Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Maurice Sendak on the Colbert Report

If you didn't like Maurice Sendak before (which, frankly is just inconceivable - what, you dont like the Beatles, either? What are you, cold-blooded?), watch this clip of Maurice Sendak on the Colbert Report and your mind will be changed.

I was already a big Sendak fan. As much as I like Where the Wild Things -- and I still have my childhood copy -- I really get into his other stuff, like Outside Over There (there's a whole blog post I need to write about reading that wacko book to Sec's pre-K class) and We're All in the Dumps with Jack and Guy. That shit is craaaaaazy. You really feel like you should be on mind-altering drugs to fully get what Sendak's going for - either that, or be a kid. Lately, I've read a bunch of interviews with him and now that he's in his eighties and entered the who-gives-a-crap-what-people-think-i'm gonna-let-it-all-hang-out stage of life, he's an absolute hoot, a bona-fide character. That character interacting with Steven Colbert - priceless.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Mysterious Vomit Puddles: a cautionary tale

Sec's been experienceing some mysterious emotional tumult lately. In point of fact, its probably not too mysterious -- she's about to have a little sibling and that's enough to rock her little, intensely-emotional world. So for the past few weeks, she's been moody, brooding, angry and all around like someone wearing too-tight shoes. In an affort to cheer her up, I scheduled a bunch of playdates for her. This is a big deal because, being the second-born, Seconda doesn't typically get first dibs on playdates. Up until this year, her playdates have been of the tag-along variety, meaning she'll play with the little sister of whoever Primo is playing with --and this worked out pretty well since almost all of his friends have four year-old kid sisters. Whether or not she liked this kids, whether they were her "friends" was irrelevant, mainly because, I've found, four year-olds don't so much have friends as other kids of approximately the same size they fight over Play Doh with. But now that Sec's in Pre K, about to turn 5, I have had to concede that perhaps it is time to really consider her social life on its own terms, and take the time to set up playdates JUST for her. So last week, I packed 'em in, offering on both Monday AND Wednesday to pick up kids from her class and bring them over to our place to play.

The first playdate wasn't a resounding success but it wasn't a total disaster, either. It was a case of the best of times, the worst of times -- pretty much your standard four year-old play session.
The second one, however, was an unequivocal nightmare. Lest you think I am exaggerating, let me say this: mysterious puddles of vomit were involved.

In retrospect, the reason it went so badly is probably that my expectations were much too high. Hubris is what that is. I was picking up a sweet, adorable little boy in Sec's class who she's always delighted to play with on the playground and with whom she's never had any beef, as far as I can tell, because the kid is so mild-tempered and accomodating, he couldn't have beef with a heifer. For this reason, Primo loves the kid, too.

Here's how naive I am: I thought that Primo liking the kid would be an ASSET.

When I picked up Sec and her friend, Johnny, the kids were delighted. They were hugging and chatting and playing, beaming like little rays of sun. But in ten minutes, when we picked Primo up, all joy and relevery on Sec's part ended abruptly. As soon as she saw Johnny hug Primo, and Primo take his hand and recount in painstaking detail every trait of every character in the Ninjago game, she grew dark and furious.

"This is MY PLAYDATE!" she shrieked, puhing her brother as hard as she could, "Don't talk to my friend!"

You can imagine how the next two hours played out. Every time Primo so much as looked in Johnny's direction, Sec became apoplectic. BY 3:30, the time we got home, she was in a rage so deep and toxic, there was no turning back. I tried. Oh how I tried to reverse the rage! I basically forbade Primo to talk, look or acknowledge the little boy, directing him instead to his homework and video games. Then the little boy waited patiently to play with Sec, who was by that point, crying hysterically in the bedroom. I offered to play with him. I offered to take out the paints. Hell, I would have offered to buy them each a pony if I thought it would have made a difference. Sec was injured beyond repair.

Making matters worse was the fact that the playmate was scheduled to last til 5:30, which was the earliest the mom could come by to pick Johnny up. At 4pm, Sec was still hiding in the closet, crying and screaming insults at me. Because, of course, its all my fault somehow. By 5, I'd managed to coax her out and basically forced her to stay in the room with Johnny and settle on a game to play. Primo was playing video games and could keep playing them, as far as I was concerend, for the foreseeable future, if it would only prevent Sec from having another nervous collapse.

But after five minutes of brainstorming games to play with Johnny, Sec walked out of the room and announced, "We want Primo to play!"

"Are. You. Kidding. Me." I replied through gritted teeth. I am, by the way, eight months pregnant. My nerves can't take this shit.

"No," I added, "He's happy playing his video games now and you said you didn't want him to even talk to your friend. This is YOUR playdate, remember?"


"No. WAY."

"Mommy, if you don't let Primo play with us, I am going to hide in the closet and won't play with anyone and Johnny will be bored and tell his mommy."

I love it when my daughter gives me ultimatums, but I love it even more when they work. It feels freaking great to cave, just give in to your insane child's wild deamnds after she THREATENS you with more bad behavior. It is basically the first lesson of "What not to do in parenting 101" and I did it. I didn't know what else to do. I am hormonal. My daughter is a dictator. I had a whole half hour left hosting the kid, at least, and every moment felt like an ETERNITY.

"Fine, you can ask him to play. But you listen to me, Missy--"

(That's when you know you've departed from the bank of Good Parenting, by the way - when you call your kid "Missy")

"If you get upset that Primo and Johnny are playing together WHEN IT WAS YOUR IDEA -- if you come out here crying, I'm going to ----"

What? Whip her? Sell her to the gypsies? Throw the TV out the window?

"I am going to be FURIOUS!" I concluded.

Because THAT consequence is such a huuuuuge deterrent.

So Primo joined the kids and they played, pretty happily in fact, for about five minutes or so and then - miracle of miracles -- Johnny's mom arrived, with his big brother.

And that's when the REAL disaster struck. Remember, people, I haven't even gotten to the mysterious puddles of vomit yet. Which is why this post is . . .


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Second-Born

When my son was five, the kid was on a highly age-appropriate television regimen of Sesame Street and Backyardigans or, if we were feeling really liberal with his viewing habits, maybe a flick like Cars. The wildest material we read was Charlotte's Web. His diet of literature and television was wholesome through and through, the equivalent of kale chips and seven grain bread for snack time.

Seconda is now almost five and yesterday she walked into her PreK classroom donning a white lace high-necked gown with purple tulle underneath, very Madonna circa 1983, wearing lipstick and clutching an Easy Reader copy of The Phantom of the Opera. In my defense, I'd convinced her to slip on a gray wool cardigan over the dress which brought it down a few notches of crazy, and I tried to wipe the lipstick off but it had already stained her lips, being a bright red Brucci.

She was super-excited to show her teachers and friends her outfit - she was dressed up as the Phantom's beloved, Christine -- and the book.

"This is my favorite part!" she exclaimed to her teacher, pointing to the illustrations, "Christine rips off Phantom's mask and then he becomes furious and makes her dig her nails into his skin and screams, 'Try to tear my face off!!!!'"

I laughed nervously and directed her to the reading nook where we could peruse the inappropriate reading material privately.

"Read it to me Mommy!" Sec demanded.

And so, as softly as I could, I did. I hadn't read the book before -- had bought it for Primo for his birthday since he loves all things spooky and hey, it is classic literature and promotes a love of literature. Plus, I'm familiar with the story and its not that racy or violent, as I recall. A fallen chandelier. A deformed face. But that passes for tame with kids these days. No sex, drugs or rock n' roll or anything.

I should have given the book a quick read though before I handed it over to the kids because as I turned out, I wasn't all that familiar with the original story.

Recently, Primo read the book at bedtime and the next day I asked him about it and he gave me a quick summary:

"Well, the Phantom, whose real name is Erik, joins a freak show when he is a kid and there's this guy who makes friends with the Phantom and saves his life by pretending another person's corpse is the Phantom's corpse so he can sneak him out of the freak show. And then Erik makes a house under the opera and he builds a torture chamber where he puts his enemies and then he falls in love with Christine and tries to murder her boyfriend Raoul and then he kills himself."

I was pretty sure the kid was getting some of those details wrong, had gotten confused along the way. His reading's not perfect and who knows? He probably made up half that stuff. Torture chambers? Freak shows? Sounded a little . . . far-fetched.

But I learned the truth as I read a chapter to Seconda at PreK drop off, to a growing audience of four year-olds. I tried to keep a low profile but somehow the kids knew we were reading a banned book and they flocked over.

"Behold my death-face!' cried Erik," I read, ""I am very handsome, am I not? The hole for my nose! The dark rings around my tiny yellow eyes! The sunken maw of my mouth!' He grabbed Christine's hands and dug her nails into his flesh. 'Maybe this skeleton face is a mask too! Why don't you try to tear it off!!!'"

That's some bleak shit.

By the time we got up to the Phantom giving Christine a tour of his underground lair, complete with the coffin he sleeps in and the - yes, Primo was right - torture chamber, I decided we'd read just about enough to persuade the teachers and other parents that I was a completely unfit mother. Great, just great. Here I won't let the kids watch Sponge Bob or ICarly and I am reading to them about people committing suicide and faking their own death to escape being circus slaves.

Sometimes I'm blinded by the title "classics of literature." We all make errors in judgement. But it wouldn't hurt for these ""Easy" Readers to have a parent advisory label on them.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Brainwashing your child: hey, it happens

We all brain wash our kids, without even meaning to. They're just so impressionable and even the most mindful and mild of us parents pass on our beliefs and opinions about things.

My children, for instance, have a beef with teenagers. All of them, in general, as a category.

"I don't want to be a teenager!" exclaimed Primo one day, "They are so annoying!"

"Oh honey," I replied, "Not all teenagers are the same. Just like with everything, there are some nice ones and not-so-nice ones, and annoying ones, and perfectly pleasant ones."

"Well then why are you always complained about them?" he volleyed back.

This illuminated two things to me.

A. When did I become such a grumpy, crusty old octogenarian?
B. I have to be more careful about the shit I say in front of the kids.

"Yes, you're right, I do sometimes complain about teenagers," I agreed, "Because when I'm trying to walk you home from school and they take up the whole sidewalk and yell like maniacs and bump into us, it drives me crazy. But that's not ALL teenagers. And the truth is, I was the most annoying teenager around. Really. So I probably shouldn't complain."

But it was too little, too late. My kids are now prejudice against teenagers. And I have to launch a PR campaign in defense of them, to highlight the many positive qualities of many of the city's adolescents.

The other day, I noticed a new way I'd brainwashed Primo (Sec's way tougher to brainwash as she kind of just doesn't give much regard to anything I say).

I was limping around, moaning about my back pain and grumbling about being nauseous with my massive pregnant belly was sticking out of my pajamas and I just looked like the most miserable excuse for a human you've ever seen.

"Daddy, you're SO lucky," Primo pointed out.

"Why?" David took the bait.

"Because you get to have a baby without doing any of the work," he explained, "And poor Mommy has to feel SO BAD."

That time, I didn't bother to correct him. David had plenty to say on the matter.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Mom, I'm Fat

Mothering daughters is no easy feat for a whole host of reasons but grappling with body image problems is one of the doozies and I'm already freaked out about it. This post on Rachel Simmons' website, Mom, I'm Fat, only freaked me out more in some ways-- the thought that Sec could turn to me in two years and tell me she wishes her belly is more flat-- but it also reassured me, too. I loved the fact that the author was so candid about the fact that, though she's an expert in parenting, she has no freaking idea how to respond in one of these heart-wrenching real life parenting conundrums. Or, I should say, she has a pretty good Ida, a whole bunch of pretty great ideas, which she tries, only to find that none of them really do the trick, What matters is not that you get it right, but that you try and try again and try some more and be honest and thoughtful in the process and love your kind. Ultimately, that's the best you can do and it has to be good enough, at least most of the time. Food for thought . . .

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Too Good to Be True

We've been working on bedtime lately. That's kind of misleading. The truth is, we're ALWAYS working on bedtime. Getting the kids to go to bed without a thousand curtain calls and before 10pm is basically my life's work.

But lately, we've been making an extra big effort, really trying to hammer down some sort of order into the chaos because there's going to be a baby in the house soon - a real one, with REAL, justifiable sleep issues and right now, the thought of introducing more insanity into our bedtime strikes a chord of terror into my heart.

So, after OD'ing on research (polling ParkSlopeParents for advice, re-skimming my sleep books, visiting Soho Parenting, the sleep gurus of NYC) I basically realized there's no simple solution, more a war of attrition. But the Soho Parenting people did make one very useful suggestion, which was that we start the whole bedtime earlier. 8pm is a perfectly nice bedtime if your kids go to sleep, oh within an half hour or so of hitting the hay, but when it takes them 2 stinking hours to "wind down", well, 8pm might as well be the stroke of midnight.

So we pushed bedtime back about 30-60 minutes and now - miracle of miracles - the kids are usually conked out by 9:30pm. Believe it or not, that's a major improvement for us. That's reason for a ticker tape parade. Sec especially has responded well to the early bedtime, sometimes falling asleep by 9pm, which makes us feel so extraordinarily fortunate, we don't even SPEAK of it when it happens.

One night, the unthinkable happened. At 8:45, I went into the kids' bedroom to fulfill some demand of Primo's -- more milk or I need a new pen to create my comic book masterpiece or I finished this book can I have another one? -- and I saw Sec was asleep. I told Primo I'd come back in 15 minutes to turn off his book light and sing him some songs, thinking maybe I could have them BOTH asleep by a conventional bedtime.

At 9pm, I creeped into the bedroom, and climbed the first few steps of the ladder to Primo's top bunk. But I stopped short. Because my son was sleeping. SLEEPING.

"Good God," I thought, "he's fallen asleep reading his book, like a kid in a freaking MOVIE. I guess that shit really DOES happen. "

I immediately sucked my whispering back into my throat and creeped like a pregnant ninja down the ladder, slipping out of the room without a sound.

"David," I said, "You are not going to believe what I'm about to say. Primo is asleep."

"Its 9pm," he replied, confused.

"I know," I said.

We exchanged proud glances, not even daring to jinx our good fortune by speaking out loud what we were thinking, and that was, "Its working. Our massive effort is paying off. We are good parents and this is the proof. By God, we've done it."

And then, the door to the kids' room swung open and Primo darted out laughing his head off meniacally.

"I tricked you Mommy!!!" he chortled, "You thought i was asleep! But I was only pretending!"

Which made a lot more sense.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

We want to be surprised

You know something I've never understood? Parents who say they don't want to find out the gender of their in-utero baby because they want to retain the element of surprise. I mesm. I totally understand not wanting to find out the gender of the baby for a whole bunch of reasons, particularly the superstition variety. But wanting to be surprised at the moment of birth, I don't get, because it makes me think that they think if they find out that piece of information beforehand, there won't be enough surprises at the moment of birth.

I've experienced childbirth twice now, both times knowing the gender of the baby, and if there is one thing I can say with absolute assurance, it is that there is nothing BUT surprise at the moment of birth. That, in fact, is a wild understatement. A totally brand-new human being is coming our of your vagina. It is, I venture to say, the most shocking thing you could ever possibly experience. I don't care if you're the Duggard lady, that shit is surprising no matter how many timss you do it.

So the idea that you'd be lying there, and a baby would come tearing out from between your legs and you'd be like, "Oh yeah, a complete person is evacuating my vagina. Big deal. I know its a girl already." is funny to me.

I, in fact, feel the opposite. I DON'T want to be surprised. There are too many surprises already. I want to know whatever I can. If I could find out, from the sonogram, if the baby would be into sports or chess, I'd get that info now. If I could find out where the baby is going to college, that'd be rad. I'm an in-utero information junkie.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Inappropriate Questions People Ask Me Now

As you may guess if you'd read my blog before, I don't have a keenly-developed sense of privacy or decorum. I don't particularly even have a good grasp myself of the difference between appropriate and inappropriate conversation, and I have a tendency to overshare. But even I know you shouldn't ask a woman who is not on your speed dial if she meant to get pregnant or not.

And here's the thing: EVERYONE has been asking that with this most recent pregnancy. Didn't come up the first or second time but now, its just fair game.

I don't actually mind the question because my answer is simple and unequivocal and that is, for the record -- yes, I meant to, mine is a planned pregnancy, thanks very much for asking. The which always seems to surprise people, leading me to wonder why? is there a reason you'd think I didn't mean to get knocked up? Am I blundering so obviously in the mom department that its beyond the pale I'd dare to procreate again? Am I of such poor means and circumstances that its an outrageous proposition? Am I out of my freaking mind? It makes a gal, well, a bit defensive.

And then I think: what if it hadn't been planned? Would I then be compelled to choose between lying and calling my kid an "accident"? I mean, the go-to phrase people like to use is "happy accident" but still. My point is: its a little like asking someone if their boobs are real or how much they paid for their apartment. Its fine if they volunteer the info but dude, don't ask, no matter how much you're dying to settle a bet. Exercise a little restraint. Or, as my mother would put it: show some class.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Damn You Autocorrect

Damn You Autocorrect

I'm not circulating anything new here - in fact, I'm sure I'm months behind the game, but my sister sent me this list of The 25 Funniest Autocorrects of 2011 and when I finally got around to clicking on the link, I was in for one hell of a riotous laugh. David and I sat on the couch and laughed until we cried, tears actually running down my face. It was one of those out-of-control painful laughs. And, really, for the life of me, I can't say whey these are so freaking hilarious. Certainly, part of it is the fact that Autocorrect, that diabolical genius, somehow tricks people to accidentally say absolutely horrifyingly gross sexual things to their parents and vice versa. We laugh because we're so flipping relieved its not US who just referred to our mother's vulva. Part of it is the fact that you can see the realization - oh horror! what disgust! -- of the corrected one, after they have irrevocably hit "Send" and read over what they've just penned.

My favorite is the one where the Mom tells her daughter there's a surprise for dinner in the kitchen. The reasons I love this auto correct are myriad. FIrst, you can see what a luddite at heart the Mom is, since she signs her texts, "Love Mom." It reminds me of how my grandmother signs her answering machine messages like a letter. They just don't get how the form of communication works. Secondly, there is kind of nothing grosser than what the daughter says to her mom, not just because of the term she uses but because of the flirtatious way it comes across, "I hope its your . . . . " But mainly the reason I love this one is you get to see the realization the daughter has, after she's sent the thing, and the overwhelming, crushing desire to turn back time, to suck the message back into her fingertips, as she frantically sends, "Please don't read that" in various iterations.

It is just pure comedic gold.

Enjoy and happy Friday!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Breaking News

I'm lousy with breaking news -- even the good kind -- to people. Its not a skill I ever developed. I handle these kinds of earnest moments awkwardly, and it leaves people wondering whether I'm fucking with them or what. Its a little like Molly Ringwald in that movie "For Keeps" (God I love that flick), when she says, "Pass the salt. I'm pregnant."

Which is my news, incidentally. I'm preggo. Knocked up. In the family way. Bun in the oven and all that.

I figured I should mention it since I'm in my third trimester and eventually, if all goes well, I will just be blogging about a Terza, and you'll be like, "What? Who's this new character? What the hell?" And then I'd have to backtrack and explain, yeah, I was totally pregnant there for the better part of a year and now I have a new baby and I just neglected to mention the whole thing. What can I say? I'm a wierdo.

So, yes, big news. New baby.

And since I've had this conversation a few times since my belly popped a while back, I can anticipate your next question. We know the gender and its a . . . lady baby. I put it that way because I like the image of her in pearls and a Chanel suit in my uterus, a real lady. Though I can't imagine where she'd get THAT from, since I curse like a sailor and Seconda still likes to show the world her underwear when she hangs upside down by her knees on the monkey bars. Who knows what this little critter will be like? Its kind of the fun of the enterprise, after all, the mystery which gets ever closer to being revealed.

So, prepare yourselves for some pregnancy blogging. Since I've kept the news under wraps for so long, I've got a LOT of complaining to make up for -- tons and tons. Gird your loins, people.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Sunny Side of Sickness

For a few weeks when Primo was an infant, I did something pretty out of character -- I took him to Mommy and Me yoga class in the neighborhood. Its not that I have anything against yoga : in fact, I quite enjoy it as a form of exercise. I just get turned off when I feel I have to subscribe to a certain way of life or be a certain kind of person to "practice" yoga. I am not constitiuonally capable of quiet meditation and anything that hints at that tends to get me deeply anxious. In this way, Mommy and Me yoga was actually perfect, because there is no slim possibility of quiet meditation in a room full of screaming babies and toddlers. So, for a few months, I took him and we sang Wheels on the Bus while in downward facing dog. It was nice.

The other reason I liked Mommy and Me yoga was the teacher who led the group. At one of the first classes I went to, she told a story which made a tremendous impression on me. I am fairly certain I will never forget it. In fact, I think of her story a few times a year, usually in the winter, whenever I get dog-sick, as I was last week.

The instructor was a young mom of little kids and she always offered a little chit-chat in the beginning of class, getting everyone nice and relaxed and comfortable. On this particular day, she was telling us how she'd been really sick the week before.

"I was feeling bad for a few days," she recounted, "But when you've got little kids, as we know, you don't get to take a break when you're sick. Its just business as usual, except you feel so lousy. But then, after a few days, something wonderful happened. I got so sick that I was let off the hook. And I'd never thought I'd feel happy about shitting myself AND throwing up at the same time, but I did, because I knew that it would mean I could finally take a break. That's what happens when you're a mom."

It was pretty hilarious and fairly un-yoga-like, from what I could gather in my limited experience. And also a little harrowing, a little like the beginning of the Deer Hiunter when the fucked-up vet talks to the new solider about the war. I mean, childbirth is no piece of cake and its certainly not pretty but a few months into motherhood and I couldn't even IMAGINE being so desperate for a release from my duties that I'd joyfully shit myself and yak in my own hair at the same time. To know that was coming was a little unsettling. But man, she was right.

No onw wants to be sick, and God knows I freaking deplore it. But being moderately sick, when you have young kids, is kind of the worst, because you can be moderately sick for a long-ass time, weeks really, always getting a little worse, more and more run-down because being moderately sick doesn't win you an exemption from ANY freaking Mommy duties. You'll just have to drag your queasy, headachey, unsteady ass to work and swim class and after-school playdates and trick or treating. You'll have to throw birthday parties and make dinner and clean up the house and meet your deadlines no matter how shitty you feel. But when you turn the corner and get REALLY sick, you just can't anymore and someone - you don't care who - has to step in, for the good of the children. You're simply incapable of carrying on with business as usual and its not even an option. Swim class can go to hell. Similarly, playdates. Parties will have to be rescheduled. Someone else will have to pick the kids up from school and wipe their asses. ANd you will take your feverish ass, your shitty britches, your upchucking mouth and park it in bed. And sleep all day. I mean, its living the dream in many ways.

But you can't tell that to a pregnant woman. It'd scare the daylights out of her. Like the nasty details of post-partum recovery, there are some things that are better left unknown.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

My adurawble son

Primo's been really wanting to go on a Boy's Weekend again, the kind where he and his Pops spend a night in a hotel. I've written whole essays about how much my kids love hotels and I don't blame them - I love even a run-down Ho Jo myself. On the first and only Boys Weekend which David inaugurated at the end of the summer, he set a dangerous precedent by taking Primo to the irresistibly like-able lodging known as the Holiday Inn. I heard Primo tell one of his friends about it one time, "We stayed at this really nice hotel. They had a fold out couch and cinnamon rolls for FREE! It was called the Holiday Inn."

Its been a few months since that weekend and Primo has started clamoring for another such outing. David and I are all for it but, we explained, they probably couldn't stay at a hotel because it costs a lot of money.

"Even Mommy and Daddy only stay at a hotel overnight as a special treat," I told him.

That didn't really impact him at all. He's continued to plead for a trip to the Holiday Inn where you get as many cinnamon rolls FOR FREE as you want in the morning time. We told him he could have the special time with no girls AND it could involve cinnamon rolls -- the Pillsbury Dough kind -- but probably no hotel. Then, one night, he emerged from his bedroom with a letter for David which read:

"Pleeeeeeease can we go on a Boys Day? If you don't its OK. But it was so much fun. Pleeeeeease can we go. Love, your adurawble son."

David gave him a hug. It was really sweet. Then Primo said: "Do you like the note? I spelled 'adorable' wrong on purpose so it would look more cute, like a little kid did it."

This slayed me. The hubris of my son, to think that he has so fully mastered the art of orthography that he has to now intentionally dumb down his spelling so he retains that juvenile charm. And you know what? It totally worked. We fell for the cuteness.

No Holiday Inn. But the Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls with Icing AND a video-game-polooza at Dave and Busters. Adurawble was too adorable.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Learning to tie shoes

Sometimes I feel seriously inadequate as a mother. Like when I consider outsourcing the responsibility of teaching my son how to tie his shoes.

I mean, I have the stamina and patience to teach the kids a ton of valuable shit. I have taught Primo how to read. I teach the kids the words to Andrew Lloyd Weber songs and some pretty cool words. Primo just told me yesterday that he spotted a "flamboyant falcon," and knows what "manacles" are. So there's that.

But I just find myself running out of energy when it comes to teaching them how to do mundane crap like tie their shoes. I put it off by buying Velcro shoes for a long time but the other day I noticed that my son's toes were literally sticking out of the top of his shoes and that's a level of wear and tear you can't bounce back from. So, I had to break out his back-up shoes, which have old-school laces. I sat down and explained the concept of bunny ears. He TOTALLY didn't get it, not even close. Then I assigned David the task. Primo still couldn't master the bunny ears. I asked my cousin to give it a shot. No cigar.

Then I figured it would just require trial and error, so I've let him try tying his shows every morning for the past week or two. Trouble is, morning isn't an ideal time for trial and error. Trial and error is quite time-consuming, and one thing we don't have in plentiful abundance in the morning is time. Because not only does it take Primo five to ten minutes to tie his shoes, it takes me five to ten minutes after that to untie the four thousand knots he's tied into a massive heap. Eventually I tired of the experiment, went to Old Navy and bought him Vans knock-off slip-ons for $15.

The kid's gonna be in high school before he can tie his shoes. Unless I hire a professional. Is that even an option?