13 November 2014

The Mom Scene, Part 2

Apparently, there was more. Here’s a further dispatch from my wife’s adventures in the land of motherhood . . .

3:30 pm: Everyone’s awake. Everyone has more energy than I do. Way, way more energy. I swear they’re doing crank when I’m not looking. The constant attempts at flying off the couch. The violent mood swings. The nosebleeds. It’s all starting to make sense.

3:45 pm: Provide a healthy snack.

4:00 pm: Wipe, sweep, and/or vacuum snack detritus from every surface of the house, including rooms they didn’t even enter. It’s like a really bad magic trick. They are Uri Geller with apple slices. More often than not, I find Cheerios inside the feet of the little one’s pajamas. What?!?

4:15 pm: Head outside. It’s gloomy and everything’s still wet from the previous night’s rain, but the walls are closing in and at least one out of three of us is not going to survive inside any longer.

4:17 pm: Wonder how anyone can be so singularly obsessed with ants.

4:19 pm: Wonder how a person who has only been walking for a little more than a year can toss a Frisbee at the exact angle necessary to wholly decapitate a large, lush, flowering plant.

4:35 pm: Play tag. Their legs are so short, how can they be so fast?

4:36 pm: Oh, right. The crank.

5:00 pm: They want the Stomp Rocket out of the garage. Only three out of five rockets get stuck in trees and/or the roof, and of those three, we manage to shake two down. The last one will require hurricane-force winds or a ladder. Either way. Not. My. Job.

5:25 pm: The husband is home. I go into the bathroom to do a shot of tequila pee.

5:28 pm: Enter the kitchen to find he has brought flowers. And beer. And wine. He’s not Dave Grohl, but he ain’t half bad.

5:37 pm: I put some music on, the beer is good, dinner’s going. My kids are pretty cute when we’re separated by a sliding glass door.

5:54 pm: Pretend like the dandelion I’ve just been given is the most special thing in the world, even though it makes me sneeze. And it’s the fifth one I’ve received this week. And when they opened the door to bring it in, 5,000 dirty leaves blew in with them.

6:00 pm – 7:30 pm: A list of sentences uttered during the hour and a half that spans dinner and bath time, in no particular order:

“No feet on the table.”

“No feet in your mouth.”

“We do not spit our milk onto our plates.”

“Stop laughing at him.”

“Do not touch your brother’s penis.”

“Do not touch YOUR brother’s penis, either!”

“Yes, I suppose that piece of potato sort of looks like a TIE fighter.”

“Yes, your potato looks like a TIE fighter, too.”

“He doesn’t need help getting his sock off.”

“Or the other sock.”

“That’s gross.”

“Are you guys asleep yet?”

“I pee-peeing in the baftub.”


7:47 pm: The four of us are piled up on the couch. Their hair is damp and combed and smells of baby shampoo because I will never stop using baby shampoo on them, not ever. They insisted on wearing matching pajamas tonight, and I am wrecked with their cuteness.

8:01 pm: Without warning, the little one grabs my cheeks, smushes them toward my lips and says, “Mama fish face!” and laughs hysterically. He stops just as suddenly, hugs me with all his tiny might, and says, “I love you, Mama. You are mine best buddy.” I kiss his soft little forehead and make a mental note to buy him more blue dishes.

8:25 pm: We are looking out the window at the top of the stairs, saying goodnight to the moon. The big one: “Goodnight, everything in the whole entire universe.” The little one: “Goodnight, everything in the whole tired universe.”

9:00 pm: They’ve been in bed for less than an hour and I’m looking at pictures of them on my phone. “What are you doing?” the husband asks. “Look how cute they are,” I reply. “I miss them.” He rolls his eyes more than is necessary and hands me a glass of wine.

Ed. Note: There was an appropriate amount of eye-rolling.

06 November 2014

School of Rock

When you’re a parent, you learn time is not on your side. On a regular basis, in a variety of situations, you find yourself thinking, This, like all things, will end. For me, lately, it is driving the Doozer to school. Someday he won’t need me to drive him anywhere. Or won’t want me to drive him anywhere. Which will be worse. So for now, I’ll enjoy it.

And spend that time talking about Legos. Top five Lego Movie Lego sets. And Hobbit Lego sets that he doesn’t own, based on a movie he’s never seen. But they are online and in the Lego catalogue, so obviously he must know all about the backstory of those Lego sets, so I find myself recounting entire plotlines from Peter Jackson epics.

Ad nauseum.

But then we listen to music. This is our time to rock out. It’s one of the things that always takes me back to being a kid myself. Riding in the car with my dad, listening to the oldies station. He knew every word to every song and I know I’ll never forget those times with him.

And now the Doozer and I have our own music in the car tradition. Recently, he requested, nay demanded, to hear more rock-and-roll songs. You know, the ones with the drums and air guitar. Not sure how it started, what song he heard that prompted the request (might’ve been a Green Day tune), but who am I to deny such a request. I will create a playlist of rock songs.

(And yes, no matter what type of guitar we hear, it is always an air guitar. Also, the kid plays a pretty mean one himself.)

He already loved the Foo Fighters and Jack White and Pearl Jam. (Yes, you are correct, I am absolutely doing a fantastic job as a parent. And then some.) But of course I will take this valuable opportunity to further his education and shape his young mind. I am more than happy to be the Lester Bangs to his William Miller.

We’ve never gone in for the kiddie rock, with very few exceptions (Elizabeth Mitchell’s family sing-a-long version of “Three Little Birds” is lovely and one of our favorites). Our kids are going to like what we like. It gets harder the more they comprehend, the better their awareness becomes. And their ability to repeat things. Finding songs without inappropriate lyrics we don’t want him repeating in his first grade classroom can be a challenge. But this is one parenting challenge that we are comfortable with facing. And conquering.

Of course, there are still questions.

“Why does that guy scream like that?” he asks.

That guy is Julian Casablancas.

“It’s a type of singing,” I reply. “The guy from Pearl Jam does that sometimes.”

“Not like this guy,” he says. He seems equally impressed and baffled by the shrieking lyrics of The Strokes’ “Juicebox.”

I mean, really, what 6-year-old sings along to “Fell In Love With a Girl” at top volume? Or Weezer? Or the Stiff Little Fingers? (Thank you, High Fidelity.) The Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The MC5. The Darkness. (Of course, it’s easier to hit that falsetto when you’re his age.)

He is particularly impressed with Lenny Kravitz’s shredding skills. So, every morning, we’re taking it all the way back to 1993 in that car as he bounces gleefully, plays his air guitar, and sings along to “Are You Gonna Go My Way?” with a giant grin across his face.

And he’s right. That Lenny Kravitz is pretty damn good at air guitar.