Monday, October 18, 2010

10 Lies All Parents Fall For

10PULL-UPS   Every parent has been there; you look at the package and think, "I can totally fool my child into thinking this is underwear AND save myself from doing 27 loads of laundry a day."  You even buy the ones that have Lightning McQueen on them and sell them to your child with the notion that "Lighting McQueen doesn't want to get wet and HE WILL DISAPPEAR if you pee on him" with all kinds of mock horror at the very thought, even though you'd like nothing more since you have so much Lightning McQueen paraphernalia that you're pretty sure you personally paid for one of Owen Wilson's stints in rehab. Or at least the blow that got him there.  But your child doesn't care that Lighting McQueen will disappear if he pees in his pull-up because he thinks it's fun to pee in his pull-up; it means he doesn't have to leave the train table.  Leaving the train table means his brother will steal his train and what's waiting for him in the bathroom?  A sticker.  TRAIN TRUMPS STICKER.  And that's why pull-ups fail.

9.  SOCCER   Christ Almighty, enough with the soccer already.  Want to get your ass reported to Child Protective Services?  Tell another parent at the preschool pickup that your kid isn't enrolled in soccer and watch her face contort as she tries to mask her contempt for your obviously inferior parenting.  Resist the urge to poke her in the eye. 

8.  EVERY KID NEEDS A DOG   Ummm, yeah.  Not my kids.  Want to know why?  Because they live with me.  And as my dad so eloquently put it recently, "You're not really an animal person."  Spot on, Dad.  We're fish people.  And so far we've only had to flush one. 

7.  CONTRACTIONS FEEL LIKE REALLY BAD CRAMPS   Okay, I don't know what kind of fucked up, crazy-ass period cramps you people get, but if they are really akin to the feeling of every muscle from just below your boobs all the way down to your knees tightening like a vice grip for a full minute in 90-second intervals as your body ATTEMPTS TO EXPEL A HUMAN, you might want to seek some medical attention and get that shit checked out. 

6.  HAVING A CHILD WILL BRING YOU CLOSER TO YOUR SPOUSE   I don't even remember what my husband looks like.  I think he still lives here.  Maybe.

5.  GOOD MOTHERS DON'T ____________ .   Take your pick: swear, smoke, drink, fuck, work, stay home, circumcise, formula feed, co-sleep, forget to floss, want to run away sometimes.  What's your hangup?

4.  YOU WILL FORGET THE PAIN OF CHILDBIRTH   *coughcough*BULLSHIT*coughcough*   'Nuff said.

3.  BABY TOYS   Want to entertain a baby?  Turn on a light.  That is fascinating stuff to the 10 month-and-under crowd.  Want to really blow their minds?  Turn the light off.  And then turn it on again.  The best thing about this is that babies don't remember much, so tomorrow it will be a whole new amazing experience.  Think that's a good time?  Wait until summer when you turn on the CEILING FAN.  WHOA.

2.  MOTHER KNOWS BEST   This one is only a partial lie.  Because when it comes to things like picking out clothes that match, singing lullabies, or ensuring that, before we leave the house, we are adequately prepared for any possible calamity that could affect our children ever, I'm definitely the one you want running the show.  But there are many times when I have to defer to my husband and his wealth of knowledge of All Things Male Related.  This, so far, has included peeing standing up, purchasing a cup for the Little Leaguer (you're welcome, future grandchildren), and basically all things penis or sports related, since my athletic history consists of picking flowers and doing cartwheels in the outfield during kickball.  And I don't have a penis.  But definitely call me when you need a necklace made out of dandelions. 

1.  YOUR CHILD NEEDS A SIBLING    Oh my god, this is the worst lie of all.  Having only one child is viewed as a serious crime against nature in our society.  Don't you want your son/daughter to have a brother/sister?  A playmate?  A best friend?  HA.  I fell for this one hook, line, and sinker.  It's not by accident that my sons are 19 months apart.  Why?  Because we wanted them to be close.  I had visions of them taking off to play together, leaving me to sip my coffee, maybe read a book, putting it down every now and then to go take a look at whatever incredible block structure they had created.  What I didn't imagine was the constant bickering, the 'I had it first', the 'he got a longer turn/bigger piece/more', the 'it's mine and even though I haven't played with it in seven months, I was just about to', the 'you know that game you always want to play and I always say no simply because I know how much you love it...I'm going to hide all of the pieces under my bed JUST BECAUSE.'  I'm not a mother, I'm a referee.  Lucky for me, I happen to love black and white.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

These are the people in your neighborhood

There is a gorgeous tree across the street, a harsh fiery streak of red amongst a sea of dry, dulling greens and washed out yellowish browns.  A narrow strip of sun slices through the early morning shadows to fall directly on the flaming tones. 

It's breathtaking.

And I'd totally take a picture to show you, except that between my window and the tree-of-such-beauty-that-ohmygod-it-would-change-your-life, dangle The Bucket People's unmentionables.

I see London, I see France, I see my neighbors' underpants.  Right there on the clothesline. 

Apparently the men in the house enjoy boxers AND briefs, while Mama Bucket rocks the grannies. 

All of which is WAY more information about my neighbors than I ever cared to possess. 

I should probably stop referring to them as The Buckets, now that I have two little sets of ears that like to listen to, and then repeat, lots of fun things that I say.  But we've been calling them The Bucket People for nine years now, since we moved in and found them dealing buckets from their side yard, complete with a hand painted sign attached to the fence that read, "Buckets: $.50".  Their yard was littered with white plastic buckets.

Here a bucket, there a bucket, everywhere a bucket-bucket. 

It would seem, however, that the bucket business is not a lucrative one.

Because one day, a big truck came and took all of the buckets away.

Which meant The Bucket People could then fill their yard with even yet still more crap.

Crap such as:  non-working snow blowers (4), old lawn mowers (2), tires (oodles), discarded lawn furniture, tarps (which, by the way, don't actually cover anything; they're just random blue tarps tossed here and there), rusty bikes (4), a Little Tykes basketball hoop, and assorted cuts of lumber.

And of course, I can't forget the prerequisite broken down car in the driveway (which my 5 year old thinks is a race car and therefore the most awesome thing EVER).

It's black.  It looks a lot like this:

Except it's all rusty and dirty and old.

And with the engine less IN the car and more NEXT TO it.

Also, they have a go-kart.  Which doesn't actually go.

So I was super-psyched this summer when The Buckets added a new mode of transportation to their collection of Shit That Is Supposed to Go But Doesn't.  The eldest Bucket Boy (a.k.a Carrot, so named by my oldest son who was unable to properly pronounce his actual name, Derek) bought himself a boat.

Guess where it is?

You got it.

Because, really, why put a boat in the water when you have perfectly good yard space available?