Monday, January 19, 2009

Mom Rocks

My little nano mp3 player died of natural causes, so I have been borrowing the 6-yr-old son's mp3 player for the last month or so to use when I walk. The only trouble here is that his idea of good music and my idea of good music are separated by a great gulf. (You can only walk so long to Alvin and the Chipmunks Sing the Hits before you are on the edge of Going Postal.)

To correct this problem, I downloaded some quality listening material and stored it as a separate playlist called "Mom Rocks", so that I could throw down while exercising. The son couldn't resist--it was like Pandora's box staring at him until he clicked play.

I'll tell you one thing; it's hard to unlearn the words to Joan Jett's "I Don't Give a Toot About My Bad Reputation." Or the Time Warp from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Or select songs by The Cult. Or some of the other choice songs on my playlist that will earn him an altogether different sort of reputation. Seriously, dudes shouldn't be belting out anything by Captain and Tennille. Ever. Or Kiki Dee and Elton John singing "Don't Go Breaking My Heart". Not cool. That's just someone looking for a playground beating.

So, I guess I'll be the one singing along with Alvin as he belts out the hits. Pooh.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Better on the Way Down

Saturday night we went out to eat Thai food with my father and his girlfriend. I’ve only eaten Thai food a handful of times before, so my ordering skills are a little shaky. We decided to try a few new things and ordered this spicy business that you wrapped in cabbage leaves. Then we had some Maki Mono which is this sushi-like business, but we ordered something with smoked salmon instead of straight up raw fish. (Just can't choke down some raw fish. Not happening.)

About 60 seconds after my second piece of the Maki Mono thingy the room started spinning. I excused myself from the table and left for the restroom. I wasn’t sure at that moment if I was going to have to use the potty in a serious way or throw up. About ten seconds later the throw up won the debate. I yacked and yacked. After I thought I was finished, I went back in the stall and yacked some more.

While in the toilet being violently ill, there was another woman in the stall next to me who asked if I was okay and even passed me some damp paper towels over the stall door. I groaned out a weak ‘yes, I'm fine’ between head-in-toilet moments.

Now I have to pause in the story and go to another one for this to make sense. When I was pregnant with the twins, I had this lovely condition called hyperemasis. This is basically defined as uncontrolled vomiting. I threw up in every single eatery on Hwy 280 in Birmingham and in the surrounding areas. I threw up on the way to work, in the parking lot at work, at work in the bathroom and in the trash can in my office, after work on the way home in the bushes behind the Shell station, and everywhere in between. It was unbelievable.

While this vomit party was going on, there was a woman in our office who couldn’t stand it one more second, so she quit using the 6th floor ladies’ room where I worked. She simply walked down a floor to use the potty, because she knew that I was in there bringing up a lung every hour on the hour. Folks would come into the toilet while I was in the stall with the door closed and say, “Hey, Charlotte!” I finally asked someone how they knew it was me every time, and she laughed and said, “Easy. Your feet are always facing the wrong way.”

Okay then.

So, back to the Thai thing...I come out of the toilet face to face with the concerned woman who handed me the towels over the door. Yes, you guessed it. The Fifth Floor Potty Woman. I came out of the stall and she looked at me with this sick look of recognition passing slowing over her face, and forced a smile and hissed through clenched teeth, “So, how far along are you in your pregnancy?”

Now, if I’d been thinking that thing through, I would have lied and said that yes, I was pregnant and made up a due date. Instead, I said, “I think it’s something I ate.”

Pause. Pause. Pause.

The rest of the bathroom stalls cleared out faster than if I'd screamed "Free Beer", and people were practically running over each other for the exits.

Me? I just went back to the table and pretended like nothing had happened at all. I spent the rest of the time pushing food around my plate with my fork. Daddy’s girlfriend said that they were about to come and get me. Good thing they didn’t. That bathroom needed a serious Lysol-ing. And possibly a visit from the Health Department. And the Fifth Floor Potty Lady will never have children. Never ever. I spoiled that deal for her altogether.

I'm pretty sure that officially ended my Thai dining experiences. I know, I know, you've got just one more dish for me to try, but I'm going to have to pass. It reminds me too much of being pregnant, and God knows we want to do our best to forget that deal.

Makes Sense to Me

Lying in bed having a bedtime snuggle with Carter is our favorite conversational time. He rolled over last night and looked up at me and said, “Mommy? When can I get bath-tized?”

I smiled, “Who do you think gets baptized, Carter? What kind of people?”

He thought for a second. “Christians are bath-tized.”

Me: So, what does it mean to be a Christian?

Carter: It means that you give your heart to Jesus.

Me: And what does it mean when you give your heart to Jesus.

Carter: I don’t know. I’m confused about that part. I mean, how does He fit in there?

Me: Well, He doesn’t really fit in there like putting your foot in a shoe; it’s more like this. You love me, right?

Carter: Right.

Me: Well, I’m in your heart, yes?

Carter: Oh yes.

Me: Well with Jesus it’s bigger than that because Mommy is really walking around and is not actually living in your heart, but Jesus lives in your heart and changes your heart.

Carter: So I have to get bath-tized when I’m a Christian?

Me: Yes. It’s like an outward showing to everyone that you are a Christian.

Carter: How does everyone in the whole world know that you are a Christian?

Me: They can see it by your actions and words and life. Remember, Jesus changes you and makes you someone different than you were.

Carter: Or maybe that’s what the missionaries are doing; telling when I was bath-tized.

Me: Son, being bath-tized, er, I mean baptized doesn’t make you saved; asking Christ to change you is what saves you.

He thought about that thing for awhile and then he said, “Well, I need to do it then so that I will go to Heaven, so I’ll ask Him in my heart now and Daddy can bath-tize me too.”

Me, thinking that we aren’t exactly on the same wavelength here: Carter, what does it take to get to Heaven exactly? I mean, how do you get there?

Carter, without any hesitation: Oh, you have to climb this great big ladder and then God helps you off at the top and says, “You’re here!” and then you get a big castle where you live with all of your relatives, your aunts and uncles and sisters and brother and mom and dad and everyone. And there’s a party.

The Husband, who was lying on the other side of the bed during this snuggle fest, snorted and said, “I don’t know if that’s exactly Heaven if we have to live with all of our relatives.”

Carter: Then you should probably get un-bath-tized because that’s how it works.

Okay then. Maybe we'll wait a little while on that deal.

Monday, January 5, 2009


The Husband and I have been going to this Japanese restaurant since we first started dating (lo, those many years ago). We have taken the Shorties several times, but this was the first time that Lily has been old enough to really appreciate the program. She’s always a pretty strong entertainment factor in our evening outings, but this time she delivered in a big way.

The chef came out and started the slicing and dicing, and the Little Flower’s eyes got big. She immediately got a soup spoon in one hand and a pair of training chop sticks in the other and proceeded to mimic the Japanese chef exactly from beginning to end. If he transferred the knives to one hand and seasoned the food, so did she. If he cut the food, so did she. If he flipped the food, so did she. If he banged the knife and spatula on the grill, she did the same on her plate.

The chef fell in love with my child. In fact, he watched her and laughed the entire evening. So did the rest of the building. The wait staff kept pausing too long at our table to watch not the amazing skills of our cook, no, no, but my four-year-old tearing it up in a most serious way.

The big moment for my child was when he invited her around the table to flip the egg—-you know the trick where they use a metal spatula and flip a raw egg into the air and then catch/break the egg on the blade edge of the spatula? Well, Lillian was invited to give that a go. When the chef looked at her and said, “You come here and we flip egg,” she flung herself out of the booster seat and caught wind as she whipped around the table and behind the grill. He put his hand over hers, and it was a completely successful maneuver. Then she looked at me, with that crazy-eyed smile she has, and yelled, “I’M DOING IT, MOMMY!”

While making the rice, the chef made various shapes like Mickey Mouse and a heart. When Lily was served her pile of rice, she immediately patted it down and started making some sort of shape. She looked at me after working it for several minutes and said, ‘There it is—-I made a star!’ Of course I ooohed and ahhhed in the appropriate places, (although it just looked like a big pile of rice to me).

As we were leaving, Steve told the hostess and the waitress that Lily could start next Friday night, but we would have to go over her salary package first because four-yr-old blue-eyed female hibachi chefs were a little hard to come by, so they’d have to make it worth our while. (They think he’s cute too.)

On the way home I asked her what her favorite foods were from the dinner. She didn’t even hesitate. The salad and the broccoli, Mommy. (What a complete freak.)

The rest of the kids enjoyed the program too, just nothing like The Little Flower did.