When Mom's Away ...

So last night when I came home from the gym, the first thing Colin says to me is, "Mommy, Coby pooped on the floor!" He pointed to a dim corner of the living room, where there appeared to be a lone turd just chillin' on the carpet.

I couldn't say I was surprised (which is actually pretty sad when you think about it), but I was irritated. After all, it's not like I'd left them here to fend for themselves. There was an adult present. So where was said adult while all this carpet-pooping was going on?

"Where's Daddy?" I demanded.

Before I could get an answer from the kids, Curtis came strolling casually out of our bedroom.

I pointed accusingly at the turd from across the room. "Uh, Coby pooped on the floor?" It was posed as a simple question, but really, it was "where the hell were you when all this was going on and why in the name of all that is holy did you wait for me to come home and clean it the eff up?"

Curtis just glanced at the turd and let out a chuckle and a shrug. "Heh. Well, he was running around without a diaper for a few minutes." And then, instead of being like, "Sorry about that - I'll clean it up," he just walked in the opposite direction. Like he wasn't going to do anything about it.

Time for a tirade.

"So you were aware of this, right?" I shrieked as I headed for the paper towels. "I mean, I'm sure Colin said something, didn't he? So you just ... left it for me to take care of?" I angrily yanked a few off the roll. "Because Mom takes care of all the nasty stuff, right? I can't believe that nobody in this house but me is capable of cleaning up messes." I stomped indignantly over to the poop. "It's one thing for you not to prevent it in the first place, but then to just leave it here for me ... to ..."

Wait a second. Something was weird.

I switched on the lamp.

The hysterical laughter from my boys and my husband alike confirmed my suspicion: it wasn't poop at all! It was a toilet paper tube, dampened and torn up and pressed back together into a turd-like shape.

Apparently, when there are a bunch of dudes alone in your house, they watch videos like this on YouTube:

... And then decide to test it out on poor unsuspecting Mom.

Why do I have the feeling it will only get worse from here on out?

The Poo-Shoe Blues

I just drove Colin to school. Late. With poop all over my shoe.

We were late because I had trouble getting out of bed, because this "morning sickness" thing - which is actually more like "morning-and-then-whenever-the-hell-else-it-feels-like-striking" sickness - is kicking my ass a little bit lately. And it seems like on the mornings when I try to jump out of bed the second my eyes pop open, my stomach is all, "Oh no you don't!" So I try to wait and just lay there a little bit, because sometimes - occasionally - that seems to help.

So this morning was one of those difficult mornings. Thank goodness it isn't a day when I have a 9 a.m. Zumba class to teach ... those are the hardest. Ick. Anyway, I managed to crawl out of bed almost twenty minutes behind schedule. When that happens, I only have time to get the boys ready, which means I drive to school in my pajamas, praying the whole way that I don't get in a fender-bender or have car trouble of some sort.

I was so behind this morning that I didn't even have time for shoes and socks. So I slipped on my mowing shoes, which were on standby in the garage. They look pretty much like these:
Except picture them, like, old. And covered with grass stains. And caked with dried poo. Because yesterday, when I mowed my yard for probably the final time this year, I stepped in the granddaddy of all piles. I mean seriously. I think it was pterodactyl poop. And while normally I can avoid stepping in poop while mowing, or at least just graze the perimeter of a turd, I wasn't so lucky yesterday. I stepped squarely in the center of this massive dump, and it squished up on both sides of my shoe. Yes, I spent the next fifteen minutes dragging my foot on the grass in an attempt to clean it off (I probably looked like Quasimodo mowing my lawn), but there's only so much cleaning grass can do. Then by the time I finished, I had to get in the house because Curtis was heading to work, so I didn't have time to give them a proper poo-purging.

So anyway. Here I was, loading the kids into the car, in my pajamas (a thin gray Adidas t-shirt and highwater workout pants and grungy mowing shoes, no socks). I got everybody buckled in and pulled out of the driveway. And then it hit me.

The smell.

Even dried dog poop stinks to high heaven, apparently. And when you're already battling morning sickness, and even normally-pleasant smells can send you into a fit of nausea, the aroma of poop is not your friend.

"What's that stink?" Colin demanded.

"I ... think there's ... poop on my shoe," I said, my throat constricting into a series of gags.

Please don't throw up please don't throw up please don't throw up please don't throw up

I gagged all the way to the school and back, y'all. When I pulled up to drop Colin off it was all I could do not to boot him out of the Jeep while it was still moving (and tell him to take my poopy shoes and deposit them in the nearest trash can). Thank goodness I managed to hold it together and not hurl all over my steering wheel.

Next time? I'll just be late.


American Picker

There are sooooo many places on the human body that little boys can put their fingers into, y'all. And except for a few (very) rare circumstances, nearly all of those places are socially unacceptable. And finger placement in pretty much 100% of those places requires a ridiculous amount of hand washing/hand sanitizer.

Lucky for me, my kids do not put their fingers in their pants in public. (The story is different at home because, well, they hardly wear pants when they're here - I'm inadvertantly raising nudists, I swear.) But my three-year-old, Cameron? His finger has taken up permanent residence in his nose.

Well, when it's not traveling. To his mouth.


He's always been more of a natural nose-picker than the rest of my kids, even as a little bitty thing. But lately his index finger is almost perpetually rooted knuckle-deep in the recesses of his schnoz. See following photos for confirmation:

Attempt #1 at a decent picture of myself and the dudes ... 

... and attempt #2. Mission FAIL.

So what's the logical thing to do when someone's picking their nose? Hand them a tissue, right? Right. But if you've been reading the Frump for long, you know that if you give Cameron a tissue ... he'll eat it. Obviously that isn't the best solution here. Consequently, I've admonished, reminded and scolded until I'm blue in the face. Threatened. Pleaded. Bribed. Made up some fantastically elaborate tale about how your fingers put germs in your nose and the germs attack your blood cells and make you contagious and then you make the whole town sick just by picking your nose so if you stop doing it you'll prevent the germs from spreading and thereby that makes you, like, some kind of superhero.

Or something.

But regardless of the 1,247 methods I've tried to get the nose-mining to come to a halt, NOTHING IS WORKING. My ineffectiveness is pathetic. Cameron is the most persistent picker I know, as though it were a career and he's climbing the corporate ladder. I only hope his dedication to work is someday as strong as his current dedication to acquainting himself with the inside of his nose.

I'm thinking about taping his index and middle fingers together so they're too big to fit in his nose.*

*I'm just kidding. **

**I think.

Is your kid (or, hell, yourself) a reformed nose-picker? I need a surefire way to break this habit before he's walking across the stage at his high school graduation with a finger in his nostril!

Am I Up "Four" the Challenge?

Thanks for all the well-wishes on the last post, y'all! It feels weird to be pregnant again, because I honestly thought that my chances for another baby were slim to none, and getting slimmer as time progressed. (Don't tell my husband, but I was actually getting used to the idea of just having my three dudes.) It had gotten to the point where I'd actually encouraged Curtis, multiple times, to call for an appointment to get the big "snip-snip" per our earlier agreement. If I had a dollar for every time I said, "If we're done having kids, you'd better schedule that vasectomy" ... well, we could afford a fourth child. Hehe.

It's good, though. I'm so over-the-top excited! So is Curtis, which helps. He might have sometimes acted like another kid would be nothing short of a crisis, but the way his face lit up in a smile when he heard the news, I can officially and undeniably say he's happy about it.

I can't help but wonder, though, how in the HELL I'm going to adjust to FOUR CHILDREN. I kinda remember feeling this way when I was pregnant with Coby, but that was three and this is four. F-O-U-R!!!!! I have my doubts because sometimes - okay, most of the time - I feel like I'm halfway inept at handling the ones I already have.

Like yesterday morning, five minutes before I was scheduled to leave the house to make my nine o'clock Zumba class on time. I was putting my shoes on in the bedroom when apparently Cameron and Coby decided that our fish were hungry, and therefore needed the entire bottle of fish food dumped into their water. So with absolutely zero time to spare, I was forced to remedy the situation via the most frantic fish-water change in the history of the world. I probably still smelled like fish when I showed up to Zumba.

I'm almost positive sometimes that the kids and the pets secretly conspire to drive me insane. Last night was a prime example. Number one, I was jolted from sleep by the sound of our pug, Destiny, licking her lips repeatedly - which can, in my experience, only mean one thing: vomit. I thought she was getting ready to hurl, so I tossed her off the bed (where she feels entitled to sleep) and crouched next to her in the dark, holding a piece of dirty laundry under her mouth. (Hey, better that than the carpet, right?) She stopped the lip-smacking, though, so I thought I was wrong. Until I got back into the bed and laid right on top of something cold and squishy. Yep: she'd barfed BEFORE I threw her off the bed. And I? Was touching it.

There's nothing like middle-of-the-night laundry.

Incident number two happened roughly an hour later, when Cameron - who is completely potty-trained by day and only occasionally pees during the night - wet the bed. He'd been wearing a Pull-Up when he went to sleep, but had mysteriously removed it at some point. And of course, it was after that point when he decided he needed to pee. All over the sheets and comforter that I had just washed the day before.

More middle-of-the-night laundry.

And speaking of pee, The Fetus is definitely in on the conspiracy even at this young age. Because he or she is directly responsible for why I need to wake up an extra 2,177 times per night to go to the bathroom. But I guess it's only going to get worse from here on out for a while: first the huge uncomfortable sleeplessness of late pregnancy, and then the mind-numbing, did-I-just-drool-on-myself fatigue that accompanies a newborn.

With stuff like this happening on a regular basis - finding a whole (soggy) roll of toilet paper clogging up the bathroom sink, discovering a frozen-solid Elmo toy in the freezer (which means he was wet when he went in, and I don't even want to know why), taking my two-year-old to the emergency room because he was climbing on the counters and fell off and hurt his elbow, realizing that someone pooped but didn't wipe - I'm pretty sure I'm more than slightly in for it once I add another little mischief-maker to the mix.

I lost three blog followers when I announced that I'm expecting #4. They were probably like, "Damn, this is gonna be a train wreck. I can't bear to watch!"

Adventures in Never-Land

We've all got one: a list of things we swore we'd never do, yet ended up doing anyway.

I clearly remember thinking that boys were so gross and that I would never in a million years kiss one. I didn't care what the grownups said ... kissing was disgusting. And then poof - I was in first grade and getting in trouble at recess for chasing my crush du jour down, tackling him, and laying a big wet smooch right on his smacker. What?? I've always been a girl who knows how to get what she wants by use of excessive force.

I said I'd never be a neat freak like my mom. Because *insert teenage girl voice here* like, ohmigawd, I wanna have a life and not be all anal about how clean the house is all the time. *eye roll* Yet here I sit, a real live adult, staring with dismay at a sink full of dirty dishes and an overflowing laundry basket and only wishing I wasn't psychologically tortured by their presence.

I said I'd never wear big underwear. And though I won't elaborate (you're welcome), sometimes big underwear is a necessity.

I swore I would never try grits because ewwwww. And then I tasted a teeny bit of them and seriously? I swear that at this point cheese grits are singly responsible for at least seventeen pounds of weight gain. Heaven on a spoon, y'all.

I vowed that after potty-training a two-year-old, dealing with an infant in diapers, and housebreaking a puppy - all at the same time - that one dog was enough. And then Destiny intervened ... literally.

Before I had kids, I had a whole repertoire of superior parenting skills mapped out. They'd eat nothing but organic, well-balanced meals. I'd limit their TV. I'd only use positive reinforcement. But right now? My kids are crusted with brownie batter and watching Ratatouille. For the second time today. Because I'm too tired to yell at them.

Yes, sometimes there are things that just ruffle your best-laid plans. But, you know, in a good way. If I had stuck to my guns about kissing, I'd be in like a convent somewhere. If I hadn't tried grits, I'd be seven pounds lighter never know the pleasure of a hot, comforting bowl on a cold day.

Which is why, although I said I was never going to have more than three children, I can't be upset about this:

Yep. It's a pregnancy test. A positive pregnancy test - one of a million that I've taken just to be sure. (And no, I'm not dirty, that's cocoa powder on my fingers. Don't ask). Baby #4 is due June 8th, 2012 ... the day after Colin's seventh birthday. We are totally surprised (for a hot second I thought I may have gotten pregnant from a toilet seat or something), but completely happy.

Never say never: it's more than a Justin Bieber song.


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