motherhood

Clean Up in Aisle Crazy

As I gather my boys near me and look at their sweet, unassuming faces, a part of me is in disbelief I am having to spout this same, tired monologue:

“I am only going to say this once and after that, I will not speak of this again.  I will simply observe your behavior at lunch and the grocery store.  If at any point I notice nonsense, when we return home you will lose all electronic and tv privileges for the rest of the day.”

At least there has been an evolution.  Oh, I still get frustrated as all get out when they act crazy at the grocery store, but now I have a solid course of action if things go off the rails.  This planning phase allows me to take a step back from attempting to control their behavior and puts the outcome of the day squarely on their shoulders.

It helps.

They really are gifted at finding things to nitpick about and causing mayhem in general.  Who drives the cart?  Who runs over their brother?  Who can’t find the hawaiian rolls even though their mom explicitly outlines their location?  Who narrowly misses the darling, elderly woman perusing the dairy isle?

Who? Who? Who?

Despite all this, we made it.  At times, dare I say, my boys were helpful.

As we meandered to our car post-shopping, an argument ensued concerning the return of our grocery cart.

“You take it back,” said Full Speed.

“You take it back.  I was in charge of pushing it in the store so you have to take it back,” said T.Puzzle.

“No, no.  It’s the law of cart-a-nomics.  Those that take it must give it back.”

Hey, while you’re at it T.Puzzle, take your brother with you.

Mommy out.

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T.Puzzle looks gleeful here because he is squatting down to make himself look short.  His subtle rebellion against posing for photos.

 

 

motherhood

Life Instructions

The evening was not starting out well.

All I wanted was to walk to dinner in peace.  My boys weren’t having it.  T.Puzzle’s needling of Full Speed spiked to a dangerous level.  So did my exasperation.

I took note that my expectations for the evening were not matching the reality of it.  Quiet strolls, tranquil camaraderie and basic normalcy are elusive on most days of motherhood.

When we arrived at our destination, it took me a few moments to process through my frustration.  I ended up giving one of my aren’t-we-fortunate-we-can-be-together-and-enjoy-awesome-dinners-out speeches.

Once I said my piece, the edges of discord smoothed away.  We shifted back to our default which happens to be a family that is loved.

I took a moment to drink it all in.  The breeze that brushed through our faces held the perfect depth of warmth.  The trees rustled nearby ushering us to dusk.

Dreams may lack perfection, but I am doing my best to recognize them in all their shapes and forms.

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family, humor, motherhood

A Father’s Wisdom

On the morning of Father’s Day, I magnanimously promised Mad Dog that I would only have 1.5 meltdowns in honor of the holiday.  You might say I’ve been slightly emotional this week as the stress of moving continues to stretch my inner resources.

In typical Mad Dog style he lets the seasons of my many moods all roll right off him.  He told me that he only remembers what is perfect about me and easily forgets the rest.  This, he told the boys, is the key to a happy life:

Forget about what isn’t perfect and remember the rest.

“Is that why sometime you forget about Full Speed?” T.Puzzle said.

Hopefully, Mad Dog has some wisdom on improving interpersonal sibling communication.

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Chicago Cubs, children, humor, kids, motherhood

No Lie

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T.Puzzle has to write a speech to be performed in front of his class.   Thankfully, like his brother before him, he is fairly at ease with public speaking so this is not the challenge.  The challenge is coming up with a topic.  No lie, these are the highlights from the actual list we generated.  The ones in bold are my ideas, the ones in italics are T.Puzzle’s:

  •  Adopting our rescue dog
  • T.Puzzle’s first visit to Wrigley Field
  • The Olympics, I only like events where crashing happens
  • The Making of a Lego World
  • Cows, observe the cows
  • How to be a smart mouth to your mother and how this leads to success (or not, most definitely, not!)
  • Food
  • Cheeseburgers: why are you so delicious?
  • Origins of Fortune Cookies and the top five I would create: #1. Alive today, dead tomorrow 
  • This last one is all Full Speed’s idea: The challenges of having an older brother who is a track star

Like you, I am on the edge of my seat waiting for how this all unfolds.

children, humor, kids, motherhood, parenting

All Heart

As we were watching yet another college sport on TV, a commercial for wrestling flicked across the screen.  Mad Dog asked the boys if they would be interested in watching that since they seem to enjoy wrestling each other so very, very much.  Before they could respond, T.Puzzle threw out some wrestling ‘facts’.

“Whenever I wrestle Full Speed, I always win.  Every time.  I never lose.”

Full Speed, being the bigger brother and all, sat for a moment and didn’t say anything.  I think in years to come, T.Puzzle is going to realize saying things like this will only cause him extensive emotional and physical pain.

Mad Dog explored T.Puzzle’s assumptions further.  “Really?  Every time?”

“Well, maybe not every time, but almost all the time.”

With that, wrestlemania was on.  Full Speed lunged and attacked.  He did not hold back.  It was violent, ugly and a lot of sick sounding thuds happened as little T.Puzzle’s body hit the floor repeatedly.  I have to give T.Puzzle credit, he never gave up.  Even after Full Speed had pinned him for the tenth time and was declared champion, T.Puzzle insisted he was never fully pinned.  In his mind, he may not have technically won, but he was and never will be a loser at wrestling or anything for that matter.

My wish for anyone reading this is that you believe in yourself as much as T.Puzzle believes in himself.  Imagine a world where each of us believed we were the best at everything we tried.   Each fight would find us victorious and each day would be another opportunity for us to shine.

T.Puzzle may have lost the round, but with heart like that, he hasn’t lost the match.

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