Thursday, May 29, 2008

Whereby I Elect Myself Prez of the Good Mother Club

So PC and I were bitching chatting via email as is our usual and most favorite form of bitching expressing our thoughts with one another when we get on the topic of insult exchanging with spouses. We both feel excellently adept at this form of communication and are not ashamed to admit it. We know these piss-fests are just momentary freakouts that have little to do with the bigger picture love kind of thing and plus, we both listen to enough girl singer-songwriters to know we are not the only ones to pick a couple bones here and there.

The chat went like this:

PC, regarding insult exchanges: It's that time of year again.
Me: Wait? What? There's a specific time of year?
PC: Nah, there's no specific time frame for insults. It's just that at this time of year (probably Christmas, too) I realize fully how little my husband knows about what goes on around here...

And with that, I added yet another item to my giant list of reasons why I hate the end of the school year. Because PC is right, and I dare any stay-at-home parent to tell me that the not-at-home parent has any freakin' clue how much a teacher gift should cost, how many are needed, when exactly each "concert" is (and bonus points for where), and whose lunching at which luncheon at what time. Which is not to say they should know all this minutiae I guess or even really care, but when I'm beat and cranky and all, wait, what did you say? and he wants to know why I'm not listening.... Um, flood gates? Open now.

Even my brother in law, who is to be adored on so many levels particularly with regard to his devotion to his children, has told many a co-worker that his daughter will soon finish the second grade. When indeed she is finishing the third grade. Probably this was a typo of the mouth or brain, but at his expense, I'll use it to exaggerate my point. (And I'll mention as well that The Stud has raced home for every event he's been invited to this year. My ponytail holder is off to men like him and my brother in law and even PC's husband who work their asses off at work and still make the show when they can or the game or the concert or what have you.)

But that doesn't mean they GET AT ALL what happens 'round here this time of year.

Did I mention my opinions about the end of the school year?

Seriously, if it weren't for the garden that acts as my dirty therapist and worm-riddled gym all in one, and if it weren't for the view off the porch of my three kids (and two others) playing a game of snake bite/CPR (don't ask) until 7:15 at night, and if it weren't for more boats going in the water every day like lemmings, I swear to you I would seriously dislike spring. And by dislike I mean despise. Can you imagine how I might feel if I didn't care for the teachers my kids have been lucky enough to know this year?

A year or two ago I laid bare my resentment for the "graduation" season in an essay in our local newspaper (which I link to here blog-style because if you read the actual one you will know where I live and probably hunt me down and throw leftover-from-the-class-party watermelon rinds at my front door) and which probably also marks the moment when people started pointing at me and whispering. I kid. But it is true that in that article I was not -- how do you say? -- all cuddly mama type.

But after it ran, I was surprised not so much by the quantity of people who approached me (it was bazillions after all, because I am that good) but by the quality: it was the parents (read: moms -- be damned political correctedness!) who I considered the most cheerful of the volunteer-mommy types. The ones who said HELLZ YEAH (sometimes furtively, so no one in ear shot could hear) were the ones I assumed were cutting out heart-shaped peanut butter sandwiches for their kids' lunch boxes and literally living for the video-tapeable moments the end of the school year brings. Not so much as it turned out, and so I was forced to slap myself in the face with the whole book and cover thing.

Duh. Why wouldn't these always-saying-yes and always-taking-a-shift moms (like me) be all pissed off and exhausted and JUST DONE WITH IT ALL and the seemingly endless parties and "concerts" and gifts and sliced oranges and tie-dyed shirts and the struggle to get a kid who always loved school to even go on a beautiful sunny day? The difference between me and them: I put down my gripes like the fucking town idiot crier and they just complain about it alone. Beyond that, we're all the Good Mothers that make up the Good Mother Club ...but yo! I still get to be the President.

Want in? It's easy: just don't pretend that every stinking thing about being a parent or every thing that comes with being a parent is and you're in.

You must however sign up for a shift, and by that I mean: do something where you live that matters (be it PTO, food pantry, voter registration, you name it), and I also mean: remind the people around you that there are others like you. Because there are. Beyond that, there are no fees, no dress code, no nothing.

You in?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Take My Wife, Please

With all the hullaballoo in Texas and the creepy allegations against the even creepier FLDS and Warren Jeffs, it's not just Barack and Hillary and Myanmar and earthquakes that keeps me all news-houndy and obsessive. Polygamy is the kind of cultural news that really gets a girl all thoughtful. And mildly squeamish.

I watched a few episodes of Big Love and I've seen their real-life counterparts on Oprah: the soccer-mom polygamists next door. Well, they're not next door to me actually, but they could be, they look the part, and if I could get past the whole one husband-three wives thing, we might even be friends. And dare I say it, I kind of, sort of, a little bit see the upside to their "arrangement."

Because I could really use a wife. And though the joke's presumably been played out, there is a lot more I could get done with another wife around the house. We would never run out of milk for one or forget to pick up the dry-cleaning/mail the package/bring in the trash cans, but mostly I think we would blow off all that boring crap and instead dig around in the garden, trade books and magazines and clothes, and take turns playing Wii with the kids. Upsides galore!

It's the whole sleeping with the same husband thing that kind of freaks me out. Which is very likely the upside for the husband. That, and the harem of house-cleaning, kid-having, dinner-cooking babes to make a dude feel all King of the Castle. Do you think the sister-wives (with 22 children to raise) feel like Queens of the Castle, or do they have to take turns with that too?

I'm being judgy and icky on this issue perhaps but the whole thing just smacks of men using God and the Bible to shore up their hyper-exaggerated 1950s-esque pre-Betty Friedan version of marriage. It's seems a little too perfect that God's word would make it so men can enjoy a steady stream of younger and younger wives while the women's reward for such faithfulness is to be crowned "First Wife," which is pretty much a dressed up version of "Old Maid," emphasis on the maid part.

All this ranting aside: to each their own, as long as the rape of children is kept of out it. I honestly do hope there is an upside for women who choose a plural life (beyond the solace their faith allows). Because while I can see the potential benefit of having a live-in, unpaid helping hand and playmate, I am quite sure I can manage with my own (albeit non-live-in) version: my friends and neighbors, the same sistahs who would surely respond to The Stud's taking of another wife with a loud and unanimous, "oh no he didn't" and then help me beat him up with a broom.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Good Lordy, That Man's 40!

Today marks the 16th birthday that I've shared with That Man. Actually, we knew each other for a bunch of birthdays before that, but 16 years ago I bought him the first of sixteen birthday gifts. It was a wallet, a leather wallet, and I gave it to him because he was twenty four frickin' years old and a virtual grown-up who needed a grown-up wallet. He had that wallet in his pocket at our wedding two years later, when we bought our house seven years later, and when our first baby was born eight years later. It wore out around the birth of baby number three (twelve years later), but he still has it somewhere. Or one of the kids has it. Or it's in one of the Home Management Systems.

Fact is, it was probably the best present I ever got him because it sorta implied that I could be the girl who would be giving him grown-up presents for the rest of his life. That is, if he was lucky enough, because back then I thought I was something of a catch and though he was funny and cute and funny, I wasn't completely convinced our love affair would last through the summer. But when I went back to school that fall and he went to Taiwan to teach English and sent me flowers from the airport before he left on the plane and wrote me long love letters from an ocean away and went into debt (for the first time) calling me with his credit card, I knew I was the lucky one after all. And that since his credit card was tucked in the fancy leather wallet that I had picked out for him, well, we were officially a couple. Like boyfriend and girlfriend. Like the real deal.

Which was very funny to me really and a gigantically huge surprise because ever since I'd met That Man (when I was 14 and he was 16), he pretty much made teasing me a blood sport. I carried a backpack then -- well, not so much carried it as wore it -- and it was Guatemalan and I was a wanna-be Deadhead and later I covered it in Gary Hart for President pins and that really brought the teasing to a whole. other. level. It was non-stop, especially since by then his best friend and my best friend were all hot and heavy high school sweethearts and so we were at the same parties pretty much all the time during the summer.

It was in my best friend's kitchen, when I was 17 and he was 19, that we kissed for the first time and about which I wrote in my diary the next day: "Last night I kissed bogus That Man." It was also in that kitchen, a couple weeks later, after I'd gotten over the embarrassing kiss that I swore I would never ever never do again, that he told me to watch out because someday he was gonna marry me. To which I said, after promptly turning tail and whipping my backpack with such force I think I smacked him with it, "You are so annnnnoying!!!"

Fast forward a few summer boyfriends for me and summer girlfriends for him to the day when out of that very same backpack fell a Nirvana cassette tape (seriously!) and he picked it up and said, "Cool." And then fast forward through a year of writing letters to each other while he was traveling Australia, New Zealand and most of South East Asia to that first birthday we officially shared together and me giving him a fancy grown-up leather wallet which was pretty much, looking back on it, me giving him my heart.

(Quick side note: he still teased me. In fact, I think it was during that same birthday celebration that he told me I looked kind of like Nick Nolte and when I almost fell off my bar stool, he exclaimed, "But he was People's Sexiest Man Alive!")

Anyhoo, today That Man turns forty. FOUR-TEE. Four oh. And that means he's had 22 (or is 23?) birthdays since he met me, and that must mean something after all.

I do not have a wallet to give him as his second daughter took care of that when she bought him a blue mesh billfold circa 1985 at her school thrift store for Christmas. (Funny, how things come around isn't it?) I haven't got a clue what to give him actually, as he seems to be, as we all do really, so very materially complete, but I do know that this fire starter runt sweet little boy

grew up to be this relentless teaser delinquent upstanding young man

who eventually became this professorial-looking writer Republican husband and father

and it occurs to me that maybe one thing I can give him is a new fake name on this little bloggedy-blog that he suggested I write in the first place.

I've considered a few names including Fran Tarkenton which for some reason neither of us can recall was something I called him back in the day or maybe The Kid which is the nickname he gave himself or maybe Frank Mills because we listened to that song relentlessly the summer we fell in all kinds of love or maybe Old Man for obvious reasons or Ad Guy or Big Daddy or Blackberry or Hunners or Lord and Master. But none of these seems quite right.

He is FORTY now and a little more sensitive and certainly more sophisticated and wizened with age but also a little more creaky and achy and worried that his quest for six-pack abs might be unattainable. And also, he is absolutely one of the good guys, one of the nice guys, one of the best guys, and so deserves something to remind him that -- to me at least -- he will always be 24 and cute and funny.

So Happy, Happy 40th Birthday to the man known here now as The Stud.

Friday, May 23, 2008

When Scary Goes to Level Three

"Security Alert" started the email from our schools' superintendent.

"We've been notified by the police that a level 3 sex offender has moved into our town" and there were other words after that and all kinds of information, but needless to say, after clicking on the photo and the address, what more need be said except for holymuthafrigginwhatthehellshit which loosely translates into: here? HERE?

After that message broadcast to the parents of every school-age child in town, the village newspaper ran a story (plus the photo): it was big news for sure. Especially considering our weekly "police log" mostly identifies mischievous raccoon shenanigans, noisy teenagers, and the occasional lost wallet. I support the notification program and I am fortunate that this information came so quickly and so clearly, though I don't know what the hell to do with it now.

Besides the obvious reminders to my children to be wary of grown ups you don't know, to be mindful of what your gut tells you, to be leery of unfamiliar faces lurking around the park or the playground or the school, what else could I really do? They know something is going on because they could read the flyer sent home in their backpacks, but I can't very well describe the words lewd and lascivious to an 8 and 6 and 4 year old, now can I? Nor would I. And I'm not really sure I want to tell them that it's true, monsters who hurt children do live in the world and oh by the way, one lives here.

But I can remind them we never keep secrets if a grown-up asks us too, that we never help to find puppies without our moms or dads helping out too, that we remember to always go everywhere with a buddy and that we never leave a buddy behind. I can say all this stuff, and I do, and I did, and I reminded them that me and their dad and all our friends do everything we can and always will to keep them safe and sound and off they went to build forts and mess up the house.

But me? Less easy for me, and for That Man too, and I imagine, for most of us here.

When they raise the national security levels, do we start sealing our windows and doors, grocery shop in gas masks, start a militia? Not so much, at least not me. But I do watch CNN more often, and if I were flying, I would become the best eaves-dropping, eye-balling junior detective that ever was. But now, with this kind of scare?

I'm not flyering every light pole in town. I'm not part of any witch hunt (not that I think there is or will be one), but I'd very very very very very much prefer it if this man would move on, move out, and NOT move to your town.

(I asked That Man tonight while out to dinner, where should these people go? He barely needed a second: "Jail," he said, "like, forever." And I think it was the one time that our conversation ended without a rebuttal on my part.)

Ignorance is never bliss, but there are times I can see its upside. It's not that I don't want to know that this man has moved into town, it's just that now that I do know, what do I do when there is very little I can do? It's a free country and if this man follows all the restrictions imposed on him by the law, the law says he can live anywhere he chooses. Even here. In my town.

But the law also grants me the right to speak freely, so I'll say it again: holymuthafrigginwhatthehellshit.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Dude, Where's the Charger?

Or, Who Messed Up This House?

Seeing as the garden is officially my current obsession (#1 side effect of Suburbia), and seeing how every year I forget what's growing where (and inevitably "weed" something I loved), I have decided to photograph it at different stages to make my own backyard playbook. I am pretty sure I said I would do this last year, so do not hold me to anything. At all. Like ever.

But this is not about my garden; this is about the charger that keeps the battery in my camera working. This is about the charger I could not find last night. The charger that was misplaced by someone other than me, which in this case (and in every case that something goes missing) is either That Man or any one of the Three Short Drunk People who live in my house. And just like the Ipod, the charger had literally vanished.

I checked the Technical Receptacle:

I checked the Home Management System:

Which safely stores important materials like:

Birth Certificates.

Luckily, there were other Home Management Systems to check, including this one:

and this:

(And no, that is not a hypodermic needle. It is in fact a:

bike pump. And yes, that is in fact a:

knife. A very sharp kind of knife, for cutting, say, bones wires or wood.)

I would not be denied! So I even looked in the Art Room:

But still, no charger. I found this ridiculously hard to believe considering the absurd amount of organizational genius at hand here. I mean, Technical Receptacle? It's a wonder why I haven't been asked to run a Major Political Campaign. (Yo, Barack? Holla.)

I was grumpy for reasons that are obvious (as in: someone obviously lost my charger) and the not so obvious. What kind of person has both Transformers and Important Identification Documents in their Home Management Systems?

You've watched enough Law and Order to deduce that I did indeed find the charger. It was safely where I put it, wrapped in a waterproof bag (safety first!) in my underwear lingerie drawer.


(* Image does not represent "actual" lingerie drawer as that would be way overshare-y.)

Monday, May 19, 2008

This is Your Brain on Sibling

I'm am convinced this is how my daughters' think when they think about each other:

song chart memes

At least 87.8 percent of the time. The rest of the time the brain fires with the following sibling-related thoughts:

she did it : we did it : HE did it : we want it : she wants it : I want it : he always gets what he wants : I ate it : she ate it : he spit it on the floor : oh, was she talking? : i thought i was talking : she's hurt : he's hurt : MOMMMY! : get out of my room! : go away! : don't touch that! : you eat it : you do it : let's make him do it : hug? : where is she? : where is he? : don't be mean to her! : don't make fun of him! : come with me : listen to me : sleep next to me tonight : she did it.

Or something close to that.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

My Technical Skills Amaze Me

So, I screwed something up and had to sadly delete the yummy music. Yet more proof of my genius computer skills.

Instead, please listen to your radio or a Mac commercial. That should do it.

Or check this out, because it's seriously funny as is pretty much anything Steve Carrell does in my opinion, and oh yeah, I just found out he went to the same high school that I did. And no, he wasn't at the reunion either.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Class of '88 in the House!

Two tank tops (1 with sequins), two wraps, a very chic jacket = $150 on sale
Choosing instead an old glam rock blazer and tried and true jeans = $0
Cash for babysitter = $70
Minutes off life spent with flatiron = 35
Swear words muttered while searching for missing high heel shoe = 8
Miscellaneous junk removed to find shoe in daughter's closet = 12
Two delicious lite beers in back seat of an SUV on the way to the big city = $3
Gas wasted while making way through throngs of Red Sox fans = 1/8 gallon
Text messages sent to husband to make sure he got there in time = 6

Walking into 20th HS reunion to find only FOUR other people =

(say it with me now)


(That being said, they were four very well-adjusted, interesting people and I was happy to see them.)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Queen Bees, Mean Girls and Wait, What?

Our PTO meetings are held at a local yacht club at 7:30 pm with a full bar. We used to get like 2 people when we held meetings in the gym at 8 am, but now, it's all mascara and sunsets and boats out the window and did I mention a cocktail and lo and freakin' behold, the seats are filled. But besides the hooch in the million dollar setting, it's the fact that we added a speaker series to the agenda, instead of just the usual finance and volunteer opportunity reports, that has really upped the attendance. And I mean that, I swear. Because, honestly, everyone's old enough to drink at home (and we know you are), but to drink while also listening to something that might actually make an impact on how you parent? Hell yeah.

So, anyhoo, last night featured a discussion on "relational aggression" which pretty much means: boys act physically, girls talk. And little girls talk not so nice sometimes. In fact, girls talk very, very nasty-like, about all kinds of nasty girl topics -- body type, clothes, friends -- and it seems like some of 'em are talking that talk pretty much right out of the womb. Or at least in Kindergarten. And surely in Third Grade. If the wonderful teacher speaking hadn't mentioned that this kind of aggression was more sophisticated than what boys typically do, I might have been all down on chicks, all down on having been born one and down on having to raise two. But at least, I thought, at least we are sophisticated in the ways we damage each other. And we're pacifists. Kinda.

I am familiar with this kind of girl talk. In fact, I might have been at the bullied end of it from time to time, and I might have sometimes been the bullyer. And maybe all of this happened when I was 9 and maybe it happened six months ago. What's the diff, really? It all hurts -- the having been done to and even the doing -- whether you are 8 or 38. Sometimes, for only reasons those with ovaries will know, it gets very confusing to be a girl.

Take for instance this exchange between my 8 year old and two of her friends that I heard desperately strained to hear when they were playing in the backyard.

G1: "She's just mean!"
G2: "I know, she told me I was fat!"
G3 and G1: "That is just mean, meany meany mean."
G1: "And she shows off with her cartwheels which is mean --
G2: "Especially when says you are fat."
G2: "I know. She is mean. I don't like her."
G3 and G4: "Me neither!"
G3: "And she's also kinda weird anyway."
G2: "She is?"
G1: "She must be. She's mean."
G2: "Yeah. I don't think I like her."
G1 and G3: "Me neither!"
G1, G2, and G3: "Let's jump her after school tomorrow, take her backpack and kick her ass!"

(Alright, so the last comment WAS NOT REAL which should also serve to remind you that I am paraphrasing a conversation that happened a few days ago, and doing so to the best of my flimsy memory, but you get the gist.)

The girls barged inside looking for juice boxes and I busted them (which is seriously the. best. thing. ever. about being a Mom) on the chat they were having, and they all stood there, cheeks flushing as I spoke and freaking the fuck out and acting all WTF mom? and I didn't care. I got a lot of "but she is mean" and "we weren't being mean" and so I reminded them that their badmouthing of the bitch classmate was um, yeah, kinda mean too.

Which they pondered.

"How does a right make a wrong?" they thought, and so I reminded them that life is bitterly unfair and skinny, pretty girls will always win and just forget about it anyway and study, study, study, because someday you might invent some amazing new drug or device or Oprah show to change this phenomena.

Which in fact is NOT what I said at all.

What I said was kindness begets kindness. What I said was two wrongs do not make a right. What I said was be the best friend that you can be. What I said was "girl-up", and by that I meant never talk negatively about another girl's body or clothes or hair or anything. What I said... Well, it probably went in one ear and right out the other. Because basically right now they are in childhood survival mode and there is only a small part of them that can understand compassion for another person, and I get that.

But I said it and I said it again to B the next day, alone, and I'll probably say some version of it a thousand times between now and when she and her sister and yeah, even her brother are all grown up and gone. And I'll say it to myself, like the PTO speaker advised, so that I can live up to that better example she wants us to be.

That I want to be.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Mother's Day MILFs

It might be all frat-boy funny but yeah, you're a hot mom and don't deny it.

Happy Mother's Day Muthas!

Friday, May 9, 2008

The Lion Sleeps Tonight

R is going to a sleepover. Sleepovers generally make me weepy and nostalgic.

R's not going to just any slumber party. She is going to one at her school. With her 1st Grade teacher and three of her pals. She will watch a movie and eat a sundae and sleep on the floor in her centuries old school with her awesome teacher. The countdown to today is finally over, and not a minute too soon, as the excitement was nearly killing me too, too exciting.

She has packed everything on the list: jammies, sleeping bag, clothes for tomorrow, toothbrush, blankie, flashlight (no batteries, so useless) but not a wash cloth as instructed. (Does a napkin count as a wash cloth? A dish rag? Do people really use wash cloths? Anyhoo, no wash cloth for her, which is probably AOK since clearly she would not know what to do with one. I will, however, make her wash her hands before leaving the house because I am that. kinda. mom. A good one with no wash cloths.)

R will turn 7 in two weeks. She learned to ride a bike without training wheels when she was four, with no help, because her older sister had just learned and she was not going to let her be the only one to have the fun. She is missing three teeth, two of which she knocked out by mistake. Her knees are a maze of bumpy scars. She has strained ligaments in her arms from throwing too many balls and hitting too many pucks. The secretary keeps a stash of extra clothes at school for her because she has torn her own on the play ground so many times. It takes her approximately 3.2 seconds to brush her hair. She will soon look like Jason Castro but right now, she looks mostly like a scruffy baby lion. She wants an electric guitar for her birthday. I would get her a Fender if I could.

R is going to a sleepover at her school tonight, a creaky ancient old school with drafty windows and faulty plumbing that has housed the children of this old town for generations. It has surely seen the likes of her before. But I haven't. I have never ever seen the likes of her.

And I won't see her again until tomorrow at 8am. Sob.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

And Then I Was a Crazy Person

There I was, minding my own business, sucking back ice coffee, zooming down the road at a safe yet swift pace, a few hours of sweet alone time ahead of me. The Man on the Radio starts ranting about Barack Obama and more specifically his lack of shall we say -- oh hell, let's just say it -- his lack of balls. I'm used to this tirade from the dude so I carry on. No running of red lights, no swerving, just more of the perfectly sane and anonymous me in my car.

Start ticking through my to-do list. Check my teeth in the rear view mirror. Notice how very blonde I look on a sunny day. Too blonde, I wonder? The Man on the Radio keeps ranting. To emphasize his balls-less opinion of Obama, he calls him a "girl."

Did he just say girl, I thought, turning it up. Did he go there? (Note to future self: turn DOWN the volume on relentless muckrakers.)

He says he looooves woman, but girls? There the whiny, bitching ones on the playground. They're the annoying, clueless, crybabies that well.. are so annoying and clueless and crying. Barack Obama is a girl. A girl! Not a wimp or a loser or a dork or a Democrat. He is a GIRL, the insult of all insults.

And then I became a crazy person. Then I became that insane woman screaming in her car. Then I was that woman waving her hands all around, grabbing for her phone so she could call out this a-hole, dropping her phone, nearly driving off the road trying to find her phone, getting a grip of the wheel and of her civic duty (not to crash) but still, but still... that insane lady you saw on the road? That was very likely me.

In some miracle of auto safety, That Man called just as I was seriously considering embarrassing myself on the radio and/or driving straight into a wall. So I parked instead. And I vented to him. Which was safer and probably wiser, but he was busy and just needed my license plate number (why? had someone phoned me in?) and while he was empathetic, he also really, really had to go. So I sat there in the parking spot all pissed and vinegar and just let the "girl" comment resonate. I listened a little more. I tried to be zen. I sipped my coffee. I grabbed the edge of my sanity and yanked it back in.

And after some thought, this is all I have to say:

Listen mister, I've spent some time on playgrounds and from my perspective, crybabies come with penises too. And as for whining and crying? They don't discriminate based on gender either. And bullies wear pigtails sometimes. A "girl" after all is just a woman who hasn't grown up yet. And with some luck (thanks to all us "girls"), the "boys" won't grow up to be you.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Me, All Classy-like

Seriously, how jealous are you?

So what if I don't do this

like most of my wicked posh friends? They can't even touch my fancy and stylish drinking accessory. Who's laughin' now, muthas?

Then again, they do have this.

8 Things

The nice lady at Completely Me is playing this fun little game (aka: a meme) where in you must divulge 8 little known facts about yourself. And Lordy! How I love a good game! Even ones that don't include this:

(I kid, I kid...)

So, here goes:

1) I cannot whistle. At all. Not one bit.

2) I once stole a ring on a play date when I was nine. I returned it the next time I was there, but I still feel bad about it and have never told my friend, who I still see from time to time.

3) I drive the long way home sometimes. I love being alone in my car.

4) I do not recycle everything I should. (Do not tell Al Gore, but he probably reads the site and so, presumably, I have outed myself.)

5) Despite my mortgage, my three kids, my marriage, my garden, my last will and testament: I do not feel like I'm at all old enough to have any of it and I wonder when the world will find out.

6) I still wish I was Joni Mitchell. Or Carole King.

7) I have my high school soccer jacket in my closet.

8) I am convinced my dead grandparents visited me from the Ever After and played coochie coo with B when she was 6 weeks old. Like totally, completely convinced. It lasted about twenty minutes and was one of the coolest, happiest experiences of my life.

Wanna play? Go for it. You're it!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Ladybug, Ladybug, Fly Away Home

I decided to make wise use of the 45 minutes I had after dropping the girls at jump rope. I needed to (re)visit the grocery store to get the 5 (or 12) things I'd forgotten to get during the morning run. Eight of those things necessary for dinner tonight and lunch tomorrow. Poor Giant Four Year Old: he's all, "peanut butter? aisle three. duh."

I returned 43.5 minutes later to find the inhabitants of the building hovering outside the main doors. With fire trucks. Three of them. And a police car. And here's where my brain went from the benign (pulled alarm) to the insane: my child has tripped over the rope, spun to the hard floor in some sick twisted hurl toward hurt, cracked open her skull and it's so incredibly serious and BAD, that they have EVACUATED the whole. entire. building and sent not one, not two, but three crack teams of paramedics in to put the Humpty Dumptress back together again.

"Run!" I said to the Giant Four Year Old.

"Why?" he said.

"I don't know!" I said, "But for the luvvaGod, let's go!"

It's only about 25 feet from the spot I slammed my car into to where my kids were waiting, so the drama was short lived. And the panic-induced sweat on my brow (note to self: more exercise needed) was humiliating at best. Even the Giant Four Year Old was embarressed for me.

"Fire drill," shrugged B.

"And I didn't even get my turn," moaned R.

Who had the good idea for that ladybug rhyme anyway? "Your house in on fire and your children are gone"? Seriously man, that shit is evil. I'm thinking there was once another line, lost to history now, that went "just kidding, crazy lady; it's just a frickin' false alarm."