Category Archives: Ankelbiter Musings

The Mind Of A Child

Here are just some of the latests musings that have come out over the last few months from the matter-of-fact mind of my 10-year-old child:

What Do You See?

What Do You See?

What Do You See?

Kiddo was told at school he could make whatever he wanted, bar any weapons….he and his friend made these.

When the teacher admonished them for making ‘swords’ and told them they had to go in the trash, kiddo apparently looked at him in horror and with all the innocence only a 10- year-old telling a bald faced lie can muster said;

“What? Is isn’t a SWORD, this is Jesus’s CROSS, I can’t throw Jesus’s cross in the trash!”

He got to keep his ‘cross’.

Watching the Brady Bunch

Him: “Mummy, what’s that weird machine?”

Me: (feeling about 112) “It’s a typewriter, people used to type on them before there were computers.”

Him: “What! There weren’t computers? Is that back when grandpa was a kid? ”

Me:(feeling 212) “No, it’s when I was a kid.”

Him: (looking at me with renewed interest) “How old are you again?”

Learning

Hubby on the phone to Kiddo: “Did you learn anything new at school today?”

Kiddo: “No, we only learn something one day a week, and today wasn’t that day.”

Haircuts

Me: “We need to get you a haircut.”

Him: “I don’t want to, I hate hair cuts!”

Me: “I know you don’t want to, but your hair is a disaster it looks terrible, we really need to get it cut.”

Him: “But you told me it’s who people are, not what they look like that matters!”

Me: (Silence). I can’t think of one parent-y thing to say. It’s taken 10 years but he finally has me beaten down with this one.

Emergency Situation

“Today we had a drill for if someone comes in the school trying to kill us. We had run into the library and stay really quiet.

Some of the kids had a hard time being quiet, I think they’re the ones that are going to be killed first. I think that if someone might kill you, that’s a good reason to stay quiet.”

Riding a Bike

Me: isn’t riding a bike awesome? You have the wind in your hair and the road is your master…”

Him: “Well, the wind isn’t really in my hair, it can’t get through those tiny cracks in my helmet.”

Aboriginals and Oxygen

Him: ” I’m really glad God made oxygen here on earth, because it would have been crazy to arrive for the first time in Australia and see aboriginals with space suits on…”

Me: “Er, yes it would. You’re right, that was a good call on God’s part.

As you can see, every day is a mind boggling buffet of insane information!

Advertisements

Sneaking in the Back Door

A barnstar given to people as an apology

(Nothing says "I'm so sorry'" like an apologetic Barnstar)
Image by Wikipedia

You know that friend you have that seems to disappear off the face of the earth?

You wonder where in heck she’s gone, leave a few voicemail messages, wonder if she’s alive or dead and eventually give up on the whole thing. You refer to her as some kind of urban legend in your subsequent conversations with your group of friends for years to come.

Then one day you’re at an event and she comes sneaking in the back door, quietly trying to meld into the crowd and pretend she was never missing in the first place. She doesn’t want a scene and she thinks she may have gotten away with it as she cheerfully joins in on conversations.

As you watch her, you’re annoyed. Agitated. You called for goodness sake! You left messages! She couldn’t even put themselves out for a simple reply?

You and your group of friends lock eyes and give each other a simple nod.

You all know what’s going on. You head on over to the person with a determined look on your faces, you will get an explanation and it better be a *doozy. (Secret CIA mission would probably be acceptable…or astronaut duties, coma, lost at sea, or even becoming a monk would scrape them by. That about covers it though.)

She knows it and you know it. It’s going to be addressed.

As she watches you all head her way, her palms become sweaty and she starts to rehearse in her minds what she’ll say. It all comes down to this. How they handle it will make or break the friendships. (Talk about pressure!)

I’m that person.

I wasn’t sure what the blogging equivalent of ‘sneaking in the back door’ was, but I wanted to attempt it and have you all forget I was ever gone.

I spent at least 4 excruciating minutes thinking about it, trying to figure out how to make it work.

I had nothing.

Zilch.

At the 5 minute mark, my mind started to wander and I ended up thinking about that special I saw in my email inbox about J Crew shipping to Australia for free. That in turn became a marathon online shopping hour at J Crew, and that got me thinking about a winter wardrobe for my son.

I was completely off course.

Trying to be clever clearly wasn’t going to work, so I had to get focused. I visualized the equivalent of the group ‘heading on over’ (and might have peed my pants a little).

I imagined Eleanor and Carrie and Elyse and maybe even UC and  SSM storming over with that ‘you owe us an explanation missy‘ look on their faces… (it bears mentioning, you people are considerably frightening when I think of you banding together in some kind of ‘pack’ mentality.)

(Just saying.)

So I decided to pull up my big-girl panties and grab the bull by the horns and address it directly. Like a grown up. One that isn’t afraid or anxious. Or worried. Or considering wearing combat gear.

“I’m just a really bad person. I’m inconsiderate, irresponsible, selfish, lacking discipline and uncaring. I have no excuse that will give me a clean slate, I’m just plain terrible… so…. is there any chance I can play again? Be one of the gang? I’ve really missed you – I have – but life just has a habit of getting in the way sometimes. Work, study, the end of summer holidays and getting kiddo back into school, planning an 8th birthday party, hubby expanding his business and a house move. 

I actually have 3 posts that I started to write but was never able to finish, I’ll use them one day. (They were good!)”

Well? Where are we at? How was it?

Pass?

Fail?

How about a little sucking up as well?

“On a positive note, I’m nearly all caught up on reading your posts, I’m good on UC, Carrie and most of Elyses. I haven’t even started Eleanors (this weekends treat!) and SSM and Dor’s I will be reading later this week. We are actually going on vacation (thank God) this week, so I will have plenty of time for my favorite bloggers gems of wisdom.”

C’mon that had to help, at least a little?

I’m moving into ‘pretend-I-was-never-gone’ mode, let’s see how that works…

It’s Easter this week as you probably know, and in Australia we have 4 public holidays in a row. Good Friday, Easter Saturday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday. The only places that are really open are restaurants and of course the shops will be open Saturday – Monday for shorter than usual hours. All other businesses are closed. It’s a favorite weekend of the year here – the only one with 4 consecutive holidays – so many people go away on vacation.

We’ll be heading to Sydney again.

Sydney is kind of like the New York of Australia. If you able to go there, why go anywhere else?

It has so many fabulous things to see and do, the weather is great this time of year,  and we can be there within a day. Other people go to the beach for vacations, we live at the beach, so to us the city is our ultimate vacation destination!

Many of you will be in church celebrating the meaning of Easter this week. I will be in a restaurant somewhere celebrating with a good-quality meal and some not-often-seen family. It will be the first time these particular family members have been together since before my son was born – 8 years ago! A nice way to celebrate such an important holiday.

My son offered up an excellent ‘modern day’ Easter story to me last night that I think I’ll share with you as I shuffle out the door with the crowd, laughing and joking as though I was always a part of the party and never really left…

My 8-year-old:

“Mummy, I learned about Lazarus and Jesus in school  today. They both died and they were wrapped up in material like mummies and their bodies were placed in a tomb, and a rock rolled in front so no one could get in there. But God rose them from the dead, and when they walked out of the tomb, people were really freaking out because they would have looked like some of those guys from **Plants vs Zombies.”



Plants vs. Zombies

Out of the mouths of babes…eh?

* Doozy is a slang word that I think is only used in Australia?? Doozy:  something extraordinary or bizarre, difficult or daunting.
** Plants vs Zombies is a computer or ipad game that has these ugly-looking zombies and mummies that you have to ‘kill’ to ‘save’ your garden from being destroyed by them. It’s a huge game amongst my 8-year-old and his friends (and my 38-year-old husband).
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Your Children Aren’t Nearly As Intelligent As You Believe. (Trust Me On This.)

This company assumed children blessed with the gift of logic, would be drinking their milk.

Today it became crystal clear to me why Doctors say our kids shouldn’t be drinking flavored milk, or soda pop.

Contrary to popular belief, it has nothing to do with the sugar content, obesity epidemic, rampant ADD in our schools, or the complete lack of nutrition.  In fact, it’s a much less hotly-debated issue.

The reality is, they aren’t at the age where they are equipped to deal with the complexities of these drinks.

“Complexities?” I hear you ask; “what could be more simple than drinking a sugary treat?”

What, indeed.

Last night my seven-year-old finished dinner, we were eating outside (it was a beautiful night), and my husband left us to return a phone call.

I had promised my son after he had eaten his dinner, he could have the chocolate milk I had bought him (a rare treat in our house), and his pleasure was evident when I distractedly handed him the drink, and began texting on my phone.

I was paying no attention to him, until I noticed him wiggling a little in his seat. In typical parenting style, I ignored it (not wanting to open up a dialogue on kid related things that would almost certainly be akin to watching paint dry on a wet and cloudy day).

The wiggling continued and turned into actual bodily shaking… he was now standing in front of his seat with his hands and arms moving in the air as well!

“What the hell?” I thought to myself.

Don’t ask”, my inner voice warned, “don’t open up that can of worms, continue on with your texting.

I knew this was a road I really didn’t want to travel, so I left it alone and continued with my text.

Moments later, he sighed loudly and sat back in his chair, with a force that comes from the exhaustion of moving so energetically on a warm evening.

Then the lunacy spewed forth from his lips;

“mummy, why do I have to shake well before opening this drink?”

Note the little " symbols they have added to the bottle to really emphasise the shaking - little did they know the confusion this would cause.

This my dear friends, is the result when one’s reading ability, far surpasses their intelligence level. (A condition I suspect many adults also suffer from, but that’s fodder for another post.)

As a result of this illogical display of senselessness, my son will only be given one  beverage option – water – when requiring relief from his thirst for the next half decade or so.

Until he is capable of reading the label and deciphering for himself that wording like “twist top”  is not an instruction related to the shirt he is wearing, “contents under pressure” does not refer to an unresolved emotional conflict or a tight work deadline for the beverage, and “ring pull”, is not the can asking you to present your buttocks for any kind of assistance – he will be banned from all beverages that are not see-through.

And from what I’ve just witnessed, it may be a long 5 years.

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Tagged , , , , ,

How Do You Like ‘Dem Apples?

Nectarine

Image via Wikipedia

Picture the scene if you can….

7:30am summertime. (School is on vacation so I’m still asleep, but hubby is up because he has to go to work.)

Kiddo says he is hungry, and could he have an apple?

Hubby goes to the fridge, and peels and cuts an apple for our son. He gives it to him and walks away.

Moments later, my son comes into the bedroom and I hear the whining; “Daddy this apple doesn’t taste like the apples mummy cuts up for me…I don’t like it.”

[The opportunity for sleep is gone with all the action, coupled with the fact that the two boys in my life sound like a herd of raging elephants when they walk around the house, so I give up on sleep and get out of bed to investigate.]

I view the offending ‘apple,’ and see immediately what the problem is.

My husband has peeled and cut up a nectarine for our son.

I mean, really?? Think about that for a minute. Do you know how hard it would be to peel a nectarine? They are soft and squishy and not created to be peeled. The mess when he peeled and cut it must have been extraordinary!

It’s one thing to mistake a nectarine for an apple as you pick it up – who am I to judge? But to peel and cut the whole thing up, never once during the process stopping to think; “hmm… this doesn’t look/taste/smell/feel like an apple, perhaps I have the wrong fruit?

Then we get to the HUGE-ASS STONE in the middle…what on earth did he put that down to?

The whole concept of such colossal failure is beyond me. I can’t express my incredulousness to you. I really can’t. I didn’t even say much to him, I just kind of looked at him thinking; who are you, and how did you function in life before you met me?

The next day I found my voice and after ribbing him mercilessly, he began to claim the reason he thought it was an apple was that it was “so early and I had just woken up.”

Uh huh. That’s right, sleep deprivation was the problem here.

I blame his mother. She is responsible for this disgrace. By his own admission he was never fed nectarines when he was growing up. If you listen to him, all he ate was Doritos’ and M & M cookies slathered in a little spray cheese. (The Doritos, not the cookies – at least that’s what I assume he meant.)

Still, on the positive side it tells me that I am needed.

Without me, my son might be eating ice packs instead of ice cream, cardboard instead of toast, eggplant instead of eggs, and uncooked quinoa instead of cereal. Clearly they cannot get by without me, and though we mothers know this in the depths of our hearts, I have never had the evidence thrust before me in such a shameful display before.

As it stands, no matter how fat my life insurance policy, I simply cannot die. They won’t survive in the wilderness that is the 21st century – you know – with all its confusing fruits and vegetables and stuff.

Tagged , , , , , ,

The Humble Iron is Not Like An AK-47

Image by John Kasawa

A few weeks after we arrived in Australia, my sister and her boyfriend came to spend a weekend at the beach with us. They live inland and don’t get to the beach often, so it was a great weekend of sun, sand, surf, and catching up.

It was the last day of their trip, and the boyfriend pulled out an ironing board and iron, to iron his shirt.

My kiddo walked by, and asked him what it was he was holding.

“What, this?” said the boyfriend,  holding up the iron. “It’s an iron!”

“What does it do?” kiddo asks in all sincerity.

(The boyfriend is flabbergasted by the turn of events.)

“You iron things with it. It makes your clothes neat. Have you seriously never seen your mother use an iron?”

(Kiddo is somewhat perplexed, but losing interest fast, given that the strange object wasn’t a toy, chocolate or a something to pull apart.)

“No, she doesn’t use that thing, our clothes are already neat.”

I actually heard this conversation from the other room and tried to dodge the proverbial bullet, by escaping into the kitchen – without a confrontation – but had no such luck and was  accosted by an incredulous boyfriend near the refrigerator. He gave me the rundown, and demanded an explanation as to how an almost-seven-year-old did not know what an iron was, nor what it did.

Valiantly, I explained about the miracle and wonders of dry cleaning in America, (where I had lived for the preceding 10 years). In the USA dry cleaning is cheap, efficient, easy to access (most have drive through windows) and thus, used regularly by me. If the truth-be-told, my son had probably never even seen me use an iron.

Here in Australia, (The boyfriend will be pleased to know), I iron all the time and the kiddo has now become intimately familiar with it, as I curse my way through his school shirts. Some bright spark on the board of his institution – in their infinite wisdom – decided that it would be a fantastic idea to put 7-year-old boys in white, button up, crisp cotton collared shirts, for school (along with a tie, no less)!

This necessitates me washing and ironing on a weekly basis. These shirts get indescribably dirty, requiring the use of industrial-grade stain remover (and shirt replacements every couple of months), due to the stubborn marks that appear and defy all laws of stain removal.

My grandmother always says; “You’re never to young to learn,” and since my love of old quotes is far greater than my love of ironing, I’ve decided to pass the baton and allow kiddo to experience the thrill himself.

That said, can anyone tell me the legalities involved in allowing a 7-year-old to use an iron? I mean, it’s not like it’s an AK-47, I couldn’t get arrested, right?

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Water Boarding With Nemo

Photos from a protest against waterboarding, o...

This is what they did to my son. Well, without the face cover and tie downs - because THAT would be inappropriate. Image via Wikipedia - waterboarding protest.

Just before Christmas in 2009, the kiddo presented with H1N1 flu symptoms and a fever of 104.8 that wouldn’t reduce with Tylenol.

Because his regular Doc’s office was closed and the fact that he is at high risk status with Asthma and Chronic Lung Disease, the Children’s Hospital recommended we come in so they could check him out and run some tests.

Off to the emergency room we went at 3pm. (Way to spend a Sunday!)

After the basic questions and evaluation, I was told that they needed a sample of his snot for testing. (Sorry, snot isn’t really a very nice word is it? Is there a better word than snot? By better, I mean politically correct and lady-like.)

Is there? Well if so, I don’t know it.

Anyway, they needed a sample and he couldn’t get one by blowing his nose, so they decided they needed to ‘get it themselves’.

And I let them.

They laid him back on a gurney sloped downwards so his feet were raised higher than his head. With one nurse pinning his legs and another large male nurse pinning his arms and body by almost laying across him, a third held his head tipped back and shot water up his nose with some kind of electric powered water-filled syringe.

As it overwhelmed his senses spewing water from what looked like every orifice he had, they put a suction tube up his other other nostril and collected the precious snot. The gagging, screams and thrashing that came from his body during this procedure were incredible.

Our son has had many, many visits to the hospital and there was never this much drama. Not when he had to have an IV put into his skull when he was younger,  not on the many occasions he has had blood taken, or when he’s been unable to breathe and has had to be on a respirator, or from his stays in intensive care.

Never!

Now, take a look at this description from Wikipedia on a form of torture called water boarding:

Water boarding is a form of torture that consists of immobilizing the victim on his or her back with the head inclined downwards, and then pouring water over the face and into the breathing passages, causing the captive to believe he or she is dying.[1] Forced suffocation and water inhalation cause the subject to experience the sensation of drowning.[2] Water boarding is considered a form of torture by legal experts,[3][4] politicians, war veterans,[5][6] medical experts in the treatment of torture victims,[7][8] intelligence officials,[9] military judges[10]and human rights organizations,[11][12] although other current and former U.S. government officials have stated that they do not believe water boarding to be torture.[13][14][15][16]

In contrast to submerging the head face-forward in water, water boarding precipitates an almost immediate gag reflex.[17] While the technique does not inevitably cause lasting physical damage, it can cause extreme pain, dry drowning, damage to lungs, brain damage from oxygen deprivation, other physical injuries including broken bones due to struggling against restraints, lasting psychological damage or, if uninterrupted, death.[3] Adverse physical consequences can manifest themselves months after the event, while psychological effects can last for years.[7]

Do you see where I’m going with this?

They totally water boarded my 5 year old, and it happened at a Children’s Hospital in Texas, administered by medical personnel (who signed the hypocratic oath, no doubt).

To top it off, note the part highlighted in red that refers to the possible damage of lungs… on a child with lung disease.

I know, I know, medical personnel would tell me its really not the same thing. All I know is what I saw.

Reading this description and combining what I witnessed, could have been the manuscript for the “Water Boarding 4 Dummies, How-To-Tutorial.”

That’s what I know.

Let me also clarify – before they were going to do this, I asked the question – “Would your treatment be the same regardless of the results?” “No”, they said. The treatment would differ depending on whether a flu virus was found or not.

Thus it seemed necessary to do this, to ensure proper, safe and effective treatment. The result?

A negative H1N1 that we are then told is only about 70% accurate so they wanted to give him Tamiflu anyway. Seriously.

I pondered the risks of asking the doctor the thoughts that were running around my head. Thoughts like;

“Are you even really a Doctor at all?

or

“Have you perhaps been laid off from your job at Guantanamo?”

or

“Do you moonlight as a Mafia hit man?” (These are questions all good parents should ponder.)

Against my will, hubby convinced me not to. He felt that it wouldn’t help improve the service our son would receive. (He’s conservative like that.)

Someone really needs to reflect on the approach of Doctors and nurses at these places. People laud the wonderful care given by the staff in the Cancer wards and the like, but in my (vast) experience, the treatment when arriving at the ER in Children’s Hospitals has never been more than disappointing.

(Sorry to all the great Doctors and nurses that work in Children’s Hospitals, I know you are out there, I just haven’t met you yet.)

That being said, when kiddo was admitted into the  emergency room at Skyridge Medical Center in Lone Tree, CO and then transferred to the PICU in Swedish Medical Center, CO a few years previously, the staff there were awesome – so kudos to those staff.

As an aside, here’s how hubby coped with the stress of the day:

This is what hubby does during stressful hospital stays for kiddo

That’s right, stealing hospital products and making rooster balloons – its good to see some people weren’t traumatized by the day.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Dont Let Your Love Go Quiet

Hearts

Image by eirikso via Flickr

Today as I was putting my son to bed he looked at me and said;

“You know, when my friend Stuart gets home from school every day, he gets a cookie, but its OK I get something better than cookies, I get love.”

Of course I turned to him with all the love in the world and said “Oh my God, you are the cutest thing ever…here, have a cookie.”

After inhaling the aforementioned cookie (of which I think he totally manipulated me into giving him, kudos to him) he said; “You know I think Stuart probably gets love as well, he just doesn’t know it. The love in his house is too quiet.”

A friend asked where I found such an adorable child as she was thinking of getting one of her own. (Apparently he had been hiding in my ovaries for decades and I never knew it. How lucky am I?)

The lesson here from a 7 year old politician-in-the-making is that you should never let your love go quiet.

Tagged , ,

Don’t Alienate Your Children

My son walked into the bathroom today and looked and me and said; “Don’t alienate your children.” 

What???

Apparently he had been watching an advertisement on CNN channel that talked about teenagers and drugs and how not to alienate them.

I marveled to myself at how clever he was to understand what they were talking about and how he must have gotten that intelligence from me, how cute he is etc. etc. Then he ruined it all for me by saying; “why did the aliens ate the children?”

Unfortunately it’s not me he takes after, its his father. Dimwitted-ness runs in his family, not mine.

Tagged , , ,

No Man Will Ever Love You This Much

I was down at the beach on Friday when my hubby picked up my son from school. He told him if he got changed quickly he could meet me at the beach for ‘a little while’. My son loves the beach so he raced inside, tore off his school clothes and redressed in his beach gear, all in record time.

He did however, take the time to stop and get a cup and fill it with water to place a flower in it that he had picked for me earlier that day. My husband urged him to leave it on the counter to be dealt with later as it was getting dark and he was missing out on precious time at the beach. Usually a ‘threat’ like this would ensure instant compliance,  but this time he would not hear of it.

“If I leave it until later, it will die, and I picked this especially for mummy and I want her to have it”; he said.

Here is a picture of the ‘flower’ and the vase-cup he used.

There’s just no way any man will ever love you that much. Never ever.

Tagged , , , , , ,

The “F” Word

My son lost his front tooth yesterday and driving to school this morning he said the following;

“The “F” word will be hard to say until my new tooth comes in.”

I’m assuming he meant all words starting with F, and not that F word. But you know what they say, “to assume makes and ass out of u and me”. Perhaps I need to face the reality that my 6 year old could possibly be the next Howard Stern.

%d bloggers like this: