Monday, May 28, 2012

Never Lick Horses

Sometimes it's hard being a parent. And I'm not referring to navigating through all those tricky emotional and behavioral issues that come along with raising children-- that stuff's a piece of cake. What's hard is explaining the meaning of words and phrases to your children-- ya know? Like, has your child ever asked you what "gregarious" or "cursory" or "insidious" mean (just to name a few)? They are not easy words to explain in layman's terms!

Well, today Ruby asked me what an "idiom" was. And my mom, who happened to be over at the time, thought the best route was to give her an example instead of a definition. Brilliant!

"Okay," I said, "have you ever heard the phrase 'never look a gift horse in the mouth'?"

"Never look at a gifted horse's mouth?" Ruby repeated.

"Uh, no...." I then gave her my example again.

"Never lick a gifted horse in the mouth?" Ruby tried a second time.

"NO!" I repeated my original idiom yet again. This was going nowhere! Meanwhile my mother was giggling her head off and offering her own feeble attempts at clarifying for Ruby, but to no avail. Finally, Ruby at least got the phrase correct, even if she didn't exactly understand it....

"What in the heck does that mean?" she asked, more confused than ever.

"Well, it means that if someone gives you something, you should accept it graciously."

At this point, we'd lost all hope of defining "idiom" in favor of simply getting her to understand the idiom itself. I'm still not sure how successful we were.

See what I mean? I'm not a dictionary, people! Hey...that just gave me an idea. (Pardon me-- I have a dictionary to hunt down and provide for Ruby Jane.)

Parenting issue solved! Should be smooth sailing from here on out.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Show And Tell

When I "checked in" almost 2 weeks ago, I had no idea it would take me this long to actually post again. To be honest, it's been a bit rough around here lately. I've had a dig a little deeper to find the humor in anything...until yesterday.

Yesterday I went grocery shopping. Not very amusing in and of itself (it's usually drudgery, right?) until I headed for the checkout line and discovered a white-haired lady behind the counter. She seemed like any other white-haired lady, and then she opened her mouth.

"Hello there, darlin'! And what can I do for you today?"

On screen, those words don't appear to be that abnormal (even if it's a tad abnormal for a checker to ask you what you need from them). But because of the way she said it, I instantly wondered if I'd stumbled into some sort of non-traditional Kindergarten setting. I looked around. This is a grocery store, right? Yes, all adults here. I looked back at the lady.

"Er...I just have some groceries today." Did I give the correct answer, Mrs. Kindergarten?

"Well, zippity-doo-da! I can help!"

I was instantly thrown back into childhood and an overjoyed feeling washed over me at her news. She can help me-- yay! Wait a minute.... Of course she can-- it's her job!  I reminded myself this woman was not my Kindergarten teacher; she was a checker.

"Ohhhhhh, bad news bears! Did you mean to grab the buy-one-get-one-free chips?" She frowned deeply, studying my two bags of Lays potato chips.

"Yes...." Suddenly, I was five again and dismayed, "Did I do it wrong?"

"Let me just skidaddle over there real quick and check, okay hon?"

"Okay!" Please help me, Mrs. Kindergarten-- I didn't mean to do it wrong! It's just so hard finding the right buy-one-get-one-free chips sometimes! I waited for her to return, hands wringing.

"Good news! You got the right chips! Now, what's the problem with this silly old machine?" She tapped her screen a few times until the checker next door interrupted.

"It comes off at the end of the transaction," the gal said, voice flat. Clearly it was not unusual to have to explain things to Mrs. Kindergarten.

The older woman turned back to me, "Well, they just do it different every time, don't they? But we'll get it taken care of real quick, so don't you worry!"

Oh, what a relief! I knew she wouldn't let me down. I'm going to make it to first grade after all!

I swiped my credit card and was given some final instructions about using the touchpad.

"Now be careful with that mean ol' Mr. Pen, he doesn't work very well."

I gingerly held the pen and successfully signed my name. Phew-- crisis averted! Mean ol' Mr. Pen must have been in a good mood that day.

"You just go and have the most wonderful day now, okay?" She smiled and handed me my bags.

"You too!" I chirped. I did it-- I graduated! Yay me!

I got to my car and put my bags in the backseat, reality crashing into me as I realized I was old enough to drive. And the groceries I just bought? They were for my children. Hmmm, yes, I'm 34-years old, I remember now. I looked back at the grocery store, and for a quick second I could have sworn the sign said, "Market Elementary".

Monday, May 14, 2012

Checking In!

Yes, I'm still alive.
No, I haven't forgotten about my blog.
Yes, I've been busy (come over sometime and see the new place!)
No, I'm not going to post today.
Yes, I will soon.

Much love to all those who faithfully check! But for now, why not just amuse yourselves by going through some old posts? (Or do I flatter myself by assuming that will amuse you?)  Anyway, I'll be back soon-- promise. :)