Category Archives: the boy

Look at that dog!


Last night was my small town’s annual Halloween parade. We go every year – local businesses open up to trick or treaters, and afterward there is a parade through town with firetrucks & marching bands and social clubs throwing candy to spectators. It’s something I have been doing since I was a kid, and it;s always fun. This year however, there was an added bonus.

In addition to the previously mentioned groups, individuals can walk in the parade and show off their costumes. you will see a lot of regular, store-bought costumes, along with some really creative ones. This year, the best I saw was a kid dressed as a Lego man. I don’t have a photo, because I was so mesmerized by how perfect it was that I forgot I had a camera.

One staple of these parades is dogs in costumes. You will see dogs dressed as Steelers, dogs as bumblebees, dogs as princesses. One year, there was a tiny Cinderella in a carriage being pulled by dogs. This year, there was a Cruella de Vil with a bunch of dalmatians. And being the dog lovers that we are, if you sit anywhere near us, you will hear repeated, excited cries of, “Look at that dog!”

Toward the end of this year’s parade, I saw a cute dog heading our way in a tutu and fairy wings. I pointed it out to the girl & her friend, knowing they would love it. But then it got a little closer and I noticed that Wait! That’s not a dog! And those of you that know me will understand how much it pleased me to see what it really was:

Yes, my friends – that is a goat. A Tutu Fairy Goat. The only thing that would have made it better for me would have been if it had fainted from my camera flash. Best goat ever.

And as a bonus, her’s my little Flamenco dancer:

And my insane son:

(he almost didn’t wear it bevcause it was supposed to rain and apparenty wearing one of those in the rain can cause drowning. Or something)


I Blinked


I blinked and my sweet, silly little boy:

Turned into a long-legged, mustache-sprouting, sometimes angsty, taller-than-I-am high school student:

I blinked and my tiny, loving, bean of a baby girl:

Turned into a social butterfly, princess, cheerleading, fashionista second grader:

I blinked and my teeny, fuzzy, wobbly puppy:

Turned into a ginormous, hairy, clumsy, cat-fighting, garbage-picking dogbeast:

I really have to stop blinking

Sometimes you get one


I post a lot more photos of The Girl than The Boy. It’s not because of any bias or favoritism, but because it;s harder to get photos of The Boy. Unlike The Girl, who has a spidey sense about a camera in a 50-foot radius and starts posing, he’s either off running, or hiding from the camera (because god forbid his hair is messed up – and seriously? He’s killing me with the hair.)

So while it’s nothing for me to get this from The Girl:

With The Boy, I often have to chase him around, only to get this:

But every once in a while, I get lucky:

It’s worth all the chasing.

I Smell the Sea!


Since the kids and I are heading out in a few minutes to drive to the beach, I thought I’d share a conversation from a few years back when the kids, my dad and I were making the same trip:

The Boy (In Berkeley Springs, West Virginia): I smell the sea!

Me: Dude – we’re almost 300 miles from the sea, you don’t smell the sea.

The Boy: Yes I do! I smell the sea salt.

Me: No.

The Boy (In Winchester, Virginia): I smell the sea!

My Dad: No you don’t – we’re still 200 miles from the sea.

The Boy: Yes I do!

My Dad: No.

The Boy (In Fredericksburg, Virginia): I smell the sea!

Me: OMG – 100 miles from the sea! You do NOT smell the sea!

The Boy: Yes I do!

Me and My Dad: No – you don’t.

The Boy: Yes I do! I smell it. I know what the sea smells like and that is the smell of the sea.

Me and My Dad: No.

The Boy (coming out of the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel): What’s that smell?

Me and My Dad: THE SEA!!!!!!!!!

Life With A Teenage Boy


I was walking through the house when The Boy went hustling past me in a hurry. I asked where he was going and he said, “There’s no toilet paper in our bathroom, so I am going in yours.” Now, I don’t have a problem with him using my bathroom, but mine is old and small and ugly and the kids have a nice, new, big bathroom. Plus, it irritates me that he is so lazy that he would walk all the way across the house to my bathroom, rather than just grabbing a new roll for his.

So I told him that I didn’t care if he used my bathroom, but that he needed to get a new roll and put it in his. He said OK and that was the end of it.

Or so I thought until a few hours later when I was in my bathroom and reached for the paper, only to discover that the the new roll he took into his bathroom? Came from my bathroom dispenser.

His Sister Loved Her Windfall


I am being driven slowly insane by a condition known as Having Children. It’s a vicious circle – The kids drive me crazy, which stresses me out and makes me less tolerant of their nonsense, which stresses them out, so they act up more, which stresses me out even more, and so on.

I have been harassing the boy to get room clean once and for all. Every time he cleans it, he ends up sitting there doing nothing until he hears you walk up the hall, then he looks busy. This goes on for hours until those 2-minute bursts of activity result in a room that is “clean” rather than clean. Things in drawers, under the bed, in the closet – whatever it takes to make it look clean. And by the time he’s done, it’s late, I’m tired, we have somewhere to go, I’m stressed – a million reasons to just let it go.

But a couple of weeks ago, I reached my limit – that room was getting cleaned no matter what. He had to go to play in the pit orchestra for the school musical that evening, and he was supposed to have a friend stay over afterward, so I told him he needed to get the room cleaned before he had to leave or his friend wasn’t coming. He started off in his normal, sitting on his ass way, until I made it clear that his friend would not be allowed to come over if he didn’t get it done. Suddenly he kicked it into high gear.

He was working and cleaning and doing what I asked. The girl was even helping him. I gave him garbage bags to get rid of the 600 pounds of paper and crap and broken stuff that he had been shoving in the closet and in drawers and under the bed for the past god knows how long. I was happy to see the first bag come out of there. And the second. And the third. I praised him and said, now doesn’t it feel good to get that done?

He admitted that it did and kept on going. And then another bag came out. And another. And I started to get suspicious. I asked him if he was just throwing stuff away because he didn’t want to clean it. He insisted he wasn’t and that he was only throwing out old, broken stuff and garbage. I was skeptical, but given the amount of stuff I had recently seen under his bed and in his closet – it was possible. Finally, after many hours (and seven bags), he was done. He got ready and we dropped him off at the school.

After I got back, I happened to glance into the last bag he brought out, which he hadn’t tied shut. And my head exploded into a million I-Will-Kill-That-Kid shaped pieces. Right on top, I found a game. A game that had never been opened – that still had the plastic shrinkwrap on the box. And a science kit. And a sculpting book & set. And a set of good (and very much not cheap) artist pastels. And a robot-building kit. None of which had ever even been opened. Some of these things, I tried to donate to Toys for Tots the previous year, since they were still brand new, but he insisted he was going to play with them, so I didn’t.

By now, it was clear that I was going to have to go through every single bag. I understand if he had outgrown something and didn’t want it anymore. But there is no way in hell I was going to let him throw away a bunch of perfectly good stuff that we could donate or sell, or give away to someone who would love to have it. So this week, I spent hours going though those bags. And oh the things I found.

In addition to the previously mentioned items (and lots of broken stuff and garbage), I also found: the remote control car we paid about seven bajillion dollars for him to build, another remote control car, a set of air hogs helicopters, a paintball gun, a sweater, two t-shirts and a hat that he just got for Christmas (that still had TAGS ON THEM!), Several other articles of clothing – some outgrown, but in pristine condition, and some which still fit – including brand names like American Eagle, Gap, and Calvin Klein. Several baseball hats, including two scout hats and a Gap hat with the tags still on it. A favorite pair of MY sandals that have been missing for a couple of years. One of my hiking boots. A pair of his father’s shoes. A couple articles of his sister’s clothing. Approximately 1,000 marbles. His entire keychain collection (which his sister has been eyeing for years). A pair of roller blades. About a dozen books, including a boxed 3-book reference set. A Lion King collectible. A Pirates collectible coin book with several coins. The same with Steelers coins. A Sidney Crosby trading card in a protective case. A huge box of trading cards, including sports, pokemon and yugioh. Three brand new packs of pencils. A brand new pack of pens. A stapler. A calculator. Several scouting/camping items. Two scouting books. Two souvenir baseball bats – one from the final game at Three Rivers. A small piggy bank (with some money in it). A brand new set of markers. A brand new set of colored pencils. An electronic door alarm kit. A Steelers sign. Karate pads. A giant ear of corn hat (a treasure that should never be thrown away). And a whole bunch of other things that have no business in the garbage.

I gathered up all the goods and waited until he got home. Then I watched while he noticed the huge bin of cool stuff and approached it. And then I attacked: “BACK OFF! That is not your stuff!”

“What? This is stuff from my room!”

“No – that is stuff you threw away, so it isn’t your anymore”

“No way! That’s not fair! I didn’t mean to throw that stuff away! Come on, Mom!”

“Forget it, Pal.”

And then I happily gave a bunch of the stuff to his sister while he watched. Sometimes I love being the mean mom.

PS. I know that he didn’t throw this stuff away out of pure ungratefulness – he was in a panic that he wouldn’t get to have his friend stay over so he started throwing stuff out without even looking at it. But it’s still no excuse.

Defending Bieber


I found myself in a very strange position this past weekend – defending Justin Bieber. I KNOW! But the point of this post really isn’t about Justin Bieber and how much he sucks or doesn’t suck. It’s really about teenagers and how much they suck.

Now, I’d like to claim that I was never like that as a teen, but I have to be honest – I was. I can clearly remember what a big asshole I was. And all my friends were. We were the good kids – we got good grades, and were kind to people, and didn’t cause trouble. But we were still assholes.

I remember the days of thinking my parents were old-fashioned idiots who didn’t know anything about the world and wouldn’t know good music if they heard it. I remember thinking how unfair everything was. I remember always having to get the last word. I remember swearing to God and Buddha and Magnum PI that I would never be like my parents.
Hello? Gina, meet karma.

The boy is a teenager now and he’s pretty much killing me. He is all those things I remember being: stubborn, a know-it-all, contrary, lazy, smartass, OMG SO SLOW, and a general pain in the ass. And yet, he’s still a pretty damned good kid.

That said, his anti-Bieber campaign is really getting on my nerves. Now don’t get me wrong – the mere thought of Justin Bieber makes me gag. But the girl loves him, so he’s in my life – in my ears, hanging on my walls, in my laundry (on her shirts and jammies – obviously, he’s not actually in my laundry – that would be weird), so I deal with it.

I don’t recall my parents being big Shaun Cassidy fans, but they still bought me the albums and clothes and posters and jewelry (which I still wear), and my dad (bless his heart) even took me to his concert. And my aunt didn’t swoon over Andy Gibb, but she still sat in the second row at the Syria Mosque and happily(ish) got trampled on my a bunch of screaming girls and (her least favorite part) hit by flying Gibb sweat, because I did swoon over him.

Anyway, the girl has Bieber Fever. And the boy has IHateBieber Fever. And being a smartass, know it all, stubborn, contrary teen, feels the need to express his anti-Bieber feelings every time he sees, hears, or even thinks about anything remotely related to Justin Bieber. Which triggers the screamy, Bieber-Fever, 7 year old crazy. Which in turn triggers my nervous breakdown.

I finally told him, “Enough! Enough with all the bad-mouthing and mocking and negativity!”
His response – of course (being a self-righteous, know it all teen), was “Jeez, mom, I’m entitled to my opinion!” He was feeling very proud of himself for that response until I told him that while he is entitled to his opinion, if that opinion is the opposite of the opinion of someone he cares about, and if that opinion is hurtful to someone he cares about, then perhaps he should keep it to himself, and that if he thinks I am stupid enough to think that he really cares all that much about Justin Bieber in one way or another, rather than expressing his goddamned opinion for the sake of making his sister scream, the he is sadly mistaken. And the next time he thinks about trying to stir up shit and ruin my peaceful evening/dinner/car ride by making the screamer who screams scream even more, he better think twice, because I WILL KILL HIM.

And then, because there is obviously still a teensy-weensy touch of stubborn, oppositional, know-it-all, smart ass, contrary teenager in me, I followed up with, “JUSTIN BIEBER IS AWESOME AND YOU’RE JUST JEALOUS!”

Sigh. I’ve turned into my parents and my kids.

Also? Bieber sucks.