Category Archives: my beautiful kids

you say tomato and i say tomahto

my sister, sessie, called me the other day. her name is not really sessie because that would be silly. but my son couldn’t say leslie when he was little, so “sessie” was born. my son also couldn’t say ice cream and confounded us for about two weeks while he would stand in front of the refrigerator wailing “suppeee!” we were completely at a loss until one day it all clicked.  i was taking the ice cream out of the freezer when he came barreling over to me.

“oh,” i said relieved. “is THIS what you want?” everything finally becoming clear.

“yes!” he said smiling. “suppeee.”

“ok,” i replied. “suppeee.”

“no, mommy! not suppeee, SUPPEEE!”

when mommy says it, it’s not the same.

anyway, so sessie calls and she and my mom are having dinner and telling stories and sessie tells my mom a story she has never heard. so they decided to call me.

apparently, i had come home from school and told sessie that i had an assignment to teach someone a poem. unable to find a willing guinea pig participant, i decided to enlist sessie to help me. sessie was no more interested in learning a poem than the man in the moon, so i did what any big sister (or brother) would do. i sat on her until she memorized “the fog” by carl sandburg. now being that sessie and my mom were drinking margaritas, and the fact that i have no recollection of this incident whatsoever, i was certainly skeptical, although, it does sound like something i would have done, and she was able to recite it perfectly over the phone:

The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

so anyway, apparently, i bullied my sister into getting some culture and 30 years later she still remembers this poem. so i say, no harm, no foul. at least there was a lesson learned, and that’s what childhood is all about, right? sort of like when my other sister dr. laura kicked sessie in the neck. sessie decided to teach her a lesson and pulled some sort of michael jackson thriller dance move like her neck was broken and made a bunch of gurgling noises. dr. laura ran hysterically through the house screaming, “i’ve killed her!! i’ve killed her!!!” dr. laura didn’t mess with sessie for a long time after that.

i think i’ll call mom and tell her that story.

merry xmas to all, now shut the eff up, part 1

as a child of parents who grew up in the 1950s and who instilled in me a great appreciation of all things mid-century american, i have an unexplained and completely irrational love for car trips. like, cross-country, three-days-in-the-car, coast-to-coast car trips. like, if-you-kids-don’t-shut-the-hell-up-i’m-going-to-pull-over-and-spank-every-last-one-of-you-until-you-bleed, car trips.

i still glance longingly at neon howard johnson and holiday inn motel signs while speeding across dark stretches of interstate. i fondly remember stopping at stuckey’s and loading up on cheap trinkets and inedible snacks, including the dreaded peanut log roll, a real cotton boll, and some mexican jumping beans. in retrospect, i realize there were actually tiny moth larvae living inside the beans, and when they stopped jumping, it’s because they were dead… and well, it’s just plain disgusting. but for a child, the road was filled with exciting and mysterious possibilities, and i looked forward to every trip with anticipation.

so when i told my kids (the bully and the princess) that we were driving to disneyworld for christmas vacation i expected to be greeted with excited and gleeful shrieks of joy. instead i was met with horrified stares that spoke volumes without saying a single word – mom has just lost her damn mind. my generation Z kids cannot spend more than 20 minutes in a car without some sort of external stimuli, and coloring books and barbies do not cut it.

“awww, mom do we have to drive? i don’t want to drive. it’s boring. i want to fly!” they moaned.

“why certainly, children, we can fly. do you have $1,500?” i answered.

“does santa know that we’re going to disneyland? how will he know where to bring the presents. i’d rather go to nana’s. santa knows where nana lives,” they whined.

“go to your rooms,” i said calmly, smoke coming out of my ears, my visions of our memorable holiday journey fading.

“the little ingrates,” i silently fumed. “we’re going to freaking DISNEYLAND! at CHRISTMAS for chrissakes! do you know how many little children would kill their siblings to go to DISNEYWORLD during CHRISTMAS?!!”

apparently disneyworld does not mean shit when a journey of 1,000 miles lies between you and the magic kingdom, and santa’s not changing his delivery route.

…to be continued…

her lovely lady lumps

in addition to being the mother of a boy, i am also blessed to be the mother of a preteen daughter i affectionately call “the princess.” the princess is the first child and was the only child for the first four years of her life. the princess was so used to being the only child that when we brought her brother home from the hospital after he was born, it only took a few hours before she asked us when we were going to return him. she was spoiled by two sets of grandparents, one of which is jewish. my jewish mother-in-law was the mother of three boys, which she never hesitates to mention and never lets anyone forget, and the princess is the daughter she never had. once during a birthday party at our house, she took my neighbor (herself the mother of two boys) aside and asked her (between sips of her screwdriver) which kids were hers. after my unsuspecting neighbor pointed her boys out, my MIL responded with, “poor thing, you’ll never know the joy that comes with having a daughter.”

according to my MIL girls are so much easier than boys. not that she would know because she had two maids while her kids were going up, and the third baby’s feet didn’t touch the ground until he was two. since i have one child of each sex, unlike her, and consider myself somewhat of an authority on genetic sex-based behavioral differences, i have decided she’s full of complete shit.

case in point. my princess came home from school and told me she “needs” a bra. i love my daughter dearly, but that child needs a bra just about as much as her brother, the bully, does. granted, it’s not a belly piercing or a nose ring, or even a tattoo, which i’m sure will be coming soon. it’s just a bra. just a simple little bra. so, fine. we go bra shopping. we go look at all the little non-bra bras, which are really just bathing suit tops. we oohed and ahhed over the different colors and patterns and fabrics like two friends out shopping. there was no padding, there was no wire, nothing remotely bra-like about it. just a little triangle of fabric designed to add one small layer under her clothing to cover her almost non-existent but slightly budding lady lumps. and it made her very happy.

so, i have handled my first major developing-daughter crisis. and i guess what i’m most pleased about is that princess came home and told me so matter-of-factly what is was she wanted. there was no hemming and hawing and no apparent discomfort in discussing this issue with me. when i was a child, i would have died before i told my mom i needed a bra. in fact, i didn’t. she told me. and dragged my embarrassed ass down to a department store where some strange old woman measured me to get the right size. as i stood in the middle of the lingerie department while the old woman felt me up in front of god and everyone, i vowed then and there that as a parent i would do things differently and try to make the trip that is puberty as painless as possible for my kids. i feel confident i succeeded with my daughter in her first foray into womanhood.

my son, the bully

i never would have believed it. my small, beautiful, six-year-old son clocked his seatmate on the bus on the way to school. being that he barely weighs in at 45 pounds, and most of it is hair, this was no small feat. but i digress.

things were going smoothly until the boy accused my son of farting. my son did not take kindly to being accused of cutting the cheese when he, in fact, was not the cutter. a scuffle and shoving ensured. my son, understandably upset, and ready to put an end to this nonsense, hauled off and slugged him one, connecting squarely with the boy’s glasses and knocking out one of the lenses. tears followed.

now here’s the part every parent loves. after receiving a phone call from the school informing me that they were not going to kick him off the bus this time (and suppressing my laughter and secretly being glad my son was the puncher and not the punchee), i called the boy’s mother and delivered the necessary apologies. then we both laughed about it. boys will be boys after all.

my son is now spending the next few days with no tv, no computer, no nintendo. exactly like it was when i was a kid… except back then it wouldn’t have been considered punishment. come to think of it…how did we survive?