Friday, March 5, 2010

My Own Emmy

You’re looking at the stupidest parent ever. In my effort to let the oldest be, well, older, I took her and 2 friends to see Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief. Fine. They’d read the books, no big deal. And because I’d already okayed the movie in my mind, I also took the 7 year old. “What a great bonding moment,” I thought. It’ll be a date. When I was a teenager, I dated a guy who loved horror films--Hellraiser, that sort of stuff. So, I know scary movies. And, sister, let me tell you, this was SCAAAAAARY!

I cringed from about minute 10, when an English teacher turns into a Fury (why the poor English teacher? Isn’t a math teacher more likely to work for the dark side?) Remember the Freddy Kruger where he has his face stripped so he’s mostly skeletal/vein/thin sheet of death-white skin? Right. Imagine that, with wings, screeching in a deep Devil voice. Oh, what a bonding moment. And because I’m so quick on the draw, it took me until minute 78, after Hades Fire Devil Man shows the main character that he has main-character’s mother in Hell, after the word “ass” and “hell” have been bandied about, after Highway to Hell has played, after Poker Face has played, it took me until the main character starts walking through the portal to Hades, with skulls and everything, to say, “Gee, 7 year old with tears streaming down your face, I think we should get you out of here. What do you say?”

And we spent the remaining 30 some minutes watching the baby roll around on the floor of the hall. He was entertaining. He puked, he rolled around in it, he buried his nose in the almost-never-vacuumed carpet. It’s so un-scary to me now, because I’ve seen the worst movie ever made for kids except, maybe, Hotel For Dogs, which is scary for completely different reasons. Just ask Hal--he saw it 3 times, lucky ducky.

Maybe I can use this to my advantage. “Sweetie, I understand you want to date Tattoo Man Who Rides a Harley, but remember the scene where Medusa turns the mommy to stone? I swear, that’s child’s play compared to what I’ll do to you.”

Meanwhile, I’m waiting for the Parent of the Year Award.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Train Wreck

I had vast and important things to say today. But I just ate a sandwich that sent me into a food coma and so I’ll skip all the life-changing stuff and make this, instead, a “try to catch it” train of thought post.

  1. My four year old is having a “soak.” She got a new swimsuit today (thank you, Costco) and has used every drop of hot water and combed the house for every plastic toy to fill the tub. If I go upstairs, I’ll have to play with her, which means I’ll end up wet and I hate wet underwear.
  2. The baby had his first teething rusk yesterday and we’ve now entered the sticky phase. I think boys stay in this phase until they get married.
  3. I have huge boxes of processed food stuff to put away. I’m calming my conscience by telling myself that at least Nature Valley bars are made out of oats. I’m ignoring all the high fructose corn syrup we just bought. And, yes, I do know why we shouldn’t eat it. But when you expect a 7 year old and an 11 year old to be completely in charge of their own lunches, you’ve got to make things easier for them. Right? Right?
  4. The problem with Costco is this: it makes that 40 lb. bag of spinach cheaper than the 1 lb. box at the regular grocery store. But who needs 40 lbs. of spinach? I have all this pioneer guilt when I throw away the last bit that has become unsalvageable with that slimy mold that spinach gets. I wish KH were here to make spanakopita for me. I’m far, far too overwhelmed with trying to get a shower in. Anyway, I’m the only one who would eat it and I’m certainly not fussing with phyllo dough just for my own enjoyment. Besides, I didn’t see any phyllo at Costco.
  5. One last thought, and then I’ll take your comments. Can you think of any other profession where your ability to stay employed depends entirely on how other people do on tests?

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Olympiad Rests

Two weeks before the opening ceremonies, I reminded my oldest that the Olympics were only 14 days away.

“I think I can be ready!” she said.

Lucky for her, swimming is a summer sport so she’s got an extra 2 years or so to polish her turns. Oh, and she isn’t 16 yet, so add a few more to that. Otherwise, I’m totally sure she’d be competing in the breast stroke.

Winter Olympic sports can be put into two categories: those that take a long time and those that can break your neck. I want my children to live their dreams, as long as those dreams require minimal ER visits.

Goodbye, Olympics. I enjoyed the half pipe, the women’s downhill, the speed skating/ice derby and aerials. I gratefully missed most of the ice dancing (seriously, do we need 3 nights of that?) and saw more of Johnny Weir than anyone except political prisoners should be forced to see. For all I know, they only played 2 curling games, one men, one women, and then aired them over and over. Other than the color of the uniforms and the genders, I really couldn’t tell one game from another. And I’m positive I didn’t see as much snowboarding as past years. PGS aired at 2:00 on Saturday. I so need TIVO.

I saw way more of Bob Costas than anyone except his mother wants to see. He looked better this year than in the past, but still, he’s no where near as exciting as Skeleton, and yet, every time I turned around, there he was. I didn’t really need to “get to know Vancouver” either. Do I care if the Mounties are ready? Do I care what it’s like to be a lumberjack (“I’m a lumberjack and I’m okay...”) I liked seeing Celski recovering from his injuries, and I like understanding why Rochette after her bronze medal finish reached her hands up to the skies. But I don’t want Costas to interview her. Let the young woman grieve in private, please. And I don’t want P&G to get yet another plug because they paid for the parents of a skater to join their daughter in Vancouver. You think I don’t know that you mention them because they’re funding NBC? In the same night, two other parents of a different skater were given money to travel to Vancouver by an “anonymous company.” I assume the company is anonymous because they don’t pay to advertise.

Speaking of advertisers, I saw the worst product placement ever. MSNBC was airing curling. They cut to the sports desk and sitting right on top was a carton of Ben and Jerry’s. Really? That’s your clever placement? Hand over the ice cream because you clearly don’t deserve it.

I enjoyed the census commercials. Sort of like “Best In Show” without the “don’t bother to pause it I’m headed to the kitchen” moments.

I think the best thing that could happen to the Olympics in the US would be for ABC or CBS to vie for coverage. It also wouldn’t hurt them to have the public vote on what they show. The poll could go something like this: more Costas or more sports? Ice dancing or Men’s Cross qualifiers? I caught the Jamaican guy in the qualifiers and it was about the coolest thing ever. He didn’t make it to the semifinals, so if you were working or something silly like that, you probably didn’t get to see him. But wouldn’t you have liked to see him, or some other non-cold climate athlete, compete? Someone like Robel Teklemariam from Ethiopia in the cross-country or Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong from Ghana in Men’s Slalom, Ghana’s debut at the Winter Olympics. Okay, so maybe they have no chance of winning, but wouldn’t it be cool to say you saw it? Talk about chutzpah, those men have it to spare.