Category Archives: Parenting

Can I Photoshop us into summer?

I thought maybe if I used Photoshop, I could make winter go away and feel better. I tried this picture with my son, but I still don’t feel very summery…

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Children are our future

My husband gave a presentation to a 4th grade class yesterday and asked the kids how they veiw the future and what new technologies they think we will have 50 years from now.

I asked him how it went and he said, “It’s amazing the number of children who answer Robot Slaves. In fact, one kid drew a picture of himself pointing and yelling ‘Bring chips!’ while a robot bent over meekly in the corner.”

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It’s like riding a bicycle

I was talking to another parent in my son’s class about the weather being so snowy and icy outside that it was hard to walk anywhere without falling. The other parent told me that she has been riding her bike in the ice and snow lately, but is a little nervous about crashing.

I said, “I can’t even ride my bike in the summer without crashing. That’s how I got this scar on my chin.”

She laughed and said, “I remember that happened to me too! I have a scar on my chin from falling off my bike when I was five years old!”

I said, “This happened in September. This year.”

She smiled and moved on to talk to someone more coordinated.

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Lucia madness

December 13th in Sweden is Lucia day. It’s basically a celebration of light in the darkness, based on an Italian saint who had her eyes gouged out (really gets kids in the Christmas spirit).

All over Sweden, choirs of children dress in white robes while one girl (the Lucia) has a crown of lit candles on her head. The other children carry their candles.

I volunteered to be the helping parent for one of my son’s classes on this celebration. All I knew was that I was required to stand on the side with a bucket of water in case someone caught on fire. Sounded kind of exciting.

It turns out that kids catching fire was the LEAST of my worries.

First of all, I had to help the teacher accompany the kids from the school to the church. This was like trying to herd goats that are constantly stopping to make and throw snowballs at each other. (Yes, goats totally do that.) I almost had 2 kids get run over because they didn’t stop at the crossing light and were way too cool to acknowledge my screaming “STOP!”, causing them to be stuck in the middle of the road with cars speeding past.

During rehearsal, no one caught on fire (good thing, since they didn’t give us our buckets for rehearsal), but 2 kids almost fainted and a few burned their hands on dripping wax.

I think that all parents should have to assist with a class activity or outing to understand what these teachers have to deal with every day. Not just observing the class, but actually having to herd them, instruct them and keep them alive.

To sum up:

  • Teachers should be paid more.
  • Kids are like goats.
  • I am never volunteering to help out with a school class again.

 

P.S. The actual Lucia concert went just fine. I think these kids behave a lot better when parents and cameras are watching. haha!

Gifts for enemies

It’s the giving season! I’ve picked out this special gift for a number of people on my enemies Christmas list!

  • Bus driver who didn’t stop for my son and I in the rain
  • Old lady telling me how to raise my kids after meeting me for 5 seconds
  • Every person who takes up several seats at my kids’ school performances with their coats and bags and says, “These seats are saved!”

This is my special Christmas gift to them. Luckily, you can order several packages so there are enough for everyone!

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Google translate – hours of entertainment

I looked up reviews on a children’s activity park in Italy, but everything was in Italian so I had to use Google Translate. I don’t know why this person only gave this place 2 stars. It sounds pretty interesting!

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Dress Code

In my old hometown newspaper from Texas, there is an article this week about a sophomore student in high school asking the School Board to remove the ban on boys wearing earrings in school.

I have tried to explain to my Swedish husband that when I went to school in Texas, you could not dye your hair, boys could not have hair past their shoulders, no facial hair and no earrings for boys. That was combined with the usual skirts past the fingertips for girls and no hats allowed for anyone.

Apparently the schools in the place I grew up finally took away the rule about long hair for boys (fairly recently). I know the earring and facial hair rule are still in effect, as well as the skirts and hats, and I’m not sure about hair dye but I think that is still banned as well.

When my husband went to high school here in Sweden, he went through purple hair, bright red hair and blue hair, among many other colors. He also had an earring. And no one cared. He was a smart and great student. No one in class was “distracted,” as some Texas schools like to say in these situations.

Imagine at your job if a man walked in with an earring (many men at your job probably already wear one or more), facial hair (shocking!) and purple hair. You might say, “Whoa Todd, cool hair!” and then do your job. I can’t imagine anyone saying, “There is just no way I can file insurance claims when I can’t take my eyes of Todd’s earring.” or “I would save this woman’s life, but I can’t perform surgery when the ambulance driver who brought this patient in has purple hair. It’s too distracting.”

My oldest son dyed his hair orange most of last year. All this week he has been wearing fake mustaches to school, nerd glasses and a hat that looks like Sonic the Hedgehog. Surprisingly, this does not affect his work or the work of his fellow students, some who have dyed hair, wear shorts or even a rabbit suit pullover (yes, I’ve seen this twice).

I live in the real world. I ride the subway. I’ve seen people dressed as zombies, people with face tattoos, people with piercings and chains. I don’t mind any of those people as long as they TAKE A SHOWER (and don’t eat my brains, of course).

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My oldest son has worn this to school every day this week (with a different mustache every day).

 

One step removed celebrity recipes

A family member posted a recipe today for a Pinapple pie. The recipe was listed as being “Johnny Cash’s Mother’s Recipe.”

Why would this make the pie any better? As far as I know, Johnny Cash’s mother was not a famous cook. Also, Johnny Cash did not always look the picture of great health or “fun” eating. Just saying.

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Toothbrush thoughts

My son had a good dentist appointment this week and the dentist gave him a new toothbrush when he left. He took it out of the wrapper and slowly ran his fingers up and down, over the top.

“This is so soft. It’s like when I touch your toothbrush. It’s soft under my fingers. My old toothbrush feels like straw.”

I realized I hadn’t replaced the kids’ toothbrushes in a while. I told my son that I didn’t know his toothbrush was so hard, and that he should remind me to replace it more often. 

I gave him a hug and told him he could go on ahead of me to see if his neighborhood friend was home. As I watched him run down the sidewalk, I thought about how happy I was that he didn’t have to suffer through all the problems I had at his age with my teeth. What a healthy kid. He eats well, exercises and….

Wait a minute. 

“Why are you touching my toothbrush?!” 

How to disappoint your kids

Unintentionally fashionable

When I fell off my moped this weekend and ripped up my jeans, both of my sons said, “Well, now you’ll be in fashion.”

I saw this ad today on our neighborhood sale group for someone selling jeans. It translates to “Jeans with tears, completely NEW

I guess you would have to emphasize that they are new, because you just never know with that fashion.

Now I’m thinking I can sell my ripped jeans on the neighborhood sale group too! My ad will read, “Jeans with tears, completely AUTHENTIC

 

 

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Overheard conversation between my kids

Boy 1: Are you ok with guacamole on your tacos?

Boy 2: You don’t seem to understand the meaning of tacos. With tacos, you can add what you want – meat, cheese, lettuce, tomato…

Boy 1: Yeah, but would you eat guacamole?

Boy 2: I could do it if necessary, but I just don’t see the point.

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How to get kids to eat less chips

“Well kids, they might be chips and they might be cobras. How about a nice apple instead?”

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Bathroom decoration

My son ran out of a restaurant bathroom in Italy very frightened.

“I can’t go! This man with a huge head keeps staring at me!”

So of course I had to check it out.

He was right.

Bucket hat of shame!

Children who don’t eat their vegetables are sent outside in the “Bucket hat of shame.”

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(I hope you know I’m kidding.. The truth is, I have no idea why he was outside like this, other than it’s sometimes fun to put a giant plant holder/bucket on your head)

Why we aren’t allowed in the makeup section

This is what happens when you need to shop for lipstick and leave your kids alone for 5 minutes.

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School lunch

My son recently got back from a school trip to Tallinn, Estonia where his class visited another school. A nice parent took pictures (because in 4 days my son only took one), and he included a photo of the school cafeteria lunch.

When I saw it, I said, “Wow! That’s like a real lunch with real food on real plates!”

My husband thought I was a weirdo for saying that. He said, “They didn’t serve you on plates at your school?”

I said, “No, it was always rectangle plastic trays and usually rectangle food.”

Estonia, I am impressed!

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Adventures in public transportation

Otherwise known as “Yesterday: A true story”

Scene 1

Woman runs for bus. Bus drives off as she reaches stop.

Scene 2

After catching later bus, Woman arrives to pick up son at school, but school is dark. Sign on door says school closed early. Woman trudges to separate building where they store leftover kids of forgetful parents.

Scene 3

Woman and kid wait at bus stop in light rain. Five minutes pass.

Lady in yellow vest: Are you waiting for the bus?

Woman: Yes

Lady in yellow vest: It doesn’t go from here this week. You’ll have to walk to the next stop.

Scene 4

Wet and tired woman and kid walk 10 minutes to next bus stop to find group of 50 people waiting for bus.

Woman sighs.

Scene 5

Woman and kid fight their way off packed bus to discover driver stopped 200 meters from station. In the rain.

Scene 6 – Next day

Woman sits at bus stop for 15 minutes. When bus pulls up, woman realizes she has been waiting at the stop that goes the opposite direction. Crosses street to wait 10 minutes more for correct bus.

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Easter spider rabbit

My 10-yr old wishes you all a happy Easter from the Easter spider rabbit.

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Hulk’s pants

Dinner time is an important meal for the whole family to spend together. We talk, learn about each other’s day, and discuss important topics of concern to us all.

The other day, that topic was the Incredible Hulk’s pants and superhero clothes in general.

So when Bruce Banner changes into the Incredible Hulk, all his clothes shred off except for his pants. Stan Lee and Marvel have tried to explain this as a special fiber that allows the pants to stretch, but our family has other questions:

  • Why do the pants tear at the ankles but not the upper thighs?
  • Why doesn’t the butt seam break apart like it does on normal people’s pants when they wear out?
  • How many pairs of these pants does he own and how much do they cost, because obviously he has to replace them every time he changes back?

This also leads to questions about another superhero:

  • Superman wears his costume under his clothes. Where’s the cape tucked in?
  • Superman removes his suit (usually in a phone booth) to expose his supersuit and fly off. What happens to his discarded business suit? People steal that right? What would you do if you found a nice suit crumpled up in a phone booth? How many suits does he have? A reporter doesn’t make that much money.

That’s as far as we got because then we were done eating dinner, but I feel this topic could easily be explored further.

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