A Little Treat, Just Because

Friday, January 28, 2005

Overheard at Nordstrom

Salesperson to woman trying on large, designer lime-green purse: "The larger the bag, the thinner and taller you look."

That's right. Thinner AND taller. So, this is the little red number I'll soon be sporting.

Let Me Crazy!!

I have an affinity for "Japonesed" English. Sometimes it's hilariously funny. The example I spotted today gave me pause for thought. A sign in the foodcourt at the mall advertises Bubble Tea. The tagline: Let Me Crazy!!

I'd be curious to hear from someone who'd like to be LET crazy, 'cause nobody needs to let ME crazy. It's Friday, and I've been at home all week with an 18 month old who is testing his vocal chords to see just how loud, how long, and at what pitch he can scream if he feels dissatisfied for whatever reason. Some days, crazy comes naturally.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

He Gets It

Little Bug's favorite restaurant is an asian-fusion joint where the waitresses are young, cute, and love to make a big fuss over His Darlingness. Though the entrees aren't particularly good, we like to take him there because it makes him happy (that's what I live for, really), and it's the only place where he'll eat meat. (And the cocktails are good; but he doesn't know that yet.)

Bug and Daddy had nearly polished off their chicken teriyaki skewers and I was nursing a (much-deserved, thankyaveramuch) cosmo when the boy suddenly became aware of the music playing in the restaurant. Immediately, he looked at me with eyes wide and a smile that asked, "Ohmygosh, do you hear that?" Then he began bobbing his head and singing lyrics from his favorite songs--everything he could come up with: "Nummy nummy nummy!* OOO wee-oh-wee-oh! OOO wee-oh-wee-oh!** Leedleedleedle!***" (Repeat randomly.)

I chimed in: "Our love will climb any mountain. Near or far, we are, and we never let it end. We are devotion."

The song to which we sang duet was "Guilty" by Barbra Streisand and Barry Gibb--an album I own and know by heart. The funny thing is, Bug had never heard that song before. But he loved it immediately and felt compelled to sing. Daddy wasn't quite as impressed as I, but some people just don't get the whole Streisand/Gibb thing.

*"Fruit Salad" (the Wiggles)
**"Hot Potato" (the Wiggles)
***"A Bushel and a Peck" (Me--and "Guys and Dolls")

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Music to Mum's Ears!

When I opened the front door to get the mail, a leaf blew in. I didn't pick it up. I left it for Doodlebug, who was standing next to me. As I stood at the dining room table sorting the mail, he walked up behind me. "Mum?" he said. When I turned and asked, "What, honey?" (my heart filled with glee) he handed me the leaf and returned to his vacuuming.

Why is this remarkable? Because this child's favorite word, as long as he could speak, has been Da-da. He has long known that my "name" is Mama, but he has preferred not to use it. And why should he when pointing, grunting, or screaming would do?

At least I remembered to curtsy.

Last night, I dreamed I was at the mall with Sprout. As we approached an elevator, I noticed two other sweatpant-clad stroller-pushing Mothers of Toddlers waiting there along with a tall, impecably-dressed blonde who wore a sparkling-yet-tasteful tiara. She impatiently re-pressed the already lit UP button and didn't look at any of us. Because I have a knack for spotting celebs, I instantly recognized her as Lady Di (yes, I mean Diana Princess of Wales) and said hello. I even curtsied for the first time ever. She warmed up to us quickly and was the gracious, queenly woman everyone imagines her to be.

Moments later, the four of us were giggling and shopping in Nordstrom together. I thought, this is just the girls-only, child-free outing I've needed. (Come to think of it, I'm not sure where our kids and strollers ended up.) Di was trying on some dangly ear bobs, so I thought I would, too. We shared the same mirror--which I ended up regretting, deeply.

I was wearing a sleevless shirt (that's how I know it was only a dream), and when I raised my hand to my ear, we both saw It. I had neglected to shave my armpits. And it wasn't like I had gone a few days or weeks without shaving. It was as if I had never shaved my pits in my entire life and had 36 years of dark, dense growth to show for it.

I'm not sure what would've happened after that. My little subconscious siren sounded, "It's only a dream! You can wake up!" So, I did. And when I took my shower, I shaved my armpits.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Christmas Strikes Again

The World's Greatest Grammy and Grampy visited this weekend and, naturally, they showered their Little Joybell with fabulous toddler-appropriate gifts. For the child who is happy to while away the hours pushing the Swiffer Sweeper across the livingroom floor, a vacuum cleaner that TALKS is a guaranteed hit. It's looks like a miniature, purple version of our yellow Dyson Cyclone--complete with see-through dirt/doghair cannister.

Owning a Dyson makes me feel a little more glam than I did when I owned a Hoover--simply because it's creator, Mr. Dyson (who stars in his commercial), speaks with an English accent. You've undoubtedly heard his voice: "Und a few thowzand prototypes laytuh, I hod it!" No wonder our boy thought the big vacuum was super cool. It may suprise you to know the Fisher Price version is significantly less refined. In fact, along with the 30-or-so cute phrases it says, it hurls underhanded insults in the direction of the child's innocently-bystanding mother. "Did a tornado come through here?" and "This place is a pigsty!" are two of my personal. . .um. . .favorites.

As if the talking vacuum wasn't enough, Grampy ALSO presented his grandbaby with a push lawnmower--not just ANY mower, mind you, but a John Deere. I told the grandbaby, "Men 20 years older than you would kill for one of these." Granted, it's a plastic play mower, but that's a detail he doesn't have to mention when he's bragging to his buddies.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Rock On, Brother Man

Squidlet (his father-given moniker) is infatuated with the guitar and the piano. Being that the piano is in the living room, it is readily accessible and easily taken for granted. Daddy's guitar, on the other hand, is whoknowswhere. Our boy longs to play the guitar.

Tuesday night, we took Squidlet out to dinner at one of those restaurants that has reproduction Rock 'n' Roll memorabilia on the walls. At some point during the meal, he saw It. Pointing and frustrated squealing ensued. "Dih-DAH!" he insisted. When I finally looked out from beneath the giant faux Tiffany-style hanging lamp, I saw--mounted on the wall above our table--a guitar. (More confirmation of toddler brilliance.)

When we go to Squidlet's music "class," he doesn't really care about shaking the bells or playing with the parachute. He wants the guitar. It sits in the corner and beckons. So when we returned home from class today, I picked up the big, black, plastic, slotted kitchen spoon he likes to play with (future musician AND chef) and briefly strummed it like a guitar. The sound I made was, "Bdumm, bdumm, bdummm!" (which is, of course, the very same sound a guitar makes). Squidlet played Kitchen Spoon Guitar. And then Hairbrush Guitar. Followed by Cordless Phone Guitar, Book Guitar, and Tummy Guitar.

Watching someone play air guitar has never been so entertaining.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

"I don't have a square to spare!"

In the classic, beloved episode of "Seinfeld" titled, "The Stall," Elaine claimed not to have a piece of toilet paper to give to the desperately drip-drying trixie in the adjacent bathroom stall. Of course, she wasn't telling the truth. But I am not being facetious when I say, I can not spare a brain cell. I clearly need every stinkin' last one of them.

Pregnancy and parenthood seem to have obliterated my memory. That's why I had to leave a pathetic message on my Dear, Wonderful Girlfriend's answering machine today, owning my toad-dom for having forgotten her birthday last week. The thing is, it was clearly written on the calendar, AND I had bought a card! To tell you the truth, I have quite a nice collection of cards that I (proudly) purchased early and forgot to send to various people. One of them was for my grandmother who died--yes, DIED--before I could send it. How pathetic is that!? (Don't tell me. I know.)

So last week, there was the forgetting of Precious Friend's birthday. Two days before, I botched an appointment by somehow telling myself it was scheduled for a half-hour later than it actually was. I read the correct time on the calendar and left the house early to run errands beforehand. And then I killed time at the bookstore--time that was not mine to kill! Meanwhile, Appointment Gal was calling my home, brusquely asking my husband where the heck I was. Fortunately, I had remembered to charge my usually-dead cell phone so that he could call and ask, "Where ARE you?"

Clearly, my organizational system isn't working.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Happy Birthday

Quote for the day:

"A country that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."
- Martin Luther King

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Just At That Age

Every Sunday morning, I dread taking Lovemuffin to the church nursery so that I can attend the worship service. Sometimes it's just easier to skip church altogether. (I have more guilt than most about playing hooky because Lovemuffin's Daddy is one of the ministers, and today, he was preaching.) But I should go because I need that hour of peace and stillness to sing, pray, and meditate on God. At least, that's what I keep telling myself. Actually, I'm not very meditative these days because I'm too busy clutching the restaurant-style beeper tightly in my palm (for fear that it'll vibrate and I won't know it) and wondering whether I should just go rescue Lovemuffin and retreat to Starbucks for a Grande Skim Sugar-Free Decaf No-Whip Hazlenutt Latte (mine) and a blueberry muffin (his).

Experienced parents I know tell me that at 18 months, he's just "at that age." When Lovemuffin clues into the fact that he's getting ready to be deserted in the nursery among the shelves of molded-plastic toys, he wails like his heart is breaking, clutches my leg, and cries, "Mamamamamamaaaaa!" Each time, I want to give in. I keep hoping that I'm having a harder time with this than he his--that he perks right up as soon as I leave and has a blast. But today, when I came to retrieve my boy, his eyes were red and a fresh teardrop was perched atop each precious cheek.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

An Open Letter to Starbucks

Dear Starbucks,

I tried Chantico.
I let its chocolatey chocolateness flow over my tastebuds and overtake me.
In the words of "Jerry Maguire's" Dorothy, "You had me at hello."
I love you.


Friday, January 14, 2005

He's small and smart and round. . .

. . .the swellest kid around!

Monkeyman's favorite new game is one he created. He points at an object and says, "Dis" so that we will tell him the name of that object. Then he quickly points to another object. Last night, before Daddy put him to bed, I cuddled Monkeyman on the sofa and sang Twinkle Twinke Little Star, just as I always do, while he swigged milk from his bottle. (And yes, he still takes a bottle, thankyouverymuch, but we are in the weaning process, and the nighttime bottle will be the last one to go. Anyway. . .) He decided he wanted to play Dis with my face. "Dis." Mama's nose. "Dis." Eye. "Dis." Hair. "Dis." Hair (on other side of head). "Dis" Hair (on forehead). "Dis!" FINGER UP MAMA'S NOSE! He squealed with delight knowing his plan had worked. What a stinker. Takes after his father.

Play that funky music, white girl.

If you got a problem, YO, I'll solve it.
Check out the beat while the mama revolves it!
(With apologies to Vanilla Ice.)

Now if this isn't the coolest site I've seen lately, I don't know what is. Props to my homey/husband, J-Dogg, for sending it my way. (Like I didn't have enough reasons to avoid doing the laundry.)

Speaking of frivolous cyber-distractions. . .I could spend the rest of the day creating snowflakes here.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

We're gonna shake, shake, shake our sillies out!

The Boy Child and I had a ball at his little toddlers' music class. As the youngest member of the group, he's still putting all of the instruments into his mouth. Playing them? Not so much. The instructor sweetly asked me if he can walk. He can indeed. He also runs, climbs, and dances to whatever the Wiggles are singing. But for this class--and for this class only--his tiny hiney is Krazy Glued to my lap. And that's okay by me.

I had hoped that by the time we returned home, The Dog would have recovered from his bout with "the runs." (Discovering your dog has diarrhea is quite a way to greet the morning, by the way.) We have an "energetic" Keeshond who spins and twirls whenever he gets really excited about a tasty treat. Today, this means he's kind of doing an unintentional--and disgusting--impersonation of Jackson Pollock. Henceforth, I shall withold treats until he can contain himself.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Julia Child Rolls Over

With a mere three shows currently airing on the Food Network, eight books in publication, and Who Knows What Else in the works, food maven Rachel Ray was in need of a career boost. Like Christina, Britney, and Janet before her, she (or the idiot advising her) decided to "push the envelope" and sex-up her perky/wholesome/dorky image. Et voila! (To get the full effect, be sure to scroll down to see the thumbnails.)

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

I learned my lesson.

For obvious reasons, the cordless phone is an appealing toy for a busy toddler. Having The Boy Child carry it around and push buttons is harmless. Allowing The Boy Child to play with it becomes a problem, however, when he decides it's even more fun to BANG it on the coffee table, the floor, and the dog. That's when you have to be Mean Mommy and remove it from The Boy Child's sticky grip. And THAT is where the fun ends. In fact, it comes to an abrupt, screeching (and I mean SCREECHING) halt. And then, of course, it's time to change the diaper because The Boy Child pooped while in cordless-phone bliss. (Now that I think about it, blissful play often results in a poop. But I digress.) If The Boy Child could speak in a language I understand, he would say, "I was having fun and then it was all shot to hell, thanks to her!" To which I'd reply, "Baby, I'm just getting started."