Kemi, like “chemistry”

Random Musings of the Misunderstood

Yay for Spring? April 26, 2013

Filed under: Anthony,Hannah — Kemi @ 9:21 pm
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Hannah and Anthony were outside riding scooters this afternoon.


“Hey, Mom,” asked Anthony, “if there’s a sprinkler that’s on, is it okay if we ride through it, or should we go around?”


“It’s warm enough,” I told him.  “You can ride through.”


Minutes (and I mean no more than TWO minutes) later, Anthony tried to sneak through the back door.  Luckily for me, he was foiled by his baby brother.  Sheepishly, he asked me if I would take his shoes and put them on the rug to dry.


“Just how wet are you?” I asked him.


“Not too bad,” he told me.


“Let me see!” I said.


“Uh, do I have to?”


“You do now.  Let me see.”


He pushed the door open all the way, and it looked like he had jumped into a swimming pool fully clothed.  He stood there, dripping onto the garage floor, with a nervous smile on his face.  “Hannah is this wet, too!” he protested.  “It isn’t just me.”


All I could do was smile.  “So, it’s okay?” he asked.  I laughed and nodded, and he ran back to Hannah as fast as he could, screaming,  “She says it’s okay.  Let’s get wet again!”


They rode scooters for nearly an hour.  They probably would have ridden longer, but the neighbor’s sprinklers turned off for the night.  What a shame.


It’s a good thing that tomorrow will be warm, too.


What must the neighbors think? March 3, 2011

Hannah just asked me if she could wash a window.


It’s the big window in the front of the house; the one that, when the curtains are opened, shows a good share of our living room, dining room and family room.


(It’s a big window, is my point.)


Seeing as how it’s been on my to-do list for a few months now, and either rain, snow or general laziness has prevented me from cleaning it properly from the outside, AND seeing how she was begging to help, I armed her with a bottle of Windex and some paper towels, and told her to have fun.


I failed to comprehend her after-school attire. (I was busy editing, and therefore, not paying close attention.) (I have no comment about all the other days I am distracted. You should have no comment, too.)


She was outside for several minutes, came in for more paper towels (I told you it’s been a few months…), yelled some friendly “Hello”s to passers-by, and chatted up the elderly woman who lives next door.


After the window had been “cleaned” to her satisfaction– which, if I’m being honest, is far less clean than it is smeary– she came in to perform the same task on the back patio doors.


It was then that I realized how she was dressed, and the twin feelings of panic and shame fought for victory in my soul. (Or maybe that’s just the baby– it’s hard to tell anymore with all the kicking it does.)


Imagine, if you will, a darling seven-year-old in a long, flannel nightgown (hot pink with monkeys gallivanting across it), hair bumpy from the pigtails she pulled out after walking through the door, draped in costume jewelry, wearing purple Belle socks and a pair of mint-green ballet flats pilfered from her mother’s closet (because, apparently, her own closet, a mere three feet away, was too far to travel to obtain appropriate footwear). Throw in the dirty paper towels and bottle of Windex, and you’ve got yourself a potential visit from Child Protective Services.


At the very least, you get disapproving looks from your neighbors.


I wonder how many batches of cookies it will require to make this all go away…


Tooth Trauma December 16, 2010

Filed under: Hannah,motherhood,parenting — Kemi @ 2:48 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Last night I did something to one of my children that I feel terribly guilty about. It was something I SWORE I’d never do, no matter the circumstances, but I caved and did it anyway. I couldn’t even follow through with it completely, which makes me feel even worse for needlessly inflicting such trauma.


I am a horrible, horrible person. I deserve whatever Karma comes my way. *


What could she have done? you ask. I’ll whisper it to you. Come here. Closer. (No, I’m not hiding anything behind my back. Certainly nothing from my tool kit.) Are you ready? Sitting down? Okay.


I tried to pull out Hannah’s barely-wiggly tooth… with a pair of needle-nosed pliers.


Oh, the shame!


See, when I was a little girl, my teeth were horribly stubborn, and while I loved the idea of losing teeth and getting money (money!) for them, I wasn’t terribly motivated to wiggle them and make them fall out. And my permanent teeth, possibly hoping to avoid the power struggle, chose to come in around those stalwart baby teeth, making it necessary for my sadistic poor (I get this now) parents to chase me around the house with pliers, hold me down, and yank them out. I feel it necessary to point out that NONE of these teeth were even the slightest bit wiggly, even with crazy permanent teeth growing in around them. (I was like a shark, with rows and rows of unevenly-spaced white teeth, the better to bite your finger with if you try to stick it in my mouth, thankyouverymuch.) I still remember the taste of the cold metal, the painful twisting from side to side, the sharp crack of roots, and the triumphant final yank that filled my mouth with blood and made my parents shout thinly-veiled threats encouragements about wiggling the baby teeth next time, in order to avoid the pliers.


A child loses something like 20 baby teeth, right? Guess how many I had to have pulled? Go on… guess. If you said 19, you’d be correct! NINETEEN TEETH. No, wait. Twenty-three. THERE WERE TWENTY-THREE. The dentist took pity on me after hearing how many times my parents used the pliers, and pulled a few quickly and (mostly) painlessly each time I went in for a cleaning. Then I had an orthodontist who rivaled Steve Martin’s character on Little Shop of Horrors, and he was HAPPY to inflict great pain. He even did something that I’ve tried to block out, so horrible a procedure it was, that involved cutting up into my gumline in order to make a path for the permanent teeth to, I don’t know, FALL DOWN INTO? It was horrifying and extremely painful, is my point. Novocaine didn’t even begin to take the edge off. And how could I have forgotten the wisdom teeth that were extracted (also under Novocaine) in my dentist’s chair? I remember passing out at some point, because I could see the gaping holes reflected in the dentist’s protective goggles, and when he had to put his foot on the chair by my head in order to get enough leverage to yank out the (impacted) tooth, the pressure was so great that I was certain he’d extracted my soul, as well.


(Pardon me… something seems to have unsettled my stomach.)


Okay, so after all of this history, which came back in startling clarity after last night’s “experience” **, can you believe that I tried to pull the same stunt on my adorable little daughter? I mean, who could do something so terrible to this face?



It all started on Sunday, during a particularly boring High Council Sacrament Meeting (add one more offense to the Karma list). Hannah showed me how well her first permanent tooth was growing in, and I started wiggling some of her other teeth, to see if any more were loose. The other bottom tooth was just a little bit wiggly, so I looked to see if I could see another tooth coming in. We found it behind her baby tooth, ready to break through her gums (not the gumLINE, mind you) at an angle that would suggest it was trying to jump down her throat. “You have until Tuesday,” I said. “Wiggle it lots and lots. If you get it out right now, your big tooth may decide to come through the baby tooth hole, instead of through the back of your gums.”


She wiggled half-heartedly on Monday, and by Tuesday, it had tightened back up. There were two white points behind (and under) her baby tooth. I sent her to school on Wednesday with the admonition to play with it ALL DAY LONG (I know… her poor teacher just LOVES me) so that it would be easy to pull out when she got home. Can you guess what happened? No wiggling. None. Tight tooth, and now three points were visible behind it. “Okay,” I said. “The tooth has to come out. I’m going to go get my pliers.”


I’m not sure what she said in response. It was too hard to tell through all the tearful screaming. (Hell. I am going to dental Hell.)


Long story short (too late!): The tooth was too tiny to get a firm grip with the pliers, so after a few jabs into her gumline and some bleeding I HOPE was due to cracking roots, I put them away and tried some tweezers. Then I tried my fingers. Tears dripped down her cheeks and onto her shirt, and I found myself shouting helpful things like “Stop squirming! Do you WANT your new tooth to point back, instead of up?” and “Do you know how many teeth I had to have pulled? Do you?” and “Move that tongue back before I pinch it in the pliers.” In the end, I gave up. Kenny promised me he’d take over if I couldn’t do it, but in a move that was either sheer cowardice or pure brilliance, he suddenly remembered that his car needed gas for tomorrow, and there was just one more Christmas gift he had to pick up before the store closed. Hannah changed out of her tear-soaked shirt and into pajamas, and softly cried herself to sleep, while I fought the urge to pull one of my own teeth in penance.


We see the dentist on Wednesday.



*(Broken jaw, perhaps? Wired shut for six months?)
**(if not a broken jaw, then probably a mouth full of broken teeth that can’t be repaired, and thus will have to be pulled and replaced with dentures)


How we spent (some of) our summer vacation July 27, 2010

Filed under: Alex,Anthony,Hannah,Kendra,movies — Kemi @ 8:28 am

     My brother Kevin is working on his computer animation degree at the University of Utah, and he had to make a live-action film for one of his classes this semester.  (“Make” = write, cast, film, edit, compose score, produce, etc.)  His professor encouraged them to avoid filming with animals and children (or children who are animals, in this case), but Kevin laughed at the wisdom and went ahead and used both (and then cursed himself– and his actors– later).


[My brother is extremely patient, but after a long, hot day of filming, after a long, hot week  of filming, I heard his voice carry across the field.  “What is WRONG with you?”  he asked Anthony.  After the scene was painstakingly blocked, lit and staged, and just *thisclose* to the camera going on, Anthony punched one of his sisters in the stomach, just because.]


     So, here is the end result.  I love it.  My kids love it.  Kevin’s professor loved it.  I find myself humming the song, and I even heard it in my dreams last night.  (I think I may have spent too many days in the hot sun, breaking up fights and wrangling whiny diva children child.)



White Trash Wall Art, Sutton Style November 4, 2009

Filed under: Hannah,motherhood — Kemi @ 10:42 pm

     During my two-month absence from the blog, I was (fortunate?  cursed?  humiliated?) to have experienced several situations that put me in a special sort of category.  A People of Walmart category.  A take-your-kids-to-work-with-no-pants sort of thing that morphed from the mortifying into the hilarious, at least for those who happened to view it.  Us.  Whatever.  (Trust me, those stories are coming.  And you will LOVE me for them.  Just not tonight.)


     I try to adopt the “laugh so you don’t cry” mentality, which may be a sure sign of my descent into full-blown white-trashiness (“Hi, my name is Kemi and I have no class.”   “Hi, Kemi.”), but I’ve found that it helps me retain what little sanity I have.  Especially when dealing with my husband  children  family.  Perhaps the ability to embrace the tackiness that makes up my life is somewhat like Prozac, only without the pharmaceuticals. 


     So, my life being what it is, after I got all the kids to school this morning, and Abbie went off with her dad (*insert your own title-related joke here*), I noticed a two-inch spot on the wall in the hallway.  Upon further investigation, I saw that someone had used my wall as an artist’s canvas.  This someone, when interrogated after her Kindergarten dismissal, said that she didn’t have time to grab a sheet of paper, and therefore felt completely justified in using the wall.


     Also?  This is not her first time.  Nor is it the first (or second, or hundredth) conversation we’ve had about what markers and crayons are SUPPOSED to write on.  And yet?  I find mini masterpieces on her limbs, her clothes, her sheets, her books, MY books…


     Who needs wallpaper (or nice paint) when you have an artiste  living under your roof?  Perhaps I should charge for her services and fund my retirement.


Hannah Art 2

Living Room Abstract

2′  x  3′

Hannah, age 2

Dry erase marker on white paint

(faded paint courtesy of magic eraser)

Composed while artist’s mother was nursing artist’s infant brother





Hannah Art 5


Happy Hallway

2″  x  2.5″

Hannah, age 5  (three weeks shy of 6)

Red felt tip on white paint

Composed covertly while artist should have been in bed





     Oh my goodness, we’ve turned into this: 



Four eyes never looked so adorable! August 28, 2009

Filed under: Hannah,school — Kemi @ 9:49 pm

     I took Hannah to the school this morning to meet with her teacher for a Kindergarten readiness screening.  It took her nearly 20 minutes to decide on an outfit, and her hair had to be *just so* and of course, we couldn’t forget the backpack.  (It’s as big as she is.)


Hannah K Screen



     (I’d also like to note, for the record, that if I have to listen to daily commentary about the pros and cons of making an outfit out of every single article of clothing she owns– and there’s a lot!– my darling daughter will be going to school in her pajamas. 


So, what do you think Mom?  I have the blue daisy dress with white flowers with yellow dots in the middle, or there’s my green flower dress that looks just like the blue one except it’s green and instead of yellow middles it has pink ones, but I really like the blue one, but maybe the green flower one would be better, or maybe I should wear the hoodie that Grandma bought me with my new capris but then I wouldn’t be wearing a dress, and what if Mrs. Hoffmann doesn’t think I look cute?  But I think she’ll think I look cute because she loves me and she stayed at the school so she could teach me and so I think she’ll like whatever I wear because I’m cute and she likes me a lot and I think I’ll wear the blue dress, but do you think my new brown shoes with the bows that Grandpa bought me will match okay, and do I need to wear socks with them and do you think white ones will be good and I was going to wear my rainbow dress on the first day of school because it’s my favorite — *SQUEE!!!!* — but I wore it to Back-to-School night and Mrs. Hoffmann already saw it so maybe I’ll wait and wear that one on the second day or maybe the third or fourth or maybe I’ll just wear the orange one that I wore to Kindergarten Orientation, but she’s already seen that one too so today I’m going to wear the blue daisy dress and when I go to Kindergarten next week I don’t know what I’ll wear yet because it’s still so far away, but maybe I’ll wear a dress or pants or capris or- did Grandma get me any shorts?- maybe shorts. 


     And then my head exploded, and I might have said something about taking her to school in her underwear if she didn’t just putsomethingonalready.)



Hannah K Screening            


     She passed off her letters, numbers, shapes and colors, and had a great time touring the Kindergarten rooms and the bathroom.   Mom!  The sinks are SOOOOO tiny!  They’re just my size!  And the boy’s bathroom is green.  My teacher told me so I didn’t have to look inside it with boys in there.    (I lost it with that comment.  I laughed so hard I cried.) 


     This afternoon we picked up her first pair of glasses, in plenty of time for her to get used to them before Kindergarten starts next Thursday.  Thankfully, the frames are pewter (and Princess!), so we won’t (SHOULDN’T) have any wardrobe-coordination issues.  I think she looks adorable!  A little geekish, but in such a cute way!  Glasses today sure are a lot different than they were when I was a kid!


Hannah glasses


     Also, is it bad that I’m jealous of how she looks so much better in glasses than I do?


Destruction, disinfection, inevitable depression and a dress May 13, 2009

Filed under: Hannah,homemaking,The Looney Bin — Kemi @ 9:17 pm
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     Aaaaah, alliteration.  (Look!  I did it again!)


     I have been missing for quite a while, and I promise I have a good excuse.  And pictures.  (Save your thanks until after you’ve seen them, however…)


     It’s been nearly three weeks (seems like SO much longer) (more…)