Fellow bloggers: Do you ever have days when you feel like you have nothing to say? When it seems as if everything has already been said? When each day seems like every other day so writing anything down seems so redundant? If so, how do you conquer that blase feeling? Dang, it was so bad I considered setting up a Twitter account so I could feel justified in having nothing to say.
As I pondered setting up said Twitter account, I remembered that it might be seen as a betrayal by those Quangsters who rely on my being a Twitterless Thinker. To satisfy those three people, and to keep myself from plunging into the deep dark depths of 140-character thoughts, I bring you the latest installment of Thoughts of a Twitterless Thinker.
You know what I've been thinking about most lately? In a few days I get to find out the gender of my latest grandchild--Em's baby. I'm thinking girl. Em's thinking girl. I'm thinking the ultrasound tech is thinking girl but doesn't want to say anything until the official gender unveiling on Tuesday. I'll keep you posted.
My son, being a thirteen-year-old, now communicates with his friends online more than he does in person. I had one of his friends sitting in my office using my computer, while Weston was in his room using his computer. They were involved in a group chat with a couple of friends from school. At one point the two boys were just typing to each other and I mentioned something to both of them that maybe they should just get off the computer and go talk to each other face to face. You know, since they were only a room apart and all. Each one looked at me with the 2011 equivalent of "Are you high?" Silly me. There I go thinking again.
Speaking of online chatting, you are all familiar with the chatting acronyms, right? You know, like LOL means Laughing out Loud, and BRB means Be Right Back. Weston was feeling mildly hurt because he thought his friends thought he was "lame." I assured him that was not the case, but to prove it he confided that when he says something online, his friends will respond with LMAO. When I told him that it meant Laughing My A** Off, he brightened. He thought they were responding "Lame-o!"
I'm thinking that most of this post will be my thoughts on dealing with the creature called "The Thirteen-Year-Old." For some reason, as soon as Weston turned thirteen, he lost massive amounts of brain cells, to the point where I have to re-teach things he learned when he was three. Things like when you get up from the couch while holding a plate of spaghetti, make sure that you hold the plate in a horizontal position. Holding it in a vertical position will cause the spaghetti to slide from the plate to the carpet. I thought he knew that, but maybe I didn't stress it enough when he was three.
Or things like when it's cold outside, you stay warmer when you wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Like a toddler, he prefers to dress himself, so when he runs around the house in a short-sleeved t-shirt, ankle socks, and shorts and then complains, "I'm freezing!" I tend to say stupid things like, "Maybe you should change your clothes."
Or when he's sitting at his computer with his headphones on, and his chores are left undone and his room is a mess, and I say, "No computer until your chores are done and your room is cleaned." He smiles at me and says, "Okay." Twenty minutes later he is still plugged in so I repeat. He nods and smiles, " I am." Ten minutes later I go back to his room, slightly more irritated than the first two trips and tell him again to get off the computer and get his chores done. He unplugs and says, "Mom! I am!"
There's that awkward moment where I am left wondering if English is his second language or if I have failed to teach him the proper bodily actions to perform when your mother says to get your chores done. They don't involve sitting in a chair staring at a computer screen with headphones attached. Did I not teach him these things when he was but a manling? Oh wait! Maybe he's playing some new Facebook game called Chore-ville, where the player thinks that actions performed online are duplicated in the real world.
Today I was convinced that all the life-skills training that I have done with this child since age 0 have been for naught. I was certain that my young man was replaced by someone else's obstinate defiant two-year-old.
Me (noticing that Weston was ready to walk out the door to go to an Airsoft game in thirty degree weather): "Why are you wearing that jacket? It's not even dry. Did you pull it out from the washer?"
Weston: "It's okay."
Me: "It's not okay. It's soaking wet. It hasn't even been in the dryer yet."
Weston: "Mom. It's not that cold out. It's fine."
Me: "You can't wear a sopping wet jacket. You are going to freeze."
Weston: "It's not that bad."
Me: "Go put on your winter coat."
Weston" "It's too small."
Me: "When did it suddenly get too small?"
Weston: "My arms show when I stretch my arms out." He puts on the coat and demonstrates. About two inches of his forearms show.
Me: "If you put on a long-sleeved shirt, then your forearms won't get cold."
Weston: "Mom! It's not a coldness thing. I don't want my arms to get hit by airsoft pellets."
Me: "Then wouldn't a long-sleeved shirt still help?"
Weston: "Argh. Mom. You don't get it."
He's right. I didn't get it. I thought my "How to Pick out Appropriate Clothing" training had ended nine years ago. Looks like I'm starting from scratch. After ten minutes of arguing, he finally left the house with a long-sleeved shirt and his warm winter coat. I was exhausted.
On the bright side, he is still capable of making me laugh. One day Computer Geek, Weston, and I were coming back from Walmart and stopped for gas. Computer Geek started to get back in the car but Weston said, "You left your receipt hanging at the machine." CG sees that it is so, gets back out of the car, retrieves the receipt, then gets back in. He says to Weston, "Thank you for letting me know about that." To which Weston replies,
"I am a noble steed." Indeed.
I'll close this thoughtful post with an amazing tip I learned over the holidays. Have you ever been to Walmart and tried to get some pop, only to discover that all the pop at the front of the shelves has been removed? And that you are far too short to reach the pop you want, way at the back of the shelf? Many times I have said, "Oh well. I guess it's just God's way of saying that I shouldn't drink pop," and then I move on. No more! God has provided an awesome pop-retrieving tool.
We were at our local Walmart and noticed that the fake 7*UP was almost gone. The last few bottles were waaaay in the back. Shaq could not have reached those bottles. Two Walmart ladies were working in the aisle, and because our Walmart has awesome customer service (I'm not lying--these people are even happy when I use coupons. They rock. Yay for store # 2794! Give 'em all a raise!) they asked me if they could help.
I explained that I was far too short to reach the pop I wanted. These two ladies had a brilliant solution. "Let's find Max."
Max shows up and he is approx. 6'3". Does he reach up there and get my pop? No. Remember I said that even Shaq could not have reached those bottles?
I learned that the ladies didn't go find Max because he was tall. They found Max because he was smart. Max showed me an uber cool trick that I am now going to show you. Amaze your friends! Stun your relatives! I now present the Walmart No Stilts Needed Pop Retrieval Tool:
Amazing, right? The tool is inconspicuously hidden in the shelving unit itself. It slides right into the hole when you have finished pulling the pop toward you with the elongated staple-like pop-grasper. So the next time you feel inferior because you can't reach the pop that is inconveniently stored above your head, just look for the thing that looks like a staple camouflaged against the shelving unit. How many times have I looked right at it and never known?
P.S. Max, who is a serious customer advocate, gave me permission to take the above photo.