Friday, May 6, 2011

Selling It

When not wiping noses or cursing nap-time-door-bell-ringers, I’ve begun using my free time to wisely peruse Etsy. The addiction began innocently enough. I’m doing an on-line art class with my girls, and the artist in charge has an Etsy shop. Cute stuff, you can find it here. But, like car wrecks and Johnny Depp movies, one look led to another, which led to another...

Some sites I enjoy, like this one that appears to just be a Canadian girl with her markers. Fun. But some? Like this one. What Warhol-would-be needs a planter shaped like a dinosaur? Oh, sure, put the prickly cactus in the dinosaurs back and watch all the kids run screaming for Mommy. “I was just attacking the Diplodocus with the Ichthyosaur when the needles poked me.” Is it a toy? Is it a plant? I need a clear separation between my vegetation and the things that get thrown to the basement when guests are expected.

I also had no idea that so much could be done with felt. You may be getting some of these for Christmas.

And, like Ebay, watch out for the “vintage”. That’s just internet speak for “I found it in my garage and thought I’d sucker someone out of $50.” Olive green boots from the 1970’s? Do I need to say more than “1970?”

You can also buy enough vinyl to cover your entire house with pithy--or not so pithy--sayings. That’s actually a great idea because then you don’t have to have books in your house. You can tell your kids to just go read the walls. If your husband is like mine, though, you may find the words rearranged to have a completely different meaning. I have some wooden blocks that spell “FAMILY”. He rearranged them to say “I Am Fly.” Which is even funnier, given the cottage look of the blocks, the completely suburban house in which they reside, and the uber-white person they were supposed to describe.

I might open an Etsy shop. It’s spring cleaning time, and I’m just itching to get my hands on the middens my children call “bedrooms.”

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


If you bring your child to my house and expect me to be the sole care provider for any amount of time, this is your warning.

  1. If it’s nice outside, your child will get dirty. If your child doesn’t like dirt, your child will not like being at my house. My children love mud, and frequently paint themselves and each other, including guests, with mud. I call it “creativity”. It washes off, so don’t panic. If i† isn’t nice outside, you child will almost certainly end up with paint or nailpolish or makeup all over. Even if he’s a boy. My son prefers his lipstick on his forehead, but yours might like to put eyeshadow there. It’s body art. Be happy I didn’t pull out the Sharpies.
  2. If your child is a picky eater, bring food. I don’t stock chocolate milk, Oreos or PowerBars (yes, I had a child who only wanted chocolate milk--from the container, not mixed--and PowerBars. Don’t know what idiot feeds a child PowerBars, but it isn’t this idiot.) In fact, it might be a good idea to bring food even if your child isn’t a picky eater. My children can eat your child’s Goldfish, and your child can eat my bananas.
  3. If you have a barely-2 year old who you think is now potty trained, pack pullups anyway. I promise you that very few 2 year olds are ready to be in a strange house in panties. Padding is required. And if you don’t pack pullups, you might find your child in a diaper when you pick her up. Because even when I remind her every 15 minutes to go potty, and even if she’s piddled 3 times, she will still poop in her pants and be horribly embarrassed and start crying and I won’t have any little girl panties her size so she’ll have to use a pair of left-over pullups that you’re lucky I could find so next time, just put her in the stupid pullups to begin with!
  4. I don’t like kids jumping on my couch. If you’re watching your child jump on my couch, tell her to stop. If she doesn’t stop, be the parent and put your foot down. If you don’t, and if you leave your child with me, I will pull out those Sharpies and tell her to pretend she’s going on a Navy Seal Op. and there can’t be any white left on her face or she’ll be captured by the enemy.
  5. I really like having children play at my house. I like the smell of Play-do, I don’t mind Moon Sand too much, I make cookies and ants on a log and sandwiches that look like butterflies or hearts. I enjoy loud voices outside, and don’t mind semi-loud ones inside. I like it when all the toys are pulled out and there’s an elaborate game going on. I will be kind to your child, I will try to comfort if comfort is needed, and I will watch any number of plays, talent shows, performances, or baking demonstrations. I will eat cupcakes and icecream made out of dough, bark, sand, or mud, and a few worms thrown on top doesn’t phase me. But I don’t like having the TV on if there are kids to play with. Unless it’s a sleepover and your child has been here more than 3 hours, warn her that I will not let her turn the TV on. And under no circumstances will she be watching The Bachelor, thank you very much. Kid TV is limited to DVDs I supply and 3 stations, none of which play Desperate Housewives or Ghost Whisperer. At your house, you may have different rules, but I don’t care if it’s the last episode ever, it’s not on at my house.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Runaway Imagination

I’m laughing at myself. All day long, I’ve been imagining William and Kate. Thinking about how sweet, to live in a farmhouse, how fun to wake up in the country to the sound of nothing but nature, how wonderful to be newly married. Okay, I know they’ve been living together for a long time (must be hard to live in the same house and not have sex.) But it makes me remember the fun part of being together in the beginning. Without children. I love my children, but it isn’t the same. First of all, I wear a mouthguard, thick man socks and flannel pajamas to bed now. I don’t imagine Kate wears a mouthguard and flannel pjs, and I certainly can’t picture her wearing man socks to bed. At the very least, her flannel pjs don’t look like mine. I have one pair that has a safety pin holding the shirt together. Well, it would, if I hadn’t taken the safety pin out to use it somewhere else and now it’s lost. So, the shirt has nothing but a couple of threadbare buttons to keep it closed. And it’s 2 sizes too large for me. Talk about sexy. I won’t post a picture because I don’t want your husbands getting all interested in my hot flannel night garb. But I can tell you where to get your own, if you want to tone down the spice in your marriage. Land’s End, my friend, Land’s End. Tell Minnesota Grandma ‘hi’ for me when you call.

Not only have I been thinking about how fun it must be for Balding William and Amazing Kate right now, but I thought about what it would have been like for them to partake in our Sunday Night dinner.

First of all, every single child in my house had the Loud Giggles. The three girls were out-pacing each other in the “no, listen to this!” dinner conversation. The baby refused to sit in his chair, and instead sat on the table. He burped, and when the girls laughed, he practiced burping again. Burp, laugh, burp, laugh... It’s upscale behavior like this that made me start giggling as I pictured the looks-like-a-queen Kate and reserved William sitting with us.

Then, our meal wasn’t exactly British fare. In fact, we had an homage to our ancestors. Bacon, johnnycakes served with maple syrup and strawberry/rhubarb sauce, root beer and strawberry-rhubarb pie for dessert. Yummy, but I’m picturing the royal couple sitting at our table, trying to be polite as they nibble fried cornmeal and listen to the entertainment.

But I’m such a little girl inside, still. I love stories of princesses and weddings and first-blush romance. I can’t wait for the Duke and Duchess to have babies, first of all, because I like to encourage boob sag wherever possible. Second of all, because I’m happy for them, and I want all the joy I can think of to be theirs. Nothing makes a better meal than 4 kids who make a game out of squishing the food between their teeth so their siblings can say, “That’s disgusting! Watch this.”