Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Light Bulb

At The Mayor's parent-teacher conference tonight, his teacher told us about a recent assignment.

"I asked the children in the class what they would do if they were president," she said."
"One child told me that if he were President he would wear a hat. Another said he would buy everyone light bulbs."
[What do we want? LIGHT BULBS! When do we want them? NOW!]
"Do you know what The Mayor said?" she asked.
We couldn't even begin to guess.
"The Mayor said that if he were President, he would try to find the right answers."

Monday, April 27, 2009


When my children were smaller (and they are still so small, it feels weird to say that), I had more time somehow.

I remember the relentlessness of the newborn schedule, the sleeplessness and the constant need, but somehow room to think was built in to the routine.

[As long as I had a little sleep.]

I find it difficult to think at all lately.

I'm back at work, more or less full time.

The children are involved in different activities, they have different friends and this summer they will, for the first time, attend two different programs.

Soon I will drop them off at two different locations each morning -- and the locations will change from week to week.

Things fall apart.

I have been to the grocery store every single day for the last 10 days.

It's as if the salsa-to chip-ratio problem (also pervasive in the hot-dog-to-bun sphere) has infected my entire grocery list.

I can no longer get the shopping right in a single, weekly trip like a normal, well adjusted Woman of the House.

[Oh, my failure as the Woman of the House!]

On Saturday morning in a fit of household management vertigo, I engaged the kids in a massive calendar making activity, mapping out the diagram of our summer.

It didn't make me feel in any greater command of the details, but we did use crayons!


Every night when K and I crash land in our bed (far too late), we talk like any couple, about the day, the children, our incessant need for another carton of eggs, coffee, string cheese...

"I don't know what I think or feel about anything," I lamented.
"I am like a computer processing unit," K replied. "I take in information, synthesize it and spit it back out all day long."
"We're almost out of eggs."
"I forgot to pay the daycare tuition."
"Well, goodnight."
[The bodies are set to hibernate for six hours, then rise irritatingly early and begin again.]

What was that Socrates said about the unexamined life?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What They Would Rescue You From

The Mayor's class is visiting a senior center on Friday as a class service project, though to him it is simply a field trip.


Because he is going on a field trip and she is not, The Mayor feels compelled to taunt his sister about said visit to the senior center.

Sometimes The Rooster lets his taunts get her down but tonight, she shot out of her chair, raised a fist in the air and shouted,


I tried to imagine specific rescue missions senior citizen super heroes might undertake.
"What will the senior citizens rescue you from?" I asked.
The Mayor answered first.
"They rescue you from being old," he shrugged, as if this was common knowledge. "They are old instead of you."
Then my husband chimed in,
"I think they share their experience and wisdom to rescue you from mistakes you might otherwise make."
Then K laughed at himself and, faking the voice of an older person, shouted,
I smiled imagining a collective, world-wide, senior-citizen super hero eye roll.

"To the rescue? As if you young people would actually listen? Ppppffffftttt."

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

School of Dolphins

I washed the dinner dishes tonight while listening to the children regale their father with urgent announcements.

K was away for three days and they both had a tremendous amount to say.

Somehow they stumbled on the subject of dolphins and were reminiscing about having once sighted a lone dolphin.

This triggered another most urgent announcement from The Rooster.

"Dad!" she shouted with excitement, "when we were at the beach Marion showed us a whole SCHOOL of dolphins!"
Because she emphasized the word school, I imagined her wonder at seeing not just one, but a whole group of dolphins.

The Rooster continued,
"They were swimming in a line out in the ocean but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't tell which one was the teacher."
Oh, my sweet girl.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Always With The Blah Blah Blah

The doctor's appointment was going to make me late for work so I thought I'd better call my boss.

"They're just going to do a quick peek into his ear," I told her. "I shouldn't be too late."
Then I heard a wry Mayor pipe up from the backseat,
"Then there's the loooong chat you'll have with the doctor."
[Insert pre-kindergarten eye roll.]

Grown ups, man.

Always with the "Blah, blah, blah."

BTW - the doctor was extremely pleased with the way The Mayor's ear is healing. Hurrah!

P.S. - sorry I haven't been posting. I don't know what is up with me on the writing front.

[Maybe I'm simply listless and despondent from the persistent butt kicking The Mayor is serving up in our non-stop Connect Four-a-thon...]

[Maybe I'm too in love with my Netflix queue...]

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Grace At Last

Lately, K's been saying we need a little grace around here.

It is well known that we are vaguely stuck in the religious practice department.

Still, K would like it if our family shared a little moment before we ate and said something that focused us on our meal and our time together in an intentional way.

"I want to write a grace for us to say," he told me.
"Okay," I said.
K describes his own decision making process as geological because it often happens as quickly as continents shift position through plate tectonics.

Tonight, The Mayor hastened things along.
"I know what we can say for grace!" he shouted.
"Great! What is it?" I asked.
"Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty I'm free at last!"
A goofy smile spread crookedly across my face as I imagined our family saying this every night.

K brought our plates to the table and sat down just as I started singing those words in the style of the Blind Boys of Alabama.

The children jumped down from their chairs and did a soulful dance around the table.

K looked slightly confused.

When this new grace wound down, the children climbed back into their chairs and met their dinner plates.
"Thank GOD," my hungry Rooster Girl said eying her plate, "food at LAST!"

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Where Has The Joy Been?

I used forced entry last week.

I didn’t mean to, but...

I found out that there wasn't going to be anyone to take care of my children during this thing called "Spring Break."

[The nerve of these school management types!]

At first I thought I should get out my old day planner and organize a series of activities that would fill each of their days with a combination of outings, instructional opportunities and free play.

[Ha Ha Ha Ha.]

That is not at all what I really thought.

I really thought we should go to Florida.

And I convinced other families that they should go too.

Then the nurse from The Mayor’s surgeon’s office said that there was no way The Mayor could (or should) go within 5,000 miles of the beach until he was 70 billion years post surgery.

I thought this was excessive, but since I’m like such a totally kick ass parent compliant with the medical community, I told the other families they would have to do without the ABSOLUTE JOY of our familial company.

They, like rationale headed people, made reservations for a small house that would comfortably accommodate two families, not three, and that was fine.

There was order in my universe.

However, right after The Mayor's surgery, the surgeon said,

“So. When are you leaving for the beach?”
[Oh, WHAT?!]

After I “used my words” with him, The Surgeon told me that the nurse must have made a mistake, that it was fine for The Mayor to go TO the ocean, he just couldn't go IN it.

[Long string of expletives!!!!!]

I spent the following many days weaseling my way into the small house that my friends (perhaps former friends?) rented.

I hope they still like me...

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Croatian Teenagers Dig Me

From: Webfreak
Date: Fri, Apr 3, 2009 at 9:01 AM
Subject: Heloo from Croatia
To: OhTheJoys(at)gmail(dot)com

Heloo, I don't know why I am writeing this :0) but I saw your post on your blog.

I'm sorry if my english is very bad but ... I am writeing this to you and hopeing that you will see this and answer. This is the post I saw, and I just have to tell you how many of woman do not know how to chose ther outfit. Skirt is something what looks so nice on the woman of every age, I didn't belive when I saw that you are 41 :0) On your last picture in this post you luck like a girl ;0) your houseband can be very happy and proud with you :0)

I know that this can sound crasy because you can think that I am crasy teenager, but I study IT and I was just looking skirts on the internet for my friend and I acidently found yours pics. I must be honest, you look very sexy :0)

I hope you will read this silly mail :0)

Webfreak from Croatia, bye.

[I will be asking my houseband if he can be very happy and proud with me!]

Monday, April 06, 2009

Getting The Rooster Down

[There is a great thrashing of three year old arms and legs.]

"It's time to go to sleep, Roo."
"It's time to go to sleep, Roo."
"It's time to go to sleep, Roo."

[There is a very sudden and rhythmic snoring...]

Right now, in states far away, my parents enjoy a satisfied laugh.

"Karmic justice," they say.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Mist Yoow

I was gone for two days on a planning retreat with my colleagues.

This morning, both of my children woke me up by climbing in next to me, offering snuggles.

The Mayor wiggled himself into the curve of me.

"You are my lovies!" I told them.
"I'm going to love you until we both explode into a million pieces," The Mayor told me.
I laughed and said,
"Then we are going to have a great day!"
The Mayor was still and thoughtful for a moment.
"The part when we explode into pieces won't be that great," he said.
I laughed again and gave him a squeeze.
"The part where we burst into flames right before we explode probably won't be so great either."

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


"Mama, that sign says CART!"
All of a sudden, The Mayor is reading.

For the past three nights in a row, he's picked a book called Old Bear to hear as a bedtime story.

Only neither K nor I have read it to him.

He read it to us!

I'm completely peacock, parent proud and also somewhat stunned.

I remember learning to read (at least I think I do).

Wasn't it in first grade? Wasn't I six?

He is four! He is in pre-K!

He is Biggie Smartowsky!

What's the name of the blog?

Oh, The Joys!

(And I really mean it!)

(AND the swelling in his ear has gone down dramatically!)