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Any good dad realizes he plays a significant role in a child’s life.  Whether it be teaching life lessons….. like when cursing is appropriate while driving.  Or, the importance of treating others kindly…..  like sharing some of your Twizzlers, but never the last one. Or, how to make smart decisions….. like only trying to “ride” the dog when there is some sort of adult supervision.  But perhaps some of the most important lessons come by way of every day interactions with Dad.  These are the moments that shape a little one into the person they will become in the future.

 

So, I’d like to take a moment to focus on some of these interactions.  My son, who is only 21 months is already a little mini version of my hubby.   He idolizes Dada, the way a little boy should and he mimics everything he does – including the things we wish (OK- maybe I wish) he wouldn’t.  I suppose this is where my thoughts and hubby’s thoughts become divergent.   As any man with a son knows, whether he admits it to you or not, watching your little one do everything he can to be like his Dad is a tremendous ego boost and a very proud moment for every Dad.  Even when some of the mimicry looks like this:

 

Intense Food Discrimination:  When I first met my dear husband he ate probably 5 things:  Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Pizza, Pasta and maybe an occasional piece of chicken.   My miniature version of hubby has a phenomenal knack to refuse just about anything I put in front of him (must make hubby so proud!).  If he could, he’d simply eat yogurt all-day, every-day.  Do you want pasta with meatballs?… “No, Gogurt”.  Do you want chicken nuggets “Hmmm.. Gogurt”.  How about grilled cheese for lunch “NOOOO.  Gogurt”.  You get the picture.  The more time I spent with hubby, the more he opened up his food repertoire but this took almost 10 years and I just can’t wait that long with our son!!

 

Footwear Rebellion: Let’s just say that hubby’s wardrobe is…… limitedHe’s a jeans, t-shirt and sneakers kinda guy.  Luckily (for him!) he works in an office environment where this style is perfectly acceptable.  It’s not however, lucky for me when my mini-hubby only wants to dress like Dada.  I love his Dada.. but, I’d also love some khaki’s, maybe a cool button down and god forbid a pair of hip sandals.  YIKES!  You’d think I asked him to sport a pink tutu and a pair of heels!  Well, our little guy is already following in these sneaker covered footsteps.  He has one pair of shoes he will wear, and ALL other options result in a complete meltdown.  A meltdown that I can’t help think makes hubby inwardly smile as he proudly watches his son resist my attempts to make him look different from his Dada.

 

Utensil/Cup Selection:  I once wrote a post (HERE) about hubby’s need to use the “appropriate bowl” for the “appropriate foods”.  I suppose this could be classified as OCD.  Or perhaps, it’s more aligned with the desire to be difficult (this one gets my vote!).  Or perhaps it’s just a silent, but very powerful, training method for raising a mini version of himself.   It’s amazing how similar our son can be when I try to give him milk in his “water cup” or I grab the blue fork for dinner when it’s completely obvious that the appropriate fork for this dinner is the white one.  Hubby’s response… “well, why would you try to put milk into a water cup?”

 

The Ham Switch:  For all of hubby’s annoying qualities, he can be quite cute and charming (this is obviously why I put up with him……)  I learned some time ago that he likes to “perform” and can turn on his charm and charisma just as quickly as he can turn it off.   It’s like a light switch of manipulation – one I affectionately call his “ham switch”.  One minute he’s cranky and grouchy…. The next he’s all nice, smiley and dare I say adorable… and “hamming it up”?  Well, it’s sort of like having a toddler and watching the absurd range of emotions that can all happen within about a 90 second window.    The rolling on the floor temper tantrum that occurs when you won’t give them the knife off the counter (that they must have NOW).  That’s quickly followed by silence and happy head nodding as you offer a cookie in place of the knife. Immediately followed by a sweet smile as they peek around the corner to catch your eye and the giggle that follows as you play peek-a-boo behind the cookie.  And then, the switch flips again as you mention that one cookie was enough and that giggling, adorable little guy drops to the floor and writhes in a screaming fit because you’re obviously the meanest mom ever.   Yep, our little one has fine tuned the ham switch of manipulation at 21 months…. Well done Dada. Well done.

 

So, with all these wonderful lessons being learned every day.  I can’t help but think that hubby just loves the role he plays as a Dad.  He imparts wonderful tidbits of learning and coaching, he molds a young and impressionable mind and he proudly looks into a miniature mirror every time our son demonstrates something he’s learned from his dad.    OR…. I’ve actually just proven that I live with TWO toddlers and the reason they are so alike is because men take so long to mature that, at the age of 39, I’m still waiting for hubby to take his next mental leap into adulthood.  (Where’s that chapter of The Wonder Weeks??)

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So, when I sat down yesterday to write this post…. It somehow got derailed as I started to think more about mini hubby than I did about hubby and I wound up with a heartfelt post about being a Mom (if you missed it you can jump directly to it HERE).   If you’ve been reading this blog for longer than like, a minute, you probably know that I’m anything but heartfelt (unless my heart is feeling annoyed and frustrated at hubby) and that warm & fuzzies have no place in my blog!

 

I can only assume that the hormones that take over your body when you have a baby linger for quite some time.   I’m definitely softer and nicer than I used to be…. But since I have to use this softness, niceness and patience for my mini hubby, it leaves far less softness and pretty much ZERO patience for my hubby.   Ahhhhh… that felt better.  All is right with the world.  As you likely know, after 10 years of marriage – there’s simply no place for softness (unless, it’s coming from being buried under a pile of laundry) and there’s absolutely no place whatsoever for patience.  I used to believe hubby when he said he’d “get to something”.  I used to patiently wait for him to discover the trash can… or the sponge .. or the laundry room.  I used to gently nudge as I emptied my patience tank, while I waited for him to move heavy objects from my kitchen.  But now, I realize that patience has no place in our house.   If it doesn’t happen now… it probably won’t happen.

 

So…. That has nothing to do with my post today.  But, it sure made me feel better to get it off my chest…. HA!

 

Anyhoo…. Here’s my REAL Mother’s Day post.

 

It’s only my 2nd Mother’s Day as a mom.  So, it’s likely hubby still needs a bit of practice.  Either that, or he truly lives in la la land… I’m not sure which….. yet…………..

 

Here’s my story…  it’s short, so stay with me.

 

We get a daily email from mini-hubby’s day care at the end of each day.  It includes the normal stuff.. what he ate, how many diaper changes etc. etc.  And, there’s a space for “reminders” so they can tell you to bring more wipes or that picture day is next week, and so on.

 

Earlier this week this section of the email said “Reminder Fri May 9th is Muffins with Mom.  Join your child for a snack at 3:30pm!”

Hubby was next to me when he read this out loud and he immediately turned to me and said “Wait… What the….. How come it just says moms?  What about Dads?”

 

And, I stood there, for a moment…. Practicing my patience or maybe I was just waiting for the punchline…..

 

But, he was serious….. and clueless.   Apparently, incredibly clueless.  He just looked at me.

 

So I slowly replied…. “Uhm, do you know what this weekend is?” pause…..  waiting for it to sink in  “it’s Mother’s Day”.

 

“Ohhhh…” he said.

 

So the next day I’m with a co-worker.  A male co-worker (if I may point this out).  And he asks me “So, you have any big plans for Sunday?”.  And I reply…. “It’s unlikely, my hubby didn’t even realize why day care was hosting an afternoon with only moms!”

 

Sigh….. 

 

This is the life I have chosen.   It’s a damn good thing hubby is cute when he’s clueless.

 

Mothers-Day-cartoon-

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For those of you who have ever squeezed a little alien-like, spooge covered, wailing, little munchkin out of your hoo-hah, then you may be excited for this weekend.

 

It’s likely that most of you don’t have to ask why.. but just in case, for the uninformed.. or for those of you who don’t recall the day when you, yourself, made a screaming entry into this world.  It’s Mother’s Day.

 

And, if you aren’t a mother yourself, you surely have a mother because….. much like opinions…. everyone seems to have one!

 

So, why the excitement?  Well, for most of the world (at least the part of the world that celebrate’s Mother’s) it’s a day  – one day – where everyone must stop and thank Mom for being Mom.  That’s not to say she’s any better than Dad, or that all moms deserve celebrating.  But, it forces you to take a moment to think about the women in your life who ruined their bodies (ok, maybe not those celebs – who all seem to be in post-baby perfect shape), who gave up ever having a full night’s sleep, who learned way-too-quickly that they would never again be able to cook with both hands and whose bodies & clothes became instant tissues, vomit catchers, and warmth providers.

 

Those women who, in most cases, will forever worry if you’re getting enough to eat, enough sleep, enough love and enough challenge.  They will lose sleep thinking about your future, your education and the impact of the ever-changing world around you.  They will read articles about the correct amount of tv, technology, vegetables, play time, study time and nap time.  They will judge the world with new eyes…. They will celebrate your first step, first word and first day of school and then every day afterwards, they will worry that you’re going to fall, that your words will be used against you and that your days away from them will be surrounded by others who may not always have your best interests at heart.

 

They will cry when you cry (unless of course that crying was brought on by a demand to not touch the hot stove).  They will forever laugh when you laugh and they will smile both inside and out when you smile.  Your joys will be their joys and your sorrows will consume their hearts as they try to balance swooping in to fix everything and allowing you to learn to manage through life on your own.  They will say “No” ….. A LOT…..  but probably not nearly as much as you did as a toddler just learning to use your voice to express your independence.

 

They will shuttle you around and protect you until you show that you can be trusted to do things on your own.  And even after you’ve gained that trust.. they will worry.  That’s what they do.  They will worry you will crash the car, make bad decisions, bend to peer pressure.  They will worry that all the knowledge they’ve bestowed upon you will not be enough, that they could have done more, said more, loved more.

 

They will work to make your life easy, but not too easy.    They will fill both your belly and your mind, as you fill their hearts.  They will encourage you.  Love you.  And eternally support you.   And…… they will make mistakes.  But they will pray that every mistake they make will somehow make you a better person.. and them a better Mother.  Life is a journey they take with you… there will be bumps in the road, tears, harsh words and anger… but hopefully these will be far outweighed by giggles, cuddles, laughter & happiness.

 

For this is the life we have chosen… as a Mother.  And, we wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

So for these reasons….. we celebrate Mother’s Day.  Not because Mom needs a day dedicated to her.. but because a day dedicated to acknowledge the journey you have taken together is worthy of celebration!

motherhood2

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Well,  we started day care.

 

For those of you who have lived through this traumatic experience, this statement alone probably either brings back horrible memories or perhaps it brings back nothing – because you’ve blocked out just how bad it was…  on you, your baby and your sanity.

 

We started 3 weeks ago.  And, in 3 weeks, we’ve had a baby with 3 separate illnesses all accompanied by a significant fever.. some of which have lasted 5 days.  Which means that after 3 weeks of day care, we’ve only been IN day care for probably a total of 8 days or so.  Seems like some sort of scam since we pay for 5 days a week… and we continually need to keep him home.  We’ve made approximately 5 visits to the Dr and 1 trip to the emergency room.  If you are wondering… yes, it’s been an incredibly FUN 3 weeks.

 

After the 3rd visit to the doctor, he said to me.  “Oh, you started day care….. you’ll probably spend more time here at our office than you do at work and then you’ll start to wonder why you ever went back to work!”.  Gee, thanks for the reassurance doc!   So I asked, “Well, how long will it be this bad?”  To which he replied, “Oh, he’ll probably be sick for at least a year or so.  BUT, (his attempt at making me feel better as he sees look of utter anguish on my face) once he starts school, you will never need to come here!!!”

 

Wonderful.   A year of a sick toddler.. and an even longer year of a hubby who has to deal with a sick toddler.   It’s gonna be a doozy of a year.

 

Let me tell you a few things that happen when you have a sick baby.

 

#1.  You have a very cranky baby

#2.  You have a very cranky hubby

#3.  You do not get very much sleep

#4.  You have an even crankier hubby

#5.  There’s a lot of fussiness

#6.  You wonder who is fussier, the baby or the hubby

#7.  There’s a lot of crying

#8.  (The baby cries a lot too…..)

#9.  There’s a lot of boogers, and medicine and uncontainable poop

#10. There’s not enough cuddling, or rocking, or singing that can make the baby OR the hubby any less miserable

 

Then, as if all of the above is not bad enough, the Swedes had to go an invent quite possibly the most disgusting device ever known to man.  If you have infants, you may have heard of this device.  We were steadfastly against using it.  It’s just plain gross.  We were hold-outs for many, many months.  We wiped boogers all day long, and bought every imaginable bulb syringe to suck out as much snot as possible and we insisted we’d never, ever subject ourselves to such a revolting, loathsome activity. And then, mini hubby was on his 2nd week of illness and the boogers were taking over.  You could tell he couldn’t breath and he was starting to refuse bottles…..so, we caved and bought (read this in the most ominous voice possible)  The Nose Frida.    If you have no idea what I’m talking about, let me give you a quick lesson.

 

NOSEFRIDA

It’s a wonderfully designed tube that attaches to an elongated nozzle that is placed into the infant’s nose.  The end of the tube is then placed in your mouth…. YES, I did say mouth.  And you use your own breath to literally SUCK boogers out of the baby’s nose….. say it with me….. Eeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!

 

It’s perhaps the grossest, most effective, instrument ever created.

 

But here-in lies the problem.  I apparently don’t have the lung capacity to properly dislodge the boogers.  So, in must step hubby, to use his manly lung muscles to remove the maximum amount of boogies…. Trust me.  He LOVES this job.  No lie.  I mean, what person wouldn’t want to suck someone else’s boogers directly into their own mouth?  Ok, so maybe I’m being slightly overdramatic.  There is a filter at the end of the hose so the boogers don’t actually go into your mouth.  And, maybe I was lying slightly, when I said he loves this job.  Cause he FREAKIN’ hates it.  And, ever since day one of booger sucking he’s complained that he’s sucked all the baby’s germs right into his own system and now he feels sick himself.

 

Which is just FANTASTIC… because what more could I want that a sick baby AND a sick hubby —- FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR??????????

(anyone have a gun so I can shoot myself in the head??)

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Some of you may recall that I like to make up silly songs…. HERE is a link to a very old post, if you don’t remember or are a new reader.

 

If you’ve decided not to go back and read that post here’s the gist – I think everyone should have a life filled with song.  I like to sing old commercial jingles.  I like to sing cheesy 70s songs.  I occasionally make up words to traditional music that appropriately matches whatever inane task I am doing.  Hubby has a stick up his a………. ok… maybe that was too harsh……. Hubby is a stick in the mud.   Ok, that’s not actually true at all………….. But hubby does have a distinct response to my behavior that resembles something like eye rolls and sideways glances…………  Yeah, that’s about right.   Hubby doesn’t have “silly” in him.  He has fun.  He has entertaining.  He has amusing.  Delight.  Funny. Witty.  Engaging.  Comical….. you get the picture.  BUT, he doesn’t really do silly.  I think underneath that tough(ish) exterior he enjoys silly (he did marry me after all) but he doesn’t DO silly.

 

So anyway… add a baby to your life and all of a sudden “silly” becomes acceptable.  Maybe even expected.  UNTIL, I apparently take it too far……….

 

Everyone knows the “Wheels on the Bus” song.   And, the beauty of this song it that it’s just so dang easy to change the words.  I have put everything imaginable on the bus.    There have been grandma’s saying “hush”, babies saying “waaaaaah”, mommies saying “I love you” …..all the traditional bus items: doors, windows, wipers, gas, coins and so on….

 

But then one day, I all of a sudden have animals on the bus………… And then, while hubby was listening, I added a chicken……. “bock, bock, bock”.  And he said, from across the room….

 

“Stop That Bus!”

 

“Did you just say there was a chicken on the bus?”

“Uhm, yeah” I replied

And he said, “ What are you teaching him??…. There are not chickens on buses.”

“Well, there is a chicken on MY bus” I said, with all the rigor of a mom being challenged

To which he of course, responds…. “Where is your bus….in India?”

“Maybe.  Or maybe, it’s just down the road, and it’s a bus that happens to have chickens”

 

Humph… he replies..

 

And off I go, continuing to sing…

 

“The lion on the bus says ROAR, ROAR, RO…..”

“Hold on…. There’s a lion on the bus??” he interjects

“Yep, this bus has chickens AND lions.  And you know what, they get along famously…………..”

“There are no lions on the bus.” He declares (a smirk growing on his face……….)

“How do you know what’s on my bus?  If you want to change what’s on the bus, you sing the song………..”

 

Humph… he replies again.

 

And then I continue on my merry way filling the bus with “silliness”…..

 

Now I feel the need to incorporate Daddy into my song, who obviously has no imagination and no ability to sing silly songs (which is ironic given the tall tale he told our neighbors kids about Joe the Cricket Herderbut I digress….)

 

“The Daddy on the bus says…. Get. Me. Off!”

“Hang on” hubby says “Did you listen to what you just said??”

“Yes, the Daddy doesn’t want to be on the FUN bus with all the animals” I reply

And hubby says again…. “No.  Did you actually listen to what you said?”

“Oh, uhm…. Welllllll, that’s not what I meant………..get your mind out of the gutter…………”

“You just put a pedophile on the bus……..”

“Oh good lord.” I say to hubby…. and I look back to the baby (who is happily enjoying my rendition of the song) and say “The people on the bus, they kick Dad off… kick Dad off… kick Dad off…………..”

 

What’s your favorite version of this song???

 

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I hate washing dishes…..

 

Not nearly as much as I hate washing floors, but I do harbor a pretty strong distaste for this particular chore.    And we do have a dishwasher, so it’s not like there are a ton of dishes that need hand washing but, in my opinion, even 1 pan or  1 Tupperware container is too much.    Thankfully most items make their way to the dishwasher (thank god we have one of these or I might be using disposable pot & pans)  But regardless this is a task that I despise…………….

 

Now, if they’d only make an automatic floor mopping device, we’d be in good shape…. But, I digress…………….

 

Anyhow, this particular chore aversion has always been lessened by the fact that hubby doesn’t mind doing this chore.  Now don’t misunderstand, he doesn’t like it, but he does like playing with water (like any child) and he does like to eat – and he DOESN’T like to cook – so, the natural progression was for him to take on the bulk of hand washing dishes, when necessary.  And, they lived happily ever after.

 

UNTIL

 

The baby arrived.

 

As you may know, babies are messy.  There’s more laundry than I ever imagined could come from the addition of one tiny human.   And consequently, there’s a heck of a lot more dirty items in general.  One item in particular is bottles.   It’s amazing how quickly they multiply in our sink, and if you blink too quickly, you may have 6 bottles at the end of the day…. And there they sit; all beckoning, and taunting, and giggling amongst themselves at all they work they have in store for you.

This is only 2 bottles!

This is only 2 bottles!

You see, like any clueless new parents, we wound up with bottles that have like 426 different tiny pieces that all must be assembled, in puzzle like fashion, to come together to prevent excess gas intake, or maybe it’s to improve baby IQ, or perhaps solve global warming.  Ok, I’m not really sure why there are so many dang pieces.  But what I AM sure of, is that cleaning these mother f’ers is a royal pain in my posterior region (and just for the record, these are Dr. Brown’s bottles -and they DO work, even though I’d pay millions of dollars for a full-time bottle washer).     Each tiny, individual, piece must be disassembled, washed, brushed, poked, scrubbed and violated in a way that only long tubular bottle pieces can, to ensure they are clean for our little one.   And, my friends, these puppies can’t go in the dishwasher.  I mean, sure, they can in fact go in the dishwasher but…. once you take them out of the dishwasher, you have to put them back into the sink to clean them.   Cause, with all the contraptions they sell to help make bottles dishwasher-cleanable… the only thing that really works is a bit of elbow grease, some pruny hands and about 4 hours in front of the sink.  Not to mention the day when I tried to wash them in the dishwasher and the bottles all came out with a nice orange-y, reddish hue.  Thank you Mr. Marinara sauce.

 

So, this brings me to the “meat” of my blog post.  What you just read was really just the back story.  And, you were wondering up to this point….. why the heck is she talking so much about baby bottles????  So, stay with me people.

 

As I mentioned earlier, hubby is our in-house dishwasher.  That is of course until the baby arrived – since bottle washing is so daunting – I’ve had to suck it up and wash bottles……… which, in case you were wondering, I still despise!  And, in case you missed it, I will remind you again… washing bottles SUCKS and takes f-o-r-e-v-e-r.   So hubby, in his infinite wisdom, says to me.  “Do ya think you could buy us a kitchen mat to stand on while we wash dishes for 6 hours a day?”  And being the loving wife I am, I respond “Why yes hubby, I certainly can”.  And then off I went to help give us comfy place to stand in front of the sink.    And, if I do say so myself, I found a rockin’ kitchen mat – if you can, in fact, use that sort of terminology to describe a kitchen mat.

"The best thing to ever set foot on!"

“The best thing to ever set foot on!”

This mat is cushy, cozy, comfy and maybe even kick-ass (I was going for another “c” word there – but I ran out of adjectives).  You see, the mat is made of memory foam, and when you stand on it, your feet just melt into it and are nicely cushioned to provide some otherwise not-so-present-comforts, for your tiny toes, while you stand in front of the sink and work your way through your 300th bottle part.  So, this mat sat in place for a day or so before hubby assumed the position to tackle the day’s chore.  And, when he stepped on to the mat, his toes began singing, his lower back started smiling and his mouth started saying….. “holy crap, this is the best thing I’ve ever stood on!!”  And then, in true hubby fashion, he needed to expound on his statement with some of the following:

 

“My feet have never been so happy”

“Why don’t they make shoes out of this material?”

“Every floor, everywhere, should be made of this stuff!”

“This is seriously the best thing I’ve ever felt on my feet!!”

“I’m never moving out of this spot”

 

And finally…. “ We need these mats ALL OVER the house”

 

What he doesn’t realize is that I’d NEVER put that material all over the house…….

I have him right where I want him.  In front of the sink, poised to wash bottles, and never wanting to move.   I’m not nearly as dumb as I look…………………and perhaps, with a little luck,  some incredibly comfy feet, and an equally happy hubby……….. I’ll never have to wash a bottle, ever again!  :-)

 

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