An Idea Man

This afternoon my doorbell rang, a smiling neighborhood kid probably 8 or 9 years who looked slightly familiar stood there loosely grasping a glass jar - a definite twinkle in his eye.

"What can I do for you little man?" I asked, wondering if an errant frisbee or ball had landed in my backyard.

"M'am, I see you have a bug problem." This was news to me. I tried to get a better look at his glass jar imagining some horrible poisonous insect inside just waiting to pounce on me or run into my house and wreak havoc.

"You have a bug problem, and you're a girl. You probably don't want to take care of it yourself. That's where I come in," he said proudly nodding his head with confidence.

I have to admit - I don't "do" bugs. I stick to traditional gender roles: men - killer of bugs, women - screamers for help.

"Well, what's my bug problem and how are you going to fix it?" I asked.

He explained to me that my yard is full of grasshoppers, spiders, lady bugs, and "who knows what else!!" And he had the perfect solution. Enter the murky glass jar, and its resident (terrified) lizard.

"Where'd you get the lizard? This isn't your family pet your mother is going to come knocking on my door looking for at 6 in the morning is it?" I asked with that motherly knowing tone I've perfected on my own kids.

"Well, I, um.. he actually came from your porch."

Wait, my porch? "Are you saying you captured what bug protection I already had in place, and planned to sell it to me?"

"Um, what you don't know can't hurt you?" he squeaked out with a decent amount of shame.

I have to admit - I like the kid. I think he's spunky and creative, if not a tiny bit deceitful.

I told him I'm not really in the market for bug protection, but I always need help with my yard and because he's an idea man he's going to keep a journal of new games I can play with my kids and sell them to me $1 a page. I figure the writing will be good for him, and I can always use good company.

Money well spent, and my lizard is back on the pillar keeping us all safe from who knows what.

Anyway, if you need bug protection I know a guy. You just have to supply your own lizard.

If I've said it once

As a mother to young children I find that I can get by on just the most rudimentary of math skills, and a really just a few simple phrases that need repeating a few hundred times each day.

10. Blow your nose instead of sucking those boogers back in.

9. Don't hit: your brother, your sister, the door, the wall, the window, me, my eye, your dad..

8. We don't eat food off the floor.

7. Walls are not for writing. (Interchangeable with finger-painting or stickers.)

6. Do not bring home a gift, treat, toy, candy for only one of our children.

5. Sleep is not the enemy.

4. I can't understand you when you: mumble, talk with your mouth full, scream like a banshee, cry like a baby, or yell at me from the other room.

3. Yes you have to: wear underwear, brush your teeth, comb your hair, and wash your hands no matter how many times you've done it before.

2. I'm sorry I'm late. My kid: threw up, had a diaper situation, played hide and seek with my keys, refused to get dressed, won an award for the most dramatic breakdown ever..


It's the little things like -

No you can't jump off the back of the couch into a bucket of bubbles you made out of the laundry soap that was on a shelf higher than I can reach when I had my back turned for 42 seconds chasing down your brother who wrote on the wall, played with scissors, ate out of the trash can, and hid my cell phone so I can't call for backup.

that I didn't expect to have to say so often. Sigh. No telling what they've accomplished in the four minutes it took me to jot this down. ;)