Arkie Mama: ‘Are we getting a shot?’

“Yes,” I told the children. “Today we’re getting flu shots.”

You can imagine the mutiny in the backseat.

It used to be so easy. I’d lay my babies on the table, they would cry for moment and then I’d nurse them to sleep. No biggie.

Now?

Oh. My. Hell.

Last year, I had to peel the E-man off the  wall. Once I got him loose, he promptly latched onto the bench in the exam room. This kid wasn’t going down without a fight. Part of the problem was that Tootie had gone first, thereby giving her little brother an inkling of what was to come. After watching Tootie wail and thrash, no way was the E-man going willingly to that table.

This year, I told them to vaccinate the little man first. I hoisted him onto the table, then held his hands during the injection. He cried, then curled up on the bench into a petulant, glaring little ball of suppressed fury. He maintained this pose while his sister got hers. She opened her mouth to shriek, but closed it when I told her it was over.

Thing is, I can’t really blame them. I was terrified of shots as a kid, especially those giant-needled penicillin injections they used to give you for strep throat. (I am now allergic to penicillin. Why could I not have developed that allergy as a wee child?)

I still remember being chased around an exam room by my mom and a nurse, who finally called in reinforcements. It took three people to hold me down while the nurse jammed that needle in my rear.

So really, I can’t complain too much.

*************************************************************************************

Little Rock Mamas will continue to man a booth for the remainder of the Duck Duck Goose sale. Hot Mama is there right now. Moody Mom and Blessed Mom will be there this afternoon and evening. I’ll be in and out today, and in again tomorrow for the half-price sale.

So make sure to stop by! We’re right by the entrance/exit. See below.

mamas

See? Very accessible!

Arkie Mama: Wordless Wednesday

Summer 2007. When I left town to visit my parents, Tootie looked like this:

Please note the cute, swingy bob.

Please note the cute, swingy bob.

As I issued last-minute instructions for the feeding of and caring for our children, Hubs held up a hand and said, “Stop. You have to learn to trust me.”

This happened less than 24 hours after my departure.

This happened less than 24 hours after my departure.

Want to participate in Wordless Wednesdays? Post a photo on your blog with a link back to me. Then I’ll list the links to all Wordless posts here.

For more Wordless Wednesday, go here:

Blessed Mom

Moody Mom

Mom on a wire

In the Family Way

She’s crafty

Hugs & Kisses

Whirligiggles

Arkie Mama: What are the Ting Tings saying?

I can’t tell you how many mornings I’ve heard the Ting Tings sing the birthday song on Noggin. The only words I’ve ever been able to make out were “happy birthday” and “wombat.”

Today, I finally looked up the lyrics. Turns out “wombat” is actually “hot bath.”

And now I must ask. What the hell are they singing about? Who — or what — is in the cupboard with her birthday cake? Who are “they?” And what does a hot bath have to do with a birthday and mysterious creatures hiding in cupboards? Does anyone understand this song?

Happy birthday happy birthday
Happy birthday happy birthday
Happy birthday happy birthday.

Happy happy birthday in a hot bath
To those nice nice nights.
I remember always
always I got such a fright.

Seeing them in my
dark cupboard with
my great big cake.

If they were me, if they were me
And I was you, and I was you
If they were me and I was you
Would you have liked a present too?

Happy happy birthday in a hot bath
To those nice nice nights.
I remember always
always I got such a fright.

Seeing them in my
dark cupboard with
my great big cake.

If they were me, if they were me
And I was you, and I was you
If they were me and I was you
Would you have liked a present too?

Happy birthday happy birthday
Happy birthday happy birthday
Happy birthday happy birthday.

Arkie Mama: Humiliation in the grocery aisle

So after getting the E-man’s hair cut Saturday, the first time since Easter (*ahem*),  we headed over to the hoity-toity grocery store.

I rarely go to this store, but was craving a certain stuffed chicken breast at their meat counter. If you’ve been there, you know that children are frowned upon. They don’t really go with the classical music or clientele.

Unless you happen to be the proud owner a a non-crying, non-squawking, not-yet-mobile baby, you basically race through that store as quickly as possible, ignoring the hostile looks each time one of the little darlings does/says something ridiculously inappropriate.

First the sweet little things pulled open a couple of candy jars and thrust their faces inside, mere inches from the chocolate and gum drops, ignoring my orders to closethejarsrighthisminute. (“We just want to smell it, Mama!”)

Next, as we cruised by the deli counter, they caught a whiff of marinated mushrooms.

“What stinks?!” the E-man asked loudly, holding his nose.

His sister giggled, then promptly grabbed her own nose and made gagging noises. This continued for quite some time, despite my fervent pleas and increasingly frantic threats.

No matter what part of the store we were in, the E-man complained about the odor.

(The E-man’s nose has always been on the sensitive side. When he was a mere babe, he used to grab people’s hair and inhale deeply, luxuriating in  the smell of their hair products. It was embarrassing, trying to explain to well-meaning grannies that my son merely had an addiction to their mousse or hairspray.)

Saturday’s most horrifying moment, however, occurred in the pasta aisle.

I should preface this by explaining that the E-man finds great joy in potty humor.

So I probably shouldn’t have been so caught off-guard when he stopped in the middle of the well-populated aisle, bent over, pointed at his rear and hollered, “Hey, Tootie!! This store smells like my butt!”

Arkie Mama: Who’s afraid of the PTA?

So in recent years, I’ve finally stopped hiding in the corner at birthday parties. (For reasons I can’t explain, I just never felt as “mommish” as the other moms and rather than bluff my way through these festive events, I instead chose to exhibit a rabid interest in whatever my little darlings were doing, be that leaping in a bouncy castle or stuffing themselves full of cake. Stupid, I know.)

But.

I remain terrified of PTA moms.

It’s ridiculous, I realize that. I’ve been a stepmother for longer than many of them have been mothers. I’ve also got a 6-year-old and a 4-year-old. I can multi-task and juggle with the best of anyone. But for some reason, PTA moms just seem more … together. And some of them are rather militant hardcore devoted to the cause. I feel kind of flaky by comparison.

I blame my job in part. Because of what I do, it’s hard for me to commit to things. Like committees. Just as everyone’s gearing up for the fall festival, I’m begging my editors to send me to cover the next hurricane predicted to hit the Gulf.

I thought about hitting a few meetings this year, but then I remembered a former co-worker’s long-ago warning: “If you go, they will expect you to sign up for committees. And once you do that … ”

She shook her head ominously.

I, still a new mom at the time, looked skeptical.

She continued: “I’m just saying. If you ever end up accidentally at one of those meetings, wait for a distraction and RUN!”

I’m all for being involved in my kid’s school. But I just don’t have that … confidence … PTA moms seem to possess.

For a newspaper story, I can interview a pissed-off ATF agent and listen to his threats to pack me off to jail without flinching.

But last year, when a PTA mom walked up — with no introduction whatsoever — and barked, “Will you be able to man a booth at the fall festival?” I nearly peed my pants in terror.

I suck at fundraising too. I hate asking people to buy things. Last year, the only person I approached was my mother. This year, I hit up two close friends. (Thank you Amy Upshaw and Mom on a Wire!) Oh, and my mom. And then I ordered some stuff too, just so my daughter would be eligible for the promised ice cream reward.

I feel stupid admitting all this. I’m actually a pretty outgoing and competent person.

But when it comes to the PTA … well, I sure admire the bravery of that Harper Valley mom.

Arkie Mama: I made the right decision

Awhile back, I wrote about moving Tootie into a new dance class that wasn’t so focused on competition and recital.

What a change!

She’s having fun, and I don’t feel like a total dork because I’m the only mom not shrieking and jumping up and down over sequined costumes. (Maybe it’s just me, but my first thoughts upon ordering costumes were along the lines of, I’m spending $75 on an outfit this kid will wear one time? And tights are $12? Are you kidding me?)

The last two classes, Moody Mom and I brought along shorts and tennis shoes and spent the time walking. Last year, I had to skip the workouts on the nights Tootie had dance, so I’m really appreciating this new opportunity for a little exercise.

Moody Mom was kind enough to snap a few pictures of Tootie. Believe me, she was nowhere nearly this engaged in her last class!

Nothing like a little Hannah Montana to get the feet moving

Nothing like a little Hannah Montana to get the feet moving

Oh, the joys of bouncing!

Oh, the joys of bouncing!

Arkie Mama: Big Hair Edition – updated

This, ladies, is Big Hair, Texas-style. In my home state, the spiral perm ruled!

College, 1991. I was dating a musician.

College, 1990. I was dating a musician.

College, 1990. Posing in dorm room before a night out.

College, 1990. Posing in dorm room before a night out.

College friends. My roommate, Amy, is on the far right.

College friends. My roommate, Amy, is on the far right.

Blessed Mom

Moody Mom

In the Family Way

Mom on a Wire

Moody Mom came up with this brilliant idea. She also has a list of Big Hair participants!

Baby and the Beasts

She’s Crafty

For those of you who want to do a regular Wordless Wednesday, just let me know and I’ll put you in a separate list of links below!

Hugs & Kisses

Want to participate in Wordless Wednesdays? Post a photo on your blog with a link back to me. Then I’ll list the links to all Wordless posts here.

Arkie Mama: A love story

In 1993, as I neared my college graduation, a friend and fellow journalism student named Tyra asked if I would be interested in a copy editing job at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. She had been offered a position there, but was unable to take it.

And thus I landed my first newspaper job.

A year or so ago, I somehow stumbled across a blog created by Tyra to keep friends and family informed about her husband Steve’s health.

Steve, only in his late 30s, had been diagnosed with a deadly form of brain cancer. He and Tyra dubbed the tumor “Spot.” Their last name is Damm, so throughout the course of Steve’s treatment they adopted this motto: Out Damm Spot.

I read all of Tyra’s old posts and then continued to follow her blog daily.

To say that what I read was inspiring would be an understatement. Each post left me more in awe of Tyra’s strength and unshakable faith. Each post reminded me how very precious each day is.

Steve died early this morning. He leaves behind not only Tyra, but two young children, Cooper and Katie.

Tyra spent the night curled up next to him. When he took his last breath, she was holding his hand.

Theirs is a love story cut short. But their journey together — through marriage, the births of their children and, yes, a devastating diagnosis — was a beautiful one, filled with devotion and a determination to make the most of every day they had.

Rest in peace, Steve.

Tyra, you and your children will be in my thoughts and prayers in the difficult weeks ahead.

Arkie Mama: Driving Daddy crazy

Originally posted April 22, 2008 on the old Arkie Mama blog.

A How-to Guide for Driving Daddy Crazy during his Attempts to Photograph You & Your Siblings

(written by the E-man, age 3)

Step One: Complain upon waking from nap that something is in your eye. Refuse to open eye. Do NOT smirk as Mommy Googles “toddler eye pain” and “scratched cornea.” Keep eye closed for the next hour. Maintain squint even when Daddy insists on herding you and siblings out the door for the planned photo shoot. Just remember, you will show him who’s boss very, very soon.

Step Two: Make sure your eye pain is evident in photos. This has the added benefit of ensuring you maintain a proper, non-photogenic grimace.

Portrait 1

Step 3: Look to your right…

Portrait 2

Step 4: Look to your left…

Portrait 3

Step 5: Recapture grimace and ignore Daddy’s pleas to look at the camera. (Note that brother and one sister are beginning to show the strain. Heh.)

Portrait 4

Step 6: Ignore Mommy’s stupid antics. She is not funny. Note that oldest sister also appears to be losing patience. She is no match for the E-man.

Portrait 5

Step 7: Intensify scowl. Keep ignoring Mommy, who is now pretending to be a monkey. THEY CANNOT BREAK YOU!!

Portrait 6

Step 8: Don’t let them catch you off-guard with a change of scene. You aren’t so easily fooled. Why does my mother persist in acting like such an idiot? Clearly, she is suffering from some sort of crazed belief that she is Carol Burnett reinvented.


Portrait 7

Step 9: Realize that parents are annoyingly persistent creatures. When they make you stand behind the stupid tree, pucker your face to show contempt for this blindingly obvious maneuver.

Portrait 8

Step 10: Wait until after the group has disbanded before flashing a look of triumph toward the camera.

Heh.