Musical Lunchbox

Our tiniest tiny is now almost five years old. We alternately refer to him as “Mr. Buttcheeks” “Tiny” and “Lunchbox.” Sometimes we call him by his name. But it seems like maybe he needs a more musical nickname. Because he makes up songs regularly, and he seems to have an innate sense when it comes to DRM and licensing. If any of us are caught singing one of his songs, he will — depending on his mood — inform us that we don’t have the proper rights to sing that song. “You’re not on the list.”

I thought I would share some of his more popular and frequently requested selections here, though I am certainly violating his rights stipulations by doing so. The good news is that he cannot read yet, so he won’t have any idea about this. Don’t tell him. That one yells a lot when he’s pissed. Without further ado, I give you the musical stylings of our tiny Lunchbox:

Circus Parade

Circus Parade! Circus Parade! Diiiii-ettttt Coooookkkkkeeee!


Circus Parade! Circus Parade! Circussssss Pooooop!



He’s Popeye the Sailor Man!

He lives in a garbage can.

He eats all the ‘pinach, he gets all the healthy,

He throws all his corn around!


Tascos Padascos

Tascos Padascos, one, two, three…

I just pooped in your Diaper Genie!


Wonderful Vacation

In this wooooorrrllld….

It’s a wonderful, wonderful vacation.

(Repeat endlessly, sing slowly with feeling)


Finally, here is Lunchbox, who has graciously offered to perform one of his recent hits. Type in “Lunchbox” to see it. I give you:

Family Padunza 

It’s a four-piece (pause)

Fam-i-ly Pa-DUNZA…

(Repeat endlessly and do not ask questions about what a padunza is. We have tried to figure this one out, but there are few hints offered. Evidently, you can find padunzas in other arrangements, but the four-piece seems to be the family one.)



She’s Ba-aaack!

That’s right muthas… I’m back. And Turbo and Lunchbox have grown and… well, okay. They haven’t matured. But they have grown! Turbo is now in the second grade, and Lunchbox just started pre-k at the same elementary school. I’m still working for the same company (contracting to the man…oh, wait, around here that can get you in trouble, I think. Everyone here works for the government. So yeah, I do that.)

And life is mostly good. I spend most of my days at work praying that the phone doesn’t ring. I’ve become well-acquainted with the vice principle at the elementary school in the past few years, and even joined the PTA as a board member in order to buy a bit of goodwill in that fine establishment. We were on track to have the first Kindergartner ever suspended, but we dodged that bullet and even made it through first grade, though I did enjoy a close personal, nightly-phone-call kind of relationship with the first grade teacher. I think she liked me too, because she called me “mom” every time we spoke. That’s affection right there.

But it’s a new year, I’ve got a new attitude and a few new responsibilities… and life is good. I hope you’ll stick with me as I use this blog as a forum to record all the important thoughts I have about mothering in the military. (Maybe I’ll include some of the less important thoughts so that I can post more than once a decade…)

No Apologies

I won’t begin by apologizing for not posting for a while. It is what it is. I’ve been busy, like everyone else at this time of year. There was the crazy weeklong Thanksgiving travel hullabaloo and lots of work stuff going on in the meantime. And those are the big rocks on the bottom of the cup. The little pebbles and the sand that have filled in every spare air pocket of time have been composed of things like Christmas shopping, considering various work scenarios, trying to write a novel and trying to figure out who that strange man is who lives at my house. Oh, wait, that’s my husband? Cool. He’s kinda cute.

Now that we’ve dispensed with that, I’ll get on to something that made me feel like posting. The gluttony of the holiday season.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Christmas. My house is decorated top to bottom as soon after Thanksgiving as I can manage. And I would keep it all up until Valentine’s Day if I didn’t worry that the neighbors would think it was tacky. I’m loving all the nooks and crannies that the new house offers that are just begging to hold some of my holiday treasures — less loving having to tell Lunchbox continually that pretty much every one of these treasures is “NOT FOR YOU! NOT A TOY! NO NO NO!” He thinks this is a new Christmas Carol that Mommy especially likes.

I love that people become more generous this time of year and go out of their way to help each other. (Let’s just forget that nasty incident that we all read about at Walmart on Black friday. Doesn’t everyone Christmas shop online now, anyway?) My favorite blog, Rants from Mommyland, did a wonderful mommy-helping-mommy thing this year that I got to take part in, and my office also had lots of donation and collection opportunities to help those less fortunate.

With all this giving going on, it is hard for me to watch my tiny gluttons completely miss the spirit of the season. Don’t get me wrong, they’ve got spirit… particularly Turbo. He informs me at least six times a day of a new thing that he wants that he believes Santa should give him. Today in the car on the way to school I told him how we had sent a gift card for Target to another family that couldn’t afford to buy Christmas presents for their kids so that they would be able to have some toys under the tree. I explained how some children were happy to have even one gift, and how maybe we didn’t need to worry about how MANY things Santa would bring, and instead that we could just feel happy that we could count on Santa at all. I told him about how some children went to bed each night not knowing if they would have food to eat; that some kids just like him didn’t even have their own bed to sleep in or their own houses to live in. I made myself cry, so I know I was really hitting some poignant issues. I was sure that something I said would get through and was just waiting for the recognition to color the next very meaningful thing that he said. So here’s how he responded:

Turbo: “Yeah, Mom, okay, but what about when I turn five?”
Me: “What does that have to do with what I was just telling you?”
Turbo: “Will I still get lots of stuff when I turn five?”
Me: “WHA? Were you even listening? You completely missed the point.”
Lunchbox: “Saaan Claaassss ga ga bada, MY LUNCHBOX!!” (it may be somewhat ironic that one of the only words that Lunchbox can say clearly is now “lunchbox.” I believe it’s safe to say that he also missed the point of my diatribe on how to appreciate the fortunes we enjoy and staying aware that there are those less fortunate than us.)

I’m trying not to feel judgmental of my four year old. I know that for kids, the spirit of Christmas is the sheer wonder that they get to open so many presents all on one day… they love the lights and the glitter and the songs and the magic, and it’s kind of hard to get anything through the thick layer of chocolatey goodness that seems to coat all kid-related Christmas topics. And maybe I shouldn’t try at this age. I just don’t want to raise unappreciative kids. I want them to KNOW that they are not just lucky, but ridiculously spoiled (thanks, grandmas…) I want them to appreciate that there are others who are not so lucky and that they can help. Maybe they aren’t ready for that at 2 and 4.

Any suggestions on finding ways to illustrate the concept of GIVING to others would be very welcome!

Happy holidays to all…

The Incident Report

You smell delicious -- is that baby powder you're wearing?

If your kids are in daycare, you know the dread you feel when their peppy teacher, Miss Whatshername, catches you when you arrive at the end of the day with clipboard and pen in hand. “Oh, hello Callsign Mommy. We had a little incident here today, just need a quick signature.” The Incident Report details for you either how your kid has been an a** to some other little person, or how another little person has done something less-than-friendly to your kid. I don’t get many of these for Turbo these days (thank goodness, because he was showing signs of being the class bully when he was about 2.) No, now we get them for Lunchbox. And I’m not kidding when I tell you that we get them pretty much EVERY. DAY.

I could actually use a bit of help here… when the first few were presented, my heart jumped just a bit as I felt the guilt that comes with thinking that your perfect little angel did something awful to another child. And once in a while, Lunchbox does clobber someone. Usually he bites them. Turns out this is going around in his class. I have signed an incident report almost every day for the last month, because ANOTHER KID in Lunchbox’s class has bitten him. My poor tiny guy has come home with visible teeth marks on his arms constantly. It’s at the point now where I ask when I walk in, “incident report?” And the answer has become a sheepish, “Yes, here you go.”

About two weeks ago I asked if the bites were always coming from the same kid. The answer was yes. A week later I asked in a less friendly manner, as I returned yet another signed form and looked over the new bite on my kid’s shoulder, what was being done about this little vampire’s proclivity for toddler flesh. They told me that they’re shadowing the tiny cannibal and that it’s been effective. Except that I still get an incident report every day. I asked if Hannibal Lecter is biting anyone else, or if Lunchbox just has a bad habit of being in the line of fire. Evidently, many parents are being presented with these forms each day.

Once or twice is not a big deal. Lunchbox has dabbled in the world of peer chomping himself. But every day for a month is a bit excessive. I am struggling with some guilt here because I know that if the daycare informed me that one of my guys could not attend anymore because of a behavior issue, I’d be mortified and completely screwed. This daycare was the ONE here that had a schedule that worked for us that we could actually afford (and bonus! is a Montessori program, which I’m a fan of for preschool). I would have to scramble to find something else, end up driving to yet another out of the way destination before getting to work at 7:30am, and probably end up paying more. And I hate the thought of throwing another parent into that turmoil. It’s hard enough just being a parent. And I’m sure that the parents of little Dracula are mortified enough (they have to sign an incident report each time their kid bites someone, so they must be getting three and four a day!)

I was told on my last inquiry that this child was about to turn 2 and would therefore be moving up to the next class. We didn’t get any reports last week, so maybe the werewolf had his birthday. But guess who else has a birthday coming up and will be moving? Maybe if I wrapped Lunchboxes arms in a protective layer of eggo waffle… or bacon… but that might just invite more nibbles. What if I coat him in Tobasco? That oughta keep Toothy away, huh? Wonder if that burns the skin… Ideas?

Trying to be Hip…

Round Head
"No, it's really, uh, cute!"

I am having a problem. With my hair. I know — this is on track to be the most interesting blog post ever, right? Read on, fascinated followers!

My hair is kind of gray. Not totally but enough to make me want to hide those pesky harbingers of all things wrinkly and tired. So I have been coloring my hair for years. But lately, no matter how much I spend or how much of an expert my colorist believes herself to be, within two weeks of coloring my hair I find myself topped with a glowing mass of brassiness. It turns kind of an auburn shade, which isn’t as offensive as the orangey color that follows closely behind. So recently I read that Courtney Cox swears by Clairol’s no-brass brunette, and it’s only $9. Being easily swayed by celebrity recommendations, I went out and got myself a box. And you know what? It’s about the same as what my extremely talented Redken colorists were achieving. But about $91 cheaper. So that’s one problem kind of solved.

Then there’s the style, or lack thereof. I like pictures of myself best when I had longish straight hair with no bangs. But it has been suggested to me that this isn’t the most becoming style for my longish face, that bangs would cover the nascent wrinkles on my forehead, and that I should have some kind of layering going on. So I’ve had some layers added, and have had sideswept bangs for a while. But I’m not much of a hairstylist, and with all that going on, I still manage to make it look straight, flat and boring, and usually end up with all of it in a ponytail or at least with my bangs pinned back because I can’t stand feeling them on my face.

So with this history, I trotted into the salon last week. The salon, here in this smallish town, is supposedly ranked one of the top 200 salons in the country. (I will confess that the reason I went was because my friend told me that they offer you a glass of wine while you get  your haircut. I actually told the stylist that, and she looked at me with just a bit more fear than she had before while telling me that since my appointment was at 9am, she hadn’t thought that would be appropriate, but that if I wanted it, she’d go get me a glass. After the briefest consideration, I assured her that I did not actually WANT a glass of wine, but that I liked knowing I COULD have one if I wanted one. We talked less after that.) Anyway, we consulted initially. (This was before the wine conversation). She told me the same stuff everyone has always told me and I consented to layers and softness around my face, and even let her cut it pretty short. I might’ve uttered the word “bob” at some point, which I think led to the current issue. Which is that I have round head now. It’s a little shorter in the back and I still have bangs, and some stuff coming forward into my face. It actually looks cute when I look in a mirror at the back of my head, but when I turn around and see it with my face it looks quite weird. Maybe because it’s new. Maybe because it’s cute and that is one word that I just have never felt described me in the least… (I’m kinda tall, and not teeny weeny, and just not…cute.) The Major’s first reaction? “Oh, you got ROUND HEAD.” Just what every girl wants to hear when arriving home with a new do. Thanks, buddy!

Maybe it will grow on me. (At least I’m sure it will grow out.)