Monday, July 20, 2009

Adventures in Krogering

I’ve woefully neglected the blog, but from what I hear, it’s a common thing. Blogs are forgiving that way… hopefully? Forgive me all????

Today’s blog is full of photographs. It’s summertime, the kids are home, my sanity is on vacation, and the camera is getting used to document important and stupid things alike. A few years ago, when the kids were bored, I suggested they take photos and set up a Powerpoint slide show on my computer. They did. The results were astonishing. I believe the title of the slide show was “the Gender Bending Dress Up Fashion Show” or something like this. It involved balloons, makeup and the contents of my lingerie drawer – including a few items that I’d rather my kids have never even known existed. Ah well… that’s a post for another day. Perhaps I can find that slideshow and post for you all, so you can judge my parenting, and find me woefully lacking. But that’s for a day when my self esteem can take it.

This set of pics was taken by Ransom at the grocery store. He’s quite the comedian, and I thoroughly enjoy his commentary. It’s an interesting peek into the mind of a subtly warped prepubescent individual. Ransom frequently makes jokes he doesn’t understand, and when you explain what he said back to him, he turns red, and hides his head under a pillow. He’s an inadvertent comedian sometimes, I guess. So, here we go. We approach the grocery store. Outside, as we attempt to find a cart that isn’t too hot to touch or contains wadded up tissues containing who knows what, we see a sign for watermelons:

PERSONAL watermelons! “For your intimate snacking pleasure,” says Mr. Lover. I explain what intimate means, and he takes off into the cheese section to avoid my snarky comments. Seems he saw an “intimate moisturizer” commercial on WE, and assumed it just meant “personal.” He didn’t realize just what was dry, you know. He loosened up though, and became quite giggly over the idea of eating watermelon naked.

Next, we hit the vitamin/natural health section. I was looking for Chromium Picolinate. I’d had good luck losing weight in the past when I supplemented with this stuff, and am willing to try it again, even if it is just voodoo. Ransom saw a bottle and announced that his sister Addie REALLY needed some of these:

Chill Pills. Herbal supplements to promote calmness. And seeing as how Addie hasn’t just recently hit adolescence as much as she’s crashed against it at a high rate of speed… she probably could benefit from a Chill Pill. Considering she lives with Ransom – who continually pokes her with his finger until she beats him and makes him cry – yes, a Chill pill wouldn’t come amiss. But it would have been an $8 purchase, and simply locking her bedroom door would probably give her the same effect for free. So we moved on…

To the organic food section. The child and I discussed “syntax” – and the tendency to get confused by all the modifiers used on packaging. For example:

free range chicken broth. Broth that was never caged, allowed to roam until it was packaged? Or:

Organic animal crackers – made from organic animals as opposed to chemically engineered animals? Much fun was had in Organics by us Uber-geeks.

Next up, the foreign foods aisle. The end cap of this aisle had a display of this:

Ransom looked at it carefully for a minute. He looked sheepishly over his shoulder at me, then giggled into the hand he put over his mouth. “Out with it, son,” I ordered. More giggles, then he held a hand up to my ear and whispered “If you have an Orange-Gyna, then you should see your doctor.” When my girls were younger, they referred to their privates as “ginas” instead of “VAginas.” For a boy who has not even hit puberty, it surprised me that his mind went there. But not too much….

And lastly, we had some Good Times. On the diaper aisle, where Good Times are to be had by all who are willing to spend $10.99, plus tax, for training pants.

Ransom says “Good times are NOT times you poop your pants." Kid’s got a point.

We came home in a terrific mood, having only spent $257 for groceries for 2 weeks for a family of 6 (including two teenagers). We had some flowers and a baby pool tossed in on the bill, as well as $10 cash back. It was a good trip. The best part was thoroughly enjoying some precious one on one time with a kid who is just as nutty and fun as I like to think I am. If he didn’t drop to his knees and beg in the candy aisle, the cereal aisle, the chip aisle, the book aisle, the ice cream aisle… etcetera…. then I might be willing to make him my permanent grocery buddy.

A classic grocery find from earlier this year - it's only about $.59 per package. A cheap gift for a friend who isn't getting any, except in her soup bowl:

I'll have three please, since my husband's out of town this week.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Trouble with Frank

The trouble with frank is that when you are frank with children, they are frank back with you. And you may think that this is a good thing, until your child asks you “Mom, what’s your Safe Word?”

And you might be so flustered, that your tongue freezes to the top of your mouth, so your response sounds something like “Gulllthp.” Then you might retreat to the laundry room to refold all the laundry you just folded, so you can have time to think about a more suitable response.

I decided when I was young and idealistic that I would be open and honest with my children about all matters sexual, so that they didn’t inherit any needless guilt or the inability to deal with very important realities. I researched age appropriate explanations, and insisted we use proper names for body parts. I didn’t want my children to find themselves in the strange position I found myself in when I reached elementary school, and told my teacher that I had hurt my cooter in my zipper. With a much louder voice than a sympathetic, kind person should use, the teacher responded “Cooter is the mechanic from the Dukes of Hazard, child. Tell me, specifically, what did you get stuck in your zipper?” As if there were THAT many possibilities.

I bet the entire class still remembers me as the kindergarten pariah with the strange gait.

But kids are just that – children – and by definition, they will embarrass the hell out of you. They will embarrass you in public using cutesy names for their parts, or they’ll lean out of the McDonald's restroom door and holler across the restaurant “Mom, can you wipe my anus?”

By the time my third child was ready to label his parts, he had a winkie, a pair of nuggets and a stinky booty. I was tired of parenting Doogie Howser with Tourette’s.

But I remained steadfast in my insistence upon frank sexual discussions. Before entering middle school, each child was taken into the bedroom with me for The Talk. We covered puberty, cleanliness, masturbation, the mechanics of sex, and Mom’s How to Make Wise Decisions and the Devastating Consequences if You Don’t lecture. Each kid was very uncomfortable – as was I – and I agreed to let them scurry to their bedrooms and cringe for a while after the discussion, provided they ask me 5 intelligent questions about sex and/or bodies first. As I suspected, the first question was hard to spit out, but after that, there was a torrent of them. I did my best not to flinch, and to answer everything in a straightforward manner. I encouraged the kids to come to me with any other questions, as this was not the sort of thing they needed to be learning from friends.

Sometimes they do approach me: “Mom, what’s bisexual?”

Sometimes I want to run screaming for the hills: “Sometimes do a boy and a girl and then another boy and another girl get together and all love each other at the same time?”

Other times I know that if they find out I know the answer to a certain question, no matter how matter-of-factly I approach it, my kid is gonna think I’m a pervert. As I folded the washcloths into thirds repeatedly, I realized I was precisely in that kind of situation.

Deep breath… deep breath… calm…. Steady girl, steady girl….

Me: “What was that you asked hon, I didn’t hear?”

Him: “What’s your safe word?”

Me: “Well, what’s yours?”

Him: “I asked you first!”

Me: “I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours.”

Him: “Mine’s Bacon”

Me: “Oh, that’s clever, and when do use your safe word Bacon?”

Him: “When I’m wrestling with Danny and I get hurt and want him to know I have to stop.”

Me: “Oh. Good idea. Mine’s Cheetoh.”

Him: “When do you use yours?”

Me: “When you bother me. Go away. Cheetoh.”

As I threw the entire load of laundry back in the dryer (just in case the kid asked me anymore questions, I reasoned) I became aware that being frank with my children has overly sensitized me, and made me a bit jumpy. Ah well… when the market rebounds, perhaps there will be some money available for my therapy. Or theirs.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

100+ Things He's Begging For In Bed

100+ Things He's Begging For in Bed

OK, even the TITLE of this magazine article pisses me off more than I can say. 100+ things my guy is begging for in bed. Right. My guy is begging simply for … BED. So he can sleep. And I’m right there with him.

I know I am not in the Cosmo demographic – so why bother even getting offended? Surely I can just leave this article to the realm of women who love to get dressed up, be sexy and please men 24/7. Those ladies exist don’t they? Cosmo writes to them as if they do… The Sex and the City ladies – do they exist? Or are they an ideal? Was Sex and the City so much fun because it was a show about Cosmo readers who had “regular-ish” problems? Because it brought an ideal down to our level?

Personally, I’d like to meet up with Cosmo’s ideal demographic statistical woman, and beat the ever loving shit out of her with the full trash bag from my Diaper Genie.

Why? For making me look bad? No, four births, a desk job and a sincere belief that rolling out of bed each morning is enough exercise made me look bad.

For making me feel inadequate? No, having my baby come home from daycare with “NEED MORE DIAPERS” written in sharpie on her saggy Pamper did that.

For once again ignoring all the other wonderful things that women in our society achieve other than staying thin, dressing well and pleasing their men in bed with 100+ tricks? No. I’m used to the weird and shameless dichotomy. Women in different stages gravitate to others in that stage, buy magazines, watch shows and talk about stuff that is relevant to what they’re going through. You don’t have to trumpet the worth of women in general. I’m over all that righteous anger.

I’m swinging a loaded bag of diapers over my head, preparing to launch them at Cosmo Woman for one simple reason. That bitch is getting laid.

I recently saw a pic of myself at a college banquet, in a pretty, skinny blue dress, with big hair, looking so fresh. I almost cried when I saw the picture. I showed my teens: “look guys! I was hot! I have proof!” I miss the days when I really thought about sexual technique, when I was able to try out new stuff on my main squeeze, when I dressed to impress him, and gave serious thought to each level of clothing, and checked it all in the mirror with a sexy, one sided smile.

If you go to the article, you’ll see it’s not a how-to guide. It’s simply a list of quotes from guys about what they like. And what they like is as different as… well as different as THEY are. So Cosmo got me riled up with the old Bait and Switch. Whatever. It’s okay now. I know 100 things my husband is begging for – a good steak, his own man cave, a solo vacay with me, 6 months salary in the bank, more time in the gym, a new camera, some new business casual duds, to sleep in the whole weekend… I can keep going, but I won’t. I want to be certain that *I* am the only one with these 100+ secrets. *I* want to be the one who pleases this particular man, because the things he craves are stability, affection, time with the kids, security for us, to look good for me…. Really, it rocks so much more than a hookup with a hot Wall Street lawyer that results in multiple orgasms and a deliciously sinful Walk of Shame in the morning back to your fashion editor job where you have to raid the designer samples closet for something to wear so your boss won’t know you never made it home last night. (I know it was a run on sentence folks, but that particular bit of silliness didn’t deserve extra punctuation.)

Frankly, I’m happier being HERE than THERE. I’m happy I’m the one with the full bag of dirty diapers. Honestly, but figuratively. Cause I can get dressed to the nines any old day, go someplace hip and new, drink martinis and get laid by a real man who knows all my hot spots.

Provided, of course, that no one else has snagged my babysitter.

That's me on the far right. Proof that at one time, late in 1989, I had cleavage, sort of, and was hot.