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Did you plan your life?

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When I was young, I never thought I would be a parent and I never thought I would be a wife. It just didn’t occur to me. I did plan once, with a childhood friend named Sherry, that we would share an apartment somewhere (particularly funny because I’m pretty sure neither of us had ever been in an apartment) and drink Tab and drive a shared Volkswagen bug. But I never planned a wedding in my head or named my kids like some people do. I eventually figured I would move to a city, but that was it.

Because of my lack of planning,  I was particularly interested last night when Jenn announced some planning of her own.  After I had yelled at her brother for a marginal offense, she announced:

” When I’m a mommy, it’s going to be really fun and I’m going to be nice all the time.”

We talked about what that might entail, and she had some further ideas for me.  (I’ll point out that she’s four.)

“For example, you could have just said, ‘Jake, stop doing that.'”

That was all she said, and then she moved on to finding an item for show and tell.

But I didn’t move on because she was right. Maybe I don’t need to start with cranky and angry. Maybe I can build to it. But with kids/dog/house I don’t really want in Ohio, by the time the kids get home from school, I have been building all day. If only mine went to eleven. (Have you seen This is Spinal Tap?)

Perhaps I should look up Sherry and see what she’s doing these days  — that apartment, car and can of Tab might be a perfect respite.

Jan 5, 2012

Do two bad choices make a really bad choice? Or is bad just bad?

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I might have hit another low yesterday evening, as far as the nutrition police are concerned. The kids and I went for dinner at our local  (and very delicious, actually) Chirping Chicken. We all got it our way:  fingers for Jake and nuggets for Jenn, fries across the board, corn on the cob and chicken soup to share. We found a table outside and watched the 5pm exodus from the playground across the street.

Our food came and I was feeling pretty good, in part because the mom sitting at the table next to ours with her 3 year old and 1 year old commented that our ages (5 and 3) seem more fun, especially for a dinner out, even at a Chirping Chicken. (Can we deny that she is right? No way.) The kids were eating; I was mentally calculating how many days until I can have a guilt-free beer, and Jenn asked me to help her spread her butter. Lazily, I first suggested that she just dip in her butter and she insisted that she needed it spread. So I helped her.

I was on the third nugget when I realized I was spreading butter on my daughter’s chicken nuggets. Gross out. Who does that? Of course, the butter came for the corn on the cob, which the kids rejected so I ate.  Jenn sees butter as a way to make everything better (Again, can we deny that she is right?) and I’m a helper so we were wiping thick globs of soft-ish butter on her nuggets. I always figure butter on corn or brocoli is a small price to pay, if the kids actually eat the vegetable, but on fried, fake-ish chicken?

Virtually all of my son’s classmates and their parents passed our table and chatted with us as they walked home from the playground. If anybody took note, I can’t imagine what they thought the yellow stuff was all over Jenn’s food. I’ll note that nobody was jumping to arrange any play dates.

The silver lining? That it was actually butter that we globbed all over her food, and not something from a big tub of margarine, because I’m pretty sure it was not until college that I eschewed margarine for real butter, and Miracle Whip for mayo… She’s so sophisticated, my daughter. And she ate almost all the nuggets, which was good enough for what it was.

 

 

Jun 22, 2011

Grown-ups don’t hide in the kitchen

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Maybe I’m nuttier than normal this week, but I have to get this one off my chest. I’m not generally mean and I’m certain that with this post, I’m challenging thirty seven different rules of karma…

 

Dear Unnamed Person, (who does a very important task for me and whom I see EVERY day in my building),

I am happy you are in my life and I am grateful for the role you play in it. We would be hard-pressed to get by without your evening visits.

But I must tell you, that now, when I hear you getting off the elevator and heading toward my apartment, I hide in my kitchen so I don’t have to see you. It’s like when my mom would hustle my sister and me into my bedroom so the religious people walking down the street wouldn’t know we were home. (Though now, as a grown-up, it seems like it would have just have been easier to have answered the door and said, “No thank you, we’re good on religion.” But the hiding actually was fun.)

Of course, I can’t explain to you that I hide so I don’t have to see you because now that I’m visibly super-sized pregnant, you ask me every single day, “How are you feeling?” And you say it with such a big smile and happy, excited voice and I can even now hear the womanly-kinship as you revel in my pregnancy — but it makes me crazy so please stop. (I bet you are one of those fans who stand at mile 23 of the NY Marathon and yell, as the runners begin the final slog through the hills of Central Park, “You are so close! Almost there!” Rest assured that 3 miles isn’t almost there.) You see, just like those runners who don’t need to be lied to about how much more of a race there is,  I don’t need to discuss how I feel every day, because I’m big as a house and very tired, and you and I are essentially strangers.

Maybe tomorrow you can just smile at me and wave from the door, and I’ll do the same in return. Or I may just stay in the kitchen. I can’t be sure.

Anyway, thank you for all your hard work. See you tomorrow.

– lamemom

Apr 27, 2011

It takes a kingdom

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I have an aversion to old food. Most leftovers give me the willies after one day but my biggest aversion is tasting milk – I’m not really a milk drinker anyway – if there is any chance it might be old. In fact, my usually rock-solid (solid in that I’m not a puker; not solid like I have a six pack) stomach flips if I even get near the sell-by date. Half-and-half for my coffee is easy to test because it curdles but skim milk would probably take WEEKS to curdle in a bowl of Cheerios. So what to do?

In Medieval and Elizabethan times, the royal family would have an official food taster. Usually a peasant, the taster would taste bits of all the food the king or queen was about to eat, to see if it had been poisoned. Of course, the obvious hiccup here is that many of the poisons used during the time were not instant but took a few hours for results. But the taster got a good (albeit stressful) meal and the big boss didn’t usually die.

Though I don’t fancy myself royal (but I am very interested in Kate and William’s nuptials), I have my own little staff of tasters. I only use them for milk, or maybe yogurt, and if I’m not sure if that milk is good? My staff of two saves the day. They have varying levels of proficiency:  Jenn is the little one and she almost always says, “Yummy,” but the Jake, the big one, is VERY discerning. Some brands of milk we can’t even buy any more because he insists they taste bad. I pour him a taste, so we don’t waste the whole bowl of Cheerios, and he gives me the thumbs up or down.

It’s a perfect system. We don’t waste milk if it’s given the thumbs up; I don’t have to taste it, and my young tasters get a chance to help earn their keep. Fortunately I only eat sushi at restaurants — no risk I’ll try to expand the children’s duties there.

 

 

 

Filed under Lamer than ever
Apr 19, 2011

Just pedal!

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Yesterday in NY the temperature reached 70 degrees, the whole city is out in the park and I am forced to admit again how lame I really am.  I am tortured that my son can’t yet ride a bicycle well without training wheels.  Since there’s no reason to bother with a blog if not to be honest, here’s the ugliest part:  I’m infuriated that many of his friends can ride their training wheel-less bikes capably.  In fact, I’m totally bummed that one of my best friends gets to run while her son (same age as mine) rides his bike along with her. And it gets uglier:  my husband and I almost never practice with him but I still want him to be good at it. You betcha’, I’m the worst parent in the land.

Let me give you some background – since running with him in the BOB (best running stroller ever) up and down the hills of Central Park and bribing him with peanuts so we could go a little farther, I have dreamed of going for a run in the park with my son riding along with me.  What better way to spend an hour together and get some exercise – two birds with one stone. I’m not an idiot — I know bike riding isn’t intuitive, but Jake is a little tentative since losing his training wheels (and his mother is a nutcase), so we haven’t spent much time practicing. (And I’m giant pregnant so am not really nimble enough to run alongside his bike pretending to hold his seat.)  I also don’t want him to know how keen I am for him to get it, because we know that will never work. On the plus side, once he does get it, I bet his little sister won’t be far behind. And I expect that baby #3 will learn instantly, to keep up with the others.

When I first adopted Jackson, the best dog in the world, I wanted him to run with me, too. In my pre-dog NY years, I would run in the park, fully envious of the other runners with their dogs. And I tried running with Jackson for about two years, with no success. Running with him 0n-leash sent me to the chiropractor and running with him off-leash was a disaster because huskies run away (I’m sure your husky is much better trained, but my husky runs away) so the only off-leash running we did together was me running after him, trying to catch him.  Not super fun, though nice interval training for me. Eventually, I accepted that Jackson is not an off-leash dog and that his distance running intentions have nothing to do with whatever run I have planned for the day.

So I will also accept that my son is not a 5-year old cycling star and I will grit my teeth when I hear about my friends’ kids riding with them in the park.  But though I gave up on Jackson (and my husband, but that’s a story for another day) joining me for runs, I am confident that Jake will soon see the light.  And once I birth this baby on board, I’ll get Jake a basket for his bike so he can carry our sweatshirts and a snack, because food, especially when it’s a bribe, makes exercise more fun.

 

 

Apr 12, 2011

What you’ve missed