Stick Figure Family

Stick Figure Family at

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Confusion on the brain

Got a can opener handy? I need to see for myself what's inside this child's head! He looks normal enough on the outside. The neighbor lady claims he's the "cutest thing" she's ever seen... So, what's the deal? We took a drive to Grandma and Grandpa's - you know, "over the river and through the desert... to Burbank we will go..." On the side of the river is Sacagawea Park - one of the actual spots where the famed Lewis and Clark Expedition camped. Really.

We decided to WOW our new son with this bit of information. Of course, he's only seven years old, but if you're going to live in Washington - and the desert half at that - you have to show your pride somehow; you have to know your history, right? And, here's this famous landmark right along the roadway. So, I proclaim innocently enough: "Hey, that's where Lewis and Clark camped. Right there at that park. You know, they were early explorers and they followed this river to the Pacific Ocean."
"I know all about Lois and Clark."
"Oh, yeah? Lois and Clark?"
"Yeah, it's a tv show with Superman."
"Ah! Well, we're talking about Lewis and Clark. LEWIS and Clark... The explorers from 200 years ago."
"I know all about Lois and Clark."
"Well, sure you do. But this spot is where Lewis and Clark... you know, Meriwether LEWIS and Wlliam CLARK the explorers travelled and...
"I told you, I know all about Lois and Clark."
He's shrieking now, "I hate it when people think I don't know what I'm talking about!" Soon, tears are rolling down his face... "I know all about Lois and Clark!!!"

Of course he does. And Who's on First and What's on Second... for months on end this conversation haunts us every time we visit Grandma and Grandpa's in Burbank. We finally have to call it quits. No one is allowed to talk about Lewis (or Lois) and Clark. Ever! We just pretend the landmark (and tv show) never existed. Otherwise we'll end up with permanent confusion on the brain.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

This thing called gravity...

I have one of the most remarkable children. I could give lots of remarks about her! One of her first accomplishments when she arrived as a seven-year-old was to sneak up on a sparrow sitting on our porch - and catch it with her bare hands. Wow! Talk about talent. This kid must know a lot! Maybe. Maybe not.

It must have been that same week that I looked out the window and saw her climbing a peach sapling in our backyard. A stray peach pit had taken root and grown about as tall as the dog kennel. As she climbed, I raced outside to warn her. But I was too late... as soon as she reached a goodly height of two feet, that poor tree crashed down onto the sandpile below! It wasn't far enough down to have hurt her. (Though to this day, she remembers me laughing at her experience with gravity.)

A few years later, she was even more daring. She followed Stephen up onto the roof of the house via the overhanging cedar tree. She didn't leap off of it onto the trampoline like he did, though. My constant vigilance prevented that trick! But, she was so cocky, knowing that she was as clever as her older brother - completely oblivious to any danger she might have been in.

Some things I just assumed she would have learned. For instance, most 13-year-olds understand things like the solar system and our place in it. Somehow they just know. You wouldn't think to come right out and teach such a thing, but doesn't television, the movies, even art depict us living ON the earth? Somehow this little tidbit of information had eluded her up until this point.

One fine summer day as she bounced on our trampoline, eager to get to spend the night outside, the two of us talked about the stars, the sun and our earth... then somehow she expressed confusion. "Why can't we just walk through the earth to the other side?"

Now it was my turn to be confused. What was she talking about? I asked her to imagine that she was an ant. Imagine if that ant was walking on an orange; the earth. "You would have to walk an awfully LONG way around and swim across oceans...." At this point it dawned on her: we live on the OUTSIDE of the earth, not the inside! In horror, she gasped, "Then why don't we fall off into space?"

"Don't you remember falling out of the peach tree about six years ago? There's this thing called gravity..."

Monday, June 16, 2008

Clutter Capers

Mom expressed surprise that my kids - teenagers mind you - leave such amazing messes. Taija made a "coconut loaf" (cake) yesterday and left it in the pan. It got its innards removed, while the crust and crumbs still line the pan, the counter, stove and floor. The same thing happened with the watermelon. Scoops taken out of the center, drips all over the floor. Milk left out on the breakfast table... They act so clueless: "I didn't do it..." What drives me bananas is when they step over - or directly on top of - things like the newspaper, clothing (folded!) or toys. "It's not my job..." Or, they'll sweep or vacuum a room only to have me ask them to redo it 3 or 4 times. Wouldn't it just be EASIER to do it right the first time?????? I've even asked the eye doctor on our yearly visits if their particular type of vision problems include not being able to "see" objects like these.

Mom wanted to take photos of my counter tops this morning and then demonstrate the proper way to cut a slice of anything and set it on a plate. We could make an evening of it. Actually, that would fit right in with the classes I've previously held here at home such as: "Mama's school of cutting meat at the dinner table," "Mama's school of blowing your nose one nostril at a time," "Mama's school of how to close your mouth when you eat," "Mama's school of "How to properly wipe your behind" "Mama's School of How to do it with ONLY 4 squares of toilet paper" (really!!)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Totalled on Tuesday

Our oldest son came home and in my chemo-blurred brain I heard, "I wrecked the car. It's okay. It's not as bad as you might think." It was bad. The poor green Taurus has to be totalled since repairs would exceed it's value. Son's okay. Bumped his head after he hydroplaned into the guardrail. But it didn't seem to do him much harm. He seems to think that the car is his now and that he can drive it - at least until it runs out of gas. I made sure to get the key back from him and squelched his ambitious plans.

Heather has had a few fender benders in the past, too. Now our second son is taking driver's ed. Last month I let him drive in the parking lot. Then I let him drive home. It was worth every minute of sheer terror (think: roller coaster ride!) to have him admit that driving was harder than he'd thought it would be. For ten years now, since he "drove" the cars on the track at Silverwood Theme Park, I've heard from him how EASY driving is. No matter what kind of driving predicament we've been in, we've heard from Second Son how he knows ALL ABOUT driving; how he'd learn in NO-TIME... it would be A CINCH. ha ha ha

After that first and only drive with me, I had him repeat ten times: "Driving is harder than I thought it was. Driving is harder than I thought it was." Now that the class is almost finished, he sheepishly admits that the teacher told him he needs a lot more practice.... But, since I'm supposed to avoid stress as I go through chemo, I have an excuse to keep from ever having to drive with him again..... ha ha ha (Insert sound track of evil woman laughing...)

It's now up to you Hubby Dear...

Monday, June 9, 2008


Some of my friends have seen that things can get a bit crazy around here. In fact, I've learned to NEVER say, "It can't get any worse than this!" Because it DOES! Sometimes I would just love to look inside the kids' brains to observe their thinking processes. How do they come up with these quirky things, anyway? The good part is that though we've raised two of them from infants, one since he was a toddler and two of them from age seven, none of them has our genes. We can actually blame EVERYTHING on someone else!

All of them are ADD or ADHD (think: Dennis the Menace times five) Several have other diagnosis..(is there a plural for that word?) The youngest is developmentally delayed. All of them are unique. We love them and manage to laugh about their predicaments - not presently, but later we DO laugh. I've been asked numerous times to record their antics. I've also rated their stunts from CUTE to CLUELESS to STUPID to CRAZY and a few other titles. If you suppose that I'm being heartless and crass, come on over and I'll train you to cope for a week in my shoes! You'll discover that laughing is sometimes all you can do, save for abandoning the whole gang and joining a convent.