Category Archives: Whose Kids Are These?

Now my daughter won’t stop reading

This is a post a wrote a while (four years) back.  I saved it to use when I needed it.  I need it today.


The other day The Kids and I are driving around running errands.  The Girl and I are talking about something with Girl Scouts and listing all the girls and whether or not they are coming to this event.  After I’m done listing she says, “what about Susie?”  (OK, her name isn’t really Susie, but that’s not important).  I told her that Susie had moved away, which prompted a complaint about how Susie was only here for a few months.  I explained that I thought Susie’s family was only here for a short time after her step-dad got back from being deployed, which prompted, “Mama, what does ‘deployed’ mean?”

Holy teachable moment, Batmom.  I explain that deployed means when the soldiers go away to where the war is and fight in the war.  She asks about where our soldiers are fighting.  I start talking about Afghanistan and the Taliban.  She finds it mildly interesting that there are places in the world where girls and women must be covered up and aren’t allowed to work or drive cars.  No biggie to her, though.  Then I mention school and books.

Next thing you know she’s almost in tears over the thought of anyone not being allowed to read and what a horrible, terrible, life-destroying thing that would be.  How she can’t imagine going without her books.  How she would never be able to sleep without reading in bed.  How she could never live without The Hair of Zoey Fleefenbacher Goes to School.  How she would never want to sit alone in her room without Mama and Papa reading to her, or one of her favorite books to keep her company. How horrible it would be to never read a new adventure.


This year, she’s read I Am Malala, among many other booksand opened a public Little Free Library with her girl friends.  The world is good.

Taliban: 0     Girl: all the wins


On My Birfday


The Boy has figured out that there’s a catch to this birthday thing.  For three years he went along and every year at the same time he would have a birthday.  It was pretty cool because there was new stuff and it made his parents happy.  The first time it was like some big stinking deal where, like, everyone he knew came around and we all ate at a restaurant.  The second and third were fine, too.  Lots of people came around and generally poked into everything, and there was cake. Who doesn’t want chocolate frosting, right?  No big deal, though. 

Last year, though.  Last year was different.  First he had a birthday when we had cake and there were presents.  Who doesn’t like presents?  And, you know, chocolate frosting.  Plus, he turned four.  Every time someone says he can’t do something his sister can do, they say he’s too little, so getting older must be a good thing.  His sister is older and she gets to do all kinds of things he’s not allowed to do.  When did he turn four?  On his birfday.  Bring on the birfday, man.

Then, only a few days later, his friends from school came over for his birthday party.  More presents and more cake.  Yay!  This is awesome!  Everyone knows what birthdays mean, too:  On each birthday you get one year older.  He had a birthday last week, when he turned four.  This week he’s turning five.  When did he turn five?  On his birfday.  At this rate he’ll catch up to his sister.  Score!

Then, about two weeks later, his grandparents showed up and put a playset complete with swings and slide in the back yard.  What did they say?  Happy birthday.  Awesome again!  Now he’s six!  When did he turn six, you ask?  On his birfday.  His parents don’t seem to get it, but it’s not the first time he’s noticed that they’re not the brightest crayons. 

For two months he was the same age as his sister.  Then she had a birthday and turned seven, but still, he was closing the gap.

A year later, he had another one of these great cake/frosting/presents events.  It was so awesome that he decided to humor all the people who seem to have missed his last two birthdays and think he’s now turned five.  They can’t help it. 

Within a couple of months, though, he realized something.  The service around these parts was starting to suck.  He kept hearing that he was five years old, so he was big enough to brush his own teeth, buckle his own seatbelt, wipe his own butt, put on his own clothes, or get himself a drink.  Nobody told him that accepting birthdays obligated him to take care of himself.  What are parents and teachers for if he’s brushing, buckling, wiping, dressing, and drinking all by himself?  This situation can’t be allowed to stand.  It’s just wrong.  Wrong, wrong, wrong.

After some clever thinking, he found a solution.  He’s sending some of these birthdays back.  He’s going back to being four.  He’ll just declare that he’s no longer five.  He’s four.  Now every time someone tells him to be a big boy he says, “I’m too little.  I’m four.”  When did he turn four?  On his birfday, of course.  This is a great system.  And four is apparently the perfect age.


Not a tigers one, Mama.

My son is super awesome.  Just today I told him we were gonna go have an adventure this afternoon.  We were going to meet The Hubs for lunch and then try to maybe go for a ferry ride.  Not terribly exciting, but hey, take the adventures you can get. 

So I told The Kids that we were going to have an adventure.  The Girl wanted to be sure she could bring a book.  The Boy?  He said, “I love adventures!  But not a tigers one.  No tigers, Mama.”.  OK, so he’s not into tiger wrestling.  Too bad, since I was totally planning that for next Saturday.  About ten minutes later he’s giving me more detail about this adventure.  He tells me, “We’ll have to take an airplane.  A China one.”  Clearly he and I were not on the same wavelength about the term “adventure”. 

I categorize going to the grocery store with both kids as an adventure.  Seriously, will this be a “two sweet angels everyone wants to steal” kind of grocery trip, or a “no, I’ve never seen those two Hellions before” kind of trip?  Will they help me remember what’s on the list and run to various parts of the store to get things for me, or will they tear up the list and laugh maniacally as they throw boxes and bags of food to the floor?  Will the people at the store ask if the kids want stickers, or ask us never to return?

He imagines snarling tigers that we must defeat to continue on our way.  Probably while walking the enitre length of the Great Wall on our way to traverse the Mongolian steppes riding semi-wild horses.  Bareback, of course.

Me, I think of the time I didn’t cancel the dental appointments that The Hubs was not going to be able to help with after all.  Wondering if The Boy is running down the highway as I worry about what the dentist is finding in his sister’s mouth, all while I’m trapped under the leaf blower and the jackhammer the hygenist has in my mouth.  At home The Girl can climb a towering bookcase to get down the hidden iPad so she’s got something to do besides play with 5 trillion toys or read 5 thousand books.  At the dentist, she can’t find the iPad in my purse so she’s stuck putting her hand on every item in the dentist’s treatment room while my mouth is full of hands and suction keeping me from telling her to stop and sit down. 

The Boy, he’s off the the wilds of Asia. 

His adventures sound a lot more fun than mine.