Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Close To You

Normally I'm a big fan of velcro. It's made lots of things in my life easier, and provided lots of entertainment to viewers of David Letterman. It does have its dark side however, which is its inability to discern between the things it should and should not stick to.
Today I took a stinky diaper off N, wrapped it, and set it aside. The velcro tab on the diaper grabbed my sweater as I was reaching across the changing table for a diaper wipe. The dirty diaper began creeping towards me like Ash's possessed hand in Evil Dead II. The faster I pulled, the faster it followed. I tried to shake it loose. It wouldn't go. I couldn't grab it with my other hand because I couldn't let go of the baby. Damn, I thought, what if N kicks it and goes heel-deep into poop? Luckily he kicked, hit the diaper but missed the poop, and freed me from the tab.
I know I should have deposited the dirty diaper directly into the trash can - why didn't I do that, I wondered irritatedly. It's like all those James Bond movies. Bond always lives because the bad guys never just shoot him - they always capture him and then try to set him up for some kind of slow, agonizing-yet-clever death. Bond always escapes. Why don't they just shoot him? "Just shoot him!" I want to yell at the screen.
Dumb criminals and mothers. They never learn.

song: Close To You • artist: The Carpenters

We Built This City

They are demolishing the ideal spot. The Ideal Spot Motel that is. They are going to build condos there; right next to the condos they built out of the Caleb O. Hamblin House a few years back. Some of those units are still for sale.
I can't understand why the town gave the West Falmouth Market a hard time over their plans to expand their business and put apartment units on top of the store when that entire corner of Route 28A is in the process of being turned into condominiums.
Maybe it's because people might actually move into the apartments.
And speaking of building, what's the story with that house next to the Tin Man Diner? They built the house over the course of three weeks last winter when I was sequestered inside with the twins. Fifteen months later and they still can't get any landscaping in?

song: We Built This City • artist: Jefferson Starship

Monday, April 27, 2009

You Are So Beautiful

The eggs in the windowbox nest hatched.
The chicks are all bald and bug eyed.
But because I'm a mother too, I told the wren her babies were beautiful.
And I really think that they are.

song: You Are So Beautiful • artist: Joe Cocker

Sunday, April 26, 2009

You Creep Me Out

The ants are back and infesting the dining room. There are ticks all over the back yard. I have this mounting paranoia that something is crawling on me.
This must be what I get for insulting Spring.

song: You Creep Me Out • artist: Apple Betty

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I Wonder What Would Happen to this World

10 songs for Earth Day

1. This Land is Your Land - Woodie Guthrie
2. Where Do the Children Play - Cat Stevens
3. I Love Trash - Oscar the Grouch
4. Hammer and a Nail - Indigo Girls
5. Mother Nature's Son - the Beatles
6. Mother Earth - Tom Rush
7. Garden Song - David Mallett
8. The Last Resort - The Eagles
9. I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) - The Proclaimers
10 I Wonder What Would Happen to this World - Harry Chapin
bonus track: That song by Eric Harris Kerns about the woman who gets killed by toxic sludge. Darn! I can't remember its name.

song: I Wonder What Would Happen to this World • artist: Harry Chapin

a poem for earth day

In order to write this poem
I made ink from crushed berries
that grew naturally in my yard.
My writing utensil is a stylus
of bamboo
grown in a sustainable forest
and whittled to a point using an arrowhead.
The paper was made from recycled pizza boxes
collected from our locally-owned pizza shop.
The one that buys its toppings from local farmers
and sponsors their own little league team.
And even though it was overcast,
I sat by the window
and let the natural light shine through
to avoid switching on the lamp.
When I was finally ready to begin the poem
I realized
I had forgotten
what I wanted to say.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Dirty Old Town

Did you know that John Todd has an Earth Day Birthday?
I can't think of anything more appropriate.
The local radio station has been airing helpful Earth Day suggestions like "don't forget those reusable cloth bags," and "pick up plastic off the beaches."
Didn't we solve the paper vs plastic debate 20 years ago? About the time we all started cutting up the plastic rings on our beer six packs? Let's stop talking about reusable bags and changing light bulbs. Let's talk about nitrogen overloading, where our septic really goes, cheap coal, and our obsession with grass (the kind you walk on, not the kind you smoke).
C's suggestion for Earth Day is that everyone wear the same clothes two days in a row without washing them.
Now there's a suggestion I can get behind.
Of course I already do that.

song: Dirty Old Town • artist: Ewan MacColl

On The Radio

On the weekends, Sirius Radio plays the Top 40 Countdown on both the Big 80s and the 70s on 7 stations.
It sure plays through a lot faster without the commercials. Remember how Casey Kasem used to announce an upcoming song, air a commercial, come back with the lead in to the long-distance dedication, and then play another commercial? Good thing that was all back in the day when I had lots of time on my hands. Enough to wait around to find out that Wham had the number one song in the nation for the 6th week in a row.
Listening to the countdown has led to the realization that in addition to all the bad music from the 80s that I do remember, there's even more that (thankfully) I have forgotten.
In my opinion, Sirius should update the countdown. Throw in a few "where are they now" segments. What is Matthew Wilder (Break My Stride) doing now? Or Corey Hart (Sunglasses at Night)? Better yet, what about all those long distance dedications? How did they all turn out? Did Alex, the "wandering minstrel," hear his long distance dedication, "Guitar Man" from Kim? Did Wanda from Montana decide to become "more than just friends" with Jack after hearing his "I Wanna Know What Love Is" dedication?
Is it "Against all Odds" or "Love Stinks"?
And have you noticed how all 80s hits sound like children's music? Elmer Fudd (aka David Bowie) singing "Let's Dance," "Mr. Roboto," "She Blinded Me With Science," "Rock Me Amadeus," "Rock Lobster." Big 80s is station #2 on my dial, next to Kids Place Live. The other day I got the two confused. Convinced I was listening to Big 80s, I read the title, "Aliens in My Head," and thought, must be something by Devo.

song: On The Radio • artist: Donna Summer

Monday, April 20, 2009

some more poems

some more poems in honor of National Poetry Month

candles (by H)
You can make them.
You can blow them out.
You don't really have to throw them.

deer (by C)
Deer don't drink beer.
They don't even have a tear.
I saw a deer in Virginia
and it had some beer.
And it had a tear.

two red pens (by Mommy)
one for right
one for wrong
jostle for position
in the desk

Friday, April 17, 2009

Trees (a poem by H)


Trees grow.
Some people knock them down.
Some of them are little.
Some of them are big.
Some go away and never come back.
But you can grow one with a seed.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I Got You Babe

People are making excuses for spring again.
"At least it's sunny." I've already heard twice today, which is pretty good for someone who hasn't left the house except to go to the bus stop.
It can be sunny anytime. It can be sunny in January. I don't care about sunny. I care about warm.
Sunny without warm is like eggs without bacon, like Sonny without Cher, like pork chops without apple sauce, like high definition tv without a 60-inch screen, like Britney Spears without something stupid to say.
At least it's sunny is like sitting in your tricked-out, candy-apple red, brand-new sports car - with four flat tires.

song: I Got You Babe • artist: Sonny and Cher

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I'll Fly Away

The nest in our window box now has eggs in it. I don't know how many but C's been keeping a pretty good tab.
Normally in this situation I would try and use the back door so as not to continually disturb the bird but it's next to impossible with the twins. Whenever I go anywhere with them it's at least three trips back and forth to the car to get everyone in and that's assuming I get into the car and can find my keys or haven't forgotten anything. If you count trips that include C (bang!) and H (bang!) that's a total of five trips minimum.
I feel guilty that all my children are putting her future children in peril.
I thought Rufus would sit by the door and watch her but there's not much to see. Either the bird is in the nest or waiting in the holly bush for us to leave so she can get back on the nest. Instead I find myself standing by the front door peeking out at her.
At most the next is three feet from the front door and I'm afraid that if we swing the door wide open in the middle of the night she's going to fly right in the house (it's happened before), and that wouldn't be good for anyone.
Usually when I try to watch her on her nest she sees me, gives me the bird equivalent of the hairy eyeball, and flies off, but sometimes she doesn't notice me and stays.
I wonder what she's thinking about while she sits there. Probably the same things all mothers think:
"I wonder if we've built this nest in a good school district?"
"All I ever do is sit on this nest. I gotta get out more. What am I doing with my life? I'm not a chick anymore."
And finally:
"I wonder if I will have any marketable job skills left when these eggs finally fledge?"

song: I'll Fly Away • artist: Albert E. Brumley

I Melt With You

What's worse than kleenex in the washing machine?
Easter chocolates!
What's worse than dried out Play-Doh?
Moldy Play-Doh!
Today, after bringing in the laundry from the clothes line, I made my kids ants on a log for an afterschool snack.
I'm 50s mom!

song: I Melt With You • artist: Modern English

Monday, April 13, 2009

Roll to Me

video
What to do with those leftover eggs.

song: Roll to Me • artist: Del Amitri

Sunday, April 12, 2009

You Send Me

The Easter gifts I ordered for the kids didn't arrive on time because they were sent by the USPS and the post office is broke, despite all those Pottery Barn catalogues, so they've laid off workers and consequently my kids have no Easter presents. So I had to run down to Uncle Bill's Country Store after Ken got home from work last night, while the kids were zoned out in front of Happy Feet waiting for some mild peril and rude humor.
Let me just say, in an unabashed plug for Uncle Bill's, it's a great little shop. Not only do they have all manner of gifts, especially stuff with which to fill last minute Easter baskets, it's a) right down the street, and, b)open late because it's attached to the Silver Lounge Restaurant.
I put money in the eggs we hid in the yard. There isn't much that fits into those eggs. You can either put in candy, let them rot their teeth and sanction gluttony, or, you can put in money, let them become materialistic and sanction greed. Choose your deadly sin.
At our house we don't talk up the Easter Bunny much. It's enough to keep up with the Santa hoax. Because there's no big Easter Bunny build up, I think the kids are on to the whole thing. H told Ken's parents that "Mommy did a treasure hunt," and C was suspicious when I told him there was still one egg left to find in the yard.
"How do you know how many eggs the Easter bunny left?" he said, suggesting next time the Easter bunny ought to leave a note.
I thought about this.
"Dear C. Hope you find your 10 Easter eggs. Love E.B.
E.B? Do you know what that means?
It means that Esther Buchanan is the Easter bunny!
Given that revelation, maybe she'll come over and help me get rid of all these hard boiled eggs.

song: You Send Me • artist: Sam Cooke

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Rainy Days and Mondays

In spending a rainy Saturday in the house with all my children, I am trying to use all the techniques of parenting class to be an "effective" parent. But I feel more like the "affected" parent.
Maybe even an "afflicted" parent.

song: Rainy Days and Mondays • artist: The Carpenters

Friday, April 10, 2009

Everyday

Today I checked out "Happy Feet" from the library.
You know, the penguin movie, not the podiatrist promotion.
It's rated PG!
Wouldn't you assume a movie about a dancing penguin would be G rated?
I did.
You know what they say about assuming things though.
The parental guidance box says I should watch out for "some mild peril and rude humor. That pretty much describes an ordinary day around here.

song: Everyday • artist: Buddy Holly

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Reunited

Another disappointingly cold spring day. It was a four baby blanket night. That's baby blankets on top of me while I'm watching tv. I don't remember how many I dumped on top of the actual babies. You're probably thinking, "well at least it was sunny," but that's because your expectations are so low - if it's not raining then it's a pretty good day. The only thing good about Monday was that after loading the twins into the van in the pouring (and I mean pouring) rain to go to preschool pick up, the song playing on Sirrus when I turned the car on was Prince's Purple Rain.
Spring on Cape Cod is like a bad boyfriend. You keep breaking up with him and saying, "never again," and then in March he comes around again. "I've changed," he promises, "please take me back."
So you think that this time he'll be different and you look into his green eyes and you say, "okay."
And when you do take him back, you can't tell any of your friends. "I'm believing in spring again," you'd say while they all shake their heads slowly at you, looks of concern and disappoint spreading over their features.
As soon as you let him in the door though it starts all over again. Slumping on the couch. Never leaving the house. Refusing to go places with you. Giving you the cold shoulder.
Sure, there are a few good days. Days when he's sunny and warm and brings you flowers. But for the most part he's not living up to his end of the bargain.
So you break it off again and he takes it pretty well but as he's leaving he turns, and in his best Arnold impersonation tells you, "I'll be back."

song: Reunited • artist: Peaches and Herb

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

You're No Good

My favorite after dinner snacks are cereal, ice cream, and wine.
None of these taste good together.

song: You're No Good • artist: Linda Ronstadt

Higher Ground

We attended an Easter egg hunt over the weekend.
It was a well-organized event, run by some nice (and very brave) parents - with an awesome backyard. They herded the little kids to one end of the yard so they would have a fighting chance at 1:20 when the hunt began.
C said he overheard the adults saying that they'd hidden 800 eggs. "Hidden" being a relative term. When the big kids came through (at approximately 1:22) it was like those swarms of grasshoppers I'd heard about during the dust bowl that would sweep across the plains and through farmers' fields devouring every living thing in sight. Those kids picked the woods clean. Not an egg left in sight except for a few that had been opened, had their candy extracted, and then been cast aside like a once favorite toy, now forgotten in the rush of Christmas morning.
Still, I liked it better than pinata bashing.

song: Higher Ground • artist: Stevie Wonder

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Love the One You're With

I think I'm in love.
I don't even know his first name but I find myself curled up on the couch with him almost every night.
Ken has no idea.
He's handsome, good with kids, has a great sense of humor. What more could a mostly-stay-at-home mom want?
I admit it. I'm in love with the dad from the Henry and Mudge series.
But honestly. Who wouldn't me?
He brings his guitar on camping trips and sings Elvis.
He mows the lawn.
He reads newspapers.
He drinks tea.
He gets dressed up on valentine's day and takes his wife out dancing.
He spends weekends in his basement building cardboard castles with his son.
He never seems to have to go to work so I assume he's independently wealthy - at least there's no book titled, Henry and Mudge and Daddy's Mind-Numbing Job. On the other hand there's no book titled, Henry and Mudge and Daddy's big Inheritance either
I know what your thinking - what about Henry's mom? Sure she's cute and perky, hangs around the house barefoot and likes to wear dresses. In another life maybe we could have been friends.
I can tell there's trouble between them though, how else to explain why Henry doesn't have any younger siblings?
Besides, I can read between the lines. In the book where Mudge goes to obedience school, I know she was having an affair with Jack the dog trainer.
Oh, and after the divorce - Mudge will have to live with the mother. Henry will get over it. Kids are resilient.
It's worth nothing that the Henry and Mudge series was written by a woman. Only a woman could create the perfect man.

song: Love the One You're With • artist: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

Won't Get Fooled Again

C announced proudly that he'd "fooled" most of his friends Thursday with the old April Fool's Day, did-you-hear-about-that-big-snow-storm-we're-getting? joke.
Of course you got them - it was April 2, why would they be expecting more April Fool's Day jokes?
I always fall for April Fool's Day jokes. They used to air coverage of a "parade" on April 1 on WZLX - maybe they still do. I was a sophomore when I realized it was a joke, I'd totally bought it freshman year.
Last year I was fooled by a spoof issue of the newspaper the local sixth graders put out. The first article I read was about how the toy store on Main Street was going to sell nothing but Barbie merchandise. "What? Nothing but Barbie?" I thought to myself. Where will I buy presents for all the boy birthday parties my kids are going to be invited to for the next decade? I was all broken out in a cold sweat before realizing it was a joke.
I guess it's because adults aren't used to being fooled (except by ads for miracle weight-loss shakes), while for kids - anything is still possible and everything is still questionable.

song: Won't Get Fooled Again • artist: The Who

Saturday, April 04, 2009

the hunt (a couplet)

Colorful eggs
for the fastest legs.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Funny Girl

Forgot to mention Ken's contribution to April Fools Day.
He glued quarters to our front step.
Of course he got credit for all the gags this morning.
C couldn't seem to fathom that Mommy could be funny.
Doesn't he know that a sense of humor is paramount to parenting?
Damn.

song: Funny Girl • Artist: Barbara Streisand