Sweet rewards of parenting


Image result for difficult teenage boys cartoon

My teenage son has contributed to the vast majority of my gray hairs, and although I love him a crazy amount, he also makes me crazy.

From his special ability to only see things from his own viewpoint, rendering himself the victim in every possible scenario….. to his disregard for a clean organized room and bathroom which is all I really will ever want from him for Christmas….

It is sometimes quite a challenge.

And, you know, he’s a teenager. So multiply everything by 5 million because if those two chin hairs are any indication….hormones are raging, and rational thought is out the window.

Something is happening though…

Here is an example of something that kind of gives me hope that he might come out the other side of puberty in a good place.

He was at his dads house Monday, because that’s one of his nights with his dad. I get a call from him, around the time I need to put the little ones to bed, asking if I can iron some clothes if he brings them over because he forgot he needed to dress up for school.

“Don’t you guys have an iron??”

He doesn’t want his dad to iron his clothes, and he doesn’t want to….because neither one is capable of doing it well, not as well as me.

This is true….but also designed to inflate my domestic ego so I can’t resist demonstrating my mad ironing skills.

It works. He comes over and hands me a shirt that looks like-and probably was-balled up somewhere before it was fully dry, and a pair of pants with questionable history of cleanliness.

I iron them both, he takes them and leaves.

Later that night, I get a text.

Good night mom, love you. Thank you for everything you do for me. By the way  you need to step it up, you’ve been slacking lately. JK, love you but for real pick it up get your head out of the gutter, JK love you. Tell Gasan to keep up the good work, he’s been ballin lately.

Interpretation: I love you mom. I’m 15 and on the verge of being a man, but still kind of a little boy and I know maybe I’m hard to deal with but I’ll never actually admit that…but we can both just “know it” and I’m going to cover up any expression of feelings with little odd remarks about you not doing your domestic duties well enough and a nod to your husband for being a cool guy.

Progress people. I’ll take what I can get.




How to win a trophy

Sammy finished his first T-ball season yesterday, and the coaches surprised the kids with a trophy for each of them.

Of course Sammy was feeling pretty self important and strutting around holding that trophy for the rest of the night.

We took it with us for celebratory ice cream, the trophy displayed rather blatantly at table center.

Jenna trailed behind Sammy the whole time, just wanting to be near. Of course she wasn’t allowed to get too close. I didn’t hear his explanation to her as he shut down her last attempt at sneaking a quick touch. But it all became clear…..

“Mom…..”  she began, with those big, earnest, brown eyes….

“So I can get a trophy when I’m six…..and a boy?”

Uh. Yes?



mother/sister confusion

The other day, my sister and I went somewhere together. Sometimes, we do that.

We went into a building and passed by a security guard. He looked over and smiled at us. “You must be mother and daughter, huh?” He kept smiling and continued “You look just alike, you probably get that all the time, huh?”

I smiled, but my mind was racing….. did he just….?  did he just ask me if I was her MOTHER?

Looking at my sisters smiling face. No, she wasn’t just smiling. She was laughing.

We continue on, stepping into an elevator. I’m inspecting myself in the reflection. “It’s the sweater…. it’s a total mom sweater….”. I asked one of the people in the elevator, “do I look like I could be her mom?!”  He looked confused. “NO!”, I helped him with the correct answer. “I DON’T!”.

Then he smiled knowingly, “you’re sisters huh?”

Clearly….. the first guy may have been completely blind. I don’t even remember him having eyes to be honest.

I give you exhibit A. A recent photo of two SISTERS at a play together…..

And exhibit B: 4 kids in the train at the mall. They all look under 10 to me. No mom-looking people here……

And exhibit C:

Hmmmm, so maybe I do tend to look overall more subdued. More mature in a very young and not mom-ish way. Definitely don’t look like I gave birth to that lady with the chopsticks….

And finally, exhibit D:

Oh, well isn’t that precious. She was my little bitty baby sister….. and I doted on her and probably did pretend to be her mommy back then. Just look at that little face…..

You know what? It’s really ok. I do kind of feel like a mom to her sometimes, I practiced my parenting technique on her before trying it out on my own kids…. thanks to the mistakes I made with my sister, my oldest has turned out pretty awesome.

Oh, I love that little sister of mine. Even if I am going to have to ugly her up a bit before we hang out together next time…. 🙂


a funny happening


courtesy of thewritingnut.com

When I started this blog, I had no idea who I was writing to, or always what to write about.

It was my sisters idea, actually….. she knows I’ve always loved to write. “Start a mommy blog” she told me…. “you will become wildly popular and wealthy beyond all your wildest dreams”.

Or something like that.

I quickly realized that when forced to research topics to write about, things that other people might want to read about, I was less than inspired to write. Too much like work.

So it’s evolved into whatever it is right now… I guess it’s still a mommy blog, I do talk a lot about my kids…. sometimes I think the only people who will truly find some worth in it are my kids.

Which is why I find it so surprising and strangely flattering to hear that my oldest daughter has friends who actually read this too. And they tell her things like “OMG, your mom is so amazing and cool…. I wish she was my mom.”, and ” your mom is hilarious, I wish I was her.”, and “I’m so in love with your mom, I’m going to kidnap her.”

Or something like that……

And you know, this is a big deal for me…. never having been a “popular” kid in school. I was way too shy and blushed a lot….. and of course I didn’t have cool shoes so that alone set the stage for 4 years of high school misery.

And so, at the age of 40, quite past the age of my daughter and her friends…. they are somehow sucked in by the effortless charm I seem to exude, the breezy way I handle challenges and disappointments (with chocolate donuts..), and no doubt… by the rock star attitude with which I approach everything from potty training to bathing suit shopping.

…..or something like that.


Return of the Tooth Fairy


So this happened today at school. See that gap at the bottom? Wasn’t there this morning.

We had him at the dentist about a month ago, she noticed that tooth was just a bit loose, not enough to think about. Over the past 2 weeks, he’s noticed it more and more.

At first, he wasn’t sure how he felt about it. We were in the grocery store, and he brings up how the loose tooth means he’s getting older. Which  leads him to thoughts of his mortality….asking me if this means he’s getting “old” now with a stricken look on his face…. I promised him at 5 years old he’s still pretty close to brand new, not close at all to getting old.

And then came the perpetual tongue wiggling, working at that loose tooth. The inability to chew food for some reason, because now all of the sudden he wants to eat like a beaver. I had to remind him he doesn’t chew in the front of his mouth so it really shouldn’t be a problem.

Brushing teeth has been fun, with him flinching and pulling away if I get near that tooth…

Yesterday night he showed me how the tooth comes all the way up in the back, but was pretty well anchored in the front. I figured we had some time left, and didn’t want to try pulling it and making him bleed or hurt. I was really saving that job for my dad, the family tooth-puller. No matter how many times it happened, he ALWAYS tricked me into “just letting him wiggle it”, which of course led to a quick bloody yank and me feeling tricked and somewhat relieved to have it over.

Today, I picked him up from school and I could see the gap as he walked to the car, smiling.

Oh No!!! I missed it! I wasn’t there for the first lost tooth!  Then I felt even more cheated when the teacher told me the tooth somehow went missing as they were walking outside. They did their best to look for it, showing me two jagged pieces of some enamel colored objects, possibly bits of stone or tooth they managed to find in the parking lot. It didn’t look like the tooth I remembered sitting is his mouth yesterday…. so I let her keep it.

He didn’t seem too upset. I didn’t tell him I still have teeth saved from the older kids, and now all I have from him are his first hair clippings. I am sad although future generations will be glad they have one less weird thing to throw out as they sort through my belongings posthumously.

But lets look on the bright side. The tooth fairy is coming back from her extended vacation, ready to surprise and delight with gifts of money and possibly little notes of encouragement in exchange for lost teeth. In this case, of lost, lost teeth… she’s willing to cut us a break.



Homework is painful for everyone

This is a big fat lie.

This is a big fat lie. Or they are drugged.

A lesson in 5  year old comprehension.

Believe it or not, Sammy has homework in Kindergarten. Things have sure changed since I was in school…..

Tonight he had to read 3 paragraphs, and then follow the very specific directions afterwards to test his comprehension.

First story was about a kid who likes going to the park. That was the first sentence, “I like going to the park.” This was followed by the things that he could do (swing and slide), and the things he had trouble doing (monkey bars). He asked his parents to take him to the park…..they are taking him on Saturday.

I know this, because it’s burned into my brain. I will never forget that he likes the park, and the slide, and the swing, and the monkey bars. I know he is going on Saturday. I will carry that knowledge with me forever.

Sammy stumbles through the paragraph. He is only 5…. I still have to help with some words. Invariably, by the time he is finished, much of what he has read is lost. I guess that’s the point of this exercise, to help with retention and comprehension.

First question to answer after the reading: “Where does the boy like to go?”

Sammy ponders….. “The playground!”

No. There is no playground. Now that you know the question, start reading again and see if you can find the answer.

Guys. He literally read that paragraph 3 times. And came up with 3 different answers… none of which were “the park”.

And this is how I know for sure, without a doubt…. I was not cut out for teaching.

I would not give him the answer…. but I was dying, at first inside…but my suffering did spill out for everyone to see. It went on, we had to circle things with a red crayon, underline with a blue crayon, box things with a purple crayon. So many steps, so difficult for me to hold back from just TELLING him what to do.

We got through it. I really think we both need points for this one.