Tag Archives: kids

Mathletes are Athletes Too

“I’m gonna count you out!!! When I’m done with you, you’ll be 1/3rd the boy you are today… That’s 33.3%… .33333…  .333 infinity…” and other trash talkin’ you may hear at a Mathletes Meet…

What kid doesn’t like to trash talk – especially boys?  It must be in the genes because I definitely don’t walk around the house saying stuff to my son like: “I’m so much better at brushing my teeth then you are.” (Even though I totally am.)

What? Please, he’s had like 6 cavities and I’ve had 2 and I’m tons older.  My oral hygiene seriously crushes his!

Fine, so maybe it’s not so surprising that they trash talk, but I want to know if it carries over into all facets of life?

My son plays on a travel baseball team and one of his teammates is also a Mathlete.  Yes, I said Mathlete, it’s a word.

So, during a double header, where our team chanted really cool stuff at the mound in unison like, “A meeting, a meeting, there must be cheating.” I turned to that friend and asked if there’s trash talking on the Mathletes playing field – because that would be really funny.

And so me and my favorite “humor catalyst” (See: What Happens When You Scream “Penis” in Front of a Bunch of 9 Year Olds – for an explanation and a full on giggle fit) began to imagine what that trash talk would sound like:

Amy:  Yeah, he totally trash talks. He says stuff like, I’m gonna count you out!!!

Me:  Oh, and, when I’m done with you, you’ll be 1/3rd the boy you are today…. 

That’s 33.3%

.33333

Amy: .333 infinity

Me:  You’ll be a freaking decimal when this is over.

Amy: Continue reading

Do you Speak Starbucks or are you Committing a Caffeinated Crime | CSI Starbucks

The gore is almost too extreme to look at. BTW this was full before the incident!

When you walk into a Starbucks it’s a little like entering another country.  Some of the language is “Italianish” and the rest is completely fabricated, yet universally understood by all it’s regular patrons.

Like any new country, when you visit Starbucks for the first time you might be overwhelmed by the cultural gap and the obvious language barrier.

You see, Starbucks drinkers have an acute understanding of this made up ordering system, the terminology, how to conjugate the verbs, and the proper phrasing of the request i.e. size first, then special requirements, then drink type.

The baristas, or should I call them caffeination interpreters, are trained to do far more than make a cappuccino.  My barista knows the make, model, and color of my car.  When he sees it drive up, he starts my drink.  He deduces that if I’m wearing golf or workout clothes I will require my usual to be iced  has the appropriate drink ready by the time I hit the door.

He is keenly aware of my standard approach speed and if I seem to be ambling he’ll throw in an extra shot.

But sometimes, even I, a citizen with a green card – or should I say gold card – am shocked by how intricate requests can get.  I think some of these drinkers actually believe they’ve learned another language and take an odd pride in this false sense of intelligence.

Today the woman in front of me ordered a tall 2 splenda – extra dry – machiatto – with extra foam – on the fly.

Extra dry? Really? “What is extra dry… just beans?  Or does the dryness have something to do with the foam?”

Caffeination interpreter:  “No the consistency of the foam is directly correlated to the frothiness.”

Why do I feel like I’m having a conversation with NASA?

And yet, who am I to talk? I know that a standard latte is made at 160°, which would be bad enough, except that I also know that I prefer mine at 140°.

My barista, who writes Jenny from the blog on every cup, actually figured this out while analyzing my drinking habits.

Caffeination interpreter:  “I’ve noticed you seem to wait about 8 minutes for your coffee to cool. I think the problem is an over sensitive pallet and I suggest you drop the temp about 20 degrees fahrenheit.”

“Shit, I think in Celcius.  I like to pretend I’m European… like Madonna and Gwennie P.

Caffeination interpreter: “There’s no reason to get smart with me.  I’m hypothesizing about your needs, I’ll investigate further.”

Soon coffee analyzation and Starbucks interpretation will be something you can major in, like criminal justice.  At the very least Bravo will make it into a show, “CSI Starbucks.”

There is nothing to see here.

“Everyone step away from the mocha, CSI Starbucks unit (Coffee Scene Investigation) is here.”

“There is nothing to see here, please disperse.”

“What’s seems to be the problem, ma’am?”

Disgruntled Customer:  “My mocha is not rich enough, and it’s too wet. I specifically said grande, 18 pump, extra fat, mildly damp, 157° Mochachokeonitccino with extra whip that is dolloped in the shape of a pygmy monkey.”

The area around the cup is taped off and a bit is spilled into a petri dish and run out of the store to a mobile CSI van.

The maverick of the team fearlessly swipes his finger through the java then smells and licks it, as if it’s cocaine. “One more lick for good measure and an extra jolt,” he says as he rubs some across his gums.

“Well your first problem is this is only 16 pumps. It’s also a mere 142°, which if my calculations are correct mean 7 minutes ago when it was made it was 155° and not a degree more. Your other problem was in the call. The cashier/Mayor should know not to call a whip sculpted in the shape of anything other than the Starbuck’s mermaid goddess on our logo, who we in the biz affectionately call Flo.”

Disgruntled Customer: “Like flow of the coffee or the ocean?”

“Ma’am, I’m not at liberty to discuss Flo with civilians.  Let’s just leave it at that.”

“Look, we’re gonna take this downtown to the Captain, but just for the record Cappy Joe, or Cuppa Joe as we like to call him, is the best. He’ll have this coffee and a full report back to you by day’s end. Please enjoy a maximum of 2 hours free internet access in the mean time.”

“And don’t forget to try one of our new hot breakfast sandwiches.”

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The Day My Son’s Ladybug Ran Away | Best of Jenny From the Blog

ladybug-Dealing with a lost pet can be extremely daunting… even if it’s a ladybug.

I can still hear the faint murmurs of my son Jake’s 40-minute meltdown when his pet ladybug, “Lady,” flew away. We kidnapped this 4 year old (or 4 day old bug – whatever the spot things mean), at the top of Mount Aspen. Jake loved her, cared for her, nurtured her, taught her to ride a bike, and started a 529 plan in her name. About a quarter of the way down the mountain, Lady flew to the ceiling of our gondola and made a mad dash for freedom.

Jake jumped out of his seat and bounced towards the door. This caused the gondola to start swinging. According to the warning sign that pictured a man falling out of the gondola to his unexpected demise, wild swinging was strictly forbidden. “Jake, you can’t jump around. Do you see what happened to the unfortunate man on the sign?”

This is seriously the picture!! What???

Jake continued searching, intensely focused on the whereabouts of Lady. “Hey, do you guys hear her? I can hear her. Do you hear her?” he said desperately, like someone who could put a straight jacket to good use. Continue reading

Happy Meals May Start Making Children Sad -I’m Happy About it

happy meal
Ever feel coerced into buying a Happy Meal so your child can get the toy? Well, Santa Clara County , California is the first to vote in favor of banning toys from children’s meals that don’t meet certain nutritional standards.  They’re taking a stand against childhood obesity, and I applaud them for that.

This may sound crazy, but I think banning toys from kids’ meals will not only help obese children, but also help parents like me.  I gotta admit, I’m a sucker for kids getting a prize with the meal.  Continue reading

I Slept With Tiger Woods

TigerWoodsOMG, I have to tell you guys something.  I often turn to my iCarly diary with my darkest secrets, but this one is just too juicy.   Here goes…  I slept with Tiger Woods.  You guys are probably freaking out, as Tiger’s reputation has been sooo perfect up until now.   Let me be the first to tell you, he’s not the squeaky clean Jonas Brother, he pretends to be.

Our affair was rather recent.  I must confess, he was passed out when I met him.  Sadly, that’s not the first time I started an affair with an unconscious man.  The other time was when this guy was hit by a subway car and I went to visit him in the hospital.  His family showed up and took me for his fiancé.  I went along with it because I was lonely and it was the holidays.  Eventually, he woke up and I married his brother.  Oh wait, that wasn’t me.  DUH.

Anywho, with Tiger it was different.  He was admitted to the hospital (where I am a candy striper) after a rather harsh battle with a fire hydrant.  –See, it’s different already.  It appears he and his wife play late night golf and he took his car to search for a stray ball, when the confrontation occurred.  I can only imagine how far one of Tiger’s balls can fly (well, I don’t have to imagine anymore).  –That was a sex joke, in case you didn’t catch on, LOL.

As it turns out, it was lucky that his wife was caddying for him, as she was able to use his iron to pull him from the wreck and beat off the fire hydrant.   I didn’t even know fire hydrants could come to life, but I saw this movie about a car named Christine and she came to life.  So, I guess anything’s possible.

Tiger  even promised me a signed Fat Head of his best friend MJ.  I can’t believe he can get in touch with Michael Jackson, but after the stint with the fire hydrant, I can see Tiger’s special.  Other people can see it too.   He also had sex with my friend Luanne who mops the floors.   And then Gertie, who resides in the nursing home area.   Oh, and Becky who was in the pediatric unit to have her tonsils out.  I ran into him wandering around the Nursery.  He says looking at the babies calms him.  I get it, they’re so sweet and innocent.

I confronted him about all those other girls, but he said, “don’t worry honey, you’re my hole in one.”  He said if we do it enough I can be his “double bogey.”  I don’t know anything about the golf but the nicknames sure are cute.  Oh yeah, he made me swear I’d never tell… Shit.

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Total Humilation on the Roller Rink, circa 1984

You know when you’re feeling a little big for your britches? (Using that phrase alone should nullify anything I’m about to say.)  Then you get a flashback, a glimpse of some past experience that is earth shatteringly embarrassing and the universe puts you right back in your place?

Well, here I am trying to parlay this “CBS Expert Mom” thing into a piece for a national magazine.  I am at my laptop touting myself as an “expert,” and trying to seem way more important than I am.  Just as I am rambling on about my amazing qualifications to a senior editor, whom I shouldn’t be writing directly in the first place, Eddy Grant’s “Electric Avenue” comes on the radio.  I am immediately transported to Cockeysville Skateland circa 1984.  Its Girl’s Skate, the disco lights take over the floor.

Now, if you are unfamiliar with roller skate culture, “Girl’s Skate” is the precursor to “Couple’s Skate.”  During “Girl’s Skate,” your job, as a girl is to look as cool as possible.  You have to rock your shirt with the iron-on decal, those jeans with a comb sticking out of the back pocket, and those leg warmers you shoved up over them to add a “Flashdance” effect.  The boys watch from around the rink and if they likes what they sees, they put out a hand for you to slap.  The hand out also implies that they would like to Couples Skate with you.  If you think they’re cute, you slap their out-stretched hand.  Yes, it is an exercise in self esteem.  Years of this did quite a number on my psyche.

On one particular day, I had my eye on a very cute older boy; he may have even been a preteen!  I spotted him from across the crowded rink, as my dad laced up his skates trying to catch up to my speedy entrance.  Oh, I didn’t mention that my dad skated with me every week?  How could I forget that detail, this story is about how cool I am right?

Here I am doing my best tricks: The speed up and glide,  the crouch down and stick one leg forward, the professional leg cross weave around the corners.  I look around at the outstretched arms, More than a feelin, should be my background music.  As a sensitive kid, I am an equal opportunity slapper.  So, I slap the hand of anyone that puts it out there, unless they’re really dorky and everyone else is avoiding them, obviously! Those poor kids go home and make “kill lists,” or comfort themselves with their Star Wars figurines.

Then I spotted him, that cute preteen, he looked bad.  I mean good bad. He probably drove here on his motorized dirt bike with his skates hanging from the handle bars and a switchblade hiding in his pocket.  He was definitely from the other side of the tracks. You know, like Matt Dillon was in Little Darlings. I noticed that he wasn’t really offering his hand to too many girls and in a defensive action started to skate towards the middle.  As I got closer, he did it.  He eyed me and then threw out his hand.  Holy crap, that’s for me and now I’m so far on the inside I’ll never make it, and then we won’t get to couples skate.  I won’t be able to hold his hand, which I’m sure will be cool and big, not small and sweaty, like the other boys I always couples skate with.  He may even be good enough to do the envied backwards hands on hips skate! My life is officially over…Move Jenny, move. I weaved through a few slow girls and reached as far as I could to touch even a fingertip.  Then in a crushing blow he pulled his hand back and pretending to slick his hair… Shit, he gave me the “psyyyyych.”

To add insult to injury, or in this case injury to insult, my arm had overstretched to meet his teasing gesture.  I felt myself going down think slo-mo in some cheesy 80’s film.  Ohhhh Nnnoooo, I grabbed at the wall to pull myself in and slammed straight into it, then ricocheted off, and slapped to the ground.  I am SO COOL!  I got up quickly and ran to the bathroom to cry in a stall, while reading about who is ez, and who loves whom 4-ever.  “Couple’s Skate” started without me, as if the most horrifying incident had not just occurred on that concrete slab of rejection.  I remember the song perfectly, it was Air Supply’s, “All Out of Love” or maybe Journey’s “Open Arms,” or some ballad  by Foreigner or Styx.  I also remember the pain, oh the pain and the uncoolness.  Apparently, you can’t get too cocky in Cockeysville, cause someone will put you right back in your insecure, struggling, awkward place… where you belong.  Unfortunately, I’ve been put in my place too many times than I care to remember.  Even as an adult, a simple song can bring back an experience that sends you to rock in a corner.

Dear Senior Editor- I am a lowly writer, eh forget get it.

This Mothering Stuff is Tough

I have something to tell you; please don’t spread it around, as it’s somewhat of a secret.  I screamed “shut up” at my son today. “SHUT UP!” not “shush” or “sshhhhh” or even “ferme la bouche.”  No, “Shut Up.” I didn’t say it in a whisper, or even hiss it through clenched teeth.  I yelled it in a vein popping tone, and it felt sort of good, aside from the fear of having an aneurism.  I hate to admit it, but in the moment I actually enjoyed the shock value.

In my house, “shut up” is still the “S” word.  That and “stupid”…fine, it’s “shit” also (look, we’re not Amish).  “Shut up” is a phrase that I – a person who has managed to use“Shniekees” and “Gaylord Focker” in place of harsher expletives for the last 7 years – have never uttered to my children.

Had I witnessed you on the street saying – no, screaming – that to your child, I would have judged you with disdain.   I may have even considered calling child services on you.  Now, I’m the one with the scarlet letter.  I’m just a few more outbursts from a knock at the door.

I’m not going to tell you what my son did, but just know, he started it!  Fine, I’ll tell you.  He was yelling at me, telling me “No,” contradicting me, and being incredibly obnoxious all at once, and all at warp speed.  He never took a breath.  I didn’t know whether to punish or have him try out for the swim team.

The funny thing is, I just finished writing an article about the Spanking / IQ study, and here I am doing exactly what I said I wouldn’t do… “ensuring my child will need hours of therapy.”  Way to go Jenny. Though I don’t believe in it, I would have been better off calmly putting him over my knee; at least I would have had more self-control.

The worst part of this whole confession inducing incident was the look on his face.  It was somewhere between “Uh-oh, you said a bad word!” and a lip biting, “Sniff, sniff.  You said that bad word to ME?”  As I’ve said before, I subscribe to the book of damage control parenting.  Doing as little damage as possible, and controlling the damage you’ve done.  This was one of those times I had to control the damage.   Somewhat in shock myself, I had to regroup and think of my options:   Apologize, use candy or some other bribe to gloss over it, or explain my actions.  I went the obvious route, and when he finished licking the Kit Kat residue off his fingers, I said I was sorry.

I’ll tell you, when my kids were little, I would have sworn this day would never come.  How could you look at those sweet chubby cheeks and imagine they could ever frustrate you so much?  Conversely, when I told a few of my friends the story, they were shocked at how long I’d held out.

Wait a minute, I think there’s some praise in there.  I amazed people with my nearly infinite patience.  I deserve a medal, not a scornful eye.  I take it all back… I am the best mom; it took me almost 8 years to tell my child to “shut up.” Wahoo!  See, if you practice patience (but not too much), and bottle up frustration like seltzer (that your kids can agitate until it pops), you too can astound people.   Then you can start a blog, and when you do terrible horrible things, you can seek contrition by telling hundreds, dare I say thousands, of people about them.

***This article is featured on the Sun-Sentinel.com  Show the love, and please copy any comments on this link!