Thursday, August 29, 2013


Yesterday, Connor had an hour long orientation at his new school. I was talking with him later that evening about this experience, when I started questioning him about his teachers.

"What did you think of Julieanne?" I asked.

"She was nice."

"And did you like your other teacher?"

"Yeah. She was kind of shy. I guess that's why she's named Heidi."

Monday, August 26, 2013

Lego Nerdlets

Cara and Connor were playing with Legos in Connor's room. After a short time, they both came out of his room to proudly show us what they had made.

"It's the Tardis," Cara proudly declared.

I asked Connor, "What did you build?"

Since he's got a Master's in Little Brother, of course his answer was "A Tardis Destroyer."

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Teacher Trouble

Next month, Connor will finally be attending the same school as Cara.  While Cara has thought of school as one of her favorite places since she was about 3 (and still does at age 11 1/2), Connor would beg to differ.  Actually, he never begs to differ. He just differs.

As the summer ends and we approach the start of this new school year, I've been wondering how well things will go.  My worry is centered around whether Connor will have a hard time adjusting.

Before I attended the spring parent/teacher conference at Connor's old school, I asked my son what his teacher might say about him.  His thoughtful reply was, "My teacher thinks I'm challenging but actually, I'm the master."

I'm pretty sure my concerns should focus more on the well-being of his teacher.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Headless Loon

Cara and I were out for a walk in her grandparents' neighborhood and we passed by this mailbox. We've seen this thing several times before, but on this particular trip, I decided to verbally point it out by saying "Headless Loon".  

I should mention that Cara was in the midst of talking about her father's current preoccupation with classic cars when I blurted those two words out.  She stopped talking and looked at me quizzically. Assuming that she just didn't hear me, I repeated myself.

"Headless Loon."  An equally perplexed look from my daughter followed.  Again, I persisted, "Headless Loon."

"Okaaaaay," she finally responded and continued her discussion about the antique automobiles.

"Do you even know what I was talking about?" I asked.

"Not really.  When you say things like that, I just assume that it's old people slang that I just don't understand. I thought Headless Loon was code for convertible or something."

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Butt Wipe

My son was not potty-trained until he was 4 years old.  I must confess, I blamed myself for his delay. Arguing with a child about excrement and cleaning up accidents during the learning curve did not sound as easy as changing a diaper.  And I do like easy. But we honestly tried to get him out of diapers and into underwear earlier than he did.  Connor just wasn't going to budge until he was ready. Once we made peace with that fact and stopped forcing, things went fairly smooth. When he was ready, the transition to using the toilet was remarkably quick.

The transition to using the toilet all by himself, however, has taken a bit longer.

This is a boy who gags at the smell of his own pee.  Because of his smell-sensitivity, he became an expert on one-handed toileting.  One hand was used for the unsnapping/unzipping/flushing/etc and the other hand? Firmly holding his nose shut. And when you only have one hand available to you, you often require additional assistance.

Enter Mom, aka, the Butt-Wiper.

I've had this task since the day of his birth. I've become an expert. But just because someone is good at something, doesn't mean they want it as a lifelong career.

Connor and I have had quite a few dialogues about him taking this job over for me. I've discussed the benefits and he's fairly happy with keeping the status quo. When I have dug in and refused, I've gotten very creative responses designed to sway my stance.

He's tried: "When you wipe my butt, it makes me better at it." (Sounds like Craig telling his mom that the sandwiches taste better when she makes them.)

Another time, he started listing off all the times he wiped his own butt. In his whole life. "Once at school, two times at my friend's house, a couple times at home."

Then there was the comedic approach. He sing-songed, "Will you please wipe my buuuuuuut........of the tiger." (That Survivor song will never again be associated with "Rocky" in my home)

He's also tried guilting me into it. "I'm just going to sit here forever," he explained. "Then there's going to be a skeleton on the toilet!"

Connor has finally gotten to the stage where my assistance is rarely needed, though he would prefer that I be reinstated at my previous level of employment. And every now and again I can hear his plugged-nose voice calling "Mooooooom! Could you please wipe my buuuuut?"

Friday, August 9, 2013

Thrift Store Finds

Here are a couple of my favorite things from a visit to the thrift store a few months ago: 

First, this mask.  I believe it was intended as wall art, but how could you not try that thing on? 
The lesser-known Inca God, Flame Boy!
Then there was this thing, found among the cookie jars.  I can't imagine what it could possibly be used for, except to scare small children.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Getting Squirrely

The kids have been getting a kick out of following their grandparents' plight to keep the squirrels out of their garden. Originally, the kids would be alerted by their grandparents to the squirrels' presence. The kids would subsequently run out of the house, arms waving, and yell kidscenities (obscenities for kids) like "Get outta hear, you dang squirrels," until the offender ran away.

Since the yelling and chasing does little more than delay these rodents' inevitable presence in the garden, their grandparents have resorted to using a live trap for the animals. Once a squirrel is trapped, it gets taken on a 15 minute car ride out to the foothills and is relocated and converted from a garden squirrel to a prairie squirrel. Pretty sure there's a bit of a food-gathering learning curve, but these guys are nothing if not resourceful.
He may have gone in the cage a scavenger, but he'll leave the cage a hunter.
It takes a staff of many to relocate a squirrel.
During these squirrel antics, Cara had suggested that we try to shoot the squirrel. "If you shoot a squirrel, are you going to skin it?" I asked, knowing full well that she is not made of the stuff that is required to kill an animal. She quickly replied, "No. I'm going to deep fry it. Duh." 

My Minnesotan daughter, ladies and gentlemen.