Words of Wit and Wisdom

So I’m not sure what I expected communicating with a 3-year-old would be like before mine could talk.  But I am daily amused and amazed (and occasionally appalled) by his wit, his intellect and his sass. I think all parents go through this when their children start speaking like little adults. They’ve soaked up words and phrases from school and family members (and you) and TV, and then those little brains get to processing and they blurt out something way beyond their years.  A couple funny ones from Brogan recently… the italicized words reflect real inflection in his voice. The funniest part to me may actually be the way he says these things…

After twisting Beckett around in the swing and letting him go and watching him unwind really fast (and Beckett squealing with laughter) Brogan, in recalling the scenario to me, “Mommy, it was so funny I just died!”

Brogan was going through Blake’s toolbox, trying to find a tool that was “really, really special” to him and I told him no (we have enough tools strewn all over the house – which I explained to him). Instead of his typical M.O. (throwing an absolute fit), he got a really serious look on his face and said, “Mommy, that makes no sense!”

In response to my disciplining him, I get a battery of “that is so rude” and “the way you are talking to me is so ugly” and “the way you are acting makes me really, really sad.”

In response to me explaining that mommy and daddy are going away for the weekend and he’ll be spending time with his grandparents, aunts and uncles, “Mommy, I will be so, so, so worried about you!”

After observing me correcting Beckett for misbehaving, (in a patronizing voice) “Mommy, Beckett doesn’t know any better.”

After I’ve responded that Beckett, in fact, does know better, (in a really patronizing voice) “Mommy, sometimes Beckett doesn’t know any better, and sometimes he does know better.”

After waking up at 4:30am on a Saturday, crawling into bed with me, “I’m hungry, mommy. I want breakfast.” To which I responded, “It’s really early, go downstairs and get a snack.” “No, mommy, I don’t want snack breakfast, I want real breakfast.” (He is so my kid.)

Witty Brogan

Winning the New Mommy Game

I’ll never forget in the first days after bringing Brogan home from the hospital, wondering how you manage to do anything other than care for your baby.  And secondarily, how in the world does anyone ever do this with two?!? It was completely overwhelming; my entire day was wholly consumed with this new little being. I found it hard to do anything for myself – eat, pee, shower, you know, the basics.  But eventually I was able to care for myself again.  As time went on, I’d get in the groove feeling in control, routine down pat, and then guess what? The damn routine would change. But I found that each time, no matter what the change, I was able to roll with the new stage. I slowly gained confidence.  And what was in the beginning incomprehensible – going back to work, actually cooking a home-cooked meal (while home alone with a little one), keeping my house clean – gradually became something I could do. (Well, except keep the house clean, who am I kidding?)

And then Beckett came along and my frame of reference was totally different.  Compared to my very active two-year-old, here was this newborn who actually stayed where you put him! How easy! But it wasn’t all that easy, because now there were two and I was recovering from a c-section. I needed a lot of help and I was fortunate to get it. But then one day, I had both boys all by myself all day, and a funny thing happened – we managed!  I was able to feed them both, feed myself, no one was injured and my sanity remained intact – win.  It was affirmation that whatever was thrown at me, I could handle it. I don’t always handle it with grace, but I’ve learned that it doesn’t all have to be perfect, and sometimes the kids are just gonna eat goldfish off the floor. No biggie.

Beckett and goldfish

Yes, now we’re in a place where I feel really in control. Sure there are days when they push me to my limits, and I know I’ve not seen all they have in store for me, but whatever the future holds, I’ve learned that I’ve got this.  If the new mom I was in Brogan’s first week could see me now, she’d be impressed. At that point I didn’t understand how some moms did it all (or anything, for that matter). I never would have thought being a working mom would fit me so well; that I would actually cook dinner almost every night; that I’d be writing a blog. But here I am doing this mommy thing and loving it.

I write this because I know there are many new mommy’s out there in those first couple of weeks feeling like the task at hand is daunting.  It is, but you can do it.  You’ll amaze yourself with all you are capable of; how much you can actually handle. I’m not going to tell you not worry about everything with your first, because you will. At least in the beginning. But I will tell you that it doesn’t stay completely overwhelming forever. Normalcy will return.  And when it does, you’ll forget all about those first couple of weeks and be insane enough to want to do it all over again. But you should. You can totally do it.

When something goes wrong, I call you.

The other night, as I was trying to get Brogan to bed, he kept calling me for various requests.  As I tromped back up the stairs and into his room, aggravation all over my face, he said to me, “Mommy, when something goes wrong, I call you.” He gave me a hug and all of my frustration went away. I feel like I wrestle with the balance of wanting my boys to be independent, but also liking the fact that they need me.  As moms, we feed hungry bellies, bandage skinned knees, wipe runny noses, grab what’s out of their reach and try to fulfill every other random request.  We do so whether or not we are shown appreciation or thanks. But it’s nice every once in a while, especially when it comes surprisingly from my three-year-old, to be affirmed that they do in fact realize that moms get stuff done; we’re the fixers and the problem solvers.

So that was the sweet side of the equation.  Now let’s talk about the manipulation.

Knowing that moms come to the rescue, and sensing our weak spots, kids will exploit the you-know-what out of you.  My soft spot is hunger.  I never starved growing up, but for some reason the thought of my children being hungry is something that does not sit well with my soul.  This drives my husband crazy. He can see that sometimes (notice I just can’t give him all the time) Brogan takes advantage of this fact and tries to prolong naps and bedtime by telling me he’s hungry.  Here’s the thing, statistically speaking, I know there are times when he’s pulling one over on me and he’s not really hungry.  I do truly believe, however, that there are other times when he is, in fact, hungry.  The problem I have is that my overwhelming fear of starving my kids clouds my vision and I can’t tell when it’s real and when he’s faking it.  So what happen? 98% of the time I give that little slickster some food.  I really wish it ended with the food.  In the 20 minutes that I’ve been typing this post, in addition to the “I’m hungry” episode, I’ve been called on to turn off his fan because it was shaking. “Mommy, come quick, it’s an emergency! My fan won’t stop shaking!” And while I was up there, “Please turn off the bathroom light.” Oh, and, I need some medicine because my legs are hurting (eczema). And once I returned back downstairs to continue my writing, he declared that he wanted more milk.  On the simple fact that I don’t feel like cleaning up a wet bed in the morning, I said no.  But dammit, I said yes to the rest.  Oh, and I forgot to mention that while I was cuddling with him in bed, he asked me to read him a story. I explained that I had just (downstairs) read him three stories, and that was enough for the night.  He then reminded me that Daniel Tiger says, “It’s almost time to stop, so choose one more thing to do.” And then that, “so mommy, you said it’s time to stop and so I get one more thing, and that means one more story.” You know that feeling, when your three-year-old beats you at your own game (if you only knew how many times I’ve used Daniel Tiger to get him to do things), yeah that sucks.  So another book it was.

And I sit here knowing that I was worked over multiple times tonight.  And I wonder how and if I will react differently tomorrow when I’m faced with this recurring dilemma.  Honestly, I’m torn.  Logically I know that no should mean no and lines need to be drawn, but emotionally, being met with a “mommy, I love you” each time I oblige makes it really hard to refuse.  My husband, by the way, is going to love this post.  He rarely gets me to admit that I’m a softy (I really try to hide it). Well honey, you’re welcome, I’m a softy.  But the kids still aren’t going to bed hungry 🙂

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From the Mouth of My 3-year-old

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It is true, kids say the darndest things.  My 3-year-old continuously amazes me with his remarks. Especially when he says something which lets me know that he knows more than we give him credit for… or when he demonstrates a brazen act of talking back, but said with such innocence, that he has you questioning whether he was really just talking back.  The answer to that question is almost always  yes – he’s smart and he’s a charmer, so he’s already mastered the art of manipulation.  So here are a couple of his one-liners from the last couple of days.  I really need to keep a pen and paper more handy because this child gives me so much material!

Brogan:  Mommy, I’m thirsty.
Me:  Sorry buddy, you just had some water and you don’t need any more because you might wet the bed.
Brogan:  That’s okay. I’ll just get out of bed and get more when you go downstairs.

Well, at least he’s honest…

Brogan:  I want a marshmallow.
Me:  Buddy, you have to eat your dinner, and if you eat really good, you can have a marshmallow for dessert.
Brogan: Uh, no thanks, I’m good. I just want a marshmallow.

Well, at least he knows what he wants…

Me:  [in the bath] Brogan, stand up so I can wash you.
Brogan:  [stands up] See mommy, I know how to listen!
Me:  [no words; utter shock]

Me:  Beckett, no sir!  Stop hitting your brother!
Brogan:  That’s alright.  I will handle it.

Brogan:  [shouts something to me from another room]
Me:  What did you say?
Brogan:  Nevermind.
Me:  No, buddy, I couldn’t hear what you said.
Brogan:  NEVERMIND!

Oh, how much fun he will be as a teenager!

And my favorite from this weekend… more proof that my son is, in fact, a ladies man.  This was said to my sister-in-law’s pretty little 16-year-old friend.

Brogan: [upon seeing Savannah for the first time in a couple of months] Savannah, I’ve been missin’ you! [as he runs to her and gives her a big hug around the legs]
Brogan: [about 30 minutes after the first comment, obviously he needed some time to find the right words] So Savannah, do you like to go to the mall?

Really?? My 3-year-old has already figured out the ladies like when you talk about things they are interested in… Oh, Brogan, you are wise beyond your years, my son.  I only hope that you are able to charm the moms and dads as well as you charm the girls… in an effort to decrease all the parent calls, of course.  Oh, the joys.

Love These Guys

Do you ever have a night where your kids just exhaust you? Like, completely wipe you out?  They push every button, get on your last nerve… get you plotting a 30 minute earlier bedtime?  Yeah, that was tonight.  Blake has been working late every night this week, so I’ve been doing this thing solo.  While it has surprisingly been a really good week, I think my nerves were just shot tonight.  But funny thing about being a parent, as crazy as they can make you, they still bring you so much joy it’s unbelievable.  When I tell Beckett it’s time to go night-night, he instantly lays his head on my shoulder and wraps his little arm around my neck.  It just melts me.  And as I laid in Brogan’s bed cuddling with him for a few minutes, that time of hugging and snuggling and talking is absolutely priceless.  Clarification – by talking, I mean where I ask Brogan questions, and he responds, “I don’t know…”

Me: Brogan, did you have a good day?

Brogan: I don’t know.

Me: What did you do today?

Brogan: I don’t know.

Me: What did you eat for lunch?

Brogan: I don’t know. Mommy, can we stop talking?

OMG he is his father’s son.  I digress.

Those five minutes I lay with him each night are some of my favorite minutes in the day.  Although he can barely lie still, and although he doesn’t want to talk to me, I tell him how much I love him, we say our prayers and it is such a special moment.  So as crazy as they make me, I love my boys beyond words.  They redeem themselves (almost) each night with their sweetness.  Life is so good.

Me and Beckett

Me and Brogan

The Mommy Job Description

So apparently I never saw the real job description for the mommy position.  Sure, I read the baby books that told me I’d feed them, change them and they’d take daily naps. I knew I’d love them unconditionally; I knew I’d laugh when they were silly and wipe away their tears. But somehow, I missed the fine print.

I didn’t know that feeding them was not as simple as it sounded. Who knew it was such a pain in the butt to clean bottles?  And let’s not even talk about the bottles that get forgotten in the bottom of the diaper bag for a couple days!  Oh, feeding them is the easy part, once you get past the swatting baby hand going after the spoonful of puree.  They throw up; they spit; they leave juice spots all over the carpet.  They change their minds daily about what they like; they refuse dinner, claim they’re not hungry… until it’s time to go to bed at which time they are starving!

Diaper changing was clearly stated, but somehow they made it sound like the babies stay still for this task. They don’t.  They squirm, they scream, they kick.  They have a knack for knowing the most inopportune time to give you a “present.”  I have gone back to look and the word “blowout” was definitely not mentioned!

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Oh the naps. I just assumed the naps were a given. What was omitted on this topic was that in order for the naps to take place you have to fit everything you want to do within their nap schedule. Trying to make plans went something like this… “You want to hang out, sure, I’m free between 7:30 and 9, 11 and 1:30, 4 and 6.”  Because that works out, like never!

Okay, so they were spot on about the unconditional love.  It’s so true.  I live for their joy; I hurt for their pain. I want them to feel secure and loved, and can’t imagine anything that would ever change that feeling.

So the mommy job description left out some of the detail. Perhaps this was by design, because it doesn’t sound all that glamorous when you get down to the nitty gritty.  Perhaps focusing on the good parts ensures people keep applying!  And so you may ask, why do moms, once they know what it’s really all about, ever sign up for the same under-paid, under-appreciated job again?  Because at the end of the day, when your little one says, “I love you mommy” there is nothing better than that.