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One day, she’s going to teach ME. Scary.

When I was growing up, we had an old Macintosh computer.  Remember?  The one with the little green screen.  It was shaped like a box.  My dad is a huge computer nerd, so it was imparative that my kid brother and I learn how to use them.  In 4th grade, I gave my first Power Point presentation (it was on panda bears).  I remember the day we got the internet; I used to spend hours on AOL Instant Messenger.

I remember our fist cell phone only worked in the car, and looked just like the one Zach had on “Saved By The Bell.”  I had the first generation iPod and I wanted one of those orange Macbooks with the handle.

It seems that kids are getting younger and younger when they get their first cell phone.  Can you imagine what will be possible when my kid is my age?  She’s already learned how to use my iPhone.  She can unlock it, find the pictures, and scroll through to find a picture of herself.  She’s recently learned how to use the camera so I have 30 or so pictures of her leg and the couch.  She’s called my mom, because there’s a picture of her next to her contact information.  She’s sent text messages to my husband.  She can even find the video of the (stupid) Gummy Bear Song that she loves on YouTube.

I decided to embrace the curiosity, rather that discourage it.  I found a few good apps for my phone that she can use herself (she knows they’re on the fourth page and is very good at scrolling to get to them).

There’s a SpongeBob Tickler app that we have that does exactly what you think it would.  You tap the screen and bubbles float up the screen and he laughs.  Every once in a while, SpongeBob will talk to you, saying “Hello! It’s SpongeBob SquarePants!” or “Whatcha’ doin’?”  I can only handle about 10 minutes of that one before I find something else to entertain her.

I’ve one called Hatch that has a picture of an egg.  For each tap on the egg, a crack appears.  On the fourth tap, the egg breaks apart and a cute little animal is inside.  Most of the animals featured don’t actually come from eggs, but I figure that is a lesson for another day.

I Love Fireworks is a fun little game where you drag your finger across the screen and you see a trail of dots.  When you lift up your finger, a firework explodes.  Claire likes it because she can make her own fireworks, or watch a programmed show.

I also have an app called SoundBoard, which is just a bunch of sounds.  Animals, music, jingles, and my personal favorite, farts.  A little confusing, but I think it’s funny.

Our favorite game, by far, is called Shapes by Toddler Teasers.  It’s one of the only free ones (all the ones above are free), but Claire can play with it for hours.  Three shapes will appear on the screen, and a voice instructs her to touch one.  There’s crescents, stars, hearts, ovals, diamonds, rectangles, squares, circles and triangles.  Every time she touches the correct shape, there’s a round of applause.  And after she gets through a few rounds, she gets a “sticker” to place on a scene.  The next level has four shapes and so on.  She knew circle, square, star, triangle and hearts before she started playing this, but she caught on very quickly to the other ones.  I plan on buying more of the Toddler Tearsers.

So those are my favorite.  Do any of you have toddlers who can use your phone better than your mom can?  What games do they play?

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Suck it up, kid.

While waiting for dance class to start, Claire and cousin Jane were warming up.  One of Claire’s favorites is to bend her arm at her elbow, then fling it out while throwing her body around in a circle.  One time Jane got a little too close to the whirling dervish and got smacked right in the face.  She probably wouldn’t have reacted, but my lovely sister-in-law and I both cringed so she lost her shit.  She ran over to her mom, crying, and I pulled Claire over to me.

“You need to apologize to Jane.  I know it was an accident, but you still need to say I’m sorry.”

Claire looked at Jane for a minute, then clear as day said, “Shake it off Jane.  You’ll be alright.”

The best part?  Without missing a beat, Jane stopped crying, said “OK, Claire” and wiggled what her mama gave her.

Then it was back to the dance.

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I am woman, hear me roar!

JR was in Mexico for work last week (No really, it WAS work) and of course all the appliances decided to go on strike.  The shower head broke off in the middle of my shower, the vacuum was so clogged it took me an hour just to clean it out.  Our dishwasher wasn’t working Saturday morning, so I pulled out all the dirty dishes, and the dish racks and cleaned the whole thing.  I figured it was the hard water that was clogging it up, and I was planning on running it empty with just vinegar.  I’m half way in the damn thing with my Lysol Wipes when Claire walks in to see what I’m doing (“Whatcha doin’ Mom?”).  She takes one look at me and says “Be careful.  You don’t want to break it, do you?”

No, honey.  And thank you for the concern.

And for the record, I DID fix it.  I’m not sure HOW I did it, but it has worked beautifully since then.

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58 and still giggles like a school girl

My mother is 58 years old.  She’s always been fun.  In fact, I can’t remember a time when I hated (in the teenage angst, no-on-will-ever-GET-me-my-life-is-so-hard-WAH kind of way) (although I’m sure she could come up with some instances).  I remember being on the bus during a band trip when someone ran on an announced, “Cori, your mom just started a water gun fight.”  The same trip, she somehow convinced most of the chaperons and all of the band directors to jump in the pool, fully clothed.  She claims that she didn’t convince anyone of anything, but she WAS the first one in the pool.

So it really should come as no surprise that the older she gets, the more she turns into a prepubescent boy.  Every time I talk to her we end up talking about poop and/or farting.  And every time we talk about it, she laughs so hard she nearly pees (or actually DOES pee, but that’s another story for another time).

To wit: the other night we were talking on the phone about the new book she was reading, Rage.  She was reading a passage where Danny Evans was telling a coworker that he “cropdusted a 3 year old.”  To anyone who’s worked in the food service industry, this is not a new phrase.  It’s funny, sure, but we’ve all heard it before.  But to my 58 year-old mother, this phrase was new and, apparently, HILARIOUS.  She couldn’t get through three or four sentences without stopping to laugh.  I listened patiently, because I’m a good daughter, and when she was done I chuckled a bit and said, “Yeah, that’s good.”

“Don’t you think that’s funny?!” She asked, surpised that I wasn’t rolling on the floor laughing like she was.

“I mean, yeah.  It’s funny.  Cropdusting a three year old is funny, and telling your Mormon coworker about it is even funnier.”

“Cropdusting!!!  HAHAHAHAHA!!!  I had never heard of that.”

And it’s not just cropdusting.  She thinks it’s ridiculous that JR likes to *ahem* take his time in the bathroom.  She prides herself on getting in and out quickly.  In fact, just this weekend when she was visiting, she came out of the bathroom and announced that it takes her less than a minute to pee (yes, she timed herself).

“I always put it off because I think it takes too long.”  She said.

The first thing she does when she gets to our house is poop.  She stops at the same place every time she drives to Houston to “get a cup of coffee and poop.”  We’ll be engaged in a lovely conversation, or in the middle of something and suddenly she’ll jump up, yell “It’s crowning” and run to the bathroom.  She’ll come out less than a minute later and resume whatever it was that she was doing.

Is this what happens when you “grow up?”  Because it looks to me like she’s regressing!

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I have nothing to say.  For the past 6 months that I haven’t written here, I’ve come up with hundreds of ideas for posts.  Some of them were funny, some were introspective.  But now that I’ve allowed myself this space again, I have nothing to say.

Hopefully this won’t last long.

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I was all by myself.

Do you know what I’m doing right now?  I’m sitting at home, by myself.  JR took Claire to the mall, or the playgound, or somewhere, I don’t care.  I’m BY MYSELF.  I don’t remember the last time I was home alone when I didn’t have to do something.  I mean, sure, I COULD clean, but I’m not going to.  I’m going to sit on the couch and watch TV and revel in the silence.

I haven’t posted in what, a week? because I haven’t had anything GOOD to say.  I’ve been having little conversations with myself, reassuring myself, encouraging myself.  Telling myself that what I’m dealing with is nothing new, women have done it for hundreds of years, I can too.  I’m questioning my abilities as a wife, as a mother, as a PERSON.  I’ve been down, and it’s taking longer and longer to pull myself up.

But, I WILL pull myself up.  I have to.  I keep telling myself that.  Every morning I give myself a little pep talk, and I repeat it all day if I have to.  By 5 or 6 when JR gets home, I’m about ready to crack.  There’s no reason for it.  My life isn’t that bad; in fact it’s pretty good.  But the challenges I face (however mundane and typically unchallenging) everyday are the ones that push me farther down into the hole I’ve been struggling to get out of for 19 months.

I’ve done pretty well, and I will continue to do well.  I won’t let this stop me from trying, everyday, to be a good mother.  If Claire doesn’t eat what I offer, I’ll offer other things.  If she fights me when I try to put her diaper on, I’ll take a deep breath, count to ten and try again.  If she pouts, or cries, or pushes me away, I’ll go back to her.  I know she loves me, I know I love her, and I know this phase will pass.

I will ask for help when things get to be too much (even if other people don’t think they are) and I will seek help for myself.  I won’t be pulled under, and I won’t go down without a fight.

I will be good for her.  I will get better for her.

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Bringing it back home

OK, enough of that.  Let’s get back to the funny (I swear I AM funny.  Ask any of my friends.  I think that my type of humor doesn’t translate well to the written word.  Yeah, that’s it).

I took Claire to the doctor yesterday for the first time here in Houston (why do I feel like I’m participating in an open mic night at a comedy club?  “I flew in from Houston and boy are my arms tired!” Ba-Dum-Dum Ching).  My Lovely Sister-in-law takes her kids to this pediatrician, and had nothing but good things to say about her.  The doctor is actually filling in for her regular doctor, who is out on maternity leave.

So we get to the office about 15 minutes early so I can fill out all the paperwork.  The first thing I notice is that there aren’t any toys in the waiting room.  At a pediatrician’s office.  Where there are KIDS waiting.  No problem, I just gave Claire my wallet (then silently – or maybe not so silently – cursed her for taking every. single. card out and throwing them all over the room) while I filled everything out.  We only waited for about 10 minutes before they called us back.

Here’s the second problem.  The nurse practitioner looked like she wasn’t old enough to buy beer, much less know anything about medicine.  Plus, when I told her that Claire was born in Oklahoma, she typed for a second, stopped, typed some more, stopped, the finally asked me how to spell Oklahoma.

Dude.  It’s not like you’re spelling Rhode Island.  There aren’t any silent letters in Oklahoma.  I laughed polietly and spelled it for her.  She commented on Claire’s attire (Her: “Ma-GAN-ta, right?”  Me:  “Sure.”), and her behavior (she was in rare form – well behaved!) then left the room.

Actually, one more thing.  While we were talking about Claire’s medical history, she did this annoying thing.  She kept finishing my sentences with me.

I’d say:  “Claire wasn’t talking very much at all before we moved here.  Then she started hanging out with her cousins and she started talking more.”

And she’d say: “…started talking more.”

I hate that.

Anyway, the appointment as a whole was fine.  Claire’s in the 33rd percentile for her height and 25th for her weight, but the doctor wasn’t concerned.  She’s just a little girl! We’re going to watch her speech and if she can’t use two or three word phrases by June, we’ll look into speech tharepy.  But I’m really not worried.

So that’s that.

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