Monday, April 29, 2013

House Rule #57: All time capsules must be buried outside

The kids were in bed. The husband had Chicago Fire cued up on Hulu. All I needed was a cozy blanket to make the evening complete.

“Now where did that blanket go…what is THAT?!!!”

I found my cozy blanket alright. I found it balled up on the corner of the sectional sofa with the following note taped to it:

“Honey? What is this?” I asked the Husband.

“A time capsule. Der.”

“Well…can I use the blanket?”

“Is it 2030?”


“There’s your answer.”

“Are you kidding me?”


What did I do? I left it there. I grumbled about how time capsules are supposed to be buried in backyards and wondered why my darling husband did not put the kibosh on the whole business when it was going down, but I left it there. I was cold, but I had the knowledge that I was being a good mom to keep me warm. Yay me.

When Eldest awoke the next morning, we had a little chat about the living-room time capsule. He was excited to tell me all about it and totally stoked at the idea of digging a hole in the backyard. In fact, he was so excited to get started that he was halfway out the door before I could tell him that he might want to find a sturdy box for the project. Not wanting to pry regarding the contents of his time capsule, though I was absolutely dying to know what he thought should be preserved for future generations, I had him describe the approximate dimensions of his treasures. I held some options up to his hands, eyeballed the fit, and found a take-and-go container that pleased him.

The next thing I knew, there was a blood-curdling scream and a 5-year-old frantically scooping up handfuls of cozy-couch blanket.

The time capsule was gone!

Privacy be darned. It was time to fess up about what might be loose, I mean, lost in my house. Eldest told me that he cut out the shape of a box from notebook paper, placed two Matchbox cars inside, and then folded and taped the box shut. He placed the time capsule on the couch, covered it with my blanket, and then added his note regarding an appropriate date for the big reveal.

Thank heavens it was not the ant farm…or worse.

However, the question remained, “Where in the sam heck does a paper and scotch tape box filled with two metal cars go?!!!”

Hours have passed. Several painful toddler interrogations have been conducted. Sadly, there are no leads. Our best guess (and by “our” I mean Eldest and by “best guess” I mean crazy idea) is that Red found the time capsule and managed to remove it without disturbing the blanket and/or note. Then Baby Girl ate the paper box before throwing the toy cars into the trash. Without leaving a trace of saliva-soaked notebook paper.

Not likely.

Although, who knows? Strange things go on around here. And I certainly have no explanations. I’m flummoxed.

Anyone with information regarding a missing notebook-paper box filled with toy cars can contact me through this website. You have some ‘splaining to do.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

What's the Point? Or How the Internet Rules the World

I have a confession to make: I started this blog without a clear purpose in mind. *gasp* I know! Can you believe it? I have been writing about whatever random thoughts pop into my head and feeling pretty good about it. Then the other day I came across an article about how to make your blog better. Hmmm…did I want to make my blog better? Sure! Why not? If you are going to do something, do it right, right? I think someone famous said something along those lines. I read the article and one of the tips was to define the purpose of your blog. Oh crapidy crud. To make matters worse, the second tip was to then figure out how that purpose makes you unique. Double crapidy crud.

I started to look objectively at my blog. I suppose it is a “mommy blog” since I write about my kids a lot. I try to be funny, though I hesitate to call it a “humor blog” since that makes me feel a lot of pressure to be funny. Ugh. Too hard. I decided that I am just fine without a clearly defined purpose. What does the internet know anyway? Moving on…

And I did, or so I thought. Except that I was hit with a massive case of writer’s block. Every now and then an idea would come to me and quickly be gone again. I tried so very hard to hold onto one of them. I was like a lonely little old lady trying to convince the ideas to stay awhile. “Have a seat. Can I make you something? Tea? Coffee? I have some leftover chicken nuggets I can reheat for you. No? You have to go? Can we schedule a lunch sometime? I have my calendar right here. Well, okay. You’re busy. I understand. Call me! Anytime!” Despite my best efforts I had no takers. Not a single idea stuck around long enough to form into a blog entry or even a tidbit to post on Facebook. I was going to have to figure out what I was doing with this here blog. *sigh*

Since reading that “helpful” article that caused my creative juices to congeal into a blob of unproductivity, three things have happened that I want to share with you.

First, we had Red tested and found out that he, like Eldest, has a high IQ. He is gifted.

Second, I noticed that there is a lot of confusion about what it means for a kid to be gifted.

Third, I have realized that writing helps me deal with the crazy my kids chuck at me. AND that 98.76% of their particular brand of mommy-madness-inducing shenanigans can be attributed to the fact that they have high IQs.

So, what is my purpose in writing this blog? To put it simply, my kids are wicked smaht and writing about how that messes with our family life is the only thing keeping me from going completely batshit crazy. Does this make me unique? Hmmm…maybe.

If the internet it to be believed, and I think we have already established that it is (did you not just read how the internet sapped my ability to write because I ignored its advice??!!!), a lot of moms do not tell anyone that their kid is gifted. I know that I don’t. Unless it is absolutely necessary, (for instance, if my kid is pacing in circles and flapping his arms while explaining why Pluto is now considered a dwarf planet instead of climbing on the monkeybars) I keep that tidbit to myself. Why? Because it rarely goes well.

                Other Mom: Are you going to be in the morning or afternoon preschool class next year?

                Me: Uh…um…actually, we, um, are going to have him start kindergarten next year.

                Other Mom Number 1: <brow furrows> How old is he?

Me: Well…he will only be four, but, you know, he is, um, gifted and we think he will like the challenge.

Other Mom Number 2: But he will be the youngest one in the class! Why push him?

Me: He is already reading and…uh, he WANTS to go…and…

Other Mom Number 1: You know, we thought about doing that with our older daughter.  She is super smart. And she LOVES to read. But I just couldn’t stand the thought of her leaving for college a year early.

             Me: <smile and nod>

Frankly, I don’t like to feel like a schmuck, so I have kept it to myself. But now I am done. My kids are who they are and I am so proud of the sweet and funny little people that they are. And a big part of who they are is gifted. I don’t brag about my kid’s IQ. I am too busy trying to get him to keep his socks on in public. (Gifted kids tend to have sensory issues that make them massively sensitive to things like seams and tags.) I also don’t think my kid is better than yours because he can read at a 5th grade level in kindergarten. I am too busy driving to the public library every day to pick out new books because he already read the 15 we picked out the day before.

I have two children who are “officially” gifted. As in, they were given an IQ test and they scored much higher than other kids their age. I also have a third child who, I would bet the farm, is also gifted. She is too young to test, so how can I be so sure? Because the biggest, most obvious, and most challenging part of giftedness is the behavior. Oh god help me, the behavior. <shudder> If you do not have a gifted person in your life this may surprise you. I know it surprised me. Gifted kids are NOT merely children who have a gift for the book learnin’ in the same way others are great at baseball or the violin. They have these brains that simply work differently than the rest of ours.

You may have already figured out that I hate the term “gifted.” I think it confuses the issue of what I deal with as a parent every day. So I am inventing a new term. I am calling my kids SMART. It stands for Sensitive, Mindful, Asynchronous, Resourceful, and Trying.

Sensitive: Pearl S. Buck explained this part of my kids’ personality better than I ever could. “To him... a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death.” Yup, that sounds about right.

Mindful: They are hyperaware of what is going on, the moods of those around them, the tiny cupcake sprinkle on the ground, the man walking his dog we passed three blocks back…all at the same time. Red can be watching tv, looking through a book, futzing around with a toy, drinking a sip of juice, and still ask me what that weird noise is. I have learned not to argue anymore. He really can hear the dehumidifier in the basement kick on with all of that other business going on.

Asynchronous: This explains how my son can add fractions, but can’t tie his shoe. My Baby Girl has a huge vocabulary, but she is not walking. SMART kids are not able to do everything early or well. You should see Eldest try to throw a ball. It hurts Mommy to watch.

Resourceful: Think “outside the box?” There is no box able to contain their thoughts. If they had a box at one point, they broke it down, carved it into little pieces, and used the shreds of cardboard to build a spaceship that was actually able to orbit the Earth, but did not survive reentry, so they decided that maybe next time they should use a non-paper-based product.

Trying: It is tough raising kids. I have never heard anyone say different. They try your patience and your sanity. SMART kids do all of the usual things like dump LEGOs all over the floor and wrestle in the kitchen while I am trying to make a meal they won’t eat. They also test my intelligence. I think all kids go through the “knock-knock joke” stage where they tell you joke after horrible joke. My Eldest wants me to explain why each one is funny or not. Can you tell me why a joke is funny? Yeah. Think about that.

There. I did it! I defined a focus for this blog: Mom barely holds on to sanity through sharing the ridiculous, and often not-talked-about, side of raising SMART kids. Are you happy internet? Did I maybe earn some bonus points for creating the acronym? Now can you please remove the block in my head and let the ideas party again? Because the boys just got the ants for their ant farms in the mail and I think I am going to need an outlet to deal with that debacle waiting to happen.