children, family, humor, kids, motherhood, parenting

The Return of Quiet

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My boys finally(!) returned to school from their winter break this morning. They were home for nineteen straight days but who’s counting? The noise level in my house has decreased by about 1000%.  So this is what silence is.  Oh, how I’ve missed you!

At breakfast this morning, I asked the boys what they were looking forward to about their return to school. I took recess off the table as an option because that’s what T.Puzzle always chooses. I wasn’t going to let him off easy.

Full Speed said, “Math!”

Then, it was T.Puzzle’s moment to share,

“Lunch.”

Why didn’t I see that one coming a mile away?

children, family, humor, kids, motherhood, parenting

A Dinosaur Tail

I walked Full Speed into school today to help him drop off some canned goods for the school’s annual food drive.  He asked if it was okay to stop by one of his teacher’s rooms to choose his prize for a great report card he recently received.

Why not?

Naturally, he chose the biggest, brightest, most obnoxious looking stuffed dinosaur I have ever seen.  The kicker is, he was too embarrassed to carry it (and it was too massive to fit in his backpack).  I couldn’t make him choose something else because the night before Mad Dog and I declared that if he was the one earning the good grades, he could choose whatever he wanted (this is before we knew giant dinosaurs were a prize option).  Since my back was up against the wall, I decided to set a good example and own it.  If I showed him that I didn’t care that the entire school was staring at me, then I could show him that what others think about you, isn’t so important.

I was so proud of myself.  Look at me walking through the halls with my dino pal proudly on display.  Of course I was in sweats and had not an ounce of make-up on, and let’s be honest, my hair was barely combed into place.  I didn’t care.  When the sixth graders gave me a shout out of, “Nice, dinosaur!”, I said, “Thanks!” and kept on walking with my head held high.  Of course, the younger students treated me like a rock star.  This only bolstered my resolve.

I managed to walk my shy, self-conscious self all the way to the front of the school and was home free.  That is until a teacher stopped me and pointed out that with each step I took, the dinosaur’s tail swished back and forth behind me as if I was waving a flag of attention to myself.  It was bad enough that I shook my ‘tail’ the entire length of the school (believe me, this school is big and the hallways are looong), but to have an adult call me out, it was hard to maintain my composure.

Is it bad if I hope Full Speed’s next report card only gets him into the pencil and small eraser section of the prize closet?  All it took was one dinosaur to make me a fan of underachievment.

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, family, humor, kids, motherhood, parenting

Shot Through the Heart

T.Puzzle on the first day of kindergarten

Oh, hello denial!  I didn’t see you standing there.  I was too busy pretending that sending T.Puzzle to kindergarten was a breeze.

Basically, this kindergarten thing has been fine and dandy with me as long as I could  accurately predict T.Puzzle’s behavior.  It’s when he starts going rogue on me and all of a sudden exhibits very Full Speed-like tendencies that all bets are off.

I was perfectly happy dropping him off as long as Full Speed escorted him to his class.  Things became dicey this week when he announced that he would no longer need Full Speed’s assistance and he would be walking in ‘all by myself!’ from here on out.

Now, I expected and accepted this kind of independent streak from Full Speed.  While I knew T.Puzzle had it in him, I thought that it would take a little longer to express on school grounds, like in ten years or so (ah, yes, there’s that lovely denial again).

As I watched T.Puzzle march to the entrance alone it felt like a bullet straight through my heart.

I will never be the same again and quite thankfully, neither will he.  I’m proud of his confidence and this softens the edges of the hurt I feel as I realize that everything has changed.

Mothers and kids must learn to separate, ‘bullet’ wounds eventually heal and the love a mother has for their child is always with them, even when they march their way towards independence.

Had I known he would grow so fast, I would have held him even tighter.
children, family, motherhood, parenting

How Do You Spell ‘Impossible’?

I L-O-V-E this kid!
I have officially signed up T.Puzzle for kindergarten.  I am handling this sign-up a lot better than I did Full Speed’s.  I think it’s because I know what to expect and knowing Full Speed loved his kindergarten experience, I’m very hopeful T.Puzzle will love his, too.  Or, maybe I’m more than ready to hand him over to his kindergarten teacher.  It seems as of late, T.Puzzle is convinced I really don’t know how to read and questions me emphatically if I correct him.  I have to spell the word out loud while he hides the text.  He peers at the word furtively beneath his cupped hands to make sure I can’t cheat.  Then, I have to prove phonetically why I think it is the word it is instead of the one he thinks it is.  Oh, I’m ready for this guy to go to kindergarten, alright.  I just hope his future teacher is excellent at spelling.