Friday, January 18, 2008


Or "How I Got Suckered Into Watching Alvin and the Chipmunks"

Yesterday before I left the house at 6:20am, I checked the kids' school's website to see if they had a snow day. There was no mention of it, and it's generally right there at the top, so I scraped the ice chunklets off my windshield, hopped in the car, and blithely drove over, thinking it would be the usual morning routine of discouraging Jack from playing with the noisy toys before 7am and reminding Mary Liz that gremlins on the floor will not eat up all the crumbs she's dropping. I'd get them to school at 7:45 or so, cruise back south to my house, and take a nap.


The snow day call came at 6:22, too late for their mom to call me and tell me to stay home a bit longer, too early for...well, simply too early. DRAT!

Thus began the longest day of my entire life, unless you count that time I was stuck on a boat to Sardinia.

(Don't ask.)

I determined that we should spend a good portion of the day at my place partly because there were things here that I needed desperately to get done (and I was on the clock until 9pm at least, not exactly an option to put it off until evening) and partly because our backyard has a small hill which is ideal for kids being able to sled in the frigid air while adults remain indoors and drink lots of coffee. (They kept asking me why I didn't want to go sledding with them, and I told them that I'm a big wimp. End of story.) The only snag is that the kids, having more toys than the Olsen twins at age seven, now find my trunk full of toys to be paltry and uninspiring, so much so that when they were here last time and I encouraged Mary Liz to use her imagination since I don't have any Littlest Pet Shop toys, she started weeping. Which, honestly, was actually kind of funny, except, you know, not to her. She was clearly being TORTURED! How could I expect her to live without an acceptable range of branded toys within her reach at all times? What was this IMAGINATION of which I was speaking? MAKE IT STOP!!!

So I let the kids each bring one backpack full of their own toys, promised them we'd go to the movies in the afternoon, and everyone was happy.


Except that earlier their mom had told them that she simply couldn't manage sitting through an entire feature length film full of talking chipmunks, and when she suggested that perhaps I would be willing to do that, they took that as Mary Definitely Will Take Us! and haven't given up the idea since then. That was pre-Christmas. I decided to be a giver this one time and promised them that if they were good, we'd see it. If they were only okay, we'd see something else. If they were terrible, they could just sit on the couch with nothing to do while I had wild dance parties by myself in the Forbidden Bedroom. (The Forbidden Bedroom is actually just my bedroom, which I reserve the right to have all to myself and also as a sanctuary for cats who are tired of the kid-fueled nonsense and want a cozy place to rest undisturbed. Jack and Mary Liz have a very hard time with this, but I stand firm.) Though I was half-hoping they'd be naughty enough to choose another film (though not naughty enough to not go at all), they were good-ish, so we went.

And it. Was. VERY PAINFUL. Both kids loved it, of course, so part of the pain was having to listen to various renditions of all the songs in the car for the rest of the day. When it was all over, they went on and on and on about how fabulous and wonderful and funny and downright awesome it was, and wasn't this the best movie ever? Wasn't it, Mary?? They were baffled by my response of, "Well, I'm really glad you both loved it, but it's just not my cup of tea. Which is fine, because not everybody likes the same things, and besides, I am a boring grown-up." Jack was still trying to wrap his head around it this morning, still shaking his head and muttering, "I just don't get how you can not like a movie like that."

I'm hoping he'll be over it by Monday.


Jennifer said...

HAha... yaaa... the toy obsession is not cool. I'm toying (heh) with the idea of COUNTing like inventory all of Anna's toys for a blog post and I KNOW I will be totally shamed by the total. It is ridiculous, ESP since we have only bought like 3 non-book items for her in her life. Seriously. Just another thing of how overmuch we have compared to others. Anywho... it is depressing to me most of the time.

The number of speeches I gave about not wanting this to happen didn't seem to have any impact on the outcome. I'm considering goign through her room at random and doing a huge thin out. We'll see. If it turns out to work better for Niamh, if people wil not buy her mountains of poop, and Anna can just share her mountain, or split it, Solomon style, then maybe it will work out.. but as it is... geez...

the singing in the car will be less painful someday when it is your own kids, really it will. well, at least maybe. :)

and don't you loooove missing important messages by 2 minutes? that's my favourite.

oh- and did you get my card?

Shiz said...

Ugh. Chipmunks. I can't imagine.