Entries Tagged 'Boys' ↓

The Rays Welcome My Son “Home” on Opening Day

When we transplanted our New England family to Tampa eight years ago, I thought our family’s love for the Red Sox would transplant easily, too. Nope. Like something grown from his own sandy garden of Floridian soil, my 9 year old son has tended his love for the Rays for most of his life. He has a poster of The Trop on his wall, Longoria’s T-shirts are stuffed into his drawers and he carries an old, worn Rays backpack everyday to school. The Rays are something he has adopted, watched loyally on TV and emulated in our backyard with wiffle balls, pop flies over the house and whispered replays.

So, when I got an email from the marketing folks at the Rays asking if I would come to Opening Day and watch the game from their Blogger’s Suite, all I could think of was my son. And how perfect this match was, really.

I kept the secret though. I didn’t tell him that I was going to spring him from school on Tuesday afternoon. Dressing him in his favorite Rays t-shirt that morning was nothing new. But finding his mom dressed in her Rays t-shirt, in the school’s front office in the middle of the day, was most definitely something new.

He asked hurried details and reread the day’s itnerary all the way down to the game. We got there 2 hours early, and that was fine by him. We circled the park and laughed at the booming music, the tail-gating, the sea of blue jerseys and smiling faces. Once inside, he wanted to go directly to the suite. So, we did. And, once we were there, my son wanted nothing to do with any socializing. He wanted to watch the game and take in every single detail on the field. Forget the chit-chat. Opening Day? For the Rays? Come on, people. It’s not Spring Training any longer. This is serious business. He sat front and center and ignored everything but the game.

They didn’t win, as much as I hoped that they would. But that was OK. My 9 year old assured himself me that there were so many more games left in the season. And we would be back (“Right? Right, mom?”) and we would see a win. Because that’s the best part about baseball. There are enough games that there’s time to sit and savor the experience. We can munch our popcorn and watch the flow and appreciate it’s calm process and deliberate order.

Tampa has become a very comfortable spot to raise my family. But, for my son,Tampa is home. And The Trop is a familiar, magical spot that he comes back to every season. A place that he knows and studies on TV and remembers from seasons before. On Opening Day, my son was back in his element. A home I never anticipated–but his home, still.

#WelcomeHome, indeed.

On our way out the door, the very kind folks at The Trop gave us some fun giveaways that will be available to fans at future games.

The David Prive Cy Young Figurine will be given away on April 6th when the Rays play the Cleveland Indians.
The Astro Bobblehead will be given away on April 21st when the Rays play the Oakland Athletics.
The Joe Maddon Garden Gnome (MY personal favorite, love it!) will be given away on April 24th when the Rays play the Yankees.

All opinions in this blog post are my own. The Rays gave me two tickets to the Opening Day game and a few giveaways but I was not given any paid compensation for my blog post or tweets.

How I Lost My Mind When My Kids Went Out To Play

I woke up this Sunday and I thought to myself: “My kids need to get OUT.” Not forever (bite your tongue), just for the afternoon. But our kids are still kind of young and we are a little new to the whole “let-the-kids-out-to-play-in-the-neighborhood” thing. Sure, we did it as kids, but the rules have changed… haven’t they? So… what exactly ARE the rules now?

We are lucky enough to live in a neighborhood where my kids know other kids. Most go to their school and, with our little homes all in a row, lined by wide-open sidewalks, it’s easy to get to one another.

Perfect, right?

Well, up until this year, my kids and the kids in the neighborhood haven’t reached out to one another very much. Why? Because the rules with young kids are that you don’t play with other kids unless the moms know each other and set up an official play-date. Unfortunately, my favorite moms have moved away. Then I went back to work and that’s been about that.

NOW, the kids are old enough to seek one another out WITHOUT the moms really knowing each other. Whoa. Of course, we track down phone numbers for one another but it’s not about the moms getting along, it’s about the kids finding their way in the world without us nipping at their heels, wiping their noses and asking them when they last peed.

This is a very brave new world for all of us.

So, off they went this morning.

My 6 year old plays with a boy across the street. His father is a paramedic turned police officer. And I’m not sure I’ve ever heard his mom swear. They are pretty much the nicest, most responsible people ever. Plus, my 6 year old isn’t a risk-taker. He knows his limits and might look both ways about 10 times (with one ear cupped, listening for a car’s engine in the distance) before he ventures across our little road. No sweat there.

The other, my 9 year old, is slightly more dangerous. You see, he’s gotten fairly sick of us on weekends. We limit (or, right now, 100% cut-off) his video game time (his fault). His brother holds his attention for shorter spans these days. And, my suggestions (“Why don’t you go read a book–how about those nice Percy Jackson books?!”) are rarely a good idea anymore. Cue 9 year old eye-roll. So, it’s time he ventures out more.

And, get this. His closest friend in his class lives about a block away. Score!

However, while dangerously desperate to flee our home, my son is also easily embarrassed. And, until recently, he was too mortified to make the social leap of walking down and knocking on his door and asking him to play.

He got over that only recently.

So, after wolfing down a Dunkin’ Donuts egg sandwich this morning, he threw on his shirt, opened the door and went out to play. I hollered after him, asking him to CALL ME if he was going to stay. And desperately throwing out a: DON’T TALK TO STRANGERS! He never looked back.

So, my husband and I spent about 3 hours at home today with no children… and no babysitter fees.

Amazing, right?

I got some things done. He went food shopping. I cleaned. I watched TLC. He watched football. But, mentally, I paced.

You see, when they are underfoot, they drive me bananas. But when they venture off and DON’T CALL, I feel verrry unsettled.

Of course, since he didn’t call us, my husband did a slow drive-by TWICE to make he sure was still in his friend’s backyard playing football. He was playing football the first time. And, the second, he was walking back from a local orange tree with a pack of kids. Perfect, right?

Yep. We know that logically. But my husband fretted, too. He of an era when “I played outside ALL day until I heard a dinner bell.” He worried and rationalized just as much as I did.

Because it’s not about what he did once. The rules HAVE changed.

The weirdos, the creepy guys who drive ice cream trucks, the kids that never get to where they were going, the possibility of so much horror… we picture every scenario. Well, we do until he marches back in the door, soaking wet, covered in grass and streaks of dirt, and demanding dinner… which is exactly what he did tonight.

I know, I know. SO WHAT. “Just wait until they start driving!” I hear many of you say. “Just wait until they go to college and you have NO idea where they are at any given moment!”

I had better get used to it. And I am. But it is a process. And I am trying to navigate this new set of rules. Because if I keep them indoors and out of trouble… I have become the dreaded helicopter mom. But if I let them out… what then? How long do I let them go? SHOULD I insist he calls home, no matter how embarrassing it is? Do I give a curfew? Do I set limits as to how far he can venture in the neighborhood? Do I really trust him… really? Do I call his friend’s mom’s house, even when she doesn’t seem too worried? Do I stalk him with my car the whole time he is out? I’m thinking yes to all of this.

I want to do this right. But it feels very panicky, fumbling and uncool so far. I feel like such a rookie.

Granted. That about sums up parenting, doesn’t it? We’re all rookies–panicky, fumbling and uncool.

So, now that they are home and bathed and about ready for bed, I shift my fretting from “Are they safe right now?” to “How will I keep them safe next time?” and “What else should (shouldn’t?) I be doing?”

It’s not easy to be this much of a basket-case. It takes a lot of over-thinking and hand-wringing to get to where I am. And panicking and fumbling and far too much uncoolness.

(Cue that 9 year old eye-roll one more time.)

Nutting Up About Orchidometers

Where did you learn where babies come from? Well, I’ll tell you where I did. I was in third grade and I found out from my friend’s older sister who had just had her period and, feeling very mature and knowledgeable, decided to saunter into our Barbie playtime and school us on what was what.

I was mortified.

And then I walked home slowly only to avoid eye contact with my parents at dinner that night. HOW COULD THEY.

Fast forward 30 years… and here we are with a little boy who is about to enter fourth grade. I’m not sure what he’s heard on the playground about where babies came from but, when I said that babies DO NOT come from belly buttons (a theory I had heard at one point at his age), he cackled loudly… and a little nervously.

It’s time for the talk. Or the first of many.

And what do moms like me do when we need a few answers? Well, I marched right out and bought a book, dammit. MY kid is going to know what is what and what goes where. He is NOT going to learn from someone’s far too knowledgeable older sibling or some nasty kid spouting untruths under the playground slide, either. He’s going to learn from his parents. And it was going to be great and healthy, with trusting, open lines of communication and everything is going to be juuuust fine.

So. Back to the book. I got one and it was written explicitly for boys, too. Score! So, I marched home proudly to review it and decide where we would begin.

…And I flipped it open.

About 5 minutes later, I stopped in my tracks.

Oh no.

I am NOT ready for this.

Go ahead, call me a prude. Tell me I’m being immature and squeamish about perfectly reasonable and very important developmental information.

IT’S MY DUTY TO TELL MY CHILDREN HOW THEIR PARTS WILL GROW, DAMMIT.

But… but…. there were DETAILED diagrams and entire chapters dedicated to what makes boys sheets crunchy and how to put on a panty liner and what this little bit of skin may or may not look at different stages of life or blood flow.

(He’s 9…!)

And then there was this…??? WTF is this??

An orchidometer????

They have a NAME for this?

Yep, it’s what you think it’s for. It’s for measuring testicle size.

(“This drawing is life size.”)

Shit.

I need to get my head together on this. Or pass the book onto my husband and call it a day.

(Because who the HELL needs an orchidometer? Really?? I sure as hell didn’t have a boob-o-meter… And I grew up fine without one… probably because I would have ranked about the size of an 11 year old when I was 16 anyway…)

(And that’s the other thing, will my kid feel like crap if he ranks on one end or the other of this thing?? Ugh. I have no idea!!)

9 years into parenting and I clearly don’t have a clue about this stage of things. Just when you think you got this mom-thing figured out, life throws an orchidometer in your face and leaves you unable to grow a set and just TALK about it.

I’m working on it.

As my husband often says, “It’s time to nut up.”

 

How To Make A LEGO Birthday Cake (For Non-Crafty Parents Like Moi)

When you think of moms who are REALLY good at dreaming up and creating and hosting birthday parties… I should never, ever come to mind. I’ve made a fair attempt or two at it, of course. Haven’t we all? And my kids seemed pleased enough at each try I’ve made… sweet, naive little things.

(They don’t use Pinterest. They don’t know what it was all SUPPOSED to look like…)

This year, I pulled a favorite birthday party trick of mine and hosted yet ANOTHER bowling party for one of my sons. Oh yes, party planner included, air conditioning, pizza, little boys throwing round objects and intending destruction. It’s worth every single penny.

But, mom-guilt took a stab at me and I figured I should try to do something original, hand-made and heartfelt for him, right?

Here is my attempt.

And the only reason I am sharing this with you is that I want to offer hope and help to any other parents out there who think they should try to make a cake for their kids but fear it will suck out loud and wind up pinned on someone’s “What NOT To Do For My Child’s Birthday” Pinterest page.

Because, if I can do this… (cue friends’ murmurs of agreement)… then ANYONE can.

This one is a shout-out for the non-crafty. You can do it!

How To Make A Lego Birthday Cake

1) Buy:

  • Cheap box cake (and ingredients as directed)
  • Cheap vanilla icing
  • Cheap food dye (don’t get scared)

2) Find:

  • A loaf pan (5.5 x 10.5, I think)
  • A mini-muffin pan (I don’t know what size, but not the one for normal-sized muffins, it’s made for smaller, mini-ones… you know what I mean, right?)
  • Spray-stuff (so nothing sticks)
  • A regular Lego (see above) to be used for artistic inspiration and direction

3) Follow cake directions and fill the thoroughly (and I mean thoroughly) sprayed/greased loaf pan with the combined cake ingredients. Use about two thirds of the cake batter.

4) Fill the thoroughly sprayed/greased mini-muffin pan with the rest of the batter. Don’t fill them completely, no more than half-way up works fine.

5) Bake as directed. *FAIL ALERT!* The muffin pan will be baked earlier so watch it carefully! The loaf pan may take a little longer than expected. Use the knife test to make sure it’s done.

6). Once they have cooled, flip the loaf pan over and carefully slide it out. *FAIL ALERT!* Don’t screw this up! You need the bottom of the loaf to come out in the shape of a clean rectangle.

7) If the top of the loaf is too rounded, carefully slice the top off to make it flat (only if necessary) and then flip it over so that the top is the bottom. The rectangle side/bottom of the loaf is the top of the cake. (Makes perfect sense, right?)

8) Pop the mini-muffin cupcakes out. Carefully slice the rounded tops of 8 muffins off, make sure they are flat.

9) Get out the vanilla icing. Scoop it into a bowl. Squeeze the yellow (or the Lego color you prefer) food dye into the icing. Mix by hand until it is the color you want. I added a tiny drop of red to make it less “lemony” colored but *FAIL ALERT* be careful. It looked a little peach-ish until I dumped all the yellow in. (Phew, so relieved that worked, who’s heard of a peach-colored Lego)…

10) Ice the loaf, rectangle-side up. It works best when the cake and the icing are cool.

11) Place 8 sliced mini-muffin cupcakes bottom-side up onto the iced the cake. The icing should keep them in place. Use a Lego as a model to get it to sit just right.

12) *FAIL ALERT* Carefully ice the muffins, too, once you have them placed on the cake. This is the most annoying part of the process. Go slowly, get it all covered and then smooth each muffin once it’s all iced.

13) Moms that don’t live in fear of small plastic shapes choking their children could add clean Legos around the side. Your paranoia, your choice.

14) Once you’re done, eat ALLLLLL the mini-muffin cupcake tops. *FAIL ALERT* Muffin tops create muffin tops on moms. Rocking one proudly today.

Good luck to all the parents out there. Just remember this:

  • It’s cheaper than a store cake.
  • Making a cake for your child is obvious PROOF that you love them, for real.
  • The condescending smiles and “ooooh aren’t you CUTE to try that” just mean that they are just JEALOUS you had the ovaries/sack to try this. WORD.

They Are Listening To Us

I’m here to tell you that your kids hear you. They are listening. When you say the good stuff and… *cringe*… the bad stuff, they are tucking it ALL away and saving it in their brain so that they can refer to it again, down the road, whenever it’s needed.

What did Mommy say about that? Oh yeah.

I know. Not encouraging. But I thought you should know. And here’s how *I* know.

Last weekend, I watched the movie “The Help.” This is after I finished the book AND after I had decidedly parked myself into a permanent state of “feeling sorry for myself” thanks to screwed up plans. So, “The Help” was a FANTASTIC idea — and when the credits rolled and I had polished off my second glass of wine, I literally sobbed. My husband was very impressed by my performance (read: was pretty much wondering if he had married an alien).

But, if you saw the movie, and you’re a parent, you know what got me. It was when Aibileen, the woman hired to help raise a sweet little girl who was far too ignored by her mother, told her the following:

“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.”

She told this to her regularly, hoping to fan the flames of her self-worth. And that little girl recited it right back to her in the final scene of the movie.

SWOON. *clutching my chest* I loved that. I did.

And then didn’t give it another thought.

The other day, I happened upon a friend and favorite blogger’s post about this very topic. Read it here. While I disagree with her less-than-enthusiastic feeling about the movie and book (WHAT?! Girl, come ON!), I loved her point. It is up to us to build our children’s self-esteem. It’s too easy to harp on the “Did you wipe?” and “I’ll tell you one more time, pick up after yourself” nonsense, that once they get tucked in to bed and out of your hair, you don’t always think, “Did I make my kid feel good about himself today?”

Granted, Angie’s point is also not to go overboard. WHICH I GET. I’ve seen waaaaay too many grown people brought up thinking their finger-painted refrigerator masterpieces owed them some sort of “I’m the awesome-est person ever because my mommy said so” kind of entitlement.

But that’s not what I’m talking about. I just simply realized that you need to tell them that they are really great now and then. And not to take for granted that they already know this.

So, I decided to try it. Curled around my enormous almost 6 year old in his bottom bunk at bedtime, with the lights off, and his breath slowing, I whispered to him very carefully:

“You are kind. You are smart. You are important. You are special.”

I think I said it to him another time, too. Not sure if he heard me. I didn’t get a response either time. *shrug* Whatever, it felt good saying it out loud to him. Back to the everyday at hand.

Early this morning, while I was still deciding if I wanted to play possum when he crawled under my blankets and snuggled in deep next to me, he said:

“Mommy. I’m not sure if all my friends THINK I am kind and smart and important and special. This one girl is bossy so she doesn’t think so. But my other friend shares his toys so maybe he thinks so.”

I rolled over and probably looked kind of mind-blown. But I curled around him and we had a chat about how some friends will be good friends and some won’t and how that’s ok, blah blah blah. But he kept coming back to it.

“My teacher thinks I’m special. Pretty sure.”

I guess it seemed to me as though I had somehow given him permission to expect that he IS those things. Like he had actually listened and then filed them away. And had since been going through his day looking for those particular things to be reinforced by others. And sometimes they were and sometimes they weren’t.

When I told my 5 year old these things, I also told my 8 year old. A quieter, far less chatty kid, he has yet to give me any indication if these qualities about him have registered at all. But considering how quickly they registered with the younger one, I have to think that he was listening, too.

And maybe they always are, really. I am fairly sure they hear (however, never register that they hear) alllll kinds of other stuff I keep telling them or mentioning off-handedly or yabbering on the phone to others or mumbling under my breath.

All of it, stashed away. To consider and absorb and adopt as reality.

I’m not going to lie when I say that this knowledge scares me a little bit.

I am far too irresponsible to have little stenographers in my life, typing away and stashing every damn thing I say into their minds.

BUT THEN AGAIN they don’t remember to put their socks in the hamper! Or flush! Or sit down while they eat! NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES I TELL THEM.

But, maybe that stuff isn’t really as important to them.

We do our best and hope the good sinks in more than the bad.

And, of course, whatever bad they do take note of simply gives them “character” and “prepares them for the world.”

Right?

Now I feel better. I think.

Learning To Love On Him Less

When they handed me my child, they said give him contact. Skin to skin. Love him close. It’s good for him. Oxytocin and stimulation and security and comfort. He will thrive. Studies have proven it.

So I did. I folded him in and held him as close as I could. I couldn’t bear to do anything otherwise anyway.

From the very early days of nursing, sleeping, nursing, sleeping — for both of us — he locked into my center and we remained deeply connected. Of course, months passed and our tether unwound itself slightly further everyday. He crawled and then balanced and discovered there was something more than Mommy’s arms. But the more he tottered away, the faster he found his way back. Slipping into my lap, reaching for my cheek.

As he grew,  a quick kiss to a scuffed knee cured him. A hug told him he was fine. A snuggle started his day. And mine.

When I pushed his bike away, he always looped back. For a high five, a hug, contact.

Always, always contact.

The other night, we sat and watched his brother play T-ball. He sat next to me, close, and helped me play “Words with Friends.” Connected, side by side, locked-in as usual.

But then I put my arm around him and kissed his cheek.

Suddenly, he broke contact.

And he looked at me as if I had hurt his feelings.

“Mom. Don’t.”

And he inched away. Somehow, over night, the rules had changed and I had broken his trust. How could I ruin it like that?

It dawned on me that constant contact was not at all that he needed. I had better not stray too far, but… affection? No. This kind of love would not help him thrive or feel more secure. Not, at least… IN PUBLIC

…What planet had I landed on?

It was completely bizarre to realize that reaching out to him the way that I always had would now repel him. That I was reacting to him in a way he was not OK with.

Knock it off. Be cool. Just SIT next to me.

But then I remembered that he was my bird on a wire. And he was going to be 9 (!!WTH!!) in 2 months. So I stopped. I calmly collected my love and put it all back where it belonged. And let him fill back into his space at his own pace. Things were changing and that had to be OK.

Tonight, we were back at baseball. This time we were playing “Scramble” and he had gotten his highest score. My gut, my everything, wanted to wrap right back around him and give him an enormous smooch right on that perfect cheek. Oh yes I did, here comes mama, I’m-a-comin’ to love on you!….

But I stopped. His eyes shot to mine. Was I going to do it? After fair warning the other night, was I going to break his trust and establish our normal connect… IN PUBLIC?

I went back to the game, shrugging it off and reminding him that it was MY turn. I focused on the silly word game in my hands. Hugs? Who needs ‘em.

But, groan, I had to ignore every instinct in my body to love on him — I don’t care HOW much it embarrassed him — I just wanted to  smoooosh him. But no, I wouldn’t. (TORTURE!) And, for mama’s far and wide, oh Lord, reaching for their babies is an urge like nothing else. But I stopped it, I held it, I didn’t break these new, firmly established guidelines of how to parent… IN PUBLIC.

And he watched me collect myself. And go back to the game.

Do you know what he did next? My bird on a wire inched slightly closer. He did. I didn’t react. He inched closer again until, very subtly, we WERE connected. Shoulder to shoulder, hip to hip, knee to knee, there on the bleachers, under the baseball lights, surrounded by Grandmas and DSing older brothers and ring-pop smacking older sisters.

And then, when we got in the car, and we drove along in the night utterly exhausted by our days, I heard it.

“I need snuggles.”

The rules, it seems, do not apply once the prying eyes of Grandmas and ring-pop smacking girls have been left behind. So, as soon as I dropped our day’s worth of this and that onto the floor of our foyer, I pulled him near me. He wrapped himself around my neck and allowed the connection to spin back to life.

And he said, “Thanks, mom.”

B is for Bum

You know, you send your kid off to school quite sure that his teacher will be amazed — AMAZED — by his sweetness and brilliance. Oh yes, and you sit down in parent-teacher meetings to be sure that they understand him and is he being challenged enough because your Kindergartner is buzzing right through his word wallet and can read the books at home, thank you very much.

You send your kid off to school waiting for that letter home acknowledging his super, oh so “I’ve-never-met-a-kid-like-this-in-my-career” specialness.

And so you search through his backpack looking for that recognition, that little ego-boosting lift affirming that (a) your child is fantabulous and (b) nope, you haven’t screwed anything up.

So you search that backpack, looking for a token, a something, anything.

A little hint.

You know.

Because.

My. Kid. Is. Special.

And then you find this…

F is for “face-palm.”

And funny.

And something else.

Five Minutes into Shopping with My Kids and This Happens…

So. We need some funny up in here. It’s time. I hope my Facebook friends forgive me for posting this picture twice. But it seems exactly what this blog needs. Some help. A helpful hand, if you will.

All I needed was a chin strap for a baseball helmet. I knew exactly where I would find it in Dick’s — so I marched right over to the baseball section with my kids trailing behind. I was less than five minutes into my quick shopping pit-stop when I heard my seven year old yell: “Mom!!!” I turned around to see what he was pointing at and this is how I found my youngest child:

In The Grand Scheme

My five year old fell today. According to my husband and my excited seven year (who liked to re-enact the entire scene over and over at my feet), he just tripped running out of a room, and fell. No biggee. Except that he really hurt his finger and it started to swell and he refused to curl it into a fist. So, off to the E.R. we went. A few x-rays and one new splint later, my five year old is officially the proud owner of a slightly fractured finger, right near the knuckle (hence the fancy splint).

This hasn’t been his summer. He has only recently been told he won’t have to get a skin graft on his foot after this happened on the 4th of July. And, since he’s healed so well, he may be allowed to swim this weekend for the first time since then.

(The splint can be taken off to swim. I asked.)

The burn wasn’t his only brush with danger either. The other day he came inside to calmly inform me that there was a snake under his swing. And there was. A water moccasin. I don’t know how he saw it, it looked like a tree root to me. But he did, and survived that possibility of a very serious (if not, lalalalala, I don’t like to think about it, lalalala, potentially fatal) snake bite.

It’s been a strange summer for me with him. I have been worried about him a lot. I’m not sure if it’s burn PTSD (see above), or snake fears, or preparing him for Kindergarten, or what, but I’ve had these recurring nightmares involving only him. Night after night, we lose him, or he gets kidnapped, or he is trapped at the top of a high-rise building in childcare with gun-wielding terrorists in the lobby who just cut off the power to the elevators and exploded the staircases (that was only two nights ago).

I’ve been worried about him. Really stressing out.

But, strangely enough, then this happens… and I’m totally fine about it. Completely.

Because as far as I’m concerned, as long as my child can still skip, and laugh, and sing Justin Beiber songs on the papery examining table tonight, and whine, and tell me he is “so sad” when he doesn’t get toys from stores, and hit his brother with his splint when I’m not looking, and make believe on the back porch chatting away with an old R/C car up to his ear like a phone… if he can still do all of those things, he’s fine. He’s fantastic even.

In the grand scheme of it all, THIS is nothing.

The Bunk Bed Horrors Living in My Head

After years of grounding our boys’ beds safely on the floor, we’ve done it. We bunked them.

See? Don’t they look happy?

Yep. Well. I thought I might share the news scrawl running through my head ever since we’ve done so.

  • Someone is going to flip over the top bunk and crash to the floor and break their arm (just like my friend’s little girl did) earning themselves a compound fracture (just like she did).
  • BOTH boys are going to flip over the top bunk and each earn a compound fracture (just like she did).
  • Someone will jump from the top, snag their shirt, and choke.
  • Someone will jump on the top bunk and crash through to the bottom, smashing very dangerous, puncturing plywood onto the person below.
  • Someone will jump on the top bunk, somehow dislodge the wooden dowels keeping each leg secure and unhinge the screwed-in ladder, causing the entire top bed to collapse on the person below. The outcome is not good. (And this is the one I keep coming back to because I like to torture myself like that.)
  • The whole damn thing will tip over and crash on top of both of them.
  • Someone will push the other off the top bunk and make the falling victim earn that same compound fracture mentioned above and then the “pusher” will live the rest of his days with deep-rooted guilt as the “pushee” suffers from major nerve and bone damage for the rest of his damn life.
  • The one sleeping on the top bunk will get too cold from the A/C vent directly above him in the ceiling.

What. What?

All of this could happen. It COULD.

(And if I forgot something, don’t you DARE remind me what it was. I have enough anxiety already invested in this insane mind torture.)

You’re still staring at me like I’m nuts.

Well. I’m betting there’s a fair share of you wondering how I could think up such horrors, exactly. What is WRONG with me? If you’re thinking that, then I might assume that you aren’t a parent. Because this is what happens ALL THE TIME when you are parent (or since I’ve become a parent). I think of the worst possible outcomes all the time for my children. It’s kind of what I just do…

Diving baseball catches become concussions or random stick impalements.

Climbing trees become compound fractures (a favorite, it seems).

Swinging hoses = smashed teeth.

Roller skating = bumped heads and brain bleeds

Summer camp field trips = lost child (yep, I put my cell phone number in their pocket and I thought that was a pretty damn smart idea, so pipe down…)

Pools = stitches from sides of pools, cracked heads on bottoms of pools, and worse.

I could go on and on.

Maybe it’s something moms like me do to protect themselves. We GO THERE so that in case is does, we are mentally and emotionally prepared. Because it DOES GO THERE. More often than you might realise.

Ok, you’re still staring at me like I’m nuts. Well, then you’re a parent like my husband, or just one of those people who just doesn’t get wound around the axle like I do. Life is filled with risks. Shit happens. We can’t protect them from everything. What will be, will be. It’s not worth worrying about. Get over it and relax.

I know.

They LOVE their beds stacked (so F-ing precariously, OMG) like that. They really do. And the room has opened up so there’s more space to play. And they giggle and send stuffed animals up and down to each other and play games. It’s really great. It is.

So I’ll just keep the panicking to myself. (Oh. Oops. I mean OUTLOUD in front of talking people in front of my FACE.)

Because, really, if I think a bunk bed is frightening, how the HELL am I ever going to let EITHER of them drive away in a car? NOT strapped into a well-inspected five point harness, driven by moi? …HOW?

Shuddering sob. Wringing hands. Finding Strength.

Parenting has simply turned me into a crazy lady.

THE END.