Spring Break With Kids Eyes Wide Shut©

by Stacey Hatton

Over the years, my family has had interesting Spring Break experiences. So this year, for all of those wondering how my Spring Break went this year…don’t ask!

If I wanted to teach my grade school daughters the difference between beer pong and beer bongs, I would have already. Of course it would be right before the Division of Family Services started leaning on our doorbell.

This Spring Break my family was trapped in a live version of “Girls Gone Wild.”

When we drove 1,000 miles to enjoy a quiet beach vacation, I wasn’t planning on addressing any milestones. However, according to the owner renting us our condo, this was the first time in the history of Gulf Shores, AL, that hoards of barely dressed and terribly over-served collegians stormed the beach section directly below our family’s balcony overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.

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Plight of the Dangler©

by Stacey Hatton

I come from a long line of danglers.

Both my grandmothers dangled, my great-grandmother who only ate cottage cheese and carrot sticks was a dangler. And having two girls of my own, the probability of one of them dangling is dang good.

What is a dangler, you ask? If you were sitting in the bathroom stall next to mine, it would be quite obvious what problem I struggle with (other than dangling prepositions).

I am short. My feet can’t reach the floor in any adult-sized chair. Parent/teacher conferences at the grade school…no problem! But as the French like to say, I’m vertically challenged, no? (You could hear my accent, couldn’t you?!)

Unfortunately, this is not a new issue for me. When the kids on the playground would taunt me, calling out “Shorty Pants,” I would smartly retort, “Good one, Mr. Tall-ey Pants!” Apparently, I am better on paper with a few edits.

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Extravagant Kid Birthdays Wear on Nerves©

by Stacey Hatton

I grew up in a house where birthdays were not only celebrated, but morphed into a pageant. They always included some sort of a talent segment and occasional formal wear, but thank goodness swimsuits never made an appearance. (That one Christmas when Grandpa took off his shirt by the tree to model his new gift was enough torture for a lifetime. As a result, we enforced a stringent dress code.)

We couldn’t celebrate a birthday on just one day. Apparently, the idea of throwing one party annually never occurred to us. Why would you do that when you could drag out your birthday for a week?

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The Ice Cream Man Cometh©

by Stacey Hatton

Close your eyes and think back to any summer of your youth. Mmmh, ice cream!

Didn’t you love to hear the calliope music faintly at the end of the block? You would stop dead in your tracks, gasp and stridently whisper to your friends, “Did you hear that?” And in unison everyone yelled, “It’s the ice cream man!”

Then pandemonium! In a frantic, wild disbursement of children, short legs sprinted inside to their piggy bank or their mom’s purse. There was boisterous begging for spare change or last week’s allowance so they could be first to the truck ladled full of pure sugar, chocolate and food coloring. The Bomb Pop was the “bomb,” the Drumstick was “banging,” and there was nothing funny about missing a Good Humor bar.

Oh, memories of a simpler time when children were allowed to run the streets with friends and chase trucks stocked with high-fat dairy products. Life was good!

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Dreaming of Relaxing Poolside©

by Stacey Hatton

Memorial Day is right around the corner and everything I love about this time of year is coming full throttle. Children are salivating for that first full-bodied splash into the freezing waters of a swimming pool. Actually, any body of water will do, as long as it’s outdoors and not a bathtub.

Kids don’t care if the water is only 50 degrees, foul smelling, green and filled with last summer’s bugs and diseases. As soon as the bathing suit is on and the American flag is hanging high, they are off and running for the closest water source.

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