What's happening with the Hill family!

Friday, September 9, 2011

El Presidente

The other day Connor woke up with a lot on his mind, specifically the state of our government. Not really, but he had lots of questions about how one gets to be President of this great country. He asked me lots of questions ranging from my thoughts on George Washington to the voting process. It was kind of exhausting.

Keeping in mind that he is still only five, I tried to sum up the basics of the electoral process as best I could, knowing though, that if I dumbed it down too much, he could very easily call me out on it and I would end up looking stupid. I skimmed over the electoral college, because let's face it, even as an adult that still kind of confuses me, and frankly, he is about two episodes of The Daily Show away from being politically smarter than either one of his parents, so I just can't chance it. He was fascinated by the process of voting. After I explained how it works, he sat for a few minutes quietly processing. I have learned after a few years of conversations with my oddly bright child that during this quiet time I have to go against my natural instinct to fill the silence with more words and just let him do his thing. After thinking it through he said, "So let me get this straight, to vote you go to a place like the library and then you go in a room and pick who you want to be president. Then you come out and yell, 'I choose Connor! I want Connor Hill!'" Then all the spectators would clap.

Okay........ so not exactly. And somewhere along the way our conversation veered from how does "one" become president to how does "Connor" become president. He had obviously put more consideration into this than I had originally thought. I told him there were a lot more specifics to the process than I had told him originally but he had the general idea. I asked him what kind of president he thought he wanted to be and he said, "Well, kind of like George Washington but a lot better." Well that is a start, I guess. He told me that he has some big plans for his presidency such as helping people not just get jobs but get jobs that they like. Then he is going to make sure that all kids get to go to schools (a sad fact that bothers him endlessly) and he hopes that they get teachers like his mommy so that everyone will love school as much as he does.  That really melted this mother of the fake president's heart.  He also wants everyone to like the color red and get to wear whatever they want to school.  That feels a little left wing to me :)  Then he told me the thing he was most excited about was giving speeches. 

Ah, the speeches. 

Thanks to a particular moment on the morning announcements at school, he has decided that he would like to devote a large portion of his life to speech giving.  The topics vary.  We have heard orations on everything from the importance of always trying your best to the most efficient way to double knot shoe laces.  His target audience is always his brother, who honestly does not have the patience to listen to Connor expound on the eternal debate of white milk (Good for your bones and not very much sugar) and chocolate milk (A lot more sugar but makes your stomach so happy).  Having Hud as the audience is probably good practice for a future political career since it is forcing Connor to get used to heckling. 

He went to his room to think some more about his presidency.  I took the opportunity to pray that my child will eventually choose a less smarmy career.  A little while later he came down with his latest list of plans.  He had some words he wanted me to translate into Spanish because he will apparently be running on some sort of bilingual platform.  Then he also told me that Hudson needed to get dressed up (preferably in a vest) because he was going to be his helper.  It was going to be Hudson's job to hold his papers while he gave speeches and play the music.  His campaign song?  "Life is a Highway." I mean, really, what else could it be?

Later on when Dad got home we were retelling the events of the day and filling him in on the plan.  He listened to it all and then looked at me and said, "Good grief Melissa, this must be what the Kennedys felt like.  Let's give Jack and Bobby a bath and then we'll watch the Rangers." 

I wonder if Rose Kennedy understood the electoral college. Probably.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Grey Hair #1327

Rarely does an incident happen in our house where I instantly think, "This is blog worthy." Usually I need a few days  or maybe even a week of distance to really see a situation for how horrifying it truly was, but not last night.  Oh no, last night was so ridiculous, no amount of distance is going to help clarify my perspective.  Here is what happened.

Matt had to work late so the kids and I were on our own.  We decided to meet up with some of our friends at our favorite Mexican restaurant.  It sounded like fun, plus I didn't have to cook.  It was essentially a perfect plan.  But you know what they say about the best laid plans....they end up in public humiliation.  So anyway, we have been to this restaurant at least a 100 times, so of course my children feel extremely comfortable there and strut around like they own the place.  Whatever, I was still in my happy place because I got to see friends and eat food I didn't cook!  We arrived early and were shown to our table.  We had been seated for exactly .37 seconds when Hud announced in an extrememly loud, peircing voice that he had, "to go tee tee!  BAD!!"  Okay, off we all went to the restrooms.  As we approached, I turned around to make sure Connor was following and in that split second, Hud raced into the men's restroom.  Oh! No, no, no!  Immediately, I felt a twinge of panic.  Here we were, fatherless and now my three year old had just raced into a very busy men's bathroom unattended.  I turned to Connor and said, "Get in there and get your brother."  This stressed him because it was in direct conflict with our usual bathroom policy :No one goes in alone and if anyone ever says a word to you in a restroom, you run out screaming. No exceptions.  Is that policy a little extreme?  I think not. 

Faced with this task, Connor literally squared his shoulders and pushed his way in to "rescue" his brother while I hovered like at the door like some kind of pervert, averting my eyes everytime it swung open.  As I said,there was a lot of foot traffic in and out and each time the door opened I could hear bits and pieces of the battle royale unfolding inside.  Here is a little sample,
"Hudson!  Unlock this door right now!  We can't be in here alone with men!"

"Leave alone Connor! I tee tee in this potty now!"

Then, "Don't make me come in there Hudson!"   Oh sweet Lord!

At this point, I am coming up with plan B to retrieve them because I am now visualizing Hudson's usual potty routine.  When H uses a kid potty he is golden, but in order to balance himself on an adult size toilet he has to pretty much do the splits to stay balanced or he falls completely in.  In order to do splits worthy of Cirque del Soleil he must remove both his pants and underwear.  So now I know that in a stall in that restroom is my youngest child at least partially naked, possibly fully naked, if he could manage it and the mood struck.  Maybe now is the proper time to mention that he was also wearing his Super H cape.  I just want you to get the full visual.  All of a sudden the door swung open and an elderly man came out and asked, "Are those your boys in there?"  I wanted to say, "No, why?"  but instead lowered my head slightly and said, "Yes sir."  He looked at me for a second and said, "I'm going to tell you a story about what is going on in there, but only if you promise that you won't fuss at them when they come out."  Are you kidding me?  There is going to be a heck of a lot more than "fussing" going on when those two rapscallions emerge from that restroom.  But I couldn't say that because he seemed really sweet, so I simply said, "I promise sir. Just tell me."

He recapped the part I had heard where Connor threatened to "come in there" and then as he was washing his hands saw Hudson throw his cape under the stall and command, "Hold this Connor."  Connor, taking that as some sort of sign, donned the cape and crawled under the stall.  There was a a lot of scuffling and after a long moment and half a dozen toilet flushes, they emerged together.  Hudson was once again wearing the cape.  At this point in his retelling, the man says, "I was already done washing my hands but I really just wanted to see what they would do next."  He said they came and stood next to him at the sink and Connor hoisted him up to the sink, the whole time lecturing on how they were not allowed to be in there and if any "men talk to us we have to run out of here screaming Hudson, do you understand me?"  Connor washed his hands, then Hudson's and then smoothed his brother's hair down with water and was in the process of drying both their hands and Hudson's hair with the hot air dryer when the man decided to come out and relay what he witnessed.  Sure enough, towards the end of the story, out came my two children no worse for the wear but looking guilty as heck.  Well strike that, Connor looked guilty, Hudson looked bored.  We started walking back towards the tables with this really sweet old man and he said, "I have to tell you that was the funniest damn thing I have seen in a long time and those are two of these sweetest brothers I've ever come across.  I wanted to tell them I thought they did a good job in there, but I didn't want them to run out screaming.  Now you remember what you promised me.  No fussing."  

Well I guess if he is going to put it that way.....maybe it was a little funny.  Especially since Hudson's shorts and underwear were both still on backwards.

And Matt wonders why I am going grey.