Friday, November 15, 2013
Today, Christian was telling me that he 'finally' figured out how the world works. I knew this was going to be a good conversation. The world according to Christian goes something like this: So, God spent a lot of days and nights making stuff - like mountains, animals, oceans, trees, plants, forests and jungles. Then He took a nap. Then He got bored so He made a guy. Then the guy got bored and lonely and needed a wife or a mom or a sister - some girl to play with and eat with and help with chores. So, God made a girl person. Then the guy decided she should be a wife so they can have babies to take care of. The man and wife could not figure out who was the boss so they took turns telling each other what to do. The man did not have any money to buy a house or tools to build one so they camped in a garden. My mom says camping is when people go on vacation and pretend they don't have a house. Then the girl did something against the rules and God put them both in a time out NAKED! And He put a snake in the garden to scare them. Then, when the guy and girl were sorry, God let them out of time out and gave them some clothes. So, if you are naughty and your parents are not around, God has to put you in a time out. The gospel according to Christian.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Christian, age 5, has selected his bride. She is a middle-school cougar. He has planned their wedding down to the last detail. He wants a simple ceremony at church. He will have to leave partway through the ceremony to attend the children's liturgy. His bride will have to loan him a dollar for the offering basket. After the ceremony, he wants a small reception of pizza and hot dogs with pudding and M&M's for dessert. Dinner will not be followed by dancing. Instead, he would like a pool party. He has even picked out a small house for them to live in, in case she doesn't want to share his toddler bed with bed rails. She will have to learn to cook - mac and cheese, pizza, eggs and toast. And pack his lunch for school every day. He is not sure who will drive them everywhere until she learns to drive but love will conquer all.
Sara and I are packing for our big trip! We are heading to Canada with my aunt and my dad. Think "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" with French accents. Sara and I are big Anne of Green Gables fans so we picked Prince Edward Island. I also picked Montreal because it is bilingual and very cosmopolitan. It should fit her fancy sense of self very nicely. Since my dad and aunt go on a trip together every year, we decided to invite ourselves along for the ride. And plan the whole thing. Between the unpredictable weather, events and my daughter's "sense of style", packing has proved to be a bit of a challenge. First, she grew over the summer, so I have no idea what fits her. Second, she hates trying on clothes. She prefers the "just buy it and hope for the best" attitude. Third, we are going to "fancy tea" in Montreal, so this requires (in Sara's mind) a loan of Kate Middleton's wedding dress. And don't get me started on the number of shoes she thinks she needs to bring. My shoe criteria? Do they sort of match my outfit? Are they comfy? Since I know I will be stuck lugging her luggage all through Canada, I am trying to be efficient. We will be gone for 5 days. She has packed 11 outfits, 4 sets of pajamas, and 2 pairs of underwear. Christian was "helping" me pack. He jumped on the bed and threw clothes to me to add to the suitcase. He suggested a swim suit and a floppy hat. He didn't care that it will be 60 degrees. He asked a million questions. Where are we going? Why? Why can't he come? Will we bring back presents? What food do they have? He got quiet for a minute. He told me he would miss me. He brightened when I told him he would have Daddy all to himself. I asked if he wanted to do anything special with Daddy while we were gone. Watch Star Wars and eat at the new hot dog place. I will miss you, too, little buddy.
Friday, August 30, 2013
I did not watch the VMA show. But I heard enough about Miley Cyrus's "performance" to check it out. I felt like I needed a shower after watching it. And someone needs to give that girl some boundaries. And a makeover. Thankfully, my daughter will never see that strip tease. I would not even know what to say about it. It was disgusting, horrifying and nauseating. I will promise this to my daughter: Because I love you and want what is best for you, I will watch over you, guide you, encourage you. I will also teach you to use you talents to engage people- not shock and titillate them. I will make sure you dress and act in a way that demands and shows respect for others and yourself. I will never let you prance around like cheap tart in trashy underwear. I will never let you bring home trashy clothes or makeup. I will make you change your outfit and wash your face if you do not look like the beautiful, smart girl that you are. I will not let you leave our house looking cheap or trashy. If you look cheap and trashy, people will treat you that way. It is not cool to degrade yourself in public like that. If you want to be a singer or dancer, then take lessons and practice. Show your skill, not your booty. Show your style, not your skin. Show your beautiful smile, not your butt cheeks. Use your personality, humor and charm to attract people to you. You don't need to shock and reveal yourself in public. People will not admire you. They will pity you or objectify you. Value yourself and people will see your worth. You will never dress like that. Ever. You will never dance like that. Ever. You will be a lady. Not a sex object. This I promise you, my beautiful daughter. If you follow these simple rules, you will not be mocked, degraded and pitied. You will be seen as a strong, talented and graceful person. Or I will ground you until you are 40.
Saturday, August 24, 2013
We recently trekked up to the Lincoln Park Zoo. It is a very cool zoo and it is FREE!! The kids loved it. We roared at lions. We tweeted at birds of prey. We raced the servals. Each kid has a favorite animal so we made sure to spend lots of time observing those. Sara is fascinated by all big cats so we spent a lot of time in the big cat house. Christian wanted to see giraffes and polar bears. Unfortunately, the polar bears were not to be found but he was fascinated by the giraffes and their creepy, long, purple tongues. As we strolled over to the bears, I mentioned that my dad frequently sees bears on his fishing trips. Christian, being 5, brilliant and frugal, said "Grumpy should just come here to see them". Then he thought for another minute. "And he can bring us and buy us lunch". You have to admit that kid has a point. Later, I told my dad about my son's brilliant plan. My dad's suggestion? When he is old enough, my son can go on fishing trip with my dad and see the bears for himself. Ummmm, I've heard stories about them having to dump their lunches and JUMP into a plane to escape an approaching bear looking for a meal. I think I like the idea of my kid observing the animals from a safe distance with a large barrier between the beasts and my kids. Everyone survives and we can have ice cream after. On my dad's dime.
I have taken my kids out to eat (on my father's dime) since they were 3 weeks old. Occasionally, they were loud or messy. Frequently, they were both. The trick is to be polite, apologize, tip well, and eat at kid-friendly places. A military wife recently took her kids to a cafe and ordered scones. Not my favorite food. Basically, it is a bad knock off of a donut. It's dry, crumbly and tasteless, in my humble opinion. But, to each their own scone. Apparently, this military wife/mother was sitting with her 1 and 3 year old kids, quietly eating their scones when the owner freaked out about the mess they were making. The mother was told to never come back with her kids. They were not loud or disruptive. They were sitting quietly and eating the food they paid for. Seriously? Crumbs??? The mother was so embarrassed that she immediately left. The owner then posted a picture of the "mess" and complained about messy customers. Crumbs on a carpet. This owner was worked up over some crumbs. Has anyone, regardless of age, been able to eat a scone without making a huge mess of crumbs? I know I can't. I can guarantee my 9 and 5 year old could not. My kids have spilled milk, soup, coleslaw, to name a few food items. One kid even threw up in a restaurant. I rushed out and left my father to pay the bill and apologize. The waitstaff was completely understanding about the situation. I should post pictures of my kitchen floor after every meal. That restaurant owner would have a stroke and pass out on her "messy" floor. Last time I checked, crumbs are pretty easy to clean up with this nifty newfangled contraption called a vacuum. I'll loan her mine after I clean up the breakfast remnants at my house. The owner should have been happy to have 2 well-behaved kids eating in her restaurant. She should have thanked the military mother/wife for her family's sacrifice and comped the meal. If I lived in that town, I would never enter her establishment. Though, I would be sorely tempted to come and order a bunch of scones and let my kids having a shark feeding frenzy. Just to see her reaction.
Saturday, July 6, 2013
One of Sara's school assignments was to create an imaginary island - complete with vegetation, food, animals, etc. She was thrilled. She got to create, write and use her amazing imagination. This was her dream homework assignment. Her imaginary island rivals the early Roman Empire. She drew elaborate pictures of the food, plant life and animals. She created mountains, marshes, beaches, savannahs, even tide pools. She declared herself queen of the island. Everyone she knows has a title and a role to play in her fiefdom. Paul is her king. Christian, her little brother, is the court jester. My father is the island cook. Her Aunt Angie is her lady-in-waiting/advisor. Her other aunts and female cousins are princesses. All her uncles and male cousins are palace guards. My role in her little fantasy world? Servant. Yup, a basic, low level, on call 24/7 servant, a lowly serf. I am going to seek political asylum and go to someone else's island. Maybe I'll get a job as a cocktail waitress. Or beach comber.