What Would You Do?

We’ve never owned a swing. I had a hand-me-down swing for LilZ (the kind that cranked, remember those?) and he HATED it. So, it was an investment I considered pointless for NikkiZ. Since we just used all of NikkiZ’s hand-me-downs for AndyZ, he didn’t get one either. He had never even been in one before…until the other night.

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He stayed in that thing, for like three hours! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? That’s the longest he’s ever been awake and not demanded to be held. THREE HOURS. Is that normal? Are those swings that hypnotic for all babies? And if so – WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME?

Here’s the question now – should we buy one of those suckers? How long would he use it? Would he stop being enamored with it if we actually owned one? Like – maybe it’s just the novelty that intrigued him? I don’t want to dish out the bucks unless I can drop him in it and not worry about him until he’s 6. Do you think that’s a possibility?

Also – LilZ would like to know if they make them big enough for him.

I made friends! Like a big girl!

I did two things for the first time last night: I attended a political event, and I blew dry my hair.

Actually – it’s not the first time I’ve ever used a hair-dryer on my hair. There was the fateful attempt to blow it dry straight about five years ago. And then those times in the early 90s when I was trying to see how big I could get it. So – last night was the first time in 5 years, AT LEAST. And I did it because I decided I should shower before my political event, betting I’d make a better first impression if I didn’t smell like sweat. Unfortunately – it takes 2+ hours for my hair to dry naturally – so I had to speed things up a little. And you know what? It was a huge pain in my ass. You people who blow dry your hair every day? I feel for you. I couldn’t do that every day. It’s just so….boring.

The even last night was fun. I spent 15 minutes just looking for a place to park, to avoid going into the function. I was that nervous. I drove by the restaurant about 10 times, trying to peak in to see what was going on. When I finally walked in the front door, an organizer welcomed me, gave me some stickers, and sent me on my way. I got a beer, found someone who was smiling and asked if I could sit at her table. (CAN YOU BELIEVE I DID THAT? I’m so awesome.) By the end of the night I had made three friends. One of them wasn’t even a citizen (yet) and wouldn’t be able to vote. BUT – she really wanted to show her support so she came out anyway. HOW AMAZING IS THAT?

I only stumbled on my words a few times and actually asked a few questions of my table buddies. I instigated conversation! That’s the power Obama has over me – he can make me be social.

The event was exactly what I wanted: A group of people who would clap and yell when I did. And we all did just that. It actually made me very proud of my town because we had a decent turnout. For a red state. And people were very passionate about it – and it was a great thing to be a part of. There were only two people who tried to break up our party with snide comments (it was at a restaurant, so a lot of the customers weren’t with us) but they were both completely ignored by the crowd. No one even bothered to respond. We were just there to listen…and we weren’t going to let anything interfere with that. It was perfect.

I’m very proud of myself and I even signed up for a mailing list! And sent a response to a text message I got asking me to volunteer. I said YES to volunteering! (Like I have ANY time to spare – but at least my intention was there!) I left the place energized and empowered. If Obama doesn’t get elected this fall, it won’t be because I didn’t do my part.

I mean – I used a hair dryer – I’ll obviously stop at nothing for my cause.

Stepping Out of My Safety Zone

Four years ago, I voted for Kerry. That’s about it. I was really wanting him to win, of course. But I didn’t think there was a chance in hell and other than walking in and casting my vote – I didn’t really do or say much else. I barely even followed the campaigns. MrZ ordered bumper stickers, but I didn’t want one on my car. I was scared. I mean – I’m in a red state. Why would I want to stick out like that? Hell – I even felt stupid for voting – I’m in such a red state. Like my vote meant anything.

I was a wee bitter and very intimidated.

Somewhere along the way – in the past four years – something happened to me. To our country. I started caring deeply about politics. DEEPLY. I started worrying about whether my poor friends would be insured, whether my gay friends could get married, whether any of us would lose our homes and in what state we were leaving this planet to our children. I started reading the pundits, following the campaigns, and picking my candidates.

Then, fast-forward to this year. Suddenly, people are proud to be blue dots in red states. I can get a t-shirt declaring that some in my red state are for Obama. I see others on the road with their blue dots and their Obama stickers. I want to stop them and ask if they’ll be my BFF. I haven’t (yet) – but I want to.

Also? I donated a small bit to Obama’s campaign ($15 for my Obama/Biden magnet!), I have also donated to one of my favorite groups of women (Another bumper sticker!) so that they can continue to spread the word and help me feel empowered by educating me. I’m suddenly involved. And it feels damn good.

But until tonight? It’s all been from the comfort of my home. From behind my computer or from inside my van. Tonight? Is my first big step. I’m attending a function. I have hated missing the speeches this week, only to read about them and watch videos the next morning. I do NOT want to miss Obama’s tonight. I want to watch it live, and with others like me. So, I’m getting out of the house and going to a restaurant where other local blue dots are gathering to watch it. I’m on mailing lists, so I know this event is happening. But – I’ll know no one there. No one but myself.

I’m SCARED. You all know how socially inept I am. Not only is this a group of strangers, but I’m new to this scene. I don’t know what to expect. Will we be burning Republicans at the stake? (Kidding!) Will there be cheering? I want there to be cheering. Will there be tears? I cried (I don’t mean teared up – I CRIED) just listening to Hillary call for the end of the roll call last night. Will they be as moved as me? Will they be as excited as me?

Maybe I’ll just stand in the corner alone and watch the crowd and the speeches and go home. I may not find the courage to introduce myself or mingle. But at least I’ll be there. I’ll be part of something that I believe in, even if it’s just for an hour. I’ll watch the man I’m voting for speak to other people just like me. My kids will know that’s where I went, they’ll know what I believe in. They’ve heard me talk and talk and talk about what I want for their futures. Now, they’ll see me actively try to participate in making that happen. Because, as much as I like to talk, it takes more than that.

Time for a change. Not just in the administration – but in ME. That is where it starts, after all.

The Good Daughter

Singing to AndyZ
They’re singing AndyZ to sleep. It didn’t work. Go figure.

We hung out with Aardvarks last night and it was loads of fun. I was worried because NikkiZ can be – well – kinda evil at times. She’s not keen on sharing and she likes to yell at people and throw things in frustration. Or – at least she does that at our house to us. She’s even quite abusive with LilZ at times – I think because she knows he won’t fight back. (Whereas I’ll chase her around the house with a whip.) (Kidding.) (But it does give me an idea…)

But at Scout’s house? She was perfect. She shared and was sweet and loving and was simply a perfect angel. No whining, no fits, no snotty yells, “No!” when I ask her to do something. I didn’t even have to threaten discipline, much less actually follow through on any threats. She acted better than I’ve ever seen her act in that length of time.

(She’s pretty obedient in 30 second increments.)

Of course, the second we got in the van? She started whining, and when we got home? She pitched a fit. And before she went to sleep? She yelled at me and threw a toy at my head. And then growled, “I’m so frustrated!” My evil daughter was back. Oh, how I missed her so.

Do your children do that? Is there a split-personality trend amongst toddlers that I should be aware of? How can I get that sweet obedient girl back? And where do I send the evil one as an exchange?

NikkiZ is putting Scout to Bed
Very sweetly tucking Scout into bed

Random Questions You Should Totally Answer Because I’m Curious

  1. If you’re on hold with a company, which is better: To have the recording tell you approximately how long the wait will be, or NOT. I think I prefer NOT to know because then there’s always the hope that you’ll be talking to a human in mere seconds. When they tell you that it will be 47 minutes, you just want to go ahead and shoot yourself.
  2. Is there ever a cause for you not to tip at a restaurant? We tend to tip 15% even with the crappiest of service and add onto that depending on how good the service is. However – we know people who do the opposite – start at the 20% mark and work down to ZERO depending on the level of service.
  3. How do you feel about returning items you’ve purchased? To me – it’s not a big deal. I’ve done it hundreds of times. MrZ, on the other hand, hates to do it. If I didn’t offer to do it for him, there are times (depending on the amount spent – he does have his limits) that he would just keep the item instead of taking it back. He hates it that much.
  4. How do you feel about walking out of movies? Swistle brought this subject up recently on her site. Have you ever done it? Would you do it? I have only done it once and that was because LilZ was so bored he wouldn’t sit still. It was a movie I thought he’d like, but was waaaaay too young for it and was bored to TEARS. His fidgeting was making me crazy, so I offered to leave if he wanted to. He practically burned a hole in the carpet he ran out the door so fast. But normally? I wouldn’t. No matter how bad. I like popcorn too much to leave before the movie is over.
  5. Do you sing along with music? LilZ and I discussed this recently. Typically? He does NOT sing along with the music. I used to when I was younger but have grown out of it because I know it pains the people around me. (I have a DREADFUL voice. Seriously. I’ve actually been told that.) He has a nice voice, though. I don’t know why he doesn’t sing. One sidenote: We BOTH sing out loud (and LOUDLY) along with Buffy’s “Once More, With Feeling” soundtrack which we actually were playing full-blast last night while cooking dinner. I don’t know why that gets us out of our vocal shells, but most music does not.