Monday, April 30, 2007

One More Thing

OK, the laundry's going. I have to ask you one more thing. Have you seen this movie? I know I'm well behind the curve of watching movies - I think this was released last year, but hey, I'm a mama. I've seen every new release of Dora the Explorer, if that makes it better. I believe this film got mixed reviews but I must say I thought it ROCKED. I hate to jump on the Leo bandwagon, but he is a HOT-tie and really a rather amazing actor. I was mesmerized by his mastery of the South African accent and language, and his ability to be so intense on top of it. The story itself stays with you...I can't stop thinking about it.

Hate, hate, hate laundry

Why am I always posting about laundry? It is the bane of my existence. Which is saying something, because if that's the worst problem you have....right? I have instituted a new rule, though: No blogging unless a load of laundry is going. I have to find ways to corral myself and my insidious tendency to look the other way. I think the problem is that the washing devices can be seen from the kitchen and the mess must be kicked out of the way in order to enter or exit the house. This is not ideal! Whatever bonehead designed my house did not have an inkling of how infrequently I do laundry. Mr. Bonehead thought to himself, "Sure, you got one load in the washer, one in the dryer. Maybe a basket on the floor waiting to go in. Everything's neat and tidy. The end." Bonehead. The pinnacle of my humiliation? A new neighbor comes over to meet us. That's riiigggggghhhhttt. Her 5-year-old bounds after Big Stuff to revel in the playroom and the "secret stairway." At the bottom of the secret stairway? Miles and miles of dirty skivvies. It's so awful, I just can't think about it. Laundry is one of those things about stay-at-momhood that really tests me. It never ends, no one ever tells you what a great job you did on the laundry, no one cares that you even did the laundry (until they realize that you stopped doing it, like three weeks ago), you don't get to cross it off a list of action items on your Palm Pilot, no one gives you a raise if you keep up with the laundry. It's just a useless and annoying thing to do with your life. Of course, I have to keep reminding myself that it could be so much worse. What about poor Ma in Little House on the Prairie? Scrubbing those pinafores in the creek day in and day out, her knuckles bleeding and cuticles looking oh-so-ragged. OK, so they had like two pinafores, but still. That would really, really suck. Maybe I should whittle our wardrobe down to two outfits per person. HAHAHAHA...Ah, I crack myself up.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Big Life, Little Life

Ever notice how you can tell the size of a person's life just by looking at them? OK, that's not entirely true. You're not supposed to judge a book by its cover. But sometimes you can, and sometimes you're right. I'm usually of the mindset that bigger is better when it comes to living life. But there is also something to be said for moderation. I know one fellow who lives very LARGE, but he's also, more often than not, standing on the edge of self-destruction. Kind of the cliche of the rich boy who never grew up. Cars? Make them fast. Marriages? Make them plentiful. Food? Supersize it. Drink? Make it a double. Hedonism? Oh, yes. You just have to like him, though, because everything he does, he overdoes. And it may look like a trainwreck to some of us, but he's just so charming about it, so predictable in his excesses. And also he makes for good stories. Then there are little life people. I'd rather watch the trainwrecks any day than spend five minutes with these folks. They are stingy with everything, especially their pleasures. Mete them out a little at a time. Never enjoy anything too much. Keep your head down and barrel through life because you need to GET THERE, wherever "there" may be. (Probably Walmart, as my friend J. used to say) They are also the "I'm so busy" people. Too busy to chat with a friend or take a vacation or read a book or do anything that smacks of the dreaded RELAXATION (aka laziness). Saw a couple of little-lifers today. And I'm not just bitter because they gave my most adorable and sociable little girl the evil eye when she tried to sit at their table and talk to them. They were so full of disdain for our mess, our chaos and our boisterous, germ-filled presence. You could just see it on their faces. Once upon a time I may have been offended and given them the evil eye back, but today all I could feel was sorry that they missed their chance to smile and coo over a couple of the cutest kids you'll ever meet. Which is what MOST people do, I might add. I know, I know...not everyone likes kids and to each his own. But to be open enough to just enjoy a moment, trade a smile with another human being, regardless of small stature - now that's living large.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Nature and Nurture

Is there anything in this world more magnetizing to a gaggle of children than a creek full of running water? There is something infinitely intriguing and meditative about the combination of mud, rocks, bugs and beyond-freezing mountain water. The mud must be touched. The bugs must be caught and examined. The freezing water must be splashed in. The unseen fish must be lured, because like the classic gambler, we just know the NEXT cast will be the one that reels in the big one. We need more of this! (Mamas too!) It is imperative. Did you know there is even a disorder (of course there is) to describe the poor deprived kids who don't get out enough? I have resolved that NDD will be one disorder my kids will not have to purge in therapy. There are plenty of others they will have to contend with, and therapy is expensive. I have the quality of my nursing home to consider. There is another cool benefit of the mini-vacation. You get to love on someone else's cute kids in addition to remembering how cute your own can be. The little people spend every minute discovering something new and acting like one big, sloppy, happy family. The Brady Bunch I will never have! And no one cares much about schedules or messes or dirty shoes or the food pyramid. It all comes to an end, as good things tend to do, but then you can remember it. And hopefully the little people will remember it too.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Turn Off the TV Day

To watch it? To not watch it? Can't watch it with two little girls' ears and eyes tuned into every word and image. I'm not ready to answer questions about how a person could be so cruel. So TV off. The event is so over anyway. So final. What more is there to talk about? But the news people will be talking about it for many days and weeks to come, which makes me dread the days and weeks to come. I do love to hear those smart, bright, thoughtful, hardworking students and their families talk, though. They are impressive, and they make me proud in a weird mother-from-afar kind of way. But it just makes the loss of their smart, bright, thoughtful, hardworking friends and professors all the more horrible. Hearing about their accomplishments, volunteer service, personalities and interests tears at your heart. So many bright lights extinguished in less than an hour. What will the loss be to the world?

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Keeping Me on My Toes

What a strange April! It is still, STILL cold and dreary here and not in the April-Showers-Bring-May-Flowers way. More in the I-thought-we-lived-in-the-balmy-south, not-northern-London kind of way. We uncovered the pool though..."opening" it for the season, in a hopeful gesture. We had to really, since it was turning green and we couldn't see the bottom, which shouldn't have been hard to see since the thing is leaking water like a sieve. However, it just took a little vacuuming and some handy-dandy chemicals from the haughty pool place down the street and voila - it is blue again. An unnatural shade of blue perhaps, but blue nonetheless. It's a good thing too, since the green pool was throwing Small Fry's world all out of kilter. She kept chanting, as if to drive the stake further into our hearts, "Da pool is green, Da pool is yucky, Da pool is smelly." Of course, they now think they will be able to start swimming any day. Highly unlikely, as the temperature of the water is hovering around 54 degrees! It has been a strange spring, there's no denying it. Best event of the week? Small Fry taking her first dance lesson, "just like my sister." The huge grin never left her face as she stood on her toes, "twinkling" to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star...jumping high and obnoxiously loudly in her tap shoes to Itsy Bitsy Spider...and maneuvering her chubby little legs into first position with her hands so Teacher could slide a piece of "Sparkle" Pizza between her out-turned toes. Big Stuff did not handle it as magnanimously as I would have hoped. She tried every trick in her book to derail the whole thing, from crying to complaining to telling her sister where to finally jumping out on the floor with them and dancing as "Queen of the Three-Year-Olds" when I stepped out of the room for two minutes. It was appalling, yes, but also interesting to see such raw competition and jealousy hanging out there in the wide open. All that stuff usually goes underground and operates well below the surface when you're dealing with grown-ups. I like the idea that I can pretty much read everything going on inside her, although I am occasionally too dumb to get it. She hasn't started hiding things yet. A very good thing. And probably well-designed. It seems like you always get a little time to figure them out before they jump into the next phase, which sends you reeling back into the Land of Inadequacy and Self-Doubt. Keeps you on your toes. Just like April.

Friday, April 6, 2007

A Good Egg

Happy Easter!