FIRST DATE

©2014 CEStankiewicz all rights reserved

The anxiety.

The awkwardness.

The hope.

The humanity.

Ahhh, the joys of dating. For many of us, they’re but a distant memory. For others among us, they’re still very much a reality…

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FIRST DATE

The call just came – you’re going to meet!
Now:  What to do? Where to eat?
A morning stroll? A picnic lunch?
A dinner chat? A weekend brunch?

What to wear? What to say?
Meet at night? Or by day?
All these choices you must make
are stressful with so much at stake.

You hope you’ll click. You hope it’s fun.
You’re thinking this could be the one.
While on your way, you say a prayer
that all goes well when you get there.

You want this first date to succeed,
so best behavior’s what you need.
That means good manners, smiles and caring;
taking turns and nicely sharing.

You hope there’ll be no tears while dining.
And no tantrums. And no whining.
No fussiness, no arguments,
and please, oh please, no accidents!

It’s tougher than when you were single,
cruising bars to mix and mingle;
it’s hard, it’s brutal – even mean -
this merciless new dating scene.

For nothing sets your nerves aflutter
than meeting with another mother
and her child to know just whether
the four of you play well together.

And afterward it’s just as bad,
for if you liked the time you had,
you’re just more anxious, after all,
because, you know, she said she’d call

©2010 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz

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One Sweet Plan

trick or treat Halloween ©2013 CEStankiewicz all rights reservedAT FIRST they just hid their Halloween loot, ostensibly in a place I wouldn’t find it. Those poor, sweet, delusional children of mine.

Then they resorted to taking an inventory and making a detailed list noting each piece of candy — down to the very last, awful, ugly Mary Jane. (As if I’d stoop to steal, much less ingest, one of those.  Jeez, kids, give me some credit.)

Eventually they landed on a winning solution to keep me from snagging their sweets.

Those dear, savvy, resourceful children of mine…

ONE SWEET PLAN

“Trick or treat!” my kids both yell
as they approach a door.
And when it opens, they recite
a speech not heard before:

“Trick or treat! Smell my feet!
Give me something good to eat!

We’ll take your Peanut M&Ms,
your Reese’s Pieces, too –
your Snickers and your Almond Joys,
and Baby Ruths will do.

Bring on the Butterfingers!
Milk Duds? Those are fine.
But at Milky Ways, Three Musketeers
and Twix, we draw the line.

Zagnuts, Jolly Ranchers -
Add ‘em to our haul!
Bit O’ Honeys, Tootsie Rolls,
Mounds, we’ll take them all!”

Finished with their list,
my kids just stood there – quiet –
their donor no doubt wondering
about their candy diet.

But I knew why they did it,
this strategic trick-or-treating:
the sweets they listed at each door
were those I hated eating.

©2013 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz

Mommy-proofing their Halloween candy with a detailed inventory.

Mommy-proofing their Halloween candy with a detailed inventory.


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Note: This post originally appeared over at Great Moments in Parenting.

Back to School

©2013 CE Stankiewicz all rights reserved

I hate to break it to you, but summer — with its sunny-skied promises of pools and picnics and plenty of days to laze around — will soon come to an end. Depending on where you live, back-to-school season might be a mere week away or a full month from arriving. Still, it’s coming. You can tell from all the store flyers and commercials chock full o’ notebooks and backpacks and glue and crayons.

Speaking of which, I’ve always loved this Staples commercial, pitch-perfect in its depiction of parental glee this time of year.

Here’s the thing, though. As dour as the faces of those two little kids in that ad appear, I’m not so sure that they’re really all that bummed to be going back to school. I know my girls would never cop to it, but I firmly believe that when August 26th (our first day of school) finally rolls around, they’ll be just as eager as any gloating parent to welcome back the structure and routine that school brings.

Just don’t let ‘em know that I’m on to them.

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Back to School

They couldn’t wait for summer
with its drowsy afternoons,
its swimming pools and lemonade,
its lovely midnight moons.

They couldn’t wait for summer
and for staying up past ten,
for waking when they wanted to
and napping now and then.

They couldn’t wait for summer
to stare into the sky
while spying birds and bunnies
in the clouds that floated by.

They couldn’t wait for summer
to lie around all day
to laze about from hour to hour
as time just slipped away.

They couldn’t wait for summer
to do nothing much at all;
but by July, when boredom hit,
they couldn’t wait for fall.

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©2010 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz

©2013 CE Stankiewicz all rights reserved