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Monthly Archives: February 2011

People with 4 year olds in diapers shouldn’t throw stones….

By the holidays, I had just started to get used to the routine in the morning. We had finally gotten the hang of getting dressed, fed, bags packed, hair gelled (we are Italian) and getting to the bus stop in a timely manner. Then came the snow.  We now had to manage an extra backpack filled with change of shoes and snowpants, etc. and allot some extra time to find missing gloves and put on hats and scarfs.  If I’m super-organized I should really give myself even an extra 5 minutes to warm up the car, because the days of walking to the bus stop and standing in frigid temperatures are over.  Basically, what usually happens from the time the last bite of cereal is eaten until we get out the door is I scream at everyone that I’m going to take away all of their toys and we all run around like the kids at “Mickey’s” birthday party. 

So last week there was a day that I felt like time-wise and weather-wise I could actually walk to the bus stop.  After all of the screaming and a particularly bad fist fight between my two boys over who was wearing the Spiderman gloves, we got out the door.

Once we are actually at the bus stop the feat is to keep the kids off of the huge snow mountains that surround them on every corner.  I usually spend the few minutes waiting for the bus telling them both to not climb on the snow mountain, not to eat dirty snow filled with salt and sand, and not to throw ice balls at people. 

So this day a father at the bus stop decides to interject.  This particular man wears cargo shorts in the winter with chains hanging on them and has been known to drive “quads” around his yard.  In addition, his wife’s entire face is pierced and she chain-smokes at the bus-stop when she graces us with her presence.  At the time of his remark I can see his four-year old daughter in their picture window with a pacifier in her mouth holding her “blankie.” The same daughter was up until very recently wearing diapers. 

“Give the kid a break ….He’s a kid, let him play in the snow. You have to learn to pick your battles.” he said knowingly.

I was speechless and had to respond carefully so I wouldn’t blurt out what I wanted to say which was “You  have to learn to shut the fuck up.”

“Um….I think you are a little more laid-back than I am.” I said slowly my blood boiling.

I understand that snow piled up to triple their size is very enticing but I’d rather that my small children don’t fall and crack their head open before school and also would like them to start the day with dry clothes.  Why would anyone think that’s not reasonable?  Why do people feel the need to put their two cents in? 

Thankfully, the bus came at that point so I didn’t have to be harassed any further by this discipline expert.  8:09 am – and I already had my first parenting lesson of the day!!


Aren’t birthday parties supposed to be fun?

So, while my fabulous friends in NYC are spending their Saturday shopping and getting seaweed wraps, my new weekend activity is going to strange childrens’ birthday parties.  Most recently, my kindergartner got invited to a little boy’s party who has recently moved here from China, Patrick Wong.  The only thing I had ever heard about this particular child is that he struggled with a thick accent and repeatedly called my son Michael,  “Mickey.” My son, misunderstanding his friend’s poor control of the English language was perturbed. 

“He calls me Mickey all the time, so I call him Mickey now and I told everyone. Now the whole class calls him Mickey.”

We probably should have tried to explain the situation, but instead my husband and I just fell off our chairs laughing.  Fast forward two months and imagine my surprise when a birthday invitation arrives for a Saturday afternoon party at Patrick’s house.  I had visions of spending an afternoon sitting through 3 hours of Chinese birthday rituals. 

“I’m just going to throw this in the garbage.” I whispered to my husband gesturing to the card.

“Absolutely not.” he said. Ugh, my husband the “do-gooder”suggested that other kids in the class might talk about the party and then he would feel bad.

“Well of course I’m not leaving him at some strange house where nobody speaks a lick of English!” I countered. “Fine – so stay there with him.” he replied simply.

I called to RSVP and tell “Mickey’s” mother who I am and the purpose for my call and realized  quickly that there is a huge language barrier. She started yelling “OK, so yes or no?”

“What?” I said.

“Yes or no?” she yells louder.

“Yes!” Now I’m yelling….”But I’m staying!!” “Michael, plus one!!”

So off we go to the party and we are greeted at the door by 8 shrieking Chinese children, Patrick and his mom.  “Hi -Ok you take off boot and wear slipper.”

Ok – so as my son runs off with the shrieking children into the basement to see the pet bunnies???   I venture into the living room in this woman’s well-worn slippers, where there is what seems to be a Chinese version of American Idol blasting on a flat screen tv.  Patrick’s mother is in the kitchen and I frantically start taking pictures of my slipper feet with my phone and sending them to my husband with death threats.

After about 30 minutes of small talk and the arrival of one other mother it becomes clear nobody is coming.  “I invite 13 and if I they don’t call me I think its ok.” Patrick’s mother said as she peered out the window.

OMG! Thank God for my husband!!  I guess all the other mothers threw out the invite and didn’t have a do-gooder near them to stop them! This was beyond horrible.  So I stayed for the next 2 hours watching the kids run wild through the house throwing paper airplanes and playing with huge stuffed tigers that looked like they came straight out the Sigfreid and Roy show.   (Which as a sidenote was a good lesson for people like myself that spend $500 on their children’s birthday parties. These children were as happy with the tiger and paper as they would be with a clown and bouncy house.)

It wasn’t too bad, especially after I noticed the other mother didn’t have slippers on and I kicked mine off and slipped them under the couch.  A couple hours of my life I will never get back, but well worth it to “Mickey” and his mother.

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