Friday, December 23, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

Twas the Week Before Christmas

Twas the week before Christmas, when all through the flat
not a creature was stirring, except for the frickin' cat.

The stockings weren't hung, because boxes weren't marked,
and "I can't find them," I occasionally barked

at Ryan as he dug through the closet without care,
throwing Halloween knickknacks here and then there.

We came up with a candle and a string of purple lights
purchased by my colorblind husband on a solo-shopping night.

Stock photo eerily similar to Mongo
Then we put up Tree 2 with apathy and glum,
as the lightbulbs on Tree 1 proved too tempting for some.

And while the cheap ornaments were getting some batting and chewing,
we ignored it and listed what still needed doing.

Shopping and baking and mailing and wrapping.
Cleaning and laundry and organizing and napping.

Fixing the light that was broke in the yard.
Avoiding Mall Santa so Norah won't be scarred.

And when we finally nestled all snug in our bed,
with visions of road rage in parking lots dancing in our heads,

Little Norah started singing, through the monitor we heard.
Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, she sang out each word.

And before we could groan that she wasn't asleep
we smiled and hoped this Christmas memory would keep.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Toddler Conversations III

What Else is Dangerous?

Who: Norah, Ryan, Me
Where: In the car

N: I want out of my seat!
H: No, Honey, that's dangerous.
N: What else is dangerous?
H: Huh?
N: What else is dangerous?
H: I don't know... running with a sucker in your mouth.
N: What else is dangerous?
H: Um. Jumping off the bed.
N: What else is dangerous?
H: Ah... crossing the street without Mommy or Daddy.
N: What else is dangerous?
H: Playing with cleaning stuff.
N: What else is dangerous?
H: I don't know. Ask Daddy.
N: What else is dangerous?
R: Playing with knives.
N: What else is dangerous?
H: Being in the bathtub alone.
N: What else is dangerous?
R: Uhh... swimming too soon after eating.
N: What else is dangerous?
H: Driving too fast.
N: What else is dangerous?

40 minutes later

N: What else is dangerous?
H: Punching tigers.
N: What else is dangerous?
R: Swimming with sharks and having an open wound.
N: What else is dangerous?
H: Roxette.
N: What else is dangerous?
R: Bungee jumping with no bungee.
N: What else is dangerous?
H: Chuck Norris.
N: What else is dangerous?
R: Messing around with Jim.
N: What else is dangerous?
H: Bad, bad Leroy Brown.
N: What else is dangerous?
R: Oh my God, we're home.


Who: Norah and Me
Where: My room

N: Look! A tennis racket!
H: That's a badminton racket.
N: It's not a bad mitten. It's a good mitten.


Who: Norah, Susan, Papa, Nana, Me
Where: Minneapolis Institute of Arts

H: Look at that puma statue. What's it eating?
N: A rabbit! We don't eat rabbits.

Norah gets in it's face and holds out a finger.

N: Naughty!


Who: Norah and me
Where: In the car

N: Look! Look! A Coke truck!
H: Yeah, look at that.
N: You love Coke!
H: That's right.
N: But Daddy doesn't like Coke.
H: What kind of truck would Daddy like?
N: Beer truck.

Friday, December 9, 2011

It's Story Time: The Potty Chair

This story is original. I wrote it last night. I will publish it in its entirety here, on this site, for all of you.

The pros of using a potty chair.

The cons.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Food Pyramid Be Gone!

If you haven't heard, the government bid adieu to the food pyramid and created the sexy new food plate.

Finally, that pesky pyramid was put in its place. I couldn't make headnertails of that confounded structure.

Better get started...

But I thought I'd take this opportunity to compare my normal food plate to that of Michelle Obama's.

Oh. That explains a lot.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Santa Comes to MN

Last Friday, Santa came to Sauk Rapids, MN. This is where my friend Sara lives with her husband and two kids, one of which is Norah's BFF, Samantha, aka Minta. A few other kids came, too.

The kids were playing in the toy room downstairs when they heard jingle bells and a hearty "Ho ho ho!" The older kids thundered up the stairs immediately. Norah and Samantha froze.

"Ho ho ho!"

Norah looked at me with terror in her eyes. Samantha started to cry.

Some of the adults called from upstairs, "Santa's here!" and "Come meet Santa!" Norah looked at me, and backed away slowly, back into the toy room. Samantha clung to her dad. "Me scared."

"Norah," I said gently, "You can go tell Santa what you want for Christmas."

She hesitated. Then she walked to the stairs and screamed, "I want a drum!" Then retreated back to the toy room.

Now, I wasn't shocked or anything. Neither of the girls wanted anything to do with Santa last year either. As far as they knew, he was the personification of Stranger Danger decked out in red. Even though they both revere Santa in cartoons and books, and understand that this underemployed recluse is the giver of toys and presents, in person, he's terrifying for some reason.

A little voice in my head was telling me to be a good mom. Don't force her. It's not a big deal. A larger voice was telling me to haul her butt upstairs and plop her down on Santa's lap. She'll love it once she gets over the initial fear. Uncle Dan is doing us a huge solid. Don't make him feel bad. I scooped her up.

Once we made it upstairs, her tiny nails digging into my shoulders, she saw Santa sitting at the kitchen table with his big red bag. The bag was important. We play Santa at home, and always have a bag of toys. Norah pretends to be asleep in her bed, and I haul the cat's little cave/bed thing in her room (that's Santa's bag) and deliver the toys she stuffed inside under her bed. Then she "wakes up" and screams with joy that Santa came.

Suddenly, the fear dissolved. She went to Santa and he lifted her up on his lap.

"I want a drum and a horse with a gate."

"Now wait a second," Santa said. "Have you been a good girl?"


"Do you listen to your mom and dad?"


Little bullshitter. 

"And what do you want?"

"A drum and a horse with a gate."

She slid off his lap and he gave her a little gift bag. She ran to me and we opened it happily. The other kids took their turns. Samantha had a look on her face that said Hell no. Neither Samantha or Norah would go near him again, even for the group photo, unfortunately.

We thanked Santa and off he went.

The next morning, I asked Norah about Santa. "Did you have fun meeting Santa?"

"I didn't get what I want," she said sadly, and looked down at her oatmeal.

Then I went into the elaborate explanation of the North Pole's toy factory and the elves and all that and that we had to wait until Christmas.

"I didn't get what I want."

Oh, I have a feeling you will, Kiddo.

Friday, December 2, 2011