Baseball and Itchy Butts

23777071_sMy five-year old son, Bryce, just finished his first regular season of Little League Baseball.  It was a fun season and all the boys seemed to learn a lot and have a good time.  They slowly progressed from chaotic dog piling on every ball to learning to work as a team, and for the most part, learn the boundaries of each position to support each other on the field.

During our last game of the season Bryce was placed in the position of pitcher.  He didn’t really have to pitch to the kid at bat, but he maintained that position for his team.  There was a coach positioned several feet in front of him and the coach pitched to the kids since the five-year old division is a combination of live pitch and t-ball.

So imagine this adorable five-year old kid in ‘baseball ready’ position, on the pitcher’s mound, in plain sight of everyone.  (I was watching the game from the dugout, helping another mom to manage the boys and organize them during each inning transition.)  I’m watching Bryce, shouting encouragement to him and the rest of the team, and then I see him use his ungloved hand to go in for a deep and prolonged wedgie grab.  His hand was on the outside of his pants but he was working the angles, maneuvering  his hips to get a good handful of whatever he was looking for.

The other mom starts cracking up, and I shout to Bryce and give him the what-the-heck-are-you-doing-face.   He looks up at me, smiles and gives me a thumbs up.  And then he goes right back into the ass-grabby position, but this time he takes his glove off and is digging at his butt from both the front and the back.  He’s bent forward, looking between his legs as he attacks himself, and he’s digging for gold like a marathon miner.  He’s in the middle of the field just going to town, completely oblivious to the game continuing around him.  Balls are flying past him and he’s more concerned about whatever is going on in his pants than the rest of the inning.  He ignores my shouts to pay attention to the game.

At the end of the inning the kids all run back to the dugout and I start checking his pants, thinking (hoping) that surely all that ass-grabbing had to do with his sliding shorts either riding up or being bunched wrong under his pants.  So I ask, “Why were you digging at your bottom out there?  Are your sliding shorts riding up?”  And in front of everyone he says, “Nope, I was itching my butt.  I think I sharted and I need to wipe it.”

IMG_1115My kid used the word sharted in front of his team and other parents.  The other mom next to me is thoroughly losing her shit with laughter.  As my face turned red with shame, I looked at her and said, “Please inform the Delegation of Perfect Parents that I will have to forfeit my membership and my Parent of the Year award…again.”

Birthday Gifts

giphy-facebook_s[1]A conversation with my son, Bryce.   He will be turning five in a few weeks.

Me:   What do you want for your birthday?
Bryce:   A Dj set! (He then starts to imitate scratching records with motion and sound.)
Me:   So you can drop a fresh beat?
Bryce:   Yes!
Me:   Where did you learn about DJ turntables and scratching records?
Bryce:   America’s Cutest Cats!

Happy Friday everyone!

Wanda Says…On My Son’s Opinion of Green Poop.

shamrockParenting children is so glamorous. If I’m not pulling teeth, wiping bums, or determining the source of crusty residue left on various surfaces, then I’m a scientist/medical doctor in training attempting to help my children decipher their bodily functions and the source of any problems that arise.

I apologize for the gross topic of this post, but I had this conversation with my four year old son this morning, and for a lack of anything more interesting to write about, decided to share the poop story love with all of you.

You’re welcome, world.

This morning I heard Bryce muttering to himself in the bathroom.

Bryce:  Why is my poop green?  What makes green poop?

Me:  Is something wrong?  Do you need help?

Bryce:  Yes.  My poop is green mommy.

(I joined him in the bathroom, and yes, his poop was a shamrock green color.  WTH?)

Bryce:  Why?

Me:  I don’t know, buddy.  Maybe it has something to do with the blue icing you ate last night on the cake.  But it will be ok.  Poop changes color sometimes based on what you eat.

Bryce:  So the blue icing and the chocolate cake made green poop?!

Me:  I’m not sure.

red velvet cupakeBryce:  What does red and green make?

Me:  Probably a brownish-gray color.  Why?

Bryce:  Well, then to turn my poop brown again, I need to eat some Red Velvet cake!  Can you get some of that for me, because we need to fix this!

LOL!  Little boy problems are so fun.  I heard him talking to himself a while later saying, “I never should have eaten that chocolate cake!”   😉

 

Update:  About two hours after I posted this, my family and I were shopping at the local mall, picking up some clothes for the kids.  In the middle of the girls department at Macy’s, I look over and Bryce has his pants down around his ankles, his underwear around his knees, bare-ass, inspecting the inside of his underwear!  He was so worried about the green poop, he said, with big fat tears in his eyes and a sad look on his face, “I had to make sure the green poop didn’t get into my underwear.”   We left the store and got him a Red Velvet cupcake just to ease his worries.  🙂

Wanda Says….Random thoughts on a Thursday.

I spent five hours working on a blog post today and I still wasn’t happy with it.  Am I overthinking this?  Probably.  Does it happen to you?

I ignored all the volunteer fundraising work I was supposed to do today so that I could work on a blog post.  So that means I didn’t accomplish much of anything.

I went to Target to do some shopping and left part of my purchase at the store.  What the hell is wrong with me?  I just walked away from the cashier’s counter and didn’t grab one of my bags.  Now I have to go back tomorrow with my receipt and hope that they believe me when I tell them I’m a moron and left without my toilet paper.  Nice.

Today my kids were arguing and Bryce said, “Stop being a douche bag, Bryn.”  He is four, and he called her a douche bag.  I am a terrible mother.

Dan’s been in NYC for two days, and I’m so ready for him to be home.  He gets to run meetings with high-end retailers, like Frye and Juicy Couture.  He gets to go to the Frye showroom.  I get to clean toilets and wash everyone’s underwear.  Life isn’t fair.

I think I’m in a sour mood today.  But this made me laugh when I saw it on Facebook.

10923291_840194149384589_7903276563471781708_n[1]

I don’t think this needs further explanation.  It just sounds like good, solid advice to me.

Here’s hoping Friday is better than Thursday!  😉

Wanda Says…No Bandits!

kid walking to schoolMy daughter Bryn is ten years old and in the fifth grade.  We live one block from her school.  At the beginning of the school year she begged me to let her walk to school by herself.  She had a convincing argument.  She said, “It’s only a block, mom, and I’m old enough to walk a block by myself.” (To be read with the required level of pre-teen sarcasm and eye rolling).

She’s right, of course.  When I was her age we played outside every day after school, running around the neighborhood, riding our bikes everywhere.  As long as we were home by the time the street lights came on, our mom wouldn’t stand in the yard shouting our names until we came running.  She is old enough to walk a block, and farther, by herself.

But life today isn’t the same as when I was her age.  The dangers are real, and I do not trust the general population with the safety of my children. I think most people are genuinely caring and look out for kids in their neighborhoods, but it’s the person late for work that accelerates too quickly down their driveway without watching for school age kids on the sidewalk, and the child predators who look like nice people just wanting to stop and chat for a few seconds that scare the shit out of me.  I feel bad that she isn’t allowed to run the neighborhood like I did at her age, but none of her friends are allowed to do that either.  All of her friend’s parents are just as cautious as I am.

But she’s ten, and she is responsible and knows how to cross a street, watch for traffic, and not talk to strangers.  I can’t choose to hold her back from something that is developmentally appropriate and allows her to grow because it scares me.  So the least I can do to allow her some measure of independence is to let her walk to school by herself.  She loves it.  She feels like such a big girl, and I love seeing that look of satisfaction on her face when she walks in the door after school.

But I hate it.  I hate not being there to watch over and protect her for the four minutes it takes her to walk one block.

I silently stress out every morning when we say good-bye at the front door.  I watch her walk down the driveway, and I don’t stop watching until she rounds the corner and is out of my line of sight.  And then I surreptitiously keep my eye on the clock.  I know that as long as the school doesn’t call here by 9am that she made it safely.  I start watching the clock again at 2:30pm. She’s usually home by 2:40pm, and then I take a deep breath and relax.

This is what I look like when I'm protecting my kids.  For real.

This is what I look like when I’m protecting my kids. For real.

I know this sounds obsessive and crazy.  Especially to a younger person who has never had kids.  But having children changes you.  Having children brings out your protective instincts in a way nothing else can.  I became the mother bear.  I am that dangerous female Grizzly that will rip your throat out if you even think about physically harming one of my children.  And I’m not alone.  Thankfully, I’m in good company with all the other Grizzly mothers at Bryn’s school.  We all agree that allowing our children to walk to school at a certain age is a necessary risk to help them mature, grow and learn to be responsible for themselves and recognize potentially dangerous situations and how to handle them.   They need to know how to apply and use all the advice we’ve given them. “Look both ways before you cross the street, don’t talk to strangers, be aware of who’s around you and if someone approaches you and tries to get you to go with them, you drop your backpack, scream for help and run like hell is chasing you.”  Well, I didn’t give her that last bit of advice in exactly those words, but she got the message.

No Bandits!

So, I let her walk to school.  The first few weeks were the hardest for me.  About three weeks in I was sort of grilling her at the dinner table, trying to be nonchalant and casual about it.  I didn’t want to be up in her face with overly detailed questions, but I wanted to know how it was going.  I was obsessing, and I guess I wasn’t as subtle as I’d hoped because she looked at me and said, “It’s good, mom.  There’s no bandits!”  As she said this, she winked at me in a jaunty way and made finger guns.  LOL!

In that moment she made me laugh out loud with her cheeky sense of humor, eased my fears and reassured me that she truly is a big girl, which broke my heart a little too.  Now every morning when she leaves for school and kisses all of us good-bye, we all say, “No Bandits!”   🙂

On the subject of video games and prison lingo.

werewolfLast week Dan downloaded a new game to the ipad for Bryce.  The graphics of the game are cartoons, but the game is still a bit scary because all the enemies are monsters, like vampire bats and werewolves.

This was the conversation I had with Dan about the game last week.  Keep in mind that Bryce is only four years old, but because he has an older sister who loves video games, he’s more adept than most four year olds at playing them.

Dan:  I got this new game for Bryce.  At first you only had to shoot enemies with a bow and arrow, which didn’t strike me as being overly violent.  But now you have to defeat your enemies with a dagger, and that just seems too violent.

Me:  You think?  He’s four, and he has to defeat enemies with a dagger?  Is that the same game he asked me for help with the other day?  He told me he was in a “creepy situation” with a game and needed help getting out of the level.  I saw the vampire bats and told him to shut it off.”

(I want Dan and Bryce to have their own activities, you know, father/son stuff, so I don’t want to interfere.  Although I am a bit concerned, I’m trying to trust Dan’s judgment).

Dan:  Yeah, I’m not sure we’ll be keeping this game.

Two days later….

Dan:  Bryce, tell mommy what you did to the werewolf.

Bryce:  I shanked him with a shiv.

Me:  (epic sigh)

Wanda Says…On my son’s opinion of Corn Syrup.

boy with juiceMy kids love juice.

I don’t really serve them much juice because I know it’s the equivalent of giving them sugar water.  Now that they are a little older I buy reduced-sugar apple juice, or all natural juice boxes for their lunches.

Last week, in an attempt to switch things up a bit, my husband picked up some Sunny Delight at the store.  The kids love orange juice and he thought they would like it.

Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

As I was standing in the kitchen looking at the list of ingredients on the juice bottle, this is the conversation that went down as my son was drinking his orange juice….

Me:  Dan, this juice has corn syrup in it.  So we can finish the bottle, but let’s not buy this again.

Bryce:  This juice is delicious!  What’s corn syrup?

Me:  The syrup of corn.

Bryce:  I love the syrup of corn!

Me:  I’m just kidding Bryce.  It’s a sweetener made from corn and it’s really bad for you.

Bryce:  It’s not bad for me!  It’s so good for me!  I love this!  I love this corn syrup juice!

Me:  Well, enjoy it while it lasts because we’re not buying it again.

Bryce:  We are going to buy it again!  Aren’t we, daddy?  Right, daddy?  Right, daddy?  Say yes.  Say yes.  Say yes.

orange surpriseBased on Bryce’s behavior, I would say Sunny Delight is crack for kids.

Now he refers to Sunny Delight as corn syrup juice and everyday he asks for some.  Everyday he says, “Can I have corn syrup juice?  Corn syrup is so good for my body and you need to get me some more.  It’s good.  It’s soooooo good.  I love corn!  I will eat if for dinner if you put some syrup on it.”

Yeah, we are never buying this again.  Sorry, Sunny D.

 

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!  🙂