Joe Cool

No one ever clued me in on the fact that children flip out over the most random of things. Sure, I assumed there would be tantrums about toys and candy, but shoes? What kind of kid has a raging tantrum about the kind of shoes their mother is wearing at any given moment? I fear that Kate, at the ripe old age of two, has inherited that dangerous gene that causes one to become passionate about footwear.

A few weeks ago, Kate felt compelled to style me. As I brushed my teeth she walked in and out of my closet proffering shoes. She brought Uggs, she brought riding boots, she brought ballerina flats, but it was the Jimmy Choos sandals and a pair of Lambertson Truex kitten heels that sent her over the edge. Like a fool, I sat there trying to explain to my two-year-old that sandals just aren’t appropriate for February in Maine. As if she understands that logic… I gave up after 10.2 seconds and stepped over her screaming body as she writhed on the floor with a shoe in each hand. I wanted to give her a time out, but the sight of her tantrum carried me back to the shoe department of Neiman Marcus and that time that I couldn’t afford the black patent leather Manolo mary janes.

On the other hand, I don’t think that Joe has ever really flipped out about anything. When he was a toddler, I used to call him Silent Bob. He possesses a certain level of calm, cool and collected that clearly comes from his daddy. I will never claim to be calm, cool and collected..or quiet. I am most definitely not quiet.

Despite his recent run-in with the school bully, Joe maintained his outward appearance of cool. He’s a guy who’s above it all and can’t be bothered with daily minutiae. He’s marching to the beat of his own (offbeat) drum and I love him for it. However, having addressed the bully issue with the school, my little guy has quickly returned to entertain us with his droll sense of humor.

Joe inherited his sense of humor from me. Yes, that’s right, from me. Okay, maybe David and I are both slightly twisted, whatever…the kid is funny. His use of props and a deadpan expression when he knows he looks ridiculous is simply awesome. 
Lately, he has discovered that with his new talent for spelling and penmanship, he can write whatever he wants. He has taken to composing anonymous notes and leaving them around the house. I found this one taped to the toilet seat in the downstairs bathroom. Very helpful, don’t you think? I mean, really…you never know when a random guest will arrive and have no idea where one is meant to do number two.
His bunk beds have been converted into a fortress. To enter, you must first request permission. Burping and farting are encouraged. The other night, as we performed our chaotic bedtime ritual, Joe’s little voice called out to me from the depths of his afghan stronghold, “Hey, Mom! Lay one on me !” I skipped back into his bedroom, thrilled to be summoned for one more smooch. After all, I’m told those days are limited. When I bent down and drew back the afghan while puckering up to kiss my boy, I was met with my son’s boxer short-clad rump. He was pointing at his posterior and maniacally laughing when he screeched, “Lay one on me baby!”
Last weekend, Joe informed me that his ‘girlfriend’, who I will refer to as “S”, kissed him. I was shocked. “Where did she kiss you?” He smiled a cocky little smile, “On the schoolbus.” I was flabbergasted. Does this start already? “Where did she kiss you?” With an annoyed sigh he said, “the schoolbus.” “No, I mean where on your face?” He rubbed his cheek and distantly smiled, “S told me we’re going to get married someday”. Whoa, fella.
The other night I heard him saying, “C’mon Francisco, hand it over.” A few minutes later, “Hey, Francisco! Get down!” Who was this Francisco person who he was talking to? I entered the kitchen to find him with Kate, who was dancing in the middle of the table. “Dance, Francisco, Dance!” I’ll admit it, my interest was piqued. “Who’s Francisco, Joe?” “Oh, hey mom… That’s Francisco” he said, nonchalantly shaking his thumb in the general direction of the talented toddler performing a soft-shoe on the kitchen table.
It seems that no one is immune a name change. He has begun referring to Stella as Fruff McPooch and would like to go by the Italian version of Joe. Alright, Giuseppe, sure thing.
Yikes! I’ve fallen to number 10 because I’ve been lazy this week. Please take a moment to cast a vote for me by clicking on the button below. One vote, once per day makes you a really cool person.

Bob Barker and My Busy Tuesday

I have found myself completely over-scheduled on this random Tuesday in January. Let’s face it, I’m a total homebody so I have been dreading this day for the last two weeks.I’m that weird person who likes to do one outing a day and then hunker down with the fireplace crackling, some delicious food cooking and the kids playing. It’s just too cold outside to go in and out all day long!
Today’s big rush began at 6:30 a.m….okay, no it didn’t. I’m totally lying. Truth is, David wanted it to start at 6:30 a.m., but trying to separate me from the squishy warmth of both a feather bed and down comforter on a cold January morning is next to impossible. So, the big rush really started at 6:45 a.m. It didn’t include a shower. I rushed to pull on a pair of jeans, my cozy Uggs and several layers of t-shirts. After splashing some water on my face and a lame attempt to make my hair appear stylishly bedhead-ish – think Winona Ryder back before she got busted for her sticky fingers. Anyway, the hair was a big failure because ultimately, I just ended up looking like a mommy who rolled out of bed. Go figure.

I put my failed beauty attempt behind me and wrangled the three kids into their clothes. Overall, the whole ordeal took about a 1/2 hour. Not too shabby considering… We rushed through breakfast and then ran out the door with Stella packed into her crate.

“Bob Barker reminding you to help control the pet population. Have your pet spayed or neutered. Bye-bye.”
Poor Stella. Today is the day that we’re taking Bob Barker’s advice and having her spayed. Yes, that’s right, her budding womanhood will be nipped in the bud. Gwen was inconsolable as we walked through the door of the vet’s office. Between her gasps for air and the piercing wail that emanated from the depths of her little body, she pointed an accusatory finger at the receptionist and declared, “She’s gonna shoot Stella in the stomach!” Of course, the receptionist simply sat there looking aghast while the other pet owners watched in amused silence.

Kate made her way around the waiting room, squatting before each crate in her quest to locate and chat with kitty cats. The silence that had become my stand-off with Gwen was peppered with a series of tiny “Meows” as Kate personally introduced herself to each of the cats. One woman, who looked like she might be in line for the next filming of Pet Hoarders, protectively pulled her brood closer and refused to make eye-contact with my mewing toddler. Kate offered her a Cheez-It.

Gwen continued staring at me with tears flowing and then dramatically threw herself over Stella’s crate in a last ditch effort to save her pal’s life. Stella’s tail beat against the side of the crate and she danced on her front paws. Gwen’s hair dragged through a puddle on the sandy, pet hair-littered clinic floor as she pressed her face against the door of Stella’s crate. She pursed her lips and attempted to kiss Stella goodbye through the metal grates. Stella’s tongue unfurled, made its way through the bars and made contact with Gwen’s teeth. Gwen began giggling, stood up and said “See ya later doggie!” then skipped off to meow at the kitties.

We’ll be going back up to Freeport to pick up Stella (and her cone of shame) late this afternoon. We’ll rush to be back in time to get Joe off the bus, make dinner, and then run out the door once again to attend the parent meeting at Gwen’s pre-school. So what in the world am I doing wasting today’s precious time on this blog entry? I’m not sure, but I’m thinking I might go grab a shower and make a quiet place for Stella to rest when she comes home.

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