Expert Parent, in the making

“Babe-eeeee, where are you going?” I say, in an effort to distract my contortionist one-year-old. All I want is to diaper the squirmy creature; so, in the words of my almost-three-year-old, he won’t have a “naked tush.” One hand grapples with legs, another with the body, another with setting a toy between Baby’s fists, and yet another reaches for the clean diaper.

We’re out. At least, we’re out of the handy pile I keep by the bed.

This means it’s time to tear open another oversized box from my home-away-from-home, Costco (seriously, I’m up to daily trips, now). I keep a running tab on how many of the 222 disposable landfill hazards are left, ready to up my trips to twice-daily if the stock’s too low.

I’ve 112, so we’re good -the large pile comforts me. My seeing it also reminds me of when I was expecting my very first baby:

Fifty years ago* and around 30 weeks, I’d had enough with pregnancy. Knowing the only way to extract the male parasite within, however, I crossed my legs and waited for nature to take its course.

And, I accepted the inevitable by accepting gifts from friends and relatives. I have many kind acquaintances who visited and gave us a lot of necessities.

Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

The weeks sped closer to a supposed due date for Owens Boy #1; I surveyed my blue and green clothing, white burp cloths, pristine car seat, bumpered crib, and -yes- piles of diapers with satisfaction. I was set; I could do this. I would …eventually… get all our moving boxes out of the intended nursery and have it arranged for our offspring’s arrival.

I clearly had everything we needed.

Except, I didn’t.

I’m not sure if I realized my error whilst watching a friend change her baby’s bottom. I’m not certain if I saw the problem whilst shopping and traveling down the baby aisle. I’m not even positive if I was hit by Captain Obvious whilst attending a free class at the hospital on How to Change Your Baby.

Remember kids, we didn’t have YouTube in The Time of the Pager.

See, pregnancy is a funny thing. When sampling it; women may experience stupidity, ignorance, idiocy, and a generalized inability to think. (No, seriously: if someone tells me s/he told me important information in the past that I can’t recall, I’ve learned to ask, “Was I pregnant?”)

At some point that may have been AFTER pushing out Kevin jr.**, I noticed a number written on the boxes of diapers. I’m not referring to that old ‘222’ of how many fit in a box; I’m referring to ‘Size 3.’ Furthermore, I’m referring to a group of numbers under ‘Size 3’ that describe a weight range. While some might consider that to be a diaper’s maximum limit on retaining moisture; it is, in fact, a range in which your baby must fall in order to fit that size.

Up till this revelatory moment, I’d ignored that little range and that little word, ‘Size.’ I’d surveyed my derriere-dressings with pride, smugly confident that I had enough for my means. Unfortunately, I had Size 1, Size 2, and Size 3.

“Unfortunately” because the baby popped out a bit small, necessitating an unknown ‘Newborn’ level of coverage.

Photo by kelvin octa on Pexels.com (Not my baby, but still cute)

So…. did you know they give you diapers in the hospital? They also teach you which end to put it on.

—–

Did you also know that diapers come in different sizes? What surprising yet simple idea have you learned in life, perhaps from an embarrassing lack of knowledge like my experience?

—–

Last week, I wrote:
Wednesday, November 9: “You Don’t Have to Read This.” You don’t -nor any other posts you aren’t interested in.

Friday, November 11: Friday Photo. I hope no one eats these things for breakfast.

Sunday, November 13: Announced the Terrible Poetry Contest for November: a clean limerick on lost-and-found.
Also, shared a quote by Seth Godin.

Monday, November 14: Talked about callings in the LDS Church.

Tuesday, November 15: “Geneva Steele,” in response to Carrot Ranch’s prompt.

Wednesday, November 16: Today. Sort-of.

©2022 Chel Owens

*I couldn’t have been pregnant fifty years ago. This is called an exaggeration, or hyperbole.

**None of our children is named after Kevin. The real name was changed to protect the infant.

Geneva Steele

Geneva Steele was often asked about her name. After all, she shared it with the local mill (closed). The mill gained its moniker from the nearby resort (gone), which its founder named after his daughter (dead).

But Geneva couldn’t answer with any of that.

“I’m Swiss,” she said.

Or, “I’m from New York.”

Locations and events became more elaborate, until Geneva’s great-granddaughter dragged Geneva to school for show-and-tell. Looking at all those faces, the truth exploded:

“I was conceived at the steel mill, out near the railroad tracks.”

Truth might be satisfied, but Geneva isn’t allowed at school again.

The Daily Universe, Brigham Young University, from L. Tom Perry Special Collections.

©2022 Chel Owens

Written in response to Carrot Ranch‘s prompt:

November 14, 2022, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes a lie. What is the lie? It can be subtle or blatant. Who tells the lie and why? Is it an unreliable narrator? Go where the prompt leads!

I’m a Mormon, So…

I’m a Mormon, so I have a calling: a volunteer position that helps others, usually in my local Latter-day Saint ward and neighborhood.

A calling is a service opportunity and a way to run the LDS church organization.

Heavenly Father gave Jesus Christ a sacred mission to fulfill (see Luke 4:18–19John 6:383 Nephi 27:14–16). During His ministry, the Savior trusted His disciples with important responsibilities (see Luke 10:1–9). Likewise, the Lord calls men and women to serve in the Church today through inspired invitations from His servants. These opportunities to serve are known as callings.

LDS General Handbook, “Callings in the Church.”

Every member of the LDS Church may be asked to serve in one of the various positions needed to teach, organize, plan, or manage other members. These positions range from teachers of young children (Primary Teacher) to organizer of meetinghouse scheduling outside of Sunday worship (Building Coordinator) to the leader of a ward (Bishop) or even leader of the entire LDS Church (President).

Most are called to serve in their local wards or branches. Within that, the most common position is that of a teacher. Whether an apostle or a teacher, the process is about the same. If you are a member of the LDS Church and receive a calling: a member of the bishopric (or stake, or area, or overall organization) asks to meet with you and your spouse, the bishop or counsel extends the offer to serve and gives you a few details, you consult with yourself and God, and you tell the bishop or counselor yea or nay.

An important side note I missed upon first publishing is that the member’s calling is announced to the appropriate meeting of other members (local, stake, church-wide) with a request to sustain the proposed person to the proposed position. If any are opposed, they are welcome to say so. Sustaining and opposing are indicated by raising our right hand. If someone is opposed, the opposition is noted and said person talks to the appropriate leader in private.

A local ward or branch is split into four main groups: Elder’s Quorum for the men, Relief Society for the women, Young Men’s/Young Women’s for the teenagers, and Primary for the children. Most callings, as I said, are to teach primary-aged children and the youth. There are teachers in the other groups as well. After that, pretty much any job necessary in the ward or branch is a calling.

And, until one reaches the general authorities-level, all callings are unpaid, volunteer positions.

A member decides whether s/he can perform the duties of the calling as offered. Members are also discouraged from vying for certain positions. Furthermore, we LDS understand that God wants us to serve, asks us to serve, and will help us to serve.

©2022 Chel Owens

……

We Mormons are officially members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are to drop any name but that. Since many recognize the nickname of ‘Mormon’ and it works with the alliteration so well, however, I will use the term.

My other note is that I will keep to official doctrinal practices. I will add my own application of them, especially in response to comments.

My final note is that I LOVE discussing anything I write. Don’t be rude, obviously, but any and all queries or responses are welcome.

My final note beyond the final note is that I do not seek to convert anyone. I am motivated by forming connections, answering curiosity, and straightening pictures. So, you’re safe.

The Terrible Poetry Contest 11/2022

Welcome to yet another Terrible Poetry Contest!

Everyone thinks he/she/it is a poet; some actually are. We don’t care because we’re here to beat the worst of them! Terrible poem-ing isn’t about humor as a subject. It isn’t about writing about a terrible subject. In fact, it isn’t even about writing an acrostic poem with the word ‘TERRIBLE.’ Confused? Here is a post I wrote to explain. I recommend reading it, ignoring it completely, then rearranging the ingredients list for your laxative medication and posting that as an entry.

Jon of Missionary Sojourn won last month, so here are his instructions for this month’s contest:

  1. Theme and Form
    The theme is “Lost and/or Found.” The form is …wait for it… my favorite: a limerick. Furthermore, it’s a CLEAN limerick.
  2. Length
    Limericks have a specific form and length. It is AABBA, where the A’s are 8ish syllables and the B’s are 5ish syllables (and the A’s all rhyme with each other while the B’s rhyme with the B’s). We’ve written limericks before; so, if you’ve lost those posts, they can be found here. Or, you can find an outline, elsewhere, online.
  3. Rhyme?
    Yes. First, second, and fifth rhyme one way; and third and fourth rhyme another.
  4. Terrible!
    Please, please, please write a terrible poem. Make anyone searching for beauty seriously reconsider their life choices in finding our contest.
  5. Rating
    G or cleaner. You heard me.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST on Wednesday, November 30 to submit a poem.

Use the form below if you want to be anonymous until I post the results. The form hasn’t saved what you submitted unless you see a message saying it has.

Or, for a more social experience, include your poem or a link to it in the comments. Please alert me if your pingback or poem does not show up within a day.

The winner gains bragging rights, a badge, and the pick of next contest’s theme and form.

—–

©2022 Chel Owens

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Need more pointers? Jon’s included an example:

It seems that I’ve lost my keys
And hunt as long as I please
Like the wayward sock
That the dryer has got
I’m beginning to wonder, “Why me?”

You Don’t Have to Read This

Of course; now that you’re here, you’ve proven yourself determined.

When I first began blogging, I couldn’t pick a genre. I still can’t. Eh; I’m okay with that, I thought. Just to be certain, I started a second blog on parenting with the determination to grow it till it was MASSIVE…

…and it flopped. Turns out other parents don’t have time to read, either…

So, I went back to this eclectic approach of writing whatever struck my fancy.

Meanwhile, I’ve been a very devoted follower. I had everyone’s posts flooding into my Inbox.

And

I read

every

single

post.

I really did.

I haven’t been able to lately*, however, and have therefore felt guilty that any of you are trying to do the same with what I write.

Hence, the title of this blog: you don’t have to read what I write.

If you’re more of a poetry fanatic, just pick those up. Like pictures? Come back on Fridays. Love aphorisms and quotes -try a Sunday. I do not expect anyone to devoutly read and respond to whatever pops up here.

Likewise, know that I’m reciprocating. I often don’t have the thumbs to text a comment, but I’m out there. Stalking. Reading.

Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels.com

As always, thank you for the support. You guys keep me going. Fo’ real.

—–

We’ve just begun! So, far this month, I’ve written:
Wednesday, November 2: “And Then, She Thought to Herself…,” in which we discussed hearing narration.

Thursday, November 3: “Onset of Night,” in response to Carrot Ranch‘s prompt.

Friday, November 4: Who doesn’t need an outsized moose?

Sunday, November 6: Everyone needs lovin’, by Maryam Hasnaa

Monday, November 7: Those Latter-day Saints done pay their tithing.

Tuesday, November 8: “Secret Codes by Secret Means.”

Wednesday, November 9: This post.

©2022 Chel Owens

*Lately, being the American English for not in the last five years. From the Chelsea English for understated.

Secret Codes by Secret Means

*BEEP* *BOO* *BEEP* *BEEE*

Bridger Serialkillerton (II) hears the annoyance; notes it. His mind refuses to ignore it. Noise without end meant communication of some kind. Morse code? Tap? Now that he’s decided to give the sound his attention, he feels his mind go to work on deciphering. His body tenses for pauses and assigns them a space-between. The duration and intensity of each annoying tone is given emphasis and potential.

*BEEEEE* *BEE-BOO* *BEEP*

It toys at his experience and verges on the edge of revelation. A call for distress? He’s heard this before, hasn’t he?

*BOOP* *BEEP* *BEEP* *BEEE*

It’s a device; yes! His scattered mental search brings this solution. This is no fellow-agent in need. This is a computerized output, set to alert users to the impending completion of its program. At least, he feels it normally operates as such. Whyever it is outputting so erratically sets his mind-gears in motion once again.

*BEEP* *BOO* *BEEP* *BEEE*

The original pattern presents itself again.

*BEEEE* *BEE-BOOP*

He’s heard that sequence as well.

*BEEP* *BEEP* *BEEP* *BOOO-*

He feels at the tip of resolution …when Bridger Serialkillerton’s forgotten associate shouts at full volume:

“BRIDGER SERIALKILLERTON THE THIRD! GET YOUR SHOES ON AND STOP PLAYING WITH THAT MICROWAVE THIS INSTANT!”

Photo by Jep Gambardella on Pexels.com

©2022 Chel Owens