More “Wisdom” From This Last Week (Part 2)

I  learned so much this week, I decided to break it up into two posts.  If you missed the first one, and you’re curious about what else I learned, click here to read it.

Teaching an almost 12-year-old to be grateful rather than entitled is an exercise in futility…. but I’m stubborn enough to keep at it

I overheard my older son counting his dollars before the birthday cards.  (If we were zoned for chicken coops, perhaps he’d have counted chickens, too.)  I explained that birthday gifts were…well, gifts and shouldn’t be expected.  Money is tight for several family members so I reminded him he needs to be grate regardless of the money he receives.  When I told him I’d invited my best friend to his birthday gathering, he was a little too excited… when I informed him I told her not to bring a gift, the disappointment was apparent.


I.  Won’t.  Give.  Up.


I stumbled across the line between atrocious and appalling, and I don’t ever, ever want to go there again

My younger son’s table manners are atrocious.  Despite my constant nagging reminding, he’s just a little piglet.  He drops crumbs everywhere.  He wipes his hands on his shirt (leaving a clean napkin ready to be looked at during our next meal.)  He scatters his empty wrappers on the table – it was bad enough, I threatened to make him eat his Pop-Tart wrapper if he left it on the table again.

Then, on Saturday night, I saw his friend eat fettuccine alfredo.  Oh my.  It was appalling.  I lost my appetite a little bit.  I’m not sure if he used a fork or not, but he had sauce all over his chin.  Finally my younger son said, “Dude, you need to wipe your chin.  Do you need another napkin?”

The irony made me laugh.  So much so that I had to excuse myself from the table to pull myself together.

A commenter on my last post suggested this photo could pictorially represent  the eating habit.  Really, though, the javelina was much neater about mealtime than kids...
A commenter on my last post suggested this photo could pictorially represent the eating habits. Really, though, the javelina was much neater about mealtime than kids…
So, I just thought "happy thoughts" instead.  What could be happier than a gorgeous 6-ft tall Sunflower stalk?
So, I just thought “happy thoughts” instead. What could be happier than a gorgeous 6-ft tall Sunflower stalk?

Boys act brave, until coyotes howl

Each of my kids had a friend spend the night on Saturday night.  I put them all to bed in our pop-up camping trailer.  Around 11 pm, I heard coyotes howling.  I remembered I didn’t send a phone handset out with them, so I decided to leave it with them, if they were still awake.  (ha- if they were still awake…. what was I thinking?)

As I neared the trailer, I heard voices, so I stopped and listened.

Friend #1 – “There’s safety in numbers.  We should stick together.”

Friend #2 – “What if they try to get inside?”

My older son – “The coyotes would have to be like six feet tall to get in here.”

I started laughing, giving my presence away, so I continued to the trailer.  The only child asleep was my younger son.  The other three were huddled together in one bed and boy did their imaginations freak them out!  They were grateful for the phone and I assured them they were safe.

As I walked back to the house, my evil streak surfaced in the form of a temptation to scream in terror.

The thought of the four boys squeezed into MY queen-sized bed nixed the impulse real quick!

Kids are to egos what needles are to balloons (confidence must come from within)

 I got a haircut and, for the first time in months, I liked the result.   It’s longer in the front and cut short around the neckline in the back.   As I type this, I realize it does sound like an odd haircut but it works for me- I feel like I have some hair, but it doesn’t get all bulky and hot around my neck (this is huge in Arizona; especially in the summer!)

Older son:  “You got a haircut.”  (With a look on his face like he caught a whiff of rotting food.)

Me:  “Yes, and I love it!”

Older son:  “Okay… but did you see the back?”

I laughed.  Good thing I didn’t come  home looking for approval from a critical almost-twelve-year-old.  Come to think of it, I don’t even know what my husband thinks of it…. I never ask 🙂

 And there  it is; all the things that life has taught me over the last week.  I’m sure there’s more, but sometimes this student’s mind wanders.

Have a beautiful Monday!


20 thoughts on “More “Wisdom” From This Last Week (Part 2)

  1. nrhatch August 18, 2014 / 6:54 AM

    Loved it, especially:

    As I walked back to the house, my evil streak surfaced in the form of a temptation to scream in terror. The thought of the four boys squeezed into MY queen-sized bed nixed the impulse real quick!

    • jannatwrites August 19, 2014 / 4:43 PM

      Luckily I have learned some impulse-control (thinking of the consequences of pranks 🙂 ) If it would’ve just been my kids I totally would’ve done it, though, Nancy!

  2. suzicate August 18, 2014 / 9:19 AM

    Children’s imaginations are astounding!
    As far as the criticism of 12 year old boys…it continues until they are about seventeen, ha! I don’t know though, they still exercise their opinions even as adults!

    • jannatwrites August 19, 2014 / 4:45 PM

      Usually my skin is pretty thick when it comes to his comments, but sometimes he hits on something that does kind of hurt (I don’t let it show, though.) Looking forward to when I might hear something that is nice 🙂

  3. Carol Ann Hoel August 18, 2014 / 2:58 PM

    Being a mom is an adventure! Ha! I loved the way your son saw his own habits illustrated. It may help him pay more attention. Once my son saw his own photo in an old family album. He asked me who it was. I told him it was a photo of him. He looked disgusted at me and asked me why I let him wear his hair that way. Isn’t that ironic? He wouldn’t take no for an answer at the time. I had decided to pick my battles, saving my energy for the more noble causes. That one seemed benign compared to some others. Blessings to you, Janna…

    • jannatwrites August 19, 2014 / 4:48 PM

      Haha, that is too funny! If we do voice our opinion on their shaggy hair (or whatever we have an opinion on) it would do nothing more than make them want to do the opposite anyway! At least later in life he noticed it wasn’t the best look. Glad you stopped by, Carol Ann. I hope your husband’s surgery went well 🙂

  4. Debbie August 19, 2014 / 7:47 AM

    Janna, think of it this way — kids are a never-ending source of blog-fodder! Just wait til yours leave the nest and you’ll see what I mean!

    Love that your son is astute enough to see when his buddy’s face is full of food. Goes to show that they’re listening and taking your lessons in (though there probably will be a few years before that becomes apparent!)

    Personally, I learned this week that traveling with a dog isn’t exactly paradise. Maybe I’ll blog about it!

    • jannatwrites August 19, 2014 / 4:50 PM

      They do provide plenty of blogging material, although I don’t want it to be ALL I write about 🙂 I hope you do write a post about dog travel, Debbie. My experiences with that haven’t been the best, either (and we’ve got another road trip planned real soon!)

  5. Kathy Combs August 19, 2014 / 5:20 PM

    Too many of your examples reminded me of my son. He is such a pig. He can’t eat anything without getting it all over himself. Even in his hair, and he is almost 9, 😛 Loved this post and can relate to so much of it!

    • jannatwrites August 24, 2014 / 8:36 PM

      Hehe, glad you could relate, Kathy! (Oh, it does make me feel better to know it’s not just my son :))

  6. pattisj August 20, 2014 / 11:02 PM

    I like your sunflower! My neighbor planted some in containers out front, but they’ve wilted and drooped. 😦 Good thinking not to scream–cause-and-effect reasoning is priceless. I love your son’s response to the back of your hair. Do we get to see photos?

    • jannatwrites August 24, 2014 / 8:43 PM

      Well, it’s not our sunflower – but it was in front of a house we happened to look at when we moved here. We were out for a bike ride and I couldn’t resist taking a photo. I’ll think about the hair photos 🙂

  7. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) August 21, 2014 / 1:04 AM

    My wife told me how her big brothers got table manners.. They had to eat their milk and cornflakes without shirts on.. Feeling ice-cold milk dropping on their chest taught them table-manners very quickly.. (and yes there are photos of them in case they ever forgot)

    • jannatwrites August 24, 2014 / 8:47 PM

      Good idea (both the shirtless eating and the blackmail photos) 🙂 Thanks for the laugh, Bjorn.

  8. joannesisco August 24, 2014 / 5:26 AM

    I laughed out loud at your evil streak and your not-so-maternal instinct to scare the bejesuz out of them!! You’re right though about the probably outcome 🙂

    • jannatwrites August 24, 2014 / 8:51 PM

      If it were just my older son, I would’ve done it, Joanne. He likes to claim nothing scares him. A few years ago, I hid under his captain’s bed and after my husband tucked him in, I started scratching the wood. It freaked him out at first, but then he laughed when he found out it was me.

      • joannesisco August 25, 2014 / 5:42 AM

        I had an older brother who used to do that to me … a lot. I still have issues with the world under my bed 🙂

        • jannatwrites August 27, 2014 / 6:04 PM

          I confess, I still peek under the bed (and in closets) too, Joanne 🙂

  9. Sarah Ann August 24, 2014 / 9:17 AM

    Kids are to egos what needles are to balloons – such a great line, even if the results are sometimes sad and frustrating.

    • jannatwrites August 24, 2014 / 8:57 PM

      They do keep me grounded, Sarah Ann. Just this weekend, my older son was at it again. He said, “I like the blonde highlights you put in your hair.” After a pause, he said, “oh wait… those are gray hairs.”

      What a sweetie, right? 🙂

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