Showing posts from July, 2009

I Hate You for Making Me Say This

I hate saying stupid things. I count as "stupid" the silly things we now have to say to purchase various items or use certain services. It has always struck me as mildly manipulative, for example, that a McDonald's patron has to say "I'd like to super size that, please." Because really, all you are doing is repeating what some advertising executive came up with as a way to brand McDonald's and grab more market share. OK, call me cynical. But there are other things I feel silly saying just because. I hate saying "Grande" or "Vente" when I order at Starbucks, especially the latter. I suspect that my reluctance to say those two words is the real reason behind my regular order of a Tall Non-Fat Latte. "Tall" is a normal word. I can say "tall." (Never mind that what that actually means is "I'll have the small size, please." So now, tall = small. Interesting.) I have always claimed that I or

Words Not Needed

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Do I Have What it Takes for Garbage Day?

My two-year old daughter loves garbage trucks. She gets excited when we see them in our travels around town, but nothing compares to garbage day at our house, when these magnificent machines come barreling down the street. This is cute, right? We live on a corner, which means there are four different garbage truck routes. And since there are two trucks per house -- garbage trucks and the alternating green waste and recycling trucks -- no less than eight times a day, each and every Monday, a garbage truck goes by and must be honored with her adoration and fervor. She is not satisfied by merely running to the window and looking at them. We have a little routine. She hears the trucks down the street, comes running to me screaming "GARGH CHUCK, GARGH CHUCK" with arms outstretched, and I must grab her in my arms, run to the front door and out onto the sidewalk so that she can wave madly at the driver. As the truck drives away, she says "BYE BYE CHUCK!" She is

Why Bookstores are Dangerous

My 10-year old walked past an interesting book today at Barnes and Noble. He just came downstairs from being in bed to ask us about it. The title? 5 People Who Died During Sex, and Other Terribly Tasteless Lists Woo-hoo! Talk about freakin' the kids out!?!? That's almost as good as the priest telling the new 7-year old communicants about St. Whatsername, who died of esctasy at the moment she first took Holy Communion. (Really happened at our 2nd child's First Communion Mass; thankfully, my kid was focusing on his shoelaces at the time and missed the entire story.) Nothing like being afraid of the Eucharist AND sex. Kids, the lesson here is to stay the hell away from bookstores. (I might be sneaking back to buy that book, but shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! don't tell the kiddies...) * * *

Can You Say DIVA?

photo credit: Auntie Debra I love this kid. She is such a great combo: pink dresses and black sambas, fashionista shades and dirty fingernails. She even has a Dirt Diva hat. (Want one? Click the link and you too can garden in style.) Perfect. Love it. She also seems to be developing an interesting habit. I first noticed this last soccer season, when she spent the better part of every Rockets game chasing, pummeling, and harassing a certain 9 year old boy, an older brother to one of our Rockets players. Then, at the Summer Concert event we went to last Friday, I spied her full on chasing a boy she met that very evening. She runs like a beast, and she was totally after him. Then, last night we were at the park with some friends and again, there she is, chasing a boy she just met, and being chased in return. Hmmm. Interesting. What am I going to do with her when the real chasing begins? I don't think I did much boy chasing when I was her age, certainly not when I was in high sc

Thank God for Naughty Children

Thank you, 4- and 2-year old. Thank you for disobeying me, for dumping untold cups of water on the bathroom floor while bathing. Thank you for tossing said water on your 7-year old sister, as she tried to use the toilet, soaking her completely while she screamed and peed. Thank you for dousing the toilet paper roll I had just replaced. Thank you for pouring so much water on the floor that it seeped out into the hallway and destroyed a wayward book. Thank you for breaking the "no water outside the bathtub" rule for the umpteenth time. You know better. And so, you have been sent to bed early, and my house is quiet. No bed time struggles for me this evening; you are already asleep! Your three older siblings go to bed relatively easily; it's you two who make my evenings tortuous. But not tonight : and for this, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Note to self: think of ways to get the wee ones to break rules at 7pm. * * *

Things We Say

We took the kids to a local Summer Concert Series on Friday evening; the weather was lovely, the music was good, and the kids had a blast. They ran around with a pack of insta-friends, the kind only kids seem to be able to make. At one point, I noticed both of my girls doing the "gotta go" dance while trying desperately to keep on playing. So off to the bathroom at the pizza place. Once inside, my four year old decided she didn't have to go after all. This has got to be one of the most frustrating bits of parenting: getting a kid to pee when you know she has to and when she chooses that moment to assert a little pre-K control. So what brilliant words of wisdom did I pull from my arsenal to get what I wanted? For your edification, I present what NOT to say in this situation: "Fine, Elizabeth. I know you have to go, and I'm not bringing you back here in 10 minutes when you realize how badly you have really have to go." Yeah, that'll show her. C

Maybe Ward and June Had the Right Idea

This is not a political post. This is not about feminism, or equality, or glass ceilings. This is about my family . And my family is living a common enough reality, with two working parents and still not enough money and children who just want to enjoy childhood. And so, I find myself wishing that we could go back to the 50's, when one parent (mama) stayed home and worked as the family's CEO and one parent (dad) went out into the world of commerce (or wherever) and made enough money for everyone else to live on. Who doesn't think this made all kinds of freakin' sense? Families -- children -- need someone around all the time, and families -- children -- need a CEO who can devote 100% of her or his attention to...wait for it... the family . OK, I understand what I'm saying here. Here's what I'm NOT saying: I'm NOT saying that women should abandon their career dreams and get back in the kitchen. I'm NOT saying that the 50's were overall bett

An Old-Fashioned Family Fourth of July

Grandma Lola, behold your gift in all its glory: Is she ready for July Fourth, or what? She definitely was the best dressed kid in the family. The others were lucky to have matching socks. Oh, and Tallulah wore her finest shade of flushed red, as she spent the day with a fever, so home with Rick away from the festivities. The rest of us went to a Fourth of July Festival, home for quick burgers, and back out for fireworks. Sounds lovely, yes? Well, it was about as lovely as overly heightened family events tend to be. Too much sugar, too many people, too much stimulation, culminating in too many tears and too many tired children. Oh, and my personal favorite, too much yelling from mommy. It was fabulous. Can't wait till next year. But the well dressed kid up there? Truly lovely, so thank you, Grandma Lola! * * *