Thursday, April 21, 2016

Boys Will Be (Gross, Weird, Violent) Boys

In his defense, the kid DOES have a point.

After a lifetime (okay, okay. I exaggerate...only HALF a lifetime) of finding chapstick, lipgloss, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, Barbie shoes, and more chapstick in the washer (if I'm lucky) or dryer (yes, usually here.) I have spent the last few years finding decidedly different objects in the laundry. Rocks, cars, candy, bits of asphalt, Legos, handfuls of dandelions. 
Oh, and here's a new one...tampons. Well, technically just the applicators. (Yes, unused ones. Don't be disgusting.) 

I know you're thinking: Geez lady! Check the pockets once in a while, why don't you? To which I would tell you: I do. Every single time I do laundry. But I am, at this point, convinced that there is a secret invisible-to-moms pocket...maybe even portal, in all kids clothing. This portal is used to hide items that will undoubtedly cause destruction to clothing. And also to suck up socks. One from each pair.

Why? you ask. Why tampon applicators? Well, this is the very same question I posed to my 6-year old son. Why? 

His reply? They look like bullets.

I found that I have no words for this. But this is often the case when you have a son after fourteen years of all daughters. There are just no words. And there are a few select things I've dealt with over the last few years that I have never dealt with before as a mother. And I've dealt with a lot.

For example:

  • Having a child that pees in places that are not the toilet. Like the floor. Or the trash can. Or the grass. Or the bushes. Or the driveway. Or my shoes.
  • Having a child that asks me regularly, "Can I punch you in the face?" Followed by, "Just kidding mom. I love you. I'll ask dad if I can punch him."
  • Having a child who likes to lick things that aren't food. The walls. The table. Grocery store carts. His sister's feet. The more it grosses me out, the funnier he thinks it is.
  • Having a child who is obsessed with boogers. He picks them. He wipes them on walls and counters and hand towels and sisters. He even tried to feed one to his dad. So. Gross. (But better him than me. That's what I always say.)
  • Having a kid who pantses (depants? unpants?) his friends at recess. In kindergartenI gotta admit, after the multiple meltdowns of getting him to preschool last year this one was not even on my radar. I was so worried about him just being ok and not sad. Turns out that not only is he not sad, he likes showing people underwear. His own. Other people's. He's equal opportunity that way. He also likes to call people "terrible words about private body parts that we do not talk about in school" (according to his teacher.) I never thought I'd be so relieved to hear that my kid called someone else a butthole. I know. Not a nice word. But I've heard worse from him. Judge me if you must.
  • Having a child who thinks he's a ninja. Always. He wants to get dressed like a ninja. Eat like a ninja. Go to bed like a ninja. Get in the car like a ninja. I'm pretty sure real ninjas don't kick and punch when they are doing these things. But he does.
  • Having a child who wants me to do literally everything for him. Get him dressed. Get him undressed. Brush his teeth. Dish up his plate. Buckle his seatbelt. Turn on the TV. All things he is quite capable of doing himself. He even went through a phase where he would engage the childlock on his car door. Because he didn't want to open it and get out himself. He wanted mommy to do it. It's like having a second tiny husband.
  • Having a child who sleeps with his hand down his pants. (See second tiny husband above.)
  • Having a child who puts holes in his jeans like they were made of paper. PAPER! I was warned about this one, but seriously, it's insane. He has put holes in at least 8 pairs of jeans since school started. Always in the left knee. That must be his ninja-kick leg.
It's new and it's different. It requires a little getting used to. BUT, on the flipside I also have a child who cries only when he's tired or hungry. Doesn't go batsh&*# crazy when I brush his hair. And wants to snuggle me all the time.

I'll take it.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

On Being Lucky

I found a penny on my way into work Monday morning. I almost never pick up pennies that I see on the ground. Because it's not really worth the effort. (What? Bending is hard.) But I thought, What the heck? I could use all the luck I can find. Not because I'm superstitious. Just because I'm desperate. Desperate for luck. So I did. I reached down and picked it up. 

And guess what? Not only was it lying there face up (the lucky side) BUT it also happened to have my birth year on it (EXTRA lucky!!)
I know what you're thinking. Your birth year? Did they even have pennies when you were born? Didn't people just use pretty rocks and woolly mammoth fur balls for currency then? While it's very funny of you to think that, it's not very nice. Shame on you.

I brought it into work with me and set it on my desk thinking, this is going to be a stellar day of luck for me. And guess what? It wasn't. It was just a regular, ordinary busy-at-work-suffocating-on-homework-not-enough-time-for-children-I-can't-believe-my-house-is-so-disgusting day. As per usual.

I've thought a lot about luck this week. Mostly because Abraham Lincoln's copper profile is still sitting at my desk taunting me. Like, "Hello! What did you expect? Remember how "lucky" I was??"  

When I think of people who are lucky I think of people who seemingly just stumble onto good fortune: great jobs, inheritances, luxury vacations, talent, success, killer deals at Ross. Those kind of people. My name is not usually one that comes to mind. 

Most of the time I feel decidedly unlucky. I feel like no matter how much I struggle or how hard I work or how bad I want it, prosperity and serendipity are just not in the cards for me. Nope. Just disappointment and trials. Seemingly endless trials.

I took my 14-year old to a doctor's appointment yesterday. A doctor's appointment that turned into the discovery of a rare foot-joint dislocation (the doctor said he'd only seen it once before) that turned into a same day surgery that turned into me missing a whole (unpaid) day of work to sit with her in the hospital for seven hours, mostly just waiting. Did I mention that we had JUST had her very last appointment with the orthopedist last week for a patellar dislocation that happened 6 months ago? True story. The girl just can't seem to keep her bones...located.

As I walked out of the grocery store after waiting in an almost eternal line to pick up her prescription, I saw another penny on the ground. I laughed. Like an out loud, complete-with-snorting guffaw. 

And I reflected on the day for just a second. A day I got to spend almost entirely alone with my beautiful 14-year old daughter. We half-watched some TV, laughed at puns (mostly her), worried (mostly me), complained about how hungry we were (both of us), put sticky EKG leads on inappropriate places (me), texted (both), made calls (me), Snapchatted (her) and hung out in comfortable silence for some of the time, too. Oh, she also told me facts about bison. (Bisons? Beeson?) She's like a walking encyclopedia, that one. (An encyclopedia? It's like Wikipedia. Except a book. And written by experts.)

I thought about how lucky I was for that rare day. How lucky I am to have the brilliantly wonderful, gorgeous children I have. How lucky I am that they call me mom. And want me to be with them when they are worried or scared or hurt. How lucky I am to have friends who asked if they could bring dinner, and kept my 6-year old, and drove my husband around. How lucky I am that the surgery went as well as it possibly could have. How lucky I am that my kids are healthy and (mostly) happy. How lucky I am to be their one-and-only-stuck-with-me-forever-whether-they-like-it-or-not mommy.   

So I didn't pick up that penny. Cuz, really...who needs it?