Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Things We Do for Love: Monster Truck Jam Edition

The most beloved DVD of all timeExactly one year ago, my husband's boss gave him the DVD to the right. "My son loved this—he watched it over and over," he said. "So I thought maybe Desmond would like it, too."

I remember the first time I played it for him. It was February 27, 2014, and we were in Montana. Dustin was out at a client meeting and Des and I were in our hotel room. I decided that I would pop the DVD into my laptop to entertain Des while I attempted to get ready for the day. He was immediately transfixed.

Mega Truck Adventures (which came out in 2003, and has some hilarious Amazon reviews) consists of three half-hour-long episodes of this guy Dave teaching kids about bulldozers, monster trucks and tanks. Desmond had no time for the bulldozers or tanks. He only wanted to watch the monster truck part.

For that one, Dave is joined by the equally jean-clad Becky, and they do everything from drive monster trucks themselves to visit a real monster truck rally. It's the cheesiest acting and dialogue you'll ever see. My husband compared it to something that starts with p and rhymes with corn.

That hair! That style!

Size does matter

After watching this video, Desmond became obsessed—and I do mean obsessed—with monster trucks. Along with Cars, "There Goes a Monster Truck" is really the only thing he watches on TV. I've given him a few other options. But he keeps going back for more gigantic-wheel mayhem.

Those who know Des have been kind enough to help him build his own personal monster truck toy collection. Here's just what was within arms' reach that I could pull together for a quick picture:

It could be worse, right?

But then last week I came across a friend's post on Facebook that made me think we could be doing more to enjoy this monster truck phase with him. This friend and her son had gone to a monster truck rally, and she had uploaded a video of one of the very same trucks that is actually featured on Desmond's treasured DVD. Hmm.

Grave Digger in all his glory.
Then yesterday I was on a tour of the school where Des will likely go to pre-K in the fall. A flyer hanging on the bulletin board caught my eye. It was for a "Monster Truck Jam" at a Chicagoland arena in just two weeks. I pointed it out to my husband. If they allowed the flyer in an elementary school it couldn't be that bad, could it? Hmm.

All sorts of wheels were turning in my head after we left the tour and I took one parting glance back at the flyer. Should we actually go to a monster truck rally?!? Wasn't it going to be a bunch of people in acid-washed jeans and '80s fashion, just like on the DVD? Wouldn't we be surrounded by mullets? Would it be safe? Would Desmond be scared? Am I being snobby about this?

I was still thinking through everything when my husband emailed me two hours later: "I bought tickets to the Monster Truck Jam. It's at 2 so Des won't have a nap that day."

Well, the decision was made for me, it seems. We are going to do something I never thought we'd do: go to a monster truck rally. All for Baba G, because we know he's going to love it.

Oooohh, yeeeeaaaah
As I was still working through my feelings about all of this, I remembered how my parents took me and my brother to a WWF match back in the day. Yes, I was really into professional wrestling once. I'm not sure if it was because I had a younger brother who dug it or because it was totally better back then with the Miss Elizabeth/Macho Man/Hulk drama (seriously, it was), but most people who know me today would probably bet lots of money that I would never be caught within 1,000 miles of a pro-wrestling tournament. But I went back then and freakin' loved it.

Yes, some big, burly and bearded biker-looking dudes spilled beer down our backs. And sure, it's probably where some of my hearing issues first started. But it was worth it.

And so I look forward to our monster truck adventure with Baba G. Rest assured I will report back in a few weeks!

- e

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Upside of Sick Days

Yes, yes you can.
Hello everybody! Those of you who read my According to e blog know that one of my 2015 goals has been to get back into a regular writing routine (well, a routine that includes some personal posts and not just stuff for clients that nobody else sees).

Since today is a holiday, however, I wasn't planning on posting. But then an idea popped into my head that I thought would be perfect to use to fire up this blog again. See, I was really looking forward to a "Baba G & Me Day" today: my husband is traveling, my nanny has the day off, I'm caught up on my client work, and it's a sunny/not-freezing morning here in Chicago. After Des woke up, we were going to walk down to my favorite breakfast diner, then continue running around the neighborhood while getting some errands done, meet a friend and her daughter for lunch, and then Des could play while I moved some furniture around in our condo in advance of a painting project we have scheduled.

But it was not to be.

After showing symptoms of a cold yesterday, Des woke up in full-on gross mode this morning. As in, at 7:40 a.m. I heard him blowing his nose heartily... on his pillow. It's now three hours later and we've gone through approximately 1,000 tissues. I scrapped our breakfast outing because he has that kind of cough where I suspect he could make himself throw up if he had just the right combination of swallowing, breathing and coughing.

He's usually high-energy to the point where he doesn't want to stop running around and playing for anything—eating, going to the potty, napping, you name it. But today he is content to sit in my bed and chill. He hardly ever gets to watch TV, but I decided that today he just needs to lay low, and with that comes Bob the Builder, his monster truck DVD and, of course, Cars.

Seriously, mommy?

I'm disappointed that we aren't going to have the exact Mommy/Son Day I'd hoped for, but I'm also not gonna complain about staying in our jammies and snuggling while watching Lightning McQueen go from a brat to a cool dude for the ten bazillionth time. Plus, I've been able to throw in a load of laundry (including all contents of his bed), Swiffer the entire floor, and write this post quickly from the other room.

So yes, it sucks that he's not feeling 100%. But at this point it's just a cold and I'm still thankful for some quiet time together. Because we all know that in a matter of days he'll be running around like a nutball and won't want to make time for any snuggles with mom!

- e