Monday, January 29, 2007

When did I become such a wimp?

At some point during my first pregnancy, I began to cry at the drop of a hat. At the time, I blamed it on hormones, as we women tend to do. But are my hormones still out of whack seven years later? Every day of the month? Constantly?

It all started when I was driving on the highway at around five months into my first pregnancy. I heard a siren and saw an ambulance speed by, and I got all "fa-fa-fa-fuh-fuh-fuh!!!" Because someone was hurt. Possibly very badly! And it bothered me for the rest of the day. Seriously!

Then I began to notice that the littlest thing would get me all choked up. A man tripping as he's climbing up steps (he must be so embarrassed! WAAHHH!!!), a child nervously calling his mother in the store (OH! MY! GOD! What if he can't find her?! He must be so scared! WAAAHHH!!!), a cashier not saying "thank you, have a nice day" to me after handing me back my change (she doesn't care about my patronage OR the status of my day! WAAHHH!!!). You know, stuff like that.

And now? I cry when I'm sad, upset, and HAPPY. Or worried. Or touched. Or happy that I've been touched. Or worried that I won't be touched and therefore happy. Well, sometimes I cry when I'm touched, actually, but that's a whole nuther story. The point - because there is one! - is that I'm a blubbering mess about many things, many times a day. But the thing that seems to get me the most lately is my kids and their godforsaken cuteness.

For example, I brought Jason to a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese's recently (also known as: Suck E. Prizes) (or: The Place That Makes Me Want to Stick Straws in My Ears Until I Hit Brain Matter Because Oh Dear God the NOISE). On the way in, I told Jason, "It's very crowded in there, so every once in awhile you need to look around for Mommy and wave 'hi' to me so that I know where you are, okay?" He said, "Okay, Mommy." And I thought, "That went right in one ear and out the other."

So, we go inside, and Jason finds his table of friends and begins to mingle. I start talking to one of his friend's moms, and all of a sudden I hear, "Mommy!" I look over, and there is Jason, waving his hand wildly. "Hi, Mommy!!!" So cute! And it's nice to know the boy can follow directions when he knows they're important. I tell my friend why he's waving, and she thinks it's adorable.

We continue talking, and not 30 seconds later, I hear "Hi, Mommy!" and see the little blue-eyed boy waving to me again from across the room. Well, we started CRACKING UP. I said, "Wow, is he taking this seriously or what?"

Two minutes later: "HI, MOMMY!!!" This time he's waaaay across the room where I can barely see him, frantically waving, with a big smile (because he knows he's being a good boy for doing what I say!). So now my friend and I are practically on the floor, hysterical with laughter.

Thankfully, as he got more and more occupied with playing games, the novelty wore off and he only called out to me occasionally. Because my wrist tendinitis was beginning to act up from all the waving.

And even this, as funny as I found it to be, gets me all choked up every time I think of it. Because really, how cute is he?? Why does he have to be five years old next week? WHY? Can you imagine how much I'm going to cry when I'm LOOKING BACK at these sorts of things, when my boys are teenagers and ignoring me completely?? WAAAHHHH!!!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Because I need to know

When you eat a peanut butter sandwich, do you have to get up out of your chair periodically to dance and jump around? Also, do you feel the need to squeeze the peanut butter onto your fingers and paint pictures on the dining room wall?

Just wondering.

And I'm really really really trying to remain calm, as you can see by how I'm typing all...calm (screw the thesaurus right now). Because if my true feelings were to come out? I WOULD BE TYPING LIKE THIS!!!!!!!!! And banging on the keyboard LIKE THIS lwejro-9qqrj[92u4512j417 k1n5 109u501 po5mpou0=12451pk5\-1951515] 510oi5i !!!!!!!!!!!!

From 4 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. every night, I totally understand the fascination with hallucinogenic drugs. It's a good thing I'm stuck in this JAIL with these little itty bitty people who are slowly killing off every bit of sanity in my brain with each eardrum-bursting rendition of the Power Rangers theme song or else I'd be wandering the streets searching for a dealer.


nafkjqut[o1j53 poj1097-12]k5 [192591-5i 16519=5]];[p50-23o]2!!! 15kj92u4 0-p-32.l5

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Spain: The new continent

There's no better way to boost your ego than to take an I.Q. test, don't you think? I mean, there's just nothing like being asked questions about topics that were always your worst nightmare in high school to make you feel inadequate as an adult member of this planet and even maybe a little bit, oh, STOOPID.

I took part in a research study over the weekend, and part of the research involved taking an I.Q. test, which I was kind of psyched about because I've never had my I.Q. tested before (at least not formally). So, being the English wiz wizz whiz that I am, I started out feeling very competent. Okay, brilliant. I was thinking, well, this isn't so bad! I might be smarter than I think I am, and won't it be fantastic if I can brag to everyone I know about my genius I.Q.? That would be SO COOL, and I'm sure my friends and family would be so nauseated proud!

After the English section, I was asked to do all kinds of things with colored blocks to create designs. And again? BRILLIANT. Okay, I got a little stuck on the last design, but it was quarter of twelve and I was ready to break for lunch. If they want you to perform at your best, why don't they serve snacks, for cripe's sake?

After lunch, I did a section on figuring out math word problems in my head without being able to write anything. I was surprised at how well I did, considering the fact that I'm pretty much mathematically crippled. But even with what I think I might've gotten wrong, I figured I was still doing quite well. Hey, everyone has areas where they are weaker than others, right? Unless you're some sort of freakish...freak.

But then. Oh, then. Then, then, then. Then came the Geo questions. I have always had problems with anything Geo. Geography, geometry...geographical, geometrical. The subjects I have hated since, oh, FOREVER. And what happens to me when I'm asked about something having to do with either of these subjects is that my brain freezes into a huge cube of icy matter and becomes completely useless. Unable to process information. Incomprehendo. Mucho.

So, the Test Administrator announced that the next few questions would be about continents. You know, like "What continent is X on?" Stuff like that. As soon as I heard the word "continent," I became nervous. And peed myself. ("Ohhh...I thought you said INcontinent! HA HA! Silly me!")

I'm KIDDING. I did not pee myself. I was too busy trying to keep myself from fashioning the plastic top from my Dunkin Donuts coffee cup into a mock knife with which to gouge my eyeballs out. (Check out the grammatical correctness of that last sentence, will you?) Because that would've been so embarrassing!

Test Administrator: "Where is X (something with a tilde) located?"
Me: (Anything with a tilde is surely Spanish!) "Um..."

I could NOT think of what continent Spain is on! I knew that North America and South America were definitely out. I mean, duh. But I'll be damned if I could think of another fricking continent because of the Brain Freezing Problem.

Test Administrator: "You can just guess if you don't know."
Me: "But wait...I know this!"

Two point four seconds later...

Me: "Okay, Spain."

OH. MY. GOD. Why didn't I just stick with "I don't know"??

A little later...

Test Administrator: "What is the capital of Italy?"
Me: "Oh! I know this!"

Silence. For three full minutes.

Me: "...Milan?"

Doh! Why do I feel that this might be the wrong answer? Oh, well. At least it's not as ridiculous as the Spain answer. Surely.*

A little later (after much, much more CORRECT, GENIUS-QUALITY answers were given)...

Test Administrator: "Who was President during the Civil War?"
Me: "Oh, boy."

Silence. Nervous giggles. Okay, when the hell was the Civil War again? Was it the 1800's or the 1900's? Did I forget to mention I also hated history classes?**

Me: "I'll just have to guess because I have no idea."
Test Administrator: "That's fine. Go ahead."
Me: "Theodore Roosevelt."

The Test Administrator was very kind, I should point out, and never once burst into hysterical laughter, peeing herself from my sheer incontinents incompetence. She was really, really nice. I'm quite sure she waited until I had left the building before pointing her finger at the door I exited, shrieking "OH MY GOD WHAT A DUMB-ASS!!!"

I did make her laugh once, though, when she asked me this question: "Why is it important for people to know history?"
Me: "So that they won't make complete asses out of themselves during an I.Q. test."

Go, me!

*Rome. The answer was ROME. I had to GOOGLE IT. And then it was so obvious! Oh, yes! You mean the place where I actually VISITED and LOVED and am DYING to see again?? Ah. I knew that.

**My most vivid memory of history class is that Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin. And what exactly am I going to do with that information? Hell if I know.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Look out below!

Thank goodness for Jason, or else I'd have virtually nothing to blog about.

A little background: When Jason saw that the flags were at half mast at his school last week, he asked me, "Why are the flags down?" I didn't know quite how to explain it, so I did the best I could on short notice. It went sort of like this: "A President died. Not 'the' President. That we have now. It was a President from a long time ago. So they put the flags like that out of respect. For him." Jason, whispering and looking concerned, "He died??" I said, "Yes, but it's okay. He was...old." He then saw his classmates waving to him from his classroom, and all concerns about how old people tend to die disappeared. Thank GOD. I find these types of questions to be very difficult to answer without causing distress to both the child and myself. Especially myself.

Here's our exchange in the car on the way to school this morning:

Driving up to Drew's school to drop him off, Jason again sees some flags at half mast.

Jason, sounding sad: "Oh, Mommy, look. Drew's president died, too!"

Me (after laughing for a full five minutes and almost running us into a bus): "Jason, it's the same President. They put the flags like that everywhere to show respect because he was a very important man."

Jason: "He died because he was old?"

Me: "He was VERY old. I think he was something like 92 years old."

Jason: "92! That's a big measurement!"

Me: *laughing again*

Jason, very seriously: "Mommy, I think maybe someone killed him."

Me: "No. No one killed him, Jason."

Jason: "Well, why did he die?"

Me: "Like I said, he was VERY OLD."

Jason: "Mommy, you know what I think?"

Me: "What?"

Jason: "I think a coconut fell on his head."

I'm beginning to think I need to limit the cartoon viewing.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

National Delurking Week

This week is National Delurking Week. So, for all of you who pop in, read, and run, this is your opportunity to out yourself and actually *gasp!* comment. Because, I've been thinking, if a reader laughs all by him/herself at his/her computer in his/her house while reading one of my posts, and no one else is there to hear it, does it still make a noise?

Think about it.

Monday, January 08, 2007

What the bleep is on Joey's head?

Drew, my six-year-old, got the most recent Nickelback CD for Christmas from his dear, dear aunt (Hi, Jan!). Now, two weeks after Christmas, I can officially say I am sick to death of Nickelback. In fact, I dread bringing him to school because I know what I'm in for on the ride. He knows every track he likes by number ("I want to hear 3!" "Can I hear 5?" "I want to hear 6 again!") Also? Should I be concerned that today I heard him singing "Whadda hoe is a Joey hey?" It's not a big deal, right? I mean, obviously he doesn't know what the words actually are, so... C'mon. Tell me I'm not a bad mom. Anyone?



The thing is, I don't believe in censorship. I figure the more I coddle my children and cover their ears and eyes, the more these things will be appealing to them as they grow up. I don't want my kids to become teenagers who swear ten times in every sentence and date sleazy girls. To me, the obvious way to avoid this is to let them listen to rap music with explicit lyrics and learn all about the fascination with loose women and drugs and violence right from the get-go so that we can get it out of the way. If I act like it's not a big deal, they won't act like it's a big deal, right? I'm also considering having Porno Night once a week so we can get that out of the way, too.


Okay, the truth is, I have very few moments when I'm alone in the car and can listen to the music I like. And I don't do Disney music. And I would surely run us all into a tree if I had to listen to the Wiggles. I'd much rather listen to Justin bringing sexy back, or Nellie being promiscuous, or Fergie being fergalicious. I figure, I don't ask for much, and I have to put up with a lot. So what if my four-year-old sings "Smack That" while he's playing with his dinosaurs at preschool? Let's review the lyrics: "Get on the floor" Not bad. "Give me some more" He probably thinks they mean cookies. "'Til you get sore" From chewing. Of course.

I could take a Wiggles song and read something nasty into it, you know. You can't tell me there isn't some hidden meaning behind "The Wiggles Groove." And what about "Nicky Nacky Nocky Noo"? Come on! Those guys are giggling to themselves while they're singing these seemingly G-rated songs! All men really think about is sex, and that's a fact. Are we to believe that they really sat down one day and wrote an entire song about hot potatoes, cold spaghetti, and mashed bananas without having one thought about 9 1/2 Weeks? That's where they got the idea for the song, people! In fact, there's one part in that song where it sounds like there's something missing, and I bet it's where they bleeped out the part about cold ice cubes and erect nipples. They're MEN. This is to be EXPECTED.

There are always correlations between children's songs and "adult songs," anyway. Children join hands and sing Ring Around the Rosy, dancing in a circle and falling to the ground, joyfully laughing. But little do they know that this song is about people dying of the plague. And how the imaginary posies in their imaginary pockets are there to keep away the stench of rotting corpses, because when they "all fall down"? That's when the people keel over and DIE.

And when Fergie struts down that table in her "London Bridge" video wearing a half-open button-down shirt and a pair of underwear with the British flag on the butt, she is doing it for the CHILDREN. So they don't feel left out. They can sing along and think that it's merely the club mix version of "London Bridge is Falling Down," but little do they know Fergie is actually singing about how she wants to drop her panties whenever she sees hot men. (Or, I suppose it could also be interpreted by the children as "I see London, I see France, I see Fergie's underpants.")

Clearly, from early on, the message was that we should all sing together, young and old. And I figure I was stuck singing "I'm a Little Teapot" 42 times a day for what seemed like decades, so I'm thinking it's time for my boys to sing a little 50 Cent "In da Club" with their favorite girl. This will teach them fairness and how to be a team player.

See? I am not a bad mother. I am doing my job as a mother.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

The House of Wooden Stairs (a.k.a. Death is Merely a Misstep Away)

Paul fell down the stairs the other day and scared us all (I mean, what would we do without his paycheck??). (Oh, and he's not hurt, thank God.) So, I'm a bit on edge (ha ha) about the stairs in my house. To make matters worse and ensure that I will not sleep again tonight, this just happened this morning:

Jason: Can I go upstairs to get my Leapfrog?

Paul: Maybe later.

Jason: Why can't I go now?

Paul: Because you have enough toys down here.

Jason: Okay.


Me, running to the stairs like a crazy person: WHAT HAPPENED?!?!?!

Paul: He's okay. He dropped a toy.

Me: "..." (one cannot speak when one's heart is lodged in one's throat)

An hour later, when I've finally calmed down and can actually speak: Jason. You scared me. Half to death. WHAT. HAPPENED.

Jason: I was coming down the stairs and I just couldn't hold the Leapfrog any longer so I just dropped-ed* it.

Me: Why didn't you just put it down on the stairs??

Jason: Well, I never thought-ed* of that...

Me: I thought you fell all the way down the stairs and really hurt yourself!

Jason, a bit condescendingly: Mommy. Come on. I'm not made of Leapfrog stuff, so it didn't SOUND like I felled-ed.*

Needless to say, I had no idea how to respond to this statement. (Have I mentioned that he's four? And that I don't think he's aware of that fact?)


*Question of the Day: At what point does a four-year-old understand how to make a word past tense? Because, as cute as it may be, it might not be so cute if he tells the girl he's dating, "I goed-ed to the store and bought-ed you a flower that I thought-ed you liked-ed. Are you happy that I gaved-ed it to you?"

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Shut it down

Dear Citizens of Karen's Town, U.S.A.:

News flash: Christmas is over. Why must it take you up to six months to realize this each year? Okay, so you haven't had a chance to take your lights down...or put away your stupid lawn ornaments...or deflate your hideous 10-foot blow-up Santa. This, I can allow on January 3rd. But why are you still turning the lights ON? Why must I still have to see the jerky head movements of your faux reindeer "grazing" on the dead grass? Why do I have to look at that ridiculously huge Santa smiling and waving, still trapped inside that ball of wasted electricity? STOP FLICKING THE SWITCH, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.

I'm just saying.

Love & kisses,

Monday, January 01, 2007

Um, hello?

I am back from my unannounced holiday break. Commence the sighs of relief and the cries of joy.

First: Happy New Year! I hope everyone has a fabulously happy and healthy 2007!

Coming up next: Karen Shows Her Age.

So, last night was the ever-exciting New Year's Eve at our household. We put on our sweats got all dressed up in our finest evening wear, watched The Office on DVD and gorged ourselves with Chinese food, went out on the town and partied like rock stars, and fell asleep on the couch at 9 p.m. rang in the new year with champagne and sloppy french kisses!

Crazy kids, us.