Friday, October 31, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
When I was in high school, Driver's Ed was a course that all sophomores had to take. My teacher, Mr. Price, was also my driving instructor. He would take a car full of sophomores all around the town and have us take turns at the wheel. He also made us pull over every 20 minutes so he could get out of the state-owned car and smoke a cigarette. I guess I should be grateful. The other teacher, Mr. Tengen, had his larynx removed and spoke through a box on his throat...
But I digress.
I am confident that Devin will pass the written test with flying colors. I am also sure that he will pass the driving portion. I, of course, have every parent's worry about whether or not he will be a defensive driver. Will he anticipate that the drivers around him will do something unexpected and stupid in the blink of an eye? Will he scan an intersection as he approaches it, in case someone is running a red or even a yellow light? Will he have the safety mind-set of a school bus driver, but the reaction time of a stunt car driver....?
But then I also worry.... will he have good manners? I am not talking please and thank you, or say "Nice to meet you, too" when appropriate. I am talking about good manners while driving. They don't teach these at the DMV, but I think they're incredibly important. They should come from experience, yet I see people of all ages doing these irritating things.
I present my Driver Bitch List:
Pay attention to how much space is between you and the car in front of you. If you're in the left turn lane the person behind you has their rear end hanging over into the next lane and blocking traffic there... see if you can scoot up a bit and let them into the lane. These people who have an entire car length between them and the next car just make me crazy!
Don't take your half out of the middle.
Are you in the right lane at an intersection? Well then can you please stay to the left so that people can make right turns in the lanes that are wide enough for them to do so? Wake up and be more aware of cars around you!
Do not stop your car in the crosswalk.
It is the first line you come to, not the second one, that determines where you should stop. I'm pretty sure this is a law, but people often don't pay attention to it. Guess what? If a pedestrian has to walk around your vehicle in a crosswalk, you did not stop where you were supposed to.
Use your turn signals.
Yes, I know that this is a law too, but not many people seem to do it. Also? I think you should signal before you hit your brakes. Don't put on your brakes, then drive half a block, then signal that you're turning. I know something's up... after all, you've hit your brakes... Is the car in front of you stopping? Is there a dog in the street? Are you lost? Are you having car trouble? Oh. You're just turning? Why didn't you say so?
Here are a few more, in no particular order:
- Blaring your music so loudly that I can't hear the music in my own car... even with my windows up.
- Those porno stickers of 2 naked girls squatting, one with a halo, the other with a devil-tail.
- Honor Roll bumper stickers.
- Too many bumper stickers. (I'm talkin' to you, Mom!)
- Those bumper stickers with little boys peeing on things they don't like. (I'm still talkin' to you, Mom!)
I am optimistic that Devin will be a good driver. At the same time, I am also OK if he doesn't drive until he's 30. We'll see what happens....
Monday, October 27, 2008
Mom: What's going on out here!!??
Conner: Devin kicked me!
Grant: Yeah! He kicked him inda balls!
Mom: (trying not to laugh) Grant! We don't say things like that! Why did you do that, Dev!?
Devin: Mom, he was bugging me. I can't remember what, but he was bugging me.
Mom: Do you want me to kick you there and see how you like it?
Mom: Then don't kick him there!
Now, they were all supposed to be doing their homework in different rooms in order to minimize disruptions and maximize concentration. In order to determine who is most at fault, I need to know if Devin left his desk or if Conner left his desk...
Mom: Devin, where did you kick him?
Grant: Inda balls!
Rich and I are pretty good at that. He'll leave me notes on my coffee maker, I'll fold little notes in with his t-shirts, etc.
An equally important component of our relationship is completely screwing with the other person. It provides the necessary balance between sappy and sarcastic that all relationships need in order to thrive.
Rich was gone to our cabin overnight. I rearranged Grant's refrigerator letters to say "MOM LOVES DAD" so he would see it when he came home.
I got up this morning to discover this:
Game on, Wagner. Game on.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
"No, that's OK because I'm only here temporarily."
He had to be up that early because he needed to walk to school today. This is the basic conversation that I had with him yesterday when he came home from school. He was about an hour late.
(The scene: our kitchen, 4:00 on a Wednesday. I am cooking. Devin comes in, sweating and out of breath.)
Hi Dev! How was your day?
Good. Man, it's hot out there.
Hey Mom, do you think you can drive me to school tomorrow?
Because after school today I loaned my bike to a friend.
He needed to get home right away.
No. We do not loan out bikes like that. Who did you loan it to?
This guy named Angel.
Angel? What's his last name?
I'm not sure.
Well you call him right now and get your bike back.
I don't have his phone number.
Well then call your other friends and see if they have his number.
My other friends don't know him. I have different sets of friends.
Where does he live?
I don't know.
How are you supposed to get your bike back?!
He'll bring it to school in the morning.
So you gave him the bike lock combination?
No, of course not.
Then how is he going to secure your bike overnight?
Overnight? I didn't think about him having the bike overnight.
Well, tonight is going to come before tomorrow morning at school right? (in full blown smart-ass mom mode.)
Well, I assume he's going to store the bike in his backyard.
How can you assume he has a secure backyard? You don't know where he lives.
Look Mom, my friend needed my help. He needed to get home right away or he said his mom was going to kill him.
So you opted to risk your mom's wrath instead? Great choice.
I'm sorry, but I can't not help a friend. I help my friends, that's what I do. You wouldn't understand. It happened fast and I did not have time to think about possible repercussions.*
So he is supposed to bring your bike to school and since he does not have your bike lock combination, he is going to just leave it, unsecured in a bike rack, so that someone can walk off with it?
If that happens, I'll use my allowance money to buy a new one.
Darn tootin' you will!
(I stomp out of the kitchen, brow furrowed, pausing only to grab a Xanax on my way to call Dad and vent, vent, vent.)
We shall see what happens. In the meantime, this child cannot extrapolate the idea that parents' worry about him loaning out his bike may morph into parents' worry about who he is letting drive his car when that time comes...
"With the thoughts you'd be thinkin' you could be another Lincoln...."
* In the middle of all of this, I was pleased with the vocabulary choices that he made.
OK, he came home from school with his bike. However, he rode home from school without a helmet. (This is the same kid that got hit by a car two years ago and the only thing that kept him from serious injury was his helmet!) Of course I asked why he didn't have it.
"Uh, Mom, I'd look pretty stupid walking to school wearing a helmet."
"Devin, did it occur to you that you should have carried the helmet or put it in your backpack?"
Just then (I swear I am not making this up) a suicidal squirrel came running across the street and up our driveway, where this conversation was taking place. He zig-zagged back and forth and ran right between us in a total panic.
"Wow. That was random."
"No. It's not random. He is a kindred spirit, instinctively drawn to you, because you are both potential road kill."
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Unfortunately, I discovered that I like way more candy than I thought I did. (I am embarrassed to admit that Skittles are among my favorites. The original though - not this tropical fruit, sour garbage. I am a Skittles purist and I have my standards.) Now I buy candy that I like right off of the bat. After all, if I am going to eat sugar and lots of calories, it may as well be quality stuff.
If you consider Now-And-Laters to be quality, that is.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
When he was about 2 years old he wasn't really talking, but he had a few words to go along with some hand gestures. One of those was for getting down from his high chair at the table. He would say "down, down" and point down at the floor. All of the other boys say "May I be excused please?" when they want to leave the table. Grant would do his best to follow suit. So we knew he could do it.
One Saturday morning, Rich fed him breakfast and when Grant was finished eating, Rich waited for him to say "down, down." Grant would not say it. Rich asked him to say it. Then after trying to coax him for a while, Rich told him to say it. Grant refused.
The battle of the wills was on.
Rich finally put Grant, still in his high chair, into the corner. Even after that, Grant lasted at least a half an hour. All total, that child lasted two and a half hours before giving in and asking to get down.
Later, Rich and I marveled about how incredibly stubborn Grant is. How he knew exactly what we wanted him to do and he refused to do it... just to screw with his parents. We also discussed how important it is as parents to establish who is running the show - the parents and not the kids. We talked about how important consistency is when it comes to parenting. Thank goodness Grant learned his lesson.
That was Saturday.
On the following Tuesday morning, I fed Grant his breakfast and waited for him to ask to get down. He didn't. I reminded him to say "down, down." He wouldn't. This was about 7:30 in the morning. Rich was on his way out the door to the office. He reminded me to be consistent. Got it. No problemo. A 2-year old isn't going to get the best of me!
Seven and a half hours later, that child was once again in the corner, facing the wall, in his high chair. He refused to budge and actually laughed at me a couple of times. (I had been periodically checking his diaper. Thankfully it was OK the whole time.) He finally fell asleep and I was able to take him out of the chair and put him in his bed. I was almost in tears, so thank God he fell asleep or I really think I would have been the one to break first.
He has never done anything like that again.
However, he still likes to screw with me. What follows are little 20 second video snippets of him asking for a cookie. I know he wants a cookie. He knows he wants a cookie. We both know he wants a cookie and that he can ask for a cookie. Yet he chooses to screw with me:
Mom I'm hungry!
What would you like?
Um, um, um, something with a crack in it.
A crack in it?!
Yes. And tasty. And round. Um, um, um, will you get that for me?
You need to tell me what it is you want. Use your words.
You know, with the crack in it. And chalk. I mean chocolate.
An egg? A pork chop? Yogurt? Lima beans? Coffee? Top sirloin? Oatmeal? etc.
No no. no. no. etc.
He's such a ham.
And at the end, rather than give in and admit defeat (yet not wanting to do this anymore) he spotted a Hershey bar and pretended that was what he had wanted all along.
I know he knows that I know Hershey bars are not round... but I know to quit while I'm ahead.
"Oh no! I hope they aren't the kind of people who keep the plastic on their lampshades..."
"Do they have those stiff vinyl covers on their furniture?!"
Of course not!**
It's a Bubble-Bridge. (duuuuh!)
** Of course with 4 boys, this is not to say that all those plastic covers are a bad idea. However, I am of the Function Should Follow Form tribe.... so it ain't gonna happen.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Grant was being a complete spaz, so I told him "Leave the big guys alone or I'm going to duct tape you to a tree." (Before you contact CPS, of course I was kidding.)
He is crying right now. Not because I threatened to tape him to a tree, but because I am not going through with it.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
How would Twinkies help in an emergency? The long shelf life? The sugar rush that may give a turbo boost to an already taxed adrenaline rush? Comfort food? (ew.)
And I guess M&Ms might melt.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Geno stayed for dinner, where he proceeded to tell a joke. Here is the super-condensed version of his joke. I left out all of the "um"s, the "Oh wait!"s the "Oh, but first he" all of the laughing through the whole joke and where he repeated himself because he forgot where he was. I am not kidding, this joke took 3 minutes, real-time:
This panda goes to a restaurant and says "Can I have a table?"
"Do you have a reservation?"
"OK, here's your table"
So the panda sits down and the waitress comes and he looks at her and at his plate and back at her and back at his plate and then she goes away. Oh! Then he goes to the store real quick, and I don't know what he bought, but then he came back, and he still wasn't ready to order, and he looked at the waitress, looked at the plate, looked at her, back at the plate and told her he wasn't ready. Then she came back and he ordered and he pulled out a gun and shot her and ran away and the owner came and ran after him and said
"What'd you do that for??!!"
"I don't know I felt like it"
...and then he went back and she was still shot and oh, wait the newspaper came and then she was still shot and then they wrote in the paper Panda Eats Shoots and Leaves.
He took so long to tell this joke and it was so convoluted that I forgot we were talking about a Panda in the first place!
The joke in what I imagine was the original form:
A Panda walks into a restaurant and orders a meal. When he was finished eating, he shot the waitress and ran away. The headline in the newspaper read: Panda Eats, Shoots and Leaves.
Mitch thought it was hysterical. Rich and I just laughed at the creative process of 10 year olds..
Friday, October 10, 2008
Thursday, October 09, 2008
I don't even want to know how this happened. Thank goodness there is a sanitize cycle on the dishwasher. ew.
Monday, October 06, 2008
"Which clubs did you join, Dev?"
"The Futurama Club and the Old School Club."
OK. The Futurama Club we understand. It's for people who like the show, Futurama. (To my knowledge, Devn has never even watched this show, but whatever.)
But what is the Old School Club? "Oh, it's old-school stuff. You know, stuff from the 80s and 90s. Music and games and stuff." We kind of chuckle and inquire further. Devin explains that they talk about 80s and 90s music, play video games that originated in the 80s, and they'll watch 80s and 90s movies.
80s movies!! The John Hughes fan club in my head immediately begins shouting and celebrating. Sort of tongue in cheek, I tell Dev, "Well, let me know if you need a consultant." Totally deadpan, Devin says, "It's not the Dinosaur Club."
Rich wanted to go hunting at the crack of dawn Sunday morning, so we went up to the cabin for Saturday evening. Baking cookies has become sort of a tradition for Rich & Grant when we go up there. They did so Saturday night and enjoyed several. Rich was gone when I woke up, but Grant was already up. He came up the stairs and said, "Hi mom, may I have a cookie?" It's the cabin. It's vacation. Cookie before breakfast? Sure. "Yes Grant, go ahead." He lets out a big sigh. "Oh good! I already had one."
Retroactive culture and retroactive permission.
Friday, October 03, 2008
As I scanned this opinion piece about whether or not Usher's new video was disrespectful with regard to his wife, I scrolled through the comments... they are all that horriblenopunctuationrunonsentencetextspeakwithnocapitalizationorrulesofgrammaremployedinanywayshapeorform.
I've included a few of the best of the worst:
go head den, business is business so it's nothin n dat hoe(his wife)ugly anyway
(If the bitch be ugly, it be OK! Thanks, got it!)
go on cuz its life only get 1 life do wat u like and gd 4 u cuz
(Yes, just one life. Why waste it learning to read, write and speak?)
Let him do what he doand stop hatin
(Yes, stop the hating! What did the English language every do to you!!!)
(WTF? I know what that means, but I have no idea what this means.)
WY DO EVERY ONE CARE IF HIS WIFE OK WITH IT WHAT WRONG THIS IS WHAT WRONG IN THE WORLD TO DAY EVERY BODY IS IN TO EVERY ONE BUSINESSITS A VIDEO "PEOPLE" GET REAL JUST WISH IT WAS ME ?
(Please allow me to translate: Any person residing in the state of Wyoming who wishes to right what is wrong in the world and let Usher's wife know what they think of the video should forward their comments directly to the producers.)
its only acting all of ur come of its his love and wat?...
HOW REALLY CARES!!! ITS ACTING, HIS BRINGING HOME THE BEACON. LET HIM LIVE!!
(If you bring home the beacon, does that mean you are an electrician, or that you operate a lighthouse? And how do you care? I think that is more the issue than why you care.)
If his wife dont think its wronge than its not wronge in that case i think that every actor or actress who kiss or had sex in a movie it disrespectful to their husband or wife to i mean like wats the diffrence
(This gal's screen name is beyonce_numba_1_fan. Among other problems, why she can spell "Beyonce" but thinks wrong has an "e" at the end?)
very hot he make beeing african america hot that's were it is at WoW!
(Is he an African Bee?)
.......Then I saw this and laughed my ass off (or is it LMAO?)
"Read what you are writting morons. If you cant spell, then dont post a comment. At least try to sound somewhat intellegent. Hood rats!"
bah ha ha ha ha. Thanks for trying.
Thursday, October 02, 2008
"Hey, I need you to google something for me really quickly. How much does 1.5 cubic feet of dirt weigh? Can you tell me really quickly?!"
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
I'm on the phone: "Are you talkin' to Jodi?"
We drive past a park: "I can go there with Jodi!"
My phone rings: "Is that Jodi?"
Out of the blue: "I think Jodi misses me."
Reading a book: "How 'bout we call Jodi?"
We see someone walking a dog: "I can go to Jodi's house." (He's helped Jodi walk her dog before.)
Getting ready for bed: "Yeah, and I can sleep at Jodi's house."
He even knows the route to her house. (Unfortunately for me, it is also part of the route to several other places we need to go.) "Oh are we going to Jodi's house?!? No? Aaawww!"
I don't know if she should be very flattered or if she should go into hiding for a while...