much to say

“It’s too bad this isn’t a three day weekend like last weekend. I wish every weekend was three days. You know my friend E? The one who has a pool? Well, it isn’t his pool. It’s his neighborhood pool. I like that pool. E made up a new word. It’s peenana. I bet you can’t […]

Everyday horrors

How to make children run away screaming while their arms swat at invisible bees: 1. Walk toward child slowly with one arm reaching toward the child. 2. Say, “I accidentally got too much lotion.”

How RenTeen saved Christmas

Because I wandered aimlessly from chore to chore yesterday, the tree takedown took the entire day. I removed the ornaments and wandered off to load the dishwasher. I pulled the light strings down and sat down to fold a few baskets of laundry. I separated the tree sections and went to organize the kitchen pantry. […]

Santa is for babies

Last year, it was clear that Evan was wise to the Santa game, but he didn’t say anything too obvious. Maybe he was hedging his bets just in case. All of his older siblings reached an age where they went from believing to playing along without any acknowledgement of the change. This year, Evan is […]

ornament arrangement

This afternoon, the children and their friends put the ornaments on the tree. I waited until they were finished and focused on other activities. Then, I started to spread some of the ornament clusters out to fill the giant gaps of emptiness on the tree. My children are used to me fidgeting with the ornaments. […]

window into their souls

This is probably my favorite picture from the entire DC adventure. As I took it, I implored the two of them to stop leaning over the edge. My requests transformed them into Dickinson and Poe. They had a detailed, matter-of-fact conversation about falling and death that seemed perfectly appropriate in the gothic setting. It continued […]

piñata personalities

Our family doesn’t do giant birthday parties or multiple events (nuclear family party, extended family party, friend party, school party, party-party) for the same birthday, but we do a small bit of decor to recognize the day. Once, we put ribbon curtains in the bedroom doorways. Another year, we put helium balloons all over each […]

over the shoulder boulder holder

My best bra went missing. I searched everywhere in my room in case the bra got put away with another item of clothing. I searched behind the washer and dryer in case the bra flung out of the large appliance and jumped behind it in a feat of disappearing genius. I searched the children’s rooms […]

Feeling Lousy

After decades of parenting, the vermin odds finally caught up with us. Lice have violated my child’s scalp. We did once have a relative report that they were infested and we responded with shampoos and linen laundering, but bugs were never seen. This time, it was so horribly obvious that we immediately quarantined all of […]

Flat Stanley again

There’s a Flat Stanley coming home from school this week. Stanley has visited us many, many times over the years. Stanley never comes home at the very beginning of the year to spend the year being mailed to friends and relatives all over the globe for an end of the year report about cities, sights […]