Because mommy said so

Monday, January 28, 2008

Wanna know what the dog taught me today?

....Apparently I always stand six feet from something interesting. Not right next to it, not on top of it, but exactly one leash-length away from it. Who knew? My whole life I've been standing in the wrong spot! If I'm ever feeling a bit bored and want to go where the action is, I guess all I need to do is take three steps in any direction. Silly me.

Saturday, January 05, 2008


Well sheesh. It's been MONTHS since I've been around here. I'd like to say that I've been busy, that my endless list of mommy and wife duties has kept me frazzled and fullfilled at the same time, but that just wouldn't be true. I've just been a slacker.

Really I think I'm suffering from creative exhaustion. My youngest daughter is only three years old, but she's such an advanced three that I think I've reached the limit in my abilities to teach her anything else. Oh, I know she has plenty more to learn....I just don't think she's all that receptive anymore. She's just flat out bored with me. I've done everything I can think of to keep her entertained from cutting her sandwiches into mind-stimulating alphabet shapes to twirling around the living room with a pillowcase on my head while singing "The Hamster Dance". She doesn't even appeciate that "The Hamster Dance" is a techno song, and therefore rather difficult to sing.

No matter what I do, I know I won't ever be as entertaining as "The Wonder Pets". That's the problem. Yes, I know that allowing my child to watch TV puts me on the top of the home visit list for child services. But I'm out of ideas. You can only be creative on a child's level for so long. You can make just so many art projects out of paper plates and empty toilet paper rolls.

The Secret of PIN

Have you called your cable company recently? Your cell phone provider? Companies now seem to be requiring pin numbers to access accounts. Your ssn that they MADE you give when you signed up? Nope, that's not your pin. You would THINK that would be a secure number to use for identification, but nope, apparently not safe enough. The new pin number that you've been assigned is safe. SO SAFE in fact that NO ONE TELLS YOU WHAT IT IS.

"To access your account, you'll need to give me your 10 digit pin number ma'am."

My what? I don't remember giving you a pin number.

"Well, no, we assigned it to your account ma'am. Now can you please tell me the pin number?"

Wait, YOU assigned it? So how am I supposed to know what it is?

"If you don't know your pin ma'am, you'll need to go to our local retail location and show identification to gain access."

So, this new pin number that companies are requiring (but not sharing with you) is a 6 to 10 digit number. How am I supposed to remember a bunch of different pin numbers? Well, once I accept the challenge to go on the quest to discover what my pin number is, I do have the ability to change said pin. Great, so I am probably going to do what everone else will, I am going to change them all to the same thing so I can remember them all and avoid a ten minute account verification including security questions and answers that I never set up to begin with.

"Please verify your fathers middle name." Okay, it's Neal. "No, that's incorrect." NO IT ISN'T!! And how do YOU know anyway??I am furious. I have a problem with my cable that I can't get anyone to talk to me about. I have a question on my cell pone bill that no one will answer. I just don't understand it. But once I DO find unlock the key to these secret numbers, I'll call Sprint and expect them to solve a problem but won't actually tell them what the problem is. See how that makes them feel.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

One day recently, after dropping off the kids at school, I came back home to pack a bag for dcbaby. It was field day at dd's school and I needed to be back there at 9am. As I am putting dcbaby in the car, a little doggie wanders over to me. "Hi doggie!!! Are you lost?" I asked him. He looked at me with such sad little eyes! I approached him carefully to make sure he was okay with being touched, and finally was able to pick him up and put him in my backyard. (Meanwhile my dog inside was going crazy!)
I called animal control dispatch and asked if they could come pick him up since he has no colllar or tags. They said that they can't pick up until 10am. I told them that I had somewhere to be, and could I please drop him off? The woman puts me on hold, comes back and says sure, then gives me directions. I show up at the shelter but the gates are closed and locked. I call them and cheerfully say "Hello! I called a few minutes ago about a dog that I'd found. I have him here, can you come out and get him?" The woman replies "NO. We DO NOT take drops offs." Excuse me? I just called and someone told me to come drop him off. "Well, I don't know who you talked to because we don't take drop offs and we're not taking him." I was ticked at this point. I was already late for field day and I had just driven to the opposite side of town with this poor dog who didn't like the car ride AT ALL. So I say "Fine, that's okay. I see your animal control truck out here, I'll just put him in it. Thanks!" The woman proceeds to yell at me and then two animal control officers come running out of the building. It's a DOG, not a bomb you freaks. I hadn't even taken the dog out of the car. "YOU CAN'T LEAVE THAT DOG HERE. THAT'S ABANDONMENT. YOU'LL BE ARRESTED!" For what?! Saving you a trip to my house?!
"Abandonment is a serious issue ma'am. Don't you dare leave that dog here." Okay then, I'll go drop him off around the corner. Have a nice day. "YOU CAN'T!! I'M WRITING DOWN YOUR LICENSE PLATE NUMBER RIGHT NOW!" You're going to arrest me for abandoning an abandoned dog? He isn't going to be any more abandoned than he was at my house 30 minutes ago!"I was TOLD that I could bring him here. Here he is. You take him because I am not leaving here with him. I can't take him home, I can't keep him, I already HAVE a dog. What do you want me to do with him?" I ask. "I don't care, but you can't leave him here or anywhere else." HE'S NOT MY DOG!!!! I'M TRYING TO HELP HIM!!! WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM?? ARGH!!!
At this point, one officer turns to the other and says "It's alright, I've got her license plate number. We know who she is." Then she turns to me and says "If you went to a restaurant before they were open and asked them to make you a sandwich, would you expect them to do it?!" Well yes, if I had called them first and they said they would! I finally left, WITH the dog, ticked off that I had been treated so rudely and that I was now VERY late for field day. I brought him home, kennelled my dog, and put the stray in the back yard. A couple more calls to dispatch, and the nice woman there (not from animal control) told me that she could have someone come pick him up. I told her that it needed to be someone else, not those tow who were yelling at me, because I didn't want to see them anywhere near my house. She said that someone else would be on shift this afternoon and she would have them come pick up.
In the meantime, I carefully introduced my dog (who was leashed) to the stray. They did fine, I unleashed him, and they played together for hours! They were like best buddies! It was the sweetest thing! I even let dd come out there after awhile, and the doggie was so sweet to her, he licked her toes and wagged his tail. She ran around the yard and he trotted along behind her. Awwww! Eventually, the animal control person showed up to get him. She said he's daschund mixed with something. That's what I guessed too, because he was only about 15 pounds and he's got stubby little legs. Anyway, when she came in to the back gate to get him, my dog went nuts. As she left the yard my dog whined and howled like he was sad to see him go!!!
All ended just fine, I was NOT arrested (by doggie police!) but I do plan to file a complaint with the city!!!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

You know what really irritates me?

E cards. I think they are rude! I just got an ecard from a woman at church wishing me and my family Happy Thanksgiving. Ugh. Okay so now some random ecard website has my email address to do whatever they like with. Thanks a lot. And it's not even like it's a real card!!! Oooooh you put in so much effort, you typed my email address in to a little box. You probably didn't even type it, I bet you cut and pasted it! Am I supposed to feel grateful and appreciated? Thankful for such great friends who take the half-@ssed greeting card route? And you didn't even have to go through that much effort to choose the card. It isn't like Hallmark where you have an entire wall of cards to choose from. I've been to those greeting card sites. You get five. And of those five, two are animated, one is inappropriate and the other is in Japanese. Gosh, I'm so touched. Especially by the advertisement at the bottom telling me how I can make MY friends and relatives feel like they aren't even worth a piece of folded card stock and an envelope this holiday season.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The things we do for love

Last night I found myself standing in the bathroom wearing a cheap looking, platinum blonde, waist length, curly costume wig. I think that I will pause a minute and let your mind go with this one......

Okay it really wasn't for some kinky role playing game with my husband. My oldest daughter's school is having a "dress up like a rock star" day this friday. Can you guess why? Because drugs DON'T rock. That's a bit of a stretch don't you think? If they really wanted to get the message across wouldn't the school have them dress up in jail uniforms and chain them to their lockers for the day? That would be much more effective I would think, but then again I sure don't have a teaching degree. *shrug*

The ONLY rock star in my nine year olds mind is "Hannah Montana".
"Mom, I need to look JUST like Hannah Montana. Now SHE'S a rock star." I had the urge to list MANY rockstars who live somewhere other than Preteen Planet, stars really worthy of impersonating, but I know that would have only gotten me the "Mom, you just don't know anything" stare followed by the "Thank goodness I have the Disney Channel or I would be SO uncool" eye-roll.

We headed to Target to find the perfect blonde wig. Thank goodness we're nearing Halloween, there was an entire AISLE devoted to cheap wigs.
"No, no, no, no." All the way down the line she went. Nothing was right.
"We're just going to have to go to a different store mom," she sighed in her best diva voice.
I tried to explain to her how the cheap Halloween costume and wig industry works with all major retailers, but I just got The Stare.
I spent the next 20 minutes attempting to convince her that each wig looked JUST like Hannah's long and straight blonde hair. She wasn't buying it. Or rather, she WAS and that was half the problem. She was pitching in her own money for this thing which means that I wasn't allowed to pull the standard 'grab something, deal with it or get a job to buy your own stuff' line. She had a pocket full of birthday money that she knew bought her the right to be picky.
Thirty minutes later we stood in the checkout line with a Barbie Rapunzel wig that she'd finally settled on. It was blonde and it was long, but it was a mass of curls instead of smooth and straight like it was supposed to be.
And that is exactly how I found myself standing in my bathroom wearing a cheap platinum blonde wig. You can't just hold a wig to style it because you need both hands. I had to WEAR the thing. Not just wear it, but use a round brush and blow dryer with special attachments on it. My husband walked in and nearly fell on the floor laughing...I am SO glad that he has no idea where the camera is.
So the wig is straight, $15 of salon hairspray later. I can't wait until she comes home from school with the wig in knots, destroyed from 6 hours of hair-tossing, pose-striking and playing on the playground.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

No really, you can have them back

I have an in home daycare. In the south they call this "keeping kids" which is a saying that I just can't get used to. I've given in to "y'all" and sometimes even hear myself uttering the dreadful southern phrase "might should". As in "Honey, you might should bring the dog in, it looks like it's going to rain." My husband laughs at me every time I use it because he knows how much I hate it. But it gets IN YOUR PORES, this deep south speak. Honestly, after a month or so you feel it start to seep in. Six months and you're immersed in it so deeply you gasp and choke for just one last breath of yankee air. After a year, it's hopeless. You've got it bad and there's no washing it off. This stuff is permanent.
Last week while I was headed to the mall, two high school kids in the car behind me decided to pull a very bold and dangerous stunt, nearly running over pedestrians and street signs. Luckily for those reckless teenagers, I was right there to set them straight as soon as they stepped out of their vehicle about a mile down the road in the Target parking lot. Who knows what sort of life they would have gone on to lead if I hadn't used my mastery of the english language to turn their lives around.
I jogged to the double doors, catching up just as they were entering the store. "Y'all OUGHT NOT drive so selfishly!!" I hollered. In my mind I'm thinking "Ought not?" I have no idea where that came from, but I have a feeling that southern stuff I was telling you about had seeped into the "chewing out stupid people" part of my brain. That's unfortunate, because I used to be rather good at it. But the 'ought not' must have gone in and polluted all the good stuff and snappy comebacks with the politeness of an elderly grandmother.
The two teens offered an apology. "Yes ma'am, we're so sorry. It was our fault, we shouldn't be so careless." Hmm. Now what do you say to that? That's the thing with these southern kids. They can sure raise some hell, but they're awful polite to their elders while doing it. I decided to let them go with a finger wagging and a firm "tsk" (now where did that come from??) satisfied that they had learned their lesson.
So back to the kids that I "keep". One is a pure joy and rays of sunshine. The other is evil incarnate. I have another who is only about 7 months old so I am not sure yet if he's on the side of light or the side of darkness. It's just too early to tell.
Evil Boy has been taught the ways of the southern child. One moment he's slashing my sofa open with the jagged edge of sippy cup that he's slowly sharpened to a point on the netting of his pack-n-play, and the next moment he's batting those big brown eyes at me from the time-out corner. "I sowwy Miss Yeeah, I sowwy!" And every single time I fall for it. I firmly believe that it's a power that southern children are taught from birth. I know this because both of my own children are northerners and I never believe them.
So with that said, I do believe that "keeping kids" is an awful phrase. Come five o'clock if you're not here I will certainly not be keeping them, they will be waiting at the curb. (Evil Boy may even be out there at 4:30) And telling your co worker about the woman who keeps your kids implies that you for some reason no longer want your kids. Or are at least boarding them at a kennel for the week.
Thankfully my other day care mom, the one with the angel child, is a northerner like me. We're both from the same state as a matter of fact, and nearly the same city. How we ended up here must be fate. She is my breath of fresh yankee air, every day reminding me of home. We can talk about rhubarb, sweet corn and teenagers who will yell swear words in your direction when you scold them in the Target parking lot. Ahhh, memories.
Just this morning as we're standing in the doorway reminiscing about October snow, she glances over my shoulder "Uh, Leah? Do you think that you should take that sippy cup away from him?"
"Whoa!" I say as I lunge toward him, "I guess I might should do that!"

What my dog taught me about raising my children

I now own more puppy raising books that I do parenting books. That's really no indication of my priorities, I swear. It's just that after nine years of parenting, I figure I'd better have this mom stuff figured out by now. And if I don't, it's likely too late anyway. The puppy, on the other hand, I've only had for a month and a half. The way I figure it, I have plenty of time left to scar HIM for life.
After reading so many parenting and puppy-raising books, I've noticed an alarming (or maybe enlightening) trend. THEY ARE THE SAME BOOK. Really. Just replace the picture of the baby on the dust jacket of any parenting book with a picture of a furry little labrador puppy, and you'd never know the difference. They both have chapters on "Developmental Stages and What To Do", "How They Learn", "Surviving the First Nights Home" and "Housebreaking". Housebreaking you say? Yes. I just finished housebreaking my toddler, thankyouverymuch. Trust me.
I have recently begun training my puppy to do all the same tricks that we teach our children. Sit, lay down, be quiet, stop chewing on the refridgerator cord....and have realized that the methods are the same.
You begin by showing the child/puppy what you want it to do. You then repeat yourself over and over again as the child/puppy gazes over your shoulder at something more interesting than you. You make a few attempts to become the center of attention again by patting your knees excitedly and talking in a high-pitched, squeaky voice. Child/puppy yawns. Then you get frustrated, throw up your hands and admit that you will never have a well behaved child/puppy that you can take to the park to play with other children/puppies and have any expectations of acceptable behavior. You compare your child/puppy to everyone else's and wonder if yours is normal and learning properly for it's age. You then take it to the pediatrician/veterinarian who assures you that it's just a stage and your child/puppy will outgrow it "soon".
Really though, I have noticed some eye-opening similarities. After nine years and about fifteen books all telling me someone else's version of how to be the perfect parent, I've finally realized that it isn't as complicated as it's made out to be. Enforce the rules without emotion. Be matter of fact and consistant. Don't give any attention to any behavior that is unacceptable and praise like a mad woman when they do what you ask.
So this great puppy book I'm reading, I wonder what kind of response I'm going to get when I give it as a gift at the next baby shower.

In the beginning

Well look at me! Blogging! I had to do something to share my thoughts and I knew that it just couldn't be myspace. I'm not positive, but I think that my dog even has a myspace page. There's no way to know for sure, since the profile is set to "private", but I'm pretty sure it's him.