Showing posts with label family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label family. Show all posts

To My Little Brother on His Wedding Day

Saturday, May 19, 2012

If my brother had asked me to speak at his wedding today, this is the speech I would have given. 

Hello everyone, for those I haven't met yet, I'm David's older sister, Melanie. When friends ask me about my relationship with my brother and if we get along, I tell them we used to be the typical cat and dog cliche and fought all the time. The turning point for me came when I was about 25 and David was about 16. That's when he did something pretty cool and I started to see him differently. To tell the story I have to go back into my past and make the day a little bit about me, but I promise to turn it around and make it about David again. 

My husband and I met in high school. We dated, broke up and got back together again more than once. Our final break up was emotional and dramatic and happened right after Phil joined the military and got orders to go overseas. We kept in touch and dated other people. When Phil's time in Europe was up, he moved back to California and did the smart thing by deciding to rekindle our relationship. 

He called my mother's house to ask for my number. David answered the phone. When Phil said he wanted to get back in touch with me, David told him he didn't know my number by heart, (this was well before everyone had cell phones) and to call back later in the evening when our mom would be home. They hung up and David called me right away.

"Guess who I just talked to?"

"I don't know, who?"

"Phil, and he asked for your number."

I freaked out and made David repeat their conversation word for word. 

David told me he didn't give Phil my number because he wasn't sure I wanted him to have it, since we had broken up.

I tell people this story and say that, by far, that was the coolest thing my brother had ever done for me. Other than my closest girlfriends, most other people I knew wouldn't have had the presence of mind to not just hand over my phone number without checking with me first, let alone a teenage boy who was just starting to notice girls himself.

David made sure Phil wouldn't call until later in the evening when I wouldn't be home and Phil would get either my voicemail or speak with the guy I was living with at the time (who was only a friend, but David didn't tell Phil that). That moment was when I started to look at David more like a friend than a little brother, and to realize that he'd always have my back. 

David, I can honestly say you've grown into a fine young man. I value your friendship. I look forward to being alongside you as start this next chapter of your life as a husband. And though I will never, ever forgive you for killing off my goldfish, I will always have your back. I love you little brother. Cheers.

My Attempted April Fool Joke

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Such A Tease

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Phil and Tyler tease each other all the time. Phil has a sarcastic sense of humor, and Tyler can't always tell when Phil is joking. He makes himself a really easy target sometimes.

Tyler: When we get home is it my bedtime?

Phil: Yes

Me: No, it's Saturday of a holiday weekend I figured you'd both be up all night playing video games.

Tyler: Yeah dad, we're supposed to stay up doing father son things. We're supposed to relate to each other and tell each other our feelings.

Phil: Well then, I feel like it's going to be your bedtime.

One of these days, Tyler will catch on and be able to give as well he gets.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Hi Kiddo-
When you were only a few weeks old, your dad asked Grammy, "is this all he's going to do? Just lie there?" Grammy loves to re-tell that story. She laughs and laughs. Her answer was something along the lines of, "you wait, one day you'll be wishing he would just lie there." She was right. You took your first steps when you were 9 1/2 months old and you haven't stopped going since. Your dad and I can't always keep up, but we're having fun trying. Happy Birthday!

Mom and Dad

Calling All Campers | A Little Help?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

My husband comes from a big family. He has cousins, aunts and uncles I haven't met yet and we've known each other almost half our lives. Every summer, a whole group of them come here to San Diego and camp at a beach near our house. They've been doing it for years (I was pregnant the first time I met them out for dinner). Tyler and I spend the every day with them. Their visit is something we look forward to and plan around every year.

But. I don't camp. I don't like tents. I don't like sleeping on the ground. Phil's family has an amazing setup they have perfected over the years. They make the whole outdoor living thing look easy.

The whole campsite is this organized
Occasionally, I've been tempted to change my mind and spend the night. Then the sand in my butt starts to itch and I happily pack up and head home for the night. Well, I may have to suck it up because this year, Phil reserved a space for us too.
Phil and Tyler and the remains of the moat the kids played in all week
We have a tent and that's about it. So, I need all your frugal camping suggestions. What foods should I buy? How should we cook said food without a grill? I have no clue what I'm doing. Help?

Thanks for the Warning

Monday, May 2, 2011

Happy Mother's Day to me?

Tyler: "Mom, I'm sorry."

Me: "What for?"

Tyler: "When I was coloring your Mother's Day card at school, I messed up."
Me: "I'm sure it will be fine."

Tyler: "I don't know how to draw faces. I accidentally gave you a beak."

Me: "Oh, well, uh, thank you for trying."

Tyler: "I'm sorry I drew you ugly."

Me: "That's OK."

So now, in addition to Phil being out of town for two weeks and the 7am hockey game on Mother's Day, the only card I'll be getting is a portrait of me with a beak. 

The joys of motherhood. :D

Out of the Blue

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

It's been almost a year since I really cried about not having another baby. It happened during BlogHer in New York. I was outside the American Girl store of all places. I went from perfectly fine to crying my eyes out in seconds. The same thing happened while I was watching Parenthood last night. When Julia told Joel she "wasn't done", I nodded along. Yes, I thought, I can relate to that feeling. But when Christina told Adam she was pregnant? I completely lost it.

I knew the decision wouldn't be easy. I even told Phil there were no guarantees I wouldn't hate him every so often though that's irrational and totally not fair since we made the decision together. But I wasn't angry with him last night; just really, really sad. Surprised too, because I thought I've moved on and learned to live with it. I guess I was wrong.

Fun with Space Mountain Pt 2 | Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Disneyland March 2011

Turning the Tables on My Mom

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I bet when most of us were in our early teens, and we would call our friends to complain about our parents we'd say would never grow up to be like our moms. I know I did. Of course, as an adult, I see how almost inevitable it is that we'll inherit some traits from our parents. Now, that I'm a mom myself, I really can't think of anyone I'd rather be like.

Aside from the whole giving birth to me thing (since that's a given), she's done so much for me. Mom didn't complain when I'd finish both Sweet Valley High books the same day we bought them. She taught me how to use tampons. Literally. She let me wear her fur coat to prom. She bought me my first car. And my second. I think I just finished using the last pencil in the box of one gross that she sent me to college with (I'll save you the Google, it's 144). When we go to Costco and I ask if she wants to split something with me, she'll say yes even if she doesn't really want it.
My mom and I talk to each other at least once a week if not more. Now that she got an iPhone, she emails me even more often with things like, "what is pinging?!" in the subject line. But, despite how frequently we talk, we never run out of things to say when we're together. It's pretty rare that I get to treat her to a night out. It's almost always the other way around. But, a few weeks ago, I decided to take my mom on a date. We went to see Cavalia, a new Cirque du Soleil show. I took her to dinner before the show. Granted, it was only soup and paninis at Corner Bakery, but I think she was pleasantly surprised when I paid.

We got lucky during the show. One of the members of the animal training staff sat next to us. It was neat to hear him talk about all the horses, things that go on behind the scenes and what it takes to put a show like that together. The horses were beautiful, the music and acrobatics were great and the show itself was fun. It was nice because I don't think going to see a Cirque show is anything we would have done on our own.

Unfortunately, I wasn't feeling well that day. I could barely keep my eyes open the whole way up to LA. I got there early and pulled into a parking garage and sacked out for half an hour with the car running so I could keep the heater on. By the time the show was over, I wished we could have gone out for a nightcap but it was pretty late and I needed to get on the road. My mom stayed up well past midnight to wait for my call that I'd made it home safe. Because she's awesome like that. One little show isn't nearly enough of a 'thank you' to my mom for everything she's done for me. I hope I can repay her again sometime.

Have you been able to do something special for one of your parents?

*I was provided with tickets to the show. No cameras were allowed, thus no pictures. :(

How to Embarrass Your Kids at Disneyland

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Every ride you go on, even if it's not a coaster, raise your arms and start singing Taio Cruz's Dynamite. 

Big Thunder Mountain, March 2011

"I throw my hands up in the air sometimes, saying ay-oh, baby let's go!" 

Totally works.

Neglected Blog, But More Family Time

Friday, February 18, 2011

Hello! I was gong to apologize for not being around but I changed my mind. I wouldn't have anything to blog about if I didn't step away from the screen every once in awhile, right?

My Gramma was here visiting. She's set to head back to the midwest soon and wanted to spend a little more time with Tyler. Gramma spends the winter at my mom's, arriving in early November and leaving in February. This year's trip has been a rough one for her. Two friends and her brother died while she was here. My mom said after she got back from the east coast for her brother's funeral, she seemed to have lost a lot of her usual energy and vitality. I think it was good for her to be with her Sweetie Pie (me) and Grandbaby.

Gramma and Tyler are totally in love with each other. They have such a great relationship. That they've been able to spend so much time together over the years is something I'm happy to be able to have done for him. Some of my happiest childhood memories are of time spent with my grandparents. 

We didn't do a whole lot while she was here, but that's the cool thing about Gramma. We don't have to. We shopped, she showed me how to make chicken and dumplings and we all played Wii. My Gramma is a lot more competitive than I remember and a pretty good bowler too. We took her Tyler's hockey practice and she said 'woops!' every time one of the kids fell, which was often. And we laughed. A lot.

We've been teasing Gramma about her selective hearing. We say one thing, but she hears something totally different. The resulting conversations have often been hilarious. Example:

Me: Gramma, do you want an Oreo?

Gramma: Sure, thank you. (as she takes the whole sleeve) Where did you get these Oreos in a sleeve? Don't they usually come in a package?

Me: I got the Family Size box at Target.

G: You don't want to tell me? Why not?

Me: What?!

Gramma: Why don't you want to tell me where you got the Oreos?

Me: I said I got them at Target.
Gramma: Oh. I thought you said you didn't want to tell me.

Me: Those two sound nothing alike!

Gramma: You're right, I guess they don't. Want an Oreo? 

Oh my gosh, we were hysterical. Reading it, it doesn't seem very funny. I guess it was one of those, 'you had to be there' moments. 

Anyhoo, that's where I've been. I'm staring down a whole week's worth of To Do's but it was totally worth it. My Gramma makes me happy. Hopefully I'll be back to regular (maybe semi regular) posting next week. Happy Friday!

Feeling Guilty About Not Feeling Guilty

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A few days ago, when the snow really started falling on the east coast, I saw a Tweet go by that got me thinking about my Mom Guilt again. The Tweet was tagged with #snowday and read something to the effect of: "my kids are why I work from home, they are not an interruption." Then, my mom said something to me that stung a bit. I told her I don't usually cook a big dinner on the days Tyler's sports end late in the evening. Her response? "But why not? You're home all day." Ouch.

See, I've been feeling guilty for wanting Tyler to go on vacation. By himself. Every year since he turned one he's spent time at my mom's house during Christmas break. Since my Gramma comes from St. Louis and stays with my mom for three months, it's killed two birds with one stone. The Gramma's get some one on one time with their baby, Tyler gets (even more) spoiled and Phil and I get to act like the couple we were before we became parents.
Giant Gavelphoto © 2010 Sam Howzit | more info (via: Wylio)

When we asked Tyler if he wanted to go this year, he said no. I'll admit, my first thought was "how could he be so selfish!" I know, I know. He's only 8. He has no idea why his vacation is so important to his mom and dad. But my gut reaction, combined with that Tweet got me thinking about the idea that we should love being parents 100% of the time. Now that I'm a SAHM the pressure is even worse. It's my job to take care of my family. I should throw myself into it wholeheartedly and enjoy every minute of it, right?

Well, I don't. I love my kid with a fierceness that still surprises me. I love him so much it can be all consuming at times. I love him so much that, occasionally, there's not enough left for my husband, too (another thing I feel guilty about!). And that's my problem. Anything that takes up that much of a person's time, energy and focus is exhausting! I love being a mom. Specifically, I love being Tyler's mom. But every once in awhile I need a break. WE need a break.

Phil and I could really use the time to ourselves this year. We treat Tyler's time away as mini vacation for us too. There's stress that I can't write about just now and it's making me a bad mom and a bad wife. With Tyler gone, in addition to going to dinner somewhere with no kid's menu and watching R rated movies before 9:00, we have a few days to really talk and re-connect. And, maybe my mom and Gramama will crack the whip with eye rolling in a way I've been unsuccessful at so far. I'm sure Tyler could use a break from me, too.

I guess I can't call Tyler selfish without labeling myself the same. But is it selfish to want a break from the daily grind? Society tells me it is. But then there's also the idea that 'if Mama ain't happy, nobody's happy.' And just to throw in another curve, couples who make time for each other have happier marriages. So which is it? Selflessly take care of my family, take care of myself or nurture my marriage?

I don't know why this is such a struggle for me; finding balance. I think because I don't earn a steady income, I feel like I have to bring something to the table and right now all I've got is my time. Time to cook, clean, do laundry, grocery shop, take Tyler to practice, etc. etc. I'm lucky to be an at home mom. I know that. I don't want to go back to work. At least, I don't think I do.

Anytime I feel guilty about something I know it more than likely stems from some insecurity or doubt about a decision I've made. But in this case, I don't feel guilty about wanting Tyler to go visit my mom. If anything, I feel guilty about not feeling guilty, if that makes sense. Don't get me wrong, I miss him when he's away, but the margarita at Happy Hour helps ease the pain.

So, yes, I admit it. I want my son to away for a few days. When he does, I'm going to make a conscious choice to enjoy it and the few evenings I'll spend with my husband. Alone. This does not make me a bad person. Nor does it make me a bad mom. In fact, think it makes me a better mom. Screw you, society.

*Tyler changed his mind and decided to go! Thank you, Little Brother!

Peeing in the Trunk

Monday, November 1, 2010

After what I saw in the Target parking lot yesterday, I'm wondering if I missed something in the potty training books or if this is a new trend in getting little ones out of diapers. 

As I was walking to my car, I noticed a little girl sitting in the back of a really big SUV. She was reading a book. The woman I'm assuming was her mother was unloading her cart into the other side of the trunk. I did a doubletake because the little girl wasn't sitting back there just because, she was on the potty.

I don't remember any of the books telling me I had to tote a potty with me everywhere I went. Even if they did, I'm not sure I would have. Those little potties are horrid! They're hard to clean, they absorb the pee smell and emptying them out was never easy. It was hard enough dealing with them in my bathroom, let alone having one sloshing all over the trunk of my car. *dry heaves*

This chair is sold all over online. I guess I am really out of the loop.
I get that public bathrooms are gross. I remember hearing someone giggle after I told Tyler to please try to keep his boy parts from touching the toilet rim. And having to hold them under the arms while they poop so they don't fall in is a pain.* In my opinion, the choice between having my kid pee in my trunk or going back into the store is a no brainer. It seems much easier than having to dispose of a bag of pee after a day of errands.

Am I alone in this? Is having a literal porta potty the new way to do things? Did you have one? Would you?

*The folding potty seat with handles was a lifesaver!!

I Will: Be More of a Yes Mom

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tyler and I were at Henry's a few weeks ago getting supplies for dinner. He asked if I would buy a pack of mini blueberry muffins. I said no, we have mix at home, we can make them. His response stayed with me. It wasn't what he said, "you always say that," it was how he said it. He sounded so resigned and a little defeated. Then I lost my Mom of the Year hat because I totally turned it around on him. "Well, you can always offer to help me make them." 

Why did I say that?! It was a knee jerk reactionary and passive aggressive statement. It's not like he was accusing me of being a horrible mom in the middle of the grocery store (though that must be how I took it since I basically blamed him for the lack of fresh baked goods in our house). I felt horrible after I said it. Who blames the 7-year old for not offering to bake?

I thought about what he said for the rest of the day. He's totally right. I do always say we can make muffins but rarely follow through. It's just muffins. And not even homemade ones.* Why is it so hard for me to give him something so simple? I resolved to be a different mom for the rest of the summer. I posted on Facebook that I was going to be "more of a Yes Mom." Since I posted I think I've done OK.

We spent last week at the beach with Phil's family. I smelled like campfire smoke every day and brought half the beach home with us, but Tyler had a blast. Between the junk food, S'mores and candy he had more crap in a week than he's had in a month (probably longer).

Between Phil and I, Tyler has been to the park (many times), Disneyland, the zoo, three camps, our neighborhood pool (a LOT), the library and the book store (that's my boy!). There's been more TV, computer and Wii time and staying-up -until-11:30 reading time than I normally allow. I think we've given him a good summer. 

At the end of the day, when Tyler gets older he won't remember the exact things we've done for him, or the quantity of things we did. He will remember that we were there. When he looks back on the times he said, "today was the best day of my life!" we'll be woven into those memories. I don't want any of his best days tarnished by all the times we said 'no' to one of his requests.

When we got pregnant, we talked about not giving in, not letting our child control the house and drawing the line being being occasionally indulgent and spoiling. I think we've gotten so caught up in keeping Tyler grounded that we forget to let him have fun. 

Santee, Ca July 2010
I'm going to try harder to find the balance between giving him every little thing he asks for and keeping reasonable limits. I will continue to make him "earn" his treats but slip him a piece of candy once in awhile. I will bring a little more fun into our time together. I will make more muffins.

*I add a little vanilla and fresh berries to the mix so they could totally pass for homemade.

When I Was Your Age

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tyler: "Dad, did Webkinz exist when when you were a kid?"

Phil: "No. The internet didn't exist when I was a kid."

Tyler: [in a sad voice] "Oh. Sorry you lived in a time when technology wasn't so good."

At Least I Can Laugh About It

Monday, July 5, 2010

World of Color premiere, Disneyland, June 2010

Scene: Mother and son are in the car after a trip to Payless, where, once again, they disagreed on what shoes the son should buy.

Mother: "I'm only trying to help you. I know a little bit about shoes. I'm trying to give you the benefit of my since I'm a little older than you and I've.."

Son: "A little?! I'm only 7. You're way older than me."

Mother: [laughing] "I don't if I would say 'way'. How about 'a little'?"

Son: "No, you're way older."


Phone Time with Terry Crews of Are We There Yet?

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I've been incredibly fortunate to have some pretty amazing opportunities come my way through blogging. I've made new friends locally, met favorite bloggers face to face, attended some really great events, went to my first red carpet premiere and traveled more in the last 2 years than I have in my life. Now I can add phone chat with a TV and film actor to the list. 

It was a pretty typical day yesterday. The cat pooped on floor, the internet was down, I volunteered at Tyler's summer camp, did some laundry and dishes and then I got a call from my new BFF, Terry Crews, star of the TBS show Are We There Yet? You know, the usual stuff.

Are We There Yet? is about Nick (Terry) and his marriage to Suzanne (Essence Atkins) and how they manage their blended family. I asked Terry several questions but two things he said stuck with me through the day.

One of the main things Terry hopes the show does is offer a return of "the family hour." I thought about it and it's true. TV is pretty different now than when we were younger. I remember being able to watch The Cosby Show, Family Ties, Who's the Boss, Punky Brewster and Growing Pains with my parents before bedtime. Even the kinda lame shows like ALF and Small Wonder were things we could all watch together. I can't think of any network show that we've all watched together, and more importantly all enjoyed, since Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution.

L to R: Coy Stewart, Essence Atkins, Terry Crews, Teala Dunn 
of TBS's Are We There Yet?
I'm not anti-TV. I think there's a ton of great programming on TV. We've had a lot of good discussions about things we've watched together, they just happen to be mostly on cable. Network rating aren't what they used to be. Perhaps they should re-visit the shows of the 1980's and bring back that formula and create more content like Are We There Yet? and less CSI spinoffs.

The other thing that's stuck with me has actually been a little bit of a mind blow for me. When the PR team asked if I'd like to speak with Terry about blended families, I kept telling them I'm not part of a blended family and would feel more comfortable talking about the show in general. One thing Terry said to me was, "being a stepparent can be a thankless job."

At first I was thinking about friends and other family members, nodding remembering some of the situations they've been in, but this morning I had a lightning bolt moment. My dad has been remarried for years, yet I don't think I've ever referred to "Sally" as my stepmom. It sounds so simple when I type it out, but I really am weirded out right now. Maybe if '"Sally" had kids I would think differently. I'll have to ponder that.

No matter what quantifiers we use to describe our families: blended, biracial, adoptive etc., they all include the word family. Terry said he wants Are We There Yet? to be an example that no matter how it came to be, "you are a family," and at the end of the day, "good parents are good parents, and good kids are good kids."

(Bloopers from tonight's season finale)

Thank you to Terry for taking the time to chat with me! I wonder if Ice Cube (the show's producer and also star) gives Terry a hard time for playing for the SD Chargers since he's such a huge Raider fan? I'll have to ask him the next time he calls.

The season finale of Are We There Yet? airs tonight on TBS. Full episodes are available online at and

*I wouldn't be me if I didn't also say it's great to see a show with a predominantly black cast where the family is in a strong, healthy relationship!

Mom Guilt Stinks

Friday, May 21, 2010

I've been feeling Mom Guilt since the moment I found out I was pregnant. Gasp! I had a few cocktails! What if something happens?! It's gotten progressively worse over the years. Even though I know it's a useless and wasted emotion, I carry it around with me like a favorite accessory.

I pushed for three hours and Tyler came out looking like a tiny prize fighter. Guilt. 

I had to go back to work when Tyler was only 3 months old. Guilt.

We started Tyler in Kindergarten at age 4. Guilt.

I try not to let parenting issues get me down, but I'm a worrier and I beat myself up over just about everything. It doesn't matter that Tyler is his own person, that he understand the basics of right and wrong and is mostly capable of making his own decisions. If he acts like a brat in public, people aren't wondering what his problem is, they're looking at right at me. 

The latest monkey on my back is Tyler's teeth. It seems he's inherited mine which resemble mini mountain ranges with steep peaks and valleys. The result? Four cavities and the makings of a new one. Guilt. 

I'm not sure what Tyler has against taking care of his teeth (and basic hygiene in general). We started fighting about it, meaning I'd yell at him for not doing it correctly and he'd whine that the toothpaste was too spicy and why can't he go back to the bubble gum flavored kind?! 

I found out that first, Tyler wasn't brushing at all, then he'd brush, but with no toothpaste! I resorted to doing random plaque checks, sneaking up on him when he's in the bathroom, putting the toothpaste in a specific position after he'd gone to bed and checking to make sure the toothbrush bristles were wet before we left for school. I had the dentist talk to him, showed him scary pictures of tooth decay and threatened to make him pay for any future cavities. The kid just wasn't getting it and I was ready to lay the ultimate smackdown.

As a last, last resort we got him a new toothbrush, the Sonicare for Kids. It seems to be working. We gave Tyler our old Sonicare when we got new ones, but I think the adult size head was part of the problem. He's brushing without fuss, with toothpaste, and seems to be more thorough. I'm happy that I can stop pulling my hair out and turning our mornings and nights into screaming matches. 

Photo from here

Now, if only I can find a way to get him to brush his hair and not leave the house looking like Crabman from My Name is Earl. Guilt. 

*We received a Sonicare for Kids from Mom Central. The opinions are mine, as is the guilt over not having this post up in time (despite the reminders) because I spent the last two days shopping, visiting with family and spa-ing with friends. Read my full Sonicare for Kids review.

What Do You Know About It?!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

We've been watching Life on Discovery*. It's been great family time. It has, however, opened a door we weren't prepared to go through. The show talks a lot about mating. A lot. Two weeks ago, we were all cozied up on the couch watching the episode about birds when Oprah (she narrates) said the word seks and Tyler screwed up his face.


Me: "What's ewww?"

"She said, 'ES-E-X'." [how does he know how to spell it?!]

"What do you know about seks?" 

"It's gross."

"Why is it gross?"

Phil is looking at me over Tyler's head and his eyes kept getting bigger and more deer in headlights-y.

Kinda like this female Dawson's Burrowing Bee.

"Because there's all that kissing. That's gross."

"Actually, kissing is kissing. Seks is how babies are made."

Phil had a heart attack. 

Tyler didn't say anything to that. After the show, we sent him to get ready for bed.

Phil: "Why did you tell him that?!"

"I didn't want him on the playground yelling at some girl, 'stop trying to have seks with me!' He needs to know the difference."

"I'm not ready for this, he's only 7!" 

"Me neither, but kids are doing some scary stuff, we're going to have to talk about it eventually."

"Yes, but he's only 7!!"

We told my mom the story when she was here last week. She, of course, thought it was hysterical. My parents didn't have The Talk with me. I'm sure with my brother it was, "do not, under any circumstances, bring home a pregnant girlfriend." 

I've been wondering when the topics of seks would come up. I figured we'd wait until Tyler brought it up and answer age appropriately. When he was a toddler, we told him the proper names for body parts and that he used to drink milk from my breasts. I think we've done a good job giving him the information he needs and answering his questions honestly. 

Now that he's brought it up, I guess it's time to think more in depth about how we'll answer the actual how-to questions. I'm sure it will be up to me, given Phil's reaction to this little incident. 

How old were your kids when you had The Talk? What did you say?

*Life is such a good show. Very similar to the Planet Earth series. I wasn't asked to write about it, we just really enjoy it and have had fun watching together. Photo from the Life/Discovery website.

Losing My Mom of the Year Award

Monday, April 12, 2010

I made Tyler cry yesterday. Granted, I've done it before, but this time it was accidental. Yesterday's weather was below southern California standards. It wasn't nice enough for the pool, beach or park (don't hate) so we decided to go see How To Train Your Dragon.
Tyler was outside playing. I called him in and told him to change into jeans and get his shoes on.

Before I get to the part where I made him cry, let me explain a little bit about Tyler. He makes it virtually impossible to surprise him or treat him to something. Whenever I ask him to get ready so we can leave, he starts in with 20 Questions.

Are we going somewhere?
Where are we going?
Is it the park?
Which park are we going to?
Is it the squishy one* or the one with the sand?
It's not the park?
Is it Chuck e Cheese?
Will there be food there?
Will my cousin be there?
Is it the skate park?
Can I bring my scooter?
Why is the sky blue in the daytime but not at night?

If I don't answer, he just keeps going. I've told him before that sometimes, part of the excitement of going somewhere is the anticipation and element of surprise. He needs to just sit back and enjoy the ride every once in awhile. We're still working on it.

Back to the story.

I can see that he's about to launch into 20 Questions. We need to get moving since we decided to go at the last minute and wanted to catch the next showing (leaving us about 25 minutes to get there) so we could go to dinner afterwards. We didn't have time to play his game.

"We're going to the movies and we need to get a move on."

"What movie are we seeing?"

I get easily frustrated that, when asked to do something, Tyler doesn't always just do it because we're his parents and we asked him to. He has to question everything. I'm sure this is a trait I'll admire later. Now? Not so much. Which is probably what led to me saying:

"You're not seeing a movie, Daddy and I are seeing a grown up one and you're waiting in the car."

Phil laughed a little and said, "we're going to see How To Train Your Dragon and we need to hurry."

Fast forward to after the movie.** We're walking back to the car asking each other what we thought when Tyler says to me, "you know, Mom, you made me cry earlier."

"What do you mean?"

"Before, when I asked where we were going."

"You mean, when I said you were going to be waiting in the car?'

"Yes. I was crying in the back seat on the way here. I used Dad's sweatshirt to wipe my tears."

Yes, he actually said 'wipe my tears.' I felt about thisbig. He didn't hear Phil when he said the name of the movie. My poor kid thought he'd be sitting in the car alone! Obviously, my sarcasm didn't quite come through. I've apologized profusely, but think I'm going to have to pull something really special out of my ass to make up for this one.

Please tell me I'm not the only one to inadvertently reduce their kid to tears?

*We have a park nearby with that bouncy, rubber tire-like stuff under the play structure. We started calling it the squishy park, to differentiate it from the sand park, and the where-we-used-to-live park.
**We all loved the movie. It's really cute. We saw it in IMAX 3D. The dragons aren't super scary, except for the giant bad-guy one. I wouldn't take kids under 5.
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