One Day, When We Become Grown-Ups Again

The housing market has definitely rebounded and that can be seen quite easily from the window of my office at my house. There’s new construction and already built houses being sold. It’s wonderful to see.

Lately, I’ve become a bit interested in some of the houses that are currently for sale in my neighborhood. I’ve taken to the web to find out about these houses, to see how much they’re selling for and what the insides look like. What I’m finding is quite shocking especially considering the fact that we’re a neighborhood of houses for families, people with children much like us.

A lot of these families have working moms, but the majority are stay-at-home moms, like me, which leads me to wonder what exactly am I doing wrong with the up keep of our house? I imagine that some of these homes are “done up” to look good in the pictures, but I really think these other moms are just doing a more kick butt job than me.

I see pictures of houses that have children living in them, with fancy furniture, sparkling floors, beautiful paint schemes and designer bedrooms. They’re bright, non-cluttered, airy, and inviting. I look at our house and I see Romper Room on crack. We have toys everywhere, a hardwood floor that constantly stays dirty (even if I mop it everyday, which I do), walls and doors that are scuffed, stains on furniture and handprints on windows, the refrigerator, the cabinets, basically anywhere Davey can touch.

My husband and I look at our family room and sigh on a regular basis. He said to me last week, “do you remember when we had nice things?”

Me: “Nope. It seems like it’s been so long ago and that we’re living in a constant state of squalor.”

My husband: “Maybe one day we can become grown-ups again and have a nice house.”

Me: “Probably not for 18 plus years.”

We’ve actually already picked out the new paint schemes, the new furniture, the potential remodeling of the house, knocking down walls, and adding on new rooms. I just wonder if we’ll ever get to the point of having the nice house again.

Are we the only ones living in a perpetual state of disorder and chaos?

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Vacation, All I Ever Wanted

Ah, vacation, an illustrious, sometimes coveted, despised, and even long sought after of a word. Vacation. One little word can stir up so many interpretations of what it is, how to have it, how to enjoy it, and even what to do with it.

My Merriam & Webster Dictionary (yes, of course, I still have one of these sitting on my bookshelf!) states that vacation, as a noun, is a period of rest from work, a holiday to use the British terminology. It can also be used as a verb, in that I take a vacation, or I am on holiday (I really like using the term “holiday”, it just sounds much more stylish and glamorous.)

When you become a mom, your interpretation of vacation may vary slightly from what it once was in your youthful days of frolicking on the beach, or independently touring international cities. I once went to Germany. I enjoyed wonderful food, tasty beers, and pretty eclectic clubs. I walked silently through the museums and castles, took in the history, sat outside in the parks and watched the people walk by.

My husband and I used to partake in cruises, usually one every 18 months or so. I loved those vacations, if for no other reason than I really felt like I was on vacation as electronically I was completely disconnected from work. We sat on beaches, did some biding at art auctions, snorkeled in Grand Cayman, toured the Mayan Ruins in Cozumel, took a river cruise in Ocho Rios. We were completely free spirits. What a time! And how long ago those days seem.

Last summer, we went on our first official family vacation with Davey to Myrtle Beach, where my parents have a condo. My husband took two books to read, he didn’t finish reading half of one. I planned to sun bathe by the pool. I came back about as white as I was when I left. We definitely didn’t go to a fancy dinner anywhere. No sir, not with a nine month old running around.

These days, I don’t look to beaches or far away places for vacation. I actually look a mile down the road to our local Wal-Mart. You see, being a stay-at-home mom (well, maybe any mom for that matter), a vacation becomes any time, even if it’s a mere half an hour, when you have some time alone. Who would have ever thought that I’d ask my husband to watch our son long enough for me to make a jaunt into Wal-Mart? No, honey, there’s nothing I need there. I just need to get out of the house. Oh, you and Davey would like to come along too? Yeah, well, that’s not really what I’m looking for.

Does this sound bad? Maybe. When I first became a mom, it worried me that I wanted time away. Almost 19 months into the job, and yeah, I don’t feel quite so guilty.

What I do feel bad about, though, is that I consider a trip to the grocery store ALONE a vacation. I LOATHE the grocery store, or at least I did. Now, it’s my saving grace especially when my husband comes home.

You know, maybe one day, my husband and I will take those vacations of yore. I’ve always wanted to go on a Mediterranean cruise, but for right now I’ll consider my 30 minutes perusing through the gossip magazines at my local drug store as vacation enough. My, my, my, how times have changed.

Potty Training 101

It was literally a scene from an old 80s movie and one of my all time favorites. I stood there for a moment in disbelief at what had just occurred, but the realization hit me. This wasn’t a candy bar it was indeed, “doody!” to quote the words from Caddyshack.

As most of you are aware, at least if you follow me on Facebook, I am potty training Davey. I’m not going into it as hardcore as I have been with other things. He’s 18 months old and doesn’t completely comprehend the whole using the potty scenario, but in light of recent events including the previously blogged about episode of pooping on my parent’s floor, I decided to give it a go. Hey, should he become potty trained before I have my next child, then rock on!

Davey’s really good at understanding when I ask him if he needs to go potty. He can’t say the word, but he will point to the bathroom door and pull down his pants and training pants before sitting on the potty. He’s even managed to poop one time in the potty. Of course that was two weeks ago and since that point, I haven’t even gotten a drop of a tinkle out of him.

I ask him every so often if he needs to go potty and he’ll run to the bathroom, but won’t give me a deposit. When I see him start to squat as if to poop, then I immediately take him into the bathroom. One of two things usually occurs. A- he’s already pooped and I’ve missed the opportunity to get him on the toilet or B- he sucks it back in and saves it for a later time when I’m not watching him squat. It’s frustrating, but I also know it’s not going to be an easy process.

At night, before putting him in his bathtub, I always ask him if he needs potty. And most every night, he points at the potty, sits on, smiles, grabs a book, or kicks his feet around. A few minutes later, he gets up and the potty is dry. Last week, I did the exact same routine with him. I explained the importance of the potty and asked him if he needed to go. He shook his head “no”, so I put him in the bath.

Davey’s not much of one to sit, not even in the bath. He’s constantly moving and standing and I’m constantly spending my night getting drenched as I sit him down in the water. Some nights, I actually just let him stand. I’m right beside him, so I’ll catch him should something happen.

Last week, Davey was standing as he normally does, but this time he threw down his toys and just stood there for a minute. I looked at him and could see that he was contemplating something. He pointed at me and grunted, but I’m not much for really understanding my son’s grunts. Little did I know, that he wasn’t really pointing at me, but was instead pointing at the toilet, which I was using as a chair while watching him take a bath.

After a few seconds of telling him “mommy doesn’t understand what you’re saying”, I watched as he appeared to be holding his breath and his face became red. His knees started bending slowly and before it registered with me that he was trying to push a poop out, one actually came out into the water!

I was horrified!

“Davey, stop!” I screamed as I jerked him from the tub and flipped up the toilet lid and plunked him down on it.

He began crying and holding tightly to my neck. Poor little guy, I guess he thought he was going to fall in. I kept him there for a few moments hoping that if he had another poop then it would come out now, but nothing else came.

I cleaned him up and then stared down at the bathwater. There was what looked like a little Baby Ruth just floating around. I almost wanted to leave it. How was I going to get this out? I couldn’t let it run down the drain, could it? So I grabbed some toilet paper, moaned for a few seconds before reaching into the bathwater to pull out the doody. Davey just looked at me smiling. I had to take him into our bathroom to give him a bath.

I’ve been told this is a normal occurrence for little boys especially when trying to potty train them. I hope it’s a normal ONE TIME occurrence, as I’m definitely not interested in cleaning poopy out of bath water. No one told me it would be like this! 🙂

Please Calm your Son

I froze, but only for a split second. Was this really my child? No way! That wasn’t possible. I didn’t behave this way when I was his age (or so I’ve been told, which by the way, I think my parents lied to me or either they are the King and Queen of having well behaved children).

As I regained my thoughts, I darted up from my seated position on the carpeted floor of the library play room. Someone had left the door open! Who does that? I mean, seriously, why would you leave a door open for a room full of noisey and rambunctious toddlers to run out? Oh, your child doesn’t like to run and be free? Well, lucky you! Mine; however, saw an open door as his chance of freedom and he took it faster than a dog takes a meaty bone.

By the time my foot crossed the threshold of the door, Davey was already halfway through the children’s section of the library, his arms pumping alongside of him propelling him to run harder and faster while the entire time his mouth was open and he screamed, “Aaaahhhhh!” Librarians looked up from their desks, but not a one of them bothered to offer the obligatory “shhh”. Instead they all glared at me, some over their half glasses as if to say, “oh, you’re THAT mother!”

Yes! I’m that mother! I’m that mother with an overly curious 18 month old. I’m that mother with a very active child. I’m that mother who can control her child, but short of sitting on him or tying him down to a chair, I can’t keep him from running, which leads to the next issue.

Apparently, my child is inciting possible riotous behavior amongst the other toddlers. I’ve been informed that I can’t let him run anymore during the storytime or musical jamboree. If I let him run around, then other children will want to follow suit and then it will just be mass chaos. I believe the teacher actually used the term “anarchy”. Are you kidding me? These kids can’t even say anarchy much less know what it means, and yet my child is going to start this? Please!

The teacher went so far last week as to also inform me that if I can’t keep him from running around in the room, then I would no longer be allowed to attend the musical jamboree or storytime. I’m sorry, lady, but it’s the library and my tax dollars pay for this, so unless my taxes are going to be prorated to reflect the fact that I will not be attending the library, then my son and I will be there.

Davey isn’t abnormal, but he’s very independent. He’s not content sitting with me while stories are being read, unless I’m the one reading them. He’s not content with being docile when there are so many other things to explore. I’m not going to stifle my child, but I will do a better job of trying to keep him more interested in what’s at hand.

Fortunately, the doors are staying closed in the classroom these days and my child is quarantined, so no longer am I mortified at the sight of my heathen running through the library screaming at the top of his lungs. Geesh! The homeless people couldn’t even sleep in their chairs with him around!

On a side note, though, should you be trying to conduct storytime and/or musical classes for a bunch of toddlers, please try to keep them involved. Don’t chit chat with each other or to the parents. You start losing the kids, or at least you start losing mine.

Speak Easy, My Son

This is a fun time, or I suppose it should be. Nah! It is a fun time. I find myself chuckling more and more everday as my son continues to find his voice.

He says “Mama”, “Dada”, & “Dixie” and has for quite some time. Occasionally, we’ll get the word “duck” or even “color”, but over the past couple of weeks Davey’s vocabulary has expanded almost as drastically as his weight (my child jumped from the 75th to the 92nd percentile in weight in less than 3 months…a story for another day).

And I suppose what I’m enjoying almost as much as his new words is the amount of inflection he puts on each one, or the dramatics that come along with it. Here’s a good example. While watching the NCAA tournament, Davey picked up on the fact that my husband and I will raise our fists in the air and yell “go”. Quickly, he learned the word and even began mimicking our actions. The only problem is that his “go” coupled with the fist pumping, reminds me of Arsenio Hall and his Dog Pound (you all know what I’m talking about!)

His next favorite word is becoming my least favorite, especially since he knows the semantics behind it (you know, it’s really amazing how quickly these kiddos catch on!) Lately, Davey has developed a fondness for the word “mine”. And EVERYTHING is his these days. This includes the toilet paper, the keys, the seat cushion, the flower petal in the yard, the blinds, my iPad…you catch my drift. He wakes up in the mornings saying, “Dixie, mine”, while pointing to our dog. Really? Are you the one taking care of her? I think not! So, until that happens, she’s not yours! I’m falling asleep to his little voice saying “mine”. Yikes!

Another word he’s come up with is “guys”. I don’t know where this came from, especially since us southern country folk use the term “y’all” all the time. I’m racking my brain trying to figure out how he became Yankee-fied! LOl! My husband and I can be sitting in the family room watching television, next thing you know Davey comes running in yelling “Guys!” It’s quite scary, but also endearing especially when we hear him on the baby monitor as he says “night night, guys.”

We’re picking up on the word “tiger”, which comes out more as “tiga”. Fine by me, especially since Mommy here is a diehard Clemson Tiger fan. You keep rocking that word, Buddy! Makin’ Mama proud!

And I guess the greatest thing I’ve heard and seen is the day he decided to point at his daddy and say the word “cracka!” It was priceless along with the look on my husband’s face. I was given the death stare coupled with the unspoken question, “did you teach our son that?” No, honey, it was an honest mistake. The kiddo does know his crackers, even if one is his daddy! Just kidding, honey.

Finally, the word(s) that seem to get misused the most, wait let me check to see if it is a word. Nope, not in my 2001 Webster’s Dictionary, and yest I still have one of those! So, the phrase overused and misused is “uh oh”. It’s my fault and I say it a lot, but truthfully my son is a bit accident prone, so why wouldn’t I say those words? Problem is that now he will purposefully throw his food on the floor and then say “uh oh”. Sorry, my dear boy, but you can’t use the words when you do something intentionally. That’s not how it works. Oh, did you throw your socks from your feet or did they accidentally fall off? They accidentally fell off, you say? Well, then that’s an “uh oh”.

Something new everyday.