Pediatric Pedagogical Ponderings…

8-Year-Old: Mommy, why do I needta learn science stuff?

Me: So you don’t end up majoring in multi-cultural studies at our local liberal arts university.

Eavesdropping Bystander Sharing Space With Us in the Grocery Store Check-Out Line (who is either amused or annoyed — not sure which): *snort*

8-Year-Old: Maaaaa-uuuuuuhhhm! It’s a super-serious question I’m tryin’ ta ask ya! Tell me the truth so it makes sense!

Me: So you may one day have the option of using all your “science stuff” skills working for a company that clones potatoes rather than for a restaurant that peels them.

Eavesdropping Bystander (annoyed? it’s hard to tell): *snort* *cough*

8-Year-Old: So, science is ‘portant so I don’t havta spend all my time cookin’ for other people?

Me: Something like that.

8-Year-Old: (Eying the makings of dinner in our shopping cart) Well… then I think maybe you should think about takin’ some more science classes before dinner-time.

Eavesdropping Bystander (definitely amused): *snort* *snort* *guffaw!*

We’re scheduled to resume our homeschool studies next week. But between you and me, I’m not sure the kid really needs any more ammo…

Deep Thoughts From The U.S. Post Office…

So I received a package in the mail this week.

In case you can’t tell, it’s a mangled catalog that I order homeschool materials from.

And I’m not even annoyed or anything, I mean CLEARLY the U.S Post Office cares about the state of my mail.

Why else would they thrash it with a weed-whacker, cram it in a plastic bag labeled with big block letters “WE CARE” and stuff it in my mail box?

Which got me to thinking…

Maybe the post office is onto something.

Perhaps the U.S. Post Office has single-handedly discovered the key to managing life’s stressors?

I mean, think about it…

What if one were to apply U.S. Postal Service protocol to stressors in everyday life?

Things like…

Anybody know the penalty for impersonating a U.S. Postal worker?

You know, hypothetically speaking…

A Little Red Wagon…

There they were. All in a bright red row.

I walked past them every day as I started my shift for work. As a young college student completing my required clinical rotations, I rarely gave them a second thought. Except perhaps to note how bright and cheery they looked early in the morning as the hospital was just waking up for the day.

I would breeze past them, my long white coat flapping behind me as I snagged a bagel from a coffee cart on my way to a day that already had me on the run.

Except once. Once I stopped.

Once I saw a young mother all by herself. She was attempting to to heft a cumbersome bag filled with medical equipment into one of the cherry-red wagons with one hand while cradling a tiny chemo patient on her opposite hip. Not chemo patient, I corrected myself, her baby. A baby girl, judging buy the pink fuzzy blanket the little one was clutching.

And no one was stopping to help.

I walked up reaching a hand out for the bag, smiled and said, “You look like you could use a hand — I’ll take the wagon and you take care of Miss Cutie Pie.”

She choked out a sob in the bend of her elbow of her free arm and nodded. I didn’t have to ask where we were going. I just turned and pulled the bright little wagon in the direction of the pediatric chemo ward and she followed, hugging her baby girl tight.

I wish I had known that day what I know now.

I wish I had been able to fully comprehend the depth of her muffled half-embarrassed sob. I wish I had understood then, as well as I know now, what that woman was feeling on that day. (more…)

Well, There’ll Be No More Birthdays For You When You’re Dead, Mom…

Jacqui: *sigh* I wish that it was a birthday day today!

Me: Well, every day is a birthday day for somebody.

Jacqui: Really?? Who’s Sumbubby? Do we know ‘em? Izzee havin’ a party today??

Me: No… I said some-body. I mean that every day is a birthday for someone somewhere in the world. Like today — today is actually your uncle’s birthday.

Jacqui: Really?? How old izzee?

Me: He’s thirty-four.

Jacqui: Wow!! He did a really great job getting so very old! How old are you, Mommy?

Me: Twenty-two.

Jacqui: Daddy says that wen ya say that you’s really jess kiddin’.

Me: *sigh* Yes, he’s right. I’m just kidding.

Jacqui: So???

Me: So what?

Jacqui: So how old are you?

Me: I’m thirty-mumble mumble.

Jacqui: Whoa!!! That’s super-duper old!

Me: Hey!! I’m not that old — not super-duper old!

Jacqui: Yup. Super-duper old, that’s you. So when d’ya think my uncle will catch up with ya?

Me: Never. He’s younger than me so he’ll never be as old.

Jacqui: I hate ta tell ya this Mom, but he really won’t be younger than you for forever.

Me: Unless you know something that I don’t, he will.

Jacqui: Well, ya know… there’ll be no more birthdays for you when you’re dead, Mom…

Guess she figures I’m so “super-duper old” that it will be a miracle if I hang on for too much longer…

The Hamster Situation: One DOA, One On The Lam, One In Custody

t’s been a day.

The kind of day you don’t think about when your five-year-old pleads with you so winsomely for that seemingly innocuous little ball of fluff in the pet store.

The kind of day I shall work very hard not to think about in the months and months to come.

Today Jacqui’s Chinese dwarf hamster, Kai-Lan (yes, odd name for a hamster, I know, but she was Chinese after all), died.

It was a sad, sad day.

There was wailing.

And sobbing.

And gnashing of teeth.

And, “Oh, Momeeeeeeeee!!! I don’t think I’ll never ever be happeeeeee!! Never ever againnnnnnnnnnn!!! WAHHHHHHHHH!!!”

So we did what any sensible parents would do.

We got a replacement. Post haste.

Eensy beensy problem though. Pet store was fresh out of Chinese dwarf hamsters. Instead they had some cute little robo dwarf hamsters. Would I perhaps be willing to take one of those instead?

Meh. Sure. Why not. To-may-to, ta-mah-to… dopey, sneezy, grumpy, bashful — a dwarf’s a dwarf right?

Negatory.

There’s a HUGE difference.

The second we opened the box was the second I began scrambling to form a plot to get the hypersonic little vermin back into the box so we could take it right back to the pet store. Unfortunately I was 0.99237986 seconds to slow in this thought process. (more…)

In Which My Children Behave Like Hoodlums And I Long To Disavow All Knowledge Of Their Parentage

I have confiscated everything that matters to everyone, timeouts have been flying around here like hand grenades and everyone has been banished to their bedrooms for nap-time.

*sigh*

And the day actually started out so well…

Jacqui had completed two days of schoolwork last Friday so that she could have a play day after her morning dentist appointment today. She did beautifully at the dentist’s office and so did Kyle. We left the office all smiles and cheerful dispositions.

They were behaving so well in fact, that I decided to stop at a local educator’s supply store on our way home to use a discount that was soon expiring. I chose to leave the stroller in the car thinking I would just hold Kyle’s hand. Oh the delusions that I have fallen prey to during this parenting gig!

How unfortunate that I was not aware that the store had a Thomas the Train table set up for children to play with while their parents shopped — the minute I saw it I should have turned right back around and fetched the stroller, but I was in a magnanimous mood. The aisles I wished to peruse were short enough to see over so I would have a clear view of the train table at all times. Surely my children could play nicely for ten minutes while I selected a few of workbooks for Jacqui’s lessons?

Alas, no.

The shrieking ensued within two minutes after our arrival. Jacqui kicked it off by gleefully taunting Kyle with a toy wooden helicopter held just out of his reach. I snagged the helicopter, set it high up on the check-out counter. Then I reprimanded Kyle for shrieking and Jacqui for taunting with a warning of dire consequences should they choose to indulge in any more such nonsense.

Usually that’s all it takes. Because I don’t put up with boundaries being poked at.

I turned back to the workbooks and within moments was met by another blood-curdling scream followed by a rackety-clackety ruckus sounding much like an avalanche of wire coat-hangers being flung down a stairwell.

Of Frownie Faces And Fugitives…

Jacqui proudly claimed her reward — she and her dad had a grand time watching the Chinese dancers perform this weekend (while Kyle and I stayed home with fevers and sore throats). And Jacqui has become pleasantly conscious of how “cause and effect” relates to her behavior choices, which is a nice turn of events.

Especially since Kyle could care less about such matters as he is too thoroughly occupied in re-defining the concept of “the terrible two’s” in all the most obnoxiously wrong ways imaginable.

I would make him a chart too, except he would probably just slather it in contraband Desitin and stop up the toilet with it.

Oh, and an update on our hamster fugitive…

I am happy to report that we finally know the answer to the question: What does a robo dwarf hamster actually look like?

Our amazing kitty, Jingle, finally cornered the little vermin. After much shrieking, hopping, lunging and muttering of opinions regarding the intelligence of parents who bring such creatures home, the fugitive rodent was finally brought to justice three excruciatingly long days following her unfortunate escape.

And by justice I mean trapped in a VERY tall screw-top jar (with airholes) and promptly returned to the pet store.

Where she will be free to dupe into ownership and subsequently terrorize another unsuspecting family with her psychotic speed.

I just love happy endings, don’t you?

How to unlock my phone

Any smartphone or tablet comes with integrated security measures. But if you forget them, it’s worth knowing how to unlock an lg stylo 6 without them.

Everyone must have a security code on their phone to prevent others from accessing your photos, contacts, messages, emails, and all your other information. Sometimes, however, they prevent you from accessing your device menu.

The reasons why you forget the built-in security measures on your phone or tablet are incredibly varied, and in this particular case it matters less. Something else is much more important. There is a way to get through them, and if this is impossible, at least you can use your lg stylo 6 again.

The so-called Pattern Lock or finger lock on the screen is a fairly effective security solution, especially if you have made the effort to make it quite complex. If the phone is locked on a gsm network, you can use a quick alternative to unlock lg stylo 6 for free.

Incorrectly enter at least five times an unlock pattern of at least four dots. If you’re lucky enough to have one of those attempts to unlock your device, you’re in luck. If not, after the five attempts, a message will appear on the screen warning you to wait 30 seconds to try again.

Also, on the screen, after pressing Ok on that message, in the lower right corner you will have two additional options “Forgot Pattern” and “Backup PIN”. You can use them to access your Android.

If Backup PIN is not available, wait 30 seconds and it will be accessible. It’s worth noting that when you defined your unlock design, you also entered a PIN as an additional protection measure, that’s what it’s all about now.

When you enter it on the screen, you will be automatically directed to the Screen Unlock Settings page in the phone’s setup menu to define another Pattern Lock. Also from here, you can enable or disable another security measure.

Trimming The Tree (Ummm… Sort Of…)

As our beloved Christmas tree nears the end of its lifespan, its once fragrant green needles becoming dry and crispy, Ken begins to get a psychotic twinkle in his eye. He walks by the tree, testing the crunchiness of the needles, counting down the days until his most favorite time of the year.

Then one day shortly after Christmas, out comes the Santa hat and the reciprocating saw.

And the tree is “trimmed” a second time, but this time with a lot less finesse.

This time it is hacked limb from limb while a saw blade revs relentlessly and and a crazy man in a Santa hat fills the air with maniacal laughter as he unceremoniously hucks the pieces through the open second-story window out onto the front lawn. (more…)

Choosing To See Beauty…

Parenthood. It all started out so simply. A blank canvas of wonderful plans, hopes and dreams. Nothing but a future full of potential — potential that I had filled with my own ideas of how it would be.

But then something happened. And then something more. Shadows on my crisp white sheet of parenting plans. Marks from an unexpected pen. I scrambled frantically, trying to wield it all back toward the pattern I had been so carefully crafting.

But it was out of my hands. Our world buckled and folded as my husband and I watched — disbelief, fear and grief heavy on our hearts.

Loss. Loss of so very many things. So many hopes snipped away before they could even begin to be cherished. News, diagnoses, speculations — on and on they came, cutting away until my heart bled dry.

The pieces of me were left scattered. And it hurt. And I grieved. When I looked around me, I saw the wreckage of a dream, of a family, of me.

But then I noticed something among the wreckage. Something that didn’t look like wreckage at all.

Not an accident of untold grief and tragedy, but something special. Something carefully planned and crafted — and not by my hand.

A child. A special, brilliant, beautiful child. Placed with design and purpose in my hands — gifted to me.

And there is still pain. There is still grief. There is still fear. Only now I realize that I have a choice. I can look at the holes in my pattern — I can focus on all that I have lost. Those blank missing pieces, the new marks and shadows of things yet to come. They are still there and I can choose to fix my gaze on them and grieve if I wish. Sometimes I do.

But when I do, I miss what is there. The beauty in-between the missing pieces. The beauty made possible because of those missing pieces. It is there — just as real and rare and beautiful as any snowflake. I just have to choose where to look.