From the monthly archives:

February 2010

I have not yet participated in Unknown Mami‘s Sundays in My City weekly feature that I so enjoy on her blog. (Actually, I love all her weekly features: the I Comment Therefore I am on Mondays and the Fragmented Fridays) I thought I’d give it a go this Sunday, seeing how I need a good excuse to show off my “AWESOME” (Notice the quote fingers?) photography skills.

Unknown Mami

Disclaimer: These were not taken on a Sunday (as you could see my son was heading to school…) nor in a city (as clearly as the day it was taken we live in a very suburban suburb… I need to learn to not apologize for it…)

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We have been watching the Winter Olympics. I didn’t plan to. But what’s not to love really? Finally something on prime time that does not involve dead bodies, sexual predators, or its own mythologies.

Naturally I gravitated towards Ice Dancing and Figure Skating. (No, I don’t really want to engage in a debate about how Ice Dancing does not count as a sport and should not even be included in the Olympics. Thank you very much).

Last Sunday though, we caught a glimpse of the Super-Combined and the boys and I were hooked. We don’t ski. Skiing has never entered my mind as a recreational option despite our proximity to some relatively inexpensive hills in Wisconsin. The word “skiing” conjures up images of Vail and the fancy schmancy aura surrounding “Skiing resorts” in my psyche. Memories of seeing people refusing to do away with their lift tickets still hanging on their zipper pulls long after their last skiing trip without any hope of ever going back again this season.

What was shown on TV was exhilarating. The commentators were talking about Bode Miller as this Comeback Kid. Everybody loves a good comeback story. So we held our breath as he rushed downhill. The camera at one point cut to his mother, I assume, with her hand to her mouth watching her son intently, perhaps with a bit comprehension. The camera zoomed in further to try to catch an emotional moment. Everybody loves a good human interest perspective in the games of sports.

With his eyes still on the screen, my oldest commented,

“You know, when I or [my brother] go to the Olympics? You have to remember that you are always on camera. So you have to remember to look good all the time. Don’t let the camera catch you tweeting or Facebooking! That’s the lesson we should learn here.”

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Our job goal as far as our kids are concerned as parents is to never embarrass them. I am sure with me as a mother THIS is constantly on his mind. Later when one of the athletes crashed on the snowy course and thus dashed his dream for any medal, for yet another human interest angle, the camera mercilessly zoomed in on the father who buried his face in his hands, leaned his forehead against the fence, visibly shaking.

My preteen reached across the sofa, grabbed both of my hands, and besought me,

“Promise me. You will never do that! Don’t cry like that if we lose. Promise me!”

I simply laughed. For sure, this is a promise I will not be able to keep…

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I also learned that athletes for Winter Sports live on the wild-er side, and they either have no mental filters because they are so adorably honest, or they are simply really really high, like “high”, when they are on the high mountains…

Read this quote from Norway silver medalist Odd-Bjoern Hjelmeset as reported in Sports Illustrated… and tell me if it is not one of the best…

“My name is Odd-Bjoern Hjelmeset. I skied the second lap and I f—– up today. I think I have seen too much porn in the last 14 days. I have the room next to Petter Northhug and every day there is noise in there. So I think that is the reason I f—– up. By the way, Tiger Woods is a really good man.”

(Sports Illustrated Writer’s note: By far the craziest quote released by the VANOC information desk over the past 13 days.)

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Or this quote from Graham Watanabe, a snowboarder from the U.S.

“It’s feeling a lot more like this is my first Olympics. Try to imagine Pegasus mating with a unicorn and the creature that they birth. I somehow tame it and ride it into the sky in the clouds and sunshine and rainbows. That’s what it feels like.”

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Update: Naptime Writing had written in a post “Lessons from the Olympics” which has a list of the things she learned about human nature from this Olympics that was observant, profound, hilarious at the same time. Knowing my readers, I just want to emphasize hilarious. I was grateful that she commented on the “fake flesh-colored” costumes worn by the skaters to make them look like they are wearing skimpy outfits when actually they are not. So it’s not just me.

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Do you really know? I mean, really really? Do you know what you are reading them and how they are hearing what you are reading them?…

I was browsing through the Costco “magazine” (what sadly passes as reading material for me nowadays) in bed when my oldest came to snuggle with sit by me. Not wanting to stop this rare moment, I tried hard to engage him in conversations.

“You like 2012 right?” The DVD is featured in the magazine because it is a shopping catalogue in disguise.

“Oh. That movie is AWESOME!” For my son, things can be easily divided into two groups: Things that are awesome; things that sucks.

I pointed to the DVD for the movie Where the Wild Things Are directed by Spike Jonze (of the Being John Malkovich fame). “Dad said the movie is actually quite good. He saw it on the plane. We should watch it sometimes.” Having two boys five years apart in age, I am constantly searching for movies that will appeal to both of them and are age-appropriate. To be honest, I aim for semi age-appropriate now because the picking is just slimmer than a meth addict on a super model diet. I bet Mr. Monk has watched more PG-13 movies than any other 7-year old in the suburbs.

“Oh. I know what it is about. It is based on the book Where the Wild Things Are…

Yeah. I was thinking. You and every other person older than three know what this movie is about. Duh.

“It is about this boy who got into trouble. He ran away from home to live with the monsters, and the monsters tried to kill him.”

“What?” I sat up to look at him. “Are you serious? No. Seriously. Is that what you think the book is about?”

“Uh huh. I told you. I have read this book. It was about this boy who went to live with the monsters, then he became homesick. And when he tried to leave, the monsters threatened to kill him. They said, ‘We will eat you up!'” He said, with even more conviction this time.

I laughed, yet at the same time, I was becoming more and more alarmed.

“No, dude. You are just being smartie pants, right? You don’t really think that’s what this book is about, right?”

“I am SERIOUS! That’s really the story! You don’t know anything, mom!”

Mr. Monk walked into the room at this time. I asked (with gnashed teeth) my oldest to not say anything about the book to his younger brother since I really don’t need two traumatized kids on my hand. I asked Mr. Monk whether he knows the story.

“I have the book. I’ll go get it!”

The three of us sat in bed while I read the story out loud. Just like I once did when they were much younger. I remember this book being one of the favorite books for both boys at around the same age.

When we got to the part where Max says goodbye to the Wild Things,

“Oh please don’t go — We’ll eat you up —“

“See? What did I tell you?!” Triumph in his voice now, my oldest moved in for the kill, “And see here? They were threatening to eat him!”

One of the most beloved children's books... What have we done?!

To think that I used to read this book to him before he went to bed. Many many nights.

p.s. No boys were harmed, physically or psychologically, in the making of this blog post.

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Scary Movies

February 24, 2010 random

Tweet The boys and I are still awake. We went to bed at around 10:30 pm. Or rather, we started getting into bed at around 10:30 pm. When my husband is out of town, both boys like to sleep in the big bed with me. I let them. You know why? Because I am scared. […]

34 comments

Contract

February 22, 2010 no manual for parenting

Tweet My husband is out of town again. Well, since he travels 50% of the time, as dictated by his contract, there is always 50-50 chance he is on the road. He’s sort of like George Cloony in Up in the Air, but without the dashing good looks. (Oh, I love you honey. I just […]

25 comments

Makeup

February 21, 2010 no manual for parenting

Tweet 1. Reading the comments people left for my last post, praising me for recognizing and questioning the rigid gender rules, in addition to feeling thankful, I am actually embarrassed. Feeling a bit like a fraud. A hypocrite. In an ironic way, although I set out to remain anonymous so I can speak my mind […]

19 comments

Raising Boys

February 18, 2010 no manual for parenting

Tweet As much as I lament the lack of girl presence in my household, I know I am blessed to have my boys. They tug at my heart even though they bruise my sides sometimes when they roughhouse; They have no control over and are unaware of their own growing limbs.  They are protective of […]

62 comments

Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, Cashews Are Nuts…

February 16, 2010 random

Tweet And so are YOU!* * Tis said with love and affection and gratitude… This post is a belated thank-yous to many of you who have bestowed me with love and support and honors. Chris over @ Vintage Christine (whose subtitle “I’m not old, I’m vintage” has become my battle cry) sent me a surprise […]

40 comments

Happy VCNYAHS Day!

February 14, 2010 random

Tweet February 14. One of the Hallmark Holiday is celebrated on this day. It also happens to be the day Anna Howard Shaw was born. Ms. Shaw was a leader of the women’s suffrage movement and a physician nonetheless. In the 19th century. A female physician. Imagine that. Liz Lemon on 30 Rock dared to […]

34 comments

WTF Wednesday: The Price of Tomatoes

February 10, 2010 imho is just a polite way to say I know you don't give a hoot what I think but I'm going to say it anyway

Tweet I am honored to welcome Velva from Tomatoes on the Vine to participate in the WTF Wednesday feature in which rants and foaming are conducted and strong opinions are shared on things that bother us, that just won’t go away until we get on our soap box and let it rip. Velva celebrates the deep, communal […]

30 comments