Let’s Make It Two

posted by Momo Fali on September 30, 2008

My daughter, who will be 10 years old in December, is becoming quite sassy. That’s a nice way of saying that she’s starting to talk back. A lot.

Her attitude lately reminds me of when she was three and she began to use the word “no” in every sentence. Except now it is accompanied with enormous sighs and eye rolling.

At her school’s open house a few weeks ago, her teacher stressed the importance of responsibility to the 4th grade parents. She instructed us not to help the kids remember their homework, or help them pack their backpack, or lay their clothes out. She told us that it’s time they start doing those things on their own. I agree.

So part of the problem is that we are trying to get her to be more independent and she’s not quite sure what to make of it.

Last night, when we couldn’t find her gym uniform anywhere, she realized she had left it crumpled in the bottom of her backpack. I have told her, somewhere around a thousand times, that she must empty her book bag when she gets home from school. Mostly it’s to force her to put her ice pack back in the freezer so she doesn’t have to eat warm tuna for lunch the next day.

Since I have repeated this rule over and over again, and because I had just done all the laundry only to find she had been holding onto one, wrinkled, dirty shirt, I decided punishment was in order. Something had to be done to make her get into the habit of taking care of her stuff.

I said, “Because you didn’t empty your backpack again, and because you’re not taking care of your gym uniform like you’re supposed to, then you’re not allowed to watch TV for three days.”

And Miss Sassy replied, “Instead of three days, can you make it a week?”

Oh Sweetie, you bet I can.

Do You Know Where That Ball Has Been?

posted by Momo Fali on September 29, 2008

Our daughter started playing competitive sports at the ripe old age of six, when we signed her up for t-ball. Our biggest concern wasn’t teaching her the fundamentals of the game, but rather teaching her not to play in the dirt. Though we completely understood how hard it was to hold her attention while kids stood at bat, time and time again, missing the ball when it was sitting on a tee.

But I’m finding it may have been her age, and not the lack of action, that drove her to dig for ants every week. My six year old son is now playing soccer in two games each Sunday afternoon and I see him repeating her behavior when he gets bored.

Yesterday he managed to hang in there for the first four quarters, but by the sixth he was starting to fade.

After his coach sat him down on the sideline for a break, I looked over to see him picking at the grass. I flashed back to my daughter kicking up dust with her cleats.

I looked over again to see him gathering his teammate’s practice balls into a circle and I remembered how my daughter would take her glove off and throw it in the air, to play catch with herself, right in the middle of a play.

But then he went a completely different route than his sister, because the next time I looked over he was going around that circle kissing each and every soccer ball as he went by. And for the life of me, I couldn’t recall his sister ever making out with her bat.

Everybody Cut, Everybody Cut…

posted by Momo Fali on September 25, 2008

When I was a young, impressionable 12 year old girl, life as I knew it changed forever. Something huge happened. Something so big, I will never, ever forget it. Footloose was released.

You all remember, right? Oh, it’s just me then. Well, Footloose is a movie in which Kevin Bacon plays Ren, a hip, city-slickin’, high school kid who moves with his Mother to a town that’s so small that racing tractors is what you do on a Saturday afternoon. A town so tiny, that playing chicken in your pick-up truck, with a semi, is what you do after church. A town so minuscule, that because some kids died in an accident after a night of dancing, they outlaw the hustle completely.

But, that was all before Kevin Bacon comes to town to save everyone from their tango-less existence. He rescues “the girl” from her abusive boyfriend, gets the town to overturn their silly law (Note to self: When trying to get something accomplished in the bible belt, quote Ecclesiastes in a town hall meeting). But, over and above all else, he teaches Christopher Penn how to dance.

Let me remind you, I was 12. Kevin Bacon was a teenage rebel, with a cute, spiky haircut and some fine moves. So, I did what any girl would do…I saw the movie 40 times and plastered his picture over every square inch of my room. That dude was the cat’s meow. Enough said.

My crush on Kevin Bacon came only after Jack Wagner. Quit laughing. And, Jack came after Greg Brady, the members of Night Ranger, and every cast member of The Outsiders. As it turns out, my husband closely resembles one of those Brat Pack fellas. Who’s laughing now?

What I want to know, boys and girls, is who was your pre-teen, celebrity crush?


posted by Momo Fali on September 23, 2008

This is Yodka. Yodka was the sixth wheel at the cabin with my girlfriend’s this past weekend. Wait. Did I say sixth wheel? Because actually, Yodka was doing most of the driving.

Yodka is made by pouring one, or two, bottles of vodka into a very large container, after you squeeze in the juice from as many lemons and limes you can fit, and then adding sugar. Lots of it. See the granules caked on the bottom? It’s like one big lemon drop.

We insist on doing shots of Yodka whenever something big happens, like when someone says the word “and”. Or, when we’re watching Ohio State football games and they score. The year the Buckeyes beat Northwestern 54-10, was especially rough on us.

If you think you’d like to try it, be forewarned, Yodka can make you do crazy things…like think you can suddenly shoot pool, or swim laps in a hot-tub, or play ping-pong like you’re Serena Williams, or sing Led Zeppelin on a karaoke machine better than Robert Plant could.

What? I was rocking that joint. And, you totally should’ve heard me playing guitar on my pool stick.