January, You’re Dead To Me

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I’m not a fan of January. I’ve tried over forty of them and have yet to find any redeeming qualities in a single one. They’re gray, depressing, boring and butt numbing cold. (Global warming, you suck.) I’ve given this one a solid try but I see it’s just like all the other Januarys and next week after the presidential inauguration, its suckage is just going to ramp up to epic levels. So I’ve made an executive decision. I’m not going to do January this year. I’m going to hide out until it’s over. Harsh? Drastic? Perhaps, but that’s how I roll. January, you’re dead to me.

I’m going into my pillow fort and I will not come out until January is safely passed. And if February, doesn’t start off strong I’m skipping that too. I’ve got enough supplies to stay in my pillow fort until March. (I’m a planner and stockpiler, yet still a safe distance from doomsday prepper.) I’ve decided I have no choice but to take drastic measures and thankfully, my Mediterranean blooded Turk is right with me on this one. (Which is great because usually in situations such as these he just gives me the side eye and mutters about my instability in Turkish.)

I’m sorry kids, but you are on your own for the next few weeks because neither of your parents can do January anymore.

I know, it may seem harsh to turn over self-survival to a guy who has not yet mastered the concept that pooping should occur in the toilet and not in his pants and his brother who hasn’t gotten past the sixes on the multiplication tables, but I don’t see any other way. January is too much and we as parents just… can’t.

Simply put, the Turk is genetically incapable of cold weather. His blood is thin and according to him, solidifies into ice crystals the moment temps drop below 40 degrees. My dear husband hunches like a turtle somewhere in mid-November and does not stand straight again until April. It’s been hard on him since he moved to this country but now that he is on the other side of 40, we have to worry more about the old man. I’d hate for him to stroke out due to freezing temps. (Though he does have stellar life insurance that would provide my children and I with a bungalow in a warmer climate…no…no…that thinking is wrong!)

As for me, I understand that due to my ample supply of body fat you might wonder why I am incapable of dealing with the cold. I don’t get it either but I’m old and old people have these issues. The cold makes me surly and slug-like and though I was able to combat it in my youth, with the combination of my advanced age and the impending doom coming with the January 20th presidential inauguration, this year I simply haven’t the will.

Kids, if you need to go anywhere, I’d suggest you pile a few of your father’s old engineering books on the seat of the car (they’re in Turkish and thus extra bulky) and give it a go. Number One Son, you should be able to see over the steering wheel while your brother Nugget navigates from the safety of his car seat. Just practice a few times around the block before you hit the open road. If anyone questions you, cite a medical condition for your small stature then accuse them of judgmental intolerance. That should get any pesky do-gooders off your back. (If that doesn’t work, let Nugget and his newly developed canine-calibur biting skills handle things.)  

If anyone needs us, I’ll be where I’ve been since January 1: with the cat in the barcalounger, huddled under my grandma’s old quilt, binge watching Stranger Things on my IPad using the kids headphones to block out the world and dreaming of finding a portal to a warmer dimension.

The Turk will be where he’s been since January 1 as well: in Number One’s new beanbag chair, three feet in front of the fireplace with his little Turkish tootsies baking in a roaring fire.

January, it’s over for us and this time, it’s definitely you, not me.

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Just A Little Off The Top Please

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This week I’m taking on the role of special guest star (you know, like they used to do in bad 70’s shows like Fantasy Island.) over on Canadian Expat Mom’s blog. She’s a groovy gal who put together a book I contributed to coming out soon called – Once Upon An Expat. It’s going to be an awesome read with stories from expat women all over the world.

Anyhooo, in my role as special guest star, I’ve written a little piece about penises. Yes, penises. I can say the word just like Dr. Ruth, though I tend to quickly revert to weiner because inside I’m only 10. Ok, it’s not all about weiners, (oops, see there it happened, I’m an immature child) it’s more about the Turkish circumcision ceremony called a sunnet where a boy becomes a man at age eight when his weiner is whacked. Since our oldest is turning 8 this week, it’s been a hot topic in our house.

Go visit, read my tale of tallywhackers and stay for the Canadian charm. Here’s the link one more time…Just a Little Off The Top

Now go…you know how nice Canadians are…enjoy.

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Captain Crapper is on the Scene

I’ve heard there are these mythical beasts, small and mighty, that have shocking powers. I’ve read of newborns that do not insist on being up all day long, infants that actually sleep in beds not shared with their parents and toddlers that sleep all…night…long. (Ok, full disclosure, I’m still waiting for the 7 year-old to sleep through the night.) As I said, I’ve read of these but never witnessed them in the wild, more particularly, I sure as hell never witnessed these oddities within the ranks of my own little buttheads. No, not once have the fruit of my loins taken an easy route anywhere but yesterday, I saw a glimmer of something that has provided me with a tiny shred of optimism that the Nugget might just be preparing to cut Mom a break.

After dropping Big Brother off at school, I looked to my mute counterpart in the backseat and suggested, “How ‘bout we go pick out a potty?” My rational was simple; this whole path to privy perfection was likely going to be something we’d be traversing for the next year or more so now that he was two, we might as well get the ball rolling. His kidney doctors warned us that for kids with hydronephrosis, it can be a long and arduous journey to the throne. Some have too much control, some have too little, there can be bladder spasms, blah, blah, blah and a whole catalog of other possible medically induced toilet training landmines. Also, after all the poking and prodding they’ve faced in the diaper zone, they can also have both fear and distain for anything happening south of the border. (Who can blame them? If you’d had catheters shoved up your Wee Willie Winkey all your life you’d label it a no fly zone too.) Add to all that the fact that my half-breed Turk is about as stubborn as Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent and I figured if its going to take forever, we may as well get us a tiny toddler commode and commence the misery.

Next to weathering a multi-child stomach flu-storm and anything that begins with the word projectile, potty training is the most heinous of all parenting tasks. My first half-breed Turk took about a year to train for no reason other than he is just stubborn. It started out as fear of falling in (Which began shortly after his mother got distracted and let go allowing him to plunge into the icy depths of a Trader Joe’s toilet- my bad.) Then he took to mounting full LA Law-worthy rebuttals each time I tried to use logic and reason to explaining why we don’t crap in our pants (PS- Having a mute toddler after a big talker can actually be a blessing…just saying…) and finally he decided he just wasn’t cut out for potty life. Eventually, as I am Irish and he’s got way too much Turk in him, it came down to a hostile stalemate. For every free-range turd that I found in his pants, I took a toy hostage. Finally, when he was down to a three-wheel dump truck and a horrifyingly ugly jack-in-the-box, he relented and he’s been a normal toilet user ever since, (though his aim is sometimes questionable.)

I assumed, as number two is even more stubborn than the first and on top of that we’d likely be dealing with the medical misery of it all, I was in for a much larger fight so when my suggestion to potty-shop was met with a nod of agreement, I ran with it. (PS- why in the hell were there 15 different choices for potty chairs? It’s for pooping. Must it sing? Need there be glitter or an iPad holder? This is setting up ridiculous expectations for their virgin voyage on the porcelain god. Just sayin’.) When we arrived home and opened the box, the Nugget proceeded to de-pants and go right to work. He then continued to use that non-musical, bare bones, port-a-john every time he needed to go the rest of the day. Day two went just about as well, though we were derailed by a couple surprise grenades thanks to a hearty lunch of beans, but that’s ok. He just turned two a couple months ago. I don’t want to get cocky or anything because my name is synonymous with the odds not being ever in our favor, but could I actually have one of those mythical beasts that potty train themselves? Is it possible to dodge the grossest bullet of parenthood? Is this the universe’s little gift to me for all we’ve been though?

Because my life is so surreal that I’m now relegated to exploring the rational behind the Nugget’s expulsion of bodily fluids, I had to immediately consult with my best mom friend for her take. Her response:

“Maybe he’s just been waiting to excel at something?”

To which I replied, “So he choose pooping? You are telling me my child decided to excel at pooping?” Farewell dreams of having birthed a captain of industry for it seems I have only birthed the captain of crap. Now that is good mothering.

I guess only time will tell if Captain Crapper really is going to train himself. It would stand to reason he’d choose now to go all cold turkey on diapers. After the doctor told us how difficult this task would be, I purchased a box of diapers so large they used a fork-lift to get it into my car. More than once we’ve been told that the Nugget is a medical anomaly, and that with his odds he should play the lottery. I just kind of wish we could’ve won the Powerball instead of the Loo Lotto. It’s all relative I guess.

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Never bother a brother when he’s reading…or pooping…or both.