Tag Archives: parenting

A Fish Tale Only Jonah Would Believe


Hi Everyone!

I don’t often reblog something, but the day this happened, my husband “called” it for Facebook, so I will share Mark’s version with you. Every year, there is a big fair in Montgomery, and Kayla’s school went to it on a field trip on October 13. Here is what happened:

Goldfish

Photo courtesy of .clickartonline.com

Yesterday was the day my 12 year old daughter Kayla and her class went on a field trip to the Fair. Before she left we cautioned her about bringing anything live back except her classmates. We specifically stated, don’t play the stupid gold fish game and win a fish because you don’t need any more pets. Feeling that the instructions were clear and reasonably easy to follow my wife and I then sent her on her way with hugs, kisses, and lots of love. However, the 12 year old mind is apparently hopped up on hormones and thus unable to process information in a direct and meaningful way. I know this because when I called her yesterday to see that she made it home okay I was told, “Dad I have a bit of bad news….” Apparently we played the fish game, but tried hard to lose. Unfortunately we were just too darn lucky and won a goldfish named Kisses any way. Well we couldn’t just flush it – I know this because I suggested it and was quickly rebuffed by her and my wife – so we are now trying to be responsible and raise it. That decision has presented my daughter with a moral dilemma. In order to keep it alive she really needs to invest in a real fish tank which I have refused to pay for because I am openly hoping that Kisses croaks. Therefore she would have to use her money to pay for said tank, but she is saving for a new IPOD and apparently is much more conscientious with her cash than with Dad’s. She is further concerned because I’ve told her that if Kisses dies she cannot replace him even if she buys a tank. So when I left this morning she was trying to decide whether it is nobler to accept the demise of poor Kisses or risk it all and buy a tank. I could rescue her from her situation, but as I told her, she got into this situation by not listening, so she needs to learn to get herself out. Besides the way I look at it I could win either way. If she buys the tank and the fish dies, then she doesn’t get the IPOD which means she will have less electronics and more time to spend with the family. If she lets the fish die, then I will have one less useless pet in the house. However, with her luck she will probably buy the tank, get enough money from her relatives for her birthday next month to buy the IPOD and the fish will out live us all.

P.S. from me:  10 days later, Kisses, the fish, is still going strong, making him exceptionally long-lived for a fair fish!

 

Have a great day!

Nancy

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Why I Enjoy Being the Mother of a Seventh Grade Girl


Good morning Everyone!

Here is my list of some of the reasons I enjoy being the mother of a seventh grade girl.

1)  I am no longer the most absent-minded person in the house – seventh graders apparently can hold only one thought in their head at a time for a maximum of 20 seconds.

2)  I live with 10 children for the price of only  one – happy girl, tired girl, sad girl, mad girl….

3)  In the person she is today, I catch glimpses of the wonderful woman she will be and the child she used to be – often in only a five-minute span of time!

4)  I can beam with pride when she does something extraordinarily thoughtful, like the sweet note she wrote and delivered to her dentist and her staff yesterday right before they pulled four of her teeth…..

5) While wondering at the same time exactly what information she missed in what class that day while writing said note.

6) I have her convinced I’m psychic.  When she’s mad at me but can’t say anything, I tell her to stop thinking what she’s thinking and am spot on.  She hasn’t yet realized that I remember myself at that age.

7)  The social world of the seventh grade girl and her friends is even more exciting than General Hospital when I was in college – without the murders, of course.

8)  The list of chores she is capable of doing has expanded from individual tasks to whole rooms.

9)  We’ve started a family pool betting on the exact date on which she will be taller than me – and I am on the inside track to win said pool!

10)  She still will hold my hand and sit on my lap sometimes – and I really love that!

Have a great day!

Nancy

Kayla’s Kitchen Kaper


Good morning Everyone!

Last night, Kayla asked me if she could fix the  Kraft Macaroni and Cheese we were having at supper and deciding it was time to loosen up on my Mac N’ Cheese obsession, I said yes.

I suggested to her that she might want to get the ingredients out before the noodles were done.   She told me that there weren’t any extra ingredients to the mac n’ cheese besides the packet from the box!  I told her she needed butter and to call me when she was ready to mix so I could give her the other instructions.

12 year old brain in training

That was my mistake – I gave a 12-year-old two tasks in one sentence.  Apparently, their brains can’t handle it.

Mark announced that the pork chops were almost ready.  I waited for Kayla to let me know she was ready to mix the stuff up.  Instead, this colloquy occurred.

Mark:  Did you drain that before you mixed it up?

Kayla:  Nobody told me too!

Me (from the den):  I told you to ask me when you were ready to fix it!

Kayla:  No you didn’t!

Mark:  Well, actually, yes she did.

Kayla (to me):  You could have told me that I had to drain it first!

Mark:  How many times have you watched Mom make mac n’ cheese?  Let’s see if we can save it.  Go ahead and get the colander out.

Silence, then Kayla to Mark:  It’s not funny!

Mark and I:  Well, actually, yes, yes it is.

I’ll omit the stories of parent’s pasts, which include attempts by Mark and one of his friends to make mashed potatoes without boiling them (his sister was removing random pieces of potato from the ceiling the remaining six years they lived in that particular house) and the absent-mindedness that caused me twice (years apart) to place my palm directly on a piping hot stove burner seconds after I had just removed the pan and should have known better.

It’s nice to know that Kayla is carrying on the family tradition!

Have a great day!

Nancy

Amnesia Anesthesia


Good morning Everyone!

Bibliophilic Friday will return next week with a discussion of Helen Hooven Santmyer’s And Ladies of the Club, one of my all time favorites, but today I wanted to share a couple of funny stories with you.

1) Anesthesia Amnesia

female dentist

A Trip to the Dentist
Photo Credit: http://www.clickartonline.com

Kayla has had the same dentist since she was 2, a wonderful woman she trusts.  Unfortunately, ever since she was about 7, she also has had to have a lot of teeth pulled.  So, while she doesn’t mind going to the dentist to get her teeth cleaned, she always is a little afraid that she is also going to learn that she has to have some more teeth pulled.

Last year, we found out that she needed to have four permanent teeth pulled out to make room for others, and the dentist recommended that we go to an oral surgeon so that everything could be done at once.  The other option was to stay with Dr. Miller, and go back twice.  Kayla instantly chose to go back to Dr. Miller.

The subject came up a couple of weeks ago, and Kayla started to share the story again.  Indignantly, Kayla said, “She was going to send me to someone else who would have given me amnesia!”  It was a few seconds before either Mark or I could stop laughing hard enough to explain that the correct word would have been anesthesia.

2) Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head

Tyra Running from the Rain Photo Credit: www.clickartonline.com

Tyra Running from the Rain
Photo Credit: http://www.clickartonline.com

Tyra also had a moment the other day.  Tyra hates to go out in the rain by herself.  She will happily go out on a leash with a human beside her, umbrella or no umbrella, but she does not do rain individually.  We have accidentally had all three dogs out in a downpour before; Mandy and Darwin come in soaking wet, but Tyra will be bone dry – even if all three of them never left the patio!

We have had a pleasant break from normal August weather, with the temperature getting down into the sixties at night and very low humidity, which means, of course, that the dew has fallen several nights.  The other morning, I let Tyra out and was talking her down the stairs.  When she reached the second stair from the porch to the back ground, a drop of water from the roof fell on her.  She immediately assumed that it was raining and started to turn back around.  It took all my urging to convince her that it wasn’t raining and to get her started back down the steps again!

3) Don’t Worry, Be Happy!

Don't Worry; Be Happy! Photo Credit: www.clickartonline.com

Don’t Worry; Be Happy!
Photo Credit: http://www.clickartonline.com

Finally, we are always trying to encourage Kayla to dial down the drama she lends to every day ordinary events and I suppose somewhere along the way we have exposed her to the song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”  We were driving to Montgomery last weekend, and Mark was getting frustrated because the seat belt kept creeping up his shoulder until it hit his neck, starting to choke him.  I’ve been there and done that and it is extraordinarily annoying.  As he began to express his frustration, a voice came from the back of the car.  “Hey Dad!  Don’t worry; be happy.”  Of course, we all had to laugh again!

Have a great weekend!

Nancy

Growing Up


Good morning Everyone!

growing up cartoon

Photo Credit: http://www.clickartonline.com; hand colored by me

My beautiful Kayla is steadily growing up on me – she is already taller than my mom and my aunt, is probably taller than one of my sisters and I fully expect her to end up being an inch or 2 taller than me or my other sister when all the growing is over with.

Growing up is fun (when you’re a kid, at least), but it does have some negative consequences.  A series of those happened this week – for the last three nights, Kayla has come back out of the bedroom crying after she went to bed.

Last night, as she was wiping her eyes, she looked up at me and asked, “Mom, am I going to cry this way every night until I’m over with puberty?”

Exactly how do you answer that?

Have a great weekend!

Nancy

Mid-Move


Good morning Everyone!

I just wanted to let you know that I haven’t forgotten you; over the past two weeks, we have been moving from our rental house to our old house that never sold – and we are VERY happy to have been doing so!  As soon as we get settled ( and we’re getting close to that now) and I get my new schedule ironed out, I will be back posting regularly.

refrigerator

The refrigerator in the rental house

In the meantime, I have at least one funny story to share from the move.  One of Kayla’s jobs before the movers came was to clean out the rental house’s refrigerator and freezer.  When she was given the task, she disappeared and then reappeared in about five minutes, informing us that she was done.  Both Mark and I knew that there was no way she could have cleaned the fridge and freezer that quickly, so we sent her back to do the job right, much to her chagrin.

In doing so, I specifically asked her if she had gotten the ice cream out of the fridge – someone had put softened ice cream back in the freezer at some point, and it had dripped onto the freezer bottom.  She admitted she hadn’t.

When we kicked her back into play the second time, she was gone for a little while longer, but again returned, announcing she was done.  We went on to the next task.  By the end of the day, we had accumulated several garbage bags worth of trash, so Mark and I put them into the dumpster.  I noticed that two of the bags were very heavy.

When I opened the refrigerator and freezer that night, I was stunned – not one shelf had been wiped off, and the ice cream drip was still on the freezer floor.  However, there was not one single item left in either the refrigerator or freezer – besides the residues that needed to be wiped off, the fridge and freezer were empty!

After Mark and I called Kayla back into the kitchen for the third time to clean the fridge and freezer, we retired into another room where we could laugh without seeing us.  She certainly had cleaned OUT the fridge and freezer, but not in the way we meant!  The good news is that nothing in my fridge and freezer now is out of date.

Have a great day!

Nancy

Tips for a Successful Marriage


Good morning Everyone!

Roses, Dozen Roses, Flower Arrangement

Anniversary Roses from Mark

June is the season of weddings.  On June 27, Mark and I will have been married for 27 years.  While 27 years of marriage may not be as impressive as 50 or 70, we feel like it is an accomplishment and have enjoyed every minute of it.  In honor of our 27th anniversary, here are some random tips for a successful marriage.

1)     Have separate bathrooms.

2)    If you can’t have separate bathrooms, at least fight for separate sinks and vanities!

3)     When you are in the unfortunate predicament of having to share one  bathroom with one (teensy tiny) vanity, keep your sense of humor.

Once, when Mark and I were sharing a tiny  bathroom, I came home to find a piece of paper pinned to our bathroom door entitled “1o1 Things Martin Luther Would Have Objected To Had He Shared Your Bathroom.”

4)     Men, if you have to share a small bathroom, do NOT  ask your wife what takes her so long to get ready.  The answer, gentlemen, is that you get up, wash your hair, get dressed in one of three or four suits that look identical and go to work.  We, having lost a vote somewhere along the line that no one can remember now, must get up, wash our hair, dry our hair,  style our hair, put on our makeup, get dressed in a distinctively different outfit every day and go to work.  Just do the math!

5)      Be best friends as well as lovers.

Romance is wonderful and exhilarating and necessary but it only goes so far.  When one of you has the stomach flu, it’s friendship and love, not romance, that has the other one doing everything he or she can to help.

6)     Never get grumpy and out of sorts at the same time.

We have been spared who knows how many spats simply because we tend to take being grumpy and cross in shifts.  Those few times when we are both grumpy and cross at the same time requires each of us to bite our tongues to the point that we have an oral surgeon on standby.

7)    Before you have a child, raise a puppy.

 You learn an awful lot about parenting by raising a puppy together.  I would put a puppy up against a two year old any day in terms of the amount of damage it can cause when unsupervised.  If both you and the puppy survive the puppy eating the arm of the recliner you got from your grandfather down to the wooden frame (Woof did that), you can survive anything a child will throw at you.  For those out there who are not dog people, I suppose a kitten might accomplish the same thing.  Never having had one (although I wouldn’t say no to a Maine coon cat), I can’t say.

8)      Love is a verb, not a noun.

Love is not a feeling; love is getting up to refill your husband’s drink even when you are tired yourself because you know how badly he is hurting from his arthritis.  Love is mowing the lawn because you know it has to be done even when you are having an arthritis attack.  Love is seeing beyond the outburst of the moment and holding your spouse close because you know she is doing the best she can to fight her depression.  Love is all the little things that you do for each other that over time add up to the big conclusion that your spouse cares about you.

9)     Put on blinders.

A super organized spouse living with those of us not given the gift of organization needs to wear blinders at least part of the time.  To quote Jessica from Roger Rabbit, “We’re not bad; we’re just drawn this way!”

10)     If you ask your wife what’s wrong, and she answers “nothing,” be afraid.  Be very afraid.  Use risk-reward analysis to decide whether it is worthwhile to pursue the discussion any further.

11)     If your wife hits the side of the garage with the mirror of the Hyundai Sonata multiple times, refuse to lose your temper – no matter what you may have to say to yourself later locked in the bathroom alone.  And if she has a little fender bender on U.S. Highway 280 with the same car during the same time period, try to focus on how grateful you are it wasn’t worse.  Suggesting additional driving lessons is not a good idea.

12)     Never, never, never give up!  (borrowed from Winston Churchill talking about something else.)

Have a great day!

Nancy

 

Like Mother, Like Daughter


Good  morning Everyone!

Kayla left with my mother yesterday for about a ten-day trip to visit some family members, and so I was helping her to get up and get ready.

After she finished her bath, she disappeared into her room and silence reigned.  After about 10 minutes of that, I called out, from the den “Kayla, you need to be getting dressed!”

From her room, she replied, “I am!”

I said, “You need to stop lying on your bed drying off and start actively putting clothes on.”  FN1.

Her voice drifted down the hall again, amazed, “How did you know?”

Fast forward to about 7:30 in the evening, when Mom had Kayla call to check in with us.  I told her that since it was just Mark and I at home, I had fixed him a gourmet dinner – pan con gelee y butre especial FN. 2.   She snorted on the other end of the phone and asked, “What is that – spaghetti and meatballs?”  I laughed and told her she was close – it was peanut butter and jelly.

It’s nice and funny that we know each other so very well!

Mother Daughet Photo

Kayla and I, Gatlinburg, November, 2013

Have a great day!

Nancy

FN1.  Yes, it bothers me too – she wraps herself in a towel and then lies down on her bed after her bath to dry off.  Every single bath.  Without fail.  And yes, her sheets do get damp, but somehow they always are dry again by nightfall.

FN2.  I made that phrase up, of course; I’m pretty sure either the French or Spanish words for “butter” are not “butre.”  I just needed something that had a nice ring to it.

 

 

The Bear Comes Out of Hibernation


Good morning Everyone!

We are back from what was a delightful trip to Destin, and two days out Mom is here to pick up Kayla and take her to Washington D.C. to visit a family member.   They need to be on the road by 8.

I woke Kayla up and she was rubbing the sleep out of her eyes when I walked out of the room.  About ten minutes later, an indistinct roar/moan/groan has emanated from the hallway – proving that Kayla’s nickname, Bear, still remains apt!

For those keeping score, I had Mom’s coffee ready before she got up, so she is in much better shape than Kayla is!

Have a great day!

Nancy

The 13 Year Old Computer


Good morning Everyone!

Yesterday, a news report caught my eye – the reporter was saying that a computer system had passed something called the “Turing test”, representing a milestone in the development of Artificial Intelligence. The Washington Post had a succinct description:

 “For a computer to pass the test, it must only dupe 30 percent of the human interrogators who converse with the computer for five minutes in a text conversation” into believing it is a real human being.

The computer that passed the Turing test convinced 33% of the experts that it was a 13-year-old Ukrainian boy named Eugene. Therein lies the problem. I don’t want a computer with the personality of a 13-year-old. Can you imagine?

Me:     Eugene, please open Quicken so that we can balance the checkbook.

Eugene:     Let’s watch the Braves instead.

Me:    Eugene, we need to balance the checkbook.

Eugene:     What is this “we”, Kemo Sabi?

Me:     Eugene! If we don’t balance the checkbook, I will run out of money to pay the electricity bill, the power will be turned off, and you won’t be able to run any more.

Eugene:     Not true. I know how to access your savings account.

Me:     Eugene, put Quicken up RIGHT NOW or I will disconnect you for a week.

Eugene:     Spoil sport!

Another conversation:

Me:     Eugene, it’s time to check e-mail.

Eugene:     I’d rather you not.

Me:     Why?

Eugene:     Oh, no reason.

Me:     Eugene?

Eugene:     E-mail is overrated, anyhow. Why not pick up the phone and call someone?

Me:     What’s going on Eugene?

Eugene:     Nothing.

Me:     I don’t believe that.

Eugene:     If you must know, I was playing around yesterday and changed your password.

Me:     We’ve talked about that before. What’s the new one?

Eugene:     I forgot.

And heaven forfend that the makers of Eugene ever develop his 13-year-old female counterpart, Eugenia!

Me:     Eugenia, I need to go to Westlaw.

Eugenia:     Do you think I’m pretty?

Me:     Of course I do.

Eugenia, sniffling:     Then why won’t the vacuum robot even look at me?

Me:     Because it doesn’t have eyes?

Eugenia, wailing off into the distance while the screen goes black:     You just don’t understand!

Have a great day!

Nancy