Perfectly Reasonable — or Daddy’s Double Standard?

So then…my husband David suggests that we try to eat dinner around 5:30 pm every day, otherwise our kids (age 3 & 5) tend to get a little hanky (hungry-cranky).

Good idea. So we follow that schedule.

Cut to three weeks later:

I let David know that I need to work late this evening. No problem, he says.

I come home at 7:30 pm to a completely clean kitchen.

Awesome! He must have fed the kids, then cleaned up afterwa—

Wait a minute.

I enter the family room where the kids and he are watching TV.

I greet everyone – hugs, kisses – and inquire about their days.

Then, when the kids are out of earshot…

Me:  Did you feed the kids?

Him: Oh. Nah. (shrugs) They didn’t seem hungry.

Me:  They said they weren’t hungry?

Him: I didn’t ask them. They just didn’t seem hungry.

Me:  They didn’t SEEM hungry? You mean they weren’t writhing on the floor, clutching their bellies, begging for sustenance? They didn’t faint of malnutrition right in front of you? They didn’t collapse in front of the refrigerator with their tiny little fingers clawing at the door? OK, let’s just not feed them until they SEEM hungry. That sounds like a splendid plan!

He grins at my melodramatic contortions, but still attempts a lame, “Well, it’s OK to miss a meal once in awhile…”

Uh-huh. Hmmm. How interesting that the “once in awhile” happens to coincide with the one night I’m working late and he’s in charge of feeding them.

So if I’m around, dinner should be at 5:30 – but when he’s at the helm, dinner should be when the tykes send him an engraved invitation?

Don’t get me wrong, he’s a great Dad – and usually pretty helpful with the kids – but this time, it’s a bit of a double standard, right?

Or do I just need to train my kids to pound their silverware on the table and chant “FOOD, FOOD, FOOD!” like li’l prison convicts when they’re hungry?
Hmm, seems like a Daddy Double Standard if you ask ME -- but YOU decide! #funny @SoThenStories.com
— Darcy Perdu

If you enjoyed this post, receive NEW funny posts by subscribing HERE!

(Any double standards at YOUR house with YOUR spouse? Lay it on us!)

Who’s Singin’ the “How the Hell Is This School Project Gettin’ Done in Time” Blues?

So then…both my kids announce brand new huge projects that must be completed before the school year ends — which is just a couple weeks away — and I suspect these projects weren’t assigned today.

Of course, this reminds me of the School Project to End All School Projects, so I’ll share this here just in case any of you are singin’ the “How the Hell Is This School Project Gettin’ Done in Time” Blues!

That Special Joy When Another Mom Notifies You Just How Oblivious Your Kid Is -- Honestly, are ALL kids procrastinators or do some kids have a special knack for being COMPLETELY OBLIVIOUS? SoThenStories.com #funny

So then…she nibbles the walnut brownie I baked and comments on how nicely Tucker and her son Andrew, both age 11, are playing basketball in our backyard.

I beam. This is the first time Linda’s son has come over.  (I’d even tidied up the house and baked some “get-to-know-you” brownies.)

“They’ve had a great afternoon,” I say. “Thanks for letting Andrew come home with us after school. Tucker’s really enjoyed hanging out with him.”

Linda nods, picks up Andrew’s backpack, and heads for the patio door to collect her son. She says, “Yeah, I almost had to cancel though, because Andrew hadn’t made enough progress on his International Fair project yet. But he did a lot last night, so he’s in pretty good shape.”

My pulse quickens. What International Fair project? I ask.

She looks at me as though I’m joking. “The one that’s due Monday.”

Today is Friday.

“Oh, is that, like an optional project, like for a Science Fair, or something?” I ask hopefully.

She turns to me, backpack on her shoulder, and says, “No, this is the big 6th grade History project they’ve supposed to have been working on all semester. Surely Tucker’s told you about it?”

I’m sure I’m turning bright red from embarrassment – and bright white from panic.

“Um, no, he hasn’t mentioned it. What’s due on Monday?”

Well, now she sets the backpack down and turns her attention completely toward me, and braces herself to tell me some very bad news.

“OK, each child picks a country, then they need to write a report on 6 topics of that country, like climate, cuisine, politics, religion, stuff like that.”

I gulp.  Sweat forms on my brow.

International Fair Darcy Concern
“Each report has to be typed up and pasted on a tri-fold poster board with artwork and photos,” she continues.

“Well, um, OK,” I stammer. “I..I think we can work on that this weekend. I can run to the crafts store for the poster board. We can probab-“

“Get the flag materials there too,” she interrupts.

“There’s a flag?” I ask.

“Yes, and a costume.”

“WHAT?”

“Yes, this is why they gave the kids all semester to work on it! They need to make that country’s flag out of fabric and put it on a stick because they’ll carry it in the procession. Then they also need to wear a costume that’s native to the country – it can be homemade, or maybe you have a friend or family member who has something from that country, or—“

She stops as she sees me sit down, about to hyperventilate.

I whisper, “I don’t even know what his country is.”

She winces.

International Fair Linda Explains
“OK, look, I hate to keep going, but you should know the kids also need to cook an authentic dish from their country.” She blurts it out very quickly like she’s ripping off a band-aid. “And they need to have enough bite-size servings for 40 students because all the 6th graders and their parents are invited to the International Fair – which is Monday.” Then super-fast she says, “And it’s 25% of their grade.”

She picks up the backpack again and turns toward the patio door. She looks back at me and I see indecision on her face. Should she flee the scene? Grab her son and run away, kissing him all over for having the good sense to tell her about the International Fair project months ago?

Or should she stay and comfort a fallen comrade in the Mommy Wars?

Please, my eyes beg her. Don’t abandon me. Explain more about this International Fair of which you speak. Help me, guide me, tell me my son’s frikking country, something, anything, for God’s sake. What’s your son’s country? Can our sons choose the same country? Can my son join your son and share his flag and his tri-fold and his cuisine? I beg of you…

Of course I don’t say any of those words out loud. But she can see them in my eyes. So she pats me on the shoulder, opens the patio door, and calls for Andrew.

The boys come running in. Linda says a nervous goodbye to an oblivious Tucker, hastily thanks me, hustles Andrew out the door, and snags another brownie on her way out.

Bitch. She annihilates me AND still has time to take a treat?

I shouldn’t have thought that. Of course she’s not a bitch. Why shoot the messenger when there is somebody much more appropriate to receive my wrath?

As the front door closes, I turn to Tucker, narrow my eyes, and ask in a chillingly low voice, “Did you know there was an International Fair project due on Monday?”

He stuffs a brownie bite in his mouth and says brightly, “Yeah, but it’s like a Science Fair or something – it’s optional.

I grip the handles of the chair. “Tucker.It.Is.Not.Optional.It.Is.25%.Of.Your.Grade!”

He shrugs, says, “Huh,” and takes another bite.

I look at him with wonder that this truly carefree child emanated from the womb of a Type A hyper-organized, compulsive pre-planner like myself.

“Linda said the teachers have been talking about this International Fair all semester. Did you think they would spend that much time talking about an optional project?” I ask.

He screws up his face and lifts his shoulders in a gesture of Hey, who knows what’s on the minds of those crazy teachers?

International Fair Tucker Shrugging
I take a breath. “Tucker,” I say. “Do you even know what country you have? And if you chose a country, what did you think you were choosing it FOR, since you thought the project was optional?

He finishes the last bite of the brownie and says, “Oh yeah, I chose Mexico. I thought it was like ‘Hey, where would you like to visit if you could pick any country?’ And I picked Mexico because I love Mexican food.”

“Well, I’m glad you do, Tucker. I’m glad you do. Because you are going to be making Mexican food all weekend. And a flag and a costume and 6 reports! YOU ARE GOING TO BE ALL MEXICO ALL THE TIME FOR THE NEXT 48 HOURS!!”

And thus began one of the most painful, stressful weekends in the history of school projects.

Ay Caramba!

International Fair Tucker Color
— Darcy Perdu

If you enjoyed this post, receive NEW funny posts by subscribing HERE!

Original Illustrations for So Then Stories created by Shelly at Shell Graphics

(Any projects that snuck up on you or your kids? Any surprise tests? Or how about the “oh-yeah-I-need-36-cupcakes-for-school-tomorrow-Mom” at 9:00 at night? Share your Stories and Comments below! I LOVE to read them!)

International Fair Hearing the News Color

Dispatches from Spring Break Vegas Trip

So then…I consider all the educational, enriching, cultural landmarks I can visit with my kids on Spring Break – and instantly choose VEGAS!

Dispatches from Spring Break Vegas Trip

That’s right, I’m taking my two teens and three of their teen friends to Vegas for Spring Break!

Gambling! Drinking! Strip Clubs!

Oh wait. That’s for my business trips to Vegas.

This is a family-friendly trip! Recalculating, recalculating…

Still a go!
Tucker & Chloe, their 3 pals, and I head off to Nevada!
And now, here are Dispatches from Our Vegas Trip:

PLANNING OUR WEEK
Me: OK Kids, what would you like to do in Vegas?

Maggie (daughter’s friend): Oh! I’d love to see a hypnotist show & swim in the wave pool at Mandalay Bay & go to the buffet at Aria & — well, if I wasn’t anti-MGM—

Me: Why are you anti-MGM?

Maggie: Because they have lions in captivity in their hotel lobby! That’s so cruel!

Me: Oh, OK. Well, if you weren’t anti-MGM, what would you wanna do there?

Maggie (quietly, sheepishly): See the lions.

Me: *blink*

Maggie: What?

Me: Ha! I thought you were going to say, eat at MGM’s Rainforest Café or see a certain show there – but the thing you’d want to see there is the very thing that prevents you from going there? You’re hilarious!

Maggie: Um…thank you?

(PS We did end up at Rainforest Café later, but we respectfully averted our eyes from any potentially captive lobby lions.)

1 Dispatches Pool 429

POOLSIDE FUN
Heading down to the pool – but first, I’m in the shower –
shaving legs, underarms…and now toes? TOES? Holy Hell!

Where did these Hairy Hobbit Hooves come from?
Am I the only one with this affliction? I gotta shave those li’l puppies!
But I can’t even touch my toes on dry land!
How am I gonna reach ‘em in a slippery shower wielding a sharp razor?
Oh Lordy – pray for me!
Two band-aids later…

1 Dispatches Michael_Jackson_One_graphic 429

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL – MICHAEL JACKSON ONE
There are about 87 Cirque du Soleil shows in this town. This one features Michael Jackson. I thought he was no longer with us but hey, this is Vegas – anything’s possible.

Wow, awesome show! These performers are phenomenally talented! Not sure if that last dancer was actually Michael – or a hologram – but either way, damn, can he dance!

1 Dispatches Michael hologram

PS: Quitting my job to become trampoline-artist with Cirque du Soleil! Those guys have a blast! I’m uniquely qualified for this job! When I fall, I bounce! Sign me up!

1 Dispatches Trampoline

ARIA BUFFET
All the foods. All over the world. All at once. All in mah belly!
Deee-lish!

1 Dispatches Buffet Seafood

FREMONT STREET
Wade into the wild, wonderful sea of humanity in downtown Las Vegas? Sure!

1 Dispatches Fremont Sign
Yes, kids, you can zip line down Fremont Street over the heads of all these drunk tourists and street performers, but be careful of pickpockets and affectionate lushes as we make our way to the zip line.

Don’t get too close to anyone or you’ll end up mugged and pregnant with an STD and a meth addiction.

1 Dispatches Fremont Zip Line

Stay tuned for Part 2 of Dispatches from Spring Break Vegas Trip…
— Darcy Perdu

If you enjoyed this post, you can receive NEW funny posts by subscribing HERE!

(Seriously, what the hell with the toe hair? Anybody, anybody? Meanwhile, what’s your favorite thing to do in Vegas?)

For hilarious tales from the front lines of parenting — and my story of the most embarrassing thing I’ve EVER done — buy this rockin’ new book, I STILL Just Want to Pee Alone!
I Still Just Want To Pee Alone at Amazon.com




Click the Buy Now button for an autographed copy mailed right to your door!

Remember All Those Cool Vacations You Took with Your Young Kids? Well, THEY Don’t. Nope. Nada.

Remember all those cool vacations you took with your young kids?  Well, THEY don't.  Nope.  Nada.  #funny SoThenStories.com #vacation

So then…a sailboat skims the lake on a TV show and my son, Tucker, age 12, says, “That looks cool. I want to go sailing someday.”

I pause the TV. “You DID go sailing! Don’t you remember? At Club Med!”

“What’s Club Med?” he asks.

“Omigod, you don’t remember that? We went to Club Med a few years ago on vacation – and you went sailing – and jet skiing!”

Blank look.

***
A few months later, a neighbor kid talks about losing her first tooth, so I say, “Tucker lost his first tooth at the Alamo!” Tucker laughs and says, “Yeah, while eating popcorn!”

My daughter, Chloe, age 9, says, “You guys went to the Alamo? Isn’t that in Texas?”

“Yes! You were there too! Don’t you remember?” I ask.

“No. Are you sure?”

“Yes, I’m sure! Don’t you remember the Texas family reunion – and we all toured the Alamo?”

Blank look.

***
A few months later, we talk about buying raffle tickets for the school fundraiser. Chloe says, “Nah, I never win anything.”

“Sure you do,” I say. “Remember when you won bingo on that cruise a few years ago?”

“Cruise?” she says.

Oh.My.God.

***
Why in the world am I saving up all my pennies to pay for vacations for these kids when they don’t even remember GOING on the vacations?

Sure, they were young back then, but REALLY? Those were some of the coolest, most fun, most special family memories – and they don’t even recall BEING there?

At the time, they had a blast! But now, they act like anything earlier than a couple years ago is just a blurry fog.

How did we go from “this is the best vacation ever!” — to “what vacation?”

Nemo’s Dory has a better memory than these kids!

They seem so skeptical, I pull out the photo albums for evidence!

“Here you are at the family reunion on the beach! Yes, that little guy on the raft is YOU!”
“Look, here you are – smiling and laughing on a Disneyworld roller coaster!”
“Here you are on a jet ski! No really, that’s you. That is NOT photoshop. I SWEAR that’s you!”

Honestly, when I think of all the money I had to save to afford going to cool places –

the finagling to get time off work –

the stress of travelling/what do you mean your tummy hurts?/ahh! pass the barf bag –

and the hassle of packing/unpacking/where are those friggin’ water wings? –

And they don’t even REMEMBER that we went on the vacation?!

It makes me wonder why I went to all that bother!

Oh yes, yes, I know that it was probably great for their brain development to go new places and do new activities when they were early grade schoolers, toddlers, tots, and wee ones – even if they can’t remember it now.

And yes, of course, we’re lucky to go on a vacation at all.

And yes, yes, it was enjoyable for us as a family to spend that quality time together.

But whatEVER, people!

A more clever mama WOULD have just photoshopped their kids’ pics into exciting locales and PRETENDED to have vacationed there!

I could’ve saved a bundle!

From now on, I’ll just sprinkle FAKE MEMORIES into my conversations — and the kids will likely believe me since they can’t remember anything anyway!

“These croissants are delicious! Reminds me of that time we all vacationed in Paris.”

“Hey, remember when we cruised up to Alaska and went glacier-hopping?”

“Wow, it’s so hot today – just like our tour of those Hawaiian volcanoes – remember?”

And if they look skeptical, I’m just gonna keep selling it, like it’s totally real.

“This pizza’s almost as good as the pizza we had in Italy. Yeah, we vacationed in Italy. You don’t remember? Oh, sure you do. We went rollerskating at the Sistine Chapel? The Pope stopped by to play badminton? Then Johhny Depp flew us to his private island – and Beyonce came by for paintball? You don’t remember that? Omogish, SO much fun. Pass the pizza, honey.”

Then I’ll just stare off dreamily, smiling – while they look at each other, completely confused.

And if they ask for photographic proof – oh, I will make it, baby –
I WILL MAKE IT!

Remember all those cool vaacations you took with your young kids?  Well THEY don.t. Nope. Nada.  #funny #vacation SoThenStories.com

— Darcy Perdu

If you enjoyed this post, you can receive NEW funny posts by subscribing HERE!

(OK, seriously, when do kid memories kick in? And why didn’t someone tell me? I would’ve just plopped them in a sandbox until THAT age — THEN take them on cool vacations! Am I the only one whose kids don’t remember all the awesome stuff that happened in their early years?)

Is This Tutor Messin’ with Me? Oh yes. Yes, he IS, that little…

Am I paranoid?  Or is this guy totally messin' with me?  #funny #tutor #homework #humor

So then…my son Tucker slips through the dining room door into the kitchen and whispers, “Mom, I think the tutor’s asleep.”

I look up from the crockpot and whisper, “What?”

We both tiptoe to the dining room door, ease it open a crack, and peer through to see the Biology tutor sitting at the table before an open book, chin on his chest, head down, eyes closed.

Tucker and I look at each other and suppress a giggle. We ease the door shut, then scurry to the opposite end of the kitchen to confer.

“What happened?” I ask.

“I dunno. He was kinda quiet so I looked over and he was sound asleep!”

“Did he just doze off in the middle of a sentence?”

“No, no, he was explaining something, then I started filling in the worksheet, and the next thing I knew – ‘’ (he mimes shutting his eyes and snoring, getting progressively louder and more dramatic with his snores)

“Stop that!” I say, laughing softly. “You’re gonna wake him up!”

“Well, shouldn’t he be awake if he’s going to help teach me Biology?”

Hmm, good point.

“OK,” I say. “I’ll go wake him up. You stay in here and pretend to get a snack or something. I don’t want to embarrass the guy!”

Tucker happily invades the pantry for a snack.

I ease open the door and clear my throat.

Nothing.

I don’t want to startle him. He’s a very nice man. He teaches science at a school in another district during the day – plus he and his wife have 3 kids, including a new baby — AND he tutors after school – so he’s probably exhausted.

And let’s face it, Biology is not exactly riveting.

If I were a Biology tutor, I’d fall asleep as soon as you opened the Biology book, much less if I had to discuss it!

In fact, I’d fall asleep as soon as you said the word, “Biolo— ” Zzzzzzzzz.
See? It just happened.

Now if I were a tutor on the “best TV series to binge-watch” – or the “relative composition of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Flavors by deliciousness of ingredients” – or the “statistical likelihood of Ryan Gosling’s car breaking down outside my house, in a rainstorm, and needing immediate medical attention and a warm bath” – I’d be WIDE AWAKE for the entire session!

So I certainly don’t blame the guy for falling asleep, but I should wake him.

So I cough.

Nothing.

I tiptoe out of the room, then walk back in, very loudly clicking my shoes on the floor. The tutor does not move.

Good God, I hope he’s not dead.

That’d be incredibly awkward.

I have delicious French Dip beef simmering in the crockpot, more homework to supervise, then a slew of shows on the DVR. Tonight’s schedule is not ideal for an untimely death in my dining room.

Next Thursday, sure. But tonight, no. Definitely not.

I approach the slumbering tutor so I can call his name, but then I realize I don’t KNOW his name!

That may sound odd since he’s been tutoring Tucker for about 6 sessions or so.

But he has a very thick accent and when he introduced himself, I thought he said his name was Farooq Malik.

But then the next time he came, I could swear he introduced himself to my friend as Marooq Falik. Or maybe it was Malik Farooq?

I’m terrible with names anyway, especially if the names could be interchangeable. If you tell me your name is Henry James, I’ll likely call you James half the time and Henry the other half!

Two of my friends both have a “v” in their names so I’m constantly calling them by each other’s names – and I’ve known them for years!

I once knew a Carla that I routinely called Sharon because oh-my-God-you-guys, she just seemed like a Sharon, you know?

So whenever I try to address the tutor, I hesitate, stumble, or mumble. I think he’s on to me.

Recently, I asked him something, and said, “Right, Malik?” and he corrected me by saying “Farooq.” And I could swear he’s corrected me the opposite way too. And he’ll smile mischievously, like he knows that I can’t keep his name straight.

So now I don’t know if I just have a bad memory –

or if he’s just Farooq-ing with me.

My son comes back in the room with chips and sits down.

I cough and say, “Mister…Malik? Farooq? Hello?”

He opens his eyes, shifts in his seat, glances at the book, then looks at Tucker and calmly says,

“And that’s the difference between prokaryote and eukaryote organisms.”

Wow. Didn’t even skip a beat.

Nicely played, Farooq.

Or Malik.

Or whatever the Farooq your name is!

— Darcy Perdu

Laugh at all my new posts by subscribing HERE!
I LOVE SUBSCRIBERS!

(Are you terrible at remembering names too? Any funny tutoring stories? IS he just messing with me? And should I serve strong black coffee whenever he tutors?)

Is This a Playdate Fail by Dad — or Perfectly Reasonable Behavior?

Did this Dad Make a Playdate Faux Pas? Is this a funny blunder or WHAT?  #humor #playdate #dad #baby #embarrassing #funny #kids

So then…I plop on the hotel bed, moving my files over so I can chat with my 9-year-old daughter Chloe back home.

Me: I’m so happy I’m almost done with my business trip! How was your day, honey?

Chloe: Great! After school, I went for a playdate at Maggie’s house!

I furrow my brow. That can’t be right.

Me: You mean Layla’s house?

Chloe: No, Maggie’s house.

Me: You mean Ashley’s house?

Chloe: No, MAGGIE’S house!

Me: You don’t mean the Maggie whose mom just had a BABY?

Chloe: Yes! Today was the first day they brought the baby home and I got to meet her!

Me: You had a playdate at Maggie’s house the SAME DAY HER MOM BROUGHT HOME HER BRAND NEW BABY?

Chloe: Yes! It was great! The baby’s so cute! I got to stay for dinner!

She prattles on and on about the baby –

and of course I make all the appropriate responses to share in her glee.

But the whole time I’m thinking: What the HELL?

When we finish, she puts her dad on the phone.

“Um…did you know you accidentally let Chloe have a playdate at Maggie’s house the same day her mom brought home the new baby?I ask, trying to give him the benefit of the doubt.

“Oh, that was no accident,” he says proudly. “Chloe asked if she could go see Maggie’s new sister, so I dropped her right off!”

“Did Maggie’s parents know about it first?” I ask.

“I dunno,” he says. 

“David! Don’t you think the last thing a sleep-deprived, just-endured-childbirth mom wants to see at her house on her first day home is someone else’s kid?”

“Oh come on,” he says. “It’s her 4th baby. She probably didn’t even notice our kid was there.”

Oh my God.

David’s a terrific dad, but sometimes I wonder if he understands basic social graces.

When someone has a new baby, you drop off a casserole.

Or a gift.

NOT your kid.

And CERTAINLY not for dinner!

To be fair, David’s the type who wouldn’t mind at all if the roles were reversed. If HE popped out a baby, he’d probably invite the whole neighborhood over as soon as we pulled in the driveway so he could proudly display his creation: “Tap a keg, grill some burgers, look what I just pushed out of my hoo-ha!” (or he-ha, as the case may be)

He was raised in a free-range neighborhood where kids constantly meandered in and out of each other’s homes, mooching meals whenever they were hungry, and everyone was cool with it.

I was taught that you don’t even call someone’s house before 10 am or after 8 pm – and never during dinner time – MUCH LESS just SHOW UP at their house!

Consequently David’s fine with anyone coming over anytime no matter what’s happening at our house. It’s practically like this:

“We’re having construction done at the house today – but come on over!”
“Sure, the kids all have the flu — but that’s ok — pop on by!”
“Don’t mind the termite fumigation tent – we’ll just barbecue in the backyard!”

OK, maybe not quite that extreme, but you get the picture.

And as moms go, Maggie’s mom is very chill.

When my kids take a tumble and bleed – I rush to console them, disinfect the entire limb, bandage it carefully, and mollycoddle the child endlessly, while surreptitiously checking WebMD on my phone to insure no signs of sepsis.

When her kids report scrapes and cuts, Maggie’s mom just says, “You know where the band-aids are.”

And damn, if her kids aren’t much more resilient and independent than mine!

(I’ll be bandaging my kids’ paper cuts when they’re 45 and still living in my basement.)

Maybe it’s the large quantity of kids that makes these moms so chill?

As soon as I return to town, I drop off a beautiful gift, coo over the darling new baby, and make apologies for the awkward timing of the surprise playdate.

Maggie’s mom just smiles and shrugs – no big deal. The new baby in her arms starts to fuss, so she shoots her a look, like “Hey, you know where the boobies are.”

— Darcy Perdu

Laugh at all my newest So Then Stories by popping your email address right HERE!

(Who’s more observant of social graces – you or your spouse? Any funny examples? Am I crazy to think HE’S crazy for letting her have a playdate on Bring-Home-the-Baby Day?)

Who’s the Guilty Culprit?

So then…I’m walking downstairs, happy as a clam, in my lovely clean house – picture me, carefree and cheerful, just ambling along to an upbeat music soundtrack in my mind, with little Disney animated bluebirds sitting on my shoulder — lala lalala lala la —

when SUDDENLY I see a long streak of boogies on my white wall.

SCREECH! The music stops, the amble halts, the bluebirds fall from my shoulders in a stunned heap on the stairs.

WHAT THE WHAT?

Who was walking up these stairs, gathered a whole mess o’ snot, and thought, “Oh, I’ll just put this HERE” ???

On my wall. My white wall. My previously pristine white wall.

Being the delicate flower that I am — I bellow, “WHO WIPED THEIR BOOGERS ON THIS WALL?”

Three voices call out:
“Not me.”
“Not me.”
“Not me.”

Oh really? Only 4 of us live here. And I don’t think this is the handiwork of the AC repair guy who visited last week.

I will DNA this snot so fast your head will spin. Get the forensics tech out here STAT!

(But I fear the homicide department probably has more critical mysteries to solve than who smeared nose juice on my house wall.)

So I’ll solicit your assistance to unmask the guilty culprit.

THE SUSPECTS:

The daughter (age 5): Playful, darling, funny, girly — has been known to sport a dirty nose from time to time, but if she graces a wall — it’s more likely to be glitter, lipstick, or colored markers.

The dad: Funny, clever, and well-experienced in handling one’s own nasal emissions.

The mom: Brilliant, gorgeous and charming, if I do say so myself. Has NEVER had a dirty nose. Also does not poop, pee, or pass wind. She would NEVER sully her beloved white walls with ANYTHING.

The son (age 8): Energetic, creative, funny, certainly old enough to know better, but has demonstrated a history of inappropriate choices in regard to bodily functions – i.e. pardon me, pool guests, I’ll just take a whiz over here in the hydrangeas — or hey, pull my finger — no seriously pull my finger — it’s gonna be HILARIOUS!

So what do you think? Who’s the dirty lil boogie man?

Ding ding ding!

You guessed it! The son! The son, I tell you!

I prepare for an exhaustive grueling interrogation — carefully gathering irrefutable evidence about his means, motive, and opportunity —

But as soon as he sees the crime scene, he readily confesses with a shrug and a goofy grin. (Of course, not grinning quite so much when he realizes the sentence is cleaning it up, while enduring a lengthy but eloquent lecture on handling one’s nasal output.)

So if you happen to have a dirty lil boogie man — or boogie girl — in your house, you might want to enter the Boogie Wipes raffle for eight $50 gift cards and Boogie Wipes Prize Packs.

You’ll receive even more chances to win by liking the Facebook pages of the bloggers below.

This post is sponsored, but all opinions (and snot) belong to me and my boogie son.

— Darcy Perdu

Brighten your inbox with new posts each week by subscribing right HERE.

(Any surprising “gifts” you find around your house, courtesy of kids, pets, or the air conditioning repair guy? There are about 87 expressions to let someone know their fly is open — but what’s the best phrase to let someone know they need to take care of their nasal business?)

In celebration of Great Grape Boogie Wipes being sold at Walmart, I’m teaming up with Boogie Wipes to offer the Great Grape Summer Giveaway!

It's a Great Grape Summer celebration! Enter to Win a $50 Walmart gift card and a Boogie Wipes prize pack. One winner each week for the next 8 weeks. Enter now!

One winner will be drawn each week for the next eight weeks and will receive a $50 Walmart gift card and a Boogie Wipes prize pack.

How to Enter

From following some of our favorite bloggers on social media to instagramming a picture of your Great Grape purchase at Walmart, there are dozens of ways to enter – and a few ways to enter every single day.

Check back throughout the next eight weeks to enter again and see if you won!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Want to have more fun this summer?

Visit the Boogie Wipes blog for all sorts of summer fun ideas – including Sidewalk Chalk Recipes, Crafts and Games to Play with Pool Noodles and DIY Board Games (for when it rains).

Good luck!

Giveaway is live Tuesday, July 8, 2014 until midnight on Tuesday, September 2, 2014. US and Canada residents only. One winner will be chosen each week and will be notified via email. So Then Stories received no compensation for sponsoring this event, and is not responsible for the delivery of the prize. Prize delivery is the sole responsibility of Boogie Wipes.

Now THAT’S a Breach in Security!

Now THAT'S a Breach in Security
So then…I scoop more corn on their plates and triumphantly finish my lecture about online safety with this reassuring conclusion, “So remember, NEVER EVER share ANY personal information online, no matter HOW innocent or insignificant it might be — because cyber criminals have A LOT of time on their hands to troll the internet, piecing together all the details about you and where you live. And you don’t want the criminals to (ominous voice) KNOW.WHERE.YOU.LIVE, right?”

Chloe, age 8, stares at me, solemn and bug-eyed, no doubt in fear of the afore-mentioned crafty criminals.

Tucker, age 11, nods his head emphatically and says, “Of course, Mom, they tell us about that at school too. You should never talk about going on vacation on Facebook or anything ‘cuz then the robbers will know when to come to your house and steal your stuff.”

Now Chloe stares at him, solemn and bug-eyed.

“That’s right, Tucker, you can never be too careful.” I say. “That’s why we don’t even print your names on your backpacks or shirts because then someone could call out your name and pretend they know you.”

“Right,” he says. “And NEVER get in a van with a man who says he needs help finding a puppy!”

Yep, that’s right, he even knows about pedophiles.

And ever since Tucker received an email address, I’ve been drilling it into his head never to share ANY identifying information online.

Cut to – a week later…

I open an email from Tucker that he’s forwarded to me and some of his pals that invites us to play a fun game someone sent him called “Favorites of Your Favorite Friends!”

It starts out innocently enough asking your favorite TV show, band, sports team, breakfast food…
Then asks things like your favorite burger place, elementary school, grade, town, state…

It practically asks what time your parents are out running an errand and you’re all by yourself in your big empty house!!

And of course Tucker has enthusiastically answered all these questions and forwarded them to all his email contacts – so they can answer the questions and forward the game to all their email contacts!

“Tucker! Come in here, please!”

He lopes in and I show him the screen.

“Tucker! Didn’t we just have a discussion about how you never give out any identifying information about yourself online?”

He says, “Oh, yeah. But this is just about your favorite things so you can see if your friends have the same favorites you do.”

“Tucker, you listed the town and state where you live, what school you attend, what grade you’re in, the nearest burger place, hair color, eye color! This is IDENTIFYING information!”

“Oh, yeaaaaah,” he says, realizing his error. “But I didn’t think this was from a bad guy; it just looks like a game.

Exactly, Tucker! What did you expect? That you’d get an email from someone saying:
‘Dear Kid,
Hi my name is Paul.
I am a pedophile.
Please send me your identifying information.
Sincerely, Paul (you know — Paul the Pedophile)’”

Tucker laughs.

I continue, “Good Lord, son, of course the criminals are going to figure out clever ways to get info about you! They’ll disguise it as a game — or make it look official — or whatever they think will get you to spill the beans! So when you get a survey like this, you don’t answer it and you don’t forward it! Are we clear?”

“Yes, yes, we’re clear!” he says. He walks out, chuckling and murmuring “Paul the Pedophile.”

Honestly, this kid! It’s a wonder he doesn’t come home with magic beans or a deed to swampland.

— Darcy Perdu

Please pop your email address into the purple box below so you can receive my new funny posts twice a week!

(Do YOUR kids SEEM like they listen to your lectures, then do the exact opposite? Any funny examples when your kids seemed to miss the point — or interpret you too literally? Any accidental breaches in online security at YOUR house? Do tell in the Comments section!)
Now THAT'S a Breach in Security P

Calling All Smug Tweens

Calling All Smug Tweens!  So funny when our teens & tweens try to mock us -- but misfire!  #humor #kids #teens

So then…I plop on the sofa, nearly toppling 3 tweens in the process, as I balance my plate of delectable desserts from the buffet table.

I toss a couple Lemon Squares and a Brownie onto my friend Tracy’s plate as we chatter away amongst her relatives and friends at her party.

Music’s playing, people are laughing, the adults are talking…it’s a fun time.

But I notice all the tweens sitting and standing around are mesmerized by their Iphone screens instead of…you know…talking to each other like we did when we were their age. So I point this out, in the most tactful and delicate way possible, of course. (Ha!)

Whereupon, my tween daughter Chloe interrupts me to say in her most exasperated, long-suffering tone of voice, “Mom, we know, we know – when you grew up, all 7 of your family had to share a rodeo phone!”

Silence.

Then all the adults within earshot burst out laughing.

Chloe asks, “What? What? What’s so funny?”

I’m practically choking on my Lemon Bar.

I ask, “Did you say ‘all 7 of you had to share a RODEO phone?’”

“Yeah,” she says with a confused look. “That’s what it was called, right?”

Tracy says, “Rotary, Chloe – it was called a ROTARY phone.”

Chloe waves her hand dismissively – “Rotary – rodeo – same thing.”

We laugh some more. “No, not the same thing!”

Can you imagine? How cool would that have been to really have a RODEO phone?

“Calling all clowns!”

“Hello, I’d like to speak to the bull, please.”

“Any cute cowboys on the line today?”

Of course we never let Chloe forget her faux pas – and we bring up the “Rodeo Phone” whenever possible –

mainly because she delivered her line with so much cocky gusto, trying to tease me about my antiquated communications notions, and she was so dreadfully wrong about the correct terminology.

So of course you can imagine how delighted we were when David Letterman asked Justin Bieber not to tattoo his arms like those people who practically ink whole murals of the Sistine Chapel – and Justin cockily retorted that he’d never get a tattoo of the “Sixteenth Chapel!”

Justin honestly had no idea what the Sistine Chapel was – and tried to mock David for suggesting such an absurd idea for a tattoo — the Sixteenth Chapel!  You could see Justin’s confused, annoyed expression like why are you even saying the 16th chapel, Dave — what about chapels 1 through 15?  You’re so weird!

When I saw that video clip, I was crying with laughter! I couldn’t wait to hop on my Rodeo Phone and tell Chloe all about it!

— Darcy Perdu

 to your Humor, Kids, or Parenting Boards!

Catch all my funny new stories in your inbox by popping your email right HERE!

(Any of your kids or co-workers mispronounce a word — or bungle song lyrics? How about YOU? Time to fess up! I always thought Yosemite Sam was pronounced “Yossa-Might” Sam. My sister read the entire book Gone with the Wind thinking that Sue Ellen’s name was pronounced as one word (SueEllen like Suede) so she called her “Swalene.” Share your misconceptions — and those of your friends and family!)

A Mother ALWAYS Knows

School Pictures: Telling My Kid the COLD HARD TRUTH - It Ain't Pretty, Kid!  #funny #school #kids #humor

Examples of School Pics from Around the Country

So then…I slide some of the framed 8” x 10” school photos of my kids aside, so I can reach the book on the top shelf that my daughter Chloe needs.

There are literally years and years of 8” x 10”s cluttering the shelves. For the most part, they are gorgeous — and they are my children, so I cannot bear to put them away.

So I display literally every school photo they have ever taken.

As I hand Chloe the book, I gesture to one particular school photo of her and say, “I’ve always hated that picture.”

Chloe, curious:     Why?

Me:                       Your hair is dirty.

Chloe:                  What? My hair is “dirty?” That picture was taken 4
years ago!
How in the world can you tell if my hair
was dirty that day!?

Me, curling lip:      Oh, I can tell.

— Darcy Perdu

 to your Humor Board!

Catch all the funny new posts by subscribing right HERE!

(Can you tell when YOUR kid’s hair is dirty in school photos? Or when they’ve worn that shirt twice in a row?  As much as you love your children, are there some photos you really DON’T love? What’s your favorite of the 6 fun photos above?  I LOVE the “Crown of Hair” in the upper left corner!)

Wouldja Like to Meet My Insomniac Atheist Bisexual Vampire Son?

Influence Insomnia by Erika LeBarre
So then…he takes a bite of a fresh-baked cookie and says with a sigh, “I’m probably so tired today because I’m an insomniac.”

He’s 11.

I stop scooping dough onto the cookie sheet and look at him with furrowed brow.

“You’re an insomniac? When did that happen?” I ask.

He plops on the kitchen chair and says in a world-weary voice, “Oh, I’ve been an insomniac for years.”

Again, he’s 11.

“Really, Tucker? Because I check on you kids every night before I go to bed – and whenever I go into your room – you’re dead asleep. Even at midnight or 1 or 2 in the morning.”

“Oh, I’m awake when you check on me,” he assures me.

“You’re eyes are closed and you’re snoring.

“So? I can snore when I’m awake. Listen – shjrooor shjrooor.”

“Tucker,” I say. “You are not an insomniac! You sleep fine. What makes you think you are?”

“Well, I was talking to this kid in band class and he was telling me that he has insomnia because he can’t sleep at night and I realized that I have that too.”

OK, I see.

Several months later…

So then…we’re saying Grace before dinner but Tucker doesn’t join in. I ask him, “What’s up?”

He says, “Oh, I don’t say Grace anymore because I’m an atheist.”

Influence Atheist
He calmly eats his corn. I seethe.

I want to say, “Really Tucker? You’re an atheist? Even though you had a Baptism and Reconciliation and First Holy Communion AND you go to Catholic school? We may not attend Mass on Sundays – and we may not be super religious — but this is a God-loving, Commandments-abiding, Bible-believing family for Christ’s sake, you insufferable little heathen!

But I realize that may not be the best speech to bring him back to the Lord.

So I casually ask when this new development occurred.

“There’s this girl in class who told us that she’s atheist and I realized I am too.”

OK, I see.

“So you think we’re all just here randomly? There’s no God or higher power?” I ask.

“Oh, I believe in God. I just don’t believe in religion,” he says.

“So maybe you’re agnostic?”

He scoops up the rest of his corn with his fork and thumb. “Yeah, OK.”

OK, at least I’ve upgraded him from atheist to agnostic for now. I’ll tackle religion next.

About a year later…

So then…he comes in the kitchen, puts his script on the table, sits down, and says, “I’m pretty sure that I’m bisexual.”

Um…OK.

Influence Bisexual
I keep cleaning the counters and ask, “Really? What makes you think that?”

“Well, you know the play this summer at acting class is Cabaret, right? Well, some of the characters are bisexual – and some of the teenagers in the cast were saying at lunch that they’re bisexual. And I realized that I am too.”

OK, I see.

I sit down with him. “Tucker, you know I’ll love you and accept you, no matter what — so if you’re bisexual, then you’re bisexual. But let’s talk about this for a minute. First of all, you haven’t had any sexual experiences yet, so let’s not be so quick to label yourself bisexual, mono-sexual, tri-sexual or multi-sexual, ok? Secondly, do you have romantic feelings for any boys?”

“Oh yeah, lots of boys.”

“Really, like who?” I ask.

“I can’t think of anyone right now,” he says in that same tone of voice he uses to say that he could hit a homerun if he wanted to, but he just doesn’t feel like it right now.

So I say, “Well, you’ve been pretty open about everyone you’ve ever had a crush on since kindergarten all the way until now — and it’s always been girls.”

So we have a long talk about peer pressure, fitting in with the crowd, making rash pronouncements about identity, etc. It’s a great talk, but I don’t push. I know that this new alleged identity trait will eventually go the same way as his other announcements.

BUT MEANWHILE, I’m thinking to myself, Good Lord, do I have THE most easily-influenced child in the world?

At the future frat party, when someone says, “Hey, who wants to down 4 Tequila shots, then ride this skateboard off the roof into that pool of hot coeds?” – will my son be the kid who thinks, “That sounds like a splendid idea!”?

Yes. Yes, he will.

I can’t believe he is so impressionable.

What’s next?

“I just watched a great episode of Psych – by the way, I’m psychic.”

“This German Chocolate Cake is delicious! Those Germans really know how to bake. I’m joining the Nazi Party!”

Influence Vampire Eric Allie
“I saw that Twilight movie. Great news, Mom, I am IMMORTAL. Also — can we have blood for dinner?”

Let’s hope not — but with my kid…I wouldn’t be surprised!

— Darcy Perdu

Insomnia Illustration by Erika LeBarre; Vampire Illustration by Eric Allie

(Please let me know I’m not the ONLY one with a highly impressionable child! Any examples to share from your kids – or from when YOU were a kid? Share them in the Comments Section!)

My Insomniac Atheist Bisexual Vampire Son P Small

And You Are… ?

And You Are - Image
So then…I answer the phone with a cheerful hello, and I hear my 5-year-old daughter’s voice saying, “Hi Mom, it’s me, Chloe, your daughter.”

I laugh at her thorough manner of identifying herself — which she does every single time she calls me.

Does she think I have dementia?

It’s as though she thinks I couldn’t immediately recognize her voice –

or figure out that a female voice saying “Hi Mom,” must mean it’s my only daughter on the line –

or realize that she is the only Chloe I know, so it must be Chloe my daughter as opposed to Chloe the baker or Chloe the hair stylist.

So I always respond with, “Oh hello Chloe my daughter, it’s so nice to hear from you. This is Mom, your mother, Darcy Perdu. Shoe size 10. Bra size 36C. What can I do for you?”

To which she replies, “Mooooooooooooooooom!”

I imagine there is some eye-rolling happening as well, but after all, we are on the phone, so I can only assume.

***

Of course, as she grows to be a teen, the tables turn. Apparently, now I am the one who is over-identifying.

Chloe, shaking her head and sighing, as she looks over my shoulder at my computer screen:

“Mom, you don’t need to sign your comments on Facebook! You don’t have to say, ‘Happy Birthday, nephew Brian. Love, Aunt Darcy’ — he KNOWS who he is — and he can see YOUR name is Darcy Perdu right there on the Facebook screen!”

Well, all right, Chloe daughter female off-spring. Jeesh.

— Darcy Perdu

(How do your kids identify themselves on the phone? Or are they texting monkeys now? Do you struggle with appropriate etiquette on Facebook like I do? Share in the Comments!)

And You Are P

Ménage à Trois ALREADY?

When you're minding your own business at the playground and your son suddenly asks you a bizarre question, what do YOU say!?  #funny #parenting #kids #humor

So then…Tucker slides down the playground slide and lands with a satisfactory thud in the dirt. He beams and scrambles up the ladder to repeat the rush of the freefall.

I grin at this darling 4-year-old in all his glory this sunny afternoon.

After one more whoosh and a thud, he runs over to plop on the ground next to me and grab a handful of grapes. Such purity and innocence of a carefree child.

“Mommy, can a man marry another man?”

Huh? Suddenly all my senses are on alert, clutching for the politically correct answer for my 4-year-old. Where did this question come from? Maybe one of the kids at preschool has two daddies?

I need to give correct info – but not overwhelm him with too much info. I can’t imagine he’s expecting me to delineate the intricate issues involved in a same-sex marriage political debate. I settle for something simple.

“Well, honey, in some states, yes, it’s possible for a man to marry another man. But in any state, if two people love each other, they should feel free to be together.”

Tucker grabs a cracker with his pudgy little hand.

“Can a man marry another man and another woman?” he asks.

Uh-oh. Where did he hear about ménage à trois? Good grief. What’s going on at that pre-school?

“Um, no, honey, not really. Usually a marriage is just between two people. Why?”

He furrows his brow and looks up at me wistfully. “Because when I grow up, I want to marry you and Daddy and live with you guys forever.”

Oh.My.God. Melt my pea-pickin’ little heart.

— Darcy Perdu

Laugh at all my new posts by subscribing HERE!
I LOVE SUBSCRIBERS!

(OK, your turn — share a bizarre question from your kid – or a heartwarming moment – OR details about your latest ménage à trois. Your choice.)

Her Bizarre Question about Makin’ Babies

Her ONLY Question about Makin' Babies  #funny #birdsand bees #kids #parenting #sextalk

So then…she says “huh” and looks a bit perplexed. We’re sitting on the couch, surrounded by big comfortable cushions.

We’ve just concluded “the talk.”

My daughter is young still, so this is not “THE TALK” with all the details and warnings and science.

This is just “the talk” with a very basic overview of how babies are made.

She’s been hounding me for weeks to tell her about S-E-X and I’ve successfully distracted her until now. So we plop on the couch and I give her a very non-threatening, easy-to-understand, BASIC overview.

“Remember there are no stupid questions. Ask whatever you want,” I say reassuringly.

Chloe thinks a minute. She’s just learned quite a bit of information. I can tell she wants to ask something but she’s shy about it.

“Come on, honey. No question is too strange. I promise I won’t laugh, no matter what.”

She concentrates a little more.

Then she asks, “Can pregnant women swim?”

I snort.

“Mom!”

OK, not technically a laugh, but still not the reaction she was expecting.

And certainly not the question I was expecting! Out of all the stuff I told her, this is what she wants to know? “Can pregnant women swim?”

Has she not been to a public pool? Has she not seen pregnant women swimming? And why wouldn’t they be able to, anyway? The baby’s not gonna float away!

I compose myself and say casually, “Yes, honey, pregnant women can swim. Pregnant women can do just about anything regular women can do.”

She asks, “Is there anything pregnant women can’t do?”

I think hard, but nothing comes to mind. She looks at me expectantly. Finally I say:

“Well, you can’t get pregnant again while you’re pregnant – so that’s something.”

She nods sagely – satisfied she now knows everything there is to know about sex.

God help us all.

— Darcy Perdu

For more short funny true tales, subscribe right HERE!

(Any funny stories when you tried to explain the hibbity-jibbity to your kids? Or when someone explained it to you? Any odd misconceptions you had about this topic when you were younger?)

Wrangle Those Bosoms!

So then…she peeks outside the curtain of the dressing room and whispers excitedly, “Is she back yet?” Chloe is literally giddy with joy.

She is being fitted for her first bra. She is 9.

Most of her classmates are already 10 and have begun wearing bras to school.

Chloe feels the time is right for her too. “Mom, I really – really – need a bra!”

So off to Nordstroms we go, since the department store is known for its professional lingerie ladies who work with you to find the perfect fit.

Saleslady Myra returns to the dressing room with 3 more selections. Chloe tries them on. Myra adjusts straps and hooks. She talks about fabric and breathability and the importance of the careful care and cleaning of one’s bras.

Chloe is soaking it all up, reveling in this “big girl” experience.

As we exit the store, we’re both grinning, satisfied that she’s succeeded in purchasing two bras in the correct size, fabric, and color.

Every day, she ceremoniously dons a bra before getting dressed, making a big production of it – shutting the door, whispering, looking at me meaningfully since this sort of thing can only be discussed between two women such as us.

One day, she can’t find them right away, so she’s in a panic. “Mom, Mom, I can’t find my bras! I can’t go to school without a braaaaaaaa!”

Oh, the horror!

I want to point out that until very recently she was breezy and braless every day at school and everywhere else – and she could probably get by for one day without the world being aghast in alarm. But I merely help her locate the errant underclothes and she quickly puts one on with great relief.

She loves wearing a bra. She calls her grandmother in Florida. “You know, Grammy, I’m wearing a bra now,” she says quite seriously. Grammy oohs and aahs and makes the appropriate congratulatory remarks.  Every time a Victoria’s Secret commercial comes on, Chloe shoots me a conspiratorial grin.

This excitement goes on for about 3 weeks, then Chloe turns to me one day and says thoughtfully, “By the way, Mom, what does a bra do exactly?”

–Darcy Perdu

Pretty please, pop your email address into the Purple Box below to receive 2 NEW funny stories per week!  Thanks!

(What’s your story? Have your kids absolutely had to have something? Do you remember your first bra? Any bra mishaps? Share some good bra stories about you or your relatives in the Comments Section!)