Falling into fall
1) Annie got an “invitation” for a mail “Sticker Club” which is essentially a pyramid scheme: you send stickers to someone and then send out six of the same chain letter to six sucker parents to do the same. The whole thing makes me very stabby. Somehow, everyone is supposed to get 36 (please) sets of stickers from kids (er, coerced, guilt-ridden parents) from across the country. Isn’t this what modern motherhood is the best at? Guilting mothers into doing asinine shit like this. EDIT: I wrote this a few weeks ago and just saw on FB women posting the same, “Let’s do a holiday gift exchange. You just need to buy one present and you’ll get 6–36 in return! Tis the season!!” NO.
2) I read a lot of posts about upper-middle-class working mothers trying to get homemade, organic and nutritious food on the table every night. (I write mothers because, again, I think its the moms who do this to themselves). To combat this, I present “Crockpot Slop” which I concocted today in less than two minutes (you won’t be so impressed in a minute) and which even my picky kid ate: throw a couple of frozen chicken breasts in the crockpot with a can of cream of something soup, Add some dry stuffing mix and a bag of frozen mixed veggies. Stop with a bit of salsa and some sour cream and a can of water. BAM! I served over some BROWN rice (I am emphasizing the brown because hello, the children!).
3) I get a lot of, “What school does your child attend?” Then I say it’s an in-home daycare and get, “Well, what about preschool?” It’s hard to stay true to yourself — and your values — when you feel like catching up is needed when your kids are not yet kindergarten age. I’d like to combat their snobbiness with this fact: my daughter is growing leaps and pounds maturity wise because the other day when I told her she wasn’t going to get a story if she didn’t pick up her mess she retorted, “Well — fine. I’ll pick this up now, but just so you know, I’m going to make a mess on another day. And I’m not picking it up then.” See? Three going on thirteen. She’s already mastered talking about, the sly retort, and a perfect look of disgust.
4) The other day while picking up the kids at daycare Annie’s little cohort said to me, “You have a BIG tummy!!” Obviously I wanted to slap that little brat upside the head, but I responded with, “Why, yes, yes I do,” because no one heard and it’s not my responsibility to parent another kid (it’s exhausting trying to parent my own). I think Annie may have overheard, though, because I noticed a glimmer of embarrassment. And so it starts: both parental embarrassment and body issues. On our two-minute ride home I tried to balance what being polite means, what can hurt people’s feelings, and also how we should be proud of our bodies and all they can do. It was a feeble attempt, and I’m not sure she was buying it — or fully understood — because she asked what was for dinner. At least she was delighted it was pancakes and eggs (don’t knock breakfast-for-dinner, yo).
5) There were a lot of teary-eyed posts back in September on FB when parents were sending their kids off to school. You know, “My baby is already in preschool! Time goes too quickly!” followed by four crying emoticons. I love the kids are getting older — I can actually have a conversation with Annie — and Sam is the most warm-hearted little guy. Matt just yesterday said, “You know, he’s a good kid.” I think Matt was talking about the kindness we can see in his heart. Anyway, I get it, I do, to a certain degree. It marks the passing of time. Life is short. Childhood is short and magical and ephemeral. But there’s so much beauty in watching them take the next steps.
6) I’m purposely trying to cultivate myself because I full well know these kids aren’t going to live here forever (and if I do, something definitely went terribly wrong in their upbringing so don’t listen to a word I say on this blog). The other week the kids were with my parents and the fall foliage was coming into full bloom so I announced we were going HIKING. I don’t hike. I hiked one hike when visiting my sister in Seattle, but, as Matt said, “That was a novelty hike.” (I seriously thought I was going to be a damn hiker and headed to REI to buy a raincoat but then declared my hiking career over when I saw the price of Gore-Tex.) Anyway, this hike pretty much went the same way. We got to the top (which took like 20 minutes) and moseyed around until I suggested a burger and fries at a diner down the road. Matt was sold. But it was nice to be alone. To take a little drive. And, to you know, realize once again I’m more of a sitting type.
Happy autumn. It’s my favorite. Below are a few photos from the last month (including the kids first — and very successful — dental visit, a couple trips to the pumpkin patch, and a day at Dutch Wonderland, Halloween pageantry, oh, and that doozy of a hike).