Thursday, May 13, 2010

It's Just A Phase. I Hope...

Lately, our kids have been going through a lot phases.  We remain hopeful that they are - in fact - just phases and not manifestations of future mental illness or socially deviant behavior.  But really, with us as their mothers - is there any hope?  These are the phases we've been dealing with.  Enjoy...

Star Wars
If you didn't know any better, you'd think the Death Star was hovering over my driveway. There are six thousand different light sabers in and around my house, battles to the death occur with alarming frequency and I'm pretty sure that at some point in the not too distant future, someone actually IS going to poke an eye out with that thing. The boys are too big for that evil purple dinosaur and too young for The Suite Life of Some Inane and Insipid Pre-Teens With Fresh Mouths and Bad Attitudes Zac and Cody.  I thought Star Wars was a safe, in-between place to land.  I thought wrong.

Between clones and Darths and Siths and Obis and injuries inflicted with sticks, I am done.  But do you know the worst part?  Star Wars is for dudes and Daddy is a dude.  I might be done but I am also damn certain that Daddy is just warming up. He's been waiting since the late 1970's to hang out with someone who thinks he's cooler than Han Solo and who tells him that.   So I fear we are stuck with this phase for a while because I recently overheard my husband say the following in the warm tones of Ward Cleaver: "No, son.  Mace Windu has the purple light saber. I love you, too.  Now go battle that Sith!" 


Getting Naked
We long ago compared kid (boy, typically) to canine, and that, after a bath, they both race around the house naked. Further research indicates this phenomenon lasts until...their wives tell them to knock-it-off-for-the-love-of-Pete-our-neighbors-are-going-to-see-please-put-that-thing-away-good-grief-you're-just-like-the-dog. How do we know? We quoted those words from a good friend, let's call her Ann, who forgot she was on the telephone with Kate when her (50+ year old) streaking husband went by.

This particular affliction also may be found in girls up until the age of about 5. Lydia's 18 month old cupcake has recently mastered the art of stripping down - clothes, socks, DIAPER - in about 4 seconds flat. And what she likes best is to get naked and pee on the floor.  And then happily splash around like baby duck in the puddle.

For the record, yeah, we knew that was gross before we said it.

Peeing Everywhere but The Potty
As above, this activity also takes place:
  • in the bathtub
  • in the washing machine (trust me on that one -- Kate)
  • outside
  • into a water bottle
  • out the window of the car (fortunately parked in the driveway)
  • in potted plants
  • in the shower
  • in MY shower
  • off the deck
  • on the deck
  • because there's no potty nearby
  • because we waited too long to use the potty
  • because the potty just isn't as much fun
  • all around the potty but of course not in the potty
  • ummmmm...because we can?
Touch Everything Phase
You expect toddlers to touch everything and then put their fingers in their mouth.  Disgusting things, dangerous things, germy things.  I was not prepared for this phase to suddenly come back, but it has.  As soon as those baby teeth started falling out, my then five year old did nothing but walk around with one finger in her mouth wiggling her wobbly tooth.  But it's not just that.  It's the need to touch everything and then wiggle your loose tooth that makes me want to scream/vomit/call the CDC.

She will pick something up off the bathroom floor at Walmart and then wiggle her tooth. She will touch every damn surface in any public restroom she happens to be in (and my kids are connoisseurs of public restrooms - I have no idea why) and then she will touch her loose tooth.  While I'm gagging and sputtering: "Wash! Those! Hands! Gaaaahhh! Purel! Rotovirus!" She will calmly walk to the sink and say "I was about to! Tra la la!" 

When she walks down the street, she touches every tree, parking meter, mail box or door knob.  If there's a railing on the stairs, she runs her hand down the length of it.  On the walk home from school she stops to touch bushes, pick flowers, pull leaves off trees, examine cigarette butts on the sidewalk, put pretty rocks in her pocket.  She. Touches. Everything.   And then she wiggles her loose tooth.  It never fails.  It is a medical miracle that she has not been permanently disabled by diarrheal illness. 

You're Not Leaving the House Like That Young Lady Phase
If McGee has one more t-shirt with one more ponytail holder around the back of it, I'm gonna lose my schmidt. Who had this idea in the first place? What fool decided that it would be fashionable to pull your shirt as tight as possible and cinch it with a HAIR band in the middle of one's back? And, isn't that uncomfortable to have that KNOT in your back? It's like a fist. Add in the super skinny jeans and the fact that every pair of shoes is either a wedge, platform or hoochie and, soon enough, the entire middle school is going to be a petri dish of cold sores.
Oh, that's gross, isn't it? Point is, STOP doing that to your shirt.

Never Stop Eating/Omnivore Phase
I used to think the guy at the grocery store was just a nice guy with a good memory. McLovin would say he just remembers me.  Because of all the times I show up there looking all surrender-y in work out clothes and a greasy ponytail, right?  No.  It's because I'm the only person who buys 48 eggs, 3 gallons of milk, 2 gallons of OJ, 4 loaves of bread and 6 packages of bacon...and then says, "see you tomorrow."

Six-year old Lefty can eat an entire box of granola cereal with yogurt in one day. I'd blow out my colon if I did that. Happy, at the ripe age of 3, eats an entire bunch of bananas, EVERY DAY. I actually called the pediatrician. I could HEAR him rolling his eyes at me. What the hell am I going to do in 10 years? I would get pissed that they're drinking milk from the carton, but they finish the damn thing, so why not. Thank god they aren't old enough to drink my wine or have the palate to be interested in the brie....mostly because I'm not sure I'd win that fight. They little, but they mean when they hungry.

All Balls All The Time (Yes, this includes testicles)
Little boys love balls.  Baseballs, footballs, wiffle balls, basketballs, soccer balls, golf balls, you name it.  They especially enjoy food items that are vaguely ball-shaped, for example, eggs and apples.  I understand why balls are fun.  Boys seem hard-wired to throw and smash and destroy things and balls are intended to be hurled hard and fast.  You're allowed to throw a ball.   You are not allowed to throw an egg - sorry little dude - yes, even though it would be awesome, you still can't throw it.  Please put it down.  Slowly! Oh well.  Get the paper towels.  Sigh...

The other thing little guys seem hard-wired to do is to check and make sure that their other balls are still attached.  Like all the time.  They will go through a phase where they will pretty much always have one hand down their pants (back or front, its player's choice).  This phase often corresponds to potty training, when everyone in their family is thinking and talking about their junk all the time anyway. 

When you find yourself saying things like: "Now you know you're not supposed to touch your balls at the dinner table, son" you can be pretty sure the phase has almost run its course.  For now.

Won't Go To Sleep Phase
Once I finally got my kids to sleep through the night, I thought I was golden.  "This is the life - nice early bedtime and they're down 'til morning.  Where's the corkscrew?  Who needs a corkscrew?!  Tap the T-box!"  Then something terrible happened.  They started fighting bedtime.  There is nothing that will make me lose my schmidt harder and faster than putting a kid in bed at 8:00pm and then spending the next two hours hearing:
  • "Mommy! I'm scared!"
  • "Mommy, I'm not tired."
  • "I'm thirsty."
  • "Are you guys watching tv?"
  • "I said I'm thirsty!"
  • "Can I come give you a hug and kiss?"
  • "My cheek hurts.  Whaddya mean which cheek??"
  • "Why not?  I love you and I miss you!"
  • "Can you come look at this because I think its a poisonous spider."
  • "I can't find my bear and he was just here and now he's gone and I need your help right now this is terrible he's gone forever oh he's right here under the blanket."
  • "I haffa go to the bathroom."
  • "I'm not tired.  I'm just crying because I'm loooonnnnleeeeyyyy."
It's been a year and I'm still waiting for this one to end.  Where's the corkscrew?

You Don't Know Anything, Mommy
I went from a college educated professional to a knuckle-dragging moron who can't even blink both eyes simultaneously. How? My brilliant-yet-suddenly-sullen daughter has deemed it so. And by denying it, I only to make her argument for her.

"What idiot would ask me if I would care for dessert? Does she really need to know about my homework - it's not like she'd understand it. Friends? She couldn't possibly have any. And you'd have to go back into the days of stone wheels and Wilma Flintstone for her to remember when she was in the 5th grade. Did they even have grades back then? Or school? Or dirt? I. Don't. Think. So."

My usefulness in her life consists of driving her places (but stopping far enough away to avoid friend contact - I'm contagious apparently) feeding her (but only stuff she wants and likes) and giving her money (without the lesson, thank you very much).  Occasionally I get glimpses of the sweet, loving girl I used to know and it is just enough to warm my heart and remind why I would take a bullet for her.  So I give her a big smile and then she rolls her eyes at me in total disgust.

She's super fun. I can't wait 'til she gets her period.

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