Posts Tagged ‘Sons’

My seven-year old daughter sees a counselor at school. She’s got a lot going on in that wee brain of hers, and I encouraged her to go to help sort out the whole mess that is the divorce, dad, and life in general.

She loves this counselor and so do I. This counselor rocks the child play therapy world.

Yesterday when the young lassie came from school she had a card for me. ‘You made me a card?!’ I gasped and placed my hand to my chest preparing to cry.

There’s nothing like it in the world, when a child puts time and energy onto paper for a parent. This is truly one of the joys of being a parent.

‘Yes. I made it when I went to see Laurel. I said the words, she wrote them down. This picture here is of you and I holding hands.’

This was gonna be good. I felt the need to read it out loud so I could listen to the praises my daughter wrote.

‘Mom, this is something important I want you to know.’ Oh, a deep card.

‘You swear a lot. I don’t want to hear those words. Please try to use pretend words, not real words.’

Wha- the hell is this? I read on, but not nearly as excited as I started out.

‘My teacher said we could say funny words instead, like ‘OH, BARNACLE BILL!’

Barnacle Bill? Really? Somehow, that doesn’t seem to have the same impact as a few other choice words I can think of.

I’ve known for a long time that I swear like a sailor. Even my mom told me once, ‘you swear a lot.’ I looked at her and said, ‘Gee, I can’t even imagine where I might have learned that.’

She gasped, ‘well, not from ME, you didn’t.’

‘Mom,’ I laughed, ‘you used to play a card game where you would yell BULLSHIT at the other players. That was the actual name of the card game.’

I’ve tried toning it down around the kids. I used to be able to do that around my parents and I’m still pretty good at it, but every now and then the F bomb gets dropped around them.

My kids, on the other hand, well, I just can’t seem to control it around them. My husband can turn it off completely around the kids. Even in the worst situations. The other night he stubbed his toe in our bedroom and muffled the F bomb. My son turned to me as we sat in the front room and said, ‘I think you’ve taught Dave how to swear.  I just heard him swear. He is picking it up from you.’

Damn. Everybody is getting down on the white girl.

The thing is, most of the time when the words come rolling off the tongue it’s because I’m pissed and it’s usually the kids that have thrown me down that road. I figure it’s either that or roll heads and I don’t think I’d do well in jail.

I start off pretty cool in situations, and can stay cool for a bit. But there ain’t nothin’ that can get on the nerve of a parent quicker than two kids going at it.

‘We don’t hit in this house. Don’t call her stupid. Don’t tell him to shut up. Whose socks are these? Who didn’t flush the toilet after pooing. AGAIN. Why is this here? Whose crap is this? Don’t shove her. What did I say about doing that to your brother? PUT THAT DOWN! What the….?’



So, now I’m doing my best to curb my swearing. It’s hard when it packs such a punch. The kids know it’s about to go down when I bring out the inner mommy-bitch. They scatter. They snap out of their snottiness for the moment and get it together for a bit.

What’s a mom to do? What’s your way of keeping it together without swearing? I don’t want my kids, when they are grown and in therapy, to say, ‘The thing I remember most about childhood is how much mom used to swear. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have such dysfunction in my life now if my mom didn’t swear when I was a kid.’

I’ve already given them enough reasons to need therapy for the next twenty years, I don’t want them to have that one too.

My friend used to use other words like, ‘Fetch’.  My opinion is, if the intention is behind the word then just say the damned thing. Otherwise, if you are aching to say the actual word and you use an alternative, all these swear words will get bottled up and eventually we get turrets, and profanity will spew forth at the most inopportune times. Such as, in front of your ultra right winged fundamentalist Christian mother in law. Just a guess.
But I’ll give it a go. Why the hell not, right? Oh, oops, shit. D’oh, Damn! DAMMIT!



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I May End Up Going Pro


In the last, oh, four months or so, my son said something that stopped me in my tracks. I don’t remember where it was, I don’t remember what we were doing, or why he said it but what I do remember is it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary.

Whatever I was doing he looked up and said, ‘Mom, stop it. You’re embarrassing me.’

I literally stopped in my tracks, dropped my jaw intentionally, and gasped.

‘I what?’ I said, putting my hand to my chest.

‘You’re embarrassing me. You do it all the time. Stop it.’ He replied and continued walking.

One small part of my heart broke, I’m pretty sure. My son and I have always been tight. He can be a pain in the ass, but I love him like crazy. He’s my first-born. He’s the one who taught me what love really means. Every parent with their first child knows that feeling. It’s so deep and powerful and unexplainable it’s almost overwhelming at times.

And now, this child, the child who was two weeks late for his own birth; this child who decided to not come on March 31st, or April 2nd, but April FOOLS Day; who didn’t sleep all night until he was well past two years old and continues to this day to challenge my wits every day, is embarrassed by me.

ME. The cool mom. The mom who stays at home and makes chocolate chip cookies, and rice crispy treats, and bakes cakes for their birthdays. ME.

And I was stoked. I leaned in towards my boy and whispered, ‘Son, you ain’t seen nothing yet.’.

He kept tromping forward.

Since then, I had not heard another word about it from him. Until yesterday. There’s not much in Target that you can truly embarrass a boy with except one thing. The lingerie department. It didn’t even dawn on me until he said something.

‘Hmmm,’ I said out loud, held the bra up to my chest and faced my children. ‘What do you two think of this one?’

My seven-year old daughter was too busy looking at the underwear hanging next to her. ‘Mom, this underwear has superman on it. This one says ‘Wonder Woman’. Mommy, get one of these!’

I looked at her, ‘Lani, that is the batman logo, not superman. I don’t think I want that on my undies.’

I turned to my son. ‘Honey, what about this one? Isn’t it nice?’ He just stood there. Mortified. His eyes were closed as if he was hoping by doing that he would shoot off to another universe where mothers didn’t hold bras up to their chest.

‘Ian, what do you think? Pretty?’ I smiled.

‘Mom!’, He hissed under his breath. ‘You are embarrassing me. Stop it.’

Hold everything. Did I hear the word, ‘embarrassing?’

‘I’m WHAT, honey? I can’t hear youuuuuu.’ I got louder. ‘Do you like this brassiere, or this one, son?’

He was shrinking back into the flannel pajama rack. I started to giggle. I looked over at my daughter. She had a giant colorful bra on her head so the cups looked like soft, pushed up ears. She walked around the lingerie department with it on her head pointing out other items and saying, ‘mommy, this would look so pretty on you!’

There are certain things that, as a parent, I’ve looked forward to. Things like the first day all the kids were in school full time, or their first sleep over at their friend’s house. I’m still looking to the day when the kids hit puberty and want to sleep all day. It’s the little things that make me happy.

I remember vowing that, one day when my son is a teenager, I will go into his room at 3 am, wake him up and say, ‘hey, you know what sounds good? A glass of milk. Would you go get me a glass of milk? Are you awake? I’d like a glass of milk now. Right now. Right this minute, it sounds so refreshing. A glass of milk is what I’m craving. Can you go get it? Are you asleep?’

Some people may think this is mean, and that sleepless nights comes with the territory. I’ll never forget the advice people gave me when I was pregnant and it’s the same advice I give expecting mothers: Sleep. Sleep like there is no tomorrow. Sleep so much that you become sleepy from it. Because when that child comes it is going to rock your world and you will never sleep the same again. Ever.

So if I decide to give my child a taste of what it is like to be awakened at what-the-hell-thirty in the morning, I consider it doing him a favor. Hopefully it will deter him from having kids until he is out on his own and I am old enough to be a grandmother.

In the meantime, with the whole ‘mom you’re embarrassing me’ phase, new doors have opened for some fun that should allow for enough dysfunction in his life to give him stories to horrify his friends with when he gets older.

I can see it now. He’ll be twelve or so.  You know, that real gawky stage. He’ll be at a sleep over birthday party and they’ll be slurping down sodas and shoveling pizza into their mouths. They’ll be complaining about us parents and how dorky we all are, and my son will scoff at all of them, lean in and whisper, ‘You think you’ve got it bad? When I was, like, nine or so my mom took me shopping for her to get…..*shudder*…underwear and bras. It was the worst day of my life.’

On the other hand, even now, I’m walking around telling other parents about how I was able to embarrass my son so easily. I tell them the story and get high fives by other parents. ‘Nice one!’ they say and congratulate me on a job well done. Then they share their stories and we exchange ideas and thoughts on the subject.

Ah, parenting and childhood. Does it get any better than this? I can’t wait to see what comes next.


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I remember being a kid of about 13 watching Bill Cosby’s stand up routine on tv with my brother and parents. In fact, I believe we recorded it on Betamax. If you don’t know what a betamax is, go ask your parents.

I remember laughing at the section about parenting and kids. I was watching it from the perspective of a kid and thought, ‘YES, that’s how my parents are! That’s awesome, that he GETS IT!’

I told my seven-year old noodle the other day what a pigsty her room was and told her to clean it up. I had a flash at that moment of what my room looked like as a child her age. It was a pigsty. It drove my mom nuts.

What is it about growing up that we go from being in the pigsty to not being able to stand the pigsty and insisting that it gets cleaned up? I can’t decide if that is the one room of the house I just need to let the girl have ‘control’ over until she, herself, gets lost in it all, or if I’m doing her a favor by forcing her to keep it clean. I’m pretty sure if she cleaned it all up, we would discover there is a portal to another universe in there somewhere.

After I left my child in her room and told her to stay in there until she cleaned it (ya, I know, good luck on that one right?), I went to youtube and looked for the Bill Cosby standup routine from the early 80’s that I remember as a kid.

Lo and behold I found it. Now, the entire routine is a crack up, but I was specifically looking for the part about parents and their kids. As I watched, I chuckled then sucked my breath in when I realized I was actually relating to the routine from a parent’s perspective.

I kept thinking, ‘Yes! Bill Cosby understands how kids can mess us up! I used to be a person with personal interests and beautiful long, soft brown hair. I used to wear make up and dress up and go out on weekends and sleep until noon! That was me! I was that person!’

I have become the parent who gets so frustrated at their child sometimes that I can’t remember their name. I have gone through the list of names in our house, including the two cats and dog before I get to the child’s correct name.

Amusing and frightening at the same time. Every now and then as I’m losing my ever-loving mind because of the kids, God will pull me out of my body and have me observe from the sidelines. I watch in wonder and think, ‘well, that person sounds like my mom but looks like me.’

Then God puts me back in my body and let’s me soak it in.  Who says God doesn’t have a sense of humor?

It’s actually kind of fun to be able to watch the routine and get it from both sides. And just so you know, if you watch the video, my parents have become the same grandparents Cosby says that his parents had become. I guess I’m headed in that direction, too.

If that’s the case that’s cool. I can’t wait to see my grandkids running around driving their parents nuts. Ha. Enjoy the video.

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