Tag Archives: life

I Almost Forget Tiny-Small’s Birthday

I thought I might win an award for “Worst Mother of the Year” or something, but then I realised I was exaggerating a little because almost forgetting a child’s birthday isn’t exactly like abuse, neglect, or forgetting to feed a child. I mean, in my defense, we have had a lot of things going on lately. Well, it’s not so much that we have had more going on than we usually do, it’s just that I have become an extremely poor planner lately. For some reason I find myself overwhelmed when two or more things need my immediate attention and since having a toddler means someone or some “thing” always has part of my immediate attention a lot of stuff just goes undone. Like birthday party planning.

At least a month ago I started thinking about what we were going to do for Tiny-Small’s second birthday. I decided I was going to make her a zoo animal cake and maybe have it at the El Paso Zoo. This sounded like a great idea at the time. It would be a small, family affair. We wouldn’t go as hog wild as last year when we invited every person we have ever spoken to or shook hands with. No, this year would be simple and small, but Samantha would get to see an elephant and a giraffe in person. Yes, this would be a great way to create some special memories. It sounded perfect in my mind.

Then, we decided to attend a wedding. The wedding will require us to take a 7 hour plane ride and is taking place just a few days after Tiny-Small’s birthday. Then, on top of that, we decided that two weeks after the wedding we were going to take another trip so we could celebrate our niece achieving her PhD in the field of Psychology (A REALLY big deal). Anyway, I was fretting about the zoo party and cake making when I heard the voice of God say, “Do you really want to drive all the way to the El Paso Zoo and then three days later drive all the way to the El Paso Airport? That might be a bit much.” OK, it wasn’t really the voice of God. It was the voice of reason and by voice of reason I mean my mother. She did kind of make sense, even though I am usually completely against following advice from the voice of reason. Then, she suggested we just celebrate Tiny-Small’s birthday in the middle of June (after all of the trips are over) and I’m not running around in circles like a chicken with it’s head cut off. Nothing whips me into a frenzy like multiple plane trips, packing, and trying to do all of the stuff I usually do at the same time. Not to mention the all consuming fear and anxiety that  taking a toddler on a plane for the first time can evoke in even the most healthy, serene and happy spirited of mothers (or of people in general). I spent the last month alternating between a deer caught in the headlights and a slightly taller and less pink version of Piglet from Winne The Pooh.

I decided we would do the whole party thing later, in June, just to save my sanity, but that we would have cake on her birthday and maybe she could open a gift or two just to mark the occasion. Fast forward a month or so to yesterday: I am standing in Walgreen’s staring at their sunscreen selection. When, out of the blue, I remember tomorrow (today) is Tiny-Small’s birthday. I have no presents bought or wrapped, no cake plans, no nothing. All I could do was stand there, helplessly breathing in and out, trying to control the impending doom of a full on panic attack (the kind that can only be induced by one’s inner, superior child who screams, “What kind of mother forgets her only child’s birthday?”). Between all of the visits to the insurance agent, making hotel and plane reservations, raising 6 baby chickens, hair appointments (so I don’t look like a country mouse in the big city) and constantly rewashing all of the clothes we want to bring (but keep wearing in the meantime) I had sort of forgotten what day it was.

Anyway, today is Tiny-Small’s birthday (well, unless you are reading this on another day which is quite possible because I will probably procrastinate on publishing this one). I am supposed to be baking a cake right now and squishing clothes, toiletries, diapers, electronic devices, and car seats into a suitcase, but instead I am sitting here completely overwhelmed. When I get overwhelmed I stare into space and think about all of the things I need to do and then usually start doing something completely random and not at all on my to-do list. For example, right now I should be baking, packing, feeding chickens, mopping the floor, or making sure the bathing suit I bought Tiny-Small actually fits. Instead I am sitting here blogging about being a terrible mother and fantasizing about what I want to have for lunch.

I’m just glad Tiny-Small is only 2. She doesn’t need a lot of bells and whistles. She’s happily playing with an old balloon and wearing a crown tiara that says, “Happy Birthday!” She enjoyed getting a piece of candy before lunch (which is against the rules except on your birthday) and getting an early car ride to the insurance agent’s office (Nothing screams HAPPY BIRTHDAY like the quest for affordable health insurance, right?). I’ll get her cake baked in time for her dad and I to sing happy birthday to her before she has to go to bed and she’ll get to blow out all of her 2 candles. As for presents? Well, I think we are going to get her a swing set and hope that makes up for all of the trauma we may have caused by almost forgetting her birthday this year. There is a long tradition in my family of drawing your birthday out for as many days as possible. My sister, in the past, was an expert at this. She figured out how to stretch the birthday celebrating out for weeks at a time. I like to think we are just giving Tiny-Small a head start on this family tradition and that by the time she is a teenager she will be the equivalent of a Jedi Master when it comes to birthday celebrating. Either that, or I hope she LOVES the swing set and the zoo enough to forgive me for kind of being bad at being human sometimes. Either way, I love that little girl so much I think my heart might burst. She is truly the best thing that has ever happened to me. Happy Birthday, Tiny Small!

I Make It To The Gym (Finally) And Love The Shower The Best

It finally happened. I went to the gym. I worked out. I know, it’s a miracle of sorts. I am on the road to a slightly better bathing suit body or maybe at least a body that actually fits into said bathing suit. The gym was spectacular. I have to admit that I loved it, but not just for the exercise.

The day of my first gym trip started with a screaming toddler and a cranky(ish) husband. I had scheduled “gym time” into the family schedule and was packing my bag to go when I started to feel a little guilty for leaving my husband alone with the most miserable little girl in the whole wide world. OK, maybe that’s exaggerating, but I am sure she was at least the most miserable little girl in the whole wide county. She was crying over spilled milk, spilled cereal, and spilled blocks. She didn’t like her clothes, her hair, or her diaper. If things were going good for 30 seconds she found fault with something else just so she could cry. She woke up tired and needed a nap, but was not about to take one. I looked at my husband and he said, “Go to the gym.” So, I did.

By the time I drove to the end of the driveway my guilt had melted away and I smiled with my new found freedom from the cranky baby/cranky daddy duo that was likely throwing tantrums and screaming at each other as I drove off into the sunset. It was going to be a fantastic morning and after my workout I had plans for solo grocery shopping. What a novelty! I had plans to linger over the produce aisle and hide behind stacks of cookies while looking at Facebook on my phone. I might even stop for coffee…yeah, I was planning on pushing things a little.

I got to the gym, let myself in and promptly boarded an elliptical machine. I stumbled over the buttons, but finally got it moving and off I went to nowhere fast. I was feeling pretty spiffy and energetic until a 20 something climbed on the elliptical machine next to me and took off like a gazelle. I was huffing and puffing and stumbling my way through my two mile adventure, but I am pretty sure she never even broke a sweat. She should be making commercials for deodorant or maybe for the Olympics. Then, I did a few miles on the treadmill going uphill both ways while I simultaneously listened to a news show on my iPod and watched a movie on the TV screen located directly in front of my face. It’s been so long since I chose something to watch on TV that I almost didn’t remember how to do it. I wasn’t interrupted once by a screaming baby or a husband asking if I knew where the such and such is or complaints that he couldn’t find specified such and such and could I please help him find it. It was bliss.

I know I am supposed to say that I got a runners high or felt completely energized by my workout, but in all honesty my favorite part of my gym experience was the showers. I had the entire bathroom to myself for a full, uninterrupted shower. There were no toys being dropped in with me, not one person ripped the shower curtain back to talk to me, and I didn’t hear my name called even once. I could have stayed in there all day except that would probably seem weird and suspicious to the other gym goers. Plus, I am pretty sure my husband would have called the police to file a missing person’s report if I stayed in there for hours on end. He was home with a screaming baby after all.

Still, it was a bit wonderful to be at the gym all by myself and then to be buying groceries all by myself. I felt like a big girl for once. I did miss Tiny-Small a little when I started talking to myself in the coffee aisle. I kind of forgot how often I use her as cover for my inappropriate behaviors and overall general madness. I can only hope my eccentricities went unnoticed by my fellow shoppers and store employees. If not, I may need to purchase a disguise for future solo shopping trips.

So, in conclusion, I will be returning to the gym because I love the showers, the TV, and the running at my own pace sort of thing. I hope to gain some muscle and lose some inches, but even if I don’t I will still enjoy the time to myself. It’s nice to feel like my old prehusband, prebaby self for a change and to think uninterrupted thoughts even if it is for just an hour or two per week. It’s my little slice of heaven right here on earth and after this delicious, soul recuperating activity I really couldn’t wait to get home to see my family.

If You Give A Toddler A Cookie She’ll Throw It In The Bathtub With You


This is a memoir written explicitly to express my displeasure in showering with “company” for the past week. When you are sweet and pregnant dreaming about pink ruffles and baby carriages your friends and family never bother to tell you to enjoy showering alone. They should, because you will likely never do it again. At least not until your child is old enough to be left alone in a room without breaking something, breaking themselves, swallowing small, hidden, foreign objects, or climbing up the wall and then falling out the window. Yeah. There are two choices for showering at my house. The first one is I shower while Tiny-Small roams the bathroom looking for trouble. The second one is she showers with me. Both choices have unpleasant aspects, concerns, and lack of freedom involved. What? Why don’t I shower at night after she has gone to bed? I don’t shower after she has gone to bed because by that time of night I am way too tired to even turn the water on. I wish I was exaggerating.

SO, this is my past 7 days of showering:

Day 1: While I am in the shower Tiny-Small is pilfering through the bathroom drawers and throwing toothpaste and hair bows left and right. Then it gets quiet. Too quiet. I call out, “Are you OK? Hello? Say something!” Then I hear a little giggle. I pull back the curtain and find her writing with a blue crayola marker all over her stomach. I have no idea where the marker came from. I don’t know how she got the top off. I close the curtain, shut my eyes, and pretend I am someone else for 30 seconds. It doesn’t work, I’m still me.

Day 2: This time Tiny-Small is in the tub with me. She’s writing on the walls with her bathtub crayons while I wash my hair. All of a sudden I feel a big glob of something land on my foot. I open my eyes and she is pouring her dad’s fancy schmancy bath gel out of the bottle and screaming, “Lotion, lotion, lotion! Soap!” I give her some lecture my parents gave to me (at least a thousand times), about money not growing on trees, and then I get soap in my eyes. Then I start screaming, “Ouch!!!” Then she starts screaming because now she has soap in her eyes too. Two gals flapping around screaming because their eyes are literally on fire. It’s a great way to bond. I’m starting to hate peppermint soap.


Day 3: While I am in the shower Tiny-Small keeps pulling the shower curtain back while singing, “Where awww uooo, Mama?” The hot water sprays out each time leaving a big puddle on the floor. I keep pulling the curtain shut and trying to redirect her to the other end of the bathtub where the water is less likely to squirt out all over the bathroom. Then, she rips the curtain open so hard that it rips off a couple of the hooks. By the time my shower is over she is completely soaked and needs to be redressed, the floor looks like a kiddie pool, and then just for extra fun she runs across the wet floor, slips and falls. Scream, scream, scream…

Day 4: I’m in the shower  (she is not) and I hear banging around. “What are you doing? Are you All right?” I beg, I mean ask. Then I hear “I right.” So, I start rinsing the soap out of my hair. Then I hear her screaming, “I Schhhhtuck. I Schhhhtuck. Hep me! Hep me!” I pull back the shower curtain and somehow Tiny-Small has gotten the dental floss off the bathroom counter, opened it, pulled out the floss and wrapped it around both legs. She looked like a deer that had been bound after hunting season. I could have just picked her up and put her on the roof of my car and called it a day. She rolled around on the floor squawking and flailing. I shut the curtain and counted to a million. I’m still counting to this day.

Day 5: Tiny-Small is in the shower with me. She is playing nicely with her toys. All of a sudden she has my razor. I don’t know how she got it because I usually keep it on a shelf that is at least shoulder high. She has magical powers when it comes to retrieving objects she is not allowed to touch. She especially loves the dangerous objects and will put much effort into getting them. She starts trying to shave my leg with it while I attempt to wrestle it from her slippery little hands. The whole time she is yelling at me, “Stop! No. Stop!” I think she probably hears that said in her general direction a few times a day. Nobody got hurt, but one of us was very angry for a while. I’m not naming names, but she was both tiny and small.


Day 6: Tiny-Small takes a bath by herself. I take a shower by myself. Paradise. Oh no: Paradise interrupted by hubby who comes into the bathroom and wants to complain about the neighbor’s dog coming in our yard and biting poor Rosie. Guess who comes with him? You got it. Tiny-Small. She says, “Mama? Mama?” Then she pulls back the shower curtain and throws several of her toys in with me. I throw her toys back out, but realize I missed one when the water starts rising up past my shins. The drain has been blocked. Meanwhile, the  hubby keeps strategizing about how to keep the horrible dogs next door from coming into the yard. I secretly plot to run away from home.

Day 7: I’m in the shower. Tiny-Small has knocked over the laundry basket. She is in a full out tug-of-war with the dog. I don’t know how the dog got into the bathroom or when, but there she is on one end of my sweater while Tiny-Small pulls on the other end screaming, “No bites! Nooooo bites!” I pull back the shower curtain and see Tiny-Small rolling around in the dirty laundry like the bad guys in movies always roll around in the money after they rob a bank. I close the curtain thankful the clothes were at least dirty to start with. The next thing I feel is a cold draft. I open my eyes just in time to see Tiny-Small throw my sweater into the shower and before I can stop her she throws a towel in too. As I bend down to pick them up she pulls the shower curtain back one last time and throws in a cookie. A cookie?! She didn’t have a cookie before we entered the bathroom so she must have stored it in some secret location waiting for just the right moment to fling it at me in the bathtub. It’s hard to believe she doesn’t plan these things out weeks in advance sometimes. I keep thinking about the book, “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie” and keep thinking yeah, but if you give a toddler a cookie she’ll just throw it in the bathtub with you.


Good grief. It’s no wonder I look like something the cat dragged in half the time. I’m not completely positive I rinsed the soap out of my hair today. I keep asking myself, “Did I rinse it out? Did I?” I don’t know the answer to that question. Anyway, let this be a warning to all of you bright-eyed, bushy-tailed soon to be parents: shower while you can. Don’t take anything for granted! It’s the little things that will drive you crazy someday or everyday or sometimes on an hourly basis. I’ve got cookie crumbs between my toes, red burning eyes, and bubbles in my hair and that is after I took a shower. Maybe some things are just better left unsaid. I mean, how many people would want to have kids after reading this weekly adventure? I’m guessing some people just got real serious about over populating the planet and other such causes. It’s OK though because someday Little Miss Tiny Small will have a child just like her….