Monday, September 21, 2009

Howling at the Moon

Lately, as I’m going about my business in my own home, I might round a corner to be met by a loud “boo” followed by a giggle in response to my yelp and bugged out eyeballs. I’ve often wondered what kind of an emotional toll this might be taking on my fragile, adrenal fatigued, 32 year-old for-one-more-week body.

The small one talks often about what he wants to be for Halloween. Monday - Vampire. Wednesday - Wait, Airplane. Saturday - No, Darth Vader. Yesterday - Incredible Hulk. “For really, Mom!” He says, after I threatened to dress him up as the pinkest princess in all the land.

Knowing from painful experience that if you wait until the week before Halloween hoping a three or four-year old is done changing his mind, you’ll find that only size 10-12 Grim Reaper (with blood dripping down the face) and adult size Big Bird costumes remain on the racks. So we settled on Hulk last week, and I've only had to threaten Tinker Bell once so far.

As I contemplated how much longer my heart muscles and nerve endings would endure shouts of “boo” at the least expected moment, I decided we had better feed this creative Halloween monster we named, Judd. (the Stud, he corrects in my head as I write this)

We went down in the basement and dug out the spookiest shoebox we could find. We gathered together the 10 candy corns we hadn’t eaten yet from earlier that day, printed some freaky pictures from the internet, and started mixing our ghoulish creative juices until they started to bubble over.

This is what we came up with. And it worked. For a few days.

Now he wants to know what we’re making tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Our family has finally reached a travel milestone that most parents won’t forget.

No more changing diapers in the back of the car. No more having to Ziploc soiled wipes and diapers until the next gas stop. No more pulling over to the side of the road to feed the baby. No more screaming non-stop because you’ve missed two naps.

Instead we create lasting memories that don’t involve the smells of sour milk, sewage, and recurring images of zombie parents. Now the boys are old enough to either pee in an empty bottle (a luxury we women will almost always envy), pee in the weeds off the side of the road, or if mom has to go we’ll hit the nicest gas station we can find. (she’ll push out thoughts of deadly bacteria yet-to-be-discovered collecting on the soles of her shoes)

Memories of the Denver Zoo and the highlight and topic of discussion for the last four days has revolved around when the Zebra rolled around on the ground causing a mad dust storm; then he unexpectedly passed gas with his legs straight up in the air. Thank you, Striped One. You made our entire trip. The boys have already forgotten the Denver Broncos game, the trip to the Lego outlet, and Elitch Gardens (Six Flags). But the memory you created, Striped One, will be passed down from one generation to the next as a favorite tale releasing countless endorphins, which could quite possibly cure any undiagnosed disease lingering in our future posterity.

The one family travel event that hasn’t changed – broken priceless objects. We manage to fatally damage at least one irreplaceable object or family heirloom every time we travel. Once WE* broke a lamp at my parents house, the shade AND the base. Over Thanksgiving one year, WE broke a large vase that was given to my brother and his wife as a wedding gift. Last summer, an errant football flew through the air breaking a chandelier. On our last day of our vacation in Colorado, just when we thought we were changing our fate, I came downstairs to see my sister-in-law sweeping up glass in the kitchen. Yes, WE did. WE broke a snow globe that was purchased in Germany and given to the youngest daughter. Exhaling, “ahh, sad.”

Oh, the anticipation of our next trip. Let’s just hope the Striped One is there to make it all better.

*I use “WE” as not to cause unnecessary therapy in any one child’s adult life.