Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Cup Runneth Over ... And Then Some

Don't get me wrong, I love having a family.

But between four-year-old twins and an elderly cat who's not feeling too well, I'm feeling a bit overtaxed ... and that's with a spouse who's a fully participating partner who takes on his share and then some.

Sometimes I talk with single or married-but-kidless friends and hear of their trips -- to Italy, to Hong Kong, to other way cool places, and I miss their freedom.

Yet many of them wish they had what I do.

Sometimes I wish we could all trade places for just a weekend or two, once or twice a year. Maybe we'd get a greater appreciation of what we have. Or just get a break from it!

It's not that the grass is greener. I do want what I have.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Melting Moments

The morning of our eighth wedding anniversary, Late Blooming Dad and I attended our kids' preschool parent-teacher conferences.

On the whole, the conference was a love fest of the kind I don't know if we'll be getting come, say, third grade ... and especially not come seventh. The moments the teacher described when one of our kids is in distress, and the other rushes over to offer comfort, made our hearts melt.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Fun On A Budget

Recession got ya down?

Try planning a family outing to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. Adult admission: $23.95 Kids three and up: $11.95. Then there's parking. Let's say, for argument's sake, it's six bucks (I can't remember but that sounds about right). So for a family a four, the privilege of looking at fish in tanks for a few hours costs upwards of seventy-five dollars.

Recession got you even more down?

Now you have some idea of why we spent last Saturday somewhere else: the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. Adult admission: five dollars (suggested donation). Kids: a dollar (suggested donation). Parking: we spent three bucks. Total expenditure for the privilege of looking at fish in tanks for a few hours: fifteen dollars.

Suck on that, Aquarium of the Pacific.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Beware The Darkened Toddler Tooth! (And Other Obscure Kid Health Scares)

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed one of Thing 1's two front teeth looked blue.

Or gray. Or tinted in some way, so it didn't look like the others.

Toothpaste didn't alleviate the situation. And he hadn't eaten anything that would leave a blackish/blueish/grayish residue. I couldn't imagine what might be affecting one tooth, as all the others looked normal.

Normally in these situations I reach for Dr. Spock's trusty book, or some other medical book about kids. But Late Blooming Dad got to the web first, and soon we learned the source of the dreaded Darkened Toddler Tooth.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

You Must "Member" This ...

The fractured English continues, and I can't help but enjoy it.

Every time Thing 1 wants me to recall something we've done together, he says, "Mommy, you member when we ..."

He's lobbying heavily for walkie-talkies, so he piped up with this the other day: "You member Attitcus had walkie-talkines? Kin we get walkie-talkies?" (Atticus, btw, is a little boy, not the character in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, though very possibly named for him.)

His other frequently used mangled English expressions: "I never know that" for "I didn't know that," and "we hadn't done that in long time" for something that's been awhile.

Yesterday he informed me he made Hamentashen -- the traditional Jewish pastry that's made to celebrate Purim -- at school and loved it -- so much so that he gave up his chance at playing ball that day to do so. "Kin we make Hamentashen at home?" he asked. The word "can" never crosses his lips, but "kin" prefaces many a request.

Thing 2 chimed in that she did not eat the Hamentashen. "It was too jammy," she said. "And too strawberry." And though it's not fractured English, she overuses this one: "You're not supposed to." As in, whatever her brother is doing that she doesn't want him to do.

Monday, March 2, 2009

"The Kitchen Is Closed!" And Other Tales Of Feeding Four-Year-Olds

They're still too small to get their own cereal, milk, or juice, let alone reheat yesterday's pancakes. So breakfast means "Service, please!" for Late Blooming Mom, and so do the other meals.

Whatever I put in front of them, they invariably ask for something else. Despite my attempt to enforce the "You get what you get, and you don't get upset" rule, there is often much whining around the dining room table. I try not to give in, but sometimes, you just can't get 'em to eat, and if you refuse to put anything in front of them they want, then later, they're going to whine that they're hungry. Then there's another chance to stand fast, but I often wind up crumbling because by then, the whining has worn me down.

So I've taken to informing my kids, after I've gotten them food and perhaps acceded to a few requests WITHIN REASON, that "The Kitchen Is Closed."