Monthly Archives: February 2009

“Knock On Wood”

I always hear Moms at preschool, Moms at school, Moms at the doctor’s office, Moms at the stores, Moms, Moms, Moms EVERYWHERE saying positive statements about their kids and I often wonder are they struck with the same twisted fate I am….do their positive statements come back to ‘bite them in the ass’ like mine always seem to do?  Is this just another cruel joke played on us Moms or it is just another cruel joke played on me?

Now I certainly am not a person who brags.  I am proud of my children but I do not brag…I just wasn’t raised to boast and draw attention to myself or the people around me in that type of fashion.  I typically don’t comment on my children in reference to others children unless they ask.  However, it seems like any time I am having a conversation when I can say something positive about one of my children…they always prove me wrong forcing me to shove my big foot in my mouth.   These are a few of the incidences I am referring to:

Friend:  “My girls fight like cats, they hit and punch – I don’t know what to do.  Are your boys like that?”

Me:  “Well, fortunately they don’t really fight.  They don’t always get along, but I can’t really say that they get physical with each other.”

Scenario no more than 20 minutes later:  My oldest son is shoving my younger one onto the bed yelling for him to give him his Bionicle — while the little one is ready to take a bite out of the older ones arm.

Friend 2:  “I’m having such a tough time with putting the baby down at bedtime.  She just screams and cries and I can’t leave the room until I rock her to sleep.  Is your baby like that?”

Me:  “Once in a while she’s tough, but generally speaking she’s a pretty good sleeper that can put herself to sleep.”

Scenario that evening and the next weeks following:  Baby screaming constantly at bedtime.  Can’t put her down awake and have to rock her to sleep and sneak out when she’s finally drifted off.

Friend 3:  “My Tommy has been having tantrums where he’ll just scream to get what he wants and I am ready to scream myself.  Did you ever have to deal with that kind of a tantrum?”

Me:  “Well, my kids get mad, don’t get me wrong – but they really don’t have temper tantrums.  They may not like something and they let me know but not by having a tantrum.  They usually just say they don’t want to do something or they don’t like it.”

Scenario at preschool:  My child didn’t get to finish an art project in the time allotted so he threw himself down on the floor and when the teacher told him to get up he said no.

I could keep going but I’m sure you get the point.  Now, my question is why can’t I ever say anything positive about my children without them proving me wrong?  It’s gotten to the point where I have to premise every positive thing I say with, “knock on wood.”  And you know what…………I’m always knocking.

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No Drama For This Mama

No parent likes when their child gets sick.  Not only do we worry about how the child is feeling but also how seriously sick they are or might become; if/when the other children will get the illness;  what medicine may help themmother feel better, faster and…. how long the entire dynamic of the household will be thrown off.  By now I’ve learned that one of my children has an odd symptom associated with every sickness he seems to acquire….extreme drama.  His theatrics have a way of throwing our family off course.

This past week I dealt with my younger son having a fever, cough, sore throat, and general malaise.  He, I must say, is generally a trooper and this time was no different.  He knows when he doesn’t feel good that his body is telling him to rest.  He stays in bed a few days, with very little complaining and very little requests.  He’s a very easy to please patient….he pretty much just asks us to shut the door and let him sleep.

By the end of the week my sick son was back to his old “piratey” self, dressing up as a bucaneer ready to sail the seven seas.  It was when my older son got off the bus that I knew we were about to embark on another medical misadventure.  Maybe it was the dragging of his bag, the forlorn look on his face, his droopy eyes or the, “you need to feel sorry for me because I’m not feeling well,” gaze that alerted me that the drama in our infirmary was about to begin.

Now, I feel for my children when they hurt…every parent does, but I’ve got to tell you that the whining and theatrics that go along with the illness or pain could win this kid an academy award.   He woke up the other night with the croup and stridor (labored breathing).   While standing in a steamy bathroom, still all worked-up, he says – or should I say – sings — “am I going to diiiieeeee……..I can’t breathe, why is this happening to meeeeeeeeeeeeee OOOHHHHHHHH?”  Don’t get me wrong, I understand how frightening it must be for a kid to feel like he can’t breathe and I truly sympathized with him –  even his question was legitimate….to him I’m sure it did feel like he really couldn’t breathe.  It’s the way he sings his words and the jog in place that he does that adds the drama to the event.

I reassured my son that he was going to be fine.  I explained what was happening to him and the reason why he felt like he couldn’t breathe.  I thought he seemed a little more calmed down.  Then he vibrates an operatic voice, “what do you know about this anyway?”  Again, very dramatic.  I explained that the fact that his lips and fingernails weren’t blue was a good sign that he would be alright and that he would get through this….he wouldn’t die.   After the ‘steam room’ we bundled up (it was very cold) and headed outside.  This may sound barbaric but there is a medical explanation for it.  Apparently the cold air helps the inflammation in the airways go down so it becomes easier to breathe (it only has to be for a few minutes and it does seem to work).  Once again my son sings his words to me, through tears, “what are you trying to do – kill me?”  At this point I had had enough of the theatrics and knew it was best for both he and I to call it a night.

The next few days my husband and I become my son’s servants who he apparently beckons by clapping his hands.  He writes on a notepad, in dramatic fashion, that he can’t talk but needs a drink.  Twenty minutes later I hear a clap…..I’m being summoned……………again.  This time he points to the drink I had gotten him earlier, at the foot of his bed….two feet away from him.  Half hour later….more clapping………….this time he requests a popsicle.   Another twenty minutes goes by and more clapping…..he wants a blanket…..more clapping — he doesn’t want a blanket, etc. etc. etc.

See how the whole household is altered by the event of one sick child?  I anxiously wait for the minute I see some spark of recovery that will allow my son to exit center stage and help us all to return to our normal life…..bringing this soap opera to an end.

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Hope We Get An “A”

Would you like to know the way I spent this past weekend?  Well, I ended up doing helping my eight year old do a report and project on Louis Armstrong.  Since it is Black History month the teacher at my son’s private school required them to write a report, make a memory box and display board.  Now, I don’t remember at eight years old ever having to do something this involved.  At eight I think we were just starting to read, but alas this is the way things are now…we expect our youngsters to be years ahead in some respects then get upset when they act their age.  Anyway, the project was assigned a few weeks ago and like any eight year old boy, my son waited until this weekend to put it together.  Needless, to say I learned a lot about Louis this weekend.

Now I have always been the kind of person that when an assignment is given to me (for work, school, volunteering, etc.) I don’t wait around to do the assignment because it literally eats away at me.  If I don’t start the project right away I get very nervous and feel ‘under the gun.’  Ahhhh….to be eight……..apparently this is not a trait my son and I share.  I told him a week ago to start reading up about Armstrong.  He did this in about two minutes in a book that had a tiny paragraph devoted to the singer/trumpet player/dancer.  I asked him what he learned and I think his words were something to the effect, “he sings jazz.”  I asked him if he jotted any notes down and he looked dumbfounded.  “What do you mean notes?”  This is when I asked him if his teacher had gone over just how to do this project.  I mean it’s one thing to tell a kid what they need to do, but if the kids have no idea what you’re talking about then how are they going to do it?

I spent the next few hours with my son finding all kinds of information on the internet, listening and watching some videos on YouTube, and trying to devise our report.  Isn’t this something the teacher should be doing?  I knew I had one of two options….1.) I could let him do it on his own entirely and he would learn by trial and error (and witness a project that would make me cringe from the lack of neatness)…or 2.) I could pretty much walk him through the process showing him how I would do it so he had a better understanding the next time how to do it all on his own.  I, of course, chose the latter.

By nature I am an extremely neat and orderly person.   I am especially so when it comes to putting a display together.  When I went to school for Interior Design my boards and projects were one of the neatest in the class, if I must say so myself.  I can’t tell you the worry that overcame me when I thought of how my eight-year-old would put together his display board and memory box.  The report he did pretty well, albeit, I interjected some key points that otherwise he would have passed by…but he’s eight.  The memory box and display board I held my breath on.  We went to a craft store to try to find anything that would represent Louis Armstrong.  When we got home I worked with my son on how to lay everything out and put the pieces in the box so it looked organized….all the while he had his Bionicle in his hand acting like it was flying.  That was enough for one night.

The next night we worked on the display board.  This is a tri-fold display board….oh goody – more pictures and pages to line up neatly without getting glue all over.  My son and I looked on the internet for pictures of Armstrong, his house, his records, etc….again, all the while my son is flying his Bionicle on some sort of ship and dancing to the music playing on my ipod.   When it was actually time to adhere everything to the board and put his lettering on I really had to muster up the guts to let him do it.  Anyone who knows me has to knows how difficult this would be for me.

I drew guide lines on the board so my son knew where to place the pictures.  He actually did a very good job.  I was impressed.  Now had the lines not been there I’m sure it would have been a different story, as I can attest to by the lettering placed on the back of his board.  It kind of looks like his letters dropped off a cliff………but he’s eight.   So he takes his project to school and I’m more excited than him to find out how his rates next to his classmates.  And you know what he tells me? “Mine isn’t nearly as nice as my friends.  They made really neat memory boxes.”  I’m thinking how can this be?  So I inquire as to what makes them so nice and he tells me how one has a basketball in it and one has a whistle made out of clay.  And this is when it dawns on me…….he thinks the projects that his friends did (probably more on their own than with the help of their parent), no doubt, not as neat, are better than what he did…..and I say to myself, “I should have let him do it all on his own….he would have been happier with it.”  Oh well, as a parent you certainly live and you learn. I just hope we he gets an “A”.

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The Pee In The Pot – Part II

You may have read my last post, The Pee In The Pot, this is a follow-up to my husband’s side of the story, My Aim is Perfect….I Think.

First of all, can you see why I wrote The Thin Line Between Love and Hateman-sittingI believe I stated in that post that my husband, although a wonderful person in so many ways, is also a stubborn, have-to-be right, overly confident man who can drive me to say extreme words.  This is just one case in point.

I can’t believe he uses our boys as a scapegoat for his indiscretions, publicly no less.   Do the boys sometimes miss the bowl or pee on the ring?………..absolutely (they’re BOYS).  But as my sweet, little five year old (are you reading this Hubby?— our FIVE YEAR OLD) came to tell me the other day:

“Mommy I’m sorry I made a mess, but I cleaned it up.”

Not privy (no pun intended) as to what mess he was referring to,  I said, “what mess, Honey?”

“The mess on the potty, but I took a wipe and cleaned it.”

“That’s a good boy.  Accidents happen.  Good job cleaning it up.”

Later I took a look to see how well my five year old cleaned up and I couldn’t find anything.  See, this is the way it should be with my thirty-six year old.

I believe my husband stated that if he does make a mess he cleans it up.  PLEASE!  If that is cleaning up, I’d hate to see what he considers a mess.  Generally my husband is a very neat and clean person,  so  I truly believe that he thinks it couldn’t possibly be him…..it has to be someone else.  Ladies, this is what I live with.  This characteristic of my husband infuriates me.  What he says and thinks is the way it must be.  If he thinks he didn’t do it then he didn’t do it…no discussion, that’s just the way it MUST be.  Why can’t he just say, “you know, it could be me….I’m sorry if it happens…and I’ll try to clean up if I see it.”  This would be sufficient enough to drop the debate, but no, he keeps it going by his, ‘I’m so great that I don’t make mistakes’ attitude.  I just want to scream!!!

The simple fact that he says that he doesn’t use my bathroom more now is completely absurd.  This just shows you how his sense of reality is utterly warped when something has been brought to his attention that isn’t gold.  Whenever I have any criticism, not necessarily of him, but of something that he may have done, his sense of reality makes me realize that MEN REALLY ARE FROM MARS (my man, at least).

Now, have I suggested he sit down on the pot rather than stand?  You betcha!!  If he can’t control his hose and aim a little better then all this could be easily resolved by sitting his butt down.  I don’t see it as peeing like a girl, I see it more as a way to insure that he won’t be blamed any longer for something he thinks he doesn’t do.  If it were me,  I’d do it just to prove my innocence.  Apparently his dignity is more at stake……………………….MEN!!

P.S. – The discussion has been closed.  Nothing will change, and I’ll still be steaming about it next week, but it’s done for now.

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The Pee In The Pot

One of the most annoying things I have to live with is threepee males that can’t keep their pee in the pot.  Although extremely irritating, it is more understandable coming from my two little guys.   They are so caught up in their  play that they don’t even really want to stop what they’re doing to pee, let alone take the time to aim in the right direction so as not to cause a flood on the floor.  The “leader of the pack,”  AKA – Daddy, however,…I hold more accountable.   He thinks he has an alibi now that he has two other males to blame his mess on…but believe me, I’m not buying it.

When I first started complaining about the pee around the bottom of the toilet (near the anchor caps) my husband was shocked that I thought it may be him.  He emphatically denied any involvement in the mysterious “pee” caper.  He quickly offered up the idea that it may be one of the boys.  Not being well educated in the male species’ peeing habits, especially little boys, I figured it was a possible explanation…but it was not going to stop me from investigating further.

We have two bathrooms, one which I immediately declared mine and one that is for all of us.  That’s not to say that I do not let anyone else use “my bathroom,” it’s just simply the place where all my “girlie” stuff resides.  My bathroom is right outside my sons’ room so it is customary for the boys to use it most of the time.  The other bathroom is on the next floor, right outside our bedroom.  My husband primarily uses the bathroom outside our bedroom.  The kids really only use this bathroom when they are getting ready for bed at night.

For the longest time I would find pee around the the anchor caps of the toilet primarily used by my husband but since the boys may have used that toilet in the evenings, during their nightly rituals, I could not definitively say that it was him.  I sure as heck brought it to his attention numerous times, but he would always use the “blame it on the kids” excuse.  Recently, due to my husband working more from home, and having his office right off  “my bathroom,” he frequents “my” toilet more often.  Guess what?  I have found pee around the anchor caps of that toilet now more often than the bathroom outside our bedroom.  What other conclusion am I to draw?  It must be HIM — “the leader of the pack”.

All this wouldn’t be such a big deal if…A) he would just admit it’s him, and B) CLEAN IT UP HIMSELF.  Cleaning a toilet in itself is at the top of my list of “most disgusting jobs that I have,” let alone if there is more disgust added to it than necessary.  Nobody likes cleaning up other people’s bodily fluids, but we Moms sign on to do that for our children…let me repeat that……..FOR OUR CHILDREN.  Now my husband, whom I do consider my fourth child at times (and this is just one of the reasons why), actually is not a child so I expect that when he pees he takes a look to discover if in fact he has “backsplashed” as he likes to admit COULD possibly happen.  If by his surprise he does discover that he in fact is the culprit then…HE SHOULD CLEAN IT UP or better yet……..JUST PEE IN THE POT!!toiletseat

This debate has been going on now for about the past three years.  This is another time that I expect my husband to READ MY MIND.  I shouldn’t have to tell him to clean up a mess if he makes one.  If he knows this is an issue, and I’ve made it abundantly clear that it is, why then does he not get a disinfectant wipe (they are sitting right next to the toilet) and clean up any mess he sees ?  I mean we all know it can’t be coming from me (it’s physically impossible),  so why am I the one who gets to clean it up?

*DISCLAIMER*  This article is based on opinions from the author and doesn’t necessarily represent facts (as per my husband).

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