Family Stories, Southern Living

Ode to Granny McKee

Dear Granny McKee, You had long passed away by the time I married into your family, but I feel like I know you from the stories your children and grandchildren like to tell of you. Now that I have a child of my own, it is all the more that I admire you. On those days when I’m exhausted from the constant struggle of trying to shape one pint-sized caveman into a civilized human being and I’m up to my eyeballs in self-pity, I try to imagine what your life was like living out on the…

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Outsmarted, Parenting Gone Awry

Hello Minnie, is Clint there?

As I stated in a previous post, discipline is not my forte. Not because I’m a softie or a pushover, because I’m not. I have very little tolerance for blatant disobedience or disrespect. The problem is that I have no convincing authority. I channel Clint Eastwood and get Minnie Mouse. Before Sean turned two and he was starting to test the boundaries, I would sometimes put him in his playpen for time out. He would stand in it and chat me up from across the room in Klingon. He would do a few Vaudeville skits. He…

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Always Real, Sometimes Sweet

A Bucket of Tears for an Ocean of Joy

Heaven goes by grace. If it went by merit you would stay out and your dog would go in. ~ Mark Twain Long before I had a child, someone who knows me very well and knows how much I loved my dog, once posed this question: If your dog and your child were both drowning, who would you save? Without answering that question, let me just say that Sean is really coming along with those swimming lessons. I come from a long line of dog lovers. Most people I know who have dogs are crazy about…

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Mildly Amusing, Parenting Gone Awry

Gotta’ Dance!

The other night was one of the rare occasions when we had the television on before Sean went to bed. Sean hasn’t shown much interest in the television beyond shoving animal crackers into the VCR, so it hasn’t been an issue so far. But I remain concerned about the influence of television on his tender and malleable mind. While television can enable children to learn their ABC’s, it can also enable them to learn about other things like violence, or worse, ballroom dancing. Anyway, this new show called “Dancing with the Stars” came on – with…

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Makes Me Sigh, Parenting Gone Awry

Farewell Baby Bjorn – or Good Ridance

I looked around the house yesterday and noticed the high chair and the playpen were missing. Being reasonably large items, I knew that they probably weren’t in the sofa cushions — fairly sure anyway. Then I remembered they were hastily stashed in the garage to make way for Christmas. Christmas has come and gone and apparently so has our need for those things since it is just now that I have noticed they were missing. The garage has become the graveyard of forgotten and outgrown baby gear – bassinets, tubs, bouncers, jumpers, play mats, swings, slings…

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Seems logical to me…

This morning, this exchange: AM: And when all the water had dried up, Noah opened the door of the ark and let all of the animals out. Hmm…. Never thought about it before. Where do you suppose all those animals went? Sean: Back to the zoo!

Memaw, Outsmarted

The Memaw Factor

Discipline is the parenting issue about which I have the least confidence. Because I haven’t read every book ever printed on the topic? Because I haven’t bent the ear of every person on the planet who has a child? Because my child is an angel and does not require discipline? No. No. And Almost. Oops. Make that No, Almost and then No. The problem isn’t even so much sorting through all the competing philosophies – Dr. T. Berry Brazelton, Dr. Phil, Dr. Karp, Dr. Spock, Dr. Seuss or even Dr. Scholls. The problem is that no…

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Antique Childhood, Makes Me Sigh

The Scavenger

The summer I was about eight or nine, my girlfriend and I would walk to Vespa’s, the local family-owned grocery store about once a day. As we walked the quarter mile to the store, we would look in the shallow ditches for soda bottles. We’d usually find one or two or sometimes even three. Vespa’s would give us five cents for each bottle we brought in. We would then take our earnings directly across the street to B&B, a family-owned candy store, and spend 45 minutes to an hour studying the glass case trying to figure…

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Sometimes Tart, Southern Living

I Love A Parade – Once Every Five Years

 There’s an old song that starts out “I love’a parade!” Well, I don’t. Parades, fireworks and the state fair all fall into the same category for me under the heading “Been There Done That.” If I see a parade once every five years, I’m good. Saturday morning there was a parage at the annual stock show and rodeo. And since I’d seen a parade in the last five years, I wasn’t all that thrilled about going. But Antique Daddy and the boy love that kind of thing and I’m a go-along-get-along kind of gal, so I went.…

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Sometimes Tart, Wal-Mart

Must be the new math…

This recent exchange with the cashier at the grocery store: AM: There was a sign that said red peppers were two for $3. Cashier: No ma’am, they are $1.50 each. Do you still want both of them? AM: Yes, I want both of them. That would be $3. Two for $3.  $1.50 x 2. Cashier: (rolling her eyes and twisting her eyebrow ring)  Ma’am they are $1.50 each, do you want both of them or not? AM: Umm…  Okay, $1.50 each and not a penny more.