Daddy-O Day

Remember when you were a kid and every mother’s day you’d ask your parents “when is it kid’s day?” We all got the same answer and now deliver it up to our kids: “everyday is kids day!”

Well, that’s how I kinda feel about Father’s Day.

Don’t get me wrong, I completely appreciate all the stuff great dads do and I make that statement with tongue placed firmly in cheek.

Around here, daddy-o was away with work for most of this past week. He did let it slip that while he worked hard during the day, his evenings included such events as a cruise on a yacht, two trips to the casino, and dinner at a yacht club. I’m sure he was pretty close to fessing up to an afternoon on the golf course when the expression on my face prompted him to hit the self-censor button – and fast. He was home for one night, then left again returning this evening, on Father’s Day. We took him out for dinner which turned mildly disastrous. One kiddo had a melt-down that required me to lug the 45lbs of slobbering mess outside of the restaurant to pull it together. I couldn’t tell if the looks of horror I was getting were the result of her dramatic fits of rage, or if my sweat moustache was drawing their attention. Either way, not my proudest moment. Said child had two more meltdowns before the day was up. Hysteria is contagious around our house, so when one is freaking out, the others follow suit because they ‘feel sorry’ for their distraught sibling. As sweet as that is, bedtime turned into a three ring circus and I was pretty much acting the part of the clown.

I finally made my way downstairs, licking my wounds, to find the house in exactly the same state – a complete dump with groceries that I had picked up hours before still sitting on the kitchen floor. I walked into the family room to find daddy-o lying on the couch watching TV. You can imagine the ‘WTF?” look he got, accompanied by a few words complimenting that look. His response was simple: “well, it is Father’s Day!”

His only saving grace is that he is a fantastic daddy-o. If he was anything less, that cheeky statement would have prompted me to implement a “no Father’s Day” rule going forward in our house for ever and eternity!

Oscar Mario

I was recently driving along in the mini-van listening to my kids rabbit on about all the things they want. Nothing irritates me more than being party to privileged kids’ conversations about “stuff” they want and don’t have. Don’t get me wrong, mine are not exactly spoiled – if they are wearing a fancy label, it most likely came in a hand me down bag. They didn’t get a wii for Christmas like most of their peer counterparts, and they are required to share any and all big ticket items. We even have a “no birthday present rule” at their parties. But, I look at my kids and the opportunities they have and swear that in my next life, I’m coming back as one of my own kids.

So there I was driving along in a fit of disgust. It seemed the perfect time to explain that we should sponsor a foster child.

The suggestion was greeted with tremendous excitement. It was decided we should sponsor a boy in an effort to equalize the gender difference in the family. We arrived home, got online, and found ourselves a great kid to sponsor (yes, it was that easy). His picture didn’t speak to us the way his name did: Oscar Mario. In a home obsessed with Super Mario, they were delighted to find a foster brother with “Mario” in his name.

What followed was amazing. Kids were doing chores and asking that their pocket money be sent to Oscar Mario. Letters were written and pictures drawn for Oscar Mario. Suddenly I started hearing things like “instead of asking for another virtual pet, I’m going to ask mama to send extra money to Oscar Mario”. They’ve requested that some Mabel products go to him, so if you find yourself cruising around Costa Rica and happen to see a kid with nothing except some Mabel’s Labels, that’s our guy.

My five-year-old was curious to find out if Oscar Mario lived on our planet (?!) so we grabbed the opportunity to teach them about geography, language, and culture – globes were out, encyclopedias strewn about the family room and all because they felt connected to Oscar Mario. That connection made them keen to learn everything about his world….er, or planet :)

So in the words of some obnoxious financial lending institution:

The cost of sponsoring Oscar Mario – $35.00 per month
The cost of seeing my kids learn the lesson of giving – priceless!

But, so ya know, we still have a lot of work to do. Tonight the five-year-old asked when Oscar Mario would send her a present. Sheeeesh!

Mama vs. Pop Culture

I suppose it’s difficult to be ‘in the loop’ if you don’t watch TV and only communicate and socialize with small children and their mamas. When facebook statuses started reflecting joy over David Cook last week, I had to fess up that the name didn’t even ring a bell.

With all the Sex in the City hype, I decided on opening night to pop down to the cinema and pick up a couple of tickets. The ticket kid rolled her eyes when I said “wow, really, sold out? Even the 10:20pm show?” It was like I lived on another planet.

Since I’ve only ever seen show re-runs, I have some knowledge gaps. I don’t know why Charlotte got divorced or who Carrie dated first – was Aidan before or after Burger? I did get tickets for last night and observed that movie-goers felt compelled to dress as cast members. I must have missed the memo suggesting cargo pants and Mabel’s Labels t-shirts were a no-go. Are we supposed to just know this??

I was recently in NYC for a sort of swanky event that was attended by a few celebs and media types. When someone entered the room, you could feel a buzz. That was my cue to grab the nearest b-lister and ask “and that would be….?” On one occasion I said “hmmm, he looks familiar” but it turned out to be a celeb’s personal assistant.

In an effort to connect to the happenings outside the mama world, I decided that turning on the TV once in a while would be a great start. Turns out, I still don’t know what’s happening on Grey’s Anatomy or any reality shows, but do manage to catch old Law and Order re-runs playing late night…..you know, when Ben Stone was the Assistant DA, long before Jack McCoy’s time. Ah, the good ol’ L&O days…..before Chris Noth was Big.

Seems for now there is a disconnect between those things going on in the outside world, and those going on in my world. You will all agree when I say we can celebrate that pop culture has NOTHING on mama culture! Well, that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

(and the picture is of me with Zack Levi, star of “Chuck”. Didn’t know who he was, but did know that he was hunka hunka!)

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