May 21 2008

The Mom Visit

Published by at 2:16 pm under amy's head,daily,kids,likes & irks,overheard

So now that I have ostracized all ELEVEN of my readers (i know, a gross exageration) by NOT POSTING A THING FOR WEEKS, let me just slay you know with the WORDS WORDS WORDS!

….. WORDS!

No pictures, either, not even if you beg!

Some assorted thoughts and happenings from my mother’s visit (my dad did not come at the last minute, doh!).

1. I TRY to explain how Jocelyn is all musical. She’s always with the songs humming or singing or whatnot. I’ve relayed this information to my mom this many many times, but I don’t think she really GOT it until she spent several days with us. Until she LIVED THROUGH IT.

Sometimes it’s tunes that she already knows. Sometimes it’s words too. More often though, she hums tunes that she is either making up, or I’ve never heard, and it’s probably going on 85% of the time you are with her.

And lately we have a new twist. Instead of singing or humming, when I’m getting her ready for bed, or ready for school, she will “sing” whatever it is she wants to say, only she doesn’t necessarily use a melody, she uses rhythm instead. So she will just talk in a cute rhythm.

“Mom, I-am-go-ing-to-the-po– tee– now!”
“you are going to the po– tee– now?”
“Yes! I am go-ing to the po– tee– now! And then brush my teeth, oh yes I will brush my teeth and look for MY– MER– MAID!”

Kind of like 4 year old rap, if you will. Jocelina from the BLOCK.

2. We went to the National Building Museum and saw the Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future exhibit which made me totally want to buy the Ikea tulip chair/table knockoffs (the real ones are still in production (table | chair) POCKET CHANGE.) My mom started out kind of blase and then as she looked at the architecture he did, she wrinkled her brow in thought and said, “I think he designed Bell Labs in New Jersey.” This was were my dad worked before I was born, one of his first jobs out of school. And then sure enough! At the end of the exhibit, there was Bell Labs.

Other things Eero Saarinen designed (that I can recall off hand):

Dulles Airport (the shuttles that take you from the departure gates to the main checkin/baggage claim building were originally called “travel lounges.”)
St. Louis Gateway Arch
TWA terminal in JFK airport
a chapel at MIT that was seriously, like a temple to geometry it was so awesome.

James noticed that in most of the descriptions of the corporate campus buildings he designed, it mentioned that the offices didn’t have windows. I hadn’t noticed that. Consulting with my dad later, he confirmed that there were no windows in any of the offices at Bell Labs. Yo, Eero. Put in some damn windows, would you? Oh wait. You’re dead. Darn.

– The man could write forward and backward with both hands. Pact with the devil, maybe?
– The man made a chart to analyze the merits of his future wife. This was eerie but also fascinating. Could not quite make it out.
– They also had some of his handwritten ‘todo’ lists on display which were fascinating.

Really loved it. Highly recommend it. May have to go back before the exhibit moves on.

3. Went to the national zoo with the kids and 2 of their cousins and my sister in law. Parking was a bitch and easily took 40 minutes (mostly trying to find a lot that was open). We’ve never really been down to the bottom part of the zoo. We have now. In the future, I will no longer feel bad about skipping it because of time constraints/not wanting to walk back UP the hill after we’re done down there. We missed the upper part of the zoo, ie the elephants, pandas, giraffes, etc. Invertebrates, ape/gorilla/orangatuans, tigers and lions – oh and the komodo dragon, were all viewed.

4. Ethan is 6 now, and the older cousin, Eric, is 9. Ethan is the oldest child in our family, and Eric is the 2nd youngest child in his family, so it was interesting to see that dynamic work. They went downstairs to play with Ethan’s GeoTrax, and after a while Eric came back up and lightly complained that Ethan wasn’t sharing his stuff. This is odd, because Ethan really is a pretty good share-er. I brushed it off because we were about to have dinner but later I realized what was going on.

Ethan is totally used to bossing the life out of Jocelyn and making up the “rules” about whatever it is they are doing. Eric perhaps is more used to being bossed than doing the bossing, but at 9, with a 4 year old little brother, I doubt he’s going to take much bossing from a 6 year old, and is going to try some bossing on his own.

An example of the Ethan ‘bossing':
“Let’s jump from rug to rug Jocelyn, because the floor is fire and we can’t touch the fire or we will burn up. Or be out. No, no, we’ll burn up. And we can put down our jackets to not touch the floor where there isn’t rugs and– NO JOCELYN THAT IS HOT FIREY LAVA! STAY ON THE JACKETS! Now I will go first and you will go second, and you have to go FAST or it will still get you, and if you don’t go counter clockwise then that is when the lava monsters come out. GO GO GO!”

I made that up, but that’s about how it goes. The boy is used to dictating how things are going to go down.

So later I realized that Eric was doing a lot of directing: “It has to go down this hill to the barrel factory because that’s the route it goes.” which caused Ethan to get defensive. “These are MY TOYS.” he would state loudly, and as I was listening to them, I realized that he actually meant that he ALREADY knows how to play with them, because he OWNS them, a-duh! Once Eric realized that he was insulting Ethan’s intelligence, and Ethan loosened it up, it was all good. Ahhhhhhh, kids.

5. My mom’s flight left Monday afternoon at 3:30, so I decided I would pick up the kids around noon at school and we would all go to lunch with James (who was working) and then take her to the airport. They loved it, and that night, Ethan said to me, kind of matter of factly, “Mommy, how about I be a half-dayer from now on.” (The kids in his kindergarten class who leave after kindergarten is over, at noon, are ‘half-dayers’.) I had to explain how he couldn’t be a half dayer, because his MOM works ALL DAY, and there would be no one to pick him up. Then it got into why do I have to work at all, and I tried to keep it light.

“Well, if I don’t work, then they don’t PAY me! And how do you think we pay for this house? And the dinner you just ate? And those clothes? And THESE TICKLES!!!”

He seemed to accept that, but these little moments just break my heart.

6. Belated Ethan birthday post still to come, complete with blurry pictures from Overpriced Jumping Birthday Venue! The boy is SIX now and that means I’m HOW OLD NOW??? Time to put them into the tupperware at night to stop the aging. No? Freezer then. NO?? THEN WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO PEOPLE! THEY ARE GROWING UP TOO DARN FAST!

7. Also broke down and GARDENED. Oh the HUMANITY– OH THE GARDENITY!!

-amy feels good to get back to normal.

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