A brown belt for Big Guy – not that it’s important
Mon, 12/03/12 – 12:49 | Comments Off

It was testing week in karate and, as usual, Big Guy was under the gun. Not as much as he used to be, when he didn’t have a clue and had to frantically cram, but …

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Picky eaters and allergy-safe cooking — the two aren’t necessarily unrelated.

Girl Gone Wonk

From policy to politics, this rant’s for you.


The day’s events in a family way — unless something else amuses me.

School days

From preschool to kindergarten — so far

Simple Gifts

Inexpensive homemade gifts, creative parties and low-cost projects, for Christmas and beyond. Many are easy enough for children to help.

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Articles tagged with: milestones

A Wubbulous way to start the day
Friday, 2 Jan, 2009 – 10:53 | 2 Comments
A Wubbulous way to start the day

Boots flew at me with tears streaming, end-of-the-world angst written across his face.
“Momma!” — they call me Momma mainly when they want something. “He says I can’t be Wubbzy, and I wanna be Wubbzy. I’m …

When technology fails, it’s time to check out checkers
Sunday, 28 Dec, 2008 – 11:41 | Comments Off
When technology fails, it’s time to check out checkers

I don’t remember what I got for Christmas when I was 5, but I suspect the lineup included a doll, a dish set and something Suzy Homemaker.
I suspect the collection didn’t include gifts that were …

You can take it to the bank – and they did
Monday, 2 Jun, 2008 – 6:49 | Comments Off

I feel so retro I’m ready to hitch up the horses.

Last week, the guys mailed Halloween cards to family back east. That’s right – envelopes, stamps, addresses and everything. Signed them even – sort of. Big Guy can manage only the first two letters of his name. Makes me wish I’d named him Al or Ed – he’d think he was a genius because he could spell the whole thing.

And today, we went to the bank. A real honest-to-gosh bank. Not one in a grocery store, not an ATM.

Remember those? I’d almost forgotten. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been in one in the past two years.

Seems these days, I have an arm’s length relationship with my money, and it’s not just because, since the guys came along, it goes out almost as soon as it comes in.

I’ve direct deposited my paychecks since 1990. My main savings account is through a credit union payroll deduction, while deposits into my “emergency” savings account are electronic transfers from my checking account. I also have automatic transfers set up for the guys’ college funds. I pay all but two bills online.

It’s a highly efficient system. Click-pay is far quicker than writing checks, and the labyrinth of electronic transactions saves a lot of running around and waiting in line.

But what do the guys see? Nothing.

The end of the nap era
Monday, 2 Jun, 2008 – 5:09 | Comments Off

I should have taken a picture today of the two tiny heads smooshed together across adjoining sleeping bags in the living room – why they insist on two sleeping bags and then wind up entangled like conjoined twins is beyond me.

It might well be the last time it happens. Big Guy, it seems, is outgrowing naps.

I hate that, and it has absolutely nothing to do with a longing for my long-lost baby. It has everything to do with longing for my long-lost sleep.

It happened two days in a row last week at school. “He didn’t take a nap today, so good luck to you,” a teacher said as we left Friday.

I was as shocked as anyone when I didn’t need good luck. Big Guy was

Big Guy meets his romantic rival
Sunday, 1 Jun, 2008 – 21:16 | Comments Off

She’s a raven-haired beauty whose soft brown eyes and gentle spirit caught Big Guy’s eye before he could even focus. And she, an 11-year-old who’d never much cared for babies, was smitten with his exuberant goofiness.

And so it was for four years with these polar opposite kindred souls.

He’d rush to her side the second she was in sight. They’d disappear into her room, playing KoRn CDs and giggling for ages. She entered a Goth phase; his favorite color became black. She had a Jonathan Davis birthday cake; he wanted an “On David” birthday cake, too. Her cell phone ring tone said, “Hello, Moto!” and that was Big Guy’s first intelligible phrase.

We always knew, of course, that the day would come when Big Guy’s First Love

In love with teacher
Sunday, 1 Jun, 2008 – 21:14 | Comments Off

There comes a moment in every boy’s life when he realizes there are other women in the world besides Mom. When he notices a certain lady with a certain light who outshines all others.

At the guys’ preschool, that moment comes at roughly age 2½, when Teacher L captures their attention.

The first six months of preschool, you see, are spent getting used to the strange new land, adjusting to the structure of “class time” and jockeying for position. Once that’s dispensed with, there’s time to fall in love.

It happens to all the boys at that preschool. The 4-year-olds in her class fight to sit next to her during lessons, and a chance to be by Teacher L’s side no doubt is more responsible for Big Guy’s

Conquering the “I Can’t Do It” syndrome
Sunday, 1 Jun, 2008 – 21:12 | Comments Off

I am about to enter the Mommy Guilt Hall of Fame, first ballot, unanimous vote.

I tricked Big Guy about his letter to Santa, and it’s bugged me for a week. How’s that for pathetic? I’m remorseful over deceiving a kid who was writing to a mythical character.

It was his first letter, you see, and I’m a sentimental schmuck about such things. It’s going to lead to an ambulance crew one day finding my body among piles of cake pans, cookie cutters  and memorabilia from the guys, but that’s the price I’ll have to pay.

At least, I thought at first it was about it being his first letter. I realized later that it’s about a mom learning something important about her child, something I’m really glad

I not a baby!
Sunday, 1 Jun, 2008 – 20:59 | Comments Off

The moment I’ve dreaded for 26½ months came at 7:16 tonight, and it shocked me down to my shoes.

“I not a baby!” Little Guy insisted.

This time he was talking to Big Guy, who had just insulted the burgeoning boyhood. “Here, baby” Big Guy said as he handed his brother a Popsicle.

I know it will be directed at me soon.

With Big Guy, it was cute and cantankerous the first time he said it. It wasn’t unexpected at all – Big Guy’s been cute and cantankerous since he drew his first breath. And with Big Guy, it seemed to take forever to get to this stage. Little Guy’s life, on the other hand, has flitted by in five minutes.

You watch words grow over the months, from gurgling

Paying it backward, Big Guy style
Sunday, 1 Jun, 2008 – 20:32 | Comments Off

Big Guy bounced out of bed Sunday with a broad grin. And Big Guy, mind you, never bounces of bed. Stomps and scowls occasionally, but never bounces.

“Go to Target after breakfast?”

That was shock No. 2. He was volunteering  to eat breakfast. Where’s the argument? Where’s the fuss?

“I sure am, babes,” I said. “Let’s get moving!”

He’d been saving since spring to buy “Madagascar.” I’m not sure what started his obsession with the movie, but we were shopping one day and he just had  to have it. And I, having recently bought two Easter bunny movies, was not about to buy it.

“Tell you what. You have $8 in your special drawer right now. You know Gramma and your aunts send money for your birthday. You save all

Look Who’s Talking II
Sunday, 1 Jun, 2008 – 20:12 | Comments Off

Strange utterings from Little Guy’s world of learning to talk:

Cop-a-ler: Helicopter, of course. Sometimes, he’ll just give up and say “airplane.” He never gives up, though, with Thomas’ friend, Harold the Cop-a-ler. I guess some aircraft are just too important to dismiss as mere planes.

A-wa : Agua, or water. Little Guy goes bilingual, courtesy of his friend “Keen” at day care. “Keen” – you can get a huge smile out of Little Guy just by saying the kid’s name, so you know they’re buds – has his little friends speaking Spanish, too, which is fine by me. I know enough Spanish to muddle by, but I don’t think I would have caught this had Little Guy’s teacher not tipped me off to the “a-wa” epidemic. What the heck, I’ll play along. Tonight, when he was saying “more a-wa,” I responded with “mas a-wa.”

Bummo : This means either “steering wheel”

A tough transition — Little Guy leaves the crib
Sunday, 1 Jun, 2008 – 19:58 | Comments Off

Harsh reality has pre-empted tonight’s sentimental ode to the end of babyhood. The sappy remembrance will air at a later date, reality permitting.

Little Guy hates his big-boy bed. He glares at it, as if it’s responsible for famine in Africa and $3.40-a-gallon gas

He’s not wild about me, either. I robbed him of the blessed comfort of his crib, cold-heartedly tossing it in the garage and replacing it with this thing . “How could you ruin my sweet little life?” his eyes ask.

This one was supposed to be easy. But every time I think I have this gig figured out, the Motherhood Muses are tittering around the corner, ready to smite my butt.

Except for scattered tummy and teeth pain, Little Guy never has had trouble sleeping. He recently dozed off over a bowl of Cheez-Its. He slept in two different beds on vacation, adjusting to each in about five minutes.

He took to his big-boy bed immediately in the showroom, climbing in and lying down with a huge grin. This is going to be a snap, I thought.

Dressed for success
Sunday, 1 Jun, 2008 – 19:36 | Comments Off

It’s not often in recent years that I’ve wanted to stand and applaud in public. I used to do it in baseball stadiums, but my team’s been so bad in recent years I’ve gotten over that urge.

I’ve felt it twice recently, but managed to restrain myself. So I thought I’d do it here.

The first time was the day before Easter, at SaveMart on H Street. The woman was smartly dressed in denim capris and a white T-shirt, straight blond hair neat and smooth. I marveled at her ability to pull that off with two kids in tow.

A boy, who looked to be a bit over 1, was sitting in the cart, while a girl, maybe 3, was holding onto its side. It was the girl’s apparel that really caught my attention: A cotton-candy colored tulle fairy dress that screamed “I won’t quit wearing my Halloween costume,” with white flowered leggings underneath.

Way to go, Mom! You understand what I strive to live by: Don’t waste time on arguments that don’t matter.

Little Guy and lovey obsession
Sunday, 1 Jun, 2008 – 18:38 | Comments Off

Some kids easily give up their blankies, lovies, whatever. I was that type, heartlessly abandoning blanky around age 3 or 4.

There are others who hold on until the object of the obsession is in so many shreds that continued cuddling is impossible. My older brother falls into that category. I think the last shards of his blanky went on his honeymoon.

Seems that Little Guy has