Man Down!

I try not to over schedule our days especially when my kids have been displaying undesirable behavior.  The strain of hearing near constant whining is enough to make me want to stab my eardrum with an ice pick.

Kamryn started mocking me when I tell her to do something.  She’ll repeat in a sassy, sing-song voice exactly what I told her to do.  Guess how that goes over with me.  I’m fairly certain I nipped that in the bud, but the fact that she even thought it OK to start…well, I know I’m in for a world of hurt in 10 years.

Rory’s favorite thing to do is immediately respond, “NO!” to any command and then continue doing what he isn’t supposed to do with a shit-eating grin on his face.

Today we were going shopping for some shoes and an outfit for Rory.  I knew this wasn’t going to be riveting stuff for the kids so I waved a carrot of meeting Daddy for lunch when we got done.  That worked fairly well.  After lunch, I had a few more stores I wanted to stop in so I waved another little carrot of meeting some friends at the park later in the afternoon.  Besides Rory telling a little old lady that he had been walking for 5 hours, they were pretty good.

After a quick stop at home, we headed to the park to meet our friends, Patty, Elise, Keira, and Reese.  We had bikes, scooters and a playground.  The world was ours!  The kids were playing happily when Elise slipped on some sand while trying to stop her scooter and scraped her back.  She recovered quickly and was back playing in no time.  Either immediately before or right after Kamryn was doing the monkey bars and dropped to the ground and hit her cheek with her knee.  There were tears and a big red mark, but no permanent damage.

Next there was a huge group of kids from E.S.S. (Extended Student Services) that came out on the playground.  They were good kids, but something went down and Rory started screaming.  He pointed to his chest and while I didn’t see anything, he was still complaining about it when he took his shower tonight.

Kamryn was riding her bike around and just as I was about to tell Patty that she had never had a huge wipeout, I heard a blood curling scream and turned around to see Kamryn tangled up in her bike on the sidewalk.  Damn!  She had a bloody elbow, but nothing a little band-aid couldn’t fix.

Ugh…we were finally on an accident free streak for a good 15 minutes when Reese screamed.  Reese and Keira were on a teeter totter type thing and Reese got her foot caught underneath.  I could see a huge lump growing on the back of her ankle and I told Patty it looked broken.

I was kind of freaking out, but Patty was as calm as could be.  I told her to take Reese to Urgent Care and I would take Elise and Keira home, but she said it was OK, she would drop the girls off and then take her.  Reese was crying for a little bit, but settled down rather quickly.  Patty said she seemed fine and I told her (kind of joking and kind of serious) that she was in shock!  I would be lying if it didn’t cross my mind to call an ambulance.  Sometimes I kind of loose my shit, but I my filter was on and didn’t shout out, “I’LL CALL 911!”

Patty did take her to Urgent Care and I took the girls home, but I started thinking that if it would have been my child, I would have reacted the exact same way.  In fact, I started wondering if I actually would have even gone to Urgent Care.  It always seems worse when it’s someone else’s child.

When I was 5, I got on the wrong side of an aluminum bat and caught it right in the face.  Right under my left eye.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, get all the jokes out…Oh that’s what happened to you!  I had a huge goose egg, but as far as I know, I didn’t loose consciousnesses at that time.  I remember walking home from the neighbor’s house, crying and then the next thing I recall was lying on the couch and eating the best piece of chicken ever.  My parents didn’t take me to the doctor and I don’t know if that was the right or wrong thing to do, but there is a dent in my head there and a dimple if smile really big.

I am happy to report that Patty was right to stay calm.  Reese has all of her bones intact and her injuries aren’t anything that can’t be handled with a little Advil.  She did get a ride in a wheelchair and I’m guessing that will be remembered more than the pain she felt right after her leg was squished under the teeter totter.



Compliment Sandwich

I use the compliment sandwich a lot when I am criticizing people – especially people I don’t know very well.  If I know you fairly well or just know you aren’t a big cry baby, I’ll give it to straight.  For those unfamiliar with the compliment sandwich, it’s when you tell someone something positive, then state your negative criticism, followed by another compliment.

*You are so brave to get up and sing in front of other people.

When you sing it sounds like whales raping each other.

You’re hair looks cute like that.*

Pretty simple, right?  My children have yet to master this technique.  Instead, they are using what I refer to the compliment open-face sandwich.  Here is an example from each child.

First from Kamryn:

Mommy, you are really skinny.

No wait, I’m not done yet, your belly is kind of fat.

And then from Rory:

Mama, I like your shirt.

You have a baby in your belly?  Me touch it?

Any questions about my “problem” areas on my body?

*Actual compliments and criticisms I have received.





Kamryn and Rory have been trying out different sports and activities for the last year.  Rory has done a few sessions of baseball and is showing some promise on the field.  Kamryn had her swimming lessons last spring and is a good little swimmer and then tried out soccer this winter.  She had fun, but wasn’t really “in to it” until the very last class.  All of a sudden she started getting really aggressive out on the field.

The one thing that Kamryn has really been wanting to try is gymnastics.  I took gymnastics as a child, but didn’t like it.  I hurt my neck one class and didn’t want to do it anymore.  I wasn’t going to let my little injury influence my decision on whether Kamryn would be allowed to try it, though.  Two of her friends from school were signing up as well so they could all tumble together.

On Wednesday, the girls had their evaluations to see what class they would be placed in.  Once the girls were done, they asked if Rory wanted to do an evaluation.  I didn’t see what it would hurt and he was chompin’ at the bit to get out there and bounce around.  Sure enough, the little guy was proving to be quite limber andstrong.

With a quick swipe of a pen and credit card, I signed both kids up for a class and was able to coordinate them for the same time which means I get to sit and talk with grownups, without interruption for a full 45 minutes!

Gymnastics was a huge hit with both kids except for the meltdowns after class.  It seems that gymnastics was so much fun that real life pales in comparison.

You can watch Rory bounce around on the trampoline and Kamryn balance on the beam right here. 

Token Photos

As a mother of two children, I have certain photos that I have to take.  I believe it’s a parenting bylaw, adopted shortly after the invention of the camera.  The majority of the token photos are gender neutral, but there are a few that must be taken for each sex, in which case I actually have more photos that I have to take.  These photos don’t really serve a purpose.  They don’t document any major milestones, nor do they hold much comedic value.  They are just photos that every parent takes of their children during those early years and pull them out in a lame attempt to be funny when they are teenagers and have their friends over.

Here is the list of photos that you must take of your child.  It would benefit you to have more than one child because it isn’t mandatory that each child have these poses in their baby book, but there must be at least one representative from your brood.

  • Child crying – this unsympathetic picture is usually illiciting some kind of humor from the photographer.
  • Child drinking an alcoholic beverage – typically a beer.
  • Boy in women’s attire.
  • Any kind of naked photo.
  • Child covered in ink, marker or paint.
  • Child passed out in an awkward position.
  • Child in a strange place.
  • Child doing something dangerous, but apparently not worthy of you rescuing or stopping said child before taking a picture.
  • Child doing something disgusting.
  • Child covered in food – either while eating it or once it has been regurgitated.
  • Child doing something that may be used later as evidence of “signs he/she was destined to be a serial killer”.
  • Child wearing something ridiculous.
  • Child, usually a boy, looking at a Playboy Magazine.  A subcategory of this photo would be one involving a Hooters waitress.

When I Grew Up

A while ago, Real Simple had an essay contest where you had to write about the first time you felt like a real adult.  I always have these dreams of grandeur when it comes to participating in things.  I guess it’s the optimist in me; I always start off imagining the absolute best possible outcome, which in this case, was having my essay published in the magazine.  I was determined to write this essay and submit it, but for the life me, I could not pinpoint when it was that I felt like an adult for the first time.

I went back to when I technically became an adult at 18.  Did I feel like an adult then?  Nope, I was still acting like an immature moron.  I took a look at when I turned 21.  Yeah, I was pretty excited at being able to drink legally, but that alone was an obvious sign that I wasn’t feeling or acting like a real adult.  I got married when I was 27 years old and even walking down the aisle in the big white dress didn’t seem to mature me too much.  Afterall, my best friend and Matron of Honor, Sara and I sat giggling the entire time I was supposed to be signing my marriage license.  Three years later I was pregnant with our first baby – surely this was it.  Nope, I don’t recall feeling any more like an adult while pregnant or even after my little girl was born.  In fact, I think I may have regressed a bit after that.  A couple of years later, along comes baby #2.  Here I was, a mother of two children and I could not recall feeling like I was an adult during any of this!

A very happy mommy, but still not feeling like a grown up!

I gave up on writing the essay because I feel my best writing comes when I have a personal experience to draw on.  I couldn’t identify with being a real adult and therefore, felt I would have this forced, cliche filled essay that would suck.  There was no way I would win any contest writing like that.  (Yeah, that was the reason I wouldn’t win. *wink wink*)

The last date to enter the contest had come and gone, but I still kept trying to figure out when my magical grown up event occurred – if ever.  Could it be I was still living the life of a kid and only my facade was reflecting an adult?  Doubtful.  And when I say doubtful, I mean, my outside looking like an adult.  We used to live in a college town and whenever I was downtown amongst the 19 to 21 year olds, I truly felt that I fit in.

Try and tell me we don't look like we're in college.

I was in my early 30’s, highlighting my hair to cover the grays and actually buying face cream that spoke of reducing the appearance of wrinkles right on the bottle, but in my delusional mind, I wasn’t sticking out at all.  So sad.  I even told Ryan that I didn’t feel like I looked much older and he assured me that I did.  That’s nothing to mince words about.  I needed that little bit of grounding.

I finally had my moment in September.  My daughter, who is now 5, needed to be excused from school for a day because we were going out of town for a wedding.  I had to write a note to her teacher.  BOOM!  It hit me like a ton of bricks!  I was writing a legitimate letter to a teacher.  Not one that I forged for myself or friends, but a real, honest note to get my daughter out of school.  That piece of paper sat in front of me with only a greeting at the top for a good 5 to 10 minutes before I was able to articulate a simple explanation as to why my daughter would miss one day of her 1/2 day pre-k school day.

I can honestly say I didn’t really like the feeling of being all grown up.  It was confusing and strange – like puberty.  Luckily, the moment passed and I’m back to feeling like a kid again – maybe a college kid.