## Friday, December 06, 2013

### The Final Countdown

Despite having spent almost \$40 on advent calendars I am still being asked the question children have pestered parents with since red-velvet coats and flying reindeer were first conceived: "how many days until Christmas?"
I get it - the idea behind the advent calendar is to let kids know how many days until the big pay off - so they'll stop asking their parents every five minutes.
But the sad truth is that they don't work.
And here's why.
Advent calendars count up the days until Christmas beginning with calendar day one, which corresponds with December 1 - unless you buy your yearly calendar at the Christmas Tree Shop. One year I got an extra day at the end of April, another year Easter was labeled wrong. For \$2.99 you take your chances.
Anywho - the problem herein is that what does it being day 6 really tell a kid? Are there six days left until Christmas? No they aren's so the modern advent calendar tells us nothing. Who cares that we're six days in? All kids want to know is how many days are left and how five year olds can subtract 6 from 24?
None.
The same number who have the patience to count up all the skillfully camouflaged boxes that are left among their scenes of sugar plums, kittens in santa hats and sleighs flying through moonlit skies (in pictures there's always a full moon on Christmas Eve) to determine for themselves how many days are left based on how many little doors remain. Why go through the trouble when in your parent you have a living Siri doll to ask?
Sure - I could be a renegade parents and just have my kids open door 24 first and then work their way backwards but the calendars aren't set up that way. The big pay off is under door 24 - the tree with presents or the baby Jesus depending on whether you got the secular or the religious calendar.
Some of the calendars even have poems threaded through the doors - written in 4pt type. You can't very well start on December 1 with "and to all a good night," and expect the next 23 days to go well now can you?
So please Mr. Manufacturer of advent calendars - wherever you are - do a parent a favor and really count down the days to Christmas, starting with 24 and ending with 1 so I don't have to keep answering the question. Again. And again. And again.

song: The Final Countdown • artist: Europe

## Monday, December 02, 2013

### All I Want is You

The only item on my bucket list is winning the WMVY Holiday Stocking.

song: All I Want is You • artist: U2

## Friday, November 22, 2013

### Fill Me Up

Confession: sometimes I cook dinners that I know my children won't like just so there will be more leftovers for me. Ah delicious leftover pad thai, you're all mine.

song: Fill Me Up • artist: Shawn Colvin

## Wednesday, November 20, 2013

### What I Am

Spill over from yesterday's post - otherwise known as "wait, wait, there's more!"
So then there you are juggling six items in your arms as you walk to your car because you refused a bag at the supermarket because you have the reusable shopping bag in the car but you didn't bring it in because you only went in to get one item - the other five were impulse purchases - and you're passed by the lady wheeling a shopping cart that's filled to the brim with groceries packed three or four to a plastic bag. And honestly you think to yourself, "why am I bothering?" And I guess the answer is that I just don't know any other way to be.

song: What I Am • artist: Edie Brickell & the New Bohemians

## Tuesday, November 19, 2013

### Shame on You

On Sunday I took S & N to the coffee shop except that I didn't buy myself a cup of tea because I'd forgotten my travel mug at home. I think I could have asked for a mug instead of a paper cup but when you're traveling with five year old twins you can't always guarantee that you won't have to leave in a hurry.
I wonder if there's a scientific name for green guilt, or how many people suffer from this phenomenon. How many people are denying themselves a cup of tea because they left their stainless steel travel mug at home, or encouraging check out clerks to stuff their purchases into their pocket books and then emptying it all onto the floor of the cars because they forgot their reusable bags?
Or - to take it a step further, how many people are almost unable to shop at department stores because of the almost crippling certainty that the product they need already exists and that they could buy it used rather than new if they just looked a little harder.
Who wouldn't buy a Cub Scout handbook for their eight year old without first trying to find one on Freecycle. Who can scarcely comprehend purchasing new clothes? Who thrifted a \$2 electric hand beater, bought a \$25 bike off Craig's list, and got a vintage pencil sharpener on Freecycle?
Green guilt is the nagging feeling that you really ought to make everything from scratch because that's the only way to avoid a plastic bag around your bread or BPA in the tin can lining of your stewed tomatoes.
I don't think I've gone completely over the line yet but when you start having a hard time living your life because you're thinking about how your every move might effect the environment, it's not just green guilt, it's paralyzing green guilt. It keeps you from buying something you need. It's the equivalent of the Catholic guilt described recently on This American Life where people were constantly confessing sins that weren't actually sins, or worse, people where unable to live normal lives because they were sure that everything they did or were about to do could be construed as a sin.

song: Shame on You • artist: Indigo Girls

## Monday, November 18, 2013

### Run-Around

It really doesn't matter what we name the pet mice. Scabbers, Stewart, Al, Martin, Lucky, Phoebe, etc., etc.; they all wind up as Tubby in the end.
Which just goes to show that running incessantly on a squeaky wire wheel doesn't burn as many calories as one would think.

song: Blues Traveler • artist: Run-Around

## Saturday, November 16, 2013

### That Old Black Magic

There's a chicken bone on the rug in S & N's room.
Could it be that my twins are voodoo priests?

song: That Old Black Magic • artist: Johnny Mercer