children, mommyhood, terrible threes

Believe Me

Little T.Puzzle woke up this morning with one foot planted on the road to a peaceful, four year old-like existence, and one foot firmly entrenched in the terrible threes. Just like his Mommy, he is not a happy camper first thing in the morning. Of course Full Speed takes after Mad Dog. He pops out of bed, puffs his chest out and flexes his arms (ok, Mad Dog doesn’t do that, he simply enjoys the first light of a day in a positive way I will never understand).

Everything I asked of little T.Puzzle was shot down with a blunt refusal, a cross of his arms and a bad, bad attitude. Of course Mr. Happy Full Speed has to throw his two cents in about the subject.

“Mom, T.Puzzle is just being contrary,” he states. “That’s why he’s not listening.”

In our house the word contrary and children go together like pepperoni and pizza.

“Full Speed, leave your brother alone. You know he doesn’t like mornings and you used to be just as contrary when you were his age (and then some),” I reply.

He looks me dead in the eye and says, “No, I wasn’t.”

Oh really? Who are you going to believe?

Full Speed flexes as the boys return to the car from \’helping\’ Mad Dog grocery shop.
children, mommyhood

That’s the Spirit (Part Two)

Over the weekend Mad Dog and I hosted my book club. They are a great group of women and it was fun to socialize outside of the club.

One particular member of my book club reads my blog every day (you know who you are!). She also has two grown sons. She relates to the joys and challenges of raising boys. It’s nice for me to know someone like her who has survived mothering two boys and is a happy, well-adjusted adult (there’s hope for me).

So, when she suggested I read a book about ‘spirited children’ I wasn’t surprised. It actually made quite a lot of sense. I have since picked up the book and honestly, it’s like reading a biography of my parenting life. Not all of it applies but there are certain aspects that describe my boys to a T. I love when something you read validates your experience. It makes the world feel less lonely and much more welcoming.

The whole point of my blog is to find the humor and the common ground we all share. If my blog can do that, then I can do anything. Maybe even parent a ‘spirited’ child or two along the way.


children, mommyhood

That’s the Spirit

I am seated at Tae Kwon Do last night and class has started. A frazzled Mom comes in carrying her son, I’m guessing he is around three years old, and I recognize the look of total frustration on her face. She manages to get her son on the mat and grabs a seat next to me. I start a conversation with her because I can sense she is ready to lose it. We soon realize we unfortunately have loads in common. She goes on to explain that she doesn’t understand why her youngest child is so defiant. Her oldest son was never like that and the behaviors, opinions and tenacity exhibited by her youngest are all new to her.

I try to break it to her gently that it is not anything she is doing right or wrong, but it is simply the personality of her youngest child. As I go on to describe some of the harrowing tales of my own motherhood experience, you can see her body language change as she is visibly relieved. She is clearly thankful that an apparently nice lady (that would be me in case there is any question) who seems to have nice manners, has children that are difficult to manage.

I told her that I hadn’t expected to be fought at every turn like I have with my boys. I said that she has to hang in there. ¬†Full Speed, while still extremely opinionated, is actually compliant most of the time. Now, I am working my way towards that with little T.Puzzle. I didn’t lie to her. I said it was hard and draining, and frankly, there are some days when I’d rather throw in the towel and let them win. But I don’t. Thankfully, I’m just as stubborn as they are.

The Mom and I looked at each other in an exhausted way that only the mothers of ‘spirited’ (she liked that terminology tremendously) children can. We realized there’s validation to be found in motherhood. On those days when you feel alone and like no one else in the world has a child as challenging as yours, just look at the Mom sitting to your right. That’s me and I have TWO of them. Don’t you feel better already?