Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Boy's broken heart

If you've been reading Creative Kerfuffle you may already know of The Boy's love for one of my best friends, Donut. She's 10 years younger than me and about 20 years older than him, yet since the first time he met her he's had a crush on her.

When Donut started dating Jelly I told the Boy it was serious. At that time he seemed ok with it, realizing Donut wasn't really going to marry him. About a month ago Donut and Jelly were coming for dinner.

Me: Donut and them will be here around 6 p.m.
The Boy: Oh, I need to get a shower. Uh, who's them?
Me: Donut and Jelly, her boyfriend.
The Boy: Guess I don't need to take a shower then.

He pouted for awhile and when they arrived he spent the rest of the evening writing her love notes and not talking to Jelly.

Last week Donut called to say Jelly had proposed; she's engaged.
The Boy heard me talking on the phone and threw himself down and started pounding the floor. He got up and ran off.
I found him later sitting on the couch moping.
Me: What's wrong?
The Boy: I don't want Donut marrying Jelly. (He's sobbing uncontrollably at this point)
Me: Boy, she's too old for you. Besides, Donut will still be your friend and still love you even when she's married.
The Hubby: C'mere boy. (Boy sits on his lap.) Have you ever flirted with a married woman?
The Boy: DADDY! You can't do that. Do you think Donut will let me be her best man?
The Hubby: Girl's don't have best men Buddy. Besides, by the time you're old enough to have a little buddy of your own Donut will be an old lady and won't be able to have kids.
The Boy: Where's the phone, I need to call Donut.
Me: Don't be mean to her.
I dial the phone and he's quit crying and starts talking to her.
Before he gets out the word congratulations he starts crying again and hands me the phone.
Donut: Tell him I'll dance with him at the wedding.
I tell him and he puffs out his chest.
The Boy: Really? I need to get a tux.
Me: Honey, the wedding's not until next spring, we have time.

Our familiar things

Does every family have certain little quirks or inside sayings, jokes, etc. or is it just my family? I don't know what got me thinking about this, but here are some things we do or say that people outside the four of us might not understand.

Kids: Where are we going?
Dad's standard answer: Vermont
We have never been to Vermont, we have no family/friends in Vermont, yet somehow this became a part of our culture.

Kids: What are we having for dinner?
Parents: Oh, a little vomit and some worms (or whatever other disgusting things we can think of).
This probably came about from when we used to watch Fear Factor. The kids also use this when I ask, so what did you have for lunch today. Answer--maggots and dung beetles.

The Hubby ponders things. When he's sitting there looking pensive and you say what's up, he says just pondering.

Before The Girl's speech was fully developed she used to say, Pickameyup (Pick me up), at nine she remembers this and still says it playfully on occasion or asks me to hold her like a baby.

The Boy's last words before bed each night, after the I love yous and hugs and kisses, are Can you and Daddy come check on me later?

The Hubby's sweet endearment to us is I'm glad you're my girl/boy. They typically respond, I'm glad you're my Daddy.

The dogs are referred to as the children's sisters (by the Hubby, not me).

In our family we eat at Chinese buffets, roast marshmallows in our backyard, color lots of eggs at Easter, decorate sugar cookies at Christmas, ponder deeply over Halloween costumes, make people sandwichs, have a craft drawer and a junk drawer in the kitchen, don't make our beds, fold clothes in the den, ask for two more minutes when it's time to get up, say I love you several times a day and periodically count freckles on the Boy and Girl.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

A camping we will go...

Friday the Girl and I went on a camping trip with her Brownie troop. Me, about 12 other moms and 16 girls for two nights and two and a half days. In the wilderness. Ok, so it wasn't exactly roughing it as we stayed in a bunkhouse and had running water, but that was about the extent of the amenities.

My last camping experience was in college when I spent the summer as a Girl Scout camp counselor for like 8 weeks in Texas. Texas in the summer in a platform tent is not comfortable, but honestly I remember having a lot of fun once I adjusted to the heat. : )

Anyway, back to the Girl. She had a blast. We rode horses (yes, even me), the horse we rode was a flea bitten gray mare named Prize. Prize liked to nibble on every green thing it could find, so she was a little hard to keep focused on our trail ride.

We also went on a nature hike, tye-died t-shirts, roasted hotdogs on a campfire, sang songs, played games, swam and went paddle boating. When we were out on the lake in the paddle boat the Girl discovered a fish hooked on a fishing line someone had hung from a tree. The fish still was in the water but you could tell it wouldn't survive if we didn't do something. So the Girl made us paddle over there and I let the fish go. She was so pleased!

While we were gone Hubby and the Boy had a boy's weekend at home. Movies on Friday night, library and lunch on Saturday and staying up until unGodly hours both nights. When we got home Sunday the Boy rushed out to the car and didn't even let the girl get out before he pounced on her for a hug. It was really sweet.

I was exhausted from the trip. Horses--who knew they were so broad? I consider myself pretty flexible for my girth, but when you first get on a horse you wonder if your thighs are really supposed to spread that far apart. I adjusted. And hiking, damn we walked a lot. From the parking lot to our campsite was at least a mile and wherever you went after that was at least half a mile away. Granted, for my friend the Marathon Man this would have been nothing, but for someone who rides the elevator to the second floor after going outside for a smoke, it was a challenge : ) I survived though and the Girl and I had a great time together. I hope this is a memory she'll always treasure.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Hello it's me

This is pretty much an exercise in pouring out my thoughts as I'm sure the few people who once read this have long since given it up because of my infrequent posts.

I'm doing a list today that is in no particular order of importance. Hang on.

1. This is part of the peony I dug up from my Grandma's yard last August. I can't begin to tell you what this plant means to me, even though I doubt it will flower this year. I planted it under a magnolia tree, just like Maw-Maw (that's West Virginian for Grandma) had her's; it makes me feel connected to her.

2. The Boy and Girl have really enjoyed the trampoline they got for Christmas. We were afraid it would be one of those things they lost interest in after a few days, but just about every day they're out there jumping. They're bound to have strong leg muscles.

3. There was a horrible rumor going around that Vincent D'Onofrio (aka Bobby Goren from Law & Order) died recently. If you have concrete evidence of this please notify me as I Googled him and it doesn't come up. These are things I need to know, like when the day comes and Rod dies.

4. My new boyfriend is Joaquin Phoenix. If you haven't seen Walk the Line yet, do so now. I realize June Carter and Johnny Cash fooled around while he was married, but you cannot deny the true passion they shared and it's just incredible.

5. This weekend the Hubby and I were talking about first kisses. After wading through the mire that is my horrible memory I realized my first kiss was the guy the Hubby set me up with before we dated. I was 14. I know, kinda old, but it really was my first. No grade school kisses or pecks on the cheek or anything. So that's not the important thing. The thing that pissed me off is that that stupid boy told the Hubby that I gave him a BJ in the park behind the Hubby's house! Can you believe that shit? And, after going on 14 years of marriage this never came up before? I'm so not believing this and so irritated. I'd like to kick that little punk's ass!

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

I see a bad Mom Rising

A friend just sent me an email to join a group called MomRising. I’m a Mom, I should join right? Hmmm, I know I’ll most likely butt heads with my friend over this one, but I don’t agree with a lot of their issues.

It’s not that I don’t think all of these things are wonderful and necessary, but I don’t think they should be government mandated.

Paid family leave is great, but if I’m an independent business ownerwho, by law, has to pay for my employees NOT to be at work for 6-12 weeks, and pay someone to actually do the work while that person is out, where’s the money coming from?

Flex time, yeah I’d love flextime and the ability to work from home whenever I wanted. Some companies do that, but again, I don’t think the government has the right to make companies offer that benefit. Companies are running businesses to make money not to work around our schedules. It sucks sometimes, well ok, often, but in some instances flextime just isn’t feasible or possible.

TV, I have a huge issue with this one—free speech for one, and I see it as parents pawning off their responsibilities on a government agency or technology or whatever. If you don’t want your latchkey kids watching something when they get home either lay down the law and hope they obey, block the channels or have a babysitter.

Healthcare for all kids—I agree 100%. I don’t know what the solution is to the healthcare problem this country is facing. I do know that both my husband and I work and pay a lot for health insurance while my sister, who’s single, with two kids, gets a free ride because she wasn’t responsible enough to not have kids when she couldn’t afford them. I know my brother and his wife haven’t yet had a second child they both so desperately want to have because they’re being responsible and realize they can’t afford one right now.

Excellent childcare—again, I’m all for this. Teachers, daycare workers etc. should make more money. I don’t know the solution to that either. Here again, we bust our asses to make a living and keep out kids in a cheap daycare that is good but not stellar because we can’t afford anything more while my sister pretty much can put her kids anywhere because she gets government assistance.

Realistic and fair wages—yep, we should all earn enough to adequately care for our families, and women should be paid the same as men, etc. But how many families, us included, have bought into the hype that you need this and that, digital cable, high speed online, big honkin’ SUVs, brand name clothing, big vacations, more more more stuff and they get in debt and then say, well I don’t make enough money.

Facts on the Web site point to the fact that Sweden has about a year of paid family leave for the birth/adoption of a child. That’s awesome! I’ve seen the Dateline or 20/20 show on all the bennies available there and in other Nordic countries. Free childcare, free healthcare, etc. Awesome things—but they pay for them with incredibly high taxes.

I know many of you reading this will probably get pissed at me or be incredulous that I think this way. I’m not saying things don’t need to change, but I am saying that I don’t think the government should step in and be the police or the policy makers or the dictators.

From the Web site:
M - Maternity/Paternity Leave: Paid family leave for all parents after a new child comes into the family.
O - Open Flexible Work: Give parents the ability to structure their work hours and careers in a way that allows them to meet both business and family needs. This includes flexible work hours and locations, part-time work options, as well as the ability to move in and out of the labor force to raise young children without penalties.
T - TV We Choose and Other After-School Programs: Give families safe, educational opportunities for children after the school doors close for the day, including: Create a clear and independent universal television rating system for parents with technology that allows them to choose what is showing in their own homes; support quality educational programming for kids; increase access to, and funding, for after school programs.
H - Healthcare for All Kids: Provide quality, universal healthcare to all children.
E - Excellent Childcare: Quality, affordable childcare should be available to all parents who need it. Childcare providers should be paid at least a living wage and healthcare benefits.
R - Realistic and Fair Wages: Two full-time working parents should be able to earn enough to adequately care for their family. In addition, working mothers must receive equal pay for equal work.

Monday, May 1, 2006

My twin

When I was in the fourth grade my Dad was stationed in Fayetteville, NC. My "little" brother (who's now about six inches taller than me) was in kindergarten and hell on wheels. I was still at the point in life that I pretty much had no use for him (this lasted until I went away to college for the most part).

Before you think what a horrible person I was for not liking my brother, let me explain that until I was six years old I was the ONLY grandchild on both sides of the family. I was, admittedly, spoiled rotten and I'm fairly certain both sets of grandparents thought I walked on water. During my sixth year, four terrible things happened. My brother was born, one aunt had a son and another had twin boys. I remained the only granddaughter for another six years, but had lost my only grandchild status to four little boys.

Anyway, back to the story. As most big sisters are want to do, I loved tormenting my brother, and sadly he was so gullible. When it was raining outside or we couldn't find anyone else to play with we sometimes found ways to amuse ourselves. I discovered that I could pretend to be two people around him. I convinced him that I was twins : ) I'd be in his room playing and then leave, change shirts or something, come back and introduce myself as my twin. I'd do this a few times until I got bored with it, but he actually believed me for a little while. Great fun.