Monthly Archives: January 2011

The aburdity of it all….

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“Mom, the absurdity of this movie keeps going on and on….” The boy said through his laughter.  We were watching a very funny movie, Rat Race (2001) that I told him at the onset, “My favorite part involves a squirrel.”  Throughout the movie the boy and I laughed out loud.  The doll fell asleep long before the movie started; she was sick with the flu.  “Of course it’s absurd…” I said.  If it weren’t we’d have no reason to watch.  “The boy kept jumping up and down , moving  about during each scene, almost in anticipation at the zaniness that was about to unfold.

I loved that he recognized this movie was an exercise in absurdity.  Then I began to think how absurd our own lives are at times.  The doll came home sick from school on Friday with a fever, aches and pains.  Because I am her mother, that basically meant I was sleeping on a love seat in the living room in case she needed anything.  The days of having a baby monitor were long gone.

The boy had a Boy Scout event to attend to Saturday morning, which thankfully put him outside for most of the day.  The doll kept me awake for most of Friday night/Saturday morning, complaining of an upset tummy and a relatively high fever—one that did not come down when medicated.  Needless to say, I was not a happy camper when 7:30 am arrived and the boy came out into the living room singing at the top of his lungs….”Oh what a beautiful morning, Oh what a beautiful day, Everything’s coming up roses, Everything’s going my way…..” (for a brief moment I thought I could strangle him and get away with it)

“What are you doing?” I asked.  “Can’t you see your mother is asleep on this love seat? Can’t you be more considerate for those of us trying to sleep out here?” Being that he never notices anything other than when he’s hungry or needs to use the bathroom, um yeah, he never saw me there.  What’s more he was unapologetic that he had waked me up.  As I tried to not say hurtful things to him for waking my tired body up, I remembered I had to send him with a packed lunch.  Damn.

Several hours later, after I had packed his lunch, cleaned the kitchen and ran several errands; I finally sat myself back down on that love seat and began to fall asleep.  The doll, who had taken up permanent residence on one of our other couches, had also dozed off.  Just as I was entering dream land, I heard the door bell.  The boy was not due back for two hours.   Who could be standing at my door?

The Boy Scout event ended early.  Once again the boy had foiled my attempt at sleep!  DAMN! Rather than be mad I simply looked at him and said, “How absurd, how absurd” then cued the movie.  Better to laugh than be mad, I always say.

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numbers game

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The forever college student in me always seems to come up with a drinking game involving watching video footage of my children.  A home video I made as Christmas gifts this year, showed just how often my kids like to try and stick rabbit ears on each other.  Laughing as the video played on, my husband and I decided every time we saw two fingers close to being above someone’s head that would be our time to take a drink (there were plenty of opportunities).

When I picked up the girls from school yesterday, I mentioned to them that I had put their dance moves on the internet.  As you can imagine, they were excited and embarrassed both at the same time.  Once they finished their homework, we all went into the basement to view the new dance sensation video.  In attendance were Mary, ALM, Elle, Kristen and the doll.   As the video came across the monitor, the girls began to giggle and laugh at what they were seeing.  ALM commented to Mary “You like flaring your arms”…then began counting out loud each time Mary’s arms went above her head. (Another drinking game…each time her arms went above her head we could take a drink)  Before you knew it, the other girls jumped in, including Mary, counting each time those arms went above her head.  After watching the video twice the girls decided she Mary had raised her arms twenty one times (not including the times she pointed at the camera with both hands or played with her hair).   Twenty one shots of beer in a three minute video, hmmm, something to consider on really cold and boring nights I guess.

As the girls continued to watch the video they commented on every little detail.  The dog on the floor, the paused video game on the television set and most notably, the boy, on the couch playing his DS ignoring all that was going on.  Mary said “The best part was whipping my hair in Uncle Mike’s face!”  The doll added my neck still hurts from that song.  “Mine too—but only when I do this” said Elle, as she began to whip her head again.   ALM and Kristen smiled and laughed all through the video.  When I asked if they wanted to pick out a song for me to film of them, they politely said no.  I guess hanging out with three hams is enough.

Thankfully we did not count the number of times they actually whipped their heads.   And just think, if a drinking game were applied to their head whippings, we’d all be dead from alcohol poisoning.

I whip my hair….

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“Aunt Marsha, we want to do a dance for you” Mary said.  I was in the middle of playing a video game with my son.  This was her way of asking me to turn off the TV and give all of our attention to the girls. The doll hooked her MP3 player up to our home stereo system and the three of them listened to snippets of songs, until they found the one they liked best.  “Oh brother!!” the boy said as the girls skipped through the songs.  “That music is awful.  You should listen to some Jethro Tull” he said.  “EWWWWW!!” the girls rang out, even though I’m fairly sure they have never heard of that group.  “Boy, while Jethro Tull is ‘good’, that group’s music is hard to dance to…”  Dad turned to me and added, under his breath, “Unless you’re drunk…”  “Well every song is good to dance to when you’re drunk” I said in return.

Once the girls settled on the song, they turned up the volume and blasted “I whip my hair back and forth, I whip my hair back and forth….” while doing just that.  I ran and grabbed my flip camera and asked the girls to start again.  Then they began whipping their hairs around in circles while “dancing” in my living room.  Mary screamed, “My neck just cracked!” then went back to whipping her head in a circle.  Then she was down on the carpet, trying to “break dance”.  Elle seeing her older sister drop to the floor joined her as the two spun in circles on the floor.  The doll remained standing still whipping her head until peer pressure took over and she dropped to the floor as well.

When the girls first began all three of them were standing next to each other.  As the song progressed, Mary moved out in front, while the doll and Elle stayed back.  When the song ended Mary complained how her neck cracked several times.  The doll immediately grabbed her neck and said, “Wow, it feels like if I move my head just a little it’ll fall off; then spent the rest of the night acting as if she had a stiff neck. Upon watching the playback, the girls laughed and giggled.  The doll remarked, “I look like I’m a back up dancer”.  Elle and Mary giggled on how they both kept creeping closer to the camera, grabbing one another while making strange facial expressions.

This morning I reminded the doll she had ballet after school.  “That’s just great!” she said in a dead panned voice,”especially since my neck hurts so bad.”  I guess that will teach you not to whip your hair when you dance” I said.  Taking a moment to think about it, she finally added, “Well Mom, life’s no fun unless you live it dangerously once in a while…”

As long as living dangerously only involves whipping her head back and forth….every once in a while…

 

morning pleasantries

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Spongebob Square pants sings an annoying little ditty that the doll, on occasion will begin singing to me.  “It’s the best day ever…” As annoying as that song is, particularly when sung over and over, the message is one of good.  Lately I’ve taken to say the boy every morning as he leaves for school, “Have the best day ever!” in hopes that whatever silly thing that becomes a bump in the road for him, remains simply a bump.

The doll and I each morning stand on opposite curbs, exchanging hand signals  so we can assure one another to have a good day.   Blown kisses, thrown hugs and the American sign language hand sign for “I love you” Even on days when they are running late, she makes the point of stopping, turning and flashing me those signs.  The boy walks past, unimpressed by our signals, but then stops and waits until I yell,  “Have the best day ever!”  Before he turns and heads toward school.  I guess you could say this is the best perk of living down the street from school.

Simple explanations

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Some might argue my kids take after me.  They cannot for the life of them come up with simple explanations for anything.  The doll needs to make sure you understand the answer, by taking you on a roundabout ride, before reaching her conclusion.  The boy always adds an element of imagination.  Take for instance, their discussion this morning about wet socks.  “Mom, you missed it yesterday when I took off my boots.  My feet were soaking wet.” The boy began.  “Wet,  from the snow?” I pondered.  “Yes.  It was as if I were standing on Godzilla’s neck as he descended into a vast body of water”.  Okay then.

“Yeah and you would have thought he would have thrown them down the clothes shoot” the doll said.  “Why?” the boy asked kind of perplexed she had jumped in on his story.  “Because, then my hands wouldn’t have gotten so wet.  You see, I didn’t notice them until I sat down to take off my boots and ended up sitting on the wet pair of socks.  So I removed them from my seat and threw them in the corner—see…” she said pointing at a pair of crumpled up socks.  “Doll, why didn’t you throw them down the clothes shoot when you found them?”  “Because they were the boy’s socks.  Plus they were just gross because they were wet and on the boys feet.  Why would I want to touch that? Gross mom, it was just gross.

As I bent over to retrieve the still damp socks that were thrown behind our hat and mitten chest I asked, “Is it possible that when you come across wet clothing, regardless who they belong to, you could throw them down the clothes shoot from now on?  Typical boy fashion he said, “Aw mom, then what would we need you for?

I guess that’s the simplest explanation of all.

Getting back on that horse….

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We have all been there.  We have all fallen down, only to get back up and try again.  Sometimes we fall over and over.  Other times we get back up and fly—as if there was never a problem to begin with.  Yesterday, I was telling the doll, that to conquer her fears, she’d have to pick herself up and get back on that” horse”.  Otherwise she’d go through life never challenging herself.

A few months back, the doll along with her Girl Scout troop took a field trip to the local Ohio Skate, a roller skating rink.  As her dad and I were about to pick her up, we received a phone call from her troop leader explaining the doll had fallen and hurt her wrist.  An X-ray later we found she had a badly bruised wrist bone and definite fear of roller skating.

Yesterday she attended a birthday party held at Ohio Skate.  “Mom, are you planning on staying for the party or are you just going to drop me off? “  In all honesty, her dad and I planned on dumping and running.  “Why?  Do you need me to stay?”  She furrowed her brow.  “I’m just you know, a little frightened that I might fall down again”.  “Well, I’ll tell you what.  Your dad and I will stay until you get comfortable…how’s that?”

When we walked through the doors to the roller rink, immediately I was flushed with memories of being twelve years old.  Even the Michael Jackson song blaring over the speakers gave me a thick swath of nostalgia.  We got her skates and helped lace them up tight.  Then I held her hand as we walked/skated slowly to the rink.  From there she clung to the wall as she slowly made her way around the track.  Her dad and I walked along side her in the general area, until we could no longer move forward.  Once she made it around the track, without falling down, she relaxed.  “Okay Mom, you and Dad can leave”.

When we returned she excitedly told us about how many times she had made it around the track and how much fun she had at this birthday party.  Smiling I almost felt like grabbing a pair of skates to join her for one spin….but decided against it.  The last thing I needed was another trip to the hospital.

advice on being a mommy

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Having two days off in a week is just wrong in my opinion.  I can see if they were consecutive days; that might make sense.  But, between MLK day and a snow, or rather ice day, this every other day of school is for the birds.  Last night as the doll dressed for bed, putting her pajama’s on inside out and backwards, I said, “Darlin’ you’re wasting your time, you’ll have school in the morning.  “Well, you never know…” she said in response.  “Why would you want another day off this week?  You’ve already had two.  Why not save your last remaining snow day for later in the year?”  “I just don’t want that free day to go unused” she said.  Oh Brother!

As a result of having kids home, fighting, Mommy’s temperament has not been the greatest.  The other morning I asked the children, “What advice could you give me that would help me not scream and yell at you so much?”  The boy was the first to speak up.  “Well, mom, you could give me back my DS”.  (He’s been grounded from his DS).  “Yeah, like that’s going to happen” I said.  “I know, but it never hurts to ask” he said with a smile.

Looking at the doll I said, “Well?  You got anything for me?”  “Sure Mom, but don’t get mad at me”.  “GO for it doll….” I said confidently.  “You could get the boy to stop bothering me”.  The boy looked across the table at her then said, “You’re the one who bothers me.  I’ll be playing by myself and the next thing I know you’re jumping on me!”  “That’s my attempt at playing with you…”  “Doll, jumping on someone is not a nice way to engage anyone in play” I said.  “But Mom, it’s the boy.  Do you expect me to play Yugioh with him?”  “Well, if you want to play with him, you should ask him what he would like to play then find a compromise”.  “I’d rather just jump on him”.  “Mom!” the boy yelled in reply.

SOOOO…I said loudly over their arguing, that’s your advice to me, to stop yelling at you, is to let you two argue over how to play with one another?  Is that right?”  Laughing they both said, “No”.  “Guys, I want you to remember me as a nice, loving Mom, but I want to remember you two as nice loving siblings.  Do you think we have a shot at that?”  “I don’t know if that’s possible” the boy said.  “Let’s try, shall we?” I said.  “Alright Mom, I’ll try, but, don’t count on the boy….” The doll said as she left the table.  “Mom, can we just send her to live with Mary and Elle?  Please?” the boy asked.  “Sorry boy that would make our life way too boring.”  “Yeah, you’re probably right, but it would be more peaceful”.