I peeled an orange in the shower. I know, it sounds ridiculous, but it really happened. There I was, in the shower, minding my own business, when Tiny-Small burst through the door yelling, “I’m hungee, Mom! I’m hungee!” I told her I’d be out in a minute and then I’d get her something to eat. She ran off and I was happy.
But, then, she came back. With an orange. I was washing my hair, soap dripping everywhere, when I see a small hand thrust through the shower curtain, presenting me with an orange.
“Can I eat this, Mom?” she asked?
“In a minute. I am almost done.” I replied.
“I’m so hungee mom. My belly is starving.”
“Can you ask your dad to peel it? I’m in the shower!”
“He’s not here. I’m so hungee. He took Lucy for a walk. Can I eat this now? Please, I have a starving belly, Mom.”
So, with soap dripping in my eyes, I reached for the orange, rinsed it in the shower, stuck my hands outside the shower curtain and began peeling the orange as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, Tiny-Small cheered and danced around in the bathroom.
Then she sat down on the floor and ate her orange.
I feel like this is taking multitasking to a new level. I mean, preparing food while simultaneously taking a shower is probably not the norm and probably an exercise in breaking all sorts of personal boundaries and likely a few health code violations too. The thing is, I just wanted to take a shower, without any crying or starving bellies guilting me into hurrying up.
I don’t think I have taken more than 4 or 5 shower completely by myself in the past 3.5 years. I mean, there is always someone standing outside of the shower curtain talking, complaining, or demanding. Sometimes, even a dog strolls in and sticks his head in the shower to see what I am up to.
I really need to start locking the door more.
Have you had any strange parenting multitasking episodes? Have you ever peeled an orange in the shower? Please say YES. I have more strange shower stories than any mother should have. I am hoping you do too. That way I can feel almost normal.
Tiny-Small refuses to learn her ABC’s She’s got better stuff to do y’all (sorry, I’ve been reading Southern writers and it rubs off, you know?) She has bigger and better plans that don’t include reading. She’s going to be so rich and so famous that she’ll be able to pay other people to read for her. Apparently, she’s got this all figured out.
OK, maybe she doesn’t have some evil master plan, but still…she is laughing at my efforts to teach her the ABC’s. Wait, no, she’s not even laughing. That’s how much she doesn’t care about letters right now. She’s completely indifferent. Oh, she sings the songs and can spell B-I-N-G-O as well as the rest of her peers and she can sing her ABC’s complete with mushing the middle into something that sounds like “m&mespeas.” She likes the singing. She just doesn’t want to have to look at the letters. They offend her sensibilities for some reason.
I, on the other hand, am a slightly off-balanced ABC tyrant from the third dimension of Tiger Mom land. I’ve posted three sets of ABC learning tools in her room. Her room is not that big, you guys. It looks like someone vomited the alphabet all over her walls. It’s like the bathroom of the ABC preschool bar up in there. Never mix your drinks: Milk and juice, shaken or stirred, will make you barf before snack time is over. Apparently, having the ABC’s in every direction is like an assault on her mind, or at least on her aesthetic. Which I have to say is something she values very highly.
It’s all me. I’m the one with the problem here. I keep thinking Tiny-Small needs to read before she is five. I feel a sense of panic when I think about it. What if she is behind her peers FOREVER and she can’t get the education she needs to get a good job and afford to live or be happy or eat food…ramble, ramble, stress, stress, blow this out of proportion until you can’t stop laughing at how ridiculous you are. What if she doesn’t have any accomplishments that her grandparents can brag about? I feel a shortness of breath coming on. Then I remember that 5 is like over 1.5 years away. We do have time here. Then, I also remember that we are maybe, probably going to homeschool her. So, if she doesn’t read until 15 we’ll still be OK. I mean, we do have a basement she can live in, right? Seriously, because if all of the homeschool rumors are true we’ll be lucky if she learns to tie her shoes or how to make friends or how to not drool on herself in social situations anyway…. The things people say about homeschooled kids is pretty insulting and silly, but I try not to judge people for saying them. OK, I totally judged them because they say things that aren’t true or based on any research, but I am pretty ridiculous sometimes too (see beginning of this paragraph) so I can’t complain too loudly. At least, I probably shouldn’t. Anyway, a lot of kids who went to school still live in their parents basements these days and some of them have poor social skills which means it was like they were homeschooled anyway, at least according to societies skewed views about homeschooling. So, I guess learning to read early, or at home, might not even matter THAT much. Plus, they do have Velcro shoes now and Tiny-Small can always make friends over the Internet just like the rest of us do. I mean that happens all the time these days too.
In short, my self-induced ABC-panic may or may not be warranted. I probably won’t know for sure until Tiny-Small is 27 and asks me to fill out her job application because she can’t read the questions. Until then, I guess I will ease up on the ABC-pressure-cooker I have created. It’s like the preschool boiler room up in here. I’ll just keep reminding myself that 1.5 years is enough time to teach someone to read. Hopefully.
Of course, no matter what I do she’ll always be behind those kids that started reading at 6 months old or at birth, which I hear is happening more and more these days. Something about taking the right vitamins and wearing giant headphones on your stomach during pregnancy is producing a super elite race of infant scholars. Tiny-Small and I are only human and possibly average humans at that (as my friend Roberta says “there is a bell curve for a reason”). Besides, all of these ABC drill sessions are really starting to interfere with our piano playing, painting, pretending we understand quantum physics, and advocating for world peace. We really need to embrace our priorities and stop comparing our weaknesses to other people strengths. At least I do. Tiny-Small doesn’t seem to care about what other kids are doing at all…unless it involves slides and dolls and flower picking capabilities.
I have to stop reading Facebook status updates about children with superior alphabet skills. I have to stop worrying about their gluten-free diets, expensive preschool enrollment, and brain enhancing vegetarian brownies too. I have to accept the fact that I am never going to teach Tiny-Small mandarin or be awesome in all ways possible. It’s just hard to remember sometimes. I mean, we all want to be awesome in all ways possible, especially when it comes to parenting. Some of us are just hyperventilating about it more than others. At least I have found something to be above average in, right?
I can find a silver lining in anything if I try hard enough.
It took me 20 minutes to write this title, for multiple reasons. First, I wanted to tell you about my experience with September 11th, but I decided to save that for another year. I’ve written my story of that day extensively in other forums, in classes, and in my personal memoirs. I decided instead to write about something silly and humorous today. I need to giggle. The solemnity of the day is just too hard to sustain without at least a small crack of light shining through. I have a feeling you will be inundated with hard to read stories all day long and maybe my blog can offer you a break from all of those difficult emotions you will likely be experiencing. I just want to quickly thank our military for protecting us (so I can write about ridiculous things) and for the first responders out there. Your jobs are tough and you show up with all kind of grace and courage on a daily basis. Thank you and your families for the sacrifices you have made and are still making today.
Please enjoy reading about how near impossible it is for me to write these days. I hope my tale makes you giggle too.
I sat down to write a blog post when Jim and Tiny-Small were both home and both awake. Big mistake! It took me 20 minutes just to type out the title.
I write with constant interruptions. It’s amazing any of this is coherent at all. I often wonder about how excellent my writing might be if I could lock myself in the bell tower. I am pretty sure, if I only had a bell tower, that I’d be writing the kind of literature taught in college classes across the country, or best selling horror novels, or maybe a newspaper column that the critics gush over. I mean this is my imagination talking so I might as well dream big, right?
This is what usually happens about 30 seconds after I sit down in front of my computer:
Jim: Where is the zinc? I can’t find the zinc.
Tiny-Small: I want to watch a movie.
Jim: Have you seen the zinc? Did you move it?
Tiny-Small: WATCH A MOVIE! Watch a movie!
Me: <Moves bottle, gets zinc. Turns on movie. Sits down>
Jim: Did I tell you about So and So? Blah, blah, blah….blah…he went to jail for 8 years.
Me: Wait, who was this?
Jim: Weren’t you listening?
Me: No, I was writing.
Jim: It’s annoying that you are never listening.
Me: I’m sorry. I was writing when you started talking. It’s hard for me to think, type, and listen all at the same time.
Jim: Well, he went to jail for 8 years.
Me: I got that part, but who? Who went to jail?
Jim: <rolls eyes> I just told you.
Tiny-Small: Not this movie! I don’t want this movie.
Me: I know, but that’s the part I missed.
Tiny-Small: I want to watch the one with the little yellow guy with one eye.
Jim: It was So and So…blah, blah, blah…
Me: That’s terrible. <Changes movie, sits down>
Tiny-Small: I want a sandwich.
Jim: <Keeps talking>
Tiny-Small and Jim at the same time: I want a (he was sentenced to 8 years in jail) sandwich! I want (I don’t know what his family is going to do) peanut butter on it!
Me: Makes sandwich, sits down.
Tiny-Small: I want milk.
Jim: Blah, blah, blah….
Me: <Gets milk>
Jim: Hello? Let me put you on speaker phone.
Me: <gives Jim the evil eye. I am trying to write!>
Jim: <smiles at me, oblivious that I am annoyed> *note to self: work on evil eye.
Tiny-Small: Uh Oh! Rosie eat my sandwich! I need a new one.
Me: <Puts Rosie outside, tries to participate in phone call conversation, makes new sandwich, sits down>
Tiny-Small: I need a napkin.
Me: <Gets napkin>
Jim: <Hangs up phone, goes to the bathroom, comes back bringing news magazine> Did you read about this guy that had a pet skunk that killed and ate him?
Me: Yeah, weird!
Jim: <Reads blurp from magazine anyway, sits down at the table directly across from me> Did you read about this kid that saved a bunch of baby eagles from a crocodile and then also found a cure for the flu all at the same time?
Me: Not yet.
Jim: <Reads story to me>
Me: <Starts to type>
Jim: Haha, look at this senator getting caught kissing a goldfish in central park while his dog peed on this ladies picnic basket.
Me: I need to get this writing done. Would you mind not talking for a few minutes? I’ll get done faster that way!
Jim: Oh sure, sorry! Can I just read this one to you?
Me: No, how about later? Sorry! I just really need to get this done. My readers probably think I have died. They are likely planning the funeral for “It’s A Dome Life” as we speak. The other bloggers are probably trying to lure my two faithful readers away! It’s too risky. I have to publish!
Jim: OK < Looks like he will die of broken heart disease, goes to the other room>
Me: <starts typing>
Tiny-Small: I’m done! I need a new dress. This ones dirty!
Me: <Gets new dress, helps her put it on, sits down>
Tiny-Small: I have to go pee pee.
Me: Quick, run to the bathroom!
Tiny-Small: Wipe my butt, Mom! Wipe my butt!
Me: <Wipes butt, sits down>
Me: <Answers urgent Facebook message from friend>
Tiny-Small: Play dolls with me! Hold my doll. Hold my doll!
Me: <Holds doll, types with one hand>
Tiny-Small: Get off puter! <hits random keys, downloads app for watching HD movies, completely changes all important settings, deletes entire post>
Me: <Scrambles for previous saved versions of blog post, finds one with only the title written, types while movie plays because I can’t figure out how to turn it off>
Jim: <comes back into kitchen> Are you still writing your blog post? I thought you’d be done by now. I wanted to tell you about how this teacher married a dog and got the conservatives all mad because they knew that would happen….
This is basically how each and every blog post is written, unless I am lucky enough to trick everyone into taking a nap at the same time or I get up so early it’s still the night before. So, the next time you see a typo or my run-on sentences don’t make sense you’ll know why. I probably had to find, make, or listen to something in the middle of writing every other sentence.
It’s kind of funny.
OK, it’s hilarious!
P.S. The story about So and So was completely fictional. If it resembles any real person that was completely by accident. The news stories were fabricated too. I would have told you the real news stories, but I wasn’t exactly listening (remember?) so I would have had to write “that guy that did that thing” instead and my made up stories were much more fun to write (and hopefully to read).
P.P.S. or P.S.S. (Whatever comes next) Tiny-Small says hi and that she wants ice sceam and a banana and to go on her swing set. I’m getting up again…talk to you soon. Don’t give away my furniture and donate all of my clothes to Goodwill yet 🙂
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