Friday, November 15, 2013


Littleb and I were in the car again.  He was sitting in the back seat munching french-fries.  I was driving.

Yes, Nancy Drew, I was also munching french-fries.  I'm sort of a Francophile.  Littleb was telling me about a new game he learned called Mercy.  It is a game of strength over brains....

Littleb:  Dad could totally beat me at Mercy.

Chicken:  Are you saying I couldn't beat you?

Littleb:  Probably not.  I think I could beat you.  You're so skinny.

Chicken:  (raises eyebrows in surprise.  Sucks in stomach)  Well, that's true, you're probably right,  I am really skinny.

Littleb:  You're not THAT skinny.

Chicken:  Are you saying I'm fat.

Littleb:  (laughs)  No.  You're not fat.

Chicken:  That's right.  I'm skinny.

Littleb:  No women are fat.  That would be weird.

Chicken:  You are wise beyond  your years, Littleb

Littleb:  Dad's fat.

Chicken:  Strong, littleb.  Dad's strong and I'm skinny.

Littleb:  OK.  Did you remember to ask for barbecue sauce?

I think I could take John Stamos.  In a game of Mercy, I mean.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Warmest Coat Lands End Sells

This is a re-post from November 2011.  It flurried here today, which brought this post to mind, and I spent all day working on a new project, so didn't have time to post something new.  

I hope you are warm and cozy wherever you are.

For Christmas, I gave Teenager-who-lives-in-the-Basement (TWLITB) a new parka. And not just any parka, no. For TWLITB, because I love him so much, I sought out the warmest coat that Lands End claims to sell, and I bought it. This is what it looks like.

Nice, right?

But because his father and I are not the world's most effective communicators, he also received a coat from his Dad. Now, Dad's coat was nice-it was. I'll concede that. Sort of a fleece lined canvas army-inspired job. It was sharp. It wasn't the Warmest Coat Lands End Sells.

You can probably guess where this is going. He loved the coat his Dad gave him and refused to wear The Warmest Coat Lands End Sells. The hell? This was distressing to me. I need to know that my kids are warm. It is a deep-seated need. And this fashion over function bull, I'm just not buying it.

The coat sat around through a snow storm or two and I hoped that freezing temps would drive him to wear it. Well, that and repeatedly being sent out to shovel the driveway. But that did not happen.

It was time to return the coat.

First, just for kicks, I tried the coat on. And it fit. And it was the warmest. coat. ever.

I began to covet the coat. Like many Moms, I am reluctant to spend money on warm outerwear for myself. I admired the coat from afar, but still fully intended to return it. The coat and I exchanged meaningful glances over the next few days, but nothing happened.

Enter R, my youngest daughter. A couple days a week, R takes the public bus to her classes. To get there, she has to catch one bus from our neighborhood to downtown, where she waits outside for 20 minutes, and then catches another bus from there, back past our neighborhood, and to her school. The whole trip takes about an hour and half of that is spent outside. R is always cold. She complains non-stop about how cold she is. An idea began to take root. Maybe I couldn't keep TWLITB warm, but R clearly was in need of The Warmest Coat Lands End Sells.

She wouldn't wear it either.

That's when I said to myself, "Screw you ungrateful ingrates, I'm wearing the warm coat. That's right. I'm keeping it, I'm wearing it, and I'm going to be warm. I'm in love with this coat.  I want to marry this coat and have warm coat babies.".

I enjoyed a few super cozy days with my new coat. We were inseparable. In an email exchange with my best friend, GG, during which I expressed my dismay that my children would rather freeze than wear the Warm Coat, and my delight in my new smoking hot relationship with the Warm Coat, GG suggested a song and dance routine I could use to taunt my children the next time they complained about winter and all its frosty coldness.

Sing it with me: (to the tune of Don't you wish your girlfriend was hot like me)

Dontcha wish your body was warm like mine?
Dontcha? Dontcha?
Dontcha wish you had a nice coat like mine?
Dontcha? Dontcha?

Can't you just picture the video?

So anyway, along about 10 pm a couple of nights later, I went to pick R up from her evening class. I was wearing my new coat. She climbed into the car and said, "Brrr. I'm freezing. I should have worn the coat. You were right."

Wait. Could you repeat that? I was right?

Cue the music.

Oh yes, I did. Right then and there, in my new coat, I did my best Beyonce' imitation. It was hot. And not just because of the coat.

Fast forward a week. Suddenly, whenever I go to the closet to grab MY Warm Coat, it is not there. We seem to have a loosely formed Society of the Warm Coat situation going on. I did not authorize this community of sharingness! I oppose this regime.  However, like Mubarek, I've been outnumbered. The Youth have revolted.

R decided that being warm trumps looking hot. Her interest in the coat caused TWLITB to see the Warm Coat in a new light. A cooler light. "Wait", I imagine TWLITB thinking, "maybe an expedition-style, fur lined hood IS cool...maybe it is just as cool as the Russian-style fur hat I ordered over the internet and spent all my Christmas money on and lost within two weeks." "Maybe", thinks TWLITB, "I'd like to wear that Warm Coat".

And just like that, I'm sharing my warm coat with my fickle children. I'm not sure how I feel about that. Other than cold.

Chicken out (in the cold)