Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I have never thought of myself as a yeller. Loud? Sure. Boisterous? It has been said. But a yeller? No.

Then I had 4 children.

A few years ago, my friend Mary was telling me how she felt like all she did was yell at her kids. I just nodded, silently, thinking "well, yelling doesn't work, everyone knows that. I don't yell at my kids. And I won't. " And that was the adorable little thinking of a mother of 3, 2 of whom were still learning how to talk.

Now, I think I have her beat. Big time.

For one thing, this house is VERY VERY LOUD. Shouting is the norm simply to be heard. And the 4th little rug rat? He's the loudest of the bunch. Why wouldn't he be? He has grown up thinking decibel levels comparable to a small jet engine are the norm.

But volume alone isn't the source of the trouble. Anger and frustration has found it's way to my internal volume control. I was found yelling at Calvin last night in a room with just the two of us because he had pushed my buttons so completely and thoroughly. See, he has decided that he will simply do things his way. This will be achieved either by ignoring my instructions or outright arguing with me. I mean, come on. Why would he get ready for bed when asked? That is completely unreasonable.

Or another highlight from yesterday: I find Cal riding a friend's scooter in the middle of the road. I tell him he can't do this.
"But MOM!!!! Alexi SAID I could!!"
"Calvin, you can't play in the street."
"Calvin, I heard what you said. But I am telling you that you can't. You could get hit by a car." "BUT MOMMMMMM!!"
(Cue the crazy Howard Dean scream)

How did I get here? I AM NOT A YELLER. Everyone knows there is no theory of parenting based on screaming. "Yelling: How to Raise Caring, Responsible Children by Acting like a Howler Monkey." Not a bestseller...

So, I think it's time to take up meditation. Or install acoustic panels over our new remodeled home. Or study the work of Yoda. I don't know....

Friday, September 23, 2011

This one has it figured out

I have gone through many a battle as a mother for the last 9 years. I have done the terrible two's 4 times now, and there are endless variations of how one ends up on time out. I have heard many a scheme and deflected many a child-tactic to get their way.

I have been climbed like a mountain so many times I feel like Everest's got nothin' on me. I have had 4 boys simultaneously clawing at me, each vying for 100% of my attention. Each day brings a new way of dealing with it (some days are much more Parent Magazine approved than others...).

And just as I have strategies to deal with 4 boys, so do they for dealing with having just one mom. Max is earnest. Cal plays aloof but then wants one-on-one time. Spence just keeps climbing me... persistence has to pay off at some point, right? But it's #4 who played the trump card last night.

As has been universally true with each son, my lap is the preferred place to sit during dinner. It is also forbidden. I DON'T DO UPPIES WHEN I AM EATING. Period. No exceptions.

Leo, non-plussed with dinner last night, announces is is done about 3.4 minutes into the meal, and then he starts the dinner table satellite circles, gravitating towards my lap with each pass. As always, I quoted the above rule.

So he looks at me with bassett hound eyes and says "But I love you."

That was a new one. Dagger straight to the heart. How do you not suck that little kid up in an octopus style hug and just kiss him from head to toe??? I mean, come on!

I still made him wait till I was done eating, but MAN did he pull out a trick none of the others have figured out!

I am in trouble.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sunday, September 11, 2011

No more terrible two's

My sweet baby boy turned three on Friday.


I know that still sounds like an itty bitty kid in the big scheme of life, but 3 is no baby either. I don't have any babies. I have all big boys now. It kinda brings a tear to my eye (or is that a tear of rage at telling these boys to stop yelling for the berjillionth time today....?).

I don't know that I will ever stop feeling like he is my baby. Leo, my man, you are an extremely happy, joyful and funny little boy. You find humor in the most basic of things, which brings laughs to the rest of us. You are kind to your brothers and your friends. You already have empathy, which is a lovely, loverly characteristic. Our family would never have been complete without you.

I love you so much little man. Welcome to Three!

Thursday, September 8, 2011


... and with that, school begins.

The relief in my voice is as if I don't have my kids in summer camp every day. I know that there are other mothers with much more reason to be ecstatic that I, but I do love the start of school.

There is a structure and rhythm to it that is calming. It means fall is here, and I truly love fall. Once I get over the fact that summer is over, I fully embrace the fleece weather and sound of crunching leaves. Football is starting tonight, and soon a fire in the fireplace will be quite lovely.

So, here's to the start of yet another school year and all that comes with it.

Waiting for the bus at the Boz's