Friday, January 8, 2021

7 Quick Takes about Life Through the Eyes of a 6-Year-Old, Dueling Cashiers, and Sweet Things You Might See on TikTok

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

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning that if you use them to buy something I will receive a commission for referring you.   


Because of concerns that students might have gotten COVID during travel or family get-togethers during Christmas break, the kids' first week back to school this week was entirely remote.

Today the school district is supposed to decide if it's safe to return to our normal hybrid model (2 days in person, 3 days remote), and I sure hope so. Yesterday I had to call my 6-year-old inside from running around in the yard so he could sit in front of his computer for gym class.


Something I enjoy about having the kids do school from home is the chance to see more of what they're working on during the day. I see them writing stories, drawing pictures, designing projects... and I learn a lot.

My 1st-grader's teacher assigned them to write and illustrate a journal entry of something they did over the break, and of course mine wrote about how every Christmas we make gingerbread houses and then smash them with a meat tenderizer on New Year's Day.

This is a kid living his best life.

Until I saw my son draw his life, I had no idea he sees it in such epic terms. In his mind, the meat tenderizer is a Medieval mace with a club the size of his torso. 

I have no idea what conclusions his teacher is going to draw from this assignment.


I ordered toilet paper from, and it came in a big box cushioned with a giant roll of plastic air pillows. 

I thought it was pretty silly, first of all because it doesn't really matter if toilet paper bangs around inside the box while shipping  it's not exactly fragile. In fact, you could technically ship something breakable using toilet paper to cushion it if you wanted to.

The second reason I thought it was ridiculous because the sleeve of air pillows was 35 feet long.

You have no idea how much fun my kids had with this.

The kids were wrapping themselves up like mummies and running races with it and finally just laid it all out in a straight line and bunny hopped across it to pop every single one. I'm deaf now.

Normally I can't stand waste or excess, but because it brought my kids so much joy I really can't be too mad at the guys at the factory who legitimately went nuts filling my box with air pillows. 

Also, having learned that air pillows are this satisfying to make, I have to be honest: I'd probably do the exact same thing in their position.


Often our weekly Family Home Evening lessons are more spiritual, but this week was just a fun one. 

First, the kids used our new ice cream ball which makes a pint of ice cream by just rolling it around and playing with it for 10 minutes. They reported that it was 2,500% more fun than turning the hand crank of our old ice cream maker for 40 minutes.

(I mean, to feed everyone we also had the old 4-quart one going at the same time, but when Phillip and I are empty nesters we are going to use that ball all. The. Time.)

Then we got out some of our new Christmas board games. Phillip played Planet with the little kids and they had a great time. 

I love pretty much every game from the Blue Orange company, and if I had to describe it in terms of copyright infringement I'd say it was Catan Lite for Kids™. The box said "8 and up" but our 6-year-old played with no problem and even the 4-year-old could do it with a little help (although the strategy part went over his head.)

While they were doing that, I took out Architects of the West Kingdom with the big kids. I knew it was a serious gamer's game but man, it is a Gamer's Game. We sat reading the novella of instructions it came with and just figuring out what all the pieces were for an hour. 

We took both games at the same time, but by the time we actually started our first round the little kids had already finished, cleaned up, and gotten into bed in their pajamas. Now that we know what we're doing, though, it's going to be super-fun and I can't wait to play again.


Our house is 5 minutes from two grocery stores. One is directly to the east of us, and the other is directly to the west. 

Both of our teenagers started working at the grocery store 5 minutes to the east, but one decided she didn't like it and searched for a job elsewhere. What she found was — you guessed it  a job at the opposite one.

So my daughters have jobs at rival grocery stores now, and I keep feeling like more jokes need to be made about that around here. 

They need to have a Who Wore It Best? contest with their uniforms. Or at least face off in a rap battle but with produce codes instead of lyrics. Or something.


Knowing that I'm mildly disturbed by the beloved children's book Love You Forever, a friend sent me this Huffington Post article called "Writer Reworks 'Love You Forever' To Take Out the Creepy Parts."

I'm not sure how legal it is to rework a book like this, but I do have to say it was a breath of fresh air to see the grown man finally setting some healthy boundaries with his mother and stopping the cycle of intergenerational stalking that's clearly going on.


I don't know anything about TikTok other than that it's spelled wrong, but sometimes they have TikTok challenges where they ask users to do something and film what happens.

Sometimes people make compilation videos of the results, and when "Babies Seeing Daddy Without a Beard for the First Time" popped up in my YouTube feed I watched it.

(Phillip grew a beard for about 6 months, and when he shaved it off and went to say hi to our 4-year-old the boy rolled on the floor with hysterical laughter like it was the silliest thing he ever saw.)

Now that I've watched one, YouTube is showing me a bunch of them. Some TikTok challenges are kind of like pranks so I don't like or watch those, but I can recommend a few of my favorites. 

If you're a pet-lover, you'll enjoy "Tell Your Dog a Story With His Favorite Words."

My favorite is "Cuddle With Your Kid While They Are Watching Cartoons." It embodies everything I love about having little kids. They're simply always happy to see you and be with you. Always.

If you don't cry while watching this, we probably don't have much in common. 

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Anonymous said...

I am jealous of your toilet paper having that level of protection. I recently ordered a ceramic lamp online. With the noises coming from box I was assured that it was all in pieces. Who knew that you needed some buffer around a ceramic lamp. Yes, the lamp came in a cardboard box with zero protective packaging!

Kimberly Bluestocking said...

I read the Huffington Post article, and was happy to learn that the artist fixed The Giving Tree too. When I read that book as an adult, I thought, "Wow--that is one twisted relationship. She gives the boy everything she has and he never even says thank you."

PurpleSlob said...

I still have not entered TikTOk-verse, and do not plan too. But the cuddling is cry worthy!!
Yes!! I want to see the battling cashiers!!
Stella Nove, TM, a new Christmas game was like a novel too, with the instructions. I never even got around to playing it. I passed out mid sentence. JK

Diana Dye said...

My 4 and 6 year old won't stop making and knocking down walls and towers with the 12 rolls of Costco toilet paper I bought 6 days ago. Santa totally could have saved some serious time and money this Christmas, dang it.

Jenny Evans said...

Brenda, that happened to me with a ceramic butter dish once: