Tag Archives: parenting

Free to good home: One pubescent boy

Project Gutenberg's Harper's Young People, March 9, 1880

By Laura Grimes

That headline was a perfectly innocent post on Facebook. How could I not? In the middle of the hot summer, after traveling long distances for two days, after having me all to himself for eons and then having to share me, after heat and humidity made sleeping tough, The Small Large Smelly Boy was, quite simply, in none too delicate terms, cranky. He wouldn’t quit pestering his brother. He wouldn’t quit pestering me. He refused to do a few simple chores. So I was happily ready to ship him to a new address, postage paid. Seemed easy enough.

I was completely unsupervised and I could barter with my children at will. Oops. Sorry. Typo. Try again. I could barter my children at will.

Mr. Scatter was out of town and mostly out of internet range. When he got back maybe he wouldn’t notice the house was a tad quieter.

The Small LSB didn’t have access to his computer anymore, thanks to a well-played Mommy Trump Card.

The Large Large Smelly Boy, in true teen fashion, refused to be seen on the same computer screen with me. He long ago stopped reading this blog. He long ago, in a little tizzy, defriended me on Facebook. Actually, he friended me, defriended me, friended me, defriended me, depending on his mood of the moment. He figured he had the upper hand. I figured I had carte blanche. Unchecked, imagine what I could write about him.

When I posted my innocent comment, at first I got a little friendly pushback from two friends telling me I couldn’t do that. Ethics, you think? It turned out they just didn’t want to be tempted to try the same thing. One was worried she would also throw in one cute 7-year-old sweetie pie who knows it all.

Continue reading Free to good home: One pubescent boy

Pants on fire: advice for the uncommon parent

 Independent No. 2-Fire Dept., Long Branch, N.J./Edward F. Thomas Collection/from www.historiclongbranch.org

A visit from the local fire department is always a highlight of a six-year-old boy’s day at home.

As the parent of two Large Smelly Boys, I come by my cynicism honestly.

Tips to prove it:

  • Contractions will start in the middle of the night and will last for weeks.
  • While having contractions, it’s not wise to read about a Caesarian section without anesthesia.
  • When fathers-to-be are asked to get a light, entertaining comedy at the video store to distract from contractions, it’s not a good idea to come home with a foreign film with subtitles.
  • It’s not a good idea to schedule the installation of a major appliance near a due date.
  • Fathers-to-be should not try to convince their wives that a good baby name would be Homer Horatio Hicks.
  • Mothers-to-be should tell their husbands that baby names should not have initials that look like a cow brand.
  • The appeal of naming children after exotic geographical places where they were conceived loses a little cachet with “Chevy.”
  • Sometimes babies smell better than Large Smelly Boys, but sometimes they don’t.
  • Husbands can sleep through wailing cries that are a higher decibel level than a jet engine.
  • Parents will wonder why paint colors are not called “applesauce” and “Cheerios.”
  • Memorize this physics formula: Distance = Poop Squared x Zippo Extra Clothes. Translation: The distance from home is directly proportional to how big a diaper will be blown out times no extra clothes.
  • Children throw up in cars.
  • Children throw up on planes.
  • Children throw up on you.
  • Memorize this physics formula: Distance = Vomit Squared x Zippo Extra Clothes.
  • If children get an ear infection, it will be on a Friday night.
  • If children are scheduled for an adenoidectomy, they will come down with chicken pox late the night before.
  • Toddlers will not tell Mommys when they create a waterfall from a bathroom sink.
  • Toddlers will not understand why Mommys have to clean up floods on three floors.
  • Six-year-olds will put beans in their ears.
  • Beans in the ears of six-year-olds will have to be pulled out by doctors.
  • Three-year-old little brothers will then put beans in their ears.
  • Beans in the ears of three-year-old little brothers will have to be pulled out by doctors who will tell parents that their children are not allowed in the kitchen anymore.
  • Six-year-olds will be ticked when they are told they can’t have the millionth cooked egg that week.
  • The minute Daddys go upstairs six-year-olds will try to cook an egg in a Winnie-the-Pooh acrylic dish.
  • Six-year-olds will think that punching a lot of 3s on the microwave will be enough time to cook an egg.
  • Daddys who sing along with little brothers in the tub will not hear the smoke alarm blaring.
  • Daddys who sing along with little brothers in the tub will not hear the phone ringing in order to reassure the security company.
  • By the time Daddys hear the smoke alarm blaring and the phone ringing the Winnie-the-Pooh acrylic dish will be a charred molten mess.
  • While Daddys open all the windows in the house they will be shocked that a new alarm comes with a very loud rumble from a very red truck.
  • Six-year-olds do not have a problem with standing on the front porch wearing only skivvies and being thrilled at the sight of a very red truck … and with men in heavy coats, helmets and axes.
  • Six-year-olds will attempt to do damage control by calling Mommys at work and complaining that they hurt their head when they knocked over a lamp and broke it and … oh yeah, a fire truck showed up today … and my head really hurts.
  • Mommys will say, “Wait a minute, back up. What was that part about the fire truck?”
  • Six-year-olds already in the doghouse will not have a problem jumping on an elevator in a high-rise hotel and letting the doors close before Mommys or Daddys can get there.
  • When eight-year-olds can’t find Mommys who are around the corner counting squirrels with kindergarteners for homework, they don’t have a problem calling 9-1-1.
  • Eight-year-olds will explain that it was important because they wanted to do a computer game.
  • Ten-year-old boys tell jokes about only one subject that starts with F-A-R-T.
  • When little boys turn into milk-guzzling teenagers, buy a cow. It’ll be cheaper.
  • Hairy-leg-infested teenagers will tease that their moms are just worried about having competition.
  • Hairy-leg-infested teenagers will call their moms “The Old Gray Hair.”
  • Hairy-leg-infested teenagers will call their moms “Backbeard.”
  • Parents will be surprised that teenage boys can still smell despite the fact that they take really long showers.
  • Between really long showers, the recipe for cleaning Large Smelly Boys: Throw them in the cargo hold of a semi truck, drive to the beach, dunk them in the ocean, rinse with bleach, repeat.
  • Pray for the day Large Smelly Boys fall in love with Lithe and Leggy Girls.
  • Don’t care that Lithe and Leggy Girls will break the hearts of Large Smelly Boys as long as the boys take a shower. And use shampoo.
  • When teenagers start asking about learning to drive tell them two words: Bus Pass.

— Laura Grimes, with the real-life assistance of the Large Smelly Boys

Baby Fire Truck (Jan, 1952), Mechanix Illustrated

If I grow up, I want to be a firefighter!