Browsing Archives for The Boys

To Wii or Not to Wii…

September 16th, 2008

Last week our patch of the prairie got more than it’s fair share of rain and our pond overflowed again.

I am thinking about starting a rice farm.

The boys got off the school bus on Friday to a wet, muddy, cold, dreary, afternoon.




Somehow, they were unperturbed.

Oh the exuberance of youth!… Oh the zest for life!… Oh the imagination!… Oh the imperviousness to the freezing cold water!…

So I was kind of surprised (not really) when they came in dripping wet and ruddy cheeked, vibrating with joie de vivre, and lapsed right back into the regular singsongy chant that has become the white static of my life.

I call this tune the “We need a Wii” Song.

It goes like this…

We need a Wii!  Everyone else has a Wii!  We have nothing!  Our lives are tattered ruins!  We are urchins subsisting on a paltry diet of free computer games!  We are the only family on the continent without a video game system!  How can you be so cruel!  Why do you hate us!  Why can’t you just be normal parents like everyone else?  Why do we have to suffer so???

Okay… maybe they don’t use the word paltry… and tattered… and subsist… and urchins… but you get the idea.

Our poor children are forced to live a life with very few options.

There is very little fun to be had around here without a Wii.

I hate that I am the source of such horrifying want.

I hope someday that they will be able to forgive me for making their childhoods so wretched

When they look back at a rainy, cold, muddy, dismal day when every other kid in America was sitting in front of a video game…

They were forced by their unfeeling parents to invent a type of football game in the pond.




Do you think they will forgive me someday?




I hope so.

The Prize Box

September 12th, 2008

Jack came home with a prize from the prize box in his classroom.

Carefully wrapped in two kleenexes.

“I got a prize mom… and it is something you are really going to like”  he said.

You mean you picked a prize for your mom???

Oh!  It is absolutely beautiful son!

The kittens… you know how your mom loves kittens… the little ball of string… the gold…. the crystal….ish…. chair…with the bit of glue… sort of sticking out… because you dropped it in class and your sweet teacher fixed it for you.

It reminded me of the time April and I decided to make breakfast for our own mother when we were very young.   We burnt the toast to a black hardened crisp, because mom always ate the burnt toast… so she must like it that way right?
And then we mistook a jar of salsa for a jar of red plum jam and we spread the burnt toast thickly with deep red taco sauce.

We realized our mistake about the salsa… but we figured mom would eat it…. because our mom loves spicy food!

Mom did something with that toast… I hope she didn’t actually eat it… but as far as we knew she did…  and then she proclaimed that it was the most heavenly breakfast she had ever had! 

Just like these heavenly cats.  The best little cats on a uh… crystal… uh chair…. from the prize box… that I ever got!  

It is probably a complete mistake to post this story, but I feel the need to cleanse myself of a little iniquity.

My sister April, used to live in Saint Louis and I would frequently pack up my four boys and head to her house for a long weekend.  Sometimes my parents would also be there and we would have a high old time driving April insane with our shopping needs and eating out at exotic restaurant needs which none of us could do back in small town Kansas.  We often took all the kids out with us on these shopping and eating excursions because WE ARE IDIOTS.
So after a few hours of hitting the big box stores, we decided to get some lunch and we all decided that The Saint Louis Bread Company would be an excellent spot.  Except for Drew my third son who was maybe three or four at the time and loathed The Bread Company.  He hated The Bread Company.  He despised The Saint Louis Bread Company.  I have no idea why.  We did not have a Bread Co. anywhere near us in KANSAS.  Where did he form this strong opinion? What was it based on?   The only time we ever went to Saint Louis Bread Co. was when we visited April’s house.  Drew was only three.  I couldn’t understand how any truly horrifying culinary experience could possibly be permanently imbedded in his toddler brain.  But somehow, it was and he decided to throw one long fit inside The Bread Co. to prove it.
He whimpered, he whined, he gurgled, he moaned.  The rest of us settled into our soup and sandwiches and tried to ignore him, but he just wouldn’t give it up.  I was stern, I cajoled, I threatened, I pointed my finger and hissed, I tried to clog my ears with little bits of bread, but my three year old was getting the best of me.  
Finally, I realized that we were sitting right by a huge window that looked out on the curb where April’s minivan was parked.  She was in fact parked right in front of the store and I had a perfect view of her van.  So I said, “Drew, if you don’t stop whining about your lunch right this very minute, I am going to put you in the van and you can whine all you want and no one will be able to hear you!”
Drew kept right on whining.
So I said it again – Right this second…stop whining… car… no one hears you… etc etc…
Drew looked me in the eye, decided I was bluffing, kicked it up a notch and threw himself on the floor in a rage.
I gotta tell ya, I was not exactly maintaining my composure at this point, but we were in a crowded restaurant and I did manage, with as much dignity as possible, to gather him up and carry him out, open up the van, wrangle him into his car seat, shut the door and walk right back into the restaurant.
When I walked back in, one table in particular was looking at me with huge melon eyes.  I realized that it might be shocking to watch a woman stick her vibrating toddler in a van and walk away, but we could clearly see the van from our table and we were just about done with our lunch anyway.  As I approached our table, April frantically motioned to me and in hushed tones she said… 
At the same time the melon eyed people walked up to the table and said…
And then together they all explained.
I had not put Drew in April’s van.
I had put my tantrum throwing child in the melon eyed people’s van!  
And there sat Drew, still crying, still flailing, still wailing…. in a complete stranger’s car.
I slunk back out to the van and got my son.
And I never used the old “taking the kid out to the car to teach him a lesson” mode of discipline again!
These days Drew picks all the restaurants.
Oh and Panera – or The Bread Co. is his very favorite place to go.  
I am not even kidding you.