What the Frick?

I’m not perfect. Hear that, Brain?! I admitted it!

Today’s episode of “I’m Not Perfect” deals specifically with my penchant to curse under extreme duress, or under not-giving-a-fudge-covered cookie.

My children are not ever, ever, ever, ever allowed to curse. Hence, a recent development: my son using an odd alternative, frick.

“What the frick?!”

“I’m frickin’ coming!”

And, yesterday:

“Frick you!”

Which is the point at which I said the substitution was not a good one.

We’ve been fortunate that none of the children has pushed the line with bad words …yet. Even my teenager, who admitted the school halls were alive with the sound of swearing, maturely resists Sailor Speak.

I know it’s partly because of the standard we set. It’s also because we’ve gone Ralphie of “A Christmas Story” with potty words on occasion. It’s also also because we consistently, patiently, and logically explain our reasoning behind language restrictions.

And so, till high school, I wish us all luck in teaching our children clean language. I also wish you a frickin’ good day.

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Photo by Polina Zimmerman on Pexels.com

©2020 Chelsea Owens

Super Parent or …Me?

I recently had a brush with a Super Parent.

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Between coordinating math competitions and drawing up homework schedules and suggesting vinyl cutouts of inspirational quotes to stick around the school, the Super Parent (SP) texted me to ask how my overachiever plans were coming along…?

I assured SP that all’s well, then accidentally sent my son to school in his younger brother’s pants.

While I could blame my lack of motivation and involvement on the number of children I’m keeping alive (five), I know I’ve had about the same level of parenting for all of them. They just get things like the wrong pants when I’m recovering from popping out their sibling.

Thing is, I have a different reaction than action compared to SPs.

Problem: Son needs a real volcano for his Science Fair Project? He needs it now? It’s due tomorrow? But it’s bedtime…

Solution: Meh; this will build character. Go to sleep and cobble something together in the morning.

I’ll teach the values of project management, ingenuity, and last-minute b.s.-ing. Frankly, that last one will help him more times than he’ll know.

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I’ll admit to some guilt when my laissez-faire approach comes out. What if not having five hours of piano lessons since he was five means he never goes to college? What if he catches pneumonia because I couldn’t leave my hour-away appointment to pick him up because he felt “sniffly?” What if that real volcano impressed little Julie Jenkins, super-intelligent and talented daughter of the SP that texted me, and she therefore agrees to go out with and marry my son when they’re twenty, and my adorable grandchildren (whose upbringing and education will be handled by their SP grandparent) never come to be??

That’s when I reassure myself that, if Julie Jenkins doesn’t love my son for who he is, she shouldn’t marry him. I mean, volcanoes can only take a relationship so far…

That, and I’d rather be a consistent and level-headed parent than a volatile and high-strung one. I’ve seen those go-getter types in school, and they were only happy when they had the good stuff. I don’t want that for my kids if we can avoid it; I want them to be balanced and truly happy.

So, SP, things are going well. My kids are alive, my son’s wearing pants, and my other son just pulled some paper into a mountain and painted it brown.

He says the vinegar and baking soda will be red.

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©2020 Chelsea Owens

Photo Credit: Valeria Zoncoll
Xavier Mouton Photographie
Aaron Thomas

Hi. My Name is Mom and I Can’t Think

There’s a strange phenomenon centered around parents stuck at home all day for longer than they expected. Those experiencing it term the condition Mom Brain (a male equivalent is still in dispute).

Early symptoms include drop in IQ, fatigue, and restless toddler syndrome. Continued exposure to isolated home life results in more serious complications: further cognitive loss, addictions, poor eating habits, not-getting-dressedness, and hopelessness.

Unfortunately, there is no medication currently approved by the FDA that can actually cure this malady.

There are, as many sufferers may admit, several home remedies. These are also not approved by the FDA or even their own mothers.

Those experiencing Mom Brain should not see their doctor; partly because said doctor will have little to contribute besides a confused head-scratching, but mostly because those experiencing Mom Brain will forget to even make the appointment…

Survivors of the condition have no suggestions, alluding to something called “time.” They then add a laugh, commiserative pat, and a walk-away with a spring to their step that they are no longer going through life looking like a zombie.

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©2020 Chelsea Owens

Photo Credit: Jen Theodore

Accurate Parenting Haiku

Soft and searching hands
Wish for their mother’s embrace
Or, the treat she eats.

Pitter, patter, KICK
Say the feet of the brothers
Right after, “I’m sorry.”

Midnight’s calm respite
Awaits those who claim its call
Unless you’re parents.

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©2019 Chelsea Owens