Bed Time Trauma

April 30th, 2008 § Comments Off on Bed Time Trauma § permalink

Last Friday was a tough day for Pie. Meltdowns at the playground. Didn’t want to nap. Didn’t want to wake up from nap. Didn’t like what was being served. Not happy at the lack of crackers during Passover. By bedtime on Friday, I was pretty much done, and as I’m wont to do, I turned over most of Pie’s bedtime activities to Adam (Doodles is easy to get into bed). So, at bedtime:

Me: Tomorrow’s Saturday.
Pie: Okay.
Me: That means tomorrow you can inflict your pain on Daddy! Does that sound good!
Pie: [Nodding vigorously] Yes!
Me: You’ll inflict your pain on daddy?
Pie: Yes! Pain on daddy! Daddy, take off your shirt?
Adam: Take off my shirt?
Pie: Take off your shirt!
Adam: Why?
Pie: I pain on you. I pain on you!
Adam: What?
Pie: I pain on you. With paintbrush!
Adam: Tomorrow.
Me: Pie, time to go to sleep.
Pie: My eyes are cold.
Adam: So close them.
Pie: No, I need my sunglasses.
Adam: Not in bed.
Me: Okay, Pie, good night!
Pie: No! Hands cold!
Adam: You can get your mittens on yourself.
Pie: A grown-up has to watch when I put my mittens on.

Pie eventually dons her vest, her sweater, Doodles’s Lightning McQueen slippers, and her mittens. It doesn’t keep her in bed, and it’s generally an hour-long process (whether we start at 6 or 9 doesn’t make any difference).

Last night and tonight I’m on my own. Adam’s in Seattle for work (if you’re in Seattle and reading this, don’t expect to hear from him. He arrived at 9:30 p.m. last night and is returning on the red-eye tonight. He gives a presentation today and isn’t even in town for a single dinner). And I brook no nonsense. So bedtime is just screaming now. Although last night our neighbor, B., came by to sit with the kids as I had a class, and as soon as the neighbor came, Pie demanded a kiss from her and settled down. Looks like B. will be over every night when Adam goes out of town because she’s the only one who can get that Pie settled.

Sweet dreams little Pie. Mommy’s buying ear plugs.

Two Times the Fun

April 30th, 2008 § Comments Off on Two Times the Fun § permalink

The upsides of two kids just two years apart have proven themselves to be many. They can entertain themselves for a good hour playing hide-and-go-see or–their new favorite instigated by Pie (ugh)–wedding. They share dress-up shoes and games. Doodles is just enough older that he can help out when Pie’s being difficult–getting on her shoes or convincing her to eat. But it’s not all fun and games.

The main downside, that I can see so far, to having kids just two years apart is we seem to have hit this perfect storm of question asking. Doodles is at the stage when he has a genuine curiosity about, oh, everything, and Pie just likes to hear herself talk. And God forbid they ever ask when I’m at home and can look answers up or demonstrate something. Take this one fifteen-minute stroller ride to the park:

Pie: What are bicycles made out of?
Me: Um, I think mostly metal and plastic.
Doodles: Wood and metal. Bikes have wood.
Me: I don’t think many bikes are made of wood anymore. In the old days the were made of wood, but now I think they’re primarily metal and plastic.
Doodles: No, I know they’re made out of wood and metal. The wood is inside the metal because it’s stronger.
Me: Actually, metal is stronger than wood.
Doodles: Why is metal stronger than wood?
Me: Um. Well. It just is.
Doodles: What are houses made out of?
Me: Wood. Bricks. Concrete. Um, I don’t know what else.
Pie: What are flags made out of?
Me: Cloth.
Pie: What are cars made out of?
Me: Um, mostly metal and plastic, too, I think.
Doodles: Not wood?
Me: No, not wood.
Doodles: Where do eyeballs come from?
Me: What?
Doodles: Where do eyeballs come from?
Me: What do you mean?
Doodles: Oh, I know. From your head! What makes eyeballs colored?
Me: Um, pigments? I’m not sure.
Pie: Eyeballs! Eyeballs! Where are we going?
Me: To the playground.
Doodles: What are houses made of?
Me: I think we covered that one already.
Doodles: I meant, what are bricks made out of?

There’s no avoiding it in the stroller. In the car, though, I have developed the nice little technique of turning the radio up and yelling, “What? I can’t hear you! It’s so loud in here. Why don’t you ask when we get home?”

Just in Time for Earth Day…

April 23rd, 2008 § Comments Off on Just in Time for Earth Day… § permalink

I’ve been on a conservation kick with the kids. One of my new year’s resolutions was the oh-so-trendy “go greener.” I’m trying to impart the respect-your-earth values to them, with limited success. Of course, I don’t always have the lightest touch. I confess, I’ve been known to say, “Turn off the water! Fish need that water! Don’t kill the fish!” (Which has resulted in Doodles yelling, “Mom! Pie is wasting water! She’s killing fish!”)

Jumping on the plastics-are-bad-and-will-leach-harmful-things-into-my-children wagon, I decided I was going to order my kids some Sigg bottles. Just this morning, I told each child they were going to pick one bottle that they were going to live with for the rest of their lives. It was going to be their bottle for all going-out purposes and there was no switching or changing minds. Doodles picked out an astronaut bottle. Pie picked out Hello Kitty. The pink one. I found a lovely one for myself. Of course only after my little online search did I discover Hello Kitty is out of stock. So I’m searching for a place where I can buy all three because I’m too cheap (um, I mean environmentally aware!) to buy the bottles at multiple stores. I decided I’d hold off a day or two and see if I could find them locally. But no. Heading out to the playground today, I grabbed their sippies. At the playground:
Pie: I’m thirsty.
Me: Here’s your sippy.
Pie: No! I want Hello Kitty! The pink one!
Me: Sweetie, it’ll take a little while to get here. It won’t be here for a while [and that’s only after I order it!]
Pie: I want Hello Kitty now!
I was able to distract her until… bedtime.
Pie: I need my pink Hello Kitty.
Me: You don’t own a pink Hello Kitty yet. We just picked them out today!
I think I need to get off my butt and find that bottle in stock. With expedited shipping. So much for saving money and packaging.

And then there was the conversation Pie and I had this week:
Pie: I need a paper towel.
Me: For what?
Pie: To clean.
Me: Use a dish towel.
Pie: Nooooo! I need a paper towel!
Me: That’s wasteful, Sweetie. Use a dish towel.
Pie: I need a paper towel. I need it, I need it, I need it!
Me: Do you know where paper comes from? It comes from trees.
Pie: [sniffle]
Me: Trees are killed for paper towels. Do you want to kill a tree?
Pie: Yes! Yes! Kill the trees! Kill the trees! [sobbing now] Kill the trees! Need a paper towel!

So now you know what conservation is all about. Dead fish. Downed trees. Pink Hello Kitties. Sent Fed Ex. Hope you all had a more productive Earth Day.

Built for Speed

April 23rd, 2008 § Comments Off on Built for Speed § permalink

A huge shout out to my boot camp buds, Petra and Chris, who ROCKED the Boston Marathon.

Monday morning was Patriots’ Day. As you may know, I first thought Patriots’ Day was a ridiculous made-up holiday. But I was a fast convert. Patriots’ Day should be a national holiday. Battle re-enactments! Parades! The marathon!

Doodles and Pie slept too late to go to the Lexington re-enactment of the Battle on the Green because the previous two nights’ seders went late (and those kids of mine were so cute! Doodles recited the four questions like a pro the first night and the second night, Pie chimed in with a question herself [there’s a video on the site if you’ve got the password]), but I suggested the marathon.

“I don’t want to go to the marathon!” Doodles whined. “It’ll be boring!”

That kid is all about “boring” these days. But I used the ultimate weapon: the TV. I turned on the marathon to catch the start, and the kid was hooked.

“Wouldn’t it be fun to go watch that?” I suggested mildly.

“Yeah! Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go!”

Of course, three minutes into actually watching the marathon and he was “bored! Bored! Bored!!!” He and Pie started playing ball on the sidelines, drifting farther and farther away from me. I’ve got one eye on the race, trying to spot my friends, and one on the kids.

“Get back here!” I kept yelling, and I finally grabbed Pie around the waist and pulled her back, yelling, “If I miss seeing my friends because I’m watching you, there will be trouble!” (“There will be trouble!” is the most oft-repeated phrase in our household. I find it menacing enough to put a touch of fear into their hearts and yet vague enough that I don’t have to give up my–I mean their–TV show.) Luckily, the new and improved Friendliest Brown found a young boy to play catch with and I was able to spot not one, but both of my friends. And they looked gooood!

It really motivated me to want to run Boston. I’ve tossed my hat in the lottery for NYC this year, and I plan on running Miami next January, but Boston is out there waiting for me. I determined to get there on my own–no fundraising numbers–and I’m still a way off on my time. Although, the best thing about aging is that the qualifying time for Boston gets slower. I will qualify. One of these years. Of course, Doodles won’t be watching. He’ll be playing his Leapster. Because marathons are bo-ring!

Friendly Folk

April 23rd, 2008 § Comments Off on Friendly Folk § permalink

My father’s been calling me the Friendliest Brown for at least a couple of decades now. I’m a talker. Anyone who knows me knows I’m a talker. I’ll chat with anyone, anywhere. For instance, in the early ’90s we took a family vacation to Seattle (long before I thought I might live there). My family flew in from Miami, and I met them there as I was living in New York at the time. By the time I got off the plane, I already had plans to meet up with a woman I’d met on the trip at a bar in the U District. It’s a good thing I’m friendly because otherwise Adam and I would never have gotten together. I wouldn’t call Adam unfriendly, but, okay: He’s unfriendly.

Well, the Friendliest Brown is going to have to pass the mantle. Because there’s a new Friendliest sheriff in town. That boy of mine. Yesterday, we were at a local B. Dalton’s. I left Doodles and Pie in the children’s section while I looked for some books. I could hear him chatting away, and I finally went back and there was a mom there with a son a year or two older than Doodles. I couldn’t hear everything he had said, but I asked the mom, “So, is he telling you his life story?” She laughed and said, “All I want to know is just how do you make matzah pizza?”

Of course, this wouldn’t be so bad if he got his stories straight. He’s been going around telling people that he saw a fight. It was a battle. But it was okay, because it happened a long, long time ago. There were a lot of guns. You know what he’s talking about, right?*

I’m so torn between loving his openness and knowing it’s time to talk to him about “stranger danger.” I see him making connections in his mind all the time, and it’ll crush me to have him learn that not everyone is nice. (We recently read a Passover book that we’ve read many, many times and for the first time, he put two and two together. “So God killed the Egyptians? But why?”)

In the meantime, if you see a short kid in a Red Sox shirt, humor him. He actually makes a pretty decent matzah pizza and if you ask nicely, he’ll tell you how.

*You did get that, didn’t you? We went to the re-enactment of the Battle at the Old North Bridge in Patriot’s Day Celebration.

Matzah Mush of a Mind

April 23rd, 2008 § Comments Off on Matzah Mush of a Mind § permalink

Some weeks I really have nothing to say, and I have to scramble for something to write. This week there’s plenty to write about, and I’m still scrambling for something to write, because Adam’s at the Red Sox game, which means I had to put the kids to sleep. I have no patience for putting the kids to sleep. None. Because the ritual goes on and on and on and on…

Today broke 80 degrees. Our house is quite warm. And still Pie needs her slippers, her vest, and her sweater on. Hood up, please. Where are her mittens? Is her watch in her pocket? She needs more trains to sit on the heater next to her. Wipes! She needs two wipes. On the heater. Why? I have no clue. Oh, what! She needs to use the potty. And–damn!–the look of pure sinister when she actually does pee. Finally, she goes to bed. But the whole process takes about forty-five minutes at the end of the day, when I’m done. I mean done. So all rational thought has left me and it’s Passover, which means I can’t even indulge in a little M&M; therapy. Matzah therapy? Just not quite the same ring to it.

[Note: Blogger seems to be having some issues posting images tonight–they’ll be here tomorrow]


April 16th, 2008 § Comments Off on Hooked § permalink

Okay, you people. I joined Netflix again (and I’m not sure how this works but this apparently “friends” me), just so I could watch the flicks you’ve recommended. So far, so goodUshpizin? Loved! Next on deck: Wordplay and Juno.

Stop the Presses

April 16th, 2008 § Comments Off on Stop the Presses § permalink

That’s it. I must be done. I have nothing left to say because my biggest source of material is no longer cooperating. I don’t see how I can continue this blog after this exchange from the other night.

Adam: Time for you to go to bed, Pie!
Pie: Okay. I need to use the potty.
Adam: Really?
Pie: I need to use the potty.
Adam leads her to the bathroom. In a timely fashion, Pie pees in the potty.
Adam: Ready for bed now?
Pie: Yep.
Adam: Let’s go say good night to Mommy.
Me: So, no crying tonight, okay. Pie?
Pie: Okay.
Me: Okay what?
Pie: Okay. No crying.
Adam starts to take her up the stairs. Midway up she stops.
Pie: Wait! Mommy, one more smooch.
Pie: And a hug.
Pie: Okay. Goodnight, Mommy. I love you!
Me: I love you, too, Pie.
Pie goes up to bed. Calls us a couple of times, but not a single tear.

Look, did you see that? Out your window? Yep, pretty sure that was a pig flying by.

Thanks for the Memories

April 16th, 2008 § Comments Off on Thanks for the Memories § permalink

So Robin is encouraging her fellow bloggers to write a post today, Blog Reader Appreciation Day, in honor of their readers. She pinged me to give you guys a shout out and to thank you for sticking with me.

Well… c’mon folks. You’ve been with me long enough to know that that’s not really going to happen is it? It’s more like:

  • thanks for making me drag my sorry ass to the computer when I really didn’t feel like it, because I knew if I didn’t, there’d be harassing e-mails in my in-box on Thursday
  • thanks for putting up with me (particularly Carly, Kara, Meg, Beth, and Steffanie) when I alienated just about every other HBS spouse in the school
  • thanks for spying in on every inane conversation. every moronic act of bravado, and every insipid thought that passed through this obviously genius brain of mine
  • thanks for witnessing the fact that my husband isn’t the put together, brilliant, almost-young manager his company seems to think he is, as you’ve heard every inane, insipid, and moronic thing he does
  • thanks, in advance, for backing up my kids when they go to their therapists to complain about our parenting (too many incidents to link to here)

So, yes, all you people, a big fat thank you. Or not. Whatever.

The Return of the CWITs

April 16th, 2008 § Comments Off on The Return of the CWITs § permalink

One of my all-time favorite CWITs, Kara, was back in town this past weekend. I know it’s hard to remember that I did indeed have a life before my children, but I did, and she was one of the few Boston folks to experience it. We met up at Diesel for coffee, and while she still retains a twinge of her CWIT self, she distressed me greatly by “liberaling” up. She recycles! She buys local! She–gasp!–isn’t supporting the same Republican her husband had been supporting. But luckily she’s still gorgeous, still had the charming Texan accent, and still has the potential of being a trophy wife extraordinaire so there’s still hope for her. And she promised to stay more regularly in touch, although after this post, she may change her mind.

Ah, Kara, I’ll love you no matter what. Even when you’re the first lady. I can’t wait to play Billy Carter to your Pat Nixon. I mean, Nancy Regan. I mean… Oh, never mind. (Anyone else read this who’s old enough to remember Billy Carter?)

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You are currently viewing the archives for April, 2008 at the pieces of my life.

  • Who I Am

    I read, I write, I occasionally look to make sure my kids aren't playing with matches.

    My novel, MODERN GIRLS will be coming out from NAL in the spring of 2016.

    I mostly update the writing blog these days, so find me over there.

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