With seven kids, it doesn't take much to prompt memories of childhood illnesses. Back in the dark ages, we did not get "Shots" for everything. We had to tough it out with the Measles and the German Measles, and the Mumps and Chicken Pox. Now kids get shots for all of these things. I can remember having to be in a dark room with the Measles. I lucked out with Chicken Pox. They thought I had a couple of bug bites, ten or so until my brother and sister broke out everywhere with Chicken Pox.
The oldest of my kids got vaccines for Measles, Mumps and Rubella. They did, however enjoy the itching of Chicken Pox. "Mommy" got them first and handed them off to "Calvin" and "Mini Me". The Blonde got them, but not too bad. "Calvin" was certainly the worst. The poor guy had Pox everywhere. It did not take long to figure out that my kids handle illnesses differently.
"Mommy" does not do well at all. She pretty much folds and gives up, crawling into bed and sleeping. When she had her wisdom teeth taken out, you would have thought she was at death's door. She had Lasik surgery not too long ago and fell asleep in a dark room wearing eye patches. Of course her loving brothers did not hesitate to capture these moments photographically. She rarely got sick to her stomach, oh wait, yes she did. She got migraines as a grade schooler. I can specifically remember cleaning stomach contents out of the vent in my car.
"Calvin" gave up in a different way. As a little guy he would just lay somewhere, anywhere, often at my feet. It was worse than having a puppy! I would turn to walk across the room and trip over his limp little body wimpering at my feet. When he got sick to his stomach, he just let it happen. We made no effort to locate a bucket or bathroom. I distinctly remember a fountain once as he lay on his back. This kid was no fun!!!!
"MiniMe" and the "Blonde" were a little tougher, or maybe I was already becoming hardened to the circumstances. The first two taught me to take action rather than wait for collateral damage. By the time "Pook" came along, I was pretty tough myself. I remember him in cast more than any of the others, but he always had a tough time convincing me that he was really hurt. Maybe that is because he was so skilled at feigning injury/illness to avoid work.
A flip switched by the time "The Surprise" arrived. Suddenly I was a marshmallow when it came to my child not feeling well. His older siblings complained violently about how much he got away with. And although I hate to, I will admit to having let him take a few mental health days off when he was in high school. These discussions usually prompt stories of my cruelty and sending the older kids to school with (according to them) no love and every disease known to man.
It is fun now to watch "Mommy" and "MiniMe" react to their kids when they get sick. Just the other day, Max coughed and acted like death warmed over. "MiniMe" sent her to school. Enjoy these school days Moms. You do get some peace and quiet when they head out the door! Have a great Momsense Monday!
Honestly, the first title I thought of was "Another One Bites the Dust", but somehow that did not properly reflect the love and respect you have for your child on their wedding day. But in reality.... five down and two to go!
So yes, another child was married this past weekend. Calvin and Pretty, Pretty Princess (P3) were united. (How appropriate, when I realized my dress was Calvin Klein! - get it - Calvin?!) There is a tradition at wedding receptions of doing Father/Daughter dances and Mother/Son dances. The Father/Daughter dance usually evokes an "Aww" from guests. It is usually a sweet song about daddies and their little girls.
What I didn't realize was that sons have a way of getting straight to their mother's heart when they select the song that they will dance to with their mother. For me, it has become a moment when I clearly see who I am and what I mean to my sons. The smiles and tears that the song produces wipes away years of frustration, illnesses, discipline, spankings, and reminds you of the laughter and smiles and hugs and love. The first to marry and do this to me, was Superson. He picked my favorite song by Barry Manilow, "I Am Your Child." He nailed it! As I looked at the rest of my children while dancing with him, I saw years of happiness and love. I am sure that what they were thinking was, "How do I top that?" The second son to marry was Pook. As difficult as it was, he nailed it too. He selected the song that his father and I sung to him every night just to get him to sleep "Sweet Baby James" We sang to each other as we danced and again, tears of love and laughter welled up in my eyes.
Well, as I said, this past weekend it Calvin was married to his love. I honestly did not know what song he would select. There is sometimes a little disconnect between us and not many words. He tends to hide his feelings. As the title of the blog suggests, he chose "The Wind Beneath My Wings." I truly had no idea that he felt this way. Moms, please take a moment to listen to this old classic. Really listen to the words, even if you have a little baby in your arms. Remember those words as your little boy grows up. Remember them when he frustrates you beyond words (And believe me it happens and you will sound like a blithering idiot when you cannot complete a full sentence). Remember the words to the song when your child is up all night sick. Remember them when you hold him as he cries because he didn't win the race or make the varsity team. Remember them every minute of your son's life.
Remember that even though he may never say those words to you, he carries them in his heart just as you do. I have always thought that my children, a beautiful and precious gift from God, were the wind beneath my wings. They kept me going when times got tough and refilled my heart daily with so much love I thought my heart would burst! If you have any doubts ever, play that song. Play "I am Your Child" and "Sweet Baby James". If you didn't understand before you will understand after listening.
May God bless all of you, but today especially our children who have chosen their loves and have begun a life together with God's blessing where they can hold each other up in good times and bad and hopefully enjoy the moments I have had the blessing to enjoy.
Hopefully, all of you remember the "old days" of TV. You know, when Saturday morning cartoons involved Bugs Bunny, the Roadrunner and Wiley Coyote. Sunday evenings always involved the "Wonderful World of Disney". Weekdays you looked forward to Batman, Gilligan's Island, The Beverly Hillbillies, etc. The shows were corny but wholesome. I still can't figure out who decided that Bugs Bunny was too violent for children, but SpongeBob is ok. Anyway, I was grateful when my kids were growing up that TVLand existed. My kids grew up watching the old shows and listening to 70's music. I ran the risk of having my children out of touch with the world and thinking that there had been a time warp somewhere, but I was willing to take the chance. The world, as I saw it was better back then.
There is a point to all of this. I got my first new vehicle in about 15 years ago, back in May. I went and got a stickshift. (Can you really and truly have a Jeep without one!?) It takes a little more work to drive a stickshift, but it can be fun. Okay, I admit it, after four months I still panic on a hill and scare anyone around me who hears me rev the engine in first gear or reverse. The revving is usually followed by an immediate "I'm sorry, I will get better." when someone else is with me in the car. And if you see me driving down the road, I am not always singing, sometimes I am arguing with my talking car and sometimes I am just coaching myself.
There is still a point to all of this that I will tie together. When you buy a vehicle, you get a manual that goes with it. It tells you how to connect your phone to the car, how to set the time and radio stations, how to put in four wheel drive, how to turn on the windshield wipers, lights, etc. Doc seems to think that everyone should read this manual cover to cover. Right!!!! Isn't that what the service center is for? I open it when I need it. Apparently, there is also an unwritten manual that everyone should know about too. As far as I can tell, this only applies to Jeep Wranglers. I feel that I should have been notified of this. The only way to know about it, is if someone you know also has a Jeep Wrangler and knows the rules. It is like some sort of secret club that you have to be invited to belong to. At any rate, this club also has a secret "handshake". It is not really a handshake, but a wave. You simply lift two fingers on your left hand off the steering wheel. That's it. They also do not tell you that your feelings will be hurt when another Jeep does not signal you back. I have now gotten to the point where I am keeping score. When Pook drives the Jeep, I am terrified that I will get a bad reputation if he doesn't "wave". I am also concerned that not waving can potentially get you thrown out of the club, and your Jeep will potentially be revoked.
Which brings me to this....what happens if you do not wave properly? Believe me, it happens. First of all, your friends and family will laugh hysterically, because they know the wave. How is it that I didn't know!? Then they start watching you and training you every time they are in the car with you. Oh yes, they also tell everyone you know about how you wave. As I left the dealership for the first time in my Jeep, I was grinning from hear to ear and was MASSIVELY excited. I saw another Jeep and did a very over the top excited wave in the front windshield. And then I heard, "What are you doing!?" and the lessons began.
So finally, here is the connection. I want to save any uninformed Jeep owners some stress and embarrassment. Remember, only lift two fingers of the left hand off the wheel. If you are seen waving like Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies as you drive by another Jeep, you might NEVER live it down. And for the rest of your ownership, assuming you aren't thrown out of the club, you will hear the theme song to the Beverly Hillbillies every time you pass another Jeep. "Come and list to a story "bout a man named Jed......" Hmm, was that truck of his a Jeep? Smile and have a GREAT MomSense Monday and week.
Have you ever asked your kids to do something for you? Have you ever gotten "That Look" when you do? You know what look I am talking about. There is one look that conveys the message of stupidity. It is the "Clueless" look. Often times you get that one, when the job involves work or just something that your child doesn't want to do, so they fake stupidity. They pretend they have no idea what you are talking about or that you are talking in some foreign language.
Another look that you can get when you ask your kids to do something conveys a message of misery. It often includes rolled eyeballs and an expression on their face that reminds you of someone who has just had a skunk walk past them. It is the look you get when they REALLY don't want to do what you have asked. It might be because it involves work or some other unpleasant task like washing dishes.
I personally and often get the "Are You Serious!?" look from the kids. It involves a facial expression that is a mixture of confusion, concern, and laughter. I get it a lot. My kids often don't get it. For example, when I asked the boys to paint the white storage building white. I usually get the look when I have offered to help someone, but I cannot do it myself. I need the assistance of one of the kids. I also get it when I volunteer them for jobs at someone else's house. I don't see a problem with it, but they do.
Recently we were talking about an episode of helpfulness that I created. I came home one day and Superson was there. I asked if he was busy (most of the kids lie through their teeth when they answer that one ...) Superson hasn't learned the method of pretending to be busy so you don't get asked to help. Anyway, he wasn't and so I informed him that I had gotten a call from a lady at church who had an elderly and sickly cat and it died. Okay...... Well she lives in an apartment and its December and she has no place to bury it. Okay..... So I told her we would bury it here. Okay..... So you and I are going to get the cat, because I can't do this and you need to carry it and then we will bring it here and I would really appreciate it if you would bury it. Okay... Wait! ... What? ... Are you serious?
Of course I was serious. It seems perfectly logical to me. Although, a little later when Pook called and asked me what was going on at home and I told him we were burying the cat, he at first got concerned. "Mom, we don't have a cat." "I know that. It belonged to the lady from Church......" After I finished the story, he voiced his concern. "What's next, are you going to start bring home roadkill to bury with strange cats?" Well, clearly he did not understand that we sort of knew this cat and I considered it a good deed.
Anyway, this message is to kids.... If your mom asks you to do something, even if it seems a little odd, just once in a while do what she asks without asking a million questions, or giving commentary. It will have a bigger impact than all of the "Looks" that you usually give. Hope the rest of your weeks is full of Momsense!
Not too long ago, there was an animated movie made called Inside Out. For those of you who are not familiar with it, it is about a little girl growing up and all the things and emotions that go on inside the mind of a child. I really enjoyed it. Maybe because as I raised the kids, I often wondered what was going on in those minds of theirs, especially when they got themselves in a little trouble!
I am not talking about teenagers, although Inside Out takes you from the time Riley is a little girl to a teen. Teenagers are just plain frightening sometimes. I have never been able to decide if I even want to venture inside the thought patterns of a teenager. But little ones are a whole different ball of wax. The mind of a two year old for example..... A lot of people refer to them as the terrible two's. I couldn't disagree more. The amount of knowledge they are acquiring during that one year is astronomical. The creativity! The discovery! The excitement! The trouble!!!!!!
Mommy's two year old is about as unique as they come. That little girl is as tough as nails. Her mind is spinning about one hundred miles an hour all the time. It has not taken long for all of us, especially Mommy, to get nervous if we don't see this one for a bit. It is downright terrifying when she is quiet. They visited earlier this year. Mommy and I were having coffee in the morning and catching up on what has been going on. The older grandchildren were playing and you could hear them running through the house. The two year old was ......WAIT! Where was the two year old. A quick run through the house found her in the bathtub. No water, but shampoo and conditioner all over her little body. Best smile ever! Obviously, she got a bath and a new outfit. Mommy and I got busy doing a few things and planning our day. The two older grandchildren were playing and you could hear them running through the house. The two year old was ......WAIT! Where was the two year old. Another quick run through the house found her in the bathtub......AGAIN! No water, but shampoo and conditioner all over her little body. She had a big smile. Her Mommy did not. Another bath and outfit change.
As adults you would think we would catch on by this time wouldn't you!? Yes, it happened a third time and then she took a nap.
My grandson is usually pretty visible. That is, until today. The house was full of adults. In fact, just a little earlier, the Blonde had gotten him out of his pajamas. He didn't want to put clothes on yet, so she left him in his Pull-ups. Everyone was busy doing their own thing. I was going through wedding invitation lists with Pook's fiancé, when I heard my grandson holler "Nina, I all done!" I don't usually consider myself naïve, but I was this time. Silly me, I thought he had gone to the bathroom by himself. I knew where he was, and happily went down the stairs to help him complete this grown up task. He was standing in the guest room, in his Pull-ups. Well that didn't fit the picture in my head. And then again he said. "Nina, I all done fish."
Now let me explain, somewhere in my usually logical mind, I decided it would be really neat to buy the two kids fish when their brother was born. It seemed good at the moment. The goldfish died within 24 hours because apparently they are very dirty and need more than just a bowl to live in. I replaced them with Beta's and told the kids that they had changed color. My granddaughter was not so sure, but my grandson bought it big time. Whenever they are here they get to feed them. Today my grandson decided he could feed the fish on his own.
By the time I got to the guest room, which is where the fish live, the desk was covered in fish food. The bowl was covered with fish food and "Trixiie" was swimming in what looked like mud. "Aggie" did a little better, but I think that is because we were out of fish food. If you haven't smelled fish food.....well let's just say it smells fishy. I spent the next hour cleaning two fish bowls. Tomorrow I need to plan a pet store stop for new food. He totally emptied the container.
You can't help but wish that you were inside the heads of these two as they head into things! It wasn't so funny when I was the mom, but as the grandmother.......my heart smiles and I can't help but laugh! Hope your Mom-sense Monday starts the week off with a laugh for you too!
Wife, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Nurse, Grandmother, Friend...that's me in a nutshell!