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The Talk, Round Two September 16, 2013

The day was August 26th, 2013.  It was the first day of school for all four of my little monsters.  I was broken after almost 3 months of them being at home and me not having a single linear thought in my head in just as much time.  I hadn’t slept well the night before because I was tossing and turning thinking about my oldest child starting middle school.  I was also a bit emotional because once again, the start of school reminds me that my children are growing and changing quickly.  What I’m trying to convey, dear readers, is that it was absolutely NOT the day to have the sex talk with my child.  Especially not the child with whom I had the talk.  Not.  At.  All.

I had been through “the talk” last summer with my daughter.  It wasn’t something that I welcomed by any means, but my daughter is a good listener and I knew that she would take it all in stride.  Now, my oldest son?  Out of all my children, he is the one I feared telling the most.  To describe him as inquisitive would be a massive understatement.  The kid gives us the third degree about everything.  He is constantly looking up words because not only does he need definitions he needs to know everything about the word, origin and all.  It’s the same with facts.  He wants facts and wants evidence to support the facts.  He is not a child who will accept the phrase, “Just because.” No sir.  He is smart as a whip but he is exhausting.

Knowing this about my son, I have dreaded having  the “talk” with him for some time.  He started asking about it this past summer.  I was a chicken and blew him off several times because I just couldn’t face what was ahead of me.  I didn’t think I had it in me to answer all of his questions openly and honestly.  You know what?  I was right in being afraid.  So, here is the story of my oldest son learning about the birds and the bees……..Lord help me.

As I mentioned before, it was the first day of school.  The kids were all home and happy after what was a good first day.  My two youngest sons went with my husband to the pool and I was left with the two oldest kids, my daughter and son.  My daughter wanted to make chocolate chip cookies for a back to school treat and asked if I could take her to the grocery store to buy the ingredients.  My son came along for the ride.  We had a good time talking and laughing about school, their teachers and their friends.  We started discussing school holidays and when they had school breaks.  My son asked if our friends, the Scotts (hee, hee) would be joining us for Thanksgiving dinner this year.  I explained that of course they were welcome but Mrs. Scott was due to have a baby around that time so it may not work out.  Simple enough…….or so I thought.

It was quiet as we pulled into the garage.  I got out of the car and opened the trunk to get the groceries.  My son appeared out of nowhere and asked, ” Mom, does sex have something to do with babies?”  I almost dropped the milk I was carrying.  My daughter grabbed a bag and as she walked away called over her shoulder,  “Will you just have the sex talk with him already?”  My son put his hands on my shoulders, looked me dead in the eyes and said, ” You have been telling me we would have the talk all summer.  I am not leaving the garage until you tell me how babies are made.”  I look up to see my daughter right behind us, just shaking her head in disgust,  ” Really mom, you just need to get it over with.”  She is a pain in the ass.

I looked at my son, took a deep breath and replied,  ” Alright. Put the groceries away and meet me in the living room.” He yelled, “Yes!” My daughter said, in the bored way that only an 11-year-old girl can really master, “It’s about time, don’t you think?”  One sex talk and now she’s the parenting expert.

I poured myself a drink ( just iced tea mind you, but I contemplated a glass of wine) and made myself comfortable on the couch.  My son sat on the chair opposite me, literally on the edge of his seat. I took a deep breath and began.

Me: ” When a man and a woman love each other very much and are committed to each other they may want to have a family.  So they have sex to make a baby.”

Coop: “So, only married people have sex and babies?  What about that girl up the street who has that baby?  She lives with her mom and she’s not married.”

Me: ” Um, yes, but it’s better to be mature and um, in a committed relationship before, you know, making a baby.”

Coop: ” You mean have sex? Do you make a baby every time you have sex?  Is that only what sex is for?”

Sweet Jesus, I was already uncomfortable and unprepared and it wasn’t even 5 freaking minutes into the discussion.

Me: ” Can you just let me finish before you ask anymore questions?  Save them for the end, okay?” I hoped he would forget most of them.

Coop:” Okay. So what is sex?”

Me: ” Well, I told you when two people love each oth..”

Coop, cutting me off: ” Yeah, I know but what IS it?”

Me: Why was I doing this alone? Where in the hell was my husband? ” Okay, so sex is..” I was cut off by my daughter yelling from the other room, ” It’s when a man puts his penis in a woman’s vagina!” I was seriously going to ground that child for life.

Coop, Wide eyes looking at me: ” What??? Is that true??”

Me, nodding my head: ” Well, yes, but..”

Coop, laughing uncontrollably: ” AHAHAHAHAHAHA!! No way! Really??”

Me, yelling over my shoulder: ” Hey! You let me have the talk with your brother! Knock it off!” I heard giggling from the kitchen.

Caroline: ” Okay, I was just helping.”

Me, trying to regain some control: “Yes, that’s what sex is and how a man and woman make a baby.  See, the man’s sperm meets with a woman’s egg and when the timing is right that makes a baby.”

Coop: ” How does the sperm come out?”

Me, well shit: ” Well, a man, he….um…..he…..see, what happens is..” Cut off again by the flipping sex ed teacher in  the kitchen.

Caroline: ” He emasculates. That’s when the sperm comes out of the penis.” WHAT???? This was rapidly going downhill.

Me: ” No, a man does not “emasculate.” Caroline, I mean it, NO MORE! A man ejaculates. Big difference, believe me.”

Coop: “So, is that like peeing?” Please, someone help me.

Me: ” Well, no it’s not. It’s a bit more complicated than that. It’s……it’s when….well, I…maybe we should wait until your dad gets home for this part?”

Coop: “Where do you have sex?”

Me: “Where? Umm….”

Caroline: ” On the bathroom floor.” Okay, that did it! Obviously, I had failed big time when I had the talk with her.

Me: ” What in the world are you talking about, Caroline? No Coop, it doesn’t happen on the bathroom floor. Good grief. It usually happens in a bed.”

Caroline: ” Oh, I thought it was on bathroom floor. Huh.” I guess that’s what happens when they don’t ask questions, they just make crap up.

Coop: ” So where did you and Dad make me?” Wait, did he just ask about me and his dad? Oh, this was going very badly.

Me: ” Coop, I think maybe we should wait for your Dad…really.” My head started pounding.

Coop: ” How do you do it? Do you lay down? Does a man get on top of a woman, like this?” He climbed on the coffee table and demonstrated. Jesus, Mary and Joseph (as my mom would say) I had to make this stop. ” Was Dad on top of you?” Why was he talking about me and his father????

Caroline: ” Ewww, I don’t want to know.” Finally, she had a good point.

Coop: ” Are you naked when you have sex? Were you and Dad naked?” Kill me now. Just kill me. This was a nightmare, an absolute nightmare.

Me: ” Umm, yes people are usually naked.”

Coop: ” Does the butt have anything to do with it?”

Me: For the love of God, “Umm, no.” Please, no more questions.

Coop: ” Do boobs have anything to do with it?”

Me: “No.”

Coop: ” How does the penis get in the woman? It seems like that would be difficult to do.” Sigh, why had I agreed to this?

Caroline: ” During our reproduction unit last year, Mrs. B said that when a man is attracted to a woman, his penis gets hard.” Really, why was I even there? She could have just had the whole talk herself.

Caroline: ” Also, I heard that men think about sex every 7 seconds.” She smiled at me like she was helping or something.

Coop: ” Does Dad think about sex every 7 seconds?” Probably like, every 3 seconds, wait! I had to get this whole thing back on track.

Me: ” Cooper, making babies is a very special thing that happens between a man and a woman that love each other. It’s a miracle. I think there are some questions that you should ask your dad because he’s a guy and he can explain some things better than I can.” Please, please accept that answer……PLEASE!

Coop: ” You and Dad had sex four times? How long does it take for a baby to grow inside a woman and be ready to come out?”

Me: ” Pregnancy is about nine months.”

Coop: ” So, the last time you and Dad had sex (why did he keep bringing it back to us????) was about 9 months before Blake was born? So, about 5 years ago? That was the last time?”

Me: ” Uh……yes.” Don’t judge me.

Coop: ” Okaaaay…….so the Scotts had sex recently?”

Me: ” Yep, I guess so.” As long as he wasn’t asking anymore questions about me and his father, I would throw the ding dang Scotts under the bus.

Coop: ” How long has Caroline known about this?”

Me: ” We told her last summer.”

Coop: ” Does G (his buddy) know?”

Me: “Yes.”

Coop: ” Does C (another buddy) know?”

Me: ” Yes.”

Coop, after thinking for a bit: ” Will I want to have sex?”

Me: ” Yes. Someday.”

Coop: ” Does Dad still want to have sex with you even though you aren’t having anymore babies?” I think I passed out for a bit.

Me: ” Cooper, I am not going to discuss me and your Dad with you.”

Coop: ” Okay…..can I have ice cream?” Now, that was a question I could answer.

Coop left the room and went outside to play baseball. Caroline was still sitting in the room with me. She smiled at me and said, ” Well, I’m glad that’s over with. Aren’t you?” Yes, yes I am. Two down, two to go……

 

Mom Fail June 18, 2013

Hello friends!  It has been quite awhile since I have posted but I am back with a few stories to share. 

I want to talk about “mom (or parent) fails.”  Unlike “mom guilt”, “mom fails” are experiences that your children will, without a doubt,  point to when they are adults and say,  ” Yep, that was the moment she screwed me up.”  They are the moments they will absolutely tell their therapists about in their later years.  Honestly, I have so many “mom fail” examples that it was difficult to narrow them down for this post.  I have picked the worst (in my mind) of the bunch to share with all of you.

When my daughter was a baby, she would  scream bloody murder when she was in her car seat.  I mean SCREAM.  It was so upsetting, it had me in tears many times.  When she was about 18 months old, we were headed back from the airport in Washington state, it was about an hour drive.  Just like all the other times, she started screaming and crying at some point along the way.  I was so annoyed by this behavior at this point that I turned around and told her to knock it off, that mommy had had it.  She looked at me and proceeded to puke all over the backseat.  I was convinced it was the food she had eaten on the plane.

Fast forward a few months, and we were on our way to a new state.  Our car was all packed and Caroline was all set up in the backseat with her coloring books, books and puzzles.  We were not a half hour into our trip when she started whimpering and I said, ” Oh, no. Don’t start.  We have a 6 hour drive.  Look at your books and behave.”  Two minutes later, I heard a huge splash and she had yet again, puked all over the backseat.  ” Hmmm, another tummy bug?”  I thought.  Y’all, this happened about a dozen or so times over the next year.  I would scold her for crying and tell her to deal with it and to just read her books or color.  It wasn’t until my mother said,  ” You know, she probably gets carsick?”  Ummmm, no, that hadn’t crossed my mind once.  No, I just yelled at my poor carsick child every time she cried and felt sick.  Strike one.

When my oldest son was about 2, we lived in Atlanta, Georgia.  One morning, my husband and I decided to take Caroline and Cooper to a children’s museum downtown.  We packed up our bags and headed out.  We arrived downtown, found a parking space, took out the stroller, put Cooper in and set out through busy downtown Atlanta.  We were looking around and pointing buildings out to the children when we came to a busy street.  We stopped at the traffic light and waited to cross.  When the “walk” light came on, we stepped down off the curb and PLOP went Cooper right out of the stroller, onto his face on a busy street in downtown Atlanta.  Nope, neither my husband nor I had bothered to buckle him into the stroller.  Now, I know what you’re thinking, mistakes happen.  Yes, that is true but what made this mistake worse was that my husband and I could not stop laughing.  Of course, we picked up our sweet boy and made sure he was alright but we couldn’t stop laughing in the process.  Strike 2.

About two years ago, around Halloween,  my daughter asked to watch Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video.  Now, my children are not easily frightened.  Honestly, they just aren’t bothered by things like ghost stories and such.  I agreed to let my daughter and oldest son watch the video.  I found it on the computer for them then pressed play.  Well, unbeknownst to me, my four year old son, Brady, had come into the room.  About 2 minutes into the video, he starts screaming at the top of his lungs and crying.  His hands were over his ears and he went running through the house yelling, ” Stop!!! Why would you show me that?????  WHY??????”  Now, it must be stated that Brady is a bit, okay, a huge bit, overdramatic. He started hyperventilating and rolling around, wailing and saying, ” Why, why, why, why????”  Now, he didn’t even actually see anything scary but it was enough to give him nightmares for a good month afterward.  Strike 3.

Last summer, on our way down to Florida for our family vacation, we decided to stop in Savannah, GA.  We walked around and explored that beautiful city and our kids asked to go on one of those trolley ghost tours.  It went around the city and basically gave a history lesson with a few ghost tales thrown in.  Our kids love history and we thought they would love it.  We were told that it wasn’t scary and besides, it was at about 6 pm so it was still light on that summer evening.  We boarded the trolley and set out on our adventure.  It was interesting and fun and the kids ( well, the 10 and 8 year olds) were really engrossed in the tales of the city.  At the end of the tour, the trolley stopped at an old ship chandlery ( a place that used to sell nautical items long ago) along the river.  As we were getting off the trolley, the tour guide stopped my husband and said, ” This is a staged part of the tour and it might get dark.”  Well, our kids aren’t scared of the dark so we decided to go on in.  We moved in to the old store and it was indeed dark and cold, with it’s stone walls and floors, but it was neat as well.  We took our seats in the back of the store.  Everything was lit by candlelight and it was a bit spooky, but the kids seemed fine……before all hell broke loose.

The “candle maker” came into the room and started telling a ghost story about a sea hag or “witch.”  He played his part well and told the spooky story to perfection, but the kids were enjoying it.  Then, a huge wind blew through the shop, the lights went out, doors started slamming and a witch flew by the window.  All 4 kids started screaming.  My daughter was holding onto my husband saying, ” Daddy! Help!” My oldest son kept taking deep breaths and saying, ” It’s okay, it’s okay.” and whimpering.  My 5 year old was sobbing and burying his face in my shirt crying, ” Mama, mama, mama!!!!!!”  My 3 year old just scooted closer to my husband, shoved his thumb in his mouth and sucked ferociously.  My husband and I looked at each other and just laughed.  Strike 4.

The final “mom fail” I will share with you, is referred to as the “circus day incident” in our house.  I believe, thus far, in my son Brady’s 6 years, that this has traumatized him the most.

Last year, when Brady was 5 and in preschool, the 4 year old classes all had a circus unit.  It was cute and they did circus themed crafts and read circus stories.  At the end of the unit, they had “circus day” for which they were able to dress up as a circus character.  As I mentioned, all the four year old classes were doing the circus theme and they all had circus day……..but on different days.

We carpooled with our neighbors to preschool last year.  My friend and I took turns dropping off and picking up our boys from school.  The boys were in different classes and they each always came home with many papers and crafts and since they didn’t have a backpack, sometimes their papers and art got mixed up.  Well, I picked up the boys one day and brought home what I thought were Brady’s papers.  I saw a paper saying that Brady’s circus day was going to be the next week and he was to come dressed as his favorite circus character.

Circus day came and we dressed Brady as the strong man.  He wore his Hulk costume and was excited.  My friend picked Brady up and took him to school that day.  I saw that his friend was also dressed for circus day and I thought nothing of it.  Well, Brady came home from school without his costume on because it just so happened that that day was NOT his circus day, it was his friend’s circus day.  Brady came in and asked, ” Why did you send me in that costume?  I was the only kid in my class in a costume.”  I apologized and explained that I read the wrong paper.  Brady was not understanding.  He said, ” Mom, that was embarrassing.”  He brings this mom fail up every few months and tells me just how humiliating it was.  Every time he has had to dress up for school since then, he grills me about the date and time asking, ” You’re sure? Remember what happened in preschool?” I will never be able to live that one down.  Ever.

There you have it, a few of my “greatest hits” if you will.  There are many more and if you ever want to feel better about your own parenting, just ask me about my “mom fails.”  I assure you that you will not be let down.

 

Calgone, take me away…… February 26, 2013

I never get “free” time. Seriously, even when I get me time it usually involves doing something for my kids or they are all up in my ding dang business. I’m not complaining, it is what it is. I know when they are teenagers I’ll probably miss them pushing notes under the bathroom door while I’m trying to go. Maybe?

What I don’t understand is why they NEVER bother their father when he’s showering, pooping or on the phone. When I’ve asked them about this they have actually had the nerve to tell me that, ” Dad doesn’t want us to bother him.” What. The. Hell? What about my yelling, ” LEAVE ME ALONE FOR 5 FLIPPING MINUTES” has led you to believe that I want y’all to bother ME????

My husband says, rather smugly, that it’s because I have “allowed” this behavior to happen and now they don’t see boundaries. Please spare me. I am pretty sure I have set boundaries and they just don’t give a crap.

Last night I wanted to take a hot bath. When I tell my kids where I’m going they always act like I’m going on two- week trip to Siberia and they ask all kinds of questions that I’m positive that they come up with when I tell them I’m taking a bath: Did you sign my homework sheet? Can you look over my paragraph? Where’s Red Hulk? Can you make me chocolate milk? Can you play a game with me? These requests always come after they have otherwise been ignoring me for the last three hours.

Last night, my three sons were at a friend’s house, so it was just my daughter asking questions. Then she had the nerve to whine, ” But I wanted to take a bath! You’ll use all the hot water!” You’re damn right I’ll use all the hot water. Now, leave me alone. I got my beer and book and headed for 20 minutes of relative “peace.”

I had about 5 minutes of solitude when I heard my bedroom door slam open and see the bathroom doorknob twist back and forth (of course I locked the door). Then the rapid knocking started.
Me: ” WHAT? Who is it?”

Blake: ” Uh…..Blake Blake Kew-eee (Kelly). Is that you, mommy?” Who the hell does the kid think it is??? Bob, from down the street?

Me: ” Yes, it’s mommy and I’m taking a bath. I’ll be out in a little while. Why don’t you go play with your playdoh while daddy is making dinner?”

Blake: ” No, I don’t want to. Open this door, mom. I’m home from E’s house. Did you know I’m home?”

Me: “Yes, I can hear that you are home. Did you have a good time? I want to hear all about it when I’m out of the bath.I will come find you and you can tell me AFTER my bath.”

Blake: ” Well, we wrestled and played fuperheros (superheros). We watched TV and Fofie is fo funny(Sofie, the dog, is so funny). We were running”……..balh, blah, blah.

Me: ” Blake?” He was still rambling on and on. ” Blake?” Still going. ” BLAKE!!!!!”

Blake: Finally stopped, ” What, mommy?”

Me: ” Go downstairs with daddy, okay? I will talk to you in a bit. Go on, mommy wants privacy.”

Blake, quiet for a few seconds, then:” Um…….where was I? Oh yeah, then we played in E’s room and…..”

Me: ” Blake stop it! Leave the room now! I mean it!”

Blake: ” Mommy, get out of that bath, I hungey.”

Me: ” Dad is in the kitchen! Go ask him for some cheese or crackers. GO ON!”

Blake: ” What we having for dinner?”

Me, freaking out and yelling at this point: ” BLAKE, GO OUT OF HERE NOW!!!! DAD IS MAKING DINNER! ASK HIM!!! NOOOOOWWWW!”

Blake: ” Ooookaaay……….Mommy?……..Mommy?”

Me, growling: ” What?”

Blake” ” Can I have some almond milk?”

You get the picture? I spent 15 of my 25 minute bath trying to get him to leave me the flip alone. When I came downstairs my husband asked, ” How was your bath?” Blake smiled and said, ” It was great! Right, mommy?” Ding. Dang.

 

When They Grow Up January 16, 2013

When my kids start doing something new, I immediately think that it’s their “calling.”  When my daughter started building intricate buildings with Legos, I thought, ” She will be an architect!”  When my son started to really enjoy drawing I thought, ” He will be the next Picasso! ” All four of them like to argue, they will be lawyers!  The list goes on and on.  In reality,  they probably won’t be anything I have imagined.  It’s just my obsessive need to control everything, even the future, taking over.

My 3 year old son has recently developed a love of telling stories.  Granted, his stories are quite often nonsensical and sound like the ramblings of a mad man, but they are stories nonetheless.  He honestly has pretty decent timing when it comes to comical stories and he also likes to use new words.  Of course in my eyes, this all points to the inevitable fact that he will be a Pulitzer Prize winning author one day…….of course.

Today, he and I were eating lunch and when he was finished he jumped up from table, pronounced he had a story to tell me and that he had to go upstairs to get something for the story.  I waited patiently and he came running back to the table with his stuffed toy monkey.

“Mommy, I will tell you a fory (he will have to finish speech therapy before he does the press for any of his books…….of course) and it might be a yittle (little) fary (scary) for you.” I assured him that I would be able to handle it and told him to go on.

“There was a monkey named Jumper and he went into a bery, dart (dark) forrest.  It was raining and he fepped (stepped) in mud……and it hurt him.  He fought (thought) he heared (yes, he said heared) a giant!  Jumper hided in a cave wif bears and then he was bery, bery fiet (quiet).”  His voice dropped to a whisper and he was leaning very close to me.  I was literally on the edge of my seat, holding my breath, waiting to hear what would happen to Jumper the monkey.  My son took a deep breath and said ” Pee on your face!  Poop in the toilet! Hahahahahaha!” He then dropped to the floor, unable to control his own laughter.

Say what you want, but every Pulitzer prize winning author had to start somewhere.

 

 

Sick January 9, 2013

Filed under: boys,children,funny,parenting,sick — ddl6 @ 9:21 pm
Tags: , ,

I am sick.  The kind of sick where I give up, raise the white flag and call my husband and ask him to come home from work so I can go to bed.  Not only do I hate being sick, I hate having to give up and lay down and admit that I’m sick.  Blah.

If you have kids, you know they really don’t give a flip when you are sick. They care in their own way, but they really just want you to get up and be mommy again.  I thought I’d share how my youngest, Blake, who is three, acts when I’m sick.

Today when my husband came home from work early to help me, I went straight up to our room to lay down.  My husband took the kids down to the pond to drive their remote-control boat.  The house was quiet, I was warm and comfortable under my blankets and I drifted off into a peaceful slumber.

About 5 minutes later, my three- year-old son, who has an uncanny ability to come in, cry, yell, poop, spill something, have a bad dream or WHATEVER right when I fall asleep, busted open my bedroom door.  When I awoke, there were little hands over my mouth and a whisper in my ear, ” Hi mommy, I home!   You fill (still) don’t feel good?”

Next thing I know he hoisting himself on the bed,using my body to do so.  He planted himself on my stomach as he took off his shoes.  Then, he started making himself comfortable and got under the blankets, kicking me in the neck and belly as he squirmed under the covers.  He put his head on my pillow, but my head was in the way so he accidentally smacked mine with his huge orb.

The final assault in this “attack” of kindness was him pulling the blanket up over my head, patting my face and saying ” I will take care of you, cute mommy. Don’t worry.”

I felt like I was in the preschool version of the movie Misery.  Hopefully, I survive his “care”.  I hate being sick.

 

Tantrum on Aisle Three December 4, 2012

Last week my three-year old, Blake and I were at Wal-Mart ( I know, I know, but I really needed taco shells). I was using the self check out and Blake was looking at all the useless crap they put by the registers.  He brought over a lollipop/airplane thing and asked me if he could get it.  Now, I have never once let my children get any of these items, yet they ask each time they are with me at the store. I said no, and turned back around to check out my groceries.  I felt something hit my leg and I turned around to see my usually sweet and funny three-year old with his little hands on his little hips and his face all scrunched up. He started jumping up and down like he was Rumpelstiltskin and yelling ” YES!  MY WANT THAT–NOW!!!!!!” I was in shock because although he is mischievous and crazy, he is not bratty and is not one to throw fits when told “No.” He was yelling ” YESYESYESYES!” over and over again.  I finished paying for my items and grabbed his little hand and forcefully “escorted” him to the car.  I gave him a good talking to and got into the car to go home.  He was asleep not 5 minutes later. I looked at his sweet little sleeping face and was reminded of all the fits that my other children have thrown over the years.  Coincidentally, most of them have been at Wal-Mart or Target.  Go figure.

My children in general, are not big public temper tantrum throwers.  Well, except for my 5 year-old, Brady. His tantrums were epic.  The kind that left me shaking and sweating and wondering if I should find a local priest to stop by our house for a little exorcism. Thankfully, he grew out of those tantrums and my other kids only threw a couple that were monumental.

When my oldest son, Cooper was about 20 months old, I took him to Wal-Mart with me to go Christmas shopping while my daughter was in preschool.  Now, I know you’re thinking that was a bad idea, but let me explain.  When his sister was little, I did all my Christmas shopping for her while she was right there in the cart.  I just gave her a book to look at and a snack and she was good to go.  She never fussed and was always very easy.  Well, Cooper was NOTHING like his sister.

We turned onto the toy aisle and things got real bad, real quick.  He was strapped into the cart and he was looking from right to left very quickly.  He started to pull at the buckle and yell ” Out! I want to get out!” He was pointing at any and every toy saying ” I want! I want!”  The tears came next, followed by pulling his own hair and  screaming.  I had never seen anything like it.  ” I want it mama! I want it mama!”  He wasn’t even pointing at anything in particular.  He started bucking up and down.  If he had been an adult, a 5150 hold would have been placed on him immediately.  It was ridiculous.  I got out of there as fast as I could, leaving a store full of staring people.  Needless to say, I did the rest of my Christmas shopping while he was at home with my husband.

About a year or so later, my sister was visiting us and she wanted to go to Target one afternoon.  I was pregnant with my third child and my daughter was 4 and son was 2.  We rolled into Target and decided to get the kids an Icee, with the hope that would keep them busy so my sister and I could shop. I now think that those things actually make my children monsters, due to all the dye and sugar in them, but I digress.  So we were walking along and browsing, the kids followed behind us drinking their Icees.  We walked past a toy display and my daughter asked if they could get whatever it was and I said no.  Well, that was the beginning of epic fit number two.  She started whining and asking why she couldn’t get the toy.  Then my son joined in, just for the hell of it.  My sister and I were doing our best to ignore them.  Somewhere along the way, my son started running with the Icee in his hand.  I turned and told him to slow down because he could fall.  Two minutes later, I heard a crash and a cry.  Sure enough, he had fallen down and his Icee was spilled everywhere.  Before I could stop her, my daughter tripped over her brother.  Her Icee flew out of her hands and landed with a splat right next to her brother’s.  Well, they started to have total and complete meltdowns.  The screaming began, ” MY ICEE!  I DROPPED MY ICEE!  I WANT MY ICEE!” The scene was awful: red Icee all over the floor and two kids lying down next to it, kicking and screaming.  I looked at my sister who was laughing so hard, tears were rolling down her cheeks.  I wasn’t mad because we both suffer from “nervous laughter.”  The more inappropriate it is to laugh, the harder we laugh.  So of course, I start laughing.  I’m sure it was quite a sight to behold.

I was trying to get the two of them to stand up and I slipped in the damn red liquid and fell down next to them.  That started them crying harder.  My sister was hysterically laughing at this point.  Then, the security guard came over and asked if we needed help.  I thanked him, but said that we were fine.  In retrospect, I should have accepted his offer .

Somehow, we managed to make it out of the store.  I was dragging both of them out of their by their hands.  They kept doing the ” dead weight drop” move.  The one where they let their bodies go limp and drop to the ground.  My sister (still laughing) picked up one and I picked up the other and we started to the car.  There was a cart in my way and I pushed it too hard.  I watched as it rolled right out into the parking lot, almost hitting a car that was driving towards us.  I couldn’t do anything about it though because I was carrying my flailing son.

We finally made it to the car and somehow, put them in their car seats.  My sister and I both sat down in the front seat, looked at each other………..and started to laugh.

The next temper tantrum also took place at Target.  This time, I had all four kids with me.  I try to avoid Target with kids, especially on a Saturday afternoon, by myself, but I needed to get a gift for a party that my oldest son was attending that day.  My husband was out-of-town, so I had to suck it up and go with the kids.  Before we went in, I had a talk with Brady,who was three at this point.  He had a problem with Target and toys and he knew it.  I kneeled down next to him, looked in his eyes and said ” Okay buddy, no asking for toys.  We are here to get something for one of Coop’s friends, not you.  Do you understand?”  He nodded his head, closed his eyes and took a couple deep breaths, ” Yes, mama.  I can do it.”  I felt confident that things would be alright so I buckled my 8 month old into the stroller and we were off.

We were browsing the toy aisles and I could see that Brady was barely holding it together.  He kept looking away from the super hero toys, saying ” I won’t ask for anything.”  Over and over.  Coop picked out a gift in a relatively short time and we headed to the check out.  I thought that all was well until we passed the dollar section and Brady spied his downfall……..rubber ducks.  Tons of them.  Great, I knew we were screwed.  He turned to me and pleaded with his big blue eyes, ” Mama, can I please get just one duck? Please, please, please? Just one?  It’s in the dollar section. Just one?” I sighed and said “Brady, come on.  Do you remember what we talked about?  We are not buying anything else today.”  His eyes started to well up with tears and he hugged the duck close to him.  ” Yes, I love him . I want it. YES!”  My other kids knew that things were going to get ugly, so my daughter took the stroller to the register and Coop followed.

“Come on Brady, let’s go.” He started full on crying and hyperventilating. ” No! I want a duck! Yes! Please mommy, please.”  So I pulled him over to the register where he sat down and began screaming ” I. WANT.  THE.  DUCK!!!” He had the duck in a death grip in his hands.  I tried to pull it away but I had no luck….with the duck .

At this point the other kids were so embarrassed that they moved away like they didn’t know us.  Brady was laying in the check-out line, screaming, crying and writhing around.  I decided to focus on paying for the toy I had. After the toy was paid for, I bent down and picked up my spazz of a child, which was not easy-that kid is built like a line-backer.  The poor cashier looked very scared at this display.  She looked at me and asked me if I needed a gift receipt. ” Uh, I think we’ll take our chances, but thanks.”  I yanked my bag away from her with one hand while trying to hold Brady with the other.  As we were rushing out of there, my daughter said ” Mom! He’s still holding the duck.” Sure enough, he still had the ding dang duck in his little hands.  I put him down and tried to pull the duck away .  He kept screeching ” NO NO NO!  I LOOOOOVVVVEEEE THE DUCK!!!!!!” I finally got it away from him and he started jumping up trying to grab it out of my hands.  I looked at him and at the duck and knew we had to get out of there FAST, so I made a swift decision………I threw the duck over towards the dollar section where it came from.  I picked Brady up and turned around to my stunned older kids and said “GO!” We hot footed it out of there in record time.

I’m happy to report that after the “duck  incident”, Brady never had another meltdown in a store.  Well, maybe a couple, but never one that epic.  The kids still reminisce about the time “Mom chucked the duck”  at Target.  It took me a couple of days to recover from that one and I still wonder if I hit some unsuspecting Target customer with a flying duck.

In short, temper tantrums are a part of childhood.  I feel lucky that my children have never made them a habit and I feel like I have earned another “badge of parenthood” for surviving the ones that they have had.  I still feel bad about the duck though……..

 

Boys, Boys, Boys October 7, 2012

Filed under: boys,brothers,children,motherhood,parenting — ddl6 @ 11:57 am
Tags: , ,

I consider myself a “boy mom.”  I have one awesome daughter whom I adore,  but I have had three boys in a row and I have been in” boy mode” for almost 9 years. I feel like I am part of a special “boy mom” club.  I always bond with moms of boys right away.  Most of my good friends are mothers of my sons’ friends.  I do have a couple of close friends who are mothers of my daughter’s friends, but most of them also have sons.  I feel like they “get” what it’s like to be a mom to boys.  I always feel better when my boys have teachers who are moms or dads to sons.

Boys really are, in my opinion, a whole different ball game, no pun intended.  As much as I told myself I was going to parent my girl and boys the same way, it just hasn’t worked out that way.  I had a lot of preconceived notions about boys before I had them and I have been proven wrong many times.  Raising my girl is not what I expected either, but that’s another blog post.

To be honest, I still can’t believe that I have three sons.  When I was younger and I pictured my life, it was always with two or three daughters.  Maybe that’s because I only had a sister and I wasn’t really around boys growing up.  I just never thought about being a mother to boys.

When I was pregnant with my first child, a girl, we didn’t find out what we were having.  I never said it out loud, but I REALLY wanted a girl.  I planned a girl nursery.  I had visions of ruffles, hair bows, dresses, pink, pink and more pink.  I would look at little girls and get so excited to have my own.  I just HAD to have a girl.

When I gave birth to my daughter, they had to take her quickly to make sure her lungs were clear because she had meconium (she pooped on the way out). For two or three minutes, we had no idea if I had a boy or girl.  My husband asked what it was and the mid-wife smiled, “You have a beautiful baby girl.” I sat straight up and screamed, yes, screamed “I GOT MY BABY GIRL!” To say I was excited would be an understatement.

I had my little girl and everything was going according to my “plan”.  I became pregnant with my second child and I thought ” Oh, another little girl…smile, sigh” Then we went in for the ultrasound and the technician asked us what names we had picked out. I told her ” Grace…………… oh, and Cooper.” As an afterthought.  She checked out all that she needed to and asked us if we wanted to know what we were having and we said, absolutely. She began to type in a name on the screen and she started with C. Hmm,I thought, that was weird, Grace doesn’t start with a C………wait……….Cooper? A boy?  I was having a……boy?  I immediately started to panic a bit.  What was I going to do with a little boy? Boys are wild and rambunctious.  Boys are loud and they wrestle. They pee everywhere.  They have a penis!  What if I had to start watching and liking football??? What would I talk about with a little boy?  How would we connect emotionally?  I was very naive and a bit sexist, if I’m being honest.

Our first little boy was born and he is beautiful and wonderful. He was followed by two other beautiful and wonderful little boys. Our home was quickly filled not with baby dolls, Barbies, princess dresses,but with trucks, cars, balls, blocks and so on.  But, those things were not purchased just for our sons, they were for our daughter as well.  My visions of baby dolls, frilly dresses, big bows and pink, quickly flew out the window when my daughter began voicing her opinion.  My girl is not now nor has she ever been, a girly girl.  No way.

I spent so much money on smocked dresses with matching bows for every holiday or event we had.  She would rip out the bow and hike up the dress so she could jump over couches , climb trees or wrestle. The dolls, baby cradles, purses, and shoes went untouched.  When she discovered her passion for reading, it wasn’t princess stories she wanted to hear and read, it was adventure and science fiction stories.

My boys are all, indeed, a bit wild and rambunctious.  They are loud and they do like to wrestle.  They jump off things that are too high.  They like to smash things just because.  They barrel down the stairs instead of walking.  They pee all over the toilet seat and the ding dang floor.  They love sports, especially football.  Yes, they are all “boy” and they are different from my girl in many ways,  but those differences make them wonderful.

I didn’t expect my boys to be tender-hearted or sensitive.  They are much more so than my daughter.  They love lovin’.  They love to cuddle and have “talks” with me.  They are caring, sweet and kind.  My daughter is all these things as well, but she has more of an edge than my boys do.  She has a much more independent attitude than the boys. She’s a tough cookie, and always has been.

My good friend and I have had many conversations about being mothers of boys.  We have talked at length about how having sons helps us understand men just a little better.  They really can’t help some of the things they do because it’s just who they are.  Being the mother of boys helps me understand how hard it is to be a boy today.  There’s a lot of pressure on boys to be strong, not to show too much emotion, to “suck it up” and be a” man.”  It’s not easy being a girl either, but I knew that.  I didn’t understand about being a boy until I had my sons.

As I mentioned earlier, I feel like I’m part of a special “boy mom” club.  I can’t tell you how many times, when I am out with my boys, women come up to me to make a comment.  Whether it’s, “Hey, I have 2 boys at home.” or ” You remind me of myself 20 years ago. I have three boys.” or “I have 8 grandsons.”  Women want to make a connection.  I don’t get that when I’m with my daughter.

My husband has four older brothers. Unfortunately, his mother passed away when he was very young and I have never had a chance to talk to her about her experiences as a” boy mom.”   There are so many things I wish I could ask her and learn from her.  I will always remember what my husband’s grandmother (his mom’s mother) told me when I was pregnant with my first boy. She said ” People always asked Sharon if she wanted a girl.  She always answered, ” My boys love me so much.  I get to be the queen of the castle.””  I think that is the best description I have heard about being a “boy mom.” My boys do love me, they tell me how great I am and they do treat me like a queen…….it’s good to be queen.