Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Just wrong, on so many levels!

So, I'm standing in line at the coffee stand that's inside our local Fred Meyer store. (I know, I know, I'm supposed to be saving money. Whatever. It was a momentary lapse in financial judgment. I just really, really, DESERVED a vanilla latte! Cut me some slack...)

Anyhoo, standing in front of me was a very thin, extremely well-dressed, elegant-looking woman, about my age. Beside her, stood her equally thin, equally well-dressed daughter, who looked to be about 7 years old (but decked out like a 22-year old fashion model). Meanwhile, I'm in my sweatpants, Obama t-shirt, and baseball hat, thanking my lucky stars that my 5 and 6 year old boys (who are also wearing sweats, t-shirts, and baseball hats) can still visit Playland, while I do my grocery shopping and/or sneak a few quiet minutes to splurge on a latte.

Elegant Mom looks down at her daughter and says, "What do you want today, honey?"

Fashion model daughter (keep in mind that this little girl can't be any older than 7....maybe 8, tops) looks up at Elegant Mom and says, "Decaf caramel machiatto, Mommy. Don't forget to make it nonfat."

And Elegant Mom ordered it for her.

When did 7-year olds start dresing up like fashion models and ordering fancy coffee drinks, instead of skinning their knees making chalk art pictures on the driveway and having apple juice tea parties with their stuffed animals?

It's just not right....


Monday, August 16, 2010

To Love!

I really, really, really hope that by the time my boys are old enough to read these ramblings of mine, they'll come to this post and say, "Wow. It sure was different back in the old days. Back then, gay people in most states weren't allowed to marry. Can you believe that? Times sure have changed for the better!"

Crossing my fingers...

After all, for all I know, my sons may be gay. And, if they are in loving, committed relationships and want to get married and start families with their chosen partners, I want them to have the same legal right to do so that I had to marry their Dad. I want them to share in the joy we felt on the day we committed ourselves to one another, completely, in front of the people we love the most. The day we became a family. And, no, I don't believe a "civil commitment ceremony" is the same thing. If it was, then gay couples wouldn't be fighting for the right to legally marry one another, now would they?

I mean, imagine for a moment, that you are engaged to be married to the person you have chosen as your lifemate. You can't wait to be legally joined in marriage. Suddenly, a judge decrees that you can't do that:

"Ahem, sorry, folks. A bunch of other people, who will actually be totally unaffected in any tangible way by your marriage, think it's wrong for you to marry. They feel threatened by the two of you declaring your love and commitment in this way, and they're going to band together to block your right to do just that. They seem to think that it undermines their own marriages in some way. Some sort of moral issue. Could be insecurity, I'm not really sure. Regardless, we're not gonna let you get married. We will, however, let you have a commitment ceremony. It's really the same thing, so no worries, OK?"

Yeah, right. You wouldn't be satisfied with that. If it was you, you'd fight for your right to marry the person you love. And you would be right to fight.

I just don't get it. Especially when so many of the folks who so adamantly oppose gay marriage base their argument on religious principals. Whatever happened to "love thy neighbor as thyself?" What about acceptance and respect and charity and freedom and the right to pursue happiness and all of those other values that are, supposedly, also so highly valued by these same folks? I just can't believe, in our modern world, with all that has been scientifically proven about the biology of human sexuality, that there are still people who can look at a committed, stable, loving, gay couple and say, "Nope. No way. You can't get married. Sorry. You're different. You make me uncomfortable. You threaten my beliefs about marriage, so I'm gonna say NO!" These are not the dark ages, here. We're not burning depressed women at the stake for being witches, anymore. We know the world is round, not flat. Come on, people. It's a brave, new world. Let's embrace it, in all of its wondrous, and ever-changing complexity. Let's evolve!

So, to my sons, who I love more than anything else in the world...I hope you're reading this and saying, "Wow. I'm so glad the world isn't like it was when Mom wrote this post."

To love!

Friday, August 6, 2010

How come the only person in the house who doesn't actually LEAVE pee drips all over the bathroom is the only one cleaning them up???


Now, I knew it would be challenging living in a house full of boys. Being outnumbered, three-to-one. I knew it would be louder and messier than living in, say, a house where the females outnumber the Daddy, instead of the other way around. I knew it. I expected it. And, I am not so naive to think that it isn't going to get a whole lot worse, when my little guys hit puberty. (I am a middle school counselor, afterall. I have no delusions about the sights, smells, and hormonal surges of adolescence that await my little family...)

But, if I have to clean up one more droplet of pee from the toilet seat, back of the toilet, side of the toilet, floor right in front of the toilet, wall right next to the toilet, shower curtain a foot away from the toilet, or anywhere else in either of my bathrooms, I am going to LOSE IT! It's not going to be pretty. This mommy's head is literally going to spontaneously combust and then somebody ELSE will have to clean up the *@*!!@*!!* mess!

The really frustrating thing is that I've been working with my boys on wiping their drips, since the time they began to show an inkling of interest in the potty. I foolishly deluded myself into thinking that I could instill in my boys an early habit of cleaning up after their own bodily fluids. (You know, maybe try to make a difference in this generation, since it obviously didn't happen with my husband, when he was a child.) Regardless, it didn't work. Unless I am right there next to them, reminding them every single time they pee, or shouting from the other room, "Don't forget to wipe your drips!", it just doesn't happen, most of the time.

What's a mother to do??? I know that I could go on strike. I could shout to the world that I am no longer cleaning a toilet in this house. But, the truth is, that's total bunk. There's just no way I could allow my bathrooms to get to the point of pee-soaked stinkiness that all three of my boys (I'm including hubby here) would be able to tolerate quite happily. Not. Gonna. Happen. I don't want to have a house that smells like a men's locker room in a Seattle train station. I do occasionally have company, and there are some minimum standards of cleanliness and lack-of-stinkiness that should apply, don't you think?

On the positive side...All three of my boys do put down the toilet seat when they're done.

Most of the time...

I need a glass of wine.


Sunday, August 1, 2010

FOSTER: Five and Fabulous!

For Foster, who turned 5 years old just a few days ago. I hope you'll look back on this, when you're a lot older, and get a kick out of reading about yourself when you were just a little guy:

F is for "feisty." Actually, "feisty" doesn't even begin to describe you, sweetie. You are full of energy, creativity, and mischievousnous. (I'm not sure that's a real word, but it should be!) You live to make other people laugh, and you'll do ANYTHING (much to the dismay of your preschool teachers) for that giggle. You are also fond of saying things like, "You're not the boss of me!" and "You can't tell me what to do!", even when the people you're saying these things to actually are in charge, or are kids twice your size who are attempting to control you in some way. This doesn't always go over so well, in either case. Needless to say, kindergarten is going to be a really interesting experience...I'm crossing my fingers, and I will have your back!

O is for "optimistic." Here's where you really take after me -- You almost always see the bright side of things. Like me, you can have a good, juicy meltdown now and then, but you're also quick to laugh, quick to rally when things aren't going so well, and quick to cheer everybody else up with some sort of crazy face, voice, picture, or dance move.

S is for "singer." You love to sing. You remember the words to almost every song you hear. And, if you don't remember, you are really good at making up lyrics that fit anyway. You also make up your own songs, on the spot, and they're always hilarious and rhyme perfectly. You have a sweet voice, great pitch, and awesome rhythm. A natural musician, that's for sure.

T is for "tough." You are one tough little cookie. Half the time, the only way I know you're hurt is to follow the blood trail...You're always covered with scratches, bruises, and bumps, and you love, love, love to put on bandaids. (You also love to keep taking them off to see how quickly your owies are healing. As a result, I am constantly buying new boxes of bandaids!) But, you seldom actually cry when you get hurt, and you bounce right up, saying "Don't worry, I'm OK!" after falls and accidents that would leave other 5-year olds lying in sobbing puddles on the floor.

E is for "empathetic." While you are often the one who causes mischief and mayhem, you're also the first one to give hugs, snuggles, and back rubs if someone is hurt or sad. You often make me cards or pictures after you've been in time out, just to say you're sorry. And, on those days when I'm a little down, you do everything you can to give me extra loving and to cheer me up. If your brother is hurt, you rush to him and give him hugs (even when he's pushing you away). You also have a soft heart when it comes to animals. If you see an animal that looks hurt or alone, you want to make sure it's all right. You are best friends with our dog, Lucy, even though you often pull her tail or play too roughly with her. But, she thinks of you as her puppy, and you are most definitely her favorite person in the house. And, you usually run to say goodnight to both of our dogs before you go to sleep. You do it in the most gentle, sweet way. Even our grouchy old Cosmo wags his tail when you rub his neck and tell him that you love him and that you'll see him in the morning. You have a really good heart and a tender nature, and I hope you always will.

R is for "rowdy." Wow, kiddo. When you are wound up, it's like a hurricane is sweeping through here. Wait, more like a tornado combined with an earthquake, sweeping everything up into your path and whirling around the house, the front yard, the back yard...all while talking, yelling, singing, or laughing at full volume! It's pretty hilarious, except when it's happening at 6am, and I'm trying desperately to catch just a few more minutes of sleep. (Yeah, right!)

I love you, sweetie. So much. I am so proud and excited and happy to be your Mommy. You definitely keep me on my toes, challenge me, frustrate me, and drive me crazy sometimes. But, you also warm my heart, crack me up, constantly surprise me with your intelligence and thoughtfulness and creativity, and give me all the hugs and kisses I could ever want. Plus, you're the best kitchen floor dance partner a girl could ever ask for! (Favorite dancing-in-the-kitchen-with-Mommy-songs:  "I Like to Move It" from Madagascar and "Tonight's Gonna Be a Good Night" by the Black Eyed Peas. Favorite dancing-in-the-kitchen-with-Mommy-outfit: Curly wig with a purple and white "Cat in the Hat" hat perched on top, a scarf, and bear feet slippers. Very cool!)

Happy 5th Birthday, my amazing little guy! I can't wait to see what this year will bring...