Tag Archives: Words

From a punctuation period to my period…the embarrassing journey.

My 7-year-old, Tres, is like most 7 year olds when it comes to ending their written sentences.  He doesn’t do it.  Maybe there are 7 year olds in existence who are punctuation nazis but I remember my other two demonstrating the exact same rebellion against the question mark, the exclamation mark and the period.  Each day his take home papers contain his teachers corrections and the 1/2 points subtracted for the missing punctuation.  While I was stressing the importance (bribery is normally my parenting method of choice) and the necessity of ending sentences, we came to the period and I paused.

Humph, the period.  So small.  So boring compared to the other ending marks yet so powerful.  So final.  Period.

While I was pondering the mass and depth of the period (wearing my deep in thought, blank expression no doubt) Mr. Pavlov announced that we were going to the mall.  Tres took advantage of my blank expression, which wouldn’t remain blank for too long (Mr. Pavlov despises the mall) and the mall announcement to bolt from the punctuation prison I held him in.  At least my prison serves chocolate (bribery).

Once at the mall Mr. Pavlov grabbed his mini-me (Dos) and informed us that they were going to Dicks. Period.  I opened my mouth to protest but they were gone.

Uno, looked first at me, then at Tres and said through her chuckles  “have fun with that cuz I’m going to shop.” Period.  I opened my mouth to beg for mercy but she was gone.

Tres was oblivious to the very obvious ditching that was occurring as he was in mall crack mode.  Period.

He was like the energizer bunny fueled by a nuclear power plant.  His eyes were darting, his mouth was open…wide, and he was forming words faster that my normally quick communication center could process.  He skipped, danced, sang, ran, touched (a lot), begged (for everything) and was enjoying the mall heaven he found himself in.  I smiled and thought…He is his mother’s son…and considering the brief affair I had with the male (god) Abercrombie mall clerk who likely sired him probably didn’t hurt either.  Whoa, where did that come from? Sounds believable huh?  Not to worry, he is (the humanly hot) Mr. Pavlov’s all the way.  Period.  Period.  Period…..

I really have to stop reading all of those deep, entangled, relationshipinal novels.

Ok. Wow. Too much mall crack. Let’s erase (the total greek god) male Abercrombie (have you seen those Abercrombie adds?!?) figment of my imagination and get back to watching Tres.

While observing him in his mall splendor, I suddenly forgot about the murder I planned to carry out on certain members of our family.  Then the inevitable happened.  He grabbed his crotch and began the perfectly choreographed maneuvers of the pee dance.  It seemed as if the massive mall beverage he chugged during our pass through the food court needed to make an exit.

Truth be told, my Pepsi was beating on the sphincter of my bladder too so I found us a bathroom.  A women’s bathroom.  The men’s bathroom was all the way on the other side of the store and I was not about to have my vulnerable, mall loving, 7-year-old enter that dark and dangerous place alone.  There are sick penis whacker offers out there!  Period.  I read about it and the disgusting, deranged event is forever seared in black and white print (with my own visual images) in my brain!

It wouldn’t be the first time I dragged him into the women’s bathroom with me.  He knew the drill.  Or so I thought.  The bathroom looked like a sardine can packed with women (mostly elderly) doing the adult version of the pee dance.  Finally, our turn came.  I sent him into the stall beside me.  He did his business like a typical male and beat my squat pants down.  He exited the stall, washed his hands and stood along the wall.  Perfect.  This is going great!  I thought.  Then I heard these words

Mom, I gotta  get out of here because it smells really bad like old lady perfume and it is burning out my eyes!

After telling him to remain put, Period, I inwardly apologized to the several elderly women in the stalls adjoining mine for his bluntness but couldn’t help but agree.  He did have a valid olfactory point and my sinuses were in an uproar too.

Then he belted,

Hey Mom, did you start your period?!”

I was speechless.  Silence fell upon the entire bathroom minus a few shocked inhalation gasps.  Toilets ceased to flush.  Toilet paper failed to rattle from their dispensers. And I was processing how best to respond, I mean…

Did he just ask THAT?!?  But all doubts were erased when he repeated (much louder this time)

MOM, I saaaid did you start your period?!?  Because I think I see some….

Whoa, I had heard enough! That did it!  I coughed loudly, flushed my toilet multiple times and exited my stall hoping to the living God of heaven to exit that place as quickly as I could.

I shot him a look that spoke volumes.  The ‘shut up you verbose kid’ kind and even thought about forgoing hand washing in order to exit the face reddening situation 20 seconds faster.  But I decided against leaving the germs undisturbed on my hands because he would surely call me out on my filthiness.  And it’s just gross.

Once on the outside I informed him that it was not a good idea to question me about my female body functions in such a highly populated and public place.

He shrugged and replied,

Well I thought that the women’s bathroom would be the place to talk about it!  Periods belong in a sentence and periods belong in bathrooms.

For the second time that day I was speechless.  Period.

Words of mistaken identity

Since my last post I have been thinking about the past several decades, most of which brought a big smile to my face.  The images of myself in all of my grandeur are just too pathetic not to laugh.  While those images will be quickly forth coming (yes, I will post the actual photos), today I wanted to focus on words.

Words, words, words.  I love them.  I read them. I eat them. I speak them.  Unfortunately the latter I have not always preformed correctly.  If you are like me you may have grown up thinking a phrase of words was something entirely different from what it actually was.  Right?  No?  Lost you already?

Rewind 20 some years ago to when I was a young adult.  I was sitting at my parent’s dining room table, THE social hub of the home, telling my Mom about a venomous women I had the misfortune of encountering.  It was not enough for me to merely describe this female with her fangs and claws.  I felt as if I needed an association for my Mom to truly get it.  So, with extreme emphasis I said,

“She’s a real Natilda the Nun!!”

There was a very brief pause accompanying the momentary blank look on my Mom’s face.  Then, she burst forth in gut wrenching LAUGHTER spewing partially chewed food across the table (so not the reaction I was expecting.)  After she regained her composure and had the Heimlich maneuver performed a time or two, she managed to choke out,

“You mean Attila the Hun”

Natilda the Nun, Attila the Hun — eeh, close enough. Although at the time I was horrified with my blunder not to mention covered with my Mom’s sprayed food particles.  Gross, but effective.

The first time I heard this phrase, Natilda the Nun made perfect sense in my young mind.  Especially after I listened to the stories my Dad told of the Nuns whacking his hands with rulers in the Catholic school he attended.

Natilda the Nun seemed like an ideal match to the phrase and had my Mom not so memorably corrected me, I would continue to bring Natilda the Nun to many conversations today!  I just wonder if anyone would have the jazz to tell me Natilda is really Attila?  Probably not.  But not to worry, Natilda is still very much a part of our verbal dialog because dear ‘ol Mom brings her up every chance she gets!

Here are a couple other words of mistaken identity we have embraced.

  1.  Let us snot into temptation.” This is from the Lord’s Prayer and should read “Lead us not into temptation.” As a young child it seemed totally reasonable to me that snotty nosed children would be the ones walking off to engage in tempting sin.  Thankfully, the realization of my error came by way of self-revelation after reading (yes, again delayed revelation) the Lord’s prayer IN PRIVATE.  Because it was only a matter of time before someone heard me proudly belt out “LET US SNOT INTO TEMPTATION.” And then they would laugh.  And mock me for years to come.  Let us snot into temptation…because if you’re going to sin, do it with some snot!
  2. Maury Deemer:” While the song ‘My redeemer lives’ was playing my youngest asked “Mom is Maury Deemer the Jewish name of Jesus?” I also had the momentary blank look and pause of my Mom but spared my precious child from the trauma of forceful laughing, food choking, ridicule and simply asked “Why?” He was quick to reply “Because that song is saying Maury Deemer lives and I just wanted to know if that’s Jesus’ Jewish name?”  Melt my heartAnd the fact that he is 7yrs (rather than my pitiful mid 20’s) is adorable and stills the laughter.
  3. Kill-her: My youngest defined the word “killer” (which he pronounced kill-her) when he was 4yrs old as,  “a man who only kills women.” I let him continue thinking that his definition was correct for about a year until his siblings provided the appropriate definition (sans mercy).  I have  listed more of his 4yr old definitions below.
  4. Hillbilly:  A person who lives on a hill and loves billy goats.  There was too much truth to correct this one!
  5. Psycho-mean-and-act (his exact pronunciation): “psychomaniac”  He informed us this was a psycho person who was mean and acted out.  He particularly enjoyed calling the grocery check out cashiers this name. I guess he felt some sense of empowerment as he muttered “Psycho-mean-and-act” after one cashier impatiently yanked away and bagged (the nerve) his ring pop.

Women and their rings.  No wonder men curdle at the thought of engagement ring shopping.  They’ve had one too many Natilda the Nuns hijack their ring pops.

From nuns to psychos, what words of mistaken identity can you add to this list?

Summer, Hippies and Hoes

I was outside today (exactly one week into our summer vacation) and, as I hit my leg on the hoe, I smiled.  Smiled?  Yes, a big toothy smile.  Why?  Because I was reminded of this post that I posted last year at this exact time.  The next time you see a hoe, I bet you will smile too.

The place of my conception???

Our summer is in full swing and I love it!!  I love the carefree schedule that summer brings.  The chill out, peace, love and be happy days of summer.  The more I think about my emotional make-up I become increasingly convinced that my parents were closet hippies and my conception took place in a flower power van during a make love, not war convention.  I am so chill that reefer could be my middle name…but I’ll stick with Ann.

The clouds part, the heavens open, a light shines forth and a majestic voice is heard saying "I can't believe she is fishing!!"

What have we been doing?  Absolutely nothing yet everything!  We take this time to focus on the important things in our lives which are people.  Our days are filled with family, friends, devotions and of course fun! Fun that is, until I hear the expected words sung throughout our home– the aggravating wails of “I’m BORED” — and just one mere week into summer break too!  So this chilled out person kicked everyone outside equipped with hoes, rakes, diggers and whatever I could find in the shed and told them to go show my garden and yard some love.  I felt proud.  I nipped that boredom in the bud. Yes. I. Did.

Buuut, then I realized this single act of forced labor may come back to haunt me.  Why?  Because my youngest could be heard shouting “c’mon hoe let’s go love on mom’s yard.” 

Yep.  Priceless, I know.  And I even laughed…a little, until I visualized the repercussions of being out in a very public place and…you get it.  He loves to repeat new-found adjectives and has done so before (click to read)…quite well!

Of course these words spoken in innocence caused the older two to burst out into convulsions of uncontrollable laughter which encouraged him to shout even louder…aaannnddd a vicious cycle is born.

Sigh, note to self: NEVER give a 5-year-old a hoe and tell him to love on your yard because he’s likely to form a complete sentence.

An auditory love affair…is it really over?

I am in love with the British.  This is nothing new.  I routinely stalk the McDonald drive thru when the Brit is working.  There is just something about the way he coos “May I add the cream and sugar for you?” that causes me to revert back to a cardiac palpitating, zit faced, blushing school girl.  During these braced faced school girl moments, I frequently forget items and must revisit the drive thru again…and again…and again.  I spend way to much time and money at McDonalds when the Brit is working.

Then there is EJ (James Scott), a villain on the brain candy Days Of Our Lives Soap Opera that I watch.  EJ is evil.  EJ is selfish.  EJ kills people.  EJ is vile.  But when EJ speaks good things abound in my ears.  If I were truthful I’d tell you that I really don’t listen to what he says and I certainly don’t pay any attention to what he does.  I simply hear that perfect British accent and it’s all good.  Sure, kill the man.  Steal the baby.  Kidnap the girl.  Just please continue to speak.

After watching hours of footage and biographies of William, Kate and the Royal wedding I am even more in love with the accent than ever.  I’m in deep.

I think a Brit could convince me to swim in chum with sharks…to give away a body organ…to engage in illegal activity.  Of course I’m midly exaggerating. 

Last evening I went with my Mom, Grandma and a few of their friends to a church service.  Not just any church service but a church service where the presence of God was so strong that you could feel the electricity zapping in the air.  After worship the speaker came on the platform and took the mic to welcome the crowd.  He opened his mouth and spoke.  With a British accent.  Time stopped and with it, my heart.  I was ready to do whatever he asked.  Jump.  I’d jack rabbit jump.  Sing.  I’d sing like a slaughter house cow. Raise your hands.  I’d reach for the stars.  I waited.

And waited.  But when he spoke the accent disappeared.  No, not really but as he preached the accent melted away in the context of what he was saying.  The magnitude of the message overpowered the accent.  Not only could I hear what he was saying, but I actually listened to the content.  After awhile I couldn’t hear the accent anymore – not even if I strained my auditory muscles.

I guess God is not only no respector of persons but also accents!  Acts 10:43 And Peter having opened his mouth, said, ‘Of a truth, I perceive that God is no respecter of persons [and British accents – my addition]

And although there are some people and accents that we find more attractive than others, God doesn’t consider things as we do.  1Samuel 16:7  “The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart”

Has my auditory British love affair been wiped away?

I think I’ll have to visit McDonalds drive thru just to be sure….

What accents play your acustic love music?

Got antibodies?

The 6 train that kept us on our NYC schedule

I am a tad off schedule lately.  Wow, that really sounds funny coming from let’s take each day as it rolls me, but it is true.  Actually I have been playing catch up since we missed our 6:55am departing bus out of NYC. I set my alarm for the correct time however it was that little AM/PM thing that messed me up.  The night owl that I am subconsciously related more with the PM side of things and subsequently that is where my alarm clock remained (4:30PM) while my body remained comfortably in bed stockpiling on some REM.  By the time I, the sole alarm setter, awoke it was too late.  We were bus toast. Thankfully we were able to get on the next bus, a 4:20pm bus, out of the city.  The late arrival home and 3AM bedtime was rough even for this veteran night dweller. We have been schedule constipated ever since. 

I do have cool photos a comin’ but I wanted to post something Mr. Pavlov said that was an eye opener. We set off for NYC with our easy-going, fresh faces smiling.  When we were bumped, shoved, or pushed we flowed with it.  When we were tackled for the last seat on the subway we didn’t fight back.  When our hands were forcefully booted from the subway pole (the pole that keeps your human parts from sprawling all over someone else) we scurried to find another. When our kids were roughly jostled by rushed NY’ers we caught them.  When our taxi was stolen taken we hailed another.  We exhibited Saint-like patience and kindness.

But then something happened the longer we stewed in this environment.  Our easy-going faces became distressfully determined. When bumped, shoved, or pushed we returned physical fire and threw in a warning hip check.  When we were tackled for the last seat on the subway we fought back.  When our hands were forcefully booted from the subway pole (the pole that keeps your human parts from sprawling all over someone else) we clenched them tighter and made the other rider scurry to find another. When our kids were roughly jostled by rushed NY’ers we glared and made cutting comments. When our taxi was stolen taken we angrily told the young taxi hijackers to find another.

 Patience and kindness who?

We could feel our attitude changing and our ugly coming on and before we knew it we almost mirrored the very behavior we disliked.  It was then that Mr. Pavlov shook his head and simply said “Man, this behavior is contagious!

Those powerful words woke us up from the contagious bad behavior spell and we stopped hip checking the elderly and gave them our subway seats once again.  While not fully immunized against behavioral diseases, our experience gave us the antibodies we require to recognize future invasion one contagious exposure at a time!

How have you dealt with ugly?  Got antibodies to share?

The day repurposed words saved my arse!

I am thankful.  Yes, thankful for all of the usual things but right now I am breathing a sigh-of-relief-thankful, that I am a clever parent.  Thankful that I have the foresight (due to scores of embarrassing moments) to remedy a potential situation.

You see, number Tres has a fascination with the skin tone of the elderly.  The lines of facial cannons and valleys mesmerize him as do the moles and other weird growths that begin to sprout with age.  He fixates on these elderly faces with open mouth gaze and while barely breathing, he visually tracks their physical blue print like an architect reading himself for a big project.  When they speak to him, he becomes lost in input mode and often experiences a delayed reaction.  Eventually he snaps out of his mental voyage to elder land (as evidenced by drool suckage, and mouth shutage) and almost always brings a comment or an observation with him.  These observational comments are most awkward.

Zoned out in elder land

Having been present for one too many of his “Wow, is that lady old!” I decided to take Tres by the verbal horns and rodeo his butt.

The set-up was simple.  I informed him that we call really, really old ladies, with cracks and craters, wrinkles and moles galore, “Lovely Ladies.”  In fact, I told him we refer to all older women as Lovely Ladies.  To my surprise, he nodded in agreement without so much as a single question.

We were menu surfing at the gold standard for Breakfast, Bob Evans when it happened.  Behind us, in a booth, I spotted an elderly woman.  She was an ancient one who looked as if she may reach the annals of ancestor.com soon.  

She did not escape Tres’ watchful hawk eye. He got up on his knees, turned around so that he was facing her booth, and looking directly at her he  proclaimed (in heightened decibel) “Look mommy, I see a Lovely Lady!”  An immediate eruption of “Ahhh’s,” and “how sweets” flowed from her family members and she blushed so hard that her pasty face actually turned pink.  A demure smile lightly spread across her face and she waved at Tres with girlish embarrassment.

Tres was satisfied because he got to express himself, the lovely lady and her family were gleefully glowing shades of cherry and suddenly, I was the Mother of the Year!

Yes, I am thankful.

A life lesson from America’s Next Top Model. Who knew?

It is a known fact that I do not watch a lot of TV.   A quarter of the reason is because I don’t have the time and 3/4  is due to the fact that the people who live in this home are TV pigs.  I can’t seem to get close enough to the Ark of the Covenant…ever.   

However, there are a couple shows I do watch.  One of these shows is America’s Next Top Model. My daughter and I usually prop ourselves up on the couch and watch Tyra demonstrate how to smize.  I quit trying  the technique after several attempts and my daughter’s request to “please stop.”  Apparently the smize was not my look and made me appear like an insane asylum escapee.  My baby however, can strike a pose.  Although this is not what the post is about, here are some shots of her from a few years ago:

Affirmative, I quit smizing. Whatever.  Anyhow, something bothered me on Wednesday’s episode.  Did you see the episode? 

During a time of “getting to know each other” Ondre, the young lady from Michigan, shared of the recent death of her two brothers with a few of the girls.  She was calm and collected as she told of their passing and later informed the camera that although she was sad, she wanted to take the opportunity presented to her.  Ondre further went on to say that this was something she was going to do for her brothers…in memory and honor of them because it was an opportunity that they would never get to experience.  She appeared focused in her approach and seemed to have the issue settled in her mind.  She was the picture of quiet resolve.

During the time of soul sharing a couple of the girls expressed that they did not understand how she was able to participate in the show.  These girls (Note: Competitors) felt as if  the grief would be too raw and they did not think that it would be something they could endure. She listened quietly and digested their words.

At the next photo shoot we witnessed a once determined, focused Ondre crack and break down to the point of withdrawal from the show.  During the next judging panel she informed the judges of her decision to leave.  The judges accepted her withdrawal and instructed the contestants that if Ondre’s photo was the worst photo that week then no one would be eliminated but if it wasn’t then one of the current women would have to leave.  You could see the “Oh darn, we were hoping to capitalize on her grief” spread across some of the faces.  

The entire scenario really bothered me.  Her elimination seemed too easy. So WHAT happened?  

Ondre allowed the enemy access into her head where seeds could be planted.  These seeds seemed like innocent observations or sympathetic remarks but they actually contained poison.  Ondre gave the remarks her attention and allowed them to grow to the point of behavioral modification.

I have witnessed this form of attack many times during my life and have even fallen prey myself.  Sometimes the individual delivering the “message” is an innocent instrument willingly used as a mouth piece for discouragement (or whatever) and at other times they are packing motive, fully aware of their actions.

Once spoken we have a choice of what to do with the words.  We can either come into agreement with the message and allow it to take up space in our psyche and ultimately alter our behavior OR we can recognize the assault and cerebrally shred the contaminated message…access denied!!!

We may have to repeat the process and kick the words to the shredder several times because they will often attempt to apply for residence more than once. This practice becomes more difficult if we really want to agree with the message and modify our behavior.  For example, if stuck in a less than desirable, despised job that is necessary for a season, it would be all too tempting to embrace a message of premature evacuation!  With prematurity comes unanswered questions.

Would Ondre get best photo? How far would Ondre make it?  Could she be America’s Next Top Model?  We’ll never know but we do know that her photo was “not the worst” and had she not withdrawn, she would still be a contestant.

I realize I cannot evacuate these comments without a lot of prayer and wisdom.  Because truly, most people can bring us down but there is One whose desire is to lift us higher.

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother Proverbs 18:24

When life is screaming The Worst at us we need to remember that, like Ondre, we are still in the running providing we don’t withdraw from the race.

An afternoon of basketball, ghetto and chickens

Child number dos  has some amazing athletic ability.  As overused as this may sound, he is a natural-born athlete.  He truly was ‘born this way’ considering he entered our world trying to bungee jump with his umbilical cord.  At 6 months old he almost decapitated me with his Nerf ball.  During his little league years he managed to leave a third-eye-goose-egg on Mr. Pavlov’s forehead practically rendering him unconscious and nearly neutered several nice young males who offered to play catch with the “cute little boy.”  He was and is an animal.

The animal getting ready to make contact!

This year he decided to play basketball for the first time.  It came as no surprise to us when he owned the ball after one touch.  My head was spinning as the coach explained several moves he wanted the players to execute.  But dos was not phased at all.  He nodded his head and ran the dribble, spin, dribble, switch maneuver effortlessly. 

Mr. Pavlov and I watch the games proudly with our heads held high.  Mr. Pavlov seems to hold his head a little higher because he claims the genes obviously “come from him.” But Mr. Pavlov and I are quiet spectators.  Other than a “Good Job Dos!”  or “Nice!” we sit and admire the talent.  However, as we have experienced from our years on the side lines, not all parents embrace this reserved approach.

We have met our share of obnoxious but recently we met a parent who makes obnoxious seem enjoyable.  From the beginning of the game she screeched and screamed with such force that the tiny structures in my inner ear began to reverberate.  By the end of the game Mr. Pavlov and I had full-blown tinnitus. We were feeling as if  the Jr. High Marching band had slammed our heads between their symbols.  Our legs were wobbly, our vision blurred, our stomachs were entertaining nausea and we each had our own terrible version of a migraine going on.

However, the abuse didn’t cease there.  Not only was she a screech but also WHAT she was screeching made her our sport spectator winner for the most ghetto parent  E V E R! 

For example, she yelled “Get yo man” repeatedly when it was zone defense, not man-to-man!  A noble soul, who was hoping to get her to shut her trap (I’m sure of it) informed her the team was playing zone defense.  This information would’ve sent me under the bleachers gagged and muzzled daring never to show my face again but not screech.

She went off like a siren with woot-woot, dat’s what I’m talkin’ bouts and whoops each time her children received a foul.  We even got to feel the bleachers shake and threaten collapse with each of her celebratory pelvic dance grinds.  She yelled “GOOD BLOCK” when her child mowed down another player football tackle style and encouraged her child to “get da rebounds” even if it meant crossing into another zone and knocking out a team-mate in the process. Her children were most concerned with pleasing her and were willing to draw whatever amount of blood was necessary to accomplish each task required for the approval of screech.

As painful as this behavior was to endure I prepared myself to let it go and never speak of it again….UNTIL….I heard….screech…sound off during this 11yr old, co-ed basketball game with…. 

“G U A R D   D A T   H O!!”

and just incase the entire suburb failed to hear her….

“G U A R D    D A T   H O!!”

Again, maybe, just maybe someone was not paying attention so she felt compelled….

“G U A R D  D A T   H O!”

We, the human parents in the gym, were in a state of shock.  I kept my head straight but strained my eyes horizontally in an attempt to connect with Mr. Pavlov and child number uno.  I’m sure it was this continued ocular strain that sent me off  the migraine cliff.  I also attempted to locate child tres because he is known to repeat such reactionary adjectives just for giggles. I could just imagine tres joining screech in perfectly blended vocal harmonics of “Guard dat ho!” 

Thankfully, tres appeared not to comprehend the revolting screams but seemed sufficiently entertained by her pelvic bumps and gyrations.  Tres performing a spectacle of himself with his crotch as the star entertainer was far more favorable to me than the alternative.

Slowly and ever so slowly, I turned my head  to see if I could find “dat ho’s” parents.  I wanted to prepare myself for the direction of the attack!  Since I don’t actually know “dat ho’s” parents, I tried to locate the individuals wearing the most offended facial expressions or exhibiting the strongest physical reaction.  I was unsuccessful in locating the parents because EVERYONE was wearing looks of silent horror. No one moved.  No one spoke.  We sat.

And that is when the realization imploded from within that Mr. and Mrs. Pavlov were not the only chickens attending the game.


“I’m not perfect but pretty darn close”

I was coming out of the store cult of all store cults [Wal-Mart] a few days ago and got to witness an explosive argument between a man and woman.  This particular day I was in a “I have time to stop and get high on the flowers” frame of mind.  Most of my days are the mission impossible types where you could be spontaneously combusting beside me and I wouldn’t stop.

I slowed my rapid pace to a crawl and tuned into parking lot brawl fest 101.1  From what I could gather from the lung rage, the woman was at fault.  Apparently she made an irresponsible budget error that was going to cost the couple dearly.  She attempted to “sneak” objects into the cart without her partner finding out.  

Hello, woman?  Unless you are planning a ‘Thomas Crown Affair’ you’re supposed to do this when he isn’t around or NOT at all! 

Once busted she became very belligerent and defensive.  At one point she bellowed “I’m not perfect but pretty darn close!!!”  I believe it was this comment that sent the slippers sailing to Kansas.

I thought about suggesting a rapid return of merchandise but then decided against it once I saw the emotional escalation and astral projection of goods.  The words “wrong place, wrong time” rang in my head as I visualized both spaziods transferring their anger upon me….and it didn’t seem like a party I wanted to attend.  So, I did the self-preservation thing and continued with the auditory stalking.

Conveniently I parked close to the kill zone and they were screaming so I didn’t have to listen too intently.  I got to witness pretty much the entire event play out and not only managed to maintain a heart beat, but also gathered an important piece of data. 

Two words and only two words should have been spoken by the woman when her husband caught her in an intentional act of irresponsibility.  These words are difficult to speak and often involve a huge digestion of pride.  However, like an entire bomb squad these two little words have the ability to diffuse a verbal nuclear Holocaust. 

They are…….


Note:  I also find “yes, I was wrong” moves mountains as well and when combined  with behavior modification produces miraculous effects.  

I guess they could be considered three words without the contraction form.  These little words are powerful and produce dramatic results.  When spoken in sincerity, they make us own our actions.  They cause us to accept responsibility.  And rather than hours of heated warfare, a disagreement is often reduced to minutes if one party is willing to utter “I’m sorry.”  Yes, the other party may continue to rant and may attempt to get on a little rage but they can only fuel the fire solo for a limited time before the sincere  “I’m sorry” kills the action.

What a novel idea huh?  I’m sorry, I’m not perfect but pretty darn close!

You may call me Pavlov: Meet my dogs

The dogs

Kids, kids, kids.   I have three.  I did not know what the heck I was doing when my first beauty came into the world and whether or not I currently do remains open for debate.  But one thing is for sure…it’s an experimental process! 

With my first, I was mid-twenties and in a totally different state of mind than when number tres rolled around.  In my second decade of life I reacted to things that now fail to trigger so much as a raised eyebrow. 

What kinda things?   Oh, cleaning, house-hold chores, tasks, sleep, and public opinion were a few.  Public opinion was a biggie.  It is common knowledge that my daughter inherited some spicy DNA and delights in her ability to fire things up.  In our home we were and are very real.  We tell it like it is.  However, as a newbie mom I was afraid that she may offend strangers with her outspoken ways.  

When she would remark that she felt the cashier lady was scary-witch looking, inquire if she was going for THAT look or ask a random stranger why their nose was so large,  I would immediately and publically shut her down with “don’t say that” or another similar reprimand and then later follow it up with the infamous “what will they think?!?”  Or I would attempt to “explain” her remarks away with a “what she meant was….” as she stood there, brows furrowed in confusion.  She would even interject an occasional “no, that is NOT what I meant!”

I would correct her before her behavior actually warranted it if I believed that a stranger would not approve of what she was doing.   When my second bambino came along two years later, it was more of the same.  As a result I began to notice that they were developing my immature ‘fear of man.’  Sorry kids for the state of confusion I caused and the counseling you’ll likely require later!

Enter number tres when I was in my mid-thirties and my maturity sky rocketed…at least that is what I like to tell myself.  I became enlightened and did a complete 180.  Also I believe that I plugged into my inner scientist and embarked on an experimental journey. 

The experiment was one of total abandonment concerning public opinion.  I did not and do not police his (or his now older siblings – better late than never!) public behavior.  I teach sensitivity and how to avoid mean-spirited comments, instill consideration regarding the feelings of others, instruct proper manners and social norms and above all I demonstrate love.  But once we are out and about….it’s hands off!  Ok, ok, within reason.  If he’s foaming at the mouth and acting like an animal then he will most definitely feel some interventional hands.

Number tres favorite ride at local park...Hang on!

Wow, has it been a ride!!  Number tres is totally free and unbridled.  There is not a mean bone in his skeletal frame-work yet some of his remarks are, well, truthfully blunt.  He informed a woman she looked much older and had more wrinkles than the last time he saw her (she did)….asked another why her home was a junkie-mess when we stopped by to visit (it was)….told another she had terrible body odor (she did)….inquired of the hair stylist whether or not she did her hair like that on purpose or if she just had a rough sleep…was intrigued when a man’s butt kept “sucking up” his pants and asked how he got his butt to do that cool trick…….

What did you say?!?

I must admit that sometimes I want to hide!  But I simply smile the most forced smile I can muster, give a little shrug and move on!

Clenched teeth, forced smile....wonder what he said?

Now….if only I could master behavior manipulation with the ring a bell…..