Oh, My Son.

We’re purging our house of things we just don’t use or need any more.

When M found a couple of our old digital cameras in a drawer last week, Butter immediately started asking for one. He wanted a camera in the worst way. We gave him the one that was kind of working [it’s taken blurry pictures since just after Bear was born, thanks to Butter playing with the settings & somehow ‘fixing’ it for us] & let him have at it. And then his GrandMom found a great deal on a brand new one [seriously, why wasn’t that one a thing when WE were in the market for a new camera?!] & grabbed it for him.

So Butter & Bear were playing with the camera tonight. It’s not anything they haven’t done before, but when I asked them what they were doing, they said they were making a video.

They got it all set up on the love seat at exactly the level they wanted it to be & God love my children, I looked up at exactly the right moment. Butter was telling Bear to “Turn around & pull your pants down! This will be the funniest video ever!” Yeah, Mom doesn’t exactly agree with you on that one, bud.

I stopped them before they did anything that will haunt them in the future & took the camera away for the evening.

For those of you keeping score at home? He so did not get this from me. Perhaps his Poppy. Definitely his Pop.

 

On Being Secondary

The moment I became a mom, I became secondary to the person I helped create. And for a while, I was okay with that. Conversations no longer started with, “How are you?” but rather, “How is the baby?” It grew with the birth of Bear, especially given all the time spent in the NICU with him.

I find that as they grow older though, I get a little more annoyed. I don’t just want to be Butter’s mom or Bear’s mom. I want to be a person! Then I remember I’m an introvert & don’t really care for talking to people, so I will inevitably be known this way for at least the next twenty years. I’m trying not to struggle with that. It’s the reason I’ve decided to do the 21 Day Fix. It’s the reason I read a lot, so I can occasionally make an observation about popular books. It’s also the reason I try like heck to keep my mouth shut about Fifty Shades of Grey [please tell me I’m not the only one who finds it humorous that my phone tried to autocorrect that to Filthy]. Look, I know it’s a ‘worldwide sensation,’* but it’s theft & it’s abuse. No means no, Edwistan Grullen. I’m sure somewhere in the very distant future, the boys will appreciate that I’ve kept most of my opinions on that crap to myself. At least they’ll appreciate it not being where a Google search will find it, anyway.

I digress.

I’m trying to be better at putting my needs before those of the kids. Physically, there are times when I need it. Mentally, I need my quiet time to read my Bible & books to make me a more sane wife & mom.

Mostly, I just want to be first in something again. If that makes me selfish, so be it. I’ll be a selfish, happy mom who doesn’t contemplate a bottle of wine when her kid buys breakfast AGAIN FOR THE THIRD TIME THIS WEEK despite knowing how much trouble he’ll be in if he goes against instructions. Did you know that winning a bear because you play a game at breakfast makes Skylanders disappear? It does in our house.

*Dear Internet, someone please invent a sarcasm font. Please. Just make sure it doesn’t look like comic sans. Kthx.

[Written in the front seat of my car, sitting in the garage while Bear naps in the back seat. Thank you, Jesus, for Wifi that reaches into the garage.]

Expectations

I’ve already been up for an hour & a half when I walk into their room & turn the light on. “Boys, it’s time to get up & get dressed.” They both acknowledge me with a, “Good morning, Mommy.”

My hair is still in the towel I wrapped around it after my shower. I’ve woken the boys & given them instructions. I have grand expectations of how well this will go for me. Walking back into my bedroom, I tell M, “Babe, it’s ten after.” He mumbles a thank you & comes into the bathroom to shower after I’ve already started the blow dryer.

Dry hair, brush hair, finish getting dressed. Walk into the boys’ room, fully expecting my four & six year old children to have actually – I don’t know, listened? – for once. They haven’t. Bear is just climbing back into Butter’s bunk [they switched last night, as they sometimes do] after retrieving his beloved Blue Blanket from the floor. Butter is snuggled up in the covers with a book I know he’s probably read seven or eight times. But it’s a book, so he’s reading it.

“Guys, I told you it was time to get up & get dressed. Butter, you’re going to miss the bus now because you still need to eat breakfast.”

“I don’t want to miss the bus!”

“Well you should have gotten dressed when I came in here.”

“Fine. I’m not going to school then. I want Pop!”

I turn on my heel & walk back into our bedroom. I tell M, “You deal with the insolent six year old today. I just. Can’t.”

M, God love him, understands. He had sole possession of the insolent six year old last night.

Lunch has not been made. Heck, the lunchbox hasn’t even been cleaned out from yesterday. There are dishes all over the kitchen from dinner last night. Eventually, I pose a question to M. “Would you leave your commercial kitchen like this?” He apologizes. I appreciate his apology, but this morning, I think I might appreciate more if it actually rinsed the dishes instead of just stacking them in the sink. Again, he understands.

And then, on the drive to work, with Bear telling me the story of the baby who knocked down the tower of blocks he built last night while Butter did karate, I realize something.

I expect things of them. I expect the boys to obey me. I expect M to realize I want him to know how I want things. I expect them to  do these things without me telling them & that is most certainly not fair to them. I expect things to be done without having done them myself.

I examine myself. I leave dishes unrinsed. I’ve crawled back into bed with a book rather than face the day. I’ve been the person whose block tower was knocked down. I’ve been the person who’s knocked someone else’s tower down.

Gentle. Grace. Understanding. These are all words that strike me as I’m reflecting.

I need to be these things.

For them.