Category Archives: Parenting

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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Beep Beep, I’m a Sheep

I was “treated” to 30 minutes of my son singing this song OVER and OVER on the way home from school yesterday. This was after taking him to drum lessons, where he apparently forced his drum teacher, a well-respected and talented drummer, to play drums for 20 minutes to the beat of this song. The teacher came out at the end of the class, just looked at me and said, “We just spent the entire lesson drumming to Beep Beep, I’m a Sheep.”
I could see a bit of pride and dignity melting away in his eyes.

So to spread the horror that my brain has been repeating over and over and over since yesterday, I give you “Beep Beep, I’m a Sheep,” on a 10 HOUR LOOP just in case you don’t have children of your own. Oh, and as a parent, I can say that you’re lucky to get away with only 10 hours. It’s on at least a week-long loop or more at our house.

 

Fashion

My youngest son made a cape for his brother. When his brother tried it on, it was so tight around the neck that it choked him a bit. When he asked if they could cut or loosen it, the youngest son said:

“Well, you have to take risks when it comes to fashion.”fash

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Neighborhood fox update

So now this shows up on the neighborhood forum:

“Idag på em var hela familjen och lekte i lekparken, sonen hade sin gula fotboll med sig och efter att ha lekt runt lite i parken ser vi plötsligt att bollen är borta, den försvann nästan mitt framför oss. Efter att ha letat en bra stund i parken och runtomkring gick vi alla hem, ledsna för att någon tagit min sons boll. Så om ni ser en gul fotboll någonstans kan ni väl säga till.”

Translated:

“This afternoon, our whole family played in the park, our son had his yellow soccer ball with him and after he played a while in the park, we suddenly realized that the ball was gone, it disappeared almost right in front of us. After looking for quite a while in the park and the surrounding area, we went home, sad because someone took my son’s ball. So if you see a yellow soccer ball somewhere, please let us know.”

Now you know what I am very tempted to post in response to the above.

MAYBE THE FOX ATE IT!

(Thank you, if I didn’t share that thought here, I might have actually had to post that and caused a neighborhood war.)

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The secret to happiness

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Chores

Sometimes my husband and I wonder what our kids might say to a therapist when they get older. Last week, we got a little preview from our 9-year old.

We assign the kids at least 2 chores each week. Last week, when I mentioned that I might ask one of our kids to vacuum, our youngest son said, “Vacuuming shattered my view on life!”

“um… why?”

“Because one time, you guys told me to vacuum, and then when I got to your room, it turns out you were both lying in bed watching the Simpsons while I had to work!”

Busted.

Oh well. Life lessons.

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Brothers… all the same

My youngest son was talking about how he wishes we could hurry and invent teleportation.

“We’d already have it if it weren’t for the Marx Brothers.”

I thought about this for a while, but could remember no scenes relating to teleportation in any Marx Brothers movies.

I asked, “How did the Marx Brothers ruin our chances at teleportation?”

“Because they invented the airplane, so everyone focused on that instead!”

“Um, you mean the Wright Brothers.”

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Healthy food/Tasty food

I was telling my oldest son about an article I read in Reader’s Digest about the Best Foods for your health. He said, “Yeah, I started to read that too, but then I realized it was about healthy foods and not best tasting foods, so I skipped over to the joke section.”

 

 

Indestructible

My husband started the morning by showing our young boys the indestructible power of an old Commodore 64 joystick. Now, I could write about how we are low on money and I eat mostly crackers at the end of the month just to save while apparently my husband NEEDS to buy two old Commodore joysticks for the Commodore that collects dust on our shelf and is never played…

But that’s not what this is about.

No, this post is about the dangers of letting young boys know that something has been labeled ‘indestructible.’ This word doesn’t exist in a young person’s vocabulary. Instead, it is automatically processed as a challenge. I have a feeling that even though these joysticks aren’t hooked up, they won’t last long.

My son likes to tell the story of a friend who claimed his new phone case protected his phone so that the screen would never break, and then demonstrated this by throwing his phone directly on the edge of a piece of concrete where it of course the screen was completely crushed.

I think this destructive habit never really goes away in boys or men. It’s the reason fireworks sales are huge.

Once at the optometrist, a man in front of me complained to the receptionist that he was not happy with his ‘indestructible’ glasses. He said, ‘I throwed ’em on the floor, stomped on ’em with my boots and the lenses got all scratched up!’

Again, it’s not a selling point, it’s a challenge. A challenge that should be reserved for water balloons or pie. Cause at least that would make me laugh.

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Public Service Announcement for Parents

Heads up. My kids have been singing this since November. Apparently it’s getting even bigger. Warning: Extremely stupid…. but extremely catchy.

I guess what I’m trying to say is you’ve been warned. Embrace it or buy some noise-cancelling headphones.

Face/Off

I did one of those Face Swap photos on the phone the other day with my 9-yr old son. They always leave the faces looking quite distorted, so my son said,

“Mamma, no offense, but I don’t want your face.”

I laughed and said that was just fine, but then he continued:

“So now I don’t need to cut it off and wear it over my own face.”

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(As usual, it’s amazing how statements like these tend to give you an area all to yourself on the subway.)

 

 

 

Suspicious article

I have a feeling my kids snuck this article into “The Local.”

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Christmas in Sweden – Santa

In Sweden, Santa delivers gifts personally.

Santa visits Swedish homes (after Donald Duck) to hand out gifts personally to the kids. Unfortunately, this usually happens after dad or another male member of the family has just stepped out to check for the newspaper and he misses Santa every year.

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When my husband (often the only adult male at our Christmas celebrations) found out that the American Santa Claus visits children while they sleep, he happily accepted that tradition instead and that’s how our family celebrates.

 

Christmas in Sweden – Rhyming

The Christmas gift poem is not as widely done these days, but some people still practice the tradition. The gift-giver writes a couple of rhyming couplets on their presents, hinting at what’s hidden inside, which is then read out before opening it.

Example (Perfume):

A lovely scent of mystery
in a bottle you’ll admire
a few drops at time
may set hearts on fire.

My husband used to do this on my gifts until we had kids and now we are too exhausted to come up with that many rhymes.

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Christmas in Sweden – Advent Calendar

awesomechristmasEvery family has at least one Advent Calendar, usually with bits of chocolate on the inside. There is also a tv calendar and a radio calendar.

The Christmas Calendar (Julkalendern), which dates back to the 1960s, is an annual TV series airing one episode a day in 10 minute increments. Each year it’s a different story.

There is also a radio calendar with a different Christmas story than the television, airing a 10-minute episode each day.

The TV calendar this year is a story set in the early 1900s about a girl and a professor who build a hot air balloon to travel to find the land of Santa Claus.

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The radio calendar story this year is about a girl who shakes a snow globe and is taken to a magical land.

We listen to the radio calendar every morning at breakfast, and watch the television calendar every evening.

It’s a good way to practice my Swedish, though many years the stories take place in the 1800s to early 1900s, so I may have picked up a few unused words here and there.

 

 

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