Hush, Don’t Tell the Pregnant People

Sometimes Sally is exceptionally cute. You know the moments–like this one: The Mr. and I are walking along our neighborhood lagoons while Sally rides her purple bike. A bike with training wheels and tassels on the handlebars. And she’s wearing some adorable dress and singing about the beautiful sunset. Or belting out Katy Perry’s “Firework.” Either way.

And then a pregnant lady sees her. Sometimes it’s a pregnant lady and her spouse. Those are the best. They are waddling along in their seventh month of delusion. You know this is their first child because, A) they are exercising together, B) they are holding hands while exercising together, C) they gaze at my daughter with the hope and excitement of someone who has no idea that: in 20 minutes this same “angel” will cry about the dinner offerings in our house; and then rant about how she just had a bath two nights ago, she doesn’t need another one, JEEZ, why is her mom so MEAN; and then complain that she can’t sleep unless I am on the floor of her room causing irreversible damage to my hip bones; and then wake me up by attempting to hand me a booger.

You, too, will have an idyllic life.

We don’t tell the delusional people about that part. It would just cause premature labor, and that’s not helping anyone. Plus, until the baby is born, women still think it’s a little weird for strangers to talk to them. (AFTER the baby is born, we’ll readily share our deepest and grossest secrets before we even share names.) So we let the pregnant couple think that life with a child is rosy at all times, and that they, too, will someday enjoy relaxing evening walks as an adorable family. They don’t need to know that the only reason we’re out there in the first place is because it was someone’s birthday at school and the sugar from the cupcakes will keep our “miracle” up until 11 if we don’t run her around some.

After they’re out of earshot we make brutal fun of them.


Quickie: My Little Firecracker

*Quickies are a thing I started last summer and then did once. Classic. Let’s try it again.

Photo: Sunsurfr/Flickr

Since no city in a two-mile radius is having fireworks on the Fourth, and that’s how far we’re willing to travel, we took a trip last night, the 2nd, to a nearby soccer field. From there we could see the patriotic firework show from the Oakland A’s game. As we waited in the growing darkness, Sally kept trying to convince us to move outside the field onto some rocks she liked. We explained that then we’d be watching the show through a chain-link fence, and if we stayed here, IN the soccer area, we’d have a perfect view.

“I want to sit on the rocks. I’M GOING.”

“Fine. We’re sitting here. You can join us if you’d like.”

“I don’t want to. The rocks are my FAVORITE. I LOVE them.”

“Sally, we have a perfect little porch to sit on right here. We can all sit together and we can see perfectly! I think this is a better idea tonight than the rocks tonight.”

“Uh, Mommy, you are sitting in front of a girls’ bathroom.”

At which point I cracked up. Even if she did have the tone of a hormonally imbalanced pre-teen, the girl’s got a sense of humor. We cuddled up in front of a glorified outhouse and had a great time.

Nine Kid Show Lines I Can’t Fricking Get Out of My Head

Kid shows are melting my brain. Some are definitely better than others: I love Sesame Street (which Sally knows, so she claims it is boring) and I enjoy Olivia. But most have these incredibly annoying repeated lines, or just types of lines that make me want to back over the flat screen with my car.

Bubble Guppies – “What time is it? It’s time for lunch!”
These weird little mermaidy kids live in a world without physics, one of my pet kid show peeves. Though annoying, their lunch line has become embedded in the Embee family arsenal of quasi-witty comebacks.

Dora the Explorer – “Say MAP! LOUDER! SAY MAP!”
If ever given the chance, I will kill Dora.

Berenstain Bears – “Gosh, I didn’t think of it that way.”
The Berenstain kids are super-duper wholesome, yet somehow manage to spend 20 of the 22 minutes available to them teaching your kid how NOT to act. But you know what bothers me most about this show? Mama Bear’s muumuu and shower-cap hat. Who decided that was the picture of a good mom? Also her treehouse is immaculate, which is annoying. Yes, I’m jealous of a two-dimensional bear.

Yo Gabba Gabba! – “There’s a Party in my Tummy!”
I haven’t even seen this show and the song is in my brain.

Angelina Ballerina – “Uh. huh–uh. Ah.” [grunts] “But that’s not FAIR, Mum!”
Angelina is a flat out brat. This has not stopped us from owning no fewer than six Angelina Ballerina books and Tivoing episodes.

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse – “Oh, Toodles!”
Another land without consistent gravitational pull. I don’t know why I expect more from a show where half-dressed, talking mice and ducks come to a clubhouse every day to learn their colors, but I do.

Team Umizoomi – “You’re really good at math, Umi-friend!”
Okay, actually, this show has shown me yet again how good at math my kid is. She can add! I still can’t add. And therein lies my frustration with the program.

Handy Manny – [in monotone] “that-is-right-it-is-a-screwdriver.”
Wilmer Valderrama is phoning this baby in. Then he hangs up and turns back to the supermodels partying in his pool. Jerk.

Caillou – “Caillou though that was silly.” “AHA! AHA HA HA! HEE HEE HEE! HA HA AHA!”
You do realize he’s Canadian, right? After I kill Dora, I’ll hunt down Caillou, eh? Then I’ll turn myself in, and be put in jail for life, but then they’ll give me the Nobel Peace Prize. I’ll pretty much be our generation’s Nelson Mandela.

You know what’s scary? The tween shows look way worse….

On Father’s Day, We Aim to Impress

What more could a dad want? At a Father’s Day party, his 4-year-old chews pretzels into letters and spells . . . BEER. This one’s for you, Mr. Embee (who, it should be noted, is not even a big beer drinker. She should have spelled Russian Standard.)

"beer" in pretzels

Weinergate: Preschool Edition

As far as I know, there have been no pictures of teensy private parts Tweeted from Sally’s preschool bathroom. However, the bathroom is coed (sooooo Bay Area Elitist, I know) and we have our own little Weinergate issues going on in our household.

Sally has, on multiple occasions, chit-chatted with me about how boys go to the bathroom. They do it STANDING UP. Mind-blowing, right? I don’t think I knew that until college. But recently, Sally moved past simply marveling. She’d caught penis envy and wanted full equality:

Sally: “I’m gonna try it.” [Standing up, turning toward toilet]

Me: “What? WHAT, NO! Sit DOWN. Look, girls can do everything boys can do–and you and I know we usually do it better–but we cannot pee standing up. I’m sorry, our bodies are just different.”

Sally: “. . . . No I’m pretty sure I can do it.” [Stands up again] “Look, they go like this [pinches two fingers together like she’s saying ‘a-okay’ to her crotch] and then they pee! It’s SOOOO much better than sitting down.”

Me: “You can’t. It’ll go everywhere. Do you know how boys’ bodies are different than girls?”

Sally: “YES. They have a . . . um, it’s a penis?”

Me: “Yes.”

Sally: “And girls have . . . is it called a Velvet?”

Me: [You know, “Velvet” sounds kind of nice, actually. Better than “Down There” or when I make shooing motions while telling her to wash herself up in the bath. But I go through the parts, scientifically. Again. Damn child-rearing duties.]

Sally: “And when you are a grown up your baby comes out of THAT. Right. And we can’t pee standing up.” [plops down on stairs, resigned.] “I wish I had a penis.”

Me: “Me too sometimes.”

Mommy Terror Alerts

Image: Office of Homeland Security

This has been a busy and stressful month, and I figured rather than continue to blindly subject my loved ones to my (seemingly random) rages, I should help millions of families and develop a Mommy Terror Alert System. It’s for your own protection.

Terror Alert Threat Level 1: Mommy gets very fidgety. Foot tapping, inability to sit still (well, if she were ever allowed to sit still), etc. Mommy makes lists in this phase. Long, impossible-to-accomplish lists.

Level 2: Mommy eats. Constantly. She is actually unable to stop herself. It may be salty, it may be sweet, but if she is seen shoveling snacks into her pie hole, keep your distance.

Level 3: Mommy stops eating. While less obvious, she is far more dangerous than overeating Mommy.

Level 4: Mommy frets over world peace and missing socks simultaneously. This may also be referred to as “intense overreaction.” May manifest as Mommy stomping through the house ranting about how nobody in this place helps her clean — and before you know it she is losing her mind over how you’re going to pay for college since obviously she’s going to have to quit her job to stay home and pick up everyone’s stupid JUNK AND OH BY THE WAY I GUESS I’LL BE A SHORT-ORDER COOK WHILE I’M AT IT! THERE ARE STARVING CHILDREN, YOU KNOW! This stage is extremely dangerous, as one wrong look from a loved one can push her over into…

Level 5: Crying. While insisting everything is fine.

Use Caution: While Mommy may progress through the stages in an orderly fashion, in times of extreme crisis–like a child refusing to sleep after Mommy has just done five back-to-back loads of laundry and has two hours of work to get done and there’s no bread for sandwiches tomorrow–she may skip levels.

What you can do: Uh, how about don’t piss her off. But if you must piss her off, you can help lower the terror alert level by A) Agreeing with her no matter what she says, and B) cleaning. Seriously, people, make your beds and mommy might just avoid a mental breakdown for one more day.

We Should Bring Sally’s Music to the World

Remember when they had those CD commercials on TV where you could buy the Greatest Hits from the ’80s, or ’70s, or punk, or funk, or whatever? Sally’s songwriting has been so prolific over the past four years, I think we could put out her own record. Buy it now and you can enjoy The Best of Sally over and over! Hits including…

One Hundred


My Carrots are Growing [Sun, Water and Love]


You Can Do It

Oh Yeah

The Mac and Cheese Song

The Theme to: A Prince and Princess Get Married

I Am Gonna Win

Teddy Bear

The Party is Starting

Bubbles are Great

I’m the Dragon King

I’m the Dragon King (reprise): I’m Still a Hula Dancer But I Have a Sword

Today is a Great Day to Touch Your Toes