Rated “T” for Toddlers

Warning: Rated “T” for toddlers. Adults may be offended.

Our daily trips to the bathroom are personal journeys—discussed with few (thankfully) except our physicians. This does not apply to three-year olds, who are quite happy to discuss their visits to the bathroom in great detail with anyone who will listen to them.

This week Lily was visiting us, and after several vigorous rounds of Candy Land, she headed off to the bathroom which did not contain the step stool. I followed and offered my assistance.

“I can do it myself,” I was told, so I turned to leave.

“Stay, Grandma,” I was instructed. Clearly privacy was not important, nor did she even consider filtering her thoughts on what she was doing. In fact, she preceded to describe her past toilet observations.

“Sometimes it looks like a snake. Other times, it looks like a hotdog,” she said casually. As she was speaking, I was thinking that Grandma will just love hearing this story.

After the deed was done and her hands were washed, we both had to do the happy dance. There was no arguing with her.

Doesn’t everyone  stop to dance after they poop?


It’s Not Tin!

Dad and I got into a heated discussion recently about foil. He refers to it as “tin foil,” while it has always been aluminum foil to me. I recall hearing his mother call it by that name, so I know who to blame.

Over the years, I have noticed that many, many other people must have grown up calling it “tin foil,” so I decided to do a bit of research on the subject. I learned that there was foil made of tin, but in 1926, aluminum foil was introduced. It became wildly popular because it was cheaper, lighter in weight, and did not rust. Eskimo pies were the first commercially-sold product which were wrapped in aluminum foil.

The overall consensus regarding why people may have referred to it as tin foil was that was how it was known by their grandparents. However, Dad’s grandparents immigrated here just three and four years before tin foil was replaced by aluminum, so that excuse makes no sense to me.

I will need to discuss this further with Dad. When I asked Grandma to name the silvery paper she would use when baking a turkey, she said, “foil or aluminum foil.” Aha!

So my question to each of you is what do you call it—tin or aluminum foil? Your answer will tell me who the biggest influence in your lives is: Dad or me.

Grandma’s Greatest Hits

With so much upsetting news happening these days, I decided to write about a funny memory regarding my mother and grandmother.

Four years ago, I created a family Facebook page. I invited the three of you, my siblings, several of my first cousins, and most of yours. The first posting was about memorable expressions of those two important women in my lives. Perhaps you remember it.

When we were young, I don’t recall my mother cursing—at least not saying too many 4-letter words in front of us. But she had her own creative ways of letting off steam.

  1. I hate kids.

Need I say more? She still uses that expression, and I promise you, someday there will be a moment when those words will either come out of your mouths or at least cross your minds.

  1. Sugar diabetes!

I believe this was Grandma’s nice way of saying “shit.”

  1. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!

Somehow, she did not see that this was technically taking the Lord’s name in vain. I believe she probably said it when “sugar diabetes” was not a strong enough way to broadcast her anger to the five of us.

  1. I have 3 words: shit, shit, shit!

I do not recall this phrase being uttered by dear, sweet Grandma when I was young, but in her golden years, this is definitely a frequent favorite.

  1. Shit and shinola

I mentioned this expression to a New York friend years ago, and she was well acquainted with it. However, it turns out the actual phrase is “He doesn’t know shit from shinola.”


Shinola is a brand of shoe polish, so using this phrase would mean an individual is truly stupid, because he could not tell the difference between the two. In my mind, it was another way of letting us know that Grandma was very angry.

  1. When princess Diana married Charles she ‘put her ass in a butter tub.’

I believe my both my grandmother and mother used it, and with the assistance of the good old Google Machine, I found it means Diana was lucky to have married Charles.

  1. It only takes a phone call.

This was Grandma’s way of telling us that we could get in less trouble when staying out late if we just informed her so she would not worry. We have always done this in our family, even as you have all ventured out into the world as adults. When any of us travel on a plane or a particularly long road trip, you always let me know you have arrived safely, and for the continuance of this tradition, I am grateful.

  1. When you have your first car accident, tell your father ‘it’s just one of those things!’

I am certain you all are familiar with this saying of my mother, but I will refresh your memories just in case.

During the final time of one of her pregnancies, Grandma backed out of my uncle’s very steep driveway and hit a small tree. Grandpa was not pleased and let her know. Grandma vowed to remember that day. At a later date, when Grandpa had a fender bender while venturing out one night in the snow, Grandma made a snide remark about his accident. Grandpa responded by telling her, “It was just one of those things.”

So when I got my driver’s license, Grandma instructed me to use those words with my father the first time I had an accident.

I don’t think I had the nerve to do so.

  1. From my grandmother: I have a fart caught in side words.

This is self-explanatory and so funny coming from my grandmother when she informed us of her difficulty in “letting it rip.”

  1. In my next life I am coming back as a man.

Grandma clearly saw the inequity between the sexes. We need to fix that.

Will I Ever Stop Meandering?

When I sat down at my computer today and considered what to write, another topic came to mind, but for some reason, my eyes wandered down to the right side of my blog page where the dates of my many other postings reside. A little investigation resulted in a surprise, which was that I missed the anniversary of the inception of Mommysmeanderings, which was July 19, 2015.

During that time, I published 460 stories here, and 230 stories on Do Svidanya Dad, which began six years ago next week. I took a one year break writing “Do Svidanya Dad” and then a little time later as I worked on the revision, “Trapped in Russia.”

When I looked at both blogs, I realized that I was publishing every day during the first year of each, and then I realized I could just not keep up the pace, and did anyone really care?  What was I thinking, and how did I do it? I was still involved in my book club, and during that time period, I became a grandmother twice. Where did I find the time? I truly do not have an answer.

I appreciate the loyalists who kept up with me, particularly Dad, because I know that he has read every single one. Thank you!

Will there come a time when I run out of stories? I did with my blog about Grandpa, which I now publish sporadically. We’ll see.

FYI, here is the first story: Ask a Busy Person.


Be Patient and Go With the Flow

Dad and I stopped by Sam’s Club today to pick up four items: Cashews, pretzels, English muffins, and a package of “Fiber One Oats and Chocolate Chewy Bars.”

It should have been a quick easy-in, easy-out, but that’s not how it went down.

The first stop was the bread aisle, and while Dad was looking for the muffins, I strolled by the wine aisle looking to see if they carried one of my new favorite Cabernets. They did not, so I headed off to see how Dad was doing.

I found him enjoying a few bites of cheesecake—just like Grandma used to make. As a matter of fact, when I told the nice Sam’s club woman handing out the samples that it tasted like my mom’s, she told me it was called “New York Cheesecake.” I explained that my mother lives in New Jersey, so perhaps they should change the name to “New Jersey Cheesecake.”

Dad took the opportunity to inform her how I had made him a pineapple-topped cheesecake on our first Valentine’s Day and then followed up by commenting that he believed that I had not made him another one since. (I am not sure if that is a fact-based statement.) This conversation was not part of the quick in-and-out plan, but nevertheless, it was a pleasant interlude.  We were not in a rush.

Next, Dad insisted on stopping by the frozen food department, which I knew was a waste of time. He has been in denial regarding the discontinuance of our favorite egg rolls because he cannot face the truth that they will never return. I silently thought, “I told you so,”  when it was apparent that they were still gone, but I kept those thoughts to myself because I am such a nice wife.

We moved onto the granola aisle to pick up the chewy bars, but they were gone, so we headed off to the snack aisle, where the “Fiber One Chocolate Brownies” are located. We picked up the box of pretzels and cashews, but had no luck in locating the chewy bars. Dad was getting mad, so we discussed renouncing our Sam’s Club Membership in favor of one at Costco even though Sam’s Club is geographically much better.

Dad decided to give them another chance, so he went off to have a chat with Customer Service. After quite a wait, he appeared with an employee who brought him back to the two places we had already visited. The two of them appeared to be having a good time. Dad told her it was his belief that they kept moving their merchandise both to give their shoppers a workout and to make them spend more money by lingering in the store for a longer period of time.

After coming up empty handed, they headed over to the computer, where they learned that the bars were in the building. They needed to head over to aisle 21 and look up. Sure enough, there they were all bundled up in a tower of about 50 boxes of chewy bars.

Dad offered to pull one off the bottom of the stack, and I must admit I had visions of them all tumbling down on top of him. (Concussion by chewy bars.) Fortunately nothing happened, but I told him not to press his luck by trying to grab another box. Incidentally, there are now six less bars in a box for the same price. Like the shrinking of ice cream and orange juice packages, do they really think we don’t notice?


So our trip to Sam’s Club was a much longer endeavor than we had planned, but Dad seemed to have had such a good time on his “Where’s Waldo” hunt. He was enjoying himself so much so that I almost expected that he was going to invite the Sam’s Club employee to dinner.

Sometimes you just need to go with the flow rather than getting all bent out of shape when your plans are changed by circumstances beyond your control.


Yes I Can?

Today, one of the youngest members of the family knocked off the number one item on my bucket list (not his) by climbing a rock wall at the zoo. Although he did not make it all the way to the top; nevertheless, I would call it a success, and he is only six.

I was excited for him, but at the same time, I have been rethinking my recent belief that I waited too long to do it. The thought that the time to be able to scale that wall has passed made me feel sad, so now I am seriously reconsidering attempting it on a day where the audience is small—probably after school begins and zoo camp is over.

Now that I have finally had physical therapy on my new hip two years post-op and am finally feeling little or no pain, I think I should try. I have no restrictions from my doctor beyond extended running. He even told me I could skydive if it was something I really needed to do. (I don’t.)

So I will let you know if I do it, and I will even let Dad take a picture or two.

I think I can, I think I can!


What’s the Point? Are you Kidding?

This is a warning to all of you. DO NOT CALL ME DURING THE DAY ON WEDNESDAY. I may respond to a text, but I will not answer the telephone because Dad and I will be watching the five-hour Mueller testimony.

We both read the 448-page redacted document and have both concluded that anyone who is not troubled by its contents has not read the report. I understand that everyone does not have the time, but if you are a member of Congress, in my opinion, it is your responsibility to find the time. “What’s the point,” as one of my Senators stated, is shockingly irresponsible in my opinion.

For the average busy American such as my adult kiddies, I am suggesting that an overall flavor of the report can be obtained by reading just 42 pages:

  • The 8-page introduction and summary of Volume 1, which discusses Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
  • The 10-page introduction and summary of Volume 2, which addresses obstruction of justice.
  • Appendix-C, which is 23 pages of the President’s responses to written questions.
  • The one paragraph conclusion of the investigation

Like my list of favorite words such as gazpacho, cornucopia, and luscious, I have a few favorite Mueller Report lines (and my own comments in italics) that cause me to question the President’s truthfulness that the entire investigation was “a witch hunt”:

  • “The President’s efforts to influence the investigation were mostly unsuccessful, but that is in part because the persons who surrounded the President declined to carry out or accede to his requests.” (I guess it’s he’s lucky his lawyers held him back.)
  •  “The written responses, we informed counsel, demonstrate the inadequacy of the written format, as we have had no opportunity to ask follow-up questions that would ensure complete answers and potentially refresh your client’s recollection or clarify the extent or nature of his lack of recollection.” In the end, Mueller concluded, “We viewed the written answers to be inadequate.”  (Note: Trump and Attorney General Barr claimed he was being cooperative.)
  •  “When Sessions told the President that a Special Council had been appointed to conduct the Russia investigation, the President responded, ‘Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency.’ ” (Why worry if you have nothing to hide?)
  • “If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, however, we are not able to reach that judgement.”

In conclusion, girls, think about reading these 42 pages and let me know your thoughts. And remember, only phone us near the end of the day on Wednesday. We will be busy getting informed before then.