Sunday, April 29, 2007

More Sleeping Beauties

Went to see Jersey Boys last night, and when we came back to my sister's to pick up the boys, we found A. turning his cousin LK into a doorway convert. We might just let Ben have his bed and give A. the doorway.

Jersey Boys, was, as expected, fantastic. I'm such a groupie, but there was a lady behind me in the bathroom line who was on her 11th time. She was in SF for the weekend and planned to attend every performance.

G and I hung around the stage door and I got Erich Bergen's and Deven May's autograph. I told Deven that he needed a new MySpace photo because his current one is an old one from his Bat Boy days with his head shaved, and he's got such nice hair, so he should show it.

Good thing I didn't say anything STUPID, huh? Sheesh.

Friday, April 27, 2007

And Another Thing....

The Montessori school that A. attends has the kids wear uniforms from K-3. I wore uniforms from 1-12th grade and hey, if it's good enough for me...yada yada yada. Uniforms are getting so common that JC Penney, Target and Mervyn's carries the stuff. And I've got boys, so I don't need to deal with plaid.

When I went to the Kindergarten Open House, the teacher told us to buy the sweatshirt with the logo and the plaid jumpers from Land's End, but otherwise to go for the sales at the aforementioned stores.

Wednesday we got a flyer from the school saying the uniform code had changed and all uniform pieces, shirts, pants, etc., HAD to be purchased from Land's End. Oh, and here's the code so the school gets a kickback. The cheapest pants are $22.50.

I complained about it today to the administrator and was told that there had been too much variation in what the kids were wearing, so they changed the rules. I know all about variation - we were pros at it in high school. We tried to wear lace on our anklet socks, shirts with no collars, etc. We generally didn't get away with it and we went back to our plain socks and blouses. Whatever. We cheered when they changed the code to allow white polo shirts.

I'm not sure why this annoys me so much. I'm getting quite Libertarian in my old age, and I don't like being told I have to buy a white shirt from this company and only this company. I'm actually tempted to pull his application, but that's probably a little extreme.

He's Pissing Me Off

I'm listening right now to Alec Baldwin defending himself on The View. He's basically saying the people responding negatively to his stupid rant to his 11-year-old daughter are reacting that way because of their own pain. Oh, OK. It had nothing to do with the fact that you called your daughter a pig.

And also, he really meant to say it to her mother, Kim Bassinger. She drove him to it by keeping his daughter from him. Ooops. Ya know what? You got a problem if you're mixing up your daughter and your ex-wife. And, besides, you shouldn't say that stuff to her mother, either, no matter how big a bitch she is. You should have bitten your tongue because you wanted to show your daughter how grown-ups act.

Don't get me wrong - I believe Parental Alienation syndrome exists, and I also believe courts sometimes favor mothers over fathers. But I've also seen good men work their best to be the bigger person, to show their kids that they don't need to react to Mom's craziness with venom. They are there for every scheduled visit, they call their kids all the time, whether or not the mom allows the kid to call back. They put the kids first, and they say, "No way is my kid going to ever say 'My dad forgot about me. He gave up.' "

I told one dad, "If your ex-wife is as crazy as you say she is, your kids are going to really need you to be a model for them. They need to see there's a way to cope with her with compassion and with appropriate boundaries, instead of with more craziness." If you have to have someone stand by every time you exchange the kids as a witness, OK. If you have to have all communication in writing, that's what you do. You don't stoop to their level and let loose a 5-minute rant to your daughter blaming her for everything.

Give me a freakin' break, Alec. Yes, everyone gets angry at their kids. Sometimes we say things we wish we hadn't. But, geez, grow up. All I'm hearing is "Poor me...poor me," how 'bout "Poor kid?"

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Sleeping Beauties

Ben has this thing about chewing his food. He puts it in his mouth, chews it a little bit and then stores it behind his bottom teeth. Once I picked him up after his nap, and noticed he was chewing something. Turned out to be the chicken we'd had for lunch 4 HOURS prior.

So here he is in the car. With a not-even-half-eaten pb&j sandwich. Food usually isn't sticking out of his mouth like this, but I guess he was really tired.

And here we have A., who was put to bed an hour before, and then told several times that under no circumstances was he to leave his bedroom again. Here he is in lying in a doorway from which he can see the TV but I couldn't see him. And he fell asleep. Way to cover your tracks, buddy.

Monday, April 23, 2007

A (first day back to school after spring break): Teacher asked us all what we did for Spring Break.

Me: What did you say?

A: That we went to the mall and ate pizza.

Me: Did you tell her about going to Mama's old school (UC Berkeley) and seeing the T Rex skeleton?

A: No.

Me: Did you tell her about going up to the top of the Campanile and seeing all the way to San Francisco?

A: No.

Me: Did you tell her about going to the airplane museum?

A: No.

Me: Did you tell her about going to the library and playing at the fountain?

A: No.

Of course not. He told her he went to the mall and ate pizza. I feel like I should send an explanatory note:

Dear Miss Michelle,

On A's Spring Break, we did not go to the mall and eat pizza. We went to the mall and ate chicken nuggets. But that was just one day and it was after an hour at the bouncy house. On the other days we did very educational and enriching activities that I assure you A. enjoyed while he was doing them.

Thank you,
A's Mother

And because I feel like sharing pictures, here are the boys at Costco. A is asleep in the cart. He fell asleep on the way there, so I propped him up in the back of the cart and he slept like this through the entire shopping trip. This was just before I took them out and put them back in the car. People don't believe me when I say nothing wakes that kid up.

Ben: "A. westing. Shhhh."

And here's after A. discovered the self-timer on the camera (I was taking before and after pics of myself). He was fascinated by it and wanted to show G how "the camera can take a picture all by itself!"

So we did a family shot by propping the camera on the table and Ben's like, "What the hell?"

Friday, April 20, 2007

The World and the Way I See It

I hate eye exams. "Which is better, A or B? B or C? C or D?" I don't know! One is fuzzy on the left side of the letter and one is fuzzy on the right side of the letter and I don't know which I prefer! Then they get all impatient and sigh heavily and go, "OK. Whiiiich is beeeetttteeer, Aaaaaa or Beeeeee?" I UNDERSTAND the question, babe.

I learned yesterday that I need bifocals, or "progressives," as they are now called. Eye doctor said I could wait and get regular lenses now, but if I did, in 2 years I wouldn't be able to read anything and I'd be back for new glasses. Some people stay with the regular lenses for a while and just take them off and hold the menu at arm's length if they need to read it. "That won't work for you because you can't even see there's a menu at the end of your arm if you take your glasses off. So you might as well get them now."

I expressed concern about getting used to "progressives."

"Oh, it's just like the ATM. Or bill pay. It's just like bill pay."

"I'm sorry?"

"You know - you hate it at first but then you love it. Like bill pay."

I'm not sure what to think because I'm not aware of either loving or hating bill pay, but clearly this doctor develops intense relationships with things, and I didn't want her to hate or love me, so I just kept quiet.

I was told I have bad astigmatism, which is why I had trouble focusing with my uncorrected contact lenses. So now I'm getting "torque" contact lenses, which are about an inch thick on my eyeball. Well, they feel like it, anyway. I also learned I have "steep" corneas, so they have to special order the contacts.

I don't know why they don't just put me down now.

After the contact lens fitting, I picked out some Coach frames, got measured for the progressives, paid for the lightweight, anti-glare lenses, gave Major HMO my right arm and leg (because steep, torqued contacts are also about 3x as much as regular contacts), and walked out of there with nothing. The glasses certainly aren't going to be done in an hour or less because this is Major HMO we're talking about. The contacts will arrive in a week or two.

I don't so much have a problem with the weird, thick contact lenses, or the bifocals, sorry, "progressives," themselves. I mean, at least my vision can be corrected, right? What I have a problem with is getting old. I mean, if my vision is like this at 41, will I really be blind at 70?

"You're going to need glasses, too, if you have my eyes," I told A.

"I don't have your eyes," he scoffed, while rolling said eyes. "I have my own." Good thing, too.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

You'll never believe what happened tonight.

Ben was complaining, yelling, having all sorts of tantrums in his crib because he didn't want to go to bed. This is not unusual. I was reading to A. in the next room and we have both gotten pretty good at ignoring Ben's screams. When I was done I went into Ben's room and said to him, "What can I do for you?"

"Nooo! Waaaaaah! Get up!"

"No. Time for night-night."

"Noooooo! Get up!"

I picked up his monkey blanket (a whole post in itself), said, "Night-night, monkey." Then I asked the monkey, "Monkey, is it time for night-night?"

Monkey, being smart and totally in my control, nodded yes. He also said, in a high-pitched monkey voice, "Benjamin! Please go night-night with me!"

Then I did the same with lion blanket. Lion also nodded affirmatively when asked if it was time for night-night and added, "Ben! I need you to lie down with me! Oh, please lie down with me!"

Ben stopped screaming, grabbed Lion and lay down. I didn't hear another peep out of him. He's asleep now.

I realize this trick will never work again, but I can't believe it even worked once.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

My idea of a fun evening on the couch: searching for stupid MySpace comics to put on friend's pages.

G's idea of a fun evening on the couch (OK, his third choice*): "Hey! Did you read about the 9-part PBS series on Al Qaeda and terrorism? Where's the remote?"

*Second choice was looking at SunRiver vacation sites to spend a week with his family. I'm not telling you what his first choice is.

Saturday, April 07, 2007


Gotta love the cultural component of Montessori. A. recently wrote his very first sentence. They pick a picture out of a pile of magazine clippings and write a sentence about what's going on in the picture.

A. picked this picture:

And here's his sentence, "The men are wting to ply bingo":

Now is that a first sentence or is that a first sentence? Screw Dick and Jane. Let's talk about loiterers.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

More A. and B. Stories

A, (seeing a no-smoking sign in the store): Look! No Pencils Allowed!


A. has started a paperclip collection. He has six. He scours the house, looking carefully in all corners. "Wow, it sure is tough work to spot paperclips!"
G: "But so worth it!"
A: "Yeah, you have to look very carefully for something shiny and shaped like a paperclip."

After he ran a "race" G gave him not one, but TWO paperclips as a prize. He was ecstatic.


He also, inexplicably, galloped around the house the other day yelling, "Bareback Mountain!" but couldn't tell us where he'd heard it.


Whenever we correct Ben or say "No!" to him, he immediately counters with a very sad face and a plaintive "My finger hurts!" We kiss it, figuring he's either looking for affection or trying to change the subject. It just occured to me that he might have misunderstood something about someone getting their feelings hurt and thought instead that their finger got hurt.

Real Moms

Our favorite Boobless Brigade Mistress tagged me with the "Real Moms..." meme. Unlike listing my shoe size and the last song I listened to, this one actually requires writing a post. Pssshhh. Girl knows I can't say "no" to her and is exploiting it, if you ask me.

So my first thought was "Real Moms are afraid," because I'd been meaning to write about how terrifying motherhood is. But if you look back at the blogger that tagged BBM, Lizard Eater, you see that has already been done, better than I could have, certainly.

So. "Real Moms are saggy." Yeah, but not much to write about that.

"Real Moms are tired." Yeah, but again, sort of self-explanatory.

I keep coming back to "Real Moms are afraid." I mean, besides the love I feel for my boys, I don't know any other emotion I've felt for them as strongly as fear. It's wound so tightly around my heart that it feels indistinguishable from the love. The more I love them, the more terrified I am of losing them. In this whole "Let's Be Honest About Motherhood and Write Books and TV Shows About How Crazy It Is" atmosphere, I wish someone would be honest about being crazy-terrified about losing their kids.

And I do mean crazy. For a reasonably logical person, I've become awfully superstitious about this. Every night I pray. I've always said a prayer asking for blessings for all the people I love (when I was a child, I used to name everyone, until I shortened it by referring to "my list of usuals") and thanking Him for good things. Now, every night I say Thank You for my beautiful boys, for their health, for their wit and intelligence and sweetness. I know how lucky I am.

But the prayer also holds a tinge of bargaining, just in case G_d is up there saying, "Now, whose kids am I going to take today?" he won't look at me because I really do appreciate them. I must - I say Thank You for them every night, don't I? No lessons need to be learned here, thanks.

Then I feel awful because I have friends and relatives who have lost children who were no less appreciative or loving of their kids than I am. Of course I don't really believe that losing one's child is some sort of horrible life lesson. It's a completely base, ridiculous impulse. Like the impulse that led me, shortly after both A. and Ben's births, to search out websites about infant loss. See G_d? Look how unafraid I am, how willing I am to face other people's pain! See? You don't need to make me go through it! Just skip over me, thanks!

I'm more afraid for Ben than I am for A. I tell myself that it's because he almost died at birth because that's logical. Thank goodness I've never been prescient, because if I had ever accidentally predicted something like who was on the other end of a phone call, I'd think my fear for him is an omen. As it is now, if he's fussing in his bed and stops, I have to go make sure he's still breathing. There's something about the brightness of his smile and his sweet little laugh that is so beautiful, I'm afraid it will burn out.

I remember hesitantly mentioning to a mother in my mom's group that sometimes I was overwhelmed by visions of something happening to one of them. She agreed, and, hopeful that I wasn't alone in this anxiety, I ventured further, "I think about it at least once a day." She frowned and said, "No, it doesn't hit me that often." Oh, OK, so it IS just me, then.

Ironically, I'm not super-over-protective. I don't panic at bumps and bruises, I let them climb stuff and ride their bikes in our cul-de-sac. I know I can do some things to protect him, but on a larger scale, I am not in control. And I know that so clearly as I'm falling asleep (no wonder I get insomnia). I start out politely praying that I'll get to see both boys grow up, and before I know it I'm silently roaring to G_d "YOU CAN'T HAVE THEM!" with my eyes flashing and my teeth bared.

I think lots of parents are able to shake the fear back to some dark crevice where I guess it stays quiet or maybe they can ignore it. For whatever reason, mine is quite active especially at night as I'm falling asleep. Then in the daytime it's a bit quieter. I'm reluctant to let it get too quiet, though. At the very least, it keeps me grateful.

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