7 Quick Takes: HTH

Hope This Helps Edition

In which I solve seven common problems


Did you spill soy sauce all over the place?   Need a mother’s day present?  Or just a crapload of squares?  Try this amazing new product.


Are you a really, really good mother who somehow understandably forgot to brush your daughter’s hair for a week, and as a result did not catch her major head lice infestation until a well-meaning relative, who probably mostly just wanted everyone to realize that the BBQ was dragging on a little too long, saw fit to do a “Hey, everybody, guess who has HIGH ANXIETY?”

to let you (and everyone within a forty mile radius) know that your daughter has a major lice infestation?  Well, you should try this fairly new system of blow-drying Cetaphil.  It Actually Works (although our kids needed four weeks of treatment, not three), and you don’t have to wash everything you own and spend a million hours picking nits, which isn’t as much fun as it sounds like.


Are you ready to leave the beach, but are miles away from home with a miserable baby whose fat, fat leg folds are coated with gritty sand?  I am all for packing lightly for the beach (three rules:  no food unless it’s a major birthday;  if you want a toy, you have to wait till a non-resident beach goer is looking the other way; and I don’t want to hear about your towel), but one thing we always bring is baby powder.  Sprinkle it generously on the baby (or anyone else, koff koff, whose fat legs make them cranky), and the wet sand comes right off, and you won’t feel like such a monster strapping an uncomfortable little one into her car seat.


Are you craving chips and salsa, but looking for a healthier alternative?  Try pretzels and salsa.  It’s less fatty, and tastes just as good as pretzels and salsa.


Were you absent during grades K-12?  Here is a handy reference to all you need to know:

  • The Indians helped the Colonists by showing them you can put a dead fish on corn
  • Eli Whitney
  • Suffragettes (1912-1913)
  • Typing

Bonus College Quick Reference:

  • When something drops a horrible, rotten dead fish in your yard, you should consult an oracle to see what this means for the future of the republic.  If no oracle is available, just get your husband to throw it in the bushes.

There, now you are all caught up.


Thinking of home schooling?  Here is the single greatest  piece of advice I’ve heard (and I just gave the book away, and can’t come up with the author’s name).  I was immediately drawn to this book because, unlike most home schooling books, the cover didn’t look anything like this:


Which is a lovely picture, but discouraging.  Look at that posture!  And the kid is wearing white, and her face, while solemn, is not tear-stained!  And the curtains don’t appear to have any poop on them!  So instead, on the cover of this book was picture of a girl wearing a bathing suit and cowboy boots, doing her math on the floor under the kitchen table.   Now, add someone smearing Spaghettios on the wall and calling it art, and another kid deliberately ripping the first kid’s math work and calling it justice, and that would be a good day in our home school.  So the piece of advice was this:  whatever kind of mother you are


that’s the kind of home schooler you will be.

This sounds terribly obvious, but every year I fell into the trap of hoping that home schooling would, among other things, fix my defects as a mother.  It would force me to become organized, encourage me to be patient, ensure that I would follow through on projects, motivate me to go out and meet other people, etc. etc.   Now, I did improve in all of these things.  But I did not become transformed.  I was just me, home schooling.  This should not discourage you from deciding to home school; it’s just something you ought to know.


I don’t know exactly what this is good for, but it seems like it might come in handy.

Well, I hope that answers all your questions.  See Jen at Conversion Diary to leave a link to your own Seven Quick Takes, and don’t forget to link back to Jen!  Have a lovely weekend, everyone, and remember, it’s important to throw a firecracker when you light it, but NOT AT DADDY.


  1. What book? You didn’t give us the title. It sounds like the one I haven’t written yet.

    And I am so glad that you already knew about the Cetaphil method. It does work, as opposed to those shampoos which didn’t even kill some of the lice on our kids’ heads! Lord help me, I still have not recovered from our Year of the Head Lice.

    And thanks for the baby powder tip! I wish I had known about it sooner.

  2. Huh. I never ever want to deal with head lice. Where can I sell my kids? I want to sell them off to prevent me from having to deal with hypothetical head lice.

    Also, if I’m going to be just me when we start homeschooling (God willing) maybe I’d like to send them to the local Catholic school instead. The one with the knife fights. Surely that’s better than me teaching them? If I’m not going to be miraculously transformed?

    (I’m typing this while my 21/2 year old watches Muppets in Space and the baby sleeps)

  3. You’ve brought back horrid memories of our summer with head lice, and our fall with scabies. Oh yeah, we’ve inherited all these wonderful critters. If nothing else, these things humble us…to no end.

    I love the way you roll out the humorous side of the parenting journey. Very entertaining.

    I haven’t tried homeschooling but admire those who do. I’m the type who knows already how untransformed I would be. I don’t trust myself in that capacity. My oldest son has ODD. Enough said. It wouldn’t have worked but kudos to you. 🙂 Thankfully, our Catholic schools, though not perfect, haven’t had too many knife-wielding incidences (see above).

    Have a wonderful, sand-filled (followed by baby powder) weekend!

  4. I have one more point to add to #5:

    Creeping in the windows,
    Sneaking through the door,
    Nine times six is

  5. Okay, I’m glad to hear that I won’t transform into something inhuman even though it means I won’t be an angel either when I start homeschooling my son this fall. And how did I get through the last 4 years without the baby powder thing? I can tell you how, there are two kinds of mothers: baby oil mothers and baby powder mothers. My mother is an oil one (wonders at helping prevent my daughter’s eczema but not good for sand removal). Her mother, my grandmother, is a baby powder one. I somehow just slap one or the other on indiscriminately as their voices argue in my head. But baby powder in the beach bag now.

  6. This is my dominant beach memory growing up in New England, shaped by countless summer afternoons with numerous siblings: Mom driving the non-air-conditioned Chevy Impala sedan home, the back seat stuffed with two rows of children, one on top of the other, wearing wet bathing suits, plenty of sand, and bad sunburns. These days children sit alone in a carseat, booster seat, or a seatbelt in (most likely) an air-conditioned car. I think your toting along baby powder to soothe your children is both tender and merciful. But tell me this: how will they ever learn which sibling truly has the boniest butt?

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