Sunday, March 27, 2011

Tim Burton Ate My Son...and then SPIT HIM OUT.

We feel so used.

So,  there is this popular book out right now for Moms of Girls. I mean, I think it is geared toward girls since it's called Cinderella Ate My Daughter, but I have seen my sons don a dress from time to time. The book discusses the firestorm of the Princess-Obsessed Culture many Moms of Girls are experiencing today. Circle back to last summer's Disneyland trip - I believe the Happiest Place on Earth is also the place where many little girls are converted to Princesses and Fairies. My son was enamored by Jack Skellington of the Nightmare before Christmas Fame. We, as parents of boys, were not immune from immersing ourselves in an obsession.

Halloween kicked-off our Jack fascination as Ryder transformed himself (well with my help) into Jack. Now, one thing I HAVE to mention is that before he could qualify himself as Jack, I felt he was to understand what part he was playing. This clearly a repercussion of my Thespian days, and of course the imparted skill of "Method Acting." Without doing any research, I let him watch the film...and left the room (I guess that's a no-no.).  I need to tell all of you that THIS MOVIE IS NOT MEANT FOR 5 YEARS OLDS! You probably already knew that...but I of course, did not. I have heard from other parents since then, that they would NEVER let their kids watch this movie. I will say that my son actually enjoyed the DVD extras even more than the film. He watched a 2 hour "How it was made" and the "Tour of the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland" several times by choice, beyond the film itself.

Thankfully, my son did not spook - even though they try to kidnap Santa Claus and say they want to "chop him into bits." Yup, they say that. I will tag this post with "Awesome Mom."  I am sure you are seeing a trend by now...and I have enough posts regarding my awesome mothering, that we now have a "series."

Back to Halloween...I had to buy an adult size costume and break out my 2 year-old-brand-new sewing machine to make it happen! I cut a men's size 42 jacket down to a 4T. My handy-work below...

CD Label
As his birthday approached and the theme was a no-brainer, we made sure to encourage his love for Tim Burton's Nightamare, by purchasing everything we could possibly find that was Jack (see above for just SOME of it)...including the Soundtrack on iTunes. Since we have historically given mix CDs as party favors, I felt that this was going to be perfect.  I downloaded the album, and guess what? After listening to a bit of Marilyn Manson and choruses that included lyrics like "Kidnap the Sandy Claws, beat him with a stick, lock him up for ninety years, see what makes him tick," ONLY 2 SONGS WERE SUITABLE FOR OUR MIX CD. At this point, I was starting to wonder if we would get a lot of "No" RSVPs due to the theme. My son would not budge...this was it.

The party was held at a Bounce House Party Place - basically that was the criteria. He wanted a Jack Skellington party at Bounce-U. That is what he got. From Jack cupcakes at school, made by yours truly, to Jack clothes, a Jack Cake, Jack invites & favors, and a Jack pinata - lovingly made by his Nanny/BFF, Ana, I think it was awesome. We won't talk about how he vomited that morning before the party...another story in itself.

What did we learn? Well, honestly, my husband and I were thrilled in so many ways that our son found a love for Tim Burton. The man has created so many incredible, whimsical and creative- despite dark- accomplishments. Who are we to squelch our sons innate interest for the macabre animated arts. We have opted as parents to do damage control, rather than to censor his creativity. Ryder is no worse for wear from this experience and continues to be his amazingly creative and cerebral self, who is now 5 years old and on to the next big thing. Tim Burton has temporarily been replaced by Captain Underpants (not appropriate, but found in an older cousin's room - again...damage control) and a daily barage of joke telling. He really wants nothing to do with most of the Jack things we bought him at this point - which is a bummer on a financial front, but normal in the timeline of childhood obsession. I am surprised by him every day and will close off this birthday recap with something his teacher said at our parent / teacher conference that will stay with me always:

"I am so glad that I get to be a part of Ryder's life, because he is going to do something great someday. I can say I played a part in that." Makes me cry every time. I believe her.

Friday, March 25, 2011

I'm almost Tattwoo!

I am going to be two next Friday, on April 1, NO JOKE. Mommy got me some sweet Tattoos, because I am almost Tattwoo (note the Mum & Dad Tat on my belly!). To answer you other Mommies out there, no, I am not already potty trained. Yes, I will kill you Mommy when I am older for posting this picture of me on the Interwebs, but I am sure you have a good reason.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Missing Piece(s)

The Missing Piece by Shel "oh so awesome" Silverstein. This picture depicts my day pretty well.

Today was off. In soooo many ways, today was off. It started out okay...Ry was READY for school on time, we were NOT going to be late. Then, I accidentally gave our beloved nanny a set of keys to take with her, that included my car key. We were now going to be late.

After that crisis was averted, child safely at school, me gainfully in possession of one Subaru key, I got home, only to find an package on my front porch (Normal daily fare). I thought, YES! It's Ryder's OPERATION game. But, damn, this box felt waaaay too light for the Operation I remember from yesteryear. I mean, I know plastic has evolved and toys have cheapened up, but this felt crazily light.... Because....

Yes. You are seeing it correctly, IT'S FREAKIN EMPTY! 

Impatient and pissed that I had to follow up on one more damaged item from the mail order Gods, I logged onto Amazon and went straight to Customer Service Chat. I was really unclear on how I was going to return NOTHING. Luckily, my overseas chat pal said he would just go ahead and send another! No questions asked! I'd like to think it's because I am a Prime customer, but really they could care less about my $16 shipping-gratis-purchase. Amazon gets giant props for their customer service today. Amazon dot Bomb!

On a smaller note. Ry's boxed Lemonade was missing a straw from the plastic wrap today. When I picked him up from school, he was pretty sad about it. The off day, had legs. More missing pieces.

Yay for tomorrow. I wish Family Ties were on.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

This Message Was Brought To You By the ABC Television Network

So, my one innate ability growing up - or Superpower - as I once called it, was my ability to memorize almost ANYTHING by sight or sound. As I got older, there was clearly kryptonite in my high school, as I seemed to have lost my special power. Like athletes have muscle memory, I have been fortunate enough to retain a small chunk of my ability in the form of remembering the words to possibly every commercial or sitcom theme from the 70s and 80s. Some of the major standouts were the ABC snippits in between Saturday morning cartoons, like Schoolhouse Rock, the Bod Squad and Time-for-Timer, "Look a wagon wheel!"

Recently, a friend of mine posted one on Facebook, and a light bulb went off in my head. "Holy Cow, I can watch my kids can benefit from the aweseomeness that was Saturday morning "educational" TV via You Tube!

My almost 2 year old obsesses over YUCK MOUTH, while my 5 year old loves Time-for-Timer's songs of "Hanker for a Hunk-of-Cheese" and "You are what you eat, from your head down to your feet.."

and I get to sing-a-long. Magic. I'm going to watch Family Ties now.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Love, Todd

When your child is in the thick of the proverbial terrible twos threes fours you wishfully think about what the future might hold, and how this is just a phase and things will inevitably improve. Sometimes, all that defines a 5 year old tantrum from a  2 year old tantrum, is some intense reasoning and a sprinkle of disrespect. As bath approached, I quickly shuffled Hay Hay to the tub (he is always pumped to bathe) and gave Ryder a post-dinner-test...

Me:  Ry, I am going to the tub, why don't you surprise me by putting your dishes in the kitchen, getting undressed and coming to the bath.

Moments later...thump thump thump, and a giant smile on a naked body emerges through the bathroom door and climbs into the tub...

Me: Wow!

Ry: Mommy I just started being good, right now!

Me: Hey Ry...why can't you ALWAYS be good?

Ry:  Mommy, sometimes, I'm good...sometimes I'm not so good...that is what makes me different.

Love, Todd Ryder

Title, lovingly hijacked from Todd Parr, an awesome Childrens Author/Illustrator who has graced our shelves for years with his thoughtful books, like, The Feelings Book, It's Okay To Be Different, and Underwear Dos and Don'ts.  He always ends his books with "Love, Todd." In the back of one of our books we noticed a photo with him and his dog, "Bully." Andy (see awesome husband & father) contacted him to hopefully contribute some artwork to one of our favorite charities, Rocket Dog Rescue. Todd Parr responded in record time...a whole 2-3 hours...with an emphatic YES! He is truly a gift to not only children, but our four-legged friends. Support this amazing rescue organization by purchasing a t-shirt, mug, apron, etc. etc. at their online store.  Oh, and a side note on the Awesome Andy... he donated his own time, fueled by his love for dogs, and created their online store. #Winning.