Category Archives: Parenting

Joe and Flappy


Friends, especially fellow parenting friends, I have opened a can of worms and want nothing more than to chuck the entire container into the ocean but I have no idea how. Last Thursday one-or both- of the boys was in that pre-meltdown fuss, the phase of “I’m going to start asking for everything I can’t have just so I have a reason to pitch a fit” and my immediate response was to distract and diffuse. Now, I have done a lot of distracting and temper tantrum diffusing over the past several years, and it doesn’t always work but it’s usually worth a shot if I can keep my own temper in check. So in this very tense, pre meltdown “everyone is about to lose their minds” scenario, I started pretending to hold a conversation between two birds; “Joe” a great tailed grackle (I had to look that up after the fact. Basically a large, very vocal black bird popular in this area) who speaks with a somewhat British accent (I say somewhat because I suck at mimicking accents) and Flappy the pigeon, who speaks with a slow, country-southern-cowboy ish drawl. These birds are wannabe thieves, and the entire premise to start off the conversation was their ill fated attempts to steal the boys’ cheese burritos.

The “stories” are nothing but conversations, with occasional sound effects (which I am also really bad at) there is no set up, no description, no other part of a “story”-it’s just two really dumb birds with goofy accents talking to each other. The boys LOVE them. They demand Joe and Flappy stories from dawn to dusk, and even distracting them with books only works for so long. These birds have-tried to hitchhike and gotten blown off a van while racing us home from chik-fil-a, plucked out all their feathers in an attempt to disguise themselves, glued themselves together, gotten zapped on a powerline, dropped rocks on their feet, run into windows, Joe got his beak stuck in the lock yesterday trying to pick it, and today he got slingshot into a pesky cat via Flappy and a powerline and Flappy got peed on by a dog while hiding in the horse’s rearend of their Trojan horse costume.

A small part of me loves that the boys enjoy the storytelling since there are no pictures and yet they can tell you exactly what happened and they laugh at appropriate places. But the biggest part of me is tired, and having a hard time coming up with more scenarios for Joe and Flappy. I can SEE a lot of doable sight gags in my head, but translating that into poorly accented conversation that gets across what is going on is more work than my brain can do currently. I managed to get away with just one story today (whew) but I’m sure there will be more to come. I have a few ideas in reserve-picking which car to poop on is one I’m keeping for our up coming travel adventure to the beach (thank you, Rebecca, for the idea!)-but I need more.

So, help a mama out! PLEASE share any ideas for stupid slapstick comedy gags that could be successfully relayed via conversation and minimal sound effects, and centers around two really clumsy bird thieves going after the toys/food of two boys. Extra points for verbal jokes or one-liners that a four year old could understand. AND GO!


***Shout out to my siblings who have already provided me with a bunch of ideas!***


Tickle, Tickle, Tickle


Cade is a rambunctious little man, and since I remember all to well what it was like feeling like my emotions were entirely outside of my control, we work hard to come up with ways to express what he is feeling and find appropriate outlets. No hitting, pushing, elbowing, headbutting, squashing, tackling, kicking, or poking other people (usually Zane) is the rule we struggle with the most.

If it’s an action out of anger it’s a definite Time Out and I remind him to call ME when he needs help with Zane and I’ll try to fix it. It get’s exhausting, but he is doing a much better job of calling for help when Zane sits on his Duplo tower instead of clonking Zane in the head with a brick. Though if I don’t respond quick enough all bets are off. Buh.

Often he just gets so stinking excited during play so he’ll chase a madly giggling Zane down the hallway and shove him. Then he gets time out. Ten minutes later repeat the scenario except he remembers not to shove him at the last minute and instead elbows him. Time out. Repeat the scenario with any of the above “no no” verbs and that is pretty much our day.

I don’t know why it took me so long to figure out an acceptable way of channeling his energy, but it struck me about a week ago that I kept telling him things in the negative, “Don’t do this, don’t do that, if he’s crying you need to STOP.” without giving him an acceptable positive alternative like I do with everything else.

He’s gotten better at “I calm down! *deep breath* 1,2,3,4,5” but only if I threaten him with a Time Out, the stinker.

When he’s feeling really excited he has the option of clapping or giving him self a big hug (instead of screaming, shrieking, and/or hitting things).

When he wants to play chase with Zane he is allowed to “tickle”.  I took the time to remind him to be gentle and if Zane cries he needs to stop, but he was thrilled to finally be allowed to DO something at the end of the chase. And this is where it gets cute. Cade says, “Tickle, tickle, tickle!”  repeatedly and wiggles his fingers in that pseudo pinching tickle toddlers do as he chases Zane down the hall. Yesterday I realized that the nonsense syllables Zane was spewing in between giggles wasn’t nonsense.

My 1 year old says, “Uh oh”, “duh-duh” (bye bye)….. and “tickle, tickle, tickle.”

Pregnant Mommy Brain


To the tune of “Matchmaker” from The Fiddler on the Roof.

“Wipe snatcher, wipe snatcher, snatch me a wipe!
At least three or four,
My poops getting ripe!
Unsnap my onsie and grab a fresh diap’
My buns are in need of a wipe!

For Papa, snatch out at least twenty
For Mama, just a few will be fine
For me, well, if we’re not talking diapers
I’ll snatch out the lot if I get the time!

Wipe snatcher, wipe snatcher, snatch me a wipe!
Make sure they’re warm
Cold is not my type
If you interrupt play I’ll put up a fight
You’d better be quick with the wipe!”

An oldie, but a goodie-to the tune of “Silver Bells”

“Soggy buns….soggy buns….it’s time to chaaange your diaper.

Wipe ’em down…..air ’em out….it’s time to change soggy buns!”

This is my brain on sleep deprivation and pregnancy hormones. I break out into random songs with substitute lyrics over just about everything. Cade attemped to stab a piece of zucchinni bread at lunch which inspired an impromptue verse of “What if I crumble” (What if I stumble-DC Talk)  and I realized I should probably write these down just to laugh at later.

Discipline I Hope to Use…


Cade loves books and the outdoors, and so although I don’t REALLY want to read, “The Hiccupotamus” or “Bear Snores On” one more time, I do. And even though it is consistently 90+ degrees around here I let Cade grab my hand and drag me from my rocker in the shade so he can wander down to the blistering sidewalk and play with grass trimmings. Inwardly, I sometimes stifle a groan when I’ve already read about Jonah three times in a row and he brings over “The Little Blue Truck.” And no, I do not enjoy waddling around in 90 degree weather achy and sweaty and short of breath. BUT, inwardly, I’m also thrilled. I don’t want his pleasure in playing outdoors or his fascination with books to ever end. One day, I promise myself, one day this will definitely be worth the boring repetition and the sticky sweat filled last trimester.

These are a few things I can’t WAIT to say to my boys when they get older:

“No reading at the table.”

“One more chapter and then it’s bedtime.”

“You have ten more minutes before it’s time to come in.”

“I know you’ve already showered once, but you’re covered in mud.”

“If you try to build that without dad’s supervision you’re staying inside for the rest of the day.”

“Put the book down when I’m talking to you.”

“Yes, you can bring a book as long as you sit quietly.”


One day I’ll be able to watch them play from the shade and they won’t need me to hold their hand. One day I’ll be doing dishes in a quiet house because everyone else has a book to read. There will soon be story time, and swim lessons, and library cards, and sports games, and I’ll go from active participant to sideline cheerleader and facilitator (read: chauffeur). Then they’ll be gone to write their own stories and explore more of the world and I don’t think for a second I’ll begrudge a single day of letting my son with a soggy mulch covered onsie snuggle in my lap to read a board book one more time.