Saturday, November 29, 2008

Black Friday

So after a very nice Thanksgiving dinner, and time spent with my family, my hubby ,kids and I drove back home. After the kids were in bed, I settled down with a nice cup of tea and the newspaper. I went through them and jotted down the specials I was interested in, and which stores I should go to. I was kind of excited, I have never in my life gone shopping Black Friday morning. I was giddy with the expectations of die hard shoppers, fighting there way through crowds to get their little girl that prized Cabbage Patch doll. Oh wait, that was thirty years ago, god, I'm getting old. But you get the picture, I was excited. Ended up going to bed around 12:30. At 2 am, D2 woke hubby and I up with a cry so loud, I'm certain my old neighbors in Jersey heard her as well. Well, at least D1 did, and so she was also awake. It took close to an hour before we had both girls asleep again. Hubby fell back asleep the minute his head hit the pillow. I hate that about him.

I layed in bed, gripping onto my edge, while D1 sprawled across the middle of the bed and hubby snored happily on his edge. I stayed that way for 45 minutes. Then decided to get up and start my shopping. Might as well, right? JcPenney's was opening at 4 am, so I figured I could start there. Time to do my part to get this economy back on track!

On my way to the mall, I stopped at Dunkin Donuts and bought the big coffee. My favorite, toasted almond with extra half n half, one sugar. Goodness in a styrofoam cup. Hmmmm... I might have to stop writing this to go make coffee.....

I walked into JcPenney's elated . High on caffeine and consumerism. I watched women pawing through the chatke crap piled high on the display tables. This brought me back to my old job as accessory buyer. I was in charge of the crap, the boxed gift program. The manicure kits, sewing kits, change purses, all those sort of things. The program did very well, and I always tried to imagine who these people were that actually bought this junk in such high volume. Now I knew, and I was here, with them. One of the people. The common folk. ( I should have titled this entry The One Where I Come Off As an Arrogant Stuck up BIOTCH.) I giggled out loud. I walked around the enormous lines at the cash register, and headed towards the lighting department. Oh, did I mention that I wasn't at Penney's to buy gifts, but to buy myself stuff? Christmas, shimmas, I had to decorate my living room! Did I also mention that I have been looking for lighting for this room since we moved into the house back in March? I had decided that it was some sort of genetic flaw, some gene in the wrong place. I was physically incapable of deciding on, and purchasing lamps. But today was the day. I was going to do it! So I didn't like the ones I saw advertised, and I began to get this ill feeling in my stomach. I HAVE TO BUY LAMPS. My husband will divorce me, I'm sure. So I picked out some lamps that I didn't really love, but that would provide the needed illumination. Then I headed towards the window treatment department to order curtains for the living room. This is where I discovered the shoppers delight: NO LINES AT THE REGISTER!! I was once again giddy. As the woman ordered my curtains and rang up my lamps, I chattered on and on. Like a whore on crack. " I was so excited to be out shopping, wasn't this exciting?" And on and on. I'm sure the middle aged woman that woke at 3 to go earn some minimum wage was just as thrilled. Sure.

It was now a few minutes to 5 am. Next stop was either Babies R Us or Toys r Us to buy the girls those little mini sofas that roll out into mini beds - at half off - wahoo! Hubby and I were desperately hoping that if we left those in our bedroom, D1 would sleep on that instead of our bed. I'm sure it will work. For two nights, at least. I decided Babies R Us instead of Toys r US when I saw the insane line of people waiting to get into Toys R Us. Babies R Us had a line, but it was only about 10-15 people. Manageable. Still, when the doors finally opened, I could feel the thrill as everyone rushed to get their carts. I hurried to the back of the store and found a table of the mini sofas. Crap! Only one with Tinker Bell. Several Princess ones. I hate the Princesses. Tink rocks. I searched under the table and all around. Then a woman, dressed in lounge pants, a tank top that stopped about two inches above her navel and a leopard print bra sticking out, rolled over with a Tinker Bell sofa in her cart. "Excuse me, where did you find that Tinker Bell sofa?" "Oh, over there on that shelf, it's the last one" The last one, the last one? But I need TWO Tink sofa's! What do I do, what do I do?

So I followed the leopard print bra lady around the store. When she was immersed in the $5 boxes of wipes, sorting through scented and unscented, I stole the Tink Sofa from her cart. Threw it in my cart. I was about half way through the store when I heard her yell. My adrenaline was pumping. I was laughing wildly. Cackling, really. I STOLE THE TINKER BELL SOFA! Hee Hee. I heard her running. What should I do? I ran into the ladies room with both sofa's, went into the last stall, and climbed onto the toilet, so my feet were not seen. I stayed this way, clutching onto the sofas for thirty minutes. Then I snuck back into the store, into line and bought the sofas. VICTORY WAS MINE!!!!!!!! I was so excited, I finally had my own Black Friday story. One that would live in enfamy for the rest of my life!!!! How exciting was that?

Ok, so that really didn't happen. But f0r one brief moment I thought about taking that lady's mini sofa. I really, really wanted it. But I bought two of the Princess sofas instead. Sighhhhh.

The next and last stop was Kmart. Mobbed. I spent about an hour finding all the things I needed there. Then got into the wrong line. Stood in line for close to an hour. This is when it dawned on me that I was exhausted. Walking out of the store, it was finally light out. So bizarre, I've walked into stores with light, to come out with darkness, but never the opposite.

I got home and I was exhausted. What the hell was I thinking? Now I had to survive the day with two little ones on less than two hours sleep. I felt hungover. The post shopping crash.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Conversations with a Lunatic

So, this post is going to have no cohesion at all. Well, maybe a little, I mean, I'll try my best to have some sort of point. But I'm not making any promises. In fact, I can't even remember what I was planning on writing about. Crap. It's just that I would really like to post more, but D1 has become obsessed with, and if I come even close to the 'puter she starts screaming "I want my Noggin". Very annoying. So I try to store all this stuff in my head to write later, but later never happens.

Ok, I think I remember what I was going to write about. Here goes.

We are having our living room and dining room painted. I'm in love with the painter. I may ask her to marry me. I love that she's a woman, first of all. It's so much easier having her in the house. I don't care if she sees me in my jammies, and I don't even flinch too much when D1 decides to go streaking through the house. Plus, I have a real live grown up to talk to! She's very nice, and interesting, and responds in full sentences. I've been contemplating trapping her in my closet, and never letting her go. Ohhh, and in addition to painting, she also offers re-decorating services. She's one of those people who will take what you have, rearrange it, and make it look way better than it did before. I LOVE HER.

Ok, so that wasn't my point, either. My point was, that having someone else in the house has made me very aware of how I talk with the girls. Knowing that she is potentially listening, I actually HEAR our conversations more, like she, as a stranger hears them. The first thing I've become very aware of, is that I constantly refer to myself as Mommy, or Mama. You know, in the third person. Very annoying. I'm starting to wonder if I will start doing this with others. "Jen would like another martini" or "Jen will be ordering her filet rare tonight" Creepy. But then I was thinking, maybe it's a part of a whole denial type thing. Like, oh my god, I can't possibly be the mom here in this situation. I'm way too young and irresponsible to have two lives entrusted to me. I'm still in high school and planning on how to skip school, right? Denial is a strong force, but it shouldn't have to lead to such an annoying habit, right? Maybe my New Year's resolution will be to stop this. But, Jen will see, Jen has a lot of things she should resolve not to do. Jen thinks maybe this should be on the bottom of Jen's list.

Then, the other night at dinner, much loved painter was still there, working on the dining room, which is adjacent to the kitchen. The whole time I wondered if she could hear my conversation with D1 and D2 (husband was MIA). This I would have to list under things I never I thought I would have to say. Here are a few snippets to prove my point:

"D1, stop running laps around the table"
"D2, why did you put lentils in your hair"
"D1, where are your panties"
"D2, please don't put lentils in your ear"

I swear, I live in some bizarro alternate universe. How the hell did I get here?

The other thing I wanted to tell you about is my complete lack of conversation skills. I think I talked about this once before, but too bad, I'm going to do it again.

I can no longer hold a conversation. Part of the problem is that when I do actually get to talk to a real live grown up, either in person or on the phone, I'm very aware that my time to speak is very limited, interruptions can come at any moment, and very suddenly. You know how it is, your kids completely ignore you, till they see you are on the phone, or doing something more interesting than watch them watch tv. Maddening. But what has happened, is that even when I do have kid free talk time, I don't know how to hold a conversation. I talk rapid fire style, very loudly,(as if I'm talking over a screaming child) I skip from one subject to another, with no cohesion, rhyme or reason. Like a whore on crack. Not that I've ever been a whore on crack, nor to my knowledge have I ever spoken to one, but I'm certain talking to Jen is like talking to one.

Ok, I think I'm done, although I think there were a few more points I wanted to make. But now I forget.

Oh, one other thing. D2's verbal skills are really progressing. Of course I am proud of her, but a recent development has made me kind of sad. She has stopped her instinctive calling of MAA MAAA. It has been replaced with Mommy. Or rather, MOMMMMMIIIEEEEEE. Very cute, but a definite sign that she isn't a baby anymore. Makes me sad. Of course, I know the time will come very soon where I am called Mother, with eyes rolling and glaring. I should relish the Mommy's I hear called out.

Just one more thing. We've been going to Soccertots, which has been, well, interesting. Another Mom in D2's class is really nice, and I just love her daughter. A really easy going, happy little girl. But here's the thing. The Mom is pregnant, and I'm just dieing to ask what she is going to name her next child. Her first is named Dale. And it's been killing me NOT to ask if she will be naming the second Chip. I told hubby that the other day, and he said he'd divorce me if I asked. But come on, wouldn't you want to ask, too?

Alright, really, I'm done.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

To Eat the Apple

So, not unusually, I’m sure, my daughters LOVE to be naked. Little D2, when she manages to escape mid-diaper change, will run around slapping her hiney, gleefully chanting “bum,bum,bum!” While potty training D1, I allowed her to be naked quite a lot. She still prefers to be this way. She spends the majority of her time at home undressed, or half-dressed. I really do try to keep her clothed, especially with the colder weather. But it is a losing battle that I only half-heartedly fight. I know I have to teach her that it is not appropriate to spend your time naked. Certainly not with other children or adults, and definitely not in public, or even in the privacy of your own backyard, with others watching. I know this. I know it is our cultural ways, and this post is certainly not a pro-nudist statement on the woes of our clothed society. It is a statement on the woes of our perfectionist, beauty and body ideal obsessed society. So I apologize, my self deprecating or D2 antics are probably my better (please, be kind!) writing. This one may be a little sappy, more like a greeting card than a Jen Adventure. Consider yourself warned.

I love the absolute naturalness of their time spent without clothes. The complete lack of self consciousness. The way D2 will pause, mid play, completely naked, to stare at the TV in front of her. Holding her body in a comfortable stance. Her belly poking out, her dimply behind relaxed. Perfect. Unencumbered. Absolute beauty. D2 running around in circles, dancing, blissfully free. Before I know it, they will haven taken the bite from that apple. Self consciousness will set in. Embarrassment. The needed modesty to exist in our society. And with it, a part of their innocence. Their babyhood. Gone, forever.

What will take its place? Confidence in the capability, strength and beauty of their body, which is merely protected under clothing? Or discontent, hatred even, of the inadequacies they detect? Dimples, lack of muscles, cellulite? As someone who has battled with body image issues from a very young age, how do I raise confident, body accepting women? Will it be all my fault? Was it all my Mother’s fault for my issues? I think not. Where does it come from? Is it just a roll of the dice, a part of the way you simply are – just like a dislike of mushrooms, or a hot temper? Or is it a societal problem, starting from Disney and the Princesses, onto Hannah Montana and finally Vogue?

Is there a solution? Keep them away from all media? Please. Cinderella just seeps into them; they wake up one day, and love her. I think it’s something they put into the juice boxes of little girls. It’s simply there. Perhaps it’s up to me to introduce them to stronger women. Less physically perfect, but fierce and beautiful all the same.

I paused for a long time after that last sentence. Sad, but who are these women? Do I have to reach all the way back to Greek and Roman mythology? Do we have any present day examples? And please, not athletes. I don’t find them to be appropriate roll models, either. How upsetting, I can’t think of one.

For now, I will hold onto their little selves. Their freedom and grace. I know their perfect little bodies will carry them through amazing lives. Those bodies will be their vehicles to see, hear and feel so many amazing things. I will treasure that, for them.

Monday, November 3, 2008

I know, Halloween is over, this is not very timely at all

So I was too busy all weekend to post about Halloween, and I'm sure you are, like myself, very glad it's all over. I won't go into the full details of the day, but there is just one thing I just have to discuss.

D1 woke at 6 am on Halloween, ready to go trick or treating. Never tell a three year old a whole day in advance what she will doing. By 6:30 she had on some of her dress up clothes. The skimpy kind that have these little patches of velcro on the back to keep it on. She had on the Cinderella get up, to be exact, which features a little emblem of Cinderella, and a strip down the center bodice of sparkly sequins. Over breakfast she is insisting that this is what she will be wearing for trick or treat. I'm trying to get her to wear the Tigger costume, which coordinates with D2's Eeyore costume. Both the Eeyore and Tigger costumes are made of very warm fleece. A much more practical option in the cold weather.

I tell her "this costume is way too cold, it will be night, and very cold out" She says "but Mom, it has sparkles. The sparkles will keep me warm"

I was speechless. I was simutaneously sent back in time, and propelled forward. Thoughts of myself in college, abroad in London, wearing high heels I could barely walk in, a sheer shirt and mini, freezing my ass of in the December cold, all to look good at a night club came to mind. And suddenly the image of myself, but with D1's face popped in.

She's a club kid in the making, I can see it now. My little fashionista.