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    Friday, May 30, 2008

    Public Service Announcement

    Last week, Megan DeMaria offered her family’s saying, “No sense being dumb if you don’t show it” as comfort for my humbled state. Well, this week I have to say, “No sense being dumb if other people can’t learn from your mistakes.” And so, my public service announcement:

    When you go to an automatic car wash and they give you damp towels to clean the inside of your car while you’re vehicle is pummeled by high powered hoses and thick foam, by all means wipe down your dashboard, steering wheel, and seats. But please don’t clean the buttons that control your automatic windows. This is simply not smart. However, if you do unwisely choose to scrub these buttons with your towel and the inevitable occurs, please have the presence of mind to calmly and quickly ROLL YOUR WINDOW BACK UP. Screaming and ducking will not do any good.

    I hope this little reminder is helpful to those of you who share my accident-prone nature. Maybe it’s a lack of foresight that gets me into these jams. Whatever the case may be, at least I know I can kill two birds with one stone. On busy days when I haven’t had time to shower, I can always go through the car wash with my windows down. Hey, I bet I could bathe the kids that way too!

    Tuesday, May 20, 2008

    Dunderbunny Strikes Again

    When I was little and would get myself into scrapes by not using my noggin, my mom and older brother would affectionately call me “Dunderbunny.” While never as impulsive as my son, Captain ADHD, I still managed to act without thinking a little more often than one might expect.

    However, now that I am a responsible, almost-thirty mother, my fluffy-headed alter ego is gone for good. Or so I thought until today.

    Now, before I tell you what I did, let me tell you my private, prideful opinion of myself. I think I’m smart. Yep. I do. I have reasons. Want to hear them?

    1. I managed to graduate from college magna cum laude after giving birth to the first prince of Denmark thereby submitting myself to eternal servitude of His Majesty the Great and Drooling Monkey.
    2. I am married to an engineer. Engineers cannot abide stupid people. Therefore, I must be smart.
    3. My mommy has always told me I’m brilliant, and who could be more unbiased than her?

    They’re good reasons, huh? Now, I know I’m not a rocket scientist, but I’ve always thought I was on the curvy side of the bell. As it turns out, I’m flatter than I thought, intellectually speaking.

    Today I got into the car to take Monkey to school, opened the garage door, and backed out. Problem: my friend Kim’s Expedition was right behind me. Dunderbunny strikes again! Yes, I crunched her car and my van, but I couldn't have picked a nicer person to hit. She assured me that her schedule was open for a fender bender at this time and made it sound like I’d done her a favor by hitting her car today instead of yesterday or next week.

    My husband didn’t find my timing quite so convenient, which goes to show you, there really never is a good time to be stupid. I guess I better try some IQ builders. Maybe if I wag my head from side to side that’ll beef up my brain muscles. No, that’s not working. I feel dizzy.

    Thursday, May 8, 2008

    The World According to Chunky

    As you already know, Chunky is my youngest son. He began earning his nickname minutes after he was born. Whereas big brother barely eats enough to keep a bird alive, Chunky came into this world with a healthy appetite. He was a roley-poley baby, but at four, he’s lost most of his baby fat. Still, next to his string bean brother, he looks like a dumpling, so the nickname remains.

    God blessed my little guy with a great big heart. I remember sitting in a waiting room with him when he was a toddler. A baby was crying, and Chunky insisted that I “kiss baby.” He was so adamant that it took some convincing to keep him from hauling me over to the wailing child.

    We knew pretty early that Chunky had inherited his Mommy’s and Grandmommy’s creativity. He loves to tell stories and listen to stories. Mom and I consider him an official collaborator on our turtle and dragon kids’ books. Roger the turtle is one of his best friends, and Chunky is constantly inspiring me with his love of this imaginary character.

    When Chunky was in the throes of potty-training, he also became fascinated with the concept of family. Everything was a family, blocks, trees, cups, whatever. Even his socks were brothers according to him. One day I accompanied him on one of his more time-consuming trips to the bathroom. When he was finally finished, he surveyed his accomplishment. A look of excitement spread on his face and he said, “Mommy, they’re a family!” Then his little face fell and he said, “But, they stink.” We flushed the unfortunate family, and they were never heard from again.

    Chunky is an extraordinary little boy, but he definitely possesses that mysterious power of knowing exactly how to irritate his older brother beyond what he can endure. Tussles are common in our house. In fact, the first thing the boys do upon waking up is have a wrestling match, on Mommy and Daddy’s bed, while Mommy and Daddy are still in it. They’re far more effective than an alarm clock could ever be. But people tell me that one day soon, they won’t want to even be in the same room with their parents. So, for now, I’ll try to enjoy my morning ritual of a yank on the hair, a kick to the gut, and a screech in the ear. After all, nothing says ‘I love you’ like a teeth-rattling elbow to the jaw. Just ask any first grade boy.