Saturday, November 28, 2009

Kid Overload: When, Exactly, Do They Go Back To School?

Don't get me wrong. I'm lucky to have two kids, two healthy, reasonably well-adjusted kids.

And there was much fun had over the long Thanksgiving break: in-car punchy goofiness on the long rides to and from the Bay Area, watching them interact with aunt, uncle, and cousin -- my niece, who gets props for being chief hairdresser for the girl and clothes dresser for both girl and boy, as well as bath giver, book reader and breakfast server.

But by Saturday night, the holiday had grown a bit old and stale.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Over The River And Through The Woods ...

Actually, Grandma came to OUR house this year. And so did Grandpa. And they did it BEFORE Thanksgiving, so we'll be spending the time before, during and after eating turkey with the Northern California part of the family.

But looking back at the past week, there's much to be thankful for. Kids and grandparents thoroughly enjoyed each other's company, save when kids were whiny, but they were mostly pretty good. The boy got his hair cut as Grandpa looked on; the girl was sick a couple of days, but this only gave Grandma more time to shop the neighborhood. The grandparents got to watch soccer (Thing 1) and ballet (Thing 2), shabbat at school (I've never seen such challah-grabbing as I did among a few preschool and kindergarteners huddled around one loaf of bread), and were game for trips to the art museum and car museum, as well as more than a few meals out where they endured the table manner-challenged but again, still pretty decent, behavior of the next generation.

Best for me was a slow work week so I could be fully present for all the goings' on, including Grandpa reading a Disney/Pixar CARS book to the kids over breakfast, and Grandma reading the antics of Max & Ruby to them in bed with a flashlight.

Though we don't live in the same city, perhaps that makes these visits all the sweeter between kids and grandparents. The bond grows, and the time flies, try to savor it though we all do.

Because the visit coincided with the anniversary of my mom's passing (17 years prior) and what would have been my dad's 80th, I was especially appreciative of having my husband's parents around.

So while we didn't go over the river and through the woods to Grandma's (and Grandpa's) house, I'm grateful they came to ours.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Taking Care Of The Sick Kid

I have seen way too many episodes of SUPER WHY! and DORA THE EXPLORER in one day, but at last, after many Pedialyte popsicles, Thing Two (the girl) is on the mend.

Poor kid woke up saying "I don't feel good," and proved her point a little later by throwing up the previous night's dinner.

Much of the day was spent in lethargy on the sofa in front of children's television -- thank goodness for TiVo, something I am putting on my "things I am thankful for" Thanksgiving list this year.

But between that and napping, there were some sweet moments when I fed her soup and helped her squeeze the last of those push-up popsicles for all their juice, and just lay beside her.

The day was long and staying in the house every waking hour of it was claustrophobic. I was testy by the end, but not with her so much as with her brother, who somehow remained a Tigger-like bouncy bundle of energy far into the evening.

But the whole experience brought to mind a school sick day from my own childhood.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I Miss My Cat

He died last Tuesday.

He was my first child.

I got him 13 years ago at the West Los Angeles Animal Shelter, for seventeen dollars. In exchange, I got 13 years of love.

He was my bridge from being single to living with my boyfriend, getting engaged, getting married, having kids.

He came into my life a few years after I'd lost both parents. My closest family member was nearly four hundred miles away from where I lived, and at the time, I wasn't dating anyone. I didn't have a roommate, I was working full-time from home, and I was in regular need of a hug.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I Got Into The Halloween Candy Last Night

It was mocking me from across the room, in the bright orange plastic Jack O' Lantern pails.

I was helpless to resist the siren call of the snack-size Three Musketeers bar. Which is, by the way, a candy bar filled with some mysterious mock-chocolate, mock-creamy, foamy substance I have never been able to identify, but is something I suspect will survive a nuclear holocaust intact, much like a Twinkie.