Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday frippery

It only took a year.
I had a flex day today and spent it cleaning and organizing the house.  We finally finished the walls downstairs, so I hung paintings.  The house looks pretty.  I'll take some pictures and post some before-and-afters to contrast with when we first bought it.  Of course, the kids will be home in an hour and it will go from being nice and clean to being a shit-show in no time.

We've finally, finally moved on from Elmo.  But now Josie is obsessed with Yo Gabba Gabba.  
This morning I went into her room when I heard her awake.  "Hi, sweetie!"  I said.  "Gook and Gabba-Gabba!" she responded. (She doesn't have anything against the North Vietnamese -- "gook" is Josie-speak for milk.)

I kind of like the show.  It's trippy and weird, but I like the very specific lessons it offers, like songs devoted to how you shouldn't put things you find on the floor in your mouth.  But J is wary.

"Don't let her watch too much of that show," he warned.

"Why not?" I asked.

"She'll grow up to participate in drum circles and be a glass-blower.  There's no money in that."

Be safe, East coast internet peoples.
Even though I am obviously not personally in harm's way, I'm a little freaked out by the projected path of Hurricane Irene.  I have family and friends in Virginia Beach, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City and the Boston area -- all of which look to be about to take a beating -- plus the Outer Banks of North Carolina is about to take a direct hit.  Sammy and Camille, please don't ride out the storm on the 47th floor in Tribeca.  And call me and let me know you're OK.

Have a good weekend, all!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

If only spotting other members of the Tribe were that easy

I would wager that for most American Jews, being Jewish is as much a cultural experience and identification as it is a religious one, if not more so.  And I include myself in this generalization.  I am not particularly religious, but I very much identify with being Jewish.  Many of my ancestors came to this country because of their Judaism -- my great-grandparents escaped the pogroms -- and spoke English with a very heavy accent because they mostly spoke Yiddish.*  For my parents, being part of the Jewish community was an essential aspect of growing up in Detroit in the middle of the last century.  Even when my dad went to the University of Virginia, he was in a fraternity that was identified as a Jewish fraternity, because Jews weren't really welcomed in the more established houses. 

So a big part of being Jewish, in response to persecution and prejudice, was to mostly associate and identify with other Jews.**  And even though that kind of prejudice and persecution is not so prevalent today -- when my grandmother asked me if I was rushing Jewish houses when I decided to go through sorority rush in college, I had no idea what she was talking about -- there's still a sense of recognition and kinship in encountering other Jews in everyday life, as well as pride in the accomplishments of other Jews.

But of course, you don't always know who is Jewish and who isn't.

My mom and I were talking on the phone about her recent trip out of the country.

"I met the most wonderful Jewish couple," she said.  "I was talking to the husband and of course I didn't come right out and ask him but some of the things he was saying made me think that he might be Jewish, and that he realized that I might be Jewish.  But it's not like you necessarily can tell right off the bat."

"Right.  We're not required to wear yellow stars on our sleeves anymore."

"Exactly.  I mean, I couldn't just ask him to stick out his penis so I could inspect it."


Because that would be very awkward.

*They called me "Vinda" because there isn't really a "w" sound in Yiddish.  "Vinda, vould you like a gless of meeelk?  Some coookies?  You need to eat, dahlink."

**I recognize this is not a novel or revolutionary observation.  It's true of all minority groups throughout history.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Apropos of nothing except that this story totally cracks me up every time I think of it

My brother Sam and his girlfriend Camille live in New York City in a 47th floor apartment in Tribeca.* They have two dogs, both pugs.  Number One Pug is a boy named Phillip, who is 11.  Philip is fat and hilarious and adorable.  He's lazy as shit and would eat 24/7 if given the chance, and he's a big sweetie and we love him.

Sam set up a Facebook page for him, with a bio that says he went to SUNY-New Paltz and status updates that say things like, "Tonight for dinner I had ... wait for it ... dog food.  Jesus Christ.  I feel like I'm in a Kafka novel."  Fucking priceless.

Anyway, Phillip was an only dog for awhile.  And around the time that Sam and Camille decided to move in together, they got Daisy, also a pug (or, more accurately, Camille got Daisy, which means Sam got Daisy).  I believe Daisy is a rescue dog.  Daisy is slightly older than Phillip, and other than the fact that they're both pugs, they are easily distinguishable from each other to anyone paying attention.
Phillip and Daisy.  To quote Sam, "they're not exactly Great Danes, but they'll do the trick."
So they're looking for a place to live and they find this place in Tribeca. And I think when they submitted their application, they said they only had one dog -- I'm not sure if they hadn't gotten Daisy yet, but I suspect that they had but fudged a bit to increase their odds of having the application approved.  Apparently, it's a very nice building with a doorman and standards that are enforced by a condo board or management association or whatever.

(Incidentally, they also lied about Phillip's weight and then were incensed when his vet, who has been trying to get Phillip on a diet for years, refused to sign a certification that Phillip weighed only 20 pounds.  Which, if you've ever seen Phillip, is a big "no duh.")

So they move in and the place is great and all is well.  Except for the fact that they claimed to have only one dog but actually have twice that.  I guess they did things like hid or sprinted down the street when they saw someone from the management association approaching them.

They had been in the new apartment a couple of weeks when we went to the beach in New Hampshire, and they joined us there for a couple of days.  They had gotten a message from one of the management people:  "Uhhh, Mistuh [Wendy's Brother], we need to work out the situation with the dooh-ug."  In my head, the person leaving the message was either Selma or Patty Bouvier, with a heavy, heavy New Yawk accent.

Sam's plan was to appeal to her sense of decency by explaining that Daisy was a rescue dog and that if he didn't take her in, she would be put down and DO YOU WANT TO BE A PARTY TO DOG MURDER???

Turns out Patty/Selma's sensibilities were not so delicate, because she didn't give a shit.  "Don't you try to make me feel guilty, Mistuh [Wendy's Brother].  You were only supposed to have one dog and you've got two and it's not my problem."

Now, to me this whole scenario is all the more awesome because of Sam's extraordinary ability to be seized with self-righteousness when he is clearly and unquestionably in the wrong (remember when he made up a Wikipedia entry and then was all indignant when it was removed not because it wasn't true, but because it wasn't noteworthy enough?).**  And I say this as someone who absolutely adores him.  But it's true.  So the image of this grumpy woman peering out at him over her cat-eye glasses while the world's longest piece of ash threatens to fall off the cigarette dangling from her lips, as she tells him to take his old pathetic dying dog and shove it, just makes me giggle.

But now the condo board/management association had him by the short hairs.  What to do?  What would become of poor Daisy?

The solution was surprisingly simple.

I think it might have been the super (who isn't on the management association) who suggested that they walk the dogs separately and always take one out the front entrance and the other out the back entrance.  So that the doormen would only ever see one dog at a time, and always the same dog, and thus somehow be duped into thinking they only had one.

And amazingly, it worked.  Even though Phillip is a spry (if chubby) dapper young gentleman, and Daisy could not be mistaken for anything but his decrepit old aunt.

Only in New York.  I love it.


*Originally this post stated that they lived on the Upper West Side and that Phillip was 5 or 6 years old. Those errors have been corrected. Apparently Phillip looks young for his age.

**This post was written when Sam was married to Voldemort a/k/a She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. He isn't any more. Obvs.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Nasty, brutish and short

I feel like everywhere I turn, people I know and care about are dying of cancer.  The brother of one of my brother Josh's best friends from high school just relapsed.  The neighbor who has lived across the street from my parents the entire 27 years they have lived in their house is in the ICU with non-smoking-related lung cancer, and he isn't expected to come out.  A woman that used to work in my office (and who was a judge in a case I litigated) was diagnosed with lung cancer a little over a month ago and then died last weekend.  She was 47 and had never smoked.

And this past Friday my cousin Simon died of brain cancer.  He was only in his mid-50s, and had always been healthy and fit until suddenly getting a tumor a couple of years ago. His death came a few months after his father, my cousin Ron, died of kidney failure.

It's such a cliche, but damn, it can all go in a second, can't it?  So hug your kids.  Don't work too late.  Take care of yourself and your loved ones.  Don't be an asshole.

This world is not for the faint of heart, that's for sure.

**UPDATE 8/24/11:  The neighbor died today. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

I'm about as liberal as they come, but then I drew a line.

One of my little indulgences is getting manicures and pedicures.  I don't like my nails to be particularly long, but I like them nicely groomed and painted and pretty.  And it's lovely to sit and relax for an hour while someone else massages your hands and feet. 

But in these days of skyrocketing food bills (which are already high because my husband eats what would be normal for 3 adults his size) and monthly daycare checks that are more than my mortgage, I was looking for places to cut back.  And since I love getting a full-body massage even more than I like getting my nails done, I decided to substitute bi-weekly professional manicures with bi-weekly massages (on the cheap, courtesy of Groupon and the like) and just do my nails myself.

This coincided with my discovery of nail polish strips.  They're strips of real polish that you stick on your nails like a decal, and they come in different designs that are fun and super-cute.  Plus they stay on for a couple of weeks, so you get a manicure-type look and it lasts for a while.

Now, it turns out that Zeke likes having his nails painted.  Occasionally when he's seen me get the polish out, he'll ask if I can paint his as well.  I often use colors like navy blue or slate gray that aren't that ultra-feminine, so I'll put some on his nails or toes and he giggles and enjoys it.  J isn't crazy about it, but I don't think it's a big deal.

Sally Hansen's Salon Effects Nail
Polish Strips, "Girl Flower" -- would
you let a 4-year-old boy put
this on his nails?  Am I being an asshole
and overreacting?
But then the other night I was putting on some new nail strips that are a bright flowery pattern in pinks and oranges and yellows and purples.  I was sitting in my bed while Zeke sat next to me watching The Upside Down Show.  When he saw the nail strips, he was all curious and wanted me to put some on his nails as well.

I thought about it for a second, but then shook my head and told him "no" and made up some bullshit about how they were just for grownups.

I don't want to make a big deal about things that aren't a big deal.  And I don't want to stigmatize behavior that obviously has no sexual or gender-driven motivation.  He likes the nail polish because it's colorful and different and because I'm doing it.  It's fine.

Why do I care?  I don't care.  Who cares?  What difference does it make?

I want to be the cool J. Crew mommy who lets her son paint his toenails neon pink.

But it turns out I'm not.    

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I didn't think I was *that* bad

Even though J is now working night shift, we've been able to maintain the weekday routine we've had established for awhile. 

He gets home at about 5:45 or 6 in the morning.  We both handle the morning routine with the kids, I go to work, he takes them to school and then comes home and sleeps.  He gets up, does whatever he does (works out, cleans, etc.) and then goes to get the kids at about 4:45 or 5, and then takes them to the park or to swim or something.  In the meantime, I get home from work, exercise, and then get dinner ready so that we can eat when J gets home with the kids.  We play, have bathtime, read books.  J goes to work at about 8:30 and I put the kids to bed and then wind down for the night.

I've gone through stages when I've regularly exercised in the morning, but it's been hard to do that lately because Josie's been getting up early and occasionally she'll wake up right when I'm in the middle of a workout.  And I enjoy exercising in the afternoon because the endorphin release makes me all happy and calm, so I'm feeling good and have tons more patience with the kids than I would otherwise have.

The weekend was really hectic and I had a hard time finding time to work out.  So by yesterday afternoon, it had been a couple of days and I was feeling kind of stressed and antsy. 

I was talking to J on the phone when I was getting ready to leave work.  He was lamenting that he didn't know what he was going to do with the kids in the afternoon because it was getting ready to thunderstorm.

"Well, figure something out, because I really need some time to exercise.  It's been a couple of days and I've got to exercise.  You know, I find that I'm much more patient and easy-going when I exercise.  So it benefits you, too."

Without missing a beat, he said, "no problem.  I'll be at the park with the kids for the next three hours."


Sunday, August 14, 2011

In which it is revealed who plays with funny-shaped balls in my family

I know that this post will result in an irate phone call from my father.  "Don't you criticize my grandson!"  In his eyes, neither of my children can ever do any wrong, and both will win the Nobel prize, the Heisman Trophy (even Josie) and at least one Olympic gold medal by the time they're 20.

My response will be that I am not trying to criticize Zeke.  Just pointing out my observations about his strengths and weaknesses.

We went on a date night the other night to watch rugby with some good friends (the wife ended up not being able to go because of a feverish baby, so J and I hung out with the husband).  The US team in town was playing a test match against Canada. I really enjoy watching rugby even though I don't understand it very well.  It's a fierce game played by tough, fit people.

I observed that, at least in the U.S., where rugby tends to be most popular in universities, I love guys that play rugby because they're big strapping strong men who also tend to be smart and well-educated.

"Not in Australia, baby," J corrected me.  "In Oz they're the window-lickers."*

In any case, it was a beautiful evening and we had a great time enjoying a few beers and watching the game even though the U.S. team got their asses handed to them by the Canadian side.

In fact, because the main attraction was kind of a dud of a game, the highlight of the evening came during halftime, when some kids from local youth clubs played against each other for a couple of possessions.

The kids were awesome and the best player on the field was a girl.  She was fast and tough and amazing at reading the field while she ran with the ball.

The friend that we were with, Trey, is the parent of one of Zeke's friends from daycare.  His daughter, Lucy, is about 3 months younger than Zeke (she'll be 4 in January) but is super-tall (she towers over Zeke and looks like she's about 5) and totally athletically fearless.  She loves rugby (her dad plays) and is going to start playing in a youth league this winter.

As we were watching the kids play, particularly the one girl who was really good, Trey was talking about how excited he is for Lucy to start playing.

J kind of shook his head.  "Yep, and Zeke will be on the sidelines, cheering her on while playing with his iPad."

I couldn't really disagree with him.

Not that we think Zeke is a pussy, because we don't.  He's a good athlete, loves jumping around, taught himself to swim at the age of 3 1/2, enjoys ski school and all of that.  But he's kind of cautious and sensitive and cerebral.  I see him as a baseball player more than I see him playing something like football or rugby.**

No, the consensus (at least between J and me) is that the biggest balls in the family belong to Josie.

Because Josie is like J -- totally fearless, amazingly coordinated and athletic, and utterly without regard for her own physical safety.  She will climb on and jump off of anything.  She takes shit from no one and will not hesitate to defend herself when someone gets in her face (I'm sure that some of her toughness comes from being knocked around by Zeke, but I also think it's just part of who she is).

This is particularly alarming in the pool, because she thinks she can swim even though she really can't -- she's a frightening combination of supreme confidence combined with a lack of actual ability.   I can't even take her in the big pool because she gets so mad when I hold on to her.  So I let her bounce around in the 2-foot-deep baby pool, where she puts her head underwater and starts kicking her arms and legs, and then after a few seconds she'll put her feet back down and stand up.  If she's under for more than 5 or 6 seconds, I'll gently tug under her armpit and pull her back up so she can breathe, but other than that I leave her alone.  The other parents always look horrified, but she's fine.  I'm obviously not going to let her drown.

So even though she's a skinny little string-bean, if anyone is going to be kicking ass and taking names on the rugby pitch, it'll be Josie, not Zeke.  Not that I think he'll be pasty-faced virgin living in our basement well into adulthood -- hell, he could have a career as a porn star -- but I don't see him as a rugby player.

Sorry, Dad, but it's true.

*I had to look up what a window-licker is, but I correctly assumed it wasn't Aussie-speak for someone who went to Harvard.  Turns out it's not a very nice term, but in my experience, Aussies can be a bit harsh in their word choices even though they are some of the friendliest people on the planet.

**On the other hand, Zeke reminds me of another sensitive, cerebral guy - my brother Sam, who is a terrific athlete, including being a really good football and rugby player.  So what do I know?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A little of this, a little of that

I've been crazy busy both at home and at work.  I feel like my head is full of things I want to write down in an organized way, but I can't because it's all crammed in there too tight for me to present anything except in bullet form. 
  • J started on the night shift last week.  So he works Sunday night to Thursday night, from 9 pm to 5 am.  It actually hasn't been too bad, because he still picks the kids up from school in the afternoons and then plays with them for a little while before bringing them home for dinner.  We hang out for awhile, then he goes to work and I get the kids to bed.  Then he's home when we get up in the morning.  Sometimes he gets the kids up and takes them to school, sometimes he's too tired, so I do it.  But we see each other about the same as we did before, except that we don't sleep together.  Ships passing in the night and all that.  Such is the modern life.
  • We went to a really fun party last weekend, hosted by the parents of one of Josie's classmates.  It was a quasi-dressy garden party, so I wore my sassy reunion dress and J wore a nice shirt and linen pants.  We met some really cool people and had a blast having a night out with no kids.  But J being J, he abandoned his shoes at one point, stepped on something and sliced open the ball of his foot.  A first aid kit was produced and I proceeded to do surgery by cutting away this massive chunk of bloody skin that was hanging off of him, then cleaning and bandaging the wound.  At least J was so drunk ("beer-then-liquor-never-sicker") that it didn't hurt him too much.  When he went back the next day to retrieve his wallet or whatever he had left, he asked Erin, the hostess, if she had a good time.  "Well, one person sprained their ankle, another fell down the stairs, there's blood on the patio and the house smells like weed.  So I guess it was a successful party!"
  • Tomorrow is another flex day.  I'm getting a massage, organizing the kids' clothes drawers, and maybe going to IKEA, which opened a Denver branch a couple of weeks ago.  I've never been to an IKEA.  I may have a spontaneous orgasm upon walking into the place.  I'll let you know.
  • Wonder of wonders, J and I are having another date night this weekend.  I KNOW!  Two weekends in a row!!  This time we're going with some friends to watch the USA v. Canada in rugby.  I've never played rugby, but both my brothers have played, J played as a kid in Australia, and the guy we're going with plays in a local rec league.  It's actually a really fun game to watch, plus it'll be great to hang out with friends and have a grown-up night out.
  • Continuing the theme of men being clueless when they enter the confines of a grocery store or similar retail establishment, J noticed that Zeke was running low on night-time pull-ups (he's toilet trained during the day, but wears a pull-up diaper at night) and offered to pick some up on his way home from work.  I said, "the ones he's been wearing are 4T-5T and they're a little big on him.  Get the 3T-4T size."  J said, "right, got it."  He came home with baby diapers (not pull-ups) in a size 4 -- which is what Josie wears.  Zeke hasn't worn size 4s for at least 2 1/2 years.  I can't win.
Happy Thursday, all!

Thursday, August 04, 2011

How to have a healthy marriage, and why almond milk is good for you

About a year ago I was informed that this blog had been put on a list of the top 50 blogs for marriage advice.  Considering that you can't swing a virtual dead cat without hitting 100 other blogs just like this one, and that I ain't exactly Dooce when it comes to the level of my readership, I was (pleasantly) surprised and a bit befuddled.  Then a few months ago some guy who wrote a book about marriage, and particularly Jewish marriage, contacted me and asked me to do a post for his blog and also to read and review his book (I would provide a link to his blog but now I can't find the email).  Because I am constantly overestimating my ability to get anything done, I told him I would and then promptly didn't.  Not to be an asshole, but let's just say it's a task that joins many others on a very long list.

But the thought of being asked for marriage or relationship advice or insight popped into my head yesterday when I was poking around in the fridge looking for almond milk.  I drink almond milk, and particularly use it to make my daily Shakeology shakes, because it's very low in calories and has no sugar, so it's perfect for my low glycemic diet

The thing is, there are two kinds of almond milk -- sweetened and unsweetened.  And obviously, I need the unsweetened kind.

J is working on a big job at a local supermarket that's undergoing massive refurbishment, so he does a lot of our shopping these days.  Which is great, because it saves me a chore (at least during the week), because now that I'm taking the bus to work, I can't just pop in to the grocery store on my way home from work anymore. 

But it's also a problem, because he is about the worst grocery shopper on the planet.

For some reason, in our relationship it has become my job to keep track of the contents of our pantry and refrigerator.  And maybe it is just a function of how my brain works -- I have the ability to see in my mind a snapshot of the cupboards or fridge at any given time, so I can pretty much always tell you what we have and what we need.  Plus, I assume that if I am aware of the fact that we are out of soy sauce, everyone else is aware of that fact as well, so if they happen to be at the grocery store, they will know to pick up a bottle of soy sauce without me having to tell them.  Or that at least, if someone else is going to go to the store, they will let me know beforehand and say something like, "I'm going to the store.  I'm going to get cheese, pasta, pasta sauce and laundry detergent.  Is there anything else we need?"  And then I'll say, "don't forget the soy sauce."

But invariably, one of two things happens. 
  • I will go to the store and replenish the soy sauce supply, and then J will go the store and ALSO buy more soy sauce, so we end up with an entire section of the fridge devoted to soy sauce; or
  • J will do some shopping without telling me in advance, will be oblivious to the lack of soy sauce in the house (even though he's the only one who uses it) and will not buy any, and then the next time I make red Thai curry chicken, he will ask me for soy sauce and then be annoyed when I explain that we don't have any.
Actually, three things - I just thought of a third.
  • I will say I'm going to the store and ask him if there's anything he can think of that we need.  He'll say "soy sauce," because he only glanced in the fridge for .38 seconds and didn't see the bottle of soy sauce hiding in plain sight next to the bottle of Newman's Own salad dressing.  I'll say, "don't we already have soy sauce?" because I have my mental picture.  J will say, "no."  I'll think to myself, I could have sworn we had some, but he's the one that uses it, so I guess he finished it without my realizing it.  Then I will buy soy sauce.  When I get home, I will be annoyed when I go to put it away when I find that we already had a full bottle sitting right under our noses.
J is also a bad grocery shopper because he doesn't pay attention to labels.  And I don't just mean the details of nutritional labels, like how many calories or fat grams are in anything.  I'm talking about the basics.  One time he said he was going to the store, so I asked him to pick up some shredded cheddar cheese because we were going to have chili for dinner.  He came home with fake, non-dairy soy cheese-type substance.  When I was getting dinner ready and grabbed the "cheese" and saw what it was, I asked, "what the hell is this?"  "Oh, I just grabbed it.  I didn't realize what it was."

Cue the eye roll.

So, back to the almond milk. 

Last week, when he told me he was going to do some grocery shopping, I asked him to pick up some almond milk.  I said, "make sure it's the unsweetened kind.  It will say 'unsweetened' on it.  If it doesn't say, 'unsweetened,' don't get it.  It's sweetened by default, so get the kind that says, 'unsweetened.'" 

I must have told him this 5 or 6 different times.  He "yeah yeah"-ed me.

He came home with the sweetened kind.

Then again, two nights ago he was going to do some grocery shopping.  I gave him a list.  On the list, I wrote "almond milk."  When I gave him the list, I said, "please make sure it's the unsweetened kind."  I said this repeatedly.  He "yeah yeah"-ed me.

So there I am yesterday, poking around in the fridge, looking for almond milk.  All I can find is the same carton of sweetened milk that I can't drink.

"I thought you were getting almond milk?  It was on the list."

"But we already have some, right there," he responded.

I took a deep breath and tried to keep my head from exploding.

You hear people talk about communication being the key to a healthy relationship.  And I wholeheartedly agree with that.  But I think I would focus on a different kind of communication than the kind talked about in every other article in women's magazines. 

Don't talk about your deep-down feelings or that kind of shit.  Really, most of the time, who the fuck cares? 

I'm talking about communicating -- both talking and listening -- about the basics.  Chores.  Laundry.  Grocery shopping.  Where you put the kids' shoes when you came home from the pool, so that the next time we go out I know where their shoes are.

The little things that make everyday life so tedious.  My feeling is, if you make those things smoother, everything is smoother.  Remove the small annoyances that build up into big annoyances and grumpiness.

If you're the only one that knows what's in the fridge, just accept that fact, make a list and keep it someplace conspicious.  And when your spouse says, "make sure you get the unsweetened almond milk," then get the motherfucking unsweetened almond milk.

But also, when you don't get what you want, take a deep breath and keep your head from exploding.  Because in the grand scheme of things, life goes on.

It's just almond milk.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Family tradition

When my brother Joshua was little, I'm thinking maybe 4 years old or so -- in other words, close to Zeke's age now -- he and my mom were out together.  Grocery shopping, running errands.  Doing something out in public.

And my mother noticed a dwarf was standing near them.  (Or "little person," whatever.) 

Her stomach sank, because she knew that Josh would notice them too.  And would be incapable of not commenting on this person's short stature. 



"Yes, Joshua.  Shhh."

His body was practically vibrating with excitement at this point.  "Mom!  MOM!!  Look!!  Look!"

"Yes, Joshua, I see, please don't point.  Shhh.  It's not polite."

"But Mom!  Mom!!  Look at that person!!  Look!  LOOOK!  MOM MOM MOOOOOOM!"

"Mmmhmmm, hey, we need to get out of here, pleasestoppointingI'llgiveyouanythingyouwantjustpleasestop ohmygodjustlettheflooropenupandswallowusboth.  ShhhhPlease."

I know most parents go through a similar situation at least once. 

But it's hard to be prepared.

Yesterday Zeke and I went for a late afternoon swim at our community pool.  It's a short walk from our house so it's nice to go late and get the kids tired and hungry from swimming -- dinner and bedtime tend to be a breeze.  Josie didn't feel like going so she stayed with J and they went for a walk or something, and Zeke and I walked over for a swim, just the two of us. 

We were hanging out in a corner of the big swimming pool and Zeke was practicing swimming from the wall to where I was standing, about 10 feet away.  There were a couple of ladies sitting on the edge of the pool with their feet dangling in the water.  They were both a little on the heavy side.

At one point Zeke said, "look, Mama, that lady has a baby in her tummy."

I hadn't noticed any pregnant women in the vicinity, so I was looking around trying to find who he was talking about.

"Where, sweetie?"

"Right there!"  He pointed to one of the ladies sitting near us.  Who, to me, looked chubby rather than pregnant, though I couldn't say for sure. 

My chest tightened.  I threw a Hail Mary.  "Oh, do you mean that pregnant lady way waaay over there down by the fence, really far away from where we are now?  Is that the lady you were talking about?"  My efforts were so pitiful and obvious to me that I was practically rolling my eyes at myself.

Zeke started swimming again and appeared to lose interest in the maybe-chubby-maybe-pregnant lady.  I figured we were safe and concentrated on teaching him how to time his breathing and float on his back.  We meandered around the shallow end a little bit.

We drifted back to our old position.  Near the lady.  He glanced at her and her stomach a few times, obviously trying to work out what was going on, but then would go back to swimming.

Then at one point, Zeke swam from me to the wall, right next to where she was now standing in the water. 

And said to her, "hey!  You have a big tummy!"

I grabbed Zeke's arm and whisked him away to give him a talk about how people don't like to be told that they have big tummies.  I was uttering parento-babble-bullshit, hoping to distract and somehow persuade him at the same time. 

Thankfully, the lady was deep in conversation with her friend and either didn't hear Zeke or did a great job of acting as if she hadn't heard him. 

But still, I was mortified, and I keep thinking I could have handled it better or differently, though I'm not sure how.

Parents out there, what would you have done?  Any tips on dealing with a situation like this?