Monday, May 25, 2009

Birthday Greetings!


You out there!

It's my birthday!

Just thought you'd like to know.

I have a very exciting day planned. It involves being a total slob and relaxing all day, filling my face with disgustingly unhealthy food and avoiding human contact. A perfect Cat Lady birthday!

Here's what will probably happen....

6:00 ~ Awaken to the sound of impatient doggy toenails, tapping to let me know it's time to get up and let him out.

6:15 ~ Try to go back to sleep after letting dog out. Damned cheerful chirping birds keep that from happening!

6:30 ~ Give up sleep and declare it a pajama day! Take care of morning ablutions and put the coffee on. Succumb to temptation and eat not one, but two donuts. Total decadence! (It's my birthday, after all.) Sort through stack of unread books to find something mindless, yet socially redeeming to read.

7:00 ~ Enjoy the quiet as the now college age Vladimir leaves for his full time summer job... at least one of us will be gainfully employed all summer.

7:15 ~ Fall asleep in recliner.

9:00 ~ Wake up and wonder where I am... what day is it? Realize I overslept and missed my final exam for that psychology course... oh, wait... that was a dream... Hey, I'm 55 years old and have been out of college for 33 years! Why am I still having these dreams? Maybe I should have paid more attention in that class, after all!

9:01 ~ Realize it's my birthday and that I'm not 55 any more... I'm now 56, which means I'm officially in my "late 50's", which means I'm getting really old, which means my life is well past half over, which means it's all downhill from here... OMG!!!!! Panic Attack!!!!

9:10 ~ Get over panic attack and go back to reading.

10:30 ~ Hear strange mewling noise outside. Go out to investigate.

10:31 ~ Find basket of homeless kittens on doorstep... I know you put those there, Nanodance!!!! Haven't I told you before? I don't want any cats... as long as the silhouettes are up, that still counts for Cat Lady purposes!

10:45 ~ Dog highly insulted by birthday gift from Nanodance. Get dressed to go wander up and down the street, looking for new homes for the kitties.

10:55 ~ Give up and decide to drive over to Nanodance's house and leave the basket of kittens on her doorstep. Will have to pretend that I never got them and that they wandered back to her house on their own, dragging their little basket behind them.

11:00 ~ Check mailbox for birthday cards... none there. Boo Hoo! Wait... Oh, yeah... it's Memorial Day! There's no mail delivery! THAT'S why nobody sent any cards... it's not that I'm unpopular! Maybe tomorrow. Or the next day. Or the one after that.

Anyway, you get my drift... once you're past 30, it's all over in terms of exciting birthday celebrations. I'll just hope for a quiet day at home, with no disasters befalling me. That's my idea of a perfect birthday! At least I get a three-day weekend to mark the occasion!

Happy Memorial Day!

P.S. I told the kidlets at school that we don't have school today because it's a national holiday in celebration of my birthday.... they bought it as far as New York is concerned, but couldn't figure out why the entire nation would have a holiday for my birthday. Maybe I should tell them it's because I wasn't born in New York. They believe just about anything I tell them... probably why I like hanging around with the little rascals so much!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Good Baby Advice

Lately, a lot of people I know have been dropping babies... it's like some sort of an epidemic. When you're with child, people always have sage advice to share. Some of the advice is helpful, but much of it is just plain annoying and scares you half to death... just what a new parent needs to boost their confidence! Things like you have to get rid of your cat or it will snuggle up to the warmth of the baby and smother it. (Might I suggest substituting construction paper silhouettes of cats... one of my signature cat lady helpful hints.)

Perhaps the best advice I've heard recently is from a book compiled by some of the kidlets at my school. Here are just a few of their suggestions....

I think that last one about says it all...

As they say... out of the mouths of babes!

These tips may not save you from Mommy Jail, but at least they may offer a good start.

This is copyrighted material, so please don't pretend you're me and call it your own! One of me is enough! Besides, the kidlets worked hard on these pictures and deserve copyright courtesy! (Which is, of course, why I'm using their advice for my own personal edification... so don't go there!)

While You Were Sleeping...

One of the things about parenting is that you always have to be on your toes. You never know what the little rascals are getting up to when your back is turned, let alone when you're asleep and they're not.

Take, for example, this recent article on yahoo news:

Toddler buys earthmover in online auction

WELLINGTON, New Zealand – A New Zealand mom made some online bids on toys before napping. Then her 3-year-old daughter took over and bought a bigger plaything than expected — a huge earth-moving digger for a cool $12,300.
Pipi Quinlan made the winning 20,000 New Zealand dollar ($12,300) bid on the Kobelco digger with a few mouse clicks at the auction site TradeMe while her parents slept, the Rodney Times newspaper reported in northern New Zealand.
"The first I knew about it was when I came down and opened up the computer," said Pipi's mother, Sarah Quinlan.
"I saw an e-mail from TradeMe saying I had won an auction and another e-mail from the seller saying something like `I think you'll love this digger,'" she was quoted as saying in the paper.
Quinlan said she had made auction bids on several toy sets and assumed she had bought a toy digger.
"It wasn't until I went back and reread the e-mails that I saw $20,000 — and got the shock of my life."
She immediately called the auction site and the seller to explain what happened.
TradeMe reimbursed the seller's costs for the auction and the digger was relisted.

Could you imagine the look of shock and dismay on that mom's face, as well as the sheer delight on her child's, had the earthmover actually arrived on her doorstep. Any child would be thrilled! Not to mention that the father in the family would probably be secretly delighted as well... until he saw the bill. It would definitely make little Pipi the most popular kid on the block. The dad could give the neighborhood kids rides and clear cars off the street that are illegally parked, as well as clearing herds of New Zealand sheep that have gone rogue. Then they'd just laugh about little Pipi's purchase in years to come as they forego college for the little one because all their funds were used up on the earthmover.

Lucky for me, I never had a computer when Vladimir was little, let alone the internet or any such high falutin' technical gadgets. (This is one instance in which being consistently 20 years behind the times comes in handy.) When Vlad was three, the toys at our house were wooden trains, railroad spikes & sledge hammers. He had everything a child could possibly want, so I doubt Vlad would have bid on an earthmover. Or would he?

However, I digress. Getting back to my original caution about falling asleep while your child is awake...

I fell victim to that once. I had decided a little afternoon nap would be just lovely. Vladimir's dad was at work and since Vlad was about 6, I figured he could take care of himself. You know... learn how to use the power tools in the basement, deep fat fry himself something for lunch, steal my car keys & practice driving the family car. The usual for 6-year-olds. However, imagine my surprise when I awoke from my nap.... handcuffed to the bedpost!

Yes, Vladimir had developed an interest in locks and handcuffs. His grandfather had given him a pair of regulation police handcuffs and he was bound and determined to lock up everything in sight... including me. He actually stood over me, patiently waiting for the moment I would wake up and notice I was incarcerated in my own bed.

Luckily, Vlad is an agreeable sort of child and didn't hesitate to unlock me as soon as I woke up. From that point on, however, we always made sure that we carried handcuff keys on us at all times. And we made a firm rule that people had to be awake and conscious before they could be handcuffed.

A responsible parent always sets boundaries for their child!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Great news!  I'm not in Mommy Jail this Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all of you out there who have made it this far without throttling your children!  For myself, being Vladimir's mom is the best!  He has enriched my life immensely and I would have little to write about if it weren't for him.  

Happy Mother's Day as well to my own dear mother, who has yet to throttle me... although I'm sure she was tempted many times!  I'm sure I was the most irritating, confusing, annoying daughter in the world.  I started out sweet and kind and loving when I was little and then it was all downhill once I got to be about 12 years old.  Funny how that happens.  I've heard it has something to do with hormones.   (Thank GOD for having a boy child instead of one of the female persuasion!)

So... to all mothers everywhere... may your days be blessed with sloppy kisses, colorful little crayon drawings, bouquets of flowers picked from your own garden, handmade cards that may come a few days late,  and last minute phone calls from recalcitrant children like me who mean well, but forgot where they put the card that they bought weeks ago!

Happy Mother's Day to anyone who has ever loved a child who has come into their life!   In honor of the occasion, I'm giving you this coupon....

Get Out Of Mommy Jail Free Card

Compliments of


This card to be used when you allow your child to do something so incredibly stupid that someone feels the need to contact the authorities.

No Questions Asked... Honest!

(We’ve all been there at one time or another.)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

On My Way to Mommy Jail... Adventures in Parenting Part 3a: "Incendiary Devices"

As soon as a child is born, parents begin devising lists of things their child will never do.  Yeah, RIGHT!  That lasts for about a few weeks, then the pacifiers come out and it's all over.  Eventually, the prepared baby foods, disposable diapers, cartoons, Barbies and guns all make their way into the politically correct parents' home.

Now, the state in which I reside has determined that all fireworks are illegal, so you can imagine my angst the first time the spouse wanted to stop at a fireworks warehouse while we were on vacation.  I was duly horrified!  This would surely be cause to be sent to Mommy Jail!  

That year we got a few harmless poppers, sparklers and (gasp) some tiny fountains.  And I have to confess they turned that years' birthdays and holidays into rather festive occasions, so by the time the next trip to the midwest rolled around, I was the one loading up the cart with bigger and better incendiary devices.

For Vladimir's fourth birthday, we invited three of his closest toddler friends and their parents over for cake, ice cream and a few fireworks.  They were delighted by the fountains of sparks.  The last fountain turned out to be a dud, though.  Not wanting to disappoint the wee ones, the spouse ran inside to select one last fountain for the finale.  He grabbed one of the "freebies" that are thrown into the bag as a bonus when you make your purchase at the fireworks store.  Thinking it was just another fountain, he lit the fuse and got away.  (The basic instructions that come with all fireworks.)  We all waited at a safe distance for the colorful sparks to begin spewing out the top of the cone.  

At first all that came out was smoke, which quickly got thicker and thicker until it started emitting a foul odor that soon became unbearable.  Yes, gentle reader, it was a smoke bomb.  Eyes began watering, people began choking and children began crying that they wanted to go home and never come back again... ever!  (By that time I was ready to check myself  into Mommy Jail.)  Great way to get your guests to go home after a rousing soiree!

Except for that disaster, it was all in good fun.... until my spouse started demonstrating to four year old Vladimir how you could put a firecracker in a tube and shoot wads of paper towels out the end just for fun. 

"HOLY CRAP, Vladimir's Dad... What are you thinking?"

Needless to say, I was duly outraged, but lost that battle as I did many others.

Now Vladimir, being the curious and resourceful little fellow that he was, decided to make some refinements to this system on his own.  Eventually, he actually figured out how he could take a narrow piece of PVC pipe, plug up one end,  drill a little hole in that end, insert a firecracker fuse through the hole, put an old fashioned toy cowboy gun cap next to it, put a little piece of wooden dowel down the other end, and get ready to fire it off.  All you had to do was pull back on a rubber band attached to a nail, which would hit the cap, ignite the fuse, explode the firecracker and shoot the dowel out the other end.  

"HOLY CRAP, Vladimir!  HELLOOO???   Remember Mommy Jail???"

But wait... that was actually very ingenious.  We were so proud, we didn't even mind so much when Vladimir shot out one of the garage windows.  Although, at the same time, Mommy Jail was invoked to prevent further occurrences. 

However, when Vladimir wanted me to drive him to the hobby store to buy some metal tubing and slightly smaller diameter metal rod to shoot out of the end, I had to sit down and have a serious talk with him!  A small, short piece of metal rod that is shot out of the end of a metal tube is called a bullet!  Duh!  Time to have another serious talk with the spouse as well!  This had gone way to far!  Once again, I had to burst Vladimir's bubble.  

Better the bubble though, than his eye or some other important body part!

To be continued....


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