Playground Uprising


Happy Trails…
April 12, 2007, 12:06 pm
Filed under: Family, parenting, writing

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It looks like I am going to break bad from my five-day-a-week blog devotional. My goal was to write for 12 consecutive weeks for a total of 60 posts about my life as a mom and disturbed citizen on maternity leave. But as do all festivities, this one is drawing to a close as I pack up the yoga pants in favor of Kakis and head back to work with my 100 favorite 20-something-year-olds. Though don’t despair or celebrate quite yet because in mid-may I will take back up the charge as my first summer school class begins and I initiate an online dialogue with new students and perhaps resume my conversations with some of you. Between now and then I will check in from time to time as I wrap up my days as a stay-at-home mom and work through the panic attacks I imagine are lurking just over my distorted horizon, ready to pounce at the reality of leaving my plump partners and ponying up 95. So until then … happy trails.

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What I Have Loved Most About Being A Stay-At-Home Mom
April 11, 2007, 4:20 pm
Filed under: Children, Family, parenthood, parenting, stay at home mom, work

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1. I can go to coffee with my buddies and solve world problems or at least address possibilities for household peace
2. That I genuinely understand that city parks, school playgrounds, mall jungle gyms, and libraries are invaluable contributions to maternal sanity and should be protected on the level of national security
3. Morning runs up Park and down Monument Avenue where I share a smile with the man with the beagle, the guy with the green gloves, the professor heading to work, and my neighbor with the barking dog … you are all loved and will be missed
4. My 1pm luncheon companions of Cheese Toast and Days of Our Lives … it is reassuring that in soap land the world has stood relatively still since college
5. Barnes and Nobles where we visit Thomas the Train and consume abnormal amounts of coffee, apple juice, and granola bars as we read books about armed turtles and anything with wheels or wings and attempt to evade the stares of caring staff who contemplate whether we maintain an actual residence or just sleep in the car after closing
6. Mommy and Macky days highlighted by Busch Gardens, the Science Museum, the Children’s Museum, the mall choo choo, afternoon tantrums (both his and mine), microwave popcorn, and a movie
7. Afternoon yoga
8. Making muffins, cupcakes, and well intentioned family dinners with a boy standing on a stool with pudding covered hands
9. An inability to cling to maternal crankiness while in the presence of a pipsqueak’s smile
10. Knowing that if I check out tomorrow, today I have all I have ever wanted in the man I have loved since high school and can’t imagine an adventure without; a 4 year old knocking on five with a rowdy spirit, contemplative heart, and unnatural attraction to camouflage; and a pipsqueak who completed the family I value more than chocolate (and there isn’t anyone or anything else that qualifies for that category!!!)



The Nothing We Need
April 10, 2007, 4:43 pm
Filed under: Life, peace

How do we make it Ok and where do we find our solace in life’s lunacy? When I am at work I am present in the task and don’t worry about the extraneous but there is always a palpable absence and longing for a quieted peace. When I am at home and little hands dose off and there is a respite from the giggles and the diapers and the cries, leaving this peace within reach, I bypass the option to grab the computer where I check e-mail, send a present, or write, all which cause me to get bogged down in the unimportant for too long as I search for the unnecessary instead of settle for the nothingness that I think our souls and sanity need most. So where do we find this nothing that we need in order to give appropriately to the something? Any thoughts …



Happy Easter
April 9, 2007, 2:22 pm
Filed under: Children, Easter, Family

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I thought we were doing pretty well. When I asked Mac, “What does Easter mean to you?” He replied, “That is when Jesus died and came home” (and I liked his conception of home). There was no mention of the Easter bunny or candy or any of the values Walgreens encourages us to uphold with our wallets and diminishing sanity. Pangs of panic, however, started to surface as I worried Mac might accuse an intruder of leaving the basket of sugar and coloring books on granddad’s table Easter morning. In an effort to rebalance childhood and allow the drugstore employees to breathe a sigh of relief that I might be good for a Cadbury egg after all, I stopped by the library to pick up a book about our long eared friend, the one not present during biblical times but has dug himself and his eggs a place in history despite the absence. The story must have stuck, because when Mac went to bed Saturday evening, after finishing the police badge he made in case of a holiday uprising, he turned to me and said, “Make sure the rabbit doesn’t take my badge.” Sunday morning came. We rose at 6am. The rabbit proved himself not be a kleptomaniac and we progressed through the familiar holiday sequence only distinguishable by the presence of a rabbit, turkey, or tree. And when it was all over, we were left with a mom, dad, and two little boys that didn’t have time to go to church or our neighborhood Easter Parade or start our own little family traditions because we were too busy with time-outs and “hurry up and get in the car” to remember or celebrate the holiness of the day. Perhaps next year we will go to Alaska.



The Best Ride of All
April 6, 2007, 4:29 pm
Filed under: Children, Family, parenthood, parenting

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I took the boys to Busch Gardens yesterday; the same place my granddad Henry use to take me and my husband vowed never to grace.  After an hour of “are we there yet,” “I am hot,” “I am cold,” “can you roll down the window,” “Charlie stinks” and “what ya got to eat,” we arrived at the parking lot where I promptly wrote in large pink marker “Italy 36” on my hand in an effort not to replay past parking lot distress dramas. We then nabbed the tram to the security checkpoint which amounted to a middle aged gentleman looking at my diaper bag and deciding the effort to look through it exceeded the likelihood of me carrying a firearm, so he waved us in the direction of our designated waiting place, Big Ben (apparently he moonlights in Williamsburg), in time for a bottle fix before meeting up with my girlfriend Carrie and her wee ones. I was immediately drawn to the drones of the theater, promising a 25-minute hiatus from the sugar and thunderous park vibrations and evoking an epiphany regarding my grandfather’s professed and situational attraction to musicals.  Mac unfortunately shared my childhood philosophy that theater is the lesser citizen when in the company of soaring helicopters and high flying swings, so we cruised through Italy and then Germany as we made our way to Dragon Land, a place wallpapered by snotty noses, diaper bags, and shrieks of joy and protest from little people quite sure they have found their oasis. It was here we hit the monstrous jungle gym, the teacup tumbler, and antique carousal before standing in line for 20 minutes for the privilege of riding a large green dragon around a water mote as a poor soul loaded kids on and off the medieval paradise. A lunch of peanut butter sandwiches, cantaloupe, cheerios, goldfish, granola bars, and wheat thins was then supplied by Café Mom, you know the establishment that is far too cheap to purchase the $7 nugget plate or Candied Apple (the ones guaranteed to provoke multiple sugar induced tirades) for her child but feels completely justified to sport herself a $3 Pepsi. Priorities. Next we nonchalantly highlighted the additional park offerings that just happened to lead us straight to the exit gate. And there we were, barely out of the parking lot, Mac and Charlie asleep in the backseat and me equipped with a Balance bar and 45 minutes of chatter free radio, the best ride of all.



Plump and Pleasing
April 5, 2007, 8:39 pm
Filed under: Children, parenthood, parenting

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He is plump and pleasing and all mine.

This is exactly what I thought as I put Charlie’s shorts on this morning, the ones Mac’s little stumps wore just three year ago, the ones that have been awaiting a second chance at glory, the ones that establish without a doubt that my chipmunk downs more of the good stuff than unnamed immediate family members did at last years Christmas festivities, and the ones that assure Charles’ placement in a future football line-up or comfortable couch.

The ones worn by the one I simply adore.



A Nickel Short
April 4, 2007, 10:24 pm
Filed under: Children, parenthood, parenting

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Mac swallowed a nickel today at school.

My immediate reaction was an inappropriate chuckle followed by mild pangs of panic, a panic apparently not warranted nor shared by the greater public as evident by my call to the doctor, where the secretary graciously put me through to voicemail; and my call to my husband, the one obviously forgoing his nomination for father of the year, who informed me he was on a conference call and would have to get back to me; and my phone conversation with Mac’s teacher, who assured me Mac seemed more concerned that his five cents might cost him a gum ball than the fact he jingled when he walked.

Nonetheless, I raced over to school, got the man of the hour, the one banking change for the next natural disaster, and found myself unable to resist asking the stupid, “why did you elected to swallow the nickel you took to school last week because you were studying the ever popular letter “N”, the one I had written off and now stand to regain, to which he replied, “I wanted to see how it taste.”

This seemed to make sense to me, which is worrisome in itself, so I decided to follow up the absurd with the ridiculous and threw out on the table, “Well for my own future reference, what did you think?” To which he responded with expert confidence, “Don’t recommend it mom.”

About this time the doctor finished her lunch break and gave a call back to see if my child was in fact still breathing and assured me kids eat money all the time (good to know) and it would be exiting out the back door over the next three days so to be on the look out for silver, to which I responded “appetizing” and thanked her for her concern and impressive response time.

Mac and I then decided to take advantage of our new found afternoon together and grabbed a haircut followed by a McFlurry packaged in the deal that I would expunged his five cent debt if he spotted me a bite, one with lots of M&Ms.

And tomorrow we will hunt for silver.