Friday, July 26, 2013

A Summer Quiz

On the last day of school, your kindergartener comes home with a packet entitled, "Summer Practice." This thick stack of papers remains in his backpack, where you leave it when you go searching for the "important" stuff (his report card, teacher assignment and school supplies list for next year, etc.). Halfway through the summer, in a fit of organization, you decide to empty the backpack and you rediscover the packet. You place it on your desk near your computer, thinking vaguely that you'll make sure he gets to it later. You then:

a. get him working on it right away rather than waiting.

b. set a schedule for him to complete the packet.

c. ask your mom what to do.

The answer for me: c. Here's why...

Try as I might, I just can't imagine making my son work on this packet of math and reading dittos during summer vacation. Because working on math and reading dittos is not a vacation. It's school! So what I really asked my mom was the question I thought I knew the answer to: Did I work on "Summer Practice" during my summer vacations as a kid in the '70s?

The answer, as I guessed, was no. Knowing that (and I should admit, knowing my son is actually doing fine academically), I just can't make him do it.

Friday, July 12, 2013

A Guide to Selling Home-Grown Vegetables

1. Have brainstorm while listening to son enumerate the many toys he wishes to purchase. I know - this kid needs a job! We could plant a garden and sell the vegetables!

2. Congratulate self on brilliance of this plan. My six-year-old will see food he's planted growing from the earth! He'll learn how hard it is to earn money! What a wonderful mother I am to dream up this healthy lesson!

3. Email manager of local farmer's market expressing interest in getting in.

4. Panic when manager emails back requesting photos. Think to yourself, "Of what?"

5. Hit garden center with your son for seed packets. Learn early July is kind of late to start a garden.

6. Realize you do not know how to build a raised bed and you're too weak to dig dirt from the ground to fill it.

7. Request husband's assistance.

8. Supervise kids outside while husband works on garden.

9. Interrupt husband several times to request that he supervise the kids while you run inside to:
                start egg for older son's lunch.
                get sheet to shade baby.
                check egg to see if water is boiling.
                make quick bottle.
                place egg in cool water so you can peel it.

10. Read seed packets and realize you do not understand the word "germinate."

11. Consider looking up "germinate" and other gardening information on Internet.

12. Start planting seeds instead. Read aloud that sunflower seeds should be 18 inches apart. Don't believe it.

13. Toss all seeds in haphazard lines and cover with dirt. Hope gardening can't possibly be an exact science.

14. Allow son to water new garden and see that he has created a large flood, exposing several seeds.

15. Panic and declare with false authority that too much water is "bad for the garden." Then wonder aloud if that's true, since rain probably floods gardens all the time.

16. Hope for the best. Imagine yourself and your son selling vegetables at farmer's market. But don't dare answer that email.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Things That May Happen If You Turn Off Your Cell Phone For Several Hours

1. You will miss a million calls from telemarketers.

2. Your baby will take an extended morning nap.

3. You will magically find the time to clean up the breezeway, packed with items that did not sell at your garage sale weeks ago.

4. You will be energized by your success in the breezeway and decide to bring both kids out the store and to a garage sale.

5. You will miss several calls from your husband.

6. You also will miss several text messages from your husband.

7. And you won't see that you have voicemail.

8. You will watch a little T.V. during your baby's second nap, blissfully unaware that anyone important is trying to reach you.

9. You will feel relaxed and - not remembering your phone is off - you will wonder why.

10. Minutes before your husband arrives home, you will check your phone and see that you have voicemail. And texts.

11. You will feel badly that you did not get back to your husband, a bike commuter, who only wanted to meet for ice cream rather than riding home.

12. You will kiss your husband as he walks in the door.

13. You will go out for ice cream anyway.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Disasters Averted Yesterday

Disaster #1: No plan for the day, yet we have to get out of the house. (My husband wants to get projects done - and I fully support this.)
Solution:  Hijack the old kindergarten email list and invite everyone from my son's class to the park. Receive four responses, including one yes.

Disaster #2: While waiting at the park, we get a phone call. The above mentioned "yes" becomes a "no." The new friend my son just made leaves. Fifteen minutes into our excursion, he is dangerously close to announcing that this is "the worst day ever."
Solution: Wait out the lull in the kid crowd (It's a beautiful day - why is no one here??) with a short walk through the woods. Pray for kids to arrive while walking back. Spot one kid my son's age. Spend the next 30 minutes helping them bond. Success!

Disaster #3: After a long car ride to run an errand, older son, baby and I stop at a coffee shop to relax and regroup. Trunk will not open. Stroller is inside. I have to pee.
Solution: Kick car, impressing son by demonstrating my ability to make it shake. Swear a few fake swear words ("crud," "freakin'"). Drag stroller out of trunk over back seat, carefully keeping wheels from slamming into baby's face.

Disaster #4: Baby is screaming his head off in the coffee shop. I know the girl who works here is annoyed. We are not finished, but should probably find an outdoor seating area. It will take several trips to move the stroller, two cups of milk, a cup of water, and a plate of food.
Solution: Stay put. I am out of patience and too tired to move. My baby has every right to be here, and that worker girl was super-surly when she waited on us. This is her freakin' punishment.

Disaster #5: Still at the coffee shop, I encourage my son to try another bite of the hummus he claims to have "sort of" liked. He begins gagging as if he may throw up. 
Solution: Consider directing him to turn toward the bin, but realize it is full of recyclables. Marvel inwardly that the very same hummus has transformed screaming baby into cooing cutie-pie. Do nothing and hope the gagging will not escalate and will simply pass.

It does.