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May 29, 2010

In case you haven’t heard, there’s a little excitement going on around Chicago. Something about a hockey team and a cup named Stanley. I certainly don’t begrudge anyone the opportunity to root for the home team in a championship. I can even get excited right along with the two hockey fans in my house. But I draw the line at actually watching the game. I can’t deal with the yelling. And the air horns. It’s so damn loud. And I don’t understand most of what Mr. Spy is yelling at the TV. I’m okay when he yells, along with the announcer, “He shoots! He scooores!” But when he starts yelling things like “Two on one! Two on one! Shortie! Shortie!” well, he might as well be speaking Tagalog. So I’ve repaired to the bedroom to watch British comedies on PBS. If that isn’t caving to gender expectations, I don’t know what is.

Only a few more days until school is out. I haven’t planned one single solitary activity for AJ for summer yet. AJ’s having a party on Friday and I’m not ready for that either. Yet strangely, I am not panicking about any of it. I’m trying to decide if I’m in denial or if I’m just feeling calm about it. I’m hoping for the latter, but I suspect the former. Only time will tell.

Yesterday was AJ’s annual Family Picnic Day. This is a misnomer. It gives you the impression of happy families scattered about the school grounds eating lunches off blankets. But every year, what actually happens is that the mothers roll up with bags from assorted local fast food establishments and sit alone with them while the kids ignore them completely and play kickball until they are starving, at which point they run over, vacuum up their food, and run back to the ball field. I am that mean mom who refuses to bring fast food. But I did pack a picnic basket with a bunch of AJ’s favorite things: pretzel bread, peanut butter, cucumbers and watermelon and cookies, all of which he inhaled. And I made myself a rather beautiful salad of spinach, goat cheese, hard boiled eggs and blackberries, which I ate in a more leisurely fashion in the company of three of my neighbors, who had been similarly abandoned. So we all camped out under a shady tree and ate our lunches and talked about our kids, the school, the beautiful day. And a good time was had by all.

Today AJ had a baseball game — the fourth in less than a week. We are getting a little tired of baseball this week (okay, maybe that’s just me). Five of his teammates were out and we had to scramble at the last quarter hour to find a ringer. The other team stomped them so badly — the score was 18-1 at the end of the 4th inning — that they called the game early on account of humiliation. But AJ didn’t seem to mind. After we came home and rehydrated, he and I went shopping for his birthday party on Friday. We picked up plates and napkins (we are past the days of birthday hats, alas) and cups and candles. We bought a kickball for a game and some superballs to hand out. On the way home, AJ asked if we could stop at the drugstore to get, as party favors, Silly Bandz. If you don’t know what Silly Bandz are, you probably don’t have elementary-school-aged children. They are the hot craze of the moment. So much so, that they have been banned at AJ’s school (as they have been in other schools across the country). There was a huge bin of them in the drugstore. Someone is making a killing with these things, which are glorified rubber bands that, when not stretched out and worn on your wrist, are shaped like animals or musical instruments or shoes. They sell for $2 for a packet of 6. There was a veritable mob scene around the drugstore bin. Kids — teens– adults, all pawing through the packets to look for the rarer ones. AJ picked out one for each of his guests and one for himself. Up until now, he’s only had two, each of which he got from a friend who felt sorry for them. Anyone who’s anyone has a wristful, as AJ has ruefully informed me. But I have, up until now, refused to spend any money on fancy rubber bands. However, I also know that they are the one party souvenir that everyone will like. And AJ is excited that he’ll get some of his own on Friday to trade and to wear. Finally.

When we got back, we all listened to the radio while Mr. Spy and I rounded up everything we could find that could be grilled — why waste a hot grill? was the thinking. So we grilled a steak, four chicken breasts and four sausages and now should be fixed for dinner until the middle of next week. Meanwhile, I made mojitos with the lastest crop of mint from the garden. After bringing in the meat, Mr. Spy disappeared again and came back with toasted marshmallows.

And now AJ has disappeared to his friend’s house across the street where they will eat more marshmallows and stay up far too late and have Fruit Loops for breakfast and imagine a world where they can do all of this every day.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. May 30, 2010 8:29 am

    When you have a gas grill you don’t worry about wasting the heat, but we really should try marshmallows out there someday. Me, I’d rather have your salad!

  2. May 30, 2010 8:30 am

    This reminds me of the jelly bracelet fad.

    DJ and I have also ignored Stanley. Not that we’re not excited, we just aren’t that into watching the sport itself. Last night DJ made me watch Dr. Horrible, which somehow I had managed not to see when everyone else did.

  3. freshhell permalink
    May 30, 2010 8:35 am

    God, yes, we have those silly band things in our house. Dusty came home with 2 and had this overwhelming need for millions. Like a fever, it’s power overtook her. When she went downtown with her dad last Sunday, she came home with ten more that they’d gotten at the drugstore. All I can say is: they’re harmless and cheap. Until someone discovers they’re made out of arsenic, lead, and e coli. Sigh.

    I still have my collection of black rubber Madonna-like bracelets. They don’t hold quite the allure to Dusty as these flimsy silly band things she’s wearing (which were banned from the classroom during their standardized testing).

  4. May 30, 2010 8:52 am

    Jill, I really should have taken a picture of the salad. It was beautiful. Julia, I’ve only seen bits of Dr. Horrible, which I though were fantastic, but I’ve been meaning to go back and watch the whole thing and haven’t gotten around to it. Freshhell, I wish I still had mine. I loved them, and they do make me think of this new trend, although of course I thought they were way too grown-up and anti-establishment back then.

  5. May 30, 2010 12:05 pm

    I love Dr. Horrible. I should think you’d like the idea of a sing-along blog!

  6. readersguide permalink
    June 3, 2010 10:24 am

    My nieces and nephews were covered with those silly bands! I’d never seen them. My niece was in tears because her favorite one — the one shaped liked a girl’s bathing suit — broke, but then she traded for my other niece’s bathing suit band and all was right with the world. Phew.

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