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Archive for the ‘Youth’ Category

Egad, I hate Friendly’s. You know, the ice cream place? Yeah that. Hate it.

No, not for any particular reason…well, more like lots of reasons. All through my life, it was always…there…and never in a good way.

It started when I was little. Back then, there were a lot of good ice cream places around, from soft-serve custard at Don & Bob’s down at the lake (mmm…fishy smell from the lake, greasy smell from the grill—what amibence) to Carvel (mmm Fudgie the Whale) to Skippy the ice cream truck with the bell going ding-ding-ding—or, if the college kid slaving away behind the wheel of the non-air-conditioned, worn-out pickup truck with a giant silver refrigerator unit weighing down the back bed felt chipper, ding-a-ding-a-ding-ding-ding.

Friendly’s, however, had ice cream sundaes with gobs of hot fudge. Black raspberry ice cream—purrrrrrple!—and black cherry, with giant cherry halves jutting out of the pink stuff. And it was just up the road from me. But it might as well have been as far away as Iceland for the frequency of our visits—or lack thereof. My family just didn’t do dessert. Ever. (Yes, I was a sorely neglected child, but my parents thought they were doing me a favor. Or something.)

So one of my strongest memories of my childhood—I’d estimate it at my sixth year, I think—was when the parents of my bestest friend across the street, Jennifer, asked my parents if I could go with them to Friendly’s for an ice cream cone. I was over the moon. Ice cream! And the invitation was bordering on exotic, because it was so late on a summer evening—the sun was actually starting to go down! I should’ve already been in bed! (more…)

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Supersisters posted “25 Things I Know Now as a Parent” and invited other parents to chime in with their own lists. Well all right. I think I’ve learned a few things in the past six years.

1. Sleep deprivation can make parents insane. Count to 10 to avoid going postal on parents who brag about their all-night-sleepers.

2. Sift through grandparents’ advice for the good stuff. Nod and smile and ignore the rest.

3. It’s okay to let kids watch more than one hour of TV on rainy days.

4. If you can, walk your kids to their classrooms on their first day of school every year. It means a lot to them. But when they get old enough to beg you not to, comply.

5. An occasional donut is not poison (for kids or for you). (more…)

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No, I didn’t swear in my headline. But I’m definitely swearing in my head.

In my last blog post, I waxed rhapsodic over an event so heartwarming it renewed my hope in the human race. Heck, it was so great it almost made me want to go out and hug a Republican.

And then it all went wrong.

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Great things are afoot. Magnificent things. They’re hiding behind a mask of silliness, but don’t be fooled—they’re nothing less than magical.

Out there in that wonderful place they call the U.K., a guy with really bad hair and only slightly better fashion sense is changing the world. Through toys.

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