I’m on it

Let’s be honest.

I think we all know that I am the last mom to, say, create a from-scratch leprechaun trap, have a leprechaun hunt, and dye the water in the toilet bowl green.

After I microwave a dinner out of a can, I may or may not have a history of bragging to Husband about how I lovingly toiled to prepare the family meal.

Nevertheless, let us state for the record that today is March 27, a full three days before Easter, and this year…

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the Easter bunny has got her shit together.

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“…Intimacy! That’s the you in me…”

I can neither confirm nor deny that tonight’s Top 10 List items are true stories of romance from the House of Stumps and Beans.

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You know you’ve been married awhile when…

…a nightly dutch oven is as much a part of your bedtime routine as saying goodnight to your spouse.

…offering to take care of the kids’ bedtime rituals is the most successful type of foreplay if you want to ensure that you will score.

…”scoring” means getting a really long, deep, thorough, and attentive footrub.

…you beckon your spouse into the bathroom, point to the inside of the toilet bowl, and say “Baby come look at this. Should I call a doctor?”

…you beckon your spouse into the bathroom, point to the inside of the toilet bowl, and say “Baby come look at this. Grab the camera. Call Ripley’s.”

…the ultimate betrayal is not infidelity; it is discarding your spouse’s most cherished pair of exceptionally and unacceptably holey underwear.

…your beloved occasionally checks the garbage to make sure you haven’t committed the ultimate betrayal by discarding said cherished underwear. And while you aren’t 100% certain, you suspect that there was one time you caught him cradling that particularly frightful pair while whispering “My precious”.

…Your level of disgust with, and outraged overreaction to his farts pretty directly correlates with his general level of happiness in your marriage.

…You reserve your sexiest most risque lingerie – you know, those pink plaid pajama pants with the sassy word on the butt and the matching pink sweatshirt- for very special occasions like your anniversary or weekends when your parents are sleeping over in the next room and have promised they will get up with the kids the next morning.

and finally…

…you have ever yelled across the house “Hey! Bring me a new roll of toilet paper! Imma ’bout to tear it up in here!”

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.}

What on earth are we teaching our little girls?

Somewhat surprisingly and entirely sweetly, Stumps’ favorite book is currently the Bible. Specifically a version she received as a gift called The Children’s Discovery Bible. She asks us to read stories from her Bible every night, and we are happy to do so.

I have blogged about this before, but for a little bit of background, I was raised by a Methodist-turned-atheist and a nonpracticing-Jew. When I fill out standardized forms, I am always slightly disappointed that there is no Religious Denomination checkbox for “Confused & Skeptical, but Optimistic.” I pray all the time; I believe in a benevolent Creator that loves all of us entirely flawed individuals like His or Her children… but beyond that I really have no clue. And I am okay with that.

Husband was raised Southern Baptist. Incidentally he is completely obsessed with the show “Ancient Aliens”, and says that he is pretty certain Jesus was one of our (apparently in Husband’s opinion, many) visitors from other galaxies. I am not entirely certain that he is kidding, either.

Anyway, all of that to say, we do whatever we can to support and indulge Stumps’ budding faith, in hopes that she will grow up to become at least slightly less jaded and cynical than we both apparently are.

Tonight, one of the Bible stories she chose was called “Esther Saves Her People”. The story, which I was mostly unfamiliar with before storytime this evening, tells the tale of a kind and beautiful young woman, Esther, who is pursued by and eventually married to an older King. Fair enough.

A murderer is on the loose in the kingdom and is intent on killing all of the nearby Jews. Genocide for a four year old? I am skeptical of what Stumps’ takeaways may be, but continue the story. Esther is tasked with informing the King, her husband, that the people are in danger. From this point, here is an excerpt of how the story progresses:

“Esther was afraid. She knew that even the queen couldn’t see the king whenever she wanted to. It was against the law for anyone to see the king without being invited. If he was unhappy that Esther came, the king could have her put to death.”

Wait a minute. What?

“Esther fixed her hair and put on her best dress. Then she headed off to see her husband, the king. King Xerxes was surprised to see his wife. ‘Esther looks lovely’, the king said to himself. ‘But why would she risk her life by coming to see me without being called?'”

Now I realize that I don’t know Aramaic. And I realize that this is is a story that has been translated countless times throughout the past two or three millenia, and then reworded for a children’s book. But what messages are we sending our little girls?!? That if you speak to your spouse out of turn, even if you fix your hair and makeup and ensure that you look attractive, pretty, and presentable as is a {insert very blatant eyeroll here} woman’s duty, he will have to use every ounce of his self-control not to kill you??

I just don’t think I can keep reading Stumps stories like this in clear conscience. My inner-feminist died a bit inside tonight while I finished the chapter. Tomorrow at bedtime we will read Maya Angelou poems, watch Oprah reruns, and learn about Hillary Clinton instead.

Stumps-isms from just the last 90 minutes of our Tuesday evening

“My best friend in the whole wide world is Miss Rachel’s daughter. What’s her name again?”

If I were Miss Rachel’s daughter and overheard Stumps expressing this thoughtful,  touching, and heartfelt sentiment, personally I would feel warm and fuzzy for weeks.

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“Daddy can I sit in your lap?”

{Husband} Okay but you won’t be able to reach the puzzle that you are working on from here.

“That’s okay. I think I’m just gonna chill out here for awhile.”

Sweetie, my mid-eighties childhood called. It wants its catchphrase back.

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{If you count aunts, great-aunts, and great-great-aunts, my children have about ten that they are acquainted with}

“Mommy is my aunt dead?”

Um, no I don’t think so sweetie. Which aunt do you mean?

“You know the one, mommy. The really old one! I drank water at her house that time!”

{Oh that one.} Sorry sweetie, I am still not sure which aunt you are referring to.

“Gah mommy! Yes THE ONE WHO GAVE ME A DRINK OF WATER THAT TIME! It was a really long time ago!”

{Right. Of course. One of your ten aunts, whom so memorably rehydrated you at her house sometime in the past four years. Thanks for clarifying and helping me narrow it down a bit. For the record, by this point in the conversation Stumps has become so frustrated with me that she is about to lose it.}

Uhhhh…… Aunt R? …maybe…?

“YES Mommy! That one!”

Well okay sweetie. Yes Aunt R is in her early 80s but she is decidedly quite feisty and most certainly not dead.

“No Mommy. I didn’t say Aunt R is dead. Gah! {again with the “gah”. I mean how old is she? fourteen?} I just said that she is really really old and that she gave me water at her house that time and that she is about to die!”

Um. My apologies to my dear aunt R. I think I speak for all of us here at the House of Stumps and Beans in stating that we do in fact feel that you are the very picture of senior health excellence, and though Stumps may fixate on the basic human kindness that you once extended to her by giving her a sip of the old H2O that one time that she was particularly parched and cruelly neglected by her mommy at the tender age of two-and-a-half, I promise that we do sometimes give her glasses of water at home, too.

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For more Stumps-isms on dismissal from employment and of course death…

Lessons in marital courtesy from my preschooler

Earlier today while we were visiting a local park , Husband was messing around with some wifi access. Beans and I walked away to go check out an outdoor dinosaur trail, knowing that Husband would eventually follow. Stumps, who is standing by Husband, yells across the park to me “Mommy! You should not do that! You married my daddy and so you should never walk away from him and leave him behind!!”

It has always been my understanding that daddies are very protective of their little girls, but apparently it is, in fact, the other way around.

Husband is contemplating the inevitability of an eventual alpacalypse.

Husband is contemplating the inevitability of an eventual alpacalypse.

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In other news, Stumps is currently napping and I put in an Elmo movie for Beans while she eats her afternoon snack so that I could have some time to write this. After hearing the “Alphabet Jungle” themesong on repeat for 20 minutes straight and feeling like my head might explode, I checked in with Beanie and her movie. Beans is just sitting there wholeheartedly engrossed in watching the DVD’s menu screen, paying close attention and carefully concentrating as if she is worried that with even a very minor distraction, she might miss some of the key points and nuances of its plot.

I am relieved that she generally seems to be an intelligent kid; otherwise I might be a little worred about the Beans.