Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Carpe Diem or else

Lucien has glasses now.  He began striking poses like this as soon as we picked them up.  He seemed to understand having glasses of this magnitude immediately turned him into an emo indie rocker.

(It was also "wear your pajamas to school" day.  The glasses/pajamas/rain boots combination seems to point in only one direction -- The Loosh has gone hipster.)

Track is over.  At our final meet, Lucien came in 7th place out of 8 kids in his first race.  I prepared myself to comfort him but he skipped up cheerfully, deposited his 7th place ribbon in my lap and said, "Well at least I beat that really slow kid!" I am thankful Lucien is buoyant and optimistic by nature.

We had to wait a long time for his second race, as is customary in track meet purgatory.  Lucien spent most of that time pawing through my bag (and his friend's mom's bag) for snacks.  We warned both boys that eating too much before a race was a bad idea.  They didn't believe us and continued to inhale Goldfish crackers as if they were the last Goldfish crackers on earth and people were coming to take them.

When the starter pistol fired, both our boys took off running but within a few seconds began clutching their sides with surprised looks on their faces.  They lurched down the track like tiny Quasimodos in sneakers.  I could hear Lucien muttering "Ow ow ow ow ow ow" as he passed at a slow gallop, arms wrapped around his stomach.

His coaches and I laughed so hard we cried.  It was delightful.  Lucien finished 8th out of 8; his similarly stuffed friend barely eked out victory over him in the "full stomach" division.

I tried not to say "I told you so" but failed.  Lucien said, "Mom, it had nothing to do with the eating, my sides just started hurting really bad and I think I need a doctor."  Then we all laughed at him again and he looked hurt and confused.  Character building!

We're currently taking bids for the exterior project we're hoping to complete this summer.   We've met with several contractors and their bids have started to come in.  It's difficult to compare the bids because each contractor has a different idea about what needs to be done and how best to do it. The issue is not just about the bottom line anymore but also who is most likely to know what the hell he's talking about.
First contractor:  "Hardi-plank siding is the only way to go."
Second contractor: "Blasphemy, nothing but the finest fir boards will suit such a house."
Third contractor:  "This house must be sided in unicorn teeth."
Fourth contractor: "We must bulldoze the whole thing to the ground and start over."

We're comparing apples to oranges over here.  How are we going to decide?  Are we going to rely on gut instinct?  Spin a wheel?  Throw a dart? (not at the contractors themselves -- though that would be another way to weed them out, by testing their reflexes.)

I have no idea.  I guess we'll just pick the guy in the middle -- not the guy who thinks he can mix the paint himself in his kitchen to save money nor the guy who thinks the paint must be made of quicksilver and diamond dust.  We'll choose the middle guy, the reasonable guy, then cross our fingers and march bravely forward.

I've been looking at catalogs again.   I think Restoration Hardware is becoming too pretentious for its own good.

For example, this clock.  I liked it quite a bit until I read it was non-functional. 
This giant clock doesn't work but still costs $1100.
That's dumb.
(Unless you're a big fan of 1:50)

A 1920s German Light Bulb Voltage Tester Bar?
What the hell does that mean?
Just relax, Restoration Hardware. 

I admit, this next item is useful if you really want to beat a message over your guests' heads --


Lucien had a really bad day at school recently.  The teacher wrote me a note and said it had been a hard one, that he'd been in trouble all day and seemed really out of sorts.  I sat him down for a heart-to-heart, asked him to put some words to his feelings to explain why it had gone off the rails.

He's quite articulate, my boy.  He started in on his list: he's frustrated because he's having a hard time with reading and feels stupid, one of his friends made fun of him and that made him angry, he's mad at me for being so hard on him lately,  it makes him feel sad and frustrated when I yell at him even though he's trying his best to be good, and he feels so frustrated with how wound up he feels he just wants to scream.

It was a lot of feelings for a little boy.  He let them all out while burying his face in my shoulder and crying.  He felt better afterwards, as do we all after a good vent session.

Then he said, "Mom, I just want to be a good man, like a man people study.  I want them to talk about me.  I want to be a man people only say good things about.  Like Obama*."

*Lucien doesn't realize people say bad things about Presidents because he doesn't have a Facebook account yet.

Anyway, hard times and easy times, good parenting days and bad parenting days, I really love this kid and hope I'm doing it right.

There's one thing I know for sure, my child:
Don't run on a full stomach,

I forgot to mention --
Hammacher Schlemmer thinks you need an ugly nap pod for $16,000.


  1. Aww, glasses. Coming from a mother with 2 in glasses, I have one piece of advice. Get backup glasses.

    Last year, when he fell on the playground and scraped the entire front of his glasses, we didn't have backups. we had to scramble and order him some backups, which always causes confusion because he has weird eyes.

    Sam is currently sporting his backup glasses because the screw on his spring hinge was lost and I am waiting for new frames to come in.

    Like I said, back up glasses.

  2. A productivity boosting nap pod? What could be better after stuffing your face with goldfish crackers?:)

    The Loosh is something else:)Love the new glasses:)

    "When you're in my house, YOU WILL SEIZE THE MOTHERF*CKING DAY" - You DEFINITELY need that somewhere in your house! LOL Forget about stripes! Take out that paint brush and those stencils, and make magic!:)

  3. Of course you are doing it right! The Loosh is growing up to have a sense of humor and a sense of balance. When he's a teenager, he'll likely think otherwise (and blame you for such) but that is how life is supposed to unfold. By then, you'll still have your sense of humor and your sense of balance... and a bottle of wine with a straw (why waste time pouring individual glasses?). And.. by the way... you'll love him just the same!

    Pick the contractor who will hang out with you over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine (or the bottle of wine with a straw). Surely, that is the one who will treat your home as his own.

    By the way, Restoration Hardware sent me the 75 pound catalogue trio (exaggerating a bit but, damn, it was bloody heavy). I was floored (pun intended). I wonder how much money they spent on shipping?

  4. Never mind beating your guests over the head with the enormous CARPE DIEM; I'd be more worried about it FALLING OFF THE WALL on their heads.

    You know there are other places you can find clocks like that which are ACTUALLY clocks. Screw Restoration Hardware. ;)

    Your son is awesome if his aspirations are to be the kind of good man people want to study. He could do worse in life, right?

  5. MJ check out the site has hundreds of DIY tutorials so you can create almost identical items to the ones you can get at restoration hardware for pennies compared to the thousands you would spend if you purchased the items from restoration hardware.

  6. How you goin' on that book, MJ? I'm buying it.

  7. late to the party...The Loose is rocking those chucks!! emo indie rocker indeed.

    could do with one of those nap pods here at work...ahem.

  8. I was sent that catalog too, it was bigger than the old sears catalog! Pretentious is the right word, nothing reasonably priced or useful seemed to be in it.

    Lucien is adorable AND super cool! What a great kid, wanting to be a man people study. I hope the glasses make school better for him.

    You're doing it all right, parenting is just plain scary, MJ!

  9. I am never ever sorry that I stop by and see you how you guys are doing. Tell Lucien he is ROCKING the Mothereffing HOUSE in his glasses. (says the girl who wears glasses---but that's so NOT the point)