Tuesday, May 17, 2016


This was the day that all fifth-graders dread: the day that the boys and the girls are split in health class and get to watch horrifying instructional videos about themselves and their bodies.

Oldest came home in something of a panic.

There were, shall we say, "party favors" passed out with the video lesson.

She was terrified. And mortified. And probably several other -ifieds that she hasn't figured out yet.

We sat and talked for an hour.

I had to shoo her siblings out of the room several times, because she desperately didn't want to discuss any of this around them.

"Mommy," she asked tentatively, "do we have to talk about this every day? Can it just be every other day?"

"Honey, we can talk about it whenever you have questions, but we don't have to talk about it every day."

After dinner, the subject apparently came up again, this time with Hubby. There was a brief conversation with all three girls regarding some things, and then Youngest had a question: "What's pyooterberry?"

As Hubby related this to me while the girls were getting ready for bed, I tried not to laugh too much, but pyooterberry was too good to not write down.

Hubby also explained why a simple misstep in the kitchen had Oldest blubbering uncontrollably earlier. She was petrified of all that had been discussed today.

She slunk back into the room while we were talking and settled on the couch next to Hubby, snuggling close to his side.

We reiterated that she can always come to us with questions, that this is something that every girl goes through, and that it's going to be okay.

Then Oldest wanted to know why it was that she didn't have any bras yet, because "almost every" girl in her school wears them. I explained that she didn't need them yet. Of course, this led to wanting to know when she would, and Hubby and I both explained that it's different for each girl. She peeked down her pajama top to look at her chest, and sighed. Then she announced that it bothered her that her one nipple was flat, and the other wasn't.

Hubby looked like he'd swallowed a live eel. He awkwardly patted her arm. "It's okay, honey. They'll...um...get better."

I thought  his eyes were going to either explode or pop out of his head, and tried really hard to not laugh at him.

Middle had popped into the room during that conversation and was smothering Kimo with affection. Now she turned and looked at Hubby. "Are there fake boobs?"

I slapped my hand over my mouth and watched the expressions chase themselves over Hubby's face.

He hesitated for a moment. "Yes."

"How do I get those?" Medium immediately asked.

Oh, I am so glad she's asking him these questions, not me!

"Well," Hubby said, "most junior high girls get them by stuffing tissues in their bra. Or there are special doctors you can go to and get what are called implants put into you."

This then led to a discussion about breast sizes, and how there is no one-size-fits-all policy there; it just depends on your genes, and that some are small, and some are big.

Enter Youngest, who has finally finished getting ready for bed, and has only heard "...some are small, and some are big."

"Like Abraham Lincoln!" Youngest chimed in, not wanting to be left out of the conversation.

I very nearly fell off the couch, hooting with laughter.

"What?" Youngest said indignantly. "He's big!"

True enough, Hubby agreed, but not remotely close to the topic of conversation at hand.

Meanwhile, Middle is running over to see what I'm typing (I'm messaging with Waffle), as I'm still gasping and hooting, and demanding to know what's so funny.

It was pretty much left to Hubby to explain why Youngest's comment caused hilarity. Lucky him.

Then he asked her to tell me what they'd been talking about downstairs, after dinner. Mostly so I could hear it, I'm sure.

"Pyooterberry," Youngest said with a giggle.

"And how is it really pronounced?"

"Pyooterberry." More giggles.


We still have some work to do before pyooterberry hits.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


Our street lost power this morning at about eight minutes to five. Yes, I know the exact time. Apparently I was in a point in my sleep cycle that the sudden stop of my bedside fan jolted me immediately awake.

Hubby took a quick stroll down the street and determined it wasn't just our house; it was everyone. I squinted blearily at my cell phone and punched in the information to report the outage, which the electric company hadn't registered yet.

Thank goodness for my pay-as-you-go plan's 3G.

The power came back on about ten after six, and this whole thing is, believe it or not, an important part of the story.

It has been rainy and threatening rain here for the last several weeks, the temps have still been doing a marvelous yo-yo impression (albeit without previous extremes), and I have been miserable as my crankle (as my friend Marti (previously mentioned here as Anne; Marti is more fun, she thinks) and I have taken to calling my cranky ankle) has protested the bipolar weather. Today was no exception, and after ferrying Oldest to school at 7a this morning for an all-day field trip, then Hubby to work because I would need to pick up Oldest before he was off work for the day, then picking Oldest up (which took a ridiculous amount of time because the rest of the world was picking up their fifth-graders too), then picking up Hubby, and then finally driving home, my foot cried foul. I grabbed my heating pad and parked myself on the loveseat in the living room.

As the kids were getting ready for bed, my phone beeped a couple of incoming texts. The pharmacy, I noted, saying my prescriptions had been refilled. Hooray...but there was no way I could go get them. The lesser of two evils was definitely tucking the kids in...and resetting their alarm clocks. I dispatched Hubby to Rite Aid and hobbled up the stairs.

I reset the twins' clock first, making sure the alarm had maintained the proper time (it had). Then I kissed everyone goodnight (Middle, Youngest, and Kimo, who had joined Middle in bed), and gimped down the hall to Oldest's room. Using the light from my phone, I reset her clock...and noticed the paper box she'd appropriated from somewhere that was filled with barbie dolls and ponies.

And...what the heck?

I bent and picked it up. Yup, exactly what I thought it was.

Holding it between two fingers, I looked over at Oldest, who was watching me, and lifted it up so she could see. "Where did you get this?"

"From the recycle bin."

With my hands both occupied, I couldn't perform the migraine salute I felt coming on. "Why do you have it?"

"I wanted it."

"For what?" Really, Auntie J, you know better. Rule #2, woman.

"I wanted it for my dollies."

"This isn't for dollies." I paused as I looked at it again, then back at Oldest. "Do you know what this is for?"


Okay then. "Did it have anything inside it when you found it?"


"It was clean when you found it?"


Whew. "This is not for dollies."

I got downstairs and texted a picture of my find to both Marti and Hubby. Since I was chatting with Marti Waffle* on Facebook anyway, it was easy to relate the whole story. Hubby sent me a voice message in reply, dread dripping from each syllable: "Is that what I think it is?"

Yes. Yes it is.

I've yet to tell him the whole story, but I had the horribly inappropriate thought that a) the dollies would hate having to use something this big, if b) they had the need to use it anyway.

*Postscript: Marti now wishes to be called Waffle, because she told me she liked the idea of having "an alter eggo," and I asked if she was now a waffle. So there we go. Anne = Marti = Waffle. I hope I can remember this.