You Heard It Here First

Apropos of nothing but the pride that swelled at my son’s performance today, I’m dropping these, ahem, observations here and calling it a day.  My big kid began a second run of occupational therapy today, and there’s nothing that pains a mom’s heart like that in-your-face bitch slap of “Here’s what your kid can’t do.”  Compared to other therapy appointments, it was a bronze medal day for me.  Woulda/coulda been a silver, but it being a new start of sorts, it called up those memories from the early after days.  Look ma, no tears.  Superstah!!

Today I’m going to let my children do the talking.  I swear, hand on heart, heart pure as the driven snow, that these unfamous, no, not infamous, merely unfamous quotes are verbatim recordings of sentences constructed by my offspring.

Yeah, I took the dog for a walk.  He peed and pooped, and I picked up most of it. (Most of it?  MOST of it??  That’s a special kind of lazy, kid)

Sometimes I call my bladder Bob.  When it’s annoying me, I talk to it by name. (Well, what do you call your bladder?)

I tried to keep my disgusting burp in, but my mouth popped open. (In a restaurant)

Mom, I’m watching Zootopia.  It’s a kids’ movie and it’s pretty funny, so maybe if you watch it, you’ll feel calmer. (It’s possible I overreacted to something; I do that sometimes ya know.)

Dude, don’t hump me.  (Give me strength)

Him: You know what I’m gonna dress up for Halloween as next year?  Me: Beyoncé??  Him: (Honks his nose) A clown. (Followed by a sassy, smug grin. Punk)

Two bucks??  Come on, this is crap.  This from my young one re: the Tooth Fairy. (Just wait til your friends tell you the truth, you ungrateful fifth grader.)

That looks like a dildo.  I know what that is, Mom. (Watching the Food Network’s Worst Cooks in America sausage making episode).

I don’t trust any Swiss cheese that doesn’t have holes in it. It is just not right. (Can’t really argue with that one, kid)

I vurped in school yesterday. In math class. It wasn’t that loud. Only like 20 people noticed.

You wanna smell my farts?  (I get to choose?)

Don’t come up here. I just laid an atomic dook. More like a mondo atomic dook. (Super pleased he’s learning about adjectives and adverbs though.)

You know what it smells like?  (We were driving across a bridge that spans the waste water treatment facility)  It smells like McDonald’s.  Well not like the fries once you get them, but like the floor at McDonald’s.  You know, where it’s slippery and kind of nasty?  Like that smell.  But not the one near our house, the McDonald’s in Johnson Creek by the outlet mall. (That is a very specific gross-out, kid.)

Yeah, I noticed that you’re older than most of my friends’ moms. (Thanks for noticing and reporting back, Punk.)

You know what I could maybe want for my birthday someday, Mom?  An air horn. (You know what you’re never getting for your birthday someday, Son?  An air horn.)

It’s a week before Christmas.  I’m the lone female in a house of nut job boys (she whispered tenderly), and for some reason, holiday preparations heighten my attention to flying solo.  I’ve purchased maybe 22.6% of the gifts I’d like to have purchased, and have yet to consider even remotely the family Christmas card.  We are hosting Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Christmas dinner, and to date I have managed to purchase nothing more than the cream needed for my vodka pasta.  A lot can happen in a week though, friends.  It’ll be a Christmas miracle.

I Know You’re The Little Brother

Today was idyllic.  The skies were my favorite-color shade of blue, devoid of even a hint of a cloud between the sun rising and setting.  From time to time, a breeze stirred the lilac blooms enough to perfume our yard with the surest sign of warm weather.  The mama duck, nesting in the planting bed beside our garage, even looked serene as she tended her eggs throughout the day.  Spring.  

My offspring, not your go-getter, play outside from dawn-til-dusk types, spent a sizable chunk of the day outside, and I couldn’t have been more pleased.  The kids spent much of their day trekking between the playground, ours and two other houses, playing home run derby, shooting Dude Perfect trick baskets (trying to anyway), throwing Hail Mary football passes at the playground, and dancing to Wii Just Dance.  It was a beautiful thing.  All of it.  Well, until the very end it was anyway.

Can you see her in there? I didn’t want to alarm Mama Duck by getting too close.

At the end of the evening’s festivities, my big kid lumbers downstairs clearly wanting to tattle on his brother for something.  My big kid is the least verbally subtle or sly child on the planet, and he hasn’t quite grasped that I’m quite good with the language comprehension, so it never dissuades him from trying.  So instead of coming out with it (which, *sigh*, can be exhausting for the listener at times), he instead advises me how itchy he feels.  Mother of the Year that I am, I’m all like, “Well you stink too, so what better solution than to take a shower?”  And PS–I didn’t tell him he stunk.  I did however tell my little one he stunk because holy crap!  That kid could not be allowed to marinade in his own juices for one minute more.  People, he STUNK!

I’m feeling good, like I staved off the verbal sparring match before it’d even begun in suggesting he get in the shower.  Nope.  He continues to say that the kids thought it’d be fun to hold him down, bean him with a football and put dirt down his shirt.  And THAT is (obviously) the leap he intended me to make because he’s 12 and showering is so rarely a “hey, I have a good idea” idea from him.

Little one says he wasn’t in on it (he surely had to have been), but when I asked him if he stepped in to ask the others to stop or intervene in any way, he stared at his feet, gone mute.  I get that boys will be boys and all, and throwing dirt down someone’s shirt is probably as stinkin’ hilarious as it gets.  I don’t think the kids meant to be complete jerks to him; there was no diabolical plan to torture or maim.  They’re kids, and nice kids at that.  But my big kid, despite towering over his peers, is an easy target.  And everyone knows it.

While big kid was showering, I pulled the small one on my lap (no small feat there), and said that not helping his brother out when he needed help amounted to pretty much doing the deed.  His expression as he registered that made me tear up.  We don’t talk much about MD every day, and that’s a great thing.  But I feel like my little one needed the reminder that even though he’s the little brother, he’s going to be called to help the big kid in ways atypical of traditional big- and little- brother roles.  “Your brother can’t get up that fast, and he can’t duck and run they way you and your friends can, so even if you’re just messing around, which I think you were, it’s harder for him.  Try to remember that next time, and think how you would feel if someone was messing with you, even in fun, and you couldn’t wrestle out of it.”  Is that too much to put on a 10-year-old?

I sometimes just wish my big guy was more ably-equipped for battle.  What a weird thing to wish for, huh?  My brother and I tangled when we were kids.  Everyone does, I know.  Almost everyone gets the snot pounded out of them at one time or another by a brother or sister, some kid down the block, someone somewhere.  It is the way of the world, and thankfully, kids’ memories are short.  This little football/dirt dust-up is no big thing–it’s not–and my son will have long forgotten this by morning.  Tomorrow promises to be another gem like today, and I cannot wait to carpe the hell out of the diem.



Is He Going To Die?

were the first words my younger son asked me when I told him about his big brother’s diagnosis.  You get about 2.3 seconds to process the question, freak out in your head and heart, and formulate a response.  You send every good intention up and out to anyone, anything who might have an ear, and plead with the universe that you get this right.  It went something like this:

Yes, he is.  We all are going to die eventually, but he’s not going to die from MD today.  Or tomorrow.  And probably not for a very long time.  We’re not sure how this is going to affect your brother, and that’s really all we know right now.

Oh, OK.

There may be times when your brother moves more slowly and there will be things that will be harder for him to do.  He might have some pain sometimes.

Like growing pains?

Maybe, but not exactly like.  And they won’t stop even when he’s done growing.

Which will be like when we’re in college.

Yep.  Probably by the time you graduate college, you’ll be full-grown.  I don’t have a whole lot of answers about this disease yet.  Your brother goes for more tests in a couple months.

Will he be in a wheelchair?

Don’t know that either.  Maybe.  Hopefully not for a very long time.  But there is no way to predict just yet.  I wish I knew more.  Do you have any other questions?

No, not really.

Exhale.  Wipe your eyes.  Inhale.  Wipe your eyes again.  You realize that this disease hasn’t hit only one of your children.


There’s nothing so joyous as the sound of kids’ laughter.  My little kid has the naughtiest, dirtiest laugh, and I suspect it will get him in trouble.  Some good trouble, because girls are gonna looooove it, and probably some trouble for reals because his teachers are not gonna looooove it.  He’s 9, so I’m pretty sure I’ve got some time before this becomes a real concern.  Like a week or so probably.

This morning I was sitting at our computer paying the bills.  Behind me were the happy noises that come from boys beating the living crap out of one another.  The laughter was making me giggle, which was much-needed; I hate paying the bills.  Their laughter was making me giggle until it wasn’t.  Little kid is a wall of muscle.  Seriously.  The kid is built like the proverbial brick house.  He’s inherited his mother’s legs (which I hated until recently when my legs took me on a couple 5K runs–another post. . .).  He’s nimble, he’s wily, he’s strong, he’s quick.  He’s all the physical things the big kid isn’t.

Just because we know now doesn’t mean anything has changed between them.  They’ve been brothers for nine years and have been pounding the snot out of one another for probably five or six years now.  I don’t want that to stop (the normal brotherly camaraderie, that is).  But here’s what happens after:  your kid shrieks, “STOP IT!” while trying to keep laughing, and you hear a different tone in his voice.  The “STOP IT” is in all capital letters, and the request sounds and feels more like a plea than it did before.  The laughter isn’t genuine, it sounds and feels desperate.  You resist every urge in your body to turn around and ask them to stop.  You resist every urge to ask if he’s OK.  Big kid goes down like a stone.  He gets up, and he comes back for more a couple more times.  Eventually the siren song of Super Mario Bros calls one of them away from this day’s wrestling match, and today’s main event stops as quickly as it began.

He gets up, and he comes back for more.  I’m pretty sure there’s a metaphor in there.