Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Long Goodbye

Hi, I'm Amanda. Some of you may not know me because you became a Pair-Ranting fan within the last thirteen months, during which time I've contributed approximately J-A-C-K to the blog. I won't go into the details of who I am or why I'm suddenly appearing, and writing in your favorite Michael Bairdsmith blog no less, because frankly it really doesn't matter. I'm here. Just buckle up for a quick sec while I catch those who vaguely remember me up on my life. Because they care.

First of all, yes, I am a terribly assholey slacker. I think about this from time to time - every time Mike posts something and it reminds me that 'we' have a blog that I haven't written anything for in a long-ass time - and I don't have any one good reason as to what has kept me away. So, I'll write you a list of all of the reasons, because if I remember correctly, you LOVE lists!

1. My kids: these two are the main reasons for the blog. When we began Pair-Ranting the two things I primarily wrote about were my kids and my sluttiness. Back then my offspring were still young and sweet and adorable, and while they still are all of these things, they now understand things like 'the internet'. They know how to Google things. Their school encourages this shit - I son has a goddam YouTube channel and motherfracking Twitter account, you guys!! He asked me to follow him on Twitter, and when he asked if he could follow me back I said "OHMYGOD NO NEVER!" At that time, my most recent tweet looked like this:

2. My sluttiness: this topic is super boring and non-existent lately. Ever since I met my incredibly sexy tall drink o' Mai Tai man over 5 years ago, it's been all Paulie, all the time. Which is hot, don't get me wrong. But I don't think stories about hiding from your date because you get cold sores are as funny when your date is actually your boyfriend who you live with and is technically supposed to still like you even when you have mouth herpes covering half of your face. Technically. It just doesn't make for humorously sexy blogging, I guess.

The sexiest thing to happen to me within the last day was accidentally hitting play on Of Montreal's "Famine Affair" as opposed to my standard "Bad Habits" by Maxwell for my solo sexytime soundtrack. Sometimes variety is hot, you know? But the only reason it was solo is because I'm on my period and we just don't climb up the Big Rock Bloody Mountain very often because Laundry. Why am I even telling you this?

Oh, right, sluttiness. Well, I try.

3. Math. Fuck math. Rather than get all riled up about math, you can read about it HERE. I can't even go into it again. I am now taking a statistics class because my nail-studded self-flagellator belt went missing. I miss it.

4. Work: Since closing my store, I've not only returned to school because I love a good humbling, I have also had to do some work for a paycheck. Most of this work involves writing and editing. So these days I'm either studying, writing, or editing which makes a very valid reason for not having any time or interest left over to blog about the funny things my kids constantly say, right? Right. Especially since they'll probably find it online and be all "dude, mom! What the heck, you're telling the whole damn world that I treated you to a Rick Astley song-and-dance show in the kitchen last night?! THAT WAS JUST FOR YOU!!!" and then doors will slam and bribery will be necessary. Oof.

Better to just go incommunicado.

So, it is with these and a pocketful of other reasons in mind that I have decided it's time to cease my contribution to the ranting. It's been super fun and I honestly don't know how I would have gotten through my scratchy divorce, all of the awkward dating, my kids' goofy antics, or that stage of my life in general, without this blog.

So thank you all, immensely, for reading and following along. And thank you especially to Mikey for deciding one day during a long spell of boredom that we should start a blog together. Love you buddy.

Farewell*, friends!

*(Until I become a grandparent, of which point all respect for my kids' privacy, needless to say, goes out the window).

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Shotgun Finn Saves the World

It is done. He did it.

On these dark days leading up to the inauguration of a feral Cheeto as our next commander-in-chief, my little Finn reminded me to never lose hope. There is still so much good in the world.

Last night, Finley Michael Bairdsmith pooped in the potty...for the second day in a row.

Yes, he's five-years-old. Here's a quick recap:

January 4, 2015

It started out promising. Jodee and I had just moved in together the summer of 2014 and the boys had settled in quickly. Just after Finn's third birthday in October, he was waking up most mornings with a dry diaper. It seemed like, despite the big changes in his life, the new year might be a great time for a milestone, so we got him the setup and made a modest goal: Potty-Trained by Age Four.

We weren't aggressive with toilet training, of course. The signs of his readiness were there, so we gently encouraged.  There were a few accidental successes over the course of the year, but as the fourth birthday approached without much progress, we streamlined Finley's daily "to-do list", downloaded some potty-only apps, and employed the help of his encouraging brother.

October 13, 2015

His fourth birthday came and went. He had no trouble peeing, but pooping was out of the question. We decided to kick training up a notch. No more diapers, period.

January 7, 2016, after stealing a swim diaper and hiding

This led to me learning a new medical term: Encopresis. When your child ends up in the hospital after refusing to poo for the better part of a week, you've lost the battle. So for the past year (that's right, YEAR!) Finn has been having his regular movements, every afternoon, in a diaper. He was practically changing himself.

But then, just a couple of days ago, Liam made an unexpected request. He has every Pixar and Dreamworks film at his disposal but he wanted to watch his old potty training video "Potty Power" featuring the criminally underrated song stylings of Ms. Jessica Cannon, who has allowed me to follow her on Instagram these past three years despite my twisted obsession with her because I'm such an appreciative fan. It's a really good video.
Liam's message was not lost on Finn because later that night Jodee discovered a little present left behind in the potty. We had a guest over, so it took just a few minutes of awkward interviewing to determine, with absolutely certainty, that Finn was the culprit. The fact that it happened again then next day meant it was official. My seven-year run of handling poopy diapers has come to an end. The next time I desperately want something from Finn, I'll have to remember which man of the house he actually looks up to.