Rethinking My Image and Another Tale of Shower-time Negligence

When I was thinking of what to call my blog (which is only slightly less mindboggling than naming a child), I was trying to find a phrase that pretty much summed up my mommy-ness, and settled on the Code Yellow story. Which, as you may or may not know, perfectly illustrates the reputation I have built for myself - a little out of my depth (at the moment) with two preschool boys and a little too prone to panic and/or cry because I really just don't know what else to do on certain occasions. I feel that reputation keenly every time I venture into Target. I know all the red shirts are spying from their pre-morph state and whispering, "There she is, the Code Yellow Mom." I'm OK with that. It's where I'm at and I am already getting to the point where I can laugh at myself, take it easy a little bit, and every trip to Target is les and less the episode it once was. Plus, it's all about knowing that I'm not alone in the periodic cold-sweat of public appearances with young children. Or in household substance spills and other destruction. (See the comments on this post - they THRILLED me.)

Not too long after I started blogging, the first of what I considered "bloggable" moments in my "day in the life of the Code Yellow Mom" chronicles revolved around what happened when I was not in the same room with the Code Yellow Preschoolers - Namely, when I went to the bathroom, took a shower*, answered the phone upstairs and stayed up there to finish the conversation, or checked the comments on my blog. Ten minute activities, and - you know the phrase that begins 90% of my stories - WHEN I CAME DOWNSTAIRS...

So I think I might rename myself the "Upstairs Mom," or call my blog, "Mom Up, Two Down." Nah, that's too drastic a change. But maybe I should have someone design me a cool banner for when I post about what happens downstairs at our house. Something like, "While you were showering..." I don't know. Help me out here. Ideas? Anyone? I could even start a blog carnival of messes that moms everywhere find each time they take a few moments for personal hygiene.
Anyway, here's another Code Yellow classic: (How's that for a good banner phrase?)

WHEN I CAME DOWNSTAIRS, Cal was hiding in the corner of the couch with his hands over his ears (his new stance when he knows I'm going to get after him). I saw him, then I saw this masterpiece. I said, "Oh, Calvin!" in an exasperated tone and then just smiled - because, thanks to Tess's comment on the Desitin post**, I thought of the digital camera. Cal popped his head up to look at my face when he didn't hear me growling and he said, "Mom? Are you laughing?"

Me: Not exactly, but what have you been doing here?
Cal: Just playing with the blue tape and the spatulas.
Me: I see.
Cal: (gaining confidence in my non-irritated approach) Look, Mom. It's really cool. They're belted to the wall!

I just really could not get upset, considering the following:

1. The photo opp and bloggability factor. (It would be an interesting study to examine whether mommy blogs have made the mommy bloggers themselves more uptight or more laid back, based on how they respond to things like my downstairs discoveries. Guess it depends on what they consider bloggable. Orneriness and creativity are apparently my benchmarks.)

2. The brilliance of belting kitchen utensils to the wall. With painter's tape. The tape actually stretched through our kitchen, around the wall that divides the living room, around the armchair in the living room, and back to the belt site. Those kitchen utensils were belted good. I thought of saving this functional art idea for Works for Me Wednesday, but it was just too excellent to wait a whole week. "Having a handful of spatulas belted to the wall with painter's tape at my three-year-old's eye level works for me!"

3. The kitchen utensils, unlike bum cream, are not off-limits. They have kept my boys busy and happy for probably ten times as many hours as any of the "real toys" in the house. And occasionally the boys want to use them to help me, so I am not going to discourage that. (My only rules regarding them are that they never include the kitchen knives and they never go outside.)

That third point got me into a little messier situation a little later in the morning, however, when I left Henry to eat his (third) breakfast of Raisin Bran (the kid is a bottomless pit) with this spoon while I changed laundry loads (that's where Henry's clothes were - being laundered from his second breakfast). This photo is a re-pose so you could notice the size and color of the eating utensil.I came back to find him trying to dip up the last of the milk with this, raisins and bran flakes in splats all over the table and floor.
Cal had apparently decided Henry needed a bigger spoon. OOOOOO Kaaaaayyyy. Hmm.

But again, bloggable. Or is it? Anyone getting bored with these shenanigans? Because if you are, I won't commission the post banner. I'll stop going upstairs altogether to prevent them from happening again. I'll try to come up with alternative but undoubtedly less delightful blog topics. And I definitely won't change my name.

* Do you believe that before I blogged, I really thought that I was the only one who just couldn't find the time or sometimes even the emotional stamina to get a shower in each day? It was the first blessing of blogging to realize I wasn't a sloth. Or if I was, I wasn't the only one.

** Google "funny gunk bums." That cracks me up. (No pun intended, until after I typed that and decided not to change it.)


utmommy said...

He's quite the busy boy. I'm so glad to hear I'm not the only one with dyas like that.

Millie said...

Let's smack them (softly) with pillows.

The spatula/blue tape thing looks like something my oldest would have done at his age.

Anonymous said...

Calvin is definetly my son. Between the "belted" spatula and the Henry pictures I burst out laughing. The people around me in the internet cafe clearly think that I am insane. One person even moved to a computer further away (she claimed technical difficulty, but I know better). You've got to love downstairs moments when they are more creative than destructive.

someone else said...

This is just way too cute. I say, if you're going to change the blog name, how about "Downstairs Discoveries"?

Katrina @ Callapidder Days said...

I love it! Great pictures, and great perspective on your part.

Katherine@Raising Five said...

Around the arm chair?? That kid is amazing. Who knew the bloggability factor could actually improve parenting skills? Blogging has made me more relaxed, definitely (if such a thing were possible!).

"Grandi" said...

I love it! Contrats for laughing instead of stressing! I think that "the belting" is actually pretty clever! Lets see - I think most of my potty and shower times were when wee folk were in bed or husband was home!! Some mornings got very long after morning naps went away!! HA!!

Code Yellow Mom said...

Morning Glory - I like "Downstairs Discoveries."

It triggered the funniest memory...Years ago in our little college town the community theatre did a MUSICAL of Jane Eyre. Anyway, the crazy wife and the maids sang a song called, "Madness Up the Stairs." It was dreadful, but the only thing memorable about the production, other than a note to myself that gothic romances don't lend themselves well to musicals. Better stick with Oklahoma.) Could be a funny and appropo blog name for my life, though...

Diane Viere said...

And to think--we spend millions of dollars each year........on toys!

Go spatula!


Unknown said...

The utensils taped to the wall. Cracked. Me. Up. That could totally happen at my house too.

Unknown said...

It's funny. Don't stop. I like it when I react that way--with a smile instead of a sigh or a scream. My little guy slaps his own hand when he knows he's in trouble (and usually with a grin and a twinkle in his eye).

Anonymous said...

So, I laughed when I saw the taped utensils, but then when I saw the tape extending to the stove and read even beyond that, I guffawed heartily. That is SO funny. And the "Works for me Wednesday" part was pretty hilarious. And the tiny plastic spoon juxtaposed to the spatula is fine fine art work on your part. Calvin's so helpful!!
I think blogging can change our lives. I laugh when I find my daughter sitting in the toilet, having soaked up all the water with her super absorbent Luvs and whip out the camera, or when my son does his bathroom business on my back porch like a little prize waiting to be discovered, I sit down and blog about it. Tell me this isn't going to make the world a better place.
Laughing is almost ALWAYS a better response. Plus, you learn more readily where they are coming from too---and they are ALWAYS coming from somewhere. "I didn't hit her, I just pushed her nose in so she could stop sneezing and making my picture wet." See, there's logic...