Things the kids learn when 19-year-old Aunt Gabi moves in with us...

Stoner face.

Sweet-ass car.

Mackin' on the ladies.

Big-ass car.


How to make and eat S'mores - long overdue lesson, as far as I'm concerned.
How to be the Pack Leader. Exercise, discipline, affection. In that order.
First one downstairs in the morning controls a.m. television - SpongeBob or VH1? Who will win today?
Twilight Saga, Taylor Lautner, and Robert Pattinson.
How to search YouTube for funny animal videos - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3sX30NubTs
How to get your little brother to cover his face in toothpaste while he's sleeping. By putting paste on his innocent, little sleeping fingers and then tickling his face with the corner of a blanket.
That if they ask enough times, Mamae will cave on basically anything.
That they aren't the only ones who have to clean their room.
That there's nothing better than having family around.


Cabbage Patch gone bad...

I thought Noggin was safe. And it was.

But now they’ve changed the name to Nick, Jr., so I’m thinking they’re just going to skip all the fake altruistic stuff and market wherever and whenever they can.

It’s a recession, I guess. Everyone’s struggling.

So I found myself dozing on the couch, my three-year-old tuned into Dora the Explorer, staring at the screen just like I had taught him to do.

Say what you will about letting toddlers watch television. All I know is that as a single, working mother of two boys and the guardian of a freshman in college, I’ll take my dozing where I can get it. Hence Noggin. Rather, Nick, Jr.

So Dora was saving the little star, or the baby bird, or looking for Boots’s boots; can’t remember what exactly that morning’s story line was.

All of a sudden, out of a vaguely-awake corner of my ear, I hear music that sounds suspiciously like a jingle. A toy commercial jingle.

I cracked an eye open to take a look at the flatscreen sitting on the floor of the living room and there found a scene that looked like it had come from the mind of baby Hannibal Lechter.

Cabbage Patch Kids.

With tufts of removable hair.

That’s right. Tufts. Of removable hair.

I’ll pause here for the full effect of this image to sink in.

The tufts had barrettes, so I suppose there was some measure of comfort there. Until I realized that the barrettes were the mechanism by which the tufts were attached to the skulls of the Cabbage Patch Kids.

I stared, mesmerized. Until Dash, in a moment of clarity I had not yet found, declared, “Mamae…that’s creepy.”

I must be doing something right.