Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Missing Tooth

A few weekends ago, our little family decided to explore the river walk in our community.  We loaded the bike, roller blades, and stroller into the trailer.  Then, we went on a quick jaunt to the beginning of the trail.  Son #1 was so excited but also a bit worried.  He had just lost a baby tooth a couple days earlier and he wasn't sure how this missing tooth would affect him. 

"Mommy, will I still be able to ride my bike?"  Son #1 asked with a mixture of excitement and concern.

"Baby, you'll be fine."  I comforted.

Son #1 settled into the backseat and fiddled with the hole in his smile.  He was proud of his missing tooth.  It made him feel grown up.

When we arrived, my husband pulled out our things and set them up alongside the car.  (Yes...we pulled a trailer with a four banger but that is a different story altogether.)  Son #1 jumped out of the car screaming with delight.  "I can't wait to ride my bike!  Look!  There's another guy with a bike!  He brought a helmet just like me!"

My husband and I smiled at our eldest son's enthusiasm.  It is infectious and always makes the day a little more fun.  We helped Son #1 onto his bike and Son #2 into his stroller.  Then, we rode off quickly to the trail.

At first, the trail wound its way between a golf course and a river.  Native greenery shaded us from the burning sun.  Eventually, we came upon a quiet cemetery and fields of tall, golden grass.  The trail climbed small, rolling hills and dipped into miniature valleys.  Finally, we could go no further.  We journeyed back towards our car. 

Sweat dripped down our faces as we pulled up beside our vehicle.  Though exhausted from our adventure, my husband and I loaded our things back into the trailer.  Gently, I placed a sleeping Son #2 into his car seat.  Son #1 quietly buckled up in the back seat.  Soon, we were on our way home. 

Son #1 leaned against the door and looked out the window.  Any worry about his missing tooth had dissipated on the bike ride.  He had thoroughly enjoyed our little journey on the river walk and looked as though he might fall asleep.  Then, Son #1 said in a wistful yet satisfied voice.  "I'm fancy without my tooth."

The Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Tonight for supper, I prepared a spicy vegetable soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.  It was raining outside and comfort food seemed appropriate.  Son #1 and my husband sat at the table as I put together their plates of food.  They were especially excited about the grilled cheese sandwiches.  I motioned for Son #2 to join us at the table.  He promptly turned up his nose and squealed.  "Uh! uh!"

Son #2 ran to the living room as fast as his little legs could carry him.  I called to him.  "Come here.  Mmm.  It's sandwiches.  It's good.  It's delicious."

Son #2 yelled.  "Na No!"  He shrieked defiantly and then hurled himself at the refrigerator door.  "I want my ba!"  (Translation:  Bleep!  Bleep!  Get me my milk in my sippy cup!)

Was this my sweet toddler?  I wasn't too sure.  Who was this little, screamy thing that had replaced my sweet baby?

I opened the refrigerator door, poured the vanilla soy milk into the sippy cup, and lifted an eyebrow at Son #2.  Then, I placed his cup onto the table beside his food.  "Sit down, Baby.  Here's your ba and your food."  I encouraged.

Son #2 threw himself against a chair and spit as he rubbed his hands against his nose.  This was to show his disdain at my suggestion.  Then with a purposeful look upon his tiny face, Son #2 removed his booster seat and sippy cup from the premises.  Painstakingly, he dragged them to the sofa in the living room.  He faced the chair towards the wall, sat down, and gave us an icy cold shoulder as he drank his milk.  When his milk was done, Son #2 strode to his room in silence.

My husband and I looked at each other.  Shock and amusement shone on our faces.  There was no denying it.  Son #2 just dissed us.

Sunday, September 22, 2013


One lazy Sunday afternoon, I listened to the James Taylor Pandora station while the boys played with their toys in the living room.  Periodically, I hummed along with a tune as I read a magazine in my rocking chair.  Then, the song "Amie" by Pure Prairie League began to play.  I sang along loudly.  My husband heard me singing and he joined in the fun.  Son #1 smiled at us and started to hum. 

Amie what you want to do?  We crooned.

I think I could stay with you.  We continued our serenade.

For a while, maybe longer if I do.  Our singing began to fade as we went about our business. 

While we were singing, Son #2 was studying us intently.  When we stopped, Son #2 picked up his drum and attempted to keep time with Pure Prairie League as they finished up their song.  I watched in amusement.  However, my amusement soon turned to amazement as Son #2 belted out the chorus.

Amie what you want to do?  Son #2 squeaked.

I tink I wa wa wa you.  Son #2 mumbled.

Fa a wa, wa wa wa wa wa I do.  Son #2 sang confidently.

Amie what you want to do?  Son #2 repeated over and over again as he toddled down the hallway to his room.

I was flabbergasted.  Then, I smiled smugly to my husband and blurted out what every proud parent says about their child.  "Babe, Son #2 is a genius!"

Monday, September 16, 2013

Airplanes, Cleats, and Homework

One day, Son #1 came home from school and tossed his backpack on his bedroom floor.  As usual, I grabbed the homework folder from his bag and looked inside.  In the back pocket, ten pages of unfinished school work lay neatly stacked and organized.  I pulled the stack out and thumbed through it.




Coloring Sheet...

Art Assignment...

Bible Project...

Mad Minutes...

Another Coloring Sheet???


Social Studies...

What did my kid do at school today?  Obviously, he did nothing because I was staring at a full day of work in his homework folder.  Irritated, I marched over to Son #1's room and asked.  "Why do you have so much homework?"

Son #1 looked at me sheepishly and replied.  "Uh.  I don't know."

"Did you do any work today?"  I continued.

"Yeah."  Son #1 responded.

I decided to try a different tactic because I was not getting any  clear answers.  I read the note from the teacher in the homework folder.

Son #1 has been playing airplane with his pencil instead of doing his work. When it is time for recess, Son #1 completes his work before playing.  He says he works like a rocket to get his work done.  Here's to him working like a rocket during class time.

"Have you been playing airplane in the classroom instead of doing your work?"  I questioned my son.

"Yeah!  I can make my pencil fly really high and then dive bomb my desk."  Son #1 said with gusto.

"What else have you been doing?"  I probed.

"Oh.  Well, I've been thinking about my cleats in my backpack."  Son #1 explained.

"You took your cleats to school."  I repeated. 


My son had not completed any work because he was too busy playing pencil airplanes and dreaming about his cleats.  I discussed at length with Son #1  the importance of completing his work at school.  We also talked about getting good grades and putting forth his best effort when he works.  He's a very smart little boy.  However, I may have to bribe him to get good grades in the near future. 

Of course, this is my karma.  I was not interested in school so my parents paid me to get as many A's as possible.  Being a little mercenary, I tried to make straight A's for every report card.  Now, I'm getting what I deserve.  Fortunately, I learned a thing or two from my dad.  He made me save every last cent for college.  I'll be doing the same for Son #1.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Drums

Son #2 got drums and a few other percussion instruments designed for toddlers on his second birthday.  One evening, Son #2 strutted around the living room with the large drum strapped to his shoulders.  He pounded with the drumsticks in style.  My husband and I cheered him on from our comfortable chairs.

Rat at tat tat.  Son #2 marched as he drummed to the beat in his head. 

Rat a tat tat.  Son #2 spun around and strode toward the kitchen. 

Son #2 beat the drum with his sticks several more times until he was distracted by a cartoon on the television.  The animated figures dancing about the screen reeled him away from his drums.  Son #2's arms hung limply as his hands relaxed their grasp on the drumsticks.  The drum dangled from its strap on my toddler's neck.  He was completely engrossed in cartoon's tale. 

My husband and I began a conversation about something random.  We really began to discuss this random thought when all of a sudden we heard a tiny voice cry out.  "Help!  Help!"

My husband and I stopped our discussion and turned toward the direction of the little voice.  We heard it again.  "Help!  Help!"

There Son #2 stood with the drum hanging lopsided from his neck and shoulder.  My husband rushed over to save him.  Son #2 cried out once more.  "Help me!"

My husband helped Son #2 out of the drum's strap and gave him a little hug.  Son #2 patted his dad's shoulder and said.  "Tatu."  (Translation:  Thank you.)  Then as if nothing had happened, Son #2 toddled over to his drums to play once again.

Apparently, Son #2 is one tough little dude.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sharing the Ba

One Sunday morning, an untidy Son #2 dug into the kitchen cabinets and played with the Tupperware.  Plastic bowls and lids spilled through the opening onto the floor.  Son #2 sang a garbled song as he flung things behind him.  He was intently searching for something mumbling.  "Hmm.  Le's see.  Hmm.  Le's see."  (Translation:  Hmm.  Let's see.)

All of a sudden he spied the object of his search.  Son #2 announced.  "Oh.  Dere is!"  (Translation:  Oh.  There it is.)

Son #2 fiddled and stacked until he had it just so.  Then, he toddled to my bedroom with his prize.  There, he presented it to me with outstretched arms.  I asked.  "What do you have, Baby?"

"Ba."  Son #2 answered with love in his eyes.  (Translation:  I want you to have my bottle.)  The ba he was offering was a stack of four round, plastic containers.  He held it up for me to drink.  I took the "ba" from Son #2 and pretended to drink my milk. 

"Mmm.  That was good.  Thank you, Baby."  I said tenderly.

Son #2 smiled and wiggled his little fingers as if to request the empty container.  I obliged and returned the empty "ba".  Then, I suggested.  "Go give your Daddy some "ba", too."

Son #2's eyes danced as he chirped.  "Oh! OK."  Then, he scurried toward my husband's office.

As he entered the room, he held up the "ba" as a little gift to his daddy.  My husband turned and asked.  "What is this?"

"Ba."  Son #2 offered in a matter-of fact voice.

"Huh?"  My husband took the gift but looked confused.

"He wants you to drink it."  I explained.

My husband's eyes twinkled as he lifted the "ba" to his mouth.  He made a few slurping sounds and wiped his mouth.  Son #2 stretched out his arm and wriggled his fingers.  My husband returned the empty "ba" and commented.  "Mmm.  Good.  Thank you, little son."

Son #2 proudly strolled back to the kitchen to make more mayhem.  I couldn't wait to see what his imagination would create next.

The Casual Conversation

One Saturday afternoon, Tia (Aunt) and Son #1 struck up a casual conversation.  Tia was curious about Son #1 and the upcoming school year.  She began.  "Are you excited about first grade?"

Son #1 glanced up from the collection of cars in Abuelita's (Grandma's) playroom and responded.  "Oh yeah.  I can't wait.  I'm going to miss kindergarten, though."

Tia asked.  "Why?"

Son #1 said.  "Because I'm not going to the same school.  I'm going to miss my friends."

Tia was curious and questioned Son #1 a bit more.  "So what did you learn in kindergarten?"

"I learned about math and I learned to read and about gardens.  Oh and I learned about the BAD FINGER."  Son #1 stated.

"The BAD FINGER???"  Tia replied a bit shocked.

"Oh. Yeah.  We never use the BAD FINGER."  Son #1 explained as he half held it in the air.  "My best friend showed me."

"Do you have any other friends."  Tia asked trying to change the subject.

"Oh. Yeah.  I like to play with my girl friend.  We're going to get married."  Son #1 announced.

"What does she look like?"  Tia asked with amusement etched on her face.

"A Girl"  Son #1 replied nonchalantly.

Tia exploded into giggles.  Conversations with six year old kids are amazing.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Cracker

One night, I dropped my kids off at the child care center in the gym so I could exercise.  Son #1 gleefully ran into the center toward the video games.  Son #2 clung to my neck and eyed the care givers with a touch of worry. 

Both of my boys have been attending this center since they were 6 weeks old.  Son #2 was worrying needlessly considering he knew the care givers well.  One of the girls smiled at him and gathered him into her arms.  Son #2 cried pitifully but only for a second.  Soon, he was distracted with a very interesting cracker.

Son #2 fidgeted with the cracker trying to decide when to eat it.  The care giver played games with him and made him laugh.  All throughout the game playing, Son #2 held tightly to the cracker.  It was his prized possession, a treasure to keep safe. 

Twenty minutes passed.  The care giver noticed that Son #2 had still not eaten the cracker.  She said to him.  "Since you haven't eaten the cracker, I can take it and put it away for you."

Son #2 wrinkled his brow and thought for a second.  Then, he shoved the cracker into his mouth decisively.  His cheeks bulged like a squirrel hoarding nuts for the winter.  The expression on his face dared.  "Now, come and take the cracker."

Toddlers can be so contrary.  They will smuggle a snack around a room, playing games until the snack has turned into tiny crumbs.  However the moment you suggest they put the snack away, they will swallow it whole to keep you from getting to it.