Friday, November 27, 2009

Playing Games

My children are very good at games.  They are so good, they make them up themselves.

Princess' favorite game is something I have dubbed Negotiation.  The rules are simple: if you end up doing anything other than what you originally intended, Princess wins.  She is an extremely skilled negotiator, particularly with her daddy:

Sven: Princess, I'll be right back, I have to go get supper.
Princess: No, Daddy, don't leave me!  I love you! (Theatrical, fake tears)
Sven: Oh, honey! (Takes her on his lap and hugs her, missing the devil horns and tail she has sprouted.)
Princess: I just wanted to play one game of hide-and-seek before you go! (wails)
Sven: Baby, I have to go!
Princess: Oh, Daddy! (Faces him, lips trembling, as one fat tear slides down her cheek.)
Sven: All right, one game.
Princess: You count, I'll hide!

Unfortunately for Princess, Mommy has become a very skilled player at Negotiation:

Mommy: Princess, I'll be right back.
Princess: No, Mommy, don't leave me!  I love you!
Mommy: I love you too.  (Closes door.)

Princess: Mommy, I want a cookie.
Mommy: Can you say please?
Princess: Please may I have a cookie?
Mommy: Did you eat your supper?
Princess: (stuffs chicken in her mouth) Yeff.
Mommy: All right, you may have one cookie. (Hands her the cookie.)
Princess: How about two cookies?
Mommy: How about no cookies?
Princess: Yes ma'am.  Thank you for the cookie.
Mommy: You're welcome.

Dexy, unfortunately, excels at a game which, in its very design, exploits our main weaknesses as parents: my insomnia and Sven's back pain.  I call Dexy's game Take the Bed.  In this game, Dexy will, with varying amounts of fuss, go to sleep in his own bed.  2-4 hours later he will wake up, walk down a completely dark hallway into our completely dark room, and pull on my hand until I put him in the bed with us.  He almost always wins, because even if Sven isn't in bed yet, he doesn't want to heft the sleeping Dexy and take him to his low-to-the-ground toddler bed, risking injury to his already stiff back.

"Deb," you wise ones out there must be saying, shaking your heads, "you should stop this at once.  When he comes to your room, get out of bed, take him back to his bed, and put him in there.  Close the door.  Repeat as needed."  (This is what our doctor said.)  I know.  Here's the problem: if I am asleep, once I wake up, I'm done for.  I cannot go back to sleep, usually, for at least 2 hours.  If I wake up just enough to pull Dexy into bed with me, I'm fine.  But if I wake up, walk Dexy down the hall, put him back in bed, sit with him for a few minutes, leave, then repeat the process, I'm doomed.  Okay if Dexy comes to my bed at 4:00 a.m.; I usually get up at 5:00.  Not okay if he comes to my bed at midnight and I just got to sleep.  Especially not okay if he comes to my bed at midnight and it's the fourth night of bad sleep in a row.  (Note to self: do a post about the weird way you start to see sleep after you can't sleep for a while.)

So Dexy is the undisputed winner in Take the Bed.  But Mommy is the champion of Do You Want to Watch Spongebob?, so maybe I can get a nap.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Au Revoir, JK8. And by that, I mean, buh-bye.

Last night I was watching TLC.  I should explain, before you must begin breathing into a paper bag, that the batteries on our remote control are dying, so I was stuck on The Learning Channel while I attempted to pound one more channel change out of the clicker.  (What do you mean, "get up and change the channel?" Are you insane?  This isn't 1872, or whenever people had to change the channel for themselves.)

As you all know, I would never, ever voluntarily watch a television network with "learning" in the title.  I don't watch TV to learn.  Nor, for that matter, do I read, surf the internet, or watch movies "to learn."  I am a professional educator.  I don't learn on my off time.

So, while I pounded the remote control on the floor as a mildly interested Sven looked on, it came on: the poignant music (almost as poignant as that awful Sarah McClachlan ASPCA or YMCA or NAMBLA commercial showing all of the dogs that will die unless YOU DO SOMETHING RIGHT NOW!  Every time that commercial comes on, I have to change the channel before Princess starts weeping and saying, "Why are people so bad to the doggies, Mommy?  Where is that doggy's mommy? The poor kitty looks so sad, Mommy!" and then we are both weeping in each other's arms as Ms. McClachlan informs us what we can do to save these animals, but I'm not paying attention because my 3-year-old is having an emotional breakdown and my almost-2-year-old has taken the opportunity to find a six-month-old chicken nugget under the couch and is attempting to eat it.  But I digest.)

Anyway, the voice-over dude came on as the slomo montage played, showing the kids, a pre-earring John, and a pre-shrew-from-hell Kate as he said, "Watch how it all ends...the final John and Kate Plus Eight."  Sven said, still mild, "Wow, the final one."

How wonderful!  No more John and Kate!  Except, we all know this is not the end of John and Kate.  John is suing TLC because he's too famous to get a real job.  Really.  Apparently, the idea that no one would hire John because he has been documented as a passive-aggressive, dumb, commitment-phobic philanderer has not occurred to him!  No, they aren't hiring him (and I'm sure he has applied everywhere) because he's too famous.  I hope Corey Feldman hasn't heard about this, because think of how many of us he could sue.  ("You used to have my poster on your wall but now you think I'm an idiot!")  I could personally be financially liable for the upkeep and maintenance of at least four New Kids on the Block.

I propose a countersuit: we should all commit to a class-action suit against TLC, for inflicting John & Kate on global society.  Because if I'm blogging about it, and I have never personally watched the show, it's in the air like a virus.  We must stop others from attempting to emulate TLC's success with John & Kate.

I saw it this morning on Good Morning America: "The Octomom, One Year Later."  I turned off the television.  I hope it sent a strong message.