Things that drive parents crazy...

... and responses from parents already on the edge.

Ok, so we're in church and a man walks up to the microphone with music in his hand.  The pianist starts playing, and Habtamu leans over and asks, "Is that man going to sing?"  You're a better person than I if you haven't just thought of a dozen smart-mouth responses to that.

I ended up whispering back to him, "No.  He's going to yell at you in front of the whole church."  That got a snort from my son.


Ok, so we're driving along and see some men with a post hole digger, digging a hole.  Yordanos says, "I wonder what they're digging for... you don't see that everyday."  I said, "I'm surprised that dirt isn't frozen."  And she says, "What dirt?"


"Habtamu (or Yordanos), would you please x, y, or z?" 
"Is your name _________? Then, yes, YOU."

"No, your Aunt Tilly!  Yes, YOU..."


"Have you brushed your teeth?"
[silence while child trying to work around it without lying, because child has gotten in trouble for lying about this subject.]
"Ok, then make sure you do it right now."


Ok, so, bedtime.  Children are in bed, hugs and kisses received and given.  Question floats down, "Mom?  Which car are you taking tomorrow?"

I suppress the urge to say, "Why, why, WHY?" at increasing volumes.  Instead I say, "The green one."

Child says, "Oh, ok.  Good night, Mom. I love you."


Ok, so, soccer practice is over and Habtamu runs out and says, "I have to go to the bathroom."  Ok, fine.  Lee and Yordanos wait in the car.  And wait, and wait, and wait, and wait.  And finally, Yordanos asks, "When is he going to come out?"  Lee answers, "When he's done, and hopefully not before."


So an Ethiopian boy walks into a bar...

Habtamu, bless his heart, has the impulse control one typically comes to expect from teenagers, and generally no shortage of poor planning and bad ideas. However, tonight, I got a glimpse that maybe, just maybe, his sense of self-preservation will help him survive long enough to become an adult.

The kids and I were in the car coming home from soccer practice when Yoyo told this "heartwarming" story about a local junior high kid who got expelled for drinking a beer on the way to school. This brought up a lively discussion about why that was such a bad idea, and how his parents must feel, and (the best conversation starter ever) where a child would get such a drink anyway. I should clarify that it's my favorite part because neither child answered, "The back of the fridge after you've gone to bed, duh."

Habtamu knew of a place near the local ice cream shop that he figured had adult drinks in it. And he was absolutely right. The little "store" with the neon signs and two story Pabst Blue Ribbon mural does indeed serve alcohol. So I had to ask, "Do you think they would give you an adult drink if you went in there?" Yoyo said if you kinda covered your face and did something to make yourself taller you could probably get away with it, but Habti would have none of that. He knew there was more to it because there are plenty of short, old people. Eventually the kids came around to how 'your license' must work into the equation.

At which point my son, of his own volition, say to me, "Dad, even if you said it was totally ok and let me do whatever I want like eat candy for breakfast and dinner, I would never take your license plate and use it to get an adult drink."

"Really?" I said, suppressing the image of my son handing a bartender a nice shiny license plate, "I think you mean drivers license. Why would that be a bad idea?"

"Yes the little card. I would never take your drivers license to get adult drinks because I'd get grounded."

"Yes. Yes you would. For how long do you think?" I said deadpan. Again, trying to ride out the conversation knowing that I'll have plenty of time later to enjoy the mental picture of my son trying to pass himself off as a middle aged, white guy, with a vision restriction.

"Umm... Until I'm like... 25 or don't live in the house anymore."

I had to agree, "That sounds about right, but I suggest you don't find out."


You Make the Call!

Time to vote!  Which of these two sounds is the most annoying?


Digging Out

Snowzilla, Snowmaggedon, Blizzard-o-mania... whatever you call it... passed through the other night.  We woke to this Winter Wonderland.

This here is our deck and backyard.  Snow as high as the railing.  Usually, when the weather people say 12-18", they're wrong.  But, huh.

And this is Lee's car. It took a couple of hours to dig out.  It got harder after the snow piles were higher than our heads.  Seemed like you couldn't reach the bottom of the snow.