Saturday, April 12, 2008

Pink Princess Mania!

Yesterday was Lucy's (my three year-old sister) third birthday celebration. Her actual birthday was Wednesday but due to family scheduling conflicts, and the fact that she has no idea when her birthday is, we postponed the celebration until Saturday.

Whether it's all the practice she's gotten from watching the rest of her siblings' birthdays or just an inherent proclivity for being in the spotlight, she was a master of present opening efficiency and graciousness. She'd receive a present with an appropriate wide-eyed grin, exercise enough restraint to pause and pose for a photo, then proceed to tear the wrapping paper in an methodical yet eager manner. She reserved a special exclamation of glee for any item that was branded with Cinderella's face. If you're ever walking through Walmart or Target past the little girls section, and if you are at all like me and think 'Who on earth buys those neon-pink sparkly items? Who would ever turn their child into a walking Disney advertisement?' The answer? Well my sister now only owns half of those items and I don't know who takes care of the rest. She has pink princess sheets, a pink princess towel, two princess barbies complete with a spinning musical horse-drawn carriage, a pink princess lunchbox, two new room additions for her pink dollhouse (a laundry room and a bathroom....up till now the poor dolls have been roughing it and using the great outdoors when nature calls), the Sleeping Beauty DVD, a pink Leapster (a game boy of sorts for little kids with all sorts of learning-oriented games...hers are the princess variety), a pink backpack, and, last but not least, four princess figurines from her princess cake.

After present-opening was complete she did not complain or moan about wanting more but rather climbed up on her chair resolutely and ate dinner with all seven of us. In keeping with the birthday tradition Lucy got to select her favorite breakfast and dinner...she requested princess cake for both. After several difficult conversations about the subject she finally selected Macaroni and Cheese, but not just any Mac and Cheese, the kind from the box! So my mom cooked up four or five boxes and we all ate it together. Lucy seemed to enjoy it but when the cake was brought over she lost all interest in dinner. After my mom had placed the candles, Lucy's emotions got the best of her and she yelled, "Now put some fire on it!" After blowing out the 'fire' on the candles she requested the piece with Cinderella figure on top. Much to my dismay, my five year-old brother George requested the piece with Sleeping Beauty on it. In addition, he wanted the big rose next to where the Sleeping Beauty figurine stood! Thinking he was just excited about having a toy on his cake I didn't worry to much about it.

Later, after my parents had left and George and Lucy had watched Lucy's new movie, they wanted to play with the new Barbies and the carriage. Twenty-five minutes later I had finally loosed all the pieces from their wire and cardboard containers. In the process one of the Barbies lost a chunk of hair and I sustained three paper cuts and one scissor-puncture wound. There were several incidents where Lucy was on the verge of tears because one of the the Barbie slippers had gone missing. Thankfully all were recovered in a timely fashion. George took one of the Barbies but explained to Lucy and I that it was ok for boys to play with girl toys. I agreed with him...until I heard the awful sounds that were coming out of his mouth. He had thrown his voice up at least two octaves and Lucy, following his lead, had done the same. I watched for a minute as they paraded the Barbies around their carriage but I couldn't take the shrieking. I asked George why he was changing his voice and he said, "That's how girls talk!" I couldn't argue with the fact that girls have higher voices than boys but the thought of him thinking he needed to change his voice because of it's masculinity was a bit much...the kid sounds like Elmo. He started getting pretty into his Barbie and I was getting a little worried but didn't know what to do. On the one hand I didn't want to promote unfair gender roles but I also didn't want him to be such a....girl!

Luckily bed-time saved me from having to interfere. We went upstairs to their room where I was instructed to put Lucy's new princess sheets on her bed. As I was struggling to do this around the gates on either side of her bed (they keep her from falling off at night), I heard her yell my name in distress and I turned to see her squatting by her closet making a large wet spot on the carpet. I grabbed her and ran her into the bathroom but by then the toilet was of no use and I just had to stick her in the tub to clean her off. In the midst of running between cleaning up the spot in her room and checking on her in the bath, George needed my help getting his shirt off and over his abnormally large head. Finally I got both kids tucked safely in bed. However Lucy's omnipresent and most-cherished color pink had spread to my face - whether from pink-princess exposure or exhaustion I don't know.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

April Fools Day

Ah, April Fools' Day, the one day a year where total cruelty can pass for good-natured humor. Perhaps it's because I am surround by nineteen year-old college Freshmen who didn't get a Spring Break and needed to release some pent-up energy, or perhaps my family just never really celebrated the first of April....but either way, this has been an April Fools Day to beat all others, and so I feel the need to issue some awards for the best and worst of the day's pranks.
First, the Elicited the Greatest Reaction Award! And now the story...Last night at about 3AM Millie and I were asleep in our beds with visions of Spring dancing through our heads when we were awakened by a loud knocking at our door. We ignored it, and then it happened again, and we ignored it. Then again came the rapid rapping at our door, and again, we ignored it. Finally, the fourth round of knocking came and I had barely had a chance to pull back the covers when Millie had jumped from her bed and charged at the door. It turns out some unique girls on our floor had gotten the urge to tie our door shut, and had tied it to the doorknob of the room across the hall from us. So, Millie's attempt to throw open the door was not quite successful. This didn't do much for her mood and she grunted, 'Get me some scissors'. I did so, still half-asleep, and she began chopping and stabbing at the plastic ties on our door. She had it loosed in no time, but this was not enough. She opened the door wide and stood in the hallway striking an intimidating pose, huffing, scissors still in hand. I asked if she was going to wait for the culprits to return and she nodded. Worried about what might happen I removed the scissors from her clenched fist and retreated into the protection of our room. After about five minutes of waiting, there was no sign of the door-tiers and we gave up and went back to bed. We're not sure why we were singled out and privileged to be the only ones on the floor with our doors tied. We're even less sure of why anyone would knock on our door at 3 AM on a Monday night, totally interrupting our sleep when Millie and I have a very clear history of being sensitive about getting our sleep. Nonetheless, any prank that can get Millie to make those noises, those faces, and those threats, well it's a winner in my book. 
Second, we have the award for Lameness and Lack of Originality. Upon checking Facebook this morning I found no less than four of my friends had changed their relationship status' to 'Engaged'. Pretty weak if you ask me, everyone knows that no engagement that is announced within a week of April 1st is legit. Plus, a week rarely passes where someone doesn't change their Facebook RS to 'Engaged' or 'In a Relationship' just to get a reaction. Come on people! In other fairly pathetic attempts at Facebook pranks today we have the boy who came in close second for the Lameness award when he changed is status to 'has been diagnosed with terminal cancer'. It was at the very least distasteful and insensitive. 
The award for the Most Vile April Fools' Day Prank goes to a girl named MJ who lives on our floor. About 11:30 this morning she came by and asked if she could have the hair from our hairbrushes. Millie and I looked at each other, not quite sure what to do with that question, but we proceeded to get our brushes as MJ kept a totally straight face. She skillfully removed the hair from both brushes and added it to the giant hairball she was carrying around. We couldn't resist asking what she needed the hair for, hoping it wasn't for some strange sort of memento she wanted to remember us by. She explained that earlier that morning her roommate Carly had taken all of MJ's underwear and hidden it, forcing her to go to her first class bra-less. MJ's brilliant plan for revenge was to take advantage of Carly's utter disgust with hair. She went through our whole hall collecting hair which she then spread out over Carly's sheets. I don't have a hair phobia, I dislike it a normal amount I think, but the thought of an amalgam of old hair being deposited in one of my favorite and most sacred places, my bed, absolutely causes me to shiver with disgust. Although, I find the thought of it happening to someone else highly amusing. 
The final award is for Most Annoying Accidental Prank. I say accidental prank because I am fairly sure it was not meant to be a prank but I have chosen to see it as one so as to avoid being EXTREMELY annoyed by it. I walked into the bathroom this morning to find a new flyer posted on the stall doors. (Various flyers and announcements appear periodically...the stall doors are where we get our news) The headline of this flyer says Have You Considered Marriage? It's written in a fancy cursive handwriting and below it is a large picture of a wedding cake. Following the graphic is a bulleted list with the title Marriage License Requirements for the State of Utah. Things like age requirements, fees, on-line information etc. are  listed. Then at the bottom are the words 'Your Forever Begins Today' written again in the flowy cursive. Honestly! I'm not sure if they purpose of the flyer is to advertise marriage or just to provide information to those who might need it. Either way, I am quite sure that such a flyer does NOT belong in the bathroom of the Freshman dorms! The only thing that gives me hope is that these mystery marriage license ads appeared on April Fools' Day. Annoyance or be the judge.