Use Your Imagination….. Just Not Like That

I cracked my eyes open to find a pair of green eyes staring intently at me from only a few inches away.

It wasn’t the first time the DragonMonkey had decided to wake me up by staring at me silently, without blinking, but it didn’t make it any less creepy.

“Hey, DragonMonkey.”

“Look, Mama.”  He stared at me hard, willing me to notice.  And how could I not?

Sometime after waking up he’d sneaked down to the basement and found the two balloons I’d tossed down there the day before. Yes, blowing up two balloons had helped him and The Squid burn off some energy on a cold, rainy afternoon, but after an hour of them playing “Let’s Hit Everything in Sight, Including Each Pets and Breakable Items, All While Laughing Hysterically“, I’d had enough. When toys are used for evil they get banished to the basement.

Apparently the fate of those poor, banished balloons had been on his mind all night, because the second DragonMonkey woke up he crept down to rescue them.

And rescue them he did.  He stood in front of me, clutching them proudly to his chest, back arched as he showed them off.

I blinked a couple of times as I stared at the way they pressed together, forming an impressive red and green cleavage, and cleared my throat before answering.  “I… I see. You have the balloons.”

“No, LOOK, Mama.”  His back arched even more, and I found myself flashing back to Orange County and all its plastic glory.

“Yes.  Two balloons.  DragonMonkey, can you give me a moment to finish waking up?”

“No, LOOK.  I’m like you.”

Like me?

“Like you, Mama.  See?  They’re like what you have!”  He jerked his chin in the direction of my own chest.

Oh, oh, please let it just be my dirty mind.  Please, please don’t let him be saying what I think he’s saying.  “I… I don’t want to jump to any conclusions when it’s still six in the morning..  DragonMonkey, what do you mean?  What are those supposed to be?”

“They’re like you’re, uh…. Uh… My words not good, I don’t know…. They’re like yours.  Like what have, on you.  Your private area – that you gave milk to the Squid with, in Huntington Beach.  Like those!”  He squeezed his hands, causing the giant plastic globes to wiggle obscenely.

I mean, I’m all for kids using their imagination, but why?  Why couldn’t I have given birth to someone who woke up early and decided to just go watch some cartoons like a normal kid?  Did he really have to come in and wake me up so I could admire his brand new, imaginary, red and green giant boobies?

“DragonMonkey… just… just go watch cartoons and let me make some coffee.  Then we’ll deal with this.”

Motherhood.

It ain’t for the faint of heart.

Kids or Self-Esteem: You Can Only Choose One

“What’s this?”

“That’s my eyebrow, Squid.”

“What’s this?”

“What?  You’re three now.  You know what those are.”

“No, you tell me.  Please?”

“Fine.  Those are lips.”

“What’s this?”

“Cheekbones.”

“What’s this?”

“That’s my neck.”

“What’s this?”

“Clavicle.”

“What’s this, Ma?”

“Squid, you know that one.  Chin.”

“What’s this?”

“…. Uh, that’s my chin.”

“No, this your chin.  What’s this?”

“Uh… my neck?”

“No, Ma.  This your neck.  What’s THIS?”

“Uh….”

“Ma, tell me.  What’s this?  WHAT’S THIS?”

“….. that’s my double chin.  Go away.  I’m done playing.”

Can I eat my kids yet?

“DON’T GO PEE OUT THERE NAKED.  Squid, you don’t go pee naked.  Everyone see you.  what you were thinking ’bout, peeing in the front yard?”

“Nuthin’. I just pee. DragonMonkey, Let me in.”

**************
 “Boys, your mom is out running errands.  I’ll be watching you while she’s gone.  You can play with any of my sons’ toys that you want, but all I ask is that you pick them up when you’re done.  Understand, Dragonmonkey?

“Yes, Mrs. D.”

“Squid?”

“Yes, Mrs. D.”

“Okay have fun.”

“Boys – I need you to clean this up.  You’ve scattered toys all over the hall, and in the living room.  Come put them away.”

“Yes, Mrs. D.”

“Yes, Mrs. D.”

“DragonMonkey, Squid, both of you come here, right now.  Look what you did – when I said you needed to put the toys away, I meant you needed to actually put them away, not just throw them in my son’s room and shut the door.  Do you understand?”

“Yes.  I sowwy, Mrs. D.”

“That’s fine, Squid.  Thank you for apologizing.  Just clean them up and you’ll be fine…. DragonMonkey?”

“…….”

“DragonMonkey?”

“…….”

“DragonMonkey, you can either answer me and go clean up those toys, or you can go on the timeout chair.”

“Awww, shit.  SHIT.  Fine, Mrs. D.”

*****

At five and three years old, they’re probably too big to eat, right?

His name is Bond, Bollocks Bond

I spend a lot of time on the internet.

I know you can’t tell that based upon the infrequence of my posting lately, but it’s the truth. 

Right now, in fact, I feel like I’m living on the internet – I’m deep in the research of the book I’m starting for NaNoWriMo (yeaaaah, baby – who is doing it with me?)  I’m trying to make the scientific portion of it sound like I gave it at least a little bit of thought, so that entails me browsing here and there, looking up various items and cherry-picking scientific sounding facts to make shapeshifters sound scientific.

Anyways, all this to say, I stumbled upon this:

Look, if you’re offended by bad language, PLEASE do not go there.  It’s exactly what it says it is: a Periodic Table of Swearing. I don’t know what I was expecting, clicking on it.  It was exactly what it advertised.

I admit that glancing through everything made me feel like a naughty child – I tittered like an ill-behaved junior higher..  It’s British cussing, and half the words on there just don’t sound bad to me at all.

Is it just me, or is British cussing just cooler and less gross sounding?

“Bollock!”

“Sod this.”

See?  Technically I know I’m cussing, but it just doesn’t feel like cussing.

Anyways, the website has some really dignified classical music playing as background sound, which just made the whole thing inherently funnier. 

I took a moment  to scowl at the dirty words before returning to my knitting (everyone who isn’t my mom: I  totally read all the dirty words.)

As I read through it scowled, The DragonMonkey played quietly at my feet – slowly assembling a tractor from spare lego parts.  Lately he’s just been impressing the heck out of me – I didn’t even realize he was old enough to play with legos, much less make actual vehicles.  Time flies, you know?

Anyways, I digress.  Right before I clicked off to go back to my research, I randomly clicked on the page, just because. 

And you know what?  My click was rewarded – it turns out the page is interactive.  In retrospect, I realize it says it right on the entry page… but I’ve never been one to notice details like that, at least not consciously.

As I clicked, over the strains of violins and cellos rose the electronic sound of man’s voice: 

“CUNT,” the man said, in a smooth British accent.

At the sound of his voice the DragonMonkey stopped his play, and looked up at me with an angelic smile. 

“CUNT,” the DragonMonkey repeated, in a perfectly serviceable British accent.  He nodded, smiled wider, and repeated it again proudly.  “CUNT.” 

And then he went back to his legos.

I’m sure this isn’t going to bite me in the arse later… right? 

That’s Some Loud Underwear You’ve Got There

Yay! I got another article published at The Shake.

I should post it on my blog.

But wait.  I just posted yesterday.  I should wait a day or two before posting this one.  I’m bad enough about updating regularly – I should spread the love out.  If I start posting twice in one day, they’ll think I’m on some kind of writing spree, and get all spoiled.

I’ll wait a day.  Yeah, that’s a good idea.

And then I’ll write a really interesting intro, so it doesn’t feel like I’m just sending them a link and shooing them away.

Except…. Oh, geez.  SQUID!  THE YOGURT IS NOT FOR FINGERPAINTING THE DOG.  GROSS.  You either eat it or you put it on the counter….NO.  I MEANT EAT THE YOGURT IN THE CONTAINER, NOT LICK IT OFF THE DOG.  STOP.  I’m not joking, little man.  STOP, RIGHT NOW, OR YOU’RE GONNA PUT YOUR NOSE IN THE CORNER UNTIL YOU’RE 20.

Has he stopped?

Nope.

If you’ll excuse me, I’m off to put a kid in the corner.

Edit:

I did a little more research and discovered that the undies I wrote on was a marketing prank done by a feminist group to raise awareness of how sexist Victoria’s Secret underwear is…. which, the more I think about it, just makes it seem even sillier.

I actu
ally researched it before I wrote about it, but I didn’t do a good enough job. BAD, Becky. Bad. Go get the Cone of Shame.

Also, I’m bummed, because I missed the chance to make fun of the angry feminists instead of Victoria’s Secret. Boo.

Ah, well.  It was a good lesson to learn.

Thanks, DragonMonkey.

I don’t have a lot of pictures of the boys and me.

Oh, I have a lot of pictures of the boys.

And I have a couple pictures of me.

But I don’t have a lot of pictures of the three of us.   As the person who is usually behind the camera, it’s just one of those things.  So when my friend offered to take a picture of us with her cell phone, I was actually pretty happy. 

Sure, her cell phone didn’t have the highest quality resolution, but who cared?  Slightly blurred has always been my best look.

When she showed me the picture on her cell phone, I was delighted. Awesome!  Finally, a decent picture with my two boys.  We were all wearing clean clothes, all three of us were looking at the camera – perfect.   Visions of a new Facebook profile picture danced in my head.

I asked her to send it to me, and she did.

And then I saw the picture.

I mean, I’d seen it on her tiny cell phone screen, but this time I really saw it.

I have no idea what is going on with the DragonMonkey in this pic.  I really don’t.  All I know is that it appears picture-taking ability seems to be hereditary, and poor DragonMonkey seems to have ended up with the short end of genetic stick.

Neat!

The Shake (an online Australian magazine) published one of my articles.

COOL.

It makes me feel like a legit writer, or something.

Anyways, you can go read it here:

Click here to read about animal sex, because I’m classy like that.

Also, in the spirit of “it’s my blog and I feel like bragging on myself”:

Guess who had a bright red face and cried when she crossed the finish line of her first 10k last Saturday?

I didn’t even puke afterwards, although there were a few minutes where it was touch and go. 

I said as much to the bake sale lady while I was sipping water, trying to calm down, and the look on her face reminded me that I really need to find a way to get better at small talk.

Anyways, I went for a nice, slow run today (and by slow I mean that the DragonMonkey leaned his head back at one point and asked if he could get out and walk beside the stroller) and realized that one day I may even be crazy enough to try a half marathon… or at the very least a Ride and Tie event.

Maybe I’ll even learn how to cross the finish line without bursting into happy tears.

Ignorance is Bliss

About two weeks ago we put away the step stool which was in front of the boys’ bathroom sink.

It seemed a logical decision. While the stepstool’s original purpose was to help The Squid and The DragonMonkey wash their hands, they were only using it for evil.

We figured it was easier for us to lift them up a couple times a day to wash their hands than to constantly supervise their every movement whenever they disappeared around the corner. 

We thought it was a good plan.

Yeah… uh, no. 

It wasn’t. 

For the past week, several times a day, The Squid has been running up to me and boasting about the fact he has clean hands.

“Hey, Ma!  I clean hands!  I  clean hands!” 

And you know what? He was right.  He did have clean hands…. which should have clued me in that something was wrong.   The Squid is, without equal, the filthiest child I’ve ever met. 

Here is a picture of him I took at 9:05 in the morning a few days ago.  This picture was taken less than 10 minutes after I took him out of the shower:

“Squid!  What have you been doing, eating dirt?!”
“No, Ma.  I no eat dirt.  I lick dirt.  Lick the nummy dirt.”

In retrospect, I should have known.

I should has known there was a creepy reason for his hands to be clean, and I should have asked him why he felt it was necessary to keep mentioning it to me. 

Alas, I didn’t figure it out until today.

Today.

Today, when I rounded the corner…. and then stopped dead as I saw The Squid leaning over into the toilet, scrubbing his hands industriously.

And that’s when I realized it.

He wasn’t forgetting a verb in his sentence.  He hadn’t been saying “I have clean hands” all those times.

He meant exactly what it sounded like – he had just finished “cleaning” his hands.

Only the last I checked, scrubbing your hands in toilet water several times a day…

in the same toilet your older brother uses…

the same older brother who consistently refuses to flush after he pees….

Well….

Well, that’s the exact opposite of clean.

“I clean hands!  Ma, look!  I clean hands!”

When I think of all the times I touched his hand this past week, or shared a bag of popcorn with him, or all the other million ways I touched those hands….

Ignorance was bliss.

It was an unsanitary, peaceful bliss.

Why I Need a New Grocery Store

What the lady behind me in line at the grocery store said: “Wow, that is a lot of boys!” 

What I thoughtWow.  I never thought about it, but it does kind of look like all four of them are mine.  I mean, the other two boys I’m babysitting are 2 and 4 years old, just like mine, but they’re so much taller that it makes them seem like they’re older. 

Geez, what if I wasn’t just babysitting?  What if they were all mine?  Could I even handle four kids?  I doubt it.  Having two is exhausting enough.  How would I handle four?   I mean, we’ve got the bedroom space for them, but it’d be awful.  And poor Squid would become a middle child, and he seems like the kind of kid who would really rebel in his teen years if he was a middle child. 

Oh, crap, if they were all mine I’d probably have to get a minivan, wouldn’t I?  And I’d have to sell my new Scion, and I really like that car. 

Oh, crap.  She said something, didn’t she?  She looks like she’s waiting for a response.

What did she say?

Oh, yeah.  She said, “That’s a lot of boys!” 

I should say something back. 

What do I say in response?  If I say “Yeah!” then it makes it sound like they’re all mine, and what if I bump into her for some reason a couple months down the road, and she thinks I have four kids, and prides herself on remembering, and then I have to correct her in front of everyone, and it embarrasses her…

I wonder if she’s just commenting on the amount of boys… or does she really think they’re all mine?  Do I look like the kind of person who has four kids?  Great.  Now I feel old.  Who the heck even has four kids in a row like this?  I mean, aside from the Duggars.  How many do they have now?  It’s in the twenties or somethings, I think. Those people are crazy.

Geez.  Life with four kids.  That would be crazy.  It would have to be on purpose, wouldn’t it?  I mean, you can’t have four “mistakes” in a row, can you?  Sure, I didn’t get pregnant on purpose with my two, but that’s still kind of understandable.  Two mistakes is sort of reasonable, although it’s still a little embarrassing.  Four mistakes?  Heck, once you even hit three “oops” pregnancies, let alone four, that’s not mistakes, that’s just being irresponsible.  

Shoot.  She’s still looking at me, and I haven’t answered.  What do I say?  This is getting awkward.  Just say something, Becky!

What I replied:  Oh, they’re not all mine.  Four kids?  I’m not that irresponsible!

What my cashier said, in a very cold voice
:   I have four children.

And now you all know why I’ll be driving to the next town over to do my grocery shopping from now on.

A Mother’s Pride

<overheard while the DragonMonkey plays quietly with trains> 

“Gordon, would you please help me with my impo’tant job?  Thank you, Gordon.”

a little later…

“Yes, please… please help me back on tracks… Oh, no!”  I hear a soft clatter.  “Oh, no, Gordon!  You make all the trains fall off the track!  Please, would you please be more careful?”

The play continues, and after a bit I  hear the gentle sound of trains falling yet again….

“Please get back on the track and be more careful, Gordon.  You please be more careful with your job, and please don’t make all the other trains sad.  Please, Gordon?  Would you please help us, and be nice?  Thank you so much, Gordon.  Thank you.”

Awww… listen to him.

This.  This is why I fight so hard, all day long, trying to instill manners and sweetness into my kids.  This is worth all the fits at the grocery store, and all the times in the corner, and all the headaches and frustrations… this right here.  Tangible evidence that my hard work is actually paying off.

“Uh, oh, Gordon.  You made all the engines go off the track again.  Would you please be more careful with your trains and engines?”

I smile proudly.  I can picture it so clearly – the quiet, peaceful scene he is imagining, all the little Thomas the Train engines chugging along like reliable little engines should – lending each other compassionate assistance when they mess up.

“No?  You not want to be more careful?  Well.  Okay, then.”

<violent clatter>

“I’m sorry, Gordon, but you not being more careful.  Now I crash you… and squish you… and hit you… and make you dead.”  Each pause is punctuated by another harsh clatter as Gordon is punished for his crimes.

“Now I make you bleed, and I not take you to the hospital…..”  A pause, as he thinks about that one for a moment, then his voice returns, with a new enthusiasm.  “Yes, I take you to the hospital… I hit you and crash you and I make you bleed…and you go to the hospital and they give you biiiiig needles.  Very big needles.  All over you.  You are gonna bleed, and then you gonna have big needles all over you.” 

Another pause, and then a regretful, “I sorry, Gordon, you not want to help other engines. Now you all bloody and squished and you die.”

I think I’ll just blame it on the TV.  I must have missed that episode:  Thomas & Friends and their visit to the KGB.