Same Ol’, Same Ol’

Monkey tested limits this weekend, and found out where they are. It was just great. She threw a fit for being asked to pick up her toys, then threw even more of a fit when we made going to see her cousins (for ice cream) contingent on picking up her toys, and then threw the biggest fit of all when — after about 20 minutes of this — DearDR and I pulled the plug on ice cream altogether. Because she wasn’t listening to us. (Bun and I went. DearDR picked up the toys.)

I really hope it’s a typical almost-5-year-old thing, or a “I’m-really-ready-to-go-back-to-preschool” thing (she doesn’t start until next Wednesday), but the not-listening combined with the fly-off-the-handle meltdowns have got to come to an end.

Here is Monday night’s conversation:

Monkey: Kennywood is the funnest place on Earf … Earth.
RPM: It is pretty fun. (thinking: too bad we didn’t get there this summer.)
Monkey: Bun, Kennywood is the funnest place of Earth. You’re going to love it. Mom, can we go there tonight?
RPM: No, it’s too late tonight —
Monkey: No, Mom, really, can we go after dinner?
RPM: Monkey, we can’t go tonight —
Monkey: You mean we CAN NEVER EVER GO AGAIN?
RPM: No, Monkey, that’s not what I said, I mean —
Monkey: So we can go tonight?
RPM: We can go on a Saturday, soon. (thinking: Oh dear Lord, please tell me Kennywood is open weekends for a couple more weeks.)
Monkey: Can we go tonight?
RPM: Monkey! No, we will–
Monkey (wailing, complete with tears in her eyes): WHY CAN’T WE EVER GO TO KENNYWOOD AGAIN?? WAAAHHH! (stomps off to wail in another room)
RPM, thinking: WTH?

(Video taken live at the Green Day concert in Pittsburgh — not by me. I thought of Monkey during that whole first of the last two songs. Sigh.)

DearDR advises that I have to stay even-keeled during these conversations (which, DearDR, that’s pretty ironic. You know what I’m talking about). I am trying: breathing deeply, talking softly. If I get upset, the girls just get more upset. But attempting to reason with an unreasonable creature… Well, it sure is challenging.

The worst part? I keep picturing these conversations when Monkey is 15, and we’ve added hormones to the mix. (Okay, more hormones. Never let it be said that I don’t have my crazy, PMS-induced moods.)

Help. Send beer.

Random Thoughts: Monkey Business

Guess what Monkey’s favorite book is these day? Go ahead, guess. I’ll wait.

That’s a good guess. No.

Monkey’s favorite new book is a toy catalog she discovered at Nonna and Pap-pap’s house this past weekend. She pores over that thing the way I hope she’ll concentrate on her math homework in high school. She can tell what is for 4-year-olds. She points out to Bun toys that are for 2-year-olds, and tells her (Bun) that she can have them.

I am dealing with the sudden onset of crass materialism by assuring Monkey that she can have one or two of these toys — for her birthday or Christmas.

Yesterday morning we couldn’t find the catalog for the ride to day school. It was quite a crisis.

It still hasn’t turned up, but Monkey has been sufficiently distracted by the upcoming sleepover at her cousins’ house tonight (while DearDR and I attend the Green Day concert).


Yesterday morning, Monkey complained that her big toe hurt. Taking a look at her foot, I noticed very red, raw spots on her big, middle, and pinky toes.

“Monkey!” I exclaimed, “Your shoes are too small!” I felt like the mother of the year, let me tell you.

I put her in a pair of flip-flops for the day. (Bella had to run down later with another pair of shoes because the flip-flops did not have an ankle strap. I guess sandals at the day school have to have an ankle strap. I clearly am not paying enough attention.)

And at lunch, I ran out to buy her size 12 shoes.

TJ Maxx was an utter fail on the little people shoe front. I saw about four pairs, most of them flip-flops (no ankle straps).

KMart was better, with an extensive selection — of shoes with Hannah Montana, High School Musical, and Camp Rock characters on them.

I have no issues with any of those vehicles per se. Only, my kid is 4 (and a half) and she hasn’t seen any of those shows or movies yet. We’re still on PBSKids and Noggin in my house. Although Monkey did recently declare her love for Hannah Montana. I think she’s picking it up from day school.

In any case, I did track down a pair of pretty sandals ($4) and sneakers with no characters on them (more than $4, but not too bad). It seems that size 12 and up are for girls who see the aforementioned shows, and size 10 and under are still for princesses, Dora, and Pooh. Size 11 shoes are scarce regardless of what may be on them. Character-free shoes are easier to find in smaller sizes. (Although I did see some wee shoes with Hannah Montana on them.)

Monkey promptly gushed over the sneakers — “They are beautiful! I love them!” — and declared the sandals to be her favorit-est shoes ever.

The upside of having a drama queen: unbridled enthusiasm for new shoes and sleepovers.

I’ll take it.

Forgot to do this yesterday. Countdown to Spa Day: Three days.

Random Thoughts: Two Things

1. Self-fulfilling prophecy

When I was pregnant with Monkey, I made the mistake of going shopping at Big Box Baby Store with DearDR.

DearDR is the type of shopper who is a browser. I am more like a hunter-gatherer shopper: I know what I am buying; I know where in the store it is; I’m going in, getting it, getting out. DearDR tends to wander — especially toward the DVD department in Target for example.

I have no idea what we were doing in the Big Box Baby Store on this particular trip. Maybe I was showing him what I had registered for; maybe we were picking out a crib and dressing table together. I don’t recall.

What I do recall is that we wandered into the clothing section. And DearDR saw this cute little onsie and hat. He wanted to buy them for our Bug, as we were calling her then.

I looked them over doubtfully.

“Are you sure?” I asked.

“Sure!” he answered. “They’re adorable! Why not?”

“I’m afraid that if we buy her these, then she will turn out to be one.”

He laughed. “I’m her dad. She probably will be one.”

And now, four years later, I have a child, that when she coughs, it looks like she’s having a conniption fit. Who screams or cries the instant she is told No. Who yells, “It’s not fair” when we can’t go shopping because her little sister is sleeping.

Here’s a picture of her, swaddled to the nines, with that hat that DearDR coveted so strongly.


2. I’m Over It. Really. No, Really.

After this, I promise to stop referencing my car accident — I mean, jeez, you know already, and I’m fine, no one got hurt, I got my car back all shiny from the new paint job, move on, already.

But when the weather is giving me a “wintry mix”, I drive like a little old lady. A little old lady who wears tri-focals and can’t see over the steering wheel.

It’s going to be a long winter. Especially for the drivers behind me.