I think we all know that it’s not a great thing when your kid learns to read. Sure, there are a few moments where you are like, “Holy crap, that child whose butt I wiped for about 2 years too long knows how read. Like real words. That is AMAZING.”
For awhile it seems like it’s working out brilliantly. Especially when you are being stalked by a 2 1/2 year-old boy who wants to be read “Curious George Makes Pancakes” every 7 minutes. George is too curious. He gets abandoned as usual by the man in the yellow hat. He makes pancakes. He gets sticky. He saves the day. Over and over again.
But now you have a kid who can read. Really well. Hey, SHE can read the book to him every 7 minutes. This is fantastic. Except then she doesn’t want to read the book anymore. She says it’s boring.
And she starts reading everything else.
Like now she can read the cover of the New York Post and she wants to know what this Lindsay Lohan does in these clubs.
And then she sees this in her iPod Touch calender….
“Move Elf on a Shelf.”
I have a lot of Elf on a Shelf anger and one of the reasons is because I can’t remember to move that little red guy every night. So I told Rick to put a reminder in his phone. But of course we have one of those iCloud thingys so it ends up in 8-year-old Dylan’s iPod Touch.
Dylan immediately asks me if I’m moving the Elf on a Shelf.
“I would never touch that creepy elf,” I say aghast at her accusation.
And nearly 6-year-old Summer says, “Is daddy moving it? But why would a Jewish man like daddy move the elf?” I almost pause to consider the fact that Summer just described her daddy as a Jewish man but I have no time.
I madly text Rick at work, “The girls want to know why you have a reminder to move the elf in the phone. Don’t text back if they can read your response. Can they?!! I hate the iCloud. I’m paranoid now.”
The girls decide they are going to sneak around and try to catch daddy near the elf. But as soon as Rick gets home from work, Summer blurts out, “Why are you moving the Elf on a Shelf?!! We saw it in the iPod!”
And Rick, a Jewish man, who probably never thought he’d have to explain to his offspring why he did or did not move some dumb Christmas elf, says…
“Oh I don’t move the elf. I just noticed that the elf is very lazy and doesn’t always fly back to Santa every night to report whether you’ve been bad or good. So that was a reminder to myself to talk to the elf and tell him to stop being so lazy and to fly back to the North pole each night.”
And they bought it.
And that’s how the Jewish man saved Christmas. Or at least the magic of the creepy elf.
I think I might be pregnant with the royal baby.
Wait, hear me out on this. Here’s my hypocrisy. I mean, my philosophy. What’s that word? Oh right. My hypothesis. No worries people. My mind is still as sharp as a butter knife.
Kate Middleton and I become pregnant around the same time and I’m just thinking there could have been some weird cosmic shift during hurricane Sandy and suddenly I’m carrying royalty and she’s carrying a commoner from New York state.
(Either that or we both peed in a fountain at the same time like Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds although I have no memory of that and peeing in a fountain with a duchess is sort of something one remembers.)
Now I realize that my “I’m carrying the royal baby” theory is going to be very hard to prove.
The Duchess of Cambridge will be all like, “I just gave birth to the future king or queen of England.” And I’m going to be like, “No, you did not girl. You just gave birth to a future accountant from Manhattan. I have the king right here.” And then Camilla will likely get involved because we all know how nosy the Duchess of Cornwall can be and she’ll probably side with Kate because she hates my American accent or something.
But I’m thinking Pippa would at least hear me out on the matter. Plus, if my baby looks remotely like Prince Charles (which frankly every baby does), I might just have a case.
Now if I end up having to raise a royal baby, I will clearly make changes in the house like using cloth napkins (fancy like a royal palace!) instead of discount paper towels. And I will make my dad stop referring to the potty as “the pot” because that sounds way too plebeian and because it makes me think of some fat middle aged guy sitting on the toilet smoking cigarettes and reading the sports page.
And of course, we will all have to drink tea. I mean, I won’t. Because tea is gross. But I’ll say things like, “It’s tea and biscuit time” and then I’ll obviously serve Maxwell House and munchkins.
Even if my baby is a royal infant, I won’t make you call me the Duchess of New York or anything because I’m not showy like that. Plus, I don’t live in a palace unless you count the times I’m forced to climb into the Disney Princess Super Play House Tent.
A simple “My Fair Lady Kelcey” will totally be sufficient.
By 2-year-old Chase
It’s been awhile since I’ve written. Mostly because there was a lot of backlash from my last post. I can’t help it if my mom can’t handle the truth. She told me I was never allowed to guest post again but I think that means she’s open to the idea.
Plus, a labradoodle could figure out her password. Anyway, she just went upstairs to “work” which obviously means “nap” so I figured I’d bang this thing out.
I had to write because you should have seen my mom and dad trying to get a Christmas tree this past weekend. My dad is such a trooper because he’s Jewish and it’s not like he drags her around menorah shopping each year.
Last year, we went to this fancy nursery and spent like $85 on a Christmas tree. This year, they kept mumbling something about the economy and belt tightening and all of a sudden a $30 tree from Home Depot was jolly enough. Fine by me because it means more money for new toys that I can dump on the playroom floor and/or throw at my sisters. (That’s what toys are for, right? I never read the instructions.)
My favorite part was when the tree guy used a chainsaw to cut off part of the stump. That is a dream job right there. When I meet with my guidance counselor in 14 years, I’m totally putting that on my possible professions list.
We brought the tree home and that’s when the real fun began because those two knuckleheads (aka mom and dad) could not get that tree straight. They had this conversation about 16 times…
“It’s not straight,” mom said.
“How about now?” dad said as he adjusted the stand.
“Now it’s worse. You need to readjust the whole tree,” she responded.
“I’m trying. Our stand sucks. How about now?”
“It’s better. Maybe. Actually worse.”
They finally did get it sort of semi straight but as soon as they walked in the kitchen, I gave that thing a little push and it tilted right over. You should have seen my mom’s face when she saw it.
Whoa. Watch your language mom. There are children here.
The tree has only been up a few days and I’ve already broken 3 ornaments. Christmas is so awesome. Meanwhile, my parents are still madly searching all over the place for this water tray my 1 1/2 year-old cousin stole from the fridge door. I totally dared him to do it and I gotta hand it to the kid, he didn’t hesitate.
Now my parents can’t find it anywhere. Between you and me, it’s wedged behind the stove. They’ll totally find it the day after they buy a new one.
We still need to finish decorating the tree but my mom says it’s too difficult with “the twins” around. I hate when she lumps me together with my sister like that. We are TWO people mom. You are supposed to be nurturing our individual selves!! It would not hurt that woman to read a parenting book or two.
Thankfully, they still haven’t pulled out that creepy Elf on a Shelf yet. Like it’s not scary enough that some fat guy with a beard is going to wedge himself down my chimney on Christmas eve. Now I gotta try to sleep at night knowing that weird overpriced elf is flying around my house. Man, who ever came up with that thing is a marketing genius. I need a big idea like that. So I can get rich and get out of this house.
By the way, did you hear that my mom is having a baby? One more mouth to feed. Guess that means we are getting a $15 tree next year. I’m sure it will be a beauty.
mama bird notes:
Do you know that The Mama Bird Diaries was just named one of Babble’s top 100 Mom Blogs? Probably mostly due to a handsome lad named Chase. (Yeah, me.) Until my next post, xo Chase
My current (and last! For real!!) pregnancy has sparked some questions from my 7-year-old nephew about how babies actually get into a mommy’s belly.
I remember my 8-year-old daughter Dylan asking me that very question a few years ago.
And I told her it was the love between a husband and wife that created the baby. Of course, we all know that’s a lie. It’s obviously too many Patrón shots that makes a baby. Thankfully, she didn’t ask any follow up questions so I didn’t have to go into the tequila part.
And this pregnancy, she hasn’t mentioned it. At least not yet. But I’m wondering if it’s time for me to bring it up.
I’m not sure exactly when you are supposed to tell a kid about sex. I’m guessing it’s sometime after they are born but before they are having it. Although that’s sort of a big window.
I’ve heard you are supposed to do it in small steps. One website recommends…
“The ‘big talk’ is a thing of the past. Learning about sex should not occur in one all-or-nothing session. It should be more of an unfolding process, one in which kids learn, over time, what they need to know. Questions should be answered as they arise so that kids’ natural curiosity is satisfied as they mature.”
That sounds very nice but really, there’s no small step between we were having a REALLY good time at the bar and then daddy put his manly part into mommy’s – OMG.
I don’t remember how I found out about sex. I think it very much had to do with a copy of “The Joy of Sex” lying around my mom and step-father’s house. You can not leaf through that piece of literature without realizing that the stork is definitely not showing up. Those drawings really clarified a few things.
And I remember my mom reading me the book, “Where Did I Come From?” by Peter Mayle. So I ordered it and another one by Robie Harris. Although I’m not sure I trust a guy named Robby who spells it with one “b.” (My heart will always belong to Robby Benson of “Ice Castles.”) But we’ll see.
Or of course my fallback plan is that my nephew (who was recently given the lowdown on the whole thing thanks to one of these books) can explain the deal to my older girls at our Hanukkah party in a couple weeks.
Because nothing says Happy Hanukkah like a sex talk from a 7-year-old.
My husband has decided to start playing a bit of basketball.
Of course, he could just sit around, basking in the glory of his strongest skill sets which include a comprehensive understanding of what is actually going on in the Middle East, knowing the words to every Prince, Paul Simon and Beatles song and allegedly kicking ass in the so-called sport of cornhole. (Yes, it’s a sport. Look it up.)
But he doesn’t bask in the glory. No, he does not. He battles new frontiers. Which is why he told me he’d be playing basketball on Thursday night.
Now when Rick first got home from work on Thursday, we had a little disagreement on which was more pressing… changing Chase’s diaper or setting up the new wireless iPod speaker so the kids could hear music while they ate their dinner.
In the spirit of marital harmony, I’m not going to mention which side I represented but in my opinion, it’s not exactly child endangerment to dine without musical accompaniment.
About an hour later (after the wireless iPod dock had been set up and Chase’s diaper changed), Rick suited up for a little b-ball and walked out the door with these on…
Now I’ll admit that the sneakers did give me pause. They are cool, old school Chuck’s, that look good with a pair of jeans. But they didn’t exactly look like they belonged on the basketball court. Unless it’s 1953. Wouldn’t a pair of cross trainers do the trick?!
But I said nothing because after our earlier disagreement, I didn’t want to appear too critical. And maybe it’s 1953.
So off Rick went.
Well, he got to the gym and let’s just say the guys playing had about the same abilities as the starters of the Syracuse University basketball team. And they were all about 20 years old. And then one of them turned to Rick and said, “What’s up with your shoes?”
Whoa, apparently not digging Rick’s retro vibe.
Then Rick said, “Forget basketball. Let’s talk about the Middle East situation. What do you know about that situation kiddo?”
Or he may have just left the gym.
But Rick is going back to play next week.
Probably in different shoes. No disrespect to Chuck Taylor.
And at least Rick didn’t pull any muscles (yet). And the guy can totally hook up a wireless iPod dock.