Thursday, November 30, 2006

 

She Is Going to Kill Me


This photo so aptly captures the story of my life that I just had to post.

You see, when I was three, I was a ‘girl-with-underwear-on-her-head’, just like Bekah. My mom often tells the story of when I was three and the repairman was at the house and I came out with HER underwear on my head – and the time she had friends over and I came out with my shirt full of walnuts and announced to the group “look at my knockers” (which begs the question – who taught me that word?)

But the photo captures more than just Bekah’s and my panache for the dorky. Look at Lexie – her eyes are sparkly, her hair is cute, her smile is perfect… just like my little sister, Stacey, always was.

Even at the earliest age, I knew that while I was rambunctiously charging through life, my sister was quietly going about things in her own way – a way that was always much more ‘cool’ than me.

My first recollection of this is when we both got gauchos. She got an orange pair and I got a blue pair. When she got home and added her white rainbow shirt, it was the most stunning outfit I had ever seen! I was so sad that I had boring blue that didn’t match anything I owned. A few months later, (when she was probably about four) she requested a Dorothy Hamill haircut. What four year old knows the name of a hair cut? Even back then, I knew I had an amazing trend spotter for a sister.

I, on the other hand, did not know a Dorothy Hamill from a gaucho. Not only was I not paying attention to fashion, I was busy making a fool of myself. Example? In 4th grade, I had a crush on a son of a friend of my mom’s. He was in 9th grade. Not one to sit back and go unnoticed by a boy many years older than me, I did what came as a natural solution to me - I wrote him a love letter.

I had my sister give it to him at our elementary school ice cream social. When she reported back to me, she said he looked confused (I bet he did – he probably had no idea who I was!). After thinking about it that evening, I got embarrassed that I had done it and was mortified. It did not; however, stop me from doing such stuff in the future. I have countless examples of times I have put myself out there, with varying degrees of success. My sister is reserved and private and I am vocal and public.

While I was in awe of how my sister could always look so good in photos, and dress so nicely and never said anything that was embarrassing, I don’t ever remember being sad that I am the way that I am. I have always wanted to be like her, but I have always liked being like me.

The way that I am has blessed me with many friends and exciting adventures. Did Stacey ever wish she were more like me? Before I had kids, I would have answered with a resounding ‘hell no’. But now that I watch Lexie relentlessly imitate Bekah, I might soften my response to a ‘maaaaybe’.

The other day, my sister and I were at lunch and I asked her to sign up for this on-line music thing that I do, so we could talk about music and watch what we are each listening to. She smiled prettily and told me that it didn’t sound right for her. Then I asked her to join Seattle Rotary with me “we can sit at breakfast, amongst the lawyers and accountants in power suits, and giggle. It will be so Gilmore Girlish”. Another pretty smile and a polite decline. I felt like I was three years old, with underwear on my head, jumping on the bed and yelling, ‘come on baby Stacey! Come and jump with me. Its FUUUUNNNNN' (which was what was exactly what was going on in the photo before Bekah saw the camera and sat down).

My sister and I approach life differently. Is one better than the other? No way. I think we both recognize the virtues in the other and appreciate ourselves.

As for the title of this post. You probably think I was referring to Rebekah when I wrote that. I suspect when Bekah is old enough, she’ll look back and shrug and say, ‘yeah, I put underwear on my head when I was little. So what?' If she ever reads what I wrote, she may agree or disagree, but think nothing of the fact I wrote it for the whole world to see. No, I was talking about my sister….. and maybe Lexie.

Sisterhood is a fabulously fascinating thing.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

 

This Evening's View from Our Back Porch


It snowed all day. Seattle should be a fun place tomorrow.

I love Seattle on a snowy day. Everything shuts down and everyone is in such a good mood. It is an automatic jeans day at the office. Nobody is going to do any work.

I love snow.

 

It's Snowing In Seattle



Saturday, November 25, 2006

 

That Police Officer Was Very Nice

I drove to Kennewick two days after getting the new car.

I got a speeding ticket.

Saturday morning, 4 am, we packed the sleeping girls into the car, I dropped Dave off at the airport and headed over to Eastern Washington.

At 6:30 am, I was the only car on the road as I entered Yakima. I crested the hill south of the bridge on I-84, saw the cop, checked my speedometer and cringed at what I saw…. 81 mph.

I so deserve a ticket. I know full well the two sticky speed traps on the road from Seattle to Kennewick. First, there is Cle Elum on I-90. My sister and I have a theory that nobody in Cle Elum works; they are able to support the entire town on the tickets they give intra-state speeders. The second speed trap is in Yakima when the speed limit drops from 70 to 60.

It was also Apple Cup weekend. I’ve known since I was about 14 that the police are out in full force on this famous Washington weekend.

The girls were sound asleep, but woke when they heard me say ‘shit’ and start to slow down. Both were wide-eyed and silent when the trooper approached the car.

He looked at me and then looked at the girls. They were in matching pink pajamas and very, very cute. They stared at him.

He smiled at them and said hello. This just made their eyes get bigger and them both get quieter.

“Do you know how fast you were going?” he asked me.

I decided that I wasn’t going to lie or be lame in front of my children, so I replied, “yes. I saw that I was a little under 80” (OK, so maybe a SMALL fib).

“Why were you going so fast?” he asked me.

“I don’t know” I said.

“How long have you had this car?”

“Two days”

“What did you drive before?”

“A 1995 GEO Prism”

“I imagine this SUV is a lot more smooth and powerful then your old car. That is probably why you were driving so fast”

“Yes, I think you’re right”

He proceeded to check my license (which I have not updated since I moved 18 months ago). He reminded me that failing to update your address on your license is a $110 fine. Then he asked for my proof of insurance (which USAA was supposed to email to me on Friday and never did). He reminded me that driving without of proof of insurance is another $150 fine.

He walked back to his car and stayed there for quite awhile.

“What is he doing, mommy?” Bekah asked from the backseat.

“He is writing a ticket for mommy” I explained to her.

He came back and said, “Well, I really have no choice but to give you a ticket, but I wrote it for 70 instead of 81. That will save you $60 and I’ll overlook the license and insurance this time”

“Thank you” I said (and really, really meant it)

He said good-bye, smiled and waved to the girls.

As we drove away, Rebekah declared, “that police officer was very nice”.

Indeed.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

 

Good Night Mommy’s New Car

Well, after 11 years, 165,000 miles, several fender benders, two transmissions and one break-in, I finally bought a new car. It can never be said that I am a car-horse.

The girls were both terribly excited. When we pulled into the garage, they asked if they could play in it “if they promised not to touch any buttons”. When I say ‘they asked’, I mean, Rebekah asked and Lexie nodded her head as convincingly as she could.

As I was carrying Rebekah down the hallway to bed that evening, I opened the garage door and said, “goodnight mommy’s new car”. Rebekah laughed and stuck her head into the dark garage and called out, “Goodnight daddy’s truck. Have fun with your new friend”.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

 

See Ya Later Crocodile

When I pick Bekah up from school, her departing ritual is to say a loud “see you later crocodile” to her classroom. They all holler back “see you later crocodile”. I love this.

I have always been a big fan of altering the English language and syntax in creative ways. For example, I like to use the term “For your FYI" when I am passionately trying to get my point across but do not want to appear obstinate. I also like to swap out “what” in place of “who” or “that”. This probably stems from my love of the saying “you gotta dance with the one what brung ya”.

When Bekah first learned to talk, she and I would play a game when I left for work. I would give her a cheerful “see you later calculator!” and she would respond with “see you later evalator” (her version of elevator). I’d mix it up with things like “see you later escalator” “see you later radiator” One time I threw in a “see you later masturbator” to which I earned a stern look of disapproval from my husband.

Somewhere along the line, Bekah commandeered that saying and put her own spin on it. When I say, “see you later calculator” She says “See you later crocodile”. I think this is infinitely cute, but I think the fact that all of the kids in her class copy her is even more cute.

A few weeks ago, I took her over to our babysitters house. We have three sisters that baby-sit for us. They are very sweet girls. That day, however, they had a friend of a friend or a neighbor or something over. I can’t remember her name, so I’ll call her Britney.

Britney was 13, but primped, dressed and built like a 22 year old. When I picked up the girls, I gathered their things and then said, “OK, say goodbye to everyone”

Bekah waved at everyone and said, “see you later crocodile”.

This prompted Britney to make a sound. I can’t describe the sound except to say that it was sass – sass like only a 13 year old can sass.

“It’s not see you later crocodile” she said to us in disgust. “It is see you later AL….I….. GA….TOR” she finished as if we were morons.

I paused only briefly to marvel at how, even after being out of middle school for two decades, being made fun of by a pretty girl still stings so painfully.

But my mommy powers came to the rescue and without skipping a beat, I smiled at her with a genuinely warm smile and said, “WE like to say see you later crocodile”. I looked down at Rebekah and smiled.

“Yeah” she said, “WE like to say see you later CWOK……O……. DILE” Then she looked at me and said with all of her first born, red headed spunk, “Let’s go mommy”.

As we were walking out of the house, I got caught up in the whole Disney-Channel-mommy-daughter-girl-power giddiness of it all. I whispered to Bekah “give it up” and stuck out my fist. She obliged and knocked knuckles with me.

I am happy to report that our leaving school ritual is still intact and includes a chorus of three year olds cheering “See you later crocodile!”

Saturday, November 04, 2006

 

Ideas and Experiments

Today I was playing on the floor with the girls. I watched Baby Lexie as she stood still for a minute, clearly contemplating something. Suddenly, her whole body stiffened, and without bending anywhere, she fell, timber-style onto the carpet. She didn’t like that experiment one bit and ended up crying on my lap for a good three minutes.

That little episode reminded me of a conversation I had had with Rebekah a few days earlier. As I was putting her in her car seat after school, I noticed she had a slight black eye. When I asked her about it, she explained, “Jenna and me bonked heads”.

I said, “oh dear! Were you running and hit each other?”

She replied, “no, we wanted to bonk heads and then we cried and cried”

“You wanted to bonk heads?” I tried to clarify.

“Yes, we wanted to but then we cried and cried”

This intrigued me. “Which one of you suggested that you bonk heads?” I asked her.

The only response I could get was a curious “Mommy, what does gi-gested mean?”

I supposed I will never know which three year old first suggested that they bonk heads, but it reminded me of another story I heard many years ago.

We had a sexual harassment seminar at work and the attorney who presented the class told us of a client she had represented. Apparently, two co-workers, who were both married, had sex on their boss’ desk (with each other) and video taped it.

This story, like Rebekah’s, makes me wonder, how does that conversation start? I mean, how does someone come up to a co-worker and say, ‘hey, I have an idea……”

This story has more twist to it though. The reason they were caught is because the perpetrator sold the video to a friend of his. His friend, in turn, sold a copy of the video to a co-worker. The co-worker just happened to be the husband of the woman who was on the desk.

Perhaps I am just a major prude, but if one of my friends ever approached me and asked if I wanted to buy a video tape of them having sex with a co-worker on their boss’ desk, I am fairly certain I would scratch them off my friend list.

In addition, who asks a co-worker, “hey, you have any homemade porn I can buy off you?”

I don’t know, maybe this happens all the time and I’m just naive. Maybe like falling flat on your face or bonking heads with another person, there are just things you are drawn to try for some inexplicable reason.

Human nature is an interesting thing.

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