Wonderful Little People

I just rode the train for 14 stops with a little boy who spent the entire trip sitting quietly on his mom’s lap. When their stop was approaching he climbed off her lap and she helped him put his backpack on. The only time he made any noise at all was when he tried to stop and pull out a penny jammed in one of the train doors.

In contrast, I had a 30 min online meeting with someone who didn’t mute her mic while eating… And she knew it.

Kids=1 Adults= -30



When my sister and I were little we used to get into all sorts of benign childhood trouble. By far one of our favorite things to do was trick my mom. My mom, the poor thing, has always been very easy to fool and very easy to startle… and we ate that up. My sister would often think up a wonderful prank and I, the younger sister, would willingly help her do the dirty work. A few of my favorites:

1) We hid a stuffed dolphin in the door of the fridge so that it would fall on her if she moved the door too sharply (hiding the dolphin in the freezer was even better because my mom is blind in one eye and so it took her longer to catch on to the fact that it was a stuffed animal)

2) We would hide the TV remote in the fridge whenever she left it on the kitchen counter (bonus points if you could do it while she was talking to you)

3) My mom was a mask collector and had an array of masks on her bedroom wall. One day we put glow in the dark googly eyes in all of her masks. (midnight shrieking? So worth it!)

4) Pretending ketchup was blood (an oldie but a goodie and mom always fell for this)

Thankfully for everyone involved my mom had a pretty great sense of humor. She would often re-tell stories with tears of laughter in her eyes. I think she enjoyed the time and attention we put into freaking her out. I can say this with a certain amount of confidence thanks to the handful of pranks that um, weren’t met with such wonderful reactions.

I remember one time in particular where we raided her sewing ottoman and set up a “booby trap” in our bedroom. We pretended the strings were like security lasers and touching one meant you set off the alarm. We weaved complex patterns around our bedroom incorporating anything that could have yarn looped around it and then we practiced crawling jumping and falling through various holes in the security system. When my mom called us for lunch we fell quiet and hid under our bedsheets. Of course she came down the hall and pushed our door open – tightening the threads of our security web. Apparently nearly clothes-lining yourself is not on a mom’s list of “preferred things to do when trying to get your children to eat”. I’m certain our near maniacal laughter didn’t help our case either.

To make a long story shorter, our security system was ordered to be de-comissioned and disassembled immediately and we were chastised for wasting so much yarn and causing a fire hazard (we didn’t have the only mom who thought any/all impediments to doorways constituted fire hazards, right?) After lunch were ordered to go play quietly in our beds.

And so, we did as we were told. We fashioned dinosaur reins out of the leftover yarn and rode around on our imaginary yarnosaurs. We made sure the yarn was long enough that when mom came in for a spot check we could slide flat in our beds hiding the yarn under our blankets. As soon as we heard her steps fading down the hallway we would leap from under our sheets and stick an imaginary spur into the sides of our yarnosaurs.

I’m sure that wasn’t what she had in mind, but hey, it didn’t technically break either of her rules. 🙂