That’s So Old School

Recently my older son had a sleep over.  As his buddies were munching on pancakes the next morning they were “talkin trash” and comparing notes on a variety of topics–homework (boring), Brian Urlacher (totally cool), and girls (hot).  They were so funny (except for the “hot” comments – which strode somewhere between hilarious and nervewracking) – spouting opinions about this and that.  I just listened and kept making pancakes while they chattered away.

At one point a lull in the converstaion came.  To break the silence my older son said “Remember when we used to play Guitar Hero?”  This is the Wii game that has been all the rage for the last year, in case you haven’t heard of it (i.e. live under a rock).  It involves “playing” a guitar along with a band on screen – if you get the hand movements right along with the chosen song you get cheered on by the crowd, your band fees go up, and you get to go on tours.  If you don’t do so well parts of the song fade out, you get boo-ed, and you don’t make money with your band.  There are multiple versions of it now available.

I resisted the urge to break in with “You mean like 3 days ago?” while I poured batter on to the hot griddle.  I kept quiet to see what would be said next.  I wasn’t disappointed.

“Yeah” answered one of his guests.

“Yeah,” my son said, “that’s so old school!”  He shoved another big forkload of syrupy pancake into his mouth while his buddies nodded their agreement.

I couldn’t resist any more.  I put down my spatula and leaned against the counter.  “Son, what do you mean by ‘old school’?”

He looked up at me with his sweet freckled face and said “You know, Mom… been there ,done that…”

“Oh.  I see.”  I turned around and tried to stifle my laughter.  Where do they come up with this stuff?  This feined ennui and sophisticated boredom – at ten?  Heaven help us!

Old Tummy

Recently I had an appointment with the doctor and I had to bring my youngest son with me.  While we were waiting (not so patiently) in the examination room, I leaned back on the examination table and my son (who of course insisted on sitting right next to me on the examination table) flopped across my middle and then lifted my shirt up to reveal my tummy.

     “No zerberts,” I told him, hoping to avoid the obnoxious raspberry sounds.

“Mommy,” he said as he looked up to my face. “Your tummy is old.”  He ran his fingers over my stretch marks.  “You have wrinkles on your belly!”  His face was all amazement and wonder.

     “Yes,” I said “I got those when I carried you in my belly, silly.” 

He appeared to consider this for a moment, then asked… “Do they hurt?”

     I sighed.  “Only when you talk about them.”

Here’s to all of the Moms out there with stretch marks and “old” bellies.  You wear badges of honor, ladies!!!

Pride In His Work

My youngest son has recently joined Cub Scouts.  Wolf Scouts to be specific.  He is thrilled to join the den and I am thrilled that he has an avenue through which he may make some friends outside of Occupational therapy sessions.

He loves the Cub Scout uniform shirt, he loves the idea of camping, but he is especially fascinated with the idea of earning badges (I guess this ties in pretty well with all of those behavioral positive reinforcement charts we’ve had over the years).  So, every couple of nights we look through the Wolf book and complete a few of the badge requirements. 

“Let’s go to my work now, Mommy.”

     “Your work, Sweetie?”

“My Wolf work, Mommy.  I need some badges!”

So we work on earning some badges.  The first was the “Family Fun” badge, then the “Duty to God” badge.  Accomplishing these requirements is a source of great pride for my son.  In a world where he is usually labeled as “behind” and “delayed”, where play dates are superceded by therapy sessions, and where he is starting to realize that there are significant differences between him and his typical peers, he has found a place where he can earn tokens of accomplishment just like other kids.  Tokens that mean something to his typical peers.  Tokens that show he can participate in their world.  These are a big deal, my friend.  They are proof that he belongs.  

As we mark off each item, he supervises my signature on each line to make sure I get it right.  “Very good letters, Mommy,” he says, repeating the phrase that we parrot night after night, encouraging him to mind his handwriting while he does his school homework.

The night that he finished these two badge requirements he made sure he included a report in his bedtime prayers… “I earned two badges God!  I did (what were they Mommy?)… I did the Fun badge and my Duty to you badge!  Are you proud of me, God?”

I think my son is proud of his work… and God is proud of HIS work, too.

The Folk School

OK – I have something to confess.  I love to prowl craft fairs and look at all of the beautiful handcrafted items.  Wooden spoons, needlepointed rugs, felted purses, paintings, corcheted Christmas ornaments, stained glass windows, knitted sweaters…  I dream of these things in my home, gracing my table, worn around my shoulders, feeling the wonderful textures… I admit it – I am a crafts junkie.

I also like to make stuff.  I especially like to feel like I accomplished something.  I MADE something.  Something with my hands.  That is so COOL!  Look what I did!  I need a creative outlet to help me feel balanced, especially after marathon doctor’s appointments and therapy sessions, IEP meetings and support group debates.  It helps me keep my sense of humor.

But I don’t really know how to do much that is “crafty”.  I can knit and crochet a little…  I can sew patches onto my son’s knee-holed jeans and turn pants into shorts (what is it with little boys and wearing out the knees in all their pants?).  I can do needlepoint.  I’ve sewn curtains and lined drapes and pillows.  I can hot glue felt onto a mask for a Halloween costume… but something of significant quality?  Not really.

But soon I’ll be able to say “Look what I did… and some people charge $500 for something like this.”

My friend Ms L and I are enrolled in a December weekend class at the John C. Campbell Folk School in North Carolina.  The Folk School “offers year-round weeklong and weekend classes for adults in craft, art, music, dance, cooking, gardening, nature studies, photography and writing.”  How cool is that?  We are going to learn how to make a “Rug in a Tub” – a felted wool rug made using a wading pool or bathtub.  We are like little kids waiting for Christmas – so excited and full of great expectations.  What sort of design should we create?  Colors?  Where will we use our rugs? 

I can’t wait to share pictures of our adventures – and our rugs! 

Meanwhile, check it out–I’ve put a link to the Folk School under “Food, Entertaining, Crafts…” in the sidebar.  Lots of classes to choose from!  I’ve also put in a link to another friend’s blog (“Felt Like Knitting…”) – one who can really do some beautiful needlework.  She makes me jealous!

Mommy Comparison

My older son (typical kid) has a good friend (R) who lives in the house behind ours (or we live behind them, as he pointed out to me recently).  These boys are inseparable.  They are best friends and they talk about everything that may be on their minds.

One evening at the dinner table my son wanted to tell us about a conversation they had had that very afternoon.  It was one of those good natured conversations where they start to compare things in their lives to see who had it “better” than the other.

My son started with “We were talking about how R’s Mommy is prettier than you.  She is really pretty,” he declared.  He looked a bit smug.  I think I raised an eyebrow followed by a slight cringe as I imagined what might next come out of his mouth.

My husband looked ready to intervene in order to salvage my ego when my son continued with “Yeah, but we agreed that my Mommy could heavy punch his Mommy.” 

He sat back with a grin on his face and I saw all the pride shining in his eyes.  My cup runneth over.

Well, I thought, what more do you need to know?

Pretty is as pretty does… in a young boy’s mind at least.

Note to my gentle readers: No, I do not “heavy punch” people.  I don’t think I’ve thrown a punch in my entire adult life (although I may have tried to punch one of my brothers at some point when we were kids… I don’t remember it but I admit it is possible).  I do not advocate punching people nor pets nor trees nor anything.  Punching is violence and punching is bad, unless you are being attacked in which case please don’t not punch just to be polite.  Punch and scream and kick and yell and get away.  There – did I cover it all?