Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Working for the man little people

Many people enjoy (or, in some cases, tolerate) their jobs because of the variety they afford. Different tasks, challenges and situations break up the monotony of the work week, and provide an advantage to some jobs over others.

I'm willing to bet my job is about as varied as they come. Various tasks? Check. A multitude of challenges? Check. New situations on a regular basis? Check.

Of course my job requires many roles typically associated with being a "housewife" or, as we say today, a stay-at-home mom. I clean toilets. I prepare meals. And I look at loads and loads of laundry without screaming or giving my two weeks notice.

However, there is probably more variety to my position as chief executive keeper of some semblance of order in our household than some may realize. Here's the inside track to help enlighten the world.

  • Sometimes I'm patron of the arts. I "ooh" and "aaahh" over some of the most abstract masterpieces ever created. Supporting the arts is a critical aspect of my position, as is encouraging open mindedness in viewing others artwork. Siblings aren't always the most positive in critiquing the work of their peers.

  • Sometimes I'm an audience. Clapping and admiring the stunts and talents of some very creative minds. Who knew a "water nugget" involves sliding down our playset's enclosed spiral slide while dumping a bucket of water on yourself? I had a first row seat to its inception.

  • Sometimes I'm a teacher. These little minds are so full of curiosity and exuberance, there are very few situations that aren't ripe for teaching. A skunk tale turns into pulling our animal encyclopedia off the shelf for some breakfast reading which turns into a daylong discussion of skunks. This is how they learn.

  • Sometimes I'm a dance coach. Little girls equal dancing. And dancing. And more dancing. They twirl and turn somersaults daily.

  • Sometimes I'm a cheerleader. Encouraging Alena, Alivia, Trace and Alysse to each try new things and retry old things which may have been difficult. There's so much uncharted territory, there's always urging on to do, even if it means your foot might be used as a urinal.

  • Sometimes I'm a human global positioning system (GPS). Can't find your high falutin' stuffed dog's open-toe black heel? Mom knows where it's hiding. Missing your High School Musical ink pen? Mom can find it. Lost your toy drill bit needed for disassembling and reassembling your CAT front loader? Whine and mom will make it magically appear.

  • Sometimes I'm the director of a nudist colony. Who needs clothes? Apparently not our children. I try not to squash their abandon while enjoying the nakedness; however, attempt not to offend anyone but our immediate neighbors.

    So, those interested in a truly varied workplace might start looking into my line of work. I'd love to read the listing.

  • Friday, July 17, 2009

    TGIF for little people

    A beautiful Friday for ...

    bug catching :: We've yet to identify our winged prisoner, but he won't last long around these bug observers.

    swinging :: Higher and higher. "More mom, more." My arms have unmatched pushing endurance.

    emergency medical procedures :: Removal of some sort of splinter from Alivia's foot. Considering she's spent most of the last two months barefoot, one related injury isn't bad. And I take full responsibility for her hillbilly ways (it's learned from her mother). All too soon it will be too cool to feel the grass beneath your feet. Enjoy it now.

    digging :: Dirt, rocks, bugs ... all will do. The day's digging equipment loss reached two broken shovels and one decimated bucket.

    dare devil riding :: This one has emergency room written all over it. It did, however, spark debate ... which is more dangerous, crazy downhill rides or standing on swings?

    weather forecasting :: A four-year-old tribute to WLWT's weekend morning meteorologist, Randi Rico. I'm telling you, I only capture footage of the drama already in play, where she gets these things, I haven't yet figured out. If country music star falls through, I suppose she's always got weather reporting to fall back on.

    Thursday, July 16, 2009

    Swing batter, batter

    Much time is spent around here channeling energy. Energy that manifests itself in singing, shouting, playing, running, fighting, talking, dancing and talking. Most days, there's more energy than we know what to do with.

    Tonight, however, a discovery was made. A delightful way to channel the talking energy that never seems to be lacking. "Swing batter, batter. Swing."

    Yes, they stood behind home plate, chittering and chattering as the players took the plate at Jason's softball game.

    I'm sure the opposing team "loved" them. I'm sure Jason's team "loved" them, as they didn't discriminate between the home team and the guests. They also couldn't hold their applause when the opponents' bats met the ball. There's a lesson for another day.

    Operator, operator

    Should you call our house, this might be on the other end of the telephone ...
    completely unbeknownst to you. It's his phone hat (and his taking his sister to preschool hat).

    Monday, July 13, 2009

    I smell pool water

    Those were the first words out of Alivia's mouth when we entered Boomerang Bay this morning. And, she was happy to be smelling it.

    She was also happy to climb the two flights of stairs up to the top of a Jackeroo Landing water slide for the trip down at least a dozen and a half times. The joy of water slides.

    Even the smallest pool goers found slides little enough for them, along with bubbling water and mushrooms to play in.

    Saturday, July 11, 2009

    Because it's funny ...

    and he ate the entire thing!

    Monday, July 6, 2009

    What's in our cart

    Okay, Jungle Jim's is the spot to score primo produce, drool over a Wusthof santoku knife and select your own live clams. We've done these things. A fresh sushi case and an acre of produce are grocery shopping norms to our kids.

    But, every once in a while we bring home something that surprises even us. Here's one of those things ...

    No, not a toy. Isn't a cookie either. Give up?

    It's cheese. Yes, giraffe cheese. Giraffe-shaped cheese that was carefully chosen over the other parrot and monkey options, by the way.

    Alivia wanted to hold it once we returned home until "it gets hot." I insisted we keep it in the refrigerator "where people keep cheese." We've agreed that it will be cubed for lunch one day. Do we think that's going to go well?

    Sunday, July 5, 2009

    Griswolds, glow sticks and fireworks

    There's nothing like watching fireworks at Fairfield's Harbin Park. Situated above the rest of the city, it's large enough to easily accommodate the crowd and puts the show right above you, leaving you to brush off the pyrotechnic shrapnel after the last boom has deadened.

    Arriving early enough to secure one of the few remaining parking spaces nearby gave us a chance to enjoy the music of The Rusty Griswolds. Ahhh, music of the 80s. Music that our children don't know. "What's the 80s?," they asked. But, they loved it nevertheless. They danced ...

    and danced some more.

    When their legs got tired, their imaginations kicked in. Like ... how many silly things can you do with those magical glow sticks that are never absent from Fourth of July celebrations?

    When the main show started, it all stopped. The giggles and shrieks fell silent while they took in the color and sparkle. Silence ... it doesn't come often.