It’s Swimming Telephone! It’s so much fun! I just had some wine! Yay!

Remember playing Telephone at summer camp?

Your cabin mates all sat in a circle. Someone would start a silly story and end with a cliffhanger. The next person in the circle continued the story, and then the next, and so on. The stories were bound to get goofy and were always loads of fun.

Well, grab your glass of wine and get ready to giggle, because it’s time for Grown Up Telephone!

I’m one of a bunch of bloggers playing Swimming Telephone Tag, started by the lovely Marian at Just Keep Swimming. It’s the bloggy version of Telephone – and it’s waaaay better than the campfire version.

Because in this game of Telephone, our heroine is a mama having the King of All Bad Days. So far we’ve discovered…

  • Mama’s 3yo son escaped and had a junior joy-ride in the driveway (Nicole at Ninja Mom)
  • Her middle child got tattooed with a Sharpie by his big sister, complete with an f-bomb shout-out (Kristina at There’s No Time For Pants!)
  • Big sister got a lovely reverse mohawk from middle-child brother (Robyn at Hollow Tree Ventures)
  • The new school year begins tomorrow
  • And to top it off? Our heroine’s mother-in-law just showed up

Now I’ll lead you in with “You Must be Kidding” from the hysterically talented Robyn. My contribution starts with “Thank God for Grandma?”


You must be kidding.

I decided to let my walking obscenity billboard answer the door, hoping his grandma wouldn’t ask too many questions about why I’d hastily thrown a long sleeved shirt on him in the middle of August. Maybe she’d believe I just liked the way it looked paired with the swim trunks he was wearing as pajama bottoms.

I watched as he and his sister marched toward the front door. When my son passed by, a pungent odor reminiscent of industrial solvent still wafting off his skin, I noticed the tag on his collar – his shirt was inside-out. Great. I knew my mother-in-law would want to fix it, thus revealing his new vocabulary word. But before I could decide on a course of action, my daughter crossed my field of vision.

She trotted by, eager to greet her grandma, her beautiful curls bouncing and dancing on the sides of her head with each step.

But the bouncing and dancing was only happening on the sides, because the center section of hair on the back of her head was… gone. Just… gone.

It took a moment for my brain to process the horror. Was I seeing pig tails? A trick of light? Had the marker fumes affected my brain? But it was undeniable.

I shrieked something that was supposed to be, “What have you done?” but probably sounded more like a pterodactyl swallowing a wheelbarrow full of bagpipes. She cheerfully offered some explanation that involved scissors and playing Beauty Shop with brother, but I couldn’t hear the details because my head was busy exploding.

Laundry would have to wait – school was starting in less than 24 hours, and I couldn’t exactly show up in the drop-off lane with Profane Tiger-Boy and a daughter sporting a reverse mohawk. I started to herd them toward the car, hoping for a last-minute pixie haircut and wondering where I could get my son professionally sandblasted, when the doorbell rang again. Oh yeah, I forgot we had company.


Thank God for Grandma?

“Grandma’s here!!!” my daughter shrieked, and she and Tattoo Boy dashed for the door. Mohawk Girl flung open the door and greeted my mother-in-law with:

“Grandma! Guess what?”

“Um, school starts tomorrow?” My bespectacled MIL asked, playing along.

“No! I made brother into a tiger! And we played beauty shop!”

Now, my MIL is no fool. The woman raised five boys and two girls and she knows what “beauty shop” means.

She turned Mohawk Girl around to witness the horror.

She rolled up Tattoo Boy’s sleeves to witness the art.

And then she took in my get-up (hadn’t changed out of my peek-a-boo PJ shirt), took in the look on my face, and took charge.

“Here’s what we’re going to do. You go put some clothes on,” MIL dictated. “I will keep Mr. Arty Arms here and clean him off. Permanent marker is no match for this grandma,” she muttered to herself, taking off the boy’s shirt. She stopped short when she read the f-bomb on his arm.

“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. How does she even KNOW that word?” she gasped, making the sign of the cross. “Apparently the girl needs some Bible reading. When was the last time you went to church, anyway?” She looked at me accusingly.

My mouth opened. Then shut. I had no words.

MIL shook her head and the instructions continued: “You take Miss Hairdo out to get that catastrophe fixed. And little Mr. Man here…” she trailed off. “Where is Mr. Man, anyway?”

OMG. Where was Mr. Man?

I booked it into the kitchen and something told me to look down. I did. And what did I see?

A red-crayon-drawn line all the way through the kitchen, leading into the dining room, over into the playroom.

“Mommy! I drew a paff for you to follow!” hollers Mr. Man from the playroom.

I can’t see him. Where is he???

I follow the “paff” and what do I find?

Mr. Man hanging from the rafters. Literally. HANGING FROM THE RAFTERS.

My MIL comes up behind me with the two hellions in tow.

“Is it too early for a glass of wine?” I whisper to her.

“Well,” she ponders, “It is 5 o’clock somewhere.”


So how can our heroine’s day possibly get worse? I’m passing the baton to Andrea at the Underachiever’s Guide to Being a Domestic Goddess. I can’t wait to see what happens next!

How do you think the rest of our heroine’s day should go?


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7 Replies to “It’s Swimming Telephone! It’s so much fun! I just had some wine! Yay!”

  1. Poor mother! I’d take the “5 o’clock anywhere” line and use it as my excuse too. For these reasons and more, I still keep scissors and markers out of my kids’ reach. I’d rather they master the skill late than that I have to face this.

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