Sunday, December 13, 2009

Lulu Out of Left Field

My 5 year old blows my mind.  I swear she's 5 going on 15.

Which scares the bejeezus out of me.

Now, we are fairly selective in the TV we let the kids watch; I even turn off some of the "kids' shows" on Nickelodeon because I don't think they're age-appropriate to a 5 year old.  So I ask you, where the HELL did this scenario come from?


I had gotten out of the shower and was standing wrapped in a towel getting my hair, makeup, etc done.  We don't have much modesty in our house, so the bathroom door was open.  Lulu wandered in and was watching me get ready. 

Soon she walked over and said, "Mommy, you look beautiful." I thanked her (so sweet) and she then observed that my towel looked like a pretty dress.  I laughed and said it kind of did, and that she had a good imagination.

She then pulled aside the towel a bit and said, "But you wouldn't really wear this as a dress 'cause everyone would see your naked, right? Well, except Daddy.  Thats ok, right?"

I laughed again and said she was correct. 

She was thoughtful for a bit.  "Mommy?"

"What, Sweetie?"

"Well, um.... have any of your ex-boyfriends seen your naked?" she asked, the picture of kindergarten innocence.

After I un-swallowed my own tongue, I smoothly lied, "Oh, gosh, no honey!"

"Why not?" Again with the wide eyes.

"Well, I mean... because."

Blank stare.

"Well, because people don't show other people 'their naked' unless they're family or married."

She mulled this over and her little chin jutted out. "Well!  That just makes me SAD," she said in her best 15 year old voice.

"Why would you say THAT?" I countered.

"Because I think all your ex-boyfriends should have gotten to see your naked!!!"

And with that she stalked off.

If I'd had the guts, I would have chased her down and interrogated her till she spilled. 

But I'm a chicken, and I do NOT want to cross that road just yet. 

(forehead slap)

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Overheard #1 and Lulu Pops The Question

As the kids get older, they keep each other company a lot.  Plato and Lulu get along awfully well for a brother and a sister.  Sure, they quibble, quarrel, and push each others' buttons. But most often they are laughing and playing together.  Lately I've been lucky enough to overhear a lot of their private conversations.  I can't believe some of the things they talk about!  Above all, though, it fills my heart with that Mommy-love.... you know what I'm talking about Moms, that indescribable feeling of love, pride, blessedness, and something more that makes your chest feel like its going to burst.

This afternoon as I was preparing the ingredients for our Snow Day Cookie Fest, the kids were parked in front of the TV ('cause I'm such a great mom).  They were watching Tom and Jerry, the cat and mouse cartoon I grew up with in the 80's.  They loved it!!  Cracking up hysterically and chattering to each other about what was going on.  Eventually Lulu made the observation, "I wonder why they don't talk ever?"

Plato had apparently alreaady figured this out, because he didnt even pause as he answered, "Because it's an OLD cartoon, Lulu, and they didn't talk in OLD cartoons!!"

Guess that makes me OLD.


As I was tucking Lulu in to bed (remember, she's FIVE), we were going through our ritual bedtime kisses:  Butterfly Kiss (eyelashes), Eskimo Kiss (noses), Regular Kiss (lips), and a Biiiiig Hug. 

She held me in our Regular Kiss longer than usual, and when she pulled away she grinned at me.  "Mommy, we just had SEX!!!" she giggled.

Rather than grabbing her by her little shoulders and shaking her, demanding to know WHO has soiled my baby's pristine little mind, I pulled on my Calm Mommy Mask, complete with Composed Voice Technology. 

"What makes you say that, Lulu?" I asked.

"Well," she began, fixing me with the toddler version of the teenage standard 'my god you're dumb' look.  "When you kiss for a long time that's called sex." 

"No, it's not." I countered.

"What's sex, Mommy?"

I had not planned to have this conversation for a few more years; sheesh.

"We can talk about it some other time, Lulu.  It's time for you to go to sleep."  I flicked on her princess-crown nightlight, which seemed suddenly surreal in the context of the conversation. "I love you, Sweet Pea," I told her as I walked out of the room.

"You have to lay on top of each other while you're kissing for sex, right Mommy?" she called after me, her big hazel eyes and little upturned nose peeking up over her Dora The Explorer comforter. 

I sighed and turned slightly.  "No, Lulu. You don't have to." 

"But sometimes, right? Thats how Eva says you have sex"  (Eva is her older 1st grade friend.... her mom and I will be having a chat).

"Yes, sometimes.  But not always.  Goodnight Princess."  I walked out and shut off the hallway light.  From the recesses of her room I heard her muffled little voice:


Monday, December 07, 2009

Kid Funnies

Plato and Lulu are now 8 and 5, respectively.  They are both in elementary school, she in Kindergarten and he in 3rd grade.  I watch them interact with each other with a fair amount of nostalgia for my own childhood.  I have a little sister.  I remember many similar conversations, and the dynamic between my two is eerily similar to the dynamic I shared with little sis. 

No doubt there will be more to come on this subject, as they only become more  frustrating fascinating as they grow up.  For the purposes of this post, however, the theme is competition.

I suppose there's a natural amount of competition between siblings.  I imagine it's even healthy, and in the end prepares them in some way for adulthood.  Watching this dynamic evolve, as each becomes more sophisticated and skilled at "the game," is a real treat.  When I'm not banging my head against the wall, that is.

For example, one of their favorite new pastimes is "one-upping" each other. I picked them up from school last week, and our ritual conversation ensued: what did you learn today, who did you play with, what did you have for lunch, etc etc.

This particular conversation itself has evolved, with them reciprocating by asking questions of me as well: what did I do today, what did I have for lunch, etc.  I love this as I take it as a sign that they may be outgrowing (just a bit) their natural egocentricity. 

On this occasion, I informed them that I had eaten a banana for lunch.

To which Plato replied, "Well THAT's not much!"

And I confirmed that indeed, it was not.

"Well, the important thing is that you ate SOMETHING..." he wisely observed.

Not to be outdone, miss Lulu sat up straighter in her car seat and, in a measured (read: superior) cadence, pointed out that, "nooooOOOO..... What's IMPORTANT.... is that you didn't DIE!!!"

Smugly satisfied, she sat back in her booster, arms crossed over her chest and a signature Lulu smirk on her defiant little face. 

And who can argue with that kind of logic? I searched the rearview mirror, finding Plato's eyes already seeking mine.  I smiled at him.  He shrugged and rolled his eyes.

That's my boy.  Picking his battles already. 

And Lulu, her self-confidence ratcheted up a precious notch.

Hey, everyone's a winner.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

O Tannenbaum...

Well since I'm home now, and jobless (for the moment), we went ahead and got our Christmas tree early this year. Last year? We didn't even go out and get a tree. We put up an old cheapo fake at the last minute and didn't take the time enjoy it at all.

Our current tree stands proud in the corner of the living room, all 8 feet of real Fraser Fir. The kids are thrilled, the scent of pine fills the house, and the season seems to have begun.

This evening we broke out the boxes of decorations and let the kids have at the tree. Of course only the bottom 5 feet or so got decorated, mostly in the front, but it was so cute!

I was in charge of unwrapping the ornaments and telling the kids stories about each one. "What's THIS one, Mommy?!" they chirp, offering me an ornament, breathless with excitment.

"This one is from your first Christmas, Plato...." I say, holding up a giraffe ornament with a little blue pacifier around its neck. His eyes widen and a smile of pure glee lights his face as he gingerly takes the ornament from me, handling it as if it is priceless.

"Me! Mommy, Me!!" squeals Lulu, as I search for something of hers. I pull out a large foam snowman that houses a picture of her at 6 months, fluffy hair and adorable toothless grin on display. "This is you when you were a tiny baby, Lulu..." She claps and giggles, bouncing excitedly. "Look at my fuzzy hair, Mommy!"

We compare Plato's hand size at age 5 months with his current size. We delicately handle homemade tatted snowflakes passed down through generations. The kids ooh and aah over ornaments dated years before either of them were born. "Yes, Mommy and Daddy DID celebrate Christmas before you two were born," I grin.

Designer trees are beautiful, even gorgeous, with their coordinated ornaments and perfectly placed lights. And sure, someday I want one. Maybe as my "second tree."

When I actually have a house large enough to accommodate a second tree. Which is hard to swing when you're jobless. But I digress.

For now, my mismatched ornaments and homemade keepsakes make the most beautiful tree I can imagine. Its uniquely ours, and will provide precious moments for years to come.

How about you, readers? Designer trees or memorabilia mish-mash? Do tell!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Pink Glove Dance for Breast Cancer Awareness

Okay I couldn't NOT post this once I saw it - a whole hospital community coming together to support breast cancer awareness. Oh sure, the dancing isn't professional like a flash-mob, but the enthusiasm is real and these people are having FUN! Fun - in a hospital. Where all too often the "classes" are separate (administration, doctors, nurses, lab, foodservice, housekeeping) and the politics and drama can run deep. Its inspiring to see all these people throwing off whatever hats they usually wear and just having a good time for a good cause. I hope you enjoy: