Category Archives: Funny Random

My Day as Daniel Tiger’s Mom

“I’m Daniel Tiger, and you be Daniel Tiger’s mom,” came the instructions from Back Seat Driver Jem after we dropped Abby off at an activity one morning.

“So I’m the mom and you are my child? Okay, I can play that,” I agreed, pleased to get a character assignment that required no imagination.

But just a few minutes later I lost my temper at another car in the intersection. Hmm, I thought to myself. Daniel Tiger’s mom wouldn’t have said that.

I imagined myself flagging down the other driver with a friendly wave and inviting him to join me in song:

Hey, there, friend, don’t be a stinker:
When you turn, please use your blinker!

Yes, that was more like it. So for the rest of the day I amused myself with a little mental game of WWDTMD?  Here are some little jingles I’ve come up with, in case they are helpful to you:

Keep crying, you’ll get put to bed!

No playing “cats” after lights out
Or I’ll give you something to meow about

That’s not food, it won’t taste good!

Little tiny big boys can be hard to spot,
That’s why you’ve got to stay close in the parking lot!

You are not a feral creature;
Don’t eat what you find under the bleacher.

Even though it makes your heart sad,
No, you can’t play on the iPad.

Doesn’t matter what he did or what she said,
YOU are not allowed to be a meanyhead.

Careful, baby, you’ll get a sick belly
If you eat off the floor of McAlister’s Deli

Wiping your bottom is one way to say “I love You”

Stop kicking the back of my seat to stay safe

Clean up, pick up, put away
Ten thousand times a day

Please get your fingers out of my face;
Even moms need personal space!

Coming around to old movies

I don’t like old movies. I know it’s horribly un-classical of me, but with a couple of notable exceptions, I just don’t really love anything made pre-Father of the Bride (the Steve Martin version, obviously).

My main complaints are 1) the color is unnatural (or, there’s no color, blech!)  2) the actors talk in strange affected accents (It helped me, a little bit, to watch the video “Why Do People in Old Movies Talk Weird?”).

But this year I willingly pushed “play” on White Christmas for the twentieth time when my kids asked for it (Watching it with them was the first time for me, too!), and I spent my own money on DVD editions of Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. (They love them.)

What can I say? Even I can appreciate classic movies as a great wholesome alternative for the child who is getting too old for Daniel Tiger but is not yet ready to venture into the morally and intellectually deficient world of tween pop culture. (Again, there are a few exceptions here. But really, how many times in a row can a person watch the LEGO movie without needing some variety in her life?)

But back to White Christmas. I know many of you love this movie, so maybe you can help me with two details that I have not been able to resolve:

  1. Is it actually true that there were plenty of jobs waiting for low-ranking soldiers returning from WWII, but that generals were under-employed? Am I supposed to feel compassion for The General of the movie because he is having to work at his ski lodge, or just because there is no snow to attract guests there?
  2. In the Sisters song, Betty and Judy boast that they never have to have chaperones because they keep an eye on each other. But then just two lines later, they reveal that when a “certain gentleman arrived from Rome,” one of them wore their fancy dress to go on a date, and the other stayed home. What sort of a situation would require a chaperone more than a night out with a young man, newly returned from Italy, of all places? This seems to be a major breakdown in the sister-as-chaperone system. Also, Judy is always conspiring to force Betty into a romance with Bob.

And Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: For many old movies, I’m able to say, “This well-made and deserves to be a classic, even if it’s not my taste.” Chitty is actually not one of them– it’s not that good of a movie on any level. But I remember liking it as a kid, and a couple of the scenes and songs are pretty entertaining, even if overall the movie is a dud. (You can often find it in the $5 bin for good reason.)  The Chitty book is actually quite fun and plenty ridiculous on its own without a love story or extended dream sequence, so I have no idea what the screenwriters were thinking.

And now you can give me some advice: what should we try next?

 

Living the Dream (Guest Post from Me, Fifteen Years Ago)

My parents moved a few weeks ago (to my street! But that’s another story.).  They lived in their last house for 13 years, so you will not be surprised to hear that all sorts of curiosities from past eras have surfaced in the process of packing and unpacking.

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Last week my mom dropped off this little jewel: a handmade project that stirs no memories for me at all, but that I apparently made in my senior year of high school, a strangely optimistic time in my life when Curlz font and anonymous inspirational quotes were the height of sophistication.

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This assignment seems to have been one of those cheesy first-of-school goal-setting projects.  I can tell that I didn’t take it too seriously, because it’s easy to detect plenty of what is politely known as BS-ing, of the sort I’d have done quite intentionally.

But I was not a total phony, and 17-year-old me was certainly not above any excuse to pull out the magazines to clip pictures of my future family.  So it’s not that hard to discern the sincere hopes and dreams of little Lindsey, circa 1999.  Let’s have a few laughs at her expense, shall we?  We can do that without feeling guilty because we love her and we know she turned out okay despite the fact that she took herself way too seriously.

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(Also, props to her for being able to do physics, which I cannot say for my current self.)

At the end of this year…

I am graduating in the top 5% of my class.
That’s my well-meaning teacher, there, forcing me to visualize these dreams as if they are inevitable. This DID turn out to be true, for what it was worth.

This is important because I want to have a high class rank so that I can get into a prestigious college.  I will feel proud when I achieve this goal, because I know I will have worked hard for it.
Don’t know what sort of “prestigious college” I had in mind at this point, but my eventual choice of Texas A&M University certainly fits the bill.  And I was probably laughing as I wrote that last part, because I was NOT working that hard and I knew it.

I am completely independent. I do not want to have to be dependent on my parents when I leave home, except maybe for money.
Way to “shoot for the stars” there, Linds.

Two Years from Now…

I am a sophomore at a good college. I have a 4.0 grade point average. It is important for me to attend a good college and succeed academically so that I can get the job that I want when I graduate.
Ah, yes, that was before I learned that NO ONE CARES WHERE YOU WENT TO SCHOOL.  Also that NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR GPA.  I got my first job (which I hated) because of connections and my second job (which I loved) because of divine Providence.

Five Years from Now…

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I have graduated from college. I am working as an English teacher at a small private school. I am just married, and we are living in domestic harmony.  This is important to me because this is what I have wanted since I was little. I love schools and cannot wait to come back to them with authority.
In the fall of 2004 I had graduated from college (check!) and was starting my first year as an English teacher at a large public high school.  I was learning the hard way that going back to school with a “staff” badge is not the same thing as coming back “with authority,” a distinction that caused that year to be an absolute nightmare.  The fact that I hated everything about teaching was very disillusioning for me, because, as I rightly stated, “it’s what I [had] wanted since I was little.”

As for being married, well, what can I say, I’ve always wanted it.  I will feel excited about starting a new life as a member of the working middle class.  I will have to sacrifice my life of celibacy and complete independence. I will have to start doing things like visiting in-laws and paying taxes.
I wasn’t married within five years, much to my dismay.  And I can only imagine that I thought that the words “singleness” and “celibacy” were completely interchangeable, because I cannot imagine my innocent 17-year-old self intentionally making such an explicit comment on my current and future sex life.

The primary obstacle will be finding “Mr. Right”…
Sweet Lindsey, you have no idea.  But five years later, he IS on the scene, even if you are not “living in domestic harmony” with him quite yet.

…and finding a school that has a nice job opening for a first year teacher.  I will overcome this obstacle by getting myself ready to be a good wife, so I can get a good husband. The school will pretty much be a lucky break.
Yes, this is difficult.
No, it’s not that simple.
Yes, pretty much.  But you’ll learn to call it “divine Providence.”

Ten Years from Now…

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I am no longer working at my teaching job, and I am expanding my nuclear family to include two children, one boy and one girl. I finish writing at least one book. I have been to Europe, twice. This is important to me because, like my last goals, this is what I have wanted for my whole life.
Ten years must have seemed like a lifetime away, because I threw my whole bucket list at my future self on that one.

Exactly ten years after I wrote this Abby was born, so I was at least on the right track.  I HAD been to Europe twice (both times at my parents’ expense– so much for being so independent!).  I had not written a book, but maybe Senior Lindsey would let me count three years of keeping a blog.

I will feel excited and optimistic, but slightly overwhelmed about my new responsibilities as a mom. I will have to sacrifice my teaching career and sacrifice a lot of my time and freedom to accommodate kids.
UNDERSTATEMENTS OF THE DECADE.

The main obstacle will be the kids arriving on my time schedule, but I can do what I can to stay healthy and to be financially, mentally, emotionally ready for them when they do come.
In the immortal words of Mr. Bennet, “You think that, Jane, if it brings you comfort.”

***

Mom dropped this off late one afternoon, and I flipped through it that evening as I sat on a stool watching Jem take a bath.  Obviously it was a big dose of comic relief, but it was also a really sweet reminder.  Although my timeline has been a few years off from what I anticipated, in every significant way I am living the life I always hoped for.  And that’s nothing to laugh at!

The #31Days Challenge

Last year I participated in the Nester’s 31 Days challenge for the first time.  Writing that much in such a concentrated amount of time was a huge challenge, but I loved the process and the resulting “finished product” of 31 posts about one of my favorite topics to think about.

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I’ve started seeing the hype about this year’s 31 Days challenge, and I am sad but positive that I’m not up for it this year.  I knew for sure I couldn’t do one that was as writing-intensive as last year, but I toyed with the idea of posting on a topic that was a bit more effortless.  Surely I could think of 31 thoughts on a single topic!  Here were some of my brainstorms:

31 Days of Excuses Why I’m Not Blogging

31 Days that I Meant to Post Something

31 Tweets (or Retweets) on Various Topics

31 Blurry iPhone Pics of My Kids

31 Links to Articles I Read on Facebook But Shouldn’t Have (Because Misery Loves Company)

31 Neurotic Things I’ve Believed When I Tried to Problem-Solve in the Middle of the Night

31 Depressing Things I Heard in the News

31 Days to Beautiful Hands: Live-Blogging a Month of Trying to Quit Biting My Fingernails

31 Incomplete Thoughts

31 Mismatched Shorts

31 Things I Wish I’d Bought Before I Attended That Dave Ramsey Course

31 Deep Thoughts About Children’s Television

So all that to say, no 31 Days for me this year.  But I have high hopes for October of 2015: Lord willing, I’ll have a six-year-old, a three-year-old, and an almost-one-year-old.  I’ll totally have margins back in my life by then, right?