Saturday, November 12, 2011

Be careful what you ask for!

I asked for help.

I have three good kids but the older two have perfected the art of selective hearing.  They hear what they want, when they want.  The youngest simply thinks that every word that anyone says is always directed at him.  (He's the youngest, he is cute, why would you be talking to anyone but him?)  None of this is new, of course, but I don't have the best memory and forget to take all factors into account before I start my rants.

I've been complaining about the lack of help rather than simply requiring my kids to help.   I've been telling middle son he must fold laundry before he can play video games.   They know what needs to be done but won't do it unless asked.  Or, in my daughter's case, she needs it in writing!  (If I give her a list, with boxes she can then check off, she will do the chores.  Not on the list?  Not going to get done.)

After lunch, I told my youngest to go upstairs and I would be right there to read him a story before his nap. "No," he said.  "I am going to do laundry."

Funny.  Cute.  Sweet.  "Go upstairs and I'll be right there," was all I said. 
Unfortunately, I have taught my children that "I'll be right there" means they have at least three minutes, probably more.

So by the time I got up there, he was in his room.  He didn't want to take a nap but he was where I asked him to be.  We read a story, I kissed him goodnight and as I reached the door, he yelled, "Wait!  Can you bring my hamper back into my room?"

"Your hamper?  It's over..."

Hmmm.  Not there.   "Where is your hamper, buddy?"  Oh.  It hits me as I ask.  "Is it in the laundry room?"

"Yes!  I was doing laundry."

Indeed he was.  Blue liquid was pooled on my laundry room floor, spilled after he put some in the machine with his dirty socks, pjs and the dirty towels.  He can't read yet so he just turned the knob until it got to a spot he liked and turned it on.  Turns out he picked the stain fighting cycle, which takes over two hours. 

I received help.  And in another hour or so, I am going to have some super-clean towels! 

Friday, November 11, 2011


A college roommate used to remind me to "make a wish" every time the clock read "11:11." I had never heard of such a thing before but now I do it often (and think of her each time)!  Today, on 11/11/11 my wish is that each and every service member returns home safely--and soon.

When I was young and stupid, I declared that I would never marry a military guy.  I grew up in a warm town near three naval bases and I knew there were only two things in life that I would never do:
1. Become a military wife.
2. Live in any location where it got cold enough to snow.

So I left home to go to college, met a guy with an ROTC scholarship and while the Army paid for him to go to medical school, I married him.  He graduated and I became the wife of an active duty service member who, later, was assigned to Alaska.

I had my first child at an Army medical center and thought that "nervous" or "apprehensive" would be good terms to describe how I felt about having so many residents--most no older than me--coming and going, in and out of my room.  I didn't realize that only a few short years later, each one of them would have a chance to assist laboring women in Iraq and Afghanistan.  That sounds a tad more nerve-wracking.

Two of my children were born at that medical center.  They saw men and women in uniform every day for the first few years of their lives.  My daughter would yell, "Daddy!" and point at some man in uniform every time I took her to the PX or commissary.  These were approachable heroes--my kids were impressed but not afraid.

Those soldiers put on a brave face before each deployment and a happy one upon each return.  Of course they are afraid but they do not show it--the definition of courage.  With the possible exception of one soldier.  He was young, obviously new to Post, far from home, trying to find his way around the PX when a toddler in pigtails grabbed his leg and yelled, "Daddy!"  I'm pretty sure I saw a flash of fear, that day.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

All a-twitter

I was hesitant to join Twitter.  I waste spend too much time on facebook and was afraid that I would get sucked into twitter, as well.  I was right.

I thought it was cool that I could follow anyone, including other writers.  I can follow writers I have met, writers I have not met, even writers that I have apologized to while getting a book signed while explaining I'm not really a stalker.  But now?  Writers are following me!  (Even writers who have said that I am so not a stalker and that she kind of enjoys having fans!)