Tag Archives: parenting

Playing Jacks While What?

4 Jun

JacksYou get to a point where you think you can’t be shocked any more.  And then your family friend uses the facilities in your home and reports there are jacks on the bathroom floor.  Huh?  I have two beasts — no daughters.   And on the bathroom floor?

Then you’re embarrassed, amazed and a little grossed out to learn that one of your beasts plays with them in order to pass the time while on the toilet.  Yes, you read it correctly.  While on the toilet… he’s playing jacks.  So weird.  Inexplicable how these ideas come into their head.  It’s just not normal.

Parenting Tip:  Keep your sense of humor.

Psalms 37:8  Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.


Why is it?

4 Mar

Toilet time

Toilet time is private time

Why is it that kisses from mommy suddenly become gross, but talking to her face-t0-face while she’s on the toilet is completely acceptable?

The Home Schooling Strategy

28 Mar

I’ve complained about not getting to school on time. I’ve complained about receiving acknowledgment from my beast when I’m on campus with him. I’ve figured out why home schooling is a growing strategy for parents.

Home-schoolers don’t just have control over the education of their children, but they bypass some of the challenges around bringing up beasts:

  • You always know how much homework your beast was assigned.
  • You never get snuffed when dropping them off at school.
  • You are the ride to the field trip and back. They can’t ignore you.
  • You don’t have to fill out a million permission slips, sign report cards, mystery forms or write checks to the school every week.
  • You get to eat lunch with them every day, and your beast probably joins you willingly.
  • No more Monday folder full of “parent’s homework.”
  • There is no mystery around what they are learning in school.
  • Library books have a lesser chance of being lost.
  • No last minute trips to the drugstore or local supermart for those supplies that have to be turned in tomorrow, but couldn’t be disclosed prior to 9 p.m. the night before they are due.
  • You never have to drive left behind projects, text books, shoes, gym clothes, notebooks, french horn mouthpieces, practice cards, lunches, jump drives, book reports, library books, homework, checks or cookie dough order forms up to the school office.
  • And most importantly, you get along with the teacher really well!

No wonder more and more parents are taking this approach. I am sure they live perfectly happy and harmonious lives and don’t face any beast-like issues that public school or private school parents face. Right?

True or not, a girl can dream. Even if I am too lazy to act.

Parenting Tip: Know your limits. Everyone has different gifts and abilities, and in parenting skills it is no different.

[Deuteronomy 11:18-19 Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.]

Spring Break in Prison

23 Mar

The cost of freedom

The cost of freedom

What kid doesn’t appreciate getting pulled out of school early?  For my elder beast, it was like the beginning of a death sentence. So what if he got to leave early — it meant a week of vacation with the family.

Beast:  “Can I just stay home and not go skiing?”

Mother Beast:  “We aren’t leaving you at home alone for a week.  You’ll have fun, trust me.”

Beast: “No, I won’t.”

It was then I saw the nickel lying on the pavement just behind our car.  “Wanna bet?” I asked. I picked up the coin and said, “I’ll bet you this nickel you will have fun.”  His response was the standard teenager’s, “Whatever.”

At that point, I realized it really was a dual sentence. I would be emotionally punished for making him go.  And for him, a week in Gitmo would be much more enjoyable than a ski trip with his family.   But what he didn’t know is I had a surprise witness that would seal the deal.  That nickel was going to be mine.

He did his best to play the tortured inmate role —  trapped in the car with a family he can’t relate to any longer.  No interest in watching movies with his brother.  Conversation was more like interrogation. And once when I accidentally touched his knee, he reacted as if I applied an electric shock treatment.  He had put himself in solitary confinement within the back quadrant of our car – reading his book and doing his best to tune us out.  Only willing to communicate when it was time for a meal or the latrine.

I knew he only had to endure one night of this hideous torture.  The star witness would arrive on day 2.  So we arrived at the airport in Albuquerque under the ruse that we had a package to pickup for Dad’s work.  When in fact, we had flown in their favorite cousin from Houston to accompany us on the trip.   The one person that could transition my hopeless inmate back into a member of the family.  It worked. Once the witness was unveiled, the jail doors flew open.  Sentence commuted.  Freedom had arrived.

Still I cautiously waited to claim my victory until the week had come to a close, the witness delivered back to his family, and we were back home.  I didn’t dare ask the question until I was sure the time was just right.

Mother Beast:  “So, did you have fun? Do I win the nickel?”

Beast:  “I didn’t know you were bringing him.  Yes you win the nickel.”

The reason I knew it was okay to ask – – I had just received a nowadays rare, ever-precious, sacred and unwarranted, “I love you.”   Unprovoked, unmerited and completely out of the blue.  And at that very moment, the jail doors flew open for me and I realized that my very own bail had only cost me a nickel.

Parenting Tip:  You can’t force a kid to see the good in his situation, but you can surely help him find the way.

[Acts 16:26   Suddenly there was a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken.  At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose.]

My Beast is Brilliant

8 Mar

hamster wheel

What they want you to think

I just had a light bulb moment.  So many puzzling and frustrating encounters could have been avoided had I figured this out sooner — my beast is actually brilliant.  You may not realize it, but if you have an adolescent son – he is too.  I know because they need no advice, know where everything is and exactly what needs to be done.

Even if they try to make you think they need help, can’t find anything and will never do their chores, they are probably just humoring you so you think you are still needed.  You’re not.  They really have everything under control.

Their grades may not reflect it, but again I am sure that is just a ruse. The look on their faces may seem blank when you ask them questions, but that’s got to be part of their cover.  Rest assured, they need nothing from us.

They just haven’t moved out yet because the law says they can’t do so until age 18.   Silly laws.  At least now that I’ve figured it out, I won’t be confused when they do something so perplexing.  You see, they can only be brilliant because they have such a brilliant mom.  Booyah!

Parenting Tip:  Remember, mistakes are chances to mold and teach them while they are still under your roof and you can still force them to listen.

[Proverbs 28:26  If you think you know it all, you’re a fool for sure; real survivors learn wisdom from others.]

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tales from a stay-at-home mom of four boys


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