Friday, July 30, 2010

Behold ... the iPed making an iPuss

Behold ... the iPed making an iPuss

So ... vacation is neigh.

Two weeks of coastal bliss ... interrupted only by four hours of sticky highway travel and 47,000 rounds of "Are We There Yet," set to the tune of earworm.

It will be idyllic ... with the possible exceptions of a crowded house, the potential for frayed nerves, family faux pas and too many encounters with Maine's state bird.

Not that I'm complaining.

I'll have my iPhone. ...

My camera. ...

Two not-so-summer-y reads. ...

And a date with the coffee shop and beach every morning.

I may even be singing a happy tune when I return.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Just a few days ...


Dear Ittybit,

You've gone off with your father on trip.

Perched high in the crane truck, strapped into your carseat, I bet you're on top of the world.

Car counting, word games and road food await.

It will be a few days before we are reunited as a family.

I won't miss the argument over bedtime. I won't miss harping at you to brush and floss your teeth. Or even the smoothing of tangled hair (though that chore is growing on me, I must admit).

But I will miss tucking you in at night and listening to you read to me. I will miss reading to you and playing our silly games. I will miss your face in the morning and the cup of coffee you slosh through the house ... for me.

Your shoes are scattered about the house - no doubt considered for packing, packed and then reconsidered. As I collect them and put them away - a chore I have protested time and again - I find myself missing your scabby, stinky feet.


Love and Kisses,


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

When Harry Met Silas ...


"You're beard is @!7&S ...


"Your beard is @!7&S ..."

"I may need a translation: You don't like my beard?"

"No. I wike your beard. It's AWFUL!"

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Oh shizzle

Monday morning: The house a mess, breakfast is in pieces all around the living room, Ittybit is clamoring for a freeze pop and The Champ has decided clothing is optional. He's particularly proud of the temporary tattoos he's designed in marker around parts usually covered with pants.

None of it really out of the ordinary until the little man tugs on my leg, holds up a tiny plastic bulldozer, and tells me he'd like to get dressed. He's got plans for the truck in his sandbox.

His father built the Taj Mahal of sandboxes for his birthday after he'd started playing on his own in the dirt of the carport. It took a truckload of sand and an entire day to build.

Which should have been a predictor that after a few minutes in his sandy oasis The Champ would declared it "too dirty" and refused to stay.

So, even if it was midnight, we'd be making our way outside with flashlights just to encourage him to play. Getting him dressed is usually the bigger problem.

He selects clothes he will be seen in (Spider-Man jammies and black Chuck Taylor high-tops).

He is patient as I try to get his sneakered feet through the leg openings (because that's how he rolls). He's even more patient as we traipse outside to the sandbox and find the tarp protecting it from the weather and the wilderness has taken on ponds of rainwater.

The legs of my pants get drenched as pick up the corners trying to empty the sheath.

He stands with his toy, watching me silently, as I make a lagoon around the play area. In another few years he will, no doubt, giggle at my comic ineptness. Right now he's as enthralled with the spilling of water as if he where watching flames dancing in a fire.

When I'm done, I pull the tarp into the sun to let it dry. Another few minutes of straightening and smoothing.

He hadn't moved from his spot by the side of the box.

That's when it happened.


What? What?

"Dat cat is peeing in the sandbox."

And there she was, the good cat Ariel, squatting center stage.

I scooped out the sand with a shovel and disposed of it in the flower bed we've mostly ignored this season, but his desire to push around sand had already fled.

"It's too dirty in there now," he says.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Where does it end?

becoming unwrapped

When I first saw the reports that bullying was blamed for the suicide of a South Hadley High School student, I thought there must be more to the story than a three-month barrage of slurs from some mean (and arguably jealous) girls over the affections of some boys.

The suicide of a teenager is a tragic event. The fact that she suffered taunts and mistreatment before she died is additionally heartbreaking. Most people who have children would want atonement.

Yet, what was in print about the case, or said in front of cameras, to me anyway, seemed pretty typical of teenage taunts. Nevertheless, six students faced felony charges in connection with her death and the court of public opinion agreed.

Still, I can't help but wonder why.

Are none of us parents of imperfect children? Or are all the children who say mean things other people's kids? Kids who weren't raised to know right from wrong?

Ugly, yes; Shameful, certainly; appropriate, not in the least; but neither are the words they are accused of hurling beyond the pale in the power-struggle that pits one adolescent against another in the race to grow up faster. The desire to be more popular.

This week Slate released a story delving into the mental history of Prince, and included a fairly detailed timeline and description of what transpired between the teen and her alleged tormenters in the weeks leading up to Prince's death. Portions of it citing unreleased court documents supplied to defense attorneys.

The facts of the story don't seem to be in dispute.

Nevertheless, reaction in the Boston Herald from a former prosecutor (calling the Slate story a leak by defense attorneys that amounts to legal bullying) as well as commenters' outrage indicate that facts of Prince's mental state prior to the incidents are either irrelevant or confirm the heinous nature of the six defendants' behavior.

I know in the end a court will decide the guilt or innocence of the six defendants, and that it will do so based on legal definitions and rules of evidence. The victim's state of mind may have no bearing on the culpability of those accused of bullying her to death ... but in the meantime I can't stop myself from speculating where this all could lead.

Maybe making meanness a felony offense in high-profile cases will force our society to care more for each other. Stand up for those who need our protection. Maybe it will eliminate frustration and self doubt and loathing. It may even end the careers of some political bull(y) dogs.

The silence would sure be nice.

Or maybe it will lead to the assumption that words, based on their definitions alone, will be reason enough for imprisonment.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Model behavior

waffle hat

He wasn't doing this until his dad showed him how.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The nickel tour

This tour, however, is roughly the equivalent of 38 cents ...

- Trail Map courtesy of Thing Two Tours

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Win, lose or draw?

beating up "Ryan"

I know the schools of thought on this: Let them win and it gives them a taste of success and the incentive to keep playing. OR ... Let them win and you undermine their self determination and bolster their sense of entitlement.

I suppose I let Ittybit win a lot when she was little. I'd keep the game close, or as close as possible, until the finish. I didn't really think of it as "letting her win" so much as simply putting handicaps on my advantage.

What I've shied away from are the celebrations of victory and the disappointed wailings of defeat. I always hated those particular points of competition. Win or lose, we'd just play another game.

So? Do you let them win?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What's the opposite of crying wolf?

see ya

It feels like I'm forever holding my breath. Counting to ten.

She hides things from me now, afraid I will be mad.

It's not her fault, but she still feels guilty.

The deception is the price I pay for jumping to conclusions.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Hitting the 'Motherlode'

"Can we stay for the fireworks? Can we stay? Can we stay? Can we stay?

Oh, Please. Oh please ... ohpuleeeze Ohpleezehpilezzeseeee....oooOH?"







"Awwwww ...."



"Is that it? It's OVER?! What a bummer."

Sometimes hitting the Motherlode isn't what you expect.

Friday, July 09, 2010


Technology brings us such amazing things.


But I tell you what ...

When I'm roaming around the house late at night ...

Checking on my sleeping children ...

I'm really going to miss the sight of flashlight beams filtered through blankets and the sound of paper pages being turned.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

An imperfect fairytale

The toothfairy conundrum ... What DOES she do with the teeth?

She lost another tooth ...

An incisor this time.

Luckily the Tooth Fairy was notified in time for her to break the last $20 in her special Tooth-Reimbursement Wallet. She knew the only other denomination in all of Tooth Fairy Land that night was a $50, which belonged to another Tooth Fairy Land resident.

You know I'm making this all up, right? I have no idea what's in the Tooth Fairy's wallet ... or if she even has a wallet.

Rituals surrounding the loss of primary teeth span cultures and are older than history.

The Tooth Fairy, Dog Bless her, is, by most accounts, one of the more modern of all mystical beings known for breaking into the houses of children. She's seems to have appeared from nowhere a little more than 100 years ago, presumably to make the scary part of growing up a little more enjoyable.

And having materialized from thin air and fairy dust, she has the most elastic of rituals. She has a special door, she slides through keyholes, she takes the tooth, she leaves the tooth, she gives coins or bills or trinkets. Sometimes she leaves toothbrushes ... For every house she has a different routine.

Of course, she's also the most hardworking of all sprites, seeing as how there's no set day in which she visits ... which means she sometimes forgets, which means she's the only mythical being who is allowed to be imperfect.

For instance, when Ittybit woke up this morning and found her tooth (as requested) in addition to a $5 bill (We are on the high side of the Tooth Fairy Inflationary Index) but not a note from the fairy herself answering the question in the postscript: "What do you do with all the baby teeth you collect" ... I knew I could just wave my hands in the air and make some excuse that would the poor fairy off the hook.

It would also give me time to Google the internuts.

Everything from makes castles out of them to reissues them to new babies was among the potential alternatives.

Jay LG: "ever heard of calcium fortified orange juice? or milk? she's also been known to make generic calcium tablets."

Underwonder: "She donates them to ex-hockey players and homeless people."

Concerned: "Well, of course, the tooth fairy builds the most wonderful creative playgrounds for all the children who need fun, out of those beautiful sparkly white toothy bricks. You can dream about this if you choose."

Skookum: "The tooth fairy has a recycling program. You know that grainy stuff in toothpaste? That's the ground up teeth."

Terry: "The teeth are brought into the fairies' circle and danced into releasing the Magick into the world. This is how Magick and Magickal creatures have lasted and will last as long as there are children."

Jupiteress: "I was told and I believe they build castles with them. They also use them in the dreams of dentists."

Smokey D: "She uses them to make dentures to replace those her aging parents are constantly breaking eating Werthers hard candies."

So ...

That's my question for the day ...

What do you think the Tooth Fairy does with all those baby teeth?