children, humor, kids, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting, tantrums

Soccer, Sunshine & the Stinky Face

Disney Sports Soccer
Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday, the four of us hopped on our bikes and headed to the soccer fields.  The mail lady commented on how she wished she could join us in the sunshine as we whizzed by.

Full Speed rode his big boy bike.  No training wheels, no how.

We were golden.  We did some drills (all according to Mad Dog’s direction–my soccer knowledge consists of ‘kick the ball’ and ‘don’t use your hands’). 

The best part was when Mad Dog played ‘keep away’ from the me and the boys.  It took all three of us, intense concentration and sometimes we caught a break to occasionally knock the ball from Mad Dog’s skilled feet.  The boys loved this game. 

Then, Mad Dog tried to have Full Speed run a  ‘dribbling’ drill.  Apparently this means doing something with your feet and has nothing to do with the fine motor control of retaining saliva in your mouth.  Since Full Speed wasn’t good at controlling the ball in this manner; he pouted, cried and acted like a very spoiled two year old. 

The bike ride home was drama-filled and drawn out.  Full Speed refused to pedal (he’s not so great at riding without training wheels yet either).

At least the weather was lovely.

Eventually, Mad Dog had to coax Full Speed home on foot and I had to carry his bike while balancing mine with my free hand.  It was a long walk home.

I’m so thankful for second chances and new days.

So far so good.

I guess sometimes you need to go to the brink of bad behavior before you can return to the land of the well-behaved.

children, mommyhood, tantrums, terrible threes

Mommy Instinct

We happily survived our visiting nephews. There were some tense moments here and there, but overall, they are good kids. It is fun to talk to them and hear their ever-expanding take on the world around us.

The boys have a movie night with their cousins. Popcorn anyone?

Grandma and Grandpa picked all the boys up (T.Puzzle and Full Speed included) this morning and took them to church. With all the activity we’ve experienced in the past few weeks, my mommy-instinct was on high alert that little T.Puzzle needed to attempt a nap today. I tried to explain this as clearly as possible to Mad Dog who chose to politely ignore my warning. As we headed to pick up the boys, Mad Dog decides that this is the day he HAS to sync Grandma’s phone. A phone sync can be a long and tedious process. I knew, I mean really, really KNEW, we were running out of time concerning little T.Puzzle.

“Do the phone sync another day,” I urged. “T.Puzzle needs some rest time, pronto!”

It was like I wasn’t even talking. Mad Dog was convinced the phone sync would be fast and we’d get little T.Puzzle home soon enough (I strongly disagreed). Well over an hour later the phone was still backing up and little T.Puzzle’s mood had hit the danger zone.

So, when little T.Puzzle reached his inevitable level-10 meltdown, guess who had the honor of dealing with this disaster? (And it got very ugly, fast.)


Never doubt the mommy-instinct. Those who go against it inevitably will have an irate wife experiencing her own meltdown. Or something like that (insert your own worst nightmare here).

children, gratitude

When the Shark Bites

Today there was rain and then more rain. After that, it rained a little more. This did not dampen our spirits. We decided to go to the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. It had this tunnel that ran through a sea of sharks, fish and stingrays. It was all going swimmingly (water reference intended) when Full Speed freaked out. He was done and couldn’t believe the underwater exhibit wouldn’t end. It didn’t matter how big the sharks were, how close they were, or how many we saw. He. Was. Done.

When we finally made our escape and Full Speed’s mood improved then little T.Puzzle’s demeanor took a nosedive. Isn’t that always the case when you have more than one child? As soon as one is happy as a clam, then the other decides to shred this happiness with the skill of a swordfish (I’m sorry, the sea-based metaphors keep flowing, it’s like a sickness, I know).

My boys were tired. This I knew for sure. They rallied at the end for a fun pic ‘inside’ an aquarium. Then it was time to return to our cabin. Maybe if we are lucky both will be happy for the remainder of the day. That would be like a peaceful rush of air from a conch shell (is there anywhere I could go for help to curb my abuse of similies and metaphors?).

children, mommyhood, Uncategorized

Forget the Park

I decided to take the boys to the library park after school. I know their day is long at school but it usually bodes well for me at home if they can run some energy out. They were psyched as we pulled into the parking lot. As I looked across the field that stood between us and the actual playground, it resembled a muddy swamp. There were rivulets of murky water mazed throughout the grassy muck. I took one look and knew it wasn’t gonna happen. I told the boys we had a change of plans and would head to a park that was closer to home (and less of a mud disaster).

Full Speed was mad. He decided to have an awful attitude as we came upon our new location. At one point he decided to take a handful of mulch and throw it at T.Puzzle at point-blank range. Slowly and after a time-out or two, he readjusted his attitude and begrudgingly played.

I had this feeling in the pit of my stomach that urged me to call our time at the park to a close sooner rather than later. They were both on edge and even though the weather was pitch perfect, I didn’t want to chance it. I announced it’s time to leave and then T.Puzzle goes into the throes of a level 9 meltdown. Slowly and after a time-out or two, he readjusted his attitude and begrudgingly left.

Why is it that when you are doing something out of the ordinary for your kids that it more often than not it completely backfires? It almost seems that the more good intentions and higher the expectations, the more it can fail. Then you bring home your two crabby kids and throw them in the bath (something they do all the time) and they have the time of their lives. Think of all the money Disney World would lose if parents actually caught on to this logic. Stay home and give your kids a bath instead.

By the way, did I mention we are considering a day trip to Disney sometime before the end of the year? Should be interesting.

bad day, children, mommyhood

When It Rains, It Pours

We had done it. My sister and I devised a plan to see each other before Christmas. My heart was smiling as I set off to Super Target to stock my house with baby supplies (for my littlest nephew) and food for my impending guests (my two nieces were coming along as well). As you know from yesterday’s post, once I returned to the convertible and had it completely packed full, the engine was entirely unresponsive. A panicked phone call later to Mad Dog and I had brought my perishables back in the store to be held in the deli locker while T.Puzzle and I waited for a car service man to come and rescue us. T.Puzzle could tell I was on edge so naturally he had to have a level 8 meltdown in the café. Once his behavior had stabilized (threats and an embarrassingly loud time-out did the trick), he actually was quite pleasant and heartily enjoyed his hot dog. For the most part, after my initial panic, I had rallied and was calm awaiting the next tenets of our Thursday morning adventure.

Surprisingly, the service man was timely (less than twenty minutes from time of Mad Dog’s initial call for roadside assistance) and jumped the car battery without a hitch. I ran back in, grab my refrigerated goods and hit the road as quickly as possible.

Now, I was told to keep the car running for thirty minutes from the time of the jump to make sure the car battery had properly recharged. So, when I pull in my driveway, I roll the windows down (because heaven forbid I lock the keys in a running vehicle) and keep it running. When I have it all unloaded, I run and grab the keys feeling confident all is well as enough time has passed. I realize that the windows are still down. I put the key back in the ignition and guess what? The car is as dead as a door nail. I can’t roll up the windows and it is cloudy with a distinct possibility of rain.

I make a few calls and soon Grandma will be on her way with something that might work just as I am about to run to my neighbor’s to get a tarp. I am literally seconds from the door when T.Puzzle announces that he’s pooped. He goes to where our pak-n-play normally is because he is old enough to climb up on it to be changed. It’s not there having been relocated up to the guest room for my baby nephew’s sleeping comfort. To make do, he goes and lays down on the area rug by our computer near the family room. Bad move.

He has had a ridiculous explosive poop that has crept up his back and is all over his clothes and is now all over my rug. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. I strip him down, wipe him up as best I can and throw him in our downstairs shower as I clean up the poop carnage. This is right when Grandma arrives. After he is cleaned up, she offers to stay with him (thank you!) while I run to grab the tarp. Between what Grandma has brought, some towels, garbage bags and the tarp, I think we have the car covered.

And wouldn’t you know, for the remainder of the day the sky was crystal clear with nary a drop of rain in sight.