Monday, March 29, 2010

Storytime, interrupted

Peter and the Shadow Thieves (The Starcatchers)Peter and the StarcatchersStorytime is a big deal at our house; I enjoy reading aloud and the kids usually enjoy listening. I like to use different voices for different characters, and can turn a good story into quite a little performance. The only thing I can't stand is when they aren't listening.

So I'm reading to my oldest three daughters tonight; they are ages 13, 10 and 7. (The babies are in bed already.) We are currently reading book four in the Starcatchers series by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. It's an interesting take on Peter Pan; I recommend it if your kids like adventure stories.

Peter and the Sword of Mercy (Starcatchers)Peter and the Secret of Rundoon (Starcatchers)                  
(Forgive the product placement; I just figured out how to put images into my blog and I'm excited about it. This is a big thing for me, as a certified tech-inept.) So... moving on...

My oldest daughter likes to listen to the story, but she doesn't really like to admit it, so I am reading in the room shared by the younger two. They have bunk beds and a papasan chair, as well as a desk chair that I sit in to read. (Mommy doesn't sit on the floor.)

So today my youngest, whom we call Boo, was sitting in the papasan chair, where the oldest likes to sit. We'll call the 13-year old ET for Evil Teenager. So ET says to Boo, ever so sweetly interrupting my reading, "MOVE!"

Boo of course refuses to move, and I have to say, "Either sit on the floor or sit on Boo's bed." And with much grumbling, ET lies down on Boo's lower bunk, since it's too short for comfortable sitting.

I begin reading again, only to be further interrupted by a screech and a howl from ET, who vaults off the bed and into the center of the room, yelling, "There's POO on the WALL!!"

I roll my eyes at this ridiculous exaggeration, and Boo and her sister--let's call her GG for Giggle Girl--laugh hysterically. Boo says, "I can't get it off of there!"

I say, "There is NOT really poo on the wall," but ET insists, "There is, Mom; there really IS!"

GG is laughing so hard she can barely choke out, "There really is!" I turn to Boo with fire in my eyes.

Boo says immediately, "Neighbor Girl did it!"

Neighbor Girl is our family's Not Me (of Family Circle fame) except she is a real person who lives two houses down and seems to spend every waking minute at our house. So everything bad that I discover and don't know who did it--Neighbor Girl did it.

GG explains, "Neighbor Girl was holding our pet mouse and it pooped so she wiped it on me and I wiped it on Boo and she wiped it on the wall," before collapsing into more laughter. She adds, pithily, "I think I'm going to wet myself."

I take a deep breath. To GG I say, "Go to the bathroom," and to Boo I say, "Go get something to clean that off." They both scurry off and ET sits in the papasan chair, pleased by this turn of events.

When they both return, I continue reading. But basically, the mood is ruined for the adventure story, since all three girls continue to randomly giggle and say, "poo," under their breaths.

Then when GG throws something suspect--unrelated to the poo but definitely meant to make her sister THINK it is--onto ET's lap and much shrieking ensues, I give up and close the book.

And of course they all say, "No, no, we're sorry; keep reading Mommy. We'll be good and listen." But that's it for me.

I will NOT be upstaged by poo.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Birthday Cake

Okay, so one of my facebook friends has been putting up a bunch of posts about her son's 2nd birthday party this weekend. Apparently her friend who makes cakes is sick and will not be able to make the cake she had planned the party theme around.

So she's been frantically calling around trying to find someone else to make the cake and/or get her the special suppies needed so she can make the cake herself. I was wondering what the big deal was about this cake. And then she posted a picture of it.

Imagine this: If Mickey and Minnie got married (Or are they already married? They DO share a last name) what would their cake look like? There you have the cake my friend wants.

I am totally serious. We are talking tiers, a styrofoam ball Mickey-head topper, and satellite cakes on the sides. This is one elaborate cake.

So I see why she's stressing. This cake is not for the amateur.

And Meredith, if you're reading this, I am not intending any of this as a criticism, because I do see the awesomeness of the cake, and I totally understand why you want it.

But let me just say this: Your son is turning TWO.

All two-year-olds care about on their birthdays is how much icing they can smear on their faces, how many presents they can rip open, and how many sugar-induced-hyperactive laps they can run around the living room before Mom makes them take a nap.

It is NOT worth all this stress, honey!

And, okay, I remember when my first child was turning one and I had the whole family over and I wanted everything to be perfect, including the Pooh-bear cake. (And at least the cake was, thanks to my sister-in-law!)

And I do, even now, spend a lot of time on my kids' birthdays, because I feel kind of bad that they have to have every birthday party at home. I have too many kids to set a Chuck-E-Cheese kind of precedent.

But after five kids... Let's just put it this way, my twins are turning two next month, and they'll be lucky to even GET a cake!

So, to moms everwhere, stop trying to make everything so freaking perfect! A cake lasts only a few minutes before everyone eats it anyways!

And to kids everywhere, enjoy your birthdays now! Because when you're an adult no one is going to go all out for your birthday anymore. Not even your mom.

Oh, and my friend did find someone to make the cake for her.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Do Something About It Day

So why am I starting a blog?

This morning I was reading the paper while waiting for my daughters to get on the bus, and I saw local columnist Ruth Wong's article "Pick a Day to Act Upon Life's Little Annoyances." (I would post a link to the article if I knew how--maybe later!)

So right away that title caught my eye, because my life is full of little annoyances! (And some of them are watching Elmo's World right now. Just kidding!)

Anyways, she starts out by saying that there are all sorts of stupid "days" out there, like National Sweatpants Day (Nov4) or whatever, and that this Friday is "Make Your Own Holiday." So Ruth proposes (and I hope I can call her Ruth; we've never met...) "National Do Something About It Day."

She tells a little story about a woman she overheard complaining about how there were so many toothpaste spots on her mirror she couldn't even see her own face. And Ruth wonders...Why doesn't this lady just WIPE OFF THE DANG MIRROR!?

And my first thought is, SERIOUSLY! Just get a towel, lady! DUH!

But then I thought about how today I walked out the door and saw, under the tree in my front yard: two empty soda cans, three empty plastic bottles with their lids scattered separately about, some candy wrappers, several broken plastic fast-food toys, a notebook, and the spray-painted top from a can of spray-paint.

Do the homeless often camp in my yard, you wonder? No! I have five children, who can be as messy as twice as many bums sometimes!

Was my first act to pick up the debris and throw it away? No, my first thought was, I've got to make those kids pick this junk up as soon as they get home!

So, back to the Toothpaste Mirror Lady: Maybe they weren't her toothpaste spots! (This is likely, as women raerly make as many toothpaste spots as men and kids do. It's a proven scientific fact; I dare you to look it up.)

Maybe she was sick of wiping up other people's toothpaste spots every day, and she just decided to let the spots keep accumulating until SOMEBODY ELSE wiped them up! (She's probably in for a long wait.)

And maybe she just wanted to vent to her friend about something that was bugging her, and she didn't want the obvious advice that would follow her complaint.

So I think I'll declare National Complain About It Day instead!

And that's why I'm starting a blog!

Oh, and by the way, I caved, and picked up the mess myself....