Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Mini Van Corral

I'm a soccer mom, drive my kid to school everyday mom (and pick him up), packing lunch with vegemite sandwiches and a freddo frog surprise mom.

I'm also mom to one of the most laid back, coolest kids around. We have some friends with pretty cool kids themselves, but I'm sure you understand, I've got a favorite and he's mine. Every morning at Joseph's request, we have listened to CAKE 'The Distance" which Joseph calls "The Distance and The Speed Song" and then "I will survive" by CAKE. He loves them both. And we can't just "listen" to them, we have to "turn it loud mommy!!" which I do, and Joseph mouths along the words and stares out the window as the early morning passes him by and he whispers "no trophy, no flowers, no flashbulbs, no lines....".... he's going THE DISTANCE!

I re-introduced him to JET "Put your money where your mouth is" song this morning, I say "re-introduced" because this was a favorite of mine/his when I was carrying him around all day, on the inside. I'd put this song on, and he'd start rocking out in my belly. Needless to say, "put your money" is now on our favorites playlist that is rapidly growing to be one of the rockin' collections ever put together by a 3 year old.

We pull into the street where the mini van corral begins and I slowly turn down the music, Joseph doesn't protest because he knows we are near school, which is just freakin loves and he sits so far forward in his booster that I think he is going to pop his 5 way harness and get smushed against the windshield at 5MPH in an effort to get just that LITTLE bit closer to seeing all the action that is going on outside his school before we go in.

It's like a buffet of parent approved transportation. The main course, is of course, the mini van. Toyota, Mazda, Toyota, Ford, Muranos (not a mini van, but cooler extension of such). Mine is only one of a handful, a sprinkling, of four door sedans. There are of course the parents in the mini SUVs that haven't quite yet made it to swallowing that big lump in their throat and turning the key in a mini van, but they are so close, I lump them in that group. As Pre-K parents we get to pull in and park and take our kids into the school, into their classrooms, getting in one to three more last kisses and hugs before they catch a glimpse of their friends and happily skip off to spend the day not thinking about us. Which is ironic, I catch myself spending a serious amount of time thinking about what Joseph does all day, if he is eating his lunch, talking with other kids, being shy or having a fun time. The mini van corral continues around the parking lot, Joseph and I dodge the slowly moving cattle, err, mini vans, as they drop off their precious cargo in the hands of the teacher on duty in the receiving line that morning, and shuttle them into the gymnasium where from there, the kids are on their own and are expected to turn up in their classrooms.

The brakes on the vans moan like cattle not really wanting to move, but need to be shuttled to the exit so that other kids can be dropped off. Some of the parents make small talk to the teacher on the receving line as if trying to delay the inevitable. The teacher gets the kid(s) and simultaneously shuts the door to the van and waves the next one along. Their smile is the substitue for the cowboy whip cracking, the parents looking back and waving resembles the reluctance of the cattle to move through the gate. The exit gate.

The first day of school was fantastic. Joseph was excited for exactly 2 months, 8 days and 23 hours when I told him he was going to start preschool everyday up until the first day, "I want to go to preschool now". I now realize why parents don't tell their kids about going to Disneyland until they are at the ticket gate. You just don't want to hear about it for weeks beforehand. We picked out the outfit the night before, laid out the clothes and I prepared him a special "first day of preschool present". Joseph has been a tremendous sport every morning. We never did what everyone told us to do "go to bed 10 minutes earlier each night for 2 weeks until you are going to bed at the right time, so you can get up earlier. We just went to bed, and every morning Joseph has been sleepy eyed, heavy head and limbs like a raggady Anne doll, but the very mention of going to school that morning and it's instant chatter about oatmeal, cereal or toast, what shoes he is going to wear and what toys he can't, but wants to take to school that day to show Mrs Jacob. He's a champ.

I didn't cry either, in fact, that never crossed my mind, I think I was as equally as excited about the first day of school as Joseph was/is. I did the fake sniffle and looked at Paul "he is all grows up" with my eyebrows raised and my forehead ruffled, honestly I think Paul was a little more sniffly than I was, but he kept it under wraps pretty well. Paul and I chatted all the way to work about what Joseph would do that do, when we could pick him up and how we thought he was going to do. Then we were silent, I think we both imagined how his day would play out in his classroom, eating lunch and playing outside, how happy he would be to see us in the afternoon to pick him up. Or then again, Paul could have been micro sleeping, he hasn't had to get up that early for work or school and I think his brain might have been haemorraghing as the thought of actually being at work before 9am without coffee in hand, hit him.

Yesterday I picked him up from the play yard outside and he was trying to get the attention of a very pretty little girl, whom he later introduced to me as, Sophia. She is "very pretty", I said, Joseph replied, "No she isn't mommy, she is very cool." He kept trying to get her attention to get her to come home with us to play at our house, she seemed pretty disinterested, but gave Joseph enough attention that he was still eager to pursue. Get use to it Joseph, this is where it all starts. He was so interested in her and kept insisting that she is "so cool" that I was able to use her name as an extra incentive to get dressed this morning as I nagged Joseph four or five times to get dressed, while he stalled in imaginative play. I'd bring him back to reality "Don't you want to see Sophia? You can't see her if you aren't dressed!" "Ok, ok, ok ok, Mommy!"

Joseph described Sophia to grandma on a phonecall last night, "she's a FOX", I about dropped when I heard him say that, did Paul teach him that, where did he learn that, OMG!? Then I quickly realized when I picked up Joseph she was wearing a headband that had "fox" ears on it, "yes," siad Joseph, "yes she was a fox, like a wolf, Sophia is a wolf". Ohhhhhh, Oooook. That was funny. It was another word/phrase/bad habit I thought his daddy had taught him, how quickly Joseph has pikced up on bad terminology used by his father and relayed it for everyone, in the most appropriate, yet in appropriate of circumstances. I'm just WAITING for the day, Joseph gets in front of his classroom, trys to make them laugh, rolls over, hits the floor and exlaims "oh I hurt my balls!" Like he does everywhere else and has, unfortunately taught Jake to say as well, sorry Andrea, but I did say you can blame Paul for that one. Joseph has already smacked me on the butt as he walks by, because he has seen Paul do that. Awesome, I gotta get this kid some class.

Joseph looks nothing like me, but is just like me. He will do anything, almost anything to get a laugh out of someone. When all else fails, or you just aren't sure, try laughter, that usually works. To a 3 year old, this is physical humor, like rolling over, pretenting to hurt yourself or run around or say crazy words together like "peanut butter pants!" or "diaper change head". He thinks he is so hilarious, and he is pretty funny, for a 3 year old. I always and still do, try to make fun out of everything. Even when it is probably inappropriate, sorry kids, I just don't know any other way, I tried maturity and it turns out, that wasn't for me. So if you know of someone that has colon cancer and might have to get a colostomy bag, don't tell me, because I'm sure to say something like "well the worst thing about a colostomy bag is trying to find shoes that match." ba-da-ching! Joseph has this exact same trait. I've learned to keep it under wraps in most appropriate circumstances, so I hope he can do the same. If you are reading this and don't think that I do, well then imagine how much MORE worse I could be.

At 3, Joseph has a sense of humor, sense of taste in music, sense of surroundings and feelings and a great attitude. I just hope that when he turns into the puberty inducing doppleganger of a child I once knew, that he still maintains these traits and once he overcomes that pimply evil teenage years, he comes out of it stronger and more self assured in the beautiful (sorry Joseph, I mean COOL) personality traits he has had since he was just a half baked baby swimming in amniotic fluid.

Monday, August 16, 2010

You know what really grinds my gears??

The Today Show. Matt Lauer IS glib. Don't get me wrong, Tom Cruise is 10 kinds of Scientology crazy, but Matt Lauer is a problem. Thank god he doesn't have a full head of hair, can you just IMAGINE how obnoxiously cocky this guy would be WITH a full head of hair?!? He is already so obviously self righteous and thinks he's so intellectually suprerior than all of his interviewees, you'd think that being so follicically challegend, that would mean a man to be a little less self assured, but in his case, his lack of hair only makes him totally obnoxious. A perfectly combed coiff, add a little salt and pepper to taste and Matt Lauer would need most televisions to be more than 16x9 in order to fit his ginormous head in.

Between Minnie Driver's GINORMOUS chisled chin and Matt Lauer's ego, TV screens are just an ugly step sister trying to fit in Cindy's shoes.

I mean really, what is this "Manhattan Island" that makes EVERYONE on this show, including producers (who write this whole thing) think everything that goes on there is the ONLY place where things go on? My FAVORITE episode, has had to have been where the Today Show Team "Go Green" by carpooling their limo service at, boo hoo, 5am to be ready to sit in a make up chair while hard working producers hand them scripts for a show and someone plugs in their IFB device (they probably don't even put them in their own ears). Carpooling a limo service? Amm, take a bus people, take the subway. I myself have been to 30 rock and know several train terminals around that area. Oh what was that Matt? Did you say you couldn't possibly go "underground" because that would be stooping below celebrity status? Well going green ain't pretty, and if you do it right, it isn't green at all, it's kind of stinky and more of a brown color.

Freaking today show, New York is NOT the center of the country or the World, but GOD FORBID don't tell anyone in New York that, they'd probably die of a trend setting mochachino, followed by the usual two finger dessert and Cedars Sinai approved coronary, while dressed to the 9s in their Jimmy Choo shoes (or whatever the fuck is in season this second) and DKNY 3 piece suit and mock vest or crappy themed outfit this fashion designers have these rich women swiping credit cards like 3 year old does at the check out line in true 5 finger discount style. Their last thoughts would have been "Did I look very Jackie-O in my sunglasses, oh dear I hope the maid remembers to dress me in my prada coat for the open casket and that funeral director KNOWS to put only MAX Factor make up, because that was STRICLY stated in my funeral wishes...."

No wonder children grow up to think that they are the center of the world and everyone lives in New York. I've been there, three times, and it's dirty, people are cranky because it's dirty and nobody knows how to drive, only the hired help, because cabbies there, are from another planet and they certainly don't know how to drive. Every cabbie there must have a terminal disease because driving like a maniac over pot holes that lead to the hell with a stop off in the subway at 42nd street, definitely calls for a background in murder-suicide plotting.

Could the Today Show cover any more topics that oculdpossibly be any less associated with ANYONE located under the household income of $500,000 a year? I think not. Here is how a editoral meeting goes at the Today Show.
Producer: "Let's do a segment on multi-tasking.." Anne/Matt: What's multi-tasking?" Producer: "Well, Matt, and by the way I must say that you look particularly sharp this morning and that recent trip tot he manicurist for some manscaping has done wonders for the smart business look you are giong for, no I'm not hitting on you, it's just a compliment because everyone knows talent like you need a good self esteem boost in the morning along with their espresso to work up the gumption to pucker up that smile on tv in your white collar job, while all the blue collar and brown collar job folk are getting ready to go to work outdoors or not even wathcing because THEY HATE YOU." "Multi-tasking is when you hold your script in your hands at the side interview set and you think about what question you are going to ask next while the interviewee talks and you try not to look like you are so dissinterested that you want to cram pencils up your nose until they pierce your brain and you pass out".
Anne (obviously realizing that the producer is particularly snarky this morning) "Matt, it's what your housekeeper does. You know, dishes and wiping the sink at the same time, stuff like that, hold on I've got to get on Twitter on my Blackberry so I can tell everyone what I am doing right now."

I really could go on, but even this is killing me, just to talk about it. I still tune in everyday though, just to see how more wrong this show could possibly go with quality interviews such as Dina Lohan and segments on organizing your shoes.
But I do watch, I do tune in that show.
I am a function of ratings and share, sam I am.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Bugs swallowed; 3 Miles ran; 3.6 Minutes; 36:11

Looks like I'm running a 10 minute mile. This is my second approach on trying to really "run" a 5K. I consciously tried, throughout my run, when I hit flat or down spots to push my stride longer, faster... I thought I'd drastically improve my time, but I guess not so. I'm aiming for a 5K in 30:00 that'd be nice. T minus 1 week and counting until the midsummer night's run. I run this hill (I've talked about before) smack in the middle of my run and it really slows me down, it is just killer running up that hill, I know I am half bent over trying to run/jog up that hill, then it takes me a full 3minutes to recover from that. Bugger that hill.

Who'da thunk that trying to shave 3 minutes from your 5K could be so hard?!? In every run now it goes through my head "if you don't feel like puking after your run, you haven't pushed yourself hard enough". That is something I read on an artice from or the Couch to 5K plan facebook page.. not sure where but it is a good reminder of how hard I should be pushing myself. I'm also working on self correcting my stride, my right leg seems to be improving, my knee hurting not so much, but I still have problems in my right leg. If I get serious about doing a 10K or half marathon, I'll definitely be going to John's run walk to get everything evaluated...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Marriage is less like TV and more like farts and morning breath.

I had the usual task of executing some unusual marketing craziness for my job recently. I got to coordinate a giveaway and a proposal both on the air and in person with a bachelor and an unsuspecting bachelorette. Enough to cause concern, if she were to find out previous to the event, of an affair, secret emails, secret phone calls and before the big proposal, a secret meeting in the kitchen. This proposal went off without a hitch and the couple are fantastic, adorable and sweet people, though I had to endure 45 minutes of ABC's "The Bachelorette" which I NEVER watch, in order to help this event go off. I watched with a younger, more attrtactive co-worker, who is not yet married, in a relationship or not, serious or not, I had no idea. But that didn't stop me from being incredibly blunt about the black and white differences between a relationship, especially a relationship on TV and marriage. I'm not sure I've encouraged her towards a path that leads closer to the aisle, I might have just done the complete opposite. My goal is not to influence people in the least bit, I really have no goal, only to just say how it is, for me. Not for anyone else, but just for me.

Never is it ok to date several guys at once, let's be clear, I did do this, but it is still socially frowned upon. But not on TV. The bachelorette got to full on make out with several guys at once, have a hot and heated session in the hot tub, only to cuddle up with someone else completely different and equally as good looking later that night. Unacceptable in real life, acceptable on TV. Amazing. Sometimes you just don't know what you want, it's gotta be nice to try to figure that out, all in one day... but only on TV.

Marriage is less like what you see in TV and on the movies and more like farts and morning breath. I often wish I had enough motivation to get up earlier and put on make up, do my hair, exercise and just generally try to be better looking, then I realize that isn't really me, though I'd like to think I could do that if I REALLY wanted. Movies and TV make marriage look like the pits, it dresses it up for the screen, then when it comes down to real life, it is largely about body odors that used to be covered up and nakedness that doesn't immediately trigger a turn on.

I'm not talking about LOVE here, I'm talking about marriage. I'm not going to get all deep about the different facets of love, but rather the facts of marriage. Two people, until death do you part. First, the farts. There are lots of them. Maybe we should start taking Beano or something, so there will "Be no gas", or at least leave the room. Gone are the days of covering up the sounds, and being embarrassed over the level of toxicity in the air. It's down to "Mommy did it" or, "it was the dog" with no attempt to try to justify that bold face lie, considering the dog was outside the house at the time. Everyone poops, everyone farts. I'm less worried about impressing Paul with my lack of lady like farting and more concerned about missing a hilarious Stewie quote from an episode of Family Guy I've watched twenty times.

Priorities people, this is what they are in marriage. Did I burst that bubble for you? awww, no I didn't becuase you are just as glassy eyed as I was before I was married and no one or nothing could sway you otherwise, I know who you are, I used to be you. Enjoy it while it's there, you'll be farting seemlessly whilst changing the channel and cuddling and remarking about what you must have eaten for it to smell that bad, before you know it.

I'm less worried about that one black belly button hair that I should be plucking out and more focused on whether I should try to fold the pile of clothes that too closely resembles "Trashy" from Fraggle Rock.

I'm less worried about my morning breath and more stressed about actually waking up in time to rush myself and my poor son out the door in warp speed. In fact, I notice morning breath probably more so than my dear husband, we are too busy trying to actually get up out of bed there isn't a chance to cover up the morning breath smell, just a chance to hit the alarm for the tenth time and say "shit, let the dogs out before they pee, Joseph strawberry or peach oatmeal? Go pee before you eat breakfast and put the dish in the sink when you're done, clothes are on your bed, get ready, hurry, or mommy's going to get mad". That is pretty much SOP around my house M-F in the mornings. I should write a manual on how to do as impossibly little as you can in order to get out of the door. The manual would be one page and it would read "Shit, skip the shower, grab some gum and do your eyeliner at the red light on Man O War and Winchester Rd, dont' forget the baby, feeding him before you leave might be a good idea, but not necessary, bring gum for him too, just in case."

Morning breath used to be something you ignored, or made every effort to NOT have by slipping into the bathroom at 5:30am to get one last brush in hoping that, that would be enough by the time you woke up for morning "cuddles". Morning breath is something you just work around now. It's there, just get on with it, sex isn't impossible with morning breath, it's quite the opposite, more efficient and time effecitve if you will since Paul and I are still respectful enough to know the MB is there and we don't want to endure it for longer than we have to, so move the show along, no intermission, just get to the standing ovation, then, bruch your teeth in the shower.

I'm now going to think about all the multi tasking I do in daily life, brushing my teeth in the shower, shaving my legs in the shower, (I say this because recently I was up early enough to capture a part of the TODAY show on NBC where these New York Women who live so far off this planet on what they call Manhattan Island, and the PRODUCER of that show, obviously - felt it was necessary to put a segment together for compeltely inept ladies on how to make life more efficient by shaving your legs in the shower, and brushing your teeth in the shower.) I am NOT kidding you, this actually WAS on the today show and it was a 1:30 segment, I couldn't believe it, what do these women do in New York? Shave their legs in a plush cashmere robe while their first nanny replaces their tissues from Kleenex to 300 thread count nose blowers, and their second nanny schedules their ONE child into as much daily activity as possible so the New York mother doesn't have to see their kid. LOL, I will save my TODAY show rant for another day, I DESPISE that show and their geocentric egotistical topics, that will take a whole blog.

I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't do at least 2 things at once, I can't drive without talking on the phone, my dad and mum would never hear from me! What are you supposed to do in the shower if you don't brush your teeth and shave your legs, just shampoo, wash and get out? That sounds like a waste of opportunity there.

To bring this full circle, Marriage is less like the movies, less like romance and long loving staring Days of our Lives looking into each others eyes. And more like Farts that are loud enough and stinky enough to wake you from your sleep, but not enough to do that for ther FARTER, and morning breath that just gets ignored. You get to be yourself, your lazy, gross self, and your partner gets to continue to love you for it, or just ignore it and look forward to the days you wear matching underwear and not your ratty white (now grey/black) bra and blue overstretched grannie panties.