Time Out At My House

There’s very a strict boys-don’t-hit-girls rule at our house. The girls know that if they egg #5 on just to try and make him hit so that he violates the rule, they’ll get punished too.

We were in the kitchen talking about which girls at school like #5 and which girls he likes back. Apparently we picked the right one (psst… it’s Iris), because he suddenly overreacted and kicked #3 in the back of the knee, hard. I sent him to his room.

Here’s the thing about sending this kid to his room. I always forget he’s in there.

Every. Damn. Time.

I’ll send him to his room and go along about my business and start feeling really smug and productive, entirely forgetting that the productivity is solely due to not getting interrupted every ten seconds- because I sent #5 to his room. I get so productive that I lose track of time. At some point, but usually not until at least forty minutes into it, I wonder where he is.

So last week when he kicked his sister, I sent him to his room, laughed with #3 about how he actually does like Iris no matter what he says, finished making dinner, got dressed, even put on makeup (which really should have been my first clue that something was amiss because there’s never time for that), packed my bag for work and went out to the car to work on my late Easter present for the kids. More about the gift in a minute.

I had something for #5 and went to get him. He was not in the music room. Not playing video games or watching TV. Not reading on my bed.

Me: Where did he go?

#2: You sent him to his room.

Me: Oh crap! I totally forgot.

#2: Wasn’t that like, an hour ago?

Me: Ummm. . .

#2 and #4, in unison: Parenting Fail!

So I went in to #5’s room and we talked about why he got sent there in the first place. We don’t want him to ever be a man who hits a woman, hence the rule. He gets it, and knows why it’s important. He still doesn’t believe that one day he’s going to be bigger than all his sisters.

I did not own up to the fact that I had forgotten him. He can work that out in therapy later when he figures it out. Then I showed him why I was looking for him, what I had saved. And I took him outside and let him put the last one on the car.

One what, you ask?

In Kristin Lamb’s excellent book Are You There Blog? It’s Me, Writer she talks a bit about privacy and mentions that she doesn’t like the little stick people that you put on the minivan because it tells robbers exactly how many people they’re going to have to subdue when they break in, plus a hamburger full of sleeping pills for the dog. She’s totally right. There’s even an episode of Dexter where the predator gets his prey that way.

My message to robbers here is clear:

We are an entire army of the goddamn undead. Don’t even try it.

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Is this going to hurt my chances at becoming class mom? What parenting or other fails have you had recently?

Blessings and Tonys and Zombies

My sister is here for a visit this weekend, with Tiny Nephew and Slightly-Larger Nephew. It’s excellent to have them here. CC and all the kids are thrilled because they haven’t met Tiny Nephew before, and we don’t get to see most of my family more than once a year, tops. I’m happy to report that Tiny Nephew still has itty bitty feet.

The Puggle and the Fuggle are fascinated by the sounds Tiny Nephew makes. They like that he’s small, and smells like milk and poop. They’ve found a kindred spirit.

CC and I both had to work two shows yesterday right after they got here, but my sister kept me updated with pictures. This is the one that broke my heart:

The clown, the baby of our family, bacon-crazed, never-serious #5, with Tiny Nephew, sitting up straight, being responsible, resting his hand on the baby’s belly. I showed it to someone at work and she asked, “When did he grow up?” and I said, “Apparently, right then, when he had someone to be older than.”

Yes, they keep asking for a baby. No, we’re not going to have one.

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CC and I have a party to go tonight for his work.

We both have pretty cool jobs. Speaking for myself only, the fact that I have this job is proof of some benevolent force working in the universe because if I had the job I deserve, it would likely involve cleaning up after an exploding whale.

Last night a man came up to me at the end of the show and insisted that my main speakers hadn’t been on all night. He had an English accent so he already sounded smarter than me. I told him I’d check it out, but I think he was looking for a different answer, because he wouldn’t leave.

English dude: You must believe me. I’ve seen it three times. Your speakers weren’t on.

Me:

Because really, I’ve got nothing for that. Nothing at all.

The Tony awards, the reason for tonight’s party, don’t mean much to anyone except to the people that work in theater. Okay, let’s be honest: Theater doesn’t mean much to anyone, unless they work in theater. There is a small and mighty cross section of die-hard fans across the globe, small being the key word.

When CC was touring with Phantom in the 80’s, the crew once exchanged house seats for tickets to a Space Shuttle Launch. That’s badass. By the time I got on the road, it didn’t matter how big or high-profile the show was, nobody had heard of it.

I toured with Aida (the musical written by Elton John and Tim Rice) and largely, if people recognized the name, they thought it was the opera (by Verdi). If they saw the commercial, they thought it was about interracial love.

*sigh*

Loading out the Hairspray tour in Providence, sun coming up near the end of a twenty-two hour work day, a minivan pulls into the alley and flags me down.

Me: Yes?

Woman in Van: Are you with the Wiggles?

*sigh*

It ain’t rock’n’roll, that’s for sure. But once a year we get a shot on prime time TV. Broadway has some ridiculously talented people and you should tune in tonight, CBS at 8pm EST, and check some of them out. You won’t get to see the stagehands though, unless something goes horribly, horribly wrong.

CC’s show is up for practically every award tonight. I’m stupidly excited for them.

The first Tony for Sound Design was given in 2008. My two very favorite sound designers are up for the award tonight, my designer (Steve Kennedy) and CC’s (Brian Ronan). I have a million people to be grateful for, but I am deeply, deeply indebted to these two men. Without them, all this would have been a very different story.

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Last night I dreamt of zombies. It was one of those dreams where you look around and you gradually see that the situation is worse than you first thought, and you realize that you’re the only one who knows it, and you keep looking around and all of these very normal seeming people are actually all zombies and they get more and more zombie looking and therefore more dangerous every second, and one, who had been holding my hand was suddenly grabbing my wrist and he twitched and I recognized him for what he was and started punching the crap out of him.

CC, springing straight up in bed: Jesus Christ!! WHY ARE YOU PUNCHING ME?

Me: ZOMBIE! ZOMBIE!!!!

CC: STOP PUNCHING ME!

Me: I HAVE TO, YOU’RE A ZOMBIE!!!

CC: STOP! I’M NOT A ZOMBIE! WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU?

Me:

Because I had nothing for that, either.

And now, I have to go see if I fit into any of my party dresses.

Tell me about your blessings, theater opinions, or zombie experiences.

Bacon, eggs, and brains

#5’s birthday is just days after school starts. When he started kindergarten, he was still four years old for a few days. I know a lot of parents that would have waited to start him in school. Thankfully, they don’t live in our house.

His favorite thing in the world is bacon. This year his teacher celebrates birthdays by having every student write something nice about the birthday kid and draw a picture. Then she takes all these sheets and staples them together in a book for the birthday kid. #5’s book is full of variations on: he’s smart, he’s funny, he likes bacon.

Inexplicably, his second favorite thing in the world is zombies.

The other thing that happens right after school starts is school picture day. I don’t remember school pictures happening so quickly when I was in school. Probably my mom is just a better parent than me and was way more on top of this stuff than I am. But honestly, it’s the second or third day of school. I can never remember which.

All the kids get a billion pieces of paper on the first day of school, which I promptly put in The Pile, to sort through eventually (that’s a total of five billion pieces of paper, for those of you following along at home). Somewhere in there are the order forms for picture day. I never get through The Pile in time for picture day, because it’s like tomorrow, or the day after. Hell, who am I kidding? I never get through The Pile, period.

Luckily both the school and the kids know this. The school knows how to get my money for pictures, and the kids know to wear their favorite clothes on the right day.

They also know not to remind me it’s picture day if they think I may have something to say about their choice of clothing.

This is the t-shirt (yes, t-shirt) #5 wore for school pictures this year. Be sure to check out my mad ironing skills in these pictures.

This is the shirt he wore for school pictures last year.

This is the shirt I bought him for Christmas this year, which I have a
sneaking suspicion may end up in school pictures next year.