Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Hakuna Mutata!

I was in a crappy mood this morning. Just in a funk...feeling sorry for myself and the world...y'know what I mean? Negativity is not my natural state, but I've got some friends going through some hard times, we've still got John's looming potential layoff, and I haven't slept well in a few nights. So, I was just doing some mental wallowing...Then, as I rushed across town in the daily mad dash to get Foster to preschool, I heard his little voice: "Hey, Mommy. Can you put in the Disney CD? I want to hear that Lion King song! Pleeeeaaaassseeeeee...." Well, since anything would be an improvement over hearing the theme song from Speed Racer for the thousandth time, I was happy to oblige my little guy. 

It was then I discovered, that no matter how rotten your mood, it's impossible to think negative thoughts while listening to "Hakuna Mutata". Seriously. Especially when you've got an enthusiastic 4-year old singing along at the absolute top of his lungs. It was great! And, it didn't hurt that a few minutes later, I found myself whistling away to "Bare Necessities" from Jungle Book. Talk about a mental reset. Who knew that a couple of well-written Disney songs could turn your day around, eh? Thank you, Disney. And, thank you, my little Foster. Somehow, you knew exactly what I needed this morning. And, it worked like a charm.
I love you!


Monday, March 22, 2010

Our kids will read about this in their history books!

Nah, this one's not about parenting. It's about politics...

Knowing my kids will read this one day, I must say something about the historic healthcare legislation that just passed. I was glued to the T.V. last night, watching as Democrats and Republicans contradicted one another, called one another liars, spouted opposing "facts", insisted they were each representing "the American people", and generally acted like rude, petulant toddlers, angry because they didn't want to share the sandbox. I was, by turns, disgusted, excited, depressed, bored, flabbergasted, and, ultimately, relieved and elated that the legislation passed. Because, while I find the behavior of many members of our U.S. Congress to be immature, self-serving, and reprehensible, I still want everyone in our country to have quality healthcare, and I think it's ridiculous to stay with the status quo and cross our fingers that everything will somehow work out all by itself. And, so, in spite of my loathing of this contentious, ugly, abhorrent, political process, I am celebrating and savoring this as the awesome, history-making moment it is.

I want my boys to know what a momentous thing just occurred, and I want them to know that they have parents who supported it from the start. Parents who took the time to educate themselves about the healthcare legislation, rather than to just blindly believe the rancorous commercials that bombarded us every time we turned on the T.V. Parents who are willing to pay a little more in taxes or premiums, if it will mean that 95% of the people in our country will get healthcare. Parents who think it only makes sense to require people to carry health insurance, just like we require them to carry car insurance, so that the rest of us aren't paying for people to use the emergency room when they should be using a regular doctor. Parents who whole-heartedly believe in a system that stresses preventive care, personal responsibility, and patients over profits. Parents who believe that every individual, regardless of culture, race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, or socioeconomic status, deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, and to be afforded the same rights as the rest of us, including quality health care when they need it. Parents who believe we should stop thinking only of ourselves and our own little demographic group, and should work together, as a community of Americans, to make sure "equality" actually means something in this country. Finally, parents who proudly support our intelligent, thoughtful, courageous President Obama, who clearly feels the same way, and who is willing to fight for all of us, even if it puts him in political peril.

History was made today. It wasn't pretty. It wasn't painless. It wasn't perfect. But, it was made. And, I'm very glad I was able to witness it.


Friday, March 19, 2010

Not my most shining moment as a Mom...

This has not exactly been my best day as a mother. Not by a long shot...

This morning, hubby was actually available to take my little guy, Foster, to pre-school. So, I was giving him hugs and kisses in the back seat of Daddy's truck. It came time to close the door, so I said, "Fos, get your hands inside." (You can see where this is going, right?) He pulled in his hands, so I slammed shut the door. Unfortunately, my cutie pie had chosen that exact moment to blow me a kiss, so his fingers got smushed when the door slammed shut. Worse yet, I didn't even know. I just kept on walking back up to the porch, happy as a clam. Suddenly, hubby jumps out of the truck and runs around to Foster's side, flings open the door, and that's when I finally hear the screams of pain. Oh, the guilt. Oh, the shame. My poor little guy looks up at me with his big, blue eyes, tears coursing down his cheeks, and says, "Why did you slam my fingers in the door, Mommy? Why did you do that?" Gulp.

That was just the first Mommy mistake of the day...

This afternoon, my big guy, Spencer, was invited to a playdate at a buddy's house. "Bring his bike!" says the other mom. So, I dutifully brought the bike around to the back of the van to load it up. But, the van was locked. (I have a feeling you know where this is going too, eh?) I ran back inside to get the keys, loaded Spence, his bike helmet, his groovy biking gloves, and his 3 favorite stuffed animals into the car. Then, I proceeded to back out of the driveway right over the top of the bike. Oh, yeah. Smashed to hell. I didn't even know a bike wheel could look like that. Sigh. So, Spence looks up at me with his big, hazel eyes, trying hard not to cry, and says, "Mommy! Why did you run over my bike?" Gulp again.

Mother-of-the-Year, that's me. Not! Luckily, these boys have yet to figure out how much they could milk my "Mommy Guilt" today. I'd be putty in their grubby little hands...


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

It's St. Patrick's Day?

I used to get all excited about St. Patrick's Day. I used to pick out a green shirt and dig out my shamrock earrings. I used to wait in line at Kel's forever, just so I could go inside with my buddies, drink huge quantities of beer, and act out the "The Unicorn Song" with all the other drunken merry-makers. I used to kiss strange men who were wearing buttons that said, "Kiss me, I'm Irish" while my girlfriends cheered me on. Ahhhhh....those were the days.

This morning, hubby had to remind me it was St. Patrick's Day, so I'd wear something green to work.


Times sure have changed.

Happy St. Patty's Day to you all. Cheers!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Wow, what a gig!

I woke up at 5:00am this morning, for no particular reason, so I turned on the TV and started channel surfing the news stations, trying to catch the two minutes of actual news they squeeze in between endless weather reports and traffic updates. (Side note: I don't really need the perky meteorologists to show me the doppler radar images of the fronts moving in, followed by the expensive computer graphics of falling rain, swirling wind, and "convergence zones". I just want to know what the weather's supposed to be like over the next few days. Just that. Just give me that 5-day forecast graphic that shows me what's going to happen. Then move on to the real news, OK?) Anyway, one of the top stories is that our state legislature couldn't manage to come up with a budget and tax proposal in their 60 allotted days before the session ended. So, at a cost of $18,000/day to the Washington state taxpayer, they are extending the session another 7 days.

This made me think about what an awesome gig legislators have. (I'm thinking all the way up to Congress here.) In what other profession would you be given a deadline to finish your project, but then paid, anyway, even if you didn't do your job? Really, if you think about it, what possible incentive do legislators have to get the job done in a timely manner? They're getting paid, regardless of whether or not they do their job. Think about how long Congress has been fighting each other, over everything from health care legislation to financial reform, clearly doing everything BUT working to help the people who voted them into office? We elected them to represent our needs and to make the lives of Americans better, right? Why should they do that? There is no real consequence for not getting the job done. They still collect their hefty paychecks and receive their great benefits. What a gig!

Where can I get a job like that?


Friday, March 5, 2010

I'm not wimpy, but there are only so many bugs a girl can handle!

I've always been a bit of a tomboy, pretty rough and tumble, always in motion, not afraid to get a little dirty, y'know? That's why, for the most part, being a mother of boys fits me like a glove. (I'd be lost if I had to do tea parties and braid hair and play with dolls, as so many little girls seem drawn to...I realize I'm stereotyping here, so I apologize. I know that little girls have diverse interests too. Believe me, I know. When I was younger, I used to stampede over my sister's Barbie Dolls with my Breyer horses or stage kidnappings by G.I. Joe. Barb, if you're reading this...Yeah, it was me. Sorry.) Anyway, I can put up with a lot of noise, dirt, action, and really gross things.

But, today was a bit much...

I was planting some bulbs in our front yard, while my 4-year old climbed in and around our neighbor's tree right across the street. (Thank goodness for neighbors who love little boys and recognize that a tree like that is just BEGGING to be played in. Teri and Leo, you rock!) Anyway, it was time to come inside, so I hollered for Foster to come on in.

"But, Mommy, I found some roly poly bugs. Come see. Quick! Come see. It's so cool."

So, I walked across the street to check out his latest find, as he danced around in excitement. As I got closer, I could see that his little fist was closed, but his skin seemed to be shifting and moving...I got closer, and that's when I realized that he had about 30 roly poly bugs in his hand, climbing out between his fingers, climbing up his wrist, and dropping to the ground. I've never seen so many roly poly bugs in one place, before, let alone crawling all over my child, as he stood there grinning from ear to ear.

I'm very proud to say that I remained completely calm, even though my own skin was crawling, my stomach was flip-flopping, and it took everything I had not to grab him by his feet, turn him upside down, and start shaking the bugs off.

"Hey, sweetie, before we go home, let's just make sure all the roly poly's are back on the ground, OK? We wouldn't want one to accidentally come into the house. They don't like to live in houses. Can you just shake your hand a little bit, so they can all go back to their tree? Yeah, just like that. Ooh, you missed a few. Maybe shake just a little bit harder. Like that. Get that one that's climbing up to your shoulder. Whoops, a few more, there. Good job. Just a few more. OK, great!" (Shudder!)

You have to admit, having kids certainly brings new experiences into your life, eh?