Thursday, November 11, 2010

Mission Aborted. As Usual

"Halloween is over when I say it is..."

I skipped happily into my girls room the other morning, much like I did on the day of their first hair cut with presents in tow and a chirpy voice one should only hear from that crazy bitch on Sprout who wears pigtails and a handkerchief around her neck.  It was potty training day and these two kids were gonna poop in the potty whether they liked it or not. As was the case, not.

I presented them with Hello Kitty baskets full of brightly colored undies and promised them all kinds of big-time presents if they cooperated.  Lulu seems intrigued and began pawing through the undies deciding which ones to put on (a pair that said "Wednesday" even though it was Saturday but I was going to pick my battles that morning). When Moxley realized what was going on she ducked under the covers screaming "NOT YET NOT YET NOT YET!" and hurled the basket of undergarments in the general direction of my head.

That set Lulu off and a second basket hit me in the shoulder and she too hid for cover. I stood in the middle of their room with Baby Gap underwear strewn about with no clue how to proceed. So I did what I've always done (getting them off the bottle, getting them to give up pacis, getting them to accept that other humans live on our planet) and immediately gave up. Mission aborted.

Lulu, who often serves as the official spokesperson on issues of grave concern, said they "were not ready yet." I asked when she thought they might be ready and after giving it some thought she answered, "Seven weeks and two days." I'm not sure how she came up with that interesting timetable, but it won't allow me to meet my self-imposed deadline of their third birthday, which is in exactly 5 days.

My revised goal is to have them potty-trained by next August when they start pre-school. The tactic then will be shame. "Nobody likes kids that crap their pants" perhaps I'll say as I hold my nose in disgust. But this goes to a larger problem with my parenting style: avoidance. I avoid the hard things, apparently, which makes our life day-to-day very pleasant and a barrel of laughs but perhaps I'm not preparing them to deal with the real world. They don't seem at all ready or willing to move on to next stages, and I just enable it.

Like they are still wearing their Halloween costumes every day and it's mid-November. I figure maybe by March they'll start wearing the little Christmas tree t-shirts I bought them at Target.

Plus, I see a glimpse into my future, and it's not very pleasant. They will be 35 sitting ass on my couch and when I inquire why they don't have a job they'll scream, "NOT YET NOT YET NOT YET!" and instead of kicking them out so I can fulfill my dream of dying in peace at The Villages, America's Friendliest Home Town, I will be 74 years old and supporting two no-good daughters who use up my entire Social Security check on Depends because they STILL crap their pants.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Happiest Place on Earth Observations

"Really, I would pretend to have fun if I knew my parents mortgaged the house to be here."

Can we agree that whomever deemed Disney World "the happiest place on Earth" never rode the monorail home filled with a gazillion screaming toddlers after a long day? Did you know that all Disney employees are called "cast members?" And that if you stay at a Disney resort every verbal exchange ends with "Have a magical day!" It's sort of tolerable the first 20 times and then you want to give the "cast member" a magical punch while smiling "Have a magical migraine!"

Here are a few tidbits from our trip. Let's start with the most horrendous part so the post gets more pleasant as we go:

--There is an abomination of an event called "The Princess Lunch." Perhaps you've heard of it? It's where little girls are first presented with the notion that a white horse with a rich, handsome prince will someday save them and take them to a castle where they will wear bejeweled crowns and learn to curtsy. And eat very bad food. Let me preface this by saying I'm not a "foodie." It is my wish to gather every person who defines themselves as a "foodie" into one room and make them eat Subway sandwiches and bags of pork rinds until they puke. My ideal meal would be a Bennigan's deep-fried Monte Cristo sandwich paired with The Bloomin' Onion from Outback Steakhouse. (Seriously, those two franchises should team up, merge or acquire each other in what would be the best chain restaurant coup since Dunkin' Donuts combined with Baskin Robbins.) I have never sent a meal back at a restaurant. I don't recall ever really complaining about bad food. I think whoever came up with the two cheeseburger meal deal at McDonalds should be given one of Obama's Czar positions. Maybe Czar of Pure Genius or similar. Get the picture? So when I was presented with the "baked chicken with risotto accompaniment" at the Princess Lunch (and I use the term "lunch" loosely) I thought, "How bad can it be?" despite the vaguely sock-like odor emanating from the plate. I dug in because being around royalty renders me ravished, and almost broke a tooth on the un-cooked rice in the risotto dish. Plus, my children, who swore they wanted to meet a bunch of princesses, cowered and whimpered and refused to get their photo taken. Granted, these princess bitches were scary, but still. Each adult entree was $35, $21 for kids and since my kids don't eat normal food, theirs sat untouched as well. But the special Tinker Bell punch was only $6.50 a pop and came with some Tinkerbell thingie that lit up. Well worth sitting at a depressing round table as my children hid under the table while Cinderella tried to lure them out. My sister, whose 7-year-old appreciated the princesses more than my 3-year-olds, told me to move some food around on my plate so the waitress didn't feel bad. Something tells me if you're serving food to a bunch of "little princesses" dressed in majestic garb you have bigger problems than how much one cranky-assed mother ate. (Note: Our kids did not wear princess clothes to this lunch, the photo above is from Mickey Mouse's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party wherein Lulu was a princess. I feel the need to make this known for reasons still unclear to me.)

--Oh no. I'm not done with the princess lunch yet. Not only were most kids dressed as their favorite princess with crowns, hair glitter and even makeup (my favorite was the toddler dressed as that mermaid princess with her belly bared and fins so tight she could barely waddle around), there was a couple there WITHOUT KIDS snapping pictures of the princesses like they were the paparazzi at Chateau Marmont. I so wanted to go tap them on the shoulder and whisper, "Pssst. They're not real princesses. Plus, you're weird.")

--I've never been a cost/benefit kind of gal. But the Dumbo ride made me think a bit more mathematically. Does it make any sense to wait for 63 minutes in line with two screaming toddlers for a ride that lasts exactly 90 seconds? Don't make me whip out a calculator but the percentage of pain versus pleasure doesn't work for me.

--Is it me or is there something disconcerting about grown men wearing Mickey Mouse sweatshirts?

--Mickey Mouse's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is pretty much as billed: not scary, except of course for the price (about $60 pp). Lulu dressed up as a fairy princess, Moxley was a monster from Yo Gabba Gabba whose name currently escapes me and I went as a 40-something exhausted mother of twins. My costume was the most authentic and surely would have earned me first prize had there been a contest.

--We planned to, at the end of the week, allow the girls to each pick out one souvenir, or parting gift so to speak. Ah, but that clever Walt Disney had another plan in mind. See, Walt cleverly places gift shops in locales one cannot avoid. Going on Winnie the Pooh's Honey Pot ride? Well, great! Because you have to go through the Winnie the Pooh gift shop to get out. So here was gift number one (times 2 of course) and yes, Her Royal Highness was exhausted on the monorail home after the "Spook-tacular" fireworks show.

At Epcot, they threw a very public tantrum which I decided to placate with an undeserved present to reward bad behavior when they demanded these fashion-forward hats. They came with a bonus pair of sunglasses which broke several hours after purchase. If you've ever seen an uglier piece of head gear, please send photos:

Oh, and conveniently located near the only place we could get food at our hotel were these pajamas, for the low low price of $24.95 each. The enthusiasm for their new evening attire has long since waned:

Of course, the most fun they had was when doing free things, like burying each other's torsos in sand:

Despite the price (geez, I'm becoming one of those grumpy old cheap people who stock up on canned goods when they're on sale), we had a great time as evidenced by the following exchange the day after we arrived home:

Moxley: Why do we live in Chicago?

Me: Because daddy's job is here. You don't want to live in Chicago?

Lulu: No!

Me: Where do you want to live?

Moxley: I want to live on vacation.

You and me both, sister.