Was I just going on and on about how great it is to be the parent of two small children? Well, that was obviously before this morning’s trip to story hour at our local library, where in a room full of bright-eyed, attentive toddlers my kids were the only ones 1) refusing to sit or pay attention (Riley), 2) rapidly gnawing into a book like a damn beaver then dramatically choking on the paper pulp (Dylan), 3) doing this annoying bent-at-the-waist whining pose where the arms dangle to the ground and the head tilts upward to more effectively release an ear-sawing “ehhhh” sound (Riley), 4) thrashing and howling and fishflopping (Dylan), and 5) refusing to respond to my increasingly irritated hissings of COME HERE, requiring me to deploy the Maternal Eagle Claw of Doom and get everyone the HELL out of Dodge (Riley, Dylan, whatever your name is, I brought you into this world and I’ll take you out).

Plus, as we were leaving, the sweetest elderly man (wearing military pins on his hat, no less) tried to say hello to Riley, who responded with, get this, “NO”. In less indulgent cultures this rude-ass behavior surely would have resulted in a swift public caning, but I had to make do with some apologetic murmurings to the gentleman and a Death Stare at Riley along with some whispered reminders about politeness and manners and a little place called Singapore.

Is there anything quite as maddening as taking kids to something you don’t particularly want to do — I can read my own books, thank you very much, and I totally already knew ice cream was made with milk — and having the entire outing go tits up? It makes me feel like that guy from Clerks: “I wasn’t even supposed to BE here today!”

We came home and both kids instantly dropped the feral-dingo act and sat around being all adorable and playing with a toy rocket together. So my lesson for the day is this: do not expose children to fresh air or wholesome, educational events. Which, fine. I didn’t want to change out of my yoga pants anyway.

In Elsewhere Blogging:

• I have a post up at Lemondrop, where an unseen editor changed “tiramisu” to “tira misu”, removed the phrase “rubs his beard stubble on my naked torso” (in reference to a Clive Owen fantasy), but mysteriously did not balk at “spraying pee all over the place”.

• I have posted some seriously cringeworthy before-and-after weight loss pictures on Bodies in Motivation.

I’m trying to update Bodies in Motivation at least every weekday with new articles, and there’s some cool stuff on there — like Shawna’s story of becoming a fitness instructor, Julia’s advice for stocking your kitchen, Marivic’s weight loss and goals, Kristin’s Fat Skinny blog, and more. I’ll be adding new bloggers soon, and featuring some really inspiring stories, so come by and say hi.



39 Responses to “Dingo wrangling”

  1. Eric's Mommy on December 10th, 2008 2:30 pm

    It does get better, for me it did anyways. I only have 1 but I do remember the “outings from hell” when he was about 2-3. He is now 6 and can still be a pain in the ass but at least now he listens and understands when I tell him to STFU (not really).

    He does still get the Maternal Eagle Claw of Death though, which works great.

  2. stephanie parnell on December 10th, 2008 2:34 pm

    That photo is totally not helping the “I swear I’m not my uncle’s child!” mystery….

  3. Kim on December 10th, 2008 2:37 pm

    I just printed those before and after pictures out to put up on the wall in the room I exercise in. That’s not gay at all, right?
    I have almost that exact amount of weight to lose, but what excites me even more than that is the potential to have strength and energy again. I miss them.

  4. Korinna on December 10th, 2008 3:15 pm

    Because I am lazy (hence the need for your website)…I was wondering if you have any stories or tips or bits of information on using a personal trainer on Bodies in Motivation?

    Have some LBs to lose of my own after a baby from May and am thinking of employing a super-fit person to scare me into a shape.

  5. Sally on December 10th, 2008 3:30 pm

    We ALMOST made it to library story time last week, but Graham gagged on a mysterious invisible something and barfed all over himself and his carseat as I was pulling into the library parking lot. So, we went home. That was worth the drive.

  6. Katie on December 10th, 2008 3:57 pm

    You ain’t just whistlin’ Dixie!!!!!!!! I swear if the 3 year old is acting normal, then the 2 year old is screaming like a banshee, and vice versa in ANY public arena. Restaurants are almost the worst, especially if grandma’s around. I swear some days that if it wasn’t considered child abuse both boys would be fitted with the electric dog collars we have for our lab! TOtally understand your situation!

    And I love your Bodies blog, I need motivation right now, as it’s cold and all I want to do is snuggle and eat cookies and drink hot chocolate with the kids! But then I look at the 15 pounds of baby fat I haven’t lost, and my baby is 2 now! Damn, I’ll print those pics now just for inspiration!

  7. bea on December 10th, 2008 4:24 pm

    I hear you on the crazy boy antics in public. Some days my boy is fine – sweet, police – says please and thank you, but it’s those other days. He decided to start this growl speak when he’s defiant, angry or upset. I chalk it up to being 2 1/2.

  8. melanie on December 10th, 2008 4:53 pm

    Hey – I’ve had that same Clive dream! Also, I have taken my daughter to storytime on a number of occasions and she does nothing but glare at the people around her and lay on the floor (she doesn’t like to sit). She likes it when I sing to her at home but if anyone else tries she freaks out.

  9. Scott on December 10th, 2008 5:06 pm

    Dude. DUDE. That is just exactly my life right now. Sofia caused the biggest scene at Via Tribunali this weekend while I was trying to stuff my face with a Nutella calzone. I had to pick her up by the middle like a sack of flour and carry her screaming out of the tiny, tiny restaurant. Argh.

  10. Heather-in-Australia on December 10th, 2008 5:19 pm

    “The dingo! The dingo ate my – !”

    Ahem. Sorry. Going-to-hell-lapse-in-lateral-thinking right there.

    As you were.

  11. Michelle on December 10th, 2008 6:18 pm

    We have yet to attend a successful library story time.

  12. Joanne on December 10th, 2008 6:35 pm

    Is it wretched that I’m glad that you posted again? I couldn’t take the happiness and success that you were having in the other post. My kids have been particularly crazy this week and I was so defeated by your happy post! I love the Bodies blog, I am a huge Julia fan too!

  13. Lesley on December 10th, 2008 7:13 pm

    Any bets the Lemon Drop “editor” uses spell checker software? As if you need to be edited, anyway. Good grief. I hope they pay you well over there.

  14. Stacy on December 10th, 2008 7:56 pm

    You are certainly not alone in the wrangling of dingos…at least storytime is a free event (I assume) and not an adventure you had to pay for.

  15. Christina on December 10th, 2008 8:04 pm

    OMG! My son pulls that “NO” thing sometimes when someone says hello to him. It is by far one of his more irritating traits. And SO embarassing.

  16. Junni on December 10th, 2008 9:02 pm

    I hopped over to your before-and-after photos, and I have to say I never really noticed any “chub” before in your picture postings–I always thought you were lovely!

    But when you put up a comparison like that, the only word I can think of is DAYUM.

  17. Sharla on December 10th, 2008 9:23 pm

    I just took both toddler and baby out today for a 3 hour shopping trip. What was I thinking I do not know. I actually dragged my 3 year old son out of one store while he was screaming at the top of his lungs. (I sometimes wonder if people think I am kidnapping this poor helpless child) As I was explaining to him in the car that we don’t scream at Mommy when she says it’s time to go, he sweetly and angelically replied, “No, no, we don’t scream, we TALK” Yeah, how about remembering that helpful little tidbit when we’re actually IN the store kiddo.

  18. Sharla on December 10th, 2008 9:40 pm

    BTW: (just looked at your before and after pics) You look AMAZING! You’ve totally inspired me to start 30DS. I’m on day 3 and can I just say OW MY MUSCLES! I’m a little disappointed though that with those guns of yours, you say your ability to do push-ups still suck. I too completely suck at them and was hoping I’d become a pro with doing 30DS. You’d think with lifting 2 kids all day long that I’d be able to do a decent push-up but no hahahahhaha NO!

  19. Sundry on December 10th, 2008 9:44 pm

    Junni: the amount of effort that has, in the past, gone into choosing which photos of myself I decide to share is downright embarrassing. Know what I mean?

    Sharla: I’m reminded of that hilarious Louis CK routine:

    ‘People that are not parents think “What is she doing to that poor child?” Parents think “What did that horrible kid do to that poor woman?”‘

    (Um, not that your child is horrible. It’s funnier when Louis CK does it.)

  20. Sharla on December 10th, 2008 10:38 pm

    Yes, I’ve seen that routine. HILARIOUS! Oh and trust me, sometimes he IS horrible.

  21. Brenda on December 11th, 2008 12:07 am

    Hi Linda

    I noticed you mentioned my home country in “some whispered reminders about politeness and manners and a little place called Singapore”. I’m interested in knowing what you were implying by that. I assure you I’m not in any way upset. Rather, I’m just really curious about how Singapore comes into the picture here. Maybe it’s because we have a courtesy movement and Pay It Forward kind of movement every year which doesn’t seem to make an impact on many of my fellow countrymen. Or maybe it’s our system of fines to punish those who litter or smoke in restricted places, or chew gum, or jaywalk, or return our food trays, or basically anything at all that shouldn’t be deterred by fines because we’re supposed to be civic minded and gracious peoople in the first place.

    I know you don’t mean anything malicious, and to prove how much I respect and like your writing (and you of course!) I even have a link on my blog to your blog heheh.

    Also, I’d gladly trade places with you. If you ever want to move here, I’ll move to Seattle anytime!

  22. Jackie on December 11th, 2008 6:38 am

    I’ve taken to reading your Lemondrop posts as if they were a game — can I spot the unseen edits? I nailed the Clive Owen edit, but missed tiramisu.

  23. nonsoccermom on December 11th, 2008 8:19 am

    Hee, that picture of Dylan makes him look like he is definitely up to something!!

  24. Jenny on December 11th, 2008 9:43 am

    I love the Claw of Doom- my 3yo whimpers ‘Mom, you’re huuuurting me’ when I sink my fingers into his shoulder to “help” him out of the room. Oh, believe me child, THIS is not hurting you…keep it up.

  25. Sundry on December 11th, 2008 9:53 am

    Brenda: oh dear. Well, I was thinking of this story: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_P._Fay.

  26. Must Be Motherhood on December 11th, 2008 12:27 pm

    I heart the paragraph about “I wasn’t even supposed to BE here today.” That is so my life when I’m trying to dress the thrashing toddler to go to the Children’s Musuem for the tenth time this month. DUDE. Do you think I WANT to ride the carousel again??

    And Dylan is totally about to get Shredded in that picture. Har.

  27. Christine on December 11th, 2008 1:23 pm

    Ugh. That is why I gave up on story time all together – my kids were THOSE kids every damn week and I could not take the embarrassment.

    I am at the point now where I kinda don’t want to go anywhere with them until the little one is at least 4…sad.

  28. stacy on December 11th, 2008 1:29 pm

    that is definitely the most adorable picture of someone elses child I have ever seen – OMG!

  29. Alex on December 11th, 2008 4:23 pm

    The issue I seem to run into over at Bodies in Motivation is that I can’t tell when something new has been posted, and there are enough different categories that I’m not jazzed with the idea of clicking through all of them to find out each time. I have to come to this site to look at the titles in the sidebar. Is there a trick I’m missing, something that indicates when there is a new post in one of the categories?

  30. Sundry on December 11th, 2008 5:12 pm

    Alex: I’d like to try and address that in some clever way in the future, but for now your options are 1) look at the front page (which I update with little blurbs to the most recent post in each category), or 2) look at the RSS feed (although it’s a full feed of all categories).

  31. Fid on December 11th, 2008 10:14 pm

    Hello Linda! I’m from Singapore and have been reading your blog for months. Always tickled by your entries.

    This is the first entry that you mentioned Singapore and I’d always thought that the Michael Fay case had died down. Anyways, no. I’m not pissed that you thought of us as some rigid country. In fact, it’s interesting to read another person’s POV of Singapore. I can’t disagree more with Brenda regarding Singapore being a “Fine” city. In the process of trying to convert its citizens to become gracious individuals, I think most of them have become quite the opposite.

    You might like the weather here though since it’s supposed to be sunny all year round.

    Anyhow, Riley is far too adorable to deserve what Michael Fay got! And Dylan definitely has that “Heh heh” look on his face. Minus the raised brows.

  32. sundry on December 11th, 2008 10:23 pm

    Okayyy, I feel like a DICK. Honestly, my brain went: huh huh huh caning joke huh where was that one caning story from way back when huhhhh and I hit google, which served up the reminder of the Fay case. I would never have remembered anything about it (location, his name, anything) otherwise.

    I would LOVE to visit Singapore. I mean, you have no idea.

  33. Michelle on December 11th, 2008 11:26 pm

    Heh, I too saw the Singapore reference and decided to leave a comment, then saw that my two other countrymen got there first.

    It does rankle a little when that’s the one thing some people know about our country (we’re far worse in some ways, and far better in other ways, than that one thing), but what I actually intended to add was that while we don’t do *public* caning, we do publicly punish people caught littering by making them wear fluorescent green vests and spend a couple hours cleaning a public space. Maybe you can use that reference next time Riley or Dylan doesn’t pick up after themselves. :)

    (I’m a relatively new reader of your blog, BTW, but have been DEVOURING your archives.)

  34. Debbi on December 12th, 2008 12:22 am

    I would say that it gets better and maybe for others it does, but since i am the mother of a 5yr old, 3 yr old and a 18 month old with another due in March, i would have to say i am not seeing the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. Sadly when i say let’s go to the playground, i have to specify if i mean the outdoor one with the slides or the indoor one with the books. They attack a library with the single minded attitude that it is meant to be conquered. We have been asked not to attend story time and i often look for their pictures on the doors saying “Do not allow these children to enter!”.

    Love your blog, i have been a reader for years. Seems like you always say what i am thinking.

  35. Sarah on December 12th, 2008 9:15 am

    Great timing. We just made the trek to the downtown Minneapolis library, enduring insane parking competition and single-digit temps to find the storyteller nearly finished (20 minutes early) when we finally arrived. She had moved on to singing “If you’re happy and you know it,” except with the verses “if you’re angry and you know it,” and the ever-popular “if you’re sad and you know it.” What?!

  36. Dee on December 12th, 2008 12:12 pm

    My boss went to Singapore last spring and he brought back a lot of different souvenirs–including a rather distasteful (IMO) T-shirt that made a joke about caning. Made in Singapore, sold in a shop in Singapore. He said they also had mugs and keychains and mousepads and anything else you could want.

    I’d say a country that markets caning jokes to foreigners doesn’t have much room to complain when foreigners then make caning jokes.

  37. Emily on December 12th, 2008 6:55 pm

    I was going to say, as an American who has traveled quite a bit (admittedly not to Singapore), it’s not like I haven’t sat through many an uncomfortable joke about the US! Lighten Up!

  38. Jennifer on December 14th, 2008 12:09 am

    OK I know that you’ve heard enough about this, but (a) I think the Singaporean commenters were very polite, and no hard feelings, and (b) I’ve traveled to Singapore a few times for work and have enjoyed it. But, being a little unsure about “those rumors,” I’ll admit that I nearly spit one time when I was walking around town, then quickly thought “yikes, I might get in trouble” so I sucked it back in just in time! :-)

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