Monthly Archives: February 2008

Mid-life What?

Let’s say there was a woman, and for ease of discussion, let’s give her a name.  We’ll call her Belle, shall we?  And just for fun, let’s say that Belle is the mother of a young child.  Let’s note that the child is in elementary school, and we’ll just leave it at that.  Now, let’s say this Belle woman was going to be turning 40 this year.

Oh.My.God.Did.You.Say.FORTY?! Why yes, yes I did. 

Anyway, let’s say that maybe, totally hypothetically of course, this woman Belle was in a bit of a crisis.  Maybe she’s only going to live to be eighty, and so, nearing the age of forty, she might be experiencing what some people would call a mid-life crisis.  Now it’s possible that she’s just bored, but just in case, let’s stick with the original story and agree she’s experiencing some sort of mid-life crisis.

Some people, or so I’ve heard, get through a mid-life crisis by buying themselves a shiny little sports car, or by having an affair, or buying themselves a Harley and taking a long road trip.  Belle would like a red Porsche if she could have one.  But she can’t.  They cost a lot more money than she could ever afford to spend on a mid-life crisis.  She’s not about to have an affair, either. Unless Steven Segal comes knocking at her door and then, well, all bets are off.  Go ahead, “ewwwww” all you want but this is not YOUR crisis, it’s Belle’s. Besides, she probably wouldn’t actually do anything with Steven, because she’d likely faint if the man really did show up on her doorstep and she imagines that might turn him off.  And since Belle hasn’t been on a real bicycle in ages, a motorcycle is out of the question.  Especially when you consider helmet head.  Belle doesn’t even wear hats in the winter.

Instead, — and again, I remind you this is totally hypothetical, — let’s say Belle, a woman who will turn 40 years old later this year and the mother of a young child, is thinking about getting her nose pierced.  She thinks a teeny tiny diamond stud would look pretty.  But she’s not sure. 

So she’s spent hours browsing the web, watching videos of teenagers getting their noses pierced.  She notes that she hasn’t seen one video of a forty year old woman getting her nose pierced.  There must be one somewhere, right?  But it’s not on You Tube.  She’s read all sorts of articles on the reasons not to do it: possible infection, scarring, getting fired from one’s job.  She’s heard her young child proclaim “Bulls get their noses pierced!” And yet despite all that, somewhere in the back of her mind is this thought: hmmmm…. I wonder…. I think I might.  No I can’t.  Maybe… For my 40th birthday!  No, definitely not.  Then again… Maybe…

So now, let’s pretend this is a real situation (which it’s, um, not) and you tell me, has Belle lost her mind? 

Oh, and for family members who are reading this, back away from the telephone.  No need to panic.  This is a totally hypothetical situation.  Although you are free to comment below of course.


Filed under life, mid-life crisis, nose piercing

Fair Weather Friends

Woe is the life of a six year old.  I mean, who knew kids could be so… fickle?  Snags has decided to start a club.  But only kids who are nice to him can join.  This leaves Trevor and Zane out, that’s for sure. Because they aren’t nice.  In fact, they aren’t even Snags’ friends anymore.  Especially Trevor, he’s downright mean. 

Alarming, isn’t it? Just wait, there’s more.

What, I inquired, did Trevor do that was so mean?

“I don’t remember,” Snags said.

Okaaaay then, I thought.  “Well, if you can’t remember what he did that was so mean, how do you know he was actually being mean?” I asked.

“Well, everyone knows you can’t break a pinky swear, but Trevor did.  There’s a fiddle diddle that you can break a promise but you can’t break a pinky swear.  Or maybe it’s you can break a swear but you can’t break a pinky swear…  Or maybe it’s you can break a pinky promise but not a pinky swear.  I can’t remember, but I think it’s you can break a promise but definitely not a pinky swear.”

Yes. Right. Of course. Clearly! I thought. “But wait!” I nearly shouted, as I held up my hand in the classic “Stop! Talk to the hand!” position.     “A fiddle diddle?”  I asked.

He rolled his eyes.  “It’s like a rhyme, mom.  Geez.” And in his mind I could hear him thinking, My mom is so uncool. She doesn’t even know what a fiddle diddle is and, God, what were you thinking? Why did you give me HER as a mom? She doesn’t even like Star Wars!

It took a little while, but three hours later I had managed to drag part of the story out of Snags.  He and Trevor had made a pinky swear to not be mean to each other ever again.  But now Trevor has gone and broken the pinky swear (which everyone knows you CAN’T DO!).  And this all has something to do with Zane who won’t stay in his spot and gets up and tickles Nicholas under his chin at rest time, but he shouldn’t do that and even though Snags might have done that before it’s okay because Snags sits right beside Nicholas, but now Trevor and Zane and Snags can’t sit together and Zane has to sit in the red row but he doesn’t stay where he is supposed to and by God I don’t know what any of this has to do with a broken pinky swear except to say that six hours after the story began I learned that Trevor and Zane were covering their ears at lunch so they didn’t have to listen to Snags (talking about Star Wars again?) and everyone knows THAT’S not good.  Because if you want to be part of the club and you cover your ears then you can’t hear what anyone in the club is saying!

Snags asked me to write this all down so as he gets more clues he can try to solve this mystery and figure out why Trevor and Zane aren’t his friends anymore and also this one:  Why does Bryne change her mind?

“What does she change her mind about?”  I asked.

“I love you, I don’t love you, I love you, I don’t love you…” he said, sounding exasperated.

See?  Fair weather friends.  And girlfriends.  Or not.


Filed under friends, humor, life, Snags

The Trap at the Bottom of My Staircase

What does my son, Snags, do in the mornings while he’s waiting for me to take my shower and get dressed so I can drop him at school and get myself off to work?

Well, he does stuff like you see in this photo. That is the “trap” he made to trap me upstairs one morning. And no, I haven’t left my Christmas decorations up for the last 2 months; I leave them up all the time.  I never take them down.  Okay, not really.  But I had you there for a moment, didn’t I?

Actually, Snags set up THAT trap back in December, but I don’t have any recent trap photos to share because I’ve forbidden the child from setting any new traps.  Anyway, he used approximately 1 entire JUMBO roll of Quilted Northern toilet paper, ran it up and down the hallway from our kitchen to near the front door, (and while I don’t live in a mansion by any means, it is a pretty long hallway) then wrapped it around the banister at the bottom of the stairs to trap me.

If it’s not toilet paper, it’s the yarn from my knitting bin.  If it’s not yarn, then it’s my old beading supplies (huh, I have a lot of old crafting hobbies I seem to have abandoned).  Or the Halloween decorations.  Or the Easter baskets.  Or the wrapping paper, the ribbons.  Often, it’s water.  Poured into cups, bowls, candle holders, vases, and carried around the house, dripping a trail behind him, down the hallway, up the stairs, onto his bed.  Or mixed with stuff – bits of thread, cotton balls, crumbs of food, and stuck in the freezer as a “science experiment”.

It’s NEVER his toys. In fact, I once took ALL his toys away as punishment for making just such a mess, and I locked them up.  Snags didn’t care.  His toys stayed in bins locked in the basement for a good 6 months before he seemed to notice they were gone.

He does all this steadily, quietly, and deliberately.  And he’s always so surprised to find out I’m not happy over his creation.

You know the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?  At my house, it’s more like a little destroyer boy at the tail end of the mess.  At least I always know where to find him. 


Filed under humor, life, messes, Snags, traps

Because I’ve Got Nothing Else

It’s been a bad couple of weeks.  Our household has been plagued with strep, then pneumonia, then nasty head colds, and bad tempers.  The roads outside are covered in ice.  There are accidents everywhere, roads are closed, but work is still open (lace up the skates?).  Schools start late today, but the powers that be may change their minds and close them altogether.

I think Snags is turning into the bad seed.  I am going to download Aretha Franklin’s song Respect off of iTunes and play it on a loop while he sleeps.  Subliminal messages.  I hope it works.

In need of something humorous to lift my spirits I took a look at the google searches that have lead people here.  My most recent visitors came looking for answers to the following:

what does wendy wear from peter pan 
what kind of hat goes with pajamas 
niece in latin 
loose tooth new tooth behind 
sled building science project 
how to address an overdue account envelope 
blistex crack 
invitation rsvp alternative 
jon and kate plus eight payment

And since I’m in a helpful kind of mood I will try to answer.

Wendy wears a blue dress. Like the devil.

Read Clement Clark Moore’s ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas and you’ll know, women wear a ‘kerchief, men, a cap.

I don’t speak Latin, sorry.

Don’t worry, the loose tooth will eventually fall out and the new tooth will move in to take it’s place.

Two words: Robotic Wolves

Add the overdue account envelope to the place or company that you owe the money to.  You know, so it gets there.

I agree, blistex is crack.  If you’re addicted, seek help.  I suggest Burt’s Beeswax as your methadone while you wean.

There is no such thing as an RSVP alternative.  Pick up the phone and RSVP already.  It’s the correct thing to do.

Do jon and kate owe YOU money?  Or do you owe them money?  If it’s the latter, see my answer to “how to address an overdue account envelope”.


Filed under google searches, life, Respect, Snags

The Boy Who Knew

If I am honest with myself, I have to admit that sometimes my child scares me.  There is something about him, something I can’t put my finger on, exactly, that isn’t right.  Or maybe it’s just that something is too right.  How I might be if instead of needing contact lenses, I got LASIK and ended up with something better than 20/20 vision.

Snags is pretty smart, that much I know.  His teacher tells me this, and his recent report card reflects it as well.

He uses big words.  Words you might not expect a kid in Kindergarten to know.

He’s good at math.  He can do simple addition and subtraction, even some basic multiplication.  I just about had a heart attack when he started talking about square roots the other day. I don’t remember much about math beyond plus, minus, multiply, and divide.  And mostly, I use a calculator for those.

And then there is the “other worldliness” about him.  How once, when he was three and we were on our way to preschool we passed an ambulance heading in the opposite direction, and Snags said “I am going to ride in an ambulance today!” I shuddered at the thought, and insisted that he wouldn’t be riding in an ambulance that day or anytime soon.  I might have said never.  But Snags insisted he would.  And hours later, he did.  His preschool called me to say he’d had an allergic reaction and they’d given him a shot of epinephrine and the ambulance was on its way.

Tuesday night Snags drew a picture of a tornado.  Wednesday morning I woke to the news that dozens of tornados had ripped through several states, tearing down homes and businesses and schools, and leaving people dead in its wake. 

I’m not saying Snags caused the tornado, but still, I think I’m taking all of his crayons away tonight…  after I make him draw me a picture of a winning MEGA MILLIONS lottery ticket, that is.


Filed under ESP, humor, life, Snags

Our Summer Building Plan

Kindergarten has been talking about “things that make us special and things we like about ourselves.” As part of this curriculum the students are supposed to bring in an item for a special show-and-tell event. The item should demonstrate something the kids are good at.  Snags’ teacher sent home a list of examples: children could bring in a musical instrument they play or a book they know how to read, or perhaps a ball from a sport they play…

I discussed the assignment with Snags and asked him what he would like to bring in.

“I’m going to bring in one of my lightsabers, Mom,” he said.

And since I couldn’t figure out what on earth a lightsaber had to do with the assignment, I asked him to explain how it served as an example of something he was good at.

“Because,” he said, “I am good at lightsaber fighting because Dad can’t hit any of my body parts when we fight!”

But somehow, I don’t think this is the kind of “something they are good at” that his teacher is looking for. In fact, I think it’s rather the kind of example that might prompt his teacher to call child protective services and suggest they investigate us over “Dad can’t hit any of my body parts…”

So of course I nixed that plan and suggested that he come up with something else.

“Why don’t you bring in this letter that Aunt Vivian wrote you?” I asked. “You were able to read the whole thing all by yourself, which shows that you are good at reading. What do you think about that?” I asked.

But clearly, wasn’t impressed. He rolled his eyes at me.

So I looked around for something else to suggest and settled on his LEGOs. He loves to build small starships out of his LEGOs. He has a hundred different designs in his mind and is forever asking me to come look at his latest creation and listen to him go on and on and on and on and on and on and on (get the picture?) about what the starship does. As if he is a starship salesman, and I the eager consumer looking to buy a new one.

“I know, you are good at building with your LEGOs. Why don’t you build a small starship and take that in for show-and-tell?” I asked.

He liked that idea, so I had him put the lightsaber away with his other toys.

But building with LEGOs isn’t Snags’ only building plan. In fact, if he doesn’t take up a career drawing dead fish, he may grow up to be an engineer or an architect one day. He draws pictures of fountains that he wants to build in our back yard, “Fountain Building” printed carefully across the top of the page. He draws pictures of the castle he plans to build and then live in once he’s an adult. And there is, I am happy to report, a room for me on the second floor. Unless his bride decides she doesn’t like me. In which case, he will move me to another room on the third floor. But, he assures me, I can still have the pleasure of changing his baby’s diapers and I can still read my books. Even banished to the third floor, I will like it there. Or so he says. I must confess that I am not entirely convinced. I don’t really like changing diapers.

But nothing, I think, can compare to his latest building project: Sled Building. And I have been drafted to help. Like a volunteer for Habitat for Crazy Sled Builders. On the paper he drew his plans on Snags wrote “Sed Bilding”.  It is a “sed for wtr” (sled for winter).  It will be “bit in sum” (built in summer).  Below the title and the description is a picture of the sled itself. Picture a houseboat atop a flexible flyer wooden sled. It looks something like that. The house has one door, and one window, complete with a curtain. Snags designed it for me, so I can sit inside and read while we sled around. The roof will keep the snow off of my face. I think that’s a kind consideration, since he knows that I don’t care much for snow, and that I really don’t like the cold.

His design plans also include a breakdown of the parts that we will need this summer when we build the sled:

1. Wood
2. Digr
3. hous
4. dorr
5. cloth
6. rop
7. SAfhuks
8. Nal

(for those who haven’t studied Kindergarten writing allow me to translate: wood, digger, house, door, cloth, rope, safe hooks, nail)

And after we assemble all of the above we must obtain the very best part of the entire design. The part that every good house sled must rely upon to pull the sleigh:

9. robdec woof

(the robotic wolves)

What? You aren’t familiar with them? Well then, let me introduce you to the concept of the robotic wolves. They are, according to Snags, made of metal. They are silver and gray in color. They have teeth. And eyes.

If it’s true that eyes are the windows to the soul, then I am not sure what kind of soul Snags’ robotic wolves have. For their eyes, he says, are made of “hot light bulbs”.  I imagine then, when they look at you, their gaze is intense, searing perhaps. At least until their rechargeable batteries run out. That’s the bad part of the whole design.  We have to let the batteries charge for one full hour.

I hope there’s an electrical socket out there on the snowy hills.


Filed under building, humor, LEGOs, robotic wolves, show and tell, sled