I have a loose policy of ‘no nagging.’ Mike hates nagging, and I usually dislike myself when I fall into it. So instead I ask him to do whatever it is I want done, and then do it myself if he won’t. Works for us.
Very rarely there are exceptions. When it came time to start having the series of talks on body parts/functions/how things work/sex , I talked with Kim-14yr. We talked more than she wanted to. We had books. We had more talks. And Mike assured me that with the b0ys, he’d be the one to take the lead.
So I asked him to start that process, especially with Ethan-8yr. (although, at the TIME of the request he was Ethan-7yr.) Mike agreed. He bought a book on how to talk to your kids about such things. I think he even read it. It lived on his side of the closet, and every Tuesday and Friday morning I’d go to get his dry cleaning organized and I’d see that book. The sight of that book bugged me greatly, since it was a fantastic reminder that he hadn’t just TALKED TO THE KID. So I started leaving little notes on the dry cleaning slips and tucking them into his drawers. These were charming surprises, I’m sure. Really endearing.
I think the first one read “You said you’d do this months ago.” I tucked it into the How to Talk to the Kid book where it wouldn’t be missed.
Another month passed. The next note, also on the dry cleaning slip read “JUST DO IT”
And then another month.
Why didn’t I just follow my own policy and do it myself? Because I REALLY want the boys and Mike to have the ‘we can talk about stuff’ relationship, and this seemed a milestone in fostering that.
The last note read, “Please talk to him by Friday. Address whatever issues are preventing you from doing it by then and get it done. Please.”
I didn’t really think he would. And yuck! That escalated from nagging to ultimatum. Gross.
Friday night Mike and Ethan-8yr had a conversation. YEA!!!
Perhaps it had been awhile since Mike read the How to Talk to Your Kid About This Topic Your Wife Thinks is Sooooo Important book, or perhaps he hadn’t fully addressed whatever was preventing him in the first place. Maybe he was just nervous.
I really don’t care, because he did it, and that makes me VERY happy.
But for whatever reason, Mike started the conversation a little on the vague side. “So… Ethan-8yr. Do you know the differences between how boys and girls are made?”
I know. Isn’t that cute ALL BY ITSELF? Oh, funny.
Ethan-8yr said, “Sure. God made girls with longer hair. They think different too. And they walk differently.” Then he does a dramatic, prissy walk, complete with alternate shoulder thrusting and swiveling hips and says, “Especially if they’re practicing for a runway.”
Well. I’m sure that cleared things RIGHT up for Mike. How he kept a straight face through that, and THEN transitioned to the intended direction of that discussion is beyond me.
And what girls does he know who are ‘practicing for a runway’ and why does he even know what that means?!
Caden-4yr and I sat on the couch this morning, a rare lull in a hectic few days. We’d been talking about his school picnic, Ethan-8yr’s school picnic, our upcoming roadtrip and all the things we needed to do.
He sighed, rumpled his entire face into a frown, and asked me, “Mom, is this a special moment?”
“Oh yes, Caden-4yr. This is a VERY special moment,” I said. I put a hand on each of his cheeks, and smoothed out his worried forehead until he smiled. “Why?”
“Well, I heard on the radio that in a very special moment, ‘rhyming is everything.’”
“Oh. Well. I don’t know why they said that, but okay. Hop and Stop.”
“Thank you.” Then he ran off to test out his glow in the dark dinosaur in the blackness of his closet.
A few minutes later I was wondering about this very odd conversation and then… ah yes. I DO remember the radio commercial that I suppose he heard… a pharmaceutical sort of ad, actually.
“And guys, we all know that when it comes to that special moment, timing is everything…”
Random Integer Generator picked #5!
That’s Tas!!! YEA!!!!!
IF you were one of the 8 who left a comment on the May Club 17 post AND you want daylilies, just email me before Friday morning at 8 and I’ll send you some. (how’s that, Grim Reality Girl….?)
Tas, if you’re not into daylilies, I will find something of extraodinary cuteness to send instead!
I don’t usually make everyone a winner, but after re-reading that post, I’m surprised any of you were inspired to participate. Lame!
I’ve been scrambling to manage all the kids’ end of school field trips/parties/etc. Mike’s out of town too, and the boys are getting antsy. It’s just a crazy time of year, and that last post certainly showed it.
Also? The boys and I leave for a roadtrip on Friday. I’m a little nervous. THIS is how it went the last time the 3 boys and I hit the road.
It’s that special day of the month where all the ladies do their monthly self breast exams, then say they did in the comment section, then possibly win a prize.
The reward of feeling health conscious is free to all who participate, and the prize is free to one of you.
Daylilies, if you’re into plants. Something else if you’re not. Makes no difference at all to me.
Ok, now go do that BSE!
Questions? Go here first.
Around our house, there is an unusual phrase. It’s uttered FREQUENTLY, and always by Caden-4yr, in his odd little Austrian accent.
This phrase is ’Ho and Tell.’
Ho and Tell actually has TWO meanings, adding to the frequency of times it comes up conversationally. It is SO hard not to break into giggles on these occasions.
First meaning: hotel. “When will be at the Ho and Tell? I yike dis Ho and Tell. It is a yittle bit nice of a Ho and Tell. I yuv it.”
Second meaning for Ho and Tell: ‘Show and Tell.’ Every Friday morning Caden-4yr is preoccupied with what his Ho and Tell will be, and then he rehearses what he will say when it is his turn. He prefers to rehearse privately, but if he has to he will do it quietly in the car. Then if Mike asks him what he’s saying, he will indignantly say, “I am talking to mySELF. DAD.”
Sometimes I think it will be a little sad when the day comes when Caden-4yr sounds like just any other West Texan kid. He’s endearing and entertaining every time he speaks.
Happy Ho and Tell Day, y’all.
Don’t worry about the google searches. I gave up trying to prevent the weirdos after this post – it attracts quite the wrong kind of crowd, daily.
I know you thought I forgot, K T Cat. I didn’t. It just always takes me forever to get around to these!
So. Her challenge was to write a memoir. In SIX words.
I intentionallydid not read other people’s because it would mess with me. And unfortunately. This is what I came up with:
Got a booger? I’ll tell you.
(You weren’t expecting anything brilliant, I hope.)
Hey, Geekwif, you’re next!
Well. I no longer have the mental image of the naked woman at kickboxing. In its place is the far more horrifying image of the bloody innards of Seth-2yr’s left knee.
This morning I put Caden-4yr and Seth-2yr into the bath with loads of toys. I also gave them those specially-made-for-showers-because-they-are-unbreakable mirrors. Except that they weren’t. Those mirrors were the good, old fashioned ones made up of potential shards.
Seth-2yr yells “Mommay!” (he says ‘mommy’ usually, but if it’s urgent for any reason at all he switches to ‘mommay‘) Caden-4yr yelled, “Byood!” (He doesn’t say the ‘l’ sound.)
And boy was there a lot of byood. Seth-2yr was screaming and crying and I got him out and put him on the bathmat and could not decide if i should a) attend to the large amounts of blood or b) figure out where it came from because my Mommy Guilt was already out of control and I was sure it was my fault somehow, but it was still unclear precisely how. I opted for both a and b, at the same time, which may have slightly delayed the realization of how bad that cut was. Again. Oops.
Then I put on my Extreme Game Face. This involves sky high eyebrows, a higher than normal pitched voice (side effect of valiently trying to deny inner hysteria), and huge Miss USA smile that has no place in that reality. But there it was. I explained to the boys that it would be very important to give the leg a nice squeeze to make the bleeding stop, and showed how to do that with a navy bathtowel.
I’m not really good with blood. I don’t know a lot about cuts. LaLa and I were saying just last week how the two of us went through one box of bandaids BETWEEN US in our entire childhoods. It was always the same box in the cabinet. It didn’t get a lot of traffic. That’s the kind of daring we were.
I’m probably one of the most overprotective mommies I know just so my kids can avoid unnecessary bleeding, crying, and hurting. But this? This was a gash. There were layers and chunks I did not recognize as skin, or maybe they were a little more important and deeper than that. No idea.
My lips were sticking to my teeth because I’d been smiling so wide, so I tried to make a more normal face, but I just couldn’t. I told the boys that the Applying Pressure phase was similar to a nice, firm hug. Seth-2yr gave me a dirty look and screamed louder. Hey. I’m not good at analogies, never have been.
Every time I pulled the towel back to look at the cut, Seth-2yr would scream his head off. Then I’d cover it up and he’d politely say, “thank you!” Again. And again. Then I turned to Caden-4yr and said, “The next step, with a big owie, is to go see a doctor, so can you go get dressed?” Caden-4yr looked at me for a second and then asked, “Why are you talking like that?” I tried to close my huge smile and he ran off to get dressed in record time.
I slapped an enormous bandage on the knee, hoping it would be so large that the blood would not come through to the front and then start Seth-2yr off again on hysterics. As I put him in the car, though, I could see it was already barely starting to show through. I whispered to Caden-4yr, “Let’s not talk about the blood or the cut. It really bothers Seth-2yr, okay?”
To which Caden-4yr replied, loudly, “THERE WAS SO MUCH BYOOD THOUGH! IT RAN DOWN HIS LEG AND YOU HAD TO GET IT OUT FROM BETWEEN HIS TOES EVEN, MOMMY!”
More hysteria from Seth-2yr at this point.
There isn’t traffic where I live. Today, at that exact moment. There was. A big truck had to back out onto a road and traffic in both directions had to stop. Then the traffic lights were out, causing further chaos.
Mike, the Calmer One In Times of Vomit and Blood, is out of town. So he calls the clinic ahead of my arrival and probably says, “My wife is coming in with two little boys. She’s pretty crazy right now and her face may be frozen into a fake smile. Please don’t be fooled by that, and look at my kid’s knee as soon as they get there.”
They look at the knee as soon as we get there. The nurse says the bleeding has stopped (it hadn’t), and told us to have a seat. Where we waited for an hour, with favorite stuffed animal puppies and blankets we’d brought from home. The boys watched Dora the Explorer on the television in the waiting room and I stared off into space and noticed that my insides were shaking. A few minutes later Caden-4yr turned to look at me and said, “Mommy. Zat is the strangest thing.” [remember that Caden-4yr is the kid with the really thick, unexplainable Austrian accent] He looks at me closely and says, “Your eyes leaked. Two drops. They… they dripped. They dripped drops.” He leans closer and says, “Why would they do that? Is there something wrong with your eyes?”
I brushed away the tears and wondered why he somehow didn’t recognize them as tears. Then I noticed my face aching. Ahh. I was smiling again, with the sky high eyebrows. And my face was such a bizarre contradiction, that he simply did not consider that those would be tears. This of course launched me into a silent heaping of self condemnation about how FREAKY that is and what long term effects has this morning already had on both of them WITHOUT their mother at a loss to turn off the freakshow of incomprehensibly combined facial expressions.
A nice man sitting nearby witnessed that lovely conversation and starting talking to the boys and me about dogs and Transformers and people we both knew. It was a VERY nice thing for him to do – striking up conversation to distract the crazy lady. VERY NICE.
We finally get back to the examining room and the doctor says that yes it will need stitches. I nod. I figured. I mean, I figured that in a ‘there’s a whole lotta blood here, so yes that makes sense’ sort of way. NOT from the educated, experiential point of view of having any idea what stitches actually entail. Nuh no. If so I would have called my pastor and begged him to come help me, and by the way, could you pray that my face is okay, later, when Seth-2yr’s knee is all taken care of?
A nurse sized me up and tried to get me to tell him whether or not I would be okay whenever they did the stitching. He said they really needed to know ahead of time, if at all possible. “Of course! I’ll be fine!” I didn’t think to say, “Never seen stitches. Have no idea. And since you ask, my entire torso has vibrated involuntarily for 90 minutes, since the exact second I laid eyes on this cut. And this smile? It’s not mine. I’m not this nice. I have no idea how to make it go away.” Perhaps that would have been more truthful and candid.
Caden-4yr jumps up and down and cannot stop talking about the “Byood! There was SO MUCH BYOOD!” And Seth-2yr melts down. There are 2 nurses and a doctor in the room when someone mentions the word ‘accident.’ Caden-4yr says, “THIS WAS NOT AN ACCIDENT! MOMMY SAID OVER AND OVER THAT IT WAS ALL HER FAULT.” (I have no memory of this, but I’m sure I did.) He stops and points at me, just in case the two nurses and one doctor are unsure which mommy he might be referring to. “IT IS ALL. HER. FAULT.” He nods, matter of fact-ly, glad that he straightened out that detail for all present.
They look at the cut. Seth-2yr freaks whenever they remove the bandage. Caden-4yr is inspired to make loud observations about every last part of the cut and the byood. He thinks it’s very cool.
So stitches entails me LYING ACROSS SETH-2YR’s BODY to hold him down while he screams – totally understandably – as they dig around in the cut with a syringe and inject some sort of numbing liquid. DID. NOT. KNOW. THAT. If I had known that, I might have just slapped a big strip of duct tape across his knee, prayed, and spared him.
Caden-4yr helpfully reminds Seth-2yr that the doctor promised he could have a lollipop and stickers afterwards. I’m laying on top of Seth-2yr and Caden-4yr is patiently trying to tell him that he should probably quit crying because the doctor probably meant that he would only get the lollipop and the sticker if he didn’t freak out like that, and he wouldn’t want to miss out on a lollipop and a sticker. Seth-2yr revved it up a notch, at this, and it is VERY hard to physically hold down an irate 2 yr old , exude calmness for his sake, and simultaneously convince the four year old behind you to STOP IT ALREADY and of COURSE the kid is getting a lollipop and it’s okay to cry because of ALL. THE. BYOOD.
One of the nurses left and got stickers and lollipops for both of them, and they both calmed down. Seth-2yr’s knee was now numb and he could focus on my freaky face right above him, and the Dora sticker. He licked his sucker and then managed to stick in to my shirt directly between my shoulder blades.
We finally left. He got 5 stitches. The sight of the stitches makes him scream at the top of his lungs (“Mommay! I SEE IT!”) so that I come running from wherever I am and yank the bandage back into place so that he doesn’t see it anymore. Pointing out that it looks sort of like the stitches on the top of a football helped briefly. He loves footballs. He perked up and said, “Yeah!” Then he looked at me and - even though i was RIGHT THERE- yelled, “Mommay! I SEE IT!” With fresh tears and all.
I have since devised a new bandaging system that does not slip out of place, and now that he’s in bed asleep I’ve realized that of course PANTS would have been a good idea. Brilliant.
We picked Ethan-8yr up from school, and Caden-4yr gave the summary. There was much emphasis on the byood and Seth-2yr freaked out again. We calmed him down. Ethan-8yr said, “I wanna see it!” And Seth-2yr freaked out again. We calmed him down. Then we went to the grocery store for bandages and came home and they all started talking about playing outside.
You have got to be kidding me. “NO!”
Caden-4yr said, “But mommy. It is a bootiful day outside.” (I usually say this to him before i INSIST he play outside.)
“No. No one’s playing outside. NOT TODAY. Go sit on pillows, and don’t even think of getting hurt.”
Caden-4yr went to his room, talking to himself, “Sit…. on…. pillows….?”
Ever find yourself in a situation where you have NO IDEA what the correct response is? All my southern girl manners genuinely WANTED to kick in and respond kindly. Really. But I had no idea what that would look like. I still don’t.
I’m ten minutes early to kickboxing class, and a few of the women are standing around, wrapping our hands in long strips of fabric. I don’t really know what those hand wraps are for. Mine are pink, and about as close as I ever get to accessorizing. I think they must be to protect your hands somehow, but who are we kidding? I don’t punch that hard.
One of the women there has mentioned to me before that she’s lost a lot of weight. It’s easy to believe, considering I usually see her working out with her trainer directly before kickboxing class, and she’s mentioned her really intense exercise schedule before.
We’ve spoken a few times. I’m not really very good at small talk, hate it really, and avoid it at all costs. Then there’s that awful thing where I really don’t recognize people very well, so who knows how many times I’ve actually talked to her in the first place.
I’m rambling. I realize this. You wanna know why? Because I know the part of this story that’s coming up in just a sec and it is WIGGING ME OUT EVEN THINKING ABOUT IT. Yeah. Okay.
So she comes up to me with a spiral notebook and says, “I want to show you something!” Right. Okay. The last time that happened I was in 6th grade. And THEN she opens the spiral notebook.
Lots and lots of flesh.
There must be 20 photos of her, IN ONLY A (MISMATCHED) BRA AND PANTIES, all over those pages. They are neatly labelled with the date.
After my initial coughing fit (apparently I cough when surprised with loads of fleshy photos), I realized the photos start with a very heavy woman, and each picture in the series showing a steady decrease in her size.
Y’all. I’m all for that. Way to go. Health and hard work. Great. But I DON’T NEED A PHOTO ESSAY. No way. And I wouldn’t want ANYONE, of ANY size or gender to ever feel free to come up to me and spread open a notebook of almost nude photos of themselves. No one, ever. I’m not your girl for that sort of friendship, conversation, support group, or whatever that was.
I had no idea what to say. I managed a weak, “Um… I wouldn’t have recognized you,” but then I wondered if that sounded like ‘I wouldn’t have recognized you with the extra weight,’ or ‘I wouldn’t have recognized you without the clothes.’ Neither matters. I don’t recognize people anyway. And then, THEN! She turned the page. More photos. More labels. Very organized naked lady we have here. She has lost over a hundred pounds, and it really is quite a remarkable accomplishment. I just don’t want the visual aid. Is that so wrong? I became aware that my responses were somewhat lacking, and then I said, “Oh! Nice tattoo.” That sounded lame even to me, but I’d never seen this tattoo, what with all the clothing required in kickboxing class and all. And thank goodness for THAT.
No idea what the etiquette is for that scenario. I hope I NEVER need to know. Surely that only happens once to someone. I actually like this lady, outside of this one all too memorable incident.
The next day I called my sister. “I have a weird etiquette question for you. Remember that one time you went to the gym and the lady in the locker room bent over, totally in your personal space for no reason at all, and sort of stuck her bare bottom way too close to your face?”
To which she replied, “WHAT?! NO!! NO, NO, NO! CLEARLY I’VE BLOCKED THIS OUT AND LET’S KEEP IT THAT WAY. WHHHAAAA?”
“Oh yeah, you remember –”
“NOOOO! NOT ANOTHER WORD! I DO NOT WANT TO REMEMBER!”
Dude. I know exactly what she means. I’m trying to get a really great mental block going myself right now.
*clarification: I included the word MISMATCHED not to indicate horror at mismatched lingerie in general. I’m all for that. However, i think the one exception to that is if you’re going to assemble a comprehensive pictorial of yourself in lingerie and then show it to people against their will – in THAT case the lingerie in the photos should match.
(It makes PERFECT sense to me. It really does.)