Archive for the kids Category

Lex Left Out

October 12, 2013

youngest kiddo of 9 kids gets left out of picking his own toys but makes due

I’ve been saying this sentence to Lex for as long as I can remember; “Go pull out the toys and play.”

This morning I looked at our bins of toys; puzzles, trains and tracks, kitchen and grocery store items, wooden blocks, a set of plastic cowboys and indians, a marble racer, various moving dinosaurs and robots…and I realized that NONE of those things were specifically purchased for Lex. These are all things that have been around his entire life and got put in bins and stacked up and became Our Toys. I also realized that he nearly NEVER goes and takes any of those things out.

So I called him over, “Hey Lex, what toys do you like?”
He was confused by the question-”Huh?”
“Lex, what toys do YOU like? If I were going to go by YOU a toy, what would you want?” Poor kid really had to think about that.
“I like those really big balls, like are in your office.”
“Oh, excercise balls!”
“And I like Rainbow Loom”.

What I discovered this morning is that Lex, as the youngest of 9 kiddos, has never, truly been asked what HE likes and has just gone along, making due with what’s around. Now, there’s really nothing wrong with him doing that. But I AM glad I realized that it’s time to take Lex and his Ninja-Loving, Soccer-Loving self and let him pick something out that is all HIS!

Doing the Dance of the Children and Missing a Step~

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Starting the Day with a Huge Dose of Mommy Guilt

September 4, 2013

Lex came into my room, and buried himself in my bed under pillow and blankets, clearly upset. I asked what was wrong and he told me about his dream, that I had dropped him off at daycare and there was a fire and the teacher didn’t care.

I rubbed his back and told him that I was sorry for his bad dream and that he never went to daycare, that I was with him every day that he was little and that when he went to preschool, that I went too and worked in the school.

He piped back, “You dropped me off at daycare at the Y and I hated it!”

Ugh! He did! I think I only made it through 2 whole workouts in all my times of trying to take him there. I told myself, over and over again, that he would get used to it and that it was just a matter of him not wanting to be there because he was so used to being with siblings and there, he was on his own because his siblings were in school. But nightmares, 4 years later?! Talk about starting the day with a huge helping of Mommy Guilt!

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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Musical Kiddos

August 31, 2013

Last weekend I was the joyous recipient of a neighbor’s piano. There was a bit of fuss over it’s arrival because I had to move things around and figure out where it would go and had to find a willing participant to help move the beast from 2 streets over. Everything fell together and my room has now become a bedroom/office/music room.

My intent behind getting the piano was to have Max pick up his lessons. Sure, there are other kiddos in the house that will want to play and are interested in lessons too, but my main focus was Max. He was very excited about the whole thing…until a couple days ago.  He came home with a paper from school, all about their music program. Piano was NOT one of the listed instuments. He asked if he could play the piano in the program, but there isn’t one available at school.

So, now I have 1 piano in my room and 1 trombone player in queue.

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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Back to School With a Vengeance!

August 29, 2013

We’re just over a week into the new school year and it’s kicking it to me! I’m so out of the routine and there’s more to do this year. I have  3 drop-offs each morning. We’ve had 1 of 3 Back to School Nights (8th grade) and the other 2…yes, the other 2, are tomorrow night at different schools at the same time! I’ve had a meeting with Max’s teachers and principal and have retrieved a missing lunch box twice. We’ve had 2 popped bike tires and I’ve already forgotten to sign the planners. I spent a gazillion dollars on Back to School supplies, printer ink, shoes and groceries for packing lunches and I’ve already had to hear WAY too much whinning about getting up and ready for school.

Yep, it’s Back to School alright!

Doing the Dance of the Children into another Year of School~

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Well That Explains It!

August 8, 2013

Yesterday I had one of those terribly emberrassing Mommy Moments, where you have a child who’s acting out so badly and you just can’t get them to stop. This usually happens with an overtired toddler, but this was my 7 yr old! We got home and I put him straight to bed. He ended up sleeping for over 4 hours and I figured that being tired was the reason for his meltdown.

Then I got home from work today and found him lying in my bed, watching a movie on the laptop and hot with a fever. Ah ha!

How many times have we, as parents, been able to look back and better understand why our child had an issue…any issue? I’m out of the practice of dealing with toddlers, so his behavior didn’t make any sense to me. But it sure does today!

Doing the Dance of the Children and revisiting old lessons~

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Oh Really? NOW You Let Me Know You’re Listening?!

August 6, 2013

I’m always wondering if the kids hear ANYTHING that I say, EVER. It sure doesn’t seem like it, since I’ve repeated the exact same instructions, every day for over 24 years.

The other day I got home from a long day of work, to run errands with the kids and take them to the gym and pool. By the time we reached the gym, I’d had it with their arguing and fighting. As they were complaining about the swimming, rock climbing and Kid’s Place activities they were going to HAVE TO endure, I yelled, “Stop fighting! Stop complaining about everything! I hate coming home from work and being made to YELL! I don’t WANT TO YELL!”

Max piped in with, “Mom, I’m just going to tell you what you always tell us; you’re in charge of your actions. No one can MAKE you get mad or yell.”

Yeah, thanks Buddy. So glad you’re letting me know you listen.

There’s hope. They really DO hear me and they let me know, just when it’s time to eat crow.

Doing the Dance of the Children and choosing not to YELL~

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That’s Right…Motherhood Really IS F.O.S!

May 15, 2013

Back in 2008 I finally came out and said what I had thought, for almost 20 years of parenting…Motherhood is Full of Shit. Truly! We are continually dealing with the clean up of bathroom issues by our little bundles of joy. You can read the original blog here.

Tonight, I was reminded and wrote the following Facebook post;

I have long said that Motherhood is full of shit.

Yes, it’s predominately the first 2-3 yrs of diapers, diaper explosions and toddlers who like to remove diapers. But it doesn’t end there. No! There are clogged toilets by overzealous wipers. There are overly excited kids who are too deep in play and don’t make it all the way to the bathroom. There are the over-confident bouts of gas etc. I will spare you the current details. But I am confident that I am not alone in my saying….

Yes, Motherhood is surely F.O.S!

Doing the Dance of the Children with rubber gloves on~

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M.O.M. Moments

May 8, 2013

On the way to work, this morning, I got a phone call. On the other end was one of my kiddos.
They said, “Mom, I forgot something.”
I asked, “What did you forget?”
Kiddo-”I forgot something at home.”
I replied, “Ok. What did you forget?”
Kiddo (whispering into the phone)-”I forgot my underwear.”

Thank you to beautiful people who are willing to go into my house, rummage through my dryer, find the underwear, text me a pic to make sure it’s the CORRECT underwear and then deliver it to the school in a bag, under the guise of it being “lunch”.

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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M.O.M.’s Morning Madness or How I Stay Sane~

April 24, 2013

It’s 7:30am and the kids just rode off to school on their bikes. They are dressed, fed, hair-fixed, teeth-brushed, backpacks-packed, school-ready kids. It didn’t happen without a morning filled with Mommy Madness.

I sent Max to bed last night, to get recharged and with the hope that he’d wake up and have a new perspective on his homework. It’s a technique that’s worked in the past. Today it was an utter failure. We sat for nearly 2 hours and got about 7 problems done. This is not because he is incapable of the work and it’s not because he doesn’t understand the work. It’s because he simply decided he wasn’t going to do it. Once he makes that decision, all bets are off! This is the same child that, as a 1st grader, hid MONTHS worth of homework under his bed. ~Sigh~

The best tactic I’ve found to keep my sanity when dealing with difficult children, is madness, goofiness, humor. A silly song about the situation goes a long way to break tension for all involved. I can choose to scold, berate or punish or I can Do a Dance or make up a rhyme. The number of times my kids have heard ridiculous songs can’t be counted.

Once my other children saw that Max was being difficult, it was like a Difficult Free-for-All. “My shoes are too tight”. “I don’t like this food”. “I’m freezing”. “I’m sick”. Name it, I heard it. I broke into song about peanut butter bread;

A little bread
A little spread
Gives us all a very good head

Hey, I have to make the point for the importance of breakfast, somehow!

Next it was scolding shoes that were too tight;

Bad shoes!
Bad shoes!
Why must you be bad shoes?!

I’m sitting here, knowing I need to start my work day and feeling absolutely drained from the last few hours of Doing the Dance! Perhaps a song will help motivate me;

Put on your shoes
Put on your pants
Put on your makeup and get on with The Dance!

I think Paulo Coelho said it best;

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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A Lullabye for My Kiddos Who are Away

March 6, 2013

It’s been a really long and full day. Part of the fullness is how much I’m feeling filled up with love for my kiddos who are far away. Clayton called this evening, to talk to me and the little kiddos and he gave us all a finish to our day that was full of love and the memories of the few months he was with us, last year. We all felt how much we miss the members of our family who are far off.

So I’m ending today’s Dance with a lullabye that I’ve sung to each of my kiddos and that my mom sang to me.

Good night, sweet dreams and much love; Kateri, JJ (Clayton), Mariah and Maddi. I love you~

I see the moon and the moon sees me
And the moon sees the one that I long to see.
So God bless the moon and God bless me
And God bless the one that I long to see.
It seems to me that God above
Created you for me to love.
He picked you out of all the rest
Because he knew I loved you the best.
I once had a heart called mine you see,
But now it’s gone to you from me.
So take good care as I have done
For you have two and I have none.
I see the moon and the moon sees me
And the moon sees the one that Iong to see.
So God bless the moon and God bless me
And God bless the one that I long to see

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He’s Breathing Too Loud!

March 5, 2013

Here’s the scenario;

One kid is doing something harmless, but that another kid finds annoying. So the annoyed kid tells the first kid to “stop___”. Kid one wasn’t doing anything wrong, but now does whatever the action was (and sometimes, it’s simply breathing “too loud”) extra, EXTRA annoyingly.

I am then caught between the kid who was needlessly annoyed and the kid who is now purposely being annoying. And let me tell you, it’s AMAZING how loudly a kid can breathe when they know it will further annoy a sibling.

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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Learning How to Support Positive Body Image in my Boys

March 4, 2013

When I was growing up, I was surrounded by sisters. I’m the oldest of 9 kids and 8 of us are girls. My parents got their boy at the end. So, most of what I knew about kids when I became a parent involved what girls thought, felt and dreamed. As I began having my own kids, I was blessed to get a, nearly even split of boys and girls. And suddenly, most of my girls are out of the house and I find myself raising 3 boys. I’m still fumbling through getting a grasp on what might be going through their heads at any given moment.

The other day, Lex called me into the bathroom for some assistance and I found him sitting on the pot. He looked at me and then pointed to his thighs and said, “if I’m so skinny, why are my legs so fat?”. Fat?! There isn’t anything fat about this kiddo! I knew I had only that moment to help him see his legs differently. I explained that when we sit down our legs spread out a little and that what he was seeing where the strong muscles in his legs that help him run so fast and ride his bike so well and that because he does those things, his muscles get bigger and stronger and help him get even further.

He was suddenly proud of his legs! He told me how long he can jump on the trampoline and how fast he can ride his bike.

In that short interaction, I realized that boys struggle with body image, just as girls do. Yes, I’ve read articles about eating disorders occurring in both boys and girls and depression occurring in both genders. Of course, I know that boys aren’t  just pillars of confidence, roaming the earth. But I didn’t know that my, very fit and healthy 6 year old son, would be scrutinizing himself! I’m grateful he vocalized his wonder and that I was able to help him form a positive opinion of himself.

Lesson Learned!

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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Mornings With Max

February 23, 2013

Max is an early riser too, so it’s often me and Max first thing in the morn. This morning, he asked me to make him a breakfast sandwich and while I was cooking, he said something about the tooth he had lost yesterday, which he left in the back room and made no attempt at putting under his pillow.

Max-”Mom, you owe me a dollar”
Me-”Why would I owe you a dollar?”
Max-”For my tooth”
Me-”No, you need to put it under your pillow and I’ll call the tooth fairy
Max-”Mom, I know you’re the tooth fairy. I caught you with your hand under my pillow, one time”
Me-”I often check my kids in the middle of the night”
Max-”R-I-G-H-T! Mom…you sure are good at picking your words carefully. I’m trying to trap you and you’re not falling for it”
Me-”I know”

Guess where his tooth will be tonight?

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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My Shoes are FINE!

February 7, 2013

These are Max’s old shoes. He was wearing them until 3 days ago, when I got a good, solid look at the bottoms. I drug him into the store to try on new ones while he boldly and loudly protested that his shoes were FINE.

“FINE…My SHOES ARE FINE! I like them like that. It’s not even raining so it doesn’t even matter! They are comfortable. I don’t NEED new shoes!”

We picked out the 2 pair that would be possibilities for him and chose one of the pair. But the next morning, he was back on the kick that the new ones weren’t right, the old one’s were perfect and I needed to just pleaese, PLEASE, P-L-E-A-S-E let him wear the old ones. I didn’t give in. He’s successfully worn the new pair for the last 2 days. However, if you see one of my kids wearing shoes with nothing left to them, keep in mind it’s not because I’m denying them proper footwear.


Doing the Dance of the Children~

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Hey! I’m Kinda Feelin’ Jipped!

January 31, 2013

I’ve recently “liked” a couple of pregnancy and birth pages and they’re fantastic! I love all the amazing pics of women giving birth in the way and environment of their choice. They have photographers capturing all the wonder of the event and husbands/partners/co-parenting significant others (making terms up for things I don’t know the label for) are joining in, being super supportive and experiencing as much of the baby’s birth as possible. Then there are the breastfeeding pics and posts. All beautiful. There are many strong, amazing women out there that are making the decision to be fully present in the experience of becoming a mother, no matter the # baby it is.

Only one problem…

All this amazingness is making me feel like I never experienced giving birth or breastfeeding. There were no photographers, no uber supportive/rubbing my back/getting into a tub of water with me, husband-no tub of water for that matter. No home birth and heck, for my last birth, my biggest supporter was my 12 yr old daughter, who was great, but did her best to make sure she stayed near my head the entire time.

I breastfed while toddlers climbed on me, while I pushed a stroller with 2 or more other children in it, while I grocery shopped, while I made dinner, while I did mundane and needed household chores, while I was 1/2 or entirely asleep and there was no one documenting it and putting a lovely lens to the whole thing to show how beautifully natural, loving, life-giving and super fantastic it was.

I never had a belly cast made. Never took belly pics in my bathroom or bedroom mirrors (there were no “smart phones” with cameras) and never, once, had professional pics taken with the glowing and gushing father of all these kiddos. What the heck?!

How is it that I had 9 kiddos and am now feeling like all the new moms out there are sticking it to all of us Old Geezers who finished having babies too soon to be truly amazing? I don’t like it!

I’ll go thumb through the endless baby books, photo albums and scrapbooks that I put together on paper filled with lignin that’s slowly eating away at the only precious images I have that prove that in my day, we were as amazing as we felt we could be and it was pretty ok.

Seriously though-Here’s to you, Moms of the Next Era! You’re making me wish I could do it one more time.

Mommy of Many

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