Category Archives: kids

Ready Or Not, Here It Comes

It is only by the grace of god and some sort of divine intervention that I write this today without a metal rod protruding from my forehead.

Fourteen kids, two homes without parental supervision and a set of metal lawn darts was all it took for us to dream up a game so terrifying and properly menacing that it would haunt all the participants until the moment they died.

To this DAY, if I hear something coming at me from above my first instinct is to serpentine wildly to avoid being impaled.

People sometimes wonder why colorfully adorned heavy metal projectiles – that were thrown into the air and came down with alarming regularity right into the soft flesh of small children – were ever invented.

Kids will LOVE these! Next let’s release a frisbee covered in razor blades.

I figure it’s the same group who put real chemistry sets and exploding cans of snakes on the market, but that’s a whole other story right there.

Apparently, one day when we were sitting around in our youthful ignorance, the devil decided to come down and make use of idle hands by whispering the location of lawn darts into our ears,  and pointing out to us a place where there was no parental supervision and a six-foot high fence.

“There” coaxed Satan, ” you delightful little rogues must stand on one side of the fence while a ‘chosen one’ (read-the smart one) tosses a lawn dart high into the sky and over the wall, while the others scatter wildly trying to avoid being speared to the ground and sent to the hospital or dying on the spot!’ Now GO!”

With that parting shot, Satan scurried away on his hoofed feet dragging the unfortunate souls who had a contract expire that week, but not before turning to remind us that we should, “make sure to call out when the dart is coming to give them chance, it’s only fair”.

You act like it was UNREASONABLY dangerous. That just wasn’t the case. Lawn darts are VERY popular and those kids were BORED!

At that point he disappeared in a fiery blast of sulphuric acid and yellow smoke, back to his raging inferno in the third circle.

Left to our own devices, our ‘chosen one’ tossed the first projectile of death from the anonymity of his perch behind the fence and high into  the air, announcing in a shrill scream “READY OR NOT, HERE IT COMES!”

Tiny bodies flew everywhere trying furiously to avoid the shiny metal point, our adrenaline pumping so high that we were like scattershot marbles dropped on a smooth surface –  going everywhere fast.

Dart after dart –  red, blue, yellow, red, blue,yellow.

They hit the ground with a loud sickening thud as the business end sunk easily into the cold ground.

I kept imagining both my arms nailed to the ground by two lucky shots and me being unable to get up and run from the kill throw that would be aimed straight for my small skull.

I’m not sure why it took me two rounds of terror roulette before I stepped away to see what the other kids were having for lunch, or maybe it was the sound of the ice cream man coming around the bend. Whatever it was that tore me away, I now consider it an act of divine intervention.

Somewhere, deep in the recesses of the scorched earth netherworld, I’m sure there were a few guys with pitchforks and horns  having a real laugh at my expense.

I think I smell sulphur.



Filed under and NO ONE got killed, blast from the past, danger, divine intervention, games we play, idle hands devils playground, kids, lawn darts, safety, satan

The List

Today was utterly magnificent. The sun shone, the air smelled like blooming flowers and at least four neighbors fired up their grills for the season.
I came dangerously close to beginning what could be considered “spring cleaning” when I ran across this list tucked into the side pocket of a scrapbook on my shelf.
My middle son made it three or four years ago and stapled it together, forgetting about its exsistence entirely.
So since today was a day that was spent primarily chasing other pursuits I’d like to post it to spread the impish glee that clearly went into making it.
I’ll interpret for you as his handwriting looked as if a crooked chicken with arthritic claws helped him get it on paper.

There is no way you can skydive while mommy is still alive

 Things I want to do before I die. 

1. hug Obama

2. kiss a dolphin

3. Go to top of Empire State building (take stairs)

4. punch Chuck Norris

5. Find out how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie pop

6. Lean on the leaning tower of Pisa

7. See all USA state licence plates

8. collect all USA quarters

9. Sit in the back of a Nascar racecar during a race

10. drive a Zamboni

11. jump on a tempurpedic mattress and make a wine glass spill

12. fly on the zero gravity plane

13. SKYDIVE!!!!

14. sleep on the ground (outside)

15. sit on the roof of a moving car

16. make a wig of body hair

17. have 25 mice pets in one cage

18. get my name on a video game, billboard, book etc.

19. ride on an angry bull

20. pet a lion


Filed under kids, middle son, to do lists

We’re Making Plans For Nigel


At some point I’m going to get a phone call from various defunct 80’s bands demanding some sort of restitution for all the titles I’ve stolen after a morning listening to Sirius XM’s First Wave.

I like to use the drive back from drop off to think about what needs to be done during the day and to formulate a plan of attack for whatever bizarre circumstances or unforseen disasters will fall in my lap thanks to my smallest child.

You see, despite the best laid plans and extensive help from all the most expensive professionals he still has some issues that prevent him from being ready for prime time.

Like the Saturday Night Live players but with less parody and more physical pratfalls.

So here I am, the grown up, struggling to hack my way through the thick brush surrounding the path back to normality for this kid.

Never have I been so confounded by another human being.

I lie in wait for the ramifications of each decision I’ve made on his behalf  dreading the large casualty laden explosion that is clearly imminent. Nothing is clear-cut and never have the stakes been so high.

Imagine if laid before you are a deck of a thousand cards and you must pick five or six to determine the path that someone takes at various important crossroads in their life.

Now take a look at the possible outcomes.

Steven Hawking or the Unibomber.

Churchill or Mussolini.

Yes, perhaps I’m exaggerating his potential but his propensity for extremes is legendary and being in his service for these long five years has taken its toll on the staff here.

It would be accurate to say we live in fear.

Fear of the next step.

Fear that the wrong choice will cause everything to go up in flames (don’t laugh, it’s happened)

Usually I have these things set up far in advance of the actual decision-making event but I happen to be in the middle of a long period of wait and see fence-sitting that’s really starting to hurt my ass.

And so, as I perch here and think about making plans for Nigel I’m still frozen with doubt and remorse over things I’ve not even done yet.


Filed under adhd, am I doing anything right?, average is so much easier, bad parenting, behavior problems in kids, better skills, boys with serious attitude, can I have a normal day, crazy ramblings, delinquints, difficult child, difficult kids, discipline, failure, fight or flight response, foul language in preschool, four year old love, getting it together, here we go, I have 3, I have HOW many kids?, I'm not as effective in a bad situation as I thought I would be, I'm all over the map, il duce is five, It's embarassing when you suck at something, keep the expectations low okay?, kids, kids and parenting, kids that don't fit the mold, kids that like cursewords, kids with warped minds, kindergarten options

Monday Morning Report

Time 7:45 am.
Place Washington DC, interior of my car.

Child 1: What’s that you’ve got going on there?

Me: What, where?

Child 1: Your outfit.

Me: *Vacant expression*

Me: Oh look, there’s a black cat. He just crossed RIGHT in front of the car. I’d watch yourselves today. Don’t do any heavy lifting or risky maneuvers.

Child 1: Mom, seriously.

Me: What? You know kids (*insert meaningful speech about not being so hung up about what other people think because we all know what really matters is that we are pretty and put together on the INSIDE*)

Child 1: *snaps fingers in front of my face* Uh mom?

Me: Yes?

Child 1: You do have to care a LITTLE bit.

Me: *looking down at self* Point taken.

I thought back to last year when I made a solemn promise to take stock, reassess and re-evaluate my wardrobe choices. I vowed to stop wearing my now mysteriously missing Snuggie to greet the UPS and mailman AND almost managed to throw out the terry cloth pants like item that defies description.

They are neither shorts nor pants but have wandered dangerously close to coolat territory with a chance at being capris if I wear them slung very low around my hips.

I got a thumbs down with that attempt.

There is also the matter of the tan granny sweater that goes over every outfit and the red shirt.

Today I added a splash of green for all you fashion forward folks. Drink it in.

The red shirt is the bain of my husband’s exsistence.

He hates it.

Has even threatened to steal and burn it.

I don’t know why he feels SO strongly about it but he does.
It feels like a little slice of heaven when I put it on my body.

Today I am wearing ALL THREE together.

The granny sweater over the red shirt and the terry cloth pantaloony, Capri, coolats I had on earlier.
I traded them in for gap khakis because it’s cold as shit here this morning.


Filed under bad wardrobe choices, don't make me throw out the red shirt, I embarass my kids, i swear coolat is a real item of clothing, kids, kids and parenting, mediocrity, my husband told me not to buy these, pants, parenting, parenting badly, try to do better

I Suspect the Kids Might Actually Be Doing These Things On Purpose


Probably the last thing I'll ever see.

Sometimes I get the unnerving feeling that my kids are out to get me.

Not the usual my kids are sucking the marrow from my bones and I have not one iota of energy or sense of self left to keep me alive type of getting me.

This is malice aforethought.

I’ll site you some random examples from the last few days.

1) When a pollster for Adrian Fenty arrived at my door to ask me if he could count on my support during the upcoming election, I felt a gentle shove from behind pushing me over the threshold onto the front porch. Then I heard the distinct dreaded sound of the door locking behind me. No matter how hard I smashed on the windows or how loud I screamed, I wasn’t getting in.

2) They spent the better part of an hour-long road trip  throwing dangerous projectiles inside the car. Several times I thought they had enough velocity to smash out the front windshield. After a dressing down they decided to make the sound of the little boy from The Grudge for the rest of the ride fraying what was left of my two very unstable nerves.

3) My boys were playing whack a mole with bowling pins and various household objects until we refocused them on something less destructive where they sent a small furry stuffed animal back and forth on the floor. Much better right?


They decided this furry mammal was a beaver and kept smashing it with the bowling pins screaming “BEAVER SHOT!” at the top of their lungs. My husband and I were paralyzed with fear unsure if we were being baited or if it really was an innocent mistake.


Filed under afternoon time wasters, am I doing anything right?, bad parenting, I don't know how to end a blog post, i don't like mondays, I have 3, i love kids, I REALLY DO, il duce is five, interesting things I saw today, kids, kids and parenting, kids growing up, kids that don't fit the mold, kids that like cursewords, kids with potty mouth, monday blahs

Things are Not as They Appear.

This Sunday I had myself a true Judas Iscariot moment.

I denied knowing my own children at the grocery store.

Then I stopped after reading that last line and asked myself  “Hey girl who spent her whole life chained to a pew in parochial school! WHO was it now that denied Jesus three times?” “Why YES you moron that would be Peter.”

Judas sounds so much more theatrical though, so I’m keeping it even thought it is not historically accurate.

While waiting patiently in the checkout line my two boys began to act a little squirrely.

They were redirected to the front of the store near the exits brought there by my beleaguered mother who was lacking her usual sharp tongue and was hanging there like a limp dishrag due to a debilitating migraine.

 This means that the boys were running in circles, screaming about having a girlfriend, punching each other, jumping off the bench my mother was passing out on, smashing the video machine with the dollar rentals and accosting the automatic lotto dispenser.

Two über uptight couples with pursed thin lips were starting to shake their heads in disbelief and exchanging disgusted looks with each other at the volume and sheer audacity of the two unruly boys and their comatose caretaker.

“So rude and disrespectful” noted one.

“Why isn’t she doing anything to control them?” asked the other.

Then Il Duce let loose with a rank profanity followed by a roaring hysterical cackle and I watched them gasp with horror.

They were truly disgusted.

“CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?!” they croaked, looking at me.

I thought for a moment. There were thousands of ways I could go here but I opted for betrayal.

“I know!” I commiserated, as I lugged the rest of my fresh produce onto the belt.

I didn’t feel nearly as bad as I know I should have but it was just so much easier to cut and run regarding knowing this lot than to try to explain them to someone who wouldn’t care.

After scooping my mother up off the bench and driving her back home so she could suffer her mind exploding agony alone on her couch I spoke briefly to the boys about minding their behavior in public. But my pleas fell on deaf ears as they were both fast asleep in the back.


Filed under 1, adversity, am I doing anything right?, bad manners, bad parenting, being shallow and crass, boys with serious attitude, buffoonery, can I have a normal day, cowards, crazy ramblings, disasters, discipline, giving up, I complain too much, I don't know how to end a blog post, i don't like mondays, i love kids, I REALLY DO, I'm not as effective in a bad situation as I thought I would be, kids, kids and parenting, kids that like cursewords, random observations

Child With the Annoying Voice

It's true!

Everybody loves kids right?

 I mean they are sweet, innocent , endearing and wonderous.

Only a  terminal asshole would fail to see the beauty in every precious little moment and treasure it.


Except…what is that sound?

The nasal caterwauling that sounds like a combination of someone shaking an injured hawk and declawing a cat?

 Is that even human?

Is that……….a child’s voice?

Okay, strike me down now but it was unbearable. I kept having to wrinkle my forehead (something my derm has told me in no uncertain terms NOT to do to remain youthful) and squint my eyes to ward it off.

 Why I wasn’t covering my ears instead remains a mystery but I found myself temporarily confused and upset at the sound with no proper ideas on how to make it stop.

After recovering from being completely askew I took a moment to marvel at what an oddity it was.

Sickly sweet with cold metallic elements that grated on your nerves like steel on a chalkboard.

I kept tossing furtive glances over at the roll of duct tape I keep handy for emergencies but thought about that lawsuit and subsequent human element piece that would appear on later during the trial.

The tale of the  horrible woman who taped the mouth of a small child while others watched.

That is just not how I want to be remembered people.


Filed under 1, bad manners, bad moods, bad parenting, being shallow and crass, crazy ramblings, I complain too much, I don't know how to end a blog post, I have 3, I shouldn't be so cranky, I'll try to be nicer, kids, kids and parenting, kids voices, random observations