May 29, 2009

Counting is Private

Two helicopters. One flew out of Tristan's hands and ended up under the edge of the car seat where he couldn't reach it. Howls of protest flew through the air like a flush of bats waking up to feed.

One helicopter. Three propeller blades. It all added up to five.

"One two fwee foh five."

I tuned back in from my Happy Place where I had been ignoring the flapping bat howls.

"Fwee foh five."

Oh the singing joy in a mommy's heart when her little adorable angel child learns to count.

Cue harps. Cue Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Release doves. Cue big sunshine beam cutting through clouds. Hint of blue sky appears.

Like any devoted mother who has a loving and caring bond with her child, I felt compelled to engage in this moment. My child can COUNT!!!

So, I say, "One... two... three... four... five.... YAY TRISTAN!"

And he says, "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! No Mommy!"

Cue big record needle scratching over Mormon Tabernacle Choir.


"No say that. Mommy."

"Oh, okay, sorry."

He continues, "One two fwee foh five sex seben eight nine ten leben twelb."

Wow. I can't help myself, so I add "thirteen fourteen..."

"NOOOOOOOOOOOO! Fohteen TWO. Mommy."

He goes back to counting to five with an occasional "fourteen two" thrown in at the end. When he reaches five I cheer for him. When he reaches ten I do another "yay Tristan!" Finally he can't stand it anymore and indicates I should cease and desist cheering. "No. Me!"

I try to take comfort in the fact that he's his own cheering section which is a great metaphor for life because sometimes as an adult YOU might be the only fan you have. But seriously, buddy, you're two. How much self-esteem can you pack into that little body of yours?

I purse my lips and keep driving. He counts some more, then cheers at the end. After the fourth or fifth time I ask, "Can I cheer now?"


When we got to daycare he flops his head over to the side, pretending to be asleep so I'd carry him in. Usually I just tickle him "awake" but today thought it would be funny for us to play a joke on the daycare lady. When she came over to take him he held out her arms and went to her right away. No protests, no calling out for me, no whining about me leaving him.

My littlest boy can count to twelve and doesn't mind leaving me to stay at the sitter's all day. A few days ago my oldest boy graduated from kindergarten, complete with cap, gown, pomp and circumstance. Apparently we're on an express lane to adulthood with no exits, no rest stops. Everyone warned me and I have been hearing it, but I think you don't really get it until you have a day like this in which a simple thing like counting is suddenly private.

I'll wake up tomorrow and it will be time for driving tests and prom, secret smokes and girlie pictures hidden under the mattress. I like the idea of freezing time somewhere between the boys being fully potty trained and becoming obnoxious backtalkers.

The saying we've all heard goes like this, "If you love something, set it free; if it returns it's yours forever, if not it was never meant to be." So, to hedge my bets I'm making sure the pantry is good and stocked. They may not be thrilled to come back and see their old mom, but what young man can resist the lure of free food?


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Awwww, how could they resist with a mom who sounds as fab as you?!

    Congrats on the Blog of Note, I've found a hundred posts already that have had me in stitches :o)

    B x

    you'll never guess what my 'word verification' word is! 'pinises' apt.

  3. hi! i'm allee. i just wanted to comment to tell you that I love your blog. I read it everytime you update. Its most the time hilarious and all the time inspirational. i thought i would let you kno that. hope you blog more soon!


  4. YAY Tristan! Hopefully he won't mind my cheering through the blogosphere...

  5. Allee, tried to come over and comment on your blog, but your comments are broken or something.

    Funnyrunner: I won't tell him. :)

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Okay, I just found your blog a couple of days ago. I am a SAHM who is also a student, who is on a break and has loads of time on her hands (until the kids get out of school). I have been reading your current and archived blogs and I adore your stories! I wish I had your talent for writing and I strangely feel connected to you. I have three girls ranging from 20 years old to 7 years old, but the stories with your boys, husband, and mother all resonate with my walk in one way or another. I have laughed, not just oh...that's funny, but belly laughed on almost all of the posts that I've read. I've teared up. I've emailed friends who I think would appreciate your blog for all it is worth. So, thanks for blogging & sharing your brilliant writing skills, I am hooked!
    -from one Wendy to another :)

  8. Great post, and you sure are right about how they grow so fast and learn so much. I just posted about similar stuff but fast forward about 10 years. Good point how they will be coming home for food. Mine do high fives and YESSSSSS! when they hear I am making some fave food for dinner.

  9. Sproglet, boy they know this blog, don't they??

    Mamapeas... where is your blog? Your profile is set as private! Email me, please if you see this!

  10. Aargh, so true! My two year-old will be three in a few weeks, and the other day somebody said, "Wow, he'll start kindergarten in two years." I almost punched her. That is my BABY.

    And my 8 year-old, well, she is like practically ready for her own apartment. [sniff]

    But yay Tristan for counting! Even if it does bring him one step closer to prom night.

  11. They surely do, it's the penis posts that give me the most joy! I'd love to be a fly on the wall in your house ha ha!

  12. Don't forget to keep stocked up on Laundry soap!!
    I got all sad today cause my baby (almost 3) wore underwear to daycare today!!

  13. I'm so glad you said that about free food luring them back home. (And getting to do laundry for free, AZ Mommy. Also true.)

    That makes me feel better. Plus they're all already fighting over who gets the house when their dad and I are gone. So that's good, right?

  14. You are so right on...funny how quickly they become their own individual person. At 3 they think they're just fine without the help of mom or dad!

  15. Don't you know that mommy is not allowed to steal her boy's thunder? lol Too cute. :) And, you're right, they'll be all grown up before you know it. ~sigh~


  16. Salman, you are a turd.

    That is all.

  17. My little boy is 27. For Mother's Day my card read-To Mommy from your little boy.

    Be blessed.

    You don't want to know about 12 to 24 yet.

  18. I have to tell you that I LOVE your blog! Last night I laughed so hard, my daughter woke up to tell me "stop having a laughing attack mommy!" and then I cried!
    I have forwarded your blog to every person I know.
    :) mb

  19. I love it too. It helps keep flying. Check on me:

  20. Greetings from across the pond! ^-^
    stumbled on your blog on Blogs of Note, thought it was hilarious so Followed. You are an excellent writer with an apt for humour stories. Your kids sound awesome - the counting and cat stories especially <3
    Keep up the brilliant work

  21. You are as wise as a sage...
    Boys will always visit if the house is stocked with food and pop. AND...
    The ping pong table can still be used. And if the TV is bigger than the one they have at their place. Oh, and either the Nintendo Wii or Xbox 360 is hooked up.

    We see our 21 and 18 year old all the time, as well as all their friends.

    We love it.

  22. Yep, ya blink and ya miss the whole bloody lot and they have grown in a blink of an eye....


  23. Hey Wendy! Congrats on Blog of Note! I have a feeling that Small Town Snapshot Sunday is about to go crazy!! I knew everyone would be on to you soon!! Happy Weekend. (Love Tristan's attitude! Wait until he is 16, Mom!)

  24. It does go way too fast. I look at my oldest (who is now 4) and thing about how it seems like just yesterday we brought her home from the hospital and looked at her like, "ok, now what?"

  25. Wendy,

    Not related to your post, but 356 followers? You go girl. I can say I followed way back when.


  26. lol, your log is cool, i like it.

    Oh, and people PLEASE come check out mine, and follow if you'd like

  27. Hey wendy!

    Awwsum blog! The way you write and the whole mood makes even the simplest of the incidents seem to be so important (I am sure they are)... I am only a student right now so havnt got into the PARENTING thing but the whole thing is sooooo cute i can texpress in words, i've read the all the posts of this year in just 1 day! i came upon ur blog the day before, and cant get off my seat! way to go!
    keep posting!
    (I'll be stalking you for more blogs ;) ).

  28. Oh. My 21 mo old twanged my heartstrings this week and today yours did, too.

    I was rinsing his hair and he very gently laid his hand on my wrist and calmly said, "Please, don't." Okay, now what? If I said that, I would expect him to listen.

    I explained. He seemed resigned. I continued. How long will that work, I wonder.

  29. aww.."fwee foh five" that's so cute! reading ur post makes me want to wish for little boys of my own...i am not a parent yet and wouldn't be so anytime soon, but i still can feel the truth of the saying 'being a parent is like having your heart go walking around outside your body.'

  30. Oy vey its going crazy in here! Congratulations, its true what they are all saying.

    Great counting, I know how proud you must feel - its just amazing isn't it?
    But on the question of luring them home with the full pantry - we know what YOUR pantry is full of. Lets just say the Mayo Clinic has nothing on you.

  31. your blog uses a mixture of truth and's a good mix

  32. Just stumbled across your blog... I like. My husband is a fellow razorback, we lived in Ar. for about 15 years. What a beautidul state, we were in Bryant and Conway. Thanks for sharing! :)

  33. Don't worry, Mom. They can only take so much independence before they need to swing back like little pendulums and be held.

    Kids who have been well-grounded in attention and love from mom will eventually be very independent, and that is a good thing.

    Mine are 8 and 5 and I'm astonished at how much cuddle time they still need. But I'm not complaining. :-)

  34. I saw in blogs of note, and OH MY GOD, your house sounds like mine - except the 2 year is 4.>.< Bigger kid will be graduating k in a month (when the hell did this happen???) I will be following this, I haven't laughed so hard for a while. Just wait till he gets to ABC...

  35. amazing Blog !! I Love Your Writings..

  36. Congrats on blog of note! I enjoyed this story and have read a few other older posts as well. I appreciate your ability to share such hearfelt words, it brought a tear to my eye. My boys are 8 and 10 and while I am enjoying them at this age....that drivers ed class and moving away to college seem like they will be here before I am ready.
    Thanks for sharing! ~K

  37. Hey Wendy...I am still not sure exactly how Blogger works as far as comments go. I had replied to a comment that you left on my blog a few minutes ago and am not sure if you get notified or not.

    I do enjoy your blog and it is nice to find a Ozark neighbor on Blogger.

  38. wow I think along these same lines, i have enjoyed your blog very much, you have really got me laughing. Once when my daughter was three she told me that aunt Jessie's "goobies" were bigger than mine, my responce was well you win some and lose some. but in reality I thought about how in later years she will grow these and some men(and women?) will determine her worth by that- itoo, wish i could stay in the middle ground at times.

  39. I love this post. My "baby" is fifteen years old. I sometimes do miss those moments as you experienced. That point in time between when they learn to talk and when they learn to talk BACK>

  40. Just stopping by from the "Blog of Note!" Congratulations on being featured. You have a fantastic blog!

  41. Oh, I know. It's crazy how they grow. And mine went through the same phase of not letting me participate but it passes again and returns to it's proper 'mommy do everything for me' order.


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