Monday, September 29, 2008

The Scatterbrained Tooth Fairy

What do you do when your son comes out of his room in the morning crying, telling you that the Tooth Fairy fogot to come?

You send him to talk to his father and then high-tail it into his room trying not to wake his brother and stick money in his pillowcase.

Then you tell him that you checked online and the Tooth Fairy sometimes hides the money in pillowcases so it doesn't get lost and he should check again.

Then you breathe a sigh of relief when you see his tears dry and the smile on his face as he clutches his two dollars.

But then what do you do when he asks you why she didn't take the tooth?

You spin a tale of the Tooth Fairy's rules, like sometimes she leaves really special ones for you to keep as a souvenir, or maybe she needed two from you so is waiting for the next one to fall out. Then you imprint these lies in your mind for next time, are grateful that your kids like money enough to be that gullible, and hope your kids don't ask you to see the Tooth Fairy's website.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

His Future Career?

This is what Jack did at breakfast in his free time:

For those of you that don't read 7-year old boy, allow me to translate:

The Short Comik by Jack Stork

Hey, you're the new kid in school. You're short.

I know that I'm short. I'm in preschool.

But what are you doing here?

Dropping off my big brother.

And who is he?


The Weird End.

Each time Jack reads this, his little brother Luke falls into fits of laughter. So even if Jack doesn't have a future in the comic book industry, he's very successful at his temporary job of entertaining 5 year olds.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Imagined or Real?

For a long time now, I have been afraid of the dark. Not necessarily just the dark, but being alone in the dark. My imagination allows me to hear noises that don't exist, see things that aren't there, and dream up elaborate and often horrifying scenarios whenever my husband is gone for the night, I have to walk from my house to the car at 4:00 am when catching the red-eye, or when I'm taking our puppy out to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Our neighborhood has been extremely safe, but that doesn't stop my mind from churning.

Recently, we have heard reports of break-ins in our neighborhood that involve someone knocking on the front door, and then, if no one answers, going around to the back and breaking in. These reports do not do anything to allay my overactive fears.

Last week on two separate occasions, I saw a lone person walking down my street. One time was at 11:30 pm and the other was at 3:00 am. This person didn't acknowledge me, wave, smile, or anything even though our neighborhood is very friendly. I didn't recognize this person, but that doesn't mean I didn't know them because I didn't have my contacts in so can't even identify for certain if the person was male or female. Still, looking up at 3:00 am to see someone walking down the street while I stood there barefoot in my yard was a little unnerving and creepy, even if it was just a neighbor out for a (middle of the night?) stroll.

Sunday morning I heard the brief cadence of a police siren. I looked out of the window to see two police officers putting handcuffs on a man. I yelled to John that someone was being arrested in front of the neighbor's house. That was a mistake, because here come the boys all excited and curious.

So, as I stood staring out the window and telling my boys not to stare, I wondered if this was the person I had seen walking down the street at night. Unlikely, but my imagination urged it to be true. And then came the scenarios of how close I came to being a statistic while out walking my dog.

The boys, naturally, were curious as to why the man was being arrested. "Maybe he tried to close a garage door on somebody," said Luke.

I'm not sure what that means, but in Luke's world if you do that you get arrested.

I was very tempted to use this situation to my advantage, and tell the boys he was being arrested for unbuckling his seat belt in the car or not behaving at the store or being mean to his brother. But the white lies would have been wasted as there is not a slim chance that the boys would have believed me.

John told them, "There have been some robberies in the neighborhood. Maybe they think it was him."

To this Jack responded, "I don't think so. Robbers usually are running around."

The officers took the man away, and we were left to our hypotheses. Maybe we'll find out why this man was arrested. I hope it has nothing to do with the person I saw walking down the street. Otherwise, I may be forced to admit that my imagination may be fueled less by conjecture and more by reality. Then how will my mind explain away the bumps in the night?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Good Thing I'm a Good Guesser

One of our favorite games to play is Pictionary Jr. It is a fun game with relatively easy items for young kids to draw and guess. Each card includes a clue to give the guesser an idea as to what the drawing will be. Clues may be something like "Things You Eat" or "Things In A Kitchen". And the clues are a good thing. Because, when you play with a five year old, the drawings may not be the most comprehensible. The clue of "Things in a Classroom" helped me guess that this:

was a book.

And the clue of "Things in a City" helped me guess that this:

was a sidewalk, and not the more obvious choice that would get the makers of Pictionary Jr. in big trouble.

Oftentimes, the game deteriorates into laughter and chaos. Since Luke can't read, someone that is not a guesser has to tell him the clue and explain what it is if he doesn't know. When Jack is the one telling him, John and I sit at the table with fingers in our ears making lalala noises. Our boys have yet to master the art of the whisper. And Jack usually forgets what color he's landed on when trying to figure out which item on a card he is to be drawing. He asks, "What color is it again," to which, by the end of the game, we answer "Just pick any color. We don't care."

Jack gets distracted, watching Luke draw and listening to my guesses, which is why I guessed book with the drawing above before he guessed book with this drawing:

And for the clue "Starts with N" Jack kept yelling "Navigator". How would you even draw that?

Luke tends to go into too much detail. For axe, he'll draw a man, and then a tree, and then an axe. I say to him, "Why don't you start with the axe, and then draw more details to help me? Start drawing the thing I'm supposed to guess first." I thought he got it. So, his next turn, he drew this:

First he drew a balloon. Then he drew a person. Then he started on the cake. The clue was "Things You Eat." The answer was birthday cake. We did not win.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Question I've Been Dreading

There are a few questions that I've been expecting would come from my kids eventually. You know the ones. Questions dealing with sex and babies and boy parts and a whole myriad of awkward things. But one that I wasn't sure would be asked, but dreaded it nonetheless, was put to me by my 5 year old Luke.

We were swimming at my mom's house, with Luke and me down by the pool and Jack on the upper deck playing with Indy. Jack was yelling a little because Indy was nipping at him.

"Mom," Luke said. "Just listen to this and then answer. What if Jack was up there and Indy was really mean and biting and biting him and hurting him really bad, and I was down here at the pool and I couldn't swim and I was drowning. Who would you save first?"

Oh. My. Gosh. So I said, "That would never happen. Indy is very nice and you are a great swimmer."

"But who would you save first?" he insisted.

How was I to answer this question? Was it just a boy's overactive imagination asking? Or did he think that my answer would indicate which of them I loved more? Did he need, at that particular time, to feel that he was tops on my list?

And just thinking about the answer to that question caused my mind and heart to do flip flops. A situation as Luke described is unimaginable to me. What would I do if both my boys were in trouble? I guess the only thing I could do is pray to God and do everything possible to save them both, even if I died trying.

But for now, I needed to give this boy an answer that would satisfy him and protect both of my boys (I could see him running to Jack claiming that I would not save him first or didn't love him as much.) So I said, "Well, if I was up there I'd grab Indy by the neck and drag him down here and jump in and save you. And, if was down here I'd jump in and save you and then go up and grab Indy by the neck and drag him away. I'd save you both, because there's nothing I wouldn't or couldn't do for either of you if you needed me."

"O.K.," he said and jumped back into the pool.

I don't know if my answer was the right one. I half expect Luke to bring this up again one day out of the blue. He tends to push his emotions to the side and then spring them on you when you least expect them. But for now I'll continue on the assumption that my answer was the one he was looking for, and I'll pray that I never have to make the decision posed by Luke's question.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Saturday Laughs

Red Neck Love Poem

Susie Lee done fell in love,
She planned to marry Joe.
She was so happy 'bout it all,
She told her pappy so.
Pappy told her, Susie gal, You’ll have to find another.
I'd just as soon yo’ ma don’t know,
But Joe is yo’ half brother.
So Susie put aside her Joe and planned to marry Will.
But after telling Pappy this,
He said, 'There’s trouble still.'
You can’t marry Will, my gal,
And please don’t tell yo’ mother.
But Will and Joe, and several mo'
I know is yo’ half brother.
But Mama knew and said, My child, just do what makes yo' happy.
Marry Will or marry Joe,
You ain't no kin to Pappy.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

My Poor Coccyx

This is your coccyx:

Many of you may know this under the more common name of tail bone. And anyone that has fallen on their tail bone knows what a painful little booger it can be.

I am almost over my coccyx injury which occurred while teaching Jack to roller skate. To all parents on roller skates who are holding a child's hand while they are roller skating and continue to fall and fall and fall: It is almost impossible for them not to knock your skates out from under you when they fall. And when you fall, be sure that, at all costs, you do not land your coccyx on their upturned skate.

Jack wants to get back to the roller rink and practice some more. He said that skating was one of the best days of his life. Except for the fact that he almost broke my butt. He is very sorry about that. I told him he did break it. He cracked it right down the middle. He hasn't yet caught on to my joke. He does, however, love the little inflatable donut that I get to sit on until I'm better.

So tell me - Have you ever hurt your coccyx?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I Overheard a Conversation...

...between John and Luke. It was too good not to share.

John: I had a dream last night that I had a whole bunch of hair on my head.

Luke: So you were, like, handsome?

John: That's hard core.

*Based on the comments, I think I need to clarify that John is my husband and Luke is my 5 year old. John shaves his head. My sons do not.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Saturday Laughs

A new teacher was trying to make use of her Psychology courses. She started her class by saying, "Everyone who thinks they're stupid, stand up!"

After a few seconds, Little Johnny stood up. The teacher said, "Do you think you're stupid, Little Johnny?"

"No, ma'am, but I hate to see you standing there all by yourself!"

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Experience Builders

I've heard many people say that they didn't think they were ready for kids so they were going to get a dog first to practice with. I used to think this was a little crazy. How could getting a dog possibly prepare you for having children? Then I got a puppy. And now I know.

So, I would recommend this to anyone thinking of getting a puppy: Have children first to help you get the experience you need to raise a puppy. You will learn these valuable lessons:

If you don't want them to eat it, keep it out of reach because they put everything in their mouths.

Be prepared for little sleep as they wake up several times in the night to go to the bathroom.

It takes a lot of time, patience and loads of laundry before they are potty trained.

Buy a state of the art camera and video recorder as you will want to document every milestone, no matter how teeny tiny.

(first bath)

Save your money on expensive toys and treats - they will just want to play with the packaging.

When they do something wrong, they will quickly learn how to give you "The Look" and they will be much too cute for you to discipline.

When they are napping, you will do everything in your power not to disturb them including putting signs on your doors to avoid visitors and silencing your telephones.

Although you will not want to disturb them when they are sleeping, you will find that they are never so cute and cuddly as when they are tired.

You will think that they are the smartest one in the class and most likely intelligent on a genius level.

You will wonder how you ever survived this long without them.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Not the Target Demographic

John and I went to see Tropic Thunder. It was crude and cringe-inducing and disgusting at times and hilarious and just my type of movie.

I'm pretty sure I'm not the target demographic for the movie. But I am a marketer's dream compared to the two elderly women that were in the theater. John and I saw these women walk in and couldn't believe they were in the right theater. The young one was at least 75 years old. Did they think this was a real movie about the Vietnam war? They were in for an extremely rude awakening.

The movie gets started by showing fake commercials and fake movie trailers to introduce you to the characters in the movie. Booty Sweat anyone? Jack Black's character is shown in a trailer for his movie The Fatties Fart 2. Jack Black's character plays a family of fat people that sit around and do nothing but eat and fart. Obviously a joke. Well, maybe not so obvious. After the fake trailer was over and in the silence before the next fake trailer cued up, one of the elderly ladies said, "Who in their right mind would pay money to see that?"

Everyone within ear shot lost it. Her statement confirmed that she was indeed in the wrong place. I kept waiting for them to leave, but they never did. I wanted to follow them out after the movie was over to hear what they thought of it, but I couldn't leave during the credits because seeing Tom Cruise dressed as he was and dancing was too funny to miss.

In answer to her question about who would pay money to see that, I wonder if she ever realized that she would and she did.