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Monday, July 1, 2013

"You Know You're A Parent When..." & IWSG Wednesday

Aloha,

Before the latest chapter in my real-world WIP (What Improbable Parenting), this Wednesday is Insecure Writers Support Group (known by many as an anagram similar to ISWG :)
Along with the jolly old chap called Cavanaugh, I’ll be co-hosting with Nancy Thompson and Heather Gardner.
Hope to see you there :)


###

(Older chapters in my You Know When You're A Parent... series are here.

And now, ay, caramba!  My poor children…


You know you're a parent when...

 
...you forget to check expiration dates on some of the stuff in the pantry...

 ...which makes you slightly more understanding after the Sons said the chicken "tasted funny."
You're not sure, but it may have been the seven-year-old lemon spices you added as an afterthought...
 
 
...you watch No. 1 Son playing with some sticks and wonder what is he doing?
 
 
"It's a big letter 'I' and a small letter 'I,'" he said.
"That's awesome," you say.
... and then look behind you - it's too quiet...
 
                          ...only to see No. 2 Son absolutely enjoying the fruits of No. 3 Son's labor.



You know you're blessed to be a parent in Hawaii when...
 
No. 1 Son hands you a long piece of blue fabric, about twelve feet long, with tassles on both sides.
"What's this, Papa?"
"It's a scarf."
"What's a scarf?"
"Well, it has many uses. For example, it can keep your neck or head warm in winter."
"Can I use it as a lasso?"
"Sure..."
(Postscript: I've followed the local papers, but to date have read no reports of ex-rustled cattle found suffering from heat exhaustion of the neck or head.) 




 ...you realize your initial retirement plan (that all three Sons make it to the Big Leagues) may need a little work.




...you pat yourself on the back for coming up with a one-bowl solution to the regular Movie Night requests Popcorn and Lucky Charms:

 
                                                       (Ha! Mrs. Koopmans raised no fools!!!)
 

                      ...only to later remember why you *hate* popcorn and messy charms :)



You know you're a parent in a nice restaurant when... you take satisfaction in hearing other children screaming louder than yours. (Much louder, he smirked.)
(This is quickly followed by a silent prayer of forgiveness when that table suddenly leaves (hence the screaming) and you are now that table with the three ravenous and upset kids...


...you need to give the boys a sticker for listening to what the lady had to say - no matter her age :)



...you're a Soccer Papa when, as the new volunteer head coach, you arrange a Parents' Meeting  ahead of the upcoming Under-6 soccer season.
You've thought about this for days.
The handouts are printed.
The practice/drill binders are made - two of them, in case one gets lost!
The game plan is ready.
 
IT'S ON!!!
 
You will stride confidently into the meeting - wearing clean, pressed athletic gear (synonymous with your idea of a Soccer Coach with a plan!)
You will not forget your new stopwatch and whistle (complete with yellow fluorescent cord.)
 
Unfortunately, you're held up for more than an hour at No. 1 Son's new school, filling out triplicate forms in pen (and pencil!)
This unscheduled stop results in you leaving your first impression outfit at home while you lead a short, scatter-brained and emotionally drained meeting (pencils?) in a sweaty green T-shirt and an orange ball cap.
 (The kids had fun though, which of course, is the point :)



And finally..... you know you are one terrified, OUT-OF-YOUR-MIND with worry parent...

...until you realize (thank you, Lord Jesus!) that No. 3 Son is *not* the newest extra on a very popular AMC show.
He just really, really likes chowing down on red markers :)


PS... no children were harmed in the making of this chapter - but no joke, I *nearly* needed an adult diaper when I came around the patio corner and saw the above-mentioned No. 3. Son :)


40 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Well, if the expired spices didn't kill him off, that marker isn't going to hurt either.
And now I wonder how many expired spices we have on our shelf...

Dana said...

You just made my morning!

Have a great week, Mark. ☺

Suzi said...

Wow. Lots of laughs this morning. We were at my parents lake cabin this weekend. They only go there for extended weekends, so food of course may sit in the fridge for a while. Especially if it's something that was bought more for the kids, then for them.

So first, I went to pour some milk for my daughter. "Mom, this tastes funny."

Tired the milk and ewww. Sour. But it was only 2 weeks past the sell by date. It should've been fine.

So the next morning I'm pouring myself some orange juice. There's this funny tangy taste-and in this case tangy doesn't mean good. Checked the date. This one was sell by May 15th.

The juice got dumped down the drain too. :)

Happy Monday.

Yolanda Renee said...

Salad dressing, my husband swears every time he eats salad the dressing is two years old!

Love the last pic!

Melanie Schulz said...

I think you need to have a serious sense of humor to be a parent; thanks for sharing yours.

M.J. Fifield said...

I always love these posts... What's a scarf?/Can I use it as a lasso? Hahahahaha!

And I'm not a parents, but I have the same problem with the stuff in my pantry all the time.

Melissa said...

LOL - love this! :D Brings back memories.

...Like the time dd spilled gentian violet on herself, then proceeded to sing the Madame Blueberry song, "I'm so blue-hoo-hoo, blue-hoo-hoo, blue-hoo-hoo-hoooooo. I'm so blue I don't know what to do." *shakes head*

Ha! I find expired stuff in my pantry, too. Solution? We now declare pantry and freezer clean-out approx. quarterly. We eat some interesting combinations, to be sure, but we have less stuff hanging around until it's so out of date we are embarrassed to say the date out loud. hahaha

Rules for pantry/freezer clean-out: Nothing new gets bought (except milk, etc., and items needed to complete a recipe) until the pantry and freezer have been reduced to the bare essentials and the nearly-expired stuff has been eaten. Making soup (and casseroles) during this time helps a lot. You'd be surprised what you can throw in a pot and eat in soup form. ;)

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

Ugh. I am not a fan of popcorn either, but I HATE markers for that very reason! My youngest always wants to eat them, too. Why?! I keep throwing them away, and I never buy them (I opt for crayons) and yet somehow she keeps finding some. I have no idea how.

Tasha Seegmiller said...

Oh, the spices. I'm not sure the last time I checked the expiration on mine. I know all the garlic ones are good, though, because they get used in almost everything.

David P. King said...

Oh, Mark. I feel for ya. And with kid #3 on its way, I'm sure I'll be going through the same joys. That must be one tasty marker. :)

Debra McKellan said...

Your life deserves a comic strip! lol

Ah, my spice cabinet. We have at least 3 bottles of curry in there!

Damyanti said...

This post made me smile :) -- I'm not a parent, but I still forget to check expiry dates sometimes.

LD Masterson said...

I spend the whole time I was reading this nodding and muttering, "Yep. Uh huh. Been there." Only times two - I'm a grandparent.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Expired spices, red marker, you sure know how to look after the little ones ;)

S.P. Bowers said...

I would have screamed when I saw that mouth. Yikes. Those heart stopping moments do age us a bit, don't they?

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Mark you are one hilarious man.

Lara Schiffbauer said...

I about needed an adult diaper when I first saw the picture of the red marker eating son! I just can't turn off that maternal thing, even if it's not my kids. :)

Morgan said...

Ah-hahaha!!!!!! I'm laughing at too many things!!!!! So spot on with the expiration dates... and I may or may not have a story that involves going to the ER with a son who had an accident, and what I *thought* was blood was actually paint...

cleemckenziebooks said...

All parental milestones. I banned popcorn until they were in college. Even then it was a mess.

Cortney Pearson said...

HA HA!!! I'm so laughing at this! Especially the scarf one--"what's this?" Too funny!

Elise Fallson said...

Seriously funny Papa Koopmans! My daughter did the red marker trick, except it was red paint (kids paint) but still, it was all over her face. She looked like a tiny devil. (:

Johanna Garth said...

OMG! The red marker moment must have induced heart palpitations and I too hate messy charms/popcorn combos!

The Words Crafter said...

*facepalm* expiration dates? what are those?!!! i laughed all the way through this, thanks. i needed it.

the kids in my room like markers, too. and the red ones can sure startle you :))

Suzanne Lucas said...

I think Crayola was on to something when they made their markers non-toxic. But they sure do make great lipstick. Your baby looks fab-u-lous!

Stephen Tremp said...

I recently found Y25 canned.food in the garage. I just finished a bottle.of.wine and.man dis.those.beefaronis look good. Im glad.I passwd out before I could.eat them.

Erin L. Funk said...

That last picture and your reaction to it made me laugh so hard. I had a similar experience when my son was little and he used that horrible red bathtub finger paint. Never bought that stuff again!

Nicole said...

Haha - I just cleaned out my cupboards too. Your advice is always equal parts wise and hilarious. ;)

Al Diaz said...

Amiguito!

Parenting is no doubt fun but it's also for the bravest. You are one extraordinary parent, Mark. Good you realized the truth origin of the red color before your sons needed to give you CPR. :) I am just wondering who they are taking after? My guess? Irish genes.

Kirsten said...

Funny that I just posted about the spices in my Muse's cupboard! Makes me wonder if I shouldn't check the expiration dates on those. ;)
And I love cereal for movie night. Those sons of yours are onto something!
Such a cute post!

lilicasplace said...

Mike, you're a regular riot! This is why I love getting your posts. I remember those days like it was yesterday. I have a daughter and she's 25 now, but years ago she had me pulling my hair out! Anyway, just wanted you to know that I nominated you for a Shine On Award because I think you are one of the coolest Dudes! http://wp.me/p38Uaw-9A

Mark Means said...

Hey Max,

Some great pictures and it sounds like you have your hands full, but if Fred MacMurray and Uncle Charley can do it, I'm sure you can too :D

Take it easy and try to remember those expiration dates! :)

Julie Luek said...

Oh my goodness-- you're babies are adorable. Parenting-- best thing in life.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

You're definitely a parent! And look on the bright side, as a baldy, when they hit their teens and you long for the days when all you worried over was them munching on markers...you won;t be able to see your hair turn gray!

Sarah Allen said...

As the oldest of 8 kids...I love this :)

Sarah Allen
(From Sarah, With Joy)

Ella said...

Oh, my do you bring back memories!
Was it one of those fruit scented markers?! lol I long for those days-now it is teens and college aged, driving and god knows what else! I want Lucky charms and popcorn on my floor again-better than all worry! Oh, Mark you have the cutest boys- :D Hang in there and know you aren't alone.

Beverly Fox said...

Hysterical! And great pictures!

~Sia McKye~ said...

OMG, I just bet you did. Heart got an aerobic workout without doing hitting the track, lolol!

One of these days I'll tell you about son #1, at age 5, at the top of a tree, in cowboy boots, and smiling.

Sia McKye OVER COFFEE

Kim Lajevardi said...

Kids force adjustment of all plans, not just the best laid ones. :) This reply is coincidentally coming to you from my last vacation night on the big island. Aloha! :)

Great IWSG post!

Kim
(This Writer's Growing)

Patsy said...

Your kids seem a lively bunch!

Lisa said...

Oh the joys of parenthood! I loved those days, but have to admit, I like this "empty nest" thing, at least, most of the time!

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