Posts Tagged ‘Parenting’

Conversations With Jake: Gag Me With a Thermometer

Conversations With Jake Logo, (c) 2008 Mama Needs a Cosmo All Rights Reserved DO NOT COPYI told this story to a few of my co-workers today, and they were all, “Oh my GOD Kathleen!! You need to put that on your blog! Have you put it on your blog? Have you?!” And I was like, “Hell NO!” because I’m totally convinced that Child Protective Services reads my blog and is just itching for a reason to take my boys away.

Then I realized that what I did (in this particular instance) wasn’t all that bad. I mean, it’s not like I left Jake and Benny in a car for six hours while I gambled at a casino or something. This type of “parental absence of mind” is much more acceptable. Or at least “confessionable.”

So, here’s the story:

A couple of weeks ago (the evening of Easter Sunday), Jake came to me and quite dramatically stated,

“Ohhh MOMMMMM, I don’t feel so good. My tummy hurts and I think I have a feverrrr.”

Seriously. This kid has more drama packed into his being than Charlton Heston.

And I was all, “Uh, of COURSE you don’t ‘feel so good.’ You spent all day eating candy.”

But the 5% left of “caring mom” in me chose to feel his forehead, and it WAS kinda warm, so I went to the bathroom and retrieved our newly purchased thermometer. Complete with sample cover for trial use.

I opened the box, and then decided to use the trial thermometer cover. It was one of those “peel here, insert thermometer, then peel off other side” kind of covers, so I didn’t really have to touch it, which made me feel like I was being all super-sanitary and worthy of a gold star.

“Here,” I said, “keep it under your tongue for ten seconds.”

Now, before I go further, I have to explain that Jake has always had a really (REALLY) bad gag reflex. This kid has issues with just getting his teeth brushed in the morning, so I was quite worried that this temperature taking thing would turn into an adventure.

And, true to form, Jake coughed and gagged and spit it out onto the bathroom counter.

“Jake!! What is your problem?! It’s just a thermometer!”

“But MOMMM!”

“Seriously, Jacob . . . I’ve got no other way to do this so put it back under your tongue for ten seconds. It’ll be over before you know it.”

“No mom! It tastes weird.”


“It’s kinda slippery and it tastes awwfull. YOU DO IT!”

I stopped short of asking him, “What’s your damage, HEATHER?” because I’m also thoroughly convinced that my six-year-old has a teenage girl trapped inside his body and is driving force behind his Charlton Heston dramatics.

Anyway, I decided that YES, I WOULD TAKE MY OWN TEMPERATURE AND SHOW THIS KID THAT HE’S BEING A TOTAL NUTJOB, and then reached for the thermometer without looking at it because for some reason I wanted to stare him down to make a point. And in doing so, I inadvertently picked it up by the “wrong” end (the temperature-taking end) and felt it.

And . . . it WAS kinda slippery.

And for one brief second I had a minor out of body experience, having realized what I just did to my own son.

I cringed, slowly turned around, reached for the bathroom wastebasket, and retrieved the thermometer cover wrapper.

And there it was. All spelled out for moms and dads and grandmas and grandpas and babysitters WHO CAN READ GOOD:

“Pre-lubricated for rectal comfort.”

[Insert gag noise here.]

Your High School Senior is NOT a Responsible Adult, No Matter HOW Well You Think You Raised Him

Image from website:

You’ve no doubt heard the tragic story about Matt James, the 17-year-old All American high school student and top recruit for Notre Dame who, while on spring break in Florida, fell to his death from a fifth-floor balcony of a hotel. Because he was DRUNK.

Now, I did my fair share of drinking in high school. I’d also be lying to you if I said I didn’t do drugs before I turned 18.

HOWEVER, I never got to do drugs or drink while 3,000 miles away from home because my parents were NOT IDIOTS. Hell, they knew that just letting me go on a senior trip to DISNEYLAND (which is a 6 hour drive from my house) could be trouble, so I was forbidden to go. And I really don’t think it was because they knew that I’d been smoking pot here and there or drinking beer and wine coolers at makeshift parties underneath oak trees behind the local high school. I believe that they knew that I was an impressionable teenager, and in a big group of other impressionable teenagers, I’d give in to peer pressure and somehow wind up hurt.

So, on Easter Sunday, while reading all of the reports that surfaced about Matt James, my husband and I made a pact that if our children ever asked to go away on one of those spring break or graduation trips, our answer would be a very loud “NO.”

The VERY NEXT DAY, I received the email below from my niece, Lisa. The story you are about to read is TRUE, and has not been edited or modified in any way (except for my adding paragraph breaks, because you all know I’m a control freak and I need to see white space between organized thoughts or I’ll lose my mind).

The story below is about my cousin Jacob. This story was printed in the Rio Americano PSTA Newsletter. My Aunt Cheryl wrote this a few years ago after Jacob’s Graduation Trip.


Our vigilance as parents begins at birth and continues as our children grow older. Then why, when they turn 18 and graduate from High School, do we relax that effort? Many of us allow our seniors to embark on a graduation trip that for most of them is their first experience with complete independence — an experience shared with hundreds if not thousands of other CHILDREN.

If you are considering one of these trips for your child, please let me share my family’s experience when we made that same choice. “Be careful,” “stay safe,” and “make good choices,” were all words of advice given to my son as he departed for Hawaii after graduating from Del Campo in 2003. What were my husband and I thinking?

Yes, he was traveling with a reputable travel company. Yes, we had informed him of all of the rules. Most importantly, yes, we should have known better.

These were 18-year-olds on vacation held accountable only to themselves (and of course their parents an ocean away). The companies that promote these trips are not accountable for your child’s safety. They are merely providing an adult on the property if your child seeks their help. Their brochures state their zero tolerance policy. This policy is only effective when enforced. Some of the students on these trips are following the rules but many more are using alcohol and drugs, making choices you might never expect them to make.

Choices they themselves might never make under different circumstances.

You might think that because your child has never been in trouble and is involved in sports or other activities that if anything happens, it will be to “someone else” not your child. My son was that “someone else”.

I don’t have all the answers as to what happened in Hawaii. What I do know is that my husband and I  received the phone call that every parent dreads. When you are asked to be seated before the conversation can continue, no matter how much you pray the words coming from the other end of the phone won’t come, they do.

We were informed that our son was fighting for his life after surviving a fall from a third floor window. So badly I wanted to go back 6 months to when the brochure for this trip first came home. Desperately I wanted to go back 3 months to when the trip was paid in full. I begged the Lord to take me back to that June morning when we said goodbye to our son and sent him on his way. There was no going back.

My husband and I were on the earliest flight to Hawaii praying the hospital could keep our son alive until we reached him. The first sign that he would ever come home from his “fun filled” graduation trip to Hawaii came days after our arrival, a squeeze of my finger indicating that he knew we were by his side . . .

It took many days for him to be removed from a ventilator and begin breathing on his own. We were blessed after spending weeks by our son’s side in an intensive care unit to bring him home. His life has changed forever along with the lives of many of those who went through this experience with him.

If a graduation trip away from home is something you are considering for your senior, please learn from my family’s experience. I challenge you to find a student who has experienced a week on a graduation trip. Find out what really goes on. Surprisingly, those colorful brochures tend to leave some things out.

If you still choose to allow your CHILD to go, hold them accountable by speaking to them everyday and for more than 5 minutes. Impress upon them that if they see a friend in trouble, seek help immediately.

The importance of being a vigilant parent with your graduating senior should equal the efforts put forth when they were toddlers. They are still counting on you to make the right decision. Their life could depend on it.

Please don’t let the next “someone else” be your child.

Cheryl Rommel
(cr_grad [at]

I. was. FLOORED. I had no idea that this had happened to someone that was in my circle of influence.

I replied immediately and asked if she thought her aunt would allow me to post the story on my blog, to which she replied:

The other kids that were there slipped my cousin something and thought it was funny when he was tripped out and [started] acting very odd. This went on for about 3 days before anyone called an adult to check on him. They took him to the hospital when he starting hallucinating and taking showers with his clothes on.  He was being treated on the 3rd floor of the hospital and because he was hallucinating, he thought the doctors and nurses were aliens that we trying to abduct him. So he ran from them and jumped out of the 3rd story window. Crazy!!

I’m sure she wouldn’t mind. I’ll send her a message and let you know as soon as she gets back to me. I’m sure she’d like this to spread so that it will help others.

Wow. Did you read that? Jacob had NOTHING to do what happened. It was the OTHER kids.

Just knowing that this happened to someone near and dear to my family gives me all the ammunition I need to resist the urge to give in to a request for a week in Lake Havasu or Cancun. No thank you.


04 2010

The Most Beautiful Flowers EVER

This is my 2010 Valentine’s Day Bouquet, picked fresh this morning from our front lawn, compliments of Benny and Jake.

Far be it from me to tell them that they picked me a bunch of yellow weeds.


02 2010

Alert the Media: My Boys Can Color Together Without Killing Each Other AND My Baby Can Read. Seriously.

So tonight was “fill out your ‘valentimes’ night,” and I actually got the boys to sit at the table together for 30 minutes to write and color without killing each other.

Contrary to popular belief, I did NOT medicate the boys prior to taking this photo. I did manage to medicate myself, though.

After Benny was done putting his designer touches on his “valentimes,” I wrote in the names of his day care play mates using a color crayon and put them in a stack so I could insert “the super-cool Spiderman pencil” accessory to each one.

A few minutes later, Benny wandered back into the kitchen, picked up one of the valentines, and said, “That’s Mad-dix.”

Whah? This kid’s been SERIOUSLY holding out on me.

So, I picked up the valentine and said, “I’m sorry sweetie, I didn’t hear you. What does this say?”

“That’s Mad-dix, Mama.”

Then I was all, “Dude, my kid is so TOTALLY a genius. I shall call him ‘Baby Genius’ and use him to get discounts at local eateries with his genius and cuteness.”

Which then led to our exploiting him on video in the same manner as the other parents on that commercial for “My Baby Can Read.” It’s just that our “baby” is almost three.

“Benny Reads” from Mama Needs a Cosmo on Vimeo.

PS: Thank you, Miss Jan. We know this was all your doing. :)


02 2010

What Into the HELL Are We Feeding These Kids?

The LOML and I were late in starting a “measurement wall” for the boys. It wasn’t until Jake was 3 1/2 that we began to track his height, and Ben was nearly 3 when we started tracking his. (At least we used the same wall.)

Yes, those are diced tomatoes. Why we chose the kitchen pantry wall for this gig I'll never know.

Anyhoo, we decided to see if the boys had grown any since November 2009 (last track date), and imagine our surprise when we found that they’d grown a collective four inches in three months. Seriously.

If I don't buy this kid some new school pants soon, he's going to be known as "high-water" boy. We shopped for those pants in August.

Two inches, baby. Two inches since November. This one eats and drinks three times his body weight in a week. Is 3' 3" tall. And weighs 40 pounds. AT AGE 2 1/2. I keep waiting for Jerry Maguire to call.


02 2010