Friday, April 29, 2011

A stitch or nine

The Friday before Easter, S and I were cleaning dishes in the kitchen sink, when a terrific wail came from the preschool room. I waited to see if it was A's dramatic nature or true pain. When M started screaming, I took off running. I passed M, crying, on the stairs. He looked like he had seen a ghost. I found A kneeling with her back to me. When she turned around, blood was streaming from a huge gash on her forehead, covering her shirt, skirt, face, hair. It was as gruesome as this scene from Carrie. I grabbed the phone, ran to the bathroom for a wet washcloth and dialed R as I pressed on the wound.

He was 1 hour and 20 minutes away.

It was dinner time and the Salad was hungry.

I knew A needed stitches.

I called Aunt Jen and asked her to meet me at the hospital.

I regrouped and started barking orders to M and S. M was paralyzed with fear and hysterical, begging me not to take A to the hospital. Every time he screamed, A screamed harder. I finally told him he had to go downstairs until he was calm so I could focus my attention on A. S calmed herself down by taking a few deep breaths and asked me what she could do. She ran and got a new shirt for her sister, she packed up cheese sticks and fruit bars for "hospital" snacks. She got everyone's drinks and jackets by the front door. She gathered up books for the waiting room. M had finally stopped sobbing and came to see how he could help. He got me a fresh rag and band aid. I am so thankful for helpful kids. You know, once they stop hyperventilating.

A had stopped crying by the time we got to the car. My sister met us in the ER parking lot and took the other 2 for dinner. A cuddled and snacked and charmed the heck outta every person she came into contact with.

Stranger: "Oh no! How did you hurt your head?"
A: "I was playing horsie and galloped into the desk."
Stranger: "Aaaaawwwww!"

She didn't shed a tear when the doctor cleaned the cut with numbing cream or gave her six shots of Novocaine or 9 stitches. She told them a joke as the sewed her forehead.

A: "How do you make a tissue dance?"
Doctor: "I don't know. How?"
A: "Put a little boogie in it."
That's my girl.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Magic - 1, Catholicism - 0

I've been trying to explain what Easter is about to the Salad. Besides chocolate bunnies and egg hunts, that is. I've not used the specific terms, Crucifixion and Resurrection. But I've done the best I can. Apparently, my best is not good enough. During prayers last night, S asked R if he knew God was magic, because he was able to "make his baby son alive again." God - akin to The Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus. As further proof that we may be lacking in the Catechism area, M asked at Mass on Easter morning if the "Peter" the priest was talking about was Peter Pan. There was also some jealousy when A and M remember that only the adults get "candy" from the priest.

Gah. Wait till I try to explain the whole host-as-the-body-of-Christ-thing.

Friday, April 22, 2011


My sister asked me to watch my wonderful 11 year old nephew yesterday and Monday. I was a little nervous, wanting to do things that Ian would enjoy, that were still feasible with 3 - 4 year olds. He's a smart kid, my nephew, so I thought he might enjoy doing a little Easter-related science experiment. We started the day off by boiling a pot of red cabbage, a pot of spinach, a pot of dill, a pot of turmeric and a pot of beets. Then I asked Ian, after looking at the water we were left with, to write down what color he thought hard boiled eggs would turn out if we used that water for egg dye. If you decide to try it, you're in for a real surprise with the red cabbage! Also if you decide to try it, be forewarned, open your windows. It's a little . . . um . . . stinky.
We had a day jam-packed full of fun, walking to the super market to pick our own pizza toppings, exploring a pond, going to a super cool playgroup (it had trains!) and then chasing down the ice cream truck.Whew. Off to figure out Monday!

Hog Heaven

About 2 months ago, as they drove pass the Harley-Davidson store, my brother-in-law made casual mention to M that "Maybe Aunt Jen will bring you to the motorcycle store tomorrow when she takes Ian to buy his new bike." Unfortunately, the Harley-Davidson store is en route to our library, so each Tuesday M has asked "Is today tomorrow, Mommy?" When my sister heard this, she raced over after work on a Friday evening and off they went to the motorcycle store. Apparently, Harley-Davidson is a hidden gem for the preschool set. M had free reign of the store, several store employees outfitting him with helmets and gloves, before perching him atop any bike he wanted. They shoved gobs of free Harley key chains into his hot little fists. They sent him on his way with the 2011 Road Guide and 2 GIANT orange balloons. My sister said when he sat on the bikes, M was still as a statue, soaking in every word the sales guy told him about the helmet vs. no helmet debate.

(please note - this is NOT a Harley)

I see a Hog in our future.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Egg Salad

Picture it: Easter 2010. We arrive home from Mass and breakfast at the diner. The Salad is overjoyed at the sight of their baskets filled with goodies like bubbles, watering pales and Peeps. After a little quiet time, we head out onto the lawn to hunt for plastic eggs, filled with 1 jelly bean. We have to pace ourselves, Peeple. S spots an egg at the edge of the lawn and begins to run down the hill. She trips. She face plants. Eggs fly. Her brother and sister see that she is down and with vulture-like instinct, prey upon the scattered eggs, popping them open and downing the precious candy inside, all before S has made it to her feet.

I have video evidence.

Now imagine this scene playing out on a larger scale. More kids, bigger kids, strange kids bowling my Salad down for the sake of sweets. The thought makes my blood boil and sends chills down my spine simultaneously.

And so it was with relief, the Salad and I accepted the invitation to Ms. Amy's egg hunt. Meant only for our playgroup, kids that have been playing together for 2, some 3 years. These are kids that love each other and when they have to fight, they do it with grace. There were eggs aplenty, filled with treats (thanks for the peanut butter eggs, Amy!)
When the hunt was over, we feasted on fruit and snacks, played hide and seek, and had egg races. When they got tired of that, they used Ms. Amy's many ride-on toys to have high-speed races down a treacherous hill. Amazingly, we left with all of our teeth and nary a trip to the emergency room.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

"Dust of Everyday Life"

Does it say more about the Salad's ethereal verve or my inability to keep a clean house that we often spend our time "catching" the dust?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Freedom for my Salad

I need some freedom
Freedom for my people
I want some freedom
Freedom freedom for my people
I'd like some freedom

It was in this song's vein that we ended up at Freedom Playground last Wednesday. Just 5 days before, we awoke to snow flakes. Days of rain and clouds and cold had kept us inside. So when Miss Amy heard it would be mild, the message went out to playgroup - "Freedom Playground, we'll be there at 10:00." And so would we. We had the run of the playground, sand pit and tire swing included. We had a picnic lunch and managed to squeak 20 more happy minutes out of the day with a rousing game of Hide and Seek. Kids love that game. It's amazing really - I kept finding other kids that weren't with our playgroup, joining in on the fun. The more the merrier, unless you don't know how many kids are playing and forget to seek 1 or 2 of them. Whoops. It was a much needed day outdoors. The only crying that occurred was during the races down the triple slide when A's foot caught on the slide and she went "ass over tin cups," as my mother would say. I scooped her up, searched for signs of injury and then tried to hide my smile, because I thought, "Oooh, she went ass over tin cups!" And that expression in plain old hysterical.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

He's got the Music in him

A helped me set the table for dinner the other night and asked that we put on some music. So, the Salad was eating and we're chatting, when M suddenly looks up from his sweet potato fries and says, "Mommy, I need to get up and dance." Far be it from me to put the kibosh on that. By all means, little man, get down to it. And so for 4 minutes, he fist-pumped to Rihanna's "Don't Stop the Music".

Watch out Jersey Shore, you got a hot one comin' your way.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Streets of Philadelphia

At the first hint of spring, i.e. a 45 degree partly sunny day, I threw on our winter coats, picked up my mom and headed down to the Zoo. We searched for signs of spring - green buds, robins, flowers, etc. We had up close views of every animal we wanted to see, because hardly anyone else had ventured out. We stopped by the train ride on our way to the petting zoo and quickly spotted our friends Peter, Lucy and baby Thomas. It was a great surprise and I loved hearing M ask Peter, "Um, hey Peter, do you want to go feed the goats with us?" Peter was glad to oblige. I realized we were nearing the end of our rope when A started saying that her legs were tired. And it was a loooong way to the car. We said our goodbyes, sat in goose poop, cleaned up goose poop and had a potty break before leaving the children's area. A complained the whole uphill walk. Thankfully, we passed the carousel and I saw it as an opportunity to 1) rest weary legs and 2) provide a distraction. Worked like a charm for about 3 minutes until A asked me to pick her up. Finally we made it to the exit of the Zoo. Just as we did, the clouds parted, the sun shined (shone?) down and the angels sang. OK. The angel part didn't happen. But the clouds did part and the warm sun did shine down. It had been so long since the Salad had felt full-on sunlight, they did what felt natural.

They laid down.

On the sidewalk.

In Philadelphia.

Is it any wonder that we are sick all the time?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Freaking Automation

The toilet at Farley Plaza, on our way home from a spontaneous beach trip, may set our potty training back 2+ years. Damn self-flushing toilets.

And don't even get me started on the gale force winds pushed out of automatic hand dryers.