Saturday, September 29, 2007

Happy Birthday S

Today's my sister's birthday. She's 29 AGAIN.

And she's new to blogging. Not new to stalking, but new to blogging.

Go wish her a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Go.

Now!

1....2....

if I have to come over there....

Friday, September 28, 2007

Really Only About The Third To Last Paragraph

Before I had children, my opinion on spanking was fairly loose. I didn't think it was a bad thing. At all. When I was growing up, I got spanked---for very specific crimes in which I knew if I was caught, I would get spanked. Going into other people's home without permission or going off of our street boundaries. There was an occasional misplaced spank, for mouthing off and such.

After we had Bo and he got older, we found ourselves swatting his bum a lot. It filled me with a lot of cognitive dissonance (come on, give it to me, it's the only phrase I remember from my college classes, just let me use it okay!). I knew there had to be a better way, but it took effort to think of the better ways and spanking just got the job done too. Let me be clear, Bo has always been very responsive and obedient, so it wasn't that prevalent. And it was more of a swat.

Around the time he was two, I started telling J I wanted to eliminate spanking all together. We needed to save it for the big crimes. And there were some. Like fingerpainting with his excrement on the bedroom wall. Four different times.

So, it got better, but we as parents, are sometimes slow learners.

Then, the summer after Avee was born, we moved into a house in Salt Lake City. Shortly after moving in, an old friend of mine called me from Vermont and said she had a young college friend who'd just found herself temporarily without housing and asked if I could help her out. I drove downtown and picked her up and she ended up staying with us for a month. She was a nice girl.

But she fancied herself a better mother than me.

The interesting thing was, Bo couldn't stand her. He didn't want anything to do with her. My little boy who loved everyone, avoided her at all costs. It was so perplexing to me and I would try to talk him into liking her. I would find myself discrediting his feelings about her---and the mom instinct in me knew I shouldn't be doing that; but I really didn't understand his strong dislike for her. So I would allow her to bribe him. "Come sit with me and I'll give you a piece of candy." Well, he wasn't stupid---he'd sit with her long enough to get the candy.

Then one day, Bo fingerpainted with poop on the wall again. He did it at naptime so it often wasn't discovered right away. It would take time for the smell to waft through the rest of the house. :) Sorry, that's gross. Anyway, the first two times Bo did it, J's brother was babysitting and by the time I got home, it was much too late after the fact to administer a "punishment". There was no way he'd make the connection. So, the 3rd time he did it and I was around to swiftly discipline, I decided I would not spank and try stern talking and bore any desire to be naughty out of him, by lecturing. I talked and talked and talked and made him help me clean it and talked about how yucky and smelly it was, etc. Yeah, I was winging it. On an average day as a mother, I have no idea what I'm doing.

Well, apparently Miss Thang who lived with us, didn't think that was enough. And she kept saying he needed a spank and a 30 minute timeout. I may not know what I'm doing, but I DID know that a 30 minute time out on a child who had just turned 2 was a joke. So I told her I wasn't going to do that. After my lecturing, I set him off to play. With nonpoop things.

At the time, my car was in the shop so I had to pick up J at work. I had to leave Bo with Miss Thang and J's 14 year old brother because we didn't have a carseat in J's beater.

I got out to the car and realized I had forgotten something so I dashed back into the house.

And there I heard my precious baby boy sobbing in his crib.

I ran to him and asked him what was wrong. He said, "Miss Thang, panka my bum". I was DEVASTATED. Absolutely devastated. Looking back, I'm a little shocked at how devastated I was. But then again, I'm still a mom, so it doesn't surprise me that much I guess. Miss Thang was nowhere to be found. I grabbed Bo out of the crib and hugged and kissed him and told him how sorry I was, and started crying myself. I took him to my bewildered brother-in-law who had been innocently playing on the computer with headphones on. I told him to take Bo on a walk and not come back home for 45 minutes unless one of them was bleeding or dead.

I got in the car and cried all the way to go get J. I know that my baby getting spanked is nothing compared to the abuse some other mother's children experience, but I felt for a second I knew what it felt like. Helpless. I felt like a bad mom for leaving my child in that situation. Of course, I had no way of knowing Miss Thang would be so awful as to administer her own punishment after I had left, but I still felt like a horrible mother that my child had suffered at her hand.

Suddenly it all clicked. This may not have been the first time she had taken matters into her own hands. I was usually home, I don't think I had left him in her care more than once or twice, but I suddenly remembered a few times of him coming back upstairs from where she stayed, a little upset. She had most likely been mean to him because she didn't want him around.

But when we were around, she was all fun and games and wanted him to love her. But Bo ain't stupid. Never has been.

I made up my mind then, I would always trust Bo's instincts. His are even better than mine. Avee's, not so much. She swears at ants and sliding glass doors. She can't be trusted. But Bo can be.

There have been a couple of incidents since then when I've found Bo to be a great judge of character, solidifying my resolve to trust him.

So. The whole reason for this post....since we moved here, he has decided he doesn't like our next door neighbor. He's an 11 year old boy, "A", who, from all I can tell, is perfectly nice. He walks around with a butterfly net and mason jars and catches bugs most of the time.

One day Bo ran in through the back door and burst into tears. When I asked what was wrong he wailed, "A was so mean to me!" I asked what A did. "He told me to get off the fence!" Well, I think that's actually a good thing A did. Bo shouldn't be on the fence. I told Bo as much. "But he said it with a mean look on his face!"

After that, anytime A has come within 100 feet of Bo outside, Bo will come inside. Without complaint. He will gladly sit on the couch with nothing to do, if he's safe from mean ol' A. One day I went out and talked to A. I honestly don't feel like I was being taken, he seems like a genuinely decent, even sweet, kid. That particular day, I brought Bo out, holding his hand and said, "I really think A is a nice boy, why don't you try playing out here." Bo felt buoyed up by me, I'm sure---and he took the leap. He cried when it was time to come in (he usually doesn't) and I could hear him howling with laughter outside, several times. One time I looked out and saw A and another big kid doing a sword fight show for the other kids. Bo was loving it.

When Bo came in he said how he thought A was nice after all. All was well.

Then, suddenly out of nowhere, A's on the bad list again and I will see Bo come tearing into the house like the bogey man himself is on his tail. While we are driving, when Bo does most of his out loud thinking, he'll say, "I will NEVOH play pokemon with A, nevoh. And if I comes outside, I will come in our house as fast as lightening" He's clearly been thinking about how awful A is.

I really think there's a little prejudice going on here, but I can't be sure. The other thing is, A is hardly ever around. He'd really rather be collecting bugs. How mean can a bug-collecting 11 year old be?

So, with a little background on my history with Bo, what do you think? Should I just let him indulge in his fear/dislike of A or do I try to cultivate an attitude of tolerance and talk him through (aka "force") him to get over this. I'm hesitant to disregard his feelings because I'm a granola crunchin' hippie who thinks my four year old should guide me in all ways that we go. Er, rather, I already was really wrong once and he has a pretty clean track record.

I have 10 children in my living room right now. All talking really loudly. One of them just informed me he can't stand to hear babies cry. I'd say he's certainly in the wrong house.

Bo just opened the door for his little four year old friend and exclaimed, "Oh! It's YOU! I keep forgetting what you look like!" Man I love that kid.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Definite Blog Fodder: 3 Hours At The Doctor's Office

I wrote down that my appointment was at 3. They had it down as 2:30. I was 27 minutes late according to them. I was a rockstar, according to me.

The receptionist was all set to turn me away, but I think my frazzled look, inside-out shirt, one-shoe-wearing daughter, crying infant, and loud talking 4-year-old caused her to have some compassion. She miraculously found an opening for me with the NP at 4:00.

So we sat in the waiting room for over an hour. And Bo got so bon sirsty again. And Avee yelled at older children that they were two if she was two. She casually asked every mother in the waiting area, "so, is that yo baby?" She'd lean against the arm of a chair and ask, as though a well rehearsed pick-up line being passed off as spontaneous. Then she'd introduce her baby sister Danyo and her mom--clear across the room. "That's my baby sisser, Danyo. And that's the mom. Not yo's mom, MY mom!" Then she'd scowl at them and storm off to leap over some chairs far away from the offending infant and mom.

It is my instinct to act oblivious and pretend it's not my child. The matching hair color gives me away before I have a chance. And at least 4 people said to me at the dr's office, "I don't know what daddy looks like, but the four of you look exactly alike." At first I was offended because Bo's a little cross-eyed, Avee has nappy hair, and Danyo drools---but then I realized people meant it kindly, so I just said thank you.

A couple of highlights from the outing:

Well, first, that's where I learned that Avee thinks Danyo and Bo are her sisters.

While I was bouncing Danyo on my totally ripped now that I do bootcamp thigh to keep him quiet, and keeping an eye on Avee as she "fuhlipped" over some play structure (it looked an awful lot like jumping, but she insisted it was fuhlipping) I suddenly hear a very loud voice behind me (where half a dozen patients sat, out of my view), "I know what you are! You guys are Chinese! You came from China. What people from China look like, are you!" It wasn't until halfway through the second sentence, that I realized it was my child loudly declaring ethnicity for all to hear.

I started to shrink down into my seat and hide it out, but then I saw the redhaired kid on my lap, who looks undeniably similar to the loudmouth redhead behind me. I hear the "Chinese Lady" say, "Good guess!" I turned and saw that they were in fact Chinese. For a moment I was proud, and then I remembered, it was a good guess. A good loud guess.

I thought about doing my regular hissing of Bo's name to get him to come over to me and shut his loud and adorable mouth. But I realized during a recent library hissing session, that as much as I want to believe only he hears me hissing, it's not true--everyone hears it. And it sounds just as stupid to hiss "Bo, get.over.here" as it does just to say it. It isn't parseltongue. It's straight up, English, crazy-mama hissing.

I just sat there. Not really sure what to do. I mean, pointing out someone's ethnicity, while it might be a profound statement of the obvious, it is not necessarily rude or offensive. Right? He wasn't saying it as though being Chinese was bad. Or weird. It was just a little awkward. "Hey look! You're wearing your shirt inside-out crazy hissing lady!" Entirely true, not entirely necessary to verbalize.

So, since doing nothing was my default response, I figured the worst was over. And it did get quiet. Except for a few lingering snickers. And then, "Well, I know where you got that baby!" I was terrified. Oh crap. What could he possibly know about that? And why does he have to be so bon loud!?

"You got that baby out of China!"

Later when we were in the dr's office, Bo was having his 4 year old physical exam. He was pretty excited because he's been to several appointments for Avee, but he's never been the center of attention since he can remember. So, it was kind of difficult to keep him quiet. When the Nurse was filling out the forms, she was asking me things about his development and Bo kept trying to answer. When she asked about regular BMs, I hesitated because I did want to discuss Danyo's, but I didn't know if I should wait until we were through with Bo's, blah blah blah. Well, the nurse read that hesitation as me not knowing what a BM was. So she simplified it for me. "Does he poop regularly?" Bo leans up against the exam table and says, "Yeah, I totally poop everyday, but I don't wipe, my mom does."

Yeah, I struggle to understand the meaning of BM, but I can give a mean wipe.

For Rebecca and Barnecked Lady

Mr Poopy Pants misses you Amy. You should hear Avee talk to him, I realize I call the baby all sorts of bizarre things when I hear them come out of Avee's mouth, "You so coot, on-chew Misser pooey-pants. I gonna tiss you and tiss you all over yo silly little face..."

My mama always tol' me, "It doesn't matter what you say, it's how you say it." And it's true. I get the best laughs out of Danyo after I sweetly tell him to stop crapping all over his clothes or that if he has another crying spell I'm gonna lose my mind.

Avee can finally sing a decipherable Twinkle Twinkle-- Rebecca. I thought it would come so much sooner when I heard Reagan doing it a year and a half ago.

I started this video taping because I love how sometimes Danyo can be talked out of crying. I was hoping I could catch his hyperventilating "I can't decided if I want to laugh our cry, oh well, I'll just laugh" sound, but he didn't really do it. But, it's awful cute nonetheless. And you will see how Avee manages to get herself right into the center of attention so seamlessly that I will never worry about that girl feeling neglected or left out.

And you get to hear Avee sing. And that's just cute. Along with the back of her hair. Which I rarely comb. Even when I do, it rarely looks combed. So, whatever---enjoy.

I may be getting a little video-happy here. I won't deny it.

video

p.s. TMM don't hate me because I'm beautiful. And because I regularly start sentences with conjunctions. I know it's wrong. I really do. But I just can't help myself.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Whether it's genetic or learned, it can't be good...

When your 2 and a half year old holds, caresses, coos, and lovingly sings to a can of Pringles for over an hour, all without being allowed to open it.

If it wasn't so funny, I might be embarrassed.

I caught her looking out the window, holding the unopened can, singing about loving her "green tips".

It amazes me because I remember doing this myself.

With Cheese pringles.

When I was 22.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Just Some Stuff

I've never had a thumbsucker. I used to try and get Bo and Avee to suck their thumbs when they were babies because I thought it was so darn cute. They wouldn't have any of it.
Danyo discovered his thumb the other night and I could seriously sit and stare at him for hours while he sucks away contentedly. I'm fairly certain I won't be so fond of it if it sticks or in 12 years when orthodontic bills start rolling in.

But until then, I'm gonna take probably 500 more pictures of this adorable little guy...










And this one is why I don't get all up in a tizzy when my child climbs. Or gets herself into sometimes precarious situations. I believe in natural consequences (in some instances) for children to learn things. Avee enjoys falling. You will see.
You will also hear a discussion on Bo's "eye licking" that I had forgotten got recorded. This video was taken last Saturday when we were unpacking some boxes stored in the basement.
video

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A moment of silence

I've had a really good friend staying with me for the past few weeks and we have spent every spare moment together.

When I first joined the Y and used the cardio room, I was thrilled when I realized I would have a friend with me while I worked out. That just makes the time go by so much faster.

And when I am sitting on the couch, with a zillion other things I should be doing, but have to feed Danyo, I had a friend to keep me company and I LOVED it.

I looked forward to evenings after the kids had gone to bed, just to spend time together and get to know each other better. I would go through most of my day, just keeping my eye on the prize, knowing when the daily duties were taken care of, I could hang out and enjoy some grown-up time.

The other day, I am so embarrassed, but I had dropped off J at the doctor, gotten Bo from school, run to the grocery store and then taken to the kids to the park and then left the park without my friend. I was SO embarrassed, but I went back and got him, and we were still friends.

Until last night.

He told me we are through.

I am SO sad, bereft even. I feel so lonely without his companionship.

Last night after I feel asleep, I dreamt about him most of the night. And going through out the day, I've just felt a void.

You probably think it's weird that I've gotten so involved with this friend when I have three kids and a husband. It might be a little weird, but he and J get along quite well. In fact, he was J's friend before he was mine.

I don't know how to get him back. I don't even know if it's possible.


I finished Harry Potter 7 yesterday.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Ocean Is Over-rated

Bo started preschool a couple of weeks ago. Yeah, I know---I didn't even blog about it, and it's a great milestone in his eventful and important life as a 4 year old. I'd much rather blog about the weird and disgusting things he does. Mother of the year you say? Why, thank you!
Since he started on September 5th, everyday he has come home with some fish/sea-life/ocean project. They are learning about ocean life. I know this. I have 27 priceless construction paper projects to remind me.
So he has his first Show and Tell last Friday. After picking him up on Wednesday, I asked him what he wanted to bring for Show and Tell. He said he wanted to bring the paper "octa-bus" they just made in school that day. I explain to him that he should show the class something they haven't already seen that he has at home, that is important to him. So he says he wants to take the beanie baby crab that my sister sent me long before he was even an idea in my mind. He had been insisting on sleeping with it for the last couple of nights so I figure, what the heck, he can take a lame ol' beanie baby if he wants. I won't be the one standing in front of my peers extolling the virtues of a tye-dyed crab.

For the record, I don't collect beanie babies. I do however, collect thimbles.

So, Friday morning rolls around and I haven't thought about Show and Tell since Wednesday at 11:22 when we had our conversation on the way home from school. We are enjoying the usual serene morning with two perfectly obedient and compliant children who love to eat whatever I make for them and never throw their food on the floor or chase each other around the house to return the other's hair pulling or scream because I turned off SpongeBob. See above: Mother of the year.

I tell Bo to get the crab and put it in his school bag. He tells me he hates his school bag and it's stupid. I tell him to stuff it and go get the crab. He can't find it. I can't find it. The crab has left the building. We have nothing. I'm still nursing and trying to find a stupid stuffed crab has me broken out in a sweat. So, when Bo has the great idea to take his Winnie The Pooh book about making a cake and confusing flower with flour---I think it's a great idea.

I drop him off at school with his show and tell item in hand and I'm feeling like a superstar that I a) got him to school in one piece b) with his school bag and c) with his show and tell item. I mean really, you gotta give it to me---that's impressive on my part.

When I picked him up I asked him about his presentation of the book. It was great, he told his class it was his favorite book and a little bit of what it was about. He said the teacher asked him who reads it to him, his mom? And he corrects her, "no, my dad" and she, thinking he was surely mistaken since she had evidence of what a superstar mom I am and hasn't seen hide nor hair of "the dad" said, "You mean, your mom?" and Bo assures her, "No, my mom has never read me this book, only my dad." Truth be known, Winnie the Pooh bores the hell out of me. I can endure a lot for my children, but I guess I have drawn the line at Mr. Pooh.

I asked Bo if anyone else brought a book. He said his friend had. I was relieved that my kid wasn't the loser with a lame show and tell item.

Fyoosh. Made it smoothly through the first social obstacle we encountered.

Later that day, I was organizing the desk and came upon his preschool calendar. Something I apparently should have been consulting regularly. It tells me what he's learning every day (as if I didn't SEE all the ocean paraphernalia every day) and who's supposed to bring snack every day and other important events, like Show and Tell. There in all caps, bold letters it says "SHOW-AND-TELL: WE ARE LEARNING ABOUT THE OCEAN"

After reading that, I swallowed hard. No wonder he wanted to take that stupid crab, he was supposed to bring something from the ocean. Oh geez. Those teachers know now that I am a lame excuse for involved and prepared. But wait, another kid brought a book. Books aren't from the ocean. Maybe I'm not the only lame-ox. I find a lot of comfort in stupidity companionship.
"BO!? Did ____ bring a book to Show and Tell?"
"Yes!"

Good, not so bad, at least there's one other lame mom at that presch....

"It was Little Mermaid! Just like the movie we have! And he gave us all a seashell too!"

Sunday, September 16, 2007

I'll Give You A Nickel If You Still Like Me By The End

I don't really have anything to post. You have been warned.

Everyone in my house is sick right now. Except me.

Who has the superior genes now? That's what I thought.

J got sick over Labor Day weekend, also know as Memorial Day Weekend when I am speaking. He seemed to be getting better but ever so slowly and with a vicious cough. This weekend, he seems to be almost back at square one. With a cough that sounds like he eats cigarettes for breakfast. Even baby Danyo has some sniffles.

Soooo, as interesting as that all is, I want to tell you some other inconsequential, potentially boring, definitely pointless, things.

Avee and I went to pick up some carryout Pho last night, for my ailing husband. That is his celebratory meal, sickbed meal, default meal, consolation meal...the boy loves Pho. Yeah, he found a Vietnamese restaurant before we've found a bank, a pediatrician, or a park for pete's sake. While waiting, Avee ran about 10 feet from me and when I didn't react (because it was down a dead end hallway that was about 15 feet long) she yelled, "Mo-o-o-o-om, I too far awaaaaaay!" Apparently I say that to Avee when she dashes away from me in public. It's always funny for me to hear what I say to my kids for the first time, coming from them.

Today it took me about an hour to figure out that Avee was feeling sick because her only symptom was hanging on me and crying excessively. My diagnosis for that is actually called ANNOYING so I didn't think "sick". During one such annoying sick display, I was trying to wash some dishes and J came and rescued me Avee. He said to her, "Why are you being so clingy to mom? You need to leave mom alone, she doesn't need to hold you all the time. She needs to clean the house while we watch her." Avee conceded that this was a decent arrangement and went and snuggled on the couch with J while I finished the dishes. And I was happy. What's wrong with THAT story?

And my last little vignette is only being recorded so I can prove to Bo in 25 years or so that I earned the house and car and luxury vacations he will be buying for me on his *brain surgeon salary. And also so you'll just have a little peek into the kind of conversations I have with this boy. I'll try not to be too graphic for those of you who are waaaaay out of this stage or not yet entered it.

Actually, before I tell you, I just want to say, in the last week or so I have come upon one of the biggest surprises in motherhood that I have yet encountered. And that is, I had no idea how much of a concerted effort it would take to keep my child from being that kid everyone points and laughs at.

I thought weird habits and behaviors happened in people who didn't have cool, attentive parents to gently guide them in the cool way to go. I didn't know that kids were born weirdos who had to be retrained. Perhaps I'm being to broad, but I really feel like Bo has all the environment and genetic input to be a cool, normal kid and he seems intent on proving me wrong. I've mentioned the fresh slobber supplying and the clickity clack talking, but so far I've tried to keep the nose-picking and sampling a little more hush-hush. And recently, I haven't been inclined to share his new habit of licking his pointer finger and poking it in to the corner of his eye. To "get the dust out" he says. Only, I saw him DO IT IN HIS SLEEP. I am sorry, but that's just nuttier than a fruitcake in my book. And where does it come from!? I guarantee it's not learned.

I've questioned myself a lot over the last 4 years. When he was 15 months old, he used to take a cloth and wipe surfaces, mimicking me cleaning, of course. Those who know me well, might contend that too was not learned. However, he started interspersing a good hearty nose-blow into the middle of all this surface cleaning. Wipe, wipe, wipe with the cloth, bring to nose, blow mightily, wipe, wipe, wipe with the cloth again. I even thought when I saw him do that for the first time---that is so weird, where on earth does he come up with this stuff, surely I don't do that without realizing it!?!?! That's how messed up this kid has me.

Anyway, I'll just tell you the conversation. You can draw conclusions.

"Bo! I don't ever want to see you doing that again, EVER. That is incredibly disgusting. Don't ever do it again. Why on earth would you even do something like that? Go wash your hands!"
"I was just...."
"No, never mind, I don't want to know why you would do it, I just want you to make sure you don't ever do it again. Okay?"
"Even if it doesn't make my hand smell bad?"

I ask you, is it normal to try and bargain like that at 4? Even for a disgusting "privilege"?

I told you I had nothing to post. Now I've gone and pulled you into the ditch with me...


*For those of you concerned he might actually become a brain surgeon, he is quite obedient when told to wash his hands.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

English

I may be blogging all day today. Because I CAN'T MOVE. Why you ask? See yesterday's reference to boot camp.

About a year ago I realized that as adults, we say a lot of things that just don't make sense to children. I had spent at least 6 months telling Bo and Avee to "cut that out" or "knock it off". And being innately obedient, they appeared to listen to that very specific command. So I continued with my adult-greek for children. And then one day someone said to Bo, "mess less" and he was completely bewildered.

I still say things that don't make sense to him, but he has started asking what things mean at a rate of about 27 questions per hour. Often there are things I can't answer. Yesterday J had him ask me what "phony" meant. And this morning first thing in the morning as they were eating their breakfasts of Nilla Wafers, Bo asked me what a mystery was. I told him it was a mystery CPS hadn't been called on me yet...

These are reasonable things a 4 year old might not know yet.

He's also trying to figure out time references. He sees commercials for movies that will be on later in the month and when they say "Monday the 17th" he figures "today's Friday, Monday is in 3 days, the movie is in 3 days". It was at least 27 times of telling him "No, it's not September yet" before I even realized why he was asking. So then I started telling him, "It's next week, not this Monday." Reasonable explanation, dontcha think?

So then he starts saying things like, "Is the day before the day after tomorrow called yesterday?" and other mind twisters that I just can't be expected to figure out at...3 in the afternoon. And then finally yesterday's question, "Is 'next week' a Tuesday or a Sirsday?" I realize he has NO idea what next week means. And that's just really not fair. I wasn't speaking in greek. How was I to know a 4 year old doesn't even know what "next week" means. No wonder he wouldn't STOP TALKING ABOUT THE DUMB SHOW.

After explaining this day had to end, then 6 more days had to end, and then it would be next week, I went about my business. Very important business of finally reading HP 7.

This morning I sat down at the computer and saw he had written on our desk calendar.

In my exasperation (over graffiti-ing a perfectly good $1.98 desk calendar) I called him over to the desk, "What is this Bo?"

"Oh. I was just saying, I want it to be the end of the day."
Indeed, he did say it. Not bad for a 4 year old who doesn't even know what next week means.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Because Nice Really Does Matter

Bo just told me he was "so bon sirsty". He really doesn't say things incorrectly anymore, which is, I'm sure good for him socially, but sad for me because I do love me a good speech impediment. The translation of that phrase is "So darn thirsty." For some reason he thinks the appropriate "fake" expletive is "barn" rather than darn. Probably because we never say inappropriate words around here--he just doesn't have enough exposure to get it right.

Speaking of Bo. I'm not one to air dirty laundry, but I feel like I'm having a whale of a time with him right now, and maybe someone who reads this will have some helpful insights.

Maybe it's just having a 4-year-old but I feel like I'm CONSTANTLY on his case. He can't just be. He bugs Avee incessantly, he can't spend more than 20 minutes outside with other kids without doing something totally obnoxious to another child, usually hitting in some form or another. It's not violent or aggressive, but just completley unable to keep his hands to himself. Just now he wouldn't stop grabbing Avee and trying to throw her to the ground. Sometimes she likes wrestling, but this time she was saying no and he doesn't listen. After 4 times of her screaming, and me asking him to stop, I sent him to go lay on his bed and he screamed "SHUT UP!" as he was going. Generally, this reaction makes me laugh. He's so mad and that's the worst thing he can think to say.

This behavior comes and goes. He's the kid who opened the refrigerator this weekend after I had cleaned and organized and said, "Mom, this is an awesome fridge!" and compliments my meals at dinner. And tells me I have bad breath. So, you know---he's honest.

I guess I'm less concerned about him and "what's wrong" I mean, he just got ousted as our little boy, he just moved from one state to another leaving all kinds of good friends and familiarity, etc, etc. If it's just a phase, I can live with that. But I am concerned about me, as a parent. I'm not sure I'm responding as I should or giving him what he needs. That is, if he needs something besides a smack upside the head every other hour. Just kidding. I only smack on Tuesdays.

In other news---Today is my friend T's birthday. Go tell her happy birthday if you haven't already. You can read all about how cool I think she is here, if you are up for some reading. :)

And in other other news, I started boot camp today. I have been totally nervous about starting it because I am so completely out of shape, but I just took the plunge. It was wonderful. Everyone was really friendly and introduced themselves to me and encouraged along the way and nobody laughed hysterically at me when I got down on my hands and knees and crawled the remainder of my "killer" which is sprinting to various points across the gym. One girl made it her mission to make sure I would come back. Her theory is, if you meet everyone, there are more people for you to be "accountable" to. Pretty good theory. If they seem me in the cardio room on a treadmill going 2.8 mph, they can call me by name when they call me a loser. That's good, I'm sure.

And she is the reason for my post title. Her kindness REALLY mattered to me. I was nervous (I rarely get nervous, if ever) and I felt really out of place with all these little, tanned, muscular, in-shape men and women. She really made the difference in how my hour of boot camp went. I worked out for an entire hour. We did this thing the instructor called "the plank" which is holding your body straight like a board, above the mat with just your feet and forearms touching the mat. I couldn't really do it. I was all sweaty so my arms kept slipping, plus, I was holding up CONSIDERABLY more weight than anyone else in the class. I just told 'em, this plank done been walked on too much, I can't keep it from sagging. Might be some water damage too.

This is a long and rambly post. If you made it to the end, I really think we could make this relationship work.

I'm off to eat a chocolate malt do more lunges.