Posts Filed Under Family Life

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.

Number Two On My List…Don’t Forget Limes

posted by Momo Fali on September 17, 2008

Tomorrow afternoon, I am leaving for my annual girl’s trip, which we refer to as our GGW, or Girl’s Get-Away Weekend. Our husbands call it Girls Gone Wild. Hardly. Last year I got a concussion and we sat around making pot holders.

There is always a lot of planning and organization involved with stepping out of my routine and having my husband step in, but throw in having no electricity for four days…with no end in sight…and you’ll see one Mommy whose head feels like it may pop off.

We have been living in limbo since Sunday, shuttling back and forth between my Mom’s house, 20 miles from here. Thank goodness, there hasn’t been any school. There are no batteries anywhere in town, stations have run out of gas, and when I called around looking for a generator, people laughed at me.

But, our GGW house has power and we’ve spent a small fortune to rent the place…which some of us can’t even afford. Have I mentioned that I’m in the mortgage business? Regardless, this is our one opportunity each year to have a real break, recharge and eat obscene amounts of chocolate.

My husband will be busy while I’m gone, driving the kids around to various activities, all while treating every intersection like a four-way stop.

He will entertain them without the use of TV, Wii, or computer. He will continue to drive 20 minutes, each way, twice a day, to charge a battery in hopes of keeping our fish alive (we’ve only lost one, so far). And, he will have to make due without any cold food or drinks, grocery stores with doors closed to the public, and no ice available within city limits.

But, he will not be the only frazzled person in this family. Today, I have to make lists and schedules, pack my stuff…and somehow find a liquor store that’s open so I can buy my vodka. Some of us have real priorities.

Easy As 1, 2, 3

posted by Momo Fali on September 11, 2008

When I recently took a job as a teacher’s aide, I stipulated that I could never assist in a classroom above second grade. Why? Because I wouldn’t be able to handle the math.

When I was in the eighth grade, I was in an advanced math class. I don’t know how I got there, but I do know that any skill I had in the numbers department ended in that class. Not only that, but it seems my brain went through some sort of regression in the summer before high school. Once I started ninth grade, algebra seemed as easy as studying metaphysics…in Latin.

This did not lead to a stellar academic path. My grades were excellent in anything involving language arts, journalism and communications, but by my senior year I was taking “College Prep Math” which was taught by the football coach.

People mostly referred to the class as “College Football Math”, though that couldn’t have been farther from the truth. The goth girls and burn-out’s who sat around me didn’t know offense from defense.

Now, I have a fourth grader who is bringing home real math homework and who is participating in something called the Metric Olympics at her school. Last year, she memorized her multiplication tables in no time flat, and would finish timed-tests so quickly that I think she once gave herself a pedicure before the next kid turned in his paper.

That’s my girl! She’s a regular chip off the old block. Her father, that is. I may be bad with numbers, but I’m smart as a whip.

I married a math major.