How Disgusting

So as most of you are aware, I have a pretty predictable nighttime routine with my children. I won’t bore you with the details again. Just suffice it to say, same time, same routine to get ready for bed. A part of the routine is them taking a bath together. Since they are so young, dual bath time makes it easier for me and hubby to wash them up. I am happy to report we have managed to duck embarrassing conversations about differing genitalia thus far, but it would not have caught me off guard.

A few nights ago they were both chilling in a warm bath full of fresh bubbles and playing with an eclectic mix of toys including Thomas the Train and a plastic tea set. They usually play for a while before we get down to business. At almost 20-months old Garrett has his own toys and his own bath time agenda. I’m still trying to figure out why their Godmother, my friend felt the need to provide bath time markers for unique artwork I end up washing off the tube tile every night.

Morgan is a piece of work, she doesn’t mind her brother intruding on her bath time, but insists that he cannot use any of her toys. That never works out in her favor and them fussing and fighting over a toy usually is my cue its time to wash up the babies, drain the water, pick up toys, clean the tub and prep for the next night.

On this particular night they hadn’t been in there long before I heard Morgan screaming my name. “Mommy, Mommy, please get me out of here,” she said. “That is disgusting BaBa.” So before I can respond, I pause at her use of the word disgusting. I was proud of her pronunciation too. When I ask her to explain the problem she emphatically says that Garrett has pooped in the tub.

Now, I have to say that my son has never pooped in the tub, so I had my doubts about her observation. “How do you know its poop?” I ask from the next room over. “I know what poop looks like,” she said and “this is poop.” I chuckle at her response and my husband beats me to the bathroom.

Apparently it didn’t take him long to figure it out either, so it was definitely poop. As he is removing babies from the contaminated water he asks Garrett why he pooped in the tub and Garrett looks at him straight in the eye and says “huh.” So my husband repeats himself and reminds Garrett that he is not suppose to poop in the tub. By the time I arrive on the scene, babies are out and water is being drained and of course, I am left with the mommy job of clean up.

When I look at Garrett, he looks at me and inaudibly mumbles, “what’s the big deal.” He can’t for the life of him understand why everyone has cleared the room and his sister is yelling to the top of her lungs as she heads for the bathroom in our room to finish her routine at how disgusting he is.

As I am preparing for clean up, I expected to see something floating, but I don’t instead after all the water has drained I find four little turd balls waiting for me at the drain. So is this what boys do? And now, I am echoing my daughter’s sentiment “How Disgusting.”

bathtub

Know it All

I am fully aware that children of all ages think they are smarter than their parents, or at least I have had some blatant reminders from my toddler within the last year. But what I didn’t know was apparently even her classmates are smarter than I am. The other morning before dropping my daughter off to school, I was in the kitchen, I am sure slaving over a meal, or cleaning up a mess…you know minding my own mommy business and my “genius” soon to be 4-year-old tells me what she learned from her new found friend.

“Jania said that you swallow food, it goes to your belly and then to your legs and your toes, and that’s the truth,” she says very matter of fact. I have to ask who is Jania, because this name is new. “She says, she is in my afterschool program and she is 6-years-old and very smart.” And here’s where the morning gets a little ugly. I then reply “I am sure Jania is very smart and I am glad you have a new friend, but your food never physically goes to your legs and toes. I mean it’s not like you are walking around with a grape in your toe.” I then spend the next 45 seconds breaking down how your digestive system really works.

In fact, I was very proud of my simple explanation something like, you chew your food, it goes in your belly and your body takes the energy from the good food and you poop out the rest. “Mommy, that is not true. Jania said…” So of course, I reiterate my point and explain to her how I am her mother and I promise to always tell her the truth and if I am not sure of something I will be the first to say so, but if I say it….it is so.

For at least 2 minutes we go back and forth; yeah yeah, not my most favorable moment…but I got caught up in a toddler trying to tell me what I know. Finally, my husband steps in, thank God and he repeats what I told her and gets the same response. We are wrong and all things Jania is correct.

“Morgan; me and mommy want you to know the truth,” he says. “We don’t want you to look silly. Please listen to us?” So he puts her on his lap and plays a short children’s video on the digestive system. Can you say grateful my spouse knows when I need help?

When the video clip ends, she is silent. I make sure to remind her that she owes me an apology. By this point its time to head to the car for school and I can’t help but reflect on all the conversations I have with parents of teenagers. Yes, I know she’s a toddler, but peer to peer influence is the same at all ages. It’s disturbing, scary and powerful all at the same time.

I am grateful that she and Jania were talking about digestion instead of something inappropriate. But I tell you one thing, I will make it a point to meet my competition, Ms. Jania the next time I pick up Morgan from her after school program.

Peer influence

Sweet Potato Pies

I cook for my family just about every day, but I do not like to bake and I don’t do desserts. I didn’t say I couldn’t, I said I don’t. However, I do make sweet potato pies, once a year on Thanksgiving. But for whatever reason my momma made a special request for her February birthday for a sweet potato pie. Since she doesn’t ask for much, I decided to get my mind right and make an exception.

In the past, I have always taken my time with my pies. I mean you can’t over cook the sweet potatoes, you need to whip and mash them just right and mix until all your ingredients are equally distributed.  Well with two babies and a request in the middle of the week for pie, there was only one way to get this job done. So I made it a family affair.

Now, Morgan helps in the kitchen all the time. She has several aprons, chef hats and gloves. She knows the rules about sharp utensils and heat. But I forgot that my now 18-month old son wants to do everything his sister does. It started when Morgan was blending the sweet potatoes. The noise of the blender got his attention and he politely pulled up a chair, stood up in it and watched her hit the button. And every time it would stop, he would cheer “yeah sissy” and clap loudly. Must be nice to get such accolades just for hitting a button.

Next, it was time to mix the ingredients and Baby G insisted on being apart of the action. So I tied a too big apron around him and gave him a spoon and let them duke it out for space in the bowl. After a few pushes and spoon fights, they worked it out and true mixing began. It was at that moment that I stepped back to admire my work. No, not the pies, my babies. Just a few years ago there were no babies and now here were two in my kitchen, with my recipe, making my momma a pie. My, my, my life has changed.

But the real fun at least for my son was licking the pie-filling residue from the bowl.  He was like a kid in a candy jar. It was everywhere, all over his face. Now, for whatever reason, you can’t make just one pie, so we made two. We gave grandma one and we kept one.

By the time it cooled and I cut a sliver for them to try, Garrett looked at me and said clear as a bell “pie is good.” And he wasn’t lying, I don’t know if it was the special kid sugar they both added or the love they put into it, but it was one of the best pies I’ve had in a long time.

So, as usual I am stuck contemplating one of my erroneous rules…maybe pies are not just for Thanksgiving, something this good can’t wait until November.

pies

We Can’t Be Friends

No matter how many times she says it, it irritates me to the same level each time. Usually the conversation goes something like this: “Morgan can you please stop?” followed by “Morgan, I asked you to stop, next time I say it you’re going to get a pop.” And then she responds with full princess girl attitude “FINE, then, I am not your friend” and tries to stomp away usually followed by “and I’m never going to be your friend.” At which point, my woosaw abruptly ends with a demand to come back in my presence.

When she slowly walks back, unsure as to the wrath she will face I sternly remind her that no I am not her friend. I am her momma a job given to me by God and that job is WAY more important than being her friend. Recently, I have found myself  having to explain and reiterate this same point way too often for my liking.

In fact, I was so excited to see a local author Toshiba Austin-Smith write a children’s book entitled “I’m Not Your Friend, Mommy” that I bought several copies for my ”friends” with daughters. It’s perfect for toddlers and momma’s standing in the need of prayer to deal with what I hope is just a phase. The mere title is comforting. I guess misery truly does loves company. Whew, so I’m not alone, you mean I didn’t necessarily do something wrong to give her the impression that I cared about being her friend?

Yeah, in that respect I guess I am old school. I honestly could care less about us being friends, at least at this stage in her life. The thing about being a mommy is, you only get one shot to get it right and we all screw up in some regard. My goal is to minimize my screw ups and lessen the load of issues in her luggage set she carries into life.

The book tells a short story similar to my example of a mom who has to remind her daughter of the important role of a mother to raise and “train a child in the way he/she should go” and ends with this:

Today, my child, I am not your friend. But I will be your mother until the end. I will help you learn all you should know. And as you mature, I will let you go. When you look back over the years, You’ll understand my dilemma and share my tears. Yet know that God was there to see me through. He showed me love, and I passed it to you.

Preach my sista. Now that’s real talk. So I really need my daughter to understand how unimpressed I am by her un-friending me at the drop of a hat. This ain’t Facebook, this is life. The idea of being in the same category as her acquaintances at school that share books or toys with her is insulting. I have no interest in competing with them. My responsibility in raising her is almost overwhelming and if she tells me that nonsense one more time… Heaven help us both!

Friends