Thursday, December 9, 2010

Modern Interpretation

Mr. Z just asked me to tell him the story of 'the little girl who sits on a stool eating her cottage cheese'.

At first I thought that I had failed in teaching my kids Nursery Rhymes but as it turns out a 'tuffet' is a short stool...and curds and whey actually is cottage cheese.

So - I give you an updated telling of 'Little Miss Muffet' (authored by Mr. Z)

A little girl sat on a stool eating some cottage cheese.
Then a spider came and scared her.

Less lyrical but more concise and less confusing.

I am not sure why this topic is worthy of a timeless poem know by most all children.

Except for mine.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Miss A: Mom - where do we keep the whiskey?
Me: Well......assuming we had any whiskey why would you want to know?
Miss A: Because I really need it!
Me: I am pretty sure that you are confused about something.
Miss A: No - I just need the whiskey!
Me: What are you talking about?
Miss A: I am talking about that thing you use to mix stuff - I am making muffins!
Me: Do you mean a WHISK?
Miss A: Yes! A whisk! Where do we keep the whisk?

Side Note: Miss A has a thing for whiskey - it is to her credit that in place of the term 'skiwampus' we use the term 'whiskeywampus'.

Second Side Note: Due to our inherent and consistent confusion is probably a good thing that we don't drink.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Daily Grind

Alarm clock rings.

Fists start beating the bed.

"I can't take it anymore! Every day I have to do the same thing over and over again! I am sick of this! Sick, sick, sick of this! I need a break from all of this!"

Yeah - first grade can be pretty rough.

But it is Friday and Mr. Z can have a break tomorrow.

In the mean time - I think a stiff glass of chocolate milk with his breakfast will help him make through the day.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Note to Self:

When wrapping gifts for a child's birthday be sure to purchase gift wrap so you don't have to use last years Christmas supplies.

Also, get some scotch tape so you won't have to rip of small pieces of packing tape to affix the wrap.

And - keep track of your scissors so you don't have to use dull kitchen shears.

That is all.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Apparently I need to keep my neurosis to myself

When Miss A started kindergarten (2003) she was a incredibly shy. I was ultra worried about her ability to mesh with the other kids and because she did not know anyone in her class I really wanted her to make some cute little friends. Every day after school I would quiz her on who she played with at recess and every day she would give the the exact same answer in her cute scratchy little voice:

"I played with just myself"

My most sweet and beautiful little baby was playing all by herself! I was broken-hearted and haunted by memories of middle school when I felt left out.

One day after school (after two weeks of asking her who she played with at recess and grilling her on social strategies) she burst into tears when I began my line of questioning.

I ached for her - poor little thing - brought to tears by her solitary play at recess...

I told her that it was okay because everyone feels lonely sometimes...

Which is when she said: "It's not lonely at school. Lonely is when you are ALL ALONE. There are lots of kids at recess all the time."

So why was she crying?

Apparently because she was so worried about making ME sad when I vicariously stressed out over the kindergarten social scene.

Lesson learned - and before long Miss A had a cute little friend who lived up the street (and we were 20-somethings living in California at the time so by 'street' I mean row of town houses).

Now that Miss A is 12 she is actually experiencing the real social drama of being in middle school. And guess what?

I am still powerless to do anything.

And all that post-traumatic-middle school-drama is back in full swing.

All I can do is be there for her and give some oh-so-helpful social strategies which are met by theatrical eye-rolls and expressive sighs.

Let me just impart this bit of wisdom that my years of experience and knowledge have helped me to understand:

1. girls are mean
2. boys are dumb

Man, I miss kindergarten!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Apparently I will not have violent mood swings after school starts

This morning I was awakened by the sound of raucous fighting in the kitchen.

What was so important that Mr. N and Mr. Z were near blows?

Cereal Dust.

You know - The dusty remains in the bottom of the box? These powdered fragments of breakfast food are apparently a valuable commodity in this household - one for which both of my boys are willing to draw blood.

I was mildly annoyed (read: trying not to draw blood myself at being wakened over such a trivial thing) until Mr. N magically changed my mood by saying:

"Mom - my ear hurts. Can I have an asspill"?

I have never gone from anger to hilarity in a split second before but I was on the floor laughing with tears running out of my eyes while I choked out:

"You mean an asPIRIN"?

Yeah - that was what he meant.

And I will have a special name for aspirin for the rest of time.

Just like we have a special name for chapstick.

Because Mr. N used to call that.....asskick.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Note to Self:

You must label similarly sized/colored leftovers because if you are not observant in the morning your blueberry/peach smoothie will be a black bean/peach smoothie. And it will be disgusting.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Apparently I need to learn more about Udders

Last spring - the Kindergartners went on a field trip to a Farm. The day of the trip Mr. Z and I were waiting for the bus when.....

Me: Hey Z, are you excited to go to the farm?
Mr. Z: Yes - I am super excited. I have lots of questions for the farmers.
Me: Really? Like what.
Mr. Z: I have lots of questions about udders.
Me: What? Like on a cow? What questions about udders do you have?
Mr.Z: I want to know how come cows have so many tits.
Me: You mean TEATS? They are called TEATS, not tits....
Mr.Z: Oh. Well I am going to ask the farmers about those udders and ti...teats.

(the bus arrives and Mr. Z quickly hugs me and hastens towards the open door)

Me: (yelling) Remember...they are TEATS, like TREATS. Think about TREATS before you ask any questions. TREEEEATS!

I would be embarrassed but how else is the kid going to learn about TEATS? Certainly not by ignoring burning udder questions like the majority of the suburban population.

So the next time you are visiting a farm - try to expand your grasp of essential bovine trivia by asking the farmer about female cow parts.

Remember - there are no stupid questions. Just stupid Mom's (who lack basic udder knowledge) waiting anxiously at home to find out if their offspring will be kicked out of kindergarten for sporting an inappropriate vocabulary.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Apparently I should do a head count each time I get in the car...

Sometimes it is easy to forget things when you are a busy mom of 3.

Like you could forget about your 5th graders DARE graduation...your kids piano lessons...boy scouts...etc.

You could also forget to take your child home with you when you leave the gym.

You could take a shower at home, get dressed, and then - 45 minutes later - you could frantically drive back to the gym barefooted with a towel on your head to retrieve said child.

Now if your past is marred by such an event it is probably not a good idea to use the 'I am leaving now' tactic when trying to hurry a child when it is time to go home from the park.

You know when you say "Well - goodbye, I am leaving now" to an offspring who won't get off the swings? Your plan is not to actually leave the child but to make them THINK that they will be left behind if they don't hurry.

To terrify a child with the threat of abandonment is a perfectly acceptable form of eliciting cooperation - IF - you have not actually left that child somewhere in the first place.

Because if you did leave your child at the gym day care, and his six year old eyes watched you from the window as you climbed into your car and drove away it could cause a significant amount of emotional trauma.

Perhaps the traumatic effects of being abandoned will not manifest themselves at first. Then, several weeks later when you are trying to leave the park and you utter the ill-fated phrase: "Well - goodbye, I am leaving now" you will know the extreme extent of emotional damage that you created in the psyche of the small boy.

Upon hearing your declaration of abandonment and seeing you retreat towards the family car the boy will probably utter a shrill scream and then slump to the ground sobbing.

When you roll your eyes, turn back to physically retrieve him and explain that you would never really leave him anywhere he will look at you with hurt, tear filled eyes and say:

"Maybe I would believe you if you didn't already leave me at the gym. (Sniff-sob). At least at the gym a grown-up was watching me. Nobody will take care of me when you leave me at the park."

And then on the drive home you will have to guiltily address tear-full issues such as:

"I don't think Mom's are supposed to leave kids places"...
"I don't think Drew's Mom ever left him anywhere"...
"I don't think Matthew's Mom ever left him anywhere"...
"I don't think Ben's Mom ever left him anywhere"...
"I don't think Jack's Mom ever left him anywhere"...

And so on...

So - in order to raise kids who will believe that 'Mom-Will-Always-Be-There-For-Me' you really should try your best not to leave them at the gym.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Apparently I have a Red Thumb

I have the opposite of a green thumb. Based the opposites of the color wheel this means that I have a red thumb - and it is red with the blood of every potted thing that I have killed. Plants need only to absorb my exhaled carbon dioxide and shortly thereafter they wither and die.

This is a well known fact among the members of my family which is why Mr.Z walked in the door holding a cup with a bean sprout which he had cultivated in Kindergarten and said: "Do you want me to just throw this away now? Or should we wait for it to die?"

He decided to keep it. It did not survive.

I can now add a bean sprout to my growing list of victims.

WA-HA-HA-HA-HA! (evil laughter)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Apparently some of us are getting older...

Of course I am still incredibly young and vibrant but my daughter is aging. She will be 12 next month and I have been mentally preparing myself to enter the phase of life where I have a child who is in the Young Women's Program at church.

Though I am still incredibly young and vibrant it seems weird that I have arrived at this stage. Because I have a tendency to freak-out I have tried to stave emotional imbalance by reminders and personal awareness of the impending Young Women's experience.

I am thrilled that Miss 'A' will be able to experience so many new things and have so many wonderful women influence her life.

I am less thrilled that this marks the beginning of my children having activities in the evening. I love spending time with them before bed and I know that as they are aging (though I am still incredibly young and vibrant) this type of family time will be less and less frequent.

I was thrown for a loop yesterday when we discovered that though Miss 'A' still has one more month till she is officially a part of this amazing program she needed to attend an activity to certify for Girls Camp this summer.

I drove her to the church right at the time we should have been sitting down to play a game or watch 'America's Funniest Home Videos'. She was nervous but excited but I was mentally unprepared for this momentous event.

On the first day of middle school (while all the kids in the neighborhood walked to the bus by themselves for the first time) my baby wanted me to walk with her. She even held my hand. When we were in view of the kids waiting for the bus I asked if she wanted me to stay with her or go home - she didn't answer but clung to my hand more tightly, pulling me to the bus stop where I waited with her friends. She didn't let go of my hand until it was her turn to get on the bus.

Last night, I tried to hold her hand while we were walking into the church. She sweetly smiled at me as she pulled her hand away. When we got inside I could tell that she was anxious so I asked if she wanted me to stay with her until she found someone that she knew. She told me that she was okay, and still smiling sweetly she walked off.

And so it begins. Though I am still young and vibrant I have entered the phase of life where my children will have evening activities. The phase of life where that time spent together before bed will come to an end. The phase of life where my kids will not need me quite so much anymore. Sniff.

They will be strong - and independent, which is what every young and vibrant Mother wants.

I would just like to make this one request: could someone (I don't care who) provide me with more than a few hours warning so that I can plan my young and vibrant freak-out accordingly?

Please and Thank You.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Apparently I am accident prone (part 2)...

Mom walks down steps.
Mom texts whilst walking down said steps.
Small object waits on bottom step.
Mom steps on small object.
Mom rolls ankle.
Mom's favorite flip flop is broken.
Mom limps to sofa.
Mom lays on sofa sweating profusely wondering if pain from rolled ankle is worse than child birth.
Mom's ankle looks like golf ball.
11 year old daughter mocks Mom for texting at inappropriate time.
Daughter mocks Mom for lack of grace.
Daughter should go play with barbies.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Apparently I will be calling Grandma if I need plumbing help...

Last week was a much anticipated spring break. It was chock full of hours spent on the road as my Mom and I took the kids to Williamsburg, the Hub and I went to Maryland's Eastern Shore, then the Hub and I took the kids back to Williamsburg for a second round of fun.

What does this have to do with dismembered insects and reptiles? (I will get to the Grandma with the pipe cutter later).

Well - last fall the fam-damily was on a night walk with flash lights. As we wound our way through the paved trails the kids kept a close watch for animal life. Mr.N who has a particularly keen eye was bringing up the tail end of our party when he let out a horrific scream. Running back to see what was wrong we found Mr.N kneeling on the ground shinning his light on a small, writhing, injured snake. It was nearly-headless, probably because one of us had unknowingly stepped on it as we walked by. Mr.N cried for the poor snake - for two days.

This brings us to the wingless fly. The kids were in the car - 'patiently' waiting for me and Mom to get our spring break behinds on the road. Through the opened back of our trusty Honda Pilot an unsuspecting fly entered the vehicle eliciting screams from Mr.Z who has a strong fear for all winged things that buzz. (Likely born from an incident involving thigh-high casts and the inability to escape a large bee). Trying to save his brother from the terrifying fly, Mr.N selflessly pulled the baseball hat from his head and gave the fly a mighty swat in the direction of an open door saving Mr.Z from said insect. Mr.N then got out of the car to inspect the fly which was squirming on the driveway.

Now - I understand Mr.N's grief over the nearly-headless snake. I can appreciate that to a 10 year old boy a snake is a lovable thing - but to shed tears over a wingless fly? Let's just say the boy has a strangely tender heart...and leave it at that.

The remainder of spring break was dismemberment-free. But with his knack for entertaining with unusual commentary, Mr.Z provided us with several memorable scenarios.

1. While at Colonial Williamsburg we paid a visit to Patrick Henry. As he answered a bevy of questions from curious and educated visitors Mr.Z raised a hand and asked: "When you said 'give me liberty or give me death - which one did they give you"?

2. While at Busch Gardens we visited the animal park and were listening to a ranger who - according to his name tag was called Gii. Gii was telling us about a smallish bird when Mr.Z again raised his hand and asked "If you were going to draw this bird, which part would you draw first"?

The answer according to Gii? The feet. Obviously.

Incidentally, Miss.A got a lot of practice in with her eye rolling at the antics of her brothers as all good nearly-12-year-old girls should.

As for Grandma and the pipe cutters: she usually brings a smallish bag when traveling to avoid having to wait at baggage claim. However, 0n this particular trip she had to check her bag because airport security would not let her bring a pipe cutter in her carry on.

How many Grandma's bring a pipe cutter when they come to visit their grandkids? I am going to venture a guess and say 'one'. And she truly is an awesome Grandma because without those pipe cutter we could not have made PVC marshmallow shooters or irrigation tube hula hoops.

Incidentally (again), I was going to make a few more marshmallow guns after Grandma left so I asked my neighbor (who is a plumber) if I could borrow his pipe cutter. He pulled one out of his ginormous tool box in his 'Mr. Plumber' truck for me to use. And guess what?

Grandma's pipe cutter kicked the plumber's pipe cutter's butt.

Which made me think:

If I were going to draw a Grandma with a truly awesome pipe cutter which part I would draw first?

Maybe I need to take a quick trip to Busch Gardens to ask Gii.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Apparently the Easter Bunny sparkles...

You remember Mr.Z? The kid who had trouble believing in Santa this past December because the red clad, jolly, rotund man at the mall had gold zippers on his boots? Well - it seems that the Easter Bunny is subject to no such scrutiny.

Me: Hey - Mr. Z?
Z: What?
Me: Do you believe in the Easter Bunny?
Z: (thoughtful) Hmmmm. A giant bunny who lays plastic eggs filled with candy? Hmmmm................(with strong conviction) Yep! I believe in him! You know when he hops he leaves sparkly stuff on the ground! That sure is cool!

I don't know who decided that a candy bearing rabbit was a good way to celebrate the birth of Christ, but I would like to thank them. My kids are getting too old too fast and all too soon our holidays will lack the sweet innocence of childhood.

Here is to the Easter Bunny in all of his plastic egg laying, sugar-ific, sparkly glory.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Deep thoughts about Olympic Ice Dancing.

Mr. Z:
I bet they have lots of bandages at practice.
Maybe that girl is friends with swans.

Mr. N:
Boy - in skating you see a lot of girls underwear