children, family, kids, motherhood, parenting

Share and Share Alike

Keeping up with our schedule sometimes leads to two, very tired boys by the time the weekend rolls around.  Add in lots of time with extended family and by last Sunday, meltdowns were the norm.  Mad Dog gallantly tried to play a soccer game with the boys and their cousins while I enjoyed some quiet indoors.  It seemed like every five minutes one of my boys was sent inside for poor attitudes, sportsmanship (or lack thereof) and random outbursts.  As the tantrums continued, Mad Dog’s stoic exterior gave way to out-and-out frustration.  While I did not enjoy the boys’ behavior, a slight part of me was happily relieved that Mad Dog was experiencing the boys at their worst.  As a working parent, Mad Dog only sees the boys for slivers of time during the week.  Then, when he spends time with them on the weekend, they are usually in great moods because, well, it’s the weekend.   As the parent who stays home, and believe me, I do not take my time at home or with them for granted, I get to see a lot more of their ups and unfortunately their downs as well.  When Mad Dog is witness to the downside, it helps to validate my motherhood experience in its entirety. 

 Today my wish for you isn’t that your kids have lots of meltdowns for someone other than yourself (if they must, then by all means, I hope it is for someone else!), instead I hope that you have someone (partner, friend, parent or anyone that makes you feel supported) who shares the good and the bad with you.  It just makes everything better.

children, humor, motherhood, parenting, tantrums

Boy VS. Man

Full Speed is an extremely stubborn boy. It is only recently that I can play any sort of game with him and it doesn’t end in him melting down if he loses. Well, most of the time anyway.

It’s nice that Full Speed has evolved away from some of this tantrum-ing in competition. The one area that Full Speed has shown zero to little improvement in competitive meltdowns is when he is playing anything against Mad Dog. Our theory is Full Speed’s belief system. In everything else, Full Speed has a fundamental belief that he can dominate so he powers through. When up against Mad Dog, he understands that his Dad is stronger and faster so he gives up in frustration quite easily. He feels hopeless so he acts hopeless. It ain’t pretty.

I don’t think the answer lies in having Mad Dog let Full Speed win all the time. Life doesn’t work that way. However, I do believe that I should be given at least one hour notice before they play anything against each other. That way I have plenty of time to find a more pleasant alternative to view.

What I don’t see can’t hurt me.

This kid means business
humor, kids, motherhood, parenting, tantrums, terrible twos

New Year, New Mom…Happy 2012!

When writing my posts I try to be honest.  My resolution for the coming year is to keep the honesty going.  Motherhood has not always been easy for me and I want to continue the truthful documentation of my triumphs and tribulations.

I would like to start this off by first of all sharing how far I have come since the birth of Full Speed.  In the seven years that I have been lucky enough to call this kid and his little brother my own, I feel like a completely new person.  I learned it was easier to accept the harsh realities of raising two extremely spirited boys than continue to fight it. The more I let go of my parenting expectations (like having a quiet house,  having children who exhibit minimal tantrums and/or power struggles, receiving gentle hugs, etc.) and embraced my kids for exactly who they are, everything started to get easier.  You can sense this evolution if you have been following my blog for a while.  The more recent my posts, the less pitiful they are.  2011 has especially been a turning point for me.  My boys are older and I am hopefully wiser (ha, ha).  I am now finally able to reconnect with parts of myself that I thought motherhood had taken forever.  My boys are more independent (sigh) and this has allowed me the freedom to return to myself a little bit more every day.

How do I know that I still have a long way to go?  Well, this is where the honesty part comes in play.  Every time I hear that a friend or family member is expecting a child, especially their first, a tiny part of me hopes that at some point their future bundle of joy will throw some serious, Grade A tantrums. There, I said it.

Full Speed, age 2, on the brink of a meltdown
Never to be outdone, T.Puzzle, age two, gets ready to rumble

I have yet to meet another Mom who has dealt/deals with as many tantrums as I have survived.  If you are out there, hang in there.  It gets better and so do the deals at the liquor store if you buy in bulk.

Anyway, I raise a glass (or two or twenty) to my best year of my motherhood experience yet.  Thank you 2011!

Can’t wait for 2012… Happy New Year to All!

children, humor, kids, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting, self-discovery, tantrums

Bring It

T.Puzzle and his glorious smile

Denial is a wonderful coping mechanism.  I’m learning it lasts for as long as a delicate psyche needs and then collapses when you’ve reached a head space that allows for the truth.

When T.Puzzle was born and he screamed louder than any newborn has a right to, I clearly remember thinking, “Hey, wait a minute.  You’re suppose to be my easy kid.”  I had made a silent agreement with T.Puzzle while he was in utero that he was going to be a milder version of Full Speed.

In some ways this was true.  He actually stayed put long enough for me to on occasion hold and snuggle him.  He broke into easy smiles with his incredible dimples a-blazin’ and he actually played calmly with baby toys for extended periods.

Other signs that T.Puzzle would be ‘easier’, or more likely helped feed my denial, were his slightly more sensitive nature and his skill at reading and reacting to other people’s emotions.  Early on we labeled him ‘our little social worker’.

Great.  This was good.  I rolled along and headed into his ‘terrible twos’ feeling like I was finally going to have an upper hand.

I was completely wrong.  He tantrummed with the same passionate zest as his brother before him.  The only things that kept me going through this were the glimpses of his social worker nature and my dear, sweet friend denial.  No matter how ugly the tantrums became he would always quickly win me back with his, “I love you, Mommys” and loving hugs.

Then came this summer and that’s when denial packed up its bags and left me for good.  T.Puzzle has continued his tantrumming phase well into his fourth year exactly the same as Full Speed.  Unfortunately for this latest phase of summer tantrums the gloves are off.  He is proving that he can run with the big boys and has shown such a ferocity of independence that it is at once frightening and awe-inspiring.

All I can say is bring it T.Puzzle.  This ain’t my first rodeo, kid.


Team Spirit

dressing in family Buckeye gear when T.Puzzle was a baby and Full Speed was a rambunctious two year old
Okay, I’ll admit it.  It can be a bit cheesy to have your family dress all in the same team gear on game day.  It also can be a whole lot of fun.

It’s our tradition and since I married someone passionate about football, I go with it.  I have yet to convince Mad Dog to wear a matching ‘I heart Michael Buble’ ‘ t-shirt with me, but that’s another blog post for another day. 

I have to be honest here, there is a definite downside.

If you happen to remove your poorly behaved four year old from a restaurant and take him outside so he can tantrum his way through his punishment, there is no denying the kid is yours.  Even if you surreptitiously slide your body away from your prone, screaming child, the matching jerseys are a dead give-away.

So, wear your matching family jerseys with team pride, but maybe keep your Buble’ t-shirt in the trunk of your vehicle for emergencies.