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Friday, September 26, 2008

Reverse Psychology at 4. Really?

Over the last few weeks, we've been buying Short Person happy meals at McDonald's. That's not really a new thing since she loves chicken nuggets, it is just that she usually chooses Wendy's to buy them.

We order a happy meal, ask for a girl toy, and then she receives a boy toy-- which makes her very vexed when she opens it. Very unhappy. She usually wants us to go back and lecture them and exchange the gift.

Today, she chose McDonald's again. I drove to the drive-through and waited for the car in front of us to get done with ordering. Short Person has been reminding me over and over to ask for a girl toy. "Make sure they give you a girl toy!"

Then, there was a pause. Followed by a half-snort. "You should ask for a boy toy... then they'd probably give you a girl one!"

I laughed, of course, because that reasoning if funny. But then, I got a little stunned going on. I mean, at 4 years old, is reverse-psychology something they are supposed to be able to understand?

I mean, really? At four?!


Sunday, September 21, 2008

What Kind of Sick Twist of Fate is This?!

Short Person decided to play soccer. Yea!!

After last year, we really weren't sure it was ever going to happen again. We signed her up for the local recreation district's soccer program with disastrous results. Instead of teaching the kids anything about soccer, the teenage coach just ran them around the field a lot with another set of 15 kids and one soccer ball.

Short Person learned more from me, just passing the soccer ball to her and taking her to soccer games, than she learned in that waste of an hour that was last year.

I know, I know... "Tell me how you really feel, Mel."

This year, rather than risk the same results, I signed her up at the local YMCA. The program cost more money, but also less in some areas since I don't need to buy her new soccer shoes, she can just wear tennies. Also, it is indoor, so I don't need to worry about rain or cold or any other things that would make a 4-year-old cranky. They also have practices and "games".

Today was our first practice and it went so much better than last year. There were two coaches, adult males with kids of their own, and it ran like you'd expect soccer practice to run. In other words, if you arrived you would see 10 little kids learning to play soccer and not a clusterfarge of kids running screaming around a grassy plain.

We still had a couple moments of tears-- once when the coach was lining the kids up to do something. Short Person came running over so upset that the coach was asking them to do something and she didn't know how to do it. I explained that this was what soccer practice was, to learn how to do things. Didn't help. Then, I saw that they were lining them up to pass the ball back and forth. Yea for small miracles, I simply explained that she was too kick the ball to the person across from her like when mommy kicks it to her and she kicks back.

The other tears were for getting hurt (lol, I made her shake it out and jiggled her foot until it was better. Laughter through tears is such a great emotion); and, when they were scrimmaging and she couldn't understand why the other kids weren't letting her have a turn.

I may have messed this one up.

I explained that her job was to go and get the ball. And, if she was able to kick the ball, she needed to kick, kick, kick until the ball was no longer there.

Shin guards and soccer socks... $15.00
Signing up for soccer... $80.00
Watching my daughter land the perfect kick right into the mid-section of the goalkeeper's stomach... priceless.

We might need to work on that a bit. "Kick the ball, Sweetheart, not the person."

I am so happy about how much better this program has already turned out to be, but in some sick twist of fate, 90% of her games are at 8:00am.

Can you believe that?!

Oh, how ironic.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

DE-flation at the Coffee Shop

Usually, when I go buy coffee, I am appalled at how much I am willing to pay for 20oz of Java. I sit there, mentally counting in my head whether I have budgeted enough to get me through the week, or how many body parts will need to be auctioned off.

Lately, however, I've had... the opposite... experience.

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I run a frantic, fast-paced day that starts around 8am and doesn't end until about 10:30pm. A drive into the next town to deliver Short Person to daycare, then grab coffee, then drive back to work. I don't have time to wait in line at the coffee shop. I need in. I need out. FAST!

Because I'm usually running late. lol...

About a week ago, I was doing one such run and got to the coffee shop only to notice that there were five cars ahead of me in line. FIVE CARS!! Now, with this particular drive-thru, once you turn the corner into the driveway, there is no getting out. You are stuck there, so if the car ahead of you orders drinks for everyone in the office, you are basically screwed. You are late. You will not pass Go. You will not collect $200.

Since I was not fully in the driveway, my car's butt was still sticking out into the road, I waited for a lull in traffic and backed out. Upset because I simply NEED coffee to maintain a semblace of sanity and life. I'm driving back to work, grouchy, already annoyed at all the "She didn't get coffee?!" comments and whispered horrified voices I would hear, when I remembered that there was a small, non-descript, coffee shack in a parking lot not to far away.

I pulled in. So desperate that I was willing to try a new coffee shop, and yet not desperate enough to go to Dutch Bros. (Ick! They have the most bitter coffee.)

I ordered my usual. It is ALWAYS the same (triple, sugar-free vanilla, latte) and about bounced out of the car with happiness when I realized they sold the CostCo Poppyseed Muffins (Heaven!). The total charge came to $4.75. I tipped a quarter and was on my way.

The next day, I didn't even bother to try my usual coffee shop. The coffee at the other place had been decent, if a little weak, and I liked the fact that there were only one or two cars there, the service was fast, and I could pull out of line if it took too long.

I ordered my drink and muffin. SAME drink and muffin, only this time it cost $4.50. I tipped the change and drove away.

The next day, same thing. Only this time, it was $4.25, and I'm starting to wonder if I've forgotten to ask for something that cost the extra quarters.

TODAY, it was $4.00!!!! I tipped a $1.00. Incidentally, I think that's funny cause I'm not really saving anything. The person is just getting a bigger tip.

Deflation at the coffee shop! I wonder, if I keep going back, will it cost a quarter less each time?! In another 16 visits, will the food be free?! I just don't know.

But now I wonder, what will happen if I miss a day? Do I have to go back to full price?! Or, will it just go up a quarter?

The pressure is intense! But, I'm curious enough to keep going back.

Monday, September 15, 2008

A Peachy Day

I was writing a response in email to a coworker who asked how my day was going. I typed back, rather sarcastically, that it was just peachy.

But, I don't know why.

Why do you think people say that? Peachy? I mean, peaches are fuzzy and mushy and while they taste good rarely do we eat a day. Well, some weirdos might actually stuff their daily calendar into their mouth and eat if if the FBI were banging on the door and they were desperate to cover up that they'd been spending time with Fran, Jan, Louise, and the Three Headed Mafioso up the block... all of whom are now mysteriously missing... and he'd written "Kill all" on July 23rd and was seriously so desperate to hide it that he'd eat his calendar.

THEN you could say that you ate the day... but, I just don't get it.

Peaches are peaches and days just can't be peachy.

Unless... they mean that the day is fuzzy. Like, you had too much alcohol the day before and now your day was fuzzy because you woke up with Juan naked in bed next to you and you are wondering how on earth that happened and realize that the entire day was fuzzy. But then, that wouldn't be a good thing... would it? Maybe if Juan had warts all over his body with five black hairs that were inches long growing out of each one and his feet were covered with a strange fungus that looked like that white mossy stuff you find on rocks... THEN you'd be happy the day was fuzzy. But still, wouldn't that apply to the previous day?

Then, you could only respond that the day was peachy if you were asked how your yesterday was, right?

Or... I once read that arsenic can be made from peach pits. That they are poinsonous. So maybe, a peachy day means that someone is trying to kill you by poisening you like a pigeon in the park and when you weren't looking and had your back turned they were grounding up peach pits and putting them in your tea until you were hunkered down over the toilet exclamaing about how peachy your day was!

Or, maybe it means sweet. Maybe if you say that your day is peachy, it means it is sweet. I suppose a day could be sweet.

Something to think about, I suppose...

Yea... I'm having a peachy day... I'm just not going to tell you which definition I am using

Saturday, September 13, 2008

"Sittin’ On the Dock of the Bay... Blowing Away..."

As I sit here typing this, hurricane Ike is bearing down on Texas. Specifically, Galveston.

I love Galveston. It is such a charming city. It's sad to think about what might happen to it as a result of this hurricane.

But, as usual, I am a master at finding funny amid horrible events.

The news stations and I'm sure other people issued an evacuation for Galveston. IMMINENT DEATH will happen to all that choose to stay behind. A wall of water taller than a 2-story house is expected to crash over the seawall and into the streets of the City.


I'm watching the weather channel. Rubber-necking on a tragedy I'm hopeless to stop and yet determined to see-- after all, there may be some hope that it's really not that bad.

IMMINENT DEATH! GET OUT NOW! Flashing on the screen, over and over.

There's a news reporter on screen talking to the anchor woman.

"Well, we're here in Galveston, live from the Holiday Inn. We've taken cover because the winds are picking up and are now about 58mph. But, it's really those gusts that will get you. Those gusts are about... well, in the seventies..."

"I saw about three people behind you, wading through the water. What are people saying about evacuation."

"Everyone has been told to evacuate. This will be one of the most... worst hurricanes (big wind gust gets the reporter) in years. But, of course, there are people that stayed behind (another big wind gust) Emergency crews were rescuing people until about an hour ago when they had to retreat to safer ground..."

IMMINENT DEATH! IMMINENT DEATH! It flashes on the bottom of the screen in unique strobe light fashion.

"The water is about three or four feet right now... as the storm is now coming in to Galveston..."

"Yes, we see on screen that the worst of it is about an hour away now..."


"Yes, which is bad for those people that chose to stay behind. Rescue is impossible right now... (BIG wind gust)... But we will be here all night feeding live to you from Galveston..."

At what point do you realize that it is highly possible your workplace has just sent you on a suicide mission?!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Well... Mommy Says...

We couldn't find the sunflower seeds. The snack of choice for a starving 4-year-old. Even though she had requested that her daddy get her some about half an hour before, they had gotten misplaced in the sudden excitement of skunk and doggie wars.

We searched high and low. Every cupboard, the refrigerator, the table, the bathroom, the freezer. None proved fruitful, which pulled daddy out of bed to come and help us search because he just had them in his hand.

He walked into the kitchen, Short Person hot on his heels, lamenting the loss of her sunflower seeds and crying about how she'd never get to eat again. It mixed quite nicely with LJS grousing about how he'd probably find them in 0.2 seconds of entering the kitchen, and "Alright, Woman, where did you put them?"

And then the most amazing thing happened.

Just as I was stating that *I* hadn't done anything with them and he was the one who last had them, Short Person spoke up and said,

"You know, Dad, my mom says you're kind of a bonehead sometimes!"

A few days previously, she wanted popcorn. Daddy was laying on the couch and I was picking stuff up in her room. I can hear her talking to her Dad trying to get him off the couch and into the kitchen to make it for her.

"Daddy, get off the couch and make my popcorn, NOW!"

"Megan!" I yelled. "That is not how to ask your Father nicely to make popcorn. Try again."

The little imp yelled back. "But... I said NOW!"

"You were supposed to say PULEEZ!"


Things are getting very interesting in our house. I just hope I can keep up.

Incidentally, the sunflower seeds were still clipped in the middle of her bed. Apparently, daddy dropped them there when we were all peering out the window to see if we could spot the little skunk.


Monday, September 1, 2008

A Whole New World

I can't get the theme song to the Disney movie "Aladdin" out of my head. It tones on and on, and has been doing so for nearly a week now.

It has begun.

Day 1 of the next 13 years of school is set to begin tomorrow. School supplies have been purchased, clothes gone through and weeded out, new haircuts... so many changes.

I've been so busy that I haven't really slowed down enough to think about what it really means. I haven't done the "Oh crud, I have a child. I have a child and she's about to start SCHOOL." thing yet. I'm sure if I did slow down it would hit me with full force and I'd lose it and start crying uncontrollably.

Luckily, there's been tuition and picnics and meeting teachers and immunizations. There's been rearranging her bedroom (again!) and shopping and schedule changes for daycare. There's been forms to fill out, websites to log onto, calendars to ready.

It has been INSANE! Somewhere in my head, I thought it would be easy to sign her up for Preschool. I was wrong. This is simply a precursor to each year of school, I think. Each year, a repeat of the past.

So, no crying yet.

The whole thing reminds me of Short Person's first birthday party. Busy planning, busy decorating, busy getting things ready. Then, so many people and things to do... right up to that break where everyone sings happy birthday. I sat there singing and it hit me... I was singing... to my baby... who was now 1 year old. Wow.

In her baby book, there is a sealed envelope on the birthday cake page. I can't remember the exact words, but it relates the story I just mentioned above-- only it includes her dad and how close to tears he was; how he had to stop and think about something else because that same sense of surrealness struck him. It ends, "Never believe for one second you weren't wanted."

Tomorrow is orientation. It lasts for 1/2 hour. We get to drop off supplies and see her classroom and find her locker. At 3pm, we get to go and get a Hep A shot. The only (last) shot she needs for Preschool. My little trooper is going for 4 shots. After those, then she only needs 1 or 2 more for kindergarten-- which means she can wait an entire year to get them, and she's all for waiting a LONG, LONG time. (lol)

Wednesday, is orientation day for some of her other classmates.

Then, Thursday, she has her first full day. And I'm sure, somewhere in that pause, I'll lose it. I'll pause to think about the fact that I have a child... and she's starting school... and how not ready I am for that last piece of innocence to be lost in a world of learning.

For now, I'm going to go and sleep in the floor of her bedroom and see if eventually she'll sleep through the night in her own bed.