Raising Boys – this just might kill me

  My son is a rough and tumble type of boy. He loves to wrestle. When I try to do crunches or other floor exercise, I will be bodyslammed by him guaranteed.  He doesn’t back down one bit when met with an opponent on the soccer field.  He loves to play “tackle football” with anyone who will play.  A game of tag is not complete until he grabs you around the legs and forces you to the ground.  As a female, raised in a household with only a sister, and previously a mom to only a girl,  I was a bit concerned. My husband (obviously a man), raised in a household with a brother and in close proximity to male cousins, told me to relax.  He repeatedly says, “boys will be boys.”

I tried to relax.

Recently Bugaboo has moved to the 3 year old class at daycare. The afternoon teacher asked me if it was okay that he wrestle with some of the other boys. He is the smallest kid in the class. “Sure,” I said, mindful of my husband’s admonition to let him get his aggression out in safe ways.  She said that he seemed to love playing wrestling and football with the other children.

The next week there was a report that Bugaboo had spit on another kid – for no apparent reason. There were also reports of pushing, shoving and pinching – usually a tussle between a few kids.  When these happened, we reminded Bugaboo that “hands are not for hitting” and we needed to use soft touches and make good choices.  We talked about it being okay to wrestle and play football but not to just hit people. 

Yesterday I picked up Bugaboo and the afternoon teacher informed me that he had given another child a black eye.  What?  My cute adorable little blonde haired angel?  She explained that another child left his spot on the carpet, came up and gave her a hug and then walked back to the carpet to take his spot next to Bugaboo. Bugaboo reached out and cold-cocked him.  She said that she spoke to Bugaboo about it and showed him the injury later – after it had turned pretty colors. Bugaboo shut down and refused to say anything, other than to make baby noises (which is what he does when he knows he has done something wrong).  The teacher said the other mother was pretty upset (obviously).

I left daycare feeling like Loser Mother of the Year, and quite tearful that my child had blackened another kid’s eye.  Bugaboo and I talked about it and I did manage to glean the name of the other child – not someone with whom there have been prior incidents.  I went to sleep with visions of my child being labelled a Bully.

This morning, Husband dropped off Bugaboo and talked to the Morning Teacher about our desire for there to be strong consequences for hitting – an immediate time out and removal from any fun situations/games for a time period.  She seemed confused.  She explained that what she saw was Bugaboo and the other kids dancing and Bugaboo elbowed the other kid – she wasn’t sure if it was accidental or a “you’re in my space” thing. She said she’s never seen Bugaboo be aggressive or act unprovoked.

All of a sudden my child looks more like a typical kid?  The afternoon teacher is new to the center and has an older child – not sure if it is a boy or girl.  The morning teacher has been in this center for years, taught my daughter, and has two boys about the same age as my kids. 

So is my kid an unprovoked Bully? Or just a rough-house typical Boy?

I’m fixin’ to find out. I set up a conference with the teachers for this afternoon. If it’s an altercation between kids I’m more in line with their policy of separating the kids and talking things out.  If it’s an unprovoked event, then Bugaboo is in for some firm consequences.  If the first situation, I’ll apologize profusely to the other mother.  If the latter, I might have to bake her cookies and sobbingly beg her forgiveness!

Stay tuned for more information!


Enemies of the Clutz

Clutz – Someone who is extremely careless, stupid and a hazard to be around. Trips over shoes constantly, breaks anything he touches, should not be allowed around heavy machinery or anything that might put other’s lives in danger. (from urban dictionary)

I am a clutz. No doubt about it. From the time I was born I have been a clutz.  I could blame it on the fact that I grew to fast, I have big feet, I have depth-perception issues or on a whole host of issues. But the point is, if the floor is wet, I will fall.

A few years ago, I walked into a very nice resort with a beautiful slate floor. The problem is that it was raining.  I slipped and did the “running man” where you run forward, trying to catch yourself.  I caught myself, all right.  By running, face first, into a jagged rock wall.  I came to looking up at the resort manager asking me my name and if I knew where I was.  I said something about being there for a legal conference to which she responded, “You’re an attorney” and everyone around me (we were all there for the conference) said “Yes, we are all attorneys,” to which I swear she said, “Oh shit!”  One ambulance ride later I was in the ER where I found out that sadly, my nose was not broken.  I was hoping for some plastic surgery – never did like my nose. Unfortunately the doctor said it would go right back to the way it was in a few days when the swelling and black eyes faded.

Last night I thought the meeting started at 6:30.  Only after I had settled Bugaboo in the tub did I realize it started at 6:00 meaning that we were currently already 5 minutes late.  Toddlers don’t like being disrupted when they are in the middle of their favorite activity (bathing) and so he proceeded to throw a fit. You may recall that I have previously been taken out by Bugaboo throwing his plate of food on the floor.  Yes, that was me – the one who slipped on corn and dislocated my knee.  So this time, you’d think I’d be more careful. Nope – ran in the bathroom and WHOOSH!  Flat on my back on the pink tiled floor.  Today my behind provides a remarkable imprint of that tile pattern.  Luckily I escaped this time with minor bruising and a twisted ankle.  I’m not telling anyone though. I can just see the medical records……………Clutz strikes again.

So just call me Clumsy

If you are also Clumsy, let me offer this advice.  Enemies of the Clutzy include –

  • High heeled shoes, wedges or flip-flops – you should avoid these type shoes at all costs.  Clutzes can’t just break a heel like normal people. No, your heel gets caught in the escalator while the rest of you continues moving. Your flipflop melts a bit and adheres to the hot tar of the pavement while you continue to walk. Wedges are just disastrous and not designed for those who lack balance.  Trust me.
  • Stairs, escalators and moving walkways – need I even explain why? 
  • Wet surfaces – just avoid them at all costs.  I am currently working on obtaining a statement from my doctor which excuses me from mopping, bathing, washing my children or dogs, and doing laundry.  I do not do well around wet surfaces.  Perhaps it is because I like swimming so much that my behind desires to be in direct touch with the wet floor?  All I know is that clutzes need to turn and walk away (slowly and carefully) when they see the wet floor sign.
  • Round Objects – balls, beads or other round objects on the floor will inevitably end up underneath your feet.  ‘Nough said
  • Toddlers and pets – yes they will rush at your ankles and knees and yes, they will take you out.
  • Rushing – just when you think you have mastered the art of walking without falling, along comes a deadline.  Rushing is just a way of insuring disaster will come.

The best product for a clutz

Aflac – seriously.

Their accident policy is a blessing.  I collect on it every year (I shouldn’t brag about that probably).  It started when I fell down the stairs at my apartment 10 years ago, just 6 months after getting the policy.  Submitted the doctor’s bill for the diagnosed “Bruised buttocks – use hemoroid-like pillow for sitting” and collected $$.  Then there were the 2 car accidents (only 1 of which was my fault), followed by the run-in (literally) with the rock wall, described above.  Another fall down the stairs (this time they were not carpeted) and then the slip on corn incident.  Too bad my Aflac coverage ended with my last job.  Then again, I’m not sure they wouldn’t try to disqualify me based on my pre-existing condition as a diagnosed Clutz!

(are you a clutz? tell me your best story in the comment section)







Whew – I’m exhausted!

We had a very nice Easter vacation. On Thursday I efficiently managed a 237 person child support docket.  Finished at 3, I rushed home and we were out the door and on the road at 4.  Partway through our 8 hour drive, we received a phone call from the window installation company – they had an opening on Monday.  Did we want it? Sure, why not? I was off Monday so that sounded good.

We had a great visit with my sister and her family. We actually went to bed at decent times and napped at times.  As we left to drive home at 5 pm we remarked how refreshed we felt.

At 1:30 am, we pulled into our driveway and carried the kids inside. We dumped all the suitcases and junk in the kitchen and crawled into bed.  At 8 am the kids were up and moving.  I switched the coffee pot on and sat down.  At 8:15 I heard my husband yell, “the window guys are here.”  Uh oh.  I grabbed some clothes and raced to the bathroom to change.

Within 30 minutes, we had all the blinds and curtains down. The window crew consisted of 3 guys and within 1 hour, they had half  of the old windows out.  Bugaboo was infatuated with the power tools but kept wanting to walk in and out of the way.  I decided to take both kids out for awhile. We hit the playyard at McDonald’s for brunch and then the grocery store. When we returned at noon, all the windows were out and they were onto installation.

Everything had to be moved away from the walls where there were windows. Since dust was a-flying, DH had stripped the beds.  Since the beds were stripped and curtains down, I decided to wash it all.  Since there were no windows, we turned the AC off and the 86 degree heat was blazing. The kids and I escaped to the basement rec room to watch TV and try to stay cool.  At 2:30, DH left for work. At 4, I got the signal the window guys were finished.

The boss showed me how to tilt the new windows and make them all work. As he showed me the operations, I tried to shy away. I thought he sure stunk from working so hard.

Then the real work began…..

I had to remake the beds. Munchkin decided she wanted her room rearranged so we did.   Of course we found dust when we moved things, so we dusted. Then half of her clothes didn’t fit in the closet, so I pulled out the winter stuff and hung up the summer things. We re-made her bed. Then I rehung all the blinds and curtains. Our old window AC unit and wooden boards were gone – replaced with a new window (the prior owner never removed the old units even after having central air installed).  Since we now have two windows in our bedroom, I rearranged too.  More dusting.  Had to remake all the beds.  Then vacuum and dust the house.

I’m EXHAUSTED. So much for relaxed. I need a vacation day for my vacation day.  When I stopped to take a breather, I realized that now I was the one stinking.  I hopped in the shower, too tired to do anything but stand there for the first 10 minutes.  On the plus side, a hot shower has never felt so good.

But there is a bottle of wine chilling and I plan to have a glass after the kids are in bed.

I Hereby Grant you a “Do-Over”

I left work right on time today, super excited because we had absolutely nothing on the agenda.  For once, I had remembered to pull the meat out of the freezer to defrost. Dinner plans were set. It wasn’t even bath night.  Nothing but homework and some fun.

All of that changed when I pulled into my daughter’s school.

“Mommy. Can we go to Chik-fil-a?  It is school spirit night tonight.”

Funny I don’t remember seeing that on the calendar. But I could have missed it.  I debate going in my head, but decide against it. For one, the thought of a quiet evening at home is so super enticing. And secondly, traffic is absolutely horrid.  So I respond, “not tonight, honey.  I already have dinner planned and was thinking we’d have some extra time to just hang out. Doesn’t that sound fun?”

“NO. I want to go to Chik-fil-a.”

“I’m sorry honey but not tonight.”

She throws herself into her car seat with a big huff and puff. Kicks the back of the seat in front of her and slams back into her seat.

Climbing into my seat, I pause to take a deep breath.  In and out.  In and out. Count to 10.  Do it again.

Back into traffic. Attempting to change the subject, I ask Munchkin, “Would you like me to turn on the new CD we bought?”  Being the super nice and wonderful Mommy that I am, I purchased the Kidz Bop Christmas CD she wanted.  I must admit it is not all that horrible (although if you repeat that, I’ll deny it).

Grr I hear from the back seat.  Huff puff. Slam. Sigh.

I shrug and turn up my station.

“I SAID I wanted to hear MY CD.”

“Excuse me?” I respond with that head swivel and no-you-did-not-just-say-that death stare that Mommys learn to perfect.

And she fell for it. She repeated herself.

I reminded Munchkin of how we ask for things and respond in our family.  Those involve “please” and “thank you.”

She didn’t like my reminder.  Apparently I’m a “meaner” and the “worst mommy ever.”  She started to whine and cry and fuss and yell “You don’t love me. You think I’m a stupid head. You think I’m a ……….(big breath)………darn it.”

I committed the mommy-sin………..I laughed.  Sorry. But a “darn it”  Seriously?  She thought that was a bad word.  I was in tears.

When we got home, she opened the door, threw herself down on the concrete and then cried, “It’s cold.”  I laughed harder.  She ran into her room.

I let her sit awhile and then felt bad for laughing at her. I despise being laughed at when I’m  mad.  So I went in and offered her a “do over.”

She asked, “What’s a do over?”  I explained that it was  a second opportunity to do the afternoon.  I sat down next to her and pretended to drive the car, complete with bouncing up and down and pretending to steer.  I nudge her and she catches on.

“Mommy can we go to Chik-fil-a?”

“Not today honey. I’m sorry.”

“Okay.  Can we listen to my CD?”

“Sure honey.”

She grins and gives me a hug.  “Mommy you aren’t really a meaner.  And I love you. Always and forever.”

I think she loves do-overs.  Sometimes they are a good thing.  Now if only they worked in my line of work….