On the Plus Side, There Was a Really Good Reason to Clean the Counters

Dear Kid,

It’s April 30th.

Which means it’s National Hairstyle Appreciation Day. And National Honesty Day. And rainy and humid.

Which means if we’re really going to “honor” today, we’d have to go around telling people how much we love their horrible hairdo.

On the plus side, there was a really good reason to clean the counters. DearKidLoveMom.comPersonally, I suggest skipping the talking and moving straight to the balloons and cookies.

There are balloons and cookies aren’t there?

If you’re feeling excessively festive, we can throw in a quick salute to National Karaoke Week and National Welder’s Month.

In other celebratory news, do you know what happens when you overfill the single-serve coffee maker? Yep. You have the wonderful opportunity of cleaning up the kitchen counter. In completely unrelated news, our kitchen counters are looking exceptionally clean at the moment.

Have a great day, kiddo. Try to stay dry in all the rain and drizzle and try not to give yourself unplanned reasons to clean.

Love, Mom

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You Are Not Going to Believe How Bad This Idea Is

Dear Kid,

Speaking of colossally bad ideas, my friend Sue pointed out our next contender in the Are You Kidding Me? category.

Naked Gardening Day.

It’s a thing. It’s a thing on the first Saturday of May.

It is not a thing we will be doing at our house.

Put some clothes on! You'll embarrass the petunias! DearKidLoveMom.comAccording to the Huffington Post, it is a great day to plant your seed(s). Don’t worry–it gets worse.

I am so appalled at the concept, I don’t even know where to start: Sunburn? Mosquitoes? Mulch and grass in places mulch and grass shouldn’t go? A poorly aimed weedwacker? Embarrassed petunias? People showing too much winter paleness?

The possibilities are horrifying and horrifyingly endless.

Although just because you are unclothed does not mean you are a hoe.

I talked to the Puppy about Naked Gardening Day.

Puppy: Fur.
Me: Fur?
Puppy: Fur. You need fur.
Me: It’s summer. Why do I need fur?
Puppy: Sunburn. Mosquitoes. Mulch and grass. Embarrassed petunias. Skin that’s blindingly pale. Fur solves the problems.
Me: Fur.
Puppy: Yep, fur.
Me: And the weedwacker?
Puppy: Run. In your fur.

The first people to participate in Naked Gardening Day were Adam and Eve. Even the snake was unclad according to most accounts of the story. They enjoyed N G Day right up to the point where they discovered the joy of custom fit fig leaves.

Not sure what you’re going to be doing next Saturday. But I know what I will not be doing.

Love, Mom


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Not All Ideas Are Good | Curling Iron Scrambled Eggs

Dear Kid,

New ideas can be tricky.

Sometimes a new idea seems great from the very beginning.

Sometimes an idea starts out seeming like a bad idea but then turn out to be great once we get used to it.

Sometimes an idea starts out seeming to be a bad idea but then gets sufficiently refined to be a good idea.

Go ahead. Make curling iron scrambled eggs. I'll keep my hair straight today. DearKidLoveMom.com

So it’s important to give new ideas a chance, to give them a chance to become more familiar, to give them time to grow on you.

But sometimes new ideas are just not good ideas, and if they grow on you at all it’s more like mold than anything you’d want to cut and put in a vase.

Case in point: the Curling Iron Scrambled Egg.

I like eggs. I like scrambled eggs (as long as they’re made with real eggs and don’t have weird stuff cooked into them). But there is really nothing good about scrambled eggs made with a curling iron except being able to say you did it. (Besides, it looks a little obscene.)

Making eggs with a curling iron doesn’t save time, money, or the all-important number of things to be washed. You still have to buy eggs, you still have to have a dish to mix the eggs in, you still have to open a drawer to find something to mix with, you still have to find a plate to eat on, AND you ruin your curling iron.


Why would someone think this is a good idea?

Cosmopolitan seemed to think it was a good enough idea to film it (here’s the link if you want to watch it yourself). I’m not sure why; I had the sound off for most of the video. But there’s a reason professional chefs don’t include “curling iron” among their kitchen must-haves: it’s dumb.

The only dumber idea I can think of at the moment is using curling iron to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Ick.

Happy Breakfast.

Love, Mom

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You Do Not Know This About The Wizard of Oz

Dear Kid,

There is a great deal, my darling, that you don’t know. Hopefully, none of those things show up on your final exams.

Because while you are super smart, you still have things to learn. That’s why you have to go back to school next year.

Turns out there are about a zillion things you don’t know about The Wizard of Oz (and about a zillion and three websites devoted to telling you about said things).

Follow the yellow brick road. Where does your magic road take you? DearKidLoveMom.comHere are some of my fave what-the-heck? factiods.

You already (probably) know that Dorothy’s shoes in the book were silver and that they were changed to ruby red in the movie because the red showed up better against the Yellow Brick Road. But did you know that (in the movie) Dorothy’s outfit was light pink and blue because the light pink looked more white than white did?

Baum may have invented the name ‘Oz’ when looking at an alphabetical filing cabinet label, ‘O-Z.’ That may or may not be true.

And do you know that horses like Jell-O? Remember the horse-of-a-different-color? I always thought it was a techno-trick to make the horse change colors. That’s probably because I believe in magic. In this case however, the magic was crystalized Jell-O that was a painted onto several different horses (one for each color). The scenes had to be shot magically fast because the horses kept licking off the Jell-O yumminess. (Don’t worry about the horses—the ASPCA was involved to make sure they were well treated.)

The phrase horse of a different color means another matter entirely. Except in Oz where it means a horse that changes colors.

The horses were the only ones on set who loved their makeup. The green paint the Wicked Witch wore was toxic. Once she was painted, she wasn’t allowed to eat which made for an interesting diet. (And her face stayed green for weeks after filming because of the copper in the makeup.)

The Scarecrow’s makeup stayed with him too. For about a year, Ray Bolger had lines in his face from the mask. Even worse, Buddy Ebsen (who was supposed to be the Scarecrow and then swapped roles with Bolger to be the Tin Man) had a severe (as in he couldn’t breathe) reaction to the aluminum dust they used to make his face silver. Not breathing is generally a liability in acting, so Ebsen left Dorothy et al. for other projects (as they say). The next Tin Man got a paste instead of powder and his lungs seemed to appreciate the change.

The tornado in the film was actually a 35-foot-long muslin stocking spun around with dust and dirt.

Speaking of weird ingredients, the snow (in the poppy scene) was asbestos. The Tin Man cried chocolate syrup (machine oil didn’t show well on camera). And the sparks that shot off the ruby slippers were apple juice not magic.

Four sets of ruby slippers were used during filming. The ruby slippers were a size 5. That means they were too small for me to borrow. Size 5 is a tiny little foot.

Ingredients weren’t the only oddities. Behavior during the making of TWoO was odd as well. For example, the film’s director slapped Judy Garland when she couldn’t control her giggles. Not saying that today’s film sets are models of decorum, but slapping a star today would cause social media (and traditional media) to stand on their collective heads.

There are lots of other weirdnesses in the Land of Oz (and I’m not even counting Wicked), but unexpectedness and magic is what The Wizard of Oz is all about, right?

Love, Mom

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StinkyBoySweat and Implications for the Fragrance Industry

Dear Kid,

There is a reason not one single solitary fragrance manufacturer has ever (emphasis on EVER) thought about introducing StinkyBoySweat as the Scent of the Season.

They’ve used vanilla, bergamot, ylang ylang, wild orange, and a host of other things tantalizing to the nose. But not StinkyBoySweat.

In fact, the IFRA (the International Fragrance Association – there really is such a thing) does not even list StinkyBoySweat on its ingredient list (I checked).

the IFRA (the International Fragrance Association – really there is such a thing) does not list StinkyBoySweat on its ingredient list. Take a shower. DearKidLoveMom.comWhen you look up StinkyBoySweat, you find that its chemical ingredients include snips and snails and puppydog tails (extra points if you get the reference) with a skull and crossbones and rotting football next to the description. And a warning in big, bold, blue letters which reads: Do not allow to come into contact with skin, clothing, small mammals, or (for that matter) any living thing. May singe nose hairs. Will paralyze sense of smell for up to 18 hours. May cause you to wish your sense of smell gone forever. Side effects include loss of friends, loss of hair, and loss of consciousness.

Pi and I went to the gym yesterday. When we went over to the mats, my nose rebelled.

Me: I smell StinkyBoySweat.
Pi: I don’t smell anything.
Me: It’s definitely StinkyBoySweat.
Pi: You haven’t smelled StinkyBoySweat until you’ve been in a football huddle.

I had to concede that one. I’ve walked by hordes of football players after a game and almost passed out.

I’ve had unwashed hockey players in my car (the cost of fumigation was more than your college tuition), but apparently more is more when it comes to BoyStink.

I don’t know where rugby ranks on the Stank Scale.

What I do know is that all those who work with people dripping with StinkyBoySweat have much stronger internal fortitude than I do. Or perhaps a less developed sense of smell.

Thank heaven for soap and showers.

Love, Mom



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College Students and The Mom Look

Dear Kid,

One of the most important things about being a mom is being able to master The Mom Look.

The Mom Look is potent. Behave yourself. DearKidLoveMom.comThe Look can convey a wide variety of instructions, emotions, judgments, and answers—and kids always know what The Look means. At least they do if they know what’s good for them.

The great thing about The Mom Look is that it goes right to the heart of the matter. There’s no ignoring a Mom Look. You can try, but The Mom Look will penetrate your defenses. The Mom Look can bore through the back of your head. Through walls.

The Mom Look can also cover distance. Not just distance to the next room, but vast distances. Specifically, from wherever Mom is to wherever you are.

So if you think someone is looking in your general direction, you might be right.

Love, Mom

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You Are Not Going to Believe This About Frogs

Dear Kid,

I woke up with the Frog Song running through my head (frogs here, frogs there, frogs were jumping everywhere). It left lots of webbed footprints in my brain and I thought, “Wouldn’t it be a good idea to write to the Kid about frogs today?”

No, it wouldn’t.

I discovered (as I sipped my most excellent Buckeye Buzz coffee) that My Friend the Internet has not organized weird facts about frogs into a nice sanitized version suitable for moms to read before breakfast.

Instead, there are a lot of froggy facts that are designed to keep 8 year old boys happily making gross noises for hours. And while I do not begrudge those children their hours of fun, neither do I wish to learn about frogs using their eyeballs to swallow their food before I’ve had mine. Food that is.

Since real life was off the table (amazing how often that happens in my world), I decided to delve into the land of fiction for frog info. DearKidLoveMom.comAnd that was one of the tamer factoids.

Since real life was off the table (amazing how often that happens in my world), I decided to delve into the land of fiction for frog info. Turns out there are a lot of frogs in fiction, including Frog Thor (I kid you not), various frogs who are really princes, and Trevor (of H. Potter fame). You may have fun making your own list of frogs and toads if you have nothing better to do at the moment. I’ll wait.

The most important frogs (and by “most important” I mean “my favorites”) are Kermit the Frog and his nephew Robin. They sing. They dance. They are adorable. They are kind-hearted. They invite self-centered pigs into their lives. And not once have they talked about using their eyes to swallow their food.

Hope any frogs you encounter today manage to keep their hygienic, digestive, and reproductive habits to themselves.

Love, Mom

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