Sunday, September 9, 2012

"And don't act like a bunch of wild Indians!

I've talked before about moms using extreme commands in their parenting and that the point may not be getting across to their kids, for example my posts about the toilet overflowing. Well, I have another example from when I was about 7 years old.

We went to my aunt's house which was about a 2 hour drive. When we were ready to get out of the car my mom turned to us and said,

"Do not act like a bunch of wild Indians while we're here!"

I'm thinking, no problem, we don't usually play that anyway.

We had a great time that day. We played in the basement for a couple of hours. We decided to make a grocery store. Lucky for us, they had a deep freezer. We took out all of the meat and set it on a bench in the basement for our store. Evidently, we were being too loud so they told us to go outside. Great! We played hide and seek, running through their lot and into the house and back outside etc. Well, the moms didn't like that so we were shunned to the outside and they locked the door behind us!

No problem! I had plenty of ideas (being the oldest of the kids there). We made a garage sale. I thought we could make plenty of money with all the stuff in my aunt's garage that they obviously didn't need. So anything not bolted down was drug to the driveway and tagged for sale. I remember asking my younger cousin, Tommy, to go and count our items. I heard him saying…

"1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 14, 15,…"

I was working with amateurs! It didn't matter, the moms found out and we had to bring everything back into the garage! Foiled again!

Well, they let us back into the house and we were told to play in the basement. We ended the day building forts in their storage area with boxes, lawn chairs and whatever else would stack nicely. It was time to head home. As we got into the car, I thought, Oh brother, see, we didn't even play Indians like mom was so afraid of!

Two weeks later, my aunt and uncle had a terrible smell coming from their basement. The meat had been left out from our grocery store and had rotted. Well, if they had let us have customers, we could have moved our product a little better!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Being Dragged Down to the Alter at the Baptist Church!

OK, so on my last post, I mentioned being dragged down to the alter by my dad. This was the little baptist church we attended until I was 5. So here's how the story goes...

I was in my Sunday School class one Sunday when my teacher said to us as we left, "Don't forget to get saved!" I look back on that and think what an interesting comment. Obviously, the details of what she said could be fuzzy at this point. Anyway, I went home, ate lunch, and played in the front yard. I for some reason remembered what my teacher said. So I literally knelt down under a tree in my front yard and said to God. "Please save me, Amen." Profound, right?

We moved a few months later to another small town in Indiana. My mom mentioned something to me about church and God and getting saved. I responded with "Oh, I did that a long time ago!" Like, Mom you are so a day late and dollar short! I've got that wrapped up!

My dad came home later that evening (who was the spiritual giant in our family). He sat me down on the couch and had a nice long talk with me about what I had done with God and made sure I understood everything. It seemed that the issue had passed. Then Sunday came....

There I was minding my own business, drawing on papers from Sunday school while the preacher went on and on, when my dad pulled me by the arm and walked me up to the front of the church! I think I could have shit my pants if it wouldn't have been such an abomination! Once in front of everyone, my dad explained the decision I had made in asking Jesus into my heart. I remember shaking my head in reference to some questions.

The lesson I learned that day was this..."Never, ever, no matter what, sit next to Dad during church! EVER!"

Actually, to this day, I'm very close to my parents and have a great appreciation for their spiritual upbringing in our home.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Walmart Mom At The Vet

So we've taken on a ridiculous idea of adopting a puppy! He's a chocolate lab mix that we brought home from a rescue shelter. I know, aren't we awesome! Anyway, it's time to take the little guy to the local vet and get him checked out. I brought my 10 year old daughter, Anna. We walk into a nice little set up of hard wood floors and ironically church benches. It kind of reminded me of the old baptist days of being drug to the alter by my dad. That's another story though.

There were a couple of other customers with their dogs. One of these ladies was, sorry for the stereotype, a Walmart mom. You guys know what I'm talking about. She seemed to have just rolled out of bed, pushing 700 pounds and talking to her 2 little boys (probably 2 and 4) like she detested their existence. I don't mind being around this if I'm by myself, but when I have any of my kids with me, I know there's going to be an explanation moment when we get to the car. She had both of her dogs drug by their leashes and by the time she was leaving, I thought she might of slipped leashes on her boys when they were out of our line of sight!  Her comment to the youngest boy was "I didn't do that to you, you did that to yourself!" This was after she pulled him by the shirt and ran him into a door! Sure enough, when we got into the car Anna quotes her to me!

We had an experience like this at the Grand Canyon this year. I thought my 14 year old boy was going to punch a Walmart mom in the face! He had to walk away from the situation. Her 2 year old boy was climbing up on the railing where he could have so easily slipped to his death. It was horrible to watch. Finally, the grandpa mosied up there and picked up little junior for the mom. When we walked away and were at a far enough distance, my kids started talking to me about it and I responded with "You can't parent like that! That mom cared more about Ding Dongs and Twinkies than being able to parent quickly!" I know, I'm terrible!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A Mother's Threat...DO NOT FLUSH THE TOILET!

Hi, welcome again to my new blog!  I thought I would write my next blog about one of my favorite childhood first experience with an overflowing toilet! 

This story connects to Mother's Day because it embodies how we, as mothers can tend to be emphatic about our commands to our children. And have we ever asked ourselves..."How are our kids perceiving these commands and what fears may they be inciting?"

When I was about 7, we lived in an older home that my parents were remodeling. The plumbing, as well as other areas of the home, was pretty well shot. I remember my dad working under the house, in the crawl space and us kids lying on our bellies, in the closet access staring down at him in the dirt. Pretty exciting!

Well one day my mom said to my sister Mandy who was 4 and me that we are not to flush the toilet that day until Dad gets home to fix something. Sounds simple enough, except that she didn't say it just like that. She said...


And this is my point. Moms, I don't think we understand the ramifications of our tone. What I filled in after that command from my mom was..."AND WE WILL ALL DIE!"

As any normal first born of the family, I took it as my personal responsibility to keep our family safe from what I perceived to be a possible tsunami. This involved following my younger sister around all day to keep her from killing us when she went to the bathroom. I knew she would be our true threat. She was old enough to use the restroom independently yet not old enough to remember this simple, life-saving instruction.  I went with her to the bathroom the first couple of times and personally guarded her from the flushing mechanism. 

But somehow, after a few hours, she slipped away from my surveillance and entered the bathroom...alone. I remember hearing a flushing sound and my mother screaming "WHO FLUSHED THE TOILET?"  The fear of God gripped me and I did the only logical thing possible. I ran to the back door and held the knob. I waited for Mom and Mandy to come running with something like a tidal wave behind them. I knew I would just throw open the door and we could all escape safely... But they didn't come.

I waited for a little while at the door. I didn't really want to leave this secure location, but nothing was coming down the hall. So I went to find them. As I approached the bathroom, I could hear talking about why we don't flush the toilet when there are problems. I rounded the corner into the bathroom doorway to find my mom and Mandy sopping up a puddle of water with a stupid bath towel! I thought to myself  This is the threat? This is nothing! We won't even die from it!  I walked away and didn't say anything to my mom, but I never forgot that experience.

When I was in my early adult years I told my mom this story and we laughed like crazy. She said she never knew anything about it. I don't know why I didn't tell her at the time. It does make me think about how I present things to my kids. If I give them a strong command, I'll find myself saying things like "It won't kill you, just don't do it because it could hurt you." 

I do have to say that I failed on the whole seat belt thing. I wouldn't move the car until they were all belted in. I talked about being in car accidents and that we have to be belted in. After awhile I noticed that my oldest son who was probably 7 at the time would say to his younger siblings. "We have to belt in or we'll be in an accident!" 

Thanks for reading. I'm having fun thinking of stories from our family to share with everyone. If you think of a story that relates to this topic, feel free to share!  Happy Mother's Day!  Amber

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I Love Boobies

 Hello! Thanks for visiting my new blog, You Can’t Fix 13!

I plan to write about the wonderful and crazy experiences my husband and I have with our kids. They are all approaching, or are in their teen years, and I want to document our stories. I hope you get as much of a kick out of our crazy life, as we do, especially as they grow out of this stage. Eventually, we'll look back and laugh...right?

Here's a recent situation we had with our 13 year old son, Levi:

Levi approached me one day and said, “Mom, I want to use my $4 at the mall.”
"Why?" I asked (hello...he's a boy).
“I don’t want to tell you.”
Again I asked, "Why?"
Naturally, this is where the giggling began.
“Cause you’ll say no.”
"Really?," I asked. "Then why are you laughing?"
“I’m just going to get a bracelet.”

I watched him giggle some more, studying his goofy face and it all became clear. I knew exactly which bracelet he wanted to buy. I remembered that a few weeks ago Levi had text me a message with a signature at the bottom that read…

                                                  I love ( . Y . )

I'll have to admit, it took me a second to figure out what it was. I guess I’m not a connoisseur of boobs. My husband knew right away, but that’s another topic. I text him back, Change your signature right now or you will never see your ipod again!!!!! He’s actually a good kid, smart too. He blamed his older brother right away. Anyway, I told him we’d have a talk when I got home…he and his brother.

Stories like this remind me of when my husband and I first began talking about having kids and how good we’d be at it. I was talking about raising them; he meant the getting pregnant part. Anyway, we knew that we wanted to choose our battles when they got into their teens.  They could get their ear pierced if they wanted. (Jeff didn’t have that privilege. He's pretty sure his dad would’ve ripped it out.) We also didn’t want to freak out if one of the kids spilled something at the dinner table. We’d tell them we love them unconditionally everyday. We thought we'd fight the same battles we fought with our parents, like staying out late, and getting a pair of Guess jeans. But no, Levi wants a bracelet professing his love of boobs and when my older son Caleb was 13, he wanted to wear eyeliner! (Like the older brother on Diary Of a Wimpy Kid).

My how things have changed!

It’s as if they sniff out our concerns, listening to us in our sleep, discovering our fears. How do they know? Levi snuggled up to me the other day, so sweet, and then whispered in my ear, “You’re over-protective, Mom. Other kids have the booby bracelet.” I respond, “You’ll be fine if you don’t get everything you want.” Sounds smart huh? But inside I’m thinking I’m not overprotective, I’m a good mom! But what if I am overprotective and this is a small battle, but it feels like a big one. Why do they always feel big? Why does he snuggle me and then say that? It might be an ambush! Stay strong! Be confident you idiot!

To this day, we continue telling them that we love them no matter what. We try to choose our battles. We even feed them and stuff! Still, they insist on becoming 13. Why? It’s an unlucky number right? I think we should have an extension of 12. You know, age 12X, like the clothing size 6X. We could then  bypass that awkward and sometimes menacing number and move right on to 14.

Yeah right, as if that’s gonna save the day!

Thanks for reading. Blogging is new to me so let me know what you think.   -Amber