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Saturday, August 23, 2008

For Cryin' Out Loud

So, most of you who know me well, know that I cry. At almost anything. I don't know, I think I just came that way, wiring all crossed and whatnot. There's the normal stuff--anything patriotic, Church commercials, anytime I see parents and kids loving each other, Extreme Home Makeover, whenever I hear Pomp and Circumstance at graduations, etc. But then there's the other stuff, the Emotional Upgrade, let's call it. I cry when kid's teams perform, whenever someone is being brave, at beautiful music, whenever I read the Friend magazine to my kids (one time Girlie asked me why reading it always makes me so sad), when sports teams take the field (although I have to be there in person for it to make me cry). Parades are like an hour of crying for me. If you ever see me at a parade, I'll be smiling really, really big. That's to keep the tears from running down my face. I don't know what it is about parades--all the horses, American flags, little tiny gymnastics teams, marching bands, I guess. I've seen phone or soup commercials that do me in. But, a couple nights ago I was at the gym. I didn't even have my headphones, so I couldn't hear the TV that was on my elliptical machine, but I was watching the Olympics. Did any of you see that little Chinese girl and her amazing dive? It was like she jumped off the platform into a crumply, complicated blur, and then entered the water without a splash. It was truly amazing. Okay, right there, in the middle of a gym, with no obvious reason to anyone watching me, I burst into tears. Smiling, crying, there I was burning calories and sobbing about it. Then the TV showed her looking at the score (which included a bunch of 10s). Tears. Then she bowed. Lots more tears, great big smile. Then it showed her hugging her coach and bawling. That's when the noisy intake of my gulping air really disturbed the concentration of the gym. I called my sister (who had been watching it) on the way home and we cried again about it. I got home and told J about it. I cried some more. I'm even tearing up as I think about it now.

And now, my three month old seems to have inherited the crying gene, so goodbye.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Cheerful Disobedience

Lately, Sam Sam has taken up the practice of “cheerful disobedience.” I know, I had no idea what that was, either, until my little guy would give me his biggest grin as he'd say, “But, I just don't want to.”

Sammy, please help pick up your toys.
But, I just don't want to.

Sam, can you please stop yelling "Great balls of fire" and flinging water out of the tub?
Well, I just don't want to.


Hey, buddy, let's not glue your fingers together.
You guessed it--he just didn't want to.

He's been carrying on this way for a few days now. My wild Sam, WHY did you rip this page in your new book? He'd look down and shake his head, as if commiserating, and give me his sincerest, “I just don't know.” Son, WHY did you smash the wings of your wooden airplane into tiny shreds? That was met by a long shrug, a big sigh, and a, “I just...got carried away. I don't know.” Did my 2 year old really just...sadly think that he got “carried away?” He will gaze up at me with his huge eyes and then close them and shake his head as if to say, “Oh, I am right there with you, Mom. I so cannot believe that I did this. And, it's cheerful, too. There's no true remorse, there's no penitence. Just a matter-of-fact, cheery little statement of the obvious.


Well, I suppose I'll take this over "IT'S NO FAIR!!!" that I got in response to my dangerously slow "You had better get down on this floor and help clean up this entire bag of lentils that you have just spent the last five minutes standing on the table and flinging around my entire house."


P.S.: Under no circumstances buy into the "Help your child's motor skills by teaching them to pour. Use beans or rice if you don't want a wet mess!"


Monday, August 18, 2008

Daddy's Cup Cake


Well, I did it. I sent my first off to kindergarten. The day I've been dreading, and the one she couldn't wait for. All morning was spent asking "Is the bus here yet?" I brushed her hair for an extra long time, probably because of the funny, twisty thing my heart was doing today. She declined my well-planned outfit for her first day in favor of her "Daddy's cup cake" t-shirt, and insisted on picking non-matching hair elastics. "That's okay," I told myself. "That's what I raised her for--to make her own decisions."

We took plenty of pictures, pinned her name tag/bus number to her shirt, loaded the school supplies into her backpack, made sure she knew where the hand sanitizer pocket was, and walked up to the bus stop early. Well, it was supposed to be early, anyway. We were a good house away when the bus pulled up, so we had to hurry. The lump in my throat got huge and we hurriedly loaded her onto the bus. I waved and called out, "Have fun!" It came out too loud, and ended with a strangled sound and a sob. The other moms patted my back and said "Your first?" Then they assured me that by the second, third, fourth I'd be booting them onto the bus and cheering. The only thing that kept me going was her excitement and anticipation. And, only two hours 7 minutes until I see her again.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

My Heart--in three parts

Little Red in his blessing outfit that J brought back from his trip to China.



Friday, August 15, 2008

Boys will be boys...and sometimes girls

So, I don't know of many little guys more dedicated to being a boy than Sam Sam the Wild Man. He is fully committed to all things boy. Right out of the gate, he was all burps and gas. He loved to eat and now eats almost as much as I do (sometimes more). I worried a little when I found out I was pregnant with a boy. I'm totally girlie, as is my sweet daughter. I mean, pink, dress me up, loves shoes, and still believes in princesses living happily ever after. I kind of thought that our boy didn't stand a chance. I figured when he got old enough I'd hand him a ball or a truck and say, "Um, here. This is for you. I hear you are into these." In retrospect, there was nothing to worry about.

He is loud. He yells. Almost always ("I JUST LOVE MY BABY!!" comes out the same volume as "BIG BOYS DON'T HAVE TO SIT IN TIME OUT!!!"). He runs fast, vaults over my leather couch, jumps on my heirloom quilt, drops my good dishes into the sink with gusto. He tackles his sister, lifts gallons of milk to show his strength, and adds sound effects to any situation. He refuses to eat cereal that has girls on the front (only boys or animals) or use the purple foamy soap in the bath ("ORANGE IS FOR BOYS, PURPLE IS FOR GIRLS"). He gleefully makes "guns" out of anything--blocks, books, flowers, drinking straws. Not sure how he even knows what they are. We don't have guns, talk about them....we are a peace-loving people.

Which is why, it was such a surprise to see him waltzing into the room, swathed in pink satin and organza. "Hey, buddy. You're wearing Girlie's flower girl dress?"
"Yes, I am a princess," he said in a very princess-y voice.
"Wow. I thought you we're a little boy."
"No, I am a princess now." I had to admit he made a really beautiful girl. Meg appeared behind him smiling. "Do you like my sister?" she batted her eyelashes. Ah, the mastermind behind this estrogen packed room. I just had to laugh. Though J would have blown a gasket had he been here, I actually found it hilarious and figured that when he was ready, he would be a boy again. So I didn't make him change. The next time I saw them, they had bright purple lip gloss smeared clown-style around their mouths and eyebrows. I enjoyed the water-and-pretend-cookie tea party with them, addressing them as "Your Highness" and "Lovely Princess."

Apparently, it goes both ways. Later, they both came out of Sam Sam's room--each sporting a pair of his swimming trunks. Both shirtless. "LADIES AND GENTLEMEN. HEW IS MY BWUZZER (brother)."

Monday, August 11, 2008

...and then there was the time that I got old...

It's been coming on for a while now. Little signs. Hints that "aging" applied to me. Most recently, we bought a minivan. That pretty much sealed the deal. Not that (for a minivan) it's not fine, it's just that my "hip" factor took a serious dive. Even the "new car smell" wasn't comforting. Not like my white Camry was so edgy, it just wasn't made to tote around multiple kids, swimming gear, the stroller, and groceries all at the same time. It's kind of like driving around a big, mobile billboard that screams "Hey, look at me! I'm totally old! SUCH a mom, right here!" All my minivan-driving mommy friends threw around "convenient" and "roomy" and "great to travel in." "You'll love it" they all promised. But, it was like turning 30 all over again.

30. Thirty. Treinta. Trente. I'd never actually thought I'd make it to thirty. Not that I thought something bad would happen to me, I just never actually pictured being 30. It's like you cross some invisible threshold. All of a sudden you start hearing things like "lower metabolism" and "cholesterol testing". I started noticing wrinkles on my face that I swear were not there the day before. Especially when my eyebrows go up in surprise that I have wrinkles---that's really when they show. And the white hairs that are in stark contrast to my almost black hair? They went and got buddies and now there are too many to comfortably pluck out in two minutes.

On the 4th of July this year, our city's Freedom Festival featured several live bands over the two-day celebration, including Candlebox and Gin Blossoms. J and I high-fived over the fact that such hot bands were coming (picture "rock on" hands and some gentle head banging). Then, with a sudden start, we realized these were hot bands, not they are hot bands. Were hot bands...in "our day." We have a "day" now.

But, never mind that the check out lady totally didn't bother to check my ID when the scanner registered that I was buying rubber cement. Never mind that I look at the restaurant hostesses and wonder if they can drive yet. Never mind that I look for my music in the "Easy Listening" section at Best Buy. It's okay that I look forward to bed at about the same time my night used to begin. So what if that "stow and go" seating is really nice and "convenient". I'm 30...for a couple more months, anyway. Old enough to have a little of the wisdom life has to offer, old enough to be taken seriously. And, really, people--being 'old' feels sooo much younger than I ever thought it would.