Wednesday, November 26, 2008

So Much to Be Thankful for:

As I look back through the past year, I see so many changes in my family. Sure, there is the obvious ~ we have a Beautiful and very Healthy Granddaughter!

But there are also the little things:

The daughter has learned the value of motherhood. She is beginning to realize that being a "mom" is a lot more than a title ... it is a HUGE responsibility. She is beginning to value every moment that I am home from work, and she is beginning to realize that when I say "I'm tired" - it doesn't mean that I want to lie down and go to sleep ... I just want to lie down!

Our drama queen is learning the value of an education. It has taken almost 10 years of schooling, but she has finally "learned" that school is not the place where she goes to meet her friends, but it is the place where she goes to learn! Sure, we still get the daily phone calls ... "This is SPHS calling to inform you that your child was late/absent from one or more periods today ..." but it is a GREAT feeling to know that the absence is for a legite reason ~ she was with her Drama Team ~ performing in front of her classmates!

Xboy ... the apple of my eye ... The Straight "A" student - the Trumpeteer and the Third Baseman for his Little League Team! Honestly, if the only thing that I can complain about is too much video games and occasional glare; I think I'm pretty damn lucky! Hey, at least he's not out there running the streets, smoking, drinking or getting some naive girl pregnant!

... and then there is the Curmudgeon - Cranky Ol' Gramps: Yes, he is a perfectionist - he can NEVER be wrong, he ALWAYS has to win and all the beer really knows how to stink up a room; He is a Great Husband, a Loving Father and a Silly~Goofy Singing Grandpa! We may not always see eye to eye or agree about anything, but I know that his love for me and my family is real! I truly love this man!

This Thanksgiving, I have so very much to be thankful for ... I have three beautiful/wonderful Children, an adorable Grandaughter and a doting Husband. I have a great job, decent health, a safe and pleasant community in which to live

... and whether you are Black or White, Rich or Poor, Gay or Straight ... I am Thankful that I Live in a Country Where I am Free to Express My Frustrations, Opinions and Gratitude to a bunch of online strangers who can remind me to find the humor in my "troubles".

For you, I am Thankful!
Happy Thanksgiving 2008.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Things That Make ME Go ... Hmmmm!

"granny--I love you, but you don't know what you're talking about; Xbox is God's gift to humankind."

If the Xbox is God's gift to humankind, than what am I? Chopped Liver?!?!

Followed by, and again, I quote:

"I would be perfectly happy if my wife and I were the only two people on earth. She could putter around Asia during the day while I tinkered in Africa. Then, we could meet back in South America in the evenings to watch baseball on the couch. I could go for that."

We could be on separate continents during the day, and then meet back in the evening for baseball? And then, I have to play second to the XBox - and let's not forget the beer!?!?

Somewhere between these words, I am to find a self described crotchity old curmudgeon ... aka... my husband who insists to the world that "He Loves Me Most!" The man that I married seven years ago; somehow has disappeared ~ who knows where he went to, but perhaps he too has been swallowed by The Old Woman who Swallowed the Fly.

(a song that HE sings to our adorable granddaughter almost every night.)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Xboy: Batteries Not Included

While we are waiting for the new granddaughter to grow up, I think it is time to profile Xboy, our son, the youngest of the three.

Xboy stays with his mother during the week, but comes to us on the weekends and for a good portion of the summer. While he is with us, he thinks it is his God-given right to spend 98-percent of his time playing Xbox. The other 2-percent is to be spent leaving clothes and dishes around the house. He believes it is an act of child abuse if we do not allow this.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I should say here that I enjoy the Xbox as much as anyone. If I had a job that required me to play video games all day, I would willingly work overtime. Therefore, it is easy for me to allow Xboy to burn images of animated carnage onto his retinas for hours on end.

Yet, as much as I hate the idea, I do have to think like an adult sometimes. The rational part of my brain recognizes that there are important things like homework, chores, exercise, showers and the dreaded “family time.” (From our kids’ reactions, you would think that spending time with their family was the equivalent of throwing them into an arena full of lions.)

So, nearly every weekend, the following conversation inevitably occurs:

Gramps: Xboy, your mom is coming to get you at 6. You need to be ready to go by 5.
Xboy: (eyes not looking up from screen) Okay.
Gramps: Also, Granny asked you to clean the bathroom this morning. You haven’t done it yet. You need to do that immediately.
Xboy: Okay.
Gramps: Are you listening to me?
Xboy: Okay.
Gramps: The house is on fire. You’ll die if you don’t leap up and run out the back door right this second.
Xboy: Okay.
Gramps: (physically turning Xboy’s head so he is looking at me) Clean the bathroom now.

At this point, the situation begins to deteriorate. There is a great stomping of feet and numerous mutterings of outrage over the injustice of life in such a fascist home. I know that if I am not actually physically present to oversee the cleaning of the bathroom, it will not get done. That means I have the privilege of spending quality time with a hostile teenager who is working very hard to do the least amount of work possible.

It is likely that Granny, knowing my own fondness for the Xbox, will protest. She would tell you that I almost never forcibly pull Xboy away from his video games, and am in fact, an accomplice of his. Granny hates the Xbox. She would prefer that the console were stuffed into the garbage disposal (and she has a fondness for putting odd things in the garbage disposal, but that’s another story). So I don’t think she is an impartial witness.

But the truth is that my biggest struggles with Xboy are about his failure to do what he needs to do properly because he would rather play. There are weekends that I would like to take that boy, the child of my loins, and pound him into pudding with a potato masher. So far, I haven’t. I’ve heard they don’t give you beer in prison.

So, now, it is time for me to wrap this up so I can go home for lunch and play the...I mean, so I can fold laundry.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Pay No Attention to That Man Behind the Curtain

Who would have known that a tiny little baby can bring a grown man to tears? And not just any grown man, but my husband ... the man who hates people, the man who hates kids, the man who if he had his way; would be the ONLY man to grace the planet Earth.

But within the past 2-3 weeks, I have seen just that. My husband has become a blubbering fool. Take this weekend for example. Saturday morning, Gramps decided that he wanted to surprise our little mommy with an outfit for the Granddaughter. Now, please understand - Gramps HATES the mall - HATES anything to do with spending money. But, would you believe that Gramps spent money?!? (Granted, it was my money) but HE spent at least two hours walking in and out of stores trying to find the perfect outfit for his lil' peanut.

And then, there was Saturday night: In order to give Mommy a rest, The Granddaughter is sometimes sleeping with Granny and Gramps. During a middle of the night diaper changing - with baby wailing and legs in the air; The Granddaughter lets one rip - we are not talking urine here, folks. What does Gramps do? Nothing! He thinks it is cute! Cute? How is feces on a bedspread cute?

This is not my husband! He sings cutsie songs! He talks in baby talk! He forgets all about me - and it is all about the baby! (I'm not complaining on that last point, I'm just saying ...)

What it boils down to is this: Gramps is a softie! This lil' girl has come into our homes and turned him into a big blob of mush! Again, Pay No Attention to That Man Behind the Curtain ... He is not what he appears to be!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Two and Counting

My granddaughter is two weeks old today, and she's still adorable.

Just sayin'.