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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!