Friday, March 18, 2011


To be a parent is to find yourself saying things you just never thought you'd say like, "You know you can't iron the tablecloth when it's already on the dining room table, right?" and to have one of your children look at you with that "duh" look but then say with not much conviction "Of course I know that!" only to later remove the tablecloth and find the very distinct imprint of an iron seared into the fine wood of your only piece of Ethan Allen furniture in the house.

It is also to come home from a nice dinner out with your husband to find strange things around the house like the above picture. You won't really know why that is there but you are pretty sure that one of your offspring constructed it for what seemed to be a very good reason at the time, not that it is a random piece of modern art. And perhaps when you go looking for your clipboard the next day you will find it inexplicably covered in aluminum foil.

Some how these things always crack me up although I know they are not always funny to everyone. My own mother would have had a heart-attack if she'd caught me ironing on the dining room table. For some reason, ruining wood (by spilling milk or not using a coaster or taping something to it) was about the most egregious act you could commit upon our house when I was a kid. I don't know why that was. Was wood more scarce then? Were people judged by the quality of their wood furniture? I don't know. I just know it was a crime in my home just shy of dripping candle wax on the bee-yoo-tiful red shag rug in the basement, the one that matched the Early American Bi-Centennial couch and lead to the now legendary story of my mother finding the said wax and pointing to it in horror saying in a tone of voice usually reserved for pedophiles, "CANDLE WAX!"

But I digress. I was talking about funny things you find around your house or find yourself saying like:

Me: Hey, who put an open can of garbanzo beans back in the pantry!
Child 1: What are garbanzo beans?
Child 2: I hate garbanzo beans.
Child 3: I don't even know how to use a can opener. You probably did it old lady!

All of which are salient points. Notice not one of them just said, "I didn't do that" (future lawyers?) and then you vaguely remember making a bean salad a few weeks before and deciding at the last minute to leave the garbanzo beans out of the recipe as Child 2 does indeed hate them and that quite possibly Child 3 is right and it was YOU who put an open can of garbanzo beans back in the pantry but you are also quite sure that before you had children you never did such things-- so really, it IS their fault.

The morning after you have discovered the nail file taped to the desk and your aluminum-foil-clad clipboard one of your children will show you the fabulous video she made of herself playing the piano and you will be pleased and proud but most of all you will be happy to figure out that the nail file contraption was built to prop the iPhone up while it filmed her (though you still to this day don't know why your clipboard was covered in aluminum foil).

And that is why it is fun to be a parent because even when they are teenagers they will still be doing wacky things that confound you and amuse you --if you are not overly fond of your wood furniture and you don't really need your clipboard.


  1. "it really IS their fault!"! love it! and i totally relate to this. my daughter has constructed some odd, but very functional, things in her 12 years!

  2. I think the aluminium foil wrapped clipboard was used to reflect the light on her while she was being filmed.