Saturday, January 26, 2008

Funny Friday

In the midst of all the stress we are currently facing, with very little sleep this week and a screaming baby, there were moments, yesterday, that I wanted to note because they made me laugh out loud.

The elementary school that two of my children attend is currently having a "penny war" in an effort to raise the funds to purchase new playground equipment (if you knew the extraordinary amount of money that I pay in school tax each year, you would be as perplexed as I am that there needs to be this charade to begin with, but who am I?!!!). The classroom that collects the most pennies over the two week period wins a pizza party (okay- another problem with this scam is that there is supposedly a district-wide rule where children are no longer allowed to be "rewarded" with food-except, of course, when the school decides that its own best interests are at stake, like with wheedling additional monies from parents for the playground or to "boost" scores by pumping our children with sugar just before standardized tests are administered). So, needless to say, my house has been emptied of every last penny the mint ever made that crossed our threshold, no one's piggy bank or lifesavings was excluded. As an extra bonus for Liam, I brought in rolls of pennies for each kid in his class, in honor of his birthday (since- you know- cupcakes are now illegal- we wouldn't want to reward a seven-year-old for being seven) (am I bitter?). The twinkles in Liam's eyes when I explained, in the school office, that he was holding a box of two thousand five hundred pennies, were worth the entire effort on my part, and even greater, was the laugh I got watching him attempt to carry this load back down the hall to his classroom. I am such a succer for my kids' happiness.

Benjamin had his girlfriend, Ella,
over for a playdate yesterday. Just to give them a chuckle, I asked if they wanted beer or wine with their granola bars. Well, they howled with delight at that joke, then proceeded to whisper to one another about having tasted their parents' beer in the past. Then Benjamin inquired, very secretively, in Ella's ear, whether she would be spending the night with him that night- to which he got silence. Ella, as her mother describes, is the female version of Ben- so it was several hours of bouncing off walls and jumping for joy at every turn. At one point they knocked heads, which required a double serving of magic kisses and cuddling. If they should marry and eventually procreate, I will be leaving the country- alone.

Lily likes to be asked to run into the small grocery store, up the street from our house, alone, to make a quick purchase for me, from time to time. Now that she is ten-years-old, this seems like a reasonable activity (and she's very mature), so yesterday she left me in the van next to the store entrance, with the boys, while she took my cash and got an item that we were missing for dinner. About 10 minutes later she returns, gleeful, bounding into the van with the most urgent of stories to relay- "MOMMY- Eddie Murphy is getting divorced after just two weeks of marriage and Miley Sirus got a makeover- I KNOW because this news was on the cover of People Magazine!!!!" Good grief.

And the funniest, by far, may have been Liam exclaiming to me that he wished we still lived in Ireland. Huh?!! "You, know, Mommy, how our family is Irish- well, if we still lived there, I could be a King or a knight or something like that!!" Ben very adamantly opposed this glorious plan, because, as he explained to his bewildered brother, Irish people are poor and starving, so we wouldn't want to live there. When I asked what he was talking about he said that he had heard at school one day that a lot of Irish people died because they were hungry (apparently he learned about the potato famine- and he is FIVE!!!).

Today, Lily straightened her hair so she looks about 17, which is driving her father and grandmother crazy (I think she is stunning, myself). Liam and Ben, along with Daddy, got their hair cut. Ben came rushing in the door, afterward, screaming "Mommy- Daddy almost got bald- look at his head!!!!"

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Forty-three year-old, mother and staunch advocate of four young children, passionate warrior of truth and self, finding the soul in each day, sharing my struggles and triumphs as I live them. Mostly I do this for me, so my thoughts don't race as much at night as they used to. But I also give this to those of you who need to know, in any or every way, that you are not alone.

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