Saturday, August 28, 2010

I'm a tea bagger!

I inadvertently showed up at the Lincoln Memorial yesterday, which was in the throes of the Glenn Beck rally preparations.

Thought it was an MLK thing. Wrong-o.

I have been up to my eyeballs in Spain preparations so I had no idea that this rally was even going on. I wanted to take our au pair to Washington before she left so she could see the city, and so we made a quick jaunt down there Thursday evening, and made it to the Lincoln Memorial late yesterday afternoon. Greeting us were a lot of banners nonspecifically proclaiming "Restoring Honor," half-constructed scaffolding for sound systems, and gigantic video screens, with no real evidence as to who or what was responsible for any of it.

I made the supreme mistake of asking the person who had offered to help me get Henry and the stroller down some stairs, "hey, is there something going on here?" The guy got all wide-eyed and almost fell over with giddiness over this entirely unexpected sudden platform to the point where I thought maybe he might drop the stroller. "Is there something going on here? Only the biggest thing ever to happen on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial!!!! It's probably going to be, like, a million people here tomorrow!"

"Wow, I guess it's a good thing we're seeing the Memorial today, then, huh?"

"Um. You do know that our country has been taken over by tyranny, right?" (Cue crawling suspicion I'd stepped on a hornet's nest.)

"I, uh. Well, that's an interesting way to see it."

"And a nicer bunch of people you'll never meet. Try getting someone to help a mom down the stairs some other time, huh, huh, huh!"

At this point I was finished. I mean, c'mon. Tyranny? How is it tyranny when the guy was elected by a clear majority? And all the laws that have since been passed were also done with a majority? How is that tyranny? Do you ever understand what the word means? And I have had many people help me with the stroller, including a homeless black guy and some Mexican guy who seriously carried the stroller AND my computer bag down FIVE flights of NYC subway stairs when I got stuck at a stupid subway stop that didn't have an elevator, and then declined the tip I offered. So the self-righteous sanctimony was not sitting well with me. But I'm figuring now was not the time to point that out, considering he was currently holding up one half of my son and his stroller. I mumbled a thank you and we parted.

I then bought a gatorade, wandered around the reflecting pool getting more and more agitated, muttering all the things I wished I'd said to that guy until I seriously just had to leave.

What an affront to the brave words of the emancipation proclamation so gloriously etched on the wall on the memorial.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Out with the paddle, in with incurable diseases.

Abby and I had this gem of an interaction this morning:

"Yesterday, while we were waiting for dismissal, Joshua, in another third grade class? He got really angry and started yelling at everybody!"

"Really? Why?"

"I don't know. But I guess it's understandable. He's got AIDS."


"Yeah, AIDS! Because he misbehaves. That's why they gave him AIDS."


"In fact, they gave him two aides."

(lightbulb dimly goes on in my head)

"Ohhh, 'aides.' A-I-D-E-S? Gotcha. Either that, or I guess school discipline is really playing for keeps these days."


"Nothing honey."

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Everybody's got one

Maddy spent the better part of yesterday after school constructing herself an elaborately rendered cat costume. She made ears (conveniently attached to a headband), a tail, cat paws, and even a litter box and scoop.

When she was all dressed up, she came running to display her costume. Then she turned around and lifted the paper tail to reveal a....brown paper dot taped to the back of her pants. "What is that, Mommy? The cats each have one so I made one, but what is it?"

"It's an anus, honey," I said, shuddering on the inside at the word. "It's where the poop comes out."

"Like mine?"

"Yes, like yours. Everybody has one."

"Well, then I guess I don't need this one." With that, she pulled off the dot and threw it in the trash.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

An apple a day

Overheard, at lunch...

Maya: What company is that apple juice from?
Abby: From concentrate.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Just a moment while I repress my feminism....

I just got a phone call from the Pennsylvania Ballet with regard to our subscription. I guess Brian didn't renew our subscription yet, so they were calling to follow up. The phone call went thusly:

PB: "Hi, is Mr. Brian Hirsch there?"

Me: "I'm sorry, no, he's not available."

PB: "Is this Mrs. Hirsch?"

Me: "Yes, this is she."

PB: "I'm calling on behalf of the Pennsylvania ballet to talk about your subscription tickets for, uh, Brian, and I guess what I'm, is if you, is this something you're um, allowed to uh.....handle?"

Me: [long pause while I contemplate the horrifying implications of that statement]

PB: "...because often we find that it's actually the wife who likes ballet and the husband isn't really the person who, um, does this kind of thing."

Me: [another pause while I try to work through that one, too]

PB: "This is coming out wrong."

Me: "It is, yes."

PB: "Do you want to renew your tickets?"

Me: "Maybe. Can I ask my husband first?"

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Houston, we have a crawler.

Henry has been toying with the idea of crawling for a few weeks now. Up on all fours, rocking for all it's worth. Then the knees began to move forward, but he didn't yet know how to move his hands. That tended to end badly: once his knees caught up to his hands, down he'd go, invariably right on his forehead. Since last week he's realized that the hands have to go somewhere, and was even moving decidedly forward in a lurching, uncoordinated way. But yesterday, it turned into actual transportation, rather than an activity unto itself. I was talking with a friend and put him down on the floor. After a few seconds, he was sucking on my shoe. I absentmindedly moved back. But within a few more seconds, he was back. After a few moves I realized, "he's following me!" Sure enough, he's on the go.

Watch out, world. Henry's on the move. Slowly, but very, very surely, and with two big sharp pointy teeth.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Abby, in a nutshell.

"Wondering isn't my kind of thing. I just want to know."

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Three hours later...

"Mommy, why don't we have a dog?"

"Because we're saving up for the pool."

My poor, deprived children.

Abby and Maddy have just spent the better part of the last hour standing out on our shore house deck, staring longingly at the next door neighbor's pool while their children swim and play.

"Can we get a pool, Mommy?"

"No, honey, we're not getting a pool."

Abby launched into a swirling, petulant soliloquy about how important swimming is to her, and how swimming two times a day at camp isn't enough, and that it is a gross violation of her human rights that she only swims--twice a day--during the week and not on the weekend during summer. She trailed off, looking expectantly at me, searching my face for signs that she'd made persuasive headway.

No such luck.

"But honey, the other two days of the week you come here to the shore, and you've got this beautiful ocean right there," I countered, gesturing majestically to the Atlantic panorama before her, just off the steps of her beautiful vacation home.

"But everybody gets a shore house," she pouted.

She was not a fan of the laughter that ensued.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Veggie tales

Hilary, to Maddy: "Are these peas or edamame?"

Maddy: "They're probably not peas because my Mommy gave them to us. Mommies like eda-mommys!"

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A race worth walking about.

The girls and I took a trip around Harriton High School today for the first annual "Run For Our Schools." Abby had the courage to join me on the 5k, which we ran along with Amy Lutz, daughter Erika, Keri Fisher and one-year-old Molly in a jogger. Maddy harbored secret (ok, not so secret) dreams of dusting the other kids in the kiddie Track Trot, her enthusiasm reaching the boiling point as she waited for me and Abby to finish our race so that the Track Trot could begin.

In the last mile as Abby and Erika dug deep to keep running to the end, it was agreed among the moms that the experience was sufficiently character-building to be "blog worthy." To which Abby huffed between breaths: "Well, I think it's walk worthy."

Maddy was sure that the small trophy meant for the second place winner of the 5k was instead meant for the winner of the track trot (since they are smaller, of course) and spent the better part of our time on the 5k with Dad Dad, mentally decorating her room with the trophy she was sure to win. She did earn a finishers medal, however.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Is there anything sweeter smelling than a baby?

I came in to kiss the girls goodnight carrying a warm, just-bathed Henry. I sighed, and remarked, "mmmm, Henry smells like a baby...all soap and baby powder." Abby retorted immediately, "he'd smell more like a real baby if he threw up."

AKA one hundred thirty

Maddy proudly announced in the car on the the way to school, "I can count up to one hundred twenty-ten!"

Monday, June 8, 2009


Abby is making noise upstairs and generally resisting going to bed; I'm on my way up the stairs to police the situation.

Maddy (to Abby, in a nagging tone): "What about going to sleep do you not understand?"

Maddy (yelled to me downstairs): "Don't worry Mommy, I took care of it for you!"

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Motion Devotion

I put Henry down for his nap (on the other side of the crib), and then, after his nap, heard his mobile turning on and off over the monitor. Expecting to find one of his two sisters to have snuck into his room, I tiptoed upstairs to find the very mobile, mobile culprit.....

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Maddy's bike riding skills

Went from a few pedal strokes in a straight line, to this in less than a week!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Henry updates

New skills acquired in the past few weeks:
1) Sitting up unassisted
2) Adorable babbling
3) Faucet-like drooling

Friday, May 22, 2009

Hair today, gone tomorrow

In recent months, all I seem to do is nag Abby to brush her hair. She walks around half the time with snarled, out-of-control locks, and by the time I pin her down and brush it out myself, it's a tear-stained ordeal. This morning was the worst, though. She woke up with hair that had practically dread-locked itself. That, I decided, was most certainly that. No more was I going to wonder who looked at her and thought "is that child being raised by wolves?"

Off to the hair salon today, after a half day of school, under the guise of "mommy-daughter day." Also known as, "ambush bob cut." With no trace of shame, I guilt-tripped her into donating her hair to charity, and when that only got me to 75% acquiescence, I threw in an American Girl outfit. She looked at me with narrowed eyes and said, "American Girl doll, and you've got a deal." Sigh. What could I do? I came back, "only if you don't like it."

"Ok, then."

Afterwards, she was delighted. She kept running her fingers through it and couldn't wait to see what it looked like with barrettes, or with a headband, or just tucked behind her ears.

"Do you like it?"

"More than I thought I would! A lot, actually!"


"When do I get my doll?"

And so, I dealt the negotiator's blow: "But you like it."

She was trapped. She knew it. I knew it. The American (Girl) people knew it. I told her she could certainly have an outfit for her existing American Girl doll, and that Daddy and Mommy would discuss another doll.

Something tells me, though, she's got a doll coming.

More tooth-based notes

Found this post-it stuck to my computer this morning; no doubt a particular prior experience made a deeper impression than we thought:

Saturday, May 16, 2009

What's special about this picture?

I mean, other than my adorable son?

Any guesses?

How about--this isn't where we put him down. Henry is officially a crawler! Well, a scooter, but still, it's pretty adorable, and he was really proud of himself.