Monday, May 30, 2011

Oh, the things you hear....

...when you eavesdrop on your child:

Jakub, to himself: "And this goes in the butt...And this goes in the butt...And THIS goes in the butt...Hmm, this isn't fitting in the butt..."

Perhaps Playskool should reconsider the placement of the storage compartment on Mr. Potato Head...

Friday, May 27, 2011

Why I should be employed by the CIA

I'm thinking of joining the CIA.  No, not as a spy--let's face it, the mere sight of a gun would probably make me wet myself--but as a CIA operative trainer.  I believe that I, like most mothers out there, am uniquely qualified for this job (yes, I realize that by saying "most mothers out there" I've negated the whole "unique" thing, but I just like saying "uniquely qualified," it's fun).  The following is a list of my qualifications:

1) Lightning-quick reflexes - honed mostly by snatching various objects and children in mid-flight.

2) Record sprint times - I believe I may have broken the sound barrier last year, when I heard a small, excited voice emanating from Jakub's room, "Hey, green poo."  (On this particular occasion, "poo" turned out to mean "Pooh" in the form of Whinnie the Pooh on a green toothbrush, but you can never be too sure with these things...)

3) Diplomatic negotiation - hey, you try convincing a headstrong toddler (or two) to hand over desirable forbidden objects such as fragile wine glasses or razor-sharp steak knives stolen from the dishwasher.

4) Savage defensive/offensive maneuvers - I call the "momma bear mode."  I actually have retractable claws that spring from my knuckles when my children are in danger.  I'm kind of a female Wolverine, only ever so slightly less hairy.

5) Multilingual skills - in addition to Czech and English, I also apparently speak Swahili and Gibberish.

6) Advanced cryptology - to you, it's a nondescript scribble.  To me, it's an airplane with a monkey wearing a sweater.

and, last, but certainly not least:

7) Ever prepared for any situation - What? You need a tissue? A wipe? Disinfectant? A stick of gum? Food to tide you over until the next meal?  A flashlight?  A toy airplane/car/tractor/construction vehicle?  A first aid kit? A left-handed fingerless glove?  Yup, all in my purse, plus much, much more.

So, if you see me acting secretive in the not-too-distant future, you may well know the reason why.  I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.

Trouble in the Einstein household?

Jakub's imagination is very fertile.  He enjoys pretend play, which always involves animated conversations with his imaginary friends.  Today's playmates were the characters of Disney's Little Einsteins: brother and sister Leo and Annie, and their friends Quincy and June.

Jakub, as Annie: "Leo, you're my brother."
Jakub, as Leo, doubtful: "Are you sure, Annie?"

It appears Leo is having doubts about Annie's paternity.  Maybe he came across a romantic phone message from a mysterious man on his mother's voicemail.  Or perhaps he has become suspicious of the fact that while he has clearly superior musical skills as a conductor, Annie's musical abilities are mediocre at best, with her often out-of-tune singing and questionable vocal qualities.  Who knows, but Mrs. Einstein might want to seek out a good divorce attorney...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Smell me

If you didn't already know from previous posts, you most likely know from personal experience that my wonderful husband is occasionally, shall we say, challenged in the communication department, and often only an individual blessed with a strong aura of extra sensory perception is able to detect the actual subject of his message.  His deficit has improved marginally over the years, but every once in a while, he comes up with some gems, like the one he relayed to me this weekend:

Pavel enjoys a particular Ethiopian restaurant near his office, though often no one wants to accompany him because of the fact that eating there results in the diner wearing what they eat.  Not literally (unless, like me, you happen to fall into the category of those with coordination issues), but your clothes soak up the aroma of the spices in the food they serve, which are delightful if you're eating, not so much if you're in a meeting trying to focus on the recent budgetary crisis.  However, last week Pavel finally had the chance to eat there again, fully knowing the effects the food will have on his wardrobe.  Upon returning to his office, he decided to test his theory on his employees at the front desk (who shall remain anonymous, for the sake of preserving their dignity):

Pavel: "Smell me and tell me what I ate."
Employee, with an aghast look on her face: "What?"
Pavel: "C'mon, smell my sleeve."
Employee, embarrassed: "Oh, I thought you farted and wanted me to smell it!"
[After this response, Pavel decided not to press the issue...]

Seriously, though, what would you do if your boss came up to you and said "Smell me and tell me what I ate?"  Well, now you have to opportunity to envision what it might be like to work with my husband, and maybe you may even have a small glimpse into the life of someone living with a communicationally-challenged individual.  I wonder if there is a support group...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Double take

I realize this blog entry is more for me than for anyone else, but I figured since blogs are just glorified diaries with an audience,however meagre (in my case), I'd allow myself this opportunity to vent--not that it'd be the first time, anyway.

This story involves laundry and my love/hate relationship with it.  Wait, did I say love/hate?  I meant hate/hate.  Like pretty much anything house- and parenting- related, laundry never stays done.  No matter how many loads of laundry you do, there is always clothing or linens that are in the process of becoming dirty.  And don't even get me started on children's clothes.  Not only do stains mysteriously appear seconds after I've just clothed one of my sons, but one load of children's laundry includes three times the amount of clothing of a load of other laundry, and I do at least three times as many loads of children's laundry.  So...does anyone have a calculator?...well, let's just say that equals a lot of laundry. 

Sometimes, in order to maximize the amount of laundry going in the wash, I will strip myself and anyone unfortunate enough to be in my direct vicinty down to the essentials and throw it all in, simply for the satisfaction that, for a brief flash of time, all of the laundry in the house will be clean.  For this reason, I take satisfaction in putting away clothes that my children have outgrown simply because it won't be getting dirty again (for the sake of today's argument, let's ignore the equally strong feelings of nostalgia and sadness that also accompany this task as I realize how quickly my boys are growing up). 

I have been collecting this outgrown clothing in bins in the boys' closets because Jakub's will be inherited by his brother, and Matěj's will, in turn, go to his cousin.  However, some of my bins have remained at my parents' house (who have dragged boys' clothing across two continents for four years now, some items more than once), and I had been accumulating Matěj's old clothing in a neat, though precariously leaning tower on the floor of his closet.  Well, I've been trying to keep if neat, because for some inexpicable reason, Jakub has decided to create a game called "How Many Times Can I Knock Over/Strew the Clothing All Over the Floor Before Mommy Has a Massive Stroke?"  I've only actually caught him in there once, but every few days I will open the closet doors to see that the clothing bandit has struck again.  So, I was grateful when my mom brought over a 40-gallon bin into which I could finally tuck the clothing away and be done with this whole rigmarole.  I spent a good thirty minutes carefully folding all of the little items of clothing, exhaling wistfully every now and again, for good measure, and heaved a huge sigh of relief when I snapped the lid shut.

 So you can imagine my confusion when I opened the closet door today to see this:

Such is the state of my mind these days that it took me a few seconds to register what I was seeing.  Worried I was going mad, I checked the bin:

Now, I know there was only one culprit that could have been capable of this enterprise and let me just say that Jakub was saved by two things: 1) he wasn't home at the moment of my discovery, and 2) the mental picture of him taking the clothes out of the bin and carefully placing them back into the closet was only slightly more endearing than it was infuriating.  But, seriously, I really wish I had been there to witness the execution of this task and to ask out why, on this green earth, he did it.