Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Giddyup!

“How did everything go?” I asked the babysitter.

“It was… uh…interesting,” she told me.


I called a babysitter on Friday and miraculously produced a last minute date night for K and I.

[We saw Lars and the Real Girl… who knew a film about a guy who orders a sex doll for companionship could be so completely endearing?!!]

Anyway,
a few months back I picked up a giant stuffed horse on suspenders at one of those church consignment sales.

[Don't ask, don't tell, Church Lady!]

Squeezing one ear made the horse neigh and squeezing the other made “clippity clop” sounds.

[Which transported me immediately to Monty Python’s Holy Grail and I was sold.]

You pull the horse suspenders over your head and, “Viola!” you are mounted.

[You are MOUNTED. Heh, heh.]

Ahem.

“Cowboy,” I thought. "The Mayor will be a cowboy for Halloween."


I figured I could squeeze in one final year of making the costume decision for him if I hid the horse in the closet and waited until the week of Halloween to pull it out. I knew I’d skate by on the novelty of the thing.

However, I was not prepared for the “costume” The Mayor would bring to the cowboy role.

Upon further grilling the babysitter we learned that the instant we left the house, The Mayor took off all of his clothes and refused to wear anything but the horse on suspenders.

The Mayor galloped around the house nude for the better part of an hour before the babysitter lost her mind and wrestled him into a pair of underpants which she insisted he wear at the very least.

Perhaps the kiddie bubble bath by
jack-o-lantern candlelight the other night wasn't such a good idea...

Mmmmmm, Halloween. I don't know what it is... it just makes me want to get all naked!

Tonight should be interesting.

Giddyup!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Keep Your Sun Up In The Rain

Before I picked up The Mayor and The Rooster, I stopped by the library for another arm load of award winning children's books in an effort to keep the Repetitive Reading Stress Disorder at bay.

["Clifford is a big, red, doggggabub bub bub bub..."]

One of the books I picked up was The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordecai Gerstein which tells the true story of Phillipe Petit's 1974 tight rope walk between the World Trade Center Towers.





Having grown up in New York, K remembers this happening.




The Mayor was completely stimulated by Petit's story, but he was disturbed by the ending.

The second to last page shows an illustration of the New York skyline without the towers and simply reads,

"Now the towers are gone."

The Mayor became distressed.

"Why? Why are they gone, Mommy?" he asked in a wavering voice.

((How am I going to explain this one?? I wondered.))

I told him that airplanes crashed into the towers and that the buildings caught fire and burned to the ground.

(I thought that was taking it far enough for a three year old.)

His brow wrinkled and his fingertips brushed against the picture of the sky where the towers should have been.

I lost him to his thoughts for a moment.

"Mommy," he asked, "did this happen when I was still a dream?"

"Yes, Mayor."

"Why was I just a dream then?"

"Before you were born you were part of the sky. You were made of wind and rain and sunshine," I told him.

A smile spread slowly across his face.

"Do you know what would happen if I kept my sunshine up in the rain?"

"What?" I asked.

"A rainbow!"

According to the Talmud, an angel teaches an unborn baby all the wisdom of the universe.

Just before birth the angel touches the baby between the upper lip and the nose and the child forgets all that was taught.

The angel's touch keeps the secrets of heaven safe and leaves the groove we wear above our upper lips.

I like that idea... but I don't always believe the baby forgets everything right away.

Surely it must take some time to forget all that redemption.


Friday, October 26, 2007

Fragments

I sorted through endless stacks of my grandparents photographs and made piles for each family member.

Though we intend to keep their house and continue to use it as a family gathering place, we removed what we knew we wanted to protect from theft or vandalization while the house stands empty.

In addition to pictures of family members, their photo collection contained hundreds of pictures of places, endless scenes without accompanying stories.

They loved traveling and my grandfather was an avid photographer.

Where and when were my grandparent's scenery pictures taken? What was their significance?

I stared at photo after photo wondering.

I found three striking pictures of a trip to England with only place names written on the backs.

What is the story of this photograph?




Blackpool, England

Why did he feel compelled to capture this lonely, desolate shot?

Were these photographs from the 1960's business trip my grandfather used to talk about?



Piccadilly Circus, London


I remember him telling me that he visited a bar in Liverpool to listen to live music, but left early because his colleague said that the next band was awful.

He missed his chance to see The Beatles that night.




Liverpool, England



Some of my grandparent's photos had nothing more than a year written on the back.


1949
1949

The year tells me that this is a photo of my grandparents with my mother.

Where had they been or where were they going?

More importantly, what were they thinking?

What pieces of their lives have I missed?

Last night I opened my own box of random photos -- the kind that aren't album worthy -- and began recording names, places and years on their backs.

I believe in the power of stories.

Stories change the way I think and shape the way I understand myself and the world.

Stories passed down from family give me context and identity.

I don't think I can record enough though.

How do I know which stories are the important ones to tell?

When I am gone, I imagine my children or grandchildren will sort through my box of photos.

Just as mine is now, I see another face turned up to the sky calling,

"Wait! Come back! I have so many more questions!!"





Thursday, October 25, 2007

I Got Your Vitamin C Right Here...

"Oh, delicious oranges!" I exclaim and pretend to pluck one.

[This is just an excuse to give the toddler butt cheeks a squeeze.]

The Mayor and The Rooster squeal with laughter and defend their hinds.

"No, Mommy! These are MY oranges!!"

So this morning when The Rooster caught me, Joyzilla: Terrifying Naked Woman, walking to the shower I was not surprised to hear her yell,

"ORANGES!!"

She charged towards me with her teeny tiny pincer hands and managed to capture my mighty, left butt flap.

"Mommy, I got your oranges!" she said with great self-satisfaction.

"I think we're going to have to call those grapefruits, Roo... or maybe even pomelos."





Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Overthinking It

Last night we told The Mayor and The Rooster that they could have ice cream after dinner.


"I want to have an ice cream picnic," Rooster told us.

K and I had no idea what she was talking about.

Ice cream picnic?

We scratched our heads.

It was a dreary, grey rainy evening. Surely she didn't want to go outside.

We wondered what she could mean.

Neither of us could recall ever taking her on a picnic or even reading a story about a picnic.

Two year olds... who knows what goes on in their heads?!!

Finally, K said,

"Roo, Mommy and Daddy don't know what you mean. What is an ice cream picnic?"


She rolled her eyes and said,

"I want. to eat ice cream. on the floor. and sit. on. a. blanket."


Oh.

Duh.

And, despite the mental slowness of the parents, The House of Joy Ice Cream Picnic tradition was born.

Good idea, Roo.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Strongest & Most Powerful


The Mayor knows he is not supposed to hurt The Rooster and f
or more than two years he's resisted.

Lately she's been pushing and poking him constantly and he's started hitting her.

The Rooster wails and tattles.

The Mayor lies and denies her accusations.

Troubled, K sat and talked with The Mayor last night.

"Mayor," he said, "when you are kind, gentle and loving you become your strongest and most powerful self."

Intrigued by the idea of achieving ultimate strength and power, The Mayor pledged a renewed allegiance to kindness and gentility.

[Which I am sure he will remember and honor for... oh... fifteen minutes or so.]

The Rooster will be a tougher nut.

This morning she looked at the newspaper and said,

"Who's that?"


"That's the Dalai Lama," I told her.

"Hello Dalai!" The Rooster shouted.

I smiled at her greeting.

"This is how you say hello to the Dalai Lama," I said showing her.

With our palms pressed together, we bowed towards the photo.

She was quiet for a moment and then said,

"Why is he called dolly?"

Recognizing where she's coming from, I realized it may take awhile for her to get all the way to the kind and gentle part of the discussion.







Monday, October 22, 2007

I'm Number One

Over a year ago when I Googled "Hot Park Ranger" I got nothing.

Therefore it is with tremendous pride that I announce that this blog is now the number one returned site when you Google
Hot Park Ranger or Park Ranger Fetish.

I am the official hot park ranger EXPERT of the internet.

Yay me!

The real benefit to being number one is that real Park Rangers find me.

Over the last year Rangers have discovered me, wanted to help me with my fantasy, and created links from their blogs to mine to support the pursuit of a National Park Ranger uniform for K.

This week I received an e-mail from Former Park Ranger Gal (FPRG) who said she got a "hearty laugh" out of my ranger fetish and forwarded one of my posts to her Park Ranger friends.

Apparently, one Ranger wrote back to her and said,

"reminds me of the time that a woman came up to me (I was in uniform at the supermarket) and asked if she could touch me.."
See? I am not alone. Park Rangers ARE hot.

FPRG also sent me a collection of photos of real-life, hot rangers along with their bios and e-mail addresses.

[FPRG is AWESOME. Now I'm going to start a Hot Ranger magazine!]

I assured FPRG that I am completely satisfied with my very own hot ranger.

However, since Oh, The Joys is the epicenter of Hot Park Rangerism, I will share the bounty that FPRG sent with all you closeted Ranger Lovers.

Behold!

First, FPRG gives us... Ranger Matt.



Oh, Matt! Where is your uniform?

According to FPRG, Matt is...

"single and still stuck in the middle of Death Valley. Not easy to meet women when you work in a park like that, even more difficult when you are so shy like he is. He told me stories of female visitors who would hit on him, but would hang his head saying, but 'they weren't looking for the same kind of thing he was'-(i.e. they just wanted a fling and he wanted true love)... One asked, 'what's there to do around here?' (obviously hoping he'd pick up on the hint), to which he replied something like "oh, rescue people, put out fires..."

[I have Matt's e-mail address, people. Just let me know...]

Next up? Ranger Jon. (Again, out of uniform.)



Here's what
FPRG says about Jon...

"When he's not working for NPS he is an artist and handyman (likes to do things with his hands, heh heh) with a college degree in environmental science. He's 33 and never been married and despite having three sisters acts like a 10 yr old around women; he also lives in a hand-built shack without electricity or plumbing. That is, he's probably a different kind of fantasy altogether, lol. What the photos don't show is his incredibly blue eyes, just to die for."

Next, FPRG gives us an unidentified ranger in chaps.



I don't know anything about Ranger Chaps, but whoa... hot chaps!

When
FPRG learned that K had fulfilled my wanton ranger desires she suggested I consider a new fantasy, sent photos of her re-enactor friends and explained that re-enactors hang around in National Parks.

FPRG sent me the following photos for consideration:

Continental Man




Ramrod Rifle Continental Man




Wilderness Man




and

Old Time Navy Guy



I don't know... K has promised to dress up like a ranger again next week for Halloween... I don't think I'm ready to let the whole ranger thing go yet.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Flutterviewed

A few weeks ago Flutter and I were having a little e-mail exchange and she dared me to answer her interview questions.

DANG!

Here goes...

1) One of the most endearing things about reading your blog, is your obvious love affair with your husband. What are the pieces that glue your relationship together?


I’m glad it’s so obvious that I am in love with him because I am. He is extra yummy.

Let's see. Glue?


When we first started dating… Wait, I can’t start like that.

Since our relationship started as an affair, it’s never had an official start date –- at least not one that felt celebratory.

The start of our relationship can only be remembered as this muddle of secrecy, wrong doing and torture.


Oh, the drama.



Anyway, somewhere in there, when our relationship became legitimate, we had the usual angst based on miscommunication and misunderstanding.

In those times K would scare the CRAP out of me by saying,

“Jessica, I need to check in with you about something.”

Oh. My. Got!! What did I DO? What?

I feared that comment.

[Insert music from the Friday the 13th movie. Ree ree ree!]

I took the whole "check in with you" thing to mean,

“WRONG DOER! YOU MUST BE PUNISHED.”

Time and again, what followed was usually something like,

“When you said, [that] I understood it to mean [this] and my feelings were really hurt. I wanted to check in with you to find out if you meant [this] or something else.”

[Insert deer in headlights. Make sure the deer looks like me.]

Having just come out of a marriage where disagreements were handled by some combination of saying caustically vile, sarcastic things and / or engaging in wars of silence that lasted days at a time this approach was wholly new to me.

He wanted to “check in with me” BEFORE getting angry? What? What?

Over time (and hours of relationship processing conversations) I grew to understand this checking in thing as giving each other the benefit of the doubt.

This practice is a big part of the glue that holds our relationship together because it serves as preventative medicine against hurt feelings and hurt pride.

[Though it does require me to own my thoughtless remarks and apologize for them without even a trace of a good argument. Jeez!]

Other things that I would call the glue...

  • The way that I believe in him, his potential and the very person he is,
  • Our unparalleled love for The Mayor and The Rooster, and






2) Your kids are hilarious, so are you. What role does humor play in your family, and do you think it is important?


This blog is 100% serious. I have no idea what you are talking about.

[Insert rainbows, unicorns, Papa Smurf and a paragraph about how laughter is the best medicine, etc.]

3) You are 16, describe yourself.

Slutty, ho bag with no tact.


"Like a virgin, wheeeeeeeee!"


4) The Mayor has fallen in love with 2 animals at the shelter and you have to choose one. Quick! Giant, sofa eating rabbit or a ferret with chronic gas, and why?

Pssssssshhhhh, easy - - sofa eating rabbit. If the rabbit eats the sofa, I can sit on the rabbit. Besides, I produce enough gas for our house already.

5) Above all else, what is the one thing you hope for your children?

That they operate at a lower decibel level. That they grow up to be close friends.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Sucker Punch

The waitress took one look at K and knew she had him right where she wanted him.

One man with two toddlers?

She would have her way with him.

K had to make the seven hour drive to Virginia with The Mayor and The Rooster all by himself.

Before Granny's death the mere SUGGESTION of making that drive alone with the children would throw a creepy shiver down our spines.

K called me from Spartanburg.

"How's it going?" I asked.

"I'M IN HELLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!" he told me.


At lunch time K searched the exit ramp restaurant offerings for something kid friendly and wound up at Denny's.

[Nasty.]

He herded both children into the restaurant, then to their booth, identified breaded and fried items that they might eat (or at least play with while he ate) and then the waitress came to take their order.

K ordered food and drinks for himself and the kids.

He took a deep breathe and decided everything was going as well as could be expected...

Until the waitress, batting her eyes in feigned innocence, asked,

"Would the kids like those drinks in Rocket Cups? They're $2.99 each."

Before K could say anything, both children were jumping up and down on the booth seats screaming,

"ROCKET CUPS?!! YAY!!! WE WANT ROCKET CUPS!!!"


Cha-ching.

The waitress smugly marked her little pad. Yes, rocket cups.

I call a foul.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Kindness of Strangers

A stranger grabbed me by the elbow and pulled me close.

"I just have to share this with someone," she said.

She broke me from my zombie-like march down the apple aisle at my local farmer's market.

I went to the market for fruit and vegetables because The Lady Flabina has been winning in my eternal struggle with food.

Every day last week she yelled,

"CARBOHYDRATES ARE THE OFFICIAL FOOD OF GRIEF!"

Then she stuffed another piece of chocolate pie in my mouth.

[I swear I didn't CHOOSE to eat all that pie!]

The stranger at the market pulled me towards her.

"Look," she pointed. "I think they meant crop."

The sign above the Rome apples said,

"Delicious New Crap!"

I bought a five pound bag.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Cereal for Dinner

Yesterday was the first time I have been alone in about ten days.

The weight of all that I witnessed flooded my soul.

It was a hard day.

Even little things were hard.

It was picture day at The Mayor and The Rooster's school.

Their teacher called me on my cell phone while I was in Virginia to remind me about it.

Unfortunately she failed to mention that I had to sign some sort of release form so when I picked the kids up from school I learned that there would be NO PHOTOS FOR ME.

For some reason this inconsequential news made me slump down and sit where I landed in the play yard.

I'm sure I looked pretty dejected.

Rooster came and sat in my lap.

Dave The Daycare Dad strolled into the play yard, looked at me and said,

"Hi! Wow! You look TIRED!"

I don't know Dave The Daycare Dad very well, but I took the liberty of responding in a matter of fact tone with,

"Yeah. My Grandmother died in a horrible car accident last week. I am tired."

He looked as though I had slapped him in the face.

Is it me, or did he totally miss the Brady Bunch episode where we learned,

"If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."

By the time we picked K up from the train station I was a puddle of goo, totally useless.

The kids were concerned about mommy's tears so K volunteered to take them out for pizza.

They were halfway out the door when The Mayor ran back to me and said,

"Mom, all my stuff is in my bed, so if you want, you can lie down in it. My bear is there and my blankie too. You can use them, okay?"

He gave me a hug and a kiss and then followed his father out the door.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Jake's

A pile of broken boards that once stood together as Jake's Country Store lie at the bottom of a hill next to a set of old railroad tracks and the Dan River.

Jake's was the only place within twenty miles of my Great Grandmother's house where a kid could load up on candy and soda.


The old, wooden porch featured a perpetual gathering of old men sitting and talking
in Jake's rickety rocking chairs.

To me, the men smelled like cigarette smoke and farm machinery.


All of them wore overalls and work boots. Their hats said "John Deere"
.

As they rocked and talked, the worn porch boards creaked in time with the chairs.


Behind them, the store's screen door exposed more and more of itself each year from underneath its chipping green paint.


Inside there was a room full of shelves filled with dusty items that never seemed to change,
merchandise meant for the country farmers that lived in the area.

There was a rack of hats just like the ones the old men on the porch wore.


There were also shoes that had long since gone out of style,
boxes of nails and canned goods that seemed to have been put up hundreds of years ago.

Rays of sunshine lit the store through small windows perched high in the rafters.

In my memory, one ethereal ray would invariably throw a spotlight on the long, glass candy counter.

Every sugary delight I could imagine was illuminated.

An old, wooden chair with a wicker seat stood near the counter so we could stand on it to
better review the candy selection.

Feverishly, we'd point in all directions and Jake would fill up small, brown, paper sacks for my cousins and me.


With our loot secured, we'd stomp across the bare floorboards to the drink cooler and grab cloudy, green bottles of Coca-Cola.


On our way out, my cousin Cary would look back at Jake and call,

"Put it on my Daddy's tab!"

Jake would smile, tip his hat, mark his ledger and return his thumb to its place under the strap of his overalls.


We'd bust through the aging screen door, scramble down the river bank and sit under the railroad tracks eating ourselves sick.


The next day we'd come down the hill and do it all over again.


All of my life this part of rural Virginia has seemed to exist far in the past, never changing.


There are scores of old log cabins, tobacco barns and hen houses still standing a hundred years after they were constructed.




I guess I believed Jake's store would be immortal too.

Since Jake passed away the building has been torn down and only a heap of wood and my childhood memories remain.



Jakes Country Store just before it was torn down.






This essay was written in 1986 as a college writing assignment. I found it in my Granny's papers last week. I took the photos around the same time.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Surfacing

My grandparents retired and passed away in the rural Virginian community where they were born and raised.

I have been here since Saturday night cradled in the care of these country neighbors who are my kin.

My Grandmother was buried on Wednesday.

I will be here with my mother and her siblings through the weekend closing up this house and a cherished life.

Because none of the immediate family lives close by, we’ve had to do so many tasks that most people are able to shelve until some later, less grievous time.

The closets and dressers are cleaned out.

I keep coming across saved bits of paper – a scribbled verse, an old letter, lists of memories meant for lovers eyes on the occasion of an anniversary – I don’t know what to do with them.

Perhaps I should build a fire and send them to her.

In a kitchen drawer I found a print out of the comments people left on this blog when my grandfather died. They must have given my granny some comfort.

I can’t thank you enough for the many thoughtful and kind words you have left for me this week.

It has been a very hard time.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

...to a land where joy shall never end...

The eyewitness said that she didn't swerve or apply her brakes.

He saw her slumped over the steering wheel last Friday afternoon when her car flew off the road and hit the tree.

He called 911 and ran to the vehicle. She was unconscious.

There was so much blood that he thought her jugular vein might have been punctured.

He applied pressure to her neck and prayed for the strength to hold steady with her until the paramedics arrived.

She was airlifted to Duke University Hospital where the attending staff found that she had broken everything but one of her arms.

Her pelvic bone was smashed, both her legs, one arm, her ankle and half her ribs were broken.




Her heart and lungs were failing.


They told us she could not survive, would not survive.

I flew to Raleigh-Durham early Saturday morning to see her.

Though the machines indicated otherwise, I knew as soon as I entered the room that she was long gone.

An oscillating ventilator inflated her lungs three hundred times per minute crowding the room with its incessant noise.

The machine pumped her so vigorously that her body bounced up and down on the bed.

The only parts of her I recognized were her hair and her fingertips.

I sat next to her and held her hand for some time.

My Aunt arrived
in the afternoon with the advanced medical directive and the machines were finally stopped.

I stroked my grandmother's hair and sang a hymn. Then I whispered to her until the lines showed flat.

That she is ripped from my life so suddenly, so soon after my Grandfather's death...

I am undone.




I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.
-Philippians 1:3

Friday, October 05, 2007

Concealer

My friend Michele is someone I rely on to explain things to me.

When I was 8 months pregnant with The Mayor it was she who took me aside and explained the possibility of post partum hemorrhoids (in incredible detail) and how one would treat such an affliction.

[My friend Elke’s husband also tried to explain this to me and because of his use of particularly powerful analogy I will never again eat a fingerling potato.]

When The Mayor was born, Michele was the person who tied an “It’s A Boy” balloon to my mailbox and brought me a gift bag full of Tucks Medicated Pads and Preparation H.

In times of stress, only a true friend will deliver a bag full of soothing butt medication.

Michele had no way of knowing that three years later I would apply her butt medication to my face.

She came over the other day and sat me on the couch.

“We have to talk about your face,” she said. “Do you have any concealer?”

“What is concealer?” I asked.

[I had to look up the correct spelling of “concealer” on the internet.]

Michele rolled her eyes.

“What about moisturizer?” she asked.

“What about it? I put it on all over after I swim.” I said.

“Not moisturizer for your ass, moisturizer for your face.”

“I don’t use any,” I told her.

“WHAT??!!” She yelled. “What do you mean you don’t use moisturizer?! You HAVE to use it. What is wrong with you?”

“What are you talking about? You’re speaking in tongues!”

“Jessica. Concealer will hide the bags under your eyes and moisturizer… well you just have to use that.” She told me.

“Why,” I whined. “Why do I have to use it?”

Michele’s mouth hung open. Incredulous, she said,

“Because you are forty, friend. One word: wrinkles.”

She volunteered to take me to the mall to find the right concealer. She even promised to buy me my first… tube? tub? vat? (What does it look like, anyway?)

Throwing a monkey wrench in the whole complicated process, Michele then suggested that I use the concealer and follow it up with tinted moisturizer with sunscreen in it.

Tinted?

I suppose next I will have to have myself detailed. Souped up.



Forty Year Old Car Looks Twenty Again!



My friend Elke, alerted to Michele’s difficulty in correctly training me in the ways of middle aged beauty secrets, chimed in,

“All a woman has is her skin.”




What?

[You can’t have my liver. I’m using it.]

I am so confused.

Where is the line between health and beauty?


*******************************************************

Yesterday Ms. Kaos left me a comment saying,

"I am so happy for you that you now have a photo of K in that [ranger] hat to paste into things..."

Me too, friend.




Dance, Ranger! Dance!


***********
********************************************

Signs your butt is massive by KC at Where's My Cape was so funny that I had to give it an ROFL award.

Sep

Next month it's your turn to spread the love...

To nominate someone for an ROFL Award, send
Chicky Chicky Baby or Metro Mama an e-mail and they'll put you on the mailing list and let you know when to send in a link to the post you liked.

You can read all the ROFL posts for this month at
Chicky Chicky Baby and Metro Mama.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

You Like Spanky?

Last night K called me to the bathroom to witness my children's tub time performance.

They stood in the bathtub repeatedly scream-singing the nonsense words, “highra dohba” while shaking and slapping their toddler butts.

They thought this was hilarious.

Hee-lair-eee-ous.

The thing is, every time I tell this kind of story about my kids people say things like,


“The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, I see.”

As if I stand naked in the tub slapping my butt flaps and yelling HIGHRA DOHBA!

Please.

I really can't imagine where they get this stuff from.



"HEY, BENDOVAH!"


(Oh, my stylish tube top!)








On a much more serious note, please go and sign Jenn's card for a fallen soldier.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Flying High

Though we have a bjillion children's books, K and I get tired of them.

Oy, the repetition.

I decided to do something about it, went on-line, downloaded a list of all the Caldecott Award winners and honor books since the history of the award and started reserving them through the on-line service my library offers.

[I am the so smart Ms. Genius Pants!]

I also found a newsletter from our local, independent children's bookstore and reserved some of their recommendations.

This is how I found The Adventures of Polo by Regis Faller.

There are no words in the book as it is sort
of a graphic novel for toddlers. There are simply pictures of Polo traipsing along on his happy adventures.

I have to be creative and describe what I see in order to I read it... you know, TALK about the pictures with my children.

[Oh, my frontal lobe!]

My children are in love with this book.

A few nights ago I listened to K read it to them and it was clear that he has no trouble with making up his own words.

I give you The Adventures of Polo... as told by K.


[We join this story already in progress.]


"Polo and kitty cat knocked on the door at the orange house and met... uh...who is that?

Oh, it's SKITTLE MAN!"




"Polo followed Skittle Man down a deep hole.

He fell right on his... butt.

OUCH!

Polo got up and ran after Skittle Man.

What's this?

A glowing mushroom?

Is it MAGIC?

I love mushrooms!"




"Whoah. What's this?

Where has Skittle Man taken me?

Duuuuude.
Check it out!

These mushrooms are AWESOME! "




"YOUR MUSHROOMS ROCK, MAN!!!"




"Oh, man! Look at this!

This is the best mushroom of all!!"



"Wheeeeeeeeeeeee.

I'm flyin' high in my mushroom rocketship!!"





Dude.

Polo.

Definitely.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Waste Management

This weekend The Rooster and I were in the bathroom together enjoying some co-potty bonding time.

When it was over (and were done singing kum-by-yah) she told me she didn’t want to wear a diaper.


Some bad logic got a hold of me and I decided that if she had to pee she would tell me or, worst case scenario, I would have to clean pee up off the floor.


[Oh, the pushover that I am!]


What I didn’t anticipate was that she would look up at me and say,

“Uh-oh, poopy, Mama!”
Or that I would have to clean up a pile of loose poop that slipped out her rear door, slid down her leg like a fireman and landed with a soft thump on the kitchen floor.

[A mess! A mess, I tell you.]


Later that night K and I decided to take the children downtown for the last outdoor, neighborhood concert of the season.


The Mayor and The Rooster were excited about staying out after dark and wanted to wear pajamas.


[Saves me time on the back end? Okay! Pajamas it is!!]


An hour past their bedtime I decided it was time to burn off any remaining toddler jet fuel.


I initiated my favorite toddler exhaustion game which I lovingly call, “RUN! RUN! RUN!”

Each player is challenged to run as fast as his or her small legs can carry him or her to (that really far off spot over there) and back.


Then players repeat the really fast run over there again and again until there is a great toddler wheezing.


The Mayor and The Rooster drew quite a bit of attention running up and down the town square in their pajamas at break neck speed dodging the scooters and skateboards of the bigger kids.


Suddenly K noticed that The Rooster was distractedly pulling at her pajama pants leg which was bulging strangely.

He unzipped her pajamas only to find that her diaper had released its grip on her waist and slid down the fireman’s pole formerly known as her leg.

Of course… sometime AFTER the diaper’s departure The Rooster released a great and mighty tidal wave of pee.


Her pajamas were soaked and, because I am a supremely talented mother, I never seem to have a change of clothes no matter where I go.


Rooster had nothing to wear and was soon streaking back and forth across the town square in the dark clad only in a diaper and light up sneakers.


Two young girls stopped to point, laugh and shriek,
“DIAPERS! She’s in diapers! Eeeeewwwww!”
Only to hear their father yell,
“So what? You used to run around in nothing but diapers all the time!”
They didn’t hear me add,
“U punk @zz chumps!”
[Because I didn’t SAY it. I was just THINKING it.]

My children, finally exhausted, were herded to the car and ushered to bed.


But in the morning I woke to this,
“Mommy, I wet the bed!”
Every day is the same.

Oh, the EXCRETIOUS joys.





* My apologies to blog friends... my work life is interfering with my time for blogs and blogging (the NERVE!)

Monday, October 01, 2007

Pink One, Blue One, Yellow One

She was squeaky clean, fresh from the bath when I carried her to the changing table to put her in pajamas.

She laughed and chatted with me while I put her diaper on.


I reached for her pajamas.


"Mommy, I want different pajamas," she said.

I looked at the pair in my hand and wondered how many nights she had worn them.

"Okay," I said.

I pulled a pair of pink footie pajamas out of her dresser drawer and helped her into them.


She looked down at the chest and noticed the pattern of hearts.


"Hearts!" she said.

"Pink one... blue one... yellow one."

She grabbed me by the ears.

"Listen to my heart!" she said.

She hugged my head to her chest and wrapped her arms around it in a mighty hug.


"You are my heart," she said.


Roo My Heart

*******************************

The Original Perfect Post Awards – Sept ‘07

The Perfect Post Awards are up today.

I really loved
Lawyer Mama's post on becoming a lawyer.

Next month make sure you pass a perfect post award to someone...

To award a blogger with a Perfect Post Award, all you need to do is e-mail Mamma K -- Petroville(at)gmail(dot)com -- and ask her to put you on the Perfect Post mailing list.

She'll e-mail you every month when it's timeto send in your Perfect Post pick.


See all the Perfect Posts at
Petroville or Suburban Turmoil.