Friday, August 31, 2007

Work Schmork

Dear Andrew and Abby,

Work stinks. I want you to remember that. Right now, you are young and have more freedom than you will understand or appreciate until you are older and lose it. Now, you are both in a hurry to grow up, to get big, to do the things Daddy and I "get" to do. Well, that's just crazy. Grown-ups have no freedom and we don't "get" to do much. Our lives are all about "HAVE" to's. And the biggest one is that we HAVE to go to work. Well, I suppose we don't really. But I do know that you two are both pretty fond of eating and I think the novelty of sleeping under the bridge after we lost our house would wear off pretty quickly.

What I really want to do with my time is play with you two, be able to drop Andrew off at school in the morning and pick him up in the afternoon, take pictures, write down all of the things that strike me as interesting or funny or poignant about you and our lives, and oh about a million other things that do not involve sitting at a desk in a little fabric-covered three-sided box surrounded by a bunch of other (some very LOUD) people also sitting at desks in fabric-covered three-sided boxes with no windows. Oh, sure, going to work sounds fun to you. But that's because you get to just visit here. And then you leave.

Last night, I came home from a quick two-day trip to Texas - for work. When I finally got home and got you two settled down enough to go to bed, Abby and I snuggled for a little bit. I told her she needed to get to sleep so she could get up for school the next day (yes, it's just day care, but we just call it school because it's simpler) and Mommy could go to work. She cried and said she didn't want to go school and she didn't want me to go to work. I was thinking that she wanted us to both stay home all day because she had missed me. Silly, Mommy. When I asked Abby where I should be the next day, fully expecting the answer to be home, she said she wanted me to stay on a plane all day. And when I asked where she was going to be, she said on the plane with me. Believe me, it is not always as fun as you might think! But I asked her where we would go on this plane. Her answer? Pizza Hut!

Clearly this would be so we would not waste precious minutes on driving that could be spent waiting for the cinnamon breadsticks to be put on the Wednesday-night buffet. She is so my daughter.

You might get the sense from my earlier ranting that I'm not very happy with work right now. That's not exactly true. I am very happy with my work. There are things I don't like about it, but for the most part, it's about as good as work can get right now. Except that I HAVE to. Work, that is. And this work is seriously infringing upon all of the other much more fun things I WANT to do, like fly to Pizza Hut with Abby.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

It ain't easy being green

Dear Andrew & Abby,

Today, we need to talk about Abby. Abby and her obsession with a certain pair of shoes. I feel the need to document the importance of these shoes in our life now, before something even more dire happens to the shoes. That, or Abby actually moves on to a new obsession.

The shoes, of course, are the green flip flops.

Green flip flops

These shoes were not purchased at a fancy designer outlet. They weren't even bought at the Payless at the mall. Nope, they came from the Wal-Mart in our town. The same Wal-Mart where we, a couple of months later, lost the green flip flops. We searched the store - at closing time - and couldn't find them. There was much sobbing from the Princess over the loss of her special green flip flops. None of the other twenty pairs of shoes in her closet could make her happy. She cried herself to sleep. Luckily, they turned up at the Customer Service desk the next day. I know it was the next day because I had to call as soon as we got home the next day to ask. And then immediately run to get them. I guess it's a good thing they are so clearly "loved in" - they didn't make me pay for them a second time!

This is also the same pair of green flip flops that we accidentally left at Grandma Jamie's house a couple of weekends ago. Because we had taken four other pairs of shoes for our two day visit, their absence was not immediately noticed. It was late when we got home Sunday night and we were all pretty tired. It wasn't until Monday morning, while in a last-minute rush to leave the house that we discovered the green flip flops were not in the house with us. They were not even in the same state! There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth. And then there was much demanding to call Grandma Jamie. Grandma Jamie was kind enough to overnight express the special shoes - in a protective padded envelope to protect them on their journey - back to their home. After Abby hugged them, she put them right onto her feet.

This morning, I went searching for the green flip flops before I asked Abby to get her shoes - I can be taught, after all. I found them forlorn, wet, and forgotten outside in the back yard. They had been drenched in some mighty thunderstorms that came through here last night. I brought them in and laid them out to dry. Abby tended to them like she would an injured bird. And yes, she tried to wear them. But she doesn't like her feet to feel "yucky" - and they didn't match the outfit today, anyway.

You might wonder how it is that these shoes keep getting misplaced if they are Abby's favorites. If she WEARS them all the time, how is it they keep becoming separated from her FEET? Well, my little ones, that's because Abby has a love-hate relationship with shoes. She loves her shoes. Likes to match them to her outfits, to sort them, to stomp in them around the house (LOUDLY), sometimes even to play with them like any of her other toys. And she will gladly wear them when we leave the house to go somewhere. They are lovingly put on her feet and she walks proudly out to the van. And before the van has actually made it out of the driveway, the shoes are off again. You see, she likes shoes. But she doesn't like to wear them.

Raising the next reincarnation of Imelda Marcos,

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Today is done, tomorrow will be another one

Dear Andrew and Abby,

Well, I was very neglectful of our journal in July - only 1 entry! That is terrible! I do have an excuse, and yes, I know that making excuses is bad, but let me explain.

July = Summer.

There, that's it in a nutshell. I could go and try to explain all of the things we've done this month, and I might still do that, but for right now, I kind of want to move on. Thinking about it all just makes my head swim a little. Let's just sum it up with the word BUSY. We packed a whole lot of summer into a short time this year, starting at the end of June when we had Cub Scout day camp, Vacation Bible School, two baseball games, and a dance class all in the same week. I guess that should have been some kind of warning sign, because we didn't slow down after that until this week, when Andrew went back to school.

This year, Andrew is in the third grade. Wow, do I feel old. I think it was just yesterday I was wondering when this little screaming infant was going to ever learn how to walk and talk, and now, well, now I can't get him to stop running and yelling. This year, he only gets one recess and has Social Studies. I think next year he grows a beard.

And then there's Abby. Princess Abigail. Last Sunday Daddy and Andrew went to the Brickyard race and I thought it would be a great idea to have a Girls' Day Out. The original plan was for the Children's Museum, but that had to be scrapped when Mommy's lasagna-making took a little longer than planned. Abby was more than a little upset about the change in plans (she gets that from me - change is bad). I got a little desperate and then I came up with this ~great~ idea. So, we called up My Jody (formerly Fairy Godmother Jody) and My Alyssa and invited them to Libby Lu's with us. And oh. My. Goodness. WHAT have I done??

She looks about thirteen in this picture, don't you think? Well, okay, maybe not. Thirteen-year-olds don't smile. I remember when I was one. Abby had a BLAST at Libby Lu's. That's her personal sparkly lotion she's holding in the picture. On her back is her Libby Lu pack with all of her stuff - lip gloss, bracelets, the makeup they used on her, and the lip gloss that she got to make HERSELF. While she was getting hair and nails done (at the same time!), she had this look on her face that made me a little fearful for all retail clerks and beauticians in her future. It was a look of serious concentration and study. A look that said, 'I'm watching you, and your work had better live up to my extremely high standards, or there will. be. consequences.' And trust me, I've lived through those consequences. All I can say is that the sweet smile in the picture masks a fury I liken to a caged wild animal. And that might be understating it a bit.

It seems this week has been full of little moments when it is suddenly clear to me that my little girl will not be little for much longer. At daycare, they are talking about moving her to the Fours class, even though she won't technically be four until January. They say she can already do the things all the four-year-olds can do as far as counting and writing and colors and numbers and whatever else they are supposed to be able to do at four. So she's a little SuperStar-in-training. That's all fine. But she's not a Four! She's a cute little Three! She can just stay a Three for a little longer. She might be ready to be a Four, but I'm not ready for her to be.

And just to kick me when I'm down, this morning, she stopped wearing nundies. With no pretense, no warning, no discussion. I pulled out her cute flower nundies and when I told her it was time to put on her nundies, she refused. She stopped me and said, in a tone eerily like a teenager explaining that the cool kids don't say 'Bitchin' anymore, "No, Mom, that's my underwear." I tried to argue for nundies a little, but she wouldn't give in. Nundies are dead to her. It's underwear now. Where has my little girl gone? I blame the Barbies.

Hanging onto your childhood by my fingernails,