On today’s episode of Dubious Compliments from Stumps

“Mommy your face looks like a sandwich ’cause it has moles all over it.”

I assume she is referring to my sun damage age spots large pores freckles.

Um. What types of sandwiches have they been feeding my children at daycare?

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In unrelated news, I am pleased to discover that Stumps and Beans are quite creative and am veritably bursting with copious amounts of understandable mommy pride.

For example, just today Beanie repurposed a pair of toenail clippers into a shank.

“No Beanie. Stop Beans. STOP!!! Mommy she got the clippers! Mommyyyy she is trying to clip meeee!!!”

It is worth mentioning that they are both sick so I am home from work and we are quarantined to the house. Only 170 more minutes until Husband comes home. Not that I am counting. Or completely disgusted from doing many hours of post-puke laundry. Or entirely out of BRAT diet ingredients, Florastor, and Pedialyte.

Or going stir crazy and slowly rapidly losing my grip.

I would be a really shitty SAHM.

Much, much respect ladies (and the occasional gent). I don’t know how you do it.

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For very special occasions, such as her 60th birthday…

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…they sometimes let Mother Catlady out of the institution.

(pretty certain this couple is featured in the first few minutes of Mullholland Drive, dropping Naomi Watts off in Hollywood after she wins a jitterbug contest.)

If only I had the rudimentary photoshop skills necessary to superimpose sharp knives or chainsaws into their hands.

In case you are wondering if MC is deserving of her blog nickname, note the litter box beside the kitchen table.

Happy birthday mom. Love you :)

“I’m two. Don’t f*** with me.”

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My now four-year-old Stumps was a high-strung newborn who would routinely scream from 4-7 pm every afternoon for the first four months of her life. So when the Jellybean came along nearly two-and-a-half years later, we didn’t know what hit us. Beanie was such an easy, happy, laid back baby that it was uncanny. No amount of antagonization was going to provoke Beans into fussing. I remember asking Husband more than a few times in those early months, “She’s so chill. She never cries. Do you think there’s something, you know, wrong with her?”

Beanie’s amiable and easygoing temperament was quite fortunate, all things considered, since I am pretty certain I said “Leave the baby’s head alone!” to Stumps at least twice a day that entire first year.

Fast forward to now, and in hindsight, we now know Beans was just stockpiling rage to unleash upon the pitiful creatures of this world throughout her toddler years.

In other news, they are eating a meal at an actual table (see Items #3-5) , so we can consider that progress.

If anyone would like to propose a caption for what the comic strip thought-bubble above my twenty-two-month-old’s withering glare might read, I welcome submissions!

{Edited to add: When you click on the picture, it is not at all blurry, so not sure why it is blurry embedded in the post?}

About the unweaning of my 35 lb infant

They say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. So I admit it – I am having a problem letting go. You see, I am ridiculously in love with babies. So much so that it may be some sort of sickness. Shortly after the birth of my dear friend’s first child, I  terrified bonded with her by revealing that I was pretty sure Heaven involves rolling around on the floor and cuddling with a pile of babies ages 2-8 months.

Anyway. Nearly two-year-old Beans is my second and, as hard as it is for me at times to come to terms with, last baby. Around 14 months old, she started to become ambivalent to the pacifier. Indifferent. Blase’. She was entirely take-it-or-leave-it during the day, and we stopped giving it to her at night entirely. She didn’t seem to notice.

We were making great strides forward in Project Paci Wean and then I just couldn’t handle it anymore and completely backslid into denial. This was my baby. My newborn. (14 month olds who can walk and scream “NO!” while throwing appliances, food, and shoes at you still sort of qualify as newborns, right?) I started shoving pacis back in Bean’s mouth gently giving her the opportunity to spend some time with her forgotten pacifiers, and just see where it led.

Husband was horrified by my regression, but the crazed look in my eyes as I presented my toddler only-just-barely-no-longer-a-fetus  with a veritable buffet of options from Paci Paradise, spoke both loudly and clearly. The madness in my eyes warned: “You know that whole ‘choose your battles wisely’ expression that comes in so handy within the constructs of the marital dynamic? This is one of those times that you’d best wisely choose to indulge me by tempting our 60 week old infant with every size, color, texture, and brand of pacis available. The Mams! The Nuks! The weird green translucent ones that we brought her home with from the hospital! PRESENT ALL THE PACIS!!!”

Husband chose wisely.

Children Cherubs over the age of one are not allowed to have pacis at daycare. Fast-forward to today at drop-off, and I had to wrench a bink out of clenched teeth while my preschooler neonate jelly-legged in the middle of the hallway, publicly and theatrically screaming “PAAACIIII!!! MY PACCIIIII!!! WANT PAAACIIII!!!

So anyway when my 66 month old and I are still inevitably waging this battle in the fall 2016 kindergarten carpool lane, I am probably going to have some serious regrets about my 2012 regression and subsequent paci-unweaning.

But the truth is, I just don’t know how to let my baby go.

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{There are some instances when I am writing, such as in this particular post, where I am so tempted to use words like “swimmingly” and “ahem”. I had the perfectly appropriate places for both. And I just can’t bring myself to do it. The association is too unpleasant. I am ruined forever. I’ll leave it at that.}

The only creature more honest than a 4 year old is an 84 year old

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, last night I took Stumps to a youth dinner theater at a friend’s church in town. Stumps and I were seated beside a nice couple who introduced themselves and welcomed us as soon as we sat down. The wife mentioned that they were in their eighties and had no grandchildren of their own, so they loved coming to the annual youth group musical. Also joining us at the table were the very friendly parents of one of the teenage performers.

Throughout dinner, it became somewhat evident that the older man at the table very likely had a touch of dementia. He asked me numerous times when my husband would be there (Husband stayed home with Beans), and where our family attended church (we typically spend Sunday mornings in our pajamas worshipping DVRed episodes of WonderPets.)

As my dear grandfather, Big Papa, died a few months ago after a heartbreaking decline into dementia, I found this all pretty endearing. If I closed my eyes, it was almost as if Big Papa was with us yesterday evening.

The dinner preceded the play, and after dinner the teens started the show. We each had programs at our placesetting, and approximately every 10 minutes, the man would hold up his program, gesture to his wife, and very loudly and conspicuously say “What is the name of the kid with no talent? I want to know his name!” To take the utter awkwardness of the situation to a stratospheric level, his wife was a bit hard of hearing, so he just kept getting louder.

All of the kids were great by the way – I thought the play was really cute and as I blogged about yesterday, my four year old LOVED IT. Loved it so much, in fact, that she wanted to ditch me at the end of the night and go home with the cast (Shameless groupie. Has she no self-respect?)

Anyway, all of that to say, I have no idea which kid he had in mind, but since he was saying this throughout the play, and the cast of characters completely changed with each scene, I think my seatmate was just somewhat disoriented and confused. I couldn’t bring myself to make eye contact with the other family at our table though, whose high school student was up on stage performing.

This is so completely something my own crabby and beloved Big Papa would have done in his last couple of years with us. A New Yorker by birth and lifelong lover of all things musical theater, I like to think that was just his cantankerous spirit dropping in to join us for dinner and a show. It was obvious that this particular elderly couple was absolutely beloved by everyone in the fellowship hall last night, so I am sure his questionably appropriate behavior didn’t even raise an eyebrow. And that makes me very happy. God bless those who suffer through their latter years with dementia. And even moreso, dare I say it…  God bless those who are brave enough to venture out with those folks in public when their filters are decidedly turned off!

I miss you terribly Big Papa. It was nice to catch a glimpse of you last night and hear you giving all of those adolescent amateurs a piece of your mind. Please join us for a meal and a little bit of hellraising again soon :’)