I’m a conservative Christian – shocking, I know.
Sometimes, though, when I’m bein’ all growed up over here I forget the simplest of truths about my faith.
The other night I went to a pre-K graduation at a church-sponsored pre-school.
I’m looking forward to the day when there’s a cap and gown ceremony for kids who go from bottle to sippy cup, because we just don’t praise these little germ factories enough. But, that’s another rant for another day.
At the graduation, each little white gown and cap festooned 4 or 5-yr. old stands on stage, announces their name and says what they want to be when they grow up.
There were the usual aspirations – doctor, fireman, veterinarian, etc.
And the usual “cute” ones – fairy, princess, fairy princess, and pop star.
And then there was ‘Travis’ who told us all that when he grows up he wants to be……………………a dog. Personally, I think Travis is brilliant…and right on.
…hoo boy, my daughter is in for an interesting time with this boy.
Well, Sunday was his sister’s 8th birthday and she got a Lego set featuring princesses and a pool and playground. Apparently, it’s made up of elebenty-hunnert little pieces just waiting to make painful introductions to the bottoms of bare feet.
It was a big hit with the crowd, but went unopened as cake waited in the next room and it wasn’t going to eat itself.
As my daughter went to clean up the remains of wrapping paper and bags and stuff left after the present-opening carnage, the 5-yr. old walked up to her holding the Lego treasure in his hands.
Daughter: No, don’t open it. That’s sissy’s.
Son: I know, but I want to build it for sissy. (insert large grin here)
Lost in translation here was the momentary pause between daughter’s statement and her son’s reply. In that pause, I watched his little brain clicking away trying to find the right combination that would let him open and play with his sister’s gift all while making it look like doing so was a selfless sacrifice on his part.
He’s adorable. And dangerous. But, mostly adorable.
This could get interesting.
I’ve been away from here for a few days, for the three of you who may have noticed, and being around my grandchildren has brought some unexpected and hilarious theater which I’m about to share:
Five-yr-old-grandson: Oooh…oooh…I hurt my junk-junk! (after flopping face-first into the couch)
Me: Your ‘junk-junk’?
FYOG: (grabbing his crotch ala Michael Jackson) Yeah, mah balls! I hurt mah balls!
Same FYOG: What if the world were made of peanut butter? (as part of a conversation with me and his big sister, the deathly-allergic-to-peanuts grandchild)
Me: Well, sissy would be screwed.
FYOG: *giggles uncontrollably*
Me: Of course, we could put her in a big plastic bubble to protect her.
FYOG: Then she’d be a hamster! (collapses in fits of giggles)
And then there’s the 13-mo. old who is learning to walk….
She is taking some tentative steps when she suddenly flops forward and faceplants on the only square foot of ceramic tile within 20 feet of her!
Much wailing ensued, and was assuaged with application of my frozen teddy bear ice pack for kids – which she promptly shoved into her mouth to soothe her inflamed gums from the four teeth she has coming in right now.
Conclusion? Being a baby is painful, and flopping on the couch face first will hurt your junk-junk.
I have seven grandchildren.
I love every one of them to pieces.
However, sometimes I wonder who they are…
Oldest daughter and I are on the phone, chatting about the upcoming Supreme Plate (can’t say the *real* name here, lest I want to get sued…because we all know that millions of lawyers for the NFL are watching this blog right now waiting for me to slip up. To them I say, ‘Neener..Neener’.) this Sunday. I hear smoochie noises in the background, and then….
Daughter: Son, are you making out with yourself in the mirror?
5-yr. old Son: *giggling*Yes, mama I am! *more giggling*
And then there was the time my baby girl and her oldest were at the grocery store, in the produce aisle….
5-yr. old Daughter: Mama! I just farted on the fruit!
Baby Girl: (without even looking up) Don’t fart on the fruit, honey.
Who needs a sitcom when you’ve got kids?
It’s 3:00 a.m., and the doorbell rings.
It rings again, and as hubby sleepily asks “Who’s at the door at this time of night?”, you realize it’s your phone’s ringtone you’re hearing and you tell hubby – “No one, silly, but baby girl is calling.”
By this time, you’ve missed the call so you drag your still half-sleeping arse out of bed and hit redial.
“Mom, are fireplaces supposed to be 24 hours?”
And as your brain goes from sleepy haze to adrenalin rushed you realize….
…you, my friend, have entered…the Panic Zone…duh..dun…DUNNNNNNNNN!
“I’m here and the place is dark and no cars are in the parking lot.”
Oh, fire station…fire station…she meant fire station….sigh, okay heart slow down their house is not on fire….
“Umm…yeah, pretty sure it’s a 24/7 operation at a fire station, honey.”
“Yeah, well NO ONE is here!”
“Wait…why are you there?”
“The baby…she’s sick and having trouble breathing and I want them to check her vitals and her pulse ox and make sure she’s okay and I don’t need to go to the ER with her.”
“Oh…well…..wait, in Smallville isn’t the fire department volunteer?”
“I don’t know, maybe. But I left Smallville and am now in the parking lot of Muchlargerville’s main fireplace and there’s still no one around.”
“Well, they are on 24 hr shifts so maybe they’re asleep. Did you check through the bay doors for lights on?”
“Yeah, there’s nothing.”
“Okay, well call the non-emergency dispatch number for Muchlargerville and tell them…”
“Non-emergency dispatch number for police and fire. Every town has one.”
“I’m not gonna do that.”
“Because it’s stupid. You know what? I’m just gonna go back home.”
I could tell baby girl was exhausted and frustrated by this time.
“Okay, but is the baby breathing alright?”
“Well, she’s not blue or anything. She’s just laboring.”
“Maybe you should – “
“Mom, that’s hubby on the other line. I’ll call you back.”
That was five hours ago.
No more sleep for Mom, no more sleep for Dad. No word on the baby, yet.
Oh look, there’s gray hair #2,365.
From “Letters of Note”, an oft-qouted favorite website of mine; I bring you a magical, whimsical, sweet reminder of what a genius Sam Clemens really was.
And, now I wish he’d been my daddy too.
*brushes cobwebs out of blog corners and dusts off keyboard*
Geez….I go away for a little while, and the place empties out like someone yelled “FIRE!” in a theater.
It’s that time of year – Christmas – where unbridled avarice and greed are the order of the day. Where credit cards are maxed and children turn into raging fonts of pure commercialization.
If you have one of those little *darlings*, or know one, here’s a very cool website you can go to and get Santa to send them a personalized video.
I’ve been doing this for years for my grandchildren, and the looks on their faces when Santa says their names is almost enough to make me forget the screaming and crying that comes with not getting the G.I. Joe with the kung-fu grip or the Barbie with color-changing hair on Christmas morning.
Baby Girl (BG): MOM! MOM!! *click*
I quickly dial back, the phone goes to voicemail.
Don’t panic, don’t panic.
Me: Baby girl?
BG: MOM!! I fell, with the baby…*garbled, garbled*
Me: Is she hurt?
Me: Dammit…calm down a second, BG!! IS. SHE. HURT???
BG: No, she’s fine *screaming again, crying* I broke my fucking ankle!!!
Don’t panic, don’t panic, baby girl is home alone with her two babies and I’m over an hour away.
Me: Did you get a hold of your hubby?
BG: I called *screaming again* no…*sobbing*…answer
Me: Okay, let me see what I can do. Where are you? Where are the girls?
BG: *sobbing, hysterical*On the floor, in the hallway. I was getting out of the truck with baby in my arms and somehow I rolled over on my ankle and fell. I landed on my elbow and baby’s head was like an inch from the floor…OH. GOD.THE. PAIN!!!
Me: Alright, I’m going to try to find someone close by (her sister, brother, and sister-in-law are all within 20 minutes of her) you keep calling hubby.
::five minutes pass, I can’t get anyone and my phone rings::
Me: Baby girl? Did you get a hold of hubby?
BG: MOM!! HELP ME PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEZZZZZ!!!
Shit, shit, shit…okay, think Mom…
Me: *looking at my boss who can hear BG screaming/crying on phone and looks genuinely alarmed* I’m on my way, you keep calling hubby. *boss nods and I grab my stuff and run out the door*
I called my hubby on the way to BG’s house.
Me: Hey, BG thinks she’s broken her ankle. She’s lying on the floor at her house and we can’t get a hold of anyone. I’m on my way out there now, but I’m like an hour away. *I look down at my speedometer..it reads ‘80’…I try not to think about that*
Hubby: What the fuck happened?
Me: I don’t really know, she’s hysterical. From what I gather, she fell getting out of the truck with the baby and somehow rolled her ankle in the process.
Me: I know, right? Can you call her?
Hubby: Me? Why?
Me: Because YOU are her Daddy, and you are always able to calm her down.
Hubby: Okay, but you keep me informed.
Me: Thank you, honey. I will.
I hang up the phone and for the next few minutes concentrate on driving like a madwoman through the Dallas traffic.
::phone rings – it’s BG’s husband::
Me: Where are you?
BG Hubby: I’m on my way home, be there in 15 minutes or so.
Me: Okay, I’m on my way there, too. I’ll watch the girls while you take BG to the hospital.
BG Hubby: Okay.
I hang up again and go back to NASCAR on the freeway.
::phone rings – it’s my daughter-in-law::
D-I-L: Hey, what’s going on? Everyone’s phone is blowing up.
I relay the events and ask d-i-l if she can come out to the house to watch the girls after she gets off work – she lives very close by. I can’t stay too late as I have to work the next day and we don’t know how long BG may be at the hospital.
D-I-L: Sure, no problem. I’ll see you around 6:00.
Me: Thank you!
I’m almost to BG’s house now and realize that a one-hour trip has taken me less than 40 minutes. I don’t even….sigh…thank you, God.
I walk in to find BG and her hubby in the bedroom. BG is on the floor, her ankle is roughly twice its normal size, but it looks to me to be more of a strain/sprain than break.
We carry her to the car and a couple of hours later she texts me the good news – no break, BUT severe strain to ligaments, possibly a tear but time will tell if she needs surgery. For now, it’s a boot, crutches, ice, and heavy-duty ibuprofen.
And that, dear readers, was how I spent my Monday….getting gray hair # 1,287.
What did you do?
Sometime during the years we had four teenagers in the house, the kids and I developed a unique method for communicating.
3 X 3 Post-it notes left on the kitchen table, morning, noon or night were just big enough for quick notes, pleas, questions, etc. between me and the strangers sharing our house and using all the damned towels.
Not exactly heartfelt, soul-searching types of communications you see in Lifetime movies, but we got our points across.
Until the day that my oldest daughter left this one on the table:
“Mom, where k-y?”
I must admit I had no idea how to respond to a request for K-Y from my then 17-yr. old daughter.
Of course, my first reaction (okay, second reaction – my first was why is she asking me this question) was to Google chastity belts – they still exist, I went against one of my own Internet rules here and actually asked Uncle Google about ‘chastity belts’, knowing there’s not a ready vat of brain bleach on the stove this morning ::shudders:: that’s how much I love you people - but quickly decided that was just a tad bit too Middle Ages even for me.
Instead I responded on my way to work that morning with:
And waited all day to find out the answer. Was my baby girl involved in some kind of kinky activity that I really didn’t want to know about…even though I had to? If so, did I really believe she’d leave me a long note about her new job as Busty McChesterson and how it was a vital tool of ‘the trade’, and didn’t we keep a supply and if not, why not?
The mind raced, back and forth, all day.
When I got home, I raced to the kitchen table to see if I’d gotten a reply.
I bought a bigger Post-It note pad the very next day.