Tuesday, December 30, 2008


My second old lady moment of the day came in the art supply store over the cost of a tube of cadmium yellow light. Have you priced acrylic paints lately? Well they ain't selling at 1990 prices that's for sure. I felt like I was standing in the grocery store in my sagging knee highs: "will ya just look at the price of bread these days!"
My first old lady moment came earlier when my new bathing suit from Land's End arrived - the two-piece suit with the little skirt.
"I'm wearing bathing suits with little skirts on them!" I thought at I tried it on.
Then I looked at myself in the mirror and thought, "hey, I look pretty good - for someone who's had twins"
Which is either a horrible thought or a mature thought; or a horribly mature thought.

song: W.O.L.D. • artist: Harry Chapin

Monday, December 29, 2008

Just When I Needed You Most

Ken's parents have taken my big boys to Connecticut for a few days. They called last night and it sounded like everything was going swimmingly. It's a funny thing, the secret desire for your kids to fall apart and not be able to get along without you. I mean how else can I justify my existence unless my kids need me so much that they can't get by without me? Of course on the other, more logical hand I, like all parents, want my children to grow up and become little autonomous beings.
As for someone needing you and being unable to get by without you (at least when it comes to finding missing keys, cell phones, wallets, and check books), I guess that's what husband's are for.

song: Just When I Needed You Most • artist: Randy Vanwarmer

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Will The Circle Be Unbroken

Here is the trajectory of my life thus far as it applies to stemware. In the beginning, for apartment living, mismatched wine glasses were acquired from the pick of the liter and various yard sales.
Then came marriage. Everyone knows that a successful marriage hinges on having several sets of tasteful matching stemware. Ours were chosen by friends with a lot of help from a friendly little device known as a wedding registry, which lets your loved ones know that you don't think they are capable of picking out tasteful items for themselves. Ultimately most of these glasses got broken.
After we had kids we couldn't be bothered with wine glasses that couldn't be jammed into the dishwasher and had to be washed by hand. Instead we started saving jelly jars to use as all-purpose drinking glasses. We amassed quite a collection.
Now for the rub. This summer C purchased a wine glass at a church fair which he presented to me. For Christmas he did the same with a wine glass he got at the thrift shop. A wine glass I had to give him the dollar to buy.
So it's back to mismatched wine glasses. If I just have another round, maybe I won't notice.

song: Will The Circle Be Unbroken • artist: A.P. Carter

Friday, December 26, 2008

I Go To Pieces

December 26: the day after Christmas. The day when: Mommy can't configure the highway pieces to connect to the car garage, there's a piece mysteriously broken off the telescope but no one's owning up to it, the model helicopter is missing two wooden washers, the marionette strings are tangled, the drum on the gem polisher is squeaking, the Frontier Logs aren't compatible with last Christmas's Lincoln Logs, and no one can work their yo yos.
No wonder Santa gets the other 364 days of the year off.

song: I Go To Pieces • artist: Peter and Gordon

Christmas Morning

C was standing at the foot of our bed yesterday morning at 3AM, clutching his Christmas stocking. It's been a while since he's come into our room in the middle of the night (he usually just cries in his bed until one of us gets up and troupes in). I could just make out his silhouette against the blue glow of the nightlight.
My own little ghost of Christmas present.

song: Christmas Morning • artist: Lyle Lovett

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Falling Slowly

One Christmas Eve when I was around the age when nagging suspicions - like all those presents in one night, flying reindeer, houses without chimneys, and handwriting that looked just like my mothers - begin to surface and swirl around Santa, I remember my father coming home in the late afternoon with a wooden truck.
"I was just walking and it fell out of the sky," he told me.
"It must have fallen off Santa's sled as he was flying over," he added.
Woah. A bonus gift.
For years after that truck was outside in my sandbox. My most favorite Christmas gift that I'd never requested or even wanted.
H went to bed tonight, as per his request, with the covers over his head. He was taking the lyrics to the song "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" very literally.

song: Falling Slowly • soundtrack: Once

Give A Little Bit II

Here's the tally:
Santa - one bathrobe
Mrs. Claus - one candy cane (yeah, that's fair)
Reindeer - carrots and reindeer food (oats and glitter)
The Elves - a box of nails
Santa's Mouse - cheese (I didn't know Santa had a mouse did you?)
I hope that covers everyone.

song Give A Little Bit • artist: Supertramp

Give A Little Bit

Guess what? The thrift shop had a bathrobe in forest green, with red trim and white piping! It was 50% off.
It's a Christmas miracle.
Now we just have to get a present for Santa's elves.

song: Give A Little Bit • artist: Supertramp

Monday, December 22, 2008

Like To Get To Know You

My cousins hosted their annual holiday gathering at my aunt and uncle's house Sunday night. H and C had fun playing with my cousin's children, Lily and James. At one point during the evening I went up to the guest room they were all playing in and tried to make small talk.
"Is this the bed that you're going to sleep in tonight?" I asked James.
"Yeah, well, you know, my mom, her mom and dad own this house," he carefully explained to me.
I nodded.
A few minutes later Lily came out with a Fisher Price a-frame house, the same one her mother and I used to play with 30-plus years ago, which was in remarkably good shape all things considered. Coincidentally (or perhaps not) Uncle Mike and Aunt Betty's original summer house was an a-frame.
I tried a new tack. "You know when I was a little girl your mom and I used to play with that same house over at your Grandpa and Grandma's house."
"This is my Grandpa and Grandma's house," said Lily.
It seemed like a good time for the creepy old lady to leave the little kids alone, so I went back down stairs and into the living room of the house owned by the parents of James's mom. The house that also IS Lily's Grandma and Grandpa's house.

song: Like To Get To Know You • artist: Spanky & Our Gang

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

C was outside playing in the snow at 9 o'clock on Saturday morning. He was able to get out so quickly because he is the only one of my children who is able to dress himself in his winter duds.
It took another 90 minutes to get everyone else (and myself) ready. I was racing along trying to get everyone fed, changed, and dressed before C got cold and came in.
Remember that feeling of being the first one out to explore the yard after a "big snow?" Everything is untouched and new looking, as if you're the first person to discover it.
I didn't remember this but it seems that it's mandatory (at least for my kids) to going around in the snow with one's tongue sticking out.

song: Walking in a Winter Wonderland • artist: Richard B. Smith

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I'm a Believer

C brought home a flyer from school about next Tuesday's Pajama Day. On the last day before vacation begins, all the kindergarten classes are going to wear their pajamas to school and watch Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
The flyer said that if you didn't want your child to watch Rudolph you could let the school know and they would provide an alternative activity.
I wish I could opt him out of the movies they watch during indoor recess, or the one they watched on Friday's half day of school. Sometimes I think C watches more TV at school than he does at home.
I know we live in sensitive times but who would opt their children out of Rudolph? People who don't believe in reindeers?

song: I'm a Believer • artist: The Monkeys

Friday, December 19, 2008

One Way Or Another (I'm Gonna Get You)

Here's a little something to freak out the kids with. Just in case the threat of Santa is starting to wear thin.
I sufficiently terrorized my six year old with it this morning.

Little Orphant Annie's come to our house to stay,
An' wash the cups an' saucers up, an' brush the crumbs away,
An' shoo the chickens off the porch, an' dust the hearth, an' sweep,
An' make the fire, an' bake the bread, an' earn her board-an'-keep;
An' all us other childern, when the supper-things is done,
We set around the kitchen fire an' has the mostest fun
A-list'nin' to the witch-tales 'at Annie tells about,
An' the Gobble-uns 'at gits you
Ef you Don't Watch Out!

Wunst they wuz a little boy wouldn't say his prayers,--
An' when he went to bed at night, away up-stairs,
His Mammy heerd him holler, an' his Daddy heerd him bawl,
An' when they turn't the kivvers down, he wuzn't there at all!
An' they seeked him in the rafter-room, an' cubby-hole, an' press,
An' seeked him up the chimbly-flue, an' ever'-wheres, I guess;
But all they ever found wuz thist his pants an' roundabout:--
An' the Gobble-uns 'll git you
Ef you Don't Watch Out!

An' one time a little girl 'ud allus laugh an' grin,
An' make fun of ever' one, an' all her blood-an'-kin;
An' wunst, when they was "company," an' ole folks wuz there,
She mocked 'em an' shocked 'em, an' said she didn't care!
An' thist as she kicked her heels, an' turn't to run an' hide,
They wuz two great big Black Things a-standin' by her side,
An' they snatched her through the ceilin' 'fore she knowed what she's about!
An' the Gobble-uns 'll git you
Ef you Don't Watch Out!

An' little Orphant Annie says, when the blaze is blue,
An' the lamp-wick sputters, an' the wind goes woo-oo!
An' you hear the crickets quit, an' the moon is gray,
An' the lightnin'-bugs in dew is all squenched away,--
You better mind yer parunts, an' yer teachurs fond an' dear,
An' churish them 'at loves you, an' dry the orphant's tear,
An' he'p the pore an' needy ones 'at clusters all about,
Er the Gobble-uns 'll git you
Ef you Don't Watch Out!

by James Whitcomb Riley

song: One Way Or Another • artist: Blondie

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Take It On The Run

Round two of the flu shot this afternoon.
There were some kids in the waiting room at the pediatricians who were really freaking out. One tenacious little guy actually bolted for the door and his mom had to grab him and drag him back inside.
I like to see a little spunk and rebellion instead of merely encountering a room full of sheep all waiting to be next in line. It's Dylan Thomasesque. "Do not go gentle into that good exam room. Rage, rage against the nurse."
Unless it's my own kids that is.

song: Take It On The Run • artist: REO Speedwagon

I Love To Laugh

Another holiday joke from yours truly, made up on the spot, sure to crack up the six-and-under set.
Q: Who goes Ho, Ho, Ho, He, He, He?
A: Jolly Old Saint Tickle-las

song: I Love To Laugh • soundtrack: Mary Poppins

Please Mr. Postman

This year many soon-to-be Christmas presents arrived at our house via UPS. I've even been hailing the driver with a big "hello Santa," each time she delivers a box.
At first I worried about what would happen if a box arrived when C was home. H I could get around but C would ask a lot of questions and would naturally want to open the box. As fate would have it most of the boxes arrived during school hours. Most of them, that is, until Friday. On Friday the mail truck when by while we were walking home from the bus stop. An unusual occurrence given that our mailboxes are all at the end of the street. As suspected when we rounded the corner into the driveway I saw a box on the doorstep. He'll see this in a minute I thought. Desperately I began to fein an interest in our scarecrow, and miraculously he came over to investigate. I inched back down the driveway, picked up the empty recycle bin (Friday is trash day) and carried it towards the garage. I veered slightly to the left and brought the bin down on top of the package, swooped it up and carried both into the garage.
Either he missed the whole thing or he pretended not to notice.
Having dodged that bullet I breathed a sigh of relief and went in the house. Minutes later I'm changing a baby and there's a knock at the door. Yikes, I think, UPS driver. Usually she just taps and leaves so I exit the bathroom and when C says, "there's someone at the door," I answer, "that was just me banging the changing table."
Just then - another knock.
Why doesn't she just leave? I wonder, looking towards the front door. But wait, it's not UPS Santa, it's our across-the-street neighbor Dave, come to borrow an onion. Since he and his wife had the decency to build their addition long before we accumulated a house full of children, I bear him no ill will.
Another possible package fiasco avoided.
Dave is barely across the street when the mail truck is back in our driveway. The mailman was looking for his lost set of keys.
Somehow C doesn't notice. He is engrossed in the book, How to Draw 50 Dogs.
On Tuesday my parents were on their way out the door with H and C when there it was, a package on the doorstep. Normally I would have been looking out every once in a while or listening for the driver's faint knock but H had just put his finger on the hot burner and spent the last 20 minutes howling.
Again it worked out as my parents convinced the kids they didn't have time to watch me open the package. A package, which, I assured them later was just another running book for daddy.
Yesterday we're at the bus stop waiting for C and it's rainy so we're in the mini-van, the twins have been napping and went straight from naps to preschool pick up to bus stop pick up. I'm feeding them Yo Baby while we wait for the bus. After bus arrival I'm getting ready to head out when the UPS truck starts down the road. We live on a dead end dirt road and passing the UPS truck in a mini-van is not an option so I stayed put in the driveway of one of our snowbird neighbors till the truck went by again.
Waiting on the front step when we got home was an enormous box.
What's in that? I wondered. Everything I ordered (at least everything I could remember ordering) had already arrived.
There was no way to conceal it and H and C were soon clustered around it.
It was addressed to our neighbor two doors down, number 25, not number 35. I was a little hurt to think UPS Santa didn't even know my name after all the exchanges of pleasantries over the past month. Maybe it was a different driver.
Relief that the package was not for us was soon replaced by exhaustion at C's relentless obsession with delivering a box that would in no way fit in my van.
"Let's wait till daddy gets home," I suggested.
"Nooooo," he pleaded and headed off to the shed to look for Ken's dolly.
Unable to find it he suggested we drag the package down on his sled.
"Sleds don't work unless they're on snow," I reminded him. "I think we should wait and put it in daddy's truck."
He was growing frustrated with my nay saying and obvious attempts at procrastinating.
Finally I caved. "Maybe we could put it on top of your red wagon."
Off we both went to the shed to fish out the wagon.
In the meantime H wet his pants because, in classic George Bailey style, I wasn't there to keep him company while he went to the bathroom.
"See Joanne. Here's what the world would be like without you. Little boys going about peeing their pants."
"Thanks Clarence, guess I'll stick around."
After we cleaned up H and the twins, who both needed outfit changes for the same reason as their big brother, I walked C to the end of the driveway, placed a flashlight in his hand (yes, it was dark by now) and watched him triumphantly walk the box, which teetered on top of the wagon, down the street to the neighbor's house.
He did not remember to check for cars on the way out of their driveway.
"I forgot Mommy, is that okay?"
"We'll keep practicing until you remember, honey."

song: Please Mr. Postman • artist: The Marvelettes

Monday, December 15, 2008


Woah, Ann, you were into Michael Jackson when you were four? That's pretty precocious.
I see that we can compare bad kid-created jokes!
So how does your son feel about April Fools Day?

song: P.Y.T. • artist: Michael Jackson

Crumblin' Down

Two of my kids want to decorate the tree.
Two of them, plus the cat, want to undecorate it.
I wonder who will win?

song: Crumblin' Down • artist: John Mellencamp

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Joker

Despite all the technological advances, the media saturation, the generation gap, and everything else that makes our own childhoods so vastly different from those of our children, kids, at least little kids, still find that same stupid stuff funny that we thought was funny. Take "Jingle Bells Santa Smells..." for example. Cave men probably made that up - and kids have been finding it hilarious ever since.
Every week day I pack a joke in C's lunch box. It's corny I know but kindergartners go for corny in a big way. December has featured holiday or winter-themed jokes. I cull them off the internet by googling "jokes" and "kids."
Every night I ask C how the "joke of the day" was.
Friday's joke was as follows:
Q: What do you call a snowman in July?
A: A puddle.
"I don't get it" he said when I asked him how he liked the joke.
"Well, what happens to a snowman when it gets warm?"
"It melts."
"So what do you call a snowman in July?"
"Yeah, but that's not funny."
"Oh." (pause)
"Mommy. Did you make up that joke yourself?"
Since I had nothing to lose I made one up on the spot.
"Okay then, how about this one. What do you call a snowman on a lilly pad?"
"I don't know, what?"
"Froggy the snowman"
He and H cracked up for about five minutes.
Joke writer for six year olds - I guess I missed my calling.

song: The Joker • artist: Steve Miller

Little Cream Soda

So I thought I'd toast your birthday with an orange soda since it's possible I haven't had one in 20 years. Getting a hold of one wasn't as easy as I'd anticipated. The convenience store in that little plaza near the Silver Lounge didn't have any. Their inventory looked pretty skimpy are they going out of business and no one told me? So I went to the W. Falmouth Market where they not only had orange soda, they had yuppie orange cream soda in a glass bottle, which of course I bought for two dollars but what was more disturbing was that it would have only been 40¢ cheaper to buy Fanta.
I think that two dollars 20 years ago would have bought us both those slices of Sicilian pizza and the orange soda.
Next year I'll save up, get myself a pint of Haagen-Dazs, and only eat half.

song: Little Cream Soda • artist: White Stripes

Friday, December 12, 2008


"Shed a tear 'cause I'm missin' you."

song: Patience • artist: Guns 'N Roses

Thursday, December 11, 2008

People Get Ready

Do you know why Grinch hated Christmas - "the whole Christmas season?"
It's probably because he had to spend it with kids.
Tonight we decorated the tree. Now I'm no Martha Stewart but there's an order to tree decorating and it's not icicles first, half the ornaments, and then the paper chains. The paper chains and the icicles have to go on last. I know this because I've lived for 40 years and decorated as many Christmas trees. Despite this knowledge, accumulated over the decades, my children refused to listen. They probably couldn't listen because freakin' visions of sugar plums were dancing in their wound up little heads and clouding whatever reason they might have had. Consequently every time they hung an ornament on the tree they knocked off at least two icicles. This eventually led to huge amounts of frustration, to which I wanted for all the world to say, "I told you so!" But good mothers almost never say that, so neither did I.
Instead I thought up some new Christmas carol titles based on the evening's events:
"He's knocking over the manger again"
"I saw Mommy Swilling Cabernet"
"Deck Your Brother"
"If you can't take turns with that Santa hat I'm taking it away"

and my favorite not-written-as-of-yet Christmas classic:
"Don't you dare stick your tongue out at Me."
After dinner I popped Rudoph the Red Nosed Reindeer in the DVD player to sedate them a bit. When it was over they were docile enough to lead up to bed but not without some running movie commentary from C.
"Why did the Elf want to be a dentist?"
"Why was the monster (the abominable snowman) mad at Rudolph?"
"Why did Rudolph go off and leave his friends?"
"How did Rudolph know to look for his family in the monster's cave?"
"Why didn't they show Santa going down any chimneys?"
Let's add "Rudolph the over-analyzed Reindeer" to the song list.

song: People Get Ready • artist: Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions

Ugly from the Front

It's the cat's favorite time of year. When we make amends for incarcerating her for the past 17 years by bringing a tree into the house for her to climb. It's just our little way of saying that despite bringing home all these meddlesome kids, we still love her.
Yes, the Christmas tree is up and Ken didn't swear once during the proceedings. He didn't swear while dragging it in the house. He didn't swear when I said it was crooked. He didn't swear when I suggested we turn it around so the bald spot would be in the back. Nothing got knocked off any of the countertops, desk or tables on the way in either because I had held C's good luck medal earlier in the day. The medal he got at Sophia's birthday party while playing Pixie Bingo. The medal everyone got.
"Hold my good luck medal, mommy," he insisted.
"What do I need good luck with," I asked, medal in hand.
"So you and daddy won't fight about the Christmas tree," he said directly.
After the tree was up we both stepped back and said the words we say every year.
"That's the ugliest tree we've ever gotten."

song: Ugly from the Front • artist: Lyle Lovett

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

We Go Together

This spring I mentioned that the mini van came equipped with satellite radio. The van's former owners said we'd have to start footing the bill in February if we wanted to keep it on but it's 10 months later and Sirius is still goin' strong. Sure, we should fess up, but they left the country after selling us their used car - at least that's what they told us. Now, when I get tired of WMVY (or when they play Hey Joe again), I switch on Sirius to see what's playing on "Big 80s" and "70s on 7." You would not believe how many hit songs Duran Duran had. You think there was only Rio, but you're wrong my friend, there were many, many, others.
The DJ on 70s at 7 is obnoxious in my opinion, which I find surprising since I consider the 80s to be a far more obnoxious decade of music than the 70s.
It's interesting the memories that songs of these two decades conjure up. I won't bore you with the details of my high school days but what I've noticed is that having graduated in 1986, songs from the Big 80s often remind me of a specific places, the movie theater (St. Elmos Fire, Don't You Forget About Me), the prom (Heaven), junior high school dances (Centerfold), that dance I went to with my Nova Scotia cousins (anything by Duran Duran since they all sound the same), driving my boyfriend to the bus station (So Far Away From Me) Whoops, I did say I wouldn't bore you didn't I?
The 70s on the other hand remind me of college because that's when I branched out from top 40 music and did what many other impressionable students have done before me, which is to embrace music of another generation.
What's funny about both stations is the often inappropriate juxtoposition of songs. For example last week the 70s station immediatelly followed Led Zeppelin's "D'yer Mak'er" with Michael Jackson's "Rock With You." Yes, both songs were released in the 70s but that's where the similarities end. There would not have existed a radio station in the 1970s that would have played both of these songs.
It's like being at the zoo, sure you can put the polar bear exhibit next to the giant tortoise, but you'd never find them hanging around together in nature.

song: We Go Together • musical: Grease

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

All Night Long

Once upon a time I had books on my night stand; which isn't saying I read any of them but they kept up appearances well enough. Now all I have is stuffed animals. Two bunnies, an elephant, and a hedgehog to be exact.
Last night was a four-star night meaning all four of my children woke up and cried.
The twins woke up and cried because they wake up and cry every night.
H woke up and cried because we'd turned out his bedroom light, forgotten to put on the closet light, and, gasp! the room was dark.
C woke up and cried because he couldn't find the water bottle he keeps filled by his bed. The one that pretty much ensures that he will be wearing pull ups in college

song: All Night Long • artist: Lionel Richie

Monday, December 08, 2008

Mustang Sally

Surely my three year old has elevated nose picking to an art form. He goes at it with the vigor of someone in serious Olympic medal contention. He's not going to be runner up - he's going for the gold.
That is, in fact, what I tell him.
"Stop looking for treasure up your nose."
But alas he does not stop.
Recently he added to the repertoire. Now it's no longer nose picking, it's nose picking and eating. He's in there so much he's giving himself a bloody nose and I think he may be spoiling his appetite to boot.
I considered sticking his fingers in cayenne pepper but it seemed too cruel. Instead I doused them with black pepper and told him if he picked his nose it would make him sneeze.
What kind of threat is that? He thought that was great and what's more, C wanted in on the action. So on that day, instead of discouraging one nose picker, I inadvertently creased a second one. Before you go out and try it let me just say - it doesn't work.
A few days after the black pepper incident, C came home from school and told me that the guidance teacher visited his class and told everyone that they should never pick their nose and eat it because boogers have dirt in them. She then offered them an alternative - ghost boogers. This is putting a Kleenex over a finger and picking with that - when no one is around. Sort of like a finger-picking condom.
Armed with this new information, which must be true because it came from some besides Mommy, C set forth to try and reason with H.
I could hear him in the back of the van.
C: "You shouldn't eat that. That's dirt."
H: "But I like to."
C: "I'm telling you, you're going to get sick. That's dirt."
H: "No it's not."
Do you see the pun in that last sentence? I almost drove off the road I was laughing so hard.

song: Mustang Sally • artist: Wilson Pickett

Sunday, December 07, 2008

The Winner Takes It All

Dear Ann ,

Thanks for the award! I feel undeserved since the rules say I'm suppose to nominate seven other bloggers, and, well, with the exception of your blog, and reading that very funny story by Amy
about her son and the buttermilk, I don't actually follow any other blogs.
I don't have the time. Honest! I would have to give up eating if I wanted to fit even the tiniest new thing into my day. I've already given up sleeping.
Not reading other people's blogs is yet another thing I feel guilty about. Why should I expect anyone to read mine if I can't return the favor. It's like writing a novel that you hope every will read and then admitting that you never read for pleasure.

song: The Winner Takes It All • artist: Abba

Saturday, December 06, 2008

County Line

Here are some observations based on this week's recent shopping excursions, in person and in catalogues. Why is it that we can all buy rifles to stash under our beds but no one can buy a real dart set anymore?
Doink It? Anyone?
And have you noticed that supermarket bags have gotten shorter? I suppose it's a trick to make us into think we are getting more for our money, as in: "hey! it used to take me $40 to fill a grocery bag. Now it only takes $20. What great deals the store must be offering!"
At least it will have a positive effect on the newspaper industry. People packing the Times into bags for recycling will say to themselves, "who says newspapers are on their way out? Why just look at how much bigger all the papers are this week!"
On our way to Sophia's 7th birthday party this afternoon the traffic on Rte. 28 in Waquoit was at a standstill while three wild turkeys crossed the road. Guess no one had their rifles with them.
Or any real darts.

song: County Line • artist: Pousette-Dart Band

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The Beat Goes On

We composted the remaining Thanksgiving leftovers this morning. Everything except for the turkey pieces that Ken picked out of the soup. We saved that for the cat. And the beets - they still looked pretty good so we finished them with tonight's dinner.
That's that. Thanksgiving is officially over. Not that it's a holiday that lingers for very long anyway. As soon as the turkey is off the table it's pretty much a straight shot on to Christmas. Unlike, say, Halloween, which lingers around the fringes of Thanksgiving. Those pumpkin gourds are harvest-like anyway and so what if there are some pipe-cleaner spiders peaking out from behind them? Conversely, there will be no colored-in Thanksgiving turkeys made from someone's traced hand mingling with the nativity set and the snow globes.
Which reminds me, I said I'd get the outdoor lights from the guest bedroom closet tonight. Better get on that.

song: The Beat Goes On • artist: Sonny and Cher

Can't Keep It In II

From Christmas present panic it's only a short trip into the land of clever-photo-for-the-holiday-greeting-card panic. Ken had a great idea about printing out the letters N O E L on card stock and having each kid hold a letter up for the camera. I was working up the letters on the computer last night when H announced that he needed to do you know what in the potty and that my presence was required to, "keep me company."
I called out to him that he should go in the bathroom and get started without me but instead, he came into the computer room. He got started without me - just not in the bathroom.
Strange, for someone who seems to like talking about poopies as much as he does, he sure didn't like having them in his pants.

song: Can't Keep It In • artist: Cat Stevens

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Hold On

The Buba Buddy. The Bottle Nanny. The Bottle Bundle. The Bottle Sling.
There are a number of devices on the market to help prop up a bottle in a baby's mouth so mum can have her hands free - presumably to make dinner, massage the neck of her husband, or throw in a load of wash. Surely it would be frowned upon if the manufacturers knew mums were frittering away their time answering e-mail and leaving their babies to be fed by such a contraption. No sir, you'll never catch me using a Bottle Nanny.
That's because a stuffed teddy bear works just as well.

song: Hold On • artist: Tom Waits

Movin' Out

So now my other neighbor, also single and childless, is adding on to her house! I think I need to move to another neighborhood, one where only families in excess of two children are allowed to build additions.
I'm even jealous of her on-site storage pod.

song: Movin' Out • artist: Billy Joel

Monday, December 01, 2008

It's Too Late

Now that it's December I think I am officially going into Christmas present panic mode. Last year at this time I had all my shopping done. This year I have twice as many children and barely any gifts squirreled away. Last year at this time of course I was almost eight months pregnant and afraid that I might go into labor or be put on bed rest before the holidays.
If that's what it takes to motivate me to shop on time my kids are in real trouble. I don't plan on having that particular motivation ever again.
I e-mailed a bunch of editorial to the newsroom last night, hopelessly late as usual. How long can I use the excuse of having four children to explain my own state of constant dishevelment?

song: It's Too Late • artist: Carole King

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Two Ladies

We watched Mary Poppins tonight.
When it was over, C didn't miss a beat.
"How do you die laughing?" he asked.
He switched to the Mary Poppins soundtrack for his going-to-bed music from his previous pick, the soundtrack to Cabaret, which he chose because my mother and I saw the Falmouth Theatre Guild's performance last weekend.
I was happy about that because I'd rather answer questions about how one dies laughing than about the meaning of the song "Two Ladies."

song: Two Ladies • soundtrack: Cabaret

Fly Me To The Moon

Was anyone out driving after dark on Friday? It was like Night of 1,000 Moths out there. It reminded me of the great Christmas tree moth debacle of 2007.
They must have been attracted to all that left over turkey.

song: Fly Me To The Moon • song: Frank Sinatra

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Cat and the Hat

This mess is so big and so deep and so tall, we cannot clean it up. There is no way at all.

book: The Cat and the Hat • author: Dr. Seuss

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

thanksgiving eve (a quatrain)

On the day before thanksgiving
I have some serious misgivings
I must have been mentally unstable
to ask 13 people to our table

Monday, November 24, 2008

Get Back

On Saturday's news it was reported that the day's temperature (low 30s, high 20s) was more like day in January than a day in November. November, January, what's the difference I say.
Everyone feels cheated when the weather is colder than normal but we're all perfectly content to get away with it when temperatures are above average. A 55-degree day in November is Indian Summer; a 25-degree day is an affront.
It's like the check out line at the supermarket. We're outraged to discern that we've been short changed, but who returns the surplus when their change includes an extra $1?
Rest assured, it will all equal out in the end. For every 60-degree day in November we'll have to pay with a 40-degree day in May.
Back when I worked at the supermarket there was a night when my drawer was $100 short. The front-end manager stood up for me and assured the store manager that I didn't steal it thereby sparing me of a suspension or pay dock or some such consequence. The two of them concluded that I must have had money bundled for pick up and somebody stole a bundle when I wasn't looking. Strangely enough, over the course of the next month, my drawer was $20 over at the end of every week until I had made back the $100.
I don't know how it happened, it wasn't a conscious effort on my part to pilfer money from customers. No one ever complained that I'd stiffed them though I must have short changed a large number of people.
It was a freak accident. Like a snowstorm in July.

song: Get Back • artist: The Beatles

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Look Away

In case you missed it, the lesson to be learned from Friday's Enterprise is that it's okay to drive around naked - just don't get lost and need to stop for directions.
If there's ever been a driver in need of GPS, it was that guy!

song: Look Away • artist: Chicago

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Somewhere Down the Line

I see that my high school friend's ex-girlfriend got married. A woman who, as I recall, planned to "never get married." I guess what she meant to say is, "I'll never get married to you."
Sometimes I don't know why we bother saying anything at all. We're all bound to contradict ourselves somewhere down the line.
H on the other hand tells it like it is. He is literal; very literal. Last night we were reading I love you Little One, one of those reassuring little feel-good board books where the baby animals all ask, "do you love me Mama?" and the Mamas all answer that of course they do. We're about three baby animals in and H stops me and says, "Animals don't talk."
Earlier in the week we had out Woodland Creatures, a set of wooden animals that includes some landscape objects like trees and a pond. H holds up a grayish piece and asks me what it is. "It's a tree," says C, "no wait, it's a rock." I take the child psychology route and turn the question around, "What do you think it is?" I ask H. "I think it's wood," he says flatly and without a hint of irony.
One last example. C has this annoying bear (given to him by his grandparents) that uses word recognition to play a variety of games where it asks questions and then congratulates you if you answer correctly. So H turns it on and the game is "What Am I?" wherein the bear says the following phrase, "What Am I? Am I a dog, or a fire truck?" The bear then makes a noise like either a dog or a fire truck and the child is prompted to answer.
From the living room I can hear the bear saying, "What Am I?" and H answering, "YOU'RE A BEAR!"

song: Somewhere Down the Line • artist: Billy Joel.

Friday, November 21, 2008

where are you going baby? (a couplet)

beneath the TV
is no place to be

Thursday, November 20, 2008

late fall haiku

mixing the colors
until everything turns brown -
like child artists do

Don't Touch My Hat

This is what happens when you mistakenly leave your hat at our house.

song: Don't Touch My Hat • artist: Lyle Lovett

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sixteen Tons

I have a 16-pound turkey in my refrigerator but nothing for dinner!

song: Sixteen Tons • artist: Tennessee Ernie Ford

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Suzie Q

Today was H's first day at the elementary school's preschool. He marched right in like a little trooper.
A little trooper with his stuffed dog named Silo under his arm that is.
He came home with his very own library book: Busy Beavers. The beavers are even busier after they have babies, and, as it turns out, it's really fun to say "baby beavers." Try it ten times fast - you'll see.
Morning preschool left me some extra time for Thanksgiving dinner shopping. Here's my unabashed plug for Bongi's Turkey Roost in Duxbury. This is the third year in a row I've gone there for our turkey. I could have waited until Sunday when the fresh birds go on sale but I settled for the shorter line and the frozen bird. The cashier, however, remarked that even frozen my turkey was so fresh it was likely "she was walking around last week." Then she gave the bird an affectionate pat and called her Suzie.

song: Suzie Q • artist: Creedence Clearwater Revival

Monday, November 17, 2008

Take Good Care Of My Baby

Yes, I watch CSI Miami (sorry Sue!). Anyone see tonight's show? Don't you think Horatio showed poor judgement in not waiting until the couple paid for the baby before swooping in to take it? Instead he initiated a high-speed chase between himself and the kidnapper with the baby in the back of the SUV.
I think Horatio is slipping. You know what he needs? He needs a long walk on the beach.

song: Take Good Care Of My Baby • artist: Bobby Vee

Christmas Wishes

The paper's been collecting "wishes for the new year" from area school children for publication in the holiday gift guide. I'm not done typing them up yet but early polls indicate that the number one wish of elementary school children on the Upper Cape is that people would stop littering. It's akin to dating services where everyone professes to loving long walks on the beach. I'm pretty sure even singles in Kansas love long walks on the beach. Even when it's not their first wish the kids will include littering as an afterthought - world peace and that people would stop littering. End of the Iraq war and that people would stop littering. A plasma tv for my room, my own cell phone, an iPod, and, for people to stop littering.
Come to think of it that's my wish for the new year too.
Excuse me while I go take a long walk on the beach now...

song: Christmas Wishes • artist: Anne Murray

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Be My Baby

Just what the world needs, another boy. Congratulations Grampie Glenway and for the record, the phrase "I can't wait to see my boys hangin' out with your boys," makes me picture a group of adolescents males with their knickers down. But maybe I just need to grow up.
According to his proud grandfather, little Xavier Maxon likes fast cars, Latin music and women who can speak Russian. He dislikes racial stereotyping and women with breasts that are larger than their heads.
Sure he's cute now but just wait three years till he's jumping off the couch repeatedly and spewing a constant stream of potty talk.

song: Be My Baby • artist: the Ronettes

My Ride's Here

H ran around the living room this morning. He jumped off the couch. He jumped over his little brothers like they were hurdles on a track. He ran from the playroom to the living room and back again numerous times. He was driving me nutty and it was only 10:30. After flu shots for everyone (is there anything more fun than taking four kids to a flu shot clinic?), we went to my new most favorite place in the whole town, the not-yet-finished bike path extension. As soon as we got onto the path H announced he wanted to sit on the front of the stroller and ride.
No ride for you my friend. No ride for you.

song: My Ride's Here • artist: Bruce Springsteen

10 Miles to go on a 9-Mile Road

Even though Tina thought I had my act together on Friday I confess that I didn't tell her, as Paul Harvey would say, "the rest of the story." I didn't mention my walk to the elementary school and how on the way back I checked my watch and was horrified to see that if I didn't hustle I was going to miss our appointment. "I hope she's not the type to arrive early," I fretted as I started skipping through slow tunes on my iPod in an effort to pick up the pace. "Why didn't I download 'You Shook Me All Night Long,'" I lamented. "That song always gets me going."
With mere moments to space, I raced the twins up our road, parked the stroller, grabbed them out, ran them inside and put them in their highchairs. I threw some leftovers in the microwave, hoping that Tina would understand if I ate in front of her (Mommy's very grouchy when she's hungry), and assumed the position of someone who was more than ready to entertain guests.
Then I looked at the clock in the dining room. It read 1:10. "That's funny" I thought - "she's not suppose to be here until 2." It was then I remembered that I hadn't been able to reset my wristwatch to standard time earlier this month because the winding stem is stuck. This was the first time I had not remembered that my watch was on daylight savings time, while the rest of the world - not so much.
So, I breathed a big sigh of relief that no one was around to see me make such a ridiculous mistake and then helped myself to more leftover chili. Tina was right on time.

song: 10 Miles to go on a 9-Mile Road • artist: Jim White

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Girl Can't Help It

One of tonight's Google news bites from CNN.com read, "Palin: I'd be honored to help Obama."
Lots of people probably think Palin has already done more than enough to help Obama.

song: Girl Can't Help It • artist: Journey

Monday, November 10, 2008

Road to Nowhere II

Did I mention their international travel?
At Giza, they wanted to walk like an Egyptian, but had to settle for being pushed in the stroller.

At the Acropolis, it was all Greek to them.

We all agreed that stonehenge was "just like in Spinal Tap!"

Our trip to the outback. Good day mates.

It was a challenge getting the stroller to the top of Everest, thank heavens for those Sherpas. The twins really enjoyed the view.

song: Road to Nowhere • artist: Talking Heads

Road to Nowhere

The twins have had a busy ten months. They've been a lot of places and seen a lot of things but it's hard to tell that from looking at them.
(The Buttonwood Zoo in New Bedford, March)

(The Coffee O Five, Town Hall Square, May)

(Touch A Truck Day in Sandwich, June)

(Apple Picking in Connecticut, September)

(Sandwich Fish Hatchery, November)

song: Road to Nowhere • artist: Talking Heads

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Seven Words You Can't Say On The Radio

"Da bus! Da bus!" H greets the afternoon bus with the same enthusiasm that Tattoo used to announce the Fantasy Island plane. He's also getting more clever with his potty talk. Like the Renaissance masters who got circumvented taboo surrounding the drawing of nude women by drawing nude "biblical" women like Bathsheba at her Bath, he's figured out that if he can work the potty talk into conversation then it's more acceptable.
Yesterday when Ken came home he went upstairs as per usual to change his clothes.
H followed. "Why are you taking off your pants, daddy? Did you pee pee in them?"
Pretty soon he'll be taking up fishing just so he can request a subscription to Crappie World.

monologue: Seven Words You Can't Say On The Radio • artist: George Carlin

Treat My Baby Good

Proof that we used the costumes Priscilla gave the twins. And even though we canvased the neighborhood on Halloween with the them dressed up, no one gave them any forumula for trick or treat.

song: Treat My Baby Good • artist: Bobby Darin

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Up On The Roof

My neighbor is building an addition to his house. My single, childless neighbor that is; but I'm trying not to be bitter about it. This week a roofing crew has been doing some work. There's a man in the crew that looks just like Santa. It might just be Santa - why not? Santa's got to do something during the off-season, and it's likely he's comfortable up on roofs.

song: Up On The Roof • artist: The Drifters

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A Fine, Fine Day

It's been a long time since anyone I voted for won the White House - so for today, even my three year old's constant stream of poopy talk can't dampen my mood.

song: A Fine, Fine day • artist: Tony Carey

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Voices Carry II

song: Voices Carry • artist: Til Tuesday

Voices Carry

If a three year old uses "bathroom talk" in the forest, will his older brother still rat him out by telling me about it?

song: Voices Carry • artist: Til Tuesday

Sunday, November 02, 2008

belated clerihew for lyle

Lyle Lovett, birthday man,
sings a song like no one can.
A gift for him I'd buy if only,
I had a boat, or else a pony.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Double Vision

Before I knew I was having twins, twins weren't even on my radar. Tthe only twins I knew were Ann and Judy from high school and maybe the Billings brothers. Were they twins? They kind of looked alike and they were both in the same grade.
But now, it seems that everyone I meet has a twin connection. It's like when you meet someone from Canada and you have to tell them that you have relatives in Nova Scotia or when you meet another Simmons College alumna.
I feel like I'm trying to be Kitty Baker but here's a portion of the ever growing list of twin associations I've made in the past 18 months
-My wonderful co-workers: Esther, who is a twin, and Mary, who is the mother of twins
-Michelle at the toy store whose twin brother Michael used to be my coworker
The husband of the grandmotherly woman we met at the toy store
-The fabulous Chef Ralph who has a twin brother who is no doubt equally fabulous
-The bank teller's mother who told me that her mother and her aunt would frequently pick out the same birthday card to send each other
-The assistant at the elementary school preschool who has twins and also has observed that once you have twins, twins are everywhere.
-William's mom
-Two of the nurses in the maternity department are mothers of twins as is one of the sales clerks at Cold Water Creek
-The McCusker sisters who aren't twins but are both the mothers of twins
-Half Way's mom
-The mom I met in the the children's museum who is president of her local Mothers of Twins club back home in California
-The owners of Cape Cod Kite who have twin sons
-Grant at community gardens who has a twin brother named Gordon
-The anesthesiologist at Children's Hospital who has twin sons that are 15 years old
-The sale clerk at Mahoney's whose sister gave birth (with her husband's assistance) to twins on the side of the road in two different towns
-Emily, who is the person I can least likely see (besides myself) as the mother of twins
-Doug's distant relations who live on a distant island and speak their own language
-Creator of Ramona the Brave and Runaway Ralph, Beverly Clearly is the mother of twins
-and finally: The guy who shouted, "I was one of those!" at me as I was pushing the double stroller down the hill from Highfield Hall

song: Double Vision • artist: Foreigner

Tuesday Afternoon

This is for all those people waving their campaign signs at every intersection in town.
You want my vote on Tuesday?
Come by and babysit my three year old for a few hours and I'll consider it.

song: Tuesday Afternoon • artist: The Moody Blues

Everybody Wants to Rule the World

The other day someone called for Ken and asked him to vote no on question one. Caller ID saved me from picking up. Maybe if I had they would have asked me to vote no as well but as it was I was left feeling neglected. Not only do I stay home with my kids all day - no one cares how I feel about question one.
Hello! There are two adults listed on our census form!
C is interested in the election. He said that he thinks we should get together all the people who are running for president and ask them questions. He has just reinvented the presidential debate. Of course he naively thinks that the candidates might actually answer the questions. He says that if he were elected president the first thing he would do would be to stop the war in Iraq.
He has my vote.

song: Everybody Wants to Rule the World • artist: Tears for Fears

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


People assume that because I have four kids, I know what it means when one of them is crying.
Sometimes I even assume it myself, but beyond crying because they are hungry or crying because they are wet, I'm at just as much of a loss when my fourth baby cries as I was six years ago when I was new at this game.
I take solace, however, in being in good company. On Friday night N cried from midnight to 3:30AM for what seemed like no reason. He wasn't hungry. He wasn't wet. He wasn't being poked him in the eye by H. Ken and I were clueless.
The next evening Ken took N with him to pick up his relay number for Sunday's marathon. Mary Jo Bradley took one look at N and noted that his two bottom teeth were starting to come in.
C wants to know when I'm going to wear a costume for Halloween. Doesn't he know that I'm wearing my mommy-pretending-to-know-what-she's-doing costume almost every day?

song: Pretending • artist: Eric Clapton

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Newspapers won't say it because they want to keep selling papers right up until November 4th but I've got nothing to loose: Obama is going kick some maverick pitt bull butt next week.

song: Landslide • artist: Fleetwood Mac

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Get Together

We dodged trick or treating on Main Street today but while C and I were searching for the Nora's birthday gift in Eight Cousins a brother and sister came in and asked the cashier for candy. They weren't wearing costumes but the mother explained that all the other stores were giving out candy so they figured the bookstore would be too. There's an idea. Let's dispense with the costumes and simply fork over the candy. Maybe I'm just bitter because I spent two weeks on the couch making costumes but "all the other stores were doing it?" Give me a break. What's that? Retail peer pressure? Next all the stores on Main Street will be heading out to jump off the Bourne Bridge together.

song: Get Together • artist: The Youngbloods

This One's For You

Here's a photo for ant expert Adam Lazarus - wherever he may be. Adam - this bug's for you.

And here's a photo of Al Mac's diner in Fall River where we had dinner last night. What a great diner though I was disappointed their neon wasn't on when we left. I didn't correct the waitress when she said that it dated back to 1910. I supposed when one is 17 the difference between 1910 and 1953 is negligible.

song: This One's For You • artist: Barry Manilow

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I Hear You Knocking

We joined the 20 century inadvertently when switching telephone providers left us with Caller ID.
Caller ID - how did I survive 40 years on the planet without this device? To think I used to wait for the answering machine to pick up before deciding whether or not to talk to the person on the other end of the line. Now I can choose to ignore spammers (and Ken's running buddies) mid ring. I love that I can see who's calling even when they don't leave a message.
Everyday the American Cancer Society calls.
They never leave a message.
Ken says that it's a machine dialing the number and I have to pick up or they'll just keep calling.
I think it's a test of endurance, and battle of wills; and as long as I refuse to pick up - I'm winning.

song: I Hear Your Knocking • artist: Dave Edmunds

Monday, October 20, 2008

Take the Long Way Home

On Friday the twins and I walked to C's school to deliver the bag of wreath-making materials he insisted he couldn't take on the bus. I was interested in knowing how long it would take to walk there. It took 50 minutes. I could have sped up bit and I had to stop to fuss with the iPod, which fit down my shirt a lot better when I was exclusively nursing. I'm sure I could shave five minutes off my time. Forty-five minutes sounds much shorter than 50.
On the way I picked up a few returnable cans that were by the side of the road. Normally I would be embarrassed to have people see me collecting cans, but wearing headphones gives the illusion of anonymity. It also seems more acceptable to collect cans while pushing a double baby stroller - I'm not a scrounge, I'm just frugal, I'm saving for college. At one point a guy walking on the other side of the street even picked up a can and brought it over.
Of course when you're me, even picking up cans is fraught with moral dilemmas such as: a) Shouldn't I be picking up all those empty water bottles as well? Do I care about the environment or just about the nickel? b) What about all those plastic bags? c) How far down the embankment should I go to retrieve a beer can? d) Is that poison ivy?
Has anyone noticed the high amount of road kill lately? On the way to school, which I estimate to be a three-mile walk, I passed two dead squirrels, one skunk, one snake, and something so decomposed as to be rendered unidentifiable. I was surprised by this because it's off season now and there must be fewer cars on the road. Over the weekend we also passed a dead rabbit, other unfortunate squirrels, and a very unlucky black cat on Route 151. I'm glad my kids were arguing (both times) when we drove by the cat and didn't it. At least the crows and the turkey vultures are eating well.
Whenever I see road kill I'm always reminded of Neal Larsson who said once that he used to tell his daughter that animals in the road were "just sleeping." C never would have fallen for that.
On the way back I stopped the stroller at Old Silver Beach and we all had a snack. Someone had left a television in the parking lot. They were litter bugs but litter bugs with a bit of a conscience. They wanted that television to be seen and removed. Real litter bugs would have dumped it in the wetlands between the back parking lot and Quaker Road. Not only that, they were thorough too. They left the cable box right next to it.

song: Take the Long Way Home • artist: Supertramp

Friday, October 17, 2008

It Ain't Over Yet

Here's my reward for being obsessive enough to make my kids' halloween costumes - it kept me up late enough to watch the Red Sox come back last night.
Full disclosure compels me to reveal that I was only watching the game because I couldn't find any more Sex in the City reruns, but it didn't lesson my glory when Ken came downstairs minutes after the final pitch.
I feel bad for all those fans who left Fenway in the seventh inning. If only they had brought along their unfinished halloween costumes to work on at the park.

song: It Ain't Over Yet • artist: the Allman Brothers

Thursday, October 16, 2008

House of the Rising Sun

On the one hand I'm glad we weren't following the story of Dennis the wayward manatee. Now I don't have to explain that he didn't make it.
On the other hand I may have missed a chance to emphasize to my kids that some things are out of our hands and that no matter how hard you try, some final outcomes are impossible to control. Of course they'll learn that sad fact pretty quickly with or without Dennis the manatee as an example.
From the couch the other night I yelled to Ken, "why didn't they drive the manatee to Florida? Why was it in a van? What good is a van?" Because like the rest of Cape Cod, I'm now a couch-potato manatee expert. "There are all sorts of people who need help but everyone's up in arms about a manatee," said my unmoved husband. And of course he has a point but people are going to get excited and donate their time and money to the cause that moves them most, regardless of all the other seemingly more worthy things they could be doing with their time and money.
The announcement this week of Gov. Patrick's budget cut backs provides just the fodder to fuel the argument that always takes place when someone points out that many thousands of dollars are being spent on an animal or animal group while at the same time money is being taken away from groups that help children, single parents, the elderly, veterans, families, you name it.
This will never change though because many people simply love animals. Animals in the Enterprise newsroom elicit the same responses as the twins. Lots of oooohing, aaaaahing and gawking. Babies, puppies, manatees - it's all the same. Why is this? Well I'm no psychologist, any more than I'm a manatee expert, but here's my theory. Beyond the cuteness factor, animals get the same response as babies because like babies, they are perceived as innocent and therefore uncomplicated. It seems easy to help them. It makes us feel good to think that we have helped them. They can't talk back to let us know whether or not we helped so we're left feeling good regardless of the final outcome.
Now I'm no social worker either but I'm on a role here so don't try to stop me. People, on the other hand, have baggage, are complicated, and don't always want our help.
Many years ago, when I worked at a local print shop, we befriended a homeless man named Ed when I let him use our telephone and then couldn't persuade him to hang up.
Ed became something of a regular fixture, coming into the shop six or more times in one afternoon, talking to himself, cursing at the UPS driver, and spending a lot of time in our bathroom, once trimming his hair in it. Ed was definitely not cute. He was definitely complicated. He came with actual baggage in addition to his emotional baggage (which we let him keep outside the store and when it was mistaken for garbage and thrown out, even though technically that's what it was, Ed blamed the upstairs tenants.) To his credit, Todd, the store manager tried everything he could think of to help Ed. He really did. He called and spoke with Ed's case manager, he gave him food and soda, he drove Ed to a shelter in Hyannis (Ed was back the next day). In the end, even though my guess is that Todd did more for Ed than most shop owners would, nothing he did really helped Ed. He finally left when the weather got cold, his case manager said that Ed usually spent his winters in Florida.
No doubt Ed would have gone by van, but he got to Florida on the bus.

song: House of the Rising Sun • artist: The Animals

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bad Moon Rising

On my way upstairs tonight to fold the never-decreasing pile of clean laundry that has become my bedroom, I heard number-one son crying in his bed.
"What's wrong?" I asked, to no response except for more crying.
"Do you feel sick?"
"Does your stomach hurt?"
"Did you have a bad dream?"
"Does your throat hurt?"
"Are you hot?"
"Are you cold?"
"Are you thirsty?"
"Did you wake up and feel lonely?"
"Are you worried about daddy's dwindling pension?"
"Are you worried about the Red Sox?"
Wouldn't it just be easier if he would tell me what was wrong instead of leaving me to guess?
I never found out what the problem was since by the time I returned with an (unrequested) glass of water, he'd fallen back to sleep.
Ken made me go outside and check out the full moon tonight. It was as if he was Cher's romantic uncle from Moonstruck. Me, I'm usually in more of an Olympia Dukasis "your life's going down the toilet!" vein and if you don't believe me, just read the last post. Somehow, though, the full moon makes it easier to get up in the middle of the night when, inevitably, someone is crying. It's just a little less lonely with all that light coming through the bathroom window.
See, I told you my life's going down the toilet.

song: Bad Moon Rising • artist: Creedence Clearwater Revival

Sunday, October 12, 2008

It's My Turn

We managed not to loose anyone at the Fryeburg Fair without having to put leashes on our kids. There were a few tethered kids on the fairgrounds and I guess if you have a kid who's prone to running off, it's a good idea. Remarkably, I didn't hear any loud speaker announcements for lost children or parents. Twice, though, we almost lost Silo, H's favorite stuffed puppy dog.
In the Natural Resources Building C wanted to buy a weasel pelt for $10. He could have gotten the skin off a coyote skull for only $3 or a raccoon tail for $6. Instead he came away with a disturbing coloring book titled "Utilizing Maine's Fur Resources," which was free and gave him the opportunity to color objects like long spring, under spring, coil spring, and body griping traps; not to mention the somewhat more humane and least-likely-to-ruin-a-good-ten-dollar pelt box trap.
The farm museum at the fair contained a massive display of antique odds and ends that was probably the final resting place for the many attic, garage, and basement collectibles that every house inevitably contains. The display of chain saws was staggering.
In addition to bathrooms for both men and women, plus a family bathroom, there was a "mothers' lounge." I pictured a bunch of mothers in there sitting around smoking, drinking, and playing video poker. There was no video poker at the fair that I could see (I didn't check the mothers' lounge), but you could bet on the harness racing and there was a big tent for bingo, and a smaller one for poker.
We paid $24 for four of us to ride the Ferris wheel making the next day's $24 per person admission to Story Land seem like a real bargain.
Shopping is popular at the fair - and not just for my as yet non-existant "I stood in line to see the pigs" t-shirt. We saw people going by with so many purchases they'd filled up their baby strollers and were now forced to carry their offspring.
You know what George Carlin would have said about that don't you? "That's all a stroller is, it's just a place to keep your stuff." One group went by with a stroller jammed full of goods and not a toddler in sight. Hopefully he (or she) was waiting with a relative to use the family bathroom.
The booth that was selling "the world's most absorbent towel" was doing a brisk business. Everyone we passed seemed to have bought one. I thought that there must be a booth offering orange yoga mats at a great price, maybe overstock because of the non-relaxing fluorescent orange color. That's what the world's most absorbent towel looks like - a rolled up, bright orange, yoga mat. These towels were selling for $20 each and lots of people were carrying around not one, but two of them. It seems like a lot of money for weird-looking towels. Why for $40 (plus $2 more) you and six of your closest friends could take a spin on the Ferris wheel.
Auntie Martha and Stephen met us at the fair. C was delighted and I think H was too though he wouldn't let Stephen escort him to the bathroom - family or otherwise.
The Natural Resources Building also included a booth with a display of very real-looking rubber scat. It was the hands on version of Everybody Poops and C couldn't get enough of it. Auntie Martha enlightened us by explaining that moose poop (I mean scat) is larger in the summer than in the winter because of changes in the moose's diet.
In addition to rubber scat, the real thing was in abundance at the fair. What is an agricultural fair for if not to watch various animals defecate? My kids were constantly pointing out super interesting things like, "look mommy! that cow just stepped in his own poop."
"That's an ox, honey."
"Look mommy! that ox just stepped in his own poop."
Speaking of poop, I was throughly impressed with the caliber of the restroom attendants. I wonder if they travel with fairs or if they were just local help. They certainly earned every dollar tip they were collecting - and they were collecting plenty - enough for a whole set of those super absorbent towels. The women minding the bathrooms were friendly and efficient. They would tell the people at the head of the line what stall was opening up so you knew exactly were to go without having to bend over and check for feet. It was a bit like being in a horse race.
"Number 14," Dee would yell, adding, "Number 14's heading out of the stall. And she's out ladies, she's out!"
One attendant was so good I heard her say, with her back to the stalls, I hear the toilet flushing in number 11 honey."

song: It's My Turn • artist: Diana Ross

Friday, October 10, 2008

Safety Bounce

We can bounce if we want to

We can leave your friends behind

'Cause your friends don't bounce and if they don't bounce

Well they're no friends of mine

We can go where we want to

A place where they will never find

And we can act like we come from out of this world

Leave the real one far behind
And we can bounce

I say, we can bounce, we can bounce

Everything out of control

We can bouce, we can bounce

We're doing it from wall to wall

We can bounce, we can bounce

Everybody look at your hands

We can bounce, we can bounce
Everybody takin' the chance

song: Safety Bounce • artist: Twins Without Hats

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Pretty in Pink

This is a picture taken while we were waiting in line to see the hogs at the Fryeburg Fair on Saturday. That's right folks, we waited in line to see pigs. When it was finally our turn we only got to see the pigs on the right side of the barn, since, in addition to the line we had been waiting in, there was also a steady stream of traffic going in the other direction.
Therefore I don't know if there was some super incredible, terrific, humble, radiant pigs in the pens on the left side of the barn - all I saw were a lot of big pigs and some cute piglets on the right. Were they cute enough to stand in line for? Absolutely. I've stood in line for less. Mostly, though, I think people were standing in line for the same reason I did - so they could say that they did.
There's another good phrase to put on a t-shirt: "I stood in line to see pigs at the Freyburg Fair."

song: Pretty in Pink • artist: The Psychedelic Furs

Thursday, October 02, 2008

This Old Porch

This morning N spit up, which is a nice way of saying puked, all over historic highfield hall when we dropped off H at the cooking class he refuses to actually participate in.
I felt like giving my best church lady impersonation and saying, "well, isn't THAT special?" Thankfully he missed the oriental run and the reproduction vintage wall paper - projectile vomiting with precision accuracy on the gorgeously refinishing hardwood floors.
A volunteer quickly rustled up some historic paper towels.

song: This Old Porch • artist: Lyle Lovett

Monday, September 29, 2008

Last Song

Alan O'Day, as I'm sure everyone knows, wrote and performed the chart topping 1977 song Undercover Angel. He's also the writer behind the hits Angie Baby and Rock 'n' Roll Heaven. If I were Barry Scott conducting a Lost 45s where-are-they-now interview with Mr. O'Day, I'd say that Mr. O'Day has a long awaited new album out, his first in 28 years. It's titled "I Hear Voices" and you can hear voices - Mr. O'Day's that is - at www.alanoday.com where you can also purchase or download the CD.
Unfortunately, if I were Barry Scott, I'd be too busy planning to appeal a recent fine in an alleged disturbing the police incident that happened right here on Provincetown, Cape Cod last summer and reeks of being a hate crime, to properly focus on the interview.
But I guess that's a story for another day.

song: Last Song • artist: Edward Bear

rain (a couplet)

more rain brings
mushroom rings.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Mysterious Ways

Last Sunday C came downstairs and told me there was a butterfly, or a moth, in his window and it couldn't fly very well because it must be a "young" moth. I followed him upstairs and saw a very large, very furry butterfly, wings flapping (thumping really) against C's window.
We put it in the terrarium.
After careful consideration it was IDs as a mourning cloak. Mourning cloak seems like a somber name for a butterfly, but it's fitting. It looks like a woman wearing a long black cloak with just a hint of white petticoat peaking out from underneath.
The guidebook said they like to eat rotten fruit so we put a few slices of tomato in the terrarium with the butterfly.
On Monday morning I was putting away laundry in our bedroom and I heard a "flap, flap, flap." There was another mourning cloak bumping up against the window above Ken's desk.
That one went in the terrarium too.
I wonder where they are coming from?
I was on the lookout Tuesday morning but there haven't been any more since.
Insects are mysterious aren't they? Why is it, for example, that no matter how often I vacuum under the baseboard heaters, I always see dead bugs there.
Imagine what life was like before the invention of the vacuum cleaner. When people had to actually touch dead bugs and cobwebs.

song: Mysterious Ways • artist: U2

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Hand in my Pocket II

H doesn't hold his you-know-what while he's peeing. I try to encourage him to in the desperate hope we can keep the bathroom clean. It's ironic because for the other 23 hours in the day he's got one hand firmly planted around it and my rout response is, "take your hand out of your pants."
His other hand is up his nose where he assures me, in fact, that there is, "treasure up there."
I'm afraid he might grow up to be like that creepy guy in the sweat pants my college boyfriend and I used to see in the newspaper and magazine shop in Copley Plaza. I'd be reading American Photographer, Tom would be into Muscle and Fitness, and as for Mr. Sweat Pants - I don't remember what he was reading but he always had one hand in his pocket and he wasn't looking for spare change.

song: Hand in my Pocket II • artist: Alanis Morissette

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Eye Onle Hav i's 4 U

Okay, okay, I remember all those nice, supportive things I said to you about the public schools; but you never mentioned "inventive spelling."
Do the folks at National Punctuation Day know about this?

song: Eye Onle Hav i's 4 U • artist: The Lettermen

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I'm Walkin'

A series of events triggered by yesterday's half-day of school found me pushing the twins around Pine Bay at 9AM instead of at our usual time which is after dinner. I feel self conscious pushing babies around in a stroller in the morning because I think that I must look like some kind of wealthy yuppie suburban stay-at-home mom; when really I'm a middle class, aging hippy, part-time worker mom, currently procrastinating on the fall home and garden stories she should be writing.
As on most trips I had my iPod on and was listening to all my favorite NPR shows the kids interrupt over the weekend. This morning the podcast was Wait Wait Don't Tell Me. The "Not My Job" segment featured Leonard Nimoy. As I'm not much of a Trekkie I'd never noticed that Leonard Nimoy sounds exactly like my Uncle Mike. As I continued walking, I pondered this coincidence. "Is my uncle a Vulcan?" I wondered. Engineers are, by nature, logical people. But then came the more obvious answer; Peter Sagal mentioned that Leonard Nimoy grew up in Boston.
At the end of the walk, just barely audible over the din of lawn mowers and leaf blowers, I heard fall. It was the sound of acorns falling off oak trees in my front yard.
We needed two blankets on the bed last night.

song: I'm Walkin' • artist: Fats Domino

Hand in my Pocket

Aren't pockets in baby clothes funny? As if babies have anything they need to carry around.
There are no pockets in any of the three hemp skirts I alternate wearing on a daily basis. I could stick my spare change in S&N's pockets but it would just be a choking hazard.

song: Hand in my Pocket • artist: Alanis Morissette

Monday, September 22, 2008

I'll Tumble 4 Ya

At the Richard's family clam bake this weekend H amused himself by climbing atop a rock and throwing his stuffed dog down a small hill. This was how he occupied himself when he wasn't entreating Bob and Hindy's guests into pitching him the tennis ball.
When it got to dark to hit the tennis ball or to find the doggie in the dirt he made up a new game in which the object was for him to pour water from two water bottles into a single paper cup and then straight onto the ground.
There was another three year old at the party - a little girl. When she saw H engaged in the puppy toss, she decided that if it was good enough for the puppy, it was good enough for her baby doll. While watching your toddler throw his stuffed animal may elicit responses like, "poor puppy," or "puppy is going to get a head ache if you keep that up," there's something darkly disturbing about seeing a doll get hurled down a hill. It seems downright sadistic.
Later she switched to one of her Disney Princess Barbie dolls. Now that I didn't mind seeing thrown, by her hair, down a hill. Anyone for migraine Barbie?

song: I'll Tumble 4 Ya • artist: Culture Club

Fall Couplet #4

I like Fall
best of all.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Getting Better

Good news!
His made-up jokes are starting to get better.
At least these two:

Q: What bear likes rain?
A: A drizzly bear

Q: What fish costs the most money?
A: A gold fish

song: Getting Better • artist: The Beatles

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Pirate Looks at 40

There are two important holidays coming up that I think you ought to know about since you likely didn't read the memo and missed out on National Anthem Day. The first is International Talk Like a Pirate Day on Friday September 19 and the second is National Punctuation Day on September 24.
What if the two were combined? Then it would be Talk Like An International-Gramatically-Correct Pirate. That wouldn't be much fun.
I like how Talk Like a Pirate Day is an international phenomenon while Punctuation Day is only a nation-wide event. Must be because everyone in the world knows what "Arrrrr!" means while nobody really know when to use a semi-colon.

song: A Pirate Looks at 40 • artist: Jimmy Buffett

Monday, September 15, 2008

Old Time Rock and Roll

Scarecrow: I haven't got a brain... only straw.
Dorothy: How can you talk if you haven't got a brain?
Scarecrow: I don't know... But some people without brains do an awful lot of talking... don't they?
Dorothy: Yes, I guess you're right.

We borrowed The Wizard of Oz from the library and watched it Saturday night. I had forgotten it contained so many witty lines. It was C's first full-length feature film that didn't require reading the book as a prerequisite; except for March of the Penguins which didn't count because it was a documentary. When it was over he declared that he was "never going to watch that again," because it was "too scary." H said nothing, but cried when we put him to bed.
Great. They are both traumatized. Come to think of it those flying monkeys were pretty scary.
Speaking of scary, I saw in the paper that the 25th anniversary release of Risky Business is now available. How is that possible? Why it seems like only yesterday that Miles (the ubiquitous sidekick) uttered the immortal lines: "I've got a trig midterm tomorrow, and I'm being chased by Guido the killer pimp."

song: Old Time Rock and Roll • artist: Bob Seger

Bus Stop

The president screwed with daylight savings, why couldn't he do something useful and initial the 48-hour day so I could have the time to get things done?
When C started kindergarten earlier this month I didn't realize it was going to be so exhausting for me. I guess I didn't think it through very well or it would have been obvious. First there's having to get up at 7:15 every morning, which, while not excruciatingly early is still early when you consider that I'm not in bed much before midnight (I'm usually still aimlessly wandering around my house at midnight randomly picking up out-of-place things and putting them where they belong), plus I'm still up at least once a night with one of the twins.
Instead of having to get up three mornings a week like last year, now it's five mornings plus I have to walk him to the bus stop when last year I sent him off with Ken. I have to pack lunch - lunch and a snack. I also have to pack lunch for H three days a week. I know that it's not physically tiring to have to drive H to preschool or to pick him up and then meet C at the bus stop but it takes an emotional toll, especially trying to keep H from running into the street while we wait for C's afternoon bus.
Then there's reading all the notes from the school and making sure C has red, white, and blue on in order to celebrate National Anthem Day; that must be the holiday with which they've replaced Christmas. There are notes from the PTO about various fund-raising efforts, too many packages to choose from for school picture day and the need to keep up with vitally important events like ice-cream-at-lunch day, which is Thursday and last week I forgot to give C 75¢ so he could get himself a frozen treat.
C's favorite part of school? Riding the bus.

song: Bus Stop • artist: The Hollies

Saturday, September 13, 2008


I may be a luddite at heart but thank heavens for digital photography. I'd go broke printing up the other 44 shots where they aren't both smiling.

song: Kodachrome • artist: Paul Simon

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Candy Everybody Wants

Where would we be without irony?
Nowhere funny that's for sure.
On Monday we picked vegetables from our garden at the service center. The center is open late on Mondays and C takes a certain amount of pride in bringing our vegetables inside the building and giving them to the volunteers. Where's the glory in leaving your vegetables in a cooler on the porch?
So he hand-delivered a half-dozen, beta-carotene rich carrots and a sandwich bag full of burgundy beans to the center. In return the volunteers gave him a bag of M&Ms.

song: Candy Everybody Wants • artist: 10,000 Maniacs

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

April Come She Will

My kids, especially the newly-minted six year old, are heavily into the joke and knock-knock phase. In the kiddie chonology of phases I believe the joke and knock-knock phase comes directly after dinosaur obsession.
The only problem (well not the only problem) is that even though I checked several books of jokes and riddles out of the library, C insists on making up his own.
And they're not funny.

Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?
A: Because he didn't know where he was going.

Q. What's black and white and read all over?
A. A rotten tomato

knock knock
who's there?
volcano who?
volcanos with poisonous gas are coming!
(now see that one's just downright scary)

What's worse is his (and H's) misguided attachment to April Fool's Day.
Could someone please explain to my children that April Fool's Day jokes are only funny on April Fool's Day? That there's no such thing as June Fools, or August Fools, or September 3rd Fools. That April Fool's Day jokes done on any other day than the first day of April are just obnoxious and unfunny? Shaking up daddy's beer and putting it back inside the fridge would not be funny. It migh not be funny even on April Fool's Day but at least on April Fool's Day it would be forgiven.
And then there's H. Thanks to C, he now has no concept whatsoever of what April Fool's Day is - if he ever had a concept to begin with. He'll throw toys down the stairs or pitch books over his shoulder and yell, "April Fools!" In other words he'll do bad things and then yell April Fools. This of course upsets C who at least wants to preserve the sanctity of April Fool's Day - he just wants to drag it out over 365 days.
I can't remember what bad thing it was that H did on Saturday and yelled "April Fools!" after. Was it when he was trying to take away C's dig a dinosaur birthday party present? Maybe it was when he was rocking one of the twins super fast in his bouncy seat, or throwing the ball at the back screen door. Maybe it was when he was pulling all the socks out of his basket or crying in the Waquoit Feed and Grain because I wouldn't buy a doggie toy for his stuffed doggie.
Oddly, it wasn't when he was performing his worst, "that's not okay" act of the day. That one was a joint venture with C. I brought out the gift for Anthony's party, put in down on the bed in the guest room, and went to answer the phone. I'm a minute into my conversation when I notice they've opened the birthday gift and they've playing with it. What's up wth that? Here's C with presents from his own party he hasn't even opened yet, but this one he can't leave alone for a minute. So I get mad at them and C starts crying uncontrollably and just at that moment Ken returns from his run and no one can tell him why everyone's crying because C's hyperventilating and I'm trying (trying!) to have a normal phone conversation. H was unfazed by the whole thing. He couldn't who understand why it wasn't okay to open Anthony's present and play with it before giving it to Anthony in the first place.
H did it again on Sunday. He wildly swung the toys hanging from the twins jungle gym, narrowly missing N who was underneath it and yelled "April Fools!"
April Fools seems to offer H some kind of get-out-of-jail-free card for any type of bad behavior.
I'm trying hard not to yell, "that's bad!" at him or otherwise crush his spirit as they say in the world of Montessori education, but can I not crush his spirit and still wring his neck at the same time?
I am getting some good ideas for next year though. For Ken I was thinking one of those snakes that jump out of a fake can of nuts. For C, Oreo cookies taken apart with the cream centers replaced, maybe with cream cheese. In the book Arthur's April Fool the centers were replaced with toothpaste which C immediately wanted to mimic. Doesn't Marc Brown know that the ADA recommends no one eat more than a "pea-sized amount" of toothpaste? H would relish a toothpaste Oreo cookie. I am always catching him licking the toothpaste cap.

song: April Come She Will • artist: Simon and Garfunkel

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Devil Inside

It seems as if I must have already covered this topic from top to bottom but having observed yet another kiddie party this weekend, I'd like to say a few more words about piñatas.
First of all, according to Wikipedia, no one knows the true origins of the piñata. You can bet, however, that a game in which blindfolded children wield sticks wasn't invented by a mother. Can't you see us all standing around wringing our hands and yelling, "stop! you'll put your eye out!"
One piñata hypothesis is that the piñatas itself once represented the devil and the goodies inside represented the blessings he is withholding. This makes the idea of beating the crap out of the piñata a little easier to stomach. "Take that you Beelzebub, you!" Wham! Wham! Wham!
There's still a bit of the devil left in the seemingly innocuous piñata birthday bash. This is true even when parents go in for the non-violent, pull-the-individual-ribbons-till-the-loot-falls-out-style piñata. On Saturday I witnessed 15 birthday-party attendees all lined up to pull piñata ribbons. It's amazing how straight a line a group of five year olds can form when there's candy to be had. Not able to stand to suspense, or perhaps because he was possessed by the devil, the fourth kid in line proceeded to grab all the ribbons at once and give them a good yank thereby dislodging every ribbon but the one which would release the candy.
Once the candy started being shaken onto, ironically in the case of this party, the floor of the church parish hall, all hell broke loose. In a nanosecond, those orderly, lined up kids, morphed into something out of the Lord of the Flies. I'm just thankful my kid's nickname isn't Piggy.

song: Devil Inside • artist: INXS

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad

Has anyone heard this? At Courtney and Carolyn's post road race party I met a woman who told me that as far as the number of children in one's family goes, three is the new two. I took that to mean families are getting larger. It's a little confusing with 40 being the new 30 and all. Am I 40 with four children or 30 with three children. She didn't tell me what four is the new equivalent of. I assume four is the new three. But maybe if two of your four are twins then that's really only the new equivalent of two and a half, or maybe it's more like the new two, plus a puppy.
Recently I froze five containers of pesto made from Coonamessett Farm basil and three containers of spaghetti sauce made with our own big boy tomatoes. You'd think I grew up during the great depression - squirreling away food like that. My aunt grew up during the great depression. She used to squirrel away all the restaurant take out packages of ketchup, salt, and pepper, along with the extra creamers.
Four, three, or two and a half, if I had been a parent during the depression, my fellow mothers would have wanted to know why I had such a small family.

song: Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad • artist: Meatloaf

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Having A Party

If there was a t-shirt that read "I survived my son's birthday party," I would own it.
It all started when C requested a piñata for his birthday. He didn't actually ask for a full-fledged party. I suppose if Ken and I had been willing to take turns hitting the thing ourselves we could have avoided the festivities all together. It seemed unfair, however, to punish a kid by withholding a party of his peers just because of his parents' hang ups.
C asked for either an elephant-shaped piñata or a star. So off I schlepped to Party America in Hyannis. I had the twins with me, one in the back pack and one in the Baby Bjorn. We were quite the show. Party America claimed to have over 130 piñata styles, and doubtless they did but what they failed to mention was that 95% of them were character driven: Disney Princesses, Cars, Winnie-the-Pooh (who's going to hit Winnie-the-Pooh with a stick?), and Spiderman.
That brought me to my next problem. I forgot to ask C whether he wanted the beat-the-heck-out-of-it-with-a-stick type of piñata, or the pull-the-individual-ribbons-till-the-loot-falls-out style. There were neither elephants nor stars. The store did have some cute doggie-shaped piñatas but none with ribbons. I couldn't see him beating the crap out of a cute puppy - at least it wasn't something I wanted to see.
After much (way too much) consideration, I went with a plain old number six. I figured he, and I, would be okay with seeing it smacked to smithereens.
That done, I moved on to the equally stressful task of filling the piñata which left me standing catatonic in the candy aisle of Shaws Supermarket picking up and putting down endless variety-pack bags of candy. Should I go with the the bag that contained the Sweet Tarts or the one that contained Smarties? Finally I choose a bag of something that looked like Juicy Fruits and a bag of the only thing that was even remotely healthy: Raisinets. When I got home with it C looked everything over and said disapprovingly, "at Sam's party the piñata had gum in it."
We went with an Olympic theme and planned many appropriate games such as the Olympic Paper Airplane Toss (which was by far the most well-received event), relay races, tug of war, and the Olympic Eat-A-Doughnut-Off-A-String Event. This theme also afforded limitless opportunities to go around the house saying things like, "put your Olympic shoes on the stairs," "where's the Olympic watering can?" and "do you have to use the Olympic potty?" And though that lightened my mood leading up to the big event, I had more anxiety over hosting the party than I had over having to deliver a baby six years ago.
At one point during the party I asked another mother to count the kids to make sure I had enough Olympic booty bags for the Olympic Pin˜ata Bashing Event. She tallied them up (no easy task as they were all moving targets) and announced there were 16. "Are you sure?" I said, "it feels more like 50."

song: Having A Party • artist: Sam Cooke