Saturday, June 23, 2012

6/23/2012 I Think Grandma Dropped That On the Floor

When Teddy hit six feet tall last year,
it dawned on me that he was fairly grown up.
So I did what most mothers do when they
are looking up at the baby in the family.
I quit cooking.
I'll haul out a pot or pan
for holidays but that's about it.
My family is still hostile about this
latest development,
but, oh well.
Everyone loves home cooking,
myself included.
I used to think it was odd that Brenda
would gush over my cooking.
I would think,
"Don't all women cook all the time?"
I'm not saying I hate to cook,
I like it.
It's the shopping, prepping
and clean up I hate,
and since no one was fighting to
set or clear the table,
I am over it.
So when I reheated the yummy pot roast
my mother-in-law Suzanne left behind
as she and Troy and Cassie went to
frolic in New York,
I was surprised that Teddy
wasn't digging in.
"Why aren't you eating?" I asked.
He stared at the platter and said,
"I think Grandma dropped it on the floor."
I looked at him and said,
"Why on earth would you say that?!"
He told me that he had found a leaf in
his dinner the night before.
I looked down at my plate and plucked up
a Bay leaf.
"You mean like this?"

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

6/19/2012 My Cat Hat

"Why is the top of my head so warm?"
I thought as the wisps of dreams
evaporated slowly from my brain.
I reached my right hand to my ear
and felt kitten paws.
I reached my left hand up to my ear
and felt a second pair of paws.
Oh, right. The kitten.
I was fully awake by now so I reached
up to the top of my head
and sure enough, there was a soft, fat tummy
draped over the top of my head like a knit hat.
Cloudy. Teddy had named her that because she
is gray with cloudy patches here and there.
She has knee high boots on the back
and anklets on the front.
Already a coffee cup sized
fashion trend setter.
It is not unusual at all for Troy's friends
to dash up to the house every few months
with an armload of sweatshirts he has left
in their cars for drop off.
I was just sitting on my front porch
minding my own business when a car
parked next to the bike trail
and one of his friends popped up
with an armload of clothes.
No surprise there until I stood up
and noticed the clothing was moving.
A pile of sweatshirts was thrust into my
arms with a tiny kitten on top.
"Here's Troy's clothes and kitten."
His friend said.
I certainly wasn't prepared for that!
I carried her in and handed her to Teddy
who cuddled her while I went downstairs
to reactivate the litter box
in the back of the utility room.
Teddy carried the kitten downstairs
and handed her to his dad.
Terry cuddled her up to his beard and started
talking to her in his high-pitched baby-talk voice.
I said, "Teddy wants to call her Cloudy, but I want to
call her Misty because it's more girley."
Terry lifted her up and said,
"I like Cloudy too."
So, hello Cloudy.
Thanks for waking me up all night.
At least I woke up with a warm head.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Beware of Boys With Lazy-Boys

I was driving down 73rd towards
the highway from work last spring
and glanced over at St. Vinny's.
It looked like two boys carrying a huge chair
down the sidewalk and I smiled to myself thinking
"That's something Troy would do."
Then I looked again and realized
it was Troy!
He and Devin Gniot had found an enormous Lazy-Boy
that someone had ditched in front of the store.
He spotted me in the mini-van and started yelling,
"Mom! Wait! Bring the van! MOOOM!"
I panicked and the light turned green
and they started chasing me
with the chair.
I stepped on the gas and flew home.
Close one.
They showed up a half hour later chairless
and furious at me for not stopping
to give the chair a ride home.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

6/6/2012 Boys With Knives in 2003

Beads of sweat popped out on my brow
as my ten Bear Cubs laid their
brand new pocketknives on the tables
in front of them.
The moment every den mother dreads
had finally arrived:
The third grade carving unit.
I was feeling slightly dizzy and faint
at the bloodthirsty expressions on their little faces
and wondering what had happened to my innocent little tiger cubs.
There was not a trace of that toothless,
round-faced, babyish look about
these potential killers.
And that was what scouting was all about wasn't it?
Trying to civilize these little demons
into law-abiding productive citizens, right?
The boys shifted from foot to foot impatiently,
surreptitiously grinning at each other
like they we ready for starring roles in
Lord of the Flies.
Geez, I was so worried, that I could feel my
blood pressure rising by the second.
And why on earth did Carlos have buck knife?!
I watched the boys finish the cub scout promise and
I introduced the unit.
I stared with gratitude into the eyes of the moms and dads
that stood stoically next to each boy.
With my pockets full of bandages,
I passed out the bars of Ivory soap that
I had traced bears on
and mumbled a prayer for no injuries.
And there were NO INJURIES!
Everyone was delighted with their tiny bears
and it was fun to see how different they all looked.
I could predict which bears would be carved in 3D
and I knew Troy's would not be one of them,
but I smiled knowing that there would be some clean boys
at Kenmore Elementary the next day.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

6/5/2012 Do You Like Butter?

When I was a little girl
living in Holly Park,
whenever we saw a buttercup
we would pick one.
Then we would ask,
"Do you like Butter?"
Then we'd continue with,
"Let me check."
Next,we would hold the flower under each others' chins
and if we saw yellow, we'd say,
"Yep. You like butter!"
Buttercups grow in wet areas
so there are plenty all over Seattle.
Plus there was a swamp between our project house
and the Wig Wam store on Rainier Avenue and Othello
and it was chock full of buttercups!
There was another saying that I'm not sure about
and I'll have to ask my sister
but it went like this:
Whenever you'd say something at the same time we'd say,
"Pins and needles,
needles and pins.
What goes up the chimney?
What comes down?
Santa Claus.
Apple core Baltimore,
Whose your friend?"
That is as far as I remember
but years later when we moved to North Seattle
there was the addition of:
One, two, three four,
I declare a thumb war!
Do you remember these sayings?
Do I have them right?
The other one that was popular was:
"Step on a crack,
break your mother's back.
Step on a line,
break your mother's spine."
We didn't have many sidewalks in South Seattle.
Did you have other childhood sayings?

Friday, June 1, 2012

6/1/2012 The Really Big Fart

I was sitting in the front of the classroom
on small a chair passing out name-tags and
having the first graders tell me their
favorite thing to do.
A tiny six year old boy
came up and leaned over
so I could put his name-tag on him.
As I shook his hand, I said,
"What do you like to do?"
He was leaning in
so I could put the name-tag on his shirt
and he said, "I like to..."
and he let out a giant fart.
We couldn't stop laughing for five minutes.
After we all calmed down a bit,
I looked at him seriously and said,
"So, besides farting, what else do you like to do?"