Give Me Shelter

Goose, my 6-year-old daughter, was recently discussing her plans for when she grows up.  “I want to be a mommy when I get bigger, but I don’t want to grow a baby in my belly.  I’m going to get one from the shelter.”

For those who don’t know, I work in a veterinary hospital (12 years and counting), and before that, I was a volunteer for a greyhound rescue.  All of our dogs and cats have been rescues of one sort or another.  Discussions about homeless animals and responsible pet ownership are common in this household.

Me:  You’re going to get a baby from the shelter?

Goose:  Yes, I want to be mommy to a baby that doesn’t have a mommy.  Maybe one that’s zero years old, but maybe one that’s bigger because it’s harder for older kids to get families.

Me: That’s true, Goose.  And I think that’s a wonderful idea.  But children who need homes live in a place called an orphanage or a foster home.  The shelter is where dogs and other pets go. When you add a child to your family that way, that’s called adoption.

Goose:  Just like when we adopted Frances (the dog)?

Me:  Something like that.

Goose:  How will I find the orphanage or foster home, mom?

Me:  You’ll find the way.  Your heart will lead you.

Goose: Yeah, I have a big heart.

Yes, you do.

 

 

Life Experience

Image by Neil Fifer  (WikiMedia Commons)Buddy (age 6) is ever inquisitive.   I try my best to answer every inquiry as factually as possible, so when he asked, “Mom, why do old people get wrinkles?”  I went on about skin elasticity and muscle tone, and some other stuff that sounded about right (with a disclaimer that I was not super knowledgeable in that area and if he’d like more detailed information, I would help him look it up when we got home.)  He said that my explanation made sense.

The conversation among the three kids turned to the various adults that they know and how many wrinkles each person had.  There was intense discussion about each person’s age and if it seemed to relate to the amount of wrinkles they can see… It didn’t.    I explained that lifestyle, diet and family history can have an impact on how your skin looks as you get older.

This led to an analysis among the children about the health of various relatives (sorry, family!): grandma doesn’t make good food choices, auntie gets lots of exercise, and so on.

This, in turn, led to an analysis of my own wrinkles.  Bear tells me to smile, and I do.  He points to the lines around my mouth.  Laugh lines, I tell him, because you bring me so much happiness.  Then, he zeroed in on the “little wrinkles by your eyes when you squint.”

They’re called “crow’s feet”, Bear.  They mean that mommy has lots of life experience.

Bear, without hesitation, laughs, “Life ‘sperience means old!”

Peace and Love

Peace on EarthThe day after Christmas, I took the kids to a local diner for breakfast.  As we were wrapping up, I told them that I wanted to go to Target to pick up a few things for myself.

Mommy wants to get herself a couple of things for Christmas.

Buddy:  But mom, you got what you wanted most already!

I did?

Buddy: Yes, you got yourself some pieces.

Some what?

Buddy: Some peace? Peace.  You got yourself some peace.

Oh! Peace?

Buddy: Yes! And love, too!

I did?

Buddy: Yes! We are very peaceful when we play with our Kindles and we sure do love that you got them for us. That’s peace and love.

So it is, Buddy.  So it is.

The Sir Axelrod Revelation

Have you ever watched a movie so many times that you could recite it almost word for word?  Have your kids ever watched a movie so many times that you know every word even though you don’t remember specifically ever sitting down to properly watch it?  It’s absorbed by some sort of osmosis as you come in and out of the room doing various chores and tasks. (Don’t start with the “I never use the TV as a babysitter” nonsense… I call bullsh*t.  Sometimes it’s the only way dinner gets on the table.)

Certainly, if the kids have watched it that many times, they must know all the words and every detail of the plot, too, right?  I would think so.  But it seems that all of this time, I’ve given my children’s observational skills too much credit.

(Spoilers follow, so if you’re one if the 15 people who haven’t yet seen Cars 2, you may wish to avert your gaze.)

It was on the way home from a recent trip, during the 150th viewing of Cars 2 that Buddy screamed from the back of the Swagger Wagon:

Wait! Sir Axelrod put the bomb on Mater?!?! That’s crazy!!

In case of booger emergency…

A box of Scotties tissues

A box of Scotties tissues (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Goose and Bear suffer from seasonal allergies, as so many people do.  They are non-stop itching their noses and sneezing.  We go through a ludicrous amount of tissues.  I am equal parts “Cover that sneeze! With your elbow not your hand!” and “Bless you.”

You would think that this mother of 3, who has survived cold season many times and has 2 kids with allergies, would be prepared for spontaneous mucus expulsion.  You would think that, because she always has a complete change of clothes or two for each child in the Swagger Wagon, and an emergency potty, and enough snacks on board to keep the family fed for a week if we were ever to become stranded.  You would think that something as simple as a pocket full of tissues would be a piece of cake.

Then why, oh why, do I find myself digging through my giant 40 pound purse for a tissue, napkin or anything that passes as a tissue in the face of a child sporting a snot web from nose to chin (or worse- nose to chest- ick.)  Why can’t I bring myself to use a sleeve?  Why can’t I just remember to keep tissues handy?  Why have I resorted (on more than one occasion, sadly) to using a panty-liner as a tissue?

And what must passers-by think??

Just kidding… I don’t care.

Career Prospects of an Under Acheiver

I realized today that I have no marketable skills.

I was updating my résumé, as I  do every 5-10 years (I know I’m supposed to review it every year, but really… who does that?), and I didn’t have any idea what to put on it.  So I thought about my strongest qualities, and started constructing a list to see what could be worked into a résumé.

  • Sarcasm (Who, me?)
  • Cynicism (Well, you know that won’t last.)
  • Professional meddling (And I would have gotten away with it, too!  If it hadn’t been for that professional meddler!)
  • Starting (I am an amazing starter.  If you need something started, call me!  Just don’t expect me to finish it.  Ever.  I haven’t finished a single thing since my children were born, unless bottles of wine and pints of ice cream count.)
  • Video game proficiency (Is there a market for 30-something, mommy, beta testers?  Sims FreePlay, all over it.  Nothing better than tending the hunger, sleep and hygiene needs of virtual people.)
  • Uninhibited truth-telling and complete lack of tact (My husband calls these “conditions” that I have, like diseases.  I call them “virtues”.)

These are not resume material, obviously.  I moved on to accomplishments.  Do I have any achievements that are resume worthy?

  • Birthed 3 children (Not very marketable, as I have no intention of repeating the performance.)
  • Laundry (Ongoing…. and hardly accomplished, as I’m always waist deep in it and never sort by color or whatever.)
  • Quirky cupcake construction (You know, cupcakes shaped like aliens and robots are gratifying to look at, ok to eat, and a veritable time suck to create.)
  • 3-4x a week showers (This is an accomplishment.  I’m up from once a week when my offspring were younger. Go me.)
  • Kindergarten homework x2 (It was an all-nighter, but I nailed it!)
  • All living things in my care still thriving

Well, the last one is something; although I don’t know that it belongs under “Professional Experience”…. maybe it’s better suited for “Objective”.

If you are in the market for a person with my hardly unique skill-set, please contact me for an interview.

Escape to Poo Mountain… Or Happy Earth Day…

Or… Why I should probably supervise my children better.

(Off topic: Who else loved Escape to Witch Mountain as a kid?)

I’m writing more these days, which means more computer time, which means my kids must fend for themselves.

GO. OUTSIDE. NOW… and stay there.

Generally, I sit on the deck and supervise them closely (**muffled laughter**), but today it is cool enough, and my laptop battery is low enough, that deck-sitting wasn’t an option.  Out they went.  And wouldn’t you know?  Miracles do happen and they played outside nicely.  No fighting.  No coming inside every 5 minutes.  No mischief.  No mischief?

They come inside and merrily tell me that they built a fly hotel called FlyTel because it’s Earth Day and “We even built Poo Mountain!”

Me:  Huh, cool. (Totally not paying attention… wait for it… wait for it)  Wait.  What?  You what?

Buddy: We built Poo Mountain from dog poo for our FlyTel so the flies can eat!

Me:  Built it with what?  With what did you touch poo?

Goose:  Gloves!

Bear: (grinning ear to ear) Uh huh! Wif gloves!

Me:  Please place all gloves in the laundry basket, then proceed directly to the bathroom to wash your hands.

**Smiling Earth-friendly children head toward bathroom**

Me: (yelling after them) WITH SOAP!! Wash your hands with SOAP!

**Grumbling children wash their hands with soap**

Me:  Now, let’s have a look-see at your FlyTel.

My children proudly delivered me outside to see this awesomeness:

FlyTel

To book your reservation, call today!

I love that they were thoughtful enough to include provisions for the flies’ education… I bet this wasn’t on your list of kid friendly Earth Day activities.