Saturday, July 30, 2011

Tom, Dick or Harry

C and I saw the final Harry Potter movie today. It was my first time at the cinema pub in town.
I like the concept but it just seems disrespectful to chow down on buffalo wings while Harry is saving the world from the Dark Lord.

song: Tom, Dick or Harry • artist: Cole Porter

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

One for the Mockingbird

"You ain't fair" I said, you ain't fair." 
"You're real nice, Uncle Jack, an' I reckon I love you even after what you did, but you don't understand children much."...
"And why do I not understand children, Miss Jean Louise? Such conduct as yours requires little understanding. It was obstreperous, disorderly and abusive."
"You gonna give me a chance to tell you? I don't mean to sass you, I'm just tryin' to tell you."
Uncle Jack sat down on the bed. His eyebrows came together, and he peered up at me from under them. "Proceed," he said.
I took a deep breath. "Well, in the first place you never stopped to gimme a chance to tell you my side of it - you just lit right into me. When Jem an' I fuss Atticus doesn't ever just listen to Jem's side of it, he hears mine too, an' in the second place you told me never to use words like that except in ex-extreme provocation, and Francis provocated me enough to knock his block off."
"Jack! When a child asked you something, answer him, for goodness sake. But don't make a production out of it. Children are children, but they can spot an evasion quicker than adults, and evasion simply muddles 'em."

Sometimes I feel guilty that when I read, I mostly read for pleasure. Sometimes that pleasure is in a work of fiction and sometimes it's in a work of non-fiction, but rarely does it take the form of a parenting book.
"You're with them all day - why would you want to read about them at night," the devil on my shoulder whispers into my ear. "You might get some helpful ideas or gain some insight into how your kids are feeling," counters my inner angel.
But low and behold - sometimes you can have both - great literature and great parenting advice.
It's a funny thing. I've read To Kill A Mockingbird at least three times now but only once as a parent and until I became a parent I never noticed that it's full of stellar parenting directive, though none perhaps that jumped off the pages as much as these two passages.
I wonder what pearls of wisdom I stand to glean from my next read, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow?
After all, Ichabod Crane was a schoolmaster.

song: One for the Mockingbird • artist: Cutting Crew

Sunday, July 17, 2011

One Burbon, One Scotch, One Beer

Rather than the front yard, usually I steer my kids to the backyard to play. The reason being that it's easier to look out the back windows to see what they are up to, plus, this time of year some percentage of the four of them is bound to be in some stage of undress.
The other day I could hear the sounds of noisy children emanating from the front yard. I wondered to myself who the heck was visiting Dave and Jeannie's house only to realize minutes later than it was my own kids.
Yesterday at 11:30 AM Ken wondered out loud if it was too early for a beer.
"Your naked kids are running through the sprinkler in the back yard," I told him. "You might as well drag the couch into the yard, sit on it beer in hand with your shotgun in your lap."

song: One Burbon, One Scotch, One Beer • artist: George Thorogood

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Let the Music Play

There's been some discussion surrounding the performance of two plays on the library lawn next week though not the kind of discussion the organizers of the play had hoped to inspire.
The discussion is over whether or not the plays are suitable to be performed outside in a public space where people passing by, especially families with children, might be disturbed by the intensity of the drama.
I have never seen the plays in question and it sounds as if there are other issues surrounding them than just their appropriateness for children who might be in the vicinity; but as to that one objection I'd like to relate the following observations from experience as my oldest boys, ages 8 and 6, have seen a fair amount of live theater.
Live theater, though it may be intense with its action happening right before one's eyes, is by the same token made less scary because the action is happening right before one's eyes. No matter who is rumbling (West Side Story), changing into an evil alter ego (Jekyll and Hyde), committing suicide (Carousel) or cutting the throats of his customers (Sweeny Todd), my children are well aware that the action isn't real and that the actors, even the recently deceased ones, will all take the stage for a bow when the show's over.
Contrast this to television viewing where sometimes the action is real (the news, reality shows) and sometimes it isn't (movies, dramas, sitcoms). It's much harder in these situations for children to discern what's real from what's not and there's no curtain call at the end to help them sort it out.
This is the beauty of live theater. It's big and thought provoking and sometimes in your face, but it's not usually so horrific that you have to hide behind your playbill or shield your kids from it.
As for the screaming. Kids are natural dramatists anyway. People are screaming in my house all the time.
If there's screaming at my house it means that either someone's wife accidentally gave them a poisoned robe - or someone dropped a cookie on the floor.

song: Let the Music Play • artist: Shamur

Black Water II

Always be careful of what you wish for.
I was secretly hoping for a day off from swim lessons but thought it would come in the form of rain and not a high bacteria count.

song: Black Water • artist: Doobie Brothers

Monday, July 11, 2011

Lightenin' Strikes

Everything I learned this week I learned because of my kids.
1. The reason fish don't get killed when lightening strikes the water is because the fish are all under the water while an unfortunate swimmer or shellfisherman is breaking the surface of the water while the electricity is going across.
2. Cooties are real - and you really can catch them. 
3. The singular of mice is mouse. The singular of lice is louse.

song: Lightenin' Strikes • artist: Lou Christie

Saturday, July 09, 2011

The End

Seems like no coincidence that the final space shuttle flight and the final Harry Potter movie are taking place less than a week apart.
The space shuttle is the ultimate Firebolt and the earth merely a snitch.

song: The End • artist: Doors

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Early in the Morning II

Another summer season starts and so begins the jockeying for good parking spaces at Megansett.
This year I plan to arrive early enough for a coveted space along the perimeter of the lot.
I don't know why these spaces fill up first but I do know that parents who don't get to the beach early enough to secure one and have to park instead in the less desirable middle spots are pretty much lame losers who don't love their children enough to make an effort.

song: Early in the Morning • artist: Vanity Fair

Monday, July 04, 2011

Wicked Game

C seems to be entering his Bananagram phase. Three games in three nights.
I like it much better than his Monopoly phase.

song: Wicked Game • artist: Chris Isaak

Friday, July 01, 2011

The Border

Happy Canada Day to my cousins!
We made it all the way home with our billy club, lobster bands, spear, and eagle feather.

song: The Border • artist: America