Melissa Gibson Photography » Melissa Gibson Photography

One of the hardest things about having children so far apart in age is switching my brain back and forth when dealing with them.  You know, things like reminding the teen about changing the sheets on her bed and then turning around to see a butt naked toddler licking the fridge.

That’s a quick flip of the switch right there.

Lately though, I have found that there are many similarities between toddlers and teens.  In finding these similarities, it has made my job a teeny bit easier.

Just a teeny bit.

First of all they both start with ‘T’, but that’s the obvious one.

  1.  They are both into fake news.  


Me to Toddler:  Did you poop your pants?

Her:  *shakes head no* while refusing to look up from puzzle

Me:  Then what’s that stinky smell?

Her:  …….

Me to Teen:  Did you wash all of your dirty clothes that were piled up in the closet floor?

Her:  *shakes head yes* while refusing to look up from guitar

Me:  Then what’s that stinky smell?

Her:  …….


2.  They both like really annoying music. 


Me to Toddler:  I’m tired of listening to The Hokey Pokey.

Me to Teen:  I’m tired of listening to Post Malone.


3.  They both use a weird language that only their kind understands. 

Toddler:   “gock” = clock, “eh-mo” = Elmo and “BopBop”= mommy

Teen:  “you’re so extra” = doing the absolute most for no good reason, “nub” = dork


4.  They both get mad about the most random things


Toddler falls on the floor into a total meltdown because I gave her the green cup instead of the orange one.

Teen puts on her best mad face because I told her we are moving to Alabama.  Just kidding.  I simply waved goodbye to her as she stood at the bus stop.


5.  They both don’t want ANYONE to look in their general direction. 


Toddler screams for 45 minutes during the car ride home because her sister looked over at her foot.

Teen says, “Can you tell ____ to stop looking at me?  SHE’S BEING ANNOYING.”


6.  They both want to wear inappropriate clothing. 


Me to Toddler:  We don’t wear diapers on our heads.

Me to Teen:  We don’t wear sport shorts in 23 degree weather.  (At least she had on socks with her Birkenstocks?)


7.  They both enjoy strange hairstyles. 


Toddler wears a high top waterfall-style ponytail in the center of her head.

Teen wears a fanned out 50s-style bun with whispys all down in her face.


8.  You tell them the same thing over and over again. And over. And over. And over.


Me to Toddler:  Take the paci out of your mouth to talk.

Me to Teen:  Take the earbuds out of your ears to talk.

So see?  Now that you’re thinking about this, you’re figuring out that they really ARE the same.  And that makes it easier, right?  WRONG.  It’s still the trickiest of tricks trying to go between both ages.  Because right now the teen is about to go play her guitar followed by yet ANOTHER 30 minute bath (what a life!) while the toddler is filling her cheeks with craft poof balls.

Bless it.




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Ms. Ruth

Grandmother Ruthie

Ruth Galloway Gibson

The Matriarch

Last night, as Tony told our girls that their Great Grandmother, Mamaw Ruth, had passed away, I held tightly to the littlest Gibson as she babbled and *bonked* my nose.  I couldn’t help but think of just how blessed we’ve been to have all these years of Mamaw.  How blessed our girls are to have had a Great Grandmother who was so “with it” even at 92.  Tony prayed and mentioned that he hoped that our girls would have that same tenacity, stubbornness, work ethic, spunk and never-give-in attitude that Mamaw Ruth had.

That’s EXACTLY what I want, too.

The last we saw Mamaw she remembered some of us, while the little girls had to keep introducing themselves to her.  I explained to them each time we visited that it’s like meeting someone for the first time, over and over again.  They didn’t mind.  We would all sit on Mamaw’s old bed to be as close to her as we could be as she lay in her new bed.  Even as tired as she was, even as old as she was, she still held a conversation like she did 25 years ago.  It was always a sweet time visiting her.  It’s the way we want to remember her.

Let me add, that I adore old people. I LOVE THEM.  Especially when they are family.  Even MORE when they are family.  I just can’t get enough of old people.  I loved sitting near her, helping her and talking with her. The one thing she would tell me every single time we were there…

“this place I’m in has a box…I think it’s right around that spot over there (pointing to the hallway by her room)…it’s a box and you put your clothes in it and you know what it does?  It WASHES them for you.”

“Really Mamaw?! Oh my that is AMAZING!”

“it really is, but you know when it’s done washing them you put them in the other box and it will DRY THEM.  You just push a button and walk away.  But, you still have to press them later.  If you want to.”

She was really into those washing machine moments.  I’m guessing it was a pretty big deal when she was able to purchase one for herself so many years back that she’s still holding on to that moment.

Although she was in her own home all the way up until her death, she’d often refer to it as “this place” when we talked.  We brought KFC to her a few months back and as she’s eating, we are chatting.  I asked her what else she loves to eat other than chicken and mashed potatoes.

“Well.  They have this thing in this place here.  It’s called ‘breakfast’?  I like to eat that.”

Oh. My. Goodness.

On our last visit, as I said my goodbyes to her (we weren’t supposed to get close to her face because she was extremely contagious at the time, but I just couldn’t NOT kiss her head), she patted my hand and said “you’re a good momma”.  All I could do was smile and say “you’re a really good momma, too, Mamaw”.

Man.  I’m gonna miss that Ruthie Gibson.

On this same visit, I overheard portions of this conversation Tony had with her as he sat by her bedside with the big girls and I played with Josie just outside the door.  She always loved to point out the window next to her bed and talk about the tree in her backyard. Thankfully, Tony wrote down all of what was said on his phone that day so he wouldn’t forget.  I’ll just copy and paste it here, because I love the way it’s written.

Ruth Gibson 12.30.17

Her: Oh Tony how are you?
Me: Great, so glad to see you. How are you?
Her: I’m good. Next time I see you I’ll be dancing on this bed. You ready for that?
Me: I sure am.
Her: I’m going to come down and visit with you when I get out of here for at least a week. I won’t be, how do you say it…”a nuisance” will I?
Me: Of course not and you can stay as long as you like.
Her: I have some great people working here to take care of me.
Me: You deserve every bit of that.
Her: The government sent me this new bed and no cost to me.
Me: You deserve it for all the taxes you have paid.
Her: (Smile) That’s right.
Me: What was your favorite job?
Her: Planting that tree right there. I’ve enjoyed watching it grow every year. How is your business? You staying busy? Where all are you working now?

Me: We are. Most of it is in Atlanta now.
Her: You still working hard? How many people do you have now.
Me: Yes, 185.
Her: You have room for one more?
Me: Absolutely. You want to come to work at Gibson?
Her: Yes, I’d like to see how you work everyday. Are you still happy with what you do?
Me: Yes
Her: You have good people?
Me: Yes they are the best.
Her: But you have to straighten them out sometimes?
Me: Yes, sometimes.
Her: Well they are employees. You know I had many in my time. I could come help you keep them straight.
Me: Remember bringing me that article when I was 16 about another kid making 40K by cutting grass and stating “You keep working and you’ll make a real business out of this”?
Her: Yes, I sure do. You remember what you said?
Me: Yes I do, I said “no way!” “I’m going to college and make something of myself”
Her: What’s your favorite part of what you do?
Me: Planting trees like that one right there and watching it grow.

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  • Judy Caroleen Mingus - What precious memories your family can cherish until you see her again. She was a kind, thoughtful, charitable understanding lady. You have to admire her heart for the ones who had made “not so good decisions.” The kindness she showed them and encouraged them with God’s word.

    Love and prayers for her family,

    Judy MingusReplyCancel

  • Judy Mingus - Precious remembrance of a wonderful self-giving lady until you see her again. She was dedicated to those who made “not so good decisions” and ministered them with Gods word and positive direction.

    Love and prayers for her family and friends

    Judy MingusReplyCancel

  • Grandma - Sweet ❤️🙏😘ReplyCancel