Little Yellow Notepad

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The house is spotless and I try to hold on to this weekly moment in time – the minute after my house cleaner leaves and the seconds before the kids sail through the door; the moment when every toy is away, the counters are bare and sparkling and the floors are swept and mopped – and the smell of shabbos is in the air.
Cooking is done. Challahs are ready. And there’s actually some time to just enjoy the Friday afternoon.
I happily realize that I will be getting more than just a mere 20 seconds of quiet and a clean house; since the sun is shining and the rain has finally stopped, the kids decide it’s a perfect day to play outside.
I couldn’t agree more!
And so my seconds of quiet expand to minutes, and I revel in the knowledge that my to do list is complete for the day and the kitchen sinks are empty.
Everyone has showered or taken a bath.
It’s a rare moment of total bliss.
And then, just like that, the back door opens and the game is over.
In less than three seconds, I watch in horror as black footprints with mud and sand fill the kitchen, the living room, the dining room and the beautifully vaccumed rug.
“What were you guys doing out there?” I manage to ask, trying to hide my horror and my tears.
“Digging! You won’t believe how deep we dug this time!!”
They’re all talking at once, so excited to tell me that the pit must be at least two feet deep.
I’m really not feeling the joy.
All I see is white Shabbos shirts spotted with dirt and Shabbos pants with dusty knees. Black toes (yes, they’re barefoot!!) and filthy finger nails. And my messed up floors. They’re tracking the dirt everywhere!
And all I can think is – What is with BOYS?? Why can’t they just go outside and sit around the picnic table and chat? Play jump rope? Why does outdoors have to mean dirt and mud??
Or just go on the trampoline! I mean – not all of you at once. But take turns on the trampoline! Like make a line and wait your turn!
Or the slides out there, or the bikes, or the scooters….
I glance at the window at my yard filled with every type of attraction – and wonder why did they have to choose digging? And go out of their way to make sure that the dirt is mud, not just plain old dry dirt??
And at the same moment I know the truth… that boys will be boys...totally oblivious to the mess they’re making, the fact that they had all showered or that they were in Shabbos clothes. Life is just too exciting for such trivial details.
And as much as I hate to admit it, I know the reality. A mother’s job is not to change them from being boys. My job is to change myself to love them for their boy-ness.
Of course I take a moment to show them that they are tracking the house with mud and make them all go out and stamp their feet on the outdoor rug – that’s there for a reason! I do have the responsibility to teach them common courtesy. I point out that they aren’t wearing appropriate digging clothes … but to tell them to stop digging….? Where to even begin!

And so I tell myself – again and again – boys will dig. And it will drive me crazy. And that’s how it will be. And I can either let it drive me crazy or learn to love them for it.
Because not only will boys be boys, but boys should be boys – it’s healthy.
And mothers will be mothers – wanting our kids to keep busy but without doing anything that’ll be noisy, messy, disruptive or dangerous; basically wishing for the impossible.

My job is to figure out how to bring out the best in my houseful of boys, but not to change them. I find that being a mother, the real work is changing myself.

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If you have little kids, chances are you can recite the book “Is It Shabbos Yet?” quicker than you can remember your cell number.
I’ve been reading it out loud for 13 years now and I offer you my personal book review.
It starts off with sweet little Malkie waking up Friday morning and wanting to know if it’s Shabbos yet – to which her mother says not yet, first we have to go shopping.
Now, in this day and age, we all know the power of the written word on little impressionable minds.
Do you understand what we are teaching our kids here??
It’s FRIDAY-and Mommy is first planning her shopping trip, after which she’ll have to cook, clean and then set the table…even if it’s the longest Friday of the year, what type of lesson in efficiency is that teaching? What type of lesson in realistic organization and planning?
Ok, so they go to the store and buy what they need. It has be at least two hours till they leave, shop, come home, unload and start cooking.
And with Malkie helping I’m sure kitchen gets to be quite messy, and it’s no simple cleanup job.
So let’s say they start cooking at noon, considering they went to the store at 10 because first they had to eat breakfast – and it doesn’t mention that Malkie woke up at the crack of dawn, just “early” one Friday.
The challah itself, start to finish without distraction, takes at least 3.5 hours… so it’s almost 4 pm when it comes out of the oven.
Let’s say Mommy manages to prepare everything on her to do list (although I’m doubting if this Mommy actually had a to do list…) before the challah comes out of the oven, so at 4:00 she’s ready to clean the kitchen.
I don’t know about you, but I’m breaking a sweat for this poor, hard working Mommy! Seems like Malkie is the only child, so I’m guessing the mess and background noise isn’t quite as noisy as I’m used to – but still.
So Malkie showers, Mommy gets ready, the table is decked out in its finest… and that’s the first time we meet Tatty.
Where was Tatty until now?? Why hasn’t he helped with anything?? Why do we first meet him sitting like a king at the table? What are we teaching our kids?
So here’s my version of Is it Shabbos Yet – that teaches efficiency, proper planning and organization in running a home and good shalom bayis.
Malkie woke up early one morning. She looked at her Mommy and said; “Is it Shabbos yet?”
“No Malkie,” said her Mommy. “Today is Wednesday! Today’s the day we make our Shabbos ashopping list”
So as soon as Malkie finishes her breakfast and puts her bowl in the sink (of course), Mommy and Malkie sit down to make their list.
“What special treat should we buy for the Shabbos party?” Asks Mommy.
“This week is shabbos mevorchim!” Exclaims Malkie. “Can we get fruit roll ups?”
“What a great idea!” Says Mommy.
Malkie and her Mommy finish making the list and Malkie leaves to school.
(There’s only one child, remember; so it is feasible to do that in the morning. If your morning routine is more hectic than that-emphasize to your children that Boruch Hashem in our house it wouldn’t work in the morning – Wednesday afternoon is a good time to make lists too.)
Malkie comes home from school and asks her mommy, “Is it shabbos yet?”
“No Malkie! Tonight we need to go shopping for the food for Shabbos. As soon as Tatty finishes supper, you and Tatty will go on a special outing and go shopping!”
So Malkie and her Tatty go shopping and get all the groceries for Shabbos, while Mommy has some time to herself.
Malkie wakes up on early on Thursday.
“Is it shabbos yet?” Asks Malkie.
“No Malkie,” says her Mommy. “Today is Thursday! Today we will make dessert and challah for Shabbos!”
So Malkie and her Mommy measure and mix and make a delicious cake for shabbos.
Then Malkie and her Mommy prepare the challah dough and wait for it to rise. Malkie can smell the delicious challah baking as she goes to sleep.
When the challahs cool, Mommy puts the challah in the freezer. Malkie knows the special secret that Mommy told her – if you put the challah on the freezer as soon as it cools and then take them out Friday afternoon, they will taste fresh and yummy. Mommy even said you can put them in the oven for only 10 minutes before Shabbos and they will be perfect! Malkie knows that Mommy wants to make sure that Friday is a calm and enjoyable day for everyone.
Malkie wakes up early on Friday.
“Today is Friday!” She squeals!
As soon as Malkie gets home, she helps Mommy spread the tablecloth on the table.
Mommy finishes cutting the cucumbers for the vegetable salad and Malkie puts out the special Shabbos dishes.
Tatty comes home from work and greets Malkie with a big hug.

Tatty takes out the garbage and then fills the hot water urn so Mommy will be able to have her morning coffee on Shabbos.
Tatty puts out the leichter and the candles.
Malkie takes a shower and puts on her best clothes.
Malkie and Mommy give tzedakah and light the Shabbos candles.
“Is it shabbos yet?” Asks Malkie.
“Yes Malkie,” says her Mommy.
Mommy reads Malkie a book on the couch.
Tatty comes home from shul and makes kiddush.
They wash and eat challah.
“Mmmm, this challah is delicious!” Says Tatty.
Mommy and Malkie beam.
“Mommy, you worked so hard to prepare all this delicious food for shabbos. You sit at the table and Malkie and I will serve the soup.”
Malkie and her mommy smile.
“I love shabbos!” Says Malkie.
“So do I,” Says her Mommy.
Good Shabbos!

 

 

mommy van

“Just do me one favor- whoever picks me up at the airport,  make sure they don’t have one of those Mommy cars with half eaten peanut butter and jelly sandwiches stuck to the seats.”

For a moment I wasn’t sure if the person on the phone was serious or kidding.

Was this person insulting the vans of mommies around the country?

I had hired this person to come out to do an event and that included transportation from the airport.

But the comment left me speechless.

This person was scorning my van.

My Mommy Van.

My van that is full to capacity – and we actually outgrew – and the van we spend countless hours in, driving to and from school, week in week out.

My van that kids are never allowed to bring food into, let alone leave a trace of it.

My van that I’m the designated driver of-which means for safety purposes I need to keep my eyes on the road and can’t be the food police.

My van that has granola bar wrappers and pieces of snacks scattered around, mostly from when I twist backwards while keeping my eyes on the road and hand them to the baby when he’s unhappy in his car seat and I’m about to go insane – and so I break my own rules.

My van that smiley and tired little people board each day with bulging pockets and birthday bags with the crumbiest foods that exist.

My van that brings out the best negotiating skills in me while I drive – bargaining and pleading to convince cranky toddlers that it’s ok if someone touches their armrest.

My van that hears conversations that shouldn’t be repeated and silly made up songs that make no sense but at least distracts the little passengers from annoying each other.

My van that bears witness to threats that aren’t kept and rewards that are over promised.

My van with a designated organizer bin in the front seat that hosts my roll of packing tape (for my Amazon returns), some broken CD covers, a box of tissues and some loose googly eyes, pipe cleaners and pom poms from crafts that didn’t make it – and that bucket is usually turned upside down, thanks to little hands that rummage without permission.

My van with chocolate coin wrappers that everyone promised to put in the garbage when we get home, but at the late hour I was so glad to be out of the van that even I forgot all about it.

My Mommy Van.

And I think somewhere in the back row there’s stickers on the window, even though that’s totally forbidden.

My van that I vacuum at least once a week…or at least I intend to.

My van that gets neglected because there’s so many things that move past it on the priority list.

My van that I promised myself in my naive pre-mommy days would never look the part of the Mommy Van.

My Mommy van – littered with the happiness and joy of a van full of kids, who love each other so much that they love nothing more than to drive each other crazy.

My Mommy Van heaped with a mother’s love and stretched patience for her rambunctious passengers.

Was that the Mommy Van this person was referring to, that I shouldn’t drive to the airport?

Were they implying that my Mommy Van was a badge of disgrace and not a badge of honor?

It’s my Mommy Van and I drive it with pride.

And if anyone wants a sterile, spotless and joyless ride – well, that’s what Uber is for.

 

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
5 by foot, 3 by stroller
Purple, red, two black, one oversized.

I keep repeating my little chant over and over as we unload the van and get ready to enter the airport.

It was the moment my kids were counting down for – starting from the day we returned from New York a year earlier.

The once a year trip to see all the cousins and family on the east coast.

Packing was done. But the trip was still ahead- and the need to make sure that all 6 carry-ons, 2 checked suitcases, 2 carriages and 3 car seats make it to our final destination.

Feeling like a walking Dr Suess book, I repeat my chant again

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
5 by foot, 3 by stroller
Purple, red, two black, one oversized.

And we continue our trek to security, my least favorite place in the world.
And I can’t find my diaper bag.
I frantically check everywhere; under both strollers, under bags and carry-ons – until I notice it on my shoulder. Right, of course. I’ve got this.

And we start unloading.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
5 by foot, 3 by stroller
Purple, red, two black, one oversized.

Shoes and sweaters and laptops and iPads and iPhones … and bags and more bags.

Eventually we get through security and get it all back together again, with one less item- namely, my daughter’s detangler spray that she packed in her backpack.

Well, if dumping her $2 berry flavored detangler is going to make America safe, then who am I to argue.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
5 by foot, 3 by stroller
Purple, red, two black, one oversized.

Don’t run! Don’t forget which carry-on your taking! No, you can’t go on the escalator and wheel your carry on at the same time! That’s dangerous!

I’m feeling like a broken record and we haven’t even boarded the plane yet.

One thing that’s great about traveling with the whole family is that we never have waiting time; no matter how early we leave, it’s inevitable that we will get to the gate during boarding. This time is no exception.

We start the trip down the runway- at least that’s what the aisle in the plane feels like, with all eyes on us. And I know they’re counting. And I’d rather not know what they’re thinking.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
5 by foot, 3 by stroller
Purple, red, two black, one oversized.

Without too much refereeing – everyone gets a seat. And they’re hungry.

Of course they’re hungry.

It’s almost midnight and they’re usually sleeping at this hour- so why are they hungry?!

I decide it’s not a good time for such a rational conversation and just hand out the snacks that I had packed.

And for a moment I take note that my kids are growing up – not everyone needs help with their seatbelt. Some are even helping each other! I indulge in the moment and then get back to reality that we are in a plane, about to take off, surrounded by strangers and nowhere to put my feet.

The upside of taking a red eye is there’s a big chance that everyone will sleep because they typically sleep at those hours.

The downside of taking a red-eye is that there’s a small chance that they might not sleep:

And the baby, my 15 month old who refuses to walk, chose to take that small chance and did not sleep.

And I tried to push out all negative thoughts of – why in the world are we on this plane when we have cozy beds waiting for us in our house?? Why are we squished on a plane with a baby who won’t sleep?

My husband does the bulk of the pacing and rocking and I grab a few minutes of unpleasant sleep.

The rest of the kids sleep a solid 4 hours and wake up just as we are getting ready to land, as energetic as if they just had a full night’s sleep.

I’m groggy and sluggish and cranky and hungry and want my bed.

But I’m the mother so I pretend to be grown up and share their enthusiasm that we are landing.

And then the fun of tracking down all our belongings begins-

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
5 by foot, 3 by stroller
Purple, red, two black, one oversized.

And some carriages and car seats.

We head to baggage claim to get the rest of our goods; the kids jumping and dancing, me half asleep.

All I can think of is my bed I left at home.

We get the rest of our stuff and add it to our motorcade of belongings and head outside.

Our rides pull up (2 vehicles to accommodate our towering luggage) and the kids are overjoyed, running to greet their grandfather who they haven’t seen in 8 months. They’re so joyous they can hardly buckle their seatbelts and sit straight.

I’m still tired.

And I have a feeling my husband is too.

But seeing the looks on their faces, I know the sleep deprivation is worth it. And that’s enough of a reason to do these crazy trips.

 

 

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The house is finally quiet. Well, not totally quiet; I can still hear some chit chat upstairs but that doesn’t bother me- so long as it stays upstairs,

And then I see it; with the open floor plan, I can see straight from the back of the house to the front. And from my hard-earned place on the couch I can see 7 pairs of shoes strewn about  in every which way. One pair parked behind the garbage can. One pair near the toy bin. 2 pairs at two different spots literally look like they are on the run- someone just shed them as they walked. One pair half way stuck under the couch-I already know there’ll be a frantic search party the next morning for those. One single lonely shoe by the sink. Another at the refrigerator. One by the steps.

What is up with these kids??

Grrr….why isn’t this working?

See, the issue is, I have a perfect plan.

Or had.

It started with a shoe basket at the door; but once the shoes got too many for the jumbo basket, I had to find a new solution. And it had to be a separate space for each pair – because at that point, the way the kids found a pair of shoes was they would dump out the whole basket, take the pair they were looking for, and despite my reminders to put the rest back in the basket- they would go on their way.

No, that one wasn’t working.

And so I had a brilliant idea and found the perfect preschool cubbies for the garage; oh, it would be so organized! A hook for a sweater, a hook for a coat. A cubby above for lunchboxes and a cubby below for shoes. What could possibly not work about it?

And it worked. For a little while. Very little. But I convinced myself it was still working, until the 5 cubby spaces didn’t suffice for the size of my family – and I couldn’t ignore it anymore.

One day when I slowed down enough to really look and see what was going on…I discovered that there was a mound of shoes in front of the cubbies…and a bunch of neglected Elmo slippers stuffed into the shoe compartments, some old projects and a coat or two…

I had to admit that the working days were over and I needed something new.

Something that was foolproof.

For starters, there had to be enough space. I couldn’t enforce something that didn’t have enough space to begin with.

I googled and searched; Amazon, Home Depot, Ebay – I had shoe organizer advertisements popping up on every screen I opened – that definitely helped me feel the urgency of the matter!

And I found it. Shoe cubbies. Stackable. If I bought four of them, I could have 8 columns down and four across – each person would get a column of four cubbies.

For shabbos shoes, weekday shoes, boots and crocs.

It was perfect. This was going to work. This was the solution. This was brilliant.

Nothing could possibly go wrong.

And I was sure the kids would be as excited as me!

I sold the old neglected cubbies on Craigslist and employed my oldest son to put together the perfect-solution shoe organizer.

And I carefully labeled each column with each child’s name so it was easy to use and then stowed everyone’s shoes in their allotted spot.

It looked just as perfect as I thought it would.

I quietly congratulated myself on finally winning this one, sure that misplaced shoes were a thing of the past.

And now four months later I had to face reality.

Sitting in my place at the couch I had two choices;

To be really annoyed and call every single kid downstairs to put their shoes away and give them a powerful speech (powerful for me, probably totally not impressive for them) on how dare they not follow my perfectly planned system.

Or not to call them down and ignore it at the moment, and instead enjoy the much needed peace and quiet.

And face reality that no system is perfect, quite simply because kids aren’t perfect. They’re not supposed to be.

I could do what the moms in the parenting books do – collect the shoes, hide them, wait till everyone is looking for them the next day and then bargain with them what they  had to do to get it returned.

But quite frankly – I didn’t have precious energy to invest in that, with that many pairs of shoes all around.

So I won’t be a mom from the parenting books.

I left the shoes where they were.

I made a mental note to show them in the morning where they left their shoes and remind them about my perfect shoe organizer.

And I made a second mental note to myself, to remind me to stop looking for perfect solutions. Workable, yes. Perfect, no. Because there is no such thing as perfection. Especially while you’re raising kids.

 

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I used to be in charge of my kitchen. It was my domain; simply put, I ruled it.

My husband does some frying and creative cooking but ultimately; I have full control.

Or had.

Until  the kids got bigger.

The joy of not having to make lunch for everyone – they can do it themselves! Oh yeah, I’m was determined not to spoil them. These kids I’m raising, I want them to know how to make their own breakfast or lunch and clean up after themselves. I’m a proud non-helicopter mom; I foster independence! And my boys-their lucky wives!

I watch admiringly and feel quite proud as my older 5 hustle around the kitchen, preparing their lunch menus.

And they are quite creative, complete with secret recipes and sriracha sauce.

I sit on the couch and stare, and then it hits me.

Who’s cleaning up?

I know they will attempt to. Of course, I’ve taught them how to clean up after themselves.

But I also know that it is I who will pick up the slack.

And suddenly it’s not so exciting anymore.

I look at the counters; there’s the panini maker, the pop-up toaster, the Ninja blender, the can opener, 2 cutting boards, three knives and half a dozen egg shells. 

My 6 year old is making his secret tuna recipe that includes every squeeze bottle from the refrigerator,  my 7 year old has some avocado concoction going on with half my spice cabinet, my 9 year old is making the perfect grilled cheese sandwich, my daughter is peeling potatoes and my 12 year old, whose appetite seems to be growing by the hour, is making a protein smoothie, 2 bagel sandwiches and some other things I can’t keep track of. And someone is opening sardines.

Sure I’m proud of them; and amazingly overwhelmed with the action in what used to be my kitchen.

I want them to do this; but do they have to use every utensil I own? And appliance?

I hold back from at least 2 dozen “don’t forget to clean up” reminders; I don’t want to spoil their excitement. And independence.

But I don’t want to be left cleaning up sardine spills, it’s my absolute pet peeve!

I look at my 2 little ones happily munching on cream cheese sandwiches that I made for them with the use of only a plastic knife. So simple! Suddenly I’m having second thoughts about this independence thing..Maybe being a helicopter mom isn’t so bad after all…

I know they’ll clean up.

I know there will be slight oversights that I’ll be dealing with. Yucky ones. 

I want them to this.  But I want my kitchen the way I want it.

I don’t want them to be asking me to make their sandwiches. But I don’t want to be cleaning 12 bowls and 14 forks that only 5 people used!

I know the answer. I know what I have to do.

Like everything else in motherhood.

We give. We teach. We hope. We pray. And most important of all, we learn to let go.

To let go of things being the way I want. Letting go of the reins and letting them be their own little selves.

Even at the price of my kitchen.

 

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It’s a problem we as a society are facing and it’s only going to get worse.

Even those who claim to be spared will wake up one day and realize they aren’t spared after all.

It’s a challenge here, in our first world country, and it’s not easy.

You do your routine check up on Facebook. You see a friend posted a picture of a beautiful sunset on whatever magical island she escaped to.

She’s a pretty good friend.

One you lose touch with every now and then, but thankfully Facebook catches you when that happens.

You want to show you are still in touch. And you want to show you are genuinely happy for her vacation, although you’re really feeling green with envy.

So you hit comment.

You start typing “wow!” when you realize the 8 comments above say the same thing, some with three !!! and some with only one; but either way, it feels too scripted to also say “wow!” even if you add another four exclamation points for good measure.

So you opt for “Amazing!!”– double !! to show you really mean it and you’re a closer friend than the others.

But just as you are typing it, some phantom commenter slips ahead of you and says “Amazing!!” With the double !!. Now what!?

Ah-perfect solution. You are a closer friend.

You really mean it.

So you quickly type “WOW-Amazing!!” and one-up all the other commenters.

See, you really are a good friend.

But then it gets harder.

It’s someone’s birthday.

Whoops, you had forgotten.

It’s a close friend but not closest friend but certainly close enough that you don’t want to give away the fact that you’ve forgotten it.

So you race to their wall – ignoring the fact that Facebook reminded you, link to wall included – and go for it.

You’re going to post a Happy Birthday.

Gulp, you’re #16 in line.

That does not make you look like a very good friend.

Or like you remembered on your own.

You go for CAPS, half a dozen exclamation points and call in the reserves – you add  a cake, a party hat and some confetti  🎂🎉🎊.

There, now you’ve done it. Proved your friendship and your memory.

I can’t help but wonder, how were we ever able to express our deepest feelings and sentiments without having an emoji to prove  it?

The thought that maybe all these years people have been reading my texts and emails wrong is just too overwhelming to think about😩😩!

How would someone possibly know you went for a haircut if they didn’t see this 💇??

Or that a picture of a friend eating ice cream is really eating an ice cream and nothing else if it didn’t include 🍦🍧.

I mean, I can tell people I’m happy but when they see 😀😃😄 then they know I’m really having a good day.

How did anyone ever show shock or surprise without the help of this little guy 😮😲

Then there’s the LOL. That is a bit more complex.

Well, depends how funny the said statement is.

Sometimes it warrants a polite lol. Not that funny.

Then there’s the things that really tickle you that you actually chuckle, to which you respond LOL.

And then there’s the stuff that’s really hilarious and you LOL!! Followed by 😂- and laugh loud enough for everyone in the quiet room to turn around to give you a look or loud enough to blow your cover and your kids come running, having discovered you’re looking at your phone. And if you get a LOL with this guy 😂-  and multiple !!! definitely start looking into doing standup comedy.

How about the random message you get that says how are you.

In other words, just saying hi because i feel guilty we are out of touch but I’m not really interested in the answer.

But what about if it says how are you? Punctuation included; this nuance goes a long way. I’m being polite and dropping you a line.

But if you’re really genuine, then you go heavy on the punctuation. How are you?!?!?

Have you ever had a friend posts a picture of her adorable two year old covered from head to toe in toothpaste.

The kid is really adorable – especially because it’s not your kid and you are not the one cleaning up the toothpaste.

“So cute!” you’re about to type.

But that doesn’t sound real enough. I mean, this is your friend’s kid, not just a random kid.

“Oh my, hilarious!” Nah, you can do better if you really mean it.

“Love love love” followed by 😍, and a few more 💗💗💗 to show the mom you feel for her, having to scrub off that gook.

There, that looks genuine.

One of your friends posts a birth announcement.

Yikes, how did you not know she was pregnant, could it be you were out of touch that long?

Now is not the time to publicly show that.

There’s a picture of the 14 minute old baby, making her debut.

Well, all you can see is the tiny nose and scrawny hands sticking out of the ugly hospital blanket.

“Ohhhh precious!” you’re about to chime in.

Even though the past 96 people say the same thing.

And really, the scrawny hands, the tiny squished nose…

You keep it safe and stick with the “ohhh precious!” as it seems to work for everyone else.

A friend is angry. The friend is venting to the world that she got stuck behind a slow car on the way to somewhere important and then came late and spilled her coffee on her new shirt. There’s probably details to the story missing, like that this friend also left late, but now is not the time to ask such questions.

I mean, this is really a hard spot – they definitely need support. That’s what we are all there for. To support each other through good times and bad.

Poor friend. You want to show her some support.

A generic “hugs!” is not enough for such a crisis.

You opt for the “hugs!” but an extra !!,  and then this guy 👹👹to show you’re also angry at the slow driver she was stuck behind because it’s that drivers fault this all happened and then a 🍺   to show you understand the deeper meaning and relationship of that cup of coffee.

Hardest of all are the times that you really don’t know what the poster is trying to say. You don’t know if they are happy or angry, if the food is good or bad, if they are bragging or complaining – you just can’t make heads or tails out of it. And that’s what this  Image result for like button   is for. Hit the like button and move on. You acknowledged, you showed your presence, and your good to go.

Yes, it’s a tough world out there. And it’s only gonna get tougher💪.

Oh, and about #9?

There is no number nine.

But how else are you supposed to get anyone to read anything these days.