Monthly Archives: May 2010

Ghetto Chic: Part Deux

If you remember way back when—a few months ago—I wrote about our ghetto couch that the boys had jumped on and torn and that I had duct taped and from which Jason had removed the legs.  That couch has since found a more appropriate home underneath the garage sale pile that is currently sitting in our garage.
However, we have not given up our ghetto chic lifestyle.  Quite the contrary actually.  When a girl becomes accustomed to a certain lifestyle, well, let’s just say it’s hard to live any other way.  Some women love to shop for shoes, and they shop for shoes every day.  Some like to take long, luxurious trips, and they do that a lot.  Me, I like to maintain a sort of trailer-park-esque décor in our house, and by golly, I spend a lot of time perfecting that look.
Yesterday I had help.
After about 20 billion-million-gazillion trips upstairs to remind the boys that they really needed to pretty-please-with-a-cookie-on-top stay in their beds, Jason snapped.  Truly and completely.  Snapped.  It wasn’t like a head-spinning-around or a call-the-exorcist kind of snapped.  It was more like a calm, can’t-really-tell-if-he’s-clinically-insane-or-not kind of thing.  So no one was particularly alarmed when he calmly and methodically made his way up the stairs AGAIN toward the boys’ room.
In fact, I wasn’t really alarmed until I saw him coming down the stairs carrying the boys’ door.  And I didn’t really think about getting out the straight jacket until he carried the door into the garage and fired up the power tools.  Then, I became ever so slightly concerned.  And irritated—dang it, who was he to make me PAUSE the latest episode of ‘Snapped’ so that I could participate in our own real-life reenactment?
I figured it was time I try to talk the jumper down from the roof, so I very discreetly and gently asked him what the HELL he was DOING?
“Well…” (Insert maniacal laugh here.)  “I am fixing the problem.”
Um, ok.  I was sort of under the impression that we would need to have a serious chat with the boys to fix the problem of them roaming the house like cat burglars all night long, but evidently all we needed to do was saw the door in half.  Yes, I said SAW the door.  IN HALF.  (The nice little men in their little white coats are coming to take him away…)
So up the stairs he marched, now carrying HALF a door.  The boys watched him wide-eyed, as he flipped the lock so that it would be on the outside and then attached the half door back to the hinges.  Voila!  Why didn’t I think of that?  (Oh yeah, maybe because I’m sane.)
He sort of reminded me of Chevy Chase right after everything went wrong in Christmas Vacation—you know, where he saws part of the railing off the staircase, right after he chases the squirrel through the house.  All he needed was a Santa hat and a cup of egg nog—he already had the insanity gleam in his eyes.
While he put the stable gate (formerly known as a door) back on the hinges, the boys just stared at him wide-eyed, like they were waiting for him to put on a tutu and tap dance while juggling flaming swords.  Yeah, he was that loony.  But the boys were quiet.  I’m pretty sure they thought their dad had finally lost his last remaining marble.  And I think I sort of might agree with them.


We have discovered in the last few days that ice cream is Jordan’s drug.  I am telling you, trying to keep that kid out of the freezer is like telling a junkie he can’t have his “special herbal brownies.”  Seriously, if we forget to put the child lock on the refrigerator/freezer, we end up with something that looks kind of like a campground after a bear has ransacked it.
He got one taste of the icy-cold goodness, and that boy was hooked.  If he can’t sneak his way into the freezer, he just stands in front of it doing a sort of moan/whine while rocking back and forth and pointing at the appliance whose perimeter he would like to breach.  No frozen dairy (or non-dairy, for that matter) product is safe from his clutches.  If it is frozen, he will eat it.  If he can get hold of two or three popsicles, he will eat them all.
Anyway, last night, I was faced with a dilemma.  Here’s what happened.
Jadon had gone outside and was playing in the back yard as Jason grilled burgers for dinner.  Well after the burgers were cooked, Jadon was content to roll in his man-made mud pit like a pig rooting for slop, and he really just did not want to come in for dinner.  Being one of the first GORGEOUS days we’ve had in a while, we didn’t see the harm.  He thought he was really being sneaky by turning on the hose and hiding it as he poured water on his mini dirt pile.  We knew exactly what he was doing, but it was just too darn funny to let on, so we let him continue his charade of ‘hiding’ the running water from us.
When it was finally time to come in, Jason and I both stepped out onto the back step, leaving Jordan at the table 2 feet from us, munching contentedly on his burger.  (He’s definitely not our outside kid, so he was perfectly happy to come in when dinner was ready.)
It took both of us to corner the human pigpen and get him wrangled to the back door, where we quickly stripped him of all his muddy clothes, except for the really sad looking Pull-Up that had soaked up its fair share of muddy water, too.  (Ok, I’m hoping really, really hard that it was just muddy water.)
And here’s where it all fell apart.  See, if we hadn’t both been involved in the hosing-down of toddler number 1, then we would surely have noticed the havoc that toddler number 2 was wreaking.  It took Jordan all of 1.2 seconds to sprint from the dining room table to the freezer (that SOMEONE had left unlocked) and retrieve a handful of popsicles, and before we even knew what had hit us, he had the paper peeled halfway off of all of them and was frantically trying to ingest them before he got caught.  Can anyone say ‘brain freeze’?
At that point, my superior mothering skills took over, and I had mere moments in which to decide the fate of the popsicles.  Here’s the deal.  He was going to be one very ticked off toddler if I took all those popsicles away from him, so in that instant, I decided that it would be much, much better to just let him have them.  Weighing possible tooth decay against the ungodly fit we would likely be subject to if I took them away, it took me about one tenth of a giga-second (I made that up…but it’s fast.  Really fast.) to decide that I would rather face the wrath of our family dentist than that of an angry three-year-old.
So, take that, you stupid ol’ food pyramid!  Ha!  And besides, how bad could three popsicles really be?  (Don’t answer that, Carl.)  The important thing is that the muddy kid got cleaned off, the popsicle thief was happy, and mom and dad did not have ruptured eardrums due to the shrill screaming of a mad three-year-old.  And they all lived happily ever after.

Big Shoes

I have always been a forge-my-own-path kind of gal, so I am just now realizing how difficult it is for one who might be following in the footsteps of an older sibling or friend.  I wasn’t an only child—I had one younger brother who, luckily enough, wasn’t interested in any of the things I was interested in.  That made it easy for both of us to shine in our own different ways.  Band geek versus book nerd—no competition there, because we were both rocking the COOL factor in our own unique ways.
Now, I could have made things easier on myself by deciding that I would only have 2 kids as well, but I didn’t.  Instead, I decided to follow the philosophy of “the more, the merrier.”  And as it turns out, that happens to be very true.  Most of the time.  Ok, all of the time really, but there are definitely days when it takes the combined acrobatic talent of an entire troupe of Cirque folks to handle the fragile egos along the way.
First of all, I am ecstatic about Micaela winning 1st place at the Region IV trampoline competition.  Wow, Doodle Bug, you go, girl!  I was amazed for so many reasons—amazed that she could somehow figure out where she was mid-air and land on her feet, amazed that there were no broken bones, amazed that my little girl is growing up and becoming a strong, and if I do say so myself—competent, athlete.  Anyway, was it wrong of me to hang my head out the window all the way home from Illinois and do an old cheer from the high school days?  I think not.  (Micaela, however, did not agree.  She is now fairly certain she was swapped at birth and that her real mom is some perfectly sane lady living a perfectly quiet life somewhere.)
Ok, so back to screaming with my head out the window.  I knew Marissa was taking it pretty hard that she came away from the competition with a 6th place ribbon in her flight and no medal to show for it.  Hard would be an understatement.  While we were in the bathroom and she was changing out of her leotard for the ride home, I could hear little sniffles coming from under the stall.  I kept trying to make jokes and be goofy, but she wasn’t finding me remotely funny.
So here’s the deal.  Marissa has some big shoes to fill.  Her sister is amazing.  But what I tried to explain to Marissa is that she is amazing, too.  They are such different kids.  Micaela doesn’t get nervous.  Marissa turns a sort of lime green shade of puke before anything remotely nerve-wracking.  Micaela is tall.  Marissa has her mommy’s butt (Sorry, Baby).  Micaela likes music.  Marissa likes to read.  I could go on and on, but the point is that both of my girls leave me in awe every single day—each in their own different ways.
I see a lot of myself in Marissa.  I am a perfectionist.  I worked hard in school because an A- just wasn’t ever good enough.  Marissa is that—times 10 gazillion.  She is organized, and she is hard on herself.  Too hard on herself sometimes.  Marissa is the child who organizes her sock drawer and alphabetizes her books.  She is smart, so smart that the school had her tested for the gifted program.  But she is sensitive, too—boy, is she sensitive.  And have I mentioned hard on herself?
She decided after the meet that she would probably be a better cheerleader.  (Picture me doing the slow-motion ‘Noooooo!’ scream from a movie.)  Of course, she was reacting to the stress of the day, and she has since reiterated that she loves trampoline.  And darn it, she just wants to win.  And I just want to get a book published and win the lottery…and darn it, why can’t we all just get along?  (I am officially done whining now.)
She is now well past her low spot from this weekend, and all is right with the world again, but I can’t help but hurt for my little girl.  I know how hard she is trying, and I know how good she is at so many things.  I want so badly for her to win, and just once, I want her to wear a medal home like her big sister does.  She has big shoes to fill, but you know what else?  Whoever follows her or looks up to her will have huge shoes to fill as well.  Keep trying, little girl—you’ll get it!

Heck Yeah, Fence ‘Em In!

Ok, I have discovered that there is a reason why baby beds are made with bars.  Well, a couple of reasons, actually.  1)  To protect the little turds so that they don’t hurt themselves and 2) To keep Mommy sane.
Care to guess what happens when you suddenly remove the bars from around a 3-year-old’s world?  Oh yeah, hurricane season.  If you can imagine what it might be like if, say, the razor wire were removed from prison fences, then you might get a picture of the utter devastation and chaos that took over my house upon removing the only contraption that kept the boys remotely contained.  Let’s hear it for big-boy beds!
There was jumping.  And there was dumping of dresser drawers.  And there was licking of the bedroom windows (yeah, I know, the neighbors probably wonder what kind of little freaks we are raising).
And there were I-told-you-so’s.  Those were from Jason.  Well, ok, he didn’t actually SAY it, but I could tell he was thinking it.  And he had that look—the I-told-you-so look that makes his eyes all squinty and twitchy.  And his lips kind of curled, like he was almost ready to say it, but wisely enough, he refrained.  Because if I had heard that little phrase, I think my head might have literally spun around on my shoulders, and people would have been calling in an exorcist.  But he was quiet.  Which was good.
When I first came dragging home the big-boy beds, all I heard was, “They are never going to stay in those.”
And of course, I said (scoff, scoff, eye roll), “Of course they will.  They are Three.  Years.  Old.  We are bigger than they are.  We are stronger.  We can tell them what to do.”
And then he said, “Um no, they are never going to stay in there.”
So you know what I did?  I had to prove a point.  I hauled those big-boy beds upstairs and ripped apart the room that was formerly a baby safehouse.  We don’t need no stinkin’ bars.  We just gotta tell ‘em who’s boss.
Yeah.  I told ‘em.  And I’m not sure whether they heard me or whether maybe they just decided to file that in the doesn’t-matter-to-me section of their little heads, but either way, they did not stay in their beds.  Not for one little second.
But on the upside, do you know that if you run up and down the stairs to threaten your kids enough, you don’t have to go to the gym?  Yep, it counts as a full and complete workout.  I mean, I didn’t have the digital calorie counter on me, but I’m thinking I burned off yesterday’s Reese’s Pieces.

Short, But To the Point

Jadon:  “Daddy go bye-bye?”
Me:  “Yes, Daddy went bye-bye.”
Jadon:  (Dramatic posturing and sigh)  “Oh, shit!”
So, if anyone needs me to teach vocabulary lessons to their 3-year-old, I’d be happy to.  Evidently, I can teach very good enunciation, as Jadon’s new favorite word came out VERY clearly.

Ghetto Sandwich

Sometimes, in a family of seven, sacrifices must be made.
Let me set the scene.  It’s 5 minutes before the sitter arrives.  We have just finished getting ready for work.  The dishwasher is unloaded, and the kitchen is clean and ready for the day.  We are about to make our escape into grown-up land…until the 8-year-old comes downstairs early.
And she asks, “Did you make my sandwich today, Mommy?”
To which, I reply, “Oh, sweetie, you’ve taken your lunch for the past several school days, and I was going to make you a sandwich, but we’re out of peanut butter.”
(And how the heck does a family with five children run out of peanut butter??!!  That’s like rice in a third-world country.  It’s a major staple of our everyday diet, and by the way, the last time I checked, we had three entire jars of peanut butter!)  I have no idea where the bomb-shelter amount of peanut butter went, but now it’s nowhere to be found.
So, using my motherly logic and charm, I smiled at her, patted her on the head, and told her I would stop at the store tonight and she could resume her usual lunch-packing schedule tomorrow.  (Sounded good to me, and I fully expected her to understand the predicament.)
That would have been a fine idea, had she not reminded me, “Nooooo!  Our field trip is today, and I HAVE to take a lunch, or I won’t have ANYTHING to eat!”
What we then had was a full-blown, three-alarm sandwich emergency.  And a problem of these proportions could only be solved by (intro music here)…Super Mom!
I could handle this.  For sure.  No problem.  She doesn’t like meat and cheese sandwiches as well, but it would be better than being mocked by her entire class for having to take a syrup sandwich (the only thing that was handy in the pantry).  I dashed to the fridge to grab sandwich fixings, only to discover that, nope, there was no lunchmeat left either.  (Holy cow!  Who the heck is eating all our food??!!  Oh yeah, the gazillion kids we have running all over the place.)
Ok, so no lunchmeat.  No peanut butter.  Things were looking grim.  At this point (T minus 3 minutes to departure), Marissa had a tough choice.  She could either go with cheese and mustard (nope, no mayo either) or she could go with jelly on bread.  Upon presenting her with these culinary options, she sort of looked at me like my head was on crooked or like I had grown a third arm.
“I don’t like mustard,” she said, crossing her arms and giving me a pointed stare that very effectively conveyed her disbelief at my ineptitude.  “Did you forget about my field trip?”
“Oh no, Sweetie.  I didn’t forget.  I just didn’t exactly remember.”
There was then some eye rolling and some furtive glances cast toward the pantry, as if sandwich material might magically appear if she stared at it long enough.
So we were down to a dry cheese sandwich or a jelly sandwich, and I have to admit, neither of those sounded appetizing to me either.  I even offered to throw some marshmallow fluff on her jelly sandwich, at which point she seemed to recognize my desperation, and she almost looked like she pitied me for the ridiculous suggestion I had just made.  (Hey, it was better than suggesting I throw some Cheerios on there to add some crunch, and believe me, I thought about it.)
We were down to 2 minutes, and she decided on jelly.  Jelly on bread.  That’s the nutritious lunch I sent with my 8-year-old daughter to school today.  I won’t be surprised if her teacher sends home the number for the local food pantry with her today.
But don’t worry, this story has a happy ending.  I felt so bad for sending her to school with a ghetto sandwich that I stuffed her lunchbox with several other treats to compensate.  So her lunch is a little something like this today:  Jelly sandwich, peanut butter cookies (Hey, I could have put those IN the sandwich!), Teddy Grahams, applesauce, and a to-go bottle of Sunny D.
So, pretty much, my kid is having sugar for lunch.  Yoo-hoo, Parent-of-the-Year Awards Committee, I’m over here!

It’s the End of the World As We Know It

This morning the world, in all its springtime glory, came to a screeching halt. Well, that might be a little dramatic, but when you are 12 years old and your parents forget to wake you up in time to get ready for school, there may as well be a disaster similar to Chernobyl on the horizon.

The reaction I am talking about was nothing short of, “Holy crap, Marge, build the bomb shelter! The big one is on the way!” That kind of reaction.

And it sort of followed the steps you would logically think would occur if there were such a huge disaster.

Step 1: Disbelief

She had sort of this startled, suspended-in-time look on her face for about 15 seconds as she shook off the remaining fragments of sleep. Then, her eyes dilated completely before popping out of her head entirely as the realization of what had happened finally settled over her.

Step 2: Reaction

When she fully grasped the life-altering mistake we had made, she threw the covers off and bolted straight up in bed, demanding to know, “What time IS IT??” (The tail end of that question was more of a screech, and I swear dogs in the neighborhood starting barking from the high pitch.) And while she was screeching, she was frantically attempting to hand-brush her curly hair into some sort of respectable coif for school. (And I can guaran-darn-tee you that I wasn’t going to be the one to tell her she was having a bad hair day.)

Step 3: Grief

There was moaning, groaning, and pretty much your general sounds of disgruntlement. Then came the stomping and slamming. Her armoire door was closed (loudly) no less than three times, and this was followed by more groaning. I could hear some sort of muted mumbling through the door that sounded sort of like, “ruined my life,” but I didn’t really catch it all, so I can’t quote for certain the entire tirade.

Step 4: Acceptance

“I guess I’ll just have to look like THIS today, because I didn’t have TIME to actually get READY!”

“And while I’m at it, I may as well just STARVE!! because no one thought I needed to get up early enough to eat!”

(Yeah, those were the words that were emphasized, so for clarity, I wanted to make sure anyone reading this would understand just how badly we screwed up her LIFE!! FOREVER!!)

Step 5: I dunno.

Because we left the house as soon as Candice got there. I grabbed my coffee and made a quick exit, and as I blew out of the house, I called over my shoulder, “Have a good day, Micaela!” As you can imagine, I got no response.

School Assessment

Today was the day I took Jordan to his assessment at the Great Beginnings campus, and let me tell you, THAT was fun. Ok, it really wasn’t so bad, and they were done with us in a couple of hours, so pretty quick and painless really.

But let me tell you what was not so easy—separating the conjoined twins so that Jordan could go to the appointment alone with me. This meant leaving Jadon behind, which shouldn’t really be a big deal. Oh, but it was. Very big. As soon as he caught wind of the fact that I was leaving the house and that Jordan was going with me, he immediately began rushing around, gathering shoes and mismatched clothing so that he, too, could go with us.

He begged. “Peeeeease, Mama.”

He demanded. “I go with Jo-Jo!”

He reasoned. “Jay-Jay need to go school, too.”

All to no avail. Jordan and I left as scheduled and drove across town to the building where the pre-school and testing centers are housed, and all was actually fairly calm…until we walked in the door.

Ok, seriously, do these people not know that some of their kids have attention-related issues and tend to short circuit when presented with more than one stimulating item at once? Because, I can tell them now, I nearly watched my kid’s head explode as he tried to process what to do first and then next and then next…and so on.

As soon as we walked in, we were greeted by a nice lady who really would have liked to have held my attention for more than 2 seconds. I’m sure she would have, because she kept pausing and waiting for me to finish redirecting Jordan before she continued. Except that never happened. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve now been diagnosed with ADHD, and I wasn’t even the one getting tested.

But here’s the situation. We walked in, and immediately across from the nice lady who was supposed to greet us and get our information was a fish tank. With fish. Lots of fish. Brightly colored fish that were swimming all around. And Jordan was off, and the rest of the filling-out-paperwork session went sort of like this:

“Jordan, don’t put your hand in the fish tank. Yes, he’s three. Jordan, don’t leave. No, he doesn’t talk. Yes, he’s always this busy. Jordan, don’t lick the glass. Jordan, we don’t need all the books. Yes, ma’am, we’re concerned that he’s behind for his age. Jordan, you can’t go outside right now. Jordan, Mommy has juice. Do you want juice? No, we don’t have his complete medical record. Jordan, don’t get in this nice lady’s file cabinet.”

And so on. So, I’m not really sure what I told the nice lady at our initial screening, but I’m pretty sure she’s convinced that I need Ritalin or something. I’m not sure I got a complete sentence out during the entire conversation, but she must have gotten what she needed, because it didn’t take her long to tell me to have a seat, that someone would be with me shortly. Really, what she was probably thinking was, “Downer, anyone?”

Our wait wasn’t too long, but it’s funny how much havoc a determined 3-year-old can wreak in a few short minutes. Just as Jordan finally plopped himself, back to everyone else, in front of a chosen toy, they called us back for the first part of the assessment. This is the only part where Jordan had to go in alone, one on one with the teacher. It’s funny how she left the waiting area with him in tow, looking all groomed and professional, but when she brought him back, she sort of looked like she had been hit by a tornado. Oh yeah, that’s my kid.

Then we went to do the speech analysis, where I promptly told the lady that he doesn’t talk. She gave me a “there-there” sort of look and stopped just short of rolling her eyes and saying, “Yeah, right.” So, I thought, ok, see for yourself.

She proceeded to ask him some questions, and that part went something like this:

Teacher: Jordan, can you tell me what this is?

Jordan: Mmmmm

Teacher: Jordan, what’s your name? (Really, lady? You have to give away the answer in the question?)

Jordan: Mmmmm

Teacher: Jordan, how old are you?

Jordan: Mmmmm

Teacher: (Toward me) Maybe you are right. He doesn’t say a lot.

That’s when it was my turn to do the eye-roll and “there-there” look, but I refrained. I was adult and professional, and all I said was something like, “I told you so! I was right, and you were wrong!” sort of in a sing-songy playground voice. Ok, I didn’t…but I really, really wanted to.

Long story short, that boy can work a mean puzzle and can organize just about any shape you hand him, but if you ask him to tell you about it, he’ll look at you and grunt. No words. Just grunting…and gestures. It’s sort of like a frantic game of charades when he’s upset and I can’t figure out what he wants. Sounds like…looks like…starts with…you get the picture.

At last, we moved on to the hearing and vision test where the ultra-hilarious lady said, “Now, if you’ll just hold him still on your lap…” I didn’t catch the rest of it because I was laughing so hard. Hysterical! She wanted him to sit still. On my lap. Uh-huh, and I want to win the lottery, too.

So Jordan gets to go to pre-school next school year, four days a week, for 3 hours a day, which will really be good for him. I think it will help for him to be around other kids and different teachers who can help him even more. Now, we just have the Children’s Mercy appointment ahead of us, and when we get specifics from them, we can forward them on to the school. We are on the road to helping our little guy!

And I still have to figure out how this separation thing is going to work for the boys. As soon as we got back into the house, Jadon ran over to Jordan and hugged his legs, which were dangling because I was carrying him, and said, “My Jo-Jo home.” I know it’ll be good for them to have some time apart, too, and not be so attached at the hip—but you know, it’s sort of cute to see them sticking together, too.

Pardon the Brief Interruption

I am forced to interrupt my insane tales of parenting hijinks momentarily so that I may focus on an issue that has recently come to my attention. I have recently learned that there are people (some of them even friends) who do not wish to have anything to do with scuba diving. I KNOW, right? I mean, I was shocked to find out there was no Santa Claus, and equally dismayed to learn that the Easter Bunny was fictional, but I think I might need therapy to help me get over the fact that there are actually people who don’t want to get into the water and explore.

From this point on, I am dedicating myself to spreading the joy of the underwater world to all those non-believing landlubbers out there (well this will, of course, be alongside my dedication to preserving my sanity by attempting accepted parenting techniques). In order to accomplish my new goal of earning an honorary set of gills for every human being, I have had to do some thinking as to my persuasive tactics and techniques when it comes to coaxing humans into the water.

There are numerous tactics you may use, but I have narrowed my list down to the most logical and effective courses of action. Feel free to ad-lib as necessary when coercing a non-diver into the water, as it is simply unacceptable to be so highly outnumbered by landlubbers.

Here are some of my top suggestions for coaxing a hesitant human into the water:

  • Put a shark in the boat.

Now, this may seem illogical at first, but stick with me. Most landlubbers are scared of sharks (I dunno why, but they are), so it is logical that if they are face-to-face with a shark on the boat, they will take the shortest path away from the shark—which will conveniently be by jumping off the boat. And there you go! Give ‘em a tank and a regulator, and they’re ready to dive.

  • Show off your ultra-stylish and coordinating mask/fins/snorkel package in the latest shade of raspberry pink.

This is sure to cause equipment envy and should get them in the water in no time, if for no other reason than to try to look as cool as you do in the newest gear. Just remember to show your confidence—nothing looks as hot as a neoprene wetsuit. Nothing.

  • Tell stories of ‘The One That Got Away.’

And by that, I mean, elaborate on the wonderful, mythical half-mermaid/half-bunny creature you saw underwater on your last dive. (And by no means are you to mention sharks or barracuda—these are a turn-off to not-yet-seasoned divers.) Make sure you mention how cuddly and snuggly the creature was and how you can’t imagine how you’ve made it your entire life without seeing it before now.

  • Tell the landlubber you are hunting for treasure.

True, the only treasure you are likely to find is an old tire or rusted-out can, but there’s no need to mention that part. Hopefully, they will be lured in by hopes of finding Blackbeard’s treasure at whatever dive site you may choose. (But if you’re diving at the lake, you are going to need to make up something more creative than Blackbeard’s treasure, because chances are, they won’t believe you.)

  • Talk like a pirate.

Or even better yet, hire a sexy pirate-looking (or wench-looking, depending on the landlubber you are working with) instructor to teach them the ways of the sea. It wouldn’t hurt if said pirate were sporting an open shirt and a 6-pack (if we’re talking male pirates), along with sea-touseled hair pulled back by a faded and rugged-looking bandana. I’d skip the peg-leg though…that’s pretty low on the hotness scale.

  • Act like you are drowning.

This is a particularly desperate move, but if you happen to be with a fairly good friend, it just might work. They might, out of the goodness of their heart and a sense of decency, jump in to save you. Then, just in the knick of time, just as they save you from your fate, you could “happen” to spot the coolest stingray EVER, and presto! Your landlubber would be hooked.

Remember, no matter what, you’ll need to use every creative resource at your disposal to lure these naysayers into the water. They are crafty in their refusal to get anywhere near the big saltwater pool, so you will have to tempt them with tales of the safest, most likeable, and relaxing adventure ever. And remember, never, ever—under no circumstances—should you mention the man-eating squid that is lurking beneath the boat.