Thursday, August 29, 2013

Girls, Girls, Girls

This morning I am filled to the brim with gratitude that when Sweet Pea and The Cousin reach
"teen-dom", Miley Cyrus will be a washed up has-been, blahzey, a thing-of-the-past,
a complete yawn fest.  Are you f#!king kidding me? The former Disney star gone cheap-strip-club-disaster will never reach MY girls' eyes or ears or anything else for that matter! They call it "twerking" I'm told from my young, hipster sources. Here's the 411:
Twerking is a dance move that involves a person shaking the hips in an up-and-down bouncing motion, causing the dancer to shake, "wobble" and "jiggle."[1] To "twerk" means to "dance in a sexually suggestive fashion by twisting the hips.

 It's probably a good thing I'm not a breeder. I think I'd be like a prison guard with my own girls.
"No, honey. You can't go out past 5:30 p.m. on a weeknight and 6:30 p.m. on a weekend. But, there's a marathon of Mork and Mindy episodes we can watch together." or "I know it's 95 degrees out, but you're wearing a turtleneck today goddamnit!" Will Smith's family's expression when Miley started her baby-cakes-turned-pussy-cat-sex-kitten-nymph at the Kids MTV's VMA Awards  (KIDS! Dictionary please. PG13 anyone?) said it all.

"Dad, do you know a good therapist?"

Now I'm told this pic was during Gaga's performance. Hopefully, "gaga" will return to just plain old baby language when the girls reach their teens. Now, I know a thing or two about nuns, (wink) but this seemed to fall short of art, talent and fantasy.

"I'm hoping this will tantalize you with all your favorite catechism memories."

 Parents must be shaking in their boots these days, especially parents of girls. That's why when strangers approach Sweet Pea, The Cousin and I and say, "They are so cute!"  I cringe down deep where my guts reside and I follow up with "Most importantly, they're incredibly intelligent, creative and strong."
I witnessed shit like this way too often when I taught school. The girls are super cute, artsy and stylish. Give 'em a doll or a let 'em bake the cookies for the school fundraiser! But give the boys an erector set or a football helmet. This crap is still alive and well. I say, give The Cousin a building set and have her figure out how to design a structure. Give Sweet Pea the football helmet because she's gonna need it!

Speaking of the girls, I didn't see them this week, hence, the fork in the road with regard to subject matter.  But man a week without them is like a week without sunshine, so here, warm your hearts...
"Picnics are sticky and messy."

"Life is good, Baa Bee."

"I really liked it when I was one and you weren't around."

"Raisins are not dried grapes, Wallery, they are raisins."

So you see, I look at these two and I think, "strong-willed, smart, determined, capable, creative."
Then I picture them at 14 and I think, "home-schooling, turtlenecks, Disney movies, chastity belts."
I get it. I'm getting old, but if 2013 is Miley Cyrus, I can't f@#king imagine what 2025 will be.
Can you?

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!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Little Fairies Without a Cause

"Yes, my friend."
"I am so proud of me."
"You are?! That's great! What are you proud of?"
"I went potty!"
"Terrific! Do you want to go use your Elmo toilet?"
"No, thanks. I went potty in my diaper right now."

"I'm not joking."
Twenty-four hours later, and I still can't get the Caillou theme song out of my head.
You know how songs "stick".  And it's always the ones you don't really like; the ones that you never owned the album. The ones you heard your parents singing and you swore you'd never allow those songs to enter your brain..."You're just too good to be true, can't take my eyes off of you, you'd feel like heaven to touch, I wanna hold you so much..." So the Caillou theme song is as welcoming as an open-wound diaper rash, and I woke up with it on repeat in my head. I've attached the youtube for those of you who enjoy self-flagellation.

So, that's me in my monarch wings at the Pacific Grove Natural History Museum. The Cousin actually took this shot. The Cousin also refused to put her wings on, so me and about 6 kids ran around the room pretending to be airborne. We're all aflutter, like little fairies without a cause and The Cousin just stood off in the far corner of the room staring at me with a blank look. I'm sure the masses don't expect a middle-aged lesbian to be flying around the airspace in large, cushiony, orange and black wings. It's 2013 and I'm sure many still think we just dig ditches, do plumbing and mow lawns.

I wish someone would have mentioned that a natural history museum equates taxidermy. Holy Shit! Glass cases filled with every fowl species known to a man with a rifle.  Cats, deer, muskrats, weasels and things I couldn't make eye-contact with. There were more taxidermy animals than on Wayne LaPierre's living room wall.

When we had entered the museum, The Cousin said, "Look Wallery! The tiger is angry!" And there it was, mounted in a large glass case overlooking the garden; an adult size, female lion with blue eyes and gnarly, saber teeth. She was staring me down.
"Wow!" I say trying to look natural and undisturbed.
"Why don't we find the butterflies and then the gift shop!"  

And what can I say about a face like this?
"Real women enjoy their meals."
Well, a Sinatra tune comes to mind: "I Did It My Way."  And she always has done it her way.
Food is just one of her passions. The thing is, she especially digs fruit and her mom gives it to her like she's some sort of a juice processor. I changed four f*@king diapers of Sweet Pea's yesterday and believe me, they all resembled smoothies.
And I seem to be having challenges at the changing table of late. Last week, many of you recall, a clump of The Cousin's load managed to drop to the floor. Yesterday, due to Sweet Pea's innate desire to twist and turn while being changed, the entire diaper fell off the table.

"Is that Sweet Pea's diaper, Wallery?"
"Yes, it is."
"Why is it on the floor?"
"Good question."

Our day started out foggy, so we went camping. Caillou goes camping, so of course, The Cousin insisted we go camping, only I'd rather put a gun to my head than go camping with these two. And if anyone whines in the tent, like Caillou whines in his tent, it's all being dismantled.
We build the tent using strollers and blankets.
"That's a great idea, Wallery!" she shouts.
We all three have a discussion as to what we will eat on our camping trip. I tell them that roasting s'mores won't be practical. Sun-maid raisins it is! I then attempt to explain that raisins are dried grapes. They're not havin it.

A camping we may go...a camping we may go...
"Damn. These are good."

After camping, it dawns on The Cousin, that Nomi is in desperate need of a bath,

'Don't get soap in her eyes, Sweet Pea."
and Sweet Pea is in desperate need of the morning news.

"Garfield is getting so lame."

Well, girls gotta do what girls gotta do, just like artists gotta do what artists gotta do.
That's a fact.

"Don't bother me, Wallery. I'm painting."

"How do you hold this thing?"

When we head outside, The Cousin is excited to show me the garden. 
"This is mint. This is cucumbers. Don't pick the green tomatoes, Wallery. They are not ready.
Only the red ones."
She plucks a rosy cherry tomato and shoves it in her mouth without offering any to Sweet Pea,
Nomi or me.

Sweet Pea doesn't heed The Cousin's tomato warning and pops a lime green one in her mouth.

As that golden hour of 5:00 o'clock approaches, the inevitable is yet to come. 
What used to be a cheery little jingle, "Clean up! Clean up! Everybody do their share. Clean up! Clean up! Everybody show you care." has become, well basically, a dreaded f*#king chore.
This is an ariel view at  5:00 p.m. on any given Wednesday. 

And that's only one room my pals! That's only one room.
When I start singing the Clean Up Song, suddenly The Cousin is glued to Sesame Street and Sweet Pea decides she can read in Hebrew.

The new buzzword, I'm told, for doing three things at once is "tri-ti-tasking."
I suppose, since I do six things at once, I'm "sex-ti-tasking."
Sounds intriguing.
Most days, after we have our hugs and good-byes, I go straight home and take off the bra. I have no energy to do anything, let alone stop off at the store.
Yesterday was an exception. I needed a few necessities.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

"Burrito! Burrito!"

What started several years back as a "friendship email" has become what today's culture calls a "blog."
In looking back over all of my blog posts, I am able to see which ones had the most, and least, views. I find it pretty interesting that it's not one from my tales at the trailer park, nor is it one of the adventures of Sweet Pea and The Cousin that has received the most views.  There's one, and only one, with hundreds of views and it's the interview I did with Ellen regarding the F-word. You people crack me up!!! Now, I 'effin understand y'all.
So, I'll begin this morning's ditty by attaching the link of that popular blog written back in May of 2012.
It has absolutely nothing to do with today's blog!

My readership asks me all the time, "Do you embellish your blogs about nanny life?"  
And the answer is rather simple, "HELL NO!"
I can't make this shit up and why would I want to? I'm like an umpire behind home plate; I call it like I see it. It's easier that way. Embellishment requires actually thinking. It requires tedious work and concentration.  Formulating interesting scenarios, that do not exist, would require my energy, time and also lead one to believe that I have nothing better to do in my life than to exaggerate.
Embellishment happens on CNN, FOX, ABC, NBC, The Simpsons.
We can all get our "stretched-like-salt-water-taffy truths" there.
But here y'all, is the real f!@king deal.
"I the burrito."

"Burrito! Burrito!"

"Cheese please."

I had a significant lapse in judgement yesterday. I taught them the "burrito game" using the curtains as the tortilla.  Basically, The Cousin wraps Sweet Pea up as if she were the carne-filling and then we'd all yell, "Burrito! Burrito!" The laughter filled the apartment. Instantly, the three of us turned crazy.
Sometimes, I'm a child. During these occasional "breaks" I lose all sense of who's in charge, who know's best, who's the individual that's being paid to keep the kids safe.

This week, I'm double duty; two days of such exhausting nonsense because the grandmother is taking a day off. She deserves it. This grandma is incredible. Unsure if the parentals truly appreciate this woman, but she not only watches these girls for free, GRATIS!, but she does laundry for them as well.
Double duty equates to 18 hours. If I'm still standing by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, it will be an act of God.

Trying to calm them down after Burrito Burrito is not easy. And who's f@!king fault is that?
Anyway, I decide on books and The Cousin insists on reading to me.
"...and then the doggie, and the mommy, and the house and the blue twisting, twisting..."
When The Cousin reads to me, it's as if it's 1967, the psychedelics are rampid and Inagodadavida is playing in the background. I find myself really needing to concentrate on the plot.
Then, half way through the book, that all too familiar smell permeates my nostrils.
It's strong. It's potent. And the last thing the storyteller wants to do is have her diaper changed.
After a minor struggle, she gives in and up on the changing table she goes.

I recall my mom saying to me, "There's always a first time for everything."  
And what was about to take place was just that: a first.

The diaper is full and it's smeared all over her bottom.  I'm attempting to hold her legs up with one hand, keep the shit off the table and clean her with the other.  To make matters more complex, Sweet Pea has climbed up on the not-so-sturdy playroom table...
"Look at me, Baa Bee!"
Wishing I were an octopus, I attempt the impossible of trying to keep the changing table "poop free" and save Sweet Pea from getting yet another bruise. That "first" that my mom talked about years ago, happened:

Yep. That's on the laminate. 
Of course, that 4-letter word that y'all like so much, blared through my head.
Yet, I showed to indication of my stress. "Let's get cleaned up and go outside, ladies!" There's always an underlying motive to going to the park or for a walk. Yes, you want them to learn about their surroundings. Yes, the birdies and the flowers and the cars that go "beep!beep!" These discussions are rich and they aid in their language development. The park certainly helps with their motor skills, not to mention, their social skills. 
But the underlying reason for these types of activities is to wear their asses out! 
The Cousin is in a new phase in her life where she has to take Nomi, her fake baby sister, everywhere. Of course, she tires of carrying Nomi in the first 2 minutes of the walk and guess who gets her.

"You hold Nomi, Wallery."

3:00 p.m. 
Time for a cookie. I think that was the first word Sweet Pea learned and I do believe grandma taught her it.

3:00 p.m. 
Cinderella. (Not my choice for building strong, independent women.)

3:30 p.m.
Project time.

"Can I eat it?"

"Blue circles!"

4:10 p.m.
Things are returning to silly.  I can't help myself.  My response to their "duo-picking" is
"Pick a winner!"  So childish.

And why children eat it, even after they've had a wholesome snack, is beyond me.
But then again, I'm just the nanny.  I'm the nanny who loves when I see the big hand on the 12 and the little hand on the 5.

6:35 p.m.