Herald Journal Columns
Aug. 11, 2003 Herald Journal
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Let's have ice cream for breakfast


My son Bryce, 7, is the number one mastermind of making adults do silly things, and his latest victim was Grandma Bernice.

Bernice was kind enough to stay with us for two weeks since my husband was gone for his annual training.

There she was, home alone with Bryce and our daughter Latrice.

Just to give you some background, Bryce usually takes you through a step-by-step procedure when he does his schtick.

First, I ask him to do his chore, which is sweeping the floor.

1. He lolligags about as long as possible.

2. The mild tantrum. He repeatedly protests that he doesn't want to do his chore, while asking for something he doesn't deserve (pop, candy, whatever).

3. The fake injury. This is the dramatic part of the process, since he must pretend to stub his toe, or use an old bike injury, if he has one.

4. Mom gets VERY mad, yells, grounds him from fun things for the day/week, places him on time out, and/or takes away treat privileges.

5. He sullenly does his chore, which takes about 10 minutes, compared with the 40 minutes of steps one through four.

Unfortunately for Grandma, she didn't even make it to number three since she allowed him to have ice cream for breakfast; although she managed to get him to sweep the floor somehow.

The drama didn't stop there.

My daughter got on the horn and called me at work to report the mishap in progress.

Boy was I mad! Short of marching home, I forcefully instructed my son to put the ice cream back in the freezer.

At least I wasn't using my cell phone, since it's very difficult to yell into those little things and seriously instruct children to do this or that.

There was still a scuffle and he skipped the fake injury part, but the job got done.

"If I were a father and my wife was gone, I'd feed my kids ice cream for breakfast, too," my co-worker Jami Berg said.

My co-worker, Lauren Yates, piped in that her husband, Scott, eats ice cream in the morning every so often. Scott is the youth pastor at the Howard Lake Christian Church.

Other stories of youthful shenanigans surfaced; although all wanted to be anonymous.

One time, a little girl in kindergarten discovered that her teacher kept a box of chocolates in her supply closet.

To get the chocolates, she purposely got in trouble with a friend. They proceeded to stuff themselves with chocolates, but wanted more for later.

So, both girls put some chocolates in their underwear, and the chocolate melted!

There were others, but some were not suitable for print!

Close encounter with the planet Mars

Apparently, this month and next Earth is catching up with Mars, an encounter that will result in the closest approach between the two planets in recorded history.

The next time Mars may come this close is in 2287.

Due to the way Jupiter's gravity pulls on Mars and perturbs its orbit, astronomers can only be certain that Mars has not come this close to Earth in the last 5,000 years.

The encounter will culminate Aug. 27 when Mars comes to within 34,649,589 miles and will be (next to the moon) the brightest object in the night sky.

At a modest 75-power magnification Mars will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye. Mars will be easy to spot.

My friend told me the schedule is like this:

At the beginning of August, Mars will rise in the east at 10 p.m. and reach the height of its trajectory, dead center on the horizon, at about 3 a.m.

But by the end of August when the two planets are closest, Mars will rise at nightfall and reach its highest point in the sky at 12:30 a.m.

Perhaps it would be an idea to share with children and grandchildren this experience. No one alive today will ever see this again.

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