Category Archives: Wes

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Hugging it Out

This one. Man. He’s been our most challenging one FOR SURE. We had the Terrible Twos that lasted from age Two to age 5 and 2’ish months. Then we entered the period of life I like to call “Normal Insane Boy” where he was by NO MEANS “easy” but he wasn’t spitting in my face in hotel hallways or kicking me as I carried him screaming out of school assemblies.

So: NORMAL INSANE BOY. Not: DEMON FROM PRESCHOOL HELL.

But the funny thing is he is – by far – the sweetest of my kids. And I mean that in the Hallmark definition of the word. He’s just sweet. He loves to cuddle, to snuggle, to give kisses and be loved. He adores babies and pets and has had to “disciplined” for giving too many hugs as teachers like to avoid the passing of the germs.

So it’s always been an funny dichotomy. The one I could trust to hug me when I needed it was also the one who would spit in my face if I told him he could watch TV.

But! We’ve been in “NORMAL” for over a year now so it’s more likely that he’ll break a dish kicking soccer ball in the house than he’ll kick me in the shins for no reason. YAY! for Normal!

But lately we’re back to some of our old anger issues. That was the one we dealt with the most during the Terror Years. Because – obviously – it was anger motivating him to hit/kick/spit on me…so that was what we talked about the most. What to do when we feel that anger.

And while he’s not gone back to that behavior – he still has some tantrums that are rooted in anger. So I’m dusting off some of my old calming techniques and reminders to help him cope with the feeling as it comes to him.


Take a deep breath.
It’s okay to be angry.
It’s NOT okay to take that anger out on people or objects or pets.
Are you able to talk about what makes you angry?
If you can’t yet. Take some more breaths.
Now can you tell me? Why are you angry?
Do you know what makes me angry sometimes?
(Insert random thing that gives me Rage Blackouts here. He likes to know it’s not just him.)
Do you need to squeeze a pillow or scream?
Do you need a hug?

That last part. That was the one that helped the most during the terror years. So much so that now, when he’s really having a bad day, he’ll come to me and just ask for a hug and I will oblige no matter what. I can’t remember who suggested it (I got a lot of personal stories during the Terror Years and I tried everything from all of them) but I often reminded him that if he needed attention he could just ask for it. I’d love to give him hugs if he asked. So he started doing that and it’s the callback item that he returns to the most.

Yesterday he was having an emotional day. Sometimes he wakes up with foot cramps and when his sleep is disrupted his mood worsens (like me) and he cries with very mild stimuli. Yesterday was one of those days and several times he said to me weepily, “Can I just have a hug?”

I’m glad he still feels comfortable doing that. His sister has even started it. I want them to always ask for a hug if they need it because that was what calmed me the most in my anxiety growing up – a hug from my Dad. It’s what I miss the now that he’s gone. I hope the hugs will always be a Go To when they’re facing stress.

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Wrong Foot, Indeed.

I misread the orientation cards for my kids and thought Wesley’s was at 5pm last night and Nikki’s was at 5:30pm. Once I realized what I had done I tried to find help but it was 5pm and that’s a little bit late to get anyone to come save you from that kind of error.

So, I sat down the kids and told them I would spend a little bit of time with Wes’s teacher because I know who she is and Nikki was in First Grade two years ago so there’s probably not too much that has changed. Then, we would go to Third Grade where Nikki had the new teacher and this was a new year.

And of course, Wes started sobbing.

I was pretty close to sobbing too.

TL;DR – Everything worked out fine. No one is permanently scarred.

photo (4)HOWEVER, in years past the orientation has been a little more detailed. Teachers had “formal” type presentations where they discussed everything from schedules to technology to homework. That’s what we were all expecting. So, to have to miss some of that by walking out early stressed out Wes and upset him terribly. Nikki didn’t feel that awesome about me being late to hers either, but she didn’t cry because at least she got the longer portion of the evening.

And I felt FANTASTIC. We all start the school year happy for a fresh start. THIS year will be the BEST, right? We will do things differently! Be organized! Volunteer more! I mean, until I found out how much out of pocket cash you have to spend, I was thinking about maybe even being room Mom this year!

Alas, we started off a bit off track. Which tends to make a person feel pretty crappy about the future.

The good news? We went to Wes’s classroom early and she told us that nothing formal was supposed to be going on. Teachers this year were just introducing and helping put up school supplies. Nothing major. That way no one had to panic about overlapping times or inability to come due to work. So, in reality? We didn’t miss anything from either class.

But MAN. How crappy did I feel? And I can’t even change anything to make sure that doesn’t happen again. I swear I read that card 100 times. But once you read it wrong ONCE, you read it the SAME WAY every time, evidently. I even “double checked” the times several time. The best I can think is that my brain was still looking at the Kindergarten time instead of First Grade even though I know he’s starting First Grade.

SO! Today is our first day of school! I’m hoping my screw-up at last night’s orientation is not indicative of the year to come!

Now – tell me YOUR stories of starting off on the wrong foot, just to make me feel better.

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My Dearest Wesley,

This morning I attended a Valentine’s Day/Book Fair breakfast with you and your sister at your school. Being in that environment with you reminded me of one of your favorite qualities and I’m not sure I’ve every written about it.

You, my son, are what I am calling a Compulsive Greeter.

If you see someone you know, you MUST say, “Hello!” to them. It’s entertained me before as sometimes you’re quite persistent. I’ve seen you holler at your favorite teachers across the lunchroom SEVERAL times until they finally hear that you’re trying to say, “Hello!” to them. You say good morning to the teacher that helps you out of the car every day, you say hello to friends walking by the van, you say hello to teachers as you walk into school.

Just this morning, on our walk into school, you greeted parent volunteer and a member of the custodial staff, BOTH BY NAME.

I am inherently shy and introverted and get VERY nervous in social situations. However, I have learned that REALLY trying to learn people’s names and greeting them accordingly helps relax me a little. And here you come by that naturally! It’s such an easy and smooth thing for you to do and I have had to teach myself and it STILL stresses me out!

It just warms my heart so much. I’m worried this is something you’ll grow out of, as you may start to realize other children don’t do it, but I really hope you don’t. I hope you carry that trait forever because you need to understand how much it warms the hearts of others to be greeted by name, with a smile.

Especially a smile as beautiful as yours.

Love you,
Mom

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Wesley Has Had A Good Week.

He Got To Cut His Hair! (Sort of.)

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He’s been wanting to shave his head so we let him cut his hair first. He thought it was hysterical. I even played around some (hence the bottom left picture) before Donnie finally cleaned it all up with a buzzcut. Super Adorbs!

And then…he’s had some AWESOME moments this week. Moments that I document on Facebook for friends and family, but I realized I needed to put them here to so I can read them when he’s 16 and being grounded for sneaking out in the middle of the night.

Wesley’s Adorability As Told Via Facebook Statuses This Week

Wes came to me wrapped in a towel to show me his haircut and I said, “It looks great! Now you need to take a bath to wash the hair off.”

He stared at me silently for a good solid beat and said, “I literally JUST took a bath. I’m still wet. THIS IS WHY I’M WEARING A TOWEL.”

I cried, I laughed so hard. I mean, I did kinda ask for it…

(And yes…that is a DIRECT quote. He even raised his voice when I used all caps. IT WAS BEAUTIFUL.)

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Donnie and I were struggling for clarification from Wesley this morning, one of those moments where we weren’t sure we were hearing what we thought we were hearing. As we were laughing Wesley exasperatingly said:

“Like…right now! You’re laughing! You’re crapping up!”

Once I calmed down I explained to him that I was “CRACKING” up. Not “CRAPPING” up…which is an entirely different thing that is NOT a laughing matter.

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“100 + ground beef = 100 and ground beef.”

Complex math from Wesley.

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Dear Neighborhood,
Let’s all pretend we didn’t hear the loud voice coming from my house saying, “No, sir! You are five years old! You wipe your OWN butt! I am not helping you!”

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Wes got up early and was playing a game next to me by my desk while I worked. When I got up to make some more coffee he said, “Don’t worry, Mom! I’ll save your seat!”

No coworker ever offered to save my seat when I got up for coffee working in an office. Working from home definitely has it’s perks.

And One Tweet…

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On Death And Eyelashes…

As an atheist I’m very pragmatic about the way I talk to my kids about death. We talk about how my Dad was cremated and how I want to be cremated too. We talk about how once we’re dead our bodies are useless so PaPaw didn’t want his body being stored in a coffin somewhere and I talk about how I don’t want my body taking up space on the planet anywhere.

So…periodically the kids just like to talk about “when we set our bodies on fire” or “when we burn our dead bodies” because they find the whole thing morbidly fascinating. The other night the conversation went like this:

Nyoka: I think I want my body to be set on fire too and you can throw my ashes into the ocean so I can be eaten by sharks.

Me: The term is “cremated” – but even if we did that – the sharks wouldn’t eat your ashes. Your ashes would just probably dissolve and you’d just be part of the ocean ecosystem…EVERYWHERE. That would be kinda cool.

Nyoka: What do you want us to do with your ashes?

Me: I don’t care. I’ll be dead. If you all have something special you WANT to do with them, go for it. I don’t want you to keep them, but I also don’t care if you just flush them down the toilet.

Wesley: When I die, I want my eyelashes flushed down the toilet so I can become part of everyone’s poop.

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