soccer mom!

black and white round thing
oversized shorts billowing
look! it’s a flower!

The wee one has started soccer. This makes me officially a soccer mom. I find this both hilarious and wearying. For those of you out there who, like me, are an oozy mess that happens to drip outside of the "soccer mom" mold, here are some things I’ve learned.

1) Do not yell "kick it!" at your child. Soccer is apparently not about kicking. It is about dribbling. And while parents on the other team can yell things like, "Don’t be lazy!" and "Are you PAYING ATTENTION?!" at their 4-year-olds, you can never, under any circumstances yell "kick it!" at your own kid without earning yourself lots and lots of dirty looks.

2) Learn the names of all the kids on your child’s soccer team. Though you might think it’s funny to yell, "Hooray, Small Boy With Red Hair! Good job, Cute Girl With Pink Bows!" other people will not think you’re funny.

3) It doesn’t matter if the game is located exactly on the equator, if it’s set to begin at 8:45 am, the weather will be freezing, windy and drizzling, and you will leave your jacket at home and the picnic blanket in the other car.

4) Wearing your "WTF" t-shirt is inappropriate for the initial parent meeting.

5) There will always be one ringer per team. Even if the teams are full of tiny kids just learning how to play, there will still be one child with a budding mustache and muscles bigger than your own, who is ostensibly "5-years-old" and can play single-handedly against a troupe of five other kids, beating them easily. Except for on your kid’s team. Your kid’s team has no ringer. But they will be able to pick all of the dandelions on the soccer field in record time.

6) When you see someone riding on a motorized cooler you should not mutter loudly, "How lazy can you GET?" If you do, that person will hear you, and that person will end up being the uncle of a kid on your kid’s team. That uncle will then obviously and continuously ignore your child as he gives every other kid a ride on the Dumbass Cooler For Lazy People, and your kid will cry.

7) Don’t bring water for your kid to drink. Glow-in-the-dark sports drinks are the beverage of choice and you will be scored, SCORNED, by your child when you hand him a bottle of warm Ozarka and tell him cheerfully, "It’s warm on purpose – and it’s healthy!"

8) It is not a soccer costume, it is a soccer uniform.

9) Under no circumstances is anyone to urinate on the field.

10) Soccer is way, way, way better than tee ball ever was. Seriously.

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when he’s president…

I just picked up the wee one from school. He had a "book" that he made to help celebrate President’s Day (in the book are pasted in silouettes of former presidents). On the last page he drew a picture of himself as president and dictated a message for his teacher to write:

President

The wee one would be the best president ever!

my belly hurts from laughing

imagination
some crazy shit up in there
some crazy great shit

This morning the wee one wanted to play ninja turtles.

"I’ve given them names!" he exclaimed with glee. "Here you be this one." He handed one to me and I took it.

"Yours is named Peacock Butthair."

"Peacock Butthair?" I asked, choking on my tea. "What did you name yours?"

"Doc."

the flat top shop

We walked through the door and this is what we saw: two pictures of Jesus hanging on the walls, a Coke machine, a corkboard full of business cards, a cash register, a checkerboard with only a third of the checkers, three barber chairs, one barber, one guy with a Marine haircut, sitting in a chair in the waiting area, and one guy sitting in the barber chair.

The guy in the barber chair had the kind of comb-over that starts at the top of one ear and goes all the way over the head, rainbow-style, until it reaches the top of the other ear. If there was a stiff breeze, this dude’s hair could stand up straight for about a foot and a half. He was having the non comb-over part of his hair trimmed. And his goatee maintained.

So the wee one, the wee-er one, and I all sat down and I began to rethink my brain wave to go see a real barber. Initially I was like, hey, this will be cool. A real barber will be impressive, the wee one might get a spray of manly hair spray or something (thus smelling like "man stuff" – aka what he calls deodorant or aftershave) and it will be fun for all. Plus, I could save a few bucks. The place we usually go is one of those kiddie haircut extravaganza places with motorcycles you ride, and movies to watch. Cool, but not cheap.

Anyway, as Barber, Combover and Marine began somehow simultaneously discussing the war and broadband internet, I started to feel a little uncomfortable. For one thing, they could probably smell my commie pinko liberal blood from a mile away. For another thing, no one had acknowledged us when we came in, and ten minutes later there was still no nod of "I see you over there, be with you in a second."

We sat. The wee one fidgeted, begged for a Sprite, tried to play checkers, ran around and eventually it was his turn.

The barber put a big cushy block thing in the chair and the wee one sat on it. The barber ran his fingers through the wee one’s crazy rat’s nest mop and said, "How short do we go? A 2? A 3?" I was like, "Uh, 2 inches?" And then he showed me the clippers and I still didn’t really understand the whole 2 3 thing, but I agreed to a 2 on the sides and a 4 on top. The barber said it would be a Howie Long flat top. "Do you know who Howie Long is?" He asked. "Indeed," I answered, smartassedly, because even though I’m a girl I know about football. "Just don’t make it a Howie Long mullet." He gave me a sideways look, but didn’t say anything.

The barber got to work, shavin’ shavin’ shavin’. The wee one stayed very still, even when he was giggling. Then the flat top part began. "It’s like a carving," the barber said, as he buzzed and snipped and measured and combed. He had to put some kind of gel in the wee one’s hair, then blow dry it, and then comb it and then shave over the comb to even it out. He must have done this six times. The wee one was in the chair FOR OVER AN HOUR getting this damn flat top.

As the barber worked, he kept shaking his head. "There are a lot of cowlicks here. And tufts." He would shake his head some more and keep working. After a while, a kid appeared from a back room, carrying a math book and talking about dinosaurs.

"If the dinosaur could breathe fire, he wouldn’t have to use the microwave to make bacon!" the kid said gleefully. Then he bought a Coke and went back into the back room.

I wanted to say, "Are we in a David Lynch TV show?" But I said nothing. I was afraid if I spoke, the magical charm that was holding the wee one still would break and he would accidentally get his head chopped off, as it was at about this time the barber whipped out a STRAIGHT RAZOR.

"Uh," I said. "Be still, wee one." And I closed my eyes.

I heard giggling, and a sharp admonishment to be still, and I slowly opened my eyes. The wee one had survived. Hooray!

Finally the flat top was finished. "You may want to rethink this haircut in the future," the barber told me. "This kid’s head has all kinds of tufts and cowlicks and bumps and his hair is very thin. You’ll be very busy every morning making this haircut work." He looked at me accusingly, as if my child’s abnormal head was all my fault (which it is, I guess). I smiled, paid the bill and tipped him 25% because he worked very, very hard on his "carving."

The wee one got some pink lemonade Double Bubble for his trouble. He was quite happy.

His hair has not been flat since it was designed by the barber. I mean, are you kidding me? Use a blow dryer on a four year old every morning? Who knew flat tops were such trouble.

It’s damn cute, though.

beam me up

jumping out of skin
no big deal for snakes, crickets
big deal for people

The wee one is worrying me. Not because he’s toying with fast cars and faster women (though that would be worrisome)… but because of his new affinity for teleportation.

Yes. Teleportation.

It would be nice if he’d use his gift for good instead of evil. He could pop into the wee-er one’s bedroom and grab an appropriately-sized diaper and then pop back to Target where I’m struggling to change her with the newborn diaper that I found at the bottom of the diaper bag.

Instead, he has embraced the Dark Side. I’ll be standing in my room, trying to remember why I walked in there and BAM, there he is, standing right at my elbow. He shows up immediately and silently. I remember why I’m in there (socks!), turn, trip over the large-headed, skinny-armed creature hovering at my side, scream, clutch my heart, and watch the room spin. Then, a few hours later, I go into the bathroom (thankfully, I remember why). I sit down, close my eyes for a millisecond and BAM, the large-headed, skinny-armed creature is back, standing right at my elbow. I scream, clutch my heart, and watch the room spin.

Of course, he thinks this is all quite hilarious. I, on the other hand, am not so amused. His teleportation has shaved YEARS off my life – and added a gray streak to my hair. I can’t handle this kind of surprise attack four times a day. I’m beginning to show signs of post traumatic stress disorder, I think. Everything makes me jump – loud noises, giggles of small boys, baby farts… everything.

I wonder if someone has invented a device or outfit or tin foil hat or something that I can use to prevent his teleporting – or at least slow it down. I’m going to try the "DO IT AGAIN AND YOU GET NO DESSERT TONIGHT" tactic. I hope it works. Otherwise, I’m going to have to keep doing my Fred Sanford impersonation, and why punish innocent bystanders?

The afternoon where I briefly consider changing the name of my son to “Power Pole”

if I was famous
I could name my kid Frito
but folks would still laugh

The family was in the car today making our weekly pilgrimage to Target, when the wee one asked if he could have a fishing stick.

"You mean fishing pole," my husband said.

"No, stick. A fishing stick. The thing you catch fish with." The wee one said patiently.

"Right," said my husband. "That’s called a fishing pole, not a fishing stick. But it’s sometimes made from a stick, so I can see why you’d think that."

"Is a stick the same as a pole?" the wee one asked skeptically.

"Sort of. They can both be made of wood. Like that power pole right there. You wouldn’t call that a power stick would you?"

"Power pole????????" the wee one asked excitedly.

*pause* "Uh, yeah. All those poles out the window – they’re power poles."

"Power pole is a great name! Mommy! Why didn’t you name ME Power Pole?" The wee one’s tone was very excited and very accusatory all at once.

"Uh, I guess I just didn’t think of it. That would be a cool name, though, huh? Power Pole Roy."

"You could have your own TV show," my husband offered.

"Yeah," I said, stealing the wee one’s accusatory tone. "On Cinemax."

"Could you please call me Power Pole all day today?" the wee one asked as we parked and unbuckled our seatbelts.

"Sure, Power Pole," I answered. "Now hold my hand while we cross the street."