Posts Filed Under Family Life


posted by Momo Fali on October 13, 2008

Ten years ago, when I was pregnant with our first child, my husband and I hired a private dog trainer. Our puppy, Blue, was six months old and our veterinarian recommended someone who would work with her one on one.

We were too dumb to realize what he really meant, which was that Blue would never be accepted in a class. Not that she couldn’t play nice, but he was quite aware that we wouldn’t be able to get her to stop playing period. We probably should have got the hint when he prescribed her tranquilizers.

Labrador retrievers are, by nature, as hyper as Looney Tunes’ Road Runner. On speed. This puppy of ours bounced off the walls. She was particularly crazy in the evening when my husband and I got home from work. Which is, of course, when the $55.00 an hour trainer would swing by.

The first night the trainer was here, she explained that Blue wasn’t peppy because we had been gone all day, but because dogs naturally get a little wacky at twilight. Apparently wolves are most active at that time of day, and because our puppy was a distant relative, we could blame them. Stupid wolves. I wondered if I could also blame Blue’s family tree for the holes in all of our underwear and my ficus tree that was chewed to a stump.

Wolf or no wolf, the trainer lasted about a month before she quit. That’s how bad our dog was. Someone making $55.00 an hour, threw up her hands, walked out the door, and told us our dog was untrainable.

Blue is ten and she’s finally calming down. But now, there’s a new wolf in town.

Our six year old son is also affected by twilight. Every night after dinner, he becomes a little bit nutty. He jumps off the furniture and runs through the house laughing and screaming. He drives his sister crazy. He drives us crazy. He is an unstoppable goof. We call him Wolf-Boy.

So help me, if he starts chewing on our underwear I’m throwing up my hands and declaring him untrainable.

It’s Only Disrespectful If You Get Caught

posted by Momo Fali on October 6, 2008

I saw my son standing behind his sister, sticking his tongue out at her.

I pulled him into another room and said, “Don’t stick your tongue out at people. It’s not okay to do that, because it’s really not nice.”

He quickly replied, “But, it is okay, because she didn’t see me do it.”

Which means it’s okay that I took $20 from my husband’s wallet when he went to bed early. Right?

A Place For Everything, And Everything Out Of Place

posted by Momo Fali on October 3, 2008

Not long ago, I mentioned to my kids that I was finished picking up their stuff. I told them that they are responsible for putting their things back where they belong. Let’s see how that’s working for me. Shall we?

Here’s a beachball, in my kitchen.

Here’s a crumpled pajama shirt, on my desk.

Here’s a random flip-flop, nowhere near it’s mate. Instead it’s tossed next to the sub-woofer in the living room. Let me clarify. That would be the chipped and dented sub-woofer that took a beating from the ride-on toy phase.

This is my dining room, which contains one pair of dirty socks…

…not one, but TWO soccer balls…

…and an empty cardboard box, which was not allowed to be recycled because my daughter wanted, needed, had to have it, to use as a kennel for her zillion stuffed dogs.

Can you believe how well they listen? Oh wait, they don’t.

Let’s Make It Two

posted by Momo Fali on September 30, 2008

My daughter, who will be 10 years old in December, is becoming quite sassy. That’s a nice way of saying that she’s starting to talk back. A lot.

Her attitude lately reminds me of when she was three and she began to use the word “no” in every sentence. Except now it is accompanied with enormous sighs and eye rolling.

At her school’s open house a few weeks ago, her teacher stressed the importance of responsibility to the 4th grade parents. She instructed us not to help the kids remember their homework, or help them pack their backpack, or lay their clothes out. She told us that it’s time they start doing those things on their own. I agree.

So part of the problem is that we are trying to get her to be more independent and she’s not quite sure what to make of it.

Last night, when we couldn’t find her gym uniform anywhere, she realized she had left it crumpled in the bottom of her backpack. I have told her, somewhere around a thousand times, that she must empty her book bag when she gets home from school. Mostly it’s to force her to put her ice pack back in the freezer so she doesn’t have to eat warm tuna for lunch the next day.

Since I have repeated this rule over and over again, and because I had just done all the laundry only to find she had been holding onto one, wrinkled, dirty shirt, I decided punishment was in order. Something had to be done to make her get into the habit of taking care of her stuff.

I said, “Because you didn’t empty your backpack again, and because you’re not taking care of your gym uniform like you’re supposed to, then you’re not allowed to watch TV for three days.”

And Miss Sassy replied, “Instead of three days, can you make it a week?”

Oh Sweetie, you bet I can.