Blog Archive

Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Cuteness/Ridiculousness of Audrey

Whenever I don't know what to write a post about, I can always just think about what absurd things Audrey has done in the past week or two and write about that. Because it just never ends with her. She's ridiculous and hilarious.

Here are a few recent Audreyisms:

Audrey is now fully potty-trained, but this has only been the case for a week or so. There have been a few accidents here and there, but for the most part she is a total pro. So much so that I bought her a new two-step stool so that she can climb up onto the toilet on her own!

This morning, as I was dressing Trevor for the day, Audrey announced that she had to go potty. I was quite busy with Trevor so I asked her to pull down her pants and get started on her own and I would be there in a minute. She agreed.

When I went into the bathroom a moment later, I found that Audrey was sitting happily on the toilet with her pants and underwear around her ankles, and her Mickey Mouse doll was sitting on the little baby potty that is still in the bathroom even though she doesn't use it (Mickey Mouse goes everywhere with Audrey). Sure enough, Audrey had pooped in the toilet. Words cannot express the pride I felt when I saw that she had successfully managed all of this without help.

Once we were all done in the bathroom (both her and Mickey Mouse, who also had to be wiped and his potty flushed), I offered her an M&M because pooping in the toilet is kind of a big deal and needs major encouragement. She insisted that Mickey Mouse also get an M&M, since he had gone potty too. I told her that no, Mickey Mouse wasn't going to get his own M&M, but she could share hers with him if she wanted. I showed her the bag and let her choose what color she wanted, and she opted for orange.

Now at this point, we need to backtrack a bit to a time several weeks ago when Audrey went through a crazy phase where she wanted to always color in the eyes of any picture we drew. Draw Elmo, she immediately colors his eyeballs black like a voodoo curse. 

Draw our family, she scribbles in everyone's eyes like we're a family of demons. 

During this phase, at one point she saw fit to color the Mickey Mouse doll's eyes with a green crayon. Please hang on to this information.

So Audrey agreed to share her M&M with Mickey Mouse, and took him over to the couch. She sucked on the outside of her M&M a bit, then shoved it into Mickey Mouse's mouth so he could have some too.

Naturally, her sucking on it melted the orange candy coating ... so when she put it in Mickey Mouse's mouth, the candy coating rubbed off everywhere.

This, combined with the heavy green eye shadow she had applied a couple weeks prior, is how we ended up the proud owners of Transvestite Crackhead Mickey Mouse.


I bought a big box of fun-sized bags of Utz chips because I love them and you can't buy them on the west coast. Audrey kept bringing me bags of chips and asking me to open them and pour some into her Elmo bowl. I would allow her to have a half serving of chips once a day.

This morning, as she was working her way through a bowl of barbecue Utz, she brought the bowl up to me and offered me a chip. Or rather, she stuck a chip in her mouth, then realized she was being rude and offered me the chip that had just been inside her mouth.

I declined the chip. Not because she had already tongued it, though. I declined the chip because I had just brushed my teeth.

The fact that the chip was probably getting soggy with her spit already was not even a factor in the decision.

I have been a Mom for too long.


This past weekend, we went to a special meeting and brunch at the local union hall. Jesse wasn't feeling well, so I brought the kids with me to give him a couple hours to nap in peace at home.

At first, Audrey was her usual total shy self, clinging to my legs and insisting I pick her up so she could lay her head down on my shoulder to hide from strangers.

But at some point, I don't know what happened but a switch flipped inside her and she went from being totally shy to being the biggest ham in 200 miles. She started running up to random people and waving her Mickey Mouse doll around, screaming "LOOK! IT'S MICKEY MOUSE!" She would not stop doing this until they acknowledged her and acted excited about Mickey Mouse.

Then she ate like 15 pounds of fruit from the brunch buffet, which sent her on a crazy sugar high. 

She started rolling around on the floor. Then she started running wind sprints. Then she was hopping around shouting that she was a frog.

The morning peaked when she started running up to large bearded Teamster after large bearded Teamster, flexing her arms and saying "LOOK AT MY MUSCLES!" 

There will always be ugliness and bad people in the world ... but I will never doubt that human nature is predominantly good. Because every single truck-drivin' beer-swillin' cigarette-smokin' union dues-payin' Teamster Audrey accosted responded in the same way: smiling from ear to ear and then telling the 2-year-old girl in the Minnie Mouse shirt that her muscles were huge and very intimidating. "I wouldn't want to get into a fight with YOU!"

Honestly, I don't know where she got this desire to be the center of attention and make everyone laugh.

Certainly not from me. ;-)

Thursday, February 11, 2016

My daughter is gaslighting me and I don't know what to believe anymore

"Gaslighting" is one of the classic signs of an abusive relationship. The abuser will deny reality and insist that certain things never happened, thereby making the victim feel like maybe they're going crazy, maybe they actually aren't being abused at all, in fact maybe they're the one doing the abusing, always accusing their partner of all these crazy things that never happened!

Gaslighting can be incredibly dangerous and demoralizing, because it warps your entire view of what is real, and almost turns you into your own abuser. It makes you doubt yourself and call yourself crazy.

So naturally Audrey does it to me all the time.

The Nilla Wafers Incident

One night, Audrey opened up the pantry and pulled out a box of Mini Nilla Wafers without saying a word to anyone. She then carried the box around happily for a while, eating all the Mini Nilla Wafers she could manage until I noticed what was happening.

Now, I have long since learned that "just one more" of anything (snacks, renditions of "la la la Elmo's Song," books, episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse) is infinitely less likely to end in total toddler meltdown than suddenly announcing that there will be NO more without a fair warning.

So I took the box away from her and said that we were all done with cookies and she could take one more before I put the box away.

She said okay and reached down into the package. And out came her little hand with two Nilla Wafers in it -- one clutched between her thumb and her forefinger in full sight, and then a sneaky second cookie being held against her palm by her other three fingers.

At first I thought that maybe she didn't understand when I said "one more." I mean she's only two; she's not exactly performing multivariable calculus over here. Maybe the concept of "one cookie" versus "two cookies" kind of threw her off.

But then she held up the openly visible cookie and said "I take one cookie Mommy," continuing to hide the second cookie in her palm.

She knew exactly what she was doing.

But then I thought again, she's only two! How could she possibly be so clever and so evil already? I mean this is a stunt that required some planning. Some knowledge of deception and some understanding of when things can and can't be seen from the perspective of others. Which toddlers are notoriously awful at. After all, this is the same kid who tried to hide between my legs during a game of hide and seek. How could a child who thought I would not be able to locate her while she was touching me suddenly understand that if she palmed a cookie in a certain way, I wouldn't see it and she could eat it in peace?

Did she really palm that cookie?

If so, did she palm it on purpose?

Did she look me in the face and lie, claiming she had followed my instructions and taken only one cookie when she had in fact taken two?


In the end, I let her have both cookies and didn't say anything. If she thinks she's getting away with this stuff, maybe she'll let her guard down and make it easier to catch her when it's bottles of vodka she's palming and not snack cookies.

I'm just thinking ahead.

The Potty Incident(s)

We are currently potty training Audrey, which means a lot of time is spent sitting on the toilet. She has decided she doesn't want to use her own Elmo or Mickey Mouse potties and would instead rather sit on the big toilet using an Elmo toilet seat.

On the one hand, this is really convenient because if she does go, there's no need to clean up the potty -- just flush and go.

But on the other hand, it also means it's really hard to tell if she has peed. She mostly pees tiny amounts that are hard to detect even when I'm sitting right there in front of her when she goes (also, weirdest eye contact ever).

So she gaslights me.

We use peanut M&Ms as potty training aids. If she successfully goes pee or poo in the potty, she gets an M&M. And she knows this -- if you ask her if she wants to go potty, she will get excited and start pulling down her pants while insisting "I go peepee on the toilet and get an M&M!"

I can't tell you how many times she has sat on that toilet, done nothing, and then demanded an M&M because she "went peepee." YOU DID NOT. I WAS RIGHT THERE HOLDING AWKWARD EYE CONTACT. YOU DIDN'T PEE.

... or did you?

How can I know!?!? Maybe she peed a little but it wasn't enough for me to hear it hit the bowl.

And if she did pee, and now I'm arguing with her that she didn't pee, I'm destroying her trust in me. I'm the one gaslighting her. "I peed!" "No you didn't, stop lying!" = lifelong resentment because there's nothing worse than being accused of lying when you're telling the truth.

I'm pretty sure she's not peeing, though. She just wants the damned M&M.

I mean ... right?

How do I ... I don't ...

So we switch to intermittent positive reinforcement, which is the most effective way to condition behaviors anyway. Every time she claims she peed, she gets praise. And sometimes she gets an M&M, whenever I feel like giving her one.

No more potty gaslighting, Audrey. You'll have to find other ways to make me question my sanity.

I'm sure it won't be a problem.

The Bingo Incident

This one happened last night. Audrey was having a meltdown because it was almost bedtime and she was tired and fussy. I had to take a shower, so I thought I would distract her by inviting her to come into the bathroom with me (since she's such fun in there while I'm trying to bathe). I asked her if she wanted to sing a song with me.

She said "sing Bingo Mommy!" and I agreed, launching into a boisterous rendition of the song.

After about two verses, I peered around the shower curtain and found that ... the door was closed and the bathroom was empty.

I had been singing to no one.

Once I got out of the shower, I opened the bathroom door and saw Audrey messing around in our bedroom. "Audrey, why did you leave while I was singing Bingo?" I asked her.

And she looked at me in absolute confusion. "Mommy you not sing Bingo."

But ... I could have sworn ...

Then she told me there was a man downstairs (there wasn't), that our comforter is purple (it's black), and that she wanted her Goofy doll (she doesn't have one). She even made me search through the whole toy box for this alleged Goofy doll that doesn't exist. She also told her daycare teacher it was her birthday (it wasn't) and that I was going to take her to the park (I had made no such promise).


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Time flies even when you're not having any fun at all

How the f*** is it February already? And it's not even the first of February. It's the third. I'm three days late at being shocked that a new month started.

That's a pretty fair metaphor for how my entire life is going at the moment -- always at least a few days late to being angry about how many days have gone by. Imagine how mad I'll be when I realize yesterday was Groundhog Day! (that was yesterday, wasn't it?)

There's a house on the street behind ours that still has its Christmas lights up, and the other day I silently scolded the owner of that house with "Christmas was like three weeks ago. Get your life in order." Except it wasn't three weeks ago. It was almost six weeks ago. Which doesn't speak well at all for the owner of that house, but doesn't really speak well for me either. (In some ways, I hope that house keeps their lights up even longer because then I'll know I'm at least following the calendar better than SOMEONE on this planet.)

Time is flying. Not because I am having fun, but because I HAVE TOO MUCH LIFE TO CRAM INTO NOT ENOUGH HOURS. I barely have a chance to acknowledge that it's today before tomorrow gets here.

But it's okay -- this is what happens when the kids are itty bitty. I'm not worried. I know the clock will slow back down to a reasonable speed when they're a bit older and a bit more sleep-through-the-nighty and don't-take-up-literally-every-waking-momenty. Until that day comes, here are some ways that I am dramatically behind the times.

I've just started my New Years Resolution to get back into exercising

It's not really a New Years Resolution per se, as I'm not trying to lose any weight. I'm the same size as I was before I got pregnant. But I haven't been exercising, and it's really starting to weigh down on my mental health.

So I decided that after the new year, it would be time to get back on that horse. Trevor was born plenty long enough ago that I can get back into exercising without making a million excuses. My body is fully recovered and has been for months now. Trevor doesn't need me every minute of the day. My breastfeeding and pumping schedule has calmed down enough for there to be time to work out. 

So I joined LA Fitness and looked up their class schedules at the gym near my house and the gym near my office. I planned out which classes I would attend.

And now here we are, February 3rd, and I just went to my first regular Zumba class this past weekend and then another one yesterday.

I'm only a month late on this one, so that's not so bad, right? Better than that lady with her Christmas lights.

Also, totally unrelated, but at my Zumba class yesterday, there was a man in the class. Which was a bit strange, since Zumba classes are like 99% women, but hey, there's no rule against men in the class and good for this guy being bold enough to work out in the way that makes him happy even though it's against the norms!

Except this guy was so bad at Zumba. Like wow. I'm not exactly about to get hired as J-Lo's backup dancer either, but this guy was just on another plane of bad. I mean not only could he not do the most basic Zumba choreography -- we're talking simple mambo steps here -- but he was also doing these random leaps and pirouettes that had nothing to do with what the instructor was doing. Part of me wonders if he was just doing his own Zumba class in his head with no regard to what was going on around him. Usually if someone is struggling to follow along, they tone down their movements and focus on only the feet or only the arms. They certainly don't go "wow, jazz squares are tripping me up so I'm just gonna start doing some random leaps and spins into other people. You know, so that I stay under the radar until I get the hang of it."

But I guess I have to hand it to him for getting out there and getting his cardio in? Good job, guy. At least he probably knows what month it is, so he's got me beat.

Audrey got excited about Easter and I told her she would have to wait six months for the Easter Bunny

Audrey was looking at pictures on my phone, and found all the pictures from Easter last year. She was so excited about it that she started demanding my phone at all hours of the day and night so that she could look at pictures from Easter. She couldn't WAIT for the Easter Bunny to come again and hide eggs for her to gather up!

I didn't want to encourage her excitement just yet, so I told her that she would have to wait quite a while until Easter. "It won't be Easter again for like six months, sweetie. The Easter Bunny will come then."

But now I'm looking at my calendar and it's going to be Easter in like a month and a half? SINCE WHEN?!?! 

Facebook showed me a picture of Audrey's outfit from the Superbowl two years ago and I thought it was a technical glitch

'Go Hawks! Take one and take two. This baby needs multiple outfits to get through half a game'

It was like "you posted this two years ago!" and I was like "WTF why would I randomly post a picture of Audrey in a Seahawks onesie in the middle of summer or whatever. Facebook must be going crazy." 

And then I realized that it had in fact been the Superbowl on that date two years prior. It is not the middle of summer right now. But I never really thought it was the middle of summer right now. My brain just kind of told me that exactly two years ago was the middle of summer, even though it's not summer now? Like two years was secretly 1.3 years, or maybe it was dog years?

I don't know.

I don't even do drugs you guys. 

I have no excuse.

The most recent photos on our refrigerator are from before Trevor was even born

I mean, you'd think it would take less than six months to acknowledge the addition of a new human being to your family. That's a pretty big deal.

But nope. Can't seem to make it happen. I can order photo prints online to be delivered to my doorstep in less than five minutes. Have I done this? Oh, sweet summer child.

I have done nothing.

I still haven't deposited a money order that I received for Christmas

I just haven't had a chance yet. Come on, you guys. Christmas was only like ... three weeks ago.


Also I forgot to celebrate my 30th birthday which was nearly 4 months ago so let's all take a second to sing Happy Birthday to me. Dirty Thirty! The big 3-0! That's a milestone!!

Or am I 40? I don't even know anymore.