Monday, September 26, 2011

Things Mike Says

This week is me and my husband’s 5th anniversary.  So I found it fitting to write a blog paying tribute to the man who’s genes make of half of Carter’s DNA (I like to throw that fact around whenever I get a chance…makes me feel less responsible for how that kid is turning out.)
He has so many great qualities that it’s hard to name just a few.  But I'll try:
He’s really caring.  He’s always looking out for my well-being.  Like the time that I came home early from work because I was deathly ill and I just knew that when I walked in the door he would immediately take care of me, tuck me in and make me a cup of tea.  And naturally when he saw me he said “What the hell are you doing home?  I’m still watching my motorcycle show, ya know.”  Soooo…is that a no on the tea then?
He always puts me first.  My safety is his number one concern.  One day I fell while carrying our vacuum up the stairs.  Upon hearing the extremely loud bang my loving husband frantically ran over and yelled up “Is the vacuum ok?”  But I didn’t mind cause he explained “We have insurance for you…I don’t want to have to buy a new vacuum.” See?  What a Sweetheart!
Whenever I need an ego boost he’s there to tell me how beautiful I am.  I told him that on my walk with the boys one day I got beeped at by three different cars.  His response?  “Well I would stop walking in the middle of the street then.”  Hands off ladies, he’s all mine!
He really gets into the holidays, too! Last year he came home from Christmas shopping, ignored me and kids and walked straight to the liquor cabinet. After pouring himself a large scotch, he took a sip and said "I hate this fucking holiday!" I truly have the merriest husband in all the land!
He’s a great father, the kids learn so much from him. One morning while I was changing Carter’s diaper he suddenly pointed down and said, "Don't touch your balls!"  He looked very proud of himself, as if he had been saving up this pearl of wisdom for some time and was glad that he finally got to share it with me.  Dads teach the best life lessons, huh?
He also has a very unique fashion sense. The first time I left him alone with Carter I came home to find my precious baby boy wearing a red and brown striped shirt, baby blue sweatpants and green socks.  I wanted to fact I think I may have actually cried.  But Mike pointed out the fact that “Hey, at least he’s WEARING clothes!  Can’t we just celebrate the little victories?”
He’s super good at home improvement projects.  And he’s always patient while working on them.  Last year when we had all the rain and flooding I woke up one morning to my two beautiful children, a nice hot cup of coffee and the soothing sounds of my husband screaming “FUCK YOU RAIN!!!” at the top of lungs from the basement.  Ahhh…bliss!  
He’s a really hard worker.  One night I happened to comment that it was impossible to set up Carter’s new train tracks so that they looped around twice and met back together.  And wouldn’t you know it; Mike then spent the next THREE HOURS trying to prove me wrong.  Now that’s dedication.  I hope our children inherit his work ethic.
So there you have it, folks, just a short list of some of the reasons why life with Mike is so fun!  Happy Anniversary, honey! 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fun With Anxiety

We recently took Carter to the doctor because we noticed him having strange reactions to new or unknown things.  Our pediatrician said that he has anxiety.  He needs to feel safe and supported and we need to be patient and understanding with him.
Seriously?  Do you even know who you’re talking to?  My mind immediately starts flashing back to all the times I’ve used the fact that he’s afraid of something against him.  Um, yeah, I wrote a whole blog about it (see “Using Fear”). 

You mean all this time he’s really had something up with him and I’ve been exploiting it for my own gain?  The therapy bill just keeps getting bigger and bigger…
But, in my defense, I've only tried to scare him in an effort to keep him safe. 
Like, we may or may not have told him that tigers live in the basement.  It’s dangerous down there!  There are tools and crap lying around everywhere!  Do you expect me to tell him the truth?
“Oh, hey, buddy don’t go down in the basement.  All of Daddy’s tools are down there, power tools and saws and hammers and screwdrivers.  Also all of your outside toys are down there.  You know, the ones that you loooooove playing with that are away for the season.  Oh, and I think Daddy even has some old cool car parts lying around.  So, stay outta there, ok?”
 I’m sure that would work just as well.
Now, I think I need a little clarity on the rules here.  I’m not supposed to scare him into compliance anymore, but if he already has a mistaken belief about something am I obligated to correct it? 
I don’t like him reaching into the sink for obvious reasons so I told him so:
“Carter, don’t reach into the sink.  There are things in there that could hurt you.”                          
“Like whales?”
I mean, I was gonna say knives.  But if you thinking there are whales in there keeps you from playing in the sink then...yeah...whales.  He came up with that on his own so technically I can't be held responsible for that one.  Right?  Right?
I don’t only use outrageous threats to keep him from doing things.  I also use them to GET him to do things.
One time I told him that if he didn’t let me cut his nails he would turn into a werewolf.  I guess this whole anxiety thing is the reason why the next day he frantically told Grant, “You better let Mama cut your nails....I think you're in danger." 

I briefly wondered why he was trying to save his brother.  But then I figured Carter realized if Grant turned into a werewolf then Carter would be stuck living with him.  He probably figured having a warewolf as a brother would suck.  So they would both be screwed…hence the warning.
Sometimes, however, things I thought would scare him don’t really seem to bother him that much.
Once I told him that if he didn’t behave I would send him to live with the Wild Things.  This statement put him deep in thought, and then he looked at me and asked:  “What kind of Wild Things?  What color are they?  What kind of house to they live in?  Are there toys there?”
Wait.  I’m sorry, are you asking these questions because you are considering going and you need to collect more information so you can weigh your options?  Gotta get all the facts before you make a final decision?  Do you need to get back to me on this one?
This is going to take some getting used to.  My signature parenting tools are threats and bribery.  I don’t know how to function as a normal, caring, loving mother.  Stay tuned.