Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Kids will grow even on a diet of Twinkies

Calgon take me away.  Y'all remember that commercial of the tired lady wanting to escape into the peace and quiet of her bathtub? I totally didn't understand that back then... because I think I was 10. 

Or maybe she was just hoping this guy was in there.  I can understand that. 

Y'all.. I know I say this all the time, about wondering what I might write about on the blog... and every single time life steps in and gives me good material. 

I was just this afternoon reading a text message from my friend about a teacher conference she was summoned to last week. (My first thought being, Thank you sweet baby Jesus that I wasn't the only one).  She said one teacher called her in.  But then, like in a nature show when the prey is outnumbered, she got totally ambushed by three teachers full of info about her 13 year old. 

And she sounded just like me when she said she totally agreed with the teachers that her kid was this, that and the other and may need some tiny  improvement in the areas of almost everywhere.... 

But Y'all.  When someone backs a boy mom into the corner of a classroom and expects her not to defend her kid, not even the tiniest bit ... that's where the hunt goes wrong.  My sweet friend may or may not have eaten all three of those teachers for lunch.  Did anyone see that story on the news?  

Then after reading her message, I knew she and I had more in common than ever as I  entertained a lengthy phone call from Kid 2's art teacher.  Because he is apparently very, very naughty in art class.  I've already signed a note acknowledging my awareness that he arrived in her class last week with his arms tied up in his sweater behind his back.  The teacher saw that as Kid 2 making a mockery of the art profession.  I saw that as maybe Kid 2 being a free spirited artist himself, and presenting his teacher with a life like sculpture of a young boy trapped in a class he hates. 

But while chatting with the teacher today, I heard much of the same story I've heard before from others.... and I found myself telling her some of the tales of the days I taught middle school.  And I may or may not have called every 8th grade boy a monster.   

Now, granted, .... there are cute and cuddly monsters such as ones from children's books.  

And there are scary monsters that need to be battled with the only thing that can ever win - the monster's mother.  So the teacher and I have a plan that may involve me attending middle school art class one day very soon.  I'll let you know how that goes.  I happen to be a terrible artist and may end up on her naughty list as well.

Along those same lines.... last weekend we had an extra kid over for about forever so he ended up camping on our couch for the night.  Fireman Dave was at work and I asked the boys to respect my quiet time starting at 11:00 please --  because I'm too old for sleepovers.  And they were good and quiet for a while  - till about midnight when I woke to the sound of a herd of elephants running through the house.  And when I got up to go check on things, Kid 1 turned into a teenage werewolf and gave me the smart mouth, evil eye combo right there in my own den. 

But then in about half a second he realized that it was his mama he just offended, not a brother, and fear overtook him as he tried to win me back with sweet words and an explanation.  And with his trembling voice he promised me time and time again that he thought it was Kid 2 and how he would never have said those things had he known it was me.  To which I told him to be very thankful that it was midnight and that I was half asleep.  Then I went back to bed.  The end.

And I may as well tell you something about Kid 3 while we're on subject.  He came home with a perfume scented Valentine teddy bear today.  I knew when I used to dress him in his little heart-breaker t-shirt as a baby that it was going to come true one day.  Lord help us all.
I like to consider myself somewhat of an expert on the teenage boy.  Then I laugh so hard I cry.  But I can tell you with absolute knowledge and living proof that there is no owner's manual to raising kids of any age.  The boys' pediatrician once told me that kids will grow even on a diet of Twinkies.  Which my boys took as permission to eat like they do still to this day.  

But I think the lesson was that kids will grow no matter what.  They have this super funny way of bending and turning and dancing along day by day - all while absorbing the world as they try to figure out who and what to be.  

Our job as parents comes in as we try to filter through the good and bad for and with them.  And eventually, as they turn into teens and young adults, to teach them to locate their own inner filter.  I hope the filter for the heart of my boys is big enough for them to find.  And painted a very obvious glow in the dark color.

post script... Um... wow that story about my friend at the teacher conference sounded kinda bad.  So fyi.... she happens to be loving, kind, and beautiful... and also the mom of three boys - which made me like her from the minute we met.  And she does not eat teachers.  Let's be clear. 
post post script.... I am thrilled to be sharing my good news with you.  I have been accepted as a contributing writer for the Dallas Moms BlogWhy?  you ask......    I have no idea!  

But it's true!  I submitted a writing proposal, they contacted me with the exciting news, and away we go.  Soon.  I am honored to be given the opportunity to share my parenting expertise experiences with thousands of Dallas area moms.  I am also a little scared because it's a responsibility that I think is huge.   Please pray for me as I listen really hard for the words that need to be shared with this group.   

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