Friday, May 22, 2020

7 Quick Takes about Guilt Graffiti, Trying Not to Freak Out About Various Things, and Helpful Parenting Techniques Caught on Video

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


On Monday night, I was up late.

"Ready for bed?" Phillip asked hopefully. (If you know anything about our marriage it's that I love to stay up late, which is unfortunate for Phillip because he's my polar opposite.)

Ignoring such a ridiculous question, I said, "My birthday is coming up and I usually write a birthday-themed post on my blog, and I need ideas."

"What have you written about in the past?" the 16-year-old, who was also in the room, asked.

We looked at my blog archives at posts like 34 Things I Know for Sure (my 34th birthday) and 35 Campaign Promises of a Presidential Candidate Every Parent Would Vote For (my 35th.)

That's when Phillip suggested, "How about '38 Reasons to Go to Bed?'"

Ha, ha. He's so hilarious.

But I can't even think of one reason to go to bed, letalone 38, so I ended up taking my 16-year-old's suggestion instead.


On a walk, my daughter and I passed under a bridge and saw the typical graffiti on the walls.

Nothing too unusual.

Then I looked closer and burst out laughing:

I don't know the exact story behind this graffiti, but I choose to believe it goes something like this: a group of juvenile delinquents is out defacing public property but one of them, his heart's not in it.

"You guys go on ahead. I'll catch up!" he promises when the last can of spraypaint is almost spent, and before dashing off he leaves a hasty apology for his mother, who would be so disappointed in his shenanigans if only she knew.


Try not to panic, but J.C. Penney just filed for bankruptcy. I said TRY NOT TO PANIC!

I'm panicking.

J.C. Penney is my favorite store. I get all my kids' pictures taken there instead of buying the pricey school packages, which over the last 16 years has probably saved me the same amount Congress is spending on stimulus packages right now.

I was so concerned when I read the news that I dropped everything to go research it on the Internet. It's not as bad as I thought.

Apparently, J.C. Penney is filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which is more of a corporate reorganization than the everything-must-go-including-our-display-shelving bankruptcy (Chapter 7.) Some locations might close, but not all of them so I shouldn't panic. Yet.

Speaking of retail, stores have just started reopening here and my kids desperately need summer clothes, so my 14-year-old and I put on masks and ventured out for the first time in 2 months.

I was browsing around when my daughter suddenly asked, "Hey, can I get this one?"

Not completely untrue.


My 4- and 6-year-olds have been raiding our craft supplies lately.

In particular, they've been gluing plastic jewels all over their faces and arms, and fashioning elaborate headdresses out of colorful craft feathers.

Unconventional imaginative play, but it was keeping them busy so I just patted them on the head and said, "You do you, boys!"

I thought they were just prototyping costumes for Mardi Gras, but then my 8-year-old informed me they were actually dressing up as some bird-people called Featherites from a kids' show they've been watching lately. Which I guess makes more sense.


Near the trailhead where our family was taking a nature hike, there's an open field on a slope. Immediately, the kids started running through it and rolling down the hill.

Too late, I noticed poison ivy along the edges of the field, meaning that there was likely poison ivy in  the field, so we called everyone out and went home to spend the rest of the afternoon scrubbing off our top layer of skin.

Now that Coronavirus is a thing, most people understand what it's like perform excessive paranoid handwashing while sanitizing everything and freaking out because the enemy is invisible and you literally can't tell where it is.

That's me all summer long with poison ivy.

Poison ivy makes me so miserable I can't sleep for weeks, and I feel genuine fear when I see it. Did I touch it? Is the oil on my hands? My clothes? Where is it? Did the last 12 times I scrubbed my hands and face get it off? Or should I wash again just to be sure?!?

Given my background, I obviously made all the kids take an online poison ivy identification quiz when we got home.

Love the tagline.


The 4-year-old was stalling before bed, puttering around and not putting his pajamas on despite several warnings.

Finally we set a timer for 5 minutes and told him if he wasn't wearing pajamas by the time it went off, he would forfeit his bedtime story.

At the end of 5 minutes, Phillip went upstairs to check on his progress. He opened the door to find the 4-year-old just sitting on the floor, still fully clothed.

"You don't have your pajamas on," Phillip told him, "So no story tonight."

Full of righteous indignation, the 4-year-old wailed, "I  know! DUH!" and kicked the door shut in Phillip's face.

He's going to be a pleasure as a teenager, I can feel it.


A few weeks ago I was asked to be a guest presenter at a webinar, talking about parenting through the Coronavirus crisis. What do you do with your kids all day? How do you get anything done when they're up in your grill 24/7?

Unfortunately, I just now stumbled across this video. If only I'd seen it earlier, I could've made it my entire presentation.

(Watch through to the end, but maybe turn down your sound a little.)

Click to Share:
Unremarkable Files


Jenny in WV said...

I hadn't heard about Penney's. That is concerning. It is the only anchor store left in both the mall that I currently live near, and the mall where I grew up.

I hope you had a nice birthday! I turned 37 recently and marked the occasion by dying my hair purple.

PurpleSlob said...

Sorry Mom!! Bwahahaha! Hope you had a great bd~