Tag Archives: School

My Second Chance at the First-Grade Play

My daughter had her first-grade play last night. After what felt like a disaster at my son’s first-grade play, I wanted to make sure this one went smoothly. I took what I learned from my son’s play to make sure my daughter’s was a success…for me.

As the parent of a second child, I sometimes feel mine gets gypped. When all of those first experiences happen with your first child, you run through every extreme of emotions in a way you never thought possible. That first child that you waited forever for? All eyes were on him. The first day of kindergarten? Two weeks worth of tears finally cleared up my battered heart.

When my second child was born, I was breathless. She was a beauty. But I couldn’t help but be concerned about how my son would react. Her first day of kindergarten? Not a tear. I knew what to expect and I held it together. I could be excited with her.

As a second child myself, I never really felt gypped. This gives me hope.

But there are some ways that being the second child is a good thing. Like when I screw up something with my son, I make sure I nail it for my daughter. It’s like having a second chance at my parenting shortcomings.

When my son had his first-grade play two years ago, his teacher instructed us to arrive at 6:30. We did. Everyone and their grandmother and aunt, uncle, and cousin already had a seat in the school’s tiny cafetorium. We had to sit in the very back. During my son’s first, and I’m quite certain last, square-dance performance, I couldn’t see a thing. I even stood up. My daughter kept repeating, “I can’t see.” I couldn’t either. I could only tell my son later what a great job he did, and I couldn’t even be sure.

It had been a miserable evening for me. A late arrival. I had busted the heel of both shoes the moment we arrived and left a trail of rubber crumbs everywhere I went. I feared the entire heel would fall off in one big chunk and walking took extreme caution. I couldn’t see my son in the performance he had talked about for weeks. I fought a huge lump in my throat.

My saving grace was that someone recorded the play and gave me a copy a few weeks later. I never told my son that was the first time I was seeing his performance.

When my daughter performed, I was not going to allow a repeat. We would arrive an hour early for seats up front if we had to. And we did. Third row. We made faces at our daughter. I recorded her speaking part between the heads of the people in front of me. I got to see her every move, every toothless grin.

Finally, I nailed it. And I even wore shoes that didn’t crumble.



Filed under About Mom

Not the Sound of Music

While I initially feared the sound of a dying cat clawing its way up a blackboard, I was relieved at the sound of a more tolerable low, moaning whistle. My son brought home a soprano recorder from school last week. He needs to learn songs as part of a music grade.

Knowing my son, he will diligently practice. Already I’ve heard the choppy notes of “Hot Cross Buns” early in the morning, after school, and before his bedtime stories, but I have to give my son credit for making the effort without any prompting from me.

My son playing a recorder

"Hot cross buns, hot cross buns. One a penny..."

I fear the reason is because anytime my kids get a whistle, kazoo, or flutophone, I firmly instruct them not to blow that thing in the house or anywhere within earshot of me. The sound pierces my ears, and it doesn’t take long for a headache to sink in when my kid’s musical attempt sounds like a torture device stuck on repeat. For years I have confiscated these things at any sign of abuse, meaning one shrill note too many, and stored them high atop our refrigerator with other illegal toys. Having a noisemaker with permission from school means my son can basically huff and puff on it whenever he pleases, all in the name of pass or fail. It’s like they’ve given him their blessing to taunt me.

Well thank you, school system. Thank you for bursts of unhinged melody, constant squeaks, and boring repetition. Two more years of this, I might add.

The bright side? It could have been drums.


Filed under Boy Stories

Who Learned More on the Overnight Trip: the Chaperone or the Kids?

I recently chaperoned a two-night third-grade field trip and lived to tell about it. Previous field trips have left me exhausted and irritable, so I was nervous. Never having experienced an overnight camp as a child, I set out with another mom, our kids, and a carload of more crap than we needed not knowing what to expect. I felt certain we’d get no sleep, I’d be grumpy, the boys would be wild, and it would rain to the point where we’d need canoes to get around. I was wildly mistaken, pleasantly surprised, dry, hot, hungry, tired, and eager to learn.

Here’s a recap:

1. I learned how to read a compass and follow a course through a horse pasture. Each point we found led to another point and so on. Thankfully, we found nothing else.

Thanks to a compass course, at least I know what to do if I get lost in the woods now, or a horse pasture.

2. I learned there are more than 70,000 types of U.S. soil. The kids talked about viscosity, porosity, horizons, and permeability, which is not “when you get a perm,” in case you were wondering.

3. A field of geese is an open invitation to a gaggle of boys who just had to sit quiet and still for 30 minutes and listen to a cool bird presentation. They couldn’t upset the birds being shown inside, but no one said anything about the geese outside, who I’m pretty sure won’t return to that field for a while.

4. I learned that a dark, quiet, blow-up astronomy dome showing the night sky offers a perfect place to catch up on missed sleep. Just be aware when the instructor points the laser in your direction and you’re suddenly in the constellation spotlight.

5. I learned that I can’t sleep to the sound of 11 sleeping bags swishing and plastic mattresses scrunching all night after day one, but after day two, I can sleep through almost anything.

6. When given the option, boys who don’t have their moms with them will not shower for three days, regardless of how sweaty they’ve gotten, how much grass and sand they’ve rolled around in, and whether they splashed around a little too much in the stagnant water in aquatics class.

7. When allowed to go through the dining hall line alone, boys will return with a plate full of carbs, cheese, and not much else. When you point out they could have made a salad with the lettuce, they tell you they didn’t see that.

8. When asked about the coolest thing they’ve ever done, half the kids say going to that camp, fishing for their first time while there, or catching their first fish there. I learned that for some, in their short lives, it was a lifetime experience.

9. Third graders are really smart. They knew answers I didn’t expect them to know and made conclusions I didn’t expect them to connect.

10. During the course of our stay, the parents struggled a bit to keep up, wished for better sleeping accommodations, cursed bathroom stalls that required feats of contortionism to use, and yearned for gourmet food. I didn’t hear the kids whine, fuss, or complain about the heat, the long days with no breaks or snacks, the gross food, or little sleep. For them, it was thrilling hands-on learning outside the classroom.

The camp may have been geared toward kids, but I know I learned a lot.


Filed under About Mom

Field Trip Anxiety: Two Nights, 80 Kids Equals Panic for This Chaperone

A father and I talked on the school playground the other day about an upcoming overnight third-grade field trip we are chaperoning. We both admitted to being a little nervous about it. We’ve both chaperoned field trips before. But as the conversation continued, I realized he had not thought this overnight thing through as much as I had.

I began to talk about kids who may not have ever been away from home before and homesickness and worry about how to get them to sleep.

“Gee, I hadn’t thought about that,” he said.

I talked about how exhausted I am after just a few hours on a regular field trip and what will two nights and three days of constant yammering and nonstop drama and incessant whining do to me?

Then I mentioned that I hoped the stomach bug that was going around didn’t plan a surprise attack in the bunks one night.

His face scrunched up. I’m sure he wanted to run from me.

“I was excited for this trip, but I hadn’t thought about all this,” he said. I think I took a pin and popped the air out of his balloon.

I think too much. There’s no doubt about it. I can think a topic to death. I think about every possible terrible thing that could happen and how I can possibly handle it, and then I’m pleasantly surprised when things go smoothly or things are just boring, as my life so often turns out.

But I must say I was surprised that this father hadn’t thought about these things because being with so many other people’s kids for two nights will be a challenge whether or not anything catastrophic happens.

The last field trip I chaperoned didn't require sleeping bags, just snacks evidently.

Doesn’t he remember what a normal field trip is like? The last field trip I was on, I had five boys in the rain for four hours with no snacks. In the end, I’m not sure who was grumpier, the boys or me. For four hours they griped, whined, complained, and fussed about being hungry. Like zoo animals, I really was not supposed to feed them. My blood sugar was getting low. I get headaches when I don’t eat. I had a snack. But I didn’t have enough to share with five boys and I felt too guilty to eat in front of them. So we trudged through mist and misery. The boys didn’t want to look at the historic buildings or listen to people dressed in colonial garb talk about life with no computers and no TV. They saw corn cakes cooking in the fire and wanted to reach their weak arms over and steal one out of the hot pan. The only respite of the morning: a paper-thin Moravian cookie that made our mouths water more and our stomachs pretty stinkin’ mad.

When lunchtime finally did approach, the boys had only strength enough to mosey across the entire colonial village back to the bus squatting, giggling, and cocking their rears side to side in an all-out potty-talk fest. “Pffft this” and “Pffft that.” “Oh, that was a good one!” I did not have energy or patience for this. My stomach had turned inside out and through a forced smile I begged them to catch up to me, stop that nonsense, and COME ON! My hands were shaking and food was minutes away. No silly boys and their bathroom talk would keep me from my lunch. I was ready to ditch them.

That night, my conscience got the better of me. “I feel bad,” I told my husband. “I kind of yelled at the kids today.” I decided that in the heat of their third-grade foolery, they probably hadn’t noticed or cared.

I hope this trip next week goes smoother, though I’m bracing myself for no sleep, cranky homesick kids, and whatever the days may bring. I’ll sneak snacks if I have to, for my own sanity. And I’m gearing up for lots of fart jokes. Please send happy thoughts my way.


Filed under About Mom

Homework: It’s a Bad Word in My House

Homework may be the word most dreaded by school kids every day, but it’s also one of the most dreaded words by this mom. It ranks up there with lice and vomit, two other words I don’t want my kids to come home from school and tell me about. Though those ailments may have much worse consequences in the short run, homework provides day in, day out gut-wrenching exhaustion in the long run.

Some days my first- and third-grade kids come home, finish homework without so much as a whimper, and scoot out the door like a scene from a 1950s television show. Many other days, though, someone fusses, whines, cries, or screams over homework. Sometimes that someone may even be me. As far as I can tell, no quick remedy exists to cure this homework repulsion. I’ve tried every approach and tactic I can think of, failing miserably in the process and often wanting to crawl under the table myself and join my daughter in a fit of tears. But I hold my head high as long as I can, keep my voice calm, and tell myself that if their teachers can get two dozen kids to do their work each day, surely I can get two through a half hour of skills practice.

When my kids get home from school, they’re tired. They’ve practiced things like subtraction, division, writing complete sentences, and reading comprehension all day. When faced with homework that requires them to do this yet again, sometimes they lose it and they take it out on me. And tears flow. They squirm. They writhe in agony as if some unknown force pulls their limbs in every direction. They collapse in despair, bodies sprawled across the table too weak to hold a broken pencil. They ask for my help and then get mad when I calmly explain the work. They want me to do it for them and get madder still when I don’t comply. They spend 40 minutes fussing about homework and it could have been done in 15. It doesn’t add up. My kids obviously need a refresher in math skills.

Homework, not my favorite time of day. What I've found is that distance helps.

My son and I then argue over whether other parents check their kids’ homework. He says they don’t. I say who cares. He needs to know what he got wrong and why.

Between the storms, we have had success. So what worked best to break out of our writhing, squirming, under-the-table-and-screaming afternoons?

1. Freedom. Letting the kids decide when to do their homework helps. If they don’t want to do it when they walk in the door from school, no problem, as long as they do it before dinner.

2. Location. If they want to do their homework in the kitchen, living room, bedroom, heck, even under the kitchen table or in the bathtub, I really don’t care.

3. Routine. It takes my kids time to get back into the routine once school starts. They come home from school, shove food down their throats, and run upstairs to play before they settle in with their books. If we have somewhere else to be one afternoon, such as soccer practice, I know we’re in for a rough afternoon come homework time because it messes up their routine. We have a routine, even when they choose when to do their homework, and we stick to it as best we can.

4. Time. It simply takes time for my kids to adjust when a new school year starts, not weeks but months. They do a lot in a day and they have to get used to a schedule that requires a lot of them again.

5. Independence. Once my kids were old enough, I let them do their homework alone if they understood it. Then I check it when they finish.

6. Love. I joke about it because humor helps lessen the sting, but when all else fails, a hug gets us all through those really rough times. Sometimes we just need to stop the craziness, sit on the couch, and snuggle and laugh. Refocusing breaks us out of the funk.

I tried other things that didn’t work, such as getting mad and frustrated. My kids tried things too, such as putting down any answer because their teacher doesn’t check that homework. The funny thing is, we’ve all learned lessons. I don’t know how long homework will cause an upheaval in our lives each year and when my kids will just accept it and always do it without a fight. I simply haven’t done my homework on that.


Filed under Everyday Life

Redshirting: Why We Think We Made the Right Decision

It was during this time two years ago that I was really starting to stress. We had to decide whether to send our daughter to kindergarten in the fall or hold her back a year. Her late August birthday meant she would probably be the youngest in her class or the oldest if we held her back. She turned five the day before kindergarten, and we sent her.

For my husband, there was never an issue. He had a late September birthday and he did fine. She would go. For me, every possible outcome needed consideration. Nearly everyone we knew suggested redshirting, a common trend of holding kids back from school a year, giving them what’s considered the gift of time.

My husband and I thought this practice was a bunch of baloney. She could already read. She knew her numbers to 100. And kindergartners spend a lot of time on numbers to 10. And shapes. And lots of other simple things. But there were factors to consider beyond kindergarten. Could holding her back guarantee that she’d get into gifted programs? Or could holding her back eventually backfire? Would boredom cause a child who didn’t feel challenged to act out in class?

Faced with this decision? Do your homework. Know your kid.

My gut told me to send her, but it didn’t keep me from constant worry about whether we were doing the right thing. I spent hours searching and reading about other people’s opinions and experiences online. I could never find much supporting what my gut told me and what my husband already knew: My daughter needed to go to kindergarten. Why hold her back? She was ready.

I found articles stating boys with a birthday of January or later should be held back. Really? My son with a February birthday has never had a problem. Strangers I talked to facing the same issue, even friends who weren’t, looked horrified when I revealed we planned to send our daughter to school on time. I felt a lot of pressure.

People told me that holding her back a year would give her confidence. She’d be the smartest kid in the class. But it felt like cheating.

My husband just always shook his head. “She’s going,” he’d say. And I knew he was right, but I still needed validation.

I worried that if everyone else held their kids back, she would be behind. She would be so young. But in the end, that was really all I worried about. I knew she could do the work. I had to believe in her. Deep down, I knew giving her a chance to show what she is capable of would be best for her. Challenge isn’t a bad thing for kids, and parents shouldn’t be scared of it. Challenge and struggle are different.

Some of the most successful people I know were not the kids who were the best in class. They weren’t the valedictorians or the kids who had it easy in school. They were the middle-of-road kids who learned to work for something. Challenge is good.

Having things come too easily can backfire. Not having to study, not having to work hard at first. I know those are skills you don’t want to learn in high school or college.

I volunteered in my son’s kindergarten classroom every week, so I knew what my daughter would face, and I knew she could do it. I asked teachers about kids with late birthdays and I got mixed answers.

I asked the principal. He said his oldest daughter had a late birthday and they sent her on time. They’ve never regretted it. I could have hugged him. Finally, someone understood. Someone else had guts.

Two years later, my daughter is in first grade and finishes all of her work on time. She follows directions. She behaves, sits still. She understands her work. She tells me everything about her day. She moved up to the highest reading group this year. She is in a class with kids who are a year older than her, and she does just as well as they do. And she’s also not the youngest. Two other girls have birthdays later than her. Sure, it all depends on the kid, but I didn’t do it because of a date and I have no regrets.

In the end, we knew that none of this would stop our daughter from being a doctor or a lawyer if she wants to be. And we decided that her “gift of time” would be better spent at the end of her eighteen years. Instead of an extra year of preschool, because she will be younger than her peers, she can take a year off to travel, to study, to work, to start her life. That is the gift we gave to her.


Filed under Tough Choices

The Lost Note

For three years a note hung on the mirror in my room, bringing a smile to my face every time I saw it. My son wrote the words “I lave you! Mommy,” cut it into the shape of a heart, folded it, and tucked it into my hand one day when I came into his kindergarten class. Now it’s lost. My kids have given me a lot of little notes, but only a few hold special places in my heart. This was the first one I remember getting from my son that choked me up a little. Simple words. But a mom notices the effort put forth to cut it out. At school no less. In kindergarten. When I missed him achingly every single day.

I volunteered in his classroom every week, and when I came in, looking forward to seeing my little boy, he gave me not so much as a nod, a glance, any sort of acknowledgement. It’s a far cry from the tactics I use to remove my daughter from my leg every week in her class and the twenty kisses I must give her before I shuffle out the door. So when he tucked that tiny folded note in my hand that day and I opened it, not only did the words mean a lot, the action spoke volumes.

A small act that meant a lot to this mom.

I came home and promptly displayed the note, where it has been until recently, when I decided to write a blog post about my kids’ writing. I took it down to take a picture. That picture is all I have left. I can’t find the note anywhere. I’ve searched in every stack of papers all over the house—and there are many. I’m afraid it’s gone for good.

I have other notes. My kids’ first writings and first thoughts mean a lot to me. I keep notes and schoolwork from my children tucked away because I love the primitive spelling and the crooked writing and the things they felt important enough to put to paper.

Nothing so perfectly captures the innocence or the way a child speaks than the way she first spells her own thoughts. When I read my daughter’s words, I can hear her talking in that same sweet way.

“My brudr likes pink.” I laugh because my daughter must have felt feisty to write that on her schoolwork, knowing how her brother despises the color. While cleaning my kids’ rooms one day, I came across this neatly spelled note that my son wrote to my daughter: “Would you like to watch Star Wars with me? Love, Han Solo.” I loved that he wouldn’t sign his own name.

A sign on my daughter’s door reads “Club Howse.” An old list of months on her walls says, “Januwiwy, Febuwiwy…” I can’t help but chuckle when I read it.

There will come a time when my children outgrow that cuteness, and as much as I appreciate it now, I look forward to reading what comes from the heart when they’re older. I won’t want it riddled with misspellings then.

But for now, I keep a drawer stuffed with scraps of paper that say “I love you” (a mom can never have enough) and schoolwork containing funny sentences, things they write that mark this moment and this time. And I’m going to keep looking for that heart, even though my son offered to make a new one for me.


Filed under Boy Stories, Everyday Life, I Love Those Darn Kids

A Word About Trophies

Throughout my entire childhood, I earned four trophies. The first I received in kindergarten for being friendliest girl. (It was always my favorite.) The others included one for my seventh-grade class spelling bee, one for softball, and I have no idea what the fourth was for. I’ve long since thrown them out.

I can’t imagine why I got a trophy for softball: maybe for being worst player, maybe for most comedic plays, maybe because I had guts to come back after the debacle from each previous week. Whatever. I was no MVP.

A very busy boy lives here.

My son just earned his twelfth trophy. He will be nine soon. When kids play sports, they automatically get a trophy for participating. We don’t have room for all of these golden figures, let alone the big head our son now has because of them.

Before my son participates in anything, he first wants to know whether he’ll get a trophy. And it’s not his fault. Why do places like the Y give trophies to every kid? Why did parents demand it in the first place? Sure, it’s tough when your kid isn’t the star athlete, doesn’t make lots of baskets, doesn’t score the goals. But I don’t know, does my kid really deserve a trophy for learning a sport, deciding whether he even likes it?

My kid gets so excited to get those golden statues, but I don’t play them up. When he scores a goal, makes his first basket, makes a good play, or has a better game, that’s something to celebrate. I’d be OK with earning a trophy for sticking it out three seasons. It at least teaches patience. And it’s not just him. The other kids who only showed up half the season, they get trophies too.

My son has won awards on his own merit. I tell him those are the ones he should be proud of, not the ones you get for signing up. He placed first in his Scout den and second in his whole pack for the Raingutter Regatta, in which he had to build and design a boat, then on race day use a straw to blow it across a raingutter against competitors. His concentration and technique were solid, no nerves getting in the way. And unlike the other kids, he didn’t chew on his straw, causing slits for all that hot air to pass through.

Recently, the golden gem of all, he won his third-grade class spelling bee. When they announced the bee, I told him he could nail it. He didn’t even care about it. What? This is a kid who can look at a word once and know how to spell it forever. He knows football players’ names and states, just for fun. I pushed him to simply look at the list. He came home a winner…but no trophy.

During round two to determine the school winner, he was up against fourth and fifth graders. I’ve never seen my son work so hard at anything. He studied every night. He made an effort and he pushed himself. All things I feared he wasn’t capable of because he always takes the easiest approach to just getting by without failure. He doesn’t like a challenge.

He didn’t win that spelling bee. He bombed on one word out of a list of 400 words that he practiced all week and ranked in the middle. I told him I couldn’t have been prouder. I’ve watched him stand around on fields with his hands in his pockets and let someone else make the play, and earn a trophy for that. But now I’ve seen him put his best foot forward and not make the win.

Do I need to spell it out for him? This means more than any of those golden trophies.


Filed under Boy Stories, Everyday Life

Boys Will Be Beasts

Some days after school, I let the kids play on the playground with friends. It’s a welcome change from our usual routine of coming home, fighting over who gets in the door first, shoving food into mouths, and rushing outside where I am the coach, referee, shortstop, quarterback, or freezing cold icicle who monitors the kids in the street.

On the playground, I still shiver and freeze, but I learn something as I watch the boys. The playground is much like the wild, where male animals tangle and butt heads to decide a leader or the victor of some great territory. Like them, the boys need to assert their power, find their rank, or prove they can take the hits. Here they learn to tackle, wrestle, and fling each other around like beasts, but they do it with snaggle-toothed smiles, chocolate milk breath, and dimpled giggles.

We parents on the sidelines watch, flinch, and think, “Oh, was that jab all right?” only to see the boys dart away covered in mulch, panting and laughing, and chasing the next boy.

They are wild beasts, a species I don’t fully understand. What is the appeal of having someone throw you to the ground? What makes them beg each other to wrestle and kick the crap out of each other? I keep my eye on things, and I keep a safe distance from these wild creatures.

I do not have the wildest of sons. I trusted him alone with his newborn sister at the age of two and peeked around the corner as he simply read and talked to her. Now when the urge to wrestle strikes before his dad comes home, he begs her to take him on. But he takes whatever pummeling she gives him with giggles and smiles. He knows when to back off. He flinches when a herd of players stampedes his way during a game, but he does his best to keep up with the pack. He doesn’t deliver a wallop of a punch, but he likes the interaction.

Even as a mom whose urge is to protect, I understand boys need that craziness they call play. I’ve read a lot about boys needing to play rough. It’s good for them, even if it’s absurd to me. We parents on the playground sidelines scratch our heads, but we all come to the same conclusion: It’s what the boys seem to need.

Getting physical helps my son release his energy in a positive way. He can be physically close without being mushy. Boys just don’t hold hands or hug a lot the way girls do. He learns not to be too rough with others (though sometimes a punch in my husband’s groin goes too far). And this type of play helps him learn how to read other people: Is he making them mad or are they playing? Being around other beasts his age seems to help him learn the rules of the playground kingdom. Everyone gets to be It. They pick each other up and dust each other off. Then the chase and tackle resumes again.

I’d rather see my son do it with other consenting beasts than with his sister or me. And it sure saves me a lot of bruises.


Filed under Boy Stories, Everyday Life

Confessions of a Germophobe

When you have kids, it happens. Or at least, it happened to me. All that guck spilled forth on you each day. The shriveled-up, days-old food they’d slowly bring to their toddler mouths on gooey fingers. Rubbing their hands over every public surface before wiping their eyes, nose, mouth, and tongue with furious pleasure. It didn’t take long for me to become a germophobe. I’m trying to break free. But I still have many moments. And now that sick season is upon us, my soap sits at the ready.

I know what my kids touch every day. I know it’s good for their immune systems. Still, they don’t need to touch every germ, do they? They don’t need full exposure. Last year my daughter brought home everything from kindergarten. And I mean everything.

Now those are clean hands.

We wash our hands when we come inside from anywhere. I think that’s a sound rule. I hear and see what goes on. Toilets flush and sinks spray on for two seconds. Boogies go in places. In places. Raggedy dolls need to be washed. Hands rub over the bottoms of shoes that step in who knows what. It’s a nasty world out there.

And school? That warm bubble of sweaty kids, crammed into classrooms, sneezing and talking in each other’s faces? I’ve been there in classes where kids have coughed in my face. They go outside and never wash their grubby hands before lunch. I deal. I cringe, but I deal.

But I heard those four little words from my son on the way home from school this week, those words I dread every year.

“So-and-so threw up today.”

Great. Just great.

“And she didn’t even go home.”

Stop. The. Car.

“What?! Why didn’t she go home? She sat in your class all day?”

“Yup.” I think he knew that bothered me a great deal, and I think he liked it.

The interrogation began. As always, I wanted to know if he was anywhere near this vomiter at any point of that day or the days leading up to it. Did she breathe on him? Does she sit at his table? Did anything splash in his direction? (That has happened before…and it involved his lunch tray. Ew.)

Her being a girl means that there is likely no way he had any contact with her whatsoever.

Throw-up scares me. We had held out for seven years. Seven years, people! Until my daughter started kindergarten and brought that nasty bug home to us last year. She suffered for a fraction of our misery. My husband, son, and I were laid out for a weekend while she did nothing but beg us to play with her. I lay motionless and let my husband do almost all of the cleanup. He is great about that. I make an effort, all the while gagging and convulsing like a dog in the yard retching up dinner.

Kids, this is the reason we only put food in our mouths. Not thumbs or boogies. We don’t touch our nasty shoes while we’re eating dinner. We wash our hands for more than two seconds. We don’t pick up strange things off the ground and say, “What’s this?” It’s your ticket to the doctor, that’s what it is. Put that nasty thing down.

I just can’t get over my phobia yet. Sorry. Sick season is here, my soap is ready, and my nagging resumes today.


Filed under Everyday Life