Operation: Independence

I needed to get my hair cut, and it’s hard to tell which “I don’t want to” measured higher: I didn’t want to take them with me, and they didn’t want to come.

So we tried an experiment.

“Guys, you get to go on an adventure while I’m getting my hair cut. The grocery store is right next door, and I’m going to let you go inside and choose a treat. One for each of you.”

“Oh, mommy. This is the most best idea ever.”

“I think so too. What rules do you think I have?”

“No running.”
“No screaming.”
“Stay together.”
“No fighting.”

I’d say that just about covers it. I gave Tyler the money in an unexpected choice of responsibility. He raised his eyebrows and looked at me, “Are you kidding me?! No way. Give that responsibility to Tucker.”

We synchronized our watches and we parted ways. They launched into a task of teamwork, budgeting, and independence.

Twenty minutes later, they came to the hair salon with perfect change and a bag of donuts.

They even chose one for me. My favorite kind.

A win on every level.

(Especially since I choose not to think about little hands reaching into bakery showcases, with or without waxed tissue paper.)

All About Perspective

We chose a table in the Playland at McDonalds, and right now I’m wondering how many of my posts over the last eight years have been about McDonalds.

Anyway.  Deal with it.

Our table was in the corner, next to the window that looks into the other part of the restaurant, the part where grownups eat.

Tyler sat between me and the window.  He could see the wall menu, the countertop, employees, people in line, and the Redbox.  And there was a big  X over the window, a metal reinforcement just in case things in the Playland got unruly.

Tyler gazed out the window and said, “Oh, look at the view!”

“The view?”

“Yes!  Oh, look what I can see from here!”

And then in a dreamy voice that most of us reserve for the Swiss Alps, he said, “I could look at this view for days…”

Tyler, you delight me.  O, to see the world as you do.  Even just for one day.

Two Dads Leg Wrestling

“Mommy, I don’t want two daddies.”

“Buddy, I’m not going to marry two men.”

“But you already married one.”

“And he’s in heaven, which means it is okay if I marry again.”

“And when you marry again, I will have two dads.”

“One in heaven and one here, though. Not two here.”

“It’s still two! I want one!” He folds his arms, raises his voice.

It is a lot to wrap your mind around, buddy. I’m sorry about that. You’re six. It’s a lot to process.”

“What will happen in heaven, when we are all together? Who will be my dad then?”

“Everything is different in heaven, lovey. It’s not the way we understand it here. We will have them both, and they will have us.”

He pauses thoughtfully. Brainstorming. Problem solving.

“Well, maybe they will leg wrestle to see who gets us. I think that’s what will happen.”


He is a master of blame.


It was my fault when he couldn’t eat all of his noodles.

It was my fault when he didn’t have enough noodles.

It was my fault when he stepped in dog poop in the yard.

It was my fault when his training wheels were too high.

It was my fault when his seat belt was too tight.

It was my fault when he left his bike in the yard overnight.


But this… this one?  Oh, this one is his best yet.


“Mommy, did you eat cake at your wedding?”


“Yes, I did.  And it was a beautiful and delicious cake.”


“And did you eat cake while you were pregnant with Tucker?”




“So, would you say you ate junk food while you were growing a baby?”


What is this, a deposition? “Yes, you could definitely say that I did.”


“I think that’s why Tucker has asthma.  It’s because you ate junk food while he was growing inside you.”


Listen, pal.  The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles just referred to DNA in this morning’s episode, and I thank them for the softball lead into this discussion.  Asthma is in our family, in our DNA.  Poppa has it, Uncle Rob has it, now Tucker has it.  No, I don’t know why Uncle Rob has it and I don’t; I don’t know why Tucker has it and Tyler doesn’t.  DNA, kiddo.


And if you’re interested in looking thoroughly at the effects of junk food in one’s diet, then we can begin experimenting with yours.  Beginning today.




Oh, the Irony.

Max likes to climb up onto the back of the couch.  It’s very catlike.  But he’s not catlike.  Or he would not live here.


“Mommy,” says Tyler, “I really don’t think you should let Max climb up there.”


“Well, I have to choose my battles with him, and that’s one I feel like I’m okay with.”


“But he could fall off the back of the couch.  He could get very hurt.”


“And you know, kiddo, sometimes that’s the hard thing about loving someone who belongs to you.  Sometimes you just have to let them do what they’re going to do, even if they might get hurt.”


He lowers his eyebrows at my poor judgment.  I’ve just failed some kind of responsibility test.


“Well, I don’t think that’s a very good idea at all.  Not. At. All.”


Oh, the irony.