Wanda Says…On my daughter’s opinion of French kissing.

Last night my ten year old daughter came into my room to say good-night to me, and she initiated a conversation about some new and enlightening things she learned at school that day.

Although I ask her every day how school went and what fun things happened, she often waits until right before bed to share the juicier, more dramatic details, which pretty much guarantees I won’t be sleeping through the night, because I’ll be having nightmares about how she’s growing up too fast.

The conversation went like this:

Bryn:  Oh my gosh, Mom!  I forgot to tell you what I learned at school today!

Me:  What was that?

Bryn:  Well, during recess, my friends and I were talking, and you’re never going to believe this!  My friend said that there’s this thing called French kissing, and that means that two people kiss with their tongues!  Like lizards, Mom!  They wrap their tongues together like lizards!  And guess what?!  It’s true!!  People really do that!

Me:  (starting to sweat)

Bryn:  And guess what else!  In France, there are beaches where people don’t wear their clothes!  They go to the beach naked, Mom!!!  Can you believe that? (she dissolves into hysterical giggles and laughter)  Have you ever heard of these things?

Me:  (sigh)  Bryn, I promised you I would always be honest with you, so yes, I have heard of these things and they are all true.  Except nude beaches aren’t limited to France.  Many countries have beaches where clothing is optional.  I also have to tell you that I’m not sure I’m ready for you to know about this stuff yet.  I’m not ready for you to know about French kissing and nude beaches.

Bryn:  I know, Mom.  (she kisses me on the cheek to console me)

Me:  What did you think when your friend told you about this stuff?

Bryn:  I think French kissing sounds disgusting!  (she makes a sour face, a gagging noise and then pretends like she is throwing up)

Me:  (Laughing) That’s the right attitude, sister!  (she laughs with me and leaves the room)

I realize this is just the beginning.  She will continue to grow up and discover new and exciting, and sometimes gross things about life, and people and relationships.  Soon, in her health education classes, she will learn about sex and reproduction and how her body works.  She will also learn about boys, and it won’t matter that I want to freeze time and keep her my little girl forever.

I also realize that this means raising children is going to turn me into an alcoholic, and I need to join a wine club so I can stock the house and get a discount on that shit, because I’m going to need a lot of it.

Wanda Says…On my daughter’s opinion of chest hair.

I took the kids to their swim lesson this afternoon, and on the way there I explained to them that they have a new swim instructor.  The conversation went like this:

Bryn:  Who’s the new teacher?

Me:  His name is Stephen.

Bryn:  A boy?!  Will he be wearing a shirt in the pool?

Me:  I don’t know.  Why do you ask?

Bryn: Ugh, Mom!  (eye roll)  Chest hair!  Blech!!!!!!!!!!

Me:  (laughing my ass off)

Bryn:  I don’t want to touch his chest hair!  That is so gross!

Me:  (still laughing)  🙂

Wanda Says…Happy Birthday, Bryn!

My best girl turns ten today!  My sweet, loving, hilarious, sassy little angel is ten!

Where did the last ten years go?  How did she grow so fast?  She’s almost as tall as I am!  I still remember how small and perfect she felt in my arms when she was born. I remember staring at her beautiful face and thinking, “I never want to forget this. I never want to forget how little, and perfect, and amazing you are, right at this moment.” I said that to myself every day when I held and snuggled her, for years.

Well, now my baby girl is not so little. Thankfully, she still likes to be held and snuggled by her mommy, despite the fact that she is only a few inches shorter than me. Bryn has grown into a wonderful girl, and I can see glimpses of the young woman she is becoming, and it makes me so proud.

girl with catsBryn loves animals and is obsessed with cats. We would have a herd of them if Bryn had her way. She is compassionate and sensitive, and will become emotional if she sees others who are suffering or unhappy. She will go out of her way to mediate disagreements among her friends or classmates. She has a wickedly smart sense of humor and she makes us laugh every day. She is so smart, and more than one teacher has told us that Bryn is the kind of student every teacher wishes to have in class. She is fiercely protective of her little brother, and when he was born, she told all of her friends that they weren’t allowed to touch her baby. She loves tennis and is learning to play the flute. She hates dolls and most girly things, but she plays video games like a boss, and has hand eye-coordination so good that playing sports seems almost effortless to her. These are just a few insights into her personality and temperament, but what it all boils down to is that my girl is amazing.

As a mom, I often write down funny conversations or things that happen with my kids.You know, as ammunition for when they get older. The threat of embarrassment can be a powerful tool to wield over teenagers when the time comes, and I won’t be afraid to use it. So, in honor of Bryn’s birthday, I thought I would share some of her funny stories.

*One day we were watching an episode of the Ellen Show, and a studio guest was doing a dance that involved some elaborate pelvic thrusting. Bryn was watching and casually said, “That’s called the nuggets dance.”

black cat*A conversation with Bryn about cats:

Bryn:  Mommy, I can speak Cat now, and Oliver (our cat) told me that he loves me and trusts me.

Me:  Really?  What does he have to say about the time last year when you locked him in the bathroom cabinet because you thought it would be funny?

Bryn:  Well I was a lot younger then, and I didn’t speak Cat!!!!!

*A couple of years ago, Bryn was standing next to me as I changed her brother’s diaper.  The conversation went like this:

Bryn:  I’m sure glad I don’t have a big snout like that.

Me:  It’s not a snout.  It’s called a penis.

Bryn:  Well, I bet having a penis is a lot of fun.

Me:  Why do you think it’s fun?

Bryn:  Because boys can do fun things with their penis, like write their name when they pee.  Girls can’t do that.

*A conversation between me and Bryn on New Year’s Eve as we were lying together on the couch:

Me: What’s that smell? Did you fart?

Bryn: Yes, I farted.

Me: Well stop it. That really stinks. Or go in the other room.

Bryn: But I want to be with you.

Me: (3 minutes later) Is that you again?

Bryn: YES! I farted, again! I can’t stop! It’s the stinkiest New Year’s Eve ever!!!

lion love*Another conversation between me and Bryn sometime last February:

Bryn: Mom, do you want to know how lions and cheetahs mate?

Me: (starting to sweat because I’m not prepared to have this conversation with her yet, even if it’s about animals.) Ummm, I know how they mate, but I’m curious to hear your version of it.

Bryn: Well, the female lies down on the ground and the male bites the back of her neck and leaves a mark. Then they don’t see each other for awhile, and then they have cubs. I saw it on Animal Planet.

Me: (feeling relieved and trying not to laugh at the same time) Well, okay. Technically, that’s sort of accurate.

* A conversation between me and Bryn on March 21, 2014:

Bryn: Your pimples look really small right now.

Me: I don’t have any pimples! (I’m a little annoyed and offended over this comment).

Bryn: Yes you do.  The black spots in your eyes look small.

Me: Those are called pupils, not pimples! There’s a big difference!

*November 17, 2013:  While shopping in Target today, a woman approached Bryn and I and invited Bryn to participate in a talent scouting event being held at a nearby hotel. One of the girls from a Disney show was going to be there promoting the event, while they look for new young talent. Bryn was polite to the woman but didn’t act very interested. When I asked her if she wanted to go she says, “I want to be the person who makes the movies mom, not the person who acts in them.”

Annnnd, that’s my girl!  🙂

Wanda Says…Kids are awesome, until they aren’t.

kid doctorI had a doctor appointment today, and I had to take my two kids with me.  Taking kids to adult doctor appointments and expecting them to behave is like taking a new puppy to a carpet store and asking it not to pee on the rug. Impossible.

I gave them ‘the lecture’ before we got there.  There would be no arguing.  No fighting.  No climbing all over the furniture.  No interrupting while I was talking to the doctor.  They were to sit quietly and play together nicely with the ipad while I had my appointment.  (It’s okay if you’re laughing at me, I deserve it).

This is what really went down…

Bryce almost knocked the serene landscape picture off the wall, onto the doctor’s head.  (Thank God she had good reflexes).

Bryce almost broke the doctor’s stool by spinning on it. (To his credit, those stools are irresistible to kids)!

Bryn and Bryce repeatedly grappled for space in the only other chair in the office, which they had to share.  There was continuous shoving and furious whispering going on.

Bryn kept interrupting by trying to surreptitiously show the doctor pictures of our cat on the ipad, while whispering in a creepy voice, “Lucy wants to say hello.”

While the doctor was examining my skin (I was there for a rash on my arms), Bryce kept interjecting comments like “That really doesn’t look good.”  Or, “That’s not normal.”

Bryce interrupted the doctor’s examination to walk in front her and loudly stage whisper, “Mommy, I have to go potty.”  After being told to wait a few minutes for us to finish, he dramatically switches to manual control by grabbing himself, moaning loudly and crossing his legs.

I should mention this appointment took less than 20 minutes.  At one point the doctor asked me if I was stressed about anything.  We both looked at my kids and started laughing.  She was a good sport about it, but I think we both would have enjoyed bar service after the experience.  🙂

Your turn…what crazy, silly, and annoying things do your kids do at doctor appointments?

Wanda Says…Happy Birthday, Bryce!

birthday boyMy son, Bryce, is turning four tomorrow.  My baby boy is four!  I can hardly believe it. We’re celebrating by taking him to Dave & Buster’s for dinner and games.  He wanted to go to Chuck-E- Cheese, but I was able to talk my way out of that one. (Fist pumps the air)!  My husband and I tolerate Chuck-E-Cheese about as well as most people tolerate having a root canal, without Novocain.

Bryce is funny, smart, witty and adorable.  He is charming, sensitive and has the sweetest personality.  He is also a typical 3-4 year old boy, and often channels both my husband and I by adopting our less than favorable traits.  (If one of us accidentally uses a curse word in front of him, he will unerringly pick up that word and start chanting it).  He adores his big sister and goes out of his way to annoy her in every way possible. (Like right now, he snatched his sister’s new headband, put it on his head, and is taunting her by running through the house and refusing to give it back). He gives all of us his love equally and our family wouldn’t be complete without him.  I’m incredibly honored that God chose me to be his mother and that I get to spend my life with him.

I post a lot about my family on Facebook, and my feed is usually filled with funny comments or snippets of conversations that take place around my house.  So in celebration of Bryce’s fourth birthday, I decided to post some of my favorite ‘Bryce moments’ from this past year.

July 25, 2014—A conversation with my son at 4:30am this morning:

Bryce: Mommy, wake up. I need you to help me put my socks back on.

Me: Why?

Bryce: They came off while I was sleeping. (He climbs into my bed)

Me: Just sleep with them off.

Bryce: Ok. Hey….wait a minute! When you put me to bed, I told you I wanted you to sleep on my bedroom floor all night. You left! I can’t believe you left! I trusted you!

Me: Just sleep in my bed with me then.

Bryce: It’s not the same!

(Yeah, cause as the mom, it’s better to sleep on a hard wood floor all night than in my own bed. Whatever).

July 11, 2014—Today Bryce filled the toilet with toilet paper, wrote on the walls with red marker, had multiple breakdowns over various foods I didn’t have for snacks, and then later told me he invented fun. I think I need a time out before I start losing my shit.

June 29, 2014—A conversation Bryce (age 3) had with Siri on the computer this morning:

Bryce: Bi-doo, Bi-doo, Bi-doo

Siri: I’m sorry, I did not understand that

Bryce: What did the Fox say?

Siri: That was not very nice.

Bryce: I said, what did the fox say? (with a snarky tone of voice)

Siri: You will never know. The secret of the fox is an ancient mystery.

May 3, 2014—A conversation with my 3 year old son at dinner:

Bryce: I’m done eating. I need to take a break from dinner.

Me: You can’t leave the table until you’ve eaten a few bites of your meat.

Bryce: I have to eat the meat?

Me: Yes

Bryce: (sighs) You’re killing me Smalls!

March 26, 2014—It’s official. I will not be winning any ‘Mother of the Year’ Awards. When your 3 year old drops an F-Bomb, that’s pretty much an automatic disqualification. I will try and find a way to carry on. Good luck to the rest of you who are still in the running!

(What I didn’t say in this initial FB post was the context of how Bryce used an F-Bomb. His exact quote was, “Mommy, do you want to play some fucking Jenga?” So, yeah, no mother of the year awards for me).

March 22, 2014—A conversation with my 3 year old son tonight:

Bryce: Mommy, what is this? (He is pinching something small in his fingers and I can’t tell what it is)

Me: I don’t know, put it in my hand so I can look at it.

Me: It looks like part of a booger. Did this come out of your nose?

Bryce: Yes…and it felt crusty.

Then he walks away, like it’s no big deal he just put a booger in my hand. No one taught him this. Boys are gross.

January 18, 2014—We took the kids to see the Endeavour space shuttle today and it was a wonderful experience. The exhibit is really well done and after that you move into the hanger where the shuttle is on display. When you walk in, you experience a true ‘moment’ in time. You stop in your tracks, your skin gets goose bumps, there is beautiful music playing in the background, and you realize you’re looking at something amazing and historic, and you’re trying to soak it all in. This moment is special. And then your 3 year old decides he’s had enough of crowds and he doesn’t give a shit about this special moment and has a screaming break-down in the awe-inspiring quiet of the hanger’s entry way. This is my open apology to anyone who had their moment ruined by my son’s crying fit. Sorry about that.

December 9, 2013—A conversation my husband had with Bryce:

Bryce:  Daddy, will you play blocks with me?

Daddy:  I wish I could buddy, but I’ve got to work.  You will get to enjoy my glorious presence, though.

Bryce:  Ok, where did you hide the glorious presents?

September 28, 2013—A conversation between Bryce and his older sister’s friend, Erin:

Bryce to Erin:  Erin!  Erin!  Erin!  Erin!

Erin:  Yes, Bryce?

Bryce:  (awkward pause) What’s up? (said like a teenage boy trying to flirt with a cute girl)

September 23, 2013—–Bryce now refers to his 7pm cut-off for liquids before bed as “last call.”

Yeah, that’s my wild man, and I couldn’t love him more.

Slow your roll, sister.

cat dancingWhen my daughter was eight years old, I walked in on her while she was playing alone in my bedroom.  She didn’t see me standing there, and what I saw upon entering the room made me stop in my tracks, and I think my heart may have stopped for a second as well.

She was dancing around the room.  She was carefree and caught up in her moment of uninhibited, enthusiastic dance.  At least that’s what it looked like to me.  What stopped me so abruptly was the way she was dancing. She was swaying her upper and lower body in a leisurely, exaggerated way, almost like she was maneuvering her way down a walkway…on her way to a pole.  She was moving her eight year old body in a way no eight year old should move.  It was provocative and sensual, and there’s nothing okay about associating those two descriptors with an eight year old, ever.

A hundred thoughts ran through my head at once as I observed what she was doing, and all of them made me very uncomfortable.  How do you tell an eight year old that she shouldn’t dance like that because it’s not appropriate?  Where did she learn to dance like that?  Did she see it on TV?  What the hell has she been watching?  We blocked all the channels on her TV we didn’t think she should watch!  I am taking the TV out of her room!  How am I going to talk to her about this in a way she’ll understand?  I can’t tell her to stop dancing like a stripper because she’s not supposed to know what a stripper is.  Does she know what a stripper is?  Holy Shit!  What if she does?  Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God!  I’m not ready to have this conversation!

I took a few deep breaths and forced myself to calm down.  I would just talk to her.  I would not make her feel bad, and I would encourage her to be herself, and maybe suggest we sign her up for dance classes.  Ballet would be good.  Yeah, ballet isn’t anything like stripping.  There’s no movement in ballet that resembles pole dancing, at all.  Good plan, deep breath…

The conversation went like this…

”Hey honey, what are you doing?”

“Hi, Mommy!  I’m pretending to be a cat!  I have a tail like a cat, and if I move like this, I can move like a cat!  Don’t I move like a cat, Mommy?  Wouldn’t it be cool to have a tail like a cat?!”

“Yeah, honey.  That would be awesome.”

Then I left the room, went downstairs, poured myself a glass of wine and admitted to myself that I take this parenting shit way too seriously.