Monthly Archives: August 2013

Princessisms Part 1

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Princess has always had an excellent vocabulary and impressive eloquence. As the first child and first grandchild, she was exposed mostly to adults and I think that’s why she picked up on speaking so quickly.

When she was two, she could tell you that photosynthesis was how plants made food from sunlight. I have to credit Chris Rowland’s (formerly Ray Cycle) music for that.

(Honest mommy side note: I’m being polite here. The kid’s obviously a genius and way smarter than everyone else’s kid. C’mon, you know the same is true about your kid.)

Still, there are moments I’m reminded that she is, indeed, new to this planet. Her understanding of certain concepts, while quite logical, lacks experience. It can be very funny. Here are some examples:

1. Ambiguous Pronouns and Deciduous Trees. I think this was even before Princess turned three. Driving on a somewhat rural road, I pointed out that the trees’ leaves were turning pretty colors and falling off. She asked me why the leaves would fall off. I said, “It will be cold soon, so the trees drop their leaves so they don’t freeze.” She thought that was silly, “because blankets keep you warm!”

2. Becoming Royalty. Princess is told many times a day that she is a princess. I like to give her a reality check once in a while by reminding her that she’s only a princess because I’m the queen. When my brother got married, Princess was honored to be their flower girl. She’d never been to a wedding so I was trying to explain the details to her. I showed her pictures of when I got married. She had a good question: “Is that the day daddy became a king?” Of course I didn’t blink or even pause. I just said yes.

3. Licensing and Certification. Shortly after our ski trip (referenced in “Whiskey’s in the Cabinet”) my parents took Princess to a camper show. They stopped to look at a beautiful, fully-loaded, celebrity-tourbus-type Class A. Unimpressed by the granite counters or fully functional fireplace, Princess wanted to sit in the driver’s seat and pretend to drive it. Unfortunately, it was occupied by a sales representative. She asked the salesperson if she could sit there. He laughed, told her no and asked if she had a driver’s license. “Well, no,” she answered, “But I did go to ski school,” she countered, and then sheepishly admitted, “but I’m not married yet.” I’m not quite sure what this says about my driving or what she believes the requirements to be.

4. Musical Composition. My husband has implied that I must have has an affair with a Von Trapp because living with Princess is like living in a musical. One day, she was singing along about “mommy and daddy take me to the playground…” Or something along those lines. I asked her if it was a song she’d written. She quickly said no. I prodded her about where she’d first heard the song if it wasn’t an original. She said, “I didn’t hear it anywhere.” I told her that means she wrote it. “No, I didn’t write it down Mommy, I don’t know how to write it. I just made it up in my head.”

5. Ikea as a Vacation Destination. March put Princess in her first semester of preschool. The routine of school delights kids this age. Weekends, snow days and national holidays are disappointing and hard to understand at that age. Then, April vacation rolled around and really messed with Princess’s head. The week before, she mentioned she wanted to go to Ikea (she loves that place.) I told her that was something we could do on her vacation. She got all excited, thinking about last summer’s vacation to Strawberry Park, I’m sure. “We’re going on vacation? Where are we going?” I told her we weren’t going anywhere, she was just getting a break from school. Of course this was awful, Princess didn’t want a break, she loved school. I told her even if she didn’t want one, Miss A, her preschool teacher, certainly deserved one. Again, she was totally stoked. “Wait? You mean I’m going on vacation with Miss A? Are my mom and dad gonna be there?” The conversation just got more confusing after that. I think by the time I changed the subject, she was convinced that she and Miss A would be spending the week alone, jumping on beds, sitting on tiny stools and eating Swedish meatballs to their hearts’ content.

Oh the things she will learn no thanks to me. Sigh. And there are more of these I will share soon.

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Motormommy Turns One

I am a horrible writer. This is not a compliment-baiting pity statement, it’s just true. I use too many words, make a lot of grammatical errors and rarely vary my sentence structure. My vocabulary has proved itself less than impressive, too.

The good news is that I now have a year’ s worth of empirical evidence to prove it. Yup, Motor Mommy is officially one year old today. And that’s how I can officially say that writing is HARD.

Here’s a brief review of the highlights of my crappy writing:

It all started with Roughin’ It, about a camping vacation. Of course it was sarcastic and involved a manhattan.

The first post to be viewed over 100 times was “Family Member Driving Me Bonkers,” which you should read in its entirety if at all.

A lot of my mother-in-law’s friends read it and told her about it because they were concerned it was about her. Incidentally, she has never said any of those things about my house or my clothes or my cooking. At least not to my face.

My most popular posts to date are not my funny sarcastic ones, actually. Most read, of course, is my tribute to Mrs. Vera Anderson. That has to do with her popularity, not mine.

Second most popular was First Steps and Last Steps, my post about euthanizing our dog. I was surprised so many people read that one. It was sad. Many people (including grown men) told me it made them cry. Obviously, a blog about death wouldn’t be very fun, but since that was the subject of my top two post, I wonder if there are other not-so-funny topics I should consider.

Of course, my third most popular post wasn’t written by me at all. It was by Motorbrother Ben who refuses to start his own blog. But I may make him guest blog again. Because he is funny.

I did receive some recognition for Motormommy. Figenza vodka retweeted my post about my husband’s new balls; called “Blood Orange Figenza and My Husband’s New Balls.”. And Daily Buzz Moms gave me a shout-out as one of their featured 9 back in December. Alas, I didn’t notice either recognition until months later. I don’t even know what post Daily Buzz Moms featured.

That’s because I’m not doing it for recognition. Don’t get me wrong, I have an ego and it is pleased when I see that a post has 500+ views. But the writing is therapy, for me.

There are very few hobbies in my life that I’ve done for a full year, and I can’t think of anything I’ve done for so long in spite of sucking very badly.

But I can’t seem to stop writing. Being around kids all day, there are many ideas I don’t get to express. Thoughts pile up in my head all day or week or even month sometimes. Then I finally get a second at my computer or my phone and take them out and organize them into piles that make sense. I clean them up and put them put on the line. Then I feel fresh and presentable. It’s a lot more like doing laundry than you might think.

You, dear reader, are the reason I clean my crazy ideas up into words. I’m l
using you, I’m sorry. But you are providing me an invaluable service and in exchange I promise to provide some laughs or insight or at least work on my grammar a little.

Thank you for reading. I know there’s a lot of words and I appreciate the time you make for me in your Internet-viewing time.

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Goodbye Mrs. Anderson

A Camping Queen Holds CourtI bet no one ever thought a jumbo box of sympathy cards, packaged up like Christmas cards, would be a very big seller. But boy, do I wish I could buy a box like that today. Because the world lost a special lady this morning and I know she is going to be missed by a lot of people, and especially by a lot of people I care a lot about.

Anyone who read my post “Reunion-bound” read that we were heading to meet up with a woman (known to most as Grammy), her ten children, most of the ten’s children, most of the ten’s children’s children, and even one of the ten’s children’s child’s brand new baby child, and of course all of the delightful, wonderful stragglers our group of campers picked up along the way.

It was a great trip and there was a lot of buzz about it being Grammy’s last reunion. Maybe I didn’t want to believe that. But it turned out to be true.

I normally only refer to myself, my husband and my pets by their actual names but that doesn’t feel right for this post because I grew up knowing “Grammy,” as Mrs. Anderson. Not sure why, probably just to avoid confusion with the other grandmothers in my life. It was a friendly, respectful title- not as formal as may sound.

As I sit here going through memories of Mrs. Anderson, I can’t come up any one specific moment. It’s a swirling tapestry of memories: of her in her blue choir robe at Dunbar United Church, her and my Grandpa talking and playing cards, talk of dandelion wine, “The Uncles,” a van and cots, the image of my husband carrying off a bottle of scotch at 4 pm for a “date” with her, fancy canes, fishing-type hats, many smiles, her distinctive voice, and many people.

Mostly I remember her kind of always being there while I was growing up except when disasters had struck and I’d overhear she’d travelled somewhere to volunteer with the Red Cross.

To say she lived an amazing, complete life and that she loved many much and was loved much by many is like saying the ocean is kind of big and has some water in it.

I know no one like her nor have I even heard of anyone like her.

I do know that without her not only would I not have all my “pseudo” -cousins and -aunts and -uncles but also a host of other amazing people. These folks, from every walk of life, never would have crossed my path if she wasn’t part of our lives. Many are who they are; some in small ways, some in very big ways, because of her.

Including the love of my life, my husband.

So, goodbye and thank you Mrs. Grammy Anderson, you are very much missed. So glad we just spent one last camping trip with you. I know what many of us will be thinking about today at 4 pm.

I am certain you are enjoying the reunion you’re attending now.

To all of her many family and friends, I’m thinking of you and you’re in my heart today and if there is a silver lining, it’s that I look forward to hearing all of your memories.

Update Thursday August 15: Here is a link to Mrs. Vera Anderson’s Obituary

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