Note about previous post.

My mother just called to tell me that my previous post was good, except for the part where I called The Beast an idiot.  She found this offensive.

People, for the love of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, I’m kidding.

I do not now, nor will I ever think my child is truly an idiot. Actually, that’s not true.  There are some things I can imagine happening in his, and The Good One’s, teenage years that could potentially warrant the use of the title “Idiot.”

But have we not already established that he’s an evil genius?

He’s 3 and he says words incorrectly, and I use that for humor.  If I offend you, I suggest you find a way to deal with it, because I’ll probably call him, The Good One and Virginia Slims Man a lot more names before I quit this highly unlucrative blogging business.

And if you’re concerned about him reading this and being offended, don’t.  While he is a genius, he doesn’t read yet and I’ll be sure to shut this baby down before he ever gets wind of my concern that he might someday concoct a nefarious plot to take over the world.

But honestly, what parent hasn’t at one time or another thought that their kids are idiots?

I feel confident that my parents thought we were idiots most of the time, because we were.  We nearly killed our family by using paint thinner in a poorly ventilated garage.  We made gifts of “perfume” for our friends by mixing 72 varieties of toilette water, and instead of providing anything resembling perfume, we provided the gift of raging headaches to our entire household.

We were idiots.  All kids are.

What is the world coming to when we can’t even joke about our kids being morons without people getting their knickers all sucked up their butt cheeks?

Here, eat this donkey omelet.

Mornings in my house suck donkey omelets.

Am I using that right?  I’m assuming “omelet” is a slang term for testicle, but if it actually refers to an egg dish with minced donkey, well, my mornings suck that too.

Lately, the Beast has been waking up several times throughout the night to beckon either me or Virginia Slims Man to his room to reaffirm that in the morning he will get to eat cereal.

After being reassured that we are not going to starve him, he goes back to sleep.

At 6:30 he wakes up screaming, “Mom, mom, mom, mom, I need you, I need you, I need you, mom, mom, mom, I need you, I need you, I need you!”

So I go running to his room where he’s sitting up in his bed, rubbing his eyes, looking generally adorable and cherubic, and then he says, “Mom, I’m awake.  Can I eat cereal now?”

“Yes, honey, let’s go get cereal.”

So I carry him to the pantry where he selects a cereal.  Usually it’s Rice Krispies or Cheerios, because I’m one of THOSE moms.

I then place him in his chair at the counter, pull a bowl from the cupboard and pour him a bowl of cereal.  Then I ask, “Do you want milk in your cereal?” because if I assume that he wants it and he doesn’t want it, well, then, I brought the fury of Hell upon myself.

This morning he wanted milk in his cereal, so I poured the milk and then pulled a spoon from the drawer and placed it into the bowl of cereal.  And with that very simple, mundane, inconsequential movement of placing a spoon into a bowl, Satan unleashed his army of demons to quickly descend upon my kitchen.

The Beast, who is quite obviously obsessed with control, flipped out because I placed the spoon into the bowl when he wanted to do it.

We had this conversation:

The Beast: I WANTED TO PUT THE SPOON IN THE BOWL!!!

Me: Well, take the spoon out of the bowl and then put it back in.

The Beast:  BUT YOU DID IT FIRST!

Me:  Beast, it really doesn’t matter who puts the spoon into the bowl.  Just take it out and put it back in again, then it’ll be like you did it yourself.

This did not sit well with The Beast, so he started in with the screaming of random things that I’ve likely screamed at him that make no sense whatsoever in this moment, but he knows they’re things that I yell in anger and frustration.

“I SAID NO!”  “LOOK AT ME!”  “LOOK IN MY EYES!”  “I’M GETTING VERY UPSET!”  “YOU DON’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO; I TELL YOU WHAT TO DO!”  “I SAID LOOK AT ME!”  “I WAN’T DADDY!!”

That last one is all him, but in the heat of an angry moment I have cried out to my mother and Jesus…and Cabernet-Sauvignonidite, The Goddess of Wine and Stay-At-Home Moms.

Now, the argument and the yelling isn’t always about the placement of a spoon, but there is always arguing in the morning.  And that’s usually when I start fantasizing about the wine I’m going to have in the evening.  Or in 30 minutes when The Beast and The Good One leave for school and VSM leaves for work.

Shut up.  Don’t judge me.

Now, you may be thinking that I should beat the ever-loving tar out of The Beast for screaming that way.  At the very least I should scream and my head should spin and I should vomit on the walls in anger, but I’ve done that before (minus the vomit), and it only makes things worse.

So I gently pick up The Beast and walk him to the timeout corner.  I explain to him that I can’t talk to him when he’s screaming at me, and within a minute he’s calmed down enough to say, “Mom, my cereal is going to get foggy.”  He means soggy, but he’s an idiot.

I remove him from the timeout corner and he climbs back into his chair.

But the donkey-omelet-sucking part of my morning isn’t even close to being over, because now I’ve got to get The Beast to actually consume food.  He usually just sits there and talks and talks and complains because he actually wanted two separate bowls, one with Rice Krispies and one with Cheerios, and a piece of peanut butter toast.

I’m no nimrod.  It only took me a week of feeding my still-not-dead dog two bowls of cereal and a piece of peanut butter toast every morning to stop giving The Beast that much food.

So I spend the next 15 minutes telling The Beast that he’s going to run out of time to eat, and he responds by not eating.  After he runs out of time, he gets down from the counter and then the battle to get dressed for school starts.

He screams about not wanting to wear two shirts when it’s cold outside.  When I pick him up from school on those days that I force him to wear two shirts, he’ll have removed one of the shirts just to remind me that the minute he’s out of my sight, I no longer control him.

He’ll argue about wanting to brush his own hair, which would be fine if I didn’t have to wet it down in the morning because it looks like a nest of beavers have taken up camp in his hair overnight.

The Beast has gotten infinitely better at controlling himself during the day (except for the time he threw a temper tantrum because of the location of an M&M in his cookie), but the mornings are killing me and I’m burnt out.

So my question is this:  How do I stop this horrible episode of Groundhog Day meets Chucky?   Is The Beast not sick of the screaming and yelling?  Is he just too tired to control his morning anger?  Does he not want the breakfast demons to go back from whence they came?

If you have a strong-willed child and you’ve found something that works, I’d love to hear about it.  Because if I have one more argument about the level of Cheerios in the bowl, who inserts the spoon into the bowl, the volume of milk in the bowl or my decision to provide The Beast with a cup of milk when he didn’t request it, I’m probably going to shove a donkey omelet down his gullet and then walk in front of a bus and pray for Cabernet-Sauvignonidite to take me home.

Amen.

P.S.  This post has a lot of flip-flopping of tense.  If you know what I’m talking about, just ignore it and accept the fact that I did not care enough to go back through and correct the tense changes.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then you are evidence of our failing educational system.

Girl, Why You Ackin’ So Cray-Cray?

Do you ever watch Gravity Falls?  It’s an animated show that’s on Disney, and I think I love it more than my kids do.  It’s about a brother and sister who go to live with their great uncle in a town that has some moderately odd supernatural things occurring.

Yes, I realize that I’m probably going to rot in hell for watching and allowing my children to watch a show that has supernatural aspects to it.  (We also love Harry Potter.)  But honestly, if God’s sending me to hell, he has a plethora of other things he can send me there for, way before he even gets to assessing my television habits.  Things like eating pudding shots at 10:00 a.m., skipping church more often than going, and wishing my obviously immortal dog dead.   (Dog update:  She’s still not dead.)

I’m not really worried about Gravity Falls affecting where I spend all eternity.

Anyway, some of the phrases that are used on Gravity Falls are often repeated in my house.  The Beast likes to chant “You Are Say” because he’s an idiot and doesn’t realize that Mabel (the sister) is chanting “USA.”

I’m kidding.  My kid isn’t an idiot.  He’s actually a genius, which is going to come in handy when he takes over the world.  You think I’m joking, but one day, in about 30 years, when the aliens land on Earth and say, “Take me to your leader,” you’ll be taking them to The Beast’s secret lair.

In another episode of Gravity Falls, Mabel (the sister…didn’t we already cover this?  You need to pay better attention) is watching a Jerry Springer-like show called “Girl, Why You Ackin’ So Cray-Cray?”

As you can imagine, this is great fun to say.  We say it all the time.  All of us.  I say it to both of my kids, and The Beast has started to say it to me when he finds me doing something that he finds cray-cray.

He says it a lot.

Well, my friends, lately my cray-cray has been off the charts.

About two weeks ago, I was using a Q-tip to clean my ears and I poked my left ear a little bit and became convinced I popped my ear drum.

This instantly brought to mind an episode of King of the Hill (yes, I have a slight problem with associating all of life’s events to animated television shows) where Bobby Hill is in health class and the teacher says that sticking a Q-tip too far into your ear will lead to “a pop, followed by a lifetime of silence.”

I didn’t hear a pop followed by silence, but I’m not entirely confident that the writers of King of the Hill consulted an ENT while writing that episode, so I pulled up WebMD, which really needs to be removed from my computer.  My life was so much less stressful before I could Google things.

Well, what I gathered from WebMD, a popped ear drum is like a giant, gaping vacuum that is sucking all of the bacteria out of the environment and right into your brain.

That may be a little bit off, but I’m pretty sure I’m close.

So now I’m afraid that my completely symptomless and painless left ear is actually just an asymptomatic popped ear drum, and I’m convinced that if I shower without an earplug, then I’m going to get a brain-eating amoeba in my ear, which will then travel to my brain.

So I’ve been showering with earplugs for two weeks.  At first I attempted to use a plastic bag rubber-banded (gum-banded for those from Pittsburgh) around my ear, but that didn’t work because while the back of the ear is a nice rubber-band-holder, there is no such rubber-band-holding anatomy on the front of the ear and it kept slipping off.

You should try it.  If you figure out how to do it, I want to see a picture.

Then I read that you can make an earplug with cotton and Vaseline.  So, being the over-achiever of health and safety, I put a wax earplug in my ear and then attempted to create one of these cotton ball/Vaseline earplugs to put on top of it.

I’m now convinced that a cotton ball/Vaseline earplug is really just a giant internet hoax to make you look like an idiot, because you know what’s not physically possible?  Putting Vaseline on a cotton ball.

What you end up with is a greasy cotton web that encases your entire hand, kind of like if you were trying to play with a spider web.  And then if you manage to re-ball up the web of cotton and place it in your ear, you’ll spend the next week picking cotton out of your ear.   However, the Vaseline that is now coating your ear will make it nearly impossible to actually remove the cotton.  So then you’ll walk around with a shiny ear with white fuzz hanging out of it.

I speak from knowledge.

So I’ve resorted to just using the wax earplugs and holding a dry washcloth over my ear when I put my hair under the water.  I fully expect that at some point in the future I’ll just give up on personal hygiene altogether.

Anyway, I hope to stop obsessing and stop showering with earplugs soon.

I’m not hopeful that I’ll be successful.

Pray that I’m able to wrap up this perpetual picnic of nuts that’s occurring in my brain and let go of some of my cray-cray.

Oh, and pray that I don’t go to hell for watching Gravity Falls.  I’m going to be royally ticked if that’s the reason I end up there.