Tag Archives: kids

“Despite being what would now be called a deprived child in a one parent family, I did not grow up with an urge to smash windows or to bash old ladies over the head in order to steal handbags.” ~Eva Hart


Photo by Alicia Benton

Photo by Alicia Benton

Single parenting is H-A-R-D work!!!  I mean, parenting with a partner is tough, but single parenting is the hardest job on the face of the planet.  There are days when I don’t know if I can even get out of the bed for fear of bursting into tears the moment someone speaks to me.  Now, don’t get me wrong… I don’t want a pity party, and I’m not looking for sympathy.  I’m just amazed by every single parent I meet.  Seriously.  I think that single parents are secretly superheroes in disguise.

Superheroes:

Are Strong:  Have you ever carried in 100 bags of groceries (50 on each arm) by yourself while the kids are pushing you over to try to find the one with the Cheez-Its in it?  A single parent has.

Are Brave:  Have you ever had to get out of the bed to kill a giant, man-eating spider by yourself [what?!] because the kids are already asleep?  A single parent has.  (And let me tell you… that’s brave.)

Are Intelligent:  Have you ever had to remember what x equals if a is three, b is five, and c is purple over fifteen years after learning it the first time?  A single parent has.

Have Special Powers:  Do you have eyes in the back of your head and super-sensitive hearing that help you divert crayon-all-over-the-walls disasters before they happen?  A single parent does.

Wear Costumes:  Have you ever had to go out in public in a bathrobe and one slipper, with fruit snacks in your hair in order to get the cupcakes your kid promised the teacher he’d bring to school this morning but just told you about ten minutes ago?  A single parent has.

Earn Respect:  Have you ever been grocery shopping and have people look at you in amazement because you can unload the cart, pay, pick up the fifty packs of gum that just “fell for no reason,” and not manage to lose the kids all at the same time?  A single parent has.

Are Athletic:  Can you carry a kid on one hip, a baseball bag on the other, have a good hold on another kid’s hand, all while running full-speed through the parking lot so they’re not late for practice?  A single parent can.

Have a Sidekick:  Do you constantly have someone on your heels at all times, sticking their little fingers under the bathroom door while you’re trying to enjoy three seconds in peace and quiet pee?  A single parent does.

Are Role Models:  Do you have impressionable little people watching your every move and listening to every word that comes out of your mouth, just waiting with bated breath for the second they get to do exactly what you just did?  A single parent does.

Have a Weakness:  Do you risk the chance of acquiring the world’s largest ulcer because you’re constantly worried sick about who your kid is becoming, who they’re talking to, hanging out with, what they’re learning about from the hoodlums they go to school with, whether they’re safe, etc., etc. (you get the drift)?  A single parent does.

Use Gadgets:  Have you ever had the joy of sitting on the floor until your knees no longer work, putting 10,000 Lego pieces together, only to have your masterpiece smashed to smithereens thirty minutes later?  A single parent has.

Have an Arch Enemy:  Have you ever had to explain your every move and pure motive to an “ex,” who is dying for you fail and will never ever admit that you’re actually doing a pretty good job raising kids?  A single parent has.

Have a Hideout:  Have you ever pretended having to poop just so you could sit in the bathroom by yourself for an extra ten minutes in peace and quiet?  A single parent has.

Have an Alter Ego:  Have you ever been referred to as “Mom,” “Hey Mom,” “Mommy,” “Mom,” “Ma,” “Hey Mom” (or “Dad,” “Hey Dad,” “Daddy,” “Dad,” “Hey Dad”)  more times in a day than you have by your real first name?  A single parent has.

Have a Love Interest:  Have you ever felt a love so whole and complete you couldn’t imagine your life without the ones who filled you with that love or remember your life before it?  A single parent has.

Have a Cool Ride:  Do you drive a vehicle that can fit twice as much cargo and old french fries in it as the manual in the glove compartment says it can?  A single parent does.

Have a Goal:  Have you ever dreamed about the night you may actually get to go out with fellow adults and have adult beverages and adult conversations without worrying that your kids are going to go bat-poop-crazy on each other while you’re gone?  A single parent has.

To all single parents – You are my superheroes.  I hope your kids grow up to be as resilient and tough as you are.

Advertisements

“I want you to think about it long and hard.” ~Michael (from The Office)


As a parent to a tween and a teen, I find myself praying quite often that they won’t pick up on the latest moronic cool terms and phrases that many other kids their age have coined as “sick” or “beast.”  Unfortunately for me, however, God finds some of my other prayer requests more urgent and answers those first.  (He’s got quite a sense of humor, in case you didn’t know.)  Anyway, sure enough, the boys have recently discovered the joy in the infamous phrase, “That’s what she said.”  Yep – that’s right.  They’re only about eight years behind the times on this one, but they love it (and think it’s hilarious) nonetheless.  Here’s a little sneak peak into my torturous, testosterone-filled house:

My sister:  Alicia, do you want the brownies with nuts or without?
Me:  With.  I don’t like the ones without nuts.
The Boys:  THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID!  [Bahahaha!]

Gerald:  Mom, do you want the rest of this cornbread?
Me:  No, it’s too hard now.
The Boys:  THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID!  [Bahahaha!]

Ronald:  Mom, look at this bruise I got at practice today.
Me:  Wow, it’s huge.  It must really hurt.
The Boys:  THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID!  [Bahahaha!]

Gerald:  Mom, are you going to eat this candy bar?
Me:  No.  I don’t really like white chocolate.
The Boys:  THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID!  [Bahahaha!]

Me:  Ronald, you had a great hit today!
Ronald:  I – –
Gerald:  THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID!  [Bahahaha!]

Me:  That made me choke.  It went down the wrong hole.
The Boys:  THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID!  [Bahahaha!]

Me:  Ronald, you need to hurry up and finish that.  It’s not that hard.
The Boys:  THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID!  [Bahahaha!]

Gerald:  Mom, I don’t like these potatoes.
Me:  Well then just hurry up and swallow them.  And don’t eat anymore.
The Boys:  THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID!  [Bahahaha!]

Ronald:  Mom, come look at this spider!
Me:  Where?  I can’t see it.  It’s too small.
The Boys:  THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID!  [Bahahaha!]

— Um… FAIL!!  They’ll get it eventually… —

What happened to the days when my boys were sweet and innocent?  Okay, wait…  Those may have never existed.  That may have only been in my head.  Hmm – It’s a good thing they’re cute.


“The soul is healed by being with children.” ~Fyodor Dostoyevsky


I try to usually keep my posts upbeat and sometimes even funny.  Sometimes that’s hard to do, though, when it feels like your life is falling apart.  Ever been there?  Anyway, this is no attempt to gain pity, but I’m just having one of those weeks, and I’m going through a really hard time in my life right now.  It’s times like this when I’m so thankful for Gerald and Ronald.  On the days when it’s hard to even get out of bed, when I don’t feel like I can even function, all I have to do is look at their mischievous little faces (and their dimples) and feel some sense of hope.  Hope for our future – hope for tomorrow.  When I walk in the door every afternoon, the first thing they do (before their World War 3 battle begins) is ask me how my day went.  How do you not just melt at that and forget, at least temporarily, all of the awful things you’re going through?  No one [who should be blessed with children, at least] ever wants their kids to know they’re going through a hard time, so I’m grateful that they force me to put my big girl panties on and keep moving forward.  They depend on me and rely on me to be their stability, and Lord knows, I never want to let them down.                                                                                                                          

Photo by Leslie Dobbe Photography

Photo by Leslie Dobbe Photography

It’s funny how the ones that you’re supposed to be strong for are actually the ones who are strong for you and help you face your discouraging tomorrows.  All without even knowing it…   In fact, sometimes they’re even the only ones I can depend on for unconditional love and no judgment.  Things won’t always be this hard, right?  One look at my beautiful boys’ faces, and I think I already know the answer to that.  Thank you, God, for giving me these boys as a constant reminder that you know the plans you have for me – plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me a hope and a future.


“I hate you. You’re crazy. One minute you’re cool, the next minute you’re throwing pointy objects at my head…” ~L.M.N.


Ah, young love…  Do you remember those days?  I remember the days when boys were gross, and I used to chase them around the playground.

Photo by Alicia Benton

Photo by Alicia Benton

My mom used to tell me that meant I had a crush on one of those boys.  What?!  No way!  She was nuts!  Of course, as I grew up, I realized that she was exactly right.  I mean, how else are you supposed to show a boy that you like him, besides chasing him around and pushing him down when you finally catch him???  Well, I’ll tell you what – It’s quite an eye-opening experience when you finally get to see your kid reach those days.  There’s a girl in Ronald’s class, who also happens to live in our neighborhood, who thinks “Ronald is gross.”  [Read:  “Ronald is cute.”]  How do I know this, you ask?  Well, I’m glad you asked.  For one, every day when Ronald gets home from school, he updates me on the latest number of times that Kayla pulled his hair in class and on the bus.  (Remember, he’s got the mean ‘fro going on…)  Then, he tells me all about how while he was riding his bike, she chased him around the neighborhood throwing pine cones at him.  Today, my sister and I watched first hand as she showered him with pink flower petals as he rode by.  Then she proceeded to pick up handfuls of pine straw and attempt to cover him in it.  She never misses a chance to tell me about all the “gross” things Ronald does.  He keeps telling me how annoying she is, and when I tell him that it’s just her way of showing him that she likes him, he responds with, “Eww, Mom.  That’s gross.  Plus, she’s mean to me.  There’s no way she likes me.”  Ha!  Little does he know that she goes home after school and doodles her first name right alongside his last name.  She’s already picked out her wedding dress for that glorious day ten years from now that she gets to marry MY son!  [Over my dead body, by the way…]  It’s so funny to me now to see that the way we females show boys that we like them is by doing the meanest things we can think of to them.  What… you want me to be NICE to the boy I like?  Yeah right!  Hmm… I guess some things will never change, huh?  😉


“It snowed last year too: I made a snowman and my brother knocked it down and I knocked my brother down and then we had tea.” ~Dylan Thomas


Do your kids ever fight?  Well, mine give sibling rivalry a whole new meaning.  You haven’t seen fighting until you’ve spent five minutes with Gerald and Ronald.  Seriously.  Five minutes.  That’s all it takes.  So, today I thought we would be golden and fight-free… Ronald had a field trip all day, so he didn’t have to do any work.  When we got back to the school, I signed him out early.  Then I let Gerald walk from school with his two best friends so he didn’t have to ride the bus.  Neither of them had baseball practice today, so they got to play the Xbox all afternoon.  That should be Heaven for an 11- and 13-year-old, right, and guarantee me at least one day of no fighting?  Well, not for MY kids.  Nooooo… that would be asking too much.  That would be like me asking for snow in July.  It can’t happen.  From the second Gerald walked in the door from school, here’s what I’ve heard [verbatim]:

“Mooooom, my brother’s blinking at me.”

“Mooooom, my brother farted next to me.”

“Mooooom, my brother won’t let me have a turn playing the game.”

“Mooooom, my brother ate the last piece of cornbread.”

“Mooooom, my brother pooped right before it was my turn in the shower.” 

“Mooooom, my brother is breathing too hard.”

“Mooooom, my brother called me ugly.”

“Mooooom, my brother’s chewing too loud.”

“Mooooom, my brother just tried to touch my butt.”

“Mooooom, my brother’s pretending to stab my eye out with his knife.”

As usual, when dealing with these two, I learned a few valuable lessons today.

1. Don’t make steak (or anything else that requires a knife) for dinner.

2. Ignoring them does not help.  They only yell louder.

3. I should change my name.  Now.

4. Pretending to be invisible doesn’t work.  They know I’m still here, and they keep finding me.

Please, someone… HELP.  Get me out of here!!!


“The good thing about being old is not being young.” ~Stephen Richards


Okay, so I thought that making the transition from my 20s to my 30s is what would officially mean I was “old.”  I was wrong.  The true sign of my senior status (in my kids’ eyes, at least) happened this morning.  As Gerald and I were sitting in the car together, wasting time before he had to go into school, the following conversation took place.  [Please note that in addition to the actual words that were spoken, I am also going to throw in those thoughts that were never actually spoken out loud…]  Our conversation went as follows:

Gerald:  Hey Mom, who is Robert De Niro?

Me:  [Are you kidding me?]  Robert De Niro?  [Am I that old – geez?]  Only one of the best actors of all time.

Gerald:  Really?  Oh.  Is he black?

Me:  What?!  No!!!  [You’ve got to be kidding me!]

Gerald:  Hmm.  Well, what is he in?

Me:  The Godfather, man!  And Goodfellas!  [Are you freaking kidding me?!]

Gerald:  I’ve never heard of those.  Are you sure he’s really popular, Mom?

Me:  [Omg.  You’re kidding…]  Yep, I’m sure.  He’s one of the best, honey.

Gerald:  Oh.  Well maybe only old people know who he is then.

Me:  [Swinging blindly into the back seat where Gerald’s sitting.  Come here, you little rat..!]  No, I don’t think so.  He was in Meet the Fockers.  That’s not that old. 

Gerald:  Ooohhhh!  Why didn’t you say that one first, Mom?  Now I know who he is!  I love that movie – maybe Ronald and I will watch it again this weekend!

Me:  Oh, good.  [Enjoy it, you little focker.  It may be the last movie you ever watch.]

Lesson I learned this morning:  I’m officially a failure as a parent.  My kids don’t even know who The Godfather is.  Guess what we’re really watching this weekend?


“Dark circles under my eyes sink deeper and deeper into my skull, in contrast to my pale skin there is an undeniable resemblance to a fresh corpse.” ~Dee Remy


The two things I’m sure of in life are as follows:  1. I am EXHAUSTED.  2. My kids are freaking awesome.  Seriously, I have no idea how they do everything that they do.  I understand that kids have more energy than those of us from the “olden days,” as the boys so affectionately call it, but I don’t ever remember having even close to the amount of energy that they have.  We always tell our kids that they have it easy because they’re still kids.  WRONG!   I mean, yes it’s true that they don’t have to have jobs or pay bills, but they still work their little butts off every day!  Think about it… the average adult works an 8-hour day, right?  Well, my kids, like many others, work 7 hours a day at school and then after that, work another 2 to 3 at whatever sport’s practice ’tis the season for.  They wake up at the butt crack of

Photo by Alicia Benton

Photo by Alicia Benton

dawn, and go to school, where they don’t just sit and daydream all day.  (They’re terrified of suffering my wrath if they bring home a bad report card.)  They work hard, listen well, and study hard.  And on top of that, they have to deal with the awful pressures of middle school… the bullying, the labeling, and the constant attempt at fitting in somewhere.  [I HATED middle school and would never ever ever go back.]  Then after being in school all day, they come home, do their homework, and rush off to sport’s practice.  Keep in mind, my kids play a sport every season.  They get about a three-week break in the summer, but the rest of their year is spent playing football, baseball, basketball, or wrestling.  Any of you who’ve played a sport before know that it takes hard-work and dedication to succeed.  And RUNNING!  Tons of RUNNING!!!  They remind me of Forrest Gump they run so much.  By the time practice is over, I’M exhausted.  I know that they must be.  And then, what amazes me, is that the next morning, they wake up and do it all over again (without getting a paycheck every two weeks).  They are ah-maze-ing.  This time change has thoroughly kicked my butt.  And this morning?  Forget it.  It was dark and rainy.  It’s a miracle that I even got myself out of bed, much less the boys too.  I look like death and can’t even function before my first cup of coffee.  And Lord knows, don’t ever try to have a conversation with me before that glorious liquid crack kicks in.  I came to work this morning, complaining incessantly that I was exhausted.  Then I had to stop, shut up, and remind myself that Gerald and Ronald are really the ones who should be complaining of exhaustion.  (Please don’t give them any ideas…)  They work their little butts off constantly and don’t even get to drink coffee!  Next time I feel like whining about how tired I am, all I need to do is look, with pure awe, at my two little men.  They make me so proud, and I’m constantly amazed by them and their resilience and commitment.  I, of all people, have no right to complain about being tired.  My desk job doesn’t look so bad after all…  


“Sometimes I just want to paint the words ‘It’s my fault’ across my forehead to save people the time of being pissed off at me.” ~Christina Westover


Photo by Alicia Benton

So have you ever been blamed by your kids for something being your fault?  Well, I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that everything that Gerald does wrong is somehow MY FAULT… For real.  “I missed that football tackle because you were taking too many pictures from the bleachers a half mile away.”  “I missed that basketball shot because you breathed too loud.”  “I didn’t pin that kid in the wrestling match because you blinked.”  Today at baseball practice was the perfect example of yet another thing I did wrong.  Now keep in mind that I have never played baseball a day in my life.  I mean, sure, I throw the ball with the kids and play a pick-up game with them every now and then, but I throw like a girl, and I hit like a girl, and I would never EVER expect a team to rely on my mad baseball skills.  So anyway, today at practice, he was working with a batting coach who’s played in the Major Leagues.  He was showing him how to step into the pitcher and power up his swing, keep his head down and eye on the ball, and where to connect with the ball on his swing.  Now when it’s Gerald’s turn to step up and hit, he does a good job with all the steps, except keeping his head down and eye on the ball.  So what happens as a result?  He either hits a foul or misses it completely.  This happens about three times before the trainer shows him again how to keep his head down.  As soon as Gerald steps back up to hit, he keeps his head down, and he hits it… Imagine that!  But, by this time he’s already furious because, as he so eloquently puts it, “he sucks at hitting.”  The very SECOND that practice ends, he yells to me from behind the fence, “I suck at hitting because last year YOU told me that I need to open up my swing more!”  Now if you read back up a few lines, you’ll remember that the reason he missed the first few balls pitched to him was because he was picking up his head and not watching the ball all the way to the bat.  Two questions:  1. What the heck does opening up his swing have to do with keeping his head down?  2. How the heck is it MY fault that he’s not watching the ball?  I didn’t hide his eyes when the pitch was thrown.  I didn’t pull a pillowcase over his head.  I didn’t jump up and down screaming his name so he would turn around and look at me.  How in the world can I possibly be to blame for this?  I wasn’t surprised in the least to be the brunt of his wrath because, like I said, I’m ALWAYS the bad guy.  WTH???  So my response… “Gerald, I’d take the blame for this, except I don’t even know what the heck “opening up your swing” means.  If I really said that last year, then I’m completely impressed with myself, and I will probably tell you to do that again all year this season because it sounds completely cool!”  The response I got:  The awesome, infamous, teenage boy GLARE.  But, ultimately, I got the response I wanted… He shut up.


“A boy’s story is the best story ever told.” ~Charles Dickens


ImageAnyone who knows Ronald, knows that at any moment, he can drop your jaw with what comes out of his mouth!  Well, true story… His teacher was going on maternity leave after Valentine’s week, so they had a baby shower for her during their class Valentine’s Day party.  When we were in TJ Maxx getting the baby an outfit, Ronald tells me, “I don’t remember exactly what was on the list of things she needs, but I remember that the size was a 1Z.”  I thought, “What in the world kind of size is that?!  I thought they were sized with ‘Ts’, but the baby will be way too young for that.”  After standing in the middle of TJ Maxx staring at the floor racking my brain for five minutes, I finally figured out that he meant ONESIES!!!  Lol!  I love that kid!! 


Tiffany Kleiman ~ Author

“I don’t care if a reader hates one of my stories, just as long as s/he finishes the book.” ~ Roald Dahl, WD

Jeanne Grier

A Modern Day Mom

The Meat & Potatoes of Life

By Lisa Smith Molinari

JAG GYM Blog

We do good things for kids!

RECLAIMING YOUR CASTLE

...LOVING THE PLACE YOU COME HOME TO.

Ooops, I Said Vagina... Again..

Being a mother, wife, and all around good person... MOST of the time.

Writing Between the Lines

Life From a Writer's POV

Life With The Top Down

Enjoy The Ride!

HA's Place

the lived experiences and musings of an organic, home-grown poet

Phoenix Fights

Fighting the FEAR, depression and BDP on a daily basis AND making my own bread. Bring it on 2016....

nobodysreadingme

Writers write. The rest make excuses.

the EXCESSIVE GARDENER

adventures in defensive gardening

Suddenly they all died. The end.

Write or write not - there is no aspiring.

Post it Notes from my Idiot Boss

delivered directly to my computer monitor on an all too regular basis...

Piglove

Adventures of Bacon and Friends

Laura A. Lord

"Of this I am certain: The moment you said, "You are..." I no longer recognized myself. ‪‎I am‬ more than the woman you see. "

Corner of Confessions

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Around the Hill

Photos, and maybe a geeky blog post or two!

%d bloggers like this: