Tag Archives: angry baby

Victory shoes and Makeup Monday 2: The Balm Apricot Skin Renewal Lotion. And Stuff.

Note: Please save part of this post for tomorrow. Which part you save is up to you. I’m not controlling or anything.

Toward the end of last week, I started to feel crappy, details don’t matter, but I had a rough couple of days, and Phil really stepped up in taking care of things around here and letting me get some extra rest in order to make sure that sort of crappy didn’t take a turn for extra crappy, so on Friday, I was kind of rushing around in the afternoon to pick the place up before he got home, plus do the couple of things around the house that he usually feels like he has to do the second he comes in the door. He’s one of those types, you know, can’t relax until his things are done. So I figured I’d do all the things, and he could just kick back after really stretching for most of the week.

Except things kept happening. You know, after last Monday’s entry, I guess typical Penelope stuff. Stuff I’ve come to expect from a Penelope. I forgot to lock the dishwasher (we have to lock the dishwasher to keep her from getting in it, but that doesn’t stop her from randomly starting it up whenever she wants) and she got out some serving forks. I could hear her with them, so I approached slowly. You have to approach slowly when the Penelope has contraband, because if she knows you’re coming to take it, she’ll run. With FORKS. Or whatever she might have. And if she’s running, and you’re closing in, she’ll throw whatever she’s got, like some teenager with pot running through the woods behind the house party that just got busted, flinging the baggie off into the brush in desperate hope of not being caught but also maybe being able to find it again later. Except it’s not pot, it’s my cell phone and it’s not the brush, it’s probably the kitchen floor. Anyway, this time she didn’t run, but she did throw the forks at my face.

She threw ham at the wall.

When discussing Penelope’s behavior on Twitter the other day – which I don’t do too often, because of reasons, but I wasn’t feeling very well so was just generally totally beaten – someone suggested that I possibly might need to reevaluate what behavior I consider acceptable, because it is hard to believe that a two year old could be that bad all the time. That is, could it be that my standards of behavior for Penelope are much too high, making it seem as though she is constantly misbehaving, when in reality, it is just me, expecting too much from a toddler? Is this just a case of me not knowing that I need to pick my battles? Am I exhausting myself – and probably Penelope – with my impossibly high standards?

No. No, that’s not the case. I let the ham go, y’all. I do choose my battles. I do. If she’s not throwing something at my face, I mostly let it go, with a reminder that in this house, we pass things to each other. We don’t throw.

(Oh yeah, we’re those schmucks now. Come into our house, and you’ll get pulled aside for the little speech, like those, “Oh, we try not to say ‘No,’ we feel like it crushes her spirit,” except it’s more like, “Oh, please don’t throw anything in front of her, not even your car keys to your spouse to move the car, we feel like that’s why she keeps throwing shoes at my face, so if you could just pass things to each other and then make a huge fucking deal about what a great pass that was, that would be GREAT, thanks.” We know we sound like a couple of pass holes. We know.)

This is what’s not okay: hitting, harassing the dogs, eating out of the trash/throwing things in the trash, taking things from the fridge, throwing things at people, failing to obey reasonable requests when it’s very clear you understood and are deliberately disobeying for funsies.

Okay, I admit it, I didn’t totally let the ham thing go.

I... I can't explain this.

In my defense, I just asked her to get it.

So I don’t think I’m unreasonable in my expectations, and as you can see above, she might just be a BIT UNREASONABLE IN HER INTERPRETATIONS OF MY REQUESTS. I’m not saying she’s in any way an abnormal child, I’m just saying that normal is a range and to compose a range, you need to have children at each end. What you’re looking at here is an end child.

After the potato incident I mentioned last week, and the peanut butter incident – did I tell you about the peanut butter incident here? Brinkley ate half a jar of peanut butter, and then Penelope got the jar of peanut butter from the trash, and she had some. That happened. So after the peanut butter incident and the potato incident, we had some deliveries last week. We got some more child locks, and some more Door Monkeys, and a ridiculously priced Simple Human trash can with a pedal and a lock. Of course, after her nap, I turned my back for what I swear was the space of a super human speed bathroom visit and came back to this:

This is just a normal day, though, so no big. I mean, she gets into things, I pick them up. It’s just particularly ridiculous because that day was one thing after another, and, well, okay, she’s sitting in a pile of child locks. The point is, though, that I keep Phil updated on her doings throughout the day, and while he doesn’t ever come out and say it, I do kind of get a “… really?” vibe from him pretty frequently. It can kind of seem like, if he were home, this sort of thing wouldn’t be happening. Aren’t I even watching? How can stuff like this happen so frequently? He’s here every night and all weekend, and he doesn’t see this much stuff happen…

It doesn’t help that, a short time later – and, okay, I admit it, this is all on me – I had put her in her room for sneaking into the locked side of the linen closet (DO NOT EVEN GET ME STARTED ON HER HIDING IN THERE AND NOT MAKING A SOUND WHILE I RAN THROUGH THE HOUSE YELLING HER NAME OH MY GOD) and retrieving soda cans in order to fling them onto the kitchen floor, and I forgot that when I had to chase her out of her room earlier, I had left a tub of body butter on the floor. Okay. That was no good. That was no good at all. Especially because the body butter I have been using on her lately is one of mine (it works), so it is especially stinky and greasy. And it was so quiet in her room, and I went in there, and she was rubbing greasy, stinky body butter all over herself. And her hair. And the carpet. And everything ever.

BUT LET ME GET TO MY POINT, HERE IT IS, PENELOPE SCRIBBLED ALL OVER MY NEW SHOES!!

I slept in a little bit on Saturday, and when I woke up, Phil and Penny weren’t in the living room, or the kitchen, and I wandered into the playroom and didn’t find them. But I smelled some really strong cleaning smell, and I found them both in the guest bathroom. Phil was standing at the sink, with the water running, and my new sneakers that I had just gotten, just the day before, scrubbing at the toes with a magic eraser. Penny had colored all over the toes with a ball point pen.

“I JUST LOOKED AWAY FOR A SECOND,” he said.

ENTIRE LIFE? MADE.

Okay, I will keep you, WITH YOUR PERFECTLY-TIMED SHOE RUINING!

*****

It is Monday again, which means it is time for Makeup Monday, which is the second part of my post, because maybe you are not into makeup, which means you can abandon ship here, but I may not always be so solicitous as to write a whole other thousand words not about makeup, so don’t go getting used to it or anything. Thought I guess you’re totally SOL if you don’t like makeup OR my kid. Are you just hanging around waiting for me to start writing about World of Warcraft again? I mean, it could happen. My account is open. If you are, I mean… I probably should. Just to reward you. Because that is some dedication.

In the spirit of the No Buy, No No Blog, I have actually gone and USED SOMETHING UP from the pile in the picture in the original post detailing all of my restrictions and rules and plans for the whole project. Here is that picture.

So, while this isn’t my entire makeup collection, for my No Buy, No No Blog, this is what I’m working with. I’ll deal with everything in the picture in one of the ways described in the original post before the no buy ends. Well, everything in the picture, plus some things that hadn’t arrived yet at the time the picture was taken.

Today, I’m talking about the product indicated with the arrow – Apricot Skin Renewal Cream by The Balm – as well as some eye makeup remover wipes that came in the Allure Summer Beauty box, and the two facial moisturizers I currently use, and why they can go right to hell.

I am currently using the two facial moisturizers pictured. I’ve got pretty normal skin, I think. It’s not particularly prone to oiliness or greasiness, and I have what I think are pretty standard hormonal breakouts – probably one or two actual pimples once a month, maybe a threatened pimple here and there the rest of the month. Pretty lucky, I think, but I suffered for it mightily when I was younger. I’ve got really irritating patches of dryness, though, on my forehead between my eyes, next to my nose, and sometimes on my chin and next to my mouth depending on how hot my shower was, so I have to moisturize every day and heavily before makeup or my makeup will look flaky and horrible.

The two moisturizers pictured – Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer with SPF 15 and Up & Up Facial Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 15, oil free – can go right the hell to hell, each for separate reasons. I use them in a pretty standard fashion – after the shower and/or before makeup, I put on a pretty thick layer and let it soak in. I put it on my face. My face, where the FACIAL MOISTURIZER is intended to go. My FACE, where I keep both my EYES and my MOUTH, most days.

If I use the Cetaphil, I get a taste in my mouth that I am pretty sure is poison. And it just hovers in the back of my throat for most of the day, ruining things and making life miserable. And look, smartbutticus, I know I’m not supposed to eat it. I don’t eat it. It’s on my face, all smeared around on there, and some of its fuminess kind of gets into the general mouthy area. I’m not rubbing it directly into my tongue. I guess it performs its general moistness duties okay, but the fact remains that when I use it, the back of my throat feels like a little man is standing back there with a fireplace bellows, releasing puffs of TERRIBLE all day long. It’s no good. It’s just no good.

And then there’s the Up & Up. I’m a pretty big fan of Target’s store brand of products, I haven’t had too many stinkers. Well, unless you count shmazors. And for a moisturizer, this does okay. Just okay. It’s not really anything super special as far as under makeup goes, considering my especially flaky spots, but for every day (I don’t wear makeup every single day) and before bed, I don’t mind it. Except for one thing. One teeeeeny, tiny thing. It’s trying to blind me. It gets into my eyes somehow – AND NO, I AM NOT APPLYING IT DIRECTLY TO MY EYES – even hours after application, even if I don’t feel like I am sweating any especial amount. It runs into my eyes when I’m just sitting on the couch, and holy shit, does it burn. It burns to the point that shortly thereafter, I’m barely able to keep my eyes open, what with the tearing up and the flames of hell and the rubbing and the splashing of water. BUT DON’T SPLASH THE WATER. Because that just seems to reactivate all the REST of the moisturizer on the face, which then rushes to my eyes. I’ve actually texted Phil at work near the end of his day to ask how close he was to coming home, because hey, I’m blind, and I can’t afford to show any weakness to Penelope, she kind of has the upper hand as it is. But it doesn’t happen every TIME. Only sometimes. At random. Maybe when Pen-o is about to stage some kind of coup. Maybe there’s a connection. I don’t know. I’m not a Makeup Scientist.

SO AS YOU CAN SEE. My current moisturizer selections are NOT EXACTLY EXCELLENT, so the samples I received in my recent order from The Balm were pretty well timed. I got two, and decided to start with the Apricot Skin Renewal Cream for no particular reason. I actually had a reason at the time, but I don’t remember it.

The Balm website says that this lotion smooths the skin and also slows down the aging process, but a small foil packet is hardly enough product to really evaluate those claims, so what I was really looking for was how it dealt with my problem areas, did it try to poison me, and did it try to kill me and/or enter into cahoots with my daughter?

Texture: I probably should have taken a picture, but I DIDN’T. This is a pretty thick lotion. It’s less liquidy than it is creamy, and has a greasier feeling than the two lotions I’m used to using. It’s not a slap on the face kind of lotion, but more of a rub it in type. It has a higher quality feeling to it than the two I normally use, which makes sense, considering it costs several times more than they do.

It actually made my face feel kind of greasy when it was on, too. I don’t know if greasy is the word. I think makeup people prefer the word dewy. Yeah. I was dewy as shit when I put this on. I used it at night only for the first two applications, which was about all that was in the packet. I wasn’t sure if I’d actually wear it under makeup, because it felt… tacky. Not tacky like the way I usually dress, but tacky to the touch. I kept thinking about that one scene with Jordan and Ted from Scrubs, before she was in that other show that makes up for the fact that she’s not a great actress by just writing for the fact that that’s her face. You know what I mean? I WANT TO TOUCH IT BUT I DON’T.

I didn’t really time it, or do anything really professional in nature like any kind of actual reviewer of products, but normally I put on my moisturizer and let it dry down for a bit, then put some more on my trouble spots before applying my primer and foundation, or BB cream, or whatever the hell I’m going to wear that day. I didn’t really notice this stuff drying down completely for a while. I don’t know how long a while is. You’re going to have to ask someone with a clock. I probably could have gone ahead and applied primer over this, but… I don’t know. Not my style, really.

Poison-ness: I don’t know what something called Apricot Skin Renewal Cream is supposed to smell like, but I’m guessing apricots. It doesn’t. But, good news! It doesn’t smell like poison, either! You know what it smells like? The Dollar Store at Christmas. Or that one store in your hometown that you go in and quickly realize it is really not for you because it’s all dolls or sun catchers or wall plaques with country ducks on them, but you’re the only person in the store in the middle of a Saturday afternoon and the lady who is clearly the owner came out from behind the counter when you came in, so you feel obligated to give a kind of courtesy wander of the store, but the longer you stay, the more it seems like she thinks you might actually be the type of person who is really into country ducks or whatever, so she starts kind of following you and maybe pointing out different things in the store that she thinks you might like, or that are on sale, and, really, if you were into that kind of thing, you’d have to admit, you’d be a FOOL to pass up the deal, but you’re NOT into that kind of thing, and now it’s awkward, and you have to walk out the door without buying anything. So that’s kind of a weird smell for a lotion, and it’s even weirder if you think that it was maybe intended to smell like apricots, because I don’t know about you, but I don’t think country duck when I think apricot. I like apricots.

Kill/Cahoots: No attempts were made on my life during the use of this lotion. This probably could have gone under texture, but it didn’t run at all, and I don’t feel like if it did run, it would have caused any pain to my eyeballs.

Effectiveness: Like I said, the foil packet really isn’t enough to judge if the Apricot Skin Renewal Cream can, you know, renew skin. I got two full applications out of it, and in the interest of the No Buy, No No Blog project and using things up, I squeezed out the last bits and applied them to my most troubley areas, and you know, I was pretty pleased. I ended up just applying makeup in the middle of the night to send ridiculous pictures to Diane and Jonna, but hell of my skin didn’t look kind of fantastic under the clown face. I could actually see using this at night, something a little lighter out of the shower, and then this again on my flakiest areas.

Rebuy: So, would I buy this again? Well, it smells funny, but that kind of wears off eventually. It’s expensive, to me, at $29 for 2.36oz, compared to, say, $7 for 4oz of my usual murder lotion. But can you really talk about price when you’re talking about murder lotion? I have three more lotions to consider in my No Buy, No No Blog project: a Nutrogena from the Allure Summer Beauty Box, a sample from VMV Hypoallergenics that’s been kicking around my tippy piles for a while, and another foil packet from TheBalm – Grapefruit Antioxidant Day Face Cream (spoiler: it smells like the locker room at the YMCA.) I know that the poison/murder lotions are out the door for sure, but I don’t know for certain what will replace them.

****

SPEAKING OF APPLYING THINGS DIRECTLY TO EYES: Simple brand Eye Makeup Remover Pads for sensitive eyes! Yes! Ish! I have definitely applied these directly to my eyeballs in my attempts to learn how to tightline my eyes (which I can now successfully do THANK YOU), and I was not killed, nor was my daughter allowed to launch any of the multiple plots that are surely in any of several different stages of hatchery at any given time. Excellent. EXCELLENT.

EXCEPT.

Any makeup remover pad, when confronted with waterproof makeup, or lots of makeup, or lots of waterproof makeup many times over, like when someone with ham hands is learning a new skill very close to the eyeball, is going to be rubbed over the delicate eye area lots of times. Waterproof eye makeup is tough stuff, and eye makeup remover, especially that designed for sensitive eyes, cannot just go at it with fire and chemicals and burn that shit all to the ground. So it takes some swiping. And swiping. And swiping. So any makeup pad, no matter how intended to be gentle, is going to start to feel like you’re taunting your eyelids with a fiberglass mitten. These are no real exception.

So. If you’re sensitive to actual makeup remover, as in, the formulation of the stuff hurts your actual eyeballs and skin, Simple Eye Makeup Remover Pads for sensitive eyes are an excellent choice. If you’re sensitive to having the eye area rubbed repeatedly with cotton-like pad thingers, well, maybe just rub it once or twice and call it good enough. You know what they say. Tonight’s mascara & eyeliner are tomorrow’s smoky eye.

Please don’t sic your flight attendants on me and parenty rectangles.

The trip to Pennsylvania was hard. I mean, it was really hard. All aspects of it. Getting there was miserable. I thought the flight attendant was going to put us out on the wing. When your kid is being a total shit on an airplane, there is no stored up credit you can draw upon for all the times you’ve picked up and left stores without your shopping or sat alone at a table, waiting for your food to be delivered straight from the kitchen in to go containers while your husband circles the parking lot with a shrieking infant. No one cares about that, about how you have ALWAYS done the right thing before. And no one but the nice gentleman next to you can see that you’re desperately hunched over your child, trying everything – EVERYTHING – that you’re allowed to bring onto the plane in your one teeny tiny bag.

Nope. No one cares. The best I can figure, they just want to see you be told. I don’t know what else to think. I don’t know why else other passengers would send the flight attendant to me repeatedly to say, “Okay, what’s the problem here?” or “Okay, what can we do?” or “Well, there are other people on this flight,” and things like that until I was crying, too. All I can think is that it made them feel better to see that something was being done. I hope it made them feel better, to see me be told. I was told. I cried. I’m crying again just thinking about it. I hope my fellow US Airways passengers from that flight are feeling a little extra psychic satisfaction today.

I sound bitter, I guess. I don’t mean to. We all know how miserable it is to be trapped on a plane with a screaming child. I know. I felt for everyone else on that plane. I’ve been the person on the plane gritting my teeth with every shriek. You can’t help that it annoys you. It’s grating. You ARE NOT A BAD PERSON if the sound of a shrieking child goes right through your head. You ARE NOT. You are not a child hater. Well, you might be, but not because of that.

Before I had a kid, I would think about how I didn’t want to be stuck on a flight with a screaming kid, and I guess I thought parents thought the same way. That they didn’t want to be trapped on a flight with a screaming kid, either. But when that flight attendant came up to me and said, “Well, there are other people on this flight,” I swear, I wanted to slap her face off her head. No shit, woman. You think if it was just ME here I wouldn’t tune this tantrum the fuck out?

I CAN LISTEN TO THIS ALL DAY. I AM THE PRO OF THIS SHIT. I CAN GO TO THE OLYMPICS OF PENELOPE TANTRUMS AND TAKE HOME ALL OF THE GOLDS AND THE BRONZES AND LEAVE THE SILVERS FOR MY HUSBAND TO BE NICE.

Look, I guess I am kind of bitter. I just feel like there were people on the plane that weren’t going to feel satisfied until they saw that THAT MOTHER, that terrible one up there who clearly wasn’t doing anything correctly, was appropriately scolded for her obvious failings. You’re not bad and you’re not wrong if a shrieking child is making you LOSE YOUR MIND on a flight. But don’t fucking send the flight attendant up there. What do you think is going to happen? That she will hand us parachutes and send us on our way? That she’ll work some flight attendant magic on the baby I’ve known her whole life, something I don’t know?

You know what happened? She came up there, and she made me CRY. I was doing everything I could, I was already doing EVERY FUCKING THING I COULD, and she made me CRY. I know some people out there really hate children, and I know some people out there will read this as me saying that you need to DEAL WITH MY SCREAMING CHILD, and anyone who has read this blog for a long time knows that I am not normally of that mind. We are staunchly in the Leaver category. I wish I had a bag of credits I could dip into. I wish I could understand what the people who sent the flight attendant to me thought they might accomplish. “Oh, this is BOTHERING people? I’m sorry! Let me just actually try something instead of sitting here with my thumb up my ass! I deeply apologize!”

Anyway, anyway. I’m sorry. The whole thing was just so frustrating. I was so well prepared. Or, at least, I thought I was. You know, you have EVERYTHING, but it turns out to be just tons of the wrong stuff? Eventually I was just shoving snack after snack after snack into Peno’s face, you know? And the flight attendant walked by at one exact second when she happened to be chewing, just this one silent second, and the flight attendant says to me – you guys – she says, “See? She was just hungry.”

Are you imagining my eyeballs right now? Are you imagining them?

*****

I didn’t plan to dedicate so much of this post to my flying adventures (oh, when I was preparing to get off the plane? Another flight attendant helpfully said to me, “It’s just that the screaming really bothers some people’s ears.” OH, IS THAT IT?). There was this other thing that really made the trip to Pennsylvania kind of hard that I wanted to tell you about.

So, you know, I went to Pennsylvania for a month, just me and Peno, without Phil. And it was really tough. There was a lot of floundering with just me and Pen. We did get a lot of support in some form or another from family, but the first couple of weeks especially were very difficult, mostly due to expectations not being met, on both sides, both what was promised and what I think are natural expectations of a stay at home parent and kid or even of just a mother and kid. Expectations that, while probably natural, I think do a disservice to my husband, and maybe a lot of other husbands.

So, if you think of parenting as… a shape of some sort. Say a rectangle. A rectangle that is completely filled in with some percentage contribution from both parents, giving you a 100% parenting experience. In a two parent household like our own, I suppose you might find it fair to think of it 50% blue and 50% pink, using standard gendered colors because, whatever, I like them and it’s easy.

Then, when I went to Pennsylvania with Peno, you’d be dealing with a 50% pink rectangle, and a 50% big white blank that you’d be expecting me to stretch over on my own, with cobbled together help from relatives and people in Pennsylvania, right? 50% is a lot. A person would get a lot of credit for covering her 50% and then doubling herself somehow and covering the same over again. Maybe. If it was just a person,  for one thing, and not a mother, and for a second thing, if we were even talking about a 50/50 divide.

But if we’re being realistic, I’m both the mother and the stay at home parent. So, consciously or not, if we were to ask people to take a stab at shading our rectangle – mine and Phil’s – it would likely be more pink than blue. Fair? Doesn’t matter. We’re talking about assumptions here. Not even necessarily deliberate ones. Just assumptions. Maybe when I got to Pennsylvania, people were expecting me to be covering more like  a 40% white gap. Or even a 25% white gap. And that’s not that much. That’s not twice what I’m used to like the 50% example above. That’s just a small stretch. And just for four weeks. And I’m the mother. Mothers can stretch.

The thing is, just because I’m home and Phil works, or just because I’m the mom and he’s the dad, does not mean that our parenty rectangle is more heavily pink than blue, or even that it’s an even split. I’ll tell you the truth – it’s not. I felt a lot of confusion at times in Pennsylvania – why are you handling this so poorly?  Because the bulk of the rectangle IS NOT HERE. I can only cover so much of this white space by myself, and without Phil, it is MOSTLY WHITE SPACE.

And the sad thing is, I don’t think that ever would have occurred to anyone. Sure, lone wolf parenting for an extended period of time is hard, but the mother can do it, albeit in an exhausted, clunking along fashion.

At different phases of Peno’s life, we’ve both taken turns making up the bigger shaded portion of the rectangle. This particular time is not mine. I don’t really feel like I need to explain the inner workings of our parenting any farther than that, other than that it will shift back, and back again, and back again, who knows how many times between now and forever.

Everyone who I visited with in Pennsylvania was sincere in expressing their appreciation to Phil in giving up an entire month of Penny’s life, to let them spend that time with her, but not necessarily as sensitive to me about what I was missing for that month. My husband, for one (okay, it’s hard for parents to see their kid as grown with a husband). My house (or a home of her own that she might miss, why would she? She’s in her home! That she grew up in!).  Or an absolutely enormous chunk of what keeps the whole Penny machine rolling.

Honestly, I don’t know where I’m going with this. Maybe your husbands get enough credit. Maybe husbands in general do. I’m just saying, just because it looks like a stay at home mom and dresses like a stay at home mom doesn’t mean its parenty rectangle is… mostly… pink… someone should have stopped me six hundred words ago.

Desert baby bested by grass, mother unmoved, unhip, big hipped.

Let’s all just agree now that we won’t expect much from each other on the weekends.

Mine involved a lot of spitting (Penelope), a lot of “I don’t want to touch you,” (me, to various family members – some covered with wet food, some covered in stinky fur), and a lot of sighs of various tones (Phil – there were two trips to Target and an unfruitful hunt for a red cardigan that I think he knew that I knew was going to be unfruitful from the start. I did know. Sighs accepted.)

Oh, and we also went to dinner with The West Coast Aunts!

I would say that you could look forward to meeting the West Coast Aunts at PJs at TJ’s, but if you’ll look to your right, you’ll notice that registration is closed. I don’t really have anything more to say about that. I went into this paragraph thinking I was going to offer some consoling words, or say something about a wait list or whatever, but eh, if you were going to register, you would have done it by now.

Tomorrow, I have big plans – BIG PLANS. I’ve got to mail out some diapers I sold – did I tell you I’ve been selling my diapers? It took a while. When the first one sold, I had to lay down on the floor for a minute. Then I laughed and counted the $48 it sold for. I auctioned one yesterday, one that wasn’t even brand new and unworn like that first one, for $45.

It’s been getting easier.

After that, Pen and I will stop at JoAnn Fabrics for supplies for my much hipper hobby of counted cross stitch. My sister and I have begun collaborating on our own somewhat inappropriate patterns that will be available for purchase around probably never, or Christmas, depending on how action packed my month long trip to Pennsylvania is.

In other news, I’ve been participating in the Biggest Blogging Loser competition, and between that and a little work I’ve done on my own before it, I’ve lost 20 lbs, bringing me down to weighing… well, 20 lbs less than my prepregnancy weight and wearing one size larger than my prepregnancy size, and looking exactly zero percent different than I did three weeks after I had the baby, because I have giant boobs and a c-section pooch.

But hey, it’s about the health, right? I mean, twenty pounds! That’s something! I can be proud of that! So what if none of my old clothes fit! So what if I actually have to buy all new, BIGGER things to fit my twenty pounds lighter self! It’s not about APPEARANCE. It’s about — oh, go fuck yourself, me.

(There’s a video in this post. You don’t see it if you’re reading this in Google Reader. I’m not saying you have to click through, or even that it’s worth a click through. I’m just saying that I want credit for more content than you’re actually seeing. I want you to mentally tally up more content points for me than you would give me if I hadn’t made this note. Thanks.)

I’m doing that tilty hand motion to show I get that it’s iffy.

I was better today, in a small way. You know that space I talked about yesterday, the one that’s there, waiting for me to fill in, waiting for me to look at all of these areas where I can improve and just… go ahead and improve something already?

Well, I did.

EXCUSE ME THIS TEDDY BEAR HUGS TOO LONG.

I typed a whole big justification for My Baby Is On A Leash And Here Is Why My Baby Is On A Leash Let’s Discuss Our Feelings About My Leashed Baby And Get It All Out In The Open here, but ah, fuck it. I’m not the bridge between the leashers and the leash… nots. You stay on your side of the line, I’ll stay on mine.

I started with boats, and somehow got eggs. Keeheehee.

Every night for the last… I’m actually not sure how many nights. I’ve lost count. That’s a lie. I wasn’t counting. Every night for the last significant while, I’ve gone to bed with the firm intent to be better in the morning, in almost every single area of my life. Seriously. Almost all of them. It’s very tempting right now to try to think of some obscure life area in which I am already perfect, but that feels too hard right now, since I’m really struggling lately with this headache thing – remember when I was in the hospital and accused you of not caring, but I really didn’t carry the joke off well, so it didn’t actually come across at all that I really WAS in the hospital? Yeah, well, it was for a headache thing, and it’s just no good. You don’t have to concern yourself. I mean, a moment of passing concern is fine, because I’m sure you’re a compassionate person on some level, but we don’t really know each other and it’s not a tumor or anything and there’s no real risk to my health, I’m just in a lot of discomfort, and I took one of every pill on the bedside table already tonight, so I can’t really think of anything clever — HEY. Pill taking, completeness of. NAILED IT.

Anyway, two hundred words down, all garbage, starting over. So I’m going to bed with the intent of just doing better at all of it tomorrow, and not in the “go GET ’em, slugger” kind of way, where I’m pep talking myself, but more in the resigned, heavy sigh, tomorrow’s another day, just… try again kind of way. And I wouldn’t even call it best intentions, or even good intentions. Is must intentions a thing? Can you must an intention? I don’t know. I’m not looking that up. I don’t even know how to look that up. I don’t have to look that up. It’s not a thing. You’ve been reading here long enough to know I play kind of fast and loose with whether or not a thing is a thing. That is not an area in which I intend to improve. When a boat needs to be bailed out, we do not paint the trim. Besides, I like the trim. Up yours. Up yours is part of the trim, by the way. Have a seat. Help yourself to snacks. Put your feet up. The water is getting a mite high.

I regret using the sinking ship analogy. It’s too dramatic. I am not a dramatic person. Unless it suits my purposes. It did there, for a minute, but now it doesn’t, so forget that whole thing, except the bit about the trim, because I liked that part.

So, right, going to bed with the must intention of being better in just about every area possible. And it’s just not long at all into that next day before I’m ticking off “not so goods” on my list of areas. I’m super impatient with Penny, I don’t get any laundry done, 3pm comes and I have no dinner plans, “do you want to watch a show” turns into three episodes of the Fresh Beat Band. And, I don’t know, a whole crap load of other stuff I’m not stupid enough to put on the Internet. What am I, new? (I’m not new.) And then the weird thing is, the night rolls around, and I CANNOT UNDERSTAND how these things happened. Especially being impatient with Penny. Because she is sleeping and adorable, and how could I POSSIBLY make an angry face at sleeping adorable Penny? But THEN it is DAYTIME again, and I cannot imagine how I am supposed to NOT be impatient with Penny, because HONEST TO SUPERMAN, if you could see this kid in action.

I’m saving this post for tomorrow.

Okay, it’s tomorrow, and the baby is napping, and I still feel the same way, but I vented it out a little bit on Twitter this morning (summary: it’s a terrible age, they seem like people but they’re just large babies, basically feral with lots of spitting), and I guess I wasted my boner for this blog post. I just feel bad a lot. And it turns out it’s common. There’s just this space between her terrible behavior and my knowledge that look, she’s not even two and being terrible is part of learning how to function as a whole person, and I’m the person she has to be terrible AT. And in that in between space is a whole lot of room for me to act like the worst person ever. And I do. Over and over.

I feel like it’s a lot to explain, yet somehow I crammed it into just a couple of 140 character tweets this morning, and that’s my excuse for not wanting to do it again right now? Honestly, Internet, you should demand better. Hence the theme, right?

It’s like a domino effect of badness, though. When I was in Weight Watchers in high school, back before you could do it online and tell your computer screen, “Oh, I’m wearing heavy earrings today,” like it believes you any more than that lady ever did, the leader had all these annoying sayings that were only annoying because they were so fucking true, like about BLTs – bites, licks, and tastes. All the shit you put in your mouth when you’re making a lunch or cooking dinner, it doesn’t have zero calories, it all counts, and now that I’ve said “BLTs” to you and explained it? Yeah, enjoy the rest of your miserable life, because that’s never leaving your head. And there was this other one that stuck with me. If you’re carrying a dozen eggs and you drop one, you don’t throw the other eleven on the ground. It’s supposed to be an argument against “starting the diet over on Monday” if you have a bad day, or even against starting over in the morning if you have a heavy lunch or whatever. And it makes sense, right? In a really fucking annoying way, because you really want to eat pizza all weekend, because there’s leftovers in the fridge. But it’s in your head, and it makes sense.

BUT LATELY, I swear, even though I go to bed all resigned to carry all my eggs in a more carefully crafted container (we all did that “experiment” in middle school, my egg survived, I’m basically a pro) in the morning, not twenty minutes into the day, not only have I dropped an egg, I’m standing on top of the furniture, flinging eggs at the walls, and then SEEKING OUT MORE DOZENS OF EGGS TO THROW AT OTHER UN-BE-EGGED THINGS.

Have I gone too far into this? I started this post last night and didn’t skim the top before I started up again. I know I started with boats, and now I’m at eggs. I feel like I’ve gone too dire again. I don’t feel like it’s SO dire. I just feel like it’s life. And I feel like maybe I’m focusing too much on Penelope. I mean, she’s the head egg, to be sure. And she’s always the first egg I crack. But this kid, she is BEGGING TO BE AN OMELETTE.

It’s not just her. It’s not. I don’t want you to think I’m just messing up my kid and calling it a day, I’m messing up everything. No, that’s not really true, because that makes it sound like I’m taking an active part. There’s some passive failures, too. But then, the word “failure” is also too much. You know, this whole blog post is just making a lot out of nothing. There’s just a lot of nothing. That’s a good way to put it. There’s a big open space, and that space is an area that is available for me, an area that is open for me to make improvements. And it’s hanging there, empty. There is a LOT OF ROOM for me to work. No one is in my way, nothing is stopping me. Opportunity is there, and I’m not taking it.

Is this making sense? I’m trying to put this in a way that doesn’t make it sound like there’s a dramatic ANYTHING going on over here, because there’s not. There’s life, being lived, not so entirely to my satisfaction, but I’m not sending up flares and asking you to share feelings with me, okay? This is not that blog. I’m just telling you how it’s going, and as is my way, I’m using a lot of words and not getting it done. Look, it’s a metaphor, or whatever. Here’s my blog space, a lot of space, and I’m using it ineffectively to do things wrong and fuck shit up and look, I’m just going to throw my last couple eggs here on the floor. For fuck’s sake. You know what, I’m not deleting any of this. Screw you. IT’S NOT LIKE I’VE MADE IT SEEM WITH ALL THESE WORDS. Just… GUESS at what I’m trying to say.

NaBloPoMo! Another opportunity to throw a bunch of damn eggs onto the damn floor! WHAT HAPPENED TO THE BOAT. I SWEAR THERE WAS A BOAT.

Look, can I just tell you some good things about my kid?

She was a dragon for Halloween.

She is 18 months old now. She needs to be actively engaged just about every second of every day, or she will devise some new way to be evil. Some of them are actually kind of insanely genius, in ways that you just wouldn’t think a kid her age could come up with. Unless you have a kid her age already. In which case, you could have warned me.

She’s doing pretty good with talking. She was a little slow with words for a while, then it just blew up. She’s putting together sentences and will actually hold a mini conversation, if your expectations of conversations aren’t high, and if you’re okay with only talking about what Penelope is interested in. For a week or two, she was picking up one new word every few days, taking a day or two to perfect it, and then sticking it into her little conversations. Then it was a new word a day. Now she’s picking up several new words a day. We stopped counting. A couple of days ago, she found some tights and called them “shoe pants.” I didn’t even know she knew the word pants.

She finally calls me mama, after a really long time of dada being just about the only word she knew. The best part about it is not that she’s stopped calling me dada or just yelling for my attention. She actually still just yells for my attention. No, the best part is that she often calls Phil mama, and she does it specifically because it annoys him. She thinks it’s funny. I think it’s funny, too. I think it’s really funny.

She tries to jump (she learned it from an episode of the Fresh Beats), but can’t, and her failures are hilarious and enjoyable, but not at her expense, because she thinks she is jumping, and loves it. She’s started to take an interest in other kids, and will lean around me and yell, “HI!” at any small size person she sees. We’re going to spend a month in Pennsylvania, just me and her (if anyone has dragged a Marathon car seat on a plane, first hand stories are welcome – and “you don’t need to, you can check it!” is also welcome, but will be politely passed over, because I know that I don’t need to legally, but I do need to sanity-ly, so I am and it’s already decided), and I’m looking forward to her enjoying some play time with her cousins of the same age.

One of the absolutely best things about Penny is how much she loves the video for Put Down the Duckie. She does these deep swinging arm claps, like an aerobics instructor, which is adorable all on its own, but the best thing – the BEST THING – is that she calls Ernie by his laugh. I don’t know how to better explain that. You know how Ernie laughs, right? That keeheehee sound? That’s what she calls him. And that’s how she asks to watch the video. She asks for Ernie, but she doesn’t call him Ernie. She calls him his laugh. And that is how we will survive, for now.

Keeheehee.

There is no good cake here.

I was going to write today about how one of my biggest irrational fears is that doctors will think that I’m a pain pill seeker, so I tend to refuse pain medication, as if that will make doctors take my pain more seriously. As if NOT TAKING PAIN MEDICATION will make medical professionals believe my pain is SERIOUS. I also refuse to finish bottles of pain medication I am prescribed (thank goodness some doctors just prescribe the medication without asking me, as was the case with the recent double ear infection, because I fret myself into a frenzy trying to come up with a NON-SUSPICIOUS WAY to ask for relief from what must be OBVIOUS terrible pain once a doctor has glanced into my head a declared the whole thing a wasteland of infection), because there is a prize for leaving some of the medication in the bottle. Not that doctors can see my bedside table and see the half-finished bottles of medication rolling around there, but they must ESP into my head and think,

“Ah, here is a lady who does not finish her pain medication prescriptions. No, she takes the useless Tylenol and soldiers on. She is not just here for my prescription pad, obviously. This is a woman who I can take seriously when she says she is in pain. She is not peeing on my leg and telling me it is rainy outside. This is Arizona. That would be ridiculous.”

Anyway, no. That’s a thing that’s wrong with me and it’s ridiculous but we can explore that another day. Instead, I’m just going to copy this email I sent to a bunch of people. I was just going to keep it to email because it talks about poo and I don’t WANT to be that mommy blogger who talks about POO, but Phil came home for lunch and I told him I’d sent out a distress call to my lady friends in the Internet box and he agreed that we are in need of HELP and that is what the Internet is for, and —

Look, you already spotted the word “help” and half the Internet is sporting LEGITIMATE REQUEST FOR ADVICE boners right now, so let’s just get to it.

*****

I have a terrible migraine today. And it’s something I hate about myself, but when I get these headaches, I just get SO MEAN. I mean, I just say fuck a lot and yell at the baby and I’m so angry, etc. And I’m trying to be patient and just get through, whatever.

So Pen needed her diaper changed. I took her in her room, changed a disgusting stinky poo diaper and tended to a teething rash. I decided to lay in her bed for just a couple of minutes while she played in her room. Benefits of a floor bed, right?

I laid there, drifting in and out, while she came over ever few minutes to pull my hair, because she’s an asshole and doesn’t want me to ever be happy, when one time she comes over and just reeks of poop again. She’s been having lots of dirty diapers due to the nasty virus ripping around our house, so I gathered myself to change yet another gross diaper when all of a sudden A SHIT CAKE LANDED ON MY FACE.

She was not dirty again. She had found, opened, and UPENDED the previous diaper ONTO MY FACE.

SHIT CAKE TO THE FACE.

I did not say a word, guys.

Gathered up the shit cake, wipes, and diaper, checked her for poop marks, left the room, tossed it all, washed myself and now here I am. She’s still in her room. After the shit cake, the food and cup throwing, and the angry pinching, I have no plans to collect her until lunch time.

I CANNOT EVEN WITH THIS BABY RIGHT NOW I CANNOT EVEN. She is a DEMON and she thinks that all our attempts at behavior correction are FUNNY. She doesn’t understand a stinking word of English, I swear. She throws her food on the floor at every meal. So what? Give her more? Or she’s just done til the next meal? I don’t know if she even understands that if she throws it, she won’t have any more to eat. She’s already skinny, I don’t want to starve her just because she’s a butthole.

And she BIT PHIL the other night, which is becoming more and more common. She comes up, hugs our legs, and BITES THEM. And she pulls hair. I’ve tried the exaggerated ouch and crying. That’s apparently hilarious. I’ve tried a firm no and that hurts. Funny! I’ve tried walking away, she doesn’t care. She throws books at my face! She rips my glasses off my head! She slaps, she grabs at our flesh angrily when she doesn’t get her way. She throws tantrums when she can’t have something that isn’t hers.

I guess I GET that this is all “normal” toddler behavior, but I’ve never had a toddler, so I have NO IDEA WHAT TO DO. I don’t know how to get her to eat her food, or how to just make sure she eats enough of her food, or how to make her stop throwing it on the floor because I am not made out of dollars or patience. And I DON’T like getting hit in the face with her books and I don’t really just want to wait that phase out because it hurts.

Is it insane to expect some kind of decent behavior, or at least to be able to TEACH some kind of decent behavior to a 15 month old? Am I ridiculous to expect to not be injured in my own home?

TO NOT GET POO TO THE FACE?

*****

Yes. That’s right. The rarest of animals on the Internet, a LEGITIMATE REQUEST FOR ADVICE. I want to know what you’ve done with your toddlers. I want to hear that you and they lived to see two years old. I want to know if you sent them off to live with their grandparents until they were five because THAT SOUNDS FINE TO ME. While I intend to keep all of my FEELINGS and WEEPINGS OF FAILURE to my private email chain of distress and woe, I open myself to the Internet at large to throw your parenting advice at me at will without fear of “I ALREADY TRIED THAT I AM NOT AN IDIOT” or anything like that, for I am an idiot and I need your help.

*****

Penny does a pretty sweet ass Peppa Pig impression.

Forced assholery, goose problems, threes, an area where I fail to consider the feelings of my baby.

You know what I hate? (“Everything!”) (That’s not true, Internet.) I hate when someone puts me in a position where I have to be confrontational, and not only that, a position where I am automatically the bad guy for saying anything. So my choice is either to sit and silently deal with something that is bothering me OR be the asshole, and neither of those is a good option FOR ME.

This usually happens when someone decides, of their own accord, that they’re going to do something nice for you. Except, you never asked them to do this nice thing for you. See, you already think I’m the asshole, but it’s not like it hasn’t happened to you.

Once is no big deal, but sometimes someone gets it in their head that they’re going to do an ongoing nice thing for you. Or they’ve set up some kind of… system or whatever… that will repeat the nice thing for you. I’m saying, maybe they do a nice thing one time, but maybe they do this nice thing OFTEN, either with effort or through some kind of set up that repeats the event without any maintenance, effort or money or anything on their side. I’m trying to give you a wide description here so that you can think of a situation in your own life that fits, so that I get a little sympathy over here on the asshole side of things. So take a second, and work yourself into this mindset.

Anyway, person is doing something nice for you – or something that they think is nice, if that makes sense. Something they have assumed you will appreciate or enjoy. And you didn’t ask for it – not because you didn’t want to impose, but because it’s not something you really appreciate or enjoy. It’s a basically harmless something, though, so maybe you can ignore it for a while, but eventually, it just GETS UNDER YOUR SKIN.

OKAY, MY SKIN. IT IS UNDER MY SKIN.

Why should I have to ignore it? Maybe I would like for it to stop, you know? But you basically HAVE TO IGNORE IT, because the person is being nice. If someone does something with the intention of being nice, you have absolutely no choice but to just accept it FOREVER, unless you want to be the asshole.

“I was just trying to be nice” is basically an inarguable defense. You hear that and you’re the asshole. No matter what.

So it can’t just be a simple matter of asking the person to stop, because they were trying to be nice. To indicate that their unrequested niceness is not 100% appreciated makes you the asshole, no matter what. And who wants to be the asshole? Either because you don’t want other people to think you’re an asshole, or because you don’t want to be perceived as an asshole by the person who was just trying to be nice to you, you know? I mean, you don’t want to HURT FEELINGS. You just want the thing to STOP.

And you know what ends up happening? Resentment gets all built up. Against the person who is just TRYING to be NICE. Because by being nice, they are forcing you to accept their niceness or be a total ASS PANDA, when you’re probably not an ass panda at ALL. By being nice, this person is forcing you to submit to something you DON’T WANT, or to be something that you don’t really think you are.

But you see, no matter what I say here, half the people reading are thinking, “You sound really ungrateful. Someone was just trying to do something nice for you.”

“Hey, do you mind not doing that anymore?”
“Well, I was just TRYING to be NICE.”

“You know, I’d really rather do that myself.”
“Well, I WAS JUST TRYING TO BE NICE.”

“Can you stop stabbing me in the eye?”
“BEING NICE.”

YOU CANNOT WIN when someone is “JUST TRYING TO BE NICE.”

*****

Sometimes I feel like my entire day is one of those problems where you’ve got a goose, and a goose eater, and a pile of whatever geese eat, and for some reason, you can only fit one at a time in your boat, and you want to take them across the river instead of just leaving the whole damn lot to fend for themselves because, come on, they don’t have geese or goose food on the other side of the river?

What I have, though, is not goose-related. I have Penny, I have two dogs, and I have laundry, and sometimes I also need to use the bathroom.

I have to wait until Penny is asleep or at least content someplace secure before I go hang the laundry, because I can’t hang the laundry and carry her, and I’m not strapping her into her wrap for a two minute trip. And I need both dogs to come with me while I hang the laundry, because while I have NO CONCERNS about my dogs and the baby, I don’t leave them alone together, ever, because that is just how it’s done here.

The trouble is, the clothesline is around the corner of the yard, and Sheldon jumps the fence when he feels like no one is looking. We have not yet purchased an electric fence, but it is on our list, so slow your scroll, there, comment jumper. I take the diapers to hang on the line, and I need to wait for Sheldon to do his business, and then somehow convince him to stand next to me while I hang diapers, without knocking me over or stealing any diapers or think that me hanging them out of reach on the line is a FUN CHALLENGE.

And I have to be fast, because as soon as Penny realizes that my eyeballs are not fixated on her, as they should be even as she slumbers, she will LOSE HER GODDAMNED MIND.

I’ve got using the bathroom down to a 36 second science, saving anything elaborate for when Phil comes home, because alone time in the bathroom is a luxury I do not want to squander by sharing it. If Penny is awake and feeling needy (often), I tuck her in the Bumbo and set her on the bathroom floor. If she’s asleep, I leave her where she is, which leaves me with the dogs. Sheldon can usually be convinced to stand in the bathtub, because he’s an idiot, while Brinkley will do anything for a scratch on the head. We need a bigger bathroom.

Construction of Pennysylvania begins next week, and will be a completely baby-proofed safe zone, gated off from the rest of the house, that will keep her and the dogs separate without me having to put her in a cabinet for safe keeping while I just try to go without an audience.

*****

You know what else I hate? (“Everything?”) (Let it rest, Internet.) I hate when something breaks, or doesn’t work the way it should, or is unnecessarily complicated, and you SAY as much, and someone tells you a workaround, as if you hadn’t thought of it. I mean, maybe sometime you HADN’T thought of it, but most times, you’re just saying, “Hey, it should work this way.”

It’s like if you walked into your office and said, “It’s so annoying that Big Main Road that leads to the office is still closed! It’s been forever, this is really an unreasonable amount of time for a road to be closed, especially a large highway such as that!”

And someone says, “Well, you can go the back way. It’s only 10 minutes more.”

And you’re like, “… I’m here. I got here, to the office, where you are speaking to me. I know there’s another way. I used it. TO GET HERE. I’m just saying, I shouldn’t HAVE to.”

Or an example on Twitter. If you don’t use Twitter, let me quickly explain that your timeline can be public, for all to see, or locked, so that only those you allow can see your timeline.

If you come across a locked account and you would like access to follow that person, you send a request for that person to approve or deny.

When someone follows me, I check out their timeline to see if they’re a real person and someone who looks enjoyable to me. If they are, I follow back. Well, that’s how I used to do things, and my new way presents even more problems, but ANYWAY.

When someone who has a private account follows me, I can’t check out their timeline without requesting to be allowed to follow them. You’re forced to follow someone to find out if you even want to follow them.

I understand why some people want to have locked accounts and I’m not going to argue with them. But I think that if YOU, with a locked account, follow ME, it SHOULD COUNT as approval for me to see your Tweets. I shouldn’t have to go through the approval process. You wanted to follow me, so it should be assumed that you’d like me to follow you back so we can talk.

If you mention this issue on Twitter, three things will happen:

1. Some people will agree, because THIS MAKE SENSE.
2. A bunch of people will get all huffy because they don’t read well and assume you’re campaigning against locked accounts in general.
3. Someone will say, “Well, you can just request to follow and then unfollow right away if you don’t like them.”

I KNOW I CAN DO THAT, THREES. I just SHOULDN’T HAVE TO.

I get tons of spam Twitter followers, just like everyone else, and some days are worse than others and my inbox is just flooded with “new follower” messages from Twitter. I’ve started to ignore them. When someone talks to me, I check to see if I’m following them, and if I’m not, I follow back. If I’m not following you back on Twitter, it’s probably because you followed me and then never spoke to me. Your perogative, but I’m just explaining.

Anyway, if you follow me from a locked account and then you talk to me, I can’t see it. Even if you @ me. Because your account is locked. That is why I think that if your account is locked and you follow me, your account should become visible to me. It just makes sense.

Shut up, threes!

“We were just trying to be helpful.”

I fucking hate you, threes.

*****

NOW HIRING: STYLIST
Must demonstrate concern for dignity of baby.

“What… what is going ON here?”

“Is she KIDDING me with this?”

“What the shit IS THIS? I don’t remember buying ANY of this.”