Career Advice

Tornado E: My teacher says there are no ninjas in fairy tales.

Me: Maybe she’s thinking of the wrong fairy tales.  Maybe we should look in Chinese or Japanese fairy tales.

Tornado E: No.  She said there weren’t any.

Me: Then we should write some.  Would you like to write some fairy tales about ninjas with me?

Tornado E: You should write them!  Then you can be a famous writer as well as my Mommy!

Me: That’s not a bad idea.

(Pause)

Wait a minute.

Me: Tornado E, do you know what I went to college for?  Do you know what I went to school to learn to do?

Tornado E: No.

Me: I went to school to learn to write, to become a writer.

(Pause)

Tornado E: I don’t want to be a writer when I grow up.  Ok?

Me: (chuckling) You can do whatever you want when you grow up.

For a six-year-old Fae

(Jane, I know this is late, but once I started thinking about it, I couldn’t stop and then I couldn’t blog a lot because . . . you  know . . . my own kids. But for you, Jane, because I love you.)

I’m six, and I like to swing.  Do you like to swing?  My Mommy is amazed that I can swing for hours making up songs and telling stories to nobody. But it’s not nobody. You’re here.  And so is Becky.  No one can see her, but I can.  She’s funny and smart and never shy and everyone likes her and she doesn’t talk funny like me.  Every Tuesday when school lets out early, we go for a picnic and then I have to go to a special school with just a teacher and me, and she makes me say all sorts of s words and all sorts of th words.  It’s ok. I like to color and talk to her.  But I wish we went to McDonald’s like all the other kids in my class, but Mommy says we don’t have the money, so we go to a park and have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with chips.  I don’t like chips.  I don’t like my brothers either.  I have two of them.  And it’s not fair. T got hurt the other day.  He took one of my toys from my desk and I chased him and Mommy was on the phone so she looked at us and pointed outside so I chased him outside and we ran around and around the swing set until we were on opposite sides of the two-seater with the benches.  T stuck out his tongue and threw the swing at me.  I ducked and it swung back and hit him on the head because he turned around.  That was stupid because it’s a swing and they always come back. And then he went crying to Mommy.  And Mommy yelled at me because there was lots and lots of blood and T stopped breathing for a little while.  But he was still walking, so how was I suppose to know he was hurt bad? We all had to go to the doctor and Mommy had to call the dis- dis- dispatcher.  Mommy had to call the dispatcher to tell Daddy to meet us at the doctor’s.  Daddy came in his uniform and his car but we weren’t allowed in it that day.  Daddy is a police officer. He looks handsome in his uniform, but he’s bulgy and hard when I hug him.  Mommy says Daddy has to wear a special vest so he is safe when he’s at work. I hope he is safe. He works at nights and he can be awfully grumpy.  But sometimes he comes home to eat and he brings Luke’s and we can smell the fries and so we get up and rub our eyes and go hug Daddy.  And he gives us fries!  When I grow up, I will eat at Luke’s too.  When I grow up, I’m going to be a princess.  I already have a princess bed with a canopy and it’s all pink because that’s what princesses like. And I have long hair like a princess.  Mommy says if I don’t cut it, she’ll grow her hair long too.  I like her hair long.  It’s pretty.  I wear dresses all the time.  At my school, I have to wear a skirt every day.  I can’t wear pants.  I like that, except when it’s cold.  Then my knees hit together because I can’t stop them. I can wear tights, but I get in trouble if I wear tights because I can’t keep them straight. Mommy told Grandma that I was six so what do they expect of course my tights were going to get messy.  I get in trouble for talking a lot too.  I can’t help it.  I have so many things to say. And I get in big trouble when we go to church and I talk, but church is so boring at school.  They won’t let me look at the books.  When I go to church with my family and I sit between Grandma and Grandpa, they let me look at books and then I can see the rivers that run through the words and I follow them.  And if I unfocus my eyes I can see through the coating on the wood of the pews and there is another world there.  It’s not fair that I can’t see The Mother when I go to church at school.  Grandma lets me. At school, I’m really good at religion.  But they tell me I can’t be a priest, which I don’t think it fair. God loves me. Why can’t I say the mass?  I can wear dresses like them. My teachers tell me I’ll be a writer.  I got Student of the week Twice!  For my stories! I like telling them, but they hard to write. I write real slow and I can’t get all the words out that are in my head. I tried to write like Mommy, all flowy and curly, but no one could read my writing.  I couldn’t remember what I wrote the week after.

What?!  Mommy?!

I’m coming!

Mommy and Daddy say I talk a lot. They tease me about it.  They tell everyone how when we went to Canada this summer that I went with Aunty Per and Aunty Alice.  They’re my Grandma’s sisters, and I don’t see them a lot.  Just once a year.  Aunty Per is the tall skinny one, and Aunty Alice is the fat one.  I love them.  Anyways, I got to go in their car for the day when we were driving to Canada.  M was with my parents, and T went with my grandparents.  They have a motor home!  And Aunty Per and Aunty Alice let me sit in front with them on a pillow so I could see out and they fed me cherries and red grapes. I love cherries, and I like red grapes but Mommy never buys them.  She only buys green grapes.  So I sat in front talking the whole time, telling them all about my friends and school and stories and Becky and Teddy who came with me. I dressed him up in his dress so he would look good.  They say the only time I was quiet was when I fell asleep.  That was eight hours of driving.  Aunty Alice said I never repeated myself once.  Why would I?  There’s so much to tell!  I was reading this book about a big ship that no one said would sink and then it did and-

I’m coming, Mommy!  I’m coming!

I have to go now.  Mommy said it’s dinner time and then I have to water the plants.  Mommy says I’m good with them because I tell them stories and listen to them. Once-

I’m coming!

I better go.  Bye.

Tough

We were at my parents’ house eating lunch as I did laundry (because of my dead washing machine), and, just like during my childhood, the TV was on as we ate.  We were watching some sort of educational cartoon.

Tornado E: Mommy, I thought girls were tougher than boys.

Where do you go with that?  Yes.  No.  Why?  Boys and girls are the same but different.  Our society tells us boys are tougher.  Crap.

Me: Why do you think that?

Tornado E: Because you’re tough, and you’re a girl.

What do you say to that?

And when Tornado S plays with his toys, he often has me as a character.

Mommy aka Luminara Unduli

Rocket man

Tornado E’s class is learning about space.  Sweet.  The kids were given an assignment to build a rocket.  Double sweet.  I was ecstatic.  I did a little dance.  I, of course, had all sorts of fun materials to build a rocket.

Me: TORNADO E!  We get to build a rocket!

Tornado E: I know!  I’m building it with Legos!

Me: Um, what?  Don’t you want to use other things?  We could find all sorts of neat things to build the rocket with.  (Insert Jedi Mind Trick: You want to build your rocket with stuff other than Legos.)

Tornado E: No, Mommy.  I’m sticking with Legos.  It’ll be neat!

I faked enthusiasm and consoled myself that surely my son would change his mind.

But he didn’t.

Last night he showed me his last revision of his rocket.

Tornado E:  Look, Mommy!  It’s done!  Isn’t it beautiful?  Look at my pattern!  A, B, C, D, A, B, C, B, A, D, C, B, A!

Me: That is one awesome rocket.

Tornado E:  I know!  When my friends see it, it’ll blow their minds!

Well, at least he got his vocabulary from me.

Adult plans

Tornado E: Mommy!  When I’m a grown up, I’m going to get whatever I want.

Me: Only if you have the money.

Tornado E: Mommy!  When I’m a grown up, I’m going to say, “Mommy! Give me money . . . for the grocery store . . . so I can buy . . . a yo-yo.”  And I’ll be so surprised that I’m good with a yo-yo now that I’m a grown-up.  Won’t that be cool?  The yo-yo will go down, and then I’ll be able to pull it up.  Won’t that be a great idea, Mommy?

Maybe now is the time to explain to him about after college, I’m demanding pay for room and board.

You can’t see me

Tornado E is obsessed with camouflage.  And not the green military kind either.  The animal kind like a lizard or a rabbit or a chameleon.

And he’s color blind

He strips naked and tries to hide himself in front of tan and brown furniture.  Because he’s brown.  According to him.

Now I may have some Mexican and Cherokee heritage, it is in the distant past.  It has also been white washed with the German, Irish, English, French, Polish, Scottish, and whatever-else-my-equal-mating-opportunist-family-members-had decent.  And I take after the pale, pale Irish, just a shade darker than an albino.  I also happened to pass on my milky complexion to Tornado E.

So when he tries to blend in with the tan chair or the brown chair or the red/“brown” brick wall, he sticks out like a soar thumb or like a white rabbit in the midst of brown grass.

Am I beautiful?

Yesterday Tornado E got into my makeup.  Which really is a little more difficult than it sounds.  Since we have a tiny bathroom, The Husband and I have one drawer each, and yes, I did take the biggest drawer; I have more stuff.  But I couldn’t fit the makeup in the drawer too, which I don’t usually wear but I have tons of eye shadow and body glitter, so I have it in one of those plastic makeup boxes all teen girls had to have in the 90s, and it’s on a shelf in the closet.

Tornado E pulled out the box and found a set of girl lipsticks featuring Strawberry Shortcake.

(Why I have Strawberry Shortcake lipsticks is a long story.  Ok, here it goes.  I’m cursed to have all lip balm I love be discontinued after a year or so of buying them, using them, and devoting my loyalty to them.  Then it takes me months to find a replacement lip balm and the cycle begins again.  In between such cycles, I fell in love with the Angel Cake Strawberry Shortcake lip balm, which tasted and smelled like having sugar on my lips.  For a sugar addict such as myself, I was in heaven.  But then I couldn’t find them anymore, so I bought the fake lipstick, which wasn’t right at all, so I put them up for when our friends’ daughters come over they could play with them.  I’m obviously watching too much Phineas and Ferb and slowly becoming Dr. Doofenshmirtz with this kind of back story issue.)

Since he found the box during the end of rest time, where they may have gotten up from their naps but I place the boys in front of the TV to give them three full hours of rest and I three full hours of blogging, I didn’t realize what Tornado E was into, until he came to find me.

Tornado E: Mommy!  Mommy!  Look at me!  Am I beautiful?

I turn around and found that Tornado E’s whole mouth was covered in pink.

Me: Maybe you should use the mirror to put it on.

Tornado S: Brother!  Brother!  Let me see!

Tornado E: See, Tornado S!  Would you like some?
Tornado S: Yes!

Tornado E took Tornado S to the bathroom and plied purple lipstick.

Tornado S: Mommy!  Mommy!  Do I look bootiful?

Me: Yes, you do.

Tornado E: How about me, Mommy?!  Do I look beautiful?

Me: Yes, you do.

Tornado E: Mommy has two beautiful boys.  Let’s go get more.

This carried on for a half an hour or so of smearing more lipstick on and running to ask me if they were beautiful.

And what was the first thing Tornado E did when he got up?  Put on his lipstick, of course.

I’m completely fine with this.

As long as he doesn’t turn into that serial killer from Silence of the Lambs.  That guy was creepy.  And no one tell The Husband or he’ll torture me with his impression of “It puts the lotion on its skin.”  God, that sends chills of my spine.

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In the classroom

I spent yesterday afternoon, helping out at Tornado E’s class.  I try to volunteer one day out of the month.  I wanted to do more, but I was afraid I would take too much time from other mom’s volunteering.  I’m starting to think I’m the only one who does go in as I mentioned it to a few of the stay-at-home moms after school.  When I suggested they take a day just because it was fun, they looked at me like I had grown a third eye.  I guess our alone time is precious.  I know it is for me.

I chose yesterday because it was the only day of class this week, because they had a speaker coming in, and because it was supposed to rain all week.  Before the boys, I worked as a teacher’s assistant for a kindergarten and a first grade class and as a Girl Scout troop organizer.  When there’s a schedule deviation or if those kids couldn’t go out every single day to play, hell was likely to break loose within the class room.

I would like to regale you all with tales of humorous acts and speeches, but most of the kids were shy and quiet.  There was only one kid in the class willing to make a fool of himself by saying crazy things, doing crazy things.  My son.

Not only did he dance his way back into the classroom after the presentation, making one of the teachers laugh, he was the one to spout off hilarious things.

As we sat around the table for snack time, the kids were eager to tell the teacher what they did over the weekend. Tornado E didn’t want to be left out of the conversation, even though he felt we did nothing exciting.  He pulled my sleeve.

Tornado E: Mommy, lean over.  I have a secret to tell you.

I leaned over.

Tornado E: (whispering) I’m going to pretend we went to the toy store, ok?

Me: Ok.

Tornado E: (to the teacher) We went to the toy store!

Teacher: Oh?

Tornado E: Yup.  And we saw Toy Story toys.

Teacher: Which one is your favorite?

Tornado E: Buzz Lightyear!

All right.

Later as the teacher was reading a story, she asked the students what kinds of houses they lived in, giving examples of brick, steel, stuck-o.

Tornado E: I live in a gingerbread house!

The teacher looked over at me.  I smiled.

Me: It’s always nice to live in Tornado E’s world.

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It’s all better

The Husband was wrestling in our bed with the boys.  A favorite past time, that I willingly forgo.  A girl can only evade a broken nose for so long before she’s over the game.  I took the time to catch-up on the many blogs I missed last week.  (If I haven’t made it to you, I’m working on it.)

As I enjoyed my moments of peace, listening to the sounds of tigers fighting, Tornado S walked into the room.  He didn’t seem to notice me.  He put on a construction hat, pulled out the tools, and went to work on a boat.  He hammered; he drilled; he screwed; he had no idea what to do with the clamp.  All the while he sang.

“It’s all better.  It’s all better.  It’s all better.”

It dawned on me how fast he was growing.  How sweet he was growing.  How smart he was growing.  How creative he was growing.  He’s not a baby any more.

Well, he told me that last week out of the blue.

“Mommy!  I no baby!”

I know.  That’s why I got one on the way, big boy.

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Halloween Choices

I’ve been remissed lately about the crafts, not just with you, but with the boys too.  Last year I had all kinds of crafts for people to do.  This year, um, not so much.  See, apparently when I get morning sickness, I prefer to let the boys learn from watching Mickey as I lay on the bed, telling my breakfast to stay put as I reread the adventures of Bella and Edward to keep my mind from questioning my sanity over deciding to get pregnant again.  This allows little to no time for crafts.  And Halloween is in a few days.  I’m sorry.  I suck.  I know.

But before I could become a fat (I know hard to do when I can’t keep my calories down), lazy slob in a hammock, yelling “Tornado E, get Mommy her prying bar; easy does it, easy, sugar” (nod to those who got that reference), I got my energy back.  Hallelujah!  So we made glue ghosts, which are more glitter than glue.  I plan on shaping some rice krispies bars into ghosts tomorrow.  Saturday my mom and I are planning a special Halloween dinner with scary face sloppy joes, ghost cheese bread, and bugs.  We still haven’t figured out desert.  I’m thinking brownie coffins again.

Last year I made ghost toast because Tornado E had a fever, so I had to forgo making ghost pancakes.  I cut their sandwiches with Halloween cookie cutters, but they didn’t eat them.  For dinner, I made a cheese pizza, using cheddar cheese so that I could use string cheese to make the web.  I made the ghost cheese bread out of refrigerated crescent dough, shaping the triangles into ghost shapes.  I made brownies that I cut into coffin shapes, iced, and then frosted a little cross on the top of each one.  I do this to make up for not being able to throw another large, outrageous Halloween party.

This year, I decided Tornado S should go as a pirate.  Sure, I should have asked.  I asked Tornado E at this age, and he wanted to be Robin Hood.  But I figured Tornado S is obsessed with pirates, so he would love a pirate costume.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a white button up shirt for a 2t boy?  No one has them.  I even went to a brunch of second hand stores.  Finally I settled on a size 4/5, since we all know pirates wore baggy clothes any ways.  I bought some dark grey sweatpants that I cut into a zig-zag pattern just below Tornado S’s knees.  My mom made Tornado S a black vest, and she found some gaudy button covers for him.  I cut him a red sash, tied a red bandana on his head, and placed a foam pirate’s hat on his head.  He loved the costume.

Remember last year when Tornado E decided two months out that he wanted to be a witch.  This year he couldn’t make up his mind.  He wanted to be a bat, a vampire, a green monster, a stick of gum, Halloween candy, a doctor, a rubber chicken, the chicken from Surf’s Up, a bubble gum machine, an alien.  At some point, I realized an Uncle was involved somewhere and told them to shut the f up.  So when we went to Wal-Mart, I told Tornado E he had to pick one thing.  My mom was looking at those cheap t-shirt costumes. Tornado E picked the devil shirt, but since it had a corset, I thought I would make our own.  We went into the boy department and picked up a red turtle-neck and red sweats.  As I browsed the costume department for horns and a tail, which only came as a girl set, my mom and Tornado E argued because Tornado E had chosen something else, something store bought.  I think he wanted to be Darth Vader.  The kid has a wicked impression.  I broke up the fight and dragged Tornado E to the cash register with him calling me.

What?

I don’t want to be a devil anymore.

What do you want to be?

Ummmm, a transformer!

No.

When we returned home, I ripped off the feathers off the horns and placed them on Tornado E’s head, who laughed in delight, begging to wear his costume, which I obliged.  He was excited to be Mommy-what’s-it-called-again a devil.

The next day he was wearing the shirt and pants with the tail still pinned to it before I even got out of bed.  Today he was a dragon.  Whatever.

Then Tuesday we were going to the special Halloween story time.  I dressed Tornado S up first.  Then I turned to Tornado E who decided he was going as a pirate too.  What?!  Are you kidding?! He calmly told me he could wear his pirate costume.  I should have said yes, but I have pride in my craftiness, so I couldn’t allow my son to go to Halloween in a store bought piece of crap.  I said no.  We argued.  I called for backup.  My mom wasn’t home, and my dad said he didn’t know.  Thanks.  I turned to Tornado E and gave him a choice.  Vampire or devil?

Vampire.

Because this was the option thrown around most, I knew what I was going to do.  I pulled out his ring bearer tux.  I put him in his pants, shirt and white vest.  I used baby powder to whiten his face (because it doesn’t over do it like the costume make up).  Unfortunately when we moved, I went through all my make-up and threw out my unused lipsticks, costume make up and such, so the only lipstick I had was the one I actually use (from time to time when I have to be all “adult”).  Oh, well.  Then I put his black witch’s cape from last Halloween on him.  Bam.  Traditional vampire.  Except his hair was messed up like the newest, most popular, and arguably best looking vampire, and I didn’t have the heart to slick it back.  Actually I debated on throwing on some glitter (because I have tubes of that stuff).  But I refrained.

Tornado E loved it.  But at the end of story time, he had taken the pirate hat and was calling himself a musketeer.  Whatever.

Then yesterday when he talked to the triplet’s mom, and she asked what he was going to be for Halloween.  He proudly said a devil and described his costume.

Whatever.  I’m done.

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