Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Fine-tuned humor

Claire: Mom, tell me a knock-knock joke.

Me: Ooh. Okay. I've got a good one. Knock, knock.

Claire: Who's there?

Me: Boo.

Claire: Boo who?

Me: Well you don't have to cry about it.

Claire: [stares blankly]

Me: [excited] Get it? Boo hoo! It sounds like you're crying.

Claire: [still staring.]

Me: [deflated] Fine. Here's another one. Knock, knock.

Claire: Who's there?

Me: Truck.

Claire: Truck who?

Me: Truck driving down the road.

Claire: [slapping knee] Ah ha ha!! Now THAT'S a JOKE!

We call this home.

This morning Brad and I passed two men painting over new graffiti on a random building. The graffiti said, "City Police Corrupt-"

The rest had already been painted over.

I wonder why it was being cleaned so quickly...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Morning again.

I'm having chocolate ice cream with frosted flakes on top for breakfast. Don't tell my kids.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A couple miracles.

First of all. When my oh-so-wonderful camera disappeared, the SD card happened to not be in it.  Miracle (or oversight) number one.

Miracle number two: the last pictures I took were of my children. And. Well, you are all well aware of my family's photogenic handicaps. It is impossible to get a good picture. That is, it was. Until this one amazing moment when the universe must have realized that I would shortly be losing my camera and the powers that be decided to cut me a break. Because. These are the best pictures of my family. Ever.

I didn't pose the shoot. That is why they are wearing the most ridiculous clothes while spread out on the most noisy background ever. But those facial expressions. The smiles. The grins heavy with love and friendship for each other. (Just humor me here. They're the last pictures I'm gonna get.)

Getting all of them smiling at the same time was almost worth the missing camera. Almost.

Monday, May 16, 2011

No more photos.

I'm not a shopper. I don't buy things for myself. But I have two possessions that I love. One is my phone. The other is my Nikon D60. Brad bought it for me one year as a Valentine's Day gift. Best. gift. ever.

Yesterday, my Nikon disappeared from Grace's piano recital. And I am seriously bummed.

The end.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Again. With the Mother's Day thing.

When I was young, I remember hearing my mom say she didn't like Mother's Day. This made no sense to me. She got breakfast in bed, heard us sing a Mother's Day song, and even got a potted plant at church, for crying out loud. What was there to complain about?

The unfortunate thing about my life is that whenever I'm critical of my mom, I eat it later.

Karma has insured that I also hate Mother's Day.

And I think I may even know a few of the reasons for disliking it.

For starters, Mother's Day is on a Sunday. And Sunday, traditionally, is my worst mothering day of the week. (I suspect it was my mom's too.) My Sundays go like this:

I coax two reluctant children into the shower.
I insist that soap will not get into their eyes.
I apologize profusely when soap does, in fact, get into their eyes.
I find clothing: scanning the closets and burrowing through hampers.
I pull the children out of the shower and bring out a brush.
I explain to them, calmly, that I have pulled out a brush, not a carving knife, and that there is no need to scream.
I promise to use detangling spray.
I chase them around the house, maniacally waving the brush.
I give up.
I pull three sets of clothes over three little bodies.
I search for three pairs of shoes.
I glance at the clock and yell, "Get into the car, we're going to be LATE!"
We miss breakfast.
I arrive at church with two hungry and homeless looking children. And Brad has saved us seats at the front.We parade through the crowd and I slump over in the pew.

And since today was Mother's Day, I got to follow up this fiasco by listening to wonderful talks about practically-perfect mothers in the scriptures while my children ran back and forth in the pew, begged for paper and crayons, fought with each other, and refused to whisper.

Also, every time one of my children disobeys on Mother's Day, it's like evidence. "Here is further proof that you are a bad Mother. Booyah."

I think the worst thing for me about Mother's Day is that the gift I want the very most is a break from my mothering responsibilities. Isn't that awful? It's like saying that what you want for Valentine's Day is more alone time.

I told Brad all of this today while we sat in the parking lot at church, where I was feeding Weston. He followed me out to ask why I looked so depressed. (I've married a man who is happy. And his only goal is for me to be happy. And I do a really good job of making that hard for him.) He made me laugh in the car (he's good at that). After church he gave me the break that I wanted but felt guilty about taking. I had a nap. And lunch in bed. And a foot massage. And he did the dishes and cleaned the kitchen and watched the munchkins. And then we visited with some of our wonderful friends.

It was a good second half of the day. Maybe next year I can just skip the depression/guilt part. That would be nice.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

This day

Claire doesn't yet understand that "today" refers to the current day. So when I say something innocent like, "We're going to the pool today!" She usually responds, "We're going to the pool this day?!"

"Yes, Claire. Today."

"Is it today?"

"Yes, Claire."


She is a hilarious child. Sometimes intentionally. Usually not. She is polite (always asking "please," and "may I,") as long as she's not pitching a fit (and those are loud and long and persistent). She. is. determined. And she is bright.

On this day (and every day) Claire has done many things.
  • She walked around the house mumbling lines from her favorite movies including (but not limited to):
    • Despicable Me ("Hey, you're the guy who pretended to be a recorded message!... No, that was someone else."
    • Baby Signing Time ("Speech delays, autism...")
    • Tangled ("Why is he smiling at me?")
  • She asked me why she couldn't have the MnM's dad had eaten all gone. I explained that he had eaten them. They were GONE. Then she asked, "No! Why can't I eat them?" as if I had misunderstood the question. This conversation repeated several times. Similar conversations occur several times a day.
  • She washed her hands approximately twenty times at my insistence. I have insisted because she has three cold sores and can't keep her fingers off them. It started with one under her nose and has spread to her chin and next to her eye. Curse cold sores. Curse, curse, curse.
  • She asked me to tickle her back. It's her favorite thing.
  • She jumped on my bed and said, "Mom, you're  a silly Mom." She jumped thoughtfully and added with pursed lips, "You're a mean Mom too."
I love that kid. Even if she does think I'm mean.

*In yesterday's entry, Grace is on the bottom rack of the shopping cart. Her hair is dragging on the floor and her fingers are about to be flattened. She thinks it's awesome.

**Thank you for your homeschooling comments. All of them. I am contemplating.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Why going to the grocery store with three children is a joke.

Can you find all four of us in this reflection? Ten points if you can.

Feel free to lecture Grace on safety. I do.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Loony Bin

I think I've decided to homeschool Grace next year.

And I wasn't really expecting it, but I'm getting a lot of negative feedback about homeschooling from friends and acquaintances. Also. Carlsbad is about ten years behind the times, so support groups for homeschooling are almost non-existent. In other areas across the country, homeschool has made such great strides that kids can participate in school sports and even choose to attend some classes.

But not here. I can't even envision when that would be possible.

And I don't like being unconventional. Or being a ringleader. Or an activist. Or proving myself to people. It's not my thing.

I could list a variety of reasons for homeschooling, most of which would be academic. And maybe I'll do that later. But what it really comes down to for me is my guts. I have a gut feeling that I need to try homeschooling Grace. Just try.

Think I'm crazy?

Monday, May 2, 2011

This Mother's Day.

Last year Mother's Day at our house went largely uncelebrated. We were broke. And Brad [who is an amazing gift giver when he has money to spend] didn't have any free gift ideas.

Our family was participating in our post-Sunday-nap ritual. It occurs after church, after a mandatory hour-long quiet time. The girls wander into our room, pile on the bed and Brad tickles them until someone's eye gets poked out. It's fun. You should try it. Anyway.

As he tortured one of our children, I gave Brad a hard time about his observance of Mother's day. "You could have written me a note. You could have at least brought me breakfast in bed." [I am. like. the best wife. ever.]

That must have been the last straw. He ceased his attacks on the girls and instead attempted to tickle me to death. He at least succeeded in getting me to laugh so hard that I had to stop nagging. Which was probably the point.

He stopped long enough for me to catch my breath, and then I felt a little finger tapping my back. I rolled to my other side causing enough motion to almost tip a bowl of Rice Krispies that had just been placed on the mattress. Behind it ducked a shy Grace, waiting for me to gush over my breakfast in bed. I did. I gushed profusely. And ate the cereal. And thoroughly enjoyed it.

And then I felt profoundly guilty for being a guilt-tripping bad mother.

And that is how I feel Mother's Day goes in a nutshell: disappointment, mushiness, guilt. There is so much to look forward to.

And on that note, what do you want for Mother's Day? Or... what do you plan on giving to your Mother?