Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Isn't (S)he Cute?

Through no fault of his own, my brother was a cross dresser early on. He almost became the sister I never had. My mother would, on occasion, let me dress him up in one of my outgrown dresses. Back then, no one thought there was any stigma attached to it...it was just funny. It was so funny, in fact, that my mother took a picture of it.

Today, if you dress a boy in his sister’s clothes the child psychologists and psychoanalysts lambast you from here to Kingdom Come. They will tell you, in no uncertain terms, that you might make him "gender confused", or worse....I never ask what "the worse" might be. I don’t want to know.

No...I think sometimes we take ourselves way too seriously. After all, my brother, Charles (his real name) has been called Charlie his whole life, and he is no sissy. (We don’t talk about the fact that there is a GIRL’S PERFUME called Charlie though, do we?) Truly, he is normal. Well, as normal as anyone in MY family will ever be~and that’s not saying much. Oh, he has his quirks, I guess- you know, little things, like after he uses the bathroom the toilet lid is NEVER up...and I don’t know quite what that means because at our house when MyHero comes out the lid is never DOWN. Oh, yeah...and I noticed that he usually wears loafers- not the kind with pennies in them so I don’t think there’s anything too significant in that either.

Anyway- He’s my brother and I love him and I am sure I will pay for this bit of fun at his expense in more ways than one- Just like when we were kids..... (By now the new lady in his life is wondering just who he REALLY is)- As SweetCheeks would say, "Sollahy Chollahy"!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Pity Patty

You will see here a picture of my good friend, Patty. As you can tell, she is expounding on something....she is ALWAYS expounding on something. That’s okay because she’s smart and I love to listen to her expound. We drop in and out of each other’s lives but never totally disconnect. We may go for weeks without talking and then meet for dinner somewhere. It is as if no time elapsed since our last sit-about. We are kindred souls, of a sort. Both have seen our share of pain and heartache...both have struggled with family issues...both working when most of our friends are retired & sipping cocktails on some sunny shore. But, no, here we are, residing where it is so dad-blamed cold that icicles form when you spit. (Of course, neither she nor I would ever lower ourselves to spitting). Let me give you a tip about "roughing it" in Wisconsin in the winter. NEVER, and I repeat, NEVER use a port-a-potty for ANY reason...better to wet your pants and suffer the consequences. Trust me on this!

Anyway, Patty and I have not been life long friends~at least not in years. We met through a mutual friend of ours, Barry (the singer-yes-yes-I’ll tell you more about him another time). He came to our house (about 15 years ago) to watch a football game and brought her along. Now, the funny thing is, I don’t think either of us watched a minute of football-we were too busy gabbing. After we had talked for about an hour she looked at me with her haughty-eyed look and said, "I don’t know if I like you or not-you may be funnier than I am!" Well, Lord love her, at least she was honest about it! I find that when we are together we are each other’s best audience...which means that occasionally one of us has to stop and listen. Why is life so hard sometimes?

I will give you one quick story about her. We went to a women’s retreat and were sitting at a back table (imagine that-isn’t that where ALL the naughty ones always sit)? Anyway, the speaker was one of those people that was quite "taken" with herself-you know the type-more interested in hearing themselves talk than making a point. Well, she started to tell a sad, sad, and I mean REALLY sad story, about someone she knew that had been working under their car in a garage and , because it was dark in there, lit a match and the gasoline around them went up like a torch and they were burned. See? I TOLD YOU it was sad. Now, Patty and I looked at each other and she mouthed, "What kind of idiot lights a match when they are under a car?" You know how it is sometimes when emotions are close to the surface? There’s a fine line between crying and laughing? Well....... I started laughing, quietly at first, just the held in snicker~ her face got red and she started quivering. I started shaking in earnest and she was holding her hand over her mouth to keep the snorting to a minimum. Everyone (all the NORMAL people) around us were crying-some of them almost sobbing. I put my head down on the table and the person on the other side of me ( a stranger to both of us) started patting my back to "comfort" me (thinking I was sobbing aloud). My daughter, Mimi, who was on the other side of Patty, made her switch seats so she could separate us. At this point my GOOD FRIEND, Patty, got up and left me sitting there with some stranger "consoling" me.

God Bless that Patty~ That reminds me...I haven’t seen her in a while-I think it’s about time for our Spring luncheon- There’s an old saying about payback but I’m too nice to write it! Let’s just say.....She’s got one coming!

Side note~By the way, lest you think I am callous and unfeeling. the burned person recovered completely

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Elves Themselves

We not only have fairies at our house-we have elves. Elves are bigger than fairies and they have their own little "house" complete with a front door and a "lawn". When we were remodeling this house (one of many, many, many houses we have remodeled-don’t ask HOW many, okay?) we were told we had to provide access to the old roof. The "old" roof now has a new roof over part of it. Why do anything as ordinary as cutting a hole through a closet when you can go for a surprise element in your house? As most of you are finding out, there is nothing ordinary about THIS strange family.

I thought it would be a great idea to make an entrance to the old roof that looked like a door. What? What did I say? I want a door that opens only into an old roofed area? Yes, indeedy! The builder (Phil-God bless him) looked at me like I had grown a third head (by now he was accustomed to seeing me with two). He wanted to hate me, I’m sure, but he was nice because I kept giving him donuts. And here you thought I was a dummy, didn’t you?

Anyway, we now have a "door" that leads nowhere. Yes-that’s right- to nowhere. It is about 12 feet in the air and has a "balcony" that overlooks our family room. The neat thing about it is that The Elf family has taken up residence there. The kids have even named them-George & Ethel. They decorate for all the seasons & even put lights on their tree at Christmas time. Outside their door is a wonderful little lantern. When the grandkids are sleeping over and the elves go to bed they turn off that lantern. All small living creatures below the balcony (that would anyone under 10) must dutifully trot up the stairs and go beddy-bye.

SweetCheeks starts watching for the light about 7pm. About every 5 minutes or so she will announce "da elfess arhe still awake, Nana." About 8pm the elves turn in and off goes their light. Amazing! If Lucy is here she has kind of panicky reaction, "Nana, the elves went to bed-come on we have to go upstairs" and, with eyes big as saucers, she rushes headlong to the steps. I like that reaction. SweetCheeks, on the other hand, has learned to bargain, "Da elfes are inside but dey iss watching TV or sumfin cuz I doan’t think thems in bed yet. Nana, can I haf a cookie too.....No? Okay, den can I haf sum milky in my sippy cup?" As I am getting her milk, she yells up at the elves - "Hey-turan yoah light bachk on and we’ll all have some cookies or sumfin!"

Thank God those elves are stone deaf!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Shopping With Lucy

Our little Lucy is a free-spirit. She does her own thing (as best she can at her age). She likes to dress herself and often looks like a 70's throwback with a very bohemian look. Most kids like to go to toy stores or game places. Not our Lucy-she likes shopping in department stores and going to Starbucks for a steamer.

I am not much of a shopper (of course MyHero would disagree with me but I don't count online shopping as actual shopping). At stores and malls I want to go in, find what I want, buy it and go home. But, because Lucy likes shopping, I usually take her for her birthday. Shopping with her is quite an experience. Nothing will do but we must look at every item of clothing on every rack in the place. Nothing seems quite right—hmmm...no, Nana, that’s too long, or too short, or too pink, or not pink enough, or too babyish. Babyish? She is FIVE for goodness sakes! Imagine shopping with her when she is 15!

I must say though that Lucy has good taste. No $3.00 Walmart specials for her....she likes to go to The Childrens Place and find outfits that cost more than my first wedding gown....yeah-y’all already know I had more than one wedding gown...knock off the snide remarks. Anyway, she holds up the prize and her whispery little voice says- "I like this one, Nana". Once the sticker shock has worn off I can appreciate the quality of what she has picked out. The color is lovely and it fits her perfectly~the cowboy hat is an especially nice touch. "I like it, Lucy, shall we pay for it then?". "But, Nana, there are lots of other stores here and I might find something somewhere else that I like even better". And, so it goes, we wander from store to store and shop til we drop. In the end, we go back to the first store and buy the first outfit she tried on. It is all made worthwhile when she looks at me, excitedly, with those big, hazel eyes and says, "I love it, Nana, thank you!" As I say, "You’re welcome", I can only imagine how excited MyHero is going to be when he sees the credit card statement.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Poolside Fun

What you see before you is the picture of a BAD boy! He doesn’t look bad, does he? Look at that sweet, adorable, cherubic face. But...Oh.... He is naughty! Standing next to him is his sister, Mimi, his best and most encouraging audience. What you don’t see in this picture is me- dressed in a business suit, nylons, high heels, hair done and make up perfect (well, almost perfect-I always miss something!).

I am not in the picture because I am off to the side-soaking wet & crying & laughing & flabbergasted. I went out to say goodbye to everyone and as I looked down into the pool MamasBoy walked up behind me and pushed me in!

There was completely shocked silence for a moment and then everyone burst out laughing-except me~it took a while for the laughter to come gurgling to the surface! Looking back I now know WHY MamasBoy is the way he is.....He is a jokester and will do anything for a laugh. I did not beat him as I should have....I think that is what is wrong with me too....my father should have beat me....but that’s not a story for today.

You know the best part about MamasBoy? He grew up (physically), got married and now has a whole new audience to play tricks on and entertain. God Bless You- Secret Agent- He’s yours!

Pssst-Here's a tip for you- don't stand too close to the edge of the pool~

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Once Upon A Time

Last night, after American Idol, SweetCheeks went off to bed. Papa read her a story and asked her if she would give him a kiss goodnight and she said, "No- NEVAH". That seems to be her newest, and most oft used term, Never....or, as she says it NEVAH. She did, however, come off her high horse long enough to blow him a kiss and give her deep little chortle as she headed up the steps.

We have a little routine. When the kids are here I sleep upstairs in the spare bedroom so I can hear them if they awaken in the middle of the night. When SweetCheeks is here she likes to fall asleep in that bed and, when I go to bed, I move her to her own "wittle bed"....the family crib. She is really big enough to sleep in a regular bed but she likes the crib and I know she is not prone to wandering about at night if she is in it.

So, bath time sweet, and all tucked in with her baby doll she asks for a bedtime story (as opposed to a chair side story, I guess).. We read Goldilocks and The Three Bears for about the 300th time. As we finish that book she asks if I would "pwlease read just one moah". She has Hansel & Gretel all picked out. It is one of the old Golden Books my own kids had and has adorable, cherubic looking children on the cover.

We settle in and she is slightly drowsing. I am reading quieter, and with less enthusiasm, waiting for her to nod off. All of a sudden, we get to the part where the old crone is about ready to put Hansel & Gretel in the oven to COOK THEM and EAT THEM. SweetCheeks startles awake and starts to cry. "OH NO- Down’t wet her EAT dem, Nana". No, no, I assure her-she doesn’t eat them...listen.....Now, you would think the story would smooth out, wouldn’t you? Not so....when the crone leans into the oven Gretel gives her a push and she falls into the oven and burns up!
By now our poor SweetCheeks is beside herself. What WERE these story writers thinking? What kind of story is that for a child? It is one I heard myself and read to my own children - but still- Holy Cow- that is an awful story. I finally get her calmed down.

After SweetCheeks gets over the initial horror she asks what any child of this generation might asks ...."Is hers going to jail?"

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Long Ride Home

I spent the first part of yesterday at Mimi’s house watching baby Eeeefan. He is growing and changing so fast. It’s hard to remember what it was like for Mimi & TheIslandScout not to have this wonderful addition in their lives. He is a good eater-will eat most anything that is shoved in his mouth...which makes him, of course, a good pooper. I can attest to that fact. I could swear it three times, as a matter of fact. It is fun to watch him as he learns to play and explore the world around him.

After Mimi got home from her appointment, we decided that we would caravan to Sheboygan and meet TPot and her 3 girls at McDonalds. Once there, Lucy and Lulu would ride home with Mimi to spend a special night at her house. Of course, when SweetCheeks saw them getting in the car the sunny look left her face and the storm clouds rolled in. Quickly, the tears start to form. "Hey, how’s come dose gurhls get to go home wif Mimi? Whut about me? Whose gonna take me wif em?" The girls were more than happy to inform her that SHE was going home with MOM & THEY were going home with Mimi. Uh-oh- this isn’t good information falling into SweetCheeks little data center. Before things can get too far out of hand I open my mouth and offer to let SweetCheeks ride home with me. "HA!" She tells them, "I’m gonna go wif Nana and we’s gonna have a chocolute mulkshake!" Huh? What? Who said that? "Mama sayed it~Mama sayed Nanny wuld get me a mulkshake & she gived me $2 dolhurs."

As we are driving home, sipping our milkshake, (did you doubt that would happen?) I am pointing things out. "Look at the pony", I tell her. "Dass a howrsse, Nana". No sense arguing that a pony IS a horse-she has already tagged on that "a pony is a baby howrsse and NOT a howrsse". Of course it’s not-What was I thinking?

A bit farther along we see some boys out shooting hoops. I tell her that someday when she is big she can play basketball like that. "Nooo-I cannn’t play bisquit ball, Nana. I dun’t know dos boys and I not gonna play wif dem." Of course you’re not-what was I thinking?

"SweetCheeks", I tell her, "You are a goofball!" "No-I not a gooofhball and I NOT a bisquit ball and I NOT eny ball. Then, brigthtening considerably, "MyPapa iss a gooofhball, isssn’t he, Nana?" I assure her that he is indeed a goof ball. "Well, I just gonna whrap him up in newssspapahs and mail him to sum buddy." I tell her we will mail him to Uncle Charlie. "Hey, Charly is NOT an uncle-hers a gurhl!". No, I tell her I meant my brother Charlie-he’s a boy! " "Noooo~Charly is my babysittah’s baby-hers a gurlh! Lulu is a gurlh, Lucy is a gurlh, yous a gurlh, and I a gurlh and CHARLYS a gurlh too. Sooo, Nanny whoose we gonna mail Papa to?" Well, in that case, we’ll mail him to my brother, Charles!
"Thasss wright, Nana, we’ll mail him to yoah brothah, Churles!"

Watch the mailbox Charlie-er I mean CHURLES-The package will be the size of a 3 year old & may need feeding when you get it-it likes chocolut shakes!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Pancakes At Perkins

After we went to the park yesterday we stopped at Perkins to eat lunch. What a fiasco it is when you are eating with 4 little ones....what compels me to try it again when I know what the outcome is going to be like? There's an old saying- I am a glutton for punishment- remember that one? Well, I guess the glutton part would apply to the feeding frenzies I witness.

First, and foremost, we need menus. Not just ANY menus, they must be menus that you can color on. And why, pray tell, do they now give you a little packet with 2 crayons in it? Even worse, SweetCheeks opens her package of crayons~ one of them is white and one of them is yellow. She says, "Hey, I got da no coulahs". You got white and yellow the girls tell her. "Yeah theya NO COULAHS cuz yoah can’t see em whens you use em." I must say, she has a point there. "Lucy, do yoah wannah twade coloahs wif me?" NO~ Hmmmm....Using her best I’m-so-sweet-smile on Lulu she tries again, "Looloo, will you twade coloahs wif me?" NO....hmmm..

"I doan cahre, I not gonna coulah enyfing enyways", she says with arms crossed and bottom lip sticking out. Before anyone can respond the waitress has shown up to take our order. Lulu orders mac & cheese, Lucy orders pancakes with sprinkles, SweetCheeks points at her choice. It’s a kid sized pizza. "Are you sure that’s what you want?" We ask her. Head nods up and down-"Yessss....dats whut I want" she says smiling sweetly.

We talk and laugh a bit as we watch Mimi feeding BabyEEEEfan (who is quite well behaved) and then lunch is delivered. Lucy gets hers first-she is all smiles....yum..pancakes with sprinkles. Lulu gets hers next and she is smiling too....oooooh..mac & cheese with a fruit cup.
Uh-oh...here comes SweetCheeks order. "Hey-she says, "Dis is not whut I wanted". We tell her yes that it is what she ordered. Noooo...she contends...I pointed at dis picture...(pointing now to the pancakes with sprinkles which is certainly a lot more dramatic looking than a plain cheese pizza). No...that’s NOT what you pointed at... "Well, I haf da menu upsided down den." Hmmmm...now eyeing Lulu’s plate with the mac and cheese asks "Hey, Looloo...wanta twade?" Lulu, being Lulu and tender towards her sister says, " OK, one more bite and I will trade- Gimme your pizza!" Big shuddering outcry...NOT my PIZZA! I doan wanna twade my pizza! Well, what did you want to trade? My fwruit...I wanna twade my fwruit..NOT my pizza.

Guess what? Ding...Ding...Ding.....The trading table has closed for the day. Let the whining begin.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Milling Around The Mall

Going to the mall with 3 kids is quite an experience. If you have never had this experience you don’t know what you are missing.

We are on a mission to find a special pin to hold the sash in place for Lulu’s first communion dress. What an adventure! The pin is secured quite readily but now there is a bit of time to kill before lunch so we go on a walk-about. Ohhh...there is a kid’s clothing store (Gymboree)-let’s go there. Lucy (the clothes horse) thinks she has dropped into hog heaven. She is holding stuff up and looking at herself reflected in the window. Lulu is old enough now to "browse". She studies each and every item carefully. She looks, moves on...looks...moves on.I don’t think she will ever be an impulse buyer. And...then....there is SweetCheeks. Oh Lord! She has discovered that she can reach everything on the lower rack...and she does. She is moving it from one rack to the next. What are you doing we want to know? "Hey! Dis iss da boys stuff and dis iss nexta the guhls stuff and I gonna mobe it ober heah cuz I doan wanna haf it touch the tutus."

Meanwhile, the two headed store clerk is looking like she is ready to activate her manager status and employ it to chop off SweetCheeks arms. "Come along," we tell her. "Let’s look over here". As we are talking we are re-arranging the newly re-arranged items and putting them back in their rightful places. SweetCheeks doesn’t miss a thing. "Hey! I sayed theys all mixad up and now yoah got dem all mixad up even moah!" We tell her not to worry the sales lady will fix it. I cast my eyes over just in time to see Ms. Manager getting up off her knees where she has apparently been in a praying position. Hmmmm...wonder what that’s all about.

As we move out of the store we are lucky enough to encounter a Sweet Seat holding an Easter Bunny. Remember when your 2 year old was scared of the Easter Bunny & Santa Claus and any big "animal, person, thing" they saw costumed in the mall? Remember that? Well, it doesn’t happen here. The SweetCheeks goes flying into big ole rabbit arms and leaves her sticky imprints all over him. We think the Bunny is a good sport (although we can’t see behind that frozen face). He give SweetCheeks and company rabbit ears and we leave the mall.

As we are backing out of the parking lot, we see Mr. Rabbit himself walking across the asphalt. "Look!", we cry. "There’s the Easter Bunny". Nonchalantly, and with great wisdom, SweetCheeks tell us, "Hims out heah so hims can go potty...cuz if he peed and pooped in thuh mall no buddy wuld sit on hims lap!" How right she is!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Quiet Ride Home

When you look at a map of Wisconsin you will notice it has a thumb. That thumb is Door County. It contains some of the most beautiful (read expensive) real estate in Wisconsin. Yesterday MyHero and I went to Door County for the day. He wanted to preview some properties for the company he works with. I went along for the ride (well, anyone that knows me knows that I drove) & to get away from Green Bay for an afternoon.

We felt like 2 kids sneaking away from family and friends. Ooooppps...too late. We are going from property to property when my cell phone rings- It’s the kids- TPot & TheBrawnyMan. "Don’t answer it", MyHero said....Too Late! The car speaker phone is blaring & I have pushed the connect button. Where were we they wanted to know. Uh...we are in Door County. Surprise! Surprise! Surprise! (Remember Gomer Pyle saying that). Only it was more like SARPRIZE! SARPRIZE! SARPRIZE! They wanted to know if we had eaten lunch yet. Too bad, so sad-we already ate (at Al Johnsons). Oh, but, wait...wait....did we want to meet them for coffee while they ate lunch...they had the KIDS with them...surely, we would want to see the kids.

MyHero is shaking his head so violently back and forth that I can hear the beans rattling. I pretend I don’t see him. "Sure~We’ll meet you-where & what time?" "Al Johnsons", came the reply. Al Johnsons is a Swedish restaurant and during the season it has goats on its grass roof...people come from far and wide to see it. We didn’t bother telling them we had already been there earlier.

MyHero said- "We are just going to have a quick cup of coffee and leave, right?" Right-0
"SweetCheeks is NOT riding home with us, right?" Right-O. And Lulu & Lucy are not riding with us either, right? Right-O. And I am NOT sitting next to SweetCheeks either! RightO...NO problem.

When we get to Al’s Place (see how familiar it has become) SweetCheeks climbs out of the car with her two sisters. They are all smiles. She walks over to the Gnome that stands guard outside the entrance. I asked, "See the Gnome?" "I dunno em". No..."GNOME’...."I sayed I dunno em" (I realize at this point she thinks I am asking Do-ya-know-em) Whew...never mind..."Hey...wookit dis...I can stick my fingah up hims nose". "Booger eater", teases Lulu. Instead of protesting that she DOESN’T eat boogers, SweetCheeks smiles and pops her finger in her mouth. "Yeah, I gonna eat boooogers foah lunch, Lulu, wanna eats sum too?" Whereupon the joke has turned and so has Lulu-she is now green & nauseated looking. Great~ We are off to an exciting start.....lunch should be even more of an adventure.

Our first stop, of course, is the bathroom. There is one stall for ages 12 and under and that is worth a few laughs-Especially if you are old enough to USE it but too young to WIPE yourself. It has a miniature stall with a minature toilet (truly it does) and makes "going potty" a whole new experience. Try wedging your adult body into a child's space, bending over, wiping, flushing and redressing a 3 year old. It is a task best left for someone under 12 (like the sign says). What WERE they thinking?

Lunch was actually a rather quiet affair-no spilled milk, no crying, no one choked~all in all, a great meal. MyHero, giving me the evil eye, stage whispered- "Let’s go- before they get done so the girls won’t want to leave with us". So, we bade them good-bye and headed back towards Green Bay. As we are climbing into the car MyHero looks at me and says, very seriously, "We should have probably brought one of them home with us." Quick, quick....Remind me not to push him out of the car when we stop!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

MyHero

A few years ago the kids put together a book of MyHeroisms for their Dad. They gave it to him for a Christmas present but it is one of those things that is good for a lifetime of laughs. It is composed of some of the goofy (or off the wall things) he has said or done.

Some of you know MyHero...some of you don’t. Some of you will think Oh My Gosh! He didn’t REALLY say that~did he? Yes! Yes he did! Some of you will wish you knew him personally so that you, too, could study him. Some of you will wish you had him at your house for the laughs. Some of you will praise Jesus that he is NOT your husband.

We have all gotten such a laugh out of the funny things that he says (without meaning to be funny-at least we don’t THINK he means to be funny) that I thought I would share a few of them with you. I will start with one that stands out in MY mind and then share other stories in the days to come.

One weekend we were staying in Houghton/Hancock, MI for the weekend. It is some of God’s beautiful country-where Lake Superior meets the land with a crash and a bang. It has been scarred by copper mines and has that wind-swept desperate quality that grabs hold of the emotions. The landscape is somewhat surreal, like nothing else I have ever seen in my travels.

We got there late in the evening and hungry (remember the hungry part as it plays an important part in this story). A few blocks away from where we were staying was a wonderful little restaurant, perched on the street above the river, called The Library. I do believe it was a big, old beautiful library at one time. Right now it is a somewhat eclectic eatery that offers both casual and fine dining.

We were seated in one of the booths that overlooks the river. A few tables away sat a woman with outrageously red hair. You know the kind~not the kind that nature blessed someone with~it’s the kind that can only come out of a bottle-a bad, bad bottle. To top matters off, she did not look like the red-head type-You know-the pearly translucent skin & light eyes-that somewhat delicate look that red-heads seem to maintain their whole life. No-she was a bottle job-and had the most pasty white skin and dark eyes I have ever seen. Picture the Snow Queen with beet colored hair.

I am trying NOT to stare when I notice MyHero has his eyes glued on their table. "Stop staring", I whispered. "I can’t help it", he said. "Boy! She doesn’t look good!" (No kidding?)...He continued, "Geez! I would hate to be stuck on a desert island with her." "Don’t worry about it", I tell him, "we aren’t boating this weekend". "IF we were all stuck on a desert island together she would be the first one we ate!". WHAT? WHAT? What is WRONG with you? "Well, I’m just saying, she doesn’t look like she would be able to do any work or anything and we’d probably need food!" Lord love us-WHAT kind of a mind jumps from dinner at The Library to eating one of its patrons?

By the time our dinners had been set before us I had lost my appetite.

PS- Please don't eat the baby~

Friday, March 19, 2010

Yes~There Iss No Bananas

"Who are you talking to over there, SweetCheeks?", I asked her yesterday. "Ummm.iss Coco." "Coco? Who’s Coco?" (this is a new name-one I have not heard before). "Hims a munnkey." "Oh, like you?" I ask her. "No!" She says with a half disgusted look on her face. " Ize not a munnkey, Hims a munnkey." "What’s he look like?" I ask. She looks at me like I have lost my senses entirely. "Hims LOOKS LIKE a munnkey", she says quite empathetically. Hmmm. "What’s he doing?" "Hims just sitting ofver der in time out cuz hims a sassy munnkey!". "What did he do, SweetCheeks? What makes him sassy?" I ask this comical little Miss.

"Hims eatted all the bananas and now my phatt baby is cwrying cuz hers dusn’t haf any bananas for hers cereal." "Oh, that’s too bad", I tell her, "maybe we can get some more bananas." "Nope-the store doesn’t hafve enymore eiffher. AND..my phatt baby dusn’t wike Coco eiffher cuz hims so naughty. Look, see hers bowl is emmpaty."

"Are you ever naughty?", I ask "No", she says coyly, looking at me and smiling (see picture to right). "I not a sassy gurl." "Is Lulu sassy?" I ask her. "Yep-hers sassy...and Lucys sassy .and sos is Papa and sos is everybudy cept you, Nana. You is nice". " Papa’s nice, too", I tell her. "No hims not...hims mean cuz him yells at me and makes me cry. Hims yelled at me yestuday when I wus twying to watch Dorah thu Exploharah." (Only for the 5th time in a row) "Hims makeded me cwry". "He didn’t mean to make you cry SweetCheeks, he just wanted to watch the news." "Pfffffttt...hims has hims own TV downstaihs, Nana and...Nana"? "Yes, sweetie?"’ "That Coco is a wreally, wreally, bad munnkey".
You can’t win battles with a 3 year old’s imagination. I have just decided to enjoy everyday as it comes because soon she will be using proper English and the things she says won’t be nearly as funny....and her imaginary friends will disappear and I will be left with the memories of a sassy, invisible monkey that stole bananas and made the fat baby cry.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Shadow Knows

Today we picked the three girls up at their house. They were outside waiting for us and the sun was casting deep shadow "people" across their street. SweetCheeks was amazed~ "Hey-Dat shadow is follohoing me! It wafes to me when I wafe my hand and it wruns when I wrun too. But iss not bery smart cuz its can’t talk or enyfing. Lasterday I wented outside aftah lunch and its dissapeered." I love the logic of a 3 year old. I also love words (can you tell)? I find it endearing to listen to the way children roll their words and make them sound magical.

When our Lulu was three she always had her own way of looking at things too. Yesterday, in her vocabulary, was always LASTerday. Makes sense to me..perfect sense as a matter of fact. The last day should not be YESterday-it should be LASTerday. What perfect logic....or as a girl I used to work with would say...That makes logic to me...hmmmm When another co-worker corrected her she asked, "I bet you was a school teacher, wasn’t you?" Yes, indeedy... Matter of fact-she was!

Well, Our Lulu is not only literal she is sensible too. For instance, today when I pulled off the side of the road so MyHero could get out to fasten SweetCheeks seatbelt, (AGAIN) Lulu said-"You can’t stop here, Nana, because it says NO PARKING and you are parking right under the sign." I told her that I wasn’t "parking" I was just stopping to fix the seatbelt. Her next question was, "Well, then why did you put the car in Park?" She wasn’t being smart-mouthed...she was just being Lulu. SweetCheeks added to the conversation that, ‘hers is juss stopping heah, Lulu, and hers not gonna stay and hers not gonna stop again til I taked my seatbelt offf again." Whereupon, we warned her not to take her seatbelt off again...My all time favorite response coming right up~ "I not".

We are home now and they are outside playing. The running shadows will soon disappear and they will troop in full of fresh air and chatter. I can’t wait to see what I will learn tonight.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Love Thy Neighbor

When we lived in Florida we had an unusual family living next door. It was two elderly sisters. We called them Sister One & Sister Two because their names (whatever they were) didn’t seem to sit well on their shoulders....matter of fact the names were so mismatched we could never remember who was who. Thus~ Sister One & Sister Two. You know, I just realized that we thought they were quite elderly then but, upon reflection, they were probably 60ish! Amazing how much older 60 was in the 1980's! Or....maybe it wasn’t....actually...60 is 60...but this isn’t about age now, is it? Most of y’all (there’s that favorite word of mine again) lie about your age anyway...OR...you tell the truth about your age but you have had so much "work" that everyone says how wonderful you look at your age....yeah...you know who you are-I’m not gonna out you.

Anyway, the sisters were smitten with MamasBoy because he was so dadgummed cute. He made you smile just to look at him. As a matter of fact he endeared himself to them the first day we moved in. He picked the most beautiful magnolia blossoms off the bush out front and took them over to the ladies. They came over and thanked us profusely and said, "Oh my! What a sweet and wonderful child you have there." About an hour later, they came back looking a bit distressed to inform us that MamasBoy had picked ALL the magnolias off the "special" tree in their own front yard. I didn’t quite have the guts to ask what made it so special. Besides, the unspoken message was to please keep him off their lawn no matter how cute he was.

Sister One was a sourpuss...never married...never had children...never laughed (that I could see). Sister Two had a daughter that was not the brightest bulb in the GE factory. She had an even dimmer spouse. We could never remember their names either so we just called them Nit & Wit. Nit (because he was always scratching his head) and Wit because she was the smarter of the two. I once asked her how they met and she said she went into an I SCREAM store (actually she said Ice cream-but if you could see him you would think I SCREAM). She said it was love at first sight. Uh-huh..I didn’t ask......Nuff said.

Nit & Wit traveled together. You never saw one without the other. They also had a couple of special traveling companions. Two yowling and howling Siamese cats. The cats had the whole back seat to themselves...complete with litterbox on the floor and a bowl of soft cat food. Imagine the smell on a hot Florida day. Ready? Imagine ....NOW.....okay...STOP...it is too gross to imagine. God bless them-they were happy with the life they had and loved each other-what more could you ask for?

Our "friendship" came to an abrupt end one fine sunny day. Sister One was outside grubbing around in her bushes when Older Son threw a big, black rubber snake over the fence and INTO the bushes where Sister One was working..AND...she fell AND she hurt her back.....AND...she went to the doctor......AND...Older Son mowed her lawn for her from that point on.....AND we moved before they could sue us!. Sad to say ~We lost touch~ Just one more reason I am NOT on Facebook!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I Win!~ Again

The picture you see here is one of Grampa & Grandmother K. She did NOT like to be called Gramma or Granny or Grandma....She was Grandmother. The Grandmother!

MyHero and I produced 3 grandchildren for them and they inherited my oldest son in the mix. They loved all the kids but I think Grandmother had a special place in her heart for Mimi. For one thing, Mimi was a teeny little thing with a big vocabulary. She enunciated like a 10 year old when she was 3. People used to stare and her and once in a while people asked if she was a midget. Ok...folks..are you blind here? Huh? Those folks were the ones that I wanted to ask if they were Nethanderals...but never did...I was nice....I’m usually nice...hahaha...okay..I lied.

Anyway, in Mimi, GrandmotherK had met her match. She was fascinated by this waif of a child and liked to play games with her. One of the games was a pre-computer sort of pad. You put a programmed card into it, punched a 4 digit code in and if you got all 15 answers right it would play a song. Well, Mimi, being a Mimi, memorized all the codes. So, it didn’t matter what card she put in-if she plugged in the 4 digit code and answered A/B/C/D in the right sequence the little song would play and we would clap and praise Jesus that she got it right again. GrandmotherK picked a card for her to use. Hmmm...Use Code 1- Nope! Don’t like Code 1 - let’s use Code2- which doesn’t line up at all with the answers to Code 1 card that has just been inserted.. (Grandmother was not quite onto the whole Code thing). Hmmm.... Answer every question wrong.-and, of course, Grandmother K is telling her they are all wrong. Ever so sweetly, after every, "That’s wrong, Mimi," she would reply, "No it’s not". 15 questions answered-set the pad down, walk away and listen to the song play. Hmmm...wish I had a camera to capture the look on GrandmotherK’s face-it is NOT pretty-she has been hucked by a huckster.

My personal favorite though was when we would go to THE CLUB in Pompano Beach. Hmmm...mind your ps’& qs. Belly up to the brunch bar. MrK loads up the Mimi’s plate with a hash brown "basket" with a poached egg in it. (Looks like a dead eye to me). Mimi takes one look at it and says in her candy sweet little voice- "I’m not eating that-it’s gross". Whereupon, GrandmotherK, mistress of the brunch bunch, says, "Oh, yes you will, Mimi". "No-I’m not going to eat it"-still in her sweet and sing-song little voice. GrandmotherK (getting a bit huffy now) replies, "Mimi there are children right here in Fort Lauderdale that are starving and they would love to have that to eat." Mimi, batting her eyes and fluffing her pigtails, said, "Well, you can send them this because I’m not going to eat it!". GrandmotherK had the decency to pretend she didn’t hear it and passed Mimi the chocolate pudding~

Monday, March 15, 2010

Scouts' Honor-I Swear

Awards ceremonies were pretty laid back in Florida in the 1980's. You’ll see a picture of Mimi getting her award (badge) for selling the most Girl Scout cookies in her troop. Matter of fact, she sold the most Girl Scout cookies in the whole county that year. Let me tell you how that happened.

Now I suppose I could let you think she was industrious and had a great sales pitch. I suppose I could let you think we took them to work and sold them for her....or, I suppose I could let you think that she was so cute that people lined up to buy cookies from her. Any of those stories would be a lie...here’s the truth.

I was NOT the Brownie leader but I was a willing helper. When I asked what I could do to help they asked me if I could store the 25 cartons full of cookies at our house and then they would pick up on an as needed basis. We had a spare bedroom that was not being used so I agreed to be "it". Each carton had a dozen boxes in it if I remember correctly. They sold for $1.00 a box at that time.

So, the campaign started. Mimi & Tpot each sold a few boxes. MamasBoy was always a willing participant in any sales pitch. He was so excited about those cookies that he was just bouncing off the walls....nothing TOO unusual about that fact. However, what was odd was the fact that the kid (who was always hungry) didn’t seem to be eating much. We asked him several times if he was feeling okay and he would just say that his tummy hurt a bit.

Lo & behold, the day rolled around when it was time to deliver the cookies. We started hauling boxes out of the back bedroom. Hmmm...this one has been opened....Hey-Mom-this one has been opened too. Oh...no....so is this one. All the cases had been opened. Every box in every case had been opened . Every row of cookies in every box in every case was missing a cookie or two. WHAT??????

At the bottom of the pile of lies was a nugget of truth. MamasBoy had been eating the cookies-However, we knew that he was too little to have resealed boxes and cartons by himself. Enter Child #1-older brother- HE had taken a few cookies out of each box and had bribed MamasBoy not to tell by plying him with cookies! Ah yes-were those cookies good? They were SO good that the reward was a 3 week grounding.

The payoff? The big benefit? Mimi got the award for selling the most boxes of Girl Scout cookies-we bought them all! Need I tell you- the Thin Mints went first!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I Am NOT The Dummy Here

There’s a dummy in the house. Not the usual one either. Only at MY house would there be a real live duumy (well, he’s not really alive but you know what I mean) Mortimer Snerd was found at Goodwill by none other than the Tpot and Mimi. Not to be outdone by their brother, MamasBoy, who has always played tricks on them, they decided that pay-back was in order.

The first call woke him & SecretAgent up late at night. When Mamasboy answered a voice rasped, "Let me out of this box!" Being a quick thinker, even in the dead of night, Mamasboy looked at the number and it was not one he recognized. He hit redial and a sleepy voice answered..."Yeah..whaddaya want?" He apologized, said he had a wrong number, and hung up. Little did he know that for the next few weeks he would be plagued by phone calls from strange numbers and have even stranger remarks rasped into his phone. AND Little did he know that his sisters had cajoled other people into letting them use their phone on any given moment to make a call.

First MamasBoy called Mimi, "Knock it off"he told her. "Knock what off?" she asked quite innocently..."Yeah...like you don’t know-quit calling me". "I’m not" she replied very seriously. Then he called Tpot-"Very funny!" he told her. "What’s funny?" she asked. "You know what’s funny," he told her, " and quit calling me". "I’m NOT calling you", she said and asked what he was talking about.

The calls got more and more desperate and the raspy voice got louder- "LET ME OUTTA THIS STINKING BOX- I CAN’T BREATHE". Now MamasBoy works with police departments so he did a little follow up on the phone calls. Nothing made any sense and he still couldn’t figure it out. He even called me to ask if I was in on the joke...I played dumb (and let me tell you-I am so good at that you would think it was real- hey-watch your mouth-I heard that)...I told him I had no idea what was going on.

Finally, when he was to the point of being totally freaked out, a box arrived at his door. I think he was afraid to open it-although he swore he wasn’t. Inside was a note that said- GOT YOU DUMMY! And so they had!

Here’s the sad thing-He has learned to throw his voice and make the stupid thing talk. You know what is even worse? He bought another one at a garage sale and now Mortimer has a friend, Willis. Here’s what’s even sadder-he uses them to scare Tpot’s kids..Hmmmm...I wonder who the real dummy is.....

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Woger Wabbit

Listen, can you hear it? The laughter? Hear it? It’s my friend, Sandy. If she is reading this, right about now she has realized what’s happening here. The picture will send her into peals of laughter because she WILL remember this day! She will be laughing so hard that we should all be able to hear her. Oh, yeah...and her face will be bright red because that is what happens to her when she gets embarrassed, or hot, or mad. I have seen her in all 3 states-none of them very pretty....although SHE is pretty and dear to me. We have weathered some rough patches in life and stuck by each other through thick and thin. But this is not about our relationship-well, it is in a way-it is about one of the times I "got her"~(there have been a few-some of which I can never mention or she will NOT be my friend anymore-trust me on this).

The picture that you see is NOT, I repeat~NOT, a Halloween picture. Instead this was taken on one hot summer Florida day. Now, if y’all (don’t you just love that Southern term-it is so all encompassing)..if y’all have ever been in Florida in July you know it is hot. If you’ve NEVER been in Florida in the middle of July, I have a piece of advice for you here- Don’t go!

Sandy was visiting me. Here’s a little side tidbit for you~ we met in Florida in a Laundromat and we have both moved all over the country and always been in driving distance of each other...well, except when she moved to Colorado and left me stuck here in the Midwest-what WERE you thinking anyway? Back to the visit. Sandy and I used to stay up all night long to talk and watch TV after MyHero and the kids were in bed. This was before you had 6,543 channels to choose from. This was when you had the good old basic channels and the "religious channel". We loved to watch Jim & Tammy Faye Baker. Remember them? We did not watch them for the blessing we could get from the show-we watched them solely to see Tammy Faye Baker (God rest her soul) shed those big crocodile tears and see how much mascara would run down her face. Anyway, one night we decided we’d had enough of Tammy Faye so we went to the video store and rented a movie.

Back then you returned the movie in 24 hours or you paid a hefty fee so we decided about noon the following day to take the movie back. As we are piling into the car MamasBoy came running out in his rabbit costume (left over from Halloween). Sandy took one look at him and said, (rather empathetically I thought), "That kid is NOT going with us with that costume on". He started to cry. I said, "Aw, come on, no one will see him". "No!", she said, "You go-I don’t want to be seen with him in that stupid rabbit costume in July". By now because it is July, because he has a hot rabbit costume on, because he is just MamasBoy, the sweat is rolling down his little face & mingling with the tears. I never could bear to see him cry. . "Come on", I entreated her- "No one will even see him".

When we got to the video store it was packed. I pulled up and dropped her off at the door. As soon as she was out and the door was closed behind her I told MamasBoy..."Quick, Quick...jump out of the car and go with Auntie Sandy~" He did! I honked, waved merrily and drove to the far side of the parking lot.

As best I remember it when she came out her face was red (and not because it was hot). She looked kind of cross. As best I remember it she did not speak to me all the way home. As best I remember it-we were laughing about it later that night. I’m thinking she and I should create one more memory. Hey .Sandy...come visit- SweetCheeks has her very own rabbit costume too- and - she has a friend!

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Church Lady

I married a Catholic. We are not Catholic anymore but that is another story for another day. In the early years of marriage, when our kids were quite young, we attended the Catholic church every Sunday. That was before the "baby rooms" or "kids rooms" were part of the church. That was the days when you sat with your kids packed between you like sardines in a row and prayed that they would not misbehave too much during the service. Sometimes God does NOT answer prayers.

Communion time seemed to provide the best opportunity for acting up. You had an audience that could watch the whole story of your family life unfold. We usually lined the kids up single file and sandwiched them between us when we went forward to receive Communion. One bright Sunday morning as MyHero stepped forward to take communion Tpot peeked her head around him, leveled her gaze at the priest and asked loud enough for anyone in the back row (& you know who you back-rowers are) to hear, "Is there any peanut butter up der in that JesusChrist breadbox?" Shocked silence descended on all those around us. Is it any suprise the priest didn’t answer? Is it any surprise that I let her live to be 5? MyHero, of course, never missed a beat. He blindly moved forward as though he had no idea who owned the question left hanging in the air leaving me to deal with the aftermath.

"Tpot, keep going"-I hissed between my teeth as she stood there still staring up at the priest. . You know, I think most everything is funny-except when it happens in church. Then I am convinced that the Devil is dogging my heels and warring with God who is trying to spare me and keep me from committing holy murder. I am also convinced that God has a great sense of humor.....read on......

The next Sunday we decided to go forward for Communion and leave the 4 kids sitting in the pew. The first mistake we made was leaving the oldest (age 10) in charge of 3 kids under 5! The 2nd mistake was leaving my purse tucked into the edge of the pew. After we recieved communion, and started back towards our seats, we heard a smattering of muffled laughter here and there. As most of you know, you walk to your seat with you hands clasped and your eyes downcast. I now realize that your hands are clasped so that you can’t beat your children in church. The full horror of what was happening did not dawn on me until I got to my pew.
The contents of my purse were spread out along the pew. Tpot had a tampon (in a tube-the only way you can purchase them) in her hand. It was nicely elevarted in the air for everyone to enjoy. She was pushing it up out of the tube and then pulling it back in-in & out-in & out. Not to be outdone, Mimi had a tube of lipstick and my compact out and the whole bottom of her face was covered with bright pink lipstick (yep-brights were popular that year). Topping the entertainment on tap was MamasBoy., He had a partial plate containing one front tooth(don’t even ask why that was in my purse because you wouldn’t believe it anyway) held in his sweaty little hand and was making biting motions (accompanied by a hiss) at the people in the pews behind him. At that moment I started praying that the aisle would open up and allow me to drop to my death. By now you are asking- Where is the "watchdog" that we left in charge? Well, he is picking his nose and staring up at the ceiling. Of course he is!

We didn’t worry too much about being embarrassed in that church in future weeks. The next week MyHero took a job in Florida. We moved & found a church where no one recognized us. See, God is good! Now, if YOU are very good, and promise not to swear in church, one day very soon I will tell you our Florida church story. It is even better than this one~

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Our Little Man

We were blessed to have a healthy little grandson this last summer. What a cute little munchkin he has turned out to be. He is Mimi & TheIslandScout’s first child. As a grandparent you always hope that the first child will be an "easy" one-especially if you don’t live close enough to give regular hands-on help.

For the first 2-1/2 months Mimi was sure that BabyE was going to cry for the rest of his life. He liked being held so as long as she didn’t put him down he was happy as a pig in mud. God forbid that she needed time to go to the bathroom or take a shower. He was most happy to serenade her with howls accompanied by a frown and a reddened face. I think she was starting to despair and fear that he would never let her out of his sight. I only gave her one piece of advice that I can remember. I told her, "Remember, smothering is NOT an option!"
Somewhere along about the 3 month mark a miracle happened, our BabyE became the happy-go-lucky little fella you see smiling out at you. Cute could not be cuter. He has turned from crying to smiling and you cannot help but grin back at him. He also knows how to play the game already. He will turn shy and duck his head down when you call his name. He is turning into a ham!

When I am holding him he studies me like he has never seen anything quite like me. (He hasn't). He looks me in the eyes and then studies my hair and then goes back to the eyes again. His gaze is somber. He will not smile, bat an eye, or look away. Eventually I give up and he wins another staring contest. I can see him now in about 16 years giving some cute young chick that same intent look as they gaze into each other’s eyes.

However, for today, he is still a baby and his latest accomplishment is producing a tooth. It poked through his gum sometime yesterday when no one was watching. Any of you mothers out there remember nursing a baby with teeth? Yeah...well...let me tell you-it ain’t for sissies! Our Mimi is about to discover a whole new devilish side to her sweet little BabyE. So...Mimi...this is for you- don’t be fooled by those guileless eyes and batted lashes in that ever-so-sweet-and-adorable face. Beware! Nursing is not without its dangers now. I think SweetCheeks has summed it up best, "Hims bites"!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Picture Perfect

I noticed today that the family idiot (MamasBoy) has posted another picture of himself (under the heading of followers). I have NO idea who that person is-I don't even know if the person is a male/female/transgender/no gender/whatever.... So...here you are- Here is one of MY own favorite pictures of MamasBoy-let's see him try to remove this one! MOM

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Dining With The Lil' Darlings

It was decided that the girls will have a "sleep over" night at Nana’s house. Tpot & TheBrawnyMan are going out to dinner. It is easier to have a sleep-over than to get them home at 10pm. They slip easily into their beds here as soon as the "elves" turn their light off. (Another story for another time)
We bundle up and are on our way to see Papa~

I called MyHero to tell him I was on the way to our house with the girls & we decided that we would take them out for a bite to eat. We asked them where they wanted to go. Now, wouldn’t you think it would be McDonalds or Chuckie Cheese or Happy Joe’s Pizza Parlor? Nope! No such thing here. They want to go to the Golden Corral! They’ve been there a couple of times and the highlight of the whole place is that when you are done eating there is an ice cream bar. Imagine that! A place where any ice cream concoction you can dream of is right at your finger tips. All well and good, but here’s the rub~ first you must get through the meal.

We find a spot in the parking lot. We are one car amongst about 150 others. We go in the door and find the line is snaking its way to the counter. Not to be held by any barriers our SweetCheeks goes to the head of the line and says she’ll have some iche scream and mulk. Uh-huh~and I can tell by looking at the cashier that she not only hates her job-she hates kids too. SweetCheeks is quite discerning -she looks at the girl and says, "Hers mean". Lord love us~ this kid is smart & we are off to a fine start for our big night out!

We finally get through the line and find a table. No one wants to sit by SweetCheeks because, basically, she is already a mess and we have just arrived. I think she stuck her hand in the jello on the way to the table-at least I’m hoping it’s jello. We are seated so that SweetCheeks can sit next to HER favorite person- Me! How lucky can any one person get on any given day?
We start the "herding" process. Line up-step this way little ladies-bring your plates and watch your toes-we are going to jam our way through this crowd and go to the salad bar. Ever tried to watch 3 little girls load their plates while you are holding an extra empty plate? Quite interesting to say the least. They all like salad-yes really...AND they all like SALAD dressing..especially SweetCheeks who has decided that she will have a piece or two of lettuce with her dressing. She also likes (unbelievably) cottage cheese but , God help us, don’t let it touch her ranch dressing!
Lulu is helping herself to a large sized plate of salads of every kind & My Hero is getting FRUIT for the kids. I asked him to please get a little fruit for the kids. What I got was a nice sized fruit BOWL for each kid. How much fruit do YOU think 3 little girls will eat when there is ice cream to be had for the taking? Had MyHero’s grandmother been along she would have been filling the little plastic bags (that she kept in her purse for just such occassions) with all the leftovers & I should not mention -but will-she was not above lifting all the butter pats, leftover rolls, sugar packets and creamer.

As I am standing at the salad bar, I realize that Lucy has disappeared. Oh Lord, please, please let me find her fast~ has someone with an appetite kidnapped her~has she wandered off with some brownie-bribing bozo? She was here just a minute ago- take a breath....follow through...follow through...ah..yes...she is at the dessert bar...of course she is. "What is that?" I want to know. Lucy, laughing widely because she thinks I am an idiot and cannot recognize a cupcake says, "It’s my dinner-it’s a cupcake." "No"- I said-"No cupcakes for dinner". "But Nana- it IS a cupcake." "I understand THAT part Lucy, but you can’t have a cupcake FOR dinner-you can have one after dinner." Big sigh.....okay...OMG-Now where is SweetCheeks? Ahha~there she is-feet splayed out in front of her- hair greased and escaping her pig tails...there she is...She has plopped herself down by the end of the "pizza bar" and is eating her cottage cheese with her fingers.

I glance around to see if anyone else is as mortified as I am and am met with glances of pity and scorn...and a few twinkling eyes. I mutter to myself- a half-hour and this will all be over...a half-hour and this will all be over. It has become my chant-my mantra that I reserve for moments just like this. And, before you know it- ALL of this shall be over-the little ones will grow up and move on leaving us with just the fond memories of this night’s food fiasco ... that and a few grease stains on my good winter coat.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

MamasBoy The Menace

Imagine Dennis the Menace grown up. Got the visual? Great- Now just change his name to MamasBoy. MamasBoy stopped by this morning for a few minutes. I cajoled him into eating breakfast (okay-I lied-I think he asked- "What do you have to eat?") Within minutes the bacon was sizzling, the eggs were setting and the toast was turning a golden brown. MyHero wondered why MamasBoy was eating a home cooked breakfast while he (MyHero) was left to fend for himself. I told him that I liked MamasBoy better. That went over like a rabbit on birth control. (Didn’t work)

After MamasBoy finished eating I punished him by making him sign into this blog and asked him to sign up as a Follower. He is NOT a good follower. Like MyHero he is a leader and wants to do things his own way. When I tried to get him to post a picture as a follower I was met with all kinds of resistance. I had several photos in My Pictures for him to choose from -but would those do? No! Instead he must go into the internet and FIND some pictures he thinks suitable. I heard evil laughter floating across the room. I raced to the computer to see what he was doing. First, he posted a picture of that idiot from The Office...Michael Whatever-His-Name is...the real Dorcas that no one likes. When I saw that I very sweetly (hahaha) said "KNOCK IT OFF, YOU IDIOT- I don’t want people to think he is my son! Put a real picture of yourself on there." When I checked back he has posted a mug shot of Nick Nolte taken when he was arrested. Sometimes I would like to beat him but he is too old and fast. I told him to forget the picture and go to work~!

After he left I was reflecting on what a pain in the -er- I mean what a joy he is to our lives. I was also reflecting on what a blessing that he has a SecretAgent in his life. She is someone that loves and accepts him just as he is & she still thinks he is funny even though he has "got her" hundreds of times. She is his rock & keeps him grounded (to reality-otherwise he would be up there Astral floating with some of our other relatives).

What a blessing in my own life to have the SecretAgent. Every family needs someone like her-discerning, loving and SANE! Yes, that’s it! That’s what I like about her- She is sane! The scary thing though is that we are alike in some ways and vastly different in others. For instance-we both take magazines apart and make them into binders with labels like...Things I Like....or.....Kitchen Ideas.....Sad, but true, that we have nothing better to do with our lives than rip up magazines and make Dream Books! The other sad thing? She has married into this family that skirts the edge of reality~and is now one of "us". Lord, help her survive & love us in spite of the fact that we are now connected forever. Amen

Friday, March 5, 2010

DEED? Indeed!

If you have been following along with all my nonsense you know who Bob is, right? Ok-You know how I have been promising a quiz to see if you are doing your required reading? Well, here’s the first one- Who is Bob? Ah...if you DON’T know you are going to have to go over to the archives and find him HERE. Better than that-What About Bob? Remember that movie? Bill Murray as Bob~Hysterical-wet your pants laughing hysterical.

We have our own Bob (even if he is invisible) and now Bob has his own invisible friend, DEED! Life is getting more complicated by the minute, isn’t it? SweetCheeks came up with the name. DEED-What a name! Doesn’t the name itself sound like someone with a troubled history~scheming & unruly? Where did she get it? We have NO idea! Perhaps she has connections to another world that only those with great imagination can find. What we have gleaned from SweetCheeks so far is that DEED is a very bad boy. We used to think Bob was bad but he can’t hold a candle to DEED.

The other day SweetCheeks was holding her baby and standing very still and looking quite woe-be-gone. What IS the matter we wanted to know. Bob is crying she told us. Oh, No! Why is Bob crying? Cuz DEED pusheted Bob dowhn the schteps and now hims hurt. Okay- following along this line of questioning then....Where is DEED? Hims in a timeout and now I doan’t have any buddy (yes, it is not anybody it is any buddy-I think Little Miss Literal has been giving her speech lessons) to play wif me. Something tells me to turn my head before I start laughing hysterically-too late-here comes that dreaded question again....Whut’s so funny?
"Come on", I tell her, "Nana will read to you". Reluctantly, and ever so slowly, SweetCheeks follows me to the bookshelf. "Do you want me to read a book?", I ask her. She nods her head up and down and we snuggle down to read all about Pooh Bear & his big adventure. Just as I am about to start reading she gets up and walks around to my other side. "What are you doing, Sweet Cheeks?", I ask. The look that she gives me is certainly one reserved for idiots and cretins. "I makin sum room foah Bob & DEED they wike stories too!" Of course they do, what WAS I thinking? Snuggle up boys.....and DEED...behave yoahshelf!!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I Love Lucy

Remember Lucille Ball? I do~. When I was a kid (which my grandkids cannot BEGIN to imagine) I got to stay up every Monday night and sit on the arm of my Father’s chair and watch Lucille Ball. It is a memory I treasure and hold close to my heart.

There is something about our Lucy that reminds me of Lucille Ball. She doesn’t have that zany streak, (unless you count the time she took a bath with her clothes on) but she has that quality that makes people smile just to look at her. She has an elfin charm that makes her seem sweet and a bit shy. And, like Lucille Ball, she knows how to bat those eyelashes and look ever-so-cute and innocent. People stare at her just to watch her move like a little sprite-flitting from one thing to the next with small and graceful steps.

I think God put Lucy on this earth to act as a buffer zone between SweetCheeks (Little Miss Independence) and Lulu. She is prone to "help" SweetCheeks out of her sticky situations and make sure Lulu gets blamed for them. As in~ WHO drew on the wallpaper in the dining room—Well, clearly it was SweetCheeks because it is NOT artwork anyone else would want to claim. Just prior to SweetCheeks claiming it for her own, Lucy jumps in with an answer. Ah...."Lulu LEFT the markers out where SweetCheeks could get them, didn’t she SweetCheeks?" Ah-yes-follow THAT dog~ Head nods up and down..".Hers didit...hers lefted the markersss wheres I culd getem." "You didn’t know any better, did you SweetCheeks?" If nothing else, our little SweetCheeks is a fast learner as she repeats, "I not-I not knows any butter". See how that works? Perfect! We have gotten out of a time out and placed the blame so that NO one is really at fault.

Lucy has always been one to talk herself out of trouble too. I think it is that whisper-sweet, little lilting voice. One day she was standing around the end of a wall talking to me. I could hear her doing "something" but couldn’t quite figure out what it was. "Whatcha doing there, Lucy", I asked. Typical response- "Nothing". Hmmmm...must be doing something while all the time looking me dead on-eyeball to eyeball. Not doing anything. Right! Step around the corner and~ lo & behold ~ we have an felt tip pen that we are using to draw on the wall AS we talk!!! "LUCY! What ARE you doing?" comes rolling out of my mouth. She looks at the magic marker like it is a poisonous snake that has attached itself to her hand. "Ohhhh"...she whispers ever so sweetly. "I’m sorry ~ I’m gonna go take a time out right now. I’m just gonna go sit on the time out step!" Huh? What? Where is the justice in this? She is punishing herself while acting as her own judge and jury?!? Lord, love us-this child is going to grow up to be a lawyer..I’m sure of it!

Smart, cute & funny- Boy!~Do I Love Lucy!!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

BOB

SweetCheeks has an imaginary “visible” (but invisible to the rest of us) friend, Bob. Bob is quite the character, or so we are told. We haven’t talked to him ourselves. However, with SweetCheeks acting as an interpreter he will answer questions. He is sitting right beside her on the bench holding her hand- See him? Sure you do! Use your imagination people!!

SweetCheeks says Bob can be anyone he wants to be. Sometimes he is her older friend or her playmate, sometimes he is her “baby”, and sometimes he is just BOB! Period. I like it best when he is just BOB. She bosses him around. She calls him on the phone to remind him to pick mulky up on the way home from wurrk. Sad to say~ Bob does not listen. Sometimes he comes home and has forgotten to stop and pick up the milk. SweetCheeks exasperation is plain to see. She puts her hands on her hips, cocks her head to one side, and scolds Bob. “How comes you remembahed to get some candy foah yurself and forwgot the mulky?” I don’t think Bob has much to say for himself. I think he just hangs his head in shame..

They do have fun together though. They ride on the Ferris wheel (that only they can see) and they sing together. We only hear one voice but SweetCheeks insists Bob is singing but hims jusst can’t remembah all the wurdsss. Poor Bob!

SweetCheeks isn’t naughty very often but Boy-oh-Boy can that Bob get himself in trouble. One day I asked her who ate Lulu & Lucy’s Junior Mints. Hmmm...who do YOU think did it? Yep! It was that darned old Bob. She told us that “ Hims taking a tiwme out wright now! Where? “Well, Nana, of couwrse, hims right ober on the tiwme out step . You remebah, the third one from the bottom where we can SEE him!” Oh, yes-how could I miss him?!?!

We found out recently that Bob won’t be doing many naughty things anymore. Apparently, he has reformed and is now a “good boy”. Too good to be true? Not at all- Bob now has his OWN “visible” friend named Deed! Indeed! I can’t wait to see what “hims” can do!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Crazy Is As Crazy Does

Miss Clariol has blessed my crazy friend Margaret with a shocking color.. She has hair that is an unimaginable shade of red. I won’t post a picture of her because I want to protect the guilty. She is guilty of many things most of which cannot be mentioned here.

Margaret’s saving grace is that she loves (make that adores and worships) my grandchildren. She thinks they are even funnier than I do. When Margaret is having a sad day she will call to ask if she can babysit. Now you know why I think she is crazy. What person in their right mind would call to ASK to babysit 3 kids that are all under the age of 6? In years past we would have called Margaret a “hoot”. WHOOOO knows what they would call her today.

SweetCheeks has her own name for Margaret. Margaret does not slip over her lips easily. It comes out Yogurt. I think that is a perfect nickname myself. She has that slightly tart edge to her tongue and you have to develop a taste for her sense of humor.

The first time the kids met Yogurt SweetCheeks said.~ Lookit hers hair~ What about it?-we wanted to know. Lookit hers hair-iss wed. I told her she had it dyed. Whereupon, Little Miss Literal (looking somewhat panicky) asked, “How did her hair die?” (Some questions we don’t bother answering until they are repeated) It was! We did - We said she killed it herself and not to worry because that would NEVER happen to her own hair.

The finest possession Yogurt has is her dog, Lola. Poooorrr Lola! Lola is a Basset Hound with short hair and lots of white showing. When Yogurt takes her to play with the kids she brings along Magic Markers. Lola (being as crazy as her owner) plops herself down, rolls over on her back and allows the kids to write on her underbelly with magic markers. The kids can’t believe it. Neither can I....and now I bet you can’t either. It is true.

After babysitting for the kids the first time we asked them how they liked Margaret. I think SweetCheeks summed it up the best. She said, “HERS CRAZY”. I agree~and if you don’t believe US-ask her husband.