Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Whine Fest 2010

Hello and welcome to Whine Fest 2010! Since my last post (which was basically a spewing of verbal venom) attracted so much attention, I thought that I would continue down the path of negativity. I know, I know it does get old doesn't it? But I figure I have one or two pessimistic posts left before you all shake your heads in disgust and navigate away from getrealmama forever.

So here goes:

  • The chaos at home continues, no improvement on that front.

  • A bottle of diet coke came open in my purse today, destroying both my cell phone and my digital camera. Keep in mind that I replaced my cell phone only a couple of months ago when it was ripped off on the BART. In order to replace the phone I ended up signing a ridiculous contract so that I am now stuck with Verizon for a few more years, and I will likely have to buy the same crappy phone for another $300. Meanwhile I am left stranded and isolated with out my beloved mobile phone. I don't even know my husband's number, it's programmed into the device, I never dial it.

  • I am working at a Starbucks because my in laws are visiting and there is no peace at home. It is a beautiful sunny, warm day outside, which means Starbucks turns up their air conditioning to an icy 20 below zero. Meanwhile I am sitting next to two crazy old men who are about to get in a fist fight because one person has a stack of old magazines taking up half the table and annoying the other person. I kid you not. They were actually yelling at each other. I thought the cops might come and break up the geriatric fight.

  • I am stuck on one of my searches for work, and for the life of me cannot seem to find a senior account executive with brand experience in the whole bay area. How hard can it be?Have I totally lost my touch? Good lord I'm going to get fired people!

Okay, that 's probably about enough whine for today. Until tomorrow. Kidding. Sort of.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Hit me one more time.

Sometimes people just get on your nerves. And when you are living in 1200 square feet, there is no place to escape. I am feeling on edge this evening, and not at all in the mood for my mother-in-law's commentary. "You're too hard on them" " They don't need that". Noted. Thanks so much for your concern.
I'm not in the mood for my husband's penny pinching suggestions. "I'll see if we can get so-and-so to watch the dog for free while we are on vacation". Which translates to-"I'm going to forget to ask so-and-so and the we will be one day out from our vacation and scrambling to find a pet sitter."
I'm not in the mood for my bickering children-"That's my toy" "No mine!" "He hit me" "I hate you".

Not in the mood, yet there is nowhere to escape accept to the bottom of my glass of ruby red wine. Cheers. Pour me another.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Five Happened

So Five happened. It happened BIG time. The celebration was a huge success. And I am spent. Worn out. I'm-not-getting-out-of-bed-until-noon-and-then-only-for-coffee tired. But when you have a five and a two your old, that doesn't happen so much. Not unless you beg, steal, lie, buy or at the very least negotiate for it, and I am too tired to bargain. So I'll have to face tomorrow. The after math of having twenty some odd preschool age children hopped up on juice boxes and cake in and around my house for over three hours. The gift wrap. The sticky floors. The toys literally everywhere. The dirty clothes. The dozens of leftover Subway sandwiches Zack requested for his big day. Oh good lord. Why is it that it is after midnight and I am not sound asleep?

But all in all it was a great time, and I know that Zack felt like a special superhero all day long.

Highlights of the day.:

  • The cake went over. Although not so pretty, I am proud to say there were no leftovers.

  • To my surprise I had dozens of super hero kids and parents arrive at the house. People actually dressed up. Wonder Woman won the prize for best adult costume, because of the hair. And she was smokin.

  • The day I picked for Zack's backyard, bounce house party was the second hottest day of the year. Second after June 12 when we celebrated Evan's birthday in the backyard...with a bounce house. Go figure.

  • The heat lead to bouncing- half naked preschoolers and kids running through the sprinkler in costume. Although hot, they had a blast.

  • The evening ended at Zachary's favorite restaurant, Zachary's Pizza. The entire restaurant sang "Happy Birthday" to my little man. I hope he remembers today forever.

  • I have at least one child who I know will sleep well tonight.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Betty Crocker? Not here.

I'll keep this short and to the point. If I had to sum up why I am no June Clever, no Betty Crocker, it's because I freaking am not cut out for it.

I decided this year I would make my son a homemade birthday cake for his party. How hard could it be? I have made cakes before. I knew I was going for beginner level. No crazy shapes or decorative challenges. I ordered some Batman figures online to place on top of a chocolate layer cake and purchased some multi-colored sprinkles.

We started the project after an unsuccessful nap/quite time. The plan was bake a chocolate layer cake and butter cream frosting from scratch, and due to the large guest list make some back up boxed cupcakes.

Three hours later, I am literally burning up from being in a hot kitchen, my jeans and shirt are covered in flour and my skin feels sticky all over from powdered sugar. I have a sad cake that looks like it is melting because I realized after the fact the frosting was just too runny. I am crabby and don't want to take a step back in that god forsaken kitchen for the rest of the weekend. I am dreading the moment I try and serve that mess of a cake up. I can envision myself trying to slice small pieces and watching the whole thing crumble to pieces under the knife.

The whole experience, so not worth it. Never again. Next year store-bought all the way.

Pictures to come...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


You will be five on Saturday. Five. As in half a decade. Five.

I would like to say that I still think of you as a baby, but to be honest, those days are long gone. I can barely recall the infant you. No-you are my wild, temperamental, smart, silly five year old boy. Those years all blur together now. We moved from cuddly newborn to dare-devil toddler and on to independent preschooler in what feels like no time at all. And here we are. No longer just an extension of me, you are your own person, a little boy that I am still trying to get to know and understand.

You moodiness and anger surprise me. I did not anticipate such an emotional child. Your intelligence was predicted, but still pleases me. The doctors warned right away that you were smart, and thus, a potential "handful". They were right. Your energy and curiosity exhausts and inspires me. You are not what I expected.

And here we are just days away from your fifth birthday. I waver between the predictable nasolgia, and the anticipation of years to come, your future is yet undecided. I realize that this is when parenting becomes harder. My first memories start at about 5. I remember my own days in the kindergarten classroom. I admired my teacher for her stylish knee high boots, and I began to question my abilities as I struggled with a sissors and on the monkey bars. At five, I learned to doubt myself. This was a begining of sorts, and one I believe I never fully left behind.

This is your chance. This is my opportunity to help you. I am afraid. Afraid that you are too much for me. Afraid that I will fail you. Afraid that you will be too much like me.

Zachary, I love you so. I am going to make mistakes, and life will never be perfect. I know that you will have memories of me that I wish that I could take back, erase. I know too, that much of your life is out of my control. You are your own person.

You are five and your life is before you. You still have a clean slate, and I want so badly to help you fill it with all of the right words, all of the right images, all of the right memories.

My promise is that I will try every single day. What more can I do?

The rest is up to you.

Happy Birthday to my favorite five-year-old.


Monday, September 20, 2010


My grandfather Leonard was a crier. Just about anything could open the flood gates. He was sentimental I suppose, and a bit sad as well, he never quite get over losing my grandmother to Alzheimer's Disease in her 7o's. Every time he saw me, his eyes would well up. No matter where I was, or who I was with. As a teenager, I remember finding it somewhat embarrassing, but mostly I understood. I let him squeeze my hand, and I would never ask about the tears as he dabbed his eyes.

As it turns out, the apple does not fall far from the tree. It doesn't take much to turn me into a weepy, soggy mess. The perfect example? Why today!

What was today? Just another Monday. The morning was sunny and brisk. I dropped Evan and Zack off at preschool and headed down the block to Peet's Coffee & Tea. Just a quick caffeine stop before returning home for a busy day of work.

Standing in line waiting to order my medium, no-whip-2%-mocha, I notice a sign advertising that in celebration of autumn the Pumpkin Spice Latte was back. I look around the coffee shop and observe knit scarves, and through the windows, clear blue September sky, and leaves just starting to turn color. My eyes begin to sting. I am overwhelmed with nostalgia.

Last autumn I visited this Peet's regularly with my giggly 1.5 year old. I was a stay at home mommy. My sunny October mornings were spent exploring Berkeley, visiting playgrounds, setting up playgroups with new friends and just being mama. It was a much different life. Make no mistake about it, I am not glorifying it. I know that I struggled, I know that it was hard, and yet, standing at Peet's, I could not keep the tears from coming.

They come slowly at first and I pretend that I have something in my eye, but soon it is unavoidable, I am full on crying in a coffee shop. In some circumstances, this could be embarrassing, but this is the flagship Peet's in North Berkeley, frequented by aging hippies, panhandlers, musicians and intellectuals. My tears are hardly noteworthy. But I do eventually need to compose myself, for I have much to accomplish today , and little time for such emotion.

Throughout the day I think back to that moment in line. Do I really miss the days at home, am I simply mourning the passing of an era, or am I falling victim to the old cliche "the grass is always greener"? My guess is that it is a combination of all of the above.

No matter the reason, I am confident that my life will be filled with such sentimental outbursts, it is after all, in my blood. And I think that perhaps, there are worse things than feeling deeply.

It is clear Grandpa Leonard that I have your genes.

Miss you.



Friday, September 17, 2010

Weekend Update

I know that I should write something, keep you all coming back, but I am feeling a bit blank tonight. So here is the update: Work is stressful. Husband is sick. We are suppose to be embarking upon an over-night adventure to the "Avenue Of The Giants"(complete with campfire & smores) tomorrow and I am wondering how that is going to work with a husband who has the stomach flu. I just polished off some really bad pizza and watched a completely depressing episode of Dateline, which featured stories of two innocent 20-somethings, senselessly murdered. I sobbed and identified with the parents. I decided that I totally despise my skinny jeans which make me feel anything but slender (hello.... muffin top?)

This afternoon I got pissed off at a nanny whom I encountered at our neighborhood playground. She subsequently abandoned the 8 month old baby she was "watching" in a swing for a good five minutes while she took another child to the restroom. (Have you ever heard of kidnapping?) I pray that I have employed a nanny with more common sense.
I have questioned (again) if my five year olds complete lack of interest in me is normal and I have prematurely determined that he is going to hate me for a good portion of his life.

That should pretty much get you up to speed.

Until next time....

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Do my shoes make me a Feminist?

Maybe it is because I am older. Maybe it is because I am slowly developing a feminist perspective, or maybe it is because I have a 15 block walk from Bart stop to office. Either way this mama is going practical. I am trading in my sexy, strappy, stilettos for comfort. My poor feet just cannot take it anymore.

I am just over it.

Mind you, I did try. Day after day I would put on a pair of high-fashion, leg slimming heels and head out the front door. About half way to the office I would inevitably find that I was cursing myself. My feet would be blistered and sore and I could barely move at a snails pace. Men in comfortable loafers would breeze past me with ease. My ankle would turn and cause me to stumble and spill my coffee every few blocks. Sometimes I even contemplated removing the offending garments and going barefoot.

Why? Why do I put myself through this torture? I look at all of the silly women around me, skinny spindly legs balanced on ridiculously high stilettos, the waifs walking gingerly as if one stiff wind might blow them over entirely. Overweight women with feet squished into "fashionable" shoes, looking as though all circulation may be cut off to their limbs momentarily.

Am I one of these morons?

Not anymore. Nope. This mama has learned that time is money. I want to walk just as fast as Joe Business Man in his comfy shoes. I do not have an extra 15 minutes to hobble through San Francisco each morning. Lucky for me their is a shop one block from my BART station that sells sensible shoes. Tuesday I got off the subway and decided that I could not take another step in my Nine West ankle boots. I walked in, eyed a pair of cute Clarks slapped my credit card down and didn't look back. The clerk let me donate my instruments of torture to a homeless shelter.

Call me old. Call me a stick in the mud, but call me comfortable....

Monday, September 13, 2010

It's the little things....

One of the mommy bloggers that I follow recently started a fun website called World's Worst Mom. The blog's author posts worst-mom related stories submitted by her readers.

Below is my submission.

I would like to submit a story for your site. Here is the problem. I can't think of one tale in-particular. But I do qualify for the World's Worst Mom. It's really a culmination of the small things.

Like how I balled my eyes out when the ultrasound tech announced that my second baby was another boy. "Another boy?" I sobbed. "Yes!" she responded. "Oh look you're so happy that you are crying!". She exclaimed. "No" I wailed "I just really wanted a girl." I didn't stop crying for a week. I should be ashamed. I am ashamed.

Or how I have employed one Mr. Diego and one Ms. Dora as my regular babysitters even though I told myself that I wouldn't be that parent. Oh, no.. not me. My kid's won't watch TV until at least the 1st grade....

Or how both of my kids learned how to stomp their feet and say "Damn it! Damn it! Damn it!" by the time they were two. Where on earth did they learn that kind of language? Hmmmm....

Or how I have abandoned my attempts at homemade baby food, and now regularly serve the kids microwave pancakes and sausage because at least they eat it.

Or how my children seem to always arrive at school looking like poor neglected babes who's mother was either too drunk or too absent minded to wash and dress them properly. (Actually, I have just taken up the motto: "Pick your battles". )

Or how I secretly dread the days when my life will be consumed with my children's sporting events. Seriously I hate sports, unless there is beer involved, and I don't think that would go over too well at little league.

Or how I sometimes forget to change the sheets on Evan's crib until they start to smell like rotten milk.

Do I need to go on? I think you get the point.

I'm top-quality-gold-metal-World's Worst Mom material!

Sunday, September 12, 2010


I did not remember.

Let me correct myself, had someone informed me of the date yesterday, nobody would have had to remind me of it's significance, but I simply was not paying attention.

It wasn't until part way through the day when I happened upon a Facebook post and I recalled.

It was 9/11. Again. Nine years later.

There were were several blog posts about the day, and references to the occasion on Facebook, but other than that September 11, 2010 passed without much fan fare. Just another day.

But how could that be?

After all 9/11 is not just a date anymore, it's a noun. A marker. Before and after.

Nine years is a lot of time. A whole heck of a lot of life has happened in the time that has passed since that day, so it is natural for the lines to blur and the intensity to fade.

I remember the one year anniversary. My husband had to take a business trip. He had to fly. Trust me when I tell you that I hugged him a little bit harder than usual before he departed for the airport that morning. I went to work that day not knowing quiet what to expect. I was working in downtown Denver on the 22nd floor of the Tabor center. Yes, I thought twice before boarding the elevator up to my office. But it was only Denver. It was only the Tabor Center, and they had banned baby formula and bottled water on airplanes, so we were all safe...right?

That anniversary was certainly acknowledged across the country. Morning television covered a memorial service at Ground Zero, ribbons and bumper stickers were passed out on the 16th street mall, but it didn't seem enough. I am not sure what I was expecting. A national holiday?

That evening my friend Mary came over for dinner. David was out of town, and I felt the need to somehow personally mark the occasion. I made a nice spread for a week night, I believe it included a cheesecake. We had candles. We sat on my sofa drinking wine and sharing our memories of the tragedy. The obvious ones, the ones we all share. The images of the blazing towers. Human beings clinging to the building's exterior from dizzying heights. A man flying free from the burning inferno, his arms out-stretched, his tie flapping in the wind behind him-his last living moments, captured in a People Magazine. Had his mother squinted her eyes at the blurry image and recognized him as her son?

We discussed our more personal memories as well. I shared how several days after 9/11 I sat in a conference room at the mostly Christian company where I was employed. We were gathered there for a "prayer session", something that I would ordinarily not participate in, yet somehow seemed appropriate. At that moment I had the strange sensation of being both an outsider, and being strangely bonded in humanity to a room full of strangers. That feeling of unity was the one positive that was born from tragedy. For the next few months we were a country bound together, fighting a common enemy. The highways were dotted with homemade banners proclaiming "United We Stand". I got goosebumps every time I passed beneath one.

That night Mary and I remembered. It is an evening I will recall as a long as I do 9/11.

Now all of these years later, it is a moment that has defined the era, and impacted generations to come. My son's will never know what is was to be able to walk your family right up to their airplane, or greet a grandparent the moment she walked off . They will grow up in a time of "orange alerts" and security warnings and they will never know anything else.

We have moved on as nation, as we must. Life goes on. Yet the images of those days are now burned into our DNA. The world has changed.

And we never can forget.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


For Zachary's fifth birthday I am required to make a photo collage for his preschool class. Pictures of every year of his life on poster board.

I love it. Last weekend I recruited Zachary to help me with the project. We went to the craft store and picked out a giant piece of stiff paper printed with balloons. We came home and gathered our supplies, tape, scissors, markers and oh right, photos. We went through our albums and easily selected pictures for Zack's first, second and third years. Pictures of birthday parties, picnics and hikes. Easy-peasey. Until we get to year four.

And I realize.

We don't have a single photo printed from the last year. Really nothing after Evan's first birthday. What kind of parent am I anyway? Sure the pictures are there in digital land, but we don't look at them. There are no albums to page through on a rainy Saturday afternoon. There are no photos to frame on the mantel, or to paste on poster board for a preschool project. I have always been so good about this in the past. I have shelves full of photo albums starting from my college years. I arranged them carefully and sometimes even added "clever" commentary. Sure this can all be done now on Facebook , but in my opinion, there is something about an actual picture you can hold in your hands.

So last week I ordered 245 pictures from Shutterfly. 245. So I went overboard.

Oh and the end result after reviewing endless photographs of my family and I?

I am officially growing out my hair. Lord help us all.

Favorite photos of the year:

Zack's 4th Birthday (Notice the giant gash on his forehead. He had eight stitches earlier that day!)

Evan at Gymboree. Where did that baby go?

Golden Gate Park. I lost that hat. I liked that hat.

Oakland Zoo-Zack wearing his Purim costume

Brothers finally showing some love!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Toddler Take Down-Got Milk?

Here it is-my chance to make millions. A diet plan. Inspired by my son. I'll write a book. Make a DVD. Consult with celebrities.Create a partnership with the Milk Board. This is it.

Evan's Toddler Take Down.

Daily Meal Plan.

Breakfast: 1/8 cup honey nut cheerios with exactly 3 blueberries. 1 cup low fat milk.

Snack: Six stale raisins found in one's car seat. Must be eaten slowly, for they are very old, and very hard.

Lunch: One hot dog with ketchup, 1/2 cup macaroni and cheese, green beans. Lick the ketchup off hot dog, discard rest of meal immediately. 1 cup low fat chocolate milk to be consumed in one large gulp, half of which will be poured down front of shirt.

Snack: 8 goldfish crackers. 2 snack size packs of Mandarin oranges and.....1/2 cup milk.

Dinner: One bite of homemade vegetarian lasanga, chewed then spit back out on to anyone else's plate. 4 peas. 1 tablespoon of yogurt. 1 cup Milk.

Follow this diet and you will be toddler size in no time.

Good luck.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Day in the Life: 1989

A Day In The Life 1989

6:30: The alarm goes off. I groan. Another day. I have a Spanish test in fourth period. I have a zit on my chin. I am sure I will have a bad hair day.

7:00 I am at war with my hair. My weapons: A curling iron and can of hairspray. After thirty minutes of fighting, the hair wins- it's stuck in a clumsy ponytail, just like every other day. How can hair be so damaged at 14?

7:40: No time for breakfast, I head off in sub zero temperatures to school, wearing an unzipped leather jacket (with shoulder pads), no hat and no gloves-because come on, when was comfort cool?

7:55: Homeroom. Announcements. A "Mixer" will be held this Friday night. I'm going to have to go. "He" might be there! Heart flutters.

8:50: It's between classes. I alter my route to the next destination to make sure I pass by "his" locker. He isn't there, even though I walked by very slowly. And lingered. Oh well.

11:00: Spanish Test. F*ck. I hate Spanish. I suck at Spanish. No comprendo, Senior Gonzales! No comprendo! No mas! No mas! I am sure I flunked. (* as a side note, I never did flunk, but usually ended up with a low B in espanol).

11:55: Lunch. Decisions, decisions. Lunch in the school cafeteria? NEVER. Options are: Walk to "Joe's" the little corner grocery store where the line for a cheap sandwich and a frosted brownie wrapped around the block, or pay a buck for day old bread at Big Mike's Super Subs. Today-I'll opt for the bread and a diet coke. Balanced diet-no doubt.

2:00: Gym. F*ck. Again. I hate gym. I am not athletic. I hate changing in the locker room. Double dread. I sulk on over to change in the locker room. I have a special maneuver that allows me to remove one shirt while replacing another without exposing any actual flesh. But I catch a glimpse of "Barbie" a row over. Are we from the same species? Where did she get those?

2:15: Playing badminton with a girlfriend in the gym. By playing I mean we are singing Steve Miller Band songs and talking about the upcoming mixer while occasionally hitting the stupid plastic birdie. As consequence, gym was the only "C" I actually earned, in my life.

3:45: It's quitting time. Another decision to be made. Do I go to my friend Angie's house and watch the Day's of Our Lives re-runs which she has taped on her VCR, or do I return home to study for the fetal pig dissection exam tomorrow? If I go to Angie's we can binge on cookie dough. Also Angie might french braid my hair, and I will feel pretty for a few hours. If I don't study for the piggy test however, I will surely flunk, since I was squeamish and didn't actually dissect the animal during lab.

5:30- I arrive home from Angie's house. Dinner is on the table. Baked chicken again? Blech. When is going to be taco night for crying out loud? I pick at my food, inform my mother about Friday night's mixer (which will require her taxi services), and then retreat to my room to study for the damn pig test. I push "play" on my boom box and fill my room with Steve Miller Band's "Jungle Love" while I lie on pink carpet and get serious with my homework.

9:30. I open up my diary and fill 12 pages with sappy declarations of love for "him" and four more about my ugly hair and fat butt.

10:30: Set my alarm clock and tuck into bed, full of dread for the biology test, and hope that my skin will clear up by morning....

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Late 80's-high fashion freshman.

Shall we call me Negative Nancy? Debbie Downer? A fair description. I think it is time to lighten it up a bit don't you?

An old friend from high school recently posted some photos circa 1989. Freshman year. Madison West High. Wow. I never wanted to believe it. I didn't want to believe that I would someday flip the dusty pages of an old photo album and say "What was I thinking?" I wanted to trust that my fashion choices would stand the test of time. I didn't choose bell bottoms, polyester or horn rimmed glasses. Nope,when I was a teenager, I was all cutting edge.

Perms. Big bangs. Baggy leather jackets, Molly Ringwald. Braces?

As I review these photos it's pretty clear cut. This "look" is DATED. I am very much a cliche of the late 80's.

And it gave me a good laugh. Go ahead, have a chuckle, it's on me.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


It is no secret that time flies more quickly with each passing year, and yet somehow it never ceases to amaze me.

We are now approaching our one year anniversary of The Move. I decided to take a peak into the archives of Getrealmama and read through some of my September 2009 posts. They touched me. It was some of my best writing, perhaps because the emotions were so very raw. As I browsed through everything, I experienced conflicting emotions. On the one hand, the events of those days seem like a lifetime ago. Everything was so different. My routines, my friends, my home, my work even the stage of my life. I still had an "infant" after all. And yet in some ways it feels like no time has past. I can still feel the hard stony front steps where I sat and typed up a post about Autumn in Colorado, just one day before we departed. I can taste the sugary strawberry cake that I ate with my friend Shannon at The Market, on our last "Girls Night out". The fierce tears that I shed as I walked through our empty home for the last time, still come at times in a gentler form.

So much life has passed in the year that I have been away. My nephew Kristoff was born. Evan learned to walk and to talk, and celebrated his second birthday. I've started to focus on my career again. Old friends have faded away.

I don't know what life would be like if we packed up our belongings and headed back to Denver today. Would we pick up where we left off? I'd like to think so.

I am adjusting, don't get me wrong. But yet, I still feel like a tourist, wide eyed and out of place, gazing into the lives of the locals.

It scares me how time speeds me away from what was. A year has passed. And before I know it, it will be two, and then perhaps three or four. At some point I suppose memories will become fuzzy. Zachary will forget that he ever had his own room, a friend named Finn, and a neighborhood where barbeque's and parties were common.

Who knows where life will take us over the course of the next year. All I can say for certain is that September 2011 will come soon enough, turning today to mere recollection.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Growing Pains

Boys will be boys?

It used to be that I was proud of just about every little thing that Zachary did. (Zachary, the child above who looks like he is about ready to kill his brother.)The fearless way he would toddle up to a crowd of bigger kids at the playground. It never occurred to Zack that the older kids would not want to play with him, or that he could get knocked over by their big boy play. I was proud of his social confidence. I was pleased at how vocal and active Zack was in music class. He would always ham it up, and make the other parents laugh. That's my boy I would think.

But now. Now it isn't always sunshine and roses. These days, my son can sometimes make me wish that I could disappear into the park bench or pretend that some other child belongs to me. The well behaved one playing quietly in the sandbox.

Zack is always the loudest. The wildest. That one kid who is running out of control screaming "Poopy Bottom Butt" at the top of his lungs. He doesn't listen. He seems to not care when I open my mouth in protest.

Today was one of those days. One of those days that left me shaking my head in distress and wondering where I have gone wrong. We were on a post-preschool play date at the park. Zack was whopping it up with his best bud Matias. The two are quite a pair. Both of them eager to wrestle, push and taunt each other, all in the name of a good time. They get on well. But I get the sneaking suspicion that not everyone is impressed with their rowdy behavior. Other mothers steal a concerned glance in my direction as if to say "don't you think they are being a tad rough?" Or "Do they really have to keep carrying on about butts?"

I try and reign him in. I tell him to clean up his language, be careful of the other kids. There are warnings and time outs. But the behavior continues. This is who he is. Kinder people might describe him as energetic or athletic. The cynic's would probably just say he is naughty. I usually fall somewhere in between.

But he crossed the line when he started teasing a sweet shy girl who was trying to share the play structure with Zack and Matias. The boys started teasing her and ultimately poking her, causing her to cry. I did not witness the incidents, but was kindly filled in by an overly zealous and disapproving nanny. She wanted Zack to apologize, as well he should. But still, I didn't care for the judgemental tone.

I tried to reason with Zack, explain how is actions made the little girl feel. I tried to illicit a feeling of empathy, but Zachary simply barked out an angry "Sorry!" at the girl and ran away to continue his play. Out of ideas, I decided it was time to pack it up and leave the park. Zack protested, I stuck to my guns. We can't be at the playground if you are mean to the other kids. He cried and pouted and stated "You don't love me anymore"

"Zachary" I said feeling quite exasperated, "Of course I love you. I just don't like your behavior". A cliche, no doubt, but I felt every word of it. If I am to be perfectly honest, and that is what this blog is all about, I would take it one step further. I love my son with all my heart, but he is at a stage that I just don't like very much.

And I'm not proud of that.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

B for Bologna

Be warned, I am angry. This post is Rachel ticked off. I mean absolutly no disrespect to anyone, but here goes.

My husband (David) was selected for jury duty today. The trial-approximately one month. The selection process has taken days. Many have been dismissed. Financial hardship. Airplane tickets purchased. White guys in suits claiming the inability to relate to the the low income Hispanic defendants.

David, he had no good excuse. Except, well he played the religion card. Two major Jewish holidays fall in September. Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. These are not fluff holidays. We are not talking about Secretary's Day or Valentines. These two days are the holiest of the year. My husband alerted the court to our observance of these holidays. He sent a note to the judge via the bailiff. Granted, David grew up in a Lutheran family and does not truly practice Judaism. But I am taking my boys to services, and I would love for David to join us in an important family tradition.

It was only after David was officially sworn in, that the judge even acknowledged the note. He informed him that "Sorry, you will have to inform your family that this is an important trial, and we need you here."

Oh really.

So- does the same hold true on Jesus's Birthday? Are people expected to inform their families that Daddy cannot attend Christmas services because he is NEEDED in court?

Oh God forbid.

Perhaps David would have done better if he had proved he was a devote Jew. If he wore a yarmulka. Had a long beard.

Just like I would have to prove that I too believe in the Virgin birth.

Uh huh.