All my chickens home to roost

By Mir
June 27, 2011

The children are home! The children are home! This is what Paul Revere ran through the town yelling about to strike fear into the hearts of the British. Or possibly Otto. But as for me, I was positively giddy yesterday, because no matter how much of a pain in the butt they can sometimes be, two weeks is a LONG TIME for my babies to be gone.

Mind you, sometimes it was like they weren’t even gone at all. After an unfortunate incident earlier this year when Chickadee took the sometimes-her-cell-phone to a school event and proceeded to spend the entire time texting with a friend sitting a few seats away (the hell?)—resulting in a $40 overage on our texting allowance—after some negotiation we decided the sometimes-her-cell-phone could now become the really-her-cell-phone (with all the rights and privileges therein, such as us taking it away when she’s rotten), and we went to unlimited texting on our family plan (half of which she’s paying for, because we are mean and terrible parents). This meant that at random times throughout their absence, my cell phone would go BINGBING! and upon review I would discover that Chickadee had sent me a Very Important Text.

Of course, the 13-year-old version of Very Important is… somewhat different than the adult version. A typical conversation with my darling daughter via text message looks something like this:

Me: Wow, you would think that would be less annoying in text than in person, but you’d be wrong. WHAAAAAAAAAT?
Chickie: Hi!
Me: Hi, baby. What’s up?
Chickie: Nuthin.
Me: Whatcha doing?
Chickie: Watching a movie.
Me: Oh yeah? Which one?
Chickie: Pirates of the Caribbean.
Me: Oh, cool. Do you like it?
Chickie: It’s kind of boring.
Me: Really? But Johnny Depp is yummy, and that is never boring!
Chickie: Who is Johnny Depp?
Me: WHAT??
Chickie: Which one is he?
Me: He’s Jack Sparrow. And he’s adorable. I’m not sure you’re my kid.
Chickie: EWWWWWW. He’s old and ugly!
Me: I am weeping right now.
Chickie: Was that a JOKE?
Me: No! Um, later, go Google “21 Jump Street” to see him all young and hot. They make him look skeezy for the movie. I promise he’s gorgeous.
Chickie: Whatever.
Me: Oh hush, whippersnapper.
Chickie: :D
Me: Go watch your movie.
Chickie: Okay, byyyyeeee!

Inbetween Very Important Texting with my daughter, my son would periodically call, and I just wanted to hear his sweet voice and tell him I missed him, but typically when Monkey calls me during his time with his dad, it’s to report a catalog of injustices he is certain have been done to him. So a typical call starts with me asking how he’s doing and then a 10-minute litany from him of how Chickadee did this or that and then their cousin did this other thing and Daddy did something else and Grammie didn’t do the right thing either and I get a chance to practice my deep breathing and then my Soothing Voice as I assured him that that sounded very frustrating indeed, but I am not there and he needs to work these things out with the people THERE, and also, son, remember that sometimes we need to just let things go.

[HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA! A little bit of Aspie humor there. Letting things go is… ummm… not exactly part of Monkey’s repertoire. This is the child who still says to me, “Hey Mom! Remember that time when I was 2 and you hit me with a snowball and I cried? That was really mean.” No joke.]

Anyway, they were gone and we bravely soldiered on without them, even finding various ways to—dare I say it?—ENJOY their absence, but two weeks is pretty much my limit. Yesterday we picked them up at the airport and went to our favorite diner between the airport and home, and the children, they talked NON-STOP, talking over each other in their hurry to report all of the important things.

Chickadee went on ALL THE ROLLERCOASTERS at the amusement park. And Monkey rode for MILES on his bike. And their cousin brought her dog, who is very sweet, but their uncle’s dog howls constantly, and it’s really annoying. And would Licorice remember them? And can I have some of those french fries? And here are some pictures I took, look at these, and I read fourteen books!

Total chaos. I smiled across the table at Otto and he smiled back.

As we rode home, my phone went BINGBING! and it was Chickadee texting me. From the back seat. (“MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHWM!!”) I suggested she could just TALK to me from that proximity, but she said no, that was okay. When she did it again, I told her that if I received another text from her I was going to take her phone away. She sniffled dramatically.

Back home, we had a brief swim before a storm moved in. Then Chickadee disappeared into IMing all her friends (apparently texting them the entire time she was gone was not sufficient), and Monkey helped me bake muffins. This was followed by muffin-eating and complaining that it was NOT time to go to bed, why, they’d stayed up until MIDNIGHT with Daddy and why are we so MEAN?

Finally, Monkey was in bed, and Chickadee sidled up to me and threw her arms around my neck. As I hugged her close, she turned and whispered in my ear, “I just love you so much… I wanted to text you and TELL you how much, but you said you’d take my phone away. Alas.”


Finally they were both in bed and Otto and I retired to the couch. He studied my face for a minute before asking, “Happy?”

I beamed back at him. “Very.”


  1. dad

    It’s wonderful that Otto really understands.
    Give all three of them hugs from us.

    The beat goes on.

  2. RuthWells

    I thought Paul Revere was warning the British that they couldn’t take our guns? Could swear I heard that somewhere…

    Glad everyone is home none the worse for wear!

  3. Mary

    The tears in my eyes right now are “Happy” tears, too! Glad you have your family back!

  4. Karen R.

    “Hey Mom! Remember that time when I was 2 and you hit me with a snowball and I cried? That was really mean.”

    As the parent of an adult, I can tell you that the Memory For Bad Things never goes away….

    Glad that all is now right with your world.

  5. Kyre

    My Aspie sister is now in her late 20s, I am 40-something…she *still* to this day tells me about the terrible things I did (not really terrible I swear) to her when she was young. And mind you these are things she doesn’t even know first hand, things my mom told her because she was too young to have actual memories of them. In other words, you’ll never live down that snowball. Ever.


  6. Beth

    My husband chose to stay home yesterday instead of spending the day with his favorite cousin…just because Thing #2 had spent the night with my parents and he missed the little critter.

    It’s nice to have a husband who understands what makes us happy…regardless of what it is.

  7. Tenessa

    OH, YAY! It’s good for them to go so you can miss them and reaffirm that no matter what they are YOURS and they belong with YOU no matter how antsy their wings are.

  8. Megan

    Um. There’s nothing – NOTHING – wrong with remembering the Great Injustices of the Past. And no, I totally did not recently tell my daughter’s boyfriend about the time my sister decided to play horses and she and her friends were the pure-bred Arabian stallions and I? I was the donkey. In the shed. Which they said was locked. And left me in. ALONE (cause I totally WAS a donkey and… erm… didn’t exactly try the door…).

    I’m with Monkey on this one. Unless it’s my kids doing it in which case, dude? LET IT GO!!

  9. Mamadragon

    I’m still stuck on you telling an Aspie that sometimes we need to let things go. AHHAHAHAHAHA…..gawd, you’re funny Mir.

    So glad the fledglings are all back in the nest!

  10. Em

    I knew something felt righter in the world! Welcome home to your babies!

  11. thatgirlblogs

    sweet. now they can do some chores :)

  12. jwg

    The Aspie thing has nothing to do with remembering the injustices of life. My kids do that and they are 38 and 41. As your kids age you will notice a trend towards revisionist history along with a tendency to tell you everything you did wrong. it’s a miracle that either of mine survivrd to become functioning adults. I can’t wait until their kids are all grown!

  13. J from Ireland

    Aw Mir so glad you have your babies back. Best wishes.

  14. addy

    So, the world is once again righted in your part of it. Congratulations!

  15. Susan Getgood

    Fence finished. Children home safe and sound. So glad all is right with your world.

  16. liz


  17. Daisy

    The Aspie memory – it’s both a blessing and a curse. Amigo still remembers riding a carousel at Ella’s Deli in Madison. He was 2 – 3 at most. He’s 19 now. His 18 month old cousin rode it for the first time last week and he was reminiscing.

  18. Karen

    ..and all was right with the world again. Amen. :-)

  19. Katie in MA

    HA!! I wonder where she gets that! ;-) (The wiseassery, not the consta-text feature. Remind me to tell you about the time my 4-year-old texted me from my Ex’s iPhone and nearly gave me heart palpitations trying to figure out WHY the Ex was saying such things. Apparently, the texting – it comes with the territory.)

  20. Tracy B

    Johnny Depp and yummy goes very well together!

  21. aem2

    I distinctly remember that up to the age of about 15 or so it was imperative that I call my best friend as soon as I got home from school and spend several hours talking to her. Never mind that we had just seen each other all day, and would see each other the next day.

    And, mind you, this is before the age of call waiting. Or at least, before my parents wised up and got call waiting.

  22. elz

    I just got off the phone with my two, thankfully they aren’t texting yet. About halfway through talking to Em I realized her long pauses were because she was watching tv while talking to me. Nice.

    Glad Chicakadee earned her phone back. Enjoy those kiddos.

  23. dgm

    Yay for you all!

    My daughter just turned 13 and will go to a high school many towns away in the fall, so a phone for her is inevitable. Yipes. I had to laugh at your texting exchange with Chickadee about J. Depp–my 13 y.o. actually agrees with us that he is a fine specimen. But then again she is also sweet on Christopher Plummer in “The Sound of Music” as well as various and sundry other “old men.” Perhaps that should worry me more . . .

  24. Leanne

    Wow. My 19yo daughter STILL sends me texts like that….

  25. The Mommy Therapy

    I absolutely can not wait to feel the emotions of missing my children and feeling joy in their return. I am so very much not there, because they ARE ALWAYS HERE!

    So happy you are getting to enjoy the bliss of a fun reunion though.

    I am shocked and sadded by Chickadee’s apathy, dare I say disgust, with Johnny Depp. I thought his attractiveness broke all sorts of age barriers? It’s a shame.

  26. Amanda

    The Aspie thing made me laugh about the snowball. My kids do that, and they blurt out totally random memories at totally random times, and sometimes they’re sort of cryptic in their tellings, and they expect us to piece it all together. Good times.

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