Quick Takes: Kissing, Peeing, Fasting, Guillotine

4117 4117_ () 4117 4117 1. Henry is at that age where he says the cutest things, or maybe he says what everyone else around here is saying it just sounds cuter coming out of his five-year-old mouth. And as we all know there are limits to this phenomena because it can be very, very depressing to hear your five-year-old tell someone to step off.

This morning, Henry came out of our bedroom (that would be me and Paul’s bedroom, not me and Henry as Henry would sometimes like to think). Lately he’s been having some sinus issues and my husband is a huge (HUGE) fan of the apparatus called a Nosefrida. The official name is Nosefrida The Snotsucker Nasal Aspirator which tells you pretty much all you need to know. Paul remembers his relatives in Mexico having something similar when he would go for visits as a young boy and a few years ago he became committed to finding this instrument of torture for our own family.

Voila! The Nosefrida arrived on our doorstep a few days later.

Henry is terrified of Nosefrida and has been known to streak past us all at meteoric speeds at the mere mention of its name.

But for some reason this morning, Henry was just fine with Paul suggesting he get his sinuses vacuumed.

Just like that, he walked out of our room sounding remarkably un-clogged and quite pleased with himself.

“I did it,” he declared with glee, “I faced my fears!”

He also asked me the other night, when I mentioned that Daddy and I were having a little in-house date night, if that date might involve some hugging?

“That’s a possibility,” I admitted.

“And kissing?”

“Could be,” said I.

“But won’t that be a little awkward?”

Absolutely, I told him, taking the opportunity to drive home the point that only married grown-ups kiss because it’s just so disgusting.

2. The other night it was a glorious evening. The boys were coming and going from basketball practice and I was standing outside to direct traffic. My folks pulled in their driveway from being out and about and just celebrating the fact that my mom is back among the living and looking great.

isn’t she gorgeous?

So there we were, standing outside together as I kept an eye on Henry and Isabel who were riding bikes. The sun was setting, the sky was ablaze with orange and pink, there was a perfect breeze and…Isabel marched over to the bushes, pulled down her skivvies and declared she had to pee.

She proceeded to stand there peeing, in the exact fashion she had (I’m sad to report) most likely witnessed from certain resident family members, i.e. everyone around this joint but me. And God bless that girl she had the best of intentions, it’s just that she’s not equipped with the same components and all her efforts to tuck her bum and thrust her belly forward, well they results in absolutely none of the hoped-for trajectory. And just like that, our nice little evening of watching the sunset was over. It was time for baths and also for starting a new load of laundry.

3. This next one is for my friend Marie. We had been talking, at our small group gathering, about fasting. Paul said something about it not being as bad as he thought. To quote, “You think you’re going to die, but you’re not.”

Which of course it true. Marie really liked that. And I agree. But I just couldn’t put into words why I still struggled (I daresay suffered but I know that would be extreme?). What is it about fasting that makes it all seem so, so impossible?

And then the latest Sports Illustrated came in, and I was sitting there reading it and came across an ad that made me laugh until I cried because it so very clearly sums up how I feel about fasting:

(l-r) Part One, Part Two

I’m not me when I’m hungry!

That’s all. I’m not saying I won’t do it. Or that I can’t do it. But if you come home to discover that I’ve bought a seven-person hot tub and had it delivered to the basketball court, just know that when my blood sugar gets low, I’m not thinking straight.

4. One of my boys went squirrel hunting in the neighborhood the other day. We’re going to just yadda-yadda-yadda large portions of this story. It just, I dunno, makes my head hurt?

So fast forward past the part where the group of boys heads into the woods and quietly hunts squirrel and then shoots a squirrel and then kills a squirrel and then carries that dead mangy vermin back to my yard.

5. I just realized something. And this shows how crazy my life is. The squirrel in Quick Take Four is different from the squirrel in Quick Take Five. Awww lawdy.

So we close out QT4 with little fanfare and move on to this one.

A dead squirrel is in our backyard. It’s pretty gross. Just lying there freaking me out. I went to walk out the gate and there it was and lo if it did not seem to be about 45 feet wide. I freaked. I’m sad to report I have very little stomach for such things.

So a few hours later, when all the boys get home from practice, I make a grand announcement that someone needs to please take care of that thing. Just bury it in the ground thanks.

Full Disclosure: I had already called my daddy the minute I saw it and asked if he was home and could he move it please so I could start breathing natural-like again? Sadly, he was out having a life.

The boys return, I make the announcement, they start TCB (taking care of business). By which I mean: a group of boys takes the tail off and then removes the head of the squirrel and then closely inspects the head and one child, whose mother shall remain nameless, that boy declares that the squirrel seems to have died from choking on a pecan.

The boy then asks his grandpa, who happens to be his science teacher, if he could bring the squirrel head in to class in the morning? And Papa says, “great idea!”

6. All of this happened while I was standing in the drive-way. I had no idea. And I’m pretty “alert” as a human being. I actually tend to be remarkably perceptive, or so I’d like to think.

Because this group of boys was standing around this squirrel, not 50 yards from where I stood, and they decapitated a squirrel and then performed an autopsy.

“That was pretty awesome,” said Charlie, his face ablaze with mirth, “that is the coolest thing we’ve ever done with you at home.”

7. I feel compelled to close out this Quick Takes with some kind of Sanity Proviso Disclosure Clause proving that the young men in my life are not mentally unstable. But then I thought, you know, it’s hunting season. And this is life. Or it’s my life anyway and wow! It’s a grand adventure, every second of the day.

Happy Friday! Thank you Jen for hosting! 4117″> . ,



  1. I’m cracking up at the squirrel autopsy. Choking on a pecan! That’s priceless. I just have to add that you can’t stop blogging, because then we would miss out on stories like this. I have 3 boys – ages 5, 3, and 6 months. I rely on your blog to prepare me for my future with a houseful of boys!

  2. This post is hysterical! Thank you so much for sharing your stories with us!

  3. Aunt Catherine says:

    Favorite parts: “Sadly, he was out having a life.” and “But won’t that be a little awkward?”

  4. I loved squirrel hunting when I was a tween. Loved it until my uncles said I had to learn how to clean the poor rodent.

    They do taste just like chicken!

    • Oh my gosh. I know it’s a normal part of “life” (for some people). But it freaks me out. The boys have also roasted a squirrel on spit, thankfully not in our yard.

  5. I can’t quite pin down why, but this was one of my top favorite posts by you! You totally turned my day around. Loved it!

  6. Glad you haven’t yet come home to find the ‘fridge door leaning against the front of your brand new ‘fridge, as if you might not notice it. It made the best goalie for our indoor soccer game, back in the day when refrigerators often stood by themselves up against a kitchen wall.

    • I love that your guys seem to have inherited your sense of humor. What you report really does brighten many a’day.

    • You did that to your poor mother?! 😉

      • Well, not without loads of help from my two older brothers (and aren’t you surprised to hear that?). Mostly, I was just hiding from a ball being flung in my direction. We were all very, very surprised though, and panicked.

        Field hockey with a badminton set on Christmas afternoon also was a big hit with the parental units. We were not a family of spectators when it came to indoor sports. Does that sound familiar?

  7. Love number 2.

  8. I laughed so so so hard at Henry’s comments! And had to tell you a “girls are weird, too story” haha so you’ll be prepared for Isa. My dad is a big hunter. One of his good buddies at his hunt club has a daughter who is one of my sister’s ages (she will remain nameless haha). This little girl and C love to go down to the hunt club with the dads and hang out, eat junk food, and do a little hunting. About 2 or 3 years ago, someone shot a doe. A pregnant doe. I already wanted to cry at this part of the story, but it gets so so much worse. The dads are cleaning the deer as the girls look on. And out comes twin deer fetuses (feti?). Now I’m worried this story is just appalling and you’ll just think we’re super weird and disrespectful now haha. So anyway, the girls think this is so cool and amazing, and ask the dads if they can bring it to their science class at school (who may or may not have been Jojo?). The dads are like, “oh yeah, totally cool, who wouldn’t want to see this?” And they put them in a PICKLE JAR. And the girls proudly bring it home to my mom, who actually cried, and had to have a sit-down talk with my sister about why everyone else in the 4th or 5th grade might now be as thrilled about seeing the baby deer… The child in question does not like it to be brought up, but we were sincerely concerned about how flippant about deer fetuses she was haha.

    • Best comment ever. This makes me feel much less anxious about the squirrel decap, for a variety of reasons. Love the image of your mother crying. I would have done the same thing I think.

  9. …and this post is why I’m so glad you are still blogging! Hubby and I spent the morning talking about our super smart boys and how we are amazed at all the things they come up with. (My husband grew up in a family of 5 boys and 1 girl. I don’t think Veronica ever did anything like Isa did tho…

  10. Yes, your kids do and say some extremely adorable, hilarious things. It’s a good thing that you are able to appreciate it and have taken the time to give the rest of us a long laugh. The other day, I saw my mom’s neighbor out in the backyard with her two boys. I couldn’t catch her attention long enough to tell her about your book since she was chasing them around while on the cell phone, but I did leave her a little postcard with the info on it.
    Dead squirrels aren’t fun to deal with, unless, of course you’re a boy with a very adventurous take on life and a deep, innate desire to take things apart and see what’s inside with no intention whatsoever of reassembling them.
    Glad to see your mom is doing well. She does look great!
    I’ve found that I can get really grumpy and cranky if I don’t eat, so if I’m responsible for young children who require lots of my energy and all of my attention for hours on end, then I generally make sure I eat enough, but fast by giving up something instead, such as candy or desserts, seasonings, etc.. I don’t think it would bode well for anyone if parents came home and the children and nanny were all moody and hungry.
    Many any other squirrels you encounter this weekend be living and not resting in pieces.

  11. Love the post Rachel! It reminds me of when I told my son to take care of business- get rid of the dead squirrel that was in our yard. When some trick or treaters came knocking on the door it was hanging on the porch railing to greet them. Luckily this family just had a good laugh. He did take it down though and get rid of it the way I thought he did the first time. Gotta love boys!

  12. That is a beautiful picture of mom. She looks great!

  13. It’s great to see your mum looking well. As a male, takes 1 and 2 obviously resonate with me. In my experience of 4 sons a daughter I was able to use the same outdoor peeing technique for all of them but you need a tree to lean against (with one hand or the head). And also make sure the ground is sloping away from your feet (and their’s). It’s when your garden isn’t big but your son decides to ‘go’ there because he can’t be bothered to go inside that you realise your training’s been too successful.
    Your blog is also wonderful for bringing up things like fasting, in a great spirit. I do think it’s a great to have a Spiritual Director help you decide (amongst other things) what and how to deny yourself (I know you’ve mentioned yours Rachel). Self-denial of some sort is essential- but having a spiritual ‘accompanier’ to help decide the form is equally essential. It helps avoid anxiety and promotes growth:
    Thanks for being back!

  14. I thought I was laughing my butt off at #2.

    Then I hit the squirrel autopsy.

    Yeah… dying of laughter here because it’s not happening to me.

  15. Jack Rankin says:

    Rach: Great piece. Brings back memories when all the kids were home. Looking back, it all seems like a blur. BTW, your mom looks great. Tell her hi from us!

  16. As the mom of the three boys, my favorite line has to be “that is the coolest thing we’ve ever done with you at home.”!! Hilarious! We’re actually rather squeamish vegetarians here so no hunting here, but somehow still plenty of activity that Mom seems to squelch!

  17. I read this post this morning and laughed quite a bit. I am coming back now to comment because my daughter walked in the house this afternoon with a large furry object in her hand. She then yelled excitedly, “Mom! Guess what kind of tail this is?”– I almost died laughing! Monday’s dinner will now be squirrel stew (I refuse to cook it for our Sunday meal). My husband is the overgrown boy of the house and we find him quite often during hunting season with a BB gun in our back yard, he usually snags a few cotton tails though. I am used to eating goose, pheasant, deer, etc. but this will be my first time with squirrel. My husband assures me it’s quite tasty…wish me luck.

  18. Michelle M. says:

    So glad you did not stop blogging! Funny stuff indeed!! :0)