• Wiki Wiki What?

    Last night at dinner Bill asked Drew to lead the blessing.

    “Wiki wiki what, wiki who, wiki how?” Drew said.

    Bill and I looked at each other, confused, and Bill assigned Finn the task.

    Finn chose to teach us a blessing he’d learned at church camp.  It was to the tune of “We Will Rock You” and we banged on our chairs and clapped BANG BANG CLAP, BANG BANG CLAP, while Finn chanted the words:

    We will, we will, praise you

    We will, we will, praise you

    There’s food on our plate

    It sure looks great

    Gotta learn how to love and forget how to hate

    We will, we will, praise you

    He ran through it once and then all five of us gave it a go.  It was an immediate disaster.

    “Wiki wiki what?” Drew asked.  “I didn’t get it.”

    “Someone is rushing the beat,” Finn said.

    I poked Bill.  “He means you.  You’re ahead of the beat.  We’re going to have to buy a metronome so you’ll be able to participate in the blessing.”

    “I really love metronomes,” Porter said.  “Especially when you take them apart and make other stuff out of them.”

    “What do you mean, ‘rushing the beat?'” Bill asked.

    “Wiki wiki what?” Drew asked.  “I do not comprehend,” he said in a robot voice.

    “What’s up with the ‘wiki wiki’ stuff?” I asked.

    “He’s all jacked up on Mountain Dew,” Finn said.  “He bought one and drank the whole thing at Jazzercise this morning and hasn’t made much sense all day.  I vote we put him on Mountain Dew rehab.”

    “Wiki wiki who?” Drew asked, alarmed this time.

    The vote was passed, and we ate, since our food had been blessed long ago and was growing cold.


    I’ve been practicing Me Ra Koh’s Top Ten Tips For Photography, concentrating on #2: Fill the frame and #4: blur the background.  Here are my results so far:

    Fill the frame with Porter:


    Blur Drew’s background:


    (This one was difficult- the background blurred beautifully but I shot him at an angle that made him have bags under his eyes. Alternatively, he may have bags under his eyes– he never stops long enough for me to get a good look at him. And the blue cast on his lips is reality. He’d just finished eating some turquoise food which cannot have been nourishing.)

    One year ago in My Tiny Kingdom: Freak Show- Boys Who Read

  • A Little Bit of Everything

    I’m thrilled to have escaped chez Glamore, as it’s been a hectic week. Porter evidently felt that with Drew at camp he had to do twice as much talking, although Drew is the quietest boy I have and it took about a week before I really noticed his absence and started missing him.

    Each morning Porter and Finn have been at Bible School, and though Porter told all the teachers he was Drew the first day, the next two days he filled out his nametag “Mr. Glamore” and refused to answer to anything else.

    This morning I packed my bags and hit the road to pick Drew up from camp. All the evidence I’ve seen so far in the form of pictures and letters lead me to conclude he’s not going to be glad to see me. He seems to be equally enamored of the horses and a counselor named Justin, and won’t want to live without them.  We’re zoned for extra males, so Justin is welcome, but we’re not zoned for horses.  Plus, I force Drew to change into clean clothes and brush his teeth every day, so he’ll have a big adjustment to make.

    I’m currently in Traveler’s Rest, S.C. I listened to my entire repetoire of Better Than Ezra songs on my way up here, and relived the two times I’ve seen them live, once with the girls in New Orleans at the House of Blues, and once with Drew at the Crawfish Boil. I keep wondering when I’m going to be too old for concerts, but I just purchased Maroon 5/Counting Crows tickets for the whole family so apparently I have a few months left in me yet.

    Speaking of music, I mentioned to Finn that John Mellencamp had a music career under the name “John Cougar” and he didn’t believe me.  I’d always heard that his record label made him use the “catchier” (?) Cougar, but given the names bands and singers have today, Finn wasn’t having any of it.

    He had some monry for iTunes, and surprised me on the way to church by playing “Jack and Diane” which he deemed “pretty cool.”  I surprised him, in turn, by singing every word of the song, even the part where Jack and Diane climb in the backseat of the car and start disrobing, and he blushed.

    I’d love to stay and chat, but I located a Jazzercise class in nearby Taylors, S.C. and no kidding, I’m going.

    What I wrote on Deep South Moms Blog: 8 Ways I Tricked My Kids Into Reading

  • Drew Busts A Move

    It’s rare for me to have uninterrupted time with any one of my sons. Drew and I drove to Greenville on Friday and spent the night, and then I dropped him off at camp the next morning.

    Drew padded his seat in the car with his favorite pillow, his iPod, and his teddy bear. His bear is less cuddly than you might imagine, as Drew pierced his ear and stuck a gold loop earring in it. He then unraveled the bear’s knit cap and refashioned the strands into blue dreadlocks. That is one reggae teddy bear.

    I spent part of the drive teaching Drew how to blow a bubble with bubble gum. We bought three flavors of Bubblicious and chewed them, then I went through the “flatten, tongue poke, and blow” routine with him. I highly recommend this activity as a bonding experience.

    I let Drew pick the music on the way up, and we listened to the rap playlist I created with all of your valuable input. I added a couple of tunes of my own, and so we listened to Chic sing “Good Times,” and then noted that “Rapper’s Delight” shares the same background music. We did the same exercise with “Superfreak” and “U Can’t Touch This.”

    While Drew got the point that a major part of rap involves sampling other songs, I don’t think I’ll be teaching Porter the same lessons just yet. I can hear the questions now: “Why can’t you take her home to mother?” “What’s she doing on the street?”

    I sang every word to “Rapture” and the background vocals to “Bust A Move.” Drew showed a definite preference for “Brass Monkey” and “Parents Just Don’t Understand.” He was thoroughly entranced with the latter song, and I have no idea why he found it so appealing, thus illustrating Will Smith’s premise, I suppose.

    He also asked insightful questions, such as, “Which came first, Bubblicious or Fergalicious?”

    One of my college friends lives in Greenville. I’d let her know we were coming up, and she emailed back and said they had a Scottish parade at six. I wrote back, “WTF is a Scottish parade?”

    Turns out it’s exactly what you’d imagine, and it marched right in front of our hotel.

    I never dreamed that Greenville, South Carolina was the heart of Scottish parade country, but there you go.

    This man was clearly the star of the show.

    Drew was entranced by the spectacle. The bagpipe rendition of “Amazing Grace” was a far cry from “Baby Got Back,” but I guess that just shows Drew’s appreciation of a wide range of music.
    He didn’t say so, but I know that inside Drew was thrilled that he’d worn his plaid Old Navy shorts, like a true Scotsman. He fit right in, except that he was wearing underwear beneath his plaid.

    The next morning we got to camp, and my Braveheart got a bit jittery. The custom at camp is to register and go straight into the lake for the swim test. A camper must get a rank of 3A in order to be able to do the water activities such as sailing and kayaking. Even if you plan to stay on land, planted firmly on horseback or on the tennis court, you’re required to take swimming lessons if you don’t reach a 3A. This happened to Drew last year and upset him so much he almost decided against going to camp this year.

    As I wrote earlier, Drew worked diligently on his swimming all spring, culminating with his triumphant swim in the triathlon a few weeks ago. Still, even with that under his belt, returning to the scene of his earlier failure, coupled with the prospect of three weeks away from home, turned my usually unemotional son into a red-eyed, quivering mass of bones.

    The camp encourages you to leave before your son goes for the test, but it was such an emotional hurdle for us that I found a towel to hide behind and watched as Drew walked down the pier to demonstrate his racing dive, his crawl, his float, and his ability to tread water for twenty minutes.
    Although he’s grown several inches this year, he still looked tiny to me.

    They got out and stood in line to get marked with the level they’d achieved.
    I thought I might die from the suspense. It would be embarrassing when a counselor found my corpse lying beneath the mildewy towel. Plus, I was wearing a pretty short miniskirt, and if I collapsed, I might look indecent. I’d be the “Superfreak” personified– the mom who couldn’t live through her son’s swim test and then died with her leopard undies showing.
    Thank God this had a happy ending.


    One year ago in My Tiny Kingdom:Bad Bride

  • Give Me Your Rapping Delight

    You all know by now that my sons are into rap, and by that I mean today’s rap, which to me sounds like nothing more than nasty talk. I could write a rap song myself, just by stringing together words like this:

    “Shawty on the floor, look all sexy in that thang, wanna buy you a drank with all the green I got, while we drink champagne, and do dirty stuff that I won’t describe here but would in great detail if this were a real rap song, my boo, yeah, uh huh, I be lookin’ at you, and your booty too…”

    I’ve written about the rap music before, including the awful lyrics to “Low” and “My Humps” and the fact that I let Finn teach me the Soulja Boy dance.

    Maybe it’s my liberal tendencies and belief in non-censorship, or perhaps I’m a terrible mother, but I don’t think the way to handle this rap situation is to ban the music altogether. I thought I’d try a different tactic.

    I figure that as long as the boys are listening to this stuff, they ought to learn about it as well, and that means going back to classic rap songs, those from back in the day when we sang “Hotel, motel, Holiday Inn,” and thought we were fly.

    I want to make the boys a playlist of classic rap.

    Sadly for me, the only old rap songs I can think of at all are “Rapper’s Delight” and MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This.” (You can tell I’ve been a parent for too long; I originally wrote that title as “Don’t Touch That” which isn’t half as catchy but I say it all the time in this house full of boys.)

    I wasn’t concentrating on rap back in the day; I was moodily lining my eyes with kohl and following the Cure and Hoodoo Gurus and Wall of Voodoo.

    So I ask you, readers, can you suggest some rap songs that are musts for this list?

    And in return, I’ll take you back to the unforgettable “Mexican Radio” by Wall of Voodoo: