Kids Show I Can’t Stand: Max and Ruby

I first caught a glimpse of this ridiculous mess of a show when The Boy was a baby, just before he turned one.  I immediately thought the show was obnoxious and annoying, and vowed to never let The Boy know of its existence.

photo credit: Nick Jr.
photo credit: Nick Jr.

My plan was going well for a little over 2 years, and then somehow, someway, The Boy was exposed to this hellacious show.  (I blame The Husband.)  And like trying crack for the first time, The Boy was hooked!  Max and Ruby is a gateway show – next thing you know, he’ll be jonesing for Caillou!

How can I hate a couple of bunny siblings you ask?  Let me tell you:

  1. Max, who is supposed to be three years old, talks like a 20-month old baby, “Frog.  Frog.  Frog.”  He utters one syllable words while his bratty sister tries to decipher what he wants or what he’s talking about.  
  2. Where the hell are their parents during all of their insane escapades?  These 2 rabbits, (ages 3 and 7) apparently live alone & the only authority figure, their oblivious Grandmother, lives clear across town!  Someone seriously needs to call CPS!
  3. Max is a brat & Ruby is a bossy little twit who is more interested in chit chatting on the phone with her best buddy rather than babysitting Max.  And how can you blame her!??!  At age 7, I wouldn’t want to be the sole caretaker for an obnoxious rabbit either.

So we went through a Max and Ruby phase for roughly 2 weeks, which resulted in The Boy speaking like this flipping idiotic rabbit, Max, and me nearly losing my damn mind.

“Milk! Milk! Milk!” Screeched The Boy.  I handed him his milk just to get him to knock it off.  “Blanket, blanket!”

“Use your big boy words to tell me what you want, you know how to talk like a big boy, stop this baby talk.”  I said through gritted teeth.

“No, I’m Max, mama, and you’re Ruby.”  He whined, sad that I wouldn’t play.

I had to have a Max and Ruby intervention & it had to happen immediately.  So, I erased any and all shows that The Husband had dvr’d and promptly informed him that we were never to utter the words “Max” or “Ruby” in my house again.  If The Boy asks, Max and Ruby are dead.  Kidding.  Kind of.

“Max and Ruby! Max and Ruby!” He chanted when I asked him what he wanted to watch the other morning.

“Awa, Max and Ruby show has been cancelled, Boy.” I lied, feigning disappointment.

Parents, beware, these two rabbits are NOT good role models!  Keep your children away from this travesty!

7th Portal to Hell: Walmart on a Saturday … while I’m bleeding

Not just any Saturday. No, the Saturday before Easter! What was I thinking?  I wasn’t.

walmart sucks  | The Fairly Good Mother

I had a prescription to pick-up from there.  One that I have been meaning to transfer because EVERY.SINGLE.EFFING.TIME I go in there, I lament my decision to do so.

But I did it.  Again.  Because I apparently never learn.  So, I dart and weave through the drones pushing baskets full of kids and laundry detergent.  I get to the pharmacy & wait for my turn.  I tell her my name & she is perplexed by my request.  She asks me when I called my prescription in, “is it new, or did the doctor call it in?”

Me: “No, I called to renew it 2 days ago, the automated recording said it would be ready yesterday.”
Her: “Hmm … well, it’s not.”
Me:  “How come?”
Her:  “I don’t know.”
Me (getting agitated):  “Welllll, can you please find out?”  JHC, is it too much to ask for someone to do their damn job?  

She shuffles off to the back of the pharmacy for about 7 minutes, then returns.

Her:  “Seems like we are out of this medication and have ordered it, but it won’t be in until Tuesday.”
Me:  “And no one called me to tell me that because …???  You just want me to waste my time coming down to the 7th portal of hell on a Saturday.  Before Easter.  I hate Walmart, do you realize that?”
Her:  “Oh, I’m sorry, ma’am.  But, well, they usually do call.”
Me:  “Ma’am?  Ok.  Yeah.  Well, no one called me.”
Her:  “Are you sure?  (off my death-stare) Maybe we don’t have your number.”
Me:  “Oooo Kaaaaay.  Can you please double check, then, to make sure you have my correct number?”
She passes me a slip of paper and a pen.  I push it back.
Me: “No. I want to know what number you have on file.”
She looks shocked and waddles back to the computer in another area.  She returns with a slip of paper that has my number on it … I tell her that’s the correct number and she promises they will call me when it’s ready.

Not wanting to waste a trip to the 7th portal of hell, I dart and weave some more up and down aisles, retrieving items like pull-ups, wipes, “It’s The Easter Beagle Charlie Brown” dvd for The Boy’s Easter basket, and make my way to the check-out.

Holy Lines, Batman!  It’s crazier than Costco up in this mug!

I sneak into what I think is the shortest line and am practicing deep breathing as the people behind me have ZERO concept of personal space.  Why is that?  Every time I’m in that $hithole, every customer is always up on my heels, with absolutely no concept of personal space.  I’m texting The Husband, telling him that I hate this place and they’re lucky no one has lost an eye yet.  Yet.

back the f^k Up 'fore U git scratched the f^k up!
back the f^k Up ‘fore U git scratched the f^k up!

It’s my turn, finally.  BUUUUUUUUT, before the checker can even pick up my pack of pull-ups to scan, the lady behind me thrusts her hand full of ice cream at the checker’s face.  “How much is this ice cream!?!”  She grunts.

Deep breath by me.

“I don’t know?  Doesn’t it say?”  Says the checker.

“No.” Says the lady who, in my opinion, does not need to be eating ice cream.

“Hmm.” The checker muses while steam starts to puff out of my ears.  “Val?!!”  She screeches to the checker in the aisle next to ours, “How much is this ice cream, do ya know?”

Big sigh by me.  And I’m running my tongue across the top of my lip in an effort to temper my growing frustration with the situation. I bite my lip.

Val yells back that she doesn’t know.  My checker offers to the lady, “I can scan it to find out if ya want ….”

“Yeah, you can scan it AFTER you’re done checking me out!!!!”  I finally erupt, smacking my hand down on the register area.

Everyone is taken aback by my outburst.  Checker apologizes and calls me ma’am, (which only further pisses me off.  That’s 2 ma’am’s in one Walmart trip!)  Ice cream lady stares at me, and I stare back, daggers in my pupils, daring her to confront me.  I’m bleeding and I hate Walmart.  I dare you to say something to me and see how fast I can lodge that ice cream where the sun don’t shine, sweetheart.

She didn’t say a word.  Smart move.

Moral of the story:  Do NOT go to Walmart EVER.  And if you need to go there, make sure it’s not on a Saturday.  And NEVER on a Saturday before Easter Sunday.

Reason #289 Why I Hate The Medical Field

So, I have this night time cough – I’m guessing because it’s so freaking windy & dry in my little piece of Southern California Paradise.  My skin is cracking & my hands are as dry as a bone.  (P.S. I hate the wind!)  I don’t feel sick, but my voice is hoarse.  Yes, mother, I’m gargling with hydrogen peroxide & drinking tea with lemon and honey before bed.

HOWEVER, COMMA, none of that has helped!  I have woken up for a total of 5 hours the past two nights due to a dry cough.  It’s obnoxious.  But not as obnoxious as being told that I can’t have a refill of cough syrup.

After a night of coughing fits on Monday, I called first thing Tuesday morning to request a refill on some cough syrup that I was prescribed in December for a similar condition.  I called the Pharmacy back in the late afternoon to see if the Doctor had filled it & if it was ready to pick up.  Nope.  Weird.  Too bad the Doctor’s office was closed, so I couldn’t call them to see what was up.  Well, thankfully, I had a smidge of cough syrup left from the previous prescription.  And I do mean just a smidge. Like, I had to fill the bottle with water to get the stuff that was lodged on the sides of the bottle & that didn’t even really help.

Cut to Wednesday morning, I called the Doctor’s office to see what the deal was & after I was put on hold for 4 minutes and 36 seconds, I spoke with Lydia, who was cold, unsympathetic & told me that my request for a refill had been denied.  “Cough medicine contains codeine and codeine is an abused substance.”  I was really pissed at the innuendo … I’m an adult woman, a mother, a wife, a responsible, upstanding citizen, NOT a 13 year old crackhead trying to get high on codeine!

Not only was I incensed at being denied for a refill, I was flabbergasted as to WHY no one from their office bothered to call me and inform me of this fact yesterday.  She claimed the Doctor did call me!  Um NO.  I have caller i.d on both phones, so show me the records.  Lydia accused me of being hostile.  W.T.F.?  I asked Lydia why I had been denied, she said that it was because I hadn’t been into their offices recently.   Well, Lydia, I haven’t been sick!  And also, your office is about 20-30 minutes away from my house & there is an average wait time of 60-90 minutes in your office until I’m seen, so that doesn’t really jive with my busy mom schedule.  It’s not a convenient outing for me, feel me, Lydia?  And it’s not like it’s some mystery as to what is wrong with me – I HAVE A NIGHT COUGH – I can self-diagnose & know what I need.

Lydia challenged me: If I really wanted a refill, I’d come into the office.  Oh really?  When?  Should I take my son out of school to make him sit in your petri-dish of an office just to get an ok for a cough syrup refill?  Or should I skip one of his therapies in the afternoon and get charged for a missed session?  She said I should get a sitter.  I asked her if the Doctor was planning on paying for a sitter.  She asked me to stop being rude.  I asked her if she had children, she said no, and I asked to have the Doctor call me immediately.  She informed me that he only returned calls at the end of the business day.  Oh, great – what good would that do me?  I’d have another sleepless, coughing night.

I hung up with Lydia, quietly cursed her in my car & then called the office back and got a Jennifer on the line…. Jennifer was much more sympathetic & I had calmed down some.  Just some.  Not a lot.  But enough.  I explained the situation to Jennifer & asked her if she knew how it felt to be a mom when you’re tired from not sleeping & don’t feel good & on top of that just started your period.  Do you know how hard that is?  To my surprise she said “yes.” She promised that the Doctor or at least his nurse would call me back quickly.  Stupidly, I believed her.

Cut to 5pm … no call from the doctor or any of his cohorts & on a whim I decided to call the pharmacy to make sure they didn’t get the refill request, so that I could call the doctor and get crazy on him. Oh, nope – to my surprise, the Doctor’s office DID, indeed, call in a refill & I had The Husband pick it up on his way home.  I open the bag and there is this HUMONGOUS bottle of cough syrup, as if to say “Please don’t ever call here again.”  OR, “We’re sorry, we fucked up.”  I’m not sure which, but it made me laugh on a day where I’d been upset and frustrated for the majority of my waking hours.

Anyway … Off to codeine dreamland and hopefully a more restful sleep.  Sweet dreams, dear reader 🙂

Everything In Its Right Place …

Ok, ok, ok … fine.  I will admit it: I have (a very mild version of) OCD.  Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  No, I’ve never been formally diagnosed, but if you met me, you’d concur … Or maybe I’m just a neat freak who loves being organized.

No, I don’t need all the freaking canned goods labels facing forward, but yes, I require ORDER in my world.  And, yes, I come a little unglued when things are messy, cluttered, or out of order.  And I also loathe germs.  Dirty, germy, cluttered messes make me crazy, make my skin crawl.  I can’t think.  I start to sweat, I start to hyper-venhilate.

I cannot tolerate clutter.  I can’t think with a cluttered desk – never could, not as a child nor an adolescent.  That’s probably why when I got a laptop in my early 30’s I felt like I discovered the secret to the Universe!  I have loved it ever since … Never want to go back to a desktop.

But before I had a laptop, when I would sit down at my desk to do anything, I’d have to spend a good 15-30 minutes cleaning, organizing and de-cluttering it just so that I could process my thoughts clearly.  No one ever understood this process: The Husband never understood, nor did my employers.  They’d see me, dust canister in one hand, anti-bacterial wipes in the other, pencils lined up in a neat row, pens (all sharpies of various grades) in a perfect stack, folders in a color coated gradient organized manner, and they’d raise eyebrows.  Don’t question the creative mind, people.  Just don’t.  Read my stories, you’ll see, my OCD makes no difference.  It might even make things better …

I wondered how that would go down when I had a child.  Would I be able to handle the chaos of childhood exploration?  Especially being a mom to a boy?  Boys are messy, boys are dirt wrapped in smiles and hugs and kisses and I-Love-You’s.

I’m thankful for the Aspergers, in a way, because The Boy does have a dash of OCD, He needs his hands nice and neat, clean and non-sticky.  The Boy won’t tolerate dirt or debris in his world.  He adores order.  I respect that so much.  I admire his early love of organization … and part of me worries that I’m encouraging Asperger behavior because I do not mind (at all) his orderly, neat, clean, tidy, perfect little ways.

For now, I’m not going to think about this too much, not going to worry that I’m somehow corrupting him, though I will tell you, I DO encourage him to get his fingers dirty with glue, his hands messy with play-do and dirt and cookie dough.  Slowly but surely, I’m building his tolerance for these types of sticky, yucky things.  But, yes, I do have a canister of hand wipes at the ready!

Well, tonight I waited until he went to sleep to embark upon PROJECT PLAYROOM.

I have a love affair with my P-Touch … It’s a cheap high, heehee.  And, truth be told, organizing stuff relaxes me.  Well, that and wine.

I have always loved organizing and cleaning.  When I was a little girl, I would (and i’m 100% not joking) I would mess up my perfectly clean room just to reorganize and clean it — all of my books were alphabetically arranged in order: A-Z, perfectly.  I was 8 when I began this organizational obsession of mine.  They did not have P-Touches back then, but they had those Dymo Label makers & I was ob-freaking-sessed with that thing by the time I was 4.  I labeled everything, even my mom’s vacuum!

Everyone thought it was adorable, little did they know, I was a closeted OCD’er.  No one knew what OCD was in the ’70’s & ’80’s.  All of my clothes, when I was young, were sized and colorized:  light to dark / long sleeved to short sleeved … I was 8.  Did I mention that?  I learned to lighten up when I went to college because I knew I needed to chill out, or my roommates were going to shun me and make fun of me. (Or in the case of my bff / college roomie, ask me to organize her closet & room.)

However chill as I got, I still am an OCD girl at heart.  I love & appreciate organization and order.  I will never look upon that as a negative thing.  It helps to organize the mind, calm the mind, categorize thoughts in the mind.  At least it does mine … And sometimes it relieves my brain from thinking about other things too much.  It helps me focus on something tangible: I can’t fix the US Economy, but I CAN reorganize my junk drawer.  So, tonight, I turned my focus on The Boy’s Playroom.

So here’s the before:

I pulled a lot of stuff out of the closet ...
I pulled a lot of stuff out of the closet …

And here’s the after:

After - part of closet ... Yes, I know Mr. Potato Head is eyeless.  They were at the bottom of the barrel & I was too lazy to get them.
After – part of closet … Yes, I know Mr. Potato Head is eyeless. They were at the bottom of the barrel & I was too lazy to get them.

Everything in its right place.  I told The Husband before he retired to bed that I would label everything (at his – sort of joking – request,) so that he could refrain from just “throwing” toys haphazardly into the closet, thereby giving me a mini-stroke when I flung the closet open to see the chaos.  He is learning.  I am being patient.  My P-touch is helping.  My P-touch is a savior.  My P-touch might be my lover … joking.

My Little Towheaded Parrot

I just love this Boy.  He’s my little parrot.  He started about a year ago, shortly after he turned two.  It was cute until …

“Goddamnit.”  He would chirp out of nowhere.  Parenting Fail.  Just awesome.

Where did he pick that up, you ask?  Oh, I blame the NFL … and The Husband.  Every Sunday since The Boy was born, we religiously watch football all day long.  Monday nights as well, and lots of Thursday nights, too.  I’m sure he heard his Dad saying that hundreds of times during a Steelers game.

It was kind of funny the first couple of times he did it & we laughed – I mean, come on a baby cussing is funny –  and The Boy enjoyed the reaction, which only encouraged him to repeat it again.  Everyone else laughed too, his Grandparents, his Aunts & Uncles, and then it stopped being funny when he wouldn’t stop.  It stopped being funny when he’d screech it at the top of his lungs in the grocery store or in his religious day school.

I admonished the grown-ups.  “Stop encouraging him by reacting!”

We tried to correct it.  The discipline began … I tried to get him to stop by explaining it was a “naughty” word.  Didn’t work.  I told him, “We don’t say ‘Goddamnit, we say ‘Gosh Darnit.”

“No say Goddamnit, mama, I say Gosh Darnit.”  He’d parrot back to me, proud that he understood the difference.  Face Palm.

Then I tried giving him time-outs when he said it.  Also didn’t work.

I flicked his cheek with my finger a couple of times.  Didn’t work.

I ignored it when he said it.  Didn’t work.  But I kept on ignoring and reminding him that it was a naughty word that isn’t nice to say.  Eventually he stopped saying it because it no longer got a reaction from people.

However, looking back, it was really kind of hysterical when he would bust it out appropriately, as a perfect response in certain situations, with the under-the-breath mutterings of a disgruntled toddler:   ME: “No, Boy, you may not have another cookie, you’ve already had four!”   HIM: “Goddamnit.”  I literally had to turn my back and stifle my laughter.  And that gleam in his eye let ME know that HE knew that I thought it was cute.

After the whole “GD” incident, we were extra careful of the things we’d say.  And the parroting got really cute … His responses to stuff are a parroting of my responses, or from movies, tv shows, or other people in his life.

ME: “Boy, can I have a bite of your cheese?”
The BOY: “Oh, of course you can!”

ME: “Boy, would you like some more milk?”
The BOY:  “No, thank you, I’m good for now.”

ME: “Boy, you are supposed to be napping in there, quiet down!”
The BOY: “Uh, no, sorry, I can’t do that right now!”

The BOY: “Mama, did you just go potty?”
ME: “Yes, I sure did.”
The BOY:  “Oh, you did?!?!  Umi-riffic, you’re a good girl, mama.”  (note: umi-riffic comes from the show Team Umizoomi, a favorite of The Boy’s.)

The BOY: “Mama, I don’t like that behavior, I’m gonna give you a time out!”

I particularly adore when he busts out movie quotes – either out of the blue, or in response to something.  The reason I adore this is because both my husband and I are in the entertainment industry & regularly quote movies as part of our daily conversation, so to hear our son do it brings us immense joy.  He’s one of us.  And sometimes I have to ask him, “Who said that?”  Because he’s really good at obscure quotes.

Just today, we’re walking down the hall to go to his room and he rambles on with this little gem: “You blockhead! You kept me up all night waiting for the Great Pumpkin, and all that came was a beagle! I didn’t get a chance to go out for tricks or treats. And it was all your fault! What a fool I was!! What a fool I was!! Trick or treats come only once a year, and I missed it sitting in a pumpkin patch with a blockhead.”

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

So, in my mind, this totally makes up for the GD incident.   My three-year old son loves The Peanuts just as much as I loved them when I was a little girl, (only I couldn’t quote their lines verbatim.)  And when they use the word “stupid” (which I never knew until I became a mom is actually quite frequently,) He pipes up with “Mama, stupid is a naughty word!”  See, vindication.  Yep, I’m one proud mama.

Funny of the Day …


The Boy says funny stuff all the time, but this one really caught me off guard.  I’m always telling him, reminding him, sometimes nagging him to “be a good listener.”

So we’re in the car & driving to his OT appointment, he knows where we’re going, we go every Friday afternoon, and as I’m about to make a U-Turn to park in front of the offices, he starts demanding that I “turn left” so we can “go to the park.”

There’s no park anywhere around here, and I tell him that and remind him of where we’re going.  We go back and forth, he is demanding and argumentative.  After several go arounds, I decide to just ignore him & make the U-Turn when there’s a break in traffic.

From the backseat, I hear him mutter to himself, “Mama’s not being a good listener.”

I couldn’t help but to laugh out loud & ask, “what did you say?”

“I said you’re not being a good listener.” He replies.

“Oh, why do you say that?” I was curious to see how my 3 year old would respond.

“Because you didn’t turn left to go to the park when I told you to.” Well, he was actually right, you know.

Sigh … he is too funny sometimes.