THE M:M MUSIC TEAM (LOTR): Crystal Ann Lea, Meg MacDonald, Rene Magallon
"New Birth In New England"
Morgxn ft. Walk the Moon
"Letter To Lady J"
In a wave of sympathy for my sister who actually fell asleep while texting me last week, my wife and I offered to have her and her husband’s kids, 6-year-old Dylan and 4 year-old- Molly, over this past weekend for a slumber party. There may have also been some of our wine involved with this offer.
We’d never had both kids this long. Now that it’s over, we poured out all of our wine.
My sister dropped them off Saturday afternoon at 2:00. It was supposed to be 5:00. She picked them up Sunday at 5:00. It was supposed to be 2:00. She’s not dyslexic and as far as I know, learned how to tell time when she was 8.
The three hour early drop-off was basically a drive-by where she slowed down, tossed out their suitcase while they jumped out the back. As I collected/rescued the kids, I trotted next to the slowly pulling away car and asked if she wanted to come in for a few minutes to catch up. She sped up, and pretending to be on the phone (I saw it was not lit up) mouthed “Sorry! Can’t!” This was followed by screeching tires.
The next day’s pick-up (three hours late) was a little different. She and my brother-in-law took about an hour to park (our driveway was free), strolled slowly to the front door, stood outside chatting a while (I was watching through the peephole) savoring their last few minutes of freedom.
When they finally came in, they settled on our deck, chilled and talked about how much sleep they’d gotten, the weather, their favorite colors…..basically anything to be in the presence of two extra sets of hands.
What happened in between has me thinking Dylan and Molly should be given a writing credit on this.
I took them upstairs and they immediately climbed onto the bed, started doing summersaults and playing “timmmmmber” throwing their bodies head first into pillows and occasionally the headboard.
I went to unpack their suitcase and when I opened it, like a jack-in-the-box on steroids, about 30 stuffed toys exploded in my face. I dug through hippo (the raggedy blanket with eyes drawn on it), monkey, bear and a menagerie of elephants, giraffes and lions, finding nothing of use to anyone over the age of 6.
Me: Hey guys, is there another suitcase? Dylan: (not pausing from body slamming his sister) No. Why? Me: Well because this one is full of stuffed animals. Dylan: Mom let us pack ourselves! Me: I can see that. Molly: (tossing pillows in the air knocking the bedside alarm clock over) And I put in all our books! Me: Great, your teeth will all fall out from not brushing them but at least hippo and monkey won’t go without a bedtime story.
While Maia made dinner, Dylan very seriously informed me that they’re only supposed to have milk or water to drink with dinner and that recently they had both become allergic to water.
Off to the store we went (at this point it was early and I had the energy).
Me: So what kind of milk do you guys normally drink? Molly: Chocolate! Me: We’re not having chocolate milk. Dylan: Vanilla! Me: It’s milk, not milkshakes. I mean do you like whole milk? 2%? Skim? Molly: Red. Me: There is no red milk. Dylan: She means the carton.
We arrived home and sat down to freshly made Lentil pasta with peas, and on the side, carrots and cucumbers with hummus; and, to wash it all down, two glasses of red milk.
Dylan: Aunt Maia this looks scrumptious! Maia: Thanks Dylan! Dylan: You should be a cook when you grow up. Maia: I’ll look into it. Molly: Can I put the pasta in ketchup? Maia: No Molly, the pasta already has sauce and it’s red and has a lot of the same things as ketchup. Molly: Can I put the carrots in ketchup? Maia: No, that’s what the hummus is for you and you love hummus! Molly: Can I put the cucumbers in ketchup? Maia (to me): Is it time for S’mores yet?
After dinner we roasted marshmallows over the fire pit and made the s’mores. Both kids delighted in lighting their marshmallows on fire and blowing them out. They then proceeded to pull the s’mores apart, getting melted marshmallow on everything except the graham crackers and chocolate.
Molly: Can I put the marshmallows in ketchup? Me: No. Molly: Then can I just eat ketchup with a fork? Maia (looking at me): She is so related to you.
After we got into jammies, everyone brushed their teeth (I dug back through the suitcase and unearthed from its hidden pockets a few necessities their mom and dad managed to sneak in so as not to upset the traveling zoo). We had a brief pillow fight and then all four of us snuggled in downstairs under a big blanket, turned off the lights and settled in for “It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.”
Right before the movie ended, Molly looked at both of us:
Molly: I just love you guys.
Maia to Me: I’m going to go get her a fork and ketchup Me to Maia: I’m going out to get her chocolate milk and a pony.
Bedtime went pretty smoothly. After several “I have to pee”s and even more “I’m thirsty”s (it’s a vicious circle) we tucked them in.
Their mom had warned us about them getting up in the middle of the night for more water and bathroom visits and that we would be lucky if they stayed in bed until 6 a.m. She also warned us that once they’re up, getting them back to sleep would require a time machine.
We were hoping all the activity from the day would keep them asleep until at least 6:30 a.m. And it probably would have, except the guest room alarm clock went off at 5 a.m. right next to their sound-asleep little heads.
Maia ran in (I pretended to be asleep) and shut if off but it was too late. They were awake. We deduced that the pillow Molly had thrown knocking it over was what thwarted us. She lost her ketchup rights for the rest of the day.
In an attempt to get them to go back to sleep, I climbed into bed with them and asked for snuggles. In about 10 minutes I heard the soft sounds of steady kid-breathing. One minute later as I was drifting back off, I heard the shriek of our downstairs water filter alarm that only goes off twice a year to let us know it’s running a clean-out process. The alarm clock was Molly’s fault. The water filter going off was just fate being mean.
They were up and I had no choice but to join them. Maia was still sleeping, or faking it (we do that a lot when there's an unpleasant task at hand) and I didn’t have the energy to challenge it.
The rest of the day was a flurry of taking them to breakfast, visiting my brother’s house, playing in the park, taking them to lunch, singing songs along the way and finding out about their futures while walking to their favorite place, Einstein’s bagels.
Dylan: I used to want to be a scientist. Then I wanted to be a policeman. Now I want to be a mailman. Me: That’s quite a change. Why a mailman? Dylan: They get to drive trucks with the doors open and throw mail onto peoples yards and they have keys to everything. Molly (getting impatient to get to the bagel store): Hurry up you slow-folks!!
I was laughing too hard to correct her.
Sunday after they left was blissfully calm and quiet. No shoes to find, no stories to read and no cleaning up muddy footprints. But I have to admit, later that day I turned on SpongeBob and tried dipping a marshmallow in ketchup. I’m not sure which was worse.
Either way, I’ll have them back. A wise person once said, “Be nice to your nephews and nieces, one day you’ll need them to smuggle alcohol into your nursing home.” I’m counting on them.
“I can’t believe it’s already the time of year when I have to rake my leaves into my neighbor’s yard.”
Sharon Van Etten
“The singer-songwriter, known primarily for her guitar- and piano-driven arrangements, shifts into full-on synth mode with “Comeback Kid,” crooning over whirring keys and a jagged, tumbling drum groove.” – Rolling Stone
“the rousing, serrated anthem "Comeback Kid," which channels the jagged forcefulness of St. Vincent without sacrificing the humanity that's infused every moment of Van Etten's career.” – NPR
“Cat Power’s Chan Marshall is a powerhouse.” – Chicago Tribune
“The grand dame of indie melancholia returns.” – Q Magazine
“She is still too vibrant a songwriter, with too extraordinary a voice and too many feelings, to stop now.” – New York Times
“An instantly-catchy, folk-tinged anthem.” – Idolator
“Noah Kahan is a songwriter of rare skill.” – Clash Magazine
“His songs are laced with youthful wisdom, nostalgia, and honest lyrics that anyone can relate to.” – Baeble
Christine and the Queens
“pop music that truly matters” – The Guardian
“A perfect pop record” – The Independent
“The most subversive, game-changing pop star we have” – DIY