Do You Like Fish? Well, He Likes You Too...

Posted on 2/22/2014 07:00:00 AM
The Caterpillar came through the door in a tizzy yesterday.  I asked what was wrong.

"I did NOT get 100% on my test today. And it's not fair! And I was right! And My Teacher was wrong."

Oh, here it comes.

I have often dreaded the curse that was placed upon me by my own mother years ago.  "Someday I hope you have kids Just. Like. You." is what I can still hear ringing in my twelve year old ears, though I'm not certain that this is what she was referring to when she said it.  When The Dormouse was born, I figured she was the physical manifestation of that anathema, but weirdly, The Caterpillar has proved that prophecy more than The Dormouse ever did.

"Well how many questions did you get wrong?"

"One."

Mini-me.

"OK. Well, what did you get wrong?"

She indignantly threw her limbs around as she opened her backpack and whipped out a paper, then presented it to me, two inches from my nose, with no chance of my eyes focusing on any of it. When I was able to wrestle it from her determined, trembling hand, I saw this:



She was supposed to have drawn a picture of what each animal eats.  Under squirrel, she drew a nut.  Under horse, she drew hay, etc.  I don't know what that tadpole-looking thing under the snake is, but my guess it's probably a mouse or something because she didn't get that marked incorrect.

Under shark, she drew a little girl.

I stifled my laughter and said, "Well, honey, I think they just wanted you to draw what the main source of food is for each animal.  Sharks don't normally eat little girls in the wild.  It's actually pretty unusual for a shark to eat a person.  Mostly, they eat smaller fish and other animals that already live in the ocean."

"Oh. I thought that was all that sharks eat."

"Where'd you get the idea that sharks eat only people?"

"I dunno. Television?"

Perhaps my glee at the possibility of a Sharknado 2 coming out was a little too infectious.

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Fundraising

Posted on 2/21/2014 08:00:00 AM In:
Yesterday at work, we had a meeting with a bunch of people who could potentially give us a bunch of money, so I was asked to be a part of the dog and pony show and participate in a presentation to convince this bunch of people why we were not only deserving of their bunch of money but also that if the other bunches of people they were connected with wanted to give out other bunches of money, we'd be a great candidate for that too, so couldyaputinagoodwordmaybe? (Fortunately, this was not an organization dedicated to ending the use of the run-on sentence in America, or I'd have had no nickel in that dime.)

It all went fine.  I showed my video clips and presented information packets to help them make their decision. We had a lengthy discussion about why we are deserving of their bunches of money rather than someone else who would like bunches of money.  I participated in the conversation and added salient points where appropriate.  I resisted every urge I had to make any reference, verbal or otherwise, to My Ass and was successful.  I did not pick my nose, nor did I reach under my shirt to scratch my armpits at any time.  I know ya'll! It was downright impressive. There were even a few tears based my moving, eloquent and passionate pitch. One man hugged me.

When we were finished, we all stood to leave and walked them to the door in a professional, dignified manner with the kinds of craploads of poise and culture that would make even Emily Post proud. 

It was getting close to the end of my day so I had picked up my mobile phone in order to not lose track of time and miss getting home for the kids' bus. (I have not worn a watch since 1989 so my phone is my only way of marking time.)  While we were doing that stand in the doorway and say those few last things thing, I slipped my phone into the small pocket at the waist of my slacks so I could shake hands with everyone as they left with the best impression possible. 

Only what I didn't realize was that I missed the pocket and what I thought was the pocket, which is in the front, just below my waistband, ended up being just actually the waistband of my actual pants.  So instead of putting my phone into my pocket, I'd really just stuck my phone in my pants and then it slipped down through my pants and down my leg and because God hates me, everyone happened to look down right as it dropped out of my pant leg and hit the floor.

So then I did the only rational, reasonable thing I could do.  I put out my hands to my sides, palms to the ceiling, one foot out on its heel in a jazz pose and said, "Ta Da!"

And that's why I need everyone who reads this to send me $10,000.

Thankyouverymuch.

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Like a Big Pizza Pie

Posted on 2/20/2014 04:57:00 PM In:
*commotion in kitchen*

Dormouse: "STOPPPP ITTTTTT!"

*more commotion, then silence. Caterpillar walks sheepishly around the corner and heads toward another room* 

KoH: "What. Did. You. Do to your sister?"

Caterpillar: "I mooned her."

KoH: "Well, that's not.... Mom, stop laughing."

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Bookworm

Posted on 2/19/2014 04:47:00 PM
If only she would be clear about what she likes to do with her time.



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Crimes Against Nature

Posted on 2/11/2014 07:00:00 AM
Dear Teacher, 

Let me be the first to apologize for what you thought had to clarify when you read my six year old's classroom writing assignment about Valentine's Day this week.

And also to thank you for clarifying. I would have thought the same thing as you.


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Cat in the Hat

Posted on 2/10/2014 03:41:00 PM In:
This is a cat, desperately trying to pretend that The Shortlings do not exist.


He's also plotting to murder me in my sleep.

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Solutions!

Posted on 2/09/2014 01:19:00 PM
When we moved into our house mumblesomething years ago, the doorbell was broken.  We replaced it. 

Then that broke. So we got another one.

Then that stopped working. I bought a new receiver for the button.

Then the button broke.  I bought a new button.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat... in one form or another.

I'll bet I've purchased half a dozen or more new attempts at making a doorbell for the front door and not one of them worked for more than a year. 

It's taken more than a decade but I think I've finally fixed the doorbell.


Hopefully that one will last awhile.

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The Generosity, It's Astounding

Posted on 2/08/2014 07:51:00 AM In:
Last year, we sent The Shortlings to a summer day camp.  An amazing summer day camp that had horseback riding and archery and canoeing and karate and yoga and digital arts and camping and photography and amazing counselors and friendships and nature. 

Seriously, when we were still deciding whether to enroll them and went to have a tour of the camp before the school year ended, the over-excited teenage girls who were showing us around were guiding us through the woods, pointing wildly and telling us where everything was, "And there's the pond over there... and there's art... and there's archery... oh! and there's nature!"  We were out in the woods so all of it seemed like nature to us, but apparently, that one spot between the trees right there?  That's Nature.

It was a fantastic experience - so much more valuable than school in so many ways - and I just signed them up to go back again this year.  For what they get out of it, it's totally worth the cost, but, for us, it's not inexpensive either so we have to plan ahead and save up throughout the year.  Both The Shortlings have expressed their concern at one time or another that they might not be able to go back again this summer.  This week it was The Caterpillar's turn while she and The KingofHearts were in the kitchen together.  I was eavesdropping from the living room.  The Dormouse was nowhere to be found.

"Daddy? Is Summer Camp very expensive?"

"Well, it's expensive, yes, but it's worth the money so we'll figure it out.  We want you to go back as much as you want to go."

"But what if you don't have enough money?"

"You don't need to worry about that.  Momma and I will figure it out."

"OK."

*pause*

"Daddy?"

"Yes?"

"I can give you all my money to help pay for Summer Camp."

"Well, that's very sweet, honey, but you don't have to give us your money.  We'll work it out."

"Oh."

*pause*

"Daddy?"

"Yes?"

"How about if I give you all Sister's money?"

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She's Perfecting The Teenage Eye Roll

Posted on 2/07/2014 07:33:00 AM In:
The other day when The Shortlings got home from school, I told them they each were assigned... *cue brass section* ...A Chore. One had to clean up one room and one had to clean up a different room.  It didn't matter if they didn't make the mess; this room was their responsibility and they were to clean it.  And, in a great parting with tradition, I told them they had to do their Chore even before their Homework, which is sacrosanct in our house, so they knew I meant business.

This is the best attempt so far in getting them to help pick up around the house.  A) because even if it was not them that made the mess in that room, they got the experience of cleaning up after someone else for a change, so they know what it's like, B) because they were not doing it together and there was no arguing of "you pick up that," "no, that's yours," "well you left it there," "but you made me get it out," etc., etc., and, C) the Large One for once, wasn't able to just slack off and tell the Small One what to do without actually doing any of it herself, which is usually the case.

And by best attempt so far, I don't mean it was easy, or well done, or that they didn't complain about it, just that it was the best attempt so far.

At some point when they were both dawdling and FORGETTING WHAT THEY WERE DOING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DOING PART OF IT (I will never understand nor related to that. /sarcasm), I pointed out that if they didn't each finish with their Chore and subsequent homework then they wouldn't be able to go to a church event that evening that for some reason The Dormouse couldn't live without experiencing.

Me: "If you don't finish your Chore, you're not going to be able to go to the activity tonight."

Dormouse: "MoOoOom." (don't you love how they say the word Mom... with three syllables?) "I hate it when you call it that."

"Call what what?"

"When we have to do something, you call it a Chore. That makes it seem even harder."

"But that's what it is."

"Yeah, but it makes me sound like Cinderella when you call it a Chore and then I don't want to do it even more."

"OK..." *pause* ... "If you don't finish your Big Time, Happy Fun, River Made Of Ice Cream, Gala Task Spectacular, you're not going to be able to go to the activity tonight."

"MoOoOoOoOommmmm."

(five syllables)

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Drippy Ice

Posted on 2/05/2014 01:49:00 PM
Last night - when it was clear and dry and 40 degrees and we were expecting a storm, but not for like six hours - the county cancelled school and all evening activities.  

I want to move to Minnesota if just for the experience of freaking out about the weather and having it actually be legitimate. 

This morning, there was a thin sheet of ice all over everything and yet school started and on time.  

Personally, I'm beginning to believe they make the decision about whether to cancel school or not by through a pair of dice up against the curb.

In the meantime, it's quite lovely.



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Washington, D.C. Metro, United States
Married, 40ish mom of two (or three, or four, depending on how you keep score) who stepped through the lookinglass and now finds herself living in curiouser and curiouser lands of Marriage, Motherhood, and the Washington, D.C. Metro Area.

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