children, humor, motherhood

Survival Mode

We have been incredibly busy as we manage all the ins and outs of moving.  It seems for every action-item crossed off the to-do list, twenty more eagerly pop up to fill its place.  While I have been outwardly focused on all these necessary tasks, a part of me is aware that taking time to smell the roses with my boys is essential.

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Full Speed stopping to smell the roses when he was two adorable years old.

In the midst of this craziness I am making an effort every day to be present for them and to keep up with many of our traditions.  We have made it to the pool, the movies and for ice cream.  These are the pillars of our summer.

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One day, as I contemplated the complicated logistics of our schedule, I had the strangest thought.  A Target run was first-up and I actually wanted my boys to go with me.

Well, that was a first.

I scanned my body for illness.  Then I did a quick mental-health status check.

I seemed to be functioning ‘normally’.

Was this what end-of-days feels like?

I don’t know.

I do know that my boys are so much fun!  They have the ability to entertain me while on errands and sometimes, they are actually helpful!

Truthfully, T.Puzzle is still a bit of a loose cannon when we are out and about, but I can take it.  I survived the terrible twos, threes and fours…

Twice.

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children, family, humor, motherhood

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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