Wednesday, September 26, 2012

the art of communication, and other stuff

One of the funniest things I have observed in my lifetime is how kids learn to communicate.  From that first "dada" to " Dad can I have the car tonight?" they spend their whole lives trying to get their ideas across to parents and grandparents in a way that will score them what they seek.  My grands are no different, and a couple recent incidents proved that to me.

I got a call the other day.  Normally this would be fine, but I had a busy week at work and had laid down to catch a quick nap in the early afternoon on Saturday.  Just as  drifted into lala land, my phone rang.  Because I am on call on the weekends, I had to answer the phone.  I was not a happy camper.

It was Maddie.  Practicing her phone skills.  On me.  When I least felt like assisting her.  But because I adore her, I decided I would make the effort.  And I did.  Sort of.

Maddie: hey Grammy!
Me: hey Maddie.
Maddie: whatcha doin?
(I hate this question, usually from Stevie Wonder, when it is obvious what I am doing because he is standing looking at me.  Then I realized Maddie couldn't see me, so I calmed down.)
Me: well I was taking a nap.
Maddie: where is Gramps?  (this was when I realized it was Gramps she wanted to talk to and I was her second choice.)
Me: he went to town to do some shopping.
Maddie: oh.
Me: what are you doing?
Maddie: well I am sitting here watching TV and decided I was going to call and see how you and Gramps were.
Me: oh.  (At this point I am done assisting her with her phone skills and I let dead air take over.  I am going to kill this call with silence.  I also hear Jen snickering in the background on the other end.)
Maddie: (after a long pause) well I guess I will let you go Grammy.  Tell Gramps I called.
Me: ok Mad I will.
Maddie: oh, and tell him I love him!
Me: ok Mad I will.
Maddie: and umm...I love you too Grammy!
Me: I love you too Mad. Bye.
Maddie: bye!!

Maybe you are thinking I failed at facilitating this conversation, but as sleepy as I was, Maddie was lucky I did more than grunt a few "uh huhs".

That same weekend, Steve and Jim double teamed me and set John in motion.  John loves to give kisses.  He sucks in his cheeks and makes big fishy lips, and will smack you with those fish lips, right in the mouth.  No cheek sugar for this boy.  I usually love to get these fish kisses, but on Saturday, Steve had John in the garden, and gave him a tomato, which John proceeded to eat, like an apple.  By the time he made it to the house, he had the tomato in a death grip in his hand half eaten  There was tomato juice puddled in his hand, and running down his arm I noticed.  The juice was dripping on the carpet I noticed.  Jim came in the door right behind John.  I was sitting on the couch. 

Jim: give Grammy a kiss John.
SW: yeah big boy give your Grammy a big kiss.
(This was all the encouragement John needed.  I looked up at his face as he came toward me.  And noticed tomato juice and seeds on his face, dripping off his chin.  I draw the line at second hand food, and threw my arms out and said "NO!" in a loud voice.  It was pure instinctive reaction.  And I saw John's mouth drop open in shock and disbelief.  And dismay.  That was when I realized he had never been denied a kiss.  And at the same time I realized I wasn't going to be the first one to tell him no, and make him cry.)

Me: ok, come give Grammy a kiss... (I braced myself)
John: ok! kiss!  (and he proceeded with a big grin and gave me a big wet kiss, which left me with tomato juice and seeds on my face, dripping off of my chin...)
Me: oh that was the BEST kiss ever!  (ok, sometimes a Grammy has to lie to salvage the conversation...and all this time Jim and SW were laughing their heads off, enjoying it all a bit too much.)

What a Grammy won't do for her grand up sleep and hygiene for them...that is dedication...

I am adding this last picture because it means so much to me...a recent trip Jen and I made to California.  She was on business, and joined me at my sister's house, then we flew home together.  Usually I am flying solo, so this was a treat.  So was watching her purchase a blanket and pillow, then realizing she had to inflate herself when we got to our seats.  Priceless. :D is good. ~cath
find me @jonesbabie on Twitter

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

the most unkindest cut of all

Marcus Antonius:
For Brutus, as you know, was Caesar's angel.
Judge, O you gods, how dearly Caesar lov'd him!
This was the most unkindest cut of all;
For when the noble Caesar saw him stab,
Ingratitude, more strong than traitors' arms,
Quite vanquish'd him: then burst his mighty
heart. . . .
Julius Caesar Act 3, scene 2, 181–186

When I think of this passage of Shakespeare, it isn't treachery and murder I think about.  
I think about my hair.  Specifically I am thinking about a week or so ago, when we were getting ready to go to Stevie Wonder's family reunion.  I thought I was in pretty good shape hair wise, until the weekend before when Wretch came to spend the night with us.  And made the comment that started me down the slippery slope of hair doom.

"Mom I liked your hair better when you had it spiked.  When you wear it like this, you look like you have old lady hair."

I'd left my hair a bit longer the past two cuts.  Just for a change.  I thought it looked snazzy.  Until Wretch's comment.  Then the night before the family reunion, I looked in the mirror and saw...

...old lady hair...  I was going to leave it alone, I truly was.  

But I made the mistake of storing my hair scissors on the bathroom sink.  Right in front of my eyes.  I thought maybe just a trim.  Then I remembered the scene in The Banger Sisters, when Susan Sarandon throws off the yoke of middle class humdrummity she has mired in, and gives herself a choppy cute hair cut.  With a pair of scissors.  I thought to myself if she could do it, then so could I.  I grabbed the scissors and started cutting.
I forgot one small detail.  The Banger Sisters was a movie.  Pretend.  Fake.  Susan Sarandon didn't cut her own hair.  Some expensive Hollywood hair stylist did it and then they put the scissors in her hand to make it look like she cut her own hair.  It was faked to look that way.  But that never entered my mind at the fateful moment I picked up the scissors.  All I could see was the end result.  That I would miraculously be able to take no training or talent in hair design and turn it into a cut that looked like it cost a fortune. 

I chopped on it.  Then chopped some more.  I noticed it was uneven and so I evened the sides up.  I cut the back by feel.  Blind.  Without looking at what I was doing.  By the time I finished, it didn't look too bad.  I put plenty of hair goop and sprays and stuff in it and the next day at the reunion it looked passable.  Sort of.  If you didn't look too closely at the holes in it.

The problem for me was that for the next week, I kept trimming.  Here and there, I would notice another spot.  So I would trim a little more.  I became obsessive with it.  

My hair gets shorter every day.  Stevie Wonder offered me the dog clippers yesterday to finish it off.

I huffed and gave him the nastiest look I could muster.

I just wonder how I am going to grow enough hair to have for Vix to beautify me when I get to California in two weeks.  She's going to kill me when she sees it.  Right after she laughs in my face. is good. ~cath find me @jonesbabie on Twitter

Saturday, September 15, 2012

granny pigs and wooden teeth

Today I realized that my future son-in-law Michael, and his daughter Hailey fit in just perfectly with our family and our skewed view of the world.

We were sitting on the couch, lined up like ducks in a row. I was stretched out on the lounge chair, semi-awake. The discussion between Michael and Hailey was about someone's guinea pigs, and something about a rabbit, and someone kissing either the rabbit or the guinea pig. My ears started listening at that point. This is just the kind of conversation I hear around here all the time. When Michael said something about the rabbit being put in the same cage as the guinea pigs, and one of the guinea pigs biting another guinea pig and making it squeal, I added my two cents worth.

Me: one of our kids used to call them granny pigs.
Michael: (laughing) granny pigs...
Me: Maddie you need to brush your teeth when you finish that tootsie roll pop.
Maddie: (smiling at me with blue teeth) why?
Me: because your teeth are blue.
Maddie: so is my tongue.
Me: Maddie! You only get one set of permanent teeth and they have to last the rest of your life.

Gramps decides to help me convince her at this point.

Gramps: yes Maddie, if you don't take care of them, you end up having to get new teeth like me. I have had several teeth replaced you know.
Maddie: (rolling her eyes in an I know it all and you can't scare me into brushing my teeth kind of way) YES, I know Gramps, you got a gold tooth, and a wooden tooth.

At this point Steve and Michael look at each other and burst into laughter. I roll my eyes and realize my whole attempt to teach serious dental care to Maddie just went out the window. is good. ~cath

Friday, September 7, 2012

caesar's glory

 {this moment} - A Friday ritual.  Photos - no words - capturing a moment from the week.  A moment in time I want to capture, to savor and remember.

“This Moment” is a ritual I found on Pamanner's Blog, via Life inspired by the Wee Man adopted from SouleMama.  Check out their blogs, and if you are moved too, please leave a link to your Moment in the comment box below.

 is good. ~cath  

find me @jonesbabie on Twitter