On the subject of video games and prison lingo.

werewolfLast week Dan downloaded a new game to the ipad for Bryce.  The graphics of the game are cartoons, but the game is still a bit scary because all the enemies are monsters, like vampire bats and werewolves.

This was the conversation I had with Dan about the game last week.  Keep in mind that Bryce is only four years old, but because he has an older sister who loves video games, he’s more adept than most four year olds at playing them.

Dan:  I got this new game for Bryce.  At first you only had to shoot enemies with a bow and arrow, which didn’t strike me as being overly violent.  But now you have to defeat your enemies with a dagger, and that just seems too violent.

Me:  You think?  He’s four, and he has to defeat enemies with a dagger?  Is that the same game he asked me for help with the other day?  He told me he was in a “creepy situation” with a game and needed help getting out of the level.  I saw the vampire bats and told him to shut it off.”

(I want Dan and Bryce to have their own activities, you know, father/son stuff, so I don’t want to interfere.  Although I am a bit concerned, I’m trying to trust Dan’s judgment).

Dan:  Yeah, I’m not sure we’ll be keeping this game.

Two days later….

Dan:  Bryce, tell mommy what you did to the werewolf.

Bryce:  I shanked him with a shiv.

Me:  (epic sigh)

Wanda Says…On my son’s opinion of Corn Syrup.

boy with juiceMy kids love juice.

I don’t really serve them much juice because I know it’s the equivalent of giving them sugar water.  Now that they are a little older I buy reduced-sugar apple juice, or all natural juice boxes for their lunches.

Last week, in an attempt to switch things up a bit, my husband picked up some Sunny Delight at the store.  The kids love orange juice and he thought they would like it.

Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

As I was standing in the kitchen looking at the list of ingredients on the juice bottle, this is the conversation that went down as my son was drinking his orange juice….

Me:  Dan, this juice has corn syrup in it.  So we can finish the bottle, but let’s not buy this again.

Bryce:  This juice is delicious!  What’s corn syrup?

Me:  The syrup of corn.

Bryce:  I love the syrup of corn!

Me:  I’m just kidding Bryce.  It’s a sweetener made from corn and it’s really bad for you.

Bryce:  It’s not bad for me!  It’s so good for me!  I love this!  I love this corn syrup juice!

Me:  Well, enjoy it while it lasts because we’re not buying it again.

Bryce:  We are going to buy it again!  Aren’t we, daddy?  Right, daddy?  Right, daddy?  Say yes.  Say yes.  Say yes.

orange surpriseBased on Bryce’s behavior, I would say Sunny Delight is crack for kids.

Now he refers to Sunny Delight as corn syrup juice and everyday he asks for some.  Everyday he says, “Can I have corn syrup juice?  Corn syrup is so good for my body and you need to get me some more.  It’s good.  It’s soooooo good.  I love corn!  I will eat if for dinner if you put some syrup on it.”

Yeah, we are never buying this again.  Sorry, Sunny D.

 

Wanda Says…I’ve touched poop with my bare hands.

smelly diaperI’ve done a lot of disgusting, undesirable things since becoming a mom.

For example, at various times and for various reasons I’ve caught both of my kid’s pee, poop, and vomit with my bare hands.  This was usually in an attempt to redirect the flow or minimize the splash zone.

I’ve sniffed butts, armpits, underwear, diapers, and feet to determine the source of offensive odors.  You know you’re a parent when you have no qualms, whatsoever, about picking up your small child and smelling their ass in public to determine if he or she has a poopy diaper.

When Bryn was three years old, she crawled into bed with me, woke me up and told me she had an upset stomach.  I laid her down with me and began to rub her tummy while questioning her about her symptoms.  Before I knew what was coming, she sat up and threw up all over both of us in the middle of my bed.  It was everywhere.  She was hysterical and we were both covered in vomit.

What?  It's just a little pee!

What? It’s just a little pee!

When my son was an infant he shot a stream of his pee into my open mouth when I was changing his diaper.  With baby boys you can never let your guard down while changing diapers. You have to be focused and quick to avoid disaster.  He was laying on his back on the changing table and I was talking to my husband.  His timing was perfect.  I was distracted while doing two things at once, and his pee shot straight up into my face as I turned my head and opened my mouth to talk.  Believe me when I say that was a startling, gag-worthy experience, and one I hope never to repeat, ever.

Another time while at Disneyland with the kids, I was holding Bryce on my hip while waiting in line to meet Mickey Mouse.  He was two and not yet potty trained.  He peed and pooped in his pull-up at the same time, and the two substances mixed to form a watery concoction that leaked all over my clothes from my waist down to my thighs.  I had extra clothes for him and was able to buy a new shirt for myself at the gift shop, but was at a loss to replace my jeans.  I smelled like I had the Hershey squirts for the rest of the day, and I wasn’t the only one who noticed.

When my daughter was five we were in the bathroom at Midway Airport in Chicago, Illinois.  Midway is a pretty nice airport, and their bathrooms are actually nicer than most, but when you have hundreds of people moving through them everyday they just can’t be that clean.  Well, after using the facilities, my daughter accidentally dropped orange cather favorite stuffed animal, a little orange cat named Spooky, into the airport bathroom toilet.  We both froze. And then, without thinking,  I did what any self-respecting, child loving woman with a Mom Card would do…I reached my hand into that Godforsaken pee-germ bowl of bacteria and I saved Spooky.  I rinsed him in the sink of the bathroom, wrapped him in a roll of paper towels, and then asked the cleaning woman in the restroom to pour straight bleach on my hands.  When we arrived at our hotel, I soaked Spooky in hot water and shampoo (it was the only soap I had).  Bryn was sad that I wouldn’t allow her to snuggle Spooky after his traumatic nearly-flushed down the toilet ordeal, but she understood that he needed to be thoroughly decontaminated first.  After arriving home at the end of our vacation, I put Spooky through a hot water cycle in the washing machine and high heat dryer before he found his way back into Bryn’s arms.

What I find noteworthy about these foul experiences with my children is how becoming a parent changes your reaction to them. Instead of becoming physically ill myself after being thrown up on, or grossed out by the ordeal, my first thought is of my child’s comfort, fear and how to make it better for them.  Instinctually, my own needs become secondary to theirs.  I will walk around Disneyland with my son’s poop on my jeans, and not make a federal case of it so he doesn’t feel shame.  I will bathe and wash my germy toiletdaughter’s hair before I wash her vomit out of my own hair so she will know her health and comfort are more important to me than a little (a lot) of throw up.  I will stick my hand in a disgusting airport bathroom toilet to save a beloved stuffed animal before I will allow my daughter to suffer that loss.

I have earned my Mom Card, and God only knows what their pre-teen and teen years will require of me.

Now I would love to know…What is the most disgusting thing you’ve ever done for your kids?  🙂

 

Wanda Says…On my daughter’s opinion of wine and other nefarious substances.

Red RibbonThis week is Red Ribbon Week at my daughter’s elementary school.  You know, the whole ‘Just Say No to Drugs’ campaign. Yesterday was ‘Put Drugs To Sleep Pajama Day.’  Bryn wore her favorite pajamas to school and they had an assembly in the cafeteria.  Great.  No big deal.

I’m all for educating kids about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, until you (insert name of elementary school here) try and fuck with my wine.

My husband and I are causal drinkers.  We enjoy a glass of wine or beer in the evening.  We especially love wine.  It’s relaxing, it tastes good, and one glass at the end of a rough day is just enough to smooth out the edges of my stay-home-mommy-madness.

Bryn came home from school yesterday and this was the conversation she initiated with me:

Bryn:  Mom, we learned about drugs at school again this year, and guess what my teacher said.  Did you know that alcohol is the same as drugs?  Beer and wine is alcohol, and that’s the same as drugs.  My teacher said so.  So when you and daddy drink wine, you’re eating drugs.  When daddy drinks his Blue Moon Beer, he is eating drugs!  (She looks scandalized because now she thinks we’re drug addicts).

Me:  No, that’s not true.

Bryn:  Yes it is.  My teacher said so.

Me:  Bryn, alcohol is similar to drugs because if you consume too much of it, it can be harmful.  It can impair your senses and make you sick.  But if an adult drinks one or two glasses of beer or wine, it’s not the same as taking drugs.  Alcohol is not illegal like the drugs you’ve learned about.  It’s not the same.  It’s important for kids to learn about the dangers of drug use when you’re young so that when you are older you can make good choices and recognize unhealthy behavior, like taking drugs or drinking to much alcohol and acting irresponsibly.  Of course kids shouldn’t drink alcohol any more than they should do drugs, but an adult of legal age having a glass of wine is not the same as taking illegal drugs.

Bryn:  Yes it is.  My teacher said so.

Me:  Bryn, it isn’t the same.

Bryn:  Yes it is.

(At this point I’m trying not to raise my voice.)

Bryn:  I’m telling daddy that he eats drugs when he drinks his wine.

Me:  You go ahead and tell daddy that, and let me know how that works out for you.

After dinner, my husband poured himself a glass of wine.  I watched as Bryn eyed the wine with a practiced stink eye.  And then she said, “Daddy, guess what I learned at school today.”

I think I speak for both my husband and I, as well as many other parents of school age children when I say this…

Dear (Insert name of elementary school here), thank you for teaching my child that her parents, and most of her friends parents, are potential drug addicts.  Thank you for trying to deprive parents of the liquid life-support that we need in order for us to get through a school year.

How am I, and all the other parents, supposed to endure the endless hours of homework, common core bullshit, and instrument practice you send home each day?

screaming womanDo you have any idea how hard it is to sit for 15 minutes every night and listen to my child attempt to play the flute for the fifth grade band?  That shit is excruciating, and I can listen and be supportive and give her a thumbs up for her attempts to blow air into that God forsaken metal tube, and tolerate the horrific noise that sounds like dying birds only because of my dear friend, Chardonnay.

Chardonnay understands that I need to stay calm and composed when I am unable to help my daughter with her fifth grade math.  Pinot Grigio understands when my daughter has three to four hours of homework every night.  Sauvignon Blanc is prepared to help me comfort and calm my child when she is overwhelmed and exhausted over the ridiculous responsibilities and pressures put on elementary school kids.

Additionally, let’s consider the extensive volunteer responsibilities you demand of parents.  For example, the only way I am even willing to volunteer at the school Halloween carnival in the food booth line, standing on my feet for two hours asking a thousand people if they want cheese on their hamburger, is because I know I get to go home and enjoy a glass of wine after my shift!  You cannot ruin wine for me, so stop trying.

wineSo, (insert name of elementary school here), take a moment to consider the impossible position you just put two hundred parents in tonight, trying to reassure their kids that we don’t do drugs.  Better yet, why don’t you just calm down, and have a glass of wine.  🙂

 

Wanda Says…True Confessions: My parental failure as the Tooth Fairy

tooth fairyMy Tooth Fairy track record was spotless…until today.

Last Friday night our family attended the annual Halloween Carnival at Bryn’s school.  At some point during the carnival, Bryn was eating a candy bar and accidentally ate a loose tooth.  She told me later she felt something hard while she was chewing but thought it was a peanut in the candy bar so she just swallowed it.  She showed me the gap in her teeth when we got home, and she expressed her concern that the Tooth Fairy wouldn’t come because she didn’t have a tooth to leave under her pillow.  I assured her it wouldn’t matter and the Tooth Fairly would come.  Keep in mind, Bryn is ten years old now, so that should tell you how good I am at playing the Tooth Fairy.

But I forgot.  I totally forgot.  Last night, I went into Bryn’s room to say goodnight and to collect my nightly snuggles.  This is what I found on her bedside table…

wpid-2014-10-28-08.39.48.jpg.jpeg

It was so cute and totally something Bryn would do.  And of course I felt horrible that I had forgotten.   So I said, “Oh, that’s really sweet Bryn.  I’m sure the Tooth Fairy will come tonight.”  And then Bryn says, “Well, that note has been sitting there for three days and she hasn’t come, so I doubt it.”

Do you hear that?  It’s the sound of my heart breaking.  It’s the sound of my failure as a mother.  My daughter left a note for the Tooth Fairy in plain sight on her bedside table, and not only did I forget that she lost a tooth, but I totally failed to recognize it or pay attention.  I am an asshole.  It doesn’t take a lot to remember to give your kid a dollar for a lost tooth.  It’s not hard.  And I blew it.  Later, I went to bed vowing to rectify this situation.

I woke up this morning and dressed.  I walked down the hall to wake Bryn up for school and saw that damn note sitting on her bedside table.  I forgot again!  What the fuck is wrong with me?!  So I crept back to my room, gathered enough change to equal a dollar, and snuck into her room.  I put the change on her table and then collected the note and put it in my pocket.

I woke her up and started to get her clothes together for her.  I casually mentioned that the Tooth Fairy finally came.  Bryn looks at the money, then looks at me with the most perceptive, adult expression I’ve ever seen her wear.  She then says, “I find it interesting that the Tooth Fairy finally came after I showed you the note last night.  You didn’t have anything to do with this, did you?”  And she smiles.  It was a knowing smile.  It was a ‘you’re-busted-and-you-can’t-deceive-me-any-longer’ smile.

I did the only thing I could at that point.  I confessed.  She’s ten, and I was lucky I got away with the charade as long as I did.   I looked at her and said, “You’re right.  I am the Tooth Fairy.  I am so sorry I forgot about your tooth, but you can’t tell your brother!”

LeprachaunShe took it well, which was a relief.  When she was in third grade I had to tell her that Leprechauns weren’t real and she lost her shit.  She was so pissed at me.  But her class was building Leprechaun traps for St. Patrick’s Day and she kept going on and on about how she was so sure the trap she designed would work.  So her response this morning was a welcome relief.  She smiled, hugged me and acted like it was no big deal.  She got her money, which at this point is probably more important to her than believing in the Tooth Fairy.

Despite her forgiveness and understanding, I still feel like a bad mom.  There are only so many things we can do for our kids to instill a sense of magic and wonder in the world.  And I suppose the fact that she is old enough to know the truth signifies the end of some of that magic.  And that makes me sad.  😦

Wanda Says…Happy Birthday, Bryce!

birthday boyMy son, Bryce, is turning four tomorrow.  My baby boy is four!  I can hardly believe it. We’re celebrating by taking him to Dave & Buster’s for dinner and games.  He wanted to go to Chuck-E- Cheese, but I was able to talk my way out of that one. (Fist pumps the air)!  My husband and I tolerate Chuck-E-Cheese about as well as most people tolerate having a root canal, without Novocain.

Bryce is funny, smart, witty and adorable.  He is charming, sensitive and has the sweetest personality.  He is also a typical 3-4 year old boy, and often channels both my husband and I by adopting our less than favorable traits.  (If one of us accidentally uses a curse word in front of him, he will unerringly pick up that word and start chanting it).  He adores his big sister and goes out of his way to annoy her in every way possible. (Like right now, he snatched his sister’s new headband, put it on his head, and is taunting her by running through the house and refusing to give it back). He gives all of us his love equally and our family wouldn’t be complete without him.  I’m incredibly honored that God chose me to be his mother and that I get to spend my life with him.

I post a lot about my family on Facebook, and my feed is usually filled with funny comments or snippets of conversations that take place around my house.  So in celebration of Bryce’s fourth birthday, I decided to post some of my favorite ‘Bryce moments’ from this past year.

July 25, 2014—A conversation with my son at 4:30am this morning:

Bryce: Mommy, wake up. I need you to help me put my socks back on.

Me: Why?

Bryce: They came off while I was sleeping. (He climbs into my bed)

Me: Just sleep with them off.

Bryce: Ok. Hey….wait a minute! When you put me to bed, I told you I wanted you to sleep on my bedroom floor all night. You left! I can’t believe you left! I trusted you!

Me: Just sleep in my bed with me then.

Bryce: It’s not the same!

(Yeah, cause as the mom, it’s better to sleep on a hard wood floor all night than in my own bed. Whatever).

July 11, 2014—Today Bryce filled the toilet with toilet paper, wrote on the walls with red marker, had multiple breakdowns over various foods I didn’t have for snacks, and then later told me he invented fun. I think I need a time out before I start losing my shit.

June 29, 2014—A conversation Bryce (age 3) had with Siri on the computer this morning:

Bryce: Bi-doo, Bi-doo, Bi-doo

Siri: I’m sorry, I did not understand that

Bryce: What did the Fox say?

Siri: That was not very nice.

Bryce: I said, what did the fox say? (with a snarky tone of voice)

Siri: You will never know. The secret of the fox is an ancient mystery.

May 3, 2014—A conversation with my 3 year old son at dinner:

Bryce: I’m done eating. I need to take a break from dinner.

Me: You can’t leave the table until you’ve eaten a few bites of your meat.

Bryce: I have to eat the meat?

Me: Yes

Bryce: (sighs) You’re killing me Smalls!

March 26, 2014—It’s official. I will not be winning any ‘Mother of the Year’ Awards. When your 3 year old drops an F-Bomb, that’s pretty much an automatic disqualification. I will try and find a way to carry on. Good luck to the rest of you who are still in the running!

(What I didn’t say in this initial FB post was the context of how Bryce used an F-Bomb. His exact quote was, “Mommy, do you want to play some fucking Jenga?” So, yeah, no mother of the year awards for me).

March 22, 2014—A conversation with my 3 year old son tonight:

Bryce: Mommy, what is this? (He is pinching something small in his fingers and I can’t tell what it is)

Me: I don’t know, put it in my hand so I can look at it.

Me: It looks like part of a booger. Did this come out of your nose?

Bryce: Yes…and it felt crusty.

Then he walks away, like it’s no big deal he just put a booger in my hand. No one taught him this. Boys are gross.

January 18, 2014—We took the kids to see the Endeavour space shuttle today and it was a wonderful experience. The exhibit is really well done and after that you move into the hanger where the shuttle is on display. When you walk in, you experience a true ‘moment’ in time. You stop in your tracks, your skin gets goose bumps, there is beautiful music playing in the background, and you realize you’re looking at something amazing and historic, and you’re trying to soak it all in. This moment is special. And then your 3 year old decides he’s had enough of crowds and he doesn’t give a shit about this special moment and has a screaming break-down in the awe-inspiring quiet of the hanger’s entry way. This is my open apology to anyone who had their moment ruined by my son’s crying fit. Sorry about that.

December 9, 2013—A conversation my husband had with Bryce:

Bryce:  Daddy, will you play blocks with me?

Daddy:  I wish I could buddy, but I’ve got to work.  You will get to enjoy my glorious presence, though.

Bryce:  Ok, where did you hide the glorious presents?

September 28, 2013—A conversation between Bryce and his older sister’s friend, Erin:

Bryce to Erin:  Erin!  Erin!  Erin!  Erin!

Erin:  Yes, Bryce?

Bryce:  (awkward pause) What’s up? (said like a teenage boy trying to flirt with a cute girl)

September 23, 2013—–Bryce now refers to his 7pm cut-off for liquids before bed as “last call.”

Yeah, that’s my wild man, and I couldn’t love him more.