hop, skip, and a jump

I've referred to our house as being on the edge of the Indy 500. A bazillion commuters start zinging by at 6am. Huge trucks going way too fast. Bear, who's not big on freaking out, freaks out on me when I walk on the road for anything ... anyway, someone died in front of our house today. A trucker tipped his rig and he's under it. This saddens me in so many ways.

People, please slow down. You do want to get where you're going, yes?

my gears are grinding

We're getting into the second week of Rio refusing to answer to anything but Mater. If you ask her to do anything and say "Rio" she'll promptly say, "I'm Mater. Call me Mater." This extends to play, the telephone, and most recently - the doctor's office. We had to have something checked out so:

nurse: Hi there! You're so pretty. What's your name?

rio: Rio. R.I.O. But call me 'Mater.'

me: Rio, c'mon.

rio: [looking back at nurse] Call me 'Mater' puleeeeease.


This directive is so consistent that Bear and I have actually started correcting ourselves when we let "Rio" slip ...

Yesterday I was on the phone trying to have an important conversation. I was sitting on the floor and desperately trying to keep her occupied by playing 'throw-guy-in-the-air-with-this-expensive-silk-scarf' and she wandered off. She climbed up on a big, puffy green chair. She was jumping around and all of the sudden she was 'whomp!' right on her face on the floor. Carpeted, but still.

me: Jeez Rio! Are you okay?

rio: [croaks] 'Mater.'

There is no doubting her dedication. I only hope this miraculously fades before we send her to the new school next week.....

Mommies, don't let your babies grow up to be media sluts ...

... at the very least, don't raise them to be such. I, for one, am saddened by Brit these days. She so obviously needs a mother to straighten her ass out, and all she has is hangers-on, cashing checks from the Bank of Brit. Her actual mother among them. And Mommy Spears was out pitching a parenting book while Brit goes crazy and 16 year-old Jamie doesn't tell her she's pregnant until there are no choices to be made besides, "I wonder who'll pay the most for the exclusive to this story"?! Spite babies are the new black. Brit, if you're reading, stay in the hospital. Yes, those people are paid to hang out with you, but at least they won't cause you continued mental damage.

Now. Lindsay Lohan is another one. Her mother seems to be at every party with her and she wonders why the kid fell into the abyss? C'mon. Kids need their parents to lay down the law, not help them to subvert it. I see this kid hitting multiple rehabs and then swilling champagne from the bottle with a look of desperation in her eye. Happy New Years. Now this.

I got 2 words for you, LiLo: sunscreen and parents. Good luck, kiddo. It would appear that no one is at the helm and there will be no joy when you run ashore.

my name is ...

As if I needed more reasons to curb her television consumption ... she is a big fan of the movie 'Cars.' Me, too, really. I get teary-eyed when Sally details the demise of her little town. Bear has purchased a book about Route 66 and it's on our 'to-do' list to make a long family roadtrip. So, Cars has crashed into our lives a bit.

That's all well and good, except Miss Rio calls me 'Sally' and Bear is now 'Lightning Queen [sic]' and she will only answer to 'Mader.' As in 'Tow Mater', the mildly-slow buck-tooth tow truck of the show.

She's taken this 'Mater' bit to the nth degree lately. She won't answer to 'Rio' and she insists Bear 'talk like Lightning Queen' and she'll say 'Sally Sally Sally' until I give in and just take my new name.

Yesterday, we went to the Providence Children's Museum. It was fun, insanely packed, and just a tad exhausting. We saved the water room for last. The kids don smocks that kind of keep them dry, and then all hundreds of little people run around huge suspended pools and splash and generally revel in the insanity while the parents either A. act responsibly and keep their kids upright, not throwing, not splashing others in the face or B. chat with the other parents who believe that kids should fall all over, throw heavy things at everyone, and dump water on the heads of children they don't know ... but I digress.

I tell Rio it's almost time to go. When the big hand hits the 11 we're going to pack up and head for lunch. At the appointed time she becomes the yelling child. I look at Bear and tell him to just pick her up as I strip the soaked smock off and we head out of the crazy room.


me: Rio. I told you it was time to go. You're behaving poorly which is not cool. We're going to have a nice lunch and we will visit here again.

rio: [goes limp in Bear's arms]

me: Okay then. Are you ready for lunch?

rio: [no response. still limp. head hangs]

me: Bear, just put her down. She can walk it off.

rio: [walking in a catatonic-like state, arms hanging straight down]

me: Nice job calming down buddy. Now, let's go have a delicious lunch. Would you like some miso soup?

rio: [with a completely flat affect, eyes all cartoon spirals] Call.Me.Mader.

Yeah, cuz I was such an effing huge Disney fan already ...

master of all she surveys

Bear was yelling "Schnoogs!" at her and chasing her to tickle her. They did one lap, two laps, and on the third she starting saying, "No tickles! No schnoogs!" but Bear kept chasing her. She just came to a halt, turned to him, pointed her wand at him and said, "Hey! Knock it off!"

I'm pretty sure the wand is the source of her power. If only I can get it away from her...

where have you been?

I've been busy! I got the job. Twenty hours a week from home doing research. It's fun, interesting, and it actually pays. So, get ready playgroup - it's only a matter of time before I find Manolos that can hang with toddlers ....

Anyway, today I received an email proudly sponsored by Scholastic. The inbox title:

Your Soooo Missing Out

Is it just me or does stuff like that make you crazy? Sponsored by Scholastic, no less. They must be so proud ...

Speaking of crazy, if you know the woman who drives the giant SUV with the Mass plate 'TANKA', bitch-slap her for me, wouldya? I was at BJs and it was freezing rain. Their cart system isn't the best - you really have to grab one in the myriad of covered shelters in the parking lot. So, she unloads her groceries and pushes the cart so it's evenly encroaching in the crux of four parking spots. I catch her eye and point to the cart shed that is literally 10 feet from her battleship. She ignores me, gets in her car, puts on lipgloss, backs out and then gives me the finger. So, yeah, bitch-slap her and pull her hair, okay? It's a good thing I don't have access to motor vehicle info or I'd totally abuse it to write people letters explaining why everyone loathes them.

What else? Not much really. We've been painting and doing some projects. We still have that dumpster. Bear still hasn't cleared the garage or basement. What's a woman to do?

Rio spent 4 days/3 nights with my inlaws. No one cried. Everyone was exhausted and lots of fun was had by all. She's really in such an amazing place. She now has the verbal skills to make me insane and she presents new and interesting challenges every day, and I can't imagine loving her more. This rocks.

We're sending her to a Montessori program T-Th starting in March. She's ready for more than play. She's writing her name and she's always asking how to spell things. You know, like everyone says, 'She's very advanced for her age.' But we think it will be a good atmosphere for her and it's super close to the house so I could get right back into bed. Ha.

I got a CD from another blogger and haven't had a minute to listen to it. I did move it to the car so that's hopeful. I'm also making jewelry which is fun. I'm sending him something and I'll post a picture when it's done. I swear. OH! And then I'll do a contest. Yay! Right now I have to participate in The Great Interview Experiment because I signed up for it before I suddenly got stupid busy. And I hate to break commitments. I'm like Britney that way ...

So, in the very near future: picture of the necklace I send to him, my interview with her, and whatever else I've been promising. Oh! And one more fun thing. I've signed up for a trainer at the gym. I share him with a friend who used to be competitive skater. Luckily, she's in such great shape that when I ducked into the bathroom to lay down on the floor and pray about not puking, he didn't notice. I am stupid.