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A couple of weeks ago, my 10-year-old came home from school visibility upset. The baby got a “B” on a math test.

Since she was already feeling the punch of the “B”, there was no need for me to scream bloody murder and raise more hell. I laid low.

Despite my calmness, my baby suffered a long time under all that gloom. She sheepishly told me that she didn’t deserve this “B”.

I examined the test paper, and said, “It looks like a B to me.”

Last Thursday, my husband and I attended our school’s Back To School night. After the classroom presentation, we went to introduce ourselves to the baby’s teacher. Mrs. D is new to our school this year.

“Oh, so you are the parents. Let me tell you something that just happened yesterday.” Mrs. D said cheerfully.

“Your daughter seemed awfully quiet.” Mrs. D started.

Yes, my 10-year-old is a child of a few words. Unlike my 13-year-old, who can blabber until I grew a headache, my 10-year-old is not doing her fair share of talking. I often worry about the baby being too silent.

Mrs. D continued, “Yesterday, at the end of the school. I noticed her lingering, and she waited until all the kids left the room, then approached my desk.”

I listened intently, nodding and smiling.

“She stood in front of me, with a piece of paper in her hands. So, we looked at each other, then I asked her, ‘do you need something?’” Mrs. D.

“She said, ‘Yes. I got a “B” on this math test. But I got a “A” on the REAL test. I want my “A” back.’” Mrs. D.

Mrs. D broke into a laughter, “So, I asked her, ‘how do you know that you got an “A” on that test?’”

“And she said, ‘because you went over all the answers on that test, then you recycled them.’” Mrs. D.

A couple of weeks ago, the class took a math test. Mrs. D quickly discovered that the kids did very poorly on this test. Out of the kindness of her heart, Mrs. D went over the test answers, offered the kids a new make-up test, and tossed the REAL tests into the recycle bin.

Except not all the kids needed that make-up test. My baby had aced the REAL test.

I was incredibly happy walking out of the school that evening. I sometimes worried about my 10-year-old. If she is too quiet and unable to fend for herself. That night, I felt a sense of relief, that when it comes to things that mattered to her, when push comes to shove, she will shove the “B” back, and demand the “A”.

P.S. Mrs. D and the baby made some kind of deal together with that math test.

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Everybody suffers from irrational fear, right? I have two of them.

I am deathly afraid of falling off of a blackened rocky cliff, and into a boiling river of hot lava. Seriously. I think I was traumatized by one of the Indiana Jones movies when I was a teen.

I attribute my other irrational fear to a totally random and insignificant chat I had with a co-worker just after college. We had lunch one day, and I discovered that she does not eat chicken.

I felt bad for her, since everything is known to taste like chicken.

She then proceeded to volunteer to me that she and a brother were raised by their single mother. One day, her brother came home from school and declared that he will no longer eat red meat. Since she never ate chicken, their poor mother can only cook fish. She grew so sick of fish!

I could no longer remember her name or what she looked like, but the conversation stuck. Over the years, I grew this deep fear that one or both of my children will return home from school one day a vegetarian! Worse, they will become one of those self righteous vegetarians, who will sit on imaginary high horses, looking down on other people whose diet include animal meat. My head allowed this fear to advance until I will no longer be allowed to eat meat. FREAKING NIGHTMARE! Right?!

I think I could put one of my fears to rest. Last Sunday, we went out to dinner. And this is what my 13-year-old drew on the kids menu:

I love you Future Bacon

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“Baby. Your room makes my dizzy.” I remarked to my 10-year-old casually as I laid in bed with her as part of our nightly bedtime ritual.

The baby giggled triumphantly.

Two weeks ago, I had given in, and allowed my 10-year-old to move forward with her plans to assault her own bedroom walls.

In the past few years, my two children had shared one bedroom. Back then, the kids had tremendous love for one and another, craved constant closeness, and demanded to be in the same room.

This all changed suddenly just a few months ago, when the then 12-year-old decided to christen her sail into the turbulent teenage waters by kicking the little one out of her room.

The baby did not take this well. Every time this subject came up, the baby would turn into a pitiful mess, with pouting lips and teary eyes.

Hubby suggested to painting the room as a way to coax the baby back into her own room. It wasn’t my favorite idea, but it did bring an approving smile onto the baby’s face.

As the weeks went by, our newly minted 13-year-old was getting increasing anxious to get this unwelcome occupier out of her room.

“Alright! Paint the other room.” I said to my husband.

Paint supplies

Hubby took our 10-year-old to Lowe’s, and they came back with green and purple paint. At least they didn’t come back with the cringe worthy orange, I comforted myself.

Then I witnessed my husband painstakingly making the most perfect circles out of cardboards.

“What are you doing?” I asked gently.

“We are making polka dot walls.” hubby.

“Oh. How many walls?” me.

“We’ll see.” hubby, still concentrating on his circle.

“One wall! You can have ONE polka dotted wall. The other three will just have solid colors.” me, issued my orders that clearly meant to be followed.

Polka Dots everywhere!


As I laid in the darken room with the baby, the hallway lighting gave the polka dots all around me a slight fluorescent glow.

Fluorescent glowing polka dots

Despite these mocking walls, I treasure these moments to pet my baby to sleep every night. I knew now that in a couple more years, the baby too will tower into adolescent stinkiness, put up a “Do Not Disturb” sign on her door, and turn me away.

When that time comes, I plan to paint our own master bedroom really happy. I will have rainbows and unicorns.

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