When Mom Has The Fin-al Word

, , , , , , | Related | October 28, 2018

When I was ten years old, my parents decided we were going to the beach the following weekend. Mom and I went shopping for toys to take with us and I wound up getting my first ever boogie board. I’d seen other kids use them at the beach on a previous trip and I was super excited to finally have one of my own.

We got to the beach, set up our spots, and I hit the water, paddling on my brand-new boogie board. In my excitement, I wound up going further than I normally would and turned back to the shore where Mom was, to see how far out I had gotten. It turns out I was far enough to not to be able to hear Mom yelling at me, but close enough to make out what she was doing. I saw her waving at me. I waved back, thinking Mom was saying, “Hi.” She kept waving, and so did I; I wasn’t a very bright ten-year-old, apparently.

Then she pointed in my direction.  

I turned around to see a series of fins circling behind me. I knew what that meant, and swam as fast as I could back to shore.

Time Out Is Preferable

, , , , | Related | October 27, 2018

(I have asked my four- and two-year-old children to clean up their toys in the family room. My two-year-old repeatedly refuses to help clean up, so I send her to her room. When she comes back out, this exchange happens.)

Me: “Hi, [Daughter]. Are you ready to help your brother clean up?”

Daughter: *pauses, and shakes her head* “No. Room.”

(She put herself back in time out again. I made sure she helped next time she came out.)

Following The Word Of The Law

, , , , , | Related | October 26, 2018

When I was in middle school, I was watching a TV show with my dad. It had Penn and Teller in it and had some rough language, but I found it funny and begged to watch it with him. My mom has always felt strongly about that kind of language, so she was less than pleased.

Eventually a line came up that included the words, “litigious motherf*****s,” and my mom put her foot down. I tried to insist that I wasn’t learning any new words from the show, so it wasn’t a big deal. My dad turned to me and asked, “What does ‘litigious’ mean?”

I didn’t know. I didn’t get to watch the show anymore.

When Six Doors Close, Another One Opens

, , , , , | Related | October 26, 2018

My parents’ front door was damaged, and now lets out a loud screech when you open it, and has to be slammed shut to close it. Dad is retired, and my mom asks him to fix it. He keeps procrastinating, and this makes my mom upset. The door is on the opposite side of their bed and he wakes her up when he comes and goes after she’s gone to bed. She tries to fix it herself or to hire someone, but this results in fights as Dad thinks it should only be his responsibility. He tells her to just wear earplugs and deal with the noise in the meantime.

It’s been broken and a point of contention for over a year when the water main at my house needs to be repaired. My parents let my family stay with them for a week while it’s repaired.

The first night we are there, I have to do a midnight store run for a forgotten toiletry. I come back in, slamming the door, and hear my dad grumbling about it, waking him up.  

The next morning, I leave for work at five am. My husband gets the kids up and breakfasted, then leaves to take the youngest two to school at seven. A half hour later, my sister comes by to pick up my oldest child for school. Then, my husband comes back to finish getting ready for work. After he leaves again, my mom leaves for work. With each one, a slam of the door.

I return home from work that night to find my dad grumbling and repairing the door. Apparently, he didn’t get a wink of sleep that night, and couldn’t imagine dealing with a whole week of it!

When It’s A Steal, Not A Bargain

, , , , | Related | October 26, 2018

(We are out at a family dinner, and we happen to be near my uncle’s office. He is reminiscing about a sandwich shop he used to visit for lunches.)

Uncle: “They used to have the best bread! Used to have a salad bar, too; I’d use the cucumber slices and make the plate bigger, get twice as much salad. You do that, and get a water glass and fill it with soda, and it’d be a good meal. They used to give out those punch cards, you know, to buy four sandwiches and get the fifth free? I’d take them off my coworkers’ trays and just copy the other punches to fill out the cards. It was such good food. I wonder why they went out of business?”

Cousin: “Because of theft, probably.”

Uncle: “They were robbed? When?”

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