Follow by Email

Saturday, February 28, 2009

"What De Het?"

All parents of small children know they need to be careful what they say, as their children are sure to repeat it. The first time I was faced with Dear Daughter repeating my words was when she was about 20 months old and just finishing her potty training. She started to parrot "Oh crap!" one day, and I decided that even though "crap" isn't such a bad word, I wasn't sure I liked my 20 month old child saying it.

And yes, I said 20 months old and finishing potty training. Before you revere me too highly though, I'll confess that my boy-child (now three years and two months old) is STILL trying to get the concept. He understands it. He can do it when he wants to. He has been known to tell me he needs to go (even number two) while in public and make it to the toilet in time without any accidents. However, for some reason he has still not decided that he is ready for this to be a permanent and full time arrangement. Lately he has been running to his bedroom and closing the door and pooping in his pull up and then staying in "hiding" in his bedroom. Apparently his reasoning is that somehow I will never discover what he has done and he can just hide it forever. This reasoning falls apart though when he gets tired of carrying turds in his pants and begs me to change him.

But I digress.

Somewhere along the way Dear Son has heard me, and prolly his dad too, say "What the heck?" Now there are certainly much worse words to be said and much worse things to hear your young child parroting back. And if you've read my spot for very long, you know that my language is not always especially "refined" despite the fact that four letter words are not common place in my vernacular. You'll remember that phrases like "pissed off" do not offend me, nor do words such as "ass." It would stand to make sense that "What the heck?" does not bother me either. It is, however, amusing to hear my barely three year old son in the back seat of the car seeing something intriguing outside his window and stating with great incredulousness, "What de het?"

I've been a bit absent in the past weeks (months!). The drama in my professional life had become all consuming. But fortunately I am stepping out of that now and into something new. The new direction has also been a bit consuming as I have had an incredible amount of redirecting and reorienting to get in order. My feet have still not quite landed, but I'm seeing more clearly and feeling more centered. I can best sum up the past six months of my life in the words of my boy-child: "What de het?"

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Social Faux Pas

My kids aren't afraid to speak their minds. I'm pretty sure I know where they get that. You're probably pretty sure, too.

Yesterday I was unloading them from the family mobile and there was a very elderly lady standing nearby, within ear shot. She leaned on her cane and fished a cigarette from her purse and lit up. Dear Son piped up loudly, "Why does she have a smoker, Mommy? Why?" I tried to casually shush him, silently hoping the lady didn't hear. If she did, she ignored it. She was grinning at Dear Son and waving at him. No doubt he reminded her of her own great grandson or something. As she grinned at him with her "smoker" hanging out of her mouth, Son scowled back at her and said loudly, "Why is that lady waving at me, Mommy? Why?" I shushed him again. This time I was pretty sure she heard him.

Meanwhile, Dear Daughter had climbed out of her own door of the family mobile and we all began to walk past the woman, who was still leaning on her cane and puffing on her "smoker" and grinning at the kids. Dear Daughter skeptically sized her up and said to her, "Why are you smoking? Don't you know that it's bad for your lungs?" I was mortified as the woman's smile faded a bit. I offered the woman a nonchalant smile as a sort of peace offering, desperately hoping the woman was hard of hearing. Nonetheless, I waited until we were out of earshot before I informed my Dear Daughter that what she said was absolutely correct. However, it is not appropriate to say it out loud. She protested, "But Mommy! Why would she smoke like that? Doesn't she know it is bad for her?" Her little brother piped up in her defense, "Yeah! Why was that lady having that 'smoker'?" I reaffirmed again that it is indeed bad for a person's health to smoke. Then I reasserted that it still is not polite to try to "correct" a grown up...even if they are right.

All the while I was wondering to myself how someone who puffed on "smokers" like that could live to be the estimated 85 years of age that this lady looked, and I thought that perhaps if my children had only met her sooner, she could have been better educated on the effects of smoking and in quitting, perhaps could have extended her life to about 120 years or something.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

First Signs

Spring is clearly in the air around here. A couple days ago it rained sheets all day long. When I came home from work that night, there were about eight or ten Spring Peepers clinging to the front door and porch. I hear their continual screeching in the distance around the pond, but most especially late in the evening and after dark.

This afternoon I played outside with the kids and the pup in our shirtsleeves. As we made our way across the front lawn towards the backyard, Dear Son stopped suddenly and exclaimed, "Ohhhhhhhhhhhh!" in an awestruck little toddler voice. He squatted down to look, and I realized what he saw as his chubby little fingers reached down and plucked the first bright yellow dandelion of the season.

This would all be fabulous and uplifting if I liked spring, but I really don't. Spring means that in addition to frogs coming out, but so do the bugs. And we have a lot of bugs out here in the country. And spring is also a constant reminder that summer comes next, and I hate summer more than any other season. Summer means hot, muggy weather...and of course...BUGS!

I think I liked spring and summer a lot more when I lived in the Pacific Northwest. The weather was generally much nice, and the bugs were much much fewer and much much smaller.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Going Forward

I heard it a few evenings ago for the first time this season. We've had an unseasonably warm and spring-like week, and the days are getting noticeably longer. I stood in my shirtsleeves on the front lawn waiting for the pup to do his business and breathed in the fresh country air. It was dusk and the sky was growing dim. I looked across the treeline over the pond noting that despite it beginning to feel like spring, the trees still looked awfully dead. That's when I heard it: the telltale screeching of the Spring Peepers! I remembered last year when I began hearing them and I thought aliens were in our woods waiting for the perfect moment to abduct my family. The sound was odd and eerie as it filled the air.

Shortly after the Peepers quit their peeping for the season, we can fish tadpoles out of the pond and watch them grow into little baby tree frogs.

The snow of the previous week has barely melted and the first sign of Spring has arrived. I suppose it's as good a time as any. Some of the drama of the past six months of my life is finally beginning to fade and I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. I am absolutely positive that the past six months of my life must be quite like how Alice felt when she fell in the rabbit hole. So, as the drama subsides and I pick up the pieces, I look forward with optimism. I am sure that good things lie ahead.

If you've never heard a Spring Peeper, follow this link to the Wikipedia entry and click on the sound byte at the end--the one titled "Collective Spring Peepers Calling" and subtitled "a few hundred in a single pond." That is EXACTLY what our pond and surrounding woods sounds like right now.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Metamorphisis Re-Post

I've been gone dealing with some stuff that I couldn't make up even if I tried. I probably won't share about any of it here because it has nothing to do with my family, and because I prefer not to record it. I would really prefer to simply "erase" it.

At any rate, in my absence, I thought I might re-post something from the past. Feel free to check it out here.