Mad About Madeline

, , , , , , | Related | November 15, 2017

(A father and daughter walk into the library with an armful of books.)

Father: “Hi. You accept donations, right?”

Me: “Sure, as long as they are in good condition and are not textbooks or phone books.”

(I go through the small stack, sorting them into children’s, adult fiction, etc, as well as pulling out a tablet case.)

Father: “You can just sell that or something.”

Me: “Sure.”

Me: *jokingly to the daughter as I pull a Madeline picture book out of the stack* “Are you sure you wanted to give this to us?”

Daughter: *alarmed* “NO! Nobody said we were going to give this to you!”

(She grabbed it from my hand and bolted for the doors. I apologized to her father, waited until they were out of sight, and only then began laughing.)

Mustard All Your Strength To Not Be Mad

, , , , , , , , | Related | November 15, 2017

(My eighteen-month-old son has found out about how doors open. He loves to slam the garage door, and he likes to hold the refrigerator door open. He glares at me whenever I close it, usually a few seconds later, as I like to follow him when he’s headed to the kitchen. One day, I ask his sister to keep her eye on him while I run to the bathroom, but I don’t say anything about following him around to prevent mischief. When I finish in the bathroom, I go into the kitchen to grab something super quick, because I assume the kids are in their playroom, but I find my son in the kitchen with the fridge open. He’s sitting in the middle of what looks like a tiny yellow island, grinning from ear to ear, squeezing mustard out of its container. He looks at me and starts drinking the mustard.)

Me: “[Son]! Mustard is not a drink!”

Son: *stops squeezing the mustard container, and looks at me* “But it’s good, Mama!”

Me: “You may like it, but I don’t think the floor likes it very much.”

(My daughter hears the commotion, and runs out of the playroom.)

Daughter: “Uh… What? Oh, Mommy, he was playing and then I didn’t see him. I thought he was in the tent playing sleepy night-night time.”

Me: “That… That’s not a game. Please help me clean this. And remind me to text Daddy to tell him we need a fridge lock.”

(After cleaning the mess thoroughly, and bathing my son, I sent a text to my husband asking him to pick up a fridge lock on his way home, and I installed it that night. Seven years later, we still tease our son that mustard is not a drink.)


Special Friends Forever

, , , , , , , | Learning | November 13, 2017

(In fourth grade I move to a new school. On my first day of school, a group of girls comes up to me and claims me as their friend. I become really good friends with one of the girls, and the rest are fun to play with at recess. Some of the girls aren’t as smart as I am, and one is missing a leg. All of them have another class that they go to for part of the day, but being nine, I don’t really think much of it. This happens in sixth grade: My teacher has asked me to stay behind so she can talk to me before I go to recess.)

Teacher: “[My Name], I see that you’ve been playing with [Friends #1, #2, and #3]. You shouldn’t be playing with them; we will find you new friends.”

Me: “But I like my friends, and all the other kids in class are mean or are into things I’m not interested in.”

Teacher: “Well, if you stop being friends with those girls, then people wouldn’t be mean to you.”

Me: “But my friends are friends with me, no matter who I hang out with. Why should I be friends with people who don’t like me because of who I am friends with?”

Teacher: “[My Name], those girls are Day School children and you’re not. You are one of the brightest students I have, and you shouldn’t be playing with them.”

Me: *looking at my teacher in confusion* “But [Teacher], I’m a child and I go to school during the day. What am I, if not a day school child?”

Teacher: *pauses* “Just go outside and try to make new friends.”

(It took me a while to work out that “day school children” meant kids who were in special ed. By the end of seventh grade, I was no longer friends with most of the girls that I was friends with in fourth grade. Some had changed schools, and some had just drifted naturally into different groups. I’m glad I never took my teacher’s advice to abandon a group of people who had welcomed me with open arms just because my teacher thought they were different than me. I’m now in my 30s and still count one of those girls as one of my closest friends.)

Clowning Around With Your Grandsons

, , , , , | Related | November 6, 2017

(My son is dropping his sons off at our house right after I have thrown a handful of vividly-colored pom-poms onto the sidewalk for the cats to play with.)

Grandson #1: “What happened?”

Me: “Oh. A clown exploded.”

([Grandson #2] stares with huge eyes.)

Grandson #1: *who has been around long enough to get used to my sense of humor* “Why was a clown here?”

Sexism Is A Girl Thing

, , , , , , , | Related | November 1, 2017

My grandsons have picked up some sexist ideas at school, that girls don’t like or know about video games, anime, superheroes, and certain movies. They are always amazed when I, their grandmother, can talk about those topics.

I thought we were getting away from the sexism they picked up until about a week ago when they were playing a game to guess songs from movies, TV shows, and video games.

The younger one couldn’t recognize the song. The older one held his phone toward me and asked me to guess. It only took a few notes before I said, “Original ‘Jurassic Park.’ End. Helicopter. Pelicans flying by.”

The older turned to the younger and said, “See?! Even Grandma knew it!”

Gee, thanks, kid. We’re going to be having a serious talk soon.

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