children, humor, motherhood

On Track for Stardom

“I was doing a lot of thinking last night, Full Speed, and I came to the conclusion if we need to sell our house to subsidize your Olympic shot-put aspirations, I’m willing to do it.”

To qualify in the shot-put at a middle school track meet you have to reach a minimum of 30 feet.

Full Speed’s record is 16.

16!

I asked him point-blank, “Do they award points for style?”

Okay, so maybe not the shot-put.  How about the 4 x 800 he helped run?

Considering his team (which is categorized ‘B’ team for a reason) came in 12th out of 14, maybe this won’t be his event either.

However, they did lap a team.  Maybe there’s hope after all.

But wait, the team they lapped consisted of elementary school kids.

Looks like I just saved thousands of dollars in training fees.

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A young Full Speed realizing traveling by foot may be his least productive option.
family, humor, kids, motherhood

The Yeti

Full Speed and I were returning from our nearby Chinese restaurant with takeout in tow.  We were having a serious discussion about appreciating diverse perspectives in life.  I wanted to reiterate to him the goal isn’t having everyone agree (impossible!), but rather respecting others’ viewpoints.  If we keep an open mind, we might learn something.

He agreed wholeheartedly.  He thought a world of sameness would be boring.

Then, he went on to talk about the merits of differences.  He said, “Take for example you and Dad.  If you both were the same, we’d never leave the house.”

What?!?

Maybe it didn’t help this was the first time I had ever been to the aforementioned Chinese restaurant.  It had been open for months.  I relied on Mad Dog to get the takeout each Sunday evening as part of tradition.  You can pretty much guarantee I was waiting at home already in my pajamas.  The cashier and other workers were astonished at my presence.  Where was my husband?

It’s possible in my homebody glory, I may overdo it.  However, I step up when Mad Dog travels and I said as much to Full Speed.

“That’s true, Mom.  You at least have to go out and get groceries.”

I replied rather sheepishly, “Not really.  You know I’d just have them delivered!”

Then, it dawned on me.  I’m like the Yeti.

Mysterious and elusive.

Try and catch me.

 

The Yeti

bad day, children, motherhood, parenting

Mommed

I was having a moment.  I had been cruising through the week and then, I wasn’t.  Mad Dog has been gone for over a week and won’t get back for a few more days.

I have no reason to complain.  My boys are older and they are about a thousand percent easier to manage compared to when they were small.  We also do lots of fun stuff together like special dinners out and movie marathons.  It isn’t perfect but it works.

However, we all miss Mad Dog and after a while, this feeling of missing him creeps over us and then it’s harder to be our best selves.

Yesterday, as I tried to order Full Speed’s track uniform (yay! He made the track team!  So what if all he had to do was show up, basically, he made the team at ‘hello’, still….he made the commitment to be on a team…woo-hoo!), I lost it.  Why? Part of it was that it was about my one-hundredth action item of the day, and the other part was that Full Speed is one of the hardest kids in the world to find clothes that fit properly.  I can’t explain it but he always seems to fall in between regular sizing.  I had stared at the computer screen completely flummoxed as to what size to purchase when I finally pulled the trigger.  As I printed out the receipt I realized after all that agonizing, I had ordered the wrong size!  Yes, in the grand scheme of life it is no big deal, but it felt really big right then and I started to cry.

Full Speed came over to me, put his arm around my shoulders and said:

“It’s okay, Mom.  Everyone makes mistakes.  I just appreciate you buying the uniform for me.  I know you miss, Dad, too.  Because you miss him that’s probably really why you are upset. I understand.”

I had to admit, the kid made some good points.

Then, it dawned on me…I got ‘mommed’.

He basically said every exact thing I would say to him if the tables were turned.

I’m grateful he had the empathy to comfort me.  Nice that some of what I say to him sticks.

Today was better.

Here I will share a photographic art installation which symbolizes how well I am managing.

Thankfully, Little Guy waived all modeling fees.

family, humor, motherhood

Democracy in Action

Every family has a structure of ‘power’ so to speak.  It’s a dance between allowing everyone to have their say and getting individual needs met.  Let’s say you are on a 15 hour road trip one way (true story), and it comes time to decide where and when you might make a pit stop.  Each member of the family is allowed input and then a family vote is taken.

Voting System Breakdown

(should be noted this is Mad Dog’s creation):

As an adult and as a child over the age of twelve, myself and Full Speed are afforded one vote respectively.

Full Speed = 1

Mom = 1

Got it so far?  It seems straightforward but gets infinitely more complex as the process continues.

T.Puzzle gets a half vote since he is under twelve.  However, if he agrees with Mad Dog he gets a full vote.

T.Puzzle = 1/2 vote, bumps to 1 vote when he aligns with Mad Dog.

Mad Dog gets three votes.

Mad Dog = 3 votes

Yes, you read that right… three votes!

In the rare event that T.Puzzle’s half vote slips under the radar and a tie ensues, Mad Dog automatically becomes the tiebreaker.

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”

-Sun Tzu

Game over, Mad Dog.

Game over.

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We all voted and yes, Mad Dog makes us laugh… a lot!
humor, motherhood

How Do You Spell Amazing? (Part Two)

Towards the end of last year, I shared with you my elite status as a spelling bee prep consultant (How Do You Spell Amazing)? There are many things one must do in order to get their clients in fighting form.  In addition to being able to read a list of words out loud (gasp!), it is paramount as a consultant to live a varied and rich life.  Through your life adventures, it will help expose your clients to words that may have otherwise slipped past them.

Well over a decade ago I must have had a premonition that I would need to grow the vocabulary of my life to further the academic excellence of my children.  When Full Speed was 8 months old, Mad Dog and I had our first weekend away.  As a mom who struggled with the all-consuming role of caring for an infant, this weekend was a revelation.  Simply walking down a hall unencumbered felt foreign and liberating.  Getting a chance to eat a meal and engage in an actual conversation warmed the depths of my soul.  During this outing, Mad Dog and I also spent some time at our resort’s bar.  Having recently stopped breastfeeding, I was happily free to indulge in a glass of wine.  I’m not sure if it was the headiness of my new-found (and short-lived) freedom, but that first glass of wine there was transcendent. To this day, I wonder if it actually is as good as I think, or if it simply reminds me of that formative slice in time of being footloose and kid-free.  You may wonder where I’m going with this, but you’ll see how it plays out later.

As I continued raising my little family and expanding all of our horizons and vocabulary, I came into my own as a spelling bee prep consultant.  The result was Full Speed’s exciting win as a fifth grader and lo and behold, T.Puzzle followed exactly the same path!

So, there I was in the audience, watching my handsome and brave T.Puzzle compete in his school’s spelling bee.  Each time it was his turn, I couldn’t even watch him.  I stared at the paper list of contestants held tightly in my hands.  I proceeded to crumple that paper to shreds as I locked it in a death grip.

The first rounds were easy for the most part, but soon the words took a complicated turn.  He hung in there round after round.  Then, he got to the word:

CONUNDRUM

Immediately, I relaxed my hands and shot my mother-in-law a huge grin.  I knew my baby had it.  It wasn’t for the win but I rest assured that he was safe for another round.

‘Conundrum’ happens to be the name of the very wine I drank all those years ago.  It remains one of my favorites and has graced our table, our fridge and my outstretched hand on many occasions.

He spelled it without an ounce of hesitation.

As a mom, I pledge to do whatever it takes to help my children succeed.

 

I’m good like that.

Cheers!

Full Speed and Mad Dog took a half day to cheer T.Puzzle onto victory. A great day for all of us. Way to go, T.Puzzle!