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July 2007

June 2007

Daddy's Boys

Momcup I am of the firm opinion that my two boys are not the quintessential Daddy's boys they like to claim they are. Oh, they put on a good show, but I know the truth, they are Mommy's boys deep down inside, even if they don't want to admit it.

When Trouble was between the ages of one and two he went through a phase where he wanted no part of me. I was nowhere near as good as Daddy and he let me know it in no uncertain terms. If he woke in the middle of the night crying and I went in to get him, nine times out of ten he would look at me and say, "Not you! I want Daddy!" If tried to pick him up, he would sit down in his crib and move away from me.

Now a softer, more emotional woman would have been devastated. Luckily, I am not one of those women. Polly would attribute this to my being an INTJ. I saw this as quite a blessing at say two or three in the morning. I'd go back to bed, give my husband a swift kick and say, "He wants you."

Not to say he didn't cause a twinge of pain in my heart at times, but being the rational woman that I am, I knew he would grow out of it. And he has . . .  mostly. But not before passing this lovely little character trait along to his little brother. They will fight over who gets to sit next to Daddy on the couch. They will beg to have Daddy be the one to read them a story at night instead of me. They want to hold Daddy's hand when crossing the street rather than mine. When I got home from a week in CA, Trouble told me he missed me and that he loved me. He said to Little Trouble, "Don't you love Mommy?" My Little Trouble said, "No, I love Daddy."

Welcome home to me.

But sometimes they slip up. Sometimes when they wake up at night scared, they call Mommy instead of Daddy. Little Trouble actually sat with me on the couch the other night for a whole thirty minutes when he could have chosen to sit with his Dad. Occasionally, they forget that Mommy's the runner-up parent.

Dad gets a little jealous. He started tickling Little Trouble's feet after he had been sitting with me for half-an-hour. I don't think he could stand that he wasn't first choice for once. Little Trouble did move over and sit with his Dad after that, but it was too late. I know the truth. Their Mommy's boys too.

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Hello, Tooth fairy?

Toothfairy_2 We have entered the realm of the Tooth fairy. Trouble has lost his two bottom front teeth. He lost his first tooth a few months ago and the Tooth fairy came and left a dollar under his pillow. Trouble was thrilled. He put his dollar in his piggy bank. A couple of weeks later he lost the second tooth on a night I had a class, so I didn't know he had lost it. He came downstairs the next morning with the tooth and wanted to know why the Tooth fairy hadn't come.

Now I'm still processing that he lost the tooth yesterday and I didn't know about it. But my husband of course already knows what's happened, so he jumps in first. This is not the direction I would have taken this.

Dad: Oh no, I forgot to call the Tooth fairy and tell her you lost your tooth.

Trouble: You know the Tooth fairy's phone number?

Dad: Of course, all grown ups know the Tooth fairy's phone number, but she'll only talk to adults. I'll call her right now.

He proceeds to pick up the phone and dial.

Dad: Hello, can I speak with the Tooth fairy please? (Pause) Yes, Tooth fairy, Trouble's lost another tooth. (Pause) Yes, I know he's growing up. (Pause) Okay, thanks.

Dad: She'll come tonight.

Trouble is satisfied with this and is sitting at the table smiling. I'm also sitting at the table smiling, trying not to bust a gut laughing. You don't always get a chance to discuss how to handle situations as a team when parenting, sometimes you just have to wing it.

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Six Year-Old Logic

Heaven Now I know all parents think their kids are geniuses, but sometimes my Trouble astonishes me. His conviction about ideas and concepts, I never remember being that sure of myself as a kid. I may be an atheist, but Trouble is not. He believes firmly in God, heaven and hell. When my grandmother passed away last year I spent time considering how I would explain this to him, but I needn't have worried, he didn't need anything explained to him.

Our exchange went something like this.

Me: Mooma passed away yesterday. She was very sick and her body was old and she died.

Trouble: So, she's in heaven now?

Me: Well, some people believe that. Mommy doesn't, but alot of people do. And if that's what you believe then that's okay.

Trouble: Yes, Mooma's in heaven and she'll be very happy there with the angels and I think she can see me.

Me: Yes, I'm sure if there's a heaven then Mooma's there and I know she'll be watching over you.

Now, this only goes to prove how strongly entrenched in Christianity our culture is. I know some of this comes from my mother-in-law, but I think a good deal of it also comes from television, school and other kids. He hasn't learned this from me. Really, my reaction was that this went pretty well. He gets to have the rosy-colored heaven and I didn't have to compromise my beliefs and lie to give it to him.

Fast forward almost a year. My husband went to a wake a week ago. I explained this to Trouble when he asked where his dad was at dinner and we had the following terrifying conversation.

Trouble: So, the people at the wake, they'll be sad that she's dead?

Me: Yes, people can be very sad when someone they love dies. We miss them alot.

Trouble: Well, if they're sad then they should just kill themselves and they can go to heaven too. Then they'll be with her again.

Me: No!!! No one should ever kill themself. Remember, mommy doesn't believe in heaven. Mommy believes that when you're dead, that's it, you're dead. And the people who believe in heaven think that you can't go to heaven if you kill yourself because killing yourself is a bad thing to do and they won't let you in.

Trouble: Oh, okay.

I couldn't believe he took the idea of heaven that far. I understand his logic though. I mean, it makes sense doesn't it? If someone you love dies and goes to this wonderful, happy place in the sky, why not go with them? I couldn't believe heaven lead to this scary conversation about suicide with my six year-old. It's just one of the many conversations I've had with him that I was not prepared to have.

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Trouble's Nightmare

Trouble came in our room last night around three in the morning because he had a nightmare. It's not something that happens very often. He ended up spending the rest of the night on our floor.

This morning on the way to camp he told me about his nightmare.

There was a T-Rex trying to take over the world and he and his team had to stop him. His Dad was there, but he was a kid and Trouble was a kid too. Trouble had to bite the T-Rex's eyeball to try to stop him but that was hard because he only had four teeth, two on top and two on the bottom. But in the end they managed to blow the T-Rex up. And then he was in the clouds.

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