Friday, January 14, 2022

7 Quick Takes about Skittles Vending Machines, Parenting throughout History, and Lots of Doorknob Jokes

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


My kids gave me some paperwork to fill out, and one of the questions asked me to specify the nature of my authority over them. 

It read, Please check one of the following. I am a:
  • Parent
  • Legal guardian
  • Department of Children and Families
  • Boarding School Headmaster
Well, that's not fair to give me a list where one option is clearly way more fun than all the others and more than likely means I get to have a British accent. So if anyone else asks, today my name is Dumbledore.


Notice anything about this vending machine?

You can have any kind you want, as long as it's Skittles. -Henry Ford

I knew there were disruptions in the supply chain, but either nobody wants Skittles or the Skittles people are way more on top of their production and distribution game than anyone else. Whichever it is, it looks like this is the only candy we'll have during the apocalypse.


The other night I made something for dinner that many of the kids don't really like, and I asked Phillip to hype up the crowd before sitting down to the table. He did not disappoint.

"Okay, guys, listen up," he told them. "Mom and I have set up an obstacle course for you. There's a dessert at the other end of it. You can get that dessert IF you make it through the obstacle course. Are you ready? Do you think you can do it? Let's go! Get through that dinner! Go, go go!"

It actually worked, for the most part. Even if they didn't eat all of their food, they ate more than they normally would have. 

Mostly, I think they thought it was funny how Phillip stayed in drill instructor mode throughout dinner, and when one of the younger kids started picking at their food he yelled, "Hey! No hand-to-hand combat!"


We went sledding and while I was on the other side of the hill with another child, my 5-year-old endeared himself to another family. 

The mom of the family saw this little guy struggling to position his sled at the top of the hill and offered to help, but he waved her away and said "I got it." Then he quite literally jumped in the sled, zoomed over a really tall jump someone had made, and trudged back up the hill to do it again.

"He's so independent and fearless!" she said to me when I finally came over from the other side of the hill. "He must be a second child."

Doing a quick head count of his 5 older siblings scattered across the sledding hill I answered, "Uh, yeah. Something like that."


I'm a sucker for books that examine family structures throughout history. I enjoyed Huck's Raft: a History of American Childhood and All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood. And I'm a sucker for any book that compares American parenting to parenting in other cultures, of which there are no shortage. 

I guess I like how they make you examine your assumptions about the "right" way to do family life, because other cultures and generations have operated under wildly different assumptions that worked just as well  and maybe even better.

Anyway, I recently read this article and I have a new item on my to-read list: it's called Hunt, Gather, Parent. I can't wait to read it. I think we have our kids' best interests at heart, but I wholeheartedly agree that modern American parenthood has it totally backward in more ways than one.


Trying to find a profile picture of Phillip for something this week was significantly harder than I expected. I used a facial recognition feature so I didn't have to manually go through every photo in our camera roll, but I did end up going back to 2017 before I found a suitable one.

I noticed that every picture of him is either one of two things:
  1. Phillip holding or playing with one of the kids (he looks great but they'd make a crappy profile picture because there would be little partially cropped out faces and heads around him), or
  2. Phillip making a stupid face because he saw me trying to take a picture of him.
Actually, that describes most of our pictures, period. The kids are the same way, either playing together or making dumb faces at the camera. Must be genetic.


I've been painting a lot of doors lately. Well, just three doors. But it felt like a lot of doors. My hand is a gnarled, immovable claw now, but on the upside I can fit a paintbrush in it perfectly.

I didn't take before and after photos, but trust me: the doors look a lot better now. They used to be a sad dingy off-white color that frankly didn't look that great before 10 years of abuse from 6 kids, so I think you can imagine. 

Once I took the doorknobs off to paint, we just had them sitting on the kitchen counter for a few days which led to more "you're a doorknob" type jokes than I knew could be made. 

When Phillip announced, "I think we should actually replace those doorknobs with new ones," one of the teens yelled in mock horror, "Nooo! Don't replace us, Dad! We'll be better, we promise!!"

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1 comment:

Unknown said...

You mean you didn't want to use the picture with the mustache that I swear looked like some kind of cartoon character?
Good #6 on being independent and adventurous!
Can't wait to see the doors.