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Reason Enough to Move to Orlando

There was a time in the not-so-distant past when the Toddler really didn't care about clothing. It was a blissful existence where I bought whatever I wanted, dressed her in it whenever I wanted, and there were no fights. I knew better than to "complain" that she should put on her Care Face for a minute, because I knew my day was coming.

It's here.

It was like someone flipped a switch. One day I was gleefully shoving chubby legs in Gap embroidered jeans and cute little sweaters, the next I was hearing, "I don't like that." Repeatedly, and always followed by, "I wanna wear polk dot dress." And so it came to be that I started sending the Toddler into her closet to pick out her own dang clothes.

In all honesty, I don't care at all what she wears. After all, I am still her personal shopper. Ultimate veto power is a wonderful thing when it comes to jeans with "Juicy" stamped across the bum (and, yes, such things exist in her size). She really can't walk out of her room with anything too terribly bad. As long as what she picks is remotely appropriate for her tasks of the day and sort of works with the weather forecast, we're all good.

All summer we've had it pretty easy. She picks out a dress, I let her wear the dress. Mind you, she would wear the exact same pink polka-dotted dress every single day if I let her, but that's OK. It's not in her closet every day, and she always manages to find some other sundress that fits the bill.

All is well.


Cooler weather is undoubtedly on the horizon. Guess who won't wear pants. Not even leggings. Guess who thinks flip-flops are The Shoes of Every Season. Guess who won't wear layers. Guess who thinks sweatshirts and sweaters are stupid. Guess who is going to be really freakin' upset when her Ogre Mother insists that she cover her legs before going out in the snow.

Good times on the horizon.


Embarrassment Excellence

It's been two weeks now since gymnastics lessons have started for the Toddler, and there has yet to be a single surprise. Within thirty seconds of the first lesson, I was already grateful that she's too young to be embarrassed by me, because I truly excel at the embarrassing in public situations thing.

I started out on the wrong foot. Or feet. That is, I am a giant dork and even with 20 some other parents around to observe, I still missed the whole Shoes Go in Cubbies thing. Ah, yes indeed, we were the only two in a room full of people wearing shoes on the big red mat. Awesome.

I continued my Not With it Ways when I was the only parent -ONLY PARENT- that didn't know the little songs that get sang every ten seconds. The Toddler is in a class full of two-year olds (in theory they can't have been going to gymnastics THAT long), but apparently I am WAAAAY behind the times because I am clueless as to the songs that you sing when pulling bells out of a box, playing with balls (*snicker*), and jumping on one foot. There must be some sort of hymnal for gymnastics and I guess I need to find it. Or maybe I don't, given that I am the worst singer on Earth. Perhaps it is best that I can't join in with the cult-like tunes.

My ultimate FAIL came at the hand of Gymnastics Mom Extraordinaire. I knew there would be one--a woman who very clearly excels much more than I do at the Mom Thing. One glance and I knew she was of another class of women. Her perfectly ironed pleated khakis were tightly cinched with a shiny leather belt. Her light pink Ralph Lauren Polo shirt was buttoned just right and tucked in perfectly. Her shiny penny loafers donned shiny new ACTUAL pennies. Her perfectly coiffed blond hair had nary a single stray strand. Everything about her was Perfect.

Also perfect? Her four kids. The oldest was in the class preceding the Toddler's, one is in the class with the Toddler, and the other two are in the class immediately after the Toddler. See that? The woman reproduced at exactly the right rate to be able to line up gymnastics classes. That takes mad skillz. But not only are the classes lined up perfectly, the KIDS LINE UP PERFECTLY. They all sit in chairs, side-by-side, working on their homework when it's not their turn to participate in class. Their outfits are perfect, their behavior is perfect, they. are. perfect.

The Toddler is not.

The Toddler is really enjoying gymnastics. Especially the balance beam. She wants to walk across that thing over and over and over and over. It's her thing. Her thing that she wants to do and since she's 2, it doesn't really occur to her that someone else might want a turn. I mean, she's not shoving anyone out of the way or anything, but she certainly doesn't pause to look around after jumping off the end. Instead, she races back to the stairs to climb back on top of the beam again.

I guess this is a rude behavior.

At least, that's what Gymnastics Mom Extraordinaire said last week.

As the Toddler rounded the corner to head for balance beam walk number 451, the voice of Gymnastics Mom Extraordinaire cut through the giggles and declaration of "Do it again!" She said, "I'm trying to teach Angel Madison Tiffany Smith-Jones* to be polite and take turns, but clearly that's a problem when you don't find such things as important as I do."

Awesome. You just know that if Alexis were older, she would have been embarrassed.

I'm so proud that I can be such an embarrassment to my kid. In fact, I might just have to embarrass her weekly, just to piss off Gymnastics Mom Extraordinaire.

*Not her real name, but it is something equally long and much snootier.


Spray a Little Joy

Alexis is a breakfast girl. She would eat pancakes and waffles three meals a day, seven days a week if she could. Every single morning she gets her fix thanks to the joy that is frozen breakfast foods. One of my biggest failures in Alexis' eyes was the one time that we were totally out of frozen pancakes AND waffles. She nearly blew a gasket and most certainly fired me that morning. The way she sees it, the freezer should be totally full of her frozen fixes.

Before you give me any crap about how many preservatives and additives are in those boxes of Eggo's, let me just say that my lazy butt is not going to get up earlier than I already do so that I can slave over a stove cooking the kid fresh/homemade pancakes or waffles. I can't even be bothered to spray some pancakes in a pan, let alone mix things together.

Oh, yeah. I said SPRAY some pancakes in a pan.

Have you seen these?

You know what those are? Those are AWESOME IN A CAN!

Check it:

Making pancakes is like spraying whip cream. This is a good thing.

Me + whip cream = fun. True fact. Me + spray pancakes = fun. In the form of name pancakes for the kid.

You can tell me that I can do that with regular pancake batter, but I don't care. I won't get the joy of pancake whip-its and the extreme control the whip cream style can offers.

Why, yes, I am easily amused.

Spray pancakes cook up just like regular pancakes. The also taste just like regular pancakes. Nothing fancy about the end result, it's all about the method.

Just don't worry about me suddenly becoming less lazy and actually trying to make those things in the morning. At $6/can, they ain't exactly a bargain.

But they are fun. For me, anyway.