Category Archives: television

My One Day. 

I was supposed to have one full day this summer – one full day with no children. Four finally shipped off to camp yesterday and the baby (ok, she’s six) and I are headed out of town tomorrow afternoon. She was supposed to do her last full day of camp while I basked in the rare solitude of summer. One day. 

It’s been a pretty hands on summer so far. I’ve spent hours at the pool. Took an eleven year old to see Miss Saigon for her birthday (I may have forgotten that 2/3 of the play is set in a strip club brimming with hookers) and packed and unpacked the beach bag more times than I can remember. I have supervised the making of slime (what’s up with that shit anyway?) and made vats of pasta. As I may have mentioned, I’ve spent a lot of time gardening, but not much of it has been alone. In short, I’m a little on the tired side.  

I had plans for today, big plans. Plans that involved hours alone, including a long run and time at the keyboard. (I admit, we may not all celebrate in quite the same way.)

But the baby woke up in the middle of the night with a fever. She woke up in the middle of the night in my bed because that is where she went to sleep. She figured if it’s just the two of us, she may as well skip the middle man and jump into bed with me. Before she woke up, I slept alongside her, her toes wedged in between my ribs. 

So, my One Day has turned into this:

That long run never quite materialized (and frankly, I’m a little too tired to make the most of it) and while I’m getting time at the computer, I’m doing my fair share of mothering, which includes watching Barbie movies on an endless loop and making cups of tea. Say what you want about Barbie, but that girl can seriously do anything. In just one morning she has piloted a space ship, designed an entire fashion line with the help of some fairies, and turned into a mermaid while winning a surfing competition. I, on the other hand, have yet to get dressed.  

There’s always next year. 



Filed under Summer, summer camp, television, Uncategorized

Scandalously Messy

There’s not a lot of TV I love, but I love Scandal and I have since it first aired.

I especially love Olivia Pope and her fantastic white wardrobe.

Last night she wore this white cape that was part nun, part super-hero, part origami, and part Grace Kelly.

Yesterday I spent the day in my silver puffer, which is essentially a housecoat. In case you were wondering, my version was one part shmatte, one part dishrag, one part bib, and three parts Roseanne Barr.

Those are actual grease stains in the shape of my hands that you are looking at. My pal R (who snapped the pic), wondered why someone as a slovenly as me would buy a housecoat (or anything, for that matter) in what she called “an unforgiving color.”

I will never wear a white coat. I can barely handle a white t-shirt for more than an hour without looking like I’m wearing a painter’s smock. I can’t even blame the kids because people who’ve known me forever will tell you that I have been this way forever.

I have a child who seems to have inherited this. Like I do, he can spend a day in a shirt that is inside out, backwards, and filthy, and have no idea. I secretly call him Pig Pen, but who am I to judge?

I’m a hell of a lot closer to Pig Pen than I am to Olivia Pope.

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Filed under parenting, television

Peppa’s Revenge

So there we all are at the airport. JFK has a swanky newish terminal which is conveniently located about ten thousand miles from baggage claim. Oh, and the Seattle flights come in at the very end of the terminal.

A cheerful man in an eight seater golf cart must have sensed our despair, and offered us a ride to our bags. Grateful and frankly, exhausted, we piled on. A man we did not know was riding shotgun.

But like the Little Engine That Couldn’t under the glare of fluorescent lights, the cart could not get up the tiny little airport ramps.

The driver started the engine one, two, six times. Each time we felt the sad little cart roll backwards down the ramp.

I think I can, I think I can.

I must have mumbled something because M jumped up and said, “Fine, I’ll get out.”

And then puff puff, chug chug, that little cart got up the bumps and onto flatter ground.

The man we did not know who was riding shot gun, jumped up, pointed at my darling husband, and shouted to everyone in T-4, “IT WAS HIM! IT WAS HIM!”

And then, without skipping a beat, little Sidney, with whom I was sharing the back seat, looked at me and said, “Oh, Daddy Pig!”

I swear I think Fiona snorted.

I thought M might lose his mind. We aren’t supposed to be watching Peppa Pig anymore because it’s not nice to fat shame your daddy. It’s especially not nice to fat shame your daddy after he’s tended to your every need on a cross country flight. It’s especially not nice to fat shame your daddy after you’ve spilled apple juice all over his trousers and laptop.

No more Peppa. This time I really mean it.


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Filed under children, television, travel

Peppa Pig, J’accuse.

Who doesn’t like a spot of British programming for the wee ones? I can certainly get behind it, which is why I was all for Peppa Big being shown on what has now become a continuous loop in our house.

I like Peppa. And if I’m going to have to go mental listening to kids’ TV, it might as well be good, British kids’ TV. But I cannot abide by the continual mistreatment of Daddy Pig.

Believe me, I myself am not above fat-shaming. I’m also not above fat-shaming certain members of my own household. But that poor Daddy Pig is so misbegotten and downtrodden that even I find myself wishing I could offer him a desert isle and a dozen donuts.

Most episodes (and Wikipedia agrees!) involve Daddy pretending to be some sort of expert in a subject about which he knows absolutely nothing and becoming quickly humiliated and then shoved aside by Mummy Pig. That’s fine. That’s standard fair for TV today (Modern Family, anyone?). I especially do not mind it because it is a complete and utter reversal of what happens Chez Nous. I’ll just leave it at that, but I will add that M is incredibly patient for a man who woke up and found himself married to a complete moron.

But time and again, Daddy pig is standing on things and watching them buckle under his girth, or squeezing into things while his entire piggy family waits on the other side for him to get through.

I googled this and found that there is even a DADDY GETS FIT video.

Really? Because last time I checked, Mummy was a pig, too. And Peppa and George could both do with a week-long juice fast.

If you are going to fat-shame, at least be consistent.

Daddy Pig and some of his fat friends.

Peppa, whose cheekbones I have never seen.

Poor, plump Daddy Pig.


Filed under children, television

Squeeze this.

We just dismantled the final baby gate. It used to live right here:


We have had one of these for as long as we can remember. We don’t really need it anymore. More often than not, it served, as do most things in this house, as a place to put stuff.  So it was usually draped with jackets, wet towels, odd socks and the like. Now we are jettisoning it.

Last week, while I was coming to terms with the passing of the baby era, I was watching a basketball game with the boys. Actually, they were watching the NFL draft. I’ve made a lot of progress. I am now capable of watching and following all sorts of sporting events. I even have a vague clue of what is going on in a football game, which for a boorish sport is remarkably hard to follow. But watching this draft was a test. I suppose it’s like C-Span for sports nuts, but I think even that sounds sexier than the reality of it all.

When the draft was over I blinked and they were watching the end of a basketball game. I believe it was the LA Clippers. There wasn’t much time left on the clock, but I know better than to be fooled by that trick. Eighteen minutes on the clock = six hours of TV.

“Please let us stay up and watched the end!” they begged.

“Ok,” I yielded. “As long as you do something for me,” I said, looking right at Bennett.

“Anything!” he cried.

“Let me pop that.” I said, pointing to the tiny little blackhead that had been perched next to his nose, among a smattering of freckles, for a few weeks. I’d been stalking that blackhead, but he’d refused to let me anywhere near it.

Playing with your own skin is only so much fun, and M doesn’t let me anywhere near his blemishes any more. (Truth be told the man’s blemishes are few and far between. You can add good skin to the list of Geller genetic advantages.) Once I gave him a facial when we were in grad school. He was sitting on the edge of the bathtub as I applied a mask to his face. I think it was after I’d exfoliated but before I did any extractions.

“You do realize I’m not one of your girlfriends, don’t you?” he asked. (At that point I figured it wasn’t worth mentioning the Jane Austen movie marathon I’d planned for us.)

Anyway, I don’t need his random spots anymore. Because Bennett traded his for 20 minutes of an NBA playoff game. And it was awesome. I showed the boys my results and they were sufficiently grossed out/impressed, confirming my suspicion that I may actually have a 10 year old boy lurking within me.

I know that more blackheads are a few years away. But if I’m going to be leaving one era behind me, at least I can be jazzed about the next one.

Bring on the spots.

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Filed under beauty, children, parenting, sports, television, Uncategorized


Gilmore Girls (season 1)

Gilmore Girls (season 1) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Efram tried to get out of school today by claiming that as a supporter of the losing Superbowl team, he should be entitled to a day off. More specifically, he told us that he couldn’t suffer a day of emotional abuse at the hands of the school, which is apparently comprised entirely of Ravens fans. In Seattle.

Nice one, I said. But you’re going.

Alright, alright. I actually would have let him stay home.

It takes virtually nothing for me to let a kid stay home. M told me that at some point I have to stop overcompensating for my childhood — for me, staying home would have required either a dangerously high fever (none of this 99.9 or even 100.6 business), or more than a quart of vomit.

But he went, and football season is now over. I can have the television back and I don’t have to hear the boys have the same three discussions over and over again.

As for TV, one of my best friends, who lives in LA, told me to start watching “Parenthood.” While she is one of my favorite people on the planet, and certainly one of the smartest, she and I do not generally agree about TV or books. For example, she loves “Homeland,” and I think that frankly, the emperor has no clothes.

But we started watching. I was happy to see that one of the main characters used to be on “Gilmore Girls,” an old favorite of mine.

“I loved Gilmore Girls!” said M, as we sat watching episode one of Parenthood on the couch in the toy-strewn basement. (There is not a room in this house that these children have not invaded. There are Elmo blocks in my bathroom.)

“Really?” I ask. Can it be? Can he and I actually agree on a television show? Is there a show I have loved that he doesn’t consider silly and soapy and a complete waste of his time?

“Oh,” he said. “I think I meant ‘Happy Gilmore.’ Now THAT was a great movie.”

.. and there went our moment. Gone. Obliterated by Adam bloody Sandler.  Frankly, if given the choice between him and football, I think I’d choose the latter, even if I don’t fully understand what’s going on.


Filed under children, footall, NFL, parenting, school, Seattle, television, Uncategorized