Friday, February 27, 2009

The Rain In Spain

Damn. The letter H on my keyboard isn't working right. I have to press down really hard to get it to work. 
It's like I'm typing in a Cockney accent.
"In ampshire artford and arrisire, urricanes ardly ever appen."

song: The Rain In Spain • musical: My Fair Lady

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Big Ten Inch

It's hard when you don't always understand what your three year old is saying.
The other morning I thought he was telling me he needed Spiderman. Under my breath I was cursing whoever was foisting licensed characters on my highly impressionable son when he led me over to the kitchen cabinet, pointed up to the lazy Susan and repeated himself: vit-a-min. Whoops! Well that wasn't nothin' compared to the day he was walking around the kitchen asking where his "big stick" was.
Except it didn't sound like big stick.

song: Big Ten Inch • artist: Aerosmith

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Angry Young Man

For the past month I've been attending a weekly Effective Parenting classes.
Ken assures me that I don't need to go since, "only losers need parenting classes." I'll be sure to tell all his coworkers what "losers" they are next week when we're talking about temperament in small group discussion.
On the contrary, working towards effective parenting is akin to seeking super hero status. Most of us parent in autopilot. Some of us have a better autopilot than others. It's hard as heck, when faced head on with a parenting issue, to switch off that autopilot and say, "and now I'm going to Parent Effectively." One almost needs to dive into that phone booth and come out wearing a costume with a big EP emblazoned on the chest.
Effective Parenting class has given me the opportunity to evaluate temper tantrums, jot down notes about them and brainstorm how they could have been avoided. Here are a few from last week.
situation: H threw a tantrum at preschool because he didn't want to leave.
solution: Mommy should wait in the mini van until preschool teachers escort H out.
situation: H threw a tantrum when I wouldn't let him eat the three M&Ms from his Valentine booty that fell on the dining room floor.
solution: Keep floor clean.
situation: H threw a tantrum when he didn't get to the kitchen door fast enough to watch Nana's car leave.
solution: Send H with Nana.
situation: H threw a tantrum when sorting buttons because he perceived C as having more buttons than him.
solution: Buttons? Why do we have buttons in the house? Aren't they a choking hazard?
situation: H&C both threw tantrums over their inability to share toys.
solution: Toys? We have toys in the house? Well they have to go. Everyone knows they cause problems.
Good thing there's another 10 weeks to go in the class.

song: Angry Young Man • artist: Billy Joel

Monday, February 23, 2009

Show Me The Way

The stars have aligned twice in a month, allowing me to visit the city again, this time sans children.
My suggestion to view the Shepard Fairey show at the ICA was merely an excuse to get up to Boston and hang out with Liz for a few hours but like my fateful visit to Graceland lo those many years ago, I came away with a genuine appreciation for Mr. Fairey and his art. That's my way of saying I fell for the whole Obey schtick hook, line, and slacker.
Like everyone else at the museum, I also came away with Andre the Giant's stats permanently tattooed on my impressionable brain: 7 feet, four inches, 520lbs.

song: Show Me The Way • artist: Peter Frampton

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Never Been To Spain

You know that your kid is desperate for more television viewing when they plead with you to watch the Spanish version of Make Way For Ducklings.

song: Never Been To Spain • artist: Three Dog Night

Monday, February 16, 2009

Things Can Only Get Better

Damn. This is the cold from hell. I have been going to bed earlier and earlier and feeling more and more tired each morning.
Ha. As a typo I just wrote, "this is the old from hell."
That too.

song: Things Can Only Get Better • artist: Howard Jones

Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now!

The Grateful Dead, the Dead, or whatever it is they call themselves now that Jerry Garcia is - well - dead - is touring this spring. WMVY was giving all the dates in case some fans wanted to plan a road trip. A road trip? Well I guess it might be easy for them to get away since real Grateful Dead fans should be reaching retirement age right about now.
They can carpool, charter a bus, rent a Winnebago, hijack the van that drives nursing home patients to their doctor appointments, or just grab a few mobility scooters.

book: Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now! • author: Dr. Seuss

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Little Willy

When did Valentine's Day become such a candy orgy?
It used to be there was the occasional heart-shaped box of Whitman's Chocolates for wait-till-the-last-minute, couldn't-think-up-anything-more-original types. Not any more. Now Valentine candy has gone mainstream. My kids' came home from school with a haul rivaling Halloween and without having to exert themselves by walking around the neighborhood.
Contrary to those popular culture stereotypes, we really want our sweethearts fat and toothless

song: Little Willy • artist: Sweet

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Pump It Up

Alex Rodriguez used steroids. Is there anyone out there who is surprised by this non-revelation? If so, I've got some proverbial swampland I'd like to sell you.
A-Rod probably doesn't pay his taxes, has undocumented aliens working for him, and cheats on his wife with high-priced prostitutes.
It's the American way.

song: Pump It Up • artist: Elvis Costello

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Yummy, Yummy, Yummy

Out of the blue H asked me if I was going to "eat the babies." I assumed that he was kidding and replied that it would be pretty silly of me to "eat the babies."
His response: "remember when you were in the hospital and the doctor helped you get the babies out of your tummy? Did you eat them then?"
I'm a little freaked about this revelation. Do you think he's been wondering for the past 12 months when I was going to eat his little brothers?
Then I remembered that he's got a CD that we play all the time that contains a story about two little girls, Amy and Sarah. When Amy becomes a big sister, Sarah replies that she once had a little brother but she turned into a dinosaur and ate him. I won't spoil the story for you but eventually there's a dinosaur and the baby brother is saved through Amy's quick thinking.
That makes two examples, in H's head, of baby brothers almost being eaten - it all started to make sense.
Then I realized that he's wasn't worried that I, or a dinosaur, might eat N and S. It wasn't a question of if - it was a question of when - and what he was really thinking was "hurry up and eat them already!"

song: Yummy, Yummy, Yummy • artist: Ohio Express

Monday, February 09, 2009

Burning Down The House

Today H mistreated the cat, pounced on C who had a fever and was resting on the couch, continued to throw things after I asked him not to, and broke the Snoopy ruler because he "didn't like Linus on it."
Thankfully he went to bed at 7 - before he could burn the house down.

song: Burning Down The House • artist: Talking House

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Squeeze Box

Valentine's Day is about to roll around again. As if you needed a reminder from me.
Since H attends two preschools, he's got at least 30 classmates to send cards to. Because he's 3, I'll end up doing the lions share of the work. Because I'm neurotic, we can't just go out and buy some - we, or make that I, have to make them.
And whatever happened to kid's decorating Kleenex boxes for Valentine's Day? I squirreled away two in anticipation only to get a letter from school requesting shoe boxes instead. Shoe boxes? Kleenex boxes are no problem, especially in the winter, there's always a tissue box being emptied out. The other day the twins got a hold of one and emptied it out a warp speed. If need be, I could even go out and purchase a Kleenex box, take the tissues out, stack them on the back of the toilet, and use the box for a craft project.
But shoe boxes are another matter. I can't go out and buy a new pair of sneakers just for the box although I am coveting a pair of Timberland Earthkeepers (a hint for anyone who missed my birthday last week). Besides, we use all our shoe boxes to store old checks, pay stubs, and various tax receipts. The attic is full of them.
Do you think Ken would notice if I transfered our cancelled checks from 1999-2003 into a used Kleenex box?

song: Squeeze Box • artist: The Who

Friday, February 06, 2009

All Along the Watchtower

The Jehovah's Witnesses are going soft.
This week Ken got a letter, and some lovely magazine clippings, from Carol, who apologized that she couldn't speak with us in person but she'd stopped by and we weren't home.
I'm so disappointed. I know Carol is lying because I'm always home.
If the integrity of the Jehovah's Witnesses is going down the tubes - what hope is there for the rest of us?

song: All Along the Watchtower • artist: Jimi Hendrix

Thursday, February 05, 2009

He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother

The twins had their one-year well-baby visit at the pediatrician's office last week. At not quite 17 pounds each, they are still underweight. It doesn't concern me as they have reached all the same milestones as their big brothers except for being able to face forward in their car seats. They'll get there. Besides, for the time being I think they are happy facing backwards in the car and being able to see what H and C are up to.
The pediatrician, however, felt otherwise and sent Ken home with a handout on high calorie eating.
High calorie eating in the age of obesity? I can't believe a flyer like this even exists. It's like contraband.
The flyer is three pages long, and among other tips to chunk you up, it suggests "keeping snacks handy," "eating a snack before bedtime," snacking on pizza and full fat ice cream with toppings, and putting melted cheese on "vegetables, casseroles, fish, meats, eggs, pasta, and rice."
It isn't meant to be funny (and some of the high calorie shakes sound delicious) but I can't help thinking that the only thing it's missing is suggestions to supersize them there fries and eat Snickers bars (covered in cheese) for breakfast.

Song: He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother • artist: The Hollies

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


As mentioned previously (and a little ruefully), I'm not an expert on anything. As the mother of twins though, I have been asked my opinion on octuplet mom more than once this past week. It's laughable because asking a woman with twins about a woman with octuplets is akin to asking a 10-minute miler about the strategy of ultra-marathoners - sure we're both in the race - but there the similarity ends.
The reaction many people have to the idea of having twins is the same reaction that applies to octuplets. The phrase "I'd shoot myself" gets bandied about which is all very funny unless you happen to know someone who did shoot themselves and then - well - not so much.
As for the mother of eight, who turns out to be the mother of fourteen, the words unstable, or at the very least, unrealistic come to my mind.
But what of Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg, medical director of Fertility Institute, who was quoted as saying with regards to family planning in the case of octuplet mom: "who am I to say that six is the limit?"
Who are you? You're a fertility doctor! Take a little responsibility! Will no one be responsible for anything? Yes, it's irresponsible for a woman to birth eight babies, but it's also irresponsible for professionals - the supposed experts - to not take a stand.
Am I to believe that if I were a 38DD and I went in for breast augmentation surgery the doctor would just keep adding on until I couldn't stand up straight?
If I weighed 98lbs could I get myself a gastric bypass?
I do know that if I already had six dogs and I went to the Friends of Falmouth Dogs asking to adopt another eight puppies, they would politely, but firmly, turn me down.
Know why? Because not only do those volunteers have the best interest of the dogs at heart - they aren't afraid to speak up.
Why even be an expert in the field if you aren't going to give any expert advice?

song: Crazy • artist: Patsy Cline

Monday, February 02, 2009

Bed Are Burning II

First we tried to get a FLEXA bunk bed to match the bed we bought C three years ago but all the local companies that carried FLEXA, which is from Denmark and looks modular and IKEA-like, kept going out of business.
From there Ken decided he would build a bunk bed. "It will only take a day or so," he promised. "I built one in college."
Then Alex moved his kids into separate bedrooms and offered us their bunk beds complete with captain's drawers.
They are still in our garage.
Finally Martha offered us her son's loft bed.
Leave it to my librarian friend to not only provide my sons with books to read while in bed, but to provide them with the actual beds themselves.
Ken put it together in less than 24 hours.
It was like that quote from painter James Whistler, who, when asked by his critics how long it took him to make a particular painting responded, "several hours, and a lifetime."
Getting my big boys into bunk beds took "18 months, and 24 hours."

song: Beds Are Burning II • artist: Midnight Oil