Domestic Bliss Report

Motherhood is hard work. If we don't stick together, we'll all fall apart.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Pardon my rant...

I was talking with a friend recently about Feminists for Life, a group I heartily support and admire. She said (I'm paraphrasing), "I like their message, but they aren't really in tune with reality."

Reality. Um, yeah. The reality is that our society is sick--deeply, deeply sick. Our society tells women that it's okay to kill their children before they're born.

As I said, our society is sick. We have super-size portions and extra strength diet pills. We drive our gas guzzling SUVs to the corner store and run on treadmills in the basements. We complain about what's on TV and have the thing on every waking minute.

We are horrified by 13-year-olds having sex, but we buy them belly shirts, navel rings, miniskirts, and thong underwear. We tell them drugs are bad, yet are searching for a pill to cure everything from obesity to baldness to cancer.

No more. The buck stops here, baby. Qaddafi drew his line in the sand; I've drawn mine, but mine ain't movin'. I'm not going to let the A.C.L.U. have more control over my child's education than I do. My kid is not going to learn about Kwanzaa, Ramadan, and Yule but be forbidden to speak of Christmas or even Hannukah. I will not have my children living in fear of expressing their faith.

As my father would have said, "No, Hell no, and uh-uh too."

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Another day in the life

An intestinal bug has made its way through the children in the past three days; given the first, I expect Rachel to be done with it tomorrow. You don't want me to paint you a picture. Then it will hit the parents simultaneously on the weekend.

Anyway, despite the rain today, we have managed to get our kids outside. Madeleine was on a step, performing one of her extended dance remix versions of Hiawatha versus Beowulf and Rachel managed to rouse herself. She staggered over to her big sister, as Dale put it, "like a drunk looking for the off switch." It was rather funny.

Later, Madeleine managed to come off with a little ditty her father was singing under his breath during her performance: "I gave my love a cherry, that had no stone. I gave my love a chicken..."

At least it wasn't Monty Python, though I expect it from the Boy: "Isn't it awfully great to have a..."

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Remember our dog?

Don't panic; we still have her. We got her before Madeleine was born, though my mother kept her until after we were settled in our house. She's a Brittany-beagle mix, and she bays when we leave if she's outside.

Longtime readers know she has chased a pit bull out of our yard over a six-foot privacy fence; longtime friends know she greets the meter reader with enthusiasm.

This morning, Rachel perceived that Lucy was hungry and took it upon herself to feed Lucy by hand. She sat her 21-month-old self between the dog and her bowl and proceeded to give the dog one morsel at a time. As I was eating breakfast, I could watch the interaction. Each time, Rachel would hold out a nugget, Lucy would work it out of her fist and eat it, and both would turn to me. Rachel would be grinning proudly and the dog was... not. "She's going to get bored before I starve to death, right? Because I'm really hungry."

It was the same expression she has when the kids pull on her ears: "You're going to stop them before it comes off, right? Because that will really hurt."
Or when they're trying to ride her like a pony: "They don't really expect me to carry them anywhere, do they? At least give me a sled. Please?"
Or when the kids are ordering her into her cage when we're going out somewhere: "I guess I have to obey the little bipeds, too." *sigh*

Just another day in the life of a dog living with small children.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

What is the difference...

between "items not yet shipped" and "items shipping soon"?

Just wondering.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Now taking suggestions...

On classics one really should be acquainted with. Rather, classics with which one should be acquainted.

Some background: I think a fair share of the DVC's success is the intellectual decline of our modern times. Its pseudo-history makes the uneducated think they're learning something, when it's as much like literature or history as ketchup is a vegetable.

Once upon a time, I was denied a job at my alma mater. My embittered, retiring teacher gave me her key to the supply room and said, "If you can carry it, you can have it." Wow. I thought I'd already taken carte blanche when I had to inventory the books for our Advanced Placement English class some years before; now this was the social studies and foreign language textbooks, too. So I took copies of the history books that had been retired ten years before, for being "too demanding" anymore. And the art history text made obsolete when the teacher retired. A copy of everything by Shakespeare I saw, including a hardcover Complete Works. Et cetera.

Now, with all of this furor over the DVC, and thinking about my kids' education, I'm re-evaluating what I read. All of the popular fiction in the world isn't going to help me if my kids have questions from school. Chances are, Oprah's book club suggestions aren't going to be on my kids' summer reading lists. And I don't have a water-cooler to discuss that stuff around, anyway.
It's like the line from Pink Floyd: "I've got thirteen channels of sh*t on the TV to choose from." I don't want a hundred more of the same. I'll settle for three good ones.

I know our oldest is only going to be in kindergarten, but reading great books isn't like knocking off a romance novel. I figure I'd better get on my horse.

So, suggestions of favorite classic novels are politely requested from my dozen regular readers (and those who happen by occasionally). Those mocked in high school and reconsidered in adulthood will be given preference, as I've finally actually read Tess of the d'Urbervilles last year. I'm told in that class we also read Madame Bovary, but I don't remember any of that one.

I'll tell you this, too, sort of as a point of pride: I've read all of Les Misérables in both French and English. Don't worry that your favorite 1500-page tome will overwhelm me. Thanks in advance.