Everything works itself out in the wash

I’m woefully behind on both household chores and funtime activities thanks to my most recent back issue (which, as I was putting on my socks this morning, re-asserted itself). And nothing makes this more apparent than my getting totally psyched over something that most people dread…

My new iron came in the mail Saturday.

Yeah, as in, an iron to make my clothes all nice and neat. I told you it was banal and ridiculous, but that’s what I’m down to these days. If there’s anything that the military taught me, other than the fact that short hair looks way cooler on short people, it’s that nothing speaks as highly of a man, as does shiny shoes and properly pressed clothes. Oh, I know that “slacker-dude” exudes a sort of charm and carelessness that some women find attractive, but I figure it’s a bit like “good girls.” You might want to date unkempt slacker-dude, but would you take him home to meet the folks?

I started ironing when I was in the military. Ironing was a highly prized skill and yes, we did approach it with an iron in one hand and a pair of tweezers in the other. Those stories are true. And perhaps since ironing was the one activity in boot camp where you could get away with doing almost nothing and not get yelled at for it, I grew to like its mindlessness.

It’s like Tai-Chi for the hyperactive.

Seriously. Now, for optimal ironing enjoyment, you can’t just approach it in a lickety-split fashion; no, you come at it with a plan and a methodology. Only then can you truly enjoy its simplicity…grasshopper.

My Program:

Get everything set. Put water in the iron for maximum steam. Organize your clothes by material, starting with silks and polyesters first because they require a lower heat setting. Gradually work your way up to cotton and wool. Turn on something mindless on the TV; a sports game or a movie you’ve seen (this is the beauty of ironing see. You can do something respectable and necessary, while also doing something selfish and wasteful! It’s a win-win!).

When your spouse walks in, he/she will click their tongue at your foolishness because they take their clothes to the cleaners, thus saving them time. However, they will also admire your fortitude and thriftyness. It’s all good though, because you’re in the zone; you don’t care what they think.

So go ahead, listen to the Mr. Miyagi of ironing: “We make sacred pact. I promise teach karate ironing to you, you promise learn. I say, you do, no questions.”

If it weren’t so funny, I might be concerned

We’ve all seen those heart-rending videos of starving children in third-world countries right? With Sally Strothers doing her best Tammy Faye impersonation all the while imploring us wealthy Americans to donate our money so that the warlords can hijack the relief trucks before they can get to the needy people. My personal favorite is the elderly gentleman with the graying beard, who keeps saying, “Ma-ria” (pronounced: Mah-rrrddd-ah) with an emphasis on the “Ma” syllable.

Anyway, due to my back problems of late, CareerMom has been doing all of the things with the kids that requires bending over, such as putting MLE in his crib and bathing the boys at night. Well last night, I didn’t feel like cleaning up the mess I made from the Mexican dinner I prepared, so I volunteered for bath duty.

Even though I’ve changed MLE’s diapers and such, it’s all been with him lying down. So, I haven’t seen him naked and standing up in about a week. Last night when I took all his clothes off and put him in the bath, he promptly stood up, stuck both hands under his gi-normous belly and started lifting it up and down like some kinda laughing Santa Claus, all the while dancing in the bathwater and cackling like the Joker. I swear, it was the funniest thing I’ve seen in a long time.

Once the hilarity died down, I got to looking at his belly and wondered if there was something wrong with him, because it honestly looks like one of those distended-bellied kids who haven’t had a square meal in years; however, I know that’s not the case, and the kid is happy as a lark now that we’ve gotten antibiotics for his latest dual-ear infection. So I guess he’s OK.

I think the boy just eats a ton. There’s one lady at daycare whose mom runs a greasy spoon joints in town and she brings MLE a yummy biscuit a couple of times a week. Between that and the fact that we switched him to whole milk recently, I guess he’s just putting on the weight. But I feel bad for the little guy cuz he’s built like me and that gut is where I carry my weight too.

Sorry lil’ fella, it doesn’t get any easier! I’m just glad you can laugh about it.

Tell me again how smart your child is…

About a week ago, all of us proud parents were exposed to the story about the 17-month old girl who can talk and read. The talking thing is no big deal I don’t believe, but the reading thing is and the coverage she garnered was just a hair shy of annoyingly show-offish to be honest with you (jealous much?). Her parents are both some kind of language experts, so it’s no surprise the kid shows talent in that area. Hmm, since CareerMom and I are both in marketing, does that mean our boys will be great shoppers? Points to ponder.

But this got me to wondering what they do differently at home and what kinds of things are we, and our daycare teaching our own kids. I know that in MLE’s class, they are teaching the toddlers some sign language. The only sign that I see MLE really going to town on, is the sign for “more” and it’s usually in relation to food, “Give me MORE!”

Yesterday, when the kids got home, I checked out their daily activity sheet and MLE’s sheet said, “Today we learned the sign for ‘shoes’.”


Really? How does knowing the sign for shoes help my child? I’d rather he learn how to tell me when he’s about to puke all over my clean work shirt, or when he needs to go poopy rather than filling up his diaper and having it leak out and onto whatever surface he happens to be scooching across at the moment. THOSE are useful signing words to me. Not shoes!

But maybe this is the norm. I pulled the image at the top of my blog off the Internet and as you can see, they teach youngsters all kinds of seemingly useless signs, like “cookie” and “telephone” and “frog.” What can a toddler do with that?

Using this list of signs, I suppose a toddler could sign to someone:

“Mommy, the milk you gave me was too hot, so I want to eat a frog instead.”


“I asked for a cookie and you brought me the telephone, and I said no touch, no touch.”

(you have to be an “Office Space” fan to even remotely get that one).

I don’t know, maybe my expectations for my kids are just really low, but I don’t expect them to be able to wax poetic before the age of two. And quite frankly, I’d rather they fit in with their friends rather than being “that freaky kid” who understands quantum theory at the age of five.

Call me crazy…

Beans Beans…Great for Your Heart!

I think we can all agree that no matter how old we get, or how mature we like to pretend ourselves to be, farts are funny! Come on, you want to tell me that if you’re sitting there in a crowded room, and it goes all quiet, if someone ripped one, you wouldn’t snort a big guffaw?

Well, maybe you’ll understand my predicament then. MLI is getting old enough now that when a toot comes out (of anyone), he doesn’t just accept that it’s a toot and move on without any reaction; no, he’s old enough now to rationalize that tooting in public isn’t normally done, which only makes it funny! Right? I mean, if it’s commonplace, then who cares?

Other than sex, is there anything as normal, yet so remarkably un-discussed as passing gas? And why not I wonder? Because it’s so gross? Probably.

A quick Internet search found that there are some people talking about it though. In fact, MythBusters did a show on the myth of “Do Girls Pass Gas?” (by the way, they DO) and there’s a pretty funny MySpace site called, “Coalition for Public Farting (CPF)” where they advocate making public flatulence more acceptable. So, it’s out there, but maybe still not mainstream.

Sometimes I hear married couples talk about it just as normally as might a couple of teenage boys, but I just can’t see myself ever being that comfortable around CareerMom. However, when she’s out of town, and it’s just us guys around the house, well, all’s fair in love and gas!

But, where then do you draw the line with a four year old? He’s old enough to know it’s funny, but is he old enough to quickly decide whether it’s ok to do right before he does it? I don’t think so. He also had constipation for the first few years of his life and we finally got it under control thanks to Miralax, but during that time, we read him books like “Everyone Poops”

and “The Gas We Pass”   , to try and get him to thiink about it as a normal function. Wouldn’t getting all uppity about it now be a little hypocritical of us?

Maybe this is one of those things (like discussing a woman’s age) that a person just has to learn for himself the hard way.  In fact, it’s probably a lot less embarrassing than asking a women if she’s pregnant, and finding out she’s not. Yeah, I made that mistake once.

Given that different cultures approach this topic differently, I’m curious how you folks handle this in your marriage/household. Do tell!