Tag Archives: kids

Farts Equal Love

Standard

I’ve been working through my third year of grad school (holy crap, that means I’m almost forty-one and not only have a mortgage, but almost $100K in student loan debt!  Awesome.) at a play therapy site.  This means I am working toward having most of the letters of the alphabet after my name.  Special.

So, I do therapy with kids, which is – of course – super amazing.  I just watched the Lego Movie and I want to say “awesome” to describe everything!  It is super awesome.  Everything is awesome.

Except the farts.  Well, in fact, they are awesome too, but I don’t have any air freshener in that tiny room.  And the heating unit sucks.  Yesterday I was being farted on in a seventy-seven degree room.  I think that’s actually a form of torture.

I made the mistake early on with a four year old.  He farted.  I laughed.  Dammit.  I know better!  I’m a parent!  As soon as they break you with laughter, it becomes a form of entertainment.

And so he farts, at least once a session.

What is interesting to me is not only how often I have been farted on in my life (as a massage therapist, a mommy, and now a kiddo therapist) but the “WHY?”

Why do people enjoy farting on me?  Is it because I remind them of worn out underwear?  Is it a new kind of doormat syndrome?  Toilet face syndrome?  Do I smell too good?  Am I secretly made of beans?

Well, in writing my thesis I have been learning a lot about the brain.  I would learn a lot more if I could retain any sort of fact at this point in my life, so I guess I should say – I’m READING a lot about the brain.  Some of it sticks.  Most of it doesn’t.  The brain is cool.  I’ve got that part down.  And it tells us when we’re safe.  Our nervous system relaxes when we feel safe.  We can fart when we feel safe.  Chances are, if you are running from a bear, you probably aren’t farting.  Until you get to a safe place, then you’ll likely shit your pants.

I am that place.  These kids are often coming in because of trauma or neglect.  Being comfortable and safe feeling enough to fart is a huge compliment.  They aren’t running from the bears, they are relaxing their wee nervous systems.

In my face.

And their wee nervous systems are stinky.

Farts equal acceptance.

I wanted to say, Farts Equal Love, because it is Valentine’s Day, but that might be a stretch.  Though it would mean my husband loves me very very much.

Buckets of Houses

Standard

Kids make you laugh.
They also stress you out and turn your hair colors and make your face become wrinkled and saggy before its time. I might also be able to blame my impressive stomach girth on her too, but after eight years, “pregnancy weight” seems a bit far fetched.
Nonetheless, they make you laugh. This morning my daughter asked me how much a house we were driving past cost. It was a beautiful home in an area where suddenly everyone wants to live. I said, “I don’t know. A lot. Like a million bucks!”
She chewed on that for a few seconds.
Then dreamily, from the back seat I hear, “Too bad it’s not a million buckets. I could find a million buckets.”
Indeed.

The Crotch Crutch, or How to Fail as a Super-Parent

Standard

When kids are little they constantly mess up their words, attempting to say things like spaghetti.  These words come out all twisted and mixed up and parents LOVE it.  It’s the cutest thing ever, a shrinky-dink adult!  And we giggle.  And we “awww.” And if we are Super-Parents, we write it all down in their baby books.  If you are like me you don’t. The Super-Parent title is just too far out of reach.  Damn.  And if you’re really far away from the Super-Parent status, and you are sorta kinda human, your kid will start shouting profanities the week before she begins her Montessori preschool (while the other kids recite Maya Angelou poems).

The worst part is not that your kid sounds like they are ready to join the Mafia.  The worst part is you can’t laugh.

It’s the cardinal rule of parenting.  

As soon as your kid knows you liked what they said, they will repeat it, in front of the other kid’s parents, in front of the grandparents, because they want to entertain those adults, too.  If you manage not to laugh, you will try to cover for yourself, saying creative things like, “I said, ‘Ducking Fur Bag’, honey.  That’s all.  It’s not very nice, but they almost hit us in the ridiculous traffic circle that Americans have never figured out how to maneuver.”

It all began before her second birthday.  My husband and I were laying in bed, pontificating over our gifted toddler who was sleeping soundly in her room.  Suddenly, over the baby monitor we hear, “Mama, get my friggin’ pillow!”  After shooting something out of my nose…nearly nailing my husband on the forehead, I became fearful that I had given birth to the reincarnation of Al Capone and when I opened her door she’d be holding a pistol, all sideways and gangster-like, just waiting for silly mommy to fall into her trap.  She’d glare at me, her pillow lying between us on the floor, and say, “Go ahead, Mom, MAKE MY DAY!”  But instead I composed myself and pretended she was just a wee toddler.  Sigh.  See, she’s not a gangster, she’s a beautiful little girl.  I picked her up and squeezed her (and not because I was secretly checking her for weapons), sniffed her little kid head (this is something moms do, I wasn’t checking for gun-powder residue, I swear). All was well in our world.  The world next door to the “Super-Parents.”  A more colorful place, with snorting laughter and an overabundance of pet hair (and an under abundance of manners).

Until.

She began singing the “Goddammit, dag-nabbit, goddammit, dag-nabbit” song in the tub, at the top of her lungs, while her grampa was sitting in the living room.  He poked his head around the corner and looked at me, “Is she singing what I think she’s singing?”  “Yes!  Whatever you do don’t laugh!”   Dag-nabbit was the result of my effort at telling her she had misunderstood the phrase, and adding some quality Scooby Doo vocabulary (circa 1970).  She’d sit in the grass, a picture of sweet childhood innocence, pulling up grass blades much as people do when pulling petals from a daisy. “She loves me, she loves me not” they lovingly say to the dismembered flower.  “Goddammit, dag-nabbit” my daughter lovingly said to the grass as she ripped it from its earthy home.  She was happy as a clam.  (a clam abducted by pirates and encouraged to drink copious amounts of rum before her third birthday.)

Now, my verbally gifted daughter is nearly eight and I have changed.  I tend to shout things like “Booger-Head!” in traffic, and call people “Dooooo Bags” when they are really deserving.  Doesn’t change the fact that last year she buckled herself into her carseat and said,

“Well, Cheesus Grist.”

Indeed.

What would Cheesus do?  Perhaps correct the vocabulary?  But where would I get my laughs?  I promise, before she starts middle school I’ll work on it.  Actually, I might not have to. She’s been much better lately.

Unless you count the crotch.

She has confused the word “crutch” with the word “crotch” and I can’t bring myself to correct it.  This is just setting her up for failure, I know, but when your kid says, “Mommy, remember when my friend’s dog ate my crotch?” or “Remember the crotches I built?  The crotches were so fun!” you must understand my weakness.

C’mon.

I don’t get out much.

Personally, I love pigs.

Standard

My first experience with a cop in the United States was in high school.  Just like most of you out there, I had grown up hearing, “Ahg, don’t they have something better to do than to give me a ticket for going 5 miles over the speed limit?”  My mom claimed tears as the number one defense mechanism required to escape tickets as a woman.  This from someone who claimed to be a feminist.  “Or lie, tell them you’re on your way to a funeral.”  All sound advice for a child.  Remember, this was before Cops became a huge hit on television, and spawned numerous other hits like “Cops in Snow, Cops in Heat, When Good Cops Attack.”  Cops was our first reality show.  I remember actually seeing someone I knew on Cops, once. The most surprising part of it was that he was not a criminal, he was a cop!

So there I was, in rural New Jersey, with a boy, in a car.   Totally innocent situation, right?  It was probably about one a.m.  We actually were just sitting there talking.  Of course, that was not the case ten minutes before.  But, the cop didn’t know that.  There was a “rat-a-tat-tat” on my window.  After realizing that Jason was not out there with a chainsaw, waiting to hack me to bits, I rolled down the window.

“Well, what do we have here?” said the female cop.

If I hadn’t been so drunk I probably would have been terribly nervous.

“We’re just talking.”  I said, profoundly.

“Well, I need to see some ID. And a driver’s license, sir.”

He actually had a driver’s license.  All I had was my ID card that I used in Saudi Arabia, to get me in and out of the gym and pool area.  I handed it over.

“Well, little lady.  Saudi Arabia?  Huh. You expect me to believe that you are from Saudi Arabia?”

“I am.  I am here for boarding school.”

Hmmm.  The wheels were turning.  My arrogant self could hear them.  We did have a rather annoying school full of kids from all over the world, so she believed me.  Instead of recalling my training from ten years prior, I failed to tear up and reverted to my natural defense mechanism…

sarcasm.

“Okay darling, well, I think we should give your parents a call and see how they feel about you being parked in a car, during the middle of the night, with Bob here (yep.  Changing his name… because I can do that!).”

“Fine.  I’m sure they couldn’t care less.  Here’s their number (I pompously included the country code).  You’ll have to call them in about eight hours though, because it’s tomorrow there.  They are already at work.” (and, yea, there weren’t cell phones back then – imagine a time without cell phones or the show Cops. Weird.)

Can’t you just see the total lack of respect?  My shoulders were moving like I was a Jerry Springer guest; I was feeling PRETTY impressive.  My truth was even more confusing than a lie!  I loved it!

“Um.  Okay.  Maybe I will call them.  Anyway, it looks like nothing is going on here.  Get her home, Bob.”

See, I fared rather well.  But why did I feel so agitated and defensive?  I’m sure that female cop was just looking out for me, making sure I wasn’t being raped in the woods, or kidnapped by some pedophile.  I mean, it was New Jersey.  Strange shit went down in those thar’ woods.  Not quite Deliverance shit, but still some kinda shit.  I mean, Friday the 13th was filmed there for a reason.

Why do we teach our kids to disrespect the police?  Start listening to yourself.  You’ll say stuff like, “Damn cop. Why on earth would they pull me over when there are banks being robbed?” and then five minutes later you’ll say to your kid, “See the police man (or WOman)?  If you are ever in trouble, call them.  If Mommy falls down and doesn’t get up, you want them to come.  If someone almost runs you over on the way home from school, call the police.  If you are lost and scared, find the police.”

Do you see the hypocrisy?  We tell them WE are above the rules of other people.  That WE can speed through a school zone because WE are a parent with a child at that school and WE don’t want to be late.  Of course, WE would never run down a child crossing the road there, because WE are perfect.  How are our children supposed to understand that cops are there to help?  Or to realize their intention is to keep kids safe from some creep in the woods.  (sorry Bob, you weren’t actually a creep.  creepy scenario.  maybe you were a creep.  eeeeek!!!)

No.  All cops are not good.  You’ll see stuff on the news EVERY single night about how crooked they are.  But, just like teachers (see how easily the name Mary Kay Laterno comes to mind?), do you ever hear about how amazing they are?  Do you ever think that every single day, while that one cop is screwing off and giving them a bad rep, there are hundreds and thousands, extracting children from burning cars, breaking up violent domestic spats, being shot at for simply doing their jobs, and saving kids – kids like yours.  When my neighbor’s baby stopped breathing, she came straight to my husband.  He held that little guy, checked for breathing, did CPR, all while I ran around like a chicken with my head cut off – corralling my daughter and my dogs while calling, wait for it… 911.  My husband just kept working.  He didn’t even look flustered.  They are trained for this.  They don’t judge the situation first, they save lives first.  Unfortunately, this baby had not been breathing for too long.  My husband kept working until the “on duty” first responders came.  A woman scooped the baby out of my husband’s strong arms and into the ambulance.  The mother spun in circles, wondering why they weren’t in more of hurry.  You know why our neighbor brought her baby here? Because she knew that my husband is a hero.

He saves lives.  At least he tries.  Which is more than most people do.

He also gives people tickets when they speed through a school zone.

He was in “cop-mode.”  I was in  “loony-chicken-protective-mother-keep-dogs-out-from-under-foot-mode,” which was quickly followed by “smudge-my-house-like-a-crazy-hippie-mode.”  FYI: if you have an emergency, do NOT call me.

Stop being so self-absorbed, people!  Look at what you do all day.  Do you risk your life by sitting in your cubicle?  Are you so important that running over a 7-year-old to get to work on time seems rational?  Would you call the cops if you were in trouble?

Take a minute, next time you’re pulled over for some slight infraction of the law.  yea.  Go ahead.  Turn on that brain.  It still works, even though you’ve been killing it with Kardashians.  Why did they pull you over?  Did you do something illegal?  Accept it.  You made a mistake.  Everyone does.  Who cares?  But this man, or this woman, who is doing this job because they care about helping people (because, trust me, it’s not about the money) is trying to keep people safe.  They are not after you.  That’s like being homophobic and thinking that Elton John wants to bone down on you because he’s gay and you’re a man.  They are not targeting you because you are driving a Mercedes.  They are targeting you because you are driving a Mercedes really fast (probably stalking Elton John) and they’d rather give you a ticket than pull yet another body from an accident.

Get over yourself for a second and be a good person.  Try it.  Thank them.

Thank the police, and set a good example for your kids.  They may need a cop one day.  Are they going to call one if you keep bitching about that ticket?