Marley and Me… The Adventures of Living With a Two Year Old Boy

A few months ago I took our two older kids to the movie, Marley and Me and left our two year old boy home with his Dad.  For those of you who are not familiar with the movie, it’s basically a comedy about the life of an extremely rambunctious dog living with his human family.  As I sat in that theater watching Marley the dog get into trouble time and time again, I realized that, oh my gosh! I had a human version of Marley waiting for me at home!

I am constantly sweeping up piles of cheerios, and I now know where to look for my cell phone if it is lost.  I also know that if the washing machine didn’t eat the missing socks, to look for them in the window valances.  They will most likely be there.  I wasn’t prepared for Marley’s latest though…Who would be??

It all started with a guppy fish.  Our oldest earned a fish for reading a certain amount of books, gathering points.  With the points, prizes could be bought.  Fish were among the prize choices.  Despite my pleading not to bring a fish home until we got back from our two day trip, and until we got the fish tank ready, the fish still came home.  Luckily, Dad had to stay home to work, so he was able to watch the fish.

The fish came home in a water bottle.  Since the fish tank wasn’t going to be ready until we got back, and after visiting the pet store, all that could be done was to set out a bowl of water and let it sit for a good 24 hours before it was ready for the fish to be in it.  The lid was taken off of the bottle to let oxygen in.

When we got home from our trip, the bowl of water was ready for the fish but the fish was still in the water bottle.  As “Marley’s” dad and I stood in the kitchen talking, Marley snacked away from a box of cereal.  After a while of talking, we realized that the fish and it’s water were no longer in the bottle.  Panic time!  All I visioned at that point was our oldest child’s monster tears running down her face because her beloved, hard earned fish went missing, and was possibly dead.

We had a few crazy moments with rushing around the kitchen yelling, “where’s the fish?”  “WHERE’S THE FISH!!!”  Marley stood there, calmly eating from his box of cereal saying, “dish, dish”.  I don’t know what I was thinking, grilling a child with very limited language about where the fish was, as if he was going to miraculously break into complete descriptive speech and tell me where it was.

You would think that if the bottle was poured out, there would be a telltale puddle of water with a poor fish flopping around somewhere.  We had no such luck.  I then had a horrible moment when I felt something roll beneath my sandal.  I thought for sure that the fish was a goner.  Thankfully it was just a piece of gravel that made it’s way into the house.  Then my brightest idea of the moment… Maybe if I took my sandals off, the chances of that fish surviving as it squished between my toes, if I happened to step on it, would be better.  Smart!

Still, at this time, there was no sign of a fish, or it’s water.  We stood there utterly bewildered.  How could the fish and the water vanish completely without a trace?  That’s when Marley’s Dad grabbed the cereal box from the boy’s hands and proceeded to dump the mushy contents onto the counter.  There was the poor fish, clinging to life.

My final bright moment of the event was to quickly fill a bowl full of water from the filtered water pitcher.  The chlorinated tap water would surly finish the fish off.  I didn’t expect the pitcher to be empty except for maybe a 1/4 cup of water.  As we stood and watched the fish struggle in very little water (really smart), we remembered that there was a nice big bowl of water all ready for it.

As I write this, the fish is still alive and is in the now prepared fish tank.  It looks as if it is still struggling, and we are in complete amazement that it survived this far.  I am also in complete amazement with how much trouble our little guy gets into.  The things that he thinks of doing!  I thought that I had seen it all after the VCR incident, but now I’m in the defensive mode, constantly waiting, and wondering… What’s next, Marley?

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom

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Over the years I have come across people who have horror stories about childhoods.  Whether it be their own, or what they have learned of others.  Like the story from one of my grade school teacher friends, who knew of several parents who were too lazy to get their kids to school on the first day of school, or rather the first month of school.  There was an adult lately who claimed that she was a victim of neglect and rarely got bathed when she was a child.  These stories drive the point in that I am, and was a very lucky person to have  such a loving, caring mother like you, Mom.  So here, in no particular order, is my way to celebrate you:

Mom, thank you for…

  • teaching me that I don’t need to be the best to be good at something.
  • letting me develop into my own person.
  • teaching good morals and respect for others.
  • the freedom of choosing my own religion.
  • walking with me on my newly found spiritual path.
  • always supporting and loving me.
  • loving my children.
  • making sure that my basics in childhood were taken care of, that I had showers, always had healthy food.
  • an awesome, happy childhood.
  • teaching me how to sew.
  • teaching me that your hobbies don’t necessarily have to be mine.
  • having some common hobbies with me.
  • providing me with lots of books and art supplies when I was a kid.
  • making sure that I went to school when I was supposed to.
  • limiting junk food when I was a kid.
  • sending me outside to play rather than letting me sit inside watching TV all day long.
  • sending me to college even though at the time I didn’t understand why I needed to go.
  • not giving in to giving me what I wanted whenever I wanted.
  • going to garage sales with me.
  • helping me when I needed it and backing off when I didn’t need it.
  • being my best friend.
  • teaching me how to be a good mother by modeling it.
  • staying home with us when we were kids.
  • making sure that our medical needs were met.
  • keeping me safe.
  • being a strong woman.
  • teaching me to be a strong woman too.
  • giving me the freedom to make choices, as a person and as a woman.
  • teaching me to have high expectations.
  • always welcoming me and my family.
  • hounding me on my grammar.
  • being my personal proof reader for college papers.
  • all of the late night discussions.
  • encouraging my independence. 
  • accepting my help when you needed it.

I am sure that there are many more things to put on the list, but just the same, I love you and greatly appreciate you!  Happy Mother’s day Mom!

Cell Phone Woes

A few days ago, my sister-in-law called me on a borrowed phone to let me know that if I needed to get a hold of her, not to bother calling her new, expensive, if-you-drop- it-drown-it-or-run-it-over-it-won’t-ever-break cell phone was lost (again).  Really, really  lost.  The chronic cell phone destroyer/looser looked for a solid two hours for that phone to no avail. 

I hung up with a lot of sympathy for her.  I am not a chronic cell phone looser, but like us all cell phone owners, I have lost my phone from time to time, and I know how just a few minutes feel.  Like many that I know, the cell is my main phone.  We do have a land line, but that is mainly used for the Internet and God forbid, 911 if for any reason we may need to use it.  All the numbers of my family and friends are stored in that cell phone.  (Silly me, I should write them down because my brain is full, there is no room to memorize them all.  Heck, I have a hard enough time remembering my own!)  If I were to loose that phone, really, really loose it, I would be socially crippled.

So, today I lost my phone.  Actually, I didn’t know that I lost it until it rang.  I literally ran around the whole house looking for that phone as it rang away.  Finally, I narrowed it down to the bedroom… I got closer and closer to it and then I got confused.  It sounded like it was in front of the T.V. but I couldn’t see it.  WHERE THE HECK DID IT GO!  I could hear it!  Luckily my phone lights up like the 4th of July when it rings, and I happened to notice that for some reason little beams of light were streaming out of the VCR.  Immediately I knew what had happened.  I should have known.  I live with a two year old boy! Of course it was in the VCR!  I amazed myself that with all that running around, finding the phone, then digging it out of the VCR, I actually was able to answer it before it stopped ringing.

So, after all of this, I have a special message for my dear sister-in-law… have you checked your VCR???