Posts Tagged ‘Big Brother’

…before our washing machine cries MERCY and dies a soaking wet death on my laundry room floor.

Husband as my witness here’s one single week’s collection of items fished out after the wash cycle has finished.

Lord knows, I apparently don’t have it in me to check pockets before I put in the clothes.  Ever.


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I’m attending a baby shower in a few weeks and my cute, preggy friend registered for some items at Pottery Barn.  So, I went online today and ordered her something adorable and, as usual, my purchase led Pottery Barn to recommend yet another item to me.

“People who bought your product, often buy this product…”

Tulip Wall Decals for $29.99

Create a cheerful garden of colorful flowers anywhere in the room with our exclusive peel-and-stick wall decals.

  • Decals are easy to apply and remove.
  • Created from original watercolor illustrations so each bloom is unique.
  • Set of 9 tulips.
  • Tulip height ranges from 18″ to 31.5″.
  • Internet / Retail only.

And, here they are (picture from the PB website):

Like ’em?   Yeah?  Me too, I guess.

Almost as  much as I liked the work that Big Brother brought home from pre-school earlier this week.

Here’s that.

I mean, come on PB.  Really?

$29.99.   Silly.

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Awesome.  Thanks.

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I know this might make us sound like kind of bad parents but we’ve learned that Big Brother is highly motivated by money. He loves it. Offer him a penny and he’ll fetch you a cold beverage. Offer him a nickel and he’ll sing a song…loudly, in public. Offer him a quarter and, as witnessed this weekend, he’ll wade out in bone-chillingly cold ocean water to retrieve Little Brother’s beloved rubber ball.  And, if said quarter is a commemorative state quarter?  Holy cow.  Oh, I shudder to think of what he’d do.

Big Brother also has a list of daily chores for which he receives stickers. At the end of the week, his allowance is based on how many stickers he’s accumulated.  And all this has been going on for quite a long time.  He does his chores (or some random challenge) collects his booty, and then hustles to his room to squirrel it away in his piggy bank.

Piggy’s gotten too fat a few times over the years forcing us to cash in some coins for bills to make more room.  We knew Big Brother had a decent collection going but had no idea, really, what the cumulative totals were.   All we knew was that Big Brother loved Piggy.  And all that Piggy represented.  For example, when I’m asked for the nine millionth time to take them out to lunch (or buy the new Bakugan or go to the car wash even though it’s raining outside), and I respond by saying, “No.  We aren’t made of money, you know?”, Big Brother remembers Piggy.  He contemplates, pausing for a moment, and then says “It’s ok, Mommy.  I’ll pay.”


So, you can imagine my surprise when he came to us and asked if he could open his own bank account.   We had no idea that our weekly trip to the bank was anything more to Big Brother than an opportunity to score lollipops.   He told us he wanted to save his money somewhere “super safe” and that he was really hopeful they might give him his very own “secret code” to get his money when he needed it.

Husband and I thought it was a great idea but weren’t so sure how to execute it with the gigantic corporate beast where we do our banking.  So, the next morning I called our local branch to make an appointment.  Unsure of the reaction I’d get (certainly, a five-year old and his piggy bank isn’t top on their list of clients), I was delighted when they walked me through how it would all work and made us an appointment.

Big Brother was thrilled.   And, quickly got to work shaking out the piggy.

So, I gathered up the money for him, we grabbed his social security card and off we went.    To do some banking.

Ready or not.  Here we come.

We sat right down with our representative who welcomed Big Brother, had him tell her his birthday and spell his name.  She asked him to provide his address and his signature.  He took it all very seriously.

You won’t get anymore shots of Big Brother from inside the bank, though.  See, turns out they have some crazy rules against taking pictures and had no qualms telling me to PUT THAT THING AWAY RIGHT NOW.

Sheesh.  How paranoid can you be.   Haha.

But, despite his crazy, camera-happy mother, they patiently got Big Brother all set up ($101!), gave him a little bank book with their sincere congratulations and sent a very proud little boy on his way.

So, thank you, to the staff of Giant Corporate Bank in Marblehead.  Thank you for acting like a small, local bank even though I know you are, in fact, a humongous financial monster.  Thank you for making last Friday a very special day for Big Brother.  He checks his account balance daily and feels like a very big kid.

Oh, and thank you, in advance, for not sending the police to my door because I posted a photo taken from inside your bank on my blog.  I photo-shopped the heck out of it to remove any possible issues.  Swear.

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Big Brother presented me with his Mother’s Day gift this morning.  They made them in pre-school so, since he doesn’t go on Fridays, today was the big reveal.


Cute, huh?  There’s a marigold seed planted in the pot and Big Brother’s face in the center of the flower, where you see a white circle of paper.   There’s also a very sweet poem on the back of the picture about how he, too, grew from just a tiny seed but my care and love (and truckloads of mac and cheese) made him grow as big and strong as he is today.

I was touched.   Hugs, kisses, thank yous all around.

Then his teacher handed me the accompanying card and, with a smile, told me that Big Brother’s card was one of the most memorable.  Which brought his second teacher over, also smiling, to tell me (and I quote) “There are no secrets around here.”

Oh, dear Lord.   I opened it:

Let me just zoom in on a little gem for you.

What a sweetheart, no?  Ratting me out for dyeing my hair.

Good thing he’s just the kid of the blue-eyed mailman or Husband might be upset.

Gotta run.

Chores to do and dishes to sort!   Wooohooooo!!!

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We’re all happily home from a wonderful stretch of days visiting my parents in Vermont.   Beautiful weather, (mostly) happy kids, many fabulous outdoor activities, drinks with great friends and delicious meals with family.

Plus, my parents scored some cheap child labor in tending their fields.


But, seriously, how cute are they in those giant tractors?

Really, though, it was a great trip.  A perfect trip.

Well, almost perfect.

Except for a minor blip when I took the boys to a local playground and while I was running a 5K, doing a cart-wheel, rescuing my kids from a rabid dog, (oh, ok…) walking slowly along a wooden walkway, I went down like a ton of bricks.  Just fell.  For who knows what incredibly athletic reason.  (I may or may not have been reading something on my iPhone.  You can’t prove it.)  But anyway, down I went — arms splayed, legs askew, ankle rolled.  Ass over teakettle in my flip-flops.  Suddenly, on the grass looking up at a very worried Big Brother.

Mommy!  Are you ok?

Clearly, I am very graceful.   Swan-like, in fact.

Here, Mommy.   I picked up your phone.  It looks ok.

Mommy of the Year.   Yup, that’s me.   Go ahead and send my trophy to the Manchester Recreation Area c/o Grassy Area behind the tire swings.

So, anyway.   Here’s a shot of the right ankle Friday afternoon back at my parents house.  You know, shortly after I got up close and personal with the playground grass.

You like the pedicure?  You do.  Thanks.

And, here’s the stunning beauty that is my ankle (or lack thereof) today.  Sunday afternoon back at home.


It’s fine, of course.  I’m walking around on it without much trouble and, even though it’s hideous looking, it actually feels better than it did yesterday.

But, really.   Gross.

Yup, just another “sports injury” to add to my collection.

Note to self:  really must slow down.   Ha.

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Back in the Dark Ages of my youth, I would eagerly anticipate the arrival of the Sears Roebuck catalogue.  Catalogues, in general, weren’t nearly as pervasive as they are today and Sears was the Grand-Daddy of them all.  That baby was huge.  And, with its giant toy and youth chapters, I spent countless hours lying on my belly on the floor of our living room flipping through it page by page by page.

(Yeah, yeah.  Bring it.  Lonely only child?  Perhaps.)


I discovered yesterday that there’s a new “Sears Roebuck Catalogue” in town.  For modern-day children.  It’s called the Yankee Candle catalogue and it rocks.  Nearly every page has a “rub and sniff” candle for the kiddos.  I’m not kidding when I tell you that Big and Little Brother spent nearly 45 minutes with it during the horrible post-nap but pre-dinner witching hour.  Rubbing, smelling, taking turns, commenting, flipping the page, choosing favorites and….not arguing.

I’m thinking about ordering a boatload of candles I really don’t need.  In part, as thanks to and recognition for the brilliant smelly pages idea.   In part, to ensure they keep sending me catalogues!

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A month or so ago, I posted a blog about how I can’t stand the swings at the playground.   Because my kids just want to plop down on those suckers and be pushed, which completely defeats what I believe to be the whole purpose of a trip to the park.  Namely, exercise for the boys.  But I think the truth is that I actually can’t stand pushing Big Brother on the swings.  I’d push Little Brother all day.  Not fair?  Perhaps.  But, Big Brother is five now so I feel like he should be hopping on the swings, receive one solid push (an underdog even!) from me and off he should go.  PUMPING.   Higher and higher and higher.  Any self-respecting five-year old should be able to PUMP, right?  Right?  I thought so.  Well, not my kid.   And today I figured out why.

The child has no rhythm.  None.  Nada.  Zilch.

And pumping requires a little rhythm.  Swing up, toes back, lean forward, swing back, toes up, lean back. Swing up, toes back, lean forward, swing back, etc.    He’s so off beat with it all I feel badly for the kid.   It’s hard to watch.  Painful, in fact.   And, the worst part is…

It’s all my fault.

Because you know who else has no rhythm?  Me.

You might not know this about me but…I can’t dance.  Like, at all.

I’d probably flatter myself to say my skills match these…

The only difference between Elaine and me is that I at least know I’m a bad dancer.  So, I quite simply don’t dance.  No, not even at weddings.  No, not even after I’ve had a few drinks.  No, not even after I’ve had more than a few drinks.  I don’t sway all around to the Dead or jump to the Macarena.  I don’t strut to the Chicken Dance and I can barely manage to get my right foot in for the Hokey Pokey.  And, even then, I certainly can’t shake it all about.  If I really like the song, I might tap my hands on a table a little bit but I stop when I eventually realize I’m completely offbeat on that, too.  Believe me when I tell you, it just isn’t pretty.  My husband, who has great rhythm by the way, loves to dance when the music’s right.  Sadly, though, he knows me to be rhythm challenged and, therefore, doesn’t even ask me to dance anymore.  Because he knows it would be a painful experience.  For both of us.

I mean, it’s certainly not the end of the world.  There are plenty of people out there that can’t dance.  Like, how about Phil Collins?  He sang a number one hit about how he can’t dance.  Or, how ’bout Ren’s friend Woody?  You know, from Footloose?  And they don’t get any cooler than Woody from Footloose.

Which gives me an idea.   Maybe Husband can find an old abandoned warehouse, set up a swing, crank some Kenny Loggins, spike his hair and teach Big Brother to pump!

I mean, if Ren could do it…

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I wish I could remember which one of my fabulously smart Mommy friends recently heard me complain about the copious amounts of dog hair wafting around in my house and my resulting compulsion to vacuum every twenty-five seconds.  Whoever she was I do know that she, with a knowing smile, suggested I purchase a Dust Buster and turn it over to the small people.


I swear, they fight over the thing.  They like it so much I have to charge it nightly.  We have to set a timer so they can take turns every two minutes.  Wouldn’t want anyone to get robbed of their own precious cleaning time!

Gotta go.  Children approach.  Must lift my feet.

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As I’ve mentioned before (ad nauseum?), I’m an only child.  Sibling dynamics (the rivalries, the camaraderie, the loyalty, the cruelty) are completely lost on me.  I am a reluctant work-in-progress as mother referee to the whole big brother versus little brother battles.  And the battles are endless.

More than anything, I’m floored by how desperately Little Brother wants to be loved by Big Brother.  His first words each day, standing in his crib at 7:15 in the morning, are a request to see his Big Brother.   After a change and some clothes, the worship begins.  He wanders down the hall in search of his brother and spends the rest of the day following him, asking questions, begging to be included in whatever (and I do mean whatever — it could be peeing, I swear) activity in which his brother is involved at the moment.   I, of course, think this behavior is the sweetest thing in the whole wide world.  What I would have given, I think to myself.  How I yearned for a constant playmate! Big Brother’s view on it?  Not quite as rosy.

And, if I look at it from his perspective?  Well, of course, it’s annoying.  A shadow.  No time alone.  Three years of solitude, all Mom and Dad’s attention and then…wham!…along comes this creature and now Big Brother is asked to constantly share and play nice and be gentle and…oh, man, the crying! If there’s one area in which Little Brother excels, it’s turning on the waterworks.  And, I’m sure much of the time it’s just drama.  Regardless, Big Brother gets the brunt of the chaos repercussions.  What happened?! I rant.  Did you push him?  Were you playing too rough?  He’s only two!  I need you to be the big kid, ok?! And, every time I’m just so shocked and sad to see that Big Brother, usually such a sweet kid, can actually be pretty mean sometimes when it comes to his brother.

My husband, a Big Brother himself, completely understands that side of the equation.  He’s all in favor of a “Let them work it out” philosophy.  But, to me?   When working it out involves a David and a Goliath, I just don’t think it’s a fair fight.

And David just wants to be loved.  And included.  And Goliath just, well…Goliath just stomps on the little sucker and walks away?  Nope.  Not in my house.

Sometimes I try to appeal to Big Brother’s not so finely developed sense of forethought.  For example, Just you wait!  Someday, Little Brother could be bigger than you.  And, then how would you like it if he just whacked you? Or, I try a different approach and go with You know, you’re lucky to have a brother.  And, someday Little Brother might just decide he doesn’t want to play with you anymore.  How would that feel? And, to that he answers honestly. That would be great!

Because Big Brother is no fool.  And, unfortunately, he’s learned that if he hurts his little brother a little bit (emotionally or physically), it really doesn’t seem to matter.  Because, Big Brother has discovered that Little Brother has absolutely no short-term memory.  None.  Little Brother cries, runs to Mom, Mom makes Big Brother go to his room for a bit.  And you know what happens the entire time that Big Brother is in his room?  Little Brother is crying to see him.  And, asking when he can come out.   Ultimately, Big Brother is released and asked to come out and apologize and it goes like this:

Sorry for doing that, Little Brother.

To which Little Brother replies “I sorry, too.  Play wit me now?”

Breaks my heart.  Partially because I know it will happen all over again in roughly 15 minutes.

This is my day.

I just hope Little Brother develops that short-term memory at some point.  You know, so he doesn’t wind up like this guy.

Saturday Night Live – Mr. Short Term Memory (click it)

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