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reading

Remember the good old days when you could spell any word that you wanted your children NOT to understand. I don’t know how many times we spelled “B.A.T.H”, “S.L.E.E.P”, “N.A.P.” “O.U.T.S.I.D.E.” and every single curse word..ever! In fact the other night, my friend and I were at dinner talking and she burst out into spelling a curse word.We both chuckled because the youngest person at the table was my baby sister who is 32. But its just one more of our Mommy moments.

Unfortunately for me, my brilliant 5 year old is phonetically spelling everything now and when we spell..she figures it out. So, no more talking about how they won’t be going outside, or can’t drive their Barbie Escalade in 50 degree weather. No more whispered spelling about what we plan to do after the girls go to sleep. No more talking about what just transpired with the crazy mom. No, because now my child who hears absolutely nothing I have to say to her can hear everything I spell that is of absolutely no concern to her.Worse, she can understand what I am spelling and takes great unabashed joy in deciphering my Mommy code!

Damn! Why did I ever teach my kid to spell? I am fairly certain my life is going to hell in a gasoline doused hand basket, any day now. She’s already heard too much. She has cracked my code but worse is she cracked it before telling me she understood. In theory, I may or may not have said something about a certain crazy mother, teacher, neighbor or family member that may get repeated at the most inopportune time.It’s like I’m being held hostage by a kindergartner, without her knowledge.I can’t ask her not to say anything because a) I’m not sure entirely what she has deciphered and understood and what she has not b)if I do broach the subject and ask her not to repeat any thing, what kind of an example am I setting? I’d be teaching her that its OK to be mean and ugly and then to lie to cover it up.Yeah, because that will never come back to bite me in the ass.

No thank you! I have already learned my lesson, from my Mother’s flurry of “I hope you have a little girl just like you when you grow up” that has since hit me over the head and kicked me in the ass ten fold. NO, I know the bitch that karma can be and I choose not to taunt or tempt her. I will keep my mouth shut. Stop spelling in front of my big brained baby and really just try and be a better person. After all, isn’t it my mouth that got me into all of this trouble and not my daughter’s big brain or astute hearing skills? But I still would like to know Why did I teach my girl to spell? Next thing you know, she’ll be deciphering for her little sister.Happy Mothering!

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So, summer reading programs are in full swing. I sign my girls up every year, since Bella’s first summer when she was 3 months old. I am sure that the librarian though I was a completely overkill new Mommy. That was OK, I didn’t mind. I’d walk into the library dressed all cute, with my super cute little baby dressed in some incredibly adorable outfit with her hair pulled up in the most incredible little bows ( yes, even if I had to use toothpaste to keep those bitches in..they were in)I pranced my blissfully happy ass across the library like I was hot stuff as people oohed and ahhed over my baby. Then I’d pick out about 20 of the cutest little books I could find, trip over my platform sandals and maneuver my way back to the front to check out. Where the librarians would tell me just how awesome a Mommy I was to be reading to my baby and instilling such great literary practices in her little baby brain. I got a little bibliophile gold star. And every time I’d walk in, the same thing would happen. Now, I am sure behind my back they were giggling thinking poor, stupid girl. None the less, I would log the books I read to her and she would pick out some trinket..sticker, board book, pencil ( yes, a pencil for a 3month old..that should have been my first hint…duh) Of course, I too would take part. I had to be a good example for my 3 MONTH OLD!( like she was keeping track..shit,I’m not even sure she could completely see me at that point).
The following summer, pretty much like the first , just as adorable as ever. By this point the librarians know me by name. They smile and coo and know all my general business. Again, Mommy and daughter..prancing our sweet asses in their doing our thing, Me being the best Mommy ever! I was a model library connoisseur. Hell, my favorite librarian even used to set aside new release movies on Tuesday and hold them for me and Bella.What a rocking Librarian.
Fast forward, the next year I have a newborn. More OOhs and AWWWS, because now there is two of them. Dressed just alike with rhyming names, those big blue eyes, and crazy smiles.Of course, Mommy wasn’t sporting platform sandals or kitten heels anymore. No, Mommy was wearing flip flops and a pony tail, looking ever so slightly rough around the edges, That’s what a toddler and a newborn do to a Mommy. That summer,when they asked if I ‘d be participating in the summer reading program I gave a little grumble..put forth an effort and squeezed out 2 books that I may or may not have actually finished reading. I’m leaning towards probably not, but when they know you on a first name basis…you gotta at least make the effort to pretend. But I still read to the girls. Bedtime can really rack up those books when you have a toddler who fights sleep!
Fast forward to this year, I have a 3 and 5 year old who run into the library like they own the place. I guess they kinda feel like they do. They walk in and all the librarians flock to them like they are their long last Grammys. Hell, we moved away for 7 months, moved back and all the librarians were celebrating that we were back.It’s really sweet, I think they missed their entertainment. But these days, the girls run in..make a mad dash for the children’s DVD rack, then head for the Macs, and then the music. I’m too tired to even argue. It never fails, even at the self check out counters, one ( or more) of the librarians make their way over to say hi to the girls. I always feel a little guilty when they eyeball my 10 dvds, 10 cds, and my The tired Mommy’s guide to passionate sex book that I have checked out 7 times and never get around to reading because I am so DAMN TIRED! But there are seldom any kids books this summer. So, I reassure them that we do, in fact, have a library in our home..chalked full of kids books ( Which we do) but of course most of the time the kids are running past it to get to the media room…. to watch the aforementioned DVDs ……from the library.
This year when they ambushed me to sign up for the kids reading program, I readily did, as I always do. I also told the girls that we were going to start reading chapter books and once we finished the entire book…I’d rent the movie. It’s been a week, and we are almost through with Charlotte’s Web. Brilliant, why didn’t I think of this sooner? Of course there is another problem, with all those DVDs, somehow…the Wiggles have gone missing. You know the Wiggles DVD that we already owned but my 3 year old had to check out. The Wiggles DVD that will probably cost me $100 to replace. Yeah, that Wiggles DVD ( apparently the one dipped in gold).Then it dawned on me why the librarians really love me and my children so much, all the money I have paid them for lost and misplaced DVD’s and CD’s ( never books). I’m probably part owner of that place as much money as I have put into it. The moral of the story….Read a book. Skip the DVD. A book cost $15 to replace, a DVD dipped in gold quite a bit more. Having the librarians still ooh and awww, even when you come in wearing tennis shoes, a crooked ponytail, a spit up t-shirt and yoga pants ( though the kids are still dressed cute) PRICELESS!

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