Thursday, March 1, 2012

Slice of Life #2

Collin & Alan Sitomer at ALAN in Chicago, Nov 2011
At the dinner table my son and I  talk about the best and worst parts of our day. Tonight's conversation brought Alan Sitomer and his recent book,The Downside of Being Up to mind.

The topic wasn't quite the same, thank goodness. No "woodies" or "Eiffel Towers shining their lights on Paris", but, yet again, it was language lesson 101: bathroom edition.

Before I had a son, I thought boys were born knowing this stuff!  I had to draft the story--capture the slice. It was just too funny to pass up after a long day preparing for my first formal observation under Florida's new teacher evaluation system (metaphors abound, but I'm holding it). Lessons about words and language come from places I'd never anticipate and though this is a lesson I'd never replicate in school, I had to write it. If a little bathroom humor doesn't offend, go ahead and listen in.

Image credit:

"Jose has a new app iTouch. It's a stool scanner!" my son exclaims. We are settling in around the dinner table. The table is set. My son is pouring water into heavy tumblers. I am standing at the counter, dishing up black beans and rice from the crock pot.

"Uhh,a what?" Really? I'm thinking, stools. Why is it always me? Where's the hubby when I fall into these language traps! Rembering previous conversations with my fifth grader about pieces and parts, I realize that he probably doesn't know what he's saying.

"Yeah! You put your finger on it and it tells you what number two you're going to do," he replies laughing.

"Well," I know I have to seize the moment, but I hesitate. I plunge ahead with, "You know, stool is another name for bowel movement." Cringing as the black beans plop into the serving bowl, I look up to assess the situation.

"What? No way! I did not even know that!" my son replies laughter lighting his voice. Really? Aren't boys born knowing? I hide what I'm thinking as best I can and continue in my objective "Dr. Ruth-esque" mode.

"Yep, stool means something you can sit on but it also means, you know poop-like the scat you saw at the Environmental center, but, like,  the human version," I'm on a roll and my audience starts giggling. "You know, it's the medical word for crap, poop. The turd in the toilet..."

"The lumpy log! Bum gravy! Crack missile! Slippery snake! Ha! That's what Jose had after he scanned his finger. Stool scanner-ha-I get it! Can I get the app?"

Really? Yep. There's an app for that.


  1. Just AWESOME! I am smiling ear-to-ear. For sure this is a dinner table at which I want to eat MANY meals!!

    You're a great mom, Lee Ann. Just hysterical.

  2. Ok, the line about the beans was so well timed! Kids will be kids. : )


  3. Thanks, Alan. Glad it got the ear-to-ear.

  4. Your voice -- wow, just wow. I love how you as a mom comes out in the slice as the you as a writer crafted it well. SO GLAD you are joining the challenge this year.

    1. Thank you, Ruth! I'm delighted to be giving it a go (remind me of that on day 13)!

  5. Thank you, Katie,
    Glad it didn't seem too over worked!

  6. Love the screenshots! Love how you captured the boy thinking. It is different!

    1. Thank you, Beth. I use the "Prnt Scrn" button with Snag It, a screen shot tool I purchased a while back. You can also hit print screen and then on a power point slide paste it, crop the image and save the slide as a jpg : )

  7. My gosh -- I won't be telling my boys about that app. (who am I kidding? they probably already have it).

    1. I know just what you mean, Kevin. I synced or made it so that any app or game my son downloads on his iTouch I see on my iPad. today it was "Fancy Pants"... ? ? Who knows what that's about, but it's yet another south of the border foray.