How I Mastered Parenting Forever Until I Didn’t

So when I left off last week, my five-year-old son had been in trouble for using naughty words. His excuse for using those words was that he didn’t know enough Spanish and therefore HAD to use them. 

This morning a perfect opportunity opened up for us to rehash this discussion, which was a good thing. I hadn’t felt that I had really gotten through to him in our previous discussion and had been hoping for a chance to broach the subject again in an organic way, so as not to alert his brain that he was being lectured. He’s a smart kid and if he gets the impression that he’s in trouble, then he will shut down and just say what he thinks I want to hear.

Side note: Is it even possible to “get through” to a five-year-old boy? Probably not, but I tried anyway and this is how it went.

Luke: Mom, I just feel like I’m going to be on the naughty list forever.

Me: What makes you think you’re on the naughty list?

Luke: Because I use bad words EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Me: Why do you think you need to use bad words when you know all sorts of big, smart words?

Luke: Because they help me talk like I feel when I say them.

Me: Hmmm, I have an idea. Let’s make a list of your bad words and come up with other things you can say that mean the same thing, but sound nicer?

Luke: Oh Mom, you’re talking like an old man.

Me: Okay, instead of saying “stupid” what could you say instead?

Luke: Oooh, I know. I could say, “You’re fired!”

Me: Great! Okay, what about the word “hate?” That’s a really bad one. What could we say instead of that?

Luke: I’m done talking about this. Can I have a snack?

Me: No. Not until we finish. Instead of saying, “I hate this,” what could you say?

Luke: I guess I could just say somefing like, “I don’t want to be here!”

Me: Okay, great. Now let’s do one more. Instead of saying “shut up” what is something else you could say. 

Luke: You never got me a snack.

Me: That’s because we aren’t finished. Now, this is the last one. Instead of saying “shut up” you could say…

Luke: Okay. Okay. I could just say, “Hey, I don’t want to talk about this.”

Me: That’s perfect! So next time you get angry instead of using those bad words you can use the nicer words and I will still know how you feel. I’m so proud of you. 

I get up and leave the room to get him the snack I had promised when I hear him mumble, “I don’t want to be here. She is SO fired.”

Wait. Was that progress? 

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Why My Son Uses Bad Words: A Luke-ism

Today was a rough behavior day at our house. It was the kind of day when a certain five-year-old boy lost one privilege after another until he was basically stripped of every Lego, battery operated device, and toy he had. All he had access to was paper, crayons, and his books. 

I settled in to do a little writing while Luke busied himself with the only things he had available. 

Ten minutes later he was back at my side complaining of being bored. “I’m tired of coloring. Can I have a toy back?”

“No. Go read a book.”

“I can’t read.”

Dammit. I hate when my kid’s punishment punishes me, too.

I closed my laptop and told him to go pick out a few books for me to read to him. He snuggled up beside me on the couch as I opened the first book.

“Mom,” he said. “Do you know why I use bad words sometimes?”

“No. Why?”

“It’s because I don’t know enough Spanish.”

Is Your Kid Stingy With Vegetables? (Video)

I’m not one of those people who think it’s funny to make their kids cry and post it on Youtube, but this was ridiculous. 

A couple of nights ago I was attempting to make a broccoli casserole for dinner, which devastated Luke because he prefers it “cold” (raw). 

(Having trouble viewing this on your mobile device? )

After showing him the video I could tell he was a little embarrassed, which was good. He admitted that it was silly to be so upset when he clearly had his own enormous bowl of raw broccoli. That still didn’t stop him from getting the last word.

“Sure wish you hadn’t ruined all that cold broccoli.”

Stingy gut.


Perhaps The Best School Picture Ever Taken

When I picked up Luke from school on Friday his teacher said, “Well, we got our school pictures back today. They’re in Luke’s backpack. All I can say is wow, and can I please have one. It REALLY captures him.” 

I said, “Sure,” and I eagerly anticipated our arrival home so I could get a glimpse of them firsthand. 

Lifetouch photography has never been my first choice for school portraits, but this time they didn’t let me down. 

Without further ado, I give you…

As you can see, I slightly enhanced the picture because I’ve seen that face a few times before and it usually means bad news- the toilet is over flowing, the dog is limping, and half of the Christmas presents have mysteriously been unwrapped. To my knowledge, this is the first time his guilty face has ever been photographed. 

Kudos, Lifetouch.

Luke-isms: A Self Esteem Builder

There are plenty of times that I take special care to use a shampoo that is specific for my hair type and, ahem, color. In fact, I almost always have separate “Mommy shampoo and conditioner” in the shower that no one else is allowed to touch. 

However, last week Luke and I were fighting off a virus (I don’t mean Brantley. We were actually ill.) and instead of standing up to take a shower I decided to take the path of least resistance and just collapse into the bathtub. There was only one problem- my precious shampoo and conditioner were not within reach and after a hard-fought inner battle, I settled with what was sitting right next to me– Luke’s 2-in-1 shampoo bearing a “tear free” label.

I believe in a 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner less than I believe in Bigfoot, but I used it nonetheless. 

A bit later I was getting ready to blow dry my hair when Bigfoot, just kidding, Luke walked into the bathroom. 

He sniffed the air a couple of times, then paused. A big smile came across his face as he asked, “Mom, did you use my Smurf-berry shampoo?”

I tried to hide my shame. “Yes, I did.”

“I can tell. You look SOOOO handsome! Here, let me help you comb it. I’m a great comber.”

And with that, I sat on the stool while Luke combed my hair backward, starting at the back of my head and combing toward my forehead. When he was finished creating the “Cousin It” look he stood back and admired his work. He did his best to contain his excitement. “Try to leave it just like this ’til Daddy gets home. Oooooh, he’s not going to believe it!”


A Distraction From The Infirmary: Guy On A Buffalo (VIDEO)

Our house was hit with a plague this week in the form of a virus. My focus has mainly been on keeping Luke’s fever down, forcing fluids, and having meals delivered to our house. 

I would like to distract you from my absence with a video that provided a funny distraction to me this week. To quote a friend, “I can’t believe this has never been in my life until now and I didn’t even miss it.”

You’ll see what we mean, especially if you watch all four videos in the series. 

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you “Guy On A Buffalo.” 
If you’re having trouble viewing this on your mobile device click HERE.


Luke-isms: He’s Having A Baby

I received an email from Luke’s teacher last week stating that he was overheard at circle time asking a couple of little girls to marry him because, according to him, he was going to be having a baby soon. 

I didn’t give him too hard a time over it when he got home from school, but Brantley questioned him about it later that night. 

“Lucas, you know babies are expensive. If you want one you better get a job.”

“No, Dad! That is NOT right. You can’t just take money to a store and buy a baby. They’re not for sale.” His emphatic statement was then followed by a glance in my direction with an eye roll expressing his disapproval of his Dad’s baby ignorance. 

Dads– when will they learn?


I’m In The Powder Room Today! Subject: Homeschoolers

Have I ever mentioned the time that we almost hired a babysitting disaster for Luke?

Well, I’m sharing the whole awkward story in my debut today In The Powder Room

So come on over, and while you’re there you can read more about the Amazon best selling book, “You Have Lipstick On Your Teeth” And Other Things You’ll Only Hear From Your Friends In The Powder Room.

PS: Don’t forget that I’ll be at the Parnell Memorial Library this Saturday, September 7th to speak and sign copies of the book. I can’t wait to see you there!! Click HERE for the details.


Luke Hip-Hop Video

Ok as promised several times, here is a video from Luke’s hip-hop class. He is on the far left with a blue and green striped shirt and khaki shorts. His freestyle segment is in the last fifteen seconds of the video. Unfortunately, the only audio is lobby noise. Feel free to mute the video and sing “Funky Cold Medina.” I know you know all the words. Also, you may want to enlarge your screen. 

It may be hard to hear over my gasps, but his freestyle dance was the only one that drew quite a bit of laughter from the everyone watching in the lobby. 

After class, he high-fived his teacher and said, “Yeah, I was AWESOME!!”

Bless it.

If the video does not show up on your mobile device, then click the title of the post to be redirected to my actual blog and watch it there. 

The actual URL for the video is:

Luke-isms #ITPRlipstick

Luke could sense my excitement one day last week as I held my copy of “You Have Lipstick On Your Teeth.”

“Mom, why are you so happy?” he asked.

“I’m just excited because me and some of my friends worked really hard together and wrote this book.”

His eyes grew as big as saucers as he processed what that meant. I couldn’t wait to hear what his five-year-old brain would make of it all. He immediately stood up in his chair and threw his arms in the air. 

“Holy cow, Mom! You should ALL be in a band!!”
Easy there, Joe Jackson. It’s a little presumptuous to already be contemplating choreography and dollar signs.