If You Weren’t Sick Before…

Earlier this spring, both #4 and #5 went home sick from school on the same day. This type of thing happens only when CC is out of town, and then most often on a Wednesday, my longest work day (for the record, snow days work like this too).

I called my sub in to cover me and made it to the middle school in record time. We got home with no hurling, and when they felt up for it, I heated up some chicken soup, pulled out the saltines and ginger ale and joined them at the table.

The nurse had told me more than 25% of the kids were out sick with the bug that was going around.

Me: I like your nurse at the middle school.

#4: Same.

#5: Same.

Me: Whatever happened to “me too”?

[They stare at me blankly.]

#5: The middle school nurse is way nicer than the one at the elementary school.

Me: Yeah, that one scared me. She yelled at me.

#4: Wasn’t that because of me?

Me: Pretty much. You showed me this teeny-tiny spot on the top of your knee where you had poison ivy and I gave you Caladryl, but you neglected to mention that the back of your legs were completely covered with it and festering. Then you went to the nurse.

#4: Oh yeah, I remember that. I though they were bug bites.

Me: Yeah, well they weren’t. She screamed at me when she called. I kept expecting DYFS to show up on our doorstep for like a month.

#5: What’s festering?

Me: Festering is gross, that’s what.

#4: I remember I got poison ivy on my eye one time.

Me: When I was a kid, I got it on my whole face and my eyes swelled shut. It was awful. Though I wasn’t as bad off as my friends. They went to the bathroom in the woods and used poison ivy leaves to wipe.

[They look, horrified, in my direction.]

Me: Yes, I actually knew people that happened to.

[They look, horrified, at each other.]

Me: They got poison ivy really bad. In their … ah… nether regions.

[They both put their spoons down and scoot away from the table]

#5: Julie? Don’t ever say that again, okay?

Me: Which part?

#4: ANY OF IT!!!

*****

With my innate nurturing skills (feed a cold; starve a fever; gross out a bug) both #4 and #5 made full recoveries. #5 and I played an epic game of Monopoly in which we bent the rules and he beat me by ending up with every single piece of property. It was an entirely different win than the one the week before where we bent the rules and he beat me by ending up with every single dollar, and I had to then explain that we couldn’t just “make” new money because that’s how economies collapse.

Meanwhile, I have a couple posts up on Family Circle’s Momster blog.

When you’re a stepmom of teenagers, you have to expand your definition of parenting wins: Treasured Moments

Attempts to teach a reluctant worker the value of a job well done: Hey Kids, Guess What? Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees!

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So, ah… where’s the worst place you ever got poison ivy?

 

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Fool Me Once…

I’m not a big fan of practical jokes. Mainly because when people say, “practical”, they really mean, “something that makes you look an ass and feel like an awkward teenager.”

So I’m always on the lookout for April Fools Day Jokes that

  1. Wouldn’t piss me off too much if they were played on me
  2. Won’t cause me a lot of extra work or cleaning
  3. Won’t come to the attention of the authorities and
  4. Won’t get me fired.

This does limit the field, particularly where the kids are concerned.

My new post on Family Circle’s Momster blog discusses some options. I’d love to hear yours.

In doing my “research” for this post, I came across what I think is the best idea ever, but I don’t have an appropriate person to play the prank on: Take a screen shot of the prank recipient’s (I really dislike the term “victim”) computer desktop, hide all their icons, and use that screenshot as the desktop wallpaper.

You’re welcome.

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PS: My icons are already hidden. Don’t even try it.

Do you have any good April Fool’s Day pranks?

 

 

I am Totally Paying Attention to You.

#5 was looming.

I don’t mean he was sulking and brooding in the corner; I mean he had the Rainbow Loom and assorted bands spread out all across the dining room table.

His sudden reinterest in the Loom was, unsurprisingly, spurred by an argument. A little girl came to visit: our babysitter’s niece, age 3. She spent most of Saturday at our house and as it turns out is just as inquisitive and stubborn as #5. At the babysitter’s suggestion, they played with the Loom and found themselves at odds over many things: namely, the right way to do it, and whether maroon should be referred to as “red”, “pink”, or “purple”. He rehashed so many of their arguments for me that I could tell he is smitten. I fully expect them to marry.

Sunday morning all the supplies were still out on the table. #5 ran in through the door after Sunday school and went right to it.

There is an internal law in a kid’s mind that says unless someone witnesses every step of what they are doing, it didn’t happen. I am often called to witness. At times this witnessing is a mutually enjoyable experience; this was not one of those times.

This was one of those times where I didn’t care about the damn Rainbow Loom and I could tell he wasn’t listening to me anyway and would have been just as happy with the dog as a witness. All morning he kept dragging me away from what I was trying to finish, making me watch something that to my eye looked exactly like what he had shown me five minutes before, and would then run right over anything I attempted to say in response with his own internal, out-loud monologue. This is when I would walk away, invariably to be pulled back several minutes later.

I did, finally, get his attention.

#5: Look! Look!

Me: What.

#5: I’m inventing a new weave!

Me: Cool.

#5: Do you know what this design is going to be?

Me: What.

#5: Awesome, that’s what.

Me: Nice.

#5: Man, I hope this holds together when I pull it off the loom.

Me: Man, me too. Otherwise you’re just a complete and utter, abject failure.

#5 looked up with his mouth open to find me smiling. I could see him working through how to respond, first thinking you’re not allowed to say that! followed by an immediate realization of who he was actually talking to. He and the two sisters in the room all laughed at the same time.

#5: Oh my God. I can’t believe you said that.

Me: I can’t believe you finally listened to me.

He carried on looming.

Me: Hey, let me know how that works out for you, okay?

Despite all that, I would like to report I am now the proud owner of two new bracelets (of a traditional weave).

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How do you get your kids’ attention?