Fake Burps and Other Things I Might Be Doing Wrong

Little Liebchen:

My mother is sharing our personal conversations. Humph.

My mother is sharing our personal conversations. Humph.

{Burp} I burped.

I burped at the tea party.

(singsong voice) No burping at the tea party (ad infinitum).

This is now a favorite game of both children. And their parents.

Little Liebchen: What’s that?

Hipster Hausfrau, Pulling a boogie off Little Liebchen’s nose: A boogie. You have a boogie.

Little Liebchen: When can I eat that?

Hipster Hausfrau: Never. You don’t do that. At least not when people can see.

Hipster Hausfrau: You can’t pee standing up. I’m sorry. You need to sit down to pee.

Little Liebchen: I pee standing up like [Das Big Boy].

Hipster Hausfrau: No, you can’t. It will get on the floor. You need to sit.

Little Liebchen: I pee like Daddy and Das Big Boy.

Hipster Hausfrau: You can’t. You don’t have a penis. Vaginas* aren’t as good for aiming.

Little Liebchen: I have a penis.

Hipster Hausfrau: No, you don’t. [In an effort to stave off any nascent penis envy, because penis envy is obviously bullshit]: You have a vagina like I do. Vaginas are awesome!! Yeah, vaginas! [High five].

*I know pee doesn’t come from vaginas, and I know I should teach her that her external genitalia is called a vulva, but since no one else does, it’s difficult.

And a cute video of Das Big Boy, so he gets some air time, too:

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A Little Mess

Herr Husband is finally home and I want to laze about on my couch and eat Indian food. I’m also in the midst of a battle over the hall light with Das Big Boy. I told him if he got out of bed again, it was going off for the night. He did. And it did. And now we’re enjoying a symphony of whining. So I don’t really want to blog.

But I will share the before and after photos of my car.

Before. What shall be referred to as the chimpanzee era.

Before. What shall be referred to as the chimpanzee era.

The chimps moved out, but they left a mess (this is the cleaning I accomplished myself).

The chimps moved out, but they left a mess (this is the cleaning I accomplished myself).

After the pros cleaned it out.

After the pros cleaned it out.

The pros were Gray Brothers Auto Detailing in Newton. For $23, they vacuumed the car, cleaned the interior surfaces, and washed the interior windows. Money well spent! Preschool drop-off shame be gone!

Oh, except for the part where I dropped and broke a glass bottle of milk right outside the preschool playground while I was supposed to be watching a friend’s son (in addition to my own kids) before school. Add that to the fact that Little Liebchen was sporting a forehead band-aid (Dowl ban-ay (aka, Doll band aid, by which she means Frozen) from an earlier tumble on pavement, and I’m quite sure the mom was wondering why she had entrusted her child to me, and in fact why the universe had entrusted me with my own kids. It was one of those moments where I was feeling like a bad-ass  who could manage everything and do favors for people and then was reminded that I’m not always so awesome at handling my life.

So preschool drop-off shame, don’t go too far…

To be honest, I’m not actually ashamed. I made these two, and I’m doing ok enough at the rest of it:

Awwwww...

Awwwww…


My politics as usual

I always promise things like I’m not going to fucking swear on this blog, or I’m not going to get political.

But then I break those promises because both swearing and politics are important to me.

You should vote tomorrow. You should vote no matter what, because it’s the socially responsible thing to do. Of course, if you share my political beliefs, I extra hope you vote, because we lefties need to mobilize. I’m afraid we’re going to get creamed tomorrow.

Massholes, here’s a ballot question cheat sheet (thanks to NGB for posting this on FB!):

ballot questions

I’m voting no, yes, yes, yes. In short, it just makes good sense to peg gas tax to inflation so we can maintain infrastructure and discourage the driving of gas guzzlers. Recycling is good. Expand it. Duh. Casino gambling doesn’t bring enough good, permanent jobs to cancel out the social ills it brings (which disproportionately impact the poor). And our region is saturated with casinos such that I doubt the projections of wealth it will bring to the state. And paid sick time is a no-brainer. Employers should allow sickies time to heal without worrying about job security and encourage them to keep germs at home.

I’m voting straight Dem. It’s what I do. You’ll do what you do. To those who are usually Dems but are thinking about Charlie, I just want you to know that I worry about socially important programs in a Republican administration: education, early intervention, mental health programs, etc. All the things we agree are important in the wake of a tragedy, but then cut funding for when we want to reduce gov’t spending.

We Democrats do a really bad job of synthesizing our successes and beliefs. So here’s this infographic, to note our accomplishments (thanks SMW, for posting on FB–yes, I’m stealing my political material from Facebook. That doesn’t make me look very good, does it?):

IMG_1325.JPG

Apologies for using my blog as a soap box. It’s not what you come here for. I know that. But just pretend we got drunk at a party and I started talking politics. It happens. And usually I get loud and spill my drink on you, so at least you escaped that outcome.

Whether we agree or not, go do your civic duty!

And here is a skunk jack-o-lantern that Herr Husband made because Das Big Boy loves skunks. Hopefully that will amuse you.

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Does Size Matter?

kids in hamper

This post has lots of complaining and unsolicited opinions and humblebragging so I’m including this picture of my cute children so you’ll still like me and my writing. Is it working?

The origin of this post is actually last night’s post, when I was crafting Rainbow Fish’s birth announcement. I had originally planned to inform you of his length and weight (I’m guessing 1.5 inches and 1 ounce). But I took it out because I don’t love birth announcements with weight and height info. Maybe this is because my two children combined barely topped eight pounds. But I also feel like we fixate way too much on children’s size in general, and it sets us up for a life of judging other people’s sizes. Except we all at least know it’s not polite to do that with adults. There’s a weird value judgement attached to baby size, but it’s the inverse of grown-up: everyone wants their kids fat and their adults skinny. And it’s crap. We can fix this in two ways:

1) I can say, “Oh my god, guys, can you believe that I’m 95%ile for height and 25%ile  for weight? Isn’t that crazy?!” [Note: I actually looked this up]. And you can all want to pelt me with rotten fruit, which is rotten because I’d rather eat candy but I’m genetically lucky to be someone who loses weight by breastfeeding.

ll pg

Is that sunscreen or murderous clown make-up? Call me a peanut and find out the hard way.

2) We can stop talking about kids’ size all the time, and stop idealizing fat babes and skinny adults. Neither are an accomplishment. Everyone is different. Stop calling my kids peanuts and I won’t call yours Mack trucks. And let’s stop talking about (or secretly judging) each other’s bodies, too.

But, now that I’ve ranted about this, I have to tell you that I also hate these sensitivity memes. Like 10 things to never say to an anxious person, or 10 things you should never say to a sober person, or 10 things never to say to your Uzbek neighbor. It’s not that I don’t like sensitivity. In fact, I’m politically correct and proud. It never hurts to be nice or to be sensitive to others’ needs. But you can’t assume that all sober people, anxious people, or Uzbeks are the same or have the same needs, and assuming you shouldn’t say certain things to them takes away their ability to speak up for themselves and make their own personal needs known. There might be a list of ten things never to say to a preemie parent (I’ve heard lots of horrid things, including, “Nice for you because you didn’t gain lots of weight, right?”). Obviously not a great thing to say. But I had the opportunity to educate that guy. And to tell him that I weighed more when I gave birth to my preemie than when I gave birth to my almost term baby, and that no, it was not nice, because my kid almost died and spent four months in the hospital. In general, I like to share about my experience and I don’t want some HuffPo writer telling people what they can’t say to me.

Even thought I spent the first half of this post telling you not to talk about kidsize or adultsize. But I’m not telling you what you can’t say to certain people. I’m telling you to get over your obsession with size and focus on something interesting, like books or cheese or why I can’t stop wearing mildly skanky outfits on public play dates with my dear gal pal Rocky (a supermom and ass-kicking boxer who totally rocks.)

What self-respecting thirty-six year old mom wears tall boots and short shorts to the park, or a strapless dress to an indoor playground?

That’s right: Deine Hipster Hausfrau

 

 


Poopstorm

Yes, the wee Husband Hausfraus have been struck by a poopstorm. A Poopocalypse (Now). Poopmageddon. Poopnado.

Das Big Boy and Little Liebchen are in the midst of a GI event. Thus far, it’s only caused frequent, explosive diarrhea (as opposed to the diarrhea and vomiting model so many of our friends’ kids have been rocking). KNOCK ON WOOD. Seriously. All of the wood.

In general, I’m able to keep a sense of humor when my life turns into one long succession of particularly grim diaper changes. It’s like when LL was a newborn and they would both cry at once and I would laugh at myself because it seemed like something out of a sitcom. Like that, only with poop. Did I mention that there was a lot of poop?

But this morning was a little sad because poor DBB had a fever and just felt crappy (figuratively in addition to literally). He lay down and watched two consecutive episodes of Sesame Street. For those of you who know him, this is a clear sign of how sick he was. In general, it’s almost impossible for him to sit still (unless he’s being read to–books are magic for him). I think it’s a preemie sensory thing, actually. After all, he was supposed to be in a delightful amniotic sea the last three months of his gestation. Instead, he spent six weeks cramped up in a popped balloon and then three months being poked, prodded, shuffled and splayed. So now he’s a superwiggler. But not this morning. He was downright lazy. He had a low fever, which I ordinarily wouldn’t treat, but he was so clearly unhappy that I wanted to try drugging him to see if it helped. Problem? I had no drugs. (Well, none of those drugs. But he seemed like Xanax was the last thing he needed).

So I put out an AMB (All Moms Bulletin) to my local mama pals (the group mentioned in yesterday’s post), and several wonderful ladies offered to help me out. Ladybird, who has two kiddos of her own, dropped off the (dye-free, of course) Motrin (not Tylenol, because I swear DBB’s body can tell the difference) and wouldn’t even take my money or complain about my annoyingly precise demands. Awesomeness.

I feel really lucky to have friends I can turn to in a shitstorm. It’s what everyone wants, and it’s nice as a stay-at-home-mom who’s been in the ‘burbs for a couple of years to know that I’ve built a community of folks to whom I can turn. In a way, it’s closer to college than anything I’ve had since. My friends are nearby, and I can ask for help when I need it.

This brings me to my final mushy point before I tell more poop stories: Ask your friends for help. I didn’t know how to do this when DBB was in the NICU. So HH and I hid out in our fox hole, and were lucky that our friends knew how to help without our asking: sending six red velvet cupcakes to us at the hospital, sending a peapod giftcard so we’d remember to eat, faking reasons to come to NYC or the way Upper West so they could visit us and DBB (then Das Fetal-Baby) without making us feel pressured, writing us emails or leaving us voicemails without expecting to hear back. Lots of other well meaning people asked what they could do and we said, “nothing,” as if we had it all under control. We didn’t. We were just in such a shitstorm that we didn’t even know what we needed. I learned from that the importance of knowing how to ask for help. And I learned that friends really want to help, so that when people ask or offer, it’s ok, even a good thing, to accept. It makes both of you feel good. So Ladybird, thank you. And I look forward to returning the favor. But hopefully not during a shitstorm, because I certainly don’t wish that on you.

The highlight of today went thusly:

I was upstairs with LL trying to get her down for a nap. She finally fell asleep and I gently deposited her in her crib. When I got downstairs, I found DBB in the living room standing very still.

“I need clean socks,” he told me.

I looked at him. “You’re wearing footie pajamas. Why do you need socks?”

“I need to go poop in the potty.” I got closer, “Oh, you made poop,” I said. “Do you want to go make more in the potty?” Note: Das Big Boy often likes to ask to use the potty after he’s already done so. In his diaper. He will also tell you before he’s going to poop or pee, but if you offer the potty he simply says. “No. I want to poop in the fireplace.” And then does (in a diaper).

As we walked to the bathroom, I began to suspect what awaited me. As if she did, too, LL started to wail upstairs. When DBB and I got to the safe zone, I took off his pajamas to find that poop had indeed run down to his feet. He was less than pleased, so I comforted him as I cleaned him up and then deposited him, now quite cheerful, on the potty.

I scampered upstairs and had started nursing LL again when I heard water, or at least something wet. Oh no, I thought, is he pooping on the floor? But it went on too long for that. I started downstairs, thinking Maybe he’s washing his hands. Yeah. Maybe.

I arrived to an overflowing toilet. I tried to keep LL out of the bathroom while I grabbed towels to block the flow of water. She responded with a poop of her own. I lifted the back off of the toilet tank to stop the water from running. DBB thought it looked fun, lifted the tank lid and dropped it back on the tank such that the lid broke. As I tried to contain the poop, water, and hysteria, I tried calling HH to share the fun news from home. But he couldn’t hear me over the chaos. In an exasperated tone, as if he were the only one having a busy day, he told me to call from the home phone. So I sent him this picture with the text “And flooded bathroom.”

toilet

I’m sorry to report that your only media today will be this photo of my broken toilet. The children are poopballs and were not photographed. To compensate, I have made the photograph of the toilet extra large.

“That is not good,” he replied.

“I’ve noticed.” I wrote.

I put DBB in the bathtub, mopped up the bathroom, and changed LL’s diaper. She has diaper rash, of course, which I am treating with the hippie mom approach of breastmilk and coconut oil, so that when she doesn’t smell like cat poop she smells like an umbrella drink.

I think the total shitstorm count was LL: 7 DBB: 5. Could be worse, I realize.

Let’s hope it doesn’t get worse. Let’s also hope it gets better before I’m supposed to be drinking actual umbrella drinks in St. Thomas. Six days from now. Don’t hate. I’m pretty sure I got poop in my hair today.


Nothin’ but a Nudie Party

First of all, the title of this post is intended to recall this song:

For some reason, I think this 2Pac/Snoop hit occupies a much larger place in my mental musical canon than almost anyone else in America’s. I’m constantly referencing it at mildly inappropriate times. Like when Little Liebchen gets together with a crew of one year olds and I say to the other moms, “Ain’t nothin’ but a baby party…” And they respond by politely ignoring me. Or wondering if I’ve got some chronic I might be willing to share.

Anyway, it also applies to tonight’s topic: the nudie party, which is what Das Big Boy calls the sometimes brief, sometimes extended chunk of time after his bath during which he is allowed to frolic about in the altogether. Once, during a speech assessment (which he nailed, obvs. DBB may not like to talk to other children, but he is off the charts verbal when given the chance to show off for an adult), he was asked what you do after a bath. “Have a nudie party,” he answered. The speech pathologist looked to me for clarification, or maybe to gauge how she could get me out of her office to call social services. I offered up my best kids-will-be-kids smile and my weakest explanation, then asked DBB what he did before a nudie party. Thankfully, he answered correctly and didn’t talk about his penis.

Anyway, I should probably come clean about something. I am a naked person. I believe the world is divided up into two types of people: naked people and nonnaked people (or the clotheds.) There is a third category of naked when drunk people, but I think they’re mostly repressed nakeds or freespirited clotheds. Naked people are comfortable being naked. Clotheds people are not. There is nothing remotely sexual about being a naked person. In fact, once, back before we were married, Herr Husband suggested I might wear clothes to dinner more often. “What!?” I replied, “I’m sure lots of guys would find it sexy if their girlfriends ate dinner naked!”

“But you’re not trying to be sexy,” he replied. “You haven’t brushed your hair in three days and you’re all slouched over and you’re kind of sweaty ”

“It’s hot in this apartment,” I defended myself, “Hence, the nudity.”

My naked cooking (beware spattering oil–ouch!), naked laundry (yeah, right), and naked lounging earned similar levels of enthusiasm.

My college roommate and I were both naked people, although not, I recall, at the same time. When we lived in a first floor dorm room with a large bay window, this led to people occasionally knocking on our door and saying polite things like, “Um, I just wanted you to know your curtains are open and I can see you,” or “You should shave your legs.” I always thanked them as if I cared and did nothing further. I think nudity is like a booger: you tell a friend, but you don’t go out of your way to tell a stranger. And yes, I went to college in New Hampshire but they heated the holy hell out of those dorm rooms.

I also once attended a party which ended with a group of friends naked in a very small hot tub. We debated the finer points of politics and bickered about who would survive in a zombie apocalypse. It was one of the least sexual experiences of my life.

All of this is to say that I have a long history of nonsexual nudity as laziness and temperature control rather than as a way of showing off my body or some silly thing like that (I think clothes are much better for showing off one’s body, especially after one has breastfed a baby, never mind a baby with a strong right sided boob preference which has led to the sudden development of a mismatched pair, or eternal conflict, if you will. You are SO going to look for this development next time I see you, dear reader, I know you are.)

But this brings about a conversation I somewhat recently had with a group of my mom friends: at what age does it become inappropriate to bathe with one’s kid? In my case, boy kid. Herr Husband and I always had family bath with DBB until I became pregnant enough with LL that it was uncomfortable to fit us all in the tub. We treasured these family baths as a way to spend time together. And now I bathe with DBB and LL. When I shared this with my friends, a lot of them said they had never bathed with their kids. On the hippie mom spectrum, I think I’m one of the more out there ones among this particular crew. I’m pretty sure they thought my bathing with kids was as surprising as I found their never having done so. Of course, my parenting philosophy, if I were to have one, would be called Lazy Parenting (there will be a post on this). Do whatever is easiest for you (with lots of love, of course). It’s easier to bathe with a kid than to reach into the bathtub. So bathe with kids. Added bonus of contained, distraction-free time together.

CG Toga

Dinner at the Husband Hausfraus. Togas, diapers, Herr Husband in a white t-shirt. It’s like college all over again.

After tonight’s bath, DBB had his nudie party, and LL enjoyed a brief one as well (she’s too young to be a reliable non-peer). Meanwhile, I cooked dinner in the buff (I now know to stand back). But when it came time to sit at the table, I felt a bit funny doing so with no clothes on. So I donned a Curious George toga. The kids ate dinner in diapers and HH wore his undies and a T-shirt. (It should be noted that we keep the house at 73 degrees in order for the kids’ rooms to be warm enough. Our furnace is very efficient, I promise, lest I erode some hippie cred.)

So I guess my answer to my own question is I’ll know when it’s time to stop the group baths, just like I knew it was time to put that toga on. And like I know I shouldn’t go to a naked hot tub party again unless everyone else is really, really drunk and it’s so dark that you can’t see my boobs.

Feel free to share you pro/anti-nudie thoughts in the comments!


Missing…

Big Boy Owl during simpler times (his recent birthday).

Big Boy Owl during simpler times (his recent birthday).

Today spawned a crisis in the Hausfrau Husband household. No, I didn’t go into preterm labor, although I did my best to bring it on. (Ok, maybe not my best. But I was a bit active and panicky).

Big Boy Owl (aka, BBO) went missing. Around 4:30 pm, El Papa, Das Big Boy, and I realized he was gone when Das Big Boy began asking for him. El Papa and I conducted an intense search. This is where I attempted to bring on preterm labor.

But first, some back story about both me and Das Big Boy. For my entire life, I have had an attachment to my comfort objects which borders on (crosses well into?) the problematic. Sad Happy, my teddy bear, and Fuzzy, my blanket, accompanied me throughout life: They appeared in my nursery school class pictures, seated by my side. They came on vacations around the world until I entered my teen years. They came to college, and hid in my pillowcase. They joined me when Herr Husband and I moved in together in June of 2000 (for those of you paying attention, that means we moved in together a mere six months after we started dating). And they saw me through my six and a half weeks of hospital bedrest when I was inpatient before birthing Das Big Boy.

But Fuzzy disappeared shortly after we moved into our suburban home. I’d like to imagine he’ll turn up someday, but the truth is Herr Husband and I tore the house apart, and I think the sad truth is that the cleaning people mistook him for a cleaning rag and disposed of him. Now I love our cleaning people, and I’m ridiculously grateful/spoiled that we even have them. But I also freely admit that I did some crying and handwringing over Fuzzy’s loss. No need to say how much.

DSC_0315Das Big Boy is actually a late-comer to the comfort object game. I hypothesize this is because he had his parents as comfort objects for longer than most kids. This is what happens when you have a medically fragile kid who sleeps in his parents’ room until he’s sixteen months old (because we couldn’t put a kid on o2 in his own room). Also, I’m not sure I believe in Cry It Out anyway, but I can tell you that when your kid’s version of Cry It Out is cry-all-the-food-you-worked-so-hard-to-get-into-me-right-back-out-of my-stomach, it’s not a good choice for your family. So anyway, Das Big Boy had lots of toys he liked, but not that one thing he looked to for snuggling.

Until Big Boy Owl. Now Das Big Boy needs BBO at bedtime, and he brings him into stressful situations and hugs him to feel better. Big Boy Owl goes to school with Das Big Boy, and on our recent outing to the neighbors, Big Boy Owl helped Das Big Boy settle in. He also just enjoys carrying him all over the house.

So today, when Big Boy Owl turned up missing, I panicked. El Papa and I searched everywhere. I did entirely too much standing and walking and squatting to look under stuff. El Papa worked very hard both at searching and keeping me calm. I texted poor Nanny Sunshine for ideas–of which she had several good ones, but none panned out. I never suspected her, as their only outing was to the library and I distinctly recalled not seeing BBO accompany them. This did not stop me from calling the library. Now my real suspects were my wonderful cleaning people, who are incredibly thorough, but sometimes put stuff away in odd places such that I can’t find it. So I texted the business owner, who wasn’t even  here today, to see if they had any idea where he might be. But I didn’t hear back.

BBO's hiding place. He was shoved WAY in back! Perhaps he was looking for a drink. I sure would have liked one!

BBO’s hiding place. He was shoved WAY in back! Perhaps he was looking for a drink. I sure would have liked one!

Increasingly worried, I texted Herr Husband, who promised to find him when he got home. I tried to sit on the couch while he looked, but was pretty much freaking out as he scoured the house. But after half an hour of thorough searching, Herr Husband’s gifts as finder paid off. Shoved way back in a wine rack was Big Boy Owl. Crisis averted.

Except for my blood pressure, and, frankly, my pelvic pressure. Yes, all those third trimester ladies were right: It does hurt your pelvis and spine when an almost-six-pound person is squirreled away in your body. I’m actually amused by these normal pregnancy symptoms, even if I walk like an obese old cavewoman.

So I’m going to take a bath and revel in Big Boy Owl’s homecoming. And don’t worry. I already text-apologized to all of the people I brought into my crazy!