Sunday, June 17, 2007

junk mail

When I moved to Germany, I had no idea I would be moving to the Missouri of Germany. The weather here is ridiculous and out of control. Within a few hours, we can go from sunny and warm to thunderstorms with a 20 degree temperature drop. This isn't the best weather to live in when you have a 21 month old monster who loves to play outside.

For the past few days, we have been experiencing very intense thunderstorms. The kind that make the windows open and shut on their own; the kind that make me cry. W HATES these storms. As soon as he hears the thunder start, he flies across the room and jumps into my arms, trembling, until they pass. Of course, he hasn't been able to go outside during all of this and after a few days of not being able to satisfy his urges to explore, he gets very cranky. Just like his father.

Today was a particularly rough day. After watching Cars for the 243 time (you think I'm kidding?), he still wasn't happy so I let him go outside during a quick break in the storms. He was so excited to get to play in the puddles the rain had left, not to mention the overflowing water table we keep on our back porch. Being the white trash that I am, I let him go out in just a diaper and he was soaked to the bone within 45 seconds. He played in the mud, screamed at a stray cat, transfered water from the water table to my pants, threw rocks, picked innocent flowers and best of all, drank endless amounts of dirty, bug poop, moldy leaf, and goodness knows what else ridden water from the table. I can't get the kid to drink water from his sippy, but he will gladly drink that crap. I don't get it.

Just as he had reached the pinnacle of excitement, the thunder started to roll. I could see him frantically trying to decide if his desire to play outweighed his fear of the thunder. Within a few seconds, the light bulb went on and he realized that if he sat on my lap and played, life would be good. But, because we essentially have a lightning rod installed on our porch, because I had to have a huge umbrella, I decided we should go inside before my bad luck caused the lightning to fry us. It was then that all hell broke loose. You would have thought I killed his favorite puppy in front of him. Screams were coming from that child that I had never heard before. My handsome little man disappeared and a little evil monkey had taken his place.

I tried everything in my arsenal of bribes to calm him down: cookies, candy, juice, a fresh roll of toilet paper, even soda (gasp!). There was no match for this fit. I resigned myself to the fact that my ears were going to be abused for at least 45 minutes and silently wished we had stronger alcohol than cooking wine in the house. Just then, a ray of hope, a heavenly gift from the angels above appeared from the mess of junk mail on my kitchen table. The Fisher Price summer catalog. With a quick flick of the wrist, I snatched it and waved it in front of the evil monkey as a symbol of surrender and peace. The evil monkey stopped screaming for just a second. Enough time to let me to see his bluff and know that he was contemplating taking this peace offering. And then he ran away screaming. So I placed it on the floor where he could easily get to it. Once I had walked away, the evil monkey, still screaming, made his way to this curious book and started to poke it with his toe, as if to see if it was going to bite him. Then he saw it. The page with the cars. CARS CARS CARS!! WOW!! The evil monkey vanished and my handsome little man was appeared.

For 45 minutes, he sat looking intently at each and every page. I half expected him to pull out a highlighter and circle which toys he wanted for his birthday, or at least corner the pages. It was bliss. Pure contentment and pure silence except for the occasional "meow" or "moo" when he saw an animal of his liking. The last time I saw him like this was when he was 15 months old and going through his "Heidi Klum" phase. He would get a hold of the Victoria's Secret catalogs and carry them around all day. Occasionally he would stop to stare at her picture. He was so in love with that woman. I like to think it's because his mother looks exactly like her... Well, one can dream.

For the remainder of the day, W carried around the Fisher Price summer catalog. He even asked to take it to bed with him. God bless Fisher Price and their propaganda. I am now searching the web for other stores that will send me their junk mail to keep my child occupied. I guess junk mail does serve a purpose besides lining bird cages and being used for kindling. It's really the little things in life, isn't it?

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