Tuesday, August 27, 2013

He Eats What We Eat

He eats what we eat is yet another one of those statements that moms make in order to make other moms feel inadequate. I'll tell you what my son eats: peanut butter sandwiches. He is very close to existing solely on peanut butter sandwiches. Not even peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, just peanut butter. He’s apparently had some sort of falling out with the jelly, which I might pursue further if it was say, broccoli. But it’s not, it’s jelly. It's okay if they stay mad at each other. So he’s been having peanut butter sandwiches for breakfast and dinner quite a few times per week. He gets on these kicks. The same thing goes for t.v. shows. Like last week he watched probably two hundred consecutive episodes of Peep and the Big Wide World, but if I even suggest it to him this week it's like I asked if he wants to watch the extended version of Lincoln. 

He eats what we eat. Right. I usually at least attempt to get him to eat what we're eating, but you tell me how you think this will go:

Me: Dinner’s ready!
Child: What are we having?
Me: Sausage and Escarole soup!
Child: What?
Me: Sausage soup.
Child: I don't like soup.
Me: You like sausages.
Child: I want a peanut butter sandwich.
Me: You should try some soup.
Child: I can walk like a crab!

Maybe it’s my own fault for serving something that contains leafy greens. Or beans. Or “on-yongs” (onions). Or, God forbid, carrots that aren't "school carrots" (Really, what is that preschool lunch lady doing with the carrots? Apparently she's some kind of culinary genius). So unless I make something standard like spaghetti or chicken, I'll let him have a peanut butter sandwich. It just makes life easier. He eats what we eat. Are you guys eating Toaster Cakes with grapes every night? If not, how did you accomplish such a feat? When he was a baby did you throw a bunch of baked stuffed shrimp into the food processor? Eat at the all-you-can-eat Indian buffet before breastfeeding? Coat his binkie with guacamole? I mean, my kid won’t even try a taco containing nothing but meat and cheese. And he's suddenly got this grudge against dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets.

Child: Is that a T-Rex?
Me: No!  It's an oval!  See?  (bites the head off)
Child: I don't like ovals.
Me: You're in luck, this oval has legs and a tail!
Child:  I want a peanut butter sandwich.

I don't know. If your kid seriously eats what you eat, and eats more than one bite of it per evening, good for you. I don't know how you did it.  Maybe you arrange everything on his plate to look like a scene from Jake and the Neverland Pirates.  I don't have the time, the talent, or the mini toothpick swords for that kind of thing.

Or, and this is my real theory, you just never allowed your kid to taste a peanut butter sandwich.

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Time Goes By So Fast

“The times goes by so fast” is what they say about raising children.

Yes, the time certainly does go by fast when you have exactly fifty minutes to get your three and a half year old ready for school in the morning. I won’t even get into the Carol Bradys who insist that we “enjoy every moment” of it. Obviously those people have never had to read a thirty-two page book about Dora the Explorer rescuing King Unicornio.  But I digress.

The morning typically starts out with me entering his bedroom.

“Good morning, buddy! Time to wake up!” I chirp, turning on the lamp.

“No! Too sunny!” barks the child. I turn off the lamp.

“Ahh! Scary eyes!” The scary as hell illuminated eyeballs of our cat, who is standing out in the hallway, are glaring at us. The cat is actually trapped behind the safety gate at the top of the stairs (too fat to fit through) and starts tearing the carpet to shreds.

“It’s ok, it’s just Patrick,” I say, taking a brief intermission to chase the little d-bag down the stairs.

“School today! School today!” I say in my beautiful sing-song voice, closing the door behind me. If anybody ever came into my bedroom, early in the morning, singing "Work today! Work today!" I would probably rip their arms out.

“Too tired!” Child sits up, rubs eyes, and flops forward onto face.

“Ok, you can lay there while I pick out your clothes.” I take one step in the direction of the closet.

“No! I WANNA PICK OUT MY CLOTHES!” With zero transition between the two, the child shoots from a laying down on the face position straight into a standing up position. He starts to climb out of the bed, but is distracted by the fact that the raised piece of wood that keeps him from falling out of bed also makes for a great motorcycle.

“Vroom! Vroom!” and other related noises ensue.

“Ok, buddy. Time to pick out your clothes!” Request is ignored.

“Vroom! Vroom!”

I physically remove him from the motorcycle and place him on the floor.

"It's time to get dressed now,” I say, firmly. Definitely firmly. It is at this point, when the child is completely under my supreme authority, that his eyes roll back in his head, his legs give out, and he starts to perform the African tribal dance number from Coming to America.

“Stand up please.”

She’s your Queen –to be!

“Please help Mummy.”

A Queen who’ll do whatever his highness desires…..

"Ok, I'm going to come back when you're ready," I say, leaving the room and shutting the door. Two seconds later a naked from the waist down child emerges in a state of utter and complete panic.


Much to the delight of our other cat, who is obsessed with drinking out of the toilet, the child proceeds to pee, not flush, and leave the toilet lid up. I flush, close the lid, eject cat. We march – or log roll – back to the bedroom where we then get down to the business of dressing.

One of my son’s favorite past times is to inch backwards after each item of clothing is fitted onto his frame. Since I am on my knees during the whole getting dressed process, by the time we get to the socks I am practically face down on the carpet. Unfortunately I am not able to shoot back into a stand-up position with the same ease as the child.

“Time to go down for breakfast!” I say, snapping the extremities back into place and brushing cat hair, fuzz balls, and wood chips off of my black dress pants. Down the stairs we go, stopping to ask every single day why the first spindle on the railing spins while the rest of them don’t spin. “Because it’s broken,” I answer, for the thirty billionth time. “Please don’t spin it or it will break even more.” Child spins the spindle.

I won't bore you with a play by play of the rest of the morning.  It simply consists of assembling breakfast and getting him to eat breakfast while zoned out in front of Peep and the Big Wide World.  It's on a good day that he wants to watch Peep and the Big Wide World.  On a bad day we have an argument over him wanting to watch something along the lines of Spiderman versus Nazi Germany.  I mean, come on Netflix, can't you put in some filters?

Once eating is accomplished we then get together his much needed school supplies. School supplies at the age of three and half include an assortment of stuffed animals and whatever small toy he is able to fit into his pocket. Almost all of the stuffed animals that he brings to school were won from a claw machine, and almost all of the toys that he brings are from a gumball machine. His teachers must think that we’re made out of quarters. The child then fills us in on which of the basement steps is the dirtiest, and we all pile into our respective cars and head off into the big wide world.

That’s basically it. Well, until we get home. Then it’s pretty much the same routine except in reverse order. Dinner, bath, pajamas, cats drinking out of the toilet, “I can’t sleep because I’ll have a bad dream about the cat’s scary ass illuminated eyeballs,” etc.

So yes, “The time goes by fast.”  So fast, that by the end of it, I’ve only got like thirty minutes left to watch t.v.