A brief glimpse into the daily happenings of a 6-year-old, his new baby brother and his family.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Busted by the Thought Police

Remember reading "1984" by George Orwell? Come on, you do. Senior year? Novels in the "dystopia" genre? I know I'm a literature nerd, but surely you do..... it's the one with Big Brother (and I don't mean the reality show). It's also the one with the Thought Police who will swoop in and arrest you if you even thought about challenging the ruling authority. I wrote an awesome paper comparing 1984, Fahrenheit 451, Brave New World, and The Handmaid's Tale. Seriously.. the paper was so good I kinda want to dig it out and read it to Ben as a bedtime story. My lit professor was so impressed. She only wrote compliments in the margins and had nothing critical to say at all. She said it was a "graduate level thesis." But I digress.

Having read the novels, extensively researched each one, read tons of literary criticism related to them, and (most importantly) dutifully viewed all movies related to dystopias, I can easily recognize that I am now LIVING in one. And, the Thought Police in my house are every bit as thorough and all-knowing as those in 1984. Just think about saying "hate" or "shut up" or "kill" in my house... just think it. You'll be swooped down on faster than those guys in that horrible Minority Report movie starring "He Who Shall Not EVER AGAIN be Named because He is Dead to Me" **(BTW: gee, wonder where they got the idea for that movie..).

Here are a few excerpts from my own "Handmaid's Brave New 19-451" (subtitled: Mommy Report)

H: Aww.. I hate it when it is so hot that you sweat walking from the front door to the car.
B: MOMMY! We do NOT say 'hate.' (stern look)

H: I'm sorry. I didn't mean to.
B: Why you say that, Mommy. What can you say instead?
H: I wasn't thinking. I'll try not to say it. I should have said, "I don't like it when it's so hot outside."

B: (icy glare)

While on the phone, the person I'm talking to says something amazing (like "Did you know you can buy bags of Doritos now that have 2 flavors in one bag?")
H: Shut up!
B: MOMMY! What you just said? You said, 'shut up'? (stern look...again)

H: (thinking: aw, crap) Oops. I made a mistake.
B: We don't say those things, Mommy. It's not nice. (icy glare...again)

And, just like those novels, sometimes the accused is innocent and unjustly punished...
H: He didn't really barf. It was more of a 'spit up'
B: (from across the room) Oh, Mommy. We don't say "SHUT UP." That's a time out. Go to the carpet.
H: (rolling eyes) Ben, I didn't say 'shut up'. I said, 'spit up.' You know, like barf. SPIT up.
B: Mommy. I'm not listening. You go to time out and stay there. We don't say those words.
H: Sorry.

For the record, I sat in time out until he came over and said, "Remember. We don't say those words."

**Tom Cruise is "He Who Shall Not EVER AGAIN Be Named Because He is Dead to Me". Re: Brooke Shields/Postpartum comments, Matt Lauer interview, and his general freakshow-ness.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Future trips to the psychiatrist

When I picked Ben up from school today, his teacher met me at the door with a BIG smile on her face.

Miss Becky told me that the children read a story today called "The Kissing Hand" about little Chester Raccoon who doesn't want to go to school--he wants to stay home with his mother. She assures him that he'll love school--with its promise of new friends, new toys, and new books. Even better, she has a special secret that's been in the family for years--the Kissing Hand. This secret, she tells him, will make school seem as cozy as home. She takes her son's hand, spreads his tiny fingers into a fan and kisses his palm--smack dab in the middle: "Chester felt his mother's kiss rush from his hand, up his arm, and into his heart." Whenever he feels lonely at school, all he has to do is press his hand to his cheek to feel the warmth of his mother's kiss. Chester is so pleased with his Kissing Hand that he--in a genuinely touching moment--gives his mom a Kissing Hand, too, to comfort her when he is away.

So, as they are reading, Miss Becky says, "Do you know that your mommies love you even when you're at school?" Now, get the mental picture, all 10 of the kids sitting on their spot on the story carpet.. eyes wide, nodding intently.. yes, their mommies do love them.

Then, there's my son who dropped his head, made a sad little face, and shook his head slowly, and confessed to the group:
B: No. My mommy doesn't love me when I'm at school. Not at all. (pout/ sad face)

Miss B: Oh, Ben. I think your mommy loves you very much.
B: Nope. She doesn't. Not when I'm at school.

Miss B: Well, let's ask her when she comes to pick you up. I bet she does.
B: Well, ok.

Now who needs therapy? You always hear about kids needing therapy for what their mothers do to them.... what about the moms who need therapy for the things their children say at preschool?

(Note: The "buh-nastics" (gymnastics) party with "Lighting the Fween" was a success! Everyone had lots of fun. I'll post the pictures soon.)

Friday, August 24, 2007

Things NOT on the birthday list

Seriously? Are there really people in this world who are living unfulfilled lives because they can't "cast off anytime, anywhere." Don't you still need a body of water?

In spite of it being a "handsome fishing rod that collapses to the size of a standard ball-point pen (8") to easily fit in a pocket, backpack, glove box, or briefcase -AND- the fact that it makes the "write" gift for anglers, outdoorsmen and campers, I just don't think I'll be rushing to make my one easy payment of $19.95.

But wait! There's more... it does come with a starter tackle set (3 hooks, bobber, 3 weights), a telescoping alloy rod (38 1/2" long when fully extended), a brass-finished reel, 50 feet of 2-pound fishing line (to catch the REALLY big fish), and a practice casting weight.

Somehow, I still don't think Ben is going to want this more than a nice new pair of underwear or a package of new white tube socks.

I Knew this was going to happen

B: Mom, what are we doing today?
H: After breakfast, you have a haircut and then we'll go to story time.
B: Will you go with me?
H: (touched that he wants to spend time with me after his first week back at school) Sure, honey, I'll go with you.
B: Mom, I want to go to story time by myself. You go get coffee.
H: Well, the manager says that a grown up has to be with you.

B: Then you sit away, Mom.

What's next? "Um, Mom? Can you just drop me off in the parking lot at preschool. I don't want the other kids to know my MOM had to bring me to school."

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

First Day of School (yadda, yaddda, yadda)

Ben's first day of preschool was great. Although I think we may have been a little too inquisitive after the other "first day of school" (Parents' Day Out on Monday). When I asked him if he had a good day, he said, "Yeah, Mom. It was great. Now I all done talking about it."

In the preschool program, all the kids get the same canvas tote bag to bring to school. At the parent open house, his teacher (Miss Becky) recommended that we find a way to personalize it so that our child could easily identify their own bag. Having seen the preschool kids for a couple of semesters, I know that "personalize" means different things to different parents. To some, it's a black magic marker with "MY KID'S NAME HERE" written across the top. Others go crazy with the puffy paint. In my Martha Stewart crafty brain, neither of those options were acceptable.

So, Ben and I went to the fabric store in search of the following fabric (all his idea):
Ninja Turtles, Spider Man, Buzz Lightyear, Cars, and Pirates. Unfortunately, they didn't have Ninja Turtles, so I had to buy colored fabric and make each one myself. I'm sure his preschool experience will be massively enhanced by the ridiculous number of hours I spent "personalizing" his bag. But, here is the finished product.

First the front view (he's very proud of the Buzz Lightyear "shooting" his name)

And now the Ninja Turtles (which I now have a special, not-appropriate-for-small-ears name for):

And, here's the little man with his bag and his lunch, all ready for the first day of preschool. Which, in case you've forgotten, was "great" but he's all done talking about it.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Big kid

Our baby just isn't a baby anymore. All the talk around the house about "big boy underwear" and "big boy school" must be sinking in...

Last night as we got ready for bed, he let me know just what a big kid he is:
H: Ben, hurry! Harper is saying, 'Ben! I need you!"
B: (looking disgusted and like his mother is quite possibly the DUMBEST person on earth) Mom. Dogs can't talk. (gives me another look that said, "Idiot.")

H: Oh, sorry. I was pretending.
B: Well, dogs just go "woof, woof". They don't have words.

Tonight, however, he had an in-depth conversation with my pajamas about T-Rex's and stegosauruses. Go figure.

Here is a picture of the little man all ready for his first day of the fall semester. He carried his own backpack and lunch. Can you believe how big he looks?

There he goes: a big kid climbing the BIG stairs to school.

The big kid must have had a big day at school. He was in bed with no arguments at 8:00 (so much better than our summer 11:30 bedtime). By 8:35, all was quiet.

Tomorrow will be another big day as he has his first official day of preschool. I'm singing off now to finish sewing the Ninja Turtles, Buzz Lightyear, pirates, Cars characters, and Spiderman on his school bag (Don't ask. You'll see it in pictures tomorrow).

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Excuses/ Beastie Boy

"So I checked the blog and as soon as I saw Baby Mason, I knew you STILL hadn't done an update." --Janis (a.k.a. Mimi)

" I know, I know, I know. This is gonna sound really dumb, but seriously, it's just been too freaking hot to update the blog." -- Me

Here are my top 5 excuses:
1) It's been hotter than the surface of the sun and we've been at the pool or in public places where they set their thermostats at 65 degrees or lower.

2) Don has been traveling for work more the last couple of weeks and my "free time" was spent trying not to harm a very busy child. (smile)

3) I've been educating the masses to prepare them for a new school year (really a 4th grader, 5th grader, 6th grader, and 7th grader). "FRACTIONS, MULTIPLYING DECIMALS, STORY PROBLEMS, and a bit of Agatha Christie. Oh My!"

4) Finally catching up on laundry and house cleaning from our vacation....one month ago.

5) My time has been spent making sure that Ben will be "1986 Cool" when he goes back to school. Oh yeah, THAT and making sure he can cut with scissors, use a glue stick, color neatly, that he knows his age/birthday, identifies colors and shapes, knows what street he lives on, and learns letters and their sounds (at least "B", "E", and "N") before preschool starts on Tuesday. (Really, I'm not kidding.)

Here's a peek at life a la Casa de Mayfield since the last post:

After breakfast:
H: T.V. off, Bud. Time for a project.
B: A "fraw-ject"? We can cut? With scissors? And use some gwoooo?
H: Sure! Right after you color this circle.
B: Yuck. I can't do it. You color it, Mom.
(I really need to video tape him cutting. He opens and closes his mouth as he opens and closes the scissors. It is hilarious. In spite of my attempts, the child HATES to color. Can't stand it. Markers or crayons, it doesn't matter. He just doesn't see the point.)

In the van (here comes 1986):
I'm usually a big advocate of listening to kid music in the car. After all, I have a few million Kindermusik songs to choose from--- (and to learn this time of year). But, for some reason, I've been really into listening to the Beastie Boy's "License to Ill" album lately. And, let me say, there is NOTHING cooler than a mom in a minivan with the bass turned up so loud that it shakes the teenagers in Daddy's Mercedes convertible next to her at a stop light.

B: What this song, Mommy?
H: It's called, "Fight for Your Right to Party."
B: I like it. Make it LOUD, Mommy.
B: What they singing about?
H: Parties.
B: You "dodda" fight.....for your "wight".... to PAAAAAARRRRRRRR-TTTTAAAAAAAAAYYYYY!

FYI: He can sing the entire first verse (including timing the "kick it!" at the beginning), the entire chorus, and an embarrassing amount of the rest of the song from memory. His favorite lines are "I'll kick you outta my home if you don't CUT THAT HAIR!" and "You ask your mom, please? But she still says NO!"

Next week promises to be a blog-able good time. For starters, it will be the first time since Ben was born that I have one full day a week (9:00-2:30) with Ben and school and no job/meetings/appointments scheduled. So, I can't really use the "don't have time" excuse. Also, Ben starts "big kid" Sunday School, a new PDO class, preschool, and a new Kindermusik class (with "just Miss Amy".. moms don't stay). We wrap up the week with our Fantasy Football Draft and Ben's 3rd birthday party. I promise to record every highlight in excruciating detail. Unless it gets hot outside again.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Baby Mason

Hooray for Baby Mason! Matt, Tina, and Lauren welcomed Mason Matthew on Friday, August 3rd at 2:22pm. He weighed 8 lbs. 8 oz. and was 20 inches long. As of Sunday, everyone was home and things were peaceful (at least at the time of the email!). Can you believe how grown up he already looks?

I think this brings our own friendly baby boom (8 babies in 8 months!!!) to an end, at least for awhile. What a cute crop of babies we have the good fortune to know!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Tractor in the City

Just what my kid needed--- a motorized vehicle. But not just any Power Wheel.. His is a tractor with a bucket loader and a wagon. It is now his personal mission in life to drive to the park each morning for some rocks. He drives to the park to the creek to pick out some rocks. After carefully selecting just the right ones, he loads them up and drives them back to our house. Then he dumps them in the driveway and says, “Whew. All that driving made me thirsty.” After a cool drink (‘cause it’s so much work to DRIVE), he’s ready to drive back to the park and return the rocks.

Tractor in the City (Part 2: At the Park)

So the whole process repeats itself in reverse… we load the rocks in the driveway, drive to the park and stop at the creek (with several reminders NOT TO STEP ON THE PEDAL WHEN WE’RE AT THE EDGE), and we return the rocks to their original spot. Then it’s back up the hill to head home for another drink.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Batter up!

Ben has been learning to hit a baseball. He is equally proud whether he actually makes contact with the ball or not. After several misses, he said, “Awwww…Daddy got me with the curve ball.”

I’m learning to post videos to the blog. Stay tuned for a video of Ben with his new wheels.