Maya’s Mom is Going to get Sex

In the car:

Mgazi: Maya’s mom is going to get sex.

Me: Um what?

Mgazi: Maya’s mom. She told me she’s going to get sex.

Me: Honey, I don’t think that can be what she said.

Mgazi: Mommy! Listen to what I’m saying! She’s going to get bert! It’s going to be a boy.

Me: Oh! She’s going to give birth. Maya’s mom had sex and now she’s going to give birth to a baby boy!

Mgazi: That’s what I’ve been saying! Her tummy is this big!

Me: I can’t see you, honey, I’m driving the car.

Mgazi: THIS BIG! LOOK! THIS BIG!

Me: Mgazi! I’m driving the car! I can’t look at you right now.

Zaffy: Mom, Mgazi is saying that Maya’s mommy’s tummy is like three inches bigger than usual.

Mgazi: Yeah, she got a lot of sex.

Outwitted by Kiddie Logic No More

I routinely find myself on the losing end when a conversation includes my children. I’ll be trying to impart some teeny bit of parental wisdom and they’ll turn it on its head by applying their own warped child-logic. It’s maddening.   Like when Mgazi asked me, “If you know the answer, why are you asking the question?” Or there was that time where I couldn’t talk her out of holding a kids-only wedding. And of course, that dreaded conversation in the car about why (oh why) did I slam her fingers in the car door?

If my children decide that they don’t agree with me, I simply will not win the argument. Because they sneak in this kiddie-verision of logic that I simply can’t outsmart. It’s become a real problem, constantly being outwitted by my children.

I described my challenge to my friend, Keely Flynn Schoeny who writes Lollygag Blog. She understood immediately.

It’s “brationale” she said.

She’s brilliant, that Keely.  I had identified the problem, but she named it. Suddenly, I felt like it wasn’t so unbeatable after all. It only took a day or two before I got my chance to see.

I was picking the kids up from school. A classmate of Mgazi’s had celebrated her birthday and passed out goodie bags.

Mgazi: Mommy, Mommy! Look! I got a giant pencil!

She pulled it out of the bag and shoved it in my face. It was indeed giant.

Zaffy: That sure looks like a nice pencil.

Mgazi: Here, Zaffy. (She ruffled through the bag.) You can have the Strawberry Shortcake coloring book.

Zaffy: Strawberry Shortcake is for babies. (She shoved the coloring book back at her sister.) It’s not fair.

Me: What’s not fair?

Zaffy: Mgazi gets these presents and all she does is give me something that’s for babies. It’s not even what I want. It’s so not fair.

Oh my God!! It’s brationale! I can see it heading straight for me. I have to come out swinging.

Me: Zaffy, let me get this straight. Mgazi has been given a present. It’s hers. Not yours. And you think that you have a right to demand she turn over part of said present to you, her sister. Simply because you want it.

Zaffy: uhhh….

Me: Zaffron, is that what you are saying? Mgazi is supposed to give you her things just because you want them?

Zaffy: uhhh….

Me: Is that what you’re saying?

Zaffy: Well… no. Not anymore.

VICTORY!!!

 Zaffy: Mommy, what are you doing?

Me: Just a little dance, baby. Just a little dance.

 

 

Zaffron Levies a Bathroom Tax

In the kitchen:

Zaffy: Mom, you owe me 25 cents.

Me: What for?

Zaffy: You used the kids’ bathroom.

Me: You’re charging me for using your bathroom?

Zaffy: Yes! You said this was the kids’ bathroom when we moved here and you are not a kid. Plus, you owe me another quarter.

Me: What? For What?

Zaffy: You didn’t flush.

Me: Zaffron, first, I didn’t use your bathroom. Second, if I had I certainly would have flushed.

Zaffy: Mom, it had to be you. It wasn’t me and Mgazi pinky-promises it wasn’t her. You’re  all that’s left. But don’t feel bad, sometimes I have to pay myself a quarter too.

Later that day, in the car:

Zaffy: So, when am I getting my 50 cents?

Me: Zaffy, how about you owe me a quarter for being annoying?

Zaffy: Mom, the rules are the rules, even if you don’t like them.

Me: Well, I’m not going to pay.

Zaffy: Then I’ll just have to charge you another quarter.

Me: Are you kidding me?

Zaffy: No. If you don’t pay me my 50 cents in five weeks, I’m going to charge you another quarter.

Mgazi: Zaffy, you mean five days.

Zaffy: No, I mean five weeks.

Mgazi: Mommy, Zaffy doesn’t know what she’s talking about. She means she wants the money in five days, not five weeks.

Zaffy: I know exactly what I’m talking about. Mommy, just pay me and everything will be fine.

Bladder Betrayal

The kids were invited to a birthday party. I hate going to kid’s birthday parties. I hate my own kids’ birthday parties. But it was at a gym and I decided that I would squish my desire to grumble and try my best to have a good time right along with them.

We were running late, of course, but last minute I ran back into the house and grabbed a sports bra. These days I need one if I drive over a speed bump. I figured it would be a necessity if I decided to hop on a trampoline with the children.

Sure enough, when we arrived, laughing, giggling, screeching children were climbing up rope ladders, tumbling down foam slides and jumping on the trampoline. I told the girls to run ahead while I took off my shoes and socks.

As the children darted toward the trampoline, they passed some other kid’s mother. She was heading towards me. She was smiling and happy. She wiped the sweat off her brow and said, “Wow, that was fun!”

“The trampoline?” I asked.

“Yeah, I wish I could have jumped for longer.”

“Why didn’t you?” She looked fit and strong, definitely younger than me.

“It was that last bounce,” she said. “My feet hit the mesh and my body propelled upwards and I peed myself.”

I quietly put back on my socks.

Photo (which has nothing to do with the post) credit: ucumari / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Mgazi Requests Her Privacy… in Writing

My husband and I just bought a new house. Our number one reason? So we could have our own bathroom. We bought a WHOLE ENTIRE HOUSE so we could pee in private.

Turns out, I have my own bathroom  but I never seem to have it to myself. And I’ve been quite vocal about it to my girls, Mgazi and Zaffron. If I’ve told them once, I’ve told them a thousand times (<– Oh my God, how did my mother get here?)…

“Mommy uses her bathroom. You guys use yours.”

Last night, Mgazi was sitting on the pot (her own pot) and the bathroom door was wide open. I walked in and asked if she needed help. After all, she’s only five and any responsible parent conducts random inspections.

Me: Hey Gaz. You need any help wiping or anything?

Mgazi: Mommy! Get out! Can’t you read?

Me: Get out? What are you talking about?

Mgazi: I made a private sign. Daddy helped me write it.

Me: What’s a private sign?

Mgazi: It’s a sign that gives me privacy! I want to be in the bathroom all by myself.

I looked around the bathroom and behind the door that had been wide open!

Me: Honey, I don’t see a sign.

Mgazi [rolling her eyes and exhaling a sigh that indicates she'd just about run out of patience with her dimwitted mother]: It’s right there, Mom, on the kitchen table!

 

One Minute of Peace — That’s All I Ask

Mgazi was eating breakfast at the island in the kitchen. I could dangle a hundred dollar bill in front of her face. She wouldn’t bother to look up from her plate. Nothing gets between Mgazi and her food.

Zaffron was watching Saturday morning cartoons in the family room. Zaffron turns into a zombie in front of the TV. I can wave my hand between her face and the screen and she won’t flinch.  I know this because I videotaped myself doing it once. She didn’t even blink. I’m not positive she even knew I was there. Very little gets between my daughter and her television.

I went into my bedroom. I quietly shut the door and locked it. I walked over to my bed, sat down and pulled out my iPhone. Swiped until I found what I was looking for — a stopwatch app.

How long would it be until one of my children knocked on my door?

I pressed start on the stopwatch. And I waited…

53 seconds.

 

Don’t You Hate it When You Pee on Your Hand?

Don’t look at me like that!

You know what I’m talking about. All of us girls have done it. We’ve just gone to the bathroom, we’re wrapping things up, and something happens. Something startles us and suddenly we realize that we weren’t quite done with the job we set out to do. There’s no shame.

This exact thing happened to me a few days ago. I was in my bathroom, finishing my business when I heard Zaffron scream. The kind of scream that makes a mother freeze, just for a moment, because the quality of the scream has an edge that puts it past typical (the shriek of a child discovering that the cat pooped in her bed AGAIN) and more toward terrible (the wail of a child that’s been hurt).

This scream was smack dab in the middle of the two and my body clenched and I peed on my hand. Then she started yelling for me and I could hear her running toward the bathroom. I  did my best to tidy up and rushed out to meet her. She was sobbing and I scooped her into my arms and pushed her face into my neck.

“What’s wrong? Are you okay?”

“I… I… I fell and I hit my head on the closet door.” She was sobbing.

“Oh, sweetie, show me where it hurts.”

“It… it… it… hurts here,” she said, pointing to a spot on the side of her head. Her sniveling broke my heart and I hugged her close.

I felt her head. It was it’s regular shape. No bump, no swelling.

I tried to make her smile. “Oh baby, Mommy was in the bathroom when I heard you scream. I got so scared I peed on myself! I think you’re going to be okay. Should we get you some ice just in case?”

“Yes, please. I think that ice is a good… wait!” She pushed away from me and looked me straight in the eye. Her sniffles vanished. “Did you wash your hands?”

 

Something to Sink Your Teeth Into

It has been a rough Saturday morning — full of children bickering, children complaining, and children generally pissing me off.

Mgazi and Zaffron were downstairs, supposedly watching tv, when I heard a thud, what I swear was a battle cry, then a crash.

I hit my limit.

Me: GIRLS! <– yelling

the Girls:  Yes, Mommy? <– sweetly, in unison

Me: Get upstairs! Now!

I’d like to say that they came upstairs, hanging their heads, abashed and guilty in the knowledge that had once again driven their mother to the brink of a breakdown. But no, they came up reluctantly, and loudly protesting the interruption of their television time with stomping feet and exaggerated sighs.

They stood in front of me as I ticked off the reasons I had had enough.

Me: I have had enough. I’m done with all the name-calling. I’m done with all the whining. With the yelling and arguing. I’ve had enough of all the hitting and all the biting and –

Zaffron: But, Mom! I only bit Mgazi one time! You can’t have had enough with all the biting if I only bit her once!


Glass of white wineRecommended wine: Did you know that wine may rot your teeth? I guess whites do more damage than reds because of acidity. Riesling is the worst offender. Lucky for me, I think Rieslings suck. So, I’m going to recommend a red today. Something very un-Riesling. I love love love Cloudy Bay’s Pinot Noir. Yum.


 

I Had A Vision… And it Came True!

A few weeks ago a friend dragged invited me to a Vision Board class. This is where you cut pictures out of magazines and try to build a collage of everything you want out of your life. According to the instructor, if you make a board and shove it in the closet, your dreams will still come true. It’ll just take a long time. But if I “work” the board. Look at it every day, imagine these things happening to me, my vision of my life will manifest itself more quickly. I’m skeptical, but I’m also post-Paris Kristine so I’m giving it a try.

I took the assignment seriously and glue photos and words that depicted how I’d like to see my life. Happy family, travel, health, writing and photography.

One of the Oprah magazines, which are great for this  because every page is encouraging you to be a better you, had a cute little blue and yellow circle with the words, “editor’s pick.” I cut it out and pasted it on my board thinking that I’d like it represent other people acknowledging and recognizing, even recommending my work here on the blog.

I already get a bit of this from the amazing folks at Families in the Loop. They’ve posted two pieces of mine already:

This month, despite my vision board, I was feeling uninspired and out of ideas. It might have been because I was sick most of the month, or because my house was full of visitors. Regardless, I wasn’t writing. Which meant I wasn’t keeping my commitment to FITL for an original piece every month. Shame on me.
I wrote to my contact there, Melissa, and admitted my lame-assedness and offered up two old posts for possible use on their site. Melissa wrote back, forgave me immediately, and informed me that FITL would be happy to post one of my “classics.” She chose the ballet piece, the one where I’m annoyed at contributing to my children’s bloated sense of entitlement. The problem is that the piece was way too long. Within an hour, Melissa had whittled away my story to an acceptable length for FITL publication

She had picked the piece and edited it.

Holy cow. I need to take another look at that board!

And I’m hoping that you’ll take another look at my post, in it’s expertly edited form:

MY KID’S BALLET CLASS TICKS ME OFF

 

Liar, Liar, Does Anyone Smell Smoke?

Yesterday, Mgazi’s kindergarten teacher sent a note home in her book bag. “Please return Mgazi’s library book. It was due yesterday.”

Me: Mgazi, did you return your library book yesterday?

Mgazi: Uh huh.

Me: I got a note from your teacher that says you didn’t.

Mgazi: Well, I put it in my backpack and then suddenly it wasn’t there. It went away somewhere.

Me: Mgazi… where is the book?

Mgazi: What book?

Me: Gazi! The library book that you were supposed to return yesterday. Where is it?

Magzi: Well, I put it on the table and then when I looked for it, it was gone. And that made it so it didn’t get back to the library.

Me: Do you know where your book is?

Mgazi: Umm, at the library?

Me: Mommy thinks that maybe you are lying to me. Is that possible?

Mgazi: Uh huh.

Conversations like the one above occur frequently. She’s a talented liar. Her face can produce a look of bafflement so pure it would fool even the expertiest of behavioral scientists. But her real gift is her ability to sniff out the lies of others. Lies to Mgazi are like truffles to a dog or a pig or the Suillia fly (google it, don’t just sit there wondering).

Remember when that concrete wall abruptly (and without warning) hit my husband’s brand new electric verhicle while I was innocently driving it? She accused her father of lying when he said he wasn’t mad and her sister of lying when she said the damage didn’t seem that bad. She was right, of course, on both counts. For some reason she readily accepted my twisted version of events and to this day believes that the wall defied physics and rudely slammed itself into my husband’s car.

Or that time when I accidentally (no lie) stepped on a snail? When I tried to cover up the murder, Mgazi was on me like… well, like the gooey body of  a squished snail on the bottom of a sneaker. She caught me lying to Zaffron and had no problem saying so. “Oh no, Zaffy. She is lying to you. Mommy killed a snail.”

And then there was that horrible time when I blogged that Zaffy was a “little shit.”  For some inexplicable reason I let Zaffron read the post and, of course, it hurt her feelings terribly. When I tried to backpedal and soften the blow, telling Zaffron that I had not in fact believed that she was a little shit when I wrote that she was a little shit, Mgazi piped up without hesitation. “Oooh, Zaffy, I think Mommy is lying to you.”

And then there was that time… hmmm. Suffice it to say that approximately 10% of my posts on this blog have the tag, “lying just a little bit.”

When Mgazi joined our family at 2 1/2 years old, she knew exactly three words in English. Jesus, hallelujah, and banana. Now, at 5 years old, I hear the word “lying” every single day.

“Ooh, Mommy, I think my Daddy is lying to you.”

“Ooh Daddy, I think Zaffy is lying to you.”

“Ooh Zaffy, I think our Mommy is lying to you… just like yesterday… you know, when she was lying to you.”

I knew she was obsessed with lying on Election Day 2012 when I overheard the following conversation between her and an adult friend of mine.

Mgazi: Yay! Oback Obama is going to win the election!

Friend: How do you know that Barack Obama is going to win the election?

Mgazi: Cuz my mommy voted for him.

Friend: Why did your mommy vote for Barrack Obama?

Mgazi: Because he lies less than Mitt Romney!