Friday, September 28, 2018

7 Quick Takes about Full-Service Gas Stations, Raising a Future Magazine Editor, and Port-a-Potty Slogans That Probably Won't Catch On

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?


I used to hate full service gas stations. I could hardly think of anything that felt more awkward and pretentious than sitting there on my royal behind like Meghan Markle waiting for the commoners to pump my gasoline.

That was obviously before I had kids and had to do everything for everybody. Now I LOVE full-serve gas stations. There's one a few towns over and I don't visit often, but every time I do it feels like a trip to the freaking spa.

After the guy pumped my gas, he looked at my 2- and 4-year-olds in the backseat and asked if they'd like suckers. He grabbed two and as he handed them to me, I asked "So how many kids do you have?"

"Two girls," he answered. "How did you know I had kids?"

Because this:

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

Automatically grabbing two of the same color so the kids won't fight? You learn that stuff on the first day of Parenting 101.


I found a copy of The Friend, the kids' magazine published by our church, lying on the coffee table. It was open to a story about sharing and getting along called "A Real Hero."

Someone had grabbed a pen and taken the liberty of "fixing" the story illustration:

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

Instead of "Super Jake says no fighting," the main character is now shaking his money-maker on the couch yelling, "Hey everyone, look at my dance!" and the other kids are saying, "Hey, that's awesome!" and "Super-cool."

So I'd say we're getting our money's worth out of our yearly subscription.


I was reading the weekly soccer email from my 1st grader's coach, barely skimming over the reminders at the end because they said exactly what you'd expect reminders in an email from the soccer coach to say:

  • Don't forget to bring a water bottle
  • No jewelry allowed during games
  • Please ask your child not to eat grass during practice
Wait, what?

That one made me go back and read more carefully. Apparently, there are some "grazers" on our team and their snacking habits were bothering the coaches (I assume because of pesticides and stuff on the field, not just because it's weird.)

I'm almost afraid to ask my daughter if it was her. I don't think I want to know.


Every time we're at a soccer field or park lately, my toddler has been dragging me to the port-a-potty.

He's newly potty trained so I'm willing to cut the kid some slack, but come on — half the time he doesn't even go! I don't understand the appeal of locking yourself in a tiny, stinky plastic prison cell when you could be playing at the playground, but I guess you have to be 2 to get it.

Just yesterday, we went to a row of port-a-potties with the slogan "A Potty to Rent for Every Event!" stamped across the doors. My 12-year-old thought it was hilarious.

"It must be hard to write port-a-potty slogans," she thought out loud. "I mean, what do you say about port-a-potties? 'Come sit in a box full of poop!'"

I think we can rule out a career in marketing for one of our children, though I won't say which one.


I'm not going to lie, I'm having a hard transition with this school year. Now that we've got a high schooler it seems like there are so many after-school activities, the older kids stay up as late as we do, and every day starts at 5 AM getting people up and out the door.

I feel exhausted and on-call 24 hours a day, way more than when the kids were all little, and I'm really struggling trying to figure out how to fit in things like sleep and talking to my husband.

The other day I said "Hi, how are you doing?" to someone and she randomly started talking about how she needs to be patient with herself during transitions, and I think that was probably God telling me I need to be patient with myself during this transition, too.

It may take a little while to find our groove during this season of life, and that's okay. If not, I suppose it will at least get better in a few years when my oldest gets her license and can drive herself to her 5,042 extra-curriculars.


Twice a week, Phillip plays basketball with a group of guys but when he limped through the door a half-hour earlier than usual on Saturday I knew something was wrong.

He'd jumped and come down on someone else's foot, rolled his ankle and sprained it. After a few hours of pain killers and ice it was looking swollen and blue in strange places, so he agreed to go in and have it looked at to make sure nothing was broken.

Someone had to stay home to shuttle the kids to and from soccer and work, so he drove himself to urgent care on his bad foot for X-rays, where they told him that everything was fine and he was just being a giant baby (his words, not theirs.)

His foot is getting a little better every day, but you should see the gigantic bruise he's rocking right now. I was going to post a picture but then I realized that a closeup of a hairy, size 10.5 man's foot is actually pretty gross all on its own and this isn't really that kind of blog, so you'll just have to take my word for it.


"I hate the food chain," my daughter told me the other day.

"Okay," I said. "Why?"

She explained that she feels bad when she sees bugs stuck in a spiderweb and wants to free them, but then the spider would go hungry and she would feel bad for the spider.

Funny, because I have a visceral "kill it!!!!" reaction whenever I see a spider but I usually don't because they get rid of annoying bugs which are the only things worse than spiders.

So pretty much the same sentiment there. Clearly the children get their empathy for other living creatures from me.

Click to Share:
Unremarkable Files


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your positive spin on life Jenny! Even the adjusting times. We have six kids, the youngest is 3 months and I feel like I'm loosing it! Seeing that you are handling six and you're happy is encouraging. Maybe someday I'll get there too.

Rosie said...

#4!! Made me laugh! I guess I've never considered Porta potty slogans to be a necessity ;)

Ellen said...

I look forward to your quick takes every week and today especially laughed out loud. Though I groaned a bit when you wrote that teen life is more exhausting than toddlers. I'm expecting our 3rd in a few weeks and already dreading the increase in sleeplessness. Oh well, it's all a season, right?

Anonymous said...

People endlessly warn that having a baby rocks your world and life as you know it is forever changed. Ok, fine, that is true enough. But what we are not warned about is the school years that include a rigid schedule, homework, extra-curricular activities and sports (which I suppose could fall under the extra-curricular but, in fact, are time consuming enough to have their own category. We receive some warning about those "difficult teen years" as it relates to attitude and poor decision making, but those are a blip on the screen of life (for most of us anyway) compared to the endless "busyness" of a school aged child particularly when they hit high school. But let me tell you about another "silver lining" that relates to driving. When your teen is finally licensed, not only will she be able to get herself to her committments, she will also be able to help with those younger siblings committments! And (my personal favorite) she will be able to run some of those tedious errands for you (need milk? She's your girl! Need poster-board for your fifth-grader? She's your girl!). My oldest is 26 and I still call him to go pick up my prescription or take my car to get gas ALL. THE. TIME. And, yes, I CALL him because he doesn't even live with me! And, although I have no idea how this happenned, his is HAPPY to do this for me, weird as that may sound. The way I see it, with six kiddos, you have only a short time left of running ANY errands! So there's THAT (even tho insurance will cripple you for awhile. Still, its worth it). -Kathy Young

(btw, that was me who posted on the last entry. I just forgot to add my name. For whatever reason (ineptitude) I only know how to comment using the "anonymous" option.