Charlie bent over his work, his little tongue licking his lips like a squirrel who can’t decide which direction to go when a car heads toward it. He carefully followed the direction of the arrows which told him how to form the cursive letters. After writing an uppercase L, he raised his head and grinned at me with wide excited eyes.

“What if the bottom of the L just kept going,” he flipped through the pages of his workbook to the end, “all the way through all the lines to the end of the book? That would be sooo crazy!”

I humored him with a smile. My practical, grown-up mind tried to fathom the world-changing implications of an L with a tail long enough to fill a whole workbook. It was beyond my capabilities.

Even with the threat of long-tailed Ls, I was just happy he wanted to learn cursive. I could remember being exactly his age and wanting to write that way, but my school didn’t teach cursive until second grade. I could join up all the letters of my first name, except for the S. My first-grade teacher had to ask me to stop.

William wanted to learn when he was in first grade too, and I knew I would have to be the one to teach him. But I made him wait. I had to wait. Even the workbook said that it was for third to fourth grade. So we waited. And now he’s no longer interested.

I wasn’t going to make that mistake with Charlie.

When he got to the end of the page, I pulled out his Starbuck’s chocolate cake pop from it’s little paper bag and let him have another bite…

Friday Fun

Friday Fun – Make Up a Story!

“I had a hard day at the office…”

Earlier this week, I tried to get William to believe that he could come up with a random story with that wonderful imagination of his. He didn’t believe he could it.

Well, he didn’t. But I did – to prove it could be done. The resulting story is rather pointless, but both boys seemed to enjoy it, so feel free to share it with your own kids. 🙂

Once upon a time there a little mouse who wanted to be a fish. So he jumped in the river and swam to his heart’s content…

…until he came across a big frog.

“Hello, Mr. Frog!” the mouse said. “How are you today?”

The frog only said, “RRRIBBIT!”

“What does ‘RRRIBBIT’ mean Mr. Frog?”

The frog said again, “RRRIBBIT!”

“Well, yes, Mr. Frog, I heard that the first time, but I still don’t know what it means. Can you please explain?”

The frog merely said “RRRIBBIT” once more, and then hopped away.

The little mouse kept swimming. Soon, he came upon a mosquito.

“Hello, Mr. Mosquito!” the mouse said. “How are you today?”

The mosquito only said, “BUZZZ!”

“What does ‘BUZZZ’ mean Mr. Mosquito?”

The mosquito said again, “BUZZZ!”

“You know, Mr. Frog just did the same thing to me when he only said ‘RRRIBBIT’ but I still don’t know what either of you are saying.”

The mosquito went crazy and said “BUZZZ!” louder than ever. Then he quickly flew away.

The little mouse kept swimming. Soon, he came upon an earthworm.

“Hello Mr. Earthworm!” the mouse said. “How are you today?”

The earthworm said, “I’m doing well, thank you! How are you?”

The mouse was relieved. “Oh! I can understand you! I couldn’t understand Mr. Frog or Mr. Mosquito earlier. All they said were ‘RRRIBBIT’ and ‘BUZZZ.'”

“Turn around and look at them,” said the earthworm.

So the mouse turned and looked. Mr. Frog ATE Mr. Mosquito! “That’s all they were saying,” said the earthworm. “Mr. Frog was looking for lunch, and Mr. Mosquito was trying not to BE lunch.”

“Wow,” said the mouse. “What do you eat, Mr. Earthworm?”

“I eat dirt.”

“What does dirt say?”

The earthworm shrugged. “Nothing. What do you eat Mr. Mouse?”

“I eat cheese.”

“What does cheese say?”

The mouse shrugged. “Nothing. It was nice to meet you, Mr. Earthworm.”

The little mouse swam to the riverbank. He had decided it was time to stop being a fish and look for some cheese.

I’d love to hear from you!

Do you make up stories on the spot? Do your kids make up stories on the spot? What sort of stories do your kids like?

Friday Fun

Friday Fun – Chicken Little

Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Yesterday, I had to return a book to the library. Unfortunately, it was just one.

You see, I had both boys in the car, and I had already told Charlie that he could be the one to put the book in the slot as we drove up to the book deposit.

William wailed. His face got red and tears streamed down. “This is the worst day ever!”

I think that the next book we borrow will have the story of Chicken Little.

It’s a story that I think a lot of people need to re-read. When William is old enough for social media, I will not let him take part until he can control his sky-is-falling attitude and remember what matters in any situation. Right now, he’s an irrational seven-year-old. It’s my job to teach him how to be rational.

“This is the worst day ever!”

Yeah, that reminded me strongly of “We need to get rid of all the guns!” “They’re gonna take away all our guns!” “We need to ban all Confederate flags!” “They’re gonna to ban all Confederate flags!” “We need to take down Confederate statues!” “They’re gonna take down Confederate statues!” “We need to rename Washington D.C. because George Washington owned slaves!” “They’re gonna rename Washington D.C. because George Washington owned slaves!”

Yep, because the sky is falling and I’ll NEVER have another chance to put a library book in the slot.

Friday Fun

Friday Fun! Defining Contradiction


I’ve been sleeping on the couch for the last two weeks. Ugh. Pollen is my mortal enemy and I feel I’m losing the battle. Hence the sparse posts. Fortunately, I’ve got these little comedians to keep up my spirits.

We went out for dinner one night. If the boys have been snacking in the afternoon, we have them share their meal. That usually means sharing a milk but separate water cups. After Charlie takes a sip from the straw in the milk cup, William will use his shirt to wipe Charlie’s “slobber” off of it.

At this particular restaurant, there were salt grinders at the tables. William grabbed the grinder and because he couldn’t shake salt into his hand, he attempted to put his mouth around the bottom so he could grind salt into it.

Because those germs are superior to his brother’s, apparently.

William – Age 6

Charlie and I were looking at pictures of the toddlers where he goes to preschool. During our conversation, I explained how they were younger than him. He looked at me and asked, “Mommy, how young are you?”

He’s such a little charmer! ❤

Charlie – Age 5

I’d love to hear from you!

How do your kids cheer you up when you aren’t feeling well? Because we all know they do! 😉 What are some funny ways that they completely contradict themselves? How do they naturally compliment you?

Friday Fun

Friday Fun! Random Winter Things

florida snow
Our neighbor has a snow maker. We think he’s pretty awesome. 🙂

The boys were having a discussion about something that happened the night before and it turned into an argument (a surprisingly quiet one). They kept asking me about it saying “Do you believe me Mommy?”

I said, “I can’t take sides because I wasn’t there.”

Charlie said, as if it settled the matter, “Well, I believe myself.”

Charlie – Age 5

We took the boys on a road trip to see snow. Because we live in Florida, we had to drive ten hours to get to Maggie Valley, NC. At the time, the only snow was at the commercial locations. Nevertheless, we had a blast watching the skiers, throwing snowballs, building snowmen, and William and I got to go tubing down a snowy hill. At the end of the day, we asked the boys if they enjoyed the snow. William’s response?

“I didn’t like it because it wasn’t real snow from the sky.”

*head desk*

William – Age 6

Kids will say random things. They will also pick up random things from the ground. Sometimes this happens at the same time. I have no idea what this is or what it’s used for, but Charlie found this little gem on the sidewalk:

tiny trashcan

Ooookay! Let’s go look for the faerie who lost it! 😉

Charlie – Age 5

Going with the theme of random, my boys also fight over random things. Yesterday, when leaving for school, we were ready to head out the door, when they had a shoving match. What were they fighting over? Who got to OPEN THE DOOR! Because there are only so many doors that we’ll open in our lifetime…


William – Age 6, Charlie – Age 5

I’d love to hear from you!

What are some of the random things that your kids do? Are they ridiculously picky? Do you look back at the weird things they fight over and laugh?

Friday Fun

Friday Fun! Silly Valentine Faces!

crazy William

Happy Valentine’s Day tomorrow! My boys have been giving me little love notes and extra hugs all week. 😀 But the best is when they make me laugh without even trying.  Sometimes I feel as if I’m about to float to the ceiling from laughing. 😀

Apparently, we put a lot of emphasis on Thanksgiving around here. My grannie was a direct descendant from the Mayflower and it was her favorite holiday. I love it too.  But Charlie still gets a little confused.

He keeps calling Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving. Yesterday, he came in from the backyard with a flower for me. He said, “It’s a Thanksgiving flower for you, Mommy.”

At least he understands the sentiment. 🙂

Charlie – Age 5

After spending half the day at the Children’s museum, THEN another two hours on the playground, both boys still fought leaving for the car.

“I wanna keep playing!”

And yet… the minute we get in the car, “I’m STARVING!”

William and Charlie – Ages 6 and 5

Charlie built a “train” using the dining chairs. He identified all the chairs as different parts of the train. Then William got home from school and stepped it up with other chairs and couch cushions. Before long, Charlie’s train had a sleeping car, a dining car, a church car, a dentist car, an art car, and… Well, you get the idea.

Now I need a comfortable place to sit. :/

William – Age 6

Once a week, I’ll bribe reward the boys for cooperating when we leave the YMCA by getting them happy meals. This week, they came close to not earning them, but it was mostly because of William’s whining. Charlie wasn’t too bad, but he did run ahead before I was ready. When we were buckling up in the car, I said, “Charlie, you weren’t listening.”

Charlie shot me a look that strongly resembled this:

memeYep. I lost it in a fit of giggles.

Charlie – Age 5

I’d love to hear from you!

How do your kids make you laugh? Do you find laughter to be the best Valentine’s gift? Do your kids suddenly contradict themselves?

Friday Fun

Friday Fun! It’s Healthy!

Charlie under the bed

The anecdote about William explains why I’ve suddenly become even busier and only have two stories to share this week, till I manage a new schedule. 😉

It’s tax season. That time of year when costumed people stand by the side of the road waving signs and Charlie says, “Let’s go visit the Statue of Liverty!”

Charlie – Age 4

I’ve started working out on the treadmill because of unique encouragement from William. We had gone to Busch Gardens and for about five minutes I followed the boys on Jungala’s climbing maze of rope bridges and nets.

Five. Minutes.

My legs were painfully sore for the next several days. There were times I wasn’t sure they would support me going down the stairs. I guess I spend too much time sitting and writing. William thought it was funny to poke my sore muscles and see the way I squirmed.

At least I can listen to an audio book on the treadmill.

William – Age 6

I’d love to hear from you!

Are your kids monster hunters? Do they appreciate national monuments? How do they encourage you to exercise?

Friday Fun

Friday Fun – Moving the Stars

I watch Mary Poppins with Charlie – again – and I am so tired that I lay down on the couch. For some reason, that action suddenly turns Mommy into an indestructible trampoline. I get up because I am too exhausted to be a trampoline, in which case Charlie says, “Okay, I won’t jump on you.”

So I lay back down. Charlie immediately stands up and says, “Tricked ya!” He leaps on my middle.

I get back up again and say, “You better be careful about crying wolf.”

“I won’t jump on you.”

I lay back down.

“I’m gonna cry wolf!”

That’s when I realized that Charlie didn’t remember the story the same way I did. For him, “cry wolf” is now defined as “jump on Mommy.”

Charlie – Age 4

I read William to sleep usually. One night, he had just fallen asleep and I stopped reading but didn’t leave yet just to make sure he was good and “out.” I sat up to use my phone when I heard a little voice behind me.

“What happened, Mommy?”

“You fell asleep, buddy. Let me finish this post and I’ll read some more.”

Five seconds later, I hear a loud snore.

William – Age 6

Short nights in winter mean that Charlie has time to go out and talk about the stars with Daddy. Daddy likes to bring a map so he can call out their names properly.

Once, he accidentally called some of the stars by the wrong name. Daddy said, “Whoops I mixed these stars up.”

Charlie asked, “How did you move them around?”

Charlie – Age 4

Grandma sent Charlie a present for his birthday. It came in the mail and when we got in the house, the boys couldn’t wait to tear into the package. While I was trying to get everything organized, I was trying to impress upon William that the present was Charlie’s and that he needed to let Charlie play with it, whatever it was.

When I turned around, William was wearing Charlie’s brand new sweatshirt that read, “Trouble is my middle name.”

At least there was some truth to that…

William – Age 6

I’d love to hear from you!

Have you ever moved the stars? Do your friends and family wear phrases better suited to you? Do you cry wolf? Do you fall asleep at the drop of a hat?

Friday Fun

Friday Fun – Neurosurgery

Fortunately, Mickey didn't need to go under the knife.
Fortunately, Mickey didn’t need to go under the knife.

Since Charlie’s diagnosis of Type 1 Chiari Malformation is what prompted my overlong blogcation, I thought it only fitting that I start up again on Friday Fun. 🙂

His surgery was on December 10th and I still can’t get over how well he did! He is back to being the same old Charlie, except that he sleeps soooo much better. No more sleep apnea, no more thrashing, no more waking at all hours of the night. Well, he still comes downstairs and crawls into bed with us sometimes, but at least he goes back to sleep. 😉

We were very blessed living so close to All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg. It was a fabulous experience, given the circumstances. The staff did a fantastic job catering the minds and spirit of children. We even got a surprise visitors!

Charlie thought it was pretty cool that they posed for me. :D
Charlie thought it was pretty cool that they posed for me…instead of wrapping me in webbing.

But since they happened to stop by the evening of Charlie’s procedure, this is what Charlie saw:

The backs of his eyelids were more appealing than Spiderman at the time.
The backs of his eyelids were more appealing than Spiderman at the time.

The superheros were nice enough to leave Charlie a present before they left. He was pretty stoked about it. 😀

How can you celebrate Christmas without an Avengers Santa hat?
How can you celebrate Christmas without an Avengers Santa hat?

Charlie recovered remarkably fast for decompression surgery, though for a while he did lots of this:

Things to do today: play - rest - play- rest.
Things to do today: play – rest – play – rest.

After a mere two weeks, the Neurosurgeon cleared Charlie for normal activities again! I was relieved because I was getting tired of reminding him that he couldn’t run or jump yet. 😉

I’m inexpressibly grateful that everything went so smoothly because I know that it might not have. My blogcation and the holds I put on the other areas of my life could have been much longer. But I’m not going to think about that. *shudder*

Now I’ve got my funny little clown back and we’re considering signing him up for drama classes. I’m having fun seeing what little performance he has planned for me everyday.

Have you ever had a scary experience go better than you could have ever hoped? If things went bad, did good come out of it anyway? Please share!

Friday Fun

Friday Fun! Overreacting

Yup. That's William. :)
Yup. That’s William. 🙂

William: There are more boys in the world than girls.

Mommy: How do you know that?

William: My teacher told me. She knows lots of things.

Charlie (very seriously): Maybe he talked to God!

Mommy suppresses giggles.

William: No, Charlie!

Just when Mommy thinks that William is going to correct Charlie’s thinking that God directly talks to people anymore, he instead says indignantly: My teacher’s a she, not a he.

Glad we cleared that up.

I picked William up from school last Friday and he had earned a new toy from his class’ treasure box. He had chosen a mini bowling game, about the size of a jacks game. Charlie, of course was chomping at the bit to play with William’s new toy.

We went to the Y after school and when we got back in the car, Charlie managed to get his hands on the game. I was still outside the car when I heard a clatter and then William shrieked as if someone had cut off his finger.

“What happened?” I asked.

William was beside himself and could hardly breathe let alone answer. I thought that Charlie had hit him on the head or something. Hubby answered for William.

“Charlie threw the bowling game and several of the pins fell between the seats.”

One of these days William is going to have to learn how to keep his cool.

William was counting by places; first, second, third, etc. When he got to twenty-first, he channeled his inner Pippi Longstocking and called it “twenty-wonst.”

The boys hate waiting at red lights as much as we do. Last night, we waited at a red turn signal and William sighed. “When’s it gonna turn green.”

I decided to borrow from Whoopi Goldberg. “I bet I can make it turn green with magic,” I said. “Watch.” I saw that the cross street light had turned yellow, so I blew air at the red light and it promptly turned green.

Ever practical William began to cry when I wouldn’t tell him how I did it.

I’d love to hear from you!

Do your kids overreact to silly things? Do you find yourself giggling when they try to figure out numbers? Do you force them to hang on to their wonder just a little bit longer even if they protest?