Monday, November 23, 2009

Greening Up the Play-Doh



Yes, the cabinet door is missing. That's what happens when folks swing on them.

Looking over at my kids, as I do constantly, we take up a couple of rows at church, and try as I might, I rarely get everyone seated to where I can easily redirect disruptive behaviors, always with Claudia's son in mind, the one who once hollered, while his dad was preaching, "This is so fu&%ing boring!."

Looking over at JoJo I noticed he'd taken a blue ink pen and drawn a handlebar mustache on his own face, along with sideburns and a uni-brow. I couldn't help myself, I found it as hilarious a the time Joey'd accidentally farted in church. Remember I'm a Preacher's Kid too, sometimes completely unable to reign myself in.

I snatched the pen out of his hand, nearly falling backwards out of my seat while reaching for it, shaking my index finger at him, a sign that means 'cease and desist child,' but this is JoJo. Not gonna happen.

Next time I glanced over he had on blue eyeshadow, mascara, lipstick, eyeliner and blush that he'd dug out of Sabrina's pocketbook. Near enough to the end of the sermon, I tried to not make a scene, but as usual, our pastor walks to the back to greet people afterwards and he stopped in his tracks, Pastor Geoff behind him trying not to explode with laughter, because by then even JoJo'd hair was braided in spikes on top of his head. "Y'all got the devil in your row, doncha!" Pastor Tony remarked, hardly messing a step, though his eyes had sure bugged out.

JoJo never cracked a grin even though, by then, several rows of folks were laughing so hard they had tears running down their cheeks. Hard to suppress laughter and not leak somewhere. I was wishing Linda B had made it to church, sitting with us as she sometimes does, because I knew she'd have been busting a gut, laughing at this child of mine.

That child looked way more than three shakes past bizarre.

All I could think of was Miss Lisa needed our van for the Children's Church movie afternoon, and I had to rapidly get all of the rest of my kids back to the house, so she and I could trade vehicles. I wondered why there was a car seat in our van, not realizing Preston'd put it in there for Ray, so I unknowingly tossed it in the garage, further upsetting the apple cart.

It was our final birthday in a week of birthdays and I'd bought Tabby several 100 piece sets of cookie cutters because she wanted me to make the play doh from scratch that Ray had told her his mommy had made. I multiplied the recipe by six, figuring all my kids would wanna play, that's one thing about my 39 children, since maybe because we live isolated and no one will snicker, or maybe due to their inherent emotional immaturity, or maybe because they have me, the clown, for a mama, but playfulness can really abound here in the form of Bardie doll grenades (pull head off, throw doll), horse manure battles, or other rule-less games.

Everyone enjoyed the playdoh, including me. I'd overdone the food coloring as I had some strong stuff of Carolina's to use, but this playdoh doesn't make your hands reek of plastic like the store bought crap. It squooshes nicely, relieving stress and is fun, truly fun. I was frying up a couple hundred tortillas and making playdoh, glad for the dreary rain as I could feel in my bones, how happy yesterday's manure must now be, washed down into the soil, dripping between the crevices of the leaves I've added, speeding up the white, spidery appearing webs of decomposition. I got nearly giddy just thinking 'bout it.

JoJo never much washed off his face yesterday, sending me into gales of laughter every time I looked at him.

We finished off our peaceful night by watching a Disney Nature movie that I adored, not because I'm such an egghead, but because the incredibly beautiful scenes of nature - of animals, plants, and places - gives me such peace within my soul. I still want to believe the earth is a gorgeous place somewhere.

Now two boys to the orthodontist, Paloma home with me (oh boy), and Thanksgiving looming in which I've prepared nothing, but playdoh... oops, better get to shaking.

Oh come on, big whoop, like I don't routinely cook for hungry crowds and swarms of folks? No biggie, and Grandma's cooking the nasty dead birds she and Jack had gone to get. As proud as if she'd hunted these two 40 pound each monsters, further grossing me out, hope my spoiled brat hens don't smell 'em cooking. Grandma's calming my vegetarian self down with promises of her just-dug up sweet potatoes which are heavenly and my pepper varieties, sugar snap snow peas, and swiss chard are still producing. Lily's biscuits are wonderful, Memaw and Mayra, pictured above with Tabby, are hollering about making pumpkin empanadas, even vegetarians have plenty to eat on holidays.