Filed under home …
Thank goodness school starts tomorrow. Beav has been out of school since December 20th and well before that his room had reached the point of: “Dude, I think a small animal died in hear a week ago. But we may never find it because the enemy spy organization left such a mess when they tossed it looking for that micro fiche.”
But how do you discipline an 18 year old who is old enough to tip strippers, vote or march off to war? I’ve been through this conundrum before and there isn’t an easy answer. Fortunately, I’m imaginative and have an inner Evil Genius I can access out of desperation. I devised the perfect punishment and was a little disappointed I didn’t get to use it because the kid finally “cleaned” his room. (At least it didn’t look like it was the scene from a Bourne film) I guess in a few weeks I’ll get to say these words:
“Son, if you don’t clean your room, you have to drive me to Nordstroms and sit quietly with me while I try on–what seems like–every pair of shoes in my size.”
Feel free to use this consequence if you need to.
Luckily I’ve managed to keep my foot out of my mouth at this year’s parties. Not so much a couple of years ago.
The other night at my favorite event of the year–a friend’s Boxing Day pot luck–I did one of my best jobs putting my foot not only in my mouth but all the way down my throat and into my right lung. I was having a perfectly nice conversation with a couple of people and we were talking urban gardening and compost and a little of this and a little of that and one thing led to another and this woman who I then noticed was one of those strident aging hippy types that puts my teeth on edge because everything they have done is so vitally important; and they have done so much to improve life on this planet. People like this make me want to turn my head and pantomime a finger down my throat. We were discussing a lovely hand ground bread. Ms. A is standing next to me engaged in another conversation but something caught her attention and she leans in and said something like: “Ohhhh how Waldorfian of you.”
Is was at this point I slipped my shoe off.
“Ah you know Waldorf” Strident Poncho clad woman remarked.
I had my shoe in my hand near my chin. A had turned back to her conversation leaving me to fuck this up all on my own.
“Twenty years ago Me and A were professional Mommies and so we made the decision of the appropriate preschool resemble a bloody pulpy horse’s carcass.”
Poncho Hippy eyebrows flew into her salt and pepper hairline just above her forehead easily about three inches higher than they normally rest as she let out a rehearsed chuckle:
“How dear of you! What did you think of Waldorf?”
I’m surprised I could say the following clearly, what with my Clark mary jane lodged firmly between my teeth. My shoe was so tasty I didn’t notice her firmly set jaw as she spoiled for a fight defending the Waldorfian way of life.
“My gut feeling was this wasn’t a good fit for my son and I was completely right. There was this guy in the neighborhood had this whole shtick about gathering the children in a circle so they could make dirt and sing songs about making dirt. He did it in a baby voice, too. It was terribly funny at the time.”
But not so funny this time.
Thank God I didn’t go on with a guffaw and giggle about the riff A performed at a musical performance when we noted a sullen little girl in a whimsical outfit sitting with parents in badly hand knit accessories. And how we were shushed for laughing after I leaned in and whispered: “Waldorf” and she replied in a hurt little girl voice: “But mommy I just want to go home and weave.”
I was settling into my shoe and didn’t pay terribly close attention as Hippy Poncho Woman laughed nervously and offered up a story of having all her Waldorf children in for the holidays and how their friends from school came over and weren’t they all just the most creative and clever bunch of young adults. And I couldn’t hear her further defense of this Austrian model founded on the premise of the Whole Child with interdisciplinary approaches paying special attention to developmental milestones because the chewing was loud in my ears. The Shoe Ambrosia also lowered any filters I had for diplomacy.
“Yeah but not learning to read until eight or nine and only discovering then your child has a learning disability puts them at huge disadvantage when you have to send them off to mainstream public school because Waldorf can not meet their ‘special needs‘. It’s tricky business if your child has learning disabilities.”
The conversation was declared over when she tossed off in an even and practiced tone: “It’s always so enjoyable to make fun of things we don’t understand.”
I didn’t realize Passive-Aggression was one of the Milestones taught at The Denver Waldorf school.
Fortunately, I kept my foot out of my mouth the rest of the evening and I think I even managed to NOT insult anyone else.
I’m enjoying my Christmas music but I’m not saying if I’m jumping around the living room with a candle ring on my head.
Thanks to the miracle of middle 20th Century medicine, I woke up this morning feeling like a human and this song immediately came to mind as I contemplated the things I want to accomplish before we celebrate our Christmas on the 27th. Be warned, you should probably just read the blog and not look at the video. Nothing happens in the video, except blinking lights which may or may not induce seizure in those with a low epileptic threshold.
But I had to include it for today’s little story because it is my second favorite Christmas song. It was one of our many Christmas albums but not the ones we bought at the Firestone when we lived in Conroe, Texas. Isn’t that silly? A tire company putting out albums of Christmas songs and carols by contemporary artists. “Contemporary” meaning singers like Robert Goulet, Steve and Edie, Andy Williams and his murderess wife Claudine Longet, and always Johnny Mathis. Johnny Mathis was my secret love with I was ten. I discovered in my early twenties that my mother’s decade earlier proclamation–after my true love confession–I could never marry Johnny was not driven by racism but because he was gay. For ten years, I thought it was the race thing and I harbored a secret shame my mother was a racist. So what’s the bigger tragedy here that I somehow missed the fact Johnny Mathis was a big old queen? (the girl sweater he wore on his Christmas album should have given it away) Or I thought my mother was a racist?
BUT LOOK AWAY FROM THE LIGHTS!
Anyhow, I love this song and I remember when I was given permission to gently play albums on the stereo how careful I had to be to not bounce the needle or I would hear a big “SCREEECHHH” through the speakers followed by a shouted admonishment from somewhere else in the house. This was one of the songs I liked to play this song over and over again and dance to it.
Have I mentioned my mother would turn our home into a Winter Wonderland and every surface in the house was covered with a Christmas themed decoration? It was like the Sears decorating department had moved into our house between November 28th-ish and January 2nd. Did I also mention I wasn’t supposed to touch anything? Do you know how hard that is for an eight year old who needs props for her musical dance numbers?
Anyhow, I would put the Firestone Family Christmas album on and bounce the needle from song to song while dancing around the house. “Winter Wonderland” was a Follies type number, usually with a table wreath balanced precariously on my head. “Let It Snow” was an ice stating performance in the “marble” foyer. “Do You Hear What I Hear” was an interpretive ballet that would have either delighted Isadora Duncan or horrified her depending on how much opium she had ingested. But “We Need A Little Christmas” was a boisterous number that featured me flying around the house like an ADHD kid who cheeked her meds and found plowed through the fudge stash. In between the flying around, pulling together Christmas, I would act out the words complete with finger wagging as an effort to admonish my invisible audience to get their Christmas on that very minute and drag show worthy lip syncing when the chirpy singer says: “it hasn’t snowed a flake!”
No wonder my mother had to lay down for a nap every afternoon.
“Minnesota Snowy Road” jmagnus at creativecommons.com
I’m cold and I’m sick of it. I’m sick of wearing my big Irish sweaters, turtle necks and long pants. I wouldn’t mind if I could just wear jeans and a light weight cardigan but this constant bundling up is wearing me the hell out. I’m tired of looking like Ellen Degeneres’s not so talented little sister. I want to look girly and cute ALL YEAR ROUND not just four months out of the year. If I wanted a wardrobe of Sorels and flannel I would live in Portland. Right? I haven’t bothered to Google our weather stats because I’m afraid to find out it really isn’t any colder this year and all I’m suffering from is a diminished tolerance for winter. The Girl is tired of it too. And she’s from almost Canada where its cold and wet plus she went to college in Chicago. That takes serious weather tolerance. I have friends who live across western Canada and their temperature reports from Edmonton (-15 F) and Regina (-25F with high winds!) leave me quivering and weeping in a corner. On the bright side: it’s almost five pm and there is still light in the west plus it was in the forty’s today which makes it probably the warmest day in about a month. (don’t tell me I’m wrong and actually it was 40 a week ago Thursday because you’ll just harsh my weather whine) I thought I was getting a respite this week in Texas but it’s actually going to be colder there on Friday than it will be here. What. The. Hell? I have to lug my stupid sweaters and a big coat with me to Texas? Fortunately, relief is on the way and in twenty-nine days I’ll be thawing out on a beach. I picture us getting off the airplane and slowly melting –like Frosty the Snowman–until there wasn‘t anything but a pile of wet wool, fleece and polypro. Two years ago, one of the caretakers where we stay was helping us with our luggage and I had my big ass puffy down jacket looped under my duffle bag straps. He pointed at it, looking at me like it was the most bizarre thing he had ever seen. It turns out he didn’t realize it was cold enough where we live to warrant a down jacket because his employers live much further north and don’t bring such things with them. Probably because they are accustomed to the cold.
Whatever. I’m not nor will I ever be.
Drastic times call for drastic measures and God bless the Internets. In fact, I think finding the Akumal beach cam was an act of God because it happened by shear chance. And such serendipity has saved our sanity. Or has it? Because now I’m obsessed. And horrors of horrors, I popped on to the beach and to my dismay, the camera had been moved and was directed not out towards the water but straight down so some delinquent or Frat Rat could write in the sand: “Hi Mom from the Mayan Rivera”. Well isn’t that sweet but I don’t give a flying F through a rolling donut about “Mom” , I need to see some dappled, gentle ebbing water and half dressed people basking in the sun! People who get to take off their Irish and expose their pale sickly white winter skin to the glorious rays of the dangerous and deadly sun. Bastards, moving the camera like that. I goaded The Girl into emailing the Akumal restaurant where the web cam lives to explain the paramount importance of fixing the camera as an effort to maintain our sanity over the next 696 hours before we are basking in the sun and writing messages to people in the sand. They fixed it.
The web cam madness doesn’t stop at Akumal. Nope. I visit Castaway Island (NOT the one at Disney Land) and watch the very lucky (and wealthy–because ho boy it’s spendy to just get there from Auckland!) sun worshippers. After dark at my house, I can visit Phuket and watch a live stream of the Indian Ocean from a beach. I considered emailing that hotel to explain the importance of cleaning the salt tang off the lens so I can have a clearer view of the surf and sand. A mic would be nice, too. But then I could just download ocean sounds to go with my viewing. Beach viewing 24/7 at my house.
The Girl will probably come home from work next week and find me splayed out in a lawn chair in the middle of the living room, Mai-Tai in hand, Paulina Rubio blasting as I watch my tiny screen shot of perfect blue water kissing perfect white sand. But I’ll keep a coat over my bathing suit.
I’m not that crazy because it would cost elevendy thousand dollars to heat our house to a balmy 80 degrees.
See ya’ at the beach!
A couple of years ago we had an ugly sweater contest and I’m chuffed to say mine won!
Sunday afternoon as we were leaving the house for our Harry Potter movie outing, Beav pipes up: “So are we gonna have a Christmas tree?”
“Not unless you put it up. Everything is waiting for you to bring upstairs.”
“Wait, do we still have that little tree from The Crackshack?”
“Guess we aren’t having a tree are we.”
But just to reassure everyone I’m not a total scrooge, I upcycled this awesome Christmas sweater today for our unit Christmas party tomorrow (yes, there is a tacky sweater contest, I haven’t lost my mind…yet). I’m thinking I’ll wear it Christmas eve just to see if Beav or Wally say anything to me about it.
As I waved and aimed my glue gun at the sweater this evening I remembered one of the first Stepford Knolls Babysitting Co-Op events I attended way back in ’93. Beav was just a bun in the oven and Wally was a busy three year old. It was an evening affair and everyone was dripping in sequins or glitzy/festive/storybook sweaters. (I went the tasteful oversized silk blouse and leggings route, I was preggers) But Whoa!! Hold the phone Nellie! Those sweaters were all vying for both “Most Festive” and “Most Tacky” award. And what I wouldn’t have given to have found just one of those damn sweaters today at the thrift storeS I poked around. There must have been a run of tacky holiday sweaters this year and after the fourth store I got a little obsessed and wandered around parts of town I’ve never seen in my life looking for undiscovered thrift stores. I was about to give up when I found a great cache of sweaters. But before my score, I was so desperate, I almost called one of the members of the Stepford Knolls Housewife Cabal to see if she still had her sweater with the crewel stitched Christmas tree lights (the old school big ones) festooning the neck of the sweater which was just so jolly and sweet you almost forgot to look at the Christmas tree scene emblazoned across her chest and the piles of toys decorating the back. I wish I could remember the back more clearly but I’ll be in my advanced stages of dementia before I forget that seizure inducing sweater front. The ornaments on the tree were outlined in sequins and there was GENUINE GOLD thread as garland looping its way from branch to branch. Under the tree were gaily (in the cheerful sense of the word; no gay person in their right mind would wear this sweater unless it was to a Tacky Sweater party) wrapped presents with three dimensional bows on the tops of the packages with–you guessed it–SEQUINS!!! I’m surprised it wasn’t wired for light and sound. Which frankly, looking back on it, if you had pressed her right sleeve it would have been cool if the barking dog version of “Jingle Bells” had started playing and the star at the top of the tree had lit up and blinked. That sweater was just so precious I wanted to puke on it.
Somehow for so many reasons, I don’t think this cabal member would be happy to hear from me: “Hey, It’s June, Remember me?!! How in the Hell are you??? I’m the one who left her husband and is gay…yeah…me. Anyhow, Remember that ridiculously tacky sweater you had…ok one of the ridiculously tacky sweaters you had. . .”
That Christmas party was also the first time I had encountered the whole steal your neighbor’s present gift exchange. Oh. My. God. A couple of the women who blathered on about what good Christians they were every other day of the year were not very Christlike at this party. Their sweaters might have exuded the spirit of Jesus and the gift of the Son but their behavior was a little on the side of Lucifer the fallen angel. In fact, two of the Cabal had such a heated exchange over a bowl from Target they were still not speaking to each other at the Poolside Big Ass Drinking Festival the following July. I’m surprised there weren’t restraining orders
Our very la-tee-dah espresso maker blew a gasket the day we returned from our trip. It started spewing and dripping extraordinarily hot coffee on our hands which made the delicious brown wake up juice experience a double whammy; having 102 degree water spit at your hand just before dawn wakes you up almost as thoroughly as the caffeine. As the resident spaz, I assumed it was spewing on me because I didn’t apply the coffee grounds thingy appropriately. But when I heard the exclamations of early morning pain emoting from TG, I knew something was wrong because
MacGyver The Girl knows her way around gadgets and doesn’t accidently eff them up. Sure, she has been known to break a window throwing rocks at a rabbit. . .
Two weeks later, the gasket still hasn’t arrived. I have to suffer through with the Krups drip coffee maker. What the Hell? Where’s the gasket? Sure sure people have lost their homes, prized possessions and priceless family heirlooms in the Frankenstorm. But until their fancy Italian coffee maker has blown a gasket leaving at the mercy of the low rent Krups coffee pot they don’t know the real loss of having to stand next to a coffee pot that slowly s-l-o-w-l-y dripsdripsdripsdrips when the cute little Italian number sits quietly in her corner of the kitchen waiting for her simple little $1.49 gasket.
Finally my scattered brain can manage to sit down and compose a coherent thought. At least a list of thoughts.
I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the idea I was in India a couple of weeks ago. I came home to a full plate of work, a dusty house, Christmas begging to be taking care of, and a kid with senioritis. Who can blame him, he got into the college of his choice with a swell financial package, and he would have to kill a man to lose his entrance. But that would mean he had the motivation to actually get out of bed and do something. So nah…he’s not going to kill a man. Beav will make it college despite his half-assed attendance the last two weeks. Hell they still let me into college and my attendance record was worse than Wally’s (this is an achievement)
So much happened while I was on the subcontinent, too! There was a big hurricane. I had no idea how terrible it was until well after it happened. The only way I knew anything about it was Mr. Singh our adorable taxi driver read part of the newspaper article to me in the Delhi paper. I rode in the front seat of the car and discovered we had a lot in common: sons the same ages and both of us are 51. I wanted to talk BeeGees with him but that would have gotten in the way of seeing the sites.
We re-elected Barack Obama, too. I have mixed feelings about this. Not because I’m a big fan of Romney but because Obama is not Mrs. Clinton. She should be president. So every time someone else is elected president I’m going to be sad until she is in the White House and we can watch Bill in all his first husband hijinks.
My state stayed blue and made marijuana legal. I received fifteen dollars worth of text messages telling me pot was legal. I find this hilarious because I’m not a big fan of pot because it isn’t a big fan of me. Fortunately, the corporation sent me an email explaining that despite the legality, it was not permissible to use THC at work.
Email missives like that beg for responses like this:
“Thank you for clarifying the policy for using marijuana while on duty at the hospital. It’s helpful to know mind-altering substances are not permitted while I am on duty in the role of Registered Nurse. I do have one question: Does this mean keeping a bottle of vodka in my desk drawer is out of the question? Finally, could you please advise me when the inservice explaining exactly how to don and doff pants is taking place. I’m finding I need help in this area of my life.”
Meanwhile, in the department of Klassy, three days before we left for India, I was eating lunch at work with Fern and an elderly overlay on my second molar popped off. Fortunately, Fern has a strong stomach and didn’t blanch when I spit it out in my hand and said: “Oh look it’s the top of my tooth!” At least, I didn’t fall off my bike and break my arm. If you run into me in a couple of weeks I’ll show you my new iPhone because it’s in my mouth and looks just like a molar.
Finally, we travel ten thousand miles, eat our weight in questionable food (but oh my God it was tasty) and what happens? The Girl ends up with food poisoning from the Thai place a half a mile from our front door. Fantastic.
It put “Eat, Pray, Barf” in an entirely new light.
Watch this space. I’ll be back. And I’ll be offering helpful links to other places where you can read about our adventures.
Mmmm pie…good thing I wasn’t in charge of them last year,/i>
Today we are having Thanksgiving with our friends “The Girls” and this is the first year I get to show up before dinner and enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail: the last few years I’ve either worked or been on call. Bonus points I don’t have to work the day after Thanksgiving so I can stay up too late at their house wii bowling or watching them play guitar hero. I’m also campaigning for them to join us in Mexico this February, we all had such a great time together last year. Because they are both business women with Very Important Jobs and Very Advanced Degrees, I’ve prepared spread sheets with a cost analysis as well as a pie chart.
Speaking of pie, “we” are responsible for the pie. (that’s the royal “we”) TG is making three different pies: key lime (mmmmm yum), pumpkin (mmmm…ok), and pecan (no thanks). I suggested she make it easy on herself: just make a Pumpkin Lime Pecan Melody pie. After she threw up a little in her mouth she thanked me for the helpful suggestion and explained pie making isn’t that hard and these three are particularly easy.
I can’t wrap my head around this concept of pie making is easy. If I tried to make three different types of pie, their would be filling and crust strewn throughout the house; plus every pot, bowl, spoon and dish would be in need of the dishwasher. And if Kipper were alive he would probably have a pie tin on his head and flour on his snout.
Given this disaster scenario, just imagine what the place would look like if I tried to do the whole turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, rolls, yams, cranberry sauce, and pie thing.
It would take the National Guard and a couple of ninjas to clean up that epic mess.
Good thing we’re invited to dinner. Even better I’m not in charge of the pie(s).
Once upon a time I was a pox on the soul of the Nazi breastfeeding crowd
I had several hellish days at the hospital and didn’t bother to look at my mail until Wednesday morning before I drove Beav to school. Imagine my surprise when I found a “Parents’” magazine, “The Early Years” addition. I’m waiting with bated breath for my issue of Modern Maturity and I get a freakin’ parenting magazine! Yes dear readers I laughed and laughed and laughed. And then I laughed again because the date on it was November 2010. Awesome, completely too little too late. Much like my parenting style. Lackadaisical. My only saving grace as a parent when my kids were little I didn’t drink daily. I wanted to drink daily but I didn’t. Prozac was my vodka. Seriously, in hindsight that’s probably why I didn’t drink. That and I remembered what it was like for a couple of my friends who had alcoholic parents. We wouldn’t play or hang out at their houses very often because Mom or Dad always “too busy” or “napping”. I’m actually glad I was completely oblivious to what this adjective and noun really meant when I was a kid.. In hindsight, it breaks my heart I knew girls (whom are my “chosen sisters”) living in those conditions. I have flights of fantasy where adult me swoops in and rescues them as girls–staging an intervention with the offending parent or parents–whisking the girls off to another household where the most horrible thing that happens is getting yelled at for not cleaning your room and that birthday party you were invited to is forgotten until about an hour before it starts so the present is purchased and wrapped on the way to the party.
Well if that weird digression isn’t testimony I have middle-aged hormonal issues…I don’t know what is! So lemme get back on task with the subject at hand.
I didn’t read it when my kids were little. I read “Family Fun” and hippy dippy “Mothering”. In fact, I wrote “Mothering” a letter to the editor in about 1999 taking an ex-professor of mine to task for her shoddy research modalities and her theory that Every. Mother. Should. Breast. Feed. All. The. Time. Um…no was my counter opinion. Crack cocaine is never good for a baby, in utero, via breast milk or secondhand smoke. Neither is alcohol. And some mommies smoke crack and drink excessive amounts of alcohol. Which was my point to this professor–who also hated me and told me the last day of nursing school if she had her way I never be a nurse. I believe she was a little put off by my pink tinged mullet and torn clothing–was her research was completely oblivious to the existence of other people outside of the Mary Cassett vision of “Mommy“. Which also explains why a punked out 22 year old wasn’t “Nursy” enough in her stupid jaundiced narrow eyes.
Guess how long I got hate mail from equally oblivious readers of this magazine. Just guess.
Eight years. Eight. That’s a long time to get hate mail.
At first the letters scared me, a couple of them were threatening: telling me my children should be taken away from me (seriously!) because I believed in “negligent parenting practices“. Real fringe lunacy type stuff. One letter used the word “Satan” to describe me. What cracks me up, is most of these women welding their bossy sticks were probably the progeny of Winston Longs and Gordon’s Gin in utero and then they played on DDT covered grass in front of their doctor’s office waiting for their EVUL vaccines when they weren‘t parked in front of the television with only “The Rifleman“ and “As The World Turns“ for entertainment. After a few months all the frothing at the mouth made me laugh. My biggest regret is I never heard from the good doctor; I even signed the letter with my highly unusual maiden name and my credentials. Perhaps I should have enclosed a college graduation picture so she would remember I looked more like Cindy Lauper than Florence Nightingale.
Ok then. I promise I’m finished with the Grandpa Simpson digressions: Back to the November 2010 Parenting: The Early Years.
Here’s what I could read about in my current dotage:
“I did it myself” Teaching the art of getting dressed”
–they paid someone to write this article? Really? Modern parents need to be taught how to teach a child to put on their pants one leg at a time? Did I teach my kids wrong? ARE THEY DOING IT WRONG ALL THESE YEARS??? What was wrong with: “Honey, your underpants are cute on your head but that’s not where most people wear them.“ “…put the pants legs over your feet and then pull them up over your legs until the band is at your belly button…the big hole is for your head and the two little holes are for your arms…” WHAT HAVE I DONE TO MY CHILDREN???? THIS IS HOW I TAUGHT THEM TO DRESS!!! I guess I’m gonna have to drop another fifty in their therapy accounts.
“10-minute Workout: Finally! A plan that fits with even your schedule”
–I had a ten minute work out that fit nicely into my schedule and sometimes it stretched into the fifteen minute workout: it was called: “Putting Beav in the Car Seat” Sometimes if we had to go somewhere he didn’t want to be bothered with (this was like 99% of the time) I had to carry his massive three year old self to the car, usually tucked under my arm while he was flailing. So there some core and upper body strengthening. I would then hold him under his arms away from my body and sit him the car seat where I would brace myself with one foot in the car, bent over while I had one hand gently but firmly on his chest to keep him from moving forward and therefore out of the car seat while I pulled the restraint thingy down over his head and buckled it between his legs. I’m thinking this fancy maneuver was good for my core, my back and my legs. My psyche not so much. I’m not sure about his because I’m afraid to ask if he remembers Car Seat Wars and if he does that’s probably good for another C note in his therapy account.
Next up and this is in bold on the cover:
THE BEST TOYS OF THE YEAR
I don’t even need to flip open to page 118 because I know these things are listed:
The big television box
Dining room and kitchen chairs and a couple of old quilts
The kitchen cupboard with all the plastic stuff
A dripping garden hose in the backyard
A big silly white dog named Kipper
The laundry chute in Mommy’s room*
Hooray For Turkey Day
Easy make-ahead dishes
–stovetop stuffing made last November and pulled from the freezer this November?
Super sneaky time-savers
–get invited to a friends house! (duh)
–HungryMan TV dinners (is your three year old really gonna care? Really?)
great games and crafts
–One year the kids got to play: “Watch Mommy Cook Strung Out On Benadryl” The craft project that year was making me a decorated drool cup. At least they never played: “Run and go get Mommy another glass of wine!”
Wally played that with me this Christmas. He’s twenty.
All kidding aside, I’m sure this issue of parenting has valuable articles, tips and tricks for parents of young children who are still slapping themselves at times and muttering: “What the Hell did I do to my life?” I just hope their advertisers are the only Bossy Stick elements because apparently if you had not been feeding your NEWBORN “special Enfamil NEWBORN formula”, YOU WERE DOING IT WRONG AND YOUR CHILD IS DOOMED. I kid you not. This is the ad on the back of the magazine and yes, I’ve contacted the Similac people because of the tone:
“I am NOT A BABY I am a newborn”
Apparently, those of us who didn’t feed our children Enfamil PREMIUM newborn formula deprived them of 25% more Vitamin D Is the subtextual guilt really necessary?
My guess is this is this ad is not on the back of Mothering magazine. Just sayin’…and I was deprived of 25% of my much needed Vitamin D when I was a
baby newborn…and I can still figure that out. Wow.
*thank goodness my kids were too big to push each other down it because everything else was tossed to the basement via the shoot. And if you happen to have small children and a laundry chute, the broom is the best weapon for dislodging things wedged in the silly thing. Just a little parenting advice because I‘m helpful like that.
I went off on a tangent reminiscing about holidays past. A Way Back Machine post about a memory? Meta much June?
Despite my yammerings about how I’m not a holiday person I do like Thanksgiving. I’m not sure why but the concept of a “Harvest Meal” delights me. Of course Thanksgiving in the US isn’t technically set for harvest time like the Canadians. I’ve been to Canada for Thanksgiving and it was wonderful, truly an autumnal celebration: snow hadn’t started flying so there were some flowers left in our friend’s garden and late fruit, too. The meal was a traditional North American turkey feast with the regional tweaks to the stuffing (or “dressing” as I was taught to call it as a child).
I’m not a huge fan of turkey and think it’s a huge pain in the neck to create the whole traditional meal. For a few years I would fix equally complex meals: one year it was quail in a special cranberry sauce, another year it was Mexican fiesta food and another year it was French with a perfect champagne reduction. Just think what I would do in the kitchen if I actually like to cook. The two times I did make a traditional meal it was utter misery. The food was good but it was just such a ridiculous chore to fix the turkey and dressing. Especially given I don’t like turkey all that much.
I don‘t really care about the food at Thanksgiving, it really is about the people. I’ve been to family Thanksgivings, orphan thanksgivings, Thanksgiving with my co-workers and I‘ve a Thanksgiving alone. When we lived in Albuquerque I would always just pick at Mom’s food and then race across the street for OF’s family meal. I can’t remember if Jo fixed anything truly exotic for Thanksgiving but I do remember having lovely little creamed onions which seemed terribly sophisticated at the time. What I thought was an incredibly complex recipe was dead simple and years later when I called Jo for her recipe; she was amused I thought they were exotic. I think the year I first had the lovely little onions in butter and cream was the year my sister’s boyfriend from Texas hitchhiked to see her.
I was gob smacked even as a little girl by the huge romantic gesture. He hitched rides from College Station Texas (yes, an Aggie, we’ll forgive him for this) to Albuquerque in 1970. He had hair to the middle of his back and to get rides he tucked it into a cap. Otherwise who was going to pick up that long-haired hippy fella, right? We had only left Texas a few months before and his leaving for college coincided with our move. Barring my ex-brother-in-law he was my favorite of all her many boyfriends because he was always nice to me even though I was a terrible snoopy tag-a-long. His romantic gesture went a long way with me and Thanksgiving felt really special and unique that year. It’s not every girl that can brag her sister’s hippy college aged boyfriend hitchhiked across the southwest to see her!
When I was five or six I had either the measles or chicken pox for Thanksgiving. I remember getting to come to the big table in my pj’s and sitting next to my silly Aunt Jean who joked me out of feeling sorry for myself. My cousins and Sister, who usually teased me just because I was the youngest, were especially nice to me. No doubt on the threat of death because I would have been a howling crying mess if they had made fun of me. My guess is Mom was pretty much done with Uber Sensitive Child home from school and sick that week. Looking back on the type of kid I was I‘m amazed she wasn’t a drinker.
I’m thankful I can’t think of a single Thanksgiving that wasn’t stressful or angst ridden due to family issues. The holiday I remember spending alone was by choice because I was on call for work and it was just simpler to hang out at home on my own than try to make plans. The worst Thanksgiving wasn’t even bad it was actually pretty hilarious. I was going to fix the meal, a traditional meal with all the trimmings because Dad completely BALKED at the idea I would do otherwise, and if I did otherwise, well they weren’t coming! Hrumphfff! I wanted my parents to visit and see their grandsons so I acquiesced and I was going to DO IT ALL MYSELF THANK YOU SO GET OUT OF MY KITCHEN.
What is it they say about the best laid plans of mice and housewives? Did you know it’s almost impossible to fix Thanksgiving feast covered in hives, wheezing and high on double the usual prescribed amount of Benadryl? I believe Mom took over about the time I almost burnt myself on the stove. I can remember lying on the couch and blubbering out an apology that sounded something like this: “Ima shorry thish happen mawwwmmmm. I don know whut I ate bu’ ish no good…” Needless to say, I wasn’t offered any wine at dinner that afternoon, especially after I insisted on filling the water glasses and poured exactly next to the first one, soaking the table. It was so completely opposite to the meal and the holiday I wanted with my parents that even in the moment the absurdity of it made me laugh. However, I pointedly avoid cake mix, bisquick and American Beauty pasta the Wednesday before Thanksgiving because as absurd as it was I don‘t want to spend another Thanksgiving on the couch drooling an apology.