Saturday, May 30, 2009

Perfect Storm. Will Someone Wake Me Up When It's Monday?

My kids go to a Jewish preschool and it was off on Friday in observance of a Jewish holiday I don't particularly observe (Shavout, for those interested). Since I work full-time, and so does Late Blooming Dad, we asked our part-time nanny, who we keep employed very much to cover on these occasions, to come for eight hours and watch the kids.

Part-time nanny got the 'flu.

Sometime babysitter has a daytime job and was therefore unavailable.

The nearest family members live close to 400 miles away, so they weren't an option either.

Late Blooming Dad is working freelance and in this economy, does not take days off. Late Blooming Mom floated the idea of taking a personal day, but one of the projects she's assigned to at work magically appeared at 5 p.m. on Thursday, and needed to be started if there'd be any hope of finishing it by Monday, when it's due.

So Late Blooming Dad and Mom did what any other full-time working, overtaxed parents did. 

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Babies, Babies Everywhere. Do I Want One? No!

There's a mini baby boom, call it a baby boomlet, happening in my vicinity. The folks who live next door had their second child about a month ago -- a total cutie, from the photos (I haven't seen him in person yet), and a tiny thing indeed, since he showed up early, like mine did. The folks a floor below us just had THEIR second kid, while the folks a floor above us have twins turning six months' old. And our good friends at preschool just welcomed THEIR second kid. Another friend is well into the second trimester with HER number two. Meanwhile, back in New York, we have friends who are getting ready to welcome kid number four. Yes, four. We're talkin' a can't-go-anywhere-without-a-mini-van family.

I'm wildly happy for everyone.

But one thing I am not is jealous.

I have no baby envy. Not even an ounce.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mommy, Where Does Dirt Come From?

It's endless question time again here at Chez Twins.

Every book or TV cartoon with a bad guy prompts queries from Thing 2: "Is he bad? Is she bad?" "Why are Cinderella's stepsisters bad?"

Thing 1 just wants to know random things that occur to him to ask in the course of the day, as in the above "where does dirt come from?" question.

The earthquakes we've been having have prompted questions too. But explaining tectonic plates or earth's hot molten core to four-year-olds is beyond me. Believe me, I've tried.

On the one hand, I'm happy for the questions. It means all these excursions we've been taking the kids on lately -- to the Children's Garden at the Huntington Library, Gallery and Botanical Garden, or the Griffith Observatory -- are sparking their inquiring minds.

On the other hand, by the twentieth question of the day -- "Mommy, what color is turquoise?" -- I get a little testy.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Home Cookin' For Little Tummies

The kids made Mother's Day cards at school for me, and the teachers glued on typed slips of things the kids said about me. One of the things my daughter mentioned was, "We go to fun restaurants. Thank you for us going to a restaurant." I felt a little guilty when I read this, because the kids do get out to a restaurant about once a week during the school week, and at least twice on the weekend. One of their at-home meals tends to involve frozen pizzas, boxed mac n' cheese, or chicken nuggets, albeit the sans-trans-fats, "healthier" varieties. These make-do meals happen because I can't manage a home-cooked meal every weeknight due to work demands, and on the weekends, when we're out and about, it's often easier to grab lunch out than to pack a lunch in advance. But I felt a lot better when I read something on the card my son made: "Mommy cooks good food for me."

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Missing Mom As Mother's Day Approaches

It's easier getting through Mother's Day now that I'm a mom. I look forward to the secret gifts the kids have made me at preschool, which are never very secret: they tell me they've made me something secret, and invariably one of them tells me exactly what it is. I like that when I show up at preschool for the pre-Mother's Day tot shabbat, my kids spot me from afar, and their faces light up, as if it's been years, not hours, since we were last together. I like that they delight in giving me a card and helping daddy present a gift on Mother's Day morning, coming to my warm bed and filling it up with their little arms and legs and still-pudgy faces.

But every year, as the day draws near, I'm always a bit wistful, having endured 12 motherless Mother's Days between the time my mom passed away and the year I became a mom.

A Two-Hump Sopwith Camel

So the other day we're reading what's become a classic around this house, EVERYONE POOPS. If you're not familiar with this popular preschool picture book (yes, there are pictures of poop in it -- lots), it's basically a book that shows drawings of different animals and people pooping. It explains matter-of-factly that some stop to poop, some do it on the run, some do it in the water, and some do it in a special place (the potty), etc. One page shows a one-hump camel making a one-hump poop; another shows a two-hump camel making a two-hump poop.

I know, by now you are pooped with the poop references. So I'll get to the point.