Monday, January 17, 2011


Some people say that children are like blank slates, ready for us parents to etch upon their lives the most important lessons.

Other people say that children are like sponges, soaking up everything around them as they learn about the world.

I say children are like Jell-O, and I'll tell you why. (Pretend you see "TM" every time you see that brand name, okay?)
Gelatin Dessert
(See, I picked green because I'm a Mormon. It's an inside joke.)

One of my children is like Jell-O that refuses come out of the mold. Her mold is safe and secure. Don't mess with her mold. She'll come out when she's good and ready, alright?

Another of my children melts into a puddle of warm Jell-O on the floor when things don't go her way. I wonder which flavor is the most dramatic...

Talking to my teenage boy is like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall. (I borrowed that one. It's so perfect, though!)

My youngest child is like the Jell-O that won't set up. Constantly moving, and I am constantly redirecting. Wait! He was just here! Where did he go?

My spicy boy is like green Jell-O with shredded carrots in it. What the heck is going on inside that one, and who decided that was a good combination???

Most of the time, getting my kids out the door on time is like pushing Jell-O up the stairs. It's just as messy and uncooperative as you are imagining.

Thankfully, I have one boy who is like Jell-O Jigglers all. the. time. Giggly and delightful, easily moldable, and doesn't mind uneven (hair)cuts. He still even lets me hold him. Everyone loves Jell-O Jigglers!

The great thing about Jell-O is that it comes in many different varieties, and they are all sweet. Give it the right conditions and the right amount of time, and every flavor tastes great. So what if sometimes it won't come out of the mold? So what if it doesn't set up? Come on. We all know Jell-O is not supposed to be a wall decoration anyway. And the green Jell-O with carrots? I know for sure my uncle likes it.* It's all good.

So are my children. Give them enough time and the right conditions, they'll turn out just fine. (Please?)

*In 2000, my grandmother passed away, and afterward there was a family meal served at the church by some ladies in her congregation. It's a very Mormon thing to do. Anyway, My uncle was in front of my brother and me in the food line and he exclaimed, "Ooh, they have green salad!" My brother looked and looked, and not a single lettuce leaf was to be found. Instead there was a very lovely, green Jell-O "salad" on display. Only in Utah, folks. Only in Utah.

One more thing...I even have a brain Jell-O mold. So, if you ever need a Halloween treat, let me know.


  1. I love this, Cheryl! What a great way of thinking about our kids.

    Jello is considered a salad in Wisconsin as well, I believe! And it's a must-have at every potluck!

  2. You crack me up!!! I have a very good friend who is Mormon who looks fantastic like you and has about as many kiddies ...... how the heck do you girls do it??

  3. This is great! I always read, but rarely comment. This time, I just couldn't pass it up.
    Thanks for your wit and the love and understanding you have for kids. We all feel that way most of us just don't take the time to write it down. You are one of my heroes!

  4. So very accurate, and yes with time and patience the Jell-o turn out alright. Just look at your husband.
    Love your blog.

  5. You are just so witty Cheryl! Although I don't eat jello (or any gelatin), I can so relate to your comparisons. And if I did eat the "green stuff" I would probably LOVE carrots in it !lOL

  6. This is awesome! So true girl.
    Kids are like Jello...

    Mine might be a mixed packet though. lol He's a little of everything you mentioned. AACK

  7. I like your Jell-O analogy. Another one came to my mind when I was reading your post. Kids can also be like Jell-o when you're trying to pound important information into them it just bounces right off or righat back at you (instead of going in one ear and out the other :-).

  8. I laughed out loud! That's a good way to start the morning.

  9. You know, I'll never look at Jell-o in quite the same way again...