Monthly Archives: July 2010

Why Summer Vacation Needs To Be OVER

During the typical day at work during the summer, you know, the time when schools decide to turn our kids loose on the streets to fend for themselves and bug their parents all day, my kids will call me on the phone several times.  And this can elicit one of many possible reactions from me.
Reaction 1:  What the hell do they want NOW?
Reaction 2:  I should be nice.  Maybe this particular phone call is about something more substantial than whether or not I can stop to get new shade of fingernail polish on my way home.
Reaction 3:  What if something is wrong?  Crap, now I HAVE to answer the damn phone.
And so, for the fiftieth time that day, I answered the phone.  “Yes, Micaela?  How may I help you this time?”
And here’s what I got in response, which, if I must admit, left me speechless for several moments.
“Mom, I need something.”  (Cue emergency sirens.)
“Oooohhhh-kay.  What do you need?”  At this point, my eyes were actually rolling so far back into my head that I’m pretty sure I looked like something out of the Exorcist.
“Ok, like, I really, really need for you to get me Leonardo DiCaprio’s address.”
(Momentary pause as I reflect on where I might have gone wrong and how my daughter has now become a creepy stalker.)
Let me just interject and add that whenever presented with a request by my 13-year-old daughter, I have learned to respond with absolute calmness, allowing no inflection into my voice, lest she become agitated at my lack of appropriate response to her current emergency.  Oh yeah, and don’t make eye contact—they can see that as a sign of aggression.
So, I responded with a general, “Hmmm” before adding, “what do you need that for?”
 “Well, I can’t write to him if I don’t have his address!”
This seemed logical enough so I promised to get right on that task.  I told her in my abundance of spare time, I would attempt to find his address, thus making me an accomplice to her new-found stalking hobby.
As I was getting ready to hang up the phone, however, she kept talking.  “Well, I need one more thing.”
I wanted to guess out loud.  Could it be a lock of Leo’s hair?  His last candy bar wrapper?  What could she possibly need?
Another “Hmmm…” from me, and she felt that opened the door to her next request.
“I need a color picture of Rose.”
“The girl from Titanic?”
She let out a big ‘duh’ sigh and answered, “Yesssss.”
Ok, so I had to know.  “Why do you need THAT?”  (I know, I know.  I messed up and let inflection into my voice, which prompted another sigh and a likely eye-roll on her end of the phone.)
And here’s her answer.
“Because,” sigh, gum smack, “I can’t dye my hair the right shade of red unless I have a picture of her.”
Ok.  Um.  We have now escalated from stalker to freaky celeb-obsessed fan with a quasi emotional attachment to a fictional character.
Hey, wait a minute, I’m pretty sure that’s how I felt about Ricky Martin when I was her age.  Ok, I guess she might still be within the realm of normal.  Barely.

Dry Pants

One would initially be inclined to believe this is a good thing.  Dry pants are always a positive part of every day.  At least, I’m pretty sure that most people believe that.
And that’s why Jadon was so proud of himself the other day.  And I have to admit, when I heard his announcement that was sort of something like, “Jay Jay have dry pants.  Yay, Jay Jay!” I was pleasantly surprised and confused at the same time.
No one had been with him when he went to the bathroom, but hey, if he’s decided he wants to be a big boy, then that’s fantastic.  After all, we’ve recently become quite concerned that in the next couple of years, we will surely be the only parents packing Pull-Ups in their children’s backpacks for kindergarten.  I mean, could you boys just flippin’ go to the toilet so I could find another hobby that does not involve stalking you around the house and waiting for you to shiver or wiggle like you might have to go??!
So anyway, dry pants.  Woo Hoo!  Par-tay at our house!  I went upstairs to congratulate the little man on his big achievement.
And that’s when the balloon deflated.  The bubble burst.  The diamond lost its shine.  You know, pretty much my delusional moment of satisfaction at finally (maybe) having a potty-trained 3-year-old was short-lived.
I walked into his room where he stood, in all his butt-naked glory, pointing at the spot on the carpet where he had relieved himself.  On.  The.  CARPET!  Do we have a new puppy that I’m unaware of?  Seriously??
Yes, dry pants are a very good thing to have.  In fact, I enjoy them myself on a daily basis.  But, Little Dude, it does not count if you pee on the carpet so that your pants remain dry.
And now I’m off to buy stock in OxyClean and Febreeze.

Monday, Monday

I’ve never really had a problem with Mondays—in fact, I’ve always sort of thought they get a bad reputation for no reason at all.  Until yesterday.
Enter Monday, July 26, 2010.  We’ll call it Black Monday.  Or Day of Doom.  Or maybe even Dark-Clouds-Shooting-Lightning-At-My-Head Day.
I started the day off by reaching the absolute pinnacle of my disorganization skills.  It seems I might have inadvertently and ever-so-innocently forgotten that Marissa’s art class at the Art Institute was starting this week.  Here’s how I found out:
Phone rings.
Me:  Hi, Honey.  (Love that Caller I.D.)
Jason:  Um, hi.  Is this the week that Marissa is supposed to have art class?
Me: Pffttt…nooooo.  (Long and drawn-out as I do some sort of dismissive flip of my wrist while driving down the road.)
Jason:  You sure?
Me:  Wait a minute.  (Rustling papers as I pull the car to the side of the road to check my planner.)
Me:  Oh, crap.
So, once we had agreed on the fact that I do, indeed, suck at planning and event coordination, we decided on a game plan, whereby Jason would deliver Marissa to her art class promptly at 9:00.  Which would have been great, if that were the correct time.
The class started at 9:30.  And this actually turned out to be a good thing, because by the time I made it to work and checked out the website for the class, I also realized that Marissa needed to have a lunch with her.  Which she did not have.
So I had to call Jason.  Again.  And let me just say, by this point, he was very, very excited to hear from me.  I could almost hear the excitement in his voice…or maybe that was the sound of him gurgling while he had a heart attack.  I don’t know.
Anyway, Marissa was finally delivered to the correct location at the correct time, and I spent the rest of my day trying to puzzle-piece together transportation for her for the rest of the week.  That done, I shut my computer down and headed home.  I was thinking to myself, “Whew, glad that awful day is done.”
Right.  Not quite.
On the way home, the light shone into the car window at just the right angle to effectively highlight the streak of gray that was beginning to show in my hair, so I had to make an emergency stop at Target for the appropriate product to make my hair look youthful and vibrant—or at the very least, not gray.  The only box they had in the color I needed was fairly crunched but seemed to be in tact, so I paid and ran home…because I still had to get dinner on the stove.
Everyone had pretty much agreed on a healthy dose of beanie weenies for dinner, and I couldn’t complain, because, hey, how much easier does it get?  Right?  I dumped my glorious culinary concoction into a pot on the top of the stove because I really didn’t feel like getting the crock pot out.  Then I ran upstairs to quickly run some color over the gray trough that was running down the center of my head.
Tearing into the box, I was immediately greeted with the knowledge that my product was not entirely there.  Oh, the important parts were there.  Yes, indeed.  The magic black goop that would transform my gray was there, which was the important part.  The thing that was missing was the folded-up instruction packet that typically contains the little plastic gloves that keep your hands from turning black and looking like you are a full-time coal miner.
Dilemma.  Should I move forward with the color transformation without the gloves?  (I mean, really, how bad could it be if it got on my hands?)
Or should I do the sensible thing and return the package to the store the next day in exchange for a complete product?  Sensible is the key word here, however my focus was more on the immediate need to ‘Wash the Flippin’ Gray Right Outta My Hair.’  Unfortunately, I did not go with the sensible choice.
I very carefully used as little of my hand as possible while applying the goop, and I rinsed and washed my hands thoroughly immediately after applying—which is probably what kept me from looking like a coal miner.  Instead, I just looked like I had been digging in the dirt for an hour or so and then forgot to wash my hands.  Fabulous.  But my gray was gone, and that was the important thing.  I could spend the next couple of days with my left hand tucked in a pocket or something so that no one would notice.
As I was finishing up with my hair, I heard Micaela yell from downstairs, “Mom!  Like, are these beans supposed to be boiling all over the stove?  Because they totally are!”
My first instinct was something sarcastic, sort of like, “Why, yes, Pumpkin.  That’s the special recipe I’m using today.”
But instead I answered with something more like, “Are you @#$#$ KIDDING me?!  Of course the @#$#@%^^% beans are not supposed to be boiling all over the place!”  (I know, I know…I am once again going to take home the Mother of the Year award.)
I finished the evening with burnt beanie weenies and a black hand—but I was remarkably and miraculously free of gray hair, which was the ultimate goal.
And one more thing, how the heck does one manage to burn beanie weenies??!  My culinary ability knows no bounds.

Stalker

So, Jordan has a little trouble letting other kids know that he wants to play with them.  His current methods of reaching out include things like sitting on them or grabbing them or even just stepping in front of them to block their escape route.
This is usually ok when it involves Jadon, because Jadon will speak up and yell when he is displeased with Jordan’s behavior.  In fact, just last night, we had to removed Jordan from Jadon’s head no less than half a dozen times.  We just go upstairs and put Jordan back in his own bed, and before we have time to even get back downstairs, he’s usually crawling all over Jadon again.  And then we go back upstairs.  And the pattern continues until Jordan has completely exhausted himself and finally passes out in his own bed.
But here’s the thing.  Jadon loves his brother, and he knows how to deal with it when he sits on him.  His first line of defense is usually to scream, but sometimes he will just keep moving away so that Jordan will not be right on top of him.  So it’s all good because they are comfortable with each other, and they are learning when they need more space and when they don’t.
However.  (And that’s a big however.)  If you happen to know the little blonde-haired girl who was playing in the tunnels at McDonald’s last night, please send her my most profuse apologies.  I’m fairly certain she is, at this very moment, trying to get a judge to issue a restraining order against my son.
I don’t know if it was the blonde hair or the fact that she was just about the same size as him or because she smelled like yummy chicken nuggets.  Something about her made Jordan adopt her as his new BFF, and he did not leave her side the entire time we were at McDonald’s.  He followed her, stepped in front of her to block her from leaving him, and even held her hand at one point.
And I think she was probably a really sweet little girl, too, because she kept trying to talk to Jordan, and the more she talked, the more he jumped around and followed her, all without saying a word of his own.  I’m sure she must have been confused about why her new stalker wouldn’t say a single word to her, but she kept being nice and playing with him.
I think kids must just have a way of knowing things.  Jordan would mime certain things and grunt here and there, and she would just keep playing with him and talking.  Somehow, she knew Jordan wanted to play with her, and she was his friend for the little while that we were there—so I didn’t feel quite so bad about him stalking her, because she seemed totally ok with it.
I’m just glad he didn’t have to sit on her to get her to play with him, because I’m thinking that might have turned into a completely different scene if her mom had to dig her out from under him in the PlayPlace.
Hey, Jordan made a little friend!  All on his own!  I want so badly to baby him and help him do everything, because I keep thinking how hard things must be for him.  But you know what?  He did it.  All on his own.  And I was so proud of him!

Favorite Words

I have several.  I am sure most people do.
Some of my all-time favorites include classics, such as conundrum and accoutrement and epiphany.  Those are all fun words, and believe me, there are many, many more where those came from.  Don’t make me start listing them.
I’m not sure when I started having favorite words, but I’m pretty sure it was back in 3rd grade when Mrs. Gravendijk (oh yeah, I still know how to spell it…because she was a spelling FREAK) taught me what the word dote means.  Hence, a love for words was born.
Now, however, I am worried.  I am seeing this same love blossom in Jadon, and he is only three years old.  His new favorite word is…wait for it…
Poop.
Nothing profound.  Nothing multi-syllabic.  Really just pretty gross (see previous post about the all-around grossness of boys).
And everything must be followed by this new best word EVER.  He uses it almost like punctuation.  Here’s a sample conversation:
Me:  Do you want a peanut butter sandwich?
Jadon:  Yes, peanut butter.  Poop.
Me:  We don’t need to say that word all the time.
Jadon:  Ok, sorry, Mom.  Poop.
Me:  You need to drink your milk.
Jadon:  Chocolate milk?  Poop.
You get the idea.  And when he gets really, really excited or wound up about something, he’ll exclaim POOP! POOP! POOP! over and over again, usually while jumping on the sofa or climbing the kitchen cabinets.
We’re working really hard on potty training, because…well, I don’t want to have the only kindergarteners crapping themselves on the bus.  So anyway, I was thinking the other day that maybe his fascination with poop means that he’s ready to put it in the potty—WHERE IT BELONGS.
So I asked him, “Do you need to poop in the potty?”
And he answered, very happily I might add, “No.  Jay-Jay poop in pants.”  Sort of like he was saying ‘no, but thanks very much for asking’ in his polite little voice.
And then I thought to myself, OH POOP, my kids are going to be the only ones carrying Pull-Ups to elementary school!

Another Mommy-Needs-Meds Moment

Ok, it’s not like I haven’t raised kids before.  It’s not like I haven’t had to, at some point, let them march out on their own into the big, bad world.  I have done that.  I have.  And my kids are all fine, despite daycare and sitters and the like.
But here’s the thing.  And this just hit me, by the way, because we are working on getting everything we need together to get Jordan enrolled in Great Beginnings this fall.  The thing is that in order to help Jordan, I have to load him onto a bus and trust him with strangers, and I can’t be there, and all I can think about are the things that might go wrong.
What if he’s scared to get on the bus?  What if he’s confused about why Mommy is shoving him onto this giant yellow bus filled with more fidgeting, jabbering kids his age?
What if his teacher can’t understand what he wants or needs?  He can’t talk—or doesn’t talk yet, which is a lot of the reason he’s going to school in the first place.  But still.  What if she doesn’t know what he’s trying to sign to her?
What if this experience is the worst thing I can do for him?  Would he be better off at home?  What if he hates being separated from his brother?
And the list goes on and on.  And I am freaking out.  I have never, EVER done this before, never freaked out about school and kids.  I happily carted the others off to daycare without a second thought.  (Ok, maybe there was a second thought, but definitely not a third.  They were fine.)
And the list gets more and more ridiculous.  What if there are a lot of strangers handing out candy at the school?  What if the entire school is abducted by aliens?  What if there is a hurricane (yes, in Missouri—hey, it could happen) and I can’t get there in time?
I don’t remember ever worrying like this before.  But this is Jordan.  And Jordan is special in so many ways.
The fact that he isn’t talking yet doesn’t define him, not at all.  He has as much personality as a dozen chattering 3-year-olds.  He is funny, and he is a pleaser.  He is sweet, and he is a hugger.  He needs those hugs, and you know what?  I need those hugs, too.  He can’t say, “I love you” yet—but he can give one darn good hug, and that’s all I need.
He has his own signs that we understand because we are around him all the time, but what if his teacher doesn’t understand?  What if the people at the school haven’t worked with a kid like him before, and what if, what if, what if…?
I am so worried that I will put him on that bus and he will cry.  And then what will I do?  Do I take him back off the bus?  Or do I make him go on the bus…and then take myself back inside the house for a good cry?
But then, there’s another what if.  What if he is so brave that he surprises me?  What if he is excited to get on that shiny yellow bus?  And what if he makes so many friends that he can’t wait to go to school every day?
I hope, hope, hope that this is what happens.  But I worry.  I am scared to put him on that bus.
I have resigned myself to the fact that it would be completely inappropriate for me to be sipping on the tail end of a couple of margaritas while putting him on the bus.  Nothing screams pitiful more than a wobbling, drunk mommy putting her kid on the bus for the first time, so I will try to refrain from that sort of self-medication.
Therefore, I need meds.  And good ones, please, Doc.  None of that Tylenol stuff.  I’m afraid I’m going to need something a bit stronger.

Boys Are Gross

And no, I’m not just now figuring that out.  I’ve actually been aware of this male trait for quite some time, however, only recently I have been reminded over and over (and over) of all the ways in which boys can be gross.  Very, very gross.  Disgusting, even.
Probably the least-gross boy in my family is my husband.  (You’re welcome, Honey.)  He really has very few gross things that he does, and that is a good thing.  I will refrain from listing them here, because I really, really enjoy it when he makes dinner and helps with the laundry, and I do not wish to jeopardize those perks at this time.
However.  That is where the un-grossness stops.  I have an almost 16-year-old son who has managed, several times during his short life, to top out the grossness scale.  I keep consoling myself with the hope that one day he will have a girl who notices this grossness and ever-so-politely tells him to OMG try wearing socks with your shoes in the summertime!
I’ll not even go into detail regarding the pigsty of his room.  In fact, I have recently placed it on the no-entry list (sort of like the no-fly list), and I refuse to go in there unless there is a dire, extremely urgent, and even life-threatening event occurring inside.  In such case, I would go in—right after locating my gas mask and Tyvek suit.
Then we jump all the way down to the two little boys.  Three-year-old boys that like bugs and worms and dirt and boogers, not necessarily in that order.  Oh yeah, and poop.  They LOVE them some poop (as you may know from previous posts).
So.  Last night, we had a lovely bubble bath.  And by the way, here’s my formula:
lots of dirt + lots of bubbles = relatively clean
It was a nice, long bubble bath for them, mostly because when I have them corralled in the tub, I can actually make it through folding an entire load of towels before there is an emergency requiring my attention.  While they are soaking and turning into little pruny suds-monsters, I can usually get a few things done in my room.  As long as they are within eyesight and within easy sprinting distance, I figure I am safe.
And after the super-sudsy bubble bath, we even put on some really clean-smelling lotion, brushed hair and teeth, and then we went downstairs.  That’s where things started to unravel.  And get gross.
I need to interject here that lately we have had a bit of a fly problem.  We have swatted and sprayed and squashed, and they still keep showing up.  It’s sort of driving us crazy that we can’t get rid of them, so we find a small bit of joy in smashing them every chance we get.  Because that’s what we do for fun at night in the suburbs.  You ought to come over on a weekend, because then we get really crazy.
We had just settled in the living room to watch Max & Ruby, which is WAY better than, say, any adult programming, like the NEWS, for instance.  (Minor sarcasm there.)  So Max was making mud pies, and Ruby was whining and bitching at him (because that’s what she always does), and right in the middle of the show, Jadon comes running across the room.
“Mama, Mama! I ‘quished a bug!”  Great, so now the 3-year-old is getting in on the bug-squishing craze.
I flashed him my best glazed-over, tired-mommy grin and pretended the most enthusiasm I had felt all day.  “You did?!”  I even threw in a gasp, to make it seem ultra-impressive.
And I was impressed until he showed me the weapon he had used in his bug-squishing rampage—his hands!  His clean, still pruny little hands were covered in fly guts.  Guys, we’re not talking about the remains of one dead fly here.  We’re talking his hands were COVERED in smooshed fly guts, little green eyeballs stuck between his pudgy fingers, little fly legs under his fingernails.
I didn’t have a whole lot of processing time, so pretty much my first reaction was, “EWWWWW!!” followed by a few more of those words we don’t say.  Oh, we say those words.  We certainly do.
Again, I was faced with a moral dilemma in mothering.  I could either a) return him to the tub and begin the kid-cleaning process all over again or b) sort of splash some water from the kitchen sink on his hands, mix it with some soap, and call it a day.
I chose option B.  Because any good mommy knows that a few fly guts are good for the immune system, right?  They have to learn to fight off those germs and diseases and such.  And in my defense, I followed the soap with a healthy dose of hand sanitizer.
But it still sort of creeped me out when he later picked up a cookie in his previously-fly-covered hands.  Nothing like a little protein with dessert.
This is one of the 50 gazillion reasons why boys are gross.

I Do Not Want To Be A Bear

Picture, if you will, a t-rex—you know, the gazillion-year-old creature with the little wimpy arms and the big ol’ butt.  I like big butts, and I cannot lie…  Wow, excuse me for that brief lapse into my rap fantasy world.
So t-rex.  I sort of felt sorry for the animal after my weekend CrossFit class.  Bear with me as I elaborate.
Our workout included something called a bear crawl.  (Shoulder shrug, eye roll…whatEVER.  Sounded pretty darn easy to me.)
It was not until I was preparing to get into the bear crawl position that I remembered, “Hey, I haven’t done anything like this since I was, like, three.  Wonder if that’ll be a problem?”
Let me just say that, yep, big problem.  I sort of felt like a tipped-forward t-rex.  I was leaning on my shaking, wimpy arms as the momentum of my crater-sized arse was pushing me forward in a way that threatened to scrape my nose on the floor below me.  It was kind of like what happens in rear-wheel-drive…you know, when the rear of the vehicle does all the work, and the front is left to meander aimlessly, being pushed willy-nilly wherever the rear might push it.  Yeah, that.
My kids do the bear crawl all the time.  And now I have to wonder, how the heck is it that they don’t pass out from sheer exhaustion at the end of each day?!?  (I’m pretty sure it has to do with the fact that their desire to torture me far outweighs said exhaustion, but that has not yet been scientifically proven.)
So, after five rounds of down and back (the length of the gym) doing the bear crawl, my arms were shaking, sweat was dripping down my nose onto the floor, and I’m pretty sure I died a couple of times, too.
I would like to suggest to the workout inventors (you CrossFit people know who you are) that they refrain from using such cute-sounding names for exercises, as this leads the participants to believe they could actually complete the exercises without suffering some sort of brain hemorrhage.  Instead, I would like to humbly suggest using names that are more descriptive of the actual activity.  For example, I would rename the bear crawl as follows:
Arm Purgatory with Arse in Air
or
Shoulder Explosion with Optional Hamstring Hell
or even
The Inferno (Because, you know, everything is on FIRE)
Now, while none of these names is perfect, they all do have one thing in common—the truth!  OMG, when I see an exercise that is pretty much something my 3-year-olds do, I am going into it thinking that, yeah, it might be a little challenging, but I don’t think I’ll become a temporary paraplegic if I do it.
Wrong-O, buster.  What I failed to recognize is that the amount of weight I am attempting to propel forward is exponentially higher than that being pushed by my toddlers.  I’m pretty sure their little butts weigh about 10 pounds each, so that kind of weight behind you doesn’t tend to propel you to such out-of-control proportions as say, if your butt weighs approximately the same as a small car.
That being said, with my weight distributed forward onto my weakling arms, as my feet moved forward, I was more likely to do a sommersault than a bear crawl.  But somehow I managed to complete this exercise designed by Satan himself to test the boundaries of my determination.
I did the stinkin’ bear crawl, dammit.  And yeah, it looked sort of like a lame bear that had maybe gotten a thorn stuck in one of its rear paws as it lumbered forward toward a sparkling salmon stream.  And maybe it also looked like a bear that was stricken with epilepsy or some other seizure disorder because, well, my muscles were reduced to the consistency of jell-o.  But I did the damn bear crawl.
What’s next, CrossFit trainers? 

What the Therapist Says…

…And What the Therapist Really Means
After several visits to doctors and therapists with Jordan, I have learned that there is a fine art to understanding what all of these professionals are saying.  It has taken time and a well-trained ear, but I believe I may be able to offer my translation services to other parents who may also be navigating the same medical and therapeutic avenues.  Please find below a basic list of translations, which will help you decipher exactly what each professional is trying to communicate in his or her own very politically correct and professional manner.  (This list will surely continue to grow as we see more doctors and therapists.)
Says:  My, my!  Isn’t he a busy boy?!
Means:  Holy smokes, my office will never be the same again!
Says:  Is he always this flitty?
Means:  Um, does this kid ever sit still?  EVER?
Says:  I think we need a team approach.
Means:  I don’t even know where to start.
Says:  Has a doctor recommended medication for him?
Means:  OMG, I think I have some meds right here in my purse…you know, if you’d like to give them a try.
Says:  Is he going to school this fall?
Means:  Will he have to keep coming here as well?
Says:  Does he have any particularly strong interests?
Means:  Will ANYTHING make this kid sit still?
Says:  I would love for my colleague to observe him as well.
Means:  Seriously, we could probably sell tickets to this event!
Says:  This little man is quite a puzzle!
Means:  I still don’t have any clue where to start with him.
Says:  Does he always explore this much?
Means:  Why won’t he stay out of my bleepity-bleep-bleep stuff?!?
Says:  Do you have any information at all about the birth mother?
Means:  Did she, by chance, drop him on his head?
Says:  I would love to work with him!
Means:  My bill will be in the mail.  And I’m charging the this-kid-exhausts-me rate.
Says:  I’ll forward you some contact information.
Means:  I may be in touch if I can ever get my office put back together.

Things You Should Know By the Time You Are 3 Years Old

  1. Candy tastes good.  Brussels sprouts…not so much.
  1. Cartoons are a gift to all mankind, and you should spend as many waking hours of the day watching them as possible.
  1. Naps are not fun (unless you are Mommy’s age, in which case, naps are quite enjoyable).
  1. Dirt is a boy’s best friend.  Well, that and worms and bugs and other sorts of creepy-crawlies.
  1. A muddy face + and impish smile = the quickest way to get a smile out of Mom.
  1. Shoes will fit on either foot, and sometimes wearing them on the wrong feet can be fun.
  1. The toilet is in the bathroom, and OH MAH GAWD, we DON’T. SMEAR. POOP. ON. THE. Bleepity-bleep-bleep-WALLS!
I will now elaborate on Number 7.  Seems that if mud is fun, poop is even MORE fun.  Oh yes, gooey, sticky poop.  And not even poop from your own pull-up.  Oooooh, noooooo.  It’s much better painting-poop if you DIG it out of your BROTHER’S pull-up.
I was calmly enjoying my 2 allotted calories of protein (and YES, the fact that I’m starving to death might be making me a little more irritable than normal) when I heard Jadon call out from his room something that sounded like, “Mama, dear poop and a wall.”
I thought to myself that even though it sounded a lot like “there’s poop on the wall,”  it couldn’t possibly be what he was saying.  Because they have seen Mommy’s head actually spin around as my eyeballs shoot from their sockets, and I’m sure they are in no urgent need of seeing that again.  So, I calmly set aside my remaining morsel of dinner, rolled my eyes, and sort of laughed this wonder-what-they’re-up-to-now laugh.
For the sake of not having to drag my screaming muscles up the stairs twice, I grabbed the box of baby wipes and a pull-up…just in case.  Let me just say that baby wipes would not have begun to touch the mess that I found.  I should have brought the pressure-washer instead.
And what I found was…OH MAH GAWD (wait a sec, I already said that)…it was sort of what you might imagine finding if you entered the monkey cage at the zoo right after they had all finished picking poop out of each other’s butts and flinging it at the nearby gawkers.
You know how in those really gory movies, there’s blood everywhere and you know there was just a chainsaw murderer in the room?  Well, it sort of looked like that…but with poop.  Really stinky poop.
But wait.  There’s more.
At first glance, Jordan looked like the only guilty party, and Jadon was certainly leading me to believe that with his innocent little “look what Jor-an do.”  However, my supremely honed detective skills have trained me to look beyond the obvious.  My next step (well, after I set off the alarm bell and called for back-up STAT) was to search for the source of the foulness that was now smeared across the walls.
And do you think the foulness was in Jordan’s pants?  No.  No, it was not.  There was a stench emanating from Jadon’s butt, and he slowly backed toward the wall so that I could not check his pants.  Clearly, since Jordan’s pants were clean (again, my detective skills at work), he had provided the artistic material for Jordan’s newest experiment in modern art.
Jordan’s hands were covered halfway to the elbows, and there was poop on the walls, on the bed, on his clothes.  Oh, the disgusting disgustingness of it all!
At first I was speechless, and then speech came.  Let’s just say that right now, I’m glad Jordan can’t repeat what Mommy was muttering as she was scouring the walls.  And what do you think Jadon did?  He said, “Mommy, we don’t say dat word.”
Oooooh, yes.  Sometimes we do say that word.