Friday, September 4, 2020

7 Quick Takes about Stadium Seating, Planning Ahead for Cheese Time, and Secretly Thinking Things Are a Little Weird

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


I'm pleased to announce that we got our new couches out of the garage and moved them into their permanent home in the basement!

Our eventual goal is to finish the basement and make it into a comfortable family movie-watching area, and the couches are fitting nicely into the plan. 

Right now, they are both facing the TV, one up on cinder blocks behind the other to create stadium seating, and it's pretty awesome. 

The kids are already calling it "the home theater," and while it's still got a long way to go, I'm starting to be able to see it, too.


My 4- and 6-year-olds have been a little out of control lately, so I felt like they needed more structure at home.

I made a little schedule I could stick on the fridge and rearrange with magnets, to help redirect their attention to activities that aren't running around screaming and throwing a wet Pull-up at each other. 

At first, both boys were enthusiastically following along (outside time! story time! clean up time!) and the new schedule seemed to be working like a charm. And after only a few days, they already seemed significantly less feral.

Then my older kids took it upon themselves to take words from our magnetic poetry set and edit the schedule, making sure that everyone in the house lost all respect for it immediately.
After "bad time" and "hard time," at least we can all look forward to "be a pig time."

It was nice while it lasted. 


My 14-year-old had a violin recital but because of COVID, it was held in the yard outside her teacher's house, and everybody wore masks. 

I enjoyed listening to everyone, but every few minutes I would sneak glances at the parents sitting 6 feet apart across the lawn and picture the following whispered conversation with another mom:

Me: This is real life, right?

Her: Oh, yes. We're all totally cool with... [gesturing around] ... this. 

Me: Me, too. Me, too. For sure. I just wanted to make sure you didn't think it was weird, because I absolutely do not.

Her: Of course! This is so not weird for me. It's almost weird how not-weird it is, you know?

Me: I mean, I could see how some people might think it was a little bizarre, sitting in the yard watching your kid play Mozart in a surgical mask, but this is totally normal.

Her: Obviously. That's why we're all just clapping like it's any old recital that isn't weird at all.

Me: Right. Because it is.

Her: It so is.

Does anyone else ever feel like they need to do a secret sanity check when they're out in public? 

We need a code word to signal each other, something that means "I still remember what normal life was like before COVID-19." Give me a secret handshake or something. Let me know I'm not the only one.


I'm in the process of getting the kids' fall clothes out of the attic and seeing who fits into what.

I brought down a box for my 4-year-old that I thought would be the right size, but most of the pants were already too short.

"How did you get so big?" I asked him jokingly.

"Uhh... because I eat all my food and I'm 4?"

Fair enough.


Once upon a time, I taught myself how to knit. I knitted like crazy for a year and a half, and stopped when I had a baby and never started again. That baby is 6 now.

My daughter recently wanted to knit a scarf so I showed her how to get started, and it turns out that knitting is kind of like riding a bike. 

I was actually pretty impressed that I remembered how to do it, and now I really want to knit something. I need a project idea.


I took my teenager shopping and while she was looking at shoes, I kept busy browsing through a nearby rack of clothes. 

I found an outfit that amused me and brought it to her, holding it up and proudly announcing, "Gumby!"

Halloween is coming, ladies.

In response, she just stared at me blankly. It was like I'd strung together two complete nonsense syllables.

"Do you not know who Gumby is?"

Blank stare.

Several days later, I searched for "Gumby" on YouTube and my daughter noticed. "Hey, is that the guy who looks like that outfit you saw at the mall?"

I nodded.

After a few minutes of watching the video in silence, she said, "But he doesn't have any clothes."


On a walk downtown, my three youngest kids and I passed a monument to fallen firefighters. They stopped to look at it, walking all around the bronze statue of a uniformed firefighter and taking it in.

"This to remember firefighters who died putting out fires and saving people," I said, seizing this oh-so-teachable moment to discuss our community helpers.

"Look at his eyes!" My 8-year-old squealed. "They're so... creepy!"

"That's not exactly what"

"Ooh, and he's got an axe to murder us!"

This was one of those times where you just sigh and wonder Should I even start to correct that or do I just accept it and move on?

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AnneMarie said...

Your stadium seating sounds like such a good idea! When my family would do movie night growing up, it was always a sticky situation as 8 people tried to figure out where to sit, since not all the views from the two couches were good. The way you guys did it makes a lot more sense.

And I have to say, your imagined conversation during the violin concert is spot on and hilarious! I love the idea of a "code word." It's sometimes challenging to talk with random people in public or at gatherings, because I never know where they stand on Covid issues, so I wind up verbally tip-toing around issues and it can feel kind of ridiculous.

Jenny Evans said...

The couch we used to have down there did not fit everyone, so there were always people pulling up random folding chairs and sitting on the floor or trying to squish in between two other people. Family movie nights are awesome now, even though the basement is still an ugly, unfinished mess!