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