Thursday, May 28, 2009

Let Them Eat Cake

I apologize for my lack of updates recently. I have not only been swamped at work as of late, but have been busy working at home as well.

We also had big plans for Memorial weekend. Since my father so graciously helped us complete our big patio project last fall, we wanted to have a patio party to celebrate the completion of the project, as well as thank him for his help. We had decided to wait until Spring for the party, as by the time we completed the project the fall weather had already moved in and our yard was still completely decimated.

However, this Spring the husband and I fully intended to keep our promise. After some tender loving care (and a whole bunch of grass seed and water) our yard is now a thick, green turf once more. And so we made the phone calls and plans: the patio party was on. In addition to my parents, we were also able to coax my brother and his wife up for the weekend.

The pièce de résistance of the party - our family's famous grilled prime rib.

Yes - grilled. And oh-so-yummy.

{And lots and lots of wine.}

When we told the little man we were having a party, and that not only were Grammy Jo and Papa coming to the party, but so were Aunt KK and Uncle Lambo, little man squealed with glee.

"We having a party!" He exclaimed. "We gonna have CAKE!"


The thought of having cake at the party had never crossed our minds. Our mind was set solely on the succulent, heavenly rib.

{And wine.}

"No, we're going to have something better," my husband said. "We're going to have rib!"

Little man's once gleaming eyes and big smile quickly turned dark. He slouched in the chair.

"We gonna have cake," little man pouted. "It's a party, we have cake."

It suddenly occured to me that of course a 3-year-old didn't give a hoot about prime rib. He thought chicken nuggets were fine cuisine. To a 3-year-old a party means cake.

"Of course we'll have cake," I said. "We can have cake just for you."

My husband gave me the look. "Cake?" He asked me.

"That's his rib," I said. "I'll order a cake this week. Something special."

Little man's dark scowl again turned bright and cheery. He clapped his hands. After all, what is a party without cake?

And so the party came. KK and Lambo, Papa and Grammy Jo and mommy and daddy all feasted on their prime rib and toasted to the patio.

And little man feasted on his cake. Which, of course, was decorated especially for him with twactors.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

An Ode to Moms of Boys Part II

I have always been well aware of the differences of the sexes. Men and women are just different than one another. And when I had the little man, I was sure that I would encounter these differences once again as the mother of a little boy. As a mommy, I knew full well that there would be times when daddy's expertise would surpass mine ... even though mommy's are supposed to know everything.

And there would be times when mommy wouldn't understand simply because I am a girl.

My first such experience was chronicled in An Ode to Moms of Boys.

Which leads me to this post.

It all started innocently about a month ago. The husband had planned a trip golfing with his father and one of his brothers. They wanted to take the little man along. It was to be a boys day.

Somewhere amid the afternoon of golfing, little man informed daddy that he needed to go to the bathroom. As luck would have it, there was no restroom in site. And there was no telling how long it would take to get back to the clubhouse to use those facilities.

Not that any of that would have mattered. They were boys. They were equipped for times such as this.

And on that spring afternoon little man experienced his first rite of passage as a little boy.

Peeing on a tree.

I knew full well that this day would come. And now that the little man is potty trained, I knew this day would probably come soon. And given the circumstances, I can't blame the husband for this one. It was either the tree or suffer the consequences of a 3-year-old who couldn't possibly have held it long enough to make the long trek back to the clubhouse.

However, the mind of a 3-year-old is very simple and they don't necessarily understand why in some circumstances it's OK to do something, while in others it's not.

Last weekend we ventured to Wichita to visit my husband's family. It happened to be the weekend of Riverfest, a fun event downtown by the river full of carnival rides, funnel cakes, arts and crafts and music.

It was a nice night when we ventured down to the Riverfest. There was a fabulous kids section with rides tailored to children of all ages as well as an entire area of blow-up bouncy castles, which are little man's favorite.

While in line for one such bouncy castle, little man was squirmy and impatient. I'm sure it seemed as if we were waiting forever to him. But he was determined to get his 5 minutes to play in the large red, blue and yellow bounce house. And so we waited.

As I waited with the little man, reminding him that we needed to wait our turn, something caught my eye.

It was the little man.

And his cookie monster underwear.

My mommy reflexes jumped into action.

"No! What are you doing buddy?" I asked little man as I stopped him from pulling down his pants even farther.

"I gotta go pee-pee," little man explained. "I wanna pee in the grass."

I was mortified. I could hear the giggles of the people in line just behind us.

"You cannot pee in the grass," I said. "You need to go to the bathroom."

By now the husband had also jumped into the commotion.

{Probably because he knew full well that mommy's wrath was coming his way. The little man certainly did not learn the art of peeing in the grass from mommy.}

"No, you can't go pee-pee in the grass here," my husband said in between laughs."Let's go find a bathroom."

He swooped up the little man and before I knew it, they were off to find a bathroom.

I could still hear the giggles of the people in line near us. One of those giggles may have even been my mother-in-law, who raised three boys herself.

And one of those giggles may have even been mine.

But there I stood, ever the dutiful mommy, keeping our place in line for the bounce house. Relieved that little man had not ... relieved himself ... yet ever more aware of the differences between boys and girls.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


As the little man grows up, I find myself being reminded in little ways that he is growing up in world far different than the one I grew up in.

The other day, little man and I were sitting in the living room enjoying a snack and watching cartoons. He was trying desperately to get comfortable and sit near the coffee table, just like mommy.

"Sit like this buddy," I said to him. "Sit Indian-style like mommy."

He looked down to see how mommy was sitting. He then looked perplexed.

"No mommy, that's criss-cross-applesauce," he informed me.

I looked down and thought for a moment.

"See, I sit criss-cross-applesauce, too," little man said, finally sitting comfortably.

It then hit me that the phrase"Indian style" probably isn't too kosher these days. In an ultra-PC world, I could understand why this common - and apparently outdated - phrase was not used anymore in schools.

It then got me thinking about all the other little things that have changed since my childhood. Not only will little man sit criss-cross-applesauce-style, but there are a slew of other nuances:

He will not learn about Pluto the planet ... err, not planet.

He will not learn about the Brontosaurus. Rather, he will learn about the Apatosaurus (because, apparently, after all of this time the scientists have decided they named it wrong.)

He will believe TV's always hung on the wall.

And that they had cable.

And remotes.

And were also found in cars.

He will never learn the art of folding a road map. But he sure will be a GPS whiz.

He will never buy film for a camera.

He will never spend a frustrating eternity pouring over a card catalog at a library, going through each and every musty, yellowed and typed card trying to find the book. Just a simple click of the mouse for him and not only will he be able to find the book he was looking for, but also a complete list of other books on the topic, books that are similar and may be of interest to him and books by the same author.

He will also never thumb through the printed pages of an outdated set of Encyclopedia Britannica's. He will use his mouse to click through them and have access to the most up-to-date facts, figures and information available.

However, while little man's world will include technology, new dinosaurs and sitting criss-cross-applesauce, I am optimistic about the world little man is growing up in. He will grow up in a more environmentally concious world. He will grow up in a healthier world. A safer world. A more knowlegeable world.

And I am comforted that some things never change.

Like family dinners around the dinner table.

My family's special spaghetti sauce recipe.

Chocolate milk.

Catching fireflies at dusk.


Blowing bubbles.

And, of course, Big Wheels.