Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Fowl-mouthed Bird

I'm not a big cusser. Compared to some of my siblings I barely cuss. And compared to my Great-Grandma Minnie and Great-Grandpa Don, I am probably a saint. My mom said that those two used to cuss each other up and down so much that it would put sailors to shame (or something like that). Ironically, both of their sons served in the Navy. Perhaps it's because it's what they knew.

So while I do not cuss a lot, I do say, "shit" a lot. I tired of saying "crap." Shit just sounds better to me.

JB has warned me about cursing in front of the Bird. I agreed that it is not good to teach children to swear. That's a lesson better learned from their peers, leaving Mom and Dad to tell you that it's wrong. Even if Mom and Dad used to curse, too.

So I decided that the first time Olivia repeated a curse word would be the last time that I swear around her. Why didn't I stop sooner? I wasn't very motivated to find a replacement word to express my feelings. None of the other ones felt right. In short, I was lazy.

Olivia has been mimicking us for a while now, so I was surprised that she hadn't picked up on "shit." Then Saturday came. With it came Aunt Annie for a visit, and a desire for Olivia to try out her new saying, "Oh shit." She first said it when we were getting breakfast ready. Something caused her to say, "Oh no! Shit!"

Yes, it was very funny.

But then she kept saying it! And we kept trying not to laugh.

I thought that she'd try it out a couple of times and then move onto another saying. This little girl tries out lots of words these days, often abandoning them after a few tries. But apparently Shit just felt right. Because she said it again and again and again.

All weekend.

"Oh no! ...Happened? (meaning, 'What Happened?')... "Shit!"

Annie and I were able to keep the secret from JB until Sunday. Then he and Annie saw Olivia trip and fall to her knees.

"Ohh, SHIT!"

Oh shit is right.

She said it probably a dozen times on Saturday and nearly as many on Sunday. I've started to encourage her to say, "Rats!" instead, which she's trying out. I thought we getting in the clear until last night she yells the S-word out in front of our dinner company Joel, a college student at Calvin.

Now even though he goes to a Reformed Church college, he still thought it was funny.

But I don't think that everyone will.

And unfortunately, she is also learning about utensils and likes to say, "fork," randomly. Which she pronounces "foke" in her little baby voice.Which can sound like the f-word if you don't know what she's referring to.

Fokes, we could be up $&^* creek without a paddle...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Day in the Life of an 18-month-old

I've been thinking about doing a post on what a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom)'s day looks like. After a long day, JB likes to joke, "What? I thought you just laid on the couch and ate bon-bons all day while I went to work." har har.

But I realized that listing off the six loads of laundry that I did or the rooms that I dusted and vacuumed isn't really that interesting. Not even to me. And I love to vacuum. 

Then I began to ponder a day looks like to Olivia. The busiest girl in America....

(All of these things are TRUE and she did all but 1 of them in the last two days alone.)

7:45: OMG, I am AWAKE! I've got so many things to do today! While I wait for Mama I must keep busy. Cannot be still. Will read my board book aloud. Or play with my stuffed friends Pooh, Brownie, or Ba. Will unzip my jams down to my waist so that I look like a creepy 70's pimp. Or maybe I can stand up in the crib and wait. Maybe, like that one time, I can drape my white blanket over my head and wait, standing perfectly still and silent, so that Mama thinks that I am a ghost. Making her heart stop in fear is so fun!

7:55: Mama is here! I will ardently request my teapot as she lifts me from my crib. TeaPOT! TeaPOT! Must. Have. Teapot. 

8:10: Time to play downstairs while Mama makes breakfast that I won't eat. Better collect any stray remote controls and furiously pound their buttons. V. important business. Wait! I see crayons! Better put them to use. If I can't find my coloring book, I will use any other book I find laying around. Well, Mama is in the kitchen. I'll go in there. I'll climb up on the chair while her back is turned. And color on the table. I couldn't find any paper.

8:45:I am back in my room! Lucy is with me! We will PLAY. TeaPOT TeaPOT TeaPOT. Princesses! Puzzles! BLOCKS!!! Must amass every toy in my room and pile it in the middle of the floor. 

9:15 Mama gets me dressed. This dismays me because it takes away from play time. Then we go to the library. Mama gives me her license and debit card to play with while she looks up a book on the computer. Then we walk to the giant library shelves and she looks for her book. She turns the corner to look at more books. I quickly insert her license and debit card into the stacks. I pull out a random book. Mama comes and stops me from pulling out two more books. She picks me up and goes to the counter with her book. Then she starts to mutter, "Where is my license? Where did you put my cards, Olivia?" 

I do not speak good English, so I do not answer her. 

She gets more and more upset. She eventually finds the cards. 

Drive to another store for errands. "Book! Book! Book!" I cry. Mama hands me all the books in the car. I do not want those books! I want to go back to ALL the books at the library. Mama is not very smart at understanding. So I guess I'll just keep crying out "Book!" until I tire. Which is never.

10:30: ELMO!!!!  We are home and Mama turns on Sesame Street and ELMO!!! Sit quietly in princess chair. Until I get bored. Find something else to do. Mama is doing dishes. AGAIN. How boring. How can anyone like doing dishes that much? I find my green rainboots and try to put them on. Mama has to stop what she's doing to help me. Then I stomp around in my boots. Mama leaves kitchen to get something, and I find the butter dish. I've never noticed it before, but there it is, on the counter, and I can reach it! Woah, this stuff is sticky. I'll try to wipe the butter off the dish and onto my high chair. Mama comes back. "I was gone 3 seconds! What are you DOING??" 

I do not speak good English, so I do not answer her.

11:00: I get to go OUTSIDE. I love "side!" Love. Love. Love. Side. Side. Side. When Mama tries to put me in the stroller to go on a walk, I rebel. I make it hard for her to put me in the stroller. Mama wins. Mama is strong. 

11:45. We're back from walk and Mama lets me play SIDE! She gets out her shovel to dig weeds. I need that shovel. I need that shovel and I need to use it while I sit in Mama's lap. Mama is elusive though and keeps getting away to "weed." Whatever that is. She's pulling up plants. I can do that. I can dig up the ground with Mama's my shovel. I can even step on the plants. Why doesn't Mama want me to help her?

Ooh. Now she's getting out the hose to water the plants. I can help! But first I have to thrust both hands under the water. Cold! My hands and arms are soaked. And then I remember what my Daddy taught me to do at bathtime. I put my head under the water and get it nice and wet. Cold! I want to do it again but Mama doesn't let me.

12:00: Watch Miss Spider while Mama makes lunch.

12:20: Eat lunch chips.

1:00-1:30: I am in my room again! Oh crap. It's just  naptime. Boo. I protest. Mama puts me in bed and I eventually collapse like a boxer who just got TKO'd. 

3:30: AWAKE!!!! Mama doesn't look too good now. She isn't moving very quickly. But I feel GREAT!! 

4:00: Get in car to see NanaPapa. I love going to see NanaPapa. I get to wear Pack. (Pack is a bear I wear on my back. I love Pack. Except for his tail that Mama holds. She says she holds it so that I don't get away from her. I think she holds it so that she can rain on my parade.) I walk proudly with Pack on my back, insisting that we stop for each staircase so that I can practice, though Mama doesn't always listen. Say HI! to every stranger we walk by. 

Nana's room is fun because there are TONS of buttons to push. And things to look at. And things to start to touch until Mama yells at me. I will talk to Nana or Papa if it doesn't take too much time. Must. Keep. Exploring.

Snatch kleenex out of box. Put to mouth and cough twice. It's what I see grownups do. 

Casually walk to the panel at end of Nana's bed. Mama and Papa always point to words on the panel and say, "For Hospital Staff Use Only." Whatever that means. Pretend to wipe down the panel with my coughed-on Kleenex. Mama says that it's nice that I clean. Then, when they are distracted by my tidiness, I flip open the panel quick as lightning and try to push every button.


Why does everyone yell at me so much??

5:00: Home from NanaPapa's. Mama is looking very tired. I see my wagon in the garage and request a ride. Mama concedes. While she opens the house door to get the dog's leash, I open the gate and start to leave toward the street with the wagon. Mama screams NO! DANGER!

I do not speak good English, so I ignore her. 

I try again as she's grabbing her keys off of the hook next to the door. 


Good Lord, woman, I just want to go on a stinking wagon ride and you are taking for-ev-er. 

I get bored on wagon ride and swing my legs over the side to get out while Mama is still pulling. That sly cat--she happens to look back right as I'm about to escape and run into the street. She makes me hold her hand while we walk. I escape and run into a neighbor's yard.

5:20: We are home and Mama turns on TV for me, but I get bored and come into the kitchen where she is making dinner. I request a seat on the counter. If I don't get to be on the counter, I will pull open drawers and cupboards until I find something breakable exciting to play with.

5:30: Daddy's home!!! Daddy goes upstairs to change and read email. I continue to make life exciting for Mama. 

6:00: Mmmm, dinner. Maybe. Maybe I will eat dinner.

6:30: Dancey Dance time! Mama turns on the stereo and we dance to fun songs. Like Def Leppard, Black Eyed Peas, Diana Ross, and AC/DC. I insist that Mama wears giant white sunglasses while she dances. It makes it harder for her to dance, which she wants to do to lose weight.  I wonder why she hasn't lost 50 lbs from chasing me around all day. So does Mama.

7:00: Back in my room with Lucy! Time to drop a deuce. Once the smell hits Mama's nostrils in another room, she comes to clean me up. Daddy comes by and says, "That smells like an adult turd!" What do you know--I AM becoming like a big kid! I wiggle around while Mama tries to clean me. She keeps repeating, "Shit." Must remember to repeat after her sometime. It's a new word that Mama seems to like a lot. 

8:00: I get my Jammers on and Mama and Daddy pick up my toys. I follow them and get them out again. Mama makes me sit in the chair to read stories. I rebel. Not enough movement involved. I concede. After 3 books Mama turns out the light. "More!" I demand. "More!" Cry when Mama does not read more books. "Why can't you just go to bed?" Mama asks. 

I do not speak good English, so I do not answer her. 

8:15: Collapse into bed after several renditions of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, which I like to try to sing along to, the ABC song, Jesus Loves Me, and night time prayers. Mama is making very slow movements and appears to have bags under her eyes. She blows me a kiss anyway and says she loves me.

I cannot WAIT for tomorrow.