Monday, February 28, 2011

P is for...

The Motherscribe household is full of readers. BOY reads everything... street signs, books, wall charts, anything with words. Recently JCK enjoyed having a big ol' Proud Mama chuckle over seeing her BOY perusing The New Yorker. That is, until yesterday...

BOY: Look, Mommy!

BOY: The Princess and the.....PENNIES. The Princess and the Pennies? Ha! Ha?

JCK did not correct her son's interpretation. She will save the correct spelling of Penis for another day, dammit.

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tin Tin and the Terrifying Tootarama

JCK often wonders at the ability of her children to make both her heart and her brain explode simultaneously. Often these little dramas happen when JCK is tired and slightly off her rocker. Which isn't the most reliable chair on the block, if you know what JCK means.

Perhaps life is meant to be this way. One cannot feel the heart, without letting go of the brain a bit.

BOY doesn't travel light. Be it a journey of a couple of miles to school or a 6 hour drive, there are certain items that MUST go with him. What drives JCK absolutely BONKERS is that BOY's MUST HAVE's often conflict with JCK's MUST DO's.

For example, they MUST DO get out of the house, because they are going to be late for the MUST DO school drop off and at the exact moment when JCK has succeeded in getting her son out the door, with his shoes on, and his back pack and his when BOY decides he MUST HAVE his MUST HAVE, which today happened to be his overly large stuffed animal puppy and GIRL's giant hippo.

Because you see, the animals are absolutely necessary or BOY will die of heartbreak. And, JCK has learned that nothing, NOTHING is worth challenging BOY's MUST HAVE's, or the ensuing melt down and period of chaotic anguish will surpass any delay that might occur with stuffing a large puppy & hippo in a minivan.

Such is the life of having a boy with challenges. There is no reasoning with someone who can't deal with reason.

So, as JCK is backing out of the driveway, being mocked by a blue hippo in the back seat, she just has to smile. Especially when her BOY randomly makes things up like: Tin Tin and the Terrifying Tootarama. And, JCK and GIRL and BOY all laugh together, because they might be a bit of a mess, but they are a family and in their world dogs and hippos and farts all reside equally.

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Monday, February 21, 2011

What I do know is that our next reunion will be one less

I'm not good at death. For the obvious, selfish reasons. Because, I think...what if this had been me? Every notice of another friend leaving this earth catches me off guard. Death cuts a swathe of random brutality.

I will never be ready. Maybe I'm not alone in that. But, we are all flying solo, aren't we? In the end...

I lost a friend last week. I didn't know it until today. He was a good man. A childhood classmate from Beirut. We connected at our American Community School reunions. I liked his ability to dig in on many topics. He was passionate about his political beliefs. Not in synch with mine, yet we could sit up late and talk about almost anything.

I don't know how he died. Maybe his heart just decided it was time to stop.

What I do know is that our next reunion will be one less.

Fly free, Eric! You will always be that boy with the headful of tousled blond hair, and I will miss you...

Stairway to Heaven painting by Jim Warren.

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mean ol' mattress!

Like moms everywhere, JCK is an expert at repeating herself. Over and over and over again.

O.K., guys, time to clean up. Dinner is in 5 minutes. Please go wash your hands.

BOY? GIRL? Time to clean up. We're going to eat in 5 minutes. Wash hands!


In Unison: Oh....Moooom, do we HAVE to?

JCK: Yes, you do.

GIRL: Why?

JCK: Because it's time for dinner.

BOY: Mean ol' mattress!

JCK: Mean ol' mattress????

BOY: GIRL made it up.

JCK: GIRL, where did you hear that?

GIRL: Oh, I made it up. It just came into my head one day, when you showed us that mattress outside in the rain.

JCK is grateful for GIRL's creative use of language. JCK knows that it is far better to be a mean ol' mattress than a washed up ol' mattress...

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Laura Ingalls and stories of horror... Who knew?

JCK and her children are currently all things Little House on the Prairie. Today they started on These Happy Golden Years, and read together for almost two hours this afternoon. At the one hour mark, JCK asked her children if they wished her to stop reading. GIRL started rolling around the day bed moaning NOOOO, and BOY was clear in his desire for JCK to resume, while he continued to build a Tinker Toy masterpiece. So, JCK did...

All was well until JCK sneaked a peek ahead in the story and spotted a photo of Mrs. Brewster wielding a large knife over the bed of her husband, while Laura Ingalls looked on - peeping out from her curtained-off "room." The scene appeared a little NUTTY, shall we say, to read to two children aged 6 and 7.

However, BOY & GIRL were definitely up for the task. They preferred, they stated, to read scary, nutty parts during the daylight...

Always looking for those teaching moments, JCK went into a brief description of post-partum depression, of which Mrs. Brewster clearly appeared to be suffering from. Among other things... like hating her husband, living in South Dakota, and having Laura Ingalls as a boarder in her home.

JCK was chided by BOY & GIRL for digressing, veering off the topic at hand, which was read TO THEM. So, JCK continued the story of the MAD ASS Mrs. Brewster wielding a butcher knife in the darkest of night, with Laura Ingalls trembling behind a curtain.

JCK's children begged for more...

Laura Ingalls and stories of horror... Who knew?

Later, BOY & GIRL asked to watch an episode of Little House on the Prairie. (The Motherscribe household owns the full collection of the television series.) JCK needed to work for a bit, and truth be told JCK cannot get through a Little House episode without sobbing, and drooling over Michael Landon, so this time she abstained.

About...20 minutes into the episode, while JCK was working at her desk, she distinctly heard stripper music coming from the living room. JCK made a strategic and quick exit from her office. Can she not even depend on Little House on the Prairie to be suitable for her young children?! JCK entered the living room looking askance.

Why are you looking at us like that, Mommy? GIRL asked.

Er...just checking on you. What's going on with THAT lady?

On the screen is a lady dressed in RED, head to toe. And, Johnny Johnson is struck dumb. "Oh, my.." he says. It's the 1880's in South Dakota. RED is BAD. Very BAD.

The lady has a pretty dress, doesn't she, Mommy? says GIRL whose favorite color is red.

Gorgeous, GIRL. Just...gorgeous.

And, JCK realizes that all is well. Because really, how can you go wrong with a lady in a red dress and a man who says, Oh, MY...

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

On the couch with my GIRL

I sit with my GIRL on the couch. Under blankets. Her feet in my lap. Her head is propped up on a pillow. Cheeks flushed, hair mussed and eyes glassy, she is a portrait of influenza. Yet, there is beauty in her above all this. It is in her patience and sportsmanship, fighting a flu battle that lingers.

As I bring her food on a tray, periodically touch her forehead with the back of my hand, and stroke her hair...memories flood my mind. The surprise pregnancy, her birth and journey into our lives. She is special, my GIRL. I treasure her so...

Her head is often filled with big ideas, thoughts and questions. Especially before bed...

Why did they call it World War I and World War II, Mommy?

I don't like war. Everyone should just vote.

Why do the people want the Egyptian President gone?

Big questions for a 6 year old...some easier to answer than others.

We watch the cooking shows together, laughing at the chefs. Absorbing their fun and passion. The two of us Ooooing and Ahhhing over the delectable fare crossing the television screen. Exchanging big eyed glances. Our eyebrows raised over creme anglais with caramel sauce and grilled apples glazed with brown sugar and topped with whipped cream.

I LOVE BEING WITH YOU! she squeals, throwing her arms around my neck, out of the blue.

On Monday, our schedules will resume. She to school. Me, at home. This week will fade away. Yet, nestle somewhere in our hearts...

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Monday, February 7, 2011

*sigh*...TIME, where art thou, TIME?

JCK is still waiting for her ship to come in. Her TIME SHIP. The one that will fly a large Banner stating: Congratulations, JCK! You have caught up. You have no outstanding To Do Lists. You have succeeded in passing GO! Collect your family and go to Hawaii. While there, prepare yourself for lots of TIME rolling around with your husband on the beach, avoiding volcanoes and having abundant childcare for your two darling children. You, JCK, have TIME!

JCK expects that her ship really WILL come in someday. At which point, JCK will have a heart attack and die. That elusive... Gift. Of. Time. After. She. Is. Dead.

JCK knows she is Preaching to the Choir here, but really. Really? Can't she just get some extra time?

And, speaking of Preaching ... Why IS it, that those lovely little ladies and gentleman are casing JCK's neighborhood for souls that need saving...right at the point where JCK's time crunch is at its utmost PINNACLE of PERIL?

Sad confession...JCK avoids Bible Bangers who come to her door.

JCK has no time for proselytizers. Not on religion anyway. If people want to sell her...chocolate, she might listen. Well, probably. OK, OK, fine. JCK would be an easy mark.

However, JCK feels absolutely FINE about her Faith, and does not need anyone to pump her up with JESUS. She and Jesus are doing just fine, thank you very much.

Usually, JCK can utilize her innocent children. Just when the little ladies and gentlemen are heading up her driveway, JCK's strategy is to fling open the front door and send a screaming BOY & GIRL out into the front yard. As they spin in circles and careen around the trees, people usually get the message that this is NOT A GOOD TIME. Pamphlets are flung down and quick exits are almost guaranteed.

*sigh*...TIME, where art thou, TIME? JCK feels forsaken. Indeed.

Just this past Saturday JCK was not that lucky. With both time and the Bible Bangers. JCK hates, HATES to clean. However, she loves, LOVES to entertain. Unfortunately, the latter is necessary for the former. So, JCK had a brilliant plan in place, which required a strategic use of TIME...While Wonder Husband took their children to the Y, JCK was left to her perfectly organized plan. Family gone = white tornado enacted.

Except for the small matter of...JCK's living room curtains being open, and...the Bible Bangers.

They're baaack.

OH, GOD NOOOO! could be heard echoing around JCK's dusty, dirty rooms. Then in a truly mature fashion, JCK proceeded to play a little game of Duck and Cover. Harking back to her Harriet the Spy days, JCK could be seen crawling on her belly on the floor to the front door. Putting her ear up to the door, JCK heard muffled footsteps...approaching. Barely breathing, JCK looked at her watch and bit her finger to prevent moaning ALOUD. 6 rooms to clean in 1.5 hours? TIME...dear, sweet TIME, was NOT on her side.

KNOCK! KNOCK! Silence....5 minutes...silence...mutter, mutter..a pamphlet is dropped through the mail slot smacking JCK, who is lying prone on the floor, in the face, and then the footsteps shuffle off. JCK does not use use the words "shuffle off" lightly. Indeed, no. If there is anything, any thing that JCK has noticed about People Who Come to Her House Uninvited to Proselytize JESUS, it is this...

They have all THE TIME in the world. Truly, JCK thinks they should be proselytizing Time Management, because they seem to have TIME, much more TIME than JCK...

So, what does all this mean exactly in relation to TIME? Well... the dinner party was lovely. Everyone enjoyed. Her house? Was Clean. Relatively...

However, that was THEN. This is NOW.

JCK now has 4 loads of laundry piled on the big chair in the living room. She has dinner to fix, emails sashaying across her computer screen, a school meeting to plan for this evening, and children to pick up in 1 hour -where she will whisk them away to swimming lessons.

But, JCK REFUSES to go into the MOMMY OVERWHELM ZONE. Nope. Instead, JCK has a plan. Answer 1/2 the emails. Leftovers for dinner. Stuff all the laundry into a large yard sized leaf bag, and use it as a bean bag chair. Snuggle with her children. Make it to the meeting.

Then she'll come home, throw some sand on the floor and roll around in it with her husband. Tonight she'll dream of her TIME SHIP docking.

But, tomorrow, she'll keep the curtains closed just in case. Make it look like she is not at home. Her belly is sore from crawling across the floor...

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

parenting style...straight out of Charles Dickens

Apparently, JCK's children have big backpacks. Large backpacks. Very large backpacks. In fact, these backpacks are SO large that they invite conversation. From other parents...

My, THOSE are large backpacks.

Will you LOOK at that BACKPACK. I haven't seen one that LARGE before.

GIRL's backpack is ENORMOUS.

WOW! Those are some BIG backpacks.

JCK wishes the comments would just stop already. OK, they are BIG OL' BACKPACKS. She gets it. You, and YOU, and YOU think they are HUMONGOUS. JCK's poor defenseless children...obviously suffering from back packitis. Can't you hear BOY & GIRL's labored breathing as they pant up the hill?

Extra! Extra! Read all about IT! Step right up and see JCK's parenting style...straight out of Charles Dickens.

A few years ago JCK decided to purchase two back packs from Landward Ho. A reliable retail establishment in which you order things from a catalogue. JCK liked the colors, the fact that she could have her children's names sewn on them, and that they were well made. And, so...she purchased them.

True, they cost double what you'd pay for a back pack at Tarjay, but...they were devoid of television characters and were not made of plastic mesh. No Billy Bob Square Pants or Banana Nevada backpacks for JCK's kids.These considerable backpacks are durable, and in their 4th year.

Are they large? Yes. Are they heavy? Well, yes & no. Depending on the lunch. A ham and mustard sandwich, with pretzels and an apple? Pretty reasonable. A PB & J, applesauce, cup of yogurt, ice pack and a drink? Let's just kick it up a notch!

So, in the end, JCK feels justified. Why? Because the COLOSSAL backpacks are VAST. There is room... to throw in papers, artwork, the random paper airplane, and a jacket. Do BOY & GIRL complain? Nope. Why? Because they like their backpacks. A lot. Especially when mommy carries ... those substantial, jumbo, immense, mammoth, LARGE, BIG OL' friggin' backpacks.

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