Posted in Family, Just Funny, Parenting

Cool Hand Kevin


To preface this story, I almost never wear sunglasses – they’re oppressive, like socks. But I bought a blingy diva pair anyway, for a 14-hour Texas trip, and I tucked them away in my purse.  

260575528409591555Tgmf1bB0cA few hours into the drive, somewhere around west Memphis, Kevin wanted to stretch out a bit.  He started rearranging all the bags and snacks and speakers and road trip stuff in an attempt to build his nest.

“Hey, before you get too comfortable,” I said, “we’re about to head west so I’m going to need my glasses out of my purse.”

“Huh?” he responded eloquently.

I repeated myself, speaking slowly this time, “We’re…about…to…head…west…so… I’m…going…to…need…my…glasses…out…of…my…purse.”

“WHY do you need your glasses when we turn west????” he quizzed with a look of irritation.

“Well, Kevin, let’s use our brain and find the answer to that question. Why do YOU think I need my glasses?”

“I dunno.”

“What happens when we turn westward?”

stbcs“Um…the letters on the signs get smaller???”

What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.  

Let’s try this again. “Kev, before you get too comfortable, we’re about to head west so I’m going to need my SUNglasses out of my purse, not my EYEglasses.”

Posted in Family, Just Funny, Parenting

Dissecting Frogs in the Car

Did you know the word “gullible” is not in the dictionary?

1526092_766739986239_1681683817_nMy kids love to pick on each other. I mean, they SAY they love each other, but they agitate until they are exasperated.  

Once, not so awfully long ago, Kevin convinced Kacey he was left-handed. (Kacey was 23, Kevin, 16)  She was so befuddled by his insistence, she marched into the den with her hands on her hips and proclaimed, “He is NOT left-handed………… IS HE?????”  Of course, he is not, and she KNEW that, he is just such a stinking convincing liar that she began to doubt herself.

A few nights later, before Kevin and I took a road trip to Texas, he and Kacey were talking on the phone.  He was moaning about all the school work he was going to have to do on our car trip.  1917367_198145571800_4446435_n (2)She  told him to “suck it up” and “do the work like a man” when he said something like, “Well that’s easy for you to say…you don’t have to dissect a frog in the car!”

“Neither do you, goofball.”

“YES I DO!”

“Kevin, you cannot possibly dissect a frog in the car. Why don’t you just do it when you come back on Monday?”

“Because I have to make a diagram, label all the parts, and have it turned in by Friday night!”

“Kevin, you are such a liar!”

“Kacey, I’m serious. I’ve got to dissect this stupid frog in the car on the way to Texas!”

“Seriously???”

1917367_207857431800_3306124_n“Um, yeah.  And by the way, I’m left-handed.”

Kacey gave him a verbal long-distance lashing for making her feel gullible yet again, while he and I fought back tears of laughter.   

Is it okay that I’m strangely proud of my kid for being a great actor liar?  

Posted in Grammar Nazi, Parenting

Discourse with Daughter-Face

Kacey texted: “What is the word for when you attribute human characteristics to something that isn’t human, or possibly even inanimate?  I tried to think of it for an hour last night and couldn’t come up with anything.”

And because I’m a good mommy, which you know by now, because I tell you all the time, I answered: “Personification”

She replied: “Are you sure?” (Am I sure? Does she KNOW to whom she is speaking? Of course I’m sure! Even when I’m wrong, I’m sure!)

“Yes,” I stated, “Personification is a figure of speech in which inanimate objects or abstractions are endowed with human qualities or are represented as possessing human form, as in ‘Hunger sat shivering on the road.’

She retorted, “No, I just googled it, and I found ANTHROPOMORPHISM: The attribution of human motivation, characteristics, or behavior to inanimate objects, animals, or natural phenomena…BooYah!”

“NOT the same thing,” I argued, “as anthropomorphism is a basic cognitive process in which some entity comes to stand for or represent something else. It is more sociological in nature, whereas personification is more literary.”

Her reply: “Is TOO the same thing. But in the spirit of full disclosure, I was thinking of your word anyway, so it doesn’t matter.”

Then we discussed her brother dressing up like a log.

Posted in Parenting, Quirks and Other Weirdness

diaLOG with my son

Kevin’s upcoming Halloween party required a costume.

It needed to be Clever. Creative. Comical. Quirky. Cheap. Mostly, it needed to rival our reputation for being different.

One year I wore a column around my neck, with two deer emerging from my cleavage, a red ribbon on my lips, and purple hair as I represented the LITERAL description of “The Ideal Woman” from the Song of Solomon.

For her middle school party, Kacey disguised herself as a sofa table, complete with a lampshade on her head.  Party-goers bumped into her, thinking she was actual furniture.

ME: “So, Kev, what’s your costume gonna be for this shindig?” 

KEV: “I dunno. Maybe I’ll go as a telephone pole.”

ME: “You COULD go as a tree.”

KEV: “A tree?  That’s so boring, mom…(long pause)…I think I’ll go as a log.”

Because that’s SO much more interesting than a tree.

Six pieces of poster board, a roll of woodgrain contact paper, and some black mesh garnered him a prize for “scariest costume”… not because the costume itself was creepy, but because the brain that produced the idea to dress up as a LOG is, apparently, pretty darn frightening.

lincoln logI told him he should put a nametag on his log costume that read, “Hello, my name is Lincoln.” Then I laughed my silly head off.

Kevin, however, doesn’t appreciate my humor.  

Posted in Just Funny, Parenting

Pooh Poo

My daughter was less than a month old when a new friend – well, she had the potential to become a friend but really we’d only jointly been at a few events and had managed to learn each other’s names and handbags. Anyway, she called to ask if I could watch her children for the day.

Now I’m as accommodating as they come, but I hardly knew this woman, I had no relationship with her little ones, and mostly, I just wasn’t up to it.  I was recovering from 9 months of pregnancy, 32 hours of labor, and 19 days of no sleep.  Plus, I had my hands full (literally) trying to breastfeed.  To expect me to shower, dress AND babysit a couple of toddlers was pushing me WAY out of my energy zone.  

I politely told her I wasn’t up to it, maybe another time.

Half an hour later she called back, begging. A good friend was in town just for the day and they needed a little “girl time” for lunch and a chat. She had apparently called every one she’d known since middle school and absolutely no one else could help her out (Can you say “GIANT RED FLAG”?).  She assured me it would be quick and easy.  She would feed them lunch before she brought them and would only be gone an hour – hour-and-a-half – tops.

My head was trying to formulate the words to politely decline when I heard, “Well…I guess so,” exit my lips.

Darn my people pleasing.

Twenty minutes later she showed up at the door, informed me she hadn’t had time to feed them or even pack lunch, but they would eat just about anything I would fix.  Yeah?  Lucky me!  Ugh.

So I wrangled, fed, and cleaned up after two toddlers, while nursing one-handed (which may work for B-cup gals, but we DDs require two hands to accomplish this task without smothering our children.)

Once the lunch rush was behind us, my baby was asleep. I took her upstairs to put her on the bed. As I was descending the stairs a very few minutes later, I caught a glimpse of the 2-year-old turning a corner dressed like Winnie-the-Pooh. (Read: shirt, no pants.)  Oh, bother. Seems he had dropped his diaper…somewhere.

I quickened my barefoot pace to catch up to him, when…

I STEPPED IN IT.

AND THEN I SAID IT.

Not only was he dressed like Pooh, he was dressed IN poo. Up his back, down his thighs, and now which, thanks to the ripaway diaper, decorated my floors as well.

Two diaper changes, three long hours, four attempts at carpet cleaning, and one temper tantrum later (mine), this woman, who before noon had the potential to be my friend, returned to collect her little angels without so much as an apology for being late, an offer to have my carpet cleaned, or even a “thank you” for my time.

I’d say I learned a valuable lesson from this experience, but since it has been YEARS and I am still whining about it, probably not.

Posted in Parenting, Quirks and Other Weirdness

Not the half of it…

15330641I was trying on a pair of strappy ankle boots the other day, which, of course, I will never buy because of the whole, you know, “legs like tree trunks” thing. Anyway, as I was trying them on, pretending to be tall and graceful, it occurred to me:
Women’s shoes begin at size 4 and progress by half sizes.

WHY??

Please tell me what’s wrong with consecutive Arabic numerals? Why the “half” sizes?  Why could they not begin at ONE and proceed to two, three, four, and so on? Whose asinine idea was it to require the use of fractions and decimals when purchasing footwear? (Probably the same genius who established a mile at 5,280 feet, or a pound at 16 ounces. Or maybe it was the gy who decided to say “numeral” instead of “numberal”.)

As I was mentally trying to figure out what my hypothetical shoe size would be if adult shoes began at size 1 and progressed upward by whole numbers, I overheard a conversation between a mom and her preschooler.  The child was repeatedly kicking the angled shoe-mirror at the end of the aisle with her black patent-leathers.
“Bailey, stop kicking the mirror. Bailey, I mean it. Stop. Do you want to go to the car? I’m going to count to three, Bailey. One. Two. Two-and-a-half…”

3-stepsAnd…there we go.

 

Posted in Just Funny, Parenting, Starting Over

the name game

At the age of 46, I became a grandmother. I don’t know how it happened.

I mean, I’m not stupid.  I know HOW it happened, I just don’t know WHAT happened.     To my life, that is. Where’d it go so fast?

The worst part of the grandmother gig was The Name Change.

See, I like my name: Stephanie. Steph to those who are close. I like my identity: Mom. Mommy, even still on occasion, to both my grown children. I’m a natural at the mom thing. It fits me. But this “G” word thing…ohhhhh, not so much. It SOUNDS old. It FEELS old. And I have to live with this stupid grandmother name for the rest of my natural-born life (which may be spent in the state pen for strangling my son with his own tongue if he refers to me as “MeeMahw” one more time.)

I am so not kidding.

As far as I’m concerned, if you insist on calling me any variation of the “G” word, just go ahead and put me in an Alfred Dunner blouse, pull my hair back in a bun, and plant me in a pine box. That’s all she wrote. It’s over and done. The fat lady has sung.

I needed a cool, or at least creative, name.

Not TOO creative, mind you. I’ve run across my fair share of monikers like Granny Grunt, Big Momma, Gunkie, Cookie, Cherry, Sweetums, Cracker, Chicken Nana and Butter Butt. Seriously?!

So I embarked on a 6-month quest to ascertain an alias. As Thomas Edison might have said, “I did not fail. I just found 10,000 names that wouldn’t work.” At least not for me.

Right off the bat, I eliminated the names already in use in my family: Nana, Granny, Grandmama, MaMa, etc.

I also ruled out Grand-MaMa as I don’t have the appropriate jewels to be a Dowager Countess.

MaMaw, MeMaw and GeeMaw all sound too much like HeeHaw. YeeHaw.

Gams – not exactly well-suited for a gal with tree trunk legs.

I thought there might be potential within the international community:
Ya-Ya (Greek) – but I’m not a Sisterhood, nor do I have any Divine Secrets. 

Lola (Philippino) – she was a showgirl, you know, with yellow feathers in her hair and a dress cut down to THERE. But I don’t Merengue or do the ChaCha.

And then there was the Yiddish Bube.  Boobie?

Speaking of boobies (Did I REALLY just use the word “boobies” in my blog?), the cowboy thought I should be ChiChi, which is a Spanish euphemism for breasts. Frankly, I always have cleavage issues, even in a turtleneck, so my g-mother name shouldn’t further the focus.

DeeDee can be a grandmother name, but double D’s brought us back to the boobie thing, so no. 

MPViaI kinda liked the concept of Diva or Goddess, but there’s no way my kids would have EVER let me get away with those. At least not without an ironic tiara.

One of the kids at church always greeted me with “Hello, Gorgeous!” I kinda liked THAT.

And “Hot Granny” was offered as a choice, but who are we kidding here? That is the ultimate oxymoron. If you don’t believe me, google at your own risk.  

Frankly, I just like “Stephie“. It’s what my niece and nephew have always called me, but I was told that using my real name would sound disrespectful out of the mouths of babes.  Ugh. The quest continued.  

As Kacey and I were driving around discussing my dilemma, she said my new name should be cute and cool, but be something that’s NOT my real name.

Fine.

After analyzing all the data, I decided on the perfect grandmother name. It’s cute and cool and NOT my real name…

Veronica.