Friday, February 17, 2023

7 Quick Takes about Living Things, Really Specific Bedtime Routines, and Celebrating Your Birthday with Sugar Cereal

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


I died laughing last week. It's probably why I missed writing a 7QT last Friday: I was still trying to get myself under control.

About a month ago, one of our pet rats Scout passed away. She was old and it wasn't a surprise, but my 6-year-old still took it kind of hard. He's been working through his feelings.

Recently, his class was doing a science unit introducing basic biology concepts, and he brought this home:

The eyes are X's, you guys. I am crying laughing.

I feel like when his teacher assigned this, this is not what she was expecting.


Ever since my kids were tiny, I've been baffled watching parents tell their kids for 30 minutes that it's time to leave the soft play while their child ignores them, sometimes giggling and clearly watching for their reaction. 

Don't get me wrong: it's not a case of clutching my pearls and judging how other parents let their kids behave. I'm not even thinking about the kid. I'm genuinely confused at how in the world you as a human can summon the patience to be disrespected 100 times in a row by someone whose butt you have to wipe without totally losing it?

Me, if I had to say "let's go" more than 3 times.

I don't know where they find the willpower. Maybe that's why some people drink. But I don't drink, so my kids have to listen.

Which is why I was pretty surprised when I showed up to pick up my 8-year-old from basketball practice. He was shooting around for fun at the end, and when I told him it was time to go, do you know what he did? HE SAID 'NO' AND KEPT PLAYING. So I turned around and walked out.

I was fully prepared to drive the car around the block and let him panic a little in the parking lot thinking I'd left him, but he ran out after me and we went home.

On the ride, I explained that if he'd asked to stay longer I would've said yes, but since he chose to be disrespectful we had to leave. So now he'll never do that again, and I'm glad.


After the first sham of a wisdom tooth consultation, I took my 16-year-old to another office for a second opinion. This doctor actually began by looking at her teeth, which was a good sign. 

He still was of the opinion that she needs them out, but he seemed a lot less weird about it (and their office charges less than the other place) so we're going to go with them.

This was the display in the consultation room, though.

I think all the skulls were there to show how the teeth are situated in the jaw, but when we entered it looked a little macabre.

My daughter was already a little squeamish about having four teeth surgically removed from her face, so it might not have helped to point at the skulls, lean over to her and whisper "You're next."


Ever since he was tiny, my 6-year-old has kissed me on both cheeks like a little Frenchman at bedtime. I don't know why he does that or where it came from, but it is what it is. 

Until recently, when it's somehow morphed into a full-blown ritual. Now after he kisses me on both cheeks, I have to do it to him, then I have to do it to his stuffed animal, and then his stuffed animal has to do it to me. In that order, or we have to start all over.

I try not to be annoyed because I've had enough kids to know that it won't last forever, and too soon I'll miss the thousand-step bedtime ceremony.

But his other new thing is going "I have something to tell you," then putting the phone on mute and saying it. In fact, sometimes he calls me just to do that... and you know, I think there are also certain things he'll outgrow doing that I will NOT miss.


An electrician came to check the wiring in the basement that we're finishing, and when he walked in my first thought was, "That is the tallest guy I've ever seen." He practically had to duck going through the doorways.

I directed him to the basement and then went to tell Phillip, who was working from home that day, that a giant was in the house. 

"How tall is he?" asked Phillip, who at 6' 2" is taller than most people we meet on an average day.

"I don't know, but he's really tall."

Later when the electrician had finished examining the wiring, I saw him and Phillip standing next to each other chatting, and realized they were the exact same height.

I guess I just get used to it. In fact, I know I do because whenever Phillip goes out of town for a while, I'm always surprised at how tall he is when he gets back.


On their birthdays our kids get to choose (1) their birthday dinner and (2) their cake. They always have a definite opinion on dinner, but recently they've just been requesting "a surprise cake," which has led to some interesting creations.

We had a birthday in our family recently and this time, Phillip was in charge of making the surprise cake. This is what he came up with:

Yes, those are Fruity Pebbles.

This breakfast cereal cake has ground Fruity Pebbles in the batter, and the whipped cream inbetween the layers and covering the cake is made by soaking Fruity Pebbles in heavy cream overnight and then straining it out. (I think he used this recipe for inspiration.)

After the cake came the exchange of handmade birthday cards, which was full of eye-rollingly age-appropriate humor:

Charming, I'm sure.


I've been having trouble turning my brain off at bedtime, so I decided to give guided meditation a try. And then the YouTube algorithm, little superspy that it is, just happened to start serving me Jason Stephenson "sleep talk-down" videos. 

What a coincidence.

They're maybe just a little bit hokey (the one I listened to last night had me repeat to myself "I am willing to let go,") but they work and they put me out like a light every time. I actually really like them.

Have a great weekend, everyone, and as my friend Jason Stephenson would say: Sleep well, my friend. Sleep well.

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Katie said...

Take #2-Yes! I am like you, when we says it's time to go my kids know I mean business. I have a relative who read a parenting book for a college class that she interpreted to mean kids need to WANT to go when it's time to go. Her two-year old completely ran the show. It was ridiculous! She would come play at our house and be having so much fun and of course not want to go, so she would throw fits and tantrums and stall for a half hour or longer. Her parents refused to pick her up--she had to walk out on her own. It drove me crazy. When they had their second child they quickly realized this was not going to work and that they needed to be the bosses. Things are much better nowadays. Rarely a tantrum.

PurpleSlob said...

Good for you for walking out!!

Amelia J said...

I'm really curious what's going on with the green algebra problems on the birthday card. "You are greater than a house"? "You are equal to pizza plus ice cream"? "You stink"? "You win"? And I don't even have a guess for U O SUM.