Blog Archive

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Weird things about fetuses that I don't like to think about

Do you ever think about something kinda weird for too long, and then suddenly it's like you can't even function anymore because this weird thing is going on in the world and there's nothing you can do about it?

I get like that when I think about pregnancy sometimes. I mean, when it comes right down to it, there is a person inside my body. A human being with his own heartbeat. A person of a different sex than me, with tiny little testicles and a tiny little wee-wee even though I'm a woman and I've never possessed either of those things. But my body knew how to make them. It didn't even have to ask anyone. It just knew.

That's a little weird to think about, but the stuff on this list is even weirder. So weird that it makes me crazy uncomfortable to dwell on it, so ... I'm gonna dwell on it for a minute here and maybe you'll be just as uncomfortable and confused afterwards too.

They "breathe" in there but there's no air

All the pregnancy guides will gleefully tell you that at a certain point in their development, fetuses will start practicing "breathing" while inside the womb. They inhale and exhale so their little lungs can get the hang of the whole thing before they exit out into the world.

But what the eff are they breathing. There's no air in there. It's all sealed up. There is only liquid.

So they're breathing liquid in and out. Lungs all full of liquid. How can they do that without drowning? I'm thinking right now about how it would feel to breathe in a big lungful of nothing but liquid and I'm getting so uncomfortable I think I need to go outside for a while.

Also, fetuses can get the hiccups. How the hell can they get the hiccups when, once again, there isn't any air in there? They breathed in too much liquid and now they are hiccuping liquid too? NONE OF THIS MAKES ANY SENSE.


And then the second they're born, what, they suddenly can just breathe air like it's no big deal? Been breathing liquid for months and then BAM, oxygen enters the lungs and from that moment forward they can't breathe liquid anymore without drowning? I REPEAT: NONE OF THIS MAKES ANY SENSE.

They hang out upside down all the time

I know they're suspended in liquid and this somehow makes it possible to be upside down 24/7 without it being a problem, but I still can't really wrap my mind around it. How can they just be upside down all the time? Do fetuses get headaches? Because let me tell you one thing for sure: pregnant women can definitely get headaches. Especially when they spend too much time thinking about how much of a headache they would get if they were forced to hang upside down for months nonstop.

They can't stretch out any part of them

This is the worst one, and if you have any kind of claustrophobia, I recommend you stop reading immediately.

Once the baby reaches a certain size, they are stuffed into that uterus tight with absolutely no extra space at all. When they're tiny, they have plenty of room in there. Like, here's a fetus at 12 weeks gestation: 

They can still stretch out their arms and legs if they want to; they can roll over to find a more comfortable position; they can do pretty much whatever they need to do to be happy (except breathe air because they don't have any of that oh god I need to go outside again).

But once they get really big ... they can't stretch out anything. Like even a little bit. Their arms are bent at the elbow and jammed up against their bodies. Their legs are bent with their knees up by their armpits. The best they can do is these little wiggles. If they want to roll over, it takes a whole day to do it because they can only move a quarter inch at a time.

They can't even stretch out their neck all the way. Their heads are pushed forwards all the time.

I don't like it. I don't like it.

It's like being buried alive, but instead of being buried alive in a coffin, you're buried alive zipped into a suitcase. But you're being fed and given oxygen so you won't die. You'll just ... stay zipped into your suitcase buried alive for several months until you're finally born. Oh and you'll also get bigger and bigger while your suitcase stays mostly the same size.

I just googled this picture and I wish so hard that I hadn't. This is pretty much the worst torture I've ever seen. I need to go outside for a long time now. He's stuck like that. He can't even move. All he can do is push on the uterus wall and be like "hey is anyone out there I need help."

Also, did you know that there's no air in there? No air at all.

And actually this picture is upside down. The baby really ought to look more like this:

Do you think he has a headache?

He probably has a headache.

And a back ache and a leg ache and an arm ache and an itchy foot and an itchy nose.

Oh, and the hiccups too, because why not.

If anyone needs me, I'll be outside. Breathing air and stretching my whole body in every direction.


Friday, June 26, 2015

Good luck/bad luck

I can't decide if today is leanings towards being a good luck day or a bad luck day. Obviously my optimistic nature is pushing me towards it being a good luck day, but ... how can I be sure? I need help figuring it out!

Here's how the day has gone so far:

GOOD LUCK: When I took Audrey to daycare, her best friend was wearing the same shorts as her. Their matching outfits were adorable, and when I asked them to hug each other so I could take a picture, they did. It was cute as hell.

BAD LUCK: When I got to work, the other pregnant woman in the building was wearing the same dress as me. I bought it at the PX (the department store on the Army post), which I thought made me immune from people wearing the same clothes as me. After all, my office is over 40 miles from the post, and you need a military ID there. It's a maternity dress. What are the odds of running into someone here wearing the same thing??! Matching outfits are not as cute when you're not both babies.

GOOD LUCK: We had a good laugh about the matching dresses, which was fun. I mean seriously, what are the odds? Do we need to make a schedule for the blue striped dress so this doesn't happen again?

BAD LUCK: I forgot my bloody FMLA paperwork when I went to my doctors' appointment this morning (in order to get maternity leave after baby is born, I need to submit FMLA paperwork to my employer and it has to be filled out by my healthcare provider). This means I have to get Jesse to drop it off next week, and he will probably screw it up somehow.

GOOD LUCK: I was able to get in a Zumba class before my doctors' appointment this morning. I always love when I can make the absolute most of my Audrey-free time, and an 8AM Zumba class is a great way to start the day.

BAD LUCK: I had to go straight to the doctor afterwards and then straight to work from there. I packed clothes to change into, but somehow managed to forget a bra. So I'm wearing the same sports bra I wore to Zumba class under my dress. You know, the dress that the other girl in the office is wearing too. Hmmph.

GOOD LUCK: I swung by the PX to see about buying a portable air conditioner unit because we've already had like three heat waves this summer and it's only June. At a certain point, we need to just acknowledge the situation and buy one of the damn things. Well, of COURSE they were all sold out as it is supposed to be in the 90s this weekend ... but I saw an employee come out of the stockroom with one on a hand cart and I followed him like a bloodhound on the scent. He told me he could feel my eyes on him. Turns out someone had returned a unit and just had to test it to make sure it worked properly before it could be sold. I stood six inches away breathing on him while he tested it and then bought it immediately. AND it was 10% off because it was a return! I got a few stink eyes from people as I proudly marched through the store with the ONE AND ONLY AIR CONDITIONER in my cart, but nobody's gonna tell a giant pregnant lady she doesn't deserve AC on a hot weekend.

BAD LUCK: I had to get another Tdap vaccine at the doc, even though I had one while I was pregnant with Audrey a mere two years ago. I guess you're supposed to get one every time you're pregnant, because the immunity to Whooping Cough passes through the placenta to the baby ... but still, dude, my arm is sore and I just HAD that damn vaccine two years ago! I DON'T LIKE THAT MY ARM IS SORE.

GOOD LUCK: You can Whooping Cough right in my face now because I am so immune it'll blow your mind to pieces.

BAD LUCK: I kind of tweaked my back again doing Zumba this morning. I was even really careful not to tweak my back, but I tweaked it anyway. I'm beginning to think that tweaking my back is just part of continuing to do Zumba at this point. So maybe I should consider, ya know, not doing it anymore. Hmmph.

GOOD LUCK: I totally saw a bald eagle flying above the freeway while I drove to work! A BALD EAGLE! On the day SCOTUS legalizes gay marriage throughout the country! Don't even try to tell me that's not a sign.

I took this picture with my iPhone while I was driving. True story.

So just to summarize: 

GOOD LUCK: Audrey looked super cute dressed the same as her best friend at daycare; I got to go to Zumba on a work day; I scored an air conditioner AND it was 10% off; I'm hella super immune to Whooping Cough; I got to laugh with a coworker about our good taste in clothing; and I saw the SYMBOL OF AMERICA soaring in the blue sky on an incredibly beautiful day.

BAD LUCK: I already forgot all that shit because I have a friggin' air conditioner in my car right now. And gay people can get married.


Thursday, June 25, 2015

When toddlers try to be "helpful": A tale of woe

Audrey is at that age where she wants to be independent and help me do things. She doesn't just want to sit there like a baby and have things done FOR her; she wants to actively participate and assist me in whatever it is that I am doing.

This is disastrous 90% of the time.

Her attempts at helping me have included:

Sharing Milk

Every morning, I get Audrey a sippy cup full of milk to drink, and then I sit on the floor with her to drink my Slim Fast shake and we enjoy our morning milks.

And every morning, Audrey decides that she needs to "help" everyone else get their proper nutrition by feeding them milk from her cup, just like how she was fed bottles when she was a baby.

She has shoved her straw into my mouth on numerous occasions. She has put the straw into the top of my own bottle of milk and dumped milk from her cup into mine. She has shoved the straw into Elmo's mouth, filling it with milk that I then had to race to dry up before it could soak into the fabric and give it that delightful 'old rancid milk' odor that toddlers are so famous for.

"Elmo milk!"

I even caught her shoving the straw from her cup into the hole of my acoustic guitar.

My guitar is not thirsty, Audrey. My guitar does not require milk. Please do not pour milk into my guitar.

Please. Don't.

Applying lotion after the bath

Audrey has very sensitive skin and is prone to outbreaks of eczema, so we have to slather her with expensive and thick Cetaphil cream after her bath every night. We have been doing this for almost a year now, so she is used to the routine.

Which of course means that she wants to help.

It was fine when the tub of cream was running low, so she could dig around in there as much as she wanted and only come out with a bit of cream on each finger. But then the tub finally ran out and I had to open a brand new one.

Mmmm, look at all that cream. Makes me want to shove my entire hand in there until I reach the bottom of the container!

Now, she reaches in there and comes back with massive globs of cream -- a whole fistful of it. Like $3 of cream in one grab.

And then she often tries to put it in her hair. You know, the hair that I just finished washing in the bath.

Last night she decided to put it all on her toes. A $3 giant blob of cream between her toes.

Kill me now.

Unloading the dishwasher

Audrey ALWAYS wants to help me unload the dishwasher. Sometimes, this is super cute and involves her handing me forks one at a time while saying "thank you!" after each one.

Other times, this involves her wrestling the heavy porcelain plates out of the rack and then trying to carry them across the kitchen without dropping them.

Or it involves her pulling out all of her sippy cup parts and inventorying them carefully by spreading them all over the kitchen floor and getting angry when I try to cross through her work zone.

Or it involves her deciding that we are done, pushing the drawer back into the dishwasher and closing it with a definitive slam.

Or it involves her assuming that the dishwasher is ALWAYS full of clean dishes, even when it's actually full of dirty dishes ... so she starts pulling dirty dishes out and carrying them around, perhaps trailing drips of foody water across the kitchen floor as she brings my old spaghetti bowl over to me as I sit on the toilet.

Thank you, Audrey. This is helpful.


Audrey learned about the garbage can -- the one that is kept in a cabinet under the sink -- long ago. But recently, I decided she was ready for the next level: the recycling bin.

We keep our recycling in a swing-top garbage pail in the kitchen, since it doesn't ever smell so it doesn't need to be hidden in a cabinet. I asked Audrey to throw an egg carton in the recycling, and showed her how to push it through the swing top lid. She seemed thrilled with this new responsibility.

Minutes later, she took the bottle of spray margarine out of the fridge while I was rooting around in there (say what you will, but that stuff is GREAT for corn on the cob) and threw it directly into the recycling bin.

I guess we were done with it. :-/

Brushing her teeth

Audrey sucks at brushing her own teeth. There, I said it. She does not have the skills necessary to do a good job.

However, she is also totally unwilling to just sit quietly and open her mouth to let me brush them. So instead, we play this game where I get her to open her mouth and then I frantically brush as many teeth as possible in the few seconds she allows me ... and then she takes the toothbrush from me and carries it around biting it and sucking all the toothpaste off it until she gets bored and throws it on the carpet.

It's a very effective system, clearly.

Feeding me dinner

We have started this new thing where we all eat dinner together as a family. Jesse and I get our plates ready at the same time as I prepare Audrey's dinner, and then we sit at the table while she sits in her high chair to eat. It's a lovely tradition and hopefully it lasts for many years.

The problem is, I eat VERY slowly. It's just something I do. And this means that oftentimes, everyone finishes before me.

Jesse eats Army-fast, so he takes care of getting Audrey her fruit dessert when she finishes her dinner and then cleaning up her face and hands when she's finished with everything. He then lifts her out of her high chair and puts her back on the ground, often when I still have a few bites left on my plate. (we don't leave her in the high chair because she gets bored and anxious as soon as she's done eating, and will squirm violently in a way that makes me think the high chair is about to topple)

So she comes over to me and stands next to my chair pouting and saying "up! up! up!" And I, like an overly indulgent dog owner, will lift her up onto my lap while I try to eat my final few bites.

But Audrey isn't here to watch. She is here to help.

She first rips my fork out of my hand.

And then she will do her best to spear whatever food is left on my plate.

And then she will do her best to aim the fork and the food towards my face.

No step in this process goes smoothly. None.

The fork misses; food sprays across the table. The food needed to be cut first, but Audrey just stabbed the whole thing. Audrey thinks that I share her love of condiments, so she bathes whatever she's managed to get on the fork in ketchup or barbecue sauce until it reaches a 1:1 food-to-condiment ratio.  And she misses my mouth every. single. time. By a mile.

You haven't lived until you've had a toddler shove a slab of mustard-slathered ham into your eyeball and then all up in your hair. Truly, you haven't.

I don't lift Audrey up onto my lap while I'm eating anymore.

But you know what? One time, I asked her to go get her jacket off the stairs, and she went and got her jacket off the stairs. So yeah ... she's not completely useless.

If I could just convince her that I'm perfectly capable of getting my own toilet paper in the bathroom and don't require 11 feet of it to wipe after peeing, we'd be in much better shape.

"Piss off, Mommy. I can bury my entire hand in the icing and sprinkles on top of this cupcake without any help from you."

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Indignities of Pregnancy: The snack hoard in my office is embarrassing

Feeding yourself properly while pregnant can be a challenge.

For starters, the body needs more food. Not a LOT more food, but still ... 300 calories a day isn't nothing. Especially when you're a healthy eater (which I am. I ate such a big lunch today I actually had a stomach ache afterwards, but it was just chicken breast, wheat noodles and vegetables so MyFitnessPal insists that my stomach-wrecking mondo lunch was only 374 calories).

Okay, so you have to pad your diet with 300 extra calories a day. Too easy, right? But it's not like your stomach capacity suddenly gets bigger. It's not as if I can just add a second chicken breast to two of my meals every day. I would be in so much pain if I did that. And as pregnancy progresses, stomach capacity actually gets smaller as baby takes up your entire f***ing torso with its giant ass.

20 weeks pregnant: Plenty of room for tummy

40 weeks pregnant: Haha f*** you, eat this half sandwich and be too full to move

The result of all this?

Snacks. Snacks are my life now.

And my office is incredibly embarrassing.

I've always been a bit of a snack hoarder. It's just a fact of life when you're someone who eats a lot of small meals throughout the day rather than tossing back 600 calories in a sitting three times a day. But pregnant-me is so completely out of control with the snacks that I almost don't even want to write this post. It's so much more embarrassing than any of the other indignities of pregnancy I've written about before. I have food for sweet cravings, food for savory cravings. I have food for when I want something healthy and food for when I want something with a little more fat in it. I have food for when I need protein. Food for when I need carbs. Food for when I need fiber. Food with just a few calories, for when I need to get through 30-45 minutes until lunchtime. Food with a higher calorie count for when I've still got the whole afternoon ahead of me.

I have literally never been in a position where I felt like my body wanted some particular thing but I couldn't find it in my stash. I have everything.

Last week, someone came into my office while I was out and left something on my chair. That means that they came behind my desk. Which means they saw ... the hoard.

I think I need to resign. There's no way I can continue working here with someone who knows about all the food I have in my office. No. Way.

Just in case you think I'm exaggerating, please enjoy the following list of all the foods that I keep in my office. Please know how much it pains me to put this information on the internet where anyone can see it:

Costco box of individual packets of Goldfish
Empty Goldfish box filled with fun-sized bags of Utz potato chips
Lunchbox with full meal brought from home each day
Costco box of Kashi granola bars
Costco box of individual packets of Bunny Grahams
Special K high-fiber brownies (3 boxes)
Special K Pasty Crisps (3 boxes -- different flavors)

File Drawer 1:
Pop Tarts -- 3 varieties
Large bag of Craisins
Box of crackers
Box of Kashi granola bars (different flavor from the ones under the desk)
Bag of chocolate Easter eggs
Hot sauce
Luna Bar protein bar
Box of Nature Valley granola bars

So much oatmeal (3 different flavors, both regular and steel cut)
PUDDING, BITCHES -- butterscotch and chocolate flavor
Fruit cups -- one package of pears and one package of peaches
Costco bag of almonds
More Kashi bars -- two boxes of different flavors
Bag of Hershey kisses (for when the Easter eggs run out)
Nutri-grain bars -- apple flavor
1 cup of Jell-o (OMG better put Jell-o on the shopping list! I'd hate to run out)
An incredible amount of shame

IN THE REFRIGERATOR (you thought we were done, didn't you?):
Sharp cheddar cheese sticks
Light string cheese
2 boiled eggs

Ziploc bag full of homemade turkey-and-vegetable meatballs
Holy shit I forgot those were in there
BRB need to heat up a couple of them
OMG these are so good
How did I manage to forget about them
They're so tasty
Everyone in the office is jealous now because this whole place smells incredible
What should I have for dessert?
I'm thinking Easter egg
Being pregnant is awesome.

Also, today when I arrived at the office, the break room looked like this:

This happens a lot, and I take something (maybe a cookie or two, or a muffin if I'm REALLY hungry) every time it does.

I may have a problem.

Past issues of "The Indignities of Pregnancy" (which are mostly from when I was pregnant with Audrey like 37 years ago):

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Alaskan Wildlife (drawn from memory)

Jesse and I just got back from a trip to Anchorage, Alaska for the weekend. It was great, but now I'm on a different time zone (both literally and also a toddler-free time zone where I am not awakened at 4:30AM), so I am too tired to write anything that isn't just pure nonsense.

So instead, I have decided to draw for you some of the Alaskan wildlife that we saw while on our trip. I am going to draw them based entirely on memory and speculation, and then I will find a picture of what the animal actually looks like so we can tell how close I got to the mark.

We didn't see any bears, though, so if you're here for bears you aren't going to get any. I know, I know -- I'm twice as angry as you are, trust me.

First up ...


We saw some orca while out on a boat tour in Seward, Alaska. They were chasing the boat and it was neat! They looked pretty much like this:

Or, as Google images would have you believe, like this:

Damn, I forgot the white bit on the bottom. Other than that, it was a perfect likeness.

We also got to see ...


We only saw the fin and the tail, so I kind of had to fill in some blanks. I'm pretty sure I nailed it though.

Ummm ... oh. The fins are ... pretty big. I totally got the bummer face right, though. Chin up, ol' buddy! 

Then, we were treated to a show by some ...


The females of the species are considerably smaller than the males. The male looked something like this, though:

Haaaaa what a tubby dope!

Let us not forget the excitement of watching ...


... trying to fly! Those chubby bastards had a hell of a time staying airborne:

My drawing is bad, and I feel bad.

Closing out on a high note, you'll never guess what animal we saw out the window of our bus from Anchorage down to Seward! It was a ....


This has not been a fruitful endeavor.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Things people do that I take as personal offenses (even though they're not)

You ever catch yourself getting deeply offended over something that really, at its core, has nothing to do with you whatsoever?

Don't lie; we've all been there. 

Here are a few things that will make me feel offended, betrayed, and absolutely shocked at the depravity of human society for no reason at all:

When someone announces a pregnancy that I did not expect
(because they said they were done having kids, or that they weren't going to have any period, or that it would be a few years before they started trying, etc)

There's no greater feeling of betrayal than to fire up the ol' Facebook machine and see that someone who had previously told me they had no plans to have children "until I'm AT LEAST 30" is announcing that they are pregnant ... but they're only 27.

Or seeing that someone who insisted one night over glasses of wine that "trust me, two is PLENTY for us!" is now pregnant with a third. 

I see these people announcing their happy news, and all I can think is, "YOU LIED RIGHT TO MY FACE."


Now, of course, this is completely ridiculous. First off, people are allowed to change their minds. Especially about important matters ... and 'how many kids should we have' is one of the most important decisions anyone makes in their entire lives. Imagine if you were eternally stuck with the decision you made at age 24, six beers deep after spending the weekend with your bratty nieces and nephews. Or the decision you made after watching too many episodes of "A Baby Story" three days after getting dumped. My god, everyone on earth would have either zero kids or ten of them.

Second of all, it's not my business how many children other couples want to have, and when they want to have them. Like, I can hardly think of a topic that is less my business than that. I think I'm owed a rundown of your bowel movements more than I'm owed a copy of your reproductive plans.

Third of all, accidents happen. Maybe that friend really DIDN'T plan to have kids until she was 30, but she took some antibiotics that made her birth control stop working and now she's pregnant at 26 unexpectedly. And maybe she doesn't really want to announce that to everyone on Facebook. And maybe that other woman found out she was pregnant a week after her husband got his vasectomy. They really did think they were done, but then ... life found a way.

All of these excellent reasons why I shouldn't feel betrayed have absolutely no bearing on whether or not I actually feel betrayed, though. If you're pregnant and I didn't have any inkling that it was coming, then you got some apologizing to do, buddy. Because this shit will not fly.

When people stink up the bathroom at work

When I walk into the bathroom at work and it smells like poop, I get angry. I get angry like I would if someone had intentionally farted directly in my face and then ran away laughing.


This is also completely ridiculous. Most people don't plan on stinking up the bathroom. It's not like they sit in their car on the way to work giggling about how awesome it's going to be to make all their coworkers breathe in their poop stench.


It's just something that happens sometimes, when your body doesn't really cooperate with what you intend. I prefer to poop at home, and I think most people feel the same way ... but there are times when that just doesn't work out.

It's absurd to get offended by that.

But I do anyway. Because I'm breathing someone else's poop and I hate it and that person should be fired immediately, if not sooner. They're creating a hostile work environment. It's unacceptable.

... unless the person who stunk up the bathroom was me. The rules are always different for me. I'm special.

When someone doesn't give the "thank you" wave in ambiguous situations

I think everyone can agree that when someone does you a favor on the road, if you don't give them the "thank you" wave, you're a giant dick.

But there are situations where it's a bit more ambiguous.

For example, let's say someone puts on their blinker to merge into your lane, so you hang back a bit to make sure they have enough space. In your mind, you've done them a favor and they should wave. But in their mind, maybe you didn't do anything at all and there just happened to be enough room in your lane for their car. So why would they give you a wave if you haven't done anything?

And then there are the bad drivers. The people who are so terrible at driving that to divert their attention from it, for even one second to wave at you, would cause them to drive off a cliff and smash into a school for musically gifted children. Do you really want these people giving 'the wave'?

None of these confounding variables mean anything to me, however. If I've done someone a favor on the road, I expect a wave. DO YOU HEAR ME? WAVE, GODDAMMIT!!!

That's right, you bitch.

Of course, as always, these rules don't apply to me. When I take my spot at the end of the zipper merge on my street, I ain't waving at nobody. It's a f***ing merge, you HAVE to let me in. It's not a favor; it's your job. I don't wave at you for doing your job. And when someone stops to let me out of Audrey's daycare parking lot, which requires rapidly checking that the other direction is clear before gunning it into a left turn across several lanes of traffic, I'm not waving. I'm too busy trying not to kill my family.

Those people should just know that I thank them. Internally. Much like how I should assume the same for the other drivers on the road who don't wave at me in similar situations.

Nope. Those people are such assholes.

In conclusion, don't be an asshole and I won't get offended. All you have to do is make sure you're 100% totally honest about your reproductive plans with everyone you meet, make sure you ONLY have bowel movements between the hours of 6PM and 8AM, and of course give me the "thank you" wave any time I do anything nice for you, even if you weren't aware of it.


Friday, June 5, 2015

Gross/inconvenient things I have accidentally taught my daughter to do

A major part of being a parent is regretting stupid things that you did that you can't un-teach your kid. It's unavoidable. No matter how carefully you think everything through, someday you're going to wind up doing something in front of your kid that they're going to think is the greatest idea ever, and they're going to copy it and copy it and copy it as you wilt like a flower that hasn't been watered in a week.

Here are a few such things that I've inadvertently taught Audrey to do:

Hands wet? No problem; wipe them on Mommy's clothing

I actually taught her this one on purpose. Sort of. I tried to teach her one thing, but it completely backfired on me.

The lesson I was attempting to impart is that if you get some water on your hands, you can just wipe your hands on your pants and then your hands will be dry. I did this because she tended to freak out whenever her hands got wet, and would shriek and panic until they were dried with a towel or something. I wanted her to have a means of coping with the situation on her own so that she wouldn't need to freak out.

So I showed her how I wipe my wet hands on my own pants, and then they aren't wet anymore. And she was like "oh, got it."

But she misunderstood.

Now she thinks that my clothing is a towel. Mine and mine alone.

It doesn't matter what the liquid in question is -- be it milk, juice, water, probably even urine -- if it's on your hands and you don't want it there anymore, go find your mother and wipe your hands all over her. It's cool; she said it was okay. Bonus points for liquids that will leave a stain.

Audrey ... I said WATER. On YOUR OWN PANTS. Not "raspberry juice on my nice scarf."


Fingers dirty? No problem; shove them in Mommy's mouth until they are clean

This method was borne of desperation. When a toddler manages to get some sticky food substance all over their hands at an unexpected time, you have two choices: you can either run for a napkin or towel and find that the mess has been spread everywhere by the time you get back, or ... you can use your mouth to clean the chocolate, peanut butter, or jam off little one's fingers.

In one such desperate moment, I foolishly opted for the Mommy's Mouth approach.

Now Audrey believes that that is the standard method for getting any sticky food mess off her hands.

Just this morning, we were sharing an English muffin with peanut butter, and she got peanut butter on her finger. Without asking or even hesitating for an instant, she turned around and shoved her finger into my mouth like it was a free car wash built just for her.

I tried to show her that she can suck these things off of her OWN fingers if she wants to, but evidently that was not acceptable. I guess I just do a better job.

A second later, she also got peanut butter on her binkie ... and guess where that ended up too.

In the dishwasher on Mommy's face, that's where.


Finished eating or drinking something? No problem; throw it in the garbage

Audrey still struggles to differentiate between things like an empty applesauce pouch, which is trash, and an empty juice cup, which is reusable.

So, she has decided to make things easy on herself by just assuming that everything is garbage, all the time.

And she's so independent about it, too. She'll just take her plastic Elmo bowl of Cheerios into the kitchen without a word and drop the whole thing into the trash. She threw away a nice glass dish with matching lid; she threw away a plate that we were using to share some waffle; she has thrown away her juice cups more times than I can count. We need to install a little bell on the cabinet where the trash can is so we stand a better chance of catching her when she does this.

I think we've managed to notice every time she throws away something she's not supposed to, so we can dig it out and wash it off ... but then again, there are about four or five binkies that I haven't seen in quite a while. They could be anywhere.

But they're probably in a landfill somewhere.


Done with your salsa snack? Put the chip away -- back in the bag!

Jesse often eats tortilla chips with salsa as a snack, and Audrey likes to join him in this snack. Kid loves salsa.

Look at her go! And it's medium salsa, too! Does YOUR kid eat medium salsa?
Oh, they do? They eat hot salsa? Well ... you shouldn't be giving your kid hot salsa anyway. It's bad for them and it'll give them diarrhea.
See what I did there? You were better than me, so I turned it right around on you and criticized your parenting. I'm a natural at this shit.

But she doesn't really get that you're supposed to eat the chip, too. She just thinks that the chip is some kind of weird spoon you use to scoop salsa into your mouth (which, to be fair, I kind of agree with).

So she will use the same chip to eat all the salsa she wants, dipping it over and over again and sucking all the salsa off it. And then, when she's finished, she drops her disgusting half-dissolved mouth chip right back into the bag.


I guess it's better than her usual method of disposal of snacks she doesn't want anymore, which is DIRECTLY INTO MY MOUTH. And then of course there's her new method of announcing that she is finished eating her dinner, which is to start picking up pieces of food and squishing them in her fist as hard as she can.

You haven't lived until you've seen a piece of tofu oozing between tiny fingers like extra liquidy Play-doh.


It's cool, though. In a couple months, I'll have a whole new kid to teach. A blank canvas.

And this time, I'm gonna do everything right. You just wait!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Audrey vs. my earplugs

Ever since Audrey was born, I have worn foam earplugs to sleep every night so that I wouldn't wake up at every little infant peep, fart, and sleep-sigh. Now that it's almost two years later, I absolutely cannot sleep without my earplugs.

So I keep a collection of them on my nightstand, in case one falls out (or I pull it out) in my sleep and I can't find it right away in the bed -- I can just grab another one from the nightstand and go back to my awesome dream where I'm drowning an aggressive lion with my bare hands in the Olympic-sized swimming pool of my mansion.

But when there's a toddler involved, keeping 4-5 foam earplugs sitting out on one's nightstand is a very high-risk behavior. Not because she might choke on them; nay, she never puts them anywhere near her mouth.

Because she hides them. Every single day.

Here are a few of her favorite earplug-related activities:

Earplugs in Daddy's boots

Jesse wears combat boots to work every day, and he keeps them in our bedroom. Audrey just loves to take the fistful of earplugs off my nightstand and drop them one by one into one or both of his boots.

So, people in Australia always have to turn over their boots and shake them out in search of spiders and scorpions ...

I wanted to find a picture or GIF of someone removing a large insect from their boot, but instead I found this and was like "WTF" so now I'm sharing it with you because WTF.

Jesse has to turn over his boots and shake them out every day in search of earplugs.

And yes, he has forgotten to do this and spent all day walking around with a few earplugs smashed under his foot in the boot. No, I did not continue to use them afterwards.

Earplugs stuffed into the thermometer cover

This was a daily occurrence until I finally took the thermometer cover away and hid it somewhere out of reach. The game is to take the earplugs and stuff them down into the plastic thermometer cover. You win when you have so many earplugs stuffed in there that you could not possibly stuff any more even if there were money involved.

The problem is, they're nigh on impossible to get out of there. You see, the way foam earplugs work is that you squish them down, then put them in your ear canal, and then wait for them to puff back up with air and make a good seal. So when you do the same with a plastic thermometer cover, they puff back up with air and completely seal themselves in. I can't grab them to pull them out; I can't shake them out; I can't push them out with a tool. The only way to get them out at all is to use a pen or something to squish them again until they're small, and then shake the tube violently/smash it against things with great force and get the earplugs to fall out before they have a chance to puff back up and seal themselves in.

Every single day I had to do this. Every day.

And then the next day she'd just shove them all right back in there again.

Keep going, Audrey. I bet you can get at least ten, twelve more in there.

This is why people choose not to have children.

Earplugs in the bath

This was a new one. I was filling the tub for Audrey's bath, and she was leaning over to put her hands under the faucet as usual ... but then I noticed that she had all my earplugs in her hands, and was 'washing' them under the water. When I tried to take them away, she threw them into the bubble bath, and screamed any time I tried to remove them from the bath later on. So she took a bath with my earplugs.

I threw those ones away too. They were still wet the next day and if we're being honest, the odds that she peed in that bathtub are like 98%. I don't need to put that in my ears.

Earplugs in the garbage

It's always the brand new ones that I've only used for a day or so that she decides need to be thrown away, too. You think these things grow on trees, Audrey?

Well, they come in giant packages that are very inexpensive, so they basically DO grow on trees, but that's not the point and you know it.

Earplugs in her crib

For some reason, running down the hallway and throwing random items into her crib is great entertainment. Especially because she can't get them back out again without help! LOL WHAT FUN!!!

Luckily, the earplugs glow faintly in the dark, so if I don't notice that she's done this before putting her to bed at night, I can at least see the subtle orange glow of the six earplugs she's hoarded in there next to Elmo and her blankie. Sigh.

Earplugs in the suitcase

Just so we're clear, Audrey has no idea what the earplugs actually are or what they're actually for. She has never seen me put them in my ears. To her, they're just weird little orange foam things that are always next to the bed for some reason.

So imagine my surprise when I arrived on vacation and found five earplugs scattered through our suitcase. I'm just glad someone had the foresight to pack them, because lord knows I wasn't going to remember.

Earplugs in the toilet

I saluted as I flushed. They had served me bravely.

Some people have cats who are obsessed with stealing hair ties. Not me. I have a toddler obsessed with stealing earplugs.

When we move out, I shudder to think how many of them we're going to find stuffed behind pieces of furniture, underneath things, jammed into things, and hidden deep inside things we rarely use. Hundreds of them. Whole packages of earplugs, vanished into the darkest recesses of our home.