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thoughts from the back of my mind

thoughts from the back of my mind

October 1, 2006

Things I am thinking I should invent:

1) A device that keeps the chairs tethered to our kitchen table. So that a) my son can’t drag them all over the entire house getting into things that are purposefully out of his reach,or b) I don’t have to put them all up on top of the table so that the house looks like a bunch of elementary school children went home for the night.

Though I should probably add that my son has now learned how to hoist himself up onto the table and will just shove all the chairs off onto the floor. Nothing like the sound of 6 chairs crashing to the tile floor to send you running into the room shortly before you collapse to the ground clutching your chest.

2) At night I like to lay in bed and read before going to sleep. It is cold in my house during the winter months which isn’t much of a problem at night since I have warm pajamas, flannel sheets, a down comforter, and a husband who throws off as much heat as a furnace. But when I lounge in bed reading my upper body is out from under the covers and my arms and shoulders get cold. It is a huge problem in my life. Honestly, I complain about it every single night and my husband has come up with “helpful” ideas like wear gloves to bed, don’t read, and shut the hell up already.

The other night I was thinking that they should make bed covers with slits, like big button holes that you could put your hands through to hold your book. That way you could have the covers pulled all the way up to your chin, yet still have your hands available outside of the covers for holding the book and turning the pages.


Today I took my 5 and 7 yr olds to the grocery store with me to pick up a few one hundred dollar cans of kidney beans for chili that I was making for dinner tonight. They saw a stuffed animal display and we began looking through them, because my children do not think a person can own enough stuffed animals.

Me: Oh look at this one! What a cute octopus!

Child: Uh, mom, that is a squid.

Me: Oh. But it is cute isn’t it? Look at this one! What a cute ferret!

Child: Yes, it is cute. But that is a sea otter.

Me: Oh. Oooo look at this one! It’s a leopard! Roar.

Child: It is a cute tiger.

Thus concludes the educational part of this post with is meant to reassure everyone that I am in fact qualified to teach my own children.


I bought new sneakers this weekend, which means I no longer have an excuse not to exercise. This pains me greatly.

Posted by Chris @ 10:46 pm  

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  1. Wendy says:

    I like the covers with big slits idea.

    I have been telling anyone I see that I will start walking when the weather gets cooler. I have, at least, another month before I have to think up another excuse.

  2. Chris says:

    Covers with slits, I think I kinda like that idea. But what about noses? My nose is an ice pellet at night. I try and make a tent while reading, but I can never get comfortable. Also the comments I get from the other side of the bed makes me feel a little self conscious.

  3. Izzy says:

    You need to hurry up and start selling one of those chair things. We are in dire need of one. My sons climbing and reaching for things is starting to get scary.

    And though it hardly gets cold here, that blanket with big buttonholes sounds like a great idea, too. You should go on that inventor show :)

  4. momslo says:

    I think I have had that same conversation with my two stuff animal loving childern!

    I thought the beans were one hundered dollars a can- and I haven’t even been drinking any wine tonite-!

  5. Jenny says:

    Put me down for two of the chair tethers. One for my dining room chairs, one for my barstools. And, I need overnight shipping. Thank you.

  6. Sarcastic Journalist says:

    My kid is the same way with the chair thing. Except, she always manages to get into the really fun things, such as Zoloft. Did you know that if your child eats Zoloft, poison control will tell you that’ll probably just make her sleepy?

  7. Kristie says:

    Well, while I can appreciate the “intent” of the chair tether, I must confess that my husband and I are both only average height, so we are just as guilty as the kids of dragging the chairs around to stand on to reach the items on the top shelves in the kitchen cabinets.

    But I am SO signing up for the button hole covers. (although when I wrote that, in my mind, I said “butt hole covers” which totally cracked me up, because I have a warped sense of humor like that.) Butt-hole covers! Ha! Cracked myself up again!

  8. The Lazy Organizer says:

    I like the comforter idea.

    We have a great solution for the chair problem. We use fold up chairs. Classy, I know. Then we can lock them in the next room when our butts aren’t securing them to the floor. Otherwise they spend all day wandering around the house, looking for things to get in too. I didn’t know chairs could do this either!

  9. owlhaven says:

    You know, I think in the olden days ladies used to have bed jackets they could wear while reading in bed at night. Doubtless they also lived in drafty old houses heated with wood.

    We heat mostly with wood in winter, which means our bedrooms are often chilly. We give our kids ‘rice sox’ (a tube sock full of rice, zapped in the microwave) at bedtime to help warm their covers up.

    My personal approach is to turn on my electric blanket an hour before bed, read out by the fire, and then at bedtime get under those covers as fast as possible!
    Is it already that cold there?
    Mary, mom to many

  10. Julie says:

    Random unrequested advice: I, too, have long suffered the cold torso while reading but then…ah, a stroke of genious. I put my cozy fleece robe on BACKWARDS over the covers. Arms covered, chest covered, snuggled up to my chin and hands free to turn pages. Done reading? Shuck off the robe and slide under the covers. Ahhhh…

    I’m useless for noses though. Mine is on the large side and is always cold. I’ve considered getting one of those red-ball clown noses for around the house in the hopes that it would keep it warm. Not sure how my husband would feel since he’s terrified of clowns.

  11. Geggie says:

    I love the blanket with the button holes for arms! It’s pure genius. Of course, I live in Phoenix, so I don’t have much need for it. Maybe 3-4 nights a year. But, I’m moving to VA, I bet I can use it there.

  12. Sheryl says:

    Sorry about the sneakers. Maybe you could have your sone put them somewhere high, out of your reach.

  13. Debbie says:

    Your DH is so helpful. I particularly think the ’shut up already’ to be quite deep. Hey but how about wearing a cardgian with really long sleaves that you can pull over your fingers. Or fingerless gloves so you can turn the pages of the book. Balaclava? They keep you warm.


  14. Brigitte says:

    A zillion years ago, they used to have “Snuggle Sacks” (actually, I guess they still exist but look very different). They were like sleeping bags but there were slits to poke your hands (and feet, to walk) out. You’d still need fingerless gloves and a nose cover, though.

    I like Julie’s “backwards robe” advice!

  15. Jenn says:

    I don’t have any suggestions about the chairs, really, however I feel your pain about the blanket and the reading and the ever-so-helpful comments. But, may I suggest that you take a peek at this site: http://www.theslanket.com/. While it won’t keep your fingers warm, I still like it. Still haven’t figured out keeping my nose warm yet, though…I’ll get back to you if anything transpires on that one.

  16. Nicki says:

    I thought the perk of getting the nose cold was so that you could stick in the middle of your helpful commenting husband’s back. I guess I was wrong. Durn it, now how am I going to warm it up after reading??

  17. madre-terra says:

    I love to be cozy at night too. Since you live in MA I highly suggest a road trip up to Lawrence and go to the Malden Mills factory outlet. In the back of the store there is a HUGE bin full of remnants. We go there about once a year or less. About 5 years ago we bought bags of remnants and my husband made us polartec blankets ( I LOVE my polartec blanket) and he made one of our daughters a really cool jacket. Last year we went again and our daughters found pieces big enough to just throw on the bed and use as blanket. No sewing invovled.
    And yet once again you prove that our children are qualified teachers.

  18. Marian says:

    I love your comforter idea! Perhaps a special edition could be manufactured with holes for mouth and nostrils as well, for those of us with the icicle nose problem. And one with eye slits,too, for the seriously shivering. I’ll buy. This is much less crazy than my husband’s hole idea. He wants to cut pairs of holes in our floor here and there so he can sit on the floor with the kids, as if he’s sitting in a chair, without having to strain his back and fold his long legs into a pretzel. Um, sure, honey. (Can you imagine the fun of tickling feet from the floor below, though?)

  19. Jackie says:

    When my twins were about 18 months old, that chair thing drove me CRAZY! I had to take each of them off my kitchen table where they would try to hang on the light fixture about 40 times a day. I decided that we just would not have chairs for a while (along with any other kind of furniture):)

  20. Heather says:


    I totally thought of these! As for the chair thing — I’ll take them too!

  21. Karen says:

    I keep a throw on my bed that I wrap around my shoulders when I get chilly reading in bed. The Slanket looks cool, though!

  22. Beth says:

    I LOVE the backwards robe idea and will probably use this. In past cold seasons, I’ve just kept a few of my son’s smaller blankets on my bed, and used these to cover my cold shoulders when necessary.

  23. Amanda says:

    Our dining chairs weigh about twenty-five pounds each for exactly that reason!

  24. Kim says:

    Hi. Long time lurker, first time poster. Love your site. My mother used to tie the chairs to the table legs with shoe laces. And, now that you bought new sneakers, you can use the laces from your old ones. Or you could take the laces out of your NEW sneakers and then you would have an excuse NOT to exercise. After all, they would be so unsave without laces…

  25. Playdate Susan says:

    If you like, I’ll start a list of excuses not to exercise IN SPITE OF your new shoes. Because really, there are ALWAYS reasons not to exercise.

  26. Erika says:

    but you dont want to get your new shoes dirty do you?

  27. carrien says:

    My granny used a shawl, a nice big warm fuzzy one that she pulled over her head and shoulders and arms. I confess that I now do the same, and it’s quite cozy.

  28. MomofAllTrades says:

    I’ve learned the lesson of no chairs on top of tables too. One of our chairs went through the window in the breakfast nook, so I got to experience the crash of glass along with the crash of the chair…it’s a real thrill to get your heart attack started off right. ;O)

  29. Daisy says:

    BAck in the Ice Age when i was in college, we had “snug sacks”. They were like a sleeping bag, but didn’t have zippers; they had slots for your arms instead. Mmm..now that’s cozy. We fell asleep studying more than once wrapped up in those.

  30. rachel says:

    in our house every cat is a jaguar (thanks to Dora and Diego & my 3yo). But my youngest’s other obsession is sheep, and you CANNOT convince her that petting a goat is as cool as a sheep.

    BRILLIANT idea on the reading in bed. I was thinking of a half-shirt for my chest-up in fleece, then the rest of the outfit in flannel or something. Ugly, but practical.

    I was friends with someone who used bungie cords to keep her chairs together when her adventurous kids were toddlers. it worked for them.

  31. rachel says:

    oh - and a reason not to exercise:
    given where you live, exercising could bring you into contact with grass, brush, trees, and other tick-bearing plants. And the ticks could then give you Lyme Disease, which could ruin your chances of ever being productive ever again! So it’s safer not to exercise.

    I may be over-reacting though. I’m starting to think of having chickens in the yard because they eat ticks.

  32. kigogal says:

    I’m with OwlHaven. My grammy had a bed jacket, or whatever the thing was called. It was big and roomy through the shoulders and arms, made of fabric like a quilt (pieced together, but quite charming…) and just had like 2 buttons or snaps in the front. Very warm and let her read her bible (or trashy romances that she tucked inside) well after the furnace had shut off. ;-)

  33. Maddy says:

    You know how men’s PJ’s have that little access split at the front that looks like it is closed but it’s not …. if you had two of them in your cover you won’t notice the holes when the bed is made …. but will have access to the book at night …. I need more coffee …. no no less coffee.

    New jogging shoes means your feet look nice, no need to go jogging in them.

  34. a Random Person says:

    Maybe this will help:


  35. Carola says:

    You made me laugh so hard with the sheets with sleeves, you have no idea. And I am at my office, and probably my co-workers think I went nuts.

  36. Carola says:

    and how about the SLANKET!! Random Person really nailed it.
    Thanks for the laugh, I really needed it