“Mom, can I cut the couch?”

Imagine this…

Monday morning we were at the table chowing down on our cereal.

“Mom,” Linc says between bites of cereal.  “You know how things fall into the cracks on the couch?”

I nodded. The remote to the DVD player is currently MIA and if I had to guess it’s camping out in the company of some spare change and lint in the deep, dark crevices of the sofa. It’s what it is. We’ve all dropped our remote down there and every few days have to fish it out.

I digress.

“So last night Abe and I were moving the couch–”

“Why?”

“Because we wanted to see if when we dropped something behind the cushions if it’d fall straight to the floor.” His matter of fact tone was almost more than I could bear.

“We’ve had that sofa for six years, don’t you think if it worked that way, we wouldn’t have spent so much time blindly groping into the interior of the sofa for lost objects?”

“That’s because there’s a liner,” he says as if he’s just made the greatest discovery in the world.

“Yes, there is.” I tried to keep the sarcasm from my tone, but I’m pretty sure I failed. “Hence, why we have to fish…”

“OK but see, the liner goes so deep down the couch, Abe nor I can reach our hand down there, so…” He shrugs as he trials off.

“And?”

“Well, Abe and I want to cut the bottom of the couch so things just fall out the bottom.”

Mom, can I cut the couch?

I’m sure the look on my face spoke volumes of the annoyance and disbelief I was feeling.

“See, it’ll be great,” Linc says as if he really thinks he’s convincing me of this. “Then we won’t have to reach down in there when we lose stuff, it’ll just fall out the bottom.”

“Uh huh, I see.” I seriously just lied to him. I don’t see. I do see his brother Abe nodding his head in agreement like a bobble head dog. I see Linc looking all excited that he thinks he just won me over. I can almost my blood pressure rising. But what I don’t see is the utility it a huge whole in the bottom of a leather sofa so things that are dropped can fall out the bottom!

“So we can do it?” Abe asks, his brown eyes sparkling with excitement.

“Sure.” I smiled. “Just as soon as you both do enough chores to earn the money to buy that sofa.”

My two youngest boys both looked at me as if I’d just taken away their puppy.

“Sorry, guys,” I started. “There isn’t any use in this modification other than just destroying the furniture.”

Let me pause here to say, at least they asked me first. I do have to give them credit for that. There are several people of my acquaintance who’d be telling this story a little differently–like after they’d discovered a freaking huge hole in the bottom of their sofa. So at least there’s that.

Back to the story…

“But what about not having to reach down into the cracks?” Linc persists. ” Remember the time you found the grilled cheese?”

I think I just threw up a little in my mouth at the memory of the an ancient, cold and partially deteriorated grilled cheese that I once pulled out from the back corner of the sofa. “That’s what I have you guys for. You eat on the couch, you can be the ones to dig in the crumb abyss.” I tried not to grin at their disgusted faces. “The answer is no.”

Linc’s eyes lit again as if he’d just had such a brilliant idea that I couldn’t say no. “What if Mickey gets stuck back there?”

“Son, if you think asking me if your guinea pig crawls around on the couch and gets stuck back behind the cushions and so far down your arm cannot reach is going to convince me to allow you to cut a hole in the bottom of the couch, then I think it’s time to go find her a new home before you can be so negligent.”

And THAT is how you stop the nonsense. I know, I know Imma Mean Mom. But good gravy, what the hell is the obsession with destroying the furniture? I’ve seen so many dang sitcoms I almost feel shamed into having little debates with my kids about things that I’m never going to allow to happen just to be “fair”. However, in my world, no means no and Mom’s word is final.

So, what crazy request have you received from a kid that you felt like an idiot debating? Imma curious and I wanna know so comment below!

Imma B.

Captain Underpants–Yes, I saw the movie

Okay, so the #1 thing about having boys is: tighty whities are no big deal. And neither is potty humor. It just does with the territory.

So of course my youngest son wanted to see Captain Underpants and because I love him, I agreed to not only watch it, but pay the big bucks and see it at the theater!

Trying not to die of humiliation, I proudly walked up to the ticket counter and said, “Um, can I get three tickets to–” my mind totally went blank. “Um, the movie about underbritches.”

The guy had a totally serious look on his face. “We don’t have a movie about underbritches.”

“Yes, you do,” I said, frowning. “The underwear movie.”

Still holding out with a grim face, he shook his head.

My eyes scanned the movie list above his head. “Captain Underpants.” Gracious, he knew what I was talking about and the grin on his face told me he’d been messing with me. How sweet.

He told me a price. I gave him the moola, then cackling, yes he was, cackling, handed me the tickets and said, “Enjoy!”

Trying not to curse the wretched man, I forced a smile and went to go endure what I never thought I’d be subjected to: an animated movie with a superhero whose costume was an oversized pair of underwear.

To be truthful, it wasn’t the a bad movie, and certainly not the worst I’ve ever been subjected to (The Big Lebowski, Spanglish, Home Fries, all come to mind). For what it was, it was actually pretty well done. Obviously it’s a movie, one based on a comic book written and illustrated by two third grade boys, so suspending reality is an absolute must. Graphics were great. And as much as it pains me to say it, the jokes and plays on words were actually rather clever. And…even more painful to admit, I found myself laughing–sometimes at the witty banter, sometimes because I couldn’t believe I was in there watching that and actually entertained. Who knew.

Overall, the plot is simple: cranky principal wants to separate two troublemakers. A bit of magic transpires and the principal becomes Captain Underpants, a nice guy who does whatever the boys want. Until the villain Professor P shows up, then they have a real mission.

I won’t soil…oops…I mean spoil it for all of you who I know are dying to go see it, but overall it was entertaining. I’m not sure if I didn’t have a 10 year old boy (and a big boy 😉  ) who wanted to see it that I’d have gone, but if you have a boy aged 6-12, he’ll love it. Best part, I didn’t have to explain a single sexual innuendo when we left!

Enjoy and be sure to eat tons of popcorn for me!

Imma B.

THIS is life with boys!

I went into my boys’ bathroom to hang up signs to remind them of proper hygiene and manners:

 

 

(Yes, they were ALL necessary. 😉 )

After I placed my signs, I peeked in the tub and found…

Lego Bath

Seriously?! Why are the Legos going for a soak in the tub? None of the boys have had a bath in ages so all I can imagine is they were either A. trying to clean them in a very strange way; B. they did this to get a rise out of me. I didn’t say a word!

Friday is almost here, enjoy it and your weekend!

Imma B.

My Clever Son

In my house we have direct consequences for actions. Usually, they’re very definite consequences and I try very hard to tailor them to the action.

In regards to chores, it goes like this: If your chore isn’t done properly, you get to do it again and again until it’s done properly.

When my kids were toddler and pre-school age, this just consisted of at that moment redoing the chore. Now that my kids are a little older (all of mine are in the double digits-  0_o ) the rules are a little more…er…severe. If you didn’t do a good job of your chores today, you get to do that same chore again tomorrow and whoever was supposed to have it, gets a day off.

Example: you don’t get the laundry washed, dried, folded and put away today, you get to do it tomorrow–and if more has accumulated, guess who gets to do it? YOU! With so may bodies in this house, we have to do a minimum of one load per day. It’s how we manage. I’ve tried having “laundry days” they just don’t pan out because Mt. Laundry forms in my mudroom because nobody has time to fold and put it away.

Another example, if we run out of a certain type of clean dish or eating utensil (plate, bowl, spoon, cup, etc) you get to do dishes again the next day.

This sounds mean, but this rule has really helped my boys to stay on top of their chores and not leave things undone so it falls on someone else the next day. Parenting is about teaching your kids responsibility, right?

So, my youngest child, who, I will openly admit is the academic of the family and fully plans to “use his noodle, not his back” when he grows up–meaning quite frankly, he’ll do anything he can to get out of his chores because he hates work has discovered a way to outwit me (or so he thinks!).

Today, I went to open the silverware drawer to get a spoon for applesauce and found this:

Silverware drawer.JPG

Well played, Son. But do you see that nasty stain on the butterknife? That means, you’ll still be doing the dishes again tomorrow! (And I’ll be adding an addendum to my rulebook: real silverware only.)

Love my kids! Gotta stay one step ahead though! 😀

Imma Boy Mom

I’m a Boy Mom–now for anyone who doesn’t know what this term means (my brother-in-law :-p ) it doesn’t mean that I’m a boy who is a mom. No, glad to say, I am not a man. I am definitely a woman. A woman who is a mom to only boys. In fact, if you include the animals, I am the QUEEN OF THIS CASTLE. Living the last 12, almost 13 years without another woman in the house, I’ll be so crass to say there are twenty sets of balls in this house. Both me and the dog only have one set: eyes; because I’m a (cough, cough, cough) lady (cough, cough, cough) and he’s been neutered.

I live in a constant testosterone title wave.

And I LOVE IT!!!

Nothing is greater than being the only female. Sure, you still have cramps which no one else understands and for the most part my guys are so young–and at just the right height–their little heads smack right into my sore, aching bosoms when it’s my time of the month, but I love them so dearly I just turn my head and grimace.

Part of the awesomeness of being a boy mom is I can get away with things those with   daughters sometimes can’t.

For example, nobody questions it when I wear my hair pulled back in a sloppy bun, or worse have a ratty old ball cap on my head. Which is almost all the time. When I do wear nail polish, people are actually so surprised they always compliment the color–even if it has chips after only a few hours. Cutsie shoes? Don’t have ’em and not a problem. I spend my days in sneakers or boots. Makeup is optional and my perfume is buried in the bottom left cabinet of my bathroom, collecting cobwebs.

IT’S GREAT!!!!

As for “mom things” like Target and Pinterest… Never got into those. I was a young mom who struggled in the poverty pit for years, followed by writing a break-out book series and suddenly having a fledging career develop almost overnight that required 12-hour workdays in order to support my deadbeat (now ex) husband and his irresponsible spending. BUT, now that my kids are getting a little older and I’ve given up the life of a slave to my computer AKA an author, I just might find an interest in frequenting Target. I might even branch out and peek inside Hobby Lobby, too!

Pinterest is a little easier to “visit” as I can do that wearing my yoga pants and a faded t-shirt in my living room. And that is exactly what I did an hour ago. I even created a “Boy Mom Board”. If you’re bored and care to check it out, click here as WP is being a doo-doo head and trying to make me upgrade to “business” plan (costing almost $25/month) in order to install the Pinterest plugin. I THINK NOT. At least not until I have more than just my mom reading my posts on a regular basis. 😀

Anyone else here a Boy Mom? What’s your favorite part? Do you ever feel like you missed out on not having a girl?

Is it time for school to start back yet?

Nope.

My kids have been out of school for two weeks and it already feels like an eeeeteeeerrnittttttty!!

If you’re anything like me, you’ve scoured the internet to find them fun things to do. Only, your kid isn’t interested in any of it. That’s my situation. I’ve found dozens of those 100 summer activities for your kids. Most things on those lists require about 3 hours of prep time by me, followed by 10 minutes of activity time of which only about 2 of those 10 are spent happy to be doing the activity by them.

No, thank you!

So here is MY Summer Activity List I came up with for my kids:

 

Imma B.-2

  1. Read a book.
  2. Run around the backyard 10 times and try to beat your previous time with each lap.
  3. Rollerblade around the block from sunrise until lunch time.
  4.  Get on your bike and go ride around the neighborhood.
  5. Use rocks or larger pieces of mulch to be your “walkie talkies” while you pretend to chase down the bad guys. (The imaginary ones, in your head only–let’s not start our own branch of crime prevention in the neighborhood.)
  6. Play a board game
  7. Scribble down the driveway with sidewalk chalk.
  8. Have a water balloon fight.
  9. Swim.
  10. Find a bug and adopt him as your friend.
  11. Make a mud pie or have a mud fight.
  12. Sort, count and roll your spare change.
  13. Pull your younger sibling or a younger neighbor in a wagon.
  14. Walk with a group of friends down to the closest gas station and buy a popsicle.
  15. Have a dance-off with your friends.
  16. Make a voice recording of yourself–and friends.
  17. Have a lip syncing competition with your friends.
  18. Play soccer, football, kickball, baseball, basketball, etc.
  19. Set up an obstacle course in the backyard.
  20. Recruit some kids and play capture the flag.
  21. Draw.
  22. Write a story.
  23. Run through the sprinklers.
  24. Do flips in the backyard.
  25. Hoola hoop or jump rope.
  26. Take your pillow case outside and use it to bunny hop across the back yard.
  27. Create a new game outside.
  28. Read a magazine.
  29. Give the dog/cat a bath.
  30. Make lemonade, popsicles or ice cream.
  31. Find a cardboard box and “sled” down a grassy hill.
  32. Play with your toys (we all know kids have thousands of them).
  33. Make a bracelet with string and beads.
  34. Learn to play a make-shift instrument.
  35. GET OUTSIDE AND USE YOUR IMAGINATION!!!

 

If none of these suggestions entertain your cherub but you don’t want them in front of a screen all day playing games or watching movies, suggest one of the following and they’ll vanish and entertain themselves no questions asked:

  1. Clean your room
  2. Clean the garage
  3. Pick weeds
  4. Mow the lawn
  5. Dig a ditch

You’re welcome. 😀

These might sound a little “old school”, and well, that’s because they are and guess what, they worked! When I was a kid (and I’m not that old!!) I was outside all day long. My mom shooed us outside as soon as the sun came up, sometimes even before, she hollered for us at midday and when we came we found a paper plate with our lunches waiting on the porch. Then it was back to playing until the sun went down. And ya know what? We liked it!

My kids complain that I’m mean or unfair because I limit their screen time. I do play with them, but not all day long. I’m their mom, not their playmate. I have spent several summers planning and orchestrating a fun activity each day and guess what, I’m plumb worn out. Sure, going to the zoo, aquarium, an amusement park or something similar once a summer is a must–but planning a field trip and scheduling their day all day long, every day is not realistic. Not for me, and honestly not for most moms. So if you’re one of those moms who is trying so hard to do different activities all summer long with their kids, but feel like you’re failing. You’re not. It’s a nearly impossible task. They’re kids and they need to learn to entertain themselves. Don’t feel bad about letting them come up with their own ideas or just being bored for a little bit.

Cheers,

Imma B.