Mother/son dance

So, Maria had her seventh grade dance a couple of weeks ago. It was time for Mario to have to participate in a dance as well. I am sure he would’ve been fine if it was a boy/girl dance like Maria had but instead it was a dance where you had to take your mom! Yuck! All the boys acted like they could not stand the thought of having to attend this event even though I think deep down inside, they were more comfortable going with their moms then going with girls.

A mom of one of Mario’s friends was offered a limo ride from one of her neighborhood friends. She invited A bunch of her sons friends, including Mario. I knew Mario would think it was a fun idea and be in for it, but I was a bit on the brink. What were we setting our sons up for? They get a limo for their fourth grade dance? Will it be a jet for their high school prom?!

The weeks before the dance were very different than the weeks before Maria’s dance. There was no scouring the Internet to try to find the perfect suit for the dance. There was no running to Target and five other stores to find the best shoes possible. It basically went down like this: we had to be at DK Diner at 5:30. At 5:00, I stopped vacuuming the house and told Mario I was taking a shower. Mario continued to play his video game. At 5:20, I yelled for Mario to come upstairs and get dressed. He tried on a pair of jeans and the only button-down shirt he had. He looked ridiculous. He and I are meant to live in sweatpants and T-shirts. He tried to get comfortable in the attire but after a few minutes of trying to jump around and pretend like he was throwing a dodgeball, he commented that there was no way he would be able to stay in those clothes for two hours and play. I completely understood. He changed back into Adidas sweatpants and a “nice “sports shirt. I bit the bullet and wore a pair of nice shoes with my jeans and tank top. I think I’m going to start up a mother/son event where everybody must wear gym shoes, lounge pants, and T-shirts or else you cannot get in. We got to DK a few minutes late but he grabbed a seat with all of his buddies and took down a cheeseburger and fries while I chatted it up with the moms.

We left a half hour later to head down to Mario’s friend’s house. The limo came shortly after we arrived and all of the boys went running up to it like there was a celebrity waiting inside. The boys oooohhh’d and ahhhh’d for ten minutes, and then we all settled in and began our ride around Grandview. A few of the moms brought some champagne. I played some jams. We kept asking the boys what songs they wanted to listen to but no one would chime in. Therefore, they got to hear some good 80s and 90s jams. After about 20 minutes of driving around, the boys were ready to jump out and head to the dance. They were gone as soon as the limo slowed down and all of the moms were left barreling out of the limo and walking into the dance by ourselves. And that was pretty much how the night was spent. The boys went off and played dodgeball or football games and the moms stood around and caught up (actually, it was a lot like Maria’s dance that way:)).

Mario was ready to leave after half of an hour. He just wanted to head home and watch a show on the couch with me. Precious. I was right there with him but we had promised the other moms and sons a long night so we hung in there. Eventually, Mario ended up finding things to do and running around until 8:30 when the limousine picked us back up. We headed to the chocolate café for some malts and brownies, and then the sugar-infested kids danced in the limo for the next 20 minutes. The moms, by this time, were ready to head home and put on their pjs.

Mario and I thanked his friends mom for the limousine service and hopped in our little ball though to head home. I watched him play his video game for an hour when we got home, and then he asked me to carry him to bed. Yes, I can still pick him up and carry him up the stairs for bed. I think that was my favorite part of the evening (that, and doing the chicken dance with him in the gym!).

Spanish sweetness

Mario walked in last night from basketball hyped up with his buddy, Owen. They were talking about a dream Owen had where he found peoples’ butts and made a hill of butts. They were laughing hysterically about this dream while they were wrestling around on the kitchen floor. Boys.
After Owen left, Mario sat down at the table to play Minecraft.
“You have to eat dinner, buddy,” I told him as I popped in a lasagna dinner. The oven died yesterday so all we have is the microwave (which is usually our go to appliance anyway but it never fails that the one night I’m gonna use the oven, it dies).
“I’m not hungry mom. I just wanna play.”
“You gotta eat.”
“No.”
I move over to where he’s sitting and tickle him. I tell him he needs more flesh on those bones of his. He laughs.
I place the lasagna in front of him and he eats it slowly. His eyes are directed at the computer. I tell him to turn it off and eat. He huffs and sighs and eventually turns it off. He’s mad. He sits in silence and eats. When he’s finished he looks at me and says curtly “there, now can I play?”
“You can be nicer about it”, I tell him. He comes over and gives me a hug and says sorry. As crazy and pissy as this boy is at times, he has got a huge heart. I remove his folder from his bookbag as he plays his game and find this gem.

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I do not know Spanish but I have a hunch as to the translation and I smile wide. Mario glances over and smiles at me.
“Can I read it to you?”
I tell him I’d love for him to do that.
“My mom is athletic and caring. My mom is funny.”
Really? Can I love this kid anymore? These little gems bring more joy than any material possession ever could. This is refrigerator worthy, for sure.

Calling it like it is on Mom’s Day!

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Mario shared this with me the day before Mother’s Day. He worked on it at school, and was positive that it pegged me to a tee. He was not wrong.
The food I cook best? “Corn”. Amen to that. It is very telling how my cooking skills have progressed since I was Mario’s age. My favorite food to cook in kindergarten was reported as “peas” and now my most delicious creation is corn. Hey, at least they are vegetables.
My favorite food: “chocolate”. He pegged me on that one.
What does your mom do to relax? “She does not relax.” Oh, sweet Mario. These are the best gifts ever from kids – homemade, heart-felt, brutally honest creations.
Next year, I am shooting for at least a food that requires more work than opening a can!
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Six year old boys … Will be … Dorks

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Boys are strange, goofy, little creatures. How is it that I thought I would do better with a boy than with a girl? I remember being pregnant with Ri and swearing she was a boy. How could I, the consummate tomboy, ever have a daughter? Then I found out I was pregnant with a girl and was terrified for months. But then something magical happened when she was born – I became a mother to a girl. When she started 1st grade, I remembered starting first grade and all of the crap that girls – even at that age – put each other through. I could sympathize when she came home crying because girls were ignoring her. I could reassure her that she is a strong, smart girl and that no one should make her feel differently. And I could carry a passion in my voice because I’ve been there and I’ve survived.
But then there’s Mario. When I got pregnant again, Ri was almost two. I was digging having a girl, and I had trepidation about having a boy. When Jon and I went to the doctor’s office to find out the sex, and the doctor announced “you’re having a boy!”, I remember the stress I felt. “How would I handle a boy after having a girl? How would Ri enjoy a little brother versus a baby sister like I had?” I walked around after we found out the sex worried I may not love him as much as I loved Ri.
Ahh, but then he popped into this world (quite literally) and my heart melted. He cried and ate and slept just like Ri (lots of eating and crying; not much sleeping). He learned to crawl and walk like Ri. He mumbled the words “mama” and “daddy” just like Ri. He went to daycare and preschool and learned about numbers and characters just like Ri.
But then he went to kindergarten. Just like Ri…at first. But progressively, not so much like Ri. While she came home and dutifully did homework and talked about her day, he wiggled around in his chair and wanted to forego talking in order to wrestle. Ri would never bring home any grade less than a three (out of four) but Mario brought home some twos (and laughed about them). Where Ri cried her eyes out the day a note was sent home from the teacher that informed us she had talked when she wasn’t supposed, Mario tried to hide a similar note and then tried to justify why the teacher was wrong and he was right.
Yep, it’s a whole new ball game dealing with a boy. I can still hang with him when it comes to wrestling or playing football or tossing the frisbee, but when it comes to these goofy boy antics, I am lost. I took him and his friend to lunch, and all they did was punch each other, talk in weird voices, and wrestle on the ground. What do you do with that?!
We will need to set limits on appropriate behavior with him – like when we went to the doctor’s office today and he gave inappropriate answers to her questions or didn’t answer at all – that’s just not gonna fly. But his overall day-to-day goofiness and dorkiness is here to stay, I believe. Therefore, I better take a deep breath and embrace the dork in me and try to appreciate him for all his boy goofiness. After all, I know I will miss it when he’s 19 and too cool for school.
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