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Adventures in Parenting: I am 3 going on 17…

May 14, 2012 2 comments

So, my three-ring circus consists of a three-year-old child, two sibling cats, working from home, making handmade items for spare cash, and trying to complete my degree through online college. Since we recently moved to Austin, our finances have (understandably) been in severe flux and we’re still waiting for the dust to settle. This means that my barely manageable chaos between work/self-employment/school is also complicated by having to ensure my daughter is still breathing and not stockpiling reasons to seek therapy by the end of the day. This becomes more and more difficult as she develops her own opinions. I tried to decline the update but it was pushed overnight as part of the whole “dressing herself” convenience package I opted into.

That’s a note to all you geeky parents out there: Always read the fucking EULA.

We recently allowed Siobhan to turn three years old. It was a tough decision for her father and I, as we barely survived her two’s and felt ill-prepared for the added challenge of regular, informed debates with a midget. Luckily, however, my husband pointed out that she would be much easier to train with the update’s freebies like English, connection-making skills, and self-entertaining subroutines to keep her on a repetitive, placid mode in her bedroom so I can get some goddamned work done during the middle of the day.

Part of her learning to entertain herself has been playing with Mina and Pepper, our two 10-month-old kittens. She loves to take shoelaces or craft yarn and lead them on merry (if not psychotic) chases around our small apartment. It has the dual effect of providing all of us with entertainment and giving me a prolonged break from the child micromanaging so I can get some work done.

Today, I needed to start transcribing something (as I’ve had absolutely no time to do it all weekend), and Mina wouldn’t leave my lap alone. So I called Siobhan into my bedroom. She came running in from her room, breathless and naked except for her Pull-Up, where I knew she had been doing everything except cleaning it like I’d previously asked…

Siobhan (innocently): What is it Mommy?
Me: Here. Can you play with Mina and Pepper so I can get some work done, please?

Siobhan crosses her arms and rolls her eyes dramatically before she sighs as deeply as you’d expect from a petulant 15-year-old. “Fine, Mommy. I’ll do you a favor.” Then, she plasters on a plastic smile and opens her eyes wide (think “Pre-School Teacher on Methamphetamines”) before turning to Mina and Pepper: “Come here M’na, Pepper! Let’s go!”

Thanks for the solid, smartass.

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Categories: Child, Random Weirdness

Yeah. That just happened…

April 26, 2012 2 comments

Today I picked up the husband from work, with our 3-year-old in her toddler seat, and started driving us toward the pharmacy on the way back home.  Our daughter picked an argument with me (I can’t remember what it was about, to be honest, as it’s not the first we’ve had today, and probably won’t be the last…) and after some whining and general verbal flailing about, the conversation continued as follows:

Me:  Sorry, kiddo. Mommy wins.

Husband: Yeah, honey, mommy always wins.

Me: Yep. It’s a fact of life. Learn to accept the loss…

Husband: Seriously not a concept I think she’s aware of.

Daughter: …Lose? (puzzled look)

Husband: See???

Me: You lose.

Husband: …Fa…tality?…

Me: Yeah, I’m Mommy!Shredder.

Husband: …

Me: …?

Husband: I think you’re aiming for Sub-Zero or something…It’s a Mortal Kombat reference, dear.

Me: I know…Shredder, Sub-Zero, whatever…

Husband: You can’t combine Mortal Kombat with Teenage Goddamned Mutant Fucking Ninja Turtles, dammit. Quit cross-pollinating your fucking geek.

Me: *cries tears of broken nerd shame/hysterical laughter and tries not to wreck the minivan on the frontage road…*

Catapults are for people who are too damned lazy to fling themselves through the air using more creative methods.

September 8, 2011 7 comments

So, I’m sitting here trying to figure out what to write and I’ve been out of meds for my anxiety for over 24 hours.  I’ve had anxiety disorder since 2006 (possibly longer, but that’s the year that I started showcasing the crazy for public consumption).  I’ve gone through different meds and therapy options, within my limited income, and finally found a medication that works better than anything else I’ve tried.  Unfortunately, it’s very expensive, which often results in me going without and becoming a hermit until the meds can be bought.

Unmedicated anxiety disorder is like being shoved naked into the path of oncoming traffic: you’re not sure you’ll survive the day, but your dignity is now up for grabs.

Most of my coping mechanisms revolve around the important principles of distraction and self-delusion.  I’ve gotten fairly good at both.  Unfortunately, my distractions vary wildly, and frequently, depending on the amount of unmedicated stress that has just hit me in the face.  This would be why I have trouble blogging sometimes… you try to write when you’re head-underwater and have developed a level of anxious paranoia reserved for fugitives and politicians’ mistresses.

Tomorrow is one of my husband’s paydays, though, so we should be able to refill my prescription in the morning.  Today, I plan to do what I can to vent steam… I have come up with the following list of activities to (hopefully) provide catharsis and stave off panic attacks:

  1. Finish a knitting/crochet project or two. ~  I always feel better when I get that “Hah! See what I just did, bitches?” high.  You know what I’m talking about.
  2. Clean the house until I pass out from heat exhaustion.  ~  Usually reserved for times of utmost pissiness, housecleaning is something I do to give myself time to think, calm down, and silently plot the deaths of those who oppose me.  I can get pretty creative with a bottle of Clorox wipes and a toaster.  Do not fucking test me.
  3. Play World of Warcraft.  ~ I figure, after I teach Siobhan how to forage for her lunch and afternoon snack, and tie a hospital-grade adult diaper to her ass, that’ll buy me somewhere in the ballpark of six hours to pretend I’m a gun-shooting werewolf on a vendetta against anything that moves.  (Also, fake money is like crack for people who have no real money. My werewolf can sell a moldy pair of boots for two gold pieces.  I can’t sell a pair of earrings for ten bucks.)
  4. Finish unpacking until back gives out.  ~  I plan to turn this into a game, to keep it interesting.  I love my husband, but rearranging his face because all the unpacking has been left to me while he’s at work has become a favorite fantasy of mine the last two days.  I think I should unpack on the principle of counter-intuition:  socks in the junk drawer, junk in the pillowcase, deoderant in the vacuum, vacuum in the dresser, anti-depressants in the spice rack, and craft supplies in the underwear drawer.  It’ll be like a treasure hunt of awesome!
  5. Paint murals on the neighbors’ cars.  ~  I’ve given this one a lot of thought.  I’m fairly certain our next door neighbor’s kids would love a Tardis hiding in the Metreon Cascade on the windshield.  No one will ever see them coming.
  6. Teach Siobhan how to game with the best.  ~  This one could prove difficult, as the Wii remote makes me seem like I haven’t played Mario a day in my life.  I used to rock that shit every Sunday at Marie Calendar’s while my parents waited for a table.  Like hell I can’t goomba-stomp with the best!  However, tradition holds that whatever I think I’m good at, my daughter will be better.  She was playing Street Fighter 4 on her daddy’s arcade-style fight stick when she was a year old.  Ergo, training her early ensures that she’ll kick Justin Wong’s ass by the time she’s five.
  7. Write a book.  ~  On a slightly more serious note, I’m actually kicking around ideas for geeky pattern books in my head… I’ve got at least two knitting books, a nonfiction plot line, and a fiction plot line kicking around in my head.  Whether or not I can write on any of them remains to be seen.
  8. Create more stuff for my store. ~  If you haven’t been to my store yet, for shame.  It’s not got much in there yet, though, so the ritual floggings will be suspended.  The problem with this plan, though, is that it means digging through random unpacked crap in search for more random unpacked crap with which to make stuff.  I’ll reserve this for the moment before I kill someone in the face.
  9. Poke at fellow bloggers on Twitter for shits and giggles.  ~  It always makes me feel better when I can make someone spit-take on their monitor, or just run screaming into the night from the horrifying mental imagery.  Honestly, I consider either a win.  (Spit-taking is considerably better for site traffic, however, so we’re aiming for that…)
  10. Teach Siobhan to yodel.  ~  Dignity is overrated.  I figure if I teach her an interesting skill, she’ll make a killing as a street performer.  Of course, it would have been easier if I’d had twins, so I didn’t have to contend with child performer labor laws… Maybe I should teach her pickpocketing instead…
  11. Exercise. ~ There’s a reason this is at the bottom of the list.  It’s too fucking hot to do it.  However, the Wii is set up, and I haven’t touched Wii Fit in months… if it gets cooler, maybe…

 

What do you think?  Any other ideas for distracting one’s self from anxiety issues?

Disney: Silly Symphonies is code for “Just add marijuana”

August 22, 2011 Leave a comment

I recently began a quest to introduce my daughter to all the Disney movies my brother and I grew up with, as well as watch the newer ones with her. I think she’s enjoying it, although the live-action ones confuse her… when she’s actually paying attention. (Okay, so Babes in Toyland and Pete’s Dragon were for Mommy, dammit. Don’t judge me…)

When I was watching Robin Hood with her the other day, the first time I’d seen it since my brother and I watched the VHS into dust as kids, it occurred to me that Disney pulled a lot of whatthefuckery over on our generation. I mean, serious shit that kids today would say, “Bitch, you fo’ real?” Only, they probably wouldn’t say that, because that’s a phrase that probably wasn’t even cool in my generation, but was said anyway. Insert whatever catchy thing them kids today are saying, then.

Anyway, I started thinking about Robin Hood, an offering from Disney that practically demanded a full suspension of your disbelief before continuing, and all the other movies my brother and I gleefully zombied out to over the years. I present to you a list of the important realizations I have come to after re-watching these gems from my childhood…

  • Anthropomorphised rhinos and elephants in 1150 A.D. England are completely normal, but I draw the line at accents not indigenous to the region. ~ I can buy Alan-a-Dale as a rooster with a lute. I can buy the thumb-sucking lion as Prince John and the snake with his head in a balloon as the prince’s right hand. However, I have trouble believing that there were flights between Sherwood Forest and the Bronx in the 12th century for Little John and Friar Tuck to rough it up with some imported Arkansas-accented, pot-bellied wolf sherrif and a Scottish hen with a passion for rugby.
  • Bad guys before the 1970’s had a union that strictly mandated the wearing of capes and dark colors. ~ The ability to pull off a fabulously choreographed song and dance number netted you choice pickings from the henchmen pool at the monthly meeting/goon restock.
  • It’s okay to be racist if you use animals, because then it’s clever. ~ Dumbo’s trash-talking Jim Crows certainly wouldn’t fly in a post-Brown v. Board of Education society. Also, Oriental
  • Cross-dressing a bear is an important part of any highway robbery. ~ Extra points if you include fruit and make at least one Gloria Steinem-provoking comment about women being incapable of ganking someone blind.
  • Mentally disabled rodents make excellent sidekicks. ~ It’s also important to choose bright colors when dressing them, especially if you have an overweight cat with the personality of a paroled serial killer lurking about.
  • Siamese cats are always evil. ~ They also love to eat babies. Humans are too stupid to realize this, most of the time, and often allow both to reside under the same roof. Luckily, there are cocker spaniels to act as a “Bitch, dem cats ’bout to eat yo’ kid!” alarm.
  • Fat people, prior to the 1980’s, are contractually obligated to adhere to the following stereotypes: Chaotic-good or chaotic-evil. ~ If chaotic-good, they are a bumbling, well-meaning idiot who bounces comically against walls. If chaotic-evil, they’re evil-meaning idiots who move too slowly to catch someone poking them in the butt with a sword. Cinderella’s fairy godmother was a possible exception, but damn did she seem daffy…
  • Robin Williams signed a pact with the devil to prevent him from dying of a cocaine overdose, and Disney signed a pact to get him an unlimited supply. ~ Watching Aladdin and Flubber for the first time since I was 12 and 14, respectively, I now realize just how amped up Williams must have been. Flubber also illustrated the transition Wil Wheaton made from whiny/entitled-teenage-know-it-all-prick to asshole-who’s-so-assholish-it’s-epically-cool, leaving Wesley Crusher (whom I adored, don’t get me wrong) and the doomed-to-die kid in Toy Soldiers behind to perpetually play the rude, calculating braniac who knows he’s so goddamned better than you, you almost feel dirty cheering for him.
  • All small robots have a severe addiction to soap operas and Rogers & Hammerstein musicals. ~ If the AI is female, they’re also 100% likely to fall in love with the hopeless, bumbling sap who created them and will stop at nothing to undermine his romantic plans until eventually found out. After years of this pattern, you’d think said bumbling sap would clue in and at least make their lusty fembots anatomically correct. If, on the other hand, the small robot is male, they are automatically programmed with Woody Allen’s personality. This makes it more difficult for them to procreate with fembots and make scary, Glenn Close-channeling, soap opera-addicted spawnbots.

Anyone else come to some amusing conclusions, after comparing the impressions you had of Disney movies as a kid to the impressions you have now?

Mommy loves you, shithead…

June 10, 2011 9 comments

We’ve reached that stage in my two-year-old’s development where she is excited to go to the “potty” but no idea what to do once she gets there.  Despite encouragement from me, and reinforcement of the idea that she needs to communicate and listen more frequently in other areas of our mother-daughter relationship, she still waits until her diaper has been put back on before she does a little dance in front of me, then squats dramatically at my feet to relieve herself.  This is usually accompanied by impromptu vocal work on her part; singing for #1, yelling toddler obscenities at the carpet if #2.

Today, Siobhan has eliminated the Pampers middle-man.

This morning, I was rudely awakened by stupid credit card collectors who called at 8:01.  Thanks fuckers.  That whole minute you let me sleep in will be cherished and sung of for years to come.  Remember in my last post, when I mentioned being up before my husband several mornings in a row, resulting in a very confused British man?  Yeah, I’m making up for that nonsense now.

Insomnia, I thought we’d never see each other again… Asshole.

So, I had difficulty waking up all the way after I finally got credit card collector-person off the phone, and as a result my husband left our daughter in “baby jail” (a set of interlocking plastic barred partitions, up to 8 of them) in front of Nick, Jr. while I tried to finish getting up.  Bear in mind, our kid — while tall for her age — is only 36″ and these gates are roughly 2-2.5 feet tall.  By the time I’d gotten out there (five minutes after he’d left to meet his carpool, no longer), this is what I saw:  She was perched in the highchair to the side of her “baby jail”, grinning at me and sing-songing a “Hi, Mommy!”, sitting on her haunches while she balanced on the balls of her feet, one foot on each plastic track (where the tray slides on)… pissing in her fucking seat until it trickled through the soaked cloth to drip into the carpet underneath.

Take a minute to make sure you read that correctly before we continue.

Cue the frantic “find-a-goddamned-towel-and-stick-it-under-the-pee-faucet-before-holding-giggling-hellspawn-at-the-end-of-outstretched-arms-during-the-mad-dash-to-stick-her-under-a-running-faucet” dance number, accompanied by the plumber knocking at my door and leaving because I couldn’t get back to him in time.  (Luckily, he called and I was able to get him to come back… different story.)

Rather than kill my child, I got her cleaned up, let the towel stay where it was, and figured I’d just deal with the cleanup later.  I cleaned up the discarded diaper and spilled snacks and sat and cuddled her in front of cartoons until it was time for her nap.

Lately, my daughter doesn’t nap.  She plays for two hours in her room until I feel like such a horrible 6-o’clock-news-type-parent who locks her child in a closet with an Easy Bake Oven and half a Walgreen’s pharmacy, telling her not to come out until she’s got enough meth cooked up to pay for her preschool enrollment fees, that I just let her out.  This traditionally results in Siobhan being too tired to eat anything I serve her, which I conveniently forget while I’m yelling at her in frustration because I’m worried social services is going to accuse me of starving my child, culminating in her passing out face-first in the macaroni and cheese and me having several shots of rum before putting her to bed.

So, precisely two hours after I’d put her down, I’m thinking I should go check on her and see if she’s hungry.  I notice the odor of poopy diaper, wafting up from under her door, and roll my eyes because I figure I’m going to have to change a stinky one before I get to make us a snack. It’s always an adventure when I’m proved wrong in something.

I open her bedroom door, fighting my way past the toys she’s shoved up against the back of her door, to see her running at me.  My daughter is butt naked, covered in her own filth, singing the theme song to “Go, Diego, Go!”, while wearing her shitty diaper on her head.

I can’t make this up.

See above, re: mad-fucking-dash-for-cleanliness.  Call me when you’ve caught up.

I put her back down for her nap, with a sippy cup, because — at this point? — fuck food.  I’ll feed her when I’m sure I won’t puke on her.  We don’t have that sort of mother-daughter relationship.  Don’t judge me.

I love my child, but I honestly think sometimes that she’d be more at home in a family of monkeys.

I can totally see my daughter conquering nations with that talent…

May 19, 2011 Leave a comment

Earlier tonight, I was making dinner in the kitchen — I know, suspend your disbelief and hold off on calling the fire department — and left Nick Jr. on television for Siobhan to watch. My husband and I have been fans of Sprout (previously PBS Kids) for the last year or so, and only recently changed to Nick Jr. (previously Noggin) because of their lack of commercials and more structured preschool-level programming. Siobhan’s current favorites from that channel include Olivia, Dora, Diego, Kai Lan, and Yo Gabba Gabba!

Yo Gabba Gabba! is both an awesomely retro children's show and a visually-stimulating timesink for potheads.

Now, I often worry about letting my daughter watch so much television, then I weigh my concerns against the feedback I get from other adults in official child-monitoring capacities: “Your daughter is so smart!” “Wow, she’s really articulate for a 25-month-old!” “She already knows her colors and shapes? Bravo, Mom!” So I basically tell myself that as long as it’s Nick Jr. she’s at least getting somewhat of an education…

Going back to me making this dubious dinner in another room from my child, I hear Yo Gabba Gabba! in the background, calling out “Cool Tricks! Cool Tricks!” (which is the show’s segment that teaches children about new musical instruments or styles of acrobatics and/or dance) so I figure it’s probably the rapping violinist twins or something. Instead, I’m treated to the dulcet tones of some fucker hand-farting “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”

Seriously?

Twenty years ago, my brother got smacked upside the back of his head for hand-farting in public, and we got annoyed looks from adults for making that rude noise. Now it’s a “cool trick” on a preschool-type channel?

Thanks, Yo Gabba Gabba! Next time, why don’t you teach my daughter how to push the tip of her nose up whilst pulling down her lower eyelids, so she can look like an old-style pig mask? Better yet, if you could teach her how to burp the Star Spangled fucking Banner, she’ll have a marketable job skill. They’re sure to need new performers of questionable talent to showcase at sporting events, and I want my daughter to aim for sheer mediocrity.

For this, I give you the Picard Gesture of Incredulity:

Picard finds your lack of common sense disturbing...

Tales of a Procrastinating Geek…

October 12, 2010 Leave a comment

On my desk (which is now upstairs in the house, by the way) there is an ever-increasing pile of to-geek-upon tasks. This pile includes video-game-playing, school work, knitting plans, writing projects, miniatures to be painted, books to be read, and graphics manipulation programs to putz around with. At some point, I plan to get to all of them. No, really.

I am, however, happy to report that the Overseas Christmas Knitting Project ™ is proceeding along quite nicely, at a *cough*leisurely brisk*cough* pace.  We may actually make our quota and deadline at the same time this year.  Perish the thought.  (Whether I remember to take pictures of the finished projects for my Ravelry project page before shipping them off to the U.K., however, is another matter entirely.)

My daughter, in other news, is a riot. She realized sometime last week that she was not allowed to touch mommy’s paints, video game controllers, knitting supplies, or pens. I know. I’m such a killjoy. Now, she sneaks her way to these items and, upon being caught, rushes toward me with contraband in hand and a look on her face that clearly says “Oh, there you are, Mommy! Look! I was just getting this to bring to you, and am I not the most awesome daughter ever???” I have to struggle not to capitulate to the cuteness.

Of course, we’re talking about the same child who thought the lenses of my glasses could use Moar!Crayon(tm).

Categories: Child, Random Weirdness
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