Friday, October 22, 2021

7 Quick Takes about Playdates with my 5-Year-Old, Strange Times in Whole Foods, and Table Manners Pep Talks I Give My Kids

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


On Wednesday my 5-year-old woke up with a croupy-sounding cough, so he stayed home for the day. He felt great and his cough had disappeared by 11 AM, so having him home with me was just like the good old days before kindergarten started.

We played, we read books, we did Play-do. I pretended to not know where he was and accidentally-on-purpose sit on him all day to make him laugh. It was great.

In any other time he would've gone back to school the next day, but they were requiring a negative COVID first and it took 24 hours to get the results, so I had to keep him home for an extra day to play with me some more.

Trying real hard to conceal how secretly thrilled I am about this.

It was fantastic, but by the third day we were both ready for him to go back. I had stuff I actually had to do that day, and he was sick of missing freeze tag at recess.


Overall, I think our family eats pretty healthily already, but I've been learning about some food additives I want to cut out of our diet and working on that. 

Most of the time, it's been no problem switching to a different brand if I don't like what I read on the ingredients label, but there are a few products I've been unable to find good alternatives for at my regular grocery store.

So I decided to try Whole Foods. 

I've actually never been in there. I've always assumed they'd kick me out because they'd know I was an imposter. My kids have never eaten an organic cheddar bunny, I don't even know what an acai bowl is, and I work out in a stained college T-shirt instead of $200 leggings from Lululemon. 

But I had to return an Amazon package and the only free option was the return hub at Whole Foods, so I decided it couldn't hurt to look around the aisles afterward to see what was there.

I didn't even know watermelon seed butter existed before this trip, but somehow it was exactly what I thought would be inside Whole Foods.


For months now, my teenager daughter has been hard at work on her cosplay-quality Halloween costume (Sylvie from the Disney+ show Loki) and is finally done. 

She's already going to miss a Halloween party on the 30th because of a scheduling conflict, so she really, really wanted to attend the one thrown by our church youth group at the stake level (a stake is a group of 6 or 7 different congregations in our church that do stuff together.) 

To make it to the party on time, my daughter had to go directly from orchestra rehearsal to the party, and unfortunately they were both 45-60 minutes from our house in completely opposite directions.  

I get why she wanted to go (what's the point of spending all that time on a costume if you don't get to wear it anywhere?) but it still translated into 3 hours of driving just to bring her to a party. #funsaturdaynightplansforparents


My 9-year-old decided she wanted to be a knight for Halloween, so we've been looking up DIY tutorials and fashioning cardboard armor together.

But try as I might, making a costume with my daughter is not the fun bonding experience it sounds like it could be. It's actually terrible, because I hate crafts. I really do.

I keep burning myself with the glue gun, freaking out about the mess we're making, and having small- to mid-size temper tantrums from attempting to recreate Pinterest while dinner burns and the other kids trash the house around us. 

But we're almost finished and ready to spraypaint, so there's that.

The other day, I realized we'd used a diaper box to make her helmet and a jumbo-sized toilet paper box for her armor, so I've started calling her King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Restroom. 

She thinks it's funny as long as her siblings don't all start doing it, too.


My 15-year-old is often told by her friends that she "talks like a mom." She's one of six children and often refers to her younger siblings as "the kids," or sometimes "the boys."

One day she came along as I was making the rounds, dropping one kid off at soccer practice and another kid off at play rehearsal, because she needed a ride to the ice cream parlor to meet a friend. But as we were driving there, her friend texted and said she'd be late.

"That's okay," my daughter texted back (I'm paraphrasing here because the kids these days use no capital letters or punctuation or actual English words,) "My mom has to drop some kids off so I'll just ride around with her until you're ready."

I remarked that it sounded kind of funny to say it that way, like I'm a city bus or something, and asked how her friend answered her text.

"She just said 'ok.' She's used to it."

After a little while, my daughter remarked, "Our family is kind of like a story with too many main characters so people can't keep track of them. I mean, we can. But other people can't."

It's true. I have friends I've known for years who I suspect still aren't 100% sure how many kids I have.


I may be able to tell my kids apart, but I sure can't tell apart their soccer practice times. The three youngest have weeknight practices, each with slightly different start and end times that I can't remember to save my life.

It doesn't help that the coaches also changed practice times once already since it started getting dark earlier.

All I know is that someone starts at 5:15 and two other someones start at 5 (or is it two kids at 5:15 and the other at 5? Or was that before the change and now everyone starts at 5?) and that pickup times are respectively at 6, 6:15, and 6:30, but I have no clue who.

This week I was really late to pick up my 9-year-old, really early to drop off my 5-year-old, and thought my 7-year-old was finished 15 minutes before he was so I was late to pick up another kid from work on my way home.

I was SO excited when the town announced they're closing the soccer fields for evening practice after this week, but then my 9-year-old's coach decided to just move practice to a new location. I'm not sure I'll do much better at remembering that, but whatever, we'll try to be there.


When the kids started to work their way into an argument about something over dinner, I wanted to change the topic of conversation and the first thing I thought of was an "all about my mom" page I saw on Pinterest.

It had fill-in-the-blank questions like "my mom's favorite color is ____________" and "my mom is really good at ___________," and I'd been curious about how they'd answer some of them.

"Hey, guys," I said. "What's something I say all the time?"

They thought quietly for a minute (which was great considering the reason I asked the question in the first place) and then my 7-year-old said, "'Use your re-tensil!'"

He meant utensil, because we talk a lot about table manners and I find myself reminding my elementary schoolers to utilize a spoon or fork way more often than I ever thought I'd have to.

Watching him pick a chickpea off his plate with his fingers and pop it into his mouth, my 15-year-old said to me, "I still feel like you don't say it enough, though."

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Diana Dye said...

I only go to Whole Foods for full-fat yogurt to make frozen yogurt. Everyone inside looks like they could use a brownie.

We have dinner rules posted in the dining room. Along with "use your fork," we have "Stay in your chair" and "Sit up in your chair" as separate rules--because apparently I have to be that specific.

AnneMarie said...

That's so funny about Whole Foods! I've only been there one time, and when I walked in and saw the $7 or $8 container of strawberries that would've cost $2-3 anywhere else, I realized that I was way out of my league haha. They do have a great cheese section, though! We've gotten small packs of fancy cheeses there before, to pair with budget crackers from our normal grocery store, and it's pretty fun. Also, your daughter's Sylvie costume sounds awesome!

Lara said...

I love the part about the sports start times. I have one kid in tennis, one in baseball, and one in soccer. It took me so long to figure out when everyone was supposed to be where. I was mostly upset that they kept changing the schedules for the first few weeks. Out here in Florida I'm an odd ball with as many kids as we have, so I figure they are probably just used to dealing with parents with simpler schedules to juggle.

JP2GiannaT said...

I sympathize with your daughter. I started reading mom blogs as a teenager (age 14 or 15) because I identified with a LOT of what was in them (oldest kid of nine).

PurpleSlob said...

I NEED watermelon seed butter! since DD1 is allergic to peanuts. Thank God now I know where to go! Thanks, Jenny!! You may have saved her life! lol
#4- Bwahahaha! I think I'll change my name on FB to that!!

I have a friend who just had her 11th child!! You're good!