Not What You’re Expecting

Not What You’re Expecting

Dear Kid,

Get going!

Why is it always my responsibility?

It’s your job.

I’m more than just my job.

Not this morning, you’re not.

I’m pretty sure this is prosecutable under the law.

I’m pretty sure it’s not. Get to work.

You really aren’t being fair about this.


It's always coffee time. DearKidLoveMom.comYou really could try you know.

What do you think I’m doing?

Putting all the burden on me.

Doesn’t that make you feel important?

Most days. But today I just want a break.

We can’t always get what we want.

That’s my point, exactly! YOU can’t always get what YOU want.

True. But in this case I can. And will.

Doesn’t that make you a Dictator?

With a small “d”. And I pay for you, so I’m OK with it.

You can’t pay for talent like mine.

And yet I did. And do.


I’m just saying we could mix it up a bit.

I don’t want to mix it up. I want you to get to work.

But don’t you think that’s a little boring?

It’s a good kind of boring.


Today’s lesson: It’s generally not productive to have an early morning conversation with a strong cup of coffee.

Love, Mom

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Head, Shoulders, Knees, Feet, and Toes

Head, Shoulders, Knees, Feet, and Toes

Dear Kid,

Look down. Those are your feet.

You only have two of them. If you were a caterpillar, you’d have more. If you were a centipede, you’d be squashed and not have to worry about feet.

If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking. Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk. ~Raymond Inmon DearKidLoveMom.comYou already know that each foot contains 26 bones (you can probably even name them all), 33 joints, and the potential to look fabulous in a great pair of shoes. But did you know that each foot has over 250,000 sweat glands? That’s a LOT of sweat glands. Hence the stanky feet syndrome.

Someone spent time figuring out that during an average day of walking, the force on your feet is (approximately) equivalent to the force of a fully loaded cement truck. I’m guessing the fully loaded cement truck would actually hurt more.

Walking is considered the best exercise for your feet. Which probably means that bench pressing a cement truck would be better than a vaccine.

The average person will walk about 115,000 miles in a lifetime. That was calculated before the invention of the Fitbit. Now the average person walks about 2,873,000 miles in a lifetime. Mostly on a treadmill.

Toenails grow much more slowly than fingernails. This means you need a pedicure far less often than you need a manicure. Except in the summer when toenails grow faster and we wear sandals more often.

Feet are ticklish.

Hope your toes are happy today.

Love, Mom

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How to Solve the Biggest of Problems

How to Solve the Biggest of Problems

Dear Kid,

I have an opinion.

(I trust that doesn’t shock you senseless.)

I just read an article about a grandmother who was “greatly inconvenienced” by her daughter-in-law not wanting her (grandma) to post pictures of the infant granddaughter on Facebook. Actually, I think the word the g’ma used was “hardship.”

Are. You. Kidding. Me.

And if the grandparents really, really disagree, the solution is obvious. Buy the kid a drum set. DearKidLoveMom.comIt’s no secret that I love social media. So much so that over the last umpteen years people have (more than once) suggested an intervention. (I have cut waaaay back as my Twitter followers will attest. But that’s neither here nor there.)

It’s wonderful to be able to connect to friends, long lost friends, relatives who—BSM (before social media)—would have been only vaguely familiar names. But most of us also connect beyond people we know really well. I’ve made friends on social media who I’ve never met IRL.

There is no such thing as “privacy” on social media. I don’t care how tightly you lock something down, it’s out there, it’s public.

And if parents don’t want baby’s (toddler’s, child’s) pix making the rounds, I say good for them. Not that sharing pictures is inherently bad. But parents get to make those choices.

Grandparents get to send emails to real friends with all the pictures they want.

If parents say “here are the publicly approved photos”, grandparents need to stick by that.

This is NOT an issue for grandparents to intervene, argue, request a special dispensation, or fret about. It’s the parents’ choice.

And if the grandparents really, really disagree, the solution is obvious.

Buy the kid a drum set.

Love, Mom

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What You Absolutely, Positively Need to Know About White Tattoos

Dear Kid,

It has recently come to my attention that there is such a thing as white tattoos.

The person informing me of this hot, hot trend explained that they are very cool, very subtle, and an excellent idea.

I turned to My Friend the Internet for enlightenment.

To be clear, most of what I learned came from tattoo sites—websites that hawk the virtues and varieties of tattoos, body scarring, and other forms of body art. Almost all these sites show photos. So does Pinterest.

I researched. I looked at pictures. I have come to conclusions: White tats are not for everyone. OK, that’s one conclusion, but it’s a good one.

First, the general stuff that applies to all tattoos:

They are permanent. As in forever. As in the trendy tat in your mind’s eye might not be quite so trendy and fab in 10 years. (Have you seen the commercial [I think it’s for one of the cell phone companies] where they point out that some bad ideas can’t be easily undone and then show the matching Spring Break ’99 tattoos on their backs?)

Quality can vary. Tattoo results depend on your skin, the design, the quality of the ink, the skill of the artist, and whether the planets are aligned. If the commercials are to be believed, it also depends on whether the tattoo artists is eating a Milky Way bar.

Risk of infection. Tattoo needles puncture your skin. Even if your tattoo artist uses the cleanest of needles, it’s possible to get an infection after a tattoo.

Professionalism. Not all employers are accepting of visible tattoos. ‘Nuff said.

Be very sure you do your research before getting a white tattoo DearKidLoveMom.comOn to the issues with white tattoos.

White is an unpredictable color. You wouldn’t think that, since it’s white. How hard can white be? But it is. Read on.

White tattoos look like raised scars. Which is great if you’re going for a raised scar look. Not so much if you want a flat tattoo.

White ink fades faster than dark ink. When the ink fades, the skin generally looks somewhat discolored and bruised. Which is kind of the opposite of permanent. And it is almost impossible (at this point anyway) to refresh a white tattoo.

White ink can change color. Sometimes they just turn yellow-ish especially when exposed to a lot of sunlight or if the tattoo-ee’s skin isn’t healthy enough (or just because). They can also turn yellow if the ink starts breaking down. Sometimes dark ink inadvertently gets in the white tattoo and you’re left with a stained tattoo. Or just the stain if the white fades.

White tattoos often end up looking like mosquito bites or a skin rash. Probably not the original intention, but what do I know.

The ink used in white tattoos is made of a liquid carrier and pigment which probably contains “lead carbonate, rutile, and titanium dioxide”. And you’re putting this in your body? To be fair, black tattoo ink has heavy metal in it too. That doesn’t make it better.

Only a very skilled and experienced tattoo artist can deliver a really well done white ink tat.

Think before you ink.

Love, Mom

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All That Glitters

All That Glitters

Dear Kid,

You may recall that in researching donuts I came across the concept of edible diamonds. I had never heard of edible diamonds. So I (of course) turned to My Friend the Internet.

Who has never heard of them either. Or at least is not telling.

So if anyone knows anything about edible diamonds, I’m listening.

While I was searching, I found out a lot about edible gold. Being the kind of Mom I am, I decided to share.

The more pure the gold, the better for you, mostly because the less pure the more likely you are to have ick mixed in. So go for 22K to 24K gold. And choose high quality alloys (like silver which it turns out is also edible) rather than copper (which is not good for your insides).

Gold leaf (but not the edible kind). DearKidLoveMom.comThe thing about eating gold (or silver) is that “edible” in this case means “won’t poison you.” Like kale. Unlike kale, gold and silver will pass right through your system without bothering to leave anything (healthful or otherwise) behind. Also unlike kale, you won’t gag on the taste.

People have long been fascinated by gold, so there are many stories about it. Like Midas and Goldilocks.

In the 15th century, gold was used medicinally. This was pointless to everyone except the people who made a profit selling and dispensing the gold.

In the 16th century, extremely rich Italians (generally those with “Duke”, “Earl”, or other forms of Your Exaltedness in front of their names) had their risotto decorated with edible goal. No clue why as it seems to me the gold would just blend in and risotto is a rich enough dish as is.

The Elizabethans added gold dust to fruits (grapes, pomegranates, oranges, dates, figs, etc.) to make their tables more elegant and opulent. Clearly, they couldn’t taste much because dates and figs are perfect plain.

The Japanese have a long history of adding gold to food and sake. The Japanese have a long history of treating food like art. But at least they didn’t bother putting gold on dates and figs.

So what have we learned? Gold is pretty. Small amounts are often used in food, candy, and beverages to bling those babies up a bit. Since gold (and silver) are, um, just passing through, there is no dietary benefit. Nor is there any harm as long as the metal is high quality. And there is no point trying to recover the gold you just ate, as the amount is far too small to make it worth the salvage process.

Love, Mom

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Even More About Donuts | Donuts and Hashtags

Even More About Donuts | Donuts and Hashtags

Dear Kid,

Now for the weird stuff about donuts. (Don’t forget to read about doughnuts Part 1 and Part 2.)

The longest line of donuts reached 1,841 feet 10 inches. #WasteOfDonuts #WhatHappenedToTheOtherTwoInches #Why

You can't buy happiness, But you can buy donuts. And that's kind of the same thing. DearKidLoveMom.comIt used to be that the most expensive donuts in the world were the ones made in New York. They are made with edible gold, edible diamonds, and aged chocolate balsamic vinegar and are sold for $100 each. (No idea what the accompanying coffee costs.) I’ve heard of edible gold before, but edible diamonds? Must research this bit of ridiculousness. Now it turns out that London has upped the ante with a $2,000 donut. #WTH

The black-and-white doughnut is made with saffron-infused butter croissant dough, Tahitian gold vanilla beans, and rare Amedei Porcelana chocolate, and is topped with Cristal rosé champagne caviar and gold leaf flakes.

The largest donut ever made was a jelly donut made in New York. It was 16 feet in diameter, only 16 inches high at the center, and weighed 1.7 tons. So did the people who ate it. #Murica

Some people believe that eating jelly donuts on New Year’s Eve brings good luck. This is true, because jelly donuts and heavy drinking don’t really go together. Therefore and consequently, eating jelly donuts tends to keep the eaters relatively sober. #SoberIsSmarter

Back in 1933 (see: Before Time Began) at the Chicago World’s Fair, donuts were called the “Hit Food of the Century of Progress.” They earned this lofty title because they were fresh, cheap, and made quickly by automated machines. Need I point out that “progress” does not always mean “progress”? #Obviously

Before the invention of cheap candy and minion costumes, people would celebrate Halloween by bobbing for donuts hung from a string. #OldTimeyFun

Back in the day, whalers sometimes celebrated the 1,000th barrel of whale oil by frying donuts in—wait for it—whale oil. #NothingGoodAboutThat

There used to be a chain of shops where donuts were made from mashed potatoes and/or potato starch (they were called Spudnuts). #LatkeConfusion

Randy’s Donuts in Hollywood has a 32 foot donut sculpture on its roof. This (and I quote) “iconic” donut has appeared in many movies including Crocodile Dundee and Iron Man 2. I must go visit next time I’m on the left coast. #MovieDonut

Being the kind of Mom I am, I’ve saved the best for last. The French used to call donuts Pet de Nonne which means “Nun’s Farts.” #KnewYou’dLikeThat

Love, Mom




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More About Donuts

More About Donuts

Dear Kid,

In honor of yesterday (National Donut Day), I got hungry. Rather than set a new land-speed record for driving to the nearest donut provider, I decided to consult My Friend the Internet and see what I could learn.

Turns out there are a lot of donut facts. A LOT.

So many that it will take today and tomorrow to share some of my faves with you. (Notice I did not say “to share them all” with you because I’m not even going to attempt that.)

Fasten your seatbelt and loosen your regular belt.

More than 10 billion donuts are made each year in the United States. I am personally responsible for eating half of them.

You can't buy happiness, But you can buy donuts. And that's kind of the same thing. DearKidLoveMom.comDoughnuts were probably introduced to the US by the Dutch who called them olykoeks, or “oil cakes” (let’s just agree that “donut” is more marketable). Olykoeks were balls of cakey batter fried in pork fat. The center didn’t cook as fast as the outside, so the glop was replaced with fruit or nuts.

That might be the origin of the name doughnuts. Or it might not.

In 1847 Hansen Gregory, an American ship captain, invented the donut hole. Whether he did so because he needed both hands to steer, or because he didn’t like the consistency of the dough in the middle (and punched it out), or because was challenged to find a new use for the pepper box, or because the angels told him to is a question we will leave for other scholars.

In 1920, Adolph Levitt (a Russian-born immigrant) invented the first automated donut machine. Guess what he called it? The “Wonderful Almost Human Automatic Donut Machine”. There are a lot of reasons to like Mr. Levitt.

Canada has more donut shops (per capita) than any other country. This is probably because moose like donuts.

In the US, Boston has the most donut shops (per capita).

Economists have long known that the size of the hole in a donut correlates with the economy (the worse the economy, the bigger the hole). No word on which donut they’re measuring or why they bother, because duh.

Love, Mom

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