Somewhat adrift

By Mir
March 9, 2009

I don’t know if you noticed that we changed the clocks, this weekend? Or that it is now currently whatthehello’clock?

One hour. I feel like such a wimp, unable to reconcile my brain to a difference of a single hour. But I’m definitely struggling with it, on account of how I’m a delicate flower and everything.

I had big plans, this weekend, to get a bunch of stuff done around the house. BIG PLANS, I tell you! Mostly I sat on the couch. I read some books. I watched some sub-standard television. I ate some cake. It’s really like I am the very poster child for sloth, some days. And I feel like I’d be proud of that, maybe, if I had a little more energy….

So this morning, I’m off to walk with a friend (fresh air! sunshine!) in an effort to wake myself up.

Because, naturally, although we had 6″ of snow last week, today it’s supposed to hit the high 70s. Life in the south is never boring, people.

In the meantime, I offer you various random things on my mind:

1) Chickadee wants to get her ears pierced for her 11th birthday. Chickadee also has a great big fear of needles and pain. Chickadee is not necessarily understanding the disconnect between these two items. (And I am not necessarily desirous of a hysterical child who only has one pierced ear.)

2) Our bed started to develop a valley in the mattress where Otto sleeps. It’s a no-flip mattress (flat on the underside), so our choices were to rotate it properly—landing me in the valley—or try to rig up a 90-degree rotation even though king-size mattresses are not, it turns out, perfectly square. Guess which one we did? (Hint: It involved two-by-fours!) Ever since the rotation, I’ve been waking up with a stiff neck. While I cannot draw a direction causation, I cannot help but feel that we have somehow angered the Bed Gods.

3) Having cake in the house is a very dangerous thing. The only logical solution is to eat it as quickly as possible, so that it will be gone. (Unrelated: Hmmm, I wonder why my pants don’t fit…?)

4) I am busy planning my vegetable garden for this year, and am wondering what I really SHOULD plant that I might not think of while I’m plotting. Any ideas?

5) I thought I was being extremely clever, getting some 2-way radios, so that I could allow the kids to ride their bikes around the neighborhood but still reach them in a hurry in case my overprotective mother tendencies demanded it. However, it appears that Monkey is capable of riding at high speeds and yapping unintelligibly into the radio AT THE SAME TIME. (That’s my boy; so talented!) As a result, if I let him take the radio, I end up with a non-stop stream of undecipherable chatter and an overwhelming urge to hang myself. On the other hand, if he rides out of sight, I really like being able to beep him. Do I give up on the radios, or let him take it with instructions that he is not to push the button unless responding to my call or bleeding?

Also, I am blaming all of this on the time change. Just because.


  1. Stacia

    I’ve had a total of 16 ear piercings and I would suggest you go to a professional body piercer. They use hollow needles, which greatly reduces the pain (some doctors may still pierce ears too). I would, however, check out the places first, otherwise you may walk into a place with large pictures of naked women and strange “tobacco” pipes.

  2. Jill W.

    Ugh- I HATE our “no-flip” mattress. Ours has two valleys in it, with a veritable mountain range in the middle. I have spent many a night in the guest room lately, because our bed is so uncomfortable. I hate the idea of having to go out and get another bed (especially because we spent a lot of money not that long ago on this one), but I really hate the one we have.

    We are having a rough time adjusting to the time change, too. My preschooler was indignant about being woken up while it was still dark this motrning. Of course she did not complain about being able to play in the backyard last night right up until bedtime.

  3. Marissa

    Let Chickadee get her ears pierced. My mom made me wait until I was 11 for the same reason. My birthday is in October and I was able to sweet talk her into letting me get in done in June for a good end of the year report card. My mom made me promise not to scream or we would leave with one ear pierced. I watched several people get it done on various trips to the mall and I think that helped prepare me.

    My mother waited until I was in labor to tell my husband “She’s really not very good with pain.” Awesome.

    I’m totally borrowing the 2-way radio bike riding idea – fabulous!!

  4. Jen

    time change = suck. i hate it. i had to almost drag my 7 year old out of bed at 8 am this morning!

    as for ear piercings, take her somewhere where there are two people who do piercings, have them each do one ear, and at the same time, that way, even with the pain, you won’t end up with just one ear pierced. and she won’t see “needles” — just the piercing guns. (LOL – needles or guns, which do you want on your ear???)

  5. Canuckone

    A lot of places will pierce both ears simultaneously (two people, two guns). Maybe that will defeat the possibility of having only one done? Also I suggest tylenol before and maybe some numbing cream if you have it?

  6. Michelle

    Ooooh garden planning! Me too. We have moved off the patio into an actual plot, and are planting cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, and some beans and peas. We are in the south as well so beans and peas go in in the next week. I have them growing in my garage under gro-lights now. (what must the neighbors think?) The cucumbers are great and so is the zucchini for the tons of relishes we can! We are trying to can more tomatoes this year. You may want to stay away from the mint this year!

  7. Karly

    I second the vote for going to a place where there are 2 people with 2 guns! Also, I think I was a bit older than Chickadee when I got my ears pierced, but I had special permission from my mama to say one bad word. She would always say “shit!” when she hurt herself, so I was allowed to do the same, and dude, I had so much fun saying that forbidden word that I forgot to feel the pain. I realize that is kind of an odd parenting suggestion and wouldn’t work for all families, but it totally worked for us. :)

  8. Tammy

    Most piercing boutiques in the mall will pierce both ears at the same time if you give them a hint that your child could possibly walk out the door with one earring. While professional body piercers are the way to go, if she’s likely to react to the pain by not allowing the other ear to be pierced, then a small mall boutique is best.

  9. Linda Miller

    My daughter had her ears pierced and they were able to do them both at the same time. Oh how I wish they had done mine that way. :) I had a little old lady at a Merle Norman counter (yes I’m old). Anyway, she missed my second ear completely and the earring went flying across the room. I was totally terrified when she came at me again, thinking she could miss the other way.

  10. JennyM

    I know what you should plant: mint. MIIIINNNT!!!

    The rule in our house was that you could get your ears pierced when you turned 13. I don’t remember it actually hurting that much, though. Especially since I was prepared to suffer mightily for beauty. Or maybe I just have dead ears.

  11. Headless Mom

    She’ll do fine with earrings. She got contacts, right?

  12. Erin

    This brings up so many memories. My Mom never had her ears pierced (well, she did it two years ago for my wedding, but she was in her 50s). When I was probably 8 or so, I was looking through her jewelry box and found a pair of pierced earrings–confused, I asked her what they were. She explained that some people have holes in their ears, but she doesn’t, and these were a gift, but she’s never been able to wear them. I decided I MUST have my ears pierced. She agreed, but told me that it would hurt a lot, and that after they did one, I might not want them to do the other. But that if she agreed to let me get them pierced, that was the deal–pain or no, both had to get done. I agreed, and we went and got it done. I don’t remember it at all except that pre-piercing part. :)

    Now, as many people noted, they do the “two guns” approach, which seems a brilliant idea to me. They weren’t doing that back in the mid-80s, I don’t think. At least not in Elkhart, Indiana.

  13. Barbara

    We have successfuly put-off the ear piercing for several years by giving her a ‘godfather choice’. You can have a party or your ears pierced for your birthday. I know, we are mean, horrible and restrictive parents. Be glad I did not give birth to you. I don’t mind so much about ear piercing, but my Hubby hates the idea. Here it is very common to have infants’ ears pierced. Younger Teen’s friends all have pierced ears and she asks why we did not choose to see someone stick her as a babe. Go figure.

    I’ll have to get back to you on the radios.

  14. mamalang

    Sorry, still LOL at Linda’s flying earring. But seriously, as others have said, both at the same time. It’s the only way to go.

    ANd I don’t live in the South, but we had 11 inches of snow last week, and it was almost 80 Saturday. It was a little surreal to be standing around piles of snow in my short sleeves and not be freezing. But that hour, it made me a slot until bed time. ANd they recently did a study that shows that daylight savings time is actually shaving time off of our lives…people are more likely to have heart attacks around this time.

  15. Debora Silkotch

    My new favorite vegetable is Swiss Chard. I planted it last spring as an experiment and now I can’t imagine being without it! Fordhook Giant was the variety I started with, and I’ll be replanting that this spring along with two other varieties — there are a gazillion different kinds out there to choose from.

    It’s a leafy green vegetable, a bit like spinach, but way hardier (and I think tastier). It shrugs off hard frosts and blistering heat waves. Harvest it leaf-by-leaf rather than pulling up the entire plant and you can have fresh salads all summer and fall. Mine went dormant-ish in the coldest part of winter, but now they’re putting out fresh leaves again! They have not yet bolted to seed, even though as far as I know they’re annuals, not perennials.

    Second-favorite vegetable: Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes. They’re fast, hardy, incredibly prolific and kids love to snack on them right off the vine.

    PS. The time change seriously sucks.

  16. meghann

    I’m trying my hand at growing garlic this year. Mainly because I stocked up on garlic bulbs a while back, and didn’t use them quick enough. Now all the cloves are sprouting. I’ve heard if you plant it near flowers it helps keep bugs away. And you know, I could always bring you some! *hint, hint*

  17. Megan

    We did the two-way radio thing and also had a Child who was charmed to have a constant audience for its stream of consciousness (ooh! With buttons! Even better!). For a couple of weeks the kitchen had a sound track like “Okay I’m riding up the hill now and there’s the big tree I think I can fit inside it if I squish WOW that kind hurt and know what? I can make a noise like WOOOOOOOOH and if I press this button it bleeps…” Then the novelty wore off and the darn Child started losing the radio instead (Scuze me – not losing it, carefully putting it down riiiiiight over there and TOTALLY PLANNING ON COMING BACK FOR IT).

    Also, I want my hour back damn it.

  18. Kelly

    Some pediatricians do ear piercings…
    Also, many places will do both ears at the same time.

    Can I come visit your garden? Chances of us selling our townhome this spring so I can have a yard are looking slim to none.

  19. Grannycilla

    Can I just say ” I HATE TIME CHANGE!” Why don’t they just leave it alone. I never feel right til we change back in the fall. There, thank you!! As for ear piercing, I was 35 when I had mine done, and my rule for my daughter was 16.

    Somehow we went from HEAT to AIR CONDITIONING, due to HUMIDITY and POLLEN, in the spece of 2 days. That is life here in the South. All of which make me grumpy. HUMPH!!

  20. Character Builder

    My daughter had her ears pierced about a year ago, when she was 8. We just went to one of the Claire’s stores at the Mall of America to have it done. She did great as far as the pain goes, which really surprised me, as she’s a total wimp. However, when it was time to get up off the chair and head out of the store, she was white as a ghost and got really nauseous. I was so afraid she was going to throw up right there in the store, and I think she was too! Luckily, we had done all of our shopping before the piercing, so we beat feet out of the mall and got her home. She was totally fine once she hit the fresh air outside.

  21. SportsMom

    We did the walky-talky thing with my son in his pre-cell phone years. It worked great! I don’t consider it over-protectedness – it’s all about safety! As I recall, my son did the play-by-play initially, but the novelty soon wore off. The next phase was when he’d put it down and forget about it. He always found it, but we put a return address sticker on it just in case. Another caution – we would sometimes pick up some neighbors on our set, so – watch what you say! :-)
    Actually, now that I think about it, it was really good training for owning a cell phone, which he got at 14, when he began high school (and high school sports, etc.). He hasn’t lost his yet!
    Good luck!

  22. Sharkey

    My mom owned a hair salon when I was a kid, and pierced ears for her customers. So when I turned 10, she finally agreed to do mine. The first one went in just fine. But I jumped when the second one was going in, and my left earring hangs just a bit lower than the right. Simultaneous guns is a good idea.

    Somehow, the rules changed for my younger sister (Character Builder in comment 20), and she was allowed to have her ears pierced before she was 10. The injustice! But one of Mom’s favorite sayings has always been, “Life’s not fair.”

    P.S. I LOVE Karly’s idea of One Bad Word.

  23. Laura

    My daughter just got her ears pierced this fall and I had the same concerns. She is by no means a stoic child, and I felt certain she’s end up looking like a pirate with one pierced ear. I found a place that would do both ears simultaneously and it worked out really well. Just make sure you call first because the first time we went they only had one person working and we had to come back.

  24. Nancy R

    My 11 year old just got hers pierced, cashing in a 13month-old ‘gift certificate’ from us – it was her 10th birthday gift and she just now became brave enough to do it (I think, because she got some immunizations a couple of weeks ago and I asked the nurse if shots hurt more than ear piercings and she said no;o) ).

    We DID have both ears done at the same time – the store employees said they don’t usually use two people for someone her age, but I said we’ve been promising her that both ears could get done at the same time for over a year so we’d be doing both.

    She didn’t even flinch -she said she closed her eyes and thought, ‘Go to your happy place, go to your happy place.” Afterwards, she reported that it pinched a little and then it stung for a little bit. She’s so very pleased! If I could remember how to get photos off my phone I’d send you one.

    While waiting to check out she informed me that she’d have to take them out the next night because she couldn’t wear earrings on the volleyball court….? Um, advanced notice of that would have been helpful. So, we’ve ‘illegally’ taken the earrings out twice now so she could play and then we put them right back in after the game.

    She’s already looking forward to buying different earrings.

  25. jennielynn

    Would it be possible to take a couple of friends with her? Drama Queen had a mall birthday party: Four friends, a trip to the mall and lunch at the food court. (I do not recommend this. It was scary expensive.) At the end, we all went to Claire’s and DQ got her ears pierced. Her friends all held her hands and for some reason, their comforting was more effective than mine. Probably because I just told her to man up, this is what she wanted.

    I’m totally stealing the Swiss chard idea. And I really think you should plant some mint.

  26. Jill in Atlanta

    1. Let her try under the condition that she gets two or removes the first
    2. sorry. beds were all on sale at Presidents Day. Why? I know not.
    3. Yes. Eat it fast. It won’t have time to stick to your thighs.
    4. Beans, tomatoes, chili peppers, bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers, yellow squash, maybe pumpkins or watermelon if you have space. Eat the neighbor’s zucchini.
    5. The last option.

  27. Tracy

    I can totally relate to the one ear pierced. I was a young adult when I decided I wanted to have my ears pierced again. It was the 80’s and everyone was doing it! Well, after I got one done-I was finished. So, for 11 years, I had one ear with two earrings and the other, just one! And I was happy with that! Until I turned 30, my best-friend decided it was time I had the other one done. I had birth 2 children so I could handle getting it done, so she thought! I screamed and had big crocodile tears but I managed to pay and get to my car. I was feeling pretty proud of myself that I actually had them both done. Now, I’m 42, and I haven’t worn ear-rings in both in, gosh, I don’t know how long.
    I agree with everyone else, get them done at the same time.

  28. dad

    Why do women have this fascination with poking holes through their flesh? (I am not a sexist. I fully realize that some misguided males also subscribe to this savage persuasion.)

    I get nauseous just thinking about it.
    Don’t tell Chickadee.

  29. divrchk

    Call your mattress company. It must be under warranty. We used the warranty on ours and got a new mattress. They’ll send someone out to measure the valley and if it’s deep enough, they’ll replace it. Seriously, it’s worth the try. A mattress should last longer than yours seems to have lasted.

  30. Sagey

    Have you tried calling the mattress company? It could still be under warranty, I believe most mattresses have a 10 year warranty/life span, it wouldn’t hurt to contact them.

    There was a LITTLE boy in our old neighborhood that was allowed to wander FREELY and he had a walkie talkie clipped to him. The thing I found odd (besides the fact that he ws 6 and had no supervision whatsoever) was that he was NOT allowed to call his mom on it, it was only for him to call her. Umm.. so how does that help if he falls into a ditch and it bleeding to death?

    Maybe you could charge Monkey for every time he pushed the button to talk for just rambling purposes. :-)

  31. kim

    My 8 year old got her ears pierced at a tatoo place. That was great choice. They were very professional, but it also gave it the necessary amount of gravity. She was a little scared, and definitely not interested in pushing it farther than the one piercing per ear. It was also helpful to have my 6 year old along. The whole experience of watching the needle and being in Urban Body, really made her stop whining about wanting her ears pierced too.

    Also I let my kids go about the neighborhood alone but there are boundaries. If they go past them it takes them too long to check back in at appointed times. Then they are not allowed the freedom next time. They are getting better and understanding the limits and understanding that the limits expand when they respect them.

  32. Katherine

    We’re SE of Atlanta and just planted a few things yesterday – Swiss chard, sugar snap peas, parsley, lettuce (3rd successive planting of lettuce). I’m also planning to put in tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, peppers (bell and hot), cucumbers, potatoes, winter squash. We’re hoping to find amaranth (as a grain, not a flower) and DH picked up some canteloupe seeds to try. I can’t wait til stuff starts coming up and then being ready to eat. I hope you’ll tell us what all you plant once you get going.

  33. Holly

    word on the street (my street, actually) is that some orajel on the site will make the ear-piercing hurt less. that’s what they do with babies, anyhoo. if anything, it might have a placebo effect. and let’s not look down on the placebo effect.

  34. Jenni

    Love the walkie talkie idea. I’m totally stealing that for my step-daughter. She’s 9 and probably could do with a little more freedom.

    I got my ears pierced the summer before 5th grade…I think that means I was 9? Maybe. Anyways, then I got a second hole in each ear…sometime after that. I don’t really remember when I did that. I think I went with my mom because she got a third hole in each ear.

    My step-daughter’s mom got my step-daughter’s ears pierced when she was not even 2 months old. My husband flipped out about it because my step-daughter is allergic to alcohol and which is what is usually used to clean the holes. We’ve already decided that our kids won’t get their ears pierced until they are in elementary school.

    Plus, I’d rather wait to have my kids’ ears pierced until they WANT them pierced. My step-daughter doesn’t particularly care that her ears are pierced and rarely wears earrings. If she didn’t get them pierced until she really WANTED them pierced, she’d probably wear earrings a lot more often.

  35. Half Assed Kitchen

    Plant some herbs! I so covet herb gardens.

  36. sassymonkey

    Hmm I was about Chickadee’s age, or probably a bit younger, when I got my ears pierced. I think it’s a good age. Is she taking out and putting in her own contacts yet? If not I’m not at all above suggesting to her that if she can’t do her own contact care then she probably isn’t ready to deal with ear piercing. (What? Bribery? That’s not wrong is it?)

  37. ellbee

    My parents made me wait till I was in sixth grade to get my ears pierced, with the admonition that I couldn’t give up halfway through or my mom (a phlebotomist) would pierce the other herself. I sat like a rock. Of course, I also managed to lose the right to wear them a month later, when I lied to my parents and said my room was clean. Something about the closet door blowing off its tracks from the volume of crap I shoved behind it? It wasn’t till two years later that I was allowed to pierce them again. Some kids just don’t learn.

  38. MomCat

    1. My daughter’s ears were pierced when she was four and stemmed from a single conversation when she was three, during which I told her that she could have them done when she was a big girl. “When’s that, Mommy?” “When you’re four.” I didn’t count on her having such a good memory. Silly me. We had it done at the doctor’s office. He used numbing cream and a piercing gun, and she said it didn’t hurt at all. She didn’t cry, or flinch or complain about it later.

    2. Memory foam mattresses rule!

    3. I thought cake for breakfast was an excellent idea.

    4. Basil makes pesto. Yummy.

    5. Our walkie-talkies have volume control. The background chatter wasn’t much different from if she was at home, and an occasional “Uh hmmm…,” from me was enough to keep her happy. I figured I would hear a shriek of alarm even if the volume was fairly low, and then I’d know where she was and exactly what she was doing.

  39. Shannon

    Time change is screwing me up too. I feel the same way. Why should one hour make so much difference? But it really does!

    I’ve heard there are some places that can get two people to pierce the ears at the exact same time. Twice the pain but it’s over quick and no worries about having only one pierced ear. I had it done at age 10 and was really excited about it. But I almost fainted after it was done and my dad had to carry me home. :)

  40. BethR

    @dad: It’s two (or more for some of us!) more places that we get to put pretty shiny things! What more reason do you need?

  41. Jean

    My daughter got her ears pierced at 11. We went to one of the kiosks in the mall and it went fine. They used a gun to fire the piercing earring right into the ear. So quick that she barely acknowledged it. Shorter than a shot. The second one was fine, no muss, no fuss. The “gun” makes all the difference, I think.

    Beware the comment above about athletic activities and earrings. We ran into that difficulty with soccer. Refs at games would check to be sure there were no earrings and my daughter was still only days from just having it done. We sure weren’t taking them out. So we sat out a few games and then we put band-aids over them. Seemed to do the trick. If Chicky’s in a competitive contact sport, check out the rules on earrings before you go get pierced.

    Good luck.

  42. Damsel

    I have nothing to add on the gardening front. I kill *everything*. Something about them needing water…??

    Having cake/cookies in the house piles on the guilt for me. I feel guilty for eating them because I *most definitely* do not need them. I feel guilty for NOT eating them because that’s wasting them. So I just eat them quickly so I can stop thinking about it. Maybe.

  43. Sheila

    Re: 3) I believe that also applies to Girl Scout cookies.

    Re: 4) My kids loved the yellow tomatoes last year, and the squirrels stayed away from them.

    Re: 5) I believe that also applies to using the radios while skiing, with the yapping unintelligibly and the high speeds (albeit downhill). We’ve gone with the Do Not Use Unless Leg Is Broken approach.

  44. Karishma

    i got mine done at the pediatrician’s office when i was 8. he had a spray bottle of something or the other that numbed it. i didn’t feel a thing. but honestly? if you get it done with the piercing gun, it doesn’t really hurt *anyway*. i had no numbing when i got my second set at Claire’s, and it didn’t bother me one bit, right when it happened or later on. only cartilage piercings are actually painful.

  45. Wendy 2

    I wasn’t allowed to get my ears pierced until my 13th birthday. The only thing I remember about it was not getting to have it done ON my birthday because my birthday was on a Sunday and the mall wasn’t open. I had to wait until Monday. My older daughter (12) is too scared to get hers done, but her younger sister had hers done at age 4 because she was begging for it. And yes, if Chickadee is in sports they will make her take them out.

  46. Scottsdale Girl

    God I love Arizona. Time Change wha?

  47. Katie in MA

    @the 2-way radio discussion…What if you told Monkey that he was a covert agent and radio silence was to be broken only if (1) he was hurt or in trouble, or (2) HQ (that would be you) contacted him first. An agent’s failure to check in would result in ______.

    OR you could just charge him 25 cents for each time he contacted you first unless it was deemed a suitable emergency. :) But the secret agent in me votes for option #1!

  48. Tatiana

    I have a three week old… “losing” an hour has made no difference to me, my internal clock is set to what feels like an eternal state of “WTF IS GOING ON?!”

  49. jennP

    when we got my daughters ears pierced, we applied EMLA cream which is an over the counter cream that numbs the skin. BEST invention. You apply it on the skin 10 minutes before you get the piercing done and said child will feel NOTHING!! Also… have both ears done at the same time. One person on each side. This way, she will not end up freaking out with only one ear done.

  50. Suzannah

    For a super-easy way to set up and plant your garden this year, check out my website! We have kits and raised beds available for both small and large gardens! Lots of yummy veggies and herbs! Plus, they’re all organic :)

  51. Jenn

    You should plant some tomatoes and then you should send some to me, because we don’t much flat yard, and frankly, the dog is going to pee on anything I plant in the ground. I’ve tried patio tomatoes with very little luck. Sad!

    Daylight Savings Time didn’t bother me until they messed around with it. Ever since they moved it, I spend a week stumbling around like a zombie.

  52. del

    My 5 year old daughter had her ears pierced almost 6 weeks ago using the ‘double gun technique’. There were no hassles getting it done, merely a stunned look and nervous giggle. That was the easy part. Trying to turn the ear rings and apply the solution was a nightmare. The studs were too tight in her ears with the swelling and the chemicals stung. Three days in, amidst much screaming I swapped the studs for sleepers (rings) and a salt wash instead of chemicals. We haven’t looked back – the swelling went down, infection long gone and no pain. Now she wants to know when she can get ‘pretty ear rings’.

  53. Heather

    My mom made me wait until I was 11 to get mine pierced, and then we had ours done on the same day. By laser. (Don’t ask – my mom’s a nurse and was friends with the doctor who did it.) Just thought I’d mention that. :-)

    And the radios? A great idea. Consider letting him use this to be your indication of what he’ll be like with a cell phone. If he can successfully not abuse this, then maybe you could get him to stick to the minutes and texting limits of your plan. Of course, I don’t plan on letting my kids get cell phones until they can drive (which I say with all the vim and verve of someone whose oldest child is 5 and still 11 years away from that kind of thing). :-)

  54. kendra

    I got my ears pierced at 11. It was my birthday present that year. My mom warned me for a week she would not let me walk out with just one ear pierced. She told me it was the same as anything else, if I started it then it got finished. Just to make sure she threatened to take my allowance and my barbies (I played with them until I was around 13) away if I didn’t do it. I let them do both and have been happy with them.

  55. Kim

    Teaching walkie-talkie etiquette: encourage them to use code words for specific activities. Especially a code for emergencies. And most important, that it is important to “keep the line clear” of nonessential chatter.
    Maybe get some Chuck Norris movies to start teaching radio-speak?
    Also, Chuck Norris can shoot an enemy by pointing his finger and saying ‘bang’.

  56. Barbara

    Have you tried that goofy-looking egg crate foam on the bed? We have several layers at once, bumpy sides face down, and it makes a swoopy mattress seem fine.

    As does going to bed drunk.

  57. Brigitte

    Our expensive (for us, anyway) new mattress that we finally got after I complained about the old one for about 15 years only had a one-year warranty. And had two big craters in it, exceeding the warranty’s requirements, at 13 months (of course). And husband will make me live with this one at least another 15 years. Oh, Powerball, where art thou?

    Maybe you can do some research into drought-resistant veggies? If Georgia’s drought continues, you’ll be doing well, garden-wise. If luck suddenly brings all Georgia’s rain back because you went and planted drought-resistant veggies, you’ll be able to look at the good thing you did for so many people!

  58. Aubri

    Not sure if anyone’s pointed this out yet… but you really don’t have all that many nerve endings in your earlobes. In all honesty, it doesn’t *hurt* so much as it’s shocking. I am not excessively pierced, just one hole in each ear… so it’s not like I’m “conditioned” to the pain or anything… it just really didn’t hurt all that badly. It gets really hot immediately following, from all the blood flow, but it doesn’t hurt exactly.

  59. Heather

    I don’t know if someone already said this, but when my niece got her ears pierced they had two people do it at once and had both ears done in a snap. I mean she still cried and said she changed her mind – but it was too late! Glad I have a boy!

  60. stephanie

    As a veteran of both the pointy-point and ring versions of ear piercing, I’d HIGHLY recommend rings (acquired at a tatoo parlor). So very much more comfortable to sleep in and, in my experience, much less likely to get infected.

    Also, why why why has the time change made my 10 month old start waking up at 4am to PARTY?

  61. Barbara

    As promised…

    The radio will not prevent someone from snatching Monkey.

  62. carolie

    Consider French Intensive gardening, aka ‘square foot’ gardening. You plant squares, not rows, and put carpet samples or newspaper or something as paths in between. MUCH easier to weed, MUCH easier to stay on top of everything, and many things (like corn) do WAAY better than in rows.

    That said, my main love of square foot gardening is due to the fact that I can plant six tomato varieties, four eggplant varieties and five pepper varieties, but only a couple of plants of each. If something doesn’t do well, no worries, it’s just a tiny part of the garden and I still have other tomatoes/eggplant/peppers/whatever! Besides, I love that you can plant something that takes a while to come up, and then plant something quick (like radishes) in the SAME square, so when you harvest the radishes, the square then proceeds to give you something else almost right away!

    I love doing the Native American “three sisters” planting, too….plant several hills of corn. When the corn is thigh high, plant climbing beans. The beans use the corn stalks instead of stakes, and also give the corn extra nitrogen. Then plant squash, which provides cover/mulch, so you don’t have to weed around the base!

    Oh…when we were kids, my mom planted a big double circle of sunflowers. When they were tall enough, she pulled the big flower heads together with a cord, to create a sunflower teepee. We LOVED it.

    You didn’t ask for all of that. You asked what to plant. I’d say: tomatoes, peppers, radishes, beans, peas, watermelon, pumpkins, marigolds, sunflowers, corn…the list could go on forever! Ha ha!

  63. Niki

    Ooh ooh – an area where I have expertise! I worked in an “ear piercing boutique” type store for 7 years, and have pierced zillions of ears, including my own daughters’. 1st dd was a trooper. 2nd was 4, and screamed once the first one was in, refusing to let me do the 2nd. I told her she couldn’t only have one, and we took it out and waited another 2 years until she was ready.

    She called me at work one day to ask if I could bring the stuff home. I called back when I left work, and had her older sister put ice packs on both ears until I got home. Presto – no pain piercing. I highly recommend it. I’d go to a place in the mall (and call first to find out when they will have 2 piercers there – usually on Saturday and probably on Friday night as well). Make sure they use surgical steel – less chance for a bad reaction with your delicate flower of a child! Keep ice packs on her until you are ready to do it, and she won’t even notice the painl A tylenol when you get home would be helpful as well. Make it a big deal – it’s a growing up thing and girls get a huge kick out of it.

  64. Sarah

    We just began allowing our 9yo girl and almost-8yo twin boys to walk to school unaccompanied, mostly because the van died and the stroller inadvertently took a trip to the dealer in the back of the van. Anyway, I sent along one of our two-way radios for their adventures, and got the funniest reports back:

    “Okay, we’ve crossed the first street!”

    “We are at the park!”

    “We’re almost at the crosswalk, and the crossing guards are waving hi!”

    Very entertaining… :-)

  65. Se'Lah

    In the Caribbean, they pierce ears with hot needles and threads. It hurts like hell. When I moved to the US, I went to the mall as a teenager and got a 2nd ear piercing. That hurt like hell.

  66. Little Bird

    I vaguely remember getting my ears pierced when I was about 4. Maybe 5. All I really know is, I was loud. Since then my ears were re-pierced in 5th grade, secondary holes in high school. Tertiary holes also in high school, and a 4th hole in on ear. I also in college, got my belly button done (twice, as it didn’t take the first time) and PIERCED MY OWN NOSE, TWICE(!!!!) before getting it professionally done. I kept getting a cold immediately after the piercings. If you still let her do that after my story, do it at the mall. You don’t want her to do it at a friends house during a slumber party.

  67. Joy

    If you ask me the time change is just nasty for parents of small children.
    I have just realized that I am dealing with it here then I happen to be going to the UK and their ‘spring forward’ will happen while we’re there.
    What kind of crazy, parent hating, sleep deprived world is that?

  68. Little Bird

    Ahem, I would like to point out that the only piercings that see jewelry anymore are two holes, one in each ear. I grew up. And out of that particular phase.

  69. ~annie

    I say: What’s wrong with one ear pierced? That dip in the mattress is much more troubling.

  70. mama speak

    I like Barbara’s solution to fixing the bed; going to bed drunk. I’m going to have to try that one.

    I had my ears pierced at age 7, (not sure why it was the magic #, but it was & my DD knows, so she’s counting on the same for herself.) My mom took me to this “family owned jewelry store” I remember looking at all the studs and fancy ear rings, but that’s really it. In college I purposely got my 2nd hole on one side only. A good guy friend got the 2nd hole. It was the same price for 1 or 2 piercings for him so why waste it, right? He swears he’s not gay, so he was metro, in the 80s. Riiight.

    Several weeks and a trip to the ER, later we found out I was VERY allergic to metal (I had long hair & didn’t tell my mom that I had infantigo growing over the earrings. Oh you were eating, sorry bout that.) After the dr. removed them and we cleared up my “rash” I could only wear 24k gold ones. I was 7. I wear ear rings next to never now, (at 40). It’s just not worth the pain, so for photos at my wedding type thing, but that’s it.

  71. crazyjane

    just have to add my 2 cents as a pharmacy tech and mom. the pharmacists i work with recommended the orajel trick but you can also get an rx for a lidocaine gel or emla (neither of those are over the counter). my 6yr old just got her ears done and we forgot the orajel but did have both ears done at once. she is fairly wimpy and did cry but only for a few minutes. with the orajel she probably would have been fine.

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