Category Archives: Parenting

Happy Swedish mother’s day

Today is Swedish mother’s day and I got one present from my youngest son a day early when I picked him up yesterday afternoon.

Mamma, I got you a present.

(digs in pocket)

Here! It’s mascara! I found it just sitting on a wall by the street. It’s still got some in it! I thought you could use it to color in your eyebrows! You’d look cool with black eyebrows!

Thanks, son.

 

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We’ve got to grow it on her brow

My son, who has his bedroom adjacent to the kitchen where the radio plays, stomped out of his room very confused this morning.

“What kind of song is this? Why do they keep singing ‘we’ve got to grow it on her brow?’ I don’t get it! Grow what?!”

“Um, the lyrics are actually ‘we’ve got a groovy kind of love’ but I think I like your version better.”

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Fake freckles

My kid does this once a month to his face and all he needs is an old Sharpie marker. I’m not paying for a special “freckle marker.” This is going too far.

 

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Old tech, so complicated

We had a bunch of 10 and 11-year olds over for a birthday party last weekend. My husband collects old game systems, so we hooked up the original NES (Nintendo Entertainment System).

Unfortunately, with today’s modern televisions, the Duck Hunt gun no longer works accurately. The rest of the games could be played with no problem, but most kids could not understand how to start the games once the cartridge was in and the system on.

The kids would press A and then B on the controller, saying, “I don’t know how to start. How do you start?”

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(Reading and critical thinking – not a specialty of 10-year olds).

 

Killer Whale Karma

While watching “Blue Planet” with my son last night, we came upon a lovely part of the documentary about the migration of grey humpack whales. A mother was traveling at a slower pace in order for her newborn calf to keep up. It was very touching until…

THE KILLER WHALES SHOWED UP

A gang of 15 killer whales surrounded the mother and calf, spending 6 hours trying to drown the calf. Finally they succeeded and then swam off after only eating the calf’s jaw, leaving the heartbroken mother to travel alone.

So this got me thinking…

Were we too quick to condemn water parks for training killer whales for our entertainment? Did we look into why the human race started holding them in captivity in the first place? Because I’m thinking we must have made a deal with the peace-loving humpbacks to put those killer whales where they deserve to be. Entertaining children instead of drowning and eating them.

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The modern family

As I’m sitting here typing this in my nice comfy slippers from my iPad, my husband plays games on his RetroPie from the bed, my oldest son is using Skype to play Minecraft with his friend across town, and my youngest son is in a virtual reality world. Welcome to the future.

My current view as pictured above.

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.

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