Monday, March 27

Jude's Law #8

It took me a few times to figure this one out, but I finally got it.

During a visit to the peditrician do not, under any circumstances, place your Toddler on the table with the white strip of paper prior to the Holy-Anointed, All-Powerful Doctor appearing. Because, by the time that door finally opens, your Toddler will look like a Roman with a very bad toga tailor. In turn, you will look like some slacker Mom who obviously is not qualified to be trusted with the care and feeding of a small human, and certainly not the molding and shaping of their impressionable mind.

Furthermore, if your Holy-Anointed, All-Powerful Doctor is like Jude's and keeps a Mommy Report Card in that top secret little chart of'll be sitting in the corner.

Friday, March 24

Shock and Awe, How to Wake Up Without Coffee.

Question: What has the power to strike instant terror in two adults and make them both scream NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!?

Answer: One small boy with a babypoop diaper bomb in his hand ready to hurl it across the nursery.

Tuesday, March 21

Green Acres is the Place to Be

Dear Grandpa,

I don't know if you happened to be looking down from above and checking on us this weekend, so in case you missed it, let me fill you in.

Because, as I'm sure you know, we want your mischievious little great-grandson to have as many experiences in his life as possible as soon as possible, we visited a farm this weekend. Of course he loved it, like I can imagine all little boys would. This being his first up-close and personal how-do-you-do, pleased to meet you social event with an incredibly varied assemblage of "ooohhhh dog" members of the kingdom Animalia, otherwise known to some of the rest of us as goats, llamas, pigs, horses, mules, bunnies and baby lambs. You know, basic farm types. Come to think of it, maybe he has something there. Calling all furry creatures other than "eee-ats" (aka kitty-cats...interpreting is half the battle in this mommy job) dogs would make life much simpler.

Watching his reaction to this new world was, as MasterCard would remind us, priceless. It all paled in comparison, though, to his excitement when we wandered over to the old, red, farm tractor. Seeing his face transform into the perfect example of wonder and delight as his Daddy lifted him up into the seat, sent me on a whirlwind of time back to when I would spend hot afternoons riding shotgun on the old tractor with you.

As he grabbed the big wheel and gear shift (oh yes, a natural, you would be proud) I told him all about how I loved to ride on tractors too. About how, when I was a little girl, his great-grandpa would let me ride for hours on the tractor. About plowing fields and afterwards rumbling up the gravel road to see the pigs and pigletts. I rambled on about all the vivid memories I have that are yours and mine alone, wanting to share them with him, this little guy sitting on a tractor for the first time ever, clearly revealing glimmers of you.

Oh how I miss you, Grandpa.

Tuesday, March 14

Rub-a-dub-dub. Who's in the Tub?

Around here we looooooove our evening bath. We play, we chortle, we find all sorts of interesting new things to do with bath toys, which, by the way, can be anything from an egg beater to a squashed in the middle Twix bar still half in it's wrapper, you never know what will show up. Morning baths however? Oh no, no, NO! Apparently, an embargo has been imposed on any bath attempting to commence between the hours of 7am and noon. Oh the protests when I blatantly attempt to disregard this ban on pre-noon bathing! You would think I'm trying to dip him in boiling oil. The squenching up of the face, the whole-body writhing, the "how could you torture me like this, don't you love me?" look in the eyes...he has it perfected. It would be easier to give the cat a bath.

But back to the beloved evening baths we do so enjoy, and the original tub tale I started with.

Recently, while running him an evening bubble bath, in order to gather various and sundry post-bath items, I walked out of the bathroom for one second (ok more like 6 seconds, but it felt like one). Waltzing back into the bathroom, hands full of jammies, towel and the requisite Burt's Bees Apricot oil-what, oh what, did my weary eyes behold? One half-full tub with one fully dressed, delighted with himself little boy sitting crosslegged IN the half full tub. Complete with courduroys, sweatshirt and socks. Nearly, falling on the floor laughing, I stumbled over to lift him out of the tub, dripping everywhere. Instant protests ensued from his lips! He wasn't done with his bath! How dare I? He had only just gotten in. To which, still laughing myself to tears, I replied, "I know I know, but I think you skipped a step"...

Friday, March 10

Pre-reminiscing? Already???

There's a sleestak asleep in our bed. OK, a baby sleestak (yes, Sid & Marty Kroft kids, time travel back for a minute). Little, baby, sniffy wheezes are filling up the bedrooom while we huddle in the dark, absorbed in the addictive world coming to us through the LCD screens of our laptops.

This particular baby sleestak is currently sporting a stuffy nose. Hence, the whole reason for the sleestakedness. And we're not talking one-nostril stuffy, or even pretty stuffed up stuffy, we're talking all out superglued shut stuffy. A mini Lockheed-Martin GA Compressible Flow Wind Tunnel might not be enough to blast through this snot blockade.

He's throughly miserable.

We took turns most of last night doing our best to pace a small freeway into the bedroom floor. Because, as it turns out, this snuffly, achy, baby sleestak can only be consoled when he is being carried HOUR AFTER HOUR by one of his pre-assigned Love and Attention Administrators. Exhausting.

So, here I sit, in the rocker by the bed, finally released from freeway duty, watching the bizzionth episode of Law & Order Criminal Intent, and I think I'm coming down with a tiny case of an achey-breaky heart. As much as it's so, so, SO nice to have my bedroom stay clutter free of Nerf balls, stacking rings, little people and, well just about anything else within reach, for at least a night or two, I desperately miss his little sparkly self.

Suddenly, and I assure you, inexplicably, I can't wait until the creation of the next Charmin labrinth that would send Mr. Whipple into conniptions. I promise to myself that I won't sigh at the next kitty food fingerpainting masterpiece, or inwardly "ugh" when, lovingly he brings me one of my most expensive makeup brushes, bristles soaked in JudeSlobber. I won't mind always having to buy extra tubes of Flava-Craze ChapStik that I know will become JudeSnacks when he inevitably finds them. Even though I thought I'd stashed them all stealth-like in a place he wouldn't notice. Silly me. When will stop thinking I can outwit the Toddler Superpowers?

So, yeah, here I sit, baby sleestak snotting up my pillow, remembering that there will come a time when I'm paying for his million dollar college tuition, and I'll long for JudeTheToddler to be here again, if only for just a few minutes (OK OK, maybe like 3 seconds), wishing with all my heart that I was smack dab in the middle of a spectacularly intricate Charmin labrinth.

Monday, March 6

Jude's Law's 6 and 7 (aka JudesMommy's Rules... name change suggested by the very witty Thomas D.)

6. From now on be absolutely SURE the little, twisty, slidey cap thingy on the parmesan cheese is entirely twisty slid closed. Because, no matter what part of the house your Toddler is in, as soon as you open the fridge door, they will magically appear with superfast hands pulling out everything at eye level faster than you can say "cheez whiz". This, I've determined is due to a Toddler's superhuman hearing (which is selective and, of course, is in "off" mode when you actually WANT them to come to you, even at this early age). This rule does not apply so much to screw cap items (you know, that jar of jalapeno pickles from 2003 that seemed like such a yummy idea that day you stupidly broke that Don't Go Grocery Shopping Starving rule). Results of breaking Jude's Law # 6 (as I discovered this weekend): Toddler + Half twisty slid closed parmesan + Toddler closing eyes and shaking for all he is worth = You + Your Kitchen envloped in a sudden weather event we here now call a Parmesoon. Pleeeaase learn from my mistakes! Memorize this formula. It will serve you well in the future.

7. Opening the freezer door too early in the morning may cause you to be doomed to the fate of feeding your Toddler a fudgesicle for breakfast. Yeah, it will be pretty much counterproductive to insist on those organic, wild berry, waffles at that point, doing so will only cause a tug of war that might end up in a Fudgicane (apply Jude's Law #6).

Saturday, March 4

JudesMommy aka SappyMommy

No one gave me a heads up on what a sap mommyhood turns you into. Aside from emotions already being completely out of whack due to the hormones and identity crisis, not to mention the sleep deprivation, now I discover there is the little thing of your toddler doing adorable things that melt you into an instant heap of crying mush, in public no less.

It's the smallest things too, things no one else would be interested in really. You'll see in a minute. Read on.

So, I'm dropping Jude off at nursery school one morning very recently, and as I turn to leave the toddler room, ready to take on the adult part of my crazed multiple-role existence for the day, I glance back to check, be sure the little guy is OK, settling in, getting ready for Circle Time. The first thing I see, well and hear actually, is a little boy standing in the very center of the room wailing. Oh, and I do mean wailing. As if he were absolutely sure he had been abandoned there in that toddler room for the rest of his mortal life and would never, ever, ever see his beloved mommy or daddy again. Heart wrenching, yes, but I was more interested in making sure mine was not sharing his sentiment.

I found him standing quite near the wailer, staring at him. I watched. As I watched, I saw my small, carbon based offspring, MINE, walk over to the shelf of his favorite school bus toys in the room, take TWO off the shelf, walk back over to the wailer and hold one out to him, an offering of toddler peace and joy.

That was the moment when I learned about becoming a sappy mommy, a heap of teary mush. And here I mistakenly thought I was immune, despite being accused by JudesNana of him having me completely wrapped(uh SHE can talk!). Frightening the power these tiny humans wield! I'm so doomed.

JudesMommy's Rules 1-5

1. Let the nice checkout man scan the ballon BEFORE giving it to your toddler.

2. Allow your freshly bathed, naked, toddler boy to run free for a maximum of only 3 minutes. Any longer and you risk the health and well-being of your furniture, your carpet and the cat.

3. If you value your sanity, resist the urge to teach your toddler how to turn things on and off.

4. When the time comes to encourage your toddler to feed himself, go ahead and invest in that full body bio-hazard suit you've had your eye on.

5. Learn to think of the splats of yogurt in your hair as luxurious spa conditioning treatments.

Either it's personality disorder or...

Toddlers are bi-polar.

That is the only rational explanation I've been able to come up with for their astounding ability to go from heartwrenching sobs to fits of giggles in less than a nanosecond. Bi-polar, yep. And because they don't allow us to put two foot high humans on lithium yet, parents have to endure this behavior that threatens to put any halfway sane mommy or daddy right into a rubber room. I've witnessed it, in grocery stores especially. What is it about grocery stores that turn a kid into the exorcist baby?

So, I've been fearfully waiting for my laid back, zen-like little man to enter this stage of human development. Since, by my grocery store observations, we have not yet eradicated the wailers through the process of evolution.

I think it happened, it's really hard to be sure though. Last Thursday night the ususal evening routine began of Jude being carried by JudesDaddy into the den through the garage door. I, walking in to welcome with open arms my menfolk returning from a hard day out in the corporate and nursery school fields, was greeted with a beaming grin! Yay, just the thing I look forward to at the end of my own stressful day (Wait, did I say end? I lost my mind there for a second. I meant to say, phase three of my stressful day. It would be hours before my day could be called complete thanks to this new role called Jude Mommyhood). Just as JudesDaddy set the him down on the floor and I knelt down with open arms, the nanosecond thing happened.

The huge grin morphed into a look that can only be descibed as poingnantly tragic (when dealing with toddlers there are not enough superlatives in the english language to cover the drama they can dish out). Quick as a wink he bent forward and flopped onto his head in what was a pretty good execution of a yoga Downward Facing Dog position.

I stood up. We were both looking down at him in complete and utter confusion. "What IS he doing?", I asked JudesDaddy.

"I'm not sure, meditating?"

"Well, is he crying? I don't hear anything".

He bent over and craned his neck, trying to get a look at his face. "I don't think so. "Hey, Little Man...what's wrong? You OK down there? Whattsamatter?". He stood back up, looked at me and shrugged. "Whadda we do?"

"I dunno, I don't remember reading anything in the toddler books about this. I guess we just stand here, maybe, wait him out".

Befuddled, we stood, we waited, we looked from him to each other. In about 45 seconds he stood up, gave me a look of the "I'm not happy about this situation" variety and came begrudgingly into my arms. I suspect all the blood was rushing to his head or he may have stayed down there.

I remain clueless as to what the obviously unacceptable circumstances were. But since my overloaded mommybrain can no longer handle any processing that is not absolutely essential...I'll not worry about it. Maybe it will come to me in my what serves these days as sleep.

Cleanliness is next to...

I think the whole notion of "cleaning up when we are finished" might perhaps be sinking in, maybe, just a smidge. Twice in the last couple of weeks while putting dishes in the dishwasher Jude has come up behind me and smushed his banana into the silverware basket then turned and strolled away, as if to say, "Right, done with the next item on my busy agenda."

He's in the right vicinity, I suppose.

Addendum later that afternoon: Girlfriends told me that having a baby causes brain cell loss of ginormous proportions. Do you think I belived them? Of course not, because I would happen to be exempt from any such normal side-effects commonly described by women all over the world, having been struck with a narcissistic case of the "it will never happen to me" syndrome. OK, so, I've been sitting here for the last 5 hours diligently engaged in laboring for my employer, while in the back of my mind something seems strangely amiss. Something naggingly not quite right...can't put my finger on it...ummmm.........I'm sitting here with conditioner still in my hair (and we're not talking the leave-in variety). Ironic, that.

Now, I'm not exactly sure if this particular incident can be attributed to this loss of brain cells factor women speak of, or if maybe it has more to do with the fact that for the last few weeks I've not been able to take a single shower without a tiny hand flinging the shower door open WIDE a minimum of four or five times to subject me repeatedly to a blast of cold air and a two and half foot tall human boy's face sporting a mischievous grin staring up at me. Hence, making shower taking a rushed affair these days.

So, I'm not decide. We won't go into the whole similar situation of going to nursery school with a backwards diaper on incident that occurred earlier this week. That we can chalk up to sleep deprivation, I'm sure, since between being preganant and the first year of babyhood my sleep debt must be up to, oh I dunno, twelve years by now. But who's counting?
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You know it's going to be a trying day when the first thing you see in the morning is your one year old streaking across your bedroom, headed for your bathroom with your wireless mouse in his hand...