Category Archives: toddler

We’re singing Hallelujah and the edge in your affection broke my skin

Here we are. It’s – what day is this? Um…Friday? OK. It’s Friday. Hi! Happy Friday! Does that mean this week is almost over? Oh, that’s nice. I like that a lot. I’m looking forward to the end of this week, I really am. It’s been filled with turmoil. ALL THE TURMOIL! Dumbcat says to tell you that for him, it has NOT been filled with turmoil, and that he’s been taking many nice naps as always, and that he can’t be blamed for waking his beloved mom up at 4am the other morning with many cheerful headbutts but he was just SO EXCITED TO BE ALIVE that he wanted to share some of that joie de vivre with her, is all. He can NOT imagine why she was all “STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT GO AWAY DUMBCAT I AM ASLEEPIN’!!!” It is an utter mystery to this Dumbcat.

The Nephew is going to be Buzz Lightyear for Halloween. I saw a video of him in his little costume and it made my whole Grinch heart break the measuring machine. I would show you but I can’t find a way to take it off of Facebook and make it go somewhere else. Plus I don’t think I should put The Nephew on the old bloggity blog because of the killers. Anyway, he is the BEST Buzz Lightyear, and he said MANY cheerful “TO INFINITY AND BEYOND!”s and jumped up in the air, and at one point, he said, “when can I fly?” to his mom, and that made my whole heart ache. That’s how you KNOW he’s the real Buzz Lightyear. Buzz Lightyear wanted to fly, too. Mom said he told her that he was going to really fly, and when she said, “You will get hurt if you try!” he said, “No. Buzz Lightyear NEVER gets hurt!” so I think maybe he didn’t internalize the lessons of Toy Story where Buzz Lightyear came to the hard cold truth he was really a toy and this makes me nervous The Nephew is going to jump off something high on Halloween to see if he can fly. GULP. Dear Nephew: I love you more than anything in the whole world. Anything ever. I would turn myself inside out to make it so you can really fly. Don’t even think I wouldn’t. (Listen, you think I’m rabidly loyal to my friends? You haven’t seen me with The Nephew. There is possibly no one in the world more beloved than that child. I see him and I just GLOW.)

Think this is cute? Imagine a 3-year-old blondie doing it with a HUGE grin on his face. It’s the utter best.

I am currently watching American Horror Story and it’s already freaking me out a little. This bodes well. I do so love being freaked out. This is because I’m a little mentally deranged. Shh, don’t tell anyone. Oh, what’s that? You all already knew that? FINE. I can’t keep secrets from you, can I? Aw, my sweet little potpies. Also, it’s the best month for scary. Nice job, American Horror Story! (Also, THANK YOU for keeping my Evan Peters around. I could watch this kid act all day long. LOVE.) And now I am having a LOT of trouble concentrating on blogging. THIS IS A VERY GOOD SEASON ALREADY. Oh, thank you thank you American Horror Story. I so needed a good program this season and nothing else has lived up to expectations. (Also, Joseph Fiennes is a priest. JOSEPH FIENNES. I will always and forever be in love with Joseph Fiennes. Have I mentioned? This is a very good show.)

I love Evan Peters. Even though it’s a little creepy and he’s probably young enough to be my kid. Sorry, Evan Peters. I don’t want to sex you up, or anything. I just think you’re amazing.

Argh, I totally have TWO VERY GOOD IDEAS for blog posts and I can’t write them because I don’t have the time. Grump grump. I think I have Monday off so maybe I can work on at least one of them then. Oh, well, listen, I’m not saying they’re going to be GOOD. I’m just excited I have IDEAS. (One of them will be good. One of them will, anyway. I have a whole brain-plan. Well, the part of my brain that’s not all scrambly from the insanity of this week, anyway.)

Oh good grief I cannot pay attention to you, blog, I can’t look away from the television. THIS IS SO GOOD. Seriously, internets, you need to be watching this show.

Here is Joseph Fiennes as a sexy priest. He’d also be a sexy serial killer or a sexy Muppet, though, let’s be honest.

OK, you’re tired of hearing about the teevee and so is Dumbcat because he just kind of pounced on the laptop to get my attention so I had to erase what he said but it was kind of like this: woihefoosdihf. I think that means, pet me more now Mom stop being distracted-like! in Dumbcat-ese.

Oh! Here is a story called, why it is good to have an sj in your life. So at work today, they said, “Amy! Can you work the late shift on Sunday please please? We need you.” And they pay extra on weekends. And what do we like in the Lucy’s Football household, especially these days? Money to pay the bills. Also, there’s a play coming up I want to see. And it’s like $20. But I don’t spend money on things that aren’t bills or food. BUT I NEED TO SEE THIS PLAY. Because a., it’s got one of my favorite people in the world in it, and b., it’s my favorite musical of all time. (Who knows what musical that is? Extra credit if you remember the answer to this one. N., if you’re reading, YOU CAN NOT PLAY! You already KNOW the answer! Because we BOTH love this musical to distraction!) So extra money and extra hours = being able to see this play and not having to go without…oh, I don’t know…groceries.

Here’s a hint. NO, I’m not going to TELL you. This is a TEST. To see who’s paying ATTENTION. Extra credit if you know whose back is to the audience here. The character, not the actor. I don’t know who this actor is, either. Some dude on the interweb.

Anyway, so they asked, and I thought about it for like four seconds and was like, “UGH, I need a day off after the week I’ve had” but then I thought, “hell, I’ll have Monday off, probably, I’ll be ok” and said ok.

Then I got home, and I emailed sj (which is what I do, because she is my sj) and we were chatting and I mentioned Sunday and she was all, “Don’t you have theater that night?” and SHIT SHIT! I had TOTALLY FORGOTTEN about having theater that night! This week has sucked my brain out of my ears and replaced it with cotton candy, I swear. Ooh, that makes me think of the Ben Lee song “Apple Candy” and I haven’t obsessed over that in a while and I want to do that again over and over so I SHALL, thank you.

(I don’t know what’s up with this weird fan-video, either. Just shut your eyes and listen to how gorgeous this is. I saw him in concert once and he’s about as big as someone you could pop in your pocket, no joke. SO CUTE! I feel like we’ve talked about this before. Did we talk about this before, or did I just talk about this with sj? Stupid brain.)

So I had to email all the theater people and send my apologies (although I very much want to do the theater thing that night, I have to do the money-thing more than I can do the theater-thing. The theater-thing isn’t like a MANDATORY theater-thing. It would have been a FUN theater-thing. And I am sad to miss it. But, money, you know? DAMN YOU MONEY.) When you have a friend who knows your schedule better than you do, you have found a keeper. Hey, sj? You’re amazing, you know? Shush, me, I’m going to get weepy.

Oh! Blog tour news! Three things for you today! Two artsy posts that are SO AMAZING YOU GUYS SERIOUSLY, if you don’t check these out you are missing out – one from sj and Meg, with the prettiest animated gif…argh, I can’t even. YOU HAVE TO GO SEE. And one from my Science Fellow! It has my HEART in it, you guys, my HEART! My magpie heart! Oh, wait til you see. It’s wonderful. I love them both so much. I seriously had all the tears yesterday. Then! One from Heather at Between the Covers introducing my book (and she’ll have a guest post from me soon, too!) And she picked a poem to talk about and I re-read it and I thought, huh, I wrote that, that’s pretty good, yeah? Well, good job, me. Good job. Then I got glowy.

OK. I have got to get to bed, jellybeans and gumdrops. Another long day tomorrow. Today I learned a new SKILL at work because I am THE AWESOMENESS. It is all very exciting to be the awesomeness, but sometimes the awesomeness has to get some sleep. To recharge the awesomeness. It takes a lot of energy, to be awesome, you see. Plus when your cat wakes you up at 4am with headbutts you gotta be prepared, yo. Goodnight. Or, good DAY, I guess. Since you’re reading this in the morning-hours. TIME FOR BED EITHER WAY.

I think I need to get one of those helmets with a canary in it.

Random crap Saturday? Sure thing, buckaroos, saddle up. 

Winning Aunting with ADD Trains 

So it’s almost The Nephew’s third birthday. His mom’s having a party for him in the rec park near his house, happily on a Sunday so that means I can attend. Yippee! I like seeing The Nephew. He’s very excited about his birthday. He tells anyone who asks “I’m turning THREE YEARS OLD!” I think he’s also reached the age where he realizes that with birthdays, come presents. I think that’s a very auspicious age, when you can connect the two. 

I am going to show you a picture of The Nephew. I know, this is probably pretty unprecedented. If any pervs show up searching like they did on my friend Mer’s blog once, I’ll come to your house and make you eat your own testicles as an hors d’oeuvre, I swear on all that’s holy.

This is a picture of The Nephew fishing with his dad recently. It is possibly one of my favorite things in existence, because LOOK AT THAT SKEPTICAL FACE. He is NOT SURE OF SOMETHING. I love this child. To pieces.

His party is construction-themed, because right now The Nephew is into construction vehicles like dump trucks. He should come to Albany! All we HAVE is construction right now, Nephew! Come on down! I think you’d be a little less enamored with it if you were stuck behind one of these big trucks and it was driving super-slow and you JUST WANTED TO GO HOME AND RELAX IN FRONT OF THE FAN DAMMIT, but maybe that’s just me. 

My mom checked with The Nephew’s mom to see what gifts he wants for this very important birthday, and apparently, the answer is Chuggington. Which sounds like a euphemism to me, honestly. “Hey, honey, what time are you getting home tonight? Because I think it’s time for us to try out the Chuggington, right? Wink wink nudge nudge!” 

What is Chuggington, you ask? Some train shit, I don’t know. He likes trains. He used to like Thomas the Tank Engine, but there’s a scary train on it so he stopped watching that one. Listen, I just checked the website to show you which train scares my beloved little buddy and there are a LOT of scary-faced trains. Why is this a children’s show? 

I don’t trust the smile on this one, he looks like a child molester.

The hell? This might give me nightmares and I’m a grown up old person. WHY SO MAD, DOUGLAS?

Hector looks like he just walked in on his mom doing it with the pool guy on a pile of his Christmas presents. HIS LIFE AS HE KNOWS IT IS SHATTERED.

I asked my mom which one scared The Nephew and she said this one. He is scared of it because of “The Claw.” GOOD GRIEF. This show is NOT FOR CHILDREN. When I told her that, she said, “Eh, it’s British, what can you do.”

Anyway, Chuggington. I’d never heard of this so I did some research. Here is what the internet tells me about Chuggington: 

Now, come on. “Let’s ride the rails” has to be a euphemism, right? RIGHT?

It is British
It is about talking trains
One of the talking trains seems to have ADD
One of the talking trains is colorblind
Two of the talking trains are mischievous
There is a “movie star chugger” who flies (…I don’t know either)
One of the trains is a douchebag and tricks the other trains
One of the trains is named Hodge and “it takes a lot to get Hodge excited” (I think I dated Hodge in college)
There is a zoo with animals in it (I’m down the zoo situation)
The show seems to exist to teach us all about FRIENDSHIP 

OK, FINE, The Nephew, I’ll get you some Chuggington birthday presents. I’ll research this shit at Toys R Us.

Good GRACIOUS there are a lot of Chuggington toys at Toys R Us. 102! I had no idea. Toys R Us! Never one to not jump on a trend when it’s hot! JUMP ON IT LIKE IT’S HOT TOYS R US! 

“Bridge and Tunnel Starter Set.” EUPHEMISM!!!!

The problem is, if I get him Chuggington toys, everyone ELSE is ALSO getting him Chuggington toys and there’s a chance he’ll get repeat toys and I hate that. I like to stand out in the gift-giving department like the shining star that I am. I really, REALLY like to win aunting. I only have one other person to compete with, but I like to WIN, baby. 

Last year I got him a scooter, which was a total win and he did all the scooting. What should I get him this year that is better than all the other gifts, but costs like $50 or so? People that have three-year-olds or know some three-year-olds, help me out here. Remember: this is not about anything but WINNING AUNTING. Oh, what’s that? Also making The Nephew happy? Oh, yeah, that too. THAT TOO. (No, but seriously, seeing his little face light up when I’ve gotten him a good present makes my Grinch heart break the measuring device every damn time. I’m an easy mark when it comes to The Nephew. This is going to be a problem when he’s older and the gifts he wants are like computers and things.) 

I think I’m dying of black lung 

So we’re in rehearsal for our Director’s Showcase which opens Thursday (well, and closes Thursday, it’s a one-night thingamabobber) and since our building is owned by the City and our ceiling is falling in, they decided to come and fix it right now. So we’ve been coming into rehearsal and the theater is in various stages of disrepair. You’d think it would get better, but it just keeps getting worse. One day we showed up and we couldn’t get down the aisles without squeezing through ladders (BAD LUCK BAD LUCK!) then we showed up a couple days later and there are no seats to sit in so we have to sit on the stage to watch the actors, because the seats are covered in plywood. (I don’t have to sit on the stage. I get my own ROOM to sit in. I’m in the light booth. I’m running the lights and sound for this one. I’m FANCY.) 

I had to move old disgusting ductwork in the lobby in order to close the theater door (you need the doors closed when you’re doing lights, otherwise you get spill from the lobby and you don’t know how your lights will look in a dark theater – there’s some theater inside info for you! Listen, before we’re done here, you’re going to be able to run your own theater, I swear) and my hands were so covered with nastiness when I was done that would NOT come off no matter WHAT I did that I’m pretty sure I’m dying of asbestos poisoning right now. Also, there are electrical cords everywhere, and I don’t know if any of them are live, so it’s like a game of chicken to walk anywhere. Will I live? Will I die? WHAT WILL HAPPEN? 

I know what will happen. I’ll get mesothelioma and have to call one of those TV lawyers to sue my own theater, is what will happen. Cough. Cough cough. 

Oh, what, you think I didn’t take photos? THINK AGAIN BUSTER.

This is the ductwork I had to move with my own hands. That left black shit all over my hands and pants. BLACK LUNGGGGG!

This is the inside of the theater right now. In front of you: the wood on the seats. Under that wood: the seats. To your far left, almost inaccessible: the stage. Directly in front of you, to the top: a ladder, precariously balanced. Directly in front of you near the bottom – a…snow shovel? I don’t know.

This looks like a haunted house but it’s the theater. Oh, hey, there’s my light booth near the top right, hi, my light booth! This is more seats, covered in plastic. And an abandoned bucket, all lonely-like. Some hard hats. And some wood. Heh. Wood. Also, to your left? ORBS. The theater’s totally haunted, yo. Call the Ghost Douche.

This is the ceiling right now. The ceiling that I’m sure is covered in asbestos. NO, I don’t know that for sure, but since when do I not exaggerate? Also, dangerous electrical cords, you know, like you want hanging out of a ceiling.

Also, Thursday, the workmen dropped a deuce in the toilet and didn’t flush, and left us a filthy tanktop on the table we serve refreshments from. You know. Like the classy people they are. THANKS WORKMEN.

(Listen, the show looks great, though. I like working on the director’s showcase because it’s a new director, and it’s fun to see what they can do and how they bring it all together. Well, I guess it’s fun if you like the director and they do a good job. In this case, she’s doing a great job, the show looks excellent, she’s got a wonderful point of view and I think the audience is really going to enjoy it. Also, she hasn’t even complained about the mess in the theater, which, hey, kudos. Don’t worry. I’ll complain enough for the both of us. That shit is CRAZY messy and gross.) 

Righto, guv’nuh. 

So tomorrow, I am going on an ADVENTURE. I know, right? I’m actually leaving my house and purposely going on an adventure. Are we all the most excited? Sure we are. 

Cute, right? So cute.

A new tea house/restaurant opened up very close to where I work, and when they were in the process of opening it, I saw the sign and mentioned to Ken, hey, there’s a tea place opening near me, when it opens, I should check that out. Then it opened, and I kind of forgot about it. SHUT UP, I have a lot going on. But then I remembered when I saw a review of it on one of our local blogs, so I checked out the tea selection and sent the link to Ken because he has to tell me if I’m allowed to go to places like this (I don’t know if tea is any good or not, what do I look like, fancy? No), and he said not ONLY am I allowed, I NEEDED to go. So, Sunday, I’m going to visit the tea place, and then I’m writing you all up the tale of my tea adventures on Ken’s tea blog. So you have to go THERE to read it. Yeah, it’s all a nefarious plot to get you to read Ken’s blog(s) as much as I think you all should, I’m not even denying it. Plus, Ken has promised to be my on-call tea expert should I run into any tea-related emergencies while I’m there. I’m sure I will. I can’t imagine I won’t. I’m also trying tea WITH CAFFEINE IN IT. I know, this could totally be the end of me. And by “the end” I mean it could cause a migraine to happen. But it probably won’t. It’s been a long time since the doctor told me that maybe caffeine was my migraine trigger. Who knows what will happen? It’s not going to hurt to try. And I really really REALLY want to see what Oolong tastes like. Ken makes it sound delicious. And since they don’t offer it as decaf, well, you can see my conundrum. 

Also, there’s totally a tea-related gift shop, and someone I know who was mentioned a billion times in the preceding paragraph has a prize package coming to him and tea relates to his interests, so that’ll be fun to investigate, now won’t it? Sure it will. What? What’s that? NO I haven’t finished shopping for the Bloggiversary Gift Package yet. Shush, you, I only got paid Thursday and we’re teching a show, I’m a little busy. 

So be ready for tea adventures! Oh, also there’s food. There’s totally food. I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty excited about the food, too. It looks delicious. 

OK, there’s three things. THREE RANDOM THINGS! Plus lots of pictures. I’m exhausted and I think I’m dying of maybe TB like Doc Holliday so now I should go around saying lines from Tombstone like “you’re a daisy if you do” and “I got two guns, one for each of ya.” HAPPY SATURDAY! Enjoy your day, it’s supposed to be lovely!

Nonsense. I have not yet begun to defile myself.

Sunday in the Park with Nephew

I realize I haven’t told you about my visit with The Nephew. I think I’ve still been processing. Also, I had other things to tell you about, like international men of mystery and weirdo pervs who have dolphin sex. Yes, yes, my mind is a wondrous place to behold, like those shelves at Target that are way off to the back that have a whole plethora of junk on them that’s all marked way down and you never know what you’ll find, like maybe calcium pills! Or coffee filters! Or condoms! All in a gross jumble, and covered with leaky lice shampoo. This is my mind, ladies and gentlemen. YOU ARE WELCOME TO ENTER. Don’t worry about the “you break it, you buy it” rule. It’s all already brokedy-broke anyway.

(Speaking of topics, I seriously have a file titled “Shit to Write About Someday” that is FILLED TO THE BRIM with weirdness. There is TRASH and there is TREASURE. Most of it is stuff I have to take time researching, but once I do, it’s going to be awesome. Like, for example, remember the post about the pickup artists? A friend sent me the link, I didn’t dare look at it at work because it looked like it had too many bikini ladies on it, so I filed in in my junk-drawer file. Then one day I said, DUDE! PUA POST! And I wrote it. And by the way, I totally psychically ganked it from Ken, who that SAME DAY, was planning to write A VERY SIMILAR POST. I know! You’re hearing Twilight Zone music in your head, right? It’s ok. Ken and I are secret siblings. This shit happens all the time to us. ANYWAY, I think most of these awesome trash-or-treasure posts are going to end up being written after tax season when my head’s back on my shoulders. So if in the back of your mind you’re thinking, “Hey, Amy mentioned she was going to talk about BLANK at one point, whatever happened with that, perhaps she is LOSING HER MIND!” the answer is yes, yes I am losing my mind, thank you very much, but I’ll be getting it back in approximately a month, and WHOO DOGIES then won’t we have fun?)

Anyway, The Nephew. That kid. THAT KID. I can’t even tell you. Oh, wait. YES, I CAN. It’s WHAT I DO HERE.

I’d put a photo here, like normal people would, but the mere thought of anyone perving over The Nephew makes me want to stab someone with an icepick, so sorry. Just imagine the cutest, best, most wonderful child ever, then multiply that times a million, and add things that are just a BIT better than that. THE NEPHEW!

So I met his mom at her parents’ house. When I pulled up, The Nephew was playing with a tricycle and a sled. There’s no snow. He was just playing with it. He gains a lot of enjoyment out of things, what can I say. His other aunt (I like to think of her as “COMPETITION” but she’s actually quite lovely) picked him up and said, “The Nephew! Look who’s here!” and he squinted his little eyes and saw me and I thought, “Will The Nephew remember me? It’s been three months. Maybe he’s forgotten me. This could be heartbreaking. Prepare yourself for that, Amy, you big goober, and don’t start crying like you did that one time that he didn’t remember you and you looked like an asshole.” (I like to be a hardass with myself. Unfortunately, it very seldom works.)

The Nephew saw me. I saw The Nephew. My Grinch heart IMMEDIATELY grew three sizes and broke the measuring machine and I grinned like an escapee from the mental institution. Because he’s grown so big! And he’s so adorable! And his little cheeks were all pink from playing outside! And he was SO DAMN CUTE!

And The Nephew’s face LIT RIGHT UP LIKE A CANDLE, you guys. No joke. The Nephew NOT ONLY REMEMBERED ME, he was EXCITED TO SEE ME.

So his aunt brought him over to me and he totally let me hold him for a minute, which is a tough thing with a little wiggleworm like The Nephew, then he said, very seriously, “Do you want to play in the dirt with me?” and I said, “Yes!” and he said, “Let’s go!” so we went over to play in the dirt.

It’s very hard to be a Grumpy McGrump Grump when your Grinch heart has broken the measuring machine and your beloved Nephew is showing you his tricycle and his sled and running all around talking to you in his little voice with all of his new words and you’re just soaking him in because you know you only get a couple of hours before he has to head back home and that’s four hours away and you won’t see him for probably four more months and he’s the one person you love more than anyone else in the entire world, sorry everyone else in the entire world.

Then it was time to go inside, only The Nephew did not want to go inside. He wanted to continue to play in the dirt.

Me: The Nephew, if we go inside, I have some presents for you.
The Nephew: Presents? FOR ME?
Me: Yep!
The Nephew: Where are the presents?
Me: In my car!
The Nephew: Let’s go!

I want this kind of unbridled enthusiasm about everything in my life. I think it would make every day an adventure. This kid is ALL EXCLAMATION POINTS ALL THE TIME. Which is why when he grows up I think we’ll be like peas and carrots, because I think he’ll appreciate my caps-lock obsession.

Then I gave him the Matchbox cars that I mortgaged my life for* (*might be an exaggeration) and he was VERY EXCITED. Especially about the one that you play with in the bathtub.

The Nephew: Let’s play with this now!
Me: We can’t play with that one now, kiddo. That one’s for tonight, when you get home and take a bath.
The Nephew: I can take a bath now!
Me: Well, yes, you CAN, but let’s wait til tonight.
The Nephew: But I’m dirty now! (Shows me his little grubby hands from playing in the dirt)

You can’t argue with impeccable logic like that. You just cannot.

So then it was time to go to the playground. As The Nephew got on his outdoor gear, he told me, “I’m going to the PLAYGROUND!” in tones a normal person would use for “I just won THE PUBLISHER’S CLEARING HOUSE SWEEPSTAKES!” or I would use for “I LOVE PUDDING!” So I told him, “I know, that sounds like so much fun! Do you think I can go with you?”

The Nephew answered, after a moment’s thought, “Yes. I like you!”

ZOMG, The Nephew. I LIKE YOU, TOO. MORE than pudding. SO MUCH MORE.

Then we went to the playground, where The Nephew went up the stairs, down a slide, up the stairs, down a slide, up the stairs, down a slide, over and over and over and over. That entertained him to no end. I was entertained just watching him. I’m pretty sure anyone looking at us would think I was a looney because I had crazy eyes of love and I was carrying water and a Tupperware of blueberries in case he needed a snack for a twenty-minute trip to the playground. YOU NEVER KNOW. Hunger can strike AT ANY TIME.

Next there was a BIG slide, which was a little daunting for The Nephew, but I promised him I would catch him at the end. AND HE TRUSTED ME TO. What do you think of that? That’s a little scary, right? A child TRUSTED HIS LIFE TO ME. I know! (Don’t fret. I totally caught him at the end. I was rewarded with a grin and a “whee!”)

The Nephew then attempted to make friends with another child by hucking a handful of playground rocks at his face. I’m not really sure what the strategy was, here, but I’m sure, as it was MY Nephew, it was brilliant. However, he was thwarted in his friendship schemery by his mom, who caught his arm at the last minute and therefore the rocks did not hit their intended target, and then he had to apologize, and the other kid just shrugged and walked away. I tried to put a positive spin on it by telling The Nephew’s mom that he’d just been trying to SHOW the other kid the BEAUTY inherent in the rocks by letting them SPARKLE and SHINE through the SUNLIGHT but she wasn’t buying my used car salesmanship of the rock-pitching.

Finally, it was time to go home, have some lunch, and hit the road. The Nephew wasn’t having any of that. NO NO NO. He wanted to PLAY MORE. But neither his mom or his other aunt wanted to be the one who was the badguy and pick him up and bring him to the car. I’m totally up for being the badguy. What, the kid’s not going to hold a grudge. He’s not even three yet. He’ll forget which of us took him away from the playground. He’s a kiddo. The WORLD is his playground.

So I said “Time to go, favorite nephew!” and scooped  him up and he was all “NO NO NO! WANT TO PLAY!” and began to “cry” but it was not real crying as if he’d hurt himself. So I said, “What is this? Crying? There’s no crying on playgrounds!” and was QUITE IMPRESSED with my A League of Their Own quote-bastardization. Then as I walked to the car I flipped him upside down and used a wacky voice. When I flipped him right-side-up, he said, “NO NO NO!” and pretended to be sad but he was also grinning and giggling and then pretending to hide the grins and giggles with a VERY STERN FACE but he was not succeeding. So more upside-down flippage and more giggles and more pretend-sterniness until we got to the car and he’d totally forgotten I’d forced him to leave the playground of wonder. I WIN AUNTING.

When we got back to his grandmother’s house, it was time for lunch. Lunch was peanut butter toast and grapes and juice. I got to sit with him during lunch. Things that happened during lunch:

  • He got kind of covered in peanut butter, like, in his HAIR and on his FACE and on his HANDS and on his SHIRT
  • He lathered his face with half a grape, and also all that peanut butter, like a little ingenious spa facial
  • He sang me “The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round”
  • He told me in NO UNCERTAIN TERMS that he was NOT eating “a peanut butter sandwich” but “PEANUT BUTTER TOAST”
  • He recited the alphabet thusly: “ABCA,AAA,AAAAAAA,JJJ,JJJ” – totally in tune to the Alphabet Song, though – then had a humongous giggle fit when I told him that “if that’s the alphabet, pumpkin, we’d certainly have a hard time communicating”
  • He told me his dad cut his hair (he has a wee toddler brush cut, it’s adorable, I only touched it about a gajillion times) and when I told him, “Your dad is my brother!” he looked at me very seriously, mulled this over in his mind, then said, “Nah.”

It was finally the end of lunchtime, and that’s his least favorite time, because it’s “grab a wet washcloth and scrub The Nephew” time! He doesn’t appreciate that much. But you know what makes it enjoyable? Making it into a MUSICAL. Called, “We’re washing off the PEANUT BUTTER TOASTTTT! With the washcloth of WONDERRRRRR!” He LAUGHED and LAUGHED. So I said, “Listen, kiddo, you’re just about the only person who appreciates that life would be better as a musical, you know? I like that about you.” And he looked at me and said, “Yes!”

Yes, indeed, magical child of goodness and light. YES INDEED.

Then it was “put on our shoes and coat time” because after THAT it was the worst time of the day: strap The Nephew into a carseat and watch him drive away. No one likes that time of day.

He did not want to put his shoes on. You’d put one on, and as you were putting the other one on, he’d attempt to kick you in the face, or pull off the first one, or BOTH. But, again, making into a “we are putting on our SHOOOEEEESSS!” musical worked wonders. I’m really quite good at this aunting thing, I’d like to say right now.

Right before they left, his mom told me they were coming up for a long weekend in April. SO! Instead of having to wait until possibly the summer to see The Nephew again, I get to see him in a little over a month. That made watching him leave a little less ouchy. But only a little.

I leaned into his door and kissed my finger and patted him on the cheek with it and he grinned at me like a little heartbreaker. “I’ll see you next month, buddy,” I said.

He looked at me with his little serious face. “I see you NOW,” he said.

“Yes, but you’re going home now, so I won’t see you in a minute. I’ll see you next month, though! You’re coming back to visit again!”

“OK,” he said.

“I love you, The Nephew,” I said. He nodded, very seriously, and said, “I have a firetruck!” (and showed me his new firetruck his grandmother got him.)

I like to think that means, “I love you, too, Aunt Amy. As my most eccentric aunt, you get my toddler stamp of approval, and as we grow older, I look forward to us becoming closer and more bonded!”

Then they drove away, and I had a few tears in my car because I AM NOT MADE OF STONE, PEOPLE.

(And, side note, my mom told me the next day she went over to see him, and he said, “Come here!” and brought her to the bathroom, where the Matchbox tub toy was, and showed her how the car went WHOOSH down the ramp when you put water in it, and he told her that Aunt Amy gave it to him. And his mom told my mom that he didn’t want to get out of the bathtub the night before. He kept saying, “No! I’m PLAYING!” I WIN GIFTING.)

I find it very hard to believe that even though I don’t care about, well, much of anything, somehow this kid has completely, totally, and utterly stolen my heart and is walking around with it in his little wee chest. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN. The Nephew! You’re like the world’s best cat burglar, I swear.

See you in five weeks, kiddo. Love you more than all the pudding. All the pudding in the whole damn WORLD.

The Nephew’s in town. All bets are off.

OK, seriously. I have NO TIME TO WRITE THIS. None none none. I’m totally on a deadline here.

In approximately 11 hours, I WILL BE HANGING OUT WITH THE NEPHEW. That means I have about three hours TOTAL to finish this, get this posted and ready for tomorrow, and go to sleep. I know. I KNOW. How will I do it?

As you are reading this – RIGHT NOW – I am with the nephew. Hi, future-me! Are you having the best time? You totally are, right? How’s your hair look, pretty askew? Great, great, all things as usual, then.

The Nephew is in town until tomorrow at lunchtime. His mom called me and we’re getting together and possibly going to a toddler playland. I don’t know what that means. I think chaos. Right? Total and complete chaos? Wait, I’ll look the place up, let’s see what happens.

ZOMG the slogan of this place is “your child can either bounce off YOUR walls or OURS” (the ALL-CAPS are THEIRS not MINE like you probably thought they would be.) Although I appreciate the use of a good all-caps, this is a worry. Also, the name of the place is spelled strangely, and not in a “this is kooky! FOR THE CHILDREN!” kind of way. In a “I added extra letters by accident and we already printed a million business cards let’s just go with it” way. It’s like Chuck E. Cheese. There had better not be those scary-ass animatronic mice in there. Don’t EVEN think I won’t take photos of me mocking them and put them online if there are.

There are waterless waterslides (DANGEROUS!), a three-story ball pit (how is that even POSSIBLE? Also, DANGEROUS) and an indoor bounce house. I don’t think I’m allowed to bounce, am I? Shit, I’d be the best at bounce-housing. Oh, also, DANGEROUS. There are trampolines (DANGEROUS!) There is something where kids can climb like a spider (DANGEROUS!)

Oh, shit, wait, I just checked, those are for OLDER kids. There’s a whole zone for toddlers. The Nephew is definitely a toddler still. WHEW. I was so worried this would kill him dead. I wouldn’t enjoy that at all.

So anyway, I went to Target and thought, “I’ll get The Nephew some Matchbox cars.” He loves them, and I am not above buying his love. I’m not proud. Kiddo sees me three, four times a year tops. I want him to leave thinking, “DAMN but that insanely loud, frazzly-haired woman gives good door prizes.” There was a whole AISLE of Matchbox cars. Suddenly I realized The Nephew needed them all. No, not a couple. ALL OF THEM. I turned into a caricature of a person doing last-minute Christmas shopping. If anyone had come between me and those cars, I’m pretty sure I would have bitten them with my teeth and growled like a rabid puppy.

After stuffing my cart, I realized that at some point I probably would like a laptop since last night my computer stopped working completely, just dead dead dead. So I put most of them back. No, not all. MOST. I’m not a complete asshole, the kid needs gifts, sheesh. So he got like a huge multipack of cars, and an 18-wheeler with a car that goes into the back, and – BEST AUNT EVER – this car ramp thingamabobber that you suction-cup up in the bathtub, then put water in it and it SHOOTS THE CAR INTO THE TUB. Through a RING OF FLAME. Yeah, I’m serious. Oh, wait, no, it’s not real flame. It’ s a plastic ring. That looks like flame. He’s a toddler, he’ll still be impressed. Bathtub toys are FUN, you guys.

I totally wish I had an aunt like me when I was a kid. I would have appreciated the following: the insanity, the gift-giving prowess, the crazy-eyes of love.

Then I talked to The Nephew’s mom, and she told me the following story. The Nephew was eating some cookies with his grandmother and she asked, “Will you share those with me?” and he looked at her very seriously and said, “No. I will only share them with Aunt Amy.” WHAAAAAAAT?

See, have I not been telling you this is the best nephew in the history of nephews? I haven’t seen this kid since CHRISTMAS. Yet he will ONLY SHARE HIS DELICIOUS DESSERT ITEMS WITH ME. And I wasn’t even THERE! I’m like this awesome person that only lives in his head, waiting to share delicious cookies. I mean, I don’t even eat cookies, but whatever, he’s little, he doesn’t know my various food issues.

I’m not even ashamed to tell you that this a., brought tears to my eyes, and b., made me SO GLAD I bought all those cars. That kid deserves gifts for saying something that awesome. Or for just being the best thing to ever exist in the history of ever. And listen, I hate almost everyone so that’s really saying something.

OH, and his mom also told me that on the drive here, he got very frustrated he couldn’t read his book to himself so said, “Mom, you need to teach me to read right now.” (That made me tear up almost as much as the cookie situation. I would have taught him to read RIGHT THEN. He loves reading and books! He is SO MY NEPHEW!) So she said, “I’m driving right now, The Son, but we can say the alphabet!” So they did. Then he went back to his book. And a few seconds later he said, very disgusted, “MOM. I still can’t read this.” HA. I LOVE HIM MORE THAN DAIRY PRODUCTS.

So yeah, that’s tomorrow. I KNOW RIGHT? THEN, right after The Nephew time, it is scramble over to the movie theater to meet my friend C. time, to watch a movie and maybe have dinner. Then it’s get home in time to watch my programs time. SO MANY TIMES. Sunday is going to be hopping. This is like a year’s worth of social interaction for me, all rolled into one day. I might keel over and die. I can’t guarantee I won’t.

I have a million things to do in the meantime. Nails to paint. Dishes to wash. Cars to take out of their little cellophane coffins so The Nephew doesn’t asphyxiate and die trying to have fun. I know. THIS IS SO SHORT AMY WHAT THE HELL. Well, my little butterscotch buttons, I have my priorities. You’re pretty high up there. I’m not going to lie. But here’s a list of priorities. You’ll see how you fall:

Work (only because it pays my bills, not because I like doing it)
Online things like Twitter and Facebook and shit
Talking to my dad on the phone because he makes me laugh like a mor0n
Eating cheese products
Watching the penguin cam
Social interaction

So, as you can see, other than work (and that’s only because it pays for my internet and cell phone so I CAN blog), the only thing that trumps you all in my heart is The Nephew. Yep. You’ve all been beaten by a toddler. In his defense, he’s pretty tough. He headbutts like a mountain goat.

Happy Sunday! Enjoy your days! I’m going to be in Nephew-land, hooray!

Rambling rose: Why you ramble, no one knows. (I know. It’s the magic wine.)

I officially have a day and a half off starting right now. THIS IS VERY EXCITING. I kind of had the day off today, but that didn’t really count, because I spent a lot of it at the theater? So that was kind of like working. But once I got home (after one stop at the wine store, I mean, a person had to stop at the wine store, considering there was only half a bottle of wine left in the entire house, and that’s kind of cutting it too close for anyone’s comfort, wouldn’t you agree? Yes, yes you would) I am OFFICIALLY on vacation for a day and a half.

Now, most people would probably do something totally productive with this, like maybe take a road trip or, I don’t know, hang out with friends or whatever it is people do, but mostly I plan on writing a shit-ton of blog posts and effing the hours away online. This is a good use of my time, I think. Also, I cleaned the house last weekend. I mean, who cleans the house two weekends in a row? Crazy people with OCD, I’d think. Who wants to be that person? I don’t. I mean, there’s only so clean a bathtub can get. Why would you OVERCLEAN a bathtub? That’s crazy-talk. OH! And I totally have a foreign film to watch. And I want to go to the library. As you can see, it will be a very busy day of vacationing.

Oh, yeah, I’m supposed to have a theme today. I don’t. Sorry. I already started drinking. At 4. I know. I’M ON VACATION BITE ME. Can you say that when your vacation is just one day off from work and one weekend day, and the day off work is only because you underestimated how many vacation hours you had and if you don’t take the next two Mondays off you’re going to start losing vacation time, so your boss grudgingly said “FINE TAKE THE NEXT TWO MONDAYS OFF THEN” so it’s like a random act of kindness, only with vacation time, and really, no one was really all that kind about it? I’ve decided yes. Yes, you can say you’re on vacation. I can do whatever I want, as long as I don’t kill anyone, I think. Or tell anyone about Fight Club. Shit. I already screwed up.

Anyway, so today, I went to the theater, because I had a meeting, then I had to meet with the actress I’m mentoring, then I promised I’d watch rehearsal for the show I’m stage managing in February. I’m exhausted just thinking about it. Whew. The meeting was our committee to choose next season’s slate of shows. I like this part of my job. I think because it involves reading and debating literature and theater with other people who are similarly intelligent about both things. Also, lots of lists get made. And there are few things in life I like more than a good list. Lists of the plays that were submitted that I read; lists of potential slates; lists of what plays are comedies, dramas, mysteries, contemporary, you name it, I WILL LIST IT. So many lists. Lists lists lists.

So today we made total headway and that was encouraging. We have a while still but it’s nice to get it done sooner than later. So one task down.

Then, mentoring! I know, you’re all thinking, this is a SUPREMELY BAD IDEA. No! I’m actually totally inspirational, so suck it. The actress I’m meeting with is auditioning in New York City at the end of the month for acting schools, so I’m helping her with her audition pieces. We’ve selected the pieces (one classical, one contemporary), timed them out to meet the very, very stringent time constraints the program puts on her, and now we’re working on making them sparkle. Jazz hands are NOT involved. I mean, they could be, but then probably she wouldn’t be chosen, and I so want her to be chosen, she is a total peach and I adore her. Also, I’m pretty sure then she would HAVE to mention me in her acceptance speech when she wins the Tony, right? RIGHT. It is the most fun, and this time I didn’t even derail the proceedings by talking incessantly about A Song of Ice and Fire with her (mostly because we’ve exhausted talking about the three books in the series we’ve read, so I think we’re safe, until we start the fourth book.)

THEN, rehearsal. I know, are you totally the most jealous of all my arts shit today? I know you are. It’s ok, my little jellybeans, most of my days off are, I promise you, spent right here in front of the computer being lazy as hell. Rehearsal was awesome, even though, unfortunately, they were not rehearsing the scene where the words “They’re your friends, Jesus” are uttered, because that’s my favorite scene, especially when the emphasis is placed on the wrong word in the sentence.

So now I am home. OH! You know what you all need? Nephew Report. I totally have wine-related ADD today.


Today in Nephew Report: The Nephew spent the day and night with my parents last night, so when I called last night to tell them I was not set upon by marauders on my way home from work yesterday, he was there, being loud and awesome, as usual.

Things he did while he was staying with my parents:

  • When my mother told him he could have cake if he took two more bites of his dinner, he said “But there IS no more cake. We ate it all LAST time.” I love that The Nephew thinks cake is finite. He was VERY excited when she revealed that, in fact, there was a WHOLE NEW CAKE. This probably blew his world wide open, I’m thinking. I wish I lived in a world where I was just learning that cake can be infinite. That would be the best.
  • He wanted some juice. My mother went to get him some. He said, again, “I want some JUICE.” She said, “You have to wait, The Grandson (see what I did there? Sweet, I rock at pseudonyms, no?), I’m getting it!” and he said, and I quote: “Waiting makes my nose itch.” WHAT? Who says this? This is potentially the most brilliant thing a child has ever said. Where did he come up with this? His nose itch? The Nephew is obviously the most brilliant, I swear. He’s going places, you guys. Like, amazing brilliant places. I don’t know where yet, though. I’ll get back to you on that.
  • When I was talking to my father, he ran in in TEARS. When my father said, “What’s wrong?” he wept, “I’m not FUNNY.” After much calming down, it was discovered that the problem was that he and my mother had been playing a game: he would run and plop down on her lap, and laugh, and she would laugh, and he would say, “You’re not funny!” and she would say, “YOU’RE not funny!” and then they would say this over and over and over and the game would repeat itself. Out of NOWHERE, she said her response of “YOU’RE not funny!” and he was SO HURT that she implied he wasn’t humorous, all of a sudden.  Hurt to TEARS. Well! The Nephew, listen! I also hate: criticism, people implying I’m not funny, and people who have to put in their two cents about me. I ALSO change moods on the drop of a hat, cry randomly, and get VERY UPSET about minor things. I love you MORE, if that’s possible, for this beautiful little melodrama. Well-played, The Nephew, well-played. Give it a few years and I’ll save a spot for you at my theater.
  • When he refused to eat his breakfast this morning, and my mother tried to convince him to eat, he said, in a tone of wonderment, “You’re ARGUING with me.” Hee. Yep. How DARE she, buddy?

OK. FINALLY. So in order to make 2012 THE YEAR OF AWESOME, on TOP of the two amazing trips I have planned, there is a small-yet-swelling movement for myself and some of my favorite Twitter-denizens (Twittizens?) to attend NYCC in October. For those of you who are all “WHAT THE EFF” that’s New York Comic Con. So, all the geekery you might want on this coast, and not as scarily-packed full of people as SDCC (oh, stop freaking out, that’s San Diego Comic Con.)

I just checked, and a four-day pass is $85. Even broke-ass me can afford $85. I’d pay $85 to hang out in an airport bathroom with some of the people who’ve said they’re coming, to tell you the truth. DONE. NYCC, here I come. Also, I love New York City, and it’s been much too long since I’ve been. A few years, at least. It’s time I go back.

Alright! I’ve totally rambled and brambled enough, and I have pork chops to barbecue and wine that won’t drink itself and SHIT to DO, yo. I AM ON VACATION. For a little over 24 hours more. I AM LIVING LIKE I’M DYINGGGGGG.

Happy Sunday, everyone!

%d bloggers like this: