Category Archives: parenting

Ladders. 

Y’all. The imaginary Boymom Guide* did not tell me about how many times I’d have to climb a ladder** and rescue frisbees and balls from the gutter. It’s like my part time job now. 

So attention, moms of darling baby boys, don’t say I didn’t warn you: this is your future. 

 

I do not recommend making it look like it’s fun, lest they try to throw more stuff up there.

 
*hm. Maybe this is a book I should write?

**easiest ladder to use is not quite tall enough, so I have to climb up to the top a lot. I know. I always make a kid hold the ladder steady for me, but last time, when I went to fold it up, I accidentally pinched Bennett’s finger in the hinge. And because I didn’t know that’s what I was doing, I kept closing the ladder. Cue all the awful feelings. 

Older Kids Are Awesome: Saturday Morning Edition 

I’ve made no secret about how I know we are in a parenting sweet spot. Way past baby/toddlerhood (which I loved, but holy exhausting, that is for young people), but not yet at driving/girlfriends/college decisions. And while it’s not nearly all sparkly rainbows and unicorns, it’s nice.

Take this morning for instance.

Matt got up early to get an oil change, so he was out of the house. I stayed in bed (not sleeping, of course, because it’s the only morning I don’t actually have to be out of bed early, so naturally, I was awake. Nearing-40, you are a delight.) until close to 8, and came downstairs to the boys quietly playing a computer game together.

Because we have a slow day, I offered to make pancakes* for breakfast. This is a rarity…I have a minimal-effort-before-coffee approach to life, but what can I say. It’s a sunny, lovely fall morning, and I was feeling generous.

The 2 older boys immediately said they’d love pancakes, but Jack Henry was less enthusiastic.

Why?

Because my 8 year old already made himself breakfast, people. He had a bowl of cereal and cleaned up after himself.

Glorious.

(He did still have some pancakes. There’s always room for pancakes.)

*full disclosure. We are talking about add-water-to-a-box-mix pancakes. Not even the add-egg-and-oil kind. Or homemade, which are best, but please. It’s early on Saturday morning.

Eight.

Last weekend, Jack Henry turned eight, and we threw a huge party for him.

Ok. We didn’t exactly throw the party. We went to a party, and just worked a celebration for him into that party. However, it’s going to be hard to top next year, because this year, the party was a wedding reception. 🙂

My dad’s wife, Annmarie, has two children, and her daughter was married in a beautiful ceremony and reception in KC last Saturday. When we had a little bit of time, we had a party at our table for Jack Henry, complete with presents and a cookie cake we brought along.

he was waiting until 6pm (near his official birth time – i need to look that up) to really celebrate!

 

new catcher’s mitt. i’m getting pretty good at buying sports equipment 🙂

 

with papa!

 

we kinda like him.

 

bros. how am i the mom of kids this old?

 

jh and the beautiful bride gianna!

 

nieces and g on the dance floor.

 

my brothers and sister!

 

we make the brown-eyed in-laws sit together 😉

He loved his celebration!

So, to my boy: I could not possibly love you more. Your smile and laugh are infectious. The depth of your thoughts sometimes overwhelms me in the best possible way – you’re an old soul, and you’re not afraid to tell me what you’re feeling. You’re unlike your brothers in that way, and so sometimes, as your mom, I’m caught off-guard when you bring things up. Know that I always, always want to have those conversations with you.

Your dad and I are proud of the person you are becoming: so aware of other people and their feelings, still so sweet and kind and sensitive. And this age is one of our favorites: you’re still little, but also big enough to do fun stuff with your older brothers and dad, like ride roller coasters (I will never, ever join you on that adventure).

Can’t imagine life without you, buddy.

Love,
Mom

(Here’s seven, and one through six can be found here.)

Twice This Week…

…I’ve felt out of my league parenting the boys.

First, it was doing math homework with Luke. I knew the answer (!!!) but couldn’t explain it. Like at all. And “you just have to believe me” wasn’t cutting it for some reason.

>>>

(A little background: Jack Henry recently tested into the gifted program, called Mosaics. He goes to a different classroom for about 3 hours every Friday with a few other second graders.)

This morning I woke Jack Henry at 6:20 like I do every school day (most mornings I have just rolled out of bed myself). He generally wakes up happy, but this was new:
Me: “good Friday morning! Time to get up! It’s Mosaics day!”
Him, immediately: “yay! And we get extra strategic thinking time today because Mrs. S was out last week!”
Me: confused face, thinking I don’t even know what you just said, but if that gets you out of bed quickly to get ready, whatever. It’s so early I can’t even decode yet why that would be exciting.

>>>

Bennett: please do not feel left out because you aren’t included in this post. We can high-five each other over the fact that we bought you new shoes yesterday and neither of us lost our minds.

School. Day 2. 

#fightingoverthebathroom #punchesthrown #areyouserious
#morefightingoverbreakfast #noteven7am #whereismycoffee
#parentingissuchadelight #somedaythiswillbefunny #butreallyonthecoffee

He Scares Me a Little. 

I called all three boys into the kitchen to help me make supper tonight. I don’t know why, because that generally sounds like torture, but it seemed like a good idea.

I immediately assigned Luke to the sauté pan for fajita vegetables, and had Jack Henry and Bennett help me chop and mash ingredients for guacamole. For once, everyone was actually really helpful.

We finished making the guacamole, and Bennett asked if I was going to use the rest of the lime for anything. I said no, and turned around to the sink to find him doing this:

he juiced almost half a lime straight into his mouth

Um. I feel like he’s the kind of kid who’s going to have good party tricks in college. And I. Am. Terrified.

In related news, the University of Illinois was ranked the top party school in the nation last week, which means I’m no longer excited about the fact that all of the boys want to go there. We have seriously put so much effort into making these little Missouri residents Illini fans, and now this…

🙂

Confessions.

Ok. Time to just be transparent about a couple of things:

1.  I absolutely will not get political here, but I feel like you all should know that if Trump manages to win the election somehow, you can find me on an island far away. I am so not joking.

2a. So I used to have this schedule for summer mornings, where the boys would do some reading or math work and some housework, too. Yeah. I let that go this summer, and we have been so. chill. around here. They have done some reading and they do chores as requested by me but it’s not like before. Boy, have we enjoyed our lazy downtime. They’re just at an age where the schedule isn’t needed anymore to keep me from going crazy. And I’m apparently at the age where I don’t care enough because…

2b. They have played an embarrassing number of hours of Mario Kart this week. They haven’t cared about Mario Kart for years, and somehow their interest resurfaced. Here’s why I’m cool with it: they’re all playing together and not fighting. SO PLEASE KEEP PLAYING THE MARIO KART.

School starts Wednesday and I’m celebrating with a massage on Thursday. 

Happy weekend!