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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Please, Don't Use The Charmin

Toilet stories are synonymous with battle stories when it comes to raising kids. Just visit "Critters And Crayons" toilet paper hunt or "Twinisms" upper decker with TP and you'll know what I mean. Just like potty training, ABC's and telling time - I know that my boys will EVENTUALLY learn how much toilet paper to use. Until then, they are required to use wet wipes when they go number two.

Yes, wet wipes are expensive and no, they can't flush them down the toilet but here's the plus side. They are dispensed one at a time - and if my boys ever go to Mexico (you can't flush the toilet paper, it has to be discarded) they'll feel right at home.

Until now, we haven't had any toilet paper issues - but the other day, I moved the wet wipes and Samu couldn't find them.

From the bathroom, I heard the usual call, "Moooommmmeeee! I went pooooooopeeeee!"

The boys have an exhibitionist streak in that they need to show me the goods.

But this time, I heard Samu struggling and whining, "I can't DO it!"

I walked in to find Samu with a wad of toilet paper as big as his head, trying to wipe between his butt cheeks.

Need...more...toilet paper!
 Being the ever resourceful (cheapskate) mom that I am, I flushed the piece that actually made contact and set aside the rest to clean up the friggin' pee they get all over the place.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe they'll never learn how to use toilet paper. I, on the other hand have learned better ways to take pictures. Check this out:

Blossom Head

Talk to my stick
Now I can act like a Japanese tourist with some confidence!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Objective: Uh, Whatever Man

For two days now, Samu's been saying, "I have a resume."

I was sure he meant something else but he persisted saying, "At my After-School, we're working on my resume."

Rather than ask what a five-year old needs with a resume, I asked if the After School resume writing service was free because I could use some help myself. The cookie-cutter format offered on isn't bad - I just have a problem filling it in with the truth.

It's like trying to perk up sagging boobs with Scotch tape bought in a 99 cent shop.

In fact, my resume is so pitiful, I'm tempted to apply for a job at Wendy's Drive Thru because really, what would they want with a resume for that job? All they do is take orders, pack it wrong and forget to include napkins and ketchup. I can do that.

But my true anxiety is "going back to work." As I approach my mental deadline to re-enter the work field, I find myself conjuring up all kinds of nightmares that my absence would incur. What if the boys start singing Eminem songs? Who will tell them to keep their pants on at the table? How many boogers will Samu eat before someone stops him?

You see - I can't go back to work, yet.

In the past four years, I have been on a few interviews. They were...awkward. I'd say, "The hiatus? Well, the hiatus was due to my other full time job: caring for midgets."

"When can I work? Maybe Wednesdays for like...30 minutes. But don't worry, that's just until my kids have moved out."

I supposed I should've ironed out the resume problem before sitting in the hot seat. When I was in charge of hiring at my last real job, I must've looked over thousands of resumes. To save time, I focused on three things: A good objective, spelling and grammar.

Something tells me, Samu's resume would fail them all. Still, I bet he'd land a job with it considering the only place he'd think to send it is the North Pole to work for Santa Claus. He would totally fit in with sweat-shop elves.

I think, however, Samu has an inkling to be an architect. He tells me he wants to build the Empire State Building when he grows up. Yes, he knows it's built already - but his skyscraper is going to be made with Lego and dominoes.

It's a good thing we don't have earthquakes in New York.

Hi, King Kong!

Monday, March 19, 2012

La Femme Mamasita

Out of the blue, on the way home from school, Zuki asked me to tell him all I know about guns. I may not be a gun-toting mom like Sarah Palin, but I once owned a handgun license - and in New York, that's a process more bombastic than finding legal street parking.

It has been about eight years since I practiced target shooting and about five years since I sold my beloved handguns for a song to cancel my license. In two minutes, I searched the furthest corner of my brain and took a deep breath. "Well..." I said as if I would break into the Isley Brothers Shout, and for ten minutes, I gave him the 101 on rifles, handguns, revolvers and automatics and different calibers.

He was fascinated.

Naturally, his next question was, "Can I have a gun?"

"Maybe," I said because I knew his chances of getting married first were far greater.

Then again, we could always move to Pennsylvania where he can own a machine gun if he wants (and we could get cases of Stoudt's). Still, it seems kind of drastic to uproot a whole family in order to be legal gun owners - in a state with virtually no crime. They have a lot of cows, though.

Prying off his shoes, he started huffing towards his 19th nervous breakdown. I'm thinking it's because of my answer. So I tell him more about the responsibilities, the code of using weapons and not to mention, the cost and red tape. As he's listening, he grows more agitated until finally, he interrupts me.

"So, if there's a bunch of zombies attacking us, you won't give me a gun?"

"Oh don't be silly," I say, "of course, I'd give you a gun if there were a zombie attack!"

He releases a sigh of relief and goes about his merry way. Meanwhile, I'm glad all is well again but did I seriously just have this conversation?

Art by MRusso (daddy) - rifle magazine & chicken bones that didn't make stock

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Birthday Hijack

It didn't take me long before I realized I had a swindler on my hands. Two years ago, I wrote a post on Samu's negotiation skills.

How does he do it? He gets what he wants - every - single - time? From toys we swore we'd never, ever buy him to teach a lesson; to candy we pledged to keep out of his hands until he was ready for college; Samu has managed to hijack them all. Maybe it's his extremely high pitched voice - it drives dogs crazy. It could be his diminutive, yet anatomically correct size. I mean, he's a pea man - it's like trying to resist a leprechaun! But I think it's probably just his relentless drive to obtain what he wants and he proved this once again at a birthday party thrown at the infamous Chuck E. Cheese.

Ever since he went to a birthday party there last year, all he's been asking is to have his next birthday celebration there. I wouldn't mind hosting it there except for one problem: beer - or lack thereof.

I've got a reputation to keep up, know what I mean?

Besides, I knew what the little terrorist was up to - all he wanted was to spend thirty seconds in the Ticket Blaster. It's a booth that blows loose tickets around the Birthday Freak (joined by a guest) and they get to keep however many they grab. The first time Samu saw it, his eyes bulged out of his sockets with a huge Cha-CHING! So, at this party, when the birthday boy was called for the endeavor, who was front and center? You guessed it.

I found myself next to the mom who threw the last Chuck E. Cheese birthday shindig.

I asked her if the Ticket Blaster was only for birthday gigs, hoping it was perhaps available to rent for ten bucks.

"It's only for birthday kids," she confirmed.

My future was looking bleak. I could just picture how relentless Samu would be until he got to go in that booth.

Just then, a miracle happened. Instead of his mom or dad, the gracious birthday host asked Samu to be his guest in the booth.

Could it be? I thought. Is this deliverance? Yes, yes, it was. I filmed the event for evidence and plan to use the footage for my most diabolical scheme ever: psychological warfare.

The next time he asks, "Can I have my birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese?"

I'm going to say, "But you've already had one, see? You're in the Ticket Blaster! Only birthday boys get to go in there!"

Shh - don't mention the actual birthday boy has a crown on.

I may just burn in a computer generated Hell for this, but he got to knock that event off his Bucket List. And as a Master Card ad might say, "Saving yourself from a Sunday with a six-foot drunk mouse? Priceless."

No, I mean literally, priceless - thank you, birthday host parents.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Sink Your Teeth Into

Zuki hasn't gone anywhere but I've been missing him. Actually, I miss his teeth. Nobody needed to tell me this would happen because I felt the same way when he started to walk, talk and crap on his own. My little baby's growing up. Thank God for iPhoto to keep my sentimentality in check.

Once the fabulous four front teeth fall out, this is what you get.

Snow Gums
I'll admit it was fun listening to him have trouble saying words that start with "th" or "d". Donuts suddenly become "nonuts" and don't even get me started with food. I've settled down with that although, recently I bought his favorite: Granny Smith apples (yes, I'll totally take pictures of him attempting to eat one).

This morning, I noticed his adult bottom teeth were way past the half-way point. Just like that.

So I spent forty-minutes bawling over his baby pictures trying to remember what his old smile used to look like.

Smile at 3yrs thanks to the Miami sun

Smile at 5yrs after shoving his little brother down the slide
If I'm this bad over his baby teeth, can you imagine what I'll do when he starts to grow facial hair?

Maybe I should start looking for full time work - like at the liquor store.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Criminals These Days

You know that crime is out of hand when a stolen car is left in your driveway and the police take seven hours before responding. Word of advice, if you ever have to call to your local precinct, be sure you sound hysterical and threaten to call back every five minutes like you have nothing better to do. Or say you have a batch of homemade cookies and a fresh pot of coffee and nobody to eat it.

 Early Friday morning, I woke up to find this green minivan parked at the foot of our community driveway. Seriously, I was on the phone the entire day trying to get this thing moved. I called 311, 911 our local precinct and our district councilman and was faced with this conundrum: the police can't tow it because it's on private property, the sanitation department won't tow it because it still has its license plates and a private tow won't tow it unless it knows who's paying. There was no registration on the windshield (maybe because it's stolen?) - so basically, we were screwed.

I honestly considered setting it on fire and calling the Fire Department. Those guys are way cuter, anyway. It took all the neighbors calling to finally get the police to check out the vehicle and guess what? They found out it was stolen. Duh. That's my $1300 of local taxes (just the city tax, folks) working hard, right there.

All I can say is, these car thieves are at the top of my shit list. I hope they are condemned to an eternity of crossing the George Washington Bridge. East bound. Without an EZ pass. Really, why couldn't they dump the car on the street like every other criminal? And the worst part about it was - it's a butt-ugly car.

Criminals, these days. Just rude, I tell you.

And if you're wondering, those are iron window guards on my window. I am not in Martha Stewart Jail.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Over, Under and Through

The bridge. It's finished. The Manhattan Bridge project is officially over - we've been under it, over it and now we're through. Whether or not it makes it to school in the morning is not my problem but just in case, I've taken a few pictures. Besides, it's not fair for Zuki's classmates to see it before his Grammy, Baba and officials fans do.

Without further ado, Zuki's Manhattan Bridge project.

3D - cool, right?

Daddy came up with the "shadow box" idea but Zuki totally wrote the Manhattan Bridge sign on top. With glitter pen, I might add. That's craftsman right there.

In the event that the project gets picked by a psychotic pigeon on the way to school, here is the composition unedited, meaning spelling mistooks and all.

"My report is about the Manhattan Bridge. The Manhattan Bridge was built because there was too much traffic over the Brooklyn Bridge. The Manhattan Bridge was made to carry subway trains.

The Manhattan Bridge was opened on December 31, 1909. It was designed by Leon Moiseef.

The original designer of the Manhattan Bridge was Gustav Lindthal. He was fired from the job. But they used many of his ideas. Lindthal's idea was to make the bridge flexable to carry trains.

Moiseef's design was not as good as Lindthal. The Manhattan Bridge was underbuilt.

The trains made the Manhattan Bridge very dangerous to cross. The city wanted to close the bridge and make another way to cross the river. But they decided to reconstruct it.

Reconstruction took a very long time. The work began in the 1980's and ended in 2007. The Mattan Bridge celebrated its 100th birthday in october 2009.

The Manhattan Bridge is an inportant part of New York City. Everybody should see the Manhattan Bridge. Why? Because trains run over it."

Seriously, I only helped a little. Do you like how the original designer was "fired" from his job? It's pure Zuki.

The Author