7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 181)
Evidently there was an Intergalactic Babysitters Summit, and it was decided that all capable young women of babysitting age would go out of town for the next few weeks. I’ve got to find a way to infiltrate these things. I could put my hair in pigtails, don a Justin Bieber t-shirt, and shout from the back of the room, “Hey, gals, I think it would be fun to skip that silly ol’ mission trip and the European backpacking vacation and babysit for the Fulwiler family instead! Who’s with me?!”
Anyway, if I seem to be barely clinging to life for the next few weeks, that’s why. (Well, the lack of babysitting, and this.) Yes, of course, this is a chance to do fun family things together, but we were already doing fun family things together. It’s light outside for approximately 50 hours a day right now, and that’s a looooooot of time to fill with five extremely energetic little kids. The other day we went to the pool and had a picnic and blew bubbles on the front porch, and when we came back inside I looked at the clock in despair to see that I still had seven hours until my husband got home. Any semblance of sanity I have from now until mid-August will be sponsored by Netflix.
When my husband pulled his car into the driveway the other day, he saw smoke seeping out of the opened windows, and could hear the discordant beeping sounds of every fire alarm inside the house going off. Joe ran in and found me standing over a smoking oven, the approximately $15 in various high-end meat products I had just purchased at the grocery store now looking like a pulsating blob that was somehow both liquefied and on fire. “I’M TRYING A RECIPE I FOUND ON PINTEREST,” I shouted over the fire alarms, “BUT I THINK IT MAY HAVE BEEN A PRACTICAL JOKE.”
He took in the scene for a moment, then, in an unfortunate moment of manthink, he asked, “Why would you try cooking things you find on Pinterest when you could go to other websites that have hundreds of ratings and reviews for each recipe, so you know which ones work?” I contorted my face dramatically into a what-a-dumb-question look, but he couldn’t see it through the plumes of smoke pouring out of the oven.
Later that night I saw that Grace posted this picture, a Pinterest “natural cleaning solution” that was so bad that her husband was left with no choice but to employ a frowny-face emoticon:
…And then I read the comments to see that a bunch of other women had done the same thing, with similar reactions from their husbands.
I think it’s time to start a support group for husbands whose wives are on Pinterest.
I just love those e-cards that people post on Pinterest, and had been dying to create my own. It seemed like something that would be right up my alley, since it involves writing, inane commentary, and wasting time, but I was always at a loss. I couldn’t figure out exactly what the “rules” of the meme were. I would pull up the “create your own card” site and find myself devoid of all inspiration. All I could come up with would be awkwardly true-but-not-at-all-amusing stuff like, “I’m tired. It’s better not to be tired.” Then, finally, after the aforementioned kitchen-on-fire incident, I was hit with a flood of inspiration. I present to you my first e-card!:
I keep telling my husband that he needs to write a homeschooling book. If nothing else, I want to read it. I’ve never set aside the time to get him to lay out all the details of his philosophy, but it is very intriguing to me based on what I do know:
For one thing, he knows about education. He graduated from Yale undergrad in three years with honors, then got a law degree from Columbia and an MBA from Stanford (as well as doing half the coursework toward a Masters in Computer Science while he was at Stanford), and recently became a CPA as well. He and his equally crazy-educated friends are always emailing back and forth about the future of education, and are up to date on the very latest innovations in these areas. He’s also mentioned that it would be nice if at least one of our kids went to his alma mater.
Now (here’s where it gets interesting) whenever he sees me planning the homeschooling lesson of the next day, he always seems shocked by these efforts, and makes comments like, “Whoa, that’s a lot of work!” and “Man, I wouldn’t do that if I were in charge of homeschooling.” The slightest show of effort on my part is met with some combination of both amazement and bewilderment, as well as remarks that “Joeschooling” (my term, not his) would involve a fraction the effort that I am currently putting forth.
So. What we know about Joeschooling so far is that it a) involves low stress and little work for the teacher, yet b) still gives your kids a shot at Yale. I’ll let you know as soon as I have details.
Want to read something really interesting? Go check out Dorian’s post about rewarding behaviors vs. rewarding outcomes, specifically as it pertains to weight loss and eating habits. I found it fascinating to see which motivators work for different personality types. E.g. I tend to do well with classic goal-setting (“I’m going to aim to get eight hours of sleep tonight”) whereas Dorian explains that people with her personality type tend to do better when they focus on their behavior, independent of the outcome, and reward it accordingly (“I’ll put a marble in my jar if I go to bed at 10:00 tonight”). I think it’s a topic well worth thinking about, since it’s ultimately a question of how to motivate yourself to break free from inertia and make positive changes in your life.
I think my neighbors might be afraid of me. At the very least, I probably have some kind of reputation, with people nudging to one another and whispering, “There she goes” when I pass by their windows. First I was going jogging in street clothes, leaving people worried that some sort of calamity had happened from which I was fleeing. Then I almost collapsed from social-awkwardness-induced exhaustion a couple of times. Then I got the Skeletoes. And last week I took it to a whole new level by going jogging in the most torrential downpour this area has seen in a long, long time.
For the record, that was not my intent. I mean, I did notice that the clouds were getting a little gray. Okay, they were black. And that ominous booming sound could have been thunder, but it also could have been my three-year-old overturning the children’s bookcase again. Anyway, I began my run, and it was sprinkling a little bit, but I thought it was fine — refreshing, really. I was bopping along, listening to my iPod, then I took a left onto a long street that runs through our subdivision. When I looked up, I gasped. In front of me was what could only be described as a WATER WALL O’ DOOM, moving toward me at a surprising speed.
I twirled around and started running back toward the house at a pace I didn’t even know was possible, occasionally glancing back over my shoulder in terror, the way one would move if being chased by a serial killer track team. This seemed to cause alarm for the drivers of the cars that drove past, as they had not yet seen the WATER WALL O’ DOOM. Then, when I still had four blocks to go, the storm caught up to me. I was now sprinting through the downpour, mascara running down my face, wearing my weird shoes — though still listening to my iPod, because this kind of moment really called for a soundtrack. One car kind of slowed down as if to offer me a ride, but when it got a closer look at me it sped off.
I love, love, love this song from Gym Class Heroes, especially that it has an inspiring Olympic theme. There are a few PG-13 words, so wait until little ears aren’t around to turn the volume all the way up and blast it.