The other day, I took Peeta to the sports store to buy some new cleats before his first baseball game. As we were shopping, a boy I didn’t recognize came over to say hi.
Peeta: Hi! What are you doing here?
Boy: Getting a cup!
Peeta: A cup? What’s that?
Boy: So you don’t get hit in the nuts!
Peeta (looking at me like the boy IS nuts): Okay.
It turned out that the boy was a new kid on Peeta’s baseball team. He left, and Peeta turned to me.
Peeta: What’s a cup?
Me (thinking how unfair it is that I get ALL the sex/puberty/genitalia questions): It’s for protecting your willy.
Peeta: WHAT? HOW DOES IT WORK?
Me: Uh, I don’t really know. It’s a plastic cup thing that you put in your underwear so that if you get hit in the penis, it doesn’t hurt so much.
Peeta: I DON’T WANT TO GET HIT IN THE PEANUTS!
Me: Yes, that’s why you get a cup. Do you want to get a cup? (Praying that he says no because I have no idea how to get one on him and Bucket is at work until the game, of course)
Peeta: Uh, NO! I don’t want to get hit in the nuts!
Me: Okay. What was that boy’s name?
Me: What now?
Peeta: Yes! That’s what I said!
Noodle and I get in the car to go to swim class. I comb my hair with my hands, and Noodle asks, “Mama, do you give your white hairs to the birdies for their nests?”
Noodle: “You know, like the song we sing at school! Do you pull out your white hairs and give them to the birdies so they can build their nests? My friend’s mom does it–my friend told everyone at school!”
Me (making a mental note to text said friend’s mother and mock her mercilessly): “Well, Noodle, that would be a very nice thing to do, but I don’t have any white hairs, RIGHT?!”
Noodle (after a long pause): “Um, REALLY?”
Kids and I get home from school and I make Peeta some guacamole with tortilla chips because he is So Hungry.
He staggers into the room, clutching his belly.
Peeta: (making his best starving suffering face) Mamaaaaaaa, can I have some more guac? I am soooooooo hungryyyyyyy!
Me: No. You just ate half an avocado and chips. Go get some clementines or something.
Peeta: Okay. (Pause) Can I eat my lunch?
Me: Sure…Wait. You didn’t eat your lunch?
There will come a day when I will cease to be surprised by my children’s lack of common sense. Today is not that day.
Okay, so I’m pretty late with this post, given that it’s 6pm on New Year’s Eve, but go with me here.
Every year at Christmas, my kids and I pick charities to donate to, as a kind heart of balance to all the ridiculous shit they receive for Christmas. I want them to remember that there’s more to life than being an American jerk who gets almost everything they want, almost all the time they want it. We are a bunch of lucky fuckers, and as long as we can help other people, we should do it.
This year, we picked three charities:
Peeta wanted to donate to people suffering from Ebola, so we donated to Partners in Health.
Noodle wanted to donate to Lola Children’s Home, which is run by our friend in Ethiopia and funded by Lola Children’s Fund. Lola is a community program and orphanage for HIV-affected kids that allows them to stay with or near their families without being taken away from their loved ones.
I saw an ad for coats for kids in Syria that I am incapable of watching without weeping like a baby, so I donated to SOS.
There are a bunch of other places you could give to, if our choices don’t work for you! Here are some suggestions, just in time for you to get your charitable deduction:
The Sato Project: Rescues abused and abandoned dogs from the Dead Dog Beach in Puerto Rico. My sister and dad both have adopted dogs from them, and they are a pretty cool organization. For my sister’s Christmas present, I made a donation in her name.
Pine Street Inn: Provides housing, employment services and emergency shelter to homeless men and women in Boston. Our friend Yvonne and her son volunteer there every week, and they do really good work.
Horizons for Homeless Children: One of the few organizations in the Boston area catering strictly to the needs of homeless children, offering education, play opportunities and family support. If you don’t want to help homeless kids, it’s entirely likely you have no soul. Just saying.
Medecins Sans Frontieres: Doctors Without Borders, because those guys are frigging amazing and do all kinds of awesome medical work that no one else will. Do YOU want to treat Ebola victims in Western Africa? Didn’t think so.
Mercy Corps: Helps people around the world survive and thrive after conflict, crisis and natural disaster. Our friend Jen works for them, and since Jen is rad, I know they are rad too.
David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust: For my birthday, I made my sister sponsor an elephant for me from this program. I have kind of an elephant obsession, and if you didn’t know–motherfuckers are KILLING them all the time! This is a program in Kenya who rescues them and keeps them safe from those bastard poachers.
And if you’re looking to donate items, I just discovered Project Smile, who accepts children’s items for emergency responders to give to children after emergencies or who are entering foster care. I know we have a zillion stuffed animals around the house that we are going to bring to them.
So run! Make a donation to cats or dogs or kids or famine victims or casualties of war or disease research or whatever floats your boat! Find a program that accepts used clothing or toys or other things you don’t need and give them to people who do! At the very least, you will get rid of things you don’t need. At best, you will feel frigging great and might just teach your kids about the importance of helping others and being grateful for what you have. You don’t just have to do it today, and if you miss the deadline for a 2014 charitable deduction, it can be your new year’s resolution.
Happy new year! Make it a good one!
On the 4+-hour drive home from Maine:
Peeta, burping loudly in the back seat
Me: Ew! Bud! Gross!
Peeta, cackling wickedly
Me (opening window): OH, GOD! I CAN SMELL IT!
Noodle, irritated: Hey! That was MY fart!
And to think I thought I was getting a sweet little girl when she was born.
I have bad eyes. Really bad eyes. Drop my glasses on the floor and I need someone to help me find them eyes.
So when I started having headaches and squinting to watch the TV from across the room, I knew it was time to go see the eye doctor. My prescription had changed and it was time for new glasses. Couldn’t I just get new lenses and throw them into my old frames? No, I could not do that because my frames were So Old that they might explode and everyone on earth would die. Or something like that.
I looked at the glasses at the optometrist’s office. There were no prices. I tried to tell myself that was because they were so super cheap that they didn’t even need to list the prices. Sadly, that was not the case. The cheapest of those motherfuckers was $250. JUST FOR THE FRAMES. When the lady calculated in the coke bottle lenses I would need and the special ones to make them not coke bottley and the anti-reflective coating, I was looking at $500 AT LEAST. I told the lady I would come back with my husband and I ran away.
I texted my cousin Sofie (who lives in our basement) and asked her the name of the glasses she was just telling me about. Warby Parker, she said. Her sister Pip had bought some and they were trying to get our grandmother to buy them too.
What the hell, I thought, and I went to the website. The frames were $95. Sweet action! And not only were the frames $95, but they offer a plan that allows you to choose five frames online and have them sent to you to try on, order, and ship back, all with free shipping! I checked out this option, but as I am Incredibly Indecisive, I couldn’t narrow it down to just five. Sofie and I were going to have to go to the store on Newbury St.
The place was a mob scene, but not so busy that I couldn’t try on the glasses. I narrowed it down to about five pairs, had Sof take pictures of me, and sent them to Bucket, who very rudely ignored me. So I narrowed it down to two and made Sofie choose. It was between a pair that was exactly like the ones I have now in a different color, and ones that were slightly bigger (though not so big that they looked like my father’s glasses from the 70’s–for real, America!?).
I waited in line for about 10 minutes to have an optometrist check my prescription, and another five to order the glasses from an adorable little hipster with big round glasses. She asked if I wanted the polycarbonate lenses because they would be an extra $30. Yes, I said, thinking that only $30 for polycarbonate lenses was a great deal.
So then she looked at me and asked for $125. I looked back at her and told her I needed lenses too. Yes, she said, that’s including the lenses. I stared at her, thinking, no, lenses cost at least $200. Really? I asked. Yes. REALLY? Yes. (At this point, she’s thinking it’s not only my eyes that need help.) I handed over my credit card and looked at Sofie, dumbstruck. Adorable hipster told me they would be mailed to me in 7-10 days, and we were on our way.
The whole way home, I kept looking at Sofie and yelling, “$125!” And she kept saying, “Yes, I KNOW. That’s why I told you to go there.” And we went home and I said to Bucket, “Guess how much my glasses were?” And he said, “$300.” And I said, “NO! $125!” And he stared at me, just as confused and disoriented as I was when I heard the price.
And I haven’t even gotten to the best part. For every pair of glasses, Warby Parker makes a donation to VisionSpring, a nonprofit that trains people in low income countries to sell glasses at very low prices so that jobs are created and people can see. Everybody wins! They have provided people with A MILLION pairs of glasses so far. If you don’t believe me, look here.
$125 for a new set of glasses. $125!!! If I was going to have any more kids, I would name the next one Warby Parker.*
I might not have to get Lasik after all.
*(And they do sunglasses!)
I have no affiliation with Warby Parker, but man do I wish I did.
This morning, Noodle came over to me and stroked the side of my face as she looked lovingly at me.
Then she said, “Oh! That’s just a bunch of grey hair.”
Tonight, as we turned off the light to snuggle and I kissed her face, she told me, “You have a really pointy nose.”
Today the kids and I came home from a movie so they could put on their bathing suits to go to the spray park. I went to the bathroom and came out to the sound of Peeta shrieking and lying in a ball in the floor, clutching his toe. And also, he was naked. And also, he was directly in front of the glass door to the sidewalk.
Later, I was recounting the story to Bucket at the bedtime and he and I both took the opportunity to remind Peeta that it is inappropriate to run around with your willy flying everywhere when you’re nine years old. And if you’re going to be some kind of freaky nudist, at least don’t do it with the doors wide open so the neighbors don’t call the police.
He hit us with an argument that was very difficult to refute. It was:
But I have religious freedom! And justice!
True. And you are also having this conversation stark naked. So maybe put on some pants and we can talk about the First Amendment a little more.
Bucket, to the children about something I missed because I was in the kitchen: Yeah, but you guys would have to pay for it and you have no money.
Peeta: I do have money, and besides, when I grow up, I’m going to be a robber.
Me and Bucket: Really? That seems like a very bad idea.
Peeta mumbles something about “white”
Me: You’re going to steal from white people?
Peeta: NO! I’m going to steal from the White House!
Bucket: That is a VERY bad idea. That’s the most secure place in the whole world.
Me: Peeta, you better hope our house isn’t bugged or the FBI is going to bust in here in about five seconds.
[Pause as we all wait for the FBI to bust in]
Noodle: I tooted.