Sunday, August 13, 2006


My kids have become hooked on the all-time classic musical, THE WIZARD OF OZ. It started out as a simple rental from Blockbuster where we watched it five times before the kids begrudgingly gave it back so we could return it to the video store. Then they started begging for Wizard of Oz paraphernalia - Dylan wanted a scarecrow costume, Becca saw a Dorothy dress she just had to get her hands on and they kept pleading with us to buy them the movie. And so, their grandmother, who heard how much they loved it, decided to buy it for them as a special surprise. The DVD arrived a few days later, and we have now watched this movie approximately 100 times. No joke. My kids and I are now experts on all things relating to The Wizard. The famous lines: "Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore" to "Put 'em up, put 'em up, I'll fight you with both hands behind my back!" or the all-time favorite "There's no place like home." Then there are the songs. My son can act out every musical number from the film including the deleted Jitterbug song which we discovered after watching all the DVD extras about 25 times and counting. From "We Represent the Lollypop Guild" to "If I Only Had a Brain," I have been re-living the Wizard of Oz every morning, afternoon and evening. Sometimes I even relive it in my dreams. Last night, Dorothy and I were kidnapped by the flying monkeys. When will this insanity ever end? As I'm writing this post, I hear a 100 year old munchkin fondly recalling the time Judy Garland gave him a tour of her movie trailer. Somebody please stop the Wizard before me and the scarecrow lose our minds!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

LOST IN SUBURBIA™ by Tracy Beckerman...In the Pink©

I have never been much of a pink girl. It’s not that I’m pinkaphobic or anything. In fact, some of my best friends wear pink. But personally, I’ve always preferred primary colors. Not surprisingly, my dining room is red, my kitchen is yellow and my bathroom is blue. Then there’s my daughter’s room. Her walls are pink, her comforter is pink and her rug is pink. Her clothes are pink, her sneakers are pink, and I have no doubt, she dreams in pink.If there is such a thing as a predisposition to certain colors, I would have to assume she inherited some pink chromosomes from her grandmother, who also likes pink. But clearly the pink gene skipped a generation, just like the gracefulness gene, which I also seem to have missed out on but my daughter inherited. Before I knew that such things run along family lines, I deliberately decorated my daughter’s room in yellow when she was born. But then one day, someone gave her a pink blanket, and it was love at first pink. When she was old enough to express a preference, she demanded pink outfits, and later, signed up for ballet just so she could wear a pink tutu. I have no doubt that one day when she is a rebellious teenager, she will dye her hair pink. I, of course, will be blue in the face from telling her not to do things like that. However, since she is still only eight years old, I have allowed her her pinkness and it really hadn’t presented much of a problem until the day the back-to-school supply list arrived in the mail informing us that she needed to buy a black binder. “Why can’t it be pink,” she asked reasonably.“I don’t know. But it says it has to be black,” I told her as we perused the school supply aisle.“But black is boring,” she informed me, channeling Jackie O.“Yeah, I know,” I told her, taking stock of my black shirt, pants and shoes. “But you also get to buy red, yellow and purple notebooks.”“No pink?”“Nope. Sorry.” “So what, does the teacher have something against pink or something?” “I think she was probably trying to find colors that work for both boys and girls,” I explained.“Well they DON’T work for me!” she announced. And then her eyes narrowed and her lips disappeared and she began to turn a not-so-delightful shade of pink. She then proceeded to huff and puff until I thought she would blow the composition notebook display down.“I’m GETTING a pink binder,” she informed me through gritted teeth.“NO, you’re getting a black binder,” I informed her back.“PINK!!!”“SSSHHH,” I Shhhed her. Other mothers were glancing in our direction and then hustling their daughters out of the aisle as though afraid that the pink thing might be catching. Truthfully, I really didn’t give a pink hoot what color binder she got. And typically when I pick my battles with the kids, safety issues and health concerns usually far outweigh color preferences. However, I didn’t think it would get either my daughter or me off to a good start with this teacher if we blatantly ignored the black binder dictum. “Tell you what,” I started. “How about if we buy some pink markers and pink stickers and stuff like that and decorate your black binder with them.”She narrowed her eyes suspiciously at me. “Does it say I can do that on the list?” “No. But it doesn’t say you can’t, either.”“Wellllll,” she thought for a minute as her face began to return to its normal color. “OK… Oh, look, there are some stickers!”We walked over to the sticker display and I inspected the selection. “Hey, here are some cute pink kittens,” I showed her. How about these?” “Sure,” she said agreeably. “But I want the blue ones.” ©2006, Beckerman. All rights reserved. For more LOST IN SURBURBIA columns, go to Tracy BeckermanLOST IN SUBURBIA™

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Holey War

Before you think I am about to go on a tirade about the situation in the Middle East, then let's be real...I don't talk politics among friends, strangers and bloggers. This is about the state of my undergarments and the plain, yet simple truth that my dryer has declared a holey war on them. For the last few months, I have been noticing that my tidy whities have been coming back from the laundry as if they had been scarred in battle, shredded with holes in the most embarrassing places. I shrugged it off a few times, but this week I had to face facts - either fix the dryer or go buy some new underwear. You see, I didn't have time to do the laundry this week. And so, as I sifted through my panty drawer, I kept coming up with pairs that resembled swiss cheese. Holes everywhere! Fished in the drawer another time and once again, came up with a pink holey pair. Reached for my tried and true maternity underwear (yes I still wear them even though I'm not pregnant) and tada! Full of holes. My favorite Jockey for Her bra? Ripped to shreds. What's a busy woman to do when you don't have time to get to the store to buy underwear or call Sears to fix the dryer? I'm sure they sell this stuff online - either way, I'm throwing up the red flag. My underwear and I surrender to the dryer. We have been in battle one two many times and it's time to head out and bring in some reinforcements.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Mr. Bed Hog

My son has issues about sleeping alone. In fact, every night before bedtime arrives, he asks me, "Mommy, will you sleep with me tonight?" Sometimes, I'll tell him, "yeah, sure" and then slip out when the coast is clear, but most times I'll explain, "Come on, you're a big boy now. You should sleep in your own bed by yourself." Nice try. As much as I try to coax him to stay put, he always has a reason why he can't last the night by himself. There's a monster under the bed, there's something in his closet, the thunder frightens him or he just likes having me there to ward off bad dreams. But here's my major dilemma - when my son invites me to keep him company because he's scared the tickle monster is going to get him, he then proceeds to take up 3/4 of the bed so that the corner of the mattress I'm left with is about the size of a postage stamp. Last night, I tried sleeping in his room and when I thought he had finally dozed off, I gave him the slip. But he was on to me. "Mommy, I want you to sleep with me!" And so, rather than head back to an uncomfortable twin bed, my husband scooped him up and brought him into our room. You would think a Queen sized bed would have been big enough for the three of us. Not the case when your child is Mr. Bed Hog. He proceeded to sprawl out in the middle of the bed and when he finally started to power sleep, shifted his position so that he was laying horizontally between myself and my husband. Exhausted, my hubby went into my son's room to get some rest, and once again, I was reduced to the postage stamp sized section of our bed and was stunned every few hours when he threw a violent punch and it landed in my back or in my eye. All I can say is that once our Mr. Bed Hog grows up and gets married, he and the missus had better invest in a king sized bed!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Pet Peeve

Before I launch into my confession du jour, I want to say that I am an animal lover who really does care about the two cats I've owned for the past 13 years. Despite the fact that I adore Rudy and Oliver (named after the former NYC mayor and the first Manhattan building I lived in), I do have a major pet peeve. Having to clean up after they've made some gross mess right after I've had our carpets shampooed. As my cats start approaching their twilight years, they've decided they don't like their litter box anymore. So they proceed to drop anchor all over my basement carpet, creating an obstacle course littered with cat poop, vomit and hair balls. And who do you think is the lucky person who gets to clean up after them once they've spewed their latest concoction on my newly shampooed rug? The same person who is spewing venom about having to clean up after them right now! It's bad enough that I have to tidy up after my kids, who like to leave their clothes littered across the floor of our den, or my husband, who can go to the grocery store to pick up cat food, but doesn't take the cans out of the bag and put them away in the pantry, I've also got to race after two elderly cats who don't think twice about yakking up their Fancy Feast meal right after I've cleaned the floors. I know, being the owner of an animal comes with its ups and downs. My cats are quite loveable when they jump up on my couch and curl up at my feet waiting for me to stroke them under their chin. But guys, spare me those Mr. Clean moments and skip that after dinner snack if you're feeling queasy.

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