Your Days Are Numbered, Kiddo

, , , , , | Related | July 21, 2020

After I have been given an iPad as a gift, my husband needs the passcode for it. My son is twenty.

Son: “Mum, Dad wants the passcode that you chose for the IPad.”

He gives me no time to answer before he laughs.

Son: “I bet you forgot what it is; I told you not to choose a number too hard to remember. Hey, Dad, she’s probably forgotten.”

I was coming to them as I wasn’t going to yell the code across the house, and I prattle off a six-digit number when I enter the room.

Son: “What was that again?”

I repeat the number.

Son: “How can you remember a ridiculous number like that? What do you think, Dad?”

Husband: “I don’t know. It must mean something to her; no idea what, though.”

I slowly repeat the number and add two more numbers to the end.

Son: “That’s eight numbers; we only need six.”

Husband: “Who knows what goes on in your mother’s head?”

I roll my eyes and talk even slower, adding two more numbers this time to the beginning of the number.

Me: “Zero… Two… [the rest of numbers].”

Son: “What’s that supposed to mean?”

Husband: *finally catching on* “Um… It’s our house phone number. Better be quiet now before she hits us with something.”

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As Simple As Black And Not Black

, , , , , , , | Related | July 16, 2020

My daughter and I are at a zoo with her friend from swimming lessons and her friend’s mom. My daughter, despite being almost four and otherwise neurotypical, barely ever talks. She’s in speech therapy, but it’s rare to hear more than one- or two-word phrases from her. Also relevant to the story is that she is white and her friend is black.

After a fun day at the zoo, we start heading back to our cards. As we exit to the parking lot, my daughter suddenly starts pointing at her friend, exclaiming, “Black! Black!” over and over.

Confused and embarrassed, I assure her friend’s mom that we never say anything like, “Let’s go play with your black friend!” or point out the difference in skin color; it doesn’t matter to pre-schoolers, so why would we make a big deal out of it? Her friend’s mother assures me that she has no reason to believe our family is racist, although she’s as baffled as I am. Meanwhile, my daughter keeps pointing at her friend and yelling, “Black!” 

After what seems like forever, we get to our cars, parked next to each other, and start getting ready to go. My daughter points to her booster seat and then to her friend’s car. “Black!” Then she signs, “Please.”

The friend’s car is black. Ours isn’t.

She was asking, with her limited speech, if she could ride home with her friend in her car!

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Mom May Not Mind The Stains, But What About Fido?

, , , , , | Friendly | July 15, 2020

It is my mother’s fiftieth birthday and she has invited not only her friends but also my best friend of twenty-two years and her four-year-old daughter who I consider my niece.

Despite our long friendship, my friend hasn’t been around my mom since becoming a mom herself and still worries if things are “okay or not,” despite my assurances that the toddler is welcome. 

In this case, we are all sitting on a patio surrounded by woodchips and rocks enjoying lunch. My niece is playing with a number of toys provided by my mom and decides to grab a nearby towel from another corner of the patio, bring it over, and sit on it while she eats strawberries.

My friend sees that the towel is white and blue.

Friend: “Oh, gosh, she might stain that! Should I move her?”

I turn to my mother and speak in a deadpan tone.

Me: “Hey, Mom, [Niece] is on the towel eating strawberries; should [Friend] move her to prevent stains?

Mom: *To my friend* “It’s fine; just leave her. I’ve survived four kids, two grandsons—”

Me: “—running two daycares—”

Mom: “—and there is nothing that child could do or destroy that can’t be fixed or replaced. She’s absolutely fine doing what she’s doing.”

Friend: *Realizing she is not kidding* “Oh, okay, thank you.”

Mom: “Besides, that towel is usually for keeping the dogs from burning their feet on the cement. It’ll see worse.”

That made my friend laugh and visibly relax for the rest of the day as she finally accepted that, in my mother’s house, we really do live by the motto, “Things can be replaced and kids bounce, so it’s all good.”

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“Easy Assembly”… Riiiiight… 

, , , , , | Related | July 12, 2020

After years of offering to upgrade the furniture in my son’s room, he and his girlfriend finally decide to go to a popular Swedish build-your-own furniture store with my blessing to pick out a new piece of furniture to replace the ancient, decaying futon couch that he and his girlfriend sleep on.

This is the first piece of furniture that he has ever picked out completely on his own. I help them clear out the old futon and leave them to put the new one together.

Me: “Do you guys need anything else?”

My son speaks with an abundance of confidence.

Son: “No, we got it. This should go quickly!”

Two hours later, my son sticks his head into my office where I am holding office hours with my engineering design students.

Son: “Can you please ask them to design self-assembling furniture?”

It took them about four hours to put that thing together in a fairly warm room, and in the process, my son developed a new appreciation for all the furniture my husband and I assembled over the years. Pretty sure they slept well that night!

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Dawn Of The Dead (Once Mom Gets Through With You)

, , , , , | Related | July 3, 2020

My brother is about five years older than me and very smart, and, for most of my young life, I was his little minion. Needless to say, we could be complete terrors to our parents at times. This is one such incident; I am around five or six and my brother is ten or eleven.

We’re playing in the backyard and notice that our dog has created a rather sizable crater. It’s large enough to say, fit a small child. I lie in it to check the fit and we get a couple of shovels to expand it when it’s not quite big enough. Then, I lie down in the hole and my brother puts a piece of plywood over me, asking me to push up on it to make sure I can escape easily. With a hollowed-out dog bone by my head as a snorkel and a thin layer of dirt on top, our trap is set, and my brother goes inside to find Mom.

Brother: *Excitedly* “Mom! Try to find [My Name]!”

I hear Mom walk around for a few moments.

Mom: “I don’t see her.”

Brother: “She’s here. Look harder!”

Mom: “Is she hiding?”

Brother: “Yep!”

I hear some slightly more frantic footsteps.

Mom: *Getting hysterical* “[Brother], where is your sister?!”

Brother: *Gleefully* “I buried her!”

Mom: “YOU WHAT?!”

Taking my cue, I sat up, pushing the dirt and plywood off of me like a zombie rising from the grave, to the gobsmacked shock of our mother.

I don’t remember what punishment we received for our little prank, but I think it involved a spoon and a promise from both of us to never entomb our sibling again.

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