Moxie Mom On Life and Kids

MOXIE MOM on Life & Kids

Banker Boy

Yesterday, Ty told me he plans to open a bank for his friends. As in at our house. Presumably in his room.

“Really,” I said. “And why would your friends want to bank with you? What will you offer?”

“I’m going to charge them a fee to deposit their money, like, a dollar per ten dollars. And then they will earn interest. The more they invest, the more they earn. Say, two dollars a month every month. Doesn’t that sound like a good idea?”

His plan was quite a bit more complicated than how I just summed it up, but I couldn’t keep all the fees and benefits straight. There were quite a few. Ty was quite excited about the loan service he plans to offer, as well as the fees he might earn if his friends didn’t pay back the loan in good time. Personally, I can’t help thinking his friends are going to lose out.

“What happens if all your friends want to withdraw their money all at once?” I asked.

“Well, they can’t just do that. I mean, you would never get everyone going to bank to withdraw all their money.”

“But if I wanted to empty our savings account, I could do that. I could go to the bank and take all the money out.”

“But that’s because they have lots of people’s money and they have enough to cover your savings.”

“Right, but what if all your friends want all their money at once? That’s what happened during the stock market crash at the beginning of the Great Depression.”

“Really? What are stocks exactly, anyway?”

And that was the beginning of another conversation.

I hope he forgets about the bank.

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Travel Writing Review

So I read this book quite some time ago with mixed reaction, but I’ve been thinking about it because today I was telling a friend about travel writer Rolf Potts, who wrote the most hilarious review of it.

My friend and I agreed that Gilbert is just too whiny, but still we both read the book, anyway. Some vicarious living going on for us mothers, I suspect, and, according to Potts, for women in general.

Whether you loved this book or didn’t, whether you’re a man or a woman, you can’t help but appreciate Potts’ writing.



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Garage Sale Gems

Ty came home yesterday with a 50-year-old packet of chewing gum he’d bought at a garage sale—as far as I can tell, the highlight of his summer. (The garage sale was a few houses down from the friend’s house where he was playing.)

Aside from computer games, Ty’s favorite pastime is garage saling, so much so he paid his bored friend to stay longer so he could peruse further. When he came home he flew into the house with his purchase.

“Wow. That’s quite find. How much did it cost?” I asked.

“Twenty-five cents.”

Well, at least he didn’t have to pay antique prices for antique gum.

“Have you eaten any of it?”

“Oh, no, Mom, this gum is more than fifty years old.”

Just checking.

So we admired the labeling, and he opened the end of a stick to show me its brownish hue, presumably the result of no dye rather than age, although we couldn’t be sure. We also read the ingredients and wondered if they were more natural than gum nowadays. They sounded more natural.

Later, in the car, he mused aloud about the steak knife at the garage sale. We have been talking lately about needing them in our house.

“Did you buy it?” his sister asked.


“Why not?”

“Think about it, Leah. Two nine-year-olds and a steak knife?”

Leah and I had to laugh. No, I suppose that wouldn’t do, would it?


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Movie Conflicts

 **Warning: this entry contains movie plot summary.

 So, here we are on a rainy afternoon, the perfect kind of day to go see a movie with my kids in the theater, but no one can agree on what to watch. Or rather, the kids can’t. Ty and I think Star Trek would be fun, but Leah doesn’t like sci-fi, so she decides she’ll invite a friend to the mall while we go to the movie (at the mall). Alas, no friends are to be found. So Ty decides he’ll play with a friend instead while Leah and I go see The Proposal. Again, no friends. The obvious solution is we all go together, my preference anyway, but what to see?

This is how a nine-year-old boy ends up at a PG-13 chick flick.

I’m not opposed to him seeing The Proposal, necessarily (an updated version of Green Card). He’s seen Mama Mia and Baby Mama and Tootsie. But when we run into three different neighborhood families here to see Up, I feel a little sheepish. “We’re seeing The Proposal,” I admit, and they all chuckle. And when I notice, in the theater, the audience is comprised almost solely of adult women, with a couple guys hiding in the back, I feel self conscious. My kids are the only kids here, and Ty is the size of a seven-year-old. I know nothing about this movie except Leah wants to see it and the preview on YouTube was funny.

But when the lights go down and the movie rolls, we settle in and start to laugh. The plot? A magazine editor, played by Sandra Bullock, is the boss from hell who takes her bossiness to new levels when she orders her underling male secretary, played by Ryan Reynolds, to marry her so she can retain her work visa and thus her job (she’s Canadian).

“I feel sorry for that guy,” Ty stage whispers. He gets it. Not that Bullock is subtle. So far, so good, though—nothing Ty can’t handle.

When they head to Alaska for a weekend with his parents, the movie gets funnier. Ty’s favorite quote? “You touch my ass again, I’ll cut your balls off in your sleep.” (The assistant is sort of helping Bullock climb down a ladder in stilettos, and, well, but he’s really a sweetie and that’s obvious to all and he’s just getting a little revenge. He deserves it with all he’s put up with.)

How is it, Ty wants to know, that those little body scrub cloths can cover up Bullock’s nether region so effectively, when in real life you really can’t cover up nearly so easily. (She’s wet from the shower and trying to escape an invasive pesky puppy, while the underling has taken his clothes off to change and neither knows the other is in the room. They literally collide, to Ty’s wide-eyed delight. But you don’t really see anything except naked profiles—okay, yes, full body profiles, but no boobs whatsoever.)

And then there’s the male stripper at the local Sitka bar who’s not much of a dancer but does take it off down to his black Spandex undershorts. (But he is pathetic after all, and it’s totally supposed to be funny and, anyway, I’m not sure Ty knows what a stripper is, although I think he did get the dance moves.)

Um, yeah.

On the other hand, what’s so bad about a boy watching two people fall in love (because of course they do) through a series of comic errors, even if there are naked bodies? Personally, I’d rather he watch a little kissing than tank after tank getting blown to smithereens? Hey, maybe I’m grooming a sensitive boy who will happily head off to chick flicks with his girlfriend someday and actually enjoy them, no eye rolling involved. She’ll thank me, don’t you think?

Still, I feel self conscious again when the lights go up and we all exit the movie together, Ty the shortest audience member by about two feet. As we clear the mall and stride toward our car in the rain, Ty trotting next to me, he says, “That was really funny, Mom. Totally inappropriate, but really funny.”

Thanks, Ty. Way to rub it in, buddy.

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Leah’s Car Washing Tips

A couple nights ago, my daughter listed the most environmentally friendly ways to wash cars. We never wash our cars so I’m not really one to care, but I did learn something.

1. The best way to be environmental is to use a professional car wash business. They are required to dispose of grey water properly.

2. If you’re too cheap to pay for a professional job, be sure to wash your car on gravel or grass. Both will act as filters for the water before it hits the water table.

3. Avoid washing your car on cement at all costs. The soapy water will run straight to the storm water drains. This is the least environmental option.

Since we don’t have grass or gravel to park our car on (Leah pointed out), we need to go to the car wash place.


“Besides, I’ve never been through a real car wash.”

Uh huh.

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