Thursday, March 27, 2008

Airport Absurdity

A few weeks ago my husband and I took a short trip to Vancouver because I was attending a conference so we figured we'd maximize on the free hotel room and take a much needed vacation from our darling children. My mom and aunt came to watch the kids for five days while we loafed around one of the coolest cities I've been to in a long while.

But it feels weird to write about sitting in cafes, reading books, walking around, seeing movies, listening to Celtic street music (it was St. Patrick's Day) and generally enjoying each other's company. I mean, what do you care right? Who wants to hear about boring happy times, except our mothers. So I'll spare you.

I will however take a moment to comment on airport security. How is it that nearly seven years have passed since 9/11 and we STILL suck at airport security? It's shocking to me every time. My husband's Israeli and I spent a few years living there myself and I am telling you the Israelis know how to do airport security. And yes, it's a relatively tiny airport with relatively little traffic when compared to SFO or JFK or whatever. And yes, the Israelis use racial and ethnic profiling. Bad Bad Bad. Shame on them. But it is the most secure airport in the world and you can still bring a bottle of water on the plane. And you don't have to take off your jacket, your belt, your shoes, disassemble your stroller, and drink your own expressed breast milk to prove you're not a hijacker. Last time we were there we pushed our double stroller right through a side gate. No need to wake up sleeping babies or rip them from their precious kitties or softies or wubbies to send through an x-ray machine. That's part of why this trip to Canada was so enjoyable. I mean just being in an airport without kids feels completely decadent. Throw in a latte and we're talking near nirvana.

But even without the kids I was still annoyed (which may just mean that I need to practice meditation). Maybe in fact BECAUSE I had less to worry about without babies to shuttle and more time to critique what amounts to, at least in my unimportant opinion, a total security circus.

After we finally got through possibly the slowest line I have ever stood in, my husband and I sat in some chairs on the side to put our clothes back on and just watch the other people file through. I swear I felt like we were on one of the candid camera shows (that are actually filmed in Denmark but then set to music for syndication in the US. Like Menthos commercials). They pulled a guy to the side and told him to take off his belt. Then hold his belt over his head. What? That's when we started to giggle. What was the TSA dude telling this guy?

Sir, could you please remove your belt?
Could you please put your belt over your head?
Can you please remove your shoes?
Can you please put your shoes over your head?
Sir, could you stand on your belt please?
Can you please stand on one foot and hold your left shoe and belt over your head?

I once went through security with my daughter and they actually asked me to take off her little Robeez shoes. Good grief. If they were looking for explosives, they should have checked her diaper.

Monday, March 24, 2008

A pirate, a cowboy, a mariachi and a rabbit walk into a bar...

Last week it was Purim, a lesser known Jewish holiday where we read the Book of Esther, a story about a nutty Persian King who offs his first wife for not dancing naked for his buddies, then has a beauty contest where a local Jewish girl named Esther wins and is crowned queen. She ends up saving the day when the King's Minister of Sinister, Haman, wants to kill all of the Jews for not bowing to him. Oh no, King, these are my people! So he ends up killing Haman and his ten sons and half of Persia instead. It's actually a really happy drunken holiday minus the whole massacre bit at the end. Anyway, it has sort of turned into a Jewish Halloween so we went to a big costume party on Saturday with the kids and it was FABULOUS. 

And I for one have never been a fan of dressing up. I always hated Halloween. I don't know, back then we didn't have Old Navy so our parents ended up making us these cockamamie costumes. I had some zingers which I mostly made myself, since I'm a third child (can you hear the violins). When I was five I dressed up as a vampire which itself is a little bit ridiculous. Who let's their five year old dress up as vampire. I ended up scaring myself so much that I took off the costume and walked around the neighborhood in red tights and a red t-shirt with slicked back hair. A five year old Pat Benetar. 

And then having to dress up twice a year was an extra burden so I usually blew off Purim. My husband was the same. Hated Purim as a kid. We're cut from the same cloth - jeans and t-shirt cloth, not costume cloth. 

But now we have the kids and Purim is kind of a kids holiday replete with cookie making (lovely three corner filled cookies called Hamantaschen) and noise making and merry making (you're actually commanded by God to get fall-down drunk). So with great trepidation we took them to this party that some of our friends put together for like 15 families, hosted at one of the kids' daycare sites.

It was SPECTACULAR. First of all, I somehow threw together four costumes in half an hour. Mine was easy. I'm always a pirate. Puffy white shirt, flouncy black pants, black boots, red sash, eye patch. Voila. My husband, who has been mistaken as Turkish, Jordanian, Indian, Pakistani, Italian, Spanish, Argentinian, Brazilian and Lebanese, dressed up as a Mariachi singer and looked mucho authentico. He wore hisPuerto Rican guayavera shirt, black pants, a giant sombrero and my dad's old ukulele tied around his chest. Then he shaved himself a little mustache enhanced by some eye liner and presto - Senor Guapo. My son already had the beginnings of a cowboy outfit with his black boots from Grandma, plaid shirt, and a leather fringe vest that a colleague of mine passed down. So I got him a hat and a red bandanna and he was transformed into the Sundance Kid. And the baby, well she wore a pink onesie and bunny ears. She grows out of stuff so fast I couldn't be bothered finding her something cute. Anyway, she's plenty cute just wearing bunny ears. 

My husband and I both planned on staying no more than an hour because it was clear to us that with so many people in costume and so many people our son didn't know, he would have a major come-apart and we'd have to drag him home by the chaps. We braced ourselves and went inside. 

In fact, the kids did great. They played. They ate. The baby took first place in the falafel eating contest. Just kidding. She would have though, had there been one. My son and I made hamantaschen and noise makers. One of the father's did a toddler version of the book of Esther (minus the slaughter) and we played games and danced all afternoon. Probably one of the best family days we've had. No tantrums, no accidents, no biting, no whining. Just happy kids and relieved parents. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I like your bra mommy

Yes, my son stood up on his chair at Starbucks today and said very loudly, "Mommy, I like your bra. And I like your boobies."

After the initial shock, I had the good sense to simply say thank you (if I'd have told him not to say that he would have said it ten more times) at which point he went on to tell me that he liked my new red bag and my cell phone and my earrings. And that was the end of his Starbucks proclamations.

Where does he get this shit? I mean, really, I like your boobies? I guess that's a nice thing to say. A little weird though, no? And somewhat inappropriate coming from my son. And at Starbucks. And frankly they're not even that great anymore. Pretty droopy in fact after all that nursing. Although some of the Starbucks patrons would disagree. I got a few winks. Just kidding.

The other day, while I was taking his clothes off for his bath, he was completely naked and then did a little pantomime like he was trying to scratch his back so I asked what he was doing and he said he was taking off his bra. And truthfully, it didn't even phase me. Naturally he would take his bra off before getting in the tub.

So now I'm back to the question of whether or not my son should see me naked. He gets the concept of privacy so I could definitely go that route. Today he walked into the bathroom while I was on the toilet and when I got up he pointed to my "netherlands" and asked what's that. I just pulled up my pants and ignored him. I can just imagine our next Starbucks visit...

Mommy, I like your vagina!

No thanks.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Bathtub conversations

I was writing the previous blog while my son was in the tub playing the other night when he started getting into a hard core dramatization with his rubber duckies. So I dropped what I was writing and just started to transcribe. This was his conversation:

  • Did you make poo poo big duck?
  • Yea, you didn't!
  • You're a big boy.
  • You need to go poop in the potty.
  • You're a big duck.
  • Oh no, you made poo poo in the tub little duck!
  • I'm going to put my legs on you because you made poop in the tub and you're a stinko.
  • Guys, stay there, I'm going to put my legs on you.
  • I'm not going to change you because it's not okay.
  • That's so sad.
  • Should I change you? No I'm not.
  • Now you're crying and you want me to change you.
  • Okay fine.
  • Wow, that was a big one little duckie. Let me get the wipes.
  • You're done.
  • Now it's your turn. Oh boy, you need wipes too.
  • You guys are big boys.
  • Oh shoot.
  • Okay, you're done.
  • I have to clean you still okay duckie?
  • You can't swim now because I have to change you because there's poo poo on you.
  • Mommy! I need to get out of the tub because little duck made a poo poo and it's yucky in here now.


Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Lord, where have I been? I haven't written in a fortnight as it were. I'm such a loser blogger. It's that no time thing. And then I get to a place where the house is such a mess and I can't do anything because our stuff is all over the place. I know this sounds ridiculous but it really renders me incapacitated. I come home and I just stop being able to function in my normal octopus manner. And two arms just doesn't cut it when you're trying to feed a baby who shrieks if she's not fed exactly what she wants and at a pace that would make her a contender for that world championship hot dog eating contest. All the while making dinner for the rest of my family, entertaining my son, and doing the dishes.

So why is our crap everywhere this time? We took the kids up to Lake Tahoe for a snow weekend (this is already a week ago - that's how behind I am) with my brother's family and now we're having a bad case of the luggage creep. But it was worth it because I finally got to see my son play with other kids. Three days, four adults and four kids aged four, three, two and one. What a hoot. I mean nothing beats tiny people dressed up in puffy clothes. We took them sledding and went searching for icicles and they built forts and spent entire days in their long underwear. It was fabulous. The best part of the whole trip, besides the two mornings that my sister-in-law and I went cross-country skiing by ourselves, was that my son actually played with his cousins. They made up a game called Spoinky where one player takes the green tentacled rubber ball (the spoinky) and flings it at another player. I am not kidding you they played this game for like six hours every day. Up and down the two sets of stairs, in the bathroom, under the fort they built in the living room. Everywhere. 

My brother and I had to laugh because when we were kids our parents took us skiing for a week every year with three other families. And every year we'd play a game that called "Billy" which entailed rolling up a sock and hurling it as hard as you could at someone else. When we were a little older we called it "William." Someone invariably got smacked in the face and cried. Usually me, come to think of it. But we all have fond memories of Billy.

It's so nice to see our kids creating those same memories. So much has changed since we were kids - no one walks to school, kids don't play by themselves in the street after school, 8 year olds have cell phones - but I'm happy to see that it's still fun to throw soft objects at your friends and relatives.