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Fairly Odd Mother

Frantically waving my magic wand to make wishes come true.

Friday, October 31, 2008

When Your Son is Afraid of Everything

Okay, I exaggerate a bit in the title of this post.

He isn't afraid of everything, as evidenced by his complete lack of fear when on a scooter, zipping down my neighbor's hilly driveway. And, he isn't afraid to defy me when I am standing right in front of him...

But, the list of what frightens him is pretty specific:

the table fan in the bedroom, especially if it (hold me) oscillates

the angry king in
Katamari Damacy's Playstation2 game

people in costume, including the cuddly ones at Disney World:

"Get your paws off my sister, you beast!"


"I'll just watch the parade from back here, behind these towels"

"Do you think they can see me? Can they?!?!"

pictures of ghosts (even if I draw them)

these scary beasts:


his hero Lightning McQueen because this car made a "Vroom, Vroom" noise

Note the absence of D from the photo

There are many more things that frighten him, and they can pop up without warning.

Fortunately, there are many, many things that delight him, so I think I'll live through this phase without too much eye rolling and even a touch of empathy.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

How To Have Fun Waiting

As anyone who has ever been to Disney World knows, one thing you do a lot of is wait. Wait for the shuttle bus to take you to the park; wait in line to buy a Mickey Mouse-shaped ice cream bar; wait in line for Space Mountain;
wait for your dinner table to be ready.

Wait, wait, wait. All that time with nothing to do but try to entertain three bored kids, or at least try to keep them for completely melting down from the nothingness of it all.

Fairly Odd Father came up with the best idea for all this waiting though, and it has become one of our favorite aspects of our trip. While sitting around waiting somewhere, he grabbed our little digital camera and said, "Contest!". The kids perked right up.

First it was a contest to see who could make the silliest face. Snap, snap, snap. After each child was photographed, they peered at the photos shown from the back of the camera admiring each others' clever faces and then daring themselves to get sillier for the next round. I don't recall him even awarding a "winner" at all, but they all seemed to agree who had brought it home each time.

Here is the Silly Face Contest:




This went on throughout the vacation. There was the Pretend You're Being Eaten by an Alligator Contest:



The Pretend You are Falling Off the Rocks Contest:




Belly won the Highest Jump Contest:


And, Jilly won the Old Lady Face Contest, hands down:



Ahhh, good times.

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Rebel Without a Cause

Eleven days in Florida, many of them spent at the House of Mouse, have left my brain a bit fried. But, let me share with you my single-most favorite photo from the trip:



Thursday, October 23, 2008

Somebody Slip Me a Mickey

Three clues:

1. It's a world of laughter, a world of tears. . .
2. My feet hurt. . .
3. My 4yo, D, wants to go back home to Mattatutetts.

Yes, we are about halfway through our "vacation" in Walt Disney World, the one place where there is no energy crisis or mention of recycling, the food is always "fast", and able-bodied people riding in scooters seems perfectly logical.

All of us (except D) are having fun, although all this "it's about the children all the time" stuff is making me twitch. This may sound odd considering I'm with my kids an awful lot when we're home, but these close quarters and the pack mentality is a bit challenging.

Tonight I take the girls alone to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party. I will be dressed as The Old Hag which considering how tired my body and mind feels, sounds about right.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Damn the 90's

File this under: Maybe this is her second life?

Belly, my oldest at all of 7 1/2, was describing her dance class today in her usual animated fashion.

Apparently, they are trying to decide the "theme" for this year's highly anticipated dance recital (all snarkiness intended). There were three options.

Her favorite was the "Kids Under Cover" theme which would allow her to wear a black hat tipped over one eye, all "spy-like". I wanted to tell her that no self-respecting spy would creep around with a hat tipped over one eye, but held my tongue.

The other favorite was some sort of "Parasol Stroll". She liked this option because it had a great prop---the parasol, which would surely take out the eye of at least one girl in class before the recital. Yawn.

The last option? She didn't like it one bit. The name was "Freeze Frame" and involved what sounded to me like voguing, but she insisted that wasn't right after she watched me demonstrate my stellar voguing moves.

"No mom, not like that! Like this. . ." and she proceeded to do a great Robot dance.

"Oh! The Robot!" I answered with enthusiasm.

"Yeah", she signed disgustedly and then tossed her hair, "it's like SO 1990's".


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

'Twas Two Days Before Disney

'Twas two days before Disney, when all through the house

All the creatures were stirring as they thought of that Mouse.

The mommy was strung out with bags that were bare

With hopes they’d be full before she pulled out her hair.


I would write more but there is no time. Must wrestle the cat into a carrier and drop her at my mom's. Laundry, laundry, laundry. Pack, oh, yes, pack.

And thrown into the mix are three bored, anxious, mommy-needing kids.

Gotta run.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Perils of Guitar Hero

Cautionary Warning:

If your husband likes Guitar Hero, and your children like to watch him playing said game, do not be surprised when your two angelic girls, a mere five and seven, beg for you to stop at a radio station when they hear a certain song emanating from the speakers of your stylin' minivan.

Oh Lord, there is something about hearing my happy girls singing "I wanna watch you bleed" in their cheery little voices that is almost too surreal for words.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Dear Barack Obama: Please Watch Your Back

I'm worried about Barack Obama.

I'm worried because I keep hearing about the angry crowds at McCain/Palin rallies who are yelling things like "traitor", "terrorist" and, unbelievably, "off with his head" when Obama's name is mentioned.

"Off with his head"?!?! Some people are really and truly nuts.

Really and truly nuts, and probably racist too.

There is no question in my mind that there is a scarily sizable chunk of the population that is appalled that a black man could become the next President. I heard an interview with one man who said that he "couldn't live in a country that had Obama as President".

Buh-bye, then. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

I am worried though. And, I'm disgusted that McCain and Palin have not come out stronger against people who chant such things at their rallies. Especially things like "off with his head" or "kill him". It's unconscionable.

If things keep going this route, I'm going to suggest that Obama contact Rome for some "divine" intervention.


Because, really, if something terrible were to happen to this man, I think another bit of my faith in humanity would go up in smoke.


Friday, October 10, 2008

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

I kissed the kids tonight at bedtime, telling them that I wouldn't see them again until Sunday. Belly, my oldest, burst into loud, over-the-top tears. "Please don't go Mommy!!!! WHY must you go!?!?!?".

My youngest, D, looked at me with big, watery eyes and said, "Mommy, you stay here with me!"

I went over to Jilly, my middle child who was playing with a doll in her bed.

"Jilly, are you going to miss me while I'm gone?" I asked as I nuzzled her neck.


"Not even a little bit?", I teased.

"Nope. . .ok, maybe a little bit", she offered, completely matter-of-fact.

But. . .then a little smile escaped her lips, and she threw her arms around my neck.

No drama, just sweetness.

(And, of course, no sooner do I write this than they ALL fall to pieces. Exhausted, over-emotional, weepy pieces. At least, now, I'm ready to escape for 24 hours).

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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Rules, Schmules, or How To Be Crafty at Four

I finally convinced my socially awkward son, D, to attend Sunday School so that he could come to church with the girls and I. I teach grades 1-3, but need him to go into the Pre-K/K class so that he doesn't bother me during my class.

He was scared to go, but I knew his sister would be in class with him to hold his hand, and, c'mon. . .
we're Unitarian Universalists! It's not like anyone is going to tell him he's going to go to hell or anything!

During that first class, it's typical to come up with a set of "Class Rules"---things like, "Don't Speak if Someone Else is Speaking" and "No Pushing". Apparently, in his class, the teachers went around the room and asked each child to contribute a rule.

D's rule? "NO D TALKING", which translates to mean, "I do not speak in public to anyone I don't know very well, especially if my Mommy is not by my side, so do not ask me to answer any more questions or contribute in any way to this little class of yours".

This sounded exactly right for him, and I was impressed he had even articulated that much in public.

This past week, I approached one of the teachers and asked her how D was doing in class, especially given that he will not speak.

She looked at my incredulously. "Will NOT speak? He doesn't shut up! He talks the entire time!"

"But, the rule he made up!?!?!"

"Yeah, we think he made that rule just so he could break it."

Ahhhh, my little rule breaker. I can tell I'm in for a ride with this one.


Monday, October 06, 2008

Paying Off The US Debt: Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Texas...

I have a sharp-tongued friend who once worked at a Collection Agency straight out of college, a job that suited her well.
I remember her telling us of her phone calls; she'd go after these people without mercy: "You'd better get your ass off that couch because we're coming for it!" and "Take the Christmas gifts out of the trunk 'cuz that car is ours now!". Those were classics to our 20-year-old ears.

They don't seem so funny anymore, maybe now that I'm just too keenly aware of how easy it is to slip under. I'm not talking about going spending crazy with a credit card; I'm talking about losing a job, getting behind on bills and then just slowly. sinking. under. I have a lot more empathy at 41 than I did at 22.

So lately, I've thought a lot about those phone calls, especially with all the crap that is going on in the financial world. Our debt is now up to 10 trillion dollars, and we owe huge sums of money (about 25% of the total) to foreign countries like China and Japan.

I will be the first to admit that I don't know all that much about how this "debt ownership" works, but what if China decides they want that debt paid off now? We clearly aren't in a position to pay anything off, so what then?

The other night I lay in bed and wondered what China might demand. Texas? California? New York? Or, maybe they'll just take Microsoft and call it a day. I'll even throw in McDonald's and one almost-past President/VP team for good measure.


Thursday, October 02, 2008

Retail Therapy

Dear Macy's,

I've seen your television commercials that are chock-full of celebrities: Martha Stewart in Home Furnishings, Donald Trump in Men's Clothing, Jessica Simpson in Perfumes. Wow, that spot must have cost you a fortune.

It's too bad you wasted so much cash on a television spot when your money could've been better spent on improving the shopping experience for your customers. Take your dressing rooms:


I don't think your customers should feel like they are under interrogation and about to be strip searched in the cell-blocks you call dressing rooms. And what exactly is that little piece of wood with a hole in it supposed to be? I decided it was where I'd be handcuffed when security arrived for the interrogation.

Dirty, bare and with unflattering light to boot! Perfect for trying on overpriced clothing.

I don't think Martha would approve.


Glad to be outta there


Cutting the Cord

Today, in about 4 hours, I will chop off my right arm.

Or, so it will seem.

What I mean is that I will give up my trusty laptop, the one missing the "eight" key (but will still obey my command to produce an 8 when needed--good boy), the one with the sticky mouse pad and the odd whirring noise. I will give it up for God Knows How Long to the people at Best Buy with whom we have our service agreement for only 30 more days.

Before you feel too badly for me, there is a regular computer upstairs (I think it's known as a "desktop", and not "the unmovable" as I call it). But, while I can spend the wee hours of the morning or late hours of night in our office with the unmovable, our daily living takes place on the first floor.

Oh! I just gasped in realization that I will not be able to Twitter tonight in front of the television during the VP debates. The humor I will miss from my Twitter friends and complete strangers. . .

To say I'm an internet addict is a bit mild. I'm not only an addict, I regard anyone who isn't an addict with a bit of suspicion. When someone tells me they never use the internet, go weeks without checking email, have never shopped online because "someone else will have my credit card number", I react the same way I would if someone told me they live without electricity or indoor plumbing. Why?

This is not a new condition. Way back in '94, I had a co-worker who said that my answer to any question that I didn't know was a cheerful, "Let's go check the internet!"

There is one condition to me dropping this laptop off, though. They must, absolutely must, promise to have it back to me before I leave for BlogHer Boston next weekend. Because if there is one place where my obsession with all things "dot com" will be understood and welcomed, it will be there.

I can't wait.

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