Blame it on tha rain’…(it was fallin’ fallin’…)

My oldest son has developed a seemingly irrational fear of thunderstorms. True, we’ve had our share recently. Already, it’s been an unusually active season, and summer just started. But still, we’re not even talking dark clouds and high winds–no, from the moment he gets up in the morning, he’s peering at the sky and if there’s a hint of even puffy white clouds up there, he heads for weatherchannel.com.

In my infinite parental wisdom, I’ve decided that I have no blame here. No, I blame school. I blame those snotty little five year olds who come on the P.A. system every morning and tell the rest of the student body what the weather is going to be. And then I blame the school system for too many dad-blamed storm drills. A couple of times this past school year, by the time he got off the bus in the afternoon, storms or no, he was already wild-eyed and near tears over the fact that there was a ‘chance’ of evening thunderstorms.

Now this goes hand in hand with another fear that seems to have come out of nowhere…and that being, that we’re going to leave him alone. I can’t tell you how many times in the past six months I’ve had to answer, “Where’s mommy?” or “Where are you going?”  And heaven forbid, when you drop him off at the kids’ play area at the gym while you work out, that you’re even a minute later than you told him you’d be–NIAGARA FALLS!

OK, maybe  I share a little of the blame here–but indirectly. As a child I was also a bit of a worry-er. But the things I worried about were just a tad more serious that this stuff. And by serious, I mean like, “Oh crap, what now?” kind of stuff.

But I didn’t worry about the weather.

In retrospect, I suppose if he’s going to be worried about something, it could be worse. But we’ve tried reassurance; we tried fussing at him; nothing seems to work. And while I know that mostly he’ll grow out of it, I know I still carry some of my childhood worries with me today. Even now, when I hear footsteps above me in the house coming towards me, for just a second, my gut clenches up and my heart jumps ahead. I wish I knew how to take these fears away from him.

Hmm, I’m sure I’m the first parent to have ever said THAT.

If you’re gonna help a kid with his homework, at least pay attention

Last night at our house:

(CareerMom is helping MLI with his homework. The assignment: paste pictures beginning with the letter “E” on a piece of paper.)

I come in from being outside playing with MLE and picked up the homework that MLI and CareerMom have just completed.

Me: Honey, why is there a picture of two elephants “doing it” on MLI’s homework:

Ethan Homework

CareerMom: What, WHat WHAT?!!!

She swears it was a complete oversight.

Marriage and child-rearing…tricks of the trade part 1

I’m not sure when my ‘clean’ gene kicked in, but I know it was sometime in my late teens. I suspect it had something to do with the cleanliness with which our house was kept as I was growing up, coupled with the fact that, as a child, I didn’t have much “stuff.” I didn’t have action figures, or Hot Wheels cars lying around. No, everything I had could easily be hidden under the bed, in the closet, or in the hideously 70s green colored toy box my dad made for me. Even when I was single, I was never afraid to have a girl over to my condo because it was always immaculate, even with my dog there.

But the funny thing is, my organization only goes so far as the exterior. Once something is in a box, or in a drawer, it can be as disorganized as it wants and I’m generally OK with it.

Out of sight…out of mind

If you were to walk through our house either at night after the kids go to bed, or after the kids go to school in the mornings, you would hardly know we have kids. CareerMom and I do our best to keep things picked up and hidden. We do such a good job compared to CareerMom’s siblings in fact, that my MIL is always remarking about how clean our house is.

Don’t get me wrong, we clean a lot, but the trick my friend, is in storage.

Let me show you some of our many storage areas:

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The Bombay Company cedar-lined toy(?) box
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The really really tall, dark-wood entertainment center we bought in our old house…that really doesn’t work with a large flat-screen TV
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Living room bookcase on the left…

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…and…Living room bookcase on the right

Let it also be said that there MUST be at least one “tosser” in the marriage. And I use the word “tosser” in the American vernacular to mean, “Someone who throws things out,” as compared to the English tosser which generally means, “wanker.” And if you need further explanation as to the origins of the word “wanker,” well then, I’m just gonna send you here.

Picture Phone Phriday – I’ll cut you!

Kids all handle fear in different ways. When I was young, at night I would completely cover my body with my sheets for fear that whatever was not covered, would get chopped off by some axe-wielding monster. I have no idea where this fear came from, but it also prompted me to attempt world-record breaking sprinting attempts from my light switch to my bed.

I must have been fast since I still have all of my appendages.

My oldest son, whom I’ve affectionately, if perhaps prematurely, labeled “My little Introvert,” seems to have his own method of handling the night-time boogeyman. And while I’m a little fearful of what this might mean in the future, right now, I applaud his audacity:

(I’m adding blank space so you don’t see it before you read the intro)

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Defense: Ninja Turtle Style!