Monday, May 20, 2013

The F Word, Used Properly

My son said "freaking" this morning.  I'm not using that as a euphemism for the real 'F' word.  "Freaking" is actually what he said.  I've been told that "freaking" is not a bad word.  Wait until it comes out of your kid's mouth.  It sounds pretty bad.

He was telling me about a video game.  As a mother of two boys obsessed with video games, this is what I heard:  I killed blah blah dragons blah. Fire arrows blah kill kill kill. Blah.  Then he said, "I tried to kill the blah blah, and it was so freakingly hard." 

Freakingly?  He said freakingly.  Of course he did.  Because in that sentence, the word is used as an adverb, and freakingly would be correct. 

I love my potty mouthed grammar genius.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Five Corners of Sky

I have lived in north Idaho for two months.  Long enough to figure out that it is called "north" Idaho, not "northern" Idaho, as I had been doing.   But not long enough to figure out if the "N" should be capitalized.  Is it considered the name of the place, or just an adjective?

People often mention what a beautiful place this is, and it is that.  Trees, mountains, high plains, lakes.  Lots of lakes.  But what I like most about this place is the sky.

These were all taken in the same week.  With my phone.  The only editing I have done is to crop them.  This my friends is just the sky in north Idaho.

Sunset over the Wal-mart parking lot.

From my back door.

From my street corner.  It was hailing on me when I took this.
Over my back fence.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Matricide in the Morning

Our little girl, Catie is four.  She likes to climb in bed with us.  If we are lucky, she waits until morning.  The other morning she was a little late.  The alarm had already gone off, but it was cold, so Hubband and I huddled together in the middle of the bed for a few minutes.  When he left to take his shower, Catie was standing at the side of the bed, glaring.

"Hey, good morning, little monkey.  How are you?" I said.

"Why were you stuck together like that?" she asked, stone-faced and serious.

"We were hugging."


"Because we love each other.  You are very lucky to have a mommy and daddy who love each other."

"What about me?  I need love."  This was not a whine, as is most of her conversation.  This was a cold statement of fact.

"Well, honey, you could have climbed in with us."

"There wasn't room," she said, pointedly.

Then, after about five seconds, and almost as if changing the subject, she got a huge smile on her face, threw her arms around my neck in a hug, and said in her sweetest voice, "Don't worry, Mommy.  I'm going to draw you a beautiful picture to show you how much I love you before you die." there someone I should call about this?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

It Snows Here

As I mentioned in a previous post, we have moved to northern Idaho.  It snows here.  Even though it is spring, and the sun doesn't go down until after eight, it still snows.  A light-hearted, "Welcome to Idaho" sort of snow.

Me:  Hey, kids.  Look.  It is snowing outside.
Sam:  I don’t see any snow.
Jonah:  It’s like a blizzard out there.
Catie:  If it is snowing, I probably better skip my nap.

The reality?  It was snowing.  It was not a blizzard.  And, in no way was it relevant to Catherine’s nap. This left me wondering.  Why are my kids so weird?

Having given it some thought, I can now announce that my children aren’t (always, completely) weird.  They’re just very different from each other.  Let me explain.

Sam’s Snow

Sam is very literal.  He knows what he knows, and if you want him to know anything more, you need to teach it to him.  He understands cause and effect, but he does not extrapolate new information.  And, Sam’s only experience with snow is what he has seen on television. On TV, “snow” is an object, a noun.  Mounds of noun-snow heaped up everywhere.  Noun-snow hills for sledding.  Noun-snow snowballs.  Noun-snow snowmen.  When I said it was snowing, Sam looked outside, at the ground.  He saw no accumulation of snow, therefore, it was not snowing.

Jonah’s Snow

Jonah is more imaginative.  He sees nuances.  And, is a wee bit melodramatic.  Unlike his brother, he has firsthand experience with the “stuff” that is snow, but still very little experience with “snowing.”  Verb-snow.  He knows verb-rain.  So, when Jonah looked out the window, he expected to see snow falling like rain; down.  What he saw was light, fluffy snow swirling around in the wind.  When rain does that we call it a hurricane.  When snow does that, Jonah calls it a blizzard.  This is reasonable. (Especially when you go back and read the part about being a wee bit melodramatic).

Catie’s Snow

Catie is a four year old girl with only one care in the world. Herself.  Her experience with snow is also limited, but irrelevant.  She didn’t even look out the window.  She sensed a disturbance among her subjects and immediately tried to work it to her advantage.

She took a nap anyway.

There is an old anthropological study that says in the Eskimo languages there are 50 words for snow.  Add three more.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

You Never Know When You Are Going to Need a Dandelion Vase

The girl at Starbucks looked at me like I was crazy when I asked to keep the sample cup.

"When you have kids," I told her, "you'd be surprised how valuable little things like this can be."

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Why I Don't Follow Fashion

When choosing a loose-fit jean, avoid the high waist and roomy crotch associated with the dreaded Mom Jean.  'The high pocket placement of Mom Jeans can create pancake butt, and that extra ease around the stomach accentuates a tummy,' says Moan Hanoch, Creative Director of Citizens of Humanity.*

I don't know what this means, but it makes me feel old...and fat...and bad about myself.

In other news, I have moved to northern Idaho.  More on the later.  Maybe.  Or, not.  I can't promise.

*Quote taken from People Weekly, March 4, 2013

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Non Carpe Camera

At the beginning of the summer, my mother and I took the kids to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  I had been once before, when I was seventeen.  But, I am going to be honest with you, at seventeen, I was more interested in sitting in the dark corners of the Open Sea exhibit, with my German exchange student boyfriend, than I was in looking at the scalloped hammerheads who swam there.

I’m still not much of a wild life person, but this I time I brought my own.  I was looking forward to watching my children as they saw their first real jelly fish and sea lion.  And, octopus.  Nothing is more mind blowing than an up-close look at a giant octopus.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t watch my children see anything, because the octopus aquarium was completely obstructed by a phalanx of parents, eight wide and two deep.  The area was strewn with unattended children in strollers, while their parents, wielding thousands of dollars worth of camera equipment, jockeyed for just the right sucker shot.  I had to force my way through, dragging my children behind me, and form a sort of one-woman scrum over their little bodies, so that they could see.

I would like to ask those parents a few questions.  Why did you go to the aquarium that day?  Was it to give your kids an experience they couldn’t get anywhere else?  Or, was it to take a picture?  Do you have a cephalopod fetish?  A blog?

This is the twenty-first century.  You can find thousands of spectacular images of a giant octopus, including video, in a fraction of a second.  What is going to make your photo so unique?  That you took it yourself?  At the expense of not watching your child, giddy with wonder at such an amazing beast?

Hey, mom and dad.  Put the camera down.  Back away from the glass.  Give your kids (and more importantly, mine) a chance to see the octopus.  Give yourselves a chance to see your children witness something more amazing than any picture.  

If pictures are that important to you, just down the hall here, you can get a professional quality photo of this same octopus, for only fifty cents.  It’s called a post card. 

That’s what I did.  I bought four postcards for two dollars, tucked them safely away, and forgot about them.  What I remember is the look on Jonah's face, and Sam's face, and Cate's face, as they gaped in awe at the underside of a real live octopus.

I may not have a fancy camera, but I took the best pictures in the world that day.  They are called memories.

[The above photograph was taken using a $60 camera, smudged with sunscreen, 
because my children are, inexplicably, not included in the Monterey Bay Aquarium post card collection. 
No views were obstructed.]