Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Trip to the Store....And So Much More.

I try very hard to avoid bringing my children to the grocery store.   Of course we all know that it isn’t always possible, so often I end up at Publix with my trio.  We grab a cart and then Mabel starts the recruiting process to convince her brother and sister to hoist her ass into the cart because she knows full well that her mother’s old lady back issues make this an impossible task.  After a bit of abuse and threats, Mabel manages to end up in the cart….and then we are off to the deli.

Publix has Boar’s Head deli meat and I love it but getting your salami and ham can take quite some time.   At this point Mabel tells Gus and Meg to run off and fetch some items.  It’s really a nice idea because they are quick and they know where to go so it cuts down on our overall time in the store.  After Meg and Gus have run off, Mabel carefully stands in the cart and puts her arms out with a little smirk on her face….her eyes telling me all that I need to know.  Mabel knows that the height advantage of standing in the cart allows her to koala on to me without the painful process of me bending and lifting to pick her up.  I can’t hold her for very long, so it’s typically about thirty seconds and every time she shares just a little insight or comment that makes me pee in my pants.

With a little jump and the command to “wrap”, Mabel wraps her arms and legs securely around me so that our faces are nose to nose and then something wonderful would be said to me like…..

  • So what are we going to screw up for dinner tonight.
  • Look, I keep telling you that it’s okay to eat a few grapes before you put them in your cart
  • What is common sense?  Isn’t that when things are the same on both sides like butt cheeks?
  • Laughter, laughter, laughter and finally….These jeans don’t fit so right now my butt crack is showing.
  • One day I will work here and get all of your salami for free.

And then all at once I have to let her drop because I fear that I will suffer a back outing and be incapacitated at the deli. 

By this time Gus and Meg have returned and Gus, my sweet brown eyed boy who never asks for anything will say something like….”Mom, can you please buy watermelon and cantaloupe?”.  Why don’t you just ask for a radish and a cucumber too and make me feel like an even more terrible mother?  Why couldn’t he ask for MM’s and pop-tarts like normal kids?  I give in and Meg graciously agrees to go and get two milks,but not before Mabel reminds her to “check the dates” because she is very aware of my expiration date phobia.  Meg instinctively asks Mabel for what a good date should be and then Mabel contemplates and embarks on her performance of "The Months of the Year Song" put to Macarena music and dance moves.  She literally cannot remember what month it is without performing the song.  Meg smirks and enjoys the idea that she just convinced her sister to do that ridiculous dance in public and then runs off to the dairy section. 

Sure, we may complete the perimeter and find a few more items that we need and Meg always tempts me down the candy aisle hoping beyond all hope that something will be BOGO.  And then we hit the check out lane where Mabel unloads all of the items stuffed in around her and immediately tells the casher…”My Mom forgot the bags so we won't be saving the earth today.” 

As much as I try to avoid the grocery store with my kids, I never regret it.  It really gets better and better as they age.  Any minute now I will be sending Meg off to the store all by herself!  Chances are that she will remember to save the Earth. 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

I Want Her To Wear Wool

My oldest daughter will be in 7th grade in the fall.  It’s too close for comfort.  It’s too close to high school.  We moved to Atlanta and had no other choice but to send our children to public school.  The few catholic schools in existence are packed to the gills with waiting lists to boot.  We are three school years in and it still doesn’t feel completely right but I guess it never will.  There is no doubt that they are receiving a stellar education, but the experience just isn’t the same.  Now all I can think about is my strong desire for Margaret to attend my alma mater, Cor Jesu Academy.  A private, Catholic, college-preparatory school run by the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  I need her to wear a plaid, wool uniform skirt and enjoy everything that goes along with that.

I want her to wear a hand me down blazer for First Friday masses that belonged to her 5’2” sister making each sign of the cross a possible Hulk like moment.

I want her to eat a warm chocolate chip cookie prepared by Rita that is as big as her head for breakfast.

I want her to have a friend like Renee Kostecki who will be brazen enough to give her a hair cut in religion class.

I want her to share a locker with Wendy Halbert who never used the combination, thank God, because I would have been locked out.

I want her to have Sister CaroleAnn Stackpole take her aside and tell her that she can forge her own way and not have to follow in her sisters footsteps.

I want her to eat lunch in a packed cafeteria and learn all of the cheers.

I want her to ride the bench for four years on the basketball team and have a coach tell her that she would be a starter if she went to any other school.  (Thanks for the lie Mr. Luna)

I want her to don white gloves and a robe and play the big donger in the hand bell choir and have a bruise on her clavicle for the whole run.

I want her to be in the constant presence of women who have dedicated their lives to Christ but clearly do not buy into the Vatican’s stand on women.

I want her to give a huge religion presentation and make two nuns laugh until they cry when they realize that all of her research was done at an evangelical library rather than a catholic library.

I want her to roll out of bed and step into the wool skirt that still lies right where she took it off the night before…..throw her hair in a ponytail and forget the makeup because no one cares.

I want her to volunteer to time swim meets, record softball games and time field hockey games with Jenny Fassler and find a creative way to get into the team picture even when she isn’t invited.

I want her to build character and maturity in a safe setting where everyone knows your name.

I want her to fear for her life when she walks into the library and has to face Sr. Teddy.

I want her to get the giggles in the chapel and have to fight her way through.

I want her to have Miss Kitts for biology and have her say, “Sex really isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.”

I want her to swelter in the un-air conditioned hallways and feel that 100% wool skirt scratching her legs.

I want her to eat lunch while the overwhelming smell of buffalo poop wafts in through the windows.

I want her to see Anheuser Busch Clydesdales in the fields every morning and appreciate the gorgeous view.

I want her to hang out with the nuns on a Friday afternoon and witness the wearing of the aprons and the volume turned up on Barry Manilow records. 

I want her to be recruited to enter the convent!!!  (Oh to think of what could have been?)

I want her to wear a ring that is unlike any other on the face of the earth. 

I want her to journey through adulthood and have CJ teachers, experiences, knowledge and friends echo in her mind.

I want her to wear wool.

I want her to wear wool.

I want her to go to Cor Jesu.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

I Am Their Mother!

I actually wrote this on November 13, 2007 At the time my children were 8, 4, and 2.
Everyone tells me how much my three children look like their father.  I take it as a compliment because my husband is adorable so it's all good but I would be lying if I said I didn't wish for some trait from me.  Eye color is one thing but personality traits are a whole different ballgame.
I couldn't find Mabel and that meant trouble.  I walked into the kitchen to find Mabel standing on a chair and having gained access to my chocolate stash she was shoving M&M's in her mouth.  She jumped upon my arrival and yelled very rapidly, "I'm eating your M&M's Mommy and they are really good and I have tinkle in my pants."  At that moment I knew that Mabel did indeed receive some genes from me.  That child decided that eating the M&M's was far better and far more important than getting to the potty and she was willing to withstand wet pants and the cleanup process just for those M&M's!!! The girl has her priorities in order! You gotta love that!

Later that same week I found proof that Meg too has at least one gene from me.  Pete and I were sitting with the 3rd grade teacher for parent conferences when Mrs. Maue pulled out the results from Meg's standardized testing.  I instantly thought that it looked like a DNA strand with the little rectangular blocks staggered down a vertical line showing percentages.  Meg scored in the 85th to 99th percentile for absolutely everything except for one subsection.  There was one little rectangle way off to the left in the 74th percentile while everything else was at the extreme right.  My eye was immediately drawn there and sure enough, Meg received my gene for Math Word Problems.  I have to say that I felt a little pride!  I thought, "Holy Crap, she really is my kid!". The Hahn family tree has an obvious rotten limb spanning generations into the past when it comes to math word problems.  Score another one for Mom!

Now Gus is the toughest nut to crack because he has the ultimate Krussel face and besides some glimpses of some dimples, he really doesn't have a darn thing from me.  And then right before Halloween it happened.  Gus was found smiling at the fireplace mantle where he had helped to arrange some beautiful gourds and pumpkins.  Pete inquired, "Gus what are you smiling at?" and my son, yes, my son, said, "I just love gourds!".  Now many of you are probably thinking that Pete and I can pretty much count on three son-in-laws, and that may be true and that's pretty much inconsequential to me but to have a boy who appreciates Fall home decor and nature....Good Lord he totally got that from me. 

So there it is.  The Krussel genes may be strong in the most obvious forms but I see glimpses of myself in my children and I'm thrilled even if the glimpses appear in wetting their pants for good chocolate, struggling with 3rd grade math, and getting giddy about gourds.  I'll take whatever I can get.  Rach