Archive of ‘kids’ category

I Want to Hold Your Hand

I was sitting at the kitchen table talking to my mom when my nearly nine-year-old placed himself on my lap.

“What’s wrong, bud?” I asked.

“Nothing, I just wanted you to hold me,” he responded as he leaned back and rested his head on my shoulder.

I automatically assumed that he felt bad or was starting to feel bad or thought he might feel bad, because this just never happens anymore. My baby, my first born, my Handsome #1, the boy who made me a mom, is beginning to outgrow me. He has friends and interests that I am no longer dictating. And in all reality, that makes things a bit easier. Often my attention is diverted in many other directions. He is the oldest of four with three younger siblings ranging in age from seven all the way down to a year. To say that my focus tends to be stolen by others is an understatement.

For the first two years of his life, it was us against the world. We would sing, dance, and play all day long. His white blonde hair and piercing blue eyes lit up the room. He was a very early talker and would readily strike up a conversation with any stranger that caught his glance. His playful grin and irresistible charm had me wrapped around his finger from the word go.

As our family grew larger, my focus shifted to the new babies as they arrived and he became my greatest helper. Being the oldest is a birth position that I share and completely understand. There is a lot of responsibility that comes with being first. You have to set the example, you have to behave, and you have to be the one who grows up while everyone else gets to be little. That growing up happens so fast and before a mom knows it; her baby is not a baby, nor a big boy trying to get even bigger. He becomes a young man in a blink.

It use to be that I could pick him up and carry him up the stairs without a second thought. Today it would be a struggle, but one I would happily challenge myself with if he asked. Sometimes, I catch a look at his profile and see the same pointed nose that he had as a newborn baby. As he has grown, his chin has become more chiseled and his cheeks a bit thinner, but his eyelashes are still any model’s dream. If I brush his hair away from his forehead I can still see him lying in a crib.

Sometimes when he doesn’t even know it, he will grab my hand in a store and I get a little lump in my throat. I realize that time is fleeting and I want to hold on tightly for as long as I can. All too quickly he can feel my grip tighten and he is gone running down the aisle laughing, smiling, and carrying on the way that a nine-year-old boy does.

Bedtime routines have transformed from singing songs, reading books, saying prayers, and more hugs and kisses than I could count to a quick, goodnight and a, “Can you please close the door?” That little boy who wanted me to read his favorite book just one more time is now reading novels on his own. Occasionally he will ask me to stay and tell him a story. He likes to hear about when I was a kid and funny things about his grandparents. He will lay on his belly and let me rub his back as I talk. I take full advantage and even sneak in a kiss or a snuggle before he asks me to leave.

He no longer wants my help getting dressed and locks the bathroom door for added privacy. He has never been a high-maintenance kid, but there has recently been a shift in what he cares about. Brand names are important and so is his hair. He comes into my bathroom in the morning and asks me to style it for him. I breathe in his little boy smell and stare at him in the mirror. I quickly turn my head as the tears begin to well so that he doesn’t notice and grumble, “Mom! Please stop.”

As he begins to exert more and more independence, I am taxed with ensuring the he is making the right decisions. We are still in the, be nice to your siblings and don’t say bad words, phase. We talk about being kind, loving, and faithful. I reiterate that we should only treat others the way that we want to be treated. Soon our talks will transform to more serious subject matter like alcohol, drugs, and sex. It is mind boggling to me that I even have to consider these conversations, but the world that we live in necessitates the seriousness of our discussions because kids are facing adult choices entirely too young.

I want him to continue to love Minecraft and Transformers. I want his imagination to run wild about wizards and faraway lands. I pray that he will always come to me with his fears and concerns and not ever be too embarrassed to talk to me. I know that I can’t keep him little, and I don’t want to. He needs to explore every bit of the world that he can. But while he still wants me around and finds comfort in my arms, I will keep him close and safe and protected. Who am I kidding? If he wants me to hold his hand when he is 35, I’ll do it. By then, I will be well into my sixties and will likely be looking for a little help from his younger and stronger arm. I have no doubt he will extend it with a smile. But until then, I will hold his hand tightly and he will hold my heart.

The Devil Went Down to SoCo

Recently, Handsome #2 and I had an opportunity to spend some time together, just the two of us. When I have these special moments, I am sure to tell each boy how much I love him and that he is my favorite. I also make him promise that he will never, ever tell his brothers. It makes them feel good and each of them truly is my favorite, in very different ways.

Handsome #2 and I dined at his first-choice fancy restaurant, Steak n Shake, and then headed to a mother son event at his school. I was a bit weepy that night, realizing that he would be in kindergarten next year, complete with blue Tom Sawyer shorts and a crisp white polo. OK, that is a lie. That crisp white polo is just for the first day of school picture. The rest of the school year is slightly dingy with a required morning sniff test to see if we can make it one more day.

My sweet second son was so proud to have me with him and couldn’t wait to show me all around the building. We ate snacks, played games and had a fun picture taken.  But, the evening started after 6pm, which is oh so close to the witching hour when all of my handsomes become blood-lusting demons. As the evening progressed, I noticed his eyes glaze and the horns begin to pop from his head.

If I was going to make it home unscathed, I’d have to move fast while he was still smiling. We said our goodbyes and headed to the car, still happy and chatting about the fun we had. As he climbed over to the third row seat, I put my key into the ignition and the horns popped all they way through as his eyes became flecked with flames.

Handsome #2-Mom, what are you doing? I am not buckled. Do you hear me? I am not buckled.

Me-It’s ok, buddy. I’m not going anywhere, just getting the air flowing. Buckle up.

Handsome #2- Yeah, right. You big dummy.

Me- Excuse me?

He caught my icy glare in the rear-view mirror and began to panic.

Handsome #2- Oh no. I’m sorry, momma. I’m sorry. I’m really sorry.

Just as I was about to acknowledge the apology and excuse his moment of temporary insanity, his eyes closed and his hands clasped. He implored our Lord for forgiveness, certain that I was going to murder him.

Handsome #2- In the name of the father, son, holy spirit. Amen. Bless us, Oh Lord, for these thy gifts which we are about to receive from thy bounty, through Christ, Our Lord.

Amen.

And just like that, he earned himself an extra spray of starch on the first day of school……

 

bst

Ladies, I’ll be Pressed to Impress on the First Day of Kindergarten

Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies….

There is one household chore that I hate. No, not like I hate to do the dishes, or I hate to pay my bills, or I hate to make dinner for these kids that will likely look at it and say, “I HATE this!” No, I would gladly do any of those things before I have to change the seasons in my children’s closets. I would rather clip their toenails with my teeth than take their itty bitty shirts, off of itty bitty hangers and put them in giant rubber tubs and then unpack other giant rubber tubs filled with things that make me wonder why I ever saved this $h!+ in the first place. How many moms have pulled out onesies from baby 1, 2, 3 etc. to use on the new child and found them riddled with holes and poop stains?  I look at this crap and think, “You are a moron. You would never put this on your sweet baby? Why did you save it?” But as I am feverishly throwing dozens of shirts, shorts, pants and mismatched socks into a new bin, it is very clear why. If it is locked away in an opaque bin, it is out of my face and I can forget about it for a number of years. I can stuff it fast, put a lid on it and Scott will gladly take it down the steps and hide it so that I quit crying. Yes, there is crying and screaming, but no one puts me in timeout for the afternoon and lets me fall asleep just to make me shut up. Oh no, I have to keep working.

Please send the TLC truck away, this is not Hoarders. This is just and episode of ” Hey Guys, nothing to see here. I just wanna kill someone and am crying in the corner.”

While working on my kids’ room this past weekend, I had my iTunes on random and “A Spoonful of Sugar” came on. This is quite a change from my normal house-cleaning soundtrack, but the iPad was too far away to press next, so I figured I would give Julie Andrews a shot. As the upbeat tune blared through the speaker. I was suddenly a bit more cheery and transported back to being a kid. As children, we were all memorized by Mary Poppins. Her sweet smile, beautiful voice and quick-snapping fingers made cleaning your room a game. Remember how the toy soldiers walked right into the toy box and the blankets flew up in the air and landed perfectly folded on the bed? Why, just a spoonful of sugar will make it all better, right Mary? Wrong! You lied Mary Poppins, not a damn thing was going to make this job a game! I could have downed a 5 pound bag of sugar this weekend and still needed a half a dozen Zoloft to take the edge off. The more I listened the more infuriated I became. No magical bird was appearing on my finger.No cute little boys is short sets were there to help? I would have settled for filthy Bert coming in and tossing crap in a bin with soot-covered hands. But, nope, no one came to the rescue. Sure, periodically I would hear Scott down the hall warning the boys not to come near the bedroom or they may not be seen again…ever…..But that was as much human interaction as I saw for days.

It took me what felt like 72 hours to complete this one godforsaken room, but when it was finished, I had made a large pile of clothes to give to charity. But as I was on my way to the Goodwill bin, I had the brilliant idea to take the clothes to a children’s resale shop to see what I could get for them. Most were is good condition, but older styles that I likely won’t put on Handsome #3, and I was tired of storing them. I went to the store and was offered $43 for the haul, which seemed fair. I headed to the ATM at Schnucks to make my deposit, feeling like a big shot with a couple of Andrew Jacksons for my troubles. I made my deposit and grabbed what I thought was my receipt, but suddenly my big score at the resale shop didn’t seem so great when I saw that the person who had visited the ATM before me, and left their receipt,  had a mere $24,000 in their checking account.

Well look at you Mr. Big Shot! $24,000 in the checking, huh? I bet you can hire Mary and her team of snapping clowns to come over and clean your house every week can’t you? You think you are so great with your pinstriped suit and monogrammed cuffs, don’t you? Your fancy spectator shoes that you wipe off on your welcome mat before you walk on your freshly-shined wood floors that glow just like that bald head of yours? I quickly realized that this pompous jerk, who I made up completely in my mind and was hating because of his ATM slip, was built in the image of my own husband, right down to the lack of hair on his head. Well, except for the actual ATM slip and hoarding of $24,000. That and the shined floors. That doesn’t happen unless he shines them himself, I am not a floor person. And he does that…pretty much every time that I ask him to. So in actuality, he is a fair, good guy, who I really love, but sometimes I need to direct my frustration and he is an easy target. Perhaps I had some deep-seeded resentment for the fact that I cleaned the room alone, and the remark, “You did this to yourself, quit buying them all of this crap.” Somehow in my rage I had made my way through the store and picked up a gallon of milk, bananas, a package of tortilla wraps, two cans of black beans, an avocado and a half gallon of ice cream. Whether or not I had a full-on conversation with myself about the a$$hole who left the ATM receipt or just thought it is unknown…..I did however polish off half of the half gallon when I got home…..but that can be our little secret……

Whatchu Talkin’ Bout Colleen

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Spandex is my friend

Forgive me readers, mom, it has been about nine months since my last confession….err….blog post. I have absolutely no reason for not posting other than the pure unadulterated laziness that comes from cooler weather and maternity leggings. I swear to God, the second those suckers go on for the first time, it is like my body turns from semi-functional mother of two to sloth.  All I want to do is watch Honey Boo Boo, purely to make myself feel better about my own life, and eat peanut butter straight from a jar. Plus, the thought of having to get out the wireless keyboard for my iPad, or God forbid grab a laptop, has proven too much as of late.

My pregnancy has been easy, like insanely easy, to the point that I forget I am even pregnant until I am setting off automatic hand dryers in the bathroom with a quick move of my ever-growing belly. I have been pretty even tempered, aside from a few emotional outbursts that normally revolve around boy bands and the face that I really wish the world still thought overalls and flower hats were OK. Other than that, it is smooth sailing.

I am looking forward to actually giving birth. I don’t know my baby’s gender, yes intentionally, so that moment is especially exciting. I am one million percent terrified of being sliced in half and from the moment that I peed on that stick, all three times, I have reminded everyone around me; including, but not limited to, my husband, mother, doctor, nurses, extended family and occasional custodian at Walmart, that I will not be having a c-section. Giving birth is the only time in my life that I have ever been even remotely athletic, so I feel this is my time to shine. That is, of course, as long as no one dies along the way. Wait, what, WTF did she say?

Perhaps that is a bold statement, but please, let me explain. I have this thing, about, well, black celebrities dying on pretty significant days in my life. Like the time Nate Dog died the night before my birthday and forcing a 24-hour continuous loop of Regulate. Or, the tragic day that I lost my best friend and companion,the beautiful blue luxury sedan that was with me for seven years. As if my Mercury Sable dying weren’t enough for me to take, Sherman Hemsley moved on up to his deluxe apartment in the sky the same day. But the day my sweet Handsome #2 came into this world, well that one takes the cake.

There is nothing quite like the bond between a girl and her luxury sedan

I was extremely enormous toward the end of my pregnancy, think Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon, and eager to get the baby out. I was due on Memorial Day and opted for an early induction. I had a baby already, via an induction, and everything was perfectly fine, aside from the meconium that caused the newborn to be rushed to ICU and the quick sedation of an overwrought first-time mom, I was knocked out and don’t remember much. I wasn’t in too much pain the first go around, opting for an epidural and I expected my second birth to go the same way

One last Diet Coke, so many less calories that way

I arrived at the hospital, checked in, got hooked up to the pitocin, got the epidural moving and began the Thomas-family tradition of the birth viewing of National Lampoons Vacation…..No, not one bit of me is kidding. If you are really doubting my affinity to the Griswalds, please see exhibit A. The Thomas Family Christmas card. I quickly realized that this experience was not going to be the smooth sailing that I was expecting.

Exhibit A…..Pure Awesomeness

Once the epidural was in, I was told that I could have more medicine, if I really felt that I needed it, but not to push the button without first contacting the nurses. Easy enough, I thought. I quickly realized that the pain was coming fast and strong and it wasn’t lessening, at all. After contacting the nurses three times asking for more medicine, I was given the go ahead to push it as much as I wanted. That should have been the first clue.

I have seen childbirth as depicted by Hollywood hundreds of times. It is always dramatic, sweaty and loud, but I had always called bullshit on that.I had a baby, that doesn’t happen. Well, as matter of fact, it does when your epidural fails. WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After listening to me writhing in pain for what seemed like hours, OK, probably 20 minutes, my darling husband, my companion, my support system, the one who would get me through the next few difficult hours, sat up from his makeshift bed and exclaimed,

“Coll! Please be quiet, I am trying to get some sleep.”

As God is my witness, he said it….And the only reason that he made it to see the birth of his son is because I was in so much pain I couldn’t move, or I would have killed him right there. Certainly this moron had lost his f&*$%ng mind!

“I want my mom. I want my mom. I need my mom,” I sobbed.

“Here. Do you want your phone to call her,” the moron said, straight faced as he tried to hand me my phone.

When I didn’t respond because I was trying to telekinetically kill him, he realized that he better make the call. He was able to rouse my mother from a dead sleep at 3 am and get her to the hospital. As we waited for her arrival, there was a staff change and I was given the choice to have a second epidural, or a cesarean. Clearly, these people didn’t read the, “No way are you cutting me, but I would be happy to cut you” look on my face. I opted for the drugs and we were on our way.

I quickly began to become numb and felt remarkably better. My mom arrived and for a few minutes everything was A-OK. And then it all when down the drain. I started to freeze and asked for several blankets. Scott and my mom were watching some news program featuring a black man and woman being interviewed. I peered from the comfort of the bed and began to say over and over, “My God. Gary Coleman looks like shit.”

At first, they thought it was funny, or that I was kidding, but quickly realized that something had gone wrong. In an effort to spare you the long, boring details, they brought in the STAT team for fear that I was having a stroke. It turns out, that is was just a bit too much medication, and I was just fine after a few more minutes. The remainder of my labor was uneventful and painless, aside from the part where the baby got stuck and I was instructed to lay on my side and go to my, “quiet place.” Honest to God?!!!??! I am anything but quiet, but the trick worked and I was soon holding my darling 9.4lb, 22in Handsome #2. He was gorgeous, and perfect and worth every moment.

Handsome #2

After I had been moved back to my room and put on my makeup and fixed the horrifying bed head, this time my hair will be much longer in an effort to curb that look, I felt that it was appropriate for Handsome #1 to see his momma. My sister-in-law, Lolo, came in with a balloon and the big brother and announced to the room, “I hate to be the bearer of bad news on such an exciting day, but Gary Coleman has passed.”

My Sweet Baby Boys
RIP Arnold……

Oh.my.God. WTF did she just say? Gary Coleman is dead? No way. Certainly this was a joke. Some silly nurse must have tweeted about a real live one in L&D having visions of the 1970s. I quickly grabbed my phone and there it was, right in front of my eyes. May 28, 2010, Gary Coleman dead at 42. I had a quick moment of silence for little Arnold Jackson, later Drummond, and vowed that I would instill in my children the importance of acceptance and that above all, they must always remember that, “The world don’t move to the beat of just one drum. What might be right for you, may not be right for some.”

Now, I didn’t kill Arnold Jackson, I don’t think. I mean, not any more than I killed George Jefferson. But if I were JJ Evans, I would be a little concerned that May 27, 2013 might not be so, “Dynomite!”

You might want to sleep with one eye open come May, just sayin’