Tag Archives: parenting

Invasion of the Body Snatchers


I wrote a post over a year ago on losing my identity as a mom as my kids grow to the ages where they won’t need me anymore.  Unfortunately, and little did I know at the time, that at a certain age, they stop caring, too.  About everything.  I can only hope that what everyone else is telling me – not to worry because it’s temporary – is true.
Nothing in this world drives me more crazy, and breaks my heart more, than seeing your intelligent, talented, beautiful child stop caring about the things that were once so important to him.
 
In this case, it’s school and his grades.  He just doesn’t care.  I’ve tried everything to motivate and encourage him…
“Your grades need to be good to play sports.”
“You need to play sports to afford your first choice in colleges.”
“You need to go to college to get a good job or make it to the NFL.”
“You need to get a good job to afford to live as you dream of living.”
The responses I get make me cringe…
“Well, you make me play too many sports anyway.  I never get a break.”
“I’ll just skip college and get a job like fill-in-the-blank did.”
“I will live with it if I don’t make it into the NFL.”
“I’ll just get a regular job and work my way up to make a lot of money like fill-in-the-blank does.”
I swear, people – Someone snatched my sweet, loving child and replaced him with a 14-year-old teenager who doesn’t care about crap.  Eugene’s had the adult, dude-to-dude conversation with him.  His teachers have had the caring adult conversation with him.  I’ve had the loving mom conversation with him.  Heck – I’ve even had the coming to Jesus talk with him.
 
Nothing.  Works.
 
His teachers continue to tell me that he’s a great kid with a brilliant mind, but he just doesn’t turn in his homework.  They assure me that they’re going through this with most of their male students, and that it’s just a phase.  They promise me my kid is normal and is just being lazy.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want a normal kid.  I want an exceptional kid.  An above-average kid.  A kid who gives a damn.  I know Eugene wants and expects the same.  We have gone above and beyond to ensure we’ve given this child everything he needs to be an exceptional, amazing young man.  Are we abnormal parents to hold our kids to high expectations?  I’m curious to know if we’re the crazy ones, maybe. 
 
I’ve seen a slight change in the “normal teenager’s” attitude the last couple weeks, but unfortunately, with report cards coming out next week, it’s a little too late for that at this juncture.  I guess we can only try to start fresh next semester and hope whoever stole my sweet kid will drop him back off at our front door. 
 
In the meantime, I’d love to hear your thoughts.  On boys, on kids, on teenagers, on school, on your expectations, and on your experiences in parenting.  Please, please someone tell me we’re not alone in this invasion of the body snatchers.

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“God could not be everywhere, and therefore He made mothers.” ~Rudyard Kipling


Yeah, sure, we love homemade cards and macaroni necklaces, but I have enough dang noodles to make mac and cheese for dinner for a year.  And my stupid conscience won’t let me throw out the 67 construction paper cards I’ve collected over the years.  You know… the ones with the scribble scrabble you can’t even decipher?  So dads, grandparents, aunts – help a kid out.  And a mom.

What Moms Really Want for Mother’s Day:

1. A massage.

Source: someecards

Source: someecards

2. A nap.

Source: Rotten eCards

Source: Rotten eCards

3. A clean bathroom.

Source: Latin Rapper

Source: Latin Rapper

4. Bacon.

Source: Tumblr

Source: Tumblr

5. A truce.

Source: paulwreeves.blogspot.com

Source: paulwreeves.blogspot.com

6. Shoes!!!

Source: SodaHead

Source: SodaHead

7. To see an amazing movie that’s not made by Disney or all about shootin-‘em-up.

Source: We Know Memes

Source: We Know Memes

8. A drink.  (Or seven.)

Source: Anne Taintor

Source: Anne Taintor

9. An orgasm.  (Hey, they cure headaches, right??)  *This gift can only come from limited recipients, obviously.*

Source: someecards

Source: someecards

10. A day off.  From life.

Source: Karma Decay

Source: Karma Decay

Okay, so there you have it.  Now go get the wife, mom, sister, etc. something she really wants for Mother’s Day!

And Happy Mother’s Day to all of you amazing moms – You have the hardest job in the world!

My Boys :)


“Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write…can manage to escape the madness…which is inherent in a human situation.” ~Graham Greene


For me, blogging has become therapeutic, in a sense.  Obviously, as you all now know, I have a lot of few issues that I deal with on a pretty regular basis: anger problems, OCD, parenting troubles, anxiety, time management issues… the list goes on.  Instead of a seeing a psychologist, though, I’ve discovered that all of YOU are now my shrinks!  Who needs therapy and counseling when you have blogging?!

Source: rocketcitymom.com
Source: rocketcitymom.com

Reasons Why Blogging is Better Than Therapy:

1. Therapy consists of a relationship between you and a counselor, in which there is a mutual commitment.

* Blogging doesn’t require a commitment from anyone.

Source: Etsy

Source: Etsy

2. A therapist is used as a guide in exploring your feelings, thoughts, relationships, and behaviors.

* Blogging allows you explore your feelings and thoughts, as well.  If you doubt this, see here.  I think I did a pretty darn good job of exploring and sharing my feelings, no?

Source: someecards

Source: someecards

3. A therapist coaches you regarding learning about yourself and the way you relate to others.

* Isn’t that what our fellow bloggers do in the “Comments” section?!

Source: The Daily Uplift

Source: The Daily Uplift

4. Therapy helps you discuss many issues, such as deep anger and regrets.

* Well, obviously we bloggers discuss those things pretty openly, too.

Source: someecards

Source: someecards

5. Therapy can become pretty expensive and usually costs around $100 per hour.

* Blogging is free!!  (Suckers!)

Source: Funny Times

Source: Funny Times

6. Therapists usually have a bunch of letters after their names, and most people don’t even know what they mean.

* My blogger therapists only have .com after their names.  Much easier to understand, right?

Source: Interesting and Fun

Source: Interesting and Fun

7. People who get therapy are often labeled as “crazy.”

* People who blog are just seen as “creative.”  [wink, wink]

Source: someecards

Source: someecards

8. Therapy can be somewhat intimidating when you have someone sitting across from you just staring at you, eagerly anticipating your every word so they can then judge “diagnose” you.

* Bloggers can feel comfortable saying whatever the heck they want (obviously, in my case) without ever having to lay eyes on their “judgers.”

Source: Cafe Press

Source: Cafe Press

9. You’re stuck reading a bunch of fine print about confidentiality in therapy.

* Wait, what?!  You mean my blog isn’t private?  I would’ve guessed it was based on my stats page.  Oh well, I trust you all with my deepest, darkest secrets.  You guys usually have an equal amount of your own.  [Insert evil laugh here.]

Source: someecards

Source: someecards

10. In therapy, you need to cancel your appointments 24 hours in advance.

* If I don’t feel like blogging today, then dang it, I won’t blog today!

Source: thelaughinghousewife.wordpress.com

Source: thelaughinghousewife.wordpress.com

11. A lot of therapists won’t accept your medical insurance without issuing a diagnosis on your “condition.”

* My blogs are self-diagnoses that I’m crazy, and that means I don’t even need to use my insurance!!!

Source: 9LoLs.com

Source: 9LoLs.com

So, to make a long story short, I don’t need a therapist.  I have YOU people… and your therapy is free!  So thank you in advance for our many future counseling sessions.  And, most importantly, please don’t be so quick to diagnose me as crazy.  Or angry.  Or OCD.  Or bitter.  Or mean.  Or a bad mom.  You get the point–

Source: Zazzle

Source: Zazzle


“I have a social life. But I don’t discuss it.” ~Ed Koch


No, I really don’t have a social life… But it wasn’t until a fellow amazing blogger called me out on my lack of one yesterday that I realized how pathetic my social life really is.  Yes… that’s right.  He told me that Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress don’t count as social life outlets.  What?!  Well, crap.  Where does that leave me???

Source: Zoot Patrol

Source: Zoot Patrol

I’m only 31 [gasp – did I say “only”?], and I have two kids.  In case you didn’t know, a lot of 31-year-olds haven’t even started making babies yet.  At least not many I know.  In fact, several of my girlfriends are still in their late 20s [bitches…] and have had enough sense to remain unwed and childless – at least for now.  That part of them that itches for children lives vicariously through me and my never-ending monster kid stories.  I’m free, non-prescription birth-control!

Source: Dump a Day

Source: Dump a Day

Happy hour for me isn’t the usual 4-6.  It’s 9:30.  Why?  Because 9:30 is bedtime!  Woohoo!

Source: someecards

Source: someecards

And a night out for me isn’t the normal dancing on in a bar.  It’s grocery shopping in Walmart in peace and quiet with no kids.

Date night for me doesn’t usually consist of a romantic dinner and a movie.  It’s delivery pizza with one kid while the other is at a friend’s house.  (Only having one kid at a time guarantees me at least an hour of respect and maybe even a hug and, therefore, qualifies as a date.)

Source: My Name's Not Mommy

Source: My Name’s Not Mommy

Excitement for me isn’t some random guy asking for my phone number.  It’s getting to pee without a kid trying to bang down the door in a desperate attempt to tattle on the other one first.

Source: Laugh Lines

Source: Laugh Lines

A new release to me isn’t the latest movie in the theaters.  Nope.  It’s the TV version of the movie that everyone (except me) saw in the theater five years ago.

Source: Tumblr

Source: Tumblr

To me, vacation isn’t going away to Disney World or some remote island destination.  For me, it’s not having to do twenty loads of laundry in a week because the kids are spending a few days at their grandparents.

Source: The Meta Picture

Source: The Meta Picture

Social networking to me isn’t meeting up with old friends for a drink.  It’s Facebook stalking all my old high school friends and perusing through hundreds of photos of them enjoying their social lives.

Source: SocialDon

Source: SocialDon

Free time for me isn’t spent in a gym working on my abs.  It’s washing my hair.  And maybe even brushing it!

Source: someecards

Source: someecards

“Mom,” to me, isn’t only what I call the woman who gave birth to me.  It’s my first name.

Source: My Tee Spot

Source: My Tee Spot

For me, makeup doesn’t consist of lipstick, eyeliner, mascara, and blush.  It consists of only the concealer used to cover up my dark under-eye circles.

Source: someecards

Source: someecards

For me, relaxing doesn’t mean spending a day at the spa getting a message.  It means blogging… Lucky you!

Moses said I should “get out” more.  Maybe he meant “blog” more while you’re stuck at home with your kids and all your friends are out having fun.  Yes.  I’m quite certain that’s what he meant.  Stupid autocorrect.

Source: someecards

Source: someecards


“Yeah, I love being famous. It’s almost like being white, y’know?” ~Chris Rock


So, at this point you’ve all seen enough pictures of my kids to know they’re biracial.  And beautiful.  I don’t like to brag, but I do have two of the most beautiful boys on the planet.  I’m just sayin’…

 Something you may not yet know about me from reading my blog, though, is that I don’t see color.  (Well, other than the fact that white boys just cannot dance, of course…)  I honestly just don’t notice it.  I hate love all people.

Source: imgfave.com

Source: imgfave.com

So when someone makes a comment that can be construed as quasi-racist, it always surprises me and catches me off guard.  (Minus the dancing observation, of course…)  A few Fridays ago, two of my favorite girlfriends and I went to happy hour after work.  [Side note: One of those girls has an amazing blog that you should totally check out here.]  We were having a blast just unwinding from a hellacious week at work and had no worries at the moment.  That’s when I run into another friend there who wants to introduce me to the dude he was there with:

Other Friend:  “Alicia, this is so-and-so.  So-and-So, this is Alicia.”

Other Friend’s Friend:  “Nice to meet you, Alicia.  Do you have any kids?”

Me:  “Nice to meet you too, So-and-So. Yes, I have two boys.  What about you?”

Other Friend’s Friend:  “Oh, that’s neat – I have two girls!”

Me:  “Cool!  Here’s a picture of my boys.”

Other Friend’s Friend:  “Oh… Wow.”

Me:  “Wow what?” [Thinking it’s because I look much too young to have children that old.]

Other Friend’s Friend:  “Uh, they’re black!”

Me:  “What?!  Did you really just say that?!  Did that seriously just come out of your mouth?!”

Other Friend’s Friend:  “Um, no, uh, that’s not what I meant.  Uh…um…”

Me:  “No need to explain.” [Turning to Other Friend…] “Dude, your friend is a son-of-a-!@#$%, and you really need to make some new friends.”

Wonderful end to that conversation.  And it was at that moment that I remembered why it was that I went out with my girlfriends in the first place: Because I don’t like anyone else.

Do people STILL really think like So-and-So does?!  Helloooo!!!  It’s 2013!!!  I forgot when I chose to have children that they may actually have to deal with jackasses growing up who still haven’t figured out that we all bleed the same color.  And it breaks my heart for them.  They’re so innocent, and yet they have to deal with people obviously so insecure with themselves that they take it out on others.

In fact, when Gerald’s best friend’s mom heard about Gerald from her son for the first time, she actually said, “Oh, his name is Gerald?  Well that’s not a black name…”  Are you kidding me?!  So I didn’t name my kids Bon Qui Qui AND they’re well-spoken and well-mannered… Whaaaat?!  It’s really very sad that when they go to college, it’ll benefit them to be “black” and when they submit their resumes, it’ll benefit them to be “white.”  Is this really the world we live in in the 21st century?  I’m afraid so.  [Shake my head…]

Source: lunapic_135698468820535_2

Source: lunapic_135698468820535_2

My challenge for you today if you have this secret problem:  Go talk to someone who’s different than you.  Start a conversation with him.  Shoot, hug him even.  You might be surprised and realize you’re actually very similar.  Hmm, imagine that…

Source: epicdemotivational.com

Source: epicdemotivational.com


“I felt my mouth go dry, my throat constrict…” ~ Jennifer Paynter


Okay, so last night was one of those crazy nights – two baseball games on opposite sides of town.  The endless driving-like-a-maniac back and forth between fields already caused my blood pressure to go nuts.  On top of that, our last game didn’t end until after 10 – on a school night – which led to us eating a wonderful [insert sarcasm] dinner of McDonald’s at 10:30.  Ugh.  So we’re sitting at the dinner table eating scarfing down our food when the following conversation causes me to have a full-blown panic attack:

Ronald: Mom, what’s ‘jacking off’ mean? A kid in my class said that today.

Me: [Completely and utterly choking on my french fries] Um, excuse me, what?

Ronald: What’s ‘jacking off’ mean?

Me: Uh, maybe you should ask your brother about that.

Brother: Uh, maybe you should ask your father figure about that.

Me: Uh, uh, uh… Hold on – I’ll be right back! [Frantically dialing “father figure’s” phone number]

Me (upon reaching “father figure”): I need your help. ASAP. [Hand phone to Ronald like it’s a hot potato searing my fingers]

Ronald (to “father figure”): What’s ‘jacking off’ mean?

Father Figure: [Without missing a beat] Well, it’s basically playing with your own winkie dinkie.

Ronald: Eww! Gross!!!

Father Figure: Yep. So next time your classmate talks about jacking off, tell him you don’t want to hear about him playing with his own winkie dinkie. But don’t say jacking off… you’ll get in trouble by your teacher for that.

Ronald: Oh. Okay. Thank you – goodnight. [Still as cool as a cucumber]

Me: [Still hyperventilating] Okay.Timeforbed.Iloveyou.Goodnight. [I then proceed to crawl in my bed, curl up in a ball, and continue to remind myself to breath in and out. In and out.]

Before I had kids, people told me that kids were expensive.  I thought that only referred to diapers and stuff like that.  I had no idea that it meant room and board for the loony bin I’d end up in from the endless panic attacks they would give me.  Am I really cut out for raising two boys?  [Sigh.]

 


“That money talks, I’ll not deny, I heard it once: it said, ‘Goodbye’” ~Richard Armour


What would you do with $7,500? Probably something pretty stinkin’ cool, right? Take a vacation, maybe? Buy a new car? Well guess what I did with $7,500 today? Yep, I said ‘today’… I spent that much in one day. And it wasn’t on a car or a vacation. It was on braces. BOTH the boys needed braces at the same time – lucky me. I know that in a year-and-a-half, their perfect teeth will be worth the small fortune it cost to make them that way. But for now, I need to not think about the numerous other things that $7,500 could be spent on. Like what, you want to know? Well, let’s see… $7,500 could buy:

– 11 55” LED HD TVs
– 15 round-trip plane tickets from Charleston, SC to St. Croix, USVI
– 37.5 Xbox 360s
– 62 24” bicycles
– 83 pairs of Nike Free Run sneakers
– 833 movie tickets
– 937 months of unlimited movies on Netflix
– 1,875 Double Chocolaty Chip Frappucchinos from Starbucks
– 5,000 bottles of 20 oz. Coke
– 30,000 packs of Juicy Fruit

Or… $7,500 could buy 2 kids braces. I chose to go with that option. Please remind me that my kids having amazingly perfect teeth someday will make me happier than any trip to St. Croix or 1,875 Starbucks Frappucchinos. Mmm… Starbucks. Oh wait. I’m getting sidetracked. Yes, these braces will make us all happy, and they’re the best thing I could have spent $7,500 on. Right? [Confirmation, please.]

         


“The young have aspirations that never come to pass, the old have reminiscences of what never happened.” ~Saki


People say that dreams and goals are what keep us going.  As I sit here and ponder that, I also can’t help but think about how my goals have changed after having children.  If you have kids, you probably know exactly what I’m talking about.  If you don’t, you may wonder just how much a person’s dreams can possibly change.  Well, let me explain it to you…

Goal Before Kids:  To save up enough money to go to law school
Goal After Kids:  To save up enough money to send both kids to school with lunch money on the same day

Goal Before Kids:  To make time to travel abroad
Goal After Kids:  To make time to pee

Goal Before Kids:  To learn to speak French fluently
Goal After Kids:  To learn to speak “tween” fluently (See here for “Tween 101”)

Goal Before Kids:  To retire by the age of 40
Goal After Kids:  To get my kids out of my house by the age of 40

Goal Before Kids:  To get a job right out of school
Goal After Kids:  To keep a job (Thanks, Mr. Pres…)

Goal Before Kids:  To have a big, beautiful house
Goal After Kids:  To have a tiny house so it is easier to shove everything under the bed and make it appear beautiful

Goal Before Kids:  To have good credit
Goal After Kids:  To have any credit (Thanks, sperm donor…)

Goal Before Kids:  To look fabulous in a bikini
Goal After Kids:  To make sweats look fabulous

Goal Before Kids:  To not let my gym membership expire
Goal After Kids:  To not let my library card expire

Pitiful, right?  But at least I still have goals!  As Lewis Carroll says in Alice in Wonderland:

Cat:  Where are you going?
Alice:  Which way should I go?
Cat:  That depends on where you are going.
Alice:  I don’t know.
Cat:  Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.

Make goals.  Have dreams.  If you can’t reach them right now, make new ones.  You’ll reach them eventually (or at least be able to blog about them) – Don’t ever give up!!!

BEFORE KIDS:

Photo by Leslie Dobbe Photography

Photo by Leslie Dobbe Photography

Photo by Leslie Dobbe Photography

Photo by Leslie Dobbe Photography

AFTER KIDS:

Photo by Leslie Dobbe Photography

Photo by Leslie Dobbe Photography

Photo by Leslie Dobbe Photography

Photo by Leslie Dobbe Photography


“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.


Jeanne Grier

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