Full Monty Moana (A show-and-tell cautionary tale)

 

Remember naked Moana from yesterday? I’d be failing you if I didn’t tell you the whole naked Moana story. But first, some background. 

It turns out that every Friday is show-and-tell day in my 4-year-old’s preschool room. I didn’t know and I was intrigued. What exactly had my kid bringing to class show-and-tell these last few weeks?

A recent Friday I asked if she shared anything. “Yes, mommy of course! I brought a chip clip!”

A chip-clip?

“Yes, a chip-clip!” 

(That’s right, my four-year-old brought to school a bag-clip thing you use to keep your bag of Lays closed.) I was a little worried.

“Oh wow a chip clip, huh? So what did your classmates say when you showed them the clip?”

“They said it was red!”

It was indeed.

This is where I should’ve known better and stayed out of my daughter’s affairs. Let the child bring whatever object she likes! Stop worrying about the potential frowns of her peers who perhaps don’t appreciate the fine spring mechanisms of the chip clip. My commitment to raising a resilient child rather than a child protected from every hurt was suddenly thrown out the window. Buh-bye!

 

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Good-bye good intentions!

After that Friday I started reminding her that Friday was show-and-tell day.  Which brings us to naked Moana. 

We were running late that particular Friday. I reminded my daughter it was show-and-tell day and I started suggesting toys within my sight: how about curious George? Or her toy camera?

She grabbed Moana. Moana was missing her skirt. Are you sure you want to bring Moana? Yes, she was sure.

(I don’t need to tell you that Moana’s skirt was nowhere in sight.)

I made a split-second decision–we would take (half-naked) Moana to school. I mean, all kids play with half-naked dolls, right?

When we arrived to preschool the other kids greeted my kid. . .by lifting their shirts and exclaiming LOOK AT MY SWIMSUIT! Friday also happened to be “water day” where they could wear a swimsuit and play in sprinklers and kiddie pools. My kid lifted her dress and showed her suit to her teacher, Miss M. Miss M. looked slightly horrified and said, they are always such exhibitionists on swim day!

Before I continue, let me tell you about Miss M. She is a grandmother of two. She loves to tell stories and teases the children about how all birthdays are going to be cancelled except hers, which is met with roars of laughter and NO MISS M!! At a recent school event with parents Miss M. read aloud a book about a bunny and when finished said in a conspiring tone to the parents, “I have another story about a bunny–how my father once held a party for his friends and had someone dress up as a bunny to convince the drunk guests they were REALLY losing it, but that is a story for another day!”

So when I casually mentioned to Miss M that speaking of exhibitionists, “Oh hey, Z. brought a half-naked Moana doll for show and tell, aren’t kids hilarious?” I was not expecting her to freak out.

But freak out she did.

To make matters worse, somewhere between home and school, Moana’s bikini top flittered away and Moana went from being half-naked Moana to becoming Full Monty Moana.

I’ve never seen Miss M look so appalled.

I was squirming now.

Oh, well all kids end up playing with these dolls naked, right? I bet the kids won’t even notice, I laughed nervously.

Miss M’s face: still horrified.

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Say what.

“Oh, well you just don’t know what they will grab to bring for show and tell do you! I didn’t even realize she grabbed the naked doll, silly me!” (YES I TOTALLY THREW MY KID UNDER THE BUS.)

I just kept talking and talking as one tends to do when situations are awkward. I finally realized maybe it hadn’t been entirely appropriate to bring this doll to show-and-tell. I asked Miss M if she wanted me to take it home with me– because really, I could, no problem!

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OOPS. me channeling Jennifer Lawrence but with less awesome hair. (Giphy image)

No, no, it was fine, she assured me, still with her deer-in-headlights look. 

This is the story of how I learned to BUTT-OUT OF SHOW-AND-TELL.  Don’t ask, don’t tell. Sure, kiddo, bring more chip clips!

(And hey, do you have an extra one? Maybe I’ll use one to keep my mouth shut.)

Epilogue

After all this transpired I ran into another parent and mentioned the Moana incident. The parent laughed and said, yeah, one day their daughter brought a zippered jacket to class show-and-tell. Huh.

Turns out that four-year-olds know exactly what they are doing thank-you-very-much. Chip clips welcome. Naked Moanas, not so much.

 

 

 

I’ve got (pancake) skills

I made the mistake a few weeks ago of making bunny-shaped pancakes at Easter and now my four-year-old thinks I’m capable of great pancake feats. Hence her request today for a “horse-shaped” pancake. She even wanted it to have “nooves” (she was struggling to remember the word hooves.) 

Hooves?!

Well, my lil’ cowgirl running around naked in her red cowboy boots was too hard to say no to. I cautioned that the hooves might be a level of detail not capable with the pancake medium. She shrugged and was like, ok but please still make a horse pancake?

You all, this might be stating the obvious but it’s hard to make pancakes look like horses. 

Me to kid: here is your horse pancake! Just know that it kind of sort of looks like a horsey.

Kid: I see it!

Me (not believing her): yeah!?Where do you think the tail is?

Listen you guys, she found the “tail”!


I have officially won motherhood today.

UPDATE: I forgot to add that after she ate her pancake she brought over a plastic toy horse and said, “Mommy, this is what a horse looks like!” Like I didn’t know. Like my pancake didn’t look like a horse or something. 

. . .and we’re up at Mommyish.com!

I am so excited to share with you all that a piece I wrote, ‘Seven Things Nobody Tells You About Miscarriage” has been published on Mommyish.com! They are all about sharing the day-to-day truths related to ‘parenting imperfect’–what better home for some truth-telling about miscarriage than their site?

(Plus Mommyish loves listicles–even listicles about miscarriage despite the fact my husband thinks it’s creepy.  Plus they appreciate my love of animated gifs. My piece even includes a gif from Jane the Virgin! AND LIZ LEMON IN A SNUGGIE.)

A listicle about miscarriage? Are you sure?

Needless to say I’m a little bit excited about this (ok a LOT!) because it is my first official byline.  And nearly a paid one at that! (Alas, I wrote a previous version of the piece on this blog so they can’t pay me. But just the idea that I could have been paid makes me want to dance a little jig!)

Thanks for reading, as always. Have a great weekend!

Sarah

 

“I am the cheese monster!”

As my four-year-old stated last night (at 4am): “I am a little bit tired and a little bit awake!” She was very excited because grandma and pop-pop arrive today and arecheesemonster staying at our house for several nights while the husband and I go to KEY WEST to celebrate ten years of marriage! So exciting! I look forward to the sleep that I get there.

p.s. I seem to be accumulating posts dedicated to middle-of-the-night conversatons with my daughter–I think it warrants its own category.  Today, the category “4am kid convos” is born!

4:02 a.m.

Child climbs into bed with me. Husband is blissfully asleep in guest bed “getting over a the stomach flu.” Please, you know he is psychic and predicted this event transpiring.

4 y.o.: “It is dark!”

Me: “Yes Z, it is the middle of the night.”

4yo: “I AM THE CHEESE MONSTER!”

Me: perplexed. Laughs.

4:23 a.m.

4 y.o.: “I bet Jupiter is GLOWING!” (She is referring to a model kit of the planets that my husband bought her and is not-yet-assembled.)

me: “It doesn’t glow honey. You have to paint it to make it glow.” ( The kit comes with glow-in-the-dark paint you can put on the planets.) 

4y.o.: “BUT DADDY SAID THEY ARE ALREADY PAINTED!”

Me: “Yes, they are painted, but not with glowing paint. You need to paint them with the glow paint.” Thinks to self, why am I having this conversation??!

4:53 a.m.

4yo: “Will grandma and pop-pop be here soon?”

Me: “Not until you sleep!!”

5:01 am.

4yo: “I found Jupiter!!! It isn’t glowing.” Holding a model of Jupiter. Definitely not glowing. 

me: “You have to paint it.”

4yo: “But daddy said it is already painted!”

I give up. 

5:09 a.m.

4yo. Starts to slowly breathe in that “about-to-fall-asleep-nobody-make-a-damn-noise” way.

Smart dog: “Ouuurrr. Ourrrrrrrrrrrr. Ouuurrrrrrrrrrrrrr!” Standing by the lanai door. Wants out. 

Me:  mutters under breath. Takes dog outside. Beautiful night! Should be sleeping though! Dog pees. Return inside the house. 

4yo: AWAKE AGAIN. Yes, predicted that. 

5:12 a.m.

4yo.: Twitching in that “about-to-go-to-sleepyland-nobody-move” phase. 

Smart dog: “uuuurrrrrrr. Urrrrttt! Urrrrrrrrrrrt!” Standing by his empty water bowl. 

Me: DAMNIT DOG! I fill the water bowl. 

4yo: You guessed it: awake.

5:20 a.m.

The-less-smart-dog: “Rrrrr! Rrrrrrrrr! RrRRRRRRRR!!!!!” Standing by the bed. Too fat or old or duffus-ey to figure out how to jump onto bed. Need to purchase dog ramp. Not yet ready to remove his last shreds of dignity. 

Me: Mentally muttering swear words. Lifts dog onto bed. 

4yo: Laughs and laughs and laughs. Is this funny to you kid?!

5:55 a.m.

4yo.: Snores/drools.

Me:  Snores/drools. 

7:00 a.m. (sharp!)

Alarm clock: “EEEP! EEP! EEP! EEP!”

Me: (Shaking fist into air) “Darn you husband!” (He forgot to take alarm clock with him to other room.)

Time to make the coffeeeee!!!

 


Did your cheese monster let you sleep last night? Feel free to share your own stories–but not until you make the coffee. 

The Post-Easter 3:01 a.m. Sugar Hangover

3:01 a.m.

4-year old: “Maaaaaaaah-meeee, it’s time to watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!! Time to make the caaaaaaaaawwwwfeeeeee!”

me: “No, it’s definitely not. Go back to sleep.”

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Still learning the lesson that chocolate contains sugar and CAFFEINE. (Photo credit: “Easter Bunny!” Photo by Sarah-Rose, Creative Commons license, at https://flic.kr/p/9DkYVa.

4:22 a.m.

4YO: “It’s getting light out!”

Me: “No, it’s definitely not. Go back to sleep.”

4:48 a.m.

4YO: “Mommy, how do bats see in the dark?”

Me: “I don’t know. Go back to sleep.” (Meanwhile, thinks to self, hmm, bats have poor vision right? But they echolocate. . . why am I thinking about this.)

4YO: “I’ll ask daddy!” (runs to daddy, who wisely retreated to the guest bed to avoid this nonsense.)

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“Kid, we don’t see in the dark. But if we did, we would fly to your bed and tell you to go the Fork to Sleep!” – Sincerely, batty. (Photo credit: “DSC_0530” by Bat-Wrangler, Creative Commons License at https://flic.kr/p/5EkDf4.)

4:49 a.m.

4YO: “THEY ECKA-LOKAY!”

Me: “Yes, echolocation. Go back to sleep.”

6:22 a.m.

4YO: (Snoring.)

Me: (Snoring)

7:01 a.m.

4YO: “Mommy it’s light out! Time for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!”

Me: “Time to make the caaaawwww-feeee.” (Yawn.)


How did your child’s chocolate hangover go? What’s that, you wisely did not let your youngster consume copious amounts of chocolate late in the day?? *All hail your wise parenting choices!*

Welcome to Humans Anonymous!

I have a confession.

It turns out i am a human. Who is flawed. And (gulp) imperfect.

There’s something about the holidays that just leaves me feeling raw and vulnerable. I am sure I am alone in this. I am sure no other flawed, imperfect human struggles this time of year!

Let me tell you about my judgment spiral. Wait, let me back up. I need you to know first of all that I am INFJ. That is a meyers-briggs personality assessment because I freaking love any time of psychology/self-help/woo-woo assessment.

You will notice there is a J at the end. J is for judgment. As in, I am a judge-y Judy. My husband-the-scientist is an INFP–“P”  stands for perceiving. Which means conversations like this occur (as it did last night):

Me: It isn’t always bad to be judge-y. Sometimes you need to make a judgement about something!

Husband: Do you?

Me: (Horrified) You are joking when you say that right? YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING ME!

Husband: No I am not joking. [editor’s note: He wasn’t joking. I KNOW RIGHT??]

Me: Oh, I just judged you for NOT JUDGING. Damnit I have a problem!

Now let’s back up one week. Let me set the scene.

Our babysitter was here watching our kiddo during the final week of the world’s longest break because I had to work (for real) and my husband had to work or else he would go certified stir-crazy (also true).

The sitter came and watched our kid in our house. Our messy, grimy, needs-deep-cleaning-so-bad-I-can-taste-it house. Our sitter–a self-professed “OCD neat freak” — was likely breaking out in hives all week after being forced to be in the grime. Of course that was what I was imagining.

Every morning before she came I cleaned like a madwoman, cursed about whoever didn’t put their shoes away, decided my husband and child were the World’s Messiest Human Beings, and generally felt my stress level go up ten notches.

Dear people, this was because I was worried about what my 22-year-old babysitter thought of my messy house. Yes. A young woman who has no children, no spouse, no full-time job. WHAT THE ACTUAL :!@#IE?! 

Oh, might I add that I assumed she was judging me. It is also possible she showed up, shrugged her shoulders, and carried on without a thought. Either way, why do I care?

Well, I care because at the end of the day I am ashamed of my dirty house. ASHAMED. I mean that is a powerful word right? And why am I ashamed? Because my dear, loving mother kept the most immaculate, clean, neat, tidy house you can imagine. My dear mother who would care for everyone in our house from the moment she arose to the end of the day, 11pm at night, sitting and folding laundry while finally doing something for herself: watching some tv. WHILE FOLDING LAUNDRY.

Guess what I do. Are you ready for this? I work all day, and after putting my kid to bed, sit and watch tv. WITHOUT FOLDING LAUNDRY. I let it pile up like nobody’s business. Or, I sit and write (like now!) rather than clean, or I sit and paint rather than clean.

As I type this I hear my mom in my ear. Tears well in my eyes as I type this: Sarah, you are being so hard on yourself. She also adds, with a chuckle, that housekeeping has never exactly been my strong suit. (She would also be correct.  I have always preferred writing, painting, and day-dreaming to sock-matching . My daughter, who very much likes her socks to match, will sometimes come over and say quite-seriously: “Mommy, good job! Your socks match today!”)

Yeah, I might have a self-compassion problem.  In fact, I do, according to self-compassion.org! (An actual website with an actual quiz.) Yes, it turns out there is a quiz for it. Because the universe has impeccable timing, Brené Brown’s “The Gifts of Imperfection” arrived yesterday, and I flipped directly to the self-compassion chapter which had a link to that website listed.

http://self-compassion.org/. Drum roll for the results….

compassion

Yeah…I’d say that maybe the word for 2017 will be self-compassion.

Me: HI, MY NAME IS SARAH.

Everyone else: HI SARAH!

Me: I AM A HUMAN! I AM IMPERFECT, LIKE ALL THE OTHER HUMANS!

Everyone else: WELCOME TO HUMANS-ANONYMOUS, SARAH!


Never miss a post. For realz! Just click this handy link and you will get an email when new posts are posted.

 

 

 

 

A list of 20.16 gifts from the year 2016. No for real, I’m done bashing 2016. (For the moment.)

I have decided to take the high road with 2016. I’m done whining. Here is my attempt to make peace with the worst year ever.*

20.16 lessons and gifts from 2016

[amended: this is only parts 1-10 because my kid is mixing paints and that spells trouble.]
  1. A YEAR of this blog!

  2. Discovering the show “Jane the Virgin.” (A true blessing indeed.) yiyjlx05aq0fo

  3. Continued health for myself, my husband and daughter. (Wow, that is a big one. Probably should have put this before Jane the Virgin.)

  4. My husband watching my daughter so I can write right now, which involves keeping her and her toy drill out of trouble. It is much harder than it sounds.

  5. ALL OF YOU READING THIS. Because for real, the greatest joy is when people care about what you write and then, to blow your mind even more, care about you the human too. Which you do. Which is freaking amazing.

  6. Rediscovering my artistic passions and painting lot’s and lot’s of birds.

7. Singing in my church choir with the greatest bunch of people you could ever meet. I am surrounded by wise, loving elders who cheer me on and lift me up. I LOVE IT.

8. My husband who is still entertaining a child who is now trying to make potions out of toothpaste and dear god I think I’m going to have to split this into two posts.

9. Using my writing to heal.

10. Muddling through the year with tears and laughter– including surrounding myself with Peter Gabriel hugs, by taking cathartic swims, swinging from palm fronds, and leaning on the kindness of strangers like Jeanine.

Items 11 through 20.16 will come tomorrow because my kid is causing ruckus!  

*but also I can’t wait to burn this list. Come Saturday night I’m doing a ritual I just learned about. I will write on slips of paper all the things from the past year I want to leave behind. And then I will burn the papers. (My favorite part!) And then I will write on slips of paper what my intentions are for 2017. I will put them in an envelope that I can open in six months or so to see where I’m at. I’m told my mind will be blown.]

Self-Control

I am supposed to be working.

And if I am not working, I should at least be finishing the job application that I keep procrastinating on.

And if I am not working on my resume, I should be doing anything other than staring at the sight of three huge, frosted cupcakes at the table next to me.

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“Get in my belly now!” Says everyone but the elderly Zen master.

Get this: the three elderly people sitting in front of three frosted cupcakes in Starbucks of the Barnes and Noble have still not taken a bite of their cupcakes.

They are slowly sipping coffee. While NOT eating the cupcakes. Just sipping and talking and not devouring them like heathens.

TEACH ME YOUR WAYS.

UPDATE #1: I literally just reread my post to check for typos and several minutes have passed. The elderly male has eaten his cupcake. The elderly woman within my line of sight has still not taken a bite. Is she a Zen master disguised as someone’s white haired grandmother?? Omigod. Now she is flipping through a magazine and not consuming the cupcake.

Speaking of self-control . . . I should get back to my paid work. Or the resume. Or something other than this.

UPDATE #2: Elderly woman has peeled the cupcake liner away from the cupcake but has not taken a bite. It is seven minutes and counting.

I don’t like onions! I make them cry!

That was the three-year-old in response to stuffing being placed on her thanksgiving plate. The nerve! You don’t even want to hear what she said about the celery.

(She did however find Redi-whip to be quite to her liking. She ran around the house with it clutched in her hands and squealing. It took three of us to corner her and grab the can before total-and-utter-whipped-cream-chaos ensued.)

Never a dull moment with this kid.