Here is the continuation of yesterday’s post, View From a Baby Room: Part One. You can get off the edges of your seats now.
First was a large, chubby baby with a giant bald head. We called him Fester, like Uncle Fester from the Addams Family. He didn’t seem to mind. His favorite mode of transportation was to roll. Often he rolled under cribs. Once he rolled under a swing and Sue kept bopping him on the head with the leg of the swing while adjusting it for another baby. We’re shouting at her to stop and she’s not hearing us and we’re all going how the crap do we write out that accident report? Baby hit with furniture repeatedly? Luckily Fester was okay seconds later. He was a happy baby.
Next up was Ralphie. We called him that because his mother dressed him in Ralph Lauren baby clothes every day. By the way, if you kept your kid in daycare, as I have, you have to know the daycare workers pay attention to this kind of crap. They’re stuck with your kid all day; they’re bored. I’m fairly certain Ralphie, who like the others would be about thirteen by now, is going to be a future politician. He could light up a room with a mega watt grin, so you’d forgive him, even if he just crawled over a line of babies, smacking them in the face with his hands and feet. Ralphie was an early crawler. They finally took him to the crawler room, which was where Thing One resided. As I found out later, Thing One was a piece of work as well. No telling what they called her. Perhaps she who would not hold her bottle, or she who army crawled.
And then there was . . . I forget if he was a Braden or a Braxton or a Britain, but he was definitely a brat. Though not as big a brat as his mother. She expected him to drink like three bottles while he was with us, even though he was only with us a few hours. He just wasn’t that hungry. But if the bottles weren’t given, she would get cheesed off. So we poured perfectly good formula down the drain everyday. Daycare workers do what they can to survive, parents. He ended up getting moved early too when he started to crawl. Later I heard that one of the workers in the crawler room, Barbara, was considering putting Ralphie and him in a single crib and letting them fight it out.
My favorite baby, yes we all had favorites, was Nicholas. He was a long, skinny baby that drove the others nuts because he had no sucking power whatsoever. That meant he could take an hour or more to drink a bottle. I loved it. I could sit and rock with him while he slowly sipped at his bottle. He was very cuddly. Later when my mom showed up, I introduced them. She said of course I liked him – he looked like my baby. Oh, huh. Go figure.
His mother breastfed, but the stuff she pumped and froze (frozen breast milk is the nastiest looking stuff on earth, I’m here to tell you) was so thin it went, literally, right through poor Nicky. We had to hear him cry from hunger. We couldn’t take it. So we spooned him tiny bits of cereal. Was it wrong? Sure. But I’d rather be fired than watch a baby go hungry. And he was hungry – nothing else was wrong with him, and he calmed down after being fed. We finally got the guts up to tell his mother. Unlike some of the others, she agreed to supplement with formula, and didn’t make a fuss. Thank goodness for reasonable mothers.
We had two baby girls. One was Gwen. Her Mommy was a breastfeeding school teacher who refused to pump, so Gwen had to wait until her lunch break (5 hours) to be fed. Fortunately, by the time I came, she could eat baby food. (Moms – please don’t do this to your kid. If you must be gone that long, leave her something else. A tiny drop of formula is better than a kid who starves an hour a day or more. Just an FYI.) When Mom finally arrived, she’d proceed to unbutton her shirt and let the girls out. I mean really let ‘em fly. It was like, wow, um, nice boobs? It’s hard to think of a conversation when you’re staring at someone’s exposed breasts. I’m not against breastfeeding here, but sheesh, a teensy bit of discretion? Trust me, you don’t want a bunch of daycare workers discussing your frequent wardrobe malfunctions when you leave.
Finally, and I’ve saved the best for last, was Australia. No, seriously, that was the baby’s name, and wow, did she deserve a long stupid name. I hate to say this, because one would think you couldn’t dislike a baby. But you did this one. I mean I tried to love her; I really did. But she made it difficult. It wasn’t really her fault. She had a mother and an aunt who both worked at the daycare. And lived with her along with the baby daddy and the grandparents. And they both checked on her constantly, leaving their own kids abandoned while they did so. At home, Australia was always held. When you’ve got ten babies, you cannot hold every one of them 24/7 (though I did try to hold each one as much as possible.) She wanted attention, all the attention, 100 percent of the time and if she didn’t get it? Watch out.
Here’s an example. We fed each baby one at a time. If a baby could hold a bottle, we let him. I didn’t like it, but we had too many babies to cope with at one time so we did the best we could. They tried to do that with my Thing One in the crawler room, but she refused. I love my Thing One. Anyway, we tried to feed Australia first, because she was the loudest. But she’d fuss and push the bottle away. So we’d move on to the next baby. And she would scream. And scream. And get louder. And louder. Her tiny face would get as red as her hair. When we got back around to her, fed her, and put her in bed, she’d shoot us this look. Mary once said, “I swear she just looked at me like ‘You bitch!’”
It was Australia and her family that helped spell my doom. Her dear auntie came to get her one afternoon after I’d had a heck of a day. She picked up Australia, who had been napping. The baby had a wet diaper. Auntie was furious.
“How dare you let her lay in a wet diaper, Alice,” she fumed. “Take care of your babies.”
Okay, see, there’s some things you don’t say to me. One of these is “you aren’t a good mommy / caretaker.” I will cut you for it. So I informed her that yes she was wet because she was sleeping and no way in hell was anyone going to wake that baby up from a nap. She sniffed and left. I was still fuming. A few other workers stopped by and I unloaded. Maximum fire power. I still remember the looks of horror on their faces. It was awesome.
Still, I think back to that place and wonder where everyone has gone. One of the worst things was to sit and look out the window at the one-year-olds. They wandered about, totally unattended, while the workers sunned themselves on the slide. We complained about it, so the workers were fired. Haha, just kidding. They were moved to another room. Brilliant.
This is not to make people with kids in daycare feel bad. I later put my daughter in another daycare – after I grilled the director over the coals. I did my homework that time, and you can bet I made sure she was well taken care of. Still, I can’t say I was that sad to be fired from my job five months later. It is hard, very hard, to leave your baby behind. I know. I’ve had a view from both sides of the baby room.
I’ve worked a lot of different jobs. One of these jobs was at a daycare center, and yes it was after I’d already gotten two degrees. They were in English, though, so no one cared. (Kids: don’t major in English. Just say no.) Thing One was nine months old and I was staying home with her, but needed extra income so we could enjoy the luxuries of life like eating. So I discovered I could work at this daycare and my kid could stay at the same daycare for free as a “perk”. This sounded like a great deal at the time.
For an educated person, I can be really stupid.
First they stuck me with the two-year-olds. Bootcamp for daycare workers. At that time, in the state of Texas, you could have up to 11 two-year-olds for every adult. Yup. 11. Even Octomom never watched 11 two-year-olds at once. They put two workers in the room, which meant 22 toddlers. And two people. No problem.
Unless you wanted to remain sane, that is. When there’s an 11 to 1 ratio, you’ve gotta be a clever toddler to get attention. One such toddler was Jaycee, who claimed to be potty training. “Have to go poop!” she’d say, so I’d go into the bathroom with her and stand. And stand. While Jaycee swung her legs on the potty and talked incessantly. Not one poop was had. Not even a pee. But you never could tell, so you always took her. Score 1 Jaycee.
You also had to put them all down for naps. At the same time. Now putting ONE toddler down for a nap is tough. Imagine putting down 22 toddlers – I mean without a hammer. The “trick” the director taught us was to pat them on the backs as they lay down to get them to drift off. Right. Guess who demanded the most pats? “Pat meeeee, pat meeeeeee!” Jaycee would cry. I’d lay down with her and pat, pat, pat zzzzzzzzzzzzz.
We couldn’t just let them play either. No, we had to make sure they played correctly. So no gun play. The little boys still played with their fingers. “Booda –booda. Booda-booda!” they’d yell, pointing their fingers at each other. “You can’t play guns,” I said wearily. Wes, the little boy in question, looked confused. “We were just playing booda-booda.” He said. Sometimes I do think we might be a bit too P.C.
After a couple of weeks of working with the toddlers I was about ready to run screaming from the daycare. The director sensed this, and told me there was an opening in the baby room. This was infants from six weeks up to crawling age, usually around six months. I liked this idea. Sure babies are tough, but at this age they cannot move and no one expects you to potty train them or stop imaginary gun play. I jumped at the chance.
You could have four per person. Yeah, quads, who hasn’t raised a set on their own, am I right? We had around ten babies, I think, which meant there were usually three of us. Sue was older and did not want to move. Like ever. Sue also wasn’t too bright. She had never heard of “A Christmas Carol.” How the hell did you miss that? Jennifer was about my age. She had one child and went to tanning beds partly because they said you could burn out your ovaries that way. Mary came to help especially at lunch time or to fill in for another, or when our baby load went up, which it sometimes did.
Seven of the babies were boys. Anyone who says infants don’t have personalities has never dealt with an actual infant. We gave some of them nicknames because you have to get your jollies somehow when you work minimum wage with a bunch of babies. But I was talking about the infants. Though there’s some I can’t quite recall now, I can fully remember a few of them.
. . . To be continued!
Yeah, so I was gonna try to be all positive this morning, right? What the hell was I thinking? Positive? It’s only Tuesday. The kids started back to school yesterday, which means “back to school traffic from Hades!” Also means, wake up the children out of zombie states without falling into one yourself. Also, that the oldest kid is hacking like a dying moose so probably needs allergy testing that will cost half a fortune and the other kid smiles with teeth out of place that will probably cost the other half of a fortune in braces and OMG THE JOY NEVER ENDS.
This is before I actually started my car, of course. We make it okay to the elementary school. I don’t see any of those cars with the flipping families on the back, which means I do not have to envision slicing their tires to ribbons while they take twenty minutes to wish their half dozen kids goodbye at the door, because they had to walk them to the door. That way they left their car blocking yours. But no, that didn’t happen, so score! One kid dropped off. Now all I have to do is get to the high school, which is now the junior high because they demoted my high school and drop off my newly minted junior high student. She looks thrilled. The humidity is awful, so she also has her little white girl afro goin’ on. I don’t tell her this.
We get to the high school and I have this brilliant idea. I will drop her off at the side of the school, so she won’t have to cross a street AND a parking lot full of equally pissed off parents (why can’t she drive already I mean GAWD isn’t 13 old enough nevermind then I’d worry about her driving let’s up the age to at least 21). So I’m like technically on the wrong side of the road, but it’s just a second to drop her off on the curb but FUCK here comes a line of cars. One after another after another after another and all of them giving me FUCK YOU looks because I’m on the wrong side of the road and I’m like I KNOW but you won’t let me out you bastards! I mean, let’s be reasonable here. Jeeez.
So I finally get out and decide to drive into the parking lot and poor Thing One is still hacking and her fro is expanding and I feel so bad for her so I’m hugging her and she’s like whatevs cause mostly she’s just so tired because school and I finally let her go and realize there is a car behind me going wtf lady quit blocking my way and GO what is wrong with you? Heh, uh, sorry. So I drive out of the parking lot and into the sun. Not literally into it, but it feels like it cause I am now driving blind. Yay! Fuck you, sun.
I am not paying much attention because Sun and Pissed and I end up where? The elementary school where I just dropped off Thing Two which is now packed with insane parents. FUCK I’m an idiot. So I wait again through traffic and take multiple turns in order to find a light cause no way am I taking my chances getting across and did I mention I live in a supposedly small town? But there is a university, where I am now trying to go sense I’m supposed to work there, and there are people trying to get out of this town in both directions to go work at other towns that are more exciting. So I am stuck in the middle. Every morning.
Oh, yeah, and I mentioned this in a post way back in whenever that our parking situation sucks because they decided to make it “open parking” which is like “open season” only with cars instead of guns, although this is Texas so I’m not ruling that out. And so I drive around and around looking for a spot. Fun times I tell you. Fuuuuuuck. I am so tempted to park in the reserved parking of the uppity ups. If only I knew I was getting laid off that day. Oh, well, I find a spot a mile away and trudge off to work where I get there right on the dot. I woke up at 6 AM and it is now 8 AM and work hasn’t started and I want to murder someone.
Just another typical day. Good morning, Alice!
Hi ho, all, it’s Alice again. As if it’d be anyone else, right? Oh, wait, I guess it could be Sad Pony, Squirrel, Mary Alice, or my latest bud-dy, Sparky the Won-der Blog-ger! I have been told he resembles another Sparky who led children in Bible verses in a religious club known as Awana. There was even a theme song. “We are sparks, sparks, sparks, sparks to light the world!” Sparky has quite a back story he isn’t telling me. Awana leaders, please do not come after me!
Anyway, another blogger, Laura (Linking to fellow bloggers to say thanks is not Sparky-ish), suggested that Sparky should have a name for his followers. I think that’s a fabulous idea that has probably never been done before! Her suggested name is fabulous too. She said followers should be called “Sparkleponies.” Who hasn’t wanted to be a Sparkle Pony? I, personally, had eleventy-billion of those sparkly My Little Ponies when I was a kid. Of course I wanted to be one. Only Barbie herself had more bling.
But like any club, there has to be badges so peeps know who has had the most Kool-Aid . . .I mean, who is a true and loyal follower of Sparky. So I made one for Sparky, all by myself, once again putting my education and multiple art classes to work. Check it out.
Now if you want to join the Sparkleponies, all you gotta do is take the pledge. Oh and a few other things. You can find them in the fine print of your enrollment forms, but I wouldn’t worry about them. It’s just minor details, really.
Okay, then, now you are ready to say the pledge! “Yes I am a Sparklepony! Got a problem with it?” Say it loud and proud. Then go put your badge on your blog, like on the side, or better right in the border of your blog. You’ll be glad you did. There are many benefits to joining
Cult Club Sparklepony. Here’s a handy list.
- You get to worship Sparky at the blog of your choice, this one, Aliceatwonderland.
- You get to have wonderful artwork on your blog
- You get to explain to people how you have never grown up and no you do not intend to now.
- You’ll get paid . . . in joyness and inner peace.
- It’s just cool, you guyz.
Okay, then, my only question left to you is – are you a sparklepony?
* Edit – It was actually Laura who came up with sparkleponies. My bad. Alice no can read.
On our Wonder Twins blog, Marlene teaches us how to make peach cobbler. And so much more.
Hi, ho, it’s Alice again. Merbear and I have decided to move our retro ads on over to our new blog, The Wonder Twins. Come check us out over there! Today’s topic? Tampons! Comments closed here so you’ll come on over.
As promised, here is my post on The Sims. This has been one of my favorite games for a while. It’s been through 3 different transformations, all of them grossing millions. It’s like people like playing God or something. Go figure.
Sims 2 is my favorite. I am not always cruel to my Sims. Sometimes I let them have cute families. If you want to talk about pixels having a mind of their own, these guys really do – or seem to anyway. As long as you leave their free will on (Yeah, you can take that away too. Or, uh, so I hear.) they will do all sorts of funny things all on their own. They will hug, kiss, babies will try to eat their toys, and children will run and greet adults when they get home from work. And everyone goes to work in a carpool. Even the thieves.
But since I’m tying this post into the last one, where I talk about killing those cute Virtual Families, this post will address torturing Sims. Since it might be hard to torture someone who looks so lifelike, I decided to create something most people wouldn’t mind kicking around. That’s right, a clown. I call him Boppo Sadface.
When you create a Sim, you can not only decide what they look like and how to dress them (in this case, horribly) you can also decide their personality. You can either randomly select one of the astrological signs, or you can add the points yourself. And you can choose an aspiration for your Sim. Like whether he wants money, or family, or romance. You’ll notice I gave Boppo no nice points, yet made him want lots of friends. He’s also a very sloppy Sim, as evidenced by his lack of points in that area, and the fact that he is digging something out of his ear right now. He did that all on his own.
Next up, Boppo needs company. I figured no humans would volunteer to be with him, but why not a dog? And what dog is undeniably annoying? A poodle of course. Boppo has a dog named Wee Wee (cause that’s what pet dogs do best). You can give the pets personalities too. Wee Wee is aggressive, sloppy, and dumb as a post.
Now that we’ve got those two taken care of, it’s time to find Boppo a home! I tried to make it appropriate.
Yes, his house looks like a psychedelic nightmare, complete with lawn gnomes, flamingos, ceramic (at least I think they are) rabbit heads, kitten heads, bears, and chickens filling his front lawn. I circled a few things to bring them to your attention. First off, see that thing to the left circled in pink? That’s a supposed “marshmallow roaster”, yet is much closer to a circular flame thrower. You might guess where I’m going with this one.
The green circle to the far right is the stupid, violent poodle Wee Wee. In the middle is a yellow circle around the hamster cage. One of my readers informed me that her Sim died from the bite of one of these squeaky critters. So I had to buy one for Boppo. His name is Help Meeee. Ironically, both the hamster and the clown are on my little wheel of death. Bwahahahahahaha . . . moving on.
Death one: Clown on fire!
For this one, you can use any old stove or fireplace, but for ultimate efficiency, I prefer the marshmallow roaster. Just move it into his room, remove the door, and watch the show. Make sure there’s no fire alarm to call the fire fighters or something crazy like that. Observe:
In case you were wondering, yeah that’s a rack of bowling balls on fire in the corner of his room. It’s only a matter of time now. Don’t worry, I had Wee Wee leave the room. I’m not cruel or nothin’.
It’s horrible, and yet fascinating to watch them. First they totally panic and race around in circles. No thought to say, grabbing a fire extinguisher or calling fire fighters. When in danger, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout. At least until your butt catches on fire. You’re in trouble then. Best defense? No stop, drop, and roll here. Just bounce up and down while attempting to blow out the flames from your clothes.
Strangely this method does not work well for them. Soon enough, the Grim Reaper arrives, and this is one of the funniest parts. You can tell he’s freaking annoyed by his job, just like the rest of us. He shakes his head, pulls out some paperwork, makes a call to the underworld on his cell phone . . . no seriously.
So this post ended up longer than I intended, and I’ve got lots of ways to kill Sims left to go! There’s death by electrocution (Sim + electrical appliance + fork), death by drowning, death by starvation, death by hamster bite and death by flies (I have never achieved either so these are now my goals in life), and so much more. Don’t worry for him – I have him saved, so I can bring him back to life again and again. And then kill him again. If I want.
Shall I mess with Boppo some more? Do you have any Sim stories of your own to tell? Do you want to recommend a mental health hotline for me? Let me know in the comments below!
Mary Alice, 1950s professional housewife, answers more questions she totally made up – I mean that were submitted by other women. Learn about how to keep hubby and kids occupied for hours!