Posts tagged: humour

The First Day of School (That Almost Wasn’t)

By , January 7, 2009 7:18 pm

My littlest baby is now three.  A “big girl.”

On Monday, just three days after her third birthday, she was scheduled to have her first day of Montessori preschool.  After 8 and a half years of  continuous togetherness with one child or another, I was REALLY looking forward to that first miraculous day of school for the last one, and the promise of several hours of solitude.

My imagination soared:  loud music in the house (and NOT “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”), a good book, maybe even a trip to the bathroom without an audience!

But when I awoke on that much anticipated morning, what should I see out my bedroom window:

Snow.  Lots of snow.

Mom of the Year Moment:  Was my first thought of the day – “Oh, look at the lovely snowy scene!”

No.  My first thought was:  “OH NO – A SNOW DAY!!”

I had waited three years for this first day of school and it was going to be a Snow Day!  Serves me right doesn’t it?  The cruel irony of it all.  I just wanted to put my pillow over my head and go back to sleep.

In fact it turned out to merely be a two hour delay, what a relief!

Despite my excruciating Mom Guilt over the depth of my joy on my baby’s first day of school, I was able to pull myself together enough to rock-out in the kitchen to some extremely loud music, unsuitable for children.

I can now set all guilt aside since it turns out that she loves school, and I love my mornings alone.  So far, we both seem to be benefiting from the arrangement!

The Rapture

By , September 4, 2007 10:14 am

This morning I opened my eyes to heavenly music, choirs of angels, and a feeling of my soul being lifted out of my body toward paradise above! My bedroom was even illuminated with a warm, golden glow. Was I on drugs? Did I die in my sleep? Was it The Rapture? No. It was THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!!!!!

My second-grade daughter started school two weeks ago, which left my kindergarten son home alone with the baby and me. I wish I could say that he spent his days engaging in quality, unplugged learning activities such as practicing his readers, building architectural masterpieces out of his blocks, running wild outside observing nature.

In fact, most of his time was spent rolling around in the middle of the living room floor with a bungee cord, getting up every now and then to tie certain oddly assorted objects together. Despite my repeated suggestions of fun things to do (mostly involving being in a place other than right in the middle of the living room floor), he preferred to just lie around with his bungee cord.

What is it with boys and tying things up anyhow? Is it just my son whose favorite toys are bungee cords, string, jump ropes, and dog leashes? Should I worry about what this means for his future? I suspect he is actually just being that mysterious creature that we call “a boy.”

As fascinating as it is to watch a 5 year-old lie around on the living room floor for two weeks, I have to make that dreadful confession: HOORAY FOR SCHOOL!!!!!!!!!!!!! My hat is off to all you homeschool parents out there, and I know that there are a lot of you. How on Earth do you do it?

As a punishment for publicly outing myself as a Bad Mom, the baby has decided to spoil the tranquil day I had planned, by being in her very worst mood ever. Oh well. That will teach me to be honest in the future, won’t it!

Painting by Peter Paul Rubens, “The Exchange of Princesses(c. 1622-1625) from the Marie de Medici Cycle. Louvre, Paris. From Wikimedia Commons.

Mom Unplugged vs. Evil Sleepy Poser Mom – Lunar Dilemma, Part 2

By , August 28, 2007 9:00 pm

NOTE: This post will make more sense if you first read part 1: The Moon Unplugged? Not For Me!!

I know that “my public” is in complete suspense about the outcome of my lunar eclipse dilemma, so I will put the two of you out of your collective misery and tell you who won. Was the victor Mom Unplugged or the Evil Sleepy Mom?

The answer is: guilt prevailed and I think I deserve a genuine Good Mom Award for this one!!

I set my alarm for 2:30 AM so as to not be the complete loser I knew I would be by certainly sleeping through the entire eclipse. Unfortunately the moon was not conveniently eclipsing directly over the skylights above my bed. And…horror of horrors…I could actually see STARS, many, many stars. Not a single cloud in the sky. There went my bad weather excuse.

I decided to drag myself out of bed to try and find the moon. I was also worried that the three new kittens on their first night completely loose in the house, might have become terminally ensnared in the hanging beads of their favorite lampshade. Despite having moved that particular floor lamp away from any easy launching pads, I quite expected to come downstairs to find all three kittens, each dangling from the lampshade by a single claw.

Perhaps all was not lost in the sleep department either. Maybe the moon was putting on its special show directly over the living room skylight that is above the sofa. I had visions of continuing my sleep on the sofa while my junior astronomer studied the eclipse beside me. Or better yet, parking my daughter on the sofa with some binoculars and then going back to bed!

Well, there were no Cirque du Soleil kittens suspended from lampshades, and I did see the moon through a living room skylight, but unfortunately not the one over the sofa.

Despite having witnessed several other lunar eclipses in my life, I was still awestruck. For a homework assignment over the weekend, my daughter had just observed that the moon was pretty much full, yet here it was suddenly looking more like a crescent. I decided that I had better be a Good Mom after all and wake her up.

But first I wanted to find the binoculars that I hadn’t seen for three years. As I wandered around the house in search of them, first one kitten, then another, attached itself to my pajama pant legs. There I was, searching the house for a pair of fatally missing binoculars at 2:40 AM with a kitten dangling from each leg of my pajamas, swinging to and fro as I walked.

“OK, enough is enough!” I thought, as I gave up on the binoculars, detached the kittens, and went to wake my daughter. I hopefully thought that my little girl might be a less enthusiastic scientist at this hour, but she eagerly leapt out of bed.

“WOW!” she said as she saw the partially eclipsed moon. We talked about the science of it all as we watched, first from the living room, then from the back deck. Just as it was about to totally eclipse, it occurred to me that we might as well do this up right so I grabbed a flashlight and warm jackets and led us through the backyard and out onto the golf course directly behind our house.

We laid down side by side on the cold, damp grass and there, finally free of the tall Ponderosa Pines that fill our yard, we beheld quite a spectacle. The starry sky formed a perfect dome above us. The now orange-red totally eclipsed moon was, of course, the main attraction. But we had plenty of other celestial wonders to discover alone together, recumbent in our pajamas at 3AM in the middle of the 10th fairway.

We identified the milky way and several constellations. We also saw shooting stars, a first for my daughter. Most were the rapidly fleeting kind, but one was a big slow-moving object that seemed to trail a long tail across the sky before finally evaporating.

I must admit that as we lay there, I was wondering about the schedule of the sprinklers and half expected our lovely time to be rudely interrupted by a sudden dousing of cold water. But we escaped them. Although a bit later, finally back in my warm bed, I did hear the sputterings and squirtings of them turning on. We had a narrow escape!

As we meandered back to bed at about 3:30 AM, my daughter told me that she would dream she was riding between Mars and Earth on a shooting star, sitting astride it and holding on to the top point.

I must say I really did feel like a “real” Mom of the Year as I, slightly damp but happy, tucked her back in bed and kissed her goodnight. Thank you Mr. N (her teacher) for encouraging us to break our routine and gaze at the moon in the middle of the night.

The Moon Unplugged? Not For Me!!

By , August 27, 2007 9:52 pm

My second grade daughter came home from school today positively vibrating with excitement at the prospect of viewing the total lunar eclipse tonight.

I should have been overjoyed by my child’s excitement at the chance to observe first-hand a scientific wonder, a miracle of nature, becoming one with the universe for the very first time, etc. etc. etc. I should also have mentally applauded her new teacher for managing to instill in my daughter this voracious hunger for learning more about our universe.

My real mental first response: “Huh? Doesn’t all that happen at night? When I am enjoying my blessed few hours of solitude, comfortably asleep in my warm bed? Doesn’t it happen outside…where it is, well…cold? WHAT WAS MR. N. THINKING???”

My next thought was: “Can’t we just watch it online in the morning? Plus it’ll go faster and we won’t have to sit there for the full three and a half hours. We can’t Tivo or time lapse the real thing, plus we’ll freeze to death and be tired and crabby. With a time lapse webcam we could see the whole three and a half hours in about 20 seconds…and still get our sleep!”

I am ashamed of myself. Mom Unplugged indeed. Lover of nature and the outdoors, devoted to my children’s education…and it actually occurred to me to watch this great natural spectacle online in fast forward!! Or maybe on YouTube, like this version of the total lunar eclipse that occurred back in March.

I have reached a three-part mental compromise:

1) There are three skylights over my bed. If I wake up in the night and see the moon through the skylights, I will get my daughter and we can watch from the warmth of my bed. (In other words…she will be educated while I sleep. What could be better?)

2) If the moon decides to be stubborn and not position itself conveniently over my bed for its eclipse, then I will conduct a scientific analysis of the apparent cloud cover mathematically combined with my state of alertness, and then decide whether or not to get up and search for that naughty, uncooperative moon. (In other words…I might get to sleep. Hey, it might even be too cloudy!)

3) I sleep through the whole thing and I will have earned myself yet another Mom of the Year Award (In other words…I get to sleep, but with a guilty conscience.)

Some lunar eclipse links:

NASA’s Lunar Eclipse Page

Lunar Eclipses for Beginners

Eclipse Photos: Mr. Eclipse Photo Index

And finally…for those Poser Unplugged Moms like I evidently am, there is this link with instructions on where to go online to find that perfect, “virtual eclipse:”

Watch a Virtual Eclipse

White Slipcovers

By , May 23, 2007 10:56 am

I did a silly thing.

With child number three, we finally outgrew our small kitchen table. I ordered this great table with the green chairs from West Elm. The table arrived and I LOVE it! It looks fabulous in my green kitchen area and is nice and big for meals, homework, projects (clutter), etc.

But…I ordered the cushions too. The chair cushions are a lovely, minimalist white. WHAT WAS I THINKING??? They have washable covers, but do I really want to be removing cushion covers and washing them every day? I have enough daily laundry to do without adding more to it. Plus, what about spaghetti sauce? Will that come out or will I need to dye the covers red to match the stains? Maybe we should just eat white food from now on. Potatoes, pasta, milk, ice cream (vanilla)…

This reminds me of one of my pet peeves. Decorating magazines that feature “families” with cute little blonde curly-haired angels running around the immaculate garden in adorable white outfits. These families always have elegant minimalist living rooms in varying shades of white with sisal rugs. The room is completely decorated with “flea market finds” and boasts (and this is the kicker) a WHITE SLIPCOVERED SOFA on which the family greyhound is reclining comfortably.

The glamorous, yet natural-looking mother always offers up some savvy decorating wisdom, such as: “Seek out flea market pieces that have good bones.” Or, “I like to decorate with white slipcovers because you can just pull them off and throw them in the wash!” With a house full of toddlers and sofa-sleeping greyhounds, this mother (or her maid) must be washing her slipcovers five times a day.

My slipcovers would be living in my laundry room. My sisal rug would have cat barf on it (How does one clean cat vomit out of the fibers of a sisal rug anyhow? With a toothbrush?). Do Lazy-Boy recliners have “good bones?” Where do I find a flea market near me? We have garage sales, thrift stores and a “swap meet,” but unless your decorating style is “Early Salvation Army” or involves antlers, you might be a bit disappointed with the availability of elegant antique bargains where I live.

So, this brings me back to my dilemma. What do I do with white kitchen chair cushions? I am simply not as brave as those “magazine moms.” Mine are in a box in the attic to be brought out when my children are in college.

PS. I thought about cleaning off the table for the photo, but decided that it was more interesting to simply capture a moment in time from a “real mom’s” house. I hope you appreciate my honesty.

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