Category Archives: Funny to me

Mother of Stuffed Giraffes

Hi Wrenny Girl,
You are 5 months old.

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This whole thing is flying by, and it’s making me weepy. Sorry. I swear I will stop crying one day…

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You’re rolling over and trying desperately to crawl. You actually get around pretty well despite not having any ‘forward gears,’ as your dad has pointed out. We have got to say that your homeschool grade for Grit is probably going to be an ‘A.’

(Just kidding. We don’t believe in grades.)

The other day we were driving to Panera, and I heard Otis sing from the backseat, “I got your giraffe, Wrenny! I got your giraffe!”

And then I heard you, Wren Faith of the House of Oates, Mother of Dragons Stuffed Giraffe.

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You started crying. It wasn’t the hungry cry. Or the tired cry. It was the “Fool, you best give me back my things before I hit you up side your head” cry.

And I was in the front seat like:

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Because seriously, dude. Who steals toys from babies?!?!

Anyways, you’re 5 months old and I’m beyond proud of the baby-sized woman you are.

Love you forever, Little One!
Mama

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Next time won’t you sing with me…

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Wrenny,
You are four months old.

You started rolling over on to your belly this month. Most any time you are put down (which isn’t often) you make your way to your belly. And then you cry. Our best guess is that you’re frustrated that you aren’t crawling yet.

I know I’m not supposed to talk about how beautiful you are, but my goodness.

I also don’t want to always talk about your brother, but we’re 4 months into this sibling thing and my mind is blown. See, you love it when your brother talks to you. Like, you straight up squeal with delight when he pays you any attention whatsoever:

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(Sidenote: I love that I gave birth to two squeal-with-delighters. I’m probably going to put it on my resume. If I had a resume.)

And now that you’re interested in him, he’s interested in you. And this is where things get crazy. The other day I asked him to sing you a song and figured I’d get an Otis standard, like a lazy version of The Wheels on the Bus.

But for you? For you he busted out the entire Alphabet Song. Correctly.

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We’ve had this child in our home for 6 years. Two thousand one hundred and ninety days. And he has never, not once, ever sang the entire Alphabet Song correctly. You show up and do what we COULD NEVER DO in, like, 100 days.

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One day you’ll find out I’m prone to exaggeration, especially when I need blog material. But I mean this from the bottom of my mushy heart:

You make us better. Thank you, Wrenny Fire.

Love,
Mama

 

Open Letter to That Mom

To that Mom at Lowes…

I see you.

7 months pregnant and wandering the aisles of Lowe’s happily with your little boy. I see that smile on your face. You’re killing this mom thing. Your kid? He’s amazing. Your ability to make him feel safe and loved? No one can compare.

I’ve actually been stalking you all day. This morning at the park? The loving way you figured out how to avert the tantrum over how the cookie crumbled when you opened the package? My goodness, Woman. You amaze us all.

He just noticed the Paw Patrol Night Light display. Your boy sure does love to shop. Add your guilt about being a working mom and it’s the perfect recipe for having a house full of crap, but I digress…

Oh look, he wants a Paw Patrol Night Light. OF COURSE! He’s been amazing, and your face lights up at the chance to give him a little something that he thinks is the coolest thing ever invented only to toss into the abyss known as the toy corner.

Again. I digress.

Wait. What did he just say? Did he just say that he wanted all of them? All of the night lights? You don’t even have that many outlets in your 1,400 sf home…

Hold up. Did I just hear you say “no”? On purpose?

Bravo, young lady. Bra. Vo.

Oh, wait. He’s screaming.

I see the panic on your face.

What’s going on here? Where’s the off switch? Can you just walk away? No, not you. You’re an awesome mother. You’re going to get on eye level and talk to him. Calm him down with the super powers you read about in that gentle parenting article on Facebook.

Did he just tell you to shut up? IN PUBLIC?

Nope, nope, nope/.,,l;

I see you. You want to give in. Make all the noise stop. Maybe he’s right? Maybe you do need a Paw Patrol light in every outlet…but there’s one problem. You looked up and made eye contact with that other mom who was mouth open, staring at your child’s… performance art.

You can’t let him win. Not with an audience.

You walk away. Well, waddle. You’re seven months pregnant after all…

The 5 year old love of your life is chasing you screaming, “WHY ARE YOU LEAVING ME?”

Victim blaming. Ain’t that some $#*+…

You keep walking. He runs faster. Tears streaming down his face. The cries getting less demanding and more pleading. You look like a real douche, Amazing Mom. But you can’t stop. You know what happens if you stop…

You’re about to cross the parking lot. A tantrum parade if there ever was one. You give secret nervous glances behind you to make sure he’s ok because he’s never crossed the street alone when he does it…

HE HAS PLOPPED DOWN IN THE MIDDLE OF PARKING LOT TRAFFIC.

Oh, dear God, Woman. How did it get this out of control so fast? You can’t just leave him there! Turn around! Turn around!

I see you go back. Your pregnant self grabs one leg and one arm and DRAGS his butt across the parking lot.

I see you, Pregnant Lady. Dragging your child across a parking lot with every single pair of eyes looking at you eager to get a FB status up about how they’d never let a scene like that play out on their watch while sharing a viral video from that mom that insists parents shouldn’t be friends with their kids.

I see the fear that you can’t do this. That the one you have is more than enough. That you’re not mom enough. Maybe you should just go back to the life you were good at: keeping up with celebrity gossip and french fries.

I see you sit down with a scared, panicking little boy who has no clue why he’s even upset anymore, but he’s determined to feel in control of something, even if it’s you.

I see you. I am you.

No, seriously. It’s me. You’re talking to yourself again. Finish brushing your teeth, and get out the door, Marie. You’re gonna be late for work.

#GirlBoss

Dear Mom,
Wren here. Yeah, with the Big Kahuna you wrote letters to him, but I’m a new baby with different needs and abilities. So this time I am writing to you.

I’m adorable. Like a-close the front door-able. You are clearly made to produce cute human beings so feel free to make more, especially since I have obvious leadership ability and am not cut out for the role of ‘the youngest.’ Or, ‘the middle’ when I think about it. Actually, if it’s ok with you, I’d like to submit my resume for the position of ‘the oldest.’

I’m straightforward. Unlike the Big Kahuna I’m not going to make you guess about what I want. Remember that day you started blowing your tongue at me? LOVED IT! Best joke I’ve heard in ages. And your delivery? Are you related to Lucille Ball because you’re clearly a comedic genius. I want more of that, and I’ll let you know by doing an adorable baby attempt at blowing my tongue back. at. you!

I’m a team player. I know that I’m not the only one with needs in this family, and I can chill while you deal with the Big Kahuna. Speaking of the Big Kahuna, we had a talk. You’re gushing over how he’s been great about my arrival, and I just want you to know that I gave him a little… pep talk while you were in the bathroom. Like Dubya and Cheney, I might be #2, but we all know who the real boss is, um, I mean… Team player. I’m definitely a team player.

My poop doesn’t stink. At least not to you. You keep telling people that it smells ‘sweet.’ FYI, you don’t have to suck up to me, Mom. You’re already my favorite because milk. So you can chill with the, “I love her poop!” Honestly? It’s weird.

Listen, I know I’m the new guy in town, but I really feel like I’ve improved this family considerably (refer to the bullet points in my resume). You guys are clearly happier since my arrival. And I’ve filled this Wren-shaped hole you didn’t know you had. I guess what I’m trying to say is:

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Love,
Wren “The Oldest” Oates

Dear People with No Kids

Any time I find out that someone has decided to not have kids my heart sinks just a little bit because I know what they’re going to miss out on…

You probably won’t experience looking at pictures from just 2 years ago and weeping because, “I was so pretty! AND SKINNY!”

Or remember that night that you had to take care of your sloppy drunk best friend that says she hates being the center of attention but totally loves being the center of attention? And she really needed to end the partying, but she was begging you to go to just one more bar and you were like, “Fine, I guess…” And then she puked on your shoes?

That’s one distant, almost funny in hindsight, memory for a childless person. That’s every night for 3 years for a parent.

You know how you’re pretty irritated with everyone’s opinion about this decision you’ve made about your own body that has no consequences for anyone else but you and yours? Imagine those opinions and resulting irritation spreading to every decision you make for the next 18 years. That’s modern day parenting.

But all of that’s just me being silly. I think all of us parents know what you’re missing out on.

A love that gives meaning to life.

A realization that, “Hey, this world is effed up, but this gift lets me know that everything is going to be ok.”

A relationship that you couldn’t even imagine, even while pregnant, that now? Now you know you couldn’t live without this special miracle by your side.

That’s right.

Wipes.

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Childless People of America, do you know about the baby wipe? Do you know the awesomeness of carrying large amounts of said baby wipes with you at all times? Do you know how many disasters can be avoided because of a baby wipe? DO YOU KNOW HOW CLEAN YOUR CAR’S DASHBOARD CAN GET WITH A BABY WIPE?

Otis is going to grow up one day and leave and life is going to go on. And sure that love is awesome, but the baby wipe? The baby wipe opened my eyes to a whole new, perfect amount of moisture, world. Say I won’t always have a case of baby wipes on hand for the rest of my life.

Because I will.

 

Nesting or Adulting?

Our kitchen is a disaster. There’s empty cartons here, spilled something there. Every appliance we own is on the limited counter space. We have two pieces of tupperware not being used for leftovers no one will eat, the little one for dipping sauce (?) and the gigantic one for marinating small turkeys. The dishes are clean. I think. Maybe? It doesn’t really matter because we’re getting take out.

I know I bragged on our daddy-stays-home situation, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t come with its own set of issues. The kitchen is Mark’s domain. And part of my sanity rests in letting it be as clean or as messy as he wants it to be because mama doesn’t have time, energy, or mental resources to harass him about keeping his workstation clean. And that’s precisely how Mark’s kitchen looks, like a dude’s work bench in the garage. All the tools out, projects half done, and an empty pizza box.

True story? If it doesn’t bother him, it doesn’t bother me. If it were my kitchen, my workplace, it would probably be a leetle bit more organized, but not much. Our messiness threshold is pretty similar. And, one more time for those in the back of the room, not my kitchen, not my problem.

And then I got pregnant.

The other day I sat at work all day antsy to get home. Every fiber in my body needed to get home to clean that kitchen.

Mark: Are you mad?

Me: Nope, just looking around…

Mark: Are you sure?

Me: I’m positive. I’m about to clean this kitchen. And it isn’t a passive message to you. It’s just every cell in my body needs these crumbs from Christmas 2013 off my floor.

Mark: Ooooookaaaayyyyy…..

I do all the normal things that normal people do to make a kitchen look normal. This wasn’t like some deep cleaning where I’m cleaning the inside of cupboards or moving cereal from its perfectly good box into clear glass containers labeled “morning nibbles” or something. I just wiped down counters, threw away leftovers, hid appliances that we never used (I’m looking at you, Toaster), and swept the floor (see ya later, Christmas Crumbs of 2013).

Mark: So…. is this nesting?

Me: I’m not sure.

Mark: Did you nest with Otis?

Me: Yes. I made you find us an apartment so we could move out. Tweet, tweet.

Mark: Hahahahaha. Oh. Wait. You’re not joking. Well, I like it. You should nest more often. Well, I mean not more nesting. Nesting twice is enough. We’re done after this, right?

My face: 

Me: A ‘thanks’ is a perfectly acceptable response to this pregnancy-induced awesomeness.

Mark: Thank you for cleaning. And your hair looks really pretty.

Tomorrow I’ll do the laundry AND fold it. Maybe.

It’s An Emergency

Otis loves him some community helpers. Police. Firefighters. EMTs. These men and women are gods in his mind.

We regularly watch firefighter videos and EMT rap videos (yes, that’s a thing). We dress up as firemen and police officers. I get arrested and put in jail on the regular.

Well, yesterday Otis was finally able to come to the rescue in a real-life emergency.

We were playing outside and I scratched my leg because mosquitoes hate me… or love me? When I scratched my leg I must have opened up a small scab and started bleeding quite a bit.

Me: Otis, look. I’m bleeding!

Otis: Oh no!! You ok?

Me: No, I need a napkin. Can you go get me one from inside?

Otis is eager to complete his first emergency assignment. He hops up and starts walking inside. Halfway to the house he turns around and say, “Mom, I’m the doctor. It will be ok.”

I stay seated and listen as he bangs on the front door.

“Dad! Dad! Open up! MOM BROKE HER KNEE! OPEN THIS DOOR NOW! BROKEN KNEE!!!”

I’m dying.

Mark probably thinks this is Otis being weird and is ignoring him or maybe just can’t hear him. I don’t know. Either way, Otis’s life saving skills are not working, and just like his mom, he gives up pretty quickly and I hear him say to himself as he stands at the door, “Oh well.”

He walks back to me and shrugs his shoulders. “No napkin, Mommy. Sorry.”

I remind him that there’s a first aid kit in my car.

He races to get it out and gets to work on my wound. We’ve got q-tips and tongue depressors out because #newdoctor, and finally we get to dealing with my wound. He has me open the band-aid and he winces as he delicately places it over the scratch.

“Mom, you better?”

I grimace. “No, it still hurts. I can’t walk.”

“Mom. YOU. ARE. BETTER.”

He helps me up and asks me to practice walking on it. I insist I need crutches, but he firmly insists that I am fine.

His bedside manner needs some work, but overall I am thankful that all those hours of YouTube EMT videos paid off in my hour of need.

A Tuna Butt Walks into a Bar

Otis: Mom, let me see your tuna butt.

Me: My tuna butt?

Otis: (turning me around so he can see my butt) Yes, the tuna butt!

Mark: What is he talking about?

I have no clue. And I know I need to figure it out quickly because if you don’t know what Otis is talking about things get crazy fast.

So I fake it.

Me: The TUNA BUTT!!! OF COURSE!!! (shrug my shoulders at Mark and hope he knows to play along)

Otis: YES! THE TUNA BUTT!!!!

Me: 

Otis: 

Mark: 

I changed the conversation quickly because if it became obvious that I had no clue what a tuna butt was then I’d be in big trouble with the Littlest Boss.

We went on the rest of the night uneventfully. Until bedtime.

Otis: Mom. Where’s the tuna butt?

Oh dear. I really wanted to sleep.

Me: 

Otis: (speaking slower) Where is the turd in your butt?

Me: Wait. What? The turd? In my butt?

Otis: Yes! The turd in your butt!

Me: (yelling downstairs to Mark) Tuna butt is TURD IN YOUR BUTT!!!!!!!! I FIGURED IT OUT!!!!!!!!!! I’M THE BEST MOM IN THE ENTIRE WORLD!!!!!!!!!

Mark: You two are so weird.

Once I got over the ecstasy of knowing what my kid is talking about, I had lots of questions.

  • Where did he learn about turds?
  • Why is he looking for them?
  • Is this a high level fart joke?
  • Is my kid a comedic genius?
  • He’s my kid. OF COURSE HE’S A COMEDIC GENIUS.

And with that, I’ll end this post with…

TUNA BUTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursdays It Is

Mark and I were having a conversation about Hint, Hint the other day. Because after we became parents we conversate about Hint, Hint rather than, well, Hint, Hinting.

We’re veering dangerously close to becoming that couple that Hint, Hints based on the calendar. Now, listen, I don’t judge those couples at all, but you know how you have those ‘things’ you think you’ll never do or be? I never thought we’d be them, so I offered up a suggestion…

Me: Why don’t you just wake me up when you want to Hint, Hint? (Because part of our issue is that while getting Otis down for bed I always, always, ALWAYS fall asleep)

Mark:

Me: What? It’s a perfect solution!!!

Mark: Do you know what you’re like when you’re woken up in the middle of the night?

Me: Um? Awesome?

Mark: You’re this weird, angry, delirious drunk.

Me: Take that back. I’m adorable. All day. Erry day.

Mark: Like the other day. You just start asking really demanding questions. “Does my mom need to pick him up? DOES MY MOM NEED TO PICK HIM UP?” And I’m, like, scared. How do I answer her? Does she want an answer? What am I supposed to do?!?

Me: Overruled!

Mark: And that’s not even the weird stuff you say. (Starts impression of just woken up Marie) “The slippery sidewalk! Turn left forty seven eight. The sidewalk! THE SIDEWALK!!! WHERE IS THE BEAR?!???!”

Me: 

Mark: So, no I will not be waking you up to ask if you want to Hint, Hint.

Me: *Gets out calendar* What do Thursdays look like for you?

This also made me think about this post #ICrackMyselfUp

Ok, Google. Fold the laundry.

(After watching an Amazon Echo commercial)

Me: Do you think this whole “talk to your devices” is going to catch on? I just think it feels weird.

Mark: Yeah, I don’t know. I never use it.

Me: I just feel like a doofus talking to my phone like it’s a person. Like, “Google, should I wear a jacket?”

Mark: Does that work? (starts talking to his phone) Ok, Google. Should I wear a jacket?

Google: It is 46 degrees in Nashville and partly cloudy.

Mark: That was kind of cool.

Me: It was… ask it how old Madonna is.

Mark: Who cares?

Me: Just. Ask.

Mark: Look at all of this cool stuff it can do, though. Like set timers.

Me: Oh, and it can turn on the flashlight! Ok, Google turn on the flashlight. Ok, Google turn off the flashlight. THIS. IS. SO. COOL.

Mark: That is pretty cool.

Otis: Ok, Google. Get me a cookie.

Me & Mark: 

I know you think you “won parenting” because your kid appreciates Blue Skillet Death Metal or knows the difference between grass clippings and broccoli, but I think we all know who the real winner is here…