Small victories

by Jennifer on April 20, 2008

We were here today: Old Tucson Studios. The kids had a great time, and everyone was exhausted at the end of the day. It was a fun place, with a lot of movie history and enough activities to keep the kids excited and happy. And I didn’t even know about it until my dad’s wife mentioned that they wanted to take the kids there. I am a very bad tourist of the area where I live.

A few highlights from the last 24 hours:

Last night, I made myself fold an entire basket of clean socks. I will even admit that the contents of the basket have been in constant circulation for months weeks. Every morning, instead of being able to go to a drawer to grab a pair of socks, the kids and I have had to do the matchy matchy hunt through that damn basket. Frustrating, at 7:00 a.m.

So last night while Boy was asleep, I filled his sock drawer with matched pairs. This morning, I told him to go look.

“Wow, it’s like sock city in there!” he said, clearly moved beyond tears.

“Are you shocked?”, I asked.

“No, I’m socked!”

The boy never missed a beat. Love his wit, especially since it’s quick. He got a high five for that one.


Today, on the train ride through the old movie set, Girl said, “You know what, Mommy?”

I turned around to look at her.

She held up her middle finger. “This is a bad word in sign language.”

Holy freaking what?

“Yes, yes it is,” I gulped. “So don’t ever use that sign except in a few days when I’m going crazy and tell you to, okay?” I was relieved that there was no one near us on the train to witness her sign language show and tell. (Except that would have been really funny.) Edited to say: I promise to explain the distinction between real sign language that particular sign…I just couldn’t organize my thoughts well enough to do it in the moment.


Girl and Boy did not fight at all today. Seriously.

This event was so remarkable that even they commented on it. “Mommy, aren’t you so happy we haven’t been fighting allllll day today?” Boy asked.

Girl chimed in. “Remember that other day, last June, when we didn’t fight all day either?”

Turns out, all I have to do is wait about a year, and a day like today is bound to roll around again, making the 364 others all worth it. (It helps to read that in a sing-song voice, with a hint of Anne Taintor bitterness.)


I haven’t jumped in front of any buses yet, and I haven’t pushed anyone either. I haven’t even used any gestures that are bad words in sign language. Small victories.

Stay tuned.

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Mrs. Chili April 21, 2008 at 5:28 am

Heh. The finger isn’t actually sign language (at least, not in terms of ASL or any codified manual language), but her point is well taken. I studied ASL for about six years, and I learned some “bad” words during that time. ASL is such an expressive language!

Jennifer Harvey April 21, 2008 at 6:35 am

I couldn’t bring myself to explain the distinction in that moment, but I will. 🙂

Jenn @ Juggling Life April 21, 2008 at 8:23 am

A day without fighting? Wow.

Mary Alice April 21, 2008 at 9:30 am

No fighting for a whole day, ahhhhh heavenly

Brenda April 21, 2008 at 9:30 am

The whole post is hilarious. Both comments from Boy and Girl. And a day without fighting? I have that, but I have 2 girls. I know that a day in my childhood without fighting with my brother would have been cause for a National Holiday!

Glad you haven’t pushed anyone in front of the bus. But remember, I would (under the right circumstances) take the rap for you! Or at least harbor the criminal!

Jules~ April 21, 2008 at 9:32 am

Yuor boy certainly is quick witted. That was really cute! Gosh those socks! It is a pet peeve for me. Maybe because there are always left over that sit in the basket waiting for a “mate” to one day appear.

Daryl E April 21, 2008 at 9:56 am

Small schmall .. its a big deal to get through a visit w/o a melt down .. sort of like the kids not fighting ..

we_be_toys April 21, 2008 at 10:33 am

they may sound like small victories, but I know they’re bigger than that!
Oh, I hate to fold socks – you are my hero!
Two kids who don’t fight all day? Again, WOW!

And I love the sense of humor your kids have – just like their mama!

Melissa April 21, 2008 at 10:56 am

I admire your fortitude! Bad gestures and sock sorting! You deserved a day off of refereeing!

Kelly April 21, 2008 at 11:09 am

I think finally landing socks in their rightfully places is a huge victory worthy of celebration (says the woman here who has been living out of a giant white basket for over a week now). And great humor from your son. I would have fallen down laughing with that one.

Hatchet April 21, 2008 at 12:12 pm

Nice job on socks and sign language! I liked your son’s witty response. Wit is very important in a man (or woman).

Lisa Milton April 21, 2008 at 1:33 pm

I love that they remember a specific day with no fighting. Last summer. Priceless.

(Mine, on the other hand, broke the record for most fighting ever in the Sibling Round and with Friends That Are Staying the Weekend While their Parents are in Vegas Round. It nearly broke my brain. You give me hope, oh keeper of small victories…)

San April 21, 2008 at 2:55 pm

Jennifer, I would call those large victories–no bus shopping or nasty sign language or pushing. But the biggest has to be folding a whole basket of socks. I’m glad to learn I’m not the only one who’s not totally into sock sorting.

Your girl’s finger reminds me of something my son did at a neighbor’s holiday gathering. He was probably 4. Everyone was sitting around, engaged in jovial conversation when he climbed up on the sofa and proclaimed SON OF A BITCH! Chip off the old block, everyone was thinking. And they were thinking right.

San April 21, 2008 at 2:56 pm

No bus shopping? What did I just write? SON OF A BITCH.

Angela April 21, 2008 at 4:16 pm

These are not small victories. These are massive victories. Massive.

cce April 21, 2008 at 4:36 pm

Now I’m wondering if I invite some out of town family to visit for a few days will My Better Half get around to putting away all that laundry of his that lives on the guest bed? It worked for your socks, maybe it’ll work for his underwear.

And I’m glad the girl got herself some good sign language because, no matter what age, there’s something so damn satisfying in shooting someone the bird. Lesson #1 for tomorrow, day two of spring break, “Look kids, your middle finger is as effective a communication tool as any swear word Mommy can conjure – this is an important life lesson – the universal sign for go stick it where the sun don’t shine. .

Kellan April 21, 2008 at 5:20 pm

I seldom match and put away socks in our house either – we have that same basket sitting in the laundry room to be matched every morning!

Hope you are having a good visit with your Dad – take care – Kellan

the mama bird diaries April 21, 2008 at 7:02 pm

Matching socks makes me utterly mad and crazy.

Mrs. G. April 21, 2008 at 9:37 pm

A whole drawer of matched socks. I’m weeping over here. Weeping.

Carolyn April 22, 2008 at 12:26 am

I’m thinking we might not get along as much as I’d originally thought. A basket of mismatched socks would send me into cardiac arrest. My drawers are full of matched socks. All drawers. All matching socks. All the time. Booyah! And better yet, they are put there still warm from the dryer thank you very much.

I will say I’m impressed with both Girl’s sign language and Boy’s quick wit. Cbyer high fives for both of them from me. Perhaps your genius kids can redeem you in my eyes… Oh you of the mismatched socks.

Shireen April 22, 2008 at 5:56 am

LOL…is it mandatory…about the fights?? tee hee!!

Amy Shipp April 22, 2008 at 7:06 am

Cute post! So funny about your girl 😀 what a pistol she must be! The Bird? I’m “Socked”!

Lisa April 22, 2008 at 9:18 am

So all in all a fab day 🙂

JCK April 22, 2008 at 8:03 pm

No, I’m socked! LMAO

And a day of no fighting = nirvana.

Milena April 25, 2008 at 4:52 pm

I buy all the same socks for my husband. Exactly the same. There is nothing to match. Now tell me that isn’t brilliant?

I remember how my sister and I used to fight constantly. Every little thing was good enough to set us off. It is the way of siblings. Hard on the mommy though. Glad you got a reprieve. I’m hoping there will be more get out of jail free cards in your future.

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