Things I Never Thought I Would Say

When you are growing up, there are specific statements your parents use that you swear you will never say to your own children. You know what they are:

Because I said so.

Because I’m the mom, that’s why.

Life isn’t fair.

Don’t touch your sister.

Don’t look at your sister.

Then you become a parent and you realize why your parents said them…they were at the end of their rope and couldn’t think of anything else to say to shut you up. Now you have them in your arsenal of argument ending statements and are willing to use them liberally.

 

But there are other statements that come out of a parent’s mouth that are so strange, especially out of context, that you just can’t believe the words that are spewing from your mouth. A sampling of my latest and greatest:

If it isn’t yours, don’t touch it.

You can do water aerobics when we are done.

Let go when his head goes under water.

You have to keep your room cleaner than Daddy keeps his.

Leave your poop/pond/mud shoes in the garage.

Just go pee outside if you can’t hold it.

Just go down the pole already, you know how to do it!

You can only spray the hose at the kids on the trampoline.

Go shoot your brother in the butt.

We don’t play with doors. (this one is yelled ad nauseum)

If you’re not bleeding, I don’t want to hear about it.

We have a pond at our farm and now that there is a dock I am much more likely to take the kids swimming there. It does, however, lead to some interesting quotes:

We WILL go swimming and you WILL have fun, got it?

No, you can’t drive a tractor in pond shoes.

Go get the tube that floated over where the frogs live.

Yes, I am wearing Uncle Brad’s diaper.

Can you touch Dad’s favorite rock? Her name is Cleo.

And my personal favorite:

Here is a rag, go clean the boogers off of your wall.

Yes, my son was really storing boogers on the wall by his bed and yes, I made him clean it up. Gross. He came out and said, “I think I’m done. From a distance, you can’t see them but if you get really close, like an inch away, you can see them.” He said it so earnestly and with hand motions to show me how close I would need to be to see them that I just let it go. Eeeww.

Anyone else have some interesting quotes they would like to share?

 

 

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My Funny, Competitive Kids

I was reminded yesterday of my own competitive nature as well as the competitive spirit that my kids exhibit. We were at our good friends’ pool and Sam invited Mr. Liddle, Adam, to play horse with him. Adam has seen my kids play sports and has even seen him play some horse in the pool so he knew that it would be a somewhat challenging game but I don’t think he was prepared for the level of fight my kids would offer.

Drew, unfortunately, was eliminated early but before each shot he would ask Adam if he knew what “prove it” meant in the game of horse. Adam assured him each time that he did and would be happy to prove his shot when necessary; I think Drew was just trying to psych him out.

Sam practices his trick shots almost every day we are at the pool, a fact that I’m not sure Adam realized. The nail in the coffin was the jumping-off-the-diving-board shot that Sam has almost perfected. Adam gave it a valiant effort but once he had earned a letter from that shot, the game was virtually over. As they exited the pool, Adam mentioned that he had just been beat by a kid while actually trying to win. His wife then mentioned that I never let my kids win…at anything….ever….and it got me thinking.

Am I too hard on my kids? Should I let them win a race, a game of checkers, or a best coloring contest? The thing is, I’m simply incapable! No, I don’t set out to crush their spirits and I always offer help throughout a game or contest but at the same time, I don’t let them win either. I like to think that I am helping them learn that life won’t always be peaches and cream, that they will have to lose sometimes, and that winning isn’t everything. I hope that they are learning that winning is more fulfilling when you have earned it and how to be both a gracious winner and a resilient loser. Plus, I really like to win.

Bridget definitely has a winning spirit and doesn’t get too upset when she loses at something. She does, however, get super duper excited when she wins a bike race or makes a great catch. After each accomplishment in the pool, she does this hilarious and almost surprised laugh that is hard to duplicate or describe.

Drew has a little bit of trouble with losing and tends to get pretty down on himself. On the other hand, he can usually be cajoled into a rematch, which I will admit I sometimes let him win. He takes losing at some activities harder than others but I can’t quite put my finger on the pattern yet…I’ll keep working on it.

Sam is possibly my most competitive child and also the biggest pouter when losing. He doesn’t throw a big tantrum or anything, just gets very quiet and sad. As I’ve mentioned before, he is a pretty good soccer player and it is interesting to watch him during a challenging game. The game typically starts with him having some fun and screwing around a bit with his teammates between plays but once the ball is stripped or a kick blocked, he focuses and will on purpose take the ball right at the other team’s best player. It is so entertaining and gratifying to watch him tackle his biggest challenges; he absolutely thrives on it. He doesn’t pout for too long after a loss and doesn’t gloat too much after a win, although he did have one memorable post game quote this season:

Adult (I don’t remember who he was talking to): How was the game?

Sam: (with a very dejected face) It was a sad day………(very quietly) for the other team.

It isn’t very nice but it is pretty funny. It will be interesting to see how Drew’s competitive nature is displayed when he starts soccer this fall. He is pretty sure he is an all star already after practicing with Sam’s team all spring so I hope he isn’t too cocky! Sam will be playing both football and soccer so I anticipate a lot of tired, pouty faces but hopefully also a lot of giant grins as well.

Funny Things I Saw This Weekend

Another Hudson Days has come and gone, the weekend that makes or breaks the bars in town. We had a great weekend, one of the best I can remember. Here is my Top Ten..er…Twelve List of Hudson Days 2011 memories:

 

12.People watching while waiting for the fireworks to start. Highlight included a large woman carrying a super tiny purse and a small town band fanatic who may have been a stripper in her younger days. She taught some of the high school kids watching her some interesting new moves while dancing alone under the streetlight. Just to make sure you get the proper image in your head, she was wearing a pair of bib overall shorts belted at the waist with a black tank top and black cowboy boots. I may have some video of her dancing…maybe.

11. Watching my kids laugh at , and even Bridget interact with, the ventriloquist at the library. Drew repeated almost the entire show verbatim to Daddy later that night, it was pretty cute.

Alyson & Tay

 

10. Witnessing my little friend Taylor develop a pretty serious girl crush on my niece Alyson who was kind enough to come spend the weekend with us. Alyson even let her sit on her lap in the 100 degree heat!

 

 

9. Surprising the best daycare provider ever with as many of “her” kids as I could find. The poor woman was completely blindsided and had been yelling at her husband, who was in on it, all day for changing their plans at the last minute. She walked into the Firemen’s Dance and talked to some little ones wearing pins with her name on it and didn’t notice that anything was up until 50 of us yelled, “We love you Aud!”

8. As the lovely people were preparing to put the giant jumpy things away, my father-in-law suddenly said, “Hey Katelyn, let’s see if they’ll let us go down the giant slide before they put it away.” I followed and photographed his giant grin as he slid down!

 

 

 

7. We resurrected our 80 foot slip n slide on Saturday afternoon. Since the event was hosted by the Hudson track coach, a number of the track boys and girls arrived and put on a show of sliding acumen never before seen on our cow feed plastic. Thankfully, the only injury was to Sam who hit a hose nozzle and scraped up his side. He wears it like a badge of honor and will show you if you ask about it.

6. There were a lot of Firemen’s Dance highlights, most not suitable for print. I did watch a woman fall down drunk and need to be escorted out by her college-age children. I was more than a little embarrassed for her and don’t even know her name.

5. I got a hug from my brother-in-law who is an avowed non-hugger. Sure, he was just trying to prove that he had jumped in a pool with all his clothes on but I’ll take it!

4. Kids’ Waterball sponsored by the Hudson Fire Department was an absolute riot. My kids, of course, were amazing fighters but some of the littler kids were much more excited to spray the crowd or the firefighters who were helping them. There was even a dad hiding behind his 3 year old, trying not to get wet while the little guy just played in the water with his hands, squirting it everywhere. Adorable.

3. Watching Drew drive the tractor through the parade, on Daddy’s lap. He was so proud and apparently did most of the steering on his own!

2. The dad’s were amazing and hilarious on the slip n slide helping the little ones make it all the way down the slide. There is nothing cuter than a man holding some little tyke’s hands as they mince down the plastic, lie down gingerly, and push their little hinnies down the hill.

 

 

 

1. While riding on our parade float, my niece Morgan’s tissue paper chef hat fell off of her head and landed under her 4-H calf. At just the right moment, Tootsie the calf let loose a steady stream of pee directly onto her hat, smearing her marker decorations and flattening the poofy top. Priceless.

Rain Puppy Bike Rides

Miss Bridget is learning how to ride a bike this summer, with training wheels of course, and it has been quite an adventure. Our first bike ride was a rousing success with very little whining, lots of encouragement from her brothers, and Mommy just sitting and watching from the sidelines. Apparently we should have left it that way.

The next day I decided to take all of the kids on a short bike ride. Bridget was excited and really wanted me to ride my bike as well because she was a big girl and didn’t need me to walk next to her. Why did I listen to a 3-year-old despite my own knowledge that this was a bad idea? All I can tell you is that Bridget is very cute and a good manipulator.

Off we went up the hill: Bridget pedaling with all her might, the boys riding in circles to the corner and back and everyone happy. We turned the corner and things started to go south. The boys got bored and wanted to go faster, Bridget started whining that her legs hurt, and I was having trouble pedaling as slowly as was necessary. Have you ever tried to ride a bike really really slowly? It is hard! We made it to the next corner without any major meltdowns but then faced a hill that must have looked very steep to Bridget because she informed me that she couldn’t do it.

I implored her to keep pedaling and asked her to show me her muscles. She flexed her biceps, which as might not know are very important bike riding muscles, and kept pedaling. As we neared the top of the very short and mildly inclined hill she told me, “Mom, that was tough but I did it because I have big muscles and I am very strong and the da boys can do dis hill too but I don’t want to go down da hill because I’m scared to.” Pride and worry intermingled in my brain and caused an explosion of exhaustion.

The next block was a straighaway that we navigated with no problems and then all hell broke lose because now we had to go down the hill towards home. Holy goodness my child has lungs and can utilitze them even after a tough uphill climb! As her speed increased incrementally down the hill, her screaming escalated exponentially until a woman actually came out of her house to see if we were ok. Keep in mind that I am trying to hold on to her bike and keep her calm while also trying to balance my own bike between my legs. It was awesome and probably a beautiful sight. We eventually made it down the hill after a time out on the curb, some pathetic sobbing, and a deal in which Bridget and I each held a handle bar of her bike and walked it home. It was depressing but it only got worse when I went to Hawaii.

Blair called while I was eating dinner overlooking the ocean to inform me that he and Bridget had just gone a very very long bike ride, with a pit stop to play with 9 labrador puppies. Not only can I not compete with lab puppies but I can’t get her to ride her bike around the block! To top it off, a heavy downpour started while they were still almost a mile from home and she had a blast riding through the puddles and getting “all soaky,” in her words. Yep, she rode all the way home in the rain with Daddy but won’t go around the block in the sunshine with me. Ggrr.

I took this as a direct challenge and tried to take her on a bike ride when I got home. We didn’t make it past our property line before she hopped off the bike, informed that she didn’t like to go fast, and never wanted to ride her bike again. Awesome.

I let it go for a week or so and then we tried another bike ride last night. We took the same route as our first semi-successful ride and I was pleasantly surprised by her ability and willingness to try. On the straightaway she says, “Mom, dis is a good bike ride but I like rain puppy bike rides better. When Daddy takes me on a bike ride and we get all soaky? And den we has root beer floats when we is all wet. I like those kind of bike rides, ok?”

Yep, I can’t compete with downpours and puppies..or Daddy apparently. Thank goodness the boys still like to go on bike rides with me!

Update

Oh my goodness, I hear you thinking, has Suzi really blogged again? Yessiree Bob, and I hope to get back into the swing of the blogging world again. Hope you’re ready to join me!

I don’t think I have posted a blog since April and a lot has happened since then; here is the Cliff’s Notes version:

Sam graduated from second grade and will have to leave the teacher he has entertained for 2 consecutive years. He asked if he could go to summer school so he could spend more time with her. Awww…

He finished his second season of soccer with a gold medal at the Cedar Valley Cup. He is an awesome little player, I don’t mind telling you, and I was almost embarrassed when he just kept scoring during some games. The highlight of the season for him was a series of corner kicks that kept getting knocked out of bounds by an exceptionally tall opponent. By the 6th kick in a row, I saw Sam start to get irritated and feel challenged. By kick 9 or so, he decided he was done messing around with this kid, kicked the ball over his head and into the opposite corner of the goal for a score. That goal was not embarrassing.

Sam played t-ball this summer against his wishes and has inherited his mother’s penchant for fielding over hitting; hopefully he will continue to be fast because I see a lot of bunting in his future.

He is reading a lot this summer and has found the Star Wars section at the library. I often find him reading in his bed in the morning, which I love, and asked for a fort chair that would be comfortable to read in for his birthday. Man, that kid and I have a lot in common.

Drew graduated from kindergarten in the spring and, although he really liked his teacher, he did not request summer school. He is loving the freedom that summer affords but is a little irritated that I don’t just let him play Wii all day long. He has surprised me with his enthusiasm for the homework pages I make them complete almost every day but prefers the pages that are entirely too easy for him over the more challenging assignments. His reading continues to improve and I will often find him lying on his bed reading as well, especially when “screens” have been lost for the day.

Drew practiced with Sam’s soccer team most of the spring and is developing some speed and soccer skills. He also played t-ball this summer, albeit with more excitement than his big brother, and enjoyed every single game. He is a terrific fielder but may also have inherited my poor hitting skills. I’m hopeful that he will buck the legacy and become a home run hitter!

Drew is a very social little dude, constantly asking to invite friends over to play. However, once those friends arrive he doesn’t really know what to do with them beyond playing Wii, which is typically not allowed. We can usually find an outdoor or water activity to keep them entertained but there have been some tough moments.

Bridget made it through the school year but has not been as entertained as I had hoped now that the boys are home. They appear to just be getting in her way. She spends the majority of the day ordering “da boys” around and scolding them when they do not obey her orders explicitly.

Bridget has grown up so much in the last few months but is still pretty clingy to whichever parent is her favorite at the moment. Once she feels comfortable with someone, however, she is difficult to shake. I thought Sam talked a lot but Bridget has achieved a whole new level of constant chatter. You can ask our neighbor Devon if you need more information on that aspect of her personality; the poor little dude was trying to fall asleep in the car after fireworks but Bridget just had so much to tell his mother and I!

With the boys on constant watch, there have been fewer incidents involving food stealing but she has been known to shove 4 or 5 jelly beans in her mouth when I ask her what she is doing.  When I ask if she has eaten them, she shakes her head no while multi-colored drool runs down her cheeks. It is awesome.

Those are the brief highlights of our summer so far…pool shenanigans, the lowdown on my trip to Hawaii (!), an update on our landscaping battle and Blair’s latest misadventures to come!

And now I have a request: I have cancelled most of my current writing contracts because they were sucking the joy from my soul and not paying me enough to be worth it. ($2 an article…really?) so I am focusing on writing that I love. Part of that is this blog so feel free to pester me if I am slacking off. Also, if you have any hilarious stories about your children, grandparents, spouses or in-laws please pass them on; there is a book of essays in the works entitled “Dude, You Have to Kneel to Pee” and I may need a few more entries. Thanks!