Friday, July 12, 2019

7 Quick Takes about Good Old-Fashioned Games, Things I Have in Common with a Garden Gnome, and Things Creative People Can Do

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


We went to the ocean over the holiday weekend, timing our visit so we could both get in for free and hit the beach at low tide, when there are lots of tide pools and rocks for the kids to explore.

I loved it except for the constant sucking-air-through-my-teeth-because-I'm-certain-someone-is-going-to-split-their-head-open-running-on-the-rocks feeling.

I hate being the mom who hovers and/or tells her kids not to do something because they "might get hurt," but I've also been the mom who has to cut short a perfectly fun day for everyone so we can go sit in the E.R. for two hours getting someone's head glued shut, and that's no fun, either.

So far the only solution I've found is turning around and telling Phillip to make sure no one gets hurt because I can't bear to watch. Seems to be working so far.


With everyone home from school on summer vacation, the kids have more time to play all together now, and one of their favorite games is something they call "helicopter."

It's a street game where the kid in the middle holds a jump rope in one hand while rotating around, and the other kids leap over it when it comes their way. If they touch the rope they go to the middle and become the next helicopter.

I don't know why, but it makes me so happy to see them play this low-tech game in the driveway. I guess it's because it's like a good old-fashioned 1920s childhood but without the measles, scarlet fever, or tuberculosis.


Speaking of a 1920s childhood, I'm reading a book right now from the library called Huck's Raft: A History of American Childhood. It's all about how people have popularly viewed childhood and everything surrounding it, starting with the Puritans who came over from Europe in the 1600s.

The book touches on everything through the next several hundred years of American childhood: child labor laws, schools, playgrounds, juvenile courts, the foster system... I think it's fascinating, but today two different people asked what I was reading and went into a coma when I was telling them about it, so maybe it's not as interesting as I think it is.

Or maybe I just have a really soothing voice, I don't know.


My kids don't watch a lot of TV (we don't even own one) but we happened to see a PBS Kids show called "Pinkalicious and Peteriffic."

In this episode a garden gnome was explaining to Pinkalicious and her brother Peter that gnomes need to take a "big sleep" every hundred years and he wanted to take his, but was worried about critters destroying the garden while he was asleep.

"Oh, well," he sighed heavily (and perhaps a bit passive-aggressively,) "I guess I'll have to just take a big sleep in another hundred years."

I'd only been halfway listening as the show played in the background, but now I really started to pay attention because I feel for the guy! In fact, I think that's going to be my new go-to phrase in life when things get really busy.

The really funny part was that after he said that, Peter turned to his sister and exclaimed, "Oh no! If he doesn't get his big sleep, he'll be grumpy for another hundred years!"

Dude, you and me both. I have never felt such solidarity with a garden gnome in my life.


Recently I switched to another dermatologist's office to get a second opinion about some weird blemishes on my cheek that my previous office was neither able to diagnose or get them to go away.

The doctor put me on some antibiotics that came with all-caps instructions to TAKE ON AN EMPTY STOMACH and then says right below that: "take with food if doctor advises to avoid upset stomach."

Well, that's pretty clear, thanks.

The antibiotics totally do make me nauseous (yay!) but I Googled it and apparently your body doesn't absorb the antibiotic as well with food, so I'll just put on my big girl pants and stick it out for another 3 weeks until I go back for my follow-up.

Until then, I will just complain about it a lot.


My 15-year-old downloaded a drawing app on her phone that I think is pretty stinking amazing, and she's been using it a lot. Mostly to recreate scenes from Marvel movies.

Some poignant scene involving Iron Man, I guess. I don't do superhero movies.

She did this from scratch with her finger, people. Her finger.


In the car, Phillip lamented, "I wish I'd remembered to bring the charger cord for my phone!" As it just so happened, I had it in my purse.

"I thought of that before we left," I said, taking it out. "See? I'm not as dumb as I look."

"I don't think you look dumb," Phillip told me lovingly. Then he added, "So that might technically mean you're dumber than you look."

Just in case you wondered what it's like to be married to an engineer.

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Ann-Marie Ulczynski said...

That book sounds amazing! I just put it on my to read list. And that game is lovely - it makes me wonder why I buy my children toys at all.

Diana Dye said...

We played helicopter as kids too. Do they sing "Helicopter, helicopter come on down, before I shoot you to the ground"?

Carolyn Astfalk said...

Every mother deserves a "big sleep." I think I have a case of gnome-envy.

Chaun said...

You daughter is so talented!

PurpleSlob said...

#1 my second busted her head open on the coffee table at age 5. So, at least you're doing something fun and exciting before the ER trip!
#2 sounds like the perfect childhood!!
#3 it's your soothing voice!! That book does sound fascinating!
#4 Bwahahaha!
#5 Isn't modern medicine terrific??
#6 Whoa!! I'm in awe!
#7 Huh uh, no he didn't!!

Rachel said...

That book of a history of American childhood sounds really fascinating, definitely something I'd be interested in reading. I have a similar "practical" worry-ing streak about injuries/illnesses. Sure, it's all fun and games but a bad fall can cost a whole lot of money and time at the doctors...oh, plus I don't want my kid to get hurt, either.