Monday, January 31, 2011

Another reason I'll never be on Jeopardy!? I don't know anything.

Having a five-year-old around is like the worst, longest, most random IQ test ever.

Yesterday Sam added:

"Mom? How do we make words?"


"Mom? Why does smoke come out of our mouths when it is cold?"

to the list of questions that I neither know, nor care about, the answer to.

He asks these things and PEOPLE, let me tell you, I try. I try really hard to come up with a response. One both truthful and age-appropriate. Both accurate and concise.

But it is HARD and I don't like hard things. I like easy things. Thinking hurts and makes me tired and MY GOD I'm just trying to make you a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and that is challenging all on it's own because we seem to buy the kind of jelly that comes with a cloaking device when you put it in the fridge. I don't need a lighting round.

It's not enough that I know how to find and play Wonder Pets on the television, now I need to know how the television makes pictures, too?

And, jesus, the SCOPE of these questions. I mean, How do we make words??? Where do you even START with that? As I'm stumbling through my understanding of how we FORMED THE FRICKIN ENGLISH LANGUAGE, it becomes clear that he actually wants to know WHERE IN OUR BODY we make words.

"Our teef? Our moufs?" He queries, eyebrows drawn together so concertedly it is as if he is trying to parody confusion.

So then I have to pull together whatever bits of information I've managed to retain over the years about voice boxes and whatnot.

I've started telling him, "Sam, I need you to stop asking questions right now." Which makes me feel like parent of the year, you know.

Squashing creativity and inquisitiveness is way easier than dealing with creativity and inquisitiveness.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Clark Kent

So Clark is going out to dinner with Lois Lane. They are waiting for a table when suddenly he sees an old lady getting mugged outside! He hurries and changes into Superman, saves the lady, but then, OH NO! A car is careening out of control - the driver is in a diabetic coma - and it's going to hit a baby carriage! Superman swoops in and saves the baby and gives the driver some orange juice or something. And he's about to head back to dinner, because he knows Lois is probably getting peeved at this point, but, crap, somebody just robbed the bank and has taken a bunch of hostages.

By the time he gets back to Lois, she's gotten mad and gone home. And nobody says, hey, great job, Clark.

That was my afternoon, if you replace Clark with me and Lois with Chris and dinner with our whiny kids and crime-fighting with stain-fighting.

Recent questions Sam has asked me that I don't know the answers to

1) What was the first sound?

2) But WHEN is second Christmas?

3) How is air?

4) Are eyeballs forever?

Feel free to take these, guys.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Guess what? Sam is like Chris.

Yesterday morning, Sam was sitting on my bed watching TV and getting dressed for school.

Well, actually, what he was doing was sitting on my bed, watching TV with his mouth hanging open, clutching a limply dangling shirt in his immobile hand.


The shirt would twitch closer to his body.


He'd open the bottom of the shirt.


He'd begin to put one hand in the sleeve.


Eventually I made him go to his room and get dressed. He emerged five seconds later, fully clothed.

It was notable, this television hypnosis, and I wondered if maybe it wasn't a good thing.

That night, Chris and I are in the kitchen. I'd been loading the dishwasher while Biggest Loser was on the TV. Sam comes in and asks for some milk.

Two minutes later I turn around and see Chris, his hand on the open refrigerator door, staring at the TV, mouth hanging open.

It wasn't even the weigh-in, people. They were just jogging on treadmills.

Just a few of the people that irked me yesterday

Yesterday was one of those days where I wonder if humanity is really as necessary as I've been led to believe.

I was irked by:

1) The girls standing next to me while waiting for the shuttle who had a conversation that went like this:

"Oh the snow!"

"I know!" - Huge guffaws of laughter

"So where are you from?"

"Arizona, but Nairobi originally."

"Oh WOW. Do you think you'll ever go back there?"

"Well, I visit every year, except probably not this year." - Huge guffaws of laughter - but why?

"Oh, well the snow must be new to you."

"Well I went to college in upstate New York, so I've seen snow!" - laughter, of the huge sort.

"NO WAY! I went to college in Vermont!"

"Are you SERIOUS?!"

"Yeah! I grew up in Vermont, all my brothers and sisters grew up there too!"

"Are you FOR REAL?! WOW!"

"Yeah, but my sister-in-law is from Florida and when she came here she'd never seen the snow before and when she came she was all, 'It's so cold!'" - here the Nairobi girl actually half collapses with laughter.

It went on from there, but you get the point. A lot of amazement and laughter that seemed uncalled for. On the shuttle I contemplated what it must be like to live life in such an expansive way. I concluded that she was covering some severe emotional pain with all that interest and laughter.

2) The shuttle. The shuttle irritated me mightily. It seems like every time I clamber on to head back to my office the shuttle driver decides to take his 20 minute break. So that happened. I was sitting on the shuttle to nowhere, like a piece of installation art. Every so often a new person would walk up to the shuttle, pull the doors open, and climb on board. Then one person walked up to the shuttle doors and stood there, clearly perplexed by the situation. She looked around for the driver and then just sort of stood there. While the poor girl is standing outside, the people sitting inside are heckling her - "does she expect someone to open the doors for her!" (is that unreasonable?), "is she just going to stand there?" "What an idiot!"

It seemed like a darker side of humanity. Mostly because I could totally see myself in that situation. Did you all know that that was the appropriate thing to do in that situation? Because, actually, when I first tried to board this same shuttle bus, while the driver was actually behind the wheel, he honked me imperiously away from the door because he had not yet pulled up to the exact shuttle-stopping spot. For "safety" reasons he explained when he eventually deigned to let me board. But it is safe for us to pry open the doors to an unattended but running shuttle bus?

3) But don't think this woman is the victim here. When someone up front finally opened the door for her, she sat next to me. As we are driving, I want to let this poor, abused, woman know that some of us are friendly people, so I decided I will chat with her. "At least the roads look like they are clearing up in time for rush hour," I said. While this is neither fascinating nor profound, it's relatively innocuous, right? She ignores me COMPLETELY. Do you know what it's like when you have sent a statement out into the world and it just hangs there? It's pretty uncomfortable.

Honestly. People.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

See wha had happen was . . .

A lot of boring stuff.

It was sick kids, sick Chris, Christmas, sick kids, Florida, sick me, blah, blah, blah.

Florida was good this year. Owen perfected the art of shooting fireballs. He used to just shoot them with his eyes, but now he knows that you have to point your finger and say "pssshw" for maximum impact.

Since we got back from Florida, Owen has cried every time he had to go outside.

I understand, man.

When I picked the boys up at school on Monday, Sam said, "We're going to dinner at Hoppa Homma's house today!"

"Not this Monday, buddy, they are still in Florida."

"WHAT?! They need to come HOME."

"I know, I miss them too."

"I don't MISS THEM, they just need to come home because they are just STAYING in Florida and NOT COMING HOME so now I can't go to their house for dinner and that's not fair and they just need to come HOME and stop staying in Florida so much."

And Owen said, "But Homma is pwetty nice to me."

And Sam said, "OWENAH. Stop disreplacing me!"

And Owen said, "But she is. She made me a Homma bwanket because she's got a wot of yarn."

"OWEN. That doesn't even got anything to DO with Florida."

"Yes it does. She had yarn in Florida."