Christmas Eve.

I should be taking a shower right now, but I have to get this out before I can move on with my day.

My oldest child is … out-of-the-box. Some people call him a firecracker, a character, balls-to-the-wall, over-the-top, or they will just say, “Wow — he’s something else.” 

He will yell at me from the back of our van, “Hurry UP Mommy! I’m growing a beard back here!” He will strip down to his underwear and yell, “HAVE I GOT A SHOW FOR YOU!” He’s always yelling, because he has one volume and that is loud.

He says things for shock value and waits for a reaction. He talks over everyone else. He thinks he knows more than any adult out there, he’s a backseat driver and a boss-around-er and knows the lyrics to a lot of my favorite top 40 songs. Then he changes the lyrics to make the song applicable to whatever is happening around him.

 
It takes time to see what I’m talking about, because generally he is very mannerly and well-behaved around people he doesn’t know well. Unless there is a stage nearby, and then all bets are off because my Maverick hearts a stage.

He is many, many things for a 5-year-old boy. I can already see how complicated of a person he is, all the different fabrics weaving together to make up his hilarious and infuriating personality. I am grateful that he is our firstborn, I am grateful that he gives me stories to tell, and I am grateful that he is forgiving because I often feel like I’m not very good at mothering him.


Maverick has been terrible the past few days. I mean straight up BAD, and I don’t like to use that word to describe my children. I spent a lot of time thinking about what the problem might be. Was he tired? Was he getting sick? I couldn’t spend long thinking about it before he was bashing his little brother over the head again or screaming NO!! at me when I asked him to do something. Trying to prepare for Christmas with a houseful of kids, one of whom is acting like an outright tyrant, sucked. 

To make a long and painful story short, I reached rock bottom of motherhood as we all do from time to time when we completely lose our shit and scare the children. I went to my bathroom to calm down and thought about how we couldn’t keep doing this. It wasn’t working, I didn’t know what was wrong with my kid, but I had figure out how to make it stop because I am the adult and that is my job.

I went in the kitchen and I pulled him onto my lap and just sat in silence hugging him. His body melted into mine like he had been waiting for that hug for his entire life. He needed THAT. He needed me to look at him and tell him how much I love him and how important he is to me. Him, Maverick. Not “all of you” or “you and your brother and sister.” Just him.

And before you judge me for not doing that sooner, which is what I would have wondered two or three kids ago — why doesn’t this chick think of things like hugging her kids when they are upset?! — let me point out that when you’re in survival mode things don’t occur to you like they would if you were in a normal state. So unless you want to come over here and get the pee smell out of my guest bathroom, SHUT IT.

I don’t yet understand the inner workings of Maverick’s mind and I haven’t mastered the art of meeting his needs before we go on a 5-day bender of absolute hell … but I do know this. My children do not need more toys. They don’t need their every whim to be met on Christmas morning. My children need me to hug them and take the time to let them know that they are important. I am ashamed that I have been too wrapped up in baking cookies and making lists to give my child the reassurance that he needed for whatever reason.

Tomorrow morning, Maverick will get the spaceship that he has been wanting for the past two years. But more importantly, he will get lots and lots of hugs.

I Love Yo.


Yes … it says I love yo. He ran out of room — the u is on the back. My 4-year-old doesn’t know how to read yet. Thankfully. This may sound strange, but I dread the day that kid can read over my shoulder. An awful lot of texts leave this house that are not kid-appropriate, and I don’t want to have to explain myself to my overly-inquisitive child.

Anway, he asked me how to write I love you and rather than repeat “I-L-O-V … no, I said ‘I,’ yes, now write an ‘L’ … ” in a painstaking manner, I just wrote it down for him on a scrap of paper as a reference.

Today was the day that we got to have the conversation about women’s intelligence. He knows girls are pretty and smell nice, but now it’s time for him to learn that they are smart too. Well, most of them. Not that idiot who parks her car like this at the preschool:

I don’t know who this woman is, but COME ON. Her ridiculous driving and parking infuriates me on a weekly basis. Lady, get a chauffeur.

Anyway, I really had no idea that ONE thought girls weren’t as smart as boys until today’s conversation. It went a little something like this:

***

ONE: Daddy knows everything.

Me: Daddy does know a lot.

ONE: That’s because boys, I mean men, are smarter than girls.

Me: What on Earth gave you that idea?!

ONE: (thinking) Daddy is bigger than you are, so he’s smarter than you.

Me: Your Daddy is a very smart man, but I’m just as smart as he is. The size of a person doesn’t affect how much they know. There are genius midgets out there roaming around.

ONE: (listening intently)

Me: Daddy is a lot smarter than I am in certain ways. He knows a LOT about a lot of stuff I don’t know about. But I know a LOT about a lot of other stuff. We’re experts in different areas.

ONE: Oh!! So … if you took Daddy’s brain, and your brain, and put them together … YOU COULD RULE THE WORLD!

Me: That’s exactly right.

***

Oh … ONE. I love yo.       

 

Pee Tastes Sour.

My 4-year-old informed me yesterday that pee tastes sour.

I later emailed my friends and said, “I really do wonder sometimes if something is wrong with him.” To which my friend Kelli replied, “The only thing wrong with him is that he’s a BOY.”

Word.

Washable.

I just caught ONE washing crayons in his sink. I mean, lathering them up with hand soap and washing them. All the paper was peeling off them and, of course, going down the drain. I took them away and said we don’t do that with crayons … and before I knew what was happening, he was back in there again with more.

So I asked him — WHY are you doing this?! Why would you wash your crayons? And he said, “Because they’re washable! It says so on the box!

I then had to explain what “washable” means in the context of art supplies. Kind of makes me think I need to ask him questions more often … it might explain a lot.
 

Entirely Too Early.

Since becoming pregnant I have made a habit of getting in bed by 9 p.m. My friends can make fun all they want … but when a mother is awakened numerous times by a sick boy who wants nothing to do with his daddy, he ONLY WANTS MOMMY at 12:45, and 1:45, 2:45, and 3:45 when she finally gets up and starts laundry and makes him a bed on the couch and makes herself some coffee …

SHE IS GLAD SHE WENT TO BED EARLY.



4:00 A.M.

 

Good & Bad.

Today, ONE came home with two things. Something that made me proud, and something that I said made me “disappointed,” but in reality makes me giggle every time I think about it.

First, the proud: he wrote his name perfectly! That’s quite a long name for a little fella. I was super excited when I saw it.

And … the “disappointment.” He got in trouble repeatedly for copycatting what his teacher said. Like when she said “Get out your scissors,” ONE said “Get out your scissors.” I know this is super immature but something about that is so funny

Oh, wait. I know why it cracks me up. Because it wasn’t directed at me, and it didn’t happen in my house. (Cue ONE: “Because it wasn’t directed at me, and it didn’t happen in my house.”)

And finally, we’re having a tiny problem with violence in our house? And I don’t know how to stop it really, except to spank a bare ass in the cold backyardwhich I definitely did this afternoon. ONE is a very sweet big brother, but he has a dark side that manifests itself in kicking or hitting. It’s probably normal 4-year-old big brother behavior, but this mama is tired and I’d love to hear that there is a parenting shortcut, just this once.

(Cue ONE: “I’d love to hear that there is a parenting shortcut, just this once.”

Long Day.

ONE with his “headband,” his “stun gun,” and his trusty sidekick Ollie the Octopus.

Today, this little boy was sick and he acted like a complete tyrant. Sometimes when he’s ill, he is very sweet and docile. I don’t mind that at all; it makes me feel like my mothering skills really do make him feel better. But today he was a JERK. I can say that because I’m his mother and it’s true.

He threw a full-on fit when his favorite tv show ended and I wasn’t able to make it come on again. He threw a fit when I said we couldn’t get a toy from the toy store today. Hellooo … you have a 102 temperature. AND, you’re being a brat. So … no.

He threw a fit when I wouldn’t feed him his toast “like a bird.” I broke his toast into pieces and said I was sorry, but one mommy can only do so much, and right now his little brother was standing on top of the brick hearth — again — and he would have to feed himself like a big boy.

He yelled at me from the living room, “I WANT ORANGE JUICE!” I brought him orange juice and he yelled, “I DON’T WANT IT!” When I reminded him that even little boys who are sick need to mind their manners, he yelled “I DON’T WANT MANNERS!”

It was just a long, long day.