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

Around the World

T.Puzzle’s school hosted their annual ‘International Night’.  Each classroom had a national theme and had food to represent this theme. 

All week the boys were excited for this event.  T.Puzzle kept asking Mad Dog if he was going to come and have ‘Chinese food with us?’ about twice a day.  Full Speed was looking forward to hanging out at his old stomping grounds and playing on the slides and outdoor equipment.  Of course, he was all about the food, too.

The boys decorate our entry for Mad Dog to welcome him home in anticipation of our attendance of International Night.
I looked forward to the event because the boys were beside themselves with anticipation.  I also had some reservations.  It’s crowded, hot, chaotic and extremely noisy.  This is hard for me when my preference is solitude, moderate temperatures with a cool breeze thrown in, complete organization and extreme quiet.  The cards were stacked against me.

By the time it was done, my nervous system was on overdrive teetering on the brink of a total meltdown.  Even Mad Dog had reached his limit.

The boys however seemed to gain energy from the more people, food and ‘countries’ we visited.  They even insisted on playing outside the school for as long as we would allow.

The ride home was no different.  Mad Dog and I sat in near catatonic silence while T.Puzzle and Full Speed amped up their antics in the back.

I guess that’s part of parenting.  You do things that are out of your comfort zone and nine times out of ten you end up having a good time.  Watching your kids have a blast makes anything feel like a success.   Even if you need a nap afterwards.

children, humor, kids, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting

The Strands of Time

So, T.Puzzle is going through this thing.  He likes to be assertively independent more so than usual.  Of course this will only apply as he sees fit.  He is adamant about dressing himself yet doesn’t believe in wiping his own bottom.

This can make life interesting.

I picked him up early last week to go to the allergist.  I made him use the potty at school before we left.  It was taking forever so I peaked in on him.  Lo and behold, little man is wiping his own bottom!  Like I said, this is something he refuses to do at home.  Well, game over kid, your stinky tush is now your responsibility.  I say this with a grain of salt and an arsenal of stain remover and extra strength detergent stockpiled  in my laundry room. 

T.Puzzle’s independence has been creeping into other areas.  I ordered him a cheeseburger and fries at dinner with white milk.  When it arrived he had a myriad of complaints.  He wanted chocolate milk and he doesn’t like fries.  First of all, he has never drank chocolate milk in his entire life and secondly, what four year old boy doesn’t like fries?

A contrary one trying be his own man and attempting to turn all his mother’s hair gray.

One strand at a time, folks. 

One strand at a time.

children, mommyhood

My Winning Strategy

Since T.Puzzle has turned three, I’ve been holding my breath for the dissipation of his terrible twos. Most Moms you talk to tell you the threes are worse but that has not been my experience. Like a fine wine (you know I had to use a wine reference) T.Puzzle’s older brother has gotten better with time. I’ve seen the same phenomenon with him. It’s groundbreaking and exciting.

However, and you know in the land of my boys there is always a ‘however’, he still likes to sass me, say ‘no!’ to just about everything, test his behavioral boundaries and throw raging (although less frequently) tantrums.

I went upstairs to inform the boys that dinner was ready. They were watching T.Puzzle’s  current favorite Thomas the Train movie, ‘Hero of the Railways’. They had not had a snack and T.Puzzle had taken a lengthy nap (hallelujah!) so I suspected they were famished.

Full Speed is game and he darts downstairs. T.Puzzle, well, he’s a different story.

“I not hungry! I not eat!” he proclaims.

I shut off the movie and tell him it’s now or never.

“I not eat! I not eat! I won’t go!” he cries. By this time angry tears are spewing from his eyeballs and he has dropped into the wet noodle formation. All caregivers are familiar with the wet noodle defense. His thirty-four pound body is now lying in a floppy heap on the floor. I have to clean and press him (I made sure to use my knees to protect my lower back) but I manage to get him off the floor and carry him all the way to the kitchen table.

He sits there in a huff. Everything Mad Dog and I offer him is, ‘I not want that. I not like that. I NOT EAT!’

Yeah, it’s getting really pleasant and fun. I’m just about to drop the hammer and send him to the corner when he picks up a piece of chicken and tentatively puts it in his mouth and begins to chew. Before you know it, he is putting the food from his plate in his mouth so quickly he looks like a robotic conveyor belt. He’s eating everything in sight. Before Mad Dog and I can even sit down to eat our own meals he’s asking for ‘MORE! MORE!’

I have always known that a good rule of thumb when raising energetic, active boys is to keep them well fed at regular intervals throughout the day. If this fails me and believe me it has, my other rule of thumb is to drink wine at regular intervals throughout the day. Either way I’m a winner.