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Momo Fali's: April 2008

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I Won't Be Flicking My Bic For An Encore

My husband cringes when I tell gross stories about our dog. But, I feel it is my duty as a dog owner. These beasts don't stay adorable puppies forever, and people who are thinking about getting one should know the truth. It's the equivalent of having a baby and thinking it's all about the snuggling and cooing, when it's really about spit-up and projectile poop.

Our dog has bad, bad gas. The type of silent flatulence that makes you want to curl up in the fetal position and whimper, "Tell me when it's over." She emits fumes which make the leaves on the houseplants shrivel up and die.

They used to smell like chicken. Rotten chicken. But, lately she's been eating grass...a lot. I fear we're going to get a contact buzz, because now her farts smell like the seats near the rafters of a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert. Next thing you know, she'll be wearing a tie-dyed collar and doggie moccasins.

If you're thinking of getting a puppy, do yourself a favor and invest in a gas mask...and don't say I didn't warn you.


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Who Needs A Crystal Ball When You Have A Steering Wheel

My five year old son can predict the future, but only when we're in the car.

The first time it happened, it completely freaked me out. We were running errands when he piped up from the back seat and said, "Mom, the phone is ringing at home."

I replied, "Uh...well, maybe. We don't know if the phone is ringing, because we're in the car."

Then my cell phone rang.

It was my husband and I immediately asked him if he had just called the house, and he said, "Yes". I was in shock.

The second time he used his sixth sense, we were driving home from an occupational therapy appointment when he said, "Grandma and Grandpa are coming over."

I told him that, in fact, they were not coming over. Grandma and Grandpa live two hours away.

When we got home, guess who called? Grandma and Grandpa were going to be in town in a couple of days and wanted to stop by.

Those two events were just happenstance, right? Just weird luck. So the kid is good at's nothing more.

But yesterday, I took him to a doctor's appointment for his finger and it happened again. A few weeks ago, he let a stranger get too close to him while he was playing and I lectured him about it. Since then, he has been very frightened of people he doesn't know. (Note to self: Ease up on the lectures.)

So when we pulled into the doctor's parking lot, I was surprised when he looked out the window at a man standing in front of the building and said, "Mom, that man is nice."

I said, "He probably is. He's a stranger, but because I'm with you it's okay if you want to say hi."

Say hi? He gave the poor guy a complete run-down of his missing fingertip.

And, when we were walking away the man shouted, "Ma'am! Thank you for letting me speak to your son today. Thank you for sharing his smile, and yours."

Today I'm taking my boy to the drive-thru carry out, where he will fill out his very first lottery ticket.


Sunday, April 27, 2008

We Were Going To Call Him Stumpy

This is Tapper. Tapper is a finger splint, and is a new addition to our family. He is also our five year old son's constant companion. So far, Tapper has gone with us to a First Communion and to a wedding rehearsal where he started acting up. As a matter of fact, if you asked the bride, she'd probably tell you that Tapper was quite a train wreck.

But on the wedding day, Tapper's new Mommy discovered Benadryl. And, Benadryl made Tapper happy...and a little loopy. Suddenly, Tapper and son were all smiles and they thought the lights were very pretty. Did you know you can carry a ring bearer's pillow like a football?

Today Tapper has one more party to attend, and he will probably spend the day tapping tables, and chairs, and people's knees, and my glasses, and the bridge of my nose. If all goes well, we'll be saying goodbye to him in 12 days, and this Mommy hopes she'll never, ever hear tapping again.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

His Broken Finger Broke My Heart

Yesterday afternoon, I drove to Indianapolis with a new friend to meet the lovely Bossy. As I do every time I'm away, I left instructions for the babysitter, a list of things to do for my daughter, and a note to my husband to read when he got home from work.

I made dinner and put it in the Crock Pot and straightened up the house. All my ducks were in a row. Until the moment we got to our hotel.

I barely had time to put my bag down, when my cell phone rang. On the other end was my nine year old daughter, screaming hysterically, "Mommy!!! Mommy!!! MOMMY!!!" When she finally took a breath, she was able to tell me her brother was badly hurt. I didn't know what happened, but I did know that my daughter would not have such a reaction if it wasn't serious.

There I was, three hours from home and my kids needed their Mommy. "Hello guilt? It's me, Momo." All I could do was urgently tell her to call her Dad (who luckily was on his way home from work). I hung up and phoned the sitter's parents, who live two doors away. Then I freaked out sat and waited a few minutes before calling back to find out my son's finger had been slammed in a door, and that the tip of it was gone.

All of these wonderful bloggers had to watch me sit with clenched teeth and buttcheeks, in anticipation of my husband's report from the hospital. Once I drank four Coronas talked to my son on the phone, after his skin and fingernail had been stitched back on, I was able to relax...just a little.

I intentionally left this out of focus to hide my swollen, puffy eyes, and mascara which had dripped onto my shirt. That's me in the middle, with the fake smile.

After two hours of sleep, we got up at 4:45 this morning, to get home to my son. And, even though my neighbors and my husband cleaned up most of the blood. I found this where they peeled his skin from the door jamb.

And lots of splatter marks on the wall...

...and this on my son's broken finger.

I'm never leaving home again.

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Where's The Beef?

When I was a kid I wanted to be a surgeon. I thought the inner workings of the human body were fascinating and couldn't get enough of those PBS shows that brought operating tables into my family room. When they would hint at graphic images ahead and everyone else would turn away, I would glue myself to the screen.

Turns out, though, that you actually have to be a pretty good student if you choose that line of work. My elementary school report cards, which were all spotted with remarks like, "shares with her neighbors" and "doesn't stay on task", weren't going to get me into medical school. It seems I was more suited to be a gossip columnist.

But as a parent, I have a chance to right what I did wrong. I have made it clear to my third-grade daughter that she needs to apply herself now, if she wants to be successful later.

We were recently discussing this and I asked her, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"

She shrugged.

Given her love of animals and her near obsession with dogs, I suggested she should become a veterinarian.

She shook her head and said, "I don't want to be a veterinarian! They can't eat meat!"

Apparently, someone wasn't staying on task during health and nutrition class.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

She Ain't Heavy, She's My Daughter

There are many days when I look at my kids and find myself jealous of them.

They have an almost complete lack of responsibility. Outside of my nine year old daughter's homework and some very minimal chores at home, these children don't have much on their daily list of things to accomplish.

They have energy I can only dream about. Oh wait, I don't sleep. That's another thing. They snooze right through the night. Every night.

They skip, climb trees, and swing. Life is fun.

The other day my Mom was visiting, and she asked how much my daughter weighs. I replied, "Sixty-one pounds."

And I added "Not Ashamed of Their Weight" to my list of jealousies, when my daughter piped in, "Don't forget the point four!"

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Magic Dust

Week before last we had an out of town guest. Roughly five days before his arrival, I told my nine year old daughter I would need her help getting the house ready. I made plans to wash the windows, scrub floors, and do a lot of general spring cleaning. Plus, she would be bunking with her brother while our guest slept in her bed, so I wanted her to straighten up her bedroom.

By the end of the five days, I had done all of the cleaning...even her room. I gave up and told her the only thing left to do was to put a few things away. By the time our guest arrived, she hadn't helped with that either.

So, I had to shake my head in disbelief when last week she asked if she could go to school early every, single day to, "help her teacher clean".

I want to know what they are putting in that classroom dust.

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

So Sweet It Will Make You Sick

Yesterday, my son fell off his bike and hit his head on our driveway. I heard him scream, ran outside and scooped him up, then tried to make the pain go away by distracting him. He has never been one to accept that a kiss or hug will make his boo-boo's go away. He instead wants something to take his mind off it.

We sat down on a swing in our backyard and I showed him the budding leaves on the tree, then I pointed at the blue sky and said, "I love spring. The sunshine makes me so happy." Then I asked him, "What makes you happy?"

My guess is that he thought he'd get an extra cookie after dinner when he replied, "Your smile, Mom."

Then he shot butterflies and rainbows out of his fingertips. Okay, not really...but the comment about my smile...totally true.

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Please Don't Kill My Mockingbird

My (nearly) six year old son is developmentally delayed. He doesn’t have autism, aspergers or down syndrome. He isn’t living with cerebral palsy, has never had a brain injury, and extensive genetic testing all came back negative. He is simply behind.

Part of his delay is due to numerous health problems, hospital stays and surgeries. Every event, illness, and needle poke caused him to regress. This boy has had more medical procedures than most people have their entire lives.

The most noticeable delay is his speech, which came to pass because he couldn’t hear well for five out of six years of his life. We kept telling doctors, but my son kept passing hearing tests. When he finally failed a screening last year, we were actually relieved.

Before this school year started, I met with his Pre-Kindergarten teachers in private. I explained my son’s health history and his delays. They had been great when my nine year old daughter was in Pre-K a few years ago, and I had high hopes they would be wonderful partners in the game of catch-up my son has been playing. I failed to take into account that my daughter sprouted a halo when she was born.

These teachers, who had been perfect for my angelic daughter…well, I’m pretty sure that combined they have been teaching for 90 years. And in that time, I don’t know if they’ve had much experience with a special needs child. It’s nearly the end of the school year and so far they haven’t had much luck at keeping my boy in check.

I’m not going to sit here and say my son is perfect, because he’s not. He’s as ornery as the day is long. He has a wicked sense of humor, which is a particular benefit to this Mom blogger, but to his teachers…not so much. Yesterday, he told me he was pretending to be at a party, which is why he put mulch in someone’s hair. Confetti…Mulch. Potato…Po-taht-uh.

And, when they told me he disrupted snack-time the other day because he wouldn’t stop singing his ABC’s, it almost brought me to tears. Not because he was being bad, but because I can remember when we never thought he’d know his alphabet.

I took away toys, the computer, and TV to discipline him for not listening to his teachers. But, do you know how hard it is to punish a kid for singing, when you never thought you would hear him sing?

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Carrots Are More Appropriate

This morning brought yet another instance where I was astonished to hear the words coming out of my mouth, when I looked at my five year old son and said, "Don't play your drums with your banana peel."

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sleep Is Overrated

I haven't slept in about 10 years. Okay, I'm exaggerating...a little. My insomnia started when I was pregnant with my daughter, and it hasn't let up since.

I now hold the belief that only single people, with no kids, no pets and quiet neighbors, actually sleep. They also must not live near an airport, and can't keep their windows open to allow the sound of chirping birds to come through. Anyone wanna lend me a BB gun?

My lack of sleep was compounded by having two preemies who both wore heart monitors. You have never really heard an alarm, until you've heard one that tells you your baby isn't breathing, or their heart rate has dropped dangerously 3:00 AM. For my next blog post, I will be discussing adrenaline rush.

Now my dog is getting old, and likes to nudge me with her cold, wet nose to let me know she needs to poop, or puke, or because she feels the need to be petted in the wee hours.

And, there are kids having bad dreams and moving about in the night. I'm always on high alert when I hear one of them. You never know when vomit will strike.

Add to that, my husband's snoring...okay, not fair...everyone has a husband who snores. But, I'm also lucky enough to have one who suffers from night terrors. My wonderful guy once woke me by pulling me out of bed by my ankles while screaming, "Get out of here! Get out of here!" And another time, he jumped from the bed with all the covers, hit a picture off the wall, and ran into the closet, knocking all the clothes down in the process. He claimed a marching band was coming toward us, and we were about to get trampled.

I don't know if I didn't sleep that night because he startled me...or if I was disturbed that he left me there to get stomped by people with wind instruments.

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

We're Buying Her A Mosh Pit For Her Birthday

It seems as though my nine year old daughter has been playing too much Guitar Hero, because when I picked her up from school on Friday she said, "Mom, Barracuda has been stuck in my head all day."

And, last night when her brother showed me the American Sign Language sign for I love you, she said, "I don't think that means, I love you. I think it means, Rock on."

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Friday, April 11, 2008

Ah...Good Times, Good Times

Kids today seem so different than the kids I knew growing up in the 70’s. I realize that makes me sound old enough to wear knee-high stockings and a plastic hair cover, but it’s true.

Most recently, I’ve taken notice of their “can do” attitude. Having been brought up in an era when they don’t keep score at soccer games, when every kid gets a trophy at the end of softball season, and when computer games tell you it’s okay to lose…kids today receive an incredible amount of affirmation.

Yesterday my nine year old daughter had a friend over, and I had a back window open so I could hear them playing in the yard.

Apparently they were attempting to do something with a degree of risk, because I heard my daughter’s friend say, “You can do it! Believe in yourself! BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!!”

I couldn’t help but flash back to when I was nine and had just watched my friends swing across a ravine on a rickety vine. They were all waiting for me on the other side, and when they swung the vine back to me, I got nervous and hesitated. But, instead of saying, “You can do it”, they said, “Come on! Hurry up, you pansy!”

Maybe, just maybe, things are changing for the better.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

If Only Target Sold Sand In Which To Bury My Head

My five year old son has a game he likes to play, where he runs up our steps and I run after him trying to pinch him. We do it whenever we’re both going upstairs. I created this method to get him in the vicinity of the bathtub, without any struggle.

But, please take my advice. Before you consider implementing this pinching game, you should also consider that your child may one day run down the main aisle at Target, look over his shoulder and loudly shout, “Hey Mom!! Come get me, and pinch my butt!”

Just hypothetically…

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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Fellas Have More To Worry About Than I Thought

My husband and I were talking about what a hard time he's going to have when our daughter gets older, and boys start paying her attention. To put it mildly, her Daddy won't come off as kind and gentle to her suitors.

I relayed this information to my nine year old daughter and said, "I feel sorry for the guys you're going to have in your life. It won't be easy for them, or for you."

To which she replied, "It's really okay, Mom. I'm not worried about it...I plan on being a widow."

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Sunday, April 6, 2008

Yeah, But Look At His Glutes

As practicing Catholics, it is customary for our family to genuflect when entering, and when leaving our pew at church. This means we bend the left knee and touch our right knee to the floor in the direction of the tabernacle.

This morning when Mass ended, I told my daughter she could go say hello to a friend as I stayed behind to talk to someone. I thought my son had followed his sister.

I soon learned otherwise, when I finished my conversation and turned to see my boy attempting to start a parish-based aerobics class. He was genuflecting at each and every pew on the way to the door.

For a split second I considered whether or not I should claim he was mine, when the woman in front of me turned to her husband and said, "Look at that kid doing lunges."


Friday, April 4, 2008

Just Once I'd Like To Find Some Cash In There

Day before yesterday, I headed out to Home Depot to purchase some new blinds. In the pocket of my jacket, I had two Home Depot gift cards.

After talking to the salesman, I realized I had made some incorrect window measurements. Seeing as how once they cut them, you own them, I didn't want to purchase the blinds until I was positive about the mounting width.

Yesterday I went back with the corrections, but I was wearing a different jacket.

When I went to pay, I instantly let the cashier know that I'm a Mom. Because, instead of finding the gift cards in my pocket, I pulled out a used tissue, Thomas the Tank sunglasses, and a toy figure of Leo from The Little Einsteins.


Thursday, April 3, 2008

I Feel Like Rodney Dangerfield

I picked up my son from school yesterday, gave him a hug and a kiss, then said, "I really missed you."

He hugged me back, and said, "Aw, thanks. I really missed Daddy."

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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

She's Going To Hear Some Bells Ringing

Yesterday was one lousy day. Nobody died and no one was hurt. Nothing tragic happened. But, I was…let’s see, how can I put this delicately for you male readers? Let's just say, I was…hormonal.

Something has happened since I entered my late thirties. Something bad. For a couple of days a month, I turn into an evil woman. I yell, I fight, and every, little, minuscule thing irritates me. I am supremely grumpy.

On many levels, I feel like a female version of Bruce Banner turning into the Incredible Hulk. There are moments, during these dark days, where I would bet money my skin was turning green. And, I’m pretty sure that I snarl and spit when I talk.

My two, poor children bear the brunt of my vicious Mrs. Hyde. I yell about toys being all over the house, shoes being left in the hall, wet towels on the bathroom floor, and kids who take too long to eat their dinner. That is to say, I get mad about normal stuff which happens every day.

But, on hormonal days, I can’t even stand the normal stuff. I become a raging freak, and what’s really bad is that I KNOW it, yet I can’t stop. For those one or two nights a month, my kids don’t even argue if I send them to bed early.

Last night I desperately tried to lighten the mood. After I grumbled about picking up some clothes off the floor, I sang, “I am grumpy. I am grumpy…” (To the tune of Frère Jacques.)

And, from the other room, my nine year old daughter was brave enough to finish the verse with, “Yes you are! Yes you are!”

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