Monday, October 27, 2014

Big E: Just Say No

This week is Red Ribbon Week at school.  What is Red Ribbon Week I hear all of you wondering?

It's a national campaign to raise awareness of the death and destruction caused by drugs in our country.  They are keeping things light and care-free for my four and five year-old.

I suppose it is never too early to learn about the dangers of drugs, but I'm not sure if my kids even understand what all this means, except they get to dress up in a different theme for each day of the week.

Neither Yoy has asked me any drug related questions, but I have my speech all prepared, especially the ending.

...WINE IS TECHNICALLY A DRUG, BUT IT IS LEGAL AND YOU GUYS ARE RELENTLESS.  THE END.

Fast forward to bath time this evening, I asked Big E to strip down and hop in the bath so he could get clean.

CLEAN FROM DRUGS?

I'm sure my eyes bulged out of my head.  I guess he WAS listening to his teacher.

UM NO, CLEAN FROM BOOGERS, CANDY, AND DIRT.  THANKS.


On a side note, better than any campaign or curriculum they could use would be my parents' strategy:

MRS. YOY'S MOM AND DAD: LOSERS DO DRUGS.  DO YOU WANT TO BE A LOSER AND WORK AT A FAST FOOD RESTAURANT FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE MAKING MINIMUM WAGE?

ME: NOPE. I HAVE EXPENSIVE TASTE AND WILL STICK TO WINE.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Big E: Starving Artist

Today I chaperoned Big E's class, who along with the four other K classes, went to the High Museum of Art.

The kids were super amped to head off campus.

We were assigned a docent upon arrival.  She was super southern.  Her name was Anna.  Like the girl from Frozen.  So immediately everyone had to tell her she had the same name as the Disney movie character.  She was neither amused nor excited about this nugget.

Then she laid down the rules:
1) No Running
2) Inside Voices
3) Keep an adult arm's length away from every painting, sculpture, and other unidentifiable object in the museum.
4) No Food or Drinks

It was like a torture chamber for kindergarteners.

Note to self, don't volunteer to chaperone the next trip to the art museum.  Pick somewhere indestructible, like the aquarium. Or Stonehenge.  

I glanced over at Big E's teacher.  This was going to be interesting.  Luckily, we only had nine children between the two of us, even if seven of them were rambunctious boys.

The kids started strong.  They all raised their hands and participated.

They (and I) learned about background and foreground.  Horizontal and vertical objects. Shapes.  It was like an intro to art class.  Anna navigated us through the paintings and (sometimes naked) sculptures.  

WHY IS THAT LADY NOT WEARING A SHIRT?

LOOK AT HIS BUTT!

They are five and six, so I'm expecting comments similar to a fraternity pledge.

By 10:30 the rumbles of tummies led to the rumbling of the group.

I'M SO HUNGRY.  I'M STARVING.  I NEED LUNCH.

In their defense, it was their usual lunchtime of 10:30.

Anna tried mightily to keep them engaged and interested, but she was fighting a losing battle.  These kids needed a Snickers and badly.

Kids began getting antsy.  Wayward arms and legs flew about.  I vomited in my mouth after one little boy swung his sweatshirt around and it came within inches of a painting.  I saw the panic in Anna's eyes, too.  The sh*t was about to get real.

Big E completely turned off around 10:30.  He is like me.  When he is hungry, he morphs into the most horrible human on the planet.  He glared.  He scowled.  He refused to participate.

Anna remained ever patient and escorted us to the project room where the kids worked with an artist to make their own masterpieces.  This seemed to distract them from their starving chant.

After lunch, everyone was restored and ready to run wild.  Unfortunately, we were in an art museum.

I've never been so happy to sit down on a public school bus.  We had made it.  No artwork had been destroyed.  No modern furniture had been sat upon.  

And exhale.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

You Can Stand Under My Umbrella, Part 2

We are deep into the 2014-15 school year.  The boys have adjusted well to the routine, including riding the school bus.  This morning we had our first rainy bus stop wait of the school year.

I dressed the boys in their matching green rain coats.  Little E gave me some push back.  He wanted to wear a Thomas rain coat a friend had given us.  The problem is, Little E needs to grow about a foot before it actually fits him.

Big E has a little umbrella that came with his rain boots.  Otherwise, he would not have one.  I grew up in Florida.  It rained pretty much all the time.  Even when it wasn't raining, it was so humid that there was always a layer of moisture coating my skin.

Little E does not have an umbrella.  This is an integral fact in this story.  I brought my giant red umbrella to the bus stop for us to share.

This was not acceptable to Little E.  He began to whine and cry.

I WANT MY OWN UMBRELLA!

He wanted me to leave them alone at the bus stop and run to Target and pick him up an umbrella STAT.  He was relentless.  I cursed Mr. Yoy, who remained bundled up in bed, while I stood at the bus stop being assaulted by rain and our youngest son.

Big E was of zero help.  He wouldn't let Little E hold his umbrella.  He taunted him.  Little E's tantrum began to swell.

As the bus pulled up, Little E was in full-on, academy award winning crying mode.

Big E bounded up the steps to the bus, without his umbrella.  There is no way I'm sending that to school with him.  I can just see the sword fighting now.

Little E refused to board the bus.  I picked him up and he went limp noodle on me.  As I lifted him up to the bus, he hooked his feet under the bus.  Good lord.  I was not prepared for a morning battle.  I palmed his booty and assisted him up the stairs.

So many tears.  Big E grabbed Little E's hand and took him to their seat.

I turned and strode up the hill towards home.

And that's how I came to drink wine at 7:30 AM.



Monday, October 13, 2014

Big E: Straw Poll

Today is Day 5 (and the final day) of Fall Break.

What is Fall Break you may wonder?

It's some bullsh*t break invented by the Atlanta Public School system.  My out-of-town friends and family couldn't believe that the boys went back to school in early August.  But they also don't have Fall Break.  Mostly because they reside in South Florida and don't have things like seasons.

My mom flew up on Thursday to help out with the Yoys.  Today we took them to the mall to kill some time before we had to drop Grandma off at the airport. (tears)

We spent three hours bumming around.  After lunch we decided to leave.

Big E had been nursing a Starbucks water for a few hours.  He dropped the straw on the food court floor and went to use it.  With all the nasty things going around, I asked him not to put it back in his cup and we got him a new straw.

Big E began whining about which escalator we were going to take to get down to the bottom floor.  Proof that our mall time had expired.

I turned around to see him running his new clean straw along the mall's hand railing.  For like twenty feet.

BIG E!  WE JUST GOT YOU A CLEAN STRAW.  YOU CAN'T USE IT NOW, YOU JUST RAN IT ALONG A HAND RAILING!

He began to whine.  He WANTED to use this dirty straw.

I was getting tired and my superb patience and parenting skills were waning.  I turned around and kept walking.

ENJOY YOUR RHINOVIRUS!

I yelled out in frustration to no one in particular.

A mom, walking at a much faster pace, was passing by right when I let out that snarky gem.

She kept walking for two more paces, stopped in her tracks, turned around, and started laughing.

Because she got it.

MY DAUGHTER WON'T KEEP HER FINGERS OUT OF HER MOUTH AND IT MAKES ME CRAZY.

We had a moment right there in the mall.  We exchanged a few war stories about our offsprings' affinity for eating germs and then she was on her way.

The sisterhood of motherhood, it's a beautiful thing.








Friday, October 3, 2014

Mrs. Yoy's Mantra: Bread Crumbs, Not Bodies

Wednesday evening found us on the banks of the Chattahoochee.

We were meeting some of our friends to participate in Tashlikh in conjunction with the Jewish New Year.

In summary, you throw bread crumbs into the water to cast off your sins from the last year and start this year anew.

As we drove to the river I laid the ground rules for the Yoys.  Really there was just one rule:

WE ARE THROWING BREAD CRUMBS INTO THE CHATTAHOOCHEE, NOT OUR BODIES.

There are many things in the river that you don't want to come into contact with:

1) Trash
2) Pollutants
3) Chemicals
4) Dead Bodies
5) Mutant Fish

Initially, the boys and their buddies obeyed.

They threw rocks and sticks into the river.  It was very A River Runs Through It.

The sun was setting and the light glistening off the river waters was lovely.  I was amazed at the beauty we found in the middle of the bustling city.

Fingers and toes began to creep closer to the water.  A shoe. Then another shoe. Then shoes were off and they were wading in the cold, dark, mysterious water. Then Little E climbed a slippery stone and busted a** into the river.  He was drenched from the waist down.  And with that, it was over.

The kids began to wade out into the river.  All eleven of them.  They laughed and splashed and had a grand old time.  Little E submerged himself.  When did this transform into a Baptism?

All while their Jewish mothers stood along the shore.  Shaking their heads in amazement.  Fretting.  Googling Flesh-Eating Bacteria. Because that's what we do.

We were able to lure the kids back to shore to say the prayer and toss the bread into the water.  Little E chowed down on his slice of bread.  According to him, his behavior was so exemplary over the past year, he was exempt from Tashlikh.

Happy New Year to my friends and family!