Saturday, February 28, 2009

Little Miss Contest

Even though once upon a time, I was in one, I don't particularly care for them now. I'm talking about beauty pageants. 

Why? Because I believe they're rigged. 

Why? Because the one I was in was rigged. And because the one my granddaughter was in this morning was probably rigged as well.

I say that because the one I was in (half a century ago) was completely political. The ONLY reason I was in it was because my mother thought that by entering me, she would be building my self esteem.

I was terrified.

When the finalists were called, as the judges sat in front of the onlookers, a lone voice called out from the back of the room to tell the judges they missed one. He then named the contestant the judges missed, which was interesting considering all the judging was done right in front of us and he had nothing to do with the judging. Well lo and behold, guess who won that contest? Yep, her, the named one. (I was third runner-up.)

Well, in the contest that was held this morning, my little granddaughter's parents didn't enter her in EVERY portion of the contest the pageant offered. So she didn't win "prettiest smile," because only the people who paid $30 could participate in that part of the contest. She also didn't win "best personality" because my daughter and son-in-law didn't put an extra $30 in for her to win that portion of the contest. 

Nor did my granddaughter win "prettiest hair" or "prettiest attire" because her parents paid only the $45 entry fee. Since everybody else in her age group paid for their children to enter every category, everybody but my granddaughter won and my granddaughter came in last place.

I know I'm the prejudiced grandparent, but come on! Look at her. Isn't she beautiful? I told her that next time she wanted to enter a beauty pageant, Grandma would help her with the talent portion, just like the Grandpa helped Olive in the movie, "Little Miss Sunshine." I can't wait!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

So excited!

I contacted various writers on Associated Content (where I write) to find out how they marketed their articles. I was happy to learn that by hooking up with social marker dot com, I can send articles to 49 sites simultaneously! Wow!

Now here's the sad part: Apparently I found this social networking site many months ago, but due to rapid aging of my brain, completely forgot that I had found it. So, as excited as I was then, because I forgot about it, I am just as excited now.

Reminds me of my friend, Barbara, who has the most amazing sense of humor. Barbara (who I sometimes call Bra Bra because my grandson couldn't pronounce her name and I thought it was cute) has a son who was in a serious car accident several years ago. As a result he suffers from short-term memory loss. One day when he was in the hospital, he met a young woman who suffered from the same problem. As Barbara and the young woman's mother spoke, they heard their kids introducing themselves to each other over and over, "Hi, I'm so and so. What's your name?"

It's like the movies, "50 First Dates" and "Finding Nemo" (with the delightfully forgetful Dory) – everything is brand new all over again.

Well, anyway, my purpose today is to share the information with writers who stumbles across my blog.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

How to Feed Baby The First Meal

As a mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and daycare provider, who writes for a living (well, that's the plan), I have had more experience feeding babies than just about anyone I know, other than perhaps women who might have been recognized in the Guiness Book of World Records, none of whom I know (if they exist). 

In any event I feel qualified to instruct you on the methods for feeding baby's first meal.

First and foremost, buy a camera. Then purchase a small spoon the size of your pinkie fingernail. If you can find one the size of a pin head, even better.

Where to feed baby is of utmost importance. Find a safe place near water, like the tub, a lake, or the ocean.

Stir one tablespoon dried infant cereal into enough breast milk or formula to match the consistency of pudding.

Fill only half of the microscopic spoon with the cereal mixture.

Put the cereal in your baby's mouth.

5% of the mini spoonful will get ingested. Take a picture. Keep scooping the other 95% of the cereal back into baby's mouth over and over until the first spoonful is completely gone. 

Time involved for the first spoonful: about fifteen to twenty minutes.

WARNING #1! Baby's sneezes come with no warning, but they come with almost every meal. Don't look away for even a second, because baby knows when you have averted your eyes, and will explode from his oral orifice all over your face and clothing with the speed of a hurricane. Prepare yourself by dressing in rain gear and by wearing a facial mask. It may scare the baby at first, but it's worth saving yourself from having to scoop cereal out of your eyes. Take a picture of the aftermath.

Continue feeding the baby until the entire bowl filled with the one tablespoon mixture is eaten. 

Total time involved: about three hours.

WARNING #2! 50% of what you thought made it into baby's tummy is actually splashed across baby's face, bib, and chair. Oh, and the flooring and clothing (yours and baby's) too.

When you've cleaned up the mess from this meal, get ready for the next feeding. It starts NOW!

ALTERNATIVES FOR FIRST FEEDING: Let baby suck the cereal through a bottle or purchase a high chair that sits inside a self-cleaning cube with a removable bottom (like the ones in hamster and bird cages). When baby is old enough to hold a spoon and place it successfully in the mouth, cover baby with a vinyl wrap and place baby inside the invisible cubicle. Or stick with the tub.

CAUTIONS: (Old – you've probably heard this first one before) Don't throw out the baby with the bath water. And make sure you purchase a water-proof camera.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Shoes of My Dreams

My mother couldn't wear the kinds of shoes all the models wore, or even the kinds of shoes displayed in every shoe store across America, because she wore a size 2. Stores didn't carry her size (for adults anyway).

Then one day she received a catalog in the mail called (this is really true) "Cinderella Shoes." Suddenly her closet rivaled the closet of Imelda Marcos. Well, maybe not – Marcos owned something like 5400 pairs of shoes – I think my mother had only 540 pairs.

I have inherited my mother's feet, though mine are a whole size larger. What that means, in terms of inches, is that mine are 8.5. So you can imagine what happens if I put on a 4-inch spiked heel. It wouldn't look so bad if I were, say, 4'8", but I'm not. I'm almost 5'7". I look ridiculous walking on my toes.

Oh, wait, I do anyway. 

Little sidebar: some of my grandchildren do too. Isn't mimicry supposed to be flattering? I don't know why I began walking on my toes, but it became a habit. Maybe the floors were too cold when I was small, and the less of my foot on the floor, the warmer I became. I don't know, but I've been looking for a TA (Tiptoes Anonymous) group everywhere, and I can't find one anywhere.

Forgive my digression. Now onto the subject of shoes and my desire to wear the pretty ones. Like my mother before she discovered Cinderella Shoes, I shop in the kids section and am delighted that I can wear all the cartoon characters I can find. Fortunately I LOVE sequins and sparkly things, because most children's shoes are adorned with them.

I even began a search for Cinderella Shoes, but guess what? NOW they are for giant feet! How did that happen? Oh, never mind, that one is in Ireland. The United States has one in Boston for petite feet. Yeah!

Oh, who am I kidding? What am I going to do – strut around the house like June Cleaver while I tend to the children in my daycare?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Oops – I did it again!

Yesterday was beautiful, so I wanted to take the kids for a walk. After spending about a half hour getting everybody ready and the babies into the double stroller (that requires at least forty people to maneuver) we headed out.

Excited about finally being outside after a long cold and snowy winter, I exclaimed, "Let's go see the penguins!"

And Ben said, "What do the penguins look like?"

And I said, "Ben, you know what they look  like. We see them all the time."

And Ben said, "No I don't."

And that's when I remembered my inability to remember the difference between penguins and peacocks (see previous blog for more details).

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Conversational Misunderstandings Between the Sexes

They begin earlier than you ever thought possible. I have proof with the following actual conversation between two four-year olds:

Audrey: BEN, I heard what you said!

Ben: (totally confused) What?

Audrey: You NEVER call my brother an idiot EVER AGAIN!

Ben: I didn't call your brother an idiot!

Audrey: Yes you did! I HEARD you!

Story behind the conversation: All three were sharing a bowl of dried cereal. Nolan (Audrey's brother) had dropped a piece of cereal on the floor. I didn't know it had previously been in Nolan's mouth prior to asking Ben to pick it up, which I did only because he was the one standing closest to it. He picked it up and said, practically throwing the offending piece of cereal at Nolan, "Ewww, you eat it," and not, as Audrey thought, "YOU IDIOT!"

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Eyeballs and Dolphins

My grandson Kaden will be 4 this week. When I talked to him on the phone last week to find out what he wanted for his birthday he told me – well, I thought he told me – that he wanted a dolphin. Hmm. OK.

Fortunately I talked to my granddaughter Taylor (his sister), because this is what would have happened had I not talked to her:

He would have been excited to open his present expecting what I promised him and then wondered what was wrong with his grandma. Because what he actually asked for was a Pokemon Donphan.

So I began my search for this "out-of-stock" item on every web site imaginable – UNTIL I found out from my daughter-in-law that it doesn't even exist. How can something that doesn't exist be out of stock? Whatever. So I bought something else and now I'll have to explain to Kaden that Donphan exists only in the Pokemon card world. 

Now onto eyeballs. Audrey is my four-year old granddaughter who announced the other day that eyeball was a bad word. I wish her mom (my daughter) and dad would give me a dictionary. Seems Audrey was abusing the word by calling everything "eyeball" such as eyeball light, and eyebally duh duh, and eyeball this, and eyeball that until it got to the point that eyeball was banned from Audrey's vocabulary.

What's funny about that – to me – is that when Audrey was a baby playing hide-and-seek with her mommy, and part of her head was clearly visible beneath the blanket, Brittney would say to her, "I can see your eyeball." I thought that was weird at the time, but I said nothing. I mean, why not say, "I can see your eye." But no, Brittney said, "I can see your eyeball."

Audrey has a memory that goes back so far she can probably remember her life before this one, so it stands to reason that she would remember her mommy saying, "I can see your eyeball" when they played hide-and-seek. I'm sure it brought back fond memories, memories now ruined by the new ban. 

But like many of the mysteries of the child-parent relationship, moms and dads make the rules and kids have to abide by them.

Grandmas don't. I don't like the word eyeball either, but now I have to say it all the time.

Being a grandma is tough work. Here's my most recent conversation with Audrey.

Audrey: Did it broke?

Me: You mean did it break?

Audrey: No, Daddy says to say broke not break.

Well, I'm not going to argue my grandchildren's moms or dads, but I can't help myself from giving them an English lesson. While I was preparing dinner last night, I told Audrey about all the forms of brake, break, broke, broken. I don't remember at what point she left the conversation.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Evil People Should Be Forced Into "Conscienceness"

I probably shouldn't be as upset over this whole Paul Mousehound (not his real name) thing as I am, but I am. The man is pure evil. You would think he had an evil personality, that he looked wicked. Actually, he looks nondescript and he has the personality of vomit.

He bought a mobile home from me on contract and then decided he would live there without paying rent and without actually paying for the home for as long as he could get away with it. I reported him to the park and I called the cops to try to get him out. As you might guess, even though the people at the park office told me I could get him out that day by calling the Sheriff's office, I couldn't. 

You see, over the weekend I had decided to go to MY home to find out when he was going to pay me. Just to show you how morally corrupt he is, I should tell you that he called the cops on ME (think Pacific Heights, the movie where the evil character portrayed by Michael Keaton destroys people's lives). And now I'm not allowed anywhere near the property until mouse turd moves out. 

That's how this Mousehound guy operates. He steals money from people – strangers – and expects them to pay his bills while he bounces from house to house living freely like the convict that he is.

I would LOVE to find out who his next victims are, so I could warn them of their impending victimization, but I have no way of knowing who they are.

What's really odd about this person, beyond his sociopathic lack of conscience, is that he is a DJ! I can't imagine hiring this boring, lazy, psychotic nonhuman to DJ any event. Oh, how I wish I could tell you who he is, so you could avoid coming close to his evilness.

Sadly, the guy has five children who are learning how to corrupt people around them.

This is how evil perpetuates and proliferates. 

Beware of mouseturds in this world. Like cockroaches, they multiply. And no matter how hard you try to pound a conscience into them, they prefer to live their lives as if they are looking forward to their hell in eternity.

You can read my article about evil on under the title, "Evil Faces of Greed and Feeblemindedness."  

Friday, February 6, 2009

Gone With The Wind

I can't take it anymore. I have been writing until my fingers have practically fallen off, and still I get paid only $1.50 for every ONE THOUSAND people who read each article.

So here's what I'm thinking, that I'll put an ad in the paper with a link to my articles, a request to read them, and a promise that the one thousandth person who comments will receive a reward. But by offering a reward I would have to consider it a contest, and by considering it a contest I would have to adhere to the guidelines set by some arbitrary contest committee who will probably tell me I'm breaking Article Whatever of the Constitution of the United States. And really, all I could pay the person is what I would be receiving, which is a whopping $1.50. Who would care? 

And the really sad thing is – only three people read my blog anyway, including myself. Of course I haven't told anybody else that I write a blog, but I'm considering letting other people know. I have difficulty sharing this kind of writing, though, because it's kind of like writing a diary that I'm asking people to read. What's the point?

Glad I asked. I feel compelled to write. I feel compelled to share my heart and soul. I can't share it with my soul mate (sadly, nobody can stand being with me longer than six weeks, or maybe it's that I can't stand being with them for longer than six weeks – I don't know – I'll think about that tomorrow). I'm so Scarlett O'Hara.

So I am left with you, whoever you are, if you exist. Whatever. Frankly I don't give a damn. I'm so Rhett Butler.

If I did care, I'd tell you where to find me.

OK, maybe I do care. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

the kids I care for

Today I had to warn Ben that he was going to grow up some day. That was my explanation for why he had to learn his letters and the sounds they make. Ben is 4. 

I said, "Ben, I really care about you. That's why it is important to me that you do well in life. And that means you have to learn certain things to succeed, like the alphabet. Do you understand?"

His shoulders slumped. His eyes rolled. But he said, "Yes."

I thought I got through to him, so I sat him in front of The Letter Factory, a fantastic video from Leapfrog that teaches kids how to recognize letters and their sounds. I have made it a part of my preschool program as a supplement to actually writing the letters and testing the kids on the sounds they make.

Ben is sleeping as I write this, because to prove to me how boring this movie is, he forces himself to sleep during the whole thing. I don't care. I am teaching him through osmosis or maybe it's just sinking in subconsciously. 

Today is the third day in a row that he has fallen asleep during The Letter Factory, but what's funny about him sleeping is that for the past year that I have been watching him, except for when he comes over already asleep, he NEVER takes naps.

What's interesting about his learning, even with his defiance toward it, is that he gets better at remembering his letters and sounds every day despite the fact that (or maybe because of it) he falls asleep while the video is running. 

Oops! The video is over. Time to start it again!