children, humor, kids, life in pictures, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting

Fight Club

If I could describe my perfect holiday weekend it would include things like quietly reading or blogging.  Maybe I would go to a non-violent film about love and redemption.  I would get a pedicure, go shopping or have a nice glass of wine with a fancy dinner.

Never in my wildest imagination would these plans include a knock-down, drag-out pillow war.

It is clear to me that my boys and I are very different.  Not bad different but maybe slightly crazy different.

Either way, I’m running for cover.

children, gratitude, humor, kids, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting


I have the boys home for four days for a teacher institute and President’s Day.  It is imperative to have daily outings if I intend to survive this long weekend.  It doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated, it simply has to get us out of the house.

I took them to Walmart.  The deal is if they are well-behaved (relatively speaking) they can browse the toys with the knowledge they won’t be taking one home.  They were good with that.

They were basically well-behaved.  We did get our share of stern glances here and there.  I’m not saying they were perfect.

As we unloaded our cart in the most disorganized fashion humanly possible, the cashier noticed I had purchased some art supplies.

“Gearing up for the long weekend at home are you?”

“Yes, I am.  I’m hoping for the best.”

The cashier went on, “I completely understand, I raised three boys.”

With that, I let out a long breath and my posture relaxed.  She was on my side.  A mother of boys understands.  I could tell she had survived a lot with her boys and was grateful that she was still able to be cheerful and kind.

Then, she went on to say the greatest lie I tell myself on the days I am ready to throw in the towel.  “You’ll be grateful you have boys when they are older.  It may be hard now, but it will be so much easier then.”

Yeah, but only if I make it that long…

children, gratitude, happiness, life in pictures, marriage, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting, self-discovery, self-image/self-acceptance

Yes and No

My gut reaction is always ‘no’.  I do not like to be spontaneous.  I like plans and think that sticking to them prevents meltdowns and unnecessary drama.  This is my weak attempt at controlling life.  Do routines and plans give me comfort?  Yes.  Do these routines and plans always work out how I want them to? No.

Part of evolving as a woman and a parent you have to look at yourself and try to make some changes.  You have to look at all parts of the whole.  Some of these parts are not so great.  How do you know when you’ve found a not so great part?  When you examine it you feel uncomfortable in the pit of your stomach.  That uneasy feeling is your signal you’ve hit pay dirt.

My hidden issue is control.  Growing up I learned to endure an often challenging environment by becoming an impossible perfectionist.  Spontaneity doesn’t really jive with this.

So, why did I marry someone like Mad Dog?  He is at heart a spur-of-the-moment kind of guy.

I married him because somewhere deep down I knew my cookie-cutter ways needed to be challenged.

Yesterday when we were on our way to the outlet mall to buy Full Speed some long pants Mad Dog said, “Let’s see if we can find you a dress and take the boys to a nice dinner.”

Oh, well let me tell you every part of my being screamed ‘no!’.  I was in exercise gear, no make-up and hair disastrously unwashed (I was wearing a baseball cap no less!).  I tried to imagine finding a flattering dress, trying it on, having it actually fit all the while keeping my boys from wreaking insane havoc on the store and its patrons.  I started to sweat, my heart rate increased and my anxiety shot through the roof.

But, I didn’t say no.

I made the conscious effort to know this is my first instinct, and while it has been my coping mechanism in the past, my life is such that I don’t need ‘no’ as a crutch in the same way.

Okay, there was one point when I was agonizing over the size and color of the dress and T.Puzzle and Full Speed were running boisterous laps that I was about ready to throw my hands up in defeat.  Instead I pushed through.  I found a dress, we grabbed some nice shirts for Mad Dog and the boys and went and had a fancy ocean side dinner.

Change is good.  In fact, it’s ocean breeze-awsome scallops-good wine-great company fantastic.

humor, mommyhood

Too Small!

I took little T.Puzzle with me to Kohl’s. It was a bold move. Mad Dog and I have a cruise coming up (9 days and counting) and I wanted to look for some dressy clothes for our dinners (I’m sensing stretchy, Mommy-pants just won’t cut it). I made one round through the store, grabbed the items with promise and headed to the dressing room. Unfortunately or fortunately (depends on if you ask Mad Dog or me), I liked every single thing I tried on (I can’t remember the last time that happened!).

T.Puzzle was mostly agreeable. He alternated playing cars and Power Rangers. Although he seemed to be enjoying this outing, he was a tough critic. He told me that everything I tried on was ‘too small’. Let’s just say, he’s no Tim Gunn.

We headed out of the dressing room and looped through the remainder of the store. He was having fun looking at everything and being respectably well-behaved. We go to check-out and the cashier peers down at T.Puzzle and comments on how cute he is. Of course he takes this exact moment to go crazy. He steals the cart and makes a run for it. You would of thought he was wanted by the law he was booking so fast. He’s weaving in a precarious, crazy-eight twirl (I give him props for creativity of movement), and I wrangle him back to the counter. Somehow I manage to complete the transaction.

The cashier tells me my total and how much I ‘saved’. I told her I would use that money towards a babysitter so the next time I could check-out in peace.