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Monday, November 30, 2009

Getting Through to Kids

Our little eight-year-old had the worst attitude today after school. Don't worry though I adjusted it.
She sometimes likes to play these little games: you ask her if she wants something and she says no, then tries to change her mind.
Well it didn't work today. I think I have set a precedent now. We got to Jersey Mike's and she says she doesn't like subs. That was new. I told her brother to come on and we ordered salads for Daddy and I and a sub and chips for her brother.
Not a lot was said during the 15 minute drive home. We got home. My son and I washed our hands and sat down to eat.
She sat at the table slowly looking confused.
"Did you get me something?" she asked.
I purposely chomped down on my cucumbers with my mouth open, then smiled and said, "But you said you didn't like subs anymore." I slowly chewed another big bite and asked her if she wanted some Oodles of Noodles or some Frosted Flakes. She loves Frosted Flakes... for breakfast.
"But cereal is for breakfast," she said. "You can eat it anytime really," I told her.
She asked what her other choices were. I informed her that I had not been to the grocery store yet and that is why we grabbed something quick. I offered to make the noodles for her.
She looked in the fridge and freezer as if there were many choices. She then asked if I could make the noodles.
"Sure! Let me take a few more bites!"
"Well who is the other salad (pointing at the fridge) for?" she asked.
"That's your Daddy's."
While the noodles cooked I began grilling her about her attitude and how lucky and fortunate she and her brother were to get the things we give them. I explained how many kids will not get Christmas presents. How excited the little girl at school is who gets the clothes she outgrows sometimes. I looked at our tree in the great room and told her that many families won't have a tree. I told her about some of my students who may get to get a toy or two thanks to some people who will help. And here she is with an attitude?
Oh the tears began to fall. At one point she had a look on her face. I felt led to inform her as many moms from the "old skool" have done before me- "I brought you in this world and I will take you out!"
Well she listened and cried. I gave her some tissues and continued with my speech. Her little brother was looking over his little glasses- taking bites from his turkey sub and looking at his sister and I as if it were a tennis match. He didn't mumble a word.
"When you finish eating your noodles I will check your homework, then you can brush your teeth and head for bed."
Before she went to bed she came to me to give me a quick kiss, then put some money in front of the computer along with a small note.
Once she went upstairs to bed I read it:
Dear Mama,
When you told me what the kids were like and how they had to live I felt sorry
for them. So I gave you this . It's my alloence. You have it and get something for
Love you.

It was $1.51

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Saturdays, as I've mentioned, are my "real" cleaning days usually. Well I went up to help our young ones and made a discovery: found about five shirts stuffed in the back of our son's drawer. When I pulled them out he didn't seem too concerned. Looked like his little nostrils flared a bit. Maybe disappointment? There were no words coming from his mouth.
"We need to wash these so you can wear these again. I'd forgotten about them," I smiled as I shook them out.
As I continued helping, I realized that at least two of those shirts he didn't care for.
"The kids are gonna waugh (still trouble with Ls) at me," he told us one morning before school. Kids these days don't know style. The shirt was "Hot" as they say, to me.
Sitting there in the quiet of his partially cleaned room I thought about it. Then I thought about me... back in the day... when I didn't like something I had to wear.
I would mix up a concoction of whatever I could get my hands on in the kitchen and mix it all up and put it on an area of the hated clothing. And hope that it would be bad enough to not come out. Hoped my mom couldn't "Shout" it out. Most times she couldn't. Or I would stain a dress on the Sunday mornings that the "Old Folks" choir was singing. I think they called them the "Seniors". I didn't want to go those Sundays and watch them rock different ways and sing out the hymnals ALL morning. When they would sing, "I'll Fly Away" for the 200th time I was hoping they would really fly away out that prism glass near the organ. Or "Pass Me Not" for the thousandth time- "Please Jesus don't pass them by. Stop and pick 'em up!" Okay I went on a tangent didn't I. Memories. I tell ya!
So I empathized with our son. I decided to wash them and pass two of them on to someone else. Aren't I the best? He's lucky. My mom woulda gave me a 20-minute spill about how little kids in Africa didn't have any clothes and I should appreciate the thick, wooled, turtlenecks she bought me. I would have lost teeth had I informed her that the little African children didn't need the clothes- they were HOT! Like my neck was in those shirts!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

FREE CLEANING! By Any Means Necessary!

Usually my Saturdays are designated as my thorough cleaning days. Not that I don't clean other days too but I do my "heavier" cleaning on Saturday mornings. This also means that all other dwellers in mi casa must get up and clean too. I'm an equal opportunity type person ya know.

Well I slept in instead. I was so tired from the week. It was hard to not do anything.

Well Hallelujah I got some unexpected help from a stranger!

The doorbell rings around 2pm. The kids were out in the backyard playing and Dude ran out for a quick errand.

I went to the door slowly, wondering who it could be and I had on my around the house wardrobe and hair.

It was a male. Looked to be in his early to mid-20s. He was smiling and thankfully was backed up away from the door. As I got closer to the door I noticed he had a spray bottle.

As soon as I opened the door he started with his pitch.

"Hey ma'am who does your windows?" he asked looking at my front windows.

"Well, when they get done, I do them," I responded.

He began spraying them and wiping them down. "Look at that! No streaks or anything."

Before I could comment he knelt down and began spraying the white wood rails near the steps. And the stuff worked well but my eyes were drawn to something else. Smoke.

I noticed that this guy had been puffing on a cigarette! Trying to sell a product and was smoking. On my porch!

"Hey... are you all selling cigarettes too?" I laughed.

He put the cigarette out. On my steps!

He continued on with his spill about the product- Protek or something. Fast talker he tried to be.

"Do you have carpet?" he asked. "Nope! We have hardwoods," I told him thinking that would be it with his show.

"Who cleans your car?" he asked, looking at my van parked in the garage (the door was up).

"My husband. He will be back in a few minutes," I told him.

As I stepped outside to follow him to my van, he continued on explaining how great the product is because it cleans everything. No need to spend money buying myriad cleaning products.

He asked me if I had any stains in my car. I have two young kids- of course I did!

I slid the doors open and showed him the stained carpet.

"Do you have a white rag?" he asked. And I happened to have one right there in the garage. I was happy to get it for him.

He sprayed the first spot and rubbed it and sure enough it came right up. I inspected it. Folded my arms and said, "Well yes but some of those other stains (pointing them out) are a little tougher to get out. They have been there forever and nothing I've tried will get them out."
He sprayed the spots and got them out. By the time he finished my carpet looked like it had been freshly shampooed!
He was excited! And so was I! I was about to get my van cleaned. He moved on to show me how clean it can get the body of the van. Of course I allowed him.

I still wasn't sold. I kept my arms folded- on guard.

"You see those oil stains there (pointing to the garage floor)?"

I nodded.

He sprayed one and it came up with some elbow action behind it.

"Yes but look how hard you had to do that to get it up," I remarked.

I think he rolled his eyes but then sprayed another spot, then stood back and looked at me.

"Well this IS a garage. As you can see we don't really bother with getting up stains from a GARAGE floor. But let me see how the front window looked again."

We walked back. I kicked the cigarette he put out, from my front steps. Then frowned at the bottom or my shoe- just to remind him of his lack of professionalism.
"Now if that stuff can get this window clean without streaks, then it is some good stuff!" I suggested. He seemed reluctant to do it but he sprayed it and wiped really quickly. How I wished I could get my bathroom cleaned. But I do have limits and great sense. I mean this guy did have a cigarette with him. Can't trust him pass my opened garage. It was a nice day so neighbors were out. Finally we had our back-and-forth session: "See ma'am this product will save you money down the road." "How so?" I asked. He explained that it would save me from having to spend $20 or more per month buying cleaning products. "I may spend $5 a month on cleaning supplies," I corrected him. "Well you can save money and time cleaning your own car and the outside of your house if you buy this than if you paid someone to do it for you." I shook my head. "Why would I clean the outside of my house? It is a house! The rain can do that. And my husband cleans our cars with a special product from one of his friends that we get for free." No we don't have a friend with any products but hey- how would he know that?

I let him go through all that-he worked now- and I did not buy a squirt of that stuff. He looked mad too. He did sell some to the sucker- I mean to our neighbor.
"See. Your neighbor got some from me. You are missing out!" the guy yelled later when I saw him next door.
"Hey... I'll just use some of his!" I smiled. And I don't want any cigarettes!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

I Want to Be a Dude!

I want to be a Dude!
They don't have to do much. They get to sit around on Saturdays and watch sports. Then on Sundays they get to watch sports again. They don't have to think about maybe throwing some clothes in the washer and dryer while the games are on. Nope!
They get to talk on the phone to their friends about nothing and surprisingly the friend on the other end- another guy in this case- actually understands. Some kind of guy code.
"Man I'm tellin' you. You know what I'm sayin'?" "Man I was like woahhhh!"
What is that? They can also stay on the phone and talk without anyone interrupting them because we know they cannot talk on a cordless phone and do any other thing.
Oh and they get to do crazy stuff and wonder why they get the responses they get:
While looking in the refrigerator they get to ask, "Honey do we have any milk?"
So when their spouse rolls her eyes and responds, "Hmm... I don't know- check the drawer where we keep the spoons and forks!" They get to mumble, "Here we go. She trippin'."
I mean where else would the MILK be? If it ain't in the fridge where cold things are kept then would that not mean there isn't any? HELLO!!!
They get to speak French at times, "We painted all of this ourselves and We clean the house." But it was a single person doing it.
Oh and Dudes get to come home each day from work and plop on the couch while their spouses come home and put a cape and "S" on and run around and do myriad things.
They also get smiles and kudos when they are out with their own kids. Getting credit for what they are supposed to do. While their wives get weird looks when she is out with the kids at Target just because she has one of the kids in the headlock and the other one in the figure-four because she has had it with them (kids) fighting. I ain't condoning hurting your kids but... I understand.
Dudes don't have to cook but once in a blue moon and when they do they really go all out and make.... HOT DOGS! A real Marshall Stewart!
And guess what? They get to leave the dishes. God forbid they should be expected to wash all the dishes from cooking that meal or, how about this... be expected to put the dishes in the dishwasher. Naw- of course not.
And when it's time to put the kids to bed, if a NFL game is on- the kids on their own with the prayer. "Now I lay me- you can say the rest then cut your lights off and go to sleep!"
Not nare tooth brushed before they go or anything.
I want to be a Dude.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Michael or Michelle

I'd been home about thirty minutes before I noticed. Dude and the kids had been home about an hour before me. Our son noticed about the same time I did.
Michael or Michelle- one of 'em was gone. The kids named one after Michael Jackson when he died and Michelle Obama.
Our son looked stood over top and looked in. He tapped on the glass.
One of the turtles was missing.
How in the world could a turtle be missing from the tank? They were both there that morning when we left. Turtles don't get taken out for walks like dogs.
"One of the turtles is missing!" our son yelled.
I was on the couch. My feet immediately went up. I'm the only one in the house who does NOT handle those little creatures.
The other turtle had been swimming around wildly for a minute. When Dude came downstairs I told him, "I think the other one has been trying to tell us what was up."
Dude turned his lips up at me.
"Hey I don't know what goes on in those tiny heads of theirs," I shrugged my shoulders.
Our daughter came running in all late. She went up to the tank and started talking to the turtle left behind.
She's a turtle whisperer!
So the three of them went off looking for the turtle. I sat right there on the couch and watched Oprah.
After about ten minutes they got flashlights and were looking under couches, behind doors- one of the kids was trying to look under the fridge and stove.
"Um... if Michael can get up under there with that big ole shell he has to carry- then leave him under there," I told them.
"It's MICHELLE!" one of them yelled.
To speed this story up. I sat there laughing because they looked everywhere around the house and could not find the darn thing. The eight-year-old turtle whisperer (can you hear me saying it softly for great effects?) was walking around shaking the container of turtle food. As if the thing would hear it and come out. See what I am dealing with? About an hour later Dude found him- her, whatever. He didn't give up. He was determined to find the little ninja, with that big old camping flashlight. And he did. He looked so happy to have found it too.
"I found it!" he yelled. We all came running out asking, "Where? Where?"
It had managed to crawl back behind some speakers on the floor right up under the television. It was inside its shell. Dude picked it up and was talking to the darn thing like a baby- all in its face. "Whatcha doin'? Just what have you been doin'?"
I rolled my eyes. I almost wished the thang could have coughed at him or something.
"Go on and put it back in the tank. The other one in there is looking like Leftout Lamont," I told him.
I bet it was the same one that has gotten out before. This made the third time we had come home and found a turtle loose.
When he put it back in the tank, it went swimming all frantic. Moving the rocks on the bottom. Yep! It was the same one with the funky attitude problem.
Well this story ain't over. Oh no!
I told Dude to take some water out the tank and lower their floating rock. I think the little smart creature waits until the other one gets up there and basks, then climbs on that one and gets out. I'd love to put up a hidden camera to see what happens. Well I guess it doesn't need to be a hidden camera though. Anywho...Dude didn't listen to me. But do you know what this Dude did?
He took one of those adjustable screens that you put on a window when you don't have screens- on top of the tank. Just laid it up on top of the tank. It ain't the same size or anything. Just laid it up there. Now there is a water filter at the top of the tank too so the screen looks really ridiculous just sitting there. I can't let folks see that!
I'll have to post a picture so people can see what I am having to deal with.
I'm 'bout to be on the show Snapped!

Monday, November 02, 2009

Say Something!

I've had to tell my six-year-old, "umpteen" (my mom used that word a lot when I was younger) times that he weighed almost ten pounds at birth and his sister was almost nine pounds. I mean I'm not gonna have a tiny waist and flat tummy anymore. That area is now referred to as "You two did this!" When I am changing and they make faces.
Well we were watching television and a commercial came on. It was a commercial advertising that product for slimming your stomach and waist areas- kind of like a girdle. Well the little six-year-old with the bad memory immediately looked over at me half-way through the commercial. Before he could say a word, I said, "Say something and I promise you that I will tell all of your little friends that you are afraid of Santa Claus and the Chick-Fil-A cow!"