Janet Sumner Johnson
About Author Visits Blog Books Events Contact Book Extras


You Showed Me!


29, 2010 |

Filed in:


I can’t remember why Brandt was mad, but here’s the conversation:

Brandt:  I’m mad at you mom!

Me:  It’s dinner time. Come eat.

Brandt:  I’m NOT eating!

Me:  Fine. Come watch the rest of us eat, because it’s dinnertime and you will sit with us.

Brandt:  [arms crossed, sending daggers my way, stomps to the table] I’m NOT . . .

Then he saw what was on his plate. He threw me a furious look and tried again.

Brandt:  I’m ONLY eating my fish, and my broccoli, and drinking my drink. That’s ALL I’m eating!

Me:  Okay, Brandt. You win. You just eat that.

Speak up:



, , , ,

A Trip to the ER


25, 2010 |

Filed in:


“Stop running!”

[I swear that’s my mantra these days–in more ways than one, but I digress.] That’s what I yelled right before the BOOM! Then came the crying.

“London pushed me!” Brandt was on the floor wailing and pointing back toward the room. London was hiding.

I picked up the one and started scolding the other. Then I saw it.

Blood POURING down Brandt’s face. I swooned. A moment of shock. I forced myself to think past the blood dripping on the carpet. And I admit it, I panicked. The word ‘hyperventilate’ comes to mind.

I sent an accusing look at London (I know, I know, bad parenting, but in the moment . . . well, yeah), and rushed Brandt to the bathroom. I pressed a wad of toilet paper on the faucet of blood. “Hold this and don’t move!” I ordered.

I grabbed my phone book and called my good friend: “So, Brandt-split-his-head-open,-and-I-need-to-take-him-to-get-stitched.-Somewhere.-I-don’t-know-where-yet,-but-could-you . . . ” I think I said it all in one breath.

Can I just say, thank goodness for good friends! She helped me find the address for the hospital, and kept the other two so I could keep my sanity.

To sum up, Brandt got seven stitches . . . and I’m sure a scar to match his other one. He was a brave little boy who didn’t wiggle, and didn’t cry at all while the doctor worked. The doctor was in awe: “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a child sit so still for stitches before.”

Yup, this is my child who I had to carry screaming out of the store because he COULDN’T get a flu shot.

And now, I have finally joined the rank and file of true parents, having dealt with my first trip to the emergency room.

P.S. Dana, I didn’t think about taking a ‘Before’ picture till it was too late. Rats.

Speak up:



, , , ,

A Beautiful Sunset with a Kick


06, 2010 |

Filed in:


Yesterday was call (i.e. Rick worked all night). While London was at school, we had a full day. A playdate, gymnastics, and even a run to the toystore because Razors were on sale. (Brandt is now the proud new owner of his own scooter!)

What a great mom, huh? It’s not birthday or Christmas or any other holiday, but just because I know Brandt will enjoy it. So in gratitude, he should be happy boy with no complaints all day. Right? Yes, right.

After another playdate (when London got home), it was time to get down to work. London has piano practice and reading before dinner. Lucky Brandt gets to play.

London sits at the piano, but does Brandt not get the “lucky” part?

Me: Brandt, you need to let London practice.

Brandt: No! I’m going to play!

Me: Brandt, please get off the piano bench so your brother can pratice.

Brandt: No! Tinga! Pinga! Pinga! Bing! Bang! Bop! [that’s meant to represent his playing . . . hey! you try and make piano sounds with words, then come back and appreciate my genius.] 😉

London: I don’t need any help, Brandt!

Me: Brandt, please play somewhere else.

I physically remove Brandt from the piano bench and set him on the couch.

Brandt: That’s no fair! You made me mad, mom!!! And I won’t play anywhere else!@!!! [if only you could hear the intensity in his voice. There’s just no way to translate that into words]

And he promptly ran across the room and booted me in the leg.

Yeah. Seriously.

I picked him up, marched him to his room and deposited him in his bed. Then I plopped in front of the computer and stared at the screen. My ire was pulsing WAY too fast to try talking to anyone else.

I mean, 1) Where did he learn that!? Because I certainly have never kicked him.

2) How could he kick me? Me?! His own mother who suffered 9, count them, 9 months of a miserable pregnancy, 4 hours of labor, innumberable sleepless nights, not to mention the extra weight I still bear around my center.

And 3) I bought him a stinkin’ scooter today!!! Isn’t that like having a get-out-of-temper-tantrums free card? Well it should be.

So there I am, glowering at the computer screen, when London says, “Mom! Look at that beautiful sunset! Come watch it with me!”

Well how can you refuse that? You can’t. So we stood and watched the sun setting.

London: I just love watching the sky turn yellow and orange. And look at the line of cloud, mom. Isn’t that just SO cool?

Me: Very cool, London.

London [snuggling in close]: It doesn’t get any more better than watching the sun set with your mama, does it?

Me: No, kiddo. It doesn’t.

How do kids know how to say just the right thing sometimes? What a little cutie. And suddenly the event that left me fuming was connected to this other amazingly sweet moment. The kind you treasure as a mom. The kind that makes all those other not-so-nice moments worth it. The kind you never forget.

London: Can we do this again some time, mama?

I hope so, kiddo. I certainly hope so.

Speak up:



, , , ,

Chocolate and a Little Valentine’s Help


04, 2010 |

Filed in:

With Valentine’s Day coming up, chocolate seems to be a favorite subject. It’s like an unwritten law that you should give chocolate away to the one you love. Cause who wouldn’t like chocolate, right?


My father-in-law practically lives off chocolate (or at least he likes to give that impression. But I’m on to him. Snickers are replacing the pure stuff). My own mother loves chocolate. Particularly dark chocolate. She used to keep a stash of Hershey’s in her closet. My dad can down his fair share of a Special Dark. My sister always jokes about getting her chocolate fix. And my second son would eat it all day if I let him

And it’s not that I don’t like chocolate. Exactly. I just don’t like PLAIN chocolate. Seriously, I can’t eat it. Put it on something else, add something to it, and I can usually eat it, no problem. Even in brownies or as cake. Fine. But plain? My stomach just turns.

Every few years, I tell myself this dislike is just in my mind. That surely if I tried some really good chocolate, I would like it. I mean, who doesn’t like chocolate?

But nope. I can’t even make it through a square. I have to spit it out and rinse my mouth.

I can see you rolling your eyes. But alas, there it is. Now I personally don’t mind so much, but my husband bemoans holidays such as Valentine’s Day for this reason.

Being the sensitive, amazing husband that he is, he wants to do something nice for me for Valentine’s Day . . . nothing expensive, but something to show me how much he adores my fantabulous awesomeness, 😉 BUT, here’s his dilemma:

Chocolate is so out.

Flowers die (that’s from me not him). Not that I’d hate flowers, of course. But they die. And then I have dead flowers that I forget to throw away, sitting in a vase with brown, crusty water. And who want brown, crusty water?

I’m a plant killer. Black thumb. (At the moment this is literal, too, since my kids played with markers today. Big mistake.) Then I have a plant with brown wilted leaves and flowers that I FEEL GUILTY throwing away because it’s like hiding the body. Plantocide. I keep thinking, if I add water it’ll come back to life. Maybe if you’re a plant whisperer. But otherwise it just creates mold. Just so you know.

I don’t like jewelery. Yeah, I know. . . . diamonds are a girl’s best friend and all that, but no. I don’t even remember to wear my wedding ring.

Clothes would work if only he understood my complicated sense of style. (“These jeans may be the same brand, cut, and size, but don’t you notice the different shading of dark blue?!”)

Gift cards are too impersonal (his thoughts, not mine).

And what does that leave? So really, that’s what I’m asking you. What do you suggest as a perfect Valentine’s gift?

Speak up:



, , , ,