Pushback

How is it possible to trash talk during a FAMILY DICE GAME?  As Mad Dog will tell you, he is gifted at a lot of things and trash talking is one of them.  For him, it’s a subtle balance of talking up his legendary gaming status and pushing buttons whenever one of his opponents shows any glimpse of weakness.  Not surprisingly, a recent game of Farkle pushed T.Puzzle to frustrated tears.  He cannot stand to lose, but to lose to Mad Dog is anathema.

Then there’s me.  I actually encourage family games.  I have this deluded notion that I can spark a positive connection between my family members (ha!).  Most of the time it is fun, even the trash talking part.   The crazy things Mad Dog says are classic and lead to laughter.  Laughter is where all the magic happens.  Then, there are the times when the laughter turns sour.  The game goes so far off the rails, you can’t turn back.

I also am not sure why I’m the only one in my family that truly appreciates the outdoors.  To get all three of my guys to do something outside takes monumental persistence and strength.  The pushback is incredible.  If they were left to their own devices, I’m guessing they would just be attached to said devices (i.e.-smartphones, laptops, gaming systems).

Why do I insist on family games and outings?  I like making the three of them step out of their comfort zone.  I like that they are forced to interact with each other.  This is how we learn and grow.  This is how we bond.

I have days where I lose motivation due to the enormous amount of resistance I encounter.  I asked Mad Dog why he always has to drag his feet on my ideas for family time.  His theory is that he is trying to maintain the illusion that he is still the alpha of the house.  Even though part of him knows what I’m suggesting is good for him and ultimately he will comply (mostly), he can only do so in his own complicated way.  I appreciated his honesty.  I didn’t fall in love with him because he always agrees with everything I say as soon as I say it.  I like that he challenges me.

That’s the whole point of loving someone.  You love them for exactly who they are, not who you think they should be.

I knew full well when I walked down the aisle towards Mad Dog on our wedding day, he was a trash talker of epic proportions.  I kept walking anyway because there was so much awesome in him that it made everything ok.  I knew my life would never be boring and it would be full of amazing adventures (see also Wrigley Rising).

I happened to get two bonus awesomes out the deal, too.

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The Two Mouseketeers

Posing in front of the Disney Dream

There comes a time in your life when you finally understand that while you may not always get what you think you want, you end up with exactly what you need.

This blog about motherhood has always been my attempt to make sense of what it means to raise two active and highly spirited boys.  I have learned that while I may never totally understand their temperaments, they are pretty amazing exactly the way they are.  There is great freedom and beauty in this acceptance.

I have never appreciated their personalites more than I did on our Disney Cruise over the Labor Day weekend.  It was an absolute blast.  The boys and their phenomenal energy and spirit only enhanced the experience.  Well, except for the few times we were confined to our cabin.  At these points, I may have appreciated considerably less energy as would any rational human being.  Despite the slightly cramped quarters, the whole cruise was fantastic.  And best of all?  I got to bring home two of the best Mouseketeers any Mom could hope for.

Welcome to Our Special Show

Apparently since T.Puzzle and Full Speed are thoroughly enjoying their summer vacation, they would like Mad Dog to join in their fun.  On a ride home from errands Full Speed asked me if I knew Mad Dog’s work number.

“Why?” I asked.

“Maybe we can call his bosses later and see if they will let your husband have a week off.  Then we can make him feel very special all week long,” he replied.

I liked his idea.  I also enjoyed how he referred to Mad Dog as my husband and not as Dad.  I think he was trying to be more formal sounding so Mad Dog’s bosses would take his request seriously.

I didn’t want to dampen the sincerity of his spirit so I quickly devised a plan.

“Why don’t we make a video for Dad’s bosses and we can send it to Dad to share with his bosses later?”

T.Puzzle and Full Speed were quite happy with this notion.  They enjoy the art of video as much as a wrestling smack-down.

Here is the result:

Pinch Me

More often than not, Mad Dog and I have these surreal moments, especially as a weekend draws to a close, where we look at each other in disbelief and say, ‘the boys were really well behaved, weren’t they?”  It’s almost like we need someone to pinch us or that we need to thumbprint our kids to make sure that they are really, truly ours.

When public outings for so long have been a battle ground, it’s refreshing when they simply become enjoyable.

I didn’t see that coming at all.

And, for those who read this blog regularly, I bet you didn’t either.

Fun at the Alligator Farm.

Full (Speed) of Hot Air

Children and gastrointestinal issues go hand in hand.  Mad Dog and I have witnessed this firsthand.

When Full Speed shared that his ‘tummy hurt’ and then proceeded to turn a sickly pale color, we changed our dinner plans.  Nevermind that we had only seconds before pulled into the restaurant parking lot and were ready to exit the car and head inside.

We weren’t in a gambling mood.

Instead we decided to grab some food at a drive-thru and eat at home.  That way if Full Speed had any issues, we would be out of the public’s always watching eyes and have access to cleaning products if the need should arise.

We couldn’t figure out if Full Speed was really ill.  He was pale and restrained one moment, then hyper and happy the next.

After we picked up our food and had it spread out on our kitchen table, a low rumbling noise began deep in the bowels of Full Speed.  It went on and on a rose with a vengence and a long-winded burp escaped from his lips (you could have spelled Mississippi fourteen times before it was over).  An embarrassed smile spread across his face as he smirked out the words, “Excuuuuse meeeee!”  Mad Dog and I could tell he instantly felt better as the color returned to his cheeks.

Aha!  Full Speed’s stomach ailment was solved.

If only all mysterious child illnesses and behaviors could be dissected so easily.