Friday, July 31, 2009

A Letter from the Marmoset - Clothing Optional!

Dear Zookeeper,

I think we should both call an end to the silliness we have been playing at lately.

There is absolutely no reason for me to have clothes on. I mean, you want me to start using the civilized facilities, right? Pants and undergarments just slow me down. Let's leave those off shall we?

And that whole shirt concept? I'm just going to spill refreshments and dietary supplements on them anyway and I know how you feel about laundry. We'll just say that I'm providing a water conservation opportunity and doing my part for the environment.

Allow me my accessories of hats and shoes and all will be well.

In my next letter I plan to share with you how my use of my appendages as art canvases is actually another move on my part to conserve and be environmentally responsible. You should be proud of your work in teaching me civic responsibility at such a young age!

Your socially conscious exhibit,


Orangutan - The Toothless Wonder!

That day has come. The miraculous first tooth to fall out at Zoo Suburbia. What an event! Ok, so it was two weeks ago while I was still on bloggy vacay but no one said blog fodder had an expiration date.

For starters she was delighted to find out it was loose right before her dental appointment. She made a point to ask Dr. K how loose was it and when could she expect it to fall out. When he assured her that it would be "VERY soon," she began to interrogate Lion and I about Tooth Fairy procedures.

Since this was the Tooth Fairy's first tooth at our house we turned to wiser and more experienced parents around us to find out what the Fairy's going rate was. Thank you Facebook for being a limitless source of wisdom! It seemed that the going rate was one dollar. However, the Zookeeper heard rumblings in other arenas of five, ten and even twenty dollar rewards being given for the first extraction.

This is when the Tooth Fairy's name was changed to Recession Fairy. Responses soon evened out to the dollar. But how could any really GOOD tooth fairy just fold up a one dollar bill and tuck it under a pillow? To my Orangutan, a dollar bill is one step above paper and her sister eats paper so what good is that?

And that's when it dawned on me. At this age, it's not the actual monetary value that counts. It's the quantity! I could slug a bag full of nickels and she would be giddy! I had a plan!

The tooth hung on. And hung on. And waved to me every time she smiled. I begged, pleaded, cajoled and even sterilized my needle nose pliers in hopes of getting in there while she was alseep. Please just pull that thing so it will stop flopping around!! And then one evening she went to Lion and said, "Hey Daddy. Do you think this is ready to come out?"

"I don't know. Why don't you go get me a tissue and I'll check?"
Now why didn't I think of that? But wait, I DID!! Seven times in three days!! But her daddy suggested it soooo...

And then it was done! One little flick and the tooth was out. And promptly dropped on the floor and lost under the couch where the wild things are. I kid you not! All that prep and anticipation and now we didn't even have a tooth to show for it. Fifteen minutes later we found the flashlight with batteries (a whole different post!) just as Lion found the tooth. O was careful to tuck it tenderly in a ziplock bag and make sure it was well sealed. It was the only night all summer I haven't had to argue with her to go to bed.

The alarm went off the next morning and Lion and I rolled over and hit the snooze button. Yawn. Stretch. Mumble something incoherent. Snuggle back into the pillows for nine more minutes. Sit bolt upright in bed and gasp, "We forgot to Tooth Fairy!!"

Thump, bump, bang, bounce. Stub toe on garage door on the way out to the change tray in the van. Speak an unplesant foreign language for a few minutes while I try to unblear my contacts to count out change. Slide through the kitchen to the paper drawer and extract a ziplock bag to drop the change in. Try to open the bedroom door without waking Marmie because she WILL rat me out. Tiptoe across squeaky floorboards and make the switch very carefully. Back out of the room and stash the evidence for posterity (why I have yet to figure out). And wait.

And wait.

Two hours later she woke up. Five minutes later she stopped talking to herself in her bed and remembered that she was supposed to be checking on something. Squeals of glee finally erupted just as Lion pulled out of the driveway to go to work.

Two quarters, three dimes, and four nickels are the going rate for the Tooth Fairy. Apparently though that might have still been too much. She tipped the Marmoset a nickel for being a lookout.

This evening I was sitting here goofing off and she came to me with, "I'm sure of it Mom! This tooth is loose too!"
Marmie, don't count on a tip this time. The Recession Fairy is back.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

She's Gone Suburban!

I have prided myself in being off the beated suburban path. I don't do tennis lessons or tennis league. I don't like to shop. I don't do the Gap for my children and they are not in all manner of extracurricular activities (yet).

I DO drive a minivan but only because I have to for spacial reasons. And yes I do the carpool lane but that only started last year. I thought I had avoided becoming the stereotypical suburban housewife.

Then this summer happened. I've gone suburban!

Almost every day this summer we have donned our swimsuits and gone to the pool. I have been "that" mom sitting on the side of the pool lounging and reading a book while her children frolicked in the water. I have actually gone shopping for clothes and shoes for myself this summer and spent more than $50! Gasp!!

And now the final nail in the coffin. I have been invited to participate in a Bunco group! It's suburban housewife Yahtzee and only the suburban-est of them all are invited to play.

They say when a house pet goes wild and adapts they have gone ferile. I've gone suburban!!


Poor Rhino.

Middle children, consider this a tribute to your childhood.

This time last year I was gearing up for Orangutan to join O.A.T. (Orangutan Academic Training for those who forgot) and I was all sentimental about my baby growing up. I got teary several times before the first day of O.A.T. even got here. I went out and rounded up school supplies well in advance, made lists of things that needed to be done, assembled multiple outfits for her to choose from for her first day and even walked her through the routine several times.

It's that time again. In two weeks not only will we be back in O.A.T. but this time we have R.A.T. (Rhino Academic Training) too! And how am I handling this? I'm counting down the days, minutes and seconds. I haven't even tried to do any supply shopping yet. The tears of sentiment have been replaced with nervous giggles of glee and his clothes have been laid out for two weeks with no options or room for deviation.

If they are lucky I might hit the brakes and slow down in the carpool lane before I scream "TUCK AND ROLL!" and shove them out the van door wise guy style. Maybe the new principal can catch their backpacks.

But let's get back to Rhino. If I was a good mother I would be just as sentimental about his first day of school as I was for O's. And you know I'll be all teary and weepy for Marmie's first day because she really IS the baby. When she goes to school I go back to work though so the tears could be multipurpose. But poor Rhino.

He's the middle guy. He can't beat anyone up or retaliate if something happens to him because the other two are girls. He isn't the biggest one in the family so he doesn't get all the cool new firsts. He isn't the little one so he still doesn't get away with murder like she does. And in all honesty he probably gets blamed for a lot of things that he had nothing to do with.

So this is me pledging to try harder in the next two weeks to keep the giggles to a minimum and muster up some sentiment for my boy. After all he is my ONLY boy and it IS his first day of school too.

Maybe I'll get him some knee and elbow pads to break his toss from the van.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Two Weeks Notice!

That's it! I'm turning in my two weeks notice! I can't take it anymore!

Good thing they are going back to school in two weeks right? Well, Orangutan and Rhino are going to school anyway. Marmoset will still be here with me but that's a whole different world from what we've had this summer.

Holy Crap!

For the first half of the summer I was on it. I would go for a walk first thing; do housework in the early morning while the kids did chores; then we would do some school style stuff so that the two big ones could learn letters and Marmie could do art projects. Then we would hit the pool (yes, every day!) and play all afternoon. The theory was that they would be so worn out by the end of the day that they would pass out without issue! I am rewriting that theory. Mom was so worn out that she couldn't even fight back when they insisted that 12:30 was a perfectly respectable bed time.

I got derailed on the school stuff at the end of June but the kids have forgiven me and according to the review we did this morning they DID actually retain some of the letters and sounds we did earlier. Orangutan is now swimming like a fish and Rhino doesnt' freak out about getting his head wet anymore so that was successful too.

So why am I turning in my notice? Let's see. Orangutan lost her first tooth last week which was gross. She let it go until it was hanging by a string and felt the need to show me just how wiggly it was all the time. Gross! And then last night Rhino decided that he should take a few teeth out too. Ok so he didn't do it on purpose and they didn't come all the way out but taking a header face first into a maple coffee table creates quite a bloody mess. Daddy actually "popped" the teeth back into place when he fell asleep. Yeah, I gagged a little too.
And for the love of Pete! Will these children ever stop eating? I swear my grocery bill has been $100 higher all summer long because they eat nonstop! They've all gained at least 3 inches. Then you have the $700 dollars we spent on dental work. It's a good thing summer is coming to an end because we would be broke if it kept going.

But I am very grateful for the time this summer. We have had a good summer and I think the kids had fun. There has been minimal bloodshed (well, until last night) and a little education going on so I guess it's been a productive summer.

Even so, I'm looking forward to my two weeks being up. And as for that 12:30 bedtime? I'll have my revenge on Monday morning in two weeks!