What big boys do . . . sort of

Looking through my blogging notebook, I cam across one of Evan’s amusing monologues.  Since Evan has been pooping in the potty for two weeks, the monologue is out of date, but I still find it funny, which is why I’m going to publish it now before it has lost any sense of humor.


Evan: Isn’t Seanny so cute?  He’s our baby!  But he’s growing up to be a big boy like me!  When he’s a big boy like me, he’s going to poop in diapers like me!  Because that’s what big boys do!


Um, not quite.  Now I feel I need to pull a Jon Stewart and quote an older version of Evan, saying the exact opposite.  In stead, I’ll just leave the link to refresh your memory.


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Lessons in Comedy

The other day Sean fell down as he often does.  When I knew he was ok, I said my typical phrase for this sort of occasion.

Me: Oh-no.  Baby down!  Baby down!  (I helped Sean back to his feet.)

Evan: Mommy, you say that a lot.

Me: (smiling) I know.  It’s funny.

Evan: It’s only funny when we laugh.

Well, I thought it was funny.


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What do you want to be today?

What do you want to be today?

A pirate?  A blue knight?  A green night?  Kung Fu Panda? Tai Lung? Batman? A Striposaurus? A chameleon? A silver angel?  What?

Evan is finally interested in choosing his outfit for the day.  I’ve heard that girls start this ritual sooner than boys, which I tend to believe because up to a month ago, Evan only wanted to be naked.  Now he gets upset when I try to pick something out or help him get dress.  Except today, but that is another story about getting attention. 

To pick his outfits, Evan decides what he wants to be for the day.  Striposauruses wear strips; while the chameleon wears strips occasionally, but the shirt must be green too.  As Po, Evan wears his “Legend in the Making” shirt, and when he is a fierce snow leopard, Evan MUST wear camouflage pants.  The only pirate shirt we have has a skull and cross bones on it, but it’s not the main pattern of the shirt as in no one would guess he was a pirate.  That goes for Batman, which is either all blue or the one black shirt that has “NoTW,” which just screams vigilantism (maybe it does, I hardly let him wear it as I’m not to keen on the philosophy).  Don’t forget the silver angel, which is quite new.  That is a grey shirt, usually the Mickey Mouse one, and grey pants, which usually are the Mickey Mouse ones.  Of course, there are the robots shirts when he wants to be one of those.  Only when he’s a chameleon will he choose to be the same thing twice in a row.

The other day as I was trying to persuade my son that he can’t go naked like a lion, I started pulling out shirts.

Me: How about this one?

Evan: No, Mommy, I want to be an iris!

Me: What?

Evan: I want to be an iris!

Me: Umm, ok, mmmm.  What color iris do you want to be?  Blue?  Red?  Purple?  (Why did I say purple?  He’s going to want purple now, and we don’t own a purple shirt.)

Evan: Green!  I want to be a green iris!

Me: (I start looking for all our green shirts) Wait.  You mean Irisssshhhh.  You want to wear your green Irish shirt.

Evan: Yes, I want to be a green iris!

Then there are the shoes.  He has black tennis shoes, but those take a back seat to the blue cat-fish shoes that go with the Batman, the blue knight, the green knight, and the pirate outfits.

But then there are the days Evan’s shirts are too boooooring.  Then he decides to wear a button up Hawaiian shirt.  Then he’s better dressed than his mama, and I wonder if my brother’s metrosexual gene was coming out in Evan.

So Evan chooses outfits on what he wants to be for the day, and I’m cool with that.  I actually think we all do the same.  It’s really a fun way to dress.  Will I be the mean mommy?  Will I be the fun mommy?  Will I pretend I’m no one’s mommy?

I’ve started to give Sean a choice between two shirts, and while he is not as advanced as Evan is in his selection, Sean tends to pick things he can say.  He’s shirts are blue and/or have balls or cars on them.  It’s simple and effective.

There’s just one problem with their dressing.  Something that just gets under my skin.    It drives me nuts.  They coordinate!  No matter how hard I try to get them to look different an individual, they both end up wearing similar colors or similar patterns.  It does not help that some people think dressing my boys in the same clothes would be just adorable.  Please.  I want to different boys, not carbon copies.  Mainly because the world is not ready for two Evans, or two Seans, come to think of it.


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Nothing Wrong with a Little Friendly Competition

Sean had decided to boycott fruits and vegetables.  I believed this behavior was due to the new molars moving their way up through his gums and the fact that he never let on about it and therefore never received in pain killers.  Sean refused the vegetables and the fruit, but he kept eating the breads, the cheeses, the meats.  Anyone, who remembers the cheeseburger and fries days of their misbegotten youth, would know this was a very bad bathroom situation.  Especially for someone who is wearing diapers.

The first scream of pain caught my dad’s attention, and since he had seen it before, he comforted my husband.  The second scream brought my mom and me running.  As she had seen this before, she scooped up Sean and ran to the bathroom, placing him on the potty.  Since it worked before, it seemed that sitting on the pot is a lot easier to deal with constipation.  I gathered some books, toys, and a juice glass because, for some reason, juice helps Evan with his bowel movements.  My mom started reading a book to Sean as I rubbed his back, whispering words of encouragement.

Then Evan came in.

Evan: Seanny’s a baby!  He’s not a big boy!  He poops in his diapers!  He doesn’t poop in the potty!  I’m a big boy!  I poop in the potty! (Pause)  I need to poop in the potty!

My mom looked at me, worried, wondering what we should do.  But I noticed the pause.  I looked Evan in the eye.

Me: Seanny is just trying it right now.  Do you need to poop right now?  Or can you wait?

Evan: I can wait until we get home.  That sounds like a great idea!

Just after Evan ran off to wreck some mischievous havoc, we heard the unmistakable plop.  My mom and I celebrated.  Sean looked down at the poop, shrugs, and ran off enjoying the wind on his naked bottom.

I chased him down and gave the news to the men.  Evan perked up.

Evan: Ohmygosh!  I need to go poop right now! (running into the bathroom)  You leave Grandma!  I can do this all by myself!

And so he did.  Then an hour later, Sean pooped again, in his diaper this time.  Evan ran to poop again. 

I think we have a new competition.


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An Easter Take-Home Test with the Answers already filled in

Pop Quiz:

Guess who scolded me as I giggled at the sixth joke of my dad’s as the priest asked us to renounce Satan and all his works.  (For non-Catholics, it’s standard Catholic practice to renew our Confirmation vows.  Not that I ever knew anyone who would say he DIDN’T reject Satan, but I do wonder what would happen if there was a loud no among the mumbled “I do’s”.)

a.    Grandma-The Catholic Matriarch,

b.    My Mom-The Catholic Matriarch in training, who hasn’t stepped inside the church for three months, so is naturally embarrassed that her daughter is going more frequent.

c.    My Aunt- Who hasn’t been to church since my Grandpa’s funeral and thinks she’s a better Catholic for respecting the Church’s rule not to take communion due to her second marriage.

d.   My Husband- The non-Catholic, who worries what other people think.

The answer is below and may just surprise you.


An Easter Test with Answers

How many nights of five hours of broken sleep make me slightly delusional in the morning? 5

Does being slightly delusional make my driving impaired? No.  Because I know the penguins aren’t real and they use cross-walks.

How many times did Tornado E ask for more candy in the half an hour before leaving for church? 6

How many candies did I let a three-year-old eat before church? 3

How many times did my husband ask why we were going to sunrise mass? 3

How many times did he ask when sunrise mass was before Sunday morning? 0

Who was the most energetic person at 5:15am? Tornado E

How many tries did it take to get Tornado S out of bed? 3

How long does a shower need to be to wake someone up at 4:45 am? 15 minutes

How many times do I have to tell myself to wake up in the shower? 5 “Come on, wake up.  You can do this.  Wake up.  Remember the night you had two hours of sleep because you had to go see the Rocky Horror Picture Show the night before Easter and THEN wash and curl your hair.  Wake up.  That a girl.  Wake up.  This is nothing.  Wake up.”

When does a mom look cute when she has bags under her eyes? When she is holding an infant, not when she has children big enough to stand on their own.

Which loud toys should you never bring to church?  All toys as they are instantly made loud when handed to  a child, especially when Tornado S has a matchbox car.

Who should never ever sit by when you’re slightly delusional? My dad because he loves an audience.


The answer to the pop quiz is D, my husband.  As the priest drenched us with holy water, as my dad cracked jokes, as I was about to say, “People three persons deep from the edge will get wet,” my husband whispered sternly in my ear, “If you don’t take this seriously, than neither will your boys.”  He’s just lucky I didn’t dissolve in a fit of mad laughter.

It was a beautiful service though my dad and I don’t remember what was said.

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Haircuts, any one?

Before Ester was upon us with all those cameras and pictures, I figured I better get the boys groomed as my husband asked why we were bringing the ‘70’s shag look back.  The boys had needed haircuts back before we moved, so they were in pretty bad shape, especially Sean as he’s still young enough to have those thin baby locks.  But my parental backup was safely ensconced in California; while, I debated if I could take the boys myself as Sean was in that screaming phase of fear that someone was going to cut his ears off.  Never mind that nothing bad has ever happened to either boy in the barber chair, they both had a healthy fear of haircuts, sort of like the healthy fear of dentists

In my debate and wisdom, I asked Evan what he thought about going to get his haircut.  He was against it, though he admitted that he wouldn’t mind going if Papi went too.  Ah-ha!  That cinched it.  Dad, you’ve been drafted.  And he wonders why he and my mom are getting custody of my boys if something should happen to my husband and I.

With the sun shining, my boys securely buckled in their seats, my dad and I drove to the haircut place, not breathing a word of our little adventure.  It was only once we parked in the strip mall that my dad mentioned something about it as he walked though the parking lot, holding Evan’s hand.  Evan demanded a toy for his potential pain and suffering, and Papi agreed that some sort of compensation was warranted and pointed to the drug store at the corner, mentioning that they carried toys.

In the cheap hair-cutting place, I signed the boys up, getting an estimated time for their appointment.  Ten minutes wasn’t bad when you brought a small toy chest, a small library, and enough snacks for the hour.  As we settled the boys down with toys, Evan jumped up, yelling “OHMYGOSH!  I’ve got to go poop!”

My dad and I looked at each other.  I found it slightly odd that Evan had to go poop since he had done his once-a-day bowel movement an hour before, but one does not argue with the waste system of a three year old.

“Dad, I forgot to bring the potty,” I whispered.

“I’m sure they have a restroom or over at another store,” he said.

“I don’t think I can get Evan to trust a big potty yet.”  I thought of the large gapping hole of a public toilet.  “I’ll take him and run home.  We should be back in time, but could you watch Sean, please?”

As I lived only two blocks away, I knew with any luck we would be back before Sean was finished.  I grabbed Evan’s hand and escorted him out of the barber.

When we got two yards away, Evan started skipping.  When we got three yards away, Evan exclaimed, “Let’s go look at the toys now!”


I stopped and bent down to look Evan square in the air.  “Do you have to go poop?”


“Did you just want to leave and look at toys?”


“We don’t tell stories about when we need to go potty.  We don’t tell stories so that we can leave a place we don’t want to be.  We always tell the truth.  Do you understand?”

“Yes, Mommy.”

“Now we have to get your haircut.  You have to go first because you’re the big brother.  Seanny is scared, so you have to show him how easy it is.  THEN we can go look at toys.”

“Ok, Mommy!”

Evan was a pro.  And so was Sean.  As I paid for the haircuts, the cute little stylist handed the boys a Frisbee each. 

“No, thank you,” declined Evan.  “I want a sucker instead!”

“Take it.  I’ll get you a sucker after we leave,” I said without using a “damn” in the sentence.

As we left, passing a coffee shop.  I heard the nickname that is prominent amoung my family.  As it has to do with our last name, usually given by a male comrade or team member, I stopped to listen to the voice, the deep powerful male voice.  With a glance, I confirmed it was for my father as the gentleman in question had “cop” written all over him.

Because my dad stopped to talk and Evan kept going, I chased Evan, yelling, “red light.”  When Sean and I caught up with Evan, I told him, “Papi is talking with a friend.  We have to wait here.”

Evan looked at me with a cocked head.  “A friend like a Frisbee?”

“No, a friend like a police officer.”

Without further extraordinary incidences, my dad and I were able to herd the boys into the drug store and out with a box of blue bunny Peeps.

“They’re going to get all sticky, you know,” my dad said as he looked back to watch the boys suck off the sugar as I drove him home.

“Little boys wash.  Besides I thought my mom would like a big hug and kiss from her boys.”

With a laugh my dad said, “You’re too much like me for your own good.”



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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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Hello, it’s 5am. This is your wake up call.

Sean is my early riser.  When he was in his crib, he would chill out, playing his aquarium, reading the book he insisted on taking with him to bed the night before, and I was able to sleep longer than he.  And the Mom said it was good.  Now that Sean is in a real bed, he can get up when he wants, but he’s lonely and wants to be with the person he loves most in the world.  And the Mom said it was not good.  So for your amusement, and because I’m sleep-deprived and this sounds f-ing hilarious to me, the many wake up calls of Sean.



The “Hell-oooo, are you awake now; how about now” call – Sean stands next to me and waves his hand in front of my face until I open my eyes and acknowledge him.



The “I’m up and it’s dark and where are you if I’m up” call – Holding a blankie in each hand, Sean stands in his door way yelling “MMMMMOOOOOOMMMMMMYYYYYYYY!   MMMMMMOOOOOOOOOMMMMMYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!” until I come because he can’t follow the night lights into our room.



The “Hi, MOMMY, IT’S A BEAUTUFUL DAY; ARE YOU UP?” call – Sean stands next to my head staring, where I can only see his big brown eyes and his nose peaking over the mattress.  (I’ll admit it’s probably my favorite, and I can’t get too upset.)



The “Evan’s in bed with you; can I join you and can I hit him and Daddy awake” call – Sean stands at my side of the bed, holding his blankets, saying “uh-uh, uh-uh” as he reaches towards me.



The “I’m hungry; come make me breakfast, woman” call – Sean takes my hand and tries to drag me out of bed.



The “I’m thirsty; where’s my juice, woman?” call – Sean takes my hand and tries to drag me out of bed, saying “Pease, juice, pease.”





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Sharing is Caring

Leftover night happens once a week at the Faemom’s house, usually the night before trash day.  Evan had a hotdog, and Sean had cheese tortellini smeared with butter and parmesan cheese.  Evan pointed out that I forgot the ketchup, and Sean, seeing Evan got ketchup HAD to have ketchup too.  Eww.  We were all enjoying our separate meals.  As I was taking a bite of cashew chicken, Sean dipped his tortellini into the ketchup and ate it.


Sean:  Peeeeease!


I turned to look at Sean who was stretching out a piece of ketchup-dipped tortellini towards me.


Sean:  Peeease!  Mommy!


Me: Oh, no, baby.  That’s your tortellini.  You eat it.  I have my chicken.  Eat your tortellini.


Sean: (stretching out of his booster seat until he almost fell) Peeeease!  Mommy!  Bite!  Peeease!


I stared at those big brown eyes filled with hope, love, and the need to share.  Eat the tortellini, ketchup and all.  Sean smiled and clapped. 



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Five For Fighting

I know I should have seen it coming.  I knew it was coming.  I should be more prepared.  I should have read books about this.  I should have talked to my mom about it more.  Heck, I should have-


What’s going on now?  Be nice!


Talked to other moms about it more.  But I didn’t, and now I don’t feel-


Knock it off!


Prepared.  Because-


Be good!  Stop harassing your bother!  Both of you!


I am now The Referee. 


Like I said I knew it was going to happen.  I mean my brothers and I harassed each other so much that I’m amazed my mom didn’t go prematurely gray, and my dad does blame his hair loss on it.  I just was hoping


If Evan is playing with the car, you cannot have it, Sean!  You have to wait until he is done.  Here take this car.


That I had a few more years, a few more months, just a few more wee-


Sean!  We do not throw cars at our brothers.  Time out!  Evan!  We don’t hit back!  Time out!


I need a goddamn whistle.  Hell, I need a penalty box.  F-it I need a drink.


I remember how my mom would point out other families whose kids never fought.  We explained to her that it was hidden, unnatural, weird.  Now I realize my words are coming back to bite me in the ass.


Boys!  You can play a duet on the piano.  Share!


Lately I have been barking the orders to share and to be nice.  And for the love of God, be good.  How hard it is to share?  How hard is it to play with another-


We have two guitars.  You can each have one.  Take turns then!


So my job description sounds a little like this: maid, chef, dishwasher, laundress, chauffer, personal shopper, doctor, nurse, reader, filer, garbage collector, decorator, librarian, camp counselor, teacher, babysitter, and now Referee.


As The Referee, my job disc-


Evan, you stay on this side.  Sean, you stay on that side.  Now everyone has room to play.  Evan!  Don’t mess with Sean.


Description is to make sure that all injuries are due to accidents and not malice, to keep life as fair between siblings as humanly possible, and to make sure all rules with their penalties are enforced properly.


Now what?!


I need a time out.

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