Thursday, June 17, 2010

Seriously seeking a nanny

I am looking into getting a nanny. I mean SERIOUSLY looking into it.
But not the kind you’re thinking of. I want one who will sleep outside, eat out of a bowl and come when I whistle.
I want a Border Collie.
My fascination with this animal (because I am NOT a dog lover) came after Matt and I saw a show about a ranch that used dogs to herd their cattle. And the thought hit me, “I could use one of those for my kids!”
Now, I’m only partly kidding, and mostly I think this is a novel idea.
Matt (who is not so convinced) warned me that the dogs “nip” and “bark” at the cattle to get them to cooperate. That’s fine with me. It will teach the kids not to wander, right?
I can see myself now. Shades on. Feet up. Kids frolicking in the yard. Uh, oh!
Somebody’s escaped! Not to worry, Sally (the name we call most animals at our farm) is on it.
She runs as fast as her legs can carry, barking a warning to the escapee: “Stop or else!”
That child ignores her. Big mistake!
Sally makes a sharp right, cutting the very-near-to-death child runner off, causing him or her to lose footing and come to a halt.
Lesson learned. Child safe. Mom (me) has not ruined the family name by running/screaming/flailing in public.
All is well.
Yep, I need that dog.
Especially since Masen is turning into such a 2-year-old tornado!
In less time than I steal away to use the restroom, he can open the fridge, dump a drink inside, close the fridge, find a chair (from a different room) to drag into the kitchen to find something he “needs” on the counter. Then he will open and dump that much-desired thing, take a bite (not like it), flee the crime scene, and I will find him peacefully (seemingly innocently) watching cartoons with his siblings.
I know you’re thinking that a dog won’t be able to stop him from making messes. BUT, I will have energy in reserves to deal with those extra “Masen” messes because of all the chasing Sally will do for me outside.
I hope you don’t think I’m crazy. Maybe all these kids over these last few years have really gotten to me. Because to me, Sally the Border Collie Oehlschlager sounds like a GREAT idea.
And seeing how life seems to be getting easier and yet harder every day, it is very possible that I might need some live-in help. Unfortunately, God only gave us moms two arms, two eyes and two legs with a bunch of other squishy stuff in between.
He also decided to bless Matt and me with charges with a grand total of eight arms, eight legs and eight eyes.
Hardly even a competition.
I believe with four-legged Sally on my/our team, it should even out the score a bit.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Bathroom boundaries

There is a room in our house I can guarantee you will always smell like pee. And it’s not the bathroom.
DISCLAIMER: To protect the reputation of my family member — who will surely, hopefully and prayerfully grow out of this — I will not disclose his name. (But I will tell you it’s not Matt.)
The room that owns this unremovable stench belongs to a little man whose life revolves around protecting what is his.
You can’t even walk into his room without this Rumpelstiltskin-like boy flying up the stairs to see who is in his room and why. He disappears up there for hours working away on buildings and vehicles (built from Legos) and roads (he’s “carved” into the carpet) — creating his own empire.
And every empire has a few bathrooms, I suppose.
At least that is what I discovered while I scoured the room on my hands and knees, sniffing like a dog to find the source of the odor.
When I came to my child’s bed, the cozy place where I diligently put on laundry clean-scented sheets every week, my odor alarm rang loud.
My son, whom I love dearly, had been urinating under his bed, marking “his territory” like an animal! A WILD ANIMAL!
For how long, you ask? I don’t know. When I asked him that question, he held up all his fingers and I soon realized he’d been doing this more often than he could count.
So I explained to him that he is only to go to the restroom in the toilet or on a tree (preferably not in town).
Boy did we sound hypocritical.
See, Matt and I have been training him since he was 1-1/2 years old to alleviate his problems wherever he pleased (outside or in the bathroom) as long as it wasn’t in his pants.
And he has been my earliest potty trainer.
I guess we literally forgot to explain to him the bathroom boundaries.
We should have gotten the hint after my parents’ incident with him at church. A Presbyterian church, no less!
Services were held outside that Sunday in a casual atmosphere. So casual, in fact, my son simply stood up and made his toilet right there during the worship service.
But we turned a blind eye, never really having the heart-to-heart with him about how that’s inappropriate.
Now I realize how much of a mistake that was. I SMELL how much of a mistake that was.
He was there with me while I cleaned the carpet and I believe he now recognizes the disadvantages of going to the bathroom on the carpet.
We pray he does comprehend, because he goes to preschool next year, and I’m sure his female classmates are not ready for THAT kind of anatomy lesson.