My Minivan Is Faster Than Yours
My Minivan Is Faster Than Yours

Three Sentences a Post Makes

There is a vicious rumor going around that I am desperately in love with Derek Hough. Never mind I started it, but it's still disturbing. If you don't know who Derek Hough is, log-off, get a life, then come back*.





* I'll wait

Is This Thing On?

It has been 3.5 years since the last time I wrote a post for this blog. Here’s what’s been going on with me: my kids have started school, my beloved cat became sick and died, I’m going through a horribly difficult divorce, I’ve started an exciting if not demanding new career, and I threw out half a carton of expired milk this morning. The End.

I’m back. Tricked ya!

To any new Minivan readers who weren’t with me in the days of yore, when Minivan posts were abundant, there are a few things you should know about your time here. First, nothing constructive happens here. There will be no enlightenment, no political musings, no educational value whatsoever. In fact, if you are still reading this after reading the previous line, you should be ashamed of yourself. Second, this is a fun place, so anyone who challenges me via the comments section pretty much sucks. I’m not writing a blog to be challenged. I’m writing a blog for attention. Third, and I really mean this, I think blogging contributes to the nail polish on the tips of my fingernails wearing off too fast. Please send manicure gift cards. Thanks.

Because I have no confidence in you to introduce me to eligible bachelors, I have already taken the liberty of writing my Match.com profile. It feels a little bit like what I imagine writing my own eulogy would feel like, except not like that at all.

Here’s what I’ve got so far. Please note my honesty, minus the omission that I’m like one Groupon away from Botox. Let me know what ya think.


ABOUT ME:

I'm a former teacher turned business owner, and the proud mother of two precocious, if not pesky, punks. They're seven and six, and when neither of them is whining, complaining, or projectile vomiting, they're fantastic!  I recently went through the drive-through at a pharmacy to drop-off a prescription, and my son ordered French fries. This is probably compelling evidence that I don’t cook enough, and did I really need the bread maker and panini press after all? I'm 40% motivated to learn to love cooking, 70% motivated to find more yummy restaurants to order carry-out from, and 20% distraught over my poor math skills! So, in summary, I am looking for someone who is not looking for a good cook!

I am also looking for someone cute, normal and willing to watch Dancing with the Stars with me, even if you have to save face with your friends and tell them that during that highly-coveted 8:00-9:00 prime time slot, you weren't inside watching girlie TV. You were, of course, outside branding cattle. With your bare hands!

I have devoted a significant amount of time and attention to self-improvement after the break-down of my marriage, and have come up with the following: even though I'm the common denominator in all of my past relationships, I still assume their failures had nothing to do with me. And this attitude explains my Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs journey toward self-actualization. Or self-righteousness. Definitely one of the two.

In terms of my perfect first date, I'm thinking thoughtfulness cannot be overstated at this point. I was with the same man for over 10 years, and bless his heart, chivalry wasn't really his thing, so I think at this point I'd be smitten if someone so much as made a dinner reservation. Heck, I'd be impressed if it ever occurred to the man to make a dinner reservation, even if he were then unexpectedly sidetracked by something more important like a hot dog eating contest on ESPN.  

Is Anybody Out There?

It's only been 1200 days since my last post! Before I start yammering on and on, is anybody out there?!?!

Twitter- 1, Sheri- 0


Okay, so that went well.  Nobody could find me on Twitter.  I'm not sure why that is, but it probably has something to do with bad karma from poor choices I made during that one brief time in my life (the Reagan administration).

However, thanks to VDog I may have a workaround in place.

Click the following link, and if you're a Twitterer, please tell let me know if you were able to find me this way:

WORKDAMMIT!!

I really want to be sure to go out of my way to thank my good friend Erica for getting me started on Twitter.  It has really been nothing but good times since it hasn't worked since I started it last night, and I only still want to kick my monitor, stomp on my hard drive and heave it all through my arcadia door only a little bit.  Feel free to stalk her on her blog and on Twitter.  Mutually beneficial, nurturing relationships are for the weak.  STALK.  HER!


This is Erica, the subject of our stalking.  We don't always chug overgrown shots in dimly lit hotel bars.  Only usually.

Twitter



Okay, I think we can all agree that Sheri sucks on updating her blog (readers nod heads in collective agreement).  However, I joined Twitter seventeen minutes ago and have since made a lifelong commitment to tweet.  Hopefully this will go better than my lifelong commitment to fitness.

My screen name on Twitter is "Irishtwinz." 

I'll still update this blog when I have something interesting to share, which isn't very often.  See what I mean:


My husband and son in our room in San Diego in the
middle of the night.  Oh, you don't see my son? 



And there he is, completely under the bed.  I'm assuming he had stashed a Playboy under there earlier in the day and fell asleep while he was reading the articles.

I'm Practically Mrs. Seinfeld


Did anyone see Jerry Seinfeld's wife, Jessica, on Oprah earlier this year?  She had a new cookbook out called Deceptively Delicious which received rave reviews for its creativity in achieving the end result of getting children to eat their vegetables once and for all.  In her fun, colorful cookbook she describes how to make beautiful vegetable purees and color match them to the food the child is eating.

So, for example, if you were making mashed potatoes (white), you would add cauliflower puree (also white) to them and your child would unwittingly eat the vegetables.

Then Dr. Oz, who wrote the forward to her book, spoke about childhood obesity and the brilliance of adding purees to food.

I love this concept but am confused as to why I need a cookbook to put this into practice.  Just tell me where to buy the pretty puree and how to shove it into the Uncrustables.




My favorite is the homemade pancake recipe and the veggie purees she tosses in the batter.  Great, but how do you sneak them into the frozen jungle pancakes? 




Check out a recent pic of my muppets:


I
f only they knew.  Yep, that's right.  Chick pea stuffed boar loin infused sundaes at the golden arches. 

Gotcha kids!

A Personal Note of Gratitude


Dear Miss Marcy:
 
Ethan and I would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for such a special, inspired experience you have given Colin in your Monkey classroom at preschool this year.  Our son has grown and changed immensely and we attribute much of his upward mobility on the food chain to the quality time spent under your wing these past nine months.  Prior to being your student, Colin was your typical almost-three-year-old boy:  loving, warm, quiet, albeit a little quirky in a "haunted by every letter of the alphabet ever written" kind of way.  And sure, we had to stop taking him to the grocery store with us by the time he turned two because he walked up and down every. single. aisle. reciting every. single. letter. he saw and it once took us sixteen days to get down aisle four and I got so tired of the food in that aisle by day eight because I'll be dog gone if aisle four ain't the pet food aisle, but I'm sure we can write that off as normal.  Not the Ocean Whitefish Friskies, though.  That just ain't right.
 
And certainly, Miss Marcy, our first born angel never obsessed over the nuances of preschool life such as calendar time and the months of the year before you delicately escorted him through the lunar cycle and he now rifles through calendars at breakneck speed obsessively searching for recognizable months.  We very nearly skirted disaster on April Fool's Day when you decided to lightheartedly turn the calendar upside down in keeping with the spirit of the day, a move you pulled off and Colin did NOT in fact rip your sturdy, self-closing door off its hinges and go for broke, covering his ears, running up and down the hall and screaming at the top of his lungs, "MISS MARCY TURNED APRIL UPSIDE DOWN!  APRIL IS UPSIDE DOWN! 
IT'S UPSIDE DOWN, I SAID!!!
" as both you and I reasonably feared may happen.  


He finds his "months" magnets and reproduces the words with his letters.  He'd rather do this than eat chocolate.  I KNOW!! 

When the fast-approaching end of this prosperous school year comes to its inevitable conclusion, I will look back in awe on how my child has grown.  I will think of the self-confidence he has embraced, not the obsessive-compulsive tendencies he displayed on your watch.  I will celebrate you, and not blame you for last night's Passover Seder fiasco when my extended family broke out into a timely rendition of Dyanu and Colin became visibly upset, begging and pleading for people to "STOP IT" because "THE HAMMER SONG comes BEFORE Dyanu."  No matter no one in the three generations of my family that was in attendance had never heard of The Hammer Song, but you taught him that before you taught him Dyanu so you understand why his relatives looked on at him with pity as they continued on with their versus while my tortured son ran from table to table, hands over his ears begging them to stop.  And when they did eventually stop, because their song was over, he sang that Hammer Song like nobody's ever sang that Hammer Song before him.  And ya know what he did when he was finished?  He sang Dyanu.  Alone.  Because nobody else was listening.  Because The Hammer Song?  Not so much a traditional song in your everyday Haggadah.  But that boy, he didn't stop, because, "That's what comes next, ask Miss Marcy."  So thank you for spending so much time on your Jewish curriculum assuring special holiday dinners such as the one we enjoyed last night, whereby lifelong memories were created that prompted close relatives to wonder which one of his parents he inherited his vast flexibility from.  In my 39 years of life I squeezed out a "roll with it" attitude at least twice, so probably he gets this from his father, who is currently upstairs gathering his "Monday clothes" for tomorrow.  
 
Finally, I would like to extend a special thank you to you, Miss Marcy, for all of that you have taught my son.  I shudder at the thought of living as the shell of a person I once was.  A shell who lived a meaningless existence without the knowledge of what an AB pattern was.  Every time I walk into a room and find Colin has rearranged everything I own to demonstrate the aforementioned pattern, I am simply awestruck.  
 

Please note the alternating brands of bottled water.  And that my friends, is an AB pattern.


This doesn't look like a pattern to me, but I dare you to get in between Colin and this project. Go on, try!  Miss Marcy knows better!

It is with great sadness that in less than one month we will bid you a fond farewell.  I hope you enjoy a lovely summer with your family as we spend time with ours: Colin and his almost-three-year-old sister, Brynn.  She lurks in the shadow of your Monkey classroom and wonders what changes await her should she be so lucky next year as to get...Miss Marcy!!  Passover next year?  Could be interesting. 

With Love,

Sheri

Sibling Rivalry? None here, my friends!


Colin and Brynn were sitting next to each other on "Truck Day" at preschool last week.  They were enjoying their treats from the ice cream truck when Brynn's teacher spotted them and started clicking away.

What?  Your kids don't share like this when you're not around?  Do I have to teach you people everything?!?!










Brynn? Never Heard of Her


This is what greeted me in Brynn's cubby at preschool pick-up today:





A hard-cover Baby Einstein "Lift the flap" book with a Ziplock baggie taped to the front containing the twenty-three flaps my two-year-old systematically tore off. 

Then Miss Amy busted her.  Then Brynn smiled.  Ewwww, Bryyynnn, I don't believe I would've done that.

But then Miss Amy decided to let Brynn live.

To honor Miss Amy's brave and controversial decision to let Brynn live I just knew I had to do something.  Something drastic.  I was bombarded with images in my head of old school sitcoms where a teenage boy was caught smoking and his hard-nosed father stuck him in a barren room with hundreds of cigarettes and made that boy smoke them all until he was physically ill and vowed to never, ever again so much as take a drag of another cigarette.

There I had it.  Aversion therapy was the only solution to bookgate.  If it works for smoking maybe it works for bibliodestruction.

I plopped Brynn's little delinquent tushy down right there in the middle of the children's section of the public library and buried her in a mound of books.  There she sat, surrounded by thousands of pages of print, and I'll be doggone if that quick-study-of-a-toddler didn't pledge to never again tear another page of a book by the time she was on her third pack of Lucky Strikes.

Kicking Ass and Taking Names


Everyday I pick my two-year-old, Brynn, up from preschool and everyday I’m met with glowing reports of her sweetness.  Of course she’s sweet.  She’s mine and Ethan’s and between the two of us we once did something sweet*, so it stands to reason. 

I was completely blindsided at pick-up yesterday when I walked into Brynn’s classroom and her teacher bombarded me with tales of her misguided behavior at school that morning.  I couldn’t believe it when she told me Brynn had bitten a kid, pushed a kid, and hit a third one over the head.  I was absolutely shocked to hear this.  I have role-played with Brynn over and over again that when somebody does something you don’t like, kick ‘em!

What’s the point in fine tuning her conflict resolution skills if she’s going to abandon protocol when she gets into a tight spot?

I get so frustrated when she makes a mockery of the opportunities we provide her with.  Does she think her American Gladiator crown is just going to win itself?

I did phone the mother of Jaws’s bite victim to see if her little one was okay and determine whether or not we needed to retain legal counsel. 

To make it all better, her teacher went on to tell me that Brynn was written up and a copy of her misdeeds was placed in her file.  I drop my beautiful, angelic doll off at school in the morning and by noon she has a criminal record.  My dreams of universities and pedigrees humbly replaced by hopes of juvenile detention center valedictorian.  Should I have capitalized that?  I don’t mean any disrespect to my daughter’s like-minded colleagues.  Juvenile Detention Center Valedictorian is an esteemed honor.  But salutatorians?  Losers.


*embellishment


Jaws

Preschool Play Dates


The most critical thing you need to remember to do in preparation for a play date is to be sure your child is ready to perform on cue.  And not like one of those trained monkeys you see on Safari Wiggles.  More like a fighter pilot running a well-rehearsed combat mission to rescue millions of helpless refugees, but more important.  Not blurting out in the middle of an otherwise perfectly jovial play date, "Joey, what is two plus two?" is akin to admitting your child is average.  Is that what you want?
 
If your child ignores you, gives the wrong answer you rehearsed for three days, or otherwise refuses to cooperate because he fails to understand how important it is for you to win this play date, it's okay to follow-up with a redemption question such as, "Joey, how do you spell your name?"  It doesn't matter if he doesn't know what spelling actually is, or even if he can recognize his letters yet.  What matters is that you tie your self-esteem and parenting skills into your child’s academic prowess. 

You are probably wondering by now what to do in the event your child is (gulp!) average.  This touchy situation is best handled by geography. 

Move.

When you get settled into your new neighborhood where nobody knows you, whatever you do, DO NOT ENROLL YOUR PRESCHOOLER IN PRESCHOOL!  As soon as he is old enough to buy alcohol, enroll him in Pre-K.  You are better off explaining the presence of leg hair than trying to excuse the lack of number recognition.

But not my kids.  They’re geniuses. 




genius A


genius B

My Brother

I love having this blog, however sporadically I may update it, because I know all of the people reading it can totally relate to me and my experience as a mother.  Except for my brother. 

Ya know how sometimes your two-year-old insists on using the potty herself and then she falls in?  And you’re totally embarrassed because you’re at a playdate with kids who did not fall in the potty?  My childless friends (and those who pay attention to their children) just can’t relate.

(FYI these snazzy Ked’s shoes dry within just hours and hours!  It would be speculative to assume the boogers she was picking dried first.  But I think they did.)

My brother, lone male reader of minivan, and his lovely wife have seven children.  The oldest turned 11 this week and the youngest is three-months-old.  Or four months.  What am I saying, I have no idea.  I don’t even remember the baby’s name.  But it might be a girl.  Oh, that would be so great.  I hope it’s a girl!

Should anything happen to my brother and sister-in-law, Ethan and I would be awarded custody of their children.  All seven of them.  Even the one who was born sometime last fall and who may or may not be a girl.  I feel honored they would choose us to raise their children and feel confident we would not take advantage of the situation by cashing in their life insurance policy, selling their children (but not all of them because remotes can’t pass themselves), and using the money to campaign for low-flow toilets.

Thanks for reading, Bro.  Buckle up!

Wimpy White Boy

I have been a bad, bad blogger as of late, but as of tonight I have been a good, good patient.  I threw my back out, took my expired muscle relaxers, added a dose of red wine (where I come from a dose is actually two glasses- hey, I'm from Detroit: where the weak are killed and eaten, stay with me here, people.)  Another round of ibuprofen and really, right at this exact moment in time I'm ready to blog my ass off.  Or I'm ready to pass out and seek some serious medical counseling tomorrow, one of the two.  In the meantime, I've been having fun writing the story of my premature son, Colin, that I am calling "Wimpy White Boy,"  and just enjoying throwing some ideas around on paper.  I have 75,000 first pages to this book.  This is the first, first page.  I'm going to post the other 74,999 first pages tomorrow.  Please account for this unexpected turn of events while budgeting your free time tomorrow.  Great, thanks.

When I woke-up on the morning of October 21st, 2004, nothing seemed out of the norm.  It’s not like I woke-up delightful and cheery.  That morning I rolled my seven months pregnant self out of bed and barked at my husband, Ethan, for leaving his dirty clothes on the floor all while tripping over my own pile of filthy laundry, which isn’t hypocritical on any level.  (Oh, you do think it’s hypocritical?  Okay, Ethan.)  After spreading my usual morning goodwill, I moseyed myself on over to my high school teaching job where I taught freshman and sophomore geography. 

Technically the one geography class I took in college during the Reagan Administration would no longer qualify me to actually teach geography, but this was before No Child Left Behind was enacted.  We left children behind all the time back then.  It was particularly difficult for the child we left behind on the field trip to the Natural Disasters Museum.  Gabe, if you’re reading this, glad to see the museum now has a bookshop. 

Getting through my half day teaching job at this stage in my pregnancy was no easy task.  I was an extremely irritable, grumpy pregnant woman who barked at people without just cause all day long.  I’m not trying to promote stereotypes here.  No, I’m just kidding.  I totally am.  It probably didn’t help that I was stressed from spending all morning everyday teaching a class I wasn’t fluent in.  It’s challenging teaching geography when you can’t point to Yemen on a map to save your life.  But it’s not just me who can’t find it.  I’d be willing to bet all of those kids I taught geography to over the years couldn’t find it either.

On this particular day I had plans to unwind after work by going shopping with a friend and her five-month-old.  As it turns out, shopping with a five-month-old is about as relaxing as sitting on the tip of an orbiting rocket.  I want to go on record as saying I have never actually sat on the tip of an orbiting rocket.  I would have assumed you knew that, but five minutes ago you thought all geography teachers know where Yemen is.

Obviously I picked-up carry-out for dinner on my way home from shopping.  If that wasn’t obvious to you it’s only because this is Chapter One and you’re still getting to know me.  By Chapter Three you’ll be surprised that back in Chapter One I picked-up carry-out instead of getting delivery.  By Chapter Six I will probably already have had my second child and both of my kids will be throwing macaroni and cheese at each other, but for the record, I made the mac and cheese myself (Easy Mac, but still…). 

After dinner Ethan went right up to bed exclaiming, “I have never been this tired in my life!” 

(cliff hanger...sorry...this concludes Page 1 of "Wimpy White Boy."  Based on past trends, Page 2 will be posted on the 3rd night of Passover...in April)

I'm Just Sayin'...


Okay, so I wrote this mumbo jumbo awhile ago but never posted it because I wasn’t sure I really wanted to make jokes about evolution because, really, I didn’t want to inadvertently post something thought-provoking.  If at any point while reading this you find yourself thinking, please log off, watch two episodes of Maury Povich, then come back.  If after thoughtful consideration we decide as a group the Declaration of Independence was more humorous than this post, I’ll bounce back tomorrow with some bad ass knock-knock jokes.

And here it is…

I wonder if in the spirit of evolution, some millions of years down the road children might be born with SPF 30 brims protruding from their skulls so we can just scratch the whole mythical concept of hats on children.  I know I’ve seen what appears to be children wearing hats, but I realize this is just a figment of my imagination, like toddlers sitting through circle time.

While we’re on the subject of biological upgrades, maybe a built-in feature whereby the degree of difficulty in achieving cute hair for your child is directly proportionate to the parents’ hair quotient ability level.  So if the parent in question is not well-suited to adequately style the hair of a two-year-old girl with two cowlicks, for example, she would not give birth to a child with two cowlicks.  Rather, this completely hypothetical person would maybe have a daughter who stayed bald until the teen years when she was able to do her own hair just before sneaking out of a second floor window, climbing down a ladder and bolting to the nearest mailbox to enter her dad in a “Father of the Year” contest, that he would eventually win.  Wait.  That wasn’t us.  “Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!”


Exhibit A: This picture was taken immediately after
a cow licked Bam Bam's forehead. 

I’m going out on a limb here and boldly predicting an evolutionary trend that once and for all addresses the age-old issue of all orange baby food that when consumed, turns the baby’s nose orange.  I don’t see the contribution strained carrots are making to this world we call home, so I’m off to the dinosaur museum to see if I can get to the bottom of this. 


Exhibit B: Crusher's nose two years ago.  He loved him
some Stage 2 carrots. 

First I have to use the navigation system in my minivan to locate the closest dinosaur museum.  Strained carrots, unnatural.  GPS, totally evolutionarily sound.

Knock-knock.

Who’s there?

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
One of my favorite blogging buddies is off lollygagging in Paris so I'm blogsitting for her today.  I've cross-posted this to her blog at Gray Matter Matters.  If you don't regularly read her blog, you're missing out! 

Alive and Kicking


Hi Everyone,

Just a quick note to address everyone's gracious concerns about my well-being.  Yes, I am fine, just taking an unexpected blogging break due to a backlog of thrilling Oprah episodes.  And Phoenix, no, my children have not locked me in the closet.  Although, there was that one time we locked Crusher in the closet when he was two-months-old and colicky.  But if a baby cries and nobody hears it, did it really make a sound?

Shoot, that's not how the saying goes.  Let's try that again.  If a wife asks her husband to take out the garbage and change the lightbulb in the foyer and he doesn't do it, did he really sleep alone on the couch that night?  I think we can assume he did.

I'll be back once I regain some motivation and that dang Dr. Oz stops covering riveting topics like colon cameras and ear hair. 

See ya soon!

Sheri

Them Some Pearly Whites


I'm afraid that today I am the bearer of bad news for all of you stellar parents out there.  I know everyone reading this is a proactive, thoughtful parent who only wants to make her children happy.  Or at least wants to make one of her children happy at a time.  You can never want to make all of your children happy at the same time because that's counterintuitive.  For example, if you want Junior to be happy, then you have to want Juniorette to get clobbered over the head with Dancing Elmo.  And if you want Juniorette to be happy, then you have to be willing to sacrifice Junior's pet frog to the porcelin god so Juniorette can have legitimate cause to practice her rousing rendition of Amazing Grace, which she's been telling you all week she's going to do, but you didn't realize it was going to be to commemorate Junior's pet frog's passing.

Why do you people even have pet frogs, anyway?  Have you ever heard of a goldfish?  Okay, where was I going with this?

Of course, the bad news.  The price of frogs just went up!

No, no, no.  I'm kidding, Kermit.  My bad news is that pediatric dentistry is a sham.  Or is it a scam?  Either way it is a four letter word that begins with “s” and ends in “am.”  I think I've made my point. 

Last week I took Crusher to a pediatric dentist for his first teeth cleaning.  They were fabulous with him.  They had a child-friendly lobby with piles of toys, ran right on time, got him very excited about all things teeth, and then it happened.  The ten straight minutes of advice.  Something about sugar bunnies and sippy cups and juice and fluoride and brushing twice a day.  And I can tell you right now however you have been brushing your kids' teeth is wrong.  Wrong.  Wrong.  Wrong.  I gave this dentist every opportunity to praise the strategy that's been working day in and day out at the Minivan Household, but she was so quick to dismiss.

I don't think I could've been any more passionate about how much Crusher and Bam Bam enjoy sucking a huge dollop of non-fluoride toothpaste off of their toothbrush every night then immediately throwing the toothbrush in the sink.  Why is her way right and my way wrong?  Where did this quack go to dental school, anyway?  The National Dental School of Messing up Perfectly Good Nighttime Routines?

And to make it even better, in the middle of her diatribe Crusher asked for his sippy.  The dentist quipped, “That's water in there, right?”  So I lied.  “Right!”  And do you need to be escorted through the rest of this scene, or have you already gathered how Crusher threw his poor mama right under the bus?

“No, Mommy.  It's apple juice.”
 
So Crusher and the frog got flushed down the toilet.  The end.

Wait!  Come back!  I didn’t really flush the frog down the toilet.

Believe it or not I actually embraced Dr. Quack’s tooth brushing technique that night at home.  I sat Crusher down on my lap, wrapped his legs around me then rolled him back onto Ethan’s lap who was sitting facing me.  We scrubbed his teeth with a dab of Uncle Tom’s All Natural Fluoride Toothpaste, being very careful to properly scrub where the teeth meet the gums.  Crusher was a champ!  I couldn’t believe he stayed so still during this invasive procedure.  I was so pleased with his behavior I rewarded him with a Tootsie Roll. 

And ya know what?  The following day he couldn’t wait to brush his teeth again.  Dr. Quack’s a genius!


If I Have To Put My Drink Down One More Time! (Page 7)


 Now that your baby is resting peacefully in an open bassinet, you will have the privilege of dressing him in street clothes.  No matter what you do, do not take the advice of the doctors and nurses around you with countless years of collective experience with premature children.  You must go out and spend as much money as you can comfortably afford, plus another 10%, on preemie clothes.  Yes, he is happy in the free hospital-issued onesie.  Yes, there are perfectly good hand-me-down outfits the hospital will loan you at no cost.  Yes, he will outgrow the preemie outfits before you know it.

But this is the suburbs!

What kind of a mouth-breathing knuckle-dragger are you trying to raise here?  If you don’t begin overindulging your baby now, he may never fit in.  He may grow envious and resentful and rebel.  Is that what you want?  What if, thanks to you, one day next week you come to the hospital to visit your son and he’s waiting for you on the curb because he got kicked out of the NICU for smoking a doobie while perusing girlie magazines because you’re trying to save money on preemie clothes to cover the hospital bill.  Think, people, think!



Now that you’ve appropriately adorned your newborn in $50 outfits that won’t fit a week from Tuesday, you can focus on the medical care he is receiving.  You may have noticed when he’s having trouble breathing that he is given a caffeine stimulant that will help him breathe more easily.

Crusher’s nurses referred to this caffeine therapy as “frappa-boo-boo.”  You must do the same.  If you don’t, he may confuse his caffeine treatment with McDonald’s new line of “signature” hot coffee drinks.  What are you raising, a premature Neanderthal? 

It's a wonder why some people even have children.

Party And You're All Invited


I have been trying for months now to persuade Bam Bam to watch TV and she absolutely refuses.  If she continues on this selfish rampage, I am never going to find time to get dinner ordered.
 
Bam Bam needs to start thinking of others or I will be forced to play hardball with her and cancel all of the trimmings of her upcoming birthday party.  By the time I’m done, it won’t even resemble a typical suburbanite second birthday party.  I won’t hesitate to cancel the Navy jetfighter flyover in a Barbie formation, the simulated space rides, and the filet tartare.  Gone, gone, and gone. 

I am relieved to have Crusher and Bam Bam’s joint birthday party invitations completed and ready to be mailed.  It wasn’t very difficult constructing the list of invitees.  I decided I would not break tradition and would follow carefully crafted common birthday party etiquette.  Therefore, the list of those invited to this combination 2nd/3rd birthday party includes only the following people:
  • Everyone we’ve ever met in our entire lives.
  • Those people we haven’t met in our entire lives but who know people that we have met in our entire lives.
  • Phoebe the Clown.
I really wanted to keep things simple this year, and since the number of people invited to this party is only able to be represented numerically using scientific notation (4.567 x 10 to the 8th power plus Phoebe the Clown), I decided to have the party at the park.  It’s inexpensive and perfect for any number of people.  I drove over to check-out the ramada we reserved and to discuss with the city the possibility of them building a dome over the park for Crusher and Bam Bam’s birthday party because I really don’t want to have to be stressed about the weather dampening our fun.  I didn’t sense the city folks were fully grasping the urgent nature of this situation.  Am I being unreasonable?  Kidding.  Obviously I’m not being unreasonable.  That’s why I’ve instructed the Navy to throw a tarp down over the park immediately following the flyover.

Uh oh.  Maybe my ex-boyfriends were right.  Maybe I am crazy.



Side note: Bam Bam is two-years-old today.  Break a mama’s heart.  Happy birthday, Little Girl!  Mommy loves you. (Everyone's two-year-old daughters routinely strip and still don't have enough hair for a ponytail, right?  Right?!)

If I Have To Put My Drink Down One More Time! (Page 6)




The doctors in the NICU will remind you over and over again that the entire experience with a premature baby is two steps forward, one step back.  It doesn’t matter if this is true or not.  What matters is that you only speak in clichés. 

You will grow weary of the entire hospital experience and will most likely get down at times, because let's be honest, neonatal intensive care units are only fun for so long.  But then you’ll show-up one day to unexpectedly find this:


Your baby has been moved from an incubator to an open bassinet!  This is a big, big day.  You can now hold him as often as you’d like, you may now dress him in street clothes, change his diaper, feed him occasionally, and swaddle him for comfort, all by yourself.


It is not until this momentous day that you will come to the deflating realization that swaddling is a mythical concept.  It is a magic trick that is taught only in nursing schools.  You have a better chance of reading an article about one of the Wiggles kicking someone else’s ass in a bar fight than you do of successfully keeping your baby swaddled.  (No offense to the Wiggles, but maybe a little offense to whomever got his slate wiped clean in a hasty Wiggle fury.  Jeff Wiggle, you may be small, but you're a feisty son-of-a-gun!)

You will sense relief upon remembering that back when you were pregnant you convinced your husband to attend Daddy Boot Camp at the hospital, where you know he practiced swaddling on plastic dolls.  Mostly, you’ll just be relieved you were able to write a line in your blog about your husband and plastic dolls without resorting to unnecessary sophomoric humor.  However, you may find that you casually implied it.

Personally, we were shocked when Crusher, the master escape artist, freed himself from his Daddy’s swaddle o’ doom.  Ethan had learned his swaddling finishing move in Daddy Boot Camp. Unfortunately, Crusher had learned the counter-move in Preemie Prep School.

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Thank you to everyone who takes the time to read and comment on my silly little blog.  With Wednesday evening signaling the beginning of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, I'm going to take the rest of the week away from my blog and spend it with my family.  In other words, my kids go to a Jewish preschool and they're off the rest of the week.  As my people say, "Oy!"  See everyone next week.  And to any card-carrying members of the tribe out there, Happy New Year!

A CALL TO ACTION


THIS IS A CALL TO ACTION!
 
Our Little Green Steam Machine has died! 



Crusher threw-up all over his most adorable Pottery Barn Kids over commercialized, "If I don't have this rug I'll die" rug, and the Little Green Machine lost her steam.  Fortunately, Crusher had only eaten 40,000 blueberries washed down with purple Dimetapp prior to launch, so as you can imagine, the rug is now in a better place. 
 
This is such a vivid example of how bad things happen to good people.  But not so fast.  Maybe I'm not so good after all.  Maybe my carpet cleaner died because of that time in the sixth grade I made fun of Sandi Rosenbooger.  No, that wasn't her name.  It was Sandi Rosenass.  No, that's not nice.  It was Rosenberg.  Sandi bandi bo bandi, banana fana fo fanny, Sandi Rosenberg.  That was it.  The bitch.

If all of this wasn't bad enough, and I think we can all agree it was, this morning I pulled out of the driveway to discover this:



The rug had been laid to rest.  Ethan took it out with the trash this morning and had discreetly tried to hide it beneath the cover, clearly to spare me the emotional trauma of having to say good-bye to my beloved.  Thanks, Ethan.  Thanks, rug.  You will be missed forevermore.  You have left a big gaping hole in my heart, and on my son's floor:



Sometimes life hands us lemons, and we make lemonade.  Sometimes it hands up blueberries marinated in Dimetapp, and we make a plea on our blog for the names of new and improved portable carpet cleaners.  Evolution, it's the darndest thing.  First opposable thumbs, now this.