Archive for the ‘kids’ Category

And punctuation, too.

June 25, 2008

I’ve written about my nephew F. before. He’s twelve, going into 7th grade, and the second child of my younger sister, M. He has a penchant for posting questions on Yahoo! Answers and they never fail to crack me up.

His most recent question:

“Am i sphyickec if it’s real?”

“for the last year iv’e been able to tell what show on tv will come on in the next couple of hours minutes or days. so am i sphyickec (i don’t know how to spell it right).it started after i hit my head on the concrete when i broke my wrist left if it matters and i’ve not told anyone. last week right before the phonerang i said it’s for you grandpa 2 seconds later it rang and it was rich for grandpa rich is his freind. theese pictures just appere in my head like i’m just outside and tehn all of a sudden the image apppere’s or like i just all of a suuden can tell what’s going to happen. one time while i was at micheals house he was playing atv offroad fury and i just blurred out he was going to crash and get hit with an atv and it happend. i think i;m about able to control thembut it’s hard and sometimes when these predictions happen i have a terrible migrane or headache. Like when i was watching the debate of hilary and obama and i had the strangest feeling like obama will win and then”

Additional Details:
“i felt sick and had threw up in the bathroom so ami i’m kinda scarred(afried)

i am at the age of 12”

Okay, wow. To sum it up (in case the poor punctuation and spelling threw you off.) My nephew, F., believes he’s psychic because he predicted that:
1. Certain tv shows would appear on TV (in the next minutes, hours or days.
2. The ringing phone at my dad’s house was for my dad,
3. Someone playing a video game would crash.
4. Obama would win a debate.

And that falling and breaking his (left) arm and bumping his head caused this new abilitiy.

My favorite response by a Yahoo! Answers answerer is:

“I think it’s so cool that you can predict what will happen in the future and you need to work on your spelling.”

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Warding off Alzheimer’s one square at a time

February 25, 2008

Saturday night I took the kids, Tay, Rea, and W., to see a performance by the BBQ Kittens, an improv group that performs shows similar to “Whose Line is it Anyway.”

On the way there we met Chris to switch cars. During the Chinese Fire Drill Chris dropped his OUR cell phone. He arrived home, called and confirmed that it wasn’t in the car and decided the best plan of action was not “go and look for phone” but “sit and watch TV.” Ugh. Men.

We enjoyed the BBQ Kittens show tremendously and decided to stay for the second performance. During the break between shows I started doing a Sudoku puzzle and, determined and addicted, I continued to do it between skits. Big mistake.

I got HECKLED by a cast member during the show!

So embarrassing.

In one scene a performer mentioned that something was “As bad as the girl in the front row doing a sudoku puzzle during a BBQ Kittens show.”

Nevertheless, we had a great time and the next morning my husband decided the time was right to go look for the phone. And he found it.

In four run over pieces.

(Otherwise known as “field mice”)

February 20, 2008

I think my nephew F. may some day be a multimillionaire. He’s eleven and the most entreprenurial member of my family, by far. He collects items on trash day to repair and re-sell. Once he took an instrument to the shopping center near his house and played it to collect tips. (He stood outside the Dollar General.)

Recently F. posted a question on Yahoo! Answers:

“Do you have to have a license to open a rodent business?”

Yahoo emailed me his question – we are set up as contacts – and it immediately piqued my interest. “Rodent business?” I am sure, that like the musical pan handling, this is not a plan endorsed by his mother.

Following the link, the question was elaborated upon; F. states that:

“I have a really good aim there is a nest out side my house full of rats not mice RATS, and I hit them every time from across the yard. I have a crossman co2 1088 and my aim is almost perfect. Inside I dont break anything at all and I have traps. So do you think you have to have a license to do this?”

To me, it’s pretty apparent that F. is seeing this as a money making opportunity. Rat abatement=cash in hand….

However, the savants at Yahoo Answers seem to think he wants to sell the dead rats. For example, one person’s response is:

“How is that a business? You going to sell the carcasses?”

Okay, yah, I’m sure there’s a big market for dead rats.

Another person offered this insightful advice:

“Go to a local sporting goods store and ask ’em if you need a hunting license to hunt rats.
You WILL need a tax license to run a rat-hunting business.”

And, my favorite response, from my mom (F.’s grandmother):

“F., I think those are voles, not rats.”

Doesn’t she realize she just ruined all his rat killing street cred?

Gosh, you hate me, you really hate me?

February 6, 2008

I was asked to chaperone this Friday’s middle school dance, I said “Yes” and graciously offered up the services of my husband, too. Now comes my dilemma, how to tell the kids. Last year when I told them we were chaperoning they both cried. There were many proclamations of “You’re ruining my life.”

Of course, they lived, but their lives WERE ruined.

Not only were we there, living and breathing embodiments of their origins, but we danced. And got busted for kissing.

Now that I think about it, I’m amazed we were asked back.

DCFS

January 20, 2008

Tonight I called DCFS on one of my daughter’s friend’s parents. I’m not sure if I did the right thing, or, more accurately, I’m not sure if it will actually help.

Some background, Reagan has been friends with the child, “Venus,” since kindergarten; Venus is a smart girl, funny and vivacious, however, she does have a tendency to take offense easily and to be pretty emotional about things. Unfortunately, Reagan has these same characteristics and it seems they are either getting along famously or having huge dust-ups.

This last summer was particularly rocky in regards to their friendship and, early in the school year, Venus’s mom decided she wouldn’t let her be friends with Reagan. (Background to the background, whenever Reagan and Venus have had arguments, the mom, Carrie, has blamed it 100% Reagan. Once, she even swore at her on the phone, making me question the mother’s mental health; I can understand being protective, but that’s completely overboard. Oh, and I promise, it’s never been a case of my daughter being viscious, just normal grade and middle school spats.)

I try to stay out of such disagreements, only meddling to remind my child “Don’t gossip.” “Own up to your part in any altercation.” “Be kind,” etc… Nevertheless, I was secretly relieved that Venus and Reagan seemed to be growing apart. The Carrie related drama had just gotten to be too much over the last few years and had caused my daughter quite a lot of heartache.

I was surprised, when, earlier this week, Reagan asked if Venus could spend the night. I said yes, and forgot about it until today. Chris and I went into Peoria, and upon arriving home, Venus was at the house.

The girls were getting along well, planning on watching a “Project Runway” marathon this evening and doing some baking.

Then the phone rang.

It was Venus’s mom.

Venus had lied and said she was at another girl’s house. Carrie was understandably upset, having called the other house only to find out her daughter was not there, and no one knew where Venus was. She called around, and found her at our house.

I felt for her, I think almost every parent has had that heart stopping feeling of “OMG, where is my child?” It’s awful. Plus, I’d be really, really pissed off that my child had lied to me.

Carrie asked if we could bring Venus home. I offered to have Chris take her in about an hour when he and Taylor left for the Bradley game and she acquiesced.

I told Venus to get ready and a little later she and Reagan approached me in the kitchen. Venus was crying and said, hesitatingly:

“I’m not scared of getting yelled at or getting grounded; I’m scared of my mom. Last night she was mad at me and put her arms around my neck and…” (Venus gestured with her hands around her neck like she was choking.)

Oh, shit.

I asked if Carrie had choked or hit her before and she said yes, which made some things Reagan had said previously click, in that, “Oh, my gosh, how could I have not seen it” way.

I asked what she thought would be the right thing to do.

(I know, I know, it seems silly to ask a child such a thing, but I was just dumbfounded, upset, and horrified for Venus, who I do not doubt is telling the truth and seemed honestly terrified of her mother.)

She said she has thought about calling DCFS for a long time but didn’t know the number.

I asked if she would like me to call and she said, yes, please. So I did.

Was it the right thing? I don’t know.

On paper, in terms of black and white, it was, because I don’t doubt Venus. On the other hand, will it do any good?

There are so many gray areas. She had no visible marks. It’s her word against her mother’s. The report-er (me) has had problems with the mother in the past. Venus had just done something really wrong in lying to her mother, so will they take her word?

And, if they do believe Venus, what will the consequences to her mother and her *family be?

*There isn’t a dad in the home, just Carrie, Venus, a new baby, a baby daddy and his two kids that visit on the weekends.

Random wrap-up

December 28, 2007

I’m glad it’s Christmas vacation. Reagan is getting a break from her bullying situation. Hopefully that will blow over during the holidays. Maybe not, though, since the Tuesday before break the other child struck Reagan at school and we called the police…. I’m hoping that won’t make the situation worse, but fear it might, because the other girl seems to have no remorse or fear of authority.

We had a nice Christmas. The kids mainly got books; Reagan’s list consisted of 22 of them, and I was able to find all but one. Taylor got books plus a few video games.

But onto present day. Last night my husband and daughter were both explosively, projectile vomiting ill. Ugh. And I am an awful nurse. I mainly remained in bed and thought the following:

1. Ick.

2. Can’t you go vomit in the OTHER bathroom?

3. Oh, and while you’re up, how about getting me a drink of cold water. Crushed ice, not cubes, please.

4. And make sure you put on a pair of gloves before you handle the glass; I don’t want to get sick, too.

5. You’re up again? Ugh. Maybe you could just lie on the bathroom floor for awhile? All this getting up and down to upchuck is keeping me awake.

6. Really, again? How big, exactly, is your stomach, that it can hold such quantities of food to rohlf back up?

7. The couch is comfy… and out of earshot, how about giving it a try?

8. How about getting out the lysol and spraying everything down before you infect the rest of us?

9. OMG, all this puking is making me sick….

As you can see, I could NEVER be a doctor or a nurse.

I’m at work now, and frankly relieved to be out of the house of illness. It’s likely my boss will call and let me leave early (day before a holiday) but I’m thinking of asking to stay. Or sneaking into Peoria instead of going home.

I’m looking forward to New Year’s Eve. We stay home and have a few friends over. It’s the birthday of my bff’s youngest child so it’s a double celebration for us.

I hope everyone else is enjoying the holidays, too, and thinking up lots of wonderful blog posts to keep me entertained!

Crossing my toes…

December 19, 2007

Today my son and his 8th grade class are taking the Constitution test, the exam you must pass to be promoted to 9th grade.

The teacher prepares them very well for the test. There are tons of worksheets, essays and packets of paper for them to fill out and study in the preceding weeks. Plus, he apparently scares the living be-jesus out of them with the threat of retention.

Dire enough warnings that Taylor’s friend B. proclaimed:
“I’ve been studying everyday for two weeks WITHOUT even having the TV on!”

Safety

December 17, 2007

Recently I was reading a thread about the mall shootings in Nebraska. The poster was asking if that tragedy has caused you to think twice about going to the mall and if you worry while you are there that something might happen.

I started to write a comment but didn’t post it realizing I sound like an idiot.

I am the least safety conscious person ever.

We don’t lock our house doors, ever. I actually have no idea where a house key might be..

I don’t lock my car doors, either. I even leave it running when I go into our little local grocery store, often with my purse and cell phone on the front passenger’s seat.

When it accompanies me, my purse often sits in a shopping cart, unattended, while I wander farther down the aisle.

I don’t shred anything, just pitch credit card bills/offers right in the trash.

My social security card is in my wallet, right next to my driver’s license and a little paper with all my PIN numbers.

And not only do I do all of the above, but I have a not very anonymous blog in which I write about it….

So, am I an idiot?

I prefer to think of myself as trusting in nature. (Okay, it’s more a combo of trusting and careless.)

Recently, though, I have started to wonder, “Am I doing my kids’ a disservice? Am I setting a poor example?” I want them to like people, to trust people, to be kind and not bitter or suspicious. But I also don’t want them to be victims, as my daughter recently was, when her phone was pick pocketed from her purse during P.E.

We live in a very small town and suffer from safety complacency. Of course, I make my kids buckle up, discourage them from smoking/drinking/drugs, yet, beyond brief reminders of “stranger danger*” during their childhood, I’ve tried so hard to shield them from the evils of the world.

Now I wonder if I’ve done too good of a job, if, like me, they will walk around with rose-tinted glasses, never taking safety precautions that will be necessary at college, living in a larger town, living in an increasingly dangerous** world.

*”Stranger danger” as a message somewhat irks me, as most crimes against children are committed, unfortunately, by people they know.

**I don’t necessarily think the world is more dangerous, just that it may feel so, due to the large amount of publicity “big” cases get and the increasing awareness of the world we have via the internet…

Limits and Larry, Sr.

November 13, 2007

A post that Jadegirl wrote made me think about my own situation with my kids’ paternal grandfather, Larry.

Larry has always been an asshole. My husband did not have an easy childhood; his parents divorced when he was young, then remarried; Larry was a drug addict, often unemployed and often cruel to my husband and his brothers, and to his wife, Alice. They divorced again in the mid-90’s when my kids were toddlers. Larry left Alice for another woman, Pat, who he had been seeing for many years. (Larry is/was a truck driver and often away from home, Pat, apparentally, was basically his second wife in another state; Now I’m sure there’s a “new Pat” that “old Pat” knows nothing about.)

Chris was really upset with his dad about the divorce, nevertheless, he maintained a relationship with him. We met Pat and she seemed okay; a home wrecker, but polite. Pat and Larry married and decided to live near her adult children in Texas. Larry would occasionally come through our area for work and would stop and visit us.

One such visit lead to a near total estrangement between my husband and his father. Larry wanted Chris to go on the Par-A-Dice with him. Chris wanted him to come to our house for dinner so that he could see the kids and we could all visit. Larry was adamant that they should go on the boat. Chris said, no, he had to work the next morning, and didn’t want to be out late, plus, we had two small kids and really couldn’t afford to gamble. (I’m sure Larry thought “that never stopped me!”). Larry went on the boat. Chris stayed home. And they’ve barely spoken since.

Chris spoke to Larry once after that happened; Larry said he no longer considered our kids to be his grandkids. (Bastard, that’s probably the most needlessly hateful thing I’ve ever heard anyone say.) That Chris “knew what he did.” Uh, yah, I was there, too, is not wanting to gamble, is wanting your father to spend time with his grandkids a horrible thing?

Several years ago I heard my daughter discussing grandparents with a friend and she said “I only have one grandpa, I think the other one is dead.” It broke my heart for her. And really, for Larry, too. My kids are wonderful. They are funny, smart, loving, and kind. They haven’t had an opportunity to know their grandpa and it kills me that he has rejected them, through no fault of their own.

I decided to try and contact Larry, and obtained his email address from another in-law. I emailed him an update of the kids’ lives and pictures of them. We had a brief email correspondence before the negativity set in. Larry started making comments about my husband, about how the estrangment was all his fault, how the divorce was all Alice’s fault, needless vitriol.

We have had no contact with Larry since then. It’s hard to invite someone so emotionally destructive into your life but it’s also hard to accept that my kids will never have a relationship with him, that my husband is unlikely to see his dad again, until his funeral.

Then he complimented me on my mullet.

November 2, 2007

My son’s friend, B. “Your house makes me think of a trailer.”
Me: “Why?”
B.: “I think because of the long skinny hallway.”
Me: “Gee, thanks.”
B.: “But a really nice trailer.”