April 2008

Will hasn’t stopped coughing since he went to bed. So far, it isn’t that blood-chilling croupy cough. At the same time, it’s so tight that I can’t breathe from all the way down here. Having Lucy call down every few minutes to tell me he was coughing didn’t help. It took everything I had not to snap, ‘Yes, I know he’s coughing. I can hear him. I already have awful visions in my head, thank you very much.’ I can hear the fear in her voice, though; I know that she’s on the edge of panic as well, and is just trying to help.

Is staying down here and pretending it’s nothing worse? There’s nothing I can do upstairs other than sit on the end of his bed and keep myself from hyperventilating as I take every breath with him. And let my mind wander, of course — when he said he was going to have a bad dream tonight, was he having a premonition of sorts? Did he know something would go wrong? Did he have some sense that something terrible would happen?

So here on the couch I sit, completely on edge, partly watching the TV and typing away as I try and distract myself. Knock on wood, fingers crossed, pray, pray, pray that everything will be alright.

Will’s friend Owen was visiting today. They, along with Lucy, played outside for awhile together; then Lucy came in to ice the cupcakes she’d made. (Mini cream cheese filled cupcakes — they were quite good!) I kept my eye on them out the window, surprised at how long the two of them stood there on the platform of the swingset, nearly stockstill, but seeming as though they were having a conversation so I wasn’t too worried about it. The next time I went by, though, Will waved his hands vigorously and called out for help. “We’re trapped!”

“Trapped?” I of course ask, not seeing anything or anyone who’d be trapping them. “By what?”

“The skunk.” 

The skunk (or, ‘stunk’, as Owen calls it) that seems to be living under our deck? “Why would you think the skunk is trapping you?” 

“Because,” Lucy innocently said from behind me, “I told them that if they came down the skunk would get them. I didn’t want them to take my swing.”

Oh, goodness. Ingenious, yes, but, well — we’re only eight days into official tween-ship. At the same time, when Will and Owen almost came to blow over a bad Hungry Hippos moment, she completely stepped in and distracted them like a really big big kid. I’m not sure I’m ready for that, either.

Fine Dining

Last night was a Fine Dining night. My choice — Clio’s. I’ve been wanting to go there for awhile, but had held back because every time I looked at the menu, I couldn’t find that many things that I would want to eat. I had to choose on the fly, though (these last few months feel like they’ve been tougher than usual; it was hard to think beyond the moment I was actually in), so I went with it. I did the Open Tables reservation thing — tres easy! Unlike our last place, however, they didn’t seem to register that I had pre-notified about Jeff’s allergies. And, unfortunately, when we got there, it was clear that just about everything had either seafood or poultry in it (literally — there was only a salad and the vegetarian entree for Jeff to choose from). Luckily, he seemed ok with both dishes. But, I admit, I was surprised that a restaurant as prestigious as that would be so limited in terms of options. Maybe I’ve just become a lot more sensitive to what’s available to people with allergies.

On my own part, I wasn’t overly thrilled with the salad. Sesame oil, one of my least favorite tastes, was an unadvertised major component of the dressing. The lobster entree (with fava beans and mushrooms) was quite yummy. I love it when I actually end up ordering the right thing! It doesn’t always happen, unfortunately; happily, though, I also ordered exactly the right dessert for me. Good food, plus good friends equals another excellent Fine Dining experience.

Kelley and I actually thought about going out to the movies afterwards, but the timing didn’t end up working. Sure I am still up and typing at 12:36 am, but I’ve become way too old fogey and need my downtime before bed. A 10 pm movie just doesn’t work for me. Baby Mama and Forgetting Sarah Marshall will have to come some other time. I’ll hopefully manage to catch them in the theater — next week Iron Man and Made of Honor come out, too; two more flicks I’d like to catch. Four whole movies I want to see! Yay!





For reasons I won’t bother to go into at the moment, tonight’s TV viewing has been reality-based. I am quite new to the reality genre — scripted TV is definitely much more up my alley. However, I do also happen to like all that singing and dancing stuff, so when Dance Wars with Bruno and Carrie Anne debuted, I thought it might be something that I could actually enjoy watching with Lucy and Will. And, although I certainly understand that all the good-parenting people say that TV and kids shouldn’t go hand in hand, I do have some quite happy memories of the three of us gathering on the couch with popcorn to watch that week’s new episode. (Or, more specifically, of Will standing on the couch with his fists pumping in the air yelling, “Elisabeth! Elisabeth!” for his favorite performer.) At about the same time, I was introduced to Project Runway. It was, well, fierce, I do have to say.

From there, I moved on to America’s Best Dance Crew. That was surprisingly enjoyable! Another one that was mostly dependable in terms of ok kid viewing, plus it was real dancing. Not ballroom, of course, but Jabberwockeez (or however you spell it) was pretty amazing. Status Quo, Kabba Modern, Great Skate (yes, I’m butchering all these names — sorry), weren’t exactly what you’d call bad.

With those being the first foray into reality territory, I felt ready to venture further. Thus I come to tonight’s DVR line-up. First, Dancing with the Stars. Lucy’s liking it, and there are elements I don’t dislike. For example, I kind of like Sheryl Crow. I definitely like the “All I want to do is have some fun” song. What I could really have done without was the two couples dancing to it with both costumes and dance moves that, essentially, were what the Bada Bing girls do (did) in the Sopranos. I mean, are their budgets tight? Can they not afford costumes that cover more of a woman’s body? Do they not understand that less isn’t always more? And the dance itself — it was actually obscene. Give me the street crews from ABDC any day. Sheryl Crow looked a bit stunned as she sang. I didn’t blame her.

The other disturbing thing was the kids doing the ballroom dancing. Much more appropriately, thank God, but still a bit off-putting to see these eight-year-olds as pseudo-adults. Part of it was the costumes, part of it the way they came off in the interviews. Now, I have a precocious eight-year-old of sorts, so I’m more than happy to allow for some of that; the whole stagey-precocious thing is a bit much for me, though.

The second show of the night was Top Chef – the Elements episode. I haven’t taken to Top Chef in the same way as I had to Project Runway. Maybe it’s the people, maybe it’s the show itself. (Although, I do have this overwhelming urge to cook up some of those fancy dishes. Not that you’d know it from our repertoire of macaroni and cheese and McDonald’s.) Tonight, though, I was actually moved.

[SPOILER ALERT – If you don’t want to know who got eliminated, don’t keep reading until you find it out somewhere else.]

I have to admit, I’ve been kind of annoyed by the Jen/Zoi relationship. Well, not the relationship itself, but the way it gets played into the drama of it all. However — the look on Jen’s face when Zoi was eliminated, the quick embrace and kiss, the hugs all around as everyone said good-bye to Zoi, and then the final Jen/Zoi hug and kiss — clinging but not clingy, incredibly touching… It turned me around, I do have to say. I’m going to miss seeing more of them together.

Well, we’re now into American Idol — my first season of it, if you can believe it — with the bottom three in front of me. I usually don’t watch the ‘elimination’ show (speaking of manufactured drama), although I do tend to like seeing them all perform together. … O.k. As I typed that, there was actual drama. A surprise good-bye. I stand (slightly) corrected. Sorry to see you go, Michael. As, clearly, are many others.

Wait – do they always make them sing the song they lost on? Really?

Oh, good. 30 Rock is up next. Accordingly, they’ve got their own reality thing going on in this ep, and, from the little I’ve seen so far, it is Hi-larious. “We no longer want to hit that,” indeed.

We went to Target yesterday. Right into the breach, as Kelley says, late morning on a Saturday — not exactly a down time. Will, being at the age where he is by all means “not little,” is determined not to hold my hand in the parking lot. (Mommy, close your ears.) Feeling as though he is, in fact, old enough to be counted on to walk next to me without holding my hand, I let him do it. Of course, the second I let go of him, he skipped ahead, deciding that this is the point at which to race Lucy in.

Since I am no longer new at this, I had done the scan of where drivers were, etc., so he wasn’t in any immediate danger. Also, he has so far been aware that the sharp “Stop!” actually means something. So, when I yelled it with, o.k., a little bit of panic in my voice, he did manage to come to a sudden halt.

I took his hand, explaining that this is a parking lot, and, therefore, it is not safe to run ahead. Even if it looks like a car might be stopped, there might be a driver in it waiting to pull out and not be able to see a (not) little five-year-old directly behind the bumper.

“Listen,” Will said to me in an overly patient, authoritative voice. “Don’t you think I would hear the engine if the car was about to go?”

Now I know that he is smart, and I also know that he has no qualms telling me whatever is on his mind. Still, dear reader, I was nearly speechless. I tried not to laugh as I weakly responded that yes, that was true, but that he needed to be careful nevertheless because cars could come from anywhere.

Even to my ears it was lame, and Lucy immediately stepped in to say something about cars driving too fast. Before she could finish, Will gave a sharp, “Lucy! You are not part of this conversation.”

Five, I tell you.