Monday, February 27, 2012

Finding Ismail

Finding Ismail

Everyone goes through that pre-teen/teenager 
search time in his or her life. Some earlier than 
others. My third child, Ismail, is ten years old. And
I'm a little confused as to why HE is hanging out 
in the "personality fitting room" of life instead of 
his 14 year old brother. I mean, I expect my teenager
to be trying on "the gangster" or "the emo" person-
alities right now. When I was his age, I wore "the 
jock-ette" and "the sharp witted clown" suits quite
comfortably. In fact, I never took them off. But Hamo
seems to be content still in his "artist pajamas" from
way back in kindergarten. Ismail, on the other hand,
has a rotisserie style of personalities (from the sales
racks, I might add) that include ensembles from 
"thug," "wannabe rap artist (hold the rhythm)," "bossy
McBosspants," "sweet, helper boy," "mean bully guy."
I don't understand the attraction to most of his favorite
designs. I REALLY like "sweet, helper boy." This is
the guy who does the dishes for me without being 
asked, volunteers to take out the trash or pick up what
I need from the market. He defends his sisters, brothers,
neighbors and cousins and even picks up trash off of the 
stairs when his slovenly cousins toss it from upper 
"Bossy McBosspants" seems to be setting up coup
attempts daily in an effort to overthrow Hamo from his
current position as Oldest Brother. This guy jumps up and
yells out orders to the younger siblings and gets everyone
motivated to clean up their rooms and get dressed quickly
on days we're scheduled to go out on family field trips.
"Thug" gets on my LAST nerve. He has a fascination with
knives and swearing and fighting. He is not a welcome 
personality in this house at all. In fact, he and "mean, bully
guy" have been the reason Ismail has lost computer 
privileges so many times this summer alone.
"Wannabe rap artist" would be tolerable if only he could
keep a beat. Ever see that Steve Martin movie "The Jerk"?
You know, where they were dancing around on the front 
porch and everyone was on time but him? Yeah...that's my
boy. He knows it, too. He's asked his eight year old brother,
Aiman, several times to teach him how to dance and Aiman
just looks at him and says, "I've tried. You just like to shake
your crotch. And that's NOT krumping." (Just a sidenote, I'd
like to thank stupid Nickelodeon and the show "Just Jordan"
for even adding KRUMPING to my little boy's dance moves
repetoire. As though "booty popping" wasn't enough.) Ismail
listens in awe anytime I'm going through my "oh I remember
THAT song" moments and has begged me to teach him the
lyrics to "The Rapper's Delight", "Parents Just Don't Understand"
and songs like "Freakazoid." (Yeah, I know I'm showing my age.)
I guess all I can really do is encourage him to tear off just 
the positive pieces of each of these personality-suits and stitch
them into his own unique pattern to fit Ismail. All the rest of us 
did it. And now it's my turn to just stand back like the changing
room attendants at Macy's and hope he opts for the classics
rather than the passing fads.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Re-post: How Do YOU Spell Relief?

Due to my busy schedule of oversleeping and not getting my kids
to school on time and then fighting them to study along with my 
writing schedule for my new novel, I've kind of blown off my blog.
And that's just not cool. SO, I thought I'd re-post some of my "best
of" posts from a previous blog just to keep you entertained while I
settle into my new ridiculous schedule.  Here's something that some
of you (probably very few of you) didn't know about me: I fart.

And what's with this green
font, you ask? Well, I'll tell you. I'm quite gassy....and I am feeling a 
little on the green side.
Yeah, ewwww gross! Well, there's no reason to pretend here. I come
from a long line of farters. I'll omit their names to protect the (not-so)
innocent. BUT I inherited the fart-gene, baby....from BOTH sides of 
the family. Now I've not yet inherited the gaseous genetic trait where
I race to the bathroom with lower cheeks pinched tightly leaving a "pop-
pop-pop-pop" sound trail behind me. (Our family has actually named
this trait after one of the family elders, however, since I'm attempting to
protect the family fart tree, I guess I'll have to omit that too.)
Anyway, we've got 'em all in our family: the loud, the louder, the machine
gun, the "oh, hell, who stepped on the dog", the not-so smelly, the smelly,
the s.b.d. and the "WHAT crawled up your ass and died". ANY type of 
fart ever known to man can be claimed by anyone (or several) in my family.
My brother recently chewed me out on facebook for discussing his "rancid
ass" on the internet. Hmmmmmm. Truth be told, HE brought it up when he
reminded me of a fart he "dropped in my ear" during a trip we took together
to Arizona. My husband has been known to hear my bom-booferous,
window shakers from over two window unit air-conditioners (with about 8
spoons shoved inside each....THAT is another story that I'll call Why My
Kids and Spoons Caused Me to Declare Bankruptcy), a ceiling fan, a 
snoring congested 1 year old and the movie DIE HARD cranked up on the
tv. I lied in my room laughing for 15 minutes after my own fart only to finally
think, "He must not have heard me. Maybe it wasn't as loud as I thought."
Only to have him poke his head in the bedroom door about 30 seconds later
and ask, "Are you okay? Did the roof fall on you?" DAMN. How embarrassing.
Well...THAT was nothing.
TODAY I was peeling potatoes for dinner and the washing machine was 
making it's usual jet engine noises in the spin cycle and I had a CD playing 
in the kitchen. I looked around to make sure my husband wasn't around (kids
are fair game...I'll fart around them just to get even for them walking in on me
in the bathroom or only peeing on MY side of the bed!) and I let 'er rip.
Well, I don't know what a ripped spleen or ruptured small intestine actually 
feel like but I imagined it today. OH MY WORD! I doubled over and cried 
against the sink it hurt my abdomen so bad. I must have shrieked without 
realizing it because Hamo and my husband came running in thinking that I must
have cut myself. Then through the tears I started laughing. My husband asked
what happened and I told him he didn't want to know. He looked puzzled. So
somewhat embarrassed I told him, "I farted so hard I hurt my intestines."
He just rolled his eyes and muttered something in Arabic about "giving him 
At least my son felt for me. He hugged me and said, "I'm sorry your farts are 
so strong they fight back." Little snot. He snickered as he walked out. Laugh
if they must. But I may be the first person in history to ever end up in traction
due to bad gas!