Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Idiot of the Day Award

So... let me tell you about my last 90 minutes.

I am on a business trip in San Francisco. I've been here for a couple days so I am really ready to get home. I had my last meeting and rushed to the airport so I could try to get out on an earlier flight. In my rush, I did the self check-in option and to my amazement, I found a standby flight leaving at 11:55 (it was 11:05). I checked my luggage, got my standby receipt, went through security and even had enough time to stop and get a loaf of Sourdough bread (as per Jay's explicit instructions). I then headed over to my gate which confused me because it said Kansas City, not Chicago. Hmmm... over to the departure monitor I go to look for my flight...Nothing. So I stand in line and wait at the Kansas City counter. For about 15 minutes I waited... by now I'm nervous that I'm going to miss my flight at it is 11:35. Finally it is my turn. I get up to the counter and ask the lady to check where the flight is. She says, "Oh, the flight is leaving from this gate...in about 12 hours. This is for 11:55 PM." What???!!! So I run out and exchange my stand by flight and had to stand in line through security all over again. Which I could tell confused the girl checking boarding passes through security. I could see the wheels turning in her head "She looks familar... I could have sworn she's been through here before... same hair, same shirt...hmmm... It can't be the same girl though. This one is carrying a 3-foot-long huge sourdough loaf."

Next stop- lunch. Since I had plenty of time, I stopped at a sandwich counter to order lunch to go. There were a couple people ahead of me so I had to wait a bit. No problem. Finally, it was my turn so I ordered my usual, roast turkey on sourdough. I thanked the lady, and headed over to an open gate to sit down and have my sandwich. I checked a few emails and then about 10 minutes later, I finally opened my sandwich. Interesting... I didn't realize turkey looks like corned beef. Crap! They gave me the wrong sandwich. So I looked at it, gave it the sniff test and decided, how bad could it be? I really didn't want to walk all the way back and exchange my sandwich. I took a few bites of the sandwich. Not bad. The gate was fairly empty with the exception of a couple other folks. How peaceful. I looked up and made eye contact with one of the other folks in the gate area right as I was taking a bite of my sandwich... or should I say...taking a bite of HIS sandwich. Sitting across the way from me was the guy who was in front of me in line at the deli. Can you say awkward???? Apparently, he didn't like my turkey on sourdough b/c he exchanged it for a corned beef on rye, too.

Sigh. I'm such an idiot.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Circle of Life

It was an interesting day a few days ago. In about an 8 hour time span, my children wanted to discuss both birth and death. Although, we started out with death and ended the day talking about birth. Let me explain. I was upstairs in my room getting ready when I heard a blood curdling scream coming from my son. Apparently he closed his pointer finger between the closet doors and it was pinched pretty good. I assessed the situation and was relieved that there was no blood involved. However, one might think Jack got his finger amputated with the way he was screaming. He was very gingerly holding up his hand and pointing to the sky with his pinched finger. I held him in my lap trying to calm him down when he sputtered, "Well I can't hold anything!!!". In an attempt to be funny, I said, "Well just hold stuff with your other hand." To which he replied, "But I need two hands to hold some stuff...I can't hold a plate and a cup...I can't hold a bowl...I can't hold a box...". This went on for about a minute or so with him listing in detail all the things he would not be able to hold since he had one hand out of commission. I have to admit I found it somewhat humorous but was able to contain my laughter until he looked at me so earnestly with his sweet blue eyes, and his quivering chin and sobbed, "Momma, I think I'm gonna DIE!!!!" Is there such a thing as a drama king???

That is the death part...now for the birth. Upon deciding to go for ice cream, I piled into the SUV with Jack, Megan, Grandma, Bampa and Nana. So mind you, we are all piled into this metal box from which we cannot escape until we get to the ice cream store. As we drive by the hospital where Jack was born, I point it out and say, "Jack, that is where you were born!". Megan chimes in on the discussion with, "How do babies get out of the Mom's tummy anyway?". Uh oh. She's six so I figured this question would pop up sooner or later but I was hoping for later and had it visualized a bit different in my head. You know, one night as I'm tucking her into bed, she would look at me sweetly and ask where babies come from. Then I would provide her with the canned response I had planned for months that was acurate without being too clinical... Oh wait... I DON'T HAVE A PLANNED RESPONSE!!! My visual of the situation stops with me saying, "well honey...". So what I did say was "Um, er, um, well, there is a special hole where babies come out.". And I hoped for the best at this point and by best, I mean that she would say, "Oh, ok" and leave it at that. But noooo, then came the flood of questions. "What hole?" "Where is the hole?" "Is it by the rear end?" "Is the hole by the ear?"

So I did what any good mother would do since she was in the far back of the SUV. I pretened not to hear her questions. And what do you know! There we were at the ice cream store! Problem solved and I've got some extra time now to really plan my canned, not too clinical response!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

A Typical Saturday?

Today started with a bit of lounging around. That is pretty typical for a Saturday at our house. I fed the kids their normal breakfast. And by normal, I mean the new addiction they have to cinnamon raisin bread. They have eaten it EVERY morning for the last two weeks straight. You would think this would be a fairly easy breakfast to prepare but of course, my children can't have it the same way. Jack gets as excited as a kid on Christmas morning when I mention that it is time for breakfast in the morning. He still thinks he has to tell me exactly how to make it for him every day. The order is as follows- "Mommy, I want cinnamon raisin toast with butter...and toasted". Megan on the other hand takes hers with a twist. It has to be 1 plain piece (no butter, not toasted) and 2 pieces toasted with butter and the crusts MUST be cut off. A couple times I tried to act like I forgot to cut the crust off; Not because I'm trying to get her to eat the nutritious part of the bread, but really because I'm just lazy and hate cutting the crust off. I swear you would think I just served her a plate of dog poo. She crinkles up her nose, gives me a look of distain, and says, "What is this??? I don't like crust!"

After breakfast, Megan and Jack headed off with their dad to the school where he works. The kids like hanging out there. I was able to get in a workout and went to pick up the kids for swimming lessons. As I drive up to the school, I see my husband and children riding around the school grounds in a golf cart. How cute that is, I think to myself... until I notice it is actually Megan driving the cart. She does act mature for her age, but I'm pretty sure most 6-year-olds aren't supposed to be tooling around school grounds in a motorized vehicle. I decide to go with the flow and exit my vehicle and into my daughter's. Our whole family is in squeezed into the golf cart; Megan at the wheel, Jack on my lap in the middle and my husband to my side. It was quite a surreal experience. One that wasn't lost on Megan because as she gunned the accelerator and I grabbed Jack a bit tighter, Megan turned to me and said, "Mom, I can feel your concern." (Is she really only SIX???)

After an uneventful swim lesson, we went to the family locker room to change clothes. As luck would have it, once both my children were totally naked, Jack pulls out the old "I've gotta go potty real bad!!!" card. Now, a Saturday morning swim lesson at our health club causes the family changing room to be as crowded as a shopping mall on the day after Thanksgiving. It's completely full and people are using the toilet stalls for changing purposes. I try to rationalize with my 3-year-old and tell him he's just going to have to hold it. In response, he starts to scream as if he's been holding his pee for 3 days instead of 30 minutes (he just went before his lesson!!). Ok- so the rationalizing is obviously not going to work. What is plan B? I think perhaps I should wrap Jack in a towel to cover him up and leave Megan alone in the changing area while I take Jack to the bathroom. Nope- Call me over protective but I'm just not ready to leave her alone, naked, in a room full of strangers. Desperate times, call for desperate measures. It just so happens that in our changing room, there was a shower stall...I'm sure you know where I'm going with this. Yes, the shower stall turned out to be my plan B. I steer Jack over to the drain and say "Pee directly into the drain." "Right there???" he's pointing to the drain and looking at me like I must be joking. I can see the wheels turning in his head and I'm sure he can't believe I'm going to let him do this. I know even at this moment, I'm opening a can of worms. For years to come, if he ever relieves himself somewhere that is not appropriate, he will take every opportunity to throw this in my face. I can hear him now, "Well Mom, remember that time at the health club...".

Once we got that "situation" taken care of, I had a moment of relief until I heard my daughter's voice behind me, "Mommy, I need to go real bad, too!". Oh man, ARE YOU KIDDING ME???

Once we made it back home, more lounging was in order. Jack nestled in to the chair next to me and watched some TV while I did some work on my laptop. Every commercial break, Jack kept telling me what he wanted (spiderman toys etc.) or what I needed (100 piece cake decorating set). I half tuned him out and just responded with the standard "uh huh" or "hmmm" or "what" when he would say, "Mom...Mommy...Momma..." That is until I heard him say this..."Mom, do you have a vagina?". I immediately snapped to attention and set my laptop to the side. Where did this come from??? Two minutes ago we were talking (okay, he was doing the talking but whatever)about how we had to get Yogo's fruit snacks the next time we went to the grocery store. "Yes, I do have a vagina." I responded with half of me hoping he would leave it at that while the other half of me was going to take this seriously and turn it into a teaching moment if that was what was required. "Does Megan have a vagina?" was the next question followed up with "Do all girls have vaginas?". To both of these I answered affirmatively. I thought we were done with the conversation at that point but after a few moments he said, "Well, I asked Trisha [a little girl from preschool]yesterday, if she had a vagina and she said no." Hmmm, not sure how to respond to that one so I just left him with this profound thought... "Oh."

When Jay came home, I relayed the "Vagina Monologue" discussion to him. I mentioned I hoped Trisha didn't go home and tell her parents some little boy at daycare was asking about her vagina. To which he responded most lovingly, "Well, that's 100% your fault. You call it that. I'd be just as happy calling it 'thingy' or 'privates' until they were in high school."

Sigh... just another typical Saturday :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Mr. Scott

A few weeks ago, my dad came for a visit. He lives a few states away so his visits are few and far between. He typically comes to visit one time during the summer and then again around Christmas time. Because he comes so rarely, Jack doesn't remember his Grandpa and needs time to acclimate to him being around. I know my dad loves his grandchildren but he is what I would consider to be "old school". He tends to gaze at my kids like they are aliens; not quite sure how to interact with them and I think he may view them more as an interesting sociological experiment rather than miniature sized human beings. Example: during his last visit, I left him alone with Jack for about 10-15 minutes while I ran up to the school to pick up Megan from kindergarten. I figured, it is only 15 minutes, what could possibly go wrong??? I came back to my dad pacing back and forth with this wild look on his face and he says to me, "Uh... well... we had a bit of a problem." I peek around the corner and there is Jack... completely naked sitting on my couch. That sight, my naked son, is a pretty common occurance so I'm still not quite sure what the problem is. My dad proceeds to say, "Well, Jack went poop and decided he didn't want to wear his diaper anymore. He took it off so I made him sit on a blanket and I didn't know what to do with the diaper so I put it over...there.". Ok. I take a deep breath at this point.

Pros of the situation-
1) Everyone is still alive
2) My dad had Jack sit on a blanket
These are both "a good thing" as Martha Stewart used to say.

Cons of the situation-
1) Jack's "bum bum" has not been wiped. Therefore, the goodness of the blanket is offset by the fact that now I have a poop skidded blanket that I need to take care of washing. Still a manageable situation in my book.
2) The diaper that my dad put "over...there" turns out in reality to be an open diaper, face down and still steaming hot...ON MY KITCHEN COUNTER WHERE WE EAT AND WHERE I PREPARE FOOD! (Ok, I admit I don't do much preparing of food but I do set the food there when I pull it out of the microwave but that is neither here nor there.)

EEEWWW- Totally disgusting. Anyway, after about 50 clorox wipes, and a decision to never leave my kids alone with my dad until they are 30, everything was back to normal.

But I digress... on to the latest visit. As I was saying, Jack doesn't quite remember his Grandpa which was very apparent when he kept asking Jay, "Daddy, who is that stranger in our house?" But I must say, I did become alarmed when Jack kept referring to him as "Mr. Scott". This really confused my dad and I just didn't have the heart to tell him the truth about the situation. But here it is... the truth...

Mr. Scott is the homeless man that lives in our suburb. He's pretty much the only homeless person in our town and everyone knows Mr. Scott. I just couldn't bring myself to tell my dad that his grandson thought he was a homeless man. And then I started to think about it from Jack's perspective. They both are pretty bald and have a slight build. Jack also has never been to my dad's house so it is reasonable that in his mind he views my dad as "homeless". Lastly, he didn't seem disturbed by the fact that a homeless man was in our house, just curious about it. I wonder if in his 3-year-old mind, this was his way of expressing his desire to see his grandpa more. After all, we do see Mr. Scott multiple times a week.

Monday, September 3, 2007

School Daze

The school year is upon us! Another summer is winding to a close...whew! This is a big year for us. Megan started first grade (although sometimes she acts like she is going off to college). Day 1 of school started off smoothly. I walked her to the bus stop. I gave her a kiss and hug, told her to have a great first day at school , and that I would be waiting for her when she got off the bus in the afternoon. To which she said, "Mom, can't you just let me walk home from the bus stop by myself!!!" Ummm...let me think about that for a moment...NO!!!! (she's 6, not 16!)

Anyway- fast forward to 2:30 in the afternoon. I head over to the bus stop to pick her up. I'm excited to see how her first day went and hear all about her teacher. The bus pulls up and the children looking tired but still somewhat energetic pile off the bus. All the children except for mine that is! I say to the bus driver, "Uh, is that it? My daughter didn't get off the bus." And I'm still trying to give the lady the benefit of the doubt that she must not have heard what I just said because she actually replied, "Ok, have a good day!". She then waved at me and shut the door.

So now I am in full on panic mode but trying not to completely freak out in front of the neighbor children who keep asking me, "Where is Megan?" Yeah, I'd love to know the answer to that question myself. At this point, my neighbor rounds the corner and surveys the situation. She sees me walking her children back to our cul-de-sac without my own child in tow. I say to her in my 'Oh- my-God-I-am-panicking-but-don't-want-to-appear-as-if-I-am-panicking' voice "Megan didn't get off the bus!". "What? Where is she?" asked my neighbor. Now, at this point, I've asked myself that question and have 2 possible thoughts about what could possibly be the answer.

Option 1- This is what I am calling the "best case scenario"- Small, scared (and too scared to actually say anything to anyone) 6-year-old child got on the wrong bus and is riding all over our suburb on said wrong bus, going past various bus stops that look unfamiliar and will forever be scarred by this moment.

Option 2- Or "worst case scenario"- Well... I can't even bring myself to write a detailed description of this. Let's just suffice to say it involves no bus, a creepy looking dude asking Megan if she'd like some candy, and ends up scarring ME forever.

It is at this point that I spring into action. I ask my neighbor to run up to the school and see if she sees Megan. I have my cell phone so I'm already on the phone with the school transportation person who is radioing all the busses to see if they have a freaked out girl on their bus (which none did!). I went back to our house just in case she made it back to our house somehow.

And then finally...
My neighbor called from the school and said she found Megan. Even though I had the tag on Megan's backpack (as per her teacher's instructions) to put her on the school bus, they apparently received a list from the daycare place (where she goes after school when I am out of town traveling for work) that said Megan was able to be transported by them so her teacher put her on the daycare bus.

Needless to say, when my neighbor pulled up with Megan in the car, I completely fell apart- bawling like a big baby... Although the time frame was only about 20 minutes, it seemed like forever. In my heart I knew there must have been a logical explanation for what happened but there is that small part of you that keeps asking yourself, "Am I going to be the one? The one whose child doesn't come home. The one who wonders for years why her last words to her child had to be 'have a good day at school'. "

Anyway, all is okay now although I probably should have thought of Option #3 which looked like this...

Small 6-year-old child has minor mix up with bus at school which doesn't even phase her. However, child is permanently scarred for life when neighbor drops her off at her home to Sobbing Mother. Small child is freaked out by the erratic behavior of Sobbing Mother and avoids mother in the house. Child hides in coat closet while Sobbing Mother pulls herself together.