Princess or Goddess

Time spent with grandparents, aunts, cousins and friends who leap to do her bidding has given my daughter a bit of a goddess-complex.

This morning she was commanding the sun to stop. Verbatim – “Stop it sun, stop it in my eyes. Stop it right now sun in my eyes.” Bless her little heart, she really believed that she could stop the sun from shining in her eyes with the sheer force of her will and repetition. Sadly, this is a tactic that has worked for her since the day she started talking. This child has convinced busy strangers on the Senate floor to stop and draw her a cow. She has coerced her grandfather into a child-size tiger costume and her grandmother into lying on a dirty kitchen floor to examine a lady bug. She is not intimated by things like the revolution of the earth and position of the sun.

Last week she tore an ear off a new stuffed cow and was throwing a giant fit about it. Our wonderful friend Sue offered to take it home and sew the ear back on for her. That was not good enough for the Princess Goddess who insisted on accompanying Sue home to monitor the surgery and ensure the cow was returned in a timely fashion.

Every time I tell the kids to turn the TV off, it is a race to push the button. The obstinate Princess now scolds her brothers if they beat her to it with these words, “Hey, always me Silly. Not you turn off tv, always me, k, McGee?” A couple of months ago, the boys would probably have let it go and allowed her to control the buttons on the TV but they have apparently about had it with Bossy McBosspants and will now wrestle her out of the way to turn it off.

On the way to school this morning, a kindergarten friend of ours was complaining that he always has to listen to Snow White in our car. The Queen of her World turned and informed him, “Me love Snow White, me always listen to it in car.” With that little matter handled, she turned back around and asked me to turn the volume up….little shit.

We had a stand off yesterday morning when a Whiny Princess insisted that I put her shoes on for her. I declined her invitation and informed her that it was time to take the boys to school. She added some pitiful crying and a few tears to accompany the screeching insistence that I put her shoes on her feet for her. I again declined, told her that we needed to take the boys to school, and calmly exited the house. I expected her to quickly put her shoes on and follow me into the garage because she hates to be left alone but I underestimated the stubborn streak running boldly through her royal veins. She screamed and cried for almost 10 minutes while I waited patiently (and I actually did because she is the 3rd child not the 1st and I have finally learned to choose my battles and not get too worked up about things like this).

Eventually, she put her shoes on and walked sedately to the car as if nothing had happened because that is what Princesses do.


Young People, Old People, Anyone Funny

Title courtesy of one of my favorite children’s books “Everywhere Babies.” I highly recommend it!

I spent Saturday with a 98-year-old and a 2-year-old and they had a lot in common. I will try not to be disrespectful because I do truly respect my elders, especially those who have earned my respect. However, some things that happen to a body as it ages are just simply funny when compared to a new little body so please don’t be mad at me.

Great-Uncle (GU) drove here from Texas with his 80-year-old niece and caregiver, and her 80-something sister, to visit for 3 days. Yep, 4 days of driving for a 3 day visit…and they do it at least 3 times a year. Silliness was playing at halftime of a mens’ college basketball game so Gma and Gpa brought GU up to watch the game.

Silliness, McGee, and Princess were all very excited to see Gma and Gpa but when I told them that GU would be here as well they lost a little bit of their excitement. Thankfully, they were troopers and when we met them at the stadium, both boys submitted to a long, “squeeze ya til ya holler” hug. The looks on their faces as they were getting them, however, almost made me cry…or laugh…poor things.

The same situation happens almost every morning when Princess wants to wake the boys up. She climbs on McGee’s bed and snuggles right in, whether he is awake or not.  He typically groans and tells her to get off but she will not be swayed, just tucks herself in right next to him and ignores his pleas, pushes, and occasional accidental elbows to the head. Once she has thoroughly annoyed him, she clambers out of his bed and makes her way up the ladder to Silly’s bunk. She then launches herself over the rail and invariably lands on his head or nuts, as he will so modestly shout out. Good times.

Back at the game, we took the elevator up the arena level and searched for our friends who had graciously saved us seats. Early arrivals, they had secured seats right in front, next to the court and the cheerleaders: perfect! Now we just had to get there.

Gma took Princess’ hand and let her set the pace around the arena. Gpa and Hubs each took a side of GU and let him set a snail’s pace as well. Hubs practically had a handprint embedded on his neck before they got halfway around the arena and we hadn’t even tackled the stairs yet. Faced with the daunting task of maneuvering Princess and GU down a set of steep and narrow stairs, we opted to split up the seating arrangements, leaving those with stair problems at the top.

In my head, Princess and GU would have gone both up and down the stairs in the same manner: 2 feet on each step, tight grip on the rail, and nervously darting eyes predicting danger with each shuffle down. We would probably have ended up carrying both of them back up the stairs so we made the right decision.

Neither Princess or GU could really follow the basketball action; Princess because she simply didn’t care and was more interested in slurping up and protecting her ice cream and GU because we were too far away and he couldn’t see or hear. If only we could have sat closer to the court….

Silly performed magnificently at exactly mid-court at halftime. There had been 235 kids at the skills camp and at least 100 showed up to strut their stuff at the game. It was a super cool experience to be on the court, using a real game ball, and smelling the sweat of the players. Silly doesn’t always express excitement but his face was pure, priceless joy when he ran back to the stands.

The journey out of the arena and back to the car was filled with many pitfalls, including the jostling crowd, a long walk, and overly tired old and young people. We made it but McGee and Silly were forced to run ahead, wait, run ahead, and wait numerous times due to the ants in their pants.

After reminding both GU and Princess to pee when we got home, everyone settled in to watch some football. Princess and GU again had trouble following the game due to a lack of concern and lack of hearing respectively, but we were able to find something they could play together.

Scene: Princess standing between the couch and coffee table, GU sitting on the couch next to her. A container of markers and several pieces of paper are helpfully placed on the coffee table.

Princess chooses 2 markers and asks GU, “Which one you want?”

GU looks at her as if she recently hung the moon and is also speaking gibberish, glances at Gma to ask what Princess is saying and finally just chooses a marker for lack of a better option.

Princess chooses 2 more markers and asks GU, “Which one me have?”

GU has the same response as to the previous question but eventually they each have a marker.

Princess proceeds to direct GU into the finer art of coloring, scolding him if he colors on the wrong portion of the paper or in an incorrect manner. There are times when dots are in order, others when a line must be drawn. Coloring is a specific project and GU had some trouble understanding what she was commanding him to do. At the same time, Bridget didn’t even bother to try to listen to GU, just continued coloring and barking orders as if he were mute.

Silly, Gma and I were playing a game on the floor when I was struck with a fit of giggles so intense that I couldn’t hide them from my impressionable son. He asked what I was laughing at and I had to embarrass myself and tell my son that I was laughing at GU’s chin drool. I’m not proud of it but I did manage to explain, with Gma’s help, that sometimes when you are very old you aren’t aware that you are drooling, just like when babies drool. To his credit, Silly didn’t join in the laughter, just stared at GU’s chin like it was a science experiment. Not my best parenting moment.

Dinner time was interesting as GU sat at the table with the 3 kids. He loves chili and I had done my best but I had not thought about the messy repercussions of a chili meal. Add in the bread crumbs and the floor beneath each of their chairs was mildly disgusting.

Before you judge me too harshly, let me say this: GU is a lovely man who takes a genuine interest in me, my husband and kids, parent and siblings, nieces and nephews. He is not a perfect man and he provides plenty of opportunities for complaint but I believe he has a good heart and good intentions. I can’t help it if I find his strange quirks entertaining…someday someone will be laughing at me too.

That Bit Me in the Ass

Don’t you hate it when you say something and it totally comes back to bite you in the ass? Happened to me twice today and I have no one to blame but myself and the Walmart checker.

Princess and I had quite an excursion this morning, wandering aimlessly around a basketball arena for 15 minutes in an attempt to find the ticket office. We found some back staircases and the entrance to the VIP suites, got to watch the women’s basketball team practice and Blair’s college roommate coach, and even walked on the football field briefly before finally scouting out the ticket office. It was embarrassing to see all these college students walking around with purpose while my daughter and I strolled around like minstrels…because there might have been running, stair-jumping and a little bit of singing.

After a refreshing ice cream cone treat, we ventured to Walmart for groceries and judgment.

I saw a woman bending down in an aisle and talking to her kids in this loud, singsong voice and thought well she looks like an idiot, then continued walking along while calling the Princess all sorts of silly names in a loud, singsong voice. And then it hit me, I believe that I have an invisibility cloak when I am with my kids! I am one of those people!

If I am walking down the street or sitting in a public place with my kids, I think nothing of singing a song or doing a silly dance. I will make crazy faces from across a restaurant and skip through the Target parking lot. I will change a diaper or threaten to tickle a child til he pees at a basketball game and see nothing wrong with mimicking Star Wars voices throughout the grocery store. Somehow it just never occurred to me that others would be judging my idiocy….seems like that should have occurred to me while I was passing judgment on others.

Luckily, my friendly Walmart checker passed enough judgment on me today that I should remember it in the future. Now, let’s be clear: if I worked at Walmart I would have a running commentary about the people and their purchases and would pass judgment and concoct stories all day long. However, all of this craziness would remain in my head where it belongs (and maybe on an anonymous blog); I would never humiliate someone in person.

The boy checking me out today (that sounds funny because he definitely wasn’t checking me out) found it necessary to comment on many of my purchases. Perhaps I encouraged him by laughing at his first snarky comment about my Diet Coke Plus Vitamins and Minerals. I obviously know that adding Vitamins doesn’t make soda healthy so I didn’t care that he felt the need to tell me. I did get a little offended, however, when he tried to diss the Fruity Cheerios because that is a fairly healthy choice for a kids cereal.

His next complaint was about the noisy Sun Chips bag. Yep, I know it is loud but they are semi-healthy and the bag is biodegradable for pete’s sake, I’m trying to be a good Earth citizen! By the way, he was also sighing mightily each time he had to unfold a reusable grocery bag and put it over the little hooks as if it were the worst part of his day. Seriously? Then he told me, “I probably won’t be able to fit everything into these bags, can I just use plastic for some of this?”

I asked him to please use the reusable bags first and we would see what happened after that. And it did all fit, jerk.

You would think that this would be the worst of his smarminess but no, I have saved the best two for last. I asked him to scan a package of puppy stickers so that I could give them back to the Princess and he had the gall to look at her, sigh, and scan them as if I had asked him to arrange the stickers artfully around her dog house diorama. Who looks at my little Princess and begrudges her some puppy stickers?

We were almost done with the cart of judgment but first he had to scan the costume accessories I had picked up on clearance. He was smart enough not to say anything about the princess wings and skirts, made a face about the princess headband but then just couldn’t hold back as he scanned a blonde rocker wig. He honestly looked at it, said the name of the product out loud, made a farting noise and said, “No thanks.” What the hell?

I have had some strange experiences at large stores but today might be the winner. He was a sad, strange little man. I simply don’t trust anyone who doesn’t smile at a 2-year-old with puppy stickers.


Walking Dick

I wasn’t sure if I totally believed the rumor about the special bond between fathers and daughters. I have 2 sisters so I have first-hand knowledge of a bond but no real way to know if it is different than the bond between fathers and sons. I now know that the bond is very different, at least in my house, as evidenced on Halloween night.

Blair is very proud of each of our kids and loves to talk (re:brag) about them at any and all opportunity. 18 months until about 3 seems to be the optimum age for having them say silly things and show off, which Blair did with the boys. He encouraged them to perform for anyone who came to our house and would take them to the neighbors’ houses on Halloween so that everyone could see how cute they were. However, now that Bridget is at the prime age to show off, he has gone off the deep end.

For the first time ever, he came home from the farm well before trick-or-treat time was over and wanted to take all 3 kids to a few houses. I had convinced them that it would be super fun to hand out candy with mom but they hadn’t really bought it and were eager to go with Dad. Before heading out, Sam got a better offer from his cousins so Blair set out with Drew & Bridget. They walked to a couple houses in the neighborhood; I neglected to mention that Sam & Drew had already hit up those houses…oops.

Bridget came back with an exciting story about Santa Claus giving her candy and couldn’t wait to go trick-or-treating some more so they piled into the van to visit our erstwhile babysitter. They were gone for about 20 minutes before Drew came and knocked on my door, hoping to get one more package of Rolos. I asked where Dad & Bridget were and he said they were going to a couple more houses but that he was ready to be done. Strange.

Another 10-15 minutes later, Blair burst through the front door and exclaimed (and that is not an exaggeration) “She is so freakin’ cute! I really like her! But she doesn’t say ‘st’ very well.”

Bridget then entered the house carrying a forked stick and told us she had Yoda’s dick. What?

“Me have Yoda’s walking dick.”

You have what?

“Me have dick!”

It is a miracle I didn’t pee in my Princess Leia costume.

Curious about where she had convinced Daddy to take her after dropping Drew off? I was. Apparently, she remembered that our doctor’s dog’s name is Chewy and she thought she needed to see him since she was dressed as Yoda. How could a smitten daddy say no?

Honestly, he is infatuated with our daughter. Not in a gross, pedophilia way, he just finds her endlessly entertaining. He watches her in the rearview mirror in the car and just smiles. Maybe he was this way when the boys were 2 and I have just forgotten but it sure seems like she has him wrapped around her finger a little tighter than the boys do. Adorable. Maybe I should have titled this post something like Reason # 471 that I Love My Husband.