Sunday, October 25, 2009

Dum Dum Dilemma

At a recent Bunco game I listened to a Mom talk about her only daughter. She spoke of her struggles with her daughter's drive-thru confusion. Because she got a lollipop every time she went through the bank, she assumed she would get one when she went through the pharmacy drive-thru and any other drive-thru window. This Mom, a funny and relatable woman, came up with a solution: she'd keep a stash of suckers in her glove box so whenever they went through the drive-thru her daughter wouldn't be plagued with disappointment. She started it a couple months ago and now is frustrated because she doesn't feel like she can stop. I smiled. I couldn't help myself. This is something I would never do, at least not now: 7 years into parenting and on child number 3.

I'm not sure if it's because I'm a hard ass or that I'm simply out of energy but disappointment is a lesson my kids learn at least once a day. I pride myself on it. I'm so pro-disappointment, in fact, that my kids don't get suckers at the bank unless the teller offers them. I refuse to ask for them and my van has tinted back windows so whether or not they get a Dum Dum after I complete a transaction is a crap shoot.

The whole conversation made me appreciate the benefit of hindsight and multiple children. Sure, we contribute to the population problem but we only have one guinea pig: the first child. The lessons we learn through trial and error with that child shape our entire parenting experience. I'm sure Truman would be delighted to learn that he taught me a most important lesson: Disappointment is a dish best served hot. And often.

Friday, October 23, 2009



Today is a very sad day indeed. My husband is back from his business trip, my kids are healthy at the moment, and my baby girl is exploding with adorableness but I'm still in mourning. Last night, after the kids went to bed, I asked the huz to bring the "cage" into the living room. The cage is a six paneled gate that I've had since Truman became mobile. It's much larger than a Pack N Play so it holds lots of toys and the kids can move around in it but it keeps them contained safely so I can get a few things done. My living room has been cage-free for nearly three years now and I have enjoyed it a great deal. There's nothing quite like having a living room free of eye-sores. You see, our house is quite small. There's no playroom or den. As far as living space goes, we just have a living room and a kitchen. All told, the cage takes up about 8 square feet of precious living room space. Where once you could see our bare hardwood floor, now you see baby toys through the holes of a plastic fence. Rich.

I have no choice in the matter. Harper is on the move. I put her down in a seated position yesterday on the living room floor, went into the kitchen to wash my hands, and came back a minute or two later and she had rolled to the TV cabinet (about 5 feet away) where she sat chewing on the chord for the Wii remote. Not good. Now my living room looks like a poorly run home day care center and my daughter's time spent unattached to my hip will be in a homemade prison. I'm not ready for the upcoming phase of babydom. It just might do me in.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Freak Flags


We just hopped off the Disney World express on Saturday and are slowly getting adjusted to life in the non-magical world. Our trip was great. It was hotter than any week in October should ever be but we managed to enjoy ourselves in spite of it. On the Monday evening of our week long adventure, we partook in Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, an overpriced spooky celebration at the Magic Kingdom. Thanks to a certain Disney connection, we were able to get discounted tickets and it turned out to be money well-spent because the kids had a great time.

Dressed in Star Wars garments from head to toe, we strolled through the park hitting all of the Trick or Treat spots to rake in the candy and tried to take advantage of the minimal crowd. My cousin, her husband, and their two kids (also Star Wars junkies) were along for the ride. We split -up along gender lines and the boys hit the thrill rides while the girls went in search of Princesses, candy, and some Fantasyland entertainment. We scored with a trip to the Princess and Tinkerbelle tents. If you've ever been to Disney World you know that the lines for these rides tend to get out of control. It's not uncommon to find little girls with defeated looking parents standing at the tail-end of an hour-and-a-half line just for a handshake and a photo-op with a princess. We waited for ten minutes for Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty and fifteen for Tinkerbelle and her Fairy Friends. Don't get me wrong, watching my little girl interact with Tinkerbelle was a thrill, especially at age four when the magic is about as real as it gets, but the real entertainment took place in line to meet Tink and her pals.

Harper, decked out in her Yoda hat, got some intense reactions from two dads in the crowd. They were great sports, waiting patiently so that their little girls could shake hands with a fairy. As soon as we got in line, one of the dads caught a glimpse of Harper and his eyes sparkled. He elbowed his buddy and whispered something to the effect of, "Look at that baby Yoda. Awesome!" They both giggled and gave me props for my sheer awesomeness for dressing my baby girl up as Yoda. Then the dialogue started. I'm going to print it here but you must read it to yourself in Yoda's voice. Otherwise it just doesn't work.

Here goes:

Dirty, my diaper is.

Drink out of a bottle, I do.

Ready for my diaper change, I am.

Judge me by my size, do you?

Wear a onesie, I do.

Enjoy baby food, I do.

In between each of these genius snippets of comedy were uncontrollable giggles. This little back and forth went on for the duration of our wait to see Tinkerbelle. After the first five minutes, the two of them got so lost in their own hilarity that they forgot about us altogether. I have a deep affinity for Star Wars nerds so I enjoyed watching the two dads revert back to adolescence. I'm so glad I was able to provide them with a few moments when they could fly their freak flags with reckless abandon.