What I learned this week…my 9-year-old is smarter than me. My son can focus.

by Janelle Hanchett


  1. When my brother and I were young we used to say we would buy houses right next to each other, so we never had to be apart and our kids could grow up together. He has lived in Virginia for the past 14 years and last week, he moved back home. I’ve been trying to figure out why everybody is just going on like nothin’s happened, like my big brother didn’t just come home…didn’t just give my kids their cousins…and make our family whole…didn’t just make a childhood wish a bit more true. It’s like freaking Christmas. Only hotter. And longer-lasting. And less tree-oriented. Right. So not really like Christmas at all, except that it involves a BIG BIG GIFT.
  2. My husband thinks my son’s fart jokes are funny. Like for real funny. Not like “courtesy laugh” funny, but real, deep laughter funny. I’m not sure what to think about that.
  3. The other day at a clothing store, my 9-year-old daughter held up a pair of shoes and said “mama! You wore a pair just like these to Julie’s pool party that one time, only yours were white with a blue stone on them.” Check it out: SHE WAS FOUR WHEN THAT HAPPENED. I have not even owned those shoes in years. She either has a photographic memory or she’s kept a secret written record of every single minute detail of her life, including, evidently, my shoe wear.
  4. I’m pretty sure#2 is an indicator that I am totally and completely fucked, since I will not be able to lie to my daughter about her childhood experience being more sound than she remembers.
  5. I don’t love pissing people off. (Yes, I know that’s surprising considering the contents of this blog. But the people I piss off on this blog are mostly strangers. And who gives a rat’s ass about strangers?). Anyhoo, what I don’t love even more than pissing people off is pissing people off without even trying. You know, without knowing. Like I’m cruising along thinking it’s all good in the neighborhood and suddenly I learn I’ve totally let somebody down or offended them or been caught being an asshat. And while I want to just say “ah screw ‘em” and move on, the truth is if I look long and hard at myself I can almost always see where I failed. Where I was self-centered. Where I could have done better. And that’s kinda rough, ya know? I mean it’s so much more fun just blaming others. Problem is, when the same problems keep occurring one must ask oneself, um, what’s the common denominator here? Oh right. Me.
  6. Damnit.
  7. In other news, I accidentally burned myself 3 times on 2 separate occasions in almost the same spot on my forearm. I look like one of those emo-kids who injure themselves on purpose as a statement against the mistreatment of angry middle-class teenagers with side-swept black hair.
  8. I have entered a wild, passionate love affair with Freecycle. Mac’s alright with it though, which is good, because this lover’s here to stay. What’s that line again…? “love is not love which alters when it alteration finds…”?
  9. We went to the NASCAR qualifying events on Friday (got four free tickets on FREECYCLE yo). I was geared up for some prime mullet-viewing, but must admit I was somewhat disappointed – only saw one of real quality. Probably would have fared better in Tennessee.
  10. I believe my favorite NASCAR feature (other than watching my son sit riveted the entire time, not saying a word, watching every single race car pass by with unceasing wonder and awe, renewing my faith that he can in fact focus, when he wants to) was the fact that everybody had these plastic things hanging from their necks with their pit passes, tickets, etc. inside them, and apparently those plastic things are called “credential holders.” I LOVE THAT ON SO MANY LEVELS I don’t know where to begin.
  11. Okay, 3rd favorite feature was a comment made by the smarty pants 9-year-old regarding all the people wearing “racing” jackets with tons of patches on them, of products and brands (racing sponsors)…“Why do people wear those? They’re just walking advertisements! What? Do they think we think they’re actual racers because they’re wearing the jacket?…Like we’re going to see them and say to ourselves ‘Oh look! He must be a race car driver! He has the jacket!'”
  12. THAT KID is going to piss some people off.
  13. And when it happens, I’m going to claim she had a sound childhood and I taught her nothing but patience, tolerance, and deep spiritual introspection.
  14. And she will tell them I’m a goddamned liar.

Have a good week folks!

he didn't move.

9 Comments | Posted in weeks of mayhem | June 26, 2011
  • Melinda

    LOVE this post! Especially the part about your brother. I totally get it. If my sisters and I could ever get our act together and live in the same spot at the same time I think my world would be complete.

  • Kim

    #3 – these types of comments terrify me. On so many levels.

    #8 – I am now in love with garage sales.

    #10 – I learned about those a few years ago when we went to Disneyland. Apparently they are also called lanyards.


  • eringirl

    I totally feel your excitement about your brother moving home. I’ve always been one of thos wants-to-live-on-a-family-compound type of people. My sister and brother both moved to San Francisco in the last two years and I can’t wait until they move back. It makes me all kinds of sad that we can’t hang out anytime we want. My brother says he won’t stay away for longer than eight more years… EIGHT? Sounds like an eternity. I miss them. I am so happy for you and your family that your brother and his kids are here. Enjoy it.

    Also, fart jokes make me appreciate girls. I may just let them wear princess shit if it means I can avoid fart jokes.

    • Lisa

      Eringirl – people like you are the reason I just MIGHT enjoy reading the comments as much as I enjoy reading this bog! Rock on!

  • Corinne

    “Why do people wear those? They’re just walking advertisements! What? Do they think we think they’re actual racers because they’re wearing the jacket?…Like we’re going to see them and say to ourselves ‘Oh look! He must be a race car driver! He has the jacket!’” FYI, you may or may not like this but your 9-year-old is headed towards a career in marketing. I too was brand aware at a young age and look where it got me. LOVED all of it as always! xo

  • dani

    I have to wear a credential holder every day at work. Just to let people know I’m legit in having 24 kindergarten children follow me around and say my name 500x each day. Really? Like someone would fake having that job description.

    I know my children are going to have very clear memories of me doing tequila shots at a pool party last year and then puking in the toilet. Also, they might remember the lame excuses I’ve given for strange noises they have heard in the middle of the night that have woken them up. “Oh…I just had a bad dream. Daddy was making me feel better.” Please.

    Great observations.

  • cam

    i don’t even know where to start cause i can’t stop laughing!

  • Wendy

    Family is such a wonderful thing. I love the way you put into words your excitement at having Ross back in Cali. He will sorely missed here in Roanoke!

  • Shan

    1. Yay hooray!

    5. I know, me too.

    7. Dude, knock it off! Or grow out and dye your hair.

    8. I had a short-term love affair with Freecycle. Here’s a link to my blog regarding the BEST. POST. EVER. on Freecycle. Not just mine. All of them. Read it. You’ll know I’m right. http://counterfeitfake.blogspot.com/2010/07/freaky-freecycler.html

    11. I *LOVE* her!