Monday, March 30, 2009

She Shoots! She Scores!

After spending two hours in a gym with 17 Very Short Drunk People, many who find the words poop and fart ridiculously funny and also refer to things called Texas Wedgies (??) while eating cake and pizza (at the same time), I decided the best thing to do was to spend yet another hour in a gym with 11 Taller Short Drunk People who like to kick soccer balls and giggle -- about lots of things but mostly the phrase "grab the ball bag."

The GFYO had his birthday party and Bridget's team had practice. The former finds Simon Says a very challenging game and the latter, it turns out, can hammer the ball a lot harder than I thought. 

To make the practice teams even, I stepped in. I stepped in with very old sneakers and jeans that were kind of falling off; I'd worn 'em the night before and those suckers stretch out way too much and I was doing the grab and hike-up even before I got on the "field." I stepped in because I am a saint to scrimmage with a bunch of U-10ers after hosting a birthday party for 17 little boys with hockey sticks and basketballs in a room that echos like a certain ring of hell. With 17 little boys (and a couple girls holla) who are all extremely freaking cute but like to laugh at the word wedgie wedgie wedgie as it bounces off the walls. 

Needless to say, I was a tad flustered and mildly daunted. But I was game.

Ten minutes in, I was sweating and sure I'd blown out my knee and I remember thinking that there is very little more I could do that could be more humiliating. (It was then that I realized that the woman I'd seen dropping off her daughter for practice earlier was the very same woman I had mistakenly assumed was with her lesbian lover a couple nights before. So yeah, there are many many ways in which I can embarrass myself. I mean, it's kind of bottomless, really.) But I played on. I tackled and dribbled and back-passed and a part of the old girl came back. I didn't shove a 9 year old girl to the ground, but when I scored at last, I jumped up and down. Up.and.down. Jumped. Pumped my fist. While jumping.

At that moment two things occurred: 1) I pulled every major muscle in my body and 2) my oldest daughter thought for the first legitimate time in her life, "WTF MOM?!"

Well, maybe not the first, but the first time I would actually maybe kinda sorta agree with her. 

It's the little things, right? These little moments I will cherish for the rest of my life? I can almost picture it, how it will be looking back: me totally cougarish gray and dreamy...

Remember that time, I will say to her when comes to visit with her own babies, remember that time when I coached your soccer team? Sigh. Remember when I fucking kicked ass at your practice? I mean, how awesome was that?

Right about then, she will file for Power of Attorney as she will be convinced that the old broad has at last rounded the bend. But I will know the truth: I've always been a complete ass with no filter. And that I scored muthas! I scored!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Creature of Habit

A few morning ago, while The Kid, waited for me to shower and put on my stockings and high heels wake up, I realized how different things will be with him around all the time. And by different I mean, oh crap: things are going to be very different with him around all the time.

For instance, I can no longer race around the house 15 minutes before he comes home to clean up the chaos and pretend it has been under control all day. I can not say "oh christ fractions again?" and instead will have to say things like "awesome! i love math! learning numerators is the most fun fun fun ever ever EVER." I will have no excuse for not making dinner or not making a meeting or not going to book group: he will always be home on time. 

It has its upsides naturally because we all dig having him around, don't get me wrong, but there are downsides to changing my frickin' routine and the biggest one is that I hate changing my frickin' routine. EVER. Look up "creature of habit" and there's a small picture of Picket surrounded by her many vices and a Swiss-made clock to keep things humming along.

Oh! And the blog thing? I had a ritual with that too...

But here it is Saturday night at 7, a few minutes before friends come for dinner, and he's in the shower and the Short Drunk People are playing Spit in the background (and generally, messing up the house I just cleaned), so it's almost like a weeknight when every thing's done and squared away and he's not "here" yet, and so, you know -- time to get my blog on. Tick, tick.

My hands are my moving and my brain is humming and getting all thinky but it's...Different. It feels right and yet, so so wrong.

Among my long list of habits to break (ie: the Real World, ice coffee and ice-chewing), I guess I'll need to add writing during the dull roar of the end of the day to the list because lately it has been less dull and more "DADDY'S HERE YEEHAH!" I am keeping the ice coffee, gallons of it, as it is the only hope that my fingers might hit the right keys before noon and it looks like that's what I'm gonna have to do. 

Before noon! Getting thinky! Eeek!

Monday, March 23, 2009

How We Rawk

The fingers on my left hand are mildly numb and mildly burning and so if I make some carelesslkhskjd mistakes, you will forgive me. Steel strings on acoustic guitars are death to newbie fingers like mine. I actually think I might have killed some nerves: it feels like the tips are asleep all the time. 

Still, I know enough chords to play a Marshall Tucker Band song and the intro to "Wish You Were Here" and also that song from Grease that starts by singing the chords; I think Sha-Na-Na made it famous. And when I say "play," I mean pluck strum start over look at strings look at fingers start over hum and mumble and try again. 

"Play" is a very subjective word.

Rory has the worst sounding guitar ever so everything she plays sounds like a "Horse With No Name" yet she still looks cooler than me when she strums and hums. She kicked the ball outside with her sister after dinner and while she was waiting for a pass back, she air guitared while chanting "G! G! G Major!" 

I have no words for my satisfaction in that.

I'm not sure which one of us wants to rock more.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

AIG Makes Me Zen

Are people really getting in a bus to drive by the homes of AIG executives in Connecticut? On a sunny afternoon on the second day of spring? To do -- what: yell at them from the street? Acreage laws down there mean long long driveways which means no one inside will hear a single word, so maybe they are planning on tossing some TP into well-manicured trees??

I realize this isn't exactly like drawing slutty cartoons of the head cheerleader because you "hate" her so much when in reality you actually wish you could be her, but it does sort of smack of a kind of adolescent toilet-papering.  I get the awfulness of the AIG situation -- it seems so senseless and so unfair and so just.not.right. But on the other hand? Really? Protesting outside of someone's home because they may or may not have received a bonus that may or may not be justified just seems... I don't know. A waste of time? Kind of weird?

I am as pissed as anybody that so many of us find ourselves in a bad situation because of the errors or greed of a few (thousand) but I certainly don't think that camping out on some CEO's lawn is gonna do any good to anyone. Plus, hating rich people for being rich seems kind of pointless in a capitalist society or any society really, unless of course that rich person has stolen money on purpose or cheated people on purpose. If you consider bonuses based on contracts rather than merit to be stealing or cheating (rather than, as I feel, that it is just wrong and bad for business), then go right ahead and cry CRIME but really? No crime has been committed except for one against karma. And you know how karma can be. Let karma take over. 

Me? I am gonna preserve my own. I am sponsoring the kids at our local video store in their walk against domestic violence (which rises as the Dow falls). I gave twice what I normally would. The school auction is next week and though the timing might be rough, me and the Kid are dressing up and heading out (thanks to the Awesome Babysitter -- please?) and bidding often and bidding high (but not that high) (I'm no fool). There are people in my community who are relying more than ever on the Small Town Food Pantry and since no one eats what I cook, I am handing over canned goods that I bought in bulk and which will be better served elsewhere. 

I am doing these kinds of things because it makes more sense than getting on a bus to shout at rich people benefited by both a bonus and a bail out. Which sucks, I know, but if I resort to getting pissed off and ranty and all kinds of full of hate and jealousy, I will just be well, um, angry and that seems dull and a waste of my own sweet time especially when I could be angry about the fact that no one eats the damn food I ever make. 

Truth is, there are so many injustices I can effect in little ways and windmills are better left to people with swords. And I don't like swords, especially the kinds with sound effects (damn you! Star Wars toy makers!) and I hate riding on a bus so there's that too.

But really people? Demonize Madoff if it makes you feel better, but those other dudes, the nameless ones we want to hate: WASTE OF TIME. It's the land of the frickin' free and everyone is free to be a gigantic asshole and everyone is free not to be. So don't be. And move on. 

Instead, go do something good for someone else. The dividends are guaranteed. 

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Mom Enters Work Force; Says Swear Words

Tomorrow is the Kid's last day. This morning I drove him to the train which is code for he is taking a cab home tonight which is code for he will be hungover tomorrow. It's like a wake except everyone kind of despises the dead guy; it's like dead men the bar over and over and over again. 

He deserves it.

Meanwhile, I think I might troll the internets for a jay.oh.bee because 1) we all need to do our part and 2) this seems like the perfect economy for a "retired" former record executive (who hasn't been to a rock club in oh a year or so) (and the record biz is booming) with a resume that includes PTO prez (it worked for Sarah Palin!), sock finder (a truly marketable asset), plant killer (who needs fresh flowers in this New World anyway?) and all-around wishful thinker to seize the dwindling job market and get my 9 to 5 on.  

No! Really! It could happen.


Dear Future Employer,

Thank you in advance for your kind consideration. It was pleasure to speak with you on the phone yesterday and please again accept my apologies regarding my son's inappropriate language on the other receiver. I think he was actually saying "I love buying stuff in malls!" and not "I love my balls!" We are looking into a speech coach for him.

Though I mentioned my experience with the interactive market is limited, I have heard about grocery shopping online which means that I am clearly on the cutting edge. Naturally, I was just joking when I mentioned that software is what I store in the bottom of the laundry basket. I am well versed in Word programs (Cut and Paste is simply revolutionary) and I am a pro at ClipArt. (Shall I forward you the school flyers and birthday invitations I have done?)

While I realize the ten year gap on my resume may seem daunting, please understand that my experiences during that time amount to skills one could never fit on a single page. My depth of experience with budgets, human resources, mental health sciences, physical education and nutrition as well as my ability to perform these duties under extreme pressure including sleep deprivation, constant irritating noise and the agonizing expansion of a cervix make me the ideal candidate for any lame job you could throw me. I can carry on three conversations with short drunk people while also talking on the phone, emailing a local politician and/or school superintendent, and sweeping the floor. I handle constant criticism with ease, especially at dinner time, and I know when to walk away and when to play tough. I can handle a multiplicity of personalities at a variety of venues and you know what?

You know the fuck what? Eff you. 

You couldn't pay me enough money for what I know and what I can offer and it's really exhausting to explain it all to you, and frankly, I am boring myself doing so.

I look forward to speaking with you again about opportunities that might benefit us both. We can discuss stock options at a later date. 


Ms. Picket

It could work, right?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Child Ode

It took me a year and a half to get pregnant. It took me half of that time to go officially crazy, which is what the Kid said I did and which is true. But looking back, I also see it as some subconscious shoring up for parenthood: whatever you expect to happen won't happen; it will make you crazy; embrace the crazy.

Expect to get pregnant the minute you go off the pill and because you have "decided" to? You won't. Expect to take the waiting each month and the subsequent invasiveness in stride? You won't. And then when finally the stick turns the right color and you think you will deliver the news to your husband with love and poetry and tears, you won't. Instead, in your crazy-induced shock, you  -- which means I -- I will literally chuck the pee stick at him from across the room. Throw it at him, hurl the good news into space, because I was so afraid to say or even show it to him Out Loud, In Person.

Also: She will be a He in my mind from the first moment the stick turned the color I wanted, a bloody-kneed, baseball hurling He. She will be a He until they hand Her to me, after 38 hours good god, and I will remember, even then in that haze, what the last 18 months PLUS another 10 have taught me: whatever you expect... forget it.

She is, she was the most beautiful, the most complicated, the scariest creature ever and when I caught myself in the mirror over my dresser, holding that chicken-legged howling three-day old bundle, I thought: I can't do this. Her belly button stub got caught in my overall buckle the next morning and was nearly ripped off. Naturally, I took this as a sign, as proof in fact that I shouldn't be allowed to have her. My mother reminded me, while I was sobbing and sitting on a bag of peas, that She was mine and I did have Her and that I would find a way. And lo and behold, I did. 

While I carried a backpack, she made old socks or plastic grocery bags into purses. She danced and pranced while we rocked and rolled but we cooed over her and were wooed by all her Princess. She was Disney to our Jim Jarmusch. We shot rolls and rolls of pictures of her in pink and purple clothes and sang more Elmo songs than Guided By Voices and we didn't care. I heard her try to speak first words for the nanny from my office upstairs. I was pregnant again (surprise) and I sold my business in 24 hours, shocking nearly everyone I knew but mostly myself.

I hung a PJ Harvey poster in the playroom, clinging to something I thought was cool I guess, and when she got older, she said she thought the broad was trying to look mean. She liked the Beck print though, a brain-exploding gory kind of thing, because she said at least it was funny. She was four when she made these critiques. I cocked my head and looked for the first time differently at art I had always loved.

First babies are the same in one really gigantic way: they wave a wand that changes everything in sight. And after they do, you expel your expectations of yourself (as a parent, as a person), and you give up how You Thought It Would Be or how you thought She Would Be, and then it's just Her and you and a clean slate of a world. A wobbly, terrifying, who-the-hell-am-I-now clean slate of a world. 

Bridget was 21 months when her sister was born; she was 4 1/2 when her brother came home. She was a cherubic "helper" then but she is mostly a jealous ruler these days. She doesn't fool me: she is the first one to sneak into their beds, the leader of the bed-switch every night. She loves them and needs them far more than she admits. 

She also needs to be with me all the time: of all the three, she needs the most attention. I sum it up to those rolls of film. She pours over the photo books that document an inordinate amount of her life, wanting to hear a story about what she was like then, why she was dancing like that on the porch in the tutu, who we were, who she was, her sister, all of us. (Her brother and sister get bored with this routine after seven minutes.) I tell her as much as I can remember, but truth is most of it is a blur. I fudge details; I tell stories; I leave out the parts where I cried on the side of the road, too tired and too frustrated to drive. She suffered through a lot of that; at least we don't have pictures to remind us both.

She wants to take acting lessons without singing, become a soccer phenom without training, be the smartest girl without getting grilled about spelling. She despises the thought of anything unknown -- food, places, people -- which kills me, and she while she doesn't like boys (yet), she wants to be pretty. I have found long-forgotten tubes of lip gloss tucked in her drawers, little treasures she has "borrowed" and that she will always love more than I do. Still, it's fun to play dress-up with her and indulge in a girlyness I usually leave behind.

Despite her twirls and whirls, her lack of freckles and her straight hair, she is more like me than I realize. When she didn't want to sit at the table with all the other kids in pre-school, I should have been more sensitive because I would've done the same thing, because sometimes I still do. When she drives me crazy trolling itunes and playing the same 15 second snippet over and over, I realize my own mother must have wanted to chuck my turntable out the window at least twenty thousand times.  When she gets angry and sad all at once, when she spends hours drawing pictures of her "dream room," when she tells the same jokes too many times, I should give her a break. She gets it from her mom.

She is the North Star to me. She is the guide to the person I became when she was born, to the person I have managed to become after (Mother, Wife, Sister, Daughter, Friend, writer, volunteer wench -- in that order). I don't know what to expect of the double digits but I know that worrying about it or planning for it is useless. If I think she will be one way, sure enough she will be another; if I think I will be one way... She is a surprise party and a Galaxy Far Far Away, she is the Future for me and she is limitless, and no matter how I might try to predict or prepare, she is: She. 

How Does This Boat Look On Me?

As in: we are officially in the same boat as 4 million other Americans. Uh-huh. 

But at least we're with some excellent company (right Two Busy? Cii?) so I have decided that for the time being and thanks to my overactive imagination, this is not so much a ship of fools we're sailing on but a luxurious cruise liner --  drinks for all on the upper deck! complimentary shrimp cocktail in the dining room! karaoke without judgement in the pub! It's a cruise to nowhere and everywhere all at once with no itinerary or course to mark! And we have paddles if need be, once the gas runs out, so we'll row to shore if we have to.

Meanwhile, back on the mainland, the day before we set sail, my beloved Imac ceremoniously laid itself off as well. Crapped the bed so to speak, withered and would not turn on for me or even say one final goodbye: just.died.

Good timing if you consider that the broken machine meant I couldn't get all ranty while all drunky or all thinky while all scaredy and type type type, bang away and lay it all out here like some permanent reminder of how NOT to be when things go south. See? I am living on the sunny side of the ship. 

Time has passed since the News and we did what most people do when faced with unsettling information: hunkered down and made a thrifty budget while moving into the bunker spent lots of money on a beautiful new machine. And so today I am not only back on-line peeps, but I am weirdly optimistic and calm (despite the insomnia and the chain smoking and the obsessive Iphone game playing) because the Kid is nothing if not resilient (and talented yo!) (and wikkid smaht) but also because what choice do I have? Weirdly optimistic and calm is my new middle name: Ms. WOAC Picket to You, which has a horrible ring to it, so scratch that and just know it's how I am...

The good news? Rory's arm was not broken (again), the GFYO declared that his penis is "SO cool" and Bridget is owed an Ode, which her mom will deliver while lounging on the upper deck of this boat of Possibilities. But only after she stuffs some of that free shrimp in her pocket, just in case.

Red skies at night, sailors delight and smooth sailing for us all.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Things You Can Count On: Recession/Soccer Version

Things you can count on: a) Best Laid Plans:

1) You will decide not to go to the neighborhood girls night because it's all bad news.
2) You will decide to go the neighborhood girls night after you have dinner with your husband who will explain that it is nothing but bad news.
3) You will stuff two cans in your pocket and go down the block and leave 40 minutes later so your husband can get to his hockey game.
4) You are a good wife at tough times.
5) Plus, you ran out of beer (in your pockets) and have more at home.

Things you can count on: b) Later:

1) Time will pass.
2) The news will get worse.
3) You will google other places to live.
4) You will move into some of those places in your imagination and even -- paint the walls!
5) He will say there might be a job in your old haunts.
6) You will slam on your nice wife breaks and slide into: NO!
7) He is still employed and all of this is TALK.

Things you can count on; c) Coach

1) You are a coach after all and there is a meeting for coaches.
2) You are one of a handful of women there.
3) You are invited to the bar.

Things you can count on: d) Trying to be a Broad, d1) Soccer Version:

1) You tuck your shins under your knees because that is what you do when you are nervous.
2) You drink a beer.
3) You drink a beer.
4) You get brave and mouth off about achievement and how failure matters and how there are too many teams and about how when "every kid gets a medal" that sucks ass.
5) You take a sip.
6) They high five.
7) Over you. 
8) You pay the bill secretly and go home.
9) They stay.

Things you can count on: e) And Now?

1) You will log in and find a funny email.
2) Turns out sometimes you are funny.
3) Turns out that the rug you and he sit upon, you type over, you let your kids shoot and score on, is flimsy at best and thread-bare.
4) Turns out there is nothing you can say or do to fix it.
5) Turns out you have no control.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Child Ode: Part Two, Or Better Than The Pictures I Was Too Busy To Take

The GFYO (who will be the GFiveYO on Sunday) asked me at noon, as the brightest sun of the day made me squint through my sunglasses, if it "was raining or farting." He asked me a few noons ago if motorcycles can laugh. He asks how his brain works, what pigs are made from, and constantly, what tomorrow means: is it the day I wake up, he asks, or the day after that? He leaves me stumped and speechless at least once every day.

He calls the new President "Arockabama" (one word) and when blamed for something, replies that he "amn't" and when asked why, he says "acause." He used to ask for "nilky;" now he just says milk. Soon enough, all his funny diction will go away, but I think he will always be a kid who generally speaks the first thought on his mind, who will ponder things like tomorrows and pigs and other Big Questions. He is a philosopher and a comedian, a scientist with a clown nose on, a rock star playing a ukulele.  

He is lazy. If I want some quiet, I need only ask him to pick something up: he runs to the farthest point and hunkers down until I forget my request. He relies on his sisters and me and seems unmoved when we celebrate his independence: his rewards come more when we howl at his jokes or give him the conch shell at the dinner table. He likes the spotlight -- standing on the coffee table, dancing for us all -- but he could stay inside this house with me for days and days and want for nothing. 

He has always been a terrifying riddle to me (me of three daughters, mother to two) from the moment they asked if I wanted to "snip" him through every pork chop and match box car he has given animated voice to and on through every made up super-hero or ninja he embodies and the epic battles he plays out, alone, every day, in the house, rolling on the floor or sliding and crashing through his dramatic play, making gun noises and sword noises, everything with a soundtrack. He, who has never hit or bit or kicked another kid at school, he who pets my cheek when I tuck him in, he who kisses his sisters busted knees: He, the Destroyer and Defender of the Universe, the Baddest Good Guy Ever.

He calls letters numbers; he dumps yogurt on the couch; he spits for fun; he uses more toilet paper than anyone I have ever known.  He never stays in his bed when told to; he hates showers but loves baths but hates shampoo; he thinks he can swim and ride a bike and ski but he can do none of those things. He holds my hand, when they aren't coolishly in his pockets like a dude would do, and he once called me his "precious girl" after I put a movie on for him. He likes the song "Single Girls" but not the dance. He wants to know if motorcycles smile and he wants me to get him water when he can very well do it himself and he wants to tell me knock knock jokes that involve the word "poop" and really not much more funny than that: just, you know, poop.

He makes no sense most of the time, no literal actual sense, yet every thing about him seems familiar now: his boyness, his dudedom, his sweaty sweet smell when he crawls into our bed at 3am -- it all seems so obvious. Like he was less of a surprise then I always considered him to be, that he was everything I needed I didn't know I needed, that he is a blast of yin to my very grateful yang. That he is the Boy in the house, the GFYO, the last of my firsts as my friend says; that he is here now (slash! crash! kazoom!), that he is: He. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Child Ode

In the interest of thinking positive, what with all the doom and gloom, this is the first of three Odes to the Short Drunk People. I figure if there ever was a time to take stock of what is loved, now is it. And since I suck at math, better I do  this than count blessings:

When I was pregnant with her, I knew her. I knew she would be more like me than my first born and that I would pay for it. I knew she would have freckles. I named her Rory before her hair turned reddish and I pronounced that I hoped she would be "scrappy" before she showed any kind of signs of scrappy. Which she did, at 13 months.

She climbed out of her crib before she could walk. She got out of the tent we put over her crib and climbed out again. She put a stick through a belt and called it a sword. It was the last time she wore a skirt, which was plaid: she was Braveheart to me. 

She had temper tantrums that lasted for 45 minutes and brought me to my crying, sniveling knees. She had chronic ear infections until the tubes and she could not tolerate a hair brush or the seam on a sock or any idea of being wronged. Her father said she had "a keen sense of justice" and I admired him for his way with words, for spinning Her so beautifully. 

She could not find a shoe that lay in front of her but she could kick or throw or dunk the hell out any ball. She saw her sister ride a bike and jumped on one at 3 and sped off: the lump on her head was so huge, even my mother gasped. She was doing wheelies in a year. 

She doesn't scream and cry for hours now, but she has attitude that still breaks me. She can be sweet and pie and chocolate but she isn't anyone's chump and she lets me know. She will not be unheard or unseen and she will slam doors and fight back. She scratches and pinches her sister and hurls angry words at me and her dad. When she wants something, she gets it: the Principal's Award, the spot on the team, the last ice cream bar in the freezer. She is passion in every way.  She turns on a dime.

She came home today with her ear-flapped hat tucked down to her eyebrows, eyebrows that are barely visible, as pale as they are. Her clunky boots kept perfect time with her thundering self and even after she shed them, her thump-thumpness through the house made us who were waiting for her feel happy. She was here with us again: her fat lips and crooked teeth, her raspy hummingbird voice, her twinkle and wink, her crabby and happy on a knife's edge, none of us ever knowing who she will be today. But she was home and we liked it.

She kissed me smack on the lips, leaving gobs of spit behind. She waltzed down the hall with her brother, arm and arm on her cue, to the bath she fills up and indulges The GFYO with, because he loves "swimming" with her; she'd prefer a shower or better yet, dirt. She put on the pajamas she will wear to school tomorrow and hugged me all hot and steamy and snarled-haired. She slurped ice cream and cuddled her sister, wrapping around her like a kitten, and covered her eyes when the couple on TV kissed. 

I knew her before she was born so sometimes I wonder if I dreamed her into reality. But even though I am her mother and she is seven and I can still tell her to go to bed and clean it up and correct that part of the homework, and even though she will do it, I know their is no part of me that has any real claim to her. I know there is nothing I have done beyond the science of it to make her up: she is who she will be, a product of me and him for sure, but a person all her very own. A person who showed up here for us and for me -- my freckled miniature, my better wish, a lesson in my own futility: Her.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Get Out Of Jail Free Card

Most of the Eastern seaboard had a snow day today. A Monday snow day! It's like a holiday weekend you have to dig out from to enjoy. But you do enjoy it, because you do dig out and if you have enough chips and granola bars? Even better. And if you have a movie you forgot to return and can re-watch? Heaven on a snowy earth. 

While the Kid made breakfast -- some decent energy to boost his laborious day of shoveling, the Short Drunk People made make believe. I knew something good was up when they asked me for tape and a gun. I gave over the tape. I don't know where the guns are.

With a blanket and some packing tape, they built an entire social system in the kitchen. A small mirrored image of organized society. With a hierarchy. One was the officer, one was the bad guy, and one was the Jailor. 

That's right: my children spent the morning of this snow day re-creating the American penal system in my kitchen. Built a jail, with blankets and tape when the cupboards wouldn't suffice. Imagined some banal crime (done by the "bad guy," almost always the GFYO), skipped due process and went straight to the lock-up. The prisoner broke out a good 30 seconds later -- every time -- and so mostly, this was a game of chase or tag or Let's Build a Jail in Our Kitchen With Tape Like A Fort, But, Ummm? BETTER.

A game like that.

While the Kid scrambled the eggs, I caught the bad guy once. I got shot three times but never died. I let the bad guy go so the officer and the Jailor could make themselves busy while we ate.

Yum. Snow days.