My dog needs Prozac and I need a drink

Wanna know what it's like to drive for three hours with a neurotic dog and very, very, extremely talkative and inquisitive children? 

First, read aloud and record the following:

Mamae, do you know where the Arctic is? Have you been there? Do they have polar bears in California? Are you sure? Why not? How do you get to the Arctic? Why can't we just drive there now? I think we can. It will only take 60 seconds. Then how about the 8-second Arctic? That's where the pandas are. And the 30-second Arctic is really really close so we could go there. Fine, we can go tomorrow. I think we should take our Pokemons. They would like it there. And then we could take a boat back so all the Pokemons can see the ocean. I really think the 8-second Arctic is the best one. Because it's even closer than the 30-second Arctic. So we could get there really fast and then we would have lots of time to see the polar bears. And show our Pokemons around. Do you think I should take Raichu or Pikachu? Which one is taller? And what's the name of the one with wings? But I don't think I have that card in my Pokemon binder, do I? Do you, Luca? Mamae, please tell him to answer me. I don't have to answer you. You're not the boss of me. What if I don't feel like talking? Sometimes, you don't feel like talking (really? I don't think that's ever happened when I'm around). I don't care. I'm going to the Arctic and I'm going to take Houndoor and Raichu and you're not going to get to see the polar bears. Right, Mamae? Because brothers who are mean don't get to go to the Arctic. So I'm going to go by myself, with Mamae and we are going to see pandas and you aren't.

Then, hold the computer screen up close to your face, so this picture is mere inches away from your nose:

Ready? I'm setting the timer, I'll let you know when three hours is up.


When a branding consultant would have paid off

I'm no Harvard Business School grad, but I'm thinking it's time to change your product name.

Even if it's a "crème" instead of just crappy old lotion...

I'm just saying.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


A weekend in Dash's world

Can you run around with me?
I can't. I'm pregnant, remember?
Oh yeah.
Am I that?
What, pregnant?
No, you're not pregnant.
So I can run around?
Yes.  Knock yourself out.

I'm going to make baby broccoli for dinner tonight.
Why just baby broccoli? Why not mommy broccoli or daddy broccoli? 
We only have baby broccoli.
Can I see the face?

Mamae, can you please go to La Farine (local bakery) and get some gabuette?  I want some for dinner.

I might have to suggest to La Farine that they rename their "baguettes."  I bet they'd sell like cothakes.


The Breath Offender

MAMAE!!!!!  MAMAE!!!!!

It was a blood-curdling cry from the bowels of the house...something I'm used to, what with two boys whose idea of torture is only being allowed 25 minutes of Wii instead of an hour of unbridled video bliss.

These days, in my pregnant state, my various and sundry dependents are hard-pressed to get much of a rise out of me unless they are either actively, and profusely, bleeding from the head, or they have, in hand, and ready for consumption, a chocolate truffle - and then only if it's a dark chocolate truffle.  If either one of those situations is the case, I have a capacity to move that belies the enormity of my tummy and ass right now.

Upon finding me in the kitchen, stuffing my face with crackers, or cheese, or some other snack, as is often the case, Dash came to a full halt stop, his little indignant self framed by the doorway. 

He put his hands on his hips, his face screwed up into a picture of utter outrage.

"Luca came in to the bathroom...and and and...he stood really close and then he put his face right in front of mine, like really close....and then HE BREATHED ON ME AND HIS BREATH STIIIINKKSSS!!!!!  AND I DIDN'T LIKE THAT!!!"

The offender, who had, at that point, meandered up behind his little brother in order to offer something resembling a defense, looked at me, wide-eyed, as if to suggest his crime was akin to that of a jay-walker. 

"What?!?  It's not a big deeeeaaaalllll!!!  He's so sensitive!!!"

With those last few syllables, I got enough of a whiff of the un-brushed, un-mouthwashed invisible sludge that emanated from Luca's mouth, and had the inclination to make a citizen's arrest of my own son.

Since that wouldn't solve the problem, however, I quickly told Luca to go avail himself of this really amazing technology called the toothbrush, told Dash his brother would suffer Karmic retribution for his sins, and went back to eating my snack, happy to have solved another family crisis.


Screamy Mimi

I am not now, nor have I ever been, that Most 'Mazin' Mommy.  You know the one: Patient, Always Prepared, Tolerant, Organized, Punctual, 'Mazin' Mommy. 

I'm okay with this.  I have no illusions of grandeur when it comes to being Perfect and Sweet.  I don't even have illusions of mediocrity.  I figure those kinds of Mommies exist, and I'm really happy for them and their kids.  I wish them godspeed on their (perfectly pruned and well-tended) garden path.

My kids and I live on a different planet.  One might even venture to say we make our home in a different universe all together.  Of course, you'd be wise to check my mood before you suggest such a thing; but on a good day, when the moon is waxing and the wind is right, I might happily agree with you. 

The problem, I've discovered, is that I don't particularly enjoy that most basic of parenting duties: saying things over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over...

Sorry, forgot I was in the middle of making a point.

So that part of a parent's day - the one where you say the same thing over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over...

Shit, I can't even get past that word.  Okay, that thing parents have to do, where they verbally duplicate the sentence they just spoke five minutes prior because the little person to whom the sentence was directed has, oh, IGNORED said parent, and decided that instead of brushing their teeth, it's time to find the missing Lego piece that will complete the Space Police Shuttle...well, I'm not very good at verbally duplicating my sentences AND keeping my voice at the same timbre and decibel level.  Failure to multitask or malnourished sense of patience?  Both? 

A week ago, I would have given the finger to anyone trying to change my approach.  And defriended them on Facebook.  In my gestational craziness, I might even have struck that person. 

But the other day, on a particularly, umm, Mean Mommy Morning, I was sitting down to some lunch with the boys after hollering (screaming like a knocked-up, unstable banshee) my way through a round of toy pick-up, and thought I would take a moment to debrief with them.  Perhaps brainstorm some ways we could help one another.  Make them understand how utterly - and I mean this in the nicest possible way - MIND-NUMBINGLY AGGRAVATINGLY CRAZY-MAKING it is when I have to verbally duplicate my sentences over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over -

I might have to just eliminate that word from my vocabulary.

Anyhoo - I was trying to create one of those Teachable Moments that the Most 'Mazin' Mommies have, like, everyday of their motherhood and in which the children invariably learn some valuable and lifelong lesson about How to Be a Better Human Being. 

I should have known better.  Since as I said before, my kids and I live in a different universe.

Cuz Luca, in all his eight-year-old, smarty-pants wisdom, asked the simplest of things of me:

"Mamãe, could you be a little less screamy?  'Cause that would help, I think."

Umm, yeah, okay, I could try that.


Boy seahorses

"Mamãe, do boy humans have babies in their tummies, too?" my four-year-old wanted to know.

"No, sweetie, just girl humans."


"Girl humans have something called a uterus, which is the only place a human can grow and bake just like I baked you guys."

"In the ocean, boy seahorses can have babies in their tummies."

Maybe that's what saves their marriages, I thought to myself.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Dick Cheney Spoils Another Innocent Moment

How many times a month do I put the boys in the bathtub, throw some toys at them, and go make dinner, or clean up, or scrape Fruit Leather off the piano keys?  Often enough to have settled into a kind of secure complacency about the games and water play that go on.  Their bath time is usually an opportunity to soak each other; create faces on the tile walls with the foam eyes, ears, noses, mouths, and hair pieces we've collected from the various TubTime sets; and make shampoo faux-hawks. 

While there is the mundane bickering (both boys) and occasional crying fits (Dash) because of some vile offense like a misappropriated car or intentionally-ruined tile-wall foam-face, a former oeuvre d'art which now looks like something Picasso created while high on smack, there has never been a moment when I have worried about one of the boys doing serious, blood-shedding, scarring damage to the other.

Until this past Wednesday night.

When the following exchange came floating out from the bathroom, hitting my ears and making the hairs on the back of my neck (admittedly more copious in my current pregnant state) stand up as if Glenn Beck himself had walked through my door and announced he was my long-lost cousin.

"Wanna play Waterboarding, Dashie?"

You've never seen a gestating woman get so fast from the living room to the bathroom, where the boys were in the tub.  Anything beyond a slow amble is quite a feat when you can barely see your toes beyond the protrusion of womb-engorged belly in front of you, so the veritable bounds I managed were quite miraculous, even if they did make me look like a mutant platypus on the run.

In the split second it took to react, I was, of course, imagining little-brother-torture; I was already trying to remember my CPR class; and I was picturing my four-year-old sputtering to life as I held his limp body.  All the while, I was screaming (in my head) at my eight-year-old, and already having him admitted to a juvenile delinquent program, making tragic weekend visits to see him at some sterile facility where they were trying to scrub Dick Cheney's torture memos from his young brain.

Turns out, of course, that Waterboarding, in the sweet, play-based world my spawn have created, means NOT to drown one another while forcing confessions of hijacked Legos or swiping an extra cookie or two.  Rather, it means taking the big plastic lid from the bin we use to hold cleaning supplies, laying it at the bottom of the tub, under the water, and surfboarding on top of it. 

Maybe my boys should be the interrogation experts for the CIA. 

I bet you'd get a lot more out of someone while enjoying some Hang Ten time, than from pretending like they were about to enjoy their last breath of oxygen.

I'm just saying.