Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Curse of Queen Frostine

I had a nightmare the other night.

The cast of Crazy Road was engaged in Family Court.

"What brings this Family to my courtroom?" Asked the judge.

"Candy Land, Your Honor," I replied. "The game of Candy Land has forced our family into pieces. We fight. We yell. We burn parts of the game in the furnace...Our once close-knit, loving family has fallen to the Curse of Queen Frostine."

"I see." The judge commented, shaking his head in sadness. "I hate to see this happen to good families...but, it happens all too often...I have no choice but to...."


What would a judge have decided?

Okay. I really didn't have a dream. But let me tell you, I believe we have been cursed.

It all started last Christmas...

The kids got CandyLand and Chutes & Ladders.

These games have been around since I was a little kid, but man, they are re-vamped today! All glossy and bright and colorful...but the premise is the same. Designed to teach kids counting, colors, patience, good sportsmanship, and yaddah bladdah gaga, these games are likely in thousands of homes all over the world. I believe in teaching children all of the aforementioned skills. I REALLY do. I just don't think they are meant for the buggers here at Crazy Road.

The second that the kids opened Candy Land, my life changed. OUR lives changed. Because counting and colors did not register with my kids. The GUMDROP PASS and MR. MINT and hot little LOLLIE became the focus. Not only that, but the cards were everywhere, and the poor yellow game piece was constantly found stuffed into the cushions or between books because neither of the kids wanted him.

The anguished cries of the poor soul that landed on "sticky licorice"(so they lose a turn) or the loser who AAAAALMOST made it to King Kandy but at the last draw picks Gramma Nut made me more and more stressed. I took the game away and hid it in my closet. I thought they would forget about it, but they did not.

Day after day they would ask for it. Standing in my closet, peering up at it as if it were the only toy they owned and were being kept away from any shred of happiness or joy...the "joy" that only the Journey to CandyLand could bring them.

I folded. But with strict rules and guidelines: No Fighting. No fits. No cheating when "shoveling" the cards. Queen Frostine would be "shoveled" into the pile right along with the double "purps" and the single "stupid" greens. I would see to it, that her card would be drawn fair and square.

Well, lo-and-behold, they did not follow the rules. Fighting ensued, crying, kicking fits prevailed, and I ended up putting the entire game(except for the little gingerbread man game pieces) into the furnace.


Was that irrational? Probably. Was it detrimental to their development? Possibly. BUT...Did it buy me some peace and quiet for a while? OH YEAH BABY. No regrets.

But you know...Tyler asked about Candy Land almost every day...for a good 7 months. And you know something else?


I bought Tyler ANOTHER brand-spanking-new Candy Land game for his birthday in August. August 9th, to be exact. I thought foolishly that the loss of the first game would remind him and Kiki that they need to play nicely together. That being a good sport and congratulating the winner, and being "happy" for whomever picked the glorious "Queen Frostine" card would be hugely beneficial to them.

uum. no.

In fact, it got worse.

Tyler would throw a fit(and I mean F.I.T.) if he didn't draw "a special person" card, meaning Frosty, NannaNuts, Minty or who-ever...he didn't even care that drawing the said cards resulted in him being sent backwards...The word "cwap" was uttered every time a "color" card was drawn. He simply does not get it yet.

Then Kiki was overheard "manipulating" the "shoveling" process and actually "counting cards" to ensure that she was the prize picker of special people a little "rain man."

It was so out of hand...

I have regulated Tyler to playing alone.

I have sent Keek to her room for "cheating." I mean, COME ON! Its freaking CANDY LAND!

So last night was the ultimate breakdown of every system I have tried to enforce.

Trying to overcome the stress of my workday and make dinner and mentally check off items from my to-do list...the screams kept coming from the living room...I squeaked my usual empty threats...eventually walking in to find my daughter strategically "placing" the Queen Frostine card in the pile.

"Kiki! Give me the cards. I will shuffle them." I demanded.

While they continued to bicker, I slid the QUEEN right out of  the pile, calmly walked out of the room, opened the trash can and dropped her in.

"See You in Hell, Frosty." I (really) said.

It wasn't until after dinner that they realized the card was missing.

"MAMA! I can't find her! I know she is here..."

They both searched. I felt a tiny bit bad, but I smiled and said, "She left. She knew that she was causing you two to fight and cry and she felt it best to go."

Sinister. I know.

But they bought it for a few minutes!

Until Chris came in...

"Daddy! Daddy! Queen Frostine left!!!!We can't find her anywhere!!!"

Chris came around the corner where I was still grinning like a Cheshire Cat.

"They're freaking out trying to find that card." He said.

"I know. I threw it in the trash."

This is where things get ugly.

HE actually got mad at ME! I had envisioned a HIGH-FIVE or a "Nice Job" from him, but....

"You can't do that! That won't teach them anything!" And my wonderful husband opened the trash and started looking for the card, now buried under the hamburg package and taco trimmings.

"Are you kidding me?!>!"

We actually started yelling at each other a little. We NEVER yell. Really. We don't.

Then he proceeded into the living room, before I knew what he was going to do...he bellowed,
"You know what you made Mama do? You made her so mad she threw away Queen Frostine!"


Questioning little faces.

My family was disintegrating right before my very onion-teary eyes.

I was Rockin' Mad.

Mad at Chris. Mad at the kids. Really pissed off at Milton Bradley. Chris was mad at me, Nick was just confused...Tyler still thought the Queen has left the building...

What was happening?

We had been cursed.

We barely got through dinner. Everyone was pouting. Our tacos were the only things making noise. Uncomfortable dinner silence. Nothing worse.

All of the kids went about their business after dinner. Tyler seemed to accept the loss of the beloved card, and saw that he could still play the game without her. Chris and I forgot our little spat and moved on...Poor Nick just went to his room to do whatever he does for hours in there...and Kiki? Well, she went to her room, too.

I was finishing up the dishes and she came around the corner.

"Look, Mama. Look what I  made."

And she handed me a little picture, perfectly colored and framed...about the size of a...

"Who is this?" I asked. The picture was of a girl with crazy yellow first I thought it was a VOO-DOO picture of me.

"It's Queen Frostine! I made it so we can learn our lesson! Can you help me cut it out?"

Oh. Lord.

I knelt down to hug her, and Tyler came in, Over-The-Moon at his very creative big sisters offering.

She cut that hand-made-Candy-Land-Queen-Frostine out...

And they lived happily ever after.

Lessons were learned by all of us.

Am I sorry I acted in the heat of the moment? Nope.

But I promise, I won't burn another board game...

But don't make me play Monopoly. I might throw THAT one right into the street. But I still am the Connect Four Master.


Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Stacy and Joe: An Update

Its been a while since I've written about Stacy and Joe.

If you missed some of the very first blogs, you might not know who Stacy and Joe are.

They are very important members of our family here at Crazy Road.

Stacy is Mackenzie's friend who stays with us frequently because her mother owns a restaurant and travels between here and California. She wears purple nail polish and picks her nose. She also has her ears "peeched."  She and Kiki talk on the phone all of the time. Stacy left us for a while in July because she apparently told Kiki that I wasn't fun.

Anyway, Stacy has a sister...
Her name is Iffy.

Not Tiffany. Not Effy.


Iffy has been around quite a bit lately, too, and has introduced my 5 year old to the concept of World travel.

The other night, we were doing our whole crazy bedtime routine, when we heard Kiki clanging around in her messy, messy bedroom...

She showed up in the doorway to Tyler's room and announced that she had taken her money out of her piggy bank, and was ready to go to Paris.

"Paris?" Chris and I both questioned aloud in unison.

"Yes. Paris." Kiki declared, as if this were an everyday occurrence.

I had just gotten used to the idea of her traveling to her ballet school, which happens to be in California! Every day, she puts on her "high heels," grabs her purse and tromps down the driveway to "California." She will run around exclaiming how late she is going to be and how angry her ballet teacher will be if she shows up late!

So, back to her Paris trip...

She had on her "traveling shoes" which, again, thanks to my friend Julie, are those plastic dress up heels that come in Halloween-y costumes...her big purse, and her "Tiana" nightgown. And she had snuck my lip gloss.

"What are you going to Paris for?" I asked.

"OOHHH, ya know, I'm going to the zoo, and shopping for Tyler's school clothes."

"Do you have enough money?"

"Yes. I have a coin."

"A coin? Just one?"


"How are you going to eat? Where are you going to stay?"

"In the brick hotel. The one that Arack Obama stayed in."

"Right." I still can't believe she talks about the Obamas like they are our next door neighbors.

"I don't think you'll have enough money. Not with just one coin."

She looked at me like I was nuts.

"Its-A-Magic-Coin" she sing-songed.

"How are you going to get there?"

"Iffy is picking me up in her purple and pink boogie-car."

"Her what?"

"Her BOOGIE car."


"We are stopping in North Navornia to pick up Lola."

"North Where?"

"NA-VORN-YA." She was clearly getting frustrated with all of these questions on her itinerary..

"Who is Lo-?"

I then realized that the conversation had just sucked me in so far that I was asking questions as if all of this were really happening. And I am pretty sure I kept a straight face through the whole thing...

Then Tyler chimed in from under the covers.

"Joe got killed by a dragon today."

"Oh, no! He did?"

"Yup. And I saved him!"

"Wait. You saved him?"


And he jumped out of bed and started jumping around like he had a sword or a dragon slaying tool of some sort...and making these swooshing noises..."Like this!"

"Where did all this happen?"

"In the forest wight outside ow-ah yahd."

"So, is he okay?"

"Yes. But Beyontay got killed instead."

Beyontay. Beonte. bee-on-tay. Is Joe's older brother. Joe is Tyler's buddy. Beonte is somewhat of a bully, but he lives in New Jersey, so unless he is at camp, we don't see him around as much as we see Joe.

Joe has finally stopped stealing from Tyler's toy box, and all of them, Kiki, Stacy, Iffy, Tyler and Joe all get along swimmingly here. They eat breakfast together, they play "How to Train A Dragon" together, they have much fun.

And in case you haven't figured this out...they are not even real..

Kiki isn't REALLY going to Paris in a Boogie Car.

Tyler isn't slaying dragons in the woods.

But their imaginations are so incredible, and the details are so, well, detailed, that I sometimes think that Iffy and Stacy and Joe and Beonte are really here.

I mean, just this morning I made extra pancakes for them...

Lately Kiki likes to have sleepovers in Tyler's room. She sleeps on the "Crouton"(the futon) and they laugh and talk about their adventures and sing crazy, made up songs about North Navornia and usually the word "poop" makes it in there and they both end up in a fit of giggles...its magical....

The kids will be starting school again soon...and sooner than I probably know, Stacy and Joe might not be around anymore...I'm gonna miss 'em.

Every moment is a moment.

Now I am going to see if North Navornia exists on a map somewhere. Maybe I'll just Google...

Thanks For Reading.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

And The Mother of the Year Award Goes To...

WELL...Certainly NOT ME!!

Oh, Yeah.

I'm back, baby. So sit back, and get ready for more from CRAZY ROAD~

This particular story is written per the encouragement of my wonderful son, Nick.

Not only is he smart, handsome, athletic, kind, funny, generous and understanding...he is also FORGIVING...because living with a crazy Mama like me can't be easy...

So I'll start by saying, I am not a big Hockey Fan...

However, it is the sport Nick has chosen as his "number one."

I did not grow up around hockey. Therefore, I do not understand it. I will go so far to say that I don't even like watching it.

But, Nick likes it, and along with other circumstances, Nick is INVOLVED in hockey.

It is a time consuming, expensive sport that requires lots of dedication, lots of travel, and LOTS of moo-lah.

That being said, I want to make sure that~

A) HE REALLY LIKES PLAYING. Not just likes his buddies that play, or the social part, or the cool uniform...


B)He plays to the best of his ability. I don't need him to be the star, but I want him to always do his best.

Which brings me to his game this week.

He has been playing for about 7 years now.

His dad is really an amazing player(I'll give him that), and has coached Nicks teams since he was a toddler. It really is a must, since it's tricky for me to travel out of town with the little ones, and try to get them to sit in a freezing cold rink in the middle of summer(or winter, for that matter, but that's just me...)

So I haven't been to too many summer hockey games.

I try to like it...I REAAAAALLLLLY do. But going to a hockey game when it is 90 degrees outside somehow feels...I don't know...OFF.

But his dad couldn't make this particular game, and I would never let it happen that at least one of us weren't there for him...I mean, hockey isn't my favorite sport, but my children, and their happiness, are my LIFE! So off  we, my mom, my niece and Nick...on a hot summer

If you didn't know this already, ice rinks "steam" up in the dead of summer, making it almost impossible to see through the "boards." So, in order to watch the game, we had to go pretty high up on the bleachers, to see over the glass. (This will be a good part of my excuse for what you are about to read...)

The teams came out...our team was clearly out-manned. The other team looked like they might have been fact, I think I saw their center driving the truck that passed me on the way in...not sure...


Like I said, the team came out...I noticed some really good skaters...and some really, unfortunately wobbly skaters...and some just looked like they were napping right there on the ice...

I pointed out Nick to my mom and niece...Hmmm, I thought...Was he feeling well? He looked tired, and SA-LOW.

I will NEVER be a screaming parent at sporting events. I will cheer encouragement. I just miiiight point out a bad call by a ref/ump/whatever. But I will never yell at my child during a game. You see, I am certainly not a participant of sports. I fear confrontation and the thought of losing a game, even Connect Four, makes me queasy. So I will never criticize an athlete.


He plays like the kid that I watched PAINFULLY through the entire game.

What was he doing out there?

Our poor goaley was getting peppered...shot-after-shot...the score went from 3 to 5 to 8 to ZIP before they stopped counting goals. We had no defense!


I was so frustrated watching my kid.

Years of practice. Schedule manipulating. Dinners at 4 or 8. Practices in snowstorms. MUNEEEEEEEEEE.
Parents arguing. And for WHAT?

A kid who clearly, even from an icy distance, did not want to be there. A kid that did not "show up" for his team.

After the game mercifully came to an end, the fans from our side tromped out to the lobby, to wait for our "Bears."

I even mentioned to another mom that I was frustrated that my son really didn't play well...he sure didn't give it his best.

Then Nick came out, smiling as usual.

"Jeez, you feel sick or something?" I asked.

"No! I feel fine!"

"Well what the heck happened out there?"

"What do you mean? You don't think I played well?"

"Honestly? No! I don't! I watched you dope up and down the ice and let your goalie get slaughtered..."

I went on...

He was pissed.

He argued...

I should have stopped. But he argued that he thought he played well, considering the other team was so much more experienced...

Our conversation continued.

It really should have stopped. Given that I really am not an expert in  the game, and the only time I ever tried to play was during a parent-player game...and let's just say I screamed like a baby the whole time I was on  the ice. Nobody would skate near me...I was like a Ban-Shee with a pink hockey helmet.

I made a comment about watching number ** "zombie out" when Nick interrupted...

"Uh, Mum?"


 "I'm number 12."

I slammed on the brakes.


"I'm number 12. Not **."

I almost drove off the road.

You mean I watched the wrong KID?

THE ENTIRE GAME?!??$$?@?#???


"I thought you were number **! You've ALWAYS been number **!"

"Not in summer hockey. You watched the wrong dude."

Not only had I just spent the better part of the afternoon watching a game I clearly don't understand, in a freezing, foggy ice arena...but I didn't even see my kid play!

"Do you still think I had a bad game?" He was actually laughing.

"I am soooooo sorrrrrrrrrrrrryyyy...."

My son is so forgiving of me. Thank Goodness.

It is a moment I'll never forget.

I know he won't forget least until he gets that new DS game that I promised him...

So, I won't be getting the Mother of the Year Award yet again...But...I learned more valuable lessons on parenting.

Sometimes its tough balancing, work, school, sports...

Its okay to make some mistakes...We HAVE to! But find a laugh in it, learn a bit from it...and move on.

And remember to make sure you know what number your kid has on his sport jersey. You wouldn't want to miss anything...

Thanks For Reading...