No interest in Easter egg hunts for the past two years. None. Zippo. Too old, or something like that. That’s why I sold the hundreds of plastic eggs in our last garage sale. Today, 11-year-old Joey says he can’t wait to search for eggs tomorrow. And that’s why I was one of the last-minute moms today in Target’s Easter aisles.
” … Greenhorn couldn’t handle this,” is what I heard my OB say as he was attempting to deliver the six-day-late baby who kept “turtling” and would not emerge from my body.
“Who is Dr. Greenhorn?,” I kept thinking.
OK, OK, now I know he meant not a specific doctor, just an inexperienced one, and I think he was probably right, because it was kinda complicated pushing into the world that 10-pound, 9-ounce boy and his Superman-like placenta cape. But he arrived, he was healthy, and that was 11 years ago! Happy Birthday to my now 114-pound Joey!
We’re loving late nights and really late mornings this summer. Just ask Joey, who is dozing more than anyone in our family. It’s like he’s a teenager, waking only when I open his window blinds and coax him into opening his oh-s0-tired eyes. But he’s not even on the edge of the teens, in fact, he has his 10-year-old check-up tomorrow, where we’ll learn that he’s more the size of 12 than 10 at his nearly 5 feet 3 inches and 108 pounds and that he’s not stopped growing since he was born. Not even one stalled moment. He was 10 pounds, 9 ounces at birth; 22 pounds at 6 months; 40 pounds at 3 years; and 80 pounds at 8. (Brother Danny is currently 62 pounds at 8 years old.)
The boy does everything big — he grows big, complains big, fishes big, and now, he sleeps big. Normal, I think. But we’ll be confirm with his doc in the morning. Just be be sure.
UPDATE: OK, so he’s more the size of 13 than 12, and the sleeping is just fine, as long as he doesn’t have trouble rising early if necessary (like on school days), which he doesn’t.
Today, Danny is 8, and in honor of his birthday, I asked him a few questions, to which he responded while slouching on the couch watching a marathon River Monsters and gaming with a handheld something or other. Deep meaningful answers, I did not get. But that’s to be expected, I suppose. He’s 8.
How does it feel to be 8?
Uhhh, feels different. That’s all I have.
What do you hope to accomplish as an 8-year-old?
Go to a water park.
What do you think will be great about being 8?
That I can go on different rides because I’ll be taller.
And that’s all he spoke.
I once drove my minivan into a yellow pole. Scraped the whole side of the vehicle and left a streak of flashy paint, too. Consequences: embarrassment, car in the shop, me with no wheels, big repair bill, insurance headaches, and a sliding door that really was never the same again.
This summer, I soaked my phone in the rain at Joey’s tackle football practice. The downpour was fierce, and I couldn’t get to shelter fast enough. My cell was saturated beyond repair, and I had to get another one. Granted, the newbie is way cooler, and I love it, but the expensive mistake is one I’d prefer to not repeat.
We all have stories of regret, tales of decisions gone bad, and 7-year-old Danny has just acquired his first biggie.
Today, Danny dropped his Christmas-gifted iPod Touch on the driveway. The glass on the front of the thing looks like a cracked windshield, his heart is broken in a million little pieces, and if his tummy feels anything like mine does when I mess up royally, it’s a sick and twisted mess.
I feel for my littlest guy. I also want him to know how he contributed to his own misfortune. You see, I had asked Danny to go outside and play. My plan was to get him away from the electronic devices he so madly loves (he knows a directive to get outdoors means to leave the screen behind), but he took his treasured Touch right out to the sidewalk where his brother and cousins were playing on scooters. Madness ensued, and somehow, the delicate gadget landed on hard ground. Then, shrieks, cries, sounds of total despair.
Danny is OK now, hours later. We’ve talked about choices and consequences and how we must ask ourselves with every simple move we make: “what if?” What if I take my cell phone to football practice on a rainy day? It might get wet. What if I leave it in the car? I might miss a call. (Yea, that would have been the preferred outcome.) The wrong choice, I surely did make.
My boy made a poor choice today, and I’m not sure how it will all turn out. I do know we can’t just fork over another couple hundred for a replacement toy. It wouldn’t teach him responsibility if we did, and, well, we just don’t have the extra cash to throw around. Maybe Danny can save his own money and, over time, score a new Apple. Maybe we can fashion a DIY fix. Maybe this is a blessing in disguise. I did want him to stray from his addiction a bit. Now, I’ve got complete compliance.
Maybe things work out just as they should.
I could be the mom in this story, and Joey — who longs for a dog, any dog — could be the author.
Danny told me recently that he is going to teach his dad to play the piano. He’s become quite the pro since starting lessons in July (he and big bro Joe rocked their first recital in December), and he’s discovered he has the tools for teaching others.
“That’s great!” I responded. “You can teach me, too!”
His response: “No, it would be too complicated for you.”
This from the boy who paid me the nicest compliment last week — he said I look 14, not 40.
I think it’s a compliment, anyway.
Never a dull moment in a house with two growing kiddos. Here, some more bits about boys:
Someone once told me the appropriate time to talk about sex with kids is when they start asking questions about it. Well, on the way home from the grocery store one day, Joey asked a question, and I answered, and while there’s a lot more we need to cover on the topic, let’s just say he now knows exactly how the baby is made, and he’s declared that he will definitely be adopting his children.
Joey is 10 now, and I realize, sadly, that we are halfway done with him (well, in the controlling, we-are-in-charge-of-everything-you-do kinda way). If all goes according to his plan, in not so many years, he’ll be living in a condo on the beach, with a pet, a boat, and a bunch of hot babes. He’ll be working in a boat store, and he might let his little brother live with him, although he’d prefer him as a neighbor, and WOW, this is pretty heavy stuff. Yes, we still must advance through puberty, driving, dating, and who knows what else, but the prospect of an emptying nest is darn sobering.
Danny is 7, going on 8, but acting a lot like 4. A therapist told me years ago she believes the 7-year-old has a foot firmly planted in toodlerhood, and Danny, on some days, could be her case study. Whining is his specialty, and if he must cry out in protest, he’ll do that, too. Overall, though, he is a sweet, smart, loving boy. His teacher reports he is her model student (a terrific turnaround from last year’s pinching and underwear incident), and his “brain cage,” as he calls it, holds so many fantastic facts and figures that we are mostly in awe of our second born, whose latest passion is the ipod Touch he got for Christmas. Uh-Oh, I just heard kids should have no more than an hour or two of daily screen time. He’s not going to be happy about that.
This Christmas marked a family travel milestone for us. We stuffed loads of gear and ourselves (plus one grandmother) in a rented van, and we headed for New York to see an uncle, aunt, and four cousins. New York, if you aren’t aware, is 21 horrendous hours away from where we live, and for someone like me, who doesn’t like to be on the road for more than two hours, the lead-up to this adventure can cause some distress. But I ended up managing just fine, and the sights and stops along the way (like Washington, DC) made for an experience that exceeded my expectations. Bonus: A blizzard, and the boys had never before seen snow (or felt such freezing cold weather), and what a treat that was!
Also on the boy radar: The guys are taking turns going to Gator basketball games with dad; school Read-A-Thon starts on Monday, which is good since all four of us need to hit the books more; mountain biking has commenced; fishing and boating are tops when the warm temps return; taking a break this season from sports, but flag football is up next this Spring; and gosh, so much more lies ahead. Will it be tackle football? Not sure, but I do know I’m up for anything. Well, except camping.