• Lots To See If You’re Quick

    The boys kept yelling “frank ‘n’ beans!” when they were changing clothes while we were in New York last week.  Maybe they do this every time they pull down their pants at home, but if so, I don’t hear it amid the drumming, yelling and twittering of Feathers and Omelet.  In the minuscule apartment, however, the frequent outbursts were quite noticeable.

    Eventually I realized that “frank ‘n’ beans” refers to a boy’s privates, and that shouting it serves as a warning not to look as the boy briefly exposes his genitals to put on what I hoped was a clean pair of underwear, not the pair that had toured Chinatown the day before.

    I pretended not to know what they were yelling about.  It’s been a long time since I’ve wiped any butts or bathed anyone in the bathtub.  In the last couple of years all three boys, even Porter, have grown quite modest.  Honestly, I was quite curious as to how everyone was maturing down there, and I wanted to check out everyone’s frank and beans.  I figured that as the mom, if anyone was sporting signs of sauerkraut, I had the right to know.

    At first the guys were fixated on whether their brothers were trying to see their manhood, but it didn’t take them long to notice me trying to sneak a peek.

    “Mom! Frank ‘n’ beans means don’t look.  Give a guy some privacy.”

    I found that hypocritical, as these same complainers have been known to track me to the bathroom to ask for lunch money.   As the least modest person in the universe, however, I haven’t let it get to me.

    The next time I came out of the bathroom I yelled, “Two miniature fried eggs,” just before I ripped off my robe to slap on my bra.**

    I can’t always be one of the boys, but I can try.

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    ** Look at the FIRST cute bra I’ve been able to purchase for my tiny tits!
    75824wac
    It’s a Wacoal Petite and Viola at Bloomingdales in NYC helped me. It was very expensive ($48) but so worth it for my ego. All my other bras are flat triangles with straps.

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    Three years ago in My Tiny Kingdom: Virtual Book Club #5

  • The Electric Slide & Tiny Prints

    Prying information out of boys is like interrogating a particularly recalcitrant prisoner.  Often I get the best anecdotes purely by accident.  Bill has a passel of first cousins in Columbia, South Carolina, who are now getting married one by one.  We refer to them affectionately as “the dancing Glamores” because they showed up en masse at our wedding and proceeded to lead the entire reception in a risque version of the Electric Slide, and everyone is expected to participate in that activity at each subsequent nuptial.  The next one is in November, and the boys came home as I was scheduling it on the calendar.

    “Are they listed as “the dancing Glamores” in the phone book?” Drew asked.

    “No, we just call them that because of their dancing prowess, which is another name for talent,” I answered.  “They’re expert Electric Sliders.”

    “I know the Electric Slide!” Porter said.  “We do that in gym.”

    I don’t think I’ve written about the strange activities that pass for gym these days.  I’m befuddled by the fact that at other schools the kids are learning the rules of real games like tennis and lacrosse, while our children spend an inordinate amount of time on square pieces of wood with wheels, engaging in a game called “scooter hockey.”  Drew says that between the wheels, the flailing legs, the hockey sticks and the balls, it can get dangerous, so he usually scoots to the corner of the gym and spins in circles until he falls on the ground.

    But although the boys cannot stand learning the Electric Slide, it clearly has real world application, so I told them to pay attention because they’d be needing those skills soon.

    “But it’s such a joke, Mom.  The coach is like, kick your leg higher, Glamore,” Finn complained.

    “You don’t even go to that school anymore,” Porter said.  “When I do the Electric Slide I wiggle my butt and the girls laugh.  But only when Coach isn’t watching.”

    “Dude, wiggling your butt is a major part of the dance,” I said.  “Keep it up.”

    Sounds like we have dancing Glamores of our own here in Alabama. They have until November to learn the steps and add their own style to the dance.

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    People write me asking me to review all sorts of things and generally I refuse, because the requests are generic, or the products have nothing to do with me and my family.  We don’t do princesses or baby toys, and organic baby food isn’t big at our house.  If you’ve invented a non-odorous soccer cleat, or a food that results in a friendly, cooperative teen, however, I’m your target audience.

    I did agree to review Tiny Prints cards because I am a paper product whore.  I’ll admit, when I first heard about Tiny Prints I pictured those wee frames with your baby’s footprint in it, and that is not at all what this company is about.  (To set the record straight, I don’t have any of those footprints, nor do I have any bronzed baby shoes.  I’m unsentimental like that.)

    Tiny Prints makes full sized cards for all occasions, including invitations, holiday cards, birth announcements and so forth.

    Here in the South people seem overly fond of flowery cards, in my opinion, but I have a definite bias against flowers in any form — fabric, wallpaper, upholstery, and so forth– except for real flowers themselves.  I especially liked the Tiny Prints funky holiday party cards, not because I ever throw a holiday party, but because the cards did not have a single poinsettia leaf on them, and that is a good thing.  You should check out the web site if you have an event in your future.

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    While I don’t have bronzed booties of my boys,  I do have a hunk of sand with three indentations I made at the height of my craftiness, years ago.  It was the end of a long, hot summer, and The Voice of Reason and I brought back sand from our annual beach trip, which was no small feat considering all the toddler gear we had to lug back as well.  She’d read about an “easy” project where you mix sand with concrete or plaster of Paris, pour it in a mold, have your child put a hand print in, and then save it for posterity.

    It seemed simple enough.

    But if you are going to do this, I’d pick a day where it’s about 70 degrees, and limit yourself to one well-behaved 10-year-old.  Somewhere I have a picture of us, which either 5 or 6 kids (we’re not sure if her youngest was born yet) and pails of plaster, bowls of sand and kids running amok.  There’s another picture, too, where we’ve come to our senses and brought the highchairs outside and put Drew and Porter in them so that we have two fewer boys running around.  I won’t speak for the Voice, but my padded bra is slung on the van, because it was well over 100 degrees and we were both sweating like big dogs.

    An outsider wouldn’t really be able to tell that the sand has three boys footprints in it, but by God, I’ve saved it, because it reminds me of a sweltering afternoon that was rescued only by juice boxes and a large gin and tonic.

    The fact that I can’t find the picture pains me.

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    Three years ago in My Tiny Kingdom: Virtual Book Club #4

    (with many book suggestions!)