Thursday, April 29, 2010

Julie Andrews I Am Not

Do you see this thing?

It’s a generator.

And it’s LOUD.

It makes this annoying rumbling sound. It’s especially fun to listen to at night.

We got a note slipped in our door last week talking about the generator. Along with the irritating noise, we have to deal with power outages every day at 530 this week because the base is conducting an Energy Security Test.

I forgot about it the first time. I was in the middle of an e-mail—not a serious e-mail at least—and everything just went dead in the house.

Some choice words escaped my lips.

Then I remembered about the power outages.

Thankfully they are quick power outages but still. Annoying.

And then there’s the rumbling sound from the generator. As I was getting the kids to bed Tommy was all, “It’s a monster growling.”

“A MONSTA!” Natalie’s eyes grew big.

Oh, great. I just wanted the kids to go to bed so I could stretch out and watch Parenthood. I did not want to have to go through a freak out.

“No monster,” I promised and shot Tommy a Look.

“It could be,” Tommy said matter-of-factly.

I wanted to stick some duct tape over his mouth.

“It’s not a monster. It’s a generator,” I explained.

“MONSTA!! I don’t YIKE monstas!” Natalie told me seriously.

“There is no monster!” I insisted. But Natalie was already convinced. She ran into Tommy’s closet and refused to come out.


“Tommy,” I groaned.

“What? It sounds like a monster.” He shrugged. Then he leaned forward. “What if it is?” Now he was starting to look freaked out.

Crap. I didn’t have TIME for this. I just wanted to relax. I wanted to make myself a steaming cup of hot chocolate (with whipped cream) and curl up on the couch. I didn’t want to deal with monsters. Why couldn’t they have had a monster freak out on Monday when nothing is on?

“Look. Let’’s all sit on the bed,” I said, tapping Tommy’s mattress.

Natalie peeked out from the closet.

“I’m going to cheer you guys up,” I said firmly. I mean, Julie Andrews always makes it look easy. On The Sound of Music she just sang a song about favorite things and wa-lah, happy children!

“Raindrops on roses, and whiskers on kittens,” I began, off-key. I can’t sing but oh well.

Tommy looked startled. “What are you doing?”

“Singing. Cheering you up. Ahem. Where was I? Raindrops on roses, and whiskers on kittens. Bright coppered kettles and warm woolen mittens.”

“What is this?” Tommy still didn’t get it.

“Favorite things,” I said, a little impatiently. None of the VonTrapp children interrupted Julie Andrews when she was singing. Where was my respect?

“None of those things are my favorite things,” Tommy said primly.

“Me either,” Natalie chimed in, climbing up on the bed.

Rude, ungrateful children. But still, Natalie was out of the closet. That was something, right?

“Brown paper packages tied up with strings. These are a few of my favorite things,” I continued.

“That’s not my favorite thing either. ” Tommy looked downright annoyed.

“Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels. Doorbells and sleighbells and schnitzel with noodles…”

“What’s a strudel?” Tommy cut in.

“PONY!” Natalie chanted, clapping her hands. “I want a pony.”

For the love of—why wouldn’t they just SIT BACK and listen to the DAMN song?

“When the dog BITES, when the bee STINGS, when I’m feeling sad. I simply remember my favorite things and then I don’t feeelllll....sooooo....bad!” I wrapped up the song early and stretched my arms out. I clocked Natalie in the head when I did it. Oops.

“You hurted me, Mommy,” Natalie said, scowling.

“So,” I said, a fake smile on my face. “How do you guys feel? Better? Did you like my song?”

Tommy picked his nail. “I didn’t get it.”

“There’s nothing TO get. It’s a happy song to make you feel better.” I mean, duh.

“It didn’t,” Tommy said bluntly.

Hmph. Kids in the 60s seemed much calmer. They sat and listened to music and APPRECIATED it. And they seemed to magically know the words to the song and would even join in. My kids just stared at me as though a lacy bra had morphed from the top of my head.

Oh well.

All the monster talk ceased so I guess my song was a success.

Although Natalie kept asking for a pony and when I handed over her fake ponies she threw them down and went, “Not DIS one. I wanna REAL pony.”

She went to sleep rather ticked off.

But not talking about monsters. So yay.


  1. i'll have to try that. my four-year-old has convinced my two-year-old that there's a monster in our barn....which is right outside the window behind our dining room table. this means that we had to do a whole musical chairs at supper the other night because chandler did NOT want to be close to the monsters. maybe if i sing (and it'll be badly because homegirl can't carry a note!) he'll forget all about it?

    naahhhh....i'm already punishing them enough by making them eat my cooking.....

  2. I want a pony too!
    Haha. I grew up on Sound of Music.... so I'd appreciate it if you sang it to me when I, lets say, mistake a bra for a snake in my room.
    Hmmm... Gabba Yabba or whatever spooky crap Natalie enjoys so much doesn't have a song to help scared kids?

  3. Ah, the joys of living on an Air Force base! There are some things I just don't miss.

    There must be some unwritten rule that says if you're in a hurry to watch something on TV, your kids will be extra-disagreeable. I know it's always that way with mine.

  4. awe, your conversations with the kiddos are so funny. I'm glad they got over the 'monsta'. I can imagine the power outages must suck.

  5. Hey! The song worked! I I feel better now too as I just love that song..

    Just say NO to monstas.

  6. I loved this! Although, if I tried singing to my kids when they were young, it would have ended up being scarier than any perceived monster that may have been lurking.

  7. that fact that tommy looked startled when you first begun really sent me doubling over with laughter... but don't feel bad, cause i can't sing a lick either.. totally give ya props for trying though!!

  8. Julie Andrews is the unattainable goal.

    When I was preparing to be an au pair, I thought I would channel Mary Poppins and be kind yet firm and fun and creative!

    I wanted to punt those children the first day.

    (I didn't.)

  9. Wow, you are a mean mom, no pony, humpf

  10. I love Sound of Music and can't wait to introduce it to my daughter! I also love Parenthood so it appears as though we have very similar taste in TV. The 64,000 question is - have you seen/do you love Veronica Mars?

  11. :) Sounds like the monsters were in the closet...

    p.s., I liked that song. I hope you weren't too off-key.

  12. does tommy sound JUST LIKE Tom? when I read this it appears that Tommy is a little Tom and Natalie a little Amber. my kids keep asking me why I am laughing as I read this. The knocking natalie in the head is definitely something I would do! KLUTZY!

  13. Hahahaha- I want a pony ttttoooooo!

  14. You tried. And THAT is what matters. If there is a next time, just tell Nat that she YIKES monsters. All those guys from Yo Gabba Gabba can be considered monsters - 'specially Brobee, and if she likes Sesame Street, they're nearly ALL monsters. Very nice and happy monsters. . .

  15. I, too, have tried that song. I think we need to come up with a more modern version. But I think singing about Wii games and Doritos and SeaWorld trips would result in the kind of hyped-up craziness that one does NOT NEED before bed. I mean, I've got stuff piling up on the tivo!

  16. THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS!!! LoL Thanks . . . Now I have it stuck in my head! LoL

  17. Have them watch Monster's Inc with you. Then Nat won't want a pony, she'll want a Monsta!

    You are a good mother. I told my kids Monster stories before they went to bed. No wonder my son became a lawyer.

  18. Hey, when you clock your kid in the head, she's going to expect a pony. A real pony. Can't say I blame her, after all you brought it up.

  19. Hilarious! I about fell in the floor when I read Tommy's reaction!

  20. Hey, if it works, it works, even if you're not just like Julie Andrews.

    I have to say, you made my day infinitely better by writing about this, so ultimately, I judge you a success!

  21. The song itself might not have been a hit, but you got them with the "distract, distract, distract" tactic to make them stop talking about monsters - yay!

  22. They might not have got it, but it got rid of the monsters...even if it gave you a monster of a headache...damn the perils of parenthood!

  23. Hysterical!!

    Rude disrespectful children! Didn't they know you were channeling Julie Andrews???

    Wonderful story and you told it so well...felt like I had the best ticket in the house to the show.

  24. Oh I love that movie!! How funny you sang that song and they didn't recongize it... I have to admit all 3 of my kids would we have watched it a thousand time.

  25. My oldest wishes for a pony on every star in the sky - she is 10 and I tell her to try something new already, it isn't going to happen!

    Way to distract them!!!

    I will sing Frere Jacque to confuse and distract!!!

  26. Doesn't she know that the monsters live in the CLOSETS?!? I mean, duh!

  27. LMAO! That's hilarious! My kids are convinced (thanks to Daddy) that there is a Monster in the garage!! He turns the light out when they are out there and they shriek in bloody murder clawing at the door that he so kindly shut for them! I try to tell them otherwise. Maybe next time I will sing this song for them! :)

  28. I just saw something that said... and I think she is onto something!

    Tell Natalie that Yo Gabba Gabba are monsters!! Either she will stop watching the show to your immense relief, or she will start liking monsters, which is also a plus.

  29. Force those children into costumes and go running through the hills with them singing "The Hills are Alive," They'll just love it!

  30. Your kids have monsters in kids have boogey men in the shower. It's always something, isn't it?

    You sing A Few of my Favorite Things...I sing Rainbow Connection.

    My kids are just as ungrateful...they always demand to know why I'm singing the song and not Kermit.

    Let's just take comfort in the fact that they will grow up and have their own children someday...and inevitably they will call us all in a huff complaining about their ungrateful children.

    And we'll we take another sip of wine and revel in the quietness of our own homes.

    It'll happen, my dear. It will happen.

  31. I thought monsters live under beds. Ha! Mary

  32. Not only do you need to write a book, you need to have a sitcom of your family...It would be my favorite show! :)

  33. This was honestly the cutest thing ever!! I'm so glad you stopped by my blog today! Julie Andrews is amazing... I loved this song and it will be stuck in my head all night (that's a good thing!)

    I don't YIKE MONSTAS either, bahaha

  34. Oh I do like that song.. though I don't like any of those things either.
    Love your blog by the way, am now following you :)

  35. Always wished I knew the words to that song. And then, almost immediately, I realize that I can't get the few words I DO know out of my head. Imagine the damage if I knew more... Hope that annoying generator will simmer down.

  36. hahahah I tried that with my two year old and it bugged him too. then I thought he might like to watch the actual singer so sat him down with the sound of music. yeah not so much...sigh...I loved that when I was little...

  37. That sounded fun. Okay, not really. But it does make a cute blog story!

  38. Ha! My daughter, Carol, said her kids used to beg her not to sing to them because they didn't like the way she sounded. Too funny! I loved their reaction to your song! You are just hilarious! I love reading your postings. You should go onstage!

  39. Im going to be singing that song for days!

  40. I was the same, such generic feel good songs did absolutely nothing for me as a kid! Your kids are alright.

  41. Its just never like the movies is it???

  42. I'm surprised they didn't say, "What the heck is a schnitzel?" 'Cause that's always what I wondered as a kid.

    You crack me up.

  43. Loved it. Too bad they weren't 60's musical-based life forms who mysteriously joined in the song, but then, do you really want kids whose favorite things are "Doorbells and sleighbells and schnitzel with noodles…” ? That'd be an odd couple of kids, don't you think? So maybe it's all for the best. Except clocking Natalie, of course.

  44. Maybe if you whipped out an umbrella and flew around the room they would have been more impressed. Oh wait, that's Mary Poppins. Right actress, wrong movie. Sorry!

    Thanks for giving me this ear worm. Now I'll be singing "My favorite things" all night in my head. Yeah.

  45. Moms do what ever it takes to chase away the monsters. Even if the kids don't appreciate it. Good job!


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