Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Yes, I am a Potty Mouth

I don't say it proudly; it's just a fact. I could blame my parents for it, but I've already blamed them for so much I guess I can give them a break on this one.

Last week, my three-year-old daughter and I settled into bed for her afternoon nap. Only seconds passed before the phone rang. It was my husband. We chatted for a few minutes. It must have seemed like an eternity to the little girl laying next to me because she began singing, "Shit, shit, shit."

Stifling laughter, I whispered into the phone, "Can you hear her?"

"No, what is she saying?" my husband replied.

"She's singing s-h-i-t over and over."

He chuckles before asking, "What are you going to do?"

"Ignore her."

But, like most kids, she would not be ignored. She continued to chant that melodious four-letter word, which I'm sure she learned from me, until I finally hung up the phone. I then explained to her that we shouldn't use that particular word because it isn't polite.

"But you say it."

What was I to do? She was right. So, I struck a deal--we would do our best not to use that word anymore. Satisfied, she drifted off to sleep. As we snuggled together under the warm, fluffy blankets I remembered my father's favorite saying, "Shit and two is ninety-four."

I guess I can still blame my parents.

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Exciting News!!!

Cheryl Wright, the editor of the monthly ezine Writer2Writer has asked me to join her staff. She published one of my articles in the January issue and my next article will appear soon. My articles will focus on time management tips for writers--something I think all writers can use based upon the feedback I've gotten.

Thanks to Cheryl for giving me such a wonderful opportunity. Thanks, also, to my loyal readers. Your praise and encouragement mean a great deal to me.



Friday, February 09, 2007

Choose your words carefully

When I first began this entry I thought I would make it about a salesman's inability to understand what his customers needs were, but as I thought about what transpired that day, I realized the problem resided with me and my inaccurate choice of words.

A few months back our clothes dryer needed to be replaced. I looked at a few models which were competitively priced at two different stores. I thought I would like the door that opened down instead of my old model whose door opened sideways, but I wasn't sure if I liked the models with the vent inside the dryer door or the ones with it on the top of the dryer.

When I asked the salesman if there was any advantage to having the vent on the top of the dryer instead of in the door, he said the screen was larger. Well, he was right, and I ended up going with the model which had a door that opened down with a vent on top.

I hate the darn thing. I can't easily reach the clothes in the back of the dryer when the door is open because I am so tiny and I can't pull out the vent screen without having dust falling all over the top of the dryer-- which is where I place my folded clothes. And pulling out the screen is challenging enough, because I am so short I have to go up on my toes to get it all the way out.

Now I am stuck with this dryer that I hate for the next seven to ten years, because there is no way we will replace it before it dies.

Lesson learned: Choose your words carefully...very carefully.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Swinging in the snow

Like a lot of moms, I end up being the disciplinarian in my house. I'm with the girls most of the day, so keeping them on the straight and narrow falls on my wee shoulders. And yesterday was one of those frustrating days where I spent more of my time trying to keep them in line than enjoying them. By seven o'clock last night all I wanted to do was hop in a tub full of hot, steamy, bubble-filled water.

Right before their bedtime I flicked on the light and saw old man winter had finally arrived in the Pioneer Valley. A little over an inch of the white stuff covered our back yard. Well, I knew the girls needed to see the first real snow of the season, so I called them over. They gazed out the window and the oldest one said, "I wish I could play in it."

And then I did a crazy thing. I got them dressed up and we went out to play.

We had a snowball fight. The little one tried catching snowflakes on her tongue while her older sister laid down in the driveway to make a snow angel. And then we ran into the back yard and decide the weather was so nice, the girls could swing. I pushed them and sang, "I'm swinging in the snow, I'm swinging in the snow," to the tune of Singing in the Rain.

The snow-covered slide seemed to beg for some little person to travel down it and my girls climbed up into the fort and slid down, falling on to their bottoms because they flew so fast. Then it was one more quick snowball fight before stepping onto the front porch to remove our wet clothes.

My oldest daughter--my strong-willed child--who I battle more often than not, then said something I will never forget. "This is the best day of my life!" She shook with excitement, so happy to have experienced this spur of the moment joy.

What a wonderful moment in mothering I would have missed if I had said, "We'll play in the snow tomorrow," instead of taking them out last night. How many other moments like this have I already missed? Yes, the girls went to bed late and I had a spot of trouble getting them to calm down so they could sleep, but those words spoken by my oldest will be forever engrained in my head.

As I sat next to her in bed waiting for her to drift off, she hugged me tight and told me, "This was the funest night of my life!"

"I'm so glad," I replied. And I meant it. With such a simple thing as a nighttime romp in the snow, I gave my daughter the best night of her life...and what mother could complain about being able to do that.

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