Thursday, December 04, 2008

Naps, craps and existential crises

If it's true that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, then this blog is in a handbasket, floating down the river Styx.

I can't count the times I've meant to write a little update here only to be interrupted by a coughing fit, a waking toddler, a dog who needs to crap, another coughing fit, a nap, the well founded anxiety that if the market doesn't rise like Lazarus out of the grave it's dug for itself that I'll be out of a job before Memorial know, the standard distractions.

Between naps, craps and existential crises, I have scrawled a few notes about the past few days on beer bottle labels, dog food bags and in the margins of the want ads.

Last week marked the second Thanksgiving in my 40 years that I hadn't gathered with my siblings for a meal. However, we were joined by Grammy and a friend from my past job who was a holiday orphan. While 3B and I coughed and played the day away, Mama and Grammy made enough food to stuff all of us turkeys several times over.

Before dinner, we were able to videoSkype with Sister #1 and #2 and their kids while they were waiting for Brother #2, who had to stop to get a new rear axle on his journey north. After our dinner, Brother #2 had gotten his new rear end to Sister #2's house, so we again videoSkyped while he sharpened up the snickersnee.

Our friend had brought over tasty wine and I set the red and port on the balcony to chill a bit. After dinner, when Grammy took 3B out on the balcony to play, he reached over, grabbed both bottles by their necks and announced, "These are my beers."

See why I can't make fun of Britney?

That's not the only bon mot that 3B has dropped this week. He's picking up language fast enough that I've been checking under his crib mattress for correspondence course material. You read this blog, so you know I'm not capable of expanding his vocabulary beyond the seven words you can't say on radio or television. Then again, he does spend most of his day with Mama, a healthy safeguard against my influence.

Some that stood out to us:
  • Want that creature to say, "Silly Mr. Skip!"
    -- Creature? Where does he get these words? The Mr. Skip reference is a long story.
  • Oh, do you want to go get your squeeze box? OK. Yes, I do. But wait--first I have to put on my shoes.
    -- 3B clearly doesn't need us for conversations.
  • I want Eeyore to play Jump Around. [Papa grabbed the small Eeyore.] No, I mean the big Eeyore.
    -- Really, Papa. Don't be a dumb ass.
  • I pooped from all that food.
    --Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

On Sunday, we thought it would be wise to run three errands with a toddler: go to BJ's, Target and PetSmart. Honestly, 3B is a good shopper for his age. The truck carts at BJ's help. Well, they help 3B. For us, they turn shopping into a workout since they're as easy to maneuver as steering a dead whale with a toothpick.

Target required tag-team parenting--one shopping while the other entertained 3B with Christmas trees, bicycles, the entire toy section, baseballs, bats, helmets and gloves. At some point we also had to surreptitiously leave behind the first item 3B picked up and latched onto as we came through the doors: a pink sequined purse.

Even though the pink is a nice complement to the red in 3B's hair, we couldn't get the purse. We consciously got him attached to cloth diapers as his lovies, since they are easy to get cheaply in large quantities, which means that we are never without one. We leave one in the car, one in each stroller, one in the backpack, a few at Mrs. K's, and we've probably lost a few in airports and stores along the way, but we still always have one. So we're not really prepared to switch to pink sequined purses as lovies.

As for the boy carrying the pink sequined purse through Target? Get over it. 3B is quite happy gobbling up his princess gummy vitamins and brushing his teeth with his pink Hello Kitty toothbrush, all of which he picked out, thank you very much.

Besides, isn't this nothing but a man's pink sequined purse?

Honestly, I can't blame 3B. The crap they make for boys is boring at his age, when shiny things rule. Boys toys and clothes and accessories are all drab colors with no personality. 3B likes things that match is bright personality and meet his imagination where it is going. This is a boy who has conversations with characters in his books; why would he not want characters on all of his toys?

Speaking of books, we did succeed in getting him a bookcase at Target, so his burgeoning collection no longer has to sprawl across his bedroom floor--not that it was bothering him, but I was going to break an ankle sooner or later trying to close his blinds. And then it was off to the pet store for dog food.

By that time, it was raining, and Mama and 3B stayed in the car eating chips while I ran in quickly for the dog food, since by then it was time to get home for our nap, crap and afternoon existential crisis.

I'd have more to tell you, but I ran out of beer bottle labels. I'm thinking that 3B has them stashed somewhere, along with his coursebooks.

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  1. Anonymous12:04 AM

    Oh, my boy gets all angsty and sad when he is confronted with the vast gulf between boys and girls clothes. I can just see the questions forming deep in his eyes:

    Why can't boys wear sparkles?

    Pink is so beautiful in the sunset and in flowers and cats' tongues...why can't I wear it and be beautiful too?

    Why are all boys clothes dirt colored?

    Why can girls wear boys clothes but boys can't wear girls clothes?

    Why are all boys clothes plain, at most striped, or alternatively covered in garish cartoon characters, while girls get to choose between plain, stripes, flowers, butterflies, fairies, sparkles, beads, spangles, ruffles, and garish cartoon characters?

    I never have a good answer for him, except, "That's the way it is in our culture."

  2. Amama: Those are hard questions. At this age, my answer is that he can wear whatever he likes, although we only provide boys clothes for him to wear, so that's not entirely fair. But if he were to want to wear sparkly, shiny, fun clothes, I'm all for it. When he's older, it gets a bit more squirrely because I'm still all for him wearing whatever he wants, but I also want to protect him from ridicule and harm that might come from others who don't feel as I do.

  3. I thought that that big red shiny thing was a girl truck. That is what the sticker on the back window would say if a cowgirl was driving it. Of course, I know many women who think of their vehicles as large purses.

    At our house, the little boy loved pink and fingernail polish, but with a sister 6 years older than he is, the fashion police check his outfit every morning now, so he is careful what he wears. He is concerned about the ridicule thing more than the clothes.

  4. "these are my beers"
    ...that one is my favorite!

  5. L-P: It's funny until he's grabbing your beers. Then, them's fighting words.

  6. Anonymous12:38 AM

    That's exactly his papa's concern. I'd let him (the boy, not the papa) wear pretty much whatever he wants, and try to encourage him to face up to the inevitable peer pressure and criticism. He already gets that a bit when he wears the lavender sparkly mittens from the mitten basket to school, and when he brings a pink water bottle for snack time. Sigh. Why does it have to matter so much? I want him to love beauty--that's a human thing, not a girl thing.

  7. I always felt it was better for kids to experiment with things, like boys wearing girls clothes, when they are younger and not when they are teens. At least I know what to get him for Christmasetc.

    Did I ever tell you about the time someone asked if my boy 2 had a sister? She pointed out the fingernail polish on his nails. Hmmmm that makes sense now.

    Did I tell you that Boy 1 has a pair of red plaid snowboarding pants? Expensive ones too. Let's just say his friend can find him on the hill.

    Pretty is for everyone

  8. Actually I will have my girls look for a nice sparkly purse for 3b. I will make sure that it comes in a color that does not clash with his hair.

    My son 2 will wear all kids of camoflage. His sisters will take a picture of him if he can get 5 or more patterns of camoflage on his body at the same time. He will tell you his favorite color is red and no longer green. I say his favorite color is camoflage (in the green shades). He doesn't seem bothered by his peers teasing him, well not enough to want to change anything he is doing.

  9. Kmoo: So, is that why you let me wear all those regrettable clothes when I was in high school?

  10. Those were fashionable then. I wonder what I was thinking with my snazzy outfits too. But I wonder even more now that some of those trends are back in the stores for my kids to wear.

    I hope you can find some way to link my sister's blog and those wonderful pictures of the "baby" of both families in JC Penney's. Yes we were out in public and all the sister's were there, not commenting on their acute fashion sense.