Friday, February 29, 2008

What I Do All Day

I get interrupted, is what I do. Constantly. I'm lucky when I get to shower in privacy. Given that I am both an introvert and an inhibitionist (ie. the opposite of an exhibitionist) I find it intensely annoying when I hear the patter of little feet and the door banging open. And given that SweetBabyGirl is perfectly comfortable running around nekkid, I'm not surprised that she doesn't seem to get the idea that Mommy wants privacy.

Oh, and she positively hates it when I insist on privacy when I'm in the bathroom. If I lock the door she stands outside sobbing brokenheartedly until I emerge.

You know how some characteristics skip generation? That seems to be the case here because my mother never let me have any privacy when I lived at home, either. Amazing, considering that my mom and SBG are not genetically related.

The house is always a mess because there is no household chore that can't be interrupted by a 4-year-old. Sometimes it's a demand that I play with her (hard to turn down completely so I end up cutting what I'm doing short) or a demand to help that tends to end up making a mess and more work for me. Sometimes I can get her involved in some kind of parallel activity (like running naked in the yard while I plant herbs) and that helps.

When I'm trying to accomplish something despite all the interruptions SBG will sometimes ask, Mommy aren't you happy? I end up saying, I'm fine I'm just tired, sweetie. I've tried to explain that I get tired when I'm interrupted all the time but I don't think she understands. How can she? She's just four years old.

And SBG has an uncanny ability to know when someone on the phone has reached a crucial part of the conversation so that she can start yelling at me and make it impossible to get a phone number or directions. Today, I actually hissed "You! Shut! Up!" at her while I was on the phone, thus setting back my efforts to teach her not to say shut up AND persuading the person on the phone that I'm an evil bitch.

Eh, whatever. If evil bitches get some respect, that's fine with me. Then again, I don't think I want my kid in therapy describing me that way. Isn't that always the way?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Preschooler Games

I thought it might be helpful for my readers (both of you!) if I shared some of the games that Dada and I play together.

1. Let's Make a Mess
Includes snipping paper into tiny bits all over the floor; toy-scattering, and wet-paintbrush-waving. Can be used as a sort of overlay for other games and activities.

2. Fun With Fluids
Also known as Wipe Hands On Mom. Materials used for this game include snot, sand (not technically a fluid), mud, anything sticky. Also a great overlay for painting activity.

3. Let's Drive Mommy Insane
Another overlay. Includes activities like Endless Annoying Chanting, Annoying Nicknames For Mommy (the worst was Puppy, which for some reason I loathed) and Who Needs English When You Communicate By Pointing and Squawking.

This one can be a timed event.

4. I Want. Great for shopping trips.

5. Let's Humiliate Mom In Public.
A favorite tactic is to select a carpeted area at the mall, throw oneself onto the floor and wave our legs in the air so as to display panties prominently while saying, "Look, Mommy, here's a little baby who wants [fill in what the child wants here]." Bonus points for doing this in a high-traffic area.

6. I'm Nekkid, Wheee!!
Related activity: I'm nekkid and covered with sand/sidewalk chalk/paint/food.

7. Boss Mommy Around.
Behave like a 3-foot-tall tyrant of the theatre as you tell Mommy or Daddy exactly where to stand, what to say and how to say it. Claim that this is really a game of reenacting a Superwhy episode.

8. Let's Get Crumbs in Mommy and Daddy's Bed
Other locations include the couch and the car. And any computer keyboard.

9. Annoy The Dog

10. Annoy The Cat
Less popular now that the cat his demonstrated her ability to terminate the game by "accidentally" clawing the child. Stupid cat.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


By which I mean, other people's, not mine.

Namely, what's up with all the road rage lately? Driving home from Houston on Saturday I was beset by three different guys driving BFPs (Big Fucking Pickups), all of whom attempted to intimidate me by tailgating. One guy flashed his highbeams. As we say in blogland, WTF??

And, no, I was not driving slow in the fast lane, far from it: in each case I was driving slower than the rest of traffic because the cars in front of me were going slow, too. So, picture it: I'm driving on I-10 in intermittent rain, occasionally find that there's a big, slow truck in the right lane and I move to the left only to find somebody going the same speed as the truck. Rolling roadblock ensues and I generally wait for slow-left-hand-lane guy to make his poky way around the slower truck, move to the right, and then voila, roadblock's cleared. But no, instead, some dickhead in his BFP feels compelled to tailgate in that situation. Dude, you're up high. You can see that there's another car in front of me. So back off, already.

But he doesn't. Instead, I get treated to tailgating so that my entire back window is filled with a view of his grille. Sometimes, I get a chance to move to the right and I can see his face with his lips pulled back in a snarl.

So for a while there on I-10, there were three black BFPs leapfrogging down I-10, taking turns driving right on my back bumper. We're all traveling at about the same speed and nobody wants to back down.

When people try to intimidate me, my usual response is to get very tense and quiet and stubborn. But in this situation I wasn't sure what to do. Luckily, my own SweetBabyGirl solved everything by saying, I'm hungry, I want lunch. So we pulled over, stopped at Jack in the Box and when we got back on the road it was better.

I was in a hurry to get home but realized that it's more important to get home alive, even if some dickhead gets to tell himself he's won.

And where does all this rage come from? These appeared to be middle-class, middle-aged white guys. What have they got to be pissed off about? And why do they have to put us all in danger to vent their fury?

[By the way, click on the title to this post to see a nice little video about road rage revenge.]

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Too Much TV

What's a Pissed Off Mom to do, anyway?

I've been letting the SweetBabyGirl watch waaaay too much TV because I just haven't had the energy to do much else. And, as the link above would indicate, the stuff on PBS for kids is pretty darn educational. And yet, there's some major drawbacks:

1. The theme music for Caillou is one of the worst ear-worm melodies ever. It. Won't. Stop.

2. While Super Why does a pretty good job as a reading tutorial, it's excruciatingly dull for adults. And it inspires SBG to run around the house with a wand pretending to be a magic princess. On the plus side, she's been consistent about pronouncing Princess Presto as Princess Prestone (who apparently has Antifreeze Power in addition to Spelling Power).

3. SBG really really wants me to stay with her while she watches. Which the good folks at recommend, too, so that we can talk about the lessons that she's learning. Bringing us to moments like Mommy, why do you have a pillow over your head?

4. I thought there'd be some respite from adding Pingu to the mix (courtesy of PBS Sprout, the on-demand kid channel) but instead it's inspired the child to add an annoying MOO MOO to her impressive array of irritating verbal tics. She's imitating the penguins' pissed-off call, which is really more of a skraaak skraaaak than a moo. At least the claymation is interesting, plus I've been learning to speak penguin.

5. Compared to all these other shows, Curious George is quality television. If only they'd show some new episodes, I think I might actually find the will to live.

No, no, I haven't really lost the will to live. I mostly just want to wait until the nasty pollen season is over and I can go outside again. Saturday, after days of howling wind that blew the pollen into every crevice of this house, I had a migraine that didn't abate for a full day, with the usual photophobia and vomiting. I still have almost daily headaches but as long as I'm not nauseated I can soldier on, timing the pain meds for when I'm not driving. The nausea is the worst since I can't take anti-nausea meds if I'm going to drive--I'm fairly sure I'd totally forget to, like, hit the brakes to stop, assuming I was awake to notice.

But being stuck indoors (or risking misery if we spend much time outside) and feeling crummy has been a drag and I'm ready to send her to a 5-day-a-week preschool so she can watch less TV.