Friday, March 31, 2006

tater bugs

As the member of our family nearest to the ground, it falls to Charlotte to alert us to all the fun things the rest of us taller people are missing. In fact, she takes this responsibility very seriously and it's one reason why we have to leave early when walking somewhere. I just know she'll see something (a snail, a worm, a long row of busy ants) and we'll have to stop and admire it.

The other day, we were walking down to the school to pick up the twins. Cha stopped and yelled, "Roly poly bug!" So, we had to stop and make it roll up and then we had to wait and watch it unroll and wiggle all its legs and flip over and then make it roll up again. (When I was growing up, we called these bugs tater bugs and I think some people call them sow bugs.) We came upon another one a little further on and had to stop and repeat the process.

As we were walking back home, now with the twins along, we saw 3 of these creatures. And, since we didn't have to rush at all, we stopped and tormented the poor things. We must be quite a sight to the neighborhood -- 3 little girls and their mother, all crouched down talking loudly and laughing about bugs.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

my california girls

There is a book by Calvin Triilin called "Fatherhood". It's about, well, his experiences of parenting his two girls. There is one piece in the book about how he was from Missouri and he just always assumed that his daughters were Missourians at heart who happened to be growing up in New York City. I think (it's been a long time since I read the book) he said he realized that his kids were real, honest-to-goodness New Yorkers when they would talk about subway directions and alternate routes at a very young age that he didn't even know existed, even though he'd lived in the city for the majority of his adult life.

Today, I realized that I have always kind of thought of my girls as little transplanted Midwesterners. But the following conversation I overheard in the car disabused me of that notion.

Bebe: We're having our class party tomorrow!
Lulu: Wow! You're so lucky!
Bebe: I know! It's gonna be so cool. Hecka cool!

Hecka cool. Dear Lord, I have children who are Californians.

(Also, Bebe said, "Snap!" to some comment of Louisa's, and I laughed for at least 5 minutes. Not only are they Californians, they are already cooler and hipper than I am. Which isn't much of a stretch, I admit. But still. Snap.)

Friday, March 24, 2006

i swear i've never even heard the song

So, I thought I needed to record my answer to the random question Blogger gives you for your profile page, because I'm sadly proud of it. Plus, I like to change the question now and again.

You have a red jar of cedar chips. Why do moths miss the forest?
They don't! My red jar of cedar chips brings all the moths to my yard.

Oh, God, I crack myself up. Off to hunt for a new question. I don't know that I can ever top that one, though.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

the sentence that made me lose my shit

"I have no idea where your child is."

Let me explain. I went to the elementary school to pick up the twins. I was there, between the classrooms, before the bell went off. Lulu came out of her classroom and I noticed that she had a substitute. Then the door to Bebe's class opened and another sub stepped out. I waited. Then Lou said, "Where's Elizabeth, Mama?" I looked into the classroom and there were no kids inside.

"Excuse me. My daughter is in this class. Where is she?"
"I have no idea where your child is."
"Excuse me?"
"We were out on the playground and the bell rang. I came back here."

I felt panic and fear rising from my gut. I walked quickly, Lou right beside me, over to the playground. The entire class was running around, yelling and squealing. I hollered at all of them that the bell had rung and they needed to come back to the classroom -- I herded everyone up and walked back so Bebe could get her coat and backpack.

While I was waiting, the sub said, "I told them to come back when the bell rang. I came back. I don't know why they didn't."

"Well, they're six. And you're in charge. You can't just leave first graders on the playground."

It took every ounce of self-control not to punch her in her stupid, dumbass face. I couldn't go over to the office to complain because we had to go and pick up Charlotte at preschool. But I am going to give the principal an earful tomorrow morning.


So, in a fit of boredom, I checked my stats for a laugh. Someone from Slough visited. Slough! Of "The Office" and Ozzy Osbourne's tragic all-terrain vehicle accident from several years ago. Said visitor was directed here by a web search for "removing a child's wobbly tooth". I am, of course, an expert on wibbly-wobbly teeth. But I do not recommend trying to remove them. Because if your kid is anything like mine, there will be cries of despair and upset. (It is possible I know someone who threatens to remove loose teeth just to incite the uproar. But you didn't hear that from me, oh no.)

In even less exciting news, I have found the Holy Grail of food for the girlies. Stir fry veggies with shrimp. My God, they ate as if they would never see food again. Sadly, shrimp are expensive and I cannot make this culinary delight every night. One young person cried when I told her the shrimp were all gone. Heartbreak!

(Also, I am a big liar. The shrimp were not, in fact, all gone. I just said they were so I could eat them for lunch today. Today, when I have a little time in my house all alone with no children. I will be watching bad TiVoed programs and eating shrimp.)

Sunday, March 19, 2006


It's almost bedtime and Archie's fired up AC/DC on the stereo. While "Back in Black" blares and the girlies are doing their best air guitar heroics, Bebe yells, "This is the most rock and roll song EVER!"

Now they're all calling "Oi!" They're TNT, baby, they're dynamite. Watch them explode.

an odd talk with my mom

So, my mom and I were talking the other night. Mostly about the kids and how my aunt and uncle are doing. (My mom's sister and her husband are both in poor health and my mom is serving as their main caretaker.) Then we talked about "American Idol" and then my mom said, "Ooo, I saw a really cute show and I thought you would love it and was wondering if you watched it?"

Now, I love my mom. She's a wonderful person and fun and we get along fantastically. We have very different tastes in entertainment, however. ("American Idol" and "House" excepted.) She spent years trying to get me to watch "JAG". When she would visit, she'd try to talk me in to watching "Judging Amy". (True story: A few years ago, there was a commercial that ran for "Judging Amy". It was the main actress, in a tank top, and she'd stretch her arms up over her head. Every time we'd see it, Archie would say, "'Judging Amy'. It's all about the law." Heh.) Anyway, because of our different tastes in TV, I was inwardly cringing about what she was about to recommend.

"It's on HBO and called 'Big Love' and it's about a polygamist family. Kate, it's so adorable! I've already got a pass on TiVo so I don't miss any of the episodes!"

Seriously, my mom is watching "Big Love" and thinks it's cute. Cute! The scary thing? I've got the first ep on my TiVo.

Maybe we're not as different as I think.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

our completely boring life

Man, things have been boring. Seriously, this morning, right before we left for school, Lulu picked up a cup off of the counter and turned it upside down over her head, water went everywhere, and I had to do an emergency blow-dry of her hair and change her shirt. And that's as exciting as it's been for forever. A wet kid 10 minutes before we leave to go to school. Woo!

Everyone is healthy. Mostly happy. We're waiting for the rain to stop. Last week, Cha and I had to walk in hail to pick the twins up from school. Hail! I guess that was kind of exciting.

OK, one pretty cute kid thing. I was taking Cha to her opthamologist appointment and I reached back from the driver's seat and squeezed her knee. Archie does this a lot because after you squeeze the knee, she chirps, "Thank you!" Anyway, I squeezed and no comment. I squeezed again -- nothing. I squeezed a third time, and she said, "Thank you, thank you, thank you!" Heh.