Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Winging It

It is hot. It is put-the-back-of-your-hand-to-your-forehead-and-faint-on-the-divan-hot. But this is not news. I have no news. This, of course, has never prevented me from hittin' the old blog.

I'll come up with something. Just give me a minute, give me a minute...

The girls can't play outside for long before wilting; they are sweaty little things, all flushed cheeks and exasperation, dirty feet, and weird songs. You can't overlook your underwear! I guess it's the "over" & "under" that makes them laugh. They eat their lunch while lolling on the porch, make flower crowns while moving in slow motion, and then shriek to life when they hear the bells on the ice cream man's cart. He's making a decent wage off of us this week. They order those neon-colored Powerpuff Girls popsicles with the bubblegum eyes. Afterwards, their mouths are blue. If you're keeping track, that makes them: sweaty, flushed, dirty-footed, and blue-mouthed. Oh, and there's the matted hair.

Late afternoon, when they are tired and snippy, is the most challenging part of the day. This is always true, but the heat makes it impossible for them to untangle their own emotional mess, which is something they routinely do themselves. In fact, today was the first day in I can't remember how long that I had to distract them with an activity in order to save them from themselves.

Here's a good way to keep kids interested: tell them that you're doing something, but don't tell them what it is. The not telling them part wasn't difficult today. Why? Because I had no idea what I was doing. I just grabbed some paper from my printer and started taping it together. This was enough to drive them nuts. "What are you doing? What are you doing? Can I tape it? Can I help?"

"Be right back!" I said, after we'd taped six pieces together. I ran into the den and grabbed the first thing(s) I saw lined up (well, really sort of squashed into the books) in front of the bookcase. These fancy Filipinas in doll-form:

I brought them back to the table. The girls looked at me, doubt clouding their little brows. I placed them down on the paper with dramatic force. I still wasn't clear about what to do. But I asked—again with dramatic force—for a crayon.

"What color, Mom?"

"Everybody close their eyes! Close your eyes! Tight!" Suckers! "Now pick a color."


"Oh. I don't know. Vida. Vida, pick a color."

To make a long and boring (I've faced it; so should you) story short, I ended up drawing a three-pronged path along which the fancy Filipinas might amble, take in a bit of scenery, and plot a way to ditch the ternos and shimmy into some shorts. The scenery aspect being the responsibility of the girls, of course. They quickly divided the paper into "Risaland," "Vidaland," and "Lealand," and went to town with their crayons and stickers and whatnot:

And what, exactly, did this buy me? Well, let's see. They busied themselves with the project for about 25 minutes, after which time they were fast friends again and disappeared for more than an hour.

That's right.

Give it up, ladies and caballeros. Give it up for Desperate Mom.


Gladys said...

omg, the doll on the right (pink butterfly sleeves) looks totally like imelda! well, except for the spindly arms.

ver said...

Ewww, I know. My parents brought these back from Manila, and I was a little spooked by their resemblance to the Big I. However, I've been secretly imbuing them with their own personalities (the one in white is the leader-of-the-pack), and now I like them quite a lot.

Rebecca Mabanglo-Mayor said...

*bows deeply, reverently*

I am in the presence of greatness.

*sheilds her eyes from the glory*

*listens to the chorus of angels in their Halleuia*

All hail Veronica! Queen of all thing Mommy!

(that project totally rox!)

weez said...


bino said...

luv the dolls! u know my bro has a maria clara barbie. will take a pic when i get to see it again. hope uve been having a wonderful summer miss mommy organizer diva! apologies for having disappeared for quite a bit.

ver said...

Thank you Bec & Weez, clever mothers both.

And hello to Sr. Bino! You are excused for having disappeared. After all, you had that pesky little book to write. And also, you had to get a tan and stare at Brazilian men with waxed chests. I understand.

EILEEN said...

My Mama and I want you to move in and Mommy us...

this makes me feel a lot better about the dozen or so Barbie dolls in Filipina costumes in my studio -- bought them at Manila Airport years ago when I was trying to lose all the pesos I had left prior to leaving the country.

People enter my studio, look at the dolls, then look at me weird. I say, "Oh, that was from a postcolonial project...." then go into Barbies being made at former U.S. military bases.

No doubt, this is more than you needed to hear. And it was more than I expected to say.

Anonymous said...

Genius! Absolutely Genius! They should have a reality show after you... "So you think you can be a Mommy?"


KMRL said...

You really ARE a genius! I will remember this next time I have to babysit my cousins/neices. =)

cornshake said...

so adorable, and gorgeous writing of the girls in summer, Ver.

ver said...

Hellllo Cornshake-a-La! I was just about to check out your latest cherry pictures (I'm assuming there will be one every day...)

Eileen...a dozen Filipina Barbies?! We need photographic evidence. Meanwhile, I will happily Mommy you and your Mommy! I have been accruing lots of points lately by serving strawberry shortcakes for breakfast. This will be okay with you, I presume...

kmrl...if only you lived nearby, I'd beg you to babysit mine, too. 'Cuz really, I just need an hour or two to stare off into space.