The birds. The bees. And one very disturbing plastic horse.

I knew the day would sneak up on me fast.  The day that body parts would be discovered and questions would have to be answered. The day I wouldn’t be able to escape the very simple inquiry from my son,

“Mommy, do you have a penis?”

It would be easy to avoid the topic of discussion, to brush it off or to play dumb.  It would be easy if it weren’t for the horse.  The damn plastic, well-endowed horse that my son insists on playing with 24/7.

How can I play dumb when we both look at this all day long?

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“No, I don’t, son, but your horse does.”

Now, I love those Schleich animals you get at Target as much as the next person. And, I get that there’s a desire to make these figurines look really true to life. (i.e., the plastic pig has what seems to be an appropriate but appalling amount of teats.) 

But adding a very large male genitalia to what your son thinks is a “mommy” horsey?  Not so much.

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I think this should have been sold in the “adult toy” section.  And, I think he’s not Jewish.

I’m dying to find that dude, somewhere in the depths of Germany, who’s drunk or horny, eeking out a living at the Schleich factory working on this toy horse model, who thinks to himself (because only a man would make a penis on a plastic horse this large):

Ah-ha! I’m going to add a to-scale penis on this horse so that moms all over the world playing ‘farm’ with their kids will be forced into awkward conversations with their children at young ages.

Either that, or the horse-making dude was seriously bored one day.

What’s even more alarming is that the horse isn’t the only creature in our animal collection that would make Dirk Diggler blush.

 May I present to you…

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… the antelope of every girl’s dreams?

Or…

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… I bet this lion isn’t so cowardly. Needed a heart, my ass.

I tried to find an animal or two with female parts, but it just wasn’t dirty funny enough.

So now I’m stuck.  I’ve got a kid who’s discovered himself and an immature mother who can’t get over the collection of plastic porno-creatures she’s bought him.

Oh, life would be so much easier if I just stuck to Little People.

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Plastic testicles not included.

Is it a boy or is it a girl?

So we’ve made the decision not to find out what we’re having. We didn’t find out during my first pregnancy, and we thought keeping the gender a mystery would make things a little more exciting during delivery this time around. Since I have a boy already, I think I’m having another boy.  As my friend said, “It’s what I know.”  Plus, I feel boy vibes.

I’m trying not to care too much about my unborn child’s sex.  I know boys, I love having a boy and having another would be easy and a lot cheaper. Plus, all that matters is a healthy, normal and happy baby, right?

Not from the way my family and friends are talking. Nearly the first thing everyone says to me after I tell them I’m pregnant is,

Oh, I hope you’re having a girl!

I’m never sure how to respond to such statements.  Don’t get me wrong – I’ve already started looking longingly at all the pink and purple in the stores, thinking about life with princesses and ponies, and braiding hair before the first day of school. Everyone keeps telling me that they think I’m having a girl. (People, this doesn’t help).  But I keep reminding myself that it doesn’t matter – if all I get is more trucks, tanks, and messy curls, I will be just fine.

It’s amazing how much emphasis people put on gender when your first child is a boy. The woman at the store telling me that boys are great and they “love their mommies,” but how her friend had two boys and a girl and was “so excited.”  The friends who say they thought they were having boys all along but were so “surprised and estatic” when they had girls. They all assume that having two boys is the worst case scenario.

I’m excited to meet the little gomper who’s making me so queasy.  It may turn out that I’ll be surprised and bring home a bundle of joy in pink.  But I may not and instead be buying blue and camouflage forever and ever.  My son will have a brother, and I’ll be the happiest mom on earth.
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Now for your read-along enjoyment, here’s a recap of my first trimester symptoms. What do you think it is?

– Night nausea starting at 4 pm and lasting ALL MISERABLE NIGHT LONG
– Craving for fruit and anything in vinegar and oil
– Weight gain of 7 pounds (too hard to tell where it’s settling for now)
– Fetal heart rate of 153
– Skin broken out on face and back

Say girl and you’re dead to me.

Back in the game, momentarily

Thanks, all for your very kind wishes! All the good juju you sent my way today inspired me to post on my Work It! Mom blog … Now off to watch what shall be a very interesting VP candidate speech.

Payback is hell

A necessary evil of having friends, especially mom friends, is loaning money.  I don’t know anyone who hasn’t remembered at one point to put their wallet in their diaper bag when heading out for the day or realized they only had $45 in their checking account so couldn’t put anything on their debit card (who, me?).   At one point or another every mom has asked their mom friend for a few dollars here, $30 there (expensive dinner) with a “sure, I’ll pay you back soon” wink and nod.

I happily loan out money whenever I have a friend in need. Even if my checking account is absurdly low right now (ahem, perhaps I should find another freelance gig), I’m always flush with cash thanks to a neurotic husband and refusal to pay the $2 ATM fee if my bank’s terminal is not nearby. See you at Starbucks and you’re a dollar short? No worries, I got your latte. Need parking fee for the zoo? I’ll get your car out of that lot.

I’ve also been on the receiving end of many a dollar. But as soon as I see my bank friend again, I always pay back. Even if I have to shove the money in their wallet. I hate having an I.O.U. to a B.F.F.

There are those out there though who may not remember how I treated them to a yogurt or turkey sandwich (with a soda), wine (Australian Shiraz) or even a movie. That’s okay, to a point, but I’m finding that the $2 here and $14 there (zoo parking is expensive) can add up.  It’d be really nice if my checking account was at $60 instead of $45.

When I brought this up to my friends today (none of which had any outstanding loans from me), I felt like a cheapskate for my plan to ask my other friend to pay me back from a movie night a few weeks ago.  It’s not like there’s a lot I can do around town with the $11.50 ticket price (that’s 3 lattes!), but it’s sort of the notion that the money is floating out there, somewhere, trying to find its way back to my bank account. (I’d be up to $71.50, cha-ching!)

My friends were mixed on what to do. I just thought I’d be forthright, up front and ask point blank for my money back.  Some thought I should be a little more tactful.  Bring up the movie, talk about its obvious plots, fabulous fashion and terrific dialogue (I loved it too!) and see if she bites with an “oh! I owe you money for the ticket, don’t I?”

But I hate being passive agressive.  If I had any outstanding movie tickets, coffees, parking fees, bottles of wine, anything, I’d want to know ASAP.  As a SAHM now, I have to protect my funds.

So that’s what I’m gonna do.  I’m just gonna ask. I hope she has the correct change.

Boredom cured

I’ve barely left the house all weekend what with a feverish son and Twittering to be done (how do you people get anything done with all that Twittering!?).  I wouldn’t actually have written the word boredom in the title of this post if my husband hadn’t threatened to throw my BlackBerry in Lake Michigan (threatened again, that is), from all that Twittering. So less than 24 hours after I turned on the “mobile device updates” I had to shut it off. I can’t keep up with y’all. Sorry.  So then I was bored.  Well not bad bored, but bored as in I’d had enough of reading the book “Trucks” and I wished I could have snuck in a Tweet or check my e-mails bored.

But then I remember I have such a fun start to my week.  Some really awesome bloggers and moms extraordinaire are coming to town for a panel discussion and I’m just glad to be in the audience to listen to all the wisdom. (And have a fun girls’ (and toddler and baby) lunch!)  I’ll be sure to post all the details as soon as I can translate them from my notes to the internet.  Then again, my husband won’t be with me so I might just sneak in a text or two to that very addictive place.

The 10 plagues of matzah

I typically only eat matzah once a year during Passover. Now that I’m keeping it for once, I know why. Following is a list of my matzah conundrums.  

  1. You can’t eat Egg and Onion matzah on Passover, but no one (no one I’m friends with) cares if you slather the matzah with butter, salt and onion powder.  Hell, I could even crack an egg on it.
  2. Manischewitz only makes Kosher for Passover apricots so that you won’t curse them for the havoc that their matzah wrecks on your stomach.
  3. The whole wheat variety may help on the stomach issue, but it doesn’t solve the big taste challenge.
  4. No matter how hard you scrub or how fancy your brush is, there is no end to cleaning a pan of matzah kugel.
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    When matzah was in my Pyrex pan,
    Let my cookware go,

  6. Surprisingly, a box of matzah left out all week opened on the counter (with one rainstorm!) does not go stale.
  7. Surprisingly, I would eat fried matzah outside of Passover. Only with good-tasting matzah, of course.
  8. It is not possible for me to eat matzah pizza 4 nights in a row.
  9. It is possible for my husband to eat matzah pizza 4 nights in a row.
  10. There are still people out there who treat matzah like a novelty. A two-year-old.
  11.  There are things made of matzah meal that people eat, but that don’t sound remotely appealing: matzah granola, matzah bagels, matzah farfel, matzah hash.

And with that, only two more days of matzah eating before the big pizza and beer gorge-fest ensues.

I know what boys like

When I enrolled my son in a gymnastics class last month, I got a few giggles and sidelong glances.  Don’t think I didn’t ask myself the same thing, “isn’t gymnastics just for girls?” But two of my SAHM acquaintances signed up for the class as well (with their daughters), and in the hopes of making some new real friends I decided to join them.

My friends and family were mixed on my decision.  Some thought the gym studio was better left to leotards and leggings.  Others scoffed at my question and said, “of course boys take gymnastics.” In my head I knew boys take gymnastics too, but part of me just couldn’t get past the thought of my son setting forth to do his floor routine in a singlet. Wouldn’t he freeze to death?

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Please cover up during all the winter months.

It’s funny, my son and his peers seem to be entering a phase of their young lives where boys start to do “boy” stuff and girls start to do “girl” stuff.  I knew this moment would creep up on me eventually, but I made a conscious decision when my son was born to try to steer clear of activities that were biased towards one sex or the other.  And so far, it hasn’t been an issue – we all know classes at this age are based on how smart the mother thinks her child is the age of your child .

However, now that my son and his friends are hitting the twos, I’m beginning to see the lines being drawn more clearly. The girls are signing up for dance, the boys are leaning towards activities like soccer.  Hell, in our soccer class alone the boy/ girl ratio is something like 152/ 2.

But what do you do when you have a boy who would rather sit on the sidelines of his gymnastics class and eat a bagel than walk on the balance beam? Or one you know would enjoy that dance class that all the girls are enrolling in? I’d like to say that I could let go of the stereotypes and let him rip in a session of ballet.  (I think he’d look darling in those black jazz shoes.)  But part of me knows that when it comes down to it I will probably err in the direction of what the “boys” are doing. At least until he can tell me he’d rather pirouette than run cross-courts.

The things I’ve learned about raising a boy

Congratulations to Julie, who’s  having her third child, a boy, very soon! In preparation for her big day, some of her friends are hosting a virtual shower to celebrate the new arrival.  And they have asked us on the blogosphere who have little boys to give her some advice on what it’s like to rear a kid of the XY kind.

I could see why, after having 2 girls, it might be scary to have a boy.  But if I were Julie, I would think of it as hitting the genetic lottery.  To ease her fears, though, I’ve compiled this list of things I’ve learned in the last two years about raising a boy:

  1. peepee2.jpgWhatever the experts tell you, pee-pee teepees don’t work. You’re better off telling your daughters you got them pretend birthday hats for their dolls instead.
  2. You will never have to worry about what clothes your boy wears because you really only have 2 choices: camouflage or pirate.
  3. You can wipe backwards AND forwards.
  4. While wiping backwards and forwards, your son will likely laugh should you touch his penis by accident in the process. Yes, it’s totally creepy.
  5. If you’re ever feeling blue about having a boy, you can just grow his hair long and pretend he’s a girl.  I mean, all the celebrities are doing it.
  6. ryder.jpg rene2.jpg

  7. When your husband says he needs a little “guy time” you can just tell him to play with the baby.
  8. A year from now you will likely know the difference between a steam shovel, front bucket loader and bulldozer.  And construction sites will be the “hot” place to hang out.
  9. When little boys get sweaty they emit a scent that smells like a combination of wet dirt, worms and feet. It sounds gross, but I swear after awhile you’ll get used to it and probably even like it.
  10. You’ll love telling your friends your son is a “mama’s boy.” The phrase “mama’s girl” just doesn’t have the same cache.
  11.  Your walls will never look the same again, but I swear one day the stain “pee” will be Pantone’s color of the year.

Congratulations!

Things we never thought we’d say to each other

poop.jpgWhile at the bookstore, to my husband: “Please keep junior occupied so I can find a copy of ‘Everyone Poops.'”

While in the kitchen cleaning up dinner, husband to me: “If you want, I’ll watch ‘Cashmere Mafia‘ with you in bed tonight.”

And they say marriage loses its excitement once you have kids.

Recipe for a cold

1) One part child who’s had a runny nose for two weeks straight

2) One part cranky husband who’s ill as well but still working too much

3) Two parts stressful yet exciting week (more on that soon I swear)

Just writing this list makes my head ache more. Off to bed now.  At least I have some company in my pink eye misery.  I mean, really, who gets pink eye anymore!?