That Moment When… I Have no Idea What My Kids are Saying

I was recently whipping up a new recipe for the fam, which is newsworthy all by itself. If we’re being honest, 22 years of meal preparation for a family of six can cause severe burnout. But on that special day, I was feeling inspired. That is, until I taste-tested my cauliflower rice stir-fry and declared with satisfaction that it was “on fleek.”

Insert the sound of dishes crashing to the ground and children with jaws – and phones – dropped long enough to look at me with horror in their eyes. As in, I could only see pupils.

 I was simultaneously lauded and scolded for knowing the phrase in the first place and using it in reference to Sunday night dinner. But the default advice is always, “Um, Mom, don’t.”

How often do I hear that phrase when I’m exercising my super hip ways? I guess these little darlings don’t know they got all their coolness from me, OR that I’m speaking their language all for their benefit. I got their attention, didn’t I?

Apparently, I got the whole fleeking thing wrong. If I have to look up a word in Urban Dictionary, it’s lost all validity, but I do what I can to translate and relate to this little world around me. It is confusing sometimes for an old antique like me, so I rely heavily on the masters to keep me current on the young people’s vernacular.

For instance, according to my daughters, the phrase “on fleek” is mostly used when referring to the PERFECT application of eye makeup or a well put-together outfit. Well, NOW I know why I’m misusing it…I only wear real clothes and apply eye makeup once a week, and that’s only because whatever destination I’m headed to has a dress code that requires more than yoga pants and sunglasses. Working from home has its benefits, but maintaining fashion expert status is NOT one of them.

The real problem here is that most of these “words” and phrases being used don’t really mean what they sound like they should, so it’s only natural I need a little more education to follow a conversation amongst my short people. Recent lessons include:

“That’s fake.”  Until now, I thought if something was fake then it was, well, not real. This could mean a knock-off handbag, a person who pretends to be someone they’re not, or a driver’s license with an altered birthdate. While it CAN mean a two-faced friend or a pleather Louis Vuitton, calling someone “fake” can also mean virtually ANYTHING from acting uncool or too cool or mean or stingy. What’s the point of having a word when it means the same thing as 20 other words?! Also, “fake” is often interchangeable with “shife,” which sounds more to me like a prison weapon, but what do I know?

Doing “werk.” This one is interesting. From what I’ve gathered, this is NOT the “work” I know of, nor do I want anyone getting paid for this type of work. Yikes. This kind of work is deemed to be celebratory and can only be done by shaking one’s rear end while saying the word repeatedly.  Which begs the question: is werk the root word of twerk, hence the rapid movement and repetition? Food for thought.

Speaking of food, has anyone ever heard, “Ew, gag me with a spoon!” Meaning gross, no way, disgusting, or “as if!” No? I didn’t think so. Moving on.

“So extra.” This one is my favorite. It means, quite simply, unnecessary. You will commonly hear this used by one older sister to one younger brother any time he says or does something she deems annoying. It is ALWAYS used in conjunction with a hard eye roll. I personally have adopted this phrase to refer to the litany of social media posts that are over the top and/or close-minded/incapable of accepting constructive criticism or that everyone doesn’t believe the same things. But I digress.

“You mad, bro?” This is self-explanatory and usually follows calling said younger brother “extra.” Yes, big sis, he is mad.

“Bruh.” Speaking of bro, don’t forget his lazy cousin, “bruh.” I can only imagine this word was invented by someone too exhausted from all that WERK to pull up their pants and pronounce the long “o” sound. ENUNCIATE, PLEASE!

“Your mom.” Lest we forget it’s not all about your bros and bruhs. One of the most common comebacks in our house, “Your mom,” is the modern-day equivalent of “I know you are, but what am I?” Charming, right? This nonsensical quip can be applied to just about any situation.

Me: “Who are you texting?”

Kid: “Your mom.”

Me: “Can you take out the trash?”

Kid: “Your mom can take out the trash.”

Me: ALL pupils.

Kid: RUNS to the trash can.

The exception, of course, is when I try to use it on my kids, because essentially I’m just answering them with, “Oh yea? Well, Me!” Not quite the zinger I was looking for.

“Throwing shade.” I had to learn this one from the first episode of Fuller House. Yes, I still rely on what I know! To put it simply, this refers to giving bad attitude/judgment/dirty looks or talk towards someone. My thoughts? It’s 80 degrees outside at the beginning of March. Why don’t you throw some of that shade my way?

There are a few that I just accidentally get right. You can imagine her surprise when my college kid asked for some money and I replied, “You need a hundo?” I was just guessing when I threw that out there, knowing she couldn’t judge me too harshly over text. And because she did, in fact, need a hundo, she did not judge and sent me a high five emoji and a “Nice one, Mom.” Mom for the W.

The list is endless as new slang continues to replace the good old English language. I have plenty of reminders that I’m not as young as I once was, but you can’t stop this old dog from learning new tricks. Catch me next time as I reveal the age-old origins of “salty” and dissect the abbreviations of the future.

V excited.

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There’s a First and Last Time for Everything

When I first shared this, I had no idea I’d be holding someone’s pee cup again this week. I guess I should’ve known. My babes may be older, taller, and a wee bit wiser, but some things remain the same: one still asks for braids nightly, the girls still fuss over their bro, and the littlest still LOVES her mama. They all do. And the firsts and the lasts just keep. on. coming.

foundatfourty

The struggle was real from the moment I woke today. We had to be up before the sun for an early doctor’s appointment 30 minutes away. You may be noticing a theme in my posts: we go to the doctor a LOT. I’m chalking this up to either the size of our household or the slim chance we’re hypochondriacs. I’m going to go with the size of our brood.

Our appointment went well; no waiting, friendly service, and Mar actually giggled through her blood draw. What kid, or grown-up for that matter, laughs when having a needle in their vein? She’s always been a tough cookie. Then we had to collect the urine sample and I was the designated cup holder. My daughter and I had never been in this situation before, and she once again giggled and said, “I can’t go. This is so weird.” In my world of…

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Calling all humans. Slow. Your. Roll.

Yesterday was a rough day. Along with so many others, I am unsettled, confused, and saddened. But, unlike the masses, my disappointment has nothing to do with the election.

Just when I thought I’d seen everything that supposed adult behavior has to offer, people have surprised me. The human interactions I’ve encountered of late are angry, disrespectful, and aggressive. From parents and players at the soccer fields to the impatient customers at the grocery store and all of the road rage in between, I am perpetually questioning the presence of a full moon, because how else can this volatile nature of living, breathing, people with bodies of warmth and hearts and souls and feelings be so deteriorated? Add social media to the mix and the unfiltered unabashed opinions flow readily behind the protection of a screen. I’m completely floored at how careless and destructive people have been in both word and deed, and just how easily those hurtful words roll off of tongues and fingertips.

A dear friend of mine teaches first grade and has become somewhat of a lunar scientist as she anticipates less than scientific behavior from her students. When the moon phase is just right (or wrong, as she would see it), her little darlings go from orderly, schedule-following, line-walking little learners to scaling-the-walls, out-of-their-seats, food-flicking and nose-picking little wildlings. Hers is an accurate science – she’s always right – and I’ve learned to give her a wide berth on those days.

But is it really the moon, people, or has everyone lost their sense of mutual respect? Are the barriers so broken down, are we so desensitized by the regular flow of vitriol, that the only approach is to try to hurt people at deeper levels than the last time we hurt them?

Forgive me, but I’m having a very difficult time understanding. You see, I’m raising my babies in this sad state of personal deterioration, and on days like today, it scares me what their world will be like if we don’t seriously and immediately CHECK OURSELVES.

I’m equally frustrated because all that seems to come to mind right now are all of the cliché things people say during times of conflict:

“If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

“Treat others as you want to be treated.”

“One of the truest signs of maturity is the ability to disagree with someone while still remaining respectful.”

“If you’re not working on yourself, you’re working against yourself.”

“It starts at home.”

Nope. All I can muster on days like today is, for the love of all that is good in the world and kind in your hearts and peaceful on our planet, people, SLOW. YOUR. ROLL.

Can we all just settle down for a bit? Breathe, relax, and count our blessings? What the heck is happening to our society? Better yet, why are we allowing it to happen rather than becoming part of the solution? Anyone have any ideas on a solution instead of insults and complaints about what SOMEONE ELSE is doing? What are YOU doing?

The bottom line is that all of those clichés are absolutely one hundred percent accurate and appropriate. As basic as it all sounds, It DOES start with you. It starts in your home, with your family, in your little section of the universe and spreads outward.

Read that again, focusing on the part where it spreads outward. Whether you choose love or hate, kindness or cruelty, acceptance or disdain – it all spreads OUTWARD.

It starts with your words, your behaviors, your REACTIONS, and spreads outward. It starts behind your computer screen, your thumbs on your phone as you blast out nasty Facebook taunts, your composure or lack thereof as a spectator at your child’s soccer game, your petulant impatience with the teenage cashier, the foreign customer service clerk, and YOUR FAMILY, FRIENDS, AND NEIGHBORS AS THEY SHARE VIEWS DIFFERENT FROM YOU.

What are YOU spreading outward?

Are you bettering yourself? Your small slice of this wonderful life you’ve been given? Are you pausing before you respond? Do you HAVE to respond?

How about this one? “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Whoa. Lofty.

What kind of change do you want to see?

What are you going to do to get there?

Is your little section of the world emanating solutions or fueling problems? Are you teaching your children the value of acceptance, kindness, and gratitude? Are you teaching them that they are owed nothing and to be the best versions of them that they can be? Are you modeling how to be the best version of YOU that you can be?

Every single day is an opportunity for self-improvement and to assess what you’re putting out into the world. Yes, you still have blessings for which you should be grateful. Slow your roll, before it gets out of hand. If it already has, take some deep breaths and figure out what small steps you can take today, this week, this month, to spread some positivity in your small corner of the world, to mend hurt and hearts. Focus on what YOU can do to be better in your little space, in your family, in your relationships, and let that influence spread outward. Your section of the world may seem small, like one faint voice, but those small voices add up, and it takes a collective voice of personal and mutual respect to bring about societal change.

 

In Defense of Distraction

Distractions. They outweigh my accomplishments on many, many days.

I took a personal day yesterday to tackle a couple of yes-we-moved-in-July-but-the-house-still-isn’t-finished-in-September tasks. Moving is like childbirth – long and painful enough to be sworn off until enough time passes that you forget it hurts, and the thought of a new addition once again becomes exciting and welcome. To date, I’ve made it through four baby deliveries and three times as many moving vans. Love my kids, love my house, but I. Am. Toast.

What better way to get caught up than to put my grown-up responsibilities (ahem, my JOB) on hold in the pursuit of interior decorating? My goal for the day was to paint the living room accent wall, but those plans came to a screeching halt when urgent work issues arose. Gah! Adulting always gets in the way.

Just as I wrapped up my work tasks, multiple scheduling conflicts were brought to my attention in the kiddos’ daily and weekly routines, so carpools, drivers, and pick-up times all needed immediate adjustment. No child left behind, folks. Not today, anyway.

No sooner had I smoothed out our extracurricular calendar than my college girl sent a lengthy update on all of the happenings in the first few weeks of her senior year, to which of course I just HAD to respond with motherly advice, encouragement, and above all else, opinions. Every 20-year-old girl appreciates her mother’s all-knowing insight, so who am I to disappoint?

I was in the middle of imparting my abundant wisdom when an email with a Caring Bridge link came in from the hubs. His phone call followed moments later. “This is a real kick in the gut, hon.” A dear friend of his has cancer, and it sounds grave.

My husband rarely cries. As a matter of fact, I occasionally have to check his pulse to ensure a robot hasn’t taken over. I jest, but when he does release the waterworks, it’s big, ugly, Julia-Roberts-in-Steel-Magnolias kind of tears. This is no criticism, because I’m right there with him. Yesterday, I was right there with him.

Some distractions stop you right where you are. As I sat at my desk frustrated over plans gone askew, our friends were announcing devastating news and their unwavering hope. He and his wife are young, far too young. They take care of their bodies. They are kind. They have small children. They had to tell their small children and hold them while they cried. It made no sense, and it made my concerns seem so petty. I felt very small.

So I prayed.

I prayed for all of the things you pray for when someone is sick: healing, comfort, time, peace, understanding, and miracles. Then I prayed for the ability to keep hearts settled and minds busy – I prayed for distractions.

The little interruptions, sometimes inconveniences, the things that keep me from finishing my daily tasks – distractions are what I wished for our friends. I prayed they’d have an abundance of distractions, because I know they’d bring them great joy. It’s all about perspective.

And so I prayed for perspective. I prayed the now small distractions in my life remain small.

Yes, I still have to paint that wall, but my husband is healthy.

We still need to hang curtains, but I am well.

There are still boxes to unpack and pictures to hang, but my children aren’t grieving.

And I’m reminded that all of it can change in an instant.

On Sunday, I sat on the couch with my son and watched every bit of 9/11 coverage we could. We heard a story we’d not before about a woman who stayed on the phone with her husband as smoke filled his World Trade Center office, as his breathing became slow and labored, then a chaotic collapse, and finally, silence. My son wasn’t even born when the 9/11 attacks happened, so it’s a priority that he and his siblings know and understand the significance of that day, the profound impact it had and continues to have on so many families, and the fact that life can change in an instant and without warning.

The widow’s message, more than anything, was to treasure your loved ones and show that love each and every day, because you never know when it will be your last. We’ve all heard her advice before, probably many times, but most of us can’t fully grasp the depth of such gratitude until we are faced with great loss.

Distractions. Embrace them. Perspective. Some of us would happily trade our lot for another’s. Count your blessings, and then love on them a little. You may not always be so blessed. Enjoy the interruptions. You may long for them someday.

Another Year Older, Another Word Wiser

One year and one month ago, I hit the big 4-0, started a blog, graduate school, and reinvested in my career. I made the bold declaration I was a new woman with a renewed sense of self, purpose, and motivation. For the most part, the declaration held true: I’m more in charge of my direction than I’ve ever been.

I also set out to finally become the organized machine I’ve always wanted to be (FAIL) and to run like the wind until my pant size and blood pressure dropped (BIGGER FAIL). It’s safe to say I still have some work to do in the areas of order and fitness.

Despite my renewed approach towards life, I also dreaded the actual number of the age I turned. FORTY. When I was a kid, 40 seemed so incredibly far away that I’d never, ever reach it. My parents, who were far younger than any of my friends’, still seemed so OLD, and I couldn’t imagine having any more responsibility besides remembering to check in periodically while playing outside with friends. Given my lifelong affliction with forgetfulness, you can guess I was late for check-in more than a few times.

Out of all the things I resolved to do better at 40, there was one I kept a little more private, mainly for fear of people calling me out every time I fail. These people I live with may not be able to see their dirty clothes on the floor as they step over them, but they can spot a double standard from a mile away. They’d be the first ones to shoot me “the look” dare I err, and boy, do I err at this a lot.

MY WORDS. My words need improvement. The words I speak. The words I tell myself. The words I tell the ones I love. The words I allow to shape my thoughts, my responses, my words.

Words are hard. They’re reflexive and habitual. They wake every day anticipating the same course of action. They are hard to break, hard to stop, hard to take back once they’re loose. They are the hardest change I have to make, but the change that reaps the most benefits. And those benefits aren’t just for me.

I still remember words from my adolescence, words that shaped me, told me what I should be, and more boldly, what I would be. Adults, when given the chance, assert absolute knowledge over children through their words.

For instance, I was told I was the smart one, the good one, but I was uptight.

I was told I would do great things, but I needed a sense of humor.

I was told I had a “great shape” (that’s how a Grandma tells you you’re curvy), and I was told I had thick thighs (WHO thinks that’s a good thing to tell a 13-year-old girl?)

I was told God would use me in mighty ways, and I was told I was bossy. Hmm.

So here I am at forty-one. FORTY-ONE. And I still hear the words.

Words are residual.

My words need improvement. The words I speak. THE WORDS I TELL MYSELF. The words I tell the ones I love. The words I allow to shape my thoughts, my responses, my words.

When my children bicker or answer with sarcastic quips and comments, which, during these summer months, occur in greater frequency, I ask them to pause and think about if their response adds value to the conversation. And then I ask myself to do the same.

My words need improvement. And for me, I have to take it one day, one minute, one word at a time. I cringe AT LEAST once daily at the words that come out of my mouth, and I cringe even harder when I hear my children using my words.

Each birthday is a time to reevaluate progress from the prior year, and nothing holds you to commitments made like putting them in print for all to see. It was a big kick in my thick thighs to reread last year’s birthday resolutions and then compare to my running app, which is about 100 entries shy of where it should be. But words are so much harder than running. Birthdays are no longer about parties and presents. Sure, those things are nice, but the best gift I’ve ever given myself is accountability.

 

 

 

‘Tis the Season for Solitude

I was scrolling through Facebook last week, avoiding emails and grown-up responsibilities, when I came across a post by Jen Hatmaker that, true to form, hit the nail on the head. “Be patient with yourself. Nothing in nature blooms all year.” It’s like she can read my mind, because the timing of her messages always seems to align with my station in life. She. Is. Awesome. I kind of want to be her if and when I grow up. But I digress.

I needed to hear that message right when I did, and based on the responses, I wasn’t alone. Sometimes coming up for air to create seems out of reach, and even worse, it feels like it will always be that way.

Life definitely operates in seasons. I didn’t realize until, well, today, just how often I go “underground.” For me, that usually means 100 percent, blinders-on focus on the must-dos in life: feed the kids, work, do the laundry, feed the kids, wash the dishes, drive the kids, feed the kids, sleep, wake, repeat. It’s super glamorous and not at all monotonous.

But from the outside looking in, it seems like I’m ignoring phone calls and texts, avoiding social interaction, and allowing my creativity to become stagnant.

Lucky for me, living in a small town almost ensures I’ll never go totally missing in action, as I still have to go to the grocery store. After all, those kids have to eat! It usually takes me running into my next-door neighbor at Kroger before I realize just how much of a hermit I’ve been. “I have to come all the way to the grocery store to see you!” I’ve heard that more than a few times. My husband made the mistake of pointing out that I “need to get out of the house,” which ultimately led to him getting out of the house to avoid hearing me rant about my litany of reasons why I’ve successfully attained vampire status and desperately need some Vitamin D. As my daughter told me last week, my legs are “whiter than sour cream.”

The only thing more glaring than the white of my skin is that list I throw at my husband when he dares to suggest I get a change of scenery. I don’t know who finds that whiney list more annoying – him or me? The minute I start saying it, I feel like I’m justifying my reclusive lifestyle in my own mind more than I am for him, which ends up just ticking me off even more. He didn’t even ask for a reason, after all. He just asked me to go to dinner. Rationalization is followed by doubt and self-criticism, until I actually start to believe that I AM being an anti-social slacker. Meanwhile, the kids still need food and I need a shower, so it’s onward with the daily grind, tunnel vision, and unreturned phone calls.

And it keeps going like this, well, until it doesn’t anymore. A season is named as such for a reason – it passes. And it’s all absolutely OK.

A friend stopped by the house today, probably because it’s the only way she can actually reach me during my hibernation, and we got on the topic of the seasons of life. It was clear to me that she thought her season was an extended and eternal winter, and that the winds of change would only blow her over rather than bring about the renewal of spring. You see, hard times, and even quiet times, seem like they will last forever. Sometimes when things are so challenging, we can only see the challenge and not the change it’s bringing. My beloved grandmother, in her infinite wisdom, used to tell me, “This too shall pass.” As much as I adored her, when it came to advice, I thought she was an old lady full of silly clichés she invented to deal with the trials of life. She must’ve read the skepticism on my face, because she also told me to “Never doubt an old lady.” She was absolutely right about both.

We all have our struggles, big and small, but none of them are permanent.

For the new parents whose baby won’t sleep through the night, I know you are convinced you will never sleep again. You will. This too shall pass.

For the high school graduate unsure of his direction, you don’t have to figure it all out right now. Keep working hard. This uncertainty will pass.

For the mom whose baby just had yet another surgery, recovery feels miles away. It’s not. Hang in there. This too shall pass.

For the friend who’s been betrayed, you think you’ll never trust again. You will. This too shall pass.

For the friend who betrayed, I know you feel isolated. You’re not. This too shall pass.

For those dealing with loss, it feels as if the void will never be filled. You will find healing. This too shall pass.

For the mom whose efforts appear to go unnoticed, they do not. Your kids are watching, and they appreciate you. This too shall pass.

It’s ok to go underground. In fact, it’s necessary. Sometimes you have to put the phone on silent just to get through an hour-long task. Other times, you need extended quiet and solitude to allow for healing. Don’t fault yourself for taking a step back, and don’t fault others for needing the same. Growth and clarity follow challenges. Allow each season to fulfill its purpose, even if that purpose isn’t yet clear to you.

 

 

 

My Kids are Weirder Than Yours

I swore when I started this blog I wouldn’t be one of those “Top Ten” list-making writers, but as it goes with most things I swear I’d never do, I usually eat my words.

Yep, I’ve learned to never say never, and no one has taught me that more than my favorite people on the planet – my kiddos. Any time I’ve ever said, “MY child would NEVER do THAT,” one of my lovelies comes right behind me and not only does THAT, but they do it bigger and better than I would’ve ever imagined it in the first place. At least they’re ambitious. Go big or go home, right kids?

Not only are they grand in their efforts, but sometimes their behavior is just plain, well, strange. I don’t know if it’s spring fever that’s gotten into them lately or if they’re sniffing too much glue at school, but the level of their adorable weirdness has been particularly potent lately.

So here’s my oh so cliché top ten list of bizarre things my kids do on the regular:

  1. Stare at me. For extended periods of time. At VERY close range. They watch me drive. They watch me eat. They watch me watch TV (aren’t they watching the same show I am??) I can’t figure it out. Are they counting my pores? Enamored by my beauty? Gauging my mood before proposing their next outrageous request? I’m not sure of their motivation, but I know I’ve been given the gift of four extra human shadows and my own short-person paparazzi. Or stalkers. They may be stalkers.
  1. Speaking of paparazzi, these jokers act a lot like celebrities. They have personal in-house assistants who cook, clean, and cater to their every need. They always have a car waiting for their next event, and SOMEONE is ALWAYS taking their picture, capturing each moment as if it were more special than the one before. Relaxing bubble baths are a regular occurrence, and pedicures are available upon request. I might as well add “Royal Lady’s Maid” to my resume with the amount of hair brushing I do. It’s all good, though, because at least they can’t stare at me while I’m brushing their hair.
  1. They strategically delay showing me the things they are MOST EXCITED ABOUT in the world until I’m in the driver’s seat, most likely performing said celebrity chauffer duties. “Hey mom, look at this! It is SOOOOO cool. You HAVE to look RIGHT NOW!” These are the statements I hear most from the backseat of my swagger wagon, second only to, “She’s touching me,” “STOP IT!” and “Can you change the station?” No. No I cannot. I cannot turn around WHILE I’M DRIVING and the only things getting me through the car ride are my 80s tunes. So, no! Mom needs her Cyndi Lauper right now!
  1. They have an uncanny ability to ignore me when I’m completely engaged in them and even more diligently when I verbally request their presence.

  “Oh, I didn’t hear you until the third time you called me, Mom. Sorry.”

  “Then how did you know I called you three times?”

  “Ummmmm, I’m just guessing.”

However, as soon as I shift my focus to talking with another adult, a phone call, or a      task that requires silence and my full concentration, they’re all up in my business. For example, as soon as my husband and are in deep conversation (which happens about five minutes per week thanks to my darlings), there are no less than three short people rushing us, demanding our attention while not even talking to us but talking at – or more likely arguing with – each other. Locking the door doesn’t work, because they pop that lock like the pros.

  1. They can’t find ANYTHING. Nothing. Not even if you dangle it from a hook right in front of their sweet little faces. They will actually avert their face so as to NOT be able to find it. Their method of research is: open the door/drawer, look in the opposite direction, close the door/drawer, and yell, “Mom, I can’t find my socks!!!!!” This strangeness also applies to my husband. If something ever happens to me, no one in my family will ever wear socks or underwear again.
  1. They appear to want to see me go to the bathroom. Now this one can’t possibly be true (please don’t let this be true!), but why else would they follow me/walk in/knock and talk through the bathroom door every single time I go in there. IS THERE NO ROOM THAT IS SACRED, MY CHILDREN??
  1. They hate sleep and a diverse menu (this mainly applies to only one of my babes). But really kids? Most grown ups would kill for an 8 o’clock bedtime and well-rounded meals with colorful fruits and veggies prepared for them daily. Nope. My kids act like bedtime is a devastating shock every night, as if I’ve proposed yanking a tooth or worse, cancelling cable. The horror.
  1. They hate their siblings. They love their siblings. They hate their siblings again. No one else is allowed to hate their siblings. And the cycle continues.
  1. They tell me how great a book or movie is and that I should totally read or watch it. One minute later they tell me the huge plot twist at the end and the name of the character that dies. Thanks, kids.

The same impulsivity is demonstrated during the holiday season, when surprise gifts are purchased in their presence. Here’s how that goes down:

Child goes shopping with Dad.

Dad tells kid not to tell Mom what her present is.

Child walks in front door from shopping with Dad.

“Mom, Dad did NOT buy you an iPad for Christmas! Bye!”

Kid runs off to play with friends.

Dad is speechless.

Mom is not surprised with a present OR by the child’s behavior, and wonders why her husband is.

  1. But perhaps the weirdest thing that my kids do is love me for me ALL of the time. Even in the morning when my hair is standing on end and last night’s makeup may or may not have been washed off. Even when I’m a coffee jerk. Even if they come home from school to find me in my PJs because I sat down to work after they left and stayed so busy I forgot to change. And even if I turn around too quickly and step on whichever child is under my feet at the moment.

Their love is truly unconditional and without judgment. Ok, they may judge the PJs a little, but they’re so extremely careful with my feelings and pure with their adoration that I can handle it. Maybe it’s because I’m the only person in the house who can actually find what no one else can, or maybe it’s because of those really great pores, but their love, loyalty, and faith in me makes all of their weirdness worthwhile. Well, almost all of it. This girl still needs to go to the bathroom alone.

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