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My Teenager

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It hit me today…  I’m almost the mom of an adult.

By the time the twins are in kindergarten, I will be the mom of an adult.

Want to know how I figured that one out?  When I was sitting in the passenger seat of MY CAR while he drove us to his school.  Did you read that?  He DROVE me.

Sh**

And now that I’m a little more into my day, and the coffee has kicked in, I realized that my sleepless nights ahead will no longer come from the babies, but from my oldest.  I love that I have kids at all stages of life.  It allows me to relate to so many more moms and stories they tell, but it also allows me to be a little humble and gracious to the stages my kids are each going through because they are all so uniquely different.  Life lessons as a teenager are HARD.  They are beyond potty training accidents and sleep training and positive discipline (or not so positive in my case some days).  And they are not going to get easier.

These are legit life lessons.  I can’t grab his hand and pull him back out of the path of a car or hold him in the deep end.  I can’t kiss an owie to make it better or find his favorite blanket to cuddle.  (Well, I could, but… I’d lose the cool-mom points that I have still remaining).

My child is driving a huge metal object that weighs a ton (especially Betty… yeah, he drove Betty… that should be extra credit).  Mistakes mean potentially a lot of damage.  He did great- he’s so cautious.  My dad always told me to be on the defense, don’t assume anyone around you is a great driver.  I get it.  Aiden will be a great driver and he won’t be the kid that does a lot of stupid stuff (he probably will, but I’m going to play naive for now)- but it’s everyone else around him that worries me.  (Like the lady who was tailgating us through our neighborhood this morning as he was following the speed limit… man, did I want to get out of the car.  I didn’t.  I also only went to grab the wheel once… which I think is pretty good for a 5 minute drive!)

It’s not just physical mistakes.  The heart and brain life-lessons are hard, too.  He had a coach yesterday tell him some not great things (when I thought he played a freaking fantastic game and had two tricky corner kicks get past him… and all the other members on the team).  That hurts.  That stings.  And it’s hard to teach them that sometimes ADULTS forget they are dealing teenagers and that they shouldn’t take their frustrations of a tied game out on them.  On the flip side, he’s old enough to handle that now and we’re beyond everyone getting a trophy or medal for participation, or making a team because they will cash your check you write them (yeah, I said it- if you haven’t entered the world of club sports yet, just have your check book ready.)

And love… We’re not into dating yet (at least I don’t think he is).  And maybe the first broken heart will be his sister’s, and not his, but I’m not looking forward to that day.  What if he’s the one doing the heart breaking?  Lesson too, right?

So I have these toddlers learning life lessons through “yes”, “no”, “that hurts”, “that doesn’t hurt”, etc.  The “lessons” seem so small compared to what I’m dealing with in regards to the big kids.  (even though in that moment with the littles, I totally admit I often overreact and make them really a big deal).  And now I have this teenager, and another almost teenager, that are learning some really big stuff.  And unlike the littles, most of the bigs’ lessons, I just have to sit back and offer support.  I can’t take the lead.  I shouldn’t take the lead … if I did … they wouldn’t learn the lesson, right?  I have no control.  (There it is- my control issues).  I can’t be there to “fix” it like I do with the littles.  The bigs have ground they have to uncover themselves.  I can only hope I did lay their foundation right, and that I did everything I could during those small life lessons to create success (whatever that definition is) in the big life lessons that are about to come.  It also made me realize how important the littles’ life lessons really are.  They lay the foundation.

However, if Aiden and Lucy come to me one day looking for their blanket for comfort, or to kiss an owie, or pull them out of oncoming traffic.  You best believe I will be right there, cool mom points or not.

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you might be a toddler if…

Hey- I’m Knox- I’m 3.  Maybe you remember me.  Its been a while since I’ve been able to write about life as I know it… so here I am.  Back again.

Its been so long since I was able to sit down and write that I should fill you in on a few things.  First of all- I’m 3 and in preschool and loving every minute of it.  The twins- yeah, they’re still around and they are 2 (and craaazzzyy).  Didi (Lucy) is in 5th grade and Charlie (Aiden) is in high school now and I LOVE hanging out with him and his friends.

So this post is all about me.  Yup, just me.  Thought I would fill you in on a few of my favorite things to do:

  1. TAG-TEAM:  Many of you know I used to like to pick on the twins.  Especially Grif (only because he cries all.the.time).  But its crazy.  One day it just happened.  I realized Grif was bigger than me.  And he bites.  And he can fight back.  So I don’t pick on them (as much… let’s be honest… I still do, sometimes) and instead I have learned that I can get a lot more accomplished if there is more than just me.  So I recruit them.  Like when I need to reach the fish food on the shelf, or dump toys and electronics into the fish tank, or get food or candy I’m not supposed to, or fill up cups of water and dump them on the floor… you get it.  It definitely helps having power in numbers.  The twins are pretty helpful when it comes to this stuff.
  2. PAINT: I’m super good at painting.  Painting with paint, water, play-doh.  I paint on paper or walls.  Anything works, really.  Play-doh on walls works really well (and I guess is super hard to get off of walls- who knew?)
  3. HAMSTER HELPER: Didi got a new pet.  I want a pet too.  Mom says no.  So instead, I try to help Didi as much as possible with her new pet.  Her name is Ginger.  Didi keeps her door locked now so I can’t get in to check on Ginger anymore.  I used to check on her while Didi was at school, and one day Ginger looked lonely so I got her out to play with her and she just ran away.  She came back to dad though and crawled into his hand, which is good.  I was worried.  But ever since then- I’m not allowed in Didi’s room.  So now I have my own pretend Hamster named Ginger that I take care of (though she isn’t as fun as the real one).  She lives in one of mom’s bird cages on the shelf and I like
  4. FISH FEEDER: So Charlie has a bunch of fish in our house and I’m really good at feeding them.  Fish are hungry.  A  lot.  So I feed them as much as I can, whenever I can.  I even put in some toys and XBOX remotes one day for them to play with, but mom wasn’t happy.  Have you ever tried fish food?  Its not that bad.
  5. OUTDOOR EXPLORER:  Being outside is my favorite.  I love being outside.  I love to go for walks and see new things like the diggers at the end of the street and talk to my next door neighbor Mr. Franklin.  He’s one of my favorite people.  He has a cane and just laughs at whatever I say.  I told my mom I want a cane like that for my birthday.  I also can open doors now and have tried to go for a walk a couple times on my own, but mom doesn’t seem to think that’s a good idea.
  6. SUPERSTAR: I guess mom and dad used to like to karaoke a lot.  So mom set up their old karaoke machine in our basement and it has TWO WORKING MICROPHONES!  Griffin and I are really good at singing duets.  Our two favorites right now are Happy Birthday and Go Cubs Go.  Do you know how loud it can get when him and I are both yelling into the microphones?  So loud.  Its awesome.  We also have some pretty intense dance parties and Whitney is a really good dancer.

 

So those are just a few of the things I like to do to keep me busy.  I love my family and love hanging out with my older siblings and get super excited when dad comes home from work.  The twins are ok, but still get in the way sometimes… ok, they get in the way a lot.  And even though my mom gets upset sometimes, I love snuggling with her and giving her lots of hugs and kisses.  She loves snuggles (and taking deep breaths and reminding herself that this is all a phase and that it goes by too quickly).

 

 

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Knox’s Top 10

Well its been awhile since my mom has let me update this thing.  Can’t imagine why.  The twins are on the move.  And by “on the move”, I mean “tag team partners that climb, fall, walk, run, roll, hide, and move… sometimes together…but usually in opposite directions making it entertaining to watch mom and dad reel them back in”

See, its funny… they think they are big.  Like me.  They aren’t.  But I let them think they are.  So they copy what I do.  Which never ends well.  Griffin usually ends up in tears.  The kid is always crying.  I take great pride in knowing exactly what to do to push his button.  It really doesn’t take much.  Sometimes just a quick chase down the hall is enough to bring the tear flowing.  Mom gets mad.  Thankfully the kid hasn’t figured out he is as big as me yet.

Whitney- well- I try not to mess with her.  She’s some kind of crazy.  I try to do the same things to her that I do to Griffin, but then usually I’m the one that ends up crying.  Embarrassing to admit, but its true.  Mom and Dad keep saying she’s tiny but mighty.  And they say she’ll beat anyone up that tries to mess with Griffin.  Thankfully she hasn’t tried to beat me up yet.  I mean – I could totally take her…right… totally…  Anyway- she feisty when she actually lets dad put her down.  Its crazy… she has dad wrapped around her finger.  He literally tries to set her down for two seconds to do something and she hits the floor like an angry elf and sure enough, he picks her right back up.  Her game is on!  Maybe she’ll give me lessons…hmmmm….

Charlie and DeeDee (you know them as Aiden and Lucy) are probably the best big brother and sister ever.  They let me hang out with them and do big kid stuff.   I help Charlie feed his fish and get to sit in DeeDees room with her and watch TV.  They say its so I don’t get in trouble from mom.  I think its because I’m a cool kid and they just want to hang out with me.  I watch out the window every day for them to get off the bus and miss them when they aren’t home.

So because its been so long- I’ve decided to make a Top 10 list of sorts.  The Top 10 things in the Hard-Knocks Life of Knox right now:

  1.  The Pantry.  Not only is it stacked with food, but now mom and dad only keep the food on the top shelves and the bottom shelves are totally empty.  Don’t worry.  I figured out how to climb it.  (as are all the other shelves that are low to the ground in our house… all empty… hmm… wonder what’s going on).
  2. The Front Door.  It opens.  I can open it.  I can open it half naked and run down the sidewalk.  I run fast.  Have you ever seen mom sprinting frantically down the sidewalk chasing a half naked boy?  You should.  Its funny.  (Hint: best time to attempt this is when she’s in the middle of changing a messy diaper…trust me…I know)
  3. The Toilet.  I can go on it.  When I want to.  Its a really fun guessing game for mom and dad.  Whitney’s starting to mimic me.  Dad thinks she will be potty trained before me.  That’s what he thinks.  I’m really potty trained.  I just like to make life interesting.
  4. The iPad.  Mom lets me watch it a lot when she’s “working”.  Fine with me.  There are these great songs about Mommy Fingers and Daddy Fingers that I listen to on REPEAT!  They’re the best.  And the videos with kids opening up toys.  Genius.  Kids open toys.  That’s it!  And they’re all over YouTube.  All day.  Every day.
  5. Mud.  And Rocks.  And Dirt.  And Ants.  And Worms.  Worms are my favorite.  I save them when it rains.  But you shouldn’t eat them.  That’s gross.   I tell everyone.
  6. Naps.  Mom wanted me to write this so I remember this one day.  She has Griffin and Whitney and I all taking 2 to 3 hour naps at the same time.  Of course, its when the babysitters are here and mom is at work.  But she seems to think this won’t last long and wants me to remember when I loved naps.
  7. My Birthday.  Mom keeps saying its coming up.  She’s been saying that for awhile.  I’m having a Captain America Birthday party with a very specific invite list and a chocolate Batman Cake.  I just keep walking around singing Happy Birthday until it actually happens.
  8. Chocolate.  Except I never get it anymore.  Mom says I’m crazy when I have chocolate.  I love chocolate.  Chocolate’s my favorite.  And sugar.  Does syrup have sugar in it?  Then yes.  That’s my favorite, too.
  9. Stroller Strides.  Mom started a new company and we get to go workout with her.  We sing songs while the moms work out.  I play games and eat a lot of snacks.  I love yelling really loud when she’s teaching (I actually love teaching the class but she won’t let me) and then as soon as class is over, we talk about how it was such a fun Stroller Strides class.  Griffin, Whitney and I each have our own stroller at home, so we get to have our own classes when get home.  I have a lot of muscles and can do a lot of pushups.
  10. My family.  I love to play with dad, wear his baseball hat, and ride in his car.  Mom gives me snuggles and takes me outside.  Charlie lets me feed his fish and hang out with him building trains.  DeeDee watches out for me and tries to keep me from getting into timeouts.  Whitney is alright.  She thinks I’m funny and laughs at me as long as I’m not picking on her.  And Griffin is alright too.  He’s finally not a baby anymore and will play with me now.  But he still cries a lot when he doesn’t do what I want and I have to hit him or take a toy away to get him to listen. But he will learn one day.  I do love to make them all laugh.  They think I will be the class clown… like my dad.

Life as a big brother to twins is hard… but someone’s got to do it.  Hopefully mom will let me on here some more so I can keep you all up to date on them and all their craziness.

-Knox

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