It’s the thought that counts…sometimes…

It’s no secret that Mr. TheKing often needs more than a hint when it comes to gift giving. My realization of how bad his lack of intuition for gifting was solidified a few years ago when he got me, (or rather, himself), a bottle of cologne for Hannukah in hopes that it would somehow benefit him in more ways than one. It did not… At least not that crazy night. To be fair, we had agreed not to get each other anything, so at least he tried?

The following Christmas I gave him a short wish list and told him that anything on the list would be appreciated. I also left him with a specific request to not get me a purse or appliance. He went rogue and got me both. He delivered it by giving himself the appliance so that I could make one of his favorite recipes and then put the purse in the appliance box. Well delivered, but not well received. I should note that he is known for his practicality and I do use both regularly, but that’s not really the point…

A few months later I took matters into my own hand and bought myself a ring for Valentine’s Day. I actually wore it out, then wrapped it and gave it to him to give back to me. He was very surprised by what he got me, especially because we don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day. 

Last year for my birthday he went above and beyond. MTK planned an awesome surprise party for me. Unfortunately, he had to ruin the surprise by telling me about it the day before while on a 14 hour drive because he realized that inviting 50 people over to the house the day after you get back from a family trip maybe isn’t ideal. However, I will say that although I wasn’t surprised, I’ve never unpacked from a trip so quickly and it really was a fantastic party and sentiment. 

That all being said, below is the conversation we had at lunch yesterday about the gift he got for my upcoming birthday:

MTK: You’re coming home in 2 weeks from the shore, right?

Me: Yes. 2 weeks from yesterday. 

MTK: Ok. That gives me 2 weeks to build your birthday gift. 

Me, raising an eyebrow in curiosity and fear: What do mean, “build?”

MTK: I just have to figure out how to put it all together before you get home. 

Me: Um, is it something from my wish list? I don’t recall asking for anything that needs to be built…

MTK: No. It’s not something that you want. 

Me: Super! Is it for the house?


Me: Is it for outside?

MTK: Nope. It’s not anything you’ve ever mentioned. 

Me: Oh. You know I keep a list on Amazon, don’t you? Will I like it?

MTK: Probably not. But I did put a lot of thought into it. 

Me: Is it something I need?

MTK: No. 

Me, now laughing: So let me get this straight. You got me something I don’t want, don’t need, and have never mentioned?

MTK: Yup. You’re probably going to be mad. 

Me: Awesome. I’m not sure if I want to know now so it gives me 2 weeks to prepare and get over it, or if knowing will make me angrier over the next 2 weeks so you should keep it a surprise. I’m just gonna go ahead and be grateful you planned something and cross my fingers for the best. 

MTK: Just remember, it’s the thought that counts and I put a lot of thought into it. 

Me: But did you really?!?!?!

Stay tuned for the big reveal…


It Happens

That moment when you have just finished a lovely ladies afternoon with your youngest daughter and friends and you’re on your way to your older children’s school to wait for dismissal and the school nurse calls to see if you can pick up your middle child early from school, because there was an apparent accident in his classroom that he was not directly involved in; however, he did step in it, literally, and is in need of a change of clothes and shoes {and to be sanitized in a clean room decontamination area from head to toe just as a precaution.} So you ask if you can pick up your oldest daughter early too because you don’t have time to go home to get him showered, changed, and return before actual dismissal time, which of course is fine because the school recognizes what a crappy situation this is.

Minutes later, you arrive at school and carry your now sleeping child instead of waking her because she is shoeless from getting her first pedicure, it’s a cold, rainy, winter day, keeping her locked in the car is generally frowned upon in the parenting {and legal} world, she’s often quite unpleasant upon waking, and frankly, you have enough schtuff to deal with, so you keep it real and carry on. 

In the school office you begin to sign your children out but get stuck on the section that asks for a reason for the early dismissal and want to write in “it happens” but politely defer to “minor accident” to decrease the load of paperwork that may follow. You and the school office manager have a good laugh in apparent solidarity, I-can’t-evens,and what-the-hell-just-happened-ness, while your {now awake} youngest shows off her toes and you instruct your son to stop moving around and not to touch ANYTHING, especially with his shoes which is a problem because, as he points out, he can’t fly, all the while forgetting that his CLEAN rain boots are in his book bag…

You walk to the car where you open the back of your SUV to put him in and remove his shoes with a plastic bag. As he begins to climb over the back seat you notice that he had clearly sat on his feet before realizing his shoes were covered in it so you remove his pants and place them in the plastic bag and wonder what the parent parked behind you must be thinking as your son climbs pant-less into his seat, but you don’t really care all that much, and you head home for a glass of wine (or 2) because, on days like today, it doesn’t much matter that it’s not 5 o’clock anywhere…šŸ˜³šŸ’©


CWK #24.7.365-7.11: The F Word

Lady J, timidly: Mom? What does fuck mean?

Bud: Heh, heh. Fuck.

Me, more than a bit dumbstruck: Where did you hear that word?

J: Stewart* asked me if I know what the “F” word is and I told him, “No.” Then Mathew* spelled it: f-u-c-k. I told them I didn’t know that word, but I could sound it out. Mom? What does fuck mean?

Inner-momologue: Oh Fuck! Crappity crap crap fuck this shit and the asshole who mentioned it to a second grader and now my kids know it, even though I’ve probably fucked up a few times in front of them too, FUCK!

Me: Well, first of all you should both know that it is a word that is rude, disrespectful, and will get you sent to Mr. Wollensky’s* office immediately, should you say it at school. In school, it’s worse than “stupid” or even “hate”. It will also get you sent to your room at home.

J: I know that, but what does it mean?

Me: Well, most adults use it when something goes wrong, like “Oh no!” or, “Oh dear!” 

J: Why wouldn’t they just say, “Oh no” or, “Oh dear” then? Or even, “Oh my goodness?”

Me: Sometimes, in the adult world, things go so wrong that a stronger word comes to mind first. It’s not polite, but it happens. 

Bud: Fuck! I can’t buckle my seatbelt! Heh, heh, heh. 

Me: Bud, you may not use that word. Not even to repeat it. Next time, it’s a timeout. No warnings. 

Bud: Poop. Well, I guess that’s ok. 

J: But, Mom, if it just means, “Oh no,” then why is it a bad word. What does it really mean?

Inner momologue: Fuuuuuuuuuck!

Me: I honestly need to discuss this with Daddy before telling you the real definition of the word.

J: Why do you need to talk to Daddy about what a word means?

Me: You asked a great question and I want to answer it honestly, yet appropriately. It’s a word that has some pretty grownup meanings and I want to make sure Daddy and I are both present for this conversation…

… The conversation we had at dinner included explaining that the word “fuck” was a derogatory word that often referred to disrespectful references towards outer appearances and inappropriate behavior. In their language we used terms such as “bucket dipping” and “bullying” and made sure that they knew it was a word that is never acceptable to use towards another person nor to be accepted in a humorous manner when directed at another person. We let them know that anyone who refers to them using that word is not a friend and that they may stand up for up for themselves, while they also have an obligation to stand up for others if that word is used against them and to report it to us, a teacher, or another trusted adult….I hope it fucking worked….

#innocencelost #herewegrow #convoswithkids #thefword #sothathappened

*all names have been changed

The End of InnocenceĀ 

Yesterday, while cleaning off my desk, I moved a picture Lady J drew for Toothiana, our tooth fairy, to put in her keepsake binder and accidentally left it out in plain sight before properly filing it. Of course she found it and asked why I still had it. Trying to think fast, I told her that Toothiana returned it to me so that I could save the memory just as Toothiana saves the original memory in the teeth she collects. If you’ve read William Joyce’s books about the Guardians of Childhood or seen the movie Rise of the Guardians, this makes sense, and J accepted this as truth. 

Today, while on the phone to his parents, Mr. TheKing mentioned that I go to the bank to get two dollar bills all the time. We only use two dollar bills for tooth fairy money. J was within earshot and immediately looked at both of us with The Look

…Looking forward to tomorrow night’s bedtime conversation, you know, once she has time to mull it all around for a bit longer…

#SoThatHappened #ParentingFail #TheEndOfInnocence #HereWeGrow


Convos with MTK: Hanukkah Gifting

It must be said that Mr. TheKing is extraordinarily generous but truly needs help when it comes to gift giving. Ā Even when provided with an explicit wish list, he oftenĀ goes rogue and tends to favor practicality over desire, which, although useful, is also a bit…um…boring… Two years ago, we decided not to get each other a gift for both Hanukkah and Christmas, or so I thought:

Originally published on FaceBook on November 29, 2013

30 days of thanks: day 29

Mr. TheKing: I got you a Hanukkah present.

Me: You did? I didn’t know we were doing that this year. (I’m intrigued and excited)

MTK: Well, it’s “for you-for me”

Me: Does that mean it’s for me and somehow benefits you? (I’m suspicious)

MTK: Kind of…

Me: Vodka? (Maybe that bubblegum flavored one I’m kinda curious about)

MTK: Better than vodka.

Me: What could be better than vodka? (I say jokingly…but not really)

He pulls out a bottle of Polo Sport…

Me: Oh! So it’s for you and you think it will somehow benefit you too…I get it! Vodka would have worked better.

He just smirks.

Today, I am thankful for my husband’s sense of humor and the fact that he still sees me as 24. He keeps me laughing on the inside…and feeling young & pretty on the outside.

polo sport


That moment when your threenager comes into your room in the middle of the night because she’s scared or something to that effect and climbs all over you and your husband for no less than 2 hours until she finally settles in a horizontal position across your pillows which you happen to be using and when Daddy suggests that she moves she begins to sob an uncontrollable “Oh Woe Is Me” sob that makes you unwillingly rise from your non-slumber and carry her back to her bed and lay down next to her so she calms down but then you fall asleep only to be woken by your husband an hour later because the sun is rising so you slip out of her bed so as not to disturb the now-sleeping-beauty and begin to get ready for the day by getting your other children dressed, fed, making lunches, and all that other schtuff that makes mornings absolutely and maddeningly entertaining if you were a fly in the wall but you’re not, so you’re just mad, probably from the lack of sleep for the better part of a decade.   But then the princess emerges from her kingdom mere minutes before it’s time to depart and you think, “Effit. Keep the pajamas on and here’s breakfast to go, Kid” because it’s time to go and MONDAYS

You arrive at school and you hear the comments about your daughter still in her pajamas but you don’t let it bother you because 1) You made it to school on time for her older siblings  2) She’s the youngest so rules don’t apply to her…duh… 3) It’s not a school day for her anyway 4) MON-DAY {nuff said.} 

After a busy but accomplished day of cooking, cleaning, and playing dress up you inform your threenager that it’s time to get out of her dress up clothes and into real clothes where upon she immediately ventures upstairs to put on a fresh pair of pajamas, tights, and her tap shoes which she disliked SO MUCH that she insisted on dropping dance class, which you did just last week, but now she is happily tapping off into the sunset to pick up her siblings at school, where people notice that she is wearing yet another pair of pajamas and that her “outfit” makes no sense and you STILL don’t care because 1) You made it to school on time to pick up her older siblings 2) She’s still the youngest so rules still don’t apply to her…duh… 3) It wasn’t a school day for her anyway 4) She looks adorable 5) MON-DAY {nuff said.} 

#thiskid #threenagers #thirdchild #mondays


That moment when you have just ordered your marathon outfit, new shoes, battery backup for your phone, runners pack for long training runs, and signed up to compete in a local hat trick (5k+10k on Saturday plus 1/2 marathon on Sunday) that’s in 2 weeks which is good because it takes place 2 weeks before your full marathon so it’s meant to be your last hurrah before tapering and you’re even more excited about it because your 7 year old daughter is going to run the 5k with you. So you go out to run a quick training mile with her, but your not-quite-4 year old wants to join the “girl’s run” so she comes along for a warm up 1/4 mile and while running next to her you roll your ankle on what was likely an acorn but probably just clumsiness and you’re thinking, “OMGoodness that hurts like a &$@!!!!!” But after a few steps you’re ok, so you bring your younger daughter back to your house and run the rest of the mile with your older daughter and everything’s fine until 2 hours later when you take off your shoes to get changed for a family fun night of bowling and you start to feel increasing pain in your foot. So you take some ibuprofen and inform your husband that you can no longer walk or put pressure on your foot AT ALL and you get into bed to elevate your feet while your oldest daughter plays nurse and gets you ice and stays by your side so your husband can take the younger children to get a new movie (since bowling was cancelled) and an ace bandage for your injury. But then, as you’re waiting, you are actually writhing in pain and using your Lamaze training that you never actually needed during labor and delivery because EPIDURALS but you’re glad now that you took the class because you might actually hyperventilate and you’re now shivering in shock and thinking , “Damn that little acorn. This better just be a bruise because come hell or high water you are running in that marathon in less than one month.” And also, “Eff you Universe, Mercury in retrograde, and Murphy! Enough of these Shannanigans!” So you call your husband and tell him you think you might need an X-Ray. So your in laws come over to watch the kids while your husband takes you to an urgent care facility and the doctor offers you a pain killer shot in your ass which may or may not burn and you’re thinking that you’d rather not feel like your ass is on fire. So you politely decline pending the X-Ray results which fortunately show no break, just a bruise, which is FANTASTIC news. So you gladly take the air cast and crutches knowing that you’ll be just fine and back at it in a few days and hobble off into the sunset… 


CWK 24.7.365.7-11: Nice Try, Doc

Pediatrician: What was his last temperature?

Bud: I didn’t let Mommy take my temperature. I don’t like the thermometer under my tongue.

Pediatrician: Bud, if you don’t let Mommy take your temperature I’ll have to tell Santa to put you on the naughty list. You don’t want Santa to bring you a lump of coal, do you?

Bud: That’s ok. I like coal. We find them on the train tracks near Grandma and Grandpa’s cabin. Also, I’ll still get Hannukah and Birthday presents so don’t worry about Santa. And, now I know how to put the thermometer under my tounge because the nurse showed me! Isn’t that great?!?!

And that is how Bud got early admission to any med school of his choice…

#HowDoesHeKnow? #YouCantFoolHim #truth #outofthemouthsofbabes #NiceTryDoc #Bud


That moment when you’re on vacation at the beach and there’s a giant wave that’s about to break and you have a choice to save your son or your sunglasses so you instinctively choose to grab your son instead of your sunglasses even though the wave wasn’t really all that big {you realize after the fact} plus he can swim rather well and he actually thought your attempt to grab him and save him from “eminent doom” was a shark attack but your “momma bear” reaction took over and you tried to prevent any harm to him as you have been trained to do as a lifeguard since the days of BC {before children} and moments later you realize that you not only scared your son into thinking the water was shark infested but you also lost your {good and only pair of} sunglasses in the wave and now you can no longer see in the bright southern sun as it reflects off the shimmering water and blinding sand so you try, in vain, to find them in the current and hope, pray, and cross your fingers that they wash up on shore all while getting an earful from your husband that you shouldn’t have been wearing those sunglasses in the water and that you are now (unfairly) relegated to wear dollar store glasses to the beach “just in case” even though (you don’t own any and) your track record for these sunglasses is pretty good considering they are 3 years old and you have yet to lose or damage them (not counting today) so when you average it all out, they have cost close to PENNIES per day so you go to sulk in the shallows and find shade for your burning eyes while your husband returns to the depths of the sandbar with your son and 20 minutes later, by sheer luck, he finds your sunglasses in another wave out in the ocean and almost looses his own sunglasses during the rescue and recovery…

#instantkarma #sothathappened #myhero #vacationwoes #vacationdosanddonts #firstworldproblems

CWK #247365711.2: 28-35 days later, the continuation of the conversation…

The following conversation is a natural follow-up to a conversation that began this past spring, when Lady J’s first grade class hatched chicks and learned about fertilized/unfertilized eggs. It then continued over the summer when the children learned of menstruation due to a bathroom door that doesn’t lock and an unrealistic expectation of parental privacy. This is the third installment and will undoubtedly NOT be the last: Continue reading