Tag Archives: pre-teen

My Son, the Grave Digger

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grave digger2My kids love their electronics. For this, I am immensely grateful! Oh yeah, you heard me right.  I thank my little parental stars for the attachment my kids have to their respective devices for one reason and one reason alone – it is the best tool known to man/woman (the parenting kind, that is)when it comes to getting  kids to do parental bidding. Nothing says get your chores/homework done like the threat of losing a device – or screams curb your teenage posturing after being separated from Clash of Clans or (gasp) texting for a few days.

Little did my kids know when they succumbed to the charms of their electronics, the slippery slope of manipulation they were setting themselves up for. Their misguided devotion has most definitely been my gain!

However, maybe, a complete ban from all electronics for say something like – not doing your homework when you are told to leaving it until the last possible moment having to stay up late into the night with Mom helping you in order to just finish adequately and then being all snarky about it to boot – is sometimes a little precarious as well.

Case in point. Recently, Pre-Teen, lost his electronic privileges for an extended amount time due to…well, I think you got the general idea above. For the first few days, he walked around the house like one of those zombies looking for fresh meat (the kind that says “I’m bored” a lot). Now don’t get me wrong, Pre-Teen loves the outdoors, when the weather is nice (which it’s not) and reasonably warm (which it hasn’t been for what feels like an eternity). However, finally out of sheer desperation – i.e. looking for something to do that did not involve my offer of household chores – outside he went. I have to say, I did not pay much attention. I suspected the basketball hoop was getting some long denied attention and there was likely some random rock throwing going on, but other than that, I did not have much concern…until Pre-Teen came blustering inside one afternoon.

Pre-Teen: “Hey Mom, do you think Dad will care if I dig a hole in the field?”

Mom: (picturing something the size of your average garden hole) “No, I don’t think so.”

And back out he went.

When it started to get dark and still he had not come back in the house, my parenty senses (you know, the Mom version of spidey senses) began to tingle and I felt compelled to go and investigate. This is what I saw:

Don't bother me, I am busy exploring a new career path.

Don’t bother me, I am busy exploring a new career path!

And as the days ensued, he began to gain eager followers, or rather, enthusiastic diggers.

His brother, Teen, got in on the action:

Finally, something they can do together without fighting!

Finally, something they can do together that does not end in somebody bleeding!

Soon, friends began to show up…fully equipped with shovels and picks for the task at hand.

Where was this gang when I needed sticks picked up?

This gang could come in handy come yard clean up time…

And every day, there seemed to be more work than one guy could handle.

Where will this madness end?

Where will the madness end?

Pre-Teen has long since earned electronic privileges back, and still the digging continues on a daily basis, rain or shine, no matter the temperature – except now, he has a pad to play music on while he works and a phone to text friends to come over during his hours of operation.

Where it will all end, I have no idea.

But, I do know these three things…

1.  The hole keeps getting bigger,

2.  I have been parenting long enough to know, sometimes it is best not to ask too many detailed questions, and…

3.  If you have something dead you need buried…I know just the guy for the job.

(But, he probably won’t come cheap)

Other adventures with Pre-Teen

A Decade of Wisdom

Never Sit On a Couch at a Nudist Colony

Puerto Rico Island Travels Part 2: The Clothing Optional Tour

The Day I Killed the Vacuum

 

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A Paris Perspective: The City

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When traveling, I randomly (and my family would say – excessively) shoot picture after picture after picture.  My mantra excuse is always  I never know quite what I will want to share about a city or place – what will stand out, make me laugh, make me want to return.

Likewise, I never know what Teen and Pre-teen are going to glean from our experiences.  In my last post A Paris Perspective: The Monuments, I shared Part One of my photo perspective and Teen’s short but to the point assessment of Paris.  Pre-teen, however, in a moment of rarity, was more loquacious on his impressions.

Pre-Teen’s 4 Parisian Summations:

1.  Napoleon, as basically the only French war hero, pretty much has it made in the eternal “hero-worship” department.

2.  The most memorable experience in Paris is climbing to the top of the Eiffel Tower where the telescope glasses allow you to stalk tourists in the plaza below.

3.  Escargot tastes like, well, eating a snail.

Last, and unarguably the most important…

4. When in Paris,  Nutella filled crepes should be consumed at every possible opportunity, morning, noon and night.

As for mine, again, Paris can speak for itself.

Part 2: The City

The carousel at Hotel de Ville

The carousel at Hotel de Ville

Shops

A city street

The Metro at Saint Michel

The Metro at Saint Michel

The Moulin Rouge

The Moulin Rouge

Jardin de Tuileries

Jardin de Tuileries

View from the Pantheon

View from the Pantheon steps

Galerie Vivienne

Galerie Vivienne

Inside the Galerie Vivienne

Inside the Galerie Vivienne

Place de Concorde

Place de Concorde

And yes, there is a Part Trois – Rivers and Bridges – coming next!

Other Paris perspectives:

A Paris Perspective: The Monuments

A Paris Perspective: The River and Bridges

Paris, the Walmart of Love?

For more Sweet Spot Travel Posts:  Sweet Spot Travels

5 Perfect Moments: Make ’em Laugh

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Spice Cake Tower of Babel

Cake or The Tower of Babel?

On my current life schedule I find it hard, or rather impossible,  to write.  I try, I really do, but somehow there is always something more pressing. However, I do write lists, lots and lots of lists:  grocery lists, appointment lists, work lists, lists of places people need to be, lists of things I don’t need to worry about anymore, lists of things I want to write about someday,  lists of things to do,  lists of things I keep forgetting to do, lists of things that will never get done but makes me feel better knowing they are at least on a “list”.

However, this week, in light of the way too early and saddening loss of a childhood friend a few days ago, I found myself making a mental list of all the current moments I never want to forget – moments that make me laugh at the time, and smile just  thinking about them later. Moments  I don’t want to pass by too quickly like so many seem to do.  Moments that make up the best parts of my day.

Here are my favorite 5.  Maybe they will make you laugh or smile, too.

1.  Teen came out of his room dressed for school in a suspiciously color coordinated shirt and shorts combo…and announced he meant to do it.

2.  While thinking out loud (aka: talking to myself) about whether to tell my husband about a mutual friend’s health situation being as she is trying to keep it secret until she has the chance to discuss with family members, Pre-Teen piped in from the other room (as is his habit to listen to conversations not meant for him):  “I say ‘no’ Mom, don’t tell Dad –  Because the bag he keeps his cat in is not exactly the tightest bag!”

3.  I started the coffee in my Kuerig coffee maker only to realize mid-cycle, as I stood watching it,  no coffee cup was under the precious stream of coffee.

4.  Pre-Teen had a school project – make a model of the Tower of Babel.  He did so…out of Spice Cake.

5.  I dropped Teen off at High school: “Bye honey, have a good day.” “Thanks Mom…hashtag love.”

For Charlie, because, “If you smile, they’ll never look at your feet.”

I Once Had an Awkward Moment, Just to See What it Was Like

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dos equis guy

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Have you ever asked your kids this question?

When my boys were little, I would ask the question and get cute, dream-big answers such as; “an astronaut”, “a fireman”, “Tim Lincecum” (um – without the weed?), “rich”, “anything that does not require college” (there goes that whole ‘rich’ idea).

But when my boys reached a certain age, it became ‘uncool’ to answer this question and my inquiry into their future plans was met with blank stares, I don’t knows, or scary answers meant to silence me from asking the question ever again such as “the garbage man” or “a guy who mutters to himself”. It worked.  I quit asking.

But, last weekend, as we were driving around in the car,  Pre-teen,out of the clear blue sky (which is where he likes to draw ideas from) exclaimed,

“Being an ice cream tester would be a cool job”

And that was when I had one of those brilliant Mom moments aimed at tapping into the illusive psyche of my Pre-teen and Teen.  Ok, well it may have been my only instance of brilliance to date. Be that as it may, I quickly jumped into pre-teen’s musings.

“Really?  What other jobs do you think would be really cool?”

And without hesitation, Teen and Pre-Teen, in complete and full agreement with one another (thus the 8th Wonder of the World was established), fired off for me a list of their ideal and sought after cool jobs (and various accompanying colorful comments).  As follows and in the order they were given to me:

Video Game Tester

Super-Model Photographer (“Now there is a job you wouldn’t mind working over-time!”)

Sports Announcer

Body Guard for an Actor (“Someone cool and funny – like Johnny Depp”. I sense some possible perks for Mom here.)

Secret Service

Bouncer (“’Cause, you know, you get to be all buff and stuff”)

Any type of Professional Athlete except Curling (unmovable they were on this point of specification)

Olympic Athlete

Monster Truck Driver

Architect

Gun Designer (what can I say; we live in the country…)

Scientist for Black Cat Fireworks (not placing a whole lot of value on protruding body parts)

Car Tester (I didn’t have the heart to break it to them, crash test dummies pretty much have that job all sewn up)

And lastly, of course what all kid must want…or maybe it is just mine,

The Actor in “The most interesting man in the world” Dos Equis Commercials

And here, was the end of Teen and Pre-teen’s list of future aspirations.  Really, though, where else does one go from there?

Surely, as a Mom,  I am so proud.

And in some cases, possibly a little sorry I asked.

Resolutions for 2013 – Sweet Spot Style

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Yes, it is that time again – Resolution time.  Truthfully, I hold with the Non-Resolution style of ringing in the New Year.  That being said, there is always something of value to be learned from history – ones own adventures and, well, misadventures.

Thus this year, I decided to scour the Sweet Spot Archives of 2012 in search of some well earned Resolutions for 2013.
I think I found some pretty powerful nuggets of advice for the New Year…

1.  I will be sure to check my pants zipper (Life, the Ego-Sucking Siege) before entering any and all public establishments.

2. I will struggle on in my war against electronics (I Am Woman – Ode to Chris the Caveman) in the never ending battle for influence over my kids’ brain.

3.  I will try to have a kindler, gentler approach to my vacuum (The Day I Killed the Vacuum) and well, for that matter all machines in general (Woman vs. Machine).

4.  I will try to take Teens advice to drink water and recycle – preferably at the same time – (Teen Talk: Episode #3) and, of course, Pre-Teens advice to Never Sit on a Couch at a Nudest Colony.

5.  I swear never to utter the chant “Party at home plate” at my kids’ baseball games (Take Us To Warp Speed, Scotty), or do any of those other things that would qualify me for “bulldog” status as a  Sports Mom (Bulldogs Don’t Wear Lipstick).

6.  I promise, for Teen and Pre-Teen’s sake, to work in the words “Balls”  (Word-Up: We’ve Got Big Balls) and “Weenus” (Word-Up: Show Me Your Weenus) into every conversation where possible but not necessarily appropriate.

7.  In true Mid-West fashion, I promise to generously give the “no problem” wave, the “thanks for not honking at me even though I deserve it” wave, and possibly throw in the “I’m cool” head wave.  (You Deserve the Wave Today).

8.  I will seek out adventure every chance I get (Sweet Spot Travels), even the scary kind (Today’s Best Moment Thursday April 5.)

9.  I will try to make someones day as often as possible  simply by donning a pen and piece of rainbow stationary. (Go Ahead, Make My Day).

10.  I will be sure to have plenty of stockings/pantyhose and pet hair removal devices on hand for whatever occasion may arise. (Bag Lady Goes a Job Hunting).

11.  I will try to never, ever forget how good it feels to laugh (Destroy This Note After Reading).

And lastly, two lessons –  clearly resolution worthy – from some recent experiences:

I will try to not take as a personal commentary the worker-monogrammed cups received at Starbucks:

Starbucks cup

And, I will remember to pee prior to attending a D-Box movie.

Happy New Year from Looking for the Sweet Spot.

Go get ’em!

Never Sit on the Couch at a Nudist Colony

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There is a guy who lives in my house.  I like to refer to this particular guy as PRE-Teen.  Truth be told, this is not the first time I have been motivated to write about PRE-Teen and his unique take on the world around him.  (A Decade of Wisdom).

Listen, I know he is my kid and therefore I am genetically programmed to think every thought he expresses is cute, amazing, hysterical, brilliant even (quick, call CNN).  But I honestly challenge you to read through the list quoting 10 of his more recent declarations and not find at least one that makes you smile, laugh or fist pump in agreement.

In the world according to PRE-Teen:

Being smart is fun and all, but I it is good to take a break.

Batman’s movies are good but Batman is a sissy Superhero because he has no actual super power and he isn’t even smart, like Ironman.  The most Batman can claim is “Manhero”.

And while on the subject…

Joker is a completely lame villain when played by anyone other than Heath Ledger.

Eating too many gummy bears gives you gummy spit.

There is nothing more completely wrong than a “Mankini”…

…except maybe a hairy man wearing a “Mankini”.

Never miss (breakfast) “the most important meal of the day” – even if that means having it for dinner.

Teachers are like tissues, they are no good once they have been used. (although, he recently added the discovery that some can be folded and used again).

Vegetables are like ice cream…except they taste bad.

And last, my own personal favorite…

Never sit on the couch at a nudist colony. (think about it)

Sometimes, following his random proclamations, a lengthy debate ensues.

But most of the time I just have to nod my head,

and agree.

(and giggle a little, too)

For other Pre-teen isms Go Here!

Life, the Ego-Sucking Siege

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having a bad day?

Have you ever noticed how life can sometimes be a constant barrage, sucking away your ego and self-esteem bit by bit?  Yeah?  Well, I have been having one of those days weeks months (as proof I submit to you The Day I Killed the Vacuum and Why I Can Never Be a Big-Boobed Hoochie Mama).  But today, well today was like the cream of humiliation rising to the proverbial top.

Today, I had to go to my sons’ school – Teen and Pre-Teen.  Not what you might think, I was just dropping something off to Teen.  I stopped in the office to talk to the secretary, school nurse and principal.  I walked through the school, waving and saying hello to students and teachers I know.  I went into the middle school cafeteria, located Teen at his table, having lunch with all his middle-school teen friends and gave him the item I had brought for him.  I stopped to say “Hi” to Pre-Teen as he entered the lunch room with his classmates.  Lastly, I had a quick impromptu meeting with a teacher and then left the school, waving to more teachers and students as I exited the building.

Once back in the car, I headed straight to the grocery store.  Upon arrival at the store, I leaned over to pick my grocery bags and for the first time noticed that the zipper, on my ever-so-snug skinny jeans, was wide open, X- Y- Z.

Yep, that’s right, I had just cruised all over Teen-dom with my barn door flapping in the breeze. (I just know tonight I am going to have one of those naked-walking-around-school dreams.)

(sigh)

And then, as if that wasn’t bad enough, I marched straight into the grocery store and for some bizarre reason, bought a plant.  You know, a plant – innocent, helpless and with no idea of the horror that await it under my care. Knowing my track record with all things green (The Accidental Farmer), this venture will surely end badly for all involved – especially the plant.

And so,

The siege rages on…