abandoned his cool new recycling truck, and began to beg loudly, Gimme Sun! Gimme Juperterter! Gimme Saturn!

All the while I was trying to make dinner. I really wanted to get some chicken nuggets into the Middle Guy before his blood sugar plummeted even lower and there would be no return from the pool of tears/Solar System induced hysteria.

So Dear Old Papa tried to put the Put It Together Yourself Solar System Mobile together with the hysterical Middle Guy (whom I’d given two Calm Yourself Down Time Outs already). But Dear Old Papa is an engineer. And engineers are never in a rush. They analyze. They inspect. Not quite the speed of a hysterical glucose deprived freakish Middle Guy.

Here’s what it sounded like:

Middle Guy: (wailing) It’s never going to work. We’ll never figure it out!
Me: It’s okay. (Trying to shove a chicken nugget in his mouth) Just calm down.
Littlest: Gimme Sun! (Launching his body across the table) Gimme Jupiterter! Sun! Sun!
Eldest: Have I ever cried tears of joy? I think maybe in 2009! Maybe when you got me that Pillow Pet. I was really happy. I might have cried tears of joy. Remember?
Middle Guy: (whimpering) Papa, you’re doing it wrong! That’s not where Saturn goes!
Littlest: Gimme Shaturn! Gimme Sun!
Eldest: Can you help me with the lip gloss?
Papa: (Working quietly, trying his best)
Middle Guy: (Crying) The labels won’t stick! OH NO WHERE IS VENUS?!
Littlest: (Running out of the room with tiny, sized for choking model Venus)

And so it went until the solar system was put together, albeit crooked and with labels falling off. Exhausted, the Middle Guy retired to the sofa with a book about the solar system as the Littlest tried his darndest to sneakily pull the tiny planets off the newly constructed solar system. Dear Old Papa, lips shiny with slutty pink hand-made lip gloss, took his leave of the hysteria, and I wrapped up the second night of Hanukkah with thoughts of a gin & tonic.

Thank God I will be at work for the third night of Hanukkah. Good luck, honey!

By the way, #HanukkahHoopla would not be possible with out the generosity of our sponsors.  I would like to thank Streit’s and Doni Zasloff Thomas a.k.a. Mama Doni, the lead singer/songwriter of The Mama Doni Band for providing each of the 16 bloggers involved in #HanukkahHoopla with a little cyber-swag. Their cross-promotional alliance is designed to celebrate Jewish culture with the young generation, a mission of both Mama Doni and Streit’s.

How can you win?  Leave me an awesome comment on.  On January 5, 2012, I will select one winner at random.  Be sure to subscribe to my blog or subscribe to the comments on this page so that you can find out if you are the winner!  If I don’t hear from you with 48 hours after announcing, I will select another winner.  Please don’t make me work hard to find you.

Prefer to be contacted via Twitter?  Leaver your Twitter handle in your comment and I will tweet you if you win.

Not interested in winning?  You can still leave a comment!  I love to read your words.  Just write: “No prize necessary” in your comment.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to your comments.

Happy Hanukkah!

20111221-231646.jpg

The Third Child

Yesterday I realized that my two-year-old Theo has truly turned the corner and is now a legit No-MINE-No-No-Mine-NO-No-NO! two-year old. Perhaps it is because he is our third child and I’ve been sufficiently beaten down by his older siblings that I find his new attempts to assert himself pretty darn hilarious. For instance, Theo believes he is in charge of our pug, Ozzie. Theo insists on walking ahead of Ozzie while yelling “Me first!” He commands Ozzie to, “Go potty, go potty, go potty” as Ozzie is in the process of urinating or pooping. And, Theo loves to run around the house with a chicken nugget held snuggly in his chubby little hand so that Ozzie will chase him. Luckily Ozzie has relinquished any alpha male tendencies in the hopes that a few bits of soggy chicken nugget might fall in Theo’s wake.

There are many times, of course, when Theo is holding up the tiny deadlines in my head, that I have the passing thought that he is torturing me. This happens when he decides that he would like to sit on the potty (for a long time) just as we are trying to leave the house. (He’s not potty trained. He likes to sit on the potty and grunt. He likes to sit on the potty and read. He likes to stick his hands in the toilet water if I step away. And he likes to throw books in the potty.) The thought that, hey, maybe this kid is a real jackass occurs when we are trying to rush to the bus stop and he refuses a jacket, or shoes, or socks. It occurs when he hides the computer mouse. And the remote. But then he’ll do something adorable like fist bump every kid at the bus stop (even Ozzie), or imitate one of the big kids reading a book, or give my husband one of those choke-you-to-death neck hugs that is oh, so sweet, and I think hey, this kid is pretty great and this guy is a keeper and I’m so glad we had a third kid. So, for today, he’s safe with me. We’ll see what happens when he wakes up from his nap!