Boys are Dumb

Elmo

Sometimes I feel really bad for my daughter being in a house of mostly boys. If it wasn’t for me, she’s be truly the only girl because even the cats are boys.

Don’t get me wrong, she totally holds her own against her brothers. She is after-all a tom boy and when that doesn’t suit her, she is bossy as hell which she comes by naturally because she is my daughter.

It’s just that no matter how much she tries to be like the boys, she can’t be a boy. Those natural born, genetically given, imprinted girl tendencies will always come out . She can’t help it which means no matter how hard she tries she, like me, will never fully understand boys.

For example, whacking a tree with a stick. The boys do this. They get great joy in performing this task and will go at it for hours on end but when asked to explain why? Why do they do this? They will just shrug their shoulders and pick up a rock to throw at other rocks.

It makes no sense to me. I have just come to the conclusion that there it must have something to do with the penis. There must be something in that organ that makes these acts make sense to them. And since I will never have a penis, I will never understand it.

Claire is slowly grasping this concept.

It’s difficult for her. All she knows is brothers and their weirdness and since she wants to be included with her brothers and their play, it’s a daily struggle. But sometimes, when she’s feeling girly and those female tendencies are at their highest and she can’t take it anymore.

“… yeah and then Elmo’s head will explode,” Jake said in between bites of waffle.

“Next his body. It’ll explode all over the street,” Quinn chimed in making Jake and Hayden snort with laughter.

“And his purple blood will be all over the place making the buildings explode,” Jake said, gesturing with his hands.

“The explosion will be HUGE… EPIC!” Hayden added.

“Elmo’s exploding head,” Jake said, now beside himself with laughter.

“STOP IT! STOP IT!” Claire yelled at the top of her lungs across the breakfast table which made the boys laugh harder and broke me of my Facebook reading trance.

“Claire, don’t yell,” I scolded.

“But mom,” she whined. “Make them stop. Tell them to stop talking about explosions.”

When she said that word the boys snickered and giggled again like they were all 13 and in a room where there was naked boobies.

I sighed at her request. My sluggish not fully caffeinated brain trying to comprehend what was happening.

“Boys, stop it,” I said halfheartedly, just trying to keep the peace.

Claire gave me her, ‘mom that’s totally not gonna work’ look because she thinks at times she is a better mother than me and pushed back her chair to take her dirty dishes to the sink. The boys once again started discussing Elmo’s head exploding and purple blood going every where.

“Why do they have to talk about exploding so much?” she said looking at me, waiting for an answer that would enlighten her.

“I don’t know,” I said after a sip of coffee.

She wasn’t satisfied and she stared at me, her eyes begging for knowledge and understanding.

Then I felt like I could keep the secret no longer. I had to give it to her, I had to give her the only answer that has been keeping girl’s (and women) sane since the beginning of time.

“Boys are dumb.”

 

Mama’s Losin’ It

We are not in Toddler Clothes any More

I stepped off the escalator, careful not to get my foot eaten by the steps, a big fear of mine, and was greeted by a very happy sales clerk.

“Welcome,” she said with a glittering smile, “How can I help you?”

I understand it’s her job to be friendly and helpful but I didn’t want either. I just wanted to look around and shop in peace.

“Thanks but I am just looking,” I said, pleasantly.

She did not take the hint, “Any thing special?” she asked.

“I need to get some summer clothes for my daughter,” I said, hoping that if I gave her a little bit of detail she would feel like she was doing her job and leave me be.

Whenever there is a change in the season, that means it’s time to sort through the kid’s clothes. I have to pass on the smaller boy clothes to my sister for her son, go through the hand-me-downs that Hayden and his cousin wore for Jake and Quinn and do an inventory of what still will fit Hayden.

It’s a process that leaves me asking, why do kids have to grow so fast?

When it comes to Claire, that is a whole different ballgame. People in my family seem to only make boy children so there are no older cousins for Claire to get hand-me-downs from. Clothes for her involves a process.

I used to do a lot of shopping for her on Ebay, buying large lots of clothes but the cut throat last minute strategic betting that happens on Ebay was just too much for me. I don’t have time for that and often times the prices gets so high, it’s cheaper to just buy them new.

I know people use Craig’s List to find clothes for their kids but I am scared of Craig’s List. I will chat up strangers on the Internet on Twitter until my fingers are numb but talk to someone and then meet them via Craig’s List to exchange money… I run scared to hide under my bed.

My usual plan to get her clothes without spending a small fortune and having Jeff tell me the shopping budget is gone is to scour the clearance racks in the stores. I watch for sales and even use coupons. Plus it’s shopping and I love shopping.

I sighed.

I just wanted to be left alone but I didn’t want to be rude. “Well, she kinda needs it all being that she is the only girl. I think I will just look around and see what I can find.” I said and then started to walk away.

“Well, we have shorts and really cute shirts here and oh I bought this for my friend’s girls. Isn’t it cute? I just love it so much…” she went on.

I smiled and nodded and slowly backed away. She continued to talk but I turned my attention to the clothes around me. I pulled a pair of shorts from the rack and held them up.

“Seriously?!” I said under my breath. “Is this a joke?”

I pulled at the fabric, would this even cover her butt?  My goal here was not to get my 5 year old daughter shorts that allowed her vagina to hang out. I save those for me. I wanted to get her clothes, that covered her for the summer.

And that’s when it hit me… I was no longer in the toddler section of the store. Gone where the cute rompers, sundresses and tee shirts with little sparkly ice cream cones on them. Apparently clothes for  little girls go from fully covered toddlers to skanky bare it all Brittany Spears wanna be’s.

photo (1)

I sighed again.

Well maybe when she is 25 and trying to find a husband can she wear clothes like this but not now. She is already able to collect little boy’s phone numbers with a smile, heaven help me if I allow her to wear a shirt that bares her midriff.

“How about this?” the sales clerk said as she thrust a mesh shirt with rhinestones at me. “This would be so cute with a little tank top or bra.”

I looked at the woman.

“Um, no.” I said, “I’m dressing a little girl. Not a street walker.”

And with that, I went in search of the toddler section. One more year in toddler clothes is not going to hurt her.

Yes, There Can be Joy in Making Dinner

I hate the time of day when I have to figure out what to make for dinner.

This time of day always seems to sneak up of me, even though it happens like every day. I am happily going about my day and then suddenly I am staring down four starving kids who want dinner and not just any dinner but dinner with no green things, preferably something fried and if it could include cookies and cake, that’d be awesome.

It’s not the actual cooking part that I don’t like, it’s the coming up with what to cook that I hate. If someone put me in a fully loaded kitchen and said make this that and that other thing, I would happily go to town.

Strange as it sounds, I find the process of cooking oddly soothing and therapeutic. It’s the planning that makes me want to run like a chipmunk being chase by a badger.

I have tried the whole month menu planning thing and making a list of recipes to make each week and it does work for a couple of days but soon, I get bored and I don’t want to make what is on the list.  I want to make something ‘good’.

So I stand in front of my freezer hoping that inspiration will hit me but instead a rock hard ball of mystery meat slides out and lands on my toe.

I slam the door shut, cradle my hurt toe and mumble words that would make a sailor blush.  All the commotion, of course,  has attracted the attention of the children and they run to see what is going on. I can say their names until I am blue in the face and not get a response but they hear one mumbled curse word and they are on me like white on rice.

Once they see that I am fine and the boys are convinced that my toe is not going to fall off and be something gnarly, they scatter. Well all but one scatter, she stays.

“Mommy, can I watch you?” she asks.

She asks this question almost every day. It’s like a little buzzer goes off in her head when she notices me begin to rummage through the freezer and pantry.

I used to try and push her away. My stress was enough figuring out this dinner plan, I didn’t want someone small under my feet. Then I realized she had ideas about what to eat for dinner, “How about tacos or breakfast, mommy” she adds licking her lips.

I let her stay. How else is she supposed to learn the how to cook and win the battle against dried out chicken?

She needs to watch me. She needs to learn from me. She needs to see that having the Pizza boy’s phone number on speed dial is the smartest phone setting to make.

She will push over a stool and climb up. She is interested in all the things I have put out on the counter that I am hoping to make into something nutritious and eatable. She asks me questions about each thing, she wants to taste them and before I know it, the stress of ‘what to make’ begins to melt away and is now taking shape into ‘shit I threw in a pan’ aka dinner.

As I cook and she helps me, our talking about dinner switches to just talking.

She tells me about how one boy in her class is super naughty and had to go to the principles office.

She tells me about music class and sings part of the song she is learning, she shows me how she can count and spells a ‘slight word’ for me.

She tells me about how Landon D. asked her to be his girlfriend and I find out that means that she is a girl and his friend.

I can’t help but smile as she talks about him more and then shows me the piece of crumpled up paper he gave her. She tells me that she must keep it forever. I encourage her to keep it safe in her desk drawer up in her room.

Soon dinner is in the oven and she runs off to play or find her brothers to see what they are up too.

I find myself wishing that dinner prep took longer and even looking forward to it tomorrow.

“Oh and mommy,” she said appearing suddenly, “Landon D asked me to marry him and I said yes.”

Yes, I am definitely looking forward to tomorrow night’s dinner prep. Apparently, she and I have a lot of things to discuss.

Oh Daddy…

“Daddy,” Claire says with a giggle, “Your farts are so funny.”

I rolled my eyes because here comes the potty talk again. Jeff and Claire were sitting on the stairs doing the nightly hair brushing. For some reason, Jeff has the touch. She will cry, scream and carry on when I brush her hair but for him, she just sits. I don’t fight it too much because to be honest, I love this time that they spend together.

Just a daddy and his daughter, it’s so sweet.

I turn my back towards them to finish with the dishes but keep my ears tuned into the conversation.

“You think they are funny now but just wait?” Jeff responds.

Claire turns around to face him, “Huh?” she grunts.

Jeff turns her head back around to finish brushing her hair and explains.

“Well, some day when you are a little older and I am driving you and your friends to the mall or some other place young girls want to go, I am going to let a silent but smelly fart in the car.”

Claire giggles at the word fart as Jeff continues.

“Then I am going to say, ‘Ew! What is that smell?! Claire did you fart?! Ew, Claire! That is so gross! Your friends are going to totally think that it is your fart and not mine.”

“But daddy,” Claire said, “You are the one that had gas.”

I snicker over the sink of dishes because she is clearly to young to understand.

“I know that I was the one that farted,” Jeff explains, “But I am going to blame it on you because it will be silly and make your friends laugh.”

Claire rolls her eyes and shakes her head, “Oh Dad…”

“What?” Jeff asks, “You are the one that thinks it’s so funny to talk about farting.”

Claire is now in a fit of giggles so much so that is makes Jeff laugh.

I too can’t help but laugh.

She totally doesn’t get the joke but that doesn’t make it any less funny to her.

Then suddenly, I can see her and her friends in the car with Jeff at the wheel, driving them all to a place that young girls want to go.

She thinks that she is grown and though she looks older, to her daddy she will always be that little girl.

The girls in the back seat talking and giggling, discussing boys and the latest middle school drama. Jeff is quiet but a small smile creeps across his face.

“Ew!,” he says interrupting the latest discussion about how Billy doesn’t really like Sara and is only going to the dance with her to make Molly jealous.

“Dad!” Claire says through gritted teeth.

“What smells?!” Jeff asks ignoring her annoyance laced tone, “Claire, did you fart?”

You can hear snickers from the girls who are trying to remain cool and not laugh at something so juvenile.

Claire just stares at her Dad in the rearview mirror. Her expression says that she is angery, annoyed and angsty but then because as parents we tried to teach her not to take herself so seriously and to laugh at life, she says,

“He who smelt it, dealt it! And you totally dealt it!!!”

My Son, the Ladies Man

I knew when I gave birth to three beautiful and handsome sons that some day there would be girls.

I knew that some day girls would started to come around and that it would take more than a strong lock on my front door to keep the girls at bay.

I knew that some day I would need a club, a Fred Flintsone sized club.

I knew this day was coming but I just thought that I had more time.

Seriously.

I should not have to be about a club when my oldest son is only seven years old.

But it has become very obvious that this is totally what I need to do.

I had to get Hayden from school in the middle of the day to take him to a doctors appointment.

I walked into school and went through the necessary check in procedure so that I would not be accused of being some creepy adult sneaking around school and ultimately escorted out by security.

Then I walked to Hayden’s class room.

I smiled as I saw my boy working at his desk.

I whispered yelled his name.

Nothing.

I spoke his name.

Nothing.

I called his name like I was trying to speak over a crowded room.

Nothing.

I yelled his name.

And a classmate of his tapped him on the shoulder and pointed to the door as I smiled at that his teacher and apologized for yelling and disturbing the class.

“Hayden,” I said, “It’s time to go to the doctor.”

“Ok, mom” he said as he got up from his chair.

He turned to say goodbye to his teacher and then something strange happened.

Suddenly, every single girl in Hayden’s class room raised their arms and began begging him for his attention, telling him that they wanted a hug goodbye.

I stood there dumbfounded.

My son gave me a look that totally said, “Mom, I got this” and then went around the room hugging each girl and saying goodbye.

“Hayden,” I said after he hugged three girls and there were still about five waiting, “You know that you will be back in about an hour, right?”

“Mom, I am just telling my girls goodbye. I am going to miss them,” he said rolling his eyes at me.

And that was when I knew I needed to scour the internet for a Fred Flintsone size club as soon as freaking possible.

My Brother’s won’t Play with Me

“Mommy!” Claire said at me from across the room, “my brothers won’t play with me.”

“Boys,” I said not even looking up from what I was doing, “Play with your sister.”

I continued working in the silence that followed thankful that this was an easy fix.

“Mommy!” Claire said at me again, “my brothers are still not playing with me.”

This time I got up and walked into the living room where all the kids were.

“I want to play restaurant,” Claire said, “but my brothers are not playing that with me. They are being animals.”

“Quinn,” I pleaded, “Can’t you just play restaurant with your sister. Please. I just have to finish this and then we have to get dress and got to the store.”

Quinn didn’t say anything but gave me his, ‘you are crazy and I don’t want to’ look.

“Come on, Quinn,” I pleaded with him some more, “I will give you a chocolate chip.”

A smirk spread across his face and he nodded.

“Yeah!” said Claire with a clap of her hands.

And with that they both ran off downstairs.

“I will be the chef and you be the waiter,” Claire said, “and then we will bring food up to Jake. I hab a nice restaurant so you will have to be a good waiter.”

I smiled at Claire, so much like me. Always has to be the leader of the game.

The playing continued for a few more minutes and then I heard Claire stomp up the stairs.

“Mommy,” she said with great disgust, “my brothers are not playing right.”

I have to admit that I was a little annoyed at this point in time. Why couldn’t they all just play nicely together. They are triplets for goodness sakes. Three kids the same age. They should be instant best friends and playmates.

But as I walked into the living room and saw Jake and Quinn rolling around on the floor attacking each other with toy swords and growls, I knew what the problem was.

I was instantly taken back to when I was little and I knew what Claire was missing… a sister.

I grew up with a little sister and I have wonderful memories of the two of us playing together. We would make elaborate houses for our Barbies. We would take all our mother’s pots and pans outside to play restaurant. We would over run the basement with our baby dolls during a Saturday filled with playing house.

My heart kind of broke for Claire because even though she was surrounded by siblings, they were all boys. And boys just play differently than girls.

She was just not interested in a stimulating game of riding bikes outside as fast as you can because your brother is throwing sticks at you. She wanted to play babies and tea party and restaurant.

I pulled Claire up into my lap and said, “Why don’t you move your restaurant upstairs by me and get some of your stuffed animals to be your guests. We can set them all up around the table and you can be the chef and the waiter.”

She smiled at me and quickly jumped down to do just that.

Soon the table was packed full of stuffed animals who all had a plate and a cup of tea. Claire busied herself writing their orders on her paper and running back down to her kitchen to fill them.

Jake and Quinn had stopped the wrestling and were now curious. They crawled into the kitchen telling Claire that they were hungry. And Claire being the gracious host, invited the lion and tiger into her restaurant for something to eat but on one condition.

“You boys, need to behave!” she said with her hands on her hips, “And if you fight and wrestle, I will throw dishes at you.”

I hid my laughter in my cup of coffee and then as Jake and Quinn took their spots in the restaurant, I bent down and told them they were doing a really good job being a nice lion and tiger. I even slipped them a chocolate chip treat.

They smiled and both sucked the chocolates up from the floor.

Because let’s face it, I can’t give Claire a sister, my baby maker has closed up shop, but I can encourage calm from her brothers even if that means I always have to have a bag of chocolate chips handy.

Will They be Like Me?

After you have a child and when the nurse places that child into your arms for the first time ,as exhausted as you are, you gaze into their tiny face and dream about the future.

You begin to wonder what life has in store for them. What will they be interested in? Will he/she have any special talents. Will this little person someday follow in your footsteps?

Even though we all want our children to follow their own path and be their own person if you are anything like me, I hold this little glimmer of hope that they will hold some of the same interests as me.

Hayden is a clone of Jeff.

When he was pulled out of my belly, the first thing I thought I had was that he looked exactly like Jeff. As time went by, Hayden proved to just more than look like Jeff, he also acts like Jeff and has many of the same interests as his father.

I think this bond that Jeff and Hayden share is really cool.

Jake and Quinn, on the other hand, are different not only from each other but also from Jeff. They dont’ seem to be on the same path as Hayden. Jake takes after me in his need to be the center of attention and imagination and Quinn is shy like I was as a kid and cunning like Jeff was as a kid. These boys appear to have parts of both of us.

Then there is Claire.

Now, I never wanted her to be just like me. I was hoping that she would maybe have some of the same interests as me but instead of pointing her to the stage and putting the spotlight on her, I need to be contacting Rocky’s trainer Micky Goldmill.

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