Monday, June 10, 2013

Saying Goodbye

I have put writing this post off for as long as I could so without further adue here it is. Four years ago, our oldest son, Martin, made a decision that I would have thought and did think at the time, that he was not ready to make. He was entering high school, and was faced with the decision of choosing a small school in which his studies would be more focused on what he wanted to do when he finished high school. I was under the impression he wanted to be a detective or part of the FBI. What he decided to do was join the Marines.
I figured I had time to talk him out of it. I figured it was just a temporary idea. I figured he would lose interest in the four years we had left. I figured wrong. At the end of his freshman year, he had met with the recruiting officers and began training that summer once a week. His sophomore year, he kicked it up and took training more seriously, going to PT twice a week. His junior year we met with his recruiting officer and signed Martin over for the early enlistment program. This is where everything got serious. As soon as he turned seventeen, he left for Columbus to swear-in as a poolee. I remember being devastated because I could not go (not because I wasn't allowed, but because it is such a long, dull, drawn out adventure). I received a phone call from his recruiting officer saying he could not swear in because they found a heart murmur during his physical. WHAT?! That was news to me. We had never known. Now a new series of worries enters the picture. How did we miss that in seventeen years? Is he okay? How is he taking the news? The simple fact that I wasn't there when he heard the news killed me. This was his dream, this is what he wanted to do, but he was sent back home until he could go back for an EKG.
A couple of weeks later, he went back to Columbus to see the heart doctor. I was terrified because once again, he was by himself. Finally, we got the good news that he was cleared to swear-in, the murmur was so minute that it was barely noticeable. He was thrilled, until he had to come home yet again without swearing-in. He had to wait until the doctor's paperwork was sent through, clearing him to enter the military.
About two weeks later, he went back to Columbus to swear-in. His paperwork was not in yet, so they sent him back home. We all began to think it wasn't going to happen. I even thought maybe it was a sign that he shouldn't enlist. Finally, a few days later, he went back and I received pictures of him swearing-in on my phone. I was so proud. After worrying for so long and being so afraid of him enlisting in the first place, I was proud. At such a young age my son made the decision that I would never have had the courage to make. He had become so patriotic, so passionate about joining that I was forced to do the same.
This past year has been nothing but a countdown. A ticking clock passing the precious time we have with Martin until he leaves for bootcamp. My fears have taken a front seat in my thoughts, as well as the simple fact that I am going to miss him so much. I made it through his eighteenth birthday and his graduation from high school. In six short days, he leaves for thirteen weeks. As soon as he arrives at Parris Island, he checks in, and we get one of the strangest phone calls we will ever get. If he/we is lucky, we will get a phone call saying he is doing well. Unfortunately, that is a rarity. Our only communication will be via letters. Then in September, we will go see him graduate and his transformation from child to man/Marine will be complete.
I cannot put into words how proud I am of my son. It makes seeing him go so much harder. I know he is strong and he will do so well. I know he will make a lifelong career as a Marine. Once a Marine, always a Marine. Once a mommy's baby boy, always a mommy's baby boy.
I have seen such a change in Martin in the past few years. I will never forget that at his kindergarten graduation he said he was going to be the Crocodile Hunter when he grows up. I thought for sure he would become a zoologist or something to do with animals. His idol was Steve Irwin. I loved that. I loved that he could tell me anything about any animal that is on the planet. I loved that he could catch a snake, lizard, or bird without flinching or getting hurt. I didn't like that he would catch spiders, but they fascinated him too. Over the years his goals changed. But even as an eighteen year old, he will still try and catch a snake that is in the yard. Now, he can tell me anything about guns, knives, or any other type of weapon imaginable. During his high school graduation, he stood up with just a few others as they were mentioned for joining the military. I never would have thought that would be my son, but I have never felt so proud as I did at that moment. I remember his first steps, his first words, his first day of school. I am sad that I will miss his first trip in an airplane. I get nervous when I think about him going off on his own. I won't be there when he gets sick or hurt. This is the hardest thing I have ever had to do, and that is let my boy grow up.
As we count down the days, it gets more difficult to think or realize that we won't get to talk to him or see him for thirteen weeks. If he were going off to college, we could call him or skype or go see him. I will miss his helping hand as the oldest of seven. I will miss seeing him wrestle around with his brothers and tormenting his sisters. I will miss his sarcasm and his rib-crushing hugs. I know that he is doing is an amazing thing. There are so few that make the decision to defend our country. I will be the first to tell any parent with sons or daughters interested in the military that they should go for it. If they don't, who will? It's not an easy road to take.
In six days we will say goodbye to our baby boy. Chad says it's not goodbye. I know it's not goodbye, but the handsome young man that I have spent the last eighteen years of my life raising is not going to be a boy when he comes home. He will be a United States Marine.

Monday, July 9, 2012

A Simple Evening Out

My husband and I are on vacation this week. We decided on a 'staycation' after all things that could go wrong went wrong and depleted our vacation funds. At six o'clock this morning, our oldest son left for Florida with my parents and my niece. I decided that I could not spend the day sitting around the house. I had watched the weekend go by reading a book which, don't get me wrong, I love reading. There was no way I was going to start a new book today. I wanted to do something fun and different, so I looked at Chad (my husband) and said we should take the kids on a picnic at one of the local parks. In order to do that, I would have to go shopping (darn it). Well as soon as the kids heard me say I need to go to the store, they all jumped up and said, "I wanna go! Let me get my money. I have money! Can I go, please?" Chad said he would accompany me to the store with all the kids, so we packed them all in the van and headed for Target.
I wanted to find a picnic basket and some snacks. Chad suggested Big Lots to look for a basket, so we stopped there first. Things went well considering we had six kids in tow. We found a plastic basket that would serve the purpose for our picnic. The kids scoured through the toy aisles trying to find what they wanted. This took awhile. Each child had a hold of at least five different things, changing their minds several times before finally deciding to wait until we went to Target. So, off to Target we go!
Once in the store we made our way to the toy section (strategically so that I could walk through the girls clothing to see what was new). Lucy, our four year old, was getting upset because she had spent her money on a wallet at Big Lots. Oscar, our six year old, was very disappointed because he didn't have any money to spend. Frankie, our nine year old, couldn't find anything in his price range, so he became teary-eyed. Clay and Leo, 13 and 12 respectively, made out with cool Halo and GI Joe figures. I was becoming increasingly tired of hearing everyone whine, so I told Chad that maybe we should just forget the picnic. We hastily made our way to the checkout lanes where of course we get in the slowest lane. Lucy whined the whole time because we wouldn't even let her get candy. Finally, it was our turn. Leo and Clay had their money and took turns checking out. Leo's purchase was on clearance but he didn't realize that the clerk had overcharged him. Chad took him back to the clerk and showed her the clearance tag. She adjusted the price and gave him the change. Edie, our youngest, was now on full toddler-tantrum mode, and was dragged out of the store kicking and screaming.
We made it back to the van feeling twenty years older. I pleaded with Chad to just forget the picnic. He suggested going to dinner and then going to the park. I said, "good idea." We decided on McDonald's because I didn't want to age myself anymore by going somewhere like Olive Garden with six kids. Little did I know that McDonald's wasn't going to be much better.
At McDonald's, the staff was extremely slow. We chose a seat for the kids and Chad and I went up to order. Edie proceeded to run around and climb in and out of every seat, Frank and Oscar needed to shake their sillies out, and Lucy had to go potty. When it was our turn to order, we discovered that the cashier was a newbie and that the manager was on break. Of course we had to wait another twenty minutes for our food which was incorrect. The manager decides to come back from break early, thank goodness, and offers us something for waiting so long. Wow. We ended up with a free Happy Meal. As we waited for them to get our order correct, Lucy and Oscar both smashed their fingers in between the rotating chairs they were sitting in. I got them both ice from the drink dispenser. As Chad and I filled our drinks and got ketchup, I slipped in a wet spot on the floor, gracefully keeping my balance. What seemed like five years later, we sit down to eat. I noticed that they had given me the wrong sandwich, but kept it to myself in order to avoid any further delay on dinner.
Everyone was happy and enjoying their meals when the kids shriek with delight and we hear a thump on the large picture window behind us. Clay and Leo are laughing hysterically at a bird that had the misfortune of flying into the window. All six children leaped from their seats to go see the bird. Stupidly, I turned to look and saw the poor thing on the ground. I immediately lost my appetite. I do not like eating when people talk about animals or gross things. I tried to quiet the boys, but they could not refrain from making Angry Bird comments (Chad included). I did my best to hurry them out of the restaurant. It was a fruitless effort because they realized that the bird was still alive and was trying to move. Time to go!
The children were truly disappointed when we went straight to the van instead of looking for the bird. I realized that a trip to the park was much needed to rid them of some energy. We arrived at the park happy to see that it wasn't busy. Edie ran for the playground screaming excitedly as only a two year old can. The boys decided to come up with a Par Core course. I saw the bench swing and told Chad to head in that direction. Our happiness only lasted a few minutes before another child pestered our own so much that they had to come and pester us. We managed to escape the other child by going to the pond to look at the geese and ducks. This was great until Edie stepped in goose poop and tried to wipe it off with her hands. Time to go again!
Our simple evening turned into a strange experience. The kids will surely never forget the bird hitting the window, so I suppose that even though it was a strange experience (and somewhat stressful), it created cherished memories.

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Sigh

Sigh. It's one of those words that makes the actual sound as you say it. It is the gradual letting out of a breath that you do not realize you are holding in until it comes out. Depending on the stress level of the person who releases the sigh it can be quite audible. I believe there are two types of sighs: unintentional and intentional. The unintentional sigh is the one that escapes without the person even realizing they have done it. The intentional sigh is the one that a person releases with much more force so that everyone in the vicinity can hear it. I myself am a chronic sigher. I am fairly certain that 'sigher' is not a real word, but I am pretending it is as it makes complete and total sense to me. Although I do my best not to sigh, I find myself doing it all the time. Despite my best efforts, it is nearly impossible for me to go five minutes without sighing. It is habitual and hereditary. My grandmother was a chronic sigher, my mother is, my sisters are, and as far as I know, my aunts are too. With any luck, my daughters will be as well.
Up until this point, I had never really thought about sighing other than a few people pointing it out to me here and there. It hit me this evening as I was making dinner and I realized that just about everytime one of the kids said, "Mom" or I discovered a new mess, I let out a sigh. I suppose it was almost like an epiphany. Or maybe my dear grandmother decided to have a laugh and made me aware of what I was doing. So I started thinking, sighing is not just related to stress, but maybe even more closely related to having children. The more children you have, the more chances you have of becoming a chronic sigher. I am not sure if this is a syndrome that plagues only the females in my family, but I conciously began to think about it. Yes, I know I have heard other women sigh. Usually it is when they are around their own children. I'm not saying that sighing is a bad thing. Actually, it might be quite scary if I held them all in. Who knows? I could possibly spontaneously combust or something. Sighing is a serious stress reliever.
It may annoy some people, but I obviously find sighing quite necessary as most of the time I do it involuntarily or subconciously. How could I possibly avoid it when I am making dinner and I ask my 12, 9, and 6 year old boys to straighten things up and clean the kitchen table up and what I get is a giant "boy" mess moved from one area to another. Literally, all they did was relocate the mess. SIGH! It's not just the boys that get the sighs though. My youngest daughter, now 2, took it upon herself to remove her diaper and apply what she obviously thought was diaper cream. She came yelling into the kitchen, naked, and pointing to her diaper area. I looked at her and didn't have to get too close to realize that she had used toothpaste, not diaper cream. OUCH and SIGH!!!!! Honestly, this little stunt actually called for multiple sighs as I had to put dinner on pause and give the poor little messer a bath.
The more I thought about this whole sighing issue, the more I began to think about the frequency of my sighs. I do believe I sigh at work as well. I will make a point to pay more attention to myself or have one of my coteachers point it out. It really is contagious too. I know for a fact that my oldest daughter sighs from time to time. A chronic sigher in the making? I do know that from now on, when I do hear another woman sigh, I will acknowledge her with a sympathetic glance.
I will close on this: as I am wrapping this post up, my two year old comes into my room without her pajamas on, smelling of chip dip, licking her fingers. Grandma, I understand. SIGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Scary Side of Parenting

There are many different sides to parenting. Parenting is one of those complex shapes that has an infinite amount of sides, angles, degrees, and all that other stuff that made me hate geometry. It is the ultimate ride at a theme park; full of thrills, screams, hands in the air, hair-raising ups and downs. I suppose this is what people are thinking when they ask me if I am crazy because I have embarked on this journey seven times. Yet, parenting has so many perks. The problem is, no one ever tells you how frightening parenting can be. Words cannot prepare you for how you will feel the first time you see your toddling baby fall for the first time. People forget to warn you that when something happens to your child, no matter how old they are, your breath catches, your heart plummets to your stomach, your body temperature rises, and you utter that nearly soundless, "Oh!"
From the moment you discover you are expecting a baby, the worry begins. "Will the baby be healthy?", "Will there be any problems?", "What if....?" Trust me when I say I am the queen of worry and my imaginative mind plays very cruel tricks on me. When something minor happens, I manage to think of the worst case scenario times twenty. When the adrenaline kicks in and my heart is racing, I seem to forget that everything is okay, and I really need to let go of the "Yeah, but what if" or "It could have been so bad" images that play in my head.
With seven kids, you would think I would have been through it all. Well, if I am completely honest, I have been through a lot. Thank the Lord I have my husband to reign me in when my mind gets the better of me. I am not 100% certain, but I think this is something that women go through more than men. Moms just seem to know the consequences and outcomes of too many situations. We have that instinctual "worry" mechanism that develops during the nine months of pregnancy.
Is it the bond that develops during those nine months that triggers the worry? I am sure that many dads out there that worry or freak out just as much as moms do, and I do feel that some moms and dads take it to the extreme. Let's face it, we can't put our kids in bubbles, as much as we would like to. I have to admit that the more children I have had, the less extreme my freaking out is. Most of the time we say, "Get up, brush yourself off, and you will be okay." You can tell by the way your child cries whether the situation is serious or not. Does is require a trip to the hospital or are they being overly dramatic and just need to hear, "Are you bleeding? Are any bones hanging out? Do you have a gaping wound?" About 95% of the time their response is "No." Well then, no need to panic. Wash it off with a little soap and water and slap a band aid on it.
But when the cry is real, and the pain is real, how do you keep your heart in your chest? When you learn that your 6 week old infant has to have eye surgery and needs to be put under anesthesia during the procedure, how do you not crumble to the floor, weeping, and wondering, "What do I do?" When your 6 month old baby is wheezing and having trouble breathing at two in the morning because he has croup, how do you remain calm and strong?
We have been through surgeries, stitches, broken bones, dislocated joints, H1N1, fevers of 104 degrees, and my personal favorite, the call to poison control (which I have done enough for them to know me by first name). The list goes on and on. Recently, our oldest son was clipped by a car as he was walking to school. That was a first and I pray to God the last. He didn't even get knocked down, and really, all that he has to show for it is a bruise. Yet the call that I received at work to tell me what had happened caused me to crumble immediately. That feeling of helplessness and the sense that I was so far away from the situation caused my normally strong composure to disintegrate. I balled like a baby and honestly, I still find myself thinking, "What if it was worse?" These are the situations that make you hug your kids until they cry out that they can't breathe.
This is why I love my husband dearly. He is so much stronger than I am. He is my pillar and God is my rock. When these things happen my husband will hug me and remind me that God only gives us what we can handle. He tells me that we need to remember that although it could have been worse, it wasn't, and we need to thank the good Lord for that. He also reminds me that we have been so blessed and that we have it so easy compared to some. My heart goes out to those that suffer daily. I pray for all of you and your children that you may feel God's healing touch.
As parents we need to remember that God is there for us and that He wants us to lean on Him for the answers and for support. He is there to relieve that sense of helplessness. Things do happen for a reason, and often these things make us stronger. Yes, parenting can be scary and nerve-wracking, but the joys trump the upsetting moments. Parenting is a roller coaster full of cork-screws, tunnels, sharp turns, and tickle-your-tummy drops. Just remember that if it was impossible or too scary, then no one would do it, and then where would we be?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Raising Spiritually Healthy Kids

I grew up in a Catholic family. I was baptized in a Catholic church and attended Catholic schools through sixth grade. My husband grew up in a Methodist family. His family is very involved in their church. My husband and I married in a Presbyterian church but found ourselves becoming members of a Methodist church years later. Regardless of your faith or the church you choose to attend, raising your children to become spiritually healthy should be your top priority. Never will you hear me say that I am a perfect parent and that I know everything there is to know about raising kids. If anything, raising seven kids has made me more humble and I have realized that I make mistakes, and that is perfectly okay.
I can remember having faith or an idea of faith for as long as my memory goes back. I have always gone to bed and prayed in the evening. I will never forget singing in the children's choir or taking part in the Christmas Story that our church did every year. I remember my first communion and how nervous I was before making my first confession. Of course I will never forget the seriousness with which I made my wedding vows (even though we were shaking with laughter at the beads of sweat dripping from my soon to be husband's nose). I meant every word.
In all honesty though, it wasn't until a few years ago that I wanted with fierce ferocity to belong to a church as a family and to teach my children what it means to have faith. It wasn't something that we disregarded. We did attend church every now and then and we did pray as a family. On occasion we would read stories from the Bible. But I didn't feel like we were really doing what God has asked us to do as parents.
What does it mean to raise spiritually healthy kids? What does God want us to do? When I began to ask myself these questions, I did some reading. I decided to read the Bible in a year. I read Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren and then my pastor asked me to read The Relationship Principles of Jesus by Tom Holladay and because of my own curiosity, I read The Shack by Wm. Paul Young. It is no joke when I say that these books are life changing books. I began to see that I was making quite a few mistakes as a parent. But I also learned that the purpose of life is not at all what I thought it was. I was seriously missing out.
I believe that people too often make the mistake in thinking that the purpose of life is some mysterious, hidden secret that you have to dig up in ancient Egypt or something. In all actuality, God put us here to develop a relationship with Him. He put us here to be his friend and to live out His commandments. All He wants is for us to trust in Him and to put our faith in Him.
This is what we need to teach our children. They are the greatest gift that God could ever bestow on us. But we have to remember that they are a gift and that we are responsible for showing them the proper way and to guide them through life here on Earth. When we abuse or neglect our children, we are showing major disrespect to our maker. All children are God's children, He just let us borrow them for awhile. That is why we must show them the way to Christ. We must teach them that serving God is so much more than simply attending church or behaving or following the commandments. Serving God is the answer to living a blessed life, to finding happiness, and to (what should be our ultimate goal) Heaven. We have nothing to fear in getting to know Christ and developing a relationship with Him. He is there to listen, to guide us, to heal us, and to be our friend. He will never reject us, turn away from us, or leave us. He is here to protect us.
Why shouldn't we teach our children that God is their best friend? I agree that children should learn to respect their parents and other adults and that they should listen to them and live a disciplined life. That is what God wants us to teach them. He commands it.
It is such a relief to be able to talk to God and to develop a relationship with Him. It is freedom, and the key to living a blessed life. We can always turn to God. It isn't always easy, but it lifts your spirit.
Teach your children to talk to God, to be His friend, and to accept Him. Knowing Christ and having faith is a gift that we should share with them. They should feel at ease talking about God and to Him. One of the best things I have ever done is ask God to be my friend. I am going to do my best to show my kids that they should do the same.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Boys vs. Girls

God has a sense of humor. He saw fit to bless me with five boys before torturing me with two girls. Really, my girls are a dream come true and I love all seven of my children with all my heart and soul. I am one of four children. I have two older sisters and a younger brother. My brother and I were very close growing up. We did just about everything together including setting Barbie and GI Joe up on blind dates. If GI Joe wasn't available, then HeMan would step up to the plate. My sisters and I tormented one another until I was old enough to be tolerated.
As a kid I was surrounded by boys. Family was and is a big part of our growing up and we often spent a lot of time with cousins. Even as a child I was a firm believer in the fact that girls can do anything boys can do- even pee standing up which I don't recommend. My brother and our cousins were obsessed with playing army, and I thought it was necessary to join in. They lived in camo and were never caught without a toy gun or knife. We all ran around the house having fake wars with our fake weapons (that is if they felt the need to give me weapons). Being that my position in afore mentioned wars was "nurse," I required very little in the weapons department.
At school, I had lots of friends, but as I got older I discovered that girls are ridiculously dramatic and that boys are more fun. I played sports but still maintained a strong-willed feminine edge. I was very into women's rights in high school and equality. When my husband and I began our family, I realized the reason God kept handing us boys was because girls drove me nuts.
Well, as a typical female, I am never happy with what I have and begged and prayed for a girl. God answers prayers. As a family we welcomed our baby girl with open arms- and spoiled her rotten. The moment we found out it was a girl we went straight to Babys R Us and bought shoes, dresses, and anything pink! I was given three baby showers and by the time our little princess arrived she could want for nothing. When our second daughter arrived, we did the same thing all over again.
Our girls are complete drama queens even at the ages of three years and sixteen months. They are coddled, spoiled, and treated like royalty. I truly fear for my life when puberty hits and the poor things realize that having five older brothers puts a damper on romantic relationships.
To me, boys are much easier to handle. They could care less if plaids don't go with stripes or if purple football socks look hideous with yellow basketball shorts and a red t-shirt. They don't seem to notice their own stench their bodies develop if they haven't showered in five days or if they have worn the same pair of socks until they get trench foot. They don't have melt downs if they can't go shopping or if their favorite outfit isn't clean. Boys put holes in the walls, pee all over the toilet seat, and constantly feel the need to show dominance by wrestling. They burp and fart and think they are hilarious when doing so. Boys don't scream at decibels so high that they break the sound barrier. Boys don't care about visits from the hair fairy or getting stains on their shirts because there were no napkins readily available. Boys destroy things. They eat food in rooms that have been declared off limits for food and drink. They tend to forget where the garbage can is and therefore put trash under their beds, on the table, and in between the sofa cushions. They leave globs of toothpaste all over the sink and forget to re-cap the toothpaste. Boys will stand with the refrigerator door wide open for five full minutes demanding to know where the ketchup is when it is right in front of them.
There are so many things that boys do and girls don't, and vice versa.
Girls demand attention and if they don't get it right away they tend to raise their voices. Girls are tattle tails. It was literally ten minutes ago that my three year old daughter walked into my room to tell me that "her" boys weren't listening and that they needed to put their heads down. I am almost certain that she is going to be a teacher some day. She actually has turned into quite the little snitch, making up things to get her brothers in trouble for. One day she locked the front door while the younger boys were outside and she then came up the stairs telling daddy that her oldest brother did it. Her oldest brother just happened to be sitting there talking to daddy. Needless to say her brother didn't get in trouble and she did.
Girls are soooooo whiny. They cry all the time about goofy things like the sun isn't shining or that they don't want to wear Crocs because it's not Wacky Water Day at school. They stomp their feet and scream at you if you try to make them wear dresses when all they want to wear are shorts. They don't understand why the boys get to run around with their shirts off and they don't. Girls freak out if they are standing next to the pool and they get splashed and really don't want to get wet.
Girls tell you "no" with their arms crossed and are not afraid of the consequences, or at least think they are going to get away with it. They think that cuteness will get them out of anything. Girls get into mommy's makeup and paint the bathroom with it. Girls change their clothes an infinite amount of times each day.
Girls are nurturing. They sing and dance and love having an audience until you ask them to perform and they are suddenly shy. Girls love to snuggle and take care of people. Girls are much harder to discipline than boys, and they know it.
This is all my own experience and opinion. I know that all children are different and that some boys may do some of the things that girls do and some girls may do some of the things that boys do. I find it very challenging to raise two girls after all those boys. There are just as many similarities as there are differences between the two genders. I feel very lucky and blessed to have the opportunity to raise both. My mother swears up and down that raising boys is much harder than raising girls. She had three girls before having my brother. I think when you have so many of one before the other, you go into shock. You have to change your way of thinking; retrain yourself.
It's funny to think that for the longest time I never thought I would get the chance to raise a girl, let alone two. I think of things like that when we are in the car and my newly potty trained daughter says she has to go potty and I go into panic because I can't just pull over and have her pee on the side of the road like the boys.  

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Funny Things Kids Say

When you raise children, you often hear some entertaining words come out of their mouths. I think the time between the ages of two and eight is the prime time to hear some of the most hilarious things known to parents. Over the years, my husband and I have witnessed the comic genius that kids tend to be whether they mean to or not. When I stated out loud that I would be writing about funny things kids say, I was immediately surrounded by three of my children who felt obliged to bombard me with "funniness." I must admit that when they intentionally try to be funny, it doesn't work. They dressed up in costumes, did silly dances, made ridiculous faces, and tried to make unusual noises. That is their typical, daily behavior.
Kids often make up their own words, and mispronounce words. I love it when they repeat things that they hear incorrectly. The best is when they say something and have the most serious look known to kid-dom on faces. When my second son was not quite two, he called chocolate milk "cha cha milk." It has been known as cha cha milk ever since. In our house, pacifiers are called "pooty." The unusual name comes from my favorite movie, Orange County.  My husband and I both thought it was a funny name, so we dubbed it "the pooty." Our three year old calls her backpack "packpack," which she carries everywhere, even to church. You would think she would use her Dora backpack which is the actual "Backpack" from the cartoon. No, she uses her pink "packpack." Unfortunately, we all call them packpacks now. No one can stand to correct her because it is cute and funny. She also calls bathing suits "babysoup" and I believe if I remember correctly, that is what I called them as a little girl. Kids have their catchphrases and cute sayings. Our three year old has been saying some of the funniest things lately, that I just have to share them with everyone.
You have to remember that my girls are the youngest of seven, and the older five are all boys. Sadly, they tend to pick up some things that girls shouldn't say. For instance: "Oh my balls!" is something she would say and still says on occasion when they are all wrestling and she hears the boys saying it. I had to explain to her that girls don't have "balls" and that she shouldn't say that because it's not lady-like. She said this just the other night while she was sitting on the couch with my husband and I, "I farted in my mouth." What she did was burp. Why she decided to say she farted in her mouth I will never know. She knows the difference between the two, believe me. Our oldest daughter has an uncanny ability to tell you how it is too. She once saw me eating the last of the ice cream out of the carton and said, "Why are you eating that whole box of ice cream?" Honestly, there was only a couple of scoops left. She loves to tell her brothers that they are "nasty" or "gisgusting." She thinks that gum is an actual food group and sometimes says, "Can I have some gum cause I'm hungry." She can be very serious and demanding. When she was just two years old, she had been listening to me talk to her dad and said, "You serious mom?" She has told me more than once, "Don't be ridiculous." I know I can count on her to be honest with me, whether I want her to or not. She was trying to get my attention the other night and said, "You gotta watch me, alright?" She has tried to bribe me with "I'll be your best friend" and is well known for saying, "What the heck?" I can always count on her to say or do something noteworthy like suddenly breaking out in a chorus of "all the single ladies, all the single ladies." Too funny.
My five year old cannot tell a lie and is unforgivingly honest. He loves to tell me, "You have a big belly" but he also tells me, "Mommy, you are so beautiful." Such a sweet boy. He often tells his younger sister, "You are so annoying" and I can't possibly imagine where he heard that.
My eight year old is quite the comedian. He says things without meaning to be funny and it just comes out that way. There was one summer when we were visiting my sister weeks before she adopted her daughter. He asked my sister for a banana but said, "I want a benina." My sister thought he said I want to be Nina, which is her daughter's name. We all laughed because it was a great stress reliever. All my boys remember the one morning during football season when my little man was getting dressed for school and had put on a pair of undies that had been transformed into a "girdle" for football. He was watching tv and pulling the new fangled undies and realized they had holes in the sides. He exclaimed, "We can, she's got, hey, I got pockets in my underwear!" How exciting to have pockets in your underwear!
I could write an entire book if I could remember all the crazy things my kids have said. There are some that I will never forget and I will bring them up at appropriate times in their adult lives. Just like no one will EVER let me live this one down, "Stick your boobies in Jell-O!"- a statement I had said one time when my sister had friends over. My husband enjoyed reminiscing his own childhood and came up with "Jungle when I pee," which is what he thought the monkeys sang in The Jungle Book. It's actually "jungle VIP." Silly boy.
These goofy moments happen all the time and are a helpful reminder of what a blessing children truly are. They make waking up in the morning a delight (if I have been blessed with at least 8 hours of shut eye).