Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The After Effects of a Day at Chuck E. Cheese

George was invited to a Chuck E. Cheese birthday party. There were so many reasons to not go, but he loves his friend so dearly that I knew I would be spending my Sunday afternoon at the God forsaken, germ incubating, ear drum shattering, over-stimulating, Child's paradise known as Chuck E. Cheese. As a child growing up in West Virginia we were not fortunate enough to have the Chuck E. Cheese, but we did have our own version. It was appropriately named Billy Bob's Wonderland. Is anyone surprised?....no. To add insult to injury I'm pretty sure all of the singing and moving electronic critters were old, decrepit hand-me-downs from Chuck E. Cheese. We had a gorilla playing the piano, a cheer leading mouse, some type of vermin that popped out of a tree stump every now and then. We had a stinky ball pit (they always stink - especially in southern WV when people come down off the mountain for Sara Jo's birthday party), skee ball, whack-a-mole, some other various arcade games, and the illustrious prize counter. Of course, growing up I thought Billy Bob's was a top-of-the line children's mecca. My parent's took us there occasionally and have brilliant memories. Mom and Dad, thank you for the sacrifice! I get it now. I had to include some pictures of Billy Bob's for your viewing pleasure.

I made the mistake of telling George that he would be attending his buddy's birthday party a week in advance. Oh holy hell. What was I thinking - no scratch that - I wasn't thinking at all. My mental faculties haven't been quite the same since my stint as an unpaid waste management employee in my own home last week. I'm not sure if the experience nabbed the extra brain cells clinking around in my head or if it was the harsh chemicals, namely bleach, that caused my lapse in thinking. Anyways, the point is I told the boy we were going to a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese - but not for a week. Well....I learned this week that two year olds have no concept of a "week". Every five minutes I was asked when we were going. Any time we went on an outing, George assumed we were going to the party. Which turned out to be a great time when we pulled into the parking lot of Harris Teeter. He even took it upon himself to ask a much younger child at the playground if she could take him to Chuck E. Cheese several times. The girl's mother made a point to share what he said to her daughter. I heard it. I didn't need it repeated. I had been trying to not listen to the incessant begging and whining all week, and now I had a 30 something year old mother informing me that my son wants to go to Chuck E. Cheese. I gritted my teeth and bobbled my head as to acknowledge her important comment. George beamed with joy. He finally found someone that would join his grass roots effort to get him to Chuck E's house. I endured a week of torment that I created for myself. I think it was training for the big day.

We spent three hours racing, and I do mean racing around from game to game. I noticed that games that already have a player are much more enticing. What's worse than watching your child play an arcade game? Watching your child watch someone else playing an arcade game. The party went off without a hitch. When George wasn't looking I threw his coins into any open slot, oh I know....the shame of it all. We would have been there for six hours if I didn't take such liberties at the rate he was going. George excitedly rushed to the prize counter with all of his tickets. We were face to face with a disgruntled, attitude ridden teenage girl who pointed to a minuscule machine with a line longer than the great wall of China of children and weary parents. No longer will the prize giver outers count your tickets. No. Now one has to stand in line with impatient children hopped up on cake and pink lemonade and wait for your turn to cram all of your tickets into the machine, which prints out a receipt with your number of tickets. I thought we were through the worst. To which I say, HA! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!

We waited. We crammed in all 114 tickets. George got his receipt, and back to the counter we marched. I thought the big line to the ticket counting contraption was bad. Oh no. It was nothing compared to the non line that we were now in at the ticket counter. It was a virtual herd of exhausted, cranky parents and children shopping for the perfect multi-colored, plastic slinky for 300 tickets. There was no line. It was first scream, first serve, and it was chaos, which is not my friend at all. Eventually we made it up to the front. George told the "wady" that he wanted the finger ball - don't ask. It was just that - a finger ball - which cost 350 tickets, that he couldn't afford. I quickly picked out his prizes for him. He got a lollipop, a crazy straw, and some type of suction cup circular piece of plastic junk, which is probably made of toxic plastic. He was happy with his wares, and now we could leave. I put my time in. It was like serving 5 years in the poky.

We gathered our items and dashed for the doors. We made it through the child check zone - where they check to make sure each person in your party is branded with the same number in invisible ink. I don't know why anyone would wander into Chuck E. Cheese and take someone's monster of a child, but nonetheless, it is a good idea. That's when it hit us. Fresh Air. It never felt so good to breathe in crisp, clean air and see the glorious sunlight. We made it through the party, and we made it out alive. It's all anyone could really ask for. We loaded in the family wagon and drove home. I leaped out of the van when I got home. I was fumbling around with my keys in the door when my husband asked me the dreaded question of all questions when you've just left Chuck E. Cheese. "What is in your Hair"? Oh man. I didn't know if I should come in the house and take a peek or just feel around with my greasy, germ laden paws. I chose the former. Adorning the top of my newly washed, for once blow dried, coiffed, church hair was the stick of a lollipop from one George. We laughed. We took a picture. Enjoy. My husband didn't get off easy either. He crashed on the couch as soon as he walked into our abode. He awoke to find himself being adorned by Chuck E. Cheese birthday party gift bag trinkets by one George. We laughed. We took a picture. Now we have proof to remind us why we don't go to Chuck E. Cheese more often.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I've decided after a week and a half of pure, unabated, maddening torture that potty training is probably the 36th ring of hell, falling right in between contracting the swine flu and having major dental work done. Actually I must say, George is doing quite well with the peeing. He lets me know when he has to go, and we usually make it to the loo in time. That makes me happy, very happy. He is being bribed with m&m's. I'm pretty sure the kid would jump off a cliff or clean my entire house for 3 colorful candy bits. I'm down with m&m's, but I'd need a much bigger prize - like 3 bags of m&m's, or probably a facial and a new outfit, for a feat such as using the toilet appropriately. But, I'm happy he doesn't need a big motivation, and I'm not going to question it. I was quite proud that he picked up peeing so easily. I was giddy even - until the Poopapalooza came to town.

The boy will not poop on the toilet. It's pushing me over the edge. I'm not even kidding. I don't know how to fix this. I have tried bribery on a very large scale - a toy, any toy in the whole world, a trip to Chuck E. Cheese ( I know - that's desperation), a super special home-made marshmallow ice cream chocolate mountain. Nothing has worked. In fact, when I even bring up the prospect of sitting on the toilet and trying to poop - even when I catch him in the act, it sends him into a tailspin of fury. He tries to take me down. It's verbal assault. He goes off in such a tangent of rage and fury, for so long, that I can feel my nerves start to unravel. It turns me into a dishrag. I look for hiding places big enough to envelope me in peace and quiet. Just this morning I caught him trying to drop some kids off in the safety net of his underwear. I promptly and excitedly asked him to come to the bathroom. I got him there okay, but once he discovered, once it hit him like a sledgehammer on the pinky, he flailed and screamed. He went off in a diatribe about how he needed to get to school, because his friends miss him. Hmmmmm..... it's getting worse I thought to myself, as he has never stepped foot into a classroom. He hasn't attended school for one second of his life. The stress of pooping on the toilet has caused the boy to dive off the deep end, and he's got me by the neck. As a side note, I miss my friends, too. Their names are Silence and Sanity.

His big boy underwear have been the receptacle of choice for his pooping escapades. Which is a mess, but manageable. Everyone tells me to let him roam around naked, and he will be potty trained in a few days. I tried it. I thought we had success when he yelled from his bathroom in quite a joyous voice that he pooped. I was ecstatic until I arrived in his bathroom only to find a monster turd on the floor. I have found many a turd right beside of the toilet since then. Lately, however he has been foraging in secret for a peaceful private pooping locale. I have stumbled across turds in the hallway, every bedroom in the house, and in the kitchen. Being the germaphobe that I am, I have to scour these areas. I have a system now. It starts with a sigh, a shaking of the noggin, and a retrieval of antibacterial supplies. During the cleaning process, George proudly stands over his work of art and smiles, as I lecture about the importance of notifying me of his urgent poop needs and the location where the act should take place.

My favorite discovery so far is the "poop perch". I say "perch", because, apparently George climbed up into his windowsill and pooped. Poop was smeared all over the windowsill and window. The sight surpassed my wildest nightmares about the possibilities in this life. I'm sure the neighbors enjoyed the show. I cannot imagine what that looked like from the outside. As soon as I spied it I yelled for my husband. I didn't want to have a break down. I was not going to clean that one up. We had already gone through 5 pairs of pants and underwear during the day. My already too frazzled self just couldn't handle it. I was at my limit. Normally I would clean a mess like that myself for fear that my husband wouldn't irradicate every single microscopic mutant killer poop bug, because he isn't aware enough of all the horrific diseases one can contract from germs. I didn't care. I gave up. I waved my white flag.

I probably could handle George's potty training mishaps, but throw in a crawling baby who puts everything in her mouth, and an obese, embarrassingly lazy, and weasily dachshund who is hopelessly poop crazed, and I'm really at my limit. My fear is that baby Evie will find a stray turd and take to tasting. I'm less worried, but still concerned that Bruiser the poop eating dog will find a delicious tidbit layed by George. Either scenario may cause me to free fall into craziness after a vomiting fit. My husband would surely come home to find me rocking myself and humming under the table.

Bruiser has been adding to the madness lately with his own shenanigans. He dove into Evie's room with the speed and velocity of a torpedo spraying turds like a machine gun in the middle of a battle. One second we were playing with fluffy bunny and the next second we were being unexpectedly pelted by dog turds. I've never seen anything like it, and lucky for us it hasn't happened since. Bruiser didn't want to drag his swollen belly through the snow to relieve himself, so instead he assaulted us with his excrement. The next day he feasted on some animal waste of an unknown origin outside. If that isn't enough to make someone gag, choke, and faint, his next show was a sell out performance. Brace yourself now, for the most vile and unimaginable tale ever. If you're in any way inclined to gagging easily, please skip this part, because I am scarred for life after what I saw and almost stepped in. He came inside after his all you can eat buffet and upchucked on the carpet. I thought there were toys on the ground when I was loafing my weary self through the hallway that evening. I bent down to pick up the "toys" and the odor nearly knocked me over. I have appropriately named the creation "Poop Vomit", and if I ever have to see and/or clean up such a mess again I am going to officially be pushed over the edge. You can send the crazy wagon on over to my house to pick me up. Consider this my consent. As if you'll need it at that point.

I'm hoping that the Poopapalooza packs up and leaves town soon. I've had more excitement than I can take. Never in my wildest dreams could I ever have imagined such a festival! If you see the banners and billboards for the Poopapalooza, and it's headed to your town next - leave. Pack up your belongings, lock your windows and doors, and leave town. And if anyone has good advice for my situation with George, I'm all ears.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

WARNING: Your Butt is Behind You For A Reason

A few months ago I did the unmentionable. Sure, the day started out as normal as any other, but come nightfall I was a changed woman. I shouldn't have done it. I put it off for a few years. Something got into me. I got a wild hair. I had a moment of cognitive dysfunction. I looked at my post baby butt in the mirror. I didn't just do a profile side glance - no I did a full backal. I shimmied that mountainous load on up to the mirror to assess the damage. It has haunted me each day since.

I guess I should start at the beginning. I have never had an issue with my butt. I never thought much of it. It was in the back. It provided me padding for sitting. It fit into my underwear and pants. It remained somewhat unchanged in shape for most of my life. This is really a two part tragedy that began the day after I gave birth to my son. Like I said, the butt was a non issue. I had no idea the problems that could arise with a butt, so I didn't take advantage of really enjoying the fine butt that I had. The day after my son was born, which was May 15, 2007 everything changed for my rear end. EVERYTHING! I was simply taking a shower at the hospital when I had the discovery. I was washing my butt and realized that it was sagging. Overnight, my butt deflated like a camel's hump might, if it ever got out of the desert. My whole pregnancy my butt retained it's shape - of course it enlarged, but that's not any kind of problem compared to what happened after George was born. No, I can deal with bigness - I can't deal with structural deficiencies. I suppose all of the water my body retained for my son drained out after he was born. I don't know how or why it happened, but it did. If it happened to you, you know what I'm talking about. If it didn't happen to you, then I don't want to hear about it. Keep it to yourself for the rest of your life. No one wants to hear anything about your perky butt. I wanted to ask the doctor what the medical term is for SBD, or Sudden Butt Droopiness. I couldn't work up the nerve, because of the last question I asked, which had never been asked before, and I'm sure got spread around the OB office like herpes in an alternative high school for juvenile delinquents. I thought I could hear my baby moving from the outside of my body. I swear I did! It was a clicking sound. According to the doctor it's not possible to hear your unborn baby on the outside. I'm sure my chart was flagged. I got the "girl you're crazy look", and I decided then and there to not ask anymore borderline stupid questions.

So, anyways the first part of the ass tragedy involved me feeling the shape of my newly formed post baby butt in the shower at the hospital. I decided that day that I couldn't look at it. I wouldn't look at it, until I got it in tip top shape. I got used to sprinting my pasty, malformed flesh past the mirror into the shower. For 2 1/2 years I raced to the shower with such speed and fluidity that I would've left Jackie Joyner-Kersee sucking my dust back in the day. There was no way I could catch a glimpse of the nightmare my butt had evolved into. If you can't see it, then you don't know how damaged it truly is.

The second part of the tragedy happened the day I looked. If I could go back and change things I would. I saw it. The image is etched into my brain for the rest of my life. I looked on in utter horror. My mouth agape, gasping sounds coming from my lungs, my mind screaming in disbelief. My worst fears confirmed in a big way. I was stunned. It was the same feeling you have as a child when you unexpectedly get flung over your handlebars and skid into the roadway on all fours shaving off your first layer of skin. You just wanted to ride your bike to your friend's house. How did you end up losing large patches of dermis? The whole event was painful. It pained my brain, my heart, my soul. It's one kind of ugly beast to imagine what the droopy butt looks like, but to actually see it, to actually stop and stare at it, is a whole different monster. So, I am warning you - if you haven't had a baby make sure to admire your butt, enjoy your butt, relish in the perfection that is your butt. If you have had a baby, do not look at your butt. Don't feel around too much, either, you might get curious, lose your way, and take a peek. Don't even do it. I realized that God put your butt behind you for a reason. It is not meant for your eyes to see. Leave it at that, and always remember the warning.