Monthly Archives: December 2009

Don’t Call Me Babe!

My mackerdoodle is a big girl – just ask her, she’ll tell you.  She’s not a baby, she’s a big girl.

My mom is a pet name type of woman.  She has called children things like sausage and babe ever since I can remember.  My mackerdoodle is taking it personally.  “I no a babe!  I a big girl!” she started saying to my mom within minutes of them arriving.  You can imagine my chagrin, and how it deepened 24 hours later to hear my little girl say to my mom, in her most petulant voice, “NO CALL ME BABE!”

It’s at times like this that my heart swells.

In yet another “oh, really?” moment, I realized I’ve become that mom who expects a higher level of obedience and respect from my daughter when someone else is looking than when it’s just our little brood.  I swore I wasn’t going to be that mom.  I swore in vain.

I suppose some of it is to be expected.  I want people to see the beautiful, fun loving, lovable, appealing side of my children and not the sinful, disobedient, pull-my-hair-out frustrating side of them; but do I want that so that people will love my children, or so that they will think I’m a good mother?  I think it’s both and I know that my mother, having already been a mother, knows all of this as well.

So, I’m not going to let my daughter talk to her grandmother that way, not because I’m scared that my mom will think I’m a horrible mother, but because if I *did* let my daughter be so disrespectful, I *would* be a horrible mother.  And because my mother loves me and my mackerdoodle, she’s really trying hard not to call her littlest grand daughter babe – because she’s a big girl.

Does Anyone Else’s Infant Need a Belt?

I’m really struggling to dress the Cheesedoodle.  Here’s my dilemma:  when I put him in 6 month pants they are too short.  He looks like he’s wearing knickers or something.  His legs get cold.  He’s uncomfortable.  It’s just not good.  The problem is that the 12 month pants fit his legs – maybe some are a hair long, but not bad – but the only reason they stay at all around his waist is that diapers have fuzzy strips to which the velcro strips to adhere.  The slightest motion and all of a sudden my son has gone all Gangsta McSaggy Pants.

It makes it look like I’m dressing him in clothes that don’t fit.  Well, I guess it looks that way because I am, but it’s not like I can walk into a baby clothing store and say “6 month waist, 12 month leg please.”  So what’s a mama to do, apart from continually pulling up his pants, and putting him in as many overalls as possible?  Do I let him look knickery?  Do I let him look saggy?  Do they make infant belts?  Am I the only one with a problem like this?

Wordless Wednesday: Mackerdoodle in the Flavor Flave School of Jewelry

If you don't get the reference, click the picture.

PS (note the hot spot has become hot again.  Sisyphus had his stone, I have my housework.)

On Blogonyms and Why I Use Them

Friday evening I had the kids in the tub and was going through my normal evening ritual when my phone rang.  It was Chrissy.  I love Chrissy, but neither of us are phone chatters, so we rarely call each other.  When I answered, she started with, “I did a bad thing!  I didn’t know whether to be intrigued or horrified or sympathetic.  I did wonder why she was calling me with her confession.

“I just left a comment on your blog and I USED [mackerdoodle]‘s REAL NAME!  You’ll have to delete it RIGHT NOW.”  I was simultaneously touched at her concern for my daughter’s well being and very relieved.  With WordPress I can edit comments, and I frequently edit my children’s blogonyms into comments.  I use the little names here and here alone.  We don’t call them mackerdoodle or cheesedoodle at home, or at church.  People know them and love them by their given names, so it is natural for people to use those names when referring to my children.

There are a lot of reasons people use nom de plumes when blogging, so I thought I would address my reasons for using the titles “mackerdoodle” and “cheesedoodle” for my children and other titles for my nieces and nephews.

When I first employed the name “pomegranate” as the fetal name for my mackerdoodle it was because we weren’t announcing her name until she was born.  The world referred to my unborn daughter as pomegranate so much that there were pomegranate scented and flavored gifts sprinkled through her baby shower. It was a fun way to celebrate  her as a living human before she  was born.

As her birth approached I thought seriously about how to refer to her after she was born.  I read all the arguments for not using your children’s names on public blogs, I read blogs by mothers who used their children’s real names, and I weighed it all.  In the end I decided to not use my children’s names for completely different reasons.

This internet thing is relatively new, and we don’t yet know how long these blogs will last.  What if my blog gets tucked into some backwater off the web and one day in 2020 an HR director or college admission director plugs my daughter’s name into a search engine?  I know that now I’ll come across something on the internet and it won’t be until it mentions “president Clinton” or some other anachronism that I’ll realize it was written in 1996, not last week.  Context is everything.  When I write now that the cheesedoodle drank too much and threw up on the floor it’s a story about the digestive system of an infant.  In 17 years the same sentence would sound like frat boy debauchery. I don’t want my children to suffer in the future for a cute story today taken out of context

Additionally, as my children grow up they’ll want more privacy.  Providing I’m still blogging, I will adjust the way I write about them, but the blogonyms will stop little school friends and casual acquaintances from finding their names while still allowing me to share cute stories with family and friends around the world.

So it’s not really the here and now with which I am concerned.  If you slip up on a comment, I’ll fix it when I read the comments next and it will be okay.  My children are so blessed to have biological and  church family who love them so much and care about their safety.

Dear God . . .

We’ve been teaching our mackerdoodle to pray for several months now.  At first it was just “thank you for this food” at meals and “please forgive my sins and help me to love Jesus” at family worship.  When we noticed that she was doing the meal prayer as she slid into her chair, and had it timed so the first fork full of food was hitting her tongue before the sound of “amen” had faded from the air, we thought maybe we should be taking this prayer thing to another level.

All we asked was that she thank God for the specific food we were eating.  If I put a plate of turkey fried rice in front of her (one of her favorite meals – done in the crock pot!) she didn’t hesitate.  “Dear God, hank oo for dis TOOKEY WICE!!!!!! amen.” she would say.  Then she would open her eyes and look at us for affirmation (which we granted eagerly) before she began to shovel the tookey wice into her mouth.  It was all a little more complicated, however, when the meal was, say, bean soup.  She doesn’t really like bean soup, so she didn’t really want to say “hank oo” for that meal; but we worked at it, and soon it became the new routine to thank God for the specific food of each meal.

Lately, she’s realized that she can improvise within the assigned parameters of her prayers.  Prayers for lunch lately have been very entertaining.  Yesterday it was “Dear God, hank oo for” little pause, as her closed eyes wrinkle in concentration, “Daddy, Abigail, LukeAndrew, slides, squirrels, Luke’s party. . . ” then a quick peek from between her fluttering eyelashes “eggs, bacon, and bwead.  amen.”

I need to remember to thank God for the every day things like squirrels and slides.  I think we’re learning from her as she learns from us.

Dear God, thank you for a little girl who is already learning to thank you for the things and people in her life.  And for bacon.  Amen.

My Daughter’s Observation on International Cuisine

Wednesday morning was the first sunny day we’ve had in WEEKS, so we took the opportunity to get out of the house and went to a local playground (towel in hand) to let the mackerdoodle work out her cabin fever.  On the way she made some comment or other from the back seat, and Jonathan remarked that she was being true to her Canadian heritage.

“I no yike Canadians,”  she immediately asserted.  When asked for clarification she was insistent and unapologetic.  “I no yike Canadians.”   She repeated it several times while shaking her head emphatically.

We kept asking her in different ways why she didn’t “yike” Canadians.  Finally she told us: “Canadians eat bugs stead peyut budler.”

Jonathan looked at me as I roared with laughter.  “What on earth did she just say?” he asked.

I translated: ” Canadians eat bugs instead of peanut butter.”

“Why would she say that?” he asked.

I tried to explain this page from one of her favorite stories:

Apparently when I say “Green Alien”, she hears “Canadian.”  Even when we explained that Nana and Papa and Grandma and Grandpa and Aunty Melissa and Uncle Brian and all her cousins were Canadians, she still shook her head.  “I no yike bugs.  I yike peyut budler.  Peyut budler toast.”

So all you crazy Canadians, if my daughter ever tells you that she “no yikes” bugs and that she “yikes peyut budler” you’ll know why; and if you get a chance to read “I Love You Stinky Face“, please do so – just articulate better than I do.

Wordless Wednesday: Same Age Comparison Pictures. What Do You Think?

Cheesedoodle - 6 months

Macerdoodle - same age, same exersaucer

Wrapping Up Some Loose Ends

I realized that I have blogged about a series of things, and then I move on with my life.  But y’all don’t live with me.  You don’t know how these things work out.  Here are a few updates on past posts:

My glasses from Zenni Optical are great.  I am wearing the fun and funky ones as my primary glasses.  They are a little heavier than the silver frames, but they are taller which makes them better for everyday wear.  If you order from Zenni, I would recommend that you take some time at a WalMart optical center, or another optical retailer with very little customer service who will leave you alone to try on glasses in peace.  Once you find several frames you like, take note of the style, and the dimensions.  My silver glasses were narrower than I anticipated, because I didn’t measure the sample frames I had tried on.

My son is sleeping much better thank you.  He has almost completely recovered from his ear infection/congestion and with the recovery came a return to his normal sleeping patterns.  I am apparently far too willing to accept personal responsibility for temporary situations.  :-)

Finally, my new slippers are very comfortable.  I purchased them to avoid wearing my running shoes in the house and while not providing entirely as much support, the slippers are a much better alternative to walking about barefooted or in sock feet all day and ending up feeling like a train hit my lower body at the end of the day.

So that’s an update on my life.  How are y’all?

Be Honest With Me: do my new slippers say “cute and a little sassy” or “retiree with a wardrobe of mumus”?

I can’t decide.

Weather, Mood and Nostalgia

It is amazing to me the things that are tied to memory.  I could be lost completely in being a middle aged wife and mother, tied up in the tyranny of the moment, but the second I smell sawdust I am twelve years old visiting my father at work.  The warm humidity of a tropical front always takes me back to our second summer in Georgia when Hurricane Floyd caused evacuations up and down the east coast and sent a collection of misplaced persons into the shelter of our church fellowship hall in Middle Georgia.

Today the temperature is hovering just slightly above freezing, the sky is the color of poorly washed socks and angry rain has been falling in petulant bursts all day.  The few seasonal lights around my neighborhood are trying bravely to engender peace on earth and goodwill, but they just look a little tawdry.  The road is glistening not in the friendly twinkle of a summer rain, but with the ominous sheen of potential slick disaster.  For a few moments today it felt like I was back in college, experiencing a Vancouver BC winter.  Just the thought makes me shiver.


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