My Public Service Announcements

In case you don’t have an internet IV running through your veins 24/7 like some people I know, ahem, you may not have heard of Blinkbooks. These are short, visual brain candies covering a variety of topics from fashion to children’s stories to humor. I’ve been lucky enough to write several of these and I thought I’d share a couple I’m particularly fond of.

First up is a warning for parents of girls:

Naturally, I needed to warn parents of boys as well:

Next I was inspired by Honest Mom‘s admission that she sees cute babies and her ovaries start stabbing her better sense and judgement. I know this feeling and think it’s important to remind people everywhere what it’s really like to have a baby:

So these are what public service announcements look like when they come from Motherhood, WTF? You’re welcome.

Selective Interpretation, or Why my Baby is Better than Yours

I have a confession to make: while you were all judging me and Luke, thinking I was a bad parent and he was a wild, out-of-control toddler, I was judging you and your well-behaved babies thinking that they were stupid.

Sure, my kid may have been 12 feet off the ground in 0.3 seconds up a bookcase in the library, or climbing the walls to retrieve the thumbtacks and then giving those tacks to babies in music class, but he knew how to blow his nose. None of this smearing of snot all over his face. Gross! Teach those babies to blow! What’s so complicated about it? I soothed my bruised ego with thoughts of your stupid, snot-faced babies while I dragged Luke out of every library, class, museum, store, park, party, etc. I ever brought him to between the ages of 15 months and 3 years.

Well, now I have Sally – a well-behaved child who would happily sit through a music class if I ever bothered to bring her. But blow her nose? Not a chance. She just does not have the cognitive understanding of what we’re trying to accomplish and/or the physical coordination to accomplish it. Luke did it right away. I said, “blow” and he blew through his mouth. I said, “no, breathe hard out of your nose” and he did. Voila. Surely all babies could do this? Turns out, nope. Either your babies were not stupid after all, or Sally is just as stupid as they were.

The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. Honestly, what baby isn’t stupid? One thing about Luke is that he is terrifically physically capable. He just has an innate sense of his own body and this makes him able to manage physical tasks quite easily.

As a struggling new mom, I took this as a clear indication of his superior intellect. I somehow ignored the sure signs of inferior intellect that presented themselves daily – his constant desire to put disgusting things in his mouth, including, but not limited to, poop found on the road, rocks, poop found on the grass, old gum found stuck to the underside of tables, and the bottom end of downspouts after a good rain for a drink. (WTF? He’d throw aside a perfectly good sippy cup and drink from downspouts!)

Please ignore the 3-year-old eating wood chips, that is, until he has a runny nose. Look at that kid blow! Yes, isn’t he wonderful? He’s been doing it since he was a baby. *Beaming*


Merry Halloween!

We got nearly 2 feet of snow between the 29th and 30th of this month, which is October in case you’ve become disoriented. It’s funny that I never dreamed of a white Halloween. Never really thought about it before. And to be honest, it’s beautiful.

In the beginning...

The snow is of the heavy, wet variety and it’s piled on the trees and every surface in thick, white pillows. The problem is that it’s October and the trees weren’t quite ready for those pillows. With their leaves still on, the poor trees are bending, bowing and breaking under the weight of the snow.

Broken trees = broken power lines = no power anywhere near me = no heat, no running water, no coffee.

This is still early on. Around 4PM on Saturday.

We did try to make the most of the situation though and had a great time playing in the snow as it fell.

Superman-Jack-O-Lantern-Snowman, naturally

Then night fell on us and with it a few trees, several branches and any hopes I had of sleeping. I made several middle of the night rounds with my flashlight in my freezing house checking on the trees outside. At 2AM I got T out of bed to help me shake off a tree that was resting on our back deck. A few good shakes and it sprang back up, only to lean against L’s window.

Morning came, and with it two extremely excited kids and a few extremely tired adults. Did I mention the no coffee thing? Also, there might have been some hot buttered rum the day before and a fair amount of red wine. (Hey, we had to keep warm!) We had our work cut out for us.

My nerves were fried and I was too frazzled, tired, and busy to take the pictures I should have. Like the picture of the huge old tree that fell down at some point in stealthy silence, about 6 feet from our house. Had the tree’s trajectory been a degree or two different, L’s room would have been crushed. I did take a couple on my phone though.

Back deck, sheltered from snowfall, in the morning

Pumpkin-Head Snowman after we unburied him in the morning

Holy Sh!t

I did learn some things though. Like just about anything, the crappy stuff related to an October snowstorm can be broken down to a top 5 list. So, here I give you:

The Top 5 Craptastic Things Caused by an October Snowstorm:

5. One is not prepared and has not yet removed the snow blower from its storage space under the back deck. It took lots and lots and lots of shoveling to get to that thing.

4. One is not prepared and has to dig out winter clothes from their storage place in the dark basement, by flashlight, helped by super-excited-to-play-in-the-snow-and-bonkers-wildly-excited-to-be-in-the-cold-dark-basement-with-flashlights kids.

3. No electricity means it’s dark. Very dark. Darkness and flashlights at bedtime with small children causes exceptional hyperness, excitement and fear.

2. No heat. It’s cold. Turns out our fireplace is purely decorative and supplies no heat to the house whatsoever. Last I checked on Sunday afternoon it was 55 and dropping inside.

1. The worst thing about it by far was the lack of running water. We have our own well, so no power = no water = no flushing, no washing. That expansive dinner we made on Saturday before the power went out? Hello piles of dirty dishes, bowls, pots and pans that can’t be washed. Those giant poops that my kids make? Still in the toilets waiting for a flush. YUCK!

By late afternoon on Sunday we had enough. We packed ourselves up and escaped to my parents’ house a couple of hours away. Our power is due to be restored at 11:45PM on Thursday, November 3rd. Until then we’ll stay here where it’s warm. On Friday, I will have to face a house full of old dirty dishes, a fridge full of rotten food, and those toilets.