children, humor, kids, motherhood, parenting

All Heart

As we were watching yet another college sport on TV, a commercial for wrestling flicked across the screen.  Mad Dog asked the boys if they would be interested in watching that since they seem to enjoy wrestling each other so very, very much.  Before they could respond, T.Puzzle threw out some wrestling ‘facts’.

“Whenever I wrestle Full Speed, I always win.  Every time.  I never lose.”

Full Speed, being the bigger brother and all, sat for a moment and didn’t say anything.  I think in years to come, T.Puzzle is going to realize saying things like this will only cause him extensive emotional and physical pain.

Mad Dog explored T.Puzzle’s assumptions further.  “Really?  Every time?”

“Well, maybe not every time, but almost all the time.”

With that, wrestlemania was on.  Full Speed lunged and attacked.  He did not hold back.  It was violent, ugly and a lot of sick sounding thuds happened as little T.Puzzle’s body hit the floor repeatedly.  I have to give T.Puzzle credit, he never gave up.  Even after Full Speed had pinned him for the tenth time and was declared champion, T.Puzzle insisted he was never fully pinned.  In his mind, he may not have technically won, but he was and never will be a loser at wrestling or anything for that matter.

My wish for anyone reading this is that you believe in yourself as much as T.Puzzle believes in himself.  Imagine a world where each of us believed we were the best at everything we tried.   Each fight would find us victorious and each day would be another opportunity for us to shine.

T.Puzzle may have lost the round, but with heart like that, he hasn’t lost the match.


children, humor, kids, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting, tantrums

The Fast and the Furious

I have written many times about how I can’t relate to Full Speed’s ultra-competitive nature. With time and experience I’ve learned that even if I don’t understand it, I have to accept it.

Where I have yet to journey the path of acceptance in this realm, is when I’m attempting to have a leisurely family bike ride.

I'd like to say bike rides were simple when the boys were little and fit compactly into one handy bike trailer. But alas, within five minutes of launch Full Speed would be pounding on T.Puzzle who would resort to biting as his go-to defense. Good times.

We recently purchased a tandem trail-a-bike for T.Puzzle. T.Puzzle is content to ride in tandem with ol’ slow poke Mom. He’s just thankful to be out of the tiny baby bike seat. So is my backside. No more being kneed on a repetitive basis by T.Puzzle’s overgrown four year old limbs.

The ride to pizza was fine. The ride to the park even better. As long as Full Speed is riding tandem and in FRONT with Mad Dog, things in life are great.

Why not mix it up? Let’s give lil’ T.Puzzle his chance to shine and hop on with Dad on the ride home from the park.

This is when near disaster struck. Full Speed was so determined to beat T.Puzzle, he pedaled at a furious rate. Even if I stopped pedaling completely, Full Speed’s relentless legs propelled us to the lead. I didn’t mind at first. In fact I could already see the humor of the situation glaring back at me.

I lost my humor quickly when at a busy intersection Full Speed kept pedaling no matter how many times I yelled ‘STOP!’

Things turned even more unfunny as we maneuvered down our main subdivision street trying to avoid oncoming traffic and remain in a single file formation. As Mad Dog and T.Puzzle eased in front of us as a truck whooshed by, Full Speed let out a tantrumific cry. He was outraged and boy, did he let me know it.

That’s it. I was done. I pulled us over to the sidewalk, hopped off the bike and refused to ride in the insanity any longer.

Full Speed’s response?

He leapt off the bike and attempted to beat his Dad and his brother by foot.

And wouldn’t you know it? That little man almost beat them.

He was fast AND furious.

children, eyesight, gratitude, health, mommyhood, parenting, surgery

Eye Will

This week is still not so good.  I think it has less to do with my daily circumstances and more to do with the dark cloud of eye surgery hanging over T.Puzzle’s head.  I know the surgery is technically minor.  I know that his physical pain will be minimal, his psychic pain to be great, that holding him down for 12 eye drops in one eye to be my own personal nightmare and that T.Puzzle coming out of anesthesia can be likened to an angry bear awoken too soon from hibernation.  Aside from all that there is an expectation of hopefully improved vision for T.Puzzle, gratitude that there is someone in the world like Mad Dog to hold my hand through it all, and the life experience to know that whatever comes my way I will handle it.

Seriously, if I gave birth to two rambunctious dudes like Full Speed and T.Puzzle, I have to have at least a small percentage of tenacity in me, right?  Even if I only have a fraction of theirs, I’m going to be just fine (and so will they).

You can count on it.


T.Puzzle checks out the model train in the Children's Clinic lobby.


bad day, kids, mommyhood

You Called It

We are slowly getting back to our regular routine. I knew little T.Puzzle’s first day back at school was going to be ‘challenging’ after such a long vacation. In other words, it was really going to hit the fan. If you’ve read this blog enough, you know exactly what I mean.

During the week I did my best to prepare him for his return. I would tell him what we had planned for each day and talk enthusiastically about him going back to school on Friday.

He didn’t buy a word of it.

All I could do was rise and shine and put my game face on for school day. The boys were both awake when I determinedly entered their room.  Full Speed was beaming. He was happy because he still had another day at home. Little T.Puzzle was a whining, miserable mess.

Full Speed pops up from bed and darts to the bathroom. Little T.Puzzle moves at sloth speed and tears abound. His attitude goes from bad to worse in six seconds flat and I order him back to his room to shape up. Then all we hear are piteous cries coming from the boys’ room.

I don’t know if it was the exhaustion of hosting six additional people for several days or my trips to the pool and beach, but in the midst of caring for all the clan, I had an earache brewing.

I offhandedly mention this to Mad Dog. Full Speed hears this too and promptly says, “I know why your ear hurts, Mom. It’s because little T.Puzzle is screaming so loud.”

Good call.

And for the record, little T.Puzzle had an awesome first day back.