Category Archives: my beautiful kids

once bitten, twice shy

i know i bitch a lot about my son, but when the princess was little she could wreak her fair share of havoc. like at daycare when she took her friend’s hair bow into the coat closet and cut it up into little pieces with her safety scissors.

princess was also the object of some unwanted attention in the form of being the designated bitee of one playmate named powell. powell was a bad biter and princess would come home almost weekly with a bite on her arm that had broken the skin. as you can imagine, i was terribly upset and spent quite a bit of time screaming discussing this with the center’s staff and demanding that they do something. then one day i got the following phone call at work.bite.jpg

me: hello?

daycare center: uhh, mrs. X? we’ve had a small situation here at the center.

me: (dear sweet effing lord what now?) yes…

DC: well, we’re not exactly sure how this happened but some of the kids were playing and things got a little rough and somehow… princess bit powell on the penis.

me: *crickets*

DC: hello? mrs. X?

me: what?! how did this happen? was he wearing pants?

DC: yes, it was over the pants.

me: (relieved and stifling giggles.) so is… *everything* ok?

DC: well, his father is coming up to check it out.

me: wait, so you haven’t even LOOKED to see if he’s ok?

DC: well, there are privacy issues here.

me: please help me to understand this. you have been changing this boy’s diaper since he was 3 months old but NOW you can’t check to see if his penis is bleeding?

DC: well, he’s older now.

me: he’s two.

DC: when his dad gets here he will check it out.

me: do i need to come down there?

DC: no. we’ve filled out an incident report. you can sign it when you come after work.

ok. i’m thinking, so my daughter finally retaliates after being mercilessly chomped on for months and the area she picks is his junk. nice job. after ascertaining from the center that powell was fine and the inspection by his father had yielded no evidence of any kind of teeth marks, i tried to piece together what happened.

me: so tell mommy EXACTLY what happened. i’m not angry.

princess: well, me and robert and powell were playing kitty cats…and we were all being kitty cats…

me: yes…

princess: and we were rolling around on the floor…and then someone sat on my head…and so i bit them.

me: thank you baby for telling mommy the truth. run along and play. (bwahahaha!)

THERE. you see, a PERFECTLY reasonable response to having someone plop their ass down on your head.

and we never had a problem with powell ever again.

guitar heroine?

there’s a new video game in town. it seems like everyone i know has gotten guitar hero III – my neighbors, coworkers, colleagues. joan.jpgeveryone is talking about it and the competitiveness is getting bad – and i’m not talking about the kids. the other day a conversation i was having about it with a friend quickly deteriorated into this:

me: oh, i love GH III. i got it for the kids but i’ve been playing it too.

b: me too.

me: level one is WAY too easy. i skipped to level two and i’ve already beat it!

b: oh yeah, well, i skipped level two and i’m on level THREE cos i didn’t want my orange button to feel neglected!

me: no way!

b: way!

seriously, the popularity of this game has gone beyond the usual target audience for video games and even adults are playing it. and i think the explanation is simple. who didn’t want to be in a band when they were younger? even during my dorky marching band days, i would dream of being joan jett or lita ford, rocking on stage, which was a lot sexier than honking on a clarinet.

so, i picked up an old guitar and learned how to play a few chords but never got much further than “cum bah ya” on the six string. but now, with GH, i have the ability to make with the rock on the guitar-shaped controller. every time the kids turn the game on they exclaim, “mommy! you got us some new songs!”

this game is awesome. there’s no PROFANITY and no hidden SEX scenes, and no one is SHOOTING anyone,  and it is just plain FUN. so i was completely floored recently when i heard someone dissing it. at a restaurant the other night, we were seated next to a large table, headed up by some blowhard who felt entitled to loudly express his opinions to everyone at his table and to anyone in earshot. in addition to letting everyone around him know that he was an attorney (which will get you killed in some parts of texas), he loudly proclaimed that GH was a terrible game and that it was giving kids the false impression that they were really learning how to play the guitar. all the members of his party bobbed their heads up and down and murmured their agreements. my kids just looked at me.

lita.jpgdude…it’s a GAME. and you probably bought it, but you suck at it. admit it, you wanted to rock when you were young but you were probably in the latin club instead. you obviously were never in a band (or in BAND for that matter) because nobody in their right mind thinks this is REAL guitar playing. even slash got hooked on this game while touring, because it helped him unwind after an evening of thrashing. was he offended? no. did he get incensed because he thought it was infringing on his turf? no. it was just a game and he liked it, and kept playing and playing until he beat the damn thing (level two only, not expert – i feel in good company) and then he decided to endorse the effer because he thought it was so great. so there. geez. go back to practicing something you might know something about and shut the eff up. if it’s good enough for slash, it’s good enough for me.

so anyway, i am trying to work my way through level three (i hate the orange button) and have even read that there’s a duet challenge dubbed the “joan and lita award” but i haven’t found it so far.

i can’t wait. i’ll have to find another mom in the neighborhood to jam with me.

hello, room service? send up a new child

in my never-ending quest to keep my house clean, i have had to lay down some ground rules for my kids. some rules i’m flexible with, others are iron-clad.

and the most iron-clad rule ever is – no one is allowed to eat food in any room except the kitchen.

now just because i have this rule does not mean that my kids ever listen to me. which would explain why i ultimately had to rip  out the carpet in MY bedroom and put down a hardwood floor.

apparently my children think that MY bedroom is just an extension of the breakfast area, and it took only a few years in this house before they managed to completely destroy a brand new berber.


so, we recently went on a very lengthy vacation, driving from houston to florida. if you have ever done this, you know what a completely unfun experience this can be without proper preparation. anyway, after 2 long days in the car, we checked into our hotel and immediately went swimming. a few hours later my kids were starving and begging to eat.

“mommy, we’re SOOOO hungry! can we please go out to eat?” they pleaded.

“mommy’s too pooped. i have a better idea. let’s order room service,” i offered.

my little princess, the old traveling pro, said nothing. a little frown crossed my son’s face.

“what’s that, mommy?” he asked.

“it’s where you order food on the phone and they bring it to your room,” said princess matter-of-factly.

it was very quiet for about 5 seconds as my son’s expression changed from one of confusion to sublime realization.

“I WANT ROOM SERVICE!” he screamed and took off running toward our bungalow by himself.

all my years of threatening my kids not to take food out of the kitchen have been in vain. for the remaining days of our vacation my son insisted he was hungry every night, regardless of whether we had eaten dinner, and promptly called down himself for a cheeseburger, fries and chocolate milk, which he proceeded to eat in bed off the tray.

ok, so i did bend the rules a little, but it wasn’t MY bedroom, and we were on vacation. plus, in terms of what you can find on hotel bedspreads, i can assure you, a little mayonnaise never hurt anyone. 

help me mommy-wan kenobi, you’re my only hope

i have had to institute a new rule at the household this week. and this new rule is: peeing without opening your eyes is not allowed.

why do we need this rule? i’m not entirely sure, as i was not actually there to witness what directly preceded the incident. however, the only rational explanation i can come up with for my son to have completely pissed the floor AND the wall while directly standing in front of the toilet was that he was trying to use the force.pee.jpg

my interrogation yielded few clues:

me: now what….exactly… were you doing?
him: uhhhh, i don’t know.
me: did you slip and fall or something?
him: uhhhh, no.
me: were you holding on to it?!
him: uhhhh, yes.
me: have you been drinking?
him:  uhhh…..wha?

this is a 7-year-old boy who has been potty trained since he was 2. who knew this rule was necessary? certainly not me. as a girl, the rules of peeing are pretty much unwritten, and provided your ass has already made (and keeps) contact with the toilet seat, any manner of free-styling (hands-free, eyes closed, whatever) is completely acceptable.

act two:

so about 30 minutes later i hear a blood-curdling scream coming from my bedroom. i raced into the room only to come face to face with nothing. slowly i scanned the room…and my gaze stopped at the top of the 6-foot-tall headboard, where a little face and ten tiny fingers clung between the massive wooden structure and the wall. “help mommy!” the little face pleaded.

after three strong tugs i was able to pull him free and after he was safe, he cried, “i don’t want to die mommy!”

anyway, not to belabor the obvious because i’m sure you know where this is going, but we have had to instigate rule #2: no one is allowed to run across the headboard of mommy’s bed or else they might fall in the crack and die.

star wars analogies aside, there were a few lessons learned last night. first, imaginative play is all well and good until you have to clean up your own errant pee. and second, climbing the headboard of mommy’s bed can be every bit as dangerous as navigating the central core of the death star to shut down the tractor beam, especially for the tiniest jedi knight.

thanks for nothing

every year thanksgiving brings with it the annual pilgrimage to visit the in-laws. which is both good and bad.

what’s really good is that my in-laws live about 3 hours away and they are getting old and they do not like to drive, so they do not drop in unexpectedly…ever. the bad news is that my mother-in-law is the quintessential snobby jewish new yorker with an unparalleled love for Barney’s, the legendary madison avenue mecca of luxury fashion. she can drink screwdrivers all day long without ever getting a buzz, and has mastered the art of the guilt trip. here’s a typical conversation:

me: so what are you guys planning for thanksgiving?
MIL: well, i don’t know. myron’s (yes, it’s really myron) eyesight is getting really bad and his circulation’s not so good so we will probably just stay home this year.
me: well, what if we drove up to see you?
MIL: oh dear, that’s really sweet. but you don’t have to.
me: well, we’d like to see you and the kids have been looking forward to it.
MIL: oh well, dear, if you insist. no pressure.

a red flag should have gone up when i first got engaged. the first words out of this woman’s mouth were, “so, when are you going to have grandchildren for us? no pressure.” apparently there was some pressure because i popped out the princess a mere 15 months after tying the knot, and since i’m not jewish by birth, i opted for a crash course in conversion, including the ritual mikvah (totally naked at about 8 months along) complete with attending rabbi and temple elder (trust me, it’s completely as bad as it sounds), just squeaking in under the wire so princess could avoid this whole nasty matrilineal descent issue.

i have been doing things without any pressure for my in-laws almost since day one.  it’s a game we play. i ask. they decline. i beg. they *finally* cave. it makes her happy. they love me. my husband owes me big time.

anyway, the saving grace is that my sister, dr. laura, lives about 20 minutes from my in-laws. god bless her. she actually sees them more than i do. and this year dr. laura volunteered to have turkey day at her house. our whole family plus the inlaws.

so we wake up early thanksgiving day and make the drive. dr. laura had most of the dinner catered, because well, she’s a doctor and she can afford to do that. everyone was supposed to make something homemade to bring. i made creamed spinach, which i lovingly scraped from the original HEB plastic container into a pyrex baking dish and presented as my very own.  

anyway, so the dinner was awesome. dr. laura outdid herself. 

all: who made the sweet potatoes?
dr. laura: i did.
all: who made the green bean casserole?
dr. laura: i did.
all: who made the stuffing?
dr. laura: i did.
all: who made the creamed spinach?
dr. laura: i did.

hell, i didn’t care. she can have the credit for that one too. i was just glad that she had the good sense to make sure there was a plenty o’ wine. of which i was drinking copious amounts to numb myself. as i laid on the couch with a nice buzz, food coma settling in,  i started wondering if there was really anything i was truly thankful for. and after a little thought, i decided there was.

  • i’m thankful that it’s no longer 100 degrees everyday.  now it’s only about 80 degrees.
  • i’m thankful that USA network will start showing “elf” in heavy rotation.
  • i’m thankful that me, sessie, and dr. laura have gotten over our petty childhood disagreements and can enjoy each other’s company as adults.
  • i’m thankful that HEB makes creamed spinach and that everyone actually said it was the best side dish there. (haha!)
  • i am thankful for great friends who can always make me laugh.
  • i’m thankful for my family, my health, my beautiful children.
  • i’m thankful we decided to stay in a hotel and that in a few hours we could gracefully make our exit (sometimes my husband is a lot smarter than he looks – another thing to be thankful for).

but mostly, i’m really glad that thanksgiving only comes once a year and that it’s over.

happy thanksgiving to everyone!!!

jamaican me crazy

about once a year, i suffer from a severe case of PMS, which in my world stands for “pack my shit.”

why would i be pissed off enough to run away from home?

typically this happens because i (a full-time, working mother with a daily commute of two hours – on a good day) live in a stupid-big, 4,600 square foot mcmansion with two children and a husband who think that the house fairy is responsible for keeping the place clean.

my family drops food, toys, school books, clothing, dirty underpants and assorted other crappola wherever they happen to be standing, and voila! everything is mysteriously returned to it’s original place in better-than-original condition.

i realize this is my own fault. i have fostered a make-believe environment in which things magically clean themselves, fold themselves and put themselves away. so about once a year, i get to the point where i am ready to divorce my family.

but this week, something wonderful happened. *cue hallelujah chorus* i am in love.

her name is janet and she is my new jamaician housekeeper. she came this week and cleaned from 7:30am until 7pm. embarrassingly enough, that should tell you the state of my house because she didn’t even finish. but i told her to go home because, hell, i was pooped from just watching her do all that work. so i gave her an extra $20 plus a bottle of wine.

all i can say is, i hope she wasn’t so disgusted that she doesn’t come back. i need her…really bad. she is my crack and i’m completely addicted.

janet came highly recommended but not cheap. but i say, you get what you pay for. and i just paid for another year of sanity.

i think i’m going to eat out of this thing.

sorry, wrong number

i work with idiots.

now, i know what you are thinking. most of us suspect that we are working with idiots but usually this is just a suspicion based on limited interaction with little in the way of any substantial proof. 

so it’s pretty awesome when some good solid evidence just falls into your lap. the other day i got this email:

From: Security-Houston-Reception
Subject: 911 Calls

The police department are getting numerous 911 calls from XXX, please be careful when dialing international calls. If you need assistance please contact me if you need help completing a call. Instead of hanging up on the 911 dispatcher, please be courteous and let him or her know you made a mistake otherwise they will continue to respond to the 911 calls.


Security Receptionist, XXX Corporation

ok, so first – apparently i’m working with software engineers who can write code in their sleep, but they can’t figure out how to use a freaking telephone.

and second – what kind of person calls 911 and then hangs up when someone answers, “911, can i help you?”

i will tell you what kind of person calls 911 and then hangs up. a four year old, that’s who. how do i know this? i know this because my neighbor’s four year old daughter called 911. not once, but twice. and then just breathed heavily into the phone and listened to the people on the other end try to figure out what was wrong. then she hung up. and about 10 minutes later the fire trucks arrived. the general problem here is that they did not really need any fire trucks to come out and the parents had to explain to the nice firefighters that it was all just a misunderstanding.

my children however, have been completely educated in the finer points of when and how to call 911. like when my son knocked his cars movie lamp off his nightstand and the shade fell off, and the bare bulb burned all day long, through the carpet and the padding and was in the process of charring the wood sub-flooring when we finally discovered it due to the smell of burning plastic emanating from his bedroom.

my children were running through the house yelling, “dial 911!!! dial 911, mommy!” and then they proceeded to scream directions to our house in the background while i was talking on the phone because they just wanted to help. i finally had to tell them to shut up because they were confusing the dispatcher.

but THAT, people, is how to teach your kids to call 911.

apparently no one ever taught these idiots.