Saturday, January 26, 2008

If it Looks Like a Duck

While my daughter was at school yesterday, I was given a very important assignment - purchase a duck webkinz for her friend who was having a birthday slumber party that night.  My daughter was so concerned I would get her request wrong that she actually drew me a picture of the duck and slipped it into my pocket.
After dropping her off at school, I worked all day and by the time I turned around, about five hours had passed and I hadn't yet picked up the present.  And so, for a few fleeting moments, I stepped away from my keyboard, hopped in my car and drove to the closest place I could find that I thought carried the brand spankin' new webkinz duck.
I arrived at a trendy store in my neighborhood populated by the snottiest teenagers I've ever met.  Since the boutique normally sells overpriced jeans, t-shirts, outerwear and dresses for kids and teens, they had no use for little old me who was searching in the back of the store for a duck webkinz.  As I dug through the pile of stuffed animals, I found what I thought was the duck my daughter had asked for.  I proudly walked it up to the register and when one of the girls told me they were on sale and were charging $20 for two webkinz, I thought I had found the bargain of the century and picked up a unicorn to add to my perfect birthday gift.
As I was checking out, I decided to make a little small talk with the pretentious teens behind the register.
"I'm so glad I didn't have to drive all over town for that duck webkinz," I blurted.
"Oh, you mean the platypus?" commented one of the girls, whose hair was hanging over one eye - I believe that was some kind of hair fashion statement, but to me, it just looked weird and messy.
"Platypus?  You mean there are other ducks?" I responded, having a sinking feeling in my stomach that I bought the wrong webkinz.
"Oh I don't know if there are other ducks, we just have this one," the teen responded, as she handed me a cellophane bag with my tissue paper wrapped webkinz tucked inside.
When I returned to the school to pick up my daughter, she immediately asked me the telltale question.
"Did you get the duck?"
"Sure I got the duck, it's in the house."
"Well what does it look like?  Does it have chubby cheeks?"
"It kind of has a long neck."
"Mommy!!!!  That's not the duck.  That's Google, the Platypus!!!  We need to get the duck.  Where did you get that webkinz?"
I told her the name of the store and she knew in an instant where I had gone wrong.
"Mommy, that store only sells old webkinz.  The platypus is from last year!"
Mystery solved.  The reason that overpriced store was selling webkinz at a cheaper price was because all they had were the outdated stuffed animals that no kid who is plugged into the webkinz craze would purchase in a million years.  What a rip off.
So what did we do after my daughter realized I had inadvertently purchased the wrong duck?  We hopped in the car of course and zipped off to the neighborhood toy store, arriving minutes before they closed.
As my daughter ran inside and scanned the shelves, she instantly found it. 
"The last duck!!!  We found the last duck!!!"
After asking the man at the cash register for what seemed like the Hope Diamond, he handed it over and my daughter shared the story of her mothers duck blunder.
"I'm so glad you have the duck.  My mom bought the wrong one and I knew that you had the duck and that's what my friend wanted for her birthday.  I can't believe we got the last duck!"  
With our crisis averted, we took our duck, went on our merry way and headed off to the slumber party and the moment we arrived, my daughter's friend took the package out of her hands, ripped off the paper and was thrilled to receive her duck.  Don't kids wait until after cake to open presents anymore?  With that, I knew I had made my daughter's night because she had selected the right gift and I went home to figure out what I was going to do with Google the Platypus.
Moral of the story...just because it looks like a duck, doesn't necessarily mean it's the right duck.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Overachiever

I confess.  I take on too much that I can actually handle.  All the time.  When people stare at me, smile and say, "Wow, I just don't know how you keep it together," I look back and say, "I'm just really great at multi-tasking."  Well at this stage of my life, I am officially immersed in multi-task overload.  I'm busy trying to pursue my dream of one day becoming the next Nora Ephron (never gonna happen), while running a PR business, taking on a new writing gig, planning a big event for next week, raising an eight and a five year old and attempting to keep my cat and my husband happy.
Usually, I take on challenges and thrive on pressure.  But the hard part is when all of my worlds collide, I turn into a big bawling mess.  Today when I closed the door to my office, called my mom and all I got was her answering machine, I wanted to break down in tears.  Luckily, she called back about 45 minutes later so I was able to cry to her about all the work that has piled on at once and how overwhelmed I was and she offered me the perfect advice.  "Take a breath.  Go home.  Turn the computer off.  And enjoy your family."
Enjoy your family.  Isn't that supposed to be what it's all about anyway?   I quit my job so I could launch my own entrepreneurial venture and be at home with my kids more.  And now I find myself like Adam Sandler in the movie "Click," where all he's doing is fast forwarding through life and not enjoying any of the milestones that go along with it.  
Well, I for one don't want to miss any of these moments.  I love my children and my husband.  I am amazed every day by my kids' accomplishments.  My son makes my heart melt - today he was the class president - and my daughter is absolutely amazing.  She can crochet, ice skate, is a budding gymnast, but most of all, she is a sweet child with a good heart.
And at the end of the day, that's what it's all about.  No matter how hard you work, or how successful you become in life, the people that truly count are your family.  As women, we are taught to strive to have it all but sometimes, it's okay to stop and smell the roses.  It's okay to want to be with your kids and not be working round the clock to make an important deadline.  It's okay to take a vacation.  It's okay not to work.
After reading some of the latest posts from one of my favorite writers, the Self Made Mom, I've come to realize that working moms are so hard on ourselves and on those that drop out of the race to become SAHMs.  But what we don't realize is that until we try it ourselves, we shouldn't judge what other moms decide to do with their lives.  I know that I've mocked moms who bake for PTA functions or lead Brownie and Girl Scout troops, but what I should have done was thank them.  Thank them for being there when I couldn't.  For looking out for my kids and for being a role mommy.  Yes, working or at home, all mothers have the potential to be role mommies. As long as you pursue your passion or do what you love, you are capable of anything.  But be careful of taking on too much too soon - my biggest foible - and admit that we are not strong, we are not invincible.  We are women, we cry and you know what, sometimes a good cry can make everything better. Just ask Hillary Clinton.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Lost and Found

A little update on our MIA Nintendo DS.  After forking over $200 for a brand new DS with two new games, my son's original DS miraculously resurfaced.  So now we have three nintendos and two of the same Mario games.   My husband sees it as an opportunity to become proficient at Nintendo so he's going to start giving the thing a try.  Come to think of it, if I can track down a version of Ms. Pac Man and Donkey Kong, I'll be all over it too.
So I'm a kid at heart - at least if I play long enough maybe I can take on my son to a Mario Super Party 8 challenge! 
Let's hope that this lesson in losing prized possessions will stop with the DS.  Something tells me it won't...

Sunday, January 06, 2008


It's a sad day in Feldman-ville. My five year old son, who has been addicted to his Nintendo the last two months and can show his friends how to maneuver through eight levels on Super Mario Bros., and even has a blister on his index finger from playing the darn thing so much, has officially lost his prized possession. He had it before we went out to dinner with our friends and their kids tonight but after he got the chance to ride home with them in their car, he jumped out without his Nintendo and then when he attempted to find it, it was gone.
Into thin air - his favorite toy has just completely disappeared. I can't imagine how no one has been able to find it. I made sure to check the table at the restaurant and even the floor and even called the maitre'd but there was no sign of the Nintendo.
And so, my little boy went to bed in tears tonight - his favorite toy in the whole wide world is gone. Gone with the wind. I bet Rhett and Scarlett never thought their romance would be reduced to a story about a missing Nintendo but such is life when your world revolves around technology. And now, my dilemma is do I buy him a new DS with 4 new games or let him mope around the house until his next birthday?
I know I should teach him a lesson and make him appreciate his toys by showing him what can happen when you lose them, but when he flashes those puppy dog eyes at me and the tears start flowing down his precious cheeks, I just melt. Something tells me I'll be hitting Target tomorrow for a black Nintendo with a handy dandy Sponge Bob carrying case. And this time around - like an episode of the Brady Bunch we're instituting a new rule pronto...Mom always said - don't bring the Nintendos outside the house!

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