humor, motherhood

Questions and Answers

In these strange, lock-down days, I have been attempting to engage my boys in meaningful dinner conversations.

It hasn’t been a good run lately.

T.Puzzle is the worst offender. You could ask him about it, but I promise you, he won’t answer you. And if he did, you wouldn’t gain any new information.

I have even tried to speak to them as adults.

Hilarious.

This was my attempt last night:

“Please take this question seriously. I am genuinely curious as to what your answers are. What are your thoughts about what you may want to do as an occupation? I want you to dream big.”

Full Speed said, “Contact tracer.”

I just gave him that look. You know, the mom one where you telepathically communicate your inner most thoughts of frustration and/or annoyance.

“How are you going to be a contact tracer? By the time you are graduated from college, I don’t think it will be viable option. At least I hope not.”

“I could do it over the summer. They pay $25 an hour,” he said.

“But you are only fifteen!”

“Once they got to know me, they would make an exception. I’m that good.”

As you can see, my first attempt at realness failed.

I turned to T.Puzzle. After a few moments of him looking completely bewildered and/or uninterested, he said he wanted to work for Space Force.

He wasn’t being serious either. They were both chuckling and finding themselves to be utterly amusing.

This wasn’t an isolated incident. I had reached my limit.

I lifted my right arm, pointed to the stairs and ordered them to go to their room.

Protests abounded but I kept my composure and sent them on their way.

Here’s a little trick that I am happy to share with you. In these situations, never give them a time limit. Send them on their way but leave their return time open and ambiguous. This can make thirty minutes feel like thirty years. Also, in the name of brotherly unity, I thought it was good to send them together so they could bond over how impossible I was being. There is nothing that solidifies a sibling connection more than having a shared common ‘enemy’.

Mad Dog and I proceeded to clean the kitchen post-dinner at our leisure. We then went on a walk and spent some time hanging out on our back porch.

I was in no hurry to set the jailbirds free.

I asked Mad Dog if I was attempting the impossible by prompting the boys into thoughtful discussions. Am I only hurting myself? But, they are the people I encounter the most so maybe I should keep going?

He said it’s good for them so keep trying. It wouldn’t hurt to lower my expectations either.

Honestly, the bar was already set pretty low.

I would not trade these two for anything in the world. I’m okay with them not answering all my deep questions as long as they keep being who-they-are. (Awesome).

humor, motherhood

Close Quarters

I’m not sure exactly why my family still allows me to wield a knife.

To give some context, a few weeks prior to quarantine I decided to begin a meal kit delivery service.  Lucky for us, we now have a few meals a week planned and delivered, but the dark side of this is, well, …me.

It all started innocently enough. Sure! I thought. Why not have the boys alternate nights and ‘help’ me.  Our first forays into the realm of kitchen adventure were tense.  I barked orders and became increasingly exasperated by each and every OBVIOUS question.

Case in point:

Full Speed (asking this while I have burners going and the oven already ablaze): “Where are the paper towels?”

You mean the paper towels that are two feet away from you sitting in the very spot they have sat for NEARLY TWO YEARS?  You mean those paper towels?

OR

“Full Speed, could you grab the pulled pork from the fridge?  It’s on the third shelf from the top.”

An inordinate amount of time passed, even though I am busy with twenty other things, I pause because I didn’t ask him to go to Timbuktu to get it.  Our kitchen ain’t big folks!  I look up to see him squatting down absently perusing the bottom draws of our refrigerator.

“Um, Full Speed.  Those are DRAWERS, I said SHELF.”

Thinking this solved the issue, I went back to work.  And, still, no pulled pork arrived.

With painstaking effort to not lose my cool, I glanced up AGAIN.  This time I found him looking at the inside door catchalls that hold condiments and drinks and the like but NOT THE PULLED PORK.

“Full Speed,

IT

IS

ON

THE

THIRD

SHELF

FROM

THE

TOP.”

I said this while thrusting my finger at the pulled pork like an accusation.

The whole scenario, while only lasting a minute or two, left me feeling drained.

Fortunately, for all involved, I had finished the chopping portion of our meal prep so the knife was already put away, but other times, I won’t say the danger was imminent, but there were some dangerous moments (at least in my mind).

It’s a harrowing existence as the lone emotional being in a house of super laid-back men.  I wouldn’t want it any other way, but I definitely am the most shall we say ‘expressive’ of our family.  Most of my outbursts and/or meltdowns are due to the stress of our current situation.  Contrary to popular opinion, I am falling within a normal category of cooped-up-and-about-to-lose-it behaviors.  My favorite is when Full Speed then imitates my meltdown.

“I’m Mom and I’m mad for no apparent reason.  Stop looking at me. Stop taking up space. Stop existing.  Just. Stop.”

He does this while flailing his arms about while shouting hysterically.

He’s not wrong.

I commend you if you have yet to lose it.  Please tell me how you have managed this feat.

Please.

And, if you have lost it, know you are not alone. Just dust yourself off and get on with your day.

I trust you know the difference between a drawer and a shelf so obviously you are already crushing your day.

 

IMG_8507
T.Puzzle vs Mad Dog in chess T.Puzzle 30 Mad Dog 1 And, there was one tie so Mad Dog has to feel great about that.

IMG_8515
My foray into painting with watercolor because weirdly I have tons of free time. #LetsMakeArt

IMG_8520
Quarantine Easter. Grateful to be together.

IMG_8526
Guess who loves her family in quarantine? #SorryNotSorry

IMG_0798
Max showing off some of his prodigious napping skills.

 

motherhood

Full Speed is Home!

IMG_5567
Go ahead.  Ask me if it freaks me out that Full Speed looks like a college freshman in this photo.  I dare you.

He’s actually been home since last week.  I just haven’t had time to write about it.

We officially survived our three weeks of separation and Full Speed enjoyed his experience away so much, he wants to do it again next summer.

However, we all agree, having him home and being together has been awesome.

There’s one particular guy that is extra happy his big brother is home.  He had grown mighty tired of doing all of his chores (which are pretty nominal in the grand scheme) and Full Speed’s, too.

It got to a point when I asked him to do something, he wouldn’t exactly say ‘no’, but would feign being hard of hearing.  Unfortunately for him, his dimples gave him away.

Every.

Single.

Time.

For instance:

“T.Puzzle, please take the trash out.”

Total silence.

Then, slowly, his dimples would cave-in the corners of his cheeks and mischief would dance across his eyes.

He had to take the trash out anyway.

IMG_5563
This pic says it all.

Welcome Home, Full Speed!

Now, go take the trash out.

Love, Mom

 

 

 

 

 

 

gratitude, happiness, humor, kids, life in pictures, marriage, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting

This is Only a Test

We are in our fourth day of the 17 days Full Speed and T.Puzzle will be home for Christmas break.

I know, you all just said a silent prayer for me. 

Thanks, I appreciate it.

My goal, other than the obvious one to remain as sober as possible during this time, is to test the waters to see if I would enjoy having both boys home full-time for the upcoming summer in 2011.

So far, all signs point to yes.

That wasn’t a typo, people.  I really wrote that.

Oh sure, T.Puzzle’s bit his brother three times (not to mention his own dear mother), and Full Speed’s imagination is in constant, kinetic motion requiring that he ask a minimum, and I mean minimum, of at least 1,000 questions a day.

In spite of all that, at the end of the day, I am glad to be spending it with them. 

Time is fleeting.

My boys are growing.

I must learn to seize the day.

Of course surviving this break would not be possible without two (I know, I thank the heavens every day that I have two) awesome babysitters that feel more like family with each passing day, and a willing parenting partner like Mad Dog, who will hopefully be present a little more on the home front in the coming weeks.

What can I say?

Either I’ve gone off the deep end,

OR

I’ve learned a thing or two along the way.

Or more likely, I’ve learned to accept a kid or two for exactly who they are and learned to go with the flow a little more.

OR

Mad Dog has just signed me up for a lifetime membership to the ‘Wine of the Month’ club.

Cheers!

children, gratitude, happiness, kids, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting

Two Brothers

Originally I thought having children close in age would be ideal.  Then the reality of it set in and the long, hard road of raising two rambunctious boys began.

There were days I didn’t think I would make it.

I still have those days.

You can’t know when a child will come into your life or what they will be like.  I imagine life would be pretty boring if all of us could control the gender and type of children we could have.  I’m guessing there would be a lot of us who would choose one mild-tempered girl and one even-keeled boy.

Where’s the fun in that?

I’ll take knock-down, drag ’em out, spunk-tified Full Speed and T.Puzzle any day.

Is it bad that I’d prefer to take them to a sound-proof, padded coliseum (not the Metrodome, I really do care about their safety) and let them run free?

I didn’t think so.  If any of you spent an afternoon in a confined space with them, you would completely understand.

So, by the roll of the dice I happened to have two boys close in age that are giving me a run for my money.

The positive to this (and yes, there actually is a positive) is that after nearly four years of coexisting, they are becoming the best of friends.

Granted, best friends who periodically beat the tar out of each other, but best friends nonetheless.

I know they will always be brothers.

I hope that they will always be friends.