October 24, 2010

A House is Not A Home

I picked up the latest edition of House & Home in the check-out line the other day. Or maybe it was Modern Living, or Expensive Houses You'll Never Have ... I don't know, I can't remember. Anyway, it had lots of nice pictures of beautiful rooms decorated to suite the style du jour. Curiously, they didn't list 'Toys R Us' as one of the style categories raging to the forefront in the lives of the wealthy and stylish.

Too bad. I could use an update.

Last year, we built a significant addition onto our home. Before you decide this makes me sound like I'm oozing money, our home is a half duplex from the disco era and we did it because it was the most cost-effective way to increase our living space - to say my husband is handy is like saying Mother Teresa did a couple of good deeds... He built everything himself and to code.

Anyways, we built this awesome addition in anticipation of Version 2.0 coming along one day (in the last month of the reno while we were living in a trailer in our driveway). We finally had all this space and we were going to find a place for everything, Version 1.0 would have storage places for all her stuff, we'd have a real living room where we could entertain... Yeah, that was a great daydream.

Today, we have toy store chic. There are toys and games and play dough and bloody ride-ons in every damn corner. My fancy bathroom is currently overridden with stuffies, squirty toys, three of today's wardrobe changes and a bench.

We clean up Every. Single. Night.

Its really amazing how this kid can make a mess. I mean she literally swoops through a room and pulls crap from every shelf, plays for a minute then on to something else. By afternoon you can barely walk through my much bigger new living room.

I want my daughter to enjoy herself and I also want her to take responsibility for her mess. We do clean-up time every night complete with a ridiculous song, and she will play along but to initiate it herself just doesn't happen.

Clearly she doesn't know how utopian life can be with those postmodern lines and nary a coloring book lying in the arterial route through the house.

But, really, that's not what I want. I don't want to exist in someone else's ideal of perfect. I'm ok with a bit of clutter and a well-intentioned mess. I just... want a bit of house that can be organized, and represents the guardians that now get steered by those short tyrants.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

October 6, 2010

What Happened To The Witches?

I was in the drug store with my daughter the other day and they had a whole assortment of random Halloween paraphernalia on display already. Some was amusing and some was frightening and some was a little bit of both.

Last year, she wanted nothing to do with it. She was freaked out by the scary faces and didn't get the concept of a costume - in fact, she fought me like a demon trying to get it on her... Until she stepped through the whole process and discovered that it ended in a contribution of candy in her little orange bucket. It didn't matter that she didn't get to eat any of it (that's what Mommy and Daddy are here for, as evidenced my Mommy's large size jeans), just the idea of the colorful sweets got her so excited.

We walked around for hours and knocked on every door and she turned to me and said "Mommy, Halloween is FUN!". She was not even two at the time so I can understand her initial hesitation but what a difference a year makes.

This year, she started reading her Halloween books a month early and is already planning her trick or treat route.

And, she chose her costume: Buzz Lightyear. If there is anything my daughter is not, it is girly. She wavered on her decision for not even a moment, bypassed all the frilly tutus and princess fairies and zeroed in on Buzz. Mommy is happy cause it's simple and one piece and will keep her warm throughout the inevitably rainy night. Plus, she looks damn cute in it.

But what the what has our costume selection come to? Call me an old biddy but every costume marked "girl" from say age 4 and up was some kind of sexy version of an old classic. Sexy witch, sexy nurse, sexy Frankenstein. Not kidding! A freaking short skirt, fishnets and heels for size 4! Unreal. I mean, I did my time dressing as a whore vampiress before but I was 23! Not 4! Do parents really buy those for their kids because they think it's ok for a 4-year-old to be sexy? Ick.

I guess on the boys' side the gore and violence emulated in their costumes would be a reasonable contrast but somehow it doesn't seem to quite leave your kid looking so... Pathetic and vulnerable.

When I was four, I wore a ghost costume with red lights for eyes and carried a large battery around under the sheet so my eyes would glow red all night. I suppose I could reintroduce that costume now for my daughter, provided it hugs all her curves in just the right way?

I just threw up a bit in my mouth.

Can we please have the witches and goblins and ghosts and Ronald Reagan back for our little ones? Maybe a dollop of creativity instead of skank? I'd like my kids' friends to say "Oooo!" and not "Ewwww!".

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