Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Big Kid: Dude, stop torturing me, bro.

little kid: 'at's my job! I'm the little brudder and my job is to torture you.

Big Kid: And you know what, little kid? I'm the big bro and my job is to look out for you and be nice to you and help make sure you grow up good--and look what I get for it! I get tortured by YOU.

little kid: I'm not quittin' my job. I do what I want. I want to torture you, bro, so I will.

Big Kid: And that's why I'm going to grow up to have a good job and a nice wife and 3 beautiful kids and you'll be in prison. That's what you'll have, dude, jail.

(And Big Kid has never even heard the "College fund for one, bail fund for the other" joke, so he came to this conclusion on his own.)

little kid: A course I'll have jail, bro. I'm gonna be a scuba diver cop--so I'll be's takin' peoples to jail. Cops don't gots to be in jail though.

He looked triumphant and Big Kid looked concerned.

And I had to clarify that yes, cops can go to jail, and then their roles reversed and Big Kid was triumphant and little kid was concerned. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Dinner LOLs

In a moment of questionable parenting tonight while we were out to dinner, I told Big Kid a "your momma" joke. To be fair, I think being his momma and telling a your momma joke makes it okay, but Mr. Ashley didn't think so.

"Seriously, Ashley? I don't think we need to get that started."

"Oh, you want 'your mom' jokes? Your momma's so fat I tried to walk around her and got lost twice. Your momma's so ugly when she went to Japan on vacation, they started yelling 'Godzilla!'. Your momma's so big when she stomped on a quarter, a booger came out of George Washington's nose..." Big Kid went on to list a string of "your momma" jokes, barely taking a breath as he went down his list.

Mr. Ashley and I looked at each other in shock at first, but I'll confess we were truly laughing our asses off about halfway in. I don't care if that's inappropriate, it was hilarious. Add it to my list of parenting fails but hot damn it was funny. I did point out to Mr. Ashley that it turned out I had done no damage at all with my one "your momma" joke.

(And don't worry, I did redeem myself as a parent by telling him that he was NOT to use "your momma" jokes on others...unless they used a "your momma" joke on his momma first.)

Later we were discussing Words with Friends and I told Big Kid I'd have to arrange it so he could play against me through Facebook.

"Let's play on your phone, mom," he suggested.

"You can only play on an iPhone or droid, Big Kid. I don't have no iPhone."

Mr. Ashley sighed because he knew what was coming, because I recite this same refrain any time an apple commercial comes on or any mention of an apple product is made.

"I don't gots no iPhone. I don't gots no iPad. I don't gots no iPod even. I don't gots no iAnything. I sure wish I did, though."

"You're going to get an iPatch if you keep it up," Mr. Ashley replied. 

Also at dinner, little kid declared that he would grow up to be an artist who only paints pictures of people with hairy eyeballs.

It was a really good night at dinner.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Late night links

I was going to do a real blog post tonight but I'm lazy and tired and a little bit sick so others will have to entertain you instead: 

Peek of paradise

Good advice

Shark cage

Elephant in utero

Minimalist fairy tale posters


Girl power


Type train game

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dear little kid,

Today you are 5. That is big stuff. Despite your small body and the fact that you still say "tup tup" instead of ketchup (and I'll never correct your pronunciation, because your way is better), you are becoming a big boy.

Even with only 5 short years of life experience, you are an inspiration to me daily. You face every challenge and situation with courage and charisma, you are charming and funny, you are quick and bright, you make friends easily, and you have a twinkle in your eye at all times. I wish I could be more like you.

The day before kindergarten started you told me,"I'm gonna do good in school. My teatser's gonna like me and I'm gonna do real good."

"That's true!" I agreed, delighted by your enthusiasm and confidence.

"You know how I know that?"  I asked how you knew.

"'cuz I'm so cute!!" You answered, beaming.

I explained that that wasn't how school worked, how you had to try your hardest and do your best and behave at all times, and you followed up with, "Yeah...but bein' cute doesn't never hurt. Trust me on this one."

And I do trust you on that one. But I also know that being cute is among the least of your defining qualities. You're a cool guy with a big heart and matching personality; you will have a good life because you'll make it that way. You bring an untold amount of joy to our family each and every day, just this afternoon Big Kid listed you as Most Important Person in the World in a school assignment. You are such an important person in our world and we have been blessed to have you here for these 5 short years.

And yes, you are cute and that never does hurt.

I like you, I love you and I'll always protect you,
(The best job title I could ever have)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Change of Heart

Despite all of my cheerfulness and bravado about the new chapter of my life, I woke up this morning with little kid lying beside me, all snuggled up asleep in our bed where he does not belong, looking way too small for school

I moved my face close to his and listened to his peaceful breathing and the little sucking sounds he makes in his sleep (picture Maggie Simpson without the pacifier). I noticed the teensy tiny bit of chub left over from his preschool years, remembering how fat his cheeks used to be and realizing again that our baby years are over.

I thought briefly of homeschooling or at least insisting on one more year at home with me before kindergarten, and then he woke up excited to go and my crazy plans were foiled.

As they ate breakfast, Big Kid said, "So you guys are going to walk him to his class and I'll go to my class?"

"No, I want you to walk with us to drop him off so you can walk him there in the mornings. Then we'll walk with you to your class to say goodbye!" I answered.

"Oh, it's okay, I'll walk there with you guys and then walk ahead to my own class. I know where it is."

And it was then that I realized he didn't want us to walk him to his classroom on the first day of school.

"Big Kid, please!" I said desperately. "I won't try to kiss you." He stared at me quietly. "Or hug you! Or anything," I promised sadly.

"Alright, mom," he said in a hesitant voice, clearly pitying me.

We dropped little kid off and he was fine. He threw a bewildered look at the bawling kid in the corner, squeezed my hand a little tighter and walked me over to his desk where he dropped my hand, raised his cheek for a kiss and turned to start his day. I got to the door and had a mild moment of panic, turning back, certain that he was watching me or was upset...but he was already distracted. "LITTLE KID" I hissed, not ready to go. He looked up, I blew him a kiss and he waved as I stepped out of the room and tried not to cry on my way to Big Kid's class.

I noticed that Big Kid began walking quickly as we approached his room. "Big Kid...can I at least get handshake?" I said, voice wavering and cracking, heart pounding. He paused, taking a furtive look around the busy halls.

"Dude, your mom is about to cry. Just hug her," Mr. Ashley insisted.

Big Kid obligingly gave me a half squeeze around the waist before darting into his room, clearly not wanting me to cross the threshold. Probably a good choice.

And I came home to my empty house and I was sad. Sad that they don't need me and that babyhood is over (even though them needing me often drives me nuts and I'm not a huge fan of babyhood.) I felt as if I was laid off of my job-- maybe on my 2 weeks notice; tolerated but not needed. Phased out.

Then I went to the gym, enjoyed complete silence for hours, and didn't watch one minute of any kind of survival show, and life was a lot better again. Like, a lot a lot. The day went quickly.

When I picked them up, little kid said "I like-ed it but I miss-ed you. I really miss-ed you a lot but I had fun," which was the perfect answer.

Big Kid said, "My day was really long. I wanted to come home so bad at one o'clock. I just couldn't stop thinking about coming home, you know why?"

Dreading the inevitable answer about school being boring, I asked why and he replied, "Because I really love you. That's what I was thinking about, how I love my house and my mom," which was also the perfect answer.

And all was right with the world again. 

(And I'm back to really liking the idea of being home alone so often!)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Big Things

Tomorrow is little kid's first day of kindergarten and Big Kid's first day of third grade. As you all know, the thought makes me sad. My boys are growing up and that's hard.

But you know what else?

I'm going to be home ALONE from 8:30 to 2:50 five days a week, bitches! Whenever I start getting a little misty-eyed, I picture myself at the BEACH or GROCERY STORE or WHEREVER I WANT all alone and I can't help but smile. I have been keeping the thought of this day in a hidden little drawer in my heart, my own little escape hatch, for the past 5 years and tomorrow it shall arrive.

I love those children. I enjoy being with them. I am sad summer is over. But the thought of getting to know me again, the me that is separate from the snack-getter and sandwich-maker...that's a thrilling thought. I can read books or watch grown up television, or sing and dance to "girl" music, and not talk about video games or cartoons. I can be anyone I want.

From 8:30am to 2:50pm on week days.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Weared Out

Big Kid: Maybe I'll be a teacher when I grow up! I could teach 3d animation modeling to college kids. Is there teachers for that?

Me: I guess there must be.

little kid: That's hard work, bro. It's a tough job bein' a teatser.

Big Kid: What do you know about it? You know NOTHING about it, bro.

little kid: I know it really weareds a lotta people out. Teatsers are always weared out!

Big Kid: Dude, you know nothing about teachers. You've had what, one teacher in your whole life? I've had a bunch of them, like all kinds. And I'm talkin' college kids, they're like growed ups. I don't think they're wearin' their teachers out.

little kid: I had 3 teatsers and they was all weared out. I know all about teatsers. It's not a job you want to do, bro, I'm just sayin'.

I kind of agree with little kid but I didn't interject.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


So, I was just downloading birthday photos and they made me cry. This one in particular:

He's 8.

He on his 5th Harry Potter book of the summer. It seems like just yesterday (and I know that's a cliche but really--feels like no more than a month ago) that I read Steinbeck's East of Eden out loud to him as a newborn because I didn't know what else to do with him. Now he's staying up until midnight reading 800 page novels that I haven't read.

He taught himself multiplication this summer. I bought him a workbook and told him I would give him $2 to complete it. He wanted to start right then but I wasn't ready to sit down and teach him how to multiply so he taught himself. He completed the whole book within an hour. I'm ashamed to admit that he understands the core concepts of multiplication better than I do...and he taught himself.

He kissed a girl this summer. Despite me telling him specifically that kissing girls was not allowed. He did it anyway. And he liked it. And he got caught (because as a girl, she had to blab about it and her mom called me). And I could tell it was worth the little bit of trouble he got in. Ugh. I'm afraid he's humoring me when he agrees that there will be no more kissing until he's 16.

He's going to be a 3rd grader. I remember being a 3rd grader--how could I possibly have one? In 3rd grade, Catfish and I snuck out of Mr. Eder's class to hang out in the bathroom and waste the paper towels and soap. 3rd graders are officially real people and not just little kids (not that wasting paper towels creates that distinction).

How do I make it stop? Don't even get me started on little kid, and the fact that my baby isn't a baby at all. Every inch they grow squishes my heart a little harder and they won't stop growing.
And where the hell did summer go?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Good Things

I don't normally post things like this but feel bad for not posting this one sooner. A friend of mine is adopting a little boy with special needs from Russia. They are a nice family who live in a beautiful neighborhood and this child would be blessed to have them (and them him, I'm sure!).

When I finally move to Charlotte, I'm going to move into her neighborhood and we're going to be anti-social neighbors who only communicate via Facebook messages. I can't wait!

Anyway, she's having a raffle-type fundraiser with some really great prizes. You could win a Wii bundle, a nook, an ipod Touch, a GPS and there's a ton of great etsy-type stuff with some fabulous jewelry. I can't wait to win the ipod Touch! I don't have an i-anything. You buy entries by donating to this very good cause of helping bring Andriy to his loving new home.

Here's the link if you have an extra $5 and feel like doing a good deed (and maybe winning something--but not the ipod!)