Lying to educators #8 — Gingerzilla

The city is crowded. Too crowded for her. She kicks a building and watches it crunch, its roof flying. Her toe catches a bus, it falls to its side and catches fire. Ginger treads slowly, slowly; leaving a field of smoking rubble in her wake.

Tokyo trembles before her. Helicopters buzz her head and masses of frightened people flee in terror.
The army gathers before her, tanks approaching.
No matter what the obstacle, she is going home.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lying to educators #7


CinderGinger is made to work every night at home by her evil mother and older sister.
Daily she drudges, scrubbing toilets and doing the laundry, making bonbons we sit on the couch and eat with our pinkies in the air, sharing none. We laugh. Loudly. A lot.

She does not, however, dream of a fairy godmother and a handsome prince.

Why, you ask? Because that would be boring and someone else would be rescuing her from her indentured state.
Ginger dreams of access to the baseball bat in the hall closet that I’ve kept safe under lock and key. She dreams of access to a pitching machine. If you were foolish enough to let her walk home today, she might have access to these items that would be useful in bringing her evil family to heel. The pitching machine would make a pretty awesome weapon really…..

So, you educators are going to keep her enslaved…. right???? On NO ACCOUNT would you let her walk home today…. promise?????
If she ambushes me tonight with a pitching machine, I’ll know who to blame.


Posted in Parenting | Leave a comment

Lying to educators #6

As a part of super hero practice, Ginger is providing security for well know rock star Natalie “Red” Williams after school today.
She’ll be escorting her to our house on foot and patrolling the grounds until she can be safely picked up by her usual security detail. There are no known threats against the artist known as Red, so all is expected to go well – this is a practice drill — but I’ll be present and supervising, in case adult super hero intervention is needed.

Thanks for your understanding and support in this very important endeavor.
Karen (yea I haven’t thought of a super hero name for me yet. Sorry) Hoofnagle

Posted in Parenting | Leave a comment

Lying to educators #5

If you give a kid some candy,
she’ll probably want to put some in her lunch box
and if you let her put some in her lunchbox, she’ll probably eat it all instead of her sensible lunch when she gets to school…
and if she eats it all instead of her lunch when she gets to to school she’ll probably want to run around on the playground a lot instead of doing her lessons so that she can burn off all that sugar.
If she runs around on the playground instead of doing her lessons, she’ll probably get sent to the principle’s office and have her mom called to come get her.
And if her mom comes and gets her… she’ll probably see her candy stash and want to eat more candy.

None of which has anything to do with Ginger walking home today for super hero practice (aka jiu jitsu).
But perhaps all that Halloween candy will give her the energy to do more while there.

Posted in Parenting | Leave a comment

Lying to educators #4

Ginger was a simple girl, who never had quite enough to eat until one day she traded her empty lunchbox for a bag of magic beans. Planting the beans led her to climb to a magical world where bags of candy were to be had merely by knocking on doors and asking. She came down the stalk with enough food to feed her entire family for a month… but she wants to go back.

Unfortunately for her, that beanstalk, unlike Jack’s, was a one-use item. If she wants to get back there, she’s going to need to get back to the super hero lessons and eventually (hopefully) learn how to fly.

She’ll be coming home today to work on sister-throttling with hopes of future flight.
I still don’t believe her secret identity as mild mannered Ginger is secure enough to trust her with that, but we’ll see.

Posted in Parenting | Leave a comment

Lying to educators #3

Today’s note to school:

“Fast Ball” Hoofnagle is coming out of retirement to pitch one last game this season.
In an unexpected twist, the pitcher has rejected both limousine service and the private lounge with snacks generally reserved for celebrities and will be departing the building on foot in an attempt to slip past paparazzi and fans lying in wait for her.



Posted in Parenting | Leave a comment

Lying to educators #2

Today’s exercise in hyperbole:

Ginger will be walking home today because she has super-hero training in the afternoon. Now that softball is over, she’s all over learning to beat up bad guys. We still don’t have a set schedule for crime fighting though.

After she’s learned to throttle people (she practices on her sister mostly) she’s hoping we’ll teach her to fly. She flew her braids all day earlier this week and said it was no effort at all so when can she fly the rest of her?

I told her flying was for people who could maintain a secret identity and the braids were proof she couldn’t. We’ll see if the braids stay earth-bound for a while.

PS This round of hyperbole and fiction brought to you by jiu jitsu, crazy hair day, braids, hangerwire and sleep deprivation

Posted in Parenting | Leave a comment

Lying to educators #1

I’ve written one boring email too many to the school lately. Today’s missive:

Subject line: An epic journey home….

…is in Ginger’s future for this afternoon.

Alone, armed with only her backpack and her two good feet, Ginger must battle crossing guards, random other children and stray animals to reach our humble abode in safety.

Will she make it?
I’ll be waiting anxiously to see that she arrives.


Posted in Parenting | Leave a comment

How the Toothfairy got in Trouble

We’re not exactly sure when in our house, the toothfairy went off the rails entirely. Her first mistake was in giving the little rascals anything but a quarter. Ok, maybe a buck. One day she thought it’d be cute and added fairydust and a tootsie roll. That worked for a while, but then, one of the girls — I think it was the little one, of rowdy teddy bear fame — suggested what she REALLY wanted in exchange for her tooth was a Beyblade. Silly toothfairy. Toothfairy of woefully bad judgement, the toothfairy, that very night, ran to Target, scooped up a Beyblade and left it for my daughter.

Next the older one asked for a piece of jewelry and got it. After all what could the toothfairy do? She’d already said yes to a cheap piece of plastic! This was at least a quality request!! Since then, delays in delivery have gotten personal notes, and extra cash as well as odds and ends of stuff. That was several teeth ago, but by now, the older one has lost all her teeth, so the toothfairy’s only got one to please.

Lately the demands have gotten more outlandish. The little one with the assertive bear spent a week at a 19th century reenactment camp — and she wants a bonnet. A white little girl’s bonnet. Pony up, toothfairy! And I don’t want to wait all month!! The toothfairy searched high. The toothfairy searched low. She’s written me and called me nasty names for ever giving her permission to get into this non-quarters and tootsie rolls affair. I tell her she’s brought it on herself and she’ll just have to suck it up until she has another family to replace us.

What’s next? A pony? A suit of armor? A double headed axe? I’m counting the teeth and waiting to see. I know the toothfairy is too.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lies we tell children

My 9 year old has had her favorite bear since she was 3 when she picked him out of a line up of no-two-alike stuffed toys at a good toy store. He has no name beyond “Beary” and he’s really sort of a bastard. For the first few years of his life, he was just a snuggly and polite bedtime companion. Somewhere along the line though, he began to kick and bite other stuffed animals that want some of Ms9’s attention at bedtime, steal food and generally engage in rock star bad behavior — room-trashing and staying up late. On the one hand, hilarity. Beary is way more fun than any other imaginary friend and we all totally play along. On the other hand, Jesus, kid — you invented this bear as your ideal companion — what sort of jerk are you going to bring home in your teens/twenties?

Right. Then, one day, on our way out of the DC, Ms9 left him at a TSA checkpoint we wouldn’t be revisiting for 2 weeks. To say the tears were torrential would not begin to cover it. And they weren’t just Ms9s.

All the gears started firing at once — Is this a life lesson that beloved things disappear and she has to take responsibility? I dropped that idea like I’d picked up a turd. She’s a KID. She forgets things. If it was anyone’s fault it was mine because I *knew* that bear should have been tucked in her carry on and I’d said so, but not insisted on it 20 minutes before he got lost. Ok, so we don’t guilt her. Do we offer her a new bear? Mmmmm…. “just buy a new one” doesn’t work either. He was way more than a thing. I floated a trial balloon.

“Hey, you know … if the TSA doesn’t have Beary, we’re going to have to go find him in a toy store, you know that right?”
“Yea… he’ll have found a new body and be busy harassing all the other stuffed animals. You know what a jerk he can be when you leave him alone.”
“But we can’t go looking for him there until we’re sure we can’t get him back from the TSA. Don’t worry. He’s just gone off to have adventures. He’s probably partying with all the other lost bears down in TSA and breaking up the joint. It’ll be ok.”

Grandmotherly intervention failed to retrieve Beary from TSA hell while we were gone. We got home and I put off dealing with it. I considered acquiring a bear for her vs letting her choose one herself. I dithered. I hoped she’d forgotten, but once we’d been home a week, the tears showed up again. Things being all back to normal just made it more obvious he was missing. No more dither. Something had to be done.

I ran to the local toy store, which is actually in 2 separate store fronts. The older kids toy store had loads of stuffed animals, but not a single upright brown bear. Crouching bears, foxes, dogs… upright monsters, rabbits, etc. No bears. The infants toy section, however, was where I found them. At least 6 different variations on a proper bear. All brown. All soft. All running about the right size.

A few days ago, after camp: “Hey! Drop your pack and come with me. There’s a riot down at the toy store. Come with me! We have to break it up!”
“The bears found out there’s a 9 year old in need of a new bear and they ALL want to come here. If you don’t go find Beary, they can’t close the store tonight.”
“Well wait until we get there and it’ll make sense. All the little brown bears are in the baby section! They don’t want to go home with a baby to get drooled all over and peed on. They want to skip to the cool 9 year old — so you have to find Beary tonight. He’s going to be there!”
The store was set to close at 6pm. We got there at 5:58. It took about 3 seconds to pick the one most like Beary. She knows it’s not really the same bear. She knows we bought a new one. But she also knows he drove Catty (her sister’s stuffed animal and a loaner) out of her bed that very night. Demanded a place at the table and stole her watermelon while her back was turned. She wants to sew him pajamas and hear all about his time at the TSA — which this bear of course has never seen.

I for one, am pleased.

Posted in Parenting | 4 Comments