In honor of the fabulously iconic Olivia Newton-John, I've decided to give you hungry readers TWO posts this weekend. Twice as much love from me.
My dear friend Marisol took me to see Xanadu on Broadway last night, and boy, was I thrilled out of my mind. I almost peed myself when the orchestra started up with ELO's "I'm Alive" and the muses started dancing all over the stage in their sexy-ripped, flowing 80's goddess outfits. I was dancing in my seat so much that I thought the woman in front of me was going to backslap me. I just couldn't help it!
It's all about the rollerskates and leg warmers. Oh, Xanadu, now that I'm here, now that you're near...
Sigh. Hope y'all have something fun planned tonight that's better than sitting in an empty office uploading Olivia Newton-John videos from Youtube.
Wow. I guess I never realized how much Olivia loves her armpits. They are pretty though.
I was just reading Prunella's blog, and she was talking about her Economic Stimulus Check arriving in the mail. I started thinking, hmmmm. I wonder where the hell mine is? You know, because I am such a spoiled little baby that not only do I feel a snotty sense of entitlement to my free money, but I want to know how come it's taking so goddamned long for it to get here.
So I went to the IRS' web site and they actually have a calendar so you can find out when you can expect your check. It turns out it goes by social security number. The last two digits. Well, I thought, wicked awesome! The last two digits of my soc. are '18'. And people between '00 and 18' should be getting their check on...wait. May 23rd? That was a week ago. So what gives?
Then I thought about it.
The last two digits of Shawn's social security number are '88'.
Since I'm technically still married, and we filed our taxes together again this year, the government must be going by his social security number (because he is a man).
So we're not gonna get that cash until mid-July.
On the upside, having Lily entitles us to about $300 extra, so woooo! The Bush administration is so clever in the way gives us monetary incentives for giving the world more mouths to feed. Cunning, cunning government.
So, I guess that new digital camera will have to wait until July. Oh yeah, and the same goes for June's rent.
Healing is a confusing process. Very, very confusing.
You think you're totally cool, you've got your shit together, then grief sweeps up like a fucked-up magic carpet and takes your feet out from under you. And you land hard on your ass. Hard, my friends. Like crying on the subway hard. Like tears are silently streaming down your face so hot and salty that your oversized sunglasses are fogged up and your nose is flowing down into your mouth. And you are wearing a short-sleeved shirt so you wipe your runny nose on your arm, which is gross and ineffective. And the REO Speedwagon song blasting into your ear canals isn't helping things. No. Not at all.
And you clutch your half-full Starbucks in one hand while you try and hang on to the cold metal pole with the other and look out the window of the subway car so you don't make people feel uncomfortable. But they kind of are anyway, and they just sort of sidestep away from you in case whatever you've got is catching.
It's just sadness, guys. It's not a disease. It's just a little healthy tension release. You're just getting out some toxins. Working through the unexpected heart-thumping bereavement that can only be brought on by the ten-year anniversary of a failed marriage. Weird. Sadness is so strange. Grief is so necessary, though. Tears are my way of cleaning out the cobwebs and making room for other emotions, like hope, happiness, serenity. It's all part of a giant universal process. Ah. I'm so goddamned insightful I just wanna give myself a big fucking hug.
I have to say though, that's one thing I love about New York. My beautiful, humming, busy busy city. You, New York, are the city of narcissists. Only in this wonderful place can you be surrounded by people and still retain total anonymity. Because nobody gives a shit. And today, for that I am grateful.
I was in the car the other day and I heard a Boston song. Suddenly I was gleefully falling down a rabbit hole right smack into 1989. Wheeeeee! So I ran home and dowloaded me some free high school nostalgia off the Limewire. I slapped that shit onto my ipod for easy listening but then sorta forgot about it.
Then today I was enjoying my sunny walk to work with the ipod on shuffle, and to my ears' delight, "More Than a Feeling" came on. Man alive! Right back down that rabbit hole again. Boston just makes me feel good. Dangerous. Alive. Sexy. All kinds of sixteen again.
Sixteen. I am sitting in the back of a crappy school bus that always smells like rotten oranges. I'm wearing an itchy plaid uniform skirt that I've rolled up to an obscenely short length, and which I cannot wait to ditch for my holey (not "holy") Levi's. I'm holding a portable stereo on my lap that probably weighs ten pounds and is splattered with paint because I swiped it from the garage where my dad does his "projects".
It's Friday. I'm blasting a mix tape (no, not an 8-track. I'm not that old. Shhh...not a word, Jeremy.) that has some Steve Miller Band (Jungle Love, it's driving me mad, it's making me crayzeeeeee...), "More Than a Feeling", some Doobie Brothers, and of course, Bruce Springsteen. Because, what's a Friday Night Cool Bitchin Mix without some "Born to Run"?
So my sixteen-year-old self has a big night planned. I'm going to meet my friends at the elementary school playground, where we'll drink some Bud Light and/or maybe some peach flavored wine-coolers that give me weird chest pains that always turn into hiccups. My best friend Jenny Mac will monologue about something and I'll sit there enraptured by her ability to captivate an entire group of people so effortlessly when it takes me several beers to even feel comfortable cracking a joke (35 year old Kristin wishes she could give 16 year old Kristin a hug).
At some point the couples will split off from the group and go find quiet, secluded spots under the jungle gym to lay down together. A boy with a hemp necklace and breath that smells like summer and beer and cinnamon Trident will tell me I have beautiful eyes. There will be fumbling with buttons, cold hands over warm flesh under Gap long-sleeved waffle tee shirts. My Levi's will get more grass stains.
We might make our way over to an impromptu party thrown by a girl named Stephanie who is terribly mean but who always tends to have an open-door policy at her house because her rich, alcoholic parents go to black-tie fundraisers on weekends. Before leaving the party for the night Jenny Mac will slip an empty beer can under her mom's pillow. Hee hee. Bitches.
When I get home I will sneak out onto the roof outside my bedroom and sit watching my quiet block. I will romanticize a future where I don't need to climb out a window in order to go outside late at night. I will have my own house with a lot of land and I will sit on a porch swing with my legs tucked under me, sipping a glass of wine with a man that I love, listening to the night. It will be totally awesome.
But on the roof the night air gets chilly so I'll slip inside and grab a blanket and my journal. I will write and write until I hear a rustling sound. Then I will spot my sister silently slipping out of the window next to mine to climb down and visit the house next door, where her boyfriend lives. This is the same boyfriend who, some ten years later and long after they've broken up, will climb up this same roof and bang on Lisa's window in a drunken stupor. My father, the patron saint of bereft boyfriends, will coax him down to the ground and set him up in our guest room to sleep it off, where he will totally shit his pants. The boyfriend, not my father.
Oh, if only I knew then what a colorful future lay ahead of me...
I like to provide you guys with information. I like to think of it as a personal service I can provide because, well, I know stuff. Lots and lots of stuff. And what I don't know, I look up. For you. I do it all for you.
So, I've been thinking lately about "the facts of life", if you will...the "birds and the bees", you know, sex, fucking, doing it, propagating the species, what have you. I've been thinking about it a lot, actually. Even more often than I usually do, which is saying a lot for lil' old me.
So these thoughts naturally led me to ponder how much things have changed since I was a budding young flower, in terms of how we get information across to our young ladies about their bodies and what to do with them. Dude. Oh my gosh.
This brought me back to that special day in 5th grade health class, when the boys went over to the gym with Mr. C., the sporty young phys ed teacher who looked like a bald Tom Cruise in white knee socks, and the girls stayed behind with wrinkly old Mrs. Neil. Each group was given its own individualized (and extraordinarily sanitized) lesson about "growing up".
For the girls this meant passing around a maxi pad and receiving a booklet called "Very Personally Yours". I was so thrilled to get this booklet I clutched it to my chest as if it were a precious gift from Venus herself, then upon arriving home I slipped it in my "personal" drawer by my bed where I could take it out nightly and paw hungrily through its contents by the white glow of my Virgin Mary nightlight.
I looked online today to see if I could find the booklet, and of course I did. I'll never forget the confused and lonesome look on the face of the little girl on the cover. It frightened me so. And yet it thrilled me. I was about to be like her! I would get my period! I would learn to use tampons! (Would I still be a virgin?) I would need Midol! Pamprin! The heating pad! I could be excused from gym class! Get the bathroom pass whenever I wanted! Oh, I could.not.wait.
What a fucking sucker I was.
Anyway, in looking for the pamphlet I came across some shit that was way weirder than "Very Personally Yours". Check it out.
Does anybody remember this? "pads for teens"? I think this was before my time. But it certainly gives new meaning to the term "Party in my pants". Like somehow a 15 year old's period is going to be so much groovier if she wears maxi pads with rainbow colored confetti designs all over them? And sorry, but is it good to have red dye #3 rubbing up against your clitoris all day? Do you think? I think this is a poorly thought out idea.
Yowch! What the fuck kind of contraption is this, and what kind of loony bitch would stick it up her vag? Looks like a torture device used in the rape section of Freddy Krueger's boiler room. Yeccch.
I didn't know Fresca made a douche! How cool is that? I wonder if it makes your vagina all citrusy and fresh?
OOOOOH, The phantom pad. That's freeeeaky. Does it rattle chains in your undies? If you say "Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice", does it magically toss itself in the maxi-pad receptacle box without you having to lift a finger?
Gah! This seems like such a 70's campaign. Some hairbrained post-feminist "invention" to make women's lives "easier". Yeah. A woman is infinitely more comfortable ramming a plastic stick up her crotch than she is using her own finger to insert a tampon. I don't mean to sound all feminazi but I'm betting a woman didn't come up with this idea.
Y'all remember this one? Will I still be a virgin if I use tampax? Um, yup. And I'm guessing you're in for one hell of a nasty surprise if you think a teenage boy's penis in any way resembles a tampon, sweets. Especially if you date a football player. I'm just saying.
This one is the most insane of all, hands down. THE LYSOL DOUCHE. No shit. Apparently, in 1948, Lysol was thought of as effective and safe as a "personal feminine hygiene" product, in addition to its use as a regular household cleaner! I'm betting a lot of women disagreed. As did their lawyers. You guys have to click on the picture and actually read the ad. Appealing daintiness is assured because the very source of objectionable odors is eliminated! I assume that by "source", they mean the actual vagina. And what better way to burn off one's vagina than by spraying Lysol into it? Sheesh.
When I woke up this morning, it was a balmy, sunny 70 degrees in Assstoria. So I called my friend Lizzie and we threw the kidlets in the car and hauled ass to Long Beach. Except, by the time we got there, that sack of shit weatherman's prediction had come true and the sky had hardened to a bitchy gray and looked like it was about to crack open and bring a world of rain on us.
So we went to Rachie's house instead. Rachie lives two blocks from the beach and her house is always spilling over with kids in superhero costumes, neighbors stopping by for margaritas and mac'n'cheese, and nasty little Chihuahuas that bite at your ankles. And she never locks her door. I know I can write this because she admitted that she never reads the blog. So, everyone go rob Rachie. Just kidding. She doesn't really have any stuff to steal. But she's still a great friend and she was an exceptionally patient and generous host today.
The kids ended up playing so hard that they were totally exhausted on the ride home, but they didn't nap. And of course we sat in slow, rain-smeared traffic all the way home, and Lily and Justus were doing an ok job of sharing snacks and not pinching each other or tattling until about 3/4 of the way home when Justus piped up suddenly with, "Maaaawmee!"
We turned around and he was holding up a ballpoint pen and he said, "Lily told me to write on my face."
I turned around to see Lily crouched down next to Justus with her eyes squeezed shut and her fingers jammed in her ears, like as if by tuning out the response of the two irritated mothers up front, she could pretend that she'd never made such a nasty little demand of her sweet friend.
I just don't understand why my daughter is so bossy and passive-aggressive with the boys. I simply cannot for the life of me comprehend where she could possibly have gotten that trait. I am, quite frankly, at a loss.
For stupid reasons. Really stupid reasons. When Lily was about 18 months old, we let her start watching TV. At the time we had thousands of terrible channels, but we only let her watch two. PBS and Noggin. So, I really only watched two. PBS and Noggin. For months and months and months.
When you are a sleepy new mother and your babydaddy travels all the time and the only exposure you have to televised entertainment is kids' shows, your mind begins to fucking turn on you.
I started developing inappropriate crushes on the stars of children's TV shows. Well, you've got to pass the time somehow.
I first became aware of my lustful feelings toward Luis during an episode of Sesame Street where he played the guitar and crooned to a furry monster in Spanish. Ooooh. He was so caliente. He has this whole well-aged Latin Lover thing happening. Plus, he's been on the show for like 30 years. Which makes him, like, my dad's age. Wait. Um...
It took me a little time to reconcile my feelings for Harry from Cyberchase. First, he can't be more than 25. Plus, he's not even hot. But after some thought, I totally know what this is all about. The Buddy Holly glasses, the nerdwear thrift store shirts, the exceptional math skills. He reminded me of someone I used to be married to. Many, many moons ago.
Dan Zanes. He's such a Brooklyn Hipster. It's the hair. I'm telling you. I don't know what product he uses, but he looks fucking cool.
OK. I know this is really inappropriate and wrong. But I think the nastiest crush of all was one I had on Steve from Blues Clues. I know. It's dirty and disgusting. But I found myself dreaming about him. Having these fantasies of taking him on a picnic and smearing ripe strawberries on his lips and getting him drunk on boxed wine before tearing off his green and white striped polo shirt. I felt filthy going, "Hey, Lil...look! Blues Clues is on!" She'd be all, "Whatever, I'm playing", and I'd be like, "No, come on!"--me, trying to make my kid watch tv--and then I'd find myself watching all alone. And likin' it.
Look. This is Steve now. He's actually kind of cute. See? I'm not crazy. Well, ok, yes, I am. I know I am.
Lucky for me, I'm so busy now with my swingin' social life, I don't even miss the cable anymore.
But sometimes I really get a hankerin' for it. So the other night Shawn was over and he was like, "Why don't you just get cable?" so I asked him to call Time Warner and see how much more a month it would be to have some good channels. And he did. And I still can't afford it. Fuck.
So, I'm sorry, Steve. We'll have to wait just a little longer. Soon, baby. Soon.
So I'm in the car taking Lily to school this morning and an atrociously filthy truck is in front of us at a light; people have scrawled all kinds of things in the thick layer of dirt on the back of the truck. One thing that jumped out at me specifically:
"I love juicy pussy".
And an accompanying phone number.
I'm not sure why, but this made me laugh out loud. I was laughing so hard that Lily said, "What, mama? What?" and I said, "Oh, I was just laughing at some graffiti on that truck." "What does it say?" "Oh, it says, 'wash me'. Isn't that funny?"
I'm so screwed when she learns to read. I mean, how do you really explain, "I love juicy pussy"? You don't. I guess.
One thing I've noticed about New York City is that people love to write on everything. No, but really. Give them a blank wall, the side of a building, a bridge, anything, and some assface with a can of spraypaint will tag it. It's become a game for Lily and me; she loves to get a window seat on the train and show me the various decorated points of interest along our route to the city. In Astoria, specifically, graffiti is everywhere.
This got me thinking about some of the best graffiti I've seen around. I think my favorite, hands-down, is something I read in the bathroom of my favorite bar in college:
"I EAT WHORES."
So tell me, y'all...what's the best graffiti you've ever seen?
Oh me. Oh my. It's 1:30 in the morning and I am at work. I have that sharp edge one only gets when one is disturbingly lacking in sleep. I'm edgy. Edgy and sharp. Like I'm a razor blade, baby. I'm the sticky sharp point of a pin. I'll cut you, I will.
Just to bug myself out more, I'm sitting in semi-darkness with my noise-cancelling headphones on. The cleaning lady just came to change the garbage and the sound of the empty can hitting the floor, thwack, startled me so hard I bolted upright in my chair, my fight-or-flight instinct clearly intact, my heart beating so hard it threatened to gallop right up my throat and out my frigging mouth. Goddamn.
I think it's safe to say she don't love the nightlife.
(But she's still got to boogie in the disco rouuuuund)
Well, it's a little late, sis, but I wanted to write you a little note to let you know how super awesome you are.
Also? I really feel I need to make amends for dissing those hideous $5 plastic slip-on shoes I pulled out of your closet and pointed and laughed at for, like, 20 minutes yesterday... I felt especially bad when you explained that "If you spent your days chasing disturbed 14 year olds down the hall who are shrieking, 'Mrs. L. is a pigfaced cunt', you'd need comfortable shoes too!"
You are so right.
I am blanketed in shame.
So, please accept my apologies. I'm sorry for that. And, you know, for all the other shit I did to you when we were kids. Like...
1980: I'm sorry for that time we were in Sears, and I walked past the underwear bin and stuck a big handful of panties inside the hood of your jacket. Then when Mom made you go back to the store and apologize for stealing, I didn't say anything. That was really not so cool. Sorry.
1982: I'm sorry for sneaking into your room when you were at that sleepover party and systematically biting off all the hands and feet of your Barbie Dolls, and giving them "punk" haircuts and "makeup". That wasn't nice. But that babysitter was stupid if she thought I was really allowed to be doing that. I mean, wasn't she supposed to be watching me?
1983-1984 Hey, Lis. I'm sorry for making you always be Jack when we played "Three's Company" with Kelly down the block. It was her idea. Also, I'm sorry for Gilligan. And Gopher. And Bosley. And Toto.
1985: I'm sorry for threatening to kill you if you told mom that you saw me wearing makeup when we were at sleepaway camp. I wouldn't have really killed you. I might've hurt you. But not badly.
Finally, here's the one I'm most sorry for: That time, when you were taking a nap? And I put... something on you? Remember that? Yeah. That was probably the grossest thing I ever did to you. And this is how I know you are the most loyal and wonderful sister of all time, despite all the years of torture you endured as a simple result of your birth order (and my meanness): When I was first dating Shawn, we were all out to dinner or something and the subject of this little incident came up. You kind of hinted at it, and you knew that if you brought it up he would be so disgusted he would probably never speak to me again. You had all the power. But....you didn't say a word. I knew you would carry it to the grave.
Thanks for that. I mean, we ended up breaking up ten years later anyway, but you holding your tongue probably bought me several years of happiness that I might'nt have had otherwise.
Happy Mother's Day. I love you, sister dear. Mwah.
Sorry for the long hiatus. I just saw the date of my last blog entry and I can't believe it's been a week, almost. This might be the longest I've gone without blogging, well, since I started blogging. And for that I am deeply ashamed. Can you guys forgive me? Lately it seems that actual life is taking up more of my time than virtual life. Oh, that's actually a big fat lie. I still spend way too much time on Facebook and Perezhilton.com. I try to make it seem like I'm growing up, but really I'm such a teenage girl in so many ways. Especially in bra size.
I just returned from a most glorious child-free romp through Chicago, better known to those of us "in the know" as The Second City. Or The Windy City. Chi-Town. Or (this one is new to me) The Working City. I didn't see that many motherfuckers working though, so I'm not sure where that name got dreamed up. And I sure as goddamned hell wasn't. Working on my sleeping skills, maybe. Or eating my way through the gastronomical delights of a foreign city. That's a skill I'm always apt to be working on. And Chicago definitely has its share of interesting places in which to feed one's unique culinary appetite.
Note: At the above pictured "Reagle Beagle", one can indulge in exotic (bottom shelf) mixed drinks named after 1980s icons, such as the "Tony Danza Extraviganza". (Better known to us "in the know" as a Sex on The Beach), while listening to Nena and Duran Duran and watching VH-1's "I Love the 80's". I am not sure how many times Three's Company was mentioned during my visit there. But I imagine the number would embarrass me.
I digress though. I've still got the romance and deliciousness of Hotel Life all over me, and no amount of luxurious bubble baths is gonna help wash it away any time soon. Everything is different when viewed from the inside of a hotel room. Especially a swanky hotel that you are totally not paying for.
I spent much of my first day in Chicago feeling suspiciously like Julia Roberts in "Pretty Woman", oohing and aahing over the sunken tub, flopping about on the king-sized bed in my complimentary bathrobe, and pawing through the luxuriously appointed minibar. The novelty of living in a self-cleaning room with the softest bed imaginable did not wear off throughout my stay.
In fact, upon arriving home in Astoria, after spending the day playing "Mama and Lily go to the spa" (ie clay and yogurt masks and puke pink nail polish), and browsing the aisles of Michael's Craft Store for the ingredients to make homemade Mother's Day soap, I was appalled to return home and find that there was, in fact, no turndown service in my apartment. I had to unfold the futon all my myownself.
What do you do with a rainy New York Saturday when you actually have nothing on the social calendar for the first time in, perhaps, months? No birthday parties, no family obligations, no work craziness, no pressing chores?
You take your daughter to The Little Shop of Crafts, on Manhattan's Upper East Side, that's what you do! Better known (in the circle of me) as The Little Shop of Exhorbitantly Priced Cheap Crap That You Suck It Up And Pay For Because Your Daughter Is Enjoying Herself and You Want To Have Some Quality Time With Her.
Because, you know, what could possibly beat the joy a mother derives from watching her daughter paint a $15.00 plaster ice cream cone that's barely even the size of her little hand? Oh, I know. I know: Helping her create a $17 necklace using the cheapest beads imaginable at about .75 each. That kicks ass.
But I'm not a complainer, really.
Whenever I go to this section of Manhattan though,I always find myself jaw-droppingly dumbfounded by the clearly obvious differences between moms living on the Upper East Side and, well, moms like me.
Not once, but twice that afternoon, I was mistaken for an employee of The Little Shop of Crafts. Was it the fact that I was actually standing up and engaging in activity with my child, drying her plaster ice cream cone with a hairdryer, chatting with her in my plastic, paint-splattered smock? Maybe it was the hippie jewelery that made me seem like I'd be working in a pottery shop. Or the straggly, practically dredded bed-head hair I'd pulled into in a messy knot on top of my head that smelled suspiciously like patchouli. Or perhaps it's simply that these Aryan Stepford loonies never actually come across anyone like me. Unless I'm cleaning their house or waiting on them at The Whole Foods.
One woman walked up to me looking completely horrified, a flawlessly-dressed, vomit-smeared little cherub practically spilling out of her arms (clearly mom was afraid of getting something on her). She pointed one french-manicured finger at me and said, "Excuse me? Hi. Hi. Yes. My daughter just threw up in the car on the way over here, and I was wondering if you wouldn't mind if I used your bathroom?" She was practically shoving the child at me, likely in the hopes that I would step in for the weekending nanny and scrape the puke off her myself.
"Oh! Sure! It's in the back!" I said. Why burst her bubble? She clearly had her hands, um, full.
The other thing I notice when I venture into this neighborhood is the differences in parenting styles. Next to us at the beading table was the most heinous little monster I have seen, perhaps, ever. He couldn't have been more than 6 or 7, but already was foaming at the mouth with so much bile and hatred of his mother and the world that it was physically unpleasant to be sitting near him. He got tired of making his necklace (Mom had dropped probably 50 bucks on fugly glass beads for her own monstrosity and was focused on her own project), so he decided to start screaming, "I QUIT!!! I QUIT!!!" and jumping up and down on the benches, demanding a free balloon, and swiping at his mother.
Hey, a tantrum's a tantrum. All our kids have embarrassed us at some point or another, displaying less-than-exemplary behavior in the grocery store or subway, making us wish to Christ the ground would open up and swallow us into oblivion as old neighborhood ladies look on with distaste.
But this went on for forty-five minutes. All the while I don't think Mom looked up more than three times, but only repeated a toneless mantra of, "Jagger, if you don't stop being so bad, you're not going to get any pizza."
No pizza for Jagger.
Harsh, Mom. Harsh.
All in all, the day was fun though. I dropped more cash than I'd expected to, but Lily had a blast and we enjoyed each other immensely. Just Mom and Lil. Much-needed bonding time.
I was freaking glad to go back to Queens though. Let me tell you.
So I'm sitting at the park again today (one of the delicious benefits of my new night schedule is that I get to spend my afternoons with my ass planted on a park bench again, surrounded by my mama pals. Sometimes it feels just like college, except then we sat on barstools. And there was alcohol. And cigarettes. And no children).
So we start talking about the things we do to get our kids to eat.
Luckily, Lily has always been a pretty good eater. As y'all might suspect from reading these posts, I take health pretty seriously. Nutrition especially. I haven't forced vegetarianism on Lil, but I don't ever cook meat, so she rarely has it in my presence (though the first thing she said when she tried steak, after I'd gently explained to her where it came from, was, "More cow, please"). She knows the deal. Have a little of everything. If you want something wicked delicious (Rice Dream Scooter Pie, for example, we be way decadent), eat your carrots. And don't sass me.
So my friend Heather wasn't having the same luck with her son Lucas about a month ago. She tried in vain to explain to him all about the starving children in third world countries who don't have the benefits of microwavable Annies Organic Mac and Cheese, or McDonalds, for example.
So in exasperation she logged on to the UNICEF web site and showed him photos of starving children.
"See? See their bellies? They are big and fat because they HAVE NO FOOD IN THEM!!!"
The visual of this made me almost pee my pants. I could just picture Heather at lunch time, hair piled on top of her head, muffins in the oven, baby Rose on her hip, close to losing her shit. She'd be taking Lucas, in his Spidey underpants, by the hand and sitting him at the laptop. I could see her Googling "graphic images of starving children". Oh, she is just devilishly, devilishly clever.
I believe that Lucas was speechless about that.
Somehow we got on the next topic today of recycling toys. During a spring cleaning sweep, Heather said she'd asked Lucas if he wanted to keep his Mr. Potato Head, which had lost all its facial features over time and was now no more than simply a plastic, holey potato. He told her, "Oh, just throw it in the garbage, Mom".
Heather was appalled. "I mean, now I have to explain about all the children in the world who don't have TOYS!!!"
I made a helpful suggestion. "Did you try Googling images of children standing on top of land fills? Or what about images of children in tattered clothing, clutching filthy baby dolls?"