Monday, December 23, 2013

Koppywrite Infringement

At Rosaline's birthday party a few weekends back, the daughter of my good friends very sweetly presented the girls with a drawing she had made of the sister princesses from the new Frozen movie.  The artists is 8, so her skills with a crayon were mind boggling to the girls.  The next week or so they treated this masterpiece as a treasured artifact; taking it in the car with them, to Yiayia's, to their room when they went to bed.  It was very sweet.  Well, last week "sweet" turned to a con job.  Genevieve smuggled the artwork to school with her and then presented it to her teacher as "look what I drew".  Fortunately Gina was still with in ear shot when this was said and after much dragging of feet Genevieve finally copped that she did not, in fact, draw it. ... but she wishes she could have drawn it.  Oh wishes; you foul temptresses you.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Roz the Great and Powerful

Two years ago I held her for the first time. Two years ago we sat alone, the two of us in an empty nursery, waiting for her first bath and bonding in the silence. The remarkable silence. She clutched my finger and stole my heart. Well, the quiet's gone. But this morning, as she climbed in to our bed and peered over Gina's still frame, her smile spreading across her cherub face as she met my eyes with hers, she once more reclaimed dominance over this softy heart of mine. There's nothing really to say because at some point words cease to carry weight. Nothing could fully capture how much I love these girls, and nothing could fully relate how amazing it is to watch them grow. Happy Birthday my Rosaline. My Zozzie. My Rozzy Kamakazi. My Zoz the Great and Powerful. My Roz-mataze.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Premature Elf Relocation

I've been good.  I haven't once mentioned our Elf on the Shelf, and for a blog about parenting, during the Christmas season I feel you all owe me a debt of gratitude for keeping this thing to ourselves.  But last night I almost blew the lid off this whole damn thing.  Everyone knows - E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E knows - that the elf doesn't move until the kids go to sleep.  Then the little creeper takes off to report to Santa and comes back to commit some shenanigans before the kids wake up.  But yesterday she was in the pre-decorated Christmas tree, and last night we decorated said tree, being careful to place ornaments around her and not actually touch her (you know, to remove her magic with our coodies).  But that elf must be hitting the candy hard because by the time we were done that branch was under serious distress.  So the girls were corralled upstairs for bed time and I was tasked with relocating the decorations (we had all the expensive's on the bottom branches, most of them on the left side of the tree and for god's sake I couldn't find the end of the light strand to plug in the star).  In order to relieve the branch I pulled the elf down and set her on the chair - operating on the assumption that the girls were upstairs for the rest of the night.  Well after bath and teeth brushing and half way through our second story Gina realized that Rosaline had left her tiger and her lovey downstairs, so she asked me to fetch it.  Genevieve, trying desperartly to score extra Santa points in the final round, offered to go and get it for me.  What a sweet little girl.  Well, 30 seconds later the shrieks of horror echoed up the stairwell.  "JOVI MOOOOOOVVVVVEEEED!!!!"  Gina and I looked at each other in panic.  Up the stairs darted Genevieve, dashing down and passing her mid-way went Arianna - off to investigate on her own.  Fortunately they bought the whole "Jovi must have thought you went to bed" shtick, ignoring the obvious "he knows when you are sleeping, he knows when you're awake" doctrine.  It was a close one, a little too close.  So for all those elfing parents out there beware: premature elf relocation can happen to anyone.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Things They'll Take For Granted

I grew up in a city.  A city by the beach.  I will never fully appreciate the smell of the ocean.  I will never be amazed by a 7-11 within walking distance.  I will never sit in awe as a Lamborghini passes me on the highway.  These are things I take for granted.  Now that we've transplanted ourselves to a some what more rural setting (this is a guy from LA talking; rural means someone down the street owns a horse) there are things I see that amaze me, and I know these are things my girls will never truly appreciate as it will be the world they've always known.  Last night we went out and cut down our own Christmas tree.  That's right.  No muddy lot set up where they tore down an old gas station and have yet to start construction on the new one.  No sickly looking trees spray painted white.  No petting zoo and Santa's lap stand.  Just a dark hill full of trees, a borrowed saw and splintery old cart.  And it was magical.  The girls boarded the old cart - and I really do mean splintery; when I went to put jammies on the girls after we got home Genevieve had a sizable splinter still sticking out of her rear that needed to be removed. ... now that's childhood memories.  With all aboard we trekked up the hill, the girls calling "mush reindeer" behind me. 

We wandered into the forest and found a beautiful tree (best part it was at least 40% cheaper then buying from a lot) and we got down to sawing.  The girls pushed and down it went.  We loaded it on the cart and set off toward the car. 

It was amazing.  Something out of a movie for me.  The girls absolutely loved it.  But as we drove home, it occurred to me, this is their new normal.  For me, it'll never be anything less then amazing that we live somewhere that this can be done.  For them. ... eh. ... it's just another year picking up the Christmas tree.  Just like preschool is another day on the farm.  Just like sitting outside and staring at the billion stars is another summer night.  I guess, at least, they'll appreciate the beach.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Toilet Lockdown

Sometimes there are things that happen in my parenting life which force me to pause, reevaluate where I'm at and really ask "is this f$%#ing happening?!"  On Saturday we had a couple of friends over to watch the big UCLA/USC game and let all the kids run around and destroy my upstairs for a few hours.  The game had just concluded and parents were sorting out their children when I could hear a faint yell above the frey.  I slowly ascended the staircase, realizing that the shouts where coming from an upstairs bathroom.  "HELP!"  Arianna was screaming.  "What's the matter, honey?" I asked as I neared the top.  "Rafe locked me in the bathroom and I have squishy khakas. ... can you wipe me?"  I froze on the last step.  WTF?!!!  Sure enough, the door was locked and a stones throw away stood two-year-old Rafe.  He's got a face that is hard to read and for the life of me I could not figure out how he would have managed to pull this off.  And he just stared at me, holding his blanky like "IDK man."  All I had to go on was her word.  Regardless of the facts, there I knelt at 8:30 on a Saturday night, picking a bathroom lock to free my daughter from a toilet to which she was chained by squishy poop and the need of an adult wiper. ... Livin' the dream folks. ... livin' the dream.