My Eleven Year Old is Awesome.

My eleven year old is pretty awesome.

 

She’s a complete animal nerd and book geek.  Which I count as winning.

 

She’s an independent thinker and not afraid to respectfully disagree with her peers.  When other girls were in love with Hannah Montana, she wasn’t.  And when those same girls stopped liking it  because “Miley Cyrus smokes and drinks“, Eleven Year Old replied with, “My papa smokes and he’s a good person. I don’t know Miley personally, so I don’t have anything against her, but I think smoking and drinking are mostly bad if you’re addicted to them.”

She’s a writer.  She blogs at The Girl Named Jack and writes fiction in her spare time.

 

She’s not afraid to be herself. When I offered to buy her and her friend friendship rings, she looked over all of the girly, flowery ones and picked a sharks tooth ring.

She wears whatever clothes make her comfortable, regardless of what other people like.

She knows a ridiculously lot about horses.

 

And, like her daddy, she nearly can’t take a natural looking picture to save her life.

 

Eleven Year Old, smile!

 

Okay … now smile like a more normal person.

Unfortunately, these are things I think, but not necessarily say.  Like a lot of you other mommy moms, my actual interactions with her probably add up to make her think I mostly feel annoyed toward her most of the time.  My bad, Eleven Year Old.  My mommy bad.

-Jessica

Boys Are Loud. I Don’t Know If You Know.

Please. Be. Quiet.

 

My house is loud.  My boys are loud.  My life is loud.

 

And I don’t like noise.  Convenient, yes?

 

Noise is the one thing that is most likely to unhinge my mommy nerves and send my impatience bursting out of my mommy jack in the box of built up stress.

 

Every lego that drops to the floor, every castle that tumbles, every chasing game incased in only 1200 sq feet of living space, every fight that breaks out over a favorite light saber or video game.

 

I can’t make my boys not be loud.  Loud is who they are.  It can’t be changed except with maturity and age.  So, in the mean time, I suppose I must change myself.  Since supposedly, between them and I, I’m supposed to have the market cornered on those two things.

 

So, I quit doing dumb crap.  Like trying to write in the same room with the rumpus.  Why I have I been doing that?  Stupid, stupid.

 

I retreat to the next room with my magic writing machine.  And turn on Pandora. And try not to grind my teeth with the involuntary jaw clenching that happens with each crash and scream.

 

 

-Jessica

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I couldn’t resist The Gypsy Mama’s Five Minute Friday writing prompt today. :)

 

 

 

 

 

How To Ruin Easter {A Resurrection Roll Story)

How to ruin Easter. (A resurrection roll story.) 

 

I ruined Easter.  There – I said it.

 

It’s taken me some time to be able to talk about it, but two days post-Easter, I’m finally ready to confess my sins. What happened, you ask? The blogosphere happened.  I fully blame them.  They kept posting all of their artsy, creative, delicious opinions and plans online and it compelled me to try something new.

 

So I decided to make …  (wait for it) …

 

Resurrection Rolls.

 

Easy Resurrection Rolls

 

You may have seen the hundreds of happy homemakers out there blogging about these in recent years.  Successfully.  You take a marshmallow, dip that sucker in butter, roll it in cinnamon and sugar, and then wrap it up in a crescent roll.  Bada bing – bada boom, ten minutes later you open the crescent rolls to see that *gasp* the marshmallow has disappeared and the roll  tomb is empty!

 

 

It looked fool-proof.  So I decided I was going to be a good mom this year and get all analogous and projecty for a holiday.  Because I never do that.

 

I gathered the Wild Things into the kitchen Sunday morning and spouted encouraging crescent roll wisdom.  I artfully showed them how to roll their marshmallow in butter, and pinch all the seams of their Kroger brand crescent rolls like a refined pastry chef.

 

And then we waited for the resurrection magic to happen.

 

What happened next was so horrifying it’s hard to share…

 

Jesus bubbled out of our tombs.  And ran all over our pan. 

 

I took my spatula and attempted to scrape and scoop Him off the aluminum pan, stringing him from sticky fingers to plate.  I apologized remorsefully to Him for making a mess of his glorious day.  I forgave Him for possibly ruining my pan.

 

And then I delivered the failed treat to the awaiting and gleeful children.  They began to laugh and joke about our Not Resurrected Rolls.  And as I walked out of the room I heard Four Year Old laugh, “Jesus the Marshmallow died!

 

*CRINGE*

 

Good job, Mom – I berated myself.  Now your children sound like Atheists.  Why don’t you teach them the phrase “Zombie Jesus Day” while you’re at it. 

 

But we had one pan left, so I determined to take back Easter.  These tombs rolls would be a success!  Would!

 

I watched them carefully.  They browned beautifully.  Jesus was not gooping out of them.  So I whisked them from the oven before another marshmallow could strike a blow to my faith.  And I presented them to my children, flawless.  I said, “Look children, our rolls have risen. Come hither, and behold the glory of the Lord”.

 

And then we opened them, to find a big. white. marshmallow in the heart of each one.

 

I  ran sobbing from the room, but not before hearing Four Year Old exclaim, “Hahahahahaha, Jesus didn’t DIE!”

 

At which point Husband couldn’t take it anymore and told them all sternly that “You don’t joke about God!” and how you shouldn’t make fun of someone who died for you.

 

Then the Wild Things started to cry.

 

And we threatened them with their life if they repeated any of the above at church, before racing them to Sunday School.  Late.

 

But by the end of a sugar infested class time, they had recovered. And I’m fairly certain they won’t be scarred for life.  Oh well. There’s always next year.

 

-Jessica

My Parents Beat Me And I’m Glad They Did!


Good Parenting?

 

“I didn’t like it or understand it at the time, but now in hindsight I’m glad my mama and daddy beat me.  They were just doing what was best for me and they did it because they loved me.  I’d hate to see who I’d be today if they hadn’t.”

This is a sentiment I’ve heard many times before but this day it was particularly painful.  You see, I was sitting in a room exclusively full of current homeless men and/or former addicts.  In a church.  Some how, in that rabbit trail kind of way, we had wandered onto the subject of disciplining children and “the good old days”, then one at a time I heard from each of these men how grateful they were that they had been beaten as children.

“I was beat as a child for doing wrong, and I turned out just fine!”

 

I sat there, dumbfounded, trying not to give away how disturbed I was in my facial expressions.  What I wanted to say, what I was thinking, went something like … “REALLY?!  You turned out just fine?!  You’re in a HOMELESS SHELTER and most of your life has been wasted on drugs and alcohol!  Really, you turned out just fine?!!!!”

 

Instead, I made some weak arguments for why I think children often respond better to a gentler approach to “discipline”.  My message wasn’t received, and I didn’t push the issue.  I’ve become fairly adept at discerning when someone isn’t ready to accept certain truths and I’ve also learned that pushing truths on someone before they’re ready never ends well.  So I held back most of what I really believed on the subject.  And I certainly didn’t mention that I had written an ebook  about respectful parenting.  (I consider several of those men friends, by the way, and my intention is not to belittle them)

 

Unfortunately, the recent viral video of the father openly mocking is daughter and then shooting up her laptop has brought me face to face with this illogical perspective once again.  Facebook has been riddled with people “Amening” the actions of this father.  Now, to be fair, I didn’t watch the video because I try not to subject myself to senseless negativity that I know will likely upset me.  Also, this specific video wasn’t about physical abuse, but it is still in line with disrespectful parenting.

 

I did, however, watch the video of the judge “disciplining” his teenage daughter with a belt that was popular not long ago (pictured above) and was very sorry that I did.  It brought back painful memories of being similarly “spanked” after entering high school.

 

And I’m going to say, for the record, I’m not thankful that I was hit as a child.  I don’t think that it made me a better person.  I also don’t think that I would have “turned out” worse if I hadn’t been hit and bruised with belts, fly swatters, switches, wooden planks, and shoes  from time to time.  Or slapped in the face.  Or called names.  Or screamed at.  Or been shoved through closed doors.

 

That is what they call a false dichotomy.

 

One has no way of knowing that they would have been “worse” if they had been treated with kindness and respect.  If they’d been listened to, and not arbitrarily punished.  You can’t prove that.  You can’t know that.

 

And, I suppose, I can’t prove the opposite, either.  But I’m going to use a little thing called common sense and claim that it’s likely that when kind, patient, respectful parenting is modeled, it can produce relatively kind, patient, respectful children, and adults.

 

To be clear, I’m not intending this to personally attack either viral video father, or anyone else.  But I am begging them, you, me, everyone, to consider that what our culture fed us as truth in parenting … might not even make sense.

 

I believe that most people act out of a sense of assuming they’re right.  I believe that many parents “discipline” their children in very harsh, derogatory ways because our culture has taught them that is how you produce a productive member of society.  That’s how you “keep them on the right track” or “keep them in line” or whatever.

 

But believing something doesn’t necessarily make it true.

 

Love conquers all. 

 

And I don’t mean the kind of love that abuses for a child’s “own good”.  The kind of love that acts …

 

… um, loving.

 

-Jessica

Let’s hear it for the Bowman Boys.

 

My boys, like yours, are hilarious.  They are prone to fighting and yet often generous in their sharing.  They are loud and active and physical and … all three different from each other.

 

It just so happens that the ladies over at The MOB Society have a link up called Let’s Hear It For The Boys and they insist that we actually brag on these crazy boys of ours a little bit.

 

So without further ado: Bragging (with some honesty thrown in).

 

Seven Year Old

Seven Year Old is very intelligent.  He tests (challenges) the authority of anyone new in his life (sorry past teachers and babysitters).  He reverts to baby talk when he’s nervous, which often happens in public and (transparency here) can embarrass me a little because I know how intelligent he is and I worry (that silly things mother’s do) that people will think him less intelligent because of his nervous behavior.  However, he’s really good at video games and he taught himself to read this past year. He’s also a pretty sensitive soul and can be very considerate and patient toward his brothers at times.  I think he might make a good husband one day. :)

Five Year Old

Five Year Old has an aggressive streak and a temper to exasperate it occasionally.  But he’s also the most empathetic of the boys I think (a nice ying/yang thing, right?) and will be the first to cry during a movie if a character is sad.  He’s highly mechanically minded and is notoriously good at figuring out how things work.  He is the reason for any baby proofing of cabinets we have ever done.   He really dislikes change and has a hard time with things like furniture rearranging or even taking off his favorite jacket (he’ll wear it for days at a time).   Ironically, he seems excited about our impending move and keeps asking us if it’s time to go yet.

Three Year Old

Three Year Old loves his brothers fiercely and desires their attention most of the time.  He’s one of those three year old’s that holds a conversation with you as you were both grown ups, which constantly cracks up visitors.  His favorite things on earth are playing New Super Mario Brothers and running around the front yard with his shield and stick swords.  Most of the time he can be found with a stick … um, sticking out of the back of his shirt, where he has it sheathed.

Eleven Year Old

Okay, so I know this is supposed to be about my boys, but Eleven Year Old is my tomboy and I didn’t want anyone to be left out.  She is an encyclopedia of animal facts.  Seriously.  I can’t even fathom how much zoological nuggets of wisdom she has stored away.  She’s developing a razor sharp wit, which I’d like to think she picked up from those funny parents of hers.  She’s also a prolific writer and has her own blog and has even released an ebook.  She adores fiction and spends most of her time reading or writing it.

And there you have it.  A rundown of all of the Wild Things.  If you feel like bragging on your brood a little today, hop on over to the MOB society link up and share. :)

-Jessica

The Hyper Hour – That Just Before Bedtime Phenomenon.

I’m over at The MOB Society today (Mother. Of. Boys.) talking about how God helped me to have patience and extend grace during that bewitching “Rumpus Hour” when little boys lose. their. minds. before bed.

 

Also, MOB is giving away a copy of The No Brainer Wardrobe today as apart of the re-launch of their site, so hop on over and leave a comment to be entered in.

 

The Rumpus is a Gift – Plus a Giveaway!

 

-Jessica

My Three Year Old Won’t Stop Yelling.

three year old driving me crazy

Three Year Old won’t stop yelling.  Seriously.  He won’t. stop. yelling.

 

And when he’s not yelling, he’s whining.  All the live long stinkin day.

 

To be fair, he just wants to be listened to.  And he wants to talk.  He wants to be in charge of all of the talking, in fact.  After all, why should other people have to talk, he obviously is a pint sized genius that needs to be paid attention to.  What all this adds up to, is every single time a thought enters his head, it has to come out.  At a higher octave than I’d prefer.  And if he thinks you’re not listening, he just starts yelling your name.  Loudly.

 

And, the thing is, you might actually be listening.  But unless you’re making eye contact with him, he doesn’t believe you.  So you, litrally, have to stop what you’re doing and look to him in his eyeballs.  For some reason, he especially wants to share his wisdom with Seven Year Old, so I wake up most morning hearing him holler, “SEVEN YEAR OLD, SEVEN YEAR OLD, SEVEN YEAR OLD, SEVEN YEAR OLD!!”

 

(Don’t tell husband, but I recognize that there is sort of poetic justice in all this, because I’ve been known to ask people to look at me when I’m talking.  But not because I’m bossy.  Because I’m A.D.D. and I can’t listen to someone unless I’m looking at them.  So when people aren’t looking at me, I think they aren’t listening, and it’s such a distraction that I can’t talk…) (Though, for the record, I don’t stand there yelling, “HUSBAND, HUSBAND, HUSBAND!” until he looks at me…)

 

Oh, and the other thing is, I am super sensitive to noise.  Super. Sensitive.  It hurts those A.D.D. brains of mine.  You know those moms who can sit right beside their toddler while they mash the button on that loud, obnoxious toy and not notice?  Yeah, that’s not me.  That toy is either designated a “bedroom only” toy, or it’s disposed of.  Asap.

 

Sigh.

 

I’m trying to remind myself that there will positively absolutely be a time when I will miss this.  And miss him.  And miss the noise and ridiculousness that is my current reality. And I’m trying to be more present and savor the sweeter moments.

 

Like how, while writing this, Three Year Old walked up and said, “Mom, 1 bitsy bitsy thing (holds up one finger) Dat I love you, (holds up second finger) and … (kisses me on the arm).

 

I guess he’s not all that bad.  ;)

 

-Jessica

 

 

Boys Say the Darnedest Things

Mother. Of. Boys.

Boys see things different.  They just do.  You see a stick, they see a sword.  You see dirty underwear, they see a helmet.

My favorite age for getting a truly boy tinted lens on the world though, is round abouts the age of five. You know, that magical age where they say those darnedest things that leave us both embarrassed and slapping our knee.

 

To read the rest, hop on over to The M.O.B. Society.

 

-Jessica

Wild Things Say The Darnedest Things

Five Year Old: “Mom, when will the world end?”

 

Me: “Um, well.  One day Jesus is going to come back and then this world will end and we’ll get a new world where everyone is nice.”

 

Five Year Old. “…like Brazil?”

 

Sure.  Why not.

 

Has one of your wee wild things said a darnedest thing lately?

 

-Jessica

How to have a Bohemian Labor Day

 

Travel to exotic places.

 

 

 

Play with Wild Animals.

 

 

 

Picnic with bohemian friends.

 

Play in the ocean, fully clothed.

 

Pose on some driftwood.

Pretend that a bridge…

…is a roller coaster.

 

Take a little nap.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jump in a water slide bounce house in the rain.  Fully clothed, if necessary.

 

And last but not least, eat some pilfered birthday cake while listening to the rain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The end.