Sunday, March 26, 2017

SOL #27: Kids, Expectations and Boundaries

This March writing challenge is organized by Two Writing Teachers

Truly a slice of life here:

The Boy has been grounded for three weeks, meaning no playing with friends, and very little screen time.  This is due to several back-to-back incidents that kept resetting his time owed.

Today his buddy came by hoping to play.  It's spring break, and refusing to let a kid play during spring break just seems wrong.  Still, it is the same buddy he's gotten into trouble with before, so I said yes, but you need to stay within view of the driveway.

They did that for awhile, then they came in and baked cake without a recipe, then they wanted to head back out, and asked if they could go further afield, to a nature path one street over.  I went over some ground rules, then said yes.  Then the buddy asked if my daughter could come too.

"Great idea!" I enthused.  "That way she can tattle if you guys do anything dumb!"  The friend looked embarrassed, but shrugged and nodded.  My daughter eagerly started to put her shoes on.

"Wait," said my son.  "She doesn't have to tell on us for swearing, right?"

Such are the compromises of parenting.

Later, everyone was home again.  The friend came in to the living room where The Winemaker and I were sitting and said, "Can I borrow your phone to call my mom and ask if I can spend the night over here?"  I'm sure the looks on our faces were comical.

"Let's talk about that for a minute," I said diplomatically.  We offered to have him over tomorrow night instead, but it seems he's busy.  "Maybe some other time, then," I concluded.

After they scampered off again, my husband and I looked at each other.  "Seriously?  Can I borrow YOUR PHONE to INVITE MYSELF over?" I said.  "How does that seem like an okay question?"

"You know, I think I expected kids to show up already thinking like adults," my husband confessed.  "I am always surprised at the things they don't get."

"Your expectations were..." I started.

"Misguided?"  he finished with a grin.

Edited: I just heard my son call his friend, "You raw turkey breast!"  Is this what the kids are saying these days, or is my kid really good at off-the-cuff invective?

Saturday, March 25, 2017

SOL #26: What's good about...

This March writing challenge is organized by Two Writing Teachers

"What's good about my dolls' heads,"
she tells me gravely,
"is that I can rest my chin on them if I get sleepy
while I'm holding them."

What's good about this truck,
I think,
is that you sit right next to me on this bench seat,
your dolls in your lap.

What's good about late March
is that the cherry blossoms look lovely
even on a day as grey as today.

My daughter made this little comment while we were driving home today, and it sounded like the first line of a poem to me.  So I tried to write the rest.

SOL #25: The Dish Towel to End All Dish Towels

This March writing challenge is organized by Two Writing Teachers

There's a blog I follow that is neither a teaching blog nor a book blog.  I believe I found it back when I was reading a lot of adoption blogs, but although the writer's family includes adoption, I wouldn't call it an adoption blog either.

And "Mommy blog" is so dismissive.  Family blog?

The best I can do is tell you it's like Erma Bombeck, although that's not quite accurate either, as Erma took the seeds of real life and spun them into exaggerated stories.  This blogger doesn't have to exaggerate (much) in order to hit over-the-top.  But the incredible humor still reminds me of Erma, and she has the ability to switch gears into poignant reflection as well.

Enough of the intro.  I'm talking about Beth Woolsey's Five Kids is a Lot of Kids, and if you click over there right now, you'll find her latest piece, which literally made me laugh until I cried (and we English teachers make a point of using "literally" correctly, right?), as well as the piece from a couple of days ago, which just made me cry.  A pretty definitive showcasing of her work.

Anyway.  Beth is my hero in a lot of ways, and I was fortunate enough to meet her last summer at a welcoming and fun writing retreat she runs on the Oregon coast.  And one concrete thing I've learned from her is (drum roll...) you can embroider whatever the hell you want onto dish towels.

When I first learned this amazing fact from her blog several years ago, I set to making dish towels for my sisters with family sayings on them.  Then I had my daughter draw a picture onto a towel, and embroidered it as a gift to her grandma.

But I think I have reached new heights with this, the dish towel I'm presenting my friend Kristi with at her birthday brunch in an hour.

Kristi and I have been friends since she joined my class in third grade.  Which is to say, 40 years next fall.  We have celebrated a LOT of birthdays together.  She is one of my favorite human beings, and I made her a dish towel that is both topical and timeless.  Check it out.

I totally free-handed the cat, by the way, so its legs are mildly hilarious, but that's okay.  I also thought seriously about adding a Georgia O'Keefe inspired flower/vulva type thing to the fourth corner, but decided to rein myself in.

So, thanks to Beth's blog, Kristi is receiving perhaps the coolest dishtowel ever stitched.  Who says blogging won't change lives?