It’s all about love

On the phone.

Me: So I’m running a few errands, going to some stores.  Do you want to come?

My Mom: No.  I think I’ll stay home.

See, I have reason to believe my Mom is depressed.  She hates being at home all day.  She likes going out. but not alone.  Sometimes it takes her days to work up the energy to go anywhere alone.  I do everything alone with the boys because if I didn’t, it wouldn’t get done.  So I always invite my Mom.

My Mom: If you want, you can leave the boys here.

Me: If you would like me to.

As many of us have learned, kids slow you down by half when running errands.  But we had spent all day at her house yesterday as I did laundry because I still don’t have a washing machine.

My Mom: Ask the boys.

Me: They will say yes.  They love you.

They will.  They do.

Me: Seanny, do you want to go shopping with Mommy or stay with Grandma?

Sean: Stay with Grandma!  I stay with Grandma, and Eban stays with Grandma!

Me: Evan, do you want to stay with Grandma or go shopping with me?

Evan: Stay with Grandma!  AND I love her!

Sean: I love her more than you do, Eban!

Evan: (pause) Well, I love her more than Mommy does!

Me: (into the phone) Are you sure you want them?

Picking a favorite relative

Evan: Mommy, when you were a little girl, you didn’t have me.  You had to get older and become a grown up first.  Then you had Sean and me and Aidan. 

Me: That’s right.

Evan: And Grandma is older than you?

Me: Yes.

Evan: Is Grandma Sue older than Grandma?

Me: Yes, she is.

Evan: Is Grandma Sue older than Papi?

Me: Yes, she is.

Evan: Is Grandma Sue older than Papa?

Me: Um, I don’t think so.

Evan: Is Papa older than Grandma?

Me: Yes.

Evan: Is Papa older than Papi?

Me: Yes.

Evan: Is Papa older than Grandma-Great?

Me: No.

Evan: Oh.  Grandma-Great is older than Papi and Grandma?

Me: Yes, she is.

Evan: Is Grandma-Great older than Grandma Sue?

Me: Yes.

Evan: Ok.  Grandma-Great is my favorite!  Do you know why?

Me: No.

Evan: Because she’s the oldest!

Well, I guess that’s one way to pick your favorite relative.  Grandma-Great, please come by and pick up your prize; you get to enjoy the company of your great-grandchildren at no extra charge. Don’t you want to spend time with the people who dubbed you the favorite?

Jokes Go Awry

Lately the boys have tried to go on strike.  They don’t want to go swimming.  It’s 103 out there, and my boys don’t want to go swimming.  That is unacceptable in my household or, more to the point, in my parents’ household.  If I go swimming, they have to too because I’m not watching them.

Luckily now that my mom is a grandmother and closer to the end, she believes in bribery.  “Who wants a popsicle?  Ok, well, let’s get in our swimsuits so they don’t drip on our pirate clothes.  Ok, let’s go outside and put our feet in the pool while we eat.  Won’t that be fun?”

Yeah, I know.  It’s were I get my evil genius from.  Ok, my dad can be pretty evil too.

Grandma, Sean, and Evan sat on the edge of the pool eating Popsicles with their feet resting on the first step.  It didn’t take long before both boys were sitting on the top step, enjoying their popsicles.  Eventually Evan finished his and was playing in the pool with me.  Papi teased Sean trying to nab a bite of Popsicle like a walrus trying to get a piece of fish from a trainer.  (Hmm, that was quite an applicable description.  Not to self: must tell Mom.)

Fearing for the safety of his Popsicle, Sean hid it behind his back.  Being an evil genius himself, it dawned on Sean that he could just hide it in the water.  He popped it out of the water to wave it in Papi’s face.  Sean was shocked to find the Popsicle had shrunk.  Papi and I laughed.

Sean laughed with us and stuck the Popsicle back into the water.  He pulled it out to wave it at Papi.

We became distracted by Evan running and jumping into the pool.  We looked back to see Sean had hid his Popsicle under the water again.

He pulled it out and went to take a bite.  His eyes grew big as he looked at just a stick.  He looked at us with his eyes saying, WTF, Mommy?  Where’d it go?

If we wanted to risk drowning, we would have been rolling with laughter.  Instead, Papi and I held on to the sides of the pool, wiping our tears away.

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Learning new words

I’m going to be called in to the principal’s office later this year.  I know it.

 

I recently found out that Evan was calling his Papi “jerk” as a term of endearment.  Apparently, Evan heard his grandma calling Papi that and automatically assumed it was a pet name.  That it is for my mom is not the issue.  The fact is my son has learned the word jerk.

Ms. Principal, I would like to introduce my mother, who is responsible for Evan’s language.

 

To make matters worse, I caught Evan saying the f-word.  He was upset, and it popped out of his mouth.  The world went silent as my brain try to understand what exactly happened. 

When I finally recovered my wits, I took Evan aside and explained how that was a bad word, that we have so many good words to use that we didn’t need to say it, and how we should never use words we don’t know what they mean.

Last weekend, Evan told us that his daddy wasn’t nice.

The Husband was hurt by this and wanted to know why.  I can list off a whole list of broken promises, refusals on childish demands, the rare spankings. 

Evan told us in his quietest voice that Daddy wasn’t nice because he said f-.

While my husband sat there astonished by the turn of events, I was ecstatic.  Evan understood that using that word was a poor choice.

Then Evan used it yesterday.

Ms. Principal, I would like to introduce the boy’s father, who is responsible for Evan’s colorful language.

 

Last weekend we were at an adult party, which we stopped in for an hour with the kids because we had no babysitter in CA.  The boys amused the adults with songs, conversations, and games.

As I talked to another woman, Sean pointed to a dog figurine and said “A damn dog!”

Crap.

I tried to ignore it, hoping that he spoke in toddler-speak.

Instead, the woman looked at me and asked, “Did he just say what I thought he said?”

I nodded.

She, being a mother as well, nodded and said, “The Husband.”

Not ten minutes later, Evan said, “Where’s the damn ball?”

Double crap.

Another discussion of bad words versus good words.

 

Maybe I should just send The Husband to explain the language problem.

 

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A Few Choice Evan Stories

Evan is no longer concerned with the day I lost my keys down the toilet. Here are his NEW favorite stories.

 

Evan: Remember when we were swimming with Papi. And Papi yelled “Bee on you! Bee on you! Bee on you!” And Grandma jumped in the water. Why did she do that?

Me: Because she didn’t want to get stung. She didn’t know where the bee was.

Evan: Oh.

 

Evan: Remember when we were at the McDonald’s without the slide. And Papi took me to go potty. And I went pee. And Papi said, “Boy, you pee a lot.” Why did he say that?

Me: Because you do pee a lot.

Evan: No, I think he was teasing.

 

Evan: Remember when I threw up on Daddy the other day. It was a lot of throw up. It got all over us. And Daddy was yelling, “Mommy! Mommy!” (Pause, reflecting on the name Daddy actually used.) “Faemom! Faemom! Faemom!” He was funny. Why’d he say that?

Me: Because that’s my name and Daddy needed help.

Evan: No. You’re Mommy.

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Evan’s ABC’s

During naptime, my mom and I made petit fours for the bridal shower for my soon-to-be sister-in-law.  We left a few pieces of pound cake out for the boys, who were quite content to nibble on them with juice.  Until . . . .

Evan: Grandma!  Look!  What are these?!  (Notice he went for the easy sale.)

My mom: Those are petit fours.  They-

Evan: Grandma!  Can I have one?! Please?!

My mom: No, Evan.  They’re for Aunt K’s party tomorrow. 

Evan: But I want one!  Please?!

My mom: We’ll try save you one for after the party.

Evan: How about I have one now and save the rest for the party?

My mom: (Counts the petit fours.  To me) There is one extra.  (Evan puts on his sweetest look. To me)  We have an extra yellow one.

Evan: Grandma!  I love the color yellow!  It’s my favorite!  It’s the color of fire!  (I’m quite sure his favorite color is red for the same reason.)

Grandma: (Handing Evan a yellow petit four) That’s the only one you get.

 

My boy knows and uses his ABC’s.  Always Be Closing.

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A discussion of rolls and dresses

(Some back story: My brother is getting married in July in New Hampshire.  I’ve decided to sew a dress because I don’t have time to search for a dress with a toddler and a preschooler in tow.  Wait.  Is that going to be more time consuming?  My mom has decided to make a dress because she waited too long to order the dress she loved, and it is now out of stock.  My grandma has decided to buy a dress though my mother thinks she should just alter one of her older dresses because they’re back in style.)

The boys and I were at my parents’ house for dinner and precious Papi and Grandma time.  As my mom chopped vegetables for the dinner, I was chopping fruit for a fruit salsa.

Grandma: I’ve decided to order that dress.

Me: Oh, good.  I liked that one.

My mom: What size?

Grandma: Size 12.

The chopping ceased.  My grandma is around five foot two.  I could break her if I tried.  Since my grandpa’s passing last August, she has lost tons of weight to the point that we’re all trying to get her to have another helping or another slice.  My mom and I are about the same height and have been working hard to slide into a size 12. 

Me: Grandma, I’m a size twelve.  You are not.

My Mom: Mom!  You are NOT a size twelve.  Maybe a ten.  Maybe smaller.

Grandma: But I don’t like things tight like you two-

Me: Fitted.

Grandma: I don’t like showing my rolls.

My mom spun around with the knife still in hand.  She made an elegant gesture with her free hand motioning along her body.

My Mom: Do you see any rolls?

Me: My rolls are cute!  (Besides I gave up my baby doll shirts, because no one wants to see a post-baby tummy, not even me.)

My grandma rolled her eyes at us.  Though a few days later when the dress came in the mail, it was too big.

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What’s in a name?

Me: I don’t know.  I think he’s still playing M’s video game.

My Mom: The food’s getting cold.  The boys are ready to eat.

Evan: Chawles isn’t here.  Let’s just pray with out him.

Silence as we all stare at Evan because we never get used to him saying things like that.

Me: Daddy.  Daddy isn’t here, and we will wait for him before we pray and eat.

 

Evan learned his father’s name early on and uses it to his advantage.  The other day he called for my dad by his first name in a perfect mimic of the way my mom yells the name across the house, so we were curious to find out if he knew any one else’s name.

Grandma: Evan, do you know my name?

Evan: Linda.

Grandma: Good job.  Did you hear Grandma-Great call me that?

Evan: She calls you that when she’s mad at you.

Me: And when Grandma-Great is happy.

Evan: And when Grandma-Great is happy!

Grandma: Do you know mommy’s name?

Evan: Mommy –(Last Name)!

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In the eye of the beholder

When I was a young kid, we went grocery shopping as a family, so that my dad could manage the kids, allowing my mom to accomplish grocery shopping under an hour.  As the eldest, it was my job to try to turn the cart over, demand sugary cereals, and completely ignore my baby brother as he was cursed to be born a boy.  My brothers helped me in my endeavors.  My dad’s main job was to keep us occupied as my mom checked out so that she didn’t have to say, “Don’t touch the candy, don’t touch the candy, don’t touch the candy, no candy, no, no, no.”

 

My dad would take us over to the magazines, pull one out with Bo Derek, Farah Fawcet, or some other starlet on the cover and ask us who it was.  The response was always the same.  “MOMMY!”  When my dad relates the story to others, he always adds that when he would pick up a picture of Tom Selleck, we would yell “Tom Selleck.”  Not quite true, but it makes a great story.

 

***

 

The other day the boys and I were outside playing in my parents’ backyard with my dad, the beloved Papi, when my dad went into his tool room to fix something.  Like little puppies, my boys followed their Papi into a room they aren’t allowed to go in, and I followed to keep them in line. 

On the walls of the tool room are a couple of girly calendars that my brothers and I love to give my dad to annoy my mom and tease my dad over his little “hobby” of taking pictures of women in bikinis when he’s at the beach.  He does this to annoy my mom and exasperate the other women in his life, especially my friends.  (Trust me; it’s his way of having fun and training to be a dirty old man, chasing nurses one day in the old folks’ home.)  One of these calendars is a “The Girls Next Door” calendar as my family rarely missed an episode, especially my brothers and my dad. 

Evan took one look at the picture of Bridget and announced with glee, “GRANDMA!”

Sometimes the apple falls too close to the tree.

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A doughnut morning

It was a beautiful day in Arizona, as I snuggled down in the bed realizing that six, six-thirty, and seven o’ clock in the morning had slipped away and my boys still slept.  Of course, all good things come to an end, but it was nice to stay in bed until 7:30, even if I would have liked another hour.  Besides my brother was already awake, waiting, like a good uncle, to play with the boys.

 

With a cooing and a laugh, I went into the room to find the boys awake, and on hearing my voice, my brother came in to steal all my morning hugs from the boys.  My brother grabbed Evan and hugged him.  Evan jumped back, yelling “Don’t hug me!  I’m dangerous!”  He went on to try and prove his point by attempting to hit my brother, who lazily slipped away from the attempts to hug Sean.  Sean quickly learned he could get a laugh if he fell on his bottom, bouncing on the bed.  It didn’t take long for Evan to climb up and try to steal the attention.

 

Then my dad entered the room, delighting the boys, and I became nothing more than a shadow in the room. 

 

Papi: Do you want doughnuts?

 

Evan: (with pacifier in his mouth.  I know I’m a bad mom.)  Yes!

 

Papi: (mumbling like he has something in his mouth) Do you want doughnuts?

 

Evan: (still with pacifier in his mouth) Papi, I can’t hear you!  (pause)  Oh, yes, I can hear you now.

 

Papi: Take the pacifier out of your mouth.  Do you want doughnuts?

 

Evan: (takes it out) Yes! (Puts it back in.  I yank the pacifier out of Evan’s mouth.)

 

Papi: Do you want doughnuts or pumpkin bread?

 

Evan: We have pumpkin bread at our house!  Do you want to go and get it?!

 

Papi:  We have pumpkin bread here.

 

Evan: (looks out the window) I can’t see my house!  It’s too far away!

 

Papi: Do you want doughnuts?

 

Evan: Yes!

 

Papi: Do you want sprinkles?

 

Evan: Yes!

 

Papi: Really?

 

Evan: Yes!

 

Papi: I’m going to go get them.

 

Evan: Boys are hungry.  Dogs are hungry.  We need to eat.  We need to eat doughnuts.

 

So begins the whirlwind day at Grandma and Papi’s house.  With non-stop playing, games, and treats, it is the best place to bed.  When my mom mentioned making caramel apples and popcorn balls, my brother and I looked at each, remembering that it had been years since my mom had made these things.  Even if we aren’t the reasons, it’s nice to get the spill over.  She has to make more than two, right?

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