Sunday, October 11, 2009

If You Are a Dreamer, Come In...

P has been posting Top 10 Lists as of late, so I figured I would throw one in here, too. But what to write about?

Top Ten Reasons Why Beckett Rocks Harder Than Your Kid:
(It's okay, I'm sure your kid is cool, too)

(1) Blonde hair? Check. Blue eyes? Check. Infectious laugh? Check. Let's
face it, he's just plain cute.

(2) He LOVES to read. Current favorites include Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silvers
tein, Arnie the Doughnut by Laurie Keller, and Oliver and Company.

(3) He is a boy. ALL BOY. Plays with tools, footballs, soccer balls, swords, golf clubs, etc. You get the picture -- he digs boy stuff. But, much to my father's chagrin, his favorite color is PINK.
(4) He is officially potty trained. Completely. He has been potty traine
d during the day and through naps for about 5 months. In the last 2 weeks, he only wet the bed at night once. I am so proud and can't believe he no longer wears diapers EVER!

(5) As infuriating as it is sometimes, he is smart. Only problem is that now it's harder to lie to him. It's a sad day when you get called out by a 3-year-old.

(6) He rocks because he does things like this: We both wore red to church this morning. We were on the elevator on the way to his Sunday School class and a man said to Beckett, "Look at you. You match your mama!" No lie, Beckett looked at me, looked back at the man and said,
"I've never met her before." With a straight face! I almost died I was laughing so hard.

(7) As previously stated, he is all boy. Wild as a buck, loud, rough and tumble.....BOY. But, he is also very sweet. For example, he will share anything. Cookies, sand toys, sidewalk chalk, goldfish, juice, anything. And 99% of the time he'll share without having to be asked. I have NO idea where this comes from because I'm not particularly great at sharing my toys. He also gives lots of random hugs, kisses, and "I love yous" and he says "please," "thank you," and "excuse me" about 95% of the time.

(8) He is endlessly entertaining. We have a brick fireplace. Above it is a light that is intended to spotlight whatever is hanging above the mantle. But Beckett is convinced that this is his own personal stage and spotlight. He will jump on the hearth and say "My spotlight, please! Ladies and gentlemen, boys and dirls (girls)!" What follows is never boring. Sometimes, it's Watermelon Man. Or Peanut, Peanut Butter. Usually, it's Rick and Bubba (you know, the radio guys. And literally, he just sings their names over and over and over). Then he takes a bow, jumps down, and goes about his business.

(9)There are about 5 phrases of French that he has picked up. Also, he blurts out Spanish (from school and Handy Manny) on the regular.

(10) Last, but not least, he thinks he is Spiderman. He legitimately thinks he is Spiderman. I'll have to upload pictures soon.

In other Beckett news, he made up a song this weekend. And it goes a little something like this:

Lookin' for adventure,
Chicken nugget, chicken nugget, chicken nugget,
Shake your bootie, shake your bootie.
Whatever comes my way,
Chicken nugget, shake you bootie.

And so on and so forth.

Well, not so much "made up" as he mixed "Born to Be Wild" in with 2 random phrases. He's good times. Fitting though.

This weekend has been an extremely productive one for me! Also, Brandi and I went and did our Couch to 5K thing on Monday and Wednesday (I was sick Tuesday, but she went anyway!). Dusty and I played basketball on Thursday (yes, one on one. Quite humorous) and on Friday, Brandi, Josh, Dusty and I went for a walk at Shakespeare. I hope I'll be as motivated next week.

T-minus 34 hours until Dusty and I are quitting smoking. Eric has said he is going to "try" to quit with us, and I hope he does. We are joining the gym on Monday, too! Now, if I could only start eating better.....

Also, allow me to submit that if you have never perused, you have a huge hole were awesome is considerably lacking. Exhibit A and B are to the right:

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Metamorphosis: Not Just for Butterflies Anymore

It's Saturday at Noon. I have 1000 law school related papers and books spread out around me, a load of laundry in the washer and one in the dryer, a stack of clothes to iron, dishes that need to be unloaded from the dishwasher, a 3-year-old laid out on the sofa, and the Auburn/Arkansas game on the television. I just checked and and I can't help but think about how my life has changed so dramatically in the last 5 years.

DISCLAIMER: This blog may not be that funny. If you don't care to hear about my life, then I suggest you stop reading. I apologize. Give Beckett about 20 minutes. He'll do something funny. I will relay it here.

I don't know where I was on October 10, 2004, but if I had to guess, I was working the lunch shift at Brick Oven Pizza Co. I was probably hungover and swapping "guess what I did last night" stories with the rest of the staff. I wasn't in school at the time (I had decided to take a year off) and so my only responsibility was to show up to work on time and try to get through my shift without screwing too much up. Simple.

Four years later, I am Beckett's mother and a law student. I am simultaneously the same as I was then and yet so very different. When I think that it's simply the circumstances that have changed, I find myself reminded this is not the case. This, of course, was no overnight process, and yet the realization of the fact happened in a split second. Funny how you don't see the big picture when you're in the thick of the transformation. No, you come out on the other side, bruised, bent, perhaps even broken in some places. And only then can you see what has happened in the last day, 6 weeks, 9 months, or 5 years.

This is what being in the world means, at times we suffer. - Don DeLillo, Love--Lies--Bleeding

I can no longer decide I need a drink and walk from one room directly to the other, grab said drink, and go about my business. I will straighten toys, fold clothes, and pick up crumbs en route to the kitchen. When did this happen?

This weekend has been an exercise in frustration. There is not an aspect of my life that has not been mulled over in my brain half a million times. I have broken down in tears no less than 10 times in the last day and a half. But this is a good thing. The questioning, the anger, the sadness only help me to know that, no, things might not have gone the way I had wanted, but they are going. And that is the important part. Five years ago, if something didn't go my way, I would spend days being depressed. Today, I know that, one day, the ends will justify the means. One day in the future, I will have another day like today, when I realize that the bumps and the hiccups and the major roadblocks were all worth it. And simply knowing that helps me to navigate them. It's not flawless and it's certainly painful at times, but it's also quite beautiful.

There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered. - Nelson Mandela, "A Long Walk to Freedom"

Monday, October 5, 2009

Supressing Laughter Cannot Be Good for My Health

My biggest problem with parenting to date is that I have to actually discipline Beckett. I would MUCH prefer just to laugh at how amusing he is and send him on his way. But seeing as how being rude is not something I'd like him to get used to, I must suppress laughter, find a way to not fall out of my chair in doing so, and tell him why the hilarious thing he just said is wrong.

Exhibit A:
We were watching the end of the NASCAR race on Sunday. Stage set. I told my Dad that NASCAR was like baseball to me -- Horrifically boring on TV, mildly amusing (thanks in part to rednecks) in person. I turned to Beckett and said, "Oh, B, we should go to a Braves game next season!" And I kid you not, this is the response I got. Exasperated sigh, head up, eyes rolled. Then, "BOOOOORING. Try again." Head back down, looking straight at me, unhappy grimace on face.

So, as his mother, I was obligated to explain to him that we shouldn't presume bordem in situations we know nothing about (a Braves game being something he knows NOTHING about). Now, the "nothing is boring" argument is akin to the "math is important" argument in my eyes. Children, adults are going to tell you that math is important. They lie. God created the calculator because being able to rattle off 45345 divided by 67 is something only Rainman can do. And even then, it's not important. Similarly, children, adults will tell you that we shouldn't say things are boring, because we can make anything fun! Again, lies. Things are boring. Baby showers, bridal teas, Con law.....this list goes on. And, incidentally, math is boring.

I'm not going to lie. It took everything I had in me not to give up half-way through the "Come on, B. Life's fun!" speech and just say, "Screw it, you're right. It would probably be boring. And totally not worth my time and money. See if I try to do anything with you again." At this point I would have burst into laughter because, let's face it, he's funny. And, he's also right. Can I fault him for these things?

Exhibit B:
Later that same night (I must have spilled some snarky in his Corn Flakes that morning), we were sitting down at dinner. Now, this evening was filled with much bargaining (as any good meal with a 3 year old does) and begging and near hair-pulling-out. He was having chicken fingers and cantaloupe. This is where the details get a little fuzzy. I know I was getting on to him about something, but Lord knows what it was. I'm not even sure he was listening because the first breath I took, he interjected, "Mom, let it go." "Let it go?!?" You're 3. You do not get to tell me to "let it go." And this lovely phrase got repeated no less than 4 times. Cut to me grabbing a 3 year old, wiping doughnut off of his shirt, and taking (well, dragging) him to his room to sit in time out. I will admit, my first response to this situation was infuriation. However, after explaining to him (over crying and screaming, after all, I had taken half of a doughnut away from him -- what is wrong with me?) that "let it go" was extremely disrespectful and we need to respect our mother (insert the laughter of everyone I know), I walked out of the room. I had barely hit the door frame before I realized that my 3 year old had just used the phrase "let it go." And if he meant laughter, then mission accomplished. I almost hit the floor I was laughing so hard. Meanwhile, he is screaming for help. Because what's more like prison than a little red rocking chair? And what more akin to torture than being made to sit in it for 3 minutes?

Welcome to my life. The things I would tolerate in my friends, I have to watch out for. This "teaching children how to be respectful and useful adults" is not for the faint of heart.

But, the weekend was not all about discipline and respect, We managed to have fun, too. Dusty has been asking if I blog about him, and until today, the answer was, "no." But, alas, Dusty, there is something to say today. This weekend, Dusty asked me to help him fix Eric's stairs. And by "fix," he meant rebuild. And I had to explain that by "help," I could offer only conversation. Because, let's face it: I am NOT handy. At all. So, Saturday afternoon we went to Lowe's (big day) and bought the necessary supplies. But I had to go get B at 5. Dusty asked if I was going to come back and help. I said I could, but B would have to come, too. And if anyone was going to be less help than me, it's B. Because I am aware that I can't help and therefore stay out of the way. B, however, thinks he IS helping and will stand under your feet and ask 237647 questions. Having been fully warned, Dusty suggested that I bring B. So, I went and got Beckett and his tools (you know, because nothing builds stairs like plastic tools) and headed to Eric's. About 30 minutes after we arrived, we realized that 2 of the boards needed to be cut about 1/2". Dusty looked at Beckett, who at this point has all of his tools out and is "fixing" anything that will stand still long enough for him to hit, and asked, "Do you want to go to Lowe's?" Response: "No." Shocking. He was in heaven, no he didn't want to leave. So, Dusty offered to watch him while I ran to the Lowe's up the street (we were in Wetumpka). After explaining to Beckett that he had to listen to Dusty and do what he said, I left. While I was gone, Dusty and Beckett broke down the old stairs. I can imagine Beckett had a ball. Actually, I know he did. He keeps asking me when we are going back to Dusty's.

The thing with other people watching Beckett is that I don't particularly like other people's children. And so I always assume that no one wants to be around my child. I think this is a fair presumption. So, after Dusty assured me they would be fine, I left. And, to Dusty's credit, they were both alive when I returned. Happy, unscathed, and laughing. Mission accomplished.

Well, that's about enough for right now. I am sure, however, more will follow this week.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Spiderpig Does Whatever a Spiderpig Does.

So, yesterday, I let B wear his Spiderman costume to school. I mean, how cool am I? And when I mean costume, I mean costume. Jumpsuit, spandex, SPIDERMAN. It was pretty cute. But the fam thought I was insane for letting him do this. My reasoning? He's 3. It's only going to be socially acceptable for him to dress like his favorite superhero for about 2 more years (on a related note, it will also only be socially acceptable for him to have a favorite superhero for about 2 more years). Face it, at 35, a Spiderman costume is the equivalent of a van with "Free Candy" written on the side. I'm giving myself one Mom Point on the day.

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