Monthly Archives: April 2008

Rochambeau

It started off as a game of “rock-paper-scissors”, otherwise known as “rochambeau” for you fancy types.  It ended as a spa retreat with messily painted nails, globs of hair gel on my head, and enough perfume sprayed on me to supply a French Whorehouse for a lifetime.  But the story’s in the in-between.

Snags was bored and wanted to play rock-paper-scissors.  It was easy enough, so I obliged him.  One turn into the game and he stopped to get a piece of paper so he could keep score.  “You have to win eight first,” he said as he drew a dividing line down the page and wrote “Snags” on one side, and Mom Belle, on the other.

The game continued only after I swore I’d stop playing if he didn’t stop cheating.  He was slow on the throw down, waiting to see what I did with my own fist before deciding which way to put his hand.

“Stop cheating!” I demanded.

Eventually he got into the game correctly and soon enough, he won.

The score card looked something like:

Snags
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Belle
1, 2, 3, 5, 4

According to Snags, the winner got to choose between a special luncheon or a spa treatment.  Only, it turns out the winner was actually the giver of the special luncheon or the spa treatment.  The loser was the recipient of said prize. Having been to Snags’ “spa” before, once where he took scissors to my hair when my eyes were closed, I chose the luncheon.

“Um, you might not want to choose the luncheon,” he helpfully advised.  “You don’t get to choose the menu,” he warned.

Feeling trapped, I reluctantly chose the spa treatment. I vowed to keep my eyes open no matter what.

I was ordered to remove my nail polish and my shirt. I obliged on the nail polish, but I refused on the shirt.  “Shirt stays on,” I intoned with my most “this is not up for negotiating” voice.

Snags filled the bath tub with water.  He kneeled in the tub and instructed me to sit on the edge of the toilet and soak my feet in the tub.  He should have said “burn your feet in the tub” because that is how hot he had the water. 

“Snags! This is HOT!  It’s burning my feet.  Isn’t it burning your knees?” I cried.

He swore he was fine as his knees turned bright red and he washed my feet and sprayed me with a plant mister from the dollar store.

Next he polished my nails.  Just so you know, little boys polish nails from left to right and back again.  Or in a circular pattern.  Nails and finger tips alike receive this treatment.  It’s quite a different look from what you’d normally expect. Good thing this treatment was free.

After the polish dried on my fingers and toes I had to soak my feet again while he sprayed my hair with the plant mister, followed by squirts of perfume to my face, my neck, my hair, my shirt, my arms, my ears, well, in short, everywhere.  I could hardly breath for the smell.  And because I was afraid that Snags scissors-hands would make an appearance, I kept my eyes open.  Perfume burns your retinas…

Snags put globs of hair gel in my hair and sprayed me with hairspray.  “Wow, you have a lot of tangles,” he marveled as he yanked a comb through the globby mess he’d wrought. 

“Oh look!” he said. “One of your hairs, came out.  It’s very nice.  I think I’ll keep this,” he said as he stuck the lone hair into a Dixie cup on his bathroom counter.

I shuddered and thought about Hannibal Lector.  Was this how he started off?  Giving his mom a spa treatment and keeping hairs he ripped from her head?  I vowed to read Silence of the Lambs again to find out.  Disturbing tendencies, these.

Next, Snags lathered lotion on my face and arms.  He sprayed on more perfume before leading me to the basement for a “massage”. 

Note: The term massage is used here in the loosest sense of all.  Unless you enjoy having little hands pinch you and pound on your back, that is.  Luckily, the massage was short.  Thirty seconds of pinching and pounding and it was finished.

“All done!” Snags, announced, satisfied.

“Oh, is that it, then?” I asked, relieved.

He confirmed we were done.  Then he went upstairs to watch Nickelodean.  I went upstairs to wash the mess out of my hair and the perfume off of the rest of me.  Including my eyes.

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Filed under humor, kids, life, parenting, Snags

Just This Side of Believing. Or Not.

Dear Tooth Fairy,

I thought I should warn you.  I think your days are numbered.  My six year old son, Snags, doesn’t seem to believe in you anymore.  I don’t know why the sudden turn of events.  Perhaps you didn’t leave him enough money last week when he lost his fourth tooth?

Or maybe it’s not really a turn of events at all.  For a good year or two before he ever lost his first tooth he would argue with me, claiming there was no such thing as a tooth fairy.  I wanted him to be a kid and benefit from the lie that there is such a thing, so I insisted he was wrong, that there was a tooth fairy.  His dentist backed me up.  She’s into lies like that.  But looking back, maybe I should have caved then, admitted the truth, and saved myself some money.

Witness this conversation a few nights ago:

Snags: Mom, tell me the truth.  Is there really a tooth fairy?

Me: (Indignant tone) Of course there is! (thinking, SHIT!  Where is your father, now?) Why would you ask that?

Snags: Well, I think it’s really you and dad leaving me money.

Me: (Bewildered tone) Why would we do that?

Snags: Because you want to give me money? I think you get up in the middle of the night and give me money.

Me: Snags! Think about it.  I don’t like to get up in the MORNING.  I’m certainly not going to get up in the MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT to give you money!

Snags: Maybe dad does it.

Me: No, I’m sure he doesn’t.  And besides, your friends Zane and Nicholas and Megan all lost teeth recently and they said the tooth fairy left them money too.

Snags: Maybe it was their parents leaving the money.

Me: (trying to confuse the issue) Well I certainly wouldn’t get up in the middle of the night to let their parents into our house!

Snags: I know there isn’t a tooth fairy because Mrs. V. told us when the tooth fairy leaves you money it’s really your parents doing it.

Me: (thinking “his Kindergarten teacher said WHAT?!”) Why would she say that?  She LIED to you.

Snags: Well… she didn’t say that.  I just said that to get you to admit there isn’t a tooth fairy.  That’s okay.  I believe in the tooth fairy anyway.

So anyway, as you can see, Snags is just on this side of belief.  Or disbelief.  I’m not sure.  But it’s a knife-edge, and he’s wobbling.  He wants the money, that much is obvious.  But it’s also obvious that he doesn’t care who gives it to him.  So long as he gets it. 

 

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Filed under childhood, humor, kids, Kindergarten, life, loose tooth, lost tooth, parenting, Snags, teeth, The Tooth Fairy

Beware the Kid Scissors

So, just when you thought it was safe to leave your six year old alone with his art supplies, you find out you were wrong.  Waaaay wrong.

Snags came downstairs a few nights ago after taking his bath and wanted to know if he could have one of my hair barrettes.  He said his bangs were “getting in his nerves,” only I thought he said “in his nose,” and that was odd because it couldn’t have possibly been true.  His bangs were still up on his forehead.  At that time anyway…

He got mad at me when I said he couldn’t wear my hair barrette to school to keep his bangs pushed off his face.  “You look like a girl,” I told him.

He cried.  He argued with me.  “Well, I think it looks good and I think it makes me look older!” he said.

“Yes,” I agreed.  “Like an older girl.”

“If you want your bangs to be shorter,” I offered, “then let’s go tomorrow and get your hair cut.”

“No!” he responded.  “I want to grow my hair out to be long.” 

Let’s just get this point clear: He wanted to grow his hair out  “to be long” so he could look like Adam in the movie Snow Buddies, and also so he could wear one long braid down the side of his face like Anakin Skywalker in Attack of the Clones.  I wasn’t exactly thrilled with either look, but shaggy skateboarder is apparently “IN” right now, so I thought I could be a little flexible on the hair.  Besides, getting to the braid point was going to take some time. With summer approaching, I figured Snags would give up at some point, and ask for a hair cut just to get the wet sweaty hair off the back of his neck.  I figured we probably weren’t really in this for the long haul, but I had no idea just how soon the situation would change. 

Snags ran out of the room crying because I wouldn’t let him keep my hair barrette. 
Less than a minute later he ran back in.

“How do you like my hair now?” he demanded with a huge smile and a menacing cackle.

I glanced at him.  The middle portion of his bangs were pulled back, the hair barrette was hidden somehow.  If he was a girl with really long hair, it would have been a great look.

“Where’s the hair barrette?” I asked. “How did you do that?  I can’t even see the barrette.”

“That’s because there is no hair barrette!” he laughed.

And then it hit me…

“Did you CUT your bangs?” I asked, wide-eyed, as my husband more or less groaned, “Oh! Snags!”

And then Snags ran from the room crying once again.  He ran up the stairs as my husband called after him, “What scissors did you use? Where did you get them?”

Well, he used his art supply scissors.  Of course!  The ones with the red handle.  The ones intended for paper.  Not hair.

“Did you even look in the mirror when you did that?” I asked when I found him crying on his bed.

“No!” he wailed.

My husband tried to fix the damage by trimming the sides of his bangs, with (why do boys do this?) the same art supply scissors.  The ones with the red handle.  Again, for paper.  Not hair.

Of course that only made it worse.  Snags stood there crying in front of the mirror.
“You look like Willy Wonka,” I offered, kindly.  I thought that would cheer him up.  When he was four he wanted to BE Willy Wonka.  He wanted me to buy him a purple wig or let him grow his hair out in a page boy style and get it dyed.  He had a Willy Wonka costume.  We fashioned a “W” out of an old coat hanger and he wore it everywhere, just like Johnny Depp in Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.

But now, well, I guess that’s not cool anymore.  Snags cried some more.  I tried not to laugh, but honestly, I wasn’t doing a very good job of it.

I took the scissors from my husband’s hands and figured, well, what the hell.  No use going all the way back downstairs to get the kitchen shears at this point.  Besides, kitchen shears aren’t much better for cutting hair than the red handled art scissors.  I trimmed the other side.  But that didn’t help much, either.  Finally, I put the sniffling, snuffling Snags to bed.

When I woke in the morning I stayed in bed for a while, hoping it was all just a dream. But it wasn’t.  Snags came in my room and demanded to know, “Why did you and dad make me look in the mirror when I didn’t want to?  That’s just RUDE!  That is like sticking someone’s head down the toilet!  That’s how rude that was!”

“Oh!”  I said, a bit startled at the analogy.  “We weren’t trying to be RUDE.  We just wanted you to see your hair since you cut it without even looking at it.”

I sent Snags to school and I sent his teacher an email to warn her about his hair.  When I picked him up after school it seemed like every teacher in the building had heard the story.  They all gave me sympathetic smiles as they said, “Off to get Snag’s hair cut by the professionals now?” 

“Yes,” I said.  Yes we were, indeed.  Thank you for asking.

 

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Filed under humor, kids, life, parenting, Snags

A Letter to Lauren’s Mom

Dear Lauren’s Mom,

Hi.  So, listen, I understand from my son, Snags, that your daughter, Lauren, was watching the news recently and heard that “a man is PREGNANT!”  What a sweet daughter you have and how very kind of her to share that news with Snags and his classmates.  His kindergarten classmates.

Snags didn’t really have many other details to share.  It sounds as if Lauren was supposed to be doing her homework? And you made her turn the T.V. off right in the middle of that groundbreaking report? Snags thought the idea so prepopsterous that it might have been a joke, that the news people were trying to make people laugh, right? I suggested that perhaps the whole thing was an April Fool’s Day joke.

And might I suggest to YOU, that you, oh, unplug the friggin’ television set for the next nine months or so?  Unless, of course, you plan to come to the elementary school and give a big detailed  presentation about this to Snags and his classmates?  Hey, maybe you could even work with the children to collect money to throw this man a baby shower…

Look, I’m actually a pretty liberal minded gal.  I don’t particularly care which way the wind blows when it comes to personal preferences about how people live their lives.  I think it’s nice that this man is pregnant.  I hope the pregnancy goes smoothly and that baby sleeps though the night from the get go.

I just really don’t want to have to explain how a person gets pregnant to a six year old.  And I especially don’t want to have to explain how a man got pregnant to a six year old.  A six year old who knows that only women have babies…

When Snags is in middle school, well, sure then I’d be happy to explain this stuff.  He’ll probably be picking up free condoms from the nurse’s office by then anyway.  But right now, I’d just rather not go there.  And so that is why I keep the television news turned OFF in my house.  You might want to consider doing the same.

Oh, by the way, did Lauren tell you that I got my nose pierced?  I didn’t know if Snags had mentioned it to her yet.  If not, that’s okay.  I’ll be chaperoning the upcoming planetarium field trip and she will get to see my nose piercing then.  I’ll be sure to tell her ALL about it, and how she can be cool like me and get her very own nose piercing, too!

That should give you something to talk about over dinner Thursday night, don’t you think?

Sincerely,
Snags’ Mom

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Filed under babies, kids, Kindergarten, motherhood, parenting, Snags

Every Good Tattoo Artist Has to Start Somewhere

We’ve all seen them, the pictures floating around the internet that show a child covered in magic marker; she’s drawn on herself and she has a big smile on her face.  You would think that when a boy is six and a half and going on seven that drawing on himself would be, well, beneath him.  He’s got reams of paper around the house for drawing on after all.  But you’d think wrong.

I should have paid more attention to what he was saying but I was unloading the dishwasher and he started off the conversation with his usual “Mom, in my movie…” and that is more or less where I tune out.  I don’t mean to, but by God, this child talks about the movie he is going to make ALL.DAY.LONG and has been for the past year.  If he ever actually filmed the thing it would be longer than a Ken Burns special on PBS.  And my husband has told him repeatedly that George Lucas will sue him if he merely copies Star Wars.  So Snags recently renamed the title of his “movie” to Star Man (I haven’t had the heart to tell him that title’s also been used before) while leaving most of the characters the same.  It’s plagiarism with the tiniest twist.  Like calling your new book Barry Rotter and Barry’s got this lightening shaped scar on his forehead and he attends Hogwarts with Ron and Hermione…

So anyway, I was unloading the dishwasher and Snags said something about drawing some lines on his face.  I immediately thought of the cool tattoo that Chakotay sported in Star Trek: Voyager, but I told Snags that no, he could not draw on his face.  No, not even right before bath time where it would get washed off.  “Because,” I said, “it might not wash all the way off and then all your friends at school are going to be like ‘What’s all over your face?’”

Only… twenty minutes later and I’ve moved on to checking email on the laptop and here comes Snags.  He’s got a big smile on his face as he sticks his right arm out to me and pushes up his sleeve.  “Look, Mom!” he says, pen still in hand.  “Isn’t this like a really cool tattoo?” he asks.  And I look.  He’s written on himself.  He’s written “rase cars” on his right arm, and then “crash” on his left arm.  And that is what I get for letting him borrow a DVD of old Speed Racer cartoons from the public library.

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Filed under humor, life, movie, Snags, Speed Racer, tattoo

From Gerbils to Alaska (With a note to God)

In addition to his never waning interest in all things Star Wars and his desire to make his own Star Wars movie, my six year old son, Snags, has recently decided that he wants to be like Adam in the movie Snow Buddies, and he wants to race his own dog sled team. Only, we don’t have a dog sled team.

And so every night he prays to God to send him six dogs for a dog sled team.  Snags will build the sled himself.  And then he will enter a dog sled race.  In Alaska.

Today he came to me with a large manila envelope and on the front he had written in fat black sharpie, “Snag’s DOG SEDinG MUNee” and below that he had drawn a picture of the dog sled he will build.  He asked that any money I give him be in EVEN amounts (hello grandparents, take note!) so that he can split the funds between his savings for “GrBl MUNee” (Gerbil Money) and “DOG SEDinG MUNee”.  The envelope for the dog sledding fund is “in case God doesn’t give me the six dogs that I’ve been praying for.” 

And I think, yes, son, it’s always good to have a contingency plan.

Dear God, I’m not sure what you do up in heaven all day, but I am sure you are busy. If you sneak any time away from your job to read blogs, read this:  DO NOT SEND SNAGS SIX DOGS!  At least not until he is fully grown and living on his own or with a wife in ALASKA.  I am struggling with the one dog we have and cannot take care of six more.  Snags cannot clean up his own LEGOs, and so I have serious doubts about whether he would be capable of scooping up the poop made by six dogs roaming my back yard. Er… seven, if you count the dog we already have. So please, when you hear his cute little voice at night coming to you over the prayer hotline, as soon as he gets to the word “dogs,” just start humming to yourself or something, like, “la, la, la, I can’t HEAR YOU!”  You can get back to what he is saying when he says please and thank you and Amen. Or um, if he says something like “Please let my mom win one-hundred million dollars in the lottery.” That would be a good prayer to answer.  A request for six dogs, not so much.  

On the gerbil front, well, Snags has come up with a list of possible names for this gerbil he wants.  And wouldn’t you know it, all of the names are names of the dogs that appear in the movie Snow Buddies.  Lucky for me, gerbils are apparently harder to come by than dogs sent straight down from God in heaven for a dog sled team, and none of the pet stores near us happen to have any gerbils in stock right now.  Sad, isn’t it?

Actually, I thought Snags was going to be really upset over the apparent lack of gerbils, especially since he’s worked so hard to save up his money to buy one, cage, food and all.  For weeks now, every time I have run an errand I make a quick stop at the nearest pet store to see if they’ve gotten any gerbils in yet, and so far, no luck.  But it seems as if it might not matter anymore.

Because Snags recently got a second manila envelope and on the front he wrote “Snags loG KABiN MUNee” and he drew a picture of the log cabin that he wants to build in Alaska on the front of it.  I believe this is where he plans to live with his dogs when he races with them up there in the cold North. After he made this, he took all of the cash in his “GrBl MUNee” fund out of its specially designed envelope and put it into his “loG KABiN” fund.  All $33.00 of it. 

When I found the “GrBl MUNee” envelope lying empty on the kitchen table, I rather discreetly threw it away.  I’m hoping that without the envelope to remind him, Snags will forget that he ever wanted a gerbil in the first place. And that would be fine with me, because even though they are smaller and perhaps less work than six additional dogs would be, I don’t really want the job of scooping up Gerbil poop either.

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Filed under Alaska, dog sledding, gerbil, humor, life, log cabin, Snags