Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Off My Island!

As promised – a list of people I am going to vote off My Island:


  1. Caitlynn’s mom from Teen Mom.  I don’t watch this show religiously, but I have seen a few episodes.  The back story is that Caitlynn and Tyler got pregnant and decided to put their baby up for adoption because they wanted a better life for her than they were prepared to provide.  Except Caitlynn’s mother calls her own daughter a b*tch and chides her for her decision because Cailtynn had the audacity to give away her granddaughter without even asking her.  Lady, you’ve been doggy-paddling in the shallow end of the gene pool and your daughter just provided your grandbaby with a life preserver.  Shut yer yapper and go have another cigarette.

"Thank you for calling Time Warner Cable.
The steam coming out of your ears powers the NYC public transit system."
  1. The Manhattan office of Time Warner Cable.  Specifically, the employee who tagged my account so that when I called I was told, “we’re not allowed to speak with you anymore Mrs. BoyMommy.  It says here on your account that we’re supposed to refer you to management.”  You see, I didn’t enjoy playing their little choose-your-own-adventure number labyrinth all in an attempt to speak to an ACTUAL person.  Here’s an idea:  communicate to your employees so that when they show up to my apartment, all heavily belted and tighty-whitie showing, they have a CLUE as to why they’re there and perhaps even which equipment it would have been nice to have.  And don’t get all pissy when I call to complain (I mean politely voice my concern) that I stuck around my apartment all day waiting for said employee, only to find that the equipment he brought was actually worse than what I already had.  Further, please just humor me and assume that I, a college-educated woman, changed the batteries in the remote already – batteries are not the problem – it’s your friggin’ malfunctioning remote.  Good customer service does not include me packing up my two children, carrying the stroller down two flights of subway stairs, taking the subway to Union Square, (which is packed with shoppers, students, tourists, movie-goers, etc. ALL of whom LOVE to see a woman pushing a stroller and HAPPILY get out of my way before I run their heals over with my MacLaren Death Machine.  Beep Beep, folks,) carrying the stroller UP two flights of stairs, schlepping over to your office, and waiting patiently in line – all before noon, lest you be on your lunch break upon my arrival – so that I can trade my old remote for one that actually works.  So yeah.  Put your manager on the phone.  I have a few things I’d like to say.
I'm compensating for something.  Can you guess what it is?

  1. The Mexican drug people.  Give that poor woman her husband’s body back so she can say goodbye.  This one’s not funny. 

  1. The Situation from Jersey Shore.  You can come off the island when you learn how to treat a lady.  We’ve seen your abs, so congrats on that and all.  Now put your shirt back on and contribute something to society, shall we?

  1. Tariq and Michaele Salahi.  Speaking of contributing to society . . . I’m not sure what their line of business is, other than bullshi*t.  It bugs me that they portray themselves as cultured socialites and they seem to get away with it.  Let’s put them on my island and let them lead cheers and drink beer from wine glasses.  It would be win-win, because it seems to me they need a place to stay.  They’re the richest-acting homeless people ever.

My Island will be all Lord of the Flies meets the Donner Party.  Hopefully. 

Here’s a typical meeting of the minds on My Island:

Situation: Yo.  We goin’ out tonight?  It’s T-shirt time!

Salahis: Yes!  Here’s our invitation!  Oh wait, I forgot the invitation, but I have an email . . .

Mexican Drug People: We’re gonna have to swim there – who’s going in the water first? 

Caitlynn’s mom: Anybody gotta smoke?

Time Warner Cable: Your call may be monitored for quality assurance purposes.  (hehe.)  But I doubt it.

Salahis: I’m going to wear a sombrero and one of those Mexican blanket poncho thingys.  Because I’m blond and originally Midwestern.  Then I’m going to drink tequila from a coffee mug and Corona from a brandy snifter.

Situation: Yo.  I’m gonna hit that.

Caitlynn’s mom: I elect myself leader of this group.  I’m getting hitched to my daughter’s baby-daddy’s imprisoned father because, based on my living conditions, my smoking/drinking habit, and my fully-functioning though too old to be doing so baby-maker, I clearly make good decisions.  I needa light.

Mexican Drug People: Dude, smoking is so bad for your health.  Just say no.

Situation: Oh snap!  Should I do Gym, Tan, or Laundry?

Time Warner Cable: Press 9 for more options.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Thursday Treat for all SEVEN of You

That's right, seven whole people are interested in my self-absorbtion and are following my blog.  So this is for you and you and you and you and you and you and you.  And me, of course.

I am NOT a morning person.  In fact, morning people really tend to annoy me.  My dad is a morning person.  My husband is a morning person.  How are these people allowed in my life?  When I started working (back when I used to get paid to mold young minds and shape the future of America) I was amazed that the world was all abuzz so early in the morning.  Darkness means sleepy-time, which is why I MAY have lied to my children last night and why I am not looking forward to the end of Daylight Saving Time.  It's getting dark earlier, which is how I was able to get all three of my children in bed last night at 7:15.  I'll pause here until your applause dies down.  

Hubby was working late and our offspring were driving me UP THE FRIGGIN' WALL with their bathtub splashing, naked rough-housing, and bathroom humor.  I set the timer for 30 minutes and sent them to their rooms to look at books.  And it worked.  They relaxed and got sleepy, and it was only 7:15 when we turned the lights out.  I didn't really LIE to them; I just failed to tell them that they still had 45 minutes until their usual bed time.  It's gonna be our little secret, so all seven of you better keep your pie-holes shut.

Alas, morning arrived and Medium almost missed the bus.  My husband will tell you it’s because I fail to plan ahead.  I will tell you that I have every intention of getting out of the house on time, but sh*t  happens, and in my defense, on the days when Hubby takes them to the bus, he doesn’t have to worry about the baby.  This morning’s issue was shoes, and the lack thereof.  The boys were dressed, ate breakfast, had their hair combed, inhaler puffed, vitamins ingested, lunch packed, jackets and backpacks on, and we were on our way out the door when I realized they didn’t have shoes on.  I got Large’s shoes tied and sent him out the door.  I got Medium’s shoes on and sent him out the door.  All Baby Bjorned in my comfies, unbrushed teeth, and unkempt hair, I followed Medium up the street as he booked it to the bus, which was making its familiar screech of impending arrival.  Medium was limping because one of his shoes was coming off, and his backpack was bouncing from side to side as he tried to run/limp towards his Great Yellow Chariot.  Seriously, watching kids run with backpacks on always strikes me as funny.  They look like little jet-packed nerds.

Random Thursday Thoughts:
  1. I saw Alpha Mom at Target yesterday.  You know the type.  Alpha Mom is a former class mom (natch) who NEVER acknowledges me, even though we have met on several occasions.  Am I THAT unmemorable?  She has perfect hair and she always looks showered, and I assume her perfect children probably DON'T wipe boogers on the couch.  Whatevs.  I have seen her at the craft store, Starbucks, Target, and the gym even though she apparently hasn't seen me.  Yesterday I purposely avoided eye contact, lest her continued rejection further damage my self-esteem.  Instead I texted my girlfriend three simple words: "Alpha Mom Sighting," and she knew EXACTLY to whom I was referring.  Take that, you bangs-wearing, pretentiously-named-child-having Mother Superior.  I bet she drinks decaf.

"What, what, what are you doing?"
  1. I need a Sassy Gay Friend.  I once had a gay acquaintance tell me my jeans were fabulous and that I needed to “own” my plus size self.  And I believed him.  I would never believe my girlfriends or my husband, (Mr. Eats-Deli-Sliced-Ham-Off-A-Paper-Plate-In-Bed.) I have some gay friends, but I wouldn’t consider them particularly sassy. 

Tangential list of people I want to be friends with:
  • Cam from Modern Family
  • Sassy Gay Friend
  • Caitlynn and Tyler from Teen Mom – really I just want to give them both a big, fat hug, tell them how much I admire their decision to put their baby up for adoption, and reassure them that they’re going to be okay even though all their adult “role models” are IDIOTS.
  • Spencer from iCarly
  • Ms. Dolly Parton 

  1. My husband sometimes has no filter, which means that what comes into his brain comes out of his mouth before Rational Thought can warn him that he is about to hurt my feelings.  Luckily he has me.  I pout for a few days, then I give him the opportunity to apologize by leaving him this: 
It can happen to Woody.  It can happen to you too.
 (That, my friends, is a blurry photo of Woody's severed head and a note that reads 
"You're next, unless you apologize for criticizing my work here at home.  Love, your 1st wife.")

  1. I lost FOUR POUNDS at Weight Watchers this week, despite consuming no fewer than 1,760 calories of Starbucks Caffeinated Yumminess and eating candy corn for breakfast. 

  1. I think Heywood Banks is a genius:  "Yeah Toast!" is my new morning anthem.

  1. And finally, how cute is my baby?

Coming soon – people I am going to vote off my island . . .

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Glamorous Life of a Nursing Mom

Trust me . . . I know from experience.
This WILL leave a mark.

Here I am!  Worry not; I’m still alive.  My fan(s) have been restless, awaiting the return of my wit and sarcasm.  Well, ONE fan, but she’s also the woman who once sucked on a Tupperware cup for so long that it actually suctioned to her face until she had a perfectly-formed circle around her mouth that lasted for days – so I’m not sure how much stock I want to put in her opinion.  Granted, we were like seven, but it still makes me laugh.

Anyhoo.  I’ve been busy raising my little ones and trying to keep my head out of the oven.  It has been a trying couple weeks.  I think Small’s nursing days are numbered.  The plan was for me to nurse as long as possible in hopes that I could get to around one year.  I’m a little creeped out by babies/toddlers/preschoolers/college-bound adolescents who still nurse, but who am I to judge.  Small is now seven months old, but he has developed some rather unsettling new habits:

  1. He bites.  Hard.  I know this is common, but when your child is clamping down with his vise-like chompers and then shaking his head from side-to-side until tears come to your eyes, it’s time to reevaluate.  And in the Too Much Information category, we have this delightful little nugget – he bites so hard that my nippy turns white.  It literally drains of color.  That can’t be good.
  2. He has started playing kazoo with my milk bags.  He’s learning to make noises, which is cute and all, but I really wish he wouldn’t practice his new musical talent while he’s eating.  I like him to concentrate on the business at hand with the appropriate amount of efficiency and decorum.  Small, however, has taken to latching on and then blowing raspberries while humming.  Pause here for that visual to sink in.
  3. I’m tired of wearing undergarments that are more functional than fun.  I do not have a disposable income that allows me to purchase several sexy $50 Elle MacPherson nursing bras.  My budget is more of the Target variety.  Therefore I have tan, cotton, functional nursing bras that are washed so often that the elastic falls in little cascades under my armpits.  
  4. Small’s aim is not always what it should be and he has been known to try to latch on to the roll of fat UNDER my boob, which does wonders for my self-esteem.  Seriously, I think he assumes I have four udders. 
  5. There is no subtle way to nurse this child.  He slurps and sucks as if it is his last meal, and he squirms so much he usually kicks the Hooter Hider off – which kinda defeats the purpose of Hiding the Hooters.  (WHY didn’t I invent this, by the way?)

Nursing has been an adventure, right from the very beginning.  I remember being in the hospital with Large and being positioned in the awkward contortion of a New Mommy (you know, shoulders hunched up, nervous smile, boob in hand) when my brother walked in, saw me, said “Eeeeeeeee,” and walked out.  We have never discussed this moment.  Nor will we. 

No one ever told me about nursing pads either, so I had no idea they even existed when I brought my first child home.  (We also came home and realized we didn't have any diapers except those we had taken from the hospital.  Brand new nursery furniture?  Check.  Tons of cute baby clothes?  Check.  Diapers?  Hmmmm . . . . )  My dad, ever observant, commented on my wet shirt one day.  I must have looked like I had faucets running underneath my clothes as I dripped from the chest down. 

“You’re leaking,” he said. 

He’s a man of many words. 

I'm sorry, but it's just weird to know there's a little person sucking on you while you're trying to have a conversation with your father.  He’d laugh nervously when I’d say “release the hounds” every time I’d get ready to nurse.  Just trying to break the tension of having a familial audience as I prepared to nourish my child.

In the beginning, I would search out nursing lounges in every mall I visited and I would trek from one end to the other in order to find one.  With Medium, I learned that visiting a dressing room was just as easy – there was a place to sit and Large could entertain himself in the mirror while I got down to business.  Now that Small is here, however, I have two energetic boys in my charge, so I don’t always have the luxury of seeking out privacy.  I have whipped my boobs out in Wegmans, in the stands of a college football game, and at the Strawberry Hill horse races.  I have no shame.  I’m quite sure most of my friends have seen one and/or both of my boobs over the course of our acquaintance. 

I have never been asked to leave an establishment.  (Not for nursing, anyway.)  I have endured the curious stares of children, the furrowed brows of older women, and the averted glances of men who are trying not to seem perverted.  And Large and Medium have learned all about mammals even though I STILL can’t find an answer when they ask why they have nippies.  I don’t know son.  I just don’t know. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Poop. Lots and lots of Poop.

First, an admission: I took a big, fat nap this morning. I’m exhausted.  Hubby has been out of town for the past two nights, and I never sleep well when he’s gone.  I have this irrational fear that someone’s going to need me in the middle of the night and I’m not going to hear him, although this has NEVER happened.  Mommies have special Mommy Hearing, I swear.  I rarely used baby monitors because I just figured if my baby needed me, I’d know it.  My mind tends to reel as I’m trying to fall asleep, and it just gets worse when Hubby’s gone.  Add to that the fact that Small woke up five times on Monday night and three times last night.  Hubby usually goes in and gives him his pacifier and he falls right back to sleep, but if I go in, he thinks it’s Schnack Time.

Adding to my exhaustion is the fact that, for some reason, I thought it was a good idea to take all three kids grocery shopping last night.  Do you think Michelle Duggar takes all 19 kids with her when she runs to the Safeway?  I doubt it.  She’d end up with 19 different flavors of Pop-Tarts, because lord knows they each have to pick out their own or else “it’s not fair.”  (That woman’s hoo-ha must be like a log flume by now.)  Good times.  I actually had another mommy at the store call me a “good woman” when she saw me maneuvering the grocery cart with the car on the front as if it were a Greyhound Bus in Aisle 7.  As I’m sure you know, mommies can be very snarky towards one another, (*see previous comment regarding Michelle Duggar’s log flume,) so to have a fellow soldier acknowledge my grocery-getting plight was like earning a Congressional Medal of Honor.  She probably called me a dumb*ss under her breath, but still. . . .

I got home from the bus stop this morning and Small and I settled in to watch last night’s Parenthood.  When he was ready for his morning nap, I decided I was too.  And I don’t mean the lay-on-the-couch-with-the-remote kind of nap or the fall-asleep-with-the-book-on-my-chest-just-like-they-do-in-the-movies kind of nap (because that has never happened to me either.  Once I start going cross-eyed and the words look drunk, it’s time to call it a night.)  Oh no . . . I did it right.  I took my *ss back to bed, got under the covers, got out my little eye mask, and set the alarm so I wouldn’t be late to pick Medium up at the bus stop.  Judge me if you will, but I know, and you know, and I know that you know you’d do the same damn thing if you could. 

Medium’s behavior was less-than-stellar today.  I put a lot of pressure on myself to “make” him behave, but you know that old adage – you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him pick up the Tinker Toys if he really doesn’t want to.  I’ve read all the parenting books and I’ve tried all the strategies.  He is my “spirited” child, and he has good and bad days just like the rest of us.  Today was a bad day.  I know that a lot of times he starts misbehaving when I’m not giving him my undivided attention, which was a big problem when Small was first born.  And sometimes I’m so desperate for some adult conversation (with other adults, not about “adult” subjects. . . wink, wink,) that I’ll check email or Facebook (Mommy’s crack) while he’s otherwise occupied and he’ll start misbehaving.  But today was not one of those days.  We made a messy Halloween gingerbread house, I read him books, we worked on writing the alphabet, and I downloaded and cut out a template of a Texas Longhorn.  Seriously, I brought my A-game. 

And yet he had THREE temper tantrums.  

I have explained to him that he is five-and-a-half years old and that normally children have temper tantrums because they are so young that they can’t express themselves otherwise and they vent their frustration through tantrums.  He can express himself, so I’ve tried to teach him to breathe deeply, count to ten, ask for help, and all the other bullsh*t methods we’re supposed to teach our kids.  Sometimes our best efforts just don’t work.  Timeout #1 happened when he could not draw a proper Texas Longhorn – it kept coming out too smiley and not at all menacing.  Not good.  Timeout #2 happened when the brown marker was dried up, probably because one of my little geniuses put a dried-out marker back into the bin with the other, fully-functioning markers.  Timeout #3 was a doozy.  While sitting in The Timeout Chair, he started kicking and making snide comments, such as:

“Oh!  I see!  I’m just supposed to SIT HERE??”


“Can you HEAR me?  Are you LISTENIN’? You’re just gonna ‘gnore me?  Huh?  Is that it?”

So, so charming.

The sassiness resulted in Timeout #3, which took place in his room.  I gave strict instructions, based on previous experiences, to not rip books, slam doors, or kick walls.  I told him I’d come back for him when I was ready to see him again. 

I endured about 10 consecutive minutes of “how much LONGER???”

Then, 20 minutes later, he sheepishly came out of his room and said, “I’m ready to get it together.”

I love it when the kids repeat things back to us that they’ve heard us say. . . like when Medium once said, “hello?!  Earth to Mommy . . . come IN Mommy . . . “ or Large asked Hubby during a particularly pungent diaper change, “Aww son, what’d you eat?”

Medium LOVES to do his homework.  The next 12 years are gonna rock!

Medium did pretty well for the rest of the day, although homework time was about as enjoyable as Caillou’s voice.  Surely the day would get better from here, right?  Do you recognize a rhetorical question when you read one? 

Small woke up from his nap a little earlier than I expected, but I figured he heard all the tantrum-throwing and woke up to see what all the fuss was about.  I got him out of his crib and headed back downstairs when I realized my arm felt warm where I was holding his back.  I worried that he had gotten too warm during his nap and that’s why he had woken up, but no.  That. was. NOT. it.

It was poop.  Lots and lots of poop.  So much poop that it had seeped through his diaper, his onesie, his t-shirt, his overalls, and now the sleeve of my shirt. 

Small used to poop once a day, which was manageable, but somewhere within the past few months he has stopped pooping regularly.  Instead he saves it all up for a few days and then virtually explodes.  He hadn’t pooped since Sunday night, so in retrospect, I probably should have put some safeguards in place – plastic sheeting or an industrial-grade tarp perhaps.  He’s like his daddy, who only poops at the office.  Hubby is some sort of freak of nature who “goes” regularly, but only when he’s at work, which makes a week of vacation increasingly unpleasant for him, and therefore for all of us.  (He’s going to be SO stoked that I used this forum to discuss his poop habits.)

Trust me when I say that what exploded out of Small’s body was like nothing I have ever seen before, and I have THREE sons . . . I’ve seen a lot of poop in my day. 

I was not privy to a particular episode in which Hubby fed a baby Large Pop Rocks against Mommy’s advice and had to purchase an entirely new outfit because they were in the mall food court.  That was a lesson that Hubby had to learn himself, the hard way, and I feel that the passers-by who were literally throwing napkins at him as he tried to clean the high chair would agree with my warning that giving a toddler Pop Rocks is a bad idea. 

I placed Small on the changing table and assessed the situation. How was I going to be able to get him out of his clothes without getting poop everywhere?  When I slid the overalls off, it got all over his legs.  When I slipped the t-shirt off, it got in his hair.  The onesie was plastered to his back, so I folded it under so I could get to the diaper, the contents of which were liquidy and bubbling – I kid you not.  (I was gonna say I sh*t you not, but it just seemed too trite.)  I sent Medium to the pantry for two plastic bags – one in which the clothes could make their trip to the laundry room and one for the diapers and the wipes I was using to scrub Small’s legs.  I had visions of leaving a trail on my carpet all the way up the stairs to the bath tub, so I sent Medium upstairs for supplies while I put Small in the kitchen sink.  He splashed and frolicked like it was playtime, without regard for the fact that my kitchen sink is now a biohazard. 

That's Medium sitting on my kitchen counter.  In his pajamas.  At 2:45 on a Wednesday.
Apparently Pajama Fashion Show was how he entertained himself during Timeout #3.

It’s a good thing he’s cute, because, in the words of Medium, “he’s disgustin’.”

Update: the onesie didn’t make it.  After a trip through the wash immediately following The Poopie Incident, I decided that it had met its demise. 

Click here to vote for BoyMommy!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Vote for my Blog . . . or I won't like you anymore.

Okay, so there's this whole subculture of Mommy Bloggers out there.  Who knew?

There are some TALENTED Mommies out there, and I'm one of them, dammit.  There's this website called Babble that is ranking the top Mommy blogs.  Please help me get my blog off the ground.  In return, I promise more funny glimpses into my glamorous life.

Vote for BoyMommy here:

Scroll down to Current Nominees.  If you search alphabetically, BoyMommy is on page 3.  I only have one vote, because, well, they'd only let me vote for myself once.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Mommy Happiness

Last night when we were reading stories before bed, Large's choice was a library book, Wallace's Lists by Barbara Bottner and Gerald Kruglik.  This little mouse makes lists of things he'd like to do, things he's already done, his favorite words, etc.  I liked him immediately!  Coincidentally, I ran across the following list last weekend while I was scrapbooking.  There's a lot going on these days, and I feel that what the world needs now is a list of a bunch of little things that put a smile on MY face.  In no particular order, I offer you

A Self-Indulgent List of Things That Make Me Happy

The Washington Post
file folders
Hard Cider
margaritas (rocks & salt)
The Cherry Blossom Festival
snail mail
Matchbox cars
Jack running down the hall
James Taylor
the boys after a bath
a REALLY good book
movie theatre popcorn
People Magazine
hearing I Love You
watching Cal concentrate
snow suits
naked babies
Diet Coke with lemon
white wine
having a quiet moment
outdoor concerts
the beach
The Office
Matt Lauer
This Little Piggie
my boys  (ALL of them.)
Panera's Strawberry Poppyseed Salad
Snow Bear
love letters
leaf piles
kisses from my boys
being called Mommy
Vera Bradley
country roads
fresh flowers
hugs from my dad
The Disney Fund
holding hands
funny greeting cards
my mom's jewelry
the boys' lovies
long, hot, uninterrupted showers
sunny days
the GAP
yellow rain boots
bedtime stories
my iphone
cowboy boots
fresh fruit
blue jeans
"Hey Babe"
Doug's fried chicken
J Crew
Coach bags
picture frames
"Rocky Mountain High"
sweet feet
Capon Springs, WV
Colgate University
peanut butter and honey sandwiches
my baby blanket
Tommy Boy
art from the boys
wood-burning fires
grilled cheese
Yankee candles
picking pumpkins
good manners
the "Welcome to Virginia" sign
yellow daisies
Polo oxfords
Flat Stanley
Kenny and Dolly
"Hello, I'm Johnny Cash."
Barnes and Noble
school supplies
Christopher and Craig
Relay for Life
"Fire and Rain"
bubble baths
Safeway donuts
Play-Doh smell
Crabtree & Evelyn Hand Therapy
celebrity sightings
Christmas cards
Miller Lite
falling snow
my red Mommy blanket
Nestle Tollhouse cookies
Simple Scrapbooks
argyle socks
Hamilton, NY
wedding photos
flannel sheets
Perez Hilton
Saturday Night Live
Jeannie Tate
baby snuggles
Captain Black tobacco

Monday, October 4, 2010

Saving College Money for One and Bail Money for the Other

It's been a traumatic week or so here in the BoyMommy Household.  Large broke his collarbone playing football.  Being the kind, sensitive mother that I am, I want to point out that I TOLD him when he started playing that "you better run fast.  Those kids are bigger than you."

Anyway, he got tackled and then a child - heretofore known as the 120-lb. 7-year-old - fell on top of my sweet little baby and broke his clavicle.  I didn't see this happen because I had been running late trying to get Medium and Small out of the house.  (Truth be told, there was also a stop at Dunkin Donuts in there somewhere.)  I, personally, cannot vouch for the heftiness of the other child, and I have a feeling my husband is telling fish tales when he describes a 2nd grader who weighs as much as, well, something that weighs 120 lbs.  [Seriously, try to think of something that weighs 120 lbs.  You can't do it either, right?]

But let me tell you something: if I ever get my hands on that kid's mother . . . I'm gonna ask her how the h*ll she gets him to eat.  For years, I've been telling Large to eat his vegetables so he can get big and strong, but to no avail.

Here's our little trooper:

Medium is making himself right at home in Kindergarten.  His teacher, fresh off her stint in the U.S. Navy, is a stickler for the rules, which is exactly what we wanted for Medium.  He needs a teacher who is a firm disciplinarian and believes in structure.  Part of her disciplinary system involves cards that progress from a smiley face to a warning yellow to a red, and finally to a phone call home.  Obviously the goal is to stay on a smiley face all day.  (And by "all day," I mean the friggin' 3 hours he's at school.)

Large's first grade teacher had a similar system last year, and every day the students would color the date on their calendar either green, yellow, or red so that parents would be apprised of the day's behavior.  Large had a green square EVERY day except one day when he had to color the date yellow because his entire group had been talking excessively.  He came home and cried about "getting in trouble at school."  We reassured him that it was okay and it was no big deal, but that he should continue to try for green every day.

We have stressed to both boys that their behavior at school is important and that their teachers should not have to take time away from the class to address a disciplinary problem from either of them.  Trouble at school means BIG trouble at home.  Imagine my surprise when Medium got off the bus the other day and said, nonchalantly, "Mom, I hate to tell you this, but I got a red today."  Just like that.

I literally gasped and my voice automatically dropped a few octaves.

"You did WHAT?"

At this point I think the gravity of the situation finally sank in.  He picked up on the subtle Mommy's-pissed vibe I was sendin' out.  He clutched his hands in close to his body, shrugged his little shoulders, and repeated himself.

"I had to flip my card to red."

"Medium Dale!"  Yep, I pulled out the double-namer.  "WHAT were you doing?"

"Flicking somebody," he explained.  I asked if he had to flip to yellow first or if his teacher went straight to red, to which he replied, "straight to red."  I have serious doubts about this, however, for two reasons:

1.  The handout she gave us on Back-to-School Night explains the entire process, which includes a natural progression from a yellow card to a red card.  And . . .

2.  I've met Medium.

I know she asked him to stop and he didn't listen.  Kudos to the teacher for breaking out the big guns already; now he knows she means business.

My message to Medium is this: Pace yourself, son.  It's only the 3rd week of school.

Sometimes you just have to laugh.  They are so different, and I love that they have such big personalities.

I leave you with a photo of Medium's pigs, taken by Medium himself with Mommy's iphone.  I can just imagine his little brain working . . . "I'm gonna take a picture of my feet.  Hehe."  It's simple, but I leave the photo on my phone because it makes me smile and giggle a little every time I see it.

This little piggy's going to bed.  Night-night, y'all.