Thursday, May 27, 2010

For the Love of Shel Silverstein

While reading Harry Potter to my son one evening, it made me remember fondly the time back in grade school when the teacher would read aloud to the class. This usually happened after recess as an attempt to get us riled up little rug rats settled back down into learning mode. I remember loving Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, and James and the Giant Peach to name a few. If you were really into one of the books that the teacher was reading, when it came to library time you bolted to get your hands on one of the two or three copies that the library had. This way you could read along, or if you couldn't control yourself, read ahead. Only one time, when I really loved a book, did my parents buy it for me. That would be "Where the Sidewalk Ends" by Shel Silverstein. This is my idea of poetry. It rhymes, it's literal and it's cute and funny at the same time. Who could forget "Sick?" "I can not go to school today said little Peggy Ann McKay..." (By the way I'm doing this from memory so don't hold me to the exact quote). Now that I'm allegedly grown up (married with three kids...guess I have to throw in the towel on childhood, but cling to the fact I still feel early twenty-ish), I look at this poetry from a different view. Remember Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Who Would Not Take the Garbage Out? In grade school, I thought she was hysterical. As a parent...not so much. Lately, I'm finding there to be nothing amusing about kids who refuse to pick up their sh*t. It is sucking the life out of my day and taking over the house. When the cleaning people come (total luxury, I know) I am always tempted to change the locks so my little tazmanian devils, Thing 1 and Thing 2, wrecking balls can't ruin it for me. However, rather than go all Mommy Deareast on them, I'll vent in a creative way. Here is my adaptation of Shel Silverstein's "Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out."

Better Listen When Mommy Shouts, "I'm Throwing All of Your BS Out!"

Better listen when Mommy Shouts,
"I'm throwing all of your BS out!"
As I take a look around our home,
I can not help but piss and moan.
Your shit is everywhere I look,
It's in every cranny and every nook.
I do not care how much you pout.
It's time to throw the BS out!
Littlest Ponies and Polly Pockets
Matchbox Cars and little toy rockets.
They fill your room, they cover the floor,
I trip on them, they block the door.
Dollar store toys and DS games
One costs a fortune, but you treat them the same
They're in a pile, they're under a bed
Find me a wall so I can bang my head
Puzzle pieces, activity books
Mangled dolls that have lost their looks
Markers and crayons and paints oh my!
We have tons but keep getting more...why?
Plymobile and Lego sets
As if those aren't enough, we have Kinex
These lovely sets with a million pieces
They're everywhere, it never ceases
Dress up clothes and junky jewels
Games to which we can't find the rules
As if the party weren't enough,
You come home from that with more stuff
The stuff you con me into buying
You say, "I'll pick it up," I know you're lying
See that is where I draw the line
The crap that is everywhere is not fine
No longer will I scream and shout
I'm just going to throw this BS out
Silly bands you can't live without
You'll pitch a fit I have no doubt
When I fill a bag like Santa Clause
And throw it out without a pause
Balls and toys from Happy Meals
I throw them in the bag with zeal.
Party bags filled with little junk
Into the trash I happily dunk
"Stop!" you say, "I'll pick up, you'll see!"
"Good," I say, "You've got to the count of three."
The house gets picked up in a snap
In one afternoon, it's back to crap
You see, the problem is too much stuff
So you have to say, "Enough's enough."
So if you must, Scream and shout
But always throw the BS out!

I am available for dramatic readings of this at your local bar. Buy me a drink and entry is free. If you're one of those folks who's house is always spotless, drink or no drink, you will be denied entry.

Ta Dahhhhhh! See what reading as a kid does for you? It gets the creative juices flowing! But seriously, this parenting gig is rarely easy (house maintenance just being a small part of it). Reading Harry Potter with my son at night is a ritual I love and one of a the few slam dunks I get as a parent. If you're not a parent, join a book club or just go to the book store. My book club forces me to read something other than Us magazine and I always feel better off when I've completed a book (even if I didn't love the selection). And although I usually buy my books on Amazon or Overstock, on the occasions I go into a bookstore, I find it instantly relaxing. That's never a bad thing.

So grab a book and get thee to bed. However, once you're done reading that book, it becomes a dust collector. Be sure to get that BS out!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Humor Found in Dr.'s Waiting Room...

Hello and happy Sunday. Things seem to be settling down here a bit after a very chaotic few weeks. I can only assume it is the quiet before the storm, because that's how we moms roll. I am, however, reminiscing about the crazy period a few weeks back. Three rounds of strep throat in the house, two of which evolved into ear infections. One of these cases was yours truly. This left me feeling like I was three years old (if only I could have indulged in a temper tantrum). This was especially challenging because of course this was happening as we were scrambling to celebrate a bunch of family events. Why then? Murphy and his laws can shove it.

So, dramatic flashback to making yet another visit to the pediatrician. It's one of those times that you wish the doctor's office had a frequent flyer program because I would would be half way to freakin Fiji by now. We scored the last appointment for 8 pm (you like how I use the word "scored" like its a reservation to some hot restaurant?) which is the only time we can make it post First Communion rehearsal. Oddly, it here that I am handed my laugh of the week.

As there were no outdated copies of Newsweek, Time, or People available, and I avoid any magazine featuring the word "Pregnancy" like the plague, I picked a new magazine called "Mom." I get a chuckle out of the article on how to teach toddlers yoga. If anyone out there accomplishes this, please call Guiness, not the beer people (although admitedly I would need alcohol to accomplish this), the folks who publish world records. Then a few pages later I see this...

Heaven help me. You expect us to believe that your baby can learn in utero by strapping this bad boy on? Just expose your belly to "X" and presto, they have increased ability to do "Z?" I have scientific evidence to disprove this theory. Due to lack of sleep during pregnancy I was the late night infomercial queen. If the theory of exposing your unborn child to exterior stimuli to increase their abilities in particular areas was true, my kids should have popped out as real esate moguls with flat abs and the ability to cook dinners in five minutes flat. Enough said. And may I say, "Poor Shannon Miller?" I guess Nikey hasn't come calling. Although they might be able to create a beautiful segue here. Shannon Miller does a Nike commercial with her Einstein-esque child wearing this Baby Plus contraption with an "Oz like" voice behind her saying, "What have you learned?" (If you ladies don't understand the Nike commercial reference, I'm sure your husbands can fill you in).

Moving on to the advertisement section in the back:

Love it! The name alone makes me want to ditch every other "suck the life out of me" undergarment I own and buy five of these. If it makes me look like the chick in the picture, I'll buy ten. However, I suspect it will be very much like bringing a picture of Angelina Jolie to the hairdresser and asking if they can "make me look like this." The ad references "Muffinology." This is science and technology I can get behind. Truthfully, I think I just want to say, "Mother Tucker," in conversation. I.e. my fantastic friends who's job it is to tell me I look great post partum (even if I look like a blob). I just want to turn to them and say, "I owe it all to the Mother Tucker!" Fun!

This leads me to my favorite. Truthfully, this wasn't in the magazine, but these first two items made me think of an item I saw in Babies'R'Us. It was a plaster molding kit so you could make a sculpture of your pregnant belly. Two thanks. I wanted to hit anyone who came near me with a camera and you think I'm going to let someone lather me up in plaster? Get a hold of yourself. Anyway, I went looking for the product online so I could include it with this post. I didn't find the same one, but I found this:

I've already used "Heaven help me," so I think I roll with "Lord have mercy" this time around. Yes, that's a mallot they are showing with the copper mold of a pregnant belly. You can make music with it folks! I recall how utterly HUGE I was with my first baby. The thought of making music with a copper mold of that conjurs a vision of "The Gong Show." Remember the life size symbol they used? Yep, that's about right. On the flip side, I think I missed my opportunity for a really cost efficient in ground pool. I'm learning to live with it. The cherry on top here is the logo. Take a close look at the top of the "B"...that would be a nipple. These are details I could live without.

So this is the over marketed world we live in. Do any of us really need this stuff? I have to answer with a big fat, "NO," especially in this economy. I think I would rather spend my money on silly bands. Also, a note to those who so want to be pregnant/have children and haven't gotten there yet. Don't despair. Everyone has their own story in this department and it almost always works out. This post really isn't about pregnancy, it's about assessing what we need. At the end of the day, I think it's very little. However, with more and more stuff being marketed, the lines between need, want, and what is practical/useful, definitely get blurred. Appreciate what you have, purge the stuff you have but don't need, and leave the rest of this garbage on the shelf! (Except the Mother Tucker...definitely need one of those babies.)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Business of Father Time

Greetings peeps! I know, I know, I have been crazy absentee. The past few weeks have been nuts as many of you moms can sympathize. Apparantly there are some nazi bloggers out there who say you need to write consistently two to three times a week. My thought is, until it pays the bills, it's called a hobby and doesn't always make it to the top of the to do list. Well, that and the past three issues of Us Magazine didn't give me anything I was really excited to write about (clearly the first sign of the apocolypse). The real source of my problem though is Father Time. If he were on Facebook I would totally "unfriend him"(or at least provide justification for a "dislike" button). That being said, it is time to put Father Time in the hot seat.

Now bear in mind, when it's all said and done, I'm a business girl . I appreciate making a deal, creating "win win" situations, and am all about my customer. Father Time clearly has not gone to business school. If he were on The Apprentice...color him fired. Here's what I'm talking about.

Economics 101 - The basic laws of supply and demand. Hellooooooooo! We're dying down down here (I say "down here" because I have this vision of Father Time being some God like figure watching over us...perhaps I give him too much credit?). If your customer is demanding more you're supposed to increase supply and create some sort of balance. We are screaming with demand, but yet you give us nothing. Don't give us the daylights savings schpeal either, because you may give us an hour, but then you yank it right back...totally doesn't count. Not only is this unfair, it's just confusing. Do I turn the clocks, forward, backward, how the H E double L am I going to get my infant to sleep past 5 a.m. in this scenerio? Just make it straight forward, give us more. We need it, we want it, throw us a bone. If the makers of Zhu Zhu Pets can figure out supply and demand, so can you.

Making the Deal / Creating the Win Win - It's time to get a power meeting on with Mother Nature. As time marches on, why must we decompose? Time to renegotiate. Frankly, it's a no brainer. You give us more time and in direct proportion Mother Nature slows the aging process. If you want to get really ambitious you can throw a little "Curious Case of Benjamin Button," in there. You know, have us age backward so we get younger as time goes on. Be creative! Great ideas don't have to be confined to fiction, get on it! Make it happen! It worked for Apple and Google, it can work for you.

The Monopoly - Three words. Don't go there. Oh sure, you may think you have control over it all, nobody can touch you, and we all have to put up with you and your sub-par product, but it usually doesn't end well. If you want to take what I'm talking about out for a test drive, go to a crowded cocktail party and mention the word "Comcast." amongst a group of men and watch the disgruntled sparks fly. Then watch the sunshine appear as people talk about how they LOOOOOOVE their Verizon. I'm just saying I think there could be a Verizon to your Comcast. Who's with me in developing "Mother Time Efficiency?" I've got ten bucks that says we can develop a far superior product that people will love! Why would we put time in the hands of of a man anyway? They have four hours and they play a round of golf. Women have four hours and we clean the house, plan an event, make two meals, chauffeur to two activities while simultaneously returning phone calls. Look out Father Time, we're going after your market share!

And there it is. I'm off to tackle the to do list that doesn't have the decency to take Sunday off. Then we're going to celebrate our nephew's college graduation. Hard to believe he was only ten years old when I met him. Whether it's managing to do's or watching your family grow up, it really all boils down to time and it's value. Cherish your time and more importantly the people you spend it with. Have a great day everyone!