Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The 2010 Wishlists

Dear Santa,
30 nov 2010 Pleas can i hav a cids jeep and pleas can I have a barbees and a suffed anmol and socks and a doll and blankits and orbaments.
to Santa

Dear Santa,
I want 10 skateboards. And a Ipod. And I want a pretend gun. But I'm not going to shoot anybody; I'm just going to shoot the wall. And I want a bunny. And a candy.

I wot a camera. I wot a computer. I wot a Ipod. I wot a camera.
From Mercie

Please give me a brbie. Bells balloons. Santy Clus. I wont a glass of Jesis and Merey. And a Ipod.

Dear Santa,
Disregard all above Ipod requests. You know how my kids are with small electronics. Big ones, too, for that matter. My Christmas list? Well, I must say, last year you did pretty well. Two out of three ain't too shabby. However, I believe we both know what that leaves for this year's Christmas wish. I'll keep it simple and singleminded. I'll even give you all of 2011, just so we're clear on what I'd like by this time next year. If you need help with any of the details I'm sure you'll find lots of pointers here .
Thanks ever so much,

Friday, November 26, 2010

Call It Like You See It

Mercie: Eric is trying to get more jello, mom.

Grace: I think Mercie has a problem with worrying more about other people and not worrying about her own self.

Mom: Ahem. I don't think Mercie is the only one with that problem.

Grace: What? I don't have a problem worrying about other people's business. I just tattle. That's all.

Nice to have that clarified.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Thanks List

Mom: Before prayers I want each one of you to say something that you are thankful for.

Mia: I'm thankful for God and Jesus and holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Grace: I'm thankful for Christmas and holidays and everybody.... except bad guys.

Mia: She was going to say everyone except Mercie, but she didn't want to get in trouble.

Grace: I WAS NOT!!!! Mia's tattling on me for something I didn't even do!

Mom: OKAY, Eric's turn.

Eric: I'm thankful for all movies, except bad ones, like Toy Story 1, and Toy Story 2, and Toy Story 3, and Monster House.

Mercie: I'm thankful for everything. Except olives and Satan.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Of Fashion and Finance

Defying all reason and logic, my children have an obsession with looking as much like Dickensonian waifs and third world beggar children as they possibly can. This generally means sneaking out of the house wearing clothes with more holes than actual fabric, refusing to comb their hair, and maintaining a 1/2 inch thick layer of grubbiness behind their ears.

From what I hear, most children, when given the choice, choose the sparkling, brand-spanking new clothes Mommy just bought them, but my children thrive on marching to the beat of their own insane drummer, and they bypass the new, attractive clothing in favor of things that would be a better fit for the rag heap than a child's dresser.

Case 1: At the beginning of the school year I spent one of the most frustrating afternoons of my life buying new shoes for every single child. In Mercie's case, she ended up with three brand new pairs of shoes and a couple of hand-me-downs from her older sisters that were still in good condition. School started and day after day Mercie insisted on heading out the door in dingy white sandals that were too small, too broken, and too cold for wear. Since I believe in choosing my battles, and I also believe in natural consequences (really, how warm or comfortable could those sandals be???), yes, I was a bad mother and I let her do it.

When stopping by Mercie's class to drop something off, her teacher took me to a private corner and informed me that the school had a special fund available to help families buy shoes for their children, and if providing Mercie with shoes was a problem it would really be so very easy for them to help me out.

Yes, I was totally and completely chagrined. She was nice as could be about it, which is more than I can say for myself when we got home that night and I had a little chat with Mercie about the importance of wearing the new shoes Mommy bought for her.

Case 2: fast forward a few days. In spite of the fact that it is November, all four of my kids insist on leaving their jackets home when they go to school. Apparently keeping track of a backpack is the absolute maximum effort their brains are capable of and a coat would short circuit neurons from which they'd never recover. Grace and Mia annnounced that they weren't bringing coats. Not to be outdone, Mercie followed suit. When we got to school Grace changed her mind. Her coat was home in her room, so she asked Mercie if she could borrow Mercie's coat that was lovingly tossed on the floor of the minivan. Mercie agreed.

In the afternoon I got an email from Mercie's teacher. She told me that she was worried about Mercie being too cold at recess, and when she asked Mercie where her coat was Mercie responded that she couldn't wear it today because "today is Grace's turn to wear the coat."

Yes. She really said that.

Mercie's very nice teacher immediately went on to tell me that the school has a special fund available to help families get warm coats for their children and it really would be so easy to get Mercie a coat of her very own so she doesn't have to share.


Recently I went shopping for pants, socks, tights, and some other winter clothing items the kids needed. $300+ later I was bemoaning the money I'd never get back and predicting how many days we'd go before each child had completely ruined his or her new clothes.

"That's the worst part," I whined to a friend. "It's like throwing my money in the garbage, or setting it on fire. We'll be lucky to get one good day out of $300 worth of new clothes. It drives me crazy to part with hard-earned cash for this!"

"Well, you don't HAVE to do it, " he responded. "You know, the school has a special fund to help people like you..."

Monday, November 01, 2010

The Salon is BACK!

Next Saturday, Nov. 13, 8pm, my house. We're talking all things Greek (hmm...maybe I should do some Greek food in honor of the event...), especially literature.

As always, no need to RSVP; just come. Send a message if you need the address.

Togas are optional.