Tag Archives: parenting

Snow Job

Yesterday it snowed. Because all of Seattle would come to a polite, but screeching halt with an inch of snow (and because snow in LA is as common as visible signs of aging), after fifteen years on the west coast, I’d never really had to drive in it.

Not so in New York City.

I told a friend that I was going to cancel an appointment I had later in the day and she looked at me as though I had just said, “I’m sorry. I’d open that jar of baby food and feed your starving infant, but I’m afraid to chip a nail.”

Still, while I was prepared to brave the elements, my minivan was not. I piled out of the driveway and immediately got stuck on this hill:

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(Do not judge. Yesterday it was covered in snow.)

I’m not sure how, but I got the car back in the garage and walked Sidney to school, which means I carried her after she fell in the snow and soaked her capri pants (again, with the seasonally inappropriate clothing).

The kids wore themselves out playing in the snow after school (that’s right Seattleites: School!) which meant we only had to yell at them for 30 minutes to get them to sleep instead of the usually 90. (When the annoying gratitude people get me to make a list, remind to say bedtimes on snow days.)

Still, I was once again up before the sun. Sid seems to have shifted her DPT to five-something in the morning, because she trotted on in and asked me to watch her do it. I told her that if she’s blessed enough to have a Daily Poop Time, she should have the good sense and decency not to request a bloody audience.

Before I knew it, she and Fi were in our bed, fighting because someone’s feet were touching someone’s leg.

Wars have been fought over less, I’m sure.

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Filed under children, New York City, school, Seattle, Uncategorized, weather, winter

Cagey

This is the hamster cage that used to belong to Tracy, may she rest in peace.

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In the space of one month the cage has housed a wild bird and a snake that was loitering in our garden.

If I throw out the cage, will he cease collecting urban wildlife? Or will I just come home to find a raccoon in the bathroom and a squirrel in my bed?

City life is not what I expected.

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Filed under children, New York City, pets, Uncategorized

In bed with the flu, a moron, and a bunch of pedophiles.

This was supposed to be the week I got a flu shot. Instead, this is the week I got the stomach flu.

Yesterday, while delirious and bed-ridden, I got to watch some daytime TV. Wow. Who let Jenny McCarthy on the View? The woman is a complete moron. Even if I didn’t know about her toxic views on vaccination, I’d still have been shocked by her ignorance. Watching her was almost more unpleasant than the stomach flu. I suspect she wears glasses to seem less unintelligent, but if that’s her goal, she could consider taping up her mouth. Shame on you, Barbara Walters.

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I also discovered that somewhere in TV-land there is Law and Order SVU playing at ALL TIMES. I could not watch much of the daytime drivel (Rachel Ray gives me indigestion, looking at Kelly Ripa makes me want to slather on some sunscreen and then eat a big meal, which doesn’t go over well with the stomach flu), so I watched Law and Order for about 13 hours in a row. By the end of my marathon, I wanted to install extra locks on all the doors and hire a security guard full time to keep out the pedophiles.

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This morning I woke up able to get out of bed. M, who had been playing sick nurse, looked green. He made several proclamations, most of them to the effect of: “I’m not feeling well, but I won’t be getting this as badly as you did” and “this is nothing I can’t work though.” He kept saying this as he doubled over and fell into bed, even as he broke out into shivers. He kept on saying it as he tried to take work calls horizontally, wearing his Judy-from-Time-Life headset. I have stopped correcting him. I’m going to let him have his moment in the macho-sun.

Apparently, Francie came into my room in the middle of the night and told me that she threw up. It seems I told her to have a glass of water and go back to bed. I’m trying not to feel badly about it. In case she thought I didn’t believe her, she came into my room this morning and threw up all over the place. Point taken.

Luckily, this was only the week I was supposed to get a flu shot, and not the week I was supposed to change the world.

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Filed under children, New York City, parenting, Uncategorized

The Hour that Kicked My Ass.

It’s only one hour, but it appears that falling back last weekend is seriously screwing with our heads. I don’t know any other way to explain the cloud of utter craptasticness that has covered our house all week.

The little girls, who were not sleeping well to begin with, are up and at it by five-something. Everyone else follows one at a time. By six we are all up and ready to go. The bus rolls in around eight – at which point I’ve been up for close to three hours, hours which have been chock-full of seriously shitty behavior.

Chronic whining. Severe moaning. Fighting between siblings who don’t normally fight. All-out war between the ones that do. By dinner, we are all strung out, wild-eyed, and toasted. (I wanted to write 5PM, but someone messed with my phone. Every time I type pm, it auto corrects to peyton manning. Damn, it did it again.)

I needed gas this morning, which doesn’t happen often because I’m driving a lot less here. (Hallelujah!) Because I can’t find the gas stations in Riverdale (they’re hiding, along with good coffee shops and yoga studios. Where are you?!?), I find my new friend, R., who gallantly leads me to the station at the bottom of a hill. She doesn’t even need gas and she takes me anyway. Because this week has been so awful, I tear up in gratitude. I am thankful for R., and for the full service gas stations we have here, not to mentions the ones in New Jersey which have even cheaper gas and no possibility of self serve.

As I have mentioned, I don’t like to do anything that involves the heavy lifting of something. Pumping my own gas falls squarely in that category.

I am so happy, I take a picture, in case I need a pick-me-up later in the day.

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It’s the little things that keep me going.

And the large ice coffee from Dunkin Donuts.

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Filed under children, New York City, parenting

Good Morning, Rupert Murdoch.

I really do know that it takes all sorts of people to make the world go round, but I am still taken aback when people fail to be charmed by me. There is a rather humorless woman sitting in my living room. She is currently tuning our piano. She does not find me funny at all. Usually people who do not find me funny are also related to me, but as far as I know, this woman is not a sibling of mine or even a cousin.

In general, I am working on being more open minded. Heck, I went and subscribed to the New York Post so the boys could have a decent sports section to read (I love you, New York Times, but your sports section reads like your business section; it shouldn’t.)

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But the Post is evil, chock full of smutty news and smuttier pictures, and topped with a sleazy front page. It’s political bent is … well, let’s just say I think they have some angry Republicans on staff. (I said I was working on being open minded. I’m not quite there yet.)

One day, Efram wandered away from the sports pages and into the “news” section of the paper. (I have asked them to ignore the often tawdry front page and read the back of the paper only.) He looked up at me, completely baffled.

“Is Obama really doing a bad job?” he asked. “Because that’s what the newspaper says.”

“What? Let me see that!” Bennett grabbed the paper and gleefully scoured it for something he could use to get under my skin. He has already told me that when he grows up he’s going to move out and vote Republican. (As long as he promises to move out he can be Sarah Palin’s chief of staff. Ok, perhaps I’m getting a little carried away.)

I explained to the boys that the Post is to be read for sports, and nothing else… except Page Six, which I read in secret when nobody is home. Oh, what I wouldn’t give to be able to identify two-thirds of the celebrities mentioned! I think I may have recognized them at some point, but I had to get rid of all my useless celebrity trivia to make room for the even more useless sports facts I am required to know in order to be taken seriously around here.

Did you know that Kevin Garnett has a seven feet, nine inch wingspan? I did.

That’s right. I went and opened my mind and let in a bunch of sleazy photographers, some angry Republicans and some freakishly long-armed basketball players.

Maybe it’s time to close it again.

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Filed under children, NBA, New York City, parenting, reading, Uncategorized

Snow Shoes

My clever running partner in Seattle just sent me these:

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Apparently they will turn my sneakers into snow shoes once the abominable NY winter is upon me.

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Not amused. The temp is already dropping, and while it’s still sunny and crisp, I know what’s coming is going to (in some sick, sick way) make me pine for the mild piss-fest that is a Seattle winter.

Or not.

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Filed under New York City, running, Seattle, Uncategorized, winter

… say it soft and it’s almost like praying.

Nothing feels as wonderful as dropping all the kids off at school on a Monday morning. Nothing. It is especially gratifying after a week of having them all home for some reason or another. When several of them had already come down with the stomach flu, I got an email from Francie’s teacher that she’d hurt her neck during recess. Not wanting to look bad (hey, we’re new here), I went to get her. Rubbed arnica into her scrawny little neck and let her rest. She seemed to forget about the pain until someone mentioned it, or until I asked her to do something other than watch TV or try on my shoes. It was a long week.

I told Sidney, as I dropped her off this morning, that Maria, our babysitter would be picking her up today because I had to take Francie to the ENT in Manhattan. (Consequently, I started to shvitz about the driving and parking in the middle of the night.) I asked her not to pitch a fit like she did last week when Maria picked her up and she threw a full on hissy in front of her teachers.

As Maria told it, she yelled for a while in school and then continued to do so as Maria pushed her stroller down the street. At some point Maria took her into a drug store. There may have been a promise of lip gloss, because (again, this is Maria’s telling) Sidney stopped hollering looked up at her and sang, at full volume:

“Maria! I’ve just met a girl named Maria! And suddenly that name has never been the same to me! Maria! I’ve just kissed a girl named Maria! And suddenly I’ve found how wonderful a sound can be!”

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Maria said all her embarrassment and frustration melted away as that bossy little three year old belted out a show tune in her honor.

I’m not usually one to share cute things my kids do. Honestly, it annoys the crap out of me when other people do it. But I realized that kids do these things so that you keep them and don’t give them away even though they yell at you in public, don’t sleep at night (this one in particular has basically been awake for eight weeks solid), or throw bowls of cereal at their sisters.

So, Sidney successfully bought herself some time with that little number.

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Filed under children, parenting, school, Uncategorized