Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A Latency

"Mom, do you think there are any two-headed people where one head is a boy and the other is a girl?" little kid asked.

"Uh, I don't know. I guess in conjoined twins it may be possible, but I don't know specifically about having two heads and one body and that happening."

"It would make dating nearly impossible! Unless one was gay or one was a latency."

"A latency?"

"A Linksys? A Lextancy? Expectancy? No...that's not it. You know what I mean. Anyway, how would they handle the whole nipple thing?"

"Wh-what nipple thing?"

"Would they have to wear a shirt in public or not? It's really hard to say without knowing what the boob situation would be."

"Right. It might be best to just mind your business on this one."

Saturday, October 17, 2015


"Mom, I have something to tell you," Big Kid announced yesterday.


"I identify as a goose."

"A goose?"


"Hmm. Wow. How long have you felt this way?"

"I've always known."

"Well, you know that I've always said that I will love you no matter what, right?"

He nodded.

"But I hate geese so this is a problem. Do you see yourself as a golden goose? Or the scary, flappy kind that poops everywhere and will steal a sandwich right out of your hand?"

"The scary, flappy, sandwich-stealing kind."

"Ugh. I had noticed the sandwich-stealing thing. I mean, I'll work on it -- I have no real valid reason to hate geese anyway so maybe it can be a life lesson for me. I just don't see why you can't be a cat or something less like a goose. "

"Yeah, but if you're a goose, you're a goose."

"Right. That's kind of the whole problem with being a goose -- the goose part. But it's fine."

Later his brother was telling an unrelated story about ducks and he interrupted and said, "Excuse me but as a goose, ducks are practically my cousins. CHECK YOUR PRIVILEGE!"

I almost died laughing. I am so grateful that I am his mother goose.

Friday, October 16, 2015


I'm in my bedroom with the laptop because it's late afternoon on Friday and I am done. DONE. D-O-N-E.

The kids started fighting over which one of them should be on the computer about an hour ago so I intervened and thought I straightened it out. The fight continued though and I retreated.

Some people would call that giving up but I call it teaching independent conflict management. Real world life lessons, people.

At some point the fighting turned into rambunctious play fighting, which is still annoying but less so and it was then that I overheard: "Dude, don’t give mom more material for her blog. That's what's about to happen. Do you WANT the world to know about this? I’m telling you to put some pants on and chill out before you end up embarrassing the whole internet. "

I'm intrigued. But still not enough to go out there and investigate.

Sorry internet.

But also, thank you for being a positive parenting influence. We're doing good work here.

 (Someone just said they can't breathe which pretty much means I have to go out there, although I am sure he can breathe since he's also yelling.)

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Special Like Everyone Else

I saw this sweet story about a college kid who offered comfort to a man with special needs.

I don't know what I would have done in a similar situation -- felt awkward at best, maybe scared. Would I have held his hand? Would I have offered my shoulder? I wish I could say, but I know what little kid would have done.

At 9, little kid loves people. All of them. He strolled through the halls at orientation giving casual high fives, calling everyone by name, giving passing teachers a friendly head nod and a knowing look.

He was nominated for student council and wants to organize a club for new and/or lonely kids where they could play games and make new friends and learn the intricacies of the game Four Square, a huge part of their school's culture and social scene.

He is borderline obsessed with new students who can't speak English and goes out of his way to befriend them and learn words from their language while teaching them words from ours. I get updates on their progress daily.

It's all so easy for him.

He has a classroom nemesis whose questionable behavior fascinates him and was outraged when he caught her making fun of the special needs class. She was mocking their behavior and he told her that she had needed help when she was a baby, and they do too; that it's not their fault and they are just like everyone else.

"You have to do something!" Big Kid exclaimed as the story was retold. "She can NOT behave that way, you MUST get an adult involved next time so she can learn!"

"I am working on her! The adults know but it's the kids who need to show her it's not cool with us!"

He came home one day and told me he had encountered a child having an absolute meltdown in the office -- kicking, cursing, physically struggling against his mom and the vice principal who were trying to usher him out of the lobby.

He saw little kid and stopped and said, "I'm not leaving! I want a hug from him!!"

"What did you do?" I asked, intrigued and a little nervous. I don't know that I would want to hug a kicking, screaming, cursing stranger.

"I asked his mom if I could give him a hug and she said yes, so I did. And, you know, it was a really good hug. I was pretty surprised. It made him happy and he went home, and I was happy since it was a nice hug."

It made me happy too.

He came home yesterday and said, "Mom, you know how my friends and I treat the kids from the special needs class just like everyone else?"

I nodded.

"Well, today one of them slipped the bird! Just like that, slipped someone the bird!! I had to tell a teacher since I would do that for everyone else and she didn't seem surprised. He must have been a regular bird-slipper."

So I know what little kid would have done on the bus that day. He would have offered his hand, his shoulder, a hug.

Unless someone slipped him a bird, then they would have been reported.

Just like everyone else.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Note to Self

I went to yoga today.

The teacher was one of the beautiful, deep, free-spirit types; she was wearing a loud navy blue shirt with a large pink floral print and leopard print leggings.

"So...the outfit," she said, acknowledging her unconventional apparel immediately.

She went on to explain that she had been looking through photos with her parents when they came across a photo of her wearing it.

"So, tell me, what about that shirt goes with those pants?" her mom had asked.

The class laughed then because it was very clear that nothing about that shirt went with those pants.

"Well, the shirt is a shirt, and the pants are pants, and shirts and pants go together," she quipped. "That is my very favorite outfit, probably that I've ever worn," she went on to explain.

"Then you should wear it tomorrow," her mom said.

And she did.

And there was a deeper message around that story -- about happiness or yoga or doing what you want or something but I was so busy screaming, "THAT IS THE KIND OF MOM I WANT TO BE," inside of my head that I missed it.

It's as easy -- and as difficult -- as that. Acceptance and celebration of who they are, even if I don't quite get it.

"Then you should wear it tomorrow."

I couldn't do the handstand thing she was trying to teach us yet, but I still learned a lot.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Generous Listening

My kids like video games.

little kid especially loves to interrupt what I am doing to explain a digital incident to me, frame-by-frame in all of its virtual glory. He is enthusiastic and eager to share these adventures and even though it is extremely hard to do, I feign interest even if I'm having a panic attack about the possibility of dying of old age before the story ends -- because I love him and he wants to connect with me in this way, and I'm lucky for it.

"So there was this Stopmore guard, a whole legion of them and I only had a steel battle ax."

"Yeah? So what did you do?"

"I just had to go for it. I started swinging, left and right, and when I realized that wouldn't work, I ran but there was a guy with a horse and the guy with a horse had a blahblahblah and I climbed this blahblahblah and ducked left and found a cache with a steel hammer so then there was this slow motion scene..."

"Wait one second," I interrupt. "Mr. Ashley! Mr. Ashley, come here! You have to hear this one. little kid, start from the beginning, he can't miss this."

"So there was this Stopmore guard, a whole legion of them and I only had a steel battle ax..."

And Mr. Ashley tries not to give me a dirty look and I try not to laugh and we both make interested faces as we listen to the story because we love him and he wants to connect with us in this way and we're lucky for it. Together.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Family Ties

little kid and I like to talk about the names of his future children.

Rose, Summer and Maria are at the top his girl list right now.


Jack and Dominick are his boy names.

So freaking cute.

"You could name your daughter Aquifer," I joked one day after we were discussing wells. (Yes, like wells for water. We talk about weird things.) "Aquifer McCann."

"Maybe I'll change my last name." He said.

"Change it?!"

"Well, maybe I'll take my wife's last name. I don't know."

"Wow. That's awfully progressive of you! Very forward thinking. That's pretty cool."

"You never know, mom, maybe she'll have a cool last name. Besides, I've decided you should probably do whatever your wife wants. If she wants us to use her last name, we will."

Dear future daughter-in-law, I'm writing this for you. I don't care what you call yourselves but you're going to be a lucky lady.

You and little Aquifer both.