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  • Indian Summer

    October 31, 2007

    Yesterday was a deliciously warm fall day.  It was also one of those rare days when we had nothing in particular to do. There are not enough of those days in a life.

    We shared a plate of eggs and toast at IHOP, we went over to a friend’s house and played, we had a nap and then we went on a “tway-sure” hunt at a local park.

    When you are an almost-four-year-old boy, there are a lot of treasures waiting to be found.

    “Oh look Mom at this beautiful leaf!”

    “An acorn! Let’s take it home and plant it.”

    “This rock is pretty!”

    And it all goes into the pocket.

    Snips and snails, dirty pockets and dirty fingernails, carefree autumn days — if only I could put these things in my pocket.

     

     

    Halloween Party

    October 29, 2007

    Today was Sean’s Halloween/Fall Festival party at his school.  I was in charge of supplying the party napkins and would like to report that I did not screw that up.  Just to make sure that I would not mess up my assignment, I bought four times as many napkins as was reasonably required and then I sent them a week before the party.  Which was also when I sent Sean to school dressed as a pirate.  A week before the party. 

    In Sean’s permanent file at the school, there is probably a note saying that Sean’s mother should never be trusted with anything more complicated than party napkins.  The up side to being fairly incompetent is that no one will ask me to be in charge of anything other than party napkins.

    Some of the parents dressed up in costume which made me think “Yay for you, you costume wearing moms who have costumes!”   I went as a mom who just came from the gym and needed a shower and didn’t know where to stand.    

    I did get a chance to visit with Sean’s teacher who told me that Sean informs her that I give him money every time he goes poo poo on the potty and that he is saving up for a puppy, which is not  true.  I am making him save up for college, not a puppy.

    At first I was concerned that he was telling tall tales, but then I decided that it probably works in my favor as it will make the other things he tells the teacher about me less believable.

    Photo Temporarily Unavailable

     

    Clearly, the success of the party is owed to the abundance of the festive party napkins as seen in the photo.

    Sean-O-Lantern

    October 26, 2007

            Photos Temporarily Unavailable

    I didn’t see the resemblance at the time…

    Car Conversations

    October 25, 2007

    As we were driving to the store earlier in the week, Sean points out the window and shrieks, “Oh Mommy! Look at that beautiful garden!”

    Garden?  How is it I’ve driven down this street a million times and never noticed a beautiful garden?

    I craned my neck to see where he was pointing. It was a cemetery.

    “Can we go there some day?” he asked innocently.

    I know a couple who have a child buried in that cemetery.  Their faces filled the movie screen of my mind.  For a split second I imagined myself in their shoes, standing in that beautiful garden, facing the unthinkable, the unbearable.

     “Sure sweetie, we can go there sometime,” I said, my voice cracking and sounding unnaturally cheerful. “Sure we can.”

    And then the conversation veered around the corner on two-wheels as only it can with a three-year-old in the car.

    “Mommy, why do pirate ships have diving boards?”

    I’m still thinking about my friends.

    “Mommy! Why do pirate ships have diving boards?”

    I’m jarred away from one grave to another.

    “Because they like to go swimming.”

    For that moment, that was the best answer I could come up with.  And technically not a lie.

     

    Jack-O-Lanterns

    October 24, 2007

    So we went to the pumpkin patch last week and came home with two pumpkins. 

    I picked out a lovely perfectly rounded unblemished beauty. So stunning was this pumpkin that it could have been a coach for Cinderella.

    Sean picked an oddly shaped, tall, skinny lop-sided pumpkin.  I pointed out its flaws, that it had a bad case of acne and couldn’t stand up straight.  But he didn’t care.  He pleaded his case saying it was a good pumpkin — that he loved it and it was the only pumpkin for him.  He didn’t see that it was ugly.   May he continue to see the world this way, as one who doesn’t look at the outside but only sees the good in a pumpkin.

    As soon as we got home, he immediately wanted to get busy carving up those pumpkins, even though I told him they wouldn’t last long once they were carved.  And in typical three-year-old fashion, he would not be deterred by logic — even after I dispelled the visions of knife wielding dancing in his head when I informed him his job would be to pull out the seeds.

     After I cut the top off the first pumpkin, I told him to reach in and start pulling out all the seeds being very careful not to use the word guts.  “No thanks!” he said pinching his nose. “It’s stinky and icky.  I just want to do the fun stuff.”  And then he ran away to play until the fun stuff started happening.  I love his honesty. I may use that line on him the next time he calls me in the bathroom to wipe his little stinky icky behind.

    When “we” were done carving up our pumpkins, I put tea light candles in each one and lit them and then turned down the lights.  I called Sean in to see our jack-o-lanterns in all their glowing glory. “Ooooh!” he said, “That’s inter-westing!”  And then he scrambled up on a chair and blew the candles out. And then I lit them. And he blew them out. And I lit them and this went on for many many rounds and again the next day and the next.  Apparently this was the fun stuff to which he was referring.

    After about three days, the jack-o-lanterns began to shrivel and take on a peculiar smell as all beautiful and ugly things eventually do and so they were removed to the trashcan. 

    We enjoyed the pumpkins immensely during their short tenure here at the House of Antique and in return they enjoyed a full 15 minutes of flame – in about 900 one-second intervals.

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    Fear And Loathing With A Dash Of Anger

    October 23, 2007

    When my dad retired about 15 years ago, along with wood crafting and front porch sitting, he took up metal detecting.  It’s been a great way for him to be out and about, get some exercise and occasionally bring home a treasure or two. 

    He keeps a tally of his findings and on average he digs up a couple of hundred dollars in loose change every year.  He also digs up a shoebox full of Hot Wheels cars which he cleans up and gives away to grandkids or neighborhood kids or any other kid he happens to come across.

    One morning last week, the weather was still nice so Dad decided he would go metal detecting one last time before it gets too cold.

    He was walking in a familiar and well travelled area, near a school and across from a church, when he noticed a teenage boy walking towards him.  For whatever reason, he got a bad vibe and decided to head for his car. The kid came up to my dad and asked him for some money. My dad said “no” and kept walking. The kid grabbed at him.  My dad swung his metal detector and whacked him good upside the head, hard enough that it busted a chunk off the base.  My dad lost his balance and fell backwards to the ground. At that point, the criminal got up, pointed a gun at my dad and demanded his wallet.  Of course my dad handed it over. The kid took the cash, all of $21, threw the wallet down and ran off.

    Since I found out about this incident, I have been sick to my stomach thinking of what could have happened. And I have also been thanking God over and over and over for what didn’t happen.

    My dad twisted his back when he fell, but other than that he is no worse for the wear. He is 76 years old and for all intents and purposes he kicked that kid’s ass and I take pleasure in that.  A lot of pleasure.

    I suppose I should be praying for that kid, that he will turn from his evil ways, but what I really find in my heart right now is the desire that he rot in hell.  When you mess with my kid or my parents all bets are off.

    I am a Christian, just not a very good one.

    Pumpkin Patch

    October 21, 2007

    Photos Temporarily Unavailable

    When Antique Daddy saw these pictures from our recent visit to the pumpkin patch, he said it reminded him of this story.

     

    A Little Known Biblical Fact

    October 20, 2007

    Sean is really into Melissa & Doug floor puzzles these days.  We have a growing library of puzzles of increasing complexity and it’s fascinating to sit on the floor and watch the mind of a three-year-old work through the reasoning that is required to complete a puzzle. 

    Our current favorite puzzle is a 100-piece depiction of Noah and the animals exiting the ark.  Sean can work it without too much assistance which impresses his mother mightily.  Of course his mother is also impressed with how he inhales and exhales and blinks.  So then, that is to say, I’m easily impressed when it comes to my boy.

    The other night we were sitting on the floor putting together this puzzle when Sean picked out the piece with Noah’s foot on it and examined it closely.   He passed it to me and said, “Look Mom.  Noah wore flip flops.”

    Indeed he did.  And he wore a dress too.

    Pedaling Away From Me

    October 16, 2007

    Sean has a birthday coming up soon and his father and I have promised him a bicycle. So for the last month or so, every time we go to Wal-Mart, which is just about every day, we have to go to the bike department and test drive the various models.

    If you have spent any time in the Wal-Mart bicycle department, then you know that as well as having a few floor models “on the floor” they also display them by hanging them from the front tire by a hook. If you have a child, then you also know that the one bike they want to test drive is not on the floor, but hanging from a hook.

    Yesterday we were in Wal-Mart and we weren’t in a hurry, so when Sean asked me if I would get him a certain bike down from a hook, I agreed.

    Removing those little 20-pound bikes from their hooks is not as easy as it looks.

    In order to get the bike he wanted, I had to bend over slightly so as to not bump my head on the bike suspended directly above it. And then in some sort of Tom Cruise Mission Impossible style move, I had to delicately lift and turn the wheel just so at just the right angle at just the right moment in just the right sequence without gouging my eye out with the handle bar of the neighboring bike or knocking down the entire display of floor models like a line of dominos. Although that would have been a classic Antique Mommy moment. But the bike on the hook, it wouldn’t budge. It was like it had been super glued to the hook. So I did what I always do when something doesn’t work – I jiggled it and then I jiggled it harder.

    When it finally began to give, I straightened up just a bit so that I could raise it up and off the hook. And that’s when the strap of my backpack purse caught on a bicycle that was hanging behind me. And I was kind of stuck. I wasn’t exactly suspended, but I was on my tip toes and I was tethered and I kind of felt like a guy in a parachute caught in a tree. And I felt mighty ridiculous. And so I began praying. “Dear kind and merciful God, please, I beg of you, don’t let any of my neighbors or anyone I know be anywhere near the bicycle department right now. And also, please God, let the security cameras not be working. Thank you and Amen.”

    So then.

    I put the bike back on its hook and then I tried to reach around and unhook myself. After a good bit of flapping and twisting, it became apparent to me and the little boy who found the whole scene extreeeemely amusing, that I can no longer access that area between my shoulder blades as I could in days of yore and youth.

    Then in a move that normally should be reserved for someone wearing sequins and featured on Dancing with the Stars — and never by a mom in a Wal-Mart — I did a little shoulder shimmy and wiggled myself free of the backpack. Just like Houdini.

    Sean squealed and clapped his hands when I finally got his bike down and then he hopped on it and gleefully took a few wobbly laps around the bicycle aisle hollering for all the store to hear, “Look at me Mom! Look at me!”

    And the sight of that nearly four-year-old boy gleefully pedaling away from me, so happy and so proud to be riding a big bike, put an ostrich egg in my throat.  I stood in the bike department of Wal-Mart trying not to cry.  The journey of his life has begun and every day in some small way, he is pedaling away from me.

    Crow Casserole

    October 15, 2007

    Back in the day, when I was large with child, before I actually had a child, I knew everything there was to know about the proper way to raise a child.

    It was in those days that I issued the edict that I would not pimp my child for Disney, that I would not do Disney’s advertising for them on the back of my child, that I would not spend $30 for pajamas with some questionable cartoon character on the front when the $10 no-character pajamas are just fine.

    But that was before I saw little boy eyes light up at the sight of Lightning McQueen.

    I thought about that this morning as I stripped my child out of his Lightning McQueen pajamas and then sent him to school in Lightning McQueen undies, Lightning McQueen socks, Lightning McQueen shoes, shirt, backpack and lunch box.I have become a Lightning McQueen marketing machine.  Ka-Chow.

    Crow casserole.  Yummy.