The Revenge Poop

There’s been a lot of inappropriate bathrooming going on around our house lately… and it reminds me that this is really something we’ve been dealing with for as long as I’ve had kids. Please tell me I’m not alone in this.

When Turbo was just a tiny bean, wearing footy pajamas and a sleep sack (one of those cool suits that is like a sleeping bag at the bottom and zips up and has little armholes at the top… oh hell, THIS: leon_minky_yellow_100

Anyway, when Turbo used to sleep in those, there came a point where I’d go in, expecting to find him peacefully napping. And instead, his crib would look like a scene from a toddler horror film. He’d be sleeping peacefully, NAKED…surrounded by POOP! He would systematically remove his sleep sack, his clothing and his diaper, and then proceed to do God only knows what, resulting in the unmentionable scene I just mentioned above.

To solve this problem, we did several things, all of which he managed to Houdini through at some point:

– Duct tape the diaper on

– zip the feety pajamas up his back instead of up the front

– put the sleep sack on backwards

Anyway, Lunchbox never did any of that. And I thought we were safe.

I was wrong.

It was much later when it started, but now it’s Lunchbox who seems to have a strange sense of humor when it comes to things that belong in the potty.

A classic story around our house is the time when the Major was in a hurry and needed to take a quick shower and get out the door. Lunchbox enjoys a nice hot shower. And he likes to join the Major in there when he’s allowed to. This was not one of those days. That didn’t stop Lunchbox from stripping down to his chubby little butt and darting into the bathroom, only to be told no. He was none too pleased, let me assure you. First he cried, but then he got crafty.

The Major came out of his quick shower to find a naked Lunchbox striding confidently out of his closet, a smug look on his face.

“Why were you in my closet?” the Major asked.

“I pooped in your closet.” Simple. Straight to the point.

“No you didn’t. Tell me you did not. Poop. In. My. Closet.”

“I did, Daddy. I pooped in your closet.”

The Major poked his head inside and turned on the light. And there, strategically placed in the center of the floor was exactly what Lunchbox had told him he’d find.

Commotion and punishment ensued. But later, the Major confided that he felt a surge of pride. I was disgusted.

“Do you know how hard it is to poop on command like that?” the Major asked me. “That’s like performance pooping. I’m so proud.”

I continue to be disgusted.

This has been termed a “revenge poop.” And it was used several more times. Once in Turbo’s closet. I think the days of the revenge poop might be an an end, but now we are entering new territory: the pee of retribution.

Dark times ahead, folks. And lots of carpet cleaning.

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Things I Never Thought I’d Say

As a mom of two boys, I have accepted that I will be the singular force acting in the name of cleanliness in our household. I know and accept that I will be the only person within our home who notices the crap on the floor, the crumbs on the couch, and the Lego brick that has been sitting on the stairs for the past three weeks. (I leave things like that there to see if someone … ANYONE else … might notice and pick it up.) I’ve come to terms with that.

And my response has been to let go quite a bit. I’m not nearly as anal as I once was. I don’t mop the floor every other day, or even weekly at this point. I insist on picking up clothes and books, but the playroom is pretty much an untamed wilderness that I will not attempt to navigate. It’s like little kid Las Vegas in there. What happens in the playroom … you know.

But you gotta draw the line somewhere, right?

This morning I entered the boys’ bathroom (mistake number one) to hang up a towel, and noticed yellow puddled stains on the lip of the tub and down the side. (I should note here that I knew immediately that it was urine, and that really didn’t phase me. Having little boys means that urine ends up in many near-potty locations, as it seems that boys and their parts get distracted pretty easily and cannot focus on getting things where they belong. I’m used to mopping up around the base of the toilet, and even on the walls in immediate proximity.) I called the small people in to look. And then I had one of those moments where I found myself saying something that I could never have predicted, when I was young, single and naive.

And it reminded me of all the other things I never thought I’d hear myself say. For your entertainment, I include a list of these here for you today (warning, it seems that much of our lives revolve around poop and nudity. If you’re easily offended, look elsewhere):

THINGS I NEVER THOUGHT I’D HEAR MYSELF SAY

10. We ALWAYS wear pants at Red Robin!

9. Please don’t touch your weiner while we’re doing math.

8. No pooping in the bathtub!

7. Why is there poop on my Christmas hand towel?

6. We ALWAYS wear pants when we have company!

5. Did you poop in Daddy’s closet?

4. Why are you paying with Play-Doh naked?

3. Did you drink a whole bottle of maple syrup?

2. Good job wiping your own butt!

1. We don’t pee on furniture! (variations of this have included: …in the potted palm! …in the front yard! …in the neighbor’s planter! …into the bathtub! …on the rug!)

This One’s For You, Gate Guard Guy

I work on base most of the time. So that means that every morning after I wave my tiny people goodbye as their little bitty heads peep up over the bottom edge of the windows on that huge yellow bus, I hop in the car and drive myself to the base. And every morning I whip out my CAC and wait in line and then take my turn being checked by the various security types who man the gate. Some days it’s policemen, other days it’s sailors. I might be a bit biased, but I prefer the military gate guards to the civilians. They’re nicer most of the time, and sometimes they salute me, which just feels like a win any day of the week (though I know the salute has little to do with me and is more a show of respect for the rank of the dude I happen to be married to. Regardless, I like to think of it as a nice “you go, girl!” kind of affirmation that I did well in my choice of spouse.” Whatever. Not the point.

The point. And I do have one, irrelevant though it may be… Is that most mornings I get something along the lines of, “thank you ma’am. Have a good day.” I pretty much became “ma’am” the day I married the Major. I didn’t realize it at the time, but that age-advancing term of respect has smacked me in the face any time I’ve been near a military facility since that day more than a decade ago. I went from “miss” to “ma’am.” And it’s completely stupid, but it sucks. Especially if I’m due for a color or if I’ve recently noticed that the forehead crease is looking more pronounced.

But today, not only did I get the totally-not-intended-for-me-but-damned-cool-anyway salute, I also got a “miss”! WIN! I haven’t been called miss in ages. I nearly pulled over to hug the cute little sailor guy in his cute navy blue camis. But the guy in line behind me probably wouldn’t have been too pleased. And it might have been misinterpreted and started some kind of security incident. So instead, I just drove on through, feeling much younger than I did when I woke up.

Musical Lunchbox

Our tiniest tiny is now almost five years old. We alternately refer to him as “Mr. Buttcheeks” “Tiny” and “Lunchbox.” Sometimes we call him by his name. But it seems like maybe he needs a more musical nickname. Because he makes up songs regularly, and he seems to have an innate sense when it comes to DRM and licensing. If any of us are caught singing one of his songs, he will — depending on his mood — inform us that we don’t have the proper rights to sing that song. “You’re not on the list.”

I thought I would share some of his more popular and frequently requested selections here, though I am certainly violating his rights stipulations by doing so. The good news is that he cannot read yet, so he won’t have any idea about this. Don’t tell him. That one yells a lot when he’s pissed. Without further ado, I give you the musical stylings of our tiny Lunchbox:

Circus Parade

Circus Parade! Circus Parade! Diiiii-ettttt Coooookkkkkeeee!

(Repeat)

Circus Parade! Circus Parade! Circussssss Pooooop!

 

Popeye

He’s Popeye the Sailor Man!

He lives in a garbage can.

He eats all the ‘pinach, he gets all the healthy,

He throws all his corn around!

 

Tascos Padascos

Tascos Padascos, one, two, three…

I just pooped in your Diaper Genie!

 

Wonderful Vacation

In this wooooorrrllld….

It’s a wonderful, wonderful vacation.

(Repeat endlessly, sing slowly with feeling)

 

Finally, here is Lunchbox, who has graciously offered to perform one of his recent hits. Type in “Lunchbox” to see it. I give you:

Family Padunza 

It’s a four-piece (pause)

Fam-i-ly Pa-DUNZA…

(Repeat endlessly and do not ask questions about what a padunza is. We have tried to figure this one out, but there are few hints offered. Evidently, you can find padunzas in other arrangements, but the four-piece seems to be the family one.)

 

She’s Ba-aaack!

That’s right muthas… I’m back. And Turbo and Lunchbox have grown and… well, okay. They haven’t matured. But they have grown! Turbo is now in the second grade, and Lunchbox just started pre-k at the same elementary school. I’m still working for the same company (contracting to the man…oh, wait, around here that can get you in trouble, I think. Everyone here works for the government. So yeah, I do that.)

And life is mostly good. I spend most of my days at work praying that the phone doesn’t ring. I’ve become well-acquainted with the vice principle at the elementary school in the past few years, and even joined the PTA as a board member in order to buy a bit of goodwill in that fine establishment. We were on track to have the first Kindergartner ever suspended, but we dodged that bullet and even made it through first grade, though I did enjoy a close personal, nightly-phone-call kind of relationship with the first grade teacher. I think she liked me too, because she called me “mom” every time we spoke. That’s affection right there.

But it’s a new year, I’ve got a new attitude and a few new responsibilities… and life is good. I hope you’ll stick with me as I use this blog as a forum to record all the important thoughts I have about mothering in the military. (Maybe I’ll include some of the less important thoughts so that I can post more than once a decade…)

No Apologies

I won’t begin by apologizing for not posting for a while. It is what it is. I’ve been busy, like everyone else at this time of year. There was the crazy weeklong Thanksgiving travel hullabaloo and lots of work stuff going on in the meantime. And those are the big rocks on the bottom of the cup. The little pebbles and the sand that have filled in every spare air pocket of time have been composed of things like Christmas shopping, considering various work scenarios, trying to write a novel and trying to figure out who that strange man is who lives at my house. Oh, wait, that’s my husband? Cool. He’s kinda cute.

Now that we’ve dispensed with that, I’ll get on to something that made me feel like posting. The gluttony of the holiday season.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Christmas. My house is decorated top to bottom as soon after Thanksgiving as I can manage. And I would keep it all up until Valentine’s Day if I didn’t worry that the neighbors would think it was tacky. I’m loving all the nooks and crannies that the new house offers that are just begging to hold some of my holiday treasures — less loving having to tell Lunchbox continually that pretty much every one of these treasures is “NOT FOR YOU! NOT A TOY! NO NO NO!” He thinks this is a new Christmas Carol that Mommy especially likes.

I love that people become more generous this time of year and go out of their way to help each other. (Let’s just forget that nasty incident that we all read about at Walmart on Black friday. Doesn’t everyone Christmas shop online now, anyway?) My favorite blog, Rants from Mommyland, did a wonderful mommy-helping-mommy thing this year that I got to take part in, and my office also had lots of donation and collection opportunities to help those less fortunate.

With all this giving going on, it is hard for me to watch my tiny gluttons completely miss the spirit of the season. Don’t get me wrong, they’ve got spirit… particularly Turbo. He informs me at least six times a day of a new thing that he wants that he believes Santa should give him. Today in the car on the way to school I told him how we had sent a gift card for Target to another family that couldn’t afford to buy Christmas presents for their kids so that they would be able to have some toys under the tree. I explained how some children were happy to have even one gift, and how maybe we didn’t need to worry about how MANY things Santa would bring, and instead that we could just feel happy that we could count on Santa at all. I told him about how some children went to bed each night not knowing if they would have food to eat; that some kids just like him didn’t even have their own bed to sleep in or their own houses to live in. I made myself cry, so I know I was really hitting some poignant issues. I was sure that something I said would get through and was just waiting for the recognition to color the next very meaningful thing that he said. So here’s how he responded:

Turbo: “Yeah, Mom, okay, but what about when I turn five?”
Me: “What does that have to do with what I was just telling you?”
Turbo: “Will I still get lots of stuff when I turn five?”
Me: “WHA? Were you even listening? You completely missed the point.”
Lunchbox: “Saaan Claaassss ga ga bada, MY LUNCHBOX!!” (it may be somewhat ironic that one of the only words that Lunchbox can say clearly is now “lunchbox.” I believe it’s safe to say that he also missed the point of my diatribe on how to appreciate the fortunes we enjoy and staying aware that there are those less fortunate than us.)

I’m trying not to feel judgmental of my four year old. I know that for kids, the spirit of Christmas is the sheer wonder that they get to open so many presents all on one day… they love the lights and the glitter and the songs and the magic, and it’s kind of hard to get anything through the thick layer of chocolatey goodness that seems to coat all kid-related Christmas topics. And maybe I shouldn’t try at this age. I just don’t want to raise unappreciative kids. I want them to KNOW that they are not just lucky, but ridiculously spoiled (thanks, grandmas…) I want them to appreciate that there are others who are not so lucky and that they can help. Maybe they aren’t ready for that at 2 and 4.

Any suggestions on finding ways to illustrate the concept of GIVING to others would be very welcome!

Happy holidays to all…

236 Years of Service

I know, I’ve been quiet. It’s not you, it’s me. Really. It seems like a lot has gone on, but really, I have no great excuses. Turbo finished soccer last week, Lunchbox turned two on the 4th, and we attended the Marine Corps Ball this weekend (which even entailed a night away from home in a hotel room without kids! Yay!)

There’s a lot I could write about in all that, but I thought I’d spend a little time on the Ball. We go most years if we can… but I remember the first time I went about 8 years ago. As a new spouse, the entire thing was brand spankin’ new to me. I didn’t know the first thing about the Marine Corps or the Birthday Ball. So here’s what I didn’t know…

The Marine Corps was founded on November 10, 1775, making this November 10th the 236th birthday of the Corps.

The first year that I attended the Ball with the Major (then a Captain…), I didn’t know what to expect. I knew that there’d be a bar, and that I got to get my hairs did and wear a fancy dress. And that was seriously it. I didn’t expect to be moved or touched, and I didn’t know that I’d come away with a whole new perspective on my husband.

The Ball is full of pomp and circumstance. There is a sword procession, the presentation of the colors, and a formal cutting of the birthday cake — which is my favorite part. One piece is offered to the oldest Marine present, and another to the youngest, marking the continuity of the Corps — respect for those who have given years and have much to teach, and also for the youthful vigor embodied by the newest members. There is always a table set for one up at the front of the room — that represents all of the Marines who cannot share the birthday festivities with us or with their loved ones. There is usually a band — in our case last night it was the USNA band and they were really excellent. There’s some marching, lots of standing at attention, and a good deal of speaking. The Ball was the first time I’d seen my husband stand at attention. It was the first time I’d seen him wear his medals, and it was the first time I’d recognized these silly guys that he hangs out with as anything more than overgrown frat boys with F-18s. When called upon to do so, they all became rigid, serious… reverent. And I realized that when called upon, they would also all become heroes, if needed. They would protect one another and perform the duties assigned to them with the same stoic resolve I saw on all of their faces when the national anthem and the Marine Corps Hymn were played.

There is always a message presented from the Commandant of the Marine Corps. This year’s message reflected on the fact that 2011 is the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor and the 10th anniversary of 9/11, and illustrated the roles that Marines played in those events. Here is the message:

I got teary watching this — I lived in NYC during 9/11, and like most from my generation, this will forever be a turning point in my life — an end to innocence. I knew people involved very directly, though was lucky enough not to know anyone personally who lost their life. Still, many close to me were scarred by the events of that day and the images will never leave my mind. And mixing those memories with my appreciation for the sacrifice that Marines make — are making —  every day, was a lot to process. Mix it with a few glasses of wine, and poof! There goes my mascara.

It was a good time, but I try to remember what the Ball means as well, and what it means in my husband’s life. He’s a humble guy, and he would be the last person to call himself a hero, but when I see him in his dress blues, medals on his chest, standing at attention… I feel so proud of my Major. And he will always be a hero to me (and to two little guys I know!)

Semper fidelis.