How To Train Your Ginger: Phobias

My Luke has been described as crazy neurotic eccentric quirky.

I certainly won’t argue given his recent phobias- pocket change (not kidding) and escalators.

As if taking him with me to purchase a bathing suit wasn’t bad enough, I completely forgot about his irrational fear of escalators. When I stepped onto the escalator in Macy’s he was right behind me, but I was halfway down when I realized he had never actually stepped onto it.

Despite the slow creep of the escalator, I was already to the bottom when a man walked up behind Luke in what was clearly an attempt to use the handy, automatic staircase. Luke shouted, “I’m scared of exa-lators! I can’t do it!”

I pleaded with the man to please help my son onto the escalator, so we could all move on and go about our completely abnormal lives. However, Luke was a little hesitant. It took a gentle shove from the nice, black man to get both of Luke’s feet onto the escalator. The man steadied Luke with a hand on each shoulder. I was relieved that Luke was on his way down to me, but Luke was beside himself and unable to take comfort in anything.

“Don’t let me go!! Please! Do NOT let me go,” Luke wailed during what felt like an hour-long descent. I felt badly for the nice man who was helping my son, because a small group of people had gathered around me and I had a feeling they were wondering what this man could be doing to illicit screams from a young child. They probably also wondered why I was laughing hysterically. Who knows. I’m not a mind reader.

When they reached the bottom Luke jumped off proudly. “I did it, Mom!”

“Yeah, you really did it.”

I thanked the man several times for helping me as Luke engaged in some celebratory hip-hop dancing, making doubly sure that everyone saw his ground work.

Of course, the fun didn’t stop there because I was off to purchase a swim suit. For the most part, Luke sat quietly outside my dressing room and only occasionally peaked under the door to offer unsolicited advice like, “Disgusting!” and “How did you get wrinkles on the back of your legs?”

I tried to fashion a noose out of several swimsuits tied together, but it was a fruitless effort. It’s impossible to kill yourself with lycra. It’s stretchier than a bungie cord. Luke will turn six mid-June and start Kindergarten in the fall. I hope they have a lot of escalators there.

I believe the best way to train your ginger is baptism by fire. I bet if I put a big pile of pocket change at the top of an escalator he’d hop right on.

I’ll let you know how that goes.

A video- Luke’s Dream

Luke and Sadie: A Relationship Rollercoaster

Luke and I took a trip to Greenwood, MS last week to visit Robin O’Bryant and her three girls. As usual, my little Casanova fell hard and fast. His newest love interest was Robin’s youngest, Lady Sadie.

Luke and Sadie: the relationship rollercoaster

With the big girls at school and Robin needing to run errands, I offered to take Luke and Sadie to lunch. It was our second day in Greenwood and I decided on Steven’s Barbeque- an excellent choice. Luke and Sadie had already chosen a table and when I sat down with our food Luke introduced me to the man at the the next table. “Mom, this is a man we’ve been talking to. We told him that we are cousins and that this is our first REAL date.”

Help me, Jesus.

Luke and Sadie Later that afternoon with Sadie in her tiara and Luke in his Batman mask, they wed. However, it wouldn’t be long before their marriage had its first hiccup.

Not long after the wedding ceremony they were playing Minecraft in the girl’s room and Luke had a cow. I don’t mean he pitched a fit. I mean while playing the game of Minecraft he had acquired the singular form of “cattle.” This was a problem because Sadie is afraid of cows. She stormed out of the room with tears in her eyes as Luke shouted, “Fine, Sadie! Fine. I’ll get rid of the cow!! What do you want, Sadie? Do you want a pig? Can we AT LEAST HAVE A PIG?!”

Things cooled off after they agreed on obtaining a pig for the most pointless game ever created. Side note- if you know the plot, or point of Minecraft, please get in touch with me.

At dinner that night Sadie spilled Luke’s pink lemonade. She tried to make it up to him by tying his shoes. While he was impressed, the lemonade was something he just couldn’t get past. You can see him here breaking things off.

Luke and Sadie break up

In a show of poor taste, he tried to immediately get a rebound girl in Sadie’s older sister, Emma.

“You’re my girlfriend, now!” he told Emma.

Emma was not excited and informed him that she already had a boyfriend. This did not deter Luke from laying on the charm. He began pulling up his shirt. “Have you seen my five-year-old belly?”

Robin interjected. “You know it isn’t really nice to date the sister of someone you just broke up with.”

Luke shrugged his shoulders and pointed back and forth between Emma and Sadie. “Eenie. Meenie. Miney. LOVE.”

Similar laughter and antics continued throughout the week, but none as funny as what I witnessed on our last night at the O’Bryant’s. Luke asked Robin’s eldest daughter to connect their iPads so they could all play Minecraft together. She was wearing her bathrobe after having just showered and told him that she would do it as soon as she got dressed. The second she walked out of the room, Sadie stuck her little finger in Luke’s face. There was fire in her eyes and she spoke through gritted teeth.

“If you EVER saw my sister nekkid I would be SO MAD at you!”

For the first time all week, Luke was speechless and I wasn’t about to complain.

Luke-isms: An Unwelcome Tub-side Chat

Here is your latest installment of Luke-isms, as promised.


It had been a particularly trying day as I attempted to get housework, writing, and Luke business taken care of. It was the kind of day that Brantley received a text message from me saying, “Have fun at the gym after work because when you get home, he’s all YOURS.”

Brantley got home that evening and I headed upstairs to take a bath.

“I just need ten minutes to myself,” I told him.

The tub had no sooner filled and I turned off the water to relax when I heard the door open. A familiar sound followed. It was the sound of Luke dragging his stool slowly across the bathroom floor. He parked it right next to the tub and sat down.

“WHAT are you doing? And where is your Dad? I’m trying to take a bath, Lucas. I just want some privacy.”

“It’s ok, Mom. I’ll just sit here and watch you quietly.”

“No. No. No! Brantley, where are you?” I shouted.

Brantley popped his head in the door. “Luke, leave Mom alone. She’s trying to take a bath.”

“Ok.” Luke said as he hopped off his stool. Then, he stopped. “Oh Mom, just one more fing. I know we’ve talked about this before, but I forgot. What happened to your penis, again?”

“Lucas Payne Wescott, girls don’t have penises…”

He interrupted, “Oh, that’s right. Baginas. Baginas. You have baginas.”

I wished for someone to hold my head under the water until I stopped struggling.

I wasn’t asking for the world. I just wanted ten minutes alone. With my baginas.

Stay tuned for the next installment of Luke-isms where Luke spanks himself as he shouts, “Don’t ask any questions, Mom. Just trust me. I deserve this.”

My Kid Expects More From Me (Spoiler Alert! He’s In For A Let Down)

I’ve been getting telltale signs over the last week that Luke (5) is raising his expectations of me. This is quite a conundrum because I am proud to be a champion of mediocrity and yet there I am, time and time again, encouraging him to improve on everything he does. 

Last Friday I helped him pick out his clothes and as he started getting dressed I headed for my closet. 
“I’m going to pick out my clothes now,” I told him.
“Okaaaay,” he said in a sing-song voice. “Do not EVEN tell me what it is. I can’t wait to be amaaaazed.”
I stopped dead in my tracks. Since when have I ever come out of my closet wearing something that amazed him, or anyone else for that matter? I wear sweat pants every day and I’m pretty sure he was four-years-old before he ever saw me in a dress. I’ll never forget his surprise. “Mom, YOU have a princess suit?”
Afraid he was getting his hopes up for something that was not to be, I told him, “It’s going to be running pants (I hesitated) and a T-shirt.”
“Are you going running?”
“No.” (Slightly annoyed)
“Ohhh, all right then. Dad runs in his.”
With that twist of the knife I went into my closet, closed the door behind me and mumbled under my breath, “At least I can tie my own shoes.”
Then, this morning after hitting snooze on my alarm for the third time I heard his big, flat feet hit the floor as he got out of his bed and headed for my room. The first thing out of his mouth was, “Really, Mom? Free times?” 
He climbed into my bed and we snuggled for a while before having to get him ready for school. Per our usual routine, we argued about the direction he combs his hair and his disdain for blue jeans. Before I knew it he was out the door and headed to school. He will only be there for three hours, but I miss him already. 
What I don’t miss, however, is having my outfit critiqued. 
Billie Jean King is a handsome woman, dammit and I’m not one bit ashamed of copying her swagger. 
This brings me back to my conundrum, though. Is it right for me to expect him to strive for perfection at everything he does while I sleep late and, from time to time, sleep in the outfit I’m going to wear the next day? (Shut up. You know its brilliant.)
Yes, of course it is. 
He’s five-years-old and therefore still crappy at everything!! That may sound harsh, but before judging me try making a resume for your five-year-old. You can’t. It’s hysterical. They can’t do anything. 
Parental win. End conundrum.

New Study Shows Routine Tonsillectomies ARE Harder Than Pulling Teeth

In the last four weeks Luke has lost two tonsils, two adenoids and two front teeth. That’s a lot of loss for one little guy. One thing he hasn’t lost, however, is his spunk. He had some complications from the surgery that kept him out of school (and in bed) longer than he would like to have been. This was a result of the ENT accidentally cauterizing (burning) a fairly large portion of his tongue AND sending us home with no mention of it. So on day three, or four of his post-operative recovery instead of starting to feel better, he developed a mass on his tongue so large that he could barely swallow liquids. 
Other than being furious, we were concerned the trauma to his tongue would affect his speech. 
During a follow-up appointment with his ENT, the doctor asked Luke to try saying some different words. 
ENT: “Can you say ‘puppy?'”
Luke: “Arf, arf!”
ENT: “No, I’m asking if you can say the word puppy?”
Luke: “Of course I can. Don’t be ridiculous.”
It was clear to the doctor at that point that Luke still held a grudge and who was I to blame him. When he finished the exam and opened the door to exit the room Luke said loudly, “Mom, I still fink he should go to jail.”
A few days before his surgery, Luke let Brantley pull his extremely loose tooth, but it required a good deal of bribery. So we were very surprised when just a few days ago Luke came running into our bedroom. 
“Mom and Dad, I pulled my own toof,” he said handing to me. 
“But Luke,” I said. “It wasn’t even that loose. How did you get it out so quickly?”
He placed his hands on his hips in the way he does when preparing to give us a dissertation.
“Welllll, I bited a heavy pillow, of course. Then, I shook my head around like a dog and it just fell out.”
Of course he did. 
Maybe they should change the analogous reference of something being difficult from “It’s like pulling teeth” to “It’s like being an ENT when a five-year-old makes you look like an ass.”

I Just Want To Be Alone!

Luke: “Mom, will you help me make a sign for my bedroom door?”
Me: “If I can coordinate the colors to match your bedroom and mount it on card stock?”
Luke: “What does that mean.”
Me: “It means I’ll help you if you let me make it pretty.”
Luke: “No!”
Me: “Then, no. I won’t help you.”
Luke: “Ok, fine. But, not too pretty.”
Me: “Deal.”
I didn’t realized at the time that I had just agreed to make a sign that had the sole purpose and intent of keeping ME out of his bedroom. However, I didn’t fret over it for too long because truth be told, I appreciate space and privacy just as much as my five-year-old son. Maybe more…

This is one of many examples of why I am delighted to be a contributing author in the soon to be released book, I Just Want To Be Alone.

Jen of People I Want To Punch In The Throat is a blogger that people love to love and love to hate, depending on who’s receiving the aforementioned throat punch. Last year, she released the wildly successful precursor to this book- a hilarious view of motherhood entitled I Just Want To Pee Alone. However, when Jen asked who would like to take part in a second volume which was to include the topic of husbands I raised both hands and a foot. 

You may have read the bit of husband bashing I wrote about in “You Have Lipstick On Your Teeth” last year, but something tells me you’ll have my back once again after reading my chapter, “Rehearsal Dinner Roofie.” 

How To Beat The Winter Weather Blues

“Winter Weather Blues” is my son’s nickname.

I’m kidding. 
Sort of.
It’s cold and dreary outside. If you’re like me, (and if you aren’t you probably wish you were) then you’re doing your very best to keep your family, your dog, and yourself from crossing the line from seasonally affected to seasonally afflicted. 

I’m pretty certain I read somewhere that Cabin Fever is more contagious than Herpes. 

Here are some ways we’re avoiding it at our happy home. 
Spend two hours turning a cardboard box into a crappy robot that your son will be totally ashamed of.
Get lost in a sea of arts and crafts. You’ll be feeling very mentally healthy when after a couple hours of this your son asks, “Can we do something fun?” 
Now, if you have the desire to respond with, “Like give you a black eye?” then step away from the scissors and the hot glue and try something else.
You always hear people say “Take time for yourself.” These people are stupid and usually don’t have kids, but we all need something to hit that won’t send us to jail. Just know that while you’re taking time to let off steam there will be at least one unsanctioned bathroom experiment going on behind your back. That’s why it’s so important to make those minutes count. 

Finally, don’t neglect your pet. If you notice your dog is feeling down, then give them a self-esteem boost with a little dental hygiene. He/she will be thrilled about it, not to mention SUPER cooperative. 

I hope these ideas have been helpful. If they haven’t, then feel free to jump off a bridge.

What are you doing to stay sane this winter? I’d love to hear your coping skills, I mean ideas.

(Barely) Surviving The Polar Vortex of 2014

I’m writing to you from a place called Monkey Joe’s. It’s a place where kids can run wild with reckless abandon while their parents sit in massage chairs and use the free wifi to watch episodes of Breaking Bad on their laptops. 

I’m thankful for this place because there aren’t THAT many at-home, indoor activities I can come up with. I thought there were. I was wrong. 

Earlier this morning Luke asked me to help him make a jet out of a cardboard box. I said, “Of course.” 

Two hours later we were both crying. 

He complained that I cut the holes in the wrong places and that his whole body wouldn’t fit into it. 

“That was NEVER a possibility!” I cried.

“Dad could make it work,” he said.

“Ok, look. I can attach something to the bottom of it so your legs don’t show.”

A short time later I noticed that our Yorkie, Baxter had retreated to a safe place- free from box cutters, hot glue and burlap. I should have done the same.

I’m no engineer, but I was pretty proud of the finished product. It had wings on either side. There were handles on the top for him to maneuver the jet from inside (I crafted them from pipe cleaners, dammit!!). It had two exhaust pipe thingies made from toilet paper rolls that stuck out of the back. Yes, the eye holes were too far apart, but I cut exactly where he had traced them. The final addition was the fabric that hung down to cover his legs, keeping him completely concealed in his “jet.” 

Did he say, “Gee thanks, Mom!” or “I love it!”


His response was, “I can’t wear a jet with a skirt on it! I’m not a girl.”

I was done. 

“Get dressed. Arts and crafts are over,” I said. “We’re going to Monkey Joes.”

Forget the Polar Vortex. I needed a massage and some grown up TV shows.


A Five-Year-Old’s First Impression Of The #DMV

Taking my son with me to the DMV was not my idea of fun, but given that school was closed due to snow I had no other choice. 

Upon immediately walking in the door Luke stated, “It smells like the doctor, but worse!”

“Luke, please keep your voice down.”

“Okay, okay, but where are the comfortable chairs?”

“Listen to me, Lucas. Just please sit here and be quiet. These are the only chairs they have.”

“They don’t have couches?”

“No, they don’t. Here, play with my iPad.”

“I sure wish that baby would hush up. Why does everybody look so angry?”

Through gritted teeth I said, “Lucas Wescott, I will take the iPad away if you don’t keep your voice down. And, everyone looks so angry because no one wants to be here.”

He responded with a sigh. “Yes, MA’AM,” before mumbling, “Sure am glad that baby left.”

After an hour and a half more passed it was finally my turn.
“Come on, Luke. They finally called my name,” I said as we walked past a large man with overalls and a mullet.

“Fank goodness because it just started smelling WAY worser.”
Luke sat on the floor while I talked to the surprisingly cheerful attendant. She asked me to step in front of the blue screen to have my picture taken. 
Luke scrambled up as fast as he could. “I want to be in it. Let me be in it, too!! Please!!”
The attendant told Luke, “Ok, why don’t you stand here in front of your Mom.” Then, she whispered to me, “He won’t be in it. It’s just a head shot.” 

I whispered back, “You don’t know my kid.”
She counted to five just as she said she would and at that very moment Luke jumped into the air shouting, “Cheese!”
“Um, let’s take another photo, Mrs. Wescott,” she said. 
This time Luke sat on the floor while I had my photo taken with what will probably be the angriest expression the Williamson County DMV has ever seen. The faces of rage worn on the burly men waiting to get their driver’s licenses re-instated had nothing on my angry mug. 
I am eagerly anticipating receiving my new license in the mail. 

This, ladies and gentlemen is why you should never take a five-year-old to the DMV.