Jul 14, 2006

Yes Ham

7/14/2006 — cori
You know how only a Mom can interpret her child's 'language' when they are beginning to attempt to speak in what they think is our language? Well...that's kinda the premise to this little story.

I've been working on Chloe to try to get her to respond to my requests in a more polite manner. Her current method of "NO!!!" is getting a little old. So, my latest quest in the teaching of my very strong willed two year old has fallen short of nothing less than an all about battle of the wills. Often, hers is stronger than mine - depending on the time of day.

My latest tactic on this front is to try to stop the "No's" dead in their tracks. In place of "No" I am hoping to hear something more along the lines of "Yes, Mommy", or maybe, "Yes, Mam". I'd even settle for just a simple "yes", even if it was just a whisper. Anything that is not accompanied by a shrill, whiney, "NOOOOOOOO" and violent head shaking will do.

If one of the 'acceptable phrases' is not uttered, the all powerful timeout will be employed for the eternity of two whole minutes. Enough time should then elapse for my young love to see the error of her ways and thus,with mournful repentance and a new appreciation for her mother's discipline. induce her to say, "Yes, Mam." Do ya think that would actually work in this house?! How about...No.

Now, instead of the blantant "no", I get a passive-aggressive "unh-unh" muttered quietly under her breath. I'm not about to let my two year old play mind games on me - I'm onto her ways. So, I ask her, "Did you just say no to mommy?". Well, now I've just put her between a rock and a hard place cuz she knows she can't say 'no' to me without the perilous timeout, so she just looks at me with those innocent eyes. So, being the bigger person here, I decide to re-phrase my question, "Honey, what are you supposed to say to Mommy?". Well...she knows the answer to that one...you can see her face light up and a huge smile cross her face as she says excitedly, "YES HAM!!".

Thankfully, I'm her mother, so I know she's not subtly trying to call me a pig. I know this is not a passive-aggressive form of rebellion. Rather, this is my sweet daughter showing me some respect. What more could I ask for?

For some reason though, I have a feeling that Chloe will continue with this 'title of respect' throughout her more formative years.

Jul 13, 2006

How Not To Go House Hunting

7/13/2006 — cori
Okay...you so don't want to be our new realtor! My family should come with a warning sign. It should read something like this: We are crazy, we are weird, we often talk to ourselves or all talk at the same time. Several of the younger members often stink quite badly. They also tend to embarrass us with a particular bodily function that we have no control over. If you are to interact with our family in any way - be prepared to laugh, cry, read alot of Dr. Suess, hear many strange, new noises, hold your nose and eat alot. That should be an adequate disclaimer, but I'm quite certain there will be multiple addendums.

So, why all this legal positioning with a family disclaimer? Well...being that we have just moved half way across the country, we've decided we should probably find a house and who better to help us than a realtor? The poor guy never knew what hit him from the moment we were introduced. First of all, he was subjected to riding along in our minivan while perusing through the city in search of new housing. Second of all, we brought the kids along for a full day of house hunting. I would highly advise against this for those of you thinking that it would be a fun, family activity. It's not. And lastly, we have Bennett with us. We are all well aware of his propensity to have poopie problems. He is still in rare form.

At the VERY FIRST house we stopped to look at, Bennett declares, "Mom, I need to go potty." Knowing what lie ahead, I chose to wash my hands of the future mess before it even began and advised him to go talk to his Daddy about it. Of course he had to go poopie and of course he couldn't hold it. So Chuck asks our unsuspecting realtor if Bennett could possibly use the bathroom in this yet unfinished house we were touring. Since it had plumbing and a toilet, it seemed like a good idea. Not.

First, we had the problem of no electricity. So, do you think Bennett would actually close himself into a tiny little powder bath all by himself with the lights off - NO! Even though the entire family is used to witnessing his bathroom habits, we didn't wish to initiate our realtor that quickly. We prefer a slower and more subtle approach when meeting people for the first time and trying to leave a 'good impression'. Well, we can say goodbye to whatever good impression we were hoping to leave. Second, we had the tiny problem of no toilet paper. Thankfully, Chuck was quick on his feet with this one. He remembered a wad of Sonic napkins we had on the dashboard and sent Gavin out to fetch them. Of course, Gavin came back with the entire wad and of course, Bennett used the entire wad.

After we all waited for what seemed an eternity, Bennett was finally done. Shirt was tucked in and pants pulled up far above what most consider 'normal'. Out of habit I asked, "Honey, did you flush?". He gets that fake, confused look on his face signaling that I caught him red handed. He goes back and tries to flush but instead yells, "It won't flush, Mom." This in turn, yields 'the look' from me to Chuck, meaning "you handle it". He braves his way into the bathroom only to find that the plumbing looks to be hooked up, but, ha! what do you know - it's not!

How in the world are we supposed to explain this to our realtor?!? I have no clue what Chuck said, because I was busy changing Chloe and her poopie diaper out in the van. I figured if I left the premises, I could pretend all this wasn't actually happening. I changed her and left the diaper in the car with the doors shut - not the best choice I could have made.

So, I head back into this potential new house only to see Chuck heading back out looking rather agitated. I could only comprehend bits and pieces of what he was telling me but I gathered it wasn't good. It went something like this, "...toilet...no water...can't flush...no water...ARGHHH, BENNETT!!" Come to find out,the plumbing was indeed there, but water was not turned on yet. Chuck went to our realtor, tail between his legs, to inform him of what was going on...like he didn't already have it figured out?!

The guy is very cool under pressure. He gave us his best, "No problem" smile and called the guy who owned the property and gave him a head's up suggesting he might want to get some water turned on before their next showing. Can you believe our realtor actually got back in the car with us? You'd think he encountered problems like this everyday. Well, problem number two was about to be discovered.

We all pile back into our beloved minivan only to be accosted with the diaper aroma left over from Chloe. I forgot to bring it in and look for a trash can. A trash can was the least of my worries when I'm more concerned with how to get my son's 'deposit' out of a brand new house. So, we chunk the diaper to the back of the van so we can 'spread the wealth' and so it's not sitting directly under our realtor's nose.

The one bright spot about our second poopie problem is that it helped us to push aside and somewhat forget our first poopie problem. No family should have this many poopie problems!! The kids were up in arms about how bad it smelt in the car. Thank God for your random trash cans in random parking lots. We drove through several parking lots before finding one where we could unload our 'package' and finally breathe clear again.

Okay, so we're the first to admit we're not ones to leave the best first impression. Despite ourselves, our realtor has continued helping us and for that we are extremely grateful!

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