Saturday, May 30, 2009

Putting the PTSD in Puget Sound

I took the boys to the beach one day this week and an array of events occurred which led to much crying, howling, wailing and shivering.

The boys had a bad day, too.

I think we all have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and I'll slowly be working on some beach therapy to get us recovered and geared up for the glorious salvation of Summer.

I'll be introducing sand into the bathtub and adding salt to the sippy cups, hoping to get us all comfortable and ready for more beach play. Or, maybe, we'll just go to the beach and sit on a towel and play quietly as we build sand castles.

Naaah. Not likely.

The boys walked out to this island not normally accessible (nor visible) except during low tide. Note the boots being used as a creative focal point for my picture, not as footwear. Consider this foreshadowing.

The boys had a wonderful time running back and forth to "Candy Island", scooping up kelp and sand dollars and pointing out crabs and jellyfish in the water.

Our friends joined us shortly afterward and I got distracted and the next thing you knew the tide starting rolling in fast. Sammy was up to his neck in COLD tidal water and not happy. I waded out to get him, shuffled the kids back to shore, and resumed crab hunting.

The kids found a lagoon to play in filled with murky black mud that smelled like that doggy bag of garlic clams that you forgot about and left in your car overnight and didn't discover until after it had baked in the hot sun all day. Or the entire month of August.

Sam got stuck in the mud and began crying slash wailing slash shrieking, especially when Max and his friends weren't able to lead him/pull him back to shore. So I went in again. Fully clothed.

I picked Sam up and had to forcefully heave him out of the muck while a ginormous Hoover of mud sucked his crocs down into Middle Earth.

Yes, sigh, The Lightening McQueen Crocs that Sam received for his birthday and that HE LOVES! And that I have yet to even acknowledge with a proper thank-you note to his ever-so-thoughtful Auntie and Uncle and cousins (hi guys! private gratitude to follow, I promise!) Oh, God. I suck.

There was crying and wailing and enough tears to fill that salty lagoon back up to high tide. I offered up an ice cream cone to any kid who could find a shoe.

And then we started salvaging items from the deep that had been buried since 1978 and I began to fear that someone was going to pull up Jimmy Hoffa or a jellyfish.

Did I mention that it smelled bad?

We pulled up something vaguely resembling a human limb and my peeps abandoned me.

Except for Sam, who was Never Ever Not Ever Never going to leave until he had two red plastic "Ka-Chow!" crocs back in his ever-loving Queen Car hands.


There comes that point in parenthood (ok, life) when you just have to step back and look at yourself. Look at yourself in all your ridiculousness trying to make it all better for your kid and at the same time sinking further and further into the detritus of Jimmy Hoffa and jellyfish and ooze. And you shake yourself sober and make the rational decision to release the Queen and offer up a single red croc as a gift to the Sea.

Yeah. You can imagine how well THAT went over.

Just as I was hauling the shivering, salty mess of sorrowful Sam from the burial at sea of his beloved Queen, Max decided to show me the bottom of his foot.

Which I will spare you, and will now attempt to fill my mind with pictures of newborn puppies and alpine wildflowers and a rhapsody of harp music. "Lalalalaalala can't think about the foot" Gag.

Let's just say that there was much gash and ouch and salt and, well, discomfort. And a two lane road to cross at "rush hour" on the island.

Like the limping little sobbing Froggers that we are, we made it across the road and cleaned ourselves off as best we could with 14 wet wipes and a couple of beach towels.

"Hey guys..." I asked when we were back in the car..."Was this fun or WHAT?"

You be the judge.

Friday, May 29, 2009

"Fun" Run

The boys and I "ran" in a local 3K tonight. Max was off like a rocket at the start and Sam burned all his fuel in the first 100 yards trying to keep up with him. But he made a strong finish to the cheers of admiring fans and the motivational coaching that I gave him "to finish fast like Lightening McQueen!" It was all grins and bouncing curls from Sam until Max yelled out from the crowd at the finish line, "MOM! They're out of Otter Pops AND Popsicles!"

It sounded like reverb to me. Echoing over the cheers - in Chariots of Fire style slow motion - I watched the descent into total meltdown as Sam realized he would be denied. Surrounded by over 300 children slurping down frozen corn syrupy goodness; their elbows sticky with orange happiness and Fudgsicle wonder. Right in front of him. And. there. was. none. for. him. My ears will forever echo with the wails.

Fortunately, a quick stop at the mini mart saved the day. And a phone call to Daddy to tell him what great little racers he's got:
"My won the race, Daddy!"

"I picked it up right at the 2K mark like we talked about and still had a kick at the finish, Daddy. I think the key was running through 4 lawn sprinklers to stay hydrated"

Excellent post-race recovery, Sam.

A Perfect Start

I was aiming for a morning with no whining and lots of smiles.

Whole wheat and chocolate Dutch Baby with a hot cup of coffee.

Whole Wheat (and other additives) American Preschoolers.

Things worked out just as I'd hoped.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

My Free!

Ask Sam how old he is, and he'll happily reply, "MY FREE!" and hold up the appropriate number of fingers. Or not.

Today was his birthday, and well, it kind of got consumed with other events. As per usual with Sam, he just rolled with it and was happy to have a "hot dog day" in which his mother offered him nitrates at every meal and shouted out "Freebird" like the true Lynyrd Skynyrd fan that I'm not. I guess I should probably put that lighter away, too.

I love you, little Sammy bird. Hot dogs and 'queen cars the whole year through for you, my darling boy.

Wisdom Beyond Years

"I already know what a funeral is.." Max softly told me this morning when I shared sad news with him.

"'s where you look at someone's picture and you know that they'll always be with you."

Grandma LaVonne
December 16, 1916 - May 6, 2009