7+9=Never

This is an extremely busy time of year.  For our family, it can feel even busier because we have birthdays and a wedding anniversary tucked in between all the major holidays.  Somehow, we make it all work and manage to celebrate each and every milestone in our own way.

This morning as I began my walk to school with my recently turned older boys, T.Puzzle commented since now he is seven and Full Speed is nine, I should let them have a little more freedom.  They both wanted to start walking independently earlier on our school route.  Each had different points that they thought were suitable for me to turn back and let them walk the rest of the way on their own.  I was open to hearing all of their ideas as I do see real maturity and growth in both of them.  T.Puzzle had lagged behind as he often does and when he finally caught up to me to plead his case for more independence, he looked different to me. I didn’t know if it was a recent growth spurt or what exactly, but something certainly had changed.  He seemed lighter.  So light in fact, that I soon realized he didn’t have his backpack and we already had walked halfway to school.

Let’s just say, it’s real hard to convince your Mom for more independence if you can’t even remember your own backpack.

Better luck next birthday.

T.Puzzle+7=AWESOME

T.Puzzle+7=AWESOME

Always Do Your Best

We are finally home from a ten-day trip.  We had an awesome time in Pigeon Forge, TN.  Here are a few things I learned:

1. Directions in unfamiliar territory seem to be a hot-button issue in my marriage.  I don’t know what it is about not knowing where you are at that brings out the worst in me and my beloved.  Regardless of a few tense moments, we always managed to reach our destination.  For the most part, we also managed to still love each other even if we didn’t always like each other in the process.

2.  Spending time with my nieces and nephew was fantastic.  If I had it my way, I would have all my nieces and nephews live on my street and have them over as much as possible.

3.  No matter where you put my boys, they are in a constant competition with life and each other.  They had an hour-long debate over who came in first in a go-cart race.  If I thought Mad Dog and I were heated over directions, it was nothing compared to the constant chatter of winner vs. loser between our boys.  And, unfortunately, they never ever agreed to disagree.  Made for some long rides back to our cabin.

4.  So, their competitive streak has its downside, but surprisingly, it also has an immense upside.  We were at Dixie Stampede which is Dolly Parton’s dinner attraction.  The boys were selected by our server to be in a chicken chasing competition.  They strategized from the moment they were selected.  Full Speed instructed T.Puzzle where and how to run.  T.Puzzle was overwhelmed at first by the enormity of the arena and the crowd.  He stood quaking at the side of the gate right before they were sent in.  Once inside the big, gaping, dust-covered space, he looked at Full Speed and they both got that look of determination on their faces.  When the chickens were released, theirs didn’t stand a chance.  Full Speed ran so intensely after it he fell down nearly crushing the chicken.  They worked as a team and ran with such fire, the other two boys on the opposing side looked as if they were moving in slow-motion.  Even after they successfully crossed the finish line, T.Puzzle kept chasing his chicken.  He almost ran it all the way back to where the rest of show animals were being housed.

The boys show off their victory medals with pride.  Thank goodness they were on the same team!

The boys show off their victory medals with pride. Thank goodness they were on the same team!

I may get frustrated by the intensity of my boys, but I have to say, seeing them give their all in everything they do, even chasing a chicken, keeps me inspired to always do my best.

It’s good to be home!

Brain Washed

In the past I have dedicated entire posts to the ‘Mommy-Brain Phenomenon’. You don’t even need to be a parent to reach this level of scattered thought. All that is required are adult-sized responsibilities, lots of them and no personal assistant to guide you.

I can admit that I do my share of forgetful things. Last week I read a text wrong from Grandma and wasn’t there for my boys’ school pick-up (turns out she was getting them the NEXT day). Thank goodness for my brother-in-law who graciously saved the day and brought my guys home for me. I misplace things, can’t finish a thought and at times, baffle store clerks as I forget to sign-off on my credit card or hit the wrong button repeatedly. I hope you can relate. And if you can’t, please don’t tell me. Then again, I’d probably forget what you said to me anyway.

So, today, when Full Speed pulled his homework folder out and showed me this week’s packet while standing in our entry, it was a mystery to me when he couldn’t locate it five minutes later. If I hadn’t actually laid eyes on it, I would have thought he left it at school. I had seen it, so it had to be here.

We searched all the common sense places like the desk and in the car. Then we started getting more creative. We looked under the grandfather clock, in the bathroom (thank goodness it didn’t turn up by the toilet!) and in the pantry.

We could not find it anywhere. I started to doubt myself. Had I imagined him holding his homework packet? Had I completely succumbed to Mommy-Brain?

Then, it dawned on me. He had won a cup at school for successfully reaching a milestone in a reading program. I had asked him to put it in the dishwasher and….

ry=400-5

He couldn’t have hidden better if he tried.

Faux Pas Hawks

My beloved did his best to prove to me that he is perfectly capable of combing/styling the boys’ hair.  Mad Dog had already cleaned up the kitchen and fed the boys breakfast so I dared not dream he would calm their unruly hair into submission. 

But he did.

And, it was highly entertaining.

At one point he ended up rather forcefully saying to T.Puzzle, “Man up and quit being so dramatic!”  Of course this was done has T.Puzzle’s head was yanked back and forth while a comb raked over his apparently highly sensitive scalp.

Best Faux-Hawks Ever!

No and Yes

One of the goals of parenthood is to teach your children to be independent.  In theory, the more they are able to do on their own, the more freedom it will give you.  However, sometimes in the process of teaching your two boys who don’t pay attention to details the art of loading the dishwasher, it can turn slightly calamitous.  Somehow water ends up everywhere but the sink and they will attempt to start a load for only two plates when I’m not looking.  This load is done without detergent of course.  In their defense, those two, lonely plates really did shine.

I try to be patient, I try to let some things slide…especially my feet in the watery abyss surrounding my dishwasher, and yet there are still daily tasks for the boys I haven’t allowed them to do.  

Over the weekend I went for a morning run leaving Mad Dog in charge.  When I came home, I asked if he had followed up on the parentally supervised tasks of the boys’ morning.

Did they get their vitamins?

No.

Did they get their glasses cleaned?

No.

Is their hair combed?

No.

Did T.Puzzle get his nasal spray?

No.

Finally in exasperation Full Speed declared, “Everything you are going to ask Daddy the answer is going to be no!”

Mad Dog didn’t miss a beat.  “That’s not true.  You have to ask the right questions.”  Then he went on to list all the questions he would easily be able to reply yes to.

Are the boys protected?

Do they have a roof over their head?

and, this one’s my favorite…

Do they have love?

Yes, yes and yes.

So, let’s ponder this for a moment.  To quote Full Speed (he gleaned this little gem from a movie), “Happy wife, happy life.  Unhappy wife, stone-cold misery.”