Monthly Archives: July 2011

calls to work…


This summer the boy and doll have remained at home while I’ve gone to work.  Reason would hold they are old enough to take care of themselves, however they are not allowed to leave the house without calling me first.  At the start of summer, their father left his cell phone at home for their use.  Now they call me from the home phone before going anywhere and calling me back when they arrive home.  So far so good, but some of the phone calls I have been getting from them are hilarious. 

Last week when I had Charlotte at a doctor’s appointment, I found this message on my voicemail after I reactivated my phone…”Mom…um, the boy told me if I don’t go with him to the park’s program, he was going to ground me.  I told him that since he wasn’t my mother and only my mother could ground me, he couldn’t ground me and instead he could go jump in a lake…”

Another day the boy called to inform “the doll is torturing the dog.  She’s chased that demon under your bed and is trying to coax it out with a treat!”  “Boy, tell her to come to the phone”.  When she picked up the receiver I said, “Doll, please leave the dog alone.”  “Mom, the boy didn’t have to tattle on me, the dog is fine.”  “Be that as it may, stay away from the dog” I replied.  “Fine.  You know the boy is a pain!”  Well yes she’s not telling me anything I didn’t already know. “Doll, from his perspective I think he could say the same thing of you”.  “Not funny mom.” Unbeknownst to both of us the boy was listening in on another receiver and added, “You’re right mom she is by far a bigger pain than I could ever be!”  “BOY!” the doll and I both said back.

The other day, I received a phone call from my brother whom the boy called when he couldn’t get ahold of me.  “Marsha, the boy called because he couldn’t get through to you and thought I could help.  Evidently the doll misplaced her key and is terrified her dad will kill her.”  Laughing I thanked him before hanging up and calling home. “Mom, the doll is in tears and keeps yelling at me.” During the course of our conversation I noticed a change in his voice, like he may have found something… “Boy, tell the doll to come…” “Oooh, I have an idea, let’s prank the doll!”  “What?  No, did you find the key?”  “Uh yeah… giggle, I have a great idea let’s really make her sweat!”  “NO, boy, call her to the phone and hand her the key.”  “Ohhh dollllll…guess what I found….” he musically pronounced.  As she entered the room I could hear her crying and miffed at her brother.  “You’re talking to mom?  Great now she’s going to….” she began before the boy said, “Aren’t you going to ask what I found?”  “You found the key?” she asked excitedly.  “No, just wads of your hair!!” he said and laughed; all the while I’m yelling through the receiver, “Give her back the key!!” Though I couldn’t see her face, I’m sure it fell into a disappointing heap when he pulled her chain.  “No, actually I found your key here on the couch.  It was hiding in plain site oh and Mom wants to talk to you…”

“It’s okay mom, the boy found the key..” she said into the receiver.  “Doll, I know you’re worried about your dad’s reaction to losing the key, but he will never kill you.  He’ll only be disappointed that you didn’t take better care not to lose it.”  “I know…but…” she trailed off. “Go have fun at the park program and I’ll see you after work, okay?”  Still weepie she said “Okay.”



the cousin fix


We hadn’t been home from vacation an hour when the doll asked if she could call her cousins, informing them she was free to play.  “Doll, it’s after 8:00 pm, I think you can wait until morning”. I said.  “Alright” she replied disappointed by my decree.  But wouldn’t you know, at 8:30 am Sunday morning, she was more than ready  to call their house.  I deferred her until a little later in the morning, after all, not everyone awakes before 8:00 am on Sunday mornings. 

A little before 10 am my determined child confimed a playdate with her cousins and even succeeded in getting my sister in law to pick her up on her way home from Costco.  This left the boy, dad and I to our own devices; making the boy happy as a clam.  I knew before she left, she should have packed an overnight bag, as my brother lives twenty minutes away and the doll would use that to her advantage.  Sure enough she called and said, “Hi Mom, Aunt Kim wants to talk to you…” employing the age old, let the parents think it was their idea plan.   

When Monday afternoon rolled around, I received a phone call from the doll expressing her want to spend another night with her cousins.  “pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease?  PLEASE MOM PLEASSSSSSE!” She asked over and over again.  Being a mean mommy I said no, mostly because she’d be in the same clothes for over 48 hours.  Attempt number two, ask aunt Kim to ask again for her…  “Marsh…” came Kim’s voice, “I really think she would be fine spending another night here, she has such a long face at the thought of going home”.  The way she was behaving I wondered if she had any fun on vacation;  or was she just sick of us? 

 As a result we came up with a compromise…though she had to come home Monday night, she could spend the night again on Tuesday til Wednesday–with no expectations for Thursday.   By the time she arrived home Wednesday evening, she said, “alright, I’ve had my Mary and Elle fix for the week. 

Sigh, I wonder what days she’ll (wanna) be gone next week…

Lexicon of right?


Since the boy has always talked in a “matter of fact” kind of way, you tend to believe everything that comes out of his mouth.  The doll on the other hand employes tricks to get you on her side.  Her most recent is the inclusion of “right?” at the end of almost every sentence out of her beautiful mouth.  “The sun rises in the west, right mom?”  Though you know the answer is wrong, you are inclined to agree…simply because if you don’t you run the  risk making her feel stupid.  “Well that’s not quite right doll, but you’re close….”  all the while hoping you’re not hurting her feelings for trying.

“Mom, why do you always take her side?” the boy asks.  “I don’t always take her side” I say defensively.  At least I try not to.  The boy snorts and walks away, he doesn’t believe me.  “The snipped tail on the Jack Russell Terrier is so they can balance themselves better, right mom?”  How in the world should I know? I wonder.  “Doll, you know that’s not the answer.  On Dogs 101 they said….” the boy trails off with a much more logical explanation than I could ever come up with.  “But I was still right, right mom?”  Lowering my head in shame, I can only say….”maybe”.

On some days, the attention I give toward the boy, is scrutinized by the doll.  If I happen to give him an extra hug, she requests two hugs in compensation.  “Why are you so needy?” I wonder to myself.  “Mom, I’m your favorite, right?”  “Yes, my favorite 9 yr old girl, for sure!”  “No, between the boy and me, right?….”  “Doll, please don’t put any limits on how I feel about you and the boy.  There is no comparison.  I love you both the same, for completely different reasons, because you are two completely different people.  I don’t ask you who you love more, me or your father, so don’t ask me to split the hairs between you and your brother.”

She thinks for a minute, then apologizes.  “Sorry, mom, I shouldn’t have said anything to you about that, but you have to admit, I am much more fun than the boy, right?”

Correct, right, left, straight ahead, across the street, next corner down…ugh!!

a simple heart….


There is something to be said about the old fashioned sun tan lotions, as opposed to the spray-ons.  At least with lotion you have an idea where the stuff  lands, as opposed to where the wind might catch the spray and keep it from landing on your body.  The other day, as we played in the surf, we were also rewarded with sunburns for our efforts.  The boy and doll were not too bad, as I made sure they are coated pretty well.  The hubby on the other hand endured his  stomach as well as various parts of his back getting  burned pretty well. Can you guess his new nick name?

You can’t tell from this picture, but the doll just fed a squirrel a french fry.  The little guy was so quick that he ran before I could snap the picture.  This was not her first attempt at feeding the squirrel either.  The boy, tried to match her bravery, but ended up just laying the french fry on the bark of the tree instead.  Mr. Squirrel, so wanted the doll’s potato, that he scratched her hand in an attempt to free the potato from her grasp.  Thankfully, he did not scratch below the surface of her skin or we may have spent an evening at the local hospital getting rabies shots instead.

One night we had storms all around us, but never at our beach.  The doll, her dad and I went out for a walk on the beach, looking for sea shells, shark teeth and anything else we could find.  The clouds around us were dark and threatening, making us feel uncomfortable about our chances at not getting wet.  Then lo and behold a sign  appeared, making us feel more at ease: God loves us, whether we get wet or stay dry;  aka, stop sweating the small stuff.

Finally, after getting up all week just before sunrise and walking four miles each morning; I took my camera with me.  The sunrises had been spectacular, especially given all the cloud coverage we had had.  Nothing can touch the emotions of watching the sun rise over the water…the feeling that “Yes I survived another day; and perhaps this one will be better than the day just past. ”  That is until you gather your family for a long day of airports and car rides out of paradise.   But then again, home carries it’s own sort of paradise too.

Knee deep


“Hey mom…knee deep” he smiles at me, referencing the Zac Brown Band song, as we all ran back in to the waves, hoping to catch the next big one.  “Mom, I’ve got the name of your next blog…” the doll said excitedly, as she recovered from waves that toppled her into the surf. “The wave that killed the doll!” “Nah, the ‘wave that ate the doll’ sounds better, because, well you are still alive, right?”  Smiling she agreed, then added her own spin to the title, “The wave that ate the doll, then spit the doll back out!” 

As we ventured further into the surf we became acutely aware, we were in the middle of a pelican feeding frenzy.  Just below the water surface, a large school of fish swam around us, hoping our presence would act as deterrents to the birds attacks.”Mom, I was just splashed by a pelican!” the boy exclaimed.  “Are you growing feathers?” “No.” “Are you sprouting wings?” “No.” “Have an overwhelming desire to eat raw fish?”  Growing increasingly annoyed by my questions, the boy responded,  “Mom I just meant a pelican landed right in front of me, splashing water on my face”.  “Well, we all can’t be so lucky boy, just wanted to make sure there wasn’t more to the splash” I said before catching the next wave to the shore.

The doll tried unsuccessfully to catch the waves where we were all standing.  “You know mom, if this beach had a pool, this is the time I would be saying, ‘lets go to the pool’. ”  I had a brilliant idea.  She and I moved closer to shore to catch the smaller waves crashing on the shores, yet  the fear of water going up her nose kept her from committing to a wave.  Exhausted from trying she declared herself done and headed to the shore, looking for shells.  Sadly that was the last day we attempted to ride the waves, as the tropical depression which created all these wonderful wave riding opportunities moved on up the coast, leaving calm restful waves in their place.




It’s funny, the things you remember about kids as they grow up.  Like how everyone of them at one time or another seemed to say the same thing, just before jumping into a pool…”Jahba, jooba Jeeba!!” followed by splashes and laughter.  Or “na na na na boo boo!” just before they stick their tongue out at someone.  These inate sayings seem to cross all spectrums: boys/girls, very little or almost grown;  they just  instinctively say silly phrases, their parents get to bring back later and use to embarass them.

Such is the case with the boy.  Recently, when I jumped into my dad’s pool for a refreshing dip, he yelled, “GAH FOR SPARTA!!”  just before attempting to dunk me under the water.  Imagine my surprise when this 120 pound boy shouted that before attempting to pound on me.  My response was, “Gah, for sparta wha??”  before I turned the tables and instead dunked him. “Mom, it’s just something I saw on a TV show and thought it sounded silly…” he responded later. 

But you know as well as I, say something unusual to your mom once, and be doomed to hear it repeated over and over again ad nauseum.  “MOM! PLEASE STOP SAYING THAT!!”  he yelled at me yesterday.  I asked, “Why does that freak you out?  It’s not like anyone else is in the pool with us…”  Oh well….dog with a bone, or mom with a phrase…somethings you’ll just have get used to…



time changes….


Watching the boy carefully eat a hot dog the other night, I asked, “What’s up boy?”  “I have a loose tooth…” he lamented.  Ah another difference between the boy and doll rears its head.   When the doll discovers she has a loose tooth, the wiggling commences. Giddly she’ll announce, “Look mom, I have a loose tooth!!”  Meanwhile the boy is doing everything possible to not loosen that tooth further.

I guess you could say the boy is in no hurry to grow up.  A far cry from his sister.  The boy, who once considered himself Christopher Robin, would prefer to remain in the hundred acre wood, blissfully ignorant of all things related to growing up.  The belief in Santa Claus, Easter Bunny or the great pumpkin are subjects he would rather not broach.  After all, questioning their existence does nothing but help lose the magic of  his childhood. 

The doll on the other hand drives me nuts with her enquiring mind.  She is in such a hurry to grow up;  I catch her eavesdropping on adult conversations; searching for clues to the next steps in life.  What she doesn’t understand, being nine and blissfully unaware is an enviable position.

Last night she stopped me in the hallway, standing there, pressing her fingers together in a pyramid, trying to trick me into giving her another brick on the road out of childhood.  “Sooo, the tooth fairy doesn’t exist?” Looking at her a bit annoyed, I replied, “What made you think that?”  “Well you and daddy were arguing over some money in the drawer, then you said, ‘that’s for something else’ and pointed at the boy’s tooth.”  The boy’s tooth happened to be sitting on the base of the television.  “What makes you think I was talking about the tooth?  I was pointing at the TV and referring the money to something your father and I had already discussed”.  “But mom, you pointed right at the tooth.”  UGH!  “Doll, if there were no tooth fairy, would we still be holding onto the tooth?  Wouldn’t we have already thrown the darn thing away? Stop trying to read into every conversation your father and I have that does not concern you!” 

A look of relief crossed her face…”Oh, so there is a tooth fairy right?”  Knowing full well I’m lying to my child, I say, “As far as I know….” then move away from her fast.  She frustrates me, but the boy, still blissfully ignorant doesn’t need to know of our conversation.  The way I look at it, if the boy wants to believe, who am I or the doll to take that away from him? 

Not I, said the fly, Not I.