Monday, December 29, 2008

The Only Way I Like Caillou

So, Avee has these sporadic yet torrid affairs with Caillou. She can go weeks, even months without a thought of him. And then she'll watch a dvd of him for 4 days straight, over and over again.

What? Oh, I mean she'll watch a bit, when we let her watch briefly between her Latin lessons and Croquet classes until she finishes eating her organic vegetable pâté.

Either way, it is obvious that she likes her "men" bald and whiny.

This morning she was asking to watch, while sitting on top of the kitchen table, er, I mean...oh forget it, I can't keep up the pretenses anymore.

Bo, playing Zelda thought he'd instead just serenade her with his rendition of the Calliou theme song.

It was totally worth it.

"I'm just a boy who's fo, each day I'm lohning mo' I'm Calliou, Caaiiillouu, Caillou---
Gwowing up is not so tough, sucks when I've had enough, I'm Calliou, Caaiiillouu, Caillou that's me!"

Methinks there's something subliminal in there.
The Caillou Watchers
Danyo busts me

What it looked like on the other side of the picture. So proud. So proud.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Poop, Strep, Pho, Felons

Yuh know, three more days of vacation after Christmas wasn't all it was cracked up to be. Granted, there was lots of laying around and sleeping in---on my part, and that's not typically feasible on regular days. BUT. Changing 5000 diapers, giving Danyo 3-4 baths a day, changing sheets twice a day, and the smell, oh the SMELL...that's not my idea of a great time.

Today Avee has strep throat. Turns out she's more like her dad than me. She says things like, "I'm hot" and she has a blazing temperature of 103.2. She says, "My froat kinda hurts" and it's totally swollen and covered in white spots. She says, "I feel sleepy" and falls asleep on the couch several times and then sleeps in until 11 am.

If I had any of those symptoms, they'd be hearing about it in Kiev.

I started to spend the better part of my day in an urgent care waiting room. I would become one of those people, like, from my job. I was filled with all kinds of cognitive dissonance sitting in that waiting room even though I knew I needed to be there. There was a 2 and a half hour wait and I had to work in 3 hours. And my poor little pookie-poo wanted to be held. While I stood up. By the doors. With my itchy coat off. She isn't a complainer, but she comes demanding in every color.

While waiting, and catering to sick Avee, wishing there was some other way, I suddenly remembered that we have a "connection" and I could avoid that blasted waiting room. I called J and he worked that connection while I took Avee home to change out of her jeans and shirt, back into her princess sundress.

Bo had wanted to go hang out with us at the doctor's office, but I didn't let him come. So, when I had to leave again to get the antibiotic, he was in that car in no time. It was glorious. Within an hour of leaving the waiting room where I thought I was doomed to be all afternoon, I was home with antibiotics, bananas, avocados, Zelda, three bowls of Pho, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Avee had asked for french fries and chicken nuggets and I was going to indulge her. But then I realized it was a perfect day for Pho. But I am the nicest mom in the universe and I let Avee choose. She picked Pho.

Bo has been a little frustrated with Guitar Hero because, well, because he stinks. And because his hands are too small. He's a pretty good sport, but it's just not the best gift for him. So we decided to get him Zelda, a game he knows and loves. I was going to pick it up while getting Avee's antibiotics, and surprise Bo. So now that he was going with me, I had fun building up the suspense for where we were going. The game store is right next to Walmerts, so I was going to get Avee's Rx at Walgreens, swing by Walmerts and get avocados for J's killer guac, and then go to the game store. But on the way to Walgreens I passed my favorite little grocery store and said to Bo, "I'm going to go in here and get avocados instead of going to Walmerts."

He asked why. I answered, "Because that Walmerts is disgusting and if I can avoid it, I will."

I believe I offended him. He said, "That's mean mom. Don't say that about Walmerts!" I was amused by his response. And I said, "Well, it is!" because I always have the best comebacks evoh.

So, Bo forgave me, or at least moved on and we started talking about America being the...wait, about how much "Amewica wocks". Yeah, I'm his mom and it took me a good 15 seconds to figure out what "wocks" means.

We have the coolest flag, and we have Barack Obama. China is cool, but the flag is boring. And Vietnam totally wocks. Actually, China wocks too. You know why Vietnam wocks? That's where Pho is made. And his bunkbed.

The game store was in a strip mall with a Payless, Sally's, Subway, and a hair cutting place. I told Bo what all of those stores were, to make him guess. He was resigned to a sandwich being his "surprise" when I took him into the game store.

And since we were right there I couldn't help but go into Walmerts and check their avocado selection. At my favorite store they were not quite ripe enough. So we dashed inside. They were the same, not ripe enough. But I bought some anyway because they were only 78 cents each.

As we were leaving, Bo acknowledged loudly, as we passed by a whole slew of Walmert shoppers, (without making any connection) "Yeah, you're right mom, this sto' is disgusting, it smells pwetty bad."

Did I laugh out loud? Oh yes I did. Did my face flush red? Oh yes it did. Was I technically embarrassed? Probably. But mostly happy because he said, "You're right mom."

Bo asked to be dropped off at home while I got the Pho. That Zelda game was burning a hole in his wii wee little hands. I told him no. Then at the Pho Store Bo asked the man if he was from Vietnam. He said he was.

Was he born there?
Yes he was.


Fortunately English was not this man's first language, and unimpeded English is not my son's first language and this loud accusation was lost on our kind Pho maker.

On the way home we talked about "loudly pointing out the obvious" and "saying things that don't need to be said if they aren't going to make someone feel good" and also how it's good that the reason he can't run is only because he was born in Vietnam and not because he had committed a felony.

Of course, we don't actually know that for certain.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Today was a great day. The best part about today for me, is that it's Thursday. I still have 3 more days of J home and general responsibility shirking. Yeehaw!

I was reading some of my old posts the other day. If you think I'm wordy now...sheesh! I walked away from those old posts (old blog) with three main thoughts. 1. Boy I'm long winded 2. Wow I had a lot of time on my hands and 3. I am SO glad I started this blog. I love having the reminder of how Avee was behaving at 13 months, things Bo said when he was almost 3, etc. They are such different little people now.

My computer speakers don't work. This is very annoying to me. Very.

I got an Ipod Touch for Christmas. We are running away together for New Years. I'm so in love.
If you are worried about the lack of apostrophe on "Years" then you should probably get a hobby. I can't decide if it needs one or not. I mean, how do you properly conjugate a fairly made up phrase? I don't know.

Danyo got sick yesterday. Mostly it consisted of a verrrrrry early morning yakking which J dealt with (he's all kinds of awesome, yes he is) and then he was just moody and bossy and not quite himself for me all day. Aside from being sad that my little pumpkinface didn't feel well, I got a big kick out of sick Danyo. He would throw his little hand at me with his tiny little finger pointed and even though he doesn't say it, he's wishing he could say, "Don't mess with me momma, I am sick and I'm not going to put up with it." This response came after I would say things like, "Are you hungry?" or "Do you need a diaper change?" We all kind of laugh when he does it. Which just incites more scolding. He usually only does the hand fling when you tell him no. But when he's sick, looking in his general direction, gets him mad.

Then we went to some of our friend's house for Christmas Eve dinner. It was nice and enjoyable and relaxing. Except the part where Danyo barfed all over J. Oh, you thought I was done talking about Danyo being sick? Surely you know me better than that! He got a bath at our friend's house. Danyo, not J. It was gross. Mildly reminiscent of our Wicked adventure, only 50 million times less disgusting for me.

This morning my kids slept in. What is that!? Avee has decided that she belongs in our bed and as it has been discussed before, I'm a sucker for 5 am bedside midget calls. We put her in her bed, and by 5 am, she's in ours. By then, all matters of business have been discussed for the most part, so it's really not that big of a deal to me. Plus, she's so afraid of getting kicked out, she takes up like 8 square inches of the bed. It's a little bit sad, but I like my space, so I let her "sneak".

Anyway, last night I told her Santa would look and if he didn't see her in her bed, he wouldn't leave her presents. She said he could look in our bed. I told her he wouldn't. So she agreed, she'd stay in her bed and she'd also wake up and give Santa a hug when he peeked in on her.

Bo left half a piece of cheesecake for Santa. Somehow Christmas Eve got away from me, and we didn't make any cookies. It's all good, he trotted out of our friends house with an entire piece of cheesecake in hand, and in true Bo fashion, he didn't finish it. I tried to convince him to leave the remainder for Santa, but Bo really wanted it in the morning. Finally just before bed he decided Santa could have it.

Santa ate it.

Like a pig.

And left a note. Bo wanted to write a note back that said, "Deaw Santa, I'm glad you liked the cheesecake, and I'm pwetty glad you ate it, but I kinda wish you hadn't because I weally wanted it."

I thought it was funny, but decided the correspondence with Santa should come to an end.

For Christmas I got an Ipod Touch. Oh wait, did I already tell you that? Well, whatever, we are so in love, it's hard not to keep talking about it.

Bo J We got Guitar Hero for the Wii. Danyo got three stuffed puppies and a package of tic tacs. Avee got some dolls and accessory crap, J got some books and shirts and will sometimes get to hold my Ipod. thatswhatshesaid

I got an Ipod Touch.

I also got an Iowa version of Montezuma's Revenge. But I don't know what they call it here.

I just talked to a lady who named her first child after a word she couldn't pronounce correctly when she was a child. Not even kidding.

I have to work tonight. But it's all good because instead of making $4 an hour, I'm making $6!!!

P.S. SARAH L: You get what you get and you don't throw a fit. :)

Friday, December 19, 2008


Today, I will continue my usual schedule of unrepentant mess-making, constant smiling, mix in a little mischief, and some basic button pushing. I will also sing for a while--loudly and wordlessly, and of course make my standard demand for eskimo kisses and chewing gum at the exact same moment.

I'm gonna prance around redefining cool, without effort. And I will wear summer clothes, despite the several inches of snow and ice right outside. And I will paint. On whatever I want, with whatever I want, whenever I want.

Will that be a problem? Hmmmmmmm? No? Okay! Thanks!

p.s. Please don't ask my mom why she hasn't put away all my summer clothes. She has. I find them. Everywhere. If you think the answer is "put them up higher" then you clearly have never met me in person.
Thanks foh' asking mom. I'm gonna wander around purposefully, spouting random facts about vampire bats while releasing the latest and greatest funniest joke evoh. Oh and could you call my teacho' at ho house o' maybe you could just email, yeah, just email ho and let ho know that tomahow I'll be moving to Chicago.

We're not moving to Chicago.

Yeah, yeah, I know. Whatevoh then, just that we're going there.

Um. You can just tell her when you go back to school. I think that will be fine.

I am going to sit here, unmoving, and a little depressed that I can't have a garage. But I will show my owners when it's time for the lady one to go to work.

I am going to look beautiful and make Nobody feel awe at the transformation of the landscape and how breathtaking I can be. And I just might make her fall on her butt. Maybe a neighbor will come help her again. And he will continue to watch her with one eye everytime he comes out because a girl that can fall in October for no reason, doesn't have a prayer in December when there's snow and ice.************************************************************************
I am going to hang in Nobody's kitchen, just above the trash where Bo *wanted me. And I will have disproportionately large hands with which I will greet all who enter. I will because I can. Yes I can. I will make J and Nobody happy everytime they see me, because even though they didn't vote for me, they think it's hilarious that their 5-year-old would have.

*I read this just in the knick of time to incorporate, and it has been really fun. The elves brought Bo this poster. I'm not sure if it was just the one elf, or if it was all the elves. Do you know Everett? And in case you are wondering, or don't know me that well, yes, yes, I DO think I'm hilarious for uh...telling the elves to leave this.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Job Share

Monday night I spent some time talking to the kids about the meaning of Christmas, because it is important that they know it, and also because I had heard one too many "unknown facts" about Santa. For example, to go up the chimney, he simply touches the side of his nose, nods his head and "fwooosh, it's like an elevator but waaaaay faster".

So, I was telling them about an angel appearing to Mary to tell her she would be having a baby and I said, "that's a pretty big deal, she had probably never seen an angel before, have you ever seen an angel?" Bo said he hadn't and I asked Avee, mostly to try and keep her involved and to stop blowing on the stupid purple recorder that for some reason thought was a good idea to get her. She said casually that yes, she had seen an angel before. Bo and I were a little surprised and both said, "Where!?"

"At the zoo."

All matter of fact.

At the end, feeling like I had improved my children's view of Christmas and refocused them on the true meaning, etc, etc, etc, Bo turned to me and said, "Yeah, so you know who else is Jesus' cousin?"

I did not. I was only aware of John the Baptist.

"Santa. Yeah, I'm pretty sure they are also cousins. Pretty sure."

Then, yesterday morning, Bo, still trying to work out the logistics of this whole Santa business says to me,

"So, I think I got it fig-yohed out. Jesus takes care of the wohld every day of the year, but then at Christmas Santa's like, 'Okay Jesus, I can take it from here.' "

I'm really proud of my efforts to teach my children the true meaning of Christmas. I think the feed back I've gotten says loud and clear:

Good job Nobody. You have accomplished exactly: Nothing.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

All Things China

Bo would like a stepmom. He didn't even know what a stepmom was, just that he didn't have one and some of his friends do. When I explained a little about divorce, he couldn't be bothered with the details, and basically gave me the 5 year old equivalent of, "So anyway, could you get on that?"

I so get it though. I'd love a wife.

Our friends moved on Saturday. They are moving to China. This is sad for us, but good for you. Because who doesn't love to read about a good overseas adventure? No pressure L.

Their son was in Bo's kindergarten class and in his class at church. So, Bo's been obsessed with China lately. How big is it, what do they speak there, what do they eat, how long it takes to get there, what time is it there, where their North Pole is....

So, this obsession has led to a couple of interesting conversations.

First, a couple of weeks ago Super L was here briefly and Bo was quizzing her about his most recent questions about China.

Bo: How big is China?
L: It's REALLY big. The city we are moving to has more people than Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, all put together.
Bo: How many people?
L: 15 million.
B: In China?
L: No, in China, a billion.
Bo:So, how many people will live there after you move there?
L:(without skipping a beat) A billion and five.

Then, last Saturday we were in the car, and again, it was all about China from the backseat. Nonstop.
Bo asked whether China had a North Pole and I explained that there was just one North Pole for all the countries, everyone had the same North Pole.
He countered, "Uh, I don't think so mom, I'm pretty sure there's a North Pole in China because pretty much everything we have is 'Made in China'."

Sometimes I wish the people I work with were at least this smart.
Wait, did I say that out loud?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Please See Attached Resume

I think I've missed my calling in life. This morning Avee insisted that I snuggle with her while she watch tv. I can't read, I can't talk on the phone, I can't even talk to Danyo. And I definitely can't watch what I want. I am an object to her. Good for snuggling and periodically unwrapping a corndog.

Soon enough my upright snuggling turns into zonked out on the couch with a dead weight arm flopped across my princess.

And as I come in and out of consciousness, I hear the ridiculous words to the commercials they play for kids toys. I have spent a lot of time in my adult life, taking classes, talking to people, reading, researching, exploring, wasting time and money, trying to find the perfect fit for what I want to do when I finally grow up.

Turns out, it was there all along, but I may have missed the window of opportunity.

Writing jingles for kids commercials.

It never occurred to me before how insipid those songs are. I could do so much better than what is currently out there. I just heard someone rhyme "play" with "playwithallday".

So, here are some of my ideas.

Wiiiii a game for the fam-uh-leeeeee
Sell your firstborn to get a game or two
Swing the 'mote & whack the babeeeee
Scream and fight like real families do!

Oh darling cheap little purple stroller toy
For moms to trip over it's better than a truck!
A favorite for your sweet baby boy
He'll scream like a banshee when it gets stuck.

A perfect snack for after your nap
No red dye 40 to make it appealing
Yes it is good, and nice kids don't say crap
Why is that noodle up on the ceiling?

A sweet little footstool to help your precious one
Step to the sink to brush his pearly whites
Or for a princess to help with cooking for fun
Oh don't be silly, there won't be "so many fights"
No, one child won't decide when the other is done
And push him right off the stool only after she bites
Or using it to climb counters to get to a snack--
Oh don't be silly, we know kids won't use it for that!

And probably my most important contribution to the commercial jingle world. I believe this could be used over and over and over for many different things. Kind of like Josh Grobin's songs.

Hey kids! See this piece of crap that looks twice as big on your TV?
Go yell at your parents to WATCH THIS WATCH THIS WAAAAAATCH IT!
But wait, don't stop there, keep asking them to go to pieceo' to see
And if they don't, make sure you throw a holy baboon mother of a fit
Ignore them when they remind you of all the toys you already don't play with
It's not true kids would rather play with cell phones, tampons, & a toilet brush

I'm sure you'll agree--I have a natural talent here.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Tonight Bo told me he'd like to go see the "Vestabull of Life".

You know, they have parades, and pony rides.

So now, in addition to looking for the meaning of life, we will also be on the lookout for the vestabull of life.

Anything for my baby.

Monday, December 8, 2008

We Tend To Have These Kind of Convohsations, He and I

Bo: Mom, guess what?
Me: What?
Bo: Mom, guess what?
Me: What!?
Bo: I said guess what?
Me: I heard you, and I'm asking you WHAT?
Bo: Oh. I thought you couldn't he-oh me and that's why you said 'what?'.

Me: So, are you going to tell me?
Bo: Tell you what?
Me: Really?
Bo: Oh yeah. Nevoh mind. I fohgot.

In other news...

I got another email from Bo's teacher today. Don't you think it's kind of funny that the one person who has the right/responsibility/reason to "punish" and find error in his ways, instead tells me how funny and cute he is? Hmmmmm.

"Bo is just so cute when he says something that indicates that he almost, but not quite, can express his thoughts on an issue... (she wrote this in reference to his grapefruit comment, not the following. I just quoted it because she said he's cute and I love to see that in print.)

Today’s lesson dealt with frustration and whether our feelings are little ones or big ones. Different students came up to say, “I remember one time I was very _______, because _________.” When it was Bo’s turn, he came up to me and said quietly, “Is it ok to say ‘a little’ instead of ‘very’?” I told him “sure,” so here was his sharing: “I remember one time I was a little sick, when I threw up at Wicked. That was a big, strong feeling, because I did not get to see how the show ended!” Thought that you would appreciate his memory of leaving Wicked! He certainly enjoyed the rest of the show, and he has spoken frequently of the musical."

Alls I can say is, that boy cracks me up.

And yes, I just said alls.

And yes, I am making fun of anyone who actually thinks that is a word.

And yes, I am aware that this post is probably only interesting to me, J, the Grandmas, and the mutants at table nine.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

My Little Bible Thumper

On Friday afternoon, I got this email from Bo's teacher:

Two things: Ben recited in class today a part that he is saying in a church program (is that right?). Also, he was talking about someone bringing over grape juice, and he looked puzzled. He repeated, “grape juice, grape juice, no. . . “ Suddenly, it occurred to me what he was saying. Grapefruit? Someone gave your family grapefruit? YES!! : )"

There are several things about this email that I love. I love that his teacher gives the kids each 5 minutes to tell their random tales, because what 5 year old doesn't love to share his business, meaningful, important, business with 20 other 5 year olds? I love that she took the time to share it with me, and I love that she clearly gets him. She knows him and listens to him well enough that she can pick up on where he's going. Even when sometimes the road he's on is oh-so-elusive.

But the part about him reciting his church part, had me in tears. I could not stop laughing.

A) It's random at its finest
B)He memorized and recited this part for the church's children's program nearly 3 weeks ago
C) Of all the the things he could have shared, this one is the most---eh, let's say---evanglistical-ish.

It was, "And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. (1 John 4:14)"

WOOOO--EEEEEEE, Bo let 'em hear God's word, and let'em hear it but good. It still really makes me laugh, imagining something like this:
Teacher: Okay, next we'll hear Mikey's news and after Mikey, we'll hear Bo's.
Bo (thinking): Oh man, what am I gonna say. It's gotta be good, I like to leave 'em with something profound, what's it gonna be? I KNOW. I can do my Primary part. Now let's see, seen, testify, Savior of the world....yep, it's got it---that's just the thing to pack the punch I like to pack.

And today, while trying to enjoy a peaceful and loving Sunday afternoon together, Bo kept yelling at Avee. He did this mean, loud, menacing yell of her name, several times. I got after him each time, but it wasn't stopping. So finally I pulled him over to me and said, "It is not okay for you to keep talking to Avee like that. That is not how we talk in this home. Do you ever hear me talking like that? Have you ever heard Daddy talking like that?"

Both J and I waited for him to admit that, yes, he had in fact heard both of us yell meanly, but he didn't point it out. Instead he agreed that it wasn't how we talk around here. So I asked him what he thought I should do the next time he talked to Avee like that. He suggested he be sent to his room. So I suggested that his Zelda game be taken away. But we both agreed that the yelling stop.

Within 15 minutes he had forgotten and yelled at Avee. And got sent to his room. While he was objecting that being sent to his room "didn't even make any sense" (??? what?!) Avee came over and assumed the same parental tone and inflection and said to me, "Mom. I need to talk to you. Let me talk to you right here. Now Mom. You do not lell at people. It is not okay to lell, I need you to stop lelling at people all da time."

"Who do I yell at Avee?"

"You yell at Bo, and you yell at dad lells at Danyo...."

As hard as I tried to keep a straight face at the beginning of the lecture, J's hearty guffaw made it impossible for the conversation to continue.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


For Sale or Trade
*3 pairs of barely worn size 4t Children's Place jeans
Several outfits consisting of perfectly darling long, hot, ugly pants with matching ugly shirts that don't make you a princess.
*2 brand new pairs of tennis shoes, size 8. These also are ugly and do not make you beautiful.

Please do not ask about the size 9 or 10 summer dress shoes with a heel. While they do not fit anyone in
this home, they are absolutely not for sale for any price.

Will trade for 6-7 warm-
ish princess dresses and matching tights. Tights must come with detailed instructions on how to convince the princess to wear them.

Interested parties should contact the frazzled, exasperated, weary mother ASAP.

I am having a very difficult time with Avee right now. I'm pretty sure it's all normal and whatnot, but it doesn't make it any easier for me to endure. She is a force to be reckoned with.
See these two pictures?

Notice what Avee's wearing in both?

They were taken a week apart.

Wonder what she's worn everyday in between these two photos?

And to bed?

Yeah. The same thing.

It's impossible. I've even let her go out in this dress to sort of let her learn by natural consequences. Today it was 10 degrees, she had this on an some pink polka dot slip-on shoes. She tells me she's cold. I seize the moment and begin teaching her about the importance of warm clothes when there is snow and ice on the ground. She tells me it's not her dress making her cold, it's the car. I have never been able to outwit the way she manages to manipulate reality to suit her.

There have been two times I've started an hour and a half early with the full on war, to get her to wear actual clothes. There are some places I have to go that I can't bear to be frowned at for my bad parenting. Both times, she has had the pants off before the door is closed from coming home. And then she *hides* the "ugly hot clothes" in an attempt to keep me from finding them and making her wear them again.

I love her hiding place. Because 3-year-olds don't think closing a bathroom door is ever necessary, so this is an ideal hiding place.

In the middle of our screaming crying fights (her screaming, me crying) she screams, "Stop calling me Avee! I'm PWINCESS AVEE!!!!"

Here's the interesting thing: She doesn't play with princesses, she doesn't watch princesses, we don't even own any princess books. This isn't a learned behavior y'all. This is a birthright.

In other news:
Last Saturday was the funeral of J's assistant. J thought it would be better if he make a nice, quiet, non three-ring-circus appearance, and was going to go alone. Bo caught wind of his plans and insisted on going. We told him it would be boring. We told him it was a funeral. He was adamant. As he was getting his shoes on he said, "Will I see L___?"

J, without thinking said, "No, he's been cremated it will just be...."

I interrupted loudly with the exaggerated throat stutter. It comes to me quicker than "ACK! BE QUIET! HE'S FIVE!" so I began, "uh-uh-uh-uh-UH!"

Some people may think I'm overly protective of this 5-year-old, and you may be right. But often times my "protecting" is directly related to his tendency to obsess over new information. When we can sit down and have along discussion with him about something, it often helps. But he will go to school and tell all his classmates how they will someday be ashes in an urn. And then he'll ask if we can buy an urn for him to take to show-and-tell and then he'll wonder how ashes go to heaven and how can we tell him smoking is bad for him if they make ashes and we make ashes and then my head will explode and J will come home smiling and say, "How's my beautiful family tonight?" I will be forced to join Avee in kicking his shins and running away.

I just know these things.

So, we said no more about cremation and they went to the funeral. But not before I issued a severe warning in J's ear, "Not a word about cremation."

When they got back I asked them how it went and at the same time J answered, "It was kind of lame", Bo answered, "It was GREAT! But they didn't say anything about Daddy being his boss or working at __________ or anything!"

That night after Bo and Avee had been put to bed and threatened the usual threats of dismemberment if they get out of bed without good reason kissed and and sung to and lovingly cherished, we were downstairs watching a fascinating film. You may have heard of it? A New Hope? Absolutely scintillating dialogue.

And we hear Bo call from his bed, "Mom, Dad? I need to ask you a question."

"What Bo? It better be good, and hurry up!" (If he wakes the other kids, so help me...)

"Uhhhh....If you don't have a favorite fishing spot, where do they put you when you die?"

I can't even remember who answered, or what was said, but we both laughed really hard. And then I turned on J and said, "You told him about cremation, didn't you!?" He promised he didn't, but there WAS an urn there, and they did discuss L____'s wishes for his remains, at the funeral.

Poor poor Bo. He dreamt all night about dying too soon before he could find a suitable fishing spot.

Monday, December 1, 2008


WARNING: I admittedly write long posts, this one tops them all. You probably won’t want/need to read this unless you are like, my mother, or have hopes of being included in my will. It’s okay. I won’t be offended. This is a vent post.

Sometimes I tend to make reference to things in a post, and then someone asks about it in a comment, and I don’t elaborate. I don’t know why I do that. It’s so unlike me to not elaborate.

And I’m sorry.
It’s not you, it’s me.
It’s a “texture” thing.
Just kidding. I love it when people say "it's a texture thing” when describing why they don’t like a food. I always thought it would be funny to use that line in a break up.

I have made reference to the crappy bureaucracy at my son’s school in the past. I want to be very clear before I let loose on some opinions. I LOVE his teacher. I was bratty about the first encounter and MommyJ schooled me on that in the comment section, and since then, I’ve been a nice kind girl, and she has exceeded my expectations as Bo’s teacher. Very happy with her.

Administration? Not so much.

So, I made reference to Bo being locked out of his school once. When we found out about it at dinner, neither J nor I realized how traumatizing it was for Bo. He was fighting back tears, but then again, sometimes not getting to play one more round of Zelda can bring on the tears. Four and a half hours later he was STILL crying about it and clearly traumatized. He laid in his bed for nearly 2 hours coming up with various plans to avoid ever getting locked out, or having to get a late slip. It was heartbreaking to say the least.

In my anger, I wrote an email to his principal:

Mr. Crappy Principal,
My son is a kindergartner at your school. Today, I dropped him off a little later than normal at about 8:54. Although there were several other children and adults around, somehow he ended up outside locked doors, in the rain, unable to get into the building. He finally found his way through the cafeteria where he was told he was late and needed to get a late slip. The next adult who saw him, one of your “para-educators” treated him like he was doing something wrong and ordered him to the office to get a late slip. Since he is FIVE and has been an elementary student for less than two weeks, he didn't have any idea what that entailed. Rather than be comforted in his obvious distress (he was wet from the rain and crying), he was reprimanded for being late and sent off to do something he didn’t know how to do. At the office, his backpack was rifled through (I assume looking for a note from me?) and he was then sent off to his class with a late slip.

I understand that your school has procedures that it follows and that these procedures are what helps things run more smoothly.

What I don't understand is why a five year old boy, who has gone to school for less than 10 days of his entire life, wasn't treated a little more gently and with a little more compassion. The three kids I dropped off at the same time as him were not late. So that means, either my son was mere seconds "late" or he was behaving as an average five year old who is attending only his second week of school, and got lost or confused. I don't understand why one of the 2-3 "helpful" people who told him he was late, didn't walk with him to the office, or explain to him what was going on, or show any kind of compassion toward him. Isn't he why they are even there?

I'm not an over-reactive person; but I am sorely disappointed that I had to spend my evening comforting my young son, assuring him that he does have time to eat breakfast before school and that that it is okay to go to school tomorrow without fear of getting locked out of his school, shuffled around rudely by the adults who "care" for him, and that even though he got a late slip it doesn't mean he's a bad kid. I'm still trying to figure out why on earth a kindergartner in his second week of school would even need a late slip, but that's not really the issue at hand.

We told our son that kindergarten would be a great experience, that others would be good to him, that he would meet a lot of really nice people at _______ and when I sent him through the doors at ________, entrusting him to you, your administration, and your staff, we expected those promises we made to him to be easily fulfilled.

I cannot express to you enough how much more than disappointed I am, that already this wasn't the case.


I never sent this email to him. Although, upon review, I’m wishing I had. It was written on September 4th. I calmed down and first contacted his teacher. She was entirely unaware. I didn’t know who the idiot para-educator was and I didn’t feel like it was a battle I could win. “Your employee was mean to my baby! Let me see a line-up!”

His teacher calmed him down about late slips, and we moved on.

Approximately 5 weeks later Bo informs me at bedtime that he doesn’t want to go to school tomorrow, because it turns out he had a recess taken away. I assumed his teacher took it away and my first response was, “Well, guess you should have listened to your teacher”. But he tells me, it was ANOTHER para-educator. And this time, the infraction was....wait for it, wait for it....he put his hand over his friends mouth to keep his friend from saying the same thing over and over and over in his ear. Because that is a horrible, vile, despicable, and dangerous thing to have going on at a school with five year old boys. Estupido.

So I get out my handy typewriter, and clink away at this letter:

Mrs Niceteacher,
At the risk of sounding like an overprotective, busy-body mom...

Bo doesn't want to go to school tomorrow because he was told today he was getting his recess taken away. Best I can tell, he put his hand on ________'s mouth because ______ kept repeating something and Bo couldn't get him to stop. Bo knows the rules and knows he shouldn't have done that. I want to tell Bo that he needs to accept the consequences of his behavior and he knows the rules, etc. I also want to explain to him that this kind of stuff happens, and he'll have to just miss the recess.

Of course I assumed at first that you had taken away the recess and I was sure it was warranted, since you've dealt with squirmy, handsy, non-hand raising Bo from Day One and have exercised a lot of patience thus far. However, he told me Ms ______ is the one who did it and that there was no warning given at all. She saw his hand on _______'s mouth and told him she was taking his name and taking away his recess tomorrow.

My two concerns. As I understand it, recess time at Stellar Staff Elementary is pretty limited already and having a recess taken away seems pretty drastic for this kind of "offense." Secondly, I don't know why a warning wasn't issued before he had his recess taken away completely. We talk a lot to Bo about the rules and we really stress the importance of keeping his hands to himself, he gets it, and as he says, "even if it's friendly, you aren't supposed to do it". He has come a long way and I know you've had to work with him a lot on this.

I guess it bothers me that before he's even been in school two full months, there are adults outside your classroom that are expecting him to behave perfectly without any margin of error. Putting his hand over a friend's mouth is something that would be pretty harmless outside of school, and as such, an easy mistake to make while inside school. I might be able to understand the lack of warning or extreme measure taken in "discipline" if he had done something much more aggressive or blatantly disobedient.

I'm not sure there is anything that can be done about it at this point, but I do feel compelled to communicate this with you. I didn't say anything to Bo tonight because I couldn't even convince myself that having his whole recess taken away for a fairly minor infraction is normal.

Thanks for your time,
My Kids' Mom--Nobody

She wrote back asking if she could forward my concern to Mr. Dumbhead. I said that would be fine. I didn’t really even think he was a Dumbhead at the time, but had definitely heard a lot about his Dumbhead tendencies.

He called me and said that the para-educator did admit to having over-reacted and “he should have gotten a warning, and he’s not a child she’s ever had to discipline before.”

I’m sorry, I didn’t call to hear you say I have a good boy. I KNOW I have a good boy. I called to hear you say you’d stop treating him like he’s a bad kid.

I let it go after that. However, I was annoyed, that even though this lady admitted she reacted harshly, she didn’t bother to let Bo off the hook. He still missed his recess. “And what a good boy! He came right up to her at recess time to report for his punishment!”

And now, present day.

Bo came home from school with a form saying he’d been sent to the room where kids get sent for being naughty. On it it said that 1. He was being disruptive. Yes, he’s a boy, he’s five, it happens. And that 2. He was kicking. Really? Bo kicked someone? That’s so surprising, he must have been really mad, I’m not sure he’s kicked anyone since he kicked sweet little Lindsey when he was 17 months old. He’s more of a hugger. Incessant, body hug, hugger. And then 3. That he was “Not Accepting Feedback”


I seriously stared at it for like a full minute, making sure it was his name was on it, that it was dated recently and not 2004 when he was 17 months old. I could not comprehend how that could ever possibly be said about Bo. Now, I’m a mom. He’s my baby. I’m guilty of finding his flaws endearing or calling them “character”. But I’m also his mom. And I know him. I know that there are things I have had to tell him once, and it has become an unbreakable law in his mind. While Avee’s middle name is most likely, “Not Aceepting Feedback” my little boy Bo will never ever ever be guilty of that. Ever.

That was a red flag for me.

So I started grilling Bo about what happened.

He said “hi” to Kicking Boy and Kicking Boy kicked him. Para-educator saw Bo being kicked and apparently assumed Bo instigated it by having kicked first. And when Bo was asked if he kicked Kicking Boy---he said no.

And then later when Bo was pulled out of his classroom, he was told several times, “If you don’t tell me the truth, I can’t deal with this appwopwiately.” I’m pretty sure the para-educator said “appropriately” but I’m just telling you what Bo told me. And THEN he was threatened with the “count of three” to "tell the truth". Well, this is the boy who has never gotten to 3 with us. Ever. He’s terrified of what’s after three. Even though he’s been witness to nothing happening to Avee after three, he has never risked it for himself.

So there he is, not being believed, suddenly being threatened and asked “who started it”, he answers, “I started it!”

So I say to Bo---“how did you start it? And he answers, “well, I said hi to him first before he kicked me.”

I have asked Bo probably 18-27 times in at least that many different ways if his leg, foot, any part of his body ever touched Kicking Boy. Ever. For any reason. He is positive he did nothing that could even remotely be mistaken as a kick.

These people are so set on punishing children, that they are going after 5 year olds and not even getting the facts straight.

I’m so annoyed that this is the 3rd time in 3 short months of school that my son has been a victim of their “punish first, ask questions later” system. I was assured 36 times this morning that this school is a “Zero Tolerance Environment for Any Type of Physical Contact.”

Now that I’m thinking about it I should have told Mr. Stupidface that I have a ZERO TOLERANCE THRESHOLD FOR STUPID ADMINISTRATION and that he’s been in violation 3 times already. And that’s not even counting the offense of his stupid tan face in December in IOWA.

Ahem. That has nothing to do with this, does it? Well, another semi-side note is, that Kicking Boy kicked Bo in the face a week before this incident, giving him a bloody nose, on the way out of school. The teacher that dealt with it (Bo’s was gone and he was in another part of the school) told Bo to hurry home before he got blood on his clothes. Nice. Fortunately he had two older friends with him who insisted on justice and hauled Kicking Boy (I imagine by the scruff of his neck) back to the teacher to receive his punishment. The next day Bo insisted that I write in his planner that he had been kicked in the face. He also subsequently wrote a love letter to his teacher that said, “I got kicked by Kicking Boy. I luv u Missus _______ and yur housband too….”

How could anyone even think a boy who writes such darling love notes could be capable of kicking someone? Oh plus, when I asked Bo how another 5 year old managed to kick him in the FACE he explained, “Well, he was kicking me, so I ducked. And then he kicked me in the face.” Wha?

So this morning I called the school.

Here’s my issue. It’s not that my son gets in trouble. He can cope. We are good parents, we can work around it. The issue is that there should A)be no such thing as “No Tolerance” when it comes to Kindergarteners. That’s just ridiculous. They need warnings and constant reminders. Sorry, that’s the nature of the beast with children this young. Treat them like they are naughty (ie, take away a recess for being honest) and they will become naughty. And B) Why are para-educators able to make such rash decisions? Who the heck are they? They don’t know my kid, they never have to deal with him more than 10-15 minutes at a time, and if that’s too much to do without going crazy and punishing all the time, perhaps they should get a job with the TSA. Or DMV. If they spot a problem, they should report it to the teacher and let her deal with it accordingly. Bo's teacher would have known immediately that the other kid has a history of kicking, unprovoked, and that my son is the smartest, most perfect child she's ever had the pleasure of teaching.

When I called the school Mr. BSer-Dumbhead transferred me within about 30 seconds to the para-educator who ran the detention room Bo was in. Um, what did she have to do with anything? Nothing. But I gather that I am not the first to complain because he was swift to transfer and she tried to be a smooth talker and it wasn’t working. “Detention Room is not a punishment Mrs. Nobody….” She said that to me 3 times. You know what I said every time? No, of course you don’t. I said, “That may very well be, but making him eat there and stay in there during recess IS a punishment.” She also did this very weird thing to make me think she was there the entire time and knew exactly what happened.

She was speaking so matter-of-factly and I finally said, “I’m sorry, were you there? Did you hear my son say this?” And she said YES SHE WAS. That was a lie. She also told me that Bo was never pulled out of his classroom to be interrogated. Bo told me he was, I stood by my boy. I later called his teacher and confirmed that he was in fact pulled out of the classroom to be punished. That was lie number two. Lie number three, I called her on. She initially said that Bo was asked, “Did you start it?” And he answered that yes he had. Well---he DID start it in his little mind. He said hi. I said, “He did not confess to kicking, he said he started and he thought he started it by saying hi to _________"`. She had no way to refute that and went back to her “The Detention Room is not a punishment” (FYI, it’s not called detention room, I just don’t want to refer to the real name in case either Napoleon gets jealous, or someone can deduce what school my kid goes to).

Later she said, “But Mrs. Nobody, when Bo was asked if he kicked Preston, he said that yes, he did.”

My temper flared and I kind of yelled, “That is an outright lie Mrs. ________ and YOU know it. Don’t you dare start lying to me even more just to make your case. My son did not kick ________ and that was never the issue, but I do not take kindly to being lied to.”

She transferred me back to Mr. Idiotface and I griped at him for transferring me unnecessarily and he explained to me what her job is. I seriously wanted to reach through the phone and slap that patronizing fetcher. Oh wait, am I getting too emotional? Probably.

Anyway, he’s skilled at protecting his para-educators, even when they are wrong, and he is skilled at talking in circles, and he is skilled at accepting no responsibility for a flaw in his system. He told me no less than 10 times about their zero-tolerance police. I said at one point, “Do you realize how illogical and stupid that is to say about 5-year-old children who are JUST STARTING SCHOOL?”

Since there wasn’t much variety on what he said, I’ll just give you a list of things I may or may not have said.

*How am I supposed to teach my son to respect the adults who care for him when I have to send him to a school where the para-educators are bullies who abuse their power?

*Mr. Stinkbombtorso, your reputation of defending your staff regardless of the truth, regardless of the facts, precedes you. It is unfortunate you have such an unflattering reputation. (that’s when he said, “that’s one person’s opinion" and I had lost all sense of decorum and fired back, “You’d like to THINK it’s one person’s opinion") Ooh, oooh buuuuuuurn Nobody!

*Let me be clear, if my son is even approached by one of your para-educators in anything remotely similar to his last three encounters, it will get ugly for you very fast. He will not be a victim of your punitive-happy para-educators one more time.

*You may think that talking in circles to me and not dealing with this issue will work, but let me tell you, hell hath no fury like a Mama Bear.

Oh yes, I did. That was my first indication that I was no longer in control and needed to end the conversation. The above mentioned buuuuuuuuurn is when I abruptly ended. But not before I informed him he hadn’t been in the least bit helpful after he suggested he had, but thanked him for his time.

I was on the phone for 26 minutes, so obviously there was a lot more said. But I do have a tendency to forget the details of conversations with COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS PEOPLE.

I’m taking this to the next level y’all.

Tonight, I’m egging his house.

I have a couple of friends here, who will be joining me (on their own issues) in writing letters to the school board regarding this issue of fascism in Iowa. You can read what they wrote on their blogs, for some entertainment, and brevity:
Super L did a couple of letters here and here.
And then B Ford did a post that made me lol

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Goings Ons

Wait, what? I have a blog?

It's been a nice holiday vacation with not much goings ons, but I specialize in elaborating on not much.

Last week J's assistant at work, died in his sleep. It seems kind of morbid to sort of start a post with that information, but it is a fact and it did factor into our "nice holiday vacation." He was 56 and he died in his sleep, and we kind of can't help but feel glad for him because that's how he wanted to go. To say the least, it was a very hectic few days for J and while he wasn't wailing and wearing sack cloth to work, he said he felt awful posting the position to replace this man.

Bo had Wednesday off from school and I thoroughly enjoyed my day of puttering around with the three kids. Somehow, that brings me joy. Except when they want things. Or whine.

Bo gets in trouble for saying, "I don't care" in response to something someone tells him. I think it's rude and unkind and unnecessary. And there are like, 500 more creative responses than that--and he will learn to use them. Avee has gotten in on my lecturing Bo about this kind of a response. Usually in the lecture I talk about how it feels when someone says that to him, and about the said 500 other options he has. Well, Avee took matters into her own hands and told Bo, and later, happily reported to me, "If you say 'I don't care' one more time I am going to punch you in the face." It was a matter of fact. It was a necessary form of discipline. And maybe a little bit of a threat. I have to admit, it's pretty funny to hear a teeny little, sweet-faced girl wearing dress shoes (all.the.time) and a dress ( issue this warning.

On Thanksgiving day, J brined the turkey. Get it, get it, he brined it? It was SOOOO good. I may be partial to brining, but it was probably the best turkey I've ever eaten.

We had friends over and it was very relaxing and enjoyable to hang out with everyone. The food was delicious.

One of my friends was gung ho about Black Friday shopping and I had never done it. I got caught up in the moment and decided to do it and then totally got cold feet. I had a really hard time picturing Nobody running down any kind of aisle for any kind of reason. I mean, REALLY hard time. So I chickened out. Then decided to do it. Then chickened out. Ultimately, I decided to do it. But I had worked until 1 am and had to get up at 4:15, without an alarm clock. So it was a fitful 3 hours. Another friend and I made our way to The Walmerts to brave the crowd. It was not as crazy as I thought it would be. First of all, this one was open, so people just came and gathered around whatever electronic item they wanted. So there were random patches of large crowds. Then at 5 am (we got there 10 minutes before) they cut the black plastic wrap off. The best part? The two things I wanted to get (for us and for a friend) were both still available at like 3 pm that day. WOOHOO. I am a rock star. It was totally fun to just check it out and see how completely crazy the residents of this great city are.

I also went and saw Twilight with our 13 year old babysitter. Originally I was going to go with J because this conversation TOTALLY took place in our home, a few days prior:|
Beautiful & Caring Wife (me): Hey, let's get a babysitter and go see Quantum of Solace.
J: You know? I'm not really sure I want to see it, I think I'd actually rather Twilight.
B & C Wife: Really? Wow. Hmm. I guess I wouldn't mind seeing it.

fast forward 2-3 days

Still Beautiful & Caring: So, let's go see Twilight!
J: Mmmmmmmmm, yeah, about that? Not so interested. Sorry.

So I found me a less fickle date.

I enjoyed it. I think I enjoyed it for the very reasons I didn't enjoy the books as much as most of my friends pleasedon'thatemeforsayingthatoutloud.

I thought the books were drawn out and Edward's perfect chiseled marble chest liquid eyes hotness was just annoying to read about over and over. Basically, Bella's thoughts annoyed me. So, since the movie couldn't really dwell on that---I totally enjoyed it. I mean, you gotta admit, the premise of this story is pretty awesome.

So, just a few words of my impression.

Bella: See Tori's post re: Neve Campbell, looked as I expected, no chemistry
Edward: Could have chemistry with tree trunk, speaking of trees, sitting in one made me LOL, eyebrow-wow! Cool eyes, good acting
Jasper: How does it look when a vampire pees his pants? Same expression as Avee when she's waiting to be busted, pretty boy mussed hair--so played
Emmett: oooh baby, the truck jumping also made me LOL (I'm so gonna hook J with that reference, now he'll HAVE to see it. And I'm gonna make him go alone. To a girly movie)
Rosalie: she got some junk in her trunk
Alice: How does one pull off "Pixie Vampire"? She's just likable though. I loved her pitching.
Dr. Cullen: Hi, I'm Dr. Pointy Chin, if you ignore the chin, my acting and other features are quite charming
Esme: I didn't like her in Grey's, I was disappointed to see her here. Although, she was a good actress.
Charlie: Thought he'd be frumpier. Have more of a diner-eating, beer-drinkin' belly.
James: He had dirty fingernails
Victoria: Perfectly evil, beautiful too
Laurent: Whuuuuuu? I didn't expect the dreadlocks. But, I likey.
Jessica: Hilarious
Mike: Annoying (mostly just the bad acting)
Angela: Perfect. Always. Get it, get it? Perfect.

The end.

Now I'm going to go give 100% attention to Bo showing me how fast a snail goes. In real time.
Joy, I tell you---perfect joy.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"Aw Maaaaaaan! You Caught Me!"

That was Bo's response this morning when I saw him and said, "Hey! What's all over your face!?"
He was genuinely congratulating me on my astuteness.

Because I can't ever take a picture of one child, and not the other, Avee insisted I take this picture. I always get the biggest kick out of her "posed" pictures.
How come I never noticed before what a sad little orphan face she has? Sir, more pho please?

The other day I took this picture of Avee holding Danyo because I think it's hilarious how he totally honors her attempts as though they are legitimate. My favorite: How he swings his legs around her waist. Just a few short inches above the ground.
And of course, Bo wouldn't stay out of the picture. I find it interesting that this is the same boy who made the babysitter close her eyes while he walked by in an Elmo night shirt. He can't bear the shame of being seen in Elmo, or without pants and there he is, pantsless, in a night shirt, playin' a foo'. Don't make no sense 'tall

And this. The smile that launched a thousand heart-melts. This view makes so much worthwhile. I think she knows that. The little stinker...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Things That Have Made Me Laugh This Week

1 This morning I helped out at the YMCA childcare center.
Avee came up to me about 2 hours after we got there and said sharply, "Mom, I'm POOR!"
Me: How come?
Avee: Because I YAM. I'm not sixteen o' free, i'm POOR.
Me: But you haven't had your birthday yet, don't you want to wait until your birthday in March?
Avee:I'm not having a March, I'm poor NOW!

She was/ really worked up and pretty rude about it all. I tried to talk her into a great party with cake and "sparkles" on her cake, etc. She wanted nothing to do with this too far off birthday. She was four now. Finally I gave in and said, "Okay, you are four, Avee. And you also just might be the first 3 year old in the history of mankind to change the 12 month calendar year to fit your liking." She pretty much had me convinced.

A few minutes later I look over and see her contentedly coloring with markers.

And suddenly, I realize....

This childcare center has a stupid and completely arbitrary rule of only kids over the age of 4 being allowed to use markers. She has always hated that rule and well, so have I. She finally figured a way around it. When another teacher said something to me about it I put up my hand and said, "It's okay, she's poor."

2 This morning, I have no idea what time Bo got up. He and Avee had a great breakfast of cookies and pink lemonade. Bo made his own drink. He announced matter-of-factly, "Dad did 7 scoops, so I did 7 scoops.

Difference: Dad made 2 and a half quarts. Bo made 5 ounces.
He didn't once mention that it tasted awful. He did however ask J later to give him some "just plain watoh" to drink.

Avee and Bo were playing together when it inevitably ended in Bo laughing maniacally and Avee crying about him...well, laughing maniacally. While I held her on my lap, I pulled Bo close to me and explained that she is his baby sister and it is his job to always be kind to her and to make sure she never gets hurt. Especially by him. Avee interrupted my lecture and says with complete sincerity, "Bo! Can I touch your eye!" Of course Bo realizes why this is funny and starts laughing, which makes Avee laugh, because she loves to think she's funny, and then I wonder why I even bother.

3 This is how Avee fell asleep the other day. I thought about leaving her because I mean, really, falling off of the back of a couch is funny no matter who it happens to.

The beautiful marking on her face is her own brand of a makeup job. She's really only ever watched me put makeup on, so I guess that might tell you something. I dunno

4 This pretzel

got put in the microwave for 2 and a half minutes instead of 30 seconds and resulted in this:Causing THIS BOY to be devestated.
It was altogether very funny for me. Bo decided that the first 30 seconds didn't cook it enough. The reason being, "it was still hawd". It was hard because it had been overcooked. So he put it in for another 2 minutes. I was in the bathroom putting on makeup when I heard him start talking very casually about how much it was smoking. I called out, "Well stop it!" and he thought I meant for him to stop talking. When I ran into the kitchen smoke was pouring out of the microwave. I mistakenly said, "Why didn't you stop it Bo!?" and he completely lost it. He started sobbing and wailing, "I didn't knoooooooow, I didn't knoooooow!" Well of COURSE you didn't know. I was not mad for one single second. In fact, right when he lost it, I started laughing. I had never seen him react like that. He was terrified that he had almost burned the house down. I didn't learn that until later. In the meantime, he left me with yet another gross thing to clean up. When J came home he wanted to know why on earth someone would do that in the microwave. Of course he was joking, but it only induced more panic and wailing in Bo.

5 This picture of Avee talking on the phone to her not-quite-two, cousin. The clutter behind her isn't all that funny. But I enjoyed the picture.

Learning about my husband's choice of extracurricular activities in high school still tops the list.

7 Finding this note that my friend brought me the day after I wrote THIS POST. It made me laugh all over again.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

An Unfinished Post

When Bo was born, there were long nights, early mornings, exhausting days. We struggled for a while to figure out the parenting thing, and to know our roles. There were times when I didn't know what he needed or how to soothe him. My body ached from delivering him, it throbbed from feeding him, it was weary from caring for him. Everyone said it was just a phase, and before we knew it, he wouldn't be a newborn anymore. It felt like forever when I was in it.

I remember telling someone he was 13 and a half weeks old. I actually knew that at one point.

Suddenly he wasn't a newborn and he was a little human being crawling, walking, communicating.

When he was learning to talk he got frustrated a lot when I couldn't understand what he wanted. Like the time he was asking if he could go pee in the grass, even though he wore a diaper. And we wondered if he wanted pineapple. Or salsa. It was just a phase though. He learned to say anything he wants to say, and some things he shouldn't.

When he was 2 and a half we were in a car wreck and spun out of control across the freeway. In his carseat in the back he felt the car spin around several times and then crash against a guard rail. It was terrifying for all of us, but he couldn't get over it. For months, afterwards he screamed and clutched his carseat anytime a corner was turned sharply or he heard any kind of loud noise while we were driving. It broke my heart that he had been traumatized and I thought he'd never go back to feeling safe and secure driving with me. My mom told me it would be hard for him, but it was just a phase and he'd get over it eventually. He did.

When he was in diapers and I was dying for him to not be, it felt like an eternity before he was ready to be done with them. I waited and waited for him to say when. Everyone said to give it time, he'll give up diapers and never go back. That brief period of training can be rough, but it's just a phase. Now, he thinks it's a joke when we tell him that he used to wear diapers.

When he was 3, in the backseat of our car he practiced counting to 100 over and over and over. What comes after 24? 27? 38? 42? and how about 56? I thought I would lose my mind hearing those numbers over and over and over. It's just a phase, I reminded myself. Soon enough he'll get it, and he'll move on. Now he counts to 1000 and doesn't even think about it. Except to brag that he can, once in a while. Oh yeah, and to stay up 2 and a half hours past his bedtime, counting to it.

There were days when I just wished I could get through it without having someone crawling all over me. Wanting a drink, needing a nose wipe, sharing a kiss, craving comfort, reading a story...

Moments when I wished for the good ol' days of solo bathroom visits.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Something New Every Day

A couple of months ago the 11 year old neighbor boy came over and told J he was scared to go to college because of hazing. Without thinking about it, they started talking about hazing, in detail.

In front of Bo.

Bo got sick with worry. Literally. He started crying and panicking about getting hazed at college. He had probably just completed his first month of kindergarten.

J talked him down from that ledge, and I heard minor references to it a couple of times in the next week or so, but not much.

Said neighbor boy was here again tonight for dinner (PBJ boy's brother, if you're curious) and somehow hazing came up again. I think I heard Neighbor Boy say, in an effort to calm the fears he'd rustled back up in Bo, "If anyone tries to haze you at all, you just call me Bo, and I'll come help you out."

The conversation was brief and I was distracted and didn't think much of it. I think Bo asked a question and both J and I shot down the whole discussion of hazing.

I can't believe we have to discuss hazing with our 5-year-old.

Anyway, about a half an hour later, Bo is in the bathroom and calls something out, a question to Neighbor Boy. I said, "Hey, Bo? If you are going to the bathroom, why don't you just focus on that and then come out here and start a conversation when you are done."

He came out a few minutes later and his eyes were glassy and I immediately assumed he was getting sick. He came over to me on the couch and just laid against my legs. I even made J look at him. "He's getting sick, look at him," says I.

J searched Bo's entire face, looking for measles, mumps, rubella, pox, plague, or the palsy. I impatiently said, "just look at his face, you can see it, can't you just see it?!"

No, he did not see it.

I harumphed with the burden of being the only parent who knows anything.

Bo came back and rolled around on my legs, looking for comfort on my kneecaps.

I got reabsorbed into my book when I felt him tugging on my shirt. He was looking up at me with tears in his eyes, and in a barely audible voice that was fighting hard not to sob, he said, "Why do there have to be clubs? Why can't there be clubs where they don't haze in college?"

I couldn't believe it. My poor baby wasn't sick, he was still worried and had been crying all by his little lonesome in the bathroom. That's why his eyes were red and his face a little discolored.

I pulled him up into my arms and started my spiel.

You know the one you memorize before you have kids, in the parenting class you take, that teaches you what to say when your 5 year old starts to worry about things that will happen to him in college if he happens to be a stupid drunk who looks for other's approval before using an ounce of comment sense?

Yeah, that spiel.

I say, "Oh Bo, I went to a college where there was no hazing, and so did Daddy. You can totally go to a college where there isn't any hazing. The only clubs that have hazing are clubs full of dumb people, and you are a very smart boy. You will hang around with other smart people and you will be in clubs with other smart people. There are lots of clubs that are fun and good that you can join if you want. There are clubs in high school where the high schoolers go to elementary schools and help the younger kids with their school work. There are clubs for people who get good grades. There are clubs for people who like to act, it's called drama club. There are so many great clubs that don't have anything to do with hazing, and those are the kind of clubs you'll belong to."

And then I said, "Hey Dad, what kind of clubs have you been in?"

At which point, the love of my life, turned to our precious, impressionable, sweet, yearning for something, anything positive to replace the horrible thoughts of hazing son, and said,

"I belonged to the Andy Griffith Rerun Watchers Club"

"Ha ha, that's funny J, I'm serious."

"I am too."

(clickety to biggify)

If you call me tomorrow, and I don't answer, it's because
I have died laughing.