Mar 29, 2012

Car Talk

3/29/2012 — cori
We were driving down a very bumpy road the other day.  I was driving and Chloe was sitting diagonal from me in the back seat.  I was wearing short sleeves.  My attire is a pivotal point to this story.

So there I am, driving along with all three kids in tow when Chloe exclaims, "Mom, the fat on your arms looks very swivelly when you drive."

I'm so astonished with this out of the blue comment that I can't help but laugh at her use of vocabulary and random observation.  "You said swivelly right?  Not jiggly?"

"Yes.  You know, the fat on your arms is swivelling around in circles as we go over the bumps on the road."

I am now laughing my head off.  I find this hilarious (and true)!  But the boys don't.

Gavin, my ever faithful defender and loyal son, declares, "CHLOE!  You can't say that to Mom.  That will make her sad!"

In jumps Bennett to the rescue, "Ya.  It will make her self-conscious.  You don't want her to feel that way, do you?"

Now Chloe is back tracking and horribly sad at the possibility of making me sad as per her brothers' admonitions.  She was just stating a very true observation, my arms were jiggling all over the place on the horribly pot-holed road.  Now she is starting to cry and re-phrase, "Mom, I wasn't trying to be mean.  I didn't mean your fat...I meant your skin... its moving back and forth alot...".

But I was more interested in the whole "self-conscious" phrase used by Bennett.  "Bennett...when did you learn that word?"

"Well...I've always known it.  I just decided this would be a good time to use it."

"Ahh, I see.  So, have you ever felt self-conscious?"

"Oh ya."

"How?  When?"

"I'm self conscious about my butt."

"Your BUTT?  How in the world can you be self conscious about your butt?!"

"It's too long."

"Long?  As in l-o-n-g?

"Yep."

I swear this is all true.  You can't make this stuff up.  I purposed in my heart to remember the entire conversation word for word (as much as a mental stretch as that is for me) since it was so incredibly bizarre.  I knew I would be going back to revisit this little unexpected episode in my day for years to come.

"Explain, please."

"Well...you see, every time I'm walking to the shower and I look in the mirror on my way in, my butt just looks so long."

No one prepares you for these types of conversations.  How is a parent supposed to convince their 10 year old son that their butt is not long but normal?  That conversation is no where in the parenting manuals.  Long gone are my swivelly arms.  We've moved on to much deeper issues.

"Honey.  You so don't have a long butt."  (Try saying that with a straight face.)  "What else are you self conscious about?"

"Well...my teeth.  They're long too." He says this with all sincerity.

"Bennett, your teeth are perfectly normal.  You just have skewed vision if you thing everything is long."  How's that for encouragement.  This conversation is going nowhere fast.  I must exit.

By now, Chloe is crying, thinking she is the worst kid ever, begging me to forgive her, asking me not to be mad.  Gavin is laughing his head off.  Bennett is being self-conscious about everything and begging me not to blog a word of this.  I'm laughing hysterically, assuring Chloe that if I was upset I would not be laughing so hard.  That assurance at least stops the tears.

We have made it to our destination and the 'car talk' is over.  Thank God.

*  I have since gained permission (albeit begrudgingly) from Bennett to broadcast this story on my blog under the auspices that he will want to remember this when he is older.


Mar 27, 2012

Quotes

3/27/2012 — cori
I came across these quotes recently.  Love them.  The first one is so me and apparently also so C.S. Lewis:

There is not a cup of tea big enough
or a book long enough to suit me.
- C. S. Lewis

The second is very thought provoking:

Accountability is something that is left
when responsibility has been subtracted.
- Pasi Sahlberg

Mar 9, 2012

Trip Notes

3/09/2012 — cori
The kids and I are on a road trip.  Fun times.  As we are leaving the driveway, Gavin breaks out the first book he plans on reading:  "String Theory for Dummies".  Then he decides he needs to start taking notes and whips out his trusty, dusty notepad to write down who knows what about 'string theory'.  He even has the gaul to try to incorporate me into a conversation about it.  "Mom, did you know that the string theory has 10 to the 500th power number of possible solutions?" 

First of all, I don't even know what that means, so how am I supposed to have an intelligent response.  Second of all, I'm driving, which means I really only heard every 3rd word cuz I'm really concentrating on staying on the road.  And lastly, I don't really care what string theory is.  So, this became my 'intelligent' reply, "Hmmm.  Is that a good or a bad thing, Gavin?"

According to him, it's just plain "interesting", neither good nor bad.  Whatever.  I cannot be concerning myself with such things as string theory when I am in the process of driving.  Or really ever for that matter.

Another interesting thing...the very first thing the kids do when we get into our hotel room - check the tv listings to see if they have the Food Network.  That's really all that's important.  You can be assured that we will have our fill of Food Network tonight.

And who doesn't love a hotel with an indoor/outdoor pool and a hot tub?!  The perfect way to spend the evening relaxing after a long day of driving!  And free internet and computer?!  Love it.

Lastly, the kids kept thanking me over and over, "Thank you Mom for driving so carefully and trying to get us here safely."  I'm so thankful for their thankful hearts. 

This is just one more fun adventure...I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!

Mar 8, 2012

Barbarians Live Here

3/08/2012 — cori
Bennett: "Since when did Gavin have hair under his pits?"

Daddy: "Since a couple of months ago."

Bennett:  "That is so barbaric!"

Daddy:  "You are going to as well one day."

Bennett:  "No way!  I mean...one day Gavin's a kid and the next day he's a man.  How did that happen?"

We're still asking ourselves that same question my observant son.  How do these teeny, tiny babies grow right in front of our very own eyes into walking, talking people with opinions and passions and wills of their own and arm pit hair?

Mar 4, 2012

Are We On Candid Camera?

3/04/2012 — cori
I asked this question as we began unloading our grocery cart onto the conveyor belt this morning.  This experience was too crazy, too unbelievable, too much to endure if it wasn't for the viewing pleasure of the rest of the world.  I want everyone to have a chance to walk in my shoes at the grocery store.

Most every week, I have the serene pleasure of gathering food for my family all by myself during a part of  the day when there may be only 5 other people frequenting my grocery store.  I specifically and intentionally have orchestrated it to be this way.  I operate best under perfect conditions.

But every once in a while, Chuck thinks it would be "fun" if we all go to the store as a family.  Where he gets this idea, I'll never know.  But I can't keep refusing him his little "fun", so every blue moon I acquiesce and gird myself up for the inevitable.  I take many, many deep breaths, determine ahead of time to hold my tongue and release no sarcastic remarks or "i told you so" looks and afix a permanent (albeit fake) smile to my face.  Often I pretend to be in a state of supreme concentration reviewing the list in my hand so I don't have to deal with the cluelessness going on around me.

The chaos begins the moment we enter the door.  All four of my entourage decide to camp in front of the doorway and argue over who should drive the cart.  I keep walking, knowing that eventually, they will follow and a cart will magically be by my side.  The moment they enter the store, they are apparently sprayed in the face with some type of "clueless gas".  This disables any and all normal thinking processes and they proceed to revert back to cavemen like behavior.

It was never this hard when they were younger.  I could plop each of them in a cart, control them with a food item (like a cookie from the bakery) and bribe them with some type of reward once we got home if they would follow me through the store and BEHAVE.  Worked like magic everytime.  Not so much anymore.  Now they wander down the isles, clueless that other people exist.  They are too busy talking about yuh-gi-oh or what super power so-and-so has.  They do not know how to walk in a straight line, talk quietly or move out of the way.  They think it's a great time to tell me a story or share their life dreams.  If I say "stay here, I'm just going to run down this isle and pick up one item" they apparently think I said, "quick, everyone, cluster around me and follow me so closely that you run over my heels with the cart as I go get this one little item that was 3 feet away from where we just were."  And that's only the kids.

Let's talk about Chuck.  If he is in control of the cart - watch out.  He is a "middle of the isle" hog.  This has to be one of my worst pet peeves - people who aimlessly walk down the center of an isle like they're the only ones there.  He also likes to read all the signs to me.  Ask me why we don't get such-and-such anymore.  Put random food items in the cart.  Joke with the kids (why would anyone do that in a grocery store - don't they know it just eggs them on!).  Ask to go on a satellite mission (you know, where I send them to pick up random items far, far away from where I am) but then come back with only 2 of the 3 things I told them to get.  And get this...when putting the food on the conveyor belt, he doesn't even group the food into like categories!  So then the lady packing my food in my bags is going to put things like bananas with a bag of sugar and everyone knows you can't do that.

We finally make it to the checkout lane and my people all just stand there, milling about, in the way of my putting my food on the belt.  There are some really important things to talk about as soon as you get to the checkout line apparently.  I'm on the verge of loosing my plastic smile.  I'm starting to hyperventilate.  I can see the end in sight and I'm ever so anxious for this charade to be over.  I used to look at other mothers and think "when my kids are that age, they are going to be so much better behaved in the store".  I got my payback.  I NEVER think that about anyone or anything at anytime anymore.  I have learned my lesson.  I promise.

Now I know what my Mom meant when she used to say, "You were so much better behaved when you were two than you are now (teens)."  YES! YES!  I want to scream.  "I FINALLY KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN!"  You can control little, bitty people - you can pick them up, move them, shove a cookie in their mouth, or just pass off their behavior as "oh they're in the terrible two's".  But what excuse do you have when their the age of my kids?  None.  Nada.  Zilch.  It just is what it is.

Amazingly, we have food for the week.  I don't know how I was able to stay on task under such duress.  It just goes to show the fortitude that comes with motherhood.  Sometimes we're asked to do the impossible...like a family trip to the grocery store....and we come out on the other side better for it.

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