Mama Diaries

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Science Experiment

There is never a shortage of unusual occurrences at my house. The latest involves a science experiment done by my twelve-year-old son.

My teenage daughter likes to use bath bombs. These are solid balls of something that dissolve when placed in water, and make bath water smell nice. I was never clear on what the something part was, until after the experiment.

For reasons unknown to me, my son decided to toss one of these things in a toilet. A short time later, he used the toilet. He came back with this result:

"Mama," he said. "Did you know bath bombs make things float?"  

He explained in graphic detail what was floating in the toilet. I will spare you the details, but I'm sure you get the picture.

Apparently, bath bombs contain a high concentration of salt. Therefore, dumping a bath bomb in a toilet is like creating a miniature Dead Sea. Anything taking a swim in that toilet will float.

Aren't you glad you know that, now?

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Team Spirit

As you know, my home team, the Atlanta Falcons, were in the Superbowl. (We are all heartbroken over their loss!) The week prior to the event, had the city in major celebration mode. Schools jumped on the bandwagon, too. Their festivities included a Team Spirit Day. Kids were allowed to dress up in Falcons jerseys, and decorate themselves in the Falcons' team colors.

When my boy came downstairs on the morning of the day of this big celebration, I had to do a double take. I hardly recognized him. He was dressed in a Falcons jersey, as expected.  But that was not all. His face was covered in red streaks, and he had red lines under his eyes (like the black lines football players place under their eyes). He also had red hair.

"Dude," I said. "What did you use to paint your hair and face with?"

He grinned. "Marker!"

Ugh!  Well, at least I found out it was the washable sort. And he ended up being photographed numerous times at school, so I'm sure his Falcons look will be caught forever in the school yearbook!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Pitch Perfect

I've discovered that our German Shepherd, Schultz, has a new talent. This discovery was made last night, as I was teaching a violin student.

Normally, I banish the dog from the area when I teach in my house, so he doesn't disturb the lesson. But Schultz seemed rather laid back, and I didn't think he was going to cause too much trouble. He parked himself in a spot, not far from where the student and I were, and lay down.  I let him stay.

The student began playing, and hit a wrong note. I saw Schultz's ear twitch when he heard it. I didn't think much of it, until the student played another wrong note. Schultz's ear twitched, again. Hmmm, I thought, this dog notices out-of-tune notes and reacts to them.  The lesson continued. As long as the student played in tune, Schultz's ear didn't move. But every time a wrong note was played, the ear twitched. 

I think I have a new assistant! If I ever go deaf, I can rely on my hearing-ear dog. Now he just needs to tell me if the student is playing sharp or flat!  

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A Little Celebration

If you live in the United States, you may have heard that the Atlanta Falcons won their last football game and are heading to the Super Bowl. I live in Atlanta, so we're all pretty excited about this.

My son, Bubba, who is an avid football player and fan, was probably more excited than anyone else in my family. He had to have a celebration. This involved a bottle of Coke.

I walked into the kitchen and saw the boy vigorously shaking a single-serve bottle of the carbonated beverage. "What are you doing?" I asked. "You're going to make it explode!"

He grinned. "That's the point! There aren't any bottles of champagne around here, so Coke is the next best thing!"

I rolled my eyes. "If you're going to open it, please do it over the sink!"

He complied. Ten seconds later, and explosive spray of soda came out of that bottle.

"Cheers, Mama!"

Yeah. Cheers.

(Fortunately, the cleanup wasn't too bad. It could've been worse. He could've added Mentos!)

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Polar Bear Club

Yesterday, my son informed me that he had joined the Polar Bear Club at school.

The immediately conjured up images of my boy in swim trunks jumping into a frigid body of water. "You did what?" I asked.

"I joined the Polar Bear Club."

"What exactly do you do in the Polar Bear Club?"

"We go outside for recess when it's cold outside, and everybody else stays inside."

For those of you who don't know, I live in Georgia, where it doesn't get very cold. We're talking an average winter temperature of 45 degrees. "You're telling me that you don't go out for recess when it's less than 50 degrees unless you're a member of the Polar Bear Club?"

He nodded. "That's right."

Wow. Fifty degrees is warm by my winter standards. (I'm from Cleveland, Ohio.) I think I'd even join the Polar Bear Club and wear shorts and a t-shirt outside!  

(But I don't think I'd do this:)


Monday, January 9, 2017

Quick Thinking

My twelve-year-old son and I were at the grocery store the other day. As we stood in line at the checkout, we noticed that there seemed to be a problem. An old Asian man was trying to buy a carton of cigarettes, and the cashier was asking him for his date of birth. Here in the United States, you have to be at least eighteen to buy cigarettes. The cashier needed his date of birth in order to allow the sale to be entered into the cash register.

Well, Mr. Asian Dude didn't speak a word of English. He couldn't understand what the cashier was saying. The line continued to grow as the cashier, other workers, and customers tried to ask him for some kind of identification.

Finally, my boy came up with a brilliant idea. "Mama, do you have your cell phone?"

"Sure. Why?"

"I have an idea."  He took my phone and looked up Google Translate. He guestimated that Mr. Asian Dude was Korean, and proceeded to type a message: "What is your birthday? She needs identification so you can buy the cigarettes," which was immediately translated into Korean.

He showed Mister Asian Dude the phone.  Viola! Mr. Asian Dude nodded and pulled out a paper from his wallet. A Visa.

The cashier looked at it, got the information she needed, and Mister Asian Dude got his cigarettes. Problem solved!  

Monday, January 2, 2017

Question of the Month and a Hairy Situation


It's time for Question of the Month, hosted by Michael D'Agostino. Today's question is, what one thing made you grow up?

Grow up? Who said I ever grew up? I'm just a big kid. But if I have to pick something that has made me a bit more responsible, I'd have to say having my first child. There's something to be said about being responsible for the complete well-being of a helpless baby.   I had learned responsibility when I moved out of my parent's house and had my own place. But having a child added a whole new dimension to things. I couldn't just do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I not only had to make sure I met the physical needs of my child, but also provide for their emotional well-being. I also had to make sure I was leading by good example. It's a big job!

How about you? What made you "grow up"?

Now for the story:

Schultz, our giant German Shepherd, was getting kind of stinky. He needed a bath.  That meant a dunk in our jacuzi. (Yes, his winter baths are like spa treatments. No outside hoses for these.)

Baths for Schultz are always messy situations. But this time Schultz was exceptionally messy. Why? Because he's shedding. (I have no idea why he'd do that in the middle of winter. It's kind of crazy. But whatever.) By the time Schultz was done, he had covered every square inch of the tub with hair. And did he stop there? No!

He gave himself a big shake in the bathroom. Hair flew everywhere. On the floor. On the walls. Even on the ceiling.

But that wasn't all.

He went out into our bedroom. What happened then? You guessed it. He shook his hairy body and more hair plastered the walls.

After that, he went out in the hall and ran up and down it gleefully. I don't know how he did it, but he managed to cover our white walls with black hair in less than a minute.

Let's just say it took a VERY long time to clean up that mess! I'm still finding German Shedder hairs in places they don't belong!