Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My Own Toy Story Sequel

My son is like most spoiled American kids in that he is not suffering from a lack of toys. He has cars, trains, stuffed animals, puzzles, blocks, balls, etc. But of his plethora of toys, none bring him more joy than his most prized possessions --- the 7-inch-plastic Woody and Buzz figures that Uncle Rob bought him in January.

He calls them by name. First, he could just get out "Woo" and "Buh," but now most of the time, he gets out their whole names. When he gets the "zzz" out on "Buzz," it's especially endearing.

I am not exactly sure when his infatuation with these two toys began. He has seen snippets of the TOY STORY movies here and there, but not enough to really understand the roles these two characters play. All I know is that if he has a security item, it's these two dudes. He wakes up in the morning and calls out "Mama," then quickly follows "Mama" with "Woo-ey, Buh-uz?" If he didn't fall asleep with them in his crib, he must find them within minutes after waking up. He takes baths with them, feeds them, and has story time with them.

I wonder if part of his bond with Woody & Buzz happened when we took two cross-country trips. On both trips, Joaquin was accompanied by these two friends. They rode with him on two flights to Montgomery, Alabama. They were there for him when he stayed on a strange military base in 30 degree weather. All of his surroundings were new and unfamiliar, but one thing remained constant --- the companionship of Woody and Buzz.

Following Alabama, we ventured to Hawaii, again with Woody and Buzz in toe. When Joaquin got sick and threw up all over Mom on the airplane, Woody was there to comfort him and Buzz was there to clean up the mess with his space ranger strength. (Mom only wishes this were true. Fortunately, we were seated in the row right in front of the restroom, so clean up wasn't that difficult.)

He played with Woody and Buzz in a tropical paradise, enjoying the sunshine and the sand on his feet. But when it was all over, and he was back home, he still had Woody and Buzz.

Well, last weekend, during a trip to see both sets of grandparents, it happened. We were about 1/2 hour south of Santa Barbara when I wondered, "Did we get Woody?" Kiko's face turned blank as he struggled to remember.

He remembered when we ate dinner, Joaquin stuck Woody's face in his rice saying "nummy, nummy, nummy," and he remembered that Joaquin sneakily dropped Woody behind the couch cushion only to call out his name so everyone would join in the search to look for him.

Sure enough, moments later, Nana called to say we'd left a loyal friend behind.

"Uh oh," we thought. "Do we turn around?"

Had it not been pouring rain on the 101 and after 10:00 pm, we probably would have turned around. This was a serious leave-behind. Instead we thought, maybe we'll go to Disney tomorrow and get a replacement Woody...Realizing that was a little crazy, we tried to wait it out.

Well, the three days without Woody were a growing experience, both for Mom and Dad, and for Joaquin. The first night, he woke up in the middle of the night, dutifully calling for "Mama" and then "Woody..." Of course, Mama was there, but I could not help him with Woody. He went back to sleep and Mom stayed awake, wondering what would happen tomorrow when the realization that Woody was gone (temporarily) sunk in. Of course, with an older child, you might be able to reason with them and explain the situation. But he's still a baby. He won't understand.

Days passed, and in Joaquin's world, Woody was no where to be found. He'd pace around the house, calling his name, with Buzz in one hand, and the other hand empty. We'd tell him that Woody was at Nana and Papa's, safe and sound, and he soon would be traveling back home. He'd then go the front door, point outside and say "Woody, woody, woody" with hope and longing.

It's heartbreaking and precious at the same time. Maybe this is a great time for a life lesson in acceptance and understanding. Or in not getting emotionally attached to material objects. But really, I just want him to have his friend back and to be a happy kid once again. He has the rest of his life to learn those lessons.

I am sure Woody is enjoying his adventure in the mail, as he makes his way back to us in Pasadena. It brings a smile to face to think that he is having his own "Toy Story" moment; hopefully, Woody is anxiously anticipating his reunion with his kid as much as his kid - Joaquin - anticipates seeing him again...

Until then, it's all on you, Buzz...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

2nd to Last Day at A&E

Here's something I was thinking about on 3/10/11, my second to last day at A&E...Not sure why I didn't publish it here goes...

When I went back to work after my "sabbatical" while Kiko was at basic training, it was like my re-emergence into a foreign universe. Only, actually, I suppose when I left and had a taste of "full-time mothering," that was really my foreign universe. For 10 years, I have been immersed in the TV industry. So things like meeting celebrities, watching shows and movies before they've been released, etc. didn't seem like a big deal to me.

My first day back, the first thing my assistant asked me was what Oscar nominated movies I needed him to track down for me so I could be ready to watch the Academy Awards. We went over my call sheet, and my lunch appointments for the next several weeks.

I couldn't help but think to myself: Enjoy having an assistant now because who knows when you'll have one again.

So I went from being consumed with all things industry related, reading the trades and Nikki Fink ( to reading City Mommy and Baby Center and back again, in just a couple of weeks. It's amazing how the two worlds become so separate, yet really they aren't that dissimilar. I mean, being a mom and being a TV executive shouldn't be that different. After all, the demographic that every network wants is that of the 25-54 year-old-women. Hello! How many of those women are mothers, too? So in some ways, keeping working mothers employed should be a priority so they can keep in contact with their key demographic.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Week One - (originally drafted 1/12/11)

Day 4 of being home with Joaquin was awesome, except for the fact that I didn't sleep last night...This was the first day I actually had to get up and dressed and out of the house by 8:40 to make our 9 am music class. To think, just last week, I was dressed, ready for work and out of the house by 8 am, and this morning it was the amazing race and an almighty miracle that I actually had Joaquin dressed and fed in time to get to class.

Music class was a lot of fun, if not slightly silly. It was exactly like what they make those classes look like in the movies --- a cheerful and goofy teacher with a friendly face and a nice voice singing songs in a highly animated form...It was amazing, she knew all the kids names and worked them all into the "hello" and the "goodbye" song. Joaquin's favorite part was when they got to choose their own instruments from the box. He chose a drum and did not want to part with it when it was time to put the instruments "to bed."

Our day of fun continued when after a morning nap, we went to the Disney Studios lot to see Uncle Rob for lunch. I don't know what he liked more - the fact that Uncle Rob took him to the studio store to buy toys, or the really docile squirrels that almost let Joaquin pet them.
We finished off our activities by going to the post office to send Daddy a care package. Hopefully Kiko has earned the privilege of receiving his mail.