not in the now

must enjoy them now
drama just makes good stories
for when they are old

I find that lately I’ve been getting really caught up in being irritated by my children. It’s not really something I’m proud to admit, but it’s true. I spend all day feeling like they are purposely trying to turn me into Crazy McNutbar, and so I spend all day hollering at them to stop doing whatever they’re doing, which makes me seem like Crazy McNutbar, and then by the end of the day they’ve ramped up the irritating things they’re doing just to get a rise out of me and so by the transitive property I have BECOME CRAZY MCNUTBAR, the nemesis of Supermom and also the causer of binge eating caramel-infused Drumstick ice cream cones.

Of course, by the time they are both asleep I feel cascading waves of guilt for my behavior. I feel like I need to crawl into bed with the wee one and whisper apologies as he sleeps. "Mommy is sorry she doesn’t know what kind of ship Darth Maul has and that she rudely dismissed your question while she checked her email. Mommy is also sorry she got so mad at your sister she slammed the door with such force that the doorjamb cracked."

I try to tell him these things when he’s awake, but I am inevitably interrupted by a falling glass of orange juice or a dog being fed handfuls of sand, or a poopy diaper, or a toddler trying to rip out my jugular.

Why is it so hard to remove myself from the daily trials and just enjoy the kids for who they are? Why can’t I shake off the screaming and whining and be the kind of mom who distracts them with homemade volcanoes and from-scratch sugar cookies?

There is this nagging feeling that I am not spending enough time with either of the kids, even though I spend ALL of my time with them. I feel like I am not present. And to make it worse, I have this gut-feeling psychic intuition thing that not only am I not spending enough time with the wee one, I need to start doing it RIGHT NOW before he is lost to me forever. Or something. The gut feeling doesn’t tell me what the consequences will be. It just tells me that if I don’t start reading more to him and spending time with him in the evenings, something not excellent is going to be the result. And so I am wracked with worry about what this gut feeling really means and what it is all about.

I don’t know what the answers are to any of these questions. I don’t know how to fix any of it. Because when it’s happening – when I’m in the middle of the moment where the wee-er one is jumping on my stomach and pulling my hair and the wee one is asking what-if questions about the house turning into a rocket and blasting into space and hitting the sun – I can’t think to calm down and enjoy it. I just want everyone off of me and away from me and to quiet down and leave me alone.

I know other mothers feel this way, but it’s still kind of isolating to be driven crazy by your spawn. You know what I mean?

Also, Crazy McNutbar sounds like a candy bar I must have right. now.

Naptime is the New Happy Hour

loaning out my brain
it’s clicking, whirring away
happily reading

I am reviewing a book today! This review is part of a blog book tour facilitated by MotherTalk.com (which I always want to call mothertalker.com because that’s just how I am).

Reading Naptime is the New Happy Hour by Stefanie Wilder-Taylor reminds me of getting to know that cool girl you stalked during high school. She seemed so nonchalant and awesome, listening to her New Wave music and not giving a shit about the actual "cool" kids. She had her own style and her own way of doing things. Soon, you couldn’t believe your luck – you were part of her little ecosystem of non-conformist friends. And then, after a while, you realized that maybe she wasn’t as original and awesome as you thought. Her jokes were a little repetitive, she secretly worried a little too much about what the freaks thought of her. And your idealistic view of her crumbled just a little. Eventually, all was well, though. You began to feel affection for her repeated stories, you empathized with her struggle to be different and yet not completely out of the ordinary. You were friends. And friends aren’t perfect.

That right there was a crazy ass long way for me to describe how I felt reading this book. At first – loved it! It was funny and true. "I try to think of my child as a pint-sized foreign exchange student: she barely speaks the language and everything in this country is pretty much new to her."

But then, as I moved through the essays I began to realize that, for the most part, the jokes were all the same (lots of drinking jokes, which I know, duh, read the title, but still. It’s funny at first and then it’s like yeah, yeah, I wish I had a standing order for Versed, too, let’s move on).

And every now and then the "let’s not judge" tone got a little judgey (really, though, this is unavoidable, and at least it’s done in a funny way. I totally hate the moms at the park in skinny jeans with ironed hair, too).

By the end of the book, though, I enjoyed it for what it was – a funny, non-glossed-over, compilation of anecdotes (and quasi-advice) about life with a toddler. Maybe there are too many exclamation points. Maybe the drinking references get a little tiresome. But all-in-all, the mixture of "holy shit can you BELIEVE how psycho toddlers are?" with "Here’s what I did to maintain my sanity with my psycho toddler" is a handy blend of fun and empathy.

The cool girl is still cool, even when she drives you a little crazy after a while.

Much like your toddler.

I get it, but I don’t like it

Dear Person Who Invented Fried Chicken That Is Not Really What I Would Count As Fried Chicken,

I get it. Really. I do. You were thinking about my health. And you were thinking about presentation, and ease of eating. But seriously, PWIFCTINRWIWCAFC… boneless, skinless chicken fried chicken breasts are BULLSHIT. Do you hear me? They are bull. shit.

Is it wrong that I want to go sit at a restaurant and have a nice waitperson bring me a glass of sweet tea, a plate of fried chicken (legs preferably), a mess of mashed potatoes, and some turnip greens? Is that so horrifying? I don’t want to eat it everyday, I promise. But every now and then, mama needs to get her grease on. And shoveling handfuls of Golden Chick fried chicken livers into my mouth while I sit in the car is maybe not what I had in mind.

What IS on my mind? Thanks for asking. It’s on-the-bone fried chicken, meant to be eaten with hands, sitting on a plate that is not made of paper, placed on a table with a red-checked tablecloth and maybe a vase with a bluebonnet in it.

This is what I want.

Why is it so hard to find? I live in the south, dammit! Sure, it’s not the deep south, but it’s Texas, and people talk funny and wear boots and vote republican *shiver*, so it counts.

Why then, PWIFCTINRWIWCAFC, did you have to come along and muck things up? We do not need dressed up fried chicken in Texas. We do not need knives and forks to eat our poultry. Skinless, boneless breasts?? Really?? Everyone – and I mean everyone – knows that the skin is the best damn part.

My grandmother is floating around somewhere right now, and she is fucking pissed off at you PWIFCTINRWIWCAFC, for ruining fried chicken as we know it. Her ghost is whispering into my ear that you are also probably the person responsible for inventing biscuits in a can. Convenient? Yes. Should they be called "biscuits?" Hell no!

I just can’t believe your scheming ways have ruined fried chicken for an entire Texas town, PWIFCTINRWIWCAFC. Ruined it!

Now I have to go eat Popeyes in my car and dry my tears with hard, not-very-buttermilky biscuits.

Fie on you PWIFCTINRWIWCAFC.

Fie.

Sincerely,
Kari
concerned eater

easter basket resurrection

celebrate Easter
deviled eggs on holy day
mmmm, sacrilicious

We had a lovely Easter cookout today, complete with burgers and hot dogs and chicken and deviled eggs and bacon-y baked beans. I could totally use about 14 deviled eggs right now, as I suddenly find myself famished. I am too lazy to go make some, though. What is a good lazy person substitute for deviled eggs? Not egg salad, that takes just as much work. Begging someone else to make me some egg salad? Hmmm. That is a distinct possibility. Eating bunny ears and watching TV and trying to forget about eggs? Another possibility.

I feel a little bad for not having some kind of holiday debacle to share with you. After The Exploding Easter Ham Pan of Aught Seven, I feel like some sort of bizarre and exciting tragicomedy should have unfolded today. Alas, we ate jelly beans like everyone else, drove in traffic like everyone else, grumped in the car like everyone else, and are now at home like everyone else. I am definitely not disappointed in the lack of drama this year, but I feel like I owe you, dear readers, a story of mayhem.

I’m sure it won’t be too long, though. There are still a few hours until the day is over and I have MORE than jinxed it with this post.

pee!

vocabulary
growing bigger everyday
still needs translation

The wee-er one just emerged from the little play tent she has in the living room. She was not wearing a diaper. She had been wearing one when she went INTO the tent, so this was my first cause for alarm.

Second cause for alarm?

"Pee!" she says gleefully, approaching me and gesturing to her tiny butt. "Pee!"
"Did you pee in the tent?" I ask, feeling dread rise up like last night’s heartburn.
"Pee!" she repeats and points to the tent.

With trepidation, I swing aside the tent flap and OH SHIT!

That’s right. There’s no pee. There’s a giant ball of toddler poo. Carefully placed on top of the outside of a diaper. Upon further inspection, though, there is poo everywhere. Apparently, she removed the poo from the diaper, tried to cram it into a plastic jar with a lid she was playing with, gave up on that endeavor, and replaced the poo on (rather than in) the diaper.

I think we’re going to have to throw away the tent. Is there enough Lysol for this? I mean, I have it pretty clean in there now, but still. It’s kind of like not wanting to live in the Manson mansion, you know? Watching her play at the scene of the crime, even if the scene is perfectly clean… not sure I can handle it.

"Pee!" indeed.

So. Gross.

Hey, guess what?

sustenance is good
fruit, veggies, crap, whatever
full tummies are great

The wee-er one has been so much happier today. Does this coincide with the fact that she ate almost half a quiche, a huge piece of lasagne, a handful of strawberries, and some yogurt – just for dinner? Who knows. But I’ll take it!

In fact, she has been so nice tonight I’m going to forget that she slammed me in the forehead this morning with the remote for the TV. Or maybe that’s just the concussion talking. Whatever. I’ll take it!

Right now she is upstairs being put to bed by Daddy – without nursing (!) without use of the swing (!). What is going on here? Did she read the last blog post?

Who cares?! I’ll take it!