Stories

Sometimes I worry about how the boys will feel about the blog. How will they feel about embarrassing stories of their toddlerhood. How will they feel about the private becoming public. How will they feel about The Penis Rules section.

We were sitting down for dinner when Tornado A asked for a baby story about Tornado E. I told one, and they all laughed. Then he asked for one about Tornado S. I told one, and they all laugh. Then he asked for one about him. I told one, and they all laughed.

Then Tornado S asked for one about him. And I told one, and they laughed. So Tornado E asked me a story about him, and I told one. They laughed. Then Tornado A asked for a story about him. I told one, and they all laugh.

I must have told a dozen or more stories with promises of more. So, my little tornadoes, your memories are saved online for you and all the world to read when they want.

 

Good luck with that.

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Silly Rules for Spelling Sentences

At their school, the second graders have to put their 20 spelling words in sentences, due at the end of the week. Tornado E and Tornado S’s teachers did not care how many spelling words were jammed into a sentence. Tornado S could get up to five words. It was impressive. Tornado A has no such luck. He can only put up to two spelling words in a sentence.

So he did.

He got full credit for his ten sentences and a little note from the teacher. “Don’t start with I so often, please.” All but one or two sentences started with I.

Part of me thinks this is a stupid rule. He’s in second grade. But I realize this will make him a better writer.

Tornado A has acquiesced to the demand. But since my genes naturally run deep, he has started all his sentences this week, so far, with “We.” If he does this for every sentence, I’m going to give the kid five bucks.

So It Begins…. Again

It’s been a hectic two weeks. And I know it’s just the start.

First, school is in full swing. I’ve been to four open houses. One for each boy and my own.

At my own, I repeated myself five times with the same speech, same jokes with the same silence. I really need a sound machine with the sound of chirping crickets. I talk about the course, my expectations, my joy of teaching their kids. I assure every parent that yes, your kid is doing fine. (Really, it was this last week that they were given the ball to drop; sometime this weekend I’ll learn how many decided to turn in their first homework assignment.)

The first open house was Tornado A’s where I learned he’s so bright and sweet, so smart, so with it. I’d wish you luck, but you already have him. Good luck, any ways. You’re going to need it. Behind that sweet smile lies the mind of a mad genius.  I also was stopped by several teachers to ask how my year was going, to exchange notes and ideas, to whisper good luck and congratulations. You have no idea how much high school freshmen are like elementary kids.

Then it was Tornado S’s open house. Usually we discuss his many weird, complex issues. But my parents have already talked to the teachers, and two out of three teachers had already had Tornado E. So I introduce myself. And Tornado S is so sweet and kind, so brilliant; we just need to help him get it out, and by the way, how’s the school year? I exchange notes and ideas with the other teachers, explaining the math common core for a few families while the math teacher talked with another family about homework. You have no idea how much high school freshman are like 5th graders.

Finally Tornado E’s open house arrived. I carpooled with a friend, and I was spoiling for some answers because Tornado E had been bumped to the regular math class because of a pre-assessment. Then he was getting a solid C in his new math class after I had lobbied for a retest or re placement. But since my boy is becoming more cautious in new situations, I don’t start out with, “Hi. I’m Tornado E’s mom; I’m so sorry.” I introduce myself, and immediately I get, “Ah, yes, Tornado E. Smart kid. Really smart. Just quiet.” Yeah, give him time. Then it was time to talk to the math teacher about her methods, expectations, her weighting practices. After all that in front of the parents, I talked to her privately about Tornado E, who is impressing her greatly, who she thinks is capable of algebra with a little help, who she hopes isn’t discouraged. Well, he is. He loves math, and he’s proud of his math scores. Oh, but he took a test the day after he got into my class and got a C without instruction; that was impressive. That C has him off computer and video games. Oh, well, then. We hammered out a plan.

And this is just the beginning. Cub Scouts goes into full swing next week. So does religious classes. Tornado S wants to join Kung Fu with his brothers. Tornado A would like to add a third martial art. Uh, no.

And I should have 140 essays to grade this weekend.

Signs. Signs. Everywhere Signs.

We have come into some wood. Random pieces cut in random ways. Over the summer, Tornado A made a sign for the big family room. “Don’t come in” was written on one side. “Come in if you want” was written on the other side. He is meticulous in using it on the door.

Sunday he decided to make a sign for me. One side. “Saye out.” For when I need people to stay out of my room.

Thank you, baby.

Then he made one for his bedroom.

How cute.

Then one for the bathroom.

Thank you, sweetheart.

One for the office.

Papi will love that one.

One for my parents’ room.

Nana: Thank you.

One for the main hallway.

Um, ok. Awesome.

One for the dining room.

This one is great, but, baby….

One for the living room.

One small sign doesn’t really work for a room without a – no, it’s cute.

And then we had to stop him. Sweetly. Kindly. We asked him to hold off on signs for a little while. How many could he want to make? We love them, but we’re tripping over them.

Then he wailed and wailed and wailed.

I promised he can make more next weekend.

Worry Doll

Lately I’ve been having nightmares every night about my failure as a parent. Stupid things. But obviously my sub-conscious wants me to work something out.

This morning I told my dad my latest nightmare. He shook his head with a grin because it wasn’t much of a nightmare.

Tornado A: Mama, are you worried?

Me: Yes, baby.

Tornado A: About what?

Me: About you boys and being a good mother.

Tornado A gave me a solemn nod and ran off.

Later as I finished getting dressed, Tornado A sat on my bed.

Tornado A: Mama, make sure you sleep on this pillow.

He pulled it back to show me the tiny worry doll from his set that I got him months ago from the Grand Canyon.

I gave him a hug and kiss.

Me: Thank you, baby.

Nightmares and Decisions

I’m rocking it at work. People are impressed. My students are doing awesome. I’m getting suspicious.

On the other hand, I am so worried and anxious about my boys that I’m having nightmare. Stupid, silly, anxiety-ridden nightmares.

Like the other night, I dreamt that Tornado E was failing math because he was too busy helping his girlfriend with her math that he wasn’t doing his. The worst part about the dream was I didn’t even know he had a girlfriend.

So at breakfast, I did what any normal, anxious parent would do.

Me: Boys, new rule. If you found a girl to be your girlfriend, you have to ask me about it first. This rule applies until you’re 18 or out of high school, which ever comes last.

The boys stare at me. Tornado S and Tornado A gave me a look of disgust. Tornado E considered it.

Tornado E: That seems fair.

They went back to eating. Ok. Great. I’m not sure if they were humoring me or I’m crazy. Or both.

 

Just a Friendly Wave

When I have the boys in the morning, more often than not, Tornado S stands outside the house to wave at me.

We live on a corner of a T-intersection. Obviously the driveway is furthest from the stop sign. So I pull out and drive parallel to the yard, waving back, yelling, “I love you! Do your best! Have fun!”

Then I turn left, driving passed two neighborhood streets before making another left and driving out of view. The whole way, Tornado S and sometimes Tornado A are waving goodbye to me. So I wave all the way down the street, thinking of Ever After and how it’s tradition to wave at the edge of the drive.

The other day as I’m driving down the street waving back at Tornado S, a woman, walking a dog, came down the street. Seeing me waving, she became excited and waved enthusiastically. “Good morning!” she shouted.

I made her day. And I laughed. I called back, “Good morning.” Then I laughed and waved all the way to my turn.