Monday, August 19, 2013
When my littlest was younger he was a calm, quiet, little guy. He was content to simply sit back and watch the world unfold around him. He wasn’t that child that would talk to anyone. In fact, he rarely exchanged information verbally with strangers. If you, the stranger, approached him to chat about how cute he was, he would simply smile at you while holding tightly onto me, his savior; his mom.
Being the mom of other children, I loved these traits in my youngest bundle of love. My oldest was brave, bold, and adventurous. He was born ready to explore the world and its inhabitants. By himself. He didn’t want my help. He didn’t need me or my guidance.
So, I relished my littlest and his sweet personality. I could take him shopping without incident. He didn’t want to go off by himself. Hell, he didn’t even want out of the cart. He didn’t have tantrums for candy bars. He was a perfect replica of a perfect boy: cute, cuddly, and silent. He would never say embarrassing things to strangers because he wouldn’t talk to them. It was awesome.
Until...we were standing in line with a very ominous looking guy covered in tattoos standing behind us. Head to toe, tattoos. This guy was huge, intimidating, and unfriendly. He didn’t smile at my adorable boy. He didn’t smile at anyone. Being the diligent, overprotective mother, I physically tried to block my preciousness from view. But my boy wasn’t hiding behind my motherly strength; he was twisting and turning to get a better view of this daunting creature of manliness behind me.
And out of nowhere, completely to my horror, my boy says, “Who colored on you?”
The big scary guy laughed all the way out of the store.
Monday, August 5, 2013
If you have been following along on this little road trip down Parenthood Lane, you know that my mom is extremely critical of me. She actually acts as if I couldn’t parent a hermit crab. Okay, I will admit to losing him once, but I found him crawling around three days later. I also have an inability to keep houseplants alive. But I have not lost a child, well not permanently anyway.
We (as in my precious little family) just finished a very long visit at the grandparents. Now, before we left our own home this morning, I went through the litany of rules I always mandate before going to grandmas: Do not talk back. Do not fight. Say please and thank you, even if you don’t mean it. Don’t tell Grandpa to chew with his mouth closed. In fact, don’t run, don’t jump, and don’t play. Just sit. Quietly.
I don’t want a phone call when I get home. Do you know what I am talking about? Does your mother do this to you? After finally releasing the breathe I have been holding since my little family returned to our own abode, my phone will ring. It’s my mom. It goes something like this:
“Mom,” I say exasperated already, “He is four.”
“He called me a liar,” she scathes into the phone.
Oh shit, flows into my brain, followed by, hmmmm, he must have heard me.
“I realize that, and there is no excuse for it,” except that it’s true, I think but do not say.
“You need to take care of this,” she angrily responds.
“Of course Mother,” I reply.
That angry telephone exchange is followed by one of the most important conversations we can have with our little echoes; don’t repeat what mommy says when she is ranting about grandma.