Archive | June 2013

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom


chicka chicka boom

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault is an excellent addition to any little one’s library.

What a fantastic book that makes the alphabet the center of its catchy rhythmic story.  My children even repeat letters as I say them sometimes.  And even though every child is a prodigy in their parents’ eyes, I’m pretty sure they don’t get the whole alphabet thing quite yet.

But it’s a great place to begin.  I found myself singing the story to them from day one!

Jill signature

Naive Mother of Twins, Part 1

After spending an enjoyable morning at the mall, my kids and I ventured to the card store to choose a birthday card for their grandmother.  Moods were even, tummies were full.  I had no reason to think we would have anything but a peaceful retail experience.

I wheeled the stroller, which seats one child in front of the other, up the aisle of the card store and zeroed in on the Birthday section.  Then it began.  It was as if my kids were responding to some anti-parent starter’s gun that only toddlers can hear.  They both began grabbing cards from the racks.  And in what I can only describe as a planned tactical measure to make my plight to return the cards impossible, they both grabbed from different sides of the aisle.

Congratulations on your Baby Girl and Happy Birthday Dad cards were flying into the stroller and all over the floor.  It was like a kaleidoscope of golf tees and baby carriages.   My two hands were no match for their very determined four.  I must have resembled Lucille Ball in the I Love Lucy episode where she works at the chocolate factory and is furiously trying to keep up with the conveyor belt of chocolates.

Flanked on both ends of the aisle, by other card shoppers, I could not even whisk the kids out of the aisle and stop the greeting card bleeding.  It felt like one of those war movies where the bullets fly in slow motion, hitting the target who is slowly jolted from the impact and someone yells out a deep, distorted “Nooooooooooooooooooooo!” before he eventually hits the ground.

Somehow, I managed to liberate the cards from my kids and seek pity from a trio of twenty-something women shopping for baby cards who moved so I could be free from the aisle.

Now it was time to pay the piper.  Well, she was more of a saleswoman than a piper, but you know what I mean.

I was the only person in line when I approached the counter and handed the woman the pile of twenty plus cards that my children had collected.  She had a perplexed look on her face when I explained that I would be only too happy to put them away, however, the minute I entered the aisle, I would no doubt return with twenty more.

I singled out the one card, Congratulations on your Baby Girl with the pink baby carriage on the front and told her that I needed to purchase this particular card, because one of the kids had ripped the envelope. (FYI–I know exactly who did it, I just change the names to protect the not so innocent)

When the saleswoman went to put the card into a bag, I told her that she could keep it.  Confused, she looked at me.  I told her that I was only buying the card because my child had ripped the envelope.

“Don’t worry about it,” she replied.  And that’s where I was confused, and went on to explain to her that I needed to pay for the envelope, and did not think it was okay for us to come into her store and damage her merchandise.

“It’s an envelope,” she replied, which puzzled me more, because I was pretty sure that particular detail was never up for debate.  And with that, she reached under the counter and showed me a battered cardboard box, filled with at least 100 envelopes of all sizes and colors.

“It’s just an envelope,” she repeated.  I thanked her, and I let it go.

Jill signature

Their favorite cartoon continued…

Being a person who tends to analyze, I cannot let go of the fact that I am so bothered by this little cartoon character. It irks me to listen to him whine about not getting his way.  It seems like every episode, the sentence that sticks with me is “I don’t want to” – fill in the blank with any one of the multitude of thing he announces that he doesn’t want to do.

As I am pondering my distaste for this cartoon, yes, I am still thinking about a cartoon. Yikes, I am a grown adult who is passing moments of her life thinking about her dislike for a cartoon.  And I know this is not like penalty time in a soccer game that you get back at some point in life, these are moments of my life that I will not be getting back.

Now here’s where it gets really annoying.   It occurs to me that sometimes, qualities that annoy us in others are actually traits that we possess.  As you would expect, this gets me thinking more.  And then it hits me.

OMG!  Am I Caillou??  Just the thought is unsettling.

But I too have my moments where I probably linger on what isn’t working before I get focused on a solution.  And I am sure that sometimes I whine a little more than is productive.  And maybe I don’t really like change either.  I tell myself we are different because these are only small facets of my personality.

Then I wonder, if Caillou were real person, and his cartoon was his reality show, would he be complaining about the way the editors make him look?  Would he be saying that instead of showing clips of the ten hours he spent complaint-free, playing and laughing, the sensational editors chose to air his bratty moments to make him look like a diva for the ratings?

I wonder.  But then I tell myself that this is enough wondering about a cartoon.  For now.

Jill signature




More like Curious George

I admit that I think it’s a little too early for me to dislike my children’s friends.  My kids are only 22 months old, and I have to say that I find their most treasured friend more than a little annoying.  Don’t worry, he’s only a cartoon.  And if it helps me look less like a heel, I feel like the biggest ogre reacting to a cartoon.  So here it is.

While my kids are pointing to the television, asking for this four year old bald boy decked out in primary colors, I cringe a little inside.  Yes, I am intelligent enough to know that the boy’s resistance to being with a babysitter, sharing his toys with his sister and telling his mother that he broke a friend’s toy, to name a few, are followed by an immediate lesson.  And I guess the idea is that my kids see the cartoon, learn the lesson and then they will want to share, stay with babysitters and fess up when they break their friends’ toys.

I get it.  I want my kids to learn lessons.

I guess I’d like to see them wrapped up in a different package.  And apparently, I’ll take the package of a monkey over my kids’ current favorite, because I find myself wondering…why can’t he be more like Curious George?

George is a little dude that I can’t say enough great things about.  Sure if he were friends with my kids, I would be scrubbing monkey poop off my carpet after every play date.  He’s curious by name and nature, and that sometimes gets him into trouble.  George certainly makes mistakes–like the time he tried to polish the Man with the Yellow Hat’s bowling ball and ended up sending him to the bowling alley with a gnome statue in his bowling bag.

But, George troubleshoots.  He focuses.  And in the end, he gets the job done.  He doesn’t stand around whining about what’s being put in front of him.  He’s action oriented.  And not to toot George’s horn any further, but I think the man won the bowling championship when George eventually got his ball to the alley.  A solid friend to have.

But I have been warned not to sweat the small stuff.  And for now, I am off to do laundry.  Because in the morning when the kids ask for their favorite shirts, the ones with you know who on them– I’d like them at least to be clean.

Jill signature




Five Fluffy Bunnies

I live in a pretty hustling and bustling area of my state.  Most of my driving begins with hitting a patch of 3 lane highway where it seems like everyone has forgotten the rules.   I mean, there are rules right?

And, because I’m human, it’s not at all difficult for me to lose my patience when people are making wild moves in their cars as if they’re alone on the road.  I would never say I enjoyed this element of my life, but driving with kids who may repeat what I say ups the ante.  If I keep doing what I’m doing, I can expect the same frustration, so, I set out to find another way.

And that’s where the Five Fluffy Bunnies come in…only they’re not Five Fluffy Bunnies, they’re Five Major Idiots.  I’m just not cool enough to have a blog posting titled Five Major Idiots.

So, here it is.  Every time I leave the house, I tell myself that I will run into Five Major Idiots on the road.  It’s a given.  It’s guaranteed.  If I leave the house they will be out there, waiting for me.  Ready to provide me with a non-stop stream of being cut off and endangered with my tank of a minivan reduced to the road cred of a Miata.

As I run into each of the Five Major Idiots, I am not allowed to react to their shenanigans, no matter how offensive, until I meet idiot number six.  Let’s be clear here, it’s not like I agree with the bananas driving that I encounter.  It’s just that I am choosing to spend my energy moving on from it, rather than getting worked up over it.  I am controlling what I can.

Instead of spending my time in a perpetual state of %$&!—I pass the time by counting off the MIs (Major Idiots) and reminding myself I have not yet reached six.  Sometimes, I forget and have to bring myself back on course.

And just an FYI, my driving has not evolved into a Sesame Street toned counting exercise, it’s dicey sometimes, but about 75-80% of the time, I can keep my cool.  And lucky for me, most days, I do not reach six!

Jill signature

Camping out for fast food?

The other day, I was driving on the highway and noticed a small tent city in front of a fast food restaurant scheduled to open the following day.  Confused, I wondered if it was some sort of protest.

When I got home, I consulted my trusty friend Google, and I learned that the group was camping out, waiting for the opening of the fast food restaurant.  Apparently, some people travel from state to state camping overnight to be front and center for the restaurant’s opening and the first 100 are treated to free food.

For a host of reasons, this is not my thing– not that there’s anything wrong with it.

But the sight of people camping out for something they support got me thinking.  What would I camp out for?  Would I camp out for fast food? Probably not, the experience of the food could last, maybe 15-20 minutes maximum.  And for 18-24 hours of being away from showers and running water and sleeping in a tent, I would need more than that.  I have done my share of camping, I just prefer it in the woods, not nestled between two strips of 55 mph highway.

I can wrap my mind around camping out for once in a lifetime concert tickets, bragging to my friends about my seats, the songs and the experience.  Or, if I were being super mom and camped out to get the “it” toy of the year for my kids for Christmas, I could probably live with myself then too.

I just have trouble envisioning myself yapping on about a sandwich, a fast food sandwich, that I waited out all night for and maintaining any of my credibility.  But I guess if the world were made up of only people who thought like me, it’d be a pretty boring place.

Jill signature