Thursday, 9 December 2010

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow...

We hit the jackpot last week.  Another snow storm in England.  My friends were quick to point out that until we moved here they hadn’t had snow in years and years.  I told them the story of standing in my garage three summers ago with two piles.  One pile was headed to storage and the other pile to England.  B was incensed when he found the sleds in the ‘wrong’ pile.  I gently explained we wouldn’t need them in England, so we were leaving them behind.  “It doesn’t snow in England?!?!?” he said.  “Then I’m not going!”  I didn’t really blame him.  We’d had a similar conversation about baseball the week before.  Why in the world would we move to a place without baseball and snow?  He couldn’t figure it out.  I wasn’t sure even I knew the answer at the time.  
B with what we have discovered makes
an excellent makeshift sled--an old real estate sign
So here we are in England.  We’ve lived here two years and four months and we’ve had three major snow storms. Each time it happens everyone says is the worst in 30-50 years. I like to think of myself as the snow fairy, but really it’s B.  Last year we had the most beautiful white Christmas.  No one could believe it.  He’d been predicting it for a couple of days.  Said he could smell it in the air.  Everyone just smiled a bit patronizingly and patted him on the head.  I was indeed one of the unbelievers.  I was so worried he’d have a broken heart.  I just couldn’t bring myself to encourage his hope.  When it finally did snow we all wondered if he had some kind of magic snow juju.  This year that fact was confirmed.  He gives all the credit to Santa.  Last year he asked and received.  This year he wrote it in all caps on his list to Santa a few weeks ago.  He even added ‘(please)’ after it.  Yesterday I was looking at his list and I noticed he’d crossed it out and replaced the please with ‘thanks!’  So sweet.  

We got three good days of sledding in.  Built a giant snow man.  C dug himself a snow cave.  The boys even got to miss 3 days of school.  It was so fun!  It feels so good to me.  To look out my windows and see snow.  Snow on the backyard and in the fields.  These poor Brits are cranky now though, and I can’t really blame them.  There are no services.  No one clears their sidewalks--no one has snow shovels to do so!  The roads don’t really get cleared or sometimes even gritted.  No one has a clue how to drive on this stuff so driving is sketchy.   There is black ice everywhere and a lot of people have fallen or have tales of helping someone who has. 

Caid in his snow cave.
He happily worked away on this for hours.

It’s supposed to snow again this coming week, and I am stoked.  Don’t tell my neighbors.  My only complaint in all of this is that we still don’t have a sled!  Maybe I need to ask B to put the request in to Santa.     

A few more pics from the storm:

The snowman (they have their school clothes on under their snow pants.)

A's first snow!  An epic moment for an Anderberg!

After school snow fight.  

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Let's Talk About Sex...

I had a list, when I became a parent.  I'm sure many of us did.  You know the one.  The "I'll Never Do It Like My Parent's Did It" list:

-I'll never wear sweatpants to drop my kids off at school.
-I'll never make healthy food for dinner when my kids have friends over.
-I'll never make my kids go to bed at a reasonable hour on a Friday night.

Things like that.

It's one of my favorite things to do and has become a regular 10 minute break with the boys every few days to watch movie trailers.  We go to apple and check out the latest releases.  Actually, we usually watch the same old trailers over and over until we have them memorized and can act them out.  Even if we never plan to attend the movie itself.  I stick to the kid ones, but sometimes an adult one will catch our eye and occasionally I'll risk it.  The boys are used to me saying no about certain ones.  "Too much adult humor mom?"  Up until recently I've generally assumed that most of the innuendo, etc. that they do occasionally encounter goes straight over their head.  Apparently not so much.

The other day we were watching one that ended up having too much 'adult humor'.  So I kind of sucked air when B asked me a few minutes later, "Mom?  What's 'sacs'?"  I did what any evolved and totally confident mother would do.  I said, "You know, B.  Like a sack that you put things in.  Grocery sacks.  That kind of thing.  I think that's what he meant."

But in the car with Aunt Noey the other day we were all totally trapped.  A conversation about her potentially getting a girl dog led to questions about why said girl dog and Arthur would make better siblings than mates because they couldn't have babies.  B wanted to know why.

"Oh, he's fixed."

"What's 'fixed'?"

"It means he's had an operation so he can't have babies."

"How do they do that?"


We reminded him about the book we read about sperm and eggs and told him that Arthur wasn't able to make sperm.  I thought about avoiding it again, but I was very brave.  I took a deep breath and dived right in.  Penises, wombs, ovaries, fallopian tubes.  Your basic biology.  Done.  Sorted.  That wasn't so bad.  On to other topics!  But then B wanted to know, "Yeah, but HOW does that happen?"  I totally pulled the 'you'll understand better when you get older' card.  To which C replied, "Dad, we should ask your friend Peter.  The one you told us to ask about the shapes of our souls? He probably knows!"

Busted.  I said, "Well, I KNOW.  I just think it's something that you'll understand better when you're a little older."  And then Scott tried to explain that it's not that it's some big mystery, but... and Noey and I and Scott all kept saying, "well,"  Anyway, by the end of the conversation I could at least say it was over.  I told him he could always talk to us about sex.  Whenever he wanted.  Noey pulled a very cool Aunt move and told him since it was sometimes embarrassing to talk to your parents about sex they could always ask her anything too.

My parents took regular 'giggle breaks' whenever we had to talk about sex.  We were always allowed to giggle since it was embarrassing.  I'm finding a lot of these types of things lately.  The types of things where I kind of 'get it', for the first time and I think that how my parents did it maybe wasn't so bad after all.