Thursday, January 29, 2009

mom, you might not want to read this one

Internet friend, I have got to share something with you. It’s not the kind of story I would share with, say, a stranger on an elevator or at the dinner table (well maybe Bryan’s family would but mine sure wouldn’t…). I’ve tried to keep it to myself for so long but I just can’t anymore. So I’m glad you and I know one another well enough for me to share this with you.

When I first started doing home daycare, there was one little guy who always had a runny nose. You know how parts of this world have frozen soil that never thaws called permafrost? Well this little guy has a condition on his upper lip that I call Permasnot. He seems to always be sick. He doesn’t just seem to always be sick – he IS always sick. But he isn’t one of those selfish kids who won’t share – he shares his illnesses with others very nicely.

During one of the first weeks he came his mom nonchalantly mentioned as she dropped him off that he had Thrush. She didn’t make it sound like a big deal at all. She said he just had white stuff inside his mouth and it gave him a little blister on his lip. I didn’t think much about it. Even when I found Wyatt’s pacifier in his mouth.

So fast forward about a week to me getting dressed on a Saturday. As my shirt lightly brushed my chest, I felt some severe pain. It went on all day and I also realized Wyatt had been fussy and that my pain got worse when I fed him (breastfed him.) Being a mystery solver by nature, I pried open his little mouth. It looked like someone had painted his cheeks with White Out. Suddenly, the word Thrush popped into my mind.

After a little internet research, I learned that Thrush is basically a yeast infection. IN YOUR MOUTH. And that my sweet baby had passed me that yeast infection. But it wasn’t in my mouth – it was ON MY NIPPLE! I immediately called his doctor who told me how to treat both of us.

But instead of getting better, it got worse. The next day I had a crack the size of the Grand Canyon that looked like it was going to bleed. And let me explain to you how it felt. If you’d like, I’ll give you a scenario that is comparable and you can act it out at home, too. First, take out your nipple. (If you are male, a small piece of skin from you genitalia will work.) Next, find a cheese grater. Firmly hold the cheese grater in one hand and the nipple in the other. Then, rub the grater over the nipple constantly for ten minutes or so (to simulate nursing a baby.) Repeat every three hours.

I shouldn’t have to explain why it would be hard for a wound to heal under these conditions. But within two weeks, it had pretty much healed. I was glad. Until this week when the same affliction has occurred on the other side. Only it’s worse this time.

Do you think this is what the phrase “occupational hazard” means?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

now, about that resolution...

Okay, I really only made one resolution for the new year. It was, in case you don’t remember, to put a quarter into a jar every time we “knock boots”. And at the end of the year, we are going to use the money to go out and have a really nice dinner. I need to tell you that this was all my idea and Bryan was merely the silent victim. (Bryan would want me to mention that.)

I guess when I made the resolution, I envisioned us, at the end of the year, pouring a mountain of quarters out of the jar, changing them in at the bank, and eating at the Cheesecake Factory. That’s where I really want to go. Unfortunately, I hadn’t done the math when I envisioned this. I think it’s a little early to throw in the towel. But as I look into the jar and see, well, let’s just say January has been a slow month, I know that it is time to revise. A little revision for my resolution – and I’ll call it my revisolution. Because without a revisolution, we will be lucky to share a Grand Slam at Denny’s.

So from this point on for each instance of red hot righteous monogamy I will be depositing a dollar instead of a quarter. I think it’s our only hope towards eating at a restaurant that doesn’t serve beverages in Styrofoam cups.

Heck, with that kind of money we should even be able to leave a tip!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

perhaps he will become a sailor someday

This weekend, Bryan and I were sitting in the living room with our boys. I don’t remember what happened, but Wesley looked at me and said, laughing, “Mommy, you a dumb butt.”

I was a little surprised. I wanted to correct him and say, “No, Wesley, it’s ‘Mommy, you ARE a dumb butt’ – you forgot the verb.” But I knew that forgetting the verb wasn’t really the problem here – it was my two year old son calling me a dumb butt. Bryan and I told him that we don’t use that word and I gave him an alternate phrase: silly turkey (child development experts say you must give them an alternate word/phrase to use and luckily I just read that a few days ago…) He seemed to accept this idea, at least for the moment.

A few minutes later, the phone rang and Winnie barked at it. She doesn’t usually bark at the phone but that isn’t the point. The point is that Wesley laughed and said, “Damn it, dog.”

Okay, that one didn’t come from me. My eyes just about fell out of my head and I looked over at Bryan. But I don’t ever hear him say that either. Where is our precious little angel getting these words? What’s next – dropping the f-bomb to a little old lady in the church nursery?!? Cussing out the Easter Bunny? I don’t even want to think about it. And now that he knows he isn’t supposed to say those things, I often hear him chanting them to himself over and over like a little broken record.

It reminds me of when I was a young’un. I can almost taste the soap in my mouth now…

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

if this house is a-rockin'....

Friday was a rough day. Rough as in yes, I’ll have a vodka on the rocks. Lunch was a complete disaster. My daycare is on the food program which means that I promise to feed the kids healthy meals and fill out mountains of paperwork and the government pays me back for some of the food. And that also means they have the right to come to my house at any time during operating hours and check up on me. It’s the ultimate Big Brother. Well, Friday I was happily cooking tacos for the kids and I got a phone call. It was Big Brother (in the form of a woman named Pauline) and she was coming to my house to do a check at lunch.

I follow the rules. I’m doing everything by the book. But I’ve also talked to other people who operate home daycares and they all have horror stories about how terrible the food program people are. Immediately, I panicked. I saw that the lettuce “best by” date was the day before and threw away the entire bag. Then I tripped on the way to the table with the corn, spilling it all over the place. Winnie, apparently having given up buttered corn for Lent at some point in her life, stood and watched as I frantically tried to sweep it up. By the way, have you ever tried to sweep up a bowlful of buttered corn? It’s like riding a BigWheel on a gravel road.

The lady showed up late which was okay by me because not one kid ate anything – note to self: Self, don’t serve tacos anymore. The visit went fine. She was quite nice and was more interested in the wooden playhouse in our backyard than in what I had served for lunch. And to think that I spilled corn for her.

I made it to naptime and thought the rest of the day would be smooth sailing. I had all the kids laying down and I was settling in to watch Maury on mute (probably not good for little kids to hear the show but since they can’t read the closed captioning…) I was just about to hear who the father of Shawnda’s baby was when the doorbell rang. Six times. I jumped up as fast as I could and got to the door. I threw the door open and saw my little neighbor boy.

He just turned four years old and he loves to come over to our house, usually at really bad times. Like the minute I return home from the hospital after having a baby or moments after Wesley pukes in the back seat of the car or while five kids are sleeping in my house.

I was mad – I explained to him that he CANNOT ring the doorbell at our house. He said he wanted to play with Wesley. I told him Wesley was asleep (or had been until the doorbell rang) and that I would come get him when Wesley woke up. And then I told him again not to ring the bell. I was probably a little mean but at four years old, he doesn’t take hints well so you have to be pretty blunt.

Two minutes later, the doorbell rings six more times. I think at that point, smoke might have come out of my ears. I was all out of nice. I threw open the door and said in a not very nice voice, “I told you not to ring the doorbell. What do you want?”

“I just saw a airplane fly over you guys’s house and I wanted to tell Wesley if he could come outside and see it.”

Once again, I informed him that Wesley was sleeping and that he shouldn’t ring our doorbell.

I kid you not, one minute later, the doorbell rang again. By this point, all my kids were awake and I was ready to commit a heinous crime against a certain little person. I threw the door open and saw him smiling up at me again. “What do you want?”

“I wanted to tell you that the mail guy just put yall’s mail in the mailbox.”

Just to make sure that he didn’t miss my point this time, I told him to go home.

Added to my to-do list: disconnect doorbell.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

because they only take their first steps once

I was watching Oprah one afternoon and I saw something interesting. There was this guy who is the founder of an internet company. He makes gazillions of dollars but instead of having a big flashy office, he has a little cubicle with all the rest of the workers at his company. He was talking about how much he loves what he does. His advice to everyone was this: find a way to get paid to do what you love.

And so I started thinking…what do I love to do? Immediately I knew. But I couldn’t find anyone who wanted to pay me to sleep or watch TV. I know – isn’t that ridiculous?!?

Due to circumstances in life, I recently started a home daycare. If I said I love it, I would be lying. But I like kids and I have a strong desire to take care of my own boys (as opposed to putting them in daycare so I can work) so it seemed like the most logical choice.

I began the process of being licensed back in November. It was a long and painful process that involved speaking on the phone with numerous government workers who obviously hated their jobs and me for making them work.

I try to think positively about the whole situation, even when someone else’s child is handing me his booger. Which happens several times each day. And the most positive thing is that I do get to take care of my own kiddos, still. A few days ago, one of the little boys who stays with us was crying after his mom left. I was comforting him and Wesley wiggled up next to me. “Why is he crying, Mama?” he asked.

“He misses his Mommy. She had to go to work and that makes him sad. You know, Wesley, you are really lucky because your Mommy gets to stay with you all day long.”

But I know that I am still the lucky one because I don’t have to go flip burgers or type memos for some guy named Ed or floss other people’s teeth. I get to be with my boys and I don’t have to miss all the sweet things that they do and the milestones that only a Mommy can appreciate. Even if it means I have to wipe five other noses (and butts) each day, it’s what I want to do.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

my take on resolutions

I have a secret – other people talk about how making new year’s resolutions is so stupid, but I love making resolutions. There is just something so hopeful about pretending a new year will make it easier to have some self discipline. It wasn’t until last year that I realized that I never keep my resolutions. Or at least hardly ever. A few years ago I gave up soda and potato chips for my resolutions. I kept them for six months and then I let myself have them both again. I was pretty proud that I made it that long. But I love me some potato chips.

The most disappointing thing about my resolutions is that they aren’t even original – lose weight, get out of debt, stop hiding dead bodies in the crawl space – the same resolutions everyone else has. So this year I didn’t make any resolutions. Instead, I made a list of resolutions that I’m glad I don’t have to make. Does that make any sense?

Here they are…
Have electrolysis on my back hair.
Have tattoos reading “Mark” and “Will” removed from my left butt cheek.
Find out who my baby daddy is.
Stop pooping on the neighbor’s mailbox and yard decorations. (hopefully the neighbor’s dog WILL make this one.)

But I did make one sort of resolution. Mom, if you are reading this, you might want to stop now. I decided that this year, every time Bryan and I engage in, you know, red hot righteous monogamy, I am going to put a quarter in a container. And at the end of 2009 we will use the money to go out and have a really nice dinner. Like steaks and appetizers and wine at a really fancy place. Or if 2009 is anything like 2008, we will split a cheeseburger at McDonald’s. Here’s to a great 2009!