Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Five Things I Did NOT Learn on my Summer Vacation

Hieeee! Oh, I missed you all so much! How was your summer? I’m sorry this post is a little late…Lydia gave me last week off because we spent the last two weeks of summer sick with roseola.

Have you had that one yet? Good times, good times…it’s several days of 103 fever followed by several more days of a decidedly unattractive (though not contagious) rash. The thing about a NON-contagious rash is that it doesn’t really matter that you can technically take your kid out to the supermarket or the playground…you don’t want to. Because even though your pediatrician and the pharmacist and your MIL and the dude at the Mobil station all say your kids are fine, they sure as hell *look* wicked contagious and you don’t want to be THAT mom. And my two kids perfectly staggered their contraction of this illness, so just when we had reached the end of quarantine with the older one and I thought we just might get to go see a friend or return the overdue library books…Bam! The younger one wakes up red hot and droopy. And then I got it, too! Weeeeee!
Anyway, I really enjoyed reading Lydia’s post last week about what she learned on her summer vacation. But it got me thinking that I didn’t really learn all that much during mine. In fact, I may have devolved a bit in some areas. Without further ado, five things I did NOT learn on my summer vacation:

How to potty train my son.
My little guy is lingering between two and three years-old, which means, yes, I could/should potty train him. But I don’t wwaaaaaannnnnnaaaaaaaaaaa! I have done this once before. I know it ends with no more butt wiping and lots of money saved on wipes, diapers, etc. I know if you get them at the right moment and make it fun and exciting then it doesn’t have to be a big, horrid ordeal. But I ask you…is there ever a good week to have all the surfaces of your house covered in feces and urine? Is there ever a good week to NOT leave the house for fear that your little one will suddenly shart in the middle of Target? That’s what I thought. Maaaaybe I’ll tackle it this winter…

How to keep my car clean.
Like Lydia, as my children have aged I’ve tried really hard to get control over how disheveled my life can be. I’m happy to report that my house was in semi-decent shape this summer and the laundry was pretty much done regularly. However, my car…my poor car really saw the brunt of my laziness this summer. We made two road trips to PA, one to NH and many, many day trips to the local lake and playground. Each time I thought about cleaning it out I realized we just had another trip coming up, so why bother? Then on Labor Day morning I remembered that my daughter’s preschool teachers and staff would, the very next day, be opening her car door to unbuckle her. I shrieked and ran out to tackle the beast. I sucked up at least a gallon’s worth of sand, dirt and broken snacks into our wet/dry vac.Seriously:

This is the floor under my son's car seat after 10 weeks of fun. *Gag.*

I didn’t dare look in the trunk.<<Shutter>>

How to change the music in my car.
Also like Lydia, my husband and I have a lot of conflicts about vehicular music. Unlike Cap'n Coupon, my husband doesn't care about four letter words, he cares purely about the quality of the music. My kids call his car the "Rock Car" and on the weekends there is a lot of child-fist-pumping to Foo Fighters and Radiohead on the way to the supermarket. My taste is a lot less discerning, which is how the conflicts occur. This summer when he got in my car at the start of a family road trip and Carly Rae Jepsen blasted on the speakers he frantically jabbed at the radio power button and turned to give me a full-on Maude face. And then, on cue, our son continued singing even though the radio was off..."And! All dee udder boys, dey try to chaaaase me!Here my number, call me baby." Wooooops.

We did reach a happy compromise by August, thanks to our rad friends who introduced us to a Hall and Oates tribute album by The Bird and the Bee. (Lydia, do you have this?? I'm mailing you a copy!) We agreed this was a fun album of classics and when we play it in the car all four of us are happy and bopping along. I might have started playing it a lot during the week in my car, too, because tonight while I was cooking I was singing to myself, "You can rely on the old man's money / You can rely on the old man's money..." at which point my son marched through the kitchen yelling, "It's a B!TCH girl, and it gone too far!" I *really* have to remember to change the CD tomorrow morning.

How to keep in touch with old friends.
I’m really ashamed of this one. I have awesome friends from high school, college, old jobs and other cities and for some reason they seem to like me, too. But oh man, did my communication skills with people outside my house and job go in the shitter this summer. Does this ever happen to you guys? I just went through a stage where I couldn’t be bothered to return a phone call and writing a long email felt laborious. My work schedule was just busy enough that I felt like my free time just got swallowed up and I just kept getting more and more behind on my correspondence. I want all the people I love to be around the corner so they can come over for happy hour on my deck and just be here with me while our kids trash my yard and eat hot dogs and get filthy. I’m just going to rearrange the whole world so everyone is within a 45 minute drive of my house.

How to make new friends.
I am lucky enough to say that I have a circle of local friends nearby who do come over and sit on my deck for a Friday night beer. It’s so awesome. But there is a certain amount of social stupidity that comes with such comfort. So when preschool orientation rolled around two weeks ago and I was suddenly surrounded by many new faces I felt a bit shy! And then I spotted the husband of my friend, Amy…you know, the one who had that whucktastic vomit photo last Easter. We have never met but I recognized him immediately from the famous photo so I decided I’d be a grown-up and go introduce myself. And what do I say to him? Do I approach him and calmly say, “Hello. I’m Louise. I’m a friend of your wife’s.” No, instead I go flying at him and yell, “HI! I’M LOUISE! I PUT YOUR FAMILY’S VOMIT PHOTO ON THE INTERNET!” at which point he gave me a sheepish grin while I launched into a five minute monologue about puke. He was super nice about it, but later I thought maaaaybe I shouldn’t have led with that. Ah, well. There's always next summer.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2012


  1. LOL.
    I recently did the post-summer car purge. Now, we just bought this car in March. It was my very first post-summer car purge in it. Still, my dear husband was laughing when he heard me calling through the window "When the f--k did I give them cheez-its?"
    I've got a baby, who hasn't learned to complain about music yet, but my older daughter much prefers riding around with daddy. Because daddy can stand listening to a Yo Gabba Gabba CD for more than ten minutes without losing his schmidt. Mommy, not so much. So I sat down with her and we mapped out some newer tunes that she and I could both agree on (Adele, Gaga, that sort of thing). Mommy agrees to put at least five of her songs on every one of my CDs, with a bunch of 'mommy' songs so I don't have to listen to 'Moves Like Jagger' ten bajillion times. I just don't know why my daughter cares about the music in the car, as she talks non-stop.
    I'm glad to be done with the potty-training somewhat, though I've still got her in diapers at night, and I have no idea how to get her out of them. She shows no interest in any of the rewards or tricks that worked so well getting her into underpants. I'm dreading potty training again.

  2. We too said no-Thanx to warm weather potty training and are in a CONSTANT music battle. I always imagine that we'll have a sing-off to determine whose music wins (a la Glee), but my husband still refuses to partake in any such activities. I think it must be because he knows I'd win.

  3. ughh potty training. my son will be 3 in January and we started the potty battle 2 months ago. except for the days i dont feel like it which sadly is most of the time. oh well he wont go to school in diapers right?? hahaha

  4. My husband makes the car CDs and is constantly asking for my input. I'm not sure why. Maybe it makes him feel better to KNOW I want something else on the radio, even if he has no intention of ever including it. My only request is that it isn't some mind-numbing, slow, monotonous, folksy song that puts me to sleep while driving a very large, potentially deadly vehicle with our two children in it. Is that too much to ask???
    Luckily the kids have very few opinions of the music. They just absorb whatever we put on and sing along. I must say I'm impressed by my 5-year-old daughter's ability to self-bleep when singing along to Mumford and Sons' Little Lion Man: "I really f***ed it up this time." The 3-year-old? Not so much. He loves his curse words almost as much as Mama.

  5. Potty training, bleh. I'm lucky. Our daycare did most of the work of potty-training my son when he was 3. He resisted for a while, but eventually he got it... except for nights. And daycare wasn't there to do that for us. We tried everything under the sun, and he just. Couldn't. Do it. Eventually, we gave up. "Screw it," we said, "they make pullups all the way up to like second-grader size now, and no one else needs to know." It was only one pullup a day, not exactly breaking the bank.

    And about a month ago, at age 4 1/2, he started waking up with dry pullups. He went two nights dry, had a wet one, then two more nights, had a wet morning, and hasn't had a wet wake-up since. After two solid weeks of dry mornings, I told him he could switch from pullups to underpants if he wanted. He wanted to stay in pullups, so I shrugged it off (but told him when the ones we had ran out, I wasn't buying any more). About a week later, he switched to underpants of his own volition. No muss, no fuss. I've still got a waterproof liner under his sheet, but I'm not worried about it.

    Could we have trained him out sooner? Maybe. But would it have been worth the hassle and stress? I don't think so.

  6. Keelhaoulrose - We put our daughter in pull-ups for a while at night. When she woke up dry on a semi-regular basis we let her make the decision when she wanted to wear panties to bed. We limit her fluid intake once we get home (6PM) and make sure she goes potty before bed. For a while we even suffered through waking her up before we went to bed to go one last time. We still have the occasional accident (she's 5 now).

  7. My not quite 3 yr old scavenges his seat before he crawls in to find old fruit snacks or portions of z bar. It's nasty. I finally moved a box of clorox wipes to the garage so when the door is so sticky it gets fuzzy I can wipe it down.

    If I remember correctly my 5 yr old decided he was ready to train and practically did it himself. Amazing feat since he's a sensory kid. My not quite 3 yr old? He may go to kindie in pull ups. He is completely disinterested. I've tried candy, toys, what have you, to no avail. He can pee in the toilet but he does not want to poop in one.

    I have very few social skills, which I assume has to do with the fact I converse with my kids all day every day. So meeting new people is akin to me just talking nonstop about whatever presents itself. I'm pitiful.

  8. Overheard 4 year old son singing yesterday, "Wee-ee-ee are never, ever, ever, getting back together" I will be in trouble the next time Hubby comes home before bedtime.

  9. Same page here with the potty training. I had this vision that I would do it in June, after school let out for me, but before my daughter was born in July. That way I would only have one in diapers. Well, now he's 3, the school year is starting again, and he's still firmly in diapers. I didn't even try (partly because I don't waaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnaaaaa either) and partly because he has ZERO interest in it and I don't feel like pushing it. Maybe being back in daycare will give him the good peer examples he needs and *they'll* just do it, right? Right?

  10. Our last two weeks of summer: Baby Boy had hand foot and mouth. Then my beloved husband and I caught what we politely referred to as 'a tummy bug' and we had many 'bathroom experiences.' It helped us ignore the sad, ugly, smelly reality of a horrible germ that brought us to our knees. Not how I wanted the summer to end.

  11. Kids Place Live isn't the worse thing on Sirius radio, but I really get mad at myself when it is on for a long time after I drop the kids off at daycare.

    I miss knowing words to songs that aren't about numbers, letters, or jumpropes.

  12. I have "secret" video of my 16 year old football player son singing that Carly Rae song. The best part is when he figures out I am taping. Good times in the car on the way to the Iron Maiden concert.

  13. ha! sometimes i wonder how i have any friends at all. i can suck at keeping in touch, and i am a *titch* over 39 and i still haven't learned how to make new friends. ;o) good luck with the potty training. the thing about potty training boys is that once that's down you have to teach them how to close the lid, how to not pee all over the toilet, how to raise the lid BEFORE they actually pee, how to replace the toilet paper, how to wipe their butts so that you are not buying new undies every damn day. it just goes on and on and on. ;o)




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