The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Tag: mini-me (page 1 of 5)

…and that’s why I don’t make handmade gifts anymore.

Once upon a time, I was a serial crafter.

I love making things. All kinds of things. Always have.

Earliest crafting memory? When I was about 7-years-old my mom signed me up for a Saturday morning holiday ornament class at the local craft store. I’ve been a craftaholic ever since.

Why, of course I still have those ornaments! Aren’t you adorable to ask! (#hoarder)

This first one was made from a tuna can. Honest to Pete. Nothing says “Welcome Baby Jesus!” like the lingering redolence of Chicken of the Sea…

TheBeardedIrisVintageTunaCanOrnament

Continue reading

The Parable of the Principal Pal Predicament – Part 2

When we last left our heroine…

Wait. I’m sorry, I just despise that word. I can never remember if it’s heroin or heroine and then I get nervous that people will think I’m leaving my smack lying around all willy nilly.

(Quick Google check and heroine-with-an-e it is. I know—I’ll create a pneumonic device to help me remember: the e is for extra excellent feeeeemale hero. Got it. Oh wait, is it pneumonic or mnemonic? Shit. And you wonder why I don’t write more often.)

Digression ending in 3-2-1…

Heroine. With an e. That would be me. Hiya!

If you’re just joining us, Continue reading

“Mommy, how did I get out of your tummy?”

I’ve told you before that our dinner conversations tend to be pretty, uh…colorful, much to my sweet husband’s dismay.

Well, we had another doozy this week.

This was one of those moments when you wish you had a video camera rolling. But since I didn’t (do we ever when we really need them?), I’ll have to attempt to reenact the dialogue from the way I saw it unfold.

It went a little something like this…

Mini-Me (10 y.o. girl): Mom, have you ever missed the bus and had to chase it to get on?

Me: I don’t think so. I had to walk to school when I was your age. But I did have to run my hardest through an airport once to catch a flight. You were with me, do you remember that?

Nature-Boy (13 y.o.): I remember that. You were crying and we were all running.

Mini-Me: You were crying? In an airport? RUNNING? With us? I don’t remember that!

Me: Well I was about 6 months pregnant with Bucket Head and we were going to Arizona to visit your Bubbie and Zaydie, and we were super late, and my e-ticket wouldn’t work, and it was a mess. But yes, we had to run, HARD. I was crying because I was stressed out and afraid. We made the flight though. Nobody wants to get in the way of a sprinting pregnant lady.

Bucket Head (5 y.o. boy): You mean, I was in your tummy and you were running in an airport? That’s so silly, Mom.

Me: Yep. You were in my tummy…and you were HUGE.

Bucket Head: But Mom? How did I get OUT of your tummy?

(Mini-Me and Nature Boy’s eyes widened with excitement and/or fright.)

Mini-Me: (stage whisper) Should I tell him, Mom?

Me: NO. Don’t tell him yet. Not now. We’re eating. Daddy doesn’t like when we talk about stuff like that at the table. And I should tell him, not you. But thanks for the offer.

Bucket Head: Does the doctor cut the baby out?

Me: Sometimes. Pass the sour cream, honey.

Bucket Head: Well one time? The news was on? And Mommy was up in her room texting? And I saw a Mommy having a baby on TV. She was going like this [he grabbed the table with both hands, tightly shut his eyes, and made a sustained difficult pushing sound] and then she pooped out her baby…right out of her BUTT! I don’t think I was supposed to be watching that show.

The rest of us: ::giggle::

The Gatekeeper: You have to tell him now. You can’t let him think that babies get pooped out.

Me: It’s not totally inaccurate. Remember the sausage and peppers?

The Gatekeeper: Dude. We’re eating.

Me: (To GK) You said to tell him! (To BH) Right, you probably shouldn’t have been watching that show, buddy. But no, that mom didn’t poop out her baby.

Bucket Head: Really? Because it looked like it was coming out of her butthole. And it was all gross like poop.

Me: Most babies come out of their Mommy’s vagina.

Bucket Head: WHAT? (Deadpan face.)

Me: Vagina. Babies get pushed out of vaginas. And it’s hard work, so Mommies have to push and grunt and it’s messy. But it’s awesome.

Mini-Me: (Very concerned) But mom? A baby’s head is like this big, and a vagina is only that big. Do vaginas stretch out THAT much? (Holding her hands out like the size of her dinner plate.)

Me: Yep.

Mini-Me: How long do they stay stretched out like that?

Me: Oh…pretty much forever. Why do you think I wear such big pants?

The Gatekeeper: (Slowly shakes head in defeat.)

Mini-Me: I’m never having sex, ever.

Bucket Head: I AM. I want to poop out a baby! 

I don’t really remember what happened next, because I was laughing too hard.

And end scene. 

hide and seek bucket head

 

Mama Bears Unite!

You know that feeling you get as a parent when you suspect for a millisecond that your child has been wronged? That “Mama (or Papa) Bear” reflex that rears up in us and makes us feel like we could and would do ANYTHING to protect our kids?

Yeah. That. It’s a frightening and powerful rush, isn’t it? I feel it so often, I’m starting to think I might be a Mama Bear junkie. Granted, I’m a bit of an over-reactor in general . . .

“Kelsey said WHAT to you? Hand Mama the phone please.”

In fact, my husband, aka The Gatekeeper, frequently has to remind me to let the kids solve most of their own social dilemmas. I can’t help it. My hackles just stand on end when I start to sense my babies are hurting.

But sometimes our children can’t solve their own problems, particularly when they’re up against a big institution like a school. When that happens, it is our job to protect them, and pity the fool who gets in our way (said in my best Mr. T impersonation. You’re welcome.)

Once, when Mini-Me was in Kindergarten, she was in a classroom setting that was not a good fit for her particular needs and learning style. More often than not, she came home from school looking like this:

[photo removed at the request of Mini-Me]

You know Mini-Me. She takes after her Mama. (Bless her heart.) Well, she had a couple of behavioral incidents early in the year, and the next thing we knew, she was being treated like she was a “problem child.”

It was heartbreaking. We could actually see her self-esteem plummet during that time. I don’t really talk much about it, but back then I was *this close* to pulling Mini-Me out of public Kindergarten and homeschooling her after a series of very upsetting interactions we had with the teachers and administrators of her school. (And I think we can all agree that I would be a miserable failure as a homeschooling mother given my inability to stick to a routine or come up with appropriate crafts.)

That was around the time I quit blogging. I just couldn’t find a way to balance my burgeoning career (then hobby) and give Mini-Me the time and attention she needed at home.

That’s not the only reason I gave up blogging, but it was a major factor. Sometimes I wonder how much further along I could be in my career right now if I had stayed with blogging and not taken that year off.

But like I said, I was in that Mama Bear mode and I would have done anything to protect my girl. I have no regrets. That was in the winter and spring of 2009. We did everything in our power to support our daughter and make sure she got the education she deserved.

Our efforts paid off in the end. It was no surprise to us, but it turned out she was not a “problem child” at all, but rather a gifted and kinesthetic learner who was just bored silly and needed to be with a teacher who would see her as an asset instead of a liability.

Imagine that.

This is probably why I got all teary-eyed when I watched the preview for the upcoming film Won’t Back Down, by Fox Pictures, scheduled for release September 28th. In it, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis play two determined mothers who will stop at nothing to transform their children’s failing inner city school. Facing a powerful and entrenched bureaucracy, they risk everything to make a difference in the education and future of their children.

Honest to Pete, gives me goosebumps just thinking of it. I’ve been a big fan of Maggie Gyllenhaal for a long time. Ever see Secretary or Sherrybaby? Jayzus. This woman can act, y’all. I can’t wait to see the hurtin’ she puts on this role as a crusading mother.

Now add Viola Davis, Rosie Perez, and Holly Hunter? (All of whom are either Oscar nominees or winners.) Holy Hell. This is gonna be good.

Okay, enough jibber jabber. Visit the Won’t Back Down Facebook page and “like” it for more updates on the film. You can even organize a girls night out and purchase group tickets there while you’re at it.

Also, Fox and BlogHer are teaming up to give you the chance to win one of two $40 Fandango gift cards. All you need to do is answer these questions in the comments below: How can you be an agent for change in your community? What gives you courage?

Rules:
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
“b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the
following unique term in your tweet message: “”#SweepstakesEntry””; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post”
c) Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 9/5/12-9/30/12.
Be sure to visit the Won’t Back Down brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggersí posts and find more chances to win!

Two Posts That Almost Never Were

Hey, remember that post from a couple of weeks ago about my bathing suit shenanigans?

 

 

Would you believe that post almost never saw the light of day?

It’s true.

I was dangerously close to deleting that sucker before I ever published it. But before I can tell you that story, you first need to know about a new website I’m involved in called Girl Body Pride: just the way we are. Continue reading

Another Spectacular Dinner Conversation

As I’ve told you before, we tend to have pretty hilarious and/or bizarre dinner conversations at my house (depending on your perspective).

My sweet husband, “The Gatekeeper,” is all about order and peace at the table. He really hates it when the kids and I get silly or inappropriate. And the man has a point there, really, I get it. But sometimes, we truly just can’t help ourselves.

The other night we were talking about ethnicity. My husband is 100% Italian; I’m more of a mutt. The kids absolutely despise that I ruined their chances of being purebred Italians.

So Mini-Me, desperately trying to find a way to be more than 50% Italian, pleaded, “Mom? Do you have any Italian in you?”

Those were her exact words.

I mean, come on.

In baseball, that’s what they call a “meatball” (ahem, speaking of Italians)…a perfect pitch right down the middle of the plate.

Look, I just don’t have it in me to not square up and knock that sucker out of the ballpark, even in front of children.

“Not at the moment.” I countered with a straight face, followed by a We-Make-Sexytime double eyebrow raise in my husband’s general direction (which on me, actually looks more like Groucho Marx having a petit mal.)

“Nice,” The Gatekeeper replied with an undertone of this is why our kids are like this. (He may or may not have been referring to various troublesome behaviors including a child who will not be named allegedly dropping trou on the playground the other day and getting sent to the preschool principal’s office on charges of indecent exposure.)

pic of bucket head preparing for trouble and in mismatched socks

...in trouble with more than just the Fashion Police.

Don’t worry, my joke went right over the kids’ heads, as I knew it would. They are way more interested in poop and fart talk than they are with the whole P-in-the-V concept…so far. Which is why it came as a big surprise that a few minutes later Mini-Me revealed that she was learning various gynecological terms at school. 

“We’re learning SPEC words in spelling.”

“SPEC words? What does that mean?” I asked.

“You know, words with SPEC in them. It’s a Latin root. It means see or look.”

“You’re learning Latin roots in 3rd grade? How cool is that?! You are going to rock your SATs, girl. What are some of the words on your list?”

“Inspect. Respect. Spectacle. Speculum…” she replied.

Hold up. Did you just say speculum?”

“Uh-huh. Speculum.”

Speculum is one of your spelling words? In third grade? Are you sure?”

“Yes. Also, perspective, spectator…”

“No. Really. You must be mistaken. There is NO way in Sam Hill that speculum is one of your spelling words. Get me that list.”

Meanwhile, The Gatekeeper and the boys were silently chewing their food, watching our dialogue like a tennis match. Mini-Me got up from the table, rooted through her backpack, and produced this:

my daughter's spelling list of words including the Latin root SPEC

 Quickly, I scanned the page.

“There’s no speculum on this list, Miss Thang.”

She leaned over to see it again and prove to me that I’m wrong.

Suddenly realizing her mistake, “Oh, I meant to say speculate.”

“Big diff, honey.”

“Well what is a speculum then? And why isn’t it on my list since it starts with SPEC?”

This would have been the ideal moment for me to be circumspect before answering.

“Oh. Well. Okay. A speculum is a special scope that doctors use to look inside your vagina.”

“WHAT?!”

“Don’t worry. Only grown-up women need to have those kind of exams.”

“Like a telescope? That goes into your vagina? And a doctor looks up in there? That is disgusting! Ew! I am never going to let anyone stick anything in my vagina!”

“AMEN sister. Let’s make t-shirts that say that,” I approved.

“Can we please change the conversation?” The Gatekeeper pleaded.

“Da-ji-na.” Bucket Head chimed in, better late than never.

The kids and I all started to giggle, nervously glancing at the head of the table.

“See? See what just happened?” The Gatekeeper admonished.

In retrospect, yes, yes I do. Maybe I need more Italian in me to win him over.

 

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