Thursday, March 24, 2005

nothing succeeds like excess

Today was just too much, the exact kind of day I'd expect the kids to melt down and everyone to become wretched and miserable as a result. But they didn't. Sometimes they amaze me.

Actually, I only had the 2 younger ones today, as DS1 took off with his Dad and Papa down to Tucson to see a spring training came, Diamondbacks vs Colorado Rockies. There were ups -- cotton candy, seeing Gonzo hit a home run -- and downs: the game was called in the fifth inning because the players were being attacked by bees. Or maybe it was hornets. Not a swarm, mind you, but enough of the little critters to make playing impossible, I guess.

The boys' field trip left Nana and I with DD and DS2, and we, well, had a blast. We went to CPK for lunch where I once again indulged my thing for the insanely good tortilla spring rolls. After lunch, we went to the Build-A-Bear Workshop where DS2 spent his birthday gift card, and then some; DD spent her own money, of which she has plenty. DD picked out this very soft, adorable purple bear. DS2 chose Elmo and a Border Collie (now named Arfie). Nana contributed to the madness by buying DD's bear another outfit and shoes, and a smaller puppy ("Little Arfie") and puppy backpack for DS2. Whoever came up with the idea for that place is probably so rich it isn't even funny.

After BABW, DS2 requested "Toy Land," which is the padded play area for the toddlers and small children to run around in. That was perfect since we needed to kill time until the movie, so Nana watched the kids while I took the animals and loot out to the car. I thought it was a good idea to move the car over the movie theater side of the mall, and then I stopped to get the tickets -- only to find out that the paper had the movie times completely wrong! Oh, well. We just let the kids play a bit longer, and went to the 3:50 showing of Ice Princess.

This movie did not make me wince, but I do get annoyed at some of the stupid things that parents do in kids' movies and tv shows. The complete absence of any kind of a father figure -- any at all -- was somewhat disturbing, too. It was a mother/daughter thing, all the way. That said, DS2 didn't mind because we had a huge vat of popcorn, and the movie ran out before the popcorn did. I was relieved that the movie was much less stupid than the previews made it seem like it would be. I enjoyed the skating, all the girls were pretty, and even though I felt like anvils were being dropped every 5 minutes or so, it was really pretty fun.

It has been so much fun to watch Joan Cusack evolve over the years. I don't think she has ever been a romantic lead, but I do love her work. Kim Catrall was as flinty as Samantha, but she never got to purrrrr the way her old Sex & The City character often would; she seemed pretty humorless, unfortunately, for almost the entire movie. That was how she was written, though: the tough-as-nails coach who has micro-managed her daughter's life to the point she is completely miserable. Whee! Cusack's crunchy granola feminist-lit prof character was just as much of caricature, I think -- at one point, she says, "I confess, I went a little wild. I made the pancakes with white flour." My MIL teased me on the way home, "She reminded me of you!" (Yes, I am a Nutrition Nazi, usually. Lately, not so much, and boy do I feel it. Time to get back on the program.)

By the time we got home, and the boys got home, it was after 6, and then we ordered take-out Chinese and ate way too much, again. Oof.

One of the most extraordinary things about today is that the only hint of uppity-ness was a very minor thing DS2 pulled because he didn't want to sit by the window at CPK. It lasted all of 30 seconds, and when I switched seats with him, he was fine from there on out. This is a far cry from the days when we'd have to lug around entertainment of some sort or other for them; now they can color or do whatever (people watch, play "I Spy") to entertain themselves. DS2 often remarks on the interior design of a place; he loved the palm trees etched into the glass booth dividers and the windows at CPK. He is such a cool kid.

Today's anecdote of the exceptional: At dinner, I put a spoonful of hot mustard on my plate for my spring rolls. "What's that?" he asked. I told him it was mustard. "Oh," he says, "it looks like horseradish." It's a litte more greenish-yellowish than horseradish, but yeah, it does kind of look like horseradish. And how many 4-year-olds are talking about horseradish, anyway?

DH reported that all went well with DS1, too, except for a very minor dust-up on the way home, when it was well past snack time. But even that blew over quickly, and the boy was his usual charming self by the time they got home. After dinner he was practically bubbly. DD was her usual poised perfect self; I remember when she was four or five we went through a rough patch with her, where I'd have to drag her out of a store if I wasn't going to buy her anything. It was ugly, but she hasn't done that in the longest time. It's not something DS1 ever did, and I'm hoping DS2 is like his brother in that regard; I'd love never having to do that again.

It is really a blessing to be able to go out and enjoy myself with my kids, as often as I do.

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