Selective Stupidity

After spending time over Christmas break with my eleven year old daughter, her already-been-dumped-boyfriend, and a couple nieces, I’ve made an amazing discovery. There is a very disturbing trend being taken up by tweens everywhere. This movement starts with a process I like to refer to as “social dumbening” and results in the life-altering disability referred to as Selective Stupidity.
Anyone who has walked through a mall on a Saturday afternoon has seen and heard the effects of this puberty induced change. Symptoms vary greatly, but many are common and universal. “Social dumbening” is not as obvious to family members, as it only takes place when tween is around peers. Here, signs of Selective Stupidity show, yet they haven’t taken hold enough to show all the time.
The most obvious sign that Selective Stupidity has set in can be found by merely listening to the vocabulary choices of the adolescent. For Example, the word “sweet” is used to describe everything from a piece of candy to an impressive car. It is also proclaimed in response to a high video game score or getting extra change at a register. Ailing adolescents often refer to everyone as “dude.” The repetitive use of the word “like” is also indicative (think “Valley-girl-speak”).
Let’s give an example- The very first time I met my daughter J’s (not anymore) boyfriend was at 6:40 am on a Tuesday morning. The weather was terrible and school had been canceled. He left the bus stop to come knock on my door and when I opened it, he mumbled “Dude, Is J coming to school today or what?” After recovering from the shock of being called Dude by a thirteen year old boy I had never seen before, I pointed out to poor dumb boy that 1. Calls had gone out almost an hour ago declaring it a snow day and J had long since gone back to bed and 2. Even if there had been school, he would have missed the bus as a result of walking down to my house to check on someone who obviously wasn’t coming. (Thankfully that relationship lasted less than a week!)
The most annoying trait of Selective Stupidity, I am unfortunate enough to be tortured with on a daily basis for my dear eleven year old daughter. It is the most basic and truest form of stupidity- that of knowing NOTHING! This describes those situations where she CHOOSES to PRETEND to be totally clueless about whatever the issue at hand is. This can be shown in her “forgetting” that she was supposed to put the milk back in the refrigerator after pouring her cereal 5 out of 6 times. Or when I go upstairs two hours after she was sent to bed to find her in bed reading (hiding it with a book light) and when I ask her why she isn’t asleep when she has to get up in six hours she says, I didn’t know I was supposed to be asleep. Let’s even go as far as to point out her standing three feet from a clock and asking what time it is, or staring at the calendar and asking what day it is.
See? Disturbing, right? Yeah. Want to know what is more disturbing? NOT EVERYONE OUTGROWS IT! Yes, you read that right. Think about it, you know at least one person who is a total dumbass still stuck in that permanent state of adolescent stupidity, right?

P.S. See!!!I found proof!!!! Teenagers 'only use 800 different words a day'


Our Clothes Are Minty Fresh

This morning I started the dryer to fluff clothes I put in yesterday. After a few minutes I opened the dryer and started to fold clothes. The first shirt I grabbed i noticed a purple smear on the shoulder. Then I realized half the clothes in the dryer sported the same purple smear!!!! SHIT! Someone left a crayon in their pocket and I missed it when I checked pockets.... a whole load of whites covered in melted purple crayon. Ugh....
I pulled the clothes out and set aside the stuff with smears. My poor, 1 yr old dryer looked like this.

Oh my goodness! The world is coming to an end! J's favorite pink sweater has purple smears all over it! She was very upset when I sent her off to school this morning, and I promised to do everything I could to salvage her favorite accessory.

After the girls are gone another thought occurs to me.....Damn!!! Everything I put in the dryer is now going to come out purple!!! Damn Damn Damn!
I ran for a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser because they seem to fix everything.

After 10 minutes of scrubbing I noticed no discernible difference. This stuff was not coming off. So being the nerd that I am, I turn to my friend the internet, more specifically Google, and begin the search. It appears that this has happened to quite a few people, and my search found quite a few helpful tips.

One specific search lead me to the Crayola "helpful information" website (i.e. how to get our product off and/or out of your stuff) which yielded a lot of information on how to remove stains left by their products in many different situations. Good place to start? No, not really. I found it quite disturbing that they listed WD-40 as a possible solution to our problem. Yeah, I'm going to spray a flammable liquid into my dryer in the hope I get it cleaned up enough so as to not to start a fire when the next load of clothes are dried. Great idea, crayola.

Dissatisfied with what I had found so far, I happened upon one idea that seemed a little far fetched, but in the end proved to be the winner. It involved toothpaste. Lots of toothpaste.

Here's what I did to remove the dried crayon from our dryer.

  • 1. Heat empty clothes dryer by running it on the hottest setting for about 5-10 minutes.

  • 2. Stop the dryer and slather toothpaste over the crayon afflicted areas. Make sure every area that has crayon is well covered. The more the better.

  • 3. Close the dryer and start it. Again, let it run on it's highest setting.

  • 4. Start removing the crayon from the walls of the dryer by breaking out a chisel, a jar of elbow grease, and a wet wash cloth. After vigorously scrubbing for a good 15min, you should notice that the waxy crayon residue will begin to dissipate.

  • 5. Repeat steps 2 though 4 until crayon residue is gone.
In my opinion, the Extra Whitening did a fantastic job. Though I highly doubt the whitening part of the toothpaste had much impact on the overall performance. I would like to think it did, after all, my dryer IS white.

So, there you have it. Clean as a whistle. No more purple waxy crayon residue. The whole process only cost us a tube of toothpaste and a few years off my life from inhaling super-heated toothpaste fumes for two hours.

The fate of the clothes is still to be determined...
They soaked in hot-as-it-gets water with 2 full capfulls of Concentrated Era Ultra Stainfighting Formula detergent, half a cup of Oxyclean, and 3 Shout Color Catcher sheets....


Since my blog is wholly based on the fact that I am a mother, I thought it only fair to introduce myself and my family first.

Here are my beautiful daughters.

M (left) is seven years old and in second grade. She is a micro version of her father in looks and attitude. She is good at math, loves the outdoors, and wakes up annoyingly perky.

J (right) is eleven years old and in sixth grade. She favors her mother in appearance and passion for reading. She is very creative, good at art and hands on activities.

Here is my husband G and I at a recent family wedding. We have been together for almost eleven years, and married for seven.

My husband just graduated with a BA in Accounting and is currently researching grad schools. He works full time for the National Park Service.

I have a Bachelors in English Literature with a minor in Secondary Education. I am about to start my third semester of grad school.