Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Dear so and so: postcards from Long Island

I've taken inspiration this week from the wonderfully witty Brit in Bosnia, (who in turn was inspired by 3 Bedroom Bungalow) to dash off a series of postcards....

Dear Fellow Parents who borrow Library DVDs,

I am not sure what you let your children do to the DVDs that you borrow from the library. Or perhaps it is your dog? Every week we find at least one that looks as if it has been chewed, stamped on, or gouged on the underside with a hypodermic syringe. You blatantly return these to the library without confessing the crime, only for some other unsuspecting parent to take them out and have to deal with their distraught offspring howling that their chosen film isn't working.

Yours, having to explain why there will be no Lion King today,
NVG

Dear Librarian,

The fact that I am always returning DVDs and telling you they are broken does not mean that MY children are the ones wrecking them. I know my boys are rather noisy and noticeable at the Library, and I'm sure that if I did leave them alone with the DVDs with a packet of felt tips and a pair of scissors, they would do untold damage, but I am careful not to let them handle the disks. So please stop giving me the evil eye when I hand them back - or I will just return them damaged like everyone else.

Yours, trying to be a good citizen,
NVG

Dear Long Island Drivers
Yes, it's great that the snow is finally melting. But you don't seem to have noticed that there are huge puddles everywhere and you plough through them at high speed in your huge, f-off 4x4s. I know my car is smaller than yours, and therefore I don't count, but I do not particularly relish getting showered in muddy water every time I pass you. Would slowing down be too much to ask?

Yours, cross and wet,
NVG

Dear American broadcasters,

I'm really gutted that the Winter Olympics has finished. It was great watching it, NBC, even though you delayed all the exciting live events until the evening's primetime viewing (have you not heard, it's the 21st century?). But what has happened to the TV shows I was watching before the Olympics? House, Gray's Anatomy , Flash Forward- all seem to have disappeared from the schedules mid-series and you are simply running repeats. And that was after a six week break from Thanksgiving until January. How on earth do you expect anyone to follow what is going on when you keep taking breaks?

Yours, thinking of trading in the TV permanently,
NVG

Dear Littleboy1,

You were very brave when you threw up the other night at 3am. It must have been horrible, and I felt terribly sorry for you. But we are going to have to wean you off the large amounts of ketchup that you insist on eating. Because pink sick is really not nice, and it's also very difficult to get out of white bedclothes....

Yours, scrubbing the mattress,
Mummy

Dear Littleboy2.

It's great that you have finally mastered toilet training. You are doing all your wees in the potty now, and it was a lot easier than I expected. Now, if you could just manage to do the poos in there too, rather than waiting till bedtime and doing them in your nappy, that would be just perfect.

Yours, still spending a fortune on baby wipes,
Mummy

Dear Preschool,

Thank you for asking me to do a presentation about some element of our native culture. It's great that you want to get the parents involved. But I must confess I am a little stuck. Tabloid reading and binge drinking were the first things that came to mind but somehow I don't think you would be impressed by those topics. Then I thought of doing a talk on Shrove Tuesday, but how on earth would I demonstrate pancake flipping in a classroom? I am also stumped when it comes to dressing the boys in traditional British dress one day next week. Would an England football strip do?

Yours, not feeling very creative,
The Littleboys' mother

(Seriously, if anyone has any ideas on the above, let me know!)

28 comments:

Jen said...

Do they have knight costumes?

Muddling Along Mummy said...

Ohhh knight costumes sounds good - or soldiers with bearskins? Or morris dancers !

Expat mum said...

Drat - I've just given away a pair of pyjamas from Buckingham Palace (the shop that is) that were like a Palace Guard's outfit. So cute. What about Morris Dancers? There's plenty of web sites to copy from and the looks on people's faces when you describe Morris dancing is usually proceless! One American (who'd lived in London for 5 years and clearly hadn't travelled,) actually told me that it wasn't true!

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

Hooray! I love Dear So and so.

We have some knights costumes. Probably not that helpful for you though.

I did laugh with the pink vomit on white sheets syndrome. Been there. Done that. They still didn't learn the lesson. Sigh. You are good on the DVD front. I think I'd have gone native now and be sneaking them in like everyone else.

Mud in the City said...

Beefeaters? Or can you claim Scottish ancestry and just send them off in kilts?

Fourdownmumtogo said...

I am with you on national dress. We had to do that at middle child's nursery and I considered a shaven head and football strip, but then realised I would have to live with him after the special day at nursery. In the end I baked a Victoria sponge and I thought that was effort enough to uphold British culture - after all I do live in London!

NFAH said...

Put the small boys in tiny ties. The Americans will never have seen such a thing. Even better if you can find suits with shorts.

Almost American said...

National costume: School uniform, with tie and blazer with pretentious badge? Maybe not so easy to get a hold of seeing as you're over here!

I'm totally with on the irritating TV schedules!

We returned a library book last summer with out me realizing that DS had removed the page with the bar code on it, so as far as the library was concerned I never returned the book and therefore had to pay to replace it. I just found the page with the barcode today and figured out what had happened :-(

Calif Lorna said...

Just send them in dressed as Harry Potter, that'll do, it's British!

How sad that a football kit would be our national dress, but I have to agree, what else do we have?!

Nota Bene said...

Mud beat me to Beafeaters...got to be better than Morris Dancing...how about roled up trousers and hanky on head? Or velour track suit as befits much of England now...

conuly said...

Did you know you can get marmite at Whole Foods? I've never had it (and don't intend to), but I bet if you bring some in as an element of British culture nobody will ever make you do this ever again. (From what I've heard of the stuff, anyway.)

As far as the DVDs, can't you check them before you check them out? Even if you have to be handed the DVD itself at the counter, can't you open it and look at it then?

nappy valley girl said...

Thanks for all the suggestions....I've decided to go in and read them a story about St George and the dragon. We don't have knight, beefeater or Morris Dancing costumes or even a British school uniform(funny that, being in the US) but I'm sure we can create something. Lorna, Harry Potter is a good idea, the only problem is that loads of the local kids dressed as him for Halloween and they probably wouldn't even get that he was British!

Conuly - we love Marmite in this house! and yes we get it at Whole Foods. I could send in Marmite sandwiches, but I think the Littleboys might be the only ones eating them. As for the DVDs, you can't open them until you've checked them out, by which time I am usually chasing after the boys as they bomb out of the library door....

conuly said...

You should totally bring some in anyway. I dare you!

Rhiannon said...

I had a similar problem - I took in ribena and pictures of castles, palaces and royalty. However, Princes Anne is not what 3 and 4 years think a princess should look like... I don't think they have forgiven me yet.

Mwa said...

How about cricket? That seems awfully British. To talk about, I mean. May be expensive to dress them that way.

nappy valley girl said...

Rhiannon - Ribena is a great idea, thanks! Laughing at the thought of Princess Anne. She is not really the Sleeping beauty, is she...

Mwa - That would be great, except for the fact that I know about as much about cricket as I do about baseball......

Iota said...

Cricket! Yes! You only have to know a few facts - that'll be more than anyone else.

I hid behind my son's Scottish birth heritage when I was asked to do this. Walkers shortbread, pictures of ruined castles from a calendar we had, pictures of bagpipes, Scottish flag. Didn't manage a kilt. Did have a photo of my son's class in Scotland, so took that in to show the uniform.

The following year I was a bit braver and did indeed take in a cricket bat, ball, and stumps. I leant the stumps against the wall, and got the teacher to stand in front of them in batting stance, and then pretended to bowl from the other side of the (very small) classroom. I had also worked out a little more about the American child's palate by that stage, and instead of boring shortbread, I won their hearts with chocolate fingers and Ribena (which they said tasted like apple juice - I suppose it does).

Americans seem very interested in flags, so see if you can do something with the Union Jack.

It's worth asking if anyone has any questions, as it's so unbelievably cute what the kids come up with. They asked what my son's school mascot had been, and I really had to let the side down by saying they hadn't had one.

I bet you're yearning for your decent English washing machine with that pink vomit. It would have got it out no problem.

As for national dress, well, what will the American children wear? Do they have a national dress?

Potty Mummy said...

We had the same problem last term with Boy #1. Finally, after much soul-searching (I think I even wrote a post about it, actually!), he went in wearing chinos and an England Rugby shirt. Pathetic, huh? (Although all the Aussie kids did the same thing with their rugby kit, so at least he wasn't alone...)

Knackered Mother said...

NVG, never drink and tabloid! Or perhaps it's just me that mixes them. Anyhoo, if I haven't missed it, how about getting them to recite the national anthem whilst under curfew from an ASBO? Too much?

Metropolitan Mum said...

Tee hee. You could show them an episode of Vicky Pollard and you'd be sorted ;)
xx MM

A Modern Mother said...

Next time you are in the UK get some of those tall hats with the Union Jack you get at the tourist shops -- they will come in extremely handy as there will be more multi-culture events in you future (it's so PC, don't you know?)

nappy valley girl said...

Iota -thanks for all the suggestions. I think I will bring in Ribena, they are bound to like that. As for the American kids, maybe cowboys? Or just baseball gear....

PM - What I'm not going to do is spend a fortune on some costume that they'll only wear for 3 hours, so I'm leaning towards the football shirt and Rugby fleece that we already have....

Knackered Mother - sounds like a good plan.....maybe I'll throw a few football chants in for good measure.

MetMum - I believe Americans love Little Britain, so maybe that's the best option!

Susanna - I intend to stock up just as soon as we go back. We have nothing in this house with a Union Jack on it at the moment....

Miss Welcome said...

Oh it's a place in England!!! I thought Nappy Valley was like Napa Valley (CA), except that you had kids in diapers. :o)

I just discovered your blog and it's lovely! I am a bit the reverse - a NYC mom transplanted to France. My postcard would be something like this:

Dear Size 2 Moms in Gucci, each with three perfect children, please stop feeling at liberty to observe that a correct children's snack is dark chocolate on whole grain bread with a piece of fruit, or insist that meat products at dinner time is sacrilege.

Yours truly,
Knows the Good She Ought to Do, but Doesn't Always Do It.

Cassandra said...

OMFG CONGRATULATIONS on phase one of the potty training - I am soooooooooooooo pleased for you xxx

conuly said...

As for national dress, well, what will the American children wear? Do they have a national dress?

They'll wear the supposed clothes of their ostensible ancestors whose origin their families think they recall. Or they'll pick a country out of a hat and go with that.

Nunhead Mum of One said...

Hope all went well/goes well with George and the Dragon tale telling!

Heather Davis said...

Yes the US scheduling is a nightmare. It's because they make less episodes in a series than they use to and so they have to fill the schedule with repeats to make it last until May. In England they start all the US shows in Jan so they don't have the gaps.
I hate dress up days at school whatever they are. More stress for us mums!

nappy valley girl said...

Miss Welcome - hi, and love your postcard. When I think of French kids I always imagine them eating crepes and nutella - a memory from my French exchange....

Cassandra - thanks. It's not perfect yet (a few accidents over the weekend) but it's a start....

Conuly - yes, I suppose they will. Let's see....


Nunhead Mum -I've opted to do it in a couple of weeks -didn't want to be the first!

Heather - yes, and to top it all we actually lost ABC yesterday due to a dispute with our cable provider! Grr....