children, humor, kids, motherhood, parenting

Butterflies and Best Friends

Sometimes, as you make your way through life, you don’t understand that if you find a true friend along the way, you should do everything in your power to keep them.  I didn’t realize that when I met my dear friend while interning in graduate school, that she would become a life-long support in the ups and downs of my life.  Even though years and an entire width of America has kept us physically separated, we have smartly stayed connected through mutual effort and commitment.  When she came for a visit this past week after not seeing her for nearly six years (shockingly, we had not aged at all), we happily picked up right where we left off.  She had her adorable five-year old daughter in tow who quickly became one of my best friends as well.

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The boys were very gracious helping to host and gamely participated in all things girl to keep her happy.  However, by the third day, Full Speed was starting to crack.  He didn’t understand why after ‘playing the games she wants, reading the books she wants and watching the shows she wants,” why on earth were we making him go see a 3D movie about butterflies?

When we arrived at the IMAX he perked up a little at the size of the theater.  Naturally, as the butterflies seemingly flitted past our faces, my friend’s daughter lovingly tried to catch them.  Full Speed and T.Puzzle tried to karate chop them into oblivion.

When the movie was over, Full Speed announced it was 1% interesting and 99% boring.  He was allowed to vent this opinion because he still had an afternoon and evening of Dora the Explorer and Rescue Fairy Princesses ahead of him.

children, family, humor, motherhood, parenting

Mad about Soccer

Mad Dog in coaching mode

There is something maddening about playing cul-de-sac soccer with Mad Dog.  He brings out the competitive fire in everyone, even former social workers like me.  Sure, I have no problem letting T.Puzzle score a goal on me here and there, but I would sooner give up wine and chocolate than let Mad Dog score a goal.  I can’t stand it.

I’m not the only one he affects this way.  We had friends over yesterday for our usual Saturday cul-de-sac soccer rumble, and they felt the same way about him.  He’s out for blood.  You rest or take your eyes off him for a moment and he attacks.  Soon, you lose track of yourself entirely.  You start kicking the ball as hard as you can, sacrificing your body in ways you no longer thought your middle-aged body can handle (and in reality, really can’t) and fire off shots that sometimes hit your own off-spring in injurious ways (sorry, T.Puzzle, hope your face is better).

I dare you.  Play one game against him and logic will leave you.

You also will have the time of your life (please don’t tell him I said that).

children, gratitude, happiness, kids, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting

Cheeseburgers and Miracles

A while back I mentioned how Mad Dog and I were amazed at the substantial overall improvement of the boys’ behavior. This improvement is most notable when on public outings or surrounded by a large group.

We attended a neighborhood cookout and our friend and host commented that she noticed a dramatic difference in them as well.

For example, neither had to sit in time-out for anything.

Not one time.

I couldn’t believe it.

Neither tried to tackle, maim, bite or wreak generalized havoc on each other or the rest of the kids in attendance.

Mad Dog and I actually got to sit back, relax and engage in adult conversation.

All over cheeseburgers, good company and a lovely March evening.

I do believe in miracles.

A spring break outing to the zoo where the boys continued their miraculous good behavior. They had cheeseburgers for lunch, too. Maybe the magic is hidden in the ground beef?
children, gratitude, happiness, kids, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting, self-discovery

The Right Kind of ‘Yes’

If you actually complete all your ‘to-do’ lists on a daily basis during the holiday season, it is easy to lose yourself.  Sure, you may have all your presents bought and started addressing your holiday cards, but where is the love?

It is so easy to get swept up in the momentum of holiday madness.  You say ‘yes’ to your child’s classroom teacher, you say ‘yes’ to buying more presents, you say ‘yes’ to giving all that you are and then some.

Maybe ‘no’ is something worth considering.

What if we all said ‘no’ a little bit more this season and focused our ‘yesses’ on the people we cherish most in this world?

I certainly am thinking of three guys that I would love to hang out with more as Christmas and the New Year approaches.

Who would your ‘nos’ make room for?

humor, mommyhood

What’s Mine is Yours (or Vice Versa)

Eating goldfish crackers is like breathing for little T.Puzzle. All day long he tells me he’s hungry and inevitably shouts ‘Goldfish!’ when asked what he would like for a snack. Of course I have many parameters around how much of these crackers he can actually consume. Usually it’s a once a day situation and if I’m feeling generous, I’ll let him have a second helping. After that, kid’s out of luck.

Our friend, Miss Cutie, was visiting. She was staying for dinner. Since the little ones were close to melting down as we waited for Mad Dog to return with our pizza order, I busted out the goldfish. Miss Cutie and T.Puzzle sat at the same table and I gave them a smattering of the crackers in their own, separate bowls. T.Puzzle inhales his in about two seconds flat.

“More goldfish, please!” he says.

I politely decline his request knowing the pizza will be arriving shortly. I turn to continue my conversation with Miss Cutie’s Mom.

“I did it all by myself, Mommy!” he shouts through a mouthful of goldfish.

He had taken Miss Cutie’s bowl and emptied the contents into his and was happily chomping away.

My Mom always used to say ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all’. Therefore, I’ll give little T.Puzzle an A+ for resourcefulness and I’ll leave it at that.