House Training

“Did he pee?” “Mom, did he pee?” “He peed?” “Oh man, really? He peed again?” These are common questions nowadays in my house. Why? We have a puppy. I have days when I wish I could put on a puffer vest , hop in a DeLorean and relive the day we decided to bring this dog home. Don’t get me wrong, I love animals. I grew up with dogs and it was such a joy. Of course it was. I didn’t take care of the pets. I played and snuggled with our dogs. Our cat curled up in my bed at night until it ran away. When that cat disappeared so did the allergies and asthma attacks I had been plagued with. Turns out I was allergic to that cat. Back then, I didn’t change kitty litter, walk the dog in frigid temperatures or clean up pungent dog urine.

My oldest son loves the dog. My daughter tries to play with him, but cries whenever it playfully bites. My middle child? Well, he may be Satan. (I’m kidding. I think.) He torments this dog. Then again, I remember, as a child, my brother played football with our cat. Unfortunately for the cat it was always on the opposing team. My brother would race down the long hallway of our apartment and tackle the cat. Amazingly, the cat never got hurt and loved him anyway. I suppose I will grow to love our dog too. As soon as he learns to pee outside.

What Would J.C. Penny Do?

 

Hell has frozen over. Fox News pundit, Bill O’Reilly, is defending Ellen DeGeneres. Good for him! One Million Moms is boycotting the store because it hired the talk show host as its spokesperson. First of all, I didn’t know a million people still shopped at JCPenny. (I always thought it was plural. JCPennys. Proof that deep down I am a hillbilly.) Look ladies, you can always buy your mock turtlenecks and pleated dress pants somewhere else. Kmart would probably welcome your business. Are you worried ‘the gays’ are going to stampede through the juniors section and start a rave? It ain’t Barney’s. A commercial isn’t going to convince a gay man to give up his designer skinny jeans for khakis. Million Moms wants Ellen fired because she is promoting her sexuality? Shut the front door! What’s next? Are you are going to demand restaurants fire homosexuals and lesbians? Salons? Imagine a world without a gay stylist. Mullets would be everywhere. You have the right to disagree with the lifestyle of those in the gay, lesbian and transgender community. Thump that bible as much as you want. I love me some Jesus, but I love my gays too. This is America and the J.C. above the store’s entrance doesn’t stand for Jesus Christ.


The Leader

I brought doughnuts to my son’s pre-school today. Look, I know this delightful pastry doesn’t fall into one of the four food groups. (There are four right?) I also brought milk. In my opinion that cancels out the junk food. Honestly, I forgot it was my turn. I didn’t have time to get to a store.

The school assigns a child to be the “leader” each day of the month. Basically, they bribe you. ‘We will give your son a title for the day if you feed the children.’ The kids look forward to this day for weeks. It means they get to stand in the front of the line, lead the class in songs and pass out napkins during snack time. Wouldn’t it be great if that defined success in adulthood?

We arrived a little early and sat in the hallway waiting for the teacher to open the door. This lady doesn’t want to take these kids a minute early. Teachers aren’t paid as much as they should be. Pre-school teachers are paid less and given false hope that they will one day be hired in the district. It doesn’t make much sense to me. A teacher’s job is one of the most important and some garbage men make more. I digress.

Anyway, as we patiently waited for school to begin another mother noticed the box of doughnuts resting on my son’s lap. “Wow that’s quite a sweet treat for snack time,” she said in a condescending Martha Stewart like tone. “When my daughter was the leader I hallowed out apples and scooped peanut butter in each one. Then, I cut the apple pieces in slices. The kids had so much fun dipping them.” I could feel my face burning with rage. I grinned and said, “I wish I had that much time on my hands.” This lady also had time to French Braid her hair this morning. This isn’t France or 1984.

Wake up Call

I woke up this morning with my 4-year-old tugging on my arm and whispering in my face, “Wake up Mommy.” His breath smelled like he ate garbage for dinner, an onion for dessert and gargled with toilet water. My kids are mouth breathers. He came into my bedroom in the middle of the night after having a nightmare. What does a 4-year-old have nightmares about? He couldn’t remember. Perhaps he went with Dora to save a princess and The Map gave them wrong directions. Or maybe the cops finally arrested Dora’s parents on child endangerment charges because Dora is wandering the earth without adult supervision. Regardless, he came running in my room for comfort. His sister was already there. I admit I have allowed all three of my babies to sleep in my room. I don’t advocate co-sleeping. I know experts say it can be dangerous. It also suffocates your marriage. Forget romance or even conversation for that matter. Plus, over the years I’ve had countless nights of being kicked in the face and waking up in a pool of vomit.

 

So, why wouldn’t I put them in a crib? I tried, but my irrational fears took over. I actually blame Nancy Grace. Her theories on missing babies scared the hell out of me. It could be the way she glares at the camera, eyes bugged out and speaks with an angry southern drawl. Either way, her stories about “Tot Moms” are more frightening than her nip slip on Dancing With the Stars.

 

Truthfully, I loved holding my babies in my arms as they drifted to sleep. The scent of baby powder filled the air. The whisper of each gentle breath was soothing. I cherished these moments because I knew they wouldn’t last forever. My eldest son who once liked to ‘snuggle, buggle’ rarely offers a hug. Not to mention that baby smell has been replaced with sweat and gentle reminders to wear deodorant. So, I will cherish these moments. Before you know it I will become that old lady in the grocery store telling young mothers to “Enjoy these years, it goes by fast.”