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Saturday, June 28, 2008

I made a discovery. Looking back over some of my Blog, I realized that it’s not really haha-laugh out loud funny. I’m a little disappointed. It’s not that I expect you to bust a gut whilst reading of my triumphs, trials and tribulations. I just hoped for more than grunt-in-humoristic-appreciation funny. Bummer. Sorry to disappoint. But I guess at this point, if you’re still reading this, then you know what to expect. I’m the only one who is surprised. Sigh. At any rate, I’ve haven’t quit my (imaginary) job to go compete on Last Comic Standing, and I haven’t tried to submit any funnies for the Comics. So I guess we’re OK. Here’s your half-ass chuckle for the week.

First of all, last weekend Mike and I went to Spokane for an Engaged Encounter meeting. We squeezed in a nice (and brief) visit with his aunt and uncle before coming home. But the majority of the weekend was spent in our meeting/workshop. The meetings are always so fun, and we did get to stay in a Convent. There were ACTUAL habited-nuns running about the place! (Actually, I never saw one run, but I did see one driving a golf cart with a dog on a leash running alongside). And nuns made our food and packed us a sack dinner for the drive home on Sunday. I honestly had to bite my tongue for bursting into “How do you solve a problem like Maria?” I thought that that desire would all be in my head. But no. I REALLY did fight the urge to do that. I succeeded. Just barely.
We saw a total of TEN deer while on our travels. Unfortunately the last one was taking a nap next to I-90 on our drive home.
One of the couples – Bob and Vicki – at the meeting is from a distant and rugged land called Montana. They thought it was pretty entertaining that I was so desperate to see wildlife as it’s a daily occurrence for them. So, Saturday evening several of us ventured out to see if we could find some deer on the picturesque Convent grounds. Sure enough, within moments of setting out the door, I spotted four deer over in a grassy field. Bob was so proud that his wildlife-spotting-protégé (moi) showed such promise. I then decided that seeing the deer wasn’t enough of an education in nature for me. I wanted to see what deer poo looked like. We then went on a deer-poo hunt. (Because of course, the deer had leapt away as we walked towards them; we were able to go right to the spot where they’d just been mingling). Bob found some poo to show me. Did you know that it’s quite firm? (Oh, to clarify: I didn’t touch it, I was just surprised that it appeared to be little hard pellets. With all the grass and roughage they eat, you’d think the grass would keep things loose for them.)
Bob picked up a pellet and chucked it at me. I squealed like a City Girl much to everyone’s delight…turns out it was just a little pine cone.
I also learned that people actually BUY deer pee to cover themselves in when hunting. Who knew?
In true EE-style, Saturday night of our “meeting” was a big ‘ol rockin’ party. So, the deer-hunting party was actually about 12 people stumbling around the Convent grounds being WAY too loud and raucous. Sunday morning, as we all groggily staggered out of our rooms for breakfast, we realized that people were showing up for Sunday morning Mass…and having to practically step over and around the piles and boxes of empty and discarded wine and beer bottles. We tried to quickly hide the evidence. But they were on to us. “Oh, Engaged Encounter was here. Right.”
The kids have been extra challenging lately. Basically being boys – wee, little, troublesome boys. Zach has decided that the best form of self-defense and self-expression is screaming a high, blood-shaking and window-curdling [yes, intentional. I’m mixing up the clichés to keep you on your toes]. Matthew has decided that being all around difficult, argumentative and non-compliant is his new behavior-of-choice.
So, Mike and I have found ourselves saying “NO!” and “STOP!” a lot (and pulling out our hair a lot more often). In all the parenting books in the entire world – basically all the places where it says ‘Don’t do what Mike and Jenny do’ it basically states: instead of saying No, put it in a positive way. I.E. “You can’t hit the dog, but you CAN pet the dog…or you can go hit your pillow.” This is all fine and good but kind of a bunch of hooey. Mike brought up a good point, “So, your child is running towards the hot stove and you’re supposed to calmly say ‘You CAN go touch the fridge…” Right.

In the car, on the way to the zoo, yesterday, Matthew said the following, “We should have a baby girl, Mom.”
When I explained that yes that would be lovely and we certainly have the girls’ clothes in boxes, it would require that I be in bed – and possibly the hospital – for months; I just don’t know if that’s a good idea.
He responded with “We’ll adopt her because she won’t have a family. And you can be her Mommy! And” – getting more excited – “Zach, we’ll be big brothers! Isn’t that great? We’re going to have a sister!”
So, apparently, with this all decided, I asked, “What should we name her?”
Without skipping a beat, he replied, “Abigail. ‘Cuz we’ve been saving that name.” I can’t even articulate what I was thinking at this point…it’s like he opened my brain and dumped all my thoughts onto the empty passenger seat next to me.
After a long pause I said, “I don’t know Matthew, I’ve been getting pretty frustrated with you two boys lately. Do you think we could handle another kiddo? Plus, you’d have to share toys with someone else and you have a hard enough time sharing with just Zach.” [All the while, I’m thinking: should I really be responsible for screwing up another little humanoid?]
Matthew said, “Yep! We’ll share. And she’s going to help us. She’ll tell us when we’re making bad choices.” That’s a lot of pressure on this little girl! I should know since that’s now my role. But I’d be willing to do some form of job-share.

Once we arrived at the zoo, Matthew said, “Let’s go see the teeter-totters!”
“Matthew, I don’t think they have teeter-totters here.” I tried to remember seeing a playground.
“No, Mom, the TEETER-TOTTERS. By the bears.”
“You know! The ones that swim.”
It finally dawned on me. “OH! The SEA OTTERS!”

“Let’s dance!” Matthew said, jumping up from his Legos. (“HUH?!” I thought. Matthew is not one for physical activity...especially if it interrupts something like playing-Legos).
“OK.” We stood up, Matthew took both my hands and we started walking back and forth, back and forth – About four feet in one direction, then we’d stop, and go back to where we started.
“What dance is this?” I asked (not actually expecting much of an answer).
“The Mango.”
“The Mango?” huh? He’s never eaten a mango in his life. “Oh! Do you mean the Tango?”
“Yeah, the tango!” How he knows what the Tango is – or how it’s danced – is beyond me. How his brain works, in general, is beyond me. (Then again, I don’t actually know how any brains work. I’m not a brain specialist, just to be clear.)

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