The Plot

Before I begin: Yes, my mother really has an antique stove on the front porch of her 1910 house. During the trip to New Mexico last week, the Honorable Mention Redneck Comment Award of the Day was given when I gave my brother directions to get to my Grandpa's house that included the line, "Turn between the big onion barn and Weeping Jesus on the Cross."

On to my tale.

We have been traveling a good bit lately. We drove in to Abilene to see my parents for a few days over Christmas, then drove to Salem, New Mexico for Grandpa's 90th birthday party. (If you know where Salem is, leave a comment. Unless you're related to me, because that doesn't really count, now does it???) Now we're back in Abilene to see a few more relatives and have a New Year's party before heading home tomorrow.

The girls, having ridden 500+ miles in the car yesterday, were cranky and reluctant to go to sleep. They also had opted to play with the many Christmas gifts they'd been cruelly parted from for entire days while we'd made the trip, and thus decided that toys were WAY cooler than supper could ever be. So they were quite upset when it came to going to sleep.

I tried having them lay on the living room floor and watch SpongeBob. When I woke up after several episodes and they were still awake, I turned it off and told them to go to bed. This was when Daddy appeared, successfully returning from shopping after only 3x the length of time he'd predicted. They begged him into telling at least three stories that I heard from the next room before he left and told them to go to bed.

Then Dixie decided that her tummy was 'hurting, hurting' and so Dowlan, assuming that a little calcium never killed anyone, gave them each a Tums, which Dixie rapidly gobbled and begged for more and Melody stared at as if it were poison. I called from the other room to remind Melody that she used to follow me around while I was pregnant with Charlie and bum them off of me. She consented to consuming it.

So, for a third time, the girls are left alone to fight, kick and scream their way to a peaceful slumber.

They begin by alternating their sobs. One screams DAAAAAAAAAA-DDEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! and then hitches a breath. The other one is poised, ready to scream DAAAAAAAA-DDEEEEEE! as soon as the first lets up. Their artful timing allowed for no respite between wails and pleas.

Realizing that this is getting nowhere, I hear Dixie tell Melody, "You rest while I scream for him." I can only imagine Melody laying, draped across a pillow, wearied from her howls and Dixie warmly and lovingly patting her on the shoulder in reassurance before taking up her shift.

At this point I holler to the other room to make them aware of the fact that DAAAA-DDEEEE is downstairs and cannot hear them.

Dixie: Then I must yell LOUDER.
Melody: Yes. You must. It is the only way.
D: It isn't working. He is never coming.
M: Well I am NOT going to sleep.
D: Me neither. We must continue yelling.
M: Yes, we must. Daddy will hear us and will help.
D: Yes. Mommy will never help us. She will only tell us to stop yelling and go to bed.
M: Then we must continue yelling. DAAAAAA-DEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

And, thusly, it continues for about another four minutes until they succumb to their exhaustion, and fall asleep. I go into my Mom's room, where I find my mother paralyzed with laughter. Dowlan comes up the stairs to join us in our muffled howls.

I guess it is a sign that the adoption is going well, that the girls have declared peace within the ranks and are now uniting against a common enemy: Their Parents.

I thought that wasn't supposed to happen until they turned fourteen.


Redneck Comment of the Day Award

goes to my mother, for this conversation:

Gretchen: Do you have a cookie sheet I can use?
Lora Lynn: Yes, go out on the front porch.
G: Mom, I need a COOKIE SHEET.
LL: Yes, go out to the front porch to the stove. The bottom left drawer has cookie sheets, but they may need to be washed out because of the cobwebs. You may have to move the wooden angel that is on the stake because I think it is through the drawer pulls on that side.
G: Wow. Those are very, uh, detailed directions.
LL: Yeah, I have to give them to your father all the time.

Yeah. Just, well, yeah.


Melody Says:

(on the subject of 'what Mommy would like for Christmas')

I could get you a necklace that is glow-in-the-dark and you could wear it in your bedroom at night and that way daddy could see if he had to get up in the middle of the night and then he could walk around and that way he won't step on you. Daddy could use it to see to go pee! Or if he needs to blow his nose he can see where you are and blow his nose without getting any of it on you.

And it could glow in the daytime, too, and look really pretty when you go to the gym and it can sparkle and match your leotard*.

* I never let on to the girls that I go swimming while at the gym, so they think my swimsuit is my leotard. After all, that is what they wear in gymnastics at their gym. And if I have to go into the Kids' Club to change Charlie's diaper and my leotard is wet and dripping, they tell me, "Mommy, you exercised so hard! You are allll wet and sweaty!" If they knew I was swimming, I would have a van full of very short mutineers to contend with.

Dixie says:

Mommy, your dishwasher is hard to break and i hurt my hand every time i try.

Mommy, do you wish you had a magic carpet for your cats?

Mommy, I want to eat a necklace for breakfast. Nah, just kiddin'!

But what my kid says has NOTHING on this blogger:


I am officially tired of being a grown-up

The washing machine just spewed forth gallons of water onto the kitchen floor. Parenting is fine, marriage is great, it is adulthood that I am not too fond of. Can I just quit that job?


Is it too early to introduce the term 'gender neutral?'

So I am tired of being on public display every time I change my clothes. So I have determined that it is high time I introduced a door-locking policy. It isn't going over well with the 'under 5' crowd.

Mommy: Okay, guys, I'm going to go get dressed while you guys finish your breakfast.
(I go in my room, lock the door, then go into the bathroom, and, well, go. Melody begins banging at my bedroom door and hollering.)
Melody: Mommy! Open! This! Door! Right! Now!
Mommy: I can't! I can be there in two minutes!
Melody: Now! I! Need! You! Right! Now!
Mommy: I'm coming, I'm coming! Give me just a second!
Melody: Hurry!
(Expecting catastrophe, I open the door.)
Mommy: What?
Melody: We're not boys! We're womans!
Mommy: What?
Melody: We're womans! We're! Not! Guys! You! Called! Us! Guys!
Mommy: Oh. Sorry. You Womans go eat breakfast, I am going to get dressed.
(Two minutes pass.)
Melody: MommyMommyMommyMommyMommy!
Mommy: I still need two minutes!
Melody: But hurry! Dixie stood on the table and THAT is a TROUBLE THING. She needs to go to time out RIGHT NOW but she CAN'T because time out is in your room and YOU LOCKED THE DOOR.

So I sit down to blog this the instant I am dressed, of course, because who could risk forgetting material of this caliber, right?

Melody: Mommy! Get Charlie!
Mommy: Dixie, go turn on the robot to distract Charlie.
Melody: Mommy! He is tearing down the castle I built that has a tall tower that is a smoke factory and makes smoke and steam and clouds go very up high in the sky but it won't be able to go up high if you let Charlie tear it down. We do not need a baby like that. That is not the kind of baby we need.
Dixie: She's right. That is not the baby we need for our home.
Mommy: So go turn on the robot so he'll move. (But what Mommy is thinking is 'Leave me the ($&# alone so I can write down the precious *#^#(@ memories of your magical *#&#%^#(% childhood.')
Melody: Mommy! Charlie is opening a present!

Yeah, I guess this is the point where I leave, but I must return later to tell you about the most fabulous tantrum in human history. There are no adequate adjectives.


Just in case I never actually print/mail them, Merry Christmas

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Yes, they're cut off, but I can't fix it.


Melody Says:

Mommy, I need a tissue because I am all out of places on my shirt. I used them all up to wipe my nose with.


Daddy, please tell a story.

Melody: Daddy, please tell a story to us.
Daddy: When I was a boy . . .
M: No, Daddy! Tell us a story!
D: I am trying to! When I was a boy . . .
M: Stories begin. "Once upon a time" or "Once in a far away land."
D: Once in a far away Oklahoma.
M: NO!


What college do you go to for that?


Mommy, when I grow up I want to be a Christmas Tree. So I can be sparkly and shiny. I don't want to be an elephant anymore, because elephants get shots with big needles. Is that okay? Does it make you sad that I want to be a Christmas tree and not an elephant?


Mel, I love you. Really I do.

But for the sake of memories, I must blog that you have thrice pooped in the bathtub. The first time, I was taking a bath with you. It was not solid. There were lots of toys that were almost thrown away instead of cleaned. It was weeks before I could take a bath in that tub again.

Th second time, Oma was visiting. We were both sitting next to the tub and you smiled and pooped all over the place. I was very proud of my quick response and how I didn't freak out and got everything ship shape very quickly while my mom was watching. It felt like, "See? I really am a Mommy and can handle this parenting gig just fine."

The third time you were potty training and the rule was that you had to potty before getting in the tub. You were not hip to the pottying lifestyle, so your rebellious streak inspired you to peepee in the potty chair then hop in the tub,where you promptly pooped. Thanks, kid.

Once again, I think that you really can't help it. i, too, have pooped in the tub. My mom used to make me and Trey (I can hear her voice right now saying, "Trey and me") take a bath together. Trey, being the obnoxious twit that he was/is/will evermore be took great delight in telling me that he peed in the bathtub. I never could tell if he was lying or not and it completely grossed me out. He would usually wait to tell me this until after I'd submerged my head in the water in order to wash my hair.

Reciprocating the act by telling him I'd peed in the tub had no ill-effect. Fed up, I let a floater loose in the tub one day when he wasn't looking. Then gently swished the water to drift it over to him. He didn't notice until it was bumping up against him.

He jumped out, screaming for dad. I was scarred for life because dad made me pick it up WITH MY BARE HANDS and transport it to the toilet.

But it was effective: if Trey ever again peed in the bathtub, he never told me about it.


The Poop Family Tree

Melody went through a stage when Charlie was born and then repeated it when Dixie came to live with us. It was, and still often is, important to her to assign familial roles to EVERYTHING.

At the zoo she has to know which giraffe is the Mommy and which is the Daddy. If there is a big monkey and a small monkey, she gets sad that there is only a Mommy and Baby, but nooooo Daddy! And if there is a poor zebra that has only a Mommy and Daddy but no Big Sister? Shocking and heartbreaking. At the turtle pond, she has entire extended families of Omas, Papas, Grandmothers, Grandfathers, Aunts, Cousins, Sisters, Brothers, Mothers and Fathers for the turtle lucky enough to be deemed Baby.

I know that the family unit is the most important structure of her life. It can be extremely confusing to her that Trey is my Brother, but Oma's Son, her Uncle and Big Sara's Daddy. So sorting things out is confusing. I grant her that. Especially when you go to Oma's for Christmas one year and the tall people start saying, "Hey, Melody! You want a kid to come play? Do you like this kid? Would you like to take this kid home as a sister who is taller than you, older stronger, knows more and will suddenly have a completely equal share in your toys, books, games, pets and parents?" Especially when the Baby In Mommy's Tummy had recently proved to not be a mere fairy tale but an actual pooping, peeing, eating, crying, attention-demanding real-life Baby Brother.

I can see why she needs to analyze this. I can see why she needs her dollies to have familial constructs and why a poor hyena at the zoo would be sad far away from his Mommy. It is irritating that every cage at the zoo or family at Wal*Mart without exactly four members filling in the four proper categories, but she is a child trying to understand her world. Fine. I get it.

I knew things had been taken waaaay too far the day that she started looking in the bowl after pooping and making sure that there were appropriate members of the Poop Family before she sent them swimmingly along their merry way. If there was a Mommy Poop and a Baby Poop, she sent them happily off to go find Daddy. The occasional grouping of large numbers of Baby Poops was merely Friends Playing.

One day I hear sobbing from the bathroom. Not sniffling, not whining--all-out sobbing. Expecting to find out that she accidentally flushed down her favorite animal or that she had just had an accident of momentous proportions, I race in.

There was a Baby Poop. All alone. And it didn't have a Mommy or Daddy Poop to flush down with it and it was going to be So Scared. She wanted to me Please, Oh, Please Mommy--make a Mommy Poop to send along so the Baby won't Cry and Cry and Cry. But Mommy, you Have To. Please?!!??!?!?!



The sore throat and eight loads of laundry i did today have successfully banded together to prevent me from telling you the fabulous poop story I had planned for today.

Contributing factors also included that Charlie screamed whenever set down, the entire day. He is having some respiratory problems again. He and the nebulizer are bonding again, despite his many clever means of protesting. Also the fact that the second half of the adoption home study is tomorrow and much cleaning needed to occur.

See you tomorrow. Really. I mean it this time.


Panty Pockets

Melody went through a phase at about age two-and-a-half where she was obsessed with having pockets. All of her clothes had to have pockets, or she wouldn't wear them. She had a few sundresses that had little pockets, and a few pairs of jeans, but most kids' clothing somehow left out this valuable aspect to clothing design.

We had these things called Onesie Extenders. They are a square of fabric that is about three inches by three inches that has snaps on two sides. You snap one end on each end of the onesie's crotch snaps and a kid can wear that item of clothing for about two more inches in height. Since Melody was (and is) a ridiculously tiny child, we got a lot of mileage out of those because, trust me--she has never gotten to wide for anything in her life. Only too tall.

Melody began tucking these little pieces of fabric into the waistband of pants that didn't have pockets and would get mad if Mommy's fashion sensibilities didn't allow her to wear them in public. She would wrap a belt around herself to hold them in place when wearing dresses. Mommy began to hide them.

So this lead Melody to seek out the pocket she never knew she had--the Panty Pocket. She would sometimes stick so much stuff in there that I would go to put her in her car seat and she would squeak in surprise at the unpleasant sensation of sitting on whatever she just sat on. I would make her empty her panties before leaving the house.

But my favorite was the look on someone's face when she would hand them something and they would realize where it came from. Or they would ask for something and she would say, "I've got it in my Panty Pocket."

As I write this, I realize that Melody simply cannot help it. She is genetically inclined to use undergarments for purposes that their manufacturer's never fathomed. I was about that age when I helped my Uncle Nathan wash his truck. About halfway through he realized that in lieu of a sponge i was using, you guessed it--my panties. He freaked and washed his truck again.

I have no tales to tell on my mother (although I am sure at least one exists) but MY grandmother, finding her dentures uncomfortable, would put them in her bra, nestled securely, and would fish them out when the phone rang or someone came to the door. This practice went on for a good time until the day she bit herself. Yes, you read that correctly.

So she sewed pockets in all her dresses instead of using her former storage location. Melody would approve.


Get ready, kids!

Next week's theme is:

Embarrassing stories to save for the future. I figure I need a collection to pull out for meeting their prom date.