Long before there were little people constantly around, who like to consume my time, money and soul, there was just me. And I alone went to the grocery store one fine day and bought sandwich bags. The very next day, I was attempting to jam my turkey sandwich into one of these bags when I realized something. I had accidentally bought something called SNACK bags. What the hell is this miniature, too-small-for-a-turkey-sandwich plastic bag? And what kind of unfulfilling, minuscule food would ever fit in it? Annoyed, I tossed the whole box of ‘em into the trash. (This was LONG ago… before it was cool to be all eco and whatnot).
Of course, now I get it. A snack bag holds something like… oh I don’t know… maybe veggie booty, pirate’s booty, cheddar bunnies, chocolate bunnies, baked chips, tomatoes, grapes (cut of course), raisins, crackers, apples slices and about 10,000 other things in the perfect child portion.
So this I get. This I don’t get:
1. Why once I have changed a massive poopy diaper, and I have washed, scrubbed and disinfected my hands no less than 3 times – do my hands STILL smell like crap, but my baby smells like a field of fresh spring lavender?
2. Last night, I slammed my foot down on what appeared to be a cockroach and sent that little nasty vixen down the toilet. But my building super insists it’s JUST a water bug. O.k. the term water bug certainly sounds nicer and more fun. I mean, I’d rather invite a gregarious water bug to cocktails and a party than a cockroach. BUT really, when it’s crawling around your kitchen floor, does it matter what it’s CALLED? Just get a pest control guy over here so I can stop bumping into new roommates in the apartment.
3 . Why would my 3 year-old daughter rather leave three pieces of macaroni on her plate (and lose out on dessert), than just finish her dinner and enjoy a chocolate sundae? And the follow-up, why can’t I do the same?
4. Why can’t someone help Britney? You know which Britney I’m talking about. And I’d prefer someone other than Dr. Phil. But I’m not going to be picky.
5. Finally, when we are outside and 3 year-old Dylan requests her sunglasses and I explain that we left them at home, and then she cries and whines and complains endlessly about the bright sun and how she desperately needs her shades and she can’t see (even though it’s overcast) until we finally arrive back at home and then she forgets she even wanted the glasses in the first place – why is that exactly? Oh wait. I know this one. Because she’s 3. And she’s tired. And oh yeah, she’s 3.
It was a very exciting morning around here. 3 year-old Dylan was getting ready for her first solo sleepover at Bubbie and Zaydie’s (her grandparent’s) house. How fun! We load up her backpack, kiss kiss, hug hug and she’s out the door.
Me: Bye honey. (She leaves with my husband Rick who is dropping her off.)
1 year-old Summer is looking at me like I’m a jackass. For God’s sake woman, it’s only 24 hours and that neck pinching, chatter box, crazy girl will back. Summer has a point (if that is indeed her point – there is some guesswork involved here).
A night away from Little Miss Bossy isn’t such a bad thing. And she is BOSSY. For instance, every time we use a public restroom, Dylan wants me to look away and cover my ears so I can’t see or hear her pee. I’m like one of those hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil monkeys. THEN, and only when she has deemed it the appropriate time, I’m supposed to turn around and say, “Yay!” It’s all very carefully orchestrated by Miss Dylan, the porcelain goddess.
Dylan: I peed. Ok, say “yay.”
Dylan: NO. Too loud. Say it softer.
Dylan: Now clap.
Me: Ok that’s enough. (I’m not a trained chimp.) I’m proud of you. Let’s wipe and wash your hands.
So a little peace might be nice.
And it is. Summer can’t believe she has the run of the pad and no one is tearing purses or baby dolls or wooden fruit out of her hands. For Rick and me, caring for one child (which at one time seemed beyond overwhelming) is now almost relaxing. There are no diversions. Just Summer. She seems to relish the attention.
Meanwhile, over at Bubbie and Zaydie’s in New Jersey, the girl who normally eats two bites of toast for breakfast, devours two waffles, an apple and a piece of challah toast in the morning. She is delightful. Perfectly behaved. No bossy girl to be found. Anywhere.
Before long (has it really been 24 hours?), our big girl hurricane is back.
But I must say, it feels good to be back in the storm. Below, a self-portrait by the regionally recognized, at times temperamental but promising young talent, photographer Dylan Reece Folbaum.
mama bird notes
So how do you explain the death of a family pet to a 3 year-old? Click on askamama and help a fellow mama out.
The results are here. What are you all striving to accomplish in the hopefully great o8? 40 percent of you want to shed the extra weight. Another 20 percent want to get organized. 13 percent want to break a bad habit. Another 13 percent want to learn something new. 7 percent are focused on getting out of debt and a final 7 percent of you want to spend more time with your family. As for me, I’ve already forgotten my New Year’s resolution.
Click on your mama says what? to take our latest poll. This week, we want to know what happens AFTER the fight.
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Well, I’m quite relieved I’m not the only one crushing on “Superbad” and “Juno’s” Michael Cera. Not in an “oh my god you’re almost 40/ Mrs. Robinson kind of way” (well, maybe a tidbit of Mrs. Robinson). But more in a he’s so damn talented and I just loving watching that charming, awkwardly attractive kid on screen. My favorite Michael Cera quote from Juno is “You would like be the meanest wife ever.” Wait.. WHY is that my favorite quote? Hmm…
Note to my husband: Don’t even think of commenting.
Note to self: Reflect on subconscious meaning during my next ashtanga yoga class.
My yoga instructor caught me daydreaming like a 10th grade space cadet in class the other day. So he says, “focus on the breath.” Yoga dude, that is so not the way to motivate me to pay attention. Tell me to focus on the sexy football coach Eric Taylor from “Friday Night Lights.” Now I’m with you. Focus on chocolate croissants. So super yum and only 15, 832 calories. But the breath? You lost me at inhale. Oh-so-tediously boring. I’m a pitiful yogi.
I am, however, the master of 1 year-old Summer’s mattress. It all started with a major poop-a-thon in her crib. A nasty number 2 that leaked out of her diaper and then she wiped on her face, body and sheets. It reminded me of this style maven blond toddler I used to know (she relocated to the Golden State) that loved to undo her diaper and have a fabulous bm party at nap time. Finally, her mother had to duct tape her diaper on before naps. What a genius mama.
So clearly, I had to wash Summer’s sheet and mattress cover. Easy enough. THEN I had to put it back on. What the F*&U#! I was panting and heaving and sweating trying to stuff that mattress back into its cover. I put it on four separate times but it always looked wrong, never lying flat with weird bulges.
Summer is crying the entire time because she wants to climb ON the mattress while I perform this unscheduled aerobic activity. But I persevered and (despite some obviously inappropriate outbursts) got that stupid foam mattress in that even stupider cover. I am the champion! Of a toddler mattress! Go me. Go me. Ok, it sounds way less impressive now that I write it down.
Apparently, things go much more smoothly when my husband Rick is in charge. I came home from dropping 3 year-old Dylan at preschool the other morning and I hear how Summer took her FIRST step and made these AMAZING, hilarious fish faces. How long was I gone? Did she learn to read the New York Times too?! Oh, just the NY Post. O.k. now I don’t feel so bad. Well, I conquered the mattress. Yeah, that was all me boyfriend. All me.
And I’m probably really late to the party on this one but did any of you see the clip of Michael Cera getting fired from Superbad? I’m sure it was just an internet marketing ploy but still tremendously entertaining. Click here and tell me what you think. Also, details to come on the new mama bird Michael Cera fan club. You know I’m kidding… right?!
mama bird notes
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I have absolutely no drug radar. None.
So on New Year’s Day – oh wait – minor backtrack to New Year’s Eve.
My New Year’s Eve, despite all my belly aching, turned out damn good. I drank vino and watched “Superbad” with my gal-pal-college-consultant-it-girl Abby. I was cackling so hard with laughter, I didn’t even notice when 2007 morphed into 2008. So cheers to that. And now, like another mama bird reader, I have fallen hard for Michael Cera. That kid is too adorable.
Back to New Year’s Day. My hubby Rick wants to do a family breakfast thing. So around 9 am, we load the girls into the stroller and head to our local neighborhood diner. On the way, we pass a girl, still dressed in her New Year’s Eve wear and still boldly wearing her 2008 glasses, trying to hail a cab. McLovin that (This is not a McDonald’s reference. Please rent “Superbad.” And also, please tell me why it’s called “Superbad”). Suddenly, I am lost in my own walk of shame memories. Ah… that long walk from a fraternity house to your dorm room. Smudged make-up, headache, clothes that suddenly seem too dark, too short and too tight. Oh, the sweet, precious college memories.
I’m jolted back to my husband and two girls. We have arrived at the diner. We are seated right next to a group of 3. They seem to be wrapping up their New Year’s partying with big breakfast plates. And one of the guys is STARING at us. He just keeps looking at us. It’s getting awkward.
Guy at next table: I’m sorry I’m staring at you all but I can’t help it. You are just such a beautiful family.
Me: Thanks so much. (Rick and I smile and return to our breakfast. I’m thinking, WHAT A SWEET GUY! I mean, I’m not wearing any make-up except for a dash of concealer and I’m in Juicy sweats but I must still look good. Plus, the love of our family must just radiate all around us. This guy is SO nice to notice.)
Guy at the next table: Really, you are all just so beautiful. Just a beautiful family.
Me: Oh, thanks so much. (Ok, he’s laying it on a bit thick but still, the sentiment is perfectly lovely. And he’s clearly just overtaken by the magnificence of us.)
Rick: (under his breath) He’s on drugs.
What?! Oh snap… Of course, Rick’s right. This guy is totally on drugs. Damn. Crap.
Speaking of beautiful, Rick was off from work on Wednesday and we decided to utilize our sitter and have a day date. Fun, right? Well, after a brief (or-maybe-not-so-brief) argument at Pastis over his endless LOVE for fatty foods, we did buck up and enjoy checking out some art galleries in Chelsea.
And there is some crazy, weird, cool stuff going on at those galleries. I leave you with this photo from Boyd Webb, currently at the Sonnabend gallery on West 22nd Street. Is this guy nursing from a giant, green, crusty earth breast?
Umm… yeah… I have no idea. Maybe if I was on drugs, I would get it.
Not so long ago my husband Rick and I decided we were in the mood for a little wild rumpusing.
So we put the kids in bed. Rick went off to create some romantic ambiance in our bedroom while I ordered take-out sushi. No, raw fish is not part of our sexual repertoire. Ick. It’s just that I was starving and deliveries take a while. So I placed the order and joined Rick in our bedroom.
A few minutes later, I couldn’t concentrate. I started to worry about the timing. I realized the sushi might be ready before we were. So I put money in an envelope and taped it to the outside of our apartment door with a note that read, “This is the money for the sushi. Just leave the order here. No need to knock or ring. Thank you.”
Problem solved. Back to business in the bedroom.
Me: What was that? (I quickly pull the covers up).
Rick: I don’t know. Probably something out in the hall.
3 year-old Dylan suddenly appears in the doorway of our bedroom. She quizzically surveys the scene, staring at the candles, the dimmed chandelier, Justin Timberlake getting his sexy back on the ipod and her parents in bed, with the covers yanked up to their necks. She mentions none of this.
Dylan: There’s pee in my pull-up.
Rick: Ok honey. (Rick gets himself together under the covers and bounds out of bed. I lay there motionless, just staring at our toddler, fearing she might ask questions. She does not. Rick changes her pull-up and quickly guides her back to her bedroom).
He returns and once again we attempt to get OUR sexy back.
Me: What is THAT?
Rick: I don’t know.
Me: I think it’s the take-out guy knocking on the door. Maybe he doesn’t speak English. Maybe he can’t read the note.
Naked Rick gets up, throws a towel around his waist and answers the door. It is indeed the sushi take-out guy, who does not read English. But apparently the language barrier is no barrier now. He flashes a knowing smile at my tussled husband, takes the money and hands over the bag.
Rick returns. At this point, I am laughing. He is too. But we are committed to this. We will make this happen.
And we do.
The sushi is great too.