RSS Feed

Tag Archives: Blogger Idol 2012

We’re a Super Family*

*This was my Blogger Idol Essay #4,  just in case you voted (of course you did!) but was too busy to read. The assignment was to write about my family as super heroes. Oh, and we had to use the words Ukulele, Horse and Frazzled. I’m going to post BI assignment #5 later, as soon as I get it together. 🙂

I’m still in the game! Thank you guys for supporting me.  I’m already hard at work on my next assignment (#6). You can see it and vote on Wednesday…

The Adventures of Superrrr Helpfulll Mommmm…..

It is an ordinary day in the small town of Sport Sloshington as Super Helpful Mom quietly tip-toes down the stairs. She wants to get an early start packing lunches for school and making breakfast. Plus, there are dishes and laundry that need to be done. She heads into the dark, quiet kitchen and flips on the light. AAAAaaack!! Someone is sitting at the kitchen table! “Oh my God, Boy Who Never Sleeps and Barely Eats! You scared me!”

“Sorry, Mama.”

“Can I get you anything?” she asks, but she barely gets the words out before a rush of wind whooshes past. He is gone. She shakes her head affectionately, “That boy is like air.”

She gets busy, packing Boy Who Never Sleeps and Barely Eats’ (BWNSABE) lunch first because all he takes is milk. Next, she flips the laundry and places breakfast on the table. She is about to cut apple slices when she feels a resisting hand on her arm. It is Safety Patrol Dad. “Knives are dangerous!” he warns. She carefully places the knife down, and instead, bites the apple skin off like a squirrel and cuts chunks with her helpful front teeth.

As she works, something small and strong wraps itself around her leg in a vise grip. It’s her 4 year-old son, Cling Boy! Super Helpful Mom walk/drags him over to the table and uses his secret weakness to successfully detach him – her iPhone. As Cling Boy grabs the phone to play, she places him in his seat.

She turns at a gust of air. BWNSABE is back at the table, licking the cover of the butter tub like a cat.

“Er, Boy Who Never Sleeps and Barely Eats, can I get you some toast?”

He shakes his head no and continues licking.

Just then, her oldest son schleps into the kitchen, leaking socks, candy wrappers and crumpled papers. His shirt is backwards and inside out, he has one sneaker on and his hair simultaneously stands straight up and falls down over his eyes. “Good morning, Disaster Dude.”  She kisses his head and her lips touch something hard. She pulls out a lego figure tangled in the mess. “Hey, I think you forgot something.”

Disaster smiles and sits down. She helpfully forks eggs into his mouth.

“Okay, gang.” Safety Patrol Dad announces as he unplugs the coffeepot and then the toaster. “I’ve got an early meeting at work.We leave in 12 minutes for the train.”

Super Helpful Mom forks the eggs in faster. “Mom! Too much!” Disaster gags.

Like lightening, Safety Patrol Dad is on him, throwing him over his shoulder and pounding on his back!

“Dad! You’re killing me! I’m not choking!”

“Glad to help, son!” Safety Patrol Dad booms.  “Now let’s move! Daddy has a train to catch.”

Finally, they all settle in the car. “Seat belts!” Safety Patrol Dad orders.

“I forgot my backpack,” Disaster says. “… and I, uh, volunteered to bring in cupcakes today.”
“No problem!” says Super Helpful Mom. She jumps from the car and races back to the house.

“Be careful!” screams Safety Patrol Dad, as Super Helpful Mom hurdles over scooters and baseball bats scattered across the lawn. In the house, she quickly finds Disaster’s back pack and eyes the cake mixes in the cabinet. There’s just no time!!! They will just have to stop on the way to school. Super Helpful Mom notes the dishes still in the sink. “Oh, why can’t I be more helpful?” she sighs.

In seconds, Super Helpful Mom is back in the car. Four minutes till train time. Safety Patrol Dad takes off. And then he stops for a full three seconds at the stop sign. They’re off again – and then stops for another three full seconds. Off again. Stop. Off again! Stop!

“We’re never going to make it!!!!!” Super Helpful Mom cries, totally frazzled! “Please let me drive!”

But Safety Patrol Dad wags a finger. “You know you drive too fast.”

Amazingly, they pull up to the station just in time, but there’s trouble across the street – a group of blind, old ladies are walking straight towards a construction site! And there’s a school bus full of children headed right at them! The bus driver is talking on his iPhone and not paying attention!

“Holy Ukulele! We must save them!” Safety Patrol Dad shouts, and he and Disaster Dude leap from the car (after coming to a complete stop and activating the vehicle’s hazard lights). Disaster runs to the construction site, and in one swirling mass, litters piles of dirty clothes into the dangerous open road. Within seconds, the old ladies safely fall into the soft cushion of mess that Disaster has spun. But, wait! The school bus filled with children is still heading straight towards them! Safety Patrol Dad looks both ways, and then jumps in front of the ladies. “STOP!” he yells, using his super megaphone voice; but the bus driver is deep in his conversation and does not hear!

Disaster Dude hurls crumpled homework papers at the bus to get the driver’s attention, but it is no use! The bus keeps coming!

Using his Super Safety Powers, Safety Patrol Dad mind channels the number of the bus driver’s cell and quickly dials. The bus driver clicks over.

“LOOK WHERE YOU’RE GOING!” Safety Patrol Dad yells, and the stunned driver looks up just in time to screech to a halt!

Whew! That was close!

But wait, now the train is about to leave! Super Helpful Mom needs to help! She runs with little Cling Boy and sets him loose on the conductor. He quickly latches himself to the man’s body. The train conductor is polite but appalled, and tries unsuccessfully to pry the child from him.

“Thanks honey,” Safety Patrol Dad says, coming up next to Super Helpful Mom. “Cling Boy, look what Daddy has?” He flashes the iPhone he confiscated from the bus driver. Immediately Cling Boy detaches and reaches for the phone and his mom.

There is a whoosh of air. “Forgot your briefcase, Dad.”

“Thanks, Boy Who Never Sleeps and Barely Eats! You’re a lifesaver.” With another whoosh, BWNSABE is gone. “We really have to get him a better name,” Safety Patrol Dad whispers to Super Helpful Mom.

The train gets off only minutes behind schedule.

They return to the car where BWNSABE already sits, quietly licking the leather of his seat. “Good job team!” Super Helpful Mom cheers. “Next stop cupcakes!”

From the departing train, Safety Patrol Dad’s megaphone voice echoes out to them. “Watch out. There’s a nut allergy in the class!”

“I don’t eat cupcakes.” BWNSABE says.

“You don’t eat anything!” Disaster Dude teases and they drive off laughing.

“Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha!”

Tune in next week and you’ll hear Safety Patrol Dad say, “Hey, don’t walk behind that horse! It’s dangerous!”

It’s Blogger Idol Voting Time…Final 5!!!

Hey there all – unbelievably I am still in the contest for the next Blogger Idol! This week’s assignment was to get on my soap box and rant!!

I wrote about our “everyone wins” culture and the values it teaches our children..

Check it out and if you like – (i’m kidding, like it no matter what – ha ha) VOTE – from as many IP Addresses as you can.

I’m not the judges favorite, so i definitely need your support. Pretty Pretty please… With ice cream on top???!!!!

Click here….

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!! I so appreciate your support. You’re the sweetest!!!

Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho… It’s Off to Camp we Go.


“Who’s ready to go to camp?!” Howard bellows, carrying bag after bag from our house and jamming them into the trunk of our mini-van. You would think we were leaving for a month instead of two nights, two hours from our home.

 “Camp! Camp! Camp!” My three boys march in their underwear chanting with glee. It’s kind of ironic since the boys just finished up day-camp, where they tried more often than not to have days off, as if I were sending them to work the fields instead of to play and swim all day.

 Typically, my boys are all too happy to stay and play at our toy-infested, warm cookie-smelling, friend-filled house. On a regular basis, they snub both Howard’s and my overtures for activity. Entreats for playing ball in the park are met with rolled eyes and cranky fits. We never go to movies, because my kids would rather sit in the den, watch a DVD and have me serve them popcorn. When we went to Disney World and rode the mono-rail, four year-old Julius kept asking if it would take us back to Long Island.

 I still recall with horror our recent trip to Great Adventure. Hundreds of dollars, a spectacle everywhere you turn and the first thing seven year-old Michael asked was, “Does it have Wifi?”  Then, “Can we just get cotton candy and go home?”

“I hate it here.” Tyler, my oldest, agreed. Well, at least they were getting along.

What have I done to these children?

 “Do we have a lot more stuff?” Howard calls up, and in answer I throw down a giant garbage bag filled with sheets and blankets. “Do we need all this?” he asks, a little annoyed.

 “Nah, you can sleep on all the baseball bats and balls you took.”

 Howard grumbles and drags the bag to the car.

 It’s Labor Day weekend, and for the fifth year in a row, we’re heading to sleep-away camp.

There, with 25 other families, 23 of which we barely know, we will sleep in bunks that feel like styrofoam covered in vinyl. We will share bathrooms with families we are close with but not THAT close. We will wear ratty sweats and flip flops, eat food in the mess hall I would never eat in the outside world, and drink at inappropriate times while our children, who are not allowed to play alone on our front lawn, run wild.

 There is a lake and nightly bonfires. The children are dirty and out at all hours. They carry walkie-talkies and flashlights. They play basketball, baseball, Gaga, and volleyball. They just hang out, and the parents do the same.

 The first couple of years, I had a hard time getting with the program. Of course, my kids were younger, so Howard and I trailed their every move and were exhausted by night fall, falling into a miserable, uncomfortable sleep with our boys. But as they grew, they wanted more independence like the other kids, so I painstakingly doled out bits of freedom like M&M’s. I admit it. I worry. I like them with me. I want to hug them all the time. And then I want them to go away, but just to the other room.

 “Let’s go!” Howard, true to form, is at the door shouting at us to hurry.

 The boys, usually excruciatingly slow to respond, jump to attention.

 “Uh boys? Your clothes?”

 They fall over in a fit of giggles and put on the shorts and tee-shirts I’ve left out for them. One 10 year-old, who shall remain nameless, put his shirt on backwards.

 Julius tugs at me. “I’m hungry.”

 “Didn’t you just have a bowl of cereal?” Howard asks.

 “I’ve got snacks for the car.” I whisper and Howard looks up to the sky for help.

“Okay, ready.” I confirm, lugging a duffle filled with clothes, my 40 pound ‘let’s make a deal’ bag, all while balancing a bottle of Chardonnay under my arm.

 Julius jumps up around my waist. “Snack! Snack!”

 “Out!” I command, and they all race willy-nilly, tumble-bumble and cram themselves into the car.

 We’re not on the road five minutes before the appeal for snacks start up again. I pass out some granola bars (Howard is the first to take one.)

 “So, you guys excited?” I ask.

 “Yes!” Tyler enthusiastically nods.

 “Are we almost there?” Michael asks.

 I ignore that. We left five minutes ago.

 “So do you think you guys would ever want to go to real sleep-away camp?”

I hold my breath. Say no. Say no.

 “No way.” Tyler answers conclusively.

 “I like us all going together.” Michael pipes in.

 “I’d go if you could come.” Julius adds, not quite getting it.

 “Whew.” I think and settle back for the long ride.

 For us, sleep-away camp is something we do as a family. I hope we never outgrow it.

The lake

The night

The bunk

The End

Thar she Blows!

I wasn’t prepared for his attack, coming off the week in the hospital where he lay in a drug-induced delusion. I got lazy and soft, enjoying conversations like, “How are you feeling today, dad?”

“I like horses.”

“Oh. Okay then. What do you like about horses?”

“2 o’clock. Definitely at 2 o’clock.”

After a bit, my conscience did get the better of me and I alerted one of the nurses.

“Uh, do you realize my father isn’t making any sense?”

She looked at me blankly. “What do you mean? He made perfect sense this morning.”

“Uh, I don’t think so, because when I spoke with him on the phone last night, he was out of it.”

She stomped into the room.

“Evan! Do you know where you are?” My father playfully hid his face with his hand. “I’ll give you a choice Evan. Are you home or in the hospital or are you at the zoo?”

My father smiled, almost coquettishly, and affirmatively answered. “HOME!”

I looked at her, trying not to appear smug. “I’ll call the doctor,” she said. Good idea.

The doctor came, took one look and said, “He’s zonked. I don’t think he was like this yesterday.”

Oh contraire, doctor.

So they lowered his medicine, and over the next couple of days, I saw some improvement in coherency; then the irritation started creeping back in, until ultimately he returned to his generally miserable, suffering self who above all hated to be in the hospital with people telling him what to do and where he couldn’t go. His disposition was worse but he was getting better.

The doctors informed me that they intended to release him to rehab. Since he had gone to the hospital with nothing but the monkey on his back, I needed to do a little shopping to get him some extra clothes. As I dialed his room, my fingers were crossed that the call would be quick and painless. Maybe a nurse would be with him, and then I’d have to call back later. I could only hope, but hope had failed me before.

“Hi, Dad.”

“When am I getting out of here?”

Uh oh, not a good start.

“I don’t know. You’ve gotten much better. The doctors are saying that you should go to a rehabilitation facility for a week or so to regain your strength.”

“Oh so you’re in charge, making all my decisions. I don’t have any say.”

“Uh, no. You can do whatever you like. I’m relaying what the doctor’s say.”

“I want to go home. I need to think about what I have to do.”

Gritting teeth. “What you need to do is get yourself a little healthier and then go home.”

“You just want to ship me off! Why is every idea I have wrong?!”

Anger rising to intolerable levels, “If you go home, you will lose your benefits to get into the rehab place. Plus, you are not fully recovered and they would take better care of you.”

“So you’re setting me up to fail because I want to go home and MOMMY won’t let me!”

That was it.

I exploded; the words shooting from my mouth like firecrackers. Expletives that one shouldn’t say to anyone, much less one’s sick father, but out they came. F’n crazy. F’n on drugs. F’n ruining my life. On and on I went. Bad daughter. Bad moment.

I took a deep breath. Then I took another. There was silence on the other end of the phone.

“Dad?” I asked, shaky from my emotions and outburst.

“I’m here.” He answered, smaller since I had cut him down.

“I’m sorry.”

He whimpered a bit.

“Dad, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to lose it like that. I was just…”

He cut me off. “I’ll go to the rehab.”

“Really?” I was taken aback. “I mean good. I know you hate it, but it’s for the best.”

“I know and it’s not your fault. We’re in a bad place. I mean, I’m in a bad place and you’re stuck. I’m sorry.”

“Yeah.” I agreed, feeling all my energy drain. “It’s really not good. But tomorrow, it might be better.”

There it was again, hope.

“You sure can curse.” He almost laughed.

“So it seems.” I agreed with equal amusement. “Don’t make me do it again.” I teased.

But we both knew that he would.

Stop the Presses! I’ve made the Top 13 for Blogger Idol!

Stop the Presses! I’ve made the Top 13 for Blogger Idol!

I really didn’t give it much thought, but I noticed bloggers, here and there, commenting on auditioning for the 2012 Blogger Idol contest. So I checked it out, and with a casual shrug, sent in my blogger audition. I almost retracted and rewrote. It seemed a little down and I have a relatively up blog, but done is done and off I sent it, fully expecting that to be the end of it. Well, lo and behold, what have we here… you are reading one of the top 13!

Here’s what I wrote for my audition piece…

“8…9….10!” The counter shouts. “Ready or not… Here I come!!”

The boy turns around and spies her immediately. She stands quiet as a mouse in the center of the room.  At two years-old, she is still young enough to believe that if she just closes her eyes, she is invisible, but everyone is smiling at her.

At seven years-old she is a stealth spy on an important mission. No one can see her in her black shirt, pants and hat. “Boo!” she yells from behind her mother as she washes the dishes. “Oh, you really got me that time!” her mom says, looking around. But she is gone. She is invisible. Her mom stifles a laugh.

At 14, she stands awkwardly on the outside of the world looking in. Her sweatshirt hood covers her head and she stuffs a chocolate bar in her pocket, thinking, hoping no one will notice her. With a wicked smile and body curving too much for its age, all they do is notice.

At 20, she hides in the back of the class, her long locks covering her eyes, her face always hidden away in a book.  It all draws more attention to her than less.

At 42, with three kids and a mini-van, she schlepps up and down Main Street, lugging groceries and back packs. Her hair is pulled off her face in a ponytail. She wears yoga clothes and sneakers. For almost 20 years, she had it. She walked in, people looked. She smiled, the world smiled back.

Now she looks like she wants to be invisible, but mourns the fact that she actually is.

I don’t want to be invisible anymore. I’m ready to be the next American Blogger Idol.