Friday, May 25, 2012

The Grass Is Greener

I have joked a lot over the years about wanting Morgan to grow up so I can put her to work.  Right now, we're enjoying that super fun stage where Morgan wants to help with everything but doesn't actually have any skills.   

But you know, part of being a good parent is letting your kids try new things...even if that means mowing the lawn takes three hours and you spend the entire time wondering if your daughter is going to lose a limb in the process.  In fact, I'm pretty sure my uncle lost a few toes while mowing the lawn in his socks one time.  Could be an urban legend, but I'm not taking any chances.

Morgan was super excited to work in the yard with David last weekend.  With a lot little bit of help, she was able to steer the mower and even got it started.  I'm 100% percent sure this was all very safe and legal.  Toddlers operate heavy machinery all the time, right?

What David and I hadn't planned for in this little character-building exercise was just how much "help" Morgan was going to be when it came time to empty the bag.  Suddenly, our background became filled with lush, green confetti, so much so that I spent the next 20 minutes chasing her around, trying to get all of the clippings back in the pile. Don't let this picture fool you, girlfriend went rogue.  

When it was all said and done, the lawn looked great, I was exhausted, and my child took the concept of a "green thumb" to a whole new level.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Hot Diggity

Remember when I told you that David was installing a patio door?  I am pleased to report that the door is in and the house is still standing.  I am also pleased to report that having direct access to our backyard has literally transformed our lives.  Like we eat outside every night.  Even when it's raining, which makes it only slightly awkward trying to juggle a steak knife and an umbrella.

Fortunately, this week brought with it some warmer temperatures and the summer tradition that I hold near and dear to my heart.  Hot dogs.  On the grill.

Unfortunately, David also has a little summer tradition that he can't live without. Beans. Barbecued. From a can. I associate beans with major childhood trauma.  Like when your mom makes you sit at the table until you try at least one bite of everything.  And you watch your sister crying across from you because eating a piece of corn is actually going to kill her.  Yeah, that's how I feel about beans.

But I digress.  The weather was beautiful, the dogs were charred, and it was time to get our picnic on.  So we fixed our plates (well, one of us supervised) -

And jumped right into our first official summer meal --

But then, as David asked me to pass him the disgusting baked beans, Morgan perked right up and asked for some.  Because I am a good mom, I chose not to tell her how horrifying and slimy they were. I swallowed hard and put a few on her plate.  Then she said, "Mom, you need to have some, too" as she piled them next to my coleslaw.  

In her little words of wisdom, she looked at me with those big brown eyes, prodding, "Okay, now you need to try one bite."  At this point, I could feel the sweat beginning to form as panic set it.  I put two beans on my fork and literally choked them back.  And then, because I am such a good mom, I gave the rest to Morgan.  And they didn't even make her cry.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Setting The Bar Low

As Mother's Day approaches, I thought I should take a minute to thank my mom for raising me right.  But then I  thought I should take a minute to write about how all of my mom's years of love and sacrifice have made me a better mom.  But then I sat back and thought about how much I am screwing up my daughter, so I decided to write about that instead.

The last time I visited my parents, my mom gave me the ultimate compliment when she said, "You know, I'm really surprised Morgan doesn't curse."  Actually, so was I.  I can pretend that I have learned to watch my language over the years, but the truth is, most of my stories hinge on a well placed F-bomb.

Fast forward two weeks.  I was trying to put Morgan's hair in pigtails, right about the same time she decided to start violently swinging her head around, you know, just to see if it would fall off.  Given that she does this every time I do her hair, I have a well-rehearsed line I recite to myself.  I take a deep breath, mutter, "son of a bitch" and politely ask her to HOLD STILL.  This time, my mom's insightful observation was still resonating.  I took a deep breath, didn't mutter anything, and just kept working.

Suddenly, Morgan gasped loudly and swung her gaze to meet mine.  "Say it!!! Mom, you have to say it!!!"  I looked at her, totally bewildered.  "Say what?" I asked.

"Say son of a bitch, Mom.  You have to say son of a bitch."

Believe me, kiddo.  I am now.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Suburban Rowdy

I should preface this with a disclaimer.  This post is not about Morgan.  It’s about what happens when two people in their mid thirties have a night away from their child.

Some ridiculously awesome good friends of ours invited us out on Saturday. On a double date. With no children. We had plans for sushi and quality time but we got so.much.more. As a family who lives in the suburbs, a night on the town is a big deal.  Our evenings generally consist of yard work and play dough, with the occasional bedtime battle and an extra glass of wine.  But this weekend, we got full on rowdy.

We started with beers, which then led to barbecue chicken pizza, which then led to more beer.  This then led to buffalo wings that were so hot I cried (no lie), which then, of course, led to more beer.  At some point, we decided we needed to move on to sushi, which of course led to more beer. Are you sensing a theme here?

At some point in our late night wisdom, we decided a little karaoke was in order.  So we drove (without beer), to a little lounge on the outskirts of town.  Did you know that some Denny’s restaurants have a lounge attached to them?  Aptly named “Denny’s Lounge” – You can totally belt out a little Journey while enjoying your Moons Over My Hammy.  Pass me the ketchup…and my microphone. 

I don’t karaoke.  No amount of liquid courage is going to convince me that my singing resembles anything other than nails on a chalkboard.  Not to mention that one of our friends is a professional (like has her own CD) and sounds like an actual jukebox when she sings.  Totally intimidating.  David, on the other hand, was ready to try out for American Idol.  Two hours later, we shut the place down, complete with Jon Bon Jovi and several rounds of air guitar.  As we walked to our car, David and his buddy stopped everyone on their way out the door, hugging the bouncer, the bartender, and even briefly embracing the guy they met in the men’s room.  Not at all awkward.

There’s a small piece of me that wishes we had more than one photo to show for our night on the town, but a much bigger piece of me is grateful we didn’t leave behind more evidence.  And no, I'm not showing you our new tattoos.  

Thursday, May 3, 2012

In the Eye of the Beholder

As a parent, this moment is a right of passage.  Your child spots the most beautiful flower from afar and quickly begins dashing around the yard to gather you a bouquet. You notice immediately that she is gathering dandelions and chuckle to yourself about how sweet it is she could confuse a weed with real beauty.


But then, before you know it, there's an entire fistful just waiting for a vase.

Every stem is lovingly arranged-

And inspected -

And rearranged.

Until you can finally step back and enjoy the little bit of perfection you've created. Because there's no confusing that.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Stall Tactics

As she gets older, we are trying to put Morgan in charge of small chores around the house. Not surprisingly, we are failing.  Every time she needs to be picking up or cleaning, she mysteriously disappears and I have to go looking for her.  Most recently, I found her lying on the kitchen floor, flailing about:

When I asked her what she was doing, she just kept swinging her arms and said, " Uh, hello? I'm making house angels."  I guess I should just be grateful David doesn't do the same thing when I ask him to unload the dishwasher.