As little girls we daydream about what our wedding day will be like.
I was so obsessed with it I wore my grandmother’s old slips and paraded around our front porch, two steps at a time and always in a straight line. I went through boxes of kleenex by piecing together homemade gowns for my Barbie dolls.
Now that I’m actually wedding planning, I can’t wait for the day to be over and the stress of really planning a wedding to be gone.
Soooo THAT’S the reason all the Disney movies go from first kiss to wedding to credit roll. It wouldn’t be a fairytale anymore if you had to listen to Cinderella talk about table settings with her stepsisters. Or see Snow White hit her prince over the head with the registry scanner because she wants 500-thread count sheets and he wants low ball glasses on clearance.
But as of last week, I made the last payment on my wedding gown and got all my accessories.
Let’s hope it’s an improvement from my dress-up box days.
What things did you daydream about as a kid that were different once you experienced them?
Well, I finally did it. I joined Pinterest.
Are you happy now?
After months of my mother and sister insisting I get on Pinterest – purely to look at the wedding ideas they’d pinned – I finally relented and joined.
I spent the weekend surfing the internet and pinning half of it down. Pinterest is addicting.
Here’s a few samples of what you can find on my Pinterest page!
Writerly Wish List
Are these not the coolest sheets ever?
Stop Making Me Laugh
What do you think they’re reading?
I must have this sweatshirt. MUST.
Places to Go
I cannot wait for our honeymoon in Greece!
Slowly, but surely, things are coming together.
So picture us – my mother, father, sister, fiance and I – sitting in the living room. I’m sitting between my parents on the couch, my sister is holding her 4 month old and her iphone across from us, and Joe is probably surfing Facebook on the loveseat.
It was like an airing of Who’s on First. Everyone was talking and sharing ideas but no one was on the same conversation path. My mom was talking about chair rentals, my dad is shouting at me not to use the color gold in the wedding scheme, and my sister is asking me questions I don’t understand?
“For your bouquet, do you want it loose or do you want it to look like a ball?”
What kind of a ball? Like a basketball or a golf ball?
“Do you want it to have tendrils?”
How can a bouquet have tendrils? It’s not a Regency era maiden! No I don’t want it to have tendrils.
Planning a wedding is hard. And with 3 people scrolling through pinterest pages and 2 people covered in piles of rental brochures, it was an interesting night.
I promise however, that my pinterest board is not all wedding stuff. So please follow me. I’m lonely over there. Follow Jess on Pinterest.
But be careful, Pinterest destroys families.
How was your weekend?
Ask a mother if she has an opinion on baby names, and you’re sure to get an answer!
A dear friend of mine just gave birth to her first baby – a healthy and handsome baby boy, if you’re wondering – and it got me thinking…how do you pick a name that lasts a lifetime?
I asked some of my favorite mothers out in cyberspace to share their Tips, Tried and True Methods, as well as their Pet Peeves when it comes to NAMING THAT BABY!
Let’s just say, they had plenty talk about.
The DO’s and DON’Ts of Naming Your Baby
Julie Glover Tip #1: Check with teachers. They know from experience what children can and can’t do with a name!
Tip #2: Check your initial combo. We suddenly had an AHA moment of “Hey, if we give our kid that middle name, his initials will be B.S.” Not good.
Another tip! Mirror Ernest Hemingway’s “Write drunk, edit sober”…”Conceive drunk, name sober.”
Diana Beebe No matter how much you avoid family names, you’ll manage to hit some obscure great aunt or twelfth cousin twice removed.
HAVE FUN! We made up crazy names that we’d never use. Phoebe Beebe and Daisy Beebe were our favorites.
The Sears catalog is not a good place to name pick. Pajama is not a name. It is clothing.
—Kristen Lamb My mom had a patient named Shithead. I KID YOU NOT. Pronounced shi-thay-ed. A combo of Shirley and Theodore. Baby Name FAIL.—
Diana Beebe I know that kid!
Misty Laws The hubs and I made a list of names we liked and tried to match them up. We did not have one of the same, but that’s besides the point.
Do not name your child after a car (Chevette, Acura), an alcohol (Bacardi, Korbel) or a country/continent (Europa, Africa, Germany). All of these are REAL names. Sadness.
Also, don’t try to name all of your kids with some variation of the parents names. Dad=Robert. Kids=Roberta, Robertina, Robina, Robette. Not as clever as you think.
Kristen Lamb Don’t be clever with the spelling. JUST SPELL IT, for GOD’s SAKE! “Hi, my name is Khrystyn.”
Hollyweird takes the cake sometimes. Apple is a FRUIT, not a name. “I’m naming my next child Velveeta Nacho, because that’s what I ate the whole time I was preggo.”
I had a cop friend who pulled over a lady and her name seriously was Aqua Net.
—Misty Laws I know a professional woman (a lawyer) whose name is Aquanetta. Seriously!—
Kristen Lamb North West *cough* No anagram names. DO NOT name your kid TACO CAT!
Myndi Shafer We wanted our names to be different, but to have strong meanings. Wanted them to be able to have nicknames if that was fitting for them. Middle names were just as important as first names, so if they wanted to ditch being called by their first name they could.
We chose not to be afraid of schoolyard teasing – kids can twist any name into something cruel. We’ve always focused instead on instilling pride in their names and their meanings. So far, so good.
Marcia Richards I chose (not intentionally) THE most popular names at the time for my kids. Jennifer and Matthew. Needless to say they hate their names. LOL
—Kelly Witkins My siblings and I have the most common names for the years we were born. My parents have unique names and didn’t want us to have that. My children love being the only ones with their names in their schools. Each is spelled normally and pronounceable. However, at a young age our daughter learned to enunciate and say her name slowly since many hadn’t heard it before.—
—Julie Glover My kids don’t have middle names. They have initials only. It was a compromise with my husband who thinks that middle names are rather pointless. Yes, that’s weird. But it has not caused them any problems so far. In fact, they think it’s cool.—
—Diana Beebe My older daughter picked the name of her little sister (from a short list). She picked the name of her dance teacher.—
Kelly Witkins (the author’s sister-in-law) Having meaning in their names is important. Our daughter is named after my aunt, the oldest girl in her family, who passed away when I was 17. I didn’t want to take her name itself, that is for her own children to use. But, my daughter is the first in her generation and it carried on the meaning. We used the gaelic version of my aunts name. Her middle name is after a sacred herb that we loved and learned about on a trip together.
Our son’s name came from places we’ve been together. Important milestones in our lives as a couple. His middle names are after his great grandfather and my dear cousin who passed away when I was 16 and his other middle name is my maiden name.
Dawn Sticklen Both my boys are adopted from Russia and for our youngest we took his Russian name, “Americanized” it, and used it as his middle name (his first name comes from my husband’s uncle). For our youngest daughter – who medically probably shouldn’t have happened – we chose our OB’s last name as her middle name (his name is “Lacey”, so it fits).
Jenny Hansen We named our daughter after my mother and were very specific about it. We used a derivative. We also wanted her middle initial to begin with ‘M’ for mom.
Do NOT name your kids after drugs, STDs or use suggestive initials (like BJ). My brother named his youngest “Reagan” with purposeful initials — RNC — for the Republican National Committee he adores. And he doesn’t give a rip if it offends, but if she grows up to be liberal, she might. 😉
—Jess Witkins Wanda Sykes had a joke about people naming their babies strange names “Now the first one was Chandelier…and the other one was Chlamydia?”—
—Julie Glover Oh my goodness! You can’t name your child after an STD!!!—
—Kristen Lamb Gonorrhea!—
—Julie Glover And our fourth child, Herpes…—
—Diana Beebe *giggling*—
Tameri Etherton My daughter was supposed to be Cira Maria. Cira (pronounced Keera), because I don’t know, I guess I just liked it way back then. Now, it totally bugs me. Her middle name was going to be Marie, which was her Godmother’s middle name. About a minute after she was born, the nurse asked me her name. I looked at her sweet little face, with her rosebud lips, and said, ‘Alexzandra Rose’. Everyone in the room looked at me like I’d grown tulips out of my ears. I guess Alexzandra chose her own name.
My son… well we went around and around on names. I wanted to name him after my father-in-law, Monte Cleve Etherton III, but he said no freaking way. I’m pretty sure he didn’t say ‘freaking.’ 😛 So one day Alexzandra is like, “There’s a boy in my class who is really nice named Michael. We should call the baby Michael.” I loved that she picked his name, so we went with Michael. My husband’s middle name is Christopher, so I still got Monte’s initials with the MCE!
Nina Badzin We like names that connect to our heritage, but there were no exact rules to it. I also like names that work well with the last name and function together as a family.
However, I don’t like when all the siblings start with the first letter. It’s unnecessarily confusing.
—Diana Beebe LOL. That was us…Doug, Dennis, Diana, and Debbie. At least we had different middle initials.—
We could go on and on, but we want to hear from YOU!
Our moms also compiled a list of some of the most dreadful and outlandish names they’ve come across in real life! Share the names you’ve encountered in the comments!
My father, Jerry, is a good man. A hardworking, well-intended and thoughtful man. Any time I go home, he never fails to send me off with some homemade food, a spare cake or two (he’s a baker), or a surplus of some great deal he found – anything from mini cans of juice to say…soap.
One such visit home my dad sent me away with two bottles of soap and two bottles of lotion. They looked like your basic sanitation brand, some great deal he’d found that did nothing for my mother’s decor but got the job done. I grudgingly accepted the bottles and once back at my place offered up the lotion to my boyfriend and my roommate. If they would use it, good for them. I was going to stick with the far better smelling and more visually appealing lotions that I bought, the ones with flowers on the bottle that smelled like coconut or almond oil.
A few months went past and I decided “What the heck! Put the soap in the main bathroom and use it up.”
Later that night I could hear my roommate and his girlfriend laughing in the bathroom. It got so loud I opened my door to see what the fuss was about.
Of course! It was the soap.
Had I, or better yet my father, bothered to read the bottle, I might have known why my roommate and his lady had a serious case of the giggles.
To start with, in its bold yellow lettering it reads: MULTI PURPOSE PERINEAL CLEANING* BODY WASH AND SHAMPOO.
Good gravy! Where do I begin?!
My dad gave me free butt soap!!!
The definition of perineal is the skin in front of one’s anus. You may know it by its street name, the taint. Please imagine now the sheer look of momentary horror on my face. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
If that wasn’t enough of an introduction, the back of the bottle gave more explicit instruction.
If you’re not already a fan of this FABULOUS multipurpose cleaner, just read: it’s “designed to dissolve fecal soils resulting from incontinence.”
Well yippy skippy! No need to rush when the urge strikes any longer! One pump of this magic and you’re fecal free fresh!
Can I get a “just clean ahhhhh!”
But if simply clean is simply not enough, there’s a lotion for that too!
Between the his and her snickering I was subjected to from the roommate and his girlfriend, I pulled a “Jerry”, shrugged, and said “It’s free.” I also reminded them it was the same brand as the lotion I gave them earlier, which prompted sock-footed running to their room to gather the other bottle.
PROTECTS AND HELPS RELIEVE CHAPPED OR CRACKED SKIN AND LIPS. ALSO HELPS TREAT AND PREVENT DIAPER RASH!!!
Where exactly should one rub this lotion? I’m not sure I feel comfortable using the same lotion a person puts on their kid’s toucas also on my face! Though when questioned later, my dad said it’s good at preventing wrinkles.
Gee Dad, your gift was really something! I wonder what you’ll share with us next time! But be warned – this soap could end up in your “Welcome to the Nursing Home” basket!
Have you ever received a gift that was well intended, but so wrong? Did you tell the gift giver? Have you ever BEEN the shamed gift giver? How did you recover?
My bloggy friend, Madge, more commonly known as author Margaret Reyes Dempsey over at her blog, couldn’t believe that a girl who solved her problems with bologna sandwiches came from a family who owned a restaurant! So, I’m here today to state the facts.
Fact #1. Yes, I had a moment of weakness where I ate a bologna sandwich and drank Chardonnay after a bad day. My only fault was blogging about it (with picture evidence, no less) because now I’ll never live it down.
Fact #2. My family owned a Steak House for 16 years. I thought the place was my free-for-all and walked around like I owned the joint, grabbing grape soda from the bar fridge and hoarding plates of my dad’s AMAZING homemade cheese spread. I was in a sense, raised by a group of cooks and waitresses who let me help make cole slaw. In fact, the waitresses at our restaurant were actually the ones that named me! I’m not sure if that’s a charming trait, or a reality check that my mother was about to have kid #4 and just didn’t care anymore. (Just kidding, mom, I know you love me!)
Fact #3. My parents have two cooking styles. My mom (apart from salads and desserts) basically made the same meals for dinner on some kind of rotation. Baked chicken, meatloaf, chow mein, CHILI MAC (my fav.), and my least favorite, goulash. Who would like something named goulash? It tastes like it sounds. 😛 My dad, on the other hand, will make a variety of dishes, but he’ll also make them for 50+ people. After graduation, my dad enlisted in the Navy, and was the cook on ship during his service. Add that to years of restaurant managing, and you have a man who inevitably will buy one chicken and make you chicken, yes, but also chicken soup and chicken salad and chicken and rice and chicken tiramisu! Ok, maybe not that last one, but you get the idea. How was I, the youngest, supposed to learn to cook in a house with a mother whose idea of taco salad was crumbling doritos on lettuce or a father who never measured a thing and made quantities for storage in a bomb shelter?
Fact #4. In college, I survived on pasta and frozen vegetables. My initial attempts at cooking were described as “palatable” and “finger food” by parties subjected to taste testing. I think back on my attempts to make my own coconut milk as creative! And so what if I was terrible at following directions and charred many a batch of cookies! It was the effort that counts, right?
Fact #5. I eventually learned to cook. I chalk it up to the wonderful gift of Simple and Delicious Magazine my mother gave me after graduation. Simple and delicious, you say? That’s my kind of meal! So get ready folks, I’m sharing with you two amazing recipes that will make dinner feel like summer’s finally here! These dishes were so scrumptious, even as leftovers! My honey and I really enjoyed them. Both were so flavorful, the burgers had a great little kick to them, and this potato salad was the best potato salad I’ve ever eaten!
Prep time: 30 min. Yield 10 sliders
1 pkg. (12 oz.) Hawaiian sweet rolls
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
8 tsp minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, divided
1-1/2 lbs ground beef
10 slices pepper Jack cheese
1/2 cup mayo
Place 2 rolls in a food processor; process until crumbly. Transfer to a large bowl; add the salt, pepper, and 6 tsp chipotle peppers. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into 10 patties.
Grill burgers, covered, over medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 160° and juices run clear. Top with cheese. Grill 1 minute longer or until cheese is melted.
Split remaining rolls and grill, cut side down, over medium heat for 30-60 seconds or until toasted. Combine mayonnaise and remaining chipotle peppers; spread over roll bottoms. Top each with a burger. Replace roll tops.
Golden Potato Salad by Linda Behrman in North Merrick, New York
Prep: 25 minutes Cook: 15 min + cooling Yield: 10 servings
2-1/2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
1 small red onion
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1 cup mayo
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp spicy brown mustard
1 Tbsp mustard seed
3 tsp snipped, fresh dill (I used dried)
1-1/2 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Drain; cool for 15 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the red pepper, onion, carrot and potatoes.
In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, oil, vinegar, mustard, mustard seed, 2 tsp dill, sugar, salt and pepper. Pour over potato mixture; gently toss to coat. Sprinkle with remaining dill. Refrigerate until serving.
Are your taste buds watering? What yummy dishes have you made to kick off summer? Who taught you to cook? Have you ever tried to make your own coconut milk? It’s hard, isn’t it?
My dad gets along with everyone. He’s a gabby, gracious, and attentive hugger of a guy. However, my dad has one known mortal enemy. Squirrels.
Growing up, the household would move about peacefully to a soundtrack of 50’s and 60’s music. Mom was singing in the kitchen, my siblings were riding bikes around the neighborhood. I was playing orphan or typing adventure stories on my mom’s old typewriter when suddenly – BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG! My father would be pounding on the dining room window to scare away whatever squirrel had scurried its way up to our birdfeeder. Sometimes he would camp out on a chair crouched behind a potted fig tree and some African violets and wait for the squirrels to skip across the tree branches. He’d wait until they were on the tip of the branches closest to the feeder, biting his nails in anticipation, and as soon as they’d leap for the feeder – BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG! The squirrel would go somersaulting in the air, and scamper away frightened out of its wits.
Much to my mother’s dismay, my dad started setting live traps in the yard luring the pesky squirrels in with promises of walnuts and peanut butter bread he himself had taken bites out of. The problem with the live traps was that squirrels weren’t the only ones who liked walnuts and half eaten peanut butter bread. Birds and rabbits did too. My mother, haunted by a mean rooster on her family’s childhood farm, refused to deal with the live traps when one of the less fortunate animals was inside. That job was left for me. I’d get home from school and mom would plead with me to please go outside and free the starling stuck in dad’s trap. As I walked around the house toward the cage, the bird would start panicking. Now, I wanted to free the animal, but it involved moving a latch that was right next to the cage portion, and for those of you familiar with starlings, they’re rather predatory and aggressive birds. The bird’s wings would start flapping uncontrollably and its beak would come jutting out at my hand. Eventually, I’d get the metal flap of the opening to slide up and the bird would come shooting out like a rocket.
On days when the trap served its purpose and Dad caught an actual squirrel, he’d pick up the cage and load it into the back of the station wagon. He’d drive out to the woods in the farmland area known as Hebron, occasionally starting wars with my grandfather and uncle, releasing the squirrels on their property to spite them and go after their feeders.
Convinced the squirrels were finding their way back to our house somehow, Dad took the squirrel wars to a new level. He and my brother took to staking out in our shed with BB guns and firing at any squirrel who dared steal birdseed from his feeder. My brother would come in the house and regale the family with the impressive tale of how he shot a squirrel in the butt! For those of you picturing a backwoods house in the country, let me set the scene straight for you. Our house was on the corner of the busiest street in town, and generally we were a respected family with a large garden who kept the grass mowed.
I’m afraid my father’s influence took a heightened level in my brother’s actions when we discovered one day that a muskrat was burrowing under the family pool. My dad was worried the varmint would chew through the lining of the pool, and Lake Witkins, as grand as it sounded, didn’t belong in our backyard. Convinced he would save the day, my brother and a friend staked out from the deck one afternoon and completed the mission: the muskrat was killed. But this was in late fall, and neither boy had sharp, gnarly muskrat teeth to burrow with, and the ground was too frozen to bury the animal, so he put the ugly creature in a big white bucket, pooling blood and all, set it in the garage and left.
My mother was informed the muskrat was now resting in peace, and had told my dad to get rid of the thing and thought he had. She then entered the garage and noticed a big white bucket. The next thing my mother will tell you about is that she sprained her ankle and tore a few ligaments after twisting to get away in a horrified moment of panic. My poor mother crawled her way up the steps to our house and through the kitchen to get to a phone where she could finally call for help. I don’t believe my brother was allowed to help dad with the animal wars ever again.
Recently, on a trip home to see my family, my sister brought over a book from the library she was reading to her two year old daughter. The book was titled, Those Darn Squirrels and I was tickled to present a dramatic reading of the tale to my father. Then, we went page by page and counted the similarities between Old Man Fookwire and my father. We also taught my niece to shake her fist at grandpa and say “Those Darn Squirrels!” Dad may not have bought lasers and trapeze equipment like Old Man Fookwire, but spring is coming, and if you give a squirrel a walnut, he’ll probably invite his friends.
It’s evident I’m the youngest, isn’t it? A bit self-absorbed, over-imaginative, still wants presents from her parents. But I’m also a bit of an oops baby, a party crasher if you will. There my parents were, living out the American Dream, happily running their own restaurant, raising three children, forming friendships that would last them a lifetime. And then yours truly showed up, rolling to the party during a Friday Night Fish Fry. Of course my parents will tell you I was a surprise, and for my siblings who range 7-13 years older, I was a live doll to
torture play with. Here’s the thing, they started out by including me, they let me play games, use their toys, eat candy, and entertain them with talented impressions of Steve Urkel from Family Matters.
But then, we started playing new kinds of games, games called “Experiments.” We learned what would happen when your teenage sister asks you to close your eyes and hold out your hand. A cascade of clacking noises follow and little hard lumps topple into your hand. It could be candy, you think with anticipation. It’s not. It’s your teenage sister’s collection of baby teeth. That’s right, she dumped her teeth in your hand. “Why do you have these?” you scream, your face contorted in horror. There is no reply, she is laughing too hard.
Gross, but harmless fun, right? Well, that was before my brother got a microscope for christmas. This time when you’re asked to help “experiment” they tell you to hold up your index finger. They proceed to wrap a rubber band around and around and around the tip of your finger. They wait while your finger changes from its healthy, fleshy pink coloring to a purple blue bulging nub. Then, they do the inevitable, they tell you to close your eyes again. You should run, you should know this means trouble, you should call for help, but they’re so much cooler than you are, they can ride bikes and pick out their own clothes, and most important of all, they’re family, they wouldn’t hurt you. “Owwwwww!” Turns out they can hurt you. In fact, your siblings stabbed you. They wanted to know what blood looked like under the microscope.
This is why I played alone. And why my favorite game was called Orphan. And it’s another example of why I’m convinced I have multiple lives. But the truth is, I love my siblings. I love them for helping make me a stubborn, and overly imaginative child. If I’d have had a harmonious childhood, I’d have had nothing to write about. And really, what’s a little blood in the name of sibling?
How about you readers? Were you the mad scientist in the household, or the Frankenstein freak being tested on? I’m thinking about starting a club someday, TITHAFYS, Teeth in the Hand Alliance For Youngest Siblings, I’ll be needing a strong leadership team, put your nominations in for VP, treasurer, and secretary. Happy writing!
Ever wonder why your parents made some of the decisions they did? No, you cannot take the turtle into bed with you! No, you may not watch Pink Floyd’s The Wall with your brother! No, you may not eat double stuff oreos, and I don’t care if Liz’s mom lets her!
My mom is a great mom. She writes in perfect cursive penmanship, has impeccable spelling, pays attention to detail, writes long letters and mails them with real stamps and envelopes and everything. She likes to sing, read mystery books, bake a variety of coffee cakes, and spy out the windows.
But I have one bone to pick with my mother. Throughout my childhood, on countless trips to the grocery store, she would never let me get double stuff oreos! This woman who rarely enforced rules about vegetables, or clean plate clubs, who married a baker, son of a woman who enforced dessert before dinner, wouldn’t let me eat double stuff oreos! Hell, I had coca cola in my sippy cups!!! (That may be why I stopped growing in eighth grade.)
This anti-oreo rule never made sense to me. I was a child who liked milk. I had contests with my father over who could drink their milk the fastest at dinner. I don’t know if you’re aware, but milk and oreos are like made for each other, best friends forever, kindred spirits from the galactic orbs of destined to be together soulmates! I bet if you eat an oreo without milk, your heart shrinks a little.
I reiterate my mother’s inconsistent lessons about the value of a nutritional diet; my mother had her days where cooking was not placed on the top of the list, in fact it was scribbled out and snipped straightly off the bottom of the notepad. Those days were called Sundays, or any other day one of her favorite TV shows was on. On these days we ate popcorn for dinner. Popcorn and slices of cheddar cheese. Maybe, maybe I’d have to eat like 4 slices of an apple. I never complained. I loved popcorn nights! Those of you who know me can attest I have an affinity for airy, crunchy snacks at mealtime.
As the years passed, I grew older, she refused to buy double stuff oreos. When I first moved out and began to buy my own groceries, I followed her approach in mastering the marketplace. Simply put, take your sweet time going up and down every aisle. You can make a list, sure, but it’s fun to add to it with new items that sound exotic and delectable like bagel chips. Is it more bagel or more chip, I don’t know, but their deliciousness drives me mad!
On one such shopping trip, I happened down the cookie aisle and low and behold on the very end, right at eye level, was that familiar looking Nabisco symbol in the corner of the shiny blue packaging. I picked up the package, looked side to side to see if anyone was watching, looked up to see if lightening bolts were crashing down and it appeared…no one gave a damn. So I put them in my cart. But as I wheeled around the aisle to the checkout, I couldn’t help but smirk. Take that, Mom!
What are the ridiculous rules your parents enforced? Did you ever protest? Did your rebellion taste as sweet and chocolately as mine?
Resolutions for the week include:
- Read more Susan Shapiro, Only as Good as Your Word – in progress
- Read each day for pleasure for one hour – Finished The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, wonderful!!! Currently reading Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
- Write 3 family memoirs, be brave, post them on your blog – here goes, family memoir #1
Little Sister of Nine Lives
I actually have a hard time remembering my childhood. It wasn’t full of sorrow, it wasn’t maniacally evil, it obviously wasn’t too exciting, either. For some reason, unbeknownst to me, I simply don’t remember as far back as most people claim to. If I had to give you a reason for this, I’d call it Self Preservation from my Deranged Family.
You see, my sister will claim to many days of glad tidings and jolly moments where she took me bike riding with our Cabbage Patch Dolls, playing in the park that was across the street from our house. My brother would sneak candy to me and terrorize the neighbor’s lawns on his bicycle with me squished onto the front seat with him. I recall none of this ever occurring. What I recall is being buried alive or left for dead several times over.
To begin, there is photographic evidence of me as a toddler being buried in our sandbox. My face is red, my jaw open screaming, there are tears on my face. My brother crouches over me with a shovel, and waves to one of my parents who undoubtedly stopped what they were doing to collect this fine, familial moment. I don’t know how I escaped, I’ve clearly recessed this memory.
Example number two. My mother, upon driving home from one of her weekly hair appointments, discovers at the corner stop sign, one of her children, the youngest, tied to the pole with a jump rope, crying. Seemingly left for abandon on one of the busiest streets in town for all to ridicule her pain. Notice no one stopped driving to call for help.
Example number three. My father is supposed to be watching me one winter when I was in elementary school. It was late at night, he was shoveling snow. I thought it was a game at first. He began to put shovel full after shovel full of snow on top of me who was playing in the snow bank. Pretty soon, that snow pile got really heavy. Pretty soon after that, I couldn’t move from underneath it. I called to my father for help, who found said predicament extremely funny. He grew up in a sink or swim household and told me to figure a way out myself. Then he went inside, leaving me trapped in a snowbank under a streetlight. Crying in the dead of winter, I eventually managed to squirm like an earthworm until I was uncovered enough to crawl out.
That about brings us up to speed, and would put me at my fourth life if we’re keeping track. If I were going to give you any sort of moral to the story or insight from my perspective, it would be this: don’t let your children babysit your children. And apparantly, don’t leave them with their father either, at least in winter weather conditions. So for all you youngest children, little sisters and brothers everywhere, good night and good luck! And if it helps, I did sleep with a pocket knife under my pillow for awhile, just in case.