20 June 2012

Dinosaurs? They estinked.

I came across a partial unpublished blog entry from summer 2008 - they boys, who were asking questions, would've just turned 4. Enjoy.

Sam: What happened to the dinosaurs?
Jack: "They estinked."

The term “what if…” is used a lot these days. But it sounds more like a single syllable word that might be spelled “whaaa-fff." For example, here’s a random question one of the boys asked this week – followed below by how the sentenced sounded, phonetically: 

What he meant: “Mom, what if a person was in a waffle cooker?
What he said: “Mom, mom. MOM, Mo - whaaiff, um... Whaa- (pause) um. Whaaaiff a person uz ina waaaflll cookr?”

A waffle cooker? 

Mom goggles

Over lunch yesterday I stopped off at the pool to give the kids their goggles. They’re at day camp and I had forgotten to pack them. I wasn’t sure exactly what time their group came to the pool – but figured I’d easily find at least one of them.  But I didn’t. And after a good deal of searching I figured they were in the late group with pool time from 2 to 4. 

Turning to leave I caught sight of something my brain couldn’t comprehend. 
Time stopped. My eyes had fixed on a young child, not moving, being pulled out from under the water. Unconscious. I saw the tiniest flicker of blue suit. The boys’ suits’ are blue. TERROR. Gut-level terror crept up my neck and threatened to choke me. I couldn’t move my large muscle groups. I couldn’t speak. I was essentially frozen. In what seemed like 20 minutes, but was more like 1 second, I was (finally) able to move my eyes up to the lifeguard’s post. He was blowing a whistle in short bursts – signaling other guards and getting kids out of the pool. “CALL 911!” a male parent thundered, then went back to performing CPR. That little body – no life in those limbs. 

Intellectually, I realized this wasn’t my child – this is a little girl. But the lizard part of my brain hadn’t caught up yet. Moms all around begin screaming – shrieking - for their own children. Lizards, all of us. 

“Purple group?” I managed a tiny whisper to a woman rushing by. “Camp..group purple..boys?” Nothing. “Pool fall?” I whispered, or maybe I didn’t. I don’t know. “Purple twins?” 

 “PURPLE WON’T BE HERE TIL 2.” Someone said as she whizzed past. 

Deep breath. They’re not here. My boys are not here. Another deep breath. I could breathe again! My inner lizard understood – it set my limbs free. 

I fog-walked to a picnic table near the entrance where an older girl was sitting with a towel over her head. “Are you ok?”
She looked up, tears in her eyes and shook her head. “I don’t like things like this,” she said. I sat down. “I know… I’ll sit with you if it’s ok.” She nodded yes. “I won’t leave until it’s over.”
“Thank you. I hate these things.”
“I know…”
“I’m going to faint,” she said.
“Slow your breathing. Think of something really, really, REALLY boring. Like math!”
(A tiny giggle)
She was getting control of it. So I gave her my next best trick for calming anxious nerves. “Tap one hand on the table, then the other. One hand then the other.” She might've rolled her eyes a little. I said,  “Weird, right? But it works. Try it.”  She did. She calmed and we chatted a little about middle school. She kept the towel over her head.

The emergency squad was there in minutes – maybe seconds. Miraculously the injured child had been revived thanks to quick thinking, quick acting good Samaritans. The paramedics put her on a big stretcher and brought her out to the ambulance for a ride she’ll never forget. She is expected to be just fine. 

I waited for the red lights and sirens to stop – for all the emergency vehicles to leave. “It’s all over. Everything is just fine.” My benchmate came out from under her towel – relief on her freckled face.  I gathered my things and took a few steps toward the exit. 

 “Hey, that tap thing?” she said, “Thank you for that.” I nodded and smiled. 

Thank you, I thought to myself as I got into the car.  Thank you for letting me be the comforting mom in a terrifying situation. I needed that in a fundamental way that I still don't entirely understand. Perhaps I needed someone else to hear me say everything would be just fine - so I could believe it myself. Or maybe it's more primal than that. I don't know. I do know the taps are an EMDR exercise I do with Sam when he’s anxious. And when Jack can’t fall asleep I say with a wink, “Think of math.” Works every time. 

26 April 2012

28 September 2011

When I grow up....

One morning before school - after objecting to a certain pair of pants - Sam informed me of the following; 

"Mom, when I grow up I’m gonna wear unmatching clothes because I won’t have to follow your rules - AND I’m gonna dress my kids in unmatching clothes!!"

You sweet little rebel, you. (Smooooooch!)

Duck Army

The other night, I saw these little balls of modeling clay all over the house. Jack had  brought them home from some school project. I started to gather them up - headed for the trash.
"Noooo!" Jack cried out. "I need these!!!"
"Because, mom."
Well, ok... But, why?
What? What do you need this clay for?
After a sigh and an eye roll he said (as if on a need-to-know basis), 
"I’m making a DUCK ARMY!!!"

And that he did. 

 About 10 minutes after I took this picture, I went back to cleaning up and doing laundry. I heard Jack from the other room... "Mom! The cat is eating the duck army!"

A tough mission. 

Sadly, a few members of the front line did not survive.  The rubber duckies, however, lived to fight another day.

22 July 2011

What parental controls?

Links we love:

Oh sure, I can laugh now - but I'm secretly relieved I'm not the only mom duped by technologically-savvy tots. Much to my surprise, I discovered recently "I" had purchased a bunch of Zynga game bucks. And by "I" I mean one of my "lovely" boys. And by "lovely" I mean rotten. Neither one is talking. 

14 July 2011

Feed the fish!

If you've come to the site disappointed to see that our hardworking LAJASA staff hasn't updated the blog yet again, scroll all the way to the end of the page and feed our virtual goldfish. They don't bite. Since we have very few visitors, they are starving. Feed 'em, you'll make their day.

12 April 2011

13 March 2011


"Sam. Jack. Smile nice now, OK? I want a good picture of the three of us at the St. Patrick's Day Parade."
And this:

11 March 2011

Sam hates popcorn. I think.

Don't the best conversations happen at the dinner table? They do at our house. Some of the strangest ones, anyway.
Last night as I was pouring the milk, the boys were chatting. I don't know how they got on the subject, but it was something about going to the movies.
"I hate popcorn," Sam said. "It makes me sick."
"No," Jack piped up in response - as if Sam were asking a question rather than making a statement. He continued, "Maybe it's not the popcorn. Maybe it's all the, you know, romantics that makes you sick."
Now I was listening. "Romantics?" I asked, taking my seat.
"Yeah, you know in Rapunzel - all that romantics and stuff? It makes you sick."
(I assume he was referring to "Tangled" - the only possible 'romantic' movie they've seen - and they both liked it).
Sam, who had disengaged from the popcorn conversation as soon as his brother said, "No..." went about eating dinner until several minutes later when, completely out of the blue, he started singing a questionable lyric he learned from some older kid in the after-school program. 
My boys are growing up. And - at least for today - I like it about as much as Sam likes popcorn.

01 March 2011

Little Whipper-Snappers

At dinner last night Sam asked me if I was alive when Theodore Roosevelt was president (1901).
“Of course not - I’m not that old, buddy!”
He responded with, “How about Lincoln?” (1861)

Other recent “old mommy” questions/comments from the twinions:

“Did they have TV when you were little?” (Yes! We had TV). "Oh yea, but it was only black and white, right?"
“Were there cars when you were little?”
“You’re not old until you’re 50.” (I’ll be 50 in a few years, hon) Shrugs and says, matter-of-fact - “That’s really old.”

25 February 2011

Things I miss now that they know better...

My boys are growing up too fast!! I love every stage of their growth and development - but I must say there are a few things I miss. Things like: 
  • Hearing them giggle and chant “Poof-Poofity-Poof” to use their ‘magic powers’ to open and close the car’s rear windows (after I secretly release the child safety window button).
  • Running to greet me with hello kisses and hugs after a long day at school. (Instead of hugs, now it’s shrugs).
  • Their fascination with and love for bugs – even the ugly, leggy, stingy one.
  • Silly chats with “Invisible Bob” at the dinner table.
  • Their belief that the cat was mom’s assistant, sitting outside their bedroom door every night “to keep an eye on them.”
  • That it’s no big deal to invite girls to a birthday party. More girls, more gifts, right? These days, girls are “SO GROSS, MOM!”
  • Telling me every single thing. Now when I ask how their day was, I’m lucky to get a mumbled ‘fine’ or ‘terrible’ or ‘boring.’ – no details.
  • Their belief that our cable subscription doesn’t include ESPN.
  • Their faith in me as a perfect, non-flawed, beautiful, forever-young goddess. These days I’m merely human with 'lots of freckles and lines on your face, mom' who nags and sometimes even ~ yikes ~ yells.