The other day I was walking through Target looking for another hundred things to purchase aside from what I actually needed when I overheard a mother/daughter interaction.
The mother was walking ahead of the daughter, who could not have been more than 4 years old. Her micro fashion was on point, and her pink sparkle purse did not disappoint.
Mother: Maddie, keep up you are too far behind.
Maddie: I know. I’m really slacking today. This is what got my attention. How doe she know the term slacking? She’s just a peanut!
Mother: You sure are slacking.
Maddie: Mommy! You’re not supposed to agree with me.
Mother: Well, you’re not keeping up with me today.
Maddie: I know that, but you’re supposed to tell me it’s ok that I’m slacking.
Mother: It’s not ok.
Maddie: I know that, but I don’t want you to say it because I already know it.
Me: Good luck.
This made me take pause. What was I doing at Maddie’s age? Probably eating dirt or glue.
Not looking like a miniature rock star that’s for sure. I just wore what my sister wore but in a different color.
Not using words like slacking. I don’t think it was in the dictionary yet.
Not having an adult conversation with my mother in the middle of a store. I did not speak adult at age 4, and we did not go to stores.
Honestly, I don’t think I could handle the likes of Maddie in my house. It was hard enough trying to control real children, let alone a micro adult. Yes, Maddie, once upon a time, in the United States of America, kids were second-class citizens, and they were all the better because of their status.
Without sounding like a complete fart who thinks things were better “back in the day,” I’m going to go out on a rooftop to scream it loud and clear today.
Parents need to take a step back to realize that their only function is to raise their youngins to be solid citizens. Not superheroes.
They don’t have to be the best student or athlete. They do not need to be micro adults. They do not need to be held up on a pedestal 24/7. It’s “ok” to be second.
They just need to be a benefit to the world, and believe it or not there is a straightforward lesson plan. Consistently treat others the way you want to be treated. Bam! Mission accomplished.
Now, let me go find that rooftop before the Maddie’s of the world take over.
Enjoy the Ride!
The Daily Post has a great subject line No Time To Waste.
Fill in the blank: “Life is too short to _____.” Now, write a post telling us how you’ve come to that conclusion.
Over the years I’ve heard this wonderful “Life is too short” line many times. But it’s not every day that a seasoned life liver crosses your path and hits you up with valuable words to live by. This happened back in my crazed mother of young children trying to “do it all” days. Ugh …. I think I just got a chill.
I was at the playground with my little angels when a grandmotherly type woman approached me. Apparently she recognized that I was dressed in stress from head to toe when she started a very important conversation. She obviously recognized this look.
This lovely woman began asking me about my children and motherhood in general. After listening to my ramblings about the pressures of having an endless messy house, she calmly stated: “Life is too short to worry about dust bunnies, you’ll have plenty of time to clean when your kids are grown.” Who was this woman of wisdom dressed in grandmother clothing? Gandhi? …. Yoda?
I often think about her wise words and pass them along to other young mothers on the brink of exploding from trying to DO IT ALL. She was so right!
Now that my kids are at an age were my needs no longer include pushing strollers, holding hands or driving from A to B and back again, I do have plenty of time to worry about those dust bunnies. But guess what? Now I’m at an age where a heard of full-grown dust kangaroos could hop over me and I wouldn’t care. Talk about a silver lining!
How would you fill in the blank: “Life is too short to _____.”
Save the Dust Bunnies and Enjoy the Ride!
It’s a BOY! I’m just stopping by to make a HUGE announcement about a new addition to our family. I’m still trying to figure out why we decided to expand our family, especially since our kids are just about out the door and freedom is at our fingertips, but here we are the proud parents of … Drum Roll Please …..Landon. Isn’t he just the cutest? …. after Peanut of course.
We rescued Landon from the Dutch Country Animal Rescue. This wonderful organization saved this little guy from some hell hole in Missouri. It’s unthinkable to know that this sweet boy spent 2 of his 2.5 years on this earth in a crate. He came with some issues, so he fits right into this house. This is not an “issue free” zone.
Peanut has been the center of attention around here for 2 years, so my daughter, who knows ALL about being the center of attention for 2 years before her world came to an erupt end at the birth of her brother, has volunteered to advocate on Peanut’s behalf. Looks like she is already using those Psych & Sociology classes to do some good … or … evil.
Peanut has welcomed Landon with open paws. He has dragged out every toy we ever purchased to make sure Landon understands,“These are ALL mine and NO it doesn’t matter that I haven’t touched them in over a year they are MINE. Landon did not seem fazed by this episode of toy hoarding in the least. He gave his best ” Bitch please I’m a rescue” face and moved on.
We are all adjusting our schedules to make Landon’s transition into our family a happy one. Tomorrow will mark week one for Landon in our home and he is doing well eating, walking and pooping without incident. Yippee!
According to my daughter’s faceless smile and palm emoji, I may have crossed the line purchasing matching sweaters for these furry boys, while my son was just glad they weren’t for him and his sister. Hehehe!
Landon is filling our hearts including Peanut’s with love every day and we are glad he is here to Enjoy the Ride!
In honor of Mother’s Day this weekend I am once again sharing a post that I wrote in honor of my own mother Venita Momma You Were Born This Way.
I am blessed to be celebrating her once again this year, considering she was 37 when she brought me into this world, I never imagined that at 50 I would still have this privilege. Feel free to insert a big ole Awwww.
Mom is now 87 and I am so grateful that every Friday we spend our day going from one place to another. It’s usually food shopping, banking or a doctor’s appointment here or there. Nothing out of the ordinary, but we have the opportunity to be together and that is certainly extraordinary. A priceless gift indeed!
A few years back when my mom gave up driving, on her own unlike my father who didn’t give up without a fight, my sisters and I came up with a schedule to get mom out from behind her four dull walls. I for one can honestly say it was the best thing that could have happened. This gives us all the opportunity to spend quality time with our mother, which we may not have gotten if she was still whizzing around town on her own. A blessing in disguise!
These weekly outings have certainly provided me with a chance to sit back and ponder on my own challenges in raising my children who are now 21 & 19. I have to look at my mom and ask “how the hell did you survive these years … TWICE? See, I have older siblings and my brother turned 19 just a few days after I was born! Yea…let that sink in for a minute…
Just as she was about to receive her “I survived raising my teenagers” t-shirt she had to change the shitty diapers of my sister and I since we are only 15 months apart! I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.
Oh, as if this wasn’t enough to warrant a statue being erected in her honor, factor in that she went to work full-time when I was about 7 and was still required by Archie Bunker/my dad to fulfill her “wifely duties” of cooking, cleaning and waiting on him hand and foot. Oh … dear … lord how did she have the restraint not to murder?
I never thought I would actually say “changing diapers and breast-feeding are looking pretty good right now”, but I find myself saying it DAILY and one day I said it to my mom. Her laughter was genuine, but I must admit it was a little unnerving. Then I realized the truth usually is right? You know when there is nothing left but to laugh you don’t have a chance.
- When my mom said “believe me you don’t want him to walk too early” I thought she was crazy until my son started building his own scaffolding to unlock the front door and the gray hairs began.
- When my mom said “let her take her time driving, she doesn’t need her license yet.” Well, I was tired of waiting up to go fetch her from wherever she was, so she got her license. Yea, waiting up until she gets home safely is so much more relaxing…not!
The list could go on, but frankly it’s becoming a little embarrassing at this point. Look, motherhood does not come with a manual for a reason … it’s too fucking scary! No one is going to see that movie after reading the book .. capisce?
So, take time to listen to the wisdom of the
survivors other women in your life … your mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, cousins or honestly anyone with a vagina.
All women are mothers of the world. All of us give birth to something bigger than ourselves. All women are badass and need to be celebrated, so get out there and as always … Enjoy the Ride!
As a parent watching shows such as Law & Order SVU and Criminal Minds take me to another level of worry. My already over active imagination suddenly kicks into high gear if my children are 5 minutes late. Hell, just watching the local news can scare the crap of you these days.
Needless to say my kiddies think I’m some sort of crazy woman for wasting an ounce of time being concerned about their safety … “Mom, I’m fine stop” and “OMG Mom just put me in bubble wrap!” Hmm…bubble wrap.
The parents of yesteryear, such as my own, may have had their concerns, but they weren’t even close to this level. Columbo and Kojack kept fear to a minimum. Things were just different I guess.
I certainly don’t recall endless lectures about “stranger danger”, however I do remember walking home with my friend and being summoned over to a car by a man asking for “directions”, only to have the displeasure of viewing a little one on one loving … if you know what I mean. Oddly enough I wasn’t scared. Grossed out yes, scared no. Today this story would have been on the 6 o’clock news, but back then I’m not even sure if we told our parents.
Thinking back it seems perverts were actually all around us, including behind the wheel of the Good Humor truck. You may never think of a Rocket Pop in the same way again…read on. My sister, who was giving Dolly Parton a run for her money by age twelve, was presented with an interesting proposition by the one and only Good Humor guy. That’s all she had to do was jump rope for him and she could have FREE ice-cream. Were we running away in fear? HELL NO! She was happily jumping away for her free goodies as me and the rest of the stick figures stood in the distance green with envy. The thought that there was something wrong with this request never even entered our naive little minds.
One, such as my daughter, may say that this naivety is still going strong within me. Her theory, after a few Sociology classes, is that I am so worried about her and her brother because in reality I would be the one getting into the van in search of that imaginary puppy. She may actually be on to something … don’t tell her I said that.
Just a couple of months ago my daughter and I were taking Peanut for his evening walk. Now, when I’m out I tend to greet people, however my daughter tends to be … well … a mannequin. I know! We are complete opposites. So, on this particular evening there was an unusual amount of people out enjoying the weather. Jackpot for this social butterfly, not so much for the mannequin.
A few blocks from home I stopped to admire a beautiful garden. The design was spectacular. You could just tell a tremendous amount of love went into to tending to the needs of this foliage. I do not have a green thumb, so this was indeed impressive. Just as I was trying to bring a potted mix to the attention of my
mannequin daughter, the owner appeared. She was elderly with a very heavy German accent. At this point my daughter was most likely Tweeting away #socialbutterflymom #annoying.
As I was professing my love for her talents, she began picking a few springs from the potted mix explaining that they were herbs. My eyes were the size of saucers! She was insisting that I smell them, which I did without an ounce of question. Of course, not to be rude I offered my daughter a sniff as well. #Idon’ttakeherbsfromstrangers #mymomisgretel.
Needless to say I stood there sniffing away for lord knows how long as I was no doubt being slammed all over Social Media.
We said our goodbyes and I was handed a roadie of herbs as a parting gift. I immediately began lecturing my daughter on her lack of socialization when she informed me I would talk to a stick if it had a face. I wouldn’t go that far … well maybe.
We were walking along as I happily continued to ingest the aroma of my little bundle when suddenly I found myself slammed against a parked car, before I hit the ground. I become very dizzy. Well guess who suddenly came to life as I was laying on the ground like a porpoise? The mannequin!
There I was with my knees scraped, still holding onto my herb roadie in shock when I hear these comforting words being screamed at me … “Mom! OMG, this is what you get for taking things from strangers! You are the only one in our family who would get in a car filled with duct tape and knives! I couldn’t deny she was right in her conclusion, but I certainly wasn’t about to reveal that I would most likely be suggesting a quick stop at Home Depot to my abductor. You know for the rope and tarp he forgot to pick up.
In the end I was fine and we got a good laugh out of it all. I can not deny that if I miraculously came upon a house made of sweets I would be chowing down on a chocolate shingle without a care in the world. I tend to see the good, not the oven large enough to fit a human. Enjoy the Ride!
You’ve been asked to do a five-minute presentation to a group of young schoolchildren on the topic of your choice. Describe your presentation.
Kids: In unison …. G R E A T!
Me: Today I’m here to fill you in on some truths about being a grown-up. Oh, no not the lies the world is selling you, the TRUTH. Growing Up Is A Trap. How many of you already knew it was a trap?
Kids: The sound of chirping crickets filled the air.
Me: First of all don’t be in such a hurry to get there, you’ll be very disappointed. Honestly, it’s not that great. Of course there are some perks like driving, sex & drinking….but, you know what kids? They don’t last forever and if we’re being honest here, which we are, they’re not all they’re cracked up to be…seriously. All of these things can be great, but they can also get you in BIG trouble. Not the “go to your room” kind of trouble, but the “time to go back to your cell” kind of trouble.
Kid: My mom said ….
Me: Your mom is lying.
Me: But nothing kid! I told you I’m here to fill you in on the big secret of life. Are you ready? Every grown-up you see, even good ole grandma & grandpa, mom, dad, teachers … all of them, wish for ONE thing….Interruption…What? You with the hand waving like you’re putting out a fire…what?
Kid: My grandma wishes she could walk faster.
Me: I’m sure she does kid, I’m sure she does. Do you know why? Put your hands down, there is no need to guess because that’s what I’m here to tell you…All grown-ups wish they were kids…just like you. That’s right guys, they want to play in the dirt without a care in the world.
Kid: My dad doesn’t like when I get dirty.
Me: Yes he does, he’s just jealous. I bet your parents don’t like when you run around the house like energizer bunnies do they?
Kids: In unison …. NOOOOOOO!
Me: That’s because once again they are jealous. Do you get it kids? Every time you do something they can’t do, because they’re too big and it’s no longer acceptable, they get angry at you. Have any of you ever destroyed something in your house, but because you are so darn cute you got away with it? You, all the way in the back with the pointy tail and horns..what did you do?
Kid: One time, I um, emptied a case of bottled water in the driveway to make mud for my trucks and when my mom asked me “what happened to all the water?” I told her “I drank it” with a straight face and she smiled.
Me: Great example kid and kudos for the straight face…well-played, well-played indeed. Now, just imagine if your dad did that, what do you think would have happened? Ok, don’t get your pigtails in a knot, what would your mom do?
Kid: First she would tell my dad how stupid it was, then she would probably post about it on Facebook so all her friends could agree that my dad did a stupid thing and then she would just talk in “one words.”
Me: Your mom sounds lovely and pretty much dead on in this case. See, when you’re a grown-up you’re no longer cute…your just big, hairy and well, stupid. So, do you understand the message here kids?
Me: Do you see how important it is to be a kid as long as you possibly can?
Me: So what are you going to so about growing up kids?
Kids: Respectfully decline. Never forget our inner child. Learn how to act in public. Have the courage to become who we really are and Enjoy the Ride!
The Tooth Fairy (or Easter Bunny, or Santa Claus . . .): a fun and harmless fiction, or a pointless justification for lying to children?
This is a great question, one I have been pondering for quite some time actually. I will be the first to admit that the single, childless me may have frowned upon setting the wee ones up for a disappointment. However, the married mother of a 3-year-old me found herself asking “Why can’t Santa make an appearance during all 4 seasons?” Santa threats are what mothers consider…. Leverage.
Oh, put your judgments away folks. I don’t care what anyone says, there is NO and I repeat NO negotiating with a 3-year-old who made the executive decision to let you know in a big way, that they no longer want to be shopping with you and NOTHING gets them out of their human plank position in the middle of the Mall faster than those 2 glorious words…Santa’s Watching.
Personally, I was never a fan of the Easter Bunny. The thought of a giant rodent coming into our house really didn’t bring on the warm & fuzzies, it sort of just scared the crap out of me. I never elaborated on his existence, probably due to my own phobias about that big ugly impersonator they have at the mall. If you ever need a good photo of a frightened child, just spend a few minutes at that display. I don’t find this one fun, harmless or a useful parenting tool…it’s just weird & scary.
Ah, my girl the Tooth Fairy, now this little lady rocks. I love the concept of a little fairy bringing cash in the middle of the night. Sadly she only works for teeth. I know when I was a kid I couldn’t wait to wake up to a nice shiny quarter or dime under my pillow. However, just this week I heard she is handing out an average of $2.50 per tooth. Makes one want to consider some extractions now doesn’t it? It’s 80.00 for a set of chops in case you were digging out the calculator.
My FAVORITE Tooth Fairy story is when I broke the news to my son. He was sitting in the back of the car, drilling me as if I were on trial, about the whereabouts of the Tooth Fairy. My daughter, who is just about 2 years older, let out a “Mom, just tell him!” Lord knows that’s all curious George had to hear before the “Tell me mom” chant entered the vehicle. This kid is notorious for wearing down the strongest pillars of parental strength with his piercing repetitive chanting. So, I broke the news that I was in fact the Tooth Fairy. Immediate silence came over the car.
Ugh, I felt so bad looking at his little face in the rearview mirror. He was so cute with his little glasses and toothless grin that my heart was just melting. Finally I asked “Are you ok Zac you’re awfully quiet back there?” I NEVER saw this coming …”I’m ok mom, I can’t wait to tell my friends that you work, you make the best cookies in the whole world and YOU’RE THE TOOTH FAIRY!” Needless to say we had to take our conversation a tad further until it all sunk into that cute little head. He was actually relieved I wasn’t going into strange homes.
Now back to the question on hand. The only real problem I have with this “lying” is it doesn’t last too long today. Parents don’t get nearly as much mileage out of the farce as their parents did. Kids today are hip. I was so gullible believing well into 7th grade, so breaking the grim “There is no Santa, Giant Rodent or Fairy” news to a 13 year-old really wasn’t a big deal. Parents today are discussing drugs, alcohol & sex to their 13 year olds. Which to me is a much bigger deal!
Lying about fun and harmless fiction is not an issue, however lying about your child’s age to open a Facebook account is. The legal age is 13! Children today are already lacking a childhood, or my definition of one anyway, so lets hang on to what we can these days. We already have technology & academic pressure pushing the fantasy of childhood right out the door as it is, so if telling a few tales to ignite some good old imagination, I say bring it on. There’s plenty of time to be grown-up…let kids be kids and Enjoy the Ride! (In the slow lane)
Hello everyone, it’s me Chester the Beagle and I’ll be guest blogging for Lisa today. She’s been such a good nurse lately I thought I’d cut her some slack. I’ve been sick as a dog! My troubles all started back on Valentine’s Day when I woke up looking like someone who may be employed in a bell tower. One minute I’m scratching my ear, the next I’m looking like Quasi Moto.
My memory is sketchy at best on the details, but I do recall Momma calling the doctor, me getting a sausage and then the rest is somewhat of a blur. I’m not pointing paws here, but I think there was a rophy in that sausage! That’s all I know is when I finally woke up my nails were cut, my butt was sore and my ear was feeling better. Either I went to the Doggie Doctor or a seedy massage pallor…I’ll never really be sure.
Well, one thing I know for sure is I was feeling like a puppy after that adventure! Momma has been giving me a little chicken every morning a pleasant surprise indeed and by the afternoon I was skipping out of the gate. Woo…it felt so good to be young again! However, all good things must end and this includes rejuvenation.
During one of my puppy highs, I spotted a cat in the distance. I thought, “hey I’m feeling like a champ and I’m gonna get me some of that feline.” What the HELL was this old dog thinking? It has been almost 2 weeks since I
dashed skipped across that field and I’m still suffering. Momma said that chasing stray pussy never ends well…boy was she was RIGHT. I had to be wrapped in a blanket and carried back home by the humans…it was more than humiliating, especially with that feisty Boston Terrier looking on, mocking me with his agility.
So there I was, trapped downstairs, unable to go up the steps with my bum leg ALL…OVER … A…CAT. Do you know what this means for me? I can no longer bask in the sun. There is no more going on the deck to bark at passer-byes and the worst part of all… I AM NOT ABLE TO GET TO THE KITCHEN. It’s tragic, simply tragic.
On Thursday following the “incident” I was a hot mess before Momma went to work. I’m not proud of my behavior, I just didn’t want to be alone and a little crying usually goes a long way, but she left anyway. I played it up until Dad got there to save the day. We both took a nice nap and life was good again. I may have gotten a little ahead of myself later that evening when I smelled something I haven’t had the pleasure of sniffing since Summer…a hot dog! Not, just any hot dog … an Applegate Farm All Organic Hot Dog. I’m sure you all know what happened next…yep…I RAN up the steps to get me some of that goodness!
The gates of heaven opened before me and I was standing in Doggie Paradise a/k/a … the kitchen. Who knew Hot Dogs had the power to heal the lame? I was so happy to be upstairs in the living area that I slept late on Friday. It wasn’t until I tried to get up to do my doo doo duties that I realized that…umm…maybe I over estimated my abilities with those stairs. Hot Dog goggles, beer goggles, love goggles…they all make us do crazy things.
It’s been a rough week for everyone. Good ole Dad has been sleeping on the couch so I don’t get scared. Momma tried, but apparently I snore. The girl of the house is on Spring break, keeping me company during the day. If telling me to “stop faking” is company. The boy has been lecturing me on my weight one minute and slipping me a chicken tender the next. Are these mixed singles or am I on a chicken tender weight loss program?
Ugh, what’s an old dog to do? Something tells me there’s another rophy sausage in my very near future if I ever want to lie in another sunbeam. Until then … I think I’ll put my Hotdog goggles on and Enjoy the Ride!
Today marks quite a milestone here at Life With The Top Down. One year ago today I decided to take the plunge into the great big world of blogging. I nervously hit that big blue Publish button and sent my first post The C-Word out into the blogosphere. I had a love/hate relationship with that button for quite some time, but we’re cool now.
Yesterday I took a little trip back in time and discovered that I really have come a long way through this journey. The first thing I noticed was that my overall well-being and my writing skills have both grown quite a bit in the last 365 days. Along with my ass, but that’s another story.
It was also nice to discover that my girl Miss Four Eyes was the first and only person to like my words. We all know how important it is to be acknowledged. MFE is a breath of fresh air. She is no doubt an old soul who expresses her youthful, yet wise self perfectly both in and outside of her posts. Thank you MFE!
No matter how things go down, you never forget your first and that stands true for followers as well. My very first follower or followers are Daryl and Devon. Do the math, yes it was a threesome. I have laughed, loved & learned quite a bit through their views on politics, current events, black history & music. They certainly keep things real, which was an immediate attraction for me. Thank you D&D!
Of course, the list of people who have sat shot-gun with me on this ride and were kind enough to bring their support, inspiration and encouragement along, have certainly grown over this past year. They include my real life family & friends, along with a new group of virtual friends that I would consider family. You all deserve a great big thank you, thank you and one thank you very much for the road!
I wasn’t sure what my expectations were for this venture, but I did know it was something that was absolutely necessary for me… for so many reasons. I was at a point in my life where my kids suddenly left me in the dust…they decided to grow-up and I was finally handed the pink slip. Of course they call me back occasionally for advice, assistance and we can’t forget the big one …money, but all in all they were doing their thing and I needed to do mine. It was my time to shine!
Sometimes things just pop into our lives to help us along the way, like Kathy over at Friday Night Family, who I hadn’t seen or spoke to since high school did! There she was, this blast from the past, encouraging and inspiring me to find what makes me happy. Well done Kathy…well done indeed!
“You can’t reach for anything new if your hands are full of yesterday’s junk.”
So, I finally decided to unloaded some junk mostly fear and give birth to Life With The Top Down on March 4, 2012 at 12:58 pm. Her first year was a quite a challenge, but I think she is ready to enter year 2 with vigor and excitement.
Hope you will all continue to join me as we … Enjoy the Ride!
Write about what you did last weekend as though you’re a music critic reviewing a new album.
This album features a ROCK STAR that rarely flies solo. He loves to be surrounded by his entourage, which seems to grow each year. Zachary turned 18 last weekend and celebrated in true Rock Star fashion. The house was packed as he took center stage to debut his new album appropriately titled … It’s Finally Official.
We celebrated the release of his new-found freedom album by treating him, the entourage and a couple of groupies to dinner at a Japanese Steakhouse. The paparazzi swooned in and captured this shot of him performing a duet of Happy Birthday with the chef.
Zachary will not disappoint his fans with this latest release. His uncanny fusion of teenage boy, young man and complete goofball can be heard within each track. His hit single I Can Do What I Want Now soared to the top of the charts this week when he came home with a tattoo.
For most of his life, we knew him as an unfiltered energized boy, the kind of kid who just loves to have fun. But lately he’s showing signs of re-birth – taking things a little more serious. Not completely ditching his hands in the air like you just don’t care attitude, but showing glimmers of responsibility that have left us all in a state of…Huh? This comes through loud and clear when you listen to the lyrics of One Less Gray Hair For Mom on track 3.
When Zachary crossed over that imaginary threshold into manhood he learned to appreciate the wisdom that went into the two special tracks cowritten with yours truly…Adult Is A Four-Letter Word and my favorite … Being Grown-up Isn’t Half as Fun as Growing Up so Enjoy the Ride!