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Friday, December 24, 2010

A Threat to Santa

Hi! My name is Melissa and SOMETIMES I may be a dysfunctional parent. Is there a group or Two-Step Program for people like me? Oh and Dude. We are one flesh!
We forget to put money under the kids' pillows when they lose teeth. We spell words in front of the kids only to have the kids figure the word out before we do.
And... last year I forgot to hide the toys from our seven-year-old Kojak, before Christmas. This is why we got a note from his teacher a few weeks ago asking us to talk with him because he went to school telling his peers that Santa didn't exist and neither did his horses.
We could not figure out why he did that. I just prayed that none of the kids went home crying to their parents about Santa. So we doned our Huxtable hats and had a
chat with him. We didn't get far when he blurted out, "Mama! I saw Rex in your closet on Christmas Eve! Right beside the snowman wrapping paper!"
Dude shook his head.
So we have had these back-and-forth conversations with him recently. We didn't want him going Malcolm X on any other kids and try, by any means necessary, to convince them that Santa was not real.
We weren't quite sure how he was feeling about Santa in the last few days. Until we found a letter tonight:

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Going Too Far!

Our son is so protective and territorial when it comes to me... his favorite Mommy! Of course his only one but "favorite" has a great ring to it. (Picture me with a smile, sunglasses and feet up as I reflect on this) Back to the blog.
He would do anything for me. Except... protect me from the Chick-fil-A cow. If you've followed the blogs you know the history of that character and Chuck-E-Cheese. Oh, and Mickey Mouse, and the vertically-challenged man from our church who dressed up like a cell phone during Fall Fest, complete with ashy knees. Our son finished his cotton candy under one of the tables that year. Basically he is fearful of anyone dressed in a costume. I try to convince him that "God doesn't give him the spirit of fear" but his consistent response is, "Well Mommy somebody gave it to me bad!"
Not only does he try to be protective but he is territorial.
We were relaxed, watching a movie when he said, "Daddy. I knew Mommy before you."
I grinned a bit but just passed it off. I mean Dude and I know better. No need to reply right?
Dude replied.
"Nope. I knew her first buddy."
Our son sat up. Looked at Dude then at me.
I closed my eyes and held my breath in anticipation for what the little seven-year-old was about to say.
"No. I knew her first Daddy," pointing at my stomach, "I was in that tummy!"
Dude peered at me. "Will you tell him?"
I pressed my lips together.
"First I was in her tummy then I grew (talking with his hands) and grew until I was ready to come outta there and see Mommy!"
He smiled and sat back as if he had won the round.
Dude sat up and came back with, "I helped get you here!"
He was confused. "Uh, Mommy how did Daddy help me get here?"
Again... I closed my eyes.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Creativity Gone a Little Far

Well the kids finished their Tae Kwon Do trial this week! They were so excited and so were we. They received their white outfits the first day and completed two days of thirty minute one-on-ones with an instructor. The nine-year-old did well and really got into it. Her seven-year-old brother... well... the first private instruction didn't go so well. He didn't get into it as much as his sister. I just know, if we had put that Chick-fil-A cow in that room, he would have been highly motivated to do the moves. Hopefully he will grow out of that fear in the next few years. Maybe he will become so confident with Tae Kwon Do that the next time we go into a Chick-fil-A he will get his Bruce little Lee on and do a flying kick over those waffle fries and nuggets and make the cow flee instead of the other way around for a first.
The second private instruction went a bit better for our Bruce little Lee!

They were super excited because they broke a board!!! You know they were pumped! And they let them keep the boards of course. We did what most new members probably do- took pictures of them holding their boards!

Well I guess Dude and I valued that experience a little more than they did. Earlier this evening they were working so hard on some little project in the living room. I know I heard masking tape. We really didn't pay much attention to what they were doing. We were elated that they were working together without any fuss. I guess I should have questioned that.

Just before dinner, I heard Dude: "What! Why did you...?" A loss for words? I had to see what was going on.
I walked in to see that our two little creative beings had made a cash register out of masking tape, markers and... the boards they broke. The ones we cherished and valued so much.
A cash register? Check out the photo. Only the Jacksons! We need a sitcom.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

The Best Time for Bilingual Education

Early Childhood Learning- The Best Time for Bilingual Education
The future is a mystery, no one can say what it will hold – but if current trends continue, your child will grow up to enter a workforce in which the competition for decent-paying jobs will be nothing short of cut-throat. Despite the calls for greater co-operation and "interdependence," human nature being what it is, it's a good bet that the economy of the the future will operate according to the Law of the Jungle. It goes without saying that a good education is one of the best ways to prepare that child for survival in that economic jungle of the future.

The Bilingual Future

One of the future trends that has become certain is the existence of a diverse, global society and this rings true especially in the United States. Almost from the beginning, the U.S. has been a land of immigrants, and while the "melting pot" has been an interesting theory, it has not happened in practice. On the contrary, most major U.S. population centers have become more of an ethnic and linguistic checkerboard; Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese and Chinese speakers represent some of the fastest-growing segments of the immigrant U.S. population.

As China continues to rise, English may very well lose its preeminence as the international language of business; at best, it will have to share that top status with Mandarin in decades to come.

Getting Ready

Traditional wisdom has been to start teaching a second language in middle school, or even high school. Yet numerous research studies clearly demonstrate that the optimal period in a child's life for multilingual education is during the preschool years – at exactly the same time they are learning their first language. Yes, it is possible to learn a second and third language later in life, but it is more difficult, because that neurological "window of opportunity" – when the brain is most malleable – has passed.

According to Dr. Fred Genessee, Professor of Psychology at McGill University in Montreal, it's as easy for young children to learn two or three languages as it is for them to learn one. He's not alone; educators throughout the world (in countries that often have two or even three official languages) have understood this for decades.

The way a child learns a second language is by actually speaking it in a total immersion environment. You may recall an episode of the animated series The Simpsons in which young Bart gets trapped on a farm in France – and by the end of the episode, finds he's actually speaking the language. While this was a fictional scenario, the phenomenon is real; anyone who has taken young children abroad to stay with relatives in a foreign country for any length of time has observed this happening.

Enrollment in a preschool or day care program that offers immersion in other languages is the best way to get your child started. This investment will make him/her much more competitive in the job market later on.

Co-written by Emily Patterson and Kathleen Thomas

Emily and Kathleen are Communications Coordinators for>Atlanta day care
facility, a member of the AdvancED® accredited family of Primrose Schools (located in 16 states throughout the U.S.) and part of the network of>day care preschools delivering progressive, early childhood, Balanced Learning® curriculum.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Apples Falling From Trees

It's funny how your kids do things that you did when you were little. We tell our two all the time, "You can't be sneaky. We either did it before or thought about it." And usually we were just a little bit better than them at pulling it off.
Tonight our son was busted. We took for granted that he gets in there and does what he is supposed to do... take a shower! I mean it was easy to believe: he always got his towel, soap always there, we saw him get in and close the door, and the hook- he was always singing! Then he would get out, dry off, put his pajamas on and use the little squeegee to clean it out. And there is always steam.
Well he came in our room just after getting out of the shower tonight with the towel wrapped around him- pajamas in hand- to ask if he could stay up a little later.
"Hey! Your skin is unbelievably dry if you just got out the shower," Dude said.
No response.
"Did you take a shower?" Dude asked him.
He nodded.
"It just don't seem like your body has gotten wet," Dude said while looking him over.
I began visualizing myself decades ago. Running the water, then waiting for the bathroom mirrors to get foggy from the steam so I could draw little stick people. Or I would stand in front of the mirror and rehearse what I was going to say to the boy who sat behind me on the bus and pulled my hair. He would then pretend to be asleep. Oh yes, I told him off... in the bathroom mirror. I don't know why I did that.
But now, here was our little seven-year-old busted for the same thing.
He looked over at me as if he wanted me to save him. My look to him: You're on your own buddy.
"Get in that shower and put some soap on your body and wash!" Dude told him.
"You mean I gotta use soap?" our son cried.
I guided him back to the bathroom quickly before Dude stood up.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Strong Enough For A Man But Made For A Woman

One day the naivete will wear off. I just know it will. BUT WHEN????
Our little seven-year-old believes whatever his nine-year-old, cut-from-a-different-cloth, sister tells him.
She could tell him money grows on trees and he would be waiting for some bills to bud.
Well... the other night we were awakened by a smell. Sometimes, something as simple as a smell can make you feel a little nostalgic. I sat up in the bed and thought about my grandmother who has been deceased for more than twenty-five years. She wore an old, strong deodorant called "Tussy". That is what I smelled.
Dude finally woke up too.
We turned the light on. Isn't it funny that we often say that we cut the light on. Okay, okay- back to the story.
There was our son, in the wee hours of the morning... with the smell all over him.
"What in the world?" I asked, while covering my nose.
"We smelled something and she (referring to his sister) said it was me. She said I smelled," he began to tell us.
"But you just took a shower!" Dude told him.
"Well she said she could make me smell good so she put that stuff she use to make her arms smell good, on me," he continued.
Dude looked at me. I closed my eyes.
He actually allowed his sister, who is a minor too, rub Secret deodorant all over him in the still of the night. I mean it was in his hair, on his neck and partially on his pajamas.
I guess their slogan is true: "Secret...strong enough for a (little) man but made for a (little) woman."

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Gotta Find That Toof!

Our little seven-year-old has been slow about losing those teeth of his. I've been longing to see the two front ones come out so I can take pictures and pull them out when he turns thirty and starts dating! (Yes I said 30!)
Well he finally lost one at the top, in front.
Later that night when it was time for bed he couldn't find it.
"It's time for bed now!" I yelled.
I heard him running."But I gotta find my toof!" he panicked.
After about five minutes I yelled again, "Let's go!"
My dad was in the living room.
"Don't worry 'bout it. You can find it tomorrow buddy," he tried to assure him.
He didn't accept it.
"Oh no! I gotta put it under my pillow tonight 'cause my toof came out tonight!"
I had an idea- "I know the tooth fairy and I will tell her to give you another day."
He stopped and thought about it.
"Well my toof fairy is not a she but a he, Mama."
With that tooth out now, his "she" sounded like "he".
"Okay. You gotta get in the bed now," I told him.
He was determined to get a tooth under that pillow, so he walked up to my dad and whispered, "Papa. Can I get one of yo teefs out yo cabinet in yo bathroom and put it under my pillow?"
While my dad choked, he ran and asked me, "How much does the toof fairy give for the bigger teef?"

Monday, June 28, 2010

Kids Need to Mind Their Business

On our way to my favorite place, "Wally World" aka Wal-mart, (sure you can sense the sarcasm) I had to make a quick stop at the ATM. Riding with my two, favorite, nosey minors- the kids.
Before pulling away from the ATM my son asked, "Mama. So you can just go up to that machine and tell it to give you all the money you want?"
I smiled, "Naw. That's not how it works. You have to have money in the bank to get money out."
I glanced to see him process that, as I put the cash in my wallet.
As we drove through the parking lot of Wally World, we saw some people at a table in front of each entrance. My daughter read their signs: Help Feed Hungry Children.
"Oh no," I sighed.
"What Mama?" she asked.
I really didn't mean for them to hear me. I'd contributed before to that same group. I was disappointed that they were in front of each entrance. I jokingly said, "I wonder what Wal-mart would do if we showed up at the back entrance where the trucks come in?"
"Why do we want to go in the back?" my son asked.
"Never mind!" I told him as I pulled into a space. "Thank you Lord for this space up front!" I said.
I know it is healthier to walk but it was hot!
As we walked up to one of the entrances, I planned what I was going to say when the people at the table asked for a contribution. I was hoping some other people would be walking up at the same time so I could slip by.
No luck.
Before we could step in the area to make the doors open automatically, they made eye contact and asked, "Ma'am would you like to help feed hungry children today?"
The kids stopped and looked at me. I felt pressured. But I had it planned.
"Well I only have my credit card. I don't have any cash."
As I started on in, my young son said, "Mama! What about that money you just got from that machine from your bank count?"
Then his sister, co-signed, "That's right Mama. You got those dollars you put in your wallet just now."
I felt myself sweating as if I stole something. I envisioned myself beating them down!
I forced a smile and ignored what they said. "Let's go!"
As we finally walked in, I rolled my eyes at them and tried to grab a cart. They were stuck. As I began fighting with the carts, the kids just stood there.
"Pull from the other end!" I yelled.
Unfortunately they easily pulled and the cart just came out. As we strolled through the produce, my daughter casually and almost quietly asked, "Do you think the carts woulda been easier for you if you gave those people some money?"
Somehow the cart I was pushing hit the back of her heels. Oops!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Only Our Kids!

I'm in the middle of teaching when my phone rings. I checked the time.
"Who in the world would be calling me this time of day?" I thought.
Usually I would let it go to voice mail but I saw the number on the ID... it was the kids' school.
"Mrs. Jackson!" I answered.
They were calling to let me know that our little six-year-old had magic markers out on the bus and colored all over his hands on the way to school.
I waited for the rest.
"Um...did he color on the seats or anything?" I asked.
He hadn't.
"Well okay. I will take the markers and make sure he doesn't bring them to school anymore," I assured.
"Well it's not a big deal. Just wanted to let you know what's going on."
I was about to hang up when the school rep added, "Well the bus driver didn't even know about it until someone went up to her and told her when she got off the bus."
Of course, I thought, someone ratted him out for some markers that belonged to him.
Then he told me who the culprit was: HIS OWN SISTER!
I mean I couldn't figure that one out. Couldn't wait to talk to them when I got home.
"What were you thinking to squeal on your own baby brother?" I asked.
"You know what... don't even say anything!" I added.
I paced a little then threw my hands up and asked again. "What were you thinking?"
Playing with the end of her shirt she said, "Well the bus driver made a rule the other day and said no crayons and markers on the bus."
"But, baby... it was your brother. You shoulda just told him to put them back in his backpack. Then you coulda told me when you got home."
The little three-footer chimed in, "I don't know why you did that. The bus driver didn't even see them."
She gave him the "stingy caterpillar" eyebrows. "Mama don't need no co-signer!"
This one was a little tough because I didn't want her to think I was telling her to go against rules.
"But I could see if the driver asked you if he had markers- or if he had used them to draw on the seat. But you just dropped dime on him like you weren't related."
Shouldn't have said that.
"Mama. What you say?" she asked.
She was about to veer too far from the point. Had to reel her back in.
"Look. You are supposed to look out for your little brother. Not take him down."
And over some markers?

Becoming What We Speak

So we're in Walmart recently to grab a few things as our weekly usual. "Can we go look at the cakes?" our daughter asked as she and her brother began walking backwards to the bakery. I confirmed and made way to the produce nearby, when someone got my attention. It was a parent from the kids' school. Her oldest daughter was in the same class as our daughter a year ago.
"Haven't seen you in a long time," she commented.
"I know. Long time no see," I laughed, as I glanced over at my kids.
"Say. I didn't know you were part Mexican," she said.
"Come again," I replied- giving my version of Arnold's, "Whatchu talkin' 'bout Willis?" look.
She looked over at our daughter who now had her little brother in the headlock, forcing him to look at the cakes.
I snapped my fingers to get her attention, then gave her the rising eyebrows.
"Your daughter told me that you all were part Mexican and that's how you speak Spanish so well."
I shook my head.
"No. I learned to speak Spanish a few years back- not exactly fluent either," I responded.
I guess now that we have learned a few words in Mandarin Chinese, thanks to a little cartoon she watches, we will be part Chinese.
She has to know better.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Consequences For Who?

As I begin typing this post, I began thinking about Jackie Gleeson's character, Ralph, on the old show, The Honeymooners. Sometimes I want to say those infamous words Ralph used on the show, "One of these days, one of these days... POW! Right in the kisser!"
You know I try to mix the consequences up when it comes to things our children do. I mainly try this for our sweet, creative, cut-from-a-different-cloth, precocious little, eight-year-old, daughter. To be honest, our son, seems fairly easy to raise. He seems to...GET IT!
Well, I can't remember what it was she did, but just trust me, she did something. Anywho, I decided to make her go to bed early. I don't think the sun had quite set and it was a Friday night. This is her favorite night because she gets to, of course, stay up late since the next day is not a school day.
Of course I lectured her, while she got into her pajamas and brushed her teeth.
Well the next day she was up bright and early. And I heard her upstairs waking her brother up. I didn't think that plan out did I? This meant I could not sleep in late.
To add to my plight, she was humming, every so sweetly around the house. It almost sound like she was humming the song, Singing in the Rain. Just to push my buttons eh?
Then she came floating in our room with a smile on her face and planted a big, wet, kiss on my cheek.
"Thank you Mama!" she said.
"For what?" I grimaced.
"For making me go to bed early last night. I feel refreshed!"
Then she pinched my cheek.
"One of these days, one of these days..." I thought.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Kids...They Know More Than We Think

I guess I can understand why our kids may think we are dysfunctional parents. We used to try to talk in front of them by spelling words. "Did you get the t-i-c-k-e-t for our excursion to D-i-s-n-e-y?" I would ask Daddy. He would take too long to figure it out. I would get frustrated. Then our daughter, who was probably five or six at the time said, "Daddy. Did you get the tickets for our trip, to Disney World?" Then added, "Mama. You have to add an S to ticket because we need more than one."
And then there's the time (you can read it in an earlier blog) I wanted to just "keep it real" and tell our daughter that she had a vagina but her dad wanted to, and still does, refer to it as a pocketbook. I mean come on!
Well, we were eating out recently and our son asked how could people have children who aren't really theirs. I swallowed my drink, sat it down on the table and while looking at Daddy to get backup, I answered, "Well some people might have children before they get married. Then when they do they bring their children with them after they get married and start living together."
Daddy shook his head and muttered, "You shouldn't have opened that box." Our son sat there with a curious look. My answer had not satisfied his little curiosity. Before I could add on, his sister slurped her drink and said, It's like our uncle. He has a son who lives with him and he is his step-son. They are called step-children or step-parents." Then she went back to eating. Daddy and I just looked at each other.
But we weren't off the hook.
"But Uncle Don has another son who don't live with him. How did he do that?"
Daddy looked at me. "See Uncle Don used to be married to his son's mom a long time ago (lied). Then he got married to someone else." Our little one was now more confused than ever. Our little, well-educated daughter threw her hands up and said, with much volume, "They got a divorce! D-i-v-o-r-c-e!"
"Mama," our son started again. Before he could say anything else, I said, "Hey! Ask your sister."
They know more than we think.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010


Our six-year-old son wanted so badly to help Dude dig a pit for his high school track and field students yesterday. "No buddy. You have on brand new shoes," he told him. "But I tell you what- we will remember to bring an old pair of shoes tomorrow and you can help."
Well our "attentive" son managed to get in that pit anyway while Dude wasn't looking. After Dude reprimanded him- fortunately, more like a Huxtable dad than Joe Jackson- he told him that after homework, he wanted him to write about Why He Should Listen to His Parents.
So after he finished writing his sentences for homework I reminded him of his writing prompt.
"Mama? You gone make me do that fo' real?"
"Boy get back to that table and write!"
He stayed at the table for quite a while too.
Well later last night when Dude came in, he asked him about it. He presented his paper. I could tell from Dude's face that it wasn't good.
"So I can eat?" Dude responded. "No. Just stand there and tell me why you should listen to your parents?" he added.
Our son stood there with his head down, playing with his shirt and finally answered, "So you won't go to hell."
I choked on the wintergreen candy in my mouth.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

The Turtle Whisperer Strikes Again

If you have kept up with my posts you already know about our kids' pets: the ever popular Michelle and Michael. For those new readers, Michael for the King of Pop and Michelle for our first lady.
Well the turtles stopped eating the new food we bought them, as if they are paying for it, so Daddy decided to get them some goldfish. I really was afraid it would traumatize the kids.
A few months ago we went to a pet store to get new food for them. I walked in and the sales person quickly asked what I needed. When I told him turtle food, he threw up his hands, smiled and said, "It's everywhere!" referring to all of the fish in myriad tanks throughout the store.
"Mama what's he talkin' about?" our son asked. I hesitated to tell him. "Turtles eat fish," I whispered.
"But you're not gonna give these little fish to our turtles to let 'em kill 'em are you?" our daughter asked.
So they knew what was about to happen when Daddy put the bag of four small goldfish in the tank. They gathered to the front of the tank and I immediately heard some sniffling.
"Hey! You two saw Lion King right? It's the circle of life," I told them.
It didn't help.
Our daughter was whispering something to the turtles. I couldn't make it out.
When Daddy finally let the fish out into the water, Michael and Michelle took off and swam to their cave. I couldn't believe it.
The kids jumped for joy! Then turned to us and stuck their tongues out, while they danced around.
The turtles slowly came out after about twenty minutes and climbed up on their floating rock. The nerves.
For the next few days the kids got up and checked the tank. "One, two, three... four little fish!" they cheered.
So now we have four new pets to feed.
Our daughter, the turtle whisperer strikes again!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Dude's Birthday

We celebrated Dude's birthday a few days ago! The kids and our babysitter made a cute little banner that they hung on the garage door. I almost destroyed it when I pulled up and routinely pressed the button above my visor in the car. I caught it in time to stop it and make it go back down.
I rushed in with the food and cake.
"What is this trash doing on the table?" I asked, eyeing some Christmas wrapping paper.
I reached for it when our son answered, "No Mama! That's Daddy's gift!"
How was I to know? I saw Christmas paper and it looked liked it had been balled up. I touched it and realized there was something in it. Instead of clear, scotch tape it was tapped up with masking tape, which barely stuck. I guess they played with it or something.
I looked at our sitter. She smiled and shrugged her shoulders.
"Oh, well I'm sorry 'bout that. I wasn't looking at it good," I assured him.
His sister was proud of her gift! "I made Daddy a card from his favorite little princess!"
"You're not a princess. Daddy just says that!" her compassionate little brother threw in.
"Well he will love everyone's gifts!" I said, trying to extinguish the little spat that was about to start.
"Everybody didn't get Daddy a birthday present," our son said, while looking at our sitter.
I smiled. "You don't always have to get someone something tangible, and she (referring to our teenaged sitter) didn't know."
"A tangerine mama?" our daughter asked. Before I could explain tangible our son said,
"You coulda got Daddy some of those chop sticks that y'all have!" he yelled.
I couldn't control my blinking. There have been many times when he and his sister have said things and I'd wished I could have stopped the words from coming out. This was one of those times.
Their babysitter is Asian-American.
Luckily we were able to laugh WITH her.
I pinched him on the sneak.
"Ouch! What was that for?"
I kept smiling.
So a few minutes later Dude came home. We were so busy talking that I didn't notice his lights coming into the driveway so he was in the house when we said, "Surprise!"
He read his card and then I passed him the mysterious gift. What could a six-year-old have given him with no job?
It didn't take much to open it.
I was drinking juice when it was revealed and almost sprayed our daughter.
"Wow! Thank you buddy. We can share this!" Daddy smiled and glared over at me.
It was his (our son's) toy. A Star Wars light saber we got him for Christmas about two years ago. I thought I'd given it to Goodwill. But there it was... scratched up and not working.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

We Surrender!

Okay. Dude and I have about had it with trying to do the "right" thing and continue to tell our two kids to turn the other cheek and ignore other kids when they bother them. Besides they only have two. And we have continuously told them to tell an adult if another kid hits them. And someone needs to tell them not to tell me. It doesn't take much.
Now they will let other kids bother them but it doesn't take but a second for the two of them to be at it with each other. I guess that is how it is with some siblings.
Not sure how we got on the subject- maybe we were talking about aliens- and our eight-year-old, started talking about how a girl in her class called her a name. Now usually I calmly tell her to ignore that but hey, this girl's name has come up myriad times before for the same problem, so I was fed up.
"The next time she calls you a name, you call her the same name, or you firmly tell her not to call you that again!"
She didn't say anything.
"She keeps calling you names because you don't do anything," I told her.
It was quiet for about two minutes then she spoke.
"Next time she says something to me (pushing back her sleeves) I'm gonna say this to her (looking at her wrist) What time is it? (tapping her foot) Oh it's time for #*#*# to start being a little meanie isn't it?" And she was serious.
Dude and I looked at each other. We surrendered.
"Uh, honey don't even worry about it," I told her. "Don't even worry about it."

Friday, January 08, 2010


It's been sometime ago now, but our daughter asked me if I believed in ghosts. I'll bet it was probably near Halloween. More than likely I gave her a quick and firm "NO!" so she and our son would not be afraid.
Well it has come back on me.
While in her closet, quietly looking for something for her to wear the next day, I hear her leading their nightly prayers.
"Please bless all the homeless people, grandma, papa, our friends, Daddy and please forgive Mama for not believing in you-"
I pushed the shirt shirt back I was eyeing and interrupted.
"Ummm, wait a minute! Excuse me?"
"Mama! You not posed to break in when people are praying!" our son said.
I love prayers but I had to get to the bottom of this. Why did she think I didn't believe in God?
"What are you talking about?" I asked her.
She got up from her knees and hopped up onto her bed. Her brother followed.
"Well... I asked you if you believe in ghosts and you said you didn't believe in them."
I looked around for a minute and thought about the conversation. The only thing I could come up with was a conversation near Halloween.
"Okay..."I responded.
"Well if you don't believe in ghosts then you don't believe in God because there is a Holy Ghost," she said, while making air or finger quotes.
"What are you putting quotes around?" I asked.
I know that wasn't a big deal but I had to say something- she was treating me like an atheist or something!
"No. I do definitely believe in God (he keeps me from hurting them at times) and the Holy Ghost."
I had to explain to her why I said I didn't believe in ghosts initially and which ghosts I was referring to.
When I finished, they didn't say anything. They just got back on their knees to finish.
I stood just outside her bedroom door.
"Goodnight LADY!" she shouted, with her brother laughing.
"And you get to your room when you finish praying," I pointed to our son.
I went on downstairs feeling like I was going to be talked about. By the two smallest people in the house. I just hoped she wouldn't put my name on a prayer card at church saying that I didn't believe in God. I know how our two little ones are.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Bathroom Time

I just knew the New Year would start out right! Well that was my intention. I worked out yesterday and ate right. Ended the day with a nice warm, bubbly bath. Had my inspirational music going, candles lit, nice bottle of water- I poured it in a fancy glass for the mood- and a nice book to read near the tub.
No kids, no "Dude" (hubby for new readers) nearby.
I closed the door, eased slowly into that steamy water and sat for a few minutes to take it all in. I didn't have Calgon bath products but whatever it was on sale last week, it took me away- BRIEFLY.
I was sitting there still- minding my business when someone came busting in! There wasn't a knock. No, "Mommy are you busy?" Someone just barged in! I could hear the needle on the record scratch.
"Mama. She scratched me on my arm!" our sweet, little, considerate, six-year-old son shouted.
I counted to five and blinked my eyes a few times before responding. This was a new year so that meant controlling my emotions and reactions as well. Dude and I have to be leaders in our domain.
I sipped my water and calmly asked, "Did you do something to her first?"
"Mama what is that you drinkin'? Is that alcohol?"
I went back to my question- "Did you do something to her first?"
"Well she wouldn't let me watch Sponge Bob," he finally answered and still looking at my champagne glass.
"So you touched her first didn't you?" I asked.
"Mama. You said drinking alcohol is bad for you."
I could feel my attitude changing slowly but surely.
"I said that too much alcohol is bad for you but a glass of wine occasionally is not bad and people may drink a glass of wine on special occasions," I told him.
He was all in my business now. "But this is not wine or any other alcohol- it is pure water."
"What's pure?" he asked.
Attitude going backwards to 2009 already.
"Look! You and your sister need to keep your hands to yourselves and just stay away from each other for a little while!" I told him.
He finally left.
I sunk back down into my bubbles and took a deep breath.
Not five minutes later he came running back in and plopped right on the toilet.
"Wait! You have a bathroom upstairs!" I yelled.
"But s-sh-she is nusing it," he strained.
I quickly realized he was sitting down. If a boy is sitting down that means one thing-
I almost used profanity I was so mad.
I sat up quickly- splashing water and yelling! "No! Don't do that in here!"
"Mama this is a bathroom."
I threw water at him.

Friday, January 01, 2010


This New Year's Eve the family went to church for Family Communion. Our two little ones are lucky- they don't have to sit in church for hours waiting for midnight like I did when I was their ages.
I grew up in a Baptist church and if I close my eyes I can still see and hear it: a few off-beat members of the congregation banging tambourines, people shouting and running around, scaring the young ushers standing in the aisles. Listening to umpteen testimonies that all ended with the same words, "Those of you who know the word of prayer, pray my sCreenf (supposed to be strength) in the Lord!" People holding up the offering plates- putting in a five and getting back four ones, and the same two or three young adults coming down to accept salvation... every New Year's Eve.
Our kids are different. They love going to church! But I still hoped that things would go better than the year before.
Last year when we went, our little son was unpredictable as usual.
When it was our turn to go up to accept communion before the congregation, Dude gave us each our small, square piece of bread and small communion-sized cup of juice. I know Jesus turned water into WINE but everyone don't need the real thang. Well Dude tried to give everyone their "elements" but the little one shook his head, made a disgusting face and said, "No Daddy!"
Well of course the congregation laughed- it wasn't their kid. Well I thought surely he would take it from me but this time he backed up and firmly said, "Nope!" He was not going along with it. We had to accept that because he didn't know, at that point, what it was all about. And to add to it, his sister slurped her juice. You don't slurp communion juice! It's not enough in there!
Well this year the four of us went up and I held my breath when Dude handed it to him. He received it but hid behind Dude for a minute. But he did partake! Maybe that is some indication that 2010 will be great and filled with cooperation! We'll see!