Wednesday, April 25, 2012


This is a picture of my Halloween pumpkin, purchased in October of last year and photographed this past weekend.

I left it on the porch throughout November because it was still appropriate as harvest decor. I left it out in December, because I didn't have anything Christmasy to put in the corner there and I didn't feel like moving it. In January, I checked to see if it was rotting or anything and left it out, assuming it would soon mold over, forcing me to stop being lazy and walk it to the trash. February came and it was still solid and golden orange and I thought it'd be funny to leave it till Jon got home from deployment at the end of the month. Folks, this bad boy is still there. It's the end of April.

My laziness always has an expiration date. Usually weeks, but with pumpkins, it's apparently a little longer. This is not about me or my lack of moral fiber anymore. This gourd looked at me and announced that it will not be rotting. In deference to it, I am leaving it be. I want to see how long this stand-off lasts. The only change I've seen is a slight lightening of the stem  I think it used to have a little more green/brown to it. I've checked underneath and it is as solid and dry as the day I bought it. San Diego, apparently, has the perfect conditions for pumpkin longevity.

I will keep you updated on The Pumpkin Phenomenon as (if) things develop. My new goal is for Pumpelstiltskin for him to make it to meet his replacement this coming October. A one-year-old pumpkin is something to be proud of, so I'm playing coach and taking all credit if it works and not sharing any, because in addition to being lazy, I'm selfish.

Whenever you feel like you've really accomplished something, I want you to think of this blog post and say to yourself, "Self, I may have accomplished something, but I sure as heck have never kept a harvest pumpkin alive and kicking for as long as Bek has. I should try harder." Then contain your disappointment and eat a brownie, because that's the best way to cure disappointment in one's accomplishments. Believe me. I sure haven't been comforting myself with pumpkin pie all this time.

Monday, April 23, 2012

An Open Letter to My Son

Nathan Scott,

You are a tornado of mischief and happiness. Many mothers write to their children as babies and say sweet, emotional things, but I know you, my Boy. You are not one to revel in emotionality. You are action and touching and moving and figuring out. The two emotions you partake in are as follows:
ANGER: When hungry, tired, hurt or mad at Momma. Manifestation: whining and screaming and smacking.
CONTENTMENT: Every situation other than anger. Manifestation: grinning as you systematically destroy my house as efficiently as you destroyed my navel while you gestated.

You know that I love you. You are quite fully confident in it, which is something I envy in you. I strive to take for granted how loved I am, as sky-is-blue fact and, like you, live a joyful existence in that confidence. And you love me, too. And you love your Daddy. You hug us around the legs and knock incessantly on the door when we're trying to use the bathroom and yell, "DA-DDEE!" and "MO-MEE" at the top of your lungs, just because you can.

Your current favorite toy is the squirt bottle Dad uses to wet your hair down before he cuts it. You grab it when you think I'm not looking, send a Dennis-the-Menace look my way and haul diaper to the other end of the house, where you proceed to moisten the couch, the floor, yourself and Henry with a malicious grin. Henry is not on the best terms with you right now, Nate. I hope this changes, but you don't tone down your tornado for anyone or anything and Henry is a peace-loving sort, easily overwhelmed by your intensity. I don't think he appreciates being squirted in the face, either. Something to consider.

By the way, I sat down to eat dinner tonight and got a wet rear. I know it was you and the squirt bottle.

Being your mother is a chronically tired thing. But it is also laughter. Lots of laughter. And joy. Your grin is fabulous. It makes me happy in a sunshine-and-chocolate-cake-in-my-soul kind of way. When I put you down to nap and instead you lay there saying, "tick, tock, tick, tock..." to yourself, I want to be frustrated with you, but I laugh instead. You are contagious, my Boy, but I've never enjoyed catching something quite this much.

I love you, you little Monster.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Drool Frog

Jon had a late night flight tonight, so he got to hang out with us all day. We took full advantage, trying a new Thai place and alternately chasing Nate and pretending we didn't know him as he threw Bizzy Bear books on the floor at Barnes and Noble. It's ironic that, in order to fully concentrate on checking out books I might want to buy to read to my son (a sweet, albeit naive daydream), I had to completely ignore the fact that that same personage was climbing on the displays (which is not sweet... only obnoxious).

So we got fed up and went to World Market to strap him into a cart. Naturally, the browsing-while-confined thing doesn't suit the third member of the family, so we picked up a cheap frog bathtub toy - the kind that squirts water out of its mouth - and handed it over to buy us some time. Within feet of the frog display, he had chewed off the price tag, so we grabbed another and threw it in the cart, so that there would be something to ring up. When I got to the register, I pulled them both out with a, "So we don't want this one, but figured you needed a tag to scan, since he chewed the price tag off of" and as I said the second "this one", I squeezed it and a long, steady stream of drool shot out of the plastic frog at the cashier woman, splattering across the counter.

"Oh. Uh. Sorry... you don't have to touch that one... I'll just put it back in the cart..."

It's okay, she reassured me, with an "I hate kids" grimace... she had worked at Disneyland once. She then, painstakingly, wiped up the drool with a paper bag, holding it away from her with the very tips of her fingers.

Disney can't be a very clean place to work, but I bet no one water-gunned her with drool during her time there. Leave it to us to turn a dry bathtub toy into a working drool frog... no bath needed.