Sunday, August 24, 2008

Volume IV, Issue 1 August 2008


     Since Eve was old enough to squeeze her infant cranium into a bow-band that would inevitably leave elastic marks embedded in her soft head, I have soothingly whispered to her in my maternal way : “Girl, you’ve got to learn to sacrifice for fashion.” 
     Yes. . . I know this slaps many of my staunch convictions about female empowerment in the face; however, I really do believe that paired with the right outfit, fashion-forward footwear does make post-debut blisters and band-aids a small price to pay. It was for this very reason that when I took our two-month old Eve to meet my English class, I stuffed her Gymboree shoes from the Poppy line with wads of toilet paper because they were too big for her under-sized feet; she absolutely had to wear them with the dress and the hat from the previously mentioned line. Eric would protest here, whining that a girl who doesn’t walk doesn’t need shoes. Let me borrow a phrase from Eve here : “What-ever!”
Currently, our four-year-old fashionista willingly wears the shoes or boots that I pick out to match each carefully-chosen ensemble. I know what she’s going to wear to Church on Sunday for days, if not weeks ahead of time. A few Sundays ago, she wore a new favorite pair of gold, metallic strappy clogs to Church, and clopped around in the two-inch heels like a champ. After Church, we walked across the street to our house to shed the usual pounds of diaper bags (yes, it’s plural now), lesson materials, and baskets in the mud-room. As I clunked my stuff all around me on the floor, I could hear a sweet, high-pitched, angelic voice muttering to herself, “These da*n shoes are hurting my feet! I need to get these da*n shoes off!” I looked up, wide-eyed (knowing she didn't learn that colorful language from me. . . hu-hum, Eric) to see her pull off the shoes and then prance away with no further comment or complaint.  They're still her favorite shoes, despite the initial diva-discomfort.  
Last week, when she tagged along with me to run some errands, Eve was wearing some shiny new brown boots. We exited the car, and she looked down at her feet and observed, “These boots make me look like a Pop-Star for some reason.” The girl knows that shoes make a statement, even if they inspire her to make. . . statements.


     One of our back-to-school rituals involves each of the school-aged kids going on a special outing with me (I tried to call it a date, and each of the boys thought that sounded “weird.” Fine.). By the end of each outing, I practically float home on a cloud of parental glee, feeling like I’ve got a little crush on each of them. They each have their own set of scientifically based reasons for selecting the location of their outing. For Holden and Caleb, these reasons are based strictly on volume, so they each wanted to go to an all-you-can-eat buffet. For Ethan and Eve, it’s all about the Happy Meal Toy—the food is merely a by-product. 
     Holden and I went to JB’s for their Breakfast Buffet, and when the hostess asked us if we wanted a table or a booth, I looked to Holden for the answer, and he quickly answered, “Booth.” As we were led to the booth, he said with a smile, “Me likee boothee.” I did a double-take, not sure if I was with Holden or his father, who would have said exactly the same thing with the exact same expression on his face. 
     As Caleb thoughtfully licked his greasy fingers after downing his third piece of pizza at Craigo’s Pizza Buffet, he said, “When I grow up and get married, my last name is going to be Twinkle-fingers.” As for Eve and Ethan, the conversation was much less quotable because of the involvement of the Star Wars bobble-head toys that kept whirring across the table.

On Back-to-School Eve, Eric gave each of the kids a Father’s Blessing, and even Peter got in on the action as he climbed into the folding chair we had placed in the middle of the living room and looked up at Eric expectantly. (He’s turning two in a couple of weeks, and we figured we could all use the help.) After the blessings, as I was assembling their individual Cookie Monster desserts (think home-made cookie crust, ice cream, caramel, fudge and whipped-cream on top. . . yum. . . . uh. . . where was I?) in the heart-shaped ramekins Eric gave me last year, Eric talked to the kids about Priesthood blessings. The mood was solemn, so the kids reverently raised their hands and waited to be called on as they asked questions about the power of the Priesthood and what it means. Eve waited patiently with her hand in the air, and when Eric called on her, she asked, “Why is Marie so cute?”

Petite Marie

     Marie is surrounded by a constant string of admirers, never wanting for someone to hold or adore or kiss her. If I ever ask the kids, “Who can hold Marie for me?” I am met with a horde of clamoring little fingers, and to avoid a brawl I have to make them take turns. Holden is especially enamored with his baby sister, and has said on several occasions, “She’s just so cute. . . I can’t resist her!” We all feel that way, though. How can you resist a girl who smiles with her whole body when she catches your eye? Her eyes glimmer, her legs and arms pump wildly, and she lets out a little gasp of excitement just because she makes eye contact with one of us. We don’t stand a chance.

                                                                         GO CELTICS!!!

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