My own little fly lady

The other night I’d gotten Caroline out of the bathtub and sent her into her room to put on her pajamas. I was busy whipping up a nutritious dinner of sloppy joes and Ore Ida fries (I know. Pitiful.) so it took me a few minutes to realize she’d been in her room for a really long time.

I’m always a little suspicious when too much time passes without her wandering into the kitchen and delivering a thirty minute monologue without taking a breath.

About the time I started to wonder if she’d packed her bags and left for college, she walked into the kitchen and asked if she could have two pieces of paper. I handed them to her and she headed back to her room with the paper and some Scotch tape she’d managed to find in the junk drawer.

A few minutes later it was time for dinner and I walked into her room to let her know she needed to come eat only to discover that she was in the midst of an organizational frenzy. She’d arranged all her shoes neatly in her closet. She’d put all her hair accessories in a plastic container. She’d folded her clothes and put them away. She’d put the lid on her laundry hamper.

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing so I asked, “Baby, what are you doing?”

She said, “I’m organizing all my stuff. It was one of my goals for the summer and I’ve finished it already.”

Then she handed me a stack of headbands and said, “Will you please get me a Ziploc bag to put these in?”

“Well, I think they’ll be fine just loose in your drawer.”

I also think that aliens have invaded your body.

“No, Mama. I really prefer a Ziploc. It keeps things neater.”

Dazed and confused, I went to retrieve a gallon-size Ziploc from the kitchen. I’m usually stingy with the gallon-size Ziplocs but I felt like she’d earned it.

(Also, what has happened to me that I even think about things like our usage of Ziplocs? Next thing you know I’ll be running my foil through the dishwasher to get a second use.)

When I returned she thanked me and said she needed to show me something. (What? That the real Caroline is tied up in the closet?) She walked over to her chair and pointed out two shoeboxes, neatly labeled and stacked on top of each other. This is what they looked like.

And this is what was inside.

Those are “shoos” that are missing their mate and they now reside in a labeled shoebox. Of course their mate is probably somewhere under her bed, but she was so proud of her organizational system that I didn’t want to screw it up by finding the matching shoo.

As we sat down to our nutritious dinner I told her how proud I was of her efforts and how great it was that she’d already achieved one of her summer goals. She looked at me and said, “What I’d really like to do is clean out the refrigerator. Can that be one of my new goals?”

Of course I said yes. Because I believe there’s nothing more important than helping my child achieve her dreams.

And if she thinks she can get our refrigerator clean, she’s clearly reaching for the stars.

The people who live inside the t.v.

I don’t even know what to say. I have just watched four hours of television.

Four hours.

(Although technically it was more like three hours after we fast-forwarded through all the commercials)

I realized last week that I was going to have some serious conflicts of interest in the television department between the two hour season finale of Chuck and the two hour series finale of 24. And that’s before I realized that it was also the same night as the season premiere of The Bachelorette.

(I know I said I’d never watch it again but let’s not even pretend like I meant it. I am powerless to resist The Bachelor franchise in all its forms)

The problem is (and I realize this ranks at the top of a first world problem list) that all the shows were on at the same time and our DVR can only record two shows. We are living like a bunch of savages.

So I’ve had to remind myself that it’s a viewing marathon, not a sprint. I’m going to have to watch The Bachelorette online later today because Chuck and 24 won out last night. Mainly because they both feature various weaponry which means that P and I watch them together. And now I’m so keyed up from all the suspense that I may not sleep for days.

But I have a few thoughts on both shows.

We’ll start with Chuck.

1. I adored every minute of the finale even though it stressed me out.

2. I could watch The Jeffster’s Blaze of Glory video about 106 more times.

3. Dude, they blew up the Buy More.

And 24.

1. Oh my word. Is there anyone ever who has had eight worse days in his life than Jack Bauer?

2. I’m so concerned that no one ever found the body of that parole officer from Arkansas.

3. I loved how terrified Charles Logan was of Jack Bauer. I mean, it’s not like he hasn’t faced danger before considering his wife stabbed him with a kiwi knife in Season 4.

4. I wish I were as tough as Jack. (He bit off someone’s ear. That’s hardcore) I also wish we wore the same size jeans because if his waist is bigger than 23 inches I’ll eat my hat.

5. I thought Dalia Hassan’s eye makeup was beautiful, but I suspect that really wasn’t mean to be a pivotal plot point.

So what about you? Did you watch Chuck? Or 24? Or The Bachelorette?

I can’t even think about the fact that I have Tori and Dean waiting for me on the DVR and the American Idol finale is on tonight. It’s like the feast before the summer television famine, an embarrassment of television riches.

I’d like to go to there

I’m sure you’ve all been on pins and needles this weekend wanting to know how the hair invention turned out. I’ll be honest, it was a little bit poufy but she had some seriously good waves going on. However, she decided she wanted to pull the whole thing back in a ponytail and I didn’t argue with her because, frankly, who has the strength?

It didn’t help that we’d spent every night last week studying for her spelling test which included the words “to”, “too”, and “two”, along with “they’re”, “their”, and “there”. It’s a wonder that I lived to tell about it. “They’re”, “their” and “there” almost ushered me straight to the seventh circle of hell. Especially because it’s not easy to teach a child who thinks she knows everything, yet continues to write “They’re books were over their.”

At one point I tried to explain that “there” is a place like “here” is a place and the word “here” is in the word “there”. And I think I confused even myself. This is why I don’t homeschool. Well, that and the fact that most colleges require a knowledge of math beyond basic addition and subtraction. Oh, and my heartfelt desire to never have to experience the periodic table of elements ever again even though it’s been so useful throughout my adult life.

Finally, I told Caroline to write the words in a sentence. She looked at me and said, “You mean like, WHY DON’T YOU GO OVER THERE AND LEAVE ME ALONE AND BLAH, BLAH, BLAH?” As soon as it came out of her mouth, she realized what she’d just done and was quick to let me know that she wasn’t referring to me, she was just using the word in a sentence.

I think it’s safe to say that we were both frustrated. The good news is that she ended up getting all her words right and was rewarded with a new pack of Silly Bands and thank goodness for that because now she has enough to wear them the length of her entire forearm.

After school on Friday we had our last Brownie meeting followed by our last soccer game. I’ve never been a big fan of Brownies (even when I was one back in 1978) but didn’t want to deprive Caroline of the whole Brownie experience because she might be more social than her mother and want to be a part of a big group that has an honor code and wears matching brown poly-blend vests and causes family members to gain ten extra pounds in the month of February due to buying Girl Scout cookies in bulk. But on the way to the meeting on Friday, I asked if she wanted to do Brownies again next year and she replied, “There has got to be something more fun to do than Brownies.”

Amen, sister. You can’t fight DNA.

Which may also explain her stellar use of “blah, blah, blah” and sarcasm.