Monthly Archives: March 2010

random thoughts and quips

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Mom, when you were a little girl, did you have an Easy Bake Oven?,  the doll asked.  “Well, I think your Aunt Ann Marie had one and we may have shared it, I said.  “Did it look just like mine?”  “Um, no, it looked more like an oven, less like a microwave”  “Mom, a microwave is an oven”, she said with tonal attitude.  “You’re right doll, the microwave is an oven, however, when I was a little girl,  we didn’t have a microwave.  We only had a regular oven”.  A look of shock crossed her face. “How did you survive?”

“Mom, I don’t get it”, the boy said.  “The pictures on the cover of the brownie mix made those brownies look big and plump, but they weren’t”.  Congratulations on your first lesson in the art of mastering, the truth in advertising.

“I could go for a root beer float right about now”, came the boy.  The doll, looking over at her brother wondered, “what makes a root beer float so special?”  Before I could answer, the boy shot back, “Doll, it’s the frothy foam produced by the root beer, that combines with the ice cream to create a breathtakingly beautiful taste in your mouth.”  “But, what makes it so foamy?” she inquired. “Well”, I began before being cut off.  “Hayley it’s the chemical reaction caused by the combination of root beer carbonation and ice cream coming in contact with one another…..”   Smiling I wondered if he knew how to simplify his description, then reasoned, if he did, it just wouldn’t sound like the boy.

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lightbulb?

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For Christmas the doll received an Easy Bake Oven.  I hesitated agreeing with Santa that she was ready for such an item, even though she’s been very helpful in the kitchen.  But her teacher had suggested she learn about fractions, through measurements.  What easier way, than having an oven of her very own?   Still, not wanting to recognize how old she was becoming, I blacked out while reading the box fully:  A 100 watt bulb was needed.  Therefore, Christmas morning arrived and though she received her very own oven, she had no heat source to make the concoctions.  At the time she seemed fine, as there were too many other things to grab her attention.

One day while out shopping, I came across a package of 100 watt bulbs.  The thought of never allowing her to experience the joy of using that Easy Bake Oven overwhelmed me.  What good could come from giving her something, only for it to accumulate dust on a  shelf?  So I pulled the trigger, though, I didn’t tell her I did.

Cue three months later, and she asks, “Mom, will I ever be able to make the brownies and cakes with my Easy Bake Oven?”  Ahh, the time had come.  “Doll, I have a light bulb for you.  After dinner we can make some of your brownies okay?”  A wide smile brimmed her face. She ran back to her room, pulled out the oven and all utensils that came with the contraption.  She proceeded to wash everything, in preparation of her big baking experience.  Dinner came and went and we opened up the instructions for the machine. The anticipation that child felt was so thick, only a knife could cut through.  I walked to the closet and retrieved the light bulb, we were ready to begin….

As I read the instructions, I had a “duh, Marsh” moment.  How many different type of light bulbs are  there?  Evidently more than there should be.  I had purchased a soft, double life bulb.  The Easy Bake Oven called for a clear, normal life bulb.  I guess, the one I had purchased would never get hot enough to cook the darn stuff.  UGH!  The look and feel of disappointment on the doll’s face crushed me.  It was Sunday night and there was no way I was going to run to the store that evening. “Doll, we can make the brownies tomorrow after the kids leave.  I promise I’ll get the right bulb tomorrow while you’re at school”.  “You won’t remember, you always forget!” she said with distaste.   “You really never wanted me to play with this oven did you!”.  There is something to be said about disappointing your child.  I never thought mine would be over a light bulb.

Monday I made a point of remembering the light bulb and she was able to make her single serving brownies as a bed time snack for herself and the boy.  She was very proud of herself, as she engaged not only myself, but also her father while making them.  I felt vindicated for my wrong light bulb purchase and figured everything turned out well, especially since all I was left were the dirty dishes.

Sometimes mom is right

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The other day, the kids were bored out of their minds.  The only thing they could come up with together was simply to sit, staring at the television.  Well, I don’t like days like that.  Especially with Spring coming into bloom. “Why don’t you two get out your bikes and go for a ride? I suggested.  “By ourselves?” came the doll, surprised at my idea.  “Yes, why don’t you ride to the park?  Or you know what we used to do as kids, was race the other around the block.  You go one way, boy the other, then see who arrives home first.”

For a moment, she just stood their staring at me.  I believe she was taken back by the independence I just offered them.  She looked over at her brother and asked, “Boyl, you wanna get the bikes out and ride to the park?”  Having nothing better to do, he agreed.  The doll however, still not sure what to make of this suggestion asked, “Mom, can I have your cell phone?  This way I can call you, you know, in case of an emergency”.  Smiling, I handed her the phone.  By all means, doll, by all means.

When they returned from the park, 45 minutes later, they regaled me with tales of who they had run into.  One boy who had attended kindergarten and first grade with the boy, was visiting.  They had a blast catching up with one another.  The doll, climbed on the equipment and swang on the swings, until her hands became too chilled to stay a moment more.  The smiles on their faces made evident the fun they had enjoyed. The kicker however was when the boy said, “Mom, this was the best day ever, thanks for suggesting it”.  (wonders never cease)

family bonding

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On Saturday, encouraged by warming temperatures, we decided to take the kids to Wildwood Metropark and walk some trails.  The doll, trying desperately to bond with the dog, suggested we bring her along for the ride.  Mike wasn’t happy with the idea.  Dixie is not leash trained, not like our old dog.  She darts left to right; coughing as if  choking then runs between our legs, making walking difficult.  Undaunted by her father’s dismay, the doll placed the dog in the car. On the drive, we became aware, the dog wasn’t car trained either.

At the park, we exited the car  making sure the dog was leashed properly, so she couldn’t run away.  Excited by all the new smells, she took off.  The doll wanting so bad to be the “walker” of the dog, tried prying the leash from her dad.  In the exchange, the dog, flipped off her collar and took off after another dog.  What ensued was a comical picture.   The other dog owner picked up their dog, so as to save her from Dixie.  Undaunted, Dixie began springing (this dog does not jump, she springs) up trying to bite the other dog.  As I reached for her, she darted away;  Mike reached for her and she took off into the parking lot.  The kids frozen in their spots, yelled her name but were unsure what to do next.  Mike gave chase, eventually catching and re-leashing her.

The kids and I huddled together while watching the scene play out.  The doll, close to tears said, “Mom, I didn’t know she would take off like that.  I don’t want anything bad to happen to her”.  Consoling her, I said, don’t worry, however, your dad may be upset he just chased that neurotic dog throughout the park.  To my surprise, once he returned with Dixie, he was ready to resume our attempt at walking the dog.

As we walked around the different trails  she became more and more manageable.  We decided to stay off the popular trails, in hopes of minimizing her enthusiasm at seeing other dogs. We all were treated to a beautiful afternoon filled with  laughter, walking and bonding.

carbon creatures

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Mom, is carbon dioxide bad for you?  the doll asked  yesterday morning.  “Well, kinda yes, kinda no.  We need carbon dioxide in order to breathe, but like everything else, too much….”  “Doll, carbon is the basis for every thing on earth.  Carbon makes up everything, me, you, Mom, Dixie even diamonds.  Without carbon, we wouldn’t exist” came the boy.

Next question!  Mom, how come the blood in your hand looks blue, but when it comes out it’s red?  Again the boy took it upon himself to answer this science question.  “Doll, when the blood mixes with oxygen, it turns the blood red.  The blue you see in your hand is actually the tubes in which the blood is carried…”  I sat there listening to his explanation and began to wonder where all this talk about carbon and blood was leading to.  Then came the answer.

“So, silly boy, you’re telling me, that because of carbon and blood, when someone is cut open their insides are all sparkly like diamonds, right?”  Before he could answer, we were all thrown into  bouts of laughter.

“Well, I’ll tell ya what doll, if they aren’t, they should be”.

smart kids

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I wish I were a smarter mom, especially when the kids ask me questions I’m not sure how to answer.  Every morning, we listen to music.  I know that comes as a huge surprise to everyone, but  true.  This morning, the doll asked, “Mom, what’s this song mean?” The song in question is “Another Day”, from the soundtrack of the musical Rent.

Those of you unfamiliar with Rent, the story concerns a group of people living and dying with Aids in New York City, during the late 1990’s.  Another Day is the song which sets the tone for the rest of the musical.  Kind of like, don’t wait for another day, live today.  “Well doll, the boy and girl who are singing the song are both looking at things from an opposite point of view.  The boy wants to hide while the girl wants to live  and have him live too.”

“But I don’t get it.  Why are they talking about needles?”  Oh, did I forget to mention the girl is on drugs?,  I think and decide not to say.  Instead, “the characters are both living with the Aids virus.” The boy, picking up the conversation asks, “What’s  Aids?”  Oh boy.  “Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, which is a very nasty disease you can get from doing stupid things like taking drugs”.  “So”, the doll says, trying to process this new information, “The girl is a drug addict who wants the boy to be a drug addict too?”  Shoot.

“No,  listen to what she’s saying…There’s only now, there’s only here, give into love, or live in fear, no other path, no other way, no day but today.  You can choose to die alone and scared, or you can choose to live.  We all will die someday, but you should live life instead of waiting for death.”  Satisfied with my answers, their questions turned back to drugs.  Great.

Mom, the boy asks, “Why would anyone ever want to do drugs?”  Both kids look at me and all I can think is “Why are we having this conversation at 7:30 am”?  I should have said,  “Some people go searching for artificial ways to make themselves feel better.  But it’s a false feeling, because in the end, they end up feeling worse”.  Before I can answer though, the doll interjects, “Mom, when I get to my first day of high school, remind me ‘not to take drugs’.  Smiling I look at her and say, ‘Oh sure, that’s about the time you’ll yell “You’re not the boss of me!”  We both laughed.  Then the boy added, “Don’t worry mom, I won’t ever do drugs.  Just sounds dumb to me”.  Whew!! (for now)

bathing suits

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I wondered when it would happen.  The doll, girl all the way, wanted to go shopping  to purchase clothes.  Me I’ve always been partial to buying electronics, though I suspect she will be more of the “girly-girl clothes shopping at the mall”,  kind of gal before too long.  As a second grader, she will be taking swim lessons this spring at the YMCA with her class mates.  “Mom, remember, I need a one piece suit to take to the Y on Wednesday” she said in an excited tone.  I know came the response.

Following dinner last night, she and I went off to Walmart to purchase a suit.  When we arrived they only carried  four styles of the one piece suits.  We grabbed all four styles, in two different sizes then went in search of a dressing room.  Once there she tried on all eight suits.  After we determined which suit to get, she said, “Mom, now lets get some more clothes so I can keep trying on new stuff “.  “Dear God”, I thought, “Crap!  She has started.  How long will I be able to dissuade her from trying on every cute article of clothing in the store?   Where are the exits?  How fast can we get out of here? Where has my baby girl gone???

Fortunately for me, we were able to move through the store relatively quick.  However,  I fully aware my days are numbered….. boo hoo!