Category - Candy’s Column

Keeping Our Dirty Laundry to Ourselves

“…AND they do their laundry separately.  Isn’t that weird?” my mother-in-law clucked, gossiping about another couple, presumably on the rocks if their laundering habits were any indication, to Mr. Candy.

“Well, Candy and I each do our own laundry,” Mr. Candy informed his mother.

Then she GASPED in horror and lamented our inevitable divorce due to Irreconcilable Refusal to Wash My Husband’s Dirty Trouser Socks.  At least that’s how I envision it went down.  Mr. Candy, being a guy and all, doesn’t remember how his mother responded to his shocking admission.  He was probably distracted by something important.  Like a Corona commercial.

Taking a step back, though, I see things from my mother-in-law’s perspective (lord help me) and realize just how independently Mr. Candy and I do live our lives.  Which could be construed as odd.  Except for the occasional pair of boxer briefs* or undershirt, Mr. Candy and I do our own laundry.  Except for the nights we order in or go out (the latter being an increasing rarity), we generally cook, er… nuke… our own meals.  Because we live so far away from our families and want to maximize our time with them when we visit, we even used to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas apart — flying to the East Coast together, then staying with our respective parents.

I know, I know.  You are GASPING in horror and lamenting our inevitable divorce.  Only… it worked for us.  I don’t think I’m being naive by saying we share one of the best marriages around.  (Yes!  Even better than Spencer and Heidi’s.)  A little smug, maybe.  But not naive.  And obviously not needy.  The holidays spent apart were not ideal, I’ll admit, but we made sure we indulged in plenty of quality Candy-and-Mr. Candy time the rest of the year.

However, note that I said worked for us. Past tense.

Miss Skye has thrown a monkey wrench — and a sippy cup, and a puzzle piece, and anything else she can get her little hands on — into our nice routine.  Spending time away from her was not an option for either of us, so we now split our time between the two families when we’re on the East Coast for Christmas.  You’d think that would be a lovely change of pace, getting to spend the holiday as a family unit, but shuttling back and forth between two different states is, for lack of a more delicate description, a freakin’ chaotic mess.  (I mean that in the most loving way, Mom.)

All I can say is, thank goodness for spiked egg nog.

Our separate cooking habits also present a challenge now that we have a hungry little mouth to feed.  Once Skye requires something more substantial than Cheerios and macaroni (What?!  Don’t all 14-month-olds live on that diet?), I may actually have to, um, pick up a spatula.  Right after I google “what does a spatula look like?”

“How are we going to cook for Skye when she gets older?” my husband asked me just the other day.

As always, by “we,” he really meant “YOU.”  Because by the time Mr. Candy usually gets home from work, our child would be so hungry she’d be gnawing on her Curious George doll.  And everybody knows you’re not supposed to introduce monkey meat until a child is at least three years old.

“You can’t feed her your Lean Cuisine meals,” he teased.

“Of course not,” I responded indignantly.  “She is too young for diet foods.  I’ll microwave Hungry-Man meals for her!”

None of this will be an issue, of course, once Skye finally starts earning her keep around here and does all of our laundry and cooking for us.  I mean, that’s why we choose to have kids in the first place, right?  To do all of our chores, plump our pillows and fetch us beers…?  RIGHT?!

*So you needn’t lose any more sleep wondering, Is Mr. Candy a boxers or briefs man?

Dinner for Three

There are a number of ridiculous old wives’ tales about cats and babies, such as the one about cats jumping into the crib and smothering the child to death (has never been known to happen).  Or cats who SUCK THE BABY’S BREATH to get to the milk (also nonsense; cats are smart enough to walk to 7-Eleven and get their own carton of it).  Then, of course, there’s the one about cats who will sneak into the baby’s drawer and STEAL his or her “POOPS… I Did It Again” onesie to save the child from embarrassment.

Well, okay, maybe that has been known to happen.  (I KNOW it was you, Marcy!)

When I got pregnant, I wasn’t worried.  I knew all of those myths were just that — myths — but I was still curious to see how the bond between Skye and our cats, who had been our only babies for nine years, would unfold.  As regular followers of this column know, the cats’ reactions have ranged from depression to protectiveness to mutual love.  Meanwhile, Skye’s interest has grown from indifference to her current state of OMIGOD IT’S A KITTY, MUST SQUEAL AND CHASE IT!

I really do mean SQUEEEAAAL in all-caps.  The very sight of those cats launches her into a state of frenzied excitement, so much so that she practically trips over her own feet to get to them.   Similar to how I react to the sight of a freshly made margarita.  Although Miss Skye just wants to be close to them, it’s kind of hard to explain that to the terrified cats as her SQUEEEAAAL pierces their ears and not-so-steady feet come precariously close to their tails.  So I assuage Marcy and Matty (who, interestingly, scatter but never stray too far from her) by throwing them some money for their next trip to 7-Eleven.

I do try to protect the cats when they’re eating.  “Leave the kitties alone,” I warn in my best motherly tone, still marveling at the fact that I HAVE A MOTHERLY TONE.  Not only that, but it works!  Because over the weekend, I could see Miss Skye processing my warning and then…?  She respectfully took a few steps back, laid on the ground and PRETENDED TO JOIN THE KITTIES FOR DINNER.  It has happened multiple times since.

Meow Mix, anyone?

Li’l Mama

I fell asleep the mother of a baby and woke up with a li’l mama.  (Not to be confused with the rapper, of course, the primary difference being Skye still has all of her original body parts.)  My li’l mama lays her main man Elmo on the napping mat and pats his back, just as her daycare teachers do to her at naptime, feeds him “tea” (a little too classy for Elmo, but he seems to enjoy it) and seats him in the Bumbo chair — an action requiring great precision, as you can see — and then…?  She sits on top of him.

Yup.  She’s got my maternal instincts, all right.

Parenthood, In Two Words

When I announced my pregnancy back in December 2008, the responses were wide-ranging.

“Omigod, that’s scary,” Mr. Candy gulped.

“Huh?  You… pregnant?  Huh?” my mom mumbled, confused.

“THIS IS THE BEST NEWS EVER YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE BEING PARENTS I AM GOING TO PASS OUT WITH HAPPINESS!” my mother-in-law screamed about her first grandchild between joyous tears in the middle of the Cracker Barrel restaurant.

Then there were my select childless friends — nay, my child-shunning friends — who mistakenly had me pegged as somebody that didn’t want kids.  Maybe because I’ve been known to snuggle with a bottle of tequila at night.  (Trust me, it will keep you warm.)  Or because I used the oven for shoe storage.  Or because I couldn’t even keep a plant alive.  Whatever the reason, those friends tried to be happy for me, oh, how they tried, but the “congratulatory” look on their faces belied the question they were DYING to ask:

WHY?

It’s not easy explaining why you’ve chosen to become a parent, especially to those who have never had the desire.  Some people say they want their legacy to live on, or need somebody to look after them when they’re old and drooling and decrepit (lucky kids!), or seek a sense of “family” which, by their definition, requires the pitter-patter of little feet.  Or that their condom broke.  Now that I’ve been at this parenting thing for 14 months, however, I can tell you it all boils down to two words:

Hand socks.

You see, we had an extra sock lying around — you can find pretty much anything lying around our place these days, except anything you might actually need or use — and Miss Skye thought she would be extra-stylish by trying to pull it on over her shoe.  Nice to see her thinking outside of the box (why do we only wear the sock under the shoe, anyway?) but, turns out, it’s not the easiest style idea to execute.  So I, being the fast-thinking fashionista that I am, put that sock on her hand instead.

People, she wore that sock on her hand for FOUR HOURS.  Given the smile she had on her face, you would have thought I’d baked her a casserole made out of Cheerios, pickles and chocolate ice cream.  But we all know that’s an absurd notion, mostly because I’d have to take the stilettos out of the oven to cook it.

She wore that hand sock around the house.  She wore it to daycare.  She wore it to Starbucks, where customers stared at her hand sock and smiled uncertainly.  Yes, they thought my daughter was concealing a hook hand.  HOW AWESOME IS THAT.

The sheer joy Skye took in wearing that sock on her hand — simple, unexpected joy that made me giggle all day — is what makes me sit back, my heart full, and smile, This is what it’s all about.  I don’t think parenthood is for everyone, especially not for those who enjoy sleep and car seats without crusty milk; in fact, I TOTALLY get the decision to lead a child-less life.  But to those who are dying to ask me, WHY?

Hand socks, baby.

Girls’ Road Trip

With a conference in Las Vegas to scope out potential advertisers — the biggest children’s product expo, like, ever — and a husband who travels more than the Jolie-Pitts, I was left with only one option:  take my 14-month-old on a road trip to Vegas.  My parents kindly agreed to meet us there and watch Miss Skye while I made the rounds at the expo.  It was a tough sell, convincing them to fly in from Pennsylvania, but my persuasive powers finally won out.  Our conversation went something like this:

ME:  I need somebody to babysit Skye –

MOM:  WE’RE THERE!

So I grabbed Skye, along with a few hundred toys, snacks and articles of clothing for her, while she grabbed her Beat The Dealer blackjack book to read on the ride, and we were on our way.  The drive from Los Angeles to Vegas can take anywhere from four to six hours, depending on traffic and just how heavy the driver’s foot becomes.  Four hours = mildly sore butt.  Six hours = ready to gouge your eyes out with a cactus needle.  I mean, the drive through the desert is lovely and all…

But it is just hundreds of miles of scenery that looks EXACTLY LIKE THIS.  After four to six hours of staring at dry mountains and land, even Carrot Top’s face on a casino billboard is a welcome sight.  Yes!  You get THAT DESPERATE for a change of scenery.

Because we drove there on Columbus Day, traffic was blessedly light.  Skye was a rock star, barely complaining the entire trip even though the stinker only slept for twenty minutes (she must have finally built up a tolerance to the Jack Daniels slipped in her sippy cup).  And when she did start to fuss, I would reach into my bag of goodies and throw whatever I could get my hands on in her direction.  Which she probably didn’t appreciate when I got my hands on the large music box, but hey, that will teach her for fussing while mommy’s driving.  Speaking of which…

Moms like me should really not be on the road.  I’m guessing there are many of us.

Seriously, during the entire trip, I had one hand on the steering wheel while the other one was feeding Cheerios to Skye, peeling bananas, putting Elmo’s World: Pets in the DVD player, playing with toys and putting on a When Harry Met Sally puppet show*.  The road to Vegas is relatively straight, and I am an above-average multi-tasker, but OMIGOD THAT CANNOT BE SAFE.  I could not be more supportive of MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), but I am surprised that drunk drivers haven’t formed their own advocacy group:  DAMD (Drunks Against Mothers Driving).  You can always spot these maternal menaces to the road — they’re the minivans swerving back and forth as the moms simultaneously weave through traffic and wag a scolding finger at the misbehaving kids in the backseat:  DON’T MAKE ME COME BACK THERE!  And you know what?  Some of those moms ACTUALLY GO BACK THERE WHILE DRIVING!  True story.

As for the people out there screaming KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE FREAKIN’ ROAD, well, they obviously have never spent four hours in a car with a bored toddler on the verge of throwing a large music box at the window.  Those same people probably also go to Vegas to have fun instead of, you know, work and share an adjoining hotel room with their parents-slash-babysitter. Oh yes, I remember those days!  (Actually, they’re a little fuzzy… my previous, childless times spent there were THAT much fun.)

We pull up to the hotel and I’m feeling rather proud of myself, having made the long trip without any incidents (meaning:  accidents) and with a smile remaining on my child’s face.  Success!  Until the bellman gathers all of my bags and I realize…

I left my laptop at home.  On the living room couch.  Where I “wouldn’t forget it.”

But, hey, at least I remembered to bring a dozen Elmo DVDs!

Ugh.

When the sickening realization fully sank in, I knew there was only one constructive way to handle the situation:  COMMENCE SEARCH FOR EYE-GOUGING CACTUS NEEDLE.

*You know you want to see it.

Woman Dies from Embarrassment in Giant Baby Bottle Hit-and-Run

My apologies for being MIA the past couple of days.  I went to a conference in Vegas and, sin of all sins, FORGOT MY LAPTOP.  Still mad at me for slacking, you say?  Well, perhaps your anger will turn to sympathy when I tell you I was almost run over by this golf cart topped with a massive baby bottle.  It was going at least five miles an hour.

Not how I’d envisioned my obituary would read.  Death by a bottle of Jose Cuervo, maybe.  Certainly back in my college days.  But not by a killer Latex baby bottle.

That would just be undignified.

Baby’s First Shiner

Parents often wax poetic about the light a baby brings into their lives, but rarely do you hear them mention the darkness.  The immediate, gut-wrenching darkness that descends the first time you imagine your child getting hurt in any way.  Nothing can prepare you for how strongly you will react to the mere possibility of this.  It is both physically painful and emotionally haunting, as though Andre the Giant is kicking you in the gut, ripping out your heart and forcing you to watch Lisa Rinna get the silicone sucked out of her trout pout while Jesse James runs over you with his monster truck.   Only a million times worse.  Just knowing that threats lurk around every corner, and that it is impossible to protect your child from these threats every second of the day, is enough to make you want to chain your child to her bedpost until she’s collecting Social Security.  And the way the Social Security Trust Fund is going, that means she will be chained up for the rest of her life.  PROBLEM SOLVED.

This is why I cannot bear to watch or read the news anymore:  “Toddler killed by babysitter in violent attack.  More at eleven!  Plus… are pomegranates killing your pets?  You may be surprised by the answer.”  Before becoming a parent, I would feel the appropriate pangs of sympathy (about the attack, not so much the murderous fruit) and shake my head at the senselessness of it all.  Now…?  The blood leaves my face and the bile fills my throat, choking me as I stammer about Andre the Giant and Jesse James’ monster truck.  And all Mr. Candy can do is nod in agreement and whisper, “Don’t forget about Lisa Rinna’s lips,” before we grab hands and check in on Skye to make sure her chain is still secure.

Oh, chill.  She has plenty of food and water!

Pretty much every worst-case scenario has passed through my insane, overly protective mommy brain.  I worry that the old lady at Starbucks is going to spill her hot coffee on Skye.  I worry that the homeless man muttering to himself at Starbucks is going to throw his hot coffee on Skye.  I worry that texting-and-driving motorists are going to run red lights and hit her stroller.  I worry that the stranger walking past us is going to grab her stroller.  And while I am doing all of this worrying, Skye is climbing out of her stroller and about to make a break for the Mexican border because I FORGOT TO FREAKIN’ STRAP HER IN.  Yes, yes, this did happen once.   Probably because I was too distracted by shooing the cats away from the pomegranates.

So when I pulled up to daycare on Monday afternoon and Teacher Amanda ran to my car, a look of dread on her face, Andre’s size-24 foot went straight to my stomach.  I opened the car door, my hand shaking slightly.

“Skylar just hurt herself,” Amanda frowned.

Be strong, I told myself.  So, naturally, the tears sprung to my eyes.  Dammit.

“What happened –”

“She fell and hit her eye on the corner of the xylophone.  It’s bleeding pretty bad and, well… you may want to take her to the hospital.  It just happened a few minutes ago –”

I was already running for the classroom.  A thousand different thoughts went through my mind.  (Yes, a thousand — I’m a terribly slow runner.)  What if she damaged her eye? What if she lost an eye, like my brother did after a toy gun accident when HE was little?  If only I hadn’t stopped to brush my f*cking hair and put on lip gloss.  Then I would have been there earlier and this never would have happened…

Mostly, I just wanted — nay, needed – to hold my daughter.

I threw the door open and saw a teacher cradling Skye in her arms.

“Hey, you –”

Skye’s head popped up, a huge smile crossing her face as she reached out for me.  They had already wiped the blood away, revealing just a tiny cut above her eye.  Not nearly the bloody eye gash I had envisioned.  Heck, it wouldn’t even require a cool eye patch, which was probably bittersweet for my accessory-loving daughter.

“Oh, that looks much better than it did before!” Amanda exclaimed with relief.

“She only cried for a couple seconds,” the other teacher said, as Skye grabbed my nose and laughed, completely oblivious to my wobbly knees.

“She’s a tough cookie.  A lot tougher than I am,” I admitted.

“Yeah.  The girls around here are tougher than the boys,” Amanda laughed.

Some things never change, I thought, reflecting on the time my husband spent an entire week on the couch because he thought his toenail was going to fall off.

The next morning, my baby’s eye was just a little swollen and red.  Skye was so traumatized by the incident that she ran around the house, giggling, and proceeded to fall down and come uncomfortably close to hitting her eye again, oh, four-hundred-billion times.

Mmmmbile.  (Not to be confused with the similarly nausea-inducing Mmmm…Bop.)

Family Gone Nuts

MR. CANDY:  [HOLDING SKYE]  Ow!

ME:  What?

MR. CANDY:  She just kicked me in the ‘nads!

ME:  Maybe that’s her way of making sure you don’t give her any siblings.

MR. CANDY:  Then she should stop sleeping through the night.  Because that would be an effective form of birth control.

ME:  [TO SKYE]  Kick him in the ‘nads again.

Warning: Do Not Piss Off the Mama Lioness

There are three constants in life that make my claws come out:  1)  Bad drivers; 2) People who hold full conversations with me without ever making eye contact; and 3)  Servers who try to take my margarita glass before I’m done with my drink.

On our vacation, however, I discovered there is something that not only makes the claws come out, but also fills me with an overwhelming urge to insert them into a certain person’s eyeballs — that person being a stranger talking sh*t about my child.

We were at a restaurant grazing on shrimp appetizers and enjoying the ocean view — don’t pity us too much — when Miss Skye, overcome with happiness, as she was so many times during our trip, grabbed my face and gave me a kiss.  Her kisses have evolved from the original open-mouthed dive to a plant-my-mouth-on-your-cheek-and-kinda-nibble technique that evokes memories of my first real make-out session in the movie theater where Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was playing.  Only Miss Skye is much cuter, more innocent and less sloppy than that braces-clad amateur kisser.

These nibbles can be painful, but they’re not bites.  Vampire Baby has bitten me on the shoulder, on the arm and on the neck, so I know what her bites feel like.  Like, OUCH.  They leave a mark.  I think they’re Skye’s way of marking her territory.  Because if I so much as glance at another baby, she screams and shoots me a look that says, I will not hesitate to pee on you, woman, if that’s what it takes. It’s very similar to the look her father gives me on my way out the door for a girls’ night out.

These nibbles, on the other hand, are just Skye’s way of feeling out this kissing nonsense.  Let’s face it:  the ability to properly pucker up isn’t innate.  In fact, some people never figure it out.  Mr. Candy estimates Skye will finally be prepared to kiss a boy in about forty years.  Give or take a decade.

As I extracted my little nibbler from my face, I saw a woman at the table next to us gesturing wildly and glancing over at us every, oh, three seconds or so.

…And then she BIT HER CHEEK!

I could hear the woman declaring this to her fellow diner clear as day.  As though she wanted me to hear her.

If I had a child, I would never stand for that.

That’s right.   I was a bad mother because I embraced my daughter’s bumbling shows of affection.  But I think I deserved some positive mommy points for only visualizing giving the woman the finger, rather than actually giving it to her.  Right?

If Skylar had just turned her head, I totally would have given the woman the finger.

Not wanting to make a scene (clearly, I was sober), I pointedly stared at the woman instead.  I’d like to think my piercing gaze effectively conveyed my message:  a powerful combination of Seriously?  I AM SITTING RIGHT NEXT TO YOU, YOU IDIOT! and I will not hesitate to pee on you, woman, if you talk about my child again.

The Griswolds Have Nothing on Us

Our Hawaiian vacation kicked off in pretty much the worst possible way:  With Mr. Candy sputtering, “Oh crap!  I left all the toys in my checked bag!” as we embarked on a five-hour flight with a restless 13-month-old.  Being the sensitive wife and evolved mother that I am, I assured Mr. Candy it wasn’t the end of the world, while secretly hatching a plan to hold this parenting faux pas over his head the entire trip.  My plan would go something like this:

“Could you fetch me a Mai Tai, dear?  I mean, I could really use a drink after being forced to entertain our daughter with empty sandwich wrappers and Hemispheres magazine for FIVE HOURS STRAIGHT.”

I think we can all agree it was a brilliant plan — until I screwed it up.

We landed in Hawaii well after Skye’s usual bedtime, which, as any parent will tell you, is not the most ideal of situations.  Although Skye was well-behaved most of the trip, we knew we had reached the point where just looking at her the wrong way could throw her into a tailspin.  WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT LOOK THE BABY DIRECTLY IN THE EYE!  Sort of like feeding Gizmo after midnight, only instead of turning into a Gremlin and launching an unsuspecting townswoman out the window using a stair lift, Skye had the potential to turn into Exhausted Baby, an inconsolable creature that angrily launches sippy cups from her stroller and refuses to sleep ALL NIGHT LONG.

Eight out of ten parents would rather get the stair lift treatment.  True story.

Being in this tenuous position after a long day of travel and saddled with approximately ten-billion-and-forty-two bags, the last thing you want to do is grab a shuttle for Enterprise Rent-a-Car when your reservation is — oops! — actually at Thrifty.  I don’t know why I thought I had booked the rental car at Enterprise, but I DO know that all of my concentration was devoted to avoiding direct eye contact with my on-the-brink Gremlin child.  So, really, the blame for having to wait around for an additional hour while Mr. Candy hopped back ON the shuttle to the airport to catch yet another shuttle to Thrifty so he could get the car and swing back around to Enterprise to pick up us and our four trillion bags (Yes! They somehow multiplied! Just like Gremlins, once again) lies with her.  Right?  … RIGHT?!

*Sigh*  I know, I know.  I totally negated the plan!  Such is how I ended being Mr. Candy’s Mai Tai Bitch.  Oh, how quickly life can turn on us.

Speaking of which, a funny thing happened on the way to Hawaii:  Skye decided she was finally ready to walk.  Like, the first day of vacation she took a few tentative steps and the next…?  She was SPRINTING.

Captured with Mr. Candy’s cell phone crapcorder

You would think it was the beaches of Maui that inspired Miss Skye to finally get on her feet, but no. It was a FREEZING ICE PACK — as you saw in my hands — that made her sprint toward me so gleefully.

I know what you’re thinking, and it’s true: First, we entertain her with articles about “The Art of Pickling” and “Urban Beekeeping” from United’s in-flight magazine, and then we offer her ice packs to play with…? We are spoiling that kid rotten!

The ‘Ross Gellar’ Circa 1999

For the past week or so, Skye has returned home from daycare looking like a different child than the one I dropped off.  Her soft curls have been beaten into submission, the front of her hair hardened and brushed severely to the side.  I didn’t think too much about it, assuming it was just the result of her running food through her hair, which she does ALL THE TIME.  When I picked her up yesterday, however, and saw she was once again sporting the Ross Gellar circa 1999 — a ‘do that makes her look like, well, a boy (not that there’s anything wrong with that, Shiloh!) — I couldn’t help but laugh.

ME:  Skye…!  Your hair!  What happened to it?  It looks so, so –

TEACHER LYNN:  (WALKING UP TO US)  You like it?  I was a hairstylist for five years.

ME:  So… WONDERFUL!

“Whose Child Are You?”

My mom often enjoys the relating the story about her first-ever parent-teacher conference.  The story goes like this:  my brother Dave, her dear first-born, had always been a well-behaved and quiet child.  Very quiet.  So imagine my mom’s surprise when his kindergarten teacher noted that Dave was a “good student, but disruptive to the class.”  Disruptive?  Her David?  Oh no.  The teacher must have her sweet, subdued son confused with somebody else.

Oh yes.  Her David.  Turns out, when surrounded by an audience of other kids, he made Robin Williams look downright mute in comparison.

I don’t think he has stopped talking since.

As the youngest child who, naturally, relishes hearing about my siblings being naughty, this story has always made me laugh until… it became my reality.  Only just the opposite.  You see, my 13-month-old daughter is quite vocal and sassy at home.  Not poorly behaved, just LOUD — very loud — babbling to us, to herself, to the cats, to the television and to the dust particles in the air pretty much nonstop.  The other day when we were taking Skye for a walk in her stroller, I turned to my husband and exclaimed, “Did you hear that weird bird?  What the hell WAS that squawking?”  To which he responded, “That was your daughter.”  Yes, that’s right — my child is apparently indigenous to the African Rainforest and not my womb, after all.

Another tidbit about “At-Home Skye” (if you live within a ten-thousand-mile radius of us, you probably already know this):  When we dare to suggest that Skye lie down in her comfy crib for a nap, you would think we were forcing her to watch Jonah Hex on repeat with the way she kicks and SCREEEAAAMS in protest.  Poor thing.  Such abuse!  Oh, what I wouldn’t give for somebody to tuck ME into bed in the middle of the day and say, “Here!  Sleep as long as you want!  That’s an order!”  (Somebody besides the voices in my head, that is.)

So imagine MY surprise when I pick up my daughter from daycare and the teachers coo, “Skye is so quiet!  So well-behaved!  We rarely hear a peep out of her!”

My Skye?  Oh no.  The teacher must have my little ball of sass confused with somebody else.

Oh yes.  My Skye.  Turns out, she not only morphs into a quiet angel upon entering the school’s doors, she also lies down on her naptime mat peacefully.  And willingly.  And SLEEPS FOR TWO HOURS AT A TIME.  After which, she chows down on vegetables that make her scoff upon sight at home and allows her teacher to clip her fingernails, another activity akin to attempted murder when done by her parents.

“Whose child ARE you?” I asked Skye, utterly confused, as we walked to the car after school.  The second my daughter’s butt hit the car seat, safely out of her teachers’ hearing range, she playfully grabbed my face and answered:

SQUAAAAWWWWWWWK!”