gratitude, happiness, humor, kids, motherhood, parenting

Beach Football

Mad Dog travelled this week so it was just me and the boys.  As the boys are older, these stretches of time without Mad Dog are easier and easier.  It has gotten so much easier that sometimes, I even manage to have fun with the boys.  This concept of fun as I am lone-parenting was inconceivable a couple of years ago.  I am so thankful for how far we’ve grown as a family.

That’s not to say that my authority isn’t tested, my patience isn’t tried and brothers don’t try to maul each other.  Maybe I’ve grown immune to some of the craziness and have accepted that if my boys are awake, peace and calm have most likely left the building.  It also helps when one or both of them say something so cute, it immediately erases any frustration from my memory stores.

As I was supervising evening showers, Full Speed shared his thoughts.  “Mom, I know you really want a beach condo.  I am going to try my best to find a way to help Dad get you that condo.  How do you think I could do that?”

First of all, if you know me at all, I dream about living near the ocean on a daily basis.  For that to register with my 8-year-old felt like reward enough.  Secondly, a beach condo seems inconsequential to my happiness if my kid grows up to be as thoughtful and caring as he was in this moment.

“Full Speed, that is so nice of you to offer to help me and your Dad out, but don’t you worry, we’ve got that covered.  All I want is for you to be happy and do something you really love when you grow up.”

He thought about what I said for a moment and then continued, “Well, maybe I could play football.  Some players get a million dollars a game.  If I play five games, that’s five million dollars and that could really help out.”

Sounds like a win-win, doesn’t it?

Even at age two, Full Speed knew he loved football
Even at age two, Full Speed knew he loved football
children, family, happiness, humor, kindergarten, motherhood, parenting

Nice to Meet You

One sure-fire way to feel like a rock star is to volunteer in a kindergarten classroom. When I help out in T.Puzzle’s class once a week, I can’t help but feel amazing. After not seeing the kids in over three weeks due to winter break, they were especially delighted to see me again. This is how one girl greeted me:

“I missed you! I love your shirt! I love your hair! I love your shoes! You smell so pretty!”

That was only in the first five minutes. By the time my two-hour block of time was winding down, I had several lunch invitations and many exclamations of how much I was missed and adored.

It got me to thinking. They think I’m awesome and the feeling is mutual. Why is that? I realized it’s only because we see each other for short windows of time. All we see and look for is the good stuff. If we had to spend loads of time together, the bloom of good cheer most certainly would fade.

Take my relationship with T.Puzzle for instance. It has evolved from a Mommy’s Boy situation to a Stay-Away-From-Mom as much as possible kind of relationship. This tends to put me in a defensive frame of mind when I am evaluating his six-year oldness. Needless to say, my patience with him is sometimes used up even before he has a chance to speak.

What if, just for a moment, I imagined if someone who doesn’t see him very often, like you, were spending time with him? What would you see? Would this help me remember his own unique brand of awesomeness?

If you were meeting T.Puzzle for the first time, you would see a fun-loving, inquisitive, opinionated, confident little man with an extremely high adorability quotient.

Captain America has nothing on this guy!
Captain America has nothing on this guy!

And guess what?

You’d be right.

children, family, happiness, humor, kids, motherhood, parenting

Spaghetti Love

To start off Mad Dog’s vacation time, we took the boys out for a celebratory dinner.  The hostess and the waitress both  commented on how polite and well-behaved they boys were.  I guess when Santa is watching it is in everyone’s best interest to remember your manners.

When the food arrived, T.Puzzle dove into his spaghetti and meatballs with such fervor, it appeared as if he had not been fed in weeks.  He was quite entertaining to watch as he lovingly slurped up each sauce covered noodle.

“Don’t eat too much or your stomach might hurt,” I warned him.

He let out deep sigh.  “It’s hurting already but I’m still going to keep eating.”

How’s that for commitment?

Yum!

children, family, happiness, humor, kids, motherhood, parenting

The Happy Grocery Story

Full Speed’s expression here, as T.Puzzle attempts to cause him bodily harm, aptly captures how I felt physically last week.

I haven’t been feeling up to par for a while now.  Initially, I tried to stay very positive about the whole situation.  After Mad Dog travelled for work and T.Puzzle came down with the same symptoms, my positivity started to slip away.  No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t magically manifest a stocked refrigerator through happy visualization.  At some point, I had to break down and go to the grocery.  I opted to take the boys with me because obviously whatever virus I had, it clearly was damaging the reasoning parts of my muddled brain.

Before we entered the grocery, I croaked out my usual round of threats to get the boys to behave.  Once we were in the store, I honestly didn’t care what they did.   Naturally, there was a lot of pretend fire arm action and we fell deeply under enemy fire somewhere in the cereal aisle. For the most part, we managed to get through the store unscathed.  That is, until we neared the bread section.  As we turned the corner, Full Speed and T.Puzzle pushed the cart into a metal display stand of antibacterial wipes.  It sounded a lot worse than it actually was.  The crash of the cart sent a shockwave down the aisle and about 17 Moms jumped out of their skins.  I could see the panic on their faces as they turned to their own carts and quickly did a roll call to make sure all their children and corresponding limbs were accounted for.

“My bad!” I squeaked through my throbbing throat.  “No worries everyone, it’s only my crazy kids, not yours.”

The relief was palpable.  I cut our losses and we headed straight to the check-out.  So what if I forgot to get milk?  At least the dairy case that housed the milk remained safely intact to see another day.

See?  Look how positive I am.

children, family, happiness, humor, kids, motherhood, potty training, self-discovery

Summer Hiatus

I love these guys!

It is time for a break.  Most of my energy, ok, ALL of my energy is going towards keeping up with my boys.  I will return to my twice-weekly posts in a couple of weeks.  I’m going to use this blog-break to regroup and focus more on fun.  I am learning some great lessons this summer.  When it comes to teaching my kids anything, outsourcing is key.  My boys have become fish in a matter of days.  All it took was Mom staying way, far out of the pool (almost in another county), and a fantastic swim instructor.  I wish all my parenting dilemmas could be so easily outsourced.  I’ve also realized spending time with your kids can alter your perspective on life.  Full Speed’s heartfelt declaration that an IHOP breakfast is the best breakfast he’s ever had makes me appreciate my Harvest Nut pancakes on a whole different level.

I may make it through to the start of school after all.