Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Friday, June 25, 2010

Before I Had Children (Installment #1 in a Series)

Before I had children . . .

. . . I did not have a LEGO Bruce Wayne sticker on the back of my Blackberry. (Okay, technically, the kids predated the Blackberry, but I'm quite confident that if Thing 1 and Thing 2 did not exist, Bruce would not be lurking on the backside of my smart phone. But doesn't he look powerful? I tell you, nothing says high-powered attorney like a sticker of a fictional billionaire constructed out of plastic bricks.)

I also did not have two Bruce Wayne action figures in my office . . . along with a myriad of other toys. Let me be clear here: sans kids, I totally would have some toys in my office. Buddha magnet on my bulletin board?

Yeah, that's all me. (And, yes, the sign in the background does say "You are the best mom in the world.")

But because of my kids, I have, inter alia (that's fancy lawyer talk for "among other things"), a Brobee doll from Yo Gabba Gabba, some sort of Pokemon, a Kim Possible doll (because my kids think I kick butt; see "best mom," above) and various McDonald's toys, all residing on a shelf at the back of my computer desk.

Cardboard Baby did not come from the kids; this was a gift from my friend, Lindsay. Random? Yes. Staying in my office forever? You betcha.

Guido and Luigi from "Disney PIXAR's Cars" hang out on the top of a bookcase:

Kachina doll in the background belongs - technically - to my oldest son. Not really sure if he is aware that he owns a kachina doll; hope that he is not reading this now. After it was purchased for him by my parents (who - NOTE TO FILE - REFUSED to purchase a similarly pricey kachina doll for their own darling daughter, who begged for one every time we went to Prescott, AZ to visit the grandparents), it was decided that I should keep it in protective custody until he is mature enough not to break it.

Yeah, I'll let you know when we get there.

Also in protective custody: the aforementioned Bruce Wayne action figures, plus two Wonder Woman action figures and a Wonder Pig. "Red Bruce Wayne" actually belongs to me (yes, a gift from the kids), and he's pretty cool - ridiculously metrosexual red coat peels off to reveal a Batsuit underneath. Never seen one like him. He lives at my office, because the dorgi dog LURRRRRVES to eat action figures. Most of the boys' superhero pals are missing at least one limb. Many have been decapitated. I have suggested to Connor (who LURRRRRVES to build things out of cardboard boxes and other recycled materials) that a vet hospital for wounded superheroes should be next on his list. Another note to file: toys made out of recyclables? Adorable idea when viewed in the pages of Family Fun or Martha Stewart Kids. Not so adorable when cluttering up your house . . . . Perhaps this explains the sigh and eye roll I always got from my own mother when I suggested that the perfect rainy day activity would be to make a fleet of flying saucers out of paper plates and tin foil. (May also explain my lack of kachina doll?)

Anyway, I have advised the dorgi dog that, given that his given name is ACE THE BATDOG, chewing on the Bat Clan is tantamount to cannibalism. He keeps munching away. The funny thing is, no one gets mad at him - not when he mistakes action figures for rawhide chews, not when he poops on the floor because he is too lazy to request entrance to the backyard . . . . After cleaning up the third Ace mess in as many days (they have tapered off as he has gotten used to the place, but they aren't entirely a memory), my husband looked at me and asked, "Is it weird that I can't get mad at him because he's so darn cute and pleasant otherwise?" Nope, not weird at all - I share the sentiment, and the kids do as well: "ACE! Don't eat Lex Luthor's arm! Oh, well, actually he kind of looks cooler that way. More menacing. Hey, thanks, Ace!" My working hypothesis is that Ace is a grifter - a small Irish Traveler in a dog suit who is putting the con on all of us. And we are falling for it, hook, line and sinker.

So Bruce #1 resides in my office to ensure that he does not have a run-in with the grifter cannibal dog. Bruce #2 and the Wonder Woman turned up when we started cleaning out toy bins at the beginning of the summer. Bruce #2 was placed into my protective custody, and I decided to appropriate the WW not so much to protect them from the dog as from the boys. Not that I am accusing my boys of misogyny, but . . . every WW that they owned prior to these two, and every other female hero, comes up missing a body part. And, no, the dog was not contracted to make the hit. All mutilation has been at the boys' own hands. When these two WW disappeared, I presumed that they met the fate of all other female action figures at Casa McGlinchey (whoops, lost a leg - better toss her under the bed before Mom gives us a lecture about the right way to treat a lady). So now they share shelf space with my collection of Soviet leader matryoshki. Hey, I wrote my honors government thesis on emerging elites in post-Communist Eastern Europe. I'm entitled. Also - tip for travelers - when traveling in Eastern Europe, nesting dolls are the perfect souvenir. They are, by definition, quite portable.

Do you like the fact that Diana #1 appears to be punching Bruce #1 in the chest? Her arm sticks out that way, and the only position in which I could prop her was that one, but . . . yeah, it still makes me laugh.

One more photo from my office - Parker's Kung Zhu hamster, Drayko, in full battle armor, hanging out on a shelf. He was only visiting for the day, having gone to preschool that morning for a quick show-and-tell.

Speaking of which . . . before kids, I had no shot of winning "Let's Make a Deal." Now? I have the full-on lock. First of all, I don't just carry a purse anymore. Oh, no, party people - it is summer, I am a swim team mom, and so I carry a ginormous oilcloth bag at all times. (Yes, it's monogrammed. Need you ask?) I carry my purse, too, but - because my wallet, phone, etc. are constantly getting tossed from purse to oilcloth bag and back as I move from work to home to pool - I end up taking oilcloth bag along, even to the office, because I can never be entirely sure that wallet/phone/etc. have ended up in one place and not the other. So, oilcloth bag sort of serves as a funky briefcase. Last time I checked, contents of oilcloth bag included: various legal documents; two bottles of sunscreen; a silver tablespoon (don't even ask); a Fisher-Price Imaginext Joker Cycle mismatched with a Penguin action figure; three Uglydolls (keychained-sized Wage and Mr. Kasoogi, medium-sized Ninja Batty Shogun); assorted Yu-Gi-Oh cards; several Sonic straws (because you always need straws); a couple of ketchup packages (ditto); multiple packages of Glow Sticks; various swim meet ribbons; and a camera.

Please do remind me to add one Kung Zhu hamster, answering to the name of Drayko, before I leave the office. Or there will be hell to pay over the weekend . . . .

(Postscript: Before I had children:

1. My departure from the office was not delayed fifteen minutes because I could not figure out how to set my child's battle hamster to "hibernate." Thing wouldn't stop chirping at me . . . and I just didn't want to deal with the unwanted attention at the valet stand in our parking garage.

2. I never had occasion to use the words "battle" and "hamster" in the same sentence.)

No comments: