Every Day is Mother’s Day

face paint

My son peed on my head yesterday. He was on the swings, and I gave him an underdog. Just as I came out from under him, I watched an arc of water go cascading over the playground, splashing across me. Poor kid got so excited he just couldn’t hold it in.

This was several hours after the shoes fiasco. If you want to lose control of your life completely, tell a toddler to go put his shoes on. You may never leave the house again.

Picture this: I’m standing in the bathroom, watching him walk into his room for his shoes. He walks out with a birthday present for the neighbor. “Go get your shoes,” I remind him. He walks the other way to get the shoes. Hustles past with a butterfly  net. “Shoes!” Walks past with something in the net (not a shoe.) “SHOES!!”

Five minutes later, I’m standing in my room holding a butterfly net full of train blocks, unsure of how I got there. My son has brought one sandal into the room and is spinning in circles trying to find the other one, which I am repeatedly telling him is in the living room.

If you’re reading this, call your mother. Thank her. You survived to adulthood somehow, despite all those times you peed on her head, smeared food on her clothes, barfed down her cleavage, and spent forty minutes “putting on your shoes.” And that means your mother is a saint. ♥


Too Crazy in the Bookstore

I took Jonathan to Pioneer Book the other day, mostly to work on the summer bingo sheet they gave me. I mean, to let him look at the books and say hi to Dad, of course. That’s what I meant.

He helped Dad scan books for a while, but soon Ethan told me I had to take him. He was getting too crazy. So I took John with me to the children’s section. No sooner had we gotten there, than he smacked the globe in the corner, knocking it off the track and down into the wooden framework.

I fixed the globe, then hauled him out of the store to go to bed early. “You’re in trouble,” I said. “You broke the globe, so now you have to go to bed early.” I dragged him out the back exit and toward the car.

On the way to the car I listened to him muttering, “I have to go to bed early. I have to go to bed early because I was so crazy I broke the world in half.” Yup. Close enough, kid. ♦

Grocery Store Anarchy

Ethan and I went grocery shopping together this morning, and I couldn’t figure out why he kept getting irritated with me. Eventually he told me I was breaking the rules.

Apparently (I learned this just today,) my husband has “traffic rules” for the grocery store- nearly identical to the actual rules of the road. All carts (vehicles) should keep to the right. Pass on the left, but only if there is no oncoming traffic. U-turns are only acceptable under certain circumstances. (Still unsure about that one. I’ll have to ask him about it.)

The reason he was so irritated was because I had just walked out of the flow of traffic and through a construction zone (I walked over the boxes someone was stocking.) I didn’t realize that was rude.

I also didn’t realize he had such specific rules to pedestrian traffic. I mean, they’re obviously not enforced, but my husband isn’t the only one with these rules, I’m sure. I read a teaching book by Ron Clarke, and he had rules for hallways, stairs, escalators…

Let me tell you my grocery rules growing up. We had one. It was: Minimize Damage.

We Minimized Damage primarily by strapping my little brother into the cart and driving it down the exact middle of the aisle. This is very rude to the other customers. But it prevents 2 liters of soda and 7 different varieties of salsa from being pulled off the shelves to explode on the floor.

I have one rule I have developed as a parent since then: no Maximum Zooms unless we’re the only people in the aisle.

So compared to Ethan, I am a total grocery anarchist. I suddenly understand why he doesn’t like to shop with me.

Who else has grocery store etiquette? What behavior makes you mad in the produce section? (And have I been doing it the whole time?)

The Grape Monster

I decided the other day that I would look good with purple hair. To be accurate, I decided over the past few weeks that I would look good with a certain blend of purple colors kind of swirled around in my hair, but in the interest of not spending a ridiculous amount of money, I put it off. Also, I figured my husband wasn’t likely to go for it, so I didn’t mention it. And I didn’t make an appointment at a salon, because I’m a stay-at-home mom and I felt guilty spending his money on something—something so blatantly unnecessary—that he probably wouldn’t like anyway.


About a week ago, we were driving somewhere and Ethan told me about how when he was little, he wanted a Mohawk. But his devious mom went back on their agreement once she had the buzzers in her hand, and the Mohawk was way too short to actually look cool. One thing led to another, and Ethan and I decided to live vicariously through our three-year-old. (Jonathan now has the coolest hair on the block.) And while we were at it, I suggested we pick up some blue Kool-aid and see if we couldn’t dye it for a few days. When Ethan found out you could use Kool-aid as a temporary hair dye, he got excited, and I slipped in the idea of dyeing mine purple. He readily agreed.

So for less than five dollars, I got enough grape Kool-aid to cover my whole head. When we colored John’s hair, it kind of worked. He didn’t hold still very well, so mostly it was just a tuft of green (the blonde yellowed out the blue a bit.) But still, it did work alright. And I tested some blue in mine and got at least a faded hint of blue. I figured the full treatment would do better.

After a few days, when I had nothing to do and Ethan was working late, I decided to give it a try. I dissolved the Kool-aid powder in a little hot water, like it said online, and then mixed in a whole bunch of hair conditioner, like it also said online. I got out some aluminum foil and a paintbrush. I painstakingly slathered my hair in purple goo and wrapped it all up, crumpling the tin foil to keep it from slipping and holding it all up with hair elastics. I smelled simultaneously of wet hair and grape. A lot of grape. Like a wet dog drowning in Popsicles, maybe. I sent Ethan a text that said, “Prepare to come home to an aluminum-covered grape monster.” He had no idea what that was supposed to mean, but I gave him a little explanation, and he sat patiently next to me on the couch while we watched shows and waited the two and a half hours that my Google search told me might be required.

And then I pulled the foil out. I was happy to see that my hair was still pretty well soaked in it, and I had gotten good coverage. It was very purple. I rinsed it out in cold water (not hot, as The Internet warned me this would make the color fade faster.) And then I looked in the mirror. I had beautiful, well-conditioned, brown hair.

Like, there was nothing. No purple at all. Not a speck. Not even a highlight. I sat on that freaking couch all evening wearing a foil helmet that smelled like Dogsicle for nothing.

Well, not entirely for nothing. I still smelled like grape. Very strongly. And not “grapes.” “Grape.” Not the fruit. The flavor. I smelled like Grape. And still a lot like conditioner and hair. I rinsed, dried, and blow-dried again. Same old brown, and very grape.

grape monster

For the next sixteen hours, I smelled like I had been in an accident at the Jolly Rancher factory. I went to swim laps the next morning, and every time I took a breath I was aware of the smell. There was a grape cloud lingering around my head until I’d put about half a mile of chlorinated water behind me. And when I went to bed that night (the second night, that is), I had to turn my pillow over. Sleeping on it the first night had tainted it.

So here’s the take-home lesson for all you brunettes out there:




It doesn’t work. It’s not worth the effort. And it’s definitely not worth the smell. ♥

Recipe for B-Dogs

Tonight we had B-Dogs for dinner. They’re kind of like J-Dawgs, except my three-year-old makes them. Here’s his recipe:


  • You take a hot dog
  • Add something
  • Add something else
  • Then you do this dance*
  • And then it turns into a B-Dog!

Try them at home. They’re delicious!

*The B-Dog dance is a hip-wiggle back and forth. Kind of like hula-hooping without the hula hoop.

The Inefficient Samaritan

I had my bag taken today.

I was on campus with John, trying out a new kite we’d just bought at the Creamery. (We got the one with the fire on it. It’s super cool.) And since kite-flying involves some running and general flapping around, I put my backpack down by a light pole and took John over to the grass.

We ran and jumped and got the kite to fly a little, but it really wasn’t windy enough for kites. So we gave up and walked back. And my bag was gone.

I was stunned. I am not exaggerating when I say that we were gone for five minutes at the most. And within sight. Like, if I hadn’t been looking straight up at a kite, I would have seen the person who took it. I started thinking through the things I would need to replace: wallet, credit card, photo ID, library card, my reading book…. I’m not sure what it says about my priorities, but I was most torn up about the copy of Green Eggs and Ham.

As we headed to the student center to check the lost and found, I got a phone call from a campus number. “Hello, is this Rachel?”

“Yes, it is.”

“Hi, this is Ethel (I don’t remember her name) in the BYU Police Department.”

“Hi. Do you have my bag?”

“Why, yes, we do! A very kind young man visiting from Kansas just turned it in about five minutes ago.”

This guy must have been Lightning McQueen. Faster than fast. In less than fifteen minutes total, I had my bag “lost,” “found,” turned in, and retrieved. I’m glad it wasn’t stolen, but dude. Maybe calm down a little and ask around first. Provo is weird. ♦


Get Up Out of That Bed!

I took a nap today and woke up super depressed. No real reason. (Besides Depression, I guess.) Just felt like crying.

I went to check on John, who was also supposed to be napping. He was not. Instead he had disemboweled his entire closet and strewn his clothes thither and yon. As one does.

I gave him a time-out, but my heart wasn’t really in it. After a while, I came in and sat on his bed to talk about the mess with him. He noticed I wasn’t doing too well.

“I’m feeling really sad right now,” I told him. It was a little liberating to realize that was a normal thing for a three year old.

“Mom’s sad,” he said dramatically. He then leaped up, started doing the Running Man, and chanted, “Get up out of that bed!” (Roughly to the tune of “Get Up Off of That Thing.”)

So that was hilarious. Then we brainstormed Ways to Feel Better. We tried a frog toy. Then playing football. Those didn’t work, but they made me feel a little better. We’re currently trying dinner.

I have a good kid. I’m proud he cares enough to help me feel better, and I’m glad he has so many ideas about what to do when you’re sad.

Granted, his ideas don’t work too well for me. I don’t think reading a Chuggington book is gonna lift my mood that much, but hey. He’s trying. And when he’s sad, he’s already got some great ideas to start with. Good kid.