The Fourth Child

No, I’m not pregnant. Though the boys are lobbying hard for a fourth child. A girl, please, Mommy. A baby sister, please, Mommy.

Um, it doesn’t work that way.

Take the other night.

Tornado E: When are you going to have another baby?

Maybe, never. You kind of need a willing male partner for that. Or a sperm bank. But that’s a little complicated to go into with a 5yr old, a 8yr old, and a 10yr old.

Tornado E: I would like a baby sister.

Tornado S and Tornado A: Yeah.

Me: You have two little sisters.

One half and one step but sisters nonetheless.

Tornado S: But we want you to have a girl.

He gave me that adorable smile.

Me: Maybe one day. I’m very happy to have my three boys.

Tornado S: Did you know you were going to have three boys?

Me: It doesn’t work like that. But each one of you was wanted and planned.

Tornado S: So did you know you would have three kids?

I rubbed his nearly shaved head.

Me: Not at first. I did want four kids though.

Tornado A: That means a little girl!

Um, not yet. Your grandparents would kill me if I had a baby now, living at their house.

Tornado E: So when will you have another baby?

Me: I don’t know. I always seemed to get pregnant when everything is perfect in my life.

Tornado E: What if I’m 15?

God, I hope it doesn’t take until Tornado E‘s 15 to be settled and married and have a perfect little life to ruin with a baby.

Me: Then I guess you would be babysitting.

I rubbed his nearly shaved head.

Tornado S: I won’t be!

If Tornado E is 15 and two years older, then Tornado S would be 13. Legal babysitting age is 12.

Me: You would be too.


Tornado S: Hmmm. I would be good at babysitting. I helped calmed down Tornado A today.

Me: You’re a good big brother.

I kissed his head.

I fear that once they figure out the mechanics of the whole thing, they’ll put me on or start a GoFundMe page to raise money for sperm. Lord help me.

A Discussion in Church

The priest: Jesus loves you.  Take care of Mom.

He blessed Tornado E and then Tornado S.  They were as quiet and still as active children can be, which is to say, they wiggled and giggled and walked away with more noise and movement than they should have.

The priest: Body of Christ.

Me: Amen.

I received my communion as the priest blessed Tornado A.  I genuflected because some Catholic school habits die hard and turned to follow the boys.  Tornado E was already near the back, but Tornado S lingered a yard away.

Tornado S: Mommy!  (I couldn’t Shh or talk because my mouth was full.)  Did you like the cookie?!  Was it a good cookie?!  What kind of cookie was it?!

I gently turned him around and nudged him up the aisle.  I caught smiles from the adults around us.  I was able to swallow.

Me: (whispering) It’s not a cookie.  It’s more like a cracker.

Tornado S: A cracker?  Was it good?  When can I have one?

Ever since he was a baby, Tornado S has wanted communion. As a baby in arms, he would pitch a fit as we walked away from the priest without his communion. If I was the embarrassed mom type, I would have turned red. But since I’m not, I just held him against me to keep him from squirming out of my arms.

Me: (whispering) You’ll receive your First Communion when you’re seven.

Tornado S: So when I’m eight!  I can have one!

Me: (whispering) Yes.

Tornado S: (running to catch up with Tornado E) TORNADO E!  It’s not a cookie!  It’s a cracker!  And we can have one when we’re EIGHT!

It pays to have a sense of humor as a parent.

Words from the boys

Tornado S: Mommy, can you buy me Lucky Charms?  They’re on my diet!

(Note: Their father discusses what’s on his diet.)


Tornado S: Mommy!  Did you you hear that big noise?  Do you know what that was?  That was me cleaning up my toys!

(Note: Without being asked!)


Tornado S: Mommy!  I have a big hug here!  Do you want it?!

Me: Of course.

(He had his arms clasped behind his back and threw his arms around me to give me a bear hug.)


Me: You’re one of my favorite boys.

Tornado E: I am?!

Me: Yup!  Do you know how many I have?

Tornado E: THREE!

Me: Yup!  I’m pretty lucky!

Tornado E: Why aren’t Uncle Face and Uncle Friendly Giant your favorite boys too?

Me: Um.

(I’m just glad he didn’t ask about his father.)


Tornado E: Can you buy me a night cap?

Me: I don’t think they make them anymore.

Tornado E: Ok.  I’ll just wear my pajama pants on my head.

(Your guess is as good as mine.)



(Ok, so it’s not clever.  But when he runs at me with his arms wide out and yelling that, it’s damn cute.)

(This post was written three times on three different topics/stories.  I blame the kid laying down, whining that he didn’t want me to read to him.)

Faith, Belief, and Bad Guys

Tornado E: Christians are people who go to church!

Me: Um, no.  Christians are people who believe Jesus was Christ.  (Don’t say any more.  Don’t say any more.  They’re not old enough.  DO NOT say any more!)

Tornado E: Oh.  I believe in Jesus, so I’m a Christian.

Me: (Good enough.)  Yes.

Tornado S: I don’t believe in Jesus.

Tornado E: YES!  You do!

Tornado S: No, I don’t.

Me: Why not, Tornado S?

Tornado S: I don’t want to tell you.

Me: That’s ok.  I was just curious.

Tornado S: Can you guess who my favorite person in the Bible is?

Me: (How many “bad” guys have they taught him about?)  Judas?

Tornado S: THAT’S RIGHT!  JUDAS!  He’s a bad guy!

Me: (Don’t say anything.  Don’t say anything!) He betrayed Jesus, so many consider him a bad guy.  (Ah, crap.)

Tornado S: He had Jesus killed!

Me: (Shut up.  Shut up.  Shut up.)  No.  That was a bunch of temple leaders.  The (SHUT UP!).  Nevermind.  A lot of people were afraid of Jesus, so they went out and had him killed.

Tornado S: Because of Judas!

Me: Yes.  But Jesus had to die, so maybe Judas was doing what he was told.  (God, why am I having a religious discussion with my very young boys?!  I’m an idiot.)

Tornado S: Judas is still my favorite because he’s a bad guy.

Apparently I can’t keep myself from mudding up religious waters.

And when do I start worrying about Tornado S’s affinity for bad guys?  When he starts idolizing Stalin?

Grown ups

Tornado E: I don’t have allergies, right, Mommy?

Me: Maybe to some pollens.  But no.  Why?

Tornado E: The other day in Boy Scouts they asked if I was allergic to peanuts.  (One of the few times I left him alone at the meeting, which turned out to be a big no-no.  And the scoutmaster was audibly relieved when he asked me the same question and got a no.)  I said no, but that I was allergic to church.  The grown ups all started to laugh.  And I said no, my nose starts running and Grandma says it’s because I’m allergic to the cleaning supplies and then tells Mommy she needs to give me medicine before church.  But they kept laughing.


Tornado E: Mommy, why were they laughing?

Me: Because, baby, you’re a comedic genius at six.

What song?

About once a week I get to pick up Tornado E at school without boys.  (It’s like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders/arms for fifteen minutes.)  On this day, I can talk and ask questions without interrupting myself to say “Don’t hit your brother,” “Keep your hands off your brother,” “Don’t give the baby that toy,” and “Don’t practice laughing because it makes the baby laugh because it’s too loud.”

Tornado E: Today, at school, we learned about, Heaven and Hell.

Ok.  I knew there would be a backlash to sending my child to a Christian school.  But I was sure the Heaven-vs-Hell talk didn’t happen until the child was old enough to understand sin.  I thought I had a few years.  Crap.

Tornado E: And I raised my hand and told the teacher, that Uncle M, had a really COOL Hell song.

I guess I forgot about The Friendly Giant’s music taste and the fact he has taken it upon himself to educate my boys in the finer things of live.  Alternative rock.  Which I was fine with because that’s what I blasted around the boys, though tempered with The Beatles, Jewel, some country, and of course, classic protest songs of the ’60’s.  And all this was tied into one little word.  Crap.

Me: So what did the teacher say?

Tornado E: (in a disappointed and sullen voice) Nothing.

Me: Please tell Uncle M this story when you get to your grandma’s house.

And my ever-obedient son (I know, that was tongue in cheek) ran to The Friendly Giant’s room the minute he got into the house.  After a moment, I heard the loud and pure laughter of my brother ringing through the house.

I related the story to my parents later.

Papi: Tornado E could you sing us the song?

Tornado E: Ok.  (pause)  Where do bad people go when they die?  They don’t go to heaven where the angels fly.  The go to a lake of fire and fry.

And it was perfect pitch, tune, and tone.

Thank God, he didn’t sing it at school.

The Entertainer

The boys are taking swim lessons through the city at our local park.  Each session is two weeks.  Each session has one safety day.  They teach the kids the basics of CPR and lifeguarding.  As I kid, I hated safety day because you sat in the hot sun listening to the same thing every two weeks.  In my sons’ sessions, they try to liven it up.  They let the kids play lifeguard, throwing a rescue tube to a “drowning” lifeguard and pull her to safety.

After the class, I watched as Tornado E’s teacher escorted Tornado E to life guard office as he carried the lifeguard tube.  After a few minutes, she came out, calling for him to follow her.  She took him to the pool where Tornado S’s instructor was still in the pool about to climb out.

Tornado E’s teacher: Tornado E.  Tell her what you said.

I was too far away to hear his answer.  She started to laugh and dunked her head under the water.  Hmmmm.

I had to wait until Tornado E finished his melted Otter Pop that the lifeguards gave him and to arrive at my parents’ house before getting Tornado E’s full attention.

Me: Tornado E, what did you say to the lifeguards that was so funny?

Tornado E: Oh!  I told them the lifeguard buoy looks like a weenie.

A smile graced my face.  The Friendly Giant laughed.

The Friendly Giant: Now that’s funny!

Yup,  that is.

P.S. If you are like my mother who naturally assumed my son was referring to a body part, I assure you he believes he was talking about a hot dog “because hot dog and weenie are the same thing.”  Yes, they are, my boy.

The Answer is

My mom is trying to teach Tornado E not to whine or throw a fit when he gets a “no” in response to his request.  (I, for the record, just send him in his room until he’s dealt with his issues.)  She tells him, “Tornado E, sometimes the answer is no.”

Yesterday I was dressing Tornado S, and he wanted to play with a tiny toy ninja that belonged to Tornado E.

Me: Tornado S, that’s Tornado E’s.  You’ll have to ask him.

Tornado S: Pease, Brother.  Pease may have ninja?

Tornado E: No.

Tornado S started to wail.

Tornado E: Tornado S, sometimes the answer is no.

Birds & Bees, Part 1: Or the baby is naked in there?

I wanted to wait a little while to tell Tornado E about the new baby.  An eight to nine month wait is a long time for a little guy.  But Tornado E was very concerned about my “sickness,” asking me every day if I was still sick, if he would get sick, and that he was going to pray for me at his school.  A downside of sending him to a Christian preschool.  So I figured I better explain before the teachers started to think I had cancer or something.

Then Tornado E and I sat at lunch together today, talking as Tornado S caught an early nap, ruining my nap and my need to clean before the rental people inspect tomorrow.  Yea.

Tornado E: Mommy, why do you want three boys?

Me: Because I like boys.  How do you know it’s not a girl?  I like girls too.

Tornado E:  Ok, it can be a girl.

Me: Do you want another little brother or a little sister?

Tornado E: I think I want four kids.

Me: Four?

Tornado E: No, five.

Me: Five?

Tornado E: Yes, because I like kids.

Me: Well, five is a lot.  (I do not want to feel this sick again.  Eyes on the prize.  Eyes on the prize.)  But I’ll let Daddy know how you feel.

Tornado E: Ok.  Does the baby have shoes on?

Me: No, the baby is naked.

Tornado E: (giggling) He’s naked?  He needs clothes on.  Why doesn’t he have clothes on?

Me: The baby doesn’t need any because the baby is in Mommy’s womb.

Tornado E: We need to get him some clothes.

Me: How will we get clothes in Mommy’s body?

Tornado E: Hmmm.  We’ll put it in a box.

Me: How will we get a box in Mommy’s body?

Tornado E: Mommy, does the baby eat when you eat?

Me: Sort of like that.

Tornado E: Why do you have to eat more food?

Me: Well, I have to eat for the baby and me.  The baby has a lot of growing to do.  It’s only this big.  (I show the size of a large bean with the space of my fingers.)

Tornado E: Why is it so tiny?

Me: Because it starts out that way.

Tornado E: Why is it in there?

Me: Because that’s the best place for it to grow.  Don’t worry when it’s big enough, it’ll come out.

Tornado E: But it’ll be naked!

Me: Yes, but I’ll dress it before you see it.

Tornado E: But I’ll see it naked!

Me: No, you’ll be with Papi and Grandma probably.  I’ll dress it before you come.

Tornado E: But I want to see it naked!

Me: Then you can help give it a bath.

Tornado E: Mommy, why are you eating a pie with chicken?  Pies are suppose to have fruit.

Well, that was a close one.

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Ham and Sausage

I have noticed in the last few months that whenever I have the camera out, Tornado S must be in the picture.  No matter what I’m taking a picture of, Tornado S sneaks in.  Last week he was in the middle of throwing a temper tantrum when I was trying to take a picture of Tornado E.  Looking through the lens, there was Tornado S crying right in front of Tornado E.  Of course, I snapped a few pictures.

Today I was taking pictures of our new crafts, when Tornado S’s little head poked up in the center of the picture.

Me: Tornado S, you’re such a ham.

Tornado E: Why’s Tornado S a ham?

Me: Because he likes being the center of attention.  He likes to get his picture taken.

Tornado E: Oh.  If Tornado S’s a ham, then I’m a sausage.

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