children, family, humor, kids, motherhood, parenting

Cupcake Parenting

Unfortunately I have yet to master the art of successfully shopping with my boys (see ‘On Second Thought).  Even though I know this, sometimes we end up in stores anyway. 

After a lovely lunch ocean side this weekend, Mad Dog and I decided to spontaneously grocery shop with the boys on our way back home.  As we walked in the entrance of the store, the boys must have been confused and thought we were at a sports arena.  They started to race each other and I immediately began throwing penalty flags.  I grabbed each one by their face and threatened that they better get it together.  They squeaked a ‘yes, ma’am’ through their squished cheeks and we moved forward. 

I’m not sure, but somewhere near the frozen section, they started to lose it again.  Mad Dog reprimanded them and I did the only logical thing I could,…I headed straight to the bakery to find some cupcakes to help me cope.  I landed on a lovely set of vanilla dazzlers with a crown of glorious, whipped icing.  As I placed them lovingly in the cart, the boys came over and peered longingly at my selection.

“Are we going to get one for a treat?” they asked.

“I’m guessing by your behavior, probably not,”  I said (more for me!!).

Magically they transformed.  They became polite, thoughtful and dare I say it, even quiet.  Yes, that’s right folks, they became quiet.  I’ll give you a minute as the shock of this settles over you…

They acted as if they were the most normal and calm children in the world.

And all this time I’ve been trying to discipline them with structure, expectations and privilege dispensation.

Who knew all I needed were cupcakes?

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children, humor, kids, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting, self-discovery, tantrums

Bring It

T.Puzzle and his glorious smile

Denial is a wonderful coping mechanism.  I’m learning it lasts for as long as a delicate psyche needs and then collapses when you’ve reached a head space that allows for the truth.

When T.Puzzle was born and he screamed louder than any newborn has a right to, I clearly remember thinking, “Hey, wait a minute.  You’re suppose to be my easy kid.”  I had made a silent agreement with T.Puzzle while he was in utero that he was going to be a milder version of Full Speed.

In some ways this was true.  He actually stayed put long enough for me to on occasion hold and snuggle him.  He broke into easy smiles with his incredible dimples a-blazin’ and he actually played calmly with baby toys for extended periods.

Other signs that T.Puzzle would be ‘easier’, or more likely helped feed my denial, were his slightly more sensitive nature and his skill at reading and reacting to other people’s emotions.  Early on we labeled him ‘our little social worker’.

Great.  This was good.  I rolled along and headed into his ‘terrible twos’ feeling like I was finally going to have an upper hand.

I was completely wrong.  He tantrummed with the same passionate zest as his brother before him.  The only things that kept me going through this were the glimpses of his social worker nature and my dear, sweet friend denial.  No matter how ugly the tantrums became he would always quickly win me back with his, “I love you, Mommys” and loving hugs.

Then came this summer and that’s when denial packed up its bags and left me for good.  T.Puzzle has continued his tantrumming phase well into his fourth year exactly the same as Full Speed.  Unfortunately for this latest phase of summer tantrums the gloves are off.  He is proving that he can run with the big boys and has shown such a ferocity of independence that it is at once frightening and awe-inspiring.

All I can say is bring it T.Puzzle.  This ain’t my first rodeo, kid.

children, gratitude, happiness, humor, kids, life in pictures, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting

A Dinosaur and a Prayer

Brachiosaurus animatronic model
Image via Wikipedia

All week long the boys tried to convince me that Mad Dog needed to see the Dino Alive! exhibit at the zoo.  They were convinced he was most certainly experiencing sleepless nights until he witnessed the wonders of animatronic dinosaurs with his own eyes.

We started out our Sunday with a cloudless sky, hope in our hearts and our zoo membership card in the car console.

I told Mad Dog to be prepared.  He was going to need to carry T.Puzzle throughout the wandering path of hidden dinosaurs.  I told him by the end of our last visit, T.Puzzle had his arms and legs locked on me in a death grip, Full Speed was cowering behind me and all that stood between me and the gigantic T-Rex was my steely resolve.

This outing was a little different.  Both boys insisted on walking on their own through the maze of trees and roaring reptiles.  Full Speed compensated his fear by staying true to his name.  He would dart as fast as he could away from any sense of danger.

T.Puzzle, well, he coped in another way.  He chose prayer.  He clasped his hands tightly together as he willed his feet to keep moving.  A step here, a step there and a prayer right here.

He kept his hands clasped like that through our entire dinosaur adventure.

Cutest four year old ever.