The Bad Mommy

I work only to pay for his therapy later.

Location: Novato, California, United States

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

For My Buddy D

Dear D -

Just wanted you to be the first to know I picked up a new pair of these this weekend - in the Sea Blue color. I looked long and hard at the Lime ones. I think they're for next time.



Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Be Careful What You Wish For

When C was 4 and a half months old and I had to go back to work, we enrolled him in a fabulous preschool. They invited all the parents of the incoming baby group to come to an informational night at the center and we got to meet the caregivers, tour the facility, get to know each other and collectively freak out at the thought of going back to work and leaving our kids in the hands of strangers (who had more experience - and patience - with child-rearing than I will ever have).

As part of that evening, we all participated in a little exercise. The school had listed about a hundred characteristics on sheets of paper that were posted around the room. We were asked to pick10 that we wanted to see our kids develop during the five or so years they'd be at the school. After we had picked our top ten, they asked us to narrow it down to three.

I skipped all the stuff like successful, good-looking or rich. The top three things I wanted my kid to develop were a sense of humor, compassion and a love of reading. We've been blessed with all three.

Just how blessed was reinforced this morning when I walked into the bathroom as C was taking a shower. He had been in the middle of reading some things and didn't want his shower to get in the way of that. So he had taped the pages to the outside of the shower and was continuing to read while he brushed his teeth and washed his hair in the shower.

Looks like creative and focused got thrown into the mix too.

Monday, May 15, 2006

I Am So Screwed

Last night C kept grabbing something and I kept telling him not to touch it. This went on 3 or 4 times and finally I looked him in the eye and said "touch it again and you're dead."

His eyes went kind of wide, the way they do when he's afraid I might really mean whatever it is I said.

Then he relaxed. He paused for effect, put his hand on my shoulder, paused again and said "I'm going to touch it now."

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Well Of Course

So the three of us are standing around in the kitchen this morning. Out of nowhere:

C: Well, if you're going to be eating Cuban, you're going to be eating garlic.

M: What?

Me: Where did you get that?

C: Food Network.

Beats having him quoting Jimmy Neutron.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Bye. Miss Me.

I made the mistake of stopping by the house on my way to Knit Night at Marin Fiber Arts tonight. I zipped in to grab a project I forgot to pack in my bag this morning and was trying to zip right back out again when C looked at me and said "where are you going?"

"It's Thursday. I'm going to knit night."

Incredibly disappointed and unhappy face.

Me: "What's the matter?"

C: (No answer. Just more unhappy face and slouchy attitude.)

Me: "You and I have had the last three nights together with just you and me. I know Daddy's missed you and I'm sure you've missed him. You'll have a good time together tonight. Are you mad at me?"

C: "Well, yeah."

Me (trying really hard to be a Good and Understanding Mommy): "Tell me what you're mad about."

C: "Well, you wake me up at 6:20 every morning."

Me (trying to be a good listener, even though I'm not really following the train of thought): "Ok. What else?"

C: "Well, you hardly ever let me read at night before I go to bed."

Me (still trying to follow this but refraining from pointing out that we're halfway through our second romp through the extended versions of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and when we stay up past 9 pm watching movies, it does kind of cut into the reading time): "Ok. What else?"

Long pause as I watch him thinking.

C: "Well, that's just a few of the things."

Me: "Ok. Is there anything you LIKE about me?"

Much shorter pause. Without having to think much about it:

C: "No. Not really."

Me, as I walk out the door: "Alrighty. Then I guess you won't miss me all that much tonight. Have fun with Daddy."

Nothing Surprises Me Any More

So I'm in the van, driving to knit night, just getting ready to exit the freeway, when my cell phone rings.

"Hi, Mom, you might not know this off the top of your head, but is 130 divided by 7 sixteen or seventeen?"

I actually tried to do the math in my head, while changing a couple of lanes.

"You're right. I don't know off the top of my head and I can't figure it out while I'm driving. Is Daddy there?"


"Why don't you check with him? He's better at doing math in his head."

"Ok. See you later."

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

New Friends

Item One: On Sunday afternoon we had 7 Cub Scouts over for the bi-monthly Den meeting. This month's theme is Digging In the Dirt and for this meeting, the kids layered different kinds of dirt in a mason jar, punched holes in the lid and added a couple of night crawlers to the mix.

Item Two: This morning I stumbled into the dining room and discovered a giant worm on the floor.

Coincidence? I think not.

For the record, Max did not seem surprised in the least to see the worm lying there. If he were smarter, he would have at least faked shock.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Oxiclean Followup

Here's what I can tell you about Oxiclean: That stuff is amazing.

I mixed it up and put it on the bloodstains. Then I worked it in really well. (As an aside, another helpful hint: I use a plastic hotel card key for this - the edge is hard enough to really work stuff in but not so hard or sharp that it damages fabric.) I let it sit for about five minutes. Then I tossed everything into a cold water wash. Although most of the blood washed out, it didn't all come out in one wash. Probably because this blood was a good 2-1/2 days old.

So I just soaked the bloody areas in a bowl of Oxiclean for awhile and ran them through the wash again. Totally clean.

I think that if it had been fresh blood, round one would have taken care of all of it.

Oxiclean gets two thumbs up from The Bad Mommy.

And I'm really wondering what kind of readers I'm going to end up who are googling for terms like "bloody areas" and "fresh blood."

Novato Chainsaw Massacre

Ever since he was little, C has been prone to bloody noses. I'm told that his daddy was that way as a little boy, too. Thin membranes, I guess. It gets worse in the winter, with the heater coming on repeatedly throughout the night, drying the air out. I wash a lot of bloody sheets during the winter.

We've always been pretty casual about the bloody noses - we figured that if we didn't panic, C wouldn't panic when he got one. At pre-school, he'd just grab a handful of tissue and sit quietly till he got the bleeding to stop and he's been great about them in grade school too.

So Saturday morning, it looked like he had a couple of small drops of blood on his face. I asked if he had had a bloody nose during the night and he said no. He hasn't had as many bloody noses recently, and it was a very small amount of blood so I didn't think much about it.

This morning, when I went in to wake him up, I noticed a smallish spot of blood on his pillow case and when I lifted it up to look for more blood, discovered the remains of what had to have been a gigantic gusher. Somehow he managed to bleed between the pillows so that the pillows kept it hidden till this morning. (Now you know how carefully we make the beds around our house. Most days, I feel like I'm doing a good job if I manage to throw the covers up over the pillows so that we don't end up sleeping on a bunch of cat hair.) (It also proves how well we've trained C to be relaxed about blood. When I mentioned it to him, he didn't even bother with opening his eyes to look.)

I'm told by my friend K, who also suffers from bloody noses, that Oxiclean does a good job on blood, both old and new, so I've picked some up to use tonight.

Here's hoping that no one has a need or an opportunity to walk through C's bedroom before I get home. Because really, that bed looks like it was the location of a re-enactment of In Cold Blood.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Another One Is Sucked In....

The Little Hub sent me this message this morning:

The sandbox seems to be full of whining & crying babies. I have purposely left you out of the loop [on some emails about stupid neighborhood issues] because I love and respect you and your peace of mind (besides you were knitting me socks and I want my socks).

YES! I should have figured this out much, much sooner. Knit them socks and they'll never again question yarn purchases.....

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

From The Annals

Although it's always been clear that I'm entitled to the title Bad Mommy (over and over), there are several moments that have crystalized it for me. Here, then, is one of them:

C was in preschool - either 4 or 5 years old. He came home one day and either M or I ticked him off for one reason or another.

C: "Don't make me call you the E word!"

M and me, speaking to each other telepathically: (The E word? What's the E word? He's certainly heard a lot more around here than he should have but neither of us can come up with a word that starts with E.)

Me: "The E word? What's that?"

C: "You know! Idiot!"

Now a Good Mommy would come up with something like "Oh honey, no - you know we don't call people idiots! Let's find some better words to use to express our frustration!"

Instead, I say "Oh honey, no. Idiot is spelled I-d-i-o-t."

Really, if you're going to use bad words, at least spell them correctly.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Top 4 Reasons I Know Spring Has Finally Sprung

4. The ice cream truck has started making daily trips down our street. (Query: Is it too hard or too expensive to get a new tune for that thing?)

3. Bare feet feel GOOD on the floors. (Note to self: probably time for a pedicure.)

2. It's finally warmer outside than in, and windows and doors can be left open during daylight hours. (Across-the-street-neighbors are apparently not getting along any better now than they were last Fall when we started keeping the windows closed.)

1. All three cats are shedding their winter coats. (Note to family: Somebody besides me needs to start vacuuming more frequently.) (Just my idea of a little humor - I think we all know how likely THAT is.)

Why This Blog Has the Name it Does...

C fell off his bike and scraped up his knee pretty good yesterday. (So nice to be having shorts weather.)

This morning, getting ready for school, there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth as we cleaned things up and put on new bandaids.

"WHY does this have to happen???"

"Well, C, you've seen that bumper sticker right?"

"What bumper sticker?"

"The one that says 'shit happens.'"

Long pause.

"Well, Dad did say that I was nine now and it was about time I had a good knee scrape."

Round Three

Maggie's teeth cleaning went well. She was a little limp for the first 24 hours or so afterward but seems to have dealt with the anesthetic, etc. just fine. The vet even said that she had gained another half pound or so since she was in for her checkup at the beginning of April. All good news.

However, she needed to have one tooth extracted because it was broken. No big deal, but because of that, the vet said that he wanted her to continue on the antibiotics for another week.


I asked if we could switch her to another antibiotic since the one she was taking clearly wasn't agreeing very well with her system. They provided us with the same antibiotic, but in pill form.

Day One: We are able to skip the pill because she's just had oral surgery and the vet said to wait till the next day to start. This is good, because Maggie is so pissed off at me that she won't come out from under the bed, even for C, whom she loves.

Day Two: I pull her out from under the bed and give her the pill. She spits it out. I pry her mouth open again and give her the pill again. She spits it out. I pry her mouth open and give her the pill a third time. Then I hold her mouth shut and rub her throat gently till she swallows. Victory (and I use the term loosely) is mine.

Day Three: Miraculously, Maggie is speaking to me again. I tell M that it's HIS turn to be the bad guy and that he needs to give Maggie her pill tonight. He says sure, then forgets and goes to bed. I snag Maggie as she's walking down the hall. She only spits the pill out once before I get it down. M is definitely giving her the pill tomorrow.

Day Four: I remind M to give her the pill. He and C dig her out from under C's bed (she's really starting to have this pill-avoidance thing down). I stay in the kitchen while they're doing the deed so that she won't associate me with it (like she's really that stupid). M comes through the kitchen five minutes later saying "She's pretty good - she spit it out three times before I got it down."

Half an hour later I go into C's room to pull the covers back for bedtime and discover the slightly damp pill on the bed. I guess she spit it out four times. I wait till she comes to sit on my lap later while I'm knitting. Let's just say there was no more spitting it out.

Stay tuned.

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