Arsenic and old babies

Peanut: I’m eating the apple and the seeds.
Me: I wouldn’t eat the seeds if I were you, P.
P: Why?
M: Because they concentrate arsenic, a yucky chemical that can hurt your body. Eating one seed won’t matter, but don’t try to eat them, please.
P: Why?
M: Not good for your body.
P: [pause] Maybe we could name the baby Arsenic.
M: It’s a nice word, isn’t it?
P: Yeah. Can we name the baby that?
M: Probably not, P, because I want to name the baby something nice, not something that will hurt people.
P: Why?
M: Well, when the baby is little, we don’t want people to worry that it might hurt them, and when its big we don’t want people to worry that it might hurt them. Arsenic can hurt you, so nice word but not a great name.
P: Can we name the baby Hitting?
M: That’s a little more direct than arsenic, but no.
P: Why?
M: Nice names, not hurting names.
P: Maybe we could name the baby Pretend Hitting.
M: Maybe.

This week in Peanut 9/29

Peanut told me yesterday that his rules are:

No holding hands in the street
Yell every time Daddy talks
Only give people money when you want to
People can only skateboard everywhere
Pinch the cats every day
Everybody wears only fancy pants
Only eat yucky things
No pants; only nude
You have to eat grass if you say no to things
No eating cereal, ever
Get under the blankets even if you’re too hot

I asked when he thought he got to make the rules.
When he’s 46, he says.

P: Thank you for making me lunch, Mommy.
M: Wow. Thank you. That is really nice to say. That makes me feel good.
P: I know. That’s why I said it.

After the cat got sick all over his bed: “If he does that ever again, I will just poop in his bed.”

Parading through the house, banging pots: “Here I go on a outing without Mommies or boys and it’s fun and you can’t come!”

In the tub tonight: “My penis has wings!”

[Update: Spouse, who was manning the bath, has informed me that Peanut was playing ring toss with inflatable rings and was marveling at the RINGS not WINGS. Not sure which is funnier.]

At least someone values my labor, even if the exchange rate sucks.

Peanut was playing with his Chrismakkah tea set today. (First night present. There are ten days of Chrismakkah because that’s the maximum number of token presents we feel like wrapping.)

I noticed he had spilled water on the floor. “Oh,” I said. “You haven’t cleaned that up. Would you like a towel?”

He walked across the room to the coin purse his uncle gave him. He took out a penny.

“Here, Mommy. I pay you do it.” He offered me the Lincoln.

Well, that is how it works. Sigh. I took the penny. “Okay.” And I cleaned the water.

He looked at me, evaluating. “You keep that money, Mama. I give it you, you earn it.”

True dat, little boy. Now hand over the $1.224 million you owe me for every other minute of cleaning up after you.

Toddler Rules

Another plagiarized post…this time a mass email forwarded from my sweet friend KJ. We miss you, lady, and your son’s curls. Stay warm.

Here are our toddlers’ version of the rules. I didn’t write these, and they didn’t come attributed. If you wrote them, mazel tov. Get back to parenting and quit crowing for the spotlight.


If it is not food, it must be tasted.
If it is food, it must not be tasted.
If it is on, I must turn it off.
If it is off, I must turn it on.
If it is folded, I must unfold it.
If it is a liquid, it must be shaken, then spilled.
If it a solid, it must be crumbled, chewed, or smeared.
If it is high, it must be climbed.
If it is shelved, it must be unshelved.
If it is pointed, it must be run with at top speed.
If it is closed, it must be opened.
If it does not open, it must be screamed at.
If it is full, it will be more interesting emptied.
If it is empty, it will be more interesting  full.
If it has a flat surface, it must be banged upon.
If Mommy’s hands are full, I must be carried.
If Mommy wants to carry me, I must walk alone.
If it has buttons, they must be pressed.
If it is a phone, I must talk to it.
If it is quiet, I must make it loud.
If it moves, I must chase it.
If it will fit me, I must hide within it.
If another child has it, I must have it.
If I have it, no other child shall have it.
If I told you I don’t want it, I do.
If I told you I want it, I do not.
If it is whole, you must cut it for me.
If it is in pieces, you must fix it for me.
If you don’t do what I want, I will scream.
If you do what I ask, I will scream.
If you scream, I will cry.
If you cry, I will cry.
If you are tired, I have copious energy.
If you have energy, I am tired.
But if I’m tired, I won’t nap.

Worst parent of the year—-and a large second place tie

I am seriously calling Child Protective Services this time. It’s just wrong the way the Man in the Yellow Hat keeps ignoring George to go off and do something by himself without any sense of how much danger that little creature is really in. So irresponsible. (And rude. Take your hat off when you’re inside, please.) If you keep expecting other people to parent your monkey, buddy, you have another thing coming. (Btw, has anyone called the Animal Protection Institute or the SPCA or something about the fact that this guy has a monkey living with him? Aren’t there laws against holding wild animals hostage to your selfish need for “friends”?)

Last week, our choice for worst parent of the year took George to the fire station and let him slide down the pole…then never went to check on him. Apparently cavorted with the other children for hours while George went off, messed up all the firefighter gear, and rode in the fire engine to a fire.Way beyond letting them play with batteries and matches, man. Choosing the other kids in class i just downright neglect.

This week, The Man in the Yellow Hat (who, as my son points out when we read, is wearing all yellow and should be called the Man in Yellow, and whoever named him is doo-dah) took George to the library and just dropped him off at story time. Would that we all could do that, Mr. Stay at Home and Wear Yellow. The rest of us have to stay and listen and do a little thing we call watching our kids. Man, I’d love to find a library that let us drop kids off for story time. Bad news, though, MiY…you didn’t find one of those. You just left everyone else to do your job. Went off to find his own books, in fact,  while George loaded up a stacks cart and careened down a ramp to a huge crash. The librarian helped George get a library card, which should be a very important moment shared with someone you love, not with some stranger holding an advanced degree in Library Sciences. The A–Hole in Yellow Riding Boots, as I now call him, sauntered in at the end of the story, all happy to see George was ready to go.

Look, dude. If you can’t actually parent that small monkey, teach or control or beat the curiosity out of him, you have no right to be his primary caregiver. There are loving gay couples all over Arkansas who’ve been denied their right to parent and would take  care of that monkey MUCH better than you seem to be willing or able to do. (Kudos, Florida. Now that the Supreme Court has shown it’s illegal to discriminate against gay parents, all the willing families of your state can give children the loving, stable homes they deserve. Too bad George seems to be in a landlocked state.)

And while we’re at it, Charlie and Lola’s mom had better get off her ass to help once in a while. Every time we open one of those books, she’s tasked Charlie with looking after his little sister. That’s not fair to Charlie, lady. He needs his childhood, too. Did you have the first just to babysit the second? Seriously, let’s all look into zero population growth, if the 8 year olds of the world ar going to have to raise the next generation. Please take some interest in your children. For heaven’s sake, they are letting whales go down the drain! Do you know what that does to the plumbing?!?!

I’m just tired of this. I know the moms and dads at the playground read instead of watching their kids, and some of the nannies talk to each other instead of teaching, but these literary parents are terrible examples. Max’s mom sends him to bed without dinner just for calling her a monster? (Then caves later and leaves a hot meal in his bedroom? Mixes me-ssa-ges!) Frances’s father offers to spank her if she doesn’t get back in her bed when she’s scared of the noises in her room? (Never mind that an hour before, when she was scared, her parents gave her cake. Have these people never heard of gentle and consistent? Geeeez!)

Anyway, I’ll process the votes again, but I think the A–hole in Yellow Jackboots wins this round. Doesn’t matter, of course. I still have to read each George book as a cautionary tale—“Oh, look. That seems like fun. But he should really ask, first. Then, if it’s safe, then he can try that. After his mommy or daddy say yes”

“Or the Man in Yellow,” chimes the unwitting parenting neophyte.

Little Lord Fauntleroy

Someone found my blog by googling “how to change toddler clothes for nap.”

Several things. First: boy, did you find the wrong blog. I’m lucky if my kid wears clothes. When he does, they’re usually stained clothes because we don’t care, at all, and do laundry thusly: take clothes, throw in washing machine, add soap, wash, and leave for two days until you remember to dry them. Seriously. We don’t separate for color or size or fabric or any of the nonsense that other people seem to separate for. We don’t pretreat or chemically treat or trick or treat. We just freaking wash.

(Little secret: you know why we’re totally cavalier about laundry? ‘Cuz I don’t do it. Spouse does. And he could rub them in acid and douse them with lye and I would wear them with a smile on my face because it’s the one freaking thing around here I don’t have to do. Other than compost. So it’s the first of two things I don’t have to do. Yay me, yay Spouse, yay stains.)

But asking how to change toddler’s clothes for nap begs two rather obvious, if facetious, questions: what the hell is your kid wearing that it needs to be changed for nap; and how did you manage to get the one toddler in the world who tolerates costume changes? I have a kid who would rather sit in his jammies at home, running in small circles than actually don outside clothes to do his running in the sunlight. (Never stops moving, this one, so it’s a shock when he offers to stay in just to wear jammies.)

It’s not like our kid’s outside clothes are binding or rough or chosen by anyone but him. He just doesn’t like changing clothes. And he likes control. And I’ve just described 99% of toddlers, so who the hell is this googler parenting? How does his or her kid dress willingly in whatever breeches and bowtie Little Lord Fauntleroy costume they’re making him wear, AND willingly change again? (Notice how I pretended there was even one iota of a chance that the google dude is a guy? Please. What guy would even think to change clothes for nap? There are some awesome dads out there, but they attend to emotional, physical, and mental needs. Not weirdass bullshit. This is one of those moms who scrapbooks and crafts and bakes and sews curtains and makes furniture and color coordinates. All before dawn.) Does this jammies-then-clothes-then-jammies kid get to wear his jammies, then, for the rest of the day? Or do they (see, I did it again) change him a third time, and again for nighttime?

I’m all confused. I mean, it takes everything I have to be allegedly responsible and change my kid into clothes in the morning. I sleep in whatever I wear, and I often wear it again the next day (much to my mother’s try-to-keep-it-under-control-but-really-abject-and-borderline-screaming horror). So I’m pretty proud that I’m trying to be all socially acceptable and force my child from one comfy outfit into whatever creative combo he chooses in the morning (or afternoon or ten minutes before dinner when “Mommy, I HAVE to go outside”).

Now that I think about it, and just to make the world a bit more balanced after crazy google lady revealed her tidy little secret to the world via my 60-hit-a-day blog, maybe I’ll start letting my kid wear jammies all the time.

Wait, something just occured to me…are you one of those people who has a toddler in party dresses most days? Combed hair? Barrettes that match her shoes? You know what? It’s the holiday season, so I won’t judge. But I totally just lost 97% of my respect for you, oh random person who googled about changing a toddler’s clothes for nap, and forgot the possessive apostrophe and ess. So needless to say, there wasn’t a whole lot of respect left to lose. But you just wiped it all out, in one frilly crinoline and satin flourish.

Now I’m totally making tomorrow jammies day.

Onebody, twobody, redbody, bluebody

Peanut, at the playground: Not anybody here….
Hey! Onebody here!…………….
Mama! Twobodies riding bicycles!…………………………..
Hey! Allbodies here is ladies!

The linguist in me loves this stuff.

Makes me want to dust off the letters of rec. and start working on a linguistics PhD this fall. Everybody else says have another kid. I say I have things to do and this one doesn’t sleep as it is. In fact, allbodies are up around 3 every, morning trying to convince onebody that human bodies need sleep.

Last night’s bedtime:
P: Peanut wake up at nighttime, say Mommy Mommy Daddy Daddy.
M: Mommy and Daddy need to sleep at nighttime. If you wake up you know you’re warm and safe and cozy, and you can see it’s nighttime, so you cuddle your doll and relax back to sleep.
P: If something hurt you, Peanut cuddle doll.
M: Yes, if something hurts you, your doll will cuddle you. What do you think imght hurt you?
P: Bees.

At 3am:
P: [screaming] Mommy! Mama! [crying] Something hurt you. Please, Mommy, cuddle.
M: Something hurt you?
P: Yes.
M: [suspicious that this is a ploy] What hurt you?
P: A lizard
M: [swallowing simultaneous urges to laugh and storm out] Well, tell the lizard to go home to sleep. Nighttime is for sleeping.
P: Go sleep, lizard.
M: Yeah. The lizard says it’s sorry for hurting you. It didn’t know you were sleeping. Sorry.

P: [lying down and grabbing doll] Peanut sleep at nighttime, lizard.

You tell ’em.

Next time by yourself, though, please. What’s up with this early-childhood, needing-help crap? Don’t they make two year olds who can handle everything by themselves? Where do I get me one of them?