Tag Archives: mothers

This Week’s Babble

Random thoughts, observations, and conversations from the week of February 17, 2014.

At 28 years old, I’m finally bothered by the fact that I can’t wink.


Billy pointed out three see-through tubs of things in the garage I still haven’t unpacked since we moved in December.  In one of them, I could see a ceramic skunk the size of a coffee mug.  “Yeah, I need to get rid of a lot of this stuff,” I told Billy.  “I mean, why the hell do I have a ceramic skunk?”


Billy:  Can I pee on your foot?
Me:  No.
Billy:  What if a jellyfish stings you?
Me:  Uh, okay.  In that case, I’d let you pee on my foot.
Billy:  All right, I’m bringing home a jellyfish tomorrow!


Text conversation between my mother and myself:
Mom:  So I hear your phones and power were down [at work].
Me:  They were indeed.  I had to pee in the pitch dark!
Mom:  And here I was thinking you peed in the toilet.
Me:  Don’t be silly, that’s where all the normal people pee.
Mom:  I pee in the field.
Me:  Yes, abnormal peers unite!
Mom:  Yes, I consider you one of my peers.
Me:  Hahaha…well, pee-ers, then.
Mom:  You stutter.
Me:  It’s all part of my charm.
Mom:  Charmin.  That’s the appropriate tool for all my closest peers.




I’ve lived in this city for 28 years and am amazed to discover things I’ve never seen or noticed before.  Simply realizing that Bergeson and Apple intersect has inspired me to spend more time exploring the hidden treasures in this city.


A squirrel is having a fit in the backyard.  I can’t see him, but I can hear him chattering on.  I wonder if anyone has incorporated a sample of squirrel chatter into a video game–maybe as an intergalactic laser gun of some sort.  It would be perfect.


Extreme Writing Challenge #22: “Snapshot”

The weekend is over.  Back to reality.

Except, reality can hold off long enough for one more quick story, right?  As usual, you’ll find out what the challenge was at the end of the post!


Beth tells me she hates chocolate ice cream.  It was only yesterday that she ordered a chocolate cone at Dairy Queen and ate the whole thing in under five minutes.  And now she hates chocolate ice cream.

Beth is at a strange age.  One day her favorite color is pink.  The next it is yellow.  She changes her mind more often than she changes the ensembles on her Barbie dolls.  I have always been the proud mother who flaunts all the little details she knows about her child.  I talk about the way Beth eats her peas one at a time with the same interest as when I reflect on my favorite moment of a past vacation.  But that has changed.  I am no longer sure which of her traits are permanent and which are only temporary.

I purchase half a gallon of vanilla ice cream and a bottle of strawberry syrup.  All I can do as we drive home is hope that Beth will still like vanilla ice cream by the time I scoop it into a bowl for her after dinner.

My mother calls in the evening and asks what Beth wants for her sixth birthday.  I list off a dozen things and immediately take them all back.  I cannot remember the last time I saw Beth playing with any of the toys I thought were her favorites.  I tell my mother I will get back to her.

Beth wants seconds of the vanilla ice cream for dessert.  I gratefully add two more scoops to her bowl.  I think back to the day I learned I was pregnant.  My mind did not equate having a baby with individual moments like this.  I thought first of seeing her first steps.  Attending school plays.  Throwing a graduation barbecue.   I have now come to realize that raising a child is something that happens a day at a time.  Buying chocolate ice cream.  Swapping for vanilla ice cream.  Painting pink fingernails.  Stripping the polish from her nails and painting them yellow.

Beth rinses out her dish and tells me she would like a miniature trampoline for her birthday.  She is sure to change her mind sometime in the next two weeks.  But what I care about is what my daughter wants in this snapshot in time.  I call my mother and ask her to buy a mini trampoline.  Then I send Beth off to change into her pajamas as she carries on about how she liked the chocolate ice cream better after all.


The challenge was:  This story contains no punctuation other than the period at the end of each sentence.  I never thought I’d miss commas and apostrophes so much!  Then again, I feel like the narrative sounded less “casual” without them.  Interesting how that works…

Extreme Writing Challenge #6: “Warmth”

My first post was a story that consisted entirely of one-syllable words and contained no e‘s.  This time, I did the same thing, except instead of e, I eliminated all o‘s.


I sat in her truck bed with a gray cat named Zeus and a mesh bag filled with cash.  She said her name was Beth, which may have been true, but I lied and said my name was Star.

I leaned back and let the warm breeze pet my skin.  Zeus curled up by my face and purred; he knew things had changed.

At the state line, I paid Beth and thanked her, and I walked the last mile with Zeus in my arms.

Ma was in the yard with shears and a trash can.  She trimmed each bush with grace, as if it was an art.

“Hi Ma,” I called as I walked up the drive.

She set her shears in the grass and dabbed at her sweat with her sleeve.  I laid Zeus in the grass and hugged Ma.  Her squeeze was like a snake’s but it made me feel safe.  Zeus sniffed the grass and pawed at a bee.  I felt peace as I watched him act like a real cat.

“Did he put up a fight?” Ma asked.

“Nah.  He laughed ‘til his gut burst.  He threw a wrench at me.”

We knelt in the grass and played with Zeus.  “He’ll have a nice life here,” Ma said.  She raised him up and rubbed his fur with her cheek.

“As will I,” I said.  “As will I.”

Ma brewed tea and we sat in lawn chairs in the sun.  I felt it burn, yet I stayed where I was.  My place was in the light, in the warmth.

Ma smiled, but she sat hunched with fear.  She stared at my bruised neck while she bit her lip.

“Ma, I’ll be fine,” I said.  “I’m safe here.”

“He’ll burn in hell,” she cried.

“Yes, he will.”

When the sun set, we linked arms and went in.  The air smelled like pie.  Ma gave Zeus milk, and when he’d lapped it all up, we curled up in the spare bed with fresh sheets.  I knew I’d have the best dreams I’d had in ten years.