Sunday, June 29

Disorientation at the Mall

Check out this top I got yesterday. Dizzying, right? It is meant to confuse the viewer. Is that a waistline? Did her boobs get bigger? Ha ha, trickery.

I went to the mall yesterday BY MYSELF to go shopping for some clothes for my birthday for my husband and kids to wrap up and give to me because that's how we do things around here. Yes, I went alone, which really is a present in itself. I relish shopping alone while at the same time dislike it (is that possible?). I love being able to go at my own pace and where I want to, but I miss another person there to give me their opinion on what looks good. Yes, I realize I should know this myself, but what can I say, there are some instances in which I value other people's opinions more than my own and clothes are one of them. My mother is perfect to shop with. She always tells me the brutal honest truth about what I am putting on my body. (Don't all mothers?) Too small, too big, too ugly. Friends on the other hand are not always good to shop with, especially if you've all had a couple of drinks. I've bought things on some of my Girl's Weekend's that I looked at when I got home and thought, what the hell? But alone I have only my own eyes looking back in the mirror to gauge how things look. And really, the mirrors in those stores are usually trick, aren't they? But there I was alone and that was fine, except I realized that is has been kind of a long time since I went to a real mall. Sure, I shop. I go to the grocery store and Walmart all the time, but this is not shopping. I tend to do a lot of online shopping for stuff that the kids need. I love that I can pick out all of their clothes without them actually there, pulling on my arms and hiding in between the clothes racks, thinking at any minute they are going to dart away from me and I will have to flag down an employee to call a Code Adam. Much too exhausting.

So to get to the point the mall is a bit like a foreign country to me. I actually felt quite confused at times, disoriented really. I parked near Sears since I knew that if all else failed I would find some tops in the Lands End section, but I had faith and walked into the actual mall itself. Immediately my eyes dried out from the pumped in air and I didn't know which direction to turn. I saw a Steve & Barry store, which I'd heard about but never been in. I had been dying to check this store out because I knew Sarah Jessica Parker's clothes line was carried there (I saw her on Oprah of course) and everything is $8.98. So it's a bargain but the stuff is really cute. First I saw a whole wall of jeans, and really, for $8.98 who doesn't need a new pair of jeans? I felt excited. I started scanning the shelves. 0, 0, 2, 2, 2, 2. . . OK, look further down. 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, hmmmm . . . 6, 6, 6, 6 . . . getting disgruntled here. 16, 16, 16, 16, 16, 18, 18, 18, 20, 20, 22, 22, 22, 22. What the frick? I looked again, and I looked and I looked and I looked. There were absolutely no sizes between 6 and 16. As I went through the section I noticed a similar problem with most if not all of the pants & shorts. I decided to try on some tops, since that is what I really needed anyway. I grabbed some larges and XLs and headed to the dressing room. OK, large is quite small. Tight actually. That's OK, I have an extremely broad back and am used to this problem. On go the XLs, but something is wrong because they really don't seem a hell of a lot bigger than the Larges. Now, I know I'm not a skinny little thing. I'll be honest and admit that I am a size 12, and usually have to buy tops size L or XL, but this was ridiculous. I tried on a sweatshirt, a sweatshirt, and I couldn't even zip it. I wasn't going to be deterred though. I picked out some different tops, grabbing only XLs and went back to the dressing room. I put the first one on and it almost fell off, it was huge. The next, skin tight. The next, big. Basically I got totally frustrated and left that store in a mighty hurry. I needed new foundation so my next stop was CVS. I forced myself to NOT go into Gap Kids and The Children's Place on my way, which was hard because they both had big Sale! signs in the windows. It amazed me how much calmer I felt as soon as I stepped into CVS. Being surrounded by toiletries & cosmetics, snacks & cleaning products, I felt much more at home. At this point I realized I was out of my element and decided to just head back to Sears. I had a gift card anyway, even though it only had $7 left on it. Screw it. I felt better there and I can confirm that my trip was successful and I did manage to find 3 tops, 2 pairs of Capri's, a skirt and a sweatshirt that I didn't think I looked hideous in.
I have to admit that the mall does make for some good people watching. I definitely saw a strange assortment of characters, and way more teenagers than I would like to see at any one time, but there was one threesome (probably literally a threesome) that I have to mention. The guys looked about 18 or 19, skinny, not really cute or athletic or anything, but the girl! She was maybe 17, or could have been 14 for all I know. She was wearing a gray, skin tight, metallic tube dress. The dress had the same amount of material as one of Abbey's dresses. And high heeled sandals. And enough perfume to make my already dry eyes start to water. I mean, she looked like a hooker! Come to think of it, maybe she was a hooker. It was the mall, after all.

Saturday, June 28

Gym Etiquette

What a cutie! This morning marked what I am sure will be the first of hundreds of events in smelly gyms that we will attend in our lifetime. Oh the wonder of tiny tot & preschool gymnastics. They fly through the air with the greatest of ease, doing flips and twists and somersaults. OK, maybe they only did somersaults, but they hopped and jumped damn good. And Abbey was the best in the preschool division, but of course I may be biased. She really seemed to lap up the crowd and didn't seem at all intimated that there were over 100 people watching her. OK, I am sure they were not all watching just her, but I was. Performers had to get there early, so my mother & I had plenty of time to get good seats on the bleachers. Of course, I then had to defend those spaces to the death, but all was well. Then a couple came in and needed to sit down in front of us. It was fine because she was carrying a baby in a sling and of course I will squish Jack up next to me and we will all move closer together, please nice woman sit down with your baby. But wait, when she sits down and opens up the sling it's not a baby at all. It's a dog! A DOG! A tiny little fluffy dog. At a gymnastics show? Really? So now her husband does not sit but continues to stand, blocking dozens of people's view as the show starts and talk LOUDLY with those sitting. Then the dog comes out of the sling and tries to run onto the performance and much laughing from their section ensues. Really honey, not funny. One of those nimble gymnast's could break an ankle on that fluffy little puff.

But aside from this rather rude and uncouth couple with their dog, the boiling tempatures rising in the gym, and Jack's mini-meltdown due to apparent extreme hunger, the show was great. Abbey was great. I am a proud mama!

Wednesday, June 25

Shout Out

Note: I started writing this on Wednesday but had to get off the computer so Jack could play Wow Wow Wubzy and then I had a headache and went to bed, so it is a mix of 2 days.

First, I want to say Happy Birthday to Pam, today she is . . . gulp . . . no, I won't tell you that. But I will tell you that last year she was 33. Is it really only Wednesday? it feels like it should be Friday already. Why is it that the weeks seem to drag by, but then you think back to something that happened a long time ago and it feels like just yesterday. Like that horrible murder in Hopkinton of Rachel Entwistle and her baby. The verdict came through today and I am relieved that it was guilty. That guy is a monster that deserves to be publicly stoned by every woman who can pick up a rock. Sorry, I guess that was a little vigilante coming out in me. That happened 2 1/2 years ago and yet it feels like that was just in the news. How can the years fly by with such warp speed when 1 individual day sometimes feels like a week? One second you are bringing home your newborn from the hospital and the next you are putting them on the school bus for kindergarten. Wow, sappy. Cue melodramatic music.

So I have a random question. Yesterday at Suzy's her daughter wanted to play with a toy walkie talkie. Luckily she could only find one, and it had no batteries. Now, we have about 3 or 4 various pairs of these "toy" walkie's at home and when we got home Abbey dug 2 out and wanted to play with them. Who came up with this idea? I would like to find this person (obviously childless) and slap them. They are marketed for children, I think they even say on them they are for children ages 3 and up, but I have yet to meet 1 child under the age of 8 who can figure out how to use them. Talk about frustrating. The whole concept of pushing down a button while talking is so beyond them. And lifting it back up so that they can the person on the other end. Forget about it. No matter how many times you explain, show, instruct, they just do not get it. So where was I going with this . . . no idea but now Abbey wants to play on the computer so I had better just wrap it up.

Tuesday, June 24

Hello? Can Anyone Hear Me?

If I couldn't hear my own shrill voice myself I might think I had been stricken mute, for all the attention the kids were paying to me today. I worked today, so I was only with them for about 6 hours. 6 hours in which they not only did not listen to me, but just ignored me and pretended that I wasn't even speaking. No matter how many times I told them to settle down, stop dragging each and every cushion and blanket off of each and every surface of the house, they just kept doing it. They were playing this game of covering each other up with blankets and pillows. It was fine until I noticed they were also piling other things on top of each other. Toys. Candles. Lamps. Clothes from my room. Then the game became not so acceptable. My muteness must come and go though because they were able to hear me when I told them that dinner was ready, but then I must have lost my voice again because they did not hear me when I told them to eat their green beans. I know that sometimes to do listen, it's just that right now I can't exactly come up with any examples to that effect. To correct this problem I just kept talking louder and louder and LOUDER as the night wore on, so that by the time I was trying unsuccessfully to get them into the tub I was screaming and I'm sure the entire neighborhood could hear me through the open windows. It's a wonder the police have never showed up to take me away in cuffs, which might actually result in me having a good nights sleep.

In the end they did listen, but only after I threatened to take t.v. away for the rest of the night and not let them watch "The Lion King" in Jack's bed. Jack got it right away, he must have seen the ferociousness in my eyes, but Abbey was slower to catch on. She just kept right on ignoring me while I asked her and then told her it was time to brush her teeth. "Jackie, I have to show you something, Jackie look at this, Jackie I have a secret" and on she went, just ignoring me as if I were not even in the room. Jack kept getting more and more scared looking. He knew that her not listening was going to affect his movie watching. Now it was serious. Finally he said "Abbey, do what mommy says or else we won't get to watch Lion King, brush your teeth." And you know what she did. She did it. She went in and brushed her teeth. Sure, listen to your brother, not me. I'm just your mother.

Monday, June 23

2 Weeks

Is 2 weeks long enough to lose 15 lbs? Probably not. You see, my vacation is in a little less than 2 weeks, and I really wanted to be at my goal weight for this one. It's also my 34th birthday, but I'm ok with being only 2,190 days away from 40, really. I probably should have started trying to lose this 15 lbs long ago, and now that I think of it I did. I actually started trying to lose this 15 lbs in 2002, after Jack was born. Hmmmmm, you'd think in 6 years I would have made a dent. Actually I did make a small dent. I started out wanting to lose 20 lbs, I changed the goal and now it's down to 15 lbs. Soon I will change it to 10, then maybe 7 and before you know it I will be at goal. I will then probably celebrate with some Chinese Food (Diet Killer!) or a giant Pesto Calzone . . yum.

So, I dusted off my old "Slim in 6" DVD and popped it in. 58 minutes of sweating my ass off, while the kids either tried to do it with me (a comical effect) or sat on the couch eating microwave popcorn watching me like they were at some weird live stage production of "Mommy The Red Faced and Sweaty Monster." Actually, I skipped over a few parts. I mean, for over the first 20 minutes it was all lower body work, is there really a need to lay on the floor and do 10 minutes of even more leg work. I don't want to be an overachiever. And the 10 minutes of ab work, who am I kidding. I can barely do a sit-up. So that pared it down to 38 minutes. You would think the stretching/yoga portion (8 minutes) would be nice, but yoga is HARD. Mountain Pose, Downward Dog, Dead on the Floor . . . oh wait, I think only I was doing that position.

Why is it so hard? What's that you say? Eat less and exercise more and I will see results? What??? It can't be that simple yet so unbelievably ridiculously hard. So, I will valiantly try to do this stupid, I mean effective, DVD with this skinny bitch, I mean motivating beautiful woman, 6 days a week. You see, you are supposed to do it 6 days a week for 6 weeks, that's the Slim in 6 part of the title, get it? But I think doing most of it for like 4 days a week for 2 weeks oughta do it.

Friday, June 20

Please Sign

I know that I already posted today, but I wanted to pass along a link that I hope everyone will sign. It is a petition for legistlation for fighting Childhood Cancer. I think it's important so if you have a couple of minutes just click on this and sign.


The Baby Cave

You may remember that about 2 weeks ago I got out of the house to see "Sex and The City" and then later that same week, I met a couple of old friends (old as in that I knew them a long time ago, not old like in age, cuz remember I am only 22) for dinner & drinks. I was thinking at the time how strange it was that I got out of the house child-less 2 times in ONE WEEK. Amazing. Granted, the dinner out was a surprise. I hadn't seen this one friend, Karen (shout out!), since about 1990. 18 years. We became friends in the 7th grade but somehow when college hit we just drifted apart, no falling out or anything, just a drift away that seems to happen sometimes. Anyway, we had a great time catching up and I don't care if you believe me, we both decided that we looked exactly the same as the last time we saw each other. Seriously, it's amazing how much we didn't age!

But I digress. I realized that in the extraordinary act of going out twice in one week that I am finally almost all of the way out of the baby cave. One of my friends, Kelly I believe, compared perfectly the life of having babies and young children as being stuck in a dark cave. You are there, in your cave with babies and toddlers and you don't know what's going on in the world and sometimes you wear your pajamas all day long and maybe take a shower when you have time and remember. Sure, husbands or partners are in that cave too, but they come in and out at will and they have this special key that lets them leave. But most mothers, they are there all the time. Sometimes for years on end. But then one day you wake with a start and realize that you actually watched the news last night and you are out in the world a lot more with actual adults. You no longer spend 99% of your time sitting on the floor while your comfy couch sits 2 inches away. You are on the couch! You are in your car alone! You are showered!

After my fabulous friend Suzy had her twin baby girls (along with having a 2 year old at home) she was so deep into that cave that not even a shaft of light could get in. Not a speck. She was so deep that if you yelled into it at her you would hear your echo. Now that the kids are almost 5 and 3, she's got her feet out of the cave. Hell, I think I see her whole legs sticking out. As for Kelly, she was so far out of the cave that the cave itself was a dot behind her. Then of course she had a baby and where is she now you ask? In the cave I would assume. I haven't heard much from her.

Thursday, June 19

Training Wheels My Ass!

What, exactly, do "training wheels" train children for? Jack has been using them for over 2 years, and as far as I can tell, they didn't train a damn thing. Ok, ok, I guess they were nice while they lasted. He loved being able to "ride" a bike, but it kind of set him up for failure. Today, being the big 6 year old that he is, he decided it was time to take those wheels off. His father is at work of course, so I had to dig through the shed and find the right wrench thingy and get them off. Then I had to lower his seat because it was way too high, another wrench thingy. On go his helmet and knee pads and elbow pads, cuz you know, he's probably going to fall. Now he's good to go. But wait, what exactly do I do? I held onto the back of his seat while he tried to steady himself on the bike, but he kept leaning to the right. So I'm bent over trying to hold onto the back of his seat while he's leaning this way and that, finally he starts pedaling and I'm bent over clutching the back of the seat, running, while simultaneously trying to not let him tip. And he's BIG. He's HEAVY. He's 65 pounds. And he kept leaning to the right. So to compensate I kept trying to pull him to the left. Now he's crying and asking me "why do you keep trying to tip me over? Why Mommy? You are tipping me and I can't do it and it's all because of you!" I tried to explain that I wasn't, that I didn't know what the hell I was doing, and that mommy was having trouble bending/running/steadying. I suggested that perhaps Daddy would be better at helping him this weekend. He kept crying, and glared at me and stomped into the house.

I think Dennis will be teaching him to drive too.

Tuesday, June 17

Thank You Federali's

Phew, we got our "Economic Stimulus" check this week. In the nick of time. It got me to thinking about money and how far we have come in such a short amount of time in our lives. We have 2 kids, so we got $1800. I mean, $1800 is a LOT of money, right? Right? Well, it used to be. I mean, when I was a senior in college like 2 years ago (stop laughing!) I went to the Bahamas for an entire week for about 1/3 of that. Now, $1800 is a mortgage payment, a trip to the grocery store and maybe a full tank of gas. We have been trying to do a lot of cutting back around here. I lowered our cable channels (no, I didn't get rid of Nickelodeon, I'm not crazy) and cut down on our cell phone minutes and dropped everything that is not a necessity from the phone service. We actually no longer have caller ID or call waiting. Every time the phone rings I look at it and expect to see who is calling. Now I have no idea, and it's like a little surprise every time I answer (not always a good one). I have to get used to it. Every time I come home I grab the phone to see who called while we were out, and there is nothing there. What if Ed McMan called about our Publishers Clearing House winnings? And NO call waiting. This means that if you call me and I am on the phone you will get a BUSY SIGNAL. It's like we are living back in 1988. Maybe I'll dust off the old VCR and watch Top Gun later.

But times are tough. As my cousin's husband said when I asked him if they had call waiting "call waiting, no way, that's like a gallon of gas." There you go. So if you are trying to reach me and you get a busy signal, sorry. Just try again later. Beep Beep Beep Beep Beep . . . . .

Monday, June 16

Morning Madness

Only 2 1/2 more days of school for us here. Finally, some time off from dragging Jack kicking and screaming out of his bed each morning and hurrying him through everything to make the bus on time. Is this a boy thing? Or are some people just predetermined to not be morning people? I am not essentially a morning person, but I got over it. Sure, I would rather be in bed, but I make myself get up, get moving and get things done because I have too. My husband is NOT a morning person in the way that you would tiptoe around a hibernating bear you stumbled across while looking for blueberries in the forest. Unless the house is on fire, I'm not even bothering to wake him up. Sure, some wives may want to stand over this sleeping husband holding a large kitchen knife and dreaming about stabbing them while they snore away amid screaming and yelling and children demanding food, drinks and activities, but I would never do that . . . really. I never have. I swear.

On the other hand, my daughter gets up and going pretty well, she brushes her teeth and gets dressed, and doesn't really fight it. But Jack. Once I finally do get him up amid screaming protests of "just 5 more minutes, 1 more minute" I then have to essentially follow him through his routine to make sure it gets done. If I hand him his toothbrush and leave the bathroom to say, tend to my own getting ready for work needs, I could come back 3 minutes later and he is just standing there. In a stupor, not brushing, not doing anything. It drives me crazy. If left to his own devices it would take him 10 minutes to pull on 1 sock! Arghghgh . . . of course, I'm sure on Thursday morning he will be up bright and early, because when there is no school to go to, kids seem to change their whole attitude about getting out of bed!

Thursday, June 12

Sleep Tight

How comfy does this look like to cuddle up to at night? My son has dozens of deliciously soft, plush stuffed animals, Webkinz and so on, and what does he choose to sleep with? Why, it's a wooden ship of course! It has the 3 main ingredients to help you drift into la la land. It's big, it's hard, and it has many pointy parts that can take your eye out at any time during the night. The ironic thing is that this is one of his most favorite toys, and Santa didn't bring it, and he didn't get it for his birthday. He found it in the basement at my in-laws house. I think it is supposed to be decorative, but whatever, it is what it is.

Oh well, as I've said before, whatever it takes to fall asleep. Perhaps we can try a chainsaw next.

Wednesday, June 11

Warning: Extreme Tempature Changes Ahead

Don't you love New England? Last Friday night it was 60 degrees, I remember I had a sweatshirt on. When we woke up Saturday it was 90, and it stayed that way until today. Finally, the heat wave has broken, but is it good for you body to go from such extremes? A more important question, is it good for your marriage?

In our house we always have a "battle of the thermostat" in the winter and a "battle of the air conditioner" in the summer. All winter long I keep sneaking the heat up, while my husband plummets it to temperatures appropriate for Eskimos. Sure, when we are asleep you can turn the heat down, but to under 60! The kids kick their blankets off all night and I spend half the night checking on them to make sure their lips aren't blue. It's the same thing with the air. The last few nights we have all slept in our bedroom, the only one with air. The kids are all set up on their blow-up beds on the floor and it is like a giant family slumber party. Woo hoo, party on. But in a small bedroom with the door closed and the air cranked it can get pretty downright chilly. I kept getting up and turning it to low, putting the kids fleece blankets back up over their cold bare arms, and my husband kept getting up and putting it back to high. He lays there under NO covers in his underwear and it still not cool enough? What kind of internal heater does this man have? Don't get me wrong, I prefer it to sweltering heat. When I was little I was in the hottest bedroom in the house (mom, you know it's true!) without a speck of air. Sweltering and sweating, tossing and turning in my daybed, certain I had a good case for child endangerment.

But I wonder, if divorce papers had the following option to check: __ severe incompatibility on household temperature control . . . would a lot of people check it?

Monday, June 9

I Like Big Butts

So, last night as I was climbing onto the bed to read the kids stories Abbey said to me "you have a big butt mommy." I told her that really wasn't a very nice thing to say to someone and she said "Oh, sorry. I meant you have a big BUM." Thanks honey . . . much better.

Sunday, June 8

Oh Ye Relaxing Weekend

Whoever said that weekends were relaxing didn't have children. Even when you don't go anywhere and have an entire weekend "free" (like we did this weekend), mommies don't get to relax. A typical laid back summer day is work! Let us go over a "normal" hot summer day at home.

First, fill up the little pool, no too cold, let the hose warm up, fill up the water table, put the kids in bathing suits, wait. . . wait, lather them with sunscreen, bug spray, hat, don't forget some sort of shoes so you don't step on a rock or a bee, out you go with Daddy.

Take a breath.

Back in to the house, need special fishy thingy and Mermaid Barbies for pool, and cars, want a drink, when is lunch, can we eat outside? Make lunch, deliver outside, clean up lunch, get more drinks.

Take a breath, open up a Smirnoff Ice, take 1 sip, put it down, forget it until 2 hours later when you stumble across it again and it is warm.

Pool now too warm, fill with cold hose water, get out ring toss game, find missing water guns, bikes come out, want sneakers, need new dry clothes, re-apply sunscreen, cheer and say things like "good job, you are so fast on that bike."

Take a breath, open another Smirnoff Ice and drink half of it quick while you can.

Swimming again, into suits (no, not wet suits. . . gross, new dry suits), scoop millions of bugs out of pool, help fill water guns, get sprayed (good because you are frickin' sweating now) get more drinks.

The day goes on like this in a loop until dinner & tub and jammies are done. Now, you drink like 3 of those Smirnoff Ice's and go to bed because you are exhausted!

I did manage to break free and go with Suzy to see "Sex and the City" last night and have a couple of drinks. It was as good as the show, which I really liked. We didn't really care what we saw, hell, we were just glad to be out of the house!

Friday, June 6

Sleeping Arrangements

I am tired today. Not bone exhausted like you are in the first couple of months of your baby's life, when you don't know whether it is night or day, or Tuesday or Saturday. I don't know about everyone else, but we have always had trouble with sleeping in our house. The how & where seems to snag us up. It took until he was 5 for Jack to finally fall asleep on his own in bed, and I STILL have to be sitting in the hallway. Abbey is a little bit better, but she still wants me to lay with her a lot, which since she is in a toddler bed means laying on the floor. Comfy. Also, if she has had any bit of a tiny little nap during the day, I might as well forget it. She just IS NOT tired. Most of the time I just let her go to the couch and watch a couple of Dora's and she goes to sleep at like 10! It's not too bad because she doesn't have to get up early for school like Jack, but I need MY TIME.

So our bedtime routine leaves a lot to be desired. And once everyone is asleep, chances are that they won't stay asleep. We all start out in our own beds, sleeping soundly and by morning we could be anywhere. I'm in bed with both kids, Dennis is in Jack's bed. I'm in Jack's bed with him, Abbey & Dennis are in our bed. The kids are in our bed, I'm in Jack's and Dennis is on the couch. The poor dog is so confused, he doesn't know who he should lay down with (yes, even our dog doesn't like to sleep alone). As far as I can tell, I am the only one who wants to sleep alone. I crave an empty bed like an alcoholic craves a drink. A fantasy I have is to check into a hotel for 2 days and just stay in my pajamas and lounge around alone in bed.

I know I am not alone in this. I only know 1 mother (Laurie, lucky) who puts her kids to bed, kisses them goodnight, closes the door and doesn't hear a peep from them for 10 - 12 hours. But this is very, very rare.

Oh well, I'm sure we will get it right one of these years. I have always been a firm believer in the "whatever works for you" mentality. If you are happy with your routine and everyone is getting rest, by all means have a family bed. Sleep together in a tent in the yard, whatever you want to do. And usually everyone in my house seems to be getting enough sleep, except for perhaps ME. But I think this lack of sleep is just a normal side effect of mothering, right? I mean, I've never heard of a teenager sleeping in bed with their parents, so this can't go on forever, right? Right? It can't, right?

Thursday, June 5

Friendly's and Pornography

Abbey had gymnastics today. She loves it, and I love to watch her do it. She is so excited and serious, and really tries hard. Today they were working on their landings. She's 3 of course, so basically she jumps off of something and tries to land and then raises her arms in that triumphant gymnastics stance. Then we went to Friendly's for lunch, just the 2 of us. It was so nice, we ate and talked about her class, I'm amazed that I can find so much to talk about with a 3 year old. Perhaps we spend a little too much time together . . . ?

Then Jack came home from school with a note from his teacher, accompanied by the "art" he made during class today. It was a lovely cut out of legs, with a GIANT penis glued to it. Wonderful. I had to sign the note and send it back, and Jack had to rip up his creation and throw it away. I really wanted to take a picture of it first to post here, but I thought that might undermine the seriousness of the situation. I wanted to laugh when I first opened up and figured out what it was. It actually was quite good, as far as pornographic art goes.

6 year old boys . . . . gotta love em'.

Monday, June 2

Birthday Party Madness

So, we went to a 4 year old birthday party this weekend, and it was just lovely (to use Abbey's "new" word . . . everything is lovely lately). Anyway, the kids had a blast. It was at a gymnastics place, so there was lots of running and tumbling and jumping, a great energy user. Then they had sugary cake and an abundance of water & juice (they worked up a thirst with all that running) and all is well. It is the same at every party. Kids are usually acting all normal, having a great time, and then boom . . .present time. Madness ensues!

I don't know what happens when it is time to open those presents. I am always amazed at how quickly the party becomes out of control. Kids start out sitting nicely on their bottoms, holding their respective presents, practically shaking with anticipation for when "their" present will be opened. Then, before the birthday child gets through unwrapping the first gift, they are on their feet. They are crowding in, practically crushing the birthday recipient to see what they got. Is it jealousy? I don't think so, sometimes you do hear the occasional "oh, I want one of those" but mostly they just want to see. They HAVE to see. They HAVE to know what is inside those delightful wonderful presents. Before you know it it looks like a mosh pit at a Godsmack concert, and you are just waiting for a child to get an elbow to the eye or a bloody lip.

So I wonder, at what age does this end? When do kids sit nicely and just watch their friend open their presents and say things like, "wow, cool this" or "hey, you wanted one of those, awesome!" When we go to say, a baby or wedding shower or something, we sit nicely and watch the presents get opened. Sure, I'm interested in what is in them, kind of. Mostly I like just sitting and drinking coffee and maybe having some cake (OK, definitely having some cake) and really don't care all that much about what is in the presents. Imagine grown woman circling a new bride-to-be, crushing her with their hair and elbows. "Wow, an electric frypan, lemmee see, lemmee see. . . . move over dammit, I can't see her new black lace teddy."

I suppose it would be nice to get that excited over gifts someone else was receiving . . . . nah, I'm still there for the cake.