The Mischief of Minions

Kids, Family, Insanity…

Is it just me? Cartoons are getting weirder


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Is it just that it is too early on a Sunday morning, or are cartoons becoming increasing more odd?

And why does my 2 years old seem so fascinated?

They have no feet and the heads pop off…and a man thing just opened up and popped a pizza directly into his midsection – and if I am not entirely mistaken I think I just heard Betty White’s voice coming out of what I can only suppose is a Grandma?

I need coffee…

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Pre-verbal Madness


My son, T – Age 18 months, has not decided to speak much as yet. This has caused me much panic and angst: worries about what I’ve not done as a parent, mental-flagellation, and frustration over our inability to ask him what the heck he’s thinking.

On the flip side, it’s also occasionally pretty darn funny.

We have our imperfect methods of getting things across:

  • If T. throws a food clear across the room, it either means “yes, mommy, I am done eating that” or “wow, I’ve been meaning to show you how much air I can get on this thang!”
  • If he goes and finds an empty packet of something in the garbage can and brings it to you, this translates to “I would like this please.” The subsequent howl of rage when you tell him there is no more means “Well,heck!”
  • If he shakes his head vehemently from side to side in an exorcist-like fashion, this means he does not approve of your choice of snack. If you do not move quickly enough to remove it, please see line item one.
  • If T. runs around with a bucket on his head, this translates to “Look at me with my bucket hat! Is it not spectacular?”
  • If he grabs onto your clothes and pulls himself up forcibly, the means “Pick me up, you slacker!”
  • If he bursts into tears and starts roaming the house crying as if you’ve broken his heart, this means you’ve guessed his needs inadequately.
  • And finally, if he finds you curled up in a ball on the kitchen floor bawling and puts his arm around you and nuzzles his wet face into the crook of your neck this means “I love you mommy. We’ll figure this out before I’m twenty, I promise.”
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    How do you say vomit in Spanish? ( warning: graphic )


    I remember when I was a little girl in school my friend Harla and I wrote a play for reading class called “Maggot Rice”. The script was just as disgusting as it sounds. The play was complete with a bag of fake vomit (truly inspired) and ghastly wrenching sounds and was the hit of the school. Super funny stuff!

    When it’s your kid, especially the one who can’t even talk, it’s far less funny: gross yes, vaguely reminiscent of clam chowder (except with chunks of orange in it) yes – disgustingly clumpy and all over my clothes and foot, yes. Scary, yes. Funny? No.

    You panic and worry. You feel horrible for them and helpless. Watching anything bad happen to a child is terrifying.

    As you might guess, my son got ill tonight. He seems better and is sleeping peacefully. I will undoubtedly be lying in bed, awake and listening for much of the night.

    What I find truly frightening is what actually just went through my mind while cleaning up the mess. I started thinking:

  • I wonder if Dora ever does a show about getting sick?
  • I wonder how you say vomit in Spanish?
  • Hey, that bit there looks like styrofoam…
  • I feel I may have reached a new parenting low. Children’s programming has taken over my mind.

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    Happiness Is…


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    Happiness is a big pile of glistening yellow and gold cold, wet leaves found on a trip to the backyard with mom.

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    It is also knowing that in this one fragile moment the world and the sky and the trees are all hers, and adventure is everywhere she looks and hers for the taking.

    I simply smile, and watch.

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    The turn to Age 4…


    My daughter is now S. – Age 4 instead of S. – Age 3.5, and I admit, I am fighting off a bit of sadness and anxiety.

    Her birthday was celebrated with sugar and fire (a la candle in donut as is tradition in my family among my sisters) and much fanfare, but after the stress of parties, etc. I fear my unchecked mind has had a little too much time to think.

    My daughter becomes more interesting every day: drawing new things, creating amazing and bizarre stories in her head, pulling the most peculiar and yet somehow sensible logic and applying it to her world in the most fascinating ways. She has a memory like a fox for the most bizarre of details, loves music and art, and has an affinity for kindness and love that seems endless. Her beauty is becoming more mature, and at times I think I see glimpses of what she may look like even years from now with stunning clarity.

    Don’t get me wrong: she can out-drama most 13 year olds and attempts Machiavellian schemes with maddening skill – and half the time has me pulling out my hair – but that is besides the point, and I am secretly proud of her more clever attempts.

    I fall more in love with this kid every day, but at the same time, it is the realization of how quickly time passes, and how short a time I will really have with her, that floors me. I feel lucky and priviledged to have this child in my life – with all her blessings of hope and wonder at the world, and with it grows so the fear of its changing and moving on.

    I am a mommy with pre-abandonment issues. On the last night of her third year, I admit I crawled into her little twin bed with her in the middle of the night, under a halo of butterflies and happiness and just laid there staring at that tiny face trying to soak it in so I would not forget any detail.

    I push my fear to the background and try and focus all on my hopes for her future, and joy for my present with her – our present with her. She fills my house with love and madness, and is adored by her baby brother and parents. I must rejoice in this, and tell myself constantly that S – Age 4 will be even cooler, and that butterflies must be allowed to soar to truly live.

    ::Sniff::

    I am one blessed mama.

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    Moving Too Quickly


    I haven’t posted in a few days – partially because of the need for both hands: my little boy, T. – Age 14 months is all over the place. If I am not removing him from one dangerous location or another, I am extracting objects from his mouth!

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    Things that Make Me Jealous of Toddlers


    There are at least a few moments most days when I am jealous of my children.

    They don’t worry about finances, they squeeze into cramped spaces readily, and have a capacity for fun and merriment that I can only longingly admire.

    Best of all? At this point in their lives, the world and the people in it exist solely to cater to their needs and amusement!

    Here are a few photo examples from just this weekend of childish glee:

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    Collateral Damage


    My nose is killing me.

    Would you like to know why? Of course you do…

    About a week ago my 14 month son launched his bottle at my face. He is quite strong, by the way. My nose has been aching ever since.

    To add insult to injury (or really, to add injury to injury) my daughter managed to wack the other side of my delicate schnoz on the other side last night.

    I keep looking in the mirror to see if there is a bump. I am pretty sure something is off.

    This is not the first time I’ve been so injured. I am routinely kicked, bitten, and used as a bounce house. When S. – Age 3.5 was merely S. Age 2 she did a reverse head-butt on me that sent me to the ER. I had a concussion.

    I am sure the doctors were laughing at
    me behind my back.

    I knew motherhood was tough. I knew pregnancy was going to involve aches and pains, and expected childbirth to be a doozy.

    What I did not expect was that at 40 years of age I would be considering purchasing a helmet to protect me from my tiny minions.

    Oh wait! I am pretty sure there is a
    hockey goalie mask in the basement…

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    Mommy Rants


    I am a well-intentioned, though occasionally haphazard mum.  I am a working mom, and when I get home from work, I typically don’t even get to change out of my work clothes before I am on the floor playing with the minions.  Dinner is frequently random bits of things I know they will eat, shoved into the little time I have with them.  I have no shame and will sing to my child in public and make funny faces if it will keep them amused and/or keep them from screaming.  I am not above bribery.  My kids will follow the 5-10 second rule, and yes, I admit, I did not hand-wash bottles once I found out the dishwasher did a mostly good job of sanitizing.   I lose track of baby bottles all the time, only to find my son walking through a room with one he found under a sofa, trying to suck down curdled milk.  My house is inadequately child-proofed by most standards (including my own) and childcare and parenting on the whole in my house is a bit of an adventure.

    I admit all of that.  I love my children to death, and they are my world, but June Cleaver I am not.

    One more thing to Child-Proof

    Basically, I am  TOTALLY imperfect pretty much all the time.  I do most things wrong so on the whole,  I try not to judge.  But there are a few things that drive me NUTS:

    • Mothers who have 20 bottles of sanitizer on them at all times but don’t put a hat on a baby in the sun when the poor things are squinting like moles and frying like eggs;
    • Mothers who won’t look up from their iPhones, Smartphones, etc. to respond to their children every now and then;
    • Moms that complain about how ill-behaved other children are but are too busy socializing to even keep an eye on their own;
    • Children that are beautifully wrapped in complex ribbons and bows instead of comfy play clothes at the playground;
    • Mothers that sit there and do nothing when their older children are running over the smaller ones on slides and ignore your meaningful glares entirely;
    • Mothers that manage to look like a million bucks at all times and somehow magically avoid all the kiddie goo I seem to be forever covered in (I admit this is really complete jealousy);
    • Moms that give ME superior looks because I DO have baby goo spread all over my shoulder and they are somehow pristine;
    • Mom’s that go a little overboard with the Baby Einstein thing;
    • Moms that won’t give their kids 20 feet of distance and allow them to run around and explore a bit in a safe place, knowing that yes, the world is full of danger but part of being a child is running and being crazy and learning about their environment.

    There are probably more that I could include, but they are probably so horribly stupid and immature that I would not admit them publicly, and will keep them to myself out of fear of a good lynching or at least, boisterous objection.

    What Most Bothers You???

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    Bedtime anguish – can you help me? Please?


    So cute when she’s sleeping -but so hard to get her to sleep!

    Seriously, this is ridiculous. The pain of knowing I am losing a war with a three-year-old is humiliating. And costly. I am an awful parent. My daughter has giant black circles under her eyes. WE have giant black circles under our eyes.

    When it was just one child, things were easier. I had more hands. I had more patience. We could attempt the bedtime routine thing with books and music and it was enough. It isn’t anymore.

    I admit it: I struggle somewhat with structure in my own life. I know that I should start putting her to bed at 7:30pm, walk her to her room, get her into her pajamas, brush her teeth and read a book.

    But when I get home at 7pm from work, that makes it hard: I want to see my kid; I want her to know me. So we play. We dance. We color. We talk. We eat. I lose track of time with frequency in the midst of having some quality time with my family.

    But even when I try to get her in bed by like 8:30pm? It’s a battle. And we’ve been weak: we’ve let her go to her room and read books on her own. On occasion, she’s managed to slip into bed with an iPhone and play games. We’ve done whatever we could do to keep her away from her brother long enough for him to actually go to sleep, and it is backfiring miserably.

    She gets jealous that he is getting the attention. She cries, she yells, she bargains; we threaten, we wheedle and cajole. Last night, I found her downstairs watching the TV we had left on, bug-eyed because it was a seriously scary show and the poor thing couldn’t look away.

    I’m near the end of patience with what to do. I’m out of ideas.

    I am pulling out my already predominantly gray hair (you know, under the awesome highlights). So this is a plea: Readers, those of you kind enough to read my musings and struggles, how do I fix this? How do I solve the bedtime problem before she hits puberty??

    Please, your comments and wisdom and advice are desperately needed!

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