family, humor, motherhood

The Growing Problem

I know I have a weird denial about my boys growing bigger.  Part of it is for the obvious ‘don’t-want-them-to-grow-up-too-fast’, the other part is I sincerely dislike taking them clothes shopping.  Since we were at the pool this past week and my boys were in their very small, very short swim trunks, my denial of taking them shopping was starting to crumble.  As I looked around, I realized that they were in the minority.  And, come to think of it, they were about the only ones at basketball camp that didn’t have the standard, down-to-the-knee basketball shorts.  I mean at one point the shorts they wore did fall to their knees, but no longer.  Darn.  Time to go shopping.

I wanted to make this outing as quick and painless as possible.  Once we were at Target, I grabbed a bunch of clothes in various sizes and we headed to the dressing rooms. Something about the dressing rooms, maybe the small space, the awkward corners and unstable walls, makes my boys go crazy.  I think it’s what I refer to as their ‘pretend sense of control’.  Mad Dog has this.  When he is asked to do something he doesn’t want to do, he then tries to push my buttons about a series of unrelated topics.  Eventually, he does what is asked, but it certainly comes at a cost to my own mental sanity.  I believe this is what the boys were doing.  They started to act crazy to let me know that they were NOT happy to be trying on all these clothes.

However, instead of me completely losing it, I actually kind of found it funny.  Not entirely so, but a little.  I laughed when Full Speed tried on the way-too-big pair of shorts, and when he said he needed a ‘schmedium’ (a size between a small and medium).  When T.Puzzle begin to army crawl between the stalls, thankfully, we were the only ones there, I didn’t yell or tell him he had to stop.  I let him army crawl away.  I figured at least he wasn’t complaining and it gave me time to sort through the remaining sizes and clothes.

Then it hit me.  I need to stop having these impossible expectations about shopping with my boys.  They are going to be crazy.  They are going to hate it.   And, maybe, if I stop being so serious about it, we can laugh a little and maybe leave the store with a little bit of dignity intact…. or not…..

Where’s a schmedium when you need it?
children, family, humor, kids, motherhood, parenting

Change (Your Pants)

Full Speed as a happy-go-lucky baby
Full Speed as a happy-go-lucky baby

Full Speed is approaching double digits.  I love the age he is right now.  I love the person he is right now.  I don’t think he is going to change that much in the few weeks before he actually turns ten, so mostly I am excited to celebrate this milestone with him.  My concern has to do with not feeling comfortable discussing the subtle physical and emotional changes he is experiencing and to be honest, a general lack of knowledge about what to expect (where’s the book ‘What to Expect during Puberty’?  I need one of those).  I’m a social worker at heart so I’m confident that I can talk my way through the most difficult of challenges.  We will get through this.

However, I noticed recently that Full Speed seemed, well, let’s just say, fidgety in his pants.  There were a lot of hands-on adjustments on his part.  I assumed that these adjustments are a natural part of a being a growing boy.  I tried to be cool and say things like, ‘that’s fine to do, but privately is the way to go,’ or ‘there’s a time and a place for that and this is not it.’  I didn’t want to make a huge deal out of it for fear of scarring him permanently.  He seemed okay with what I said and I thought we were in the clear.  We were not.

As we walked to the gym he kept yanking, pulling and tugging at his pants.  Finally, I couldn’t take it.

“Full Speed, would you please STOP doing that!”

“But Mom, I’ve had these underpants since I was like five and they are so tiny.  They keep riding up my crack and are so uncomfortable!”

I did the only thing I could do.  I laughed and laughed and then, laughed some more.  I’m pretty sure that was the most healthy approach to this delicate situation.

Up to this point, my boys have always been similar in size and stature.  Even when I’ve had to buy them new clothes for length, they often don’t fill them out.  It never occurred to me that Full Speed had the audacity to put some meat on his bones therefore requiring larger underwear.

It was a watershed moment.  Sometimes all your worries will vanish if you just keep your kids in appropriate sized underwear.

Live and learn, friends.  Live and learn.