Behavior & Discipline, Motherhood

Some more about raising boys…

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With a newborn in one hand and most of my kids home, I’m keeping my summer bucket list pretty simple.

Organize the kids’ closets.

Organize my cabinet.

By “my cabinet” I mean my personal arsenal where I keep all the most valuable items in the house and all my weapons, including those that can easily turn into weapons of mass destruction.

Sharpies.

Elmer’s liquid glue.

Glitter.

Glue sticks.

Stickers.

Sticky tack.

Washable paint.

Bucket of 10,000 fuse beads.

In the wrong hands, all of these can wreak havoc. But used correctly, they can save lives.

As soon as I put the baby down, I make a beeline to my cabinet and make yet another attempt to tackle it.

I start emptying it out, finding all different things I’ve taken away from my kids over the past few months. A growing stash of bouncy balls of every size and color  that were being used in the wrong place and other things like that.

My 3 & 5 year old little boys are watching me wide eyed. I need to find something to keep them busy with so I can knock this off my list at last.

Frisbees! I came across two frisbees stuffed in the back of the top shelf; I don’t remember why I put them there to begin with, but I’m thrilled to find them. And so are they. They proudly march off with their frisbees, and I continue my work.

I come across two cardboard mailing tubes that had once contained enlarged photos.

Ah, that’ll make a great toy too!

I call my little boys and offer them the super cool cardboard tubes. I give them some creative ideas what they can use it for-it’ll be a great tunnel for their cars or they can roll balls through it.

I’m pretty pleased with my ideas and go back to my organizing.

The frisbee and cardboard tube seemed to be doing the trick.

They’re playing together and I’m organizing.

Eventually I pop in to check on them.

“What are you guys doing?” I can’t help but ask.

“We’re having a sword fight!” They excitedly tell me.

“Sword fight?”

“Yeah look, we each have a sword and a shield!”

The frisbee. A shield.

The cardboard tube. A sword.

I’m watch them, stunned. Unbeknownst do me, I had given them a sword and a shield.

I pride myself in my adapting to how little boys work. With a houseful of them, I’ve learned to play life by their rules. And I do admit, their version of life, despite the mess, is quite exciting! This is not something that came natural to me, but I’ve learned to love it.

And just when I thought I had it all figured out, they did a number on me. I had forgotten one of the golden rules about boys; anything and everything can and will be turned into a war weapon, regardless of how many rules you make against it.

I watch them gleefully running and playing and I know that really and truly, I will never be one of them. I’m doubting if it’s possible to really see the world through their magical eyes.

And that’s life with boys; you gotta just love them. Otherwise you’ll go crazy. And even worse, you’ll never, ever finish organizing your cabinets.

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Motherhood

Newborn Joys

I just need to peel 10 potatoes. Throw the chicken in the oven. Quickly cut up some cucumbers. I should have it all done in time for it to be ready when the kids finish their computer time. Mommy Camp is running nice and smooth at this very moment and I’m feeling pretty pleased about it.

And then my baby wakes up. My very tiny little baby. I have to remind myself that he’s really still a newborn, since running full blown Mommy Camp can make me forget that. And he wants to eat. Like now. Well, Mommy Camp is about to lose its efficiency.

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Motherhood, Travel

The Mommy Van

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“Just do me one favor- whoever picks me up at the airport,  make sure they don’t have one of those Mommy cars with half eaten peanut butter and jelly sandwiches stuck to the seats.”

For a moment I wasn’t sure if the person on the phone was serious or kidding.

Was this person insulting the vans of mommies around the country?

I had hired this person to come out to do an event and that included transportation from the airport.

But the comment left me speechless.

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Motherhood

The Perfect Shoe Solution

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The house is finally quiet. Well, not totally quiet; I can still hear some chit chat upstairs but that doesn’t bother me- so long as it stays upstairs,

And then I see it; with the open floor plan, I can see straight from the back of the house to the front. And from my hard-earned place on the couch I can see 7 pairs of shoes strewn about  in every which way. One pair parked behind the garbage can. One pair near the toy bin. 2 pairs at two different spots literally look like they are on the run- someone just shed them as they walked. One pair half way stuck under the couch-I already know there’ll be a frantic search party the next morning for those. One single lonely shoe by the sink. Another at the refrigerator. One by the steps.

What is up with these kids??

Grrr….why isn’t this working?

Continue reading “The Perfect Shoe Solution”

Motherhood

My name is Goldie, and I suffer from PPPP. (Persistent Picture Perusing Panic)

They’re all back.

It was one week of camp for boys and one week of camp for girls, and there’s nothing like having them all back under my roof.

This time two of my boys went, which doubled the amount of time I had to spend dissecting pictures.

The camp was so kind and sent 378 pictures over the week. But it’s a double edged sword.

Either I can’t find them, so I panic. Or I find them, but I can’t read the expression on their faces, so I panic. Or the picture catches just a sliver of a right ear, so I panic.

So really, I can’t win.

You’d think by the fourth year of sending kids to winter camp – and it’s only one week – I’d be getting better at it. But nope. It’s just one of the many mysteries of motherhood.

But this time, I really panicked.

I scanned each picture, looking for secret messages of how my boys were doing.

After all, it was my 9-year-old’s first time going to camp; he needed a bit of extra worrying.

The pictures were looking good. I saw the hood of his sweater in one. The tip of his nose in another and I recognized the corner of his sneaker in a third.

And then finally, on hike day, there he is! I can’t see his face, but there he is, walking along the path with everyone.

But wait a second. I take a closer look. I enlarge it on my phone screen. I rotate it.

This doesn’t make sense.

Everyone is walking on a straight path. And my son is walking to the far right. Everyone is going in one direction, and he is going off to the side.

Why is he going off to the side?

I zoom in, I zoom out. Yes, he’s definitely going away from the group.

He’s not a wanderer. But why is he wandering away?

I’m really in a panic.

He’s wandering away and no one even notices.

I check again. Yes, every single kids is focused on walking ahead, and no one sees him wandering off.

Where’s the counselor?

He’s not there. Well, not in the picture.

I quickly forward the picture to my Whatsapp group of close friends, fellow moms who I know would understand my panic.

Do you see what’s wrong with this picture? I quickly message. I don’t want to sound to neurotic; I wait to see if they see what I see.

I anxiously wait for an answer. No one replies.

I try to relax. I’m sure everything is OK, I tell myself. Stop overreacting.

I look at the picture again, which hasn’t changed since just a few moments before. He’s still wandering off.

Should I call the camp director and tell him?

No, I can’t be that type of mom.

But what if he did wander off?

I wait an hour, which feels like forever, until my husband gets home.

“Any pictures from camp?” he asks.

“Oh, you bet! Wait till you see this one!”

I try to hid my neurotic-ness and casually show him the hiking picture.

“Nice, they’re going on a hike.” He points to my 9 year old in the photo. “Look, he’s right there, the first in the line.”

“The first in the line? I thought he was wandering off…”

“Wandering off? They’re going around a bend, he’s the first one there, leading the way to the right.”

Oh.

If only moms were gifted with the same (un)common sense as dads.