children, humor, kids, motherhood, parenting

Dramatic Effect

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I don’t enjoy being one of those moms who focuses on their children’s academic achievements.  I try very hard to stay in my own lane and thankfully, my boys seem to have a handle on their academics.  However, I have an Achilles heel:

Full Speed’s math grade

He sailed along until fifth grade.  Then he came to an abrupt halt, adjusted his sails and kept going.  Same deal in sixth grade, he had a bit of a rough start, the teacher intervened and then all was well.  In fact so well, he got into honors Algebra for his seventh grade year.  I thought that meant he had the chops to handle it.  And he mostly does, but sometimes, he just doesn’t.  Where I struggle is that my intuition screams loudly that it isn’t a lack of ability, it is a lack of effort.  Can I get an amen?

Regardless, after a very up and down 1st-3rd grading periods, Full Speed managed to harrowingly acquire a ‘good’ grade thus far.  As Full Speed gets set to head into the fourth and final grading period for honors Algebra, I asked him if he would consider putting in his maximum effort upfront as opposed to the rollercoaster performance in which he seems to gravitate towards. His reply?

“Where’s the drama in that?”

 

 

 

Chicago Cubs, children, humor, kids, motherhood

No Lie

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T.Puzzle has to write a speech to be performed in front of his class.   Thankfully, like his brother before him, he is fairly at ease with public speaking so this is not the challenge.  The challenge is coming up with a topic.  No lie, these are the highlights from the actual list we generated.  The ones in bold are my ideas, the ones in italics are T.Puzzle’s:

  •  Adopting our rescue dog
  • T.Puzzle’s first visit to Wrigley Field
  • The Olympics, I only like events where crashing happens
  • The Making of a Lego World
  • Cows, observe the cows
  • How to be a smart mouth to your mother and how this leads to success (or not, most definitely, not!)
  • Food
  • Cheeseburgers: why are you so delicious?
  • Origins of Fortune Cookies and the top five I would create: #1. Alive today, dead tomorrow 
  • This last one is all Full Speed’s idea: The challenges of having an older brother who is a track star

Like you, I am on the edge of my seat waiting for how this all unfolds.

humor, kids, motherhood

On Track for Stardom (Part Two)

 

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In our house, along with running (get it?) jokes about Full Speed’s dynamic track prospects, T.Puzzle is known to regularly shoot barbs at Full Speed.  While these jabs are humorous and a natural part of any sibling relationship, sometimes, it’s too much.  This is where Mad Dog or myself step in and talk to him about being respectful and all the other parent-y things one says in this situation.  So, when Mad Dog and Full Speed returned from another track meet, I put the kibosh on T.Puzzle’s comments.  We were about to watch a video of Full Speed’s 4×800 and I didn’t want any disrespectful comments flying about.  Full Speed is trying and that’s all we should focus on.

That is, until I couldn’t.

As I watched Full Speed lope around the bend of that first curve of track, I wasn’t sure if Mad Dog had accidentally set his phone to slow-motion speed.  My brain couldn’t comprehend what it was seeing and in combination with Full Speed’s pithy commentary, I lost my mind.

I could not stop laughing for the life of me. I tried, I really tried, but the more footage I watched, the more tickled I became.

Eventually, he was the only one in the frame shot and if we kidded ourselves a bit, it looked as if he was a lone runner cruising to first place.  This made us all laugh even more.

Mad Dog explained if I thought this seemed rather slow, imagine his surprise when at a previous meet he watched Full Speed crawl to an even slower pace in the 4 x 400.  How was it possible he had to run an entire lap less, but was almost doubly slow?  Turns out he was misinformed and thought he was really running the 4 x 800.

He was conserving energy for a nonexistent second lap!

P.S. – Full Speed shaved 20 seconds off his time at last night’s track meet.  While realistic in his capabilities, he is determined and improving. 

If he keeps this up track won’t be funny anymore.  

I’m game if you are, Full Speed.

family, humor, kids, motherhood

The Yeti

Full Speed and I were returning from our nearby Chinese restaurant with takeout in tow.  We were having a serious discussion about appreciating diverse perspectives in life.  I wanted to reiterate to him the goal isn’t having everyone agree (impossible!), but rather respecting others’ viewpoints.  If we keep an open mind, we might learn something.

He agreed wholeheartedly.  He thought a world of sameness would be boring.

Then, he went on to talk about the merits of differences.  He said, “Take for example you and Dad.  If you both were the same, we’d never leave the house.”

What?!?

Maybe it didn’t help this was the first time I had ever been to the aforementioned Chinese restaurant.  It had been open for months.  I relied on Mad Dog to get the takeout each Sunday evening as part of tradition.  You can pretty much guarantee I was waiting at home already in my pajamas.  The cashier and other workers were astonished at my presence.  Where was my husband?

It’s possible in my homebody glory, I may overdo it.  However, I step up when Mad Dog travels and I said as much to Full Speed.

“That’s true, Mom.  You at least have to go out and get groceries.”

I replied rather sheepishly, “Not really.  You know I’d just have them delivered!”

Then, it dawned on me.  I’m like the Yeti.

Mysterious and elusive.

Try and catch me.

 

The Yeti

children, family, humor, kids, motherhood

How Do You Spell Amazing?

As a mom I wear many hats.  Personally, my favorite is a Cubs baseball cap, but here are a few others that I inhabit:

– Chinese leftover reheater

-Dog walker and trainer (the latter may be easily disproved in a court of law or more likely, upon meeting our wildly energetic adopted dog, let’s just say, girl gets by on her looks…a lot).

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-Extremely empathetic validator of the universe’s feelings

-Housekeeper

-Wife extraordinaire

-Friend, mother, writer, sister ….and the list goes on and on.

Now the hat that many don’t know about and that I keep a closely guarded secret is…

-Spelling bee prep consultant

I have a track record of helping one young man place second in the whole county….

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Cool trophy, right?

Anyway, given my illustrious track record, it only makes sense now that this young man’s  brother is going to compete at his school’s spelling bee, he would reach out to an elite spelling instructor such as myself.  So, that’s where we are at.  I am now helping T.Puzzle prepare for his grade school spelling bee.  Truly, the only special skills I am bringing to the table are the ability to read words from a list (out loud, no less!) and patience.  I don’t mind the sometimes repetitive process as long as my spelling padawan is focused.  So far, T.Puzzle has that in spades.  Here is a recent example of the elite-type of training that I offer.

Me: “Icelandic”

T.Puzzle: “I-C-E-L-A-N-D-I-C”

Me: “Correct” (as in, he is correct, not please spell correct, I think you get the idea, so let’s move on to a word in which more elite spelling instructing is needed for clarification)

Me: “Pesky”

T.Puzzle:  “Use it in a sentence, please.” (he didn’t really say please, I just added it in for my own creative spin as moms-who-love-manners are wont to do)

Me: “Little brothers are pesky to their older brothers.” (see what I did there?  I made it relatable to my subject…genius).

T.Puzzle:  “P-E-S-K-Y”

Me: “Correct”

Me: “Annoying”

T.Puzzle: “F-U-L-L  S-P-E-E-D”

Apparently, I have my work cut out for me.

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Good luck, T.Puzzle!