Thursday, February 26, 2009

Two Girls in a Tub

It's been one of those evenings. The kind the children scarcely survived. Not because of impending natural disaster or accident (you know most of those happen at home). The children scarcely survived because they were horrible monsters and I wanted to kill them. Didn't want to leave daycare, didn't want to get out of the car once home, talked back to mommy repeatedly, insisted on dinner on the front porch, refused to eat dinner, complained of being hungry, cried because there would be no treats, begged for "sleepy time tea", refused to drink sleepy time tea, complained of being hungry, cried that mommy was starving them, refused to go upstairs, refused to remove shoes, hit each other, refused to give mommy a hug goodnight, cried because mommy left the room without giving them a hug goodnight. These are my progeny, my gift to the world. World, please come get your @#$%ing gift.

I met a woman at the opening ceremony of the Avon 2-Day Walk for Breast Cancer when Kate was just 15 months old and Sarah was but a twinkle in her daddy's eye. This woman had 3 girls who were all teen-agers. She said something to me that I think about almost daily on the topic of rearing children. It was not "watch where you step", although that would also be good advice and I am making a mental note to myself as I write this to impart it to some unsuspecting new mother at some point. She said "the hard stuff gets easier and the easy stuff gets harder."

Evenings like these leave me completely exhausted and wishing we'd just gone ahead and gotten another dog instead of reproducing, but upon reflection I am forced to admit that most of this is what that woman probably thought of as the "easy stuff". So terrifying is this thought, that despite my sheer, all-over, deep-muscle tired, I can't really sleep. In an effort to cheer myself up as I close my eyes and envision teen-age Kate and Sarah (help!) I'm instead thinking of how adorable they were last night, when they were taking a bath together and giggling in the tub. See?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Despite the fact that it's been around for decades, caller ID still freaks me out a little

I love my hair salon (see previous note regarding different types of love. This is nothing kinky.) First, it's 3/10 of a mile from my house, so I can walk to get my haircut. It's also right across the street from my coffee shop. I also love the coffee shop. I'm going to go ahead and put it right out there, their black coffee aint the best in town. However, their people are. Nowhere else in this entire burg have I come across a barista (if it's a guy is he a baristo? No one ever seems to know) who will make those lovely designs in the froth of my beverage even if I'm getting a chai latte instead of something involving coffee. Maybe this doesn't seem like a big deal to you but it's difficult to manage in tea.

The hair salon is also next to my eye doctor and across from the place I buy my athletic shoes. I love those places, too. The delightful Renee, who runs the eye doctor's office, has, on more than one occasion, simply dropped off my contact lenses in my mailbox on her way home so they will be waiting for me when I get home from work. The guy who owns the shoe store, Charles, keeps my size and favorite shoe make & model in his database and when I blow out my shoes, I can just call him and he'll be sure to get shoes in stock for me. Then he calls me when they're there. The hair salon is also diagonally across from our mechanic. Brian sometimes brings our car back to us when he's finished changing the oil, particularly when the weather's bad. He just shows up at our door with the keys and we either drop him back off and pay him immediately (bad weather) or he enjoys a short jaunt back to work, going past the coffee shop on his way and we pay him later.

I had on my calendar that I have a hair cut today at 2:30 and thank GOD for that. Usually they call me the day before to remind me. This time they didn't and I began to panic. The hair...it's so bad...so I called. "Good afternoon, Fresche" she answered. Without introduction I said "Hi, I have on my calendar that I have a cut today but I didn't hear from you guys yesterday so I wanted to be sure..." I paused and waited for her to ask me who I am. She didn't. She said "Well, Lisa, you're right. I've got you down for 2:30. We sent an email to your hotmail account yesterday morning, did you not get it?"

I know she's looking at her caller ID which is synced with their client database, but I'm still shocked. I half expected her to go on to say "...good thing you're coming in, `eh? You look terrible." But she held off. Probably more because she's polite, not because she couldn't see me. Big Brother cuts my hair. I don't care. I wish Big Brother would come by before work and blow it dry, though. That would be awesome.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

She must've learned it from watching me

Last night while Jeremiah was kissing the girls goodnight Kate said the following (no lie):

Daddy, stop being a girl. Will you try to act like a man?!?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

All Outta Love

Traffic during my morning commute yesterday was worse than usual, giving me some time to reflect. It being Friday the 13th and all, my mind paused to dwell on the subject of love. In the delightful book The Secret Life of Bees (say what you will about the American South, Southerns can write) by Sue Monk Kidd, one of the month-named sisters (it's been a long time since I read it) talks to Lily about the word "love". We have only one word for love, she explains, so you use the same word to describe how you feel about your favorite color that you use to describe your feelings for your mother. It made a big impact on me and I think of that book often. Why just yesterday Kate embraced me in a huge hug and said "I love you, mama!" and then turned to Lola, scrubbed her ears and said "I love you, too, Lola!" and I thought "hmph."
Thinking of all the things I love but love in completely different ways for which there are no other words, I began a mental list of the love songs I love and all the different love people sing about. Here's what I came up with when I grew tired of reading the bumper stickers all around me:

Little Wing - Jimi Hendrix (best love song ever written. Unconditional love)
Blind Love - Tom Waits (second best love song. Unrequited love)
For You Blue - The Beatles (Adoration)
Thunder Road - Bruce Springsteen (Time-tested love)
Bones of an Idol - The New Pornographers (love of profession)
I'm in Love with My Car - Queen (gay love. HA! Just kidding, obviously, love of one's car. This is just one a millions of songs about love of cars.)
Yes - Morphine (love from a mentor)
Kooks - Davie Bowie (love for a newborn)
A Love Supreme - John Coltrane (love of God)
8-Piece Box - Southern Culture on the Skids (love of fried chicken)
Head - Kirsty MacColl (love of intellect. Not what you thought I was going to say, was it?)
You Look Like Rain - Morphine (even better love of intellect and wisdom, too)
Red, Red Wine - Neil Diamond (love of wine. The love of wine is on here for me, Neil Diamond for mom, who could write a dozen songs about her love for Neil Diamond)
The Neighborhood - Los Lobos (love of community)
Everybody Loves a Train - also Los Lobos (love of trains, and seriously, who doesn't love a train?)
Ice Cream - Sarah McLaughlin (love of ice cream and even greater love from a lover. This one's a multi-tasker)
Lust for Kicks - The Cars (love of shits and giggles, I think this one should be allowed in because we so regularly confuse lust with love anyway)
Martha, My Dear - The Beatles (love of one's pet. This one's on here for you, Lola, Kate's dear.)

Then I got to work and had to start thinking about work-related things. I posed the question to Jeremiah "what are some good love songs that aren't about the love of people?" Jeremiah then posed the question to his posse of online fellow music geeks.

Want to see what the music geeks have to say on the topic? This post is now 6 pages long and there have already been arguments about the meaning of Beatles' song titles (Nerd Alert!). What have we missed here? This, people, is why comments are enabled on this blog. Bring it!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Broken Hearts

One thing I didn't realize, back when I was all aglow in the perspiration of my first pregnancy, was that once I gave birth to my little angel I would be made to celebrate Valentine's Day. I have never liked Valentine's Day. I think those of us who are happily partnered really ought to be celebrating our blissful love on a daily basis without the aid of a holiday. Those who are without a true love on any given Valentine's Day are merely reminded of said fact. All. Day. Long. Also I don't like that all the advertisements for chocolate and jewelry seem to indicate that only women should be the recipients of gifts on this day that supposedly celebrates love. Why would that be? I object.

Where was I? Right, having to embrace this nonsense. Again with the boxes of themed cards. I never knew what to do with those. We'd get an entire box full of them at our classroom celebration and then what? Was I supposed to save them? And what about the box I so artfully decorated as a classroom project prior to the methodical exchange of these cards? Was I supposed to save it too? It was confusing. I ended up throwing it all away every year. It started right away with Kate, though, and now there are two of them. Kate, not surprisingly, wanted princess cards. Sarah insisted on Spider-Man cards.


This year I decided to get into the spirit of the thing. I got excited when I saw silicone muffin forms shaped like hearts in the dollar section at Target. I should have known how it would all play out when we got to the check-out and the forms were $2.50 not the "dollar" the name of the area suggests. I know what you're thinking - $2.50 is still an amount of dollars, but I remain indignant because with that logic the entire store is the dollar section. Name has lost all meaning. Out of protest I only bought 2 instead of 4. I think I made my point.


Kate's class's VD party is tomorrow because, mysteriously, Friday is a "non-Pre-K day". So, her heart-shaped cupcakes needed to be made tonight. Dang if those things didn't stick in those bait `n switch silicone forms! That first one came out like so many first pancakes. I was forced to eat it on the spot, of course. That made me feel kind of sick because I'd just eaten dinner and frankly, I was too full for dessert. So, already Valentine's Day is making me sick. I worked a wafer-thin icing spatula around the edges but still some of the hearts came out resembling actual human hearts. I proceeded to frost them pink regardless of their sad appearance. Tomorrow I will send Jeremiah off to daycare with these things. They're a bit of an abomination but they still taste good, like so many abominations. Just like the kids get into this weird holiday, I've no doubt they'll joyfully gobble up the broken hearts.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Opposite Day

Sarah strode purposefully to my side and turned her big eyes up to me. "I want a time-out" she said. "What?" I asked, wondering if she meant she and her team needed a moment to stop the game and confer in private. She didn't. "I want a time out, I want to go sit in the chair." I explained that time-outs are for when one misbehaves. "Have you been bad?" I asked, wondering where and more importantly when I would discover the evidence. "Yes. I'm bad. Time out." (maybe she thinks sticking her entire fist into the container of olives warranted punishment.)

Well now what? Already we can scarcely threaten the child with punishments; she is impressively unfazed by pretty much anything we can dish out. Now she's taking my one real weapon from me when I was least expecting it. I took a millisecond to admire my adversary's genius. She moved across the kitchen and began laboriously segregating a tall bar chair into the middle of the floor. "Five minutes", she called over her shoulder to me. Wavering between telling her she couldn't have a time out (is this conversation really happening?) and letting her spend 5 minutes alone on the chair I opted my usual solution - I ignored her. "How about chicken nuggets for dinner?" I proposed, shaking the box of frozen wads of breaded chicken in her direction. She said nothing. I preheated the oven.

"I want a time-out" came her voice from behind me. I stayed the course. "We have corn or edamame, what do you prefer?" I wondered where Kate was, I thought it might be helpful if she would make fun of Sarah's wanting a time-out. The growling from my bedroom told me Kate was fully engaged in abusing poor Max and would not be stepping in to help. I spotted Rex darting across the room. "Sarah! There goes Rex!" and with that, I was saved. The question remains, though, what to do when next she's naughty...throw her in that brier patch?


Rex, sleek and fuzzy saviour

Sunday, February 08, 2009

A lovely break from winter

I know, it's been over a week since we've spoken, I'm sorry. In fairness to me, I did attempt to upload video of Kate cheering at her first basketball game, but for some reason blogger just isn't having it. We won't give up. Moving on.

This weekend was beautiful. I mean, just stunningly gorgeous please-don't-make-me-go-inside-I-finally-get-Walden-and-all-that-other-transcendental-crap balmy. We got nothing done. The house is a mess, we're out of Sarah's overnight diapers and while the laundry is mostly clean it's just piled up to the ceiling in our bedroom. No one here cares, because we played outside for 2 straight days and it was totally worth it.

Well, most of us played outside the entire time. Jeremiah sacrificed a Saturday afternoon walk while Sarah napped forever. Often she won't nap at all, so you can imagine our chagrin when she passed out cold just as we were about to set out for fun in the sun. Jeremiah said "if you want to take Kate and go..." and I assume he finished the sentence, but I was long gone before he got it all out. We met up with Steve and Joy and walked into downtown Decatur, where Kate had insisted we get a cupcake. Since she'd had cheerleading and gymnastics already that day, I figured a cupcake wouldn't kill her (fine, I wanted a bite. Happy?). We stopped at the gazebo and Kate frolicked with her Aunt Jo Jo in the square while Steve and I basked in the warmth of the sunshine with the dogs.

Nearly home, (Sarah - still sleeping) Kate and I came across a drum circle that had popped up in Harmony Park, just down the street from our house. We had no choice but to stop and listen. Kate kicked off her crocs and danced. All the happy people out with their kids and dogs under the cloudless blue sky, stopped and listened and before you knew it it was a neighborhood party. These sorts of shenanigans are just one of the reasons I love where I live.
That evening Kate and Sarah squealed in a most undignified manner while playing with the game in which an elephant shoots butterflies out of its eerily phallic trunk and the girls try (I use the word loosely here) to catch them in their little nets (thanks Grandma and Grandpa Drueke!).

Today, Jeremiah smoked some ribs and Joy, feeling bad for having taken scores of photos of Kate yesterday (if you're her friend on Facebook you can see them!), shot a bazillion "make-up" photos of Sarah half naked in the driveway (um, Sarah, not Joy. I apologize about the dangling participle). This, gentle readers, was a perfect weekend.

Here's a picture of Jeremiah and Sarah making juice earlier last week just because I think it's cute.