My Kids and My Dogs Have Several Similarities!

I look at my children and laugh each day…I can’t imagine life without them. They are awesome! My son, the oldest child, is pretty well behaved. You tell him to do something, he usually obeys. My daughter on the other hand, has those second child traits. She is stubborn and could kick some serious butt. I think she could kick her brother’s! You tell her to do something, and she will look at you and immediately do what you told her not to! She is my patience tester when she is tired and having a bad day. I know one day her strong-will could be beneficial, but probably not during the teen years.

Recently, we thought it would be a good idea to get a puppy to be friend our other dog. I have no idea what we were thinking!!! And of course, it was our daughter that talked us into that nutty idea. Our older dog is obedient, and our puppy is stubborn and strong-willed. See any similarities yet? If I look at the dogs and tell them to quit play fighting in the living room, my older dog looks at me with that look of, “Mom looks very upset, we better listen and go outside!” The puppy looks at me and goes right back to the fun.

Hmmm….two of each of them? Not sure about this!

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Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Where is the Charmin?

Yesterday, the husband was sent on a mission to stop by the grocery store and buy a couple of things before company came over. On the list was toilet paper. Evidently additional details were needed. Now as much as I do love my Charmin, it can be a little pricey, so I will bend and go with Quilted Northern or Cottonelle, depending on which is on sale for the week. But we do have softness standards. Jonathan comes home with single ply Scott’s toilet paper. A leaf would have done a better job. But I played along until I got to the store the next time.

My daughter went in the bathroom and came out quite disturbed. “Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Where is the Charmin?” After a burst of laughter, I explained I would fix the situation at the store, but we still needed to use the paper dad had bought. She walked over to dad to have a serious, deep conversation about her toilet paper requirements, and explained that girls need this far more often than boys. “Dad, this is like paper on your bottom!” Needless to say, I think Jonathan understands the toilet paper softness requirements now.

To add to this story, I think our dog is also a toilet paper snob. He loves to sneak in the 1/2 bath and grab the toilet paper off the holder and chew on a good roll of Charmin. I have not figured that one out…but I saw Zeke walk into the bathroom, play with the roll and walk away. Even the dog was not interested in the Scott’s single ply. Have I created these toilet paper snobs? Needless to say, I hope my daughter never ends up stranded in the woods with nothing by leaves for a wiping resource.

The Yellow Envelope

I am a very fortunate person. I have two healthy children, a job that is pretty flexible when it comes to children events, sick kids, doctor’s appointments and more. But some days, no matter how hard I try, I feel I just can’t get it right. Dance two days a week, soccer two nights a week…and God bless all you people that have more than two kids. Hats off to you! Between my kids, two dogs and husband, I am full. Now honestly, usually the husband behaves.

Not sure how your week works, but believe it or not, my craziest day is Tuesday. I’m in the office until 5 p.m., from there it is pick up the kids and get to 6 p.m. soccer practice. Still not too bad…the fun you ask? The chore of getting homework, official dinner ready (snack provided before soccer), lunches made for the next day and signing off on the lovely yellow envelope the teachers send home every Tuesday in the backpacks at 8 p.m. Oh, I forgot…getting the kids to bed. Don’t they know any other day would work better? I feel I am lying when I remove the school work for the week, sign and return the envelope saying I have reviewed the contents, when in reality, looking at what came home in that will have to wait until Wednesday. Oh, I want to see their work, look at their grades and talk to them about it…just not on Tuesday!

In addition to preferring a different delivery day, the yellow envelope has created a great deal of humor in our home. My husband’s job is far more time consuming and involves frequent traveling. So, I handle all school things. Recently, we were at some friends’ home and discussing how the soccer team was going the get their summer camp message out to all the kids in the school. Eric and Allison are both teachers in our school system, and agreed they’d just be placed in the yellow envelopes. My husband, with a very puzzled look, quickly asks, “What are the yellow envelopes?” Eric quickly stopped Jonathan…”I would not go there Jonathan…you are only burying yourself.” Now keep in mind, we have a 5th grader and a 3rd grader…this envelope has been a part of our lives now for nearly 6 years. Needless to say, my husband now knows about the infamous yellow envelope we all love!

Honestly, as my kids keep growing up way too fast, I know it won’t be long and I will miss this envelope. And funny enough, that is one thing I save at the end of each school year.

I believe in Santa, but the Tooth Fairy?

My oldest child is getting to the age where soon those deep conversations about Santa will surface. Now, he’s my sweet boy that wants to believe no matter what he hears. And of course I love that, but I realize I may only have one or two more Christmas seasons in which the secret will be safe. On the other hand, my daughter is the younger one, and once she hears the rumors, the secret will be over. It deeply saddens me! If only I could slow down how fast they are growing up.

It was a recent car ride with Avery, when he tells me he believes in Santa, but not so much in the Tooth Fairy. When I asked for an explanation, I had to work hard to keep a straight face! “Mom, the Tooth Fairy has got to be you and dad…sometimes she forgets the first night!” Oops! Confession…we have had a couple of those, but I have always tried to cover it up with a letter from the Tooth Fairy explaining that she ran out of time because so many teeth were lost that day. It appears he’s not buying that.

The part I have struggled with is how to be reasonable and expect them still to believe. We were lucky to change the conversation topic from the Tooth Fairy, but another day he admitted he did not believe the Santa where we have pictures taken is really a brother of Santa’s. I agreed with him on that and explained the pictures were just something mom and dad liked to get; hoping if I give him a little credit for figuring that out, he’ll believe in the real Santa a little longer. If only I could slow down time…

My life is ruined mom!

At ten years old…really?

So it is Red Ribbon Week at school, which means another round of spirit week for mom to coordinate. Yea! Today…PJ day. I could honestly endorse this ONE. It made my life much easier this morning when getting ready for school. Just add socks and shoes. Perfect!

Well, of course, we don’t really make sure the kids have matching tops and pajama bottoms each night for their sleepwear, so this did require a little work yesterday. Off to buy new fall weather pajamas for the year. We found exactly what we needed rather quickly. Owls for my daughter, and I fell in love with the “Y’all Yeti for this?” set I found for my son. Now, I thought it should have been covered in Yeti coolers and cups, but it was actually covered with the big furry yeti instead.

So, I broke away from the office today and had lunch with my son, only to find he still had on his hoodie because he was embarrassed about the Yeti joke (even though he liked it yesterday). Despite his friends saying how funny the shirt was, he would not give in. A few seconds later he turned to me and said, “Mom, my life is ruined!” He said it with a small smirk so I don’t feel too bad for making fun of this situation. I assured him I would make his life much more miserable later in life. Ten years old is nothing buddy!

But my favorite part was the adorable, little red-headed girl across from me that said, “Mrs. Bohlander, did Avery just say you were ruining his life?” I replied, “Yes.” Sydney went on to say, “Good! Then you are doing your job as a mom!”

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The little things in life…

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I have the joy of helping at my kids’ school once in a while; it is so nice to see what takes place during their day and how much they love it! And what a huge relief to see your children interacting with other children, happy and loving to learn. (On a light note, based on the “college fund” that we gave Primrose Schools in the early years of their lives, they better be the smartest, most social children at the school!)

Just last week there was a Mardi Gras wagon parade at the school (it was delayed due to the EXTREME winter weather Atlanta experienced that caused school cancellations the week before…yes “EXTREME” is sarcastic!). This parade was something that seemed so uneventful to the adults, but the children were so excited about this wagon parade all day, that the teachers had a hard time keeping them focused on school work. I look at these types of things and look at my kids every day and realize how much your perspective changes in adulthood. Why does it take so much to thrill us as adults? My children are always so excited about their next birthday, losing their next tooth…I am about to turn 40 and let me just say, I am not counting down the days because I am so excited…I am counting down the days I have left in my 30s wondering where the time has gone and wondering if we can slow things down.

I try my best every day to encourage their creative minds, pretend play, youthful thinking but sometimes it does require me to take a step back and correct myself. As grown-ups we often try to rush them along in our busy days and I remind myself, how unfair that is. Let them play school, color and make a mess on the kitchen table, paint, dress-up, make paper airplanes…let them be kids. And mostly importantly, learn something from them…slow down and enjoy life. The house doesn’t have to always be spotless. And who cares if dinner is not on the table at 6PM as planned?

Heart of Gold

We live on a great street in a wonderful neighborhood located in the middle of suburbia.  Yes, even I make fun of suburbia, so go ahead!  But fortunately, it does provide my children with a safe street full of kids where they can play sports and hangout…of course the houses are on top of each other (but the good thing…less yard to mow).

Our street has about ten to fifteen kids that play outside on a regular basis.  Ages range a great deal, but for the most part everyone tries to include everyone.  When it comes to the boys on the street, my son is the youngest of the group, however, we have a couple older ones that do an excellent job watching out for him.  Unfortunately, none of them were present yesterday when six kids were playing basketball in our driveway.  Playing in our yard is always welcome, and it does often to seem to be the basketball goal of choice…not sure why.  Anyhow, it had started with three elementary school kids then two high school aged kids joined the game.  I was watching out the window to see if my son was getting the ball since the older kids joined the game.  Avery started playing recreational basketball this past season, but he still has less experience than all the other kids and often has to fight for the ball.  I understand this will improve over time, but of course a mother is always protective of her babies.  On that note, I try to avoid being that helicopter parent.  I called Avery to the door after a while of seeing him be left out and quietly told him to speak up and say he wants the ball too.  I doubt he said a word.  My Avery has a heart the size of Texas and he just wants to make sure everyone is happy.  For example, last night his sister had her cup of water taken away at bedtime because she was mad and kicked dad.  Avery took his cup of water to her when dad walked away.

Last night, while sitting on the sofa, I asked my sweet boy, “Honey, does it upset you when the big kids don’t give you the ball, or do you just enjoy having all the kids at our house to play?”  It broke my heart when he said he wants the ball and wants to play too.  I took the question a little further and said, “Do you want mom to speak up and tell everyone to make sure everyone is equally included?”  (Not sure what age parents start becoming embarrassing.) I was actually surprised when he said yes to that as well.

Sometimes it is so hard to keep yourself in line as a parent.  Where do you let your child fight for themselves, and where do you step in?  I certainly would not walk down to someone else’s driveway and give orders, but when kids are playing in my driveway, my kid gets to play.  I look at my children and see so many differences.  My daughter, who is three years younger, has no problem fighting for herself…remember, she kicked her dad when she was upset.  But my boy has the huge heart and always wants to play nice and fair; I really hope he does not get walked on in life for being so sweet.