Child Rearing

Mar. 23, 2017

When my kids were younger we took them to Sea World. As we entered Shamoo the Whale’s area, I chose the section that was three rows back from the whale tank. My son, Reese, promptly sat next to me while my sister Barbi, my daughter Amber, and my husband Reese stood aside looking at me as if I was crazy.

My husband says, “You know this is the splash zone, right?”


“You know the whale is going to get us wet.”

“Yes,” I answered waving for the girls to sit down too.

My husband, still standing added, “You know there’s whale piss in the tank, don’t you?”

I’m guessing he didn’t want to sit there.

Mar. 23, 2017

My son and I were out and about going to different yard sales. I came across a “Black Sabbath 606” concert T-Shirt. My son favors the classical music of his father and my era so I pointed to it and said to my son, “I bet you don’t know that group.”

“That’s Ozzy Osbourne,” he answered. “Wasn’t he in Black Sabbath?”

“Yes, he was,” I said. I then added, “When Ozzy left Black Sabbath and went solo, it really hurt the group.”

As we browsed some of the other items, The Steve Miller Band came on with Fly Like An Eagle. I smiled to myself and said to my son, “How about this song?

“Oh, I remember this song,” he announced. “This song was written specifically for the movie Space Jam.”

The lady who was running the yard sale and I started laughing. “No, it wasn’t,” I told him. “This song put The Steve Miller Band on the map back in the 1970’s.”

Moral: Don’t try to tell us old hippies and fogies about our music. That includesLed Zepplin, Pink Floyd, and others to name a few. Most people around my age has gotten high to these songs/bands and then created you kids (I think, I can’t remember, it’s all in a Purple Haze).

Mar. 23, 2017

I had asked my son to run to the store for me and provided him with a list of things to purchase. One of those things was some mozzarella cheese so I could make some zucchini appetizers. The list stated, “Small bag of mozzarella”

Like always, my son calls back home with questions. The call was expected but I was busy on another line so my husband answered the phone for me.

He calls out, “Reese wants to know what size bag of cheese you wanted?”

“Just a small bag … a two-cup bag is all I need,” I answered and then returned to my phone call.

My son comes in several minutes later and brings me the bag of cheese. He holds up this narrow-foot-long bag of mozzarella and says, “This is the closest I could find to a two-foot bag.”

I have no idea how we went from two-cups to two-foot, but it was funny as hell.

Mar. 23, 2017

When my daughter was born, she came out as a butt-first breech, not feet first. As a result of her ass-end entry into the world, I had to have an emergency C-section performed due to my preeclampsia. Nonetheless, we were so excited to finally meet her.

The same year we had her (1984) was the same year car seat laws became mandatory in our area. Car seats were already being used but I don’t believe they became statewide requirements until 1986. Even though it was still 1984, the nurses at the hospital told us: “If you do not have a car seat, we cannot let the baby leave with you.”

My husband went to Walmart and bought a new one that doubled as an infant carrier and brought it to the hospital. A week after our daughter was born we came home. We were so excited! We were parents, we had a baby girl and we thought no one could tell us a thing!

We stopped at his parent’s house so they could hold their new granddaughter without hospital supervision and guidelines. They were so excited, too. When we left, my husband set the baby on top of the car and helped me get into the front seat. Then he ran around to his side and jumped in behind the wheel.

My father & mother-in-law stood at the door waving to us. They were so proud. I noticed they kept waving even as we started to back up. Then we noticed my father-in-law jumped off the front porch and run toward us.

“What’s he doing,” I asked quite alarmed that we were being chased down.

My husband stopped the car, shrugged his shoulders and said, “I don’t know.”

He came to my side of the car and it looked like he was hugging it until he stepped away. He was holding the baby. Boy did he tell us a thing. In his excitement, my husband had left her on top of the car. I thought then, yeah, we’re off to a good start as parents.

A week after being home, my friend Marybeth, took me to Walmart to do some Christmas shopping. I was still sore and slightly hunched over from the surgery so I had placed the baby and carrier into the bottom of the cart. Some woman came up and said, “Oh that’s such a cute little doll baby.”

I said, “What doll baby?” She pointed into the cart at my baby and I said, “That’s not a doll baby, that’s a real baby!”

She said, “Are you sure?”

We had one more unusual incident: About two months later, I was leaving (the same) Walmart. The doctors had released me from care and I was allowed to drive again. We had a black two-door Trans Am back then: a low rider. I handled it well, though.

I opened the back door, slid the baby’s car seat onto the seat and looked around for the seatbelt. “Where did those seat belts go,” I asked out loud. I glanced up and saw a man sitting in the driver’s seat looking back at me and I said, “What are you doing in my car?” 
He said, “Excuse me?”

Then I realized, I was in his car and he had a light brown four-door station wagon. My black two-door Trans-Am was next to his. “Sorry,” I said and then explained, “I left my glasses at home.”

As I was buckling the baby into the passenger seat I heard him say, “Then are you sure that’s even your baby?”

Mar. 23, 2017

For some reason my daughter smells everything. She’s one of those people who when someone says, “Oh, this stinks! Here, smell it,” and then sticks it in her face, she’ll sniff it, knowing it’s going to stink.

She’s like that with food, too, except she doesn’t just give it a couple of complimentary sniffs, she inhales the aroma. I have sat across the table from her on many occasions and watched her sniff, sniff – look at it – sniff, sniff again before tasting something. I just shake my head at her.

My son studies his food. He looks hard at it, sometimes even turning it over to examine it, and then turns it around a couple of times. Once in a while he’ll smell it during his examination but for the most part, the food doesn’t stick around long enough before he inhales it to digestion.

I have to tell him, “Slow down, Son! No one is going to take your food away from you.”

I have always taught them to explore what they can, even cuisine. You never know what you’ll like or dislike unless you try it. I use the analogy: “You never knew whether you liked pizza until you tried it for the first time.” So, they try everything, at least once even if they do sniff and examine it first.

My husband smells his food and examines it, too, however, his big problem is that he has a rare skin disorder that prohibits his skin from shedding like most would. It’s called Ichthyosis or, Alligator Skin. He applies a lot of lotions to keep his skin moist and help it shed, including Alpha Keri Oil. When he does not apply oils or lotions, his skin dries even more and, apparently, it itches.

During the winter, his skin gets really dry. I remember one particular winter he kept scratching. Every time I looked at him he was scratching his legs or arms. Occasionally his back would need scratching, too.

As I sat at the dinner table and looked at my family, my husband was scratching, Amber was sniffing her food and her brother was studying it. I thought to myself, there goes Scratch, Sniff and kid brother, Einstein.