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.


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



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

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.….. 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’