Country-Fried Mama

A Yankee “mutha” raising kids in the deep, deep, DEEP South

Archive for the ‘From the mouths of babes’ Category

Yes, I’m writing about farts today

Posted by CountryFriedMama on Feb-19-2009

When we were expecting Miss D., Country-Fried Daddy and I spent a lot of time researching cribs, strollers, car seats, and other “gear” to get ready for the baby that was about to rock our world.  We also lurked around the children’s section of the bookstore, dreaming about how our child would, of course, love to read.

On one of those trips, CFD picked up a book entitled, “Walter the Farting Dog.”  Being male, he of course found this hilarious, and the book made its way into our baby’s library.

Fast forward almost three years, and we have a little girl who loves that book, and loves to talk about her farts.  During the many months in which I deluded myself that I could potty train this child, I would hear one rip and start towards her, propelled by fears of poo-poo on the floor.

“Don’t worry, Mommy,” Miss D. would say.  “It’s just farts.”

Belly is getting in on this action now, too.  She can’t “toot her own horn” about her toots, but she is tooting away nonetheless.

Belly has started doing push-ups, flexing her arm muscles and making me worry that she will be crawling earlier than her sister did.  The exertion of pushing her body up makes her fart for some reason, and she always looks disturbed when this happens.  She furrows her brow and looks around as if to say, “Who did THAT?”

Driving around town with these two is like hanging out with a bunch of fourth-grade boys at recess.  Miss D. farts.  She laughs.  Belly laughs because Miss D. is laughing.  Miss D. laughs in the crazed, “I-just-escaped-from-the-loony-bin” way she uses to make Belly laugh.  It works.  Belly laughs until she’s hiccuping.  And farting.

Laugh, hiccup, fart.  “Who did THAT?”

As it turns out, Walter the Farting Dog has a series of adventures.  In one, he valiantly propels a drifting cruise ship into port using the power of his intestinal distress.  A parrot on board squawks his assessment of Walter’s efforts with a line I often think of when the girls are doing their gassy routine.

“It’s not wind power,” says the parrot.  “It’s fart power!”  Indeed.

Minding our business

Posted by CountryFriedMama on Feb-6-2009

When Miss D. was a baby, I sang to her often.  It seemed to calm her down, and I’ve never really stopped doing it.

I remember leaning over the tub when she was still in her infant bath seat, singing, “This is the way we wash your belly, wash your belly, wash your belly, this is the way we wash your belly so early in the evening.”  There was a verse for her face, arms, hands, knees, toes, etc.

I wasn’t sure whether to sing about her etc.  What do you call a baby’s etc.?  At some point during those early days, Country-Fried Daddy and I started referring to her etc. as her business.  I can’t explain how this happened.  The connotation of it bothers me now, but we seem to be stuck with the term at this point.  Miss D. uses it, which has recently become a problem.

Miss D. is curious about other people, and she is loud.  When she yells at me in public, “Why is that man picking his nose?” I try my best to hush her.  “Miss D.,” I say.  “Mind your own business.”  Today I realized how confusing that was to her.

We were on the way to school, and she asked me whether Noah would get time-out today.  “That’s not really your business, Miss D.,” I said.  She looked at me funny.  “It’s not my business, Mommy.”  Right.  She seemed to know it was not the time to talk about business, and she couldn’t figure out why I had brought it up.

I’m embarrased that we haven’t nixed the business business by now.  At some point, we will need to start using real names.  But for now, I suppose it could be worse.

Another mommy once told me that her grandmother had used pocketbook as a euphemism.  And I thought business was confusing.  Can you imagine?

I want a new pocketbook for my birthday.

My keys are lost in my pocketbook.

Someone stole my pocketbook!

Yes, I think we could have done worse, but it’s time to either rebrand our business, or find a new way to tell Miss D. to keep her nose out of other people’s…you know.


Sippy cup confessions

Posted by CountryFriedMama on Jan-16-2009

Miss D. has been tattling on herself for months now.

When school started in the fall, we had a stretch of days during which she would get in the car after school and tell me, “I hit Noah today.”  She had lots of details to go with this pronouncement.  It was an accident, she got a time out, Noah cried, she said “sorry” and hugged him.  We talked at length about not hitting our friends.

I didn’t worry about this too much the first time I heard it.  I didn’t worry too much the second time.  By the third time I heard this story, I started to fear that a call from Noah’s mother was imminent.

When I brought this up with Miss D.’s teacher, the woman laughed.  Noah, as it turns out, is often in time out for hitting.  Miss D. has never been involved, but in her own mind, she was the star of this little drama.

How does a two-year-old learn to lie?  Moreover, why would she make up lies that put her in a bad light?

It seems this is not confined to toddlers.  When I first started teaching high school, I used a “two truths and a lie” game as an ice breaker.  My freshmen had to share three things about themselves, and the class had to guess which one was untrue.  I ended up with a whole bunch of 14-year-olds confessing to cocaine addiction, theft, and countless other crimes that had me sorting the whole thing out with the guidance department at the end of my first day on the job.

I still have trouble sorting out the truths from the lies.  Clearly, Miss D. is not Sleeping Beauty, she is not cooking me breakfast in her playroom, she did not go visit her Bubbe while I was sleeping last night.  But she is still throwing me some stories that I can’t quite spot as fibs right away.  Did she really hit Belly?  No, her sister is fine.  Did she really poop in her panties?  Nope, they’re clean.  Does her tummy really hurt?  It seems unlikely given her appetite.

We have high hopes that Miss D. will break the cycle of liberal-arts-major-induced poverty in her family by going into engineering or medicine or some other lucrative field.  But the older she gets, the more convinced I am that we are raising a future creative writing student.

Miss D. with a world of her own creation.

Miss D.’s believe it or not

Posted by CountryFriedMama on Jan-13-2009

Miss D.’s latest favorite question is, “Do you believe it?”  I have high hopes that this will slowly edge out the pervasive, “But, why?” that has defined our days for months and months.

The great thing about Miss D.’s incredulity is that she directs it at the most mundane things.

I gave her an apple with her lunch today.

“I ate it all up,” said Miss D.  “Do you believe it?”

Why, yes, sweet girl, I believe it.

Miss D. made a craft at storytime today.  It consisted of glue, a paper bag, and some construction paper.  When it was done, it sort of looked like a bear.

“I did it by myself,” said Miss D.  “Do you believe it?”

“Absolutely,” I said.  Anyone who sees that poor bear will know Miss D. made it herself.

I’ve been laughing at this for a few days now, but last night I started thinking that every parenting experience I have, every story I might share on my blog, is similar to Miss D.’s sense of wonder at things I find perfectly obvious.  I am not learning anything that was not learned long ago by my mother, by her mother, by her mother, etc.  I imagine there are plenty of more experienced mamas out there who have read some of these posts, or heard me exclaiming about some “new” discovery, and silently laughed at me.

Thank you all for not laughing out loud.

My “Do you believe it?” moment today happened at gymnastics class.  Miss D. had her first big-girl class today, one in which the mamas did not have to participate.  I was, in fact, the only mama who even stayed to watch.

I led Miss D. into the gym, then turned around to go sit in the waiting area.  I waited for her to cry out for me.  She did not.

During the next hour, I watched her prance around in her leotard, follow directions from the teacher (more or less), walk the balance beam, try her very best to jump on the trampoline with both feet up in the air at the same time.   I thought about how we had done the Mommy & Me class in that very room.  When was that?  It couldn’t have been that long ago that I had to hold her hand to help her onto the trampoline, to slowly coax her onto the balance beam and catch her when she fell.  Where is that baby, and who is this self-confident beauty who went to gymnastics all by herself today?

It is so uncool to cry at your kid’s gymnastics class.  People think you are crazy if you do this.  Do you believe it?

Don’t laugh at Mama, Belly.  I’m having a moment.

I now pronounce you…

Posted by CountryFriedMama on Jan-4-2009

Friday, January 2, 2009

Do you have piles of stuff in your home that have been there so long you regard them as part of your permanent decor? I do, and I decided to knock one of them down today. At the bottom of this pile was our wedding album. I can’t recall why I had taken it out, but on my way to return it to its actual home, Miss D. stopped me and asked to look at the pictures.

This fed her current obsession, inspired by Disney. Miss D. wants to know about getting married. Thank you, Sleeping Beauty. Miss D. wants to know if Country-Fried Daddy and I are married (yes), when we got married (a long time ago), and why we got married (because we love each other).

After looking at the pictures, Miss D. decided she wanted to get married, too, and she would “get married with Daddy.”

I said, “No, Daddy is married to me. You’ll need to pick someone else.”

“Okay,” said Miss D. “I’ll get married with Grandpa.”

“Umm, no,” I said. “Girls can’t marry their grandpas or their daddies.” (There is a deep South joke in here somewhere, but I’ll just leave that alone.)

“How about Uncle Steve?”

“Nope.”

Miss D. mulled this over for awhile, then decided she would like to marry Maleficent, the bad fairy from Sleeping Beauty. She seems nervous about this, particularly since Maleficent turns into a dragon at the end of the movie, but she is insistent. Maybe by the time Miss D. is ready to get married, it will be legal in this state for a sweet girl to wed an evil fairy.

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