Category Archives: NOW What Have The Cubs Done?!

Sigh. Smile or Cry…it’s a choice.

The Laundry Rant


Ugh. It’s just one of those days. I don’t feel very well, and I think it’s a virus, so all I can do is diffuse some Thieve’s oil and pray for the Sudafed train to run me over. In my feverish haze, I decided that I’d better catch up on some laundry. We do at least 3 loads a day at the Den, and missing a day means twice as much work for tomorrow…judging from the pile, I already missed a few days.

I folded for more than an hour, and I’m HALF done. I’m not sure if it’s the virus, the feel of wads of dryer sheets, or just plain Monday that causes me to start to rant. How many clothes do these people WEAR every day? Do they really need clean towels EVERY day? Why do we buy socks…none of them have matches, anyway…

That’s right. I’m talking to myself.

And I’m listening to one cub playing video games for the fifth straight hour…well, I think he came out for lunch…and I just don’t have it in me. I asked him this morning to clean his room, and he shoveled everything into a pile in the middle of the floor….what?! Who’s going to pick the dirty socks off of that…plate? What the heck! What kind of day do you have that your sock solidifies into a sculpture when you take it off? And we DON’T eat in our rooms. The big one. Don’t even get me started on her with her “music” blasting out of her iPhone in the bathroom…don’t they have volume control on those phones? What in heaven’s name is the purpose of making a phone that can play music at mind-numbing-concert levels? And why do I have to buy ear buds every time  I go to the store if no one ever uses them? Do we just throw them directly into the garbage, or is there a process involved? Towels! She has one on the floor, one to dry with, and one wrapped around her head. Towels don’t grow on trees, you know! And they don’t wash and fold themselves, either!!!!

uh-oh. I feel it coming the moment before it flies out of my mouth, and I can’t stop it…

“I hope when you guys grow up your kids behave JUST LIKE YOU.” The Mother’s Curse. Am I turning into my mother, or is this just some rite of passage…like, they aren’t fully grown until you’re ready to lock them out of your house?

Anyway…note to self. When they have children, I will buy them LOTS of socks, and fingerpaints, and Moon Dough. And a Kazoo.

Beauticians Are A Chatty Bunch….


I am a firm believer in the importance of talking to your children, from a young age. Kids these days get too little stimulation when they’re allowed to “plug in” to the TV, and then the iPad, and then the DSi, and then the PS3…you get my drift. Actual conversations, though, strengthen your family bonds, improve their vocabulary and comprehension skills, and are…well, overall amusing.

Sometimes it’s hard to stretch myself thin enough with all the cubs in the Den, so I was quite pleased to have some down-time this afternoon to play with just Bun. Bun is my Diva. She has a very distinctive opinion about pretty much everything. She has a better fashion sense than I, and certainly isn’t shy about being fabulous for any occasion. She decided that I was much overdue for a trip to the salon-probably true. And since visiting a 5yr old is within the budget, I made sure the room was free from scissors and then gave her free reign to ply her trade.

As I sat and chatted with her about her aesthetic prowess, I inquired as to whether she would prefer to work from home, or had ever considered “opening a shop.”  She considered momentarily, while holding bobby pins in her lips and brushing away furiously.

“I like hair, but grown-ups are boring. Kids like me know that rainbows and sparkles are fab-lee-ous. Grownups just want red and yellow and brown, all the time. And then when they’re old the don’t even let you do that.”

Well, she had a pretty valid point. I asked her what she would suggest for my new ‘do.

“Probably some green and swirly purple sparkles, with butterflies and flowers.”


“Colors make people happy, Momma, and maybe moms would be more happy with fab-lee-ous hair. Let me grab the scissors, and I’ll fix it right up!”

Unfortunately, I did have to turn down her suggestion…after all, we live in a small town. She was also quite disappointed that I was not going to allow the scissors.

With a great sigh, she informed me that I was exactly why she would probably just choose another job. She says that her second choice would be ‘putting the pickles on sandwiches at McDonald’s.’ (McDonald’s sounds very intriguing to our littles, since they are seldom allowed to go there.)


Anyway, my trip to the chatty beautician gave me a special appreciation today for my Bun and her outlook on the world. Maybe she’s right. Maybe we all need a little more fab-lee-ous in our days. I certainly hope that she grows up with enough confidence and independence to rock that green-and-purple-sparkly-butterfly-flower ‘do one day.

The Goldfish Day


Sometimes I feel sorry for myself. Particularly if there’s any vomit involved in my day…but I hardly ever get any sympathy from my Mom (PackMam) Now, it’s not that she won’t listen to me moan and complain, because she will. It’s just that it all comes down to one thing: Is it as bad as the Goldfish Day? Invariably, the answer is no.

The Goldfish Day is something of a family legend, although it’s *not* a legend, because it really happened. I was there. I lived through it. It scarred me. No blog about our family would be complete without sharing the Goldfish Day…it’s a way for you to put everything in perspective. It’s a measuring tool…was it a Goldfish Day? If not, relax. It could get worse.

PackMam, bless her heart, had her hands full. She was a recent divorcee. She was bravely mothering a 10yr old (who was stunning and smart and a joy to everyone around her…well, maybe I’m editorializing…) She also had under her wing a very unruly 3yr old, a 2yr old, and an infant. She worked full time hours in and out of the home, and there were never enough hours in the day.

I returned home from school one day to find that PackMam was a bit worn out, and had laid the 3yr old and the 2yr old down for an afternoon nap. All was well, right? No. No, all was NOT well. When I entered my room I knew it was not well, because I think I recall a slightly evil chuckle coming from the 3yr old. The 2yr old peeked from the bars of her crib with a cherubic grin. Something strange clung to one of her bouncing curls…and a fish fin dripped out of her mouth. In horror, I realized that my beloved fish Flippy and Finny no longer inhabited their fishy water paradise. I had BEGGED for those fish! PackMam was a “we-don’t-do-animals-in-the-house” kind of lady. Those fish were a hard-won battle…and they had just been fed to my sister.

Now, I am quite sure that I  had every right to throw the teary booger meltdown that I did. PackMam did her best to console me. When the wails had quieted to a sniffle, she left to scold her sushi-master and wipe up the happy diner. Unfortunately, she discovered that the diner in question had decided to wrap up her gourmet experience and move on to the makeover portion of the afternoon, which included a deep conditioning treatment for her hair. She has smeared a tub of A&D ointment into her fine, silky curls.

PackMam was good, but I’m pretty sure the edges were starting to fray. There was nothing to do but plop the diva into the tub and begin a long lineup of whatever home remedies she could think of that might remove a pound of thick grease from a baby’s head.  She scrubbed, and rubbed, and soaped, and scraped…and phoned her mother. While they brainstormed, the baby decided to top off her tank with whatever was left in a small cup of laundry detergent forgotten on the edge of the tub.

Enter again the unfortunate gem of a child who was just subjected to a fish-massacre. I beefed up the drama. You know how kids are. They seem to have a sixth sense for weakness. I knew if I hit fast and hard I had a chance…a small one, but a chance…at getting those fish replaced. I know PackMam was crumbling fast at that point, because she combed the soapy, peanut-buttery greasy fish chunks out of the baby’s hair and loaded everyone into the car.

When we arrived at the store, PackMam gave a last valiant effort to regain control of the situation. she strapped one child to her chest, one child to her back, and plopped fish-muncher into the cart. I happily trotted along as we made our way to the back of the store, and began the tedious process of selecting my new fishy-family. No one noticed that the baby was starting to look a little green around the gills. The pet-aisle employee finally arrived with his scooper-net, like a knight in shining armor. He was about to begin sloshing about for my scaly trophies when….the laundry detergent kicked in. With a whimper the baby exploded, launching  puddles of foamy goldfish parts out of her pant legs. The shame of my Flippy and Finny’s untimely fate became an undeniable reality. I’m not sure who was most distressed…the baby, me, PackMam, or the unfortunate pet-aisle employee.

We left without fish, and thus The Goldfish Day was born.

And no, Tom, I still haven’t forgiven you.