Thursday, February 17, 2011

Quick Takes Friday


It seems that every single person I see lately needs to make a comment about how many children I have stuffed in my grocery cart, and I'm not sure why.

Actually, I have to amend that. I'm pretty sure it's the big belly that makes them pull up long enough to do the mental math. Sometimes, just for kicks and giggles, I like to imagine what goes through people's heads, based on the kind of comments that eventually come out of their mouths.

Let's see, she's obviously pregnant, the poor dear. And she's got an adorable, but still VERY young, baby in the front of the cart. Tsk, tsk, she probably wasn't planning on another so soon. Oh, and she's got an older girl there, holding onto the side of the basket, how nice. I wonder if she's hoping for a boy this time so that . . . OH MY WORD, she's already got a little boy tucked into the basket of the cart! Right there, under the bread and diapers. Well now I've just GOT to say something.

And then, while they are trying to diplomatically disguise the wonder in their voices and congratulate Sally on being such a helpful oldest sister, my darling Sal pipes up and says that she's not really the oldest since the two big kids are at school.


In all honesty, I am mostly unbothered by the comments. On my most tired of days, I tend to find them sticking in my craw, but I also know I need the humbling. It's one of those situations where you just need to smile and take it.

(Unless people make truly nasty comments directed toward the children themselves. Then the gloves come off.)

Besides, it's much better to smile and laugh when people are goggling over the trail of children behind me. As one very elderly lady said to me yesterday, "Darling, look at all these children and you're still laughing! What a joy."

She's right.


And speaking of babies, let's talk about #5. Mopsy is at a completely edible, squishable stage of development. (And yes, those are scientifically measurable stages of development.)
She is on the cusp of 11 months and she just smiles all the time. In fact, that is probably the most offered comment about her. People always stop and say, "Well, she's a happy little thing, isn't she?"

Not to toot my own horn, but as my mom is fond of pointing out, why wouldn't she be happy?

She's healthy, thank God. She's completely adored by her siblings who do everything in their power to keep her laughing (and who feed her all kinds of delicious and forbidden foods). She has a mother who can't stop kissing her face off (ok, maybe that's a little annoying . . .). She has a father who thinks she's the bee's knees.

And she's the only one in the family who gets her own room. According to the resident 11 year old, nothing can top single occupancy on the happiness chart. (Don't worry, big sister, Mopsy's time is coming. Only a few more months until she hits double occupancy status.)

Sure, she's a lot of work, especially since she's so mobile and I am so . . . not. It's a full time job just making sure she doesn't eat things off the carpet all day long.

But it's a much easier job to chase her down when she's laughing all the way.


The last two days have felt like spring has sprung around these parts.

I know it's way too early to consider winter down for the count, since March usually always has a nice sleet/ice storm up her sleeve for us. Not to mention all the wind.

But there is something so rejuvenating about being able to turn the thermostat way down and open the windows for a few hours during the day. I really feel like I've come out of some sort of dark tunnel.

Plus, not having to bundle up all the kids in heavy coats, hats, and mittens shaves about 20 minutes off the time it takes to get them all in the car. That is something I can really get used to.


I'm not sure when it started, but Rob has a special affection for St. Polycarp. He really wanted the new school to be named St. Polycarp's, but his suggestion was not taken. He likes to tease the kids and tell them that we are naming the baby Polycarp.

And although I am all over saints' names for kids and I admire courageous, faithful St. Polycarp, I still have trouble getting behind the name Polycarp for a little boy who is not living in first century Asia Minor.

I think the kids know that if their little sibling is revealed to be a boy he will not be named Polycarp.

St. Ignatius, a good friend of St. Polycarp's, is another matter. I could get behind Ignatius . . .


It may be irrational, but I get completely annoyed by the show Super Why on PBS Kids.

I think the goal of the show, which is early emphasis on reading skills, is laudable, but I don't like the way they go about it.

Super Why features pint-sized readers with super powers who can go into a story and change the words to make it a "new" story. Meaning they change what they deem to be unpleasant or unkind about traditional fairy/folk tales.

The wolf and the three pigs aren't really adversaries, the wolf is just misunderstood. The grasshopper, from The Ant and the Grasshopper, is just a fun guy who needs help to get his food for the winter. And so on . . .

Look, I'm all for instilling compassion in my kids. I want them to be helpful, kind, and courageous, but sometimes you need to call a spade a spade.

Sometimes people are plain lazy, and there will no good results without a good effort. Sometimes people are cruel and they really do not wish you the best.

Are traditional fairy tales macabre? Yes. Did you ever read the original version of Cinderella? Yikes! Will they scare some kids? Yes, that's why you have to know your children and be the judge of what they can handle.

But they have their place, just as stories of true courage and heroism have theirs.


And speaking about children's television, Caillou is hands down the most whiny character ever put in a program. And that's saying something.

I want to stand his parents in front of me and slap them silly. He's 4, for goodness' sake, don't let him be mean to his baby sister and run roughshod over you!

As a side note, Francie is very disturbed that he is 4 and he still has not one single strand of hair. She is convinced he is very ill.

Also, although we love the Little Bear shows, Hen is pretty high on my list of whiny characters. Rob and I keep waiting for Little Bear's natural tendencies to take over and just eat Hen. Does that make us bad parents? Probably.
And I realize this sounds like my kids do nothing but watch television. We just happen to be so lucky as to have inherited lots of videos, with the children being inexplicably drawn to the most annoying ones. Strangely, we have many lost DVDs here.

I've been craving everything strawberry lately and I cannot wait until they are actually in season.
Other things I've had a hankering for? Salami, ice cream, burritos, watermelon, grapes, red pears, pizza, meatloaf sandwiches, sweet potatoes, cheese steaks, cinnamon gum, and chocolate chip cookies.
Those are just the things I can remember from the past two days. And no, I did not eat everything on that list, although I did make chocolate chip cookies yesterday and used leftover meatloaf to make a mean sandwich for dinner.
Pregnancy truly is an altered state, both physically and mentally.
For more quick takes, you know where to go. Pop over and visit Jen at Conversion Diary.
Have a lovely weekend, my friends!


  1. Mmm, you're making me hungry :)

    I SO agree with Caillou, it's the one PBS show I forbade when my kids started watching tv. Can not stand it.

    Have you seen Sid the Science Kid? That show is way too PC for me. Geesh!

    If the baby is a girl, you could name her Polly to satisfy your hubby :)

    I was in the store the other day, and a todler was running away from her mom, and the mom told her husband to go "follow the giggles" to find her. Such a fitting description of what toddlerhood is like!

    Oh gosh, I wish we could be friends in real life - so much in common!

  2. I only have 3 kids but because they are age 4 and under, I get LOTS of unsolicited comments. Some are great but others are just NOT. I try to let the negative ones roll but some days, it is hard to do that. And while Caillou is whiny, he doesn't seem to rub off on my children. Max (of Max & Ruby) is at the top of my list...he only says one word phrases which Liam likes to mimic. Also, Max disobeys everything and then gets his way at the end of almost every episode. Not my fave! Enjoy all the cravings of pregnancy- you even have some healthy stuff in the mix :) My last pregnancy made me crave all junk food- like Taco Bell. I'm gonna guess you are having a boy!

  3. Aimee - honestly I would be the one doing the mental math and thinking you were very brave or insane for taking all those kids to a store with you...

    Ethan never knew about Barney or Caillou. He did discover the rug rats - which he was NEVER allowed to watch anyway.

    My favorite (and still is) Clifford - give me a big red dog and I'm a happy girl. Watching that with Ethan everyday was one of my favorite times

    While I was pregnant I ate a salad everyday for lunch and eat all the crap I wanted the rest of the time. I would double order chinese food just to eat the leftovers at breakfast. I miss that...

  4. I've managed to not let my kids watch Caillou, because we watched one episode when Taylor was little and I realized I wanted nothing to do with that kind of whining. Victory!

    If you had all the kids with you you might actually get less comments. I got the most when it was apparent we were expecting our fourth. After that it has slowed down considerably, and is almost always something along the lines of "what a blessing" which is very nice.

    Spring will be here before we know it and so will your sweet baby!


Go ahead and say it. You know you want to.