10-4, Master Yoda

Sick kids.  Last-minute Christmas panic.  More sick kids.  Angry, grouchy people everywhere.  Now I’m starting to feel sick.  Everybody wants something from me.  Full moon coinciding with another especially wicked and unholy round of PMS.  Sheepdog is sleeping with one eye open, just in case.

But I refuse to let it bring me down.  I am going to enjoy the crap out of this Christmas season, dammit, no matter what it takes.  There ARE good things happening all around me.  Sometimes I just have to look extra hard in order to find them.

Kid E finally caught a version of whatever ick it was that landed Kid D in the emergency room last week for IV fluids and some anti-nausea medicine.  Fortunately, he didn’t have it nearly as bad, but he was home from school and laying on the couch this week, wrenching my plans to get stuff done during the countdown to Christmas.  And, since he is a kid-in-training, who follows and copies almost everything his older brother does down to the last dangerous couch flip, he, too, asked to have a walkie-talkie by his side so he could call me whenever he “needed” something during his convalescence.

I set him up for success… he was tucked in and his pillow was fluffed, with fluids, toys, and all of his electronics within reach.  Plus, I had queued up Star Wars V in the Blu-ray.  I was crossing my fingers that he didn’t feel the need to use the dreaded walkie talkie.

Star Wars is a fairly recent obsession for Kid E, although he has dabbled a bit in the past.  The original trilogy comes on TV every year during the week between Christmas and New Year’s, so I always record it.  As a result, the kids have seen IV, V, and VI at least a time or two.  Eventually, I just bought the DVDs.  Back in 1977, Star Wars IV was the very first movie I ever saw in the theater (just a seven-year-old me and my seven-year-old date, Kevin Mc), and I immediately fell in love (with the movie, not the boy).  We played Star Wars for hours upon hours.  I am fan for life.  Of Star Wars.  I haven’t seen Kevin Mc since my wedding to Sheepdog in 1993.  I wonder what he’s doing now.

Anyway… Sheepdog shares my love of the franchise, but being much more cerebral than I, he tends to lean more toward analyzing the movies rather than re-enacting the scenes with toys.  Here’s the gist of Sheepdog’s thoughts on Star Wars… Anakin Skywalker’s choice to join the Emperor/ Darth Sidious and the rest of the bad guys as Darth Vader the Sith Lord is a metaphor for the struggles that an alcoholic faces on a daily basis.  Yoda even warned him, “Fear is the path to the dark side.  Fear leads to anger.  Anger leads to hate.  Hate leads to suffering.”  It is a very compelling theory and I’m sure he would talk about it in depth with anyone who is interested.  Me? I really like the toys.

Fortunately for me, my kids really like the toys too.  Especially Kid E.

"Truly wonderful the mind of a child is," Yoda agrees.

“Truly wonderful the mind of a child is.” – Master Yoda

So, sick Kid E is all set and I ask one last time (sure it is) if he needs anything before I go do stuff.  He shakes his head and gets to the movie watching.

I settled into my chores and was on a roll in no time.  I couldn’t run errands, but I could tackle the things that were waiting for me around the house, and there was quite a lengthy list.  But I was finally getting stuff done.  I was on fire!

Then it started.  Blip, went the walkie talkie.



I took a deep breath and responded on the handheld unit, even though he was in the very next room and I could hear him yelling at me through the open door.


“I’m here, honey.”



“Mom!  They are in the swamp, Mom!  R2-D2 went missing for a while, but Luke found him and they are in the swamp now, Mom!”


OK.  So, he doesn’t need anything, but I am still going to get a play-by-play of the movie.  Whether I like it or not.




“Did you hear me?” he yelled from the other room.  His hand had fallen off the button before he was done annoying me talking.  I took another deep breath.


“10-4.  I did hear you, sweet boy.  Thank you for telling me what was happening on a movie I have seen no less than one hundred times.”



Static.  Blip.  His sweaty hand must have slipped again, because whatever diatribe he had next came from the next room, not through the walkie talkie.  Ugh.  I got up to go talk to him face to face.  He was still explaining something when I sat down next to him.

“You know, you have to hold down that button the whole time you are speaking, not just when you start.” I said to my little, sick boy, who I noticed was buried under his blanket on the couch, surrounded by toys and all of his gear.  And this time I really looked at him… his face was pale and he had circles under his eyes.  His color was off, too.  He was trying so hard to get better, mostly because he knew how much stuff I had to get done before next Wednesday.  I had certainly said it enough times.

Well, crap.

I told him I’d be right back.  I went into my office and turned off my computer.  I put away my files and turned off the lights.  I was done for the day.  Nothing else was important.

I went back into the living room and I climbed under the blanket with my little, sick boy and we cuddled as we watched the rest of the movie.

"You will know (the good from the bad) when you are calm, at peace. Passive. A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack." - Master Yoda

“You will know (the good from the bad) when you are calm, at peace.  Passive.  A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.” – Master Yoda

Wish me luck for tomorrow…

Kid B Uses Her Powers for Evil

Happy Wednesday morning!  I continue to be thrilled that my immediate family keeps sending me posts so I can be a slacker who uses guest writers whilst I am on vacation this summer.  Today’s post comes from my very own twelve-year-old Kid B.  I have always said that she has a special something that draws people to her.  And I remind her that she has to make a conscious choice all the time… either use her powers for good, or use her powers for evil.  Apparently the ornery part of her is pretty strong-willed.  She must get that from her father (wink, wink).

She wrote this during our drive from Georgia to New Jersey, and I proudly present it to you.


Sibling Pranks by honorary guest writer, Kid B

Hi, Kid B here!  How many of you out there have little sisters or brothers?  Well, I do, and trust me when I tell you this – they can be extremely annoying.  What to do when they are all up in your business and bothering you to no end?  That’s simple – make fun of them or pull a joke on them.  Easy stuff (no dangerous tricks) that get the point across that there are consequences for being pesky.  Here are some of my favorites…

I don't care how cute you are. I will do mean things to you for my own amusement.

Example #1:

In the February of 2004 my dad had a work trip to California and my mom went with him.  Our Nanny and Pop Pop came to babysit us.  We lived in our old house in Roswell then, and I was an innocent 5-year-old.  Kid C was about to turn 3.  She was just starting to eat “big girl” food, and was extremely excited because Nanny was cooking a big Thanksgiving-type dinner for us one night.  We all sat down to a feast of turkey, mashed potatoes, and a big bowl of gravy.  That’s where the trick began – with that bowl of gravy.  As I said before Kid C was so excited to try these new foods so she insisted on having piles of chicken and mashed potatoes, but she refused to even try the brownish-grey stuff (the gravy).  I noticed this and of course jumped at the opportunity to put one over on her.  I decided to try to call the gravy something more appealing so she might try it.  “Why aren’t you eating your chocolate?” I asked.  At the mention of chocolate her eyes popped out of her head and she excitedly asked for some.  Being the generous person I am, I gave her a surplus – I mean I poured it all over her plate.  She grabbed her fork and took a big spoonful.  To her surprise (and my delight) it was not even close to what she expected and she made a face that was a mix between a face for a sour lemon and one like she was about to barf.  I laughed until I cried.

Example #2:

Sometimes, when I am babysitting Kids C and D we play a game called “Star Wars.”  In our game there are two teams – the good (them) versus the bad (me).  We use foam swords or wiffle bats as our lightsabers and we hide from the other team.  The object is to find someone from the other team, sneak up on them and hit them (lightly, as my mom is no doubt reading this) with your lightsaber.  They will then turn around and you duel until someone gets poked with the other’s lightsaber.  If you get poked you are out of the game.  The last person/ team standing wins.  Pretty easy, right?  Well, one stormy Saturday afternoon I was babysitting.  Kid D suggested a game of “Star Wars,” so we grabbed our lightsabers and headed our separate ways.  After about five minutes I found a great hiding spot in Kid E’s room.  Kid C came up the stairs just minutes later.  I think she knew where I was, so I went through the bathroom into Kid D’s adjoining room and snuck up behind her.  Then I whispered in her ear, “Looking for someone?”  I swear, she jumped ten feet in the air, peed her pants, and screamed all at the same time.  I was on the ground, howling with laughter for at least twenty minutes.  Apparently, she didn’t find it as funny as I did because she hasn’t agreed to play again since.

Example #3:

Ahh… April Fool’s Day, the perfect excuse to play tricks on your siblings.  It was the Friday before Spring Break and Kid C  had just left for school on the bus.  I had carefully planned this so she wouldn’t know what I had done until she got home after school.  I snuck into her room and made my way carefully over to her dresser.   First, I removed all of her underwear and took them into my room.  Then, I rearranged all of her clothes so they were in different drawers.  Feeling satisfied with my trick I made my way downstairs and headed out for a great day at school.  I had forgotten all about my prank by the time I came home, and still didn’t remember until after dinner.  Later that night I was sitting in the living room with my mom, my  dad, Kid A, and my Nanny and Pop Pop.  All of a sudden, Kid C comes downstairs in nothing but a towel.  “Mom, you moved my underwear, right?” she asked.  My mom looked puzzled and she replied skeptically, “No….”  That’s when it came back to me.  I started laughing and could barely choke out, “Happy… April… Fools… Day!”  My mom and dad yelled at me and ordered me to put everything back after Kid C ran back upstairs crying, but they did it while trying to stifle their own laughter.  I don’t care what everybody else said, that was a good one.

These are just a couple of tricks that stand out in my memory.  I realize that I pulled most of them on Kid C, but that is just because she usually bugs me the most.  My mom keeps on saying that we will probably be great friends later on in life.  But right now, my advice if you are a kid who drives your big sister or big brother bonkers, you’d better watch out because you never know where your underwear might end up!