Monthly Archives: October 2007

Snippets

As I was driving to work today there was a very nice looking Cadillac SUV in front of me.  It had a vanity plate that said 4 God.  And below that, on the plate’s frame, was this:

Everything I Have Is

And I thought, even your Cadillac?  Really?  How do you plan to get that pretty SUV up to God’s house in Heaven?  Are you driving it to him?  Right now?  Or is it already his and maybe he’s letting you borrow it, drive it around down here for while?

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My husband and I have been married for 14 years now.  Our Wedding Anniversary was this past Tuesday.  On that very night I heard my son say to my husband, “I wish you and mom would get a divorce already!”  My husband was taken aback.  I heard him ask “Why? Why do you want us to get a divorce?” to which my son responded, “Because then I could marry mom!”  My husband assured him that even if he did come around and divorce me, that Snags still wouldn’t be allowed to marry his mother.  There are laws against that you know.

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I was out on a long run recently when I came upon two men running toward me.  I caught just a snippet of their conversation but it was enough to make me turn around to get a second glance at the speaker.  He said to his friend, “Yeah, it’s dangerous, but I do it anyway.”  I wondered if he thought he came across as brave, because I thought he came across as stupid, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see his picture linked to a Darwin Award next year.  I am actually hoping to see this, so I can find out WHAT the dangerous thing he used to do was.

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I cannot sew.  I’m not proud of that, but it’s true, and I don’t try to hide the fact.  That is why I buy my son’s Halloween costumes.  This year, as you might have guessed, he’s going to be Darth Vader.  There is a kid in our neighborhood who copies my son’s every move and ends up with the same costume every year. This irritates my son and me to no end, and this year, as expected, neighbor kid is dressing as Darth Vader.  But neighbor kid’s mom is oblivious and happy because she has a cardboard Darth Vader mask and has decided that she can dress her kid in black pants and black shirt, and voila, she’s made a Darth Vader costume.  My son heard her telling me about this and he said “You aren’t supposed to MAKE Halloween costumes!  You are supposed to BUY them!”  Neighbor kid’s mom was not happy about that comment.  I suspect she will be considerably unhappier when she sees Snags dressed in his store bought Darth Vader finest on the 31st. 

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Filed under Halloween, humor, kids, life, religion, running

The Field Trip

You know that movie Children of the Corn?  I think I know how the kids came to live in the corn.  They were originally a kindergarten class on a fall field trip to a corn maze and the chaperones, well, they got hot and tired of walking in circles through the corn, so they told the kids they were going off to get the kids their lunches and they’d be right back…

Only, you know, they didn’t come right back.  They didn’t come back at all.  Instead they hopped aboard the school bus that brought them all there in the first place, and they took off, never to return.

Or at least, that’s how I imagined it happened.

In reality, us chaperones, we stayed.  For the whole day.  Leading children out of the corn.  Some of whom, guessing by their behavior, their parents might have been thrilled if we had left them there.  But like I said, we didn’t.

I know I should be thankful that I made it back alive, and just let it rest at that, but I have some questions I feel a need to get answers for:

1.  If the instructions given to the chaperones said for the chaperones to wear a watch, then why weren’t the teachers who wrote the instructions wearing watches?  Tell me, teachers, why did you keep asking ME what time it was?

2.  Why weren’t the teachers chaperoning any children?  How did you manage to pass them all off on the parent volunteers so the six of you could enjoy some relative quiet time at the corn maze?

3.  Does anybody know what kind of parent sends their child off on a filed trip without a brown bag lunch?  The field trip form specified a brown bag lunch.  A carton of chocolate milk is not, in my book, a brown bag lunch.  It is a drink.  And without refrigeration on a 90 degree day, the milk was likely curdled by the time your son got to drink it. I was too unnerved to check.  But just so you know, parent who didn’t bother to send a lunch, the school cafeteria supplied an emergency brown bag lunch for your child.  But he claimed to not like the peanut butter and jelly Uncrustables, the apple juice, or the cookies that were packed inside.  So, his lunch at the corn maze consisted of two sips of warm, curdled chocolate milk.

4.  And Snags?  Hello!  What was with the pedal car?  Why couldn’t you steer the thing?  I know you wanted to ride the car around the whole race track, but you kept wrecking into the tires and bales of hay.  After 10 minutes of watching this I had to make you GET OUT OF THE CAR, NOW!  NOW! LET’S GO OR THE BUS WILL LEAVE WITHOUT US! And so you didn’t get to ride them very far at all, and neither did your friend who somehow survived the long hot afternoon on only two sips of chocolate milk.  I’m sorry, really, I am, but it wasn’t my fault.  Learn how to steer or you will not, I repeat, WILL NOT be getting your driver’s license when you turn 16.

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Filed under corn maze, field trip, humor

The Assignment

The instructions were as follows:

instructions.jpg

Examples were provided:

examples.jpg

I read the instructions and went over the examples with Snags.  We made a list of things he might want to include in his picture dictionary.  The list contained items like: penguins, turtles, our dog, Luke Skywalker, soccer.

Confident that Snags understood what he was supposed to do, I left him with pencils and crayons and scissors and glue and I turned to the stove to get dinner underway.

It wasn’t long before I heard Snags call, “I’m done!”

I went to check.

This is what I found:

finishedproduct.jpg

It seems that instead of a picture dictionary, Snags had created a Movie Guide to Star Wars.

Yes, that is my handwriting above each character.  I wrote their names because:

a. the instructions said I could help

b. I didn’t feel like spelling each name out one letter at a time while Snags wrote them down, and

c. Dinner was still cooking on the stove

Here are some close-ups:

closeup1.jpg

closeup2.jpg

closeup3.jpg

closeup4.jpg

 closeup5.jpg

I don’t recall a scene in Star Wars where they eat cake.  Perhaps Jabba the Hutt served cake at one of his odd parties?  Or maybe cake just made it onto the page because Snags was doing this homework assignment on his birthday.

His teacher hasn’t seen it yet.  It’s due tomorrow.

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Author’s note: This post would not have been possible without the help I recieved from the wonderful Jo at Jo Beaufoix. She told me how to insert photos into my post without breaking my sidebar.  Thanks, Jo!

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Filed under cake, homework, Snags, Star Wars

Evil Genius Turns Six (or Happy Birthday Snags!)

My son turns six years old today.  It’s kind of unbelievable to look back at photographs from when he was born and remember the tiny baby he was, versus now, the child he has become.

He was a tiny thing, just 6 pounds, 12 ounces, and 19 ½ inches long.  Today he’s close to 60 pounds and just shy of 4 feet tall.

Back then he didn’t speak, he slept a lot and cried.  Now he won’t stop talking and he wakes up way too early in the mornings.  He still cries, but mostly only when he’s hurt or very mad.

Back then, as I struggled with my new role as a mother, I came upon a quote that immediately and ever since became one of my favorite quotes about parenting: The days are long but the years are short.  I don’t know who said that, but I believe that those are truest words ever spoken.  How did we get here?  Six years down the road from where we started?  The past is nearly all a blur.  That’s partly, I think, why I started writing.  To document the stories of our lives before they become blurry too.  The past… eventually it eludes us, stands just beyond our grasp laughing at us and at what we can’t remember because we are too busy dealing with the here and now.  And so I take the time to write things down before I forget them, before I get too busy with the next thing.  I will collect these stories, and one day I will publish them.  Most likely it will be my own personal endeavor, a book made on Blurb or somewhere similar, and bought only by myself.  But I will give the book to Snags.  And when he is 25 or 38 or 46 he can look back and remember with me, or with his own children, the things that we might have otherwise forgotten.

There’s a gentleman that I know who through the years has asked about my son and told me about his son, already an adult.  This man came to the conclusion, from the stories I told him about Snags, that my son was destined for greatness.  “The only thing is,” he said, “I’m not sure if he’s going to be the President of the United States or a criminal mastermind.  You are going to have your hands full,” he warned.  “Keep on top of your son, nurture his skills, and push him toward good.  He’s smart… too smart, too crafty and too mischievous, he could go either way.  It’s your job to lead him in the right direction.”

And I’m trying, I really am.  But the other night I got a little taste of what the future might hold, and this kid of mine, he may turn out to be an Evil Genius despite my best efforts.  It was bedtime and I was reading out loud about the planet Saturn from a book called 4000 Things You Should Know.  “Saturn,” the book states, “is so massive, the pressure at its heart is enough to turn hydrogen solid.  That is why there is a layer of metallic hydrogen around the planet’s inner core of rock.”  And it goes on to explain that “Saturn is not solid, but is made almost entirely of gas, mostly liquid hydrogen and helium.  Only in the planet’s very small core is there any solid rock.” 

I tried to explain that in terms I thought an almost six year old would understand, so I  explained that air is a gas and that if it were on Saturn it would turn it into solid chunks.   

I continued reading and after a few minutes Snags interrupted and said, “Okay! We need to destroy Saturn.  We need to BLOW. IT. UP!” I looked at my son, innocent child turned comic book villain, and said no, that wasn’t right.  We shouldn’t do that.  But then I proceed to ask him why he thought we should blow up Saturn.

“Because,” he said, “there is no oxygen is space.  That’s because Saturn takes it all and turns it into rocks.  So if we destroy Saturn the rocks will turn back into air and people will be able to breathe in space!”

I laughed.  “Okay,” I said.  “I see your reasoning.  That sounds logical, but I don’t think I explained this right…  We don’t breathe the type of gas that Saturn turns into a solid.  That’s hydrogen, and we are breathing air which is made up of mostly nitrogen and oxygen, not hydrogen…” 

The next day, as I was shopping for Snags’ birthday present in Target, I was thinking about his plan to blow up Saturn.  I had to consider whether or not I was the best person to lead Snags away from the dark side… 

I was in one of the toy aisles and reaching out to take hold of a Star Wars transformer that could turn from an X-Wing into Luke Skywalker.  As luck would have it, it was the very last one they had.  And just as my fingertips brushed the package, a little boy zipped down the aisle at breakneck speed and grabbed the toy off the hook it was hanging from. Right from under my hand!  The child’s mother saw this and reprimanded him, told him to give the toy back to me, that I was looking at it and going to buy it.  The child handed the toy over to me, and I thanked him and then his mother. I thought that was the end of our conversation.

But then the woman asked me “Are you going to buy that?” and I said “Yes, I was thinking about it.” To which she puffed herself up like the Wicked Witch of the West Target and huffed “THINKING ABOUT AND BUYING ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS!  WHICH IS IT?!”

I was stunned.  It took me a moment but when I recovered from her verbal slap I said I was going to buy it. Then, for fun, I continued to look at other Star Wars toys on the shelves, pulling them down, turning them over, reading the back and looking like I was weighing their merits against the transformer I said I was buying.

Eventually, I tuned my cart around and pushed my way out of the aisle.  I stopped to look at another toy, one that Snags has asked for before.  I pulled it off the shelf and put it in my cart.  Then I turned down the Barbie aisle, pulled the X-Wing/Luke Skywalker Transformer from my cart, and shoved it behind a bunch of Barbie Dolls.  I decided that I wasn’t going to buy it, but neither was the witch in the Star Wars aisle.  And that’s why I am not sure I will be much help when it comes to stopping my little evil genius from blowing up Saturn.  It’s for a good cause, after all.

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Filed under birthday, humor, Luke Skywalker, parenting, Saturn, Snags, Star Wars, transformers