“Gumbah Sheen! Gumbah Sheen!”

There was a whole lot of sleep missing from this weekend. Also frequently missing was my good humor, parking spots in my neighborhood (Halloween weekend meant parking 10 blocks away on Saturday night) and the last shreds of a two year old’s patience. Fern, who is fighting off the sniffles and is feeling touchy, is in the next room chanting “NOOOO WAYYY. NOOOO WAYYY.”. It’s some kind of mixture of “No me” and “Go away”. With toddler-ese, something gets lost in the translation if you think about it too hard and it’s best understood through an immersion program. I’m sitting here with my espresso life-line and ghost sugar cookie, gathering fortification for another day of fending off well meaning strangers who eagerly try to push sugar into my daughter’s hands. Giving a kid white sugar is like the back firing plan of Wile Coyote…seems so good at the time, but you just add water to your ACME something or other, and before you know it, you’re clinging to an anvil after being thrown off a cliff. IT NEVER ENDS WELL.

Actually, I think I may reverse the roles. I’m contemplating buying a bag of candy, sticking Fern in the wagon, and going for a walk around the neighborhood. She loves distributing treats almost more than she does eating them, so maybe we’ll pop into our local haunts and pass out some goodies. However, this may also be one of those plans that DOES NOT END WELL and may conclude with me crying and hiding from my toddler in the water closet, while stuffing my mouth full of Mounds bars.

Here are some visions from our weekend.

Sunday we went to the Halloween extravaganza at Children’s Fairyland.

While Jeff picked up Leonithas, I took the opportunity between meltdowns to redo Fern’s face paint. Any guesses?

Fairyland is near Lake Merritt in Oakland, and this fella was perched near our parking spot. It’s a Black Capped Night Heron. As in, they normally are awake at dusk. I asked him what he was doing up in the middle of the day, but he just stared at me with that sleepless bloodshot eye. City birds. 

The kids were overwhelmed and over-stimulated in the theme park, but on the way there and on the way back, they found plenty to engage and play with in the woods surrounding. Really, super slides, train rides and candy stations pale in comparison to a good stick, some soft dirt and a pile of leaves.

Well, except nothing really compares to a bouncy house. “Dup! Dup!”

We stood in line for the train, everyone joining in the effort to Distract the Impatient Toddler. 

So you “get” the costume now. We have a gumball machine in the house that Jeff bought for Leo. At the beginning of his visits, the kids get to take a penny out of the magic chest and use it to procure a gumball. If Fern had her way, she would eat gumballs for breakfast, second breakfast, lunch, tea, dinner, and supper, going to bed with it at night in case she wanted a midnight snack. Gumball was one of her first words. 

At this point in her toddlerhood, I have a hard time wrapping my head around the concept that some day she will be 4 like her brother, and will actually enjoy the outings we do as a family. Until then, I’m thinking about going back to my old strategy, which was to not go outside of a 4 block radius from our house. Really, it’s just so much easier for everyone.

I have no idea how she learned to be so cool.

On the walk back to the car, we were rescued from an overtired tantrum by a flock of curious and hungry geese. This one seemed to actually be attracted to her crying. 

Back at the house, Fern took a nap and I hid in my room, while Jeff and Leo snuck out to get early birthday treats. (My bday is Nov. 1st, but he wanted to do something on our family day. Awww.)

I forgot to take a photo before I dug in, but they brought me a chocolate tea cup filled with chocolate cake and ganache, with a ghost cookie on top. Leo couldn’t believe it when I crunched into the cup making Cookie Monster noises. He thought it was real.

Don’t be giving my kid sugar, people. I’m too busy giving it to her myself.

We forget to be the subjects of our own lives sometimes.

(New earrings a birthday present from my Mom. I had fallen in love with them at Notah Dineh when we were in Colorado this summer, but couldn’t afford them. My little cousin Kate was with me, and she remembered which ones they were and tipped my Mom off. Awesome job Kate!)

Happy Halloween!!!!!!


12 thoughts on ““Gumbah Sheen! Gumbah Sheen!”

  1. Wishing peace, love and light on your birthday. Especially the peace, huh? I thankfully have blocked out any memories of toddler tantrums. They were few and far between with my boys. Such a blessing. Thanks for sharing the love!

  2. yeah, i’ve given up on the sugar thing. it’s once a year so i just say go nuts. eat the sugar, breakdance around like a crazy person, cry and then sleep. we’ll eat carrots next week. have a good halloween! i love that hat!

  3. wow you guys are so cute i feel like i’ve had my own sugar high for the day just looking at your sweet faces! both children are achingly beautiful and full of sparkle. maybe for your birthday you’ll get to hibernate for a few days!? good luck pretty mama. and have a fabulous day. you look gorgeous in your earrings, full of love and all happiness and all the good stuff that should accompany desperately over-the-top fun days and i can’t even tell you’re exhausted. now go rest! peace and love to you.

  4. i love love love halloween/day of the dead, but there are those unfortunate aspects (crappy candy, consumerism, slutty costumes etc). once my kids return from trick or treating, we go through their loot and they get to save a handful of pieces and we hand out the rest to other trick or treaters : P

    happy happy birthday, my fellow scorp!

  5. Yes, once I “got” the costume, I couldn’t get over how cute it was! This seems like a very special little Halloween celebration. And here’s to continuing the celebration for your birthday!

  6. happy birthday friend!!! i sit and revel in the fact that the kids went for the candy fairy option. she is cousins with the tooth fairy. did you know? of course! and i sit and eat dark chocolate now that they are asleep. i hope your day was magical. it is such a good day. mistress of the ones. 11-1-11. love.

  7. Happy Birthday dearest Mary! You have such a marvelous little gumball machine (she even charms geese)and a beautiful husband and spritely stepson to share chocolate cups and a life with. I hope you have the most marvelous day with minimal tantrums.

  8. pretty sure if i had that chocolate tea cup with or with out the insides, i would be as happy as you look! divine… and that is pretty much the best gumba sheen i have ever seen.

  9. Aw, gumbah sheen! I love it! So adorable and so clever. That little Fern of yours is a charmer, her facial expressions are the best. I do not miss those toddler tantrums though, the way reason and reasoning just don’t even enter into the equation. They can be so frustrating. Hang in there mama, it gets better, and yes, I hope she went easy on you on your birthday 🙂

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