Sunday, August 17, 2008

40 Fracas

last night we celebrated mo's 40th birthday at the senior zwickers' place, with the usual chaos. laura (10) had invited herself over to nana and papa's on thursday and stayed, in order to sew outfits for an entire webkins wedding she has planned. she's not much for working on other people's projects, that kid, but there's nothing she won't tackle on her own. she made suit jackets and top hats for the groomsmen and gowns for the bride and her "bridesmates," goldie and cammy-rose (a pink webkins procured in camrose). laura's got copy for the ceremony all worked out and will be stamping invitations next week. when we asked for a sneak preview she looked at us doubtfully and said, "it's kind of long..." naturally the wedding thing gives me the heebie jeebies, but mo pointed out that laura's in the unusual position of having attended both her mother's and her father's weddings, so i guess they carry a different resonance for her.

laura's ambitiousness is a blessing and a curse for my parents. she's the only one so far who shows an interest in their crafts, but only on her own terms. my parents raised my sister and me along fair-market capitalist principles. we could always supplement our allowances by doing odd jobs: 25 cents for every pair of my dad's shoes we shined, 50 cents for ironing a shirt. laura charged my dad for a full half hour of sanding even though she gave up in boredom after ten minutes; when he pointed this out laura shrugged and said, "i rounded up."

darien is starting junior high in the fall. she spent the evening behind or in front of the camera, and frequently both: whereas my generation mooned in the mirror, hers has digital cameras. she pouted and snapped, flung her newly-straightened hair around and snapped, moued and snapped. "i got one, i got one!," she said, and posed with her left side (snap!), then tried the right side (snap!), then held the camera closer (snap!). "auntie mo, auntie mo, wait!," she shrieked. "i want to get a picture of you holding up that present before you unwrap it!!" she took another one of herself for good measure, then made her way to the kitchen to sneak a little white wine.

morgan, the four-year-old princessa, was doing laps. she leaned into me and said, "i like your necklace, auntie heather. and i like your earrings too. and your shoes!" "thank you, morgan," i said. "you know, i saw some boots last week that reminded me of you." "did you buy them?" "no, sweetheart, i didn't." she widened her big blue eyes: "why not?" d and, to a lesser extent, laura went through a pretty-dresses-and-shoes phase, but morgan's appears to be sticking. when she got lost at harrods, she was found stroking the christian louboutins. my parents take each of their grandchildren on a trip when they turn 10, and they are already unsure whether they'll be able to afford morgan's haute couture adventure.

everett, meanwhile, was locating every dangerous object he could. admittedly this isn't hard; my parents' place is not particularly child-proof. still, none of his sisters uncoverd the dangers he did. everett tried to play with each of the following: a drill, a set of drill bits, a pincushion full of pins, a japanese pruning saw, a concrete slab no one believed a toddler could heft, a broken cup, a hot melt glue gun, a second drill, a christmas cactus, a propane tank, a rosebush, a bottle of round-up, a quartzite coaster with sharp rocky edges, a can of insect repellent, and a pair of scissors. when all of these were taken away from him, he put a cracker between two lens caps to make a sandwich. when what was genius to the eyes proved betrayal to the mouth, he pulled his penis up out of his diaper and peed all over his belly and down his shorts.

here's what the flies heard:
"auntie mo, do you want to watch a movie with me? it wasn't working but now it is and it's my favorite movie and nana says you like it too. it's called the wizard of paws." "i got one, i got one!" snap! "carol, have you seen my barbeque tongs?" "wait, where's my drink? i lost my drink." "everett, give papa back his tongs." "nana?" "i got one!" snap! "i don't think i've seen that movie, morgan." "nana?" "carol! my tongs?" "dad, i think everett has them." "so, did you make an offer on that house?" "where's everett? has anybody seen everett?" "it was right here a second ago. i had my eyes right on it until morgan climbed into my lap." "nana? nana, i can't find my fabric." "everett, can you give papa back his tongs, please? thank you!" "there's a wizard in it and a little girl who has a dog and she has red ruby slippers! and they're magic." "everett, no, you cannot play with the scanner. or with the plastic bag it came in!" "does anybody need a drink?" "i do -- i lost mine!" snap! "poopy! poopy!"

eventually i found my drink again -- apparently i carried it with me into the bathroom -- which was a good thing, because it's hard to keep up until the second gin & tonic. mo cleaned up present-wise, including rock band for the wii from shannon and josh. "no way," she said, "oh wow! did we just become the most popular aunties or what?" me, to josh: "you're not trying to unload your kids onto us, are you?" josh: "now, why would we do that?"

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