Rules for Alarm Clocks (by which I mean phones) During Exam Week

Dear Kid,

It’s that time of year (and by “that time of year” I mean final exams) when alarm clocks take on a whole new meaning.

And of course by “alarm clock” I mean the alarm setting on your phone because who has an alarm clock these days? (Besides me, I mean.)

The rules for alarms change during exam week (which isn’t exactly a week, but whatever). DearKidLoveMom.comThe rules for alarms change during exam week (which isn’t exactly a week, but whatever).

During most of the year: phone near the bed, the better to text instantly. During exams: phone on the far side of the room to lessen the risk of turning off the alarm and going back to sleep.

During most of the year: alarm volume set on “wake me up.” During exams: alarm volume set on “the world is about to implode so GET UP NOW!

During most of the year: pretty sure the phone is charged. During exams: double check the level of battery power—16 times before bed.

During most of the year: alarm remains set the same way. During exams: the schedule changes, so the alarm settings must change. Which means you have to check that you set it for AM, not PM. And that you got the time right. And that you turned it on. And that you didn’t accidentally turn it off when you checked to see that you had turned it on.

During most of the year: one alarm is sufficient. During exams: alarms set at 5 minute intervals for at least 40 minutes to ensure that even if you sleep through one, you’ll get up at the next one.

During most of the year: response to alarm going off is (unprintable). During exams: response to alarm going off is Hallelujah! I didn’t miss the final!

Love, Mom

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Final Exams, Dreams, & Reality | What Really Matters

Dear Kid,

For a new parent, there isn’t much worse than finding yourself dressed and ready to go to work in the morning, make-up more or less in the appropriate place, clothing covering all the important parts and generally acceptable for a business meeting, knowing that there is a strong cup of coffee just a short commute away, then leaning over to kiss the wee one goodbye and getting the morning’s breakfast all over your last clean dress, your favorite shoes, and your hair.

Not saying you ever did this. (I wore sneakers to work and put on my good shoes when I got where I was going. You never had a chance to desecrate them.)

It’s almost as bad as having the dream about missing (or being late to) an exam. Or the dream about showing up for the wrong exam. Or the dream about forgetting where the exam takes place. Or what the combination to your locker is. (I often have dreams nightmares terrifying-assaults-on-my-brain-during-sleep-hours set in the halls of a high school I’ve never attended with no way to open my locker. Weird brain, I know.)

For a college student, the moral equivalent is the joy of jumping out of bed, refreshed and ready to go, only to realize the exam starts in 3.4 minutes and the building is 5 minutes away. And you are still in PJs. Need I mention that the instructor does not serve coffee during the exam?

It’s fine with me if you take your exams in your PJs. But please be sure you eat well, get enough sleep, and generally take care of yourself. Also, set your alarm so you get to exams on time.

Good Luck during finals, kiddo.

Love, Mom





Love, Mom

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The 13th and We The People

Dear Kid,

On December 6, 1865, the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified.

Seems to me, that in this time of divisiveness, it’s worth remembering that We, The People are capable of doing the right things, great things, when we work together.

The 13th Amendment (as you no doubt remember) abolished slavery.

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Seems to me, that in this time of divisiveness, it’s worth remembering that We, The People are capable of doing the right things, great things, when we work together.

Love, Mom

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5 Unmistakable Ways to Know It’s the Holiday Season

Dear Kid,

#7. You know it's the holiday season when the cat is in the Christmas Tree. DearKidLoveMom.comIt’s officially the holiday season.

I know this because:

  1. Last night we finished the Thanksgiving leftovers. Even the ones we had in the freezer.
  2. The airwaves have been taken over by reindeer, barking dogs, and commercials for the “perfect gift.Note: You are not likely to receive the “perfect gift” (as defined by the ad agencies).
  3. Not only are the houses dressed up in all their festive glory, I saw a person pushing a stroller—that was lit with holiday lights. (That was a first for me.)
  4. People are at the mall rather than being home watching football.
  5. People at the mall are spending ridiculous sums—like $55 for a knitted hat. Note: You are not getting a $55 knitted hat whether or not it’s the “perfect gift”.

Love, Mom

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You’ll Never Believe Who We Saw on TV

Dear Kid,

We were watching the football game.

“You have to CATCH the ball!!” yells Dad to a player who had failed to get anywhere close to the ball in question.

“Tackle him! Tackle him!” yells Dad.

“You have GOT to be kidding me!!” the roars continue.

“You know they can’t actually hear you through the TV,” I say.

“I know,” says Dad, “but I’ll explode if I keep it in and then you’ll have a mess to clean up.”

Fair point.

“That’s better! That’s better!” shouts Dad.

“There’s the Kid! There’s the Kid!” I shriek. “There’s the Kid! There’s the Kid! The Kid! The Kid! The Kid!” The Kid on National TV Ohio University. DearKidLoveMom.comThere’s a time out on the field and the players huddle up for a water break.

“There’s the Kid! There’s the Kid!” I shriek. “There’s the Kid! There’s the Kid! The Kid! The Kid! The Kid!”

“Hi Sweetie!” I yell, “Love you!!”

“You know he can’t hear you through the TV,” says the Puppy.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I think it’s pretty dang cool that we saw you on national TV.

Love, Mom

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Good Morning Scammers! (Telephone vs Mascara)

Dear Kid,

I can’t believe it actually works.

Well, it didn’t here, but it must somewhere or you’d think they wouldn’t keep doing it.

The scam thing, I mean.

This is a dangerous weapon capable of mas(cara) destruction DearKidLoveMom.comThe phone rang at 8:23am. There are a limited number of people who call our home phone early in the morning, so I leapt to answer it. Caller ID politely said “Unknown Caller” which made me skeptical because the limited number of approve people who call our home phone early in the morning generally doesn’t include “Unknown Caller.”

But it’s possible (although unlikely) that either you or Pi were in Serious Difficulties and using someone else’s telephone to try to reach us. (Yes, moms think like that.) So I answered the phone.


Background noise of an incredibly busy room. I listen for a moment. “Hell-o?” I repeat in much more skeptical mom-tones.

“Yes, my name is [something—I wasn’t really listening that closely] and I’m calling from Microsoft’s technical center about your computer, ok?” The voice belonged to someone clearly not born and raised in ‘Murica.

I laughed. Out loud. I couldn’t help myself.

“No, not OK. You’re not from Microsoft. But what a great way to start the morning with a scammy-person. But seriously, dude, much as I’d love to keep talking and waste your time and money, I have to put on mascara.

But by then the line was dead. He’d hung up on me. Off to let his auto-dialer try to find someone who actually does live under a rock.

Love, Mom

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Chickens (You’re Not Going to Believe This)

Dear Kid,

A hawk in the neighborhood ate one of the chickens.

I can’t believe I just wrote that sentence. People who know me can’t believe I just wrote that sentence.

Even the hawk can’t believe I just wrote that sentence and he or she was in on the deed.

A hawk in the neighborhood ate one of the chickens. DearKidLoveMom.comThe dead chicken does believe it because A) she’s dead and B) chickens are very gullible creatures.

To be clear, it wasn’t our chicken because we don’t own live poultry. (And the only dead poultry we own come cleaned and packaged from the grocery store.)

But the very idea that I live in a neighborhood where hawks nest and hunt and chickens roam sufficiently free that they become raptor prey is very…what’s the word…um…

Basically, there are no words.

I am not a chicken farmer.

I’m not even a chicken farmer wannabe.

I like the idea of fresh eggs. I think.

Maybe I like the idea of liking the idea of fresh eggs.

I like the idea of meeting an occasional chicken. “Hello, how are you? Can I offer you a handful of grain? So nice to meet you but my very un-farmlike shoes and I have to be going now.”

I have no problem with the hawk chowing down on the chicken (although I’m sure the ex-chicken’s owners objected). Circle of life and all that.

And I rather like that we have a family of hawks living around the corner and screaming at everything. It gives me a sense of nature (even if I worry a bit about the Puppy becoming the lunch entrée one of these days).

I don’t object to the chickens in the neighborhood—I’ve never even met them. Dad tells me they are there. Dad is better at getting to know the people in the neighborhood than I am (apparently he’s better at meeting their livestock as well). I think I’d like to meet a chicken.


I wonder what shoes one wears to meet a chicken?

Love, Mom

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