My Little Kingdom

A day in the life of me and my kingdom. Thoughts of a mother of four amazing little boys, a wife of an incredible husband and a woman trying not to forget about herself.

September 22, 2007

What's in Your Wallet?

I’ve always thought it would be so cool to have a bag like the ever popular Mary Poppins. Who hasn’t? What ever you want, when ever you want it. No wonder she was always cheerful and floating around. Nothing ever weighed her down. Yet she had access to the universe at her fingertips. Now, she had a good thing going. Or did she?

Much to my amazement I’ve stumbled across one of these bags( make that a couple over my 7 years of motherhood). Now I don’t know if my bag would qualify quite the same as Mary Poppins’. But it does rank right up there even if in it’s own league. After all she didn’t have 15lb+ infant carriers, 35lb diaper bags and 55lbs of toddler paraphernalia to lug around nor did she have the cheerios, sippy cups and umpteen zillion varieties of transportable snacks. Come to think of it she only had two timid slightly older (than mine) children, where as I have four younger and much more adventurous lads to sweep from one adventure to another. I’ve begun to wonder if her bag would even hold up to my lifestyle.

As far as bags or the like go mine is a marvel and a mysterious entity in and of it’s self. It’s a modest little thing. Only boasting an existence of 6”x8” at most. Yet at any given time I carry the universe within the safety of it’s mystical sage pink cloth panels. Despite its meager appearance I too have found that I have access to the universe. I just haven’t quite figured out how to harness it yet.

At any given moment I can pull out of my bag(please remember the size is a mere 6”x8”) an air freshener, ½ lb of crushed graham crackers, unwanted abc candy(usually the soar kind), a plethora of toys all shapes and sizes, a soggy grocery list, old stray tic tacs, a spare diaper, $28 in loose change, camera, 3 binkies, a dozen snack wrappers, screwdriver, a bouncy ball, a hand full of rocks, picked flowers & weeds, screws, nails, bolts, bottle caps, 10 different to-do lists, pop cycles stick, tissues (some used, some well…), a sock, band aid (unused or not), sippy cup, puddle of milk, cell phone with a call to Madagascar in progress, family photos, a highlighter with a missing cap, a small but extensive library of books, coupons I’ll never use, lunch for 4 on the go, movie stub, glasses, assortment of game pieces, left over foreign money, flashlight that doesn’t work, ice cream scooper, an earring, floss, a platoon of plastic army men, a diaper & wipes, the unidentified… If I’m lucky my wallet & keys.

I know I’ve really wowed someone with my ever so talented bag when I’m standing at the check out and the cashier is watching me intently as I reach in my bag to pay. As I pull my hand out eyebrows raise, including mine as there is a foreign sticky substance slimed over the tips of my fingers. And this would be one of those times when I can’t find a tissue or wipe so of course this is when I wrinkle my nose and twist my face with all my might trying to harness those magical powers that my oh so marvelous and mysterious bag possesses. To no avail, yet somehow I manage to gain control over the situation. I’m feeling pretty impressed with my MacGyver like cleverness at getting out of a ‘sticky’ situation and I pull out my wallet. At this very moment I begin a sigh of relief only to wind up with a furrowed brow as I open my wallet to pay the cashier and wouldn’t you know, there’s that ½ lb of graham cracker crumbs spilling out & sprinkling over everything like pixie dust.

So, being the owner of one of these magical bags of the universe isn’t quite what it seemed at first. It’s not exactly what I had hoped for or even remotely close. Or is that the real magic? The ability to grin & bare it. I’m going to go rent Mary Poppins and look a little closer, maybe just maybe I missed the grape jam on her on her fingertips.

Now where do you pick up one of these bags? I got mine on clearance at Target.

(The day after writing this I was sitting in a meeting with my husband and a mortgage lender talking terms when I realized my lap was wet. I looked down and noticed an opened Capri Sun had been slipped in my bag and was leaking out the bottom as my youngest son bounced away without a care in the world. The receptionist was so kind as to supply a drink and some popcorn for the boys while we talked business. Needless to say, I’m retiring my bag. And I can hardly wait to see what the universe of hand bags has in store for me and what I’ll find within it at any given moment.)

September 05, 2007

Where Have all the Stands Gone?

Blue skies, bare feet, bike rides, fishing poles, sprinklers well they all go hand in hand when it comes to summer fun. But, where have all the lemonade stands gone? Apparently to little boys every one.

I don’t remember really having a lemonade stand, it’s sort of foggy. I think I did, I must have attempted it, isn’t it a requirement for childhood? It seems familiar, but so long ago. None the less, it seems the sweet tart, cool refreshing zing of a cold glass of lemonade on a sweltering hot summer day is still very much a part of human nature. And they haven’t gone out of style nor have they been retired to scrapbooks and memoirs of generations past.

In fact it’s been brought to my attention that lemonade stands aren’t so uncommon in the realm of childhood these days and such was the case with my young children. I’m not sure where or who they got the idea from but the dream of standing behind a lemonade stand handing out ice cold drinks and raking in the dough emerged from within them and it wasn’t going to go until they had tasted of the experience first hand. I was envisioning building a little stand and having it all set up picture perfect. But, there was money to be made, no time for such trivial things. But my boys had other ideas and are so very persistent. Especially Edison, He had been wanting to set up a lemonade stand for a while now. One morning he couldn’t think about anything else. He and Isaac kept concocting all kinds of concoctions of water/soda/popcicles/juice/ketchup and whatever else they could get their hands on. And then asked, begged and pleaded if they could sell their home invented mixtures as they offered me a glass of the greenish bubbling swill. Politely declining I kept saying it wasn’t a good time, everyone is at work or school, we don’t have lemonade….. It didn’t deter him and suddenly I caught myself and said, what am I teaching him by telling him he can’t and stopping him from trying! So I said sure, go for it. His face lit up and he shot of like a rocket taking his younger brothers with him. He took out some laundry buckets and flipped them upside down, drug out an assortment of chairs and made a sign out of computer paper and markers. Lemonade 98 cents , cookies 19 cents. He carefully drew out a picture of lemonade next to the etched numbers and then thoughtfully drew some cookies next to their price. There on top of the upside down laundry baskets was a plate of my m&m cookies and a variety of drinks canned and bottled that they had rummaged out of the pantry. There behind the laundry baskets, sign and refreshments were three boys beaming with excitement and confidence, so proud, pleased as punch(or lemonade).

Edison was disappointed that droves of people were not lined up at his stand. I was beginning to feel that pain mothers feel when they see their children experience heart break. Just then he ran in “we made 2 dollars!” and ran back out. I peeked out the front door to witness their excitement when I heard Edison say to his brother ’go to their house and ask them’ and off ran Isaac up the neighbors drive way and onto their front porch. They had determined that if the people weren’t coming to them they’d go to the people. That afternoon when the kids started coming home from school they were running in and grabbing stuff off our pantry shelves. Everest was so excited when he came home from school and saw the money they were making. That he rolled up his sleeves and jumped right in. Things were flying off the shelves, anything and everything from boxes of raisins to popcicles. They cleaned out our cupboards but they made well over $20 at the end of the day. I went out to check on them and there they were the proud owners of their long awaited lemonade stand. Surrounded by kids, neighbors and friends all sitting in the shade enjoying an afternoon treat and each others’ company.

Edison’s sales pitch: if you don’t have 98cents you can just give us $1. What little entrepreneurs they are. I am always so impressed with their ingenuity, enthusiasm and their drive. Next time I won’t be so hesitant to let them ‘go for it’, after all now’s the time to empower and encourage them. There is nothing sweeter than a cold glass of lemonade on a hot summer day than the sweet taste of success.


WARNING! Not for the faint of heart or weak stomach.
Having four boys, I have had my share of diapers, of every kind imaginable and even some unthinkable. There’s been everything from the Savings Plan(deposited pennies), Lumber Jack, Soup Poop, Not Your Every Day Garden Variety(loaded with popcorn seeds), Grab the Gas Mask, Blue Pooh(swallowed some food coloring) and almost every other color visible to the seeing eye for that matter including fluorescent, The Health Nut (chucked full of nuts and raisins), the ah so famous Mystery diaper, the You Do It I’m Not Going Near it Diaper, which is just shy of the Run for Your Life kind, just to name a few.

But the most recent and I must say most unexpected of them all is what I like to call Gum Bum. Spearmint in fact. If diaper changing could ever be considered pleasurable this would’ve been the one. Hudson found a pack of chewing gum and ingested half the pack. Luckily I intercepted before he could finish off the other half. I had wondered what that was going to do to his system. Later that afternoon I found out, as he ran past he left a waft of mint in his wake. Naw, it couldn’t be so. Sure enough as I followed the minty fresh smell it led straight to the little package on his backside. It was a refreshing surprise, in an odd sort of way. I almost hesitated to change the little air freshener, almost.

And to think my diaper changing adventures are coming to a close. My little Hudson is already training himself. What will I ever do when I don’t have diapers to change? Maybe my sense of smell will return.