Saturday, April 15, 2017

You Know When?

I picked the kids up from school on a day that they had all attended an after school class.  Owen is taking a comic book drawing class, and Lilly and Sam are taking sign language.

Sam said, "Lilly was lying on the ground during class."

"Lilly, why were you lying on the ground?"

"Because, like, my heart hurt, you know?"

"Lilly." Owen says, with scorn and derision.  Everything Owen says to Lilly if full of scorn and derision. "Do you mean your CHEST hurt?"

"Yeah," she replies.  "My chest and lungs."

Sam pipes up, which is, in itself, somewhat unusual, because he is so OVER "kid" conversation.  He told me the other day that he just didn't really find Owen and Lilly very interesting.  That, sure, he was "technically" still a kid, but what did that even mean, really?

It means you are 11, dude.  Chill out.

So it was notable that he was choosing to engage in this conversation.

"Oh, I know exactly what you mean Lilly.  Like when you eat too much protein?"


"Oh, yeah, totally," They all chorus in agreement.

"Or, like, too much applesauce?" Sam continues.

"Exactly," they respond.

Soooooo.  Is this a thing?  A protein and applesauce related heart attack?  That happens to everybody else but me?

Hidden Interests

The kids have been very very very much enjoying the Alexas they got for Christmas.  Mostly, they like Alexa to read them books.  They don't read to themselves as much as they used to, and I am suspicious that this is a sneaky end run around the no-electronics-in-the-house rule, but I can't find any real reason to make a rule outlawing listening to books, so it continues unabated.  After they listened to the same free book about elevendy million times, we bought them a few books on Audible.

Now we don't see them anymore.

So that's great.

But, like crack, you have to keep buying more.  So Lilly and I were on Audible today, and I asked her what kinds of books she might be interested in.  It was a throw-away comment.  One I don't really expect her to even answer.

One time, in grad school, my advisor asked me what kinds of books I like to read and I blurted out, "mysteries!" which is actually the only kind of book that I absolutely DON'T like to read.  And that was when I was a grown adult.

So I wasn't really listening when Lilly said, "Hmmm.  Maybe Native Americans?"

I'm scrolling through the Beverly Cleary books . . .

Wait.  What?

"Or homing pigeons?"

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Drowned toddlers are sooo annoying

We went to an indoor water park this week.  It was equal parts awful and great, so pretty much a typical family vacation.

This is our first significant family experience with a water park, so we learned some new things.

1) Owen seems to be a little allergic to chlorine, based on his coughing fits, rash, and vomiting.  So an indoor water park is great for a family vacation destination.

2) I do not have tough feet.  Next time, I am going dressed in my Slenderizing For Mature Women bathing suit and some water shoes.  I'll definitely have to wear my wedding ring to show that I am already taken, gentlemen.

3) Lilly has a hard head both literally and figuratively.  Don't try to convince her she wants to go on the water slide when she wants to ride in the lazy river.  She knows what she wants.  She wants to ride in the lazy river.  Come, don't come, she doesn't care.  She'll be in the lazy river.  Again.  Also, don't sit next to her in the family tube ride because she'll crack your skull open and days later your brains will still be leaking out.

4) We going to need to adopt another kid or make sure my dad comes along next time because nobody wants to be the single rider.  It is sad and lonely and a tiny bit embarrassing if you are a grown ass adult in a Slenderizing for Mature Women bathing suit headed down the water roller coaster tube ride.

Here's one other story from our trip:

It was the first day, and we were climbing down into the lazy river (see point three above).   I was behind Chris still looking for an available tube.  Chris is in the water and I see him stumble a little bit.  He looks down and shakes his head a little.  Then he hands Lilly her tube and she heads off and then Chris reaches into the water and pulls out the lifeless body of a toddler.

He's standing there, dangling the limp and colorless body in his right hand and gestures to the lifeguard with his left hand, all like, "jeez, here, do you want to do something about this?"  The life guard blows his whistle and jumps in.

At this point my mind is like this:

"AAAAHHHHHHHH DEADBABYDEADBABYTHATBABYISDEAD AAAAAAHHHHHH WHOKNOWSCPR AAAAHHHHH (I'm going to have to talk to Chris about appropriate protocol when he finds a drowned toddler like seriously maybe just hold it instead of dangling it?) AAAHHHHHHH DEADBABY AHHHHH (Also, maybe he could, like, try wading to the side instead of just waiting for the lifeguard to come and get this kid?) AAAAAHHHHHHH (And also, fix your face, Chris.  He looks totally annoyed that he stubbed his toe on a body) AAAAAHHHH (also, that kid has really funny looking joints.  Like his knees are just creases)  Aaaaahhhhh?  (why is the lifeguard smiling?  Sure, he looks chagrined, like he's embarrassed that Chris found the dead baby, but he doesn't look horrified, which I feel like more people should be right now?)

Oh.  It's a training dummy.  Just a little toddler shaped doll designed to test the lifeguards.

Well that's fun.

A week getting dressed with Lilly


Lilly walks in wearing leggings and a short shirt.  We've discussed multiple times that this isn't appropriate.  Her leggings are too old and thin and she forgets underpants too often.  At a certain age, you just can't wear a short shirt with your leggings.  Tunic tops, for sure, but not one that hits above the waistband.  It may be an arbitrary rule that nobody else agrees with, but it is my rule and it is not a brand new one.  I long ago gave up on trying to make sure she matched or anything ridiculous like that.  She can wear almost anything she wants, except leggings or tights with just a short shirt.

"Lilly, you can't wear that.  You can't wear leggings and a short shirt.  You can wear a short shirt and pants, or leggings and a long shirt, or leggings and a short shirt with a skirt, but not just leggings and a short shirt. You know that."

Lilly flounces away in irritation. Why am I always cramping her style?


Lilly walks in wearing leggings and short shirt.

"Lilly, you need to go change.  You can't wear leggings with a short shirt.  Remember how we set out an outfit last night?  You could put that one on? No?  Fine, if you want, you could just throw a skirt on top of the leggings.  That might be easier."

Lilly falls to the ground in despair and rolls out of the room.  What is my problem?


Lilly walks in wearing leggings and a short shirt.

"Lilly, I bought you a bunch of pants and long shirts yesterday.  For a long time I didn't buy you pants because you would only wear dresses but you seem to have lost interest in dresses and I understand you may not have had pants to wear with your short shirts but you definitely do now.  They are clean and folded in your drawer.  Please go put on either a long shirt of a pair of pants."

Lilly vibrates across the floor with annoyance.  I am impossible to satisfy.


Lilly walks in wearing leggings and a short shirt.

"Oh, look at this.  You are wearing leggings and a short shirt.  What a surprise.  I know this is going to come out of nowhere for you, but you CAN'T WEAR THAT.  You need to cover your tush.  I don't care how.  Long shirt, real pants, skirt, dress, whatever the hell you want."

Lilly storms out in a rage. Nothing is ever good enough for me.


Lilly walks in wearing leggings and short shirt.

"Really?  Because last night I resorted your dresser so that all the long shirts were in one drawer, all the short shirts were in another, and the leggings were stored separately from the pants.  We went over it.  I described the contents of each drawer, and we had a trial run where you clearly understood that the shirts from the short shirt drawer could not be paired with items from the legging drawer.  GO CHANGE."

Lilly literally climbs the wall in frustration.  Seriously, what do I even WANT from her?


Lilly walks in wearing leggings and no shirt at all.

Well, that's refreshing.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Box Tops for education and guilt

Box Tops, for those of you who don't know, are little printed codes that can be found on various food packages. And I think maybe underwear and socks?

Why?  I don't know.

You are supposed to clip them and save them to turn into your school and each one is worth like 10 cents or something.  You'd think there would be an easier way.  Like just donate the money it took you to print the little squares and we'll all take some time off. I know it doesn't take 10 cents to print them, but when you factor in the huge percentage that must get ignored and tossed, I feel confident that we'd come about about even.

I blissfully threw these away for years, but once your kids start going to school, you are expected to actually pay attention.  Thus, for the past five years or so, I've been plagued with guilt about these damn things.  They have contests, you know.  For which kid or which class can bring in the most.  It matters a little.  There's a modicum of judgment.  I'd wager that that even moms who don't collect them have made a deliberate decision to not participate and feel the tiniest of twinges every time.

But one time when Chris was looking for something in the junk drawer he pulled out a handful of box tops and said, "why are there a bunch of scraps of cardboard in here?"

He didn't even know what a box top WAS.

I don't like to generalize or stereotype, but I'm going to say that, conservative estimate, the percentage of people cutting those out is 1000% female. No man has ever, in the history of ever, cut one of those things out.

It's just another one of the things that I waste my life worrying about and dealing with that will never matter, even a little bit, to anybody with a penis.

Other things on this list are "making children brush their teeth," "duvet covers," and "holiday decorations."

Monday, October 10, 2016

Man Looking: Part 1052

Sam is feeling a little under the weather today.  He wanted some tea, but one of the great things about having bigger kids is that they can get their own dang tea.

Except . . .

"Mom?  Where is the tea?"

"It's in the little cupboard right next to the fridge."

*five minutes later*

"Mom?  It's not there."

I am 5000 percent sure that the tea is in the little cupboard right next the fridge.  I know it is there because I put it there because of course I put it there because it has never occurred to anybody else in this house to put anything away ever.  I am so sure that it is in the tiny cupboard next to the fridge that if someone offered me a bet wherein if I am right, and it is in the tiny cupboard next to the fridge I get a dollar, and if I am wrong the whole world just explodes, I would take that bet.

"Sam, go look again.  Look at the fridge.   Look in every smallish cupboard that is in any proximity to the fridge.  I promise you, the tea is in there."

*five minutes later*

"Mom?  It's really not there."


It was in the tiny cupboard next to the fridge.

"Oh, THAT little cupboard!" he says.

Yes, the one right next to the fridge.

What I need you to understand about this cupboard, though, is that it is both small, and COMPLETELY (other than tea) EMPTY.  There is LITERALLY nothing else in the entire tiny cupboard.  It is a stupid tiny cupboard, nothing fits.  That's why I was happy about the tea.  Now it's a classy tea cupboard.  It has a purpose.  But the point is that it's truly not as if I found the tea pushed behind an old box of crackers or something.  All I did was open the door.

Sunday, October 9, 2016


Last week the grocery store had a sale on reduced sugar granola bars and yogurt tubes.  So I bought them.  I took the time to go to the grocery store, search for coupons, compare prices, bring the groceries into the house and put them away and you know what?  I don't even like granola bars or yogurt tubes, personally.

Which is super weird because I keep seeing granola bar wrappers and empty yogurt tubes lying around.  Seeing as how I live exclusively with people who are capable of throwing things away, the only logical explanation is that I am eating them, passing out, hitting my head, getting amnesia and then seeing the wrappers.  Right?  I mean, it makes no sense that people who have the skills and fortitude to go find these snacks in the cupboard or fridge, scale the counter tops to reach them, unwrap and then eat the snacks would then conclude that mission by throwing their goddamn wrappers on the goddamn ground.  NO SENSE  AT ALL.

A few polite reminders were met with blank stares.  More emphatic statements to PICK UP YOUR GARBAGE I AM NOT YOUR MAID were greeted with choruses that, golly gee, that wrapper surely did belong to Not Me.  Directives to pick up the wrappers, irrespective of who placed them there, were outrageous miscarriages of justice.  It is not FAIR, not fair at all, to have to pick up a wrapper that was dropped by someone else.  Funnily, I AGREE.

I was just sitting next to Owen, and noticed that he was eating a granola bar.  "Do NOT drop that wrapper on the floor Owen."

"Okay, Mom, that was all I needed to remind me!"

"Your cheerful attitude notwithstanding, Owen, you should not need a reminder.  There is no excuse for ever just dropping your garbage on the floor."

"Not even in a fire?  If there is a fire, should I make sure I put this garbage in the trash before I escape?"

I will note that his tone is playful rather than obnoxious, but I still want to wallop him.  I am less amused with the garbage struggle around here than he is.

But I'm not a mean mom, so I banter.

"Have we been having a lot of fires around here?  Is that why there is always garbage on the ground?  An out of control number of fires that are causing you all to run for your lives?"

"Hahahaha, yeah, mom, that's it! Hahahah."

But seriously.  Pick up your garbage.