This Sh*t is for the Birds!

Sometimes you forget how much of a hassle it is to haul four children around, and you decide to go on an outing. So yesterday, we went to the zoo.

Our zoo has this cool place called Lorikeet Landing. If you've never seen one, this is a lorikeet:

Lorikeet Landing is this enclosed area with a bunch of - you guessed it - lorikeets flying around. For like $2, you can get a little cup of nectar stuff that these guys go crazy for, and they'll land on you and drink it right out of your hand.

I'm the picture of confidence.

Some people enjoy it more than others.

Anyway, we were on our way out yesterday when one landed on Curtis's shoulder.

Wouldn't it be funny if that bird pooped on Curtis? I secretly thought. Because Curtis is extremely picky about getting stuff on his clothes. Like if the kids have even the slightest speck of food on their hands and come near his sleeves, he's all, "Don't touch my shirt!" in this really frightened-sounding voice.

No sooner had the thought formed in my head than SPLAT! I saw a jet of liquid disgustingness stream from the bird's butthole region. And ohhh, how I laughed. "Ahahahaha! Curtis! That bird just pooped on you! He got it on your ... on your ..."

My eyes traveled over the expanse of Curtis's back. Over his clean shirt. I was ready to, at any moment, gleefully point out the splatter of avian ass-explosion ... but oddly, there was none. I was puzzled. I knew I had seen it, so where had it gone? The bird was sitting ON CURTIS. So how could its poop have mysteriously vanished into thin air?

Then I looked further down.


See that white cardigan-thingy I'm wearing in that picture up there?

Let's just say I found the poop. And that the cardigan is gonna need some bleach. 


The Joy of "Junk"

The male genitalia. For a dangly tube of skin, guys sure do hold it in high regard. And as the mother of four boys, I can say with 100% scientific certainty that the interest starts in early childhood. From the time they reach down to give it a squeeze (or ten) during a diaper change, a boy's hand and his junk are never far apart.*

*Which is pretty much why you should never let a boy touch you without washing his hands first. Or at least keep sanitizer on your person at all times.  

Never having been in possession of my very own penis, its allure to its owner mystifies me. I mean, I don't stand around naked after a bath and flop my boobs around (although my husband probably wishes I would start). Okay, so I might do other slightly unconventional things with them, but still. Nobody has ever told me to stop wrapping them around my fork or get them out of the crackers or stop dipping them in my brother's milk. I can't recall the last time I ran into the living room in front of company, waggled them shouting "Weeeeee!" and then ran away. Or tried to flap them so hard they made a slapping sound, or stretched them out as far as they would go, or tried to make them float in the bathtub, or groped them as I watch TV, or dangled them in front of someone's face.*

*Except maybe once when I had too much to drink. Don't judge. 

The point is, no matter how many expensive toys and gadgets boys beg for, nothing will ever equal the stretchy, squishy, amusing (and portable!) entertainment that their genitalia provides. (Or the cringe-worthy moments that happen in that "gray area" of early childhood when they're still learning what's socially acceptable). At my house lately, we've had a string of incidents which make me marvel that the boys' goods are even still attached to their bodies. For example, that time with all the tape (let's just say we're lucky there were no pubes to further complicate its removal). And most recently, when one of my dudes came running excitedly up to me (okay, waddling with his pants around his ankles) and said, with immeasurable pride in his voice, "Mommy! Look at my penis!"

And I did. And the whole thing was kind of ... yellow. And before I could say anything, he led me to the bathroom, where he closed the door and turned off the light.

And I couldn't see anything in the pitch-darkness except a.) a small, handheld black light and b.) my son's little. GLOWING. Penis.

It's amazing what a highlighter pen, a black light, and a creative child can do.

See? Endless fun. I swear you could offer them a 350-million-dollar winning lottery check, rolled up inside the hollowed-out horn of a unicorn, dipped in the tears of Jesus, and they'd just be like, "Eh," because their hands were busy with their most precious possession. The value of which, apparently, is beyond compare.
They even sleep holding onto it, as though it's going to mysteriously vanish while they slumber:

Coby on the left; his father on the right. And don't make fun of my couch. I was in college.

Boys and their toys.

Click herehere, and here for a few more of my favorite penis-centric posts.

ALSO - Don't forget, there's a giveaway going on! Click on the Giveaways & Reviews tab to check it out - you have two more days and PHENOMENAL odds!

Dear Kate Middleton ...

Dear Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge and Person with Possibly the Most Enviable Hair Ever:

So I hear you're in labor. And I'm not even going to pretend I know what that's like to experience as a royal. But I know what it's like to experience as a woman, and a mother-to-be, and it's a crazy enough time for a "normal" person - let alone someone with thousands of people literally camped out in waiting.

I mean, I was worried that I'd crap on the table during childbirth. I can't imagine the fear that such a mortifying event could be leaked to the entire world. I can just see the tweet now: "Confirmed: the Duchess of Cambridge DOES indeed poop. #royalbaby #ew"

You might have a couture hospital gown (slightly less degrading and backless than those we commoners are forced to wear) and a luxury birthing suite and other fantastic amenities (i.e., the hunky Prince William at your side), but when it comes right down to it, you're just a woman doing what we women have done for eons. And just like the rest of us, I'm sure you're nervous and slightly self-conscious and worried and wondering about what the next few hours - and then beyond that - will hold. We may each have different details, but the experience itself is universal.

I hope those around you realize that and let you, just for a bit, be not Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge and Mother of the All-Important Heir to the British Throne, but simply Kate Middleton, Woman in Labor. And New Mother. I hope your gorgeous hair goes uncurled for a bit, and that you don't feel pressured to keep your noble bearing, and that you can poop right there on the table and barely bat an eye. Labor and childbirth isn't pretty, but it's beautiful. I hope you are allowed to experience all the normal labor-y things without worrying about being proper.

My wish for your new little family is this: from today onward, as much normalcy as you can possibly have. As much hands-on parenting as you can possibly do. I hope you - not your nanny or your maid or whatever help your position entitles you to, but you - grapple with diaper explosions of epic proportions, and zombie around for a while from lack of sleep. I hope you get a little irritated when your husband sleeps right through the middle-of-the-night crying. I hope you sport a blouse stained with spit-up or sticky fingerprints without even realizing it. Stand over the crib making sure your baby is still breathing. Stay up all night worriedly checking on a fever. Watch in disbelief as your little angel throws a crazy tantrum resembling a demonic possession - over, like, a cracker or a deflating balloon. Clean up the endless toys, the crusty messes, and the variety of bodily fluids that will inevitably stain your carpet (and give you a constitution of steel, the ability to deal with grossness on a level that only parents can handle).

Because as much as I gripe about it - and ohhhh, how I gripe - I've learned that it's the messy moments of motherhood, the "I-Can't-Handle-This-Any-More" moments, the "OMG-WTF-is-That?" moments, that make the sweet moments infinitely sweeter. And the experience of parenting a child - the overwhelming, frightening, amazing experience - that much more universal. You're a part of that now. And no matter how much help you have or how much professional advice you're privy to, nothing can compare to bumbling along doing it yourself, trial-and-error, feeling like you're doing a terrible job - and then the wonderful realization that you have actually been doing okay. And that despite a setback here and there, you've got this parenting thing.

You might be raising a monarch, but at least for a while, he or she won't have any idea of that and will just be a regular baby.

I sincerely hope you get to be a regular mom, too.

All my best wishes,  

Freak at the Creek

I live in a pretty safe and uneventful 'hood. I know: you're probably saying, "But Rita! How'd you get such mad street cred, yo?" And the truth is ... I'm just naturally hardcore AWESOME. Legit.*

*Or, you know, imaginative.

Anyway, aside from the occasional stupidity which causes me to stand on my front porch yelling profanities, not much happens in my quiet corner of the world. So I don't have much cause to ever be suspicious.

... Until one night a few weeks ago. *cue creepy music*

Curtis had gone out for poker night at a friend's house, so I waited up for him.

Kind of like this, except I don't have a cool hat that resembles an acorn.

He got home around one-thirty in the morning. We sat around chatting for a few. Since we were up, the dogs decided they needed to go outside to pee - so around two o'clock, I leashed them up and took them.

I have a huge side yard with a creek running along the edge of it. Everything was eerily quiet, as things tend to be in the middle of the night, as I stood in the darkness and let the dogs do their thing.

Suddenly I noticed a car coming up the street. This wouldn't have been too unusual, except this car pulled to a stop beside the creek in our yard. Obviously they didn't expect or notice me (or the dogs) in the shadow of the house. The window of the car was rolled down, and the driver was facing me, so I heard him unmistakably clearly as he said, in a cold, serious tone: "Push him in this creek."

As soon as he said the words, my lab Josie barked her big bark - which must have startled the driver, because he mashed on the gas. The car sped away and turned off our street at the first available turn.

I literally felt sick and shaky inside. Because like ... that was freaking creepy. First of all, nobody puts something into a random creek in the middle of the night unless they don't want anybody to see them doing it. Second of all, the way he phrased it: push him in this creek. If it was trash or something, he wouldn't have called it him. And if it were something small? It would have been throw it in this creek, toss it in this creek, chuck it in this creek ... but not push. Push is reserved for something big. Something you can't move easily. LIKE A BODY.

And the way he drove away the second he realized someone was nearby. Fast. Frantic.

And the way he said the words. Solemnly. Without even the vaguest hint of humor or teasing in his voice. It wasn't like, "Ha ha ha, our friend is so drunk, let's push him in this creek."

I went in the house and told Curtis, "I think I need to call the police." And I did. They took me seriously, sending two cops out to canvass the neighborhood and get a report from me.

Nothing ever came of it, except me freaking out every single night for a week thinking that they would come back to retaliate, mob-style, because I knew too much. But here I am, still alive and blogging and stuff.

Still, I can't help but wonder if I stumbled upon something very sinister.

They're lucky I didn't somersault across my yard and ninja-kick their car door open and yank the driver out by his creepy suspicious hair and beat him until he confessed to whatever he was doing there.*

* ... or something.

Curtis makes fun of me. He says I'm overly paranoid (of course, this is the guy who calls me a "doomsday prepper" because I want to make a small emergency supply kit to keep in our basement).

What do you think?

PS - I've got a new giveaway up! Click HERE or on the "Giveaways and Reviews" tab to check it out ... you've got one week to enter! 

I Think We're Alone Now ...

For the past several weeks, I've had to keep my house constantly presentable. And cook three meals a day, plus tons of desserts. And make sure my kids are well behaved. And pee with the door closed. And wear a bra at all times.

No, I didn't die and go to hell. I've had company.

For three weeks solid, seriously.

Don't get me wrong. I love it when people come to visit. Especially when they're people I love as much as the people who have been visiting this month. (Y'all know who you are! Holla!) But when company comes in waves, one wave after another, it can be exhausting. Especially when it's all over and you're like, "Holy crap, I can't believe I just had that many people at my house." It's like finishing up a marathon.*

*Or what I imagine finishing up a marathon would feel like. If I actually like, you know, ran marathons.  

You wanna know how many eggs I've gone through this month, cooking breakfasts and yummy treats that require eggs? TEN DOZEN. And over a dozen gallons of milk. And two pounds of butter. I'm like Paula Deen.*

*Only minus, like, the diabetes and accusations of racism.

I think I'm getting a preview of what feeding four teenage boys is going to be like. Or what it's like to be the Duggars.

Overall, I've had a good time. But now I've brought muffin top to a whole new level my jeans are getting a little snug because for the past three weeks I've been all, "We have company ... let's make ice cream! ... Waffles! ... Barbecue! ... Thai food! ... Doughnuts! ... Cookies!  ... MORE COOKIES!"

Visitors are fattening.

So now that everyone is gone, I have to get my jiggly ass in gear and nix that problematic shoveling-of-treats-into-mouth before I weigh four hundred pounds.

... But I'm doing it braless, damn it.

*Shoutout to those of you who recognized that the title of this post is a line from a Tiffany song and should be sung accordingly. And as for getting it stuck in your head ... you're welcome.

Boy, It Ain't Easy

When I tell people I'm the mother of four boys, one of two things happens: they either look at me in horror through widened eyes and then slowly shake their heads as if my strictly-male-producing uterus has made me insane, or they say this:

At least they're not girls.

I've pondered it so often, this girls vs. boys issue. Partly because I can't imagine how anyone can call what I go through with my boys "easy." It's irritating, actually. Like - wow, you have four kids but at least you got the "easy" kind. Because four boys pretty much means I can sit on my ever-widening keester and shovel bonbons into my mouth, right? They practically raise themselves, right?! Ha!

I don't know if the whole "boys are easier than girls" thing is referring to the teen years or what, because I have yet to experience a houseful of teenage boys. But the thing I hear most is, "Girls are just so dramatic."

You want dramatic? All my boys can be dramatic in their own right, but let me introduce you to my five-year-old, Cameron, who brings his own special brand of drama to the table. This is a kid who once tripped over his own two feet, then tripped again trying to get up, then gave up completely, flopped onto the floor, and wailed at the top of his (loud, loud) lungs, "This world is just too dangerous for someone like meeeee!"

As I type this, my boys are in the midst of an ongoing feud over ... wait for it ... a feather. A feather that Cameron picked up like a week ago that, until this morning, had been lying dusty and forgotten underneath the bed. Then Colin found it and was like, "Hey! I found a feather!" and all hell broke loose. For the past half-hour solid, I've had to listen to Cameron sobbing and moaning nearly-unintelligibly about how Colin has his featheeeerrrrrr and he's had it since he was a babyyyyyy (he hasn't) and it's his favorite memoryyyyyyy (it isn't) and Colin won't give it baaaaaaack (well, that part was true) and it's not faaaaaaaaiiiiiirrrrrr. All this is punctuated by rolling on the floor in various directions.

To top it off? Colin just gave back the feather. But licked it first. Which is obviously reason enough to lend a new vigor to the existing meltdown.

Boys. They're not dramatic at all. *insert eye roll here*

I don't think it's so much about one gender being easier than the other. I think it all depends on the kinds of kids you have. Some kids in general are just easier than others: compliant, obedient, laid-back (in my house, that's my three-year-old, Coby). And some kids do more to try your patience (in my house, that's ... the rest of them). Girls, boys - I'm thinking gender doesn't matter as much as general personality.

Case in point: my friend Hannah, the author of the fabulously hilarious sKIDmarks, wrote this post the other day. It's about the recent survey saying three kids is the most stressful number (which is a whole other can of worms but I'll just say in the politest way possible that I'm in disagreement with that assessment and leave it at that). But what struck me most was the end photo of a wayward turd on the floor. Just like at my house!

... Except Hannah has all girls.

I rest my case.


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