Monday, December 27, 2010

I Was Supposed to Have Girls

I was supposed to have girls.

Really, I was.

I was supposed to have little pretty princess girly girls who sat still and let me braid their hair, never raised their voices and never acted out. They were going to be clean and well dressed always, they were going to be beautiful!

Ah, I can see them now!

Fast forward a few years to me cursing loudly after stepping on a hot wheel car while chasing my two year old son with a brush trying to get the mashed banana out of his hair...getting him to sit still for this activity is almost impossible, so I guess braiding is out of the question.

How did it come to this?

It all started from the moment I heard the words that I had feared for nine straight months, "ITS A BOY!" Really? Are you sure? Can you check again? Is there any way that the umbilical cord is just down in that area and that any second now you will move it aside and say to me "Oh, just kidding! Its really a girl".

Fat chance.

Ok, well, maybe raising a boy won't be that bad. I mean, its all just parenting, right? If I teach my little boy to sit nicely and play quietly then I can still have my dream of a neat and tidy well behaved child. Let me introduce you to Carter...

Carter is a boy's boy. He loves trucks and hates getting his face cleaned. He runs, jumps and yells. He is my worst nightmare...and a dream come true! I love my son.

I am now the mother of two amazing little boys and, surprisingly, I could not be happier! I never thought I'd know the difference between a back hoe and a giant excavator, but I do. I never thought I'd be playing with tools rather than dolls, but I am.

My kids have taught me that you have to take life with a grain of salt. And if that salt happens to have fallen off the glass of my well deserved margarita...then all the better!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Using Fear

Carter is starting to develop certain fears. He won't watch a movie if he thinks there is a monster in it, stuff like that.

But all of a sudden he seems to be really afraid of falling off of things...mainly, his changing table.  I don't know when or how it came about but when we go to change him he gets a little stiff and says "I don't want to fall!"

Now, as his mother my first instinct is to protect him and assure him that he is safe. But my second instinct is to exploit his worries and use them to my advantage. And lately the second instinct has been winning out...

When he is on the changing table he likes to kick things and in general be a pain in the ass. He squirms all around and it's really very annoying. So now I just say "If you move around up here you are going to fall".

That usually does the trick.

And if not, then I can always slide the changing pad up just a little so part of his head is kind of hanging off the table. This makes the threat of falling seem more real...and it is also probably some form of child abuse.

But the thing is, I'm not wrong!

If he moves around too much up there then he WILL fall. I'm just stating the obvious. I'm a realist, Carter. Personally, I think you are never too young to learn about gravity. So actually, I'm giving him a valuable science lesson rather than scaring the crap out of him to benefit myself...and that's my story...

Last week Carter fell while running and split his head open. He went to the doctor's office to get some Dermabond on the cut. He had to be held down and let's just say it was not his favorite moment. On his way out he turned around unprompted and told the doctor "Thank you for putting glue on my head."...just a cute little side note, not the point of the story!

The point of the story is that I now use that against him as well. When he's running around the house or jumping off the couch (yeah, having boys is a blast isn't it?) I tell him "If you do that you'll have to go get more glue on your head". If it doesn't stop him completely it at least makes him pause long enough that I can get my hands on him.

Do I feel guilty using his trauma to scare him into compliance? A little. Do I still do it? A lot.

My mom did the same thing to me when I was younger, so I guess it's just a vicious cycle. She told me that if I bit my nails and accidentally swallowed one it would rip my stomach open. What a loving, caring woman huh? Hmmm...I'm thinking my upbringing has a lot to do with my parenting style. But it did stop me from biting my nails. I rest my case.

Today, however, Carter called my bluff. I was changing him and he looked right at me and said "Mama won't let you fall." Like he was thinking, "Alright, woman! Let's see just how far you are willing to take this game..."

Damn! How can I really threaten him with falling after that? Cause now if he falls it will be because Mama let him. So I had to say that no, in fact, I would not let him fall.

What a punk!
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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Holidays

Oh, the holidays!

That magical time of year when my kids are fed too much sugar, stay up too late, get thrown off their schedule and in general become little, tiny walking zombies.

I love my relatives but having them around the kids all at once is like being in one of those movies where the underdog is surrounded by a group of skilled Ninjas all wearing the same outfit. You always hope that guy wins, but it seems improbable at the time.

That's how I feel when I have nineteen different people handing Carter a cookie, or sneaking Grant a few bites of pie. I'm their only defender...and also I only have one hand with which to fight them off because the other is clearly busy holding my wine glass.

"But it's the holidays!"

Yes, I know. And there is nothing merrier than a two year old waking at 3am to puke up a stomach full of sweets. You coming over to clean that up? Right.

That's the problem, everyone gets to enjoy them while they are being all cute and Christmasy and then the second they fuss it's "Oh, he's out of sorts...go see Mommy!"

Mommies get the short end of this whole Christmas deal. Like, OK, who picks out all the presents, buys them, wraps them and then places them out on Christmas morning? Mom. And who gets all the credit? Friggin SANTA!

So, when Carter has a really cool, awesome, unbelievable toy that he LOVES, he's gonna go around telling everyone that Santa gave it to him.

I really want to be like "Yes, but Mommy told him that you'd enjoy getting all those cars..soo...a little recognition??"

Know what else is fun this time of year? Trying to navigate a giant double stroller through the mall stores with their itsy bitsy little aisles. People with kids have to shop too, people! And its a hell of a lot easier for you to get out of my way than for me to move out of just move without the damn attitude and we can all spread around the Christmas cheer.

Today I actually hit some lady in the foot with my stroller. Totally by accident. But the look she gave me, even after I said sorry, made me reeeeeally want to hit her again....and again. This is how stroller rage starts, I'm a classic case.

Is it a bad thing that I came home from the mall, put my kids for a nap and poured myself a drink? Maybe. But its making me a whole lot cheerier.  And isn't that the reason for the season?