family, humor, kids, motherhood

I Would Walk 500 Miles (T.Puzzle Out)

Where we live, while awesomely close to downtown, having a yard is unusual.  Giant houses that take up every square inch of their lot are the norm.

I treasure my small backyard.  With so many statuesque trees flanking our streets, songbirds abound.  If I am really lucky, I might see a deer:

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Just kidding.  Our alley is being reworked so the only deer(e) I see cause quite a ruckus.

Besides the mild annoyance of construction noise, where we live is very fun.  We are a few blocks away from excellent restaurants.  We try to walk to meals out as much as we can.

Most of our family loves this.

T.Puzzle hates this.

He hates to walk anywhere.  To him it is slow, boring and ultimately pointless.

Seated at lunch last weekend, the four of us had walked to a new taco joint.  The food was great and the weather perfect for our outside table.

We debated if we would walk to get ice cream before hitting Target (yes! we can walk to Target!).  We didn’t want to push T.Puzzle’s attitude because we know better, and he is only a mild fan of ice cream, weird, I know.

“You up for walking for ice cream?” said Mad Dog.

Silence.

Then, slowly, T.Puzzle formed a response as his shoulders lifted in a slight shrug.

“I guess so.”

I read the meaning behind his words.

“Basically, T.Puzzle is willing to walk with us but he will be super depressed about it the whole time,” I said.  “Did I guess that right?”

“Yep,” said T.Puzzle.

This boy sugar coats nothing.

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family, humor, kids, motherhood

For the Love of Cookies

The rain poured down as I exited the campus building.  I dodged raindrops as I made my way to my car on this last night of my creative writing class.

Where we live is prone to standing water which can turn to a flood in an instant.  Since class had run late, I texted Mad Dog to assure him I would be home soon.

He responded: “All your boys waiting for you.”

Wasn’t that sweet?

I arrived home fifteen minutes later.  As soon as I walked in, the scent of freshly baked cookies washed over me.  Mad Dog had ordered cookies to be delivered for all of us to enjoy.

The boys were not waiting for me.  They were waiting to eat cookies because Mad Dog would not allow it until I came home.

Even Full Speed admitted it was a 60/40 situation.  60% waiting to eat the cookies vs. 40% waiting for me.

Hurt pride did not prevent me from enjoying my cookies.  I mean if you are going to come in second to something, freshly baked chocolate chip cookies aren’t a bad way to go.

WFAM

children, humor, kids, motherhood

Well Done!

By the time the boys and I met our friends at a local restaurant, it was well past lunchtime.  My friend and I took advantage of the post-lunch lull and asked to be seated in separate booths from our small gang of boys (she has three all around my boys’ ages).

We were hoping to have some quiet conversation and allow our guys the independence to order by themselves.  We had no illusions about the process.  We were fine with burgers and fries for all.

Later, when we were home.  The boys cracked up over how long it took all of them to order.  But, they did it.

T.Puzzle was particularly amused when two of his friends ordered their burgers ‘well-done’.  Through the years we always have coached him to choose ‘medium’.

“Why do you think this is so funny, T.Puzzle?  Some people happen to prefer their meat to be cooked all the way through,” I said.

“Oh!  I thought they were telling the waiter to let the cook know they wanted their burger to be good or else.”

It’s a learning curve for sure.

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One of my all-time favorite pictures of T.Puzzle. He was told to pick up toys in the living room and proceeded to put himself in the toy bin. Well done!
family, humor, kids, motherhood

A Writer’s Life

When I started this blog nearly nine years ago, I had some lofty writing aspirations.

These have yet to be attained.

Over time, I have come to accept that though my audience is small, it is mighty.  I also appreciate WFAM as a precious container of my little family’s memories.  This blog has given me so much more than I have given to it.

With summer break in full swing and the boys needing ways to stay entertained, they have been voraciously reading WFAM from its inception forward.  I keep getting these WordPress alerts on my phone that my ‘stats are booming!’, when in fact, it’s just my two boys reading dozens of posts in a day.

Still, it makes me feel cool.

So, my advice to any writer out there, it’s super helpful to give birth to at least two members of your readership.  They are invested in what you write more than most and your stats will thank you for it.

Since summertime consists of an abundance of free time, we are constantly negotiating how much screen time is allowed each day.   Just now I had told both boys that at 5:00 they could resume video games.  At 5:23 T.Puzzle comes up to my writing desk (really, where else would I be?) and says, “It’s 5:23!  I’ve been reading so many WFAMs I lost track of time!”

“Wow!” I said.  “That’s quite a compliment.”  Then, I thought about it for a beat and said, “Is it the writing or the content that you find so compelling?” (who wouldn’t want to read about themselves all day long, right?).

T.Puzzle, ever so hard to impress said, “It’s actually pretty funny.”

I’ll try not to let it go to my head.

 

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humor, kids, motherhood

There’s a Reason Drama Rhymes with Mama

I am kind of a mess right now.  If you ran into me on the street, I still appear normal on the outside, but inside me swims the anxiety and tension of moving my family to a new state.  This is all a normal part of the experience.

What isn’t normal is that my boys are not really freaking out.  I mean, aren’t they supposed to be freaking out?

Here’s a recent conversation I had with them:

“Are you nervous about going to a new school?” I said.

Both said, “No.”

“Are you worried you won’t make new friends?” I said.

Both said, “No.”

“Are you concerned that you won’t be academically prepared when school starts?”

Both said, “No.”

Can you spot the pattern here?

Maybe instead I should ask, “Are you worried your mom is going to ask you so many questions about whether or not you are worried that you may tune her out completely?”

(crickets chirping)

Thank you to the stars above for giving me two, level-headed sons that tolerate my dramatic inquiries and love me anyway.

Fewer questions equal less drama.

No guarantees.

 

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