Friday, August 23, 2013

I Stroll P.G.

7:05 a.m.

I can't find my f@#king glasses. I have retraced my steps from the bedroom to the bathroom to the kitchen. I have looked under the bed covers, in bottom drawers of cabinets, on the floor. I have dumped my entire purse out twice.

7:26 a.m.

I still can't find my glasses and I'm going to be late if I don't get in the car and drive.
Funny how life looks when it's blurry. Well, funny for the first hour, but after 2 or 3 hours, a slight headache will begin to set in. Nausea too.
Not to mention I can't see the center divider line clearly.
Or the children or the children for that matter.  What about the children!!!!

7:55 a.m.

"Good morning girls!"
"Hi! How are you two this morning?"

"Wallery, where are your glasses?"
"I can't find them."

"You look weird, Wallery."

"I have an idea, Wallery!"
I could use a good idea right about now.

The Cousin runs to the back bedroom and then returns with bells on.
"You can wear these glasses, Wallery!"

                                    Sweet Pea wants to show me her new tee: I stroll P.G. 

"Baa Bee, I gotta a new shirt!"

PG, for those who aren't local, stands for Pacific Grove, the butterfly capital of the world.
Also the town that has a f#@king parade for everything. Dog parade, butterfly parade, lantern parade, Fourth of July, Wild West, hug your neighbor parade, it's a sunny day in our town so let's have a parade parade.

We do stroll the streets of Pacific Grove. We hit the pavement early. We know every alleyway, dead end, broken piece of sidewalk, storefront, and yes, bakery in this fog bank of a town.

"Can we go to the coffeeshop, Wallery?"

The reason The Cousin wants to hit the coffeeshop is that they have these amazing cinnamon, gluten-free, corn syrup-free cookies. I taught her how to dip there. What would a childhood memory be without the reflections of cookies dipped in a cup of milk?

Aww...childhood memories. Dare I go there? I have some good ones and some not so good ones, but one of my best ones is that of my brother and I closing all the bedroom doors and shooting marbles down the carpeted hallway.  Another is he and I in front of the console stereo, him on the "air drums" and me with my hairbrush as a microphone, singing Creedence Clearwater songs at the top of our lungs.  Other include mom and me shopping, running with our shaggy dog in the open field by our house, baking cookies with my best friend, Linda Herrick...

I want these two muchkins to have the best childhood memories and a handful of them will be with me.  The park. Project time. Building forts inside the house. Dancing and spinning until we all fall down. And yes, going to the coffeeshop for cinnamon cookies.

Look who we hooked up with yesterday! This cute girl!
"How the hell do you do this nanny thing?"
The Cousin is eyeing Sweet Pea's cookie because you see, she already finished hers. I know that kid like I know my own shadow and y'all probably know that I go to the coffeeshop for an afternoon jolt of caffeine not  a cookie.

I have a plethora of reasons why I take these two to el parque. We actually went twice yesterday. I go for the fresh air, the escape from the four walls. I go for the exercise. God knows I need it! I go to hang out with cool parents and to learn how to breathe deeply when I observe not-so-cool parents.  I go to wear their asses out. Because 99% of the time, they crash in the stroller on the way home and I can head for the coffeeshop without them knowing.

I don't know why but I always think there's gotta be creeps that hang out at a park. Yesterday there was this guy. He was sitting alone and watching all the kids, then jotting shit down in his little notebook. 
At first I thought he was a grandpa/writer, more attentive to his writing than his grandkids. After an hour or so passed, I realized that no kids were coming even remotely close to him. Suddenly I find myself in the middle of a CSI episode and I convince myself he's a stalker/pedophile. I plan out his entire demise, the details of his arrest, how I will use force and succeed at cuffing him, how I will haul him downtown to the police and how Pacific Grove will hail me a heroine and host one of their damn parades in my honor. All the while, I am playing with Sweet Pea and The Cousin.

He spots me and I'm sure he knows I'm onto him. He then vanishes into thin air, much like my crime thriller, and I'm jolted back into reality. One of the girls is having a meltdown near the swings.

"Load 'em up, ladies! It's time to say bye bye to the park."

"NOOOOOOOOO! Five more minutes, Wallery!"

"Let's bargain. Two more minutes, friends."

This "no-thing" is becoming my nemesis.  I see it as assertion of their power, expressing their independence, having control over their world; a world in which every single thing is dictated to them by grown-ups.
And I see it as a pain in my ass.

"Let's go!"

And I win.  
Always the goal is to have them both fall asleep simultaneously. That's critical. But when just one does, that's joyful too.
Have an awesome weekend, pals!


  1. Valerie, Your writing just keeps getting better and better! I loved this blog from beginning to end, and I'm glad you ran that old guy off with your CSI vibes even if he might be innocent. Love, Amy PS The photos are really fab as well, and what a great photo of Wen! Excelente!

  2. No glasses? Yikes! Happened to me, too...never found them, and had to buy a new pair. What a way to start your day. I loved your childhood memories about dipping a sugar cookie in your I did with my grandmother, only we dipped ours in coffee-milk. The bakery cookies sound delicious. Oh, and say hi to that cute girl that just happened to drop by. Pacific Grove, the butterfly capital? Yes! We went there, didn't we. Our book club just reviewed Kingsolver's "Flight Behavior" last week, and I told them about the West Coast monarchs. Looks like we're "singing off the same page" again. Well, didn't mean to write a book...just know that I so look forward to your blog each week, so keep 'em coming, TPG!