Thursday, November 6, 2008

Maybe don't read this if you're pregnant. Or trying to be.

Aaron's performance on his class Smiley Chart lately can only be described as lackluster, and fading fast. In addition, he's recently been coming home with his Color Chart showing he achieved Uh-Oh Yellow or even Problem Pink. For a while there, he was doing really well, with a number of days on Brilliant Blue and even Magnificent Magenta, but those days are, apparently, over. It was nice while it lasted. All three weeks of it. He's currently confined to his room, not because he's in Time Out, per se, so much as Banished From Mommy's Sight, Because She's Really Over His Crap. And that's where that stands.
Harper, in an effort to make sure she's never ignored, has developed loads of fun new phobias. Some of these include terror of anything that might be floating in the bath water, like, say, lint that got washed out from between her toes, or maybe a hair from her head. Hysteria ensues when I open the drain for the bath; from what I can tell while she's screaming, I think she's afraid of being sucked down the drain. That might be part of her panic at the sound of a flushing toilet. If anyone's been in the bathroom at my Target recently, I swear I'm not mutilating a child in the stall, just preparing to flush the toilet. (Not, of course, that Harper's sitting on it. Using the potty was nice for that photo op a few months ago, but since then, she only does it if she wants an M&M.) The most problematic phobia she's embraced is an unbridled fear at a tumbleweed of dog hair floating around on the floor. In case you don't know, we have two 60 pound dogs, one Lab mix, and one Chow mix, so you do the math on the amount of dog hair that's shed. Also, I am a lousy housekeeper, so dog hair tumbleweeds in our house are more common than a homecooked meal. (Actually, I'm not a "lousy" housekeeper, so much as I "hate housekeeping"). Do you know how many times in the past week I've come running in a room at top speed because of Harper's bloodcurdling screams, only to find her freaking out over a little pile of dog hair? I mean, hysterical, screaming, jumping up and down, sobbing and pointing at dog hair. Which totally ruins the plans I had to train her and Aaron to pick them all up so maybe I (Jason) would never have to vacuum.

I can't figure out if I'm jaded, have really bad kids, or other people are just not being honest. I mean, my girlfriends are honest. Their kids suck a lot, too. The ones who don't have kids have probably already gotten lifetime birth control based on my stories. But good grief, how did I never know how unrelentingly hard this is? Before you judge (I mean, you can go ahead and judge, I don't care, but just hear me out before you do), it's not like I freak out the first time one of these things happens. The first time my kid sings "Take Me Out to the Ballgame", I'm overwhelmed with mushy-ness and think it's precious. I ask them to sing it a couple of times, and put them on the phone with Nonnie or Gramma Sharon and have them sing it. After about two or three thousand times, I'm kind of over it, and trying to wean them off. By the 3280384573094th rendition of "That Frigging Ballgame Song", I'm ready to stab myself in the eye with a spoon by the word "Take". So it's not so much the issues, it's the sheer volume and repetition of the issues. Even great sex would be annoying after a few months of 14 times a day. When you're starting with something that's much less fun than great sex, it takes virtually no time to wear out it's welcome. And when you're starting out with another little "quirk" to add to the already interminable list of quirks, it becomes really kind of a perpetual pain in the ass.

I should find a happy way to end this, but for the life of me I can't think of one. I'm too annoyed right now.

Um. So, everyone have a great weekend! Here's a picture of my little angels! Aren't they precious?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Trick or..well, whatever. You know what's coming.

Behold one cat (that I had to make slightly more manly by making him into a Panther), and one dog (that looks a little bit like a cow, and kind of sort of like a bunny.) Harper is at that age, and I remember Aaron doing this, that she assumes anyone opening the door and offering her candy is giving her an invitation into the house. She kept messing up her lines, and when the door would open she'd say "thank you!", and on her way down the sidewalk she'd yell "trick or treat!"

Aaron was so cute I wanted to eat him up with a spoon. We passed a friend who had her 2 year old with her, and when we stopped to chat, her toddler went up to all of us saying "trick or treat!", because Pavlov wasn't making this stuff up. Aaron complimented the little boy on his costume and then pulled a piece of candy out of his bag to give to the little boy, which made me so proud, until I realized he had given up a Reese's peanut butter cup. For heaven's sake, he couldn't have given away the Necco Wafers? I'm all about being altruistic, but let's maintain our sensibilities here! Clearly I have more parenting to do.

Jason and I spent most of Halloween night in a passive aggressive argument that required so much energy in asserting my passive aggressiveness that it left me little energy for much else, so
after trick or treating, we hung out in the cul-de-sac with the neighbors, had a couple of drinks by the fire pit, and called it a night. Today we elevated our argument into just plain "aggressive", but I think tensions are cooling now, so I feel better writing about it. If I had waited another couple of days, I'd be happy to detail how right I am and how wrong Jason is, but you'll just have to trust me.

Now I'm packing away the skulls and jack-o-lanterns, because it's full steam Thanksgiving! Ugh. Walking into Target today (to settle myself, of course. It's like yoga for me.) and seeing the Christmas displays only makes me feel kind of tired and drained, instead of all Christmas-y. Until I have to deal with that, I'm still on a cat & dog high.

(Also let me add this, because you know I couldn't let this go without a snarky bit or two. My crappy neighbor behind me let their kid dress up as the Scream character. Fine, call me a prude, but I have to wonder what a 6 year old is doing dressing up as the murderous character in an R rated slasher flick. I post this only so I can have you appreciate that this is the family I'm dealing with. And that they truly suck.)