What I learned this week…beach, conversations I shouldn’t have with my kids, police officers.

by Janelle Hanchett


  1. When I was a kid, my mom would often announce on a Saturday or Sunday morning “Hey kids. We’re going to the beach. Come on.” And we’d jump and squeal and get in the car and go. It was only 30 minutes away. We’d play, all day, in the sun and sand. We’d eat hot dogs. We’d come home in the evening, sunburned and exhausted and uncomfortable from sand and dried salt water.
  2. Those are some of the best memories of my life.
  3. Sometimes, I wake up and announce “Hey kids. Come on. We’re going to the beach.” And the kids jump and squeal and we get in the car and go. We did it on Friday. Mac had the day off. We drove just north of San Francisco, just beyond the Golden Gate Bridge to the Marin Headlands. We were there all day. The kids ran and jumped off logs and assaulted dead jellyfish with sticks. Georgia ate sand and sucked on large rocks. I sat on a blanket and watched the surfers and waves and sunlight. My heart beats for California.
  4. Anyhoo, just wondering, do really inappropriate conversations sometimes evolve in your house, without you meaning for them to happen? Yeah, it happens to me on a semi-regular basis. For example, this:

Ava (walking along the beach): “It smells like the Further concert.”

Me: “Yeah, that’s because somebody is smoking marijuana.”

Rocket: “What’s ‘juana?’”

Georgia: “whaa-na. na.na”

Me: “It’s an herb people smoke to get high.”

Ava: “Is it illegal?”

Me: “Well, yes. Sort of. I mean technically it’s illegal, but it’s not illegal like acid or crack.”

Rocket: “What acid?”

Ava: “What’s crack?”

Georgia: “Ack.”

Me: “Can we talk about something else?”

5. I have all kinds of winning moments with my children. I also had a winning moment with a police officer. I got pulled over. He asked me if I knew why I got pulled over. I said “no,” and meant it. He said “Well you were talking on your cell phone.” And I said “but I had it on speakerphone.” And he looked at me like I have some sort of disorder and said “Um, but you were holding it up to your mouth. What’s the difference between that and holding it up to your ear?” And I looked at him and smiled and said “Sir, I am an idiot. Please give me a ticket for being an asshat.” Then he checked my insurance and let me go.

6. I met a woman recently with 11 kids. ELEVEN KIDS. She’s an undergrad where I go to grad school. I sometimes just sit there and stare at her with my jaw agape, wondering. Just wondering. ELEVEN FREAKING KIDS?

7. Ava’s taken to sleep walking on occasion. I’ll be in the living room doing something fascinating like writing a blog post and she walks in and sits down, silently. I say “hi,” knowing she’s asleep, she rubs her face and looks at me. Then I take her back to bed. It’s slightly creepy.

8. Please don’t tell me that only disturbed kids sleep-walk. I used to pee in the backyard in my sleep, and clearly, I wasn’t disturbed. I mean look at me. This face screams “not disturbed.” Or something.

9. After my dog gets a bath he runs around in circles, full speed throughout the house, stopping for 9-second intervals to roll around on the carpet and grunt. Incidentally, I think he got that from Rocket.

10. Anyway, hope you all have a great week. If you have a moment, perhaps you could look over to the left and hook me up with a vote for Circle of Moms Top 25 “funny mom blogs.” You click that link, then scroll down the page to Renegade Mothering, then click “Vote”. If we all work together we can stop The Bloggess from winning more shit. Just kidding. She’s freaking hysterical. But she’s already arrived, damnit! It’s somebody else’s turn. Only fair.


Marin Headlands. Beauty.


before she started tasting it she played in it


inspecting dead jellyfish

14 Comments | Posted in weeks of mayhem | March 11, 2012
  • Marisa

    Poo, I tried to vote again, but “it” knows I’ve already voted. I’m sure there’s some way to delete cookies or something to vote again, but I’m not talented enough for that.


    #6-I too would stare with my jaw agape, 11 kids!? My grandmother had 10 kids, but they lived on a farm and they needed more laborers. I stare at mothers with more than 2 children. I have one, not sure about more.

    • renegademama

      Neither am I. I have pretty much no talent left for anything other than writing inappropriate blog posts.

      And yeah. 1 is good. 1 is EXCELLENT. But it’s so hard to realize that. Two just sounds so appealing. We are BLINDED by their adorableness. It’s wrong, I tell ya.

  • Michael Ann

    Love the Marin Headlands and I too am in love with California. After a childhood of moving around as a military brat, I am content to live here forever. You can’t beat those family days at the beach! I too have inappropriate conversations with my children… it happens.

    • renegademama

      They are the best days in the world…top 10 at least! 🙂

  • Jennifer

    “It smells like a Further festival” = classic.

    And, damn, I thought if I used my speakerphone I wouldn’t get a ticket either. Thanks for testing that theory out for me. Glad you didn’t get a ticket, though.

    • renegademama

      Oh thank god I’m not the only one. I mean after he said it I was like “duh.” but before that I was totally cruising around all confident and shit…’oh look at me, all legal…talking on my speakerphone.’


  • Jess @ Dude and Sweets

    My 8 year old sleep walks. She’s done it for years, and she’s about as normal as a kid can be. Sometimes it’s when she’s overtired or sick, and sometimes she’ll just get up, and come in the living room, and hang out. Saying weird shit.

    She mumbles, and looks right at me like she’s awake, and then next morning she remembers nothing. Kids are weirdos.

    • renegademama

      LOL. They are weirdos. She totally creeps me out. I always try to say a few things to her and she completely doesn’t hear me. Blank stares. Odd.

      Glad to hear your kid does it too.

  • Emily @ Southerners in SoCal

    I voted — and am of the opinion that you should be much higher ranked than you are. I freaking love your blog. Will try to remember to keep voting — my son is getting six teeth right now though so I’m pretty much brain-dead at the moment.

    I too am loving beach days. Nothing beats living 15 minutes from the beach! Also, I love CA in general but Northern CA is absolutely amazing. Like the land before time or something.

    Lastly, my son is 15-months and just starting to repeat what we say. I burned myself in the kitchen the other day and said “F*CK!” and just about fell on the floor when he said “Fuhh.” Oops. I foresee many awkward conversations in our future.

    • renegademama

      Okay I laughed out loud with the vision you created with the baby saying “fuhh!” Classic.

      And thank you for the compliment. I really appreciate it. At the risk of sounding cliched, I must say it really means a lot to me. It gets tough sometimes to keep my energy up — to keep writing (even though I LOVE IT) — I’m a lazy ass. So it really encourages me to hear that people are enjoying it.

  • Michelle

    Just wanted to tell you that I found your blog through Pinterest and you crack me up! I totally voted for you at Circle of Moms.

    • renegademama

      Thanks, Michelle! And welcome! Stick around! Wow. that was a lot of exclamation points. my bad.

  • Joan

    Im pretty sure I see myself having pretty much that exact conversation with my son when he’s a little older, except he will probably be saying it smells exactly like a String Cheese concert 😉

  • Lisa

    Awesome – Ahhh, beach days – We had too few of them as kids but I need to make an effort to give our baby some – It seems like so much work on the front side, but oh, the joys!!

    Just watch out – if you guys go to Kirby Cove – the far north end of the beach is actually a nude beach, weather permitting – so you might get to have some REAL interesting conversations with the kiddoes if they stray to that end when it is populated. . . .

    As an aside, I used to sleep-walk for a while when I was 8-10 . . . and I am fine. JUST FINE. Nobody can tell me any different anyways 😛 I know it’s creepy to watch. . . and I hope it is only a phase. . . . but it’s normal for a certain percentage of the population – Actually research shows that people who sleep-walk tend to be brighter and more creative. . . . but you knew that, right? : )