The Green Goober and Other Such Lessons From the Week

We try to make St. Patrick's Day a special day in our house. Starting with our kids placing their shoes outside their bedroom door the night before (to see if any leprechaun happens to stop by with green and golden goodies) and ending with a big Irish feast (this year: corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, and homemade Irish Soda Bread topped off with our own version of Shamrock Shakes: vanilla milkshakes with a bit of green food coloring...and a much appreciated hint of Bailey's Irish Cream for mom....)

So, when a friend announced she set up a play date at a place called The Green Goober, I thought it sounded like the perfect addition to our St. Patty's Day fun. I didn't bother even looking at it online because, heck, with a name like that, I'm in! Bringing me to this week's first lesson:

Lesson #1: Names can be deceiving. (Or perhaps I need to reconsider what I think sounds exciting?)

For all intents and purposes, The Green Goober is located in the city, far off our usual path. So, after a short workout at the gym, we got on the highway and headed in that direction, completely missing the exit due to road construction and a lack of any warning that the exit was about to jump out at us....seriously, why bother with a sign at all if you're going to hide it! After a mile or so, we got off at the next exit and seeing as how there was bumper to bumper traffic going the other way, I thought, 'shoot, we'll just cut through the side streets'.....famous last words.

Ten minutes later, Madeline says: "Mom, it looks like we are downtown."

"We are," I grumbled, turning the car around...again...while making sure I didn't lose sight of the highway, just in case. The girls watched the pretty "artwork" on the signs and buildings as I got my bearings straight and figured we had a much better chance of finding the place if we were actually on the road we needed to be on, which, by that point, I had to assume was on the other side of the highway. Oh, how a GPS would come in handy at times like those!

Twenty minutes later we arrived at The Green Goober. While I am not entirely sure what I was expecting, what we found was FAR less interesting. The Green Goober is a neat little Eco-friendly toy shop situated right next to a huge Frozen Custard store. (I probably would have opted for the latter of the two myself but figured we ought to go ahead and check it out.) The owner is very friendly, offering organic cookies and milk to the kids upon entry (a tradition she may have to forfeit after the amount my kids inhaled, having eaten very little of their green pancakes in order to indulge in green and gold candies that morning.) The store contains things made mostly in other countries from mostly wooden or organically grown and produced or otherwise all natural materials. This place is right up so many of my friends' alleys and as much as I would like to buy in, I just can't. After all, my kids are NOT going to be eating that sand bucket that excitedly claims it is free of BPA, lead paint, toxins, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, trans-fat, hormones and whatever else. And the sand that will be going into the buckets and subsequently finding its way into their mouths, well, I am guessing it isn't organically grown or toxin free. Maybe I'm supposed to buy the $25 sand bucket, melt it down and serve it with a side of organic fruit. I don't know. But, I do know, as wonderful as it sounds, I can't justify spending money that way. They obviously haven't seen what kids do to buckets (or what gets put in them) or they would reconsider the hefty price tag. Seriously. Just two days ago my kids were excitedly digging for worms with which to fill their buckets and "keep as pets." ("Mom, don't you have a BIGGER bucket? We are going to find FAR more worms than this one will hold!" Woo hoo...) And guess what? The worms were perfectly happy in our $2, and I am guessing quite contaminated, bucket....well, at least we didn't hear any complaints.

And to my dear friends, who do everything as "green" as possible: I love you all dearly and truly respect you for living what you believe, I just don't know how you afford to do it. I mean, I paid close to $4 for a small bag of organic gummy worms so that the kids could what? Experience an organic sugar high? (I'm pretty sure they are just as bad for you either way.) In less than ten minutes, they ate every last one of those babies, too....oh wait, I take it back. They ate all but one which I found hanging on the bottom, inside of my shirt later that night. Very odd. But I am okay with it because at least it was organic and gummy and didn't come from their bucket!

Lesson #2: If your actions draw your sister's blood, they are probably not okay.

This morning began with two hysterical screams from upstairs. One, an unidentifiable shrieking of garbled sounds and the other, a princess-like squeal from Madeline because, "Lily is getting her blood on me!" Never mind the fact that it was Madeline having hit Lily upside the head that caused the nose bleed. And can you believe Lily had the audacity to bleed on her sister, and all over the toys, the playroom carpet, the hallway and loft before finally settling in for a thorough drenching of the bathroom? And no, the chemicals I reached for would not be found anywhere close to The Green Goober (in fairness, they were mostly red goobers...). But they sure as heck got the blood out.

Lesson #3: Computers and gymnastics don't mix.

Lily did it, the computer won....need I say more? Actually, I am not even exactly sure of what happened other than she was doing gymnastics and somehow ended up needing an ice-pack because of the computer....some things are better left unknown.

Lesson #4: You can't walk a cat....at least not easily.

So because Leroy at times seems very "dog-like," we decided it would be a lot of fun to "walk" him. We bought a harness and leash and got Leroy all hooked up. The first time out was mostly spent with Leroy crouched down, freaked out by all the sounds: airplanes overhead, birds chirping in trees, a dog walking by (twice), 10 minutes spent chasing a bug in the mulch and other such things.

Then yesterday, we thought it would be fun to meet Aidan at the bus stop with Leroy. Seeing as how the cat doesn't actually move much, at least not on our terms, we fastened Liam in one side of the double stroller and put Leroy in the other (fully harnessed and leashed of course) and slowly made our way up the hill. Let's just say, there is a reason people do not walk cats. But, when the mailman came back by to tell us our "lazy" cat had made his day, it was all worth it, even if it means becoming "that crazy neighbor."

Lesson #5: Don't carry a cat with it's back legs against your face.

Really Madeline? Did you need to carry the cat with it's bum in your face? I was pretty sure the scratches running under her eye and across her cheek definitely got the lesson across until I saw her running across the room holding a squirming cat just moments later....

Lesson #6: Tie the kids up BEFORE trying to sweep and mop the floors. (Or how to have more fun with the ol' Snap, Crackle and Pop!)

You'd think I would know these things by now but I can't tell you how, um, "delighted" I was, after having moved all the kitchen furniture and then sweeping the entire main level in preparation for mopping, to glance over and see Lily and Liam playing in a pile of Rice Krispies they had poured out in the adjoining room. They poured out at least three quarters of the box, which by all accounts, makes a much better Snap, Crackel and Pop when you STOMP, STOMP, STOMP it into the ground. After I SNAPPED and CRACKELED a little myself, I wondered why it is I never use the ol' POP on my kids....oh, some days I wonder....

Lesson #7: There is a reason children don't get to name babies.

Today's car conversation went like this:

"Mom, you know what?" Lily asked.

"What, Lily?" I replied.

"When I am older and hatch out babies, I am going to name one Junior and the the other one Wee-wee," she told me.

Hee hee...hee hee hee.....it's a good thing she chose good, traditional names for her hatchlings, you know, those that can't cause any heartache or humiliation or....reminds me of the other night when I was playing indoor soccer. There was this one Asian guy on the other team who was a decent player and as I went one-on-one with him I heard one of his teammates call out: "Come on, Wei-lei!" (You know, kind of like Pele...get it? Ok, so you have to know soccer I suppose...)

But really, how can you not find that amusing?

And finally, Lesson #8: It is unwise to throw a temper tantrum in the bathtub.

Liam has been testing the hypothesis that if you throw yourself face down in the water while screaming and thrashing about, you will drown more quickly than if you just, say, take a normal bath, in happiness and good cheer. Shoot, why bother going green when shades of blue are so easy to come by! (And far less expensive too!)

Have a great weekend, whatever color you may choose!

1 comment:

  1. As always you crack me up. I don't understand either, espeically with all the "cutbacks" people are making due to the economy, how they are able to afford something other than bleach and lysol and regular non-eco-friendly laundry detergent. And it sounds like you use a lot of it.


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