20 May 2014

Zoo Zoo Zoo

I had a deprived childhood, I guess, because I can't remember ever going to the zoo.  The first zoo I remember is the Wellington, New Zealand Zoological Gardens, which I took my kids to when we lived there, and I've heard that it's only mediocre on the zoo scale. (I'm trying to use the word zoo as often as possible.  I'm up to five.  But seriously, what other word is there for a zoo? Park?) So, over spring break when my children were perfecting their "I'm So Bored!" mantra, I decided to try out our local caged animal viewing site. (See? Zoo is easier.)

I was thrilled to go, and my children all complained.  Evidently, sitting in front of a screen, even when it's off and they're just waiting for the moment when they can turn it on, is more exciting than seeing real life animals.  Like any self-respecting mother, I forced them to come with me.

It was a perfect, sunny day, without being hot.  My kids saw all kinds of animal behavior that gave them good ideas for what to try out at home, but this is pretty much the only picture I got.  A peacock.  He made me work for it.  For every time he showed us his face, we saw his rear ten times.  My youngest child thought this was hilarious.

Then, around the time when we'd seen most of the animals and we were gearing down to head to the exit, my son went missing.  One second he was there watching the seals, the next minute he was gone.  He must of have been paying special attention to the apes, who were playing least-in-sight when we passed their enclosure.  After searching the zoo for a half hour, I found him next to the peacock.  When he saw me coming, he stood up and pointed at me, like I was the one who had wandered off.

First he complains about going, and then he makes it so we can't leave.  Kids.

If you're looking for a fun book, my friend just put one out called "The Library and the Lion".  Lots of great details about Cambridge. Check it out here.

12 May 2014

Confessing My Tupperware Sins

The yard sale was inside an elementary school gym.  It HAD to be worth checking out, right?  I wandered in, disappointed by the mostly empty tables I passed.  Disappointed, until I got to the southeast corner.

My eyes gleamed happy little dollar signs as I took in box after box of brand name Tupperware that less discriminating yardies hadn't bothered with.  I dug in, fingers caressing the nearly indestructible bowls and lids that we'll probably still be using at our Golden wedding anniversary.  Eight big boxes of treasure that I looted alone.

As I loaded my arms, searched for corresponding lids, and dithered about tall and thin, or square versus round, the ladies in charge called out that since they were hoping to close up soon, the yard sale had just become my favorite kind of gluttony, the "Stuff a bag for a dollar" kind.  

I wanted so much of it!  Unfortunately, our kitchen is bitsy and would burst with indignation at being forced to house as much as I wanted to stuff into it.  I limited myself to things I could think of an immediate use for. Mostly.  There is that one green canister that I'm still looking at as it sits on my counter wondering how I can fill its timecard.

It must have a purpose, I just have to think of it.  I mean, it's green!  What could be more useful?

05 May 2014

Little Bum

I was down, depressed, and ornery.  It was the kind of day better spent in bed with the door closed (preferably locked) and the kids being babysat by everyone's favorite babysitter, the television.  But, I couldn't stay in bed, I had dishes screaming at me from the sink, laundry crying for attention, errands clamoring for precedence, dinner to decide on, and children to pick up and drop off and pick up again.  To compensate for my lost bed time, I was annoyed at everything.

Late in the afternoon, after a hard day of internal griping and external sighs, I jumped in the car to race off on yet another taxi run.  As I careened around the corner, I saw my neighbor's two year-old daughter running down the sidewalk, in a too-short shirt, snow boots and underwear.  Her eyes were on her goal: escaping her mother's notice long enough to make it from her front door to the driveway and the bike waiting for her.  A girl on a mission.  Her bare legs pumped, hair streaming behind her.

For the first time all day, I cracked a smile.  I even laughed, effectively silencing my internal rant.  I haven't told my neighbor about her daughter, but I bless the moment that caught her unaware and led her daughter to brighten my day.