Category Archives: Moms

Word of the Day: Prep

File this under Bad Mommy – #12,973

Lewis went to SAT prep yesterday.  It was five hours. On a Sunday. After an hour and a half they took a break.

“Mom,” Lew said. “Kids opened their backpacks and pulled out big roast beef subs and homemade cookies and thermoses of hot chocolate. All I had was Tic Tacs.”

Excuse me for thinking that  fresh breath would be a good idea. I didn’t know that we were supposed to pack snacks.

I also didn’t know that Lewis was supposed to bring a graphing calculator.

So he was the only kid at SAT Prep without a snack or a calculator. Score him in the 99th percentile for maternal neglect.



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Word of the Day: Bailout

My son was up late working on a school project – a poster  about the evils of text messaging and driving. This morning, the project still wasn’t done. There were pieces of construction paper that needed to be glued, photos that had to be printed off the web and scissors that just mysteriously disappeared into the the chaos of  what is our house in the morning.

First of all, let me register my complaint that kids in high school are still asked to do projects that involve colored pencils, construction paper and me running out to Walgreen’s at 10pm  for poster board.  Second, let me say that without those type of projects, I probably wouldn’t have been able to graduate from high school.

Anyhow, I took pity on my son who was assembling his project on the dining room table, before breakfast, in his pajamas.

“Is there anything  I can do to help you?” I asked.

He handed me some construction paper to trim, a few images to glue and in minutes, the project was complete.  I wrapped the poster board in a plastic garbage bag, dug around in my purse for lunch money and  handed him a bagel  as he went out the door.

With the poster – but without his backpack.

Which I delivered to the school at 8:15am.

Note to the School Department: Crazy-looking women carrying backpacks and wearing bedroom slippers should not be able to just walk into the school.

So what do you think?

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Word of the Day: Chill

It’s the 90 degrees out, but my kids are urging me to chill. 

“Chill out,  Mom” my son says when I ask where they are going and what time they’ll be home.  “Chill out, Mom” means:  “I don’t want to tell you where I am going because you might not think that going to “The House of Pain” to watch Eyebrow piercingJake get his eyebrow pierced is a good alternative to reading the books that are on the high school Honors English summer reading list.”

“Chill” can be a adverb or a verb. If Lewis describes an indie (that is kid-speak for “loud”) rock band as “chill,” that is “cool” which is synonomous with “sick.”  “Vampire Weekend is chill.” or “During the summer, I just want to chill and listen to some sick music.”

When kids come home from college for the summer, it’s chill for a few days – maybe even a few weeks. Everyone gets  along. But soon, college students  realize that their parents are not chill at all!  And parents realize that their tuition money is well-spent because now their kids … KNOW EVERYTHING. They know what you should be buying at the supermarket, what you should eat to save the planet and what things you should do, that you are not doing, to end global warming. Here’s a short list amassed from conversations with my own college student. 

I should:

  1. Collect rainwater.
  2. Compost the coffee grounds, eggshells and rotten lettuce in the back of the fridge.
  3. Only buy fair trade, organic coffee.
  4. Stop eating meat.
  5. Eat only locally grown produce.                 compost_cycle
  6. Produce our own produce.
  7. Hang our clothes outside to dry.
  8. Eat a raw food diet.
  9. Stop buying bottled water.
  10. Do yoga.
  11. Drive a hybrid car.
  12. Be more chill.


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Word of the Day: Camp

It was the night before Lewis left for two weeks at summer camp. Using the packing list that the camp had provided, he was  checking off items as he stashed them in his big plastic footlocker. He had four bathing suits, twelve pairs of underwear a new package of socks, a rain poncho, a polar fleece and bug spray. Check, check, check. Canoe Camp

“I need a bucket for my cosmetics,” he said.

“What cosmetics?”

“You know, my toothbrush and stuff,” Lewis explained.

“Can’t you just carry your toothbrush to the latrine or whatever it’s called? You have to transport it in a bucket?”

“It’s called The College,” Lew explained.  “And the list says I need a bucket.”

Now, if I had known he needed a bucket, we could have picked one up at Target when we bought the poncho, the bug spray and the new pack of socks.  Instead, I combed through the house looking for something that could hold Lewis’s paltry collection of toiletries.

“How about this?” I held my daughter’s Vera Bradley cosmetic bag.

Lew rolled  his eyes.

I inventoried the Tupperware in the kitchen, scoured the basement, the bedrooms and the bathroom and finally dumped all of my makeup (which includes considerable collection of wrinkle cream)out of the plastic container I use to keep my arsenal from overtaking the bathroom and into a canvas shopping bag.

“Voila! A bucket!” I announced.

“Can you wash it out with really, really  hot water?” Lewis requested.

I ran it through the dishwasher, thus killing  feminine bacteria or girl/mom cooties, and handed the sanitized plastic tub to Lewis.

“Thanks,” he said as he carefully arranged his toothbrush(in a plastic tube), comb, sunscreen, bug spray, travel-size toothpaste and body wash (teenage boys are too macho for soap) in the bucket.

“Can I borrow your digital camera, too?” Lewis asked.

I cringed. I use my camera – not just for this blog, but I have hundreds of images waiting to be downloaded , uploaded and embedded onto my Facebook page, my Twitter account and forwarded to relatives who still haven’t seen my oldest son’s high school graduation pictures from 2004.

“Be careful with it,” I said.  Lewis opened the new package of socks, gently wrapped a pair around the camera and placed it his trunk.


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Word of the Day: Entitled

Today I went to the supermarket. It was raining and the parking lot was packed, except for the three handicapped spaces  and two other spaces right next to the front door.  However, those two other  spaces were reserved with a big red sign for customers with infants.

I deserve to park here

I deserve to park here

Wait a second, I thought. I used to shop at this store all the time when I had infants. I was lousy with infants and there was never reserved parking or shopping carts with built-in baby seats  or candy-free check-out lines.

I felt like I had a right to park there. I felt like I had already paid for the privilege of using that space  fifteen years ago when I would schlep across that parking lot with a screaming baby in the 50-pound Rock ‘n Ride infant seat and a toddler in a backpack. Yeah, I deserve to park in that space.

But I didn’t.

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Word of the Day: Prom-ising

So, GM is bankrupt, the polar caps are melting and there’s nothing good on network television. But, here’s what is better now-a-days…

When you order General Gau’s chicken at a Chinese restaurant, you can get it with brown rice and neutralize your guilt.

Skype.  Amazing. My daughter is in South Africa and I can talk to her for free and we can see each other. It is just like the Jetsons. Jetsons Video Phone

Leg shaving technology has vastly improved since I first dropped a razor blade into my Dad’s razor and sliced my shins open.

You don’t need a date for the prom. Girls can go with a group of friends – guys with their buddies. Somehow everyone seems to have a better good time – without all the pressure of dates.  Great if you have one, who cares if you don’t. Let’s dance.

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Word of the Day: Spring Fever

“I wasn’t born yesterday, ya know. “

That’s what I wanted to say to Lewis when he came downstairs and  said “I don’t feel so goWalden 006od.” He moped around the kitchen table, kinda ate part of a bagel and laid his head on the kitchen table. “Ooooooughh.”

If I had been born yesterday, I might have thought that he was seriously ill. Perhaps with appendicitis or kidney stones. I might have gone to the medicine cabinet to search for the thermometer or a heating pad.

But I was not born yesterday. I know that despite the threat of a global pandemic, Lewis is not suffering from swine flu. Despite record pollen levels, he does not have allergies and despite his groans and apparent lack of appetite, he is not actually  sick. Unless you count Spring Fever as a bona fide illness.

“Do you have a math test today?” I asked. “Do you have gym? Is that History project due, is there a Latin quiz?”Walden 008

“Ughhhh,” groaned Lew and bit into his bagel.

In the past, I have taken pride in the  strict guidelines that I adhere to when allowing my kids to stay home from school. They are:

1. Vomiting – a ticket to TV  land, no questions asked. However I must witness the event – no flushing the toilet behind a closed bathroom door.

2. Fever – a temperature over 99 degrees registered on a real thermometer inserted in child’s mouth(no underarm readings or flimsy strips applied to the forehead)  for three minutes while I stand watch.

Walden 009But today, I simply said  “Okay, stay home.” Lewis went back to bed. Maybe he really needs the rest – after all he’s a growing boy.  It’s hardly seems possible that he’s a teenager. In fact, it seems like he was  born yesterday. Who knows, maybe after he wakes up, I can cure his Spring Fever by making him mow the lawn.

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