children, gratitude, happiness, humor, kids, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting, tantrums, terrible threes


T.Puzzle had an interesting statement.

“I not cry at drop-off today, Mommy.”


Did my often unpredictible, at times overly emotional, fully commited to the terrible threes child tell me he wasn’t going to throw a tantrum?

I’ve heard of out of body experiences. ┬áThis was mine.

My loyal readers will understand the magnitude of what T.Puzzle was saying to me.

My motherhood journey to this moment has been anything but easy.

And now, here we are.

Tearless drop-offs for T.Puzzle.

What’s next?


children, eyesight, gratitude, happiness, mommyhood

The Climb of Progress

There is a positive side to having active boys with vision issues. It makes them more cautious especially at great heights and forces them to slow down a notch. Anything that slows down my always-in-motion boys at looming heights is a plus.

The downside is that when they were smaller both loathed to swing, they cried and screamed when introduced to a new climbing apparatus and they generally caused a scene if they felt unsafe. Through the years I have learned to adapt and so have they. I’ve learned when to push, when to back off and when to throw my hands up in defeat while taking a long draw of drink from my handy travel flask. Of course with time and age, the boys learned by doing that they are safe at the tops of a slides and Full Speed is now fearless (lucky me???).

Little T.Puzzle, well, he’s still a work in progress.

So, as I approached our outing to the play area at Chik-fil-a, I had very low expectations. T.Puzzle started out very cautiously and when he went down the slide he screamed and wailed. I was just about to wrap it up when he did something unexpected. He kept going. The more he went, the more confidence he built and by the end he was circling the climbing apparatus in a happy loop.

This kid is growing by leaps and bounds. I might just be able to retire my travel flask sooner than I thought. Most likely I will always hold onto it for sentimental reasons (at least that is what I will tell Mad Dog).

Way to go, Little T.Puzzle!
mommyhood, potty training

Big Boy Underpants

Potty-trainging little T.Puzzle has become the bane of my existence. I’m giving it until the end of this week and then either I’m going to go on a huge bender (you are more than welcome to join me) or I’m putting him back in pull-ups. I can tell there has been some maturation and progress on his part (ironically, my maturation and progress seems to be diminishing). He only screams and cries for a minute or so before he starts telling me that ‘I not poop!’ or ‘the poop is hiding, Mommy!’ Before, he would just scream and cry the entire time I left him on the potty. He also told Mad Dog while we were at a movie this weekend that he had to pee. They raced to the bathroom and made it in time. So this is moving in a positive direction.

However, the pooping (oh! the pooping!) is still not clicking. I mean he still is pooping just mostly in his pants. As I was putting away laundry and fussing around the house, I came across him sitting next to his brother watching Frack play computer games in dirty, wet underpants. Apparently, he could care less about how disgusting that really is.

Thus, my huge bender approacheth!

children, mommyhood, terrible threes


My friend who reads my blog regularly (thank you, thank you) came over for lunch. She is raising boys as well and while hers are much older, she has much wisdom to dispel on the subject. Of course I am all ears. I implemented some of her suggestions with varying degrees of success. The first one was to simply tell Full Speed my expectation and to do so only once. If he complied then he would be rewarded, if not then no reward.

When we arrived at school I told him that I wanted him to say ‘good morning, ma’am’ to the school’s receptionist. Oftentimes he is running about talking silly and he doesn’t address her properly. I told him this once and he didn’t do it. I didn’t make a big deal but later that day I told him that meant he didn’t earn a privilege he had wanted. The next day it clicked for him and every day since. He stops in front of the reception area and greets her with respect. So, there’s my progress.

My friend’s other suggestion concerning my constant power struggle to get little T.Puzzle’s shoes on before we head out the door, was to put his shoes on while he is watching his morning cartoon. That way he is distracted and the shoes are on when I shut down the tv and it is time for us to leave.

I put the show on, grabbed the shoes and with great care and stealth tried to slip on his shoes. In the instant he saw me and the shoes he gets up screaming from the couch and runs away to hide.

My friend never once suggested that I be the one to run away and hide, but I’m telling you, on the days that start with tantrums, ‘I nots!’, and general defiance, it doesn’t seem like a half-bad option.

I’ll keep listening, learning and trying different things. Eventually something will click or we will have to move to a place where it is culturally acceptable be barefoot.

children, gratitude, mommyhood

The T.Puzzle Connection

We may be turning a corner here. There certainly are no guarantees when raising a family but I’m sensing a slight shift in little T.Puzzle. He actually made the connection that bad behavior equals the loss of privileges. When I picked him up from school the first thing he said to me was, “Do I get to watch a show and have a treat?” I told him that he could but only if he was a good listener and was respectful. He seemed satisfied with that and went on to be mostly well-behaved for the rest of the evening.

I remember when Full Speed was in the heart of the terrible threes and he would have moments and phases of clarity just like Little T.Puzzle is showing. It would bolster me up for the next inevitable slide back to tantrum-filled defiance. I guess that’s what I need to do now. Soak up Little T.Puzzle’s slice of sanity and put the memory of it in my reserve tank of parenting energy.

You all know I’m gonna need it.