Monthly Archives: August 2009

Guilty Secret

A nine-year-old boy lives in my house, which means any words even remotely related to the bathroom are hilarious.  Even words that SOUND like bathroom words are cause for snickers and laughter.

The Mom:  “Do you want butter on your waffles?”

The Boy:  “Heh.  You said butt!”

You get the picture.

Here’s my guilty secret:  Apparently, I am only slightly older than my kid, perhaps nine-and-a-half, because I?  Think these words are hilarious, too!

When he says the words, I do my best to tell him it’s not O.K. and that he needs to stop.  Because I am nine-and-A-HALF and know better, right?

But he can see my (often failed) attempts to keep a straight face.  Sometimes, I just give up and laugh out loud.

I know!  What is wrong with me?!

My biggest fear is that he will forget himself at school and the words will slip out and I’ll be called into the principal’s office to discuss my boy’s choice of words.  I am ready for that day.  I will express surprise and shock and declare that NO ONE in our house talks that way or thinks it’s acceptable behavior.

And I will try to keep a straight face.


Someone needs to come and save this kid from his mother.  Fast.


A Day For New Shoes

The first day of school almost always means new shoes.  Often it means new haircuts and backpacks, too.  But, if nothing else, the shoes are almost always new.

Today, I saw enough new shoes to fill a shoe store.  No, not a shoe store, a shoe WAREHOUSE.

Really, there were just that many new shoes.

The great part was that those new shoes were on feet belonging to a whole bunch of kids.  I am back to spending my day with kids and it is lovely.   Of course, I love the days of summer with my boy, but I never mind the start of a new school year.  The boy has to go to school, too, and it’s time for me to get back to one of the things I do best:  help kids learn.

This week, I am taking a break from the Reading Lab to help in a kindergarten classroom.  The first week of kindergarten is always challenging and the teachers need all the help they can get.  There are really no words to describe how glad I am to be in this kindergarten classroom.  This is the age group I was with for many years before working in the Reading Lab.  I feel like I am home.

And kindergarteners?  Are freakin’ hilarious!  You can never be sad for long in a room full of five year olds.

After snack/recess, the kids were back on the rug for a story.  It was probably five minutes before the teacher stopped reading suddenly and told a small girl,  “Please go put your apples away.” 

There was this girl, holding a not-so-small container (guess her mom thought she could possibly starve before 2 p.m.) on her lap, just munching away on her apples.  Because that seemed like a good idea to her.

It’s great to be five.

I’ll head back tomorrow, ready to laugh some more. 

The shoes might have a few scuffs, but they’ll still be worn by my favorite kind of people:  kids.


The boy had some birthday money to spend, so we headed to an amusement park one day this summer.  We ate lunch at a table surrounded by families also enjoying their lunches.  There was a family pretty close to us with two kids about 6 and 8 years old.  There was a family nearby with a cute little toddler, somewhere between 18 months and two years old.  The mom of the older kids was interacting with the parents of the toddler, asking the girl’s name and her age, etc.  I checked out both families, but then went back to my kid, who was, you know, showing me the food in his mouth on purpose and (accidentally) kicking me under the table, apologizing each time but then (accidentally) kicking me again a minute later.

It’s great to be nine.

I am not a social mom.  I never did Mommy and Me.  My boy doesn’t do many outside activities or classes.  In the first six years that I was a mom, I ran a busy child care center that my son attended, and so our social network was large and all I had to do was go to work .  I was the leader of a huge Mommy (and Daddy) and Me class every single day, because that was my job.  I enjoyed this and was good at being the leader, but outside of work?  I just wanted to be left alone.  I will talk to other moms in public, but they would have to start the conversation.  And if you see me watching my boy at his swimming lesson, please don’t sit next to me and talk the whole time- I want to actually watch my kid’s lesson.  I’m not there for social networking.

I bet you REALLY want to be my friend about now, right?

All this being said, I LOVE to be around kids and families, observing quietly from the sidelines.  As we sat and ate our lunch that cost about fifty dollars (is amusement park food made of gold?), I half- listened to the families around me.  The mom of the older kids had kept up her interaction with the parents of the toddler and now it was time for the toddler to leave.  I couldn’t resist turning around to watch this tiny girl wave goodbye and smile at her new found friend.  For me, it takes me back to that simpler time when my boy was an unusually easy toddler.

Watching that girl must have taken the mom of the older kids back, too.  I noticed we were both staring after the girl, kind of wistfully, as she wondered away.

“Now, those were the easy times”, she said.

And even though we had not exchanged a word the entire lunch time and she was not even looking at me, I knew she was talking to me. 

And without hesitation, my unsocial self finished her thoughts.

“No talking back, no eye rolling….”, I added.

“Oh! No eye rolling!”, she nearly yelled.

“Those WERE easy times”, I said.  “I’ll take a toddler any day.”

“Yes. Yes!”, she answered.

And just like that, we were on the same team.  Partners in this parenting gig.  In an instant, no longer strangers, we could finish each others sentences.

In the nine years I have been a mother, I am always amazed at this uniting force called motherhood. 

It still catches me by surprise.