Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Big Bunch of Nothing

I haven’t really had anything noteworthy to write about the past few days. It’s cold. Really cold. It jumped from the 70s on Halloween to the 20s a couple weeks later. One year for Christmas, my mom made me a flowered bag filled with rice that I heat up in the microwave and put on my feet. It’s actually one of my favorite things about the 7-month season here we call winter—putting a hot pack of rice on my feet. I live well, I really do. Except Darren and the girls kept borrowing it, so finally my mom made each of them one. Part of our bedtime ritual after I tuck them in, is to take their Strawberry Shortcake and Teddy Bears’ Picnic rice bags down to the microwave, heat them, then put them on each girl’s feet. I feel just like Mama in “All of a Kind Family” when she put flat irons wrapped in towels at the bottom of her daughters’ beds. Except, you know, less chance for third-degree burns. I have so little to write about that I actually considered a whole post on rice bags, complete with pictures. Then I realized that I’d like the few readers I have to actually want to keep reading.

Wake up! I’m still talking about the cold here. We’ve now entered the season where I can’t wear my wedding and engagement rings anymore, otherwise they’ll fall off. (I know, get a ring guard—I’ve already been told.) This worked to my disadvantage last Friday after work when I stopped to fill up my car. A man approached me and offered me a free newspaper (those of you who know where I work know exactly what newspaper I’m talking about). I didn’t want it, but I didn’t want to be rude either, so I took it. Then he sort of snatched it back and said, “You can have this on one condition: if you marry me!” Oy. I was all, “There might be some legal difficulties there, heh heh heh please get away from me.” Then he proceeded to take me a prisoner of conversation at the gas pump and determine where I live, where I work, which schools I went to, and how I got accepted into them.

On Monday when I got home from work with Elaine, Lucy met me in the driveway. “You’re probably going to be mad, Mom. Try not to get too upset,” she said. “What about?” I asked. “Mrs. Blevins sent home all these paper bags, and you’re supposed to make Indian vests for the whole class out of them.” “You’re joking, I know,” I answered. “Daddy put you up to this.”

Then we walked into the kitchen to see the huge pile of bags on my kitchen counter. Does the woman not read this blog? Apparently not. Shocking. But did she not see the pathetic drum I made last week? Why why why why oh why would I be the one parent out of the entire class selected to make 23 brown paper Indian vests? (And there’s a pattern, people. A PATTERN I have to follow.) When I picked Lucy up from school on Tuesday, Mrs. Blevins said, “That’s ok, right? The Indian vests?” “Oh sure!” I chortled. “Not a problem!” She answered, “Well, I thought it would be ok because you said it was better for you to do stuff at home since you can’t really come in the classroom to help out.” I said that? When did I say that? That does not sound like something I would ever say. Does it?

Then today I took Elaine to get her picture taken for her third birthday. It was about time because here is the last time she had her picture taken by herself:

When Lucy was her age, Darren took her in around Christmas. He called me from Penneys. “There are about 30 absolutely fantastic shots of her. I can’t even pick. You need to help me.” He was right. Every picture was frameable. With Elaine, I was just hoping for one. Not that she’s not a cute girl, in my opinion. It’s just that, whenever she meets someone she doesn’t know, or that’s she met only once…or three or four or eight times…actually, really anyone outside her immediate family, she puts her arm up over her face like she’s Princess Diana running from the paparazzi.

I had a long, repeated talk with her about how it's ok to be shy but not to be rude. And how a nice lady would take her picture, I would be with her, and she needed to be friendly and smile. It took her a little while to warm up (the arm came up in front of the face at first), but then she did beautifully. Every so often, her face would fall and she would say sadly and quietly, "I want my mommy," so she would come over to me, I would cuddle her and tell her what a great job she was doing, then she'd go back and take a few more pictures. Apparently it was so draining for her. Fortunately, by the end, I had a lot to choose from (and Penneys is running a 50% off sale!)

As a reward, I took her to Subway in the food court and let her pick out an M&M cookie. It cost $.53. As I rummaged around in my purse, I realized I had only $.26. I sheepishly handed the lady my debit card. "Oh, don't worry, it's on the house." When I protested, she said, "Honestly, it's no problem!" I was so embarrassed, like Elaine and I were taking charity and would soon be in a Lifetime movie called the "Christmas Cookie Miracle" or something. We pretty much just took the cookie and ran. No more Subway at the mall for us.

Now we're home, and she decided she'd like to watch The Waltons because Lucy is at school all day today. As for me...I've got twenty-three vests to make out of paper bags.


Laura Brown said...

"Christmas Cookie Miracle" ... hee hee!

Those rice bags sound like a really good idea. And I loved "All of a Kind Family" when I was a kid!

Ann-Marie said...

I cracked up at the Christmas Cookie Miracle, too! I swear, you could do stand-up.

Indian vests - your drum must have been the best out of the bunch. 23 vests out of paper bags. Alice, there are days I know you put stuff in there just so I see an upside to infertility.

I can't wait to see the holiday photos!

Ann-Marie said...

P.S. - I remember all those...please get away from me...moments when I went to college in the big city. Totally remember.

Alice said...

Heh, that's me--birth control by anecdote! :-)

Melanie said...

Cannot wait to see the pics of Elaine! Dying also to see your table full of those 23 vests!:)