High Praise

October 23, 2011

Today I received what I considered to be high praise from my favourite curmudgeon; he referred to me as “competant.” (Was it highly competant?)
It couldn’t have come at a better time, it really bolstered me for the rest of the day’s drama.


I Don’t Understand

October 17, 2011

How is it that my progeny, the children genetically related to me and raised by me, are obssessed with the two things I despise the most? Why is it that all their fascinations and stories revolve around materialism and violence? How did this happen?

Ice Cream

October 16, 2011

Yesterday Paul was the guest chef for his friend’s weekly BYU Football Watching Party. Paul’s not particularly a BYU fan, but he does like football and there aren’t many options for a Michigan fan out here. So he prepared his amazing pork tenderloin and I made southern-style macaroni and cheese and we all feasted ourselves into oblivion. Before the game was over the host pulled out the ice cream and toppings.

I don’t know how anyone ate the ice cream, but many people did. Then Paul saw Red near the nutella and chocolate chips. “Don’t worry, Daddy,” he said, “I’m not getting more ice cream.”

He was true to his word. He did not get more ice cream. He made a bowlful of nutella and chocolate chips soup.

Parenting Tip #62: when your child says “don’t worry” you should not only worry, but pay close attention to what’s going on.

9:15 AM, Wednesday

October 12, 2011

The oldest is at school and the youngest has been set up with PBS kids, his long-lost babysitter. Poor deprived child just doesn’t get to watch enough television, in his opinion. The dishes from last night are done, neglected as we ran off to the PTA meeting. The roast is in the crock pot and the bread is rising, only two days after I should have made it. The sun is shining and the birds are singing.

I think today is going to be a good day. I think today I can finally finalize the 2010-2011 fiscal year reports. I think I’m finally getting caught up, and it feels like a shower after a week-long camping trip.

Red’s Head, Bad Words Edition

October 10, 2011

(overheard from the backseat between Red and his friend Big Jack)

“…then there’s the S word. You should never say the S word, it’s a really bad word.” I knew that one: stupid. I actually said it this morning out of frustration and was very quickly called out for my carelessness.

“Yeah, you should never say the S word.” Jack agrees, it’s clearly taboo in his home as well. Or something that starts with S is taboo.

“But there’s also the I word, that’s also a really bad word.” I’m sure you’re thinking what I’m thinking, the word I spell when talking to my husband about the drivers: i-d-i-o-t.

“What’s the I word?” his friend queeries, unfamiliar.

(Red whispers) “Impossible.”

Halloween, not homemade

October 7, 2011

It took me till the end of August to finally declare to myself that I didn’t need to make the Hallowe’en costumes this year. What did I have to prove? I wasn’t saving any money by making the costumes, and I didn’t need to wear myself out. This was going to be the year of finding balance.

It became my mantra, it needed to be, because all through September I kept thinking, “well, maybe I could…” It’s a sickness that I’ve got, taking on too much. So I had to keep reminding myself that I am not making the costumes this year.

(My nephew’s quidditch robe was a birthday present, so it is exempt from this discussion.  Whether or not he wears it for Hallowe’en is a moot point.)

Finally last night I picked up a skeleton costume for Red. It’s cheap, made entirely of polyester, and has the bones printed only on the front side, the back side is just black. It’s the kind of thing that makes me feel slightly asthmatic to touch it. As long as it doesn’t get a rip or a snag it will likely fit him for the next three years, which means it’ll probably look pretty funny on him this year. (We haven’t tried it on yet — part of me thinks I’m going to return it.) In short, it’s pretty much everything I’ve tried to avoid all these years.

I was showing it to Paul last night, pointing out its flaws to purge them from my mind, to air my grievances and remorse so I could get on with accepting the costume for what it is: premade. I was surprised to hear Paul whistfully tell me that while he completely understands why I’m buying the costumes this year, he’s a little bit sad that I’m not making them.  These store-bought costumes just aren’t the same.

What the what?!?

All this time I thought my project-making drove him crazy. I secretly hoped that somewhere in the recesses of his soul he was proud of my handiwork and I was RIGHT!!!

So does this mean I can return that costume to Target?

Blue’s Clues

October 6, 2011

Blue: Mummy, can we get a pet gorilla?
Me: No, sorry. Gorillas don’t make very good pets.
Blue: Maybe we can buy a house that has a yard. Then we can keep the gorilla in the backyard!
Problem solved