Sunday, March 29, 2009

Why parents drink ... at least in this house

I believe that whoever coined the phrase the “terrible twos” did so simply to give parents a false sense of relief that when month thirty-six arrived, they would be in the clear. I’ve learned that misconception couldn’t be further from the truth. Two doesn’t have anything on my three-year old. We have been entering uncharted territory, experiencing tantrums, and outrageous conduct that is only acceptable in OTHER PEOPLE’S CHILDREN.

Tonight Kate decided that she did not want to cooperate and eat dinner with the family like a rationale human being. In our typical effort to show her that she doesn’t rule this house, we didn’t concede. Tears were shed and arguments were made, but dammit we were all going to eat together as a family and she was going to learn that this was a non-negotiable rule. Sounds like a peaceful, lovely, family dinner, doesn't it?

What do you do if you are a determined three-year old, not placated by your parents unwavering decision? You do this and then you LAUGH IN THEIR FACE.

Seconds after Kate’s dinner touched down on the dining room floor, she was placed in timeout in her room. Admittedly, taking her away from dinner was her desired end result, so probably not the most effective punishment. But in the moment, it was all we had to work with. After a few minutes of crying, we noticed it was eerily quiet in Kate’s room. We continued to eat our dinner, wondering what discord was happening upstairs. Upon venturing up to check on the banished child, imagine our surprise when she was not visible in her bedroom. Upon closer inspection, she was found, having a grand time, as she hid under her bed.

After a stern conversation, Kate returned downstairs with the directive to pick up all of the food she had so artistically strewn on the floor. She picked up the first chuck of broccoli and raised her hand towards her mouth. “Stop it Kate, we don’t eat food that has been sitting on the floor for 20 minutes. That is disgusting!” I said. Seizing the opportunity, Kate informed me that she wasn’t eating it, she was putting it into the garbage. Perfect, I thought. Within a nanosecond, Kate brought the second morsel of broccoli directly into her mouth. “KATE! Don’t EAT IT, “ I said once again, perhaps a decibel louder than appropriate. “Mom, I am NOT EATING IT,” Kate replied with equal determination.

Then, I watched as she stuffed her mouth with broccoli, ran over to the garbage, opened it, and spit the food in. Spec-freaking-tacular. Not one to be outwit by a mere child, I told Kate that not only could she not EAT the food from the floor, but she couldn’t put it IN her mouth. That lasted about 15 seconds, she did it again, and returned to timeout upstairs.

Awhile later, Kate once again returned to civilization to complete cleaning up the battlefield. Gingerly, she picked up one piece of salmon and placed it in the garbage. On the second move, she brought the piece of food up to her face. “Kate!” I said sharply.

“Mommmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, I am touching my chin, not my mouth!” she said. With every piece of food she picked up, she deliberately brought it towards her face, with a twinkle in her eye, touched it to her chin, and then threw it in the garbage.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Pehaps Honey Would Have Sounded Better?

Craig and I have always been very attentive to keeping our disagreements away from Kate. Not that we would ever fight, but in the event that we ever did engage in such an activity, we would certainly refrain from doing so in her presence. However, that does not necessarily preclude the “looks” or the “comments” that manage to convey frustration in the moment. Because, heaven forbid you actually let something just “go” until later … am I right? Kate has been young enough that those tidbits seemingly went unnoticed by her.

Until now I guess.

Sunday night Craig dutifully obliged to giving Kate her nightly bath, since I would be losing his help for the remainder of the week. After they finished, he brought her into her room, all wrapped up in a towel. As I began to get her dressed, I noticed that her face appeared to be a little bit dirty. How could that be? Isn’t this the child who just got bathed?

“Kate, did you and Daddy wash your face when you were in the tub?”

Kate looks at me with wide eyes and mischievously glances from me to Craig and back to me.

“Kate, did you and Daddy wash your face in the bath?”

Kate starts smiling one of those nervous smiles. You know the one. If I could have read inside her little mind, I am sure the commentary would follow along these lines: Dude, Daddy is going to be in so much trouble! Of course we were supposed to wash my face in the tub, but he forgot and I was so not going to remind him. I wonder what Mommy is going to do. I can’t wait to see what happens. Is he actually going to admit it? Giggle. Giggle. Giggle.

Craig interjects a precautionary, “Oh, I guess we did forget to wash her face. I washed her body though.”

At this point, I admit that I might have possibly given him a look. Yes, the look. The I Can’t Believe You Didn’t Wash Her Face In The Tub look. This of course was exacerbated by the fact that he was seeking exemption under the premise of remembering to wash her body.

Kate’s eyes are playing ping-pong between me and Craig … waiting … appearing to quite enjoy this moment. From me to Craig, back to me, then to Craig. Waiting, watching, anticipating. I didn’t say anything, just proceeded to get Kate dressed.
Finally, Kate couldn’t take it anymore. She looks across the room and in her most exasperated valley-girl voice, says in three distinct syllables CR – AAAAIIIIII – G.

Not proud of the moment, but keeping it real here. I apparently need to work on a new approach. There is nothing like a 3-year old impersonation to make you stop and see yourself from a completely different perspective. Dang.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Kate: Month Thirty-Eight

Dear Kate,

Last week you turned thirty-eight months old. Each month when I attempt to gather fragments that have occurred since my last letter to you, I am amazed at how much one can change in such a short period of time. This month has been turbulent, bringing out some aspects of your character that I just haven’t witnessed before. I sit here thinking how blissful life would be if I had still not witnessed them, but I don’t have that luxury. We have graduated to the knock-down, drag-out tantrum phase. Historically, you’d get a little upset from time to time, bordering on a mini-fit on occasion. I was successful at diverting those tantrums, or reducing their magnitude. In fact, I would have considered myself an expert in this area, certainly worthy of a prestigious award of some type. Just to prove that I am master of nothing, you decided to major in tantrums this month.

In reality, I can relate to tantrums. There are many times in life when nothing feels more appealing than a gigantic tantrum. How I would love to kick and scream at work when things just don’t go right. How I would love to curse obscenities at the current state of our economy and all of the injustices inflicted upon decent, hardworking friends. However, your tantrums don’t seek to right any wrongs, they simply defy logic and reason without fail. I think you broke a record one morning this week with a tantrum ensuing because I didn’t turn the water on quite correctly. The right way eluded me … the only apparent incorrect way whichever one I was currently practicing in an attempt to divert the massacre of my eardrums. This was followed closely by a second tantrum after I failed to hold you and let you stare at the kitchen counter for hours on end while you repeatedly asked me to identify the different objects on it. The movie is still a movie, the book is still a book, and my purse is still a purse. Despite that educational tutorial, you proceeded to wail like I was beheading beloved Baby Kate when I decided that we had been through the diatribe long enough.

These tantrums upset your world, creating a perfect imbalance in all that you wish to control. It astonishes me to witness you reacting with such uncontrollable fury. Your face turns red, enormous tears well up in your eyes, and you scream. Then you scream and scream and scream some more. I have to fight the urge to laugh at the absurdity of the situation. Instead I try to see things from your perspective, empathizing with how frustrating it must be to have such little power over your world. I must admit that trying to see things from that perspective is challenging. It is akin to trying to see the positives in a Bin Laden, a sewer leak, or the addition of 10 pounds to your waistline. I suddenly realized that THIS must be the stage those others parents spoke of. A stage we’ve only glimpsed momentarily in months past. A stage that better be vacated quickly, or the thought of ever having a second child will likely be removed from the list of CRAZY THINGS I MIGHT CONTEMPLATE AT A FUTURE DATE.

Amazingly enough, at the same time you’ve signed on to compete for the title of World Championship Tantrum Thrower, you have also discovered and embraced your affectionate side. While I know it has always been there, I simply think you never slowed down enough to find it. You were never one to want to be held or cuddled. Not because you weren’t sweet in your own way, but your mind was all PUT ME DOWN WOMAN, I’VE GOT THINGS TO EXPLORE. I don’t think it is a coincidence that while you are branching out, pushing boundaries, and fighting for your independence, you are equally cautious, seeking comfort, security, and familiarity with us. Nightly you request that I snuggle with you and I happily oblige. Realistically, I know that like every other phase you enter, this will be gone as quickly as it arrived. Before I know it, you’ll be rolling your eyes at me and telling me to get out of your room and I’ll certainly be reminding you that you used to force me to cuddle with you every night before you went to bed.

I am sure I am forgetting some of the highlights of the month. They are lost in between the fragmented, repressed memories of the tantrums and the heartwarming cuddles we share every night. Life doesn’t get any better than this.


Friday, March 20, 2009

Deep in Thought

Awhile back, the consensus amongst some unnamed qualified medical professionals was that I should meditate. As someone who cannot sit still, I could not envision a more torturous endeavor than meditation. Sure, it sounds appealing in theory, but in reality it makes my jaw clench and my body convulse like nails on a chalkboard does. Apparently I possess some character traits like perfectionism, over commitment, an inability to say no, and the desire to keep constantly busy. I do not associate all of those with the disdain in which they have been addressed to me, similar to oh, people with homicidal tendencies and crack habits. However, in an effort to maximize my health, I’ve been repeatedly assured that I should meditate, even starting in small increments, and I would notice a significant benefit.

“Well, what do you mean by small increments?”

“You can just start by using a small portion of time in the morning to meditate. Relax and focus on your breathing, do not even try to do anything else - just breathe. Clear your mind and breathe.”

“But how long should I do it?”

“What do you mean?”

“I just need to know how long I should try it for. I want to make sure I am doing it correctly.”

“Lyndsay, the fact that you need to apply your perfectionism, organization, and time constraints to meditation means you need it more than I initially thought,”

With that decree, I agreed to try meditation the following day. I woke up early … I normally wake up at 5:15, so I am not sure that early is the appropriate terminology for earlier than that. I drug myself out of bed and positioned myself to meditate.

Okay, focus on your breathing. In and out. In and out.
What happens if I fall asleep right here? My alarm is already off and I will be late for work. Work, what do I have to do at work today? I think financial statements are distributed today. Ugh.
Okay, stop thinking. Focus on your breathing. In and out. In and out.
That sundried tomato hummus we had last night was so good. I should pack some of it for lunch today. Oh, it would make a great appetizer for the baby shower too. The shower! I only have a couple of weeks until the shower and I haven’t even ordered a cake. I wonder if I would be breaking meditation rules if I opened my eyes long enough to write a note to remember to order cake today.
Shut up mind, shut up. We are supposed to be focusing on nothing, just breathing and relaxing. In and out. In and out.
I wonder how many minutes I have left. I don’t think I put the clothes in the dryer last night, so I can’t wear the pants I planned to wear. What should I wear instead? Is it supposed to be warm today again, or freeze your ass cold? Maybe we really should think about moving somewhere warmer. I’m totally going to develop Seasonal Affective Disorder if winter does not go away.
Okay, loser, you can’t even meditate right. Shut up. Breath in and out. In and out.
Wait, I’m not supposed to insult myself, am I? I think that defeats part of the purpose of this meditation business.
Stop it. Stop it. Stop it. Is meditation supposed to make you crazy? Now that would certainly defeat the purpose.

Pay attention and breathe. Think about nothing and focus on breathing. In and out.
Okay, this has got to be ten minutes. If not, close enough. I’ve made it through one day of meditation. What, three minutes? Three freaking minutes?
Okay, maybe I’ll shoot for five minutes today instead of ten. Close your eyes and breathe. In and out.

Now, wasn’t that relaxing?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Stop the Madness

A few interesting occurrences have happened at our house over the course of this week. These serious situations have wreaked havoc on my conscious, leaving me floundering and feeling like an imposter in my own body. A few rungs on my socioeconomic status ladder have broken, catapulting me down to unfamiliar territory. These are some lofty disclosures that should not be used against me in a court of law. However, if they cause you to question my character, I completely understand.

The first incident occurred while grocery shopping on Sunday. Kate had been banished to the car with her father, after the show she put on, titled I BET YOU’VE NEVER SEEN A KID MISBEHAVE THIS BADLY IN PUBLIC, subtitled And my parents thought they were the ones running the show around here. Amazingly, after her exile, the shopping trip was pleasant. In fact, I deliberately walked at a slower pace, debated my purchases, and leisurely admired the produce. It is rather pathetic that this uninterrupted shopping trip felt like a luxury, but it did. Besides, they were in the car and I was in the store and I was in no rush to alter that peaceful (for me) arrangement. As I was wandering the wine aisle, I remembered my bloggy friend Cate’s disclosure that not only did she drink wine from a box, but she actually enjoyed it. I looked at the shelves of boxes, utterly confused, feeling like a stranger in a foreign land who doesn’t speak the language. I realized that this is exactly how a man must feel when he is sent to buy tampons for his wife. Ultimately, I just chose one and added it to my cart. Later that night I tried it and realized it wasn’t all that bad. That explains how I’ve evolved into being a woman who drinks wine from a box. Which is only one step ahead of a woman who drinks Boones Farm, right?

I hadn’t even had time to recover from the first character-questioning incident when the second incident occurred. If you can’t appreciate bathroom humor, then you might as well exit stage left right now. As I was saying, Kate went into the bathroom to use the potty and proudly declared that she had to poop. I sat her on the toilet and waited. She looked up at me and proudly exclaimed, “I am going to STINK UP this bathroom!” Often I wonder whose kid Kate really is as she says and does things that are so different than me. But at this specific moment, I stood dumbstruck and thought OH MY GOD – you’ve turned into your father.

So come on over, the boxed wine is great and my daughter will entertain you with proud assertions from the bathroom. Any class we had has been bottled up and thrown in the trash, or flushed down the toilet. Next thing you know, I’ll be shopping regularly at the Walmarts, storing inoperable vehicles on blocks in my front yard, and trying to rationalize that even though my uncle married my cousin, but its okay you know because they don’t plan on having any of dem dere chitlens.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Starting the Neurosis Young

In preparation for our flight, my wonderful friend Jodi brought me a few toddler books on airports and travel. Since I’ve already explained how helpful preparing Kate for anything new is, suffice to say that I jumped at the chance to read these books to Kate, giving her an idea of what to expect at the airport and on the plane.

One of the books did an outstanding job of covering the entire experience, from arrival at the ticket counter to take-off. As I was reading the book, I got to the part where it covered the security check and the metal detector. I hadn’t thought to talk to Kate about that, but it made sense. Considering my security-check record, we’d likely be chosen for “additional security checks” anyway, so I might as well prepare her for the magic metal wand and humiliation of emptying our belongings out for the world to see. Who put THAT in there? No, that certainly isn’t MINE. It must be because I didn’t keep my bags in my possession since I arrived at the airport.

Yes, back to the book. As the book carefully described the security checkpoint, it said, “…to make sure no one is bringing anything dangerous onto the airplane.” The first time I read that sentence, it caught me totally off guard. Why would you interject such a comment into a children’s book? I am quite certain that Kate has not been pondering the dangerous items that might be aboard our aircraft. I think it is called the bliss of childhood, no? I quickly read that sentence and moved on to finish the book. I never gave it additional thought.

Days later, as we pulled into the airport parking lot, Kate started talking about the airport. Soon, she started talking about the metal detector. In a naive moment, I encouraged her narrative, excited that she knew what to anticipate. Suddenly, she asked an unanticipated question.

“It will make sure we don’t have anything dangerous, right mommy?”

I tried to feign a calm front, while wondering why my darling child chose the freaky part of the book to remember. I brushed off her question, hoping to redirect her attention to a less conspicuous activity.

“Mommy, what is dangerous? We can’t bring anything dangerous on the airplane?"

Once again, I calmly assured Kate that nothing on the airplane was dangerous. MOVE ON KID. We only have a few hundred feet until we enter the terminal and you need to exhaust this question before you draw attention to us.

“Mommyyyyyyyyy, is our suitcase dangerous?”

I ignored her. What else could I do? We quickly navigated the self check-in kiosk and headed towards the infamous security checkpoint. In midst of the chaos and luggage orchestration, I forgot about Kate’s current rant. Within minutes she started chastising the couple behind us, asking if their luggage was dangerous.

A proud parenting moment.

The mantra of the moment

“The irony of commitment is that it’s deeply liberating – in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.” - Anne Morriss

If putting it into action were only so simple.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Deep Revelations from Vacation

There isn’t much worse than returning home from vacation, is there? I promise, soon I will stop talking about vacation. How annoying it is that everything is all about my vacation? Instead of posting about my vacation all week long, forcing me to sob at my desk while I return to reality, I figured I’d wrap up the whole vacation in this post. Save for the stories about the security checkpoint and the toe-cracker incident, which totally deserve their own posts at a later date.

With that lame introduction, I present the top three things I learned on vacation.

First, Kate is a fantastic traveler. To counteract her Tasmanian Devil tendencies, all she needs is an airplane to turn into a perfect little Shirley Temple. Maybe it’s the cabin pressure. Note to self: find a way to simulate said pressure on an ongoing basis. Her favorite parts of the flight were TAKE-OFF, LANDING, and TURBULANCE. If I didn’t know that this child was surgically extracted from my uterus, I’d use this as proof that she certain does not have my DNA.

Second, apparently some obscure memorandum was issued to select mothers advising them that allowing their child to PEE in the SAND at a public beach is permissible. I was omitted from that mailing list, but the family next to us on Sanibel Island apparently was not. I can appreciate the immediate urgency to locate facilities for a potty-trained toddler who needs to pee NOW, and may even grant a poor mother a courtesy pass in those circumstances. I do not appreciate the indolent mother who instructs her children to “go” before they start playing and even if they don’t have to that they should “at least try.” That activity was followed up by a directive to cover it up with sand. I expected the catnip and Fancy Feast to follow.

Third, it is not advisable to wait until you feel like you are getting burned before you apply sunscreen. Nothing good will come of that approach. It is even less advisable if you are of Scandinavian decent and are so pale-white that you border on translucent. Retuning to taunts of “Powder” and “Albino” despite having been in a sunny climate are preferable to having skin so irritated that walking around without any clothes on in a public place almost sounds like a logical solution. Additionally, if someone had offered to sever my sunburned feet off with a dull butter knife last night, I would have entertained the idea because it certainly would have been LESS PAINFUL.

Now please excuse me while I mourn vacation and apply some more Aloe Vera.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Glimpse of Vacation

She says she doesn't want to go back home. For some reason, I don't think crying and commiserating with her would help, would it?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Perhaps Some Vocational Exploration is Needed

During this visit to Florida, I was informed that the current unemployment rate in this area hovers around 11%. It makes me almost proud to be from Michigan, you know, where the economy is stellar in comparison. With such a staggering unemployment rate, one would guess that those in the workforce would be diligently working to ensure their continued employment. At least, one would think.

Yesterday we visited a local tourist trap, one where the vacuums suck your pockets dry upon entry, and there is no shortage of garbage (both literally and figuratively) available. Call me a cynic, but I am always too irritated with succumbing to these places to enjoy the experience. At the end of the long, expensive day, we stopped by the ice cream parlor before we headed to the car. When we went to order, I noticed the elderly lady, probably in her mid-seventies, working behind the counter. Initially I assumed she was the owner, or perhaps was such a gem that she’d just worked there for ages. Imagine my surprise when she was not only borderline incompetent, but also behaved in such a way that I believe kicking her ass might have crossed my mind. When you are considering accosting a senior citizen over ice cream, you know things have reached a new low.

Apparently this lady must need employment, because she is grappling at straws with this whole ice cream gig, which is evidently not her calling. Considering the current unemployment rate and my career in the HR field, I feel compelled to offer this woman some helpful tips to help her maintain successful employment and avoid altercations with stressed parents of tired, combative, toddlers.

First tip, when the parent goes to order raspberry ice cream for their toddler, do not look confused, and ask if they’ve noticed all of the other ice cream available. Lady, I’ve ordered ice cream enough times to understand that there are different flavors in each of those little buckets there. I’m also bright enough to realize that the convenient little placards advertise all of the flavors you have available. I would have thought the whining toddler affixed to my leg, my wild-eyed look, and the urgency in which I conveyed my order would have dropped the hint that time was of the essence.

Second tip, when the parent assures you that they are satisfied with their stated choice, do not, I repeat DO NOT ask if the parent realized that they had Superman ice cream and politely ask if maybe the child would prefer that instead. See, Kate was exposed (against our will) to Superman ice cream last year and after eight months of intense brainwashing, we had slowly been making progress. Superman ice cream has been my nemesis. I’ve perfected the technique of scouting out the culprit and carefully positioning Kate in a way she can’t see it. That sort of defeats the purpose when the lady behind the corner loudly announces its existence. I'd like the 30 minutes of my life back that this argument sucked out of me.

Third, when the parent affirms that they are still satisfied with their initial choice, do not loudly ask if they are aware that it is SUGAR FREE. I am aware that times were different “back then” and you likely fed your children Superman ice cream and they did not grow an extra appendage or turn into serial killers. To each their own. Just don’t look at me like sugar free ice cream is the equivalent of crack cocaine.

I am typically forgiving, especially to the geriatric population, but this wasn’t particularly cute or grandmotherly. It is possible that you were trying to save poor Kate, save her from the injustices of her mother. Unless you plan on sticking around for the next fifteen years, I say we might as well let Kate get a good dose of reality now.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

I swear, he really doesn't

There is this interesting phenomenon that occurs in our house when Craig and Kate are left alone. Without fail, I hear a shriek, a cry, a scream, or a crash. Inevitably, something is broken, bruised, damaged, or a combination of the above. The incident is never clear and neither party is quite sure what events transpired, or exactly who was responsible for the occurrence. These incidents range from minor spills on the just-donned church outfit to the nail impression in the forehead that was the lovely remnant of a deck fall. I’ve conferred that the fear of being in trouble, and corresponding immediate onset of amnesia, applies equally to both children and husbands.

As we were I was packing for our trip, Craig and Kate were sitting on the bed, watching a television show. Kate was eating a cereal bar that Craig was responsible for holding on to. Within minutes, with unbeknownst cause that neither party will admit to, the cereal bar ended up on the floor. An immediate meltdown ensued. In case you aren’t privy, things that touch the floor absolutely cannot be eaten because they are GROSS and DIRTY.

In an effort to get Kate to eat the cereal bar, and save him a trip downstairs to get another, Craig picked it up. He dramatically blew it off, declared it clean, and took a giant bite. Kate looked up wide-eyed at Craig and simultaneously declared, “Daddy likes dirty things!”

I cannot wait until Kate chooses the perfectly inopportune moment to declare this in some public manner. It is only a manner of time and will be one of those moments where I stammer and desperately try to explain that isn’t exactly what it sounds like. You know, one of those moments where people are looking at you, thinking “sure ...”

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

An Exercise in Literal Thinking

With Kate, I’ve learned that as much as I can prepare her for something new in advance, the greater likelihood that something new will be bearable for all of us. Accordingly, I’ve perfected this technique of prepping her for new experiences, ones where I am near hyperventilating about how she will otherwise handle. If I can tell her what to expect, what will happen, and WHAT SHE WILL DO, I can guarantee some degree of cooperation. This method works so much better than not talking to her about it at all, or issuing ultimatums and threats that I will not follow-through on when she misbehaves. Kate sees a threat as a challenge, the ultimate test of her will. In other words, a threat is the spoken contract that she will promptly do whatever it is that you’ve banished, while she looks over her shoulder at you with a twinkle in her eye. Damn those hereditary genes.

So, my convoluted approach works with Kate. Let’s say we were getting ready to take her to an event. I talk about the event, what she’ll see, who would be there, and any other pertinent information. Then I nonchalantly add her into the story line, “Then you will sit in your seat like such a big girl and you will clap and stay really good in your chair Kate.” So, when said event arrives and all things follow the storyline I’ve woven, she naturally expects the next paragraph to follow suit. So, as she sits there, stationary in her chair, she looks at me with excitement and says, “See mom, I AM sitting here right in my chair and I HAVE been clapping.” She is ineffably thrilled about executing her role without blemish.

Maybe it’s parental common sense to take this approach. I don’t know, but I feel pretty smart figuring it out all on my own, so humor me in this accomplishment. Either it is a moment of mommy-brillance, or one more check mark in the “contributed to the need for intense psychotherapy” box that her future therapist will check. “So tell me again Kate, how did your mother make up stories in such a way that you were removed from your true reality?”

While Kate and I ate dinner tonight, I capitalized on the perfect moment to start talking about DA PLANE DA PLANE. We talked about the plane, the noise, the turbulence, and the little bottles of liquor mom will need to sneak in her carry on.

“And then the plane will take off into the sky Kate. When it does, your ears might feel a little funny. So, we’ll bring suckers so you can suck on them to help your ears.”

“My ears will be funny?”

“Yes, they’ll feel funny from being in the air.”

“Oh, because they will be flapping when we start flying?”

Um, well, not exactly. You may not find that nearly as funny as I did, but I am still laughing about it as I type. Perhaps that means it doesn’t take much to entertain me. I am okay with that.

I moved past the Dumbo-ear issue and started addressing the need to stay in our seat and BE QUIET. Because, for the love Kate, these people don’t want to listen to you narrate the entire flight, much like you narrate every moment of our life. We find it cute and endearing. They will, well, not.

“So, then Kate, we will have to be quiet. There will be a lot of other people on the plane and it is important to be quiet so we don’t bother other people.”

“Because then they will all get up and jump out of the plane mom?”

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Caution: Do not try this at home

On Sunday, after I had been in the car for uncountable torturous hours, I was craving some human contact. While calling someone is easy, there are times when talking just feels like too much work. It is that awkward stage of wanting company, but not quite desperately enough to engage in arduous work, like syllables and coherent sentences. In these moments, there is no more glorious invention that the text message. So, I grabbed my phone and the follow text-conversation took place:

ME: What doing?
CRAIG: You are going to get a ticket.
ME: What? For what?
CRAIG: For texting while you are driving.
ME: Whatever. I’ve got skillz.
ME: What is Nlol?
CRAIG: Not laughing out loud.
ME: Shut up, you text while you are driving.
CRAIG: No. No, I don’t.
ME: Oh, you so do.
CRAIG: No, I pull over.
ME: Is your nose growing?
CRAIG: Really I DO pull over.
ME: Uh uh.
CRAIG: Seriously.
ME: I guess that is a good thing. You can’t drive even when you aren’t texting. I catch your point.

Disclaimer: I did not actually state that I was driving. This very easily could have transpired at a stop light (or some other non-moving event), which isn't as dangerous as it is downright annoying.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Please pass the cheese

When I don’t have time to blog I get ornery. I think that is because writing is pretty much the only relaxing activity that I partake in. I can see the book title now: How Blogging Saved What Was Left of My Sanity. Oh and my definition of ornery might be slightly different than those close to me. I, ahem, don’t admit to ornery very often, so you know it has to be ugly, right?

Well, I haven’t had time to write lately, or to even breathe for that matter … and I am getting ORNERY. Ornery as is I am nearing that little precipice where being nice to innocent bystanders is teetering on impossible.

Situations like this are best illustrated with examples, so let me give you an overview of my schedule from last Friday morning through tomorrow night. While I know that is the last thing on earth you care to read, taking this out on my keyboard might help release some of this stress. Hmmm, where to start. I worked a 16-hour day, orchestrated a company event for 146 people, emceed portion of said event, drove 14 hours (round trip) to see my sister, met my nephew, attending my nephew’s bris ( deserves its own post, as I am not Jewish), didn’t sleep one night while listening to my bleating nephew (not so endearing when shrieking baby is not yours), worked a 10-hour day, presented to our Board of Directors, developed a mid-term exam, had a Dr.’s appt that was beyond infuriating (deserves it’s own book, I am certain), will work another 8-hour day, and then administer exam to class.

I’m such a slacker. I mean, whatever will I do with the second half of the week? Well, besides packing three people for a vacation and being a single parent in the meantime.

I think ornery is a rather generous description.

Perhaps I SHOULD avoid blogging during times like this, since everyone enjoys nothing more than coming to a pity party, right?