Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Pumpkin And The Goat.

Once upon a time there lived a pumpkin and a goat.

The pumpkin found his way into a certain toddler's life amidst the contents of a birthday party goodie bag. This particular pumpkin's purpose was to bring joy to small children with bubbles but the small child who owned him never figured out that the stalk was a bubble blower or that bubble stuff sloshed within the hollow insides and so his parents, quite gladly, never shared the secret.

The goat had been living in a toy barnyard for some time but was rediscovered by the toddler with the glee usually reserved for old fruit snacks found smushed into the rug.

Neither the pumpkin nor the goat cleared three inches, but their power was mighty.

"Mommy, mommy! See my punkin and goat!" the little boy would scream at odd moments during the day and proudly display one in each hand.

"Punkin and goat, punkin and goat," the little boy would chant while walking in circles and swinging them in his little hands.

When going up the stairs, a feat that required his little hands to be free of any objects, pumpkin and goat included, he would say, "Mommy, hold my punkin and goat pease."

Most of the time, the little boy's mom did not know where the pumpkin and goat resided. Sometimes they'd show up in the play kitchen or under the table, but whenever they couldn't be found all the mom had to say was, "Pumpkin and goat?" and the boy could produce them in front of their eyes, an invisible tether binding them for eternity.

Of course, since the tether was invisible and pumpkins are not known to stick around much past October, a very bad thing happened. The pumpkin disappeared and the goat sat by his lonesome on a kitchen shelf that should have been out of the little boy's view.

For days he questioned their whereabout and for days his mom did a pretty kick-ass job of diverting his attention using a patented combination of lies and fruit snacks. And then one day he spotted the $#^@ goat on the shelf.

"MY GOAT!!!" he shouted, "Mommy, there's my goat!"

Mommy cringed and waited. He did not disappoint.

"Where's my punkin?" she heard laced with the same passion invoked when requesting a cookie.

The good, exhausted, creative mommy did her best but the toddler saw through the lies. He knew pumpkins don't need "me-time," he couldn't believe the goat would decide to achieve his dream of scaling Mt. Kilimanjaro if it meant saying goodbye to the pumpkin, and while he didn't quite understand the concept of hibernation he was fairly confident it didn't apply to pumpkins.

Desperation set in. This Mommy was no dummy. Pumpkin bubble blower inventory is halfway to China by November 1st!

And then she heard it. Sweet joy of joys. The little boy screamed, "MY PUNKIN!!" Hidden away in a compartment of the diaper bag she didn't know existed was the pumpkin. There were also some pretty disgusting peanut butter crackers and an old banana stem, but the little boy was so glad to have the pumpkin back, he didn't try to eat either.

Mommy, the little boy had, the pumpkin, and the goat had a sweet reunion and texted many pictures to Daddy who was on a work trip in Chicago enjoying dinner at (and this is true, couldn't make it up if I wanted to) The Girl and The Goat not quite, and likely not ever, appreciating the irony of his own girl and goat back home.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Most Ridiculous Hospital Tour In The World, EVER.

Let's talk about my hospital tour. Normally, I would have dismissed the hospital tour but everytime I asked a healthcare provider or hospital information kiosk worker, "So where do I go when I'm actually in labor?" I was told, "Oh just take the tour. It's great!" Despite my persistence, no one would give up a wing or a floor, so to the tour I went.

I attended the tour alone and on the drive over I felt like a woman freed from her household bonds. My husband was with our son and neither one of them had any idea how long a hospital tour might take. All day? Possible.

Upon arrival, I noticed I was the only one there without a "partner" and upon introductions that I was the only one in the bunch to have already experienced the thrill of labor and delivery. Within five minutes of the tour's start, I knew what to do when in labor. I should have left. I had what I wanted, but freedom felt good and Kerry, our hippie nurse/yoga instructor at the healm of the ship seemed like she might take offense to someone walking off so early.

In the delivery room, I listened to her talk about check-in and checked things off my "Delivery Room Expectations list." Laminate wood floors? Check! Giant TV? Check! Uncomfortable couch for dad? Check! Massive crotch spotlight hiding in the ceiling? Check! It was all there.

My train of thought was interrupted when I heard Kerry say, "A lot of our moms say aromatherapy really helps getting through those contractions, so consider bringing essential oils or lavendar."

I looked around incredulously the nodding heads of the innocent moms who had never felt a contraction. I wanted to scream, "Lavendar?! You've GOT to be kidding. Don't listen to this because the poor soul who comes near you with lavendar mid-contraction is getting it shoved up his ass. Wildflowers are only good if they are a magical elixir in the epidural."

I stayed quiet.

Next on Kerry's list of ridiculous things you might want was a giant inflatable pool. She told us that we should request it early because it takes some time to inflate and fill it, but then we could hop right in to help ease the contractions. Oh! And tell your partner to bring his swimtrunks because he can get in, too.

Are we in labor or on a toddler play date with an unsanitary pool? I do not want to sit in placenta-water and my husband doesn't either.

Still, I stayed quiet.

It was the third ridiculous fact about this hospital that gave me my voice. "We recommend that the baby stay with you every night you are in the hospital so you really get that special bonding time with your infant." Kerry droned on about this as my eyes filled up. I want to bond with this baby and we have a lifetime to get 'er done, but as far as I'm concerned, those two nights in the hospital are my last two nights of sleep for about three months.

"But if you want the baby to go to the nursery, it can, right?" I asked, my voice shaking.

"Oh sure," Kerry responded. Relief flooded my veins, "But," she continued, "studies show new moms sleep more soundly when in the same room as their babies."

"Oh, really, Kerry?" I wanted to shout but didn't have the balls, "studies show I sleep more soundly when I'm not woken up three times a night!"

Instead of saying this I glared at her.

The fourth and final ridiculous fact about this hospital is that according to Kerry they do not "believe in pacificiers." What is not believable about a pacifier? They exist and they work. Were Kant alive, he could riff off a textbook on the existence of pacifiers. Apparently, this hosptial believes in crying babies so I will be bringing a gross of pacifiers in my overnight bag.

When done with ridiculous facts, one ridiculous question came from tour group. "Does this hospital offer room upgrades?" a woman asked.

Umm, are you J. Lo or Kim Kardashian? You've got laminate wood floors and an (optional) inflatable pool. What more do you want in suburban Texas? You are having a baby, not weekending poolside at The Ritz. Get over yourself.

Thank God the answer was no. I only wished Kerry hadn't said it with so much apology in her voice.

So I'm sure my hospital stay is going to be a riot with herbal remedy experts, nursery naysayers, and the pacifier police at my bed. I think I've either picked the wrong hospital or privileged consumerism is finding its way to healthcare.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Worst Place On Earth During The Holidays.

Has anyone been to Pinterest lately? Yes? Ok, good. Anyone else going to avoid it like it could kill them between now and New Year's? Studies have shown that it is currently the worst place on earth. Need proof? Read on.

I needed a recipe. Really. That was the only reason I ventured over there. What I ran into was enough to make Martha Stewart rethink her entire career.

DIY Reindeer Treats? Why isn't that a picture of Oreos and carrots with a bite mark?

DIY Holiday Sweater Pillow? Do the recipient a real favor and donate the old sweater to goodwill.

The next refresh got more disturbing:

A sandpaper christmas tree as a holiday exchange idea? Let's all hope we are not invited to that exchange.

A DIY Holiday Bucket List? Don't need all those blanks to fill in 1. Survive. 2. Don't Let Any Toddlers Find Out Santa Isn't Real 3. Don't Drink Publicly If You're Pregnant.

The DIY Thank You Cards look lovely, but they also appear to have been created by a master paper craftsman. For the amateurs that will be at any/all holiday exchanges I attend this season, keep in mind you can never go wrong with Kate Spade stationary.

I did one more refresh to see if maybe I'd stumbled into Pinterest during a  Holiday Twilight Zone, but no; no I hadn't. It continued:

A lovely, crafted Christmas card holder. Mine is called "Scotch Tape."

A gratitude game to teach your children gratitude. Bribes that involve Spider-Man fruit snacks are just as effective.

A New Year's Eve craft that lets you craft something out for each hour leading up to 2014. I suppose this is for those who can't get their crafting fix out of Christmas, who I would imagine are not that crafty in the first place.

Ladies, for the love of God, lay off Pinterest with the holiday DIY-ing. Unless, of course, you're DIY-ing it with a box of wine and an Amazon Prime membership. Instagram that and I will follow you for life.