Author Archives: ParentingIsFunny

About ParentingIsFunny

Author, wife, and mother of three girls and a boy. Although they sometimes make me want to cry, I find that laughing is much more fulfilling.

Now the shoe is on the other foot.

Now the shoe is on the other foot.

Trigger warning: I’m about to talk about another injury. If you’ve experienced Betsy Injury Trauma, you may want to move along.

But, for a delightful change of pace, I didn’t damage my left foot. Not even a foot!

This time it was my right knee. I dropped a larger-than-me human on top of it.

At the end of my women’s self defense class (the irony), one woman asked if I could go off-curriculum and show them how to throw someone over one’s back. No problem, but I didn’t stop to think that she was much heavier than I.

She landed on my leg, which elicited an audible “crack.”

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Another belt, another ceremony, another baking adventure

Another belt, another ceremony, another baking adventure

But first, the test. As always, I messed a couple things up because testing makes me nervous, but I recovered quickly and my flubs may have gone unnoticed. Also, I got to do this:

That board was one piece until it met my elbow.

My daughter videoed this for me. I sent it to my mom and then to Sensei noting that I wasn’t too old to proudly show my mommy my board break. He responded:

And so, another belt for my rack. I had blue, my favorite color, the longest, and I’ll have that boring brown the shortest.

The girls’ red belts are beautiful. Hopefully I’ll get mine soon. That test requires kicking a board, so… yeah. Hopefully I don’t injure my good foot. But also, whatever. At this point, I no longer care.

I just hope the board doesn’t look like this:

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From snowballs to softballs

From snowballs to softballs

Last Friday, when Hubby and I attended a gig for that local band I’m fond of, I spotted someone who maybe sort of looked familiar.

“Do you see that man over there in the white jacket?” I asked Hubby. “Is that the guy I had the snowball fight with?”

Hubby wasn’t sure, but he knew who I meant. For my birthday two years ago, I booked the band at a brewery where I was friends with the bartender. I had gotten permission from him to bring 150 fake snowballs. One man in attendance that night was particularly into the ensuing fight, especially when it came to throwing snowballs at me.

The crazy dude on the left. On the right is the woman who kindly took it in stride when I accidentally hit her several times while aiming at my chief adversary next to her. Crazy chic in the center: me.

“Should I ask if it’s him?” I said to Hubby.

“If you want,” he said, not nearly as perplexed by this mystery as I was.

But how to broach the subject with this possible total stranger? “Did I have an epic snowball battle with you nearly two years ago?” Or perhaps I would start slower: “Have you heard this band play before? Do you remember a time they played and there was a snowball fight?”

Without fully figuring out my approach, but curiosity getting the better of me, I announced, “I’m going to go find out.”

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Meeting two blog buddies in two days.

Meeting two blog buddies in two days.

I’ve been Blog-AWOL (BAWOL?) for several weeks. First, I was prepping for a trip, then on a trip, then recovering from the build-up of work post-trip, then I got sick.

I’m nearly recovered from all of that, so let me give you the highlights, primarily, meeting two Blog Buddies!

I’ll start with Bijoux. The funny thing, as she noted too, is that in a recent post I asked people if they have or would meet Blog Buddies in real life. She said she hadn’t, but knowing we were from the same area, if I were to come home for a visit, she would like to meet me. Little did we know at that time…

Left: me. Right: Bijoux

I left a comment on her blog letting her know I was in the area. Any chance she could meet, say… Thursday morning? It worked out perfectly that she could! And not only was she nearby, she lives in the town next door to the one I grew up in!

We met at a cute cafe on the border of our towns. My mom and sister joined us. My sister then proceeded to scandalize her with all manner of stories, and yet Bijoux still hung around. What a great lady! (I was honestly worried for her.) I’m so proud to have been her first Blog Buddy meet-up. It was a great pleasure to meet her!

The other BB lived much farther away and required more forethought and planning.

I finally had an opportunity to meet potentially/probably my longest running Blog Buddy, one whose recent retiring from the blog community made me cry. That is…

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Negotiating like a Voss


I’m a big fan of the book, Never Split the Difference, by former FBI hostage negotiator, Chris Voss. I geared up to put his principles into practice: I was going to ask Sensei to let me catch up to my girls in Tae Kwon Do, despite my four-month absence and his seemingly strict testing rules.

Asking him to deviate from a system he’s been using for two decades for my sake was a big ask.

I planned my approach. I would start with a “no” question a la Voss, ie: “Would it be impossible for me to get caught up to my girls?”

The idea is, with that wording, he’d likely say, “No,” which is what I wanted.

Never Split the Difference, by negotiation-master Chris Voss

I had four points, Sensei’s possible counter-points, and my counter to those counters all ready to go, practicing them in my head for several days in advance.

When the night in question came, I prepped my girls to go directly to the van after class, so I could talk to Sensei alone.

My nerves ran high as Sensei and I meandered to the parking lot. I listened patiently as he talked about his parkour gym, finding people to video his jumps so he could analyze his technique, taking videos for others for the same reason, the open gym policy, the hours, the classes, exactly where the gym was located, that it might be near that one rock climbing gym…

Finally, he wound himself down. My heart pounding, I steadied and readied myself for the attack.

“So,” I began. “Do you think it would be possible for me to catch up with my girls?”

Darn it! That was not the “No” answer question I had so carefully prepped!

He responded immediately.

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You never know, so just, be cool.


I was running late to meet a friend at her house so we could drive together to some event. Her neighborhood has several speed bumps, and I had the misfortune of being behind someone who was taking each bump at 1 mph. I’ve never claimed to be patient. I will claim to always be cutting it fine when it comes to being somewhere on time. So this added slow-down was extra frustrating.

The car in front of me, probably sensing my irritation, (I suppose I was following too closely) eventually pulled over so I could drive past. I shot a glance at the driver, a dude in his 30s or 40s.

from Rodrigo on Pexels

I told my friend about it, when I eventually made it to her house. “Wasn’t that so weird and annoying?” I asked her.

“He was probably delivering a cake,” she said.

Just like that, my indignation was brought up short. “You think?”

“My mom made and delivered cakes. Sometimes I’d go with her and she always had to be extra cautious over speed bumps.”

And so what a jerk I was, being irritated by some guy who gave me a look as I passed that basically said, “Could you just ease up already?”

Maybe he wasn’t delivering a cake, (then again, maybe he was) but regardless, he undoubtedly had good reason for driving so slowly. Maybe a sick kid in the back?

My friend’s statement made me realize how much easier it is to understand people’s actions, and forgive them, when you’ve been in their position too.

But even if you don’t “get it” from your own personal experience, it’s always best to be patient and kind. You never know what people are dealing with.

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The one about physical therapy


I’ve been doing physical therapy twice a week, and it seems mostly pointless to me. Can’t I just get better at walking by, oh, I don’t know… walking?

I finally asked the lady at the front desk of the gym if she cared if I hopped on an exercise bike after PT. Her lips formed a tight line. “You’d need a membership,” she said and chased me out with daggers shot from her eyes.

That answers that question. Brrr. On my next visit, I’ll wear jeans so she’ll know I’m not planning to stay for an ill-gotten workout. Otherwise, I imagine her whispering to a colleague, “Keep an eye on that one.”

On my latest visit, I decided to make friends with my fellow PT inmates by saying to one, “So, what are you in for?”

She had had a tumor in her spine! Her entire spinal column is now titanium, and she’s learning to walk again after five years in a wheelchair.

I wanted to hide my lowly “bruised-boned” foot behind my leg.

A third woman was doing breathing exercises in a chair facing away from us. “I feel like I’ve been put in the corner,” she said. We chuckled genially. Then the titanium lady had to literally stand in the corner, one hand on each wall to do… something. I didn’t hear the instructions. Naturally I pointed out that she was now in the corner, to which Titanium responded in a plaintive tone to her imaginary accuser, “I’m sorry!”

Doing our best to make our mutual pain more fun.

The most challenging thing I have to do is lift my big toe–only. Lifting all my toes together, sure, but the big one separately? Not so much. It’s a different muscle, I was told, so I should be able to do it. I don’t know if it’s muscle damage or muscle coordination that’s the culprit here. I sent a picture to Hubby of my latest attempt.

Still a purplish Frankenfoot, but at least it’s from a distance. Don’t zoom in. I said, Don’t zoom in!

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The other amazing thing


But before I get to that… (I know, I’m such a tease.)

It happened.

I’d been keeping an eye on my Jiu-Jitsu place’s Insta to see when and who would earn their next belts. When I finally saw it, the sucker punch wasn’t as bad as I expected. Probably because I was surprised it took so long for someone else to pass the test. Also, further vindication that it’s HARD to pass the test! Thank you! Not that I failed, but the one piece I was able to complete before my injury took… a while to perfect.

Note my comment on the side. And the response. I miss this crew!

I really miss Jiu-Jitsu, but it was hard being out so much in the evening. Instructor told me if he starts daytime classes up again, I’ll be the first to know.

I also miss it because I’ve begun the self-defense class for students again. (And it’s NOT killing my foot. Had to mention the foot somewhere, right?) It is showing me how rusty I am, however, making me all the more want to get back to class for some serious refreshing. Le sigh. We’ll see what the future holds.

Now on to the amazing thing…

The beautiful and wonderful Wynne Leon graciously invited me on her Heart of the Matter podcast. Thus, I made my zombie debut.

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Amazing things afoot


I didn’t mean to make a pun there, leading you to believe this was yet ANOTHER foot post. It’s not, promise. I’ll only say that the foot’s improving, and that it reminded me to post this comment from Stuart some time ago:

Congrats on the foot! Getting better, one step at a time, I see! Looks like everything’s going tibia okay! Can’t wait to see you fully heel.

I’m sorry I just couldn’t help it. I guess I better leg it now.

He may have heard me groaning all the way out in Malaysia.

Nope, it’s something else even MORE amazing than puns, if you can believe it.

Hubby and I went to bar trivia with some friends last night. Beforehand, I thought it would be so great if there was a question that was perfectly tailored for me. I was thinking along the lines of: Who is the song “Dirty Frank” about (Jeffrey Dahmer, btw), or something involving the name Mookie Blaylock, as examples of something truly random that only I, being the freak that I am, would know.

Then a question began: “Which band’s 1991 album…”

I gripped by friend’s arm. “Oh my gosh!” I said.

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That guy again


Long-time readers know this person. Some may have read the title and known right away who this post would be about. (If you did, let me know in the comments. Now I’m curious.)

I was doing a free gym trial, figuring it would be a good way to rebuild leg muscle, when I ran into an old friend.

At long last, the face behind the legend. I’m surprised I got him to smile for you, but I suspect he enjoys an audience.

I hadn’t seen the Chex Mix Guy in more than a year. He was smaller than I remembered, in every way.

Gone was the cheerful, funny man who brought us twelve posts-worth of entertainment. Heartbreak had made him cynical, filled with career ambition and little else.

One thing I’ll note for my future self: When I told him about falling to the bottom in my martial arts classes, he said, “That gives you a goal to aim for. Work your way back to the top.” That was thoughtful of him.

When we were through catching up, he grabbed his phone to choose the next song for his air buds. I took two steps and turned back around.

“This is weird,” I said.

“What is?”

“This is the last time I will ever see or speak to you.”

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