Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Houston, We Have Accumulation

Seriously, Houston. We have a problem. Can we come home yet? Because it snowed here today. It was only about half an inch, but it stuck. I don't know if I'm ready for this yet. Didn't it just stop snowing? I think I blinked and missed spring, summer, and autumn.


Time to dig out the snowsuits and snow tires.

Shaun, where's that remote starter for the car you've been teasing me with?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Laundry Police

Brandon not only looks like Shaun, but he also appears to have inherited Shaun's temperament. They're both easy-going, sweet and rarely angry. They both have a very quiet sense of humor, and it's hard to make them laugh. And they have both been gifted with a look that's lets you know just what they think of you when you do something stupid.

I get to spend all day, every day with a little carbon copy of my husband, and I usually find this endlessly entertaining, but I was never more annoyed by how much Brandon reminds me of Shaun than I was one day last week.

I was sitting at my computer, minding my own business and everyone else's on Facebook, and Brandon walked up to me with his arms full of clothing. He shoved them into my arms, yelled, "Clothes!" and ran back into the laundry folding/piling room (known as the 'formal dining room' to the rest of the world) to grab another armful of clean laundry. He proceeded to shove those little shirts and pants at me, too, then grab my hand and drag me over to the laundry basket and point to it yelling, "Clothes!" again.

Who does he think he is? The laundry police? Is my 18-month-old trying to tell me something, or did Shaun put him up to this? Shaun doesn't actually drag me to the laundry basket and yell at me, but the look Brandon gave me had Shaun written all over it. I could just see Shaun's innocent look and his passive, "I see you didn't get a chance to fold the laundry..."

I started to get a little defensive, but then I realized I could totally use this to my advantage. I'm going to teach Brandon how to fold the laundry. And then I'm going to teach Kyle to vacuum while Natalie does the dishes. Easy street, here I come.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween Flashback

Halloween doesn't have the same draw for people in rural areas as it does for those who live in towns and cities. It's really a bit of a hassle to get all dressed up in your Halloween costumes to then climb into the backseat of mom's car, squirm around trying to buckle up around your Minnie Mouse or Dorothy dress and then attempt to stash whatever headgear, candy bags, and other accessories you'll need in the space under your feet. Trick-or-treating in the country isn't about running around with your friends, ringing doorbells, yelling and then dashing on to the next house. In the country, trick-or-treating is about being squashed into the car with your little brother while you drive from one end of the county to the other making occasional stops at the homes of various grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends of your parents. This was the Halloween of my childhood. It's still fun, and you still get a ton of candy, but it's not like the Halloween most kids experience.

I can only imagine, now that I am a mother myself, how annoying the entire ordeal must have been for my mother. Being the person responsible for loading these costumed children into the car, listening to the bickering between houses, trying to keep the make-up off the upholstery, and then having to make small-talk at every single house because you're related to everyone must have been less than exciting. Thanks, Mom, for putting up with all of that. You're much more tolerant than I am.

I chose to ignore Halloween until Kyle was almost three years old. We happened to be living with my parents during both Kyle and Natalie's first Halloweens, and there was no way I was dressing them up and loading them into the car to drive them around and show them off. Okay, to give myself a little credit, now that my parents live in Virginia there's really no one to show the kids off to anyway, but I bet I would have ignored Halloween anyway. I started ignoring Halloween around the age of 12, and I planned to keep ignoring it as long as possible.

Then Kyle started going to preschool. It is imposssible to ignore Halloween once your kids start going to some form of school. There are parties. There are parades of small children in very cute costumes. There are goody bags. Teachers and other little kids explain the concept of going door-to-door and collecting candy to your own children, and guess what? They think it sounds fun!

Then the truly unthinkable happened. It started to sound fun to me, too. It helped that we had moved back to Houston, the land of Master Planned Communities, and I wasn't going to be required to load anyone in costume into my SUV, but the kicker was my realization that for a few short years I was going to be able to dress my kids up however I wanted. The result: the pair of pirates you see below, circa October 2007.

The cutest pirates ever
That all ended this year. Kyle's almost five, and when you're almost five it's mandatory that you choose to be something other than what your mom wants you to be for Halloween. (It's in the Handbook, along with trying to talk to your mom while she's on the phone, trying to wear your slippers to school, finding all underwear jokes hilarious, and various other annoying habits.) Natalie dressed up as Jessie from Toy Story, Brandon was Woody, and Kyle agreed to be Buzz Lightyear until he changed his mind and decided to be a Power Ranger instead.

Power Ranger (Kyle), Monkey (Ethan), Jessie (Natalie), Cheetah (Elle), Woody (Brandon)
Believe it or not, Shaun and I were really okay with it. The advantage to Kyle refusing to go along with the family theme was that I was spared dressing up like Bo Peep. I was disappointed, however, that Shaun was also then spared from having to dress up like Mr. Potato Head. Sigh. That would've been awesome.

There's always next year. I'm thinking Peter Pan, maybe?