Afternoon Pool Silliness; or “You grabbed my nipples!”

On Monday our pool here at the hotel opened for the summer. (And then closed yesterday, because it rained? I still don’t understand that, but whatever.)We had a blast, an all day at the pool sort of day. As RedBird and I were sitting beside the pool monitoring the cousins in the pool we kept laughing at the extreme silliness (or maybe our own immaturity) at what was happening in the pool, or better what was shouted/squealed across the pool. So here it is our play-by-play of silly things said at the pool:

*Side Note: Our cast of characters for the day are: RedBird, my SIL, mother to K-Man, and Aunt to my kids; K-man, my 3-year-old nephew; BoyChild I; BoyChild II; GirlChild; and me Mama. *

The Scene: Older 2 children are playing/teaching/generally harassing BoyChild II the classic Marco Polo, in a smallish hotel pool that only goes from 3ft to 4ft 6in in-depth, all of them can swim to varying degrees of proficiency.

GirlChild: Marco

BoyChild I & II: Polo

GirlChild: (moving towards BC II) Marco

BoyChild I & II: Polo

BoyChild I: This water is hard to get friction on!

(laughter)

GirlChild: What?

BoyChild I: I can’t run, no friction

GirlChild: That’s not what fri- never mind, tag you’re it!

BoyChild I: Hey! (irritated face) But I couldn’t get enough friction.

(argument ensues over the definition of the word friction) (back to our game…)

BoyChild II: Marco

BoyChild I, GirlChild & K-Man: Polo (one of these persons was not actually playing, he was standing on the steps laughing his fanny off about confusing the other kids)

BoyChild II: Marco

BoyChild I, GirlChild & K-man: Polo

BoyChild I & GirlChild: Hey! You can’t peak!

BoyChild II: I didn’t mean to!

Mama: Play by the rules, or no one will want to play with you.

Mama to RedBird: Every time they say polo, he opens his eyes because he’s startled, watch…

BoyChild II: Marco

BoyChild I, GirlChild & K-man: Polo (BC II jumps & opens eyes in shock, than quickly closes them)

(laughter from the sidelines)

RedBird to Mama: It’s like he can’t believe how close they are to him

K-man: Polo

BoyChild II: Marco

BoyChild I, GirlChild & K-man: Polo

(BC II grabs at/tags his brother blindly)

BoyChild I: Hey! You grabbed my nipple!

(giggles ensue from where the “adults” are sitting)

Mama: (trying to go for a serious voice & completely missing) Don’t grab you brother’s nipples.

(game falls apart shortly after that)

GirlChild: I’m getting out, you guys are ridiculous. (something she has been accusing BC I of since she was about 2-years-old) Mom, can I go back to the room?

Mama: Yes, hang up your swimsuit & towel.

Boy Child II: Look at meeee! (jumps in pool)

BoyChild I: Something sharp I stepped on.

Mama: You ok Yoda?

(giggles)

K-man: polo

BoyChild I: I don’t think I’m bleeding…

Mama: Yup, you’re fine.

RedBird: She going to go talk to her bf on the phone?

Mama: Probably, she’s still 14 and all.

K-man: Polo

RedBird: True, I remember that…

K-man: Polo

Mama: Think he’ll be yelling that all day?

RedBird: It’s better than the swearing…

Mama: True, true

BoyChild II: Who wants to see my ball?! (standing on side of pool)

(raucous laughter from boys)

Mama: What?

K-man: Polo

BoyChild II: My BALL! WHO WANTS TO SEE MY BALL?

Mama: Do you mean cannon ball?

(giggles from the “adult” section)

BoyChild II: That’s what I said. LOOK EVERYBODY! LOOK AT MY BALL!

(jumps into pool)

K-man: Polo

(the afternoon proceeds in this manner, with ice cream & re-sun screening breaks until supper)

One last random thing shouted throughout the afternoon in public:

My trunks are farting! Look see the bubbles?! (yay boys)

What ridiculous/embarrassing things have you or your kids shouted out in public recently?

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Teen Moms

Ok, so I have completely stayed away from anything that could be remotely construed as controversial so far here at the table. I don’t like long fights in discussion boards, and well just wanted people to like me. But, as anybody who knows me would tell you, that was only bound to last so long. (I think a month was   quite the superior show of restraint) So here we go…

Unless you are living under a rock, (with your laptop, which seems unlikely) you’ve  heard of this show on MTV called Teen Mom. This show, amongst other things has really brought into mainstream everyday discussion being a teenage mother. I have watched several episodes of both Teen Mom and Teen Mom2, mostly because RedBird enjoys them and we can veg out on a Tuesday night for some trashy TV. Do I let GirlChild watch this show? Absolutely not. I let her watch the ABC Family’s Secret Life of the American Teenager, because I will (kinda) watch it with her and it’s a great way to induce a little practical & moral discussion/direction with my young teen daughter. But Teen Mom? No, these girls are a hot mess, and they make me way too angry almost every episode I see.

Here’s the thing, I was/am (not sure the semantics-someone feel free to correct me on this) a teenage mother. I was 17 when GirlChild was born, married her father, had BoyChild I at age 19, and was divorced by my 21st birthday.  So I can look back at myself over a decade ago and see the teenage me in these girls right, actually no, no I can’t. Am I sitting here saying I had my life together at 17? Duh, no, I was pregnant at 17. However, these girls make the 17 year old me look like the most logical, pulled together, responsible, respectful, considerate, and mature 17 year old you’ve ever met. (by the way I wasn’t)These girls give teenage mothers a bad name. I’m not saying that it’s all roses and sunshine in reality, but these girls are so extremely bad at what they are portraying that reality is lost about 5 minutes into every episode.

So, no other reality TV show pisses me off like this one does. I don’t really watch them as a rule, I’m just not entertained by them. But I don’t get angry at the producers for airing those shows  either. Why the hate? I have spent 14 years of my life living down a stigma. 14 years of “Are you baby-sitting your younger siblings? How Sweet.” and “Are you old enough to be her mother?” or “Haven’t you figured out what caused that yet?” or (in front of a toddler) “Why didn’t you just have an abortion? Wouldn’t that have been better?”.  I deliberately dress only in certain clothes if I am going places with my kids, I jokingly call these clothes my mom wardrobe, for the purpose of looking older. I think every mother, to a certain extent wrestles with some self doubt, and some doubt of others. But the teenage mom gets this everyday, every minute of everyday in spades. At an age where most girls are trying to figure out where they are going for spring break we are trying to make real life impacting decisions that make adult women nervous to be making.

A few points I want to make clear. I do not regret having any of my children, I love them more than I could have ever imagined loving anyone. If I could go back would I change it? No, I wouldn’t be the mom, or the person, I am today without having lived through that experience. (and for the record I’ve discovered that after 30 you suddenly become a fan of yourself, which is totally cool) Would I recommend for anyone to have a baby/ get married before you graduate high school? No, no I would not. (BTW I did graduate, on time, but I worked my ass of to do it & my daughter attended at 6 weeks old my graduation) Am I writing any of this to make someone feel sorry for me? No, I made choices, stupid, childish choices, that affect me to this day. No one at 17 or younger (& quite frankly most 25 and younger) should be making adult decisions, they aren’t ready, they think they are but they aren’t. I wasn’t, I just knew I was ready and so in love. I can look back and say that both of those statements were as true as they could be when I was 16, 17, and 18 years old. Here’s the thing though, they were my choices to make, good, bad or indifferent. I had to make those choices, then I had to live with the consequences of those choices.

That’s why I can’t stand these shows, even the Secret Life dose it but it’s at least not claiming “reality”, these girls aren’t living as real teen moms. These girls go on job interviews dressed sloppy, and don’t follow the instructions of their interviewers and manage to get jobs. They work part time, or less but somehow have money for  food clothes, etc. They attend college while other people watch their kids for free, which I get sometimes happens, but every time? No, I don’t think so. They rent apartments or houses. Where can you sign a lease at 17, or 18 with no job for that matter? These girls are treated like celebrities, but claim to be living as “real” teen moms. It’s an injustice to any real teen moms. Girls should know that being a mom is hard, being a teen mom is even harder.

This show also is perpetuating a nasty stereotype, one I’ve had to live with the last 14 years. My SIL is a young mom, she was 19 when her son was born, and my brother, her husband is her baby’s father. She feels similarly to me on this. (not as angry I think-but I’ll give her time lol) Just the other day she was at work and was randomly interrogated by a customer. (She works in food service, so in order to keep her job she was forced to stand there and be polite to the man asking her these questions) “Why didn’t you just have an abortion or give it up for adoption to someone who could be a good parent?” My nephew is 3 and quite healthy/happy/smart, thank you very much. “You’re married? But not to your baby’s father, right?” “Oh, he is your baby’s father? Did you get married just because you were pregnant?” “Why do you work here? Why don’t you work a real job?””Who takes care of your son?” It went on for quite a while. This is not an isolated incident. I’ve had strangers ask me these same questions and others. I once had a child in an emergency room do to the fact that each day for the 4 days prior I took him to the Pediatrician because I was afraid he was dehydrated only to be (literally) patted on the head and told, “he’ll eat and drink when he’s hungry or thirsty”. He was admitted to the ER with severe dehydration, and the first thing that was said to me?” This is why little girls shouldn’t have babies, yours almost died because you   didn’t know how to take care of him.” A social worker was called. By the way I was 21 at the time, but looked like a teenager still, I was charged with neglect, and it was later dismissed in court, but its that attitude that I’ve fought as a mom. Shows like Teen Mom only encourage that attitude, which I can tell you can be dangerous to both the moms and those little babies.

Well, now that I ranted to you all, I’m curious, what is your position on teenage parents, shows like Teen Mom, and why?

Culinary Wing Spreading Part I: Rosemary Roasted Chicken Dinner

We started with the easiest effort for result Chicken Dinner I know. Rosemary Roasted Chicken with red potatoes, winter veggies and cheesy garlic crescent  rolls. We talked about how you shouldn’t eat 2 starches at  every meal, but we are in the South and it was Sunday dinner. So fair warning  this is a crowd pleaser, not an every night we eat like this. (before people get all angry & judgmental on my allegedly “healthy” menu) But if you are feeding 9 people, and 4 of them are under 18 + picky adults tossed in, this is a great cold February Sunday dinner.

We started with a bag of chicken leg quarters. We talked about what are leg quarters, why they are great for roasting/baking (won’ t get as dry) and how do we prepare them. I instructed GirlChild and RedBird how to wash the quarters, using a separate cutting board, and how to inspect them for feather bits and other unsavory chicken pieces. This was by the way hysterical. Wow, neither of them wanted to touch raw chicken and were thoroughly “girls” about it. I was mixing the rub (listed below) and explaining things like what rosemary does for poultry in general, how paprika gives it a more palatable reddish-orange roasted look, and how while a fresh onion would be better, we could get onion flavor without any “yucky pieces” to have to hear about (mostly from the adults but whatevs- ❤ you guys) with onion powder in our rub. While I am mixing spices in a bowl with a fork & sharing my (admittedly) little bits of spice knowledge, I get interrupted repeatedly with squeals followed by things like “OMG WHAT is that!? WAIT, EEEWW, What is this?! Oh, gross, it’s slimy! What is this rubbery skin like thing?” To which I respond,” That is the end of a feather like I was talking about. That’s the backbone, sweetie. Yes raw meat can feel a little slimy, but if it felt spongy-slimy than we would trash it, it has gone bad. That’s the chicken’s skin.” Lol ahh the joys of cooking, I already felt more bonded with my daughter and SIL & the oven was only preheating (375ᵒ F BTW)! So we move on to rubbing our spice into the chicken. Insert more ewws & squeals here. We all wash up & begin to wash and cut red potatoes into large chunks. These go into the bottom of the casserole dish. I show them how to cut little bits off of a 1/2 stick of butter and drop them onto the potatoes. Then we placed the chicken on top.  I drizzle on some of my (as in I made) Rosemary EVOO and into the oven she goes! A thorough washing ensues. I’m trying to sterilize, as is RedBird, GirlChild is just trying to rid herself of the “chicken grossness”.

I get out a cookie sheet and demonstrate how to open a can of crescent rolls. The girls get all the little rectangles stacked nicely (after I tell RedBird that that perforated edge is supposed to be there, less touching the better!). I melt a stick of margarine, add garlic powder, salt, basil and then stir with a pastry brush. The ladies start rolling the rolls according to the directions on the package, after first placing about a teaspoon’s amount of shredded cheddar at the center of the wide part of each dough triangle. Then I demonstrate brushing the garlic mix.” RedBird, don’t squish the bread!” Into the oven these also went. SIDE NOTE: they burnt on the bottom because they were too close to the burner, so watch out! Or it could have been the giggling instead of watching the oven…

Next up? The easiest dish, into another casserole I dumped a bag of frozen winter mix veggies. (the one that’s sometimes labeled California mix, with broccoli, cauliflower and carrots) That goes into the microwave with the lid on for 10 minutes.

When Chicken was done (we talked/demonstrated cooking temp & checking the thickest parts for doneness) I ladled some of the drippings from the pan over the steamed veggies and tossed them in it. Mmm suddenly cauliflower is Fabulous! (yes that’s a capital F)

We set the table and call in the troops. Although around here it’s more like gathering the orphans for gruel, or offering poison to hostile factions. Everyone is suspicious, is it poisoned? Will it be edible? Will they make me eat it anyway? This is by the way  not the result of the three of us cooking but the every night reaction to supper. For the record none of these people have ever had food poisoning and 6 out of 7 nights a week they enjoy the meal, so really they’re just a hostile faithless group. (little ingrates… Mommy loves you)

Quiet settles in the kitchen. “It smells good?” I can’t explain why this “compliment” is  said in question form, but there you have it. “Ranch?” This from the three year old who we love despite his predilection for dipping everything on his plate in Ranch dressing. At leasthe’seating and he manages to break the spell and bites are taken. *Moaning* I tell you rapture! Coming from a lady who is method acting for her performance as a nun (me), that chicken was the best thing I tasted at least this month. We brushed off the bottoms of the rolls, and voila! Magnifique! Rave reviews all around. I made sure everyone knew that RedBird and GirlChild cooked this wonderful feast and proper thanks were issued.

You know what was better than the chicken? The pride I saw in both their eyes on Sunday night. They did something new, something a little scary and excelled at it. Sigh my little birdies and their first flight was a beautiful success.

Rosemary Rub:

Eyeball actual amounts

Ingredients listed in order

From most to least:

Crushed Rosemary (Crush this more before using)

Onion Powder

Paprika

Season salt

Thyme