Things Kids Say Thursday: Conflict Resolution

It’s been a week since my last post, which was also a Things Kids Say post. Don’t worry — it’s not that I’ve run out of anything to post about other than things my kids say (although I could probably run a blog solely off that). Everybody’s been sick in my house (nothing major, just nasty colds). Again. I’m so over these school germs the kids are bringing home, and we’re only a couple months into the school year.



Now that I have the explanation for my lack of posting out of the way, on to one of the funny things my kids said.

I’ve probably mentioned how much we like The Office in this household (or have referenced the show in some way) as many times as I’ve mentioned That Band Who Shall Remain Nameless. Little Man is a fan, too, because he’s awesome like that.

Last week, Little Man came home from school complaining about having a bad day in his GT program (which is in the same building at his regular school). I was concerned and asked what happened.

“The teacher said no more Pokemon. Can you believe that? No more cards, nothing at all with Pokemon on it.”

“How come?”

“Because the principal said it’s banned. He said too many parents were calling about cards going missing or getting taken or bad trades, and instead of just saying, ‘Hey, y’all, stop calling me,’ he decided to ban Pokemon. Forever.”

“Hmm. That makes sense. He runs your school and the GT program, so he probably doesn’t have a lot of time to spend on Pokemon cards,” I told him.

Little Man sighed. “Do you think we could do Michael Scott’s conflict resolution with them so we can all be happy?”

If you aren’t familiar with The Office, or haven’t watched each episode a dozen times, he’s referencing an episode where manager Michael Scott decided to resolve conflicts in the office in what he thought was a more effective manner than what his HR guy was doing.

I guess LM missed the part where Michael’s style of resolving conflicts only made things worse.

I held back my laughter. “Are you suggesting that maybe we take a picture of a Pokemon card, put it on a shirt, and have your principal wear it? That way he gets what he wants and you guys still get to see something with Pokemon on it. Win-win-win.”

He wasn’t amused.

While I’m on the topic of The Office, last night I dressed LM up in a “costume” one of the characters wore for Halloween. Today is Favorite Book Character Day at school and I was getting some stuff together for that, so why not tape three black circles to my kid for shits and giggles, right?

So, what’s up in your world? Anything funny you want to share?

Things Kids Say Thursday: I Want A Panking

A few days ago, I was in the tub finishing getting Baby Girl cleaned up when Sam came in to get her. She does not like leaving the tub, no matter how cold the water is. When Little Man was small, he’d get “sugary” (toddler talk for “shivery”) quickly, and would get out without coaxing or tantrums. Not the girl. Even though she announces that her fingers are “wankled” (wrinkled) and the water is frigid (to me), she doesn’t want to leave.

“Look Daddy, I swimming!” she told him when she saw the towel. She stretched out on her belly and thrashed her arms and legs in the water, splashing water everywhere and giggling. “Swimming, swimming!” she sang.

He laughed and teased her, “Better stop that splashing and get out, or you’re gonna get a panking!” Panking is his word for “spanking.” No, the kids don’t get spankings (so no chiming in with “You guys suck because you spank!” No “You guys suck because you aren’t strict enough” either). He’s said it forever, always jokingly, and just shrugs when I ask him why the heck he says that, as baby talk is annoying to me.

Judging from Baby Girl’s response, this must have been the first time she heard “panking.” (Or the first time she registered it as a new word.)

“Oooh, okay, Daddy. I get out, I want a panking!”

We cracked up. “Daddy was just kidding, Baby Girl, there are no pankings,” he told her.

“No, I want a panking, Daddy! I eat it! Okay? I hungry.”

“Uh…okay.” He looked to me for help.

“I guess you better go find a panking.” I’m not much for helping.

He dried her off and took her to the kitchen. When I got out, I found out that he’d decided that the blueberry cereal bars were pankings. She was happy with that. And every day since, she’s asked us for a panking. Even at soccer practice, which got a couple of odd looks.

Are there any silly words your family uses that leave outsiders scratching their heads?

Share Your World – 42

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If you wanted to de-clutter where you live, what room / space would you start with? (And why, if you’re feel like admitting to it.)

I’d start with my kitchen. Always the kitchen. Everything manages to get piled up in there on the island (which is supposed to serve as my work space), counters, crammed in drawers and cabinets, etc. I’m someone who cleans out stuff regularly, and no matter how much I do in the kitchen, it seems like there is always something overflowing.

If you want to remember something important, how do you do it (sticky note on the fridge, string around your finger, etc.), and does it work?

Lately I’ve been sending myself alerts on my iPhone. That has helped me so much with not forgetting things! Not only can I add things to a list that I can check off, I can also have alerts sent at certain time and repeat on certain days. I love it.

If you could create a one room retreat just for yourself, what would be the most important sense to emphasize: sight (bright natural light, dim light, etc.), hearing (silence, music, fountain, etc.), smell (candles, incense, etc), touch (wood, stone, soft fabrics, etc.), or taste (herbal tea, fresh fruit, etc.)?

Hearing. I need quiet to focus. Unlike my husband — who works from home with ease and isn’t the least bit bothered by people walking in and out of his work area — I can’t focus on reading, writing, whatever with noise. And by noise, I mean my children and husband.

If you could interview one of your great-great-great grandparents, who would it be (if you know their name) and what would you ask?

I can’t remember her name, but I’d interview my grandmother’s grandmother. When my grandmother would talk about her relatives, that’s the name that came up most often — she was an old maid who never had a nice word for anyone — so I’d be kinda interested to see what all happened in her life.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Last week I was grateful for cooler temperatures, participating in fall activities, and a nice date night with my husband. This week I’m looking forward to more fall activities with the kiddos.

Check out Cee’s Share Your World Challenge here.

Just Doing My Job

Just about every soccer season, Little Man gets placed on the weakest soccer team in the division. These teams are often led by new coaches who know little about the sport and have several players who haven’t played before. LM has been part of one team with a winning record. This season is no exception to the norm, as the team’s record is currently 0-5. The games have been pretty close, though, so I expect the kids to get a win or two before the season is over.

On Saturday, thanks to the head coach getting the game time confused, we only had 5 of our 10 players. We play with 7 on the field. The other team’s coach was gracious and rather than having us forfeit or play 5 on 7, offered to only play 5 of his at a time. Classy move, considering I know some coaches who would’ve pounced on the opportunity to run it up. (Like the coach LM had a couple seasons ago that taught them how to discreetly trip and knock down players.)

Our team lost anyway, but we got the chance to see LM play in a different position. LM has played middle defense all season (and does an amazing job of shutting down the other team when he’s in). Not only does that position work well with his abilities, it also helps the coach not worry about having to rotate another person onto offense to keep things fair (since everyone wants to play offense). But, with being short some players, there was no choice but to play Little Man on offense for a quarter.

I knew Little Man wouldn’t want to play offense, but he didn’t complain. Sam and I were rather nervous about him playing there. We’ve seen him play that position a few times in previous seasons, and it didn’t often go well. He’d get distracted and not stay on the right side or end of the field. He’d forget that he was playing offense and go back to the defense. His frustration with himself for not being able to keep up with where he needed to be would sometimes boil over and lead to tears. Sometimes he did okay (and even scored a goal once after kicking it and bouncing it off someone’s leg — but it counted!) but mostly not.

He surprised us on Saturday.

You’d have never known that he played out of position. He hustled up the field like a pro, stayed focused, did great with passing, and scored a goal. And it wasn’t a cheap goal, either, but a beautiful shot from about 10-15 yards out (his dad says 20, but I don’t think it was that far).

Surprisingly, LM didn’t act excited. He did a quick fist pump and ran back to wait for the kick off.

When I congratulated him after the game, LM still didn’t seem excited about it, so I asked him how it made him feel to score, commenting that I thought he’d be more excited. “Good, but I was just doing my job, Mom.”

All righty, then. I was tempted to run down the parents’ sideline celebrating when it happened, but he’s over here like “it ain’t no thing.”


The kids play the best team in the league tonight. This team is undefeated. Whatever the score is, I know it will be a hard fought game.

Religious Sweet Creams

Last night, my husband and I were talking about Halloween. More specifically, we were talking about candy. I want the good stuff, and he wants whatever is cheapest. He’s like whatever the step up from Ebeneezer Scrooge would be, but for Halloween.

Even if I haven’t always gotten into dressing up for Halloween or decorating for Halloween, I’ve always looked forward to handing out candy to kids. We would only get like two or three trick-or-treaters where I lived at growing up (rural area and all), and those were usually relatives. So now that I live in the only neighborhood in the same rural area, I like to enjoy the handing out of the candy. And I don’t want to give out crappy candy that gets thrown away immediately after kids sort through it all. I also don’t like the idea that someone might come back and TP our yard if we give them a single tiny Tootsie Roll, as Ebeneezer Sam might if I were to leave him in control of the candy. It’s only one night per year and it’s fun! Clearly it’s not a time to go in miser mode. (Nor are the next two months.)

“Get out your computer and see what kind of deals we can get on bulk candy for Halloween,” he instructed me last night. He figured that if Imitation Chocolate Substance With Possible Traces of Plastic wasn’t going to cut it with me, that we could at least buy the ton that we need online and possibly save money over what we’d pay at the store.

I did my search and found this:


This candy mix is perfect for your church Halloween party! Trunk-or-Treaters love the included Bible Verse Buttermints, Faith Jelly Bean Treat Packets, Tangy Tarts Scripture Candy, Cross-Shaped Swirl Pops, Religious Fish Candy Treat Packets, Carried by the Lord Gummy Fun Packs, Religious Sweet Creams, God Loves Us All Printed Suckers, Tootsie Rolls® and Wonka™ Mix-Ups®. (200 pcs. per unit, 3 lbs.) Assortment may vary.

I laughed so hard while reading this description that I had tears running down my face. I’m a Christian, but absurd stuff like that kills me. I’ll ignore the need for religious themed candy and just ask who the heck came up with those names? “Sweet cream”? “Tangy Tarts”? This sounds like the stuff they’d be handing out after the Hell House tour.

It wasn’t a terrible price, but did lack the Good Candy requirement, so I passed. I’ll probably pick up a dozen bags of whatever good stuff is on sale next week when I’m out by myself. If one of the bags is something he loves, he might just study over the receipt in silence and not even complain. Wouldn’t it be nice?


While I’m sort of on the subject of religion, I saw something even more eyebrow raising yesterday evening.

On the way home from retrieving our pizza from Papa John’s, I saw some people standing by the road — almost in it — waving in such a way that it looked like they were trying to flag someone down. Thinking they needed help, I slowed down a bit to check things out, figuring that I’d turn around if it looked like something I could help with, or call 911.

I didn’t turn around.

The people were standing next to a white kidnapper-style van with no windows that had a huge sign that said, “Prayer Drive Thru.”


I don’t care who or what you believe in, that’s just creepy.

(I found out later that they were using it as a method of advertising for their church, in case you were concerned, as Sam was, that maybe something fishy was going on. There are better ways of doing this, y’all, that doesn’t Killer Clown level creep folks out. Just saying.)

Share Your World – 41

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Do you believe in love at first sight?

Instant attraction? Sure. But actual love? Not so much.

Your first car?

A 1996 Saturn. Even though it was a few years old when I got it, it was one of the nicest cars in our school parking lot. I had a lot of fun in that thing and tested its limits in such ways that the idea of giving LM a car in several years terrifies me.

Who taught you to ride a bike? How did it go?

Even though my dad claims to have taught me, it was my then stepbrother. After trying to teach me didn’t go so well, my dad got pissed off and went back inside. My stepbrother (who was the same age, we were both 7) stuck it out with me for the rest of the afternoon and I was zooming around by myself by that evening.

Ugly and rich or beautiful and poor?

How about somewhere in between on both of those and I’m at where I already am —  a great family and a comfortable life? If not, I’ll take ugly and rich as long as I get to keep my husband and kiddos in that scenario. They’ll love me anyway.

What was the first dish you could cook?

Pancakes, bacon, and eggs for my dad on Father’s Day when I was 14. My grandmother wasn’t there to supervise, so after being surprised with breakfast in bed, he had to go finish cooking some of it (pancakes leaked with batter after cutting into them and the bacon wasn’t done). I did better on this when I tried again later, so I’m counting it as my first thing I could cook.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I had a lot to be grateful for last week. First and foremost was that we didn’t see much from Hurricane Matthew. One of the early models showed the hurricane coming up in a similar path as Hurricane Hugo did when I was 6 (the eye passed right over our county), and it took a while for out town to recover, so I was worried. I only wish things hadn’t been so awful elsewhere. Also, as I wrote about yesterday, I’m grateful that things are going so well for my son this school year.

As far as what I’m looking forward to in the week coming up — my husband is off all week, so it’ll be nice to spend some extra quality time with him. We’ve got a busy week ahead.

Share Your World is hosted by Cee. Check out Cee’s Photography blog here for more info.

Weekend Coffee Share: Everybody Loves Little Man

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If we were having coffee, I’d tell you to wear your rain boots. It’s soggy out here. We saw some stuff from Hurricane Matthew, so unless you want to ruin your back-to-school shoes (also known as “the shoes I bought myself when my kids started back to school, because damned if they’re getting new ones and I ain’t”), rain boots are required.

By the time we got stuff from the outer band off the hurricane, it was down to a category one, and we’re about 130 miles inland, so the rain and gusts we saw weren’t much worse than any other nasty storm. We stayed home all day and some trees were blown down in our neighborhood (yet again, which is apparently our neighborhood’s theme for the year) and experienced some power outages, but that’s it. We got off easy, unlike our friends on the coast who saw massive flooding, destruction, etc. It was so sad seeing the pictures we were sent and that were posted online.

I’d also tell you that it’s been another busy week. We had beautiful weather (until Friday). Outside of Little Man’s soccer (and the kid is doing amazeballs this year), the most interesting part of the week was LM’s 504 Plan meeting.

As many of y’all know, LM has ADHD and a few other issues, but he’s been doing incredibly well so far this school year. Seriously, not a single complaint from his teacher, other than encouraging him to continue working on focusing. It helps that his teacher also has ADHD (so she gets him), and from what I can tell, is his personality match. That has equaled a wonderful year so far, with LM making greater strides than I’ve seen in the past three years combined. He’s being challenged (no more getting lost in Worksheet Abyss!), his anxiety is so much lower, things are going great socially (in part because of how his teacher handles issues that arise)…I could rave on and on for an entire post or two (and I may very well do so later). Let’s just say that if I could bribe this teacher into moving into fourth and fifth grades with him, I’d do so.

Back to the 504 Plan meeting. After some discussion with the student assistance team, it was determined that he’d be better suited for a 504 Plan over an IEP. An IEP may be addressed later, depending on how he continues to do in math. His math test scores dropped a lot under the teacher he had last year (we knew there was a decline, but hadn’t seen the spring scores to realize just how ridiculously steep it was), so that combined with some other factors may mean he has a learning disability in that area, as was explained to us, BUT he’s doing much better with the current teacher, so hopefully all will be good there. As far as accommodations go, his teacher is already doing everything that was recommended and then some (before actually seeing the recommendations from the NP, as the teacher from last year lost the letter, so it wasn’t in his file…sigh).

And, on top of that, we got to hear his teacher rave about his writing and many other things. That hasn’t always been the case (even though we’ve often been told how smart he is, “distraction to others” and “doesn’t listen” have often been the focus). It feels so damn good to see your kid doing so well.

At that, I’d probably apologize for rambling so much about Little Man and ask you to tell me something about your week.🙂

So…how was your week?

Diana at Part-Time Monster hosts Weekend Coffee Share. Check out her blog for more info.

Things Kids Say Thursday: Bye Felicia…Er, Daddy

Have I ever mentioned that Baby Girl is a mama’s girl? Only half a million times?

When Sam asks BG to go somewhere with him — usually in an effort to give me a break from “Mommy do it” — she is rarely receptive, unless he mentions going to Walmart.

“Bye, Daddy,” she’ll say, as if she’s the one calling the shots.

“Come on, Baby Girl, don’t you want to ride to town with Daddy?” he’ll push.

“BYE, DADDY. BYE.” She gives him a dismissive wave as she turns her back to him.


Am I too old to say, “Damn, that’s cold”? Because it is.

That happens quite a bit. And, yep, all hell breaks loose when he picks her up and takes her anyway.

Last night, I was attempting to take a bath and read a book on my phone. Y’all know about how well that goes when you have kids or a spouse with no sense of boundaries. About 10 minutes into reading John Grisham’s Sycamore Row (I discovered last week that my library has e-books they loan out, hallelujah!), the French doors to my bathroom flew open.

“Mommy! Hey, Mommy! Whatcha doing in he-uh?”

Dammit. I forgot to lock the bedroom door. Locking the bathroom door is useless, but the bedroom door does offer a layer of protection until someone uses his library card to open the door.

Sam was a few steps behind.

“Come on, BG, let’s leave Mommy alone for a little while and let her take a bath.”

“No!” she shook her head. “I gon’ get in! Take a bath! Bubbles! I want Mommy!”

Sam tried again, which prompted Baby Girl to screech and throw herself on the ground. Such a relaxing atmosphere.

I sighed. Whatever. She hadn’t had a nap today, was tired and cranky, and playing in the tub with me would tide her over peacefully until bedtime. And since I’m the one who does bedtime, and since it’d been yet another long day, I preferred an easy bedtime. So, I broke the Never Give In To A Toddler’s Tantrum Or You’ll Be Forever Doomed rule and told Sam to put her in.

The tears immediately dried up. “Yay! I gon’ get in with Mommy! Take a bath, play, BUBBLES!” she squealed. (FYI, there were no bubbles, other than the ones she made.)

After Sam put her in with me, she gave him a look that said “get the hell out.”

“BYE, Daddy. You go out and go in they-uh,” she motioned towards our bedroom. “You not in he-uh. Go on. BYE.”



Yep, we’re in for it.

This popped up after publishing:


Yay, two years on this blog and 500 posts in the same week🙂

Bring On Halloween

Like many people, fall is my favorite time of the year. Even if I didn’t enjoy all the fall things — like watching the leaves turn, festivals, soccer, and Halloween — the drop in temperature would be more than enough to win me over. We’re dipping below the 80s now, and it feels amazing outside. (And my meter reading husband has noted that we are using less kilowatt hours, so fall is going great for him, too.)

Little Man is ready for Halloween and has been talking about it for a while. So much that he was rather offended at Walmart yesterday when he saw all the Christmas decorations out. “Don’t they know Halloween hasn’t even happened? Can’t they let us enjoy it?”

I would typically agree, but I was a little happy to see the stuff. In fact, when we had my iTunes library on shuffle the other day, I didn’t even change the song when a Christmas song came on. There won’t be any decorating before December, though, since Sam declared it a family tradition to never decorate or put up a tree before my birthday, which is on the first. Suggest doing it sooner and he’ll go all wild-eyed and say, “But it’s a FAMILY tradition! No Christmas stuff before your birthday!”


I did some decorating over the last few days. If you knew me just a couple years ago, you’d probably hear me complain about the thought of decorating for any holiday, but I’m getting into it now, to Little Man’s joy. I put up some stuff on the inside (spider web, light-up ghosts, tinsel, pumpkins, and a few other things) and then did some stuff on the outside:

(Yeah, I need to pick up that lattice and put it back in place.)

We had planned to do a family Halloween costume deal this year, but Little Man ruined it, as he often does with our themes (which are almost always his idea in the first place). We were going to let Baby Girl go as Batman, LM go as Robin, Sam go as Bane, and I was going to go as the Joker. But LM decided he wants to do something else — maybe something scary, like a ghost. The other three of us could do a thing, but Sam doesn’t want to spend the money on a costume for himself if we aren’t all doing it, the party pooper.

We looked at costumes online and the Batman loving BG wants to go as Robin, not Batman (although that could certainly change). “Robin! I wike him. I wuv him.” Every time I tried to look at another costume, she fussed, “Robin! My Robin! I want him!”

Since everyone else is changing costumes, I’m changing mine, too, and decided to go as Washed Up Wonder Woman. There’s no way in hell I’m pulling off a Wonder Woman costume (or would even wear one if I could find one that fit), so I’m going as an older Wonder Woman, after having kids and all that crap. I’ll get a Wonder Woman t-shirt and accessories, make my hair look worse than normal, use make up to put circles under my eyes, and maybe carry a bottle of wine. (The last part will be for my friend’s party, not for trick-or-treating with my kids, even if that would certainly warrant it). I’m pretty happy with that, plus it will take less makeup and no asthma-inducing green hairspray will be needed. (If y’all have any suggestions for making that costume funnier, I want to hear them! :-D)

So, what are your fall/Halloween plans? Got anything cool in store costume-wise?

Drop It

I don’t often tell people in real life that I have bipolar disorder. As would be expected, that’s on a need-to-know basis, and most people don’t need to know. As far as family and friends go, a few know, but most don’t. They do know, however, that I’ve dealt with anxiety and depression (mostly because I post links and stuff on Facebook, not so much me telling them directly), which is enough to explain any odd behaviors on my part. Even with new doctors, I avoid mentioning it unless I’m specifically asked why I’m taking certain medications. (A couple doctors didn’t bat an eye, but another acted flabbergasted before telling me, “that’s okay…that’s okay, don’t worry about it.” Awkward.)

Recently, one of the few people that knows brought it up. The ones that know generally don’t mention it — they sometimes ask how things are going, if everything is all right with me in such a serious way that I know what they’re referring to, but that’s the extent of it. My answers are usually “things are fine,” “things are okay,” or “things are a little tough right now, but they’ll be okay soon enough.” +0 points for transparency.

“I don’t think you have bipolar disorder,” this person told me. I had regretted telling this friend, who was more of a pal and less of a close friend (if you know what I mean), but it was a drunken admission, one of those times when I had too much to drink and had gotten emotional and said too much. Ugh.

“Okay…” I was taken aback. The comment was out of left field (we hadn’t even been discussing anything related to mental health).

“My cousin has bipolar disorder, and it’s really bad,” he said. “I’ve never seen things bad with you at all, so you probably don’t have that. It’s just something else with you.”

Right. Someone who hasn’t spent a lot of time around me, who has never had an in-depth conversation with me about my mental health issues, knows better than my psychiatrist and doctor.

“Okay…well, things do get bad with me. The psychiatrist diagnosed me with bipolar disorder for a reason. And…after almost a year and a half, that diagnosis hasn’t changed.”

“Yeah,” he said, “but I’ve never seen it with you. And bipolar disorder is bad. My cousin can barely function sometimes. I really think you’ve got something else.”

I started feeling kinda pissed, but didn’t let it show. “Maybe your cousin has type 1. I have type 2. But it’s not going to look the same with everyone. And you probably won’t ever see anything from me. Not to mention, I’m on medications that help a lot, and that can take a long time to get right for many people,” I rambled.

Drop it. 

“My cousin doesn’t take anything, but I feel like I would see it from you if you had it,” he insisted.

“Okay. Like I said, my psychiatrist has diagnosed me. With mixed features. And I’ve actually read the criteria, so I know that it fits.” Plus, in a period of doubt once — when I had myself had convinced that the psychiatrist was wrong, since who wants to have something that’s going to be wrong with them lifelong and take meds lifelong? — the psychiatrist had broken out her copy of the DSM-5 and went through it with me, hitting on all my symptoms that fit the criteria.

“You know, they really do over diagnose bipolar disorder now,” he told me. “I read about it online.”

This was pointless. And ridiculous…why should I have to convince something like this to someone who really didn’t have a clue — not about me, not about bipolar disorder, not about how to be a polite person? “Right. I’m sure they do.” And then I changed the subject, which I should’ve already done.

People always do this sort of thing — when you’re anxious, it’s not that there’s anything wrong with your brain, but you just need to stop worrying. It’s easy enough for everyone else, so it should be for you, right? Same with depression — everyone gets a little sad sometimes, so you just need to get over it.

I don’t really have any point with this post other than to get something that had been bothering me for a few weeks off my chest. I could tell you not to be that person who makes such comments, but if you’re someone who reads this blog, I probably don’t need to say that.

Edit: Also (since I’ve said it a couple times in the comments already), I don’t think people always have bad intentions when they make ignorant comments or push with topics like this. That doesn’t make it any less frustrating, but does make the difference between being ticked off and wanting to punch someone in the throat.