Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A sign of the times...

It's hotter than the hinges of hell in New England right now.  We are coming to the end of a major heat wave with tons of humidity.  So much so that it isn't even healthy for the kids to be outside playing for more than a few short minutes at a time.  We don't have a pool so we pretty much have been staying inside in the air conditioning.

All this being cooped up with no place to go has led to major fighting between the princess and the athlete.  In all fairness to princess, 99% of these battles have been waged by her brother.  She simply makes sure to do her best to win every single one of them.

They have become very well acquainted with their bedrooms this past week, and these little buggers have had a home on my kitchen counter more often than not.

This my friends, is a sign of the times.  

Their rooms are clean, extra chores are getting done around here, and they are totally kicking butt on their summer reading!  

Those gadgets can make their home on my kitchen counter any day.  I'm totally fine with that!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The incident...

The time was:  4pm Thursday, July 12th, 2012

The scene:  Princess's bedroom.  More specifically her door leading into the upstairs hallway.

First sign of trouble:  Heard a faint cry from the princess from her room that she was stuck and her door wouldn't open.  Don't think much of it and continue with phone conversation with best friend.

Second sign of trouble:  The athlete calling me from the hallway to let me know that her door really won't open.  Start to think she might really be stuck and vaguely remember yesterday when her door was briefly stuck shut.  Wonder if we might have a problem on our hands.  Go upstairs to investigate.

First realization that we do in fact have a situation on our hands:  Twist door knob half-heartedly expecting it to just pop open.  Door doesn't budge.  Try a few more times with a little more elbow grease... nothing.

First sign of major panic from princess:  Within minutes of realizing even super mom can't seem to get the door to budge.

First sign mom is getting majorly pissed off:  Looks at clock and realizes she has to cancel her chiropractor appointment scheduled in 5 minutes and may possible have to reschedule the athletes physical for 6pm if this shit don't budge!!!!!

First sign this situation is becoming more serious:  Mom gathers her break out tools...

First sign mom realizes she might not get this blasted door open after all:  She decides to call the coach at work and ask him what the hell to do.

First sign mom is desperate and acting like an ass:  She puts on a sneaker and tries to kick the door down several times, to no avail.  She only succeeds in hurting the bottom of her foot.

First sign mom is a hero:  After 20 minutes of unsuccessful and foolish attempts and busting it open, suddenly she hears metal upon metal as the screwdriver gets jammed inbetween the door frame and door.  And, voila!    Mom hears a soft click and door magically swings open.

And now for the damage sustained during Operation Break Free:

It's only minor and totally fixable right??

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Major parenting fail and light bulb moment...

I screwed up big time this morning with the athlete.

Screwing up is nothing new.  I'm a parent after all, not super woman.  I've never raised a twelve year old boy before.  I learn as I go and try my best to learn from the mistakes I make along the way.

Today will go down in the record books for me.

I had an epiphany today.  (Granted it wasn't until I got home and explained the entire ordeal to the coach and he offered up some words of wisdom to me.)  But none the less, I had a light bulb moment and I am so excited to start using what I learned today in future disagreements with the athlete.

As I mentioned in this post here, the athlete and I are one in the same.  We are stubborn to the core, we butt heads daily, and arguments are part of our relationship.

Today was nothing new.

It was the athlete's second day of baseball camp.  Yesterday went off without a hitch aside from some eye rolling and "jeez mom" a few times over the fact that I put sunblock on him and made him bring a small cooler with ice to keep his drinks cold for the entire day.  (Terrible of me, I know!  What kind of mom tortures there pre-teen like that!) 

 He tolerated my behavior because I didn't make him eat a bag lunch yesterday.  (A little side note:  the athlete hates sandwiches.  He gets hot lunch everyday during the school year and during the summer he cooks for himself.)

 I hadn't gone shopping yet this week so I explained to him that yesterday only, I would pick him up a pizza and bring it down to him at the field.  ONLY YESTERDAY.  He was made well aware that the rest of the week he would be bringing a sandwich lunch.  At the time, he was ok with that.  I should have known better than to think this would have been the end of this subject.  

Back to this morning:  I woke the athlete up and tried to put him in a good mood by telling him I picked up his favorite cereal at the store last night.  For a short time this worked.

Until... he asked me what's for his lunch.  I took a deep breath knowing the shit was about to hit the fan. Calmly, I reminded him he was having a sandwich today and gave him his choices.


Suddenly I am sucky mom who can't do anything right.    His good mood is gone and replaced by sulky, rude, sarcastic, eye rolling, sighing, and unappreciative pre-teen self.  (I think that pretty much sums him all up at that point in time!)

Begrudgingly he barks out at me that he will have a tuna sandwich and storms out of the room.

The rest of the morning was more of the same.  He pissed and moaned about brushing his teeth, packing his bag, putting on sunblock, and of course taking the dreaded cooler along.

When we got in the car he sat hunched over staring at the floor.  I had just about had it at that point but tried to explain to him how his behavior was showing me how unappreciative he was being.  That camp is a luxury not a necessity.

More eye rolling and more silence.

I tried a different tactic and explained that there are better things I could be doing with my time, like sleeping in an extra hour, sitting my butt on the couch drinking an iced coffee and watching the news, instead of getting up early to get him ready for camp, packing his lunch and cooler, driving him across town and so on.   

More silent gazing out the window with no acknowledgement from him.    Apparently I was having a conversation with just myself.  

Now for the major parenting fail:

Instead of finishing what I had to say calmly whether he chose to participate in the conversation or not, what did I do?

I snapped and started screaming.  I mean SCREAMING, at the top of my lungs about how selfish and spoiled the athlete is.  

This sparked a chain reaction and the athlete broke his silence and started screaming at the top of his lungs, 


My response to his sudden outburst was an empty threat about never letting him go to camp for the rest of his childhood.

Needless to say all that did was add major fuel to the fire.

And there we were, sitting in the parking lot of the ball field screaming at each other, neither of us listening to anything the other was saying, frantically trying to make our own points.

So stupid, but that's the truth.

After taking a few minutes to compose ourselves the athlete finally decided he was ready to exit the car.  Without a word he grabbed his belongings and silently made his way across the parking lot and over to the field never stopping, never looking back.

I sat, watching him walk away, the guilt already washing over me.  I hated leaving things that way.

When he was younger he never would have left that car until we had reconciled.  Now apparently it's not a big deal to walk away from your mother after a huge fight without exchanging "I'm sorry and giving hugs."

Frustrated I returned home and poured my heart out to the coach.  (I still thought I was 100% right about trying to get the athlete to see my point of view and apologize for his completely inappropriate behavior to me.)

And now for the light bulb moment:

The coach calmly and simply put everything into perspective for me in just a  few sentences:

"You were right.  You went wrong by expecting your stubborn 12 year old son to see that you were right in the heat of the moment.  No matter what you said or did, nothing was going to change his mind right then and there.  You should have just said what you needed to say to him while he sat quietly in the car with you and ended it right there.  Who cares if he agrees with you or not?  Your his mother and what you say goes.  He doesn't have to like it but he has to respect it.  When he gets home from camp today you need to explain to him that you will not have another morning like today again.  Tomorrow he will be having another sandwich and if there is any grief about it than he will be staying home.  End.of.story.  There is no need to lose your cool and scream at him.  The choice is his."

Well holy hell, doesn't that make a ton of sense. So simple and yet so true.

The coach is such a wise man and I am one lucky lady to have him by my side helping me to navigate this new territory of teen-hood that we are fast approaching.

Now the hard part:  remembering to keep my cool no matter how frustrating the eye rolls, sighs, and whispers under his breath become and keep in mind that it isn't so much about getting him to see my point of view as it is about him learning to respectfully accept it because I am his mother.

And because I said so!  Ha ha ha!

I'm linking up with Shell's PYHO today


Monday, July 2, 2012

Happy 12th Birthday buddy, a day late!

Your birthday was actually yesterday and I had every intention of finishing this post and publishing it but sometimes life gets in the way.  I'm sorry about that bud.  You celebrated your birthday at Six Flags New England with a couple of friends on Saturday and had a blast.  Your actually birthday, you and Dad pretty much chilled out and I spent the day cleaning and recovering from your sister's birthday sleepover.  So once again, I apologize for not getting this up on time.  Without further ado...

 I was completely shocked to learn that you were coming into our lives.   I call you my Halloween trick or treat surprise.  (You were definitely our treat!)  You were and still are a true Mama's boy.  Here you are 4 weeks old at our first official big outing.  As a brand new mom for the first time, it took me a few weeks to realize you weren't going to break if I took you out of the house!  

 We didn't know at the time that you would grow up to love sports. Soccer  being your true passion. Apparently at only one year old, you already knew!

Here you are a little over a year old and still cruising but not yet walking.   You didn't officially start walking until you were 13 months old.  You were a big boy, weighing in at 19lbs at your 4 month checkup.  You needed to get really big and strong to be able to move that big chunky body around!

  Every baby pic I have of you shows you smiling!  You were a chubby, happy, little ham!  You loved to make people laugh.  Any time you saw me with the camera you would flash your "cheese smile"! 

 You are confident and brave.  You thrive in social situations and do not get easily intimidated trying something new.  Here you are on your first day of school entering first grade. Once again, look how proud of yourself you were!  You even insisted on taking the bus on your first day of Kindergarten because that's what big boys do.  (You broke Daddy's heart that day because he was so afraid for you and really wanted to drive you to school.  But, like a good parent, he fought the overprotective parental urge and let go a little, giving you the freedom to spread your wings.)

And look at you now!  You're going to enter 7th grade in the fall and be officially in middle school.  You are smart, athletic, a good friend and even better son.  I could never image what God blessed me with 12 years ago.  

You are so much like me it's scary.  We butt head's like nobody's business, but we love each other fiercely.  We have an amazing mother- son relationship and I love how you are comfortable enough to talk to me about anything.  I pray that never changes.  

Happy Birthday little man!  (I can't bring myself to write big man just yet, maybe next year.)

Dad and Mom love you more than words can say!