Monday, June 30, 2008

Out of the Wild

(Some of) you will be glad to know that Crabmommy survived—nay, enjoyed even— her first camping trip en famille.

A few things did go slightly awry. They involved maps and directions and the usual gendered conversations on the subject and in the car. There was also an event with a spilled can of condensed milk in the cooler (condensed milk bought to make instant coffee into Vietnamese-style delight). And yes, I said instant coffee. Because, people, I am from Sarf Effrica, and a child born in the 1970s, so I can survive a cup of instant joe when in the wild. Such a thing is sacrilege where we live (in the Coffee is Very Important belt; I also call it the Teva Sandals, yes, we're narrowing things down to Pacific and north and might also call it the I Always Carry a Yoga Mat belt where pedestrians can oft be spotted tromping around with a yoga mat. In short, where I live it is practically mandatory to do the following:
a) go camping
b) enjoy dogs
c) drink coffee all the time from your giant thermie
d) work your day around a Bhakti class
e) and then go to the community garden

Okay, so maybe I live in Northern California!? I WILL NEVER TELL.

No, seriously, now. There is nothing wrong with yoga, coffee, and certainly nothing wrong with community gardens and giant thermoses. Crabmommy in fact sought out these very things when scouting possible relocations for the Crabfamily, having done my time with rodeos and prefabricated houses (sorry, too lazy to do links tonight but those of you who have been here a while know what I'm talking about).

Anyhoo. Camping. We stayed in a lush primeval forest beside a plashing brook. While the rest of the state boiled in heat, we spent two days watching weak beams of sunlight shifting through the trees. The campground was busy but the stands (or whatever you call them in camping language) were large. So you only saw the people en route to the loo, and what people they were. Some very typical of the region: bandannas, poised upon balancing ropes strung taut between trees (is this a rock climbing thing?); some also typical but of a lower echelon (2 giant ladies with giant RV and 2 giant babies and a giant cook stove and 2 giant playpens [one for the dogs and one, I presume, for the babies]). Some people take this camping thing dang seriously and set up entire villages and kitchens complete with racks from which you can dangle the pans. Still others had a festive approach with hula-themed oil cloth, and fringed grass table decorations and matching paper lanterns strung from beneath a mammoth RV with the word "Fleetwood" on it.

Crabtot liked camping but also did a lot of hovering close to my leg even after I had given carte blanche for her to set up her own camp in a fairy glade with her dolls, Lucy and Luly (she was allowed to bring them of course, but I drew the line at bringing a feeble balloon she has lying around her room; she calls it her baby brother and its name is Ballucy). Fairy glades abounded with ample green frondy Transcendentalist landscapes for children to frolic in, but of course that's always the moment when they want a cookie or ask for a straw or want to find a tiny bead at the bottom of the car seat.

I forced Crabtot to run and play like a fairy, under threat of I-can't-remember-what-but-it-was-probably-pretty-scary. I showed her how to use the flashlight and commanded her to look for magic mini-folk in the magnificent hollow trees. She sulked, then enjoyed, then sulked. "I hate camping," she said, and "I love camping," she said, sometimes within a minute of each other. In short, we did not leave our real selves entirely behind. But we all enjoyed the fire (when we could light it), the tent (though not the leaning ground beneath), and Nature's magnificent Nature sounds (though not that of the crow who got into our garbage).

I will report with pride that I did not purchase a head lamp, though I will admit lingering near the head lamps at REI for a while. I will also report that I did not miss the head lamp one iota in the bush. People, there is this thing called a flashlight? Why do Americans always have to one-up the rest of us mere mortals!! Nobody else would ever have thought of headlamps for camping were it not for the Americans telling us all to do it. The world uses flashlights and there's the USA: headlamps all round. Well, America, I resisted the lure of the headlamp. This time.

I did buy some useless luminescent stick but threw away the packaging before I had time to read the directions. What was it meant to have done? And how? We may never learn and therefore a piece of wisdom that I could have passed on to you is nonexistent. Whatever that meant.

To Tony Park who asked me about Crocs: I am embarrassed to say that unfortunately Crabhubby has two pairs and (DOUBLE-CRINGE) Crabtot has one, and I think he thinks he is ironically commenting on the trend while enjoying it at the same time, and blah-di-blah yakkity-yak. I have nothing to do with the Crocs in my family. In this life, there is this thing called marriage, and in marriage there are these things you have to let go of and some of them are light and airy and have holes in the top to aerate the toes.

Also noteworthy on this trip: this camping business in America, it is organized. At least in this state it is. Who knew how organized!? I mean, you BOOK. In ADVANCE. On the INTERNET. And then when you get there your NAME is on a CARD at your camping spot. And there was even a WELL for drawing water. And it took me forever to work it and longer still to pump it with my nonexistent muscles, but then PRESTO two completely gigantic dykes (different ones from those in above list) appeared and showed me how and we were all filled with the camaraderie of camping. And I thought of Africa, my motherland and how there is like, NO WAY anyone would ever set up a card for you in a camp site. You would sooner be murdered than find a card with your name on it on stick in a piece of dirt. And I felt that strange sense of longing for home and relief to not be home that is the special province of those who chucked their homeland in favor of some other.

Right. Boring post it was. I camped, I returned, and basically I am a kickass tentchick. Of course I had to do all the tough stuff (except setting up tent, cooking, making fires and so on). I mean, I did all the disciplining and decided who should be shouted at when. I also packed the car, and dang it that was a mighty big pain in the neck. All that said, I pronounce the event a riproaring success. And I have every intention of not going camping this weekend.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Crabfam Goes Camping

What foolish thing did you do with your Georgie Bush tax refund?

We spent $800 on camping gear at REI and we are going to test out the tent this weekend.

Okay, so it was my idea. I like the concept of camping. I like the concept of Nature charming the crabbiness out of the family. I like the notion of enjoying a marshmallow over the fire, and telling stories in the dark, and listening to crickets chirp and whatnots make whatever Nature sound they make, and so forth. I like and believe in the idea that Nature soothes tightly wound personalities, adult and child alike. I fully expect that we will arrive at the campsite wound up and all and I'm not expecting us to fully unwind but maybe just to loosen it all up a tad. You know, like a Slinky or something.

But as one who looks for what might go wrong in advance of anything good, it is perfectly apparent to me that expectations for the trip must be kept very low. We don't know what we're doing, we don't really know where we're going, and we definitely know that the car trip will be a pain because Crabtot loathes even the shortest, weentsiest ride to a different neighborhood. "I hate this car," she will bleat. "Taking too long!" she will yell after seven minutes. Even a sucker doesn't do much to improve the ride. She just shakes it at you and sobs when she gets close to the end. "Oh, dear!" she wailed last week on nearing the end of her sucker. "I've eaten it!" Then came the tears.

In all honesty I must admit to looking forward to the camping. Nature's bracing charm will reinvigorate me! It will remind our family that even though we don't own a house and fight too much and eat too much meat and don't ride our bicycles enough and don't back up our hard drives and so forth, we are still Earth's children and as such, entitled to a modicum of serenity and simple pleasure. I think.

Crabhubby was the hardest to convince on the camping score. He has delicate architect hands and likes camping trips where L.L Bean packs you in and out and some nice boy sets up trestle tables at breakfast sporting vats of hot Irish oatmeal dotted with fresh-picked huckleberries. However, he is now quite keen, so keen, in fact that he has polled his more seasoned camping colleagues for "must haves" and came back with this:

"I've heard head lamps are really useful."
"Head lamps? Are you out of your mind? That sounds completely retarded."
"No, really they're just small lights on a headband--"
"Headband? Are you mental?"

Call me crabby and clearly in need of Mother Nature's caress, but we all have our limits: and I draw the line at head lamps. I will never wear a head lamp. Even if I had to quit blogging and, say, the earth was falling apart and it was all apocalyptic and there was, like, only one job and that job was mining. I would still refuse the head lamp. Even if it's night time and I am in a search party looking for someone who has gone missing on a mountain. Sorry, I will look hard and long but I won't wear that head lamp.

Today at the bloglet: please join me in casting your vote for or against baby shower registries in part 2 of my Baby Shower Wars mini-series. I warn you: it will get ugly. If you end up disagreeing with me, please, don't hate me. Remember me as I once was. Remember us as we used to be.
Also chez bloglet, the facts of life:

I'm all about telling kids the truth, even when it comes to uncomfortable questions, such as those about babies and where they come from. You have to tell kids the real deal right from the get-go: babies come from magic baby seeds that you swallow, and then when they're fully formed, they fly out of your belly-button...
Go to You Know What magazine to read more.

Any of you been camping en famille? Did you or your spouse wear a head lamp? If so, how did it feel to look so incredibly naff?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Summer School! Yay!

Crabtot's new summer school program began this week, and after several months of unremitting SAHMery it's a joy to be a half-day mom once again. A joy to both of us. "Finally!" Crabtot said when I dropped her off Monday. Ditto, my poppet!

And I know I'm supposed to write this line about how I got tears in my eyes as I watched her walk away with her backpack and all, but for heaven's sake, I pick her up at 12:30.

Naturally she's had her moments of uncharacteristic shyness and reluctance in amongst her predominant excitement, but I am doing this new "buck up" style of parenting that doesn't overly dignify slight discomfort. Yes, yes we've had all sorts of special hugs and chats about new friends and new places and fortuitously are even reading a book about a kid who makes a doll out of an apple so she doesn't feel lonely in her first days of school. But Crabtot also quite enjoys the drama of feigning reluctance to go especially since she knows that this will throw me a curveball because I need mornings off to work and I WANT mornings to myself.
"I hardly get to see you now," she said in a sort of faux wheedling-whine this morning en route.
I responded with great sensitivity: "Don't be silly! Some kids have mommies who work all day! Now off you go and enjoy yourself!"

I'm sure some of you think I'm tough. I'm sure some of you think I should validate her feelings of insecurity and all but I say pish posh poppycock to that. Crabtot gets so much validation she's practically drowning in it; just because I don't write about it doesn't mean we don't flood her with the knowledge that we are her devoted acolytes. HOWEVER. There comes a time when you just have to get on with it. And I find it can be far better to make a molehill out of what is being cast as a mountain. It's part of my new creed to be the sort of parent who does not through high-maintenance parenting raise a high-maintenance child to be a high-maintenance adult. And, people, that means squashing bouts of preciousness or contrived sentiment the minute they come out of one's tot's mouth.

All of which comes back to the point that after an exploratory argument put forward by Crabtot about how, if she wished, she could stay home from school, I decided to disburse her of that notion and I think I am right to do it. "No, you can't," I told her cheerfully. "I need my time and you need yours and goodness, I'm going to be late, darling! Have a lovely morning!"

New posts this week over at the bloglet:
I have one to make you chuckle re. an unbelievably asinine parenting invention: the Portable Parenting Package. This is for real, kids. Honestly, what kind of society are we living in where people will buy this crapola?
Also, a meditation on maternal instinct and how I thought mine would be so strong and right-on but I couldn't even pick out my own baby in the nursery, much less identify her cry among the din. So much for the natural mommy!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Grumpy, Frumpy, Lumpy

I just read my last post and realized how incredibly profound I can be on this blog. Since I have no pearls of domestic wisdom to toss your way today, I suggest you look elsewhere for entertainment. Like, perhaps, this episode from Offsprung TV's Motherhoodlum.

How as your week? Mine was lumpy! Lots of globbiness and roundness and general flubbiness after the sharpness of late.

For those of you seeking my usual Friday swagiciliousness, there shan't be any this weekend. I feel it's all getting to be a bit much, ya know? Let's bring this blog back to its roots! Let's get some venting on! Forget the free iron-on labels and whatnot. I mean, seriously, what kind of crabby blogger foists treats on readers every week? It's false advertising.

So this week, no. Next week, maybe. I still have swag to offer; I'm a momocrite. You know that. I *may* even make good on the last post's promise and offer a free set of shower caps for covering leftovers. So don't give up if you're here for the stuff. Hope springs eternal. Keep the faith, come back, and maybe next time you'll get luckier. Then again, maybe not.

What I can promise with more enthusiasm is a proper and much-belated set of notes on Crabcity, our new home, which I have been judging in ways both favorable and unfavorable for the last three months of serious and unremitting SAHMery. Soon enough I shall have tales of fascist liberalism, reports on abundant sightings of men en route to drumming circles, verbatim and compelling accounts of people debating micro-brews and bike paths, and a seriously sinister tale of passive aggression in motherhood. Fellow parent-peeps, every day of my life as a mother the following is reinforced: The uber-positive parenting cult is alive and flourishing in America (and, I'm quite sure everywhere else where middle class affluence resides). What is thing I call uber-positive parenting? It is a predominating culture in which all parents must behave in a proscribed manner towards their children and each other; in this cult there is no room for differentiation, irritation, negative thinking, imperfection, or any sort of defection from syrupy permissive-parenting camp. In this culture parents sublimate themselves entirely for their children and embrace what my new favorite author Hara Marano (Nation of Wimps) calls "pasteurized parenting," where everything is safe and nothing is ever difficult, ugly, or unpleasant for the child.

Okay so a globby flubby post without contours or definition. Whatevs, mon. Dunno about you, but I'm spent.

But before I expire completely from the sheer weight of being me, may I direct you to a charming tale of lumpiness and say give it up for the state of Georgia! Georgia is hosting a pregnant endangered male sea dragon, whatever that is, according to Yahoo news. I am actually too lazy to read the piece in its entirety even though I have a soft spot for silly things from the ocean depths. I will, however, say that were I to choose between reading that article and the one below it "Fecal Matter Found on Restaurant Lemon Slices," you can bet I will be reading about the knocked up seahorse. Seriously, why is that people call it news when there's a report on something unhygienic that happened in a restaurant? So you got a bit of fecal matter on your lemon. Bad luck? Yes. Breaking news? No. Useful information? Not at all. I mean what are we all meant to do, give up on restaurants or lemon slices? I say clean it up, shut up, sort the place out and above all, don't say a word.

Food for thought.

Monday, June 9, 2008


I never thought I could get quite so excited over a household product, but HOT DAMN if my life hasn't changed since I started using shower caps in the kitchen.

It's just that when I see tupperware and its generic friends I am so often filled with doom. I loathe washing them out, and there is always one that's been in my fridge for forty days, containing a primeval curry. You see it when you open the fridge and reach way into the back in search of olives and maybe a thumb of half-frozen but still-good goat cheese. You see it and it sees you because by now it has grown eyes. But you can't stand the thought of cleaning out the tupps after dumping the curry, so you just plum leave it there. Know what I'm saying?

Eventually, like maybe every second month or so, you find such a terrifying tupps in the back and you are too frightened to open it. Because you fear if you do, the thing inside might just jump up and wave at you. And so, filled with guilt, you bypass all laws of recycling and conscience and economy, and you just sort of fling it into the trash. It's a small tupperware, you reassure yourself as the image of Al Gore on that scaffolding consulting the carbon chart hovers in your mind's eye. Bugger off, Al! I hardly ever do this! And you've got servants!

Enter shower caps. To clarify, I was remembering how my gran used to put these little shower cap dealios over bowls of leftover food. Literally they're just bits of elasticized plastic that you stretch over the top of a bowl. Then when it's time to clean out the fridge, you just pop off the shower cap, stick the bowl in the dishwasher, and all you have to clean is the cap. No ugly curry-stained tupps to detox. AND when you think about it, you're minimizing the number of dishes and lids you have to use, which is easier on you and the enviro. Because basically you're not decanting food from dish into tupperware, but rather, taking the original dish and covering it. As though with plastic wrap. Only the shower cap makes it easier because it's pre-sized to stretch and fit your bowl. And it's reusable. My gran used hers for, like, fifty years (no exaggeration) in true old-school thrifty style.

I mentioned all this to my aunt in South Africa and next thing you know I have some shower caps of my own (thanks, Nettie!). They fill me with joy. They take up very little room in my miniature kitchen, and they don't scare me when I open the fridge. Basically I'm here to tell you that life is worth living when you have shower caps for your kitchen. Ya know?

Because I am incredibly kind and selfless, I want to offer a lucky reader a freebie shower cap set. But I don't know how to find them in America. "Shower cap dish-covers" doesn't generate a good Google result. Anyone know where we can find some? I have yet to find a new favorite Dollar Store here in Crabcity, but I suspect when I do, I might get lucky.

On another note I worry that my freebie weekends have driven away loyal readers seeking content. Content is still here, friends. It's just masked by all the swag. But I still get a pithy weekly or twice weekly bit in. Like the piece about Mick Jagger. Or the one about Crabtot's greatest dream: to become a pregnant teenager. Or the one about Ikea. Hey, disgruntled readers, at least I don't have tip jar on my page. Yet.

Penultimately, to the readers who have written to ask me which Sweet Valley High novels I wrote, stay tuned. I will revisit my past life as a ghostwriter sometime in the next month. As well as revisit my other illustrious jobs: phone sex operator motivational speaker, crack peddler medical supplies salesperson, and so forth. Peeps, there are so many things you can do with an MFA in Writing from one of the finest institutions in America. And I have done most of them. So come back, and let me inspire you and yours!

Last, I think no mommy blog can be complete without the requisite photo of its author from the 1980s. I too am about to capitulate, breaking my self-imposed no-pix-of-self-or-tot rule. I always thought the writing should do the talking. But I never said I wasn't a hypocrite, and boy do I have a gem for you. I don't know when I will reveal myself, but be assured I will be sporting a most peculiar hairstyle and a school uniform that smacks of South Africa in all its forward-thinking, ideology-smashing history. Cool bananas!

Also, pretty please if you want more Crabmommery, stop by the bloglet: recent posts include ruminating on my permanent state of wishful thinking, gabbing about the magical properties of oil cloth(that's a very deep post), dissing consistency, and discussing why I refuse to eat dinner with my 3-yr-old (ooh! That one got the Yahoo moms [where bloglet also appears] mighty peppery!).

Friday, June 6, 2008

Friday's Swagilicious with Toto Knits

[And the winner is Stephny. Yay, Stephny! You have 2 days to contact me with your details and I will get your sweater sent to you.]

Chums: I've got a real goodie for you today, from a Toto Knits, an ethically made hand-knitted kiddo sweater enterprise from Kenya, via the lovely Erin Brennan Allen who fled the magazine world of NYC for a more adventurous life in Kenya. In other words she's one of those lassies who says "I want to help disadvantaged children" and actually does something about it, rather than merely bleats about the state of world at large and then orders another mojito.

Check out the gorgeosity for yourselves in these pics. These sweaters are seriously delicious. They are 100% cotton and handmade, and light enough for summer but thick enough to take you through the year. They come in a variety of colors and patterns, from plain to stripes, and there's also a completely adorable safari collection, as well as hats and booties and other sundry delightfulness. So the story behind this one is quite compelling: Erin, a gorgeous blonde American lassie, quits the first world and races off to Nairobi to fund-raise for a school for special-needs tots. There she meets Mary Wambui in 2002. Mary was teaching Arts and Crafts at the school and persuaded Erin to pick up a pair of knitting needles and they become buds.

Then Erin has her tots and gets focused on the importance of helping women find work while nurturing their families. Not so easy in Kenya, where women are often unskilled and marginalized.

After teaming up with Mary, who had raised her three sons single-handedly, Toto Knits was born. With Mary's knitting know-how, Erin's love for all things baby and their years of friendship it was a perfect partnership. Mary now trains and manages a group of twenty knitters (with help from her son Cyrus) while Erin works on the designs and marketing. Check them out: are they all not the sweetest people alive? And do you not want to JUST EAT UP Erin's baby son Tor who models the sweaters (and is therefore the tot pictured above in that darling yellow number)?

Bring him to me. On a roll. With mustard.

These sweaters are very posh and all the chicsters are gobbling them up. But you, our winning entrant, get yours for free, made from Kenya unto you and yours. Custom color and design, fergodssake. A $75 value right there and then free shipping, you lucky lady.

So, moms, put your name in the hat by writing a short and dull or long and sassy comment (each counts equally) and I will select a winner very late on Sunday night/Mon crack o'dawn. Whereupon that winner will have 24 hours to contact me by mail. And if she doesn't I will give her sweater away to someone else. 'Kay? Grand!

And may I suggest, even if you don't win, that you pop over to the Toto Knits site (mtoto means "tot" in Swahili, by the way, for those of you who don't speak Swahili as fluently as I do)...Please pop over to the site and if the sweaters aren't in your budge right now, grab a hat for fifteen bucks and give that to a preg-o friend instead of whatever lame-o thing she has on her registry. She will receive a photo of her knitter and know that she has something one-of-a-kind and that the money paid made a real difference to the life of someone else's tot.

As you can see from this and my blankie giveaway, Africa is a theme close to my otherwise crustaceous heart, 'cuz I am a native of South Africa. I completely dig these sweaters and what Erin and Mary are up to. If any of you out there have an African-made product to offer in a giveaway let me know. I am very similar to Brangelina, promoting Africa selflessly. Okay, promoting a sweater or two, and maybe not so selflessly but ANYHOO.

Put your name in the hat. This one's a goodie.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

How I Retired the Rolling Stones

Obsession with Mick Jagger's fabuliciousness is entirely understandable to me. I mean, Mick is either someone you dig as a chick or you find too feminine to like. For my part, I like pretty men with a pillowy lip fawning and leaping thinly in their pants. He's my type. But when Crabtot asked, at three years old, for a pic of Mick to put on her bedside table, it gave me pause.

Disclaimer: I am not one of those parents who is actively training her kid in hipness. I'm not a mom who clamped an iPod to Baby's ears to give her her first taste of the new Belle and Sebastian album, or used a delicate Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach ballad to induce sleep. I am not one who works at making her kid rock hard. Rock hardly is more the case in our home, given that we haven't seen any music since I attended a German punk band concert with Crabtot in utero.

So, no, I'm not giving her a cheeky angled mullet haircut and buying her drumsticks for Christmas. I didn't use an Iggy Pop mix during her last birthday party's session of musical statues. And when she tinkles on her toy piano, I don't whip out Nick Cave's gentler work to help her plinky-plonk more stylishly.


I do I like grownups' music and I see no reason to play Australian-accented renditions of "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" around the house just because there is a child occupying it. So Crabtot does hear a bit of this and that. And since her dad is quite into esoteric Rolling Stones movies, she has seen a bit of Mick and co. in her time. None of which has bothered me. Until this weekend.

Crabhubby and I alternate wake-up-with-tot times on the w/end. And on Saturday (his wake-up day) I was treated to "Jumping Jack Flash" pounding from the TV. You see, Crabhubby has a new arcane Stones flick from the 60s, where they set up a 2-day "rock 'n roll circus," in which a bunch of tripped out audience members in inexplicable yellow plastic ponchos watch ringmaster Mick Jagger & his even-then barely-standing cohorts intro a lineup of acts that include Marianne Faithfull and a duo called Dirty Mac, which it turns out is John Lennon & Yoko Ono.

"Look at Keith!" my little one said to me as I stumbled out of my room for coffee on Saturday, unable to sleep on account of the din. "Keith's wearing pink!" Thus ensued a dialogue between Crabtot and her dad, with the names Keith, Mick and fergodssake, Charlie Watts, effortlessly falling from Crabtot's lips like the names of old friends. Which, in a way, they are.

Since she was quite small, Crabtot has sat with her dad when he watches Stones videos. She easily recognizes Mick Jagger anytime she's ever seen him, because she's seen him often. Keith's a bit trickier. When she saw his mug in the new Vuitton luggage print ad, she asked, "Is that a person?" A fair enough question when the man looks like the leather luggage he's trying to sell.

But Crabtot's Mick-mania has accelerated beyond my comfort zone with the advent of this circus video. She wants to watch it all the time now. All. The. Time. And having at first humored a daily dose or three of cuts from Rock 'n Roll Circus, I've banned it.

"Please," she begged me yesterday morning. "Just have one more Mick!"
"Just one Marianne?" she wheedled.

I made the mistake of allowing the quiet Marianne Faithfull ballad instead of the Mick stuff. But then Crabtot wanted to watch Marianne over and over and over again. And this morning, when dressing in a fairy ballgown, she exclaimed with delight that she looked "just like Marianne!" And it is not a good thing, I don't think, when your child models herself after Marianne Faithfull. Not that she isn't a kickass and beautiful lady. Or that it isn't great that she's still making good music in spite of the Hep C and the drugs and the chain-smoking and, well, Mick Jagger and all.

Anyhoo, as of today, 1pm PST, Rock 'n Roll Circus is rock 'n roll history in this house. A TV diet of spindly gyrating Mick-hips, combined with a request for the man's mug to be in a frame on her nightstand (not to mention the Marianne dress-up dreams) makes me think Crabtot needs to take a break. And if I have to watch "Sympathy for the Devil" one more time I think I might go mad.

Still, I can't help being impressed by Jagger's power to cast a spell, seemingly without limit or end or age restriction (his or his fans'). I just wish I could properly describe the look on Crabtot's face when she sees Mick Jagger. She laughs uproariously and hurls herself around on the floor. She giggles at him fondly and shakes her head as though he is someone in the family goofing off the way he always does, that funny old Mick. But it is the dreamy adoration when Mick appears in close-up—his lips a trampoline, his hair the dark perfect girly shaggy lid I can never quite perfect—that Crabtot truly radiates contentment. She curls up in her chair, smiles, and won't budge until it's over. Then she sits up and asks for more Mick. And Mick again, please. At first it was a gas (gas gas). But the joke has worn stale and so today I did what Mick has yet to do: I retired him.

There was a fair bit of wailing when I confiscated Rock 'n Roll Circus. But we mothers know that pain is just part of a learning experience that, in the long term, will help our children live with life's difficulties and disappointments. After I retired the DVD to the top shelf, I hugged Crabtot as she wailed. And I murmured wise words first uttered by a mouth much bigger than mine: —say it with me— "You can't always get what you want."

Anyone else's kid have a rock star/shalebritay crush?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Swagilicious! MOMSPIT Giveaway

[And the winner is Wynnster. Yay! Congrats! Wynnster, please email me your mailing address in the next 24 hours otherwise I'm gonna give your Momspit away to another mama.]

Why is it every time I post for you guys you're mad at me?

But I feel it. The anger. Half of you are mad to be reading yet another cheap-shot giveaway post as Crabslutty attempts to lure new readers to her now-shallow contentless site. The other half of you are mad because this giveaway is late. Either way, like parenthood itself, one can't win: one is always doing something wrong, especially when one is Crabmommy.

Anyhoo, WHATEVS, people. If y'all can't be happy with me, at least may some of you be hot-damned happy with what I bring to the table today from our old friends over at Momspit. Yes, it's been a long and happy road for the Momspitters, who started a while back with their humble product. They've now shot to fame and are appearing all the heck over the place in print and on TV. But they haven't forgotten their friends at Crabmommy and are giving away to one lucky lass a luscious "Happy Couple" Momspit duo: one 7 oz bottle of Momspit and one 2 oz both trailing a luscious green tea and fig scent after each application to the tot's dirt-smeared visage.

Some of you are saying "Whaaa?" And to you I say the following:

Momspit: it's a universal no-rinse cleanser inspired by the original concept of mom who licks a finger to clean her child's face. It's easy to use, contains no alcohol, mousses brilliantly, moisturizes gently, and absorbs quickly. It's not gel. It's not sanitizer. But it works smashingly and smells like heaven. More precisely, it smells like green tea & fig. And there's also a lemon and white tea scent too. Yummy!

So, mom-vultures, put your name in the hat by writing a short and dull or long and sassy comment (each counts equally) and I will select a winner very late on Monday night/Tues crack o'dawn. Whereupon that winner will have 24 hours to contact me by mail. 'Kay? Grand!

As for Crabmom content, after a pointy week, which included yet another weekend trip to Ikea for NO reason other than the free childcare reprieve, I'll return with something flossier by Tuesday. And over at my bloglet today: dinner as a family. Do we do it? Hell no. Do you? you want in?