So Long, Farewell! Part Two

The Super Bowl is over so football is over. This means baseball is almost here!

Woo-hoo!

I was sharing my baseball glee with the boys over dinner.

“Guess what?  Spring training games begin FEBRUARY 25TH!!!  Aren’t you both excited?”

T.Puzzle looked crestfallen at his impending loss of tv viewing control.  Full Speed was more diplomatic.  He graciously updated me on the recent team acquisitions and trades.  He turns to T.Puzzle, “Are you ready to never watch one of your shows until baseball is over?”

T.Puzzle replied (with shoulders slumped defeatedly no less), “How many games are in a season?”

I don’t know why he was being so dramatic, it’s ONLY 162 (not counting post-season, fingers crossed!).

“Guys, remember I said that I will be open to letting you watch an occasional show if it is really important to you.  If we can’t come to a compromise, you are always welcome to go upstairs and watch your show there (there’s a nifty loft space with a tv where they play video games so trust me, they are not being banished to a dark place of doom).”

T.Puzzle says, “But Full Speed will never want to watch a show, he will always want to watch baseball and I know I can’t watch certain shows without him.”  Again, his tone was absolutely pitiful.

I could almost read verbatim the words in Full Speed’s thought bubble that were forming over his head.  Yes, he loves his mom and enjoys baseball up to a certain point, BUT, some days he’s fine to watch something else.  However, he was very scared to voice this last part so as not to hurt my feelings (very sweet).  As I relayed my theory about what he was thinking, his body relaxed visibly in the knowledge he didn’t have to tell his (famous) World Series Champion mother, that he may not want to watch baseball every single day of his life.

“Seriously, Full Speed.  It’s fine.  I understand there are going to be days you won’t want to watch a game with me.  It doesn’t even matter that whoever does watch the game with me will get a bigger inheritance.  There’s no pressure.”

Full Speed’s face cracks into a giant grin.

#PayForYourOwnCollege

#GoCubs

#WSchampion

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Lost, and Most Likely Never Found

In my household there is a strange phenomenon.  I am the only person that can find things.  If Mad Dog, Full Speed and/or T.Puzzle locate something, and usually with insanely detailed directions from me, it is a miracle to be celebrated.  Seriously… a MIRACLE.

Keeping this in mind, T.Puzzle asked me to sign his school planner today.  As he handed me his notebook, the page I needed to sign floated onto my lap as soon as I turned to it.  To easily problem solve this, I asked him to bring me a paper clip.  Ha!  I said easily!  Normally to save us all from ourselves, if something needs to be found I am the one to do so.  However, my dog was so super-snugly and napping sweetly on my lap, I was highly unmotivated.  Therefore, it was up to T.Puzzle to save himself.

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T.Puzzle with the Snuggle Captain of the Universe

He walks over to the desk and in about two seconds flat announces, “I can’t find it!  There aren’t any paper clips here!”

Weird that I’d store paper clips in a desk of all things, right?

“Trust me, T.Puzzle, they are in there.  First, locate the middle drawer.  This is the one that is narrow and very long.”  He did.

“Nope! No paper clips!”

“Hang with me T.Puzzle.  Look at the upper left-hand quadrant of the open drawer (my boys are mathematically minded so it sounds odd, but this type of description is helpful, well, at least mildly so) and there should be a pack of paper clips.  It’s fine if you can’t open the pack, just bring them to me.”

He’s quiet so I take that as a good sign.  As he approaches me, I absentmindedly extend my hand to receive the clip.  He delicately places a used staple in my hand.

A USED STAPLE!

I have no words.  But, I do have paper clips.  Loads of them in fact because T.Puzzle still hasn’t used any.

 

 

1, 2, 3 Strikes You’re Out

I want to give you fair warning.  This post is going to be pretty emotional.  You are going to get a sense of how deeply connected T.Puzzle is to me, his overarching love of school and lastly, Full Speed’s brotherly commitment to look out for T.Puzzle.  It’s all there…enjoy.

In recent months we have been noticing a theme in T.Puzzle’s life.  And that theme is…video games.  He is rather obsessed and talks about gaming constantly.  Even when we have a round of ‘family questions’ at the dinner table, rather miraculously he can loop it back to video games.

Here are some examples:

If you could be anyone in the world for a day, who would you be?

“Someone allowed to play video games all day and night long.”

If you saw your friend steal something, would you turn them in?

“That depends on what it is.  If it’s a cool video game, probably not.  I’d want to play it with him.”

You get the idea.

A couple years back, T.Puzzle was given the task at school to make me a Mother’s Day card.  Here’s the final result, and get those tissues ready… the tears are going to fall…

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I told you it was emotional.  I’ll give you a minute while you collect yourself.

Better?  Good.

Since it’s clear that T.Puzzle loves video games above all else, what’s a mom to do with this sort of intel?  About two weeks ago I put T.Puzzle on an incentive program.  His manners and attitude still often leave much to be desired.  If he happens to forget his manners, roll his eyes at me or give me lip when asked to do a chore, he gets a strike.  If he gets three strikes in a seven day period, he loses gaming privileges for the weekend (the only time he is allowed to play them during the school year).  Naturally, it’s working pretty well.  Except for this past week, he was feeling particularly ornery with his brother and had already used two strikes.  We were on the edge of our seats…would he make it the final stretch without a strike?  He did ok on the last night, but he still had to make it through the morning (the seven day strike period runs Friday after school through Friday morning the following week).   As he trounced into the kitchen this morning I asked, “Do you think you can make it until you go to school without getting another strike?”

“Sure!  But I better leave now!  Gotta go.  Can’t wait to get there!”  This all coming from a kid who is currently appalled that he has perfect attendance.

Of course, this made me laugh.  He is self-aware enough to know that his inabilty to control impulses could land him in third strike territory.

We managed to get through breakfast and the rest of our morning without incident.

T.Puzzle was first out of the garage with his bike as usual.  I turned to Full Speed and said, “Can you believe he actually made it without a third strike?”

“Mom!  He didn’t say goodbye to you!  That’s an automatic strike!”

“Nice try, kid.”

“I’m serious, Mom!  He rode his bike DANGEROUSLY FAST down the driveway.  He’s gotta get a strike for that.”

“Full Speed, it just warms my heart how much you look out for your brother.”

Wonder if he loves him as much as video games?

Grandparent(ly)

Full Speed and I were out for a stroll.  The sun was shining, the birds were singing and life was good.  We had already sufficiently dissected the latest Cubs news and the topic of conversation switched over to Full Speed’s possible future family.  When this topic arises I try very hard to be normal.  If you know me at all, normal is a huge stretch.  By normal I mean non-reactive.  I don’t ever want him to feel he needs to get married and have kids.  If it happens great, but if not, that’s fine by me, too.  So, there I was being cool and calm.  He then noted that I may be what might be considered a lenient (?) grandmother.  I feigned shock.  How could he surmise such an idea I asked?  Well, it has something to do with how I treat my dog.  Apparently I ‘baby’ him?  This is shocking to me!!  I merely treat him in a way that all pet owners should treat their animals.  I simply set the bar high in this regard.

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This is a totally acceptable outfit for a dog.

Full Speed then went on to share an imagined scenario of me interacting with his future child.

Future Awesome Grandchild: “Grandma, I accidentally murdered your next door neighbor.”

Future Awesome Me:  “Oh, that’s okay little Sunshine.  I know you didn’t mean it and I didn’t really like them any way (not true, I have some great neighbors for the record).”

Full Speed did this whole bit in a sing-songy way implying that I may be the Snow White of all Future Grandmothers.

All I can say is that if Grandmotherhood is in the cards for me, I’m gonna crush it.

The G.O.A.T.

Some evenings the stars do not align and my boys have practices at different times.  This is never a problem if Full Speed is the one waiting for his start time.  All I have to do is bring a book for him and he is content to wait it out.  T.Puzzle is more complicated.  Sometimes he likes books and sometimes he hates them.  Sometimes he’s chatty and sometimes he is belligerently bored.  And, being that I am a stubborn sort myself, I don’t allow electronics during the week.  Basically, I’m stuck with him for better or for worse.  Recently, I’ve been able to embrace this time with him a little bit more.  Working on word puzzles with him is a good bet and I find his self-centric worldview to be incredibly entertaining.

As we were sitting in my car waiting for his practice time I was overcome by a wave of love for him.  You remember the kind maybe?  It’s like that moment when you crept into your child’s room to gaze upon them when they were small and peacefully asleep.  Watching the sweet rise and fall of their chest made you feel like your heart would burst right out of yours.  That is the best feeling and one I felt I wanted to share.

“You are so cute!” I gushed.

T.Puzzle’s instant response with dimples blazing, “I know.”

This kid.  He thinks he is the G.O.A.T. (the greatest of all time).

A few weeks back I got a call from his school informing me he had hit his head.  All was well but recently he asked me about it.  How did I know he didn’t have a concussion?  I said that the school nurse had asked him a bunch of questions that he answered correctly and that indicated he was fine.  What were the questions he wanted to know?

“Well, she asked you who your favorite person in the whole world was and you said ‘my mom’ and that’s how we knew you were okay.”

“I know your lying, Mom.  That couldn’t be true.  If the nurse did ask me that the answer wouldn’t be you, it would be me.  I am my favorite person in the whole world.”

A G.O.A.T. is born.

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Mr. GOAT’s sunscreen application he insisted he DO IT HIMSELF!