Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wild Thing

I can't believe they've made a full-length feature film based on Where The Wild Things Are, a book which takes all of five minutes to read and is far more famous for its illustrations that its plot.
What's next? Good Night Moon? The action in Good Night Moon does take place over the course of an hour, (remember the hands on the clock?) with the remaining 30 minutes they could really flesh out that subplot about the three little bears sitting on chairs.

song: Wild Thing • artist: The Troggs

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

West End Girls

One of the story ideas for the holiday gift guide is a history of the Falmouth Christmas Parade so today I spent some time going through the archives. In December 1962, along with stories about the parade (known then as the Santa Claus Parade), there were a lot of stories about animals. Yes, December 1962 was a bad month for animals in Falmouth and not just the town's deer population. First there was a story about a horse getting struck and killed on Route 28. Then Mary Ann Cameron's pet duck was shot, the police suspected it was "the work of young boys." Luckily the Cameron's had six other pet ducks. Later in the month the science teacher's pet turtle died. The turtle apparently was a card carrying organ donor because the teacher brought him to school to be dissected, following which the teacher, who was nothing if not resourceful, decided to bring Spot home, boil him, and save the shell. He left the turtle in the boy's locker room while he was coaching after school and when he returned - the turtle had vanished! The article suggested the turtle thief may have been the school's janitor who just may have thought a dead dissected turtle was trash.
In other related animal news Harvey of the former Harvey's Hardware was in the practice of importing exotic animals during the holiday season to liven up his shop's front window. One year it was a monkey, another, two wallabies which were reported to be "very shy." Looks like PETA wasn't around back in '62.

song: West End Girls • artist: Pet Shop Boys

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Glory of Love

At first I thought they were looking to the movie Karate Kid for spelling words to study. Then C told me that the first bonus word was "way."

song: Glory of Love • movie: Karate Kid II

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Autumnal Acrostic

F alling
A corns
L and
L oudly

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Puff the Magic Dragon

video
The last puff is the best. He's really giving it his all.

song: Puff the Magic Dragon • artist: Peter, Paul, and (the late great) Mary

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sandy

We got C a metal detector for his birthday because there's nothing a mystery-reading first graders loves more (aside from Legos) than treasure hunting.
On our first outing to Megansett Beach we found an earring which C took straight away to school for show and tell.
We decided to forgo tuning out scrap metals such as those in pull tabs and aluminum because we thought that without them we might never find anything. In short we want to find gold rings, earrings, and all the bottle caps in between.
It occurred to me that the metal detector would have come in handy years ago when I sported only one pierced ear and was always getting hand-me-down earrings from people who'd lost their earring's mate. With the detector I could have gone out and found my own singleton earrings instead of waiting for friends to lose theirs.
Later in the week we discovered what a great scam the detector is. We took it over to Old Silver Beach, where the sand is curiously softer and finer than Megansett (I see the locals get the cheap, non-imported sand), and searched around on a beautiful afternoon when there were still a lot of beach goers enjoying the weather.
If you've ever seen an adult poking around a beach with a metal detector you probably thought to yourself that they were some kind of treasure-seeking freak – not so the small child. Treasure-seeking kids are cute – in a geeky sort of way. And, as it turns out, everyone loves them.
It reminded me of being a college student working on a photo journalism assignment on the subway where normally people would object to having a stranger snap photos of them. But say you are a student and they brighten right up about the whole thing.
It seems that everyone wants to encourage college students - and booty-seeking seven year olds.
People were dropping coins in the sand left and right for C to find. One couple apologized, saying that it wasn't much (all they could find between the seats of their car) but they'd hidden coins up the beach by where they were sitting. Another couple dropped quarters as they walked by.
At this rate I should be able to recoup the cost of the metal detector in no time.

song: Sandy • artist: Bruce Springsteen

Naughty Baby

Is this seriously news? Are people really out there who still think it's okay to hit kids? I think that even people who spank their children know that they shouldn't spank their children.

song: Naughty Baby • musical: Crazy For You

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Yoda

Hey! I invented this costume two years ago!
And what about this? Should we really dress our kids up like characters from a television show were aren't even old enough to have watched except in reruns?

song: Yoda • artist: Weird Al Yankovic

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I Get A Kick Out Of You

The socks are longer than the length of H's legs. Is he going to soccer practice or auditioning for Fame? It wasn't until the second week that I figured out (from seeing other kids) that the shin guards go underneath them.

song: I Get A Kick Out Of You • artist; Cole Porter

Friday, September 18, 2009

Anything Can Happen

H's favorite way to begin a sentence is with the phrase, “what happens if.”
As in: What happens if you have no toys?
What happens if you have no pet?
What happens if you have no bed?
What happens if you have no refrigerator?
What happens if you have no house?
What happens if you have no birdseed?
Do you think he's anxious about those things? For the record, he has toys, a pet, a bed, a refrigerator, a house, and even birdseed. Maybe he's concerned about less fortunate people; people without toys and birdseed. So I launched into a wordy discussion of how people might get by without a bed (sleeping bag), or toys (cardboard box), and how lots of people don't have pets.
His solution was much simpler, “you could buy some.”
Now why didn't I think of that?
It's not like he asked me, “what happens if you have no money.”

song: Anything Can Happen • artist: The Finn Brothers

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Standing on the Corner

Did the dump swap shop finally reopen? For a while there people were leaving some good stuff at the end of their driveways. I scored a cozy coupe and a tricycle for the twins and some tomato cages I brought to the community garden. I would have gotten those fisher price lawnmowers too but I just couldn't fit them in the car.
Here's an incomplete list of things I passed up.
chairs, at at least three separate residences
small cabinet with glass front panels (one glass panel was missing)
wicker furniture
wicker baskets
couch
particle board shelving
large plastic planters
vacuum cleaner
computer monitor (or maybe it was a small television)
ironing board (the television/computer monitor was sitting atop it)

song: Standing on the Corner • musical: Most Happy Fella

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Don't Stand So Close To Me

A deer ran in front of my car today while I was driving H to preschool. It came right out of the high rent district, two roads down from Jetty Lane, crossed Quaker and headed into a yard on the opposite side of the street. There were no cars coming in the other direction and H didn't notice a thing. It was like it never happened.
I was once on the bike path and the most enormous snapping turtle crossed the path in front of me. It had spikes on its back and tail – like a stegosaurus. I looked around but amazingly, at that moment, I was completely alone on the bike path. No other witnesses.
Completely missing our brush with wildlife, H was engrossed in a game in which he and I take turns naming animals and then saying the phrase, “are nice.” As in one person says, “cats are nice,” then the next person says, “pigs are nice.” I'm not sure how this constitutes being a game exactly but it's a refreshing break from “I Spy.”
So to recap, the deer ran out. I slammed on my brakes. The deer ambled off. H went right on with his game and since it was my turn I said the only thing that seemed appropriate.
“Deer are nice.”

song: Don't Stand So Close To Me • artist: the Police

Run With Me

All their little legs were bound together for the three-legged race when one party goer asked me why they couldn't just have a regular running race instead.
"Because this is funnier for your parents to watch," I chirped; then I stepped to the side and blew the whistle to begin the race.

song: Run With Me • artist: The Doors

Monday, September 14, 2009

Shine

The sun came out yesterday long enough to dry off the deck and shine on C's birthday party. Then it rained again. Maybe there is a God. One who knows that the only thing more terrifying than a back yard full of first grade boys, is a house full of them.
You know how there are certain gifts that go with certain wedding anniversaries? First is paper, second is cotton and so on. Ken and I are coming up on our 10th which, interestingly enough, is traditionally commemorated with tin. I'm thinking that it's because couples with young children, a decade into their marriage, are traditionally eating their meals out of tin cans: tuna, tomato paste, baked beans, etc.
In case you weren't aware of it, there's a corresponding appropriate gift chart for children. I don't know what it is for girls, though I suspect ponies, fairies, and princesses figure heavily into the mix, but for boys the 6th birthday is dominated by dinosaurs, the 7th by Legos.

song: Shine • artist: Collective Soul

Friday, September 11, 2009

We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off

Twin 1: Look. Mommy forgot to dress us again.
Twin 2: Should we even be sitting on this table?

song: We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off • artist: Jermaine Stewart

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Having My Baby

On Friday a woman the Quarterdeck restaurant asked me if I was expecting.
This was, mind you, not a stranger, but someone who knows that I already have four children – I was holding one when she asked.
“Ah, no, not me. That's just 19-month-old, residual, baby fat that I'm trying to hide. Thanks for pointing it out though. I'll be heading home now.”
When does baby fat stop being baby fat and make the shift to just plain old fat?
When the baby can walk?
When the baby can talk?
When the baby begins studying for his Phd?

song: Having My Baby • artist: Paul Anka

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Come Back When You Grow Up Girl

I don't understand, we let strangers on the street talk to our children about school (“Hello young man, and what grade are you in?”), but we don't want them getting encouragement from the President?
You know, living in a democracy gives us the right to disagree, but not the right to pout for four years if our chosen candidate doesn't win.
I thought you had to be at least 18 to vote.

song: Come Back When You Grow Up Girl • artist: Bobby Vee

Under the Bridge

Having picked up the GPS on Friday, we headed out for some geocaching adventure this weekend. Though this was a C-inspired activity (he read about it in a Boxcar mystery), geocaching is just the kind of nerdy thing I was wicked excited to try. What's cooler to a little kid than finding out there really is hidden treasure? People hide containers, some smaller than others, on public lands and then publish their coordinates on the geocaching website with brief descriptions of the walk and clues as to the geocache's whereabouts.
Initially I had wanted to take the kids to the Blue Hills Trailside Audubon Museum in Milton just for something to do this weekend. I went on line and voila, there's a geocache hidden there (they're everywhere, 103 found in a search of Falmouth alone). It's cool to think that one could be out walking in Beebe Woods or at the Knob and probably be passing by them.
The Blue Hills cache was a mile walk through the woods, and described as stroller friendly but ultimately I thought better of it and we began our geocaching closer to home with familiar locations. Heading out to unknown territory on the first cache seemed akin to novice runners who immediately start jonesing for a Boston Marathon waiver after completing their first 5K.
Considering I didn't even know how to use the GPS yet, it would be more like signing up for that first marathon without knowing how to tie your sneakers.
Ultimately we started our quest at the harbor and after much muddling, we found the canister hidden in the tree, and then headed to a location on the bikepath which C found on his own after I realized that I'd set the coordinates at waypoint #7 but set the GPS's GoTo function to locate waypoint #6.
We'd never been on the bikepath on a holiday weekend. The parking lot was a zoo and the path itself like the southeast expressway.
There was nary a soul at Peterson Farm, except for Scamp and the sheep when we went in for geocache number four, supposedly hidden at the farm which turned out to be an hour down the path and ultimately would have been easier to reach if we'd parked at the conservatory and walked in from the other side.
All in all it was great fun though, treasure hunting, tiring out the kids, and in a getting a stroller workout all at the same time – what could be better?
And in other location quandaries - even without the aid of a calendar (or a GPS) you could tell that yesterday was the day after Labor Day on Cape Cod by the amount of road construction that had sprung up all over. Construction crews will be standing around with Dunkin Donut cups in their hands until well into May of next year.

Song: Under the Bridge • artist: Red Hot Chili Peppers

Summer Fly

Highest number of eggs gathered at Coonamessett Farm at one time: 10
Number of trips to Megansett Beach for swim lessons: 12+
Number of times mommy went swimming (head dunk constitutes swimming): 2
Number of round-trip rides to Woods Hole on the trolley: 1
Number of round-trip rides on papa's boat: 3
Number of pennies flatted on the train tracks: 5
Number of games of cribbage played with Ken: 10+
Number of trips to the Barnstable County Fair: 1
Number of times mommy practiced guitar: 1
Number of pre and post road race parties attended: 3
Number of hats lost on outdoor excursions: 0
Number of guest book signatures between Memorial Day and Labor Day: 5
Number of backyard tomatoes picked: 2
Number of tomato pies made: 1

song: Summer Fly • artist: Cheryl Wheeler

Monday, September 07, 2009

Better Be Home Soon

H: Why did the chicken cross the road?
Mommy: I don't know, why?
H: Because he was trying to get home.

H: Why did the chicken ride the motorcycle?
M: I don't know, why?
H: Because he was trying to get home.

H: Why did the chicken poop in the road?
M: I don't know, why?
H: Because he was trying to get home – fast!

H: Why did the chicken stand on kitty's head?
M: Because he was trying to get home?
H: No, because he was trying to get to the top of the farmhouse.

song: Better Be Home Soon • artist: Crowded House

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Baby Please Don't Go

We finally got a second crib for the twins. I'm not sold on it though. It seems cruel to separate them. What if someone came and made Ken and I sleep in separate beds? I guess if someone had, seven years ago, we wouldn't be here today needing all these cribs.
The first night I put N down before S and he fell asleep. Ken put S down in the new crib and he cried long and persuasively enough that Ken eventually came back, gathered him up, and brought him down stairs until he was consoled.
The next night Ken put them down in the crib together and then moved them once they were asleep.
That seems even more cruel. No wonder they wake up at night crying - they think that their brother's been kidnapped.

artist: Baby Please Don't Go • artist: Them

Friday, September 04, 2009

Love Bites

The “welcome to first grade” letter from C's teacher contained one typo and the incorrect date for the first day of school.
Should I be worried?
Because he's enrolled in two preschools, H has been in high demand at orientation-type events this week. Consequently the twins have had to tag along at these pint-sized meet and greets as well. It's hard for them because they naturally want to get out of their stroller now and run with the big kids as it were. Problem is, these events were all short, or involved being for some of the time out at the playground and the rest exploring the classroom; so taking them out of the stroller would only mean having to force them back in shortly after. As far as they are concerned 20 minutes out of the stroller is worse than confinement to the stroller and being fed watermelon the entire time. The only problem is there's no way to convince the twins of this because the only words they understand are “doggie,” “goodbye,” “papa,” and their own names, which they think are interchangeable.
At the elementary school picnic they were seated behind another toddler – a little girl in a single stroller. She kept turning around to look at them as if they say, “I know just how you feel. When? When? WHEN will they let us out?” The boys sat for two rounds of watermelon and then started getting restless, so I released them.
I was going to title this entry “cruel to be kind,” but then, as the little girl with the cherub-like face longingly watched N & S lurch off, another toddler approached her pram. When she leaned over and bit her new friend, I knew I had an even better name for this post.

Song: Love Bites • artist: Def Leppard

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Jeremiah was a Bullfrog II

FDA says residue is frog or toad; how did it get in Pepsi can?
It's a frog of course. They prefer wetter climates.
Toads prefer Coke.

song: Jeremiah was a Bullfrog II • artist: Three Dog Night

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

My Aim is True

Yesterday H peed on the bathroom wall.
I asked him how it happened and he said:
“I was trying to pee out the window.”
I hear Hallmark has a new line of greeting cards just for mothers of boys.
I wonder if that situation's covered.

song: My Aim is True • artist: Elvis Costello

Tuesday Morning

It's hard to tell.
Are we celebrating C's seventh birthday today or having a pancake breakfast with Ray Bourque?

song: Tuesday Morning • artist: The Pogues