Wednesday, October 7, 2009


When I get home from work after ten pm, I find DH fast asleep in front of the evening news broadcast on TV. Birdie is awake, his six-year old face blue in the dim light from the TV. "I'm so hungry," he greets me.

Dylan comes bounding from his room at full tilt: "Look you have to try to reconstruct the Lego Man; he has a squid head and you can pick out whatever body you like!" He is punchy from exhaustion.

"So what did you guys have for dinner?" I ask.

"Nothing!" they chime. Then they correct themselves: a bowl of cereal and two bites of toast. Between them. There is food in the fridge.

If I ask DH why he didn't feed our kids, he will explain, logically, that they did not ask for food.

The boys have to get up for school in the morning. Judging from the body odor emanating from them, they will also need showers in the morning.

So now should I hire a sitter, instead of relying on DH?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Play Date

Birdie had his best buddy Evan come over. They decided to try on clothes and put on a fashion show. I played the radio while the boys strutted out from behind a curtain, sporting an array of baseball caps and tee shirts. Birdie giggled while he wore two different shirts encircling each arm. A lot of hugging, squeezing, and unfettered declarations of devotion took place: "I just love you, you are the best friend ever!"

Evan asked: "What if I lived with you and Birdie and you had three kids instead of two?"

"That would be fun." I giggled. "But I think your mom might miss you."

Evan thought about that and said: "How bout if we just have a sleepover? Can we?"


"Yay!" the boys squeal, grabbing each other's arms and jumping. "When?"

Can these little boys please hang on to just a bit of the boisterous six-year-old in themselves as they inevitably grow into men?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fallen, Scraped, Skinned, and Bumped

The afternoon that Birdie wore the Crocs to school, he emerged from his classroom with a large band-aid on his temple, staring at me with soulful, moist hazel eyes. He handed me a slip of paper. It was a note from the nurse, informing me that Birdie has fallen at recess, scraped his elbow, skinned his knee, and bumped his head.

"She tried to call you," Birdie said.

"Are you all right?" I asked. I had turned off my cell phone during a meeting; that must have been when the nurse called.

"I have a headache," Birdie said. There are tiny blood droplets staining his shirt.

"I saw him fall," his teacher tells me. "It's those Crocs. I have some, and I know you really can't run in Crocs."

Well, they have to be better than flip-flops, right? Now the footwear issue is a safety concern! From now until his college graduation, I will consider it my duty to be sure my kid will wear shoes to school.

Friday, September 18, 2009


Birdie is tough. What he says usually goes. The last time I was victorious in the power struggle was when I succeeded in prying him off my sore breasts for good. He went from breast feeding to bottle feeding and has not forgiven me since. The latest battle is over appropriate footwear for the first grade. He insists on flip-flops. Winter is coming, and he has to wear flip flops. It is pouring rain, the street drains are flooded with a foot of dirty water, and he is wearing his flip flops. He has PE, is riding a scooter or climbing a rock wall, and he insists: "It is OK! I can wear these!"

At the latest foray to Payless Shoes, Birdie stood horrified before the racks of size-one shoes: "They all have tongues! I do not wear shoes with tongues!"

At REI I purchased Crocs, the silly rubber clogs, hoping for a compromise, to at least have his toes covered while his feet flop around without support. So today he wore them to school, instead of the flip flops. But the morning was not argument-free. No, he does not wear socks, they are too itchy. No, he does not wear shirts that have tags, buttons, a wrinkle or spot of dirt on them. It seems to be a matter of grave principle. A stack of rejected shirts lies in disarray now, just minutes before the first school bell.

"I guess these are ok," he acquiesced once he slipped on the pricey rubber shoes.

"You like the Crocs, good," I said in a friendly way.

"Mom! You are supposed to say CLOX, with an X at the end!" he scolded.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

3 Things I Look Forward to about my Boys Getting Older

1. Leaving extreme dirt behind: one day I will not have to use Pine-Sol in laundering caked-on mud, blood from picked scabs, and motor grease from prodding the car's engine.

2. No more lengthy conversations about burps, farts, bottoms, or penises: I am ready for another source of high humor.

3. A dining experience that does not include macaroni and cheese, chocolate milk, or fish sticks. And if nothing gets spilled, so much the better.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Tuff Love

When I walked Birdie into kindergarten the other day, I noticed his friend Evan sobbing with his head down in his arms. The teacher's assistant asked him why he was crying and he sniffled, "I miss my mommy."

"Ay, everyone misses their mommy. I miss my mommy too. My son, he misses me. But the mommies can't stay with you all the time since they have to go to work. Valerie's mommy is going to work. Birdie's mommy is going to work. Shane's mommy is going to work," she explained in her gruff voice.

I stared at her for a second. She was not really helping to stop Evan from crying, but she was telling him the truth. There is nothing wrong with telling the truth, even if it is not the kindest response. Evan cried on.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

3 Ironies

1. I get disappointed that people do not read this blog. Why bother writing if no one is reading? Yet I worry about concealing my true identity; I don't want people in my real life to connect me with my virtual life. Go figure.

2. I am so busy all day, yet so much remains undone. I am up early washing and feeding kids, making sure clothes are ready for school. I bring home much paperwork which I slog through when I should be sleeping. At the end of the day, I am tired. And I remember I forgot to file the income taxes. For 2005. Again.

3. You only get one chance to be a good parent. Yet you get that same chance over and over every day. Then suddenly the kids are big, and you hope they are not helpless, homeless, heartless, hopeless, due to your missed chances.