Why do I feel, whenever I walk into Henry’s room to discover my sweet lad has finally given in to precious, precious slumber — why do I have the urge to pump my fist in the air and sing “we are the champions, my friend” at the top of my lungs? I’ll tell you why: KID IS A WARRIOR.
I don’t know why, after so many years of being Henry’s mama, that it is just now occurring to me that not only is Henry strong-willed (duh!), but that he’s the strongest willed of the Balducci boy bunch. Which is saying a. lot. A whole stinking lot.
Sometimes I feel sheepish about this fact. Y’all, mama ain’t gonna lie. Somedays, I am seriously whipped at the end of the day. Not just from reminding the boys that we don’t use that word (insert word, use your imagination. No, no, not *that* bad, back it up a bit, okay forward just a little…yes, *that* word), reminding them of proper language and tone and facial expression, but also just a whole host of other things. It’s parenting at its finest and it ain’t fer sissies. I get worried that we’re going to have a reputation as being wild and wooley (get! Ha! As in, that might happen in the future as opposed to it already happened!), but you know, that’s just life among human beings. People know you and love you and also know your warts. They don’t really love your warts (gross) but they understand everyone has them.
So yes, strong-willed children are totally living here in my home. And in particular, I’d like to offer some encouragement which is: if you have middle school boys, don’t be afraid. You aren’t crazy. This is super-duper challenging. Take courage my friend. And don’t lower your standards. Fight the good fight. Maybe pick your battles, but also don’t pick your battles based on the trajectory of their head whipping back on the hinge of their upper neck. Yes, I did ask you to unload the dishwasher. No, I don’t think it’s as bad as all that.
When Paul was a little boy, as the story goes, he once rode his bicycle into a tree. He was just learning to ride his bike and he finally got a nice little coast going and low and behold a daggum tree just appeared out of nowhere and totally ruined his ride by getting in his way. Paul was so mad, this wee little young boy, that he stood up from where he had been thrown off the bike, picked up that bike and threw it on the ground. He would get so mad, his mother would tell him, that he had a blood vessel that would pop out of the center of his forehead and bulge and just sit there raging, probably waiting for his dear mother to help him calm his bad self down.
This man is the father of my children. His DNA is contributing to our sons and it’s cool, I’m good, but man some days I have to remind myself that this too shall pass. We have all had moments like this. My mom has an entire arsenal of stories about that little imp Rachel the Toddler. And now that I’m such a mild mannered, quiet and gentle lass, it’s nice to know that all this will be behind us one day.
oh, wait. Rats.
In other news, I was on ClearVoice! I just now found this interview. So fun!