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Siri has a dirty mind. . .still

25 Sep

Some time ago, my daughter asked my iPad what the windchill was on that particular day. Siri responded, “Would you like me to search my fellatio football?”

When iOS7 came out recently, I upgraded and though Siri’s voice has changed, her mind doesn’t appear to have climbed from the gutter.

This morning my daughter asked Siri, “Where does corn grow?” This was Siri’s response:



School’s Out Forever

6 Sep

I did it. I finished. I have a Master’s degree. Actually, I finished a little while ago but indulged in some “west and wewaxation at wast.” This consisted of sharing a large townhouse in Galena, Illinois for a long weekend. Bliss.

I promised never to apologize for not blogging, so no apologies. Just promise to get back to writing.

I seem to have missed the Mrs. Hall boat and that really pisses me off; I SOOOOOOO want to tell her that if her boys can’t respect a girl in a towel, then they can stay the hell away from my daughter. Oh, and Mrs. Hall, pretty sure my son can look at a completely naked woman and still respect her. That was sort of the point behind our teaching him that he really shouldn’t be with naked people unless he respected them and that he should respect the people who get naked with him. But, we aren’t afraid of naked people in our house. Moths and spiders? Hell, yes. Naked people? Not so much.

Please enjoy the video below of Randy Newman’s “Beware of the Naked Man.”

Parenting Wisdom

14 Jun

800px-Cyst_-_wisdom_toothMy son and I have gotten along all week. He has been on Vicodin the entire time.


See, my son had his wisdom teeth removed Monday. In my geeky “medicine is science so this will be really interesting” mind, getting wisdom teeth removed sounds awesome. I know it’s wrong to be more than a little intrigued about a process that would cause my offspring pain, but my own wisdom teeth are securely nestled, sideways, in the upper reaches of my jaw. They aren’t going anywhere; this was my only chance to get so close to wisdom extraction.

The first intriguing fact about removing wisdom teeth is that the removee is completely sedated. I had eight teeth pulled at once when I was a kid. Apparently, contrary to what my children may think, I have a small mouth. My small mouth wouldn’t accommodate the number of teeth genetics demands are necessary for adult humans.

I got gas—nitrous oxide—to keep me quiescent through the extractions. I know first-hand why they call it laughing gas. The dentist told me to close my eyes and let myself drift off to sleep. I was 13 and rebellious; there was no way in hell I was doing anything an adult told me to do. So, I kept my eyes open. I inhaled once. Nothing happened. I inhaled again. Nothing. On the third inhale, though, I found moving my fingers made the silliest little noises, like fairies flitting around my hands. I wiggled my fingers again and again until the doctor said, “I know what you’re doing. Close your eyes.”

My son got intravenous sedation. No flittering fairies for him. He simply went to sleep and woke up looking like Marlon Brando in “The Godfather” if the godfather had been a 16-year old with long blond hair and a scruffy red beard.

I took him home, tucked him into my bed and kissed his forehead. Ordinarily, when my son is sick, he’ll argue that he doesn’t need a nap, he’s perfectly fine, he can relax while he plays video games, etc., etc., etc. But he begrudgingly agrees to a nap, informing me he won’t sleep because he’s not tired. When I wake him an hour or two later, he says something like, “Damn you, Mom. I hate it when that happens.” I smile my inner “Mother knows best” smile and leave him to Zelda.

This time, though, he didn’t complain. He didn’t even say “meh.” He snuggled into the covers and closed his eyes.

At seventeen, my son rarely requires the kind of mothering skills I’ve honed over the years. I don’t bat an eye at a fever unless it’s over 101. When a kid tells me her tummy hurts, I know to ask if she’s pooped. I’ve got boxes of Jello and little containers of applesauce always on hand. I even make a pretty good chicken soup.

Teenagers, though, are shark-infested uncharted territory and I am prone to seasickness. A typical day finds me muttering curses at my son’s angrily retreating back. Everything makes him angry except for the things that make me angry. When we’re both angry my husband does his child psychologist impersonation and my daughter runs for cover.

Sedated, my son became less a man and more a child I could deal with. As soon as he fell asleep, I went to Whole Foods in search of mushable foods. As always, the place was aswarm with vegan mommies and their little sweet peas. One mother, a ringer for Christy Turlington, pushed a cart with one hand and held a chubby baby, face forward, snuggly against her hip. Two little girls with Goldilocks curls, danced pirouettes in the canned goods aisle.

Any other day, my grandma gene would have kicked in and made me wistful for tots of my own to gush over. That day, though, I happily negotiated the aisles gathering goodies for my little man. All you young mommies got nothin’ on me, I thought. My baby was at home, sleeping in mommy’s bed. Ice packs to his cheeks.

My son didn’t just accept my ministrations. He welcomed them and, remarkably, expressed gratitude. More remarkable still? Unsolicited affection! Really! Affection from someone known more commonly to us as uncommunicative and emotionally withholding.

And, the maraschino cherry on the hot fudge sundae of love this week has been? My kids are getting along. The boy is asking his sister for help and she’s gladly doing it. The girl is asking for playtime together and she’s getting it.

The drugs are wearing off, though, as I knew they would and should. In much less pain, my son is returning to full-on man mode, complete with the desire to have nothing to do with mom as he establishes his own identity. He’s getting crankier quicker and spending more and more time in his room, planning what he’ll do with his friends now that he’s cleared to fly. Passing his bathroom, I caught a whiff of Axe.

Parenting my son into manhood is fraught with prickly interactions that could turn toxic at any point. It’s exhausting never knowing how any interchange will turn out, even one that starts with humor. This week, though, we got a reprieve.

We interrupt this vacation for a laugh

28 May

I’m technically on vacation this week, so I’ll keep this quick then get back to doing nothing.

There are four members of my family. Frequently, we each go about entertaining ourselves because if three of us agree to an activity there is an unwritten rule that the fourth will not. Sometimes, however, the family-quality-time elves visit, like they did last night.

We were playing Trivial Pursuit and my son got this question: what are the two plural forms of the word “platypus”?

He turned to me with a puzzled look, hoping I’d help him out. “Well,” I said, “think of some other words that end with ‘-us’ and how their plurals are formed.”

“So…maybe ‘platypi’?” he asked.

Image“Sure,” said his dad, “and ‘platipussies’.”


Fashionably late?

23 May

Ordinarily I post the funny things my kids have said on Tuesday, but I have a legitimate reason for not posting on Tuesday. I washed my cell phone on Monday, in the washing machine. Not on purpose. Actually, I washed my running skirt (post to come some day about running skirts) and the cell phone was neatly tucked away in a zippered pocket. Even letting it rest and dry out did not help, but the light show when I turned it on? Psychedelic, baby!

I spent Tuesday trying to get AT&T to put my son, my daughter and I on my husband’s account. I now hate AT&T. Verizon wanted to keep me so I got an iPhone, better cable service and cheaper landline. They even sent me a thank you note! I am so easily pleased.

I realize I owe none of you an excuse for not posting on my own blog ’cause “it’s my blog and I should only post when the muse moves me and blah, blah, blah.” But, I was raised by a Southern woman; I will apologize if you stub your toe.

On to the funny bit.

My daughter changed her clothes after school then stood in my office door and asked, “Mommy, does it look like fashion threw up on me?”

You be the judge:



Tellin’ it like it is

7 May

From the back seat of the car came this dialogue:

My son, to his sister: You’re an ungrateful little brat!

My daughter: So are you!

My son: No. I’m an ungrateful big brat.

Play ball!

30 Apr
soccer player

Photo: Nike

Last night, one of my first graders looked up at me with his huge warm eyes and said, “Miss Janice, I was tricked today.”

“Oh,” I said, “How were you tricked?”

“Some other boys were talking about balls and they were telling me to talk about balls, too.  And so I told them that I like balls and they laughed.”

He hesitated. I thought he might cry.

“And then I found out they weren’t talking about soccer balls. They were talking about private balls.”


Fifty Shades of Cleaning

23 Apr

A little background: I love cookbooks; I read them like novels.


I have a guilty secret. Well, it’s not that big of a secret. We have cleaning ladies; they aren’t particularly good. Now, you probably know that money’s pretty tight around here, so you may rightly ask, “Why do you have cleaning ladies, Janice? Particularly ones that don’t do a very good job?”

We have cleaning ladies because we are wimps and our son reminds us on a regular basis. The head cleaning lady has worked for us more than 17 years. She is old, she is sad, her health is poor, her daughter has cancer. Neither my husband nor I can bring ourselves to fire her.

Occasionally, I will decide I am a heartless beast and our family budget is more important. Invariably, that will be the day she tells me her daughter has had a relapse, or she herself has diabetes, or her granddaughter–who has no health insurance–has been passing the same gall stone for 11 months.*

Still, our son insists she must be fired. His latest gambit is that we, the family, can do a better job than she does. He is right, of course.

“But,” I said, “when you say ‘we can do a better job’, you are actually saying ‘Mom can do a better job’.”

“We can clean the house,” he insisted.

“You won’t do a good job,” I countered.

“So, you’ll supervise,” he said. “You can sit there on the couch with your tea and read Fifty Shades of Cooking while we do all the work.”


* These are all true. . .I think.


Pants on fire

16 Apr

PantsOnFireTwo bits of background are necessary for today’s entry in “my kids say the darnedest things.” I regularly lose my glasses. I don’t need them to read, so take them off any time reading is required. So, I find them in the kitchen, the bathroom, on my nightstand, in the key bowl. Really, just about anywhere in the house.

At the same time, my daughter has developed a penchant for fooling us by telling blatant untruths. Things like, “Mommy, I failed math this semester.” I am rather gullible and frequently fall for her foolery.

About two weeks ago, I was on yet another hunt for my eye wear. Exasperated at my failed attempts, I asked my family for help.

“Have you seen my glasses?” I asked.

“Geez, Mom,” my daughter replied, “they’re on top of your head!”

“Really?” I asked my husband, and reached for the top of my head.

“Don’t listen to her!” was his response. “She’s a liar!”

What would Buddha do?

9 Apr

IMG_1358My son and I were watching TV. A commercial came on that my son found funny, in a bad way. He made a derisive comment, then caught himself.

“I guess I shouldn’t make fun of a commercial about cancer,” he said.

“Pretty bad karma, I’d say,” I said.

“What would you know about karma?” was his reply, followed by, “Oh. Right. . .you’re a Buddhist.”

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