2

On Sharing, or Things I am Incapable Of.

When people hear that Baby Beez is and will forever be a (not so) lonely only, I’m encountered by concerns that she will not learn to be good at sharing. She is three, and she has the usual three year-old misgivings about sharing. But on the whole, there is nothing significant about her only-ness in terms of her sharing capabilities.

I, however, have a lot to learn about sharing. I blame this on my three younger brothers. Primarily the oldest of the three. You see, he is about 2 years younger than me, and was often afforded the get-out-of-jail-for-eating-everything-in-the-damn-kitchen-free pass of being a “growing boy.” So whenever shopping day came around, which as everyone knows means 24 hours of blissful feasting on all the glorious fresh things straight from the grocery, he destroyed it. I mean he killed every last Oreo, every last Chips Ahoy, every last anything that was actually GOOD and I wanted to eat.

He even, on multiple occasions, committed the unspeakable crime of stealing my leftover doggy bag from a restaurant meal. YOU DO NOT TOUCH OTHER PEOPLE’S TAKE OUT. And yet he did. (I have petitioned the legislature to make “stealing someone’s doggy bag” a defense to criminal mens rea, with little result as of yet.)

This childhood trauma stayed with me. It has caused me to be an utter psychopath in our own house when it comes to any kind of desirable food that I’m afraid someone else might snap up before I get to it. I am not above leaving long notes detailing the bodily harm that will befall anyone who touches my food.

You know who does not have a similar psychosis? My husband. Who is an only child. He never knew lack. When he wanted Oreos, he went to the kitchen and got the Oreos, because there was no one else around to steal them first. Or if he ran out of something, he could tell his mom, and she’d go to the store and get more. So he never had the trauma of a junk food craving gone unfulfilled because a bratty sibling swooped in first. Which also means that he is utterly unsympathetic when I go off the deep end over food.

I brought home ice cream last week. I waved the cartons in Mr. Beez’ face and announced “IF YOU TOUCH EITHER OF THESE, I WILL STAB YOU IN THE NECK WITH A PEN.”

NOT YOURS.

Mr. Beez hates coffee, and does not much care for blackberry either, so neither of these tempted him. He said that it was not necessary to threaten him with violence. If I tell him something is mine, he will just not touch it. But I am incapable of such trust. I have a deep-seated doubt of household males’ abilities to not destroy all the things in the refrigerator that I want.

Also last week, I indulged in a major splurge… a whole CASE of PumKing beer!

STAY AWAY, FOOL.

Again, I declared that the entire case was “MINE!” And he better not touch it. He had no objections. He doesn’t like PumKing either. And he also pointed out that it is not necessary for me to be so dramatic.

After all this, I seriously doubt the characterization of only children as incapable of sharing. Even Baby Beez, when she had a sleepover with her friend Elena this weekend, shared her toys much better than I am capable of sharing my food. But for now, I’m chalking it up to a survival instinct. Clearly there is no survival without ice cream or beer.

2

This apple fell far from her tree.

In fourth grade, I had a conversation on the bus on the way to school. We were talking about bad words. One kid asked me “Do you know what the VERY WORST of the bad words is?” I said I knew…but when they sought confirmation I couldn’t come up with anything shocking enough to even rattle them.

Finally, one kid announced “The WORST bad word is f**k.”

“Huh?…that’s not even a word.” I huffed. It didn’t even sound bad. It sounded like nonsense to me.

*        *         *         *       *

This weekend, I was trying to back out of the tiny single lane alleyway that leads to our garage. Yet again, some jerk blocked it with his car, and left the vehicle unmanned, so there wasn’t even anyone to scream at.

I started yelling in the car about “THAT F****G VAN!” Steam, pouring from my enraged ears.

A tiny voice piped up from the backseat, “What’s the f*****g van?”

*       *        *       *       *

My parents got me through to 4th grade without me even hearing the f-bomb. And here I’ve got my 3 year old dropping it.

#ParentingFail.

0

Now we are Four.

Now we are Four.

A while back I was fretting over Baby Beez’ 4th birthday, not sure of how to celebrate it, or how big or how small, or if we pushed Baby Beez toward no party would she grow up resenting us for her party-free years? #1stWorldProblems

In the end, we decided to let her take the lead. If she asked for a party, she could have a party. If she didn’t ask, we’d just put together some special activities for her. Over the last month, whenever she talked about her birthday, the only thing she cared about was cake. Cake cake cake cake cake. I figured  that as long as we get her a cake, we’re golden. And it turns out, it all worked just fine.

Elsa and Anna Cake

We started Baby Beez’ birthday weekend off with a sleepover with her friend Elena. Because I was entertaining 4 year olds and not, say, me, this meant that I made a dinner of hot dogs and corn on the cob, and it was a HIT. Also, easy, and all things I had in the house already. We also enjoyed a very tasty birthday cake from Bella Christies. Elsa and Anna = big hit.

Birthday Cake

Elsa and Anna Cake

Elsa and Anna Cake

After cake, of course, we watched Frozen. The girls sang along and acted out the whole movie. I had to negotiate a couple of disputes, such as advising them that they can BOTH be Elsa, and everything will still be OK.

After the movie, because birthdays mean sugar sugar sugar sugar, we made ice cream sundaes. The girls had fun with the arts and crafts aspects of putting them together, but they apparently aren’t as insane-in-the-brain over ice cream sundaes as I am, because they ate a few bites and declared they were done. Because they are reasonable, healthy children. And I am a sugar-crazed lunatic.

ice Cream

ice cream

Ice Cream

A 4 year old sleepover is much different than a teenager sleepover, because once I bundled these two up and read them a story, the were out. They did wake up at 5am, scared from the thunderstorm, but I put Disney Jr on for them and dozed back off on the couch. This morning was full of chocolate chip pancakes. All things good.

We planned to continue Baby Beez’ birthday weekend with a trip to the Renaissance Faire, but it was rainy and gross out today. This would have meant trudging through the mud, and getting soggy and miserable, so we ditched that plan. Instead we took her to see How to Train Your Dragon 2 at the movies and afterward, came back to the house for leisurely afternoon naps. Such a birthday win.

2

RIBS at @HeinzField

RIBS at @HeinzField

Four years ago, I was due to give birth on August 29. That day came and went. And then it was Friday, September 2. And I was still pregnant. And I was so swollen I looked like Violet Bauregard about to be rolled off to the juicing room, plus I had all the absolute CRAZY that comes with being a pregnant woman, several days overdue. So what did we do? Go to the Heinz Field Ribfest. Because, why not. It’s not like there was anything else I was doing. And they had ribs, cornbread, beans and mac & cheese, so in other words, the menu was just screaming for preggos to visit.

I don’t think I’ve been back to the event this time. While I enjoyed the first visit (as much as I could, given my condition), this time around with the kid OUTSIDE my body was much better. Heinz Field Ribfest kicks off the football season, and is held at Heinz Field every day of Labor Day weekend, so you’ve got yinzselves til Monday to go get some BBQ! Admission to the festival is free, but food, drinks, rides, etc. all cost money.

Because small people love all modes of public transit, we parked dahntahn and took the T over to the North Shore. Even without her, this would have proven a much cheaper and more convenient approach than trying to park anywhere near the North Shore. In addition to Rib Fest, there was a Pirates game going on, so parking was at a premium. And Rib Fest is continuing, alongside many other events in and around the stadiums, so yeah, park it dahntahn.

Riding the T

If you are ever seeking a free source of entertainment for a small kid, ride the T back and forth between dahntahn and the North Shore. For a 3 year old, THIS IS OMG SO FUN.

We made it to Rib Fest around 6pm, which was very much at the early end of things. I had planned for us to stay for the 9pm concert by The Clarks, but Baby Beez got tired and punchy well before then, so we didn’t stay. I went to college in Pittsburgh, and to say I’ve already seen a few Clarks shows would be a dramatic understatement, so I didn’t stay up all night crying about missing one.

RIBFEST

Next up, time for RIBS! There are all kinds of ribs & BBQ vendors from all over the country, all with various and sundry trophies and proclamations of greatness. Now someone may prove me wrong, but personally, I’m of the philosophy that when serving a crowd of this size, it’s just not really feasible for a traveling BBQ vendor to be able to create massive quantities of ideal smoked meat. Smoking takes time and attention, and I just didn’t see how it would be possible to smoke so MANY ribs in any sort of ideal smoking conditions in a traveling setup. So I went with the assumption that probably any of the vendors would be fine, but I didn’t expect that any of them would prove themselves exceptional. But also, I only ate from one vendor, so maybe there was some exceptional fare and I just missed it. We ended up picking a vendor out of Texas, mostly because they did offer mac & cheese, and that’s what Baby Beez wanted for dinner. Ribfest BBQ

The BBQ sauce was really good, but the ribs were pretty gristly and chewy. I’d say that the quality was fairly comparable to a run of the mill BBQ restaurant, but the food didn’t set itself apart as exceptional. Still, the event itself is a lot of fun, and I’d be happy to go back in future years for the fun of the fest, even if it’s just average fare.

Ribfest Mac & Cheese

Baby Beez has become accustomed to my foodblogging nonsense, and as I snapped pics of my plate, she urged “Mommy, take pictures of MINE, too!”

Ribfest Rides

Ribfest had a couple of carnival rides. Since we’re suckers, we bought Baby Beez 5 tickets. There are maybe 7 rides total, and she decided that most of them were too scary. She rode the cars over and over and over and over and had a very happy time.

Finally, dessert was a necessary order of business. I opted for kettle corn (although, I must sadly report that the freshness and perfection of Pittsburgh Popcorn Company has ruined me to any other popcorn. And the popcorn I picked up at Ribfest just didn’t compare.)

Ribfest Ice Cream

This girl is following in my foodie footsteps. She properly appreciates herself a good cone. So yum.



0

Life with Small Person

This weekend, Baby Beez woke up sobbing hysterically. I rushed to her side to comfort her.

“Did you have a nightmare?” I asked.

“Yesss” she whined.

“What did you dream?”

“That we didn’t get Grandma a birthday cake!”

Rachel

 

This morning, preparing for the day:

“Baby Beez, what do you want for dinner tonight?”

“Tacos!” She answered excitedly.

I responded, “That sounds good!”

Baby Beez;” NO I DON’T LIKE TACOS.”