Sunday, October 31, 2010

Preserving the Past: She Shot the Dog

I've always had a fond appreciation for listening tentatively to the stories of previous generations. I feel strongly that to be a good steward, we must record these stories to pass on to future generations for the purpose of learning valuable lessons from our wise ancestors.

It is because of this obligation that I am sharing this family story with you now.

But if you know my grandmother, don't you DARE tell her! Afterall, she doesn't even really understand 'the interwebs', let alone know I'm talking about her on here...

"Last night, I was sitting on the couch next to Papaw and when I got up to leave, he shuffeled his feet to the side in a funny way. Now he's done this a thousand times, but this time it just struck me as funny. When I laughed, a little wind slipped out. You know, when you get older those things just happen. Anyway, it was so loud that the dog jumped off the couch and ran off, scared to death. Papaw looked at me in complete surprise and said, "Well, Cotton, you shot my dog!" Honey, I have laughed about that harder than I've laughed in years!"

And now you understand where I get my sense of humor...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Bright Future...

On Thursday, I told you about Bonus' little 'incident' in the cafeteria and how they apparently don't take kindly to the deafening sound that is made by crushing a milk carton in the cafeteria.

Seriously, they should live with him. That. Is. Nothing.

His teacher had already warned me that he hadn't returned the Here's-How-Screwed-Up-Your-Child-Is note, so I was completely prepared when he got off the bus.

Me: (In my most obnoxious mom tone.) "Hey Babe! How was school?!"

Bonus: (Staring at the ground.) "Um, good. It was a good day."

Me: "So, no problems we need to talk about?"

Bonus: "Um, nope. Not a thing. Nothing. Nope. Not at all."

Yeah, the kid can't lie to save his life. So we came home, I showed him his NEW! SHOES! I had purchased him since he'd had such a GREAT! WEEK! AT! SCHOOL! He did his homework so he could get ICE! CREAM! for being SO! GOOD! THIS! WEEK! Yet not once did he crack. He's either got a future in the CIA or he'll be in prison...

In fact, he even made it all the way to the car (where he spilled a milk and blamed it on Deuce even though he wasn't even IN THE CAR YET) before the game ended. By then, my patience had grown thin and I sent him to his room where I proceeded to lay it on thick.

Me: "Bonus, you know that when you LIE you get in MUCH WORSE TROUBLE than when you tell the TRUTH. Right?!"

Bonus: "Yeah."

Me: "And you LIED to me about spilling the milk. Didn't you?"

Bonus: "Yeah."

Me: "So if you have LIED about anything ELSE, I would suggest you tell me about it NOW because if I find out LATER it will be BAAAAAAAD. Is there anything you want to TELL ME NOW?"

Bonus: "Um... Nope."

Me: *sigh*

So I left him in there for a few more days, er minutes, and he finally caved.

He walked out with this:

My favorite part is the false start on the A.

That kid has a future, I tell ya...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Instilling Guilt is Apparently My Parental Gift

First grade has brought with it a few challenges to say the least. We've had a lot of new 'slams' thrown toward Deuce, some fancy eye-rolling when asked to do something and a frightening amount of lying. Considering Bonus received the Integrity Award last year for being the ONLY child in class to never tell a lie, this is quite a disheartening change.

I realize every kid lies. I know I tried to pull a few fast ones over on my parents a time or two but we have a zero-tolerance policy on lying.

Today I received a call from his teacher.

Yeah, those are always fun. There is nothing heavier than the weight in your stomach when you see the school name on your caller ID.

Apparently, after finishing his milk yesterday in the cafeteria, he proceeded to stomp the carton flat causing a sound so loud the entire lunchroom fell silent.

Yes, I laughed out loud when she told me this.

He was written up for this little stunt and was told to bring home the note for me to sign. Naturally, I never saw this note.

When the teacher asked about it today, he told her I hadn't seen it. (Which is the truth.) But when she explained that I had to sign it and he had to return it, he apparently went pale.

Bonus: "What does she need to write on it?"

The teacher: "She has to sign her name."

Bonus: "You mean, A.M.Y.? Because that's how she spells it..."

*You can smell the smoke from there, can't you?*

He has yet to mention the note and every question about school has been returned with a 'yeah, I'm doing GREAT!' response. So this evening I have been instilling as much guilt as possible; because that's what moms do best.

Right now we are going for ice cream because he has had such a GREAT! WEEK! and because he is such a GOOD! BOY! and because he hasn't had ANY! PROBLEMS! AT! SCHOOL!

But tomorrow morning, when I'm putting him on the bus and kissing him bye, I will whisper in his ear, "I know about the note from your school..."

And it will be a loooong weeeekend.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dambit, I say...

About a month ago, Dorkfish sent me an email and in it, he spelled 'damn' as 'damb'. Being the astute journalist I am, (snort) I picked up on it immediately but decided it was because the 'bad word' filter at work was too stringent. (Yes, I completely made up this scenario to put my mind at ease over his typo.)

Then he did it again.

And again.

Finally, after the third 'damb' I asked him over dinner why he was spelling it that way. He put his fork down, looked at me with a perplexed expression, and said, "Because that's how you spell it."

*blink, blink*

Oh yes, my friends. My husband who is one of the smartest people I know had decided that 'damn' was actually 'DAMB'...

So of course I decided to let that one go. I certainly would never tell all of our mutual friends, make jokes on facebook, or use 'damb' in a sentence so frequently that it has become part of my vocabulary.



So now, almost every mutual friend is saying, "Damb" or "Dambit" on a daily basis. But what I wasn't prepared for was the reaction from our own two 'filters' at home.

Driving home from dinner last week, Bonus says, "It's already bed time?! Dambit." After I choked on my gum, I said, "Shhhhh, we don't say that word!" to which my very astute six year old says, "But I put a B in it."

Yes, I may have peed a little.

But yesterday is when it all came to a head. While being forced to clean their room, Deuce mumbled something under his breath. I turned the corner just as Bonus was preparing his speech to throw his brother under the bus, "MOMMA!!! Deuce just said a bad word!" Expecting another 'dambit', I sighed and said, "Okay, Bonus, what did he say?" Bonus looks at me with excitement knowing he gets a free shot at repeating it and says, "Fuck." Stumbling back, I glared at Deuce and said, "We don't use that kind of language, young man!" That's when my sweet, little, doe-eyed four year old looked up at me, shrugged his shoulders and said, "But I put a B in it..."

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Clip-ons Are for Wimps

It would seem that I have a complete mental block on most school-related urgencies in regard to my children. (You may remember a few months ago, we had the where-in-the-hell-does-all-your-lunch-money-go epiphany.) Yes, I thought you might...

Well now Deuce has started preschool and it would seem that my complete lack of regard for all things date related applies to his preschool as well.

On Friday, we were walking out the door when I finally noticed how homeless the child looked. His 'Harleyson David' (Harley Davidson for the grammatically correct reader) t-shirt that his grandfather has graciously supplied him with for the past two years, was apparently one of the first he received. All that kid needed was a pack of candy cigarettes rolled up in the sleeve to complete the look. But the t-shirt was only part of the story, sadly. The hair, which I choose to keep long because he has an awesome 'surfer guy' look, was in desperate need of a brushing. There was a cowlick in the front and an 'Alfafa' in the back. But naturally, we were running late so I assured myself that the teachers had seen him looking cute before, so we could pull it off just this once.

That's when it always happens, right moms?!...

We walk in the classroom and apparently every other mom remembered it was picture day.


All the little girls have bows in their hair and dresses on; the boys are sporting gel in their unmanageable hair. Hell, I didn't even recognize most of these kids! Then Deuce immediately spies some asshole wearing a tie and begins to pout.

Me: "Baby, what's wrong?!"

Deuce: "He's wearing a tie, mom. I wanna tie!"

Me: "But honey, you don't own a tie....and that's a clip-on anyway. No one likes clip-ons... How about we go home and I iron you a nice shirt for you?!"

Deuce: "No. I want a tie. Can I wear one of Daddy's ties?"

Me: "Baby, if daddy hadn't given away all of his old ties, I would go home and put one on you! But we don't have a tie. So how about the Harleyson David shirt?! It looks much tougher..."

Deuce: "Yeah, I guess the tie looks dumb on him anyway."


I've never been happier to hear my child chastise the clothing options of another.

Yet I don't think the teacher believed me when I lied and said he chose that outfit for picture day...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Neighbor Called It 'Darwinism'

This morning's pee was interrupted by the sound of blood-curdling screams coming from the driveway. Barely getting my pants back up and not bothering with the button, I sprinted out back to exactly what I expected to find. Deuce had gotten in the fire ant nest for the THIRD DAY IN A ROW and had already received four bites.

Coming to the rescue was Bonus...with a water hose.

Because apparently soaking your brother whose shoes are still covered in ants will solve the problem.

Or make mom's head spin in circles.

Either way, I give up.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Two...sometimes it is the loneliest number.

I woke up yesterday morning and my first thought, which is generally, "What was that thud?!" was instead, "Two years ago today was the last time I spoke to you." I have to admit, that might be the worst wake-up I've ever experienced. I guess I had assumed that the first year without you would be the hardest, but it would appear that this two-year anniversary of ours is proving to be the most difficult.

Words cannot express the emptiness I feel when the memories grab me. The pain is almost as fresh as the day I found you. Although in truth, this pain must be greater, as I have now grasped the realization that you are gone. I fight to keep these memories with me, but sometimes they hurt too much. Some days, like today, I want to forget, if only for a moment, so I can enjoy watching Deuce try and ride his bike without training wheels. (I hope you watched that hot mess from heaven. I know you would have laughed if you had been here.)

I do cherish these fleeting memories that sneak in when least expected. This morning, I suddenly remembered the picnic we shared at Norris Lake, sitting on a red and white table cloth. I believe I was about six. If I close my eyes tightly, I can still see you pulling the fried chicken out of the antique picnic basket you had gotten from your grandmother; a leg for each of us. I can feel the warmth of the sun; see the yellow marks on our hands from pressing the dandelions into our palms. I cannot remember the conversation we shared, but I'm sure it was hilarious. We always had a well-matched wit.

I think that is what I have missed the most these past two years. I miss our laughter. I miss our inside jokes that would anger Mams to the point of calling us "Assheads"...and the giggles that we shared for years over that. I miss being able to tell you the profanity that my sons were spouting and admitting that I told everyone they learned it from you. But I can still hear you say, "Dammit, Amy. Now I can never go to grandparents day!"

On my last trip to Knoxville, I stopped by your grave. I laid a rose there since I always brought you flowers.

The boys watched from a distance as I spoke softly to a piece of granite of how I miss you. They danced around the headstones, as kids do, to give us space. When I had said my peace, with tears streaming, Deuce came over and sat on my knee.

"Momma," he said in the softest voice a four year old can muster, "Do you miss Nana?" Looking him in the eyes, I said, "Yes, baby. I do miss her so very much." He looked down at the rose and said, "Momma, I wish I could bring Nana back." "Deuce, I would love to have her back, but she is in a much better place," I told him with my voice cracking. He put his soft little hand on my cheek, brushed a tear away and said, "Momma, I miss Nana more than you." Smiling, I asked, "Baby, do you remember Nana?" Deuce grinned and said, "Nope." Then ran off to play.

It was at that moment I realized, thankfully, that Deuce has our sense of humor.

I love you, forever.