Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Passing notes

Happy is becoming quite the little reader-writer these days. Which is simultaneously great and awful. Great because, well, it's super-awesome that his brain has cracked the reading code. Awful because we can no longer spell things to keep them secret. OK, so that's not really awful. I recant my previous statement: Reading-writing is 99% great!

This afternoon, during the 3 minutes that I allot for us to change into "play clothes," grab a snack, tinkle, and head back out the door to the YMCA for Mommy's Vastly Important Workout Time, Happy was Grumpy. (And who can blame him with all this hustle and bustle?)

Happy-Grumpy, like his mother, has discovered a catharsis in writing notes to communicate when he's feeling out of sorts. Lately he will write a sentence on a small slip of paper, hand it to me, and stand in front of me with hands on hips, glaring while I decipher it.

(Note: I feel great pressure during this deciphering period because it's hard damn work figuring out his completely phonetic spelling his teacher calls "kidwriting."We're supposed to encourage his "inventive spelling" without correcting right now...so freaking hard for this editor-mom! And, when I write notes back, I have to limit my vocabulary to words he knows by sight or can easily sound out, because I don't want to frustrate him with these silly things.)

Anyway. What follows is the transcript of this afternoon's note pass, which stemmed from our disagreement over what type of snack he would enjoy. Please remember to read phonetically...and giggle:

Happy: i DO won 1000 PRESals
[Stands with hands on hips while I read...he looks mad, real mad.]

Me: OK. Luv, Mom
[He reads it, shatters into uproarious laughter, throws arms around me.]

Happy: [one minute later] No Akshoole i loveyou

Me: Your smile makes my day happy.
[I retreat into bathroom, close and lock door, for my one minute of tinkle-time privacy. A small paper slips under the door.]

Happy: i AM smiuling for you and it is hrting my Mawth.

[Now I'm the one cracking up. And another paper slips under the door.]

Happy: MoM i wood like a frudsnaks iNstdto.


Translation:
Happy: I do want 1,000 pretzels.

Mom: OK.
Love, Mom
Happy: No, actually, I love you.

Mom: Your smile makes my day happy.

Happy: I am smiling for you and it is hurting my mouth.

Happy: Mom, I would like fruit snacks instead.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Rubba dub dub

I know that a blogging is a visual medium, but I think this is one time you'll be happy I've not included photos. Instead I'll verbally paint for you a picture of hilarity:

I've recently (re)started going to the gym after work. It's kind of a big deal because it means picking up Happy from the bus stop, changing my clothes while he gobbles down a snack, then picking up Zippy from daycare and shuttling us all to the YMCA, where Happy runs along to play and Zippy screams like someone's ripping his hair out one by one. I run along to the fitness room, sweat like a maniac for 45 minutes on the elliptical machine, then hustle back to the babysitting room...where I'm met by a 5-year-old whining because he wants to play more and a 1-year-old screaming because he's tired, hungry, scared, etc. (The 1-year-old screamed the whole way home tonight, just to punctuate his point.)

Anyhoo...this evening I was particularly sweaty after a really, really good workout (yay, me!), so after throwing some leftovers in the oven to heat up and planting Happy in front of the piano to practice, I filled the bathtub with 3 inches of water, tossed in Zippy, then hopped in with him. Naked Mommy in the bathtub confused the little one at first (more crying!), but then he found major giggles. And really, who can blame him? Naked Mommy is hilarious!

Now, as you picture this scene, you need to remember that I am 6-foot-2. I rarely take baths because I barely fit in the bathtub all by myself. But I'm all about multitasking these days, and Zippy is small, so we made it work. I washed him quickly, then got up on my knees to suds myself up...which is exactly the moment that Happy barged into the room. And ran out screaming, "OH! MY! GOOOOOSSSSHHHH!"

Uh oh.

I've never been super modest in my home. I grew up in a house of naked parents. You know, hippie generation and all. (In fact, we used to have to yell inside when we came home with friends on spring/summer days because we didn't have central air conditioning, and my mom used to hang around in her underwear on hot days. I'm not that nudist, don't worry, kids.)

But now that I have a school-aged son who's very much aware of penises and boobies, I know I have to cover up. As much as possible. To avoid awkward questions and even more awkward answers. So when he ran in the bathroom, saw me sudsy in the tub, and ran away screaming, well, I started to imagine the trauma inflicted. I pictured him burying his face in his pillow, screaming "My eyes! My eyes!" I imagined the hours and hours of therapy he'd need just to be able to have a healthy relationship with a woman. Hell, he'd probably never even want to bathe in that room again!

But no. Instead two minutes later, Happy came running back into the bathroom. Buck. Naked. And laughing like this was the most fun he could imagine. He practically did a cannonball into the tub.

Before I knew it, there were three of us in the tub, I was standing in ankle-deep water covered in suds and trying to figure out how to rinse my hoo-ha without totally damaging my children's psyches, and both boys were cracking up. And that's about the time that Daddy walked in...and right back out.