children, family, humor, kids, motherhood, parenting

Moms Like Me Want to Know

I had lunch with T.Puzzle this week at school.  I wasn’t able last week because I was under the weather.  That fact that I had to skip out on him didn’t phase him one bit.  He told me that ‘he wasn’t going to miss me at all’ and proceeded to apparently have a perfectly wonderful lunch without me.  His indifferent attitude had me questioning scheduling a lunch with either of my boys. Was it possible that only I benefitted from this weekly check-in?   After further investigation, T.Puzzle admitted that yes, he would still like to have Mom come for lunch but he is okay if for some reason I can’t make it.  I didn’t wait for him to change his mind and told him I would seem him soon.

As I sat at the parents’  table with him, his teacher stopped by and graciously thanked me for my emails.  She said that she appreciated staying in touch.  What she doesn’t know is that for every one email I send her, I’d actually like to send about a thousand more.  I wish she would live tweet or video stream every significant move T.Puzzle makes.  If T.Puzzle learned something, she should let me know as quickly as possible.  If he gets out of line, if he exhibits outstanding behavior (we all have dreams, don’t we?), if he says something cute or funny…basically, if he does anything at all, I want to know about it.  Same goes for Full Speed and his teacher, too.

Instead, I constantly coach myself to leave my kids and their teachers alone.  I fill my time in other ways while always holding images of what I picture my boys doing at school (I tend to picture them doing only amazing stuff, it’s much more fun that way), and that has to be enough.  It doesn’t feel like enough, but it has to be.

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

Diet Coke

A neighbor and I were recently chatting about raising our boys.  Hers are grown, as you all know, mine are not.  We both said that in our experience motherhood gets better with each passing year.  It’s a combination of learning to accept things exactly as they are and the natural maturation of children.  Basically it’s easier to let things slide if your kids are more self sufficient, follow directions better and have more fully developed personalities to entertain you.

I was keenly aware of this conversation as I took T.Puzzle to lunch at Chik-fil-a.  It was a breeze.  He sat quietly and promptly ate his food.  He went and played independently.  Instead of endangering other kids with aggressive behavior, he actually helped a little girl who was stuck halfway between platforms.  Yes, that’s right, he HELPED her.  He didn’t bite her, kick her or punch her.  He was so proud of himself he ran out to tell me all about it.  He also lobbied that this may be a great item to include in his behavior report for tae kwon do this evening.

Naturally, there will be times today when he tests my patience.  The nice thing is that now there is more balance.  He gives a little and therefore so do I.

And for the record as I sat alone drinking my soda and watching him play, it may have been the best Diet Coke I ever tasted.

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

Transformative

T.Puzzle and I on our date at Sonic.
Okay. So there are a lot of trials and tribulations to raising young children. The energy requirements alone are enough to make you faint. I still am lobbying the government for Sundays off from motherhood. Oh, and I would love some monetary compensation to call my own.

Besides these obvious pitfalls, there is a fantasic upside.

My boys are still at the age where spending time with me is almost as awesome as the impending summer release of Transformers 3.

Full Speed beams during our regular Thursday lunch on St. Patrick's Day.

I’ll take the good with the bad and spend as much time with these guys as I can while they still let me.

All I have to be is myself with them.

No transformation required.

Yet.

children, mommyhood, tantrums

Make It or Break It

We decide to go out to eat. My Dad is in town visiting and he requested a meal of fish. We had an overall successful family outing to Tae Kwon Do so Mad Dog and I felt confident the boys could handle a longer drive to go to a slightly (very slightly) upscale fish market for lunch.

We arrive and everything is going somewhat smoothly. We are seated waiting to order and Full Speed is playing with some hot-wheels cars while little T.Puzzle is coloring.  The boys are full of motion but are being quiet and entertaining themselves. I am taking this moment to attempt to read the menu. My Dad says, “Is he supposed to be coloring on that?”

I look up and see that little T.Puzzle is coloring all over the white linen tablecloth.

“You color on the paper, NOT on the tablecloth!” I say emphasizing my point by dramatically gesturing where and where not he can color.

He looks me squarely in the eye and without dropping a beat, colors on the tablecloth. Now, the waitress is at our table waiting for our order. She sees me lean in and threaten T.Puzzle with edgy vehemence. I realize that I must come across as a scary, intimidating Mom but I power forward. The waitress doesn’t know of T.Puzzle’s recent, defiant behavior and I can’t let the judgment of the world stop my discipline.

Once the order is complete, T.Puzzle again starts in with the tablecloth coloring. I hastily grab his crayons, toss them on the table and yank the kid out of the booth. I tell him he is heading to time-out. As I walk toward the front I grab his legs and heave him up in a disobedient ball. He is yelling and kicking and all the other fine diners are looking at us like he is a complete psychopath. I get him to the front and realize in my haste I left his coat and hat at the table. Normally, in Florida you can bypass the coat and hat but we are in a cold snap. It’s thirty degrees and overcast. He’s been sick so much I realize I’m stuck inside for the duration for what I am certain is going to be a doozy of a tantrum (it reached a level 8). People from the bar were peering at his ruckus, the hostess was politely trying not to make direct eye contact with me and I wanted to throw a tantrum of my own (I was thinking only a level 3 or 4).

Is it just me or am I the only Mom in the throes of a massive power struggle with her child? Full Speed started in on me when he was a year and a half.  T.Puzzle has since picked up the slack when Full Speed finally began to fight me a little bit less. I know my time is coming that every day and every situation won’t be a knock-down, drag-out battle of the wills.

I don’t think I will make it.