29 November 2006

Stripped Bare

The Dude is relishing his role as older (and wiser) brother. Today, he determined that Rosita Chiquita had soiled her outfit sufficiently to merit changing it. Without consulting his superior (me), he unsnapped and had successfully removed 3 of 4 limbs from the sleeper before said superior noticed what he was up to and queried his logic.

I discovered that the garment was not badly soiled at all, and determined that it was mostly for the fun of removing someone else's clothing (instead of us removing his clothing) and that it lead to a long-time favorite of his elder brotherly activities: choosing her replacement clothing. Since the RC was enjoying the process as well, I didn't protest his precipitous action.

Another activity the Dude particularly enjoys is lugging Rosita around (very short distances) by picking her up under her armpits. Under close supervision! I can imagine that having someone smaller than you that you can move around is quite thrilling when you've been moved around by people bigger than you for as long as he has.

Ah, the joys of siblinghood!

A Pain in the Rear

While in the final stages of dinner preparation yesterday, the Dude came up behind me jabbering away. I confess to parental inattention until he latched on to my leg and yelled, "Great green grabber bug monster!" (courtesy of More Bugs In Boxes) He quickly earned my whole attention when I realized he was trying to bite me! In the rear! Before I could set the spoon down, turn around and wrench him away, he succeeded.

With my most commanding mommy voice (tinged with consternation and anger), I sent him to his room. Normally, this might cause some distress, but he was downright in floods about it. As I perplexedly turned back to spooning in the last of the potato cake, trying to fathom the reason of why (besides that he was tired beyond all reason) he would bite me, I realized he was probably not trying to inflict damage.

With dinner in the oven, I went to console the still sniffling tragically Dude. After hug, a snuggle, and an explanation of how to "pretend bite" (I hope you other parents know what I'm talking about - you know the nibbling on toes or neck to incite hilarious laughter?) with NO TEETH, life was bearable again.

27 November 2006

As Christmas and Birthdays Approach

The Dude and I share the unfortunate circumstance of being born in December. I've discovered that for most people figuring out two things to get us is just too taxing in such a short (and admittedly already overshopped) season. Most luckily for me, I married someone that loves excuses to shower me with expensive frivolities, and laments that there aren't more occasions.

Since the Dude is really too young to come up with his own list... Scratch that. He probably would be perfectly able to have a list if he were more commercially savvy. Since we don't own a TV, he doesn't think he needs tons of stuff. Understand correctly: he always likes more new stuff (his favorite of the moment is almost invariably the most recent acquisition), he just doesn't have a list of things that he's been dreaming of because some marketer knew how to appeal to three-year-old boys.

Advantages: I choose the mayhem that enters my house. I don't have to harden my heart against his pleading Bambi eyes.

Disadvantages: I have to divine which things he will like. This is harder than you might think. I worry about becoming one of those parents that gets what I want to get him instead of what he really wants.

Lately, I've taken to letting him loose in the toy department and seeing what he gravitates toward. Unfortunately, it is usually something loud that eats batteries at the same rate I devour dark chocolate. Or it only comes in pink (make-believe irons, anyone?)

So I sent off a list yesterday to all concerned. And already I've thought of some things that he'd greet ecstatically come present-opening time. That I forgot.

Oh, well.

There's always next year.

21 November 2006

The Great Turkey Conspiracy

Let me get this straight: I love my grandmother.

She just doesn't get things done on time. She almost missed my parents' wedding! In recent years, we have taken to telling her family functions start 2 hours earlier than everyone else. She still shows up an hour late. So when I discovered that she was doing the turkey for Thanksgiving dinner, I couldn't believe it. It would be scrumptious, but everything else would be stone-cold (and mashed potatoes & gravy are so much better warm) by the time we would be able to eat it.

I talked my mother out of making another Turkey, but suggested that some ham might be nice for variety (that way we won't be meatless). I further instigated my mother to start the Great Turkey Conspiracy. Today was recruitment day. The Uncle Bs would be happy to revolt. Uncle K may, too. Various cousins may yet join.

What, you may ask, is the aim of our Conspiracy? To have Thanksgiving dinner ON TIME, even if the Turkey isn't done yet! No waiting! Warm gravy! Hot rolls! Cold salads! Fluffy mashed potatoes that still melt butter for everyone! Join us! It is time to test our strength against the years of tyranny, oppression, and tradition!

Quite revolutionary, I know. But drastic times call for drastic measures.

I'm hoping I don't get into too much trouble for this.

16 November 2006

It is easier to die

Firstly: don't worry! I'm not suicidal!

While reading Ben Okri's The Famished Road (kinda like Shakespeare doing African Magical Realism without iambic pentameter), I found: "It is easier to die than to love."

Having never died, I guess I'm not really an expert on comparative easiness of death versus Other, but I have loved, and I find it rather difficult some days. Death is such a final act. There's no reversing it (immediately, at least), and it's a one-time deal. You die, that is it. The End.

But love, love is found in unending acts of forgiveness and sacrifice and service. There is no end to it. You can die for love, of course, in an act of ultimate sacrifice (or stupidity), but living for love, I think is even harder. Loving live people is the hardest, because their imperfections are constantly colliding with our own imperfections - hence friction!

So go out and love someone today - it might be harder than dying, but you'll enjoy living more because of it!

11 November 2006

A (revised) Hair Cut Above

It must be an indication of how bad your hair looks when your husband in desperation calls the salon to book your appointment with HIS favorite stylist.

In my defense, it is impossible to go with 2 children during the week, and weekends seem to always be taken up with things other than getting one's hair cut. But I will admit to looking a bit shaggy.

I find it ironic that usually hair stylists' hair is... well, scary. All the dying and frizzing and shortness and zany-ness that comes from having to experiment mostly upon oneself or fellow hairsytlists that take pity on you. More likely is that they agree to destroy each other's hair - a mutual destruction pact. I'm sure hair styling the only profession where destruction deals like this exist. However, the jury is still out on the correlation, if any, between zany hair and good hair stylist is positive or negative. My data point for this haircut: zany = good.

One random fact I learned: there really are tofu turkeys for vegetarians. I thought that was just a joke! Supposedly, they're good. I think I prefer my turkeys meated.

Anyways, after much trimming of hair (the usual 3 sweepings somehow unneccessary), I came home.

My husband declared the haircut "swooshy" (the highest accolade in his style vocabulary). Great praise indeed.

08 November 2006

Skinned Knees

You would think, wouldn't you, that a mother of 2 children would be past the stage in life where she got skinned knees? Well, apparently, I'm not. Alas, Alas. What's even more frustrating is that it wasn't doing anything exciting or daring. I was walking. Ok, so I was walking balancing a baby on one hip (don't worry, she's undamaged) and a diaper bag on the other shoulder while holding my son's hand. Granted, that's how we travel everywhere nowadays.

So I ripped my pants, skinned my knees and had to impose on a friend for band-aids so I wouldn't bleed all over myself until I got home. I would like to state that I am extremely grateful that we usually don't have to use alcohol to sterilize wounds. Usually. Zowie!

A note to the skinned knee crowd: Bactine is lovely to spray on (ah! no pain!) but the skinned knee (for some perfectly rational chemical reason) starts producing water in large quantities. At least, Band-aids get drenched fairly quickly.

Anyways, I got a lot of sympathy for the day. The Spozo Maravillozo lamented my wounds, but he was almost as upset about the pants. They were his favorite pair. Oh, well. I guess that means I have to search out another pair of pants. I just went through that ordeal a couple of weeks ago and had rejoiced that I wouldn't need to do it again for a long while. I guess I counted my pants before they were patched.

02 November 2006

My, What Big Teeth...

Halloween was moderately successful this year. We did another family themed year: Rosita Chiquita was Little Red Ridinghood, the Dude was the Woodsman, I was Grandma, and the Spozo Maravilloso was (supposed to be) the Big Bad Wolf. Unfortunately, our costumes were too subtle for the general populice to understand the inventiveness of it all. And noone really understood what in the heck we were doing unless we pointed out that the RC was Little RR. Sigh. Maybe if the SM had looked more wolfish it would've helped our cause.
At least we did a jack-o-lantern this year! I was at a loss to explain the SM's reluctance to carve pumpkins (I mean, who doesn't like scooping out pumkin guts, using knives to carve some gruesome (or not) image into recently living flesh, and putting a candle inside to watch the eerie orange flickerings?) UNTIL I discovered during the pumpkin slaughter that he had never done it before. I have to admit, it was dumbfounding. But who ended up lighting the candle and putting it outside and taking 16 pictures of it on all different settings to capture our Jack-o-Lantern just right? Yes, Who? Not Me.