Sunday, October 9, 2016

Preparation of a Gourmet (Leftover) Meal

The 9-year-old was anxious to eat lunch before the rest of us, so I said he could heat up some leftovers in the oven. 

"But I don't know how to do THAT! You'll have to do it for me."

"How about I walk you through it? It's very simple."

"Okay, I guess I can try it."

"First, hit the 'Broil' button on the oven." He hit the broil button on the oven. "Then get a flat pan out of the cabinet." He got a flat pan out of the cabinet. "Now, for easier clean up I like to use a piece of foil, so get th---" 

"MOM! This takes so long! How do you manage to cook dinner every night?!"

Friday, October 7, 2016

Obsessive Compulsive?

While I'm at it (blogging, that is - see below), I'll share a conversation we had recently in the car on the way to school. But first, let me say that watching the boys' personalities develop is really fascinating. Their strengths, weaknesses, likes, dislikes...are all so different. And of course what they obsess about. That conversation I referred to when like this --

Alastair: MOM! Did you remember to pack everything in my backpack?!
Me: Yes, I believe so.
Alastair: I just can't help it, every morning I really worry we're forgetting something...
Laurence: Well, Alastair, sounds like you have a little STD.

Moms are....

Apparently I haven't blogged in over 3 1/2 years. That can't be right. If that's true, then the boys are now 12, 9 and 6 and that makes me...a mom of three boys who are 12, 9 and 6. Yes, a real live mom who's been on this journey for almost 13 years. I remember being a kid and time would pass so slowly. I'd hear adults saying, "Just you wait, when you get to be my age time will fly by!" I don't even think "fly" is the right word. There is no way to describe how quickly time is passing. When I think about it I get all teary and realize how fast they are growing up, how soon they'll be in high school, college and out of the house for good. And then I realize I haven't blogged for 3 1/2 years and the tears really start to flow.

Anyway, there was a moment with my 12-year-old recently that I know I'll want to remember forever. We were talking about a spill on his shirt and I suggested he find a different one to wear. He fought it, of course.

"No one will even see it! It's a small stain," he said.

"I think you should change. I noticed!" Me.

"Well of course you noticed, you're a mom." Then, after a thoughtful pause, "There's a big difference between moms and normal people." 

There is so much in that simple statement. The boy speaks the truth. Being a mom has brought me so, so far from normal. But wow, what an amazing 13 years it's been. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

When I Grow Up, I Shall be a Groomsman

This past Saturday I was wrapping a gift with three sets of little-boy eyes glued to my every move.

"Who's the present for, Mom?" One of the little boys asked.

"Erin."  I replied.  "I'm going to her baby shower today."

"What's a baby shower?" Loic wanted to know.  I was about to answer when Laurence, who knows-it-all, said, "It's when they give a baby it's first bath, of course."  Loic thought that sounded like an absolutely silly reason for a party, so I explained that this is not true, and that baby showers often happen before the baby is even born (not sure why I thought that part was necessary to say, but whatever  - I often have to defend myself in a discussion with Laurence, so there you go).  I said that instead, I think it's called a "shower" because the mom-to-be gets showered with gifts, and that there are also bridal showers, before someone gets married.

"That reminds me..." Laurence said, "When will I ever get to be a groomsman?"  (Who thinks about this stuff at 9?!)

"Well, most people aren't groomsmen until they're much older, and you will be one if a close friend ever gets married and asks you to be one.  Chances are that you'll be one when your brothers get married, too."

"WHAT?!"  He was distraught.  I assumed he was thinking that was a LONG way off, and that he should not have to wait however-many-years for this important life experience of which so far he has been deprived.  "I mean, when Loic & Alastair get married....that's....well....I just think they would make an awful couple!"

Now for that I have no argument.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Red Sky at Night...

In 2012 it seems like we have seen more rainbows than in the past lotsa years combined, and tonite's was the most brilliant yet.  All eyes in our car were on the sky, and we noticed that the sunset wasn't too shabby either.  Loic was asking his usual questions...What makes a rainbow?  Why is it raining when the sun is out?  Why can't we see all of the rainbow?  Are we almost to Culver's?  Why is the sunset so red?...and here's where Laurence stepped in to help.  It went something like this "You see, Loic, when the sun is low in the sky it's rays (insert rather intelligent explanation here with words like reflection, scatter, atmosphere, etc)....and that's why the sunset makes the sky look red."  He went on to say, "The atmosphere is really like a big pair of sunglasses for the earth and helps scatter the light so it's not so intense....but the light is still really strong, which is why you should never look directly at the sun with your naked eye."  Bill & I glanced at each other, wondering where & how he absorbs all that stuff, and I start to respond, "Great answer, Laurence, you really--" when I was interrupted a giggling Loic, "Laurence said 'naked eye!'"  And then we all had ice cream.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Things that Go "Bump..."

I had my annual physical this morning and certainly never would have imagined that I'd be blogging about it this afternoon, but I've just gotta.  It started as a routine visit -- exchanging "how have you been's?" with the nurse while she took my blood pressure, reviewed medical history, and so on.  Then she asked if it was ok for the doctor's medical student to assist, and I agreed.  I've seen lots of medical students before, and figure if they can learn something from my annual necessary evil, why not?

So, the nurse leaves and a few minutes later in walks Kevin, the medical student, who looks like he's all of 16.  He says he's just going to ask me a few questions and listen to my heart & lungs until the doctor is available.  Again, fine with me.  Kevin wants to know about my pregnancies, medical history, menstrual cycle (does he even know what this is at his age?), and what have you.  Then he says, "So, you're 39..." (sure, rub it in) "...the doctor will want you to have your first mammogram within the next year..." (did he just glance down at my chest?  Probably not...but now this is getting a little awkward.  For the the sake of medicine, though, I suck it up and act like a grown woman).  He pauses and says, "So it says here there's a bump..." and my heart stops.  "Ummm...bump?" I reply.  "What bump?  I'm not aware of a bump."  Dead silence.  Say something, Kevin.  SOMETHING.  He's studying my chart with intensity.  "Wait...this could be referring to a schedule bump," he looks up and continues, "Was your appointment rescheduled?"  "YES!" I blurted.  "It was!  Phew, you scared me." And I laughed a hearty (and unusually squeaky) sigh of relief.  "They called me a week or so ago to say the doctor had another commitment--" Kevin interrupts, "So they bumped your appointment!" Now he sounds squeaky, too, and continues, "But you know, most often those bumps are benign and nothing to worry about..."  Enough, Kevin.  Stop now!  There is no bump.  With that he got up and moved on to listening to my heart & lungs.  No more questions.

Kevin left the exam room and came back a couple of minutes later with the doctor, who says, "So, Kevin tells me things are going well & you have no concerns?"  "Nope, everything's great," I said, and then, before I could stop myself, "Well, except for the bump!"  Her eyes widened then, clearly taken aback, and I turned to the young medical student, and said, "Kevin, you didn't tell the doctor about the bump?"  (Kevin, forgive me, but the look on your rapidly reddening face was priceless.)  He stammered, "Well...see, what happened was...I saw this note about a 'bump...'" and then I came to his rescue.  I told the doctor what happened and she somehow contained herself and I said, "Probably safe to say Kevin will never forget me!"  We all laughed, and I think Kevin almost threw up.  Call it a 39-year-old woman's intuition, but I'm guessing young Kevin has crossed OB-GYN off of his list of possible specialties...

Monday, March 19, 2012

He Speaks!

As a parent you hear it, you read it, you even say it to others -- don't compare your kid to other kids.  Each child develops differently.  There is a wide range of "normal."  But as a parent, do you listen?  Absolutely not.  If it's your first kid, you're bound to feel a twinge when so-and-so's what's-his-name rolls over first.  Or says, "Mama."  Or takes his first steps.  But when your kid reaches a milestone before any other the same age, how can you not think you're kid is the smartest, most advanced out there?  Then if kid number two comes along, perhaps they take longer to sleep thru the night...they master the cup sooner...they weigh 5 pounds more than number one at that age...and so on.  Comparing is human nature.  And fun.  It gives us something to talk about.  And we learn (and are encouraged) to do it at a pretty young age.  But don't do it.

I thought Alastair was going to be my least chatty of the 3 boys.  Nope, not true.  He just took longer to get chatty.  Makes sense, right?  He didn't walk until he was 18 months old, after all, even though they other two did at 13 months.  (But man, can that kid throw a ball!  Accuracy and distance go far beyond the other two at age 2...)  So, all of the sudden Alastair is stringing words together in little sentences and makes every effort to be a part of every conversation.  Suddenly he seems to just "get" a lot of things, too.  I've said it many times, and blogged about it plenty, but there's something so thrilling about witnessing language develop.

I can't let another day go by without listing some of my favorite words & phrases that Alastair is using consistently:

hanny = hand
dorndoor = door
balala = banana
bagel = bracelet (also used for anything that goes around a wrist or neck...even the car seat straps are "bagels!")
football game = football (used for both the game & the actual ball.  Both used to be "upball game," but his f's are coming along nicely now, dangit.)
booyay = blueberries (also grapes & cherry tomatoes)
Ankiss = Angus (our yellow lab pup)
Oic = Loic
Laurly = Laurence (Loic called him this, too.  I don't think we influenced Alastair to call him this...but I suppose there's a chance we did.)
Nurny = milk (I know for a fact he can say "milk," but it remains "nurny" to him.)

I know there are more, but they are escaping me for the moment.  There are couple of other recent language favorites I want to share, though.  Alastair has become a master imitator!  It's so funny to hear him utter certain things the rest of us say.  He now says, "Well, hiiii," when he sees me, something I've said to him almost every day, twice a day, when I go into his room when he wakes up in the morning and after his nap.  His tone of voice & inflection is spot on, too.  It's a simple thing, but I never get tired of hearing him say it and I hope he never stops.

Finally, he has learned the power of language.  He's giving commands (very appropriately) to our newest addition, Angus, our yellow lab pup, and is delighted when Angus obeys.   He is also clearly catching on that praise goes a long way.  And if it works with the dog, why not with me?  The past few days, when he asks for something and I comply, he enthusiastically exclaims, "GOOD boy, Mom!"  You know, I gotta admit, those words of affirmation don't hurt...and I'm sure the other boys didn't know how to use them at this age.