Tag Archives: Parenting

The Duck Learning Curve

Duck is all things cool


Black, white, black, white.

Step one, step two.

There is no in between, there is only logic.

This is my “work is insane” mantra.

It’s repeated often, sometimes hourly, but always under my breath.

When the yearly carnival of crazy began, with my days first blurring then blending into a wild kaleidoscope of faces; all with problems to be solved, I didn’t realize I might have lost some of my perception.

Thank goodness my son Duck, is around to remedy this situation and bring me back to reality.

Duck is still suffering growing pains and firmly within the grasp of his own crazy carnival ride of (gasp!) tween angst.

His tween town lies smack dab in the middle of Xbox is king and bordering on but not quite crossing, the girls are okay city limits.


I’m not ready for that city to rezone.

Zoning issues aside, appearance is an important thing to Duck.

Sort of.

If we’re to go by appearance is important in that…

A.  Clothes are on his body


B.  He’s seen the inside of the shower within the past 24 hours.

Or so I thought.

Turns out, appearance is more important to him than either of us knew until this past Monday, when Duck got up (under vehement protest of course) and dressed in the dark.

He thought he was being cool.

He thought he was defying me and my parental edict of wearing un-wrinkled clothing, fresh underwear, and preferably matching socks by rocking the arrogantly shabby look instead.

He thought wrong.

But not until he’d gone through the entire school day, more than likely grinning over what he felt was a sweeping victory over all things parenting.

He walked around school with his head held up, his eyes twinkling and his tween self just bursting with confidence and energy, so sure he was the talk of all his new admirers.

Yeah, he probably had a lot of conversations going…

He was Duck.

He was cool.

He was wearing…his mother’s pajama shirt.

All. Damn. Day.

Wanna know how to bust a tween boy’s bubble in 2 seconds or less?

Pick him up after school, goggle at the sight of him, and laugh. Laugh hard, laugh long, laugh until you hold on to the steering wheel for support.

Then? Tell him why.

He still won’t talk about it. He really gets mad when I start giggling and he knows the reason isn’t the one finger salute I got from the grandma I just passed in the fast lane.

I love Duck even if we aren’t exactly on speaking terms at the moment.

The good news is that he’s volunteered to do his own laundry from now on, lest another wardrobe malfunction occur.


My Duck is growing up.






The Story of the Taming of Wild Beasts



She approaches the wild beasts slowly and with the type of caution that can only be gained through hard experience.

For the beasts outnumber her in testosterone and  volatile tween emotions and are holding firmly on to hope for their fondest wish to be granted and their voices simultaneously change. Well that,  AND suffering from the apparent inability to apply deodorant on a daily basis until reminded, nagged, and threatened at least forty times…let’s say that they are unpredictable under the best of circumstances.

Luck, however, appears to be on her side, for the beasts are distracted for the moment, their full attention engaged in a rousing, if slightly heated, debate over which game is cooler–Portals or Half Life 2, and the reasons why.

Having not yet been asked her opinion, indeed, her appearance hasn’t even been noticed, she feels she’s managed to successfully slip past the early warning Mom’s on a Mission proximity alarms.

She is as ready as she’s going to be. She’s brave. She’s fearless. She’s going to poke the danger –with a stick.  

It’s Saturday morning and just warm enough outside that I can imagine Spring is here if I screw my eyes shut and breathe in deeply enough. I’m claustrophobic with cabin fever and almost sick from the need to get out.

I’m hoping Duck and his friends feel the same.

The Falls of the Ohio

It’s a perfect day for fossil hunting on the fossil beds. Nothing is finer than that, if one has to be forced away from all things indoors, according to Duck.

So focused was I, on getting Duck and Friends out of the house and away from electronics, that I failed to realize that this trip was just as much for me, as it was for them.

We played in the sunlight.

And for a while, I was able to forget. Forget about how it feels, to live in steel toes and a hard hat, about how crazy it is now, being 1 man down and about the worry over bills and the stress that comes from having ADHD and all its quirks, oh, and just being me.

I want it to be Spring

For a single amazing afternoon nothing mattered other than the warmth of the air, about capturing it all with a cell camera, and the laughter.

Oh, the laughter.

Nothing bothered me, not even the kicky breeze that managed to ruffle my shirt and bare a small amount of belly to complete strangers.

My admittedly tighter than a few months ago  belly, but my belly nonetheless. Showing off my winter white skin and the glimpse of a tattoo attesting to my wilder days paled in comparison to the feeling of freedom and sense of all being right within my world .

I forgot my worries and I played, right along with the boys. The same ones who were so concerned over voice changes that could occur at any minute.

It's a lot bigger than I thought

We played.

We bathed in the sunlight and we soaked up every single second of it. And we slept well that night. Perhaps better than we have since cold weather came to town.

Some days just seem to have perfection down to an art.

And this was one of them.

The boys morphed back into wild beasts but not until the sun went down.

Eh. We can’t always be perfect.

On the walking bridge

The end















A Gift to a Duck

To my son, Duck…

A duck with an inner tube-yeah, okay
A Duck needing a flotation device? Huh?!

This post is just for you.

See, you’re growing so fast now, forming your own opinions and getting to experience what I probably never will. And that’s cool, as this has always been a wish of mine-for you. Even cooler that it’s coming true in big ways.

I see so much of me in you and I have to smile.


There are some things I want you to remember. Consider it a gift from me, a few pieces of wisdom that I had to learn the hard way.


Speak with kindness. Always treat others as you would want to be treated.

It isn’t cool to put people down because they’re different or to make yourself feel better. All it does is to help you show your ass and reflects poorly on your own character. Nobody likes that guy. Trust me.

Be who you are, good and bad and own it.

Assimilating to the group mind may be fun but it’s the easy way out. It doesn’t do a damn thing but make you a follower and none of your unique talents will be able to shine.

Life ain’t always great.

Some days are going to feel like a gift, some you think you can do no wrong, and others are going to make you look for the bulls eye you’re absolutely positive is located somewhere on your bod.

Little hint? Check your butt. Yeah, been there.

You’re gonna get knocked down.

This is life. But you must get back up no matter the cost. Quitting isn’t an option. You will get through the nastiness and you might realize that it the best thing that could’ve happened.

Gas is funny-yes-but not all the time.

And cracking one on a date? Probably not the best idea unless you need an escape hatch. If that is the case, then by all means let fly. You can clear a room in 2 seconds flat.

Always open the door for ladies. Car doors, restaurant doors, all the doors.

It may be outdated but it shows respect and you never know how a small action like that can make someone feel really special or how much it’s appreciated.

People can be cruel.

Yep. It sucks but they don’t have to run your life. You come from a family of fighters. We don’t take bad situations and accept them, we fight hard to change the circumstances and we win. Always. You will too. This is your legacy.

Your sense of humor will take you further than anger.

More flies are caught with honey or-laughter as it were.  Reacting out of anger or with bitterness won’t exactly help you win your argument. It only serves to drive the other person further away from seeing your point of view. Laughter can diffuse more than you might think. Try it.

Live your life babe. Out loud and not from the gamer chair.

For instance, as you can see I’m flirting with very real danger in real life– when your aunt catches sight of my Halloween costume that makes fun of her today at the party. She is a runner and faster than I am.

Halloween Costume
Oohh…she’s agonna keel me for this but it’s so much fun taunting her


It’s the spice of adventure that fuels me (and I didn’t get any cardio in this week) and it should be what you crave too. Life lived from inside XBox is a fantasy and pales in comparison.

Now be a good son and help me get away from your “I’m a runner and I like it the rain’ aunt before she catches me and beats me up, permanent-like. Which brings me to the very last thing.

Laugh. Often.

Yes, I know I’ve already sort of mentioned it before but this is important. Life is going to be full of crap. It takes talent to find the grins in the small stuff. I know you have this on board, you lucky boy, because you are my son.

It’s a great thing. If you don’t laugh, the bitterness will eat you alive like one of my dragons. Be sure to use your laughter often and you will emerge with your sanity mostly intact. Maybe a little warped but that part came from me, sorry about that.


If nothing else, my son, you must remember this. I love you more than anything else in this entire world and you make me proud every day.

There is plenty you can do to disappoint me, make me mad, make me crazy but there is nothing you can do to make me stop loving you.

Have fun with life. And live it hard.

And help me get away!!!!

Run CeeLee Run
Fun taunting is fun living~until she catches me

A Duck Stomps into a Store

ADHD observations from the water park
He’s so much nicer when I dunk him
Today is the day (oh joy)

I’ve been dreading this task on my to-do list for a month or more. I’ve just gotta do it. Besides. I’m no coward. Not much of one anyway.

Taking Duck shopping for school clothes or for any inner/outer body apparel isn’t easy. I’m starting to believe that my mastering the fine art of small talk with Attila the Hun in a single afternoon may be easier to accomplish. 

Though for once, I’m in total agreement with Duck.

I hate shopping for clothes. I’m not a clothes horse and neither is he. I’d rather clean the bathroom after giving the dog a bath, take a trip to a PortaPotty left out in the hot sun for a year, or donate blood and pass out from low blood pressure than do the run through department store hell.

One of the fastest ways to make me snarly is to catch a glimpse of my fading tan and body flaws, displayed in horrifying HD-like detail, in a changing room mirror.

Meaner than the realization I’ve overslept on a work day and smarter than the spider outwitting my shriek and eye covered swats, clothes shopping bites.

You can drive a Duck to a store, but you can’t make him like it.

Duck however, shares none of my loathing for shopping reasons, he hates it for a much less complex one. He hates it because it isn’t fun.

And he isn’t afraid of voicing his displeasure about it.

Duck’s a firm believer in freedom of speech, even with the whispered threats through clenched teeth and a fake smile, threats of eternal groundation, of doing my laundry for years, even that of further Xbox explorations, to be done under his user name, once we make it back home, isn’t phasing him.

What to do, what to do.

His declarations of woe are growing louder by the moment, something that anyone within 1000 yards having poor to moderate hearing can’t un-hear. It’s ear rape of the worst kind.

We are drawing attention and not the adoring, ‘Oh look at what a wonderful well behaved son she has’, kind. Clearly, I need to act fast.

What to do, what to do.

Jeez…if grounding won’t work, what will?

Well, if ya can’t make him stop… roll with it. Time to take a page from my Dad’s playbook. It did work on my sister…

Gathering my courage and dropping my dignity, I clear my throat.

“Ladies and gentleman, can I have your attention please? My name is Chris Lee and this is my son, Duck.

A truly lovely young man when he isn’t causing us all to suffer from tinnitus because he hates clothes shopping, his interests are fossils, Xbox, and pretty girls.

Can we have a round of applause for his admirable command of the English language in expressing his displeasure today? Take a bow, Duck, you’ve earned it.”

Duck’s diatribe falters and halts. He’s staring in shock and wanting to run far, far away. Too bad for him that I drove.


Giggles and then outright laughter from the back of the store before the applause.

A standing ovation, how cool is that?

Thanks Dad, I owe you one.

Duck whispers through his clenched teeth (wonder where he gets that?) that he’s very angry and doesn’t like me at the moment. I whisper back that I have a whole store who likes me now, so who needs him?

A mute Duck pouts out of a store…