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.

IMG_2446

 

Chicago Cubs, children, humor, kids, motherhood

No Lie

IMG_0326

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.

DDR-131217-EG_Pirate_8x10-8534720

children, family, humor, kids, motherhood, parenting

Shower Space

Siblings often are the people you love to hate.  When you are growing up they are your biggest competitors for just about everything.  If you are lucky, they are your biggest supporters, too.

Recently, Full Speed has become more and more frustrated with T.Puzzle.  I’ve definitely noticed the developmental gap widening between them.  Somehow, second grade seems almost light years away from kindergarten.   Eventually, T.Puzzle will catch-up to Full Speed and this gap will be much less noticeable.  Until then, it is T.Puzzle’s absolute delight to torment his older brother.

After a particularly challenging afternoon of brotherly quarreling, Full Speed was done.  We were all upstairs when Full Speed marched up to me and declared, “I’m going downstairs to take my shower.  I want to do it by MYSELF! T.Puzzle can do his after.”  The normal routine is to have them both head in to shower at the same time, but sensing Full Speed was ready to snap I acquiesced to his request.

He proceeded to trounce determinedly downstairs to get started.  T.Puzzle and I remained upstairs while I finished putting away some laundry.  I started to feel a little sad seeing Full Speed wanting his independence from his brother.

About two minutes later Full Speed comes racing back upstairs and zips into my bedroom.  I looked up, startled, and asked him what he needed.

“Um, actually, it’s pretty scary downstairs all by myself.  I think I want T.Puzzle to come with me.”

And just like that, the bonds of brotherhood were renewed.

Brothers for life!
Brothers for life!
children, family, humor, kids, motherhood, parenting

Choked Up

We had friends over this weekend.  As the adults were sitting outside on the lanai, my friend’s son comes racing out to announce that “T.Puzzle is choking!”  We weren’t too concerned as he had just been reprimanded for being a poor sport over a Wii game.  He was full of tears and snot so we figured he was ‘choking’ as part of his tantrum.  Mad Dog went upstairs to investigate.  What did he find?  T.Puzzle straddling Full Speed with both of his hands wrapped tightly around his older brother’s neck.  Full Speed was so stunned by this choking attack he wasn’t even trying to defend himself.

Thankfully, Full Speed was uninjured.  And, thankfully, this happened around the kind of friends who understand that kids lose it and still love us anyway.  I tried to imagine if we were only acquaintances how T.Puzzle’s behavior would have gone over.  Something like, “Their house was lovely but man, that T.Puzzle is CRAZY!  Watch your backs!”

Of course T.Puzzle was punished for his temporary loss of sanity.  Mad Dog and I tried to keep it in perspective.  Imagine no matter how hard you tried or how fast you ran, you never, ever get to beat your older brother at anything.  That has to be a pretty frustrating way to live.

So, even though we understand his motivation, we will never condone choking your brother out.

Technically I guess that is one thing T.Puzzle is better at.

T.Puzzle as a toddler showing 4 year old Full Speed glimpses of attacks to come.
T.Puzzle as a toddler showing 5-year-old Full Speed glimpses of future attacks.