Winning at Discipline

“Don’t do that again or I am going to take it away.”

“Did you hear me?  If you do that one more time, I am going to put it up.”

“This is the last time I am going to tell you NOT to do that or you are going to be in trouble.”

“I mean it this time.  You better stop.”

“I am not going to say it again.”

I will be the first to admit, being consistent with the kids has not been my strong point.  Since being pregnant, especially these last couple of months, my threats are nothing short of a ridiculous joke, as far as my children are concerned.  I might as well say, “If you do that 234 more times, I am going to raise my voice even louder to  make my empty threats”.  At least then I could cancel out my slacking with honesty.

My Uterus is NOT a Tracking Device

No one in my household seems capable of finding anything on their own.  Every single one of them from my toddler up to my husband comes running to me every. single. time. they can’t find something.

“Mommy, where is my Woody hat?”

“Mom!  I can’t find my homework!”

“Babe, where are my work boots?”

Who doesn’t enjoy wearing a styrofoam cowboy hat and giant steel toed boots, while doing fifth grade math?  I just wish I had the time!  As it stands, the family either feels that I have found time to dress up in all of their shoes, underwear and socks and I regularly hide the remote immediately after they use it or they feel that my uterus doubles as a tracking device.  Either way, they are wrong.

What is even more frustrating is that 99% of the time, their inability to locate these items can be explained by nothing short of complete laziness.  It is almost always inevitable that I will break down and look for the missing item(s) and, almost without fail, it will be in plain sight, within a foot or two of where the child or my husband is standing.  IT IS RIGHT THERE!  IN FRONT OF THEIR FACE.  Yet, rather than exert all the energy and burn the calories it would take to turn their head 45 degrees, they prefer to stand in the middle of the room or the end of the hall and yell, “MOOOOOM!  I CAN’T FIND IT!!”

Truthfully, a lot of times, I can tell them exactly where their missing item is because I just happened to have seen it or watched where they put it.  Yet, sadly, I could give them an exact location, complete with coordinates and they would still not be successful in their search.

My son will ask, “Mom, where is my Buzz Lightyear?”

Me:  “I saw it in the playroom.  By the big chair.”

Him: “It’s not here.”

Me:  “Yes it is.  I just saw it there.”

Him: “No, it isn’t!”

Me: “If I come in there and it is by the big chair, I am going to put it in the trash.”

Him: “Okay.  It’s not here.”

I walk into the playroom, where he is standing beside the chair looking down blankly.  I move a blanket that is by his feet and, lo and behold, there is Buzz.  Evidently, the act of moving the corner of a blanket 4 inches over was far too difficult to attempt.  It is hard to decide which is more difficult, putting shit back where it belongs to avoid these incidents or making an actual effort to look for items that have been misplaced.  It seems that my family all believe that if they know the general vicinity of their missing item, all they should be required to do is stand in the middle of the room, perhaps turn around in a circle once or twice and the item should magically appear.  Somehow, they are always shocked to see me find something with what appears to be very little effort.  It is like they are witnessing me teach them how to pull a rabbit out of their hats over and over and they just can’t figure out how am I doing it, despite the step by step demonstration.  Maybe Number Four will be my organized child.  Yeah.  There is still hope.  Right?

I Will Cut You

This has been quite a week, if I do say so myself.  Last weekend, I spent the night in the hospital with Number 3, who had a wicked case of croup.  If you can imagine, a two-year old with a fever and cough, short of breath, forced to endure several IV attempts, multiple breathing treatments and trapped in a tiny room with a TV that doesn’t have a DVR overloaded with Caillou and Super Why makes for the longest 20 hours of my whole life.  Misery.  A couple of days later, I am the hospital, 34 weeks pregnant and having contractions less than 10 minutes apart.  Good stuff.

This past week has had me on the verge of acting out violently on more than one person.  I’ll skip over the obvious, in regards to Number 3’s hospital stay.  Any parent knows that when someone is hurting your baby, even if it is a necessary evil for their own good, standing back and allowing it is torture.  Let’ s fast forward to my stay at the hospital:

I get into my room and, of course, they hook me up to all the monitors and then the questions begin.  It started out normal, medical history, etc.  The nurse then asks about my contractions.  I inform her that I have been timing them for about two hours and they had been less than 10 minutes apart.  She then asks me what they feel like.  I look at her, a bit annoyed, and tell her that they feel like contractions.  She says, “I understand but can you describe how they feel?  Are they like menstrual cramps or like sharp pains?”  I inform her that I would love to have menstrual cramps right now and, seeing how this is my fourth child, I am more than aware of what the difference between a crampy twinge and a labor contraction is and I was having contractions and they felt just like contractions.  She wisely let the line of questioning end there.

A few hours later, its shift change!  My new nurse, Mia, enters and introduces herself and begins asking me the exact same fucking questions that the last nurse did.  I asked her, “don’t you guys keep notes?  I already answered all these questions.”  She then says that she sees I have been having contractions and lets me know that they are about 10 minutes apart.  Seriously, thank goodness she was there because, otherwise, I would have had no fucking clue about that.  Then, I start feeling a contraction coming on (despite not being told about it, I somehow just knew I was having one!!) and she starts to ask me a question.  I hold up my index finger, in the universal sign for “hang on a minute” and she comes over, pulls my gown up and starts PUSHING on my stomach.  Fucking PUSHING DOWN!! As nicely as I can, in the midst of a contraction, I push her hands away and ask that she not push down on my stomach.  She says that she has to assess the contraction and resumes PUSHING on my contracting abdomen.  I push her hands away again and tell her not to touch me.  She put her hands BACK and says, again, she needs to assess the contraction.  Ladies and gentlemen, I am not as inclined to violent behavior as my satirical blog entries may lead some to believe.  Mind you, I am not the type of person that will respond to ignorant asshattery with sprinkles of sunshine and unicorn piss but I am, normally, a pretty easy-going person. This bitch, however, was about to drive me over the edge.  I literally shoved her hands off of me, once more, and told her to keep her fucking hands off of me.  I am pretty sure that my voice lowered about 13 octaves and my eyes turned red as my head spun 180 degrees.  She backed off.  Once the contraction subsided, she tried, once more, to tell me that she needed to assess my contraction.  I reminded her that there were monitors for that and if she needed any further assessment, I would be more than happy to provide her with any information she needed, considering that I was the one experiencing the contraction but, for future reference, I don’t let my husband touch me when I am having contractions, so she was definitely not going to be making the cut.  Strangely, after that point, she sent a student nurse in to take my vitals.  She would come in to change out the IV fluids and give me the medicine to stop the contractions and she was very nice and tolerable after that.

Seriously, though, I would hate to be a labor and delivery nurse.  I don’t think for one second that I was out of line, don’t get me wrong.  If someone tells you not to touch them, you keep your damn hands to yourself.  If that person is experiencing the pain of intense involuntary contractions, due totheir uterus try to squeeze out a tiny human, it is probably safe to assume that they are not going to be as welcoming to having their “don’t touch me” request disregarded.  If you go a step further and start pushing down on the very area that is already the source of great pressure necessary for squeezing out that tiny human, you must have a death wish.

Why Dogs Are Better Than Cats

If you would be inclined to call this an opinion piece, you have an inclination to being wrong.  What I am going to explain to you is  nothing short of cold, hard facts.  I’m sorry to let the wind out of the sails of every cat lover that reads this but it is time that someone told you that you are devoting yourself to an inferior species of domesticated animal.

Let’s just start out with the most obvious reason, shall we?  Cats prefer to piss and shit in a box.  Inside your home.  Hell, they are trained to do so!  Now, how society has accepted this is beyond me.  The fact that most people can go to the homes of friends and family that own cats and remain completely oblivious to the plastic bin, usually in plain view,  that everyone knows contains cat shit and piss boggles the mind.  Strangely, if a dog owner were to train their dog to piss and shit in the same corner, even if it was on paper, and it was left out when people were over, rest assured that person would be judged a bit harshly.  Dogs, on the other hand, are trained to go outside.  While accidents do happen, especially with puppies, I have yet to hear of anyone throwing in the towel and dedicating a corner of their home as the dog’s restroom.  I am just sayin…

Another point is that dogs like to sleep when you like to sleep.  They are not nocturnal creepers.  When I go to bed, my dogs go to bed–whether it is a nap or down for the night.  Cats like to creep around and they make noise, climbing curtains or “meowing” around the house.

My dogs have never been compelled to use my furniture or curtains as manicure tools.

If someone walks into my house, my dogs are going to notify me.  Okay, okay–sometimes–alright, A LOT of times, I am alerted if someone walks BY the house.  Or drives by. Or is across the street.  Or if there is a gust of wind.  Or if there is oxygen present in the room.  NEVERTHELESS!!  I know when shit is going down!!  When is the last time you heard of a cat alerting a family of an intruder? That is, unless you are most worried about other cats breaching your property perimeter. 

My dogs don’t go pawing around in their crap and then take a leisurely stroll across the surfaces we prepare and eat food from.  I mean, sure, they would if they could but that is neither here nor there, since they don’t.

Hairballs.  Need I say more?

And the real, indisputable proof is this photograph I found:

On the back is written (translated from Aramaic): “Dogs are the best pet to have.  Cats are dumb.  I wonder how long it will take my Dad to realize that I decided to use his name, spelled backwards, when I named the best animal.  He is going to LOL”.

Argument over!  I win!

On top of all that, my dogs will kill mice and rats too.  They also kill stuffed animals but I am pretty sure that they do that in self-defense.

My Ransom Letter

Dear Family,

I am running away.  It’s not you, it’s me.

Okay, that is an outright lie.  It is not me, it is you.  I am not sure how long I will be gone.  Maybe an hour, maybe longer.  Really, I have decided that the answer to that all depends on you.  I am ransoming myself.

Here are my demands for the children:

  • If you look on the back of the toilet, you will notice this shiny handle.  This may come as a shock but that handle is NOT just decorative.  If you push down on it, the toilet water and anything you deposited within will swirl around the bowl and disappear down that hole at the bottom.  If you are going to drop the kids off at the pool, for the love of Pinot, flush the damn toilet!!  Just push that magic handle and it will all go away and then I won’t be forced to stifle my gag reflex every. single. time I walk into the bathroom.
  •   I know this is going to sound like crazy talk but I just want you to try to hear me out and give it a shot–stop treating the entire house like it is your personal trash can.  I am not sure if you guys just wouldn’t care if we lived in filth and squalor or if you are convinced that there is some magic maid fairy that follows you all around and picks up after you.  Whatever the case may be, you are wrong.  There is no magical force picking up the trail of shit you leave in your wake, it is me.  Even if you don’t, I do happen to wish to avoid living in a house that looks like it could appear on an episode of “Hoarders”.  CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELVES!
  • Stop expecting me to referee your arguments every 10 minutes.  I don’t give a rat’s ass if you were playing school and Sam isn’t doing his pretend homework assignment.  I could not care less if, in the course of pretending to camp, Macey put out the imaginary fire when you were roasting an invisible marshmallow.  You want to know how I am going to solve these issues?  I am going to send you to your rooms and drink mass quantities of wine.  It won’t solve your problem but it sure works as one hell of a band-aid for me.
  • Stop touching the television screen.  I am tired of cleaning peanut butter fingerprints off of the flat screen because Super Why asked you where the “super letters” were and you felt you had to touch them directly or else he wouldn’t know where you were pointing.  The next time I see you touch the television screen, I am going to take your arm off and beat you with the wet end.  Are we clear?
  • You are more than welcome to lift a finger and clean shit up without me telling you to do so.  Take a little initiative.
  • I don’t know where the confusion began but it is time to clear this up, your bedroom is limited to the four walls behind your door.  I did not allot any extra “spillover” space for you outside of your actual bedroom.  If your room becomes too cluttered because you have thrown all your laundry into a big pile, along with papers, art supplies, shoes, books, etc and have discovered that, as a result, you don’t have anywhere to put your backpack, more laundry, toys, etc, you do NOT have permission to extend the perimeter of your space to the hallway and/or living room.  Here is a novel idea:  CLEAN YOUR ROOM!!
  • Pushing things in your closet, does NOT constitute cleaning your room.

My demands for my husband:

  • Stop snoring.  At this point, I don’t care what it takes.  If they say that removing your left leg would solve the issue, you should go through with the procedure.  My happiness depends upon it and, as you know, your happiness is contingent upon my happiness.  I used to have a lot of fun holding your nose and watching you gasp for air after a few seconds but the novelty has worn off.  Fix it.
  • Stop putting shit on top of the refrigerator.  Seriously.  It is not your storage shelf.  You are more than welcome to put your keys and wallet in a drawer or in the bedroom.  Stop moving my decorations aside for these things and your loose change.  Just because I can’t reach it, it does not become acceptable.
  • I have pushed a baby out of my vagina and had two others (and another in the near future) surgically removed from my abdomen.  In return, I ask that you take out the trash when it is full without me asking.
  • Setting folded laundry on top of the dresser does not constitute putting laundry away.
  • You fold towels incorrectly.  Do it my way.  They should look almost like a terry cloth burrito, not a messy square.

    This is how towels look when folded correctly.

    This is how you fold them and it is wrong.

  • Maintain a constant inventory of Dr. Pepper and Nutella in our home.

If my demands are met, not only will I  come home but I won’t be such a bitch all the time.

Hope to see you soon.

Halloween Candy Heist

You know, I don’t think I am an unreasonable person.  Every year, on Halloween, I get the kids into costume, including makeup, and I take these hellions on the tour of the neighborhood.  Last night was no exception.  Even though I am 200 months pregnant, I took these hellions to every house within a 30 mile radius.  True story.  When we got home, they dumped their stashes out on the living room floor to take inventory and trade with their friends.  I simply told them, in my nicest mommy voice, “if you have Butterfingers, they are mine”.  They looked at me like I had just instructed them to cut off  their thumbs.  Number Two got really upset, as was evidenced by the protruding lip and the tears that began welling up in his eyes.  Number One handed me a Butterfinger and sweetly said, “Here you go, Mom.  I only have one but you can have it”.  I was touched until I noticed about 10 more stashed behind her back.  If she had pulled that with anyone else, I would have been proud.  I had to come to terms with the fact that they weren’t going to willingly share.  I knew I could handle this one of two ways:  I could just say “I’m the mom and I will take whatever I want”.  I could even pepper in comments about the length of my labor or threaten to show them my scars.  My other option was to be creative.  It would have to be Door #2. 

We have all heard the urban legends about razor blades, nails and needles being hidden in Halloween candy.  It has been around for ages.  When I was a kid, my mother would allow us to trick or treat but we were not allowed to eat any of the candy, for fear we would ingest a razor blade or be poisoned and die.  I remember the year I was allowed to have my candy was because the hospital was x-raying the candy for free.  Seriously.  This story is the premise of my entire plan. 

I decided to tell the kids the stories about strangers hiding razor blades in Halloween candy and that I would need to inspect it all before they could cram it down their throats.  I told them, by the time they get home from school, I should be done and will be able to let them have all the “safe” candy back.  It would buy me some time so I could get what  I needed to make this happen and it would easily carry over year after year.  I planned it out.  I would go to the store and buy some razor blades and put them in a few pieces of candy.  I can’t have them calling me a liar!    I wanted to be able to provide proof.   My plan is fool-proof!  The BUTTERFINGERS ARE MINE!!  MINE!!  (insert evil laugh)

UPDATE:  I couldn’t find razor blades.  Do you think this is convincing enough?