Parenthood: January 2009 Archives

Sprouts

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A second before he threw that at Ewan's head Comforting Ewan after that last shot
As it's our first big snow of the year, we've (and by WE I mean THEY; I hate snow, cold, and wet) been outside for most of the past two days. Liam is a kind child but when he has a snowball in his hands he grows a set of horns, evidenced above. (He's telling his baby brother sorry in that second one.)

Liam

I look at Liam and think my word, he looks so much like his father. Had I not gone through a 13-hour labor, I'd believe that Chris underwent a quasi-mitosis while I was asleep and voila! A son!

The other day Liam played bingo in his Spanish class and he saw that his friend Emma was valiantly trying to hide her tears brought on by not winning a single game. He was apparently one piece away from winning but he walked over to her and quietly offered her one of his game pieces anyway and told her that it was okay, here, he hopes she wins this next round. He had no idea that his teachers were watching him with tears in their eyes; one of them stole away to tell me what he did as I sat with other moms watching our younger children play.

Stories like that are what stop me from tearing my hair out during the times he sasses me, balks at doing his history homework, or says that he likes that Green Day song on the radio, can I please turn it up?

I'm learning that parenting isn't about immediate results, it's about planting the seeds and watching what develops over time, especially those times when they're not under your supervision. Instead of water, patience and nurture help those seeds to grow and achieving the right balance is the ultimate trial of parenthood. Everyday I say a prayer and cross my finders that I'm up to it.     
We have a lock on our bedroom door and we make use of it but for whatever reason we didn't this morning. All I know is that when I realized that the door wasn't locked, the action of that thought was like a beacon to the children playing upstairs and I heard the very flat footsteps of a seven-year-old boy coming down the hall. Chris and I reacted like two teenagers caught by their parents and there was a flurry of blankets everywhere and our booming voices shouting GO BACK UPSTAIRS NOWNOWNOWNOWNOW and during it all I caught a very cheeky-looking Liam peering around the doorjamb at us and shouting "I KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING!" before running down the hall and upstairs to tell his brother.

And I was all, no, you don't know what's going on because if you did you would've just DIED TEN HORRIBLE DEATHS from embarrassment right there in the hallway.

As it is, I am dying ten horrible deaths right now. I looked at Chris as we hurriedly acted like hey! No big deal! and said "Ohmygawd! WE ARE OUR PARENTS." I then rattled off a plan of action: "You have to talk to him, you, the boy," I told Chris as I fell over the bedside table while pulling on sweats. "We're also going to put bells on those damn kids so we know where they are at all times."

I remember walking in on my parents one day and to this day I have no idea what was going on except the first time I saw Cirque du Soleil on TV it vaguely reminded me of something I saw on that dark day of which we do not speak. If you think it may be traumatic for the other parties for me to recount it on my website fear not: it is not near as traumatizing as that one morning when I whistled a tune while I made my hard-working parents jelly and toast, barged into their room without knocking (my bad, my bad, my bad), and dropped the plate of toast on the floor while screaming because just, ohmygawd. Was he attacking her? Were they hurt? I did not know. I did know that I've seen National Geographic and I've seen the rhinos and monkeys and other creatures doing their thing and let me say that it in NO WAY prepares you for seeing what I saw. I'd heard things before at night but surmised that there were either monsters attacking them (in which case I was too scared to help) or that they were just reassembling their bedroom furniture.  

Afterwards my parents did what any good parents would do: they left me and my step-sister in the living room under the guise of "watching a movie" while they did yardwork. Nay, it was no movie; it was a documentary about how babies are born. It complimented their weird fascination with documentaries; once my step-dad told us that he rented us a cool movie which ended up being a James Brown documentary. I don't know, either.

I've really tried hard to be the cool parent, the one who's all "Oh, totally! Yeah! Babies come from sex!" Liam asked me once where babies came from when Chris was at work. I totally froze and punked out. "Um ... from ... God?" I replied. It was the easiest answer ever and it satisifed his curiosity thus, I was scot-free for a little while longer. YAY CHRISTIANITY. 

But today. When he shouted "I KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING!" as he ran down the hall; I have never been so embarrassed in all my life and it is my nature to embarass myself routinely. Chris went up to talk to him and, to save the rest of my self-worth with careful vagueness, I would just like to say thank you to my obstructionist comforter and quilt, praise jeebus. Liam didn't really know and he believes that it was just a WWE event. Ohmyword I am stopping now.

Please for the love of all things holy, commiserate with me. If you were ever in this situation, what did you do? If you are a parent to me this does not include you because I am an admitted prude who likes to pretend that you still don't know about any of this SO ROLL WITH IT. Chris and I are preparing our Powerpoint presentation entitled "Birds and Bees" for Liam. I realize that as soon as he knows Ewan will know and Ewan never shuts his mouth so we're in for so much fun. Somewhere my mother is laughing like Squidward while mumbling "PAYBACK." 
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