Thursday, February 28, 2008

Waaa Waaa Waaa.

Amid all the sacrifices we make as parents – the worry! the lack of sleep! the expense! the barf! - there are quite a few little perks that more than compensate us for our troubles. Not the least of which is laughing at our own kid.

Sure, we all think it’s sweet to laugh when little Jack wears underpants on his head or little Jill dashes through the house stark naked. But occasionally it’s just more fun to outright make fun of them.

For example, when The Esposo and I are particularly giddy, say, at hour 4.3 of a 6.5-hour drive, we like to mock Peapod for being a baby.

I know. We’re jerks. But just stay with me for a second and you’ll see that no harm is done to the actual baby.

The key is to select a time when the adults need a little levity, but when the child is happy-go-lucky and won’t burst into tears. Like when she’s way too young to understand you, or when she’s sleeping. Or in college. Then, when you’ve identified that moment of opportunity, you can mock away, saying things in that annoying drawn-out baby-talk like “OOOooooohh, Whattaya gonna do? Cry like a little baaaabyyy? Waa waaa waaa!” Or, “Awwww! Look at the little baby! I’m such a baby! I drool and I poop in my own pants!”

I’m serious. This may not translate at all in print, but I’m telling you, you must try it. It really is very rewarding to make fun of a baby for being a baby. And if the right moment is selected, the child has no idea what you are saying and does not care one iota. She either looks at you like you’ve got ten heads, or keeps right on sleeping while you and your partner-in-crime dissolve into a fit of giggles.

I recognize that our window of opportunity for such mockery has probably drawn to a close. But it was fun while it lasted, even though I’m sure it will eventually all come back to bite me square in the hiney. I suppose when that time comes, I’ll just cry like a baby.
Waa waa waa.

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Handoff

I think Peapod is trying to kill me.

In the past week, she has kicked me in the face twice (once with shoes on), bitten my leg twice, and stabbed me in the neck with a chopstick. The kicking, I get. I can even sort of reconcile the biting. But the chopstick stab seems particularly malevolent for someone who hasn’t quite logged 17 months on the planet.

What was Peapod doing with a chopstick in the first place, you ask? Well, we were at a Japanese restaurant and she snagged it off the table as we headed off to the bathroom for a diaper change. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but when I swung the bathroom door open to discover yet another dirty bathroom without a changing table, I should have known I was in for a trouble. Fortunately there was a small, wobbly wooden table that looked promising, so I made due and got to work.

Once I had The Pod situated and stripped, she started her new thing where she kicks her legs furiously and laughs this alarmingly sinister “heh heh heh” type of laugh. Not funny. Ok, a little funny. But this new act makes it really tough to get the job done without costly restraining devices. Or getting kicked in the face, which is precisely what happened. Actually, to be more specific, it was in the nose.

Now, if you’ve ever been hit in the nose, you know it’s a weird phenomenon. First, even before any actual pain sets in, you’re totally surprised. It’s as if your physical being needs a second to register that someone would have both the gall and precision to hit it precisely in the nose. Next, the pain and anger set in simultaneously. If the culprit is some thug who also happens to be making off with your wallet, anger is appropriate and even helpful. But when it’s by your own sweet-faced toddler, the result becomes a confusing emotional soup. You’re mad; you’re worried; you’re worried that you’re mad.

That all went down in the nasty bathroom stall and so I was still a bit discombobulated as I carried Peapod back to our table. Which is when – whammo! -- she followed up with the chopstick-to-the-neck stab. At that point, my eyes bulged out of my head and I completely disengaged emotionally. The Esposo was peacefully munching on some appetizers when Mom-Zombie with the scratched neck and her toddler arrived at the table. He looked up and immediately, without words, we completed the Silent Toddler Handoff. The one where one parent is just done and the other one picks up where they left off, no questions asked.

A few sips of hot green tea later, we were once again a happy, peaceful family. Single moms, I take my hat off to you. Thank god for The Handoff.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Check. It. Out.

Another plug for CleanGuys... It's our first tour-related PR news article! It's in the Bismarck Tribune and you can check it out here. I know. Two plugs in less than two weeks. But we're getting off the ground and it's just so cool!

I promise, once we settle into the tour, I won't be such a spaz about sharing every little development on this blog. So humor me for the moment and enjoy the article. Besides, it's well written and even includes a reference to Bob Saget. I mean really, what more could you ask for?

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Rant: The Car Bra

It’s 2008, right? Is it not 2008? Well then how is it that, while we were driving up to San Francisco for a little weekend getaway, we were tailgated by a Saturn with a car bra? You know what I’m talking about. They’re those uber-lame pleather sheaths that people with bad judgment strap onto the front of their cars, hoping to protect their precious car noses from god knows what.

What these people are trying to achieve with their car bras, I cannot fathom. Are they looking to lift and separate? To keep their car noses looking new? And what’s so special about the nose? What about the rest of the car? Oh yeah, it turns out there’s something that protects the entire vehicle quite nicely; it's called a paint job. And unless said paint job boasts an image of a sunset, it can protect the whole car without announcing to passers-by that the driver is insufferably cheesy.

What I really can’t figure out is why I got so mad at Captain Car Bra in the first place. It’s not like this guy confronted us in the Quizno’s parking lot and forced me to put a car bra on my car. Maybe I’m just mad because I’m forced to look at the stupid thing when he really doesn’t even see it from where he's sitting. Or maybe I’m mad because not only is this bonehead allowed to blow $85 on a stupid car bra for his Saturn (I Googled it), he’s allowed to waltz freely about the planet and vote, pro-create, or even drive a moving vehicle on the open road – all activities that beg for some modicum of judgment.

I guess I’ll just have to keep suffering in silence until the glorious day comes when we can all stand together and burn our remaining car bras.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Big Laughs Minus the Earmuffs

This is the part where I shamelessly plug my new business venture.

My cousin and business parter, Dave Coulier, and I have officially launched The CleanGuys of Comedy Tour, 2008! I say "officially" because not only do we have an actual calendar that's starting to fill up with tour dates, but today I got us our very own corporate FedEx account. So do not mess with us, sister. We can ship stuff whenever we feel like it.

Our growing little empire is all about producing clean, family-friendly comedy content. Our goal is to provide families some relief from the constant barrage of raunchy media aimed at kids. We swear we're not thumping bibles or even saying that risque content has no place on the planet. Let's be real. After Peapod is in bed, I'm all for stuff blowing up and naked people. We're just filling what appears to be a gaping unmet need in the marketplace: hilarious live entertainment that can crack up the whole family while allowing parents to relax, instead of cringing when the guy onstage makes yet another joke about how funny it is that men love boobs. Even cooler is that you get to see Dave and his CleanGuys comedian friends Ryan Hamilton, Heath Hyche and Kivi Rogers together on one ticket. And they're all top-rate comedians in their own right.

If Dave's name seems familiar, you may remember him from his gig as the character “Joey” on the ABC TV series Full House, which now plays ad nauseum on the ABC Family Network and Nick at Nite. Anyway Dave and I are busy booking and promoting the CleanGuys tour, which may be coming to your town soon...

We already headlined the Detroit Comedy Festival in January to a sold out audience and rave reviews (yay us!). Our next gig is on March 1st in Bismarck, North Dakota. I know. It's far. So if your upcoming travel plans don't include a zip out to Bismarck, we're also playing down in Hermosa Beach, CA April 1-5 and again at the Kavli Theatre in Thousand Oaks, CA on April 6th (Check out our MySpace page for the latest on tour dates).

So come on out and see us! We cannot promise there will be no armpit farts, but we can promise that everything you hear onstage will be equivalent to a “G” or a “PG” movie rating. And that you'll spit out your Skittles laughing.

Check out our first TV spot!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Gotta Do Watcha Do Best

The other day I got frustrated with the Esposo for not noticing we were running dangerously low on garbage bags. This caused me to have a weird little argument, with myself, in my own tiny brain.

PETTY SELF: How could he not notice we have no garbage bags?

SELF-ACTUALIZED SELF: Could be he’s busy earning cabbage so we can all continue to eat and live.

PETTY SELF: But it’s garbage bags. We need them. For garbage. How hard can it be to notice they’re almost gone?

SELF-ACTUALIZED SELF: You know, you really shouldn’t let this bother you so much.

PETTY SELF: I just wish he’d take the initiative to say “Hey look! We’re running low on garbage bags! I think I’ll put them on the list!”

SELF-ACTUALIZED SELF: Sure. Then you’d wish you hadn’t married some guy who talks like a freaky, stepfordish man-bot.

PETTY SELF: You are totally bugging me right now.

SELF-ACTUALIZED SELF: Hey don’t be hatin’. Besides, you’re good at stuff like that.

And then it hit me: I AM good at stuff like that. It’s like I’ve been programmed to constantly scan our little homestead to see what resources we have and what we need to replenish. I just sort of do it without thinking about it. Meanwhile, the Esposo has been known to put an empty carton of orange juice back in the fridge while he chats absentmindedly on the phone.

I also have a sixth sense that pulls me toward the bill file at just the right times throughout the month to ensure all our bills are paid on time, every time. Again, it just sort of happens. These things are like big huge beacons on my radar, so I can’t fathom how they don’t even register as a tiny blip on his.

But then I recall one of the lessons that they pounded into us at the b-school program where we met: stick to your core competence. And I remember the wisteria. The Esposo has climbed up on a ladder and tamed that tangled mass at least a dozen times since we’ve lived here. I never even give it a glance, until I see how much better it looks after he climbs triumphantly down the ladder, all cut up and sweating.

And then there are the constant little construction projects that we always need done around here. Last month he hung up a door in our basement. Not like a door that was already set up where you just needed to line up the hinges and drop in the pins. Any bozo can do that. I mean he actually installed a door where previously there was no such door. From scratch. It would never occur to me that anyone off the street could just do that. But he did it.

And all the while, I was fluttering about safely upstairs, tending to Peapod. And noticing that we needed more dishwasher soap.