Ending the week with a bigger than usual exhale…it’s battery recharge time!

I at least half expected to take advantage of  a Friday night at home to wrap up my tale of William Mulholland and the water shenanigans of his era. But I’m too tired to do that tonight. It takes some real effort on my part to portion out decades worth of history with the story of what is one of the greatest engineering marvels for the time –perhaps all time, and distill it down to byte-sized readable portions.

And it was a hot one today! I was told we hit 107 degrees today in our city. I don’t usually complain about the heat, but it’s September people! I thought fall was at least within sight. I think the heat today tired me out a bit.

But then, maybe it’s more than heat. This has been a hard week for all of us. I don’t think the tragedy in Libya and the killing of the four Americans has only rocked the United States. We have all been affected in one way or another. My mind is tired.

So I’ll end my week with a little personal humor. I really did have a few moments today that made me laugh–with the children, always, but at me, in particular! And so I was grateful to have the opportunity to spend the afternoon with my granddaughters. Time with them always lifts my flagging spirits.

My duties today included picking Sophia up from school and getting her to Tae Kwon Do. Upon arrival Mom informed me she would call the Tae Kwon Do Master to let him know that Sophia’s grandmother was going to be bringing her and might need a little assistance with the new sparring equipment.

I have such a kind daughter! She knows how much I struggle with anything slightly mechanically complex.

That could involve anything from opening a package without utterly destroying it or putting contents back into an original box, to figuring out how to put batteries in any one of the many items of equipment we all need to survive. Rolling up a hose is impossible for me. I’ve given up on that one.

I need written directions for anything. Don’t give me a map or a chart, my brain doesn’t work well that way.

So getting Sophia all decked-out in multi-layer sparring gear was indeed one of my fears. I didn’t say a word about my concern, but Aimee must have had the same sense that this was asking too much.

While we ate a little lunch, she called and had a very polite and reassuring conversation with one of the instructors. I was guaranteed assistance.

But I couldn’t help but wonder what the phone call would have been had I not been sitting right there? I think it may have gone something like this:

“Hello, this is Sophia’s mom. Yes, she’ll be at practice today, but her grandmother will be bringing her. I thought I had better call in advance and warn you about that.

You see, my mother has a lot of trouble with items of clothing that don’t look precisely like the body part they are intended to protect. Yes, I know they are pretty self-explanatory, but I am quite sure she won’t be able to tell the difference between shin guards and elbow pads. Yes, one is longer. I don’t think that’s quite enough. Perhaps if you’d color coded them.

And the helmet? You’ll  need to help her with that, too. You should see how she struggles with just putting the helmets on the girls for their bikes. Yes, you’d think that’s quite obvious, too, but there’s something about the shape of the helmets that seems to throw her. She thinks they look upside down. And those bike helmets even have Dora the Explorer on the front. You’d think that would be a pretty strong visual cue, wouldn’t you?

How long do you think we had to put the stroller up for her every time she came when the girls were babies? She needs a lot of help. She is notoriously un-handy when it comes to anything with moving parts.

I thought I’d better give you a heads-up. She doesn’t immediately look that inept. But you watch her! She’ll be looking at every other parent outfitting their child and she’ll try to copy what they’re doing, but when it gets to lacing up that chest guard she’s never going to be able to keep up. She was almost late for soccer practice the other day because she couldn’t figure out how to get the shin guards on and still get Sophia’s foot in the shoe.

Will you please help her? She spends hours on the freeway each week so that she can be with the girls, and I think maybe it’s negatively affected her ability to process. I’d prefer she not know how worried about her I am, so if you could just quietly help?  Thank you.”

I’m sure it would have gone something like that. And I did muddle through, yes, needing help. Lots of it! But we had a good time, and I’m amazed at how our little gal is progressing through the disciplines of Tae Kwon Do. Karina read her princess book and sang throughout the entire practice. There’s something for everyone!

It’s already the weekend in some parts of the world, and I still have my Friday night. I think it’s time to watch something fairly mindless on Netflix.

Let’s all rest…and stay cool! Oh please! Nan Debra

53 thoughts on “Ending the week with a bigger than usual exhale…it’s battery recharge time!

  1. Nothing like self-irony. If you may have ten thumbs (or maybe it’s just a mental thing?) you have a witty and strong self-knowledge. I had to laugh when I read you post, it made for a good morning for me (it’s morning in Norway when I read this). Besides your granddaughter looks marvellous in the outfitting you obviously got right in the end. What a cute little girl! Have a nice weekend!

    • Thank you so much for commenting, Otto, and sharing with me that you caught the humor in what I was saying. I wish I could say that I am exaggerating my lack of competence in the areas I outlined. I am very good at problem-solving and working with “people problems,” but I don’t do well with figuring out how things fit and work together. When my children were small I would sew clothing and I’d do better if I didn’t work with a pattern! My family good-naturedly tease me because sometimes it’s just so obvious! Another parent at the studio helped me get Sophia in her gear. My little granddaughters bring me a lot of delight. I do hope you also have had a good weekend. ;-)

  2. Debra, people’s brains just work differently: I can read and follow a map, but not a diagram, and I vastly prefer written instructions to pictorial ones. Your imagined dialog is wonderful. Now drink some more water.

    • I do chuckle at how our minds work differently. I absolutely must have written instructions if I’m going to be the one constructing anything at all, and my daughter and husband never use the instructions. But in truth, there have been times when they get to the end of the attempt and it is incorrect! On those rare occasions I gloat a bit and hand them the printed page! You’re not having any of this horrible heat, are you? I just can’t tell you how hot it is! And I have been drinking water all day…tomorrow we will need to water the garden again, and usually by now we can get by with once every several days. I do hope you’re having a great weekend–I suspect you are! :-)

  3. This did make me smile, Debra, as I’m not the most mechanically-minded person around either. :-) I loved the photo of your granddaughter kitted out for her sport. Enjoy your weekend and hope you can really switch off and relax.

    • Thank you for stopping by, Perpetua. I marvel at those with aptitude who simply intuit how things fit together or come apart. I do neither! I like to tease my family that I have other talents, and that’s what they’re here for…to help me! :-) Sophia really loves the Tae Kwon Do, which somewhat surprises me, but she is only four and doing quite well. I don’t know how long she’ll stay with it, but it’s fun for now! We are having such a tremendous heat wave there is not incentive to do much of anything but relax, so the weekend is really quite nice! I hope you can say the same–without the heat! :-)

  4. If it makes you feel better I can’t figure out picture icons, especially in elevators. Which one opens and which one closes. I always press the wrong one! The ones they put in clothing for cleaning I just cut out and throw away! We just process differently.

    • Those elevator buttons trip me up, too! It is funny! When my daughter was very young I could see that she was quite mechanical and I was just amazed at what she could do, and I could not! She’s a nurse and deals with all the machinery and mechanical devices and I’ve told her time and again how intimidated I would be…as well as dangerous! :-) Thank you for sharing your own struggles in these areas…we just have other very strong talents, don’t we Kate! :-)

  5. Hi Debra, I loved your interpretation of Aimee. Too funny. I know you do a fabulous job and we don’t need to be great at everything!! Have a great week end. (and yes, we will count on you to be our tour guide the next time we go to Olvera street)!!! Love, Kathy

    • Oh that’s for sure! I certainly don’t struggle with the things I have learned just aren’t going to be in my arsenal of abilities, Kathy! But it is a handicap at times when I just can’t seem to put something together! :-) I’ll be ready for an Olvera Street trip again soon…you’ll have to come on down with those football crazy boys of yours! :-)

  6. Listen looking at the pictures of all the stuff the kids are wearing I’m sure I wouldn’t have had the slightest idea which way to put on that chest thingie or the helmet and also would’ve been totally confused.My goodness why are the kids wrapped up like that?

    You are a devoted granny! I know you live near Pasadena and your grand daughters live near Long Beach which means a heck of a lot of freeway driving.

    • I do keep those freeways company, Rosie. I don’t mind it much. I have found that I get some good radio time in and it’s sometimes almost enjoyable…if a freeway can really be that!:-) And I thought of you today…did that fire affect you at all? I never pinpointed the exact location. I would definitely like to make a trip “over there” sometime this fall. We’ll have to coordinate! :-)

      • The fire was just across the road from the museum. We could see the flames shooting up in the air. I wrote a post on it.. Come over and check it out.

        We definitely have to meet up this fall!

      • Yes, I’ll get caught up tomorrow. I’ve had the girls all day and my eyes are crossing! :-) But I did think of you…I was pretty sure you were affected! I’m glad all is well now. And we will do it!

  7. Dear Debra, you had me grinning throughout your daughter’s one-sided pretend conversation. I loved it! Thank you and please know that like you I’m an absolute klutz with mechanical things. I recently joined Weight Watchers and bought a pedometer from them that indicates not only steps/mileages/time/year (WOW) but also have many point I’ve gained that I can apply to my eating points. Sounds fine and dandy, but I had to return to the WW meeting place twice–TWICE–to get the pedometer to work because I didn’t know how to put the lid back on the battery! Peace.

    • Oh you have made my day, Dee! I’m sorry that it was probably frustrating to need help with the pedometer, but when you said you had to go back twice I did laugh! I so relate! I work with a lot of younger people who probably just think that it’s my age that keeps me so incapable, but it has nothing to do with age! This is a lifelong problem! See? I just knew we had many things in common! :-)

  8. Love the pictures! Sophia is just a doll and I can just here Karina singing along while all this practice is going on around her. I just love the free natures of children. How joyful to just sing out loud for fun with not a care about who hears you or how you sound. It’s just wonderful. Enjoy your weekend Debra!

    • Thank you, Kristy. I’ve had the girls all day today, too, as mom and dad went to a UCLA game! I do better with their needs when they’re on my turf! No special equipment needed! And yes, sweet little Karina just always has a song ready. She is so good to sit still with me while we watch her sister bus with all of her practices and special events. I think sometimes it must be very hard to be the little sister! :-)

  9. I was chuckling as I read of your adventures, and was saying to myself, “it feels good to be in good company;” you see, I struggle with mechanical things or anything that has to be assembled, but have an engineer s/o who thankfully enjoys doing the work for me. You granddaughter is adorable! :)

    • It is fun to realize that there are many of us in the same boat, don’t you think, Marie? I know that if I could take a lot more time with some of these “projects” I’d eventually figure them out! I have simply reached the age when I don’t think I need to put effort into being more mechanically inclined. I take on other challenges! LOL! I’m glad we could commiserate. It is inconvenient needing help with some of the simplest things! :-)

    • I told my daughter the other day, Kate, that when she and her brother were young I avoided activities requiring this much gear! There are times I really do feel like a dinosaur! Ha! She also informed me this weekend that Sophia already knows “Nan isn’t good at these things.” My cover didn’t even last until her fifth birthday! But I am the Nan who will sit for an hour working on a puzzle with her…I’m not good at those either. But I’m patient! :-) oxo

  10. It took me a while to learn to tie my shoe laces and then it got easier … Don’t be hard on yourself as Sophia looks great in her outfit and you’ve come this far without creating any major catastrophes in the world! :-)

  11. Wow! That’s a hot day. You are so funny, Debra. I struggle with all those kinds of things too. I’m forever putting Alfie’s bike helmet on backwards and I always struggled with his rugby boots. But that Tae Kwon Do gear looks formidable. If I was having to take her to class I’d probably be worse because I’d be bound to leave some part of it at home like poor Aflie’s mouthguard. xx

    • It’s nice to know that you can relate to my clumsiness! Although I have a strong feeling that you may struggle with the time it takes to get all the athletic gear together, but anyone who can juggle as many activities as you do, Charlie, can manage well enough! Just think of all the costumes you’ve put together! :-)

  12. I was so relieved my son was a forward and not a goalie in hockey.. you can imagine the straps and cr*p that would have to be hauled and tied up. I watched a mom once, the boy had to lie on his stomach to get everything strung up.. I would have been a disaster, lol, I loved your story today!!

    • Oh my goodness, Barb, I never thought about hockey uniforms! I think it must just take lots of practice! Unfortunately for me, sometimes I don’t have the benefit of time when I’m with the little girls…everything moves quickly! I hope you have a wonderful week, Barb! Thanks for sharing with me!

    • Thank you, Claire. It was a good weekend. Hot, hot, hot…but today the temps at least started to fall just a little bit! I think I brought this on all my talk of holding onto summer! I have learned my lesson! :-) A new week begins! I hope you have a good one, too!

  13. Oh, gosh, Debra, you have me in a giggle. I would have been hopeless trying to get that all on. You should have seen me just trying to ANSWER my new smart phone. Not a pretty picture. Sophia looks so cute, and fierce, in that getup. I know you are enjoying it all. I haven’t had much of the news on today and hope you have had some cooler weather.

    • You mentioned your phone debacle as you were leaving town, Penny, and that didn’t give you any time to play with it before you got on the road! I had the advantage of being the last one in the family to get an iPhone. So I had immediate help! Getting Sophia in all that gear ended up taking help from at least three people. I hope they’ll be patient with me next time, because not doing it myself I’m not going to be any further along in my readiness. And when they say “change into the sparring gear” they mean NOW! It’s amazing what stresses me out! By the way, welcome home, but I know part of you is really still with your sweet family! :-)

  14. Debra, your granddaughter is so cute. These pictures remind me of the early days of getting my sons ready for karate. Hope this has been an easier week for you and the next one even more welcoming! Best wishes, Karen

    • Thanks for commenting on Sophia and her Tae Kwon Do gear! I haven’t had to dress her out in her gear since that fateful Friday! I will be taking her to soccer on Wednesday, and last time I struggled with shin guards! I wonder if I can find an online tutorial? :-)

  15. As a single parent raising three children I had to rely on humor to get through most days. Fortunately the children turned out just fine. I was the one who lived on the edge, trying to keep our spirits up and bugs out of the flour.

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