Friday, July 21, 2023

7 Quick Takes about the Arcade in the Basement, Getting Forgetful in My Old Age, and When Teenagers Have to Use Facebook

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


Oh, my. I went down to the basement one day and saw that the kids had made an entire skee-ball game on the stairs. 

Not sure if you can see in the picture, but each of those papers says a point value with the highest at the top.

The stairs are unfinished and don't have risers yet, so if you throw a ball in there it just rolls back down to the bottom.

I am honestly amazed at their commitment. They even stuck a dry erase board to the wall to keep score.


This is our 11th consecutive year (or is it the 12th?) of The Educational Summer, but it looks a little different.

For starters, we're only doing it for three weeks this summer. (Some summers, we've done as many as eight!) The older the kids get, the more they've got going on and it's just not easy to find time when they're all here. 

For another thing, by the time we got around to choosing this summer's countries it was the day before we were supposed to start, so it was a little haphazardly thrown together.

Because of our lack of planning ahead, we didn't hang up all the previous years' flags around the wall map in the dining room like usual. When we started Portugal on Monday, we just hung up that one singular flag after we made it, and even that sagged and fell down midway through the second day. 



Speaking of things I've done a mediocre to bad job at this week, I also stood up my friend up at the movies. I didn't even have a good excuse, it was just a crazy week and I got preoccupied with the kids and forgot what day it was. Maybe it's been a busy summer. Maybe it's a decade of exhaustion catching up with me. Maybe it's early-onset dementia. Who knows?

We were going to go see the new Indiana Jones movie. When Harrison Ford did an Indiana Jones movie in 2008, I remember saying to Phillip "This is getting ridiculous. The man should be allowed to grow old with dignity. What's next? Indiana Jones: Escape from the Nursing Home?"

Fast-forward to 2023, and it turns out that Harrison Ford is just fine as an action hero and maybe it's ME who needs to be in the nursing home.


The grocery store my 17- and 15-year-old work at has a Facebook group. In theory, this is where they post the schedule and other important store information, and employees can also trade shifts with other employees if they need to.

I'm enjoying it way too much.

One of the managers posted, in all caps, "DO NOT ASK FOR AM SHIFTS OVER THE SUMMER IF YOU DON'T NORMALLY WORK MORNINGS. YOU WILL NOT BE GIVEN A MORNING SHIFT." Below it, an employee commented: "Inspirational."

Another time, an employee posted, "I can't work my 4-7 shift on Thursday. Can anyone take it?" In reply, someone simply wrote: "No." (My daughter later told me it was the OP's brother, which made more sense.)


My 9-year-old has outdoor summer swim team practice two evenings a week, and last time I brought the 7-year-old with me. We were getting eaten alive by mosquitoes at the side of the pool, so after a while we decided to get up and move around a little. 

We ended up going down to the tennis courts and, because we didn't have any equipment, playing imaginary tennis.

I highly recommend playing imaginary sports. Your kid never gets upset that he can't hit the ball. He still runs around and gets out tons of energy. And it's kind of fun, too.


The younger kids and I went on a hike and look what we saw: mushrooms straight out of a video game.

Upon closer inspection, the white flecks were actually parts that had been gnawed off by a bug so they weren't actually Super Mario Bros. mushrooms. But close.


We've been working on table manners with our younger kids but sometimes, it feels like a lost cause.

The other night at dinner, the 7-year-old asked "Can I have some milk?"

Trying to gently remind him to say 'please,' I prompted, "Can I have some milk, what?" 

Puzzled, he furrowed his eyebrows and said, "For me!"

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