Friday, December 3, 2010

7-Year Old Pre-empts Tooth Fairy

I need to start out by saying I had no idea my husband kept a Blair Witch cigar box in a secret desk drawer in his office. In this empty cigar box, where one might find say, actual cigars, or old-school, something like pencils, his has various remnants of the Things. For example, Thing One and Thing Two have now lost a number of baby teeth. (They are 7.) Not only are they in the box, but tucked inside baggies, dated, cataloged and named per which Thing. There was also a baggie of blond hair. Here I can only imagine how he must have scooped up some remains after Thing One’s first haircut. I wonder now if the stylist thought it odd he was picking up hair as it was being swept up.

As I dug further into the box I found a bag of fish bones.  These were not little bones shoved in a baggie, like that wouldn’t already be weird, but the entire skeleton of 4 or 5 fish he clearly filleted on one of their fishing expeditions.  I never go. Unless there is a 5-star hotel involved I don’t really go on kid outings.  Back in the day, with my first born, this same husband talked me into going camping.  Something I had never done in my life and never planned on. I could certainly end my years on this planet without such a disgusting trip. But he made it very pleasant. The tent was the size of our backyard, replete with foamy beds, rocking chairs, tables, an espresso machine, a stove, pots, pans, nutritious food and of course junk food I can’t go very far without, cookies, chips, chocolate bars and gallons of bottled water. He’s incredibly thoughtful that way.  When we arrived I waited in the car until everything was set up and I could enter the house tent and read glossy magazines. To my credit, I did go without bathing or washing for two days and busted two kids for lighting matches in the woods.

After I found the fish bones, I had to stop looking. What next, nail clippings??

The reason I opened this box is because I wanted to see the note my daughter, Thing One, wrote to the tooth fairy, having just lost a molar and knew she would be coming.  I have it here:

“Dear Tooth Fairy, this tooth is one of a kind and it’s also one of my favorites. It would cost about 5000 dollars (where she got this street value god only knows.) I also want to ask you if you would like to be pen pals.   Write back.  Sincerely, E.R.V.  (flip with an arrow)

“I’m also a one of a kind friend and I’m the only kid who truly believes in you and Santa Claus. Please please please please please! Make a note back to me once you take my tooth. Okay?”

My husband and I always forget the tooth thing, because once we get them into bed, it’s all we can do to get back to our own odd lives.  And sometimes we don’t have a few bucks lying around. A number of times, the Things lucked out and got say, a twenty, another time a five.  One night I only had a hundred dollar bill, but that seemed extreme, so instead I tucked a note under her pillow from the fairy stating she’d run out of money due to all the children losing teeth that night, but would be back the following night. My kids can’t make sense out of this and how can you blame them? 

My husband found Thing One’s note and of course wept. I did not witness this because it was past 10 p.m. and I was already sleeping, but I know him pretty well. Sure, he has tattoos, survived crashing his motorcycle into a Mack truck and did a stint in the Special Ops, and was nicknamed Darth Vader in his law practice, but his daughters crush him. He left her fifteen dollars and a lovely letter expounding on her how special she is, how one of a kind, and the most important thing in the world is to love. To love herself and to love others.  His note was one page, I’ve truncated it, but it was beautiful.

She woke up so excited to find the money, but more excited to see the fairy wanted to be pen pals and be her special friend.  Whenever one of the girls looses a tooth, we always leave a little something for the twin sister; just because the fairy was in the hood and loves her too.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

From Breaking Bad to Cracking Corn

My birthdays are never typically. And never planned; or I should say if there was a “said” plan it goes awry so what is the point.

To start things off this year, I had the great pleasure of meeting one of the most talented actors working today and who also stars on my favorite show Breaking Bad. Genius level talent- check, charming- check, incredibly kind and gracious-check, handsome-check. I could go on but I might come off looking odd. Oh wait. I forgot, someone told me I crossed that line years ago.

I actually never miss an episode of the only TV show I watch, but was about to ask him if he wanted to go shuck some corn. However, time was moving and I had to dash back to my “real” life.
My real life resembles nothing short of complete chaos, negotiating with 7-year old twins, keeping the house in some kind of livable order, and forget the shopping, food prep, laundry, keeping my basil plants alive….even writing this wants me to run back to fantasy land.

So, being Halloween and such, the Things favorite “holiday” because no one actually dies and let’s face it, it’s nothing but sugar, looking at fat Turkeys and getting as muddy as possible, I think we hit the jack pot when it comes to pumpkin patches. Though, I have been to my fair share, honestly, despite dreading the long horrid drive into regions around L.A. I don’t even know what to call, the place was magically. The Things have been here before with their dad, so knew their way around the way I know my way around, let’s say Barney’s. Not that I shop there, but I know where everything is, the best sales people on a first name basis and have access to the secret bathrooms meant for celebrities . In fact, Barney’s invites me to celebrity trunk shows. I try all sorts of glamorous attire on, and everyone in the room inevitable asks my favorite sales guy “who is that girl?” And he typically responds, “She’s a VIP.” (No one except me know sthis means, Very Important Parent.)

At this magical pumpkin patch, there are two mazes, one kind of lame that is basically constructed from straw squares, (my kids ran around the top just to terrify the babies) and then there is the corn maze. The corn stands 15 feet high, the maze is bigger than my house and without a machete I wasn’t going in. But they did.
“Mom, we got this. You can just meet us on the other side.” Like I knew where that was. It was shaped like prison!

So they dash off whacking the corn out of their way, knew every single angle, stepped over the kids who fell or were lost and made it to the “other side” just as I arrived.

As a parent of course I was proud; but not sure because they could work their way through what looked like something out M. Night Shyamalan movie or because there were so many older kids left in their husky dust.
After their sprint, they treated themselves to a wheel barrel overflowing with pumpkins, gourds snake-shaped squash, though it’s possible they were just snakes; then fed the one pathetic turkey kept inside a wire cage that honestly was as big as a wild boar, catapulted pumpkins off of a medieval looking launcher where back in the day heads might go flying, capping off the afternoon by shoving their mouths with food so coated in fat it would be misleading to call it food.

My favorite part of this adventure was this remarkable garden that had been there for over a hundred years and thus, a history lesson for my girls which they really appreciated.
Plants like “WW1 food that kept the soldiers alive” or “Medicinal plants that kept the soldiers alive” or “Pleasure plants that kept the soldiers alive” I actually couldn’t explain that one. I’m just going to assume is was poppy but I told them it was aroma therapy like my candles.

Upon our return I took off as a friend (who actually does shop at Barneys) wanted to gift me, and had just gotten back in town from Paris. So while dad and the Things were cracking pumpkins and shucking corn, Lynn and I were cracking up ourselves because, both exhausted, we shared a Red Bull (neither of us had ever had one.) Honestly, the coffee shop we were in could have gone ablaze and we would have laughed. I was trying to explain my brief encounter with Bryan Cranston (she does not watch TV) and of course, all she had to say was, “Okay, did you eat some of that pleasure plant cause I’m having a hard time sharing your excitement.” Then she gave me a beautifully wrapped present from Barneys.