Thursday, April 28, 2011

Of Stepmothers and 9 year old Boys

As it would happen, yesterday I needed to go onto Miles' school campus playground about an hour after school was let out to talk to the "Coach" about a Pitch, Hit, and Run activity that he was desperately interested in participating in.  Miles was unable to get the form to sign up the day before and didn't know how to enter.  The front office of the school - typically - didn't know what was happening on their own playground, so it was up to me to chase it down and make his dream of entering come true..  (Miles, extraordinarily intelligent, is smart enough to be acutely aware of his shortcomings, is very shy, and lacks self confidence.  Whenever he wants to participate in anything social, I am very, and I mean VERY proud of him, and facilitate it in whatever way I possibly can.)

Anyway, we had a while to wait, and in that time, he and I sat at the lunch tables/benches in the shade and talked about some of the events that had happened at school earlier that day.  I really do love that child as I love all of Eric's children.  They are so incredibly bright and talented, and yet each flawed in such appealing ways - each distinctly different from each other.  No normal human being would be able to resist their charm. 

As Miles and I talked, there was a group of boys, clearly Miles' friends and classmates, sitting in a clump together, two rows down and one table to our left.  They eyed us with curiosity.

"Is that your Mom?" one of the boys called over to Miles.   Miles thought about it for about 1/2 a second and replied "Yes."  I was surprised at being given the honor of being "Mom" and kept quiet.

Then he thought for about 30 seconds and added, "She's my Step Mom."   Of course.  That's what I am. No problem.

I started laughing, smiled at them, and said "Of course.  I'm his Step Mom.  I am evil.  Don't I look evil?"

"No!"  they all replied in a chorus.

I made a slightly more stern face and said "Do I look evil now?"

"No!" they replied again, laughing like crazy.

I made an angry face and said "How about now?  Aren't I evil?"   And Miles called out and said "Be careful dudes, she can get mad." 

Our kids think they have seen me mad; and in fact I put on a good act to make an impression on them, but I lost my true sense of inner anger years ago.  The only time I get really upset at others now is when I am feeling profoundly ill.  What they have actually seen is a very calculated act with the end result of getting what we need out of them .

The boys were not phased, either by my stern look or Miles' warning.  They replied in unison "No, you don't look evil!"

And so I stood up, put my most angry face on, put my hands on my hips, and said in a very harsh voice, "Now do I look evil?"

Well, that made an impression.  Instead of laughing, the boys just watched me, slightly warily.  And one of them piped up, "I'm not afraid of you.  I can just run into the 'Men's' room if I have to."

I was laughing hysterically on the inside as I replied "Do you really think a stupid sign that says "Men" could stop me from following in right behind you?  And that's when it happened.  Miles piped up with his most urgent warning ever.

"Dudes!  Don't test her, man!  She's seen my Daddy's penis like 90 times!!!!!"  (There was a time when I walked in on Miles while he was fully unclothed about 6 months ago, and he was so upset that I had seen his penis that I told him that I had seen his father's penis the night before so he was in good company, and for the next several days, he asked me if I had seen it again and I would jokingly reply 'yes.'   It hasn't come up in many months, but apparently that interlude made a big impression on him.)

There were gasps of horror from every one of the boys.  They scattered like bugs in every direction.  Despite the new media and the claims of many that kids aren't like they used to be... they know too much and are too sophisticated, I'm here to dispute that claim.  Kids are exactly the same as always.  The cosmetics of their appearances and lifestyles may be different, but the social norms remain.  And 9 year old boys know nothing about the birds and the bees, just as they didn't when I was a child.

I could hardly wait until I was alone with Eric so that I could repeat the story.  He and I laughed our asses off when I told it to him.  And when I told Adele later that evening, her response was to calculate that Eric & I had been married for 6 months, living together 2 months prior to that, and therefore there had been "x" opportunities to have seen it... and I then reminded her that Eric & I had committed sinful acts even before we moved in together.  Yes, I guess it's true.  I am evil , at least according to stern religious standards, and I am a Step Mom.  And I also think that Miles' estimate was a wee bit low - lol!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter, 2011

A lovely Easter day starting with baskets for the kids (yes, they are 1/2 Christian and we are honoring both sides of their religious heritage), and an Easter Egg hunt.

Later in the day, a trip to Santa Monica Beach including a picnic. Well, sort of. Most picnics are crashed by ants. Ours were crashed by Sea Gulls.

Moving in on our picnic.

Some sea shells Gabby found!

Group hug... me thinks the kids love their Dad!

A song to sing:

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Hike in Chatsworth Park

Last month, I took Miles for a special "alone" outing to Chatsworth Park.  This is a place that I especially enjoyed in my youth, loving to climb up and amongst the rocks to high peaks and then down into valleys not accessible by motorized vehicles. I loved it enough that when my parents stopped taking me there, I would get on my bicycle and ride over 10 miles just to enjoy it.

If the scenes look familiar to those readers of a certain age, they should.  This park is located in the Santa Suzanna Pass on the northern tip of both the city of Los Angeles and Los Angeles County.  Many Western movies were filmed there, cowboys (and sometimes indians) shooting it out from between the rocky formations.

Miles, Lucy, & I did not ascend to the highest peaks during our outing...  Eric texted me on my new I-phone to let us know that he and Gabby were coming to join us and Miles was anxious to go back to the park, proper, to meet them.  But we did climb over 2000 feet up the rocks to enjoy views of both the San Fernando Valley and a valley behind us where we could see the still-used railroad tracks of the Pacific Surfliner (Amtrack) as well as the road that real Stage Coaches used into the 1920's and I think beyond.

Once Eric & Gabby arrived, we determined that it was too late for them to enjoy yet another hike.  It was about to rain, so we decided on another adventure later into the day.  Yes, an urban hike at the Northridge Mall!  Gabby did well there, we all had lunch, and oh, what a pleasant family day it was.

Eric & I have committed to provide the kids who are willing to participate - Gabby & Miles mostly - regular family outings where they can see and go to a lot of places they formerly couldn't because as a single father of four, he just didn't have the time.  As tough as my own childhood was (oy, don't ask), one of the things I am grateful for is that my parents DID get me around the Los Angeles area and even to other parts of the country.  As our children's lives as well as our own become more organized and less chaotic, we are determined to allow our kids (Marsha, if you're reading, I know you're their real mother and I am not and never will try to usurp your role, but I love them too and admire you for bringing such wonderful people into the world.  I can't love them as much as you but I do love them and want the best for them as you do) the same opportunities that I remember enjoying.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ethan's Homework

Ethan needs help doing his math homework.   Anyone want to take a crack at it?

Let us know if you have any problems.  Yes, pun intended - lol!

You should all know that Eric will be doing Ethan's homework while he's up in Ojai too.  If you make any errors, he will be correcting your work. 

Good luck all, and remember, no cheating!  You may not discuss these problems with your friends nor may you copy the work of the smart kid sitting at the desk at your left.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Happy April! I'm back with a Contest!!!!!

Life has kept me busy, but thanks to a certain teenager, a certain dog, and a pizza, I'm baaaaack! If you love Dogs, understand the working of a teenage boy's mind, or enjoy eating Pizza, this survey is for you. Enjoy the show then scroll down for details.

Now here's the deal: Please leave your guess in the comments below or on my
Facebook Page (!/laura.r.silverman) after the same video embedded there, and a pair of my hand-made earrings will be awarded by random number generator to somebody who got the right answer!

The answer isn't as easy or obvious as you might think. The pizza is in easy reach of the dog, the teenager did something not terribly bright (he's very smart... genius level smart, but frequently does stupid things as teenage boys are prone to do), but the dog does not have a normal brain. Eric claims that in it's place there is only a thin plastic soap dish. He says that's not such a terrible thing because then, if Lucy is inclined, she has a place to carry her soap around with her.

On the other hand, look at the look on her face as she stares off in the direction of the pizza, warm and aromatic, and only 10 feet to her right.

But remember, she is not smart. And I'm saying that in a very politically correct manner.

I hope you enjoyed the show and good luck!

This contest is being run because I've just become a proud member of the Etsy Bead Weavers Team. Search " EBW TEAM " on Etsy for more beautiful bead-woven creations or visit our blog for links to all members’ shops:


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