Friday, December 24, 2010

Sara's a Little Girl

Posted this is Facebook about a year ago:

During the summer of 2009 Sara was rapidly approaching the great age of 3. She was learning to do so many things herself, and was not hesitant in insisting that she do so herself. When she managed the task she was often praised, “Such a Big Girl!”

Her speech began improving greatly. Now almost everyone who were not her parents could understand what she said. Well, most of the time. “I CAN DO IT! I’m a Big Girl!”

Pouring the cereal into her bowl. “I wanna do it! I’m a Big Girl!”

Turning the lights on. Or off. “I can do it! I’m a Big Girl!”

Shoveling compost into the wheelbarrow. “I wanna do that!” Daddy says, “I don’t think so, kiddo. This shovel is awfully heavy.” Sara says, “I’m a Big Girl.” Daddy says, “I know, honey. But this shovel is bigger.” And then the heart wrenching howl into the sky telling everyone within a 30 mile radius just how frustrating it is to be so big, and yet not big enough. For such a tiny person, she can belt out a scream. And tears. If I cried that much I’d be as dehydrated as Astronaut ice cream.

Now for several months every night Big Girl Sara has been waking up sometime between 1:00 am and 3:00 am. She comes running down the hall calling, “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!” Her feet do not pitter patter. They go whack whack whack whack against the tile floor. She crawls up into bed and blissfully falls asleep next to her mother. At the same time, Mommy doesn’t exactly get a restful night’s sleep. Sara moves almost as much asleep as she does awake. And she has vivid dreams. She cries in her sleep. She giggles in her sleep. She throws Super Tantrums in her sleep. Those are fun. So finally, Mommy says, “I can’t take this anymore. I’m just going to get up when she comes in and put her back in bed. I certainly can’t lose anymore sleep than I am already.” Or something like that.

That night Sara comes whack whack whack whacking down the hall. “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!” and crawls up into bed with Mommy. Mommy hugs her close, kisses her all better, and takes her back to bed. She cried. She cried and cried and cried and cried. She cried so hard she woke Zoey up. Zoey is 5 (and a half! I won’t make that mistake again…) and could sleep next to a passing freight train while the high school marching band warmed up and my neighbor showed off his new car stereo system thumping some crap about a rapper killing his baby’s momma and two cops. I digress. So now Zoey is standing in the doorway holding Pancake (her bear). Her feet do pitter patter. “Sara’s crying,” she says. I (daddy) get up and find that Sara is actually standing behind Zoey and Pancake. I take all three of them back to bed.

I remind Sara she’s a big girl and needs to stay in bed.

Mommy reminds Sara she’s a big girl and needs to stay in bed.

It’s not long and she’s back. We knew this would happen, but we patiently take the right steps to start breaking her of the habit. It’s my turn and I pick her up. She hugs me close.

I whisper to her, “You are a big girl now. Big girls sleep in their own beds. Zoey sleeps in her own bed. Mommy sleeps in her own bed. Grandma sleeps in her own bed. Aunt ‘Tina sleeps in her own bed. Aunt Melissa sleeps in her own bed. Katelyn sleeps in her own bed. They are all big girls and sleep in their own beds.” I calm her down and leave her in her own bed.

Five minutes later.





Slowly she returns. Her head hung low, wispy blonde hair obscuring her face, her voice forlorn and in half cry, half sob, she laments, “I’m a Little Girl! I’m a Little Girl! I’m a Little Girl!”

So, she got to sleep next to Mommy for one more night. Hey, it was a big night for us all.

Sara is a Little Girl.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Peanut Butter

So I'm making the kids their pb&j sandwiches for lunch and I'm down to the last little bit that only my wife is diligent and/or cheap enough to scrape out. I closed the lid, put it away and opened a new jar. Skippy!


No need to stir.

So I opened it and a little bit of oil was on top. I dumped it in the sink because I would feel bad for the Skippy people if I stirred it back in.

As I smeared a lump of deliciousness on the first piece of bread I thought to myself, "Hmm. Natural. What does that mean?"

Well? What does it? My first thought is: oily.

Second is: what makes that other jar not natural?

Third: what have I been feeding my kids?

My Mom used to feed me that crap!

So now both jars reside in the pantry with maybe an ounce left between them.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Cat Antlers - Best Invention Ever

One year, before kids, my wife bought cat antlers for the cats. We put them on and as you can guess, the critters were less than impressed. They ran and hid. They looked a bit forlorn.

This year, somebody found them while digging around in a closet or something. We’ve got just the one cat now and she’s about 7 months old. Mom put the antlers on.

Now I’m sure many of you have witnessed a cat less than thrilled about having something foreign physically attached to it. I used to have fun sticking a piece of scotch tape to their backs.

This cat went berserk. Imagine a frying pan full of hot oil. Now dump some water in it.

It managed to pull the antlers down around it’s neck and then proceeded to bolt back and forth through the house while leaping five feet in the air. And the noise!

Let me quote.


Finally she managed to get her front legs through the antlers. She could not run fast enough to get completely through them.

I thought this a grand show and followed her with a beer.

When the critter finally expended enough energy to collapse in a gasping grey heap, Mom sat on her and managed to extract the antlers without a scratch. Experience counts for something.

The kids stood eyes wide like someone who’d just witnessed a drive-by shooting.


Reality shows ain’t got nothin’ on reality.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I spy with my little eye...

I deliver the kids to and from school every day. Sometimes the drive is quiet. Particularly if they are stuffing their mouths with M&M’s. Other times there is singing, fighting, screaming, fighting, screaming, more singing, fighting, and screaming. I kinda like the singing.

After watching the Disney movie Brother Bear, the girls started playing I Spy. If you haven’t seen the movie, it’s about an Eskimo dude that turns into a bear. It takes place just after the last ice age, apparently in Canada. The two moose are voiced by Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas. (For those who know Rick, but not Dave, think back in time to the 80’s. SCTV. They made a movie, Strange Brew…”) Anyway, they hitch a ride on a wooly mammoth and the two moose play I Spy along the journey. And what the hell is there to spy in post ice-age Canada from the back of a giant hairy elephant? Trees.

“I spy something tall… and brown…”


“Great! Your turn.”

“Mmm kay… I spy something green, and tall..”


“Good, ok. Your turn.”

“I spy something…”


My girls thought this might be a great game for our commute. Bear in mind (pun intended) Zoey sits in front of Sara, and they cannot see each other at all.

“I spy something… ummmm… red!”

“That sign?”


“That sign?”


That sign?”


That sign!?!?”


Freakin’ hilarious.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Potty Time! Excellent!

When a child says: “I have to go potty.” She does not mean: “At the next stop, I need to go to the bathroom.” Or: “It’s a good thing our plane landed because as soon as we get into the lobby we need to find a bathroom.” Or even: “I gotta pee so bad my teeth are floating.”

When a child says: “I have to go potty.” It pretty much means: “I am going to pee my pants in 5…4…3…2…1…”

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I love parenthood.............over farming

Read this ONLY if you have ever been (or may soon be) a parent.




This story involves things that are exposed that are normally… not. As in, once it has been swallowed, it should stay swallowed, but sometimes doesn’t necessarily stay that way. All too often, inexplicably, for children things that are swallowed do not need stay that way.

I hesitate to say the “V” word.

So, the story progresses…

Once upon a time, only a short time ago, the Jensen family happily returns home from their various daytime activities. Dad was at work. Mom was at work, but then progressed to Krogers, Randall’s, Walgreens, and probably CVS, but who’s really keeping track? Anyway, as planned, she picked the girls up and made her way home, except....

She got the call at about 3:00. “Sara seems to not be feeling well. She’s listless and has a fever of about 100ยบ.” And Momma said, “I’ll be right there!” She works only 5 minutes away. About 45 minutes later she stops by… “So… what’s up!?”

Just kidding. She rips around the corner and picks up both kids and yes, Sara’s a bit warm and coughing. I come home and she’s just fine. And coughing, which is not unusual at this time of year. She likes to cough. Hack and cough and hack and cough. But tonight, it was exceptional.

And then… the barfing.

NOTE!! Unless you are a farmer or an experienced parent, please stop reading here.

It was about 6:30 and the family was watching some crap on TV while Dad was trying to make something edible for dinner. The two girls were bouncing around, as usual, waiting patiently for said dinner.

And it happened. Right on the carpet. Area carpet. In the middle of a tiled living room. Tiled. As in, I spent three days tiling 1000 SF of living room for easy cleaning and she barfs on the carpet.


Of course we cleaned her up. Of course we gave her all the loving we had. Of course she barfed it back up in the kitchen where I have linoleum flooring. I’d have tossed her in there if I had to. Actually, all I had to do was carry her in there leaving a trail of gut goo along the way.

“Sara is throwing up!” her older sister is helping.

So time progresses and the universe gets colder. Sara is now hungry. We feed her water and saltines. Of course! What would you give her? A Happy Meal?! You would.

And me, in my superior parent fatherly wisdom having determined she was all barfed out, said, “Put her in our bed. On my side. After all, she couldn’t possibly barf any more.”

So, an hour later I find our precious angel lying in my bed in a sopping pool of wet saltines. Fortunately it smelled just like a pool of wet saltines. We cleaned her up, changed the sheets, threw the sheets and pillows in the washer machine and re-made the bed. Sara got to sleep next to Mommy. Not before she chugged a good deal of water. If you had barfed that much you’d be thirsty too.

So, about and hour later, Mommy woke up to the choking and hacking of a tiny little person barfing up water and what might have been left of a saltine or two. It’s 2:00 a.m.

Daddy woke up in a heart beat. He turned on the hot water in the bathroom sink and grabbed the bucket recovered from the garage by Mommy earlier. In the dark I cram the green 5 gallon bucket at the rather tiny 3 year old Sara and her Mommy. At the same time I try to turn on the lamp. So, with my left hand I’m stabbing my fingers at a lamp I can’t quite make out in the dark and with my right hand I’m shoving a large green bucket into my daughter’s lap.

Two things happen. While stabbing at the lamp I succeed in only stabbing at a lamp. “What are you doing?!” comes the question from center of bed.

“Turning on the lamp. Sara threw up. Damn it,” I can’t seem to find the switch. “Damn it.”

Mommy sits ups and turns on the light. Apparently her aim is better than mine. Meanwhile, and secondly, I’ve expertly set the bucket up in Sara’s lap.

“Try to throw-up in the bucket, Honey,” I say to Sara.

She replies with all the respect and love she can muster, “I DON’T WANNA THROW-UP IN THE BUCKET!!!!!”

So, she restrains and does not barf in the bucket.

After all, there is the bed, the bathroom floor and the bathtub. Not to mention Mommy. Oh yeah, there was me too. I hadn’t been barfed on in a while.

Once again the bed is made with fresh towels and Sara is in the last clean nighty we own for someone her size.

Oh yeah, I discover that her bed is soaked in wet saltines too.

Damn she ate a lot of crackers.

Lots and lots and lots of freakin’ crackers.

For those of you who aren’t farmers… there’s parenthood.

After all, who else would WANT to deal with the smelly stuff that comes out of those critters we spend WAY too much money on?

Farmers are weird.