Friday, February 27, 2009

Dieting with a daughter watching your every move.

It's been a madhouse around here, with tomorrow being the culmination of months of work for two different activities. If I build one more thing with a group of ten year old boys, I might scream. But. Other things.

My daughter. My seven year old daughter has had body image issues since I can remember. When she was getting ready for bath when she was about five, she would suck in her gut as much as she could, all her ribs showing, and her belly button practically touching her spine and ask me, "Mommy, what would you think if I looked like this?" Inwardly, I would cry, but I would always tell her that she didn't look healthy to me like that, that I liked to see more muscles and a strong body so that she could do anything she wanted.

And still, every time the school talks about health, there is my daughter counting calories and getting on the scale. One day, she got on the scale. Got off, ran in place for ten seconds, then got back on. One pound less. So she did it again, hoping for more. Again and again. It only worked the first time. She was disappointed. We discussed.

So all these year, I've been terrified to go on a diet, that I'm just sure that my daughter's body image issues will only get worse. I'd go on diets and act like I wasn't on one, but decided that secret dieting was probably worse.

So this most recent time, right now, I've decided that I'm not going to hide and pretend that I'm not dieting, but that I'll phrase it differently. Mom is getting stronger and healthier. And hoping that my daughter will see her mom losing all her squishy places and growing muscles. So yes, I'm counting calories, I'm watching what I eat. But when my daughter wanted to share her chocolates, I graciously accepted but quietly counted those calories, too. I want so badly for her to watch her mom do this body image thing right.

And so we celebrated when Mom ran a mile tonight. All of us. Because the oldest one needed to hear too, that here's something that Mom has NEVER been good at, but I've been practicing a lot and have been really working hard at it and is proud of her accomplishment. And the middle one needed to hear that her mom is getting strong, and will race her. And beat her. And they'll all watch their mom beat their aunt at a push-ups contest. That she doesn't know she's going to be in. (that's my strategy to win - not tell her to practice. See? Brilliance.)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Adventures in having sons.

I cleaned the bathrooms today, which is an even in and of itself, but when I walked into bathroom #3, which is the kids' bathroom, I was pretty excited. I thought, I think the toothpaste on the counter is grosser than the toilet. This could be easy!

Although my toothpaste issues are well documented, this one did take the cake. The toothpaste tube itself was covered in toothpaste (and with as cheap as I am, you have to know it was disgusting, because though half full, I threw it away), and there was toothpaste splatter clear to the top of the mirror, and all over one sink, which documents their issue with one of the sinks, no one will use it, weird.

So, gross toothpaste. Check. I made it.

Then the toilet, which at first glance, was in pretty good shape. Until I remembered that I have two sons, the younger of which has decided that it's time to stand up to pee, which isn't a big deal to me, if he'd just lift the seat (!) but whatever, for another day. I have sons, I should probably look around the toilet. All around. And in the awful crevices that some brain surgeon puts all over the base of the toilet. And in the ground. And on the tile. And ON THE WALLS.

And it totally beat the toothpaste, even with my issues.

And when I was done, I decided that the kids are old enough to clean their own bathroom.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


My biggest boy is ten today. Just typing that sentence really kindof makes me want to cry. But. Ahem. This is about him, not me.

Tonight, he's having his favorite friends over to spend the night. There are five of them in my living room right now. And here's the thing. There was no elaborate party required.

These boys have spent the afternoon and evening playing a board game, having all out war with the nerf guns and other artillery in the house, jumping on the beds and eating boy-made pizzas, ice cream sundaes and trail mix. They are now watching Star Wars. They have plans to watch all six, but I'm pretty sure we'll start losing them to exhaustion around the second movie. Which is fine.

What is missing? Nothing. They haven't requested a fancy media room or surround sound. They haven't requested soda. They haven't needed any extra entertainment or magicians or shows or clowns. They are just together, with their imaginations and a little supervision. That's it.

It helps that they are great kids, but honestly, they don't need much more than that. Satisfaction guaranteed.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Nobody puts Baby in the corner.

When I met my husband, I was barely nineteen, straight out of California and confident that I was going to be a feminist, if I wasn't already. No one, NO ONE could tell ME what to do.

And then I met him. And he called me "baby." It was a term of endearment, don't get me wrong, but it rubbed me all kinds of the wrong way. "Baby?!?!?! No one calls me Baby. Don't you DARE."

And he tried. He really did, but he was from the south, and well, that's just what they do.

Eventually, I accepted it as a term of endearment, not that he was belittling me or putting me in my place as a woman. He called me that because he loved me and cared about me, and that's just what you do.

And now, fifteen years later, I use it all the time. I call him that. I call the children that. I call the children I see at school that. I call the dog that. It's likely my most used term of endearment. And I like it. I use it because I love these people and I want them to know that I'll take care of them. Or maybe it's because I'm a southerner now.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


Things round these parts have shore been interesting lately. But not innerestin' enough to write about. Clearly.

The oldest's ear drum ruptured. Again. He gives me no warning. Just, "my ear hurts" then two hours later screaming in pain, then relief in the form of bloody pus pouring from his ear. It's quite lovely. Then he jumped off the slide playing tag and hurt his foot. I almost didn't want to take him to the doctor for fear that the report of another child being hurt while playing tag would mean a ban from tag on playgrounds nationwide. Newsflash: children get hurt while acting like children. It happens. Get over it already. Anyhow, I think he'll be fine. Just a little limping.

The littlest one lost his first tooth. He's been sporting a set of shark teeth now for about a month, so I'm glad to see at least one of them go, though he's a little worried that when he shows people that they won't know he's lost a tooth because the new one's already there. And, good news! He doesn't have any broken bones! I just thought I'd state that for the record, because he always seems to have one. But never fear, baseball season's right around the corner!

The girl child went to her first daddy-daughter dance. She had a fancy dress with sparkles that she loved because it left a trail of sparkles wherever she went. And, reportedly she refused to do the chicken dance, apparently with a look of mixed horror and disgust at the people doing it. Her father's daughter, that's for sure. And I'm thinking that he loves her more than me, because he'll actually dance with her. Though at bedtime, she did report a pain in her toe, due to the fact that contact was made by her father's shoe on her foot, so you know, maybe there's a reason we don't dance.

And me? I'm in a heated competition with a few family members to see who can lose the most weight before April. And I'm in a competition with another family member who doesn't know she's in competition with me to see who can do the most pushups at the family gathering this summer. And I'm not telling her so that I have a snowball's chance in, well, you know where, of even coming close. Because I can do eight in a row. NOT ON MY KNEES. HAHAHAHA. Ahem. Yeah. And I'm a grownup, too.

And I'm celebrating the fifth anniversary of my 29th birthday today. And next week it will be fifteen years that I've known my husband. Well, I didn't know he was going to be my husband, but you get the picture. And you know what? I'm still totally smitten.