Monthly Archives: March 2008

Easter 2008

It’s two days until Easter and I’m getting ready for work.  As I start to gather our things, our backpacks and lunchboxes, laptops, and briefcases, Snags comes to me carrying a plastic Target bag.  He opens the bag, holds it out just under my nose and demands, “What’s THIS? My EASTER PRESENT?!” And by God, it WAS.  Or at least it was supposed to be.  His present from the rabbit.  I’m shocked and I’m stunned. I’m also furious and tempted to say “Yes you little snoop, it WAS the stuff the Easter Bunny was going to bring you.  But now that you’ve gone and snooped around and found it, well, now he’s NOT going to bring it to you.  In fact, there is no Easter Bunny.  I am the Walrus Easter Bunny.  I hid that stuff to put it in your Easter Basket but you’ve gone and blown it now, haven’t you, you little snoop?”

But instead I said, “Um… where did you find that?” all nice and “inquiring minds want to know” like.

With a big smile on his face he says, “It was in the trunk in the spare room closet, under some towels!” 

And, yes, yes it was. That’s where I hid it.  Unsuccessfully, I might add.

The first lesson here is to NEVER hide anything that you don’t want your child to find anywhere in your own home.  At least not anywhere they can get to without a load of trouble or noise that would automatically send you running in search of the crashing sounds.

It turns out that Snags was looking for our plastic Easter eggs so he could hide them for The Best Easter Party Ever.  He wasn’t, he cried, snooping.  In fact, he only saw some of the stuff in the bag.  He thinks he recognizes “something from something” he “saw on T.V.” (Blendy Pens?) but he’s “not entirely sure.”

I told him the things in the bag were supposed to be his Easter Presents from ME.  And that now I might not give them to him until Christmas.  He cries and runs out of the kitchen.  I am mean.  He was only looking for the Easter Eggs.  He wasn’t snooping.

One day before Easter and I am back at Target, and then Toys- R-Us, fighting the crowds of all the other parents who are also now frantically searching for replacements for Easter basket gifts because their children ALSO found the stuff they had hidden away.  Or, um… maybe not.  Probably they just waited until the last minute to shop for those Easter baskets.  But, me? I think I shouldn’t be here.  I planned.  I bought.  I was ready WAY ahead of time.  That little snoop…

Eventually I find what I am looking for: some jelly beans and Mike and Ike’s and Twizzlers and Silly Putty. I head home, but this time I leave the goods in the trunk of my car.

Easter Eve.  We eat dinner and get dragged to the Best Easter Party Ever [sic].  Luckily it’s a short walk from the kitchen table to the family room.  Snags has hidden plastic Easter Eggs around the house. My husband and I have to find them.  I win the hunt when I find 19 eggs and my husband only finds 13.  Snags has filled the eggs with nickels and dimes, pennies, and Crispex cereal.  I am thankful he left the milk in the refrigerator.

Not much else happens at the party, go figure.  Snags was unable to find any party poppers or streamers and he accidentally threw away his checklist of party activities. He can’t remember what else he had planned so we eat some dessert and watch Enchanted.  Snags goes to bed in eager anticipation of the Easter Bunny, and I go to get the loot out of my trunk.

Midnight and Snags is up. He steps out of his bedroom and spies the trail of plastic eggs the rabbit has left for him to follow.  Snags wants to follow them right then, but once more I am mean.  I make him return to bed.

The second lesson here is NEVER leave any evidence that magical beings have come round in the middle of the night.  Don’t start the trail of eggs right outside the bedroom door.  Don’t leave gifts from Santa in the child’s room.  Hang a large sign on your front door reminding those that might visit, such as the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus, elves, fairies, or leprechauns, to keep to main floor, to avoid sleeping children at all costs.  If you’d like to sleep until some semblance of morning, then trust me on this.

Five hours later and it is still, in my book, not a respectable time to wake.  Snags thinks differently and of course the egg trail is calling, begging him to follow down the hall… I am tempted to let him hunt for his basket on his own, let him gorge on the candy within and open the trinkets, do what he will, as long as he lets me go back to sleep.  Instead I pull up every last ounce of parenting skill I have in reserve and I make him go back to his bedroom until some more human hour, like 7:00, rolls around.

But it’s pointless.  He’s not sleeping.  He’s in his room pulling the springy door stop back and releasing it so it Boings! Boings! Boings! Boings! Boings! itself into my brain for a full hour and thrity-eight minutes when I finally give up and let him hunt for his Easter basket.

One hour later and Snags, belly full and face covered in chocolate, jelly beans and play doh and silly putty and Mike and Ike’s scattered across the kitchen table, has a stomach ache.  I only feel a teeny bit bad for him as I make him get dressed for church.  The stomach ache, I think, is just a little bit of payback for snooping and waking me up too early. Thank you, Easter Bunny!


Filed under Easter, humor, life, Snags

Maybe Next Year

The luck of the Irish was not with my son this St. Patrick’s Day.  He built a leprechaun trap, but failed to catch a leprechaun with it.  He’s been feeling a bit down about the whole thing, and he’s hoping that next year might be better.  He’s already planning for it.

Leprechaun traps, if you are not familiar with them, are made from empty boxes, plastic wrap, pennies, and scotch tape.  The pennies hang from the inside of the box attached to long strands of scotch tape because “Leprechauns like shiny things.”  And then, if your father lets you, you can throw in some Lucky Charms, like cheese on a mouse trap, to lure the little green fellow into the trap.  The plastic wrap covers the opening of the box but has a hole just large enough for a leprechaun to crawl through.  I’m not sure why a leprechaun would be unable to go back out through the hole in the plastic wrap to escape, but Snags assures me this is not possible.  Maybe the leprechaun gets entangled in the strands of scotch tape… maybe he peels the pennies off the tape and fills his pockets with them, bulging his sides out just large enough to prevent the escape… at any rate, once he gets in, it is not possible to get out. 

If luck IS on your side and you do catch a leprechaun this way, he has to “…give you his bag of gold!”  But like I said, it didn’t work out, and so we didn’t get rich this year after all.  It’s a pity, really.  We could have used the gold to pay off some bills.

Snags thinks the reason we didn’t catch a leprechaun is because his father, fearing they would attract a parade of ants, wouldn’t let him put any Lucky Charms into the box.  That may or may not be true.

It may be, however, that the failure to catch a leprechaun has more to do with the fact that there is no such thing, but I hesitate to tell Snags that.  He is, at the moment, caught in some plane of existence between the reality of a schizophrenic stuck in a fantasy world and that of a normal person leading a boring life devoid of things like magic and imaginary friends and tricky little leprechauns.  In other words, there are some wildly unbelievable things that he believes in, and some, I can tell, he is beginning to question. May his belief in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny remain strong.  May his belief in Darth Vader begin to wane.

Snags informs me that leprechauns are very tricky little fellows.  They can change themselves into a squirrel or a rabbit to fool you.  They are sly that way, he says.  Sly like a fox!  And that is why he insists that we must be cautious around any squirrels or rabbits that we find in our garden.  They might be leprechauns out to trick us.  Or, they might be plain old squirrels or rabbits.  In any event, we shouldn’t go near them, he tells me.  If they are of the regular variety, “they might have rabies!”

Now that St. Patrick’s day is past, I’m hoping that I can dispose of the leprechaun trap that didn’t work.  It’s taking up all of the counter space in front of my toaster.


Filed under humor, leprechauns, life, Snags, St. patrick's Day

School Daze

I love playing school with my son.  I’m good at it.  After all, I learned how to be a good student at the hands of my niece.  When Alyssa was three or four years old, she’d grab my hand the very second I walked in her front door and she’d lead me down the hall to her bedroom.  Once there she’d tell me where to sit and what to do, and so for the most part, playing school involved nothing more than sitting and listening.  Occasionally I’d have to trouble myself to raise my hand to ask permission to use the bathroom, and once in a rare while Alyssa would line the class up — the class being me and about a dozen invisible classmates — and she would march us down the hallway, single file, on a field trip to the kitchen.  There was this one kid, his name was Grumpy Boy, who was always in trouble for one thing or another.  Stepping out of line, not raising his hand, not taking turns, etc… He was sent to the principal’s office quite often.  Me? Well, I was the teacher’s pet.

Eventually Alyssa started school for real, and somewhere between Kindergarten and 1st grade she lost interest in playing school.  I guess the reality of attending school on a daily basis diminished her desire to think about it on the weekends.  Probably not unlike my unwillingness to drive downtown to visit the museums on weekends.  I work in the city so choosing to go all the way back there on a Saturday or Sunday seems unwise, almost like I never left the office at all.

But now that my son has half a year of real Kindergarten under his belt, he’s taken a sudden interest in playing school at home.  I admit that I absolutely love this.  Not only is this a game I understand, but it means that for once, the kid is not talking about Star Wars!  My husband isn’t as enchanted by this game as I am.  But that is probably because it’s obvious that once again, I am the teacher’s pet.  And for whatever reason, my husband is the real life version of my niece’s Grumpy Boy. 

“That’s it,” Snags, ahem, Mr. Scott, says, “I am flipping your card.”

“For what?”  My husband asks, incredulous.  “I didn’t do anything!”

“Well, now you have to go to the principal’s office for back talking me.  Actually, you’re expelled,” says Mr. Scott.  “Leave.  Leave now,” he insists as he points the way.

And then Mr. Scott sits down next to me and says very quietly, “Belle, you are being very good today.  Thank you for being such a good listener.”  And I just smile and sit there.  That’s all I have to do.  It’s the easiest game in the world, just sitting.  The only game that might be better is dead fish, where you lie on the floor and remain as still as possible.  That’s great because you get to lay down, and if I’m lucky and lie still long enough, someone is bound to fall asleep.  And naps are good for everyone.

A minute later Mr. Scott is calling my husband back to school.  His expulsion is over.  His card is flipped back to green.  He gets another chance.

The good will doesn’t last long, however.  Once Mr. Scott starts reading the lunch menu and we place our orders, my husband is in trouble yet again.  Even though Mr. Scott says we are in night school (because we are tired children who like to sleep during the day), we still have lunch (because, naturally, we are asleep when real lunch time would roll around).  I choose fried steak and macaroni and cheese from the menu because the sardine sandwich on white bread makes me gag just thinking about it.  My husband chooses the steak too, but that gets him in trouble.

“You can’t order the same food as Belle,” Mr. Scott says.

“Why not?” My husband asks, beginning to sound defensive because he knows where this is going. 

“Because, I talked to your parents and they said you do this all the time. They asked me not to let you do that so you have to order something else.” 

And sure enough, my husband is expelled again.


Filed under humor, play, school, Snags


I’m just finishing up my breakfast when my son says: “So mom, the first people on the earth, how did they spread?” 

“What do mean ‘how did they spread?’” I ask, feeling a bit defensive as I shovel the last bite of french toast, the last bite of bacon, into my mouth.  Is he setting me up for a fat joke, I wonder? 

“Well, how did they spread around?  Did God send down more or were some of them girls and they had babies?”

Ah!  It’s not a fat joke after all.  In my mind I picture people floating down from the heavens in a tunnel like band of light. The opposite direction of how you might imagine people being sucked up by an alien space ship hovering in the clouds.

The voices in my head start up.  They gasp, and wonder why he is thinking about this.  The voices rise as they start to panic in my brain, Why?  Why are you asking me this?  You are SIX, just go watch some cartoons already.  Be a couch potato for half an hour.  Quit playing ‘inquiring minds want to know.’  Let your mother get back to thinking about piercing her nose…

“I think some were girls and they had babies,” I tell him.

To which he replies, “Oh.  So when the babies grew up if they were girls they had more babies.”  And I agree that sounds about right.

Then he says, “Well, the first people, they were all family right?  So then if they were family, then everyone in the world today is really family to each other.”  In my mind I sigh, and out loud I agree that at some level, he is probably right.  I wait for him to go on, to take it to the next level and tell me that if everyone in the world is family and people get married, then that means they are marrying family, so it should be okay for him to marry his cousin Emma after all.  But luck is on my side, and he doesn’t go there.

I don’t feel like playing religious education teacher this morning.  I don’t have the strength of will to explain the Catholic’s concept of God as the one and only father because I know it will lead to more questions.  And probably defiance.  I can picture it clearly, Snags arguing with his father: “Mom said you aren’t my REAL dad, so you can’t tell me what to do.  I don’t have to pick up my LEGOs unless God tells me to!” 

And then, “How did you have a baby with God anyway, Mom?” I know if I try to explain he will ask me that next.  So yes, I think, best to let this one sit there for now.  Maybe the Scooby Doo cartoon on TV will capture his interest.

At dinner time, just as I get a mouthful of turkey Snags asks, “So who invented Disney World, anyway?  And how did they invent Disney World?”

“A man named Walt Disney had a dream,” I offered.

“A dream about what?” Snags asks.

“A dream to build the happiest place on earth,” my husband helpfully chimes in.

“But how did Mickey Mouse come to life?” Snags wonders.

This one, I’m confident, I can handle.  I sit up a little straighter.

“Well,” I say, “a cartoonist was drawing cartoons on a piece of paper, and there was this strange little bottle sitting on his desk.  He had never seen the bottle before and he didn’t know what it was, but he didn’t give it much thought.  While he was drawing, he accidentally knocked the bottle over and the cork popped out and the liquid inside spilled all over his drawing.  It turned out that the liquid was growth serum and when it hit the drawing of Mickey Mouse, the paper started to bubble and Mickey Mouse grew right out of the drawing!  He popped right out and was actually standing ON the desk.  Then he waved at the man who drew him, and he said “Hiya!” and the man fainted from shock right there.

I imitate what I think a man fainting from shock right where he is sitting might look like.  Snags giggles.  I’m proud of my explanation, it sounds good.


“What color was the growth serum?  Was it blue?  Was it green?  Was it red?  Can we get some? Where did it come from? Let’s get some! Can we make some?  Where do they sell growth serum?  Tell me again what happened…”

And the questions continue until Snags decides that maybe we can get some growth serum and use it to bring the dead back to life!  I shudder at the thought, wondering who he would use this on, if he could.  With visions from W.W. Jacob’s The Monkey’s Paw in my mind, I gently explain how that might not be such a good idea.  With Easter around the corner I consider telling him that only God can bring the dead back to life, but decide to leave it alone, for now.  I stick with a watered down explanation of zombies and the decaying dead, and how if he used the growth serum he’d be bring back nothing but skeleton bones.  It sounds plausible enough.  But later, my husband asks me why I didn’t just tell him that Mickey came to life from Disney Magic.  Damn! Why didn’t I think of that? I wonder.  But it’s okay.  I can use the Disney Magic explanation the next time Snags asks about how people came to earth and started spreading around. 

The only problem, as I see it, is how to explain things once Snags realizes that Mickey Mouse isn’t real.  That Mickey Mouse at Disney World is really just a person inside a costume.  I guess I’ll have to teach him about cannibalism then. 


Filed under death, Disney, God, humor, life, Magic, Snags