Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Truth in Advertising

It is a well known fact among parents that "special alone time" is hard to come by. I don't know about everyone else's children, but my little progeny has this weird radar that notifies him each and every time Eric and I even THINK about getting up close and personal. He has successfully maintained his status as an only child. Even if we wanted another child it is virtually impossible to create one.

Last night Eric and I managed to put Drew to bed at a relatively normal hour and he immediately fell asleep. That alone is some kind of a miracle. We normally have multiple "tuck ins" because immediately upon lying in his bed Drew is hungry, thirsty and has to pee. Must be the down in his pillow.

Anyway, Drew fell asleep immediately (NO I did't spike his juice with Benadryl - how dare you suggest such a thing?!). We were alone! Whee! No little Drew feet in the small of my back! Double Whee!! The funny, and just a little bit sad, thing is that instead of taking carnal advantage of this alone time we ended up having a conversation. An actual conversation that was void of all the little interruptions that come with having an inquisitive 4-year old observer.

"Mom, why is Dad's computer game assinine?"
"Mom, what does assinine mean?"
"Mom, why are we going to rob Peter?"
"Mom, who is Paul and why do we have to pay him?"

Adult conversation is hard to come by in our house and you would think we would take advantage of these little moments. Instead you get conversations like the one we had last night:

"Honey, do you think I am so fat that it is gross? 'Cause I feel really gross."

"I never think you are gross sweetie. I think you are gorgeous."

"You have to say that because you're my husband."

"No. I get to tell you the truth because I am your husband and I don't think you are fat. I certainly don't think you are gross."

"It's just that I feel like I landed this really gorgeous guy and it just blows my mind because I'm fat."

"You. Are. Not. Fat."

"Well, I just don't understand why you to picked me. I mean, you're all hot and stuff and could get any girl you wanted. You are really gorgeous and well, I'm not. How did I get you to pick me?"

"You put out."

Ahhhh....True Love.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Testosterone on Ice!!

Drew got his first pair of ice skates for Christmas just before he turned 2. Looking back, the skates were as cute as could be, but it wasn't the smartest purchase we've ever made. He wore them about 4 times and he had already grown out of them. The kid is like a weed! I think I may have surpassed them several times over in the "not such a smart purchase" category. Let's just say that I have been known to make impulse purchases from time to time and those little hockey skates are a prime example.

A few months later, and with slightly smarter parents, Drew got to pick out his second pair of skates. We bought them at the used sports equipment store. They were a little beat up, but they were a perfect fit and they were CHEAP! I love cheap! Whee! In a couple of weeks we have to go and buy his 3rd pair of skates. The kid just won't stop growing despite my best efforts. He's like a puppy - ALL FEET!

Over the last couple of years Drew has taken several skating classes and he is a pretty good skater. He tends to be timid which is surprising since he has no qualms about sliding down a big, snowy hill with sticks on his feet. I suppose if I were wearing shoes with blades on the bottom and standing on ice I would be timid, too (Actually - he is less timid than me so I should probably shut up). He seems to do better when he skates with Eric so we decided to stop putting him in classes and just have Eric teach him. That whole male-bonding thing seems to actually work in this case. Once he is ready for actual hockey then we will go back to classes since hockey obviously requires multiple kids and I'll be damned if I am going to keep having kids for the sake of hockey.

Eric was about 7 when he started playing hockey and he has loved it ever since. He plays several times a week to this day and has visions of Drew hoisting the Stanley Cup. Before Drew could even walk I would hear all about how he was going to teach Drew to skate and then coach his hockey teams and how awesome that would be. I just smiled and nodded and started planning better ways to layer my outfits so that I didn't freeze to the bleachers in the rink. I am STILL working on that one and we practically live at the hockey rink. It's pure luck that I still have all my toes and fingers.

All I know is that Drew has got to be the cutest thing on ice and it is so much fun to sit and watch him and Eric out there skating together. I can already picture the days when Drew is skating circles around his old, decrepit Dad! Hee! In the meantime I suppose Drew and I will just keep cheering Eric on in his hockey games!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Room Full of Heart Disease

OK - so I don't really consider myself a snob. Maybe other people would argue, but as far as snobs go I would count myself on the lower end of the scale. As a smartass I am well on my way to world champion caliber, but I don't consider myself a snob. The reason for this disclaimer is that I am about to embark upon a snobby post and I want it to be viewed as an anomoly of my character. Seriously - I am only snobby about a couple of things. Wine is one of them. I can't really remember the other one, but I am sure it is something entirely innocent. Really.

I am sure you are wondering at this point what I could possibly unleash a diatribe of snobbishness regarding??

I have two words for you: GOLDEN CORRAL

For some reason, Drew has decided that Golden Corral is the Best. Restaurant. Ever. I think it is actually my fault because when I was pregnant I could only eat potatos and since that didn't work all that well for Eric we would go to Golden Corral so he could get some semblance of real food. I paid those people a lot of money for their mashed potatos. And baked potatos. And french fries. But, it kept Eric from subsisting on a steady diet of starch and therefore we were both pretty happy with the set-up.

I actually think that part of the reason Drew likes it so much is he is Mr. Independent. He wants to be able to pick his own dinner - even if all he ever does is push it around his plate and poke at it and wait for me to tell him to "eat a bite of something that isn't made of refined sugar" or "there are starving babies in Africa" or "if you don't eat that right now I swear you will eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner until every last bite is gone."

I suppose it adds an element of excitement if the food he gets and doesn't eat is food that we are paying too much for. I also think he gets some kind of sick glee out of making me sound like a *gulp* parent instead of the cool, hip 30-something I really am.

Moving on...

It is time for the snobbishness to commence.

Have any of you been to Golden Corral? On a Sunday morning? If not, don't. If you have, I'm sorry.

Sunday at Golden Corral is...let me see if I can accurately describe it...it is like a trailer park filled with obscenely overweight people has taken a field trip to the land o'breakfast a'plenty.

I know. That is mean, but I accepted long ago that my ticket to hell has been purchased. It's first class. Bite me.

We watched a man that had to weigh slightly more than 400 pounds sit down on his chairs at the table with two plates of food. One plate was entirely devoted to meat. Bacon, pork chops, ham and sausage. It was a freakin' mountain of meat that would make any self-respecting carnivore proud. The second plate had corned beef hash, some hash browns and eggs. I was somewhat proud of the eggs because those are really healthy comparatively speaking. I would have actually congratulated him, but I was afraid of being sucked into his gravitational pull and being forced to orbit indefinitely.

It actually made me nauseated and effectively led to my eating healthy portions of healthier food. No sausage for me, thanks. I just can't believe that one person could eat...no, wants to eat...that much food. I swear I heard the faint sound of his heart screaming..."help me! heelllpp me!" like that fly in that movie that I know I should know the name of, but can't seem to think of at this moment. I suppose I am still slightly dizzy from the sight of that mountain of meat.

I just don't think I have ever gone to any other restaurant that is absolutely filled to the brim with fat people sporting poor oral hygiene. At first I thought - ok...they come here to fill up because they appear to be budgetarily challenged and you get all you can eat from salad to dessert. Then I realized that they are also all fat so they must be eating pretty good. And often.

I also realize the irony in my blog because I am lamenting all the fat, seemingly poor people at Golden Corral and I only know they are there because I was there. I get the irony. No need to shout. I'm just sayin'. Jeez.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Is this the fast lane or a single's bar?

I was driving home from work tonight and I had one of those experiences that really made me question the sanity of people. I was going to say "people who drive" or "people who commute" or "people who drive monster trucks," but it is really just people in general.

Let me set the scene:

I am in rush hour traffic on the interstate. There is construction. I am doing approximately 20 miles per hour and that speed is entirely based upon the lady in the car in front of me and her ability to drive while putting on her make-up.

In my rearview mirror I see a very large truck coming up the lane next to me. The lane that is ending at the exact spot I am residing. He whips in right behind me and proceeds to ride my bumper. Honestly, I had to avert my eyes. I actually started wondering if I should just give him my bumper to consumate the relationship he was clearly having with the shiny chrome of my trailer hitch.

I imagine the "romancing" process was a bit like getting hit on at a bowling alley. It goes something like this:

White truck: "Hey baby. How about we have a beer and then go f**k or do you not drink?"
-- note: I imagine someone who looks like a cross between David Hasselhoff and the neighbor Larry from Three's Company. Gold chains. Doused with Polo. Mullet. --

My bumper: "Are you really hitting on me...and...did I just fall through a wormhole to 1987?"

White truck: "What's your problem, bit*h? You too good for me? Huh? I'll show you who's too good for who you snotty bit*h."

My bumper: "Seriously? You want to show me something? So long as it isn't your hairy chest peeking through that Izod shirt you're sportin' then you can show me whatever you want there, Chief."

Ahhh...memories...ahem...sorry. Had a flashback there.

At about this point Mr. Wizard begins to flash his brights at me. Let me give you a little logistics lesson...I am in bumper to bumper traffic. Both lanes are filled to capacity for as far as the eye can see. I can't change lanes. I can't go faster. I suppose I could have slowed down, but that may have driven Captain Cerebral into a light flashing frenzy and I could have had a seizure from the strobe effect so I refrained. Hey...my personal safety was at stake and a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do!

After a while General Genuis backed off and waited for some unsuspecting victim in the other lane to create a gap wide enough for him to squeeze into. He then changed from one lane to the next depending on which appeared to be moving faster. The great footnote to this story? I actually ended up passing him by staying in the lane I started in and doing the speed limit.

Go figure.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Apparently golf is a contact sport

Friday was a charity golf scramble that my company is a very large sponsor of. I played in it last year and, if you read my blogs, you know that it didn't go very well. This year I was more prepared and was really looking forward to it. Unfortunately it was cold and rainy...but, we can suffer a bit for charity. Right?!

Last year I wrote an entire blog about my golf game - or lack thereof. This year I had a much better game, but yours truly managed to dislocate my kneecap. I would love to tell you about some grand event where I drove for 250 yards and hit a hole in one. But alas, I was jogging to the golf cart.

Jogging. To. The. Golf. Cart.

Here is the aftermath of my dangerous mission to the 18th green:

Isn't it the most beautiful big, black leg brace you have ever seen?

Oh, yeah... and how do you like my new tattoo?

What you can't see about the brace is that this beautiful fashion accessory goes all the way up to mid-thigh and it is dressed up with lots and lots of velcro.

I keep getting stuck to the furniture.

It's glorious.

It is also locked so that I can't bend my knee. That is my favorite part. Since I can put weight on it - but can't bend it - I am walking around the house looking like a cast member from The Return of the Living Dead.

I did manage to play out the remaining holes and our team was only 1 over par so it wasn't a total bust. I guess it was a bad choice; however, because walking around on it just made it worse and now I actually have to go back to the orthopedic doc. Could this be knee surgery number 3 I sense looming on the horizon?

Good times. Good times.

I spent all day yesterday with good drugs and video games. I am officially in love with Guitar Hero. Eric is now using my lapse in judgement as proof that we must. Buy. X-Box. 360. Immediately.

I regularly make fun of Eric for playing video games and "gamers" in general are frequent receipients of my fun poking. When it comes to Guitar Hero I get lots and lots of material from the fact that they actually hold competitions. Since I consider making fun of "gamers" to be an actual sport it is a gold mine of material. The competitions are a strange combination of jaw-droppingly hysterical and really, really sad. I just can't get over the fact that if the Guitar Hero competitors put as much time into learning to play a real guitar as they do into learning to play a video game they could very possibly be in an actual band. But...moving on...

Today Drew and I are watching television and generally just hanging out. Since Drew has lost his video game "crack" fix he is acting out all of the light saber fights from the Star Wars movies. Also jaw-droppingly hysterical and really, really sad. And so you don't think I am evil for calling my son sad I want to point out that the hysterical part is Drew's unique rendition of each battle and the sad part is the fact that his Star Wars obsession was created by his Dad. He'll never admit it, but Eric could probably act out the light saber fights, too.

Here is a small sampling of Drew's light saber expertise:

He takes his Star Wars VERY seriously so back slowly away and no sudden movements.

Drew gives us his best "Magnum" face as he prepares to pull the light saber from his Armpit Holster.

Don't mess with the Jedi-extraordinaire.

I think Drew really appreciates the fact that in my gimpy state I make an easier target and because I am medicated I am less likely to argue with him when he stages Star Wars battle number 3 from Return of the Jedi where Luke Skywalker fights Darth Vader for control of the Death Star.

I have survived the knee injury and the round of golf...now I just have to survive the Drew. Wish me luck and bring on the narcotics!!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Pick your battles, Mom.

Once I became a Mom I realized how few things in this world we actually control. There was a period of time that I truly believed I was the master of my own destiny and everything that happened to me was my choice. Nice try, right?

Now I realize how much impact the rest of the world has on my life. The road rage drivers, the flaky co-workers, the incompetent "customer service" person at AT&T...each and every one of them has some impact on my day. Damn them. Eventually you realize that there are those things you choose to fight about and those things you don't.

Last weekend Drew and I went on a wild Saturday shopping spree where we bought everything from golf shoes to Halloween costumes and we had an absolute blast. Granted, Drew lost interest sometime between the checkout at Toys R'Us and the car, but that is totally beside the point. At no point did he have a temper tantrum and refuse to let me unclick the seat belt to take him out of the car. Ahhh....small victories.

Anyway, the next day we had a few more errands to run and Drew, immediately upon waking, decreed that he was going to wear his Batman costume for the day. I thought about it for approximately 2.4 seconds and realized how easy Decree #2,389 from the Throne of Drew was to accomodate. SO...off we went...me and Batman...

The girls at Starbucks thought it was hysterical. Once Drew decided to roll down his window and "fight" other motorists it became clear that anyone who has a child realizes that the wearing of the Halloween costume on non-Halloween days is one of those fights not worth fighting. I got lots of honks, waves, laughs and knowing grins.

It was actually awesome because for the whole day my little man was a rock star super hero and I haven't grinned for that many consecutive hours in a really long time.

Thank you Drew...

Friday, October 5, 2007

Drew and his alter-ego

This morning I had the opportunity to sit down with Drew’s pre-K teacher. She wanted to know if we thought Drew was enjoying class. I told her that we have far less of the early morning temper tantrums on school days so that seemed to indicate some level of enjoyment on his part. I think he prefers to sit at home and play video games all day instead of engaging in more noble pursuits like education, but he is no longer steadfastly refusing to leave the house. Don't get me wrong - Drew is a great kid. He is just stubborn and of course it has nothing to do with me being stubborn - how dare you suggest such a thing.

His teacher told me that Drew is doing great in class. He is a very sweet kid who is quite popular with his classmates. He listens well, he picks up after himself and she rarely has to talk to him about the same mis-behaviors twice.

Huh? Did I hear that correctly?

ME: “Where is this wondrous creature of which you speak? Are you sure you know which kid is mine?”
HER: “Why, of course I do. Drew is a great kid.”
ME: “Hmmm. Do you think you could introduce me?”

For about 30 seconds I am convinced she thought I was serious. She did that quick room scan thing looking for help. I laughed to put her out of her misery.

It simply amazes me how a kid that repeatedly kamikaze leaps from the coffee table to the recliner despite many missed landings and a couple of spankings will suddenly revert to a different human the second he is out of my sight. I have this mental picture of Drew saying things like, “Of course I shant misbehave dear care provider. I believe I shall quietly play with this educational toy. If you require my attention simply ask and I shall immediately acquiesce to your request.”

At home it is closer to, “Whadaya want parental unit? I’m busy here. Can’t you see that Lego Luke Skywalker is trying to destroy the Death Star? Go away and come back when I’m done or I’ll call Guido to take out your kneecaps.”

I’ll tell you what though – that kid is a spitfire and I wouldn’t change that. He’s as mouthy as me. Apparently - my Dad informed me with glee - I was just as mouthy at four as Drew is. Is that the karma wheel I hear a’spinnin’?

Monday, October 1, 2007

I never said we were normal...

I am not sure we classify as the traditional American family. Actually, I don't think there really is a traditional American anything these days so I suppose I shouldn't spend too much time and energy lamenting our non-traditionalism. Our evenings tend to revolve around some form of electronic entertainment (i.e. computer, television, etc.) instead of board games at the kitchen table. No, we aren't exactly Leave It To Beaver or Father Knows Best around here. I would say we are somewhere between the Simpsons and the Bundys - just without the animation or Christina Applegate in spandex.

Tonight I actually made it home before 10 p.m. due to an eye exam at 5. I had to re-schedule the stupid thing four times before I actually went. I'm not great with that whole "taking care of myself" thing. I usually wait until symptoms reach epic proportions before taking time away from work to have it checked out. That may be why I am down two (apparently extraneous) organs...but, that is a blog for another day.

Anyhoo...we ate dinner and then went for a walk around the neighborhood so Drew could ride his bike. I am tempted to feel all puffed up and proud of our family togetherness, but the ulterior motive was to wear the kid out so that Eric and I might actually get to go to bed ALONE(nudge nudge wink wink). I used to think that when people made comments about having kids and then never having sex they were joking. Well, the joke was on me because there is a reason we only have one kid. No better birth control. On. The. Planet.

So, after our little family foray into the world of *gasp* exercise, we retreated to the living room and proceeded to do what we normally do:

I put on ear phones, opened up the laptop and worked on all the stuff I didn't get finished while in the office today.

Drew and Eric played video games on the big ass t.v. until Drew got bored and then...

Drew proceeded to beat the crap out of Eric. I suppose that'll teach Eric the dangers of showing Drew how to do the "Corporate Elbow." That little experiment in boy bonding has seriously backfired! The upside is that with one well-placed shot we can save the $200 deductible on Eric's vasectomy. Needless to say, I always root for the Drew-man when these little battles ensue.

Board games? How we scoff at thee...