Favorites - Our Krazy Kids

These are some of my favorite columns about kids:

Lawn Chairs

A few weeks ago our 3-year old started pre-school. Thank our lucky stars, this time she loves it!

Physically, she's only there five hours a week. Spiritually, she never leaves. All day long she talks, plays, breathes, and dreams pre-school. We used to have imaginary friends around here. Now we also have imaginary pre-school teachers, and making enough imaginary macaroni for everybody keeps me busy.

Should Mothers Work?

Whenever I hear this question, I pause for a moment in anticipation. It sounds like the straight line to a really good joke. I keep waiting for the punch line.

My rueful observation is that the punch line is probably our modern lives. At best, we are comical, frenzied, goofy, and too often out of control - the kind of qualities that make The Three Stooges a classic.

A Four-Year Old and a Dog #2

My husband and I told ourselves over and over again that a smallish house with three kids and three cats (and two too-tired parents) is full enough. The kids, not weighed down by logic, thought otherwise. They often rhapsodized about the extreme joy they would experience if we only had a dog. Then one Sunday afternoon last spring, a woman drove slowly past our house, saw us outside, and pulled over.

Kids Play Hockey

Last fall our son asked us if he could join a hockey team. Innocents that we were, we casually answered yes. Why wouldn't you let a zippy kid join a sport dedicated to zipping and zooming?

We found out quickly. First of all, hockey is expensive. Second, Racine doesn't have an ice arena.

We've been to Kenosha about forty times since that fateful decision. At three hours a session (that's getting there, being there, and coming home) we've devoted five solid days to this sport.

Is it worth it?

You bet.

Kids and Jobs

Yesterday we received a "Val-pak" in the mail. You know, those envelopes stuffed with coupons from local businesses and mail-order companies. I pulled out a couple we might use and was just about to throw the rest away when my son wandered by. He immediately spied an ad for a correspondence school that promised to teach one how to earn lots of money by learning skills one can do at home.

"Cool! Can I have this?"

Sure. Anything to keep him occupied for three minutes.

Awhile later he nonchalantly ambled back into the kitchen.

Jonesboro Macho

The cliche that apples don't fall far from the tree holds much truth.

Kids tend to imitate their parents. They do it when they're little. I remember when my son was barely two years old and I called him to come upstairs to bed. He prattled back past the pacifier in his mouth, "I'll come as soon as I finish my essay."

They do it as they grow up. My husband and I are extremely proud of our son these days. When he wants to show off how tough and macho he is becoming, he imitates his dad by putting hot sauce on his food.

Advice to Freshmen

My cousin's daughter is beginning her first year of college. I don't actually know Megan, but her dad generally refers to her as Miss Wonderful. Would that all girls had such enraptured and devoted dads.

Brent gave me Megan's address in case I have anything to say to her, so I have been thinking. What can one say to a brand new college kid? What kind of pitfalls should she watch out for? What brass rings should she grasp? What advice do I have for the freshest of freshmen?

Big Kids

A few weeks ago we took our children to Hope College in Holland, Michigan. My niece is a student there and it was Siblings' Weekend. Since her only sibling is an old married man of 25 who lives in Texas, Susan did the next best thing. She invited her three young cousins to visit for the weekend.

Little Red Bike

Our oldest is getting close to obtaining her official driver's license. The new laws says that right now she can only drive with one other person in the car, and since that person has to be an adult with their own license, he or she generally ends up being the driver's dad or mom. This has caused me to deduce that the Wisconsin legislature decided parents of teenage drivers are a bit expendable. I try not to think about it too much.

Blue Jays and Max's Confirmation

If there's something imprudent or environmentally treacherous about feeding too many Blue Jays, please let me know. I have looked at my lack of moderation in this regard, and can't see anything wrong about it other than it's awfully flamboyant for a Midwesterner of Scandinavian descent.

My husband recently brought home this year's supply of birdseed for Blue Jays. It's a variety of stuff, especially cracked corn, that Jays can't resist. We stuffed the feeders and then I go out to toss more seeds on the grass, on the rocks by our pondette, under the pines, here and there.