Wednesday, January 31, 2007

*Melinda's Confession...Winner of Our Giveaway for The Pepper Kids!

Our 7 year old boy pulled me aside last Friday evening, giggling a bit, to say he had a question for me.
His giggling made me giggle and I didn't even know what the question was going to be. As we sat, cuddly style, on the stairs in our house I looked at his laughing face and beamed with pride at how grown up he has become. He is a wonderful boy, brother and student. Then he said, through his giggles, "Mom, do you and Dad sex?" My emotions went on a roller coaster...pride to shock to laughing out loud! I kept giggling with him and I asked him to repeat the question. I felt there was no need to answer it yet, as I may have completely misunderstood his question. Unfortunately, he repeated the same question, using the same words. I looked around the room to see if our 4 year old was nearby. No sign of him. I looked for my husband. No sign of him. I took a deep breath and asked my 7 year old if he could explain to me what he was asking. He said that I should know. I told him I wasn't sure what he was talking about, but once he explained it to me, I would be sure to let him know if his father and I were partaking. With the realization that I might share a secret with him, he got serious. He explained that he had been told that to "sex" is when a boy and girl take off their shirts and hug. He burst into laughter from embarrassment. I was trying not to let the tears in my eyes run down my face so quickly. After we had calmed one another I said to him. What you need to know about the word sex is that YOU are of the male sex and I am of the female sex. We also discussed the body parts that made us fit into these categories. He seemed satisfied with my answer and I took another deep breath. Shortly after, I phoned his teacher to let her know that this information was passing through her room and to be aware. She was very thankful.

Divide and Conquer...The Rebuttal

The following is a re-telling of our recent tale through the eyes of the dad...once again, names have been changed to protect embarrassing the innocent...
Begin Scene...
John and Julie are busy attempting to feed their three kids when the youngest, Matthew decides to sprint out of the room with a fork in his hand. Mom always said, never run with a fork...
Suddenly, from the living room, both parents hear a loud scream and then a wail. It's Matthew.
After tripping off a fringe in the area rug, Matthew accidentally stuck the fork he was running with in his eye. As Julie races over to assess the situation, John stays in the kitchen with their other two kids. Tears are streaming everywhere, Matthew has broken the skin and Julie can't determine whether he's poked his cornea and if she better grab their coats and head straight to the emergency room.
5 minutes later, when its clear that Matthew has only a slight cut on his cheek, which has stopped bleeding, Julie is still clutching Matthew to her chest in a bear hug. "Maybe you should loosen your grip a little, honey," says John, as Matthew struggles to breathe. "Shouldn't we take him to the emergency room," Julie asks shakily. John eyes the slight cut doubtfully. "Ummm....well they might give us a bandaid," he replies.
10 minutes later, Julie is still holding tightly to Matthew. The couple had discussed John taking the kids to see a movie that afternoon. The kids are looking expectantly at Daddy. Hesistantly, he suggests "How about I take all three kids to the movie?" Julie immediately leaves the room with Matthew, who is reaching out toward his Dad with his one free hand.
End Scene.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Divide and Conquer

A little disclaimer before we begin this story. The names of the family members have been changed to protect embarrassing the innocent.
Begin scene...
John and Julie are busy attempting to feed their three kids when the youngest, Matthew decides to sprint out of the room with a fork in his hand. Mom always said, never run with a fork...
Suddenly, from the living room, both parents hear a loud scream and then a wail. It's Matthew.
After tripping off a fringe in the area rug, Matthew accidentally stuck the fork he was running with in his eye. As Julie races over to assess the situation, John stays in the kitchen with their other two kids. Tears are streaming everywhere, Matthew has broken the skin and Julie can't determine whether he's poked his cornea and whether she better grab their coats and head to the emergency room.
Meanwhile, completely unfazed, John walks into the room and says, "I'm going to take Erica and Jason to see "Night at the Museum."
"But Matthew just stuck a fork in his eye! I may have to take him to the hospital," Julie replies in horror.
"That's okay - you take him to the emergency room, I'll take the kids to the movies."
End Scene.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Folk Dance Frenzy

Was out late for our book event a few nights ago and the very next morning my daughter looks at me and says, "Mommy are you staying home today?"
"No Becca I have to go to work."
"But Mommy - you were supposed to watch me dance today!" "Dance - you never told me anything about a dance. I never saw a note about it."
"But Mommy, there was a note, you just didn't read it and now you're not coming."
At this point, my daughter breaks into tears and I start contemplating whether or not anyone will notice if I walk into the office at 11 am after being completely AWOL the day before. And so, I pick up the phone and called the mom connection - the one mom who may have a handle on what the heck is going on that day in class.
"Robin - do you know anything about a Chinese Folk Dancing shindig at school today that we're supposed to attend?" I ask.
"Chinese folk - no I don't think so....Jake - do you have some dance thing today?...Mommy - I don't know."
"So you don't know either," I reply.
"Look, I'll get to the bottom of this and call you back."
As I proceed to go back into the bathroom and get ready for work, my daughter comes in again. "I think I know what I have today Mommy. Today we learn the dance and parents can come and watch. Then next week we will perform the dance and parents can watch too. It's all messed up in my head - I don't know if you have to come today or not."
A few minutes later, the phone rings - Robin called another reliable mom and we finally got to the bottom of the situation - watching today was optional, the performance is next week at 1pm - very convenient for a working mom and we had to decide if we wanted to watch the kids learn the dance or perform it. Considering I had been away from my office for over 24 hours, I opted to watch her dance next week.
Guilt trip least until it's time for her to learn the Irish Jig.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Confessions by Marion...Birthday Madness

My two youngest will be turning 9 the end of this month. Just when I was finally recovering from my post traumatic Holiday stress syndrome, I am thrust once again into the planning of yet another “Celebration.” Unfortunately, this time the guests are usually much more demanding as to entrees, and entertainment. The tostadas and Gina’s velvetta and chili dip that the moms are quite happy to scarf down with a little chardonnay do not cut it with the pint size gourmand set.
I have been hosting these soirees for the past 13 years, and I have lived to tell the tale. To the uninitiated: DO NOT, I mean never, host this fete in your home! Unless your home has been chosen for the “Extreme Makeover Home Edition” don’t go there.
You will be guaranteed rain that day, and there is no way that your guests remain in the designated area. Small children will swarm over your home, leaving a path of destruction rivaling Sherman’s March on Atlanta. Cabinets and drawers will be inspected by small enquiring minds; you will be critiqued on your home décor, and informed that your house “smells funny.”
The food you serve will not be up to snuff. You either ordered the pizza from the wrong place i.e.: “We don’t eat ABC Pizza at our house; my mom says XYZ’s is much better.” Or “why are we eating chicken fingers when everyone knows I only eat Pizza?” (Sorry kid, never got the memo from your advance people!) There is usually an embarrassing question or two lobbed……
“Gee this house is much smaller then my house, are you poor?” “This house is bigger then my house, are you rich?” The games you lovingly planned, are either ignored, or result in tantrums, when everyone doesn’t win. Call me politically incorrect, but not everyone can win at musical chairs, or bingo. You find yourself looking at your watch, wondering if you have entered a time space warp, and time is actually standing still. It is at this point when you decide, next year we have this shindig off premises.
Oh the choices!!!!!
My first off site party was at one of those indoor playgrounds, with a ball pit, those toddler size hamster tubes, and the bane of most Moms…video games. It looks much better on paper. When mom has to wade into a ball pit, wiggle through a tube, to retrieve a screaming child, or pull the plug on the video token gravy train, it tends to take the polish off the proceedings. You know that the twenty something “party host” (that poor person dressed up as a character, leading the festivities) is rethinking their decision to leave college.
The following year I hosted a party at one of those pottery places. The guests are invited to pick out a plaster statue, then paint and decorate this item to keep as a memento of the wonderful time they had at your child’s party. Lovely idea. Unfortunately they only had six ninja turtles, and we had eight ninja turtle fans. Oh what budding little artists. They painted the statue, the table, and each other. Try explaining that to the mother of the Gene Simmons look a like, when she shows up to retrieve her little angel.
I also tried doing the miniature golf outing. Be warned, little golf clubs become lethal weapons in the hands of second graders! Ditto for batting cages.
My favorite of the birthday bashes was the laser tag party. At this event the children play two rounds of laser tag, are fed pizza, soda, and ice cream birthday cake, and then sent home. Neat, virtually painless, two thumbs up from the guests, and I was able to get a pretty good interest rate on the second mortgage that was needed to pay for it.
The common denominator at all of these parties, be it at home or out, is the goody bag, the child’s swag, or as I call it “the bag o’ crap.” I don’t know where or when, or more importantly why this tradition was started. (Although I have a sneaking suspicion it was invented by the good people at Oriental trading company) A small remembrance is given to each guest, at your child’s party. This is the area that is most severely critiqued. Irregardless of the fact that the life expectancy of the contents are about 24 hours. Most take homes consist of small trinkets, such as tattoos, yoyos, bubbles, and penny candies. (As if such a thing exits anymore) I personally try to toss in a few miniature snickers or milky ways for the chauffeurs (moms) to snack on, as they bring home their sugar hyped offspring. If you can’t beat em, join em. Woe to the host if such offerings are overlooked. The departing guests will hunt you down like a dog….”I’m leaving now, where’s my bag?” The bag is then rifled through, and an opinion is rendered immediately. You will be informed if your bag is substandard, (Billy had way better stuff at his party) or OK…which by the way is two thumbs up…way up!
Before I get started planning this year’s extravaganza, one more word to the wise…book early. It is easier to get the Plaza for a wedding, then a slot at the local Birthday’s R us!
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Sunday, January 07, 2007

Confessions from Design-her Gal

by Jeanne Fitzmaurice
It is freezing and icy outside tonight. There's a blizzard in the mountains all day and I am feeling sick – sick - sick. All I want is to get to bed early and rest. But No! My husband is off to Europe for a business trip this week and I always look forward to seeing what emergency will take place while he is away (it is inevitable!) Tonight I found out. My 9 year old accidentally swallowed a plastic hub cap from a toy truck. We spent the night calling emergency room and doctors to decide whether to let nature takes its course or go in and try to retrieve. By the time the phone calls went back and forth -- we are now hoping that nature will be kind and that this object will not get stuck somewhere on the way out. YIKES. I don't know if you have any children but it always seems that when his Dad is around all is fine -- but the minute he walks out the door -- the garbage disposal will explode -- the stove will catch on fire and an assortment of other fun things occur. Wonder why that is? I guess the universe wants to remind me how important he is!
To find out more about Jeanne Fitzmaurice, founder of Design-her Gals, an amazing online custom stationery business and cover illustrator of our new book Peeing in Peace: Tales & Tips for Type A Moms then CLICK HERE and start shopping!

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