Thursday, June 12, 2008

Why they are cute...

This little sweet potato... stinkbug... butterball... honeypie... (you know what I mean) is so stinkin' adorable so we will forgive him for the unspeakable damage he does now and will do in the future to everything we own.

Let's see... a hole in a screen, snapped a faucet off of its fixture, removed several curtain rods and lost the parts, filled our entire porch with play sand, pooped at the pool, wrote in a new book of mine, dropped my cell phone, and did unspeakable things to his older brothers.

And... still we keep him.

That smile is why (and his crazy tiny little voice - when it isn't shrieking).

Old dumb dad...

To expand on my thoughts from the other day (Bad mom/good dad)...

This all stems from the advertising industry's propensity (I believe) to make fun of men. Seriously... all the commercials with "Old dumb dad..." who can't seem to figure out how to make cold cereal for breakfast or when diapers need changing. Old dumb dad... "hey, what's this thing for?" (holding a broom). Old dumb dad... helpless with a dishwasher. Old dumb dad... won't eat anything unusual.

Geez... thank heavens I am not married to that bozo. In fact, things are a bit different here.

J won't let me do his laundry because I don't fold things nicely enough. J does breakfast with the kids and cleans up after it.

I know that not all men are like J... but, for Pete's sake... they aren't all imbeciles!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A little patience.

Z has been out of school for less than a week - and, he is driving me completely nuts.

He is nearly unresponsive, except when he wants something (when he is whiny, tugging at me, and in my face). He interrupts my conversations with adults, but won't talk to me when I beg him to. Getting him to start his summer academic activities has been mind-numbingly difficult.

And... my sister just suggested that maybe this stems from his teacher having been more emotionally abusive than I had realized.


Then, maybe I am an asshole for completely going off the deep end and losing my patience with him.


Is there a worst mom competition? I know who to write-in now.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Bad Mom/Good Dad

We travel with our kids... a lot.

As such, I have oodles of nightmare stories "poop on a plane", "missed the plane", "barfed in the car", "flight canceled - three kids under six (plus sixteen college kids)", and so on. I promise that I won't regale you with all of them.

But, one of them keeps coming back. It isn't because the experience, by itself, was so horrifying. It was the response of the public.

So, we were taking a bunch of college kids to the Bahamas, and it was the first leg of the journey. Flying as a family to Miami to meet the students. Our kids at the time - five, three, and one. It was December 27th and we were headed from the winter to the tropics.

This trip, I might add, requires that I carry over 200 lbs of clothes, dive gear, dive lights, batteries, laptop, books, snacks, kid stuff, and other items.

Carry-on for this particular trip included: snacks for kids, toys/diversions, laptop, digital camera, lecture notes, course notes, class handouts, diapers, wipes, sippies, a spare set of clothes for child in potty training, and the usual stuff you might carry. Stuff that I: didn't want stolen, needed no matter what when we arrived, and needed en route.

So, when the baby (toddler) pooped in his pants right before they called our flight in the first puddle jumper - we debated. We didn't want to miss the flight. We didn't want to change a poop in the aisle of a 16 seat plane then sit with poopy diaper for two hours). Finally, we gambled and he hastened in to change the kid while I held the other two and paced.

In short, J tried to shortcut the changing routine by pulling T's pants just to his ankles and not completely removing shoes, pants, etc. as he was in a hurry. T found it funny and dipped his foot into the poop - then smeared it all over his little shoes, his pants, sweatshirt, and his socks. Making the best of a bad thing... J threw out the socks, rinsed and wiped the shoes and put them back on T, threw the pants and top into one of our baggies and tied it shut.. then bagged the toxic waste and called the HAZMAT team.

So, now we are traveling in December sub-freezing weather with three kids, the baby nearly naked in a t-shirt and wet sneakers. Then, we get to the first stop of our journey for a four-hour layover.

Please note that airports do carry the following: perfume, booze, t-shirts, hats, golf balls, kitsch, and many other items. They do not sell: children's pants. Basically, the kid was gonna stay naked until we re-united with 200 pounds of luggage in Miami.

Here is the interesting part of this experience: When my dear husband was with this naked ragamuffin in the (cool) airport... people smirked, gave knowing looks, and smiled at him. You could see the inner dialogue: "poor dad, came unprepared... how amusing". When J left to help the other kids burn off energy... people walking by a mom with a naked ragamuffin in December the response was different. People glared at me, scowled, didn't make eye contact, and were generally pissy. Here is the dialogue to me: "what is the matter with that woman and why is her baby naked? How disgusting... what trash".

I swear I am not making it up... I even got independent verification of the phenomenon.

What is wrong, people? Why the hate? Geez, there is only so much shit you can carry; 40 lbs of carry-on and 30 pound toddler is enough while we are toting two other kids that need hand-holding.

What was your worst or most interesting travel story?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Tough Guy

My kids come on most of my field trips with my classes. My kids are still young and cute, so the students like it. My kids adore college students, so they love to be along. Besides, my trips usually have something to do with playing with bugs or mud or critters of one kind or another.

It used to always be that Z would develop a crush on one of the girls. For the last year, though, it's been B that is smitten. B wants to marry one of my students - she is a little uneasy about his unbridled affection (in a good way, though). The other students think it is hilarious. The sad day will come at some point when my boys really notice the bikini clad students (on my beach trip) and the students find it less cute. For now, we think it is grand.

My kids also participate in most of the class activities. This means that if it is wet and cold, they also get wet and cold. This has had one bonus, the college kids don't complain as much as they used to.

For example, last year I taught marine biology. Our field trip got us to the beach on a rainy spring day. The temperature hovered around forty, it was howling with wind, and the rain was spitting sporadically... not such a nice day.

We bundled up and trotted into the mud to drag nets and dig for worms and other stuff. Z had a full set of raingear and little boots. B had a raincoat, sweats on, and his little boots (they don't make toddler foul weather gear - what gives?). T was bundled up and in a backpack on me over my chest waders.

We all tromped out of the vans to the mudflats, got out the nets, buckets, and sampling gear. It was just about then that Beck got stuck in the mud and sat down in about 4 inches of cold seawater. When I helped him stand... it ran down his legs into his boots. The kid was wet. It was cold and windy. He paused and looked at me - "do I cry here?". I said "whoops, don't sit here... that's not a good idea". He bucked up.

He had a blast catching crabs, fish, worms, hermits, and jellies. And, everytime a college kid looked like they were about to bitch - they looked at B and changed their mind.